Our third decade together. And the love grows deeper against a background of eventual, inevitable loss. A loss more unimaginable than one’s own demise.
I look deeply into your eyes, my eyes linger, falling into your blue orbs, while you, in turn, delight in my gaze, going far beyond the polite looks people use in everyday conversations. We pause too long. I fall into the abyss of your sky blues and feel reverence. Reverence for your happy spirit, infectious mood.
It is not the Eros of our first decade that waned in the second and all but disappeared in the third. Attraction, yes, but of a different nature. Attraction of the heart, the soul, the spirit. We bring each other to pure joy, bliss, a sharing of spirit. We give each other a taste of oneness with all.
It is before dawn on a moonlit night. The moon has swept the trees and grass in silver. I await the sun. The moon woke me to whisper about the silent beauty of the predawn hours. The yard is white magic and I imagine a monarch butterfly now sleeping, awaken to find a turtle so it can drink its tears. Monarch butterflies drink turtle tears. Why are the turtles crying? They cry for the ailing earth. They cry for those who suffer. They cry for the dying. They cry for those striving to become one with all. They cry for the sap in the trees flowing. They cry for the animals who are constantly on guard for their lives. They cry for the bird egg which will not ever hatch. They cry for the dying stars in an ever expanding universe. They cry for the unawareness of the high and mighty. Turtle tears are like diamonds sparkling in candlelight, like rain drops on a drooping Lily of the Valley. Come now to drink my tears, dear Monarch. Your beauty gladdens my heart. Your heart drops manna from the heavens into my soul. Come now, dear Monarch. Come lick the dew drops in my eyes.
Valarie Kaur of the Revolutionary Love Project talks for 7 and a half minutes about the rage and indignation we feel in the face of the domestic terrorism attack on the Capitol on Wednesday January 6th, 2021. She tells us how to channel the rage and indignation and powerlessness we feel. And she ends with a short Sikh prayer song.
“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree… a tree that looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray.” The opening lines of the poem,“Trees,” by Joyce Kilmer. Indigenous peoples through the ages have talked of tree spirits and trees as wise ones. Trees are striking as they permanently lift their arms to the Heavens in seeming prayer, day and night in communication with the Creator, their outstretched arms reaching for the stars.
Reaching for the stars. The image calls to mind a dance of the Kalahari Bushmen who were featured in the movie “The Gods They Must be Crazy.” The Kalahari, the last men born of the Stone Age culture according to Laurens Van Der Post, have no sense of individuality and so share all they have. They have a dance of gratitude which Van Der Post describes in his book entitled “A Mantis Carol”: “I never see their dancing without feeling deeply moved and utterly irreverent and blasphemous because of our own incapacity for acknowledging what life will give if only we will let it in.” And then there is their dance of the “great hunger,” a dance that says we do not live by bread alone, a dance at life’s end fraught with longing, with arms outstretched taughtly towards the Heavens as they reach for the stars.
My grandfather reached for the stars. He came here, a 16-year-old peasant stonecutter from the mountains of Sicily, knowing no English. He wound up carving the Lincoln Gettysburg address at the Lincoln Memorial in DC. While working on the Gettysburg Address he studied English at night school. I remember him telling me how he was the laughing stock of his fellow stone cutters because, inspired by Lincoln’s words, he carved his initials at the top of the monument, “A.L.” for Anthony LaManna (and, of course, for Abraham Lincoln), followed by: “Attorney at Law.” Working his way through school, he actually did eventually become a VA lawyer. He reached for the stars and touched them without ever forgetting where he came from. And he was childlike as he took care of me, as we danced to records on the victrola or as he played the mandolin and sang to me. I always think of him with a tinge of sadness, for more than anyone, he taught me to reach for the stars.
