Being a bridge and letting go of what isn’t mine. — the tortoise shell can go now.

I have a tender friendship and working relationship with an American artist and spiritual coach. I’m her editor — I sit with her words and feel the meaning, then scramble paragraphs around and rewrite until there is a flow that feels divine. This kind of partnering — her words and mine — brings me much joy. I’ve reworked several of articles for publishing, redid her book jacket and amazon listing, and am soon to edit her copy in the foreword of another writer’s book.

I love the art of editing.

This year, I’m welcoming opportunities to edit. More articles, yes, and this year I also see editing books.

I see early early mornings behind a glowing screen with a mug of rooibos tea beside me. I see my heart opening, my mind focusing, and my fingers doing the work of building bridges of understanding. I’ve known, for 7 years now, that being a bridge is part of my dharma — to help people connect better. Connect to their spirit, to lifeforce energy, to nature, to each other, and to their selves. I love this work.

I’ve also made a resolution to listen more, and to be seen without showing off (along with a few other intentions perhaps I’ll share later). To help people connect, I (we) have to listen with openness and vulnerability. To not project a belief or assumption of where someone stands or who they are, far before they’ve told me their story, just to speed into my turn to talk. That’s not listening. I resolve to open my heart and allow the truths of others to come in, while being seen in my true self.

If I can listen, then I can be the bridge of sharing truths so that others can understand better. So that others can see into worlds they do not yet know. (When I travel, it’s always been my great wish to share the scenes and stories before me with bodies who, for whatever reason, aren’t there.)

The author, Kellie J Wright, shares her journey of profound personal change in Internal Journeys: A Spiritual Transformation.

Last night, in the moonlit early morning of New Year’s Day, I opened her book randomly to a chapter called Have. She asks the reader if we possess things that aren’t ours. Beliefs, desires, objects that were handed off to us or that we took on — knowingly or unknowingly — and carry around as our own.

To become the fullest most natural and vibrant versions of our selves, we have to let go of what’s not ours. We have to make space for what is meant for us. And only what’s meant for us. For our now. For our endless stream of nows.

This is the last chapter of her book.

I chuckled reading it, and resonating with words I deeply believe. I carry judgments and bad habits picked up along my life that conflict with my core — light, freedom, joy.

I’ve worn a weighted tortoise shell of ideas I do not want and of a past story told with too much contempt and regret. I am ready, I feel, to let it go. I am making space for what should be, what could be, without it.

I shook my hands and wiped them clean, brushed the skin of my arms and legs down toward the earth, and then washed my hands and feet with water — all while declaring to god and life and the emptying house around me that I release what isn’t mine. Take it take it!

The only way to know what’s under that shell, is to peel it off. I am safe in the loving hands of life — there is no need to burden myself with armor if I’m always in this now.

Let’s see what comes.

Will my skin shine under the sun as I walk upon a warming earth each morning? I’ll know when to seek shade, or protection, for my being by listening to the knowing within. It’s always now. I don’t want to carry what appears to protect against (and prevent) the majesty of reality. Nope. Unburdened and light is my way.

What is yours?

Reach out if you’re listening. I am here.

therapy again [poem]

therapy is going well, we all agree 
I smoked twice today though, also true
finished off my self-medicating stash 
with a dance party to The Weeknd balanced
iPad recorded my efforts. head nod. 

two therapists, two paradigms of 
healing, and my own acknowledging
an intellectual mind loves to spar
with like minds, developing beings playing
nice to pay the bills. head nod.

