Thursday, June 8, 2017

Energy, Chakras and Yoga

Often, the Chakras are viewed through the lens of extremes, and balance or imbalance, comparisons— healthy, unhealthy, but here I will focus on the various elements which may surface without necessarily glorifying or vilifying either manifestation but seeing them rather as natural states and fluctuations, of normal human expression and stages of evolution, ebb and flow. 

To me, although these energy centers do exist and can be felt by the sensitive, the Chakras are metaphors for the human experience, and can be a port of reference.

Many Schools of Thought focus on energy as it relates to the body, and to its function and varying degrees of physical and metaphorical as well as psychosomatic manifestations, well being, or dysfunction. This energetic expression is referred to as Chi, or Prana, energy or even the Spirit itself. That which animates us subtly as well as outwardly, depending on its level of expression, stagnancy or activity. 

The Chakra System is an energetic representation which reminds me very much of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: Physiological, safety, love and belonging, Esteem, and Self Actualization; meaning. We are all searching. The Chakras, or energy centers within the body represent “needs" and the interplay so to speak with the world and whether those needs are being met. 

The Chakra System discussed in many yoga settings which is easy to grasp when relating to poses and generally thought provoking as it relates to life, consists of seven main areas of focus. It can be introduced during class and the student may choose to ponder its implications as they relate both to their time on the mat, their self awareness in general as well as their relationship to others; or might find it simply an interesting side note. Its introduction might offer an opportunity to become aware of the status of that energy center in the moment and in the general time frame they are living within, as well as an awareness of choices and decisions and physical practices and behaviors which can affect the health of those energy centers within the body, toward a dynamic and vital state of ongoing being. 

The Chakra system is one way of assessing and bringing awareness to the body and its physical functioning, as well as how one sees himself.  This can also be achieved by mindfulness meditation. To study it, offers the individual perhaps a tool of understanding, within a framework. The topic of Energy, and Energy medicine, vibrational healing, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, et al., are large ones, but for this purpose and my personal purpose as it relates to my eventual role as a Yoga Student who Practices with other Students and leads a practice, I will briefly discuss the seven Chakras, as I would personally mention them in a class setting, or simply choose poses that address them all.

 The seven Chakras I will discuss (although there are other systems which include additional ones beyond the physical form and outside of the midline) are considered to be within the subtle body, not the physical body per say, and are housed within channels or nadis and relate to and are affected by one another. 

The Sanskrit word Chakra itself means wheel, but also refers to the movement or spinning quality of that center. Often the chakras are depicted in Mandala type visual representations and have specific colors associated with them. As they reside within the subtle body, so too is their interpretation, I have noticed over the years as they have been introduced to me via typical classroom settings and workshops and as a massage therapist exploring music as it relates to the body, and having studied Reiki, and observed the natural world. Attending Reiki Shares, each person uses different language and descriptors for what they experience when sensing the expression of energy in an individual. And in my own experience, it’s not cut and dry.  Yes, the Chakras resonate to different notes. As one becomes more aware, she may begin to notice how certain musical notes resonate in the body. Sound healing is a viable and very current evidenced treatment modality, utilizing Crystal bowls, tingshals, Didgeridoos, conch shells, bells, drums, rain sticks, rattles and other instruments in yoga studios, and therapeutic settings( such as hospitals) aimed at directly affecting the chakras as well as relaxing the mind and body as a whole, or as a byproduct.

In "hands on" (or slightly above the body) Energy Healing Modalities like Reiki, these centers are focused on with the intention of first assessing the state of a chakra by noting the quality of movement within it, and then with intent, directing or smoothing energy fields individually or as a whole to enhance overall wellbeing when the body is undergoing physical or emotional assault; and for general upkeep, and sweep! Much variation can be found in practitioner style and sense, and they are indeed encouraged to follow what the client or student’s body suggests rather than a rigid guideline. Empathy is paramount and non-judgment important when approaching the person, to whom you are attending, without attaching a characterization or label, (or your own interpretations.), and is real discernment and requires self-control.  The call is to lay hands on for the highest good, and trust that the energy knows where to go. Much like when using essential oils. We use them with the expectation that they will normalize the body with it’s own intelligence.

