Anchoring

I get swept up in my own life like dust in a pail- and when I sit in the future this way all my spirits are silent.

They are patient and silent as statues, waiting for my mind to come back, waiting for me to let go, snuffed out like a candle by my need to plan, to predict, to perform.

I come back to the daily choices. Recalling the things that reconnect me to spirit:

Licking my soil covered fingertips

Letting my body flow through familiar movements

Watching birds gather in their favorite dead tree.

Some things are constant: here I can anchor without having the think:

The cat leaves every morning and comes home every night.

Some plants will poison me. Some will gift me sweet medicine.

The clouds will contract and then spread wide again as they swim overhead.

The squirrels steal bites out of the garden squash every fall.

There will always be something new to learn- there will always be old knowledge to come back to.

So I re remember. My mind flies away. And I anchor it back to my body, to the earth. Over and over again.

I am a conduit

I let the wildflowers paint my eyes,

And anoint my face with moss and river water.

I know there are things happening around me, inside me, always,

Whether invisible or seen.

The universe has given us a sing a along to do together,

And I spread my fingers apart to hold loose my humility,

Letting it go as I open my palms in a stream of water,

And the water reads each wrinkle and line of my fingertips.

The river, the rocks, the otter, the strings of algae all know that I am here, that I am finally claiming my place.

My service is to be a conduit. A live wire.

A string of energy that runs from the deepest chasm to the highest star.

So that the earth may speak to itself through me.

So that the earth may speak to the sky.

Have you ever felt divine fingers pulling your skin apart to feel what is inside?

Have you ever felt the stroke of resonating strings covering against your spine like the piercing note of a violin?

I have felt the sand and stone orgasm when the rainfall splash against it in autumn.

I have heard it moan as it soaks up each drop of wetness.

I am a herd animal

The restless herd animal inside me is always seeking the next pasture. The next mountain range. The next spring.

I tell my hurried brain to soften: there is nothing but now. Nothing but rocks and worms and clouds and sun.

But my nerves buzz incessantly: what else- what else- what else. The answers come only in the form of soil shifting, of gravel and pebbles, of worms and rot.

November clouds. February sun. The seasons keep cycling no matter what.

Calm feels like a crime, but the busy days devastate me.

I want the wide sky stretching out ahead. I yearn for water, for rolling hills, for tree lines opening into unexpected meadows.

What could I be, if I spent my days doing nothing but living? I would watch the trees. Dig my fingers into dirt. Cook my food. Clean my pan. See the wind moving. Feel the temperature shift over the day.

There is nothing more I want. There is nothing more I need. But my mind always turns to something else. The next thing. Tomorrow.

So again I pull myself back. To the rocks. To the worms. To the clouds. To the procession of bees in summer and the dark birds in winter.

Diligence

I am tired of everything the universe asks of me

I am tired of patience, or diligence, of seeing the higher purpose

Of opening my arms to catch the bricks of every falling tower

Only to have them crumble in my hands and return to the earth, covering my toes in dust

I am spread across the ground like this leftover rubble

Dirty with regret

My best years are gone

And my future is hidden behind giant clouds and lightning

Yet the universe asks for more patience. More gratitude. More discipline.

I have nothing left and there is another leap to take. So I must tumble myself into the next phase.

I am told: this is greater than the individual course of your fate. But there is so much I don’t understand.

How do I know what to do next if I have never lived this before?

And over and over the answer comes:

Patience. Diligence. You must wait. You must continue.

The last brick falls. The earth swallows every last crumbling stone.

I stand in a bare field, and the universe asks me for faith. She asks me for trust.

I am as angry as a bare root. I am as hardy as a seedling. I am as grieved as a stump. I am as small as a twig.

But in the emptiness I plant my feet

And root

The rebuilding

Now I begin to rebuild

Slowly

Starting from the bones

Starting from the roots

New tendrils spreading out under rocks

Veins curling around organs delicate and white, like lace

The winding spirals of mitochondria

My circulatory system pulsing outward through networks of fungus and soil

Intimately mingling with the moistening tissues

To recharge my life, starting from the deepest places

It will take eternity to heal

It will encompass my entire soul

Now it begins with the smallest budding stems

And a handful of moist earth

Growing upwards, pushing outwards,

Tendril after tendril unfolding, reaching for the sky

Finding Myself Again

Is this the place I can find myself again?

No. This is the place where everything I know has crumbled.

And I prayed for it. I pushed open the heavy door of my own transformation. I sought it out myself, against the pull of fate. And I keep each piece of my evolution clamped tight in my fists.

But there is no end to it. Like when I climb long hills in wet forests, waiting for the tree line to open on a high windy crest-

But the trail just keeps unfolding under me. The path goes on endlessly.

