Thursday, January 7, 2021

Negative Space and Me

Tony told me the other day 

That often times in art

It makes "the most sense" to focus on 

The negative space 

In order to bring shape to 

what is

And while he admitted this is hard,

he concluded it to be where the

most power lies in creation.


Today, I sit sleepy eyed on my porch,

with a space heater, warming me

while I pandemically work from home,

the day after Trump supporters

stormed the capitol. 


This is reality. 

It is simply what is. 


I cannot control what is happening,

but I can always control my response.

And so I feel the weight of my coffee in a stainless

steel tumbler (so it won't chill quite as fast)

I breathe in, and exhale out with extension

Quiet is the truest companion.

I relish in the buttery softness of my leggings

clinging around my legs.

I hear birds and imagine myself inside their messages.


Without effort, I glance to the right:

Traffic, like shooting stars, comes and goes:

Destinations unknown, 

their backdrop a simple canvas of

muted gray, uninspired and plain.


Swiveling to the left I am struck

by that which often goes unnoticed. 

Streaming through a sliver of eastern window

Poking out like a surprise past my neighbor's

front porch:

the most breathtaking sunrise becoming born....


A beacon or a baton, it rises up fluidly

Trailing ribbons of pink and blue

Eventually cascading into an orange 

that bleeds out without caution or concern 

Azure clouds horizontally support the display 

I see their measure and I value their purpose,

They highlight simple excellence with dignity


I am sandwiched between plain ignorance

and a brilliant beautiful truth- 

A collision of consciousness of the

both/and phenomenon and 

I feel grateful for my ability to see

on both sides of me and appreciate. 

Simply SEEING what is there and 

being with it is an utterly useful way to

initiate a day. 


Taking in another sip of coffee,

I look to what lies directly before me,

Outside and straight ahead, additional pause. 

This is my inside as well. 


Several naked trees posing for no one-

Winterized and whole separate, yet 

somehow also joining together in my vision

Strong and dark on top of the white landscape

They are propped and unmoved at their base,

Inviting my eyes to continue to consume upward,

to take them all in, alone and collectively until

I land upon the tippity top the filaments fragile

yet carefully bending and giving way to the elements 

that threaten the exterior

Supported from the inside out and underneath,

a foundation that cannot be broken. 


I notice that this is where the negative space 

Calls out the loudest in a language we can all 

understand if we all were to make a choice:

To look, to listen, so that we may step into the world 

The one that sits patiently existing

Beyond what we see,

Beyond what we know to be true,

Beyond what is real and unreal.


We have a heart center that lives deeper.

It's here.

And we can not only be reminded of it.

It's here we can see it reflected.

It's here we can be energized anew.


It's here we can meet up with it

and be with it and in doing so

find our way to equanimity and fortitude, 

our guides.


Find our oneness. 


Find ourselves inside of tiny 

triangles dripping off of branches

See the way souls are simply

light that illuminates brightly

off of something else.


All of us. All of us. All of us. 


If we want to be okay, really okay,

we must come to recognize this in nature

so that we can return to our own true

nature and be with it. 

We can learn to accept what is with 

whole hearted awareness and without alteration.


When this wise view is really clear

we are free to cultivate our intentions

and actions and ultimately we can lead 

ourselves right on into our own redemption.

There is nothing negative about 

negative space, and for right now, it's

the only place I feel free. 


Won't you join me?


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Snowflakes and Meaning

We are all snowflakes

erratically rushing toward

our own demise

Autopilots of Grace

and meteorology

Sometimes growing larger

or spinning sideways

gaining traction in a new

direction, seeking one's

own reflection-

Suddenly a reversal

upwards while the others

shuffle and pass on by

A new try!

We create ourselves each time anew

We shape ourselves with intricacies unseen

We rush to be absorbed into something else

We long for identity and meaning, gleaming

We accumulate in collective posture, if lucky

We melt away, if not today, another day

Impermanence plants itself in everything

Even in this moment it will sing

These words are quiet and still, here

They arise and puff themselves out,

Boasting, seeking belonging and purpose

then float on to another pocket of prose

or a new poet's pen

Causing the wondering thought:

why bother?

who cares?

what's the point?

The point is in the experiencing

The meaning is in the noticing

There is beauty inherent

in noticing

There is love inherent 

in beauty

There is meaning inherent

in love

There is purpose inherent

in meaning 

There is connection

inherent in purpose

There is truth inherent

in connection

and on and on and on

like soft flakes falling

it continues

And an interwoven crystal web

Seemingly quiet

Reverberates in unison

In and out of the soul, 

It will always remain.



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Hands and Hearts

Sometimes if I am paying attention, 

I catch sight of my Nanie hands 

A desert landscape vast and 

Freckled with nurturing kisses from nature

Changing without recollection

of what came before and it is here 


I remember 


Deep curiosity with sneaky eyes

catching glimpses like snapshots of my

grandmother's aging hands:


knitting large afghans effortlessly 

folded neatly on lap at rest and peace

reaching slightly when receiving affection


Weathered like leather, year after year 

they spoke of risk and adventure

deep trenches and uneven terrain 

Striving still with grace and purpose


And now I have found my own hands


Softly shaping skin into dunes resting 

Incomplete without intentional fault lines 

tracking back to random grooves,

scars serving as guideposts for a life lived


Carried by hands 

Stored in hearts 

Broadcasted on faces 

Illuminated through feelings


What do you see when you 

look at your hands?