The sign of a true healer, is one who is willing to be a conduit, not one who 'knows’ what’s needed, but one who surrenders to what spirit knows.

Whether a yoga practice leader chooses to use touch or not in the classroom is a personal choice, which ideally, will suit both the personality and comfort level of the individual student, the leader, and class as a whole. 

Yoga is an embodiment of concepts and a reflection of what’s already embodied, and results in expression or voice.

The 1st Chakra, known as the Root Chakra, is called Muladhara, and is associated with the color red. Found at the base of the spine, at or around the coccyx, or tailbone and associated with the Anus, and elimination. The legs and feet, the base, are an extension of this first and very important energy center. Without the stability here, other chakras and their functions are unable to fully live and breathe. It relates to safety and security: connectedness or Rootedness. Stability. It relates to the fight or flight mechanism in the body when a threat is perceived. Anxiety, worry, rumination, habit. Fear is a potential element as safety is a main theme. Protection, self-preservation, and guardedness: groundedness,   stability and safety. Comfort and ease in general.  Faith. Holding on or letting go. The 4 petaled Lotus Flower is the visual. Lotus flowers are rooted deep in the mud, but unfurl spotless and beautiful. Such is the case that when we feel safe, we enjoy a general state of ease, and grace, as do we with individuals whose intentions and motivations are pure. Experiences in formative years with those whose intentions are not, can result in trust issues, and feelings of doubt. A Pose associated with the Root Chakra would be any seated pose, sits bones evenly placed on the ground. Mountain pose, or Table pose, Cat and Cow, where we have four feet or bases, equally supporting the frame, and moving between the two expressions while balanced is a safe exploration, as the floor is readily near and available as a safety net. Playing with Balancing, alternating arm and leg raises builds balance, which is related to a feeling of groundedness. Tree Pose against the wall is a good safe conversation with balance that can be found with less than ideal circumstances.  In Posttraumatic stress, this energy center is involved. Low rhythmic tones, Drumming. 

Element: Earth
Song: “New Shoes” By Paolo Nutini, “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner

The Second Chakra is the Sacral Chakra, or Svadhisthana, located at the sacrum, on the back of the body and the Pelvis, genitals on the front. It encompasses sexual energy, and the shakti, or energy of creation. Here creativity, creation, and movement reside. Artistic expression. Expression in a larger sense. The Birthing, in the literal and figurative sense. Beginnings, potential, possibility. Ideas, concepts, seeds. The color associated with it is orange and it is symbolized by a crescent moon within a lotus.If we think of the orange fruit, its outside is a thick dappled protective skin, but the inside is filled with juice, seeds. I have twice come upon a grapefruit whose seeds inside had sprouted within it! There is a great deal of potential that when given nourishment, cannot be stopped.  The sacral chakra governs the reproductive system, and is where Joy springs. Movement and Water, as in birth, create a state of flow. When this chakra is balanced one entertains a state of general flow in life and movement. Issues with sexual organs and reproduction physically may arise with an imbalance in this energy center. Relationship issues, relating, inertia and initiative are themes of note. Reproductive dysfunction. Reproductive function. Sensuality. Pleasure. Pain. As are shame, guilt, repression expression. Boundaries. Intimacy and emotions in general. Goddess Pose is representative of the second Chakra as it relates to the power inherent in the Goddess, and its male and female counterparts. When we take on this pose, we are rooted into the ground, look fierce almost with our arms as Goal posts, Protective, Divine Female, framing the space between them. The goddess protects, creates, and acknowledges, nurtures growth and exhibits a certainty. Bridge posture is also a sacral oriented pose as the pelvis is exposed. And the movement in and our of the pose rolling down on the spine provides fluidity. Without ability to root in the first chakra, the flow of the second chakra is difficult, as fear in letting go prevents the opportunity of riding the wave and trusting the process that the organic quality of (creative) expression requires. Element: Water, akin to blood and circulation. Steady movement.

