Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweetness



The lips favor red

and sweet but cream's
fine too, wine-- why not? or
a good Irish stout or Mist.

Start
with a taste on the lips
a wetting--this is
long before the swallow.


But do swallow, and with
tongue and throat
examine the intricacies of sweetness--
d
rinks and cakes and snacks:

let peacocks kneel for this
sacred moment of savoring. Who
I mean who
savors anymore with

all this rushing--and you know?
When you come right down to it
it's the grave we're rushing toward,
no getting around it, so

enjoy
let the taste carry you
far, away. Hands off:
no steering this game.

And be sure
to miss a few 
buses along the way
for the fun of it.

6/24/09
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Joy

It feels a bit strange to be writing about joy given what is going on in Haiti right now. But perhaps this is the best time of all to do so.

At the prompting of a friend,
I tuned into a TV special the other night, but I couldn't stay with it for very long before I had to turn it off. It was a study on, an analysis of the pursuit of happiness. I'm just not a big believer that happiness is so worthy of pursuit. I think happiness is overrated, that it's a bit of a trap, in fact. It lives on the plane of wanting and having or not having. Joy, on the other hand (I'd have been interested to watch a study on joy): it lives in the realm of pure being. I can be emotionally pained, dissolving in tears, and still be joyful. Happiness doesn't allow for that. You can't be happy if you're sad, and that's that.

Does anyone really want to be happy all, or even a lot of the time? Wouldn't it lose some of its lustre without the contrast of other emotions? And where does joy, that priceless jewel, come in? Well, I know i
f I'd spent the last few months in pursuit of happiness, I would never have found my way to this present joy now pervading, this pure joy that spread a warm, relaxed smile across my face today for no reason.

It would seem I've had my own little study of "this emotional life" going on in recent days. I've had lots of practice lately navigating the cycles of life, riding the ebbs and flows of emotion, ambition, and such. Having just finished another tour, I am remind how uncomfortable it can be in "the pits."
Maybe it's human nature--a survival instinct or something--to try to avoid them. Be that as it may, I think I'm getting more limber traversing the peaks and troughs. And I am seeing more clearly the direct relationship between allowing (not grasping, that is, to hold onto the high points, and not resisting the lows) and that state of grace called joy.

It is no destination, then, something to be pursued, this joy.
This joy, when the room is made for it, occurs. It occurs when the stuff that is blocking it is removed. So often this is accomplished by simply (or not so simply) letting it go.

The other night I let go in big, wet tears all over my cat Cleo. When my heart is near her heart, hers works some kind of open sesame magic on mine. Once let go, I saw what I'd been holding back. I was sad, that's all. It felt bottomless at first, but it wasn't at all.

Later I had a phone call with a friend. It felt good to hear aloud the thoughts I'd been running around in my head. They seemed smaller and fewer and more organized somehow. Later still that evening, I picked up some Reiki reading I'd been wanting to return to for awhile. As if led to it, I sat reading a passage that presented a new (to me) use for one of the tools. I put down the book and began a treatment. I used the tool on myself, as the book suggested, and something remarkable happened.

I am the third born, the "baby" of my family of origin. I could list for you countless evidences, from practically the get-go, of my feeling "odd man out," the "third wheel"--of not being included, wanted, picked. I began this Reiki treatment with an intention to dissolve this
patterning in the cells (as Reiki will do), back to the source--generationally, if need be.

Oddly, at the outset, I flashed on Montmartre, and tears came. I say oddly because my time in Montmartre was beautiful, loving, playful, romantic time. Nevertheless, it was somehow a touchstone for the healing. What followed then was a clearing, of much pain: so much loss-- lifetimes of loss, it seemed. I felt it disappear as though a link to it all was severed leaving it to float off into the stratosphere. I felt a very distinct conclusion, a new absence and lightness where weight and presence had once (even moments before) been. This, while the cataclysm in Haiti was opening the World's heart.

I experienced allowing in a new way, and have been enjoying the benefit of that ever since. I am changed. It feels remarkable to me that when I spontaneously flash now on any of the various big and little moments of my time abroad, there is no emotional "drama" attached to them.
They are pure memory now: precious, scrumptious, gem-like moments of lived life. Their tone is so different now: it's like hearing a wedding march where a dirge once played! I am free to fully and simply cherish them, to welcome and enjoy them, alongside the rest in my midst. There is a distinct quality to the atmosphere of this new spaciousness and lightness which I might call "all is well."