Reach for the creator– that is what the trees say. At this time of year I yearn for the days of childhood in which God seemed close. This yearning fully ripens each year at Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah when the people brighten their houses with festive lights. It is a time of year in which we light up our hearts and look to the heavens and sing songs of love to a babe born not so very long ago, or in which we give thanks for the oil to light the lights of the temple for eight days. We are all really seeking the love that motivated the Kalahari Bushmen to do their dance. We are seeking a savior, and yearning for the Light in this overlit, commercialized, complicated world in which the inspiring simplicity of the Bushmen, the peasant, is rapidly disappearing. And the trees touch my heart in their upward reach for the Heavens. For at this time so many millions of them are sacrificed as they become our Christmas trees and Hanukkah bushes, to be discarded after the holidays are over.
May we enter this holy season with a simpler yearning, not for presents and parties and hoopla, but with our hearts full of gratitude, taking lessons from the trees, from the Kalahari Bushmen, from our ancestors, and seek Love, in whatever form it takes in our souls.
The Spirit of snow
highlights the love of line
the loving grace of trees in winter
bare and spiritual
the horses a gift of color
in otherwise black and white
Feather trees whisper a blessed new year to you all!
“The Cloud of Unknowing”
A beautiful Christmas to you all!
Peace Love Joy
When Kavanaugh was confirmed yesterday, my husband held me and let me sob the pain out of experiences from long ago. His care, his love is so pure, I think of it as sacred. It brings me to God and gratitude. I am profoundly grateful to, and for, him. These are very dark times and it is hard to see God in the current state of the country. But love surpasseth all. It is my husband’s birthday tomorrow and I will strive to give back to him, in my own imperfect way, all he has given and whatever I can add of my own.
Meantime, apologies. I am sorry my gut spoke out. And to those of you who wrote in despite that, a most profound thank you.
Yes, I am Bipolar. But as well I was sexually abused as a child from age 3 to age 6 or 7, and, at that time as well, emotionally abused. The sexual abuse was incest with my “upstanding and outstanding” grandfather. I adored him. I idolized him. Everyone in my family did. No one knew my secret. Along with everyone else I worshipped him all my life. I listened to Grandma say, after Grandpa died, how he had always been faithful to her. I bit my tongue because he had been unfaithful to her with me. Grandpa wanted me to tell his story. Not THIS story. A story about all the good things he did in his life. He worked as a lawyer for a VA hospital and helped many veterans. I have no doubt that he did. He carved the Lincoln Gettysburg address at the Lincoln Memorial when he first came over from Sicily. He was written about in a psychology textbook as an example of motivation.
Grandpa didn’t rape me but he did sexual things with me. Things I knew were wrong. Things that damaged me for life. I tried to tell my grandmother but she didn’t understand what a child was talking about, asking her if she was jealous. She laughed. I realized to tell her would hurt her. I never told anyone until later, when a woman in a gay bar told me she was abused. Then I realized I had blocked it out of my memory for years. All my life I lived as a doormat, letting everyone hurt me and walk all over me and I said nothing. Just like with Grandpa.
With Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward I am struggling, like many women abused in all sorts of ways, with an anger coming out that I never felt I had. I loved Grandpa very much. I thought that love could forgive what he did. That is until now. Until I heard Christine Blasey Ford speak. Now I am furious. Fortunately I have a very understanding husband who worked as a therapist. with mentally ill medicaid clients. He totally supports me. I should be happy with that. I am. But I am struggling with people who do not understand. And the profound injustice of Ford’s case.
As things progress, anger is morphing into despair and the deepest disappointment with our country. My doctor, a male psychiatrist, was caring, went overtime with our recent session and said my anger was justifiable. But he tried to make excuses for my grandfather. This was, and is, devastating to me. As are glib, dismissive statements, like “we have all been abused.” I am sick at heart and in my gut. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I would venture to say that these two weeks have been traumatic for all sexual crime survivors, and, as I learned from a younger friend, for survivors of emotional abuse as well. It has taught me a lot. It has taught me to treasure my husband even more. I always did, but now it is profoundly visceral and flows through every vein in my body. My husband is the only one who “gets” the whole story.
I hope Christine Blasey Ford’s husband can help her. I feel SO badly for her. She was a hero and look at what it got her. A sham investigation. A probable Kavanaugh confirmation. A Trump parody of her answers, perhaps his most perverse remarks ever. That same friend of mine, who suffered emotional abuse, tells me there is a silver lining to this. That women will use their power and mobilize. That young people will see the horror of mistreatment of an innocent victim of a sexual predator, a sexual predator like our president. Not being the most optimistic of people, I only hope she is right.