Element: Water
SonG: “You’ve Got to Move, by Mississippi Fred McDowel

The Third Chakra is Manipura, at the Solar Plexus, or the navel perhaps the true center of the body, where we bend. The color associated with it is yellow. IT is the Chakra of self. Personal power. Will, impetus, self-esteem, worth, value, and validity. It is the center point of the gut. The Gut brain, perhaps where much knowing resides. Sick to your stomach, regurgitating, angst, Self Confidence. Pride. Knowing oneself. To thine own self be true. Energy Vampires. Dignity.Jealousy.Envy. Demanding respect, inability to recognize individual value. Grace. Comparison. Posturing. Shyness, Boisterousness. Acting. Speaking up. Talking Down. Perceived power/powerlessness. Personal Responsibility to self. Agendas.Vulnerability. Validation, self respect, self esteem and assertive action reside here, as does personal truth. Identity. Influence.Conscience. Free Will.  It is said that the moment a newborn takes its first breath of air is the moment the ego, begins forming, as it separates from its mother and takes on its own identity. It is also where true leadership resides.

There is a theory on influence and leadership; as exampled by people getting up to dance at a music festival demonstrate: 

The first guy who gets up to dance at a festival is brave, but unless others want to emulate him and support him, there will be no communal dance. Once the leader has a lone follower, they are a team: equals. The leader makes it easy for the first follower. And the power of the equals working together, with equally valid contributions, invites more to follow. It’s actually the second guy, who supports the first dancer, who has more influence. And the ones that follow, in fact aren’t emulating the original leader any more, they’re actually emulating the other followers. All of the dancers on the floor are equals, and since they observed that in the leadership, they’re willing to join in. The Ted Talk, called "How to make a Movement” demonstrates this theory.   The element of fire is related to this chakra in potential and impetus. It is a natural extension of the second chakra-- the movement and Momentum of creation --the friction that is birthed in the sacral chakra, turns to  fire in the Manipura. Anything that builds and maintains heat. Like Ginger tea. It can be cleansing and purifying. I imagine Ayurveda would have something to say about that. A strong pose to focus on the Solar Plexus Chakra is Warrior one or two. It is fierce, strong and balanced. Confident and steady. Firm. Also, Dancer pose: balance and Grace and focus. 
Element: Fire
Song:” I Got the Magic in Me” by B.o.B.

The Fourth Chakra, Anahata, is at the Breastbone, or Sternum, what is known as the heart center. The heart Chakra. The physical organ of the heart keeps the body alive and steady. It’s beat steady. Consistent. It provides a rhythm that is a perpetual loop back on itself, and has the potential for resonance. A magnetic quality when acceptance is presence. Like attracts like. Like sees Like. Opposites attract. Apathy. Understanding. others to self to being part of the solution. It is associated with the color green, which has to do with giving. And alternately, also pink, which has to do with receiving. Love, affection, unconditional love, trust, loneliness, attachment, detachment, sadness, self love, other love, unity, and dynamics are themes of this center and involve the individual, couples, families organizations, races, and humanity. A sense of Belonging, commitment, responsibility, and perhaps Dharma itself. Belonging. Feeling part of the whole. Life Purpose, meaning and calling, Physical ailments of the heart, stress, broken heart,heart attack, passion romantically, and passion in a universal sense for a greater good, causes or projects. Desire.Palpitations, atrial fibrillation—irregularities or inconsistencies. Compassion, empathy, gentleness, tenderness, Generosity. Kindness. All one. Camel pose would be a heart opening pose, as well as Child’s pose an honoring and protective pose. I think of the Kermit the Frog song here: “It aint easy, being green.” Love is complex. Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets was a soft soul, but he knew much about the complexity human emotion, and about the simplicity too. A Frog can Fall in love with a Pig, and somehow, it works out just fine. “Oh, Kermie!” 
Element: Air 
Song: “The Rhythm of Love” Plain White T’s,  “Everybody” By Ingrid Michelson

