Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unopposing Thumb

To touch your thumbs to each finger. They say the opposable thumb is a defining trait of being human. With it we can grasp, play the piano, and do such things no other form of life can. Its existence literally reshaped our brains. But then I ponder, without a plane I cannot fly. I cannot run with the speed of a cheetah. I cannot sing like a bird which cannot not sing. I cannot play in the ocean like a dolphin or see with an eagle's eye. And unlike so much of nature, I struggle to love and trust unconditionally. 

Am I less because of my thumb?, no no. But it does mean I am responsible, I have a choice to honor my essence, my heart and life. I can choose to sing or remain silent. I can play and gift the piano's music to myself and others who cannot, or clench the amazing gift silently in my lap. All of life with their wondrous gifts look in awe and paraphrase Mary Oliver as they ask What will you do with your amazing opposable thumb..your life?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Resounding Love

And if a little hobbit were to tell you that for the past two hours the hobbit house's adobe walls have shook so that a picture fell to the floor and crashed like the thunder, that the lightning proved it can light a room in the darkest hour of night brighter than the sun a midday, and that the hobbit has stood beneath the shower head of the sky would you even begin to feel what the morning has been like?  It was as if the rain fortress in the sky had to be dynamited to be released upon the drought and fire ridden earth of my little state and city. And so it falls this morning. Soaking into the night covered ground before the sun can find and drink. Sometimes prayers are answered with whispers. Sometimes the Love that answers bellows "Hear my voice and remember!" Sometimes tears and rain, thunder and heart beats, lightning and smiles are the same.

"The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours" ~ Mary Oliver

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Moment...I Am

Holding the mala beads in my hands I begin to chant Aham Prema – I am love. It occurs to me that my awareness is only on the mala bead of the current chant. I am not aware of the beads that have already been chanted and moved. I am unaware of the beads yet to be touched. My awareness is focused only on that one bead. My fingers rise with its shape. My fingers fall gently in between that bead and the next. The bead is moved and my attention now is on the bead I am chanting.

I can think of probably more than 108 reasons why I do not think of myself as being love. But for this one moment, this one chant, this present breath with no others guaranteed, this single bead, I am love. And for this day, Aham Prema, one breath, one bead, only this breath, only this bead.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

To Touch

The haze of drifting smoke from wild fires have created a dance of colors with the sun. How can such destruction create such beauty? Perhaps, as Mary Oliver said "When the thumb of fear lifts, we become alive." To open my eyes and heart and see. Not to just see  but to look. To see. To look. To know. And then to touch....

Saint Francis and the Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely…..

Friday, June 21, 2013

Reflecting Juxtapositions

Two choices of roads from Taos, NM back to home in Colorado. The one, taken in the morning, was filled with anxiety as prairie dogs darted back and forth across the roads. It is also the more twisted mountainous road but ever so beautiful driving through forests, mountains and a stream you can hear from your window. The other more straight, but steeper and desert/mesa.  Not wanting to play dodge ball with prairie dogs or witness what I did not want to see, I chose the steep desert road.
The drought has made even the desert/mesa look weary. I passed what should have been grass areas with tiny freckles of green unsupporting of life. The giant centipede irrigation sprinklers stood still and forgotten, their arms reaching out like divining rods finding nothing within themselves and nothing without. Suddenly I thought I saw a prism rainbow. The kind you see when sprayed water is touched by the sun. Like an oasis an area of lush, rich green grass/hay was being watered by a centipede irrigation sprinkler. Its wheels were buried in deep green carpet. As if someone had laid a green plush welcome mat in the center of the desert the grass/hay did not look real. The water rained down creating the rainbows above and life beneath. And then the weary desert/mesa, in contrast, looking even more hardened and weary, returned. The reverie of “how?” hung like the centipede sprinkler misting my heart.
As I pondered, the strong winds both outside and within turned my gaze. A mountain was on fire. Smoke billowed and swirled upward and the flames dared to taunt the cloudless sky. The Spanish Peaks, two mountain vigil landmarks were hidden by the smoke. I knew the area. A small town of less than 500 lay beneath the flames. No, they would not make the national news like the other fires burning but their losses and expectations would be the same.
Suddenly the few cars in front of me flashed their brake lights and traffic came to a stop. I thought perhaps firefighters or some other type crew were up ahead. Sadly, no. An accident was just being cleared. A car so twisted, it look like a plastic toy someone had stepped on. I could not see how anyone inside would have walked away or even carried away still alive. And the smoke continued to billow in the mountains.
Driving down further, the wind began to collide against the car. More flashing lights. The second image was that of debris, but not debris as in trash. It was the debris of someone’s household goods, clothing and furniture. A van and the trailer carrying their possessions had turned over in a ditch. Both trailer and van had obviously rolled crushing both and releasing possessions of home. The people? I do not know. And to the side, upon the horizon, another mountain was billowing smoke.
Prairie dogs doing what prairie dogs do…running and scampering oblivious and instinctual. They seem to not know we have cut high speed roads across their paths and within our steel cocoons we do not see their small bodies. A small community has been evacuated – all forms of mammals are leaving their homes. The mountains, their earth, trees, grasses and plants are being scorched. An irrigation system stands abandoned; a remembrance of what was. For whatever reason, whatever decision or perhaps inattention lives have either been lost or are in danger. Possessions that once defined a home strewn upon the drought hardened earth and manmade asphalt road. And yet, in the midst of all these images, in the middle of all, there was a lush green oasis that looked so soft it almost called you to come and snuggle within its plush richness and abundance. And outside my window, where what was a yard and now is hardened and cracked earth, like the smoke, something has caught my eye. A single stalk. A single bloom.

