Calm Glimpse

The sky
is always there.
The sun
is always there.
Storms come and go.
Clouds come and go.

 

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The Encounter

I stood in a glass house at the edge of the sea.

I watched as the tide rose, gradually swallowing the house, waves breaking against glass walls, and over the glass roof, booming, rattling, trembling.

Seaweed, rocks, shells, too many fish to count, so many colors.

Then came the crabs, starfish, anemones, cephalopods, sliding, clicking across the transparent roof, pressed up against the glass.

Then came the sea turtles, their old tough shells cracking the glass as the force of the sea slammed them against it.  The house was completely underwater now, and water began to seep through the cracks with mounting pressure.

My blood lurched through the veins in my neck.  I thought of running wildly from room to room, but just found myself standing perfectly still. 

I saw the small dark shape of a whale on the underwater horizon, the fluid border of sight.  I tried to blink it away, but it was still there, and it was coming. 

It swept nearer, loomed closer, until it filled my vision completely.  The transparent house was outside the whale’s awareness, so on it came, about to collide into the glass I stood behind. 

Friends, this is how it is to die and be reborn.

This is how it is, returning from the death of your animal nature.

Say Yes

Say yes to storms, stillness, success, failure, silence, noise. Yes to high winds, bitter cold, sweltering heat, crushing loneliness, joyful connection, isolation, liberation.

Yes to the broken and the unbreakable.  Yes to the shaken and the unshakeable.

Say yes to danger, safety, pain, pleasure, exhaustion, energy.  Yes to the suffering you’ve known and the gifts you’ve been given.  Yes to a small and closed-in place, yes to the mystery of limitless space.

Say yes to old hurts, fresh wounds.  Yes to your rise and yes to your fall, to effort and ease.  Yes to the fields of time and timelessness.

Say yes to all the things you think you could never do or be, yes to anything you’re afraid of.  Yes to duality and oneness.  In saying yes, you become unstuck.  When you say yes, nothing can hold you hostage.

Flicker

Who holds this light?  Nobody knows,

only that it stronger grows.

Dim or bright, the smallest flame

can light the darkness just the same.

    

Omphalos

My fires are so thirsty,

the hunger drinks itself.

Transcendent wheel turning,

at once groaning and soundless.

I speak the language of rounded stones,

spoken at the navel of the world.

 

At times I cannot even reach you.

At times I scoop you up

to ride across the world in the cups of my hands,

my skin peeling back

as if it were the bark of a eucalyptus tree.

 

To really explain, I’ve got to go back

to where the rain stopped suddenly

and everything went quiet

and the sky turned bright orange.

I’ve got to go back and I can’t take you with me,

but I will return and tell you what I find there.

 

All my life,

I simply do what I was made to do.

That is why I am a contented man.

Open Up

Sometimes we are born with deep secrets.  Secrets we don’t even know we’re keeping, until they unveil themselves.  Startling surprises.  So open up, open up, roll back the curtain, don’t close yourself off, don’t shut down, don’t do it.  It is tempting to keep quiet and lay low, but let your heart take a few lashes, let all the voluminous light inside of you come out before your inevitable worldly departure.

Contemplate the line between who people think you are, who they need you to be, want you to be, and who you truly are.  Let yourself change, stretch out, grow, expand.

One would think that once your heart has taken its share of lashes, you might retreat, pull back, run for cover.  Never mind this, it’s only logic tugging at you.  Go up and out instead, run towards the fire.  Open up the wicker of your rib basket and pull your heart loose.  Set it down gently, still beating, in the eye of the whirlwind.

You never know when you might see yourself.  Not a glance, not an examination.  See.  What you once could have sworn was solid now reveals itself to be translucent.  What once looked to be a pillar of immovable strength now strikes you as fragile.  So take everything they think they know about you, every last scrap of how they think you should be, of who they think you are, and just burn it.

Don’t be frightened, it’s only death and resurrection.  Open up.

 

 

 

 

Vision Quest

Once, everything you knew – wanted to know, even –seemed so important. All the things you were sure you understood, and wished to better understand.

But then the long night of your life came.

Deep in among the folds of that night, you cried out for your life to be different, but it was only ever up to you.

A thousand pairs of eyes watched you from a distance.  They only knew there was nothing they could do to protect you, and that their final breath would come as surely as yours, and that they were hungry.

Songs of moonflowers, rain-shadows, animal powers – even the song of the wind we must unlearn.

You’ve walked a path upon the earth – now to it, return.