And THANK YOU Christine Blasey Ford! Take pride in your moving bravery. You have helped countless women. You are a hero for all of us. My heart goes out to you.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Bible verse from the King James version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians Chap 13 verse 12
And the guru who is my eyes right now is Kamlesh Patel, known as “Daaji,” and his disciple, Joshua Pollock in their book “The Heartfulness Way.” See below. I have read it twice and will reread it again. It is the No. 1 Bestseller in India right now and it is chock full of insights and directions to follow the path of “Heartfulness.” It is the path of love and the heart. The path of Raja Yoga. How could I resist? Daaji does not charge for his teaching. He has a network of trainers available on the Internet. The key to Raja Yoga is the transmission you receive from the guru, from the trainers. The path of Heartfulness is leading me to peace. And as I am in the midst of withdrawing from a major tranquilizer STILL (a long process that will continue for months), peace is MAJOR. I am not there yet but I see light at the end of the tunnel of Maya. “I see now through a glass darkly…”
I awaken to moonlight– it is at that particular slant that lights up the front yard at 3 AM. What really has awakened me is my husband’s breathing. It is labored like he has just run up a flight of stairs. At times I awaken because I do not hear his breath and some alarm goes off in my head to check him. And if I can not hear him breathing I put my hand lightly on his chest so as not to wake him to see if I can feel the his heart beating. Feeling it pulsing in my hand I am reassured once more. I am not alone in this. My sister-in-law confides in me that she wakes up at night to listen to my brother to see if he is still breathing. My first-grade friend says much the same. She does a breathing check on her husband. Our husbands are relatively well. They have diabetes, heavy smoking and drinking, a delicate frame among them, but they are not on death’s door so far as we know. And yet we are plagued by morbid fears.
In the wee hours of morning fears loom large. My husband’s heartbeat, a mere flutter, seems so delicate. I am reassured that it is beating just as I am reassured that he is breathing. But the breath itself is so fragile. It scares me awe-fully– the fragility of the breath, the fine line between breathing and cessation of breath.
I prowl the house. Through the skylight the stars beam brightly along with a shining half moon. A clear day tomorrow. But it is already tomorrow. It is so still my ears hum. My husband, who knows so many interesting things, tells me the humming I hear is the sound of the nervous system. Our bodies hold such mystery.
I look out the window, now hearing my neighbor’s dogs barking quietly. I look for coyote thinking that is what they are barking at, but see nothing. The moonlit grass on the lawn is whitish silver, looking almost as if it had snowed, and the water in the marsh sparkles in the moonlight. The deep woods behind are pitch dark, the home of many a creature. Nothing stirs. It is too early for the birds. The house across the way is always dark; it is up for sale. And in the other direction, at this hour, no lights shine in the driveway of the house down the road.
I am reminded of a line from a poem by Tagore “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” I am at my most faithless at 3 AM.
Along with the supreme beauty of Tagore’s thoughts, a frivolous line from an old song runs through my head: “There ought to be a moonlight savings time…” and the line continues so there would be more time for loving. But moonlight in the middle of the night also brings with it intense dreads.
Now chilled I finally go back to bed. An owl hoots in the distance– a reassuring sound. My husband is breathing freely now. His body is warm in the bed and I am filled with love for him as he lays in a heap, so trustingly in the arms of sleep. Our marriage a wonder. Unexpected. An endless source of ever increasing love brimming not only with joy but also the dread of loss. Perhaps all wives check their husbands for breathing. Perhaps there is an army of women out there prowling the wee hours of the night, at times by moonlight, checking on their husbands, their children, their animals to see that they all have that breath of life flowing.
“There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.” Rumi said that. And it is breath of love that I must master.
