Friday, May 15, 2020

I will know you

Ever the prey, capture is a different kind of death you learn.  

Shame, panic, terror.  Crimson drops of blood make art on the ground, your blood, but the art is co-signed. 

Gone in a breath, carried away in the ash remaining after the light has stopped shining through a window you swear this cell didn’t have before.  Pull up, legs through, you’re free, or at least out.  You don’t run though, they would expect that.  You stop without freezing, just a pause.  You gather your ribbons and stones and allow the path to be revealed.  Bloodshed is never for nothing. 

Eyes closed in reverence now, your footsteps sink into the earth hallowed by your sacrifice, your blood, the pulse it carried seeps deep.  Beats in time with the dark beneath it all. 

Your fingertips reach of their own volition to the ground and swirl the new color that has been made here.  It looks like burgundy but not quite.  Red and brown, yes, but also the black of shadows.  It will need a new name. 

Finger painting down your body, it seeps back in, yours but different.  Pulse of your life, infinite depths of earth, darkest shadows from your time below.  You are safe to be wild.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Be here

Less air than needed, constricted breath from that gentle squeeze, soft pressure that grips your neck.  Your body goes to the panic it knows well, that hand has been around your throat longer than your memories.  Palms scrape against the wet stone, your back body intimate with the porous grooves that do not yield.  What kind of predator plays with its prey?  It would be helpful to know what you’re up against.  While your days have always been numbered, your life is not in danger here.

Infinite darkness, breathtaking in its expanse and confidence.  As if you had the breath to spare.  When you asked to walk the labyrinth, to be shown, this is not what you meant.  This descent has teeth.

Full gasping breath.  You’re awake now.  When did the hand at your throat become your own?

You look at the darkness again and see it is within, not without.  You feel its pulse and see that it is just the sky of night.  Surrender to me, it whispers to you.  Let me be you lover, surrender and let me take you where you could not go alone.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Angles morts

Four directions, four elements.  Four ways, you discover, that you’ve been hiding from yourself.  Blind spots are dead angles in French.  Where have you been dead?

To the East, where a field of red flowers should grow to brighten and enliven, there is only barren earth.  Nothing can be felt here.

To the South, where lightening should strike and restore balance, numbing grey mist has covered the land.  Nothing can be known here.

To the West, where rivers should meet lakes, a dam has been built.  Nothing can connect here.

To the North, where a circle of stones should mark territory, there is only gravel scattered by careless visitors.  Nothing can be held here.

At the center of it all, you seek the source.  The deep well holding the secrets hiding in those four corners.  Instead you find a river, wild and strong, currents that can only be felt not seen, the water looks safe from the banks.  You follow it upstream, a long walk.

You find its source seven generations’ away from where you stand now.  A treacherous climb to the top of a mountain both beautiful and brutal.   As you return, you follow its path to you.

You are the end.  You are the cliff over which the river will fall and cease to be a river at all.    

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Innocence

Ribs up, breath held for years at a time. Brief exhales with lightening bugs on summer nights. Forever believing, I am always only what you see.

None of us saw the viper lying in wait.  Lulled into thoughts of safety by the stillness of boats and steadiness of the ground painted on the picture above the coach.

Do you know who I am?

Tidal wave, volcano, whirlpool, tornado, hailstorm.

Thick drops fall from fingertips, you think it’s blood.  It sizzles and burns, no veins have been opened, you see it is lava.  Structures shift, fractured, and the lava follows its trail to you.

Grey and fragile ghosts, only ashes remain of you.

Soft mist, caressing breeze, delicate snowfall.

I am no longer what you saw, I am everything you could not.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Wanderer

Brief, tiny memories - the kind that prove that the space between moments is infinitely divisible. Because those were all that remained, it was easy to believe you were both more and less than you actually were.  Larger than life, certainly stronger, and still too smooth to be real.  Like one of the stones you collected and polished.  Ridges and indentations show how and where something has been and you had neither, just like those stones.  A ghost of something once real, maybe.

Grief and heartache and wounds without names create folklore out of failures, misfires, and accidents.

What if you were just passing through?