And the lesson of these juxtapositions? Giggle, I am not so wise. Perhaps only a scribe. A scribe gifted to see an oasis and bloom and with open eyes reflecting their images to draw from the well of my heart and water the others.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Body of Evidence

               Sometimes in weariness, other times in frustration or perhaps even comparison, I stand like a stranger looking at this body of mine. I stand and look as if it were an object or thing I do not know.
               This morning the whisper of my body as the image of a silent guardian whose only purpose is to protect, guard and shield. Like those whose job it is to lay down their life for the President, Kings or Queens my body stands as a silent defender absorbing without voice, the slings, arrows and abuse hurled from life and even from me. Silent. Constant. Vigilant. Single focused. To protect the spirit, the Life and Light within. Even when its few basic needs go unanswered still it struggles to guard, shield, embrace and give life.
               The Light within is but one candle of the One. But my body, my body is uniquely mine. My cellular structure, my fingerprints and even my voice are uniquely mine. Another can imitate its appearance but never am I duplicated or found in another. This body is mine, completely, and totally mine.  The Light within is mirrored in every soul and even in nature. The body is never mirrored. Same structural elements yes, but the form, the individual chalice chosen was and is chosen, and not by chance. There are 7 billion other light forms existing as humans upon this earth. My body stands as the only one of its kind. My body is the self-portrait chosen by the Divine, by Life and painted in love.
               I hunger and thirst to feed the heart and spirit with wisdom and grace and to walk the path of peace and love. I meditate to quiet my mind so I can hear the whispers of Life. I become one with nature and Love. I look to the heart as the seat of Wisdom, Grace, Faith and Being. And yet, this morning, to ponder the one gift, the one gift given that truly makes me who I am and was chosen to protect, shield and carry the hunger and even my senses which feed my experience – my body.  In a world inundated by body image so that even children try to starve themselves to be like a created image, to realize the magnificence and unconditional love this body gifts. And even when diseased or limited, frail and not as strong of a warrior as it once was, still she remains that which is uniquely me forever my guardian, forever my experience, forever the self-portrait of the Divine.

My body the evidence of the Divine walking with me.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I think of the slights that wound our hearts. A careless word. A deed unnoticed. A call or request not returned. The back of someone when you so needed their face. The inattentiveness and invisibility felt. 

And then to ponder, this morning, when my eyes opened and all, all of life opened its arms and said "I am yours little one!" To ponder .... how did I respond?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Divine's Lips

               As the expression of the Divine, of Creation in form, Life, and the Source of Life breathes through us. Indeed, we are breathed by the Divine, by Creation by Life itself. To ponder the image that we are the lips of the Divine.
               That this day our bodies, our thoughts, our spirits would feel Life’s breath moving through and upon us like our lips feel our own. That this day our bodies, our thoughts, our spirits would know the resonance of voice and every movement giving shape to the Life’s and the Divine’s own words. To know we are breathed by Creation itself. We are the lips of the Divine. May such an image guard the sacredness of our body, mind and heart.

“I would love to kiss you. The price of kissing is your life. Now my loving is running toward my life shouting, What a bargain, let's buy it” ~ Rumi

Saturday, June 1, 2013

No Passengers

               In Robert Pirsig’s book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a father and his son begin a long motorcycle journey accompanied by a married couple. Part of the story involves the father trying to re-establish his relationship with his pre-teen son. As the story evolves he cannot understand why his son does feel the same experiences he is as they ride. Towards the end he realizes that his son, riding as a passenger on the motorcycle, can turn his head to the right and left, but to look forward, the natural position, he sees only his father’s back and head. He is shielded from the wind, the experience and from sight. His father has him stand on the pedals as they ride. Unshielded and standing, the son becomes the experience, the ride and alive.
               Sometimes the situations of life call for us to be like the bow of a ship and plow head long into the experience, like the driver of a motorcycle. We absorb the wind and the force. We also become the experience, and we change the direction of the wind, we are the wind moving. Unlike the TV screen windows of a car, we plow through the waves or ride the motorcycle as nature, force and power, no longer casual remote viewers watching all pass us by.
               Other times the situation or others drive. We hold on and can only turn our heads to the right or left and we cannot see what is before us. We become as remote and detached as a viewer of TV. And yet, Life offers pedals. We can stand and become the experience. We can stand unshielded, even as a passenger not driving or controlling the situation. We can rise and stand. We can withstand. We can see. No longer remote we know what it is to feel and see. The experience is ours. As is the choice.

There are no passengers in Life. We have only chosen not to stand on the pedals.