December is my favorite time of year. In this month of darkness, in this the darkest month, the light of the human spirit shines forth in a fullness shown by so many, in so many ways. As the days grow shorter, houses and trees are decorated, and snow falls. In the hushed silence of the nights, lights shine in windows, and the beauty is shared by all. For this season of giving brings the festivals of lights: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza. Each tradition incorporates light in its ceremonies and decorations.
In December’s darkness we light lights. For we are beings of light. A light glows within each one of us. And, at the most basic level, we are beings of light because we are made from stardust. Perhaps that is why the stars hold such majesty for us– we are made from star material.
Einstein said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe”– a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest– a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” We are all cut from the same cloth and our inner light unites us.
And in this holiday season we behold the night sky as shepherds did two thousand years ago on the birth of the holy infant, in a stable like the one down the road where my donkey friend lives. That night a star lit the whole sky to guide the shepherds, and on these deep, long, silent nights as we light our houses, our candles, our trees, let us look inside ourselves and find the glow that may guide us to The Light
A holy Hanukkah, a magical Christmas and the ecstasy of Sadhguru to all for the New Year! May we awaken from Maya and realize the wonders we are… for inside each of us burns the Sacred Light of the Universe.
Another invisible illness silently
sapping quality of life
vertigo and acute nausea
and, with Aspergers, I am
more of a recluse than ever
But my beloved stands by me
A few weeks ago
I wanted to die
Bipolar, too, you see
too sick to sleep
too long a wait
to see a doctor
My beloved, my savior
keeps me going.
But I must fight on my own
and have enlisted Sadhguru
an Indian mystic and Yogi and guru
who promises bliss.
Meditating and chanting every day
with my beautiful husband
pulls me through
My husband the healer
with the poorest of the poor
the dejected and rejected
My husband who married me
despite my mental illness.
Sadhguru says my mind
can poison my body
Sadhguru, my last best hope
I meditate and chant Aum
with him daily
living the life of a hermit
in a 3 room box in New York City
rather than in a cave in the Himalayas
the spirituality of years ago
before antipsychotic medication
gave me a spiritual lobotomy
A trade off
it offered me
some sort of stability
to have a quasi normal life
with my devoted husband
of 28 years.
Why can’t you have
that allows you to love
I am going to try…
on a flower petal bed
The perfume of love
in a plethora of hues
of the present
past in a blink
of the eye
or the flutter
of a butterfly wing.
Taking a break from blogging for awhile. Following a class with the famous yogi, Sadhguru, on Inner Engineering which is quite wonderful and I plan on spending lots of time on. A sample of his way of thinking is below.
Running Elk has provided such a clear exposition of a subject about which I know so little. Bravo, RE!
This post is based on the outline of an exploration session presented at The Silent Eye (a modern mystery school) “Leaf and Flame: the Foliate Man” weekend in 2016. Whilst I have attempted to retain some of the flavour, and changes in direction, of the actual talk, the interactive elements of the exploration are absent, and since most of it was done “on the hoof”, it is not really a true reflection of the session. Many of the sections are expanded considerably from that presented on the day…
Sourced from internet. Artist unknown.
Whether we recognise it or not, we receive guidance, often in areas in which we have no direct experience, from what can only be considered an “external” source. This “subconscious” guidance may be considered to emanate from many sources, including “spirit animals“.
Belief in spirit, and spirit guidance, is firmly…
View original post 1,380 more words
My friend with cancer
My friend who had chemo
Three runs of chemo
My friend who was cured
Whose cancer had gone
My friend who was cured
Who wanted to write a book
Who wrote to me often
Who listened to me with Heart
Where did he go?
Why did he die?
Why when he was starting anew
With his wife who stood by him
Helped him when he was sick
Why did he die?
I want to know
Where did he go?
I want to know if the chemo
It did not help my father,
My mother, my brother
My best friend
I thought I was wrong
I thought this time it helped my friend
Yes, it helped him alright
It killed him!
Why did he have to die?
My friend, “Rabbit,” Rest in Peace
Love forever, Mouse
Love beautifies Love beautifies everything and if we learn to love everyone, all our imperfections can be washed away, especially by loving kind words. Sant Kirpal Singh (BooK excerpt from: Spiritual Elexir)