Your walk was brisk, you had places to go.  Your hunt is never over - there is always something to kill, you just have to know the seasons and you know them very well.  The remains of a crisp, tart apple in your hand, you turned to the west and tossed the core.  You saw blazing reds and oranges paint a fire in the sky as the core hit the rich dirt - it was a sunset, time and direction told you that.  You continued on your way, you had places to go.   The colors stayed.  Their heat bled into the earth as they faded. You didn’t think about the apple core or what happened to it.  Why would you?  Your boot prints in the ground might have led to responsibility and accountability but you knew to walk the land just before the rain.  You knew how to become a ghost even then.

What if you were never meant to stay because you never did?

The apple tree that grew out of that place does not remember you, just the memory of a wish.  Stories abound of how it came to be there, none of them true.  They are all more and less grand than is real, like your ghost.
  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Wholeness

Called forth by a voice that has not been silenced, just shushed.  Scratchy wool rubbing up against silky skin begins to feel like wires.  They dig in.

Unfurling and unraveling, crimson ribbons glide out of blackened depths.  Swampy and murky, a long hidden cesspool with a life of its own.  Creatures in your domain but not yours.  Why are you not afraid?

Fingertips gone, talons sharp as steel blades in their place, they speak in deadly swirls.  Gentle waves of hair slither as venomous snakes.  Those crimson ribbons now drip with blood at the end of a beautifully lethal whip.  You know it will whistle when it is yielded.

You are not only this.  But you are this.

Can you feel the blood those talons could draw, the life that could be shredded, eviscerated? Can you see the fear inspired here?  Silence reigns but it is no longer yours.  

Safety.  Freedom.  Winds whisper to you, teasing you with tales of things you thought you would never have.  Protection.  Power.

Holding and hiding up until now, the stars and soil are now too bright and too rich to be ignored.  The heavens sparkle as jewels in the black earth at your feet.  The forest tells you to fly and fall, not to choose.

Enjoy the silence that is not yours.  As nails and hair return, they are marked.  You are marked.  Your nails are blood red.  Crimson ribbons weave through your hair.  You are always and never only this.  

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Who are you Woman?

A large silver mirror, simple and stark, holds the reflection of a woman reflecting. Reflecting on how she began - petite and curious, heart open and pure, here for reasons that had little to do with her. On how she continued - steadfastly but painfully.  Brave and courageous perhaps but with hollow gains and no peace. Grinding her teeth while being pleasing and pleasant.  Being a nice girl, saying yes when yes was rarely want she wanted.  Always prey and never safe. 

Will you continue be that woman you were raised to be?  Can you remain a taller and older version of the girl, quiet desperation clawing at you from the inside, a hungry ghost haunted by insatiable cravings for approval, love, and validation that never arrive, never fill?  Not a woman, just a girl living on an endless loop dressed up like an adult.  But grown up enough, lived through enough to now be living with the deep knowing that any pursuit from this place leads to heartache and more emptiness.  This castle will never be safe.  Its walls are damp and dank with the violence and terror of decades past.  

And yet she is not any less you nor any less valuable for all that she has been.  She is simply no longer what you can be.  Literally.  Most of the pieces that made her what she is no longer exist, except in memory. And those that do remain no longer serve.  Can you honor her and allow her passing?  Can you let the smoke and sparks of what burns away in the funeral pyre leave a celestial body, a constellation of all that she was for you to see in any night sky, even in the underworld where the blackest sky is only a memory you hope to see again?  Give her constellation a name that is pure and strong and remember her as such.

Outside the castle now, dense forest calls.  What woman will you be?  What kind of woman can live in the wild?  A woman whose voice sings true, from sweet songs of devotion to rallying battle cries.  A woman whose sword is weighty with the justness and discernment that reside in its blade.  A woman with a deep and wild river that runs forever inside her, serene or churning, but always alive and moving.  A woman whose fire burns for herself first and foremost, light and heat landing only upon the worthy and often only within.  A woman whose strength and sovereignty gift her with the possibility of sweet, aching vulnerability and endless support she does not have to source herself.  

Silver mirror left in the castle, the reflection holds, even in the darkest forest.  She sees herself in the eyes of the wild creatures come to bear witness to what has been and what will be.  In their solemn eyes, she sees the darkness holding her from below and the light illuminating her from above.  Suspended and grounded between stars and soil, crown, sword and wings her birthright.  Whole unto herself.  That is the woman you will be. 

Go into the forest tonight.  Burn what must go and let it be nourishment for the soil, bless its season and harvest and then rest.  Gather your gifts, unknown until now.  Leave the forest the woman you were meant to be. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The knowing of darkness

No stars in this night sky, the moon forever dark.  Tides run on their own as does my blood.