I’m paying nothing either, save the
stories I may tell of this to them
they always want the juice, don’t they
I, too, offer a hefty pour of pain, pussy
struggles, parents, pay the bills. head nod. 

one says to dance it out, collagen 
for a leaky gut. note that its his karma, to deal 
with you. the other smiles more kindly
his own elephant still in some bits,
outside. sit with it, he says. head nod.

neither men take the whole truth, nor dozens 
who I paid before, yet they swallow some
mixed, shaken, and ground up and taken 
sipped on slowly, chewed with a note 
in the margin, time ticks on. head nod. 

see you friday on zoom? head nod.

god asks, do you trust me? [poem]

the purpose is experience what it is, is
self-realization, enlightenment, removal of the veil
who decided we needed this, light beings being

god asks, do you trust me?

humans in a mad mad world without rhyme in reason
searching and seeing while others do not care to look
how miraculous it may seem to not wear spectacles

envy not the sleeping sheep with their white fluffy wool
if you choose not to look, how could you see?
they’ll be back again, trust

here’s the secret, searcher (you already know it)
do the things that bring you joy, set me on fire
your passions are also mine

let go of knowing how. mind runs wild
confusion if you choose it, choosing to
cling to itself, not the self, fear

a dozen hands touched me, a being within being
bamboo, heaven on earth is here, on earth
god asked, do you trust me?

eight years cycles round, i honor conviction
oil on my face, lust for freedom in the heart
god asks, do you trust me?

i surrender, let us dance
god says we’ve work to do

terrified of the other mothering [poem]

i hurry rushing flushing bluster of nerves
i pause from stacking the tank tops on the shelf
behind the door of knotty pine, that slides, a bit rough on its track

stop
what am i doing? for whom and i changing what just was? who am i trying to be?

        my healing vacation of quasi-awakening in traumatic shifts of the self
        coming to a close. they’re already in the car. my mother driving him
        home to me, his mother
        an artist when he is away

i slide empty canvases and masterpieces just the same
inside a brown paper box awaiting life, when she comes again

since becoming a mother, i have been trying to find my other mother way
but no. i have to make my own way of mothering, because
i am terrified of the other mothering
the one without unconditional love offering freedom to be creative

        somehow there has to be space
        for art in momming
        it now is who-i-aming, so expand i must in my mothering
        i choose to make space for the artist, the child in a home
        without freedom to create, to be seen in her brightness and her glory

to the sweetness within my mothering
        i offer kindness to you, who will not be understood
        some of us cannot hold space for
        no art in our hearts, lest not in our eyes
        of the children artisting in our homes

        is that what you’re wearing? (she asks)
        yes, mom

edited:

i hurry rushing flushing bluster of nerves
pause from stacking painted tank top, black sweatshirt on a shelf
that sits behind a heavy splintered door made of knotty pine
which doesn’t slide any longer, broken now and laying rough within its metal creaking track

stop
what am i doing? for whom am i putting all this away? who am i trying to be?

my healing vacation of quasi-awakening, traumatic shifts of the self
coming to a close. they’re already in the car. my mother driving him 

        home, to his mothering
        artist when he is away

i slide empty canvases and dried lumpy creations from core
inside a brown paper box awaiting life, when she comes again

since becoming a mother, i have been trying to find another mother way
which, it doesn’t work it hurts more than helps,  i know it cannot be true, because
i am terrified of the other mothering
she doesn’t have unconditional love, or give freedom to be creating

        somehow there has to be space for me, the artst in me, within all of my mothering
        it is who-i-aming, so i must be expanding
        i choose to make space hold space offer grace for the child in this home
        full of life in her space in all she creates her brightness and her glory

and to sweet attempts and perfect failings within all of our untrue mothering
        i offer kindness to you, who won’t be understood
        some cannot hold space for
        art in our hearts, lest not in the eyes
        of children within our homes

stop, is that what you’re wearing?
        yes, mom

don’t take down the art asking to be seen [poem]

i don’t know where to put it, or him
this is his space, too, and i need to be respectful

not everyone should see the sulking frothing form of woman, bleeding
on walls and screens, on her face, smell of cannabis and tulsi smoke and death, asking

art asks
to be seen

so then how to do it
to cut the skin and drip it out
while also being a mother, a lover, a friend
this is his space, too, and i need to be respectful

not everyone needs to look at the choking chastised woman, without a bra
in her home just walking waltzing doing freedom flying birth and life, just asking

art asks
to be seen

so then let her be in art
create space on the inner side
grow rise never contract in the face of fear
new ways of thinking are required if we are to expand

