Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Three ships passing

We are in historically epic transitional times, of that I am certain. Adolescence is the most apt (non-profane) one-word description of society today. We’ve picked at our blemishes and now they are rallying, marching from cheek to chin. Red and raging now, they will fade, in time, and leave scars.

Three spheres are going to slide past one another in space tomorrow. This celestial shuffleboard is unremarkable when viewed from anywhere but here.

Here it will induce unsettled fascination with mild to moderate traces of apocalyptica. Knee-deep in cultural voice cracking, now feeble, now gravelly, we struggle to plot humanity’s adulthood from the confines of our short lifespans and unstable hormones.

What is one dust mote of a human being in all of time and space?

Tomorrow I bear witness to the fleetingly profound impact one dust mote of a moon has on all life in the known universe.

It is absolutely true that any object can banish light. And it is equally true that light will return.

Through our growing pains we develop tremendous power to wield on behalf of one another and this planet. May our skin soften and crease into wrinkles of love and laughter. May our voices find resonance. May we realize that our actions have consequences; may we draw from our diverse strengths to make wise and thoughtful choices. May our species find our way back home, newly minted adults, to say “thanks, mom, for everything. Sorry I took you for granted for so long.”

I sometimes feel despair and loss when looking at the night sky from the city or suburbs. I crave the complexity of stars that my bones know is my birthright, that I have yet to see in unadulterated glory. Lately, however, I find sustenance in this aching discrepancy.

You see, the stars are always there. Pollution and city lights and clouds and simple daylight can’t do a damned thing to stop the rest of our universe from gleaming at me… The only effect they can have is on my ability to See. What. Is.

It’s time to stop squandering potential and grow the fuck up. May this momentary alignment of sun, moon, and planet serve as a compass, to help steer humanity through the darkness, toward the stars.

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Guts and Pastels

​In honor of Mother’s Day, a message to me from the version of my mom that lives in my intuition:

Beyond the pain and mess
After the harsh words and forget-me-nots
There lingers the warmth
From which we all came.

That warmth is more important than getting it right.

Share your soul-fire with them
Let its imperfect authenticity
Envelop them
As you once did.

Nothing is more raw than motherhood.
The blood and mucus at birth are no anomaly:
Resist the urge to pull crisp linens over them.

Your time will come to fade like cut flowers.
Until then, use your roots.

————-

Something about Mother’s Day has always slightly unsettled me. Too many pastels, not enough guts. This poem, siphoned from the incredible woman who warms my memories, steadies that wobble for me. I’m a little more ready for the onslaught of sweet chaos that will be my tomorrow.

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Bridges

The challenge I am keen to master is the art of blending compassion with unwavering pursuit of truth.

Today, that looks like feeling genuinely sorry not just for the cabinet nominees but even for the president himself, all caught like deer in headlights without any idea how to competently do their jobs, with all the world watching and so many ridiculing. What a horrible sinking sensation I would have in the pit of my stomach. There was a moment when each one had the choice to decline or accept this role. I, too, might easily have become ensnared in “fake it till you make it” and not now know how to step down. I might even be unable to admit to my nearest and dearest, or even to myself, just how out of my depth I had suddenly found myself.

Obviously that compassion cannot sway me into accepting for one moment their incompetence at the helm. But seeing their humanity has the power to shape all I say and do. Instead of being sucked into the bottomless pit that is ridiculing their lack of knowledge, today I choose to say about each one: “it is clear this individual does not possess the requisite experience. What other options do we have?”

The marches yesterday were our rallying cry, and now the work begins in each of us, in our homes, in our families and circles of friends, at our workplaces, and rippling outward into our towns, cities, states and country and world. We have an enormous opportunity to transcend party lines in the current political climate. I commit myself to building bridges.

Starlit Grief

​The moon is not visible from my window
And this is good.
Starlight is more illuminating of grief.

I hold my ceaseless craving for your warmth
Gently these days.
I take comfort now in its omnipresence.

The way the stars of this time and of this place
Are merely hints.
Would that I could see nebulas in their stead.

You and the unpolluted sky are both here
Safe in my heart.
Your absence, like your presence, lights my way home.

Holding Space

It’s not either-or.

We can extend ourselves to understand rather than demonize those who voted another way. We can search for connection to, for common ground with, for a way forward that is more than us vs. them.