The Fifth Chakra, Vishuda, is the chakra of voice. Known as the throat chakra, it governs expression in all manner, be it art, speaking, writing, reading, synthesis, even listening and being heard. Knowing others and being known. Its associated color is blue- like the sky. Expansive. Being a Presence- Honest expression, lack of assertiveness, frustration, not speaking up about things to maintain or gain approval avoiding giving honest feedback for fear of disapproval; interpersonal communication, group communication, email and texting instead of phone calls; phone calls in general, public speaking anxiety, perhaps anxiety itself and depression can be linked to blocked expression, or not making our needs, desires and truths heard. It is connected much to the heart as it is to the solar plexus and will, or lack of will, worthiness to speak, to disagree when the majority may feel otherwise (not just disagree but to make the disagreement known, or even alternative points of view, not necessarily opposing views. This chakra is intimately tied to all others as expression is a necessary component in feeling safe, sexual and creative relations, power and identity, expression for the sake of expression, and as we will see in the 6th and 7th chakras, our relationship to inner knowing and to spiritual connection both need outlets. Expression is an outlet: voice.  Supporting the perceived authority or leader. Soapboxes. Standing up for causes, taking vows of silence, throwing temper tantrums or having the last word, pregnant pauses, Singing, Devotionals, monologues, giving a roast, diatribes, burying your head in a book, burying your head in the sand, eulogies.(My Dad is an epic Eulogy writer--his name is EuGene. We call him EuloGene) side note… Problems with the throat- strep throat, clearing the throat, tonsillitis, swollen glands, adenoids, nodes on the vocal chords, or operatic high notes.  Lump in the throat. Hoarsness. Laryngitis. Chanting OM>>>>>> A pose that focuses attention on the Throat chakra would be Fish pose, where the chest is exposed, with hands behind back, tucked under the buttocks and the head is tipped back and resting on the crown. The throat is exposed and the voice box, exposed.  Also, Lions Breath, sitting upright with hands on knees, and opening the mouth wide, and exhaling vocally expelling all air with enthusiasm, Shaking loose the roar. To sum it up, a favorite quote by Ani Difranco:

"I speak without reservation from what I know and who I am. I do so with the understanding that all people should have the right to offer their voice to the chorus, whether the result is harmony or dissonance. The world song is a colorless dirge without the differences, which distinguish us. And it is these differences, which should be celebrated and not condemned. Should any part of my music offend you, please do not close your ears to it, just take what you can use and go on.”

Element: Ether,( spirit in-spired, filled with intentional respiration, voice)
Song: “Like it or not” by Madonna
“Joyful Sound,” by Debby Holliday

The Sixth Chakra is known as the Ajna, or 3rd Eye Center. Located in the space between the eyes. The third, or auxiliary eye.  Its color is Indigo. Sensing. It is the seat of intuition or knowledge or clear knowing, All of the psychic senses like clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience: the knowings that become possible by sensitivity to the environment and are developed by silence and meditation. Uri Gellar. Psychic attack. Noticing, Observation, sensitivity. Understanding the underpinnings, and inter workings dynamics and intention. Headaches, sinus pressure, vertigo, balance issues may manifest here. Self doubt, not listening to gut feelings. Learning from personal and observed experience. Awareness, presence, denial, Faith, resilience, trust, trusting the process. Aha moments. Insights. Epiphanies. Enlightened ideas. Divine visitations. Channels. Angel communicators. Indigo Children: Those extraordinarily sensitive and knowing children; healers, precocious, old souls, wise beyond years, the future of humanity.  A Pose that focuses attention on the third Eye by direct stimulation is the child’s pose, as the forehead is directly on the mat and the impetus is to go inward and focus on mindful breathing, listening for guidance or just resting; fortifying the body, so that it might know. Element: Etheric Light/Dark
Song: “ Soul Shine” by Government Mule

The seventh Chakra is known as the Crown Chakra, as it is at the crown of the head or just above. Its Sanskrit name is Sahasrara, and it represents the connection to the Divine, Spirit, God, or the universe. That which is greater than we as individuals, or all knowing. For Me, Yoga is my prayer. It is my expression of the spirit’s manifestation via my physical form. I allow myself to be a conduit.  It is often depicted as the thousand petaled lotuses, perhaps because it is interpretation is so diverse among religions and cultures, and it’s unfolding multi faceted. IT manifests as Spiritual connection or awakening; disconnection or feelings of separation, feelings of oneness, knowings of oneness and states of bliss or profound peace and harmony. Enlightenment, growth, contentment gratitude, appreciation, and awe. The color associated with this energetic center is Crystal but sometimes purple is also denoted. Poses of the Seventh Chakra are Shavasana, where we give the body rest and incorporation, resting the mind for connection to the divine, or Mountain pose, where the Crown is in direct alignment with the sky. Headstand also focus attention on the crown of the head, stimulating it, and drawing attention to it.  Poses of surrender, like forward fold and Child’s pose also can be used as opportunities to intentionally connect, bow and give thanks.
Element: Etheric, (thought)
Song:” Amazing Grace”

People who work with energy speak of aligning the chakras and clearing the chakras, opening the chakras, quality of energy, vibration, color and auras representing or actually visible. Knowing of these frames of reference is helpful and thought provoking to individuals studying yoga and students of life on and off the mat. 