not everyone need know language of the beings being without name or reason
cosmic worlds can speak in silent colors rhythms rhyme and guttural sounds, just asking

art asks
to be seen

i do know where to put it, or her
because this is my space, too, and i need to be respectful

yes to that man, i said [poem]

soft, the marvel of love, too soft
but hard is the copybook of reason

if I may have one for my body
it should be a soft lover, one willing to
rub rub rub the soles of my feet
couldn’t have a life of hard scraping tries from a man who
doesn’t know quite how to love a woman

but better yet, a man of both
a lover of rhyme and reason
i’ll rub my own, he’ll build me a home
using feathers, warm wax, and gloves
to soften the blows of his natural way
of love

yes, i’m in, my love

(hafiz)
oh thou who are trying to learn
the marvel of love
through the copybook of reason
i am very much afraid
you will never see the point

you sexy crescent moon [poem]

you hook me with your tip
as i’m driven under you and inside
madness, taxi, tuk tuks, Delhi

you do not hide
from faces of women in dupattas, men in turbans, cows dawdling
dead on the roadside

look into me, you sexy crescent moon
low, gazing wildy, heart and hara, hot and pricked
just above sugarcane fields forever

are you waxing, are you waning? will you fade or light me up?
i’ll worship and adore you, you sexy crescent moon
feed me, guide me, suck me up

i lie on my side, see you resting, glowing, offering sight to me
bronze face tilts to the heavens, round pout
we’re purple in our humanness

beloved effortlessly seduces his lover, who loves to give herself to him
…cosmic and only time will tell…

i rise in your darkness, offer you my light
round and round and round and round
you sexy crescent moon

first night in india, taxi delhi to rishikesh // march 2014, refurb november 2020

india’s evenings remember [poem]

india’s evenings remember
hold the heat on copper, above a saffron glow
emerald trees witness from mango gardens
blue skies now gray behind cooking smoke and haze
aarthi melodies cricket bat crack crack cracks
chatting and chirping away like birds at young souls
delights for wandering ears and eyes
quick to claim understanding, a purpose
intention care systems for saving the way
        their way, of love

their way, of love
mother’s crimson mark
tika on foreheads in hair parts on
sakti hands on palace steps
        reminders of legacy for some, for now

rishikesh uttarkhand india // march 2014

you can forget the words– artist you yogi you writer you–once you’ve gotten the meaning [ram dass poetic teaching]

(ram dass said chuang tzu said)

the rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit.
once you’ve gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare.
words exists because of meaning.
once you’ve gotten the meaning, you can forget the words

where can i find a man who has forgotten words so i can have word with him?
you don’t have to try or even to listen
we just have to be together and it will happen

thanks to ram dass and youtube and for 2020 for all of this that was and is to come

you are enlightened, said guruji, i tossed it back from the shore [poem]

the swans and eagles visited
when i lobbed your ancient firestone
in that indian lake


thousand years of resurfacing

took a second time, god tests me
i listen to my voice
more than his

baptised by my own free will
in that indian lake

if ganga wouldn’t take me
by golly, maybe kitch-iti-kippi
the icy freshwater spring can kill

unsure if the second choice was just
or if ’twas first, that did bring it back

which rhythm, songbird, shall you sing
you dove in after the second rock
fan of leaping, living for the taking

and poof!, that is that, small splash

in throwing him the second time
returned a gift of bluestone, green, from gray
when i looked upon the shore, you were still there, love

i’m making a new choice this time
not gold, not black. pure

allow what is to be

and we shall see how many
years will pass by, before you come again

love is love [poetic teaching]

what is it, you say
(baba ram dass), about

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?

when we’re in the presence
of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
our hearts experience joy and expansion, which
is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
and within experiencing it, we’e free to be
as WE NATURALLY ARE, LOVE

and so, you say
(baba ram dass)

THE HEART will lead your authentic
EXPANSION if we allow it to
SEEK ITSELF over and over and over
AGAIN SEEKING, finding itself
THE SOURCE

so then, you say
(baba ram dass)

in the presence of
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
our SELF is experiencing its SELF
WE ARE FULLY ALIVE
WE ARE WITHIN LOVE
WE ARE LOVE
LOVE IS LOVE

so then, you say
(baba ram dass)