We can do that while we circle around those most affected by this shift in politics: The undocumented. The refugees. The non-Christians. The non-cis. The non-hetero. The water protectors. The victims of abuse and rape. The people of color. The poor. The earth herself, and the plants and animals struggling to survive in our man-altered climate.

I am finding my balance in this image. Those of us with strength and privilege in a ring. Behind us, sheltered by our bodies, concentric rings with the most vulnerable at the center. We are resolute in our stance, and yet also reaching out. Holding space for a shared path.

If you’re looking for guidance, I cannot recommend highly enough the work of two brilliant lights: Starhawk and Veronica Torres.

Starhawk’s world-class novel The Fifth Sacred Thing has become increasingly, alarmingly relevant over the years since its publication. There is also a prequel and a sequel, and many many other offerings by her as well, including an amazing children’s book, The Last Wild Witch. Her thoughts on the election are an antidote to fear and hatred. Visit Starhawk’s website here.

I have the immense pleasure of being Veronica Torres’ friend. Her work as channel for Eloheim and the Council directly influences my ability to stay sane, grounded, and engaged in this crazy world. She has a zillion recordings of channeling sessions, a number of books (my favorite is A Warrior’s Tale), and various other offerings (the Levels of Creating is a revolutionary tool for self-discovery). Her Core Emotion Session is what I would give each and every one of you if I could. Visit Veronica’s website here.

Countries

Countries are at once
Too large
And too small–
Too powerful
And too impotent–
Too simple
And too complex.

I long for the village.
The ancient, archetypal
Village in the wilderness.
Answerable only to itself.
Part of no larger plans.

I long for the universe.
The glacial, eternal
Universe expanding.
Answerable only to itself.
Beyond plans.

I am the country
Writhing within my skin.
Arrogant
Insecure
Devastated
Jubilant
Conflicted.

I am the village
Deep at my core.
Self-contained
Cooperative
Minute
Complete
Imperfect.

I am the universe
At the outer edges of my awareness.
Unknowable
Infinite
Inescapable
Intricate
True.

The village and the universe
(In addition to their many other tasks)
Must cradle the country
As a child who has, every day
Knowingly and unknowingly
Done terrible and wonderful things.

Cradle, without condemning.
Cradle, without condoning.

Cradle while seeing clearly
The universe
Far beyond this moment
The village
Deep within this moment.

In the Spirit of Mabon

Autumn is… shall we say “subtle?” (Just to be kind?) in California. Once one has lived here a few years, a small step in the crispness direction can be perceived at daybreak and twilight. The occasional tree bursts into flames of color to indicate the season of trees bursting into actual wildfire flames is nearly at an end. The apples ripen. Zucchini and tomatoes runneth over. Stores following nationwide trends have amusing sales on items that are year-round in Cali, like patio furniture and sunglasses.

Cria tried her darnedest to thwart my attempts at a small circle this evening in honor of the Equinox, but I plied her with milk and song and eventually won my witching hour.


 I rarely plan my circles in advance and this one was no exception. The theme that evolved was this:

As the year turns toward its close, may I savor the sweetness it has brought me and accept its challenges as the invitations they always turn out to be.

Happy Mabon, my friends, near and far, and blessed be.

Once upon a car lot…

I am required to purchase a car today. I can choose whichever one I want, or I can abstain and one will be selected for me.

It’s a small but diverse selection at the car lot. I see before me a slightly goofy looking electric car, a prim hybrid, a clunky bio diesel, a small pickup truck, several SUVs, and a hummer monstrosity.

I choose the electric.

Unfortunately, right at that moment a giant comes along and smashes the electric vehicle as well as all of the SUVs.
I REALLY wanted that electric car! It was goofy and eco-friendly to the max. I am bummed.

But I need to make a decision or the car lot attendants choose for me, and I really don’t want to get stuck with the gas guzzling hulk.

The hybrid is pretty obviously the next best thing to the electric. But it’s hard to stomach next best, so I try to convince myself that biodiesel is practical. Or that the pickup truck’s rugged charm is enough to outweigh its gas consumption.

Eventually, I see the salespeople edging toward the hummer, which they are desperate to get off the lot, so I quit postponing the decision I know is best: hybrid it is.

All of which is to say… Hillary Clinton 2016! 😉

It Began

It began with a cup of tea.