Whether you consider yourself a human having a spiritual experience or a spirit having a human experience, mindfulness in the practice of asana can bring your attention to your body and your emotions and still the energetic chatter which can become counter productive to a state of well being.

“And the World, is made of Energy, and the world is electricity, and there’s a lot inside of you and there’s a lot inside of me”
 Energy, by Polyphonic Spree

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Art of the Matter: You Can't Make this Stuff up

Choose two characteristics that you’d like to reinforce in yourself. Recount one or two empowering stories from your past relating to each of these characteristics. 

I am able to synthesize information and experiences, and form meaningful stories that help me to see the, or a, bigger picture and re-story the events of my life into empowering reminders of the choices I have, as to how to see the world in a way that empowers myself and others to become aware of possibility.

At a pivotal time in my life, I decided to write a blog. A blog about my personal experiences, and how I metabolized them. It was a bold move on my part. I always have enjoyed writing and the power of story and had recently become aware, that what i enjoyed writing most, was creative non- fiction. Creative Non- fiction is, defined by Creative Non-Fiction Magazine, this way:

"In some ways, creative nonfiction is like jazz—it’s a rich mix of flavors, ideas, and techniques, some of which are newly invented and others as old as writing itself. Creative nonfiction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these. "

There is actually more to the definition, or less:

"True stories well told" or "You can't make this stuff up." 

"...the creative nonfiction writer will show that subject, place, or personality, vividly, memorably—and in action. In scenes."

So I began to share some scenes from my life, in a blog and I found that, in the process of doing it, I found the story I wanted to experience most. The story within the story. I'd found my own little pocket monk inside myself. Ultimately my blogs were an online journal. I gave myself immediate permission to write whenever I  felt moved to do so. No rules. No expectations. I'd let inspiration move me. That in itself meant the stories I shared were meaningful.
I called the blog, Digging Deeper.

I use the word metabolize. Ultimately, I'd like to reinforce the ability to synthesize, which means at times I have to step back, as is suggested by Timothy B. Wilson in his book, Redirect, and wait for things to marinate in order to metabolize the experience in such a way that it digests. I have a choice.

Digestion takes time. The small intestine is how many feet long?

As a young friend who likes to read my blog once said, "Oh! It has a lesson!"
Forming meaningful stories takes time. Submitting to time is an art. Somewhere down the line, I changed the name of my blog to  "The Art of the Matter."

There were experiences in my life I was reluctant to write about. One was a time when, in the midst of it, I was overcome with "what if." When I did write about it, by the miracle of digestion, some enzymes came along and broke it down for me. And I could see it twenty-twenty.

In order to reinforce, we have to remind ourselves. So I affirm:

I am able to synthesize information and experiences, and form meaningful stories that help me to see the, or a, bigger picture and re-story the events of my life into empowering reminders  of the choices I have; as to how to see the world in a way that empowers myself and others to become aware of possibility.

I haven't written in my blog in a while. It's not that I haven't felt inspired. I have. Some things just take time to marinate. To metabolize. To digest. It's an art.

Question: How can I step back to see the big picture so that I can give myself the opportunity to reinforce the skills of synthesis and forming meaningful stories?

Can I create meaningful stories in which I choose to see benefits of a situation, and point to possibility?

(This exercise was taken from The Certificate in Positive Psychology Program I am currently enrolled in  through Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sleeveless Dresses, Easter Hats, Baby Chicks and Greener Pastures

One of my favorite times to dress my kids up when they were little was Easter. As a child myself, Easter was always a time we got new clothes. Sleeveless Easter dresses, Easter Bonnets, little cotton ruffly socks and new glossy white maryjanes if you'd outgrown last year's; maybe a little purse if you're lucky.

