I Almost Missed It

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“GIRL”, 24×4,ceramic,steel
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A sunny and 40 degree morning found Emma and I parked on the plaza early enough to skirt the wandering-in-the-desert tourists.

This is my precious Santa Fe at it’s best;

Stoic Native Americans unloading trucks have driven hundreds of miles to show their jewelry and art under the famed portal

While tiny humans try to outwit gleaming pigeons.

A stogie brandishing fat man hides from his wife on a lonely bench in a far corner.

I didn’t feel like hiding today and pulled close by to a barefooted woman playing violin.

She is a busker; some legitimate street performing licensing having occurred down a linoleum-clad city clerk’s hallway.

Barefoot, she stood lanky and proud in a burgundy floppy hat, layered lace skirts and too few clothes in general.

Her case laid at her feet; open with a clumsy sign hoping we “liked her tunes”.

Always an aura of aloneness coats her

Yet her work ethic is that of a Fortune 500 member; rain or shine, count-on-able.

I have passed her by with the surface enjoyment from a place like the reptile exhibit at the zoo; engaged but not retaining too much and just slightly reproachful for her general oddness preventing any chance of true communion.

Today was different.

Em and I sat there in the sun and my heart slowed way down to meet her music.

There- in bare feet on an early Spring morning a violin master gave me her gift.

No one plays that soulfully and heart-massagingly without intense training.

Yet here she was..oblivious to any threat to her heavenly bubble of divine offering..

I sat there, my lap warmed by a resting dog

And cried from the Grace of the chance de-densifying I somehow achieved

Allowing my being to be washed squeaky clean and made easy.

Twenty minutes later I rolled toward her and dropped some money in the opened case.

There were real flowers and crystals and other shamanic tools of her trade.

I mouthed “Thank you” and bowed my head as we moved on.

Deep sighs of relief and utter contentment mixed with awe at how close I came to missing God.

Easter

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I just returned from a midnight roll with Emma; full moon.. me dressed in gratitude to the dark (meaning: just socks but no shoes, hair all sticky-outy, shawl range-ily wrapped round my dubious outfit).

Emma doesn’t care.

I obviously don’t care either. It was the adventure of the thing.

This past Sunday all the Catholics were out on the Santa Fe plaza in high church regalia in a Palm Sunday processional.

The head man swung incense to and fro followed by the ecumenically outfitted ..followed by the general public waving palms..

Emma and I watched.

I had to go home and google Palm Sunday.

I’m really keyed into this time of year because I know something about what feels subjectively like crucifixion and the journey of return.

My urge to be free finds me looking to all religions for keys.

It seems to help me very much to bring the Jesus stories in very close as metaphors and relate intimately to his teachings.

Surely my way is only that: my way. All I ask is for you to read here with a modicum of curiosity and forgo showing me the highway too soon.

By way of Easter time, Jesus is nailed to the cross and has to just hang out there with what is.

He has lost the luxury of his own will and by default must look inward for salvation.

His suffering goes on and on and on and on.

The agony is witnessed by those at his feet.

As his consciousness dims he pretty much gives up all “Woe is me” and “Why me, GOD?”

In favor of final forgiveness and surrender into Death.

But then…

after a little rest and recuperation

He RISES!

Not just good as before but better.

You may think me sacrilege but variations of these same transitions play out in my own life and I’m pretty sure a good number of you experience them too.

MS has shattered me, crucified me, wrested my trusty will from me.

It seems foolish to lend a hierarchy to suffering; (yours isn’t nearly as gritty as mine).

Divorce annihilates who we were..loss of job or spouse or child or fortune; addiction, depression, jail time, surgery, disappointment or betrayal.

Hell..even a bad break-up leaves us bloody and wrecked.

All our cells are called to re-assemble into some alien pattern and no friggin’ instruction booklet is included.

We’ve all just gotta hang there on the cross till every damn one of our precious numbing agents, blame-games, uber scavenger hunts for relief and distractions from what IS

Are used up.

Man, this can take a loooooonnnnng time.

And we die.

Metaphorically speaking.

We die to who we thought we were even though we thought we were pretty damn great and it looked like we had all the tools we needed to cut through the pain and discomfort..

HA!

Not.

After all that foll-de-rol we go through writhing in our suffering we need a big time Siesta with a capital “S”..

Three days is really not long enough (says me..).

I really do hope Jesus had a few margaritas to chew on in that dark cave..

Of course there were the intimates there to help him do his re-entry by moving the rock because not a one of us can do this ourselves.

I repeat: NOT A ONE OF US.

Released–he rose again.

And I have too..lighter, happier, less dense, more curious.

My neck is saggier but hey..the costs of war and time…

I am pretty raw as well. Naked to the wind.

Sometimes haphazardly dressed. Sometimes Chanel.

The Shattering. The Reconciliation. The Return.

Happy Easter to every darn one of us magnificent, brave, beautiful, beautifully human, humans.

We are the miracle.

We rise.

The Big Squeeze

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My girlfriend is down there in Mexico at a clinic receiving stem cells to possibly re-calibrate her immune system.

She has an amazingly generous benefactor allowing her this opportunity.

My own reach toward healing has been to give my stubborn will all the room and support it has needed to exhaust itself over the 15 years dealing with my body changing.

At some point I became so (actually and metaphorically) weary of “the reach” for “other”

That I gingerly stepped into my dugout canoe and pushed off the beach;

Laid down and just let the river of Life take me.

