Poetry/Prose

Heart + Soul

Me, giving myself a hug, like I do every day.

People practice yoga for many reasons. I am starting to think that mine was so I could give myself a really strong hug, every day.

A draft/scrapped stream of consciousness submission to a love book, which runs from grounded factual almost-narrative to ethereal, philosophical mumbo-jambalaya (I submitted another piece so just share this one in case anyone likes it–it’s a “true” story).

I guess if I were to sum up what I have learned in one sentence, I’d say this: love—I mean really loving—is inherently risky when you think of yourself as separate from its bounds (but my point with this piece is to argue with great gusto that you are NOT). There are so many other things you can say like “yeah, but there’s always another chance at love,” etc. But I want to focus on the perception of risk.

I want to drill deeply into the idea of risk, because it is by doing this that I feel I have learned to love more deeply than I ever thought possible. I have learned to move–or rather dig, like one would try to dig a tunnel through the Earth herself and emerge on the other side to, surrender, lie down and look up at the stars–through the risky stage into the more mature stage of embodying love more fully than ever.

These days, love, to me is not even a contract. It is a purpose and an impulse that is a highest birthright, a deepest refuge and an unlimited source of courage and power.

(One quick aside: meditation has been the key to me discovering and focusing on the concept of risk as a critical key to loving more freely and deeply. Sitting still on a regular basis kinda makes you brave like that.)

My story is grounded in the fact that about 12 years ago I left the comforts of my own culture to date, marry, divorce and again continuously date and have relationships with men from countries and customs quite different than my own. People ask why I have trouble going back to American men and I will say this: once a man from another culture stretches your perception of the way love can be, you have trouble going back to a more predictable pattern.

After my first breakup with a Turkish man, I was completely devastated. The idea of finding something like that seemed preposterous. So I lost hope. I met another Turkish man after that who showed a tendency to commit so, in one unconscious, default, fearful-foul swoop, I married him when he asked.

I loved him, but not in a way that was risky.

Not in a way where I felt I had something really to lose. He’d never leave me. Not because I was me, but because he was dogmatically locked in somehow. Marriage was more important as a container than as an experience and a daily stream of choices toward intimacy, organic behavior and interpersonal evolution vs. guarantees and automatic behavior.

I have not married since.

There was something so settling yet uninspiring about that marriage. We were together three years—two of which were minus any sense of physical passion given that there was only a modicum to begin with.

When I began practicing more yoga and moved us to another country, as a leading spouse with an overseas job, the shifts within me were too great. I realized I was stronger than I ever knew before and gained a sense of the fact that I could survive alone. I broke out of the marriage and into an international scene of men, many of whom were Arabs.

My first experience after divorce was with a Pakistani man, then an Egyptian, then a South African, then an Indian and then, for a year and a half, I settled down with an Iranian professor who specialized in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. We seemingly had a very nice run, but then one day, out of the blue, an expert at studying and testing the real vs. the artificial, he said he couldn’t be with me because I wasn’t Iranian. So many messages we humans make up to say a simple thing: my soul doesn’t run in parallel with yours anymore.

Needless to say the last five years of my life, post marriage and in the thick of dating, have been a character-building exercise. The breakup with the Iranian was especially disillusioning and yet profoundly sobering because he was a) the first person to ever break off a relationship with me and b) he retracted his love–confirming several times that he never meant the words he said every day until that point. The words “I love you,” suddenly became somewhat obsolete in their subjectivity.

Someone could get really jaded by all this–but I found it an opportunity. A chance. To get real.

When I look back, this was a massive turning point in my process to learn how to love more closely to what my ideals of the feeling truly are. The key word being: feeling. Countless memes, books and self-help guides circle back around the concept of loving yourself. But to really get down to this at the experiential level, for some of us, takes going through pain and loss.

These are the only types of experiences that we engage in to understand ever more deeply our ability to survive them. Some people may not engage so fully as try to medicate these sentiments. But when you engage them, when you burrow deeper and deeper into the pitch-black caverns of pain and loss, you start to notice a pattern that the more deeply you loved, the greater the depth inside you reached when these sentiments call you with them.