I remember black and white photos of my siblings before I was born. My Brother Paul with his little Gangster hat, suit and tie. My sisters with their woven hats with ribbons trailing behind, and full taffeta sleeveless dresses, little purses dangling from their arms as they ran along with their Easter baskets in tow, all hyped up on sugar. One year, My brother Mike, I am told, via someone else's memory, got a baby chick in his Easter Basket. A chick that became a Duck. A Duck that followed him around the backyard, until one day it didn't. I'm not sure if it went off to "live on a farm" like so many children's family dogs end up doing, or if it left to seek greener pastures.

My kids are 24, 22, and 20 now, and are at the stage where they challenge the need to go to Church on Easter Sunday at all.  Their Easter baskets are cotton bags with magazines and Artisan Chocolate bars, Power bars and Gourmet Soup mixes. But, My Little Terrence in his Madras plaid shorts and polo shirt, his little Fila Tennis shoes; Lindsey and Avery in their pastel dresses and pink hats. I can't say my heart doesn't  sink when Terrence says he won't come to mass.  It does.  I see the younger parents little children in the Toddler corner at mass all dressed up in their sleeveless dresses, playing house with their new little stuffed rabbits,  their ruffly little socks peeking out from under their dress as they sit on the rug and wait for the priest to invite them up to the altar.  My heart is soft for the days when I was a younger parent and  my favorite little people eagerly awaited the arrival of the Easter Bunny, and did their best to sit through mass, while peeking at Pokemon cards and matchbox cars in their madras short pockets and Polly Pocket dolls in their little pouch purses.

My own brother Mike has a grandchild of his own, who wears a pretty little taffeta Easter dress and hat. Maybe she will get a little live chick in her Easter Basket too, one day which will grow into a duck and follow her around.

But every Easter, as far back as I can remember was much too cold for sleeveless dresses.
We are awaiting warmer temperatures and the new life of spring, letting go of outgrown clothes, and shiny Mary Jane shoes. We are wearing sweaters over our sleeveless dresses, eager to step into new seasons, but holding onto what we must to bear the chill that comes before change arrives. We are holding dear the memories of Easter's past, with hopes of Easter's future; Grandkids with shiny Mary Janes and ruffly pink socks. Ducks that follow you around the yard but only for a short time, as greener pastures are seeking them, and they are seeking greener pastures, dotted with pastel Easter eggs as far as the eye can see.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Awakening

The mountain awakes at 5 am
Before that
audible silence

I  go out with my camera.
To experience the awakening
of the birds and my new camera lens

I  take  note of  the direction
from which their songs arise;
Their communication
with themselves
each other,

One  by one
they arrive
together, a crescendo

 one song

I notice  them
throughout the day
they, now
my  co-pilots

and then
In the same manner in which their song arose
They decide on silence
A time for every purpose

and suddenly
only their silence remains

It seems like I am alone:
but only for a moment.

Awake or asleep
I revisit
how pure the revisiting

away for a moment
or  an eternity
Awake or asleep

Only for a moment
at a time.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Lamb and the Lion (and the Kitty)

The night before last I had a dream there was a very large lion in my room, and it was lying on the floor, beside Kitty, who was pawing at him, and he was starting to behave threateningly, like he wanted to squash her. I woke up, as you do, thinking wow that was life-like. I was trying to understand it, why the Lion was not tolerating a small kitty, just being playful. When I got to work at the thrift store and walked throughout he vestibule, where all of the donations are placed when the store is closed. along the wall, was a stretched linen on a frame with a lion and a lamb and a goat on it. It was the Isaiah passage from the Bible:
¶ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
Isaiah 11:6
I took note of it as I walked in. A few minutes later, in walks a lady and her daughter, shopping for things to create her Halloween costume. They gather their goods together and tell me about why they are buying them. They've chosen a challis material with gold feathers on either end of it. She is going to be a Lion for Halloween. I tell her of my dream and She says, maybe you are supposed to read The Chronicles of Narnia. Irene Piffer) has been suggesting I read that book for a long while.