You’ve pulled me close.

Fight rises in me, fire and white hot rage. I struggle, push, squirm, but I am no match for your strength.  I have never been more ineffectual.  Powerless.  My fire sears only me.

Surrender then.  On the other side of freeze, collapse.  Blood returns to my center and pools there, extremities are no longer needed.  Not here.

Aware but not awake, I feel warm sweet lips brush across mine.  You’ve pulled me close.  To embrace me, not kill me.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The end of opposites

Shimmering and sinuous, wrapping up around your spine, a snake you do not fear - the only one you do not fear.

And speaking of fear, how is it that you have always been the hunted, never the hunter?

But back to that snake, what is she doing here?  She calls for parts of you to be danced, now.  How odd to be dancing when the music is screeching and you are alone.  You feel your way beneath the screeching, seek a pulse to follow.  All you need is a pulse.

You find the answer in that quiet space between breaths, the one that waits and listens.

Are you flying or falling?  Can you be both?  Not do both, be both.  Be star and soil.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

In you


Black earth so old and deep its minerals sparkle in the dark night, their nourishment the only light to be seen here.  Only perceptible out of the corner of your eye, it disappears if you look straight at it.

No permission or access granted, not to this place.  Sacred and solitary, this terrain welcomes none but you.  An invader then, ruthless and cold, merciless and relentless.  You choke on shock, your own claws grown feral rip and shred at the very essence of you for hope of a breath.  It does not come.

Revived but not renewed, you review the dénouement of your own expiration.  You find a note written with the blood of your wounds.

This season is one of violence and brutality, you feel their echo still, their bruises and gashes landmarks on you.  An echo so strong, your teeth rattle with resonance.

Alive still, you can believe the intent was not malicious.  This violence and brutality are just a stage, the place where this ballad will be sung.  You let them whisper to you in the fading echo, you listen.

Ever in character, they ask brutal questions.  What would it take for you to soften your edges around my brutality?  To sink back and down into your darkness and your silence when faced with my violence?  To surrender to the harsh tones of my echo? To cherish the relief you feel when I am gone knowing you only get to feel it because I was here? 

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Bluebeard

Draping, sweeping branches hanging low to create a hushed canopy of safety and secrecy just for you. Only dirt on this ground, no grass - the shade is too permanent, too effective.  But you like it here anyway.

Inside that house though, the one behind the tree, you've seen the door to the locked room and you've seen the key bleed on more than one occasion.  There is no safety there.

Cartoons on tv, an open cereal box, a stack of napkins, a dainty teacup that can't be put in the dishwasher because the flowers were painted by a skilled hand. You see these on the counter next to clenched fists holding a rage you cannot fathom.  Your neck could be inside those fists, he wants it there.  You know this just like you know that teacup can't go in the dishwasher.  Black shadowed eyes on a face that seems to heave.  Angry spittle flying, those eyes drill a lifetime of hate right into you.

What do you do when you meet Bluebeard in real life?  Just a child, you run for the hills, you have the good sense to be terrified of the void you see in those black eyes.  You saw the skeletons stacked behind the door the minute you walked into the house.  The whip of darkness in that void reaches for you, you feel the blood before see it, but still you run.  You're still running.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Hunt this

The napkin goes here, the wine glass there.  Proper ways of doing things.  Pretty is as pretty does.  If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  You are what you do, not who you are.

Cobwebs that have collected more than dust line the walls of this cave.  Grime and filth have covered anything worth anything, masked it all.

A hum of pleasure, yes pleasure, seeps out from your throat as you put that mask on.  Wearing it for a ball is very different from having it on your face and thinking it was you. You take out your favorite dress, the one that makes you want to dance, and you wear it with the mask.  You feel the snake in you rise and unfurl, black as night with silver eyes, moving you, dancing you.  You are art in this mask, and not the tragic kind.

You've stumbled upon a treasure hunt.  A bold and bloody trail of wicked and wild gems awaits.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

If there's only one thing

Twisting, seething, breathing darkness fills unfamiliar skies.  No landmarks, no signs, no friendly strangers who might offer directions.  The only light is the lantern someone's friend's sister swears is here but that you can't see yet.