(baba ram dass) two things, maybe three

1) Let yourself BE IN UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

2) Know the LOVE is also YOU and ENDLESS and INFINITE and is is what is, so just RELAX

3) Don’t attach LOVE to an object or experience. Once it has been felt, ever, really felt between people, animals, places, situations, EVER, it is ALWAYS a part of YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS. BE GRATEFUL FOR THE LOVE AND let it go with GRACE. Period.

who is baba ram dass [in gratitude]

i am an unworthy phony who has moments of holiness, he said

i am not a holy being
who now
and then
falls

liberation
imagine a wheel
hub in the center
liberation

now and then through
intense trauma
and sadhana, or the love of a guru, or something

moments of liberation
you go
ahhh you see who you are and it’s

all beautiful and then you’re off balance and
i oughta meditate

then the weight has flipped and then you’re off balance and
i oughta stop meditating and do the dishes

you don’t have to go to india
your teachings will be right here
and then he disappeared.

in gratitude to he that is ram dass, rest in forever liberation and light.
gratitude to you, ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram ram.

einstein demands the new way of thinking, which tibetans used to know, jaar [poem]

and i quote
rameshwar das
in polishing
the mirror, quoting
albert einstein

a new type of thinking is
essential if mankind is to
survive
and move
toward
higher levels

YES! 100 AHO snaps~

what we’ve been doing
over and over the up down up down chatty kathy kitty katty nonsense
looping our minds on loop
will never work
has never worked

let it go, new path takers
reflect for a moment

did tibetans
find the
way OUT of it
the suffering, the madness, the cycles of nature, #thehorriblebeautyofitall
by thinking, the same way?
no. they did not.

let it go, new path takers
reflect for a moment

can you, can we
find the
way OUT of it
the suffering, the madness, the cycles of nature, #thehorriblebeautyofitall
by thinking, the same way?
no. i we you can not.

so, alas

look around you, the laws, the customs, the what the fuck is ok by law now?
and what are we doing in every instance of taking and making
if not to be creating more unease
predicaments within which we enslave our simple selves
all our cells and our hands and homes

within whom to we hold the power and preciousness of our sacred human gift of choice?

the invitation is here
can we please all level up
if not all, what about you, and me
for all, to restore the cosmic harmon(e)y

gyan only knows what happened to the essence of einstein, or the insighted awareness of baba ram das, or the actual souls within the actual fully earth-realized and conscious united beings of ramana maharshi, or paramahansa yogananda, or jesus christ, or buddha, or my baby buddha before he takes on the colors and the pains and the human condition of man.

i offer myself and my insights and the light of this beautiful god to you all

surrender
a new way of thinking is here, jaar

(hafiz)
oh thou who are trying to learn the marvel of love
through the copybook of reason, i am very much afraid
you will never see the point

golden cosmic wisdom water cannot pour from empty cups. tibet, i see you. [poem]

silent and still
upon the plateau

can you imagine what it’s like?
just. beings. just. being.
vessels of golden cosmic wisdom water
ready to enlighten

        who can pour from an empty cup?

man wants just the taking, of the taking of the man
not leaving lone magnificence, righteous rights
wisdom is free for all, and within
just. beings. just. being.

        who can pour from an empty cup?

without place to fill their jugs
without sacred drops to drink
without rivers to reach the world

silenced and still
upon the plateau

can you imagine what it’s like?
just. beings. just. being.
vessels of golden cosmic wisdom water
ready to enlighten

        who can pour from an empty cup?

tibet, i see you.
acceptance, patience, equanimity soon will come

mercy, please offer us water. we have thirst.
man, give us back our water wells, our rivers, truths, source.
WE ARE READY but man wants just the taking, of the taking of the man
not leaving lone magnificence, righteous rights

wisdom is free for all and within
just. beings. just. being.

silent and still
upon the plateau

can you imagine what it’s like?