awaken

crickets chirping.
a bird’s clear note.
a star-filled sky
slowly giving way
to the sun 
spilling pink into the horizon
reaching toward
ever more blue.
trees standing in silhouette
until the light infuses
every growing thing
and the air
whispers everything awake.
these, at least, are truth.

###

Stand for Freedom

ours

We belong in this world.
We are the elk standing silent in the mountains
we are the wolf treading the darkness
the polar bear crossing the tundra
the geese winging the skies
the person walking the trail
the whale plying the oceans
the honeybee tasting the nectar.
We, we are the ones that belong here.

We belong in this world
and the world belongs to us,
not to governments or institutions or corporations,
it belongs to us.
And when those constructs
fail to serve, and worse, destroy,
we need to remember
who we are.
This world is ours.

###

Stand for freedom

leaf on the tree

i am but a leaf on the tree
a petal on the flower
i am only one feather on the wing
what can i do
i feel the buffeting winds 
trace the sun’s inevitable path
abide in the falling rain
it is not enough to simply bear witness
as this strange scythe now makes its brutal swings
i do not wither and fall
but flutter with song
bloom with fierce color 
soar in defiance on the winds of spirit
i grow whole and full
abundant in my many dimensions
knowing i am essential 
for i am the weathered oak, the burgeoning lupine, 
i am the heron poised and ready at the river’s edge
i stand beyond the blindly grasping sweep
laughing
i am truth

###

Stand for Freedom

two birthdays

Happy Birthday, Julian Assange! The man is 50 years old today, sitting in Belmarsh prison. Let this be the day he goes finally free.

It is unimaginable that Assange’s imprisonment carries on even as the case built against him, always specious and never on solid ground, completely crumbles to bits. The main witness in that “case” recently confessed that it was simply lies he told about Assange (Stundin 6_26_21). But perhaps you haven’t seen that information, because, surprise, mainstream media won’t carry it.

This weekend, here in the US, we are observing another sort of birthday, Independence Day, celebrating all things freedom with flags waving everywhere. This, while Julian Assange is imprisoned and tortured for the crime of revealing truth. This, while Edward Snowden remains unable to return home, for the same crime. This, while Daniel Hale faces 50 years in prison. This, while Reality Winner tries to reassemble her life.

And, very sadly, it seems we are not learning the lessons of the truths so revealed or the terrible consequences government is prepared to wield against those who stand for uncomfortable truths.

This is not just about Julian Assange. This is very much about YOU. It’s about your kids and theirs. It’s about freedom and justice, truth and peace, all around the world.

FREE ASSANGE.

###

truthful

Truth seems an ever more elusive thing on the lips of the ones that rule and sway, so scant now that every word becomes just another exhausting mirage. But step into the garden, and sit with any simple bloom. Let its beauty unfold and speak to you. Without a syllable, nature brings the truth.

pulse of truth

you are more than this
beloved
more than this

clinging without thought
desperately clutching
the narrative

even if in your heart
you notice a persistent quiver
the pulse of truth

still you walk the path to which you are pointed
shuffling along with the rest
turning your eyes away as your own heart calls out to you

the one voice you could trust

you have a choice
the path your heart knows looks insurmountable and fearsome
only until the moment your foot alights there

once you are on it
you flow like a waterfall
laughing

then you see all the others still trudging
the appointed path 
you wave and call out to them

you are more than this, beloved

truth and transparency

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Unbelievably, unthinkably, reprehensibly – Chelsea Manning is once again jailed. This news flits across the feed and is quickly buried. But we ignore this story at our peril.

Chelsea Manning is a truth-teller. In this latest go-round, she is again carefully and deliberately taking a stand for truth and transparency. It is a stand taken on my behalf, on your behalf. She is putting herself on the line for what is right and for the good of her fellow humans.

She is fully aware, after seven years in prison, of what she’s getting herself into. She is one of those few brave souls willing to stand up for truth, to hold the powers that be accountable, at a terrible personal cost.

Her story is, of course, obfuscated and tinted by those powers as they continue their long, cruel persecution. But the reality is that she is a hero, and deserves our support. 

Free Chelsea Manning. Truth and transparency.

the hand in the work

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The stitches in a quilt made by hand speak out loud. They document a story, or at least some portion of a story. The threads are the evidence of individual effort – of a person’s intention, their hand hovering over the fabric, pulling the needle through.

There is always satisfaction in seeing the hand in the work.

Whether a quilt, a painting, a piece of pottery, or carved or constructed wood, such works create connection between the maker and the finished piece and the one who holds it.

It serves a mindful purpose, both in the making and the use.

Such a work presents an obvious truth. It’s honest. 

There is rest in that. It makes an easing of the heart, space opening up somewhere inside us.

overcoming creative resistance

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I have a difficult relationship with creativity.

Creativity seems to be absolutely essential to my wellbeing, to making me all of me. I feel an almost constant and fierce desire for creative efforts.

And yet, I confront my own incredible resistance to it. The resistance wins, more often than not.

Sometimes, I think of the problem as a matter of being able to allow creativity. That, say, conditions must be just right for my creativity to emerge and flourish.

I think that maybe I need daylight hours in which to do my creative work. Or I need a particular environment that is somehow unavailable to me. Or I don’t have the right materials. Or I’m not skilled enough. Or the planets are not in alignment. Or the Muse is absent. Or. Or. Or.

Kind of sounds like excuses, eh?

And then I think that it’s not really a matter of engineering conditions to allow creativity. The problem is really a matter of eliciting creativity – calling it forth.

This involves setting the intention to do my creative work, committing to it, and forcing myself to carry through despite conditions.

I managed to prove to myself that this is possible. And fruitful.

Still, such commitment takes both courage and self-compassion.

I am not whole if I am not creative. If my creativity is suppressed, part of me is missing – a pretty important part.

I have looked long and painfully at the reasons my creative soul hides. I have learned a few things.

The world is a pretty scary place for that corner of my soul.

She is not at all convinced of her own absolute legitimacy and worthiness. She has no assurance whatever that she is loved and wanted and safe. And she just knows it’s totally not okay to get messy.

It is a matter of compassionately taking her hand and showing her it’s okay to come out. Indeed, showing her that the world is not whole without her.

It gets better with practice.

Intention, commitment, action.

thoughts on a national day of mourning

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Where there is grief, I have sympathy.

On this day, however, I cannot help but question the extravagant exaltation of an individual on the national stage for an act of mourning.

This was a man who lived a good, long life surrounded by his family and many friends, who enjoyed both great wealth and power. Did the man do some good things? No doubt.

Nevertheless, on his watch, many other men, most of them mere youth, were sent into war on another continent. Hundreds of our own died in that conflict. Tens of thousands were victims. This conflict delivered the Highway of Death, where retreating troops – people, that is – were slaughtered as they drove toward home. This conflict also helped to lay the groundwork for the endless war with which we live today and for whom so many suffer their terrible losses.

If there is to be a national day of mourning, let us consider those lives lost to wars and military actions at the hands of actors never touched by the violence or destruction they wreak.

If there is to be a national day of mourning, let us consider those lives lost and those suffering through the inequality fostered and nurtured at the hands of those actors never touched by the lack, indifference, or contempt they engender.

Let us dispense with the accolades.

If there is to be a national day of mourning, it should be a day when we look at war and violence, remember the many needless victims, over and over and over again, and simply say, “No.” No more.

Where there is grief, I have sympathy. I wish you peace.