This was not a collapse into anything…just the beginning of listening with a different ear.

The slight rocking of the boat eased old anxiety.

I became softly content over time with not knowing where I was going.

This sort of surrender could easily be seen as caving into weakness or despair

But as my little boat floated nearer and nearer the canyon lands

The river became deep as opposed to wide.

So alive is the water beneath me!

My destination has become uninteresting.

I feel the rapids and am afraid.

But then as the fury eases into deep calm

A small and weary migratory bird

Rests on my boat.

We just look at one another awhile

Appreciating the company;

The sun impossibly warm..

The river fathoms deep.

I love all the clothes in her closet.

Tenderness

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“RAIN” ceramic, nails
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My grandmother urged me to pay close attention

To the utter tenderness of the barely green willow tree leaves

In the three or four days of the year they choose to break the bonds of a tight bud

To grace us with their presence once again.

Every year as what feels like ‘almost a color’ arrives

I seem to need to revisit this poem:

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LOVE LETTER TO SPRING

We thought it would never come.
That dripping, pungent, just-waking- up
Season of LIFE!
It hides, teases, burrows down
So far that we forget-
Forget the wild heartbeat that comes
With the lover at the door.
Old thoughts of circumstances long gone
Have no place here.
All is washed clean,
Naked to the promise
Of every thing spanking new.
And so, what shall I choose
To adorn myself for you?
Nothing secondhand, NO!
For me there will be butter yellow
Like the grasses by the roadside.
Perhaps a deep brown
With the scent of new rain
Behind my ear.
Of course, lest I forget
A shirt the shade of
The inside of that orchid
I saw on your desk.
The door will open
And there you’ll stand,
Crackling with the promise
Of a thunderstorm.
Wild, navy blue clouds
Demanding my attention.
“Come in”, I say, slightly unnerved.
Nothing seems familiar, everything new.
I leave the door open,
So all this blossoming, and greening and thundering and light
Has no question it is welcome
To change us, release us
From all we know to be true,
And leave us spent with awe
For all we thought we knew..

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CA

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“I Can Heal You”

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On the plaza this morning I sat taking in the world with Emma.

A Native American man had the bench near me and we began talking.

The conversation eased it’s way into his reportage of healing acumen he’d been gathering since boyhood:

“I am BLACK WOLF” from so-and-so tribe. ” I belong to a long line of healers. Just last month we had ceremony with a Parkinsons’ man. His limbs uncurled and he walked straight out of the sweat lodge after being in a wheelchair.”

More miraculous stories poured forth over the next ten minutes.

“We could do ceremony for you.”

This was offered in a matter-of-fact voice and gaze infused with utter confidence in my acceptance.

He was very surprised when I said I was not drawn to the healing way he was offering but thanked him for his kind offer.

A friend of mine is in Mexico undergoing stem cell treatment for MS.

I could be jealous.

As I begin to negotiate the physical landscape of pain in my body I am watchful of my urge to make the feelings go away at almost all costs.

Such an avalanche of discomfort obliterates what I consider my most valuable asset: pure, clear presence.

So…is healing the return of symptomless being?

Is it an endless horizon of comfort?

What if I can’t find comfort, peace of mind, the space to just ‘BE’ anymore?

I am seeing that my mind machinations are my worst enemy. Deep thinking puts all of my systems into lock down..

Only surrendering to WHAT IS seems to have the medicine I desire.

Strangely, if I can muster this state a softness comes; a porous field of possibility devoid of the angsty will to alleviate all discomfort.

I have to figure this out in order to live well and not constantly be waiting for something to change or someone to heal me so I can be ok.

Looking for results outside my own undeveloped and often unknown capabilities to heal myself now seems the antithesis of true healing to me.

Healing means something quite different than just the alleviation of symptoms.

For me, it means competent mastery of all tools in my library of wellness; emphasis on access to quiet mind.

We Have To Love (at least appreciate) Duality

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photo taken near Abiquiu, NM, 2001
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I usually vote energetically.

I look to people’s eyes;

Clear? Accessible? Intelligent? Unguarded?

Defiant? Veiled? Blustery?

Invitational?, Deep?, Compassionate?

So much can be hidden. But the eyes do not lie.

My mind is expert at railroading me toward logic.

I am non-plussed by logic’s sway over the energetics of true change.

As time moves forward it seems we are being offered a clearer and tauter opportunity to choose sides.

I hate this. It is uncomfortable, embarrassing to belong to any available team.

Such a big, fucking mess.

But really… we are being offered one more chance to handle our own, personal inner violence.

As long as our personal prejudices remain interesting topics of conversation

The ante will be upped to shove our wrong-sightedness in our faces

Like a soured banana cream pie.

The genesis of this post is political

But what of my own violence toward my precious self?

Today, my body was too full of pain. I got irritable and close to hateful..

Who deserves the wake from my unintended sorrow?

No one.

But there it was as I grumbled impatiently

Simply waiting to exit a store.

Every damn one of us has a story.

We are, indeed, the same.

Hidden tears and hardship.

Shall we leave the less fit by the side of the road in the effort to craft a fully “safe” society?

Well.. my sense is I have many gifts waiting to be given.

All I need is the recognition of my worth.

Just a slight nod in my direction, a tip of the hat

To another flawed yet gifted

Participant in this extraordinary human walk we are on.