wise one

My eyes open to the soft darkness, instantly aware of the now familiar unease. Closing my eyes again, willing myself back toward rest, I feel the fatigue of this anxiety we are all lugging around. We labor together to haul the uncertainties, the fears stoked to fever pitch and still amply fueled by so much in the gaping absence of trust.

In the quiet, troubled dark, I feel the velvet brush of the cat’s paw on my forehead, so soft and gentle. I can hear his deep, radiant purr. He speaks to me with some other kind of knowing. 

I can find my way back to joy. My heart beats not for my place on this chart, my statistical or economic value, my pool of data. No, my heart beats for the unquantifiable. The ecstatic mysteries of life and love are wholly mine, ours. It is there where all possibility remains. I turn my eyes in that direction.

Slowly, I am lulled back to restful slumber, feeling the cat’s soothing undercurrent of purr close against me.

###

nest

downy feathers weave themselves into the nest
holding ever closer 
the needy hatchlings
tended with devotion 
their unquestioned cries answered again and again
until the day comes
when the dream bears fruit

the heart beats dreams into existence

the hatchling loves herself enough
to noisily demand sustenance
and knows love inevitably speaks to that demand
she aspires, bolder every day, without doubt,
to her wholeness

but what of unanswered cries?
what of the lone and tired shadow
gathering food in a barren terrain?
wandering in a dreamless pause
searching with the hatchling’s faith
when dreams refuse to come
the heart pleads

knowing dreams are born in love

###

JB

he seems just a mere whisper in the night
a ghostly wraith
i could put my hand right through,
but no,
he’s really there, breathing,
standing unsteadily in the dark cool,
the light of the streetlamp
glinting off his head where hair used to be.

how long, how long will we have you?
days? hours? or perhaps just minutes.
you are barely there
i would put my arms around you
but for fear of breaking you.
you laugh and you smile
as if you are not in the act of disappearing
as if you are not in pain.

look at this long bold man
who forged his path
his own way
doggedly gripping this life even as he
ebbs into a world beyond —
what is it that we are? how is it that we stand
in this place of in-between together?
why must we suffer this collision?

even now,
look at you in the bright heat of the oven, 
hammering, crafting on the anvil
the only thing that means anything
at all.
and just look at this beautiful and cherished thing
you make in the midst of the
incomprehensible.

###

the well-read cat

There is nothing my wonderful best friend cat likes better than to curl up with me and a good book, or even a mediocre book. As long as he can comfortably situate himself, Tippy’s reading appetite is nothing short of voracious. Together, Tippy and I have delved into a fantastic array of places, people, and ideas as we turned the pages and allowed ourselves to be transported.

My tabby friend and I have had wondrous escapades like flying over Africa or sailing the North Sea or exploring beyond the planet. We’ve studied maps and pictures. We’ve figured out how to do things. We’ve pondered philosophical issues and romantic ones. 

Tippy has purred his way through many delightful pages, and sometimes sat on them. He has also patiently listened when I’ve tested the words on the page, reading aloud. We’ve explored rhythm and imagery. We’ve counted syllables.

True, with such a diverse catalog of reading, we have on occasion disliked a book, even found ourselves scoffing. We have, however, never found ourselves in disagreement.

Unlike my beloved Biddo, Tippy is not a book biter (a little bit on that here). No, although he does enjoy exploring the physical depths of a book shelf from time to time, he respectfully leaves the books intact. He is not, however, above taking a swipe at a bookmark.

Tippy’s joy in books seems to lie in the shared reading experience and, most important, the cuddling. In fact, from his nestled perch in my lap, he often insists that other tasks be put off, while we enjoy yet one more chapter. 

Yes, a well-read cat is a true treasure. Beyond words, really.

###

that didn’t take long

It’s not like anyone could have predicted it, right? The hell with promised stimulus checks when you can go drop bombs on Syria. 

It’s amazing. With the wealth of disturbing problems festering, nay, flourishing, in our country, willful destruction with bombs remains the go-to behavior. Return to normal, eh? Not impressed with the new administration thus far, whoever it actually is, on any counts. I say NO to dropping bombs. 

Stand for peace. Stand for love.

vocation of angels

I have had a few angels in my life. I have some right now, I suppose. 

I imagine that the loved ones I have lost must be very, very busy in the next life. It’s rather ridiculous to imagine they have time to notice what’s going on in the old one, but, every now and then, it’s clear, they do. I wonder how that works. I wonder if I will understand it when it’s my turn.

I hope I can be one of those. I hope I can somehow arrive at just the perfect, most needed moment, and say the right words. I hope I can somehow arrange a smile on lips otherwise trembling with tears. I hope I can be that space where you know you are okay, that someone genuinely sees you, whole and utterly accepted even in the mystery that you are. I hope I can be the arms, always open, that somehow hold you, making no demands. I hope I am that place where whatever love you bring, no matter how disguised or disfigured, is always enough. I hope I can be the infinite love that was always there even when you couldn’t feel it.

Because the angels — they have done all those things for me. 

I suspect the next life is just as busy as this one. I am not in the camp that supposes there is a lot of lounging around with harps on clouds. No, it’s busy, it’s full, it’s beautiful, it’s creative, because how could it be less than this life? 

Evidently, though, it’s somehow even bigger. Because I know the angels are there. They’ve made that apparent, transcending space and time and dimensions I don’t have the capacity to imagine. I am grateful. And I am trying.

compassionate new year :)!

Perhaps 2021 can be the year we begin to build in earnest our own compassionate culture. After 2020’s time of introspection, its heavy dosing of fear, its many questions, lessons, and losses, maybe we can feel empowered to build something new.

We see, after all, the technocapitalist drill does not serve humanity, the other beings, the planet, quite so well. It’s really good at some things, but compassion — a key element for life — is missing entirely.

Let’s make this year the one where we bring deep, fundamental compassion to the system.  Let the system shiver and learn to adjust, or crumble.

Love. Health. Abundance. Creativity. Freedom.