Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Personification of Sadness

Lips brushed gently against my ear. It was like the soft caress of a warm wind. A shiver descended my spine. I anchored my bare feet into the brown panels of cold wooden floor. The room was empty, and yet, I wasn’t alone. I knew those lips. I knew that wind, and I knew that the swell was nearly upon me.

“You’ve returned.” I mouthed in wordless welcome.

“Yes. I’ve returned.” She whispered.

“Again?” My eyes spoke.

“Again.” She replied.

I bowed my head in calm acceptance. The urge to fight - to run, to protest, to demand a reason for her intrusion – rose instinctively inside of me. I let the urge rise, I let it morph into anger, and I let rage color me blind, enjoying for a moment, the freedom of sightlessness.

Still, I felt her. I opened my eyes.

“Yes, I'm here.” She answered.

Unyielding and inescapable, she remained.

I had no choice. I let the rage reach its crescendo, and then, I watched it fall, and with it, my body crumbled to the cold floor. My forehead came to rest upon the earth, my hands clasped gently together in prayer. With heaving sobs, I surrendered myself to her, to the flood of emotion, and the swell of truth. 

I’ve run away from Sadness my entire life. I've pretended she wasn’t there. I've ignored her whispers. I’ve fought her with anger, achievement, excuses and fear. The hardest, and perhaps most beautiful thing I’ve ever done in my life, is I've learned, well I am learning, how to accept Sadness. She comes as a teacher, with a kind, compassionate voice, offering presence, and an opportunity to flow into a vast new ocean. If only I am courageous enough to listen, to heed her wisdom. For like all great teachers, when the lesson is learned, the teacher fades away.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


My fingertips fumble for the button. I ache to make it come undone. Naked. I’m ready to be naked, to stand still and quiet out in the world. It’s summer. I want to let the sun kiss my skin. It’s always been summer, and yet I’ve lived in such fear of winter, wearing so many layers, stacking layer atop of layer, afraid to face life without layers, scared to be naked. Scared to be still, scared to sit in the moment, scared of the spaciousness of life. It’s hot beneath all these layers. I’m sweating. I’m suffocating.

I tell myself to let go, to unbutton the buttons, and let the layers fall away. There’s a universe within. I sense it pulsating through my veins. I’m ready to set that universe free. I cling to the layers though, to the rigid macadam-crusted earth.

I said it was summer, but its actually fall, and today I walked in the sun, and sat in the shade of a tree, on a bench, and leaves fell around me. They danced from the sky, twirling and teasing. It was beautiful. And I thought how interesting a thing it is, how the leaves change in color, and when they are done changing, when they reach some non-changing state, they die, and eventually they fall away. Even the leaves though, when dead, they cling, they hang on. And then the wind comes. It blows, and detaches them from the tree, shaking them just enough to break the last vestige of bondage, and that’s when they start their dance back to earth, back home. And the leaves, even though they are dead, they seem happy, free.

I haven’t let my dead leaves fall yet. I’m bundled in layers of dead leaves.

The funny thing is, I can't fight the layers, the tree doesn't disown the leaves, the breeze comes, and frees them. So the layers, like all things, have a purpose. They are there for a reason. I'm thankful for my layers, they have served me well, protecting me, saving me, motivating me. It’s hard for me to say goodbye; it feels like gravest of betrayals. My dear ego has been such a loyal protector, a courageous, passionate, yes, admittedly, overzealous friend. She loves me, like a somewhat rebellious and quarrelsome loyal disciple; she's a warrior, a solidier in uniform.

Without the uniform, who will I be? I wonder how I'll be able to do it. The uniform is my shield, my certainty, my answer to the chaotic, unknown questions of life.  Can I take the uniform off, and live without an answer. Who will I be without the uniform, without Ego, without her fierce aggressive passion spurning me forward, onwards. Maybe ‘I’ will not be. Maybe, there will just be space, existence, being, a sort of free-flowing formlessness.

I’ve come far. I’m still not there yet. Really though how can I ever be there? It’s impossible to ever be there, because here is the only place I can ever be. Right here, where I am, experiencing whatever there is to experience.  Still I distract myself.

I wonder when it started, the distracting. What was I distracting myself from?  I was afraid of something, some ghost, some shadow. I'm afraid of others. The fear, its a reflection of myself.  I see in others, what I see in myself, unknown power. I am afraid of myself. I have been afraid for a long time. I am not afraid of the darkness, the darkness is comforting. It’s the light that I’ve hidden, its the light that frightens me most. Maybe love is the original fear. Its so abundant, I had to protect it. Whatever is in me now, its always been in me, and I’ve always been afraid of it.  

 So I’ve hid, I’ve pretended. I’ve searched.

I’ve searched for myself in so many things – sports, school, words, stories, relationships, yoga. I’ve searched in so many places, I’ve been all over the globe, and I’ve never found myself. The search, the seeking, its my excuse, my distraction. The idea that there is something to find in life, that’s the distortion. There isn’t anything to find.  I haven’t lost anything. I’ve shrouded myself in layers, in forms, in expectations, only so I could keep the pretense that something was lost. It’s not lost, its just buried deep inside of me.

Yoga is not the answer; doing is not the answer; winning is not the answer, running is not the answer; even love, is not the answer. Life has no answers.

I am alive, and that is sort of wonderful. I could spend all my time searching for answers that don’t exist, or I could explore what does exist, and exploration sounds fun. It makes life sound like an adventure. A change in words,  a momentous shift in perspective. It’s so simple. It cuts through the layers. Maybe I've found the button. I'll unbutton it, and when the wind comes, I'll let my layers fall away. I'll let myself be naked. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mark Upon Stone

A crooked face,
Smile laced,
Brought to tears,
The long, dark, prayer,
Of lonely years.

Pillar of poise
Silenced by noise,
Crumbled low,
‘fore demonic foe,
Crippled with pain
Nothing but a name
A carcass of space
In the human race.

Eyes shaded dim,
Darkened grim,
A sunken face,
Of Fallen grace
Hopeless grin
Upon a limb
Staring calmly
Into an abyss of sin.

Upon the altar,
With naught to halt her.
Hand to the whip
Death within grip,
She takes a sip.
Inhaling slow,
Dreams once aglow
All the things,
The love, the life,
 She’ll never know.

Abandoned, wrecked,
Misery swept
Out to sea
To the promise of darkness
Where she shall flee

But never, ever
Will she be free.
All she’ll ever be
A mark upon stone
A tale of life little known
Hope blown.
Mind never grown.
Heart never shown.

Hand to the whip.
Life in her grip.
A Final plea
From the light 
she cannot see,
Don’t take the sip.
Don’t let it slip

Round the bend.
The open hand
Of a long needed friend.
This isn't the end,
Light will come.
I tell you darling,
It’s the darkness
That delivers the sun.
Yet, she doesn't wait,
She doesn't listen.
Instead, she choses
To destroy
The beauty given.

And with such a fate.
Closed becomes the gate.
The cessation of light
To the never-ending darkness of night

And all she'll ever be,
A mark upon stone,
Weathering beneath the sun.