Standing still seems like asking for trouble so you move, you imagine there's music and you dance in the darkness.  Serpentine, swirling, swaying as you feel the darkness whisper its secrets to you.

You realize you've been here before.  You know this place, even though you don't.  Where time is on a vertical axis and everything exists at once.  When you existed before you existed and after you're gone.

You also realize you know nothing about what you can do, no idea what you are capable of.  Your hands are instruments you don't know how to play yet. 

Monday, May 01, 2017

Watch this

You've done the deep breathing.  You've meditated twice a day for years.  You've yoga-ed and chi-ed and been aware beyond what should be expected.  Right?  Shouldn't that count for something?  Anything?

You go in deep, you watch silver and gold and stars and moons do things they're not supposed to do.  You accept it anyway.  You let vulnerability become the new cool and you are cool to the point of trendy.

You walk into a bar.  Seriously.  It's like a bad joke.  Someone is always walking into a bar.  Every single time.

He gives you his best look, and it is good one, You're sure it has worked on many others.
And then he whispers, "Take a ride with me."

You laugh.  I mean, seriously, what a line.  But you got on the bike anyway. No helmet.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

On the nature of lines

Solid concrete under your feet, you know you have stepped out of the train onto the platform. Hard tension is coiled in your gut and your throat is constricted by words never spoken. Muscles contract, heels and toes obey an unconscious demand to move forward. And so you do.

Your dread tells you who you will see and how you will feel about it. Eyes meet, yours and hers, blue and brown. In the split second before they do, you recognize the tug of it all – the betrayal, the hurt, the sadness, the anger, the disappointment, the bewilderment, and the wild storm of resentment you’ve been living in for years.

If you were a cartoonist, you would draw the two of you across that expanse of busy train station traffic, love and loss and greetings and goodbyes swirling around you both. There would be a long fishing line between you, a sharp and bloody fish hook nested in each, nowhere to go but to further wounding. Every attempt to pull away, to resist, to free yourself just yields more flesh to the hook. It would be a darkly satirical cartoon.

But in the moment that follows, when your eyes actually meet, you feel the hook in your hand. You’re holding it out in front of you. Love, miracle, magic and truth have somehow brought you here to this place where the hook is out and is literally in your hands. You feel that miraculous, magical, truthful love in you and around you as you simply let the hook go.

And just as quickly as the meeting of a glance, everything has changed. There are no hooks – one could not exist without the other. There is no storm, your skies are blue. The long list of painful feelings is like a grocery list you made months ago, you could guess what was on it but you don’t really remember. 

Body and soul seek balance and harmony and while you were not looking with your eyes, they got you where you needed to be. They brought you to a crossroads and eyes wide open, you made the brave choice. You chose to let go. And so you healed. It was your deepest soul voice calling out to be free. You listened. And so you healed.

Free and clear and overflowing with gratitude and love, you spend another second trying to map out how you got here. How this could have happened when those feelings were so strong, when the hurt was as much a part of you as any vital organ. You see the map in a flash, steps you were talking all along that brought you gently, lovingly back home. Every time you were kind to yourself, every time you sought support, every time you examined an outdated belief, every time you chose love instead of fear, every time you closed your eyes and gifted your mind with silence, every time you opened your heart to your intuition, and every time you nourished the seed of hope was a step leading you to this perfect moment. A timeless moment in which you know in a way you have never known before that healing is available to you. Always.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Where you stand

Grace at your left.  Mercy at your right.  Guard rails for dangerous times.

You've been silent by choice, resting.  All of you curled and coiled, nested in the safest, darkest place.

Harsh blows smoothed only by time and distance repeat themselves without permission.  A call from home to remember.  The forged metal in you feels the strike of each one.  A call to arms.

You rise, feeling her weave up your spine as you do so.  Do you know what she is here to do, the serpent at your feet?  Is your world ready for what she brings now that she is awake?

You've seen this woman before, this woman who accepts the snake that cycles through her.  I'm sure you have. Although it's not certain you've noticed her.

She cares deeply and absolutely doesn't care. All at once. And it's not even a contradiction. She makes it look like the most nature thing in the world.  She carries both annihilation and possibility and makes them look weightless.

Be afraid when you see her.  But not fearful.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ruby at your feet

Rugged and dark, timeless walls of stone carved by waters long gone whisper around the fire.  Words of power are spoken here, murmured in low tones that tighten the air with blackened threads.  The weaving has begun.