This is where risk comes in. When it’s real, when it’s deep, you know it can—and will, by death, breakup, circumstance, eventually—be taken from you yet you must proceed. Through the pain, this fact becomes matter, and the experience of your deepest levels come in so handy as anchor points for you moving forward.

Because you know, it’s going to get really dark sometimes, but you also know something more important—you will and do survive. This is the other side of the coin of loving. It’s a coin that is constantly rotating in the air if you can only keep your heart open.

Closing the heart–by either nailing down a relationship that may not be based in love or by avoiding the pain that love promises–will freeze that coin in mid-air. A dullness will take over your life. You will be an observer of love rather than a subject to its whims.

By nature, when you are separate from it, love is totally risky. Deep, true, honest, passionate and vulnerable love carries risk. Yet the fear of losing it is far greater a risk in the end. And even fighting that risk and defeating that fear cannot protect you from the pain of someone leaving your life. Still, what if you could see these situations from a different kind of dimension. A dimension where you are all one in the same and just moving in and out of these mirrored rooms and experiencing all these experiences and losing but gaining before losing again but one is related to the other?

In the end, diving in, pushing against all of your fears, against all the perception of what is gambled, means diving deep. And the deeper you go the closer you are to the wellspring’s source inside–yourself.

Once you get a load of that, it’s like you see this massive light on the ocean bed. Nobody else can see it. Nobody else can reach it. You know it’s your secret. You know it’s inside you. This light. And you just kind of shift.

Voila! Risk no longer applies.

Instead of tightly fisting the good and loving times, obsessing and over-analyzing how you can make them last, you open your hand and let them come and go. You are enough. You are love itself. As is everything else that makes that inspires that love to grow and expand. And as it expands you realize something—that everyone that ever loved you, every love you ever shared, EVERY EXPERIENCE WAS AND IS FROM THE SAME SOURCE. YOU.

This drops your shoulders if you let it. It introduces fear to its dead end, when you remember. If you return to this thought, really let it sink in, you begin to feel the futility of being anything but fear’s opposite: loving.

You are not threatened. You are suddenly operating from a center instead of reacting to external realities. You are highly mobile, never stuck, never trapped, never abandoned. YOU ARE LOVE. And you know how and where to move when you admit this–flow away from what is pain and toward what is joy.

If nobody is around to share it with, you are bathing in it–you find you have so much of it inside. You just do.

It’s time to stop getting so confused and distracted about the source of love–right behind, under, above your nose, 24 hours a day, every day of your life.

Acknowledge and fuse love as it is: the gift of life itself, coursing through you, offering you constantly a breath, a view, a sound, a taste of it. Poised and held surely at the very breast of life itself, you are life’s baby: alive, tended to, and if you should be open to it, loved.

Sometimes I drink my smoothie in the morning and imagine I am at the breast of the universe. Isn’t that weird? Well. It’s true and it makes me happy.

You woke up, you can read this, you have food to eat, you can interpret this with electric intelligence–when did you forget this meant that you are always, always, so, well, loved!

And from this place, the love you extend from yourself is like honey from a bee of your mind, flying flower to flower, processing experiences, self assured in its flight, landing, natural, purposeful. Being alive is a calling, and it’s enough.

Stop struggling against it by creating things you want that you don’t have. Just be … just buzz. Love is its own reward, a luxury, a risk, a gain, a loss, until you realize it is actually you. And the fibers of your being begin to insist on this. You start to realize you are gold.

You are pure gold and you deserve to be protected, cared for, respected, alive. Boundaries start forming around this, naturally and cognitively. You start to study, how to care for this love that is yours. You discover things that cause you to move toward or away from others, effortlessly, without a second thought … it doesn’t matter because you are and have enough: love.

And you don’t need to be around people who promise to be the source of that love and can’t. In fact, you just won’t.

Again, risk starts to reduce as a consideration, in a practical sense this time.

Finally, I will say it hurts sometimes. It does. Because, as the adage proclaims, change is the only constant in life. But that feeling you keep trying to avoid happens whether you engage in loving or not. You suffer less to understand how it works–that it is you at its source, that it is inspired and mirrored by others in a magical mix of ways, but to begin with, it’s YOURS.

Today, I have a lot going on in my private life and nothing at all. Depends on the day. Bottom line: I love myself, I integrate everything every lover, every friend, every family member, every ONE gives me that is good for me and throw the rest in the burning garbage can labeled “past tense.”