Where has your journey

carried you?


How will you use them

to find new spaces?


Who will you let hold

them when you need it?


Why does any of this

mean anything?


The answers are written on hands 

Like an existential map book


Traveling by way of our hearts.




Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Process

Pause
Observe
Name

FEEL

Reality 
is not always
what's real.

Seeking round
holes
unaware
that our edges
are sharp
and moving
about space
without caution

AND

we can soften
we can bleed
when we concede
each moment
to the breath
and the anchor
of truth

change 
definitely
feels 
some 
kind of
way

safe
to 
say

have
it
your
way

a
new
day

is it pain
or disdain
a refrain
to stay sane

time to 
dance in the 
rain

wash ourselves
clean with 
kaleidoscope
truth
and crystallized
proof

becoming
more comfortable
with discomfort

until we can 
hold it all 
united we stand
when we understand
divided we fall
when we miss the call


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Lotus


The Meaning Of The Lotus Flower | Zensitize

Stagnantly sitting outside of my core
Vulnerability arrives and opens a door

Breathing in this
Magnitude, 
My dullness inspired,
An urge to learn more

Clarity is conjured:
A lotus flower vision
complexity and precision

When a mind truly yearns,
It is the heart that learns

"the lotus is a
sacred flower,
symbolizing cosmic
harmony"

Exhaling out this
fortitude
Awash in alignment
Insight begins to show

What else is there to know to grow?

Currently steeping
in undeniable truth
the lotus flower rests,
a floater of proof

"give the lotus as much
light as possible"

Purposefully
elevating voices 
and choices

My beauty
my lightness
my grace and
my power 

Sits at the surface
Atop the white ivory tower

Averse to recognize
The sticky resistance 
lurking beneath-
It quells, 
It repels
It ultimately sells

And yet something...

Something.

Something.... is missing?

No, there is no evidence of lack
Over-abundance bred privilege
 Under-awareness and slack 

Why is it we overly pour
our own estimations 
of the overly poor?

"too much fertilizer
may cause the lotus
foliage to burn"

We are all one lotus

Separating our superiority 
from the root's work and pain
With refute and disdain,
Beautiful hues slip out of the frame

 I am reminded of my truest
intention:"right speech"
Living to teach 
Meaning to reach 

Prevention
Detention
That which 
We should not
Mention

Suspension supports Invention
Propension for Intention

We are all one lotus

Heart Flexes
Mind Pounds
Reactions ripple like pond pebbles
  Or a ringing in the ear
Blocking out slurs from
those I hold dear

Why, why, why all the fear?

I open 
I close

We are all one lotus

"the lotus is associated
with the sun because
it blooms by day,
and closes by night"

Awakening,
I cry 
Feeling, 
I bleed
I am not a rose
Yet these thorns
upon me, wishing to feed




We are all one lotus

The hollow ache 
in my center feels  
 woeful and misunderstood-
I see you, I love you
I honor your good.

"Care must be taken
when inserting
fertilizer tabs, 
because the growing
tip and new growth
can be damaged"

My messages lost 
mistaken, unseen
I close again
 preserving
unliked and unclean

"lotuses started
from seeds will
probably not bloom
the first year"

Listening closely, please tell me you hear?

We must hold on
together... 
Beauty
grows near

Being patient with the slow
Believing bravely we will know
The wisdom is singing up from below
This is how we too shall grow 

We are all one lotus

Rising up from the deep 
Aged suffering
Mischaracterized as cahoots 
Reach down far enough,
We will feel our own roots

"It is important
to protect the 
lotus roots
from freezing"

Leaves and petals
dance with delight
buoyancy supported and white
derived out of muddiness 
Darkness emboldened by night 

"the lotus
is even believed
to have given 
birth to the sun"

When darkness subsides
Our hearts blessed with new sight
Healing our blindness
We are filled with the light 

We are all one lotus





Monday, June 1, 2020

The Sounds of Weightlessness

Rhododendrons reveal
whiteness, 
while
sun cascades 
clipping and casting
shadows on suburban
homes and dreams

And birds flit
faster 
it seems these
days,
louder too.

Can they
see it all? 
Can they
hear it all?

Better still,
can WE?

The panic
The injustice
The illness
The void
The meaning

Do they carry 
messages to one
another 
wondering,
purposefully
plotting
how to get us to 
not just notice
this, 
but also
to vote on this?

Can we hear it?

The invisibility
cloak 
of privilege
and pride
serves as a
weighted blanket
for some,
therapeutically
quelling
discomfort
lullabying
that there is
"nothing more
to be done here"

After all,
'it's just awful'
and 
'such 
a shame'

Clucks of
the tongue
team up with
disgusted
shakes of
the head
clearing space 
so folks can 
get back in
line at 
home
depot 
for potted
plants and 
grass seed

and I wonder
what's the most
important thing
to grow?

And the 
birds hang
out in the 
garden center
too, you know

they see it all
and 
their chatter 
is everywhere
for those who
truly listen

I'd like
to think
they're all
abuzz 
about the 
phoenix

rising up in
the streets

Aware
that enough 
is finally 
enough 
and the 
time to pivot
and shift 
has arrived

we can all learn to 
fly 

yet, the terror
that paralyzes
those who
have been long 
served through 
flowers, blankets
now stand
naked, afraid

But this, my friends
is how we are born.

And it
also how
we will 
be born 
again:

weightless