I look up the meaning of the passage, though, I get the general idea: ways shall be mended. I find this description:
"The "lion and the lamb shall lay down together" is often cited a prophecy speaking of a literal utopia on earth to come - a Golden Age - referred to as 'The Millennium'. It is argued that since so many of the prophecies regarding The Christ's first appearing were fulfilled literally, surely such prophecies of a Golden Age will also be fulfilled literally. This yet-to-come Golden Age ("The Millennium") is spoken of as "Paradise Restored" - an age of Paradise on earth where there will be no death, sorrow, pain or sickness. The prophets described this era with the expression, "the lion and the lamb shall lay down together..." But there is a slight, ever so slight, problem with this: the expression, the lion and lamb shall lay down together does not occur in the Bible! The closest we can get to it Isaiah 11:6."

Since that colloquialism, the Lamb and the Lion shall lie down together doesn't seem to exist in the bible, but this variation does, It would seem that its purpose is to suggest with more exaggeration, that ALL WILL BE WELL.The Twain shall meet.
There will be unity.

My dream about the kitty and the Lion tho reminds me somewhat of what I have been observing with good Old Hudson. In my dream, Kitty was behaving much like Hudson does on a daily basis. Relentless. I've been observing him and thinking that in all of the ideas for my future I've been having, that I try them all out. Take each Idea as a gift, and then, without relent, see them through, whether they come to pass or whether they are crags to get footholds on as I reach for the furthest rock within my grasp, grab hold and step up. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Trails, Old Trails and Alternate Paths.

There's a wonderful park system where we live. Land Grants and National Parks, State Parks and nature preserves. There's a new one right down the road from me. The trails are developed  but the entrance was just opened and the parking lot and rules of the trails installed. I love to hike and walk and stroll parks with my dog, and my husband when he's able, and my kids if they will.

Our New Dog Hudson is happy to oblige. Since he was a puppy I've observed his behavior in new settings. What I noticed across the board is that he only hesitates for the briefest moment, is pensive only for a breath, before he decides to move forward, and walk right through. Around the corner from our house at the beach there has been new construction. A house being built all summer long. Drills and hammers and loud machines. Trucks chugging, men digging and scraping. We have to walk past it all to get to the water source he likes to explore. Sometimes he stops and just observes what the work crews are doing amid the noise and haste. He hesitates only for a moment but then walks right through. I decided not to drag him through to encourage him not to be afraid, but to follow his lead and just wait. When he's done observing, we move along on our way. My husband has told me that when he walks him, sometimes he just stops and  sits down, seemingly in protest. He wants to go home. When he was a younger puppy, he did that a lot. You forget their legs are still short and they've only played in the confines of a gated 'community', a pen, with their siblings while they awaited the trip home with their new folk, their new family.

As we walk the new trails down the road from my house, I note his excitement and mine too, but a slight hesitation even though there are trail maps on a sign as we get out of the car, and they seem cut and dry. They always seem cut and dry, but

often, it takes me a few times in, to know it by heart. For the red trail and the yellow trail and the and the blue trail cross at times. They overlap and I'm left to decide which path to take. I'm a kinesthetic learner, I learn by doing, and having done.

I took an alternate path the other day- I was talking to my dad on the phone as we hiked along. It was a beautiful early autumn day. As usual, I hadn't left enough time really, to do the hike I would have liked to do. I wanted to get Hudson out for a nice jaunt before my art class, when he'd be relegated to his crate for a few hours. In conversing with my dad,  I took a different offshoot than I had the last two times I'd been here- I was remarking to my dad, how we'd only been here once when, Hudson took to the trail running at warp speed, like it was in his bones to run this trail. Like he knew it already by heart. In marveling at this, I realized I must have missed the entrance back to the trail as we were no longer on the stretch along the open fields that I recognized.

I'd taken an alternate trail.

I told my dad I'd have to go since I had to get to my art class and I needed to find my way back. Dad's don't like to hear you've lost your way on a trail out in  the woods.

Perhaps I should rely on Hudson's nose. He's proven it to be very good. On the beach this summer he found all kinds of souvenirs, 4 of which had human scent. 3 hair bands and a pair of headphones. I had found this quite interesting. I trust his nose more than I trust my own eyes. I picked up a cute greeting card once with  child drawn stick figures of a person and a dog. It said, "If your dog doesn't like someone, maybe you shouldn't either." and