I am reminded of these lines from my (unpublished) fictional memoir:
On the water are feathers, discards of the ducks—remnants of their flight or skidding landings. The tiny down cups turn, in unison, to a wind I do not feel yet. And my child's eye remembers, sees a fleet of sailboats: mainsails, spinnakers, jibs. And my belly feels all light.

I think it is joy.
I am convinced there is no finding this joy while pursuing happiness, unless that pursuit includes a willingness to allow it all--good, bad and ugly. We've got to be willing to undergo the proverbial dark night(s) of the soul, all the little deaths required to fully live. To say "it's worth it!" is an understatement. Surely there's some comfort in knowing it is when it's darkest that joy is most near, and that all passes: this, too.

But to allow is not to wallow.
Wallowing is sticky: it'll keep the stuff I'm wallowing in around. Allowing, is smooth as silk: all glides easily over or through. One brings stagnation; the other, flow. Feed on one and you thrive; feed on the other and it just might kill you, given time.

Nature models the free way so well. Imagine if winter wallowed!

"Oh, I'm co-o-o-old, I'm so co-o-old: when will I ever get relief from this cold? Ice and snow and--ohh, wo-o-o-e is me!"

I think of the snowdrops: the first flowers of each year to appear in my garden (soon, soon!). And the irises, come May. For them, there is no pride, no pomp, no triumph in their blooming. Just as there is no lament, no
Grande Finale as their last flower fades. This very equanimity is available to us all. As long as we're not too busy chasing happiness to realize it.
I heard a remarkable program on Expanding Awareness this morning which, at one point, put my jaw on my chin. I am no stranger to esoterica. But what I heard this morning put an old knowing in a new light that left me freshly "aHa!"d.

Listen to experts in Law of Attraction for even five minutes, and you'll no doubt hear the word "vibration." Michael Losier, the Canadian "go-to LOA guy," would tell us that if we want to know what we're vibrating, we need only look around us. What's there is what we're attracting, because that's what we're vibrating. And vice versa, of course. You've heard of "positive vibes" and "negative vibes." We can all feel a nasty (i.e., mean, angry, dark, bitter) vibe on someone the moment the person enters a room. Until this morning, I didn't realize the concept of vibration was still abstract for me. Today, thanks to Michael Mannion, something locked in. Michael spoke not of vibrations but of
emitting photons: actual particles radiating from us in clusters. Picture a glass of champagne, and the bit of fizz just above it that tickles the nose when the bubbles surface and burst. In the case of our photons, they are preserved; they last and they travel. This shed new light on psychic phenomena for me; I've long known we can 'read' one another, even at great distances. But now I see how.

What do we attract from the the depths of the troughs? That depends on the presence or absence of one little letter: am I wallowing down there, or allowing? I'm sure that what each of these radiate and attract is as different as what pain and suffering each emit and attract. There is such beauty in pure pain--an exquisiteness, even. I suspect suffering radiates something that resembles a tight, dark cloud.

But joy: joy's got a sparkle--I can feel it! And I must say it
's good to be back in the effervescent heart of joy, drawing joy and sending joy, sparkle by sparkle, for a time.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Rose Knows




Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
~Sylvia Plath


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Friday, January 08, 2010

Take a Breath

The true person is
Not anyone in particular;

But, like the deep blue color

Of the limitless sky,

It is everyone, everywhere

In the world.

--Dogen
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Here's a Thought

At every turn, I have the opportunity to:

~make someone's day

~wreck someone's day, or

~make no impact whatsoever on someone's day


So, m'dear: what'll it be?
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Going, going....almost Gone

So here we are in a new year-- a new decade no less!--and you've started it without a calendar and are feeling a little disoriented. Fret not: it's Love's Freeway to the rescue! But don't delay: we're down to just a handful of Language of Love 2010 calendars. So if you want one, grab it now before they're gone gone gone. Once they're gone, they're... uh huh: gone.

I am grateful for your companionship on the Journey, and I wish you an extraordinary year along Love's way.


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