breath . . .

30 03 2017

Swamp Trail B&W

It was 2:30 a.m. when I arrived;

just hours from her last breath.

 

Her chest rising and falling in nomadic rhythm –

a mirror of the relationship we shared – joys, struggles, oblique love:

some known;

some unknown;

some still to be discovered.

 

She did not move, eyes closed –

peaceful other than her dissonant breaths;

a peace that had alluded her in her living.

 

But not quite yet –

her journey toward Union,

still earth-tethered.

 

So we sat vigil . . .

waiting . . .

What else could we do?

Just being with . . .

Being with us.

 

Silence interrupted by occasional conversation –

with each other – seeking some normalcy;

with mom – seeking to help an emancipation,

“It’s okay to go mom.

We love you.

I know dad is getting excited.

Your family is waiting…”

 

When breath, life, and love

becomes so clearly focused,

I do not know what else to trust but Intimacy.

I do not know another to trust

but the One in which we all have breath.

 

To live within this kind of trust is a constant craving.

 

Then, watching, I saw mom begin to trust the One holding her.

Breathing rhythmically now.

Breathing with the One.

Slowly bringing her breath into One.

Until her body had no need for earth’s confining atmosphere.

 

Now her spirit breathes pure Ruah;

breathing in the One who first gives breath.

Now the “i” breathes within “I AM”.

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A photographer captured…

8 02 2017

 

cropped-mountain-sunrise.jpg

Creation gifts me –

I do not know why I deserve to be such a recipient.

From the expansive waves of Blue Ridge Mountains to

an iris’ intricate design.

Moments of Essence kiss me daily.

 

I am gifted by what I have no claim upon.

I have no commentary other than it is gift –

not to be selfishly guarded;

not to be kept in cellophane wrapping – saved for another day.

 

Still –

I desire to remain attached to these moments;

This deep beauty;

This unnamable peace;

I want this palpable Essence to linger on my tongue;

 

I want to settle here;

abide here;

build a monument;

hold onto it;

capture it.

 

So I raise my Nikon and from a 52mm sphere

I try to capture these measureless moments;

knowing, intuitively, that the “trying” is energy displaced.

Essence cannot be possessed, held on to, captured –

we cannot enslave Essence.

She is gift – ever present – woven intricately into our being.

 

Yet, I am stirred deeply –

life’s meaning whispered to me on a moment’s breath.

That oneness with the One permeates me endlessly,

my mind cannot comprehend.

 

I lower my “moment-capturing-device”,

take a deep breath,

and lean into the trust that Essence is already stirring within me –

each moment.

 

Maybe I am the one needing to be captured?





Masks

25 01 2017

masks

There they are – laid before me at the beginning of another day.

A decision to make,

or maybe I’ll carry them all:

My “I’m fine” mask so I may cover my pain.

My “excessive pride” mask so I may cover my insecurities.

My “I’m in control” mask so I may cover my fear that I am not.

My “I’m the victim” mask so I may cover my self-doubt.

My “self-deprecating humor” mask so I may cover my self-loathing.

 

There are others on my crowded shelf.

The morning sun hitting each just so,

with a comfortable, warm enticement;

inviting me to a day’s worth of simulated security.

 

I suspect you may have some on your shelf too.

 

I would hate to see you cover the beautiful face that is you.

The you that was given to this world.

The you, if covered, would make this world less.

The you we need so desperately.

 

I wonder what would be different if

I trusted these thoughts stirring in my soul and now exposed?

I wonder how a summer breeze feels on skin rather than against plastic?

I wonder?

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The box . . .

2 12 2016

cropped-friends-chairs.jpg

When I was young, I was given a box.

 

I played with it;

stepped in and out of it;

became comfortable with it.

 

One day, why I do not know,

I stepped in and did not leave.

Maybe it was fear personified:

inadequacies perceived;

incompetencies feared;

self-loathing lived.

A provisional assurance held me.

A conditional certainty seduced me.

 

An unspoken deal was in the making:

safe, dualistic walls in exchange for vision;

security if I bowed down to fear;

dogmatism for freedom;

self-worth tethered to established compliance.

 

The cubed interior became my reality –

The world outside, too threatening.

To Fear, I surrendered.

Truth encased in a box –

wearing denial and self-righteousness like they were all the rage.

Living off of anxiety’s finite energy

draining;

shifting;

conditional;

confining;

excluding.

 

Unexpectedly,  profound pain blew in like north winds;

a deep chill, tinged with icy, old wounds;

chaotic cracking threatened my contained domain.

 

optic scales began to fall . . .