In the bay below me a thousand year old fish laughs. His knowledge is effortless.

Everything here is waiting. Waiting for the shift. Holding its breath before the next change.

Everywhere I go I see Gods. But they stand frozen. They do not speak to me.

Everything I find is another message: the white heron in the marsh, the barred owl on the road, the young buck mottled white.

I see them but there no words, no explanations.

Just a quiet challenge. Just a methodical pull towards something deeper.

Every moment, tile by tile, the walls of my ego are stripped bare.

Take away everything I know to be true. Perhaps if I keep letting go, I will finally find where I am meant to be.

How it is

This is how it is

This is what it’s like

I’ve reached my late 20’s, and the floors are never clean enough

I can’t keep up with the grass- it keeps growing- it’s seeds spreading everywhere while I sleep facing away

Spiders sneak through the old siding of the house- they nibble at the backs of my legs while I dream.

Friday morning they canceled my yoga class so I climbed the butte downtown

The freeway whoosh drives the thoughts of my meditation up to the hills crowned in smoke

They have been drowning in it all summer

Each day the sun burns orange, brightening the night

But every surviving oak tree still twists up proud into the sky seeking safer air

And my heart aches with love for this valley as it burns, as it hates us, as sickens me.

This valley will boil me alive some day. But where else would I go to die by earth’s hand?

This is how it is

This is what it’s like

Here I am: the age I always wanted to be

Is this what I wanted?

Cheap house, cheap clothes, cheap couches. Cheap everything.

And my body tired far beyond its age.

Yet I have made a life for myself where most of the time

I am okay

I don’t get touched when I don’t want to be

Except once a year in a dream

I grow to accept the failings of my body

The healing of my body

The inevitable imperfections of this life

Questions hover around my future

Will the garden flourish?

Will the spiders ever stop biting me in my sleep?

Will I be forced to flee this burning valley someday?

Every year I feel the sun get hotter

Every day I feel my body struggle

Every summer the wind chokes me

Yet somehow, more than ever

I find peace

No Matter What

No matter what, the ocean and the starlight will be there to hold me,

and crows will dart between the trees along my path.

I release it: the need to know. To control. To direct.

To be anything more than a pebble that is whisked down to the beach by the sifting of sand under creek water.

I surrender. I sink into the fog of the universe.

I know that no matter what, I will be held like sunlight in the hands of the trees.

This is my place. I belong here. I say it again to myself.

The smell of the mountains will pull me up when I stumble. The dampness of fall rain will cool me when I am burning. The wind will settle me. The clouds will push my shoulders back to earth.

Through heart break. Through loss. When I am broken open.

No matter what. The ocean. The starlight. The mountains. The rain.

The world is still there. Outside of me.

The land that hates us

This is a guide to living on the land that hates us:

Remember, we are stuck in a cruel inbetween- our punishment for the malice of our ancestors:

We cannot stay her, and we have nowhere else to go. So we stay and we crumble, cell by cell.

This is how we live on the land that wants us gone. We plant in the soil that makes us sick- we have poisoned it ourselves.

The ground despises us. We destroy it. The water is tortured. The wind is ashamed of us.

The land will not forget the great tragedies. It is not like the herd that was caught in a landslide. It is not like the nice that drown when the plains flood. It is a twisted grief- the land is consumed by long years of wretched death.

I go to the forest, I ask for forgiveness. I give my gratitude to the trees that reject me. Their roots lift me from the ground, and they push me away.

I tell the river that I love her- I run my hands in the water, and she coils her tendrils around my DNA- gripping the edges of my telomeres- stretching and distorting them.

I live on the land that makes me sick. I ask the land to forgive me. I give my tears to the ground, and it’s bitterness grows up into my body- suffocating me in fatigue- stifling me with panic- whispering, we over and over:

Get out, we don’t want you here, get out.

I live on land that is angry. We are trapped and it cannot push me out like the rotting splinter so it eats me from within.

The invaders wither. Our stomachs hurt. Our heads pound. Our nerves turn to fire and ice. The land will have its revenge.

Deeply Felt Dreams

These deeply felt dreams of being

there- harvesting the meadow,

quiet ritual in moonlight,

the river in constant motion:

what sustains us is flow.

When I am there, it will be because I turned away from hesitation.

When I am there, it will be because I left so much behind.

No more wallowing in the mud of the past.

It will be because of presence, not perfection.

It will be because of movement- and flow- and surrender to the gentle drift: of leaning forward into life: my body always leading me.

This is the deepening of the dream

that will lead me there:

to the meadow, to the moonlight, to the river, to the home.