Risk is an invention of the mind. Love is natural, organic, resourceful–nothing experienced could ever be a net loss.

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Poetry/Prose

Lucid Dreams of Liberty

Tycho Dive Album Art

Tycho Dive Album Art

This might sound weird to some people, but I like going through things–all kinds of things.

Every day I say thank you for this life and EVERYTHING; every, little, thing, feeling, neurosis, worry, joy, happy memory, exciting upcoming event, strand of love extending over oceans, unresolved regret, etc., etc., infinity.

It’s all invited, it’s all at the table.

And I cherish all of it for a few minutes a day, because it’s my process, all of it.

Yes, I like going through things–not around them, not avoiding them, not locking them away.

And I like when my friends, life coach, healers and family call me out to help me do this … to help me see what’s what, what is a load of crap worth no attention whatsoever and what is worth concentrating on.

This process is like turning the light on in the attic of life.

Taking time; sifting, sifting, really looking at stuff.

Deciding what is useless and throwing it away.

Keeping what is useful and integrating it into my person.

Otherwise, all that crap we don’t look at, sort through, really attend to, sits in unlabelled boxes, lives up there, mixed, acting out, through us, unconsciously.

I want to know all the things in all the boxes, where they are.

I want to clean them.

Sort them.

Find the gold that the experiences left me, throw away the load of crap ego-bate it was buried in.

If I really want to help others in the future, I have to look through this stuff closely, consciously decide I don’t need the ego-drama ride, consciously throw it away.

With every box unpacked, I come out in a more meaningful place, with more people to relate to, more deeply.

People I can look at and say “hey, I see you there, I know where you are.”

This way, I can meet more people, feel more life, experience more connection, less judgement, more clean, motive-free Love, less fear, anywhere, anytime, with anyone.

This way, I am truly free.

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Poetry/Prose, Sugar Free

Sometimes (The Spiral Stairwell)

What I have come to know about life is that it’s like a stairwell

You grow to understand, you climb it alone

Sometimes it smells like roses, is lined with velvet

Sometimes memories hang on its walls

Haunting you

Delighting you

Teasing your obsession

Sometimes all you want

Is to keep looking up

At that point

Where it turns

The invisible beyond

You see out the windows

Shout to the psychics

Tarot cards flutter in the air

Their colorful, suggestive pictures

Whisper and hint

You will never be sure

Sometimes it’s musty

Or so sophisticated

Clean

Like Handel

And a book

And some tea

At times it’s alienating

Like the private schoolyard

And your poverty

When it’s warm

For a moment

You can’t remember

Difficulty

Before again

It’s raining

It’s a rainbow

It’s freezing

And all you can do

Is smell the cold

Feel the Jack Frost mirage

Grab your mind

Point your eyes

To your crying toes

Sometimes it will feel

Like a warm embrace

From a long-lost friend

From many lives

The wells divide again

And it will feel

Like the indifference

Of a 1.5 year lover

Deciding on a seeming dime

He didn’t love you

And by the way

He never really did

Or, more importantly

Like a breathtaking gesture

Of a friend

Who drops thousands of dollars

And a weekend

To help you

Without your asking

This place offers you ecstasy

In its many forms

That never last

This place will feel

Like contractions

Pushing you through

Everything

You didn’t know

You could survive

And we all know it

It can be to some, sometimes

So fucking cruel

The walls

Pock marked with bullet holes

Spattered with blood

Pieces of bone

Soft, spongy white hints of brain tissue

Sometimes it’s slippery

You fall, break yourself

Are forced

To slow down

Remember your feet

Reframe your journey

Sometimes it’s on fire

You have to drop everything

Run for your life

Sometimes it feels

Like you are falling down

Moving backward

Sometimes you think

It will always be this way

But it will never be, always

It will always be sometimes

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Poetry/Prose

What’s the Matter, Superstar?

Oh little-big boys

I finally get it

That’s what draws me

More than anything

Your effect

On my imagination

You make me see

It’s good

Not to matter

To someone who matters

Once in a while

Your indifference

Pushes me down

And the question rises

So we meet in the middle

Egg and sperm

The sweet supernova

Before the zygote

It breakdances in front of me

Grabs me by the collar

Pulls my hair

Aw come on

Give me a break!