Initiation.

And there you are, how long have you been there standing in that river bed?  Waist high in the mud, what kind of a river has only mud and no water?

What you seek is there, you can feel it at your feet.  You stand, you struggle, your arms will not leave your side.  They are useless to you here, bound by shackles made of iron forged by the relentless hammer of longing and the blistering fire of pain.

Betray yourself or betray what is yours alone to do?

Surrender.

And with that your toes dig into the mud, dark loving earth giving you the welcome you did not know you wanted.

Arms still bound, any obvious power you might have has long left.  So what is left?  Feet in the mud, you dig, you feel, you find.  The stone meets you half-way, you will always believe that.  It nestles into you just as you curl around it.  Who knows if you're strong but you've always been flexible and so your foot rises above the mud and your hand finds what your heart has always been looking for.

The ruby is yours forever now, shaped for its seeker.  Transformation of liquids and stone by pressure and heat.  It will not break.  It is not in its nature.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Hymn

Small and young, hiding beneath the branches of the willow tree.  Wistful leaves sheltering, holding my fear at bay.  Branches that showed me what surrender looked like.  That was you.

Sought out by wolves, scented out.  I have felt their fur on my bare legs.  Predators always nearby but somehow always just brushing past. That was you.

Blood, the most reliable witness, telling the stories I could not.  I searched for wounds and found honey where I was certain blood would be.  Scars, upon inspection, revealed to be delicate fingerprints left on my softest parts.  That was you.
 
Dark and dank, the cave.  Weapons in my hands, men down.  Softness grazed my ear, whispers called me to a home I did not yet know.  Metal rang out, a bell, as both dagger and sword dropped to the ground.  That was you.

Blood drops on sand, an endless field of poppies, flowers of the dead, my dead.  They stood behind me, soldiers of the past who fought so hard to bring me here.  They waved as I looked ahead and we sang a song of mourning for their sacrifices together.  Honor bound, the blood ink of those generations tattooed on my insides, I stepped humbly and gratefully where they could not.  That was you.

Bluest of skies, matching an ocean limitless before me.  Grounded on a cliff made only by water and time.  Grace upon me, in me, for me, of me.  More infinite than all I could see.  That was you.

The glittery sky, sun flashing through glass, one moment frozen but only so it could be framed, I was whole, never broken.  That was you.

Those moments, rare, justesse holding my hand.  Justness is as close as we can get.  The murmured song of a sigh at the center of it all. That was you.

Called down to the basement with the shadows that cannot be named.  Every fear, every horror woven into a tapestry that hangs in the darkness, protected from light so it will never fade.  Waiting in silence for my other senses to take over so I could find my way upstairs.  And they did.  That was you.

An ancient and intricate pattern to make the finest lace, a pattern I have no reason to know.  I did not know I was making a veil until it was finished.  I became a seamstress while I was not looking.  That was you.

Forged to endure, sharp and brilliant, these blades in my life.  Every sword I have wielded, and it has been many, cut through more with its reflection than its edge.  That was you.

Offerings to the forest, a cross I no longer needed to bear, a skin I no longer needed to wear and a sword I  no longer needed to wield.  The hush of reverence, a sweet fingertip to my lips to bless giving up without knowing what you will get.  That was you.

I did not know.  I never knew.

Beneath the river, under the stones polished by waters that never stop, under that not knowing, that was you.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

on making it this far


A circular saw is your tool, rip cuts your specialty.   Along the grain but deeper than is reparable. 

Time and time again, ravaging beyond recognition.  Steel and permanence.  A reflex, not an instinct.

Fingerprint of the hand that made you, five senses deep, sixth sense wide.

On a good day though, from the side, I see a water wheel, not a blade.  Power quietly generated.

Rippling between your fingers, remembering the webs you no longer have.  Resistance, however slight, is pleasurable.  It highlights what has been surrendered. 


Friday, May 01, 2015

pace yourself

Quiet lines, whispering ivy, silent tendrils black and silky.

I thought I knew you.

I've paced my life upon you.  An impartial metronome, pulsing, beating, defining, reminding.

Beliefs carved into ancient marble, patterns immortalized into timeless sound, stories told with forever paint on the walls of caves unexposed to the elements.

In my darkest moments, you are everything.  And in my purest, you are nothing.


Black earth, rich with minerals and gems worn to sparkling dust by time.