Well, I suppose it began with an herb garden long dreamt of and finally constructed that now houses the plants harvested for that cup of tea.

Although really the herb garden dream was a natural offshoot of holding regular circles on that bit of earth.

And of course the circles came to pass once I opened to and claimed my witch-self.

Which unfolded as it did because of Rapunzel.

Whom I met when I birthed a baby and joined a playgroup.

Which happened because Thor and I moved across the country and created life here.

We chose exactly here because Florence offered to rent us her house. We chose this part of the world because my dad moved here years before and we came to visit and loved it.

He chose here after he exhaustively researched ideal places to live.

He did that research in part because he was beginning to live a broader, more wholesome life and wanted a location that would foster that growth and in part because he was tired of Wisconsin winters.

His broader, more wholesome approach to life evolved after the wakeup call of a marriage in ruins.

A marriage in ruins from two people unable to evolve past the disparity between their current disconnect and their earlier happiness.

Their earlier happiness which brought me into the world.

But I digress.

I mean, arguably it began with the dawn of time.

But it is also true to say it began with a cup of tea.

What began?

My morning ritual.

I have long craved a morning ritual. Certainly for my entire adulthood and probably my entire childhood as well. And yet I’ve never managed to form one.

A couple of years ago I felt the tug to begin an evening ritual and it is still with me now, constantly evolving to meet my needs.

This month I felt a similar urge, and instead of either talking myself out of it or beginning with an unsustainable attachment to detail, as I had in the past, I found myself choosing anew each day to harvest a few leaves of hyssop for morning tea.

To leave the house in the morning is pure joy, even just for a short walk through the obstacle course yard and back. It calibrates my day subtly yet completely.

A few days ago, I found morning yoga happening on a daily basis almost without impulse, a natural next step.

Yesterday I began to compose a new piece of music before I’d even finished yoga, and even managed a shower afterward thanks to Thor holding down the kiddo fort.

Bliss.

You Are Invited

This election feels different. The stakes feel very, very high. Turning point in history high. Millions of lives hanging in the balance high.

On behalf of the United States of America, I would like to take a moment to issue an open invitation.

There are no better words for it than those crafted by the renowned Starhawk in her increasingly relevant novel The Fifth Sacred Thing:

“There is a place for you at our table, if you will choose to join us.”


My fellow Berning ones and assorted independents, we belong at the table. We are a sizable percentage of this country and have influenced the creation of the most progressive platform a major party in our nation has ever put forth. Cooperation is what this moment in time requires from all of us. Extend a welcoming hand. We may disagree some but I believe we can sit at this table together and discuss it like friends.

Hillary diehards, you belong at the table. Your passion for Ms. Clinton comes from a good place and we look forward to hearing more of what you see in her so we can catch some of your enthusiasm. Refrain from disparaging remarks. Cooperation is what this moment in time requires from all of us. Extend a welcoming hand. We may disagree some but I believe we can sit at this table together and discuss it like friends.

Moderates and apolitical types, you belong at the table. You have untapped potential to breathe fresh air into a heated room. Share your perspective, mediate, find humor in tense moments, and change the subject when truly required. Cooperation is what this moment in time requires from all of us. Extend a welcoming hand. We may disagree some but I believe we can sit at this table together and discuss it like friends.

Conservatives of all stripes, you belong at the table. So many of your values are ours as well. You want to live in happiness and safety. We do, too. You want to be free to make your own way in life. We do, too. Cooperation is what this moment in time requires from all of us. Extend a welcoming hand. We may disagree some but I believe we can sit at this table together and discuss it like friends.

Whether we realize it or not, at some point we chose to consider one another enemies, chose to exaggerate and vilify and blame. We can choose to consider one another friends. Quirky friends, maybe, somewhat embarrassing friends whose eccentric ways leave us shaking our heads, but still friends.

In our splintered factions, we are not just biased against and bewildered by the opposition. We are also ineffective. If we truly want what we say we want from this life, we will sit at the table together. We will refuse to allow anger and fear and greed to run amok and devastate our imperfect but much treasured home. We will extend a welcoming hand even when it seems, as my friend Pythia says, that our only common ground is that we breathe. We will bite our tongues when necessary and speak our truth when necessary. We will disagree respectfully. We will sit and we will invite others to sit at this table and discuss it like friends even when it is not comfortable or convenient because that is the only path that honors the democracy we strive to be.

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