Aren’t I down enough?

It gets pissed off

Slaps me across the face

For the love of my life

I open my eyes

Look around

So what!

I don’t matter to you

But do I matter to myself

Thanks for the reminder

Zeus and Co.

Another star in the sky

Somehow it just grows louder

And louder

Like my cries must have

On the first days of my life

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Poetry/Prose, Sugar Free, Yoga & Spiritual

The Blue Star

Image credit: Iribel on Deviantart.com--"Center of the Universe"/Extensive filters/editing: mine

Image credit: Iribel on Deviantart.com–“Center of the Universe”/Extensive filters/editing: mine

Quixotic

All the chances

Body languages

Mine

Your mother tongue

Oh animal

 

Before I change my mind

Another time

You wait

Amused

 

Ducking low

You watch my silly movie

Walking softly, nimbly

Unsuspectingly?

Through tall grass

You see everything I am

I can only smell you

Very close

 

My mind runs

Yours salivates

Lurching forward

 

The chase delights us

Makes us laugh

Say hmmmmm

Say anything

Say everything

Just right

 

You move in

Velvet piston legs

Push your hot breath

Into my living neck

 

Its perfect form

Exposed

A fragile freeway

Of vessels designed to bleed

All the bits of stars

Back to Earth

 

You feast on my guts

My eyes point to the distance

They’re still glistening

Feeling everything

 

There is no word

For the opposite of pain

The mind has no business

Here

 

Edges of Earth

All shaved and paved

We fly away

 

But I always turn around

Look back

To see

More than you

 

A burial ground

The buzzards play

My love for them

Eating bits of bone

Flying me away

To my next life

 

I no longer care

If you ever see

If you ever know

What I do

What I give

And what I get

 

It is enough

That I give it all

To show you

 

That some animals

Are more than animals

 

I visit that place when I want

When it wants me

When it needs us

To die

 

I go where we go

And leave it behind

 

Stardust never settles

 

Never forget

You are

I am

Human

 

And humans know themselves

Can die to themselves

Rise again and again

 

I only see you when I feel like it

When you feel like it

And lately, we  just happen to

Lately, we just happen to

 

Every time you think I’m dead

I’m human

I’m watching you

And I know you’re watching me

 

When memories come

Running through the bush

I watch them close

Find their patterns

Chase them down

Admire them deeply

Aim assured

Shoot them all, dead

 

Crumple what we said

On paper

Under some twigs

Haul in a log

Start the fire

Burn everything

Into the light

That dots the sky

 

It’s a succulent feast!

That feeds my growing bones

Stronger than before

In every new place

We found together

To break

 

What is over

Never ends

To me

 

And one day, darling, I will say

What stars don’t need to

And won’t

 

Did you ever dream to see

How lucky we said I am

Become so pitifully odd

To recall

When you know

And feel a hunger

That might never end

Except

 

Oh

How lucky you are

To hold stardust in your hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poetry/Prose, Sugar Free

Happy Endings

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Usually I need music to write

But I sit in silence tonight

Because something has been pulling me

Like thread

Finally, through the eye of a needle

Just noticed now

After 30-odd years

 

Like an eight year-old girl

Tugging on the hand of a woman almost 40

Tugging her through scenarios

She thought the gods wanted

Tugging and tugging

 

Year after year

And she thought she was older

Past all that

Just living like people do

With ups and downs

And downs and downs

And stories and fodder

For blogs and books

 

Tonight she discovered

This tugging child

Some weird flinch

In her hand

That words in a book

Drew her eyes finally

To look down

In one breathtaking moment

To see

That little fist

Strangling her fingers

 

Yes, tonight was the night

After a particular series of events

That seemed loving

Could have been more loving

Found me in the bathtub

Looking up from a book

Weaving words

Through my mind’s voice

Running films of the past

‘Or my mind’s eyes

 

Dumbfounded

Aware

The girl was right there

Always has been

Tugging at me

Only now

Looking at me

 

Like thousands of yesterdays ago

Playing out

That kermit the frog sweatshirt

Anemic face

Blue, penetrating eyes

Nerves like a rabbit

Distracted, wild

Lost, somehow

Yet stunningly lucid

 

Her hunger for love palpable

Her attention

A warm breeze of empathy

With survival-grade hooks

Save me

She could have said

 

Instead, she smiled

Looking down at an angle

Nowhere

 

Her fist squeezing tighter

Around my hand

 

I wiped my eyes

Collected myself

Asked her some questions

Began to weep some more

 

Oh, you only have two pairs of pants?