Who would of thought pain would be my salvation?

 

Death loosed bridled questions.

My way of singularity threatened;

rips in boxed-corners;

binary constructs crumbled;

my small truth deconstructed;

satisfactory answers elusive;

a one-sided deal broken.

 

Breathless.

Air expended in my limited reality –

slowly dying by Fear’s exhaled poison.

 

Now emptied –

coming to the end of my created truth –

Truth revealed –

an invitation to truly live.

 

Now emptied –

Pain, joy, grief, hope co-existing –

a dualistic mind cannot contain the fullness of the heart;

Paradox’s invitation to authentic living.

 

Now emptied –

Of constructed truth;

Of fear and anxiety’s paralyzing clutter;

Of a contained god;

Of me.

 

Now emptied –

Space for conversation – spirit to Spirit;

between me and you.

Sacred space created.

 

Now emptied –

liberated . . .

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“Slow down boys . . .”

5 11 2016

greg-dale-at-beach

 

“Slow down boys” . . .

life lesson –

from father to sons;

from one whose dying, now fully embraced.

 

Shadows, darkness and death open us this way –

to Truth’s presence;

to Truth’s embrace;

to Truth’s perspective;

to edit Truth no more.

 

“Slowness” – Truth’s way – calls to our soul;

inviting us away from a veiled, matrix-like life –

deliverance from busy minds;

exoneration from “living up to” and “keeping up with”;

liberation from judging ourselves;

curative for the cancer of shame;

cleansed from the addiction of controlling what is uncontrollable;

awakened from a schedule-induced coma;

unshackled from haunting failures;

free from fear.

 

Inviting us into freedom –

freedom to embrace who we know we are;

freedom to nourish who we know we are becoming;

freedom to cherish paradox and uncertainty – fearlessly;

freedom to welcome failure as a daughter of wholeness;

freedom to wait – not sprinting past Spirit;

freedom to just be in the Presence of Slowing…

 

We can only be right here, right now.

It is all that we are given.

So be right here, right now…

fully living;

wholly living;

whether in pain or joy;

whether in grief or blessing;

whether in angst or peace;

whether in dancing or stillness;

whether in paradox or certainty;

in Love –

always in Love.

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Is-ness

17 09 2016

I am white.

I am male.

I am middle class.

I have an ego that conceals insecurity through:

“niceness”,

defensiveness,

and self-centeredness.

This is who I am –

categories and words used to describe, contain, and limit.

I apologize to the self I was created to be.

 

I see you as a race.

I speak to you loudly because you are not native to these shores.

I define you by your age.

I buy into roles because of your gender.

I have been uncomfortable because of your sexual orientation –

prejudices and definitions born out of fear, insecurity, and environment.

I apologize to those other than myself.

 

We are created in the image of the Creator;

the One, when asked to be defined, answered, “I am that I am”.

 

It is not binary labels that define us . . . or others;

those are for our own safety and control.

 

It is our is-ness

the truth that we are;

the truth of who we are;

created by the Creator;

imprinted with the Designer’s image –

the One who cannot be defined –

that makes us “one-of-a-kind” and limitless.

 

This is our essence.

And our essence –

our being,

our is-ness,

from the beginning,

has been declared good…

very, very good.

pure joy





in darkness, seeing clearly…

5 09 2016

 

choptank dock midnight 2_edited-1

It is the night sky where we see light most clearly.

The Presence of Slowness washes over us;

lying on our backs;

bathing in stillness;

looking up;

cicadas singing love songs to our soul.

 

This is where we are known.

This is where we know.

 

It is in darkness’ depths where light seems helpless,

persuaded by the gravity of our great void.

Our imminent demise gaining momentum;

lying in fetal position;

bathing in fear and anxiety;

looking down;

hawking voices singing songs of hopelessness.

 

This is where we are closest to Knowing.

This is where we are fully known.

 

And when caverns of darkness consume faith;

when the air is heavy with shadows –

be still.

The essence of our being will not be decimated;

we will not lose ourselves, despite ego’s contrary belief;

but we begin to shine.

 

Trying to escape –

moving so carelessly in such dark, is too dangerous.

We will remain unchanged.

 

But in the remaining,

through the darkness, while our spirit eyes adjust;

be ready to welcome evidence of Light;

the glimmer of Loves soft light;

the warmth of Love beside us in vast emptiness.

We will begin to discover ourselves…

our true, authentic selves.

Born of the darkness in which we sit;

created by Love that embraces us… always.

 

Looking up or down, then, it matters not.

It is in darkness where Light is most visible. . .