She looked down regretting her penchant for truth

 

Who are your friends here?

Well why don’t they talk to you?

What do your parents do?

Oh.

 

All I want to do is adopt her

Tell her I have nice clothes for her

That we can talk every day

When she gets home from school

 

I will make her snacks

She doesn’t have to wait until dinner

Fight over fish sticks

Tuck her importance deeper

Every night

Into her pajama pockets

 

Everybody did their best

It’s not about them, anymore

It’s about us

Now it’s our turn

 

Lucky for her

She has no choice

And neither do I

 

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A spontaneous mostly non-verbal thought

A spontaneous mostly non-verbal thought–October 1, 2014

Art

Here’s an Idea (and I willingly am part of its audience!)

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Poetry/Prose, Yoga & Spiritual

Have I Grown Up Yet? (this is not a poem!)

Image credit: mine

Image credit: mine

I would be lying to say that the past couple weeks were not a washing machine of “didn’t I already pass this test?!” and “are you f&^%$ kidding me, universe?!” moments.

And yet, I prayed–through the shadows cast continuously by this series of personal retrogrades–that there was indeed a reason for all of it. Strangely, situations that were familiar and disturbing at the outset saw unfamiliar resolutions based on a new level of clarity. Something I played a lot of life, hard, to win. And as the days have passed since a lot of the storm settled, I am starting to get it. There’s always a delay–always!

In plain English: I went through a bunch of shit that I had been through a long time ago, in very abbreviated ways, so that I could ensure that the situations ended totally differently based on the level of maturity I have attained.

Like most westerners I know, I need some kind of definition or reason–as dumb as that sounds considering my size and life’s importance in the grand scheme of things–and so if I must have this I would preliminarily say that all this bullshit lately is to show me that indeed I have grown up.

I mean “the proof,” the universe seems to say, verbatim, “is in the fact that you are going through the same scenarios but the endings are better: more about a long-term solution and a win-win scenario.”

Me: Am I growing up? Am I? Have I changed? Why do you want me to go through these dumb things?

Universe: How the heck would you know without a repeat of stuff you went through 20 years ago, in extreme fast-forward motion, with a completely different resolution and very little reaction on your part while it all went down?!

Me: Ooooh … yeah; I guess you’re right. (laughing)

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Poetry/Prose

Phalaenopsis’ Song

 

photo (3) (1)

Photo/art credit–mine

Sometimes

I know what you feel

More than you

Sometimes

The crushing weight

Of watching you fly

In denial’s wind

Nothing to hold

Here in “me”

In another life

I was once a bee

Smelling perfection

In lover’s projection

Intense grief

The Earth turned her face

Smiled at me

I bowed to witness

Her holy game

Driving each one of us, deeper

Oh nature

When you fall for me

We both die

To who we once were

Six feet under

Reaching roots

My heart

My deepest love

All that I am

From the deep I beg:

Turn away from me

Rule the air around you

These man’s world winds

Only gust more

Never caring

As much as you

Find a flower

Feed

Find a shelter

Feel

The validity

Earth’s fruits

Your banquet since birth

Dearest one

Projections never nourish

Embrace the one

Feeding you

Laughing at your doubts

Easing your mind

Here

We are together

Here

Needing what we know

Knowing what we feel

But sometimes

I can feel what you feel

More than you

When I am the orchid

And you are the bee

Now disappearing

To your confused flight

Only from a distance

You will see who I was

A projection

Your deepest longings

Alive in a mirror

Never one to love

More than yourself

I hold anyone truly

Openly

On sacred command

Silent

Trapped in their longing

Camouflaged pain

Fertilizes my life

Now, now

If anything were spoken

From the deepest Earth

All the root-feeding death

I tell you surely

Be

The self

I’ve known so many times

Through such sacred deception

That lured my deepest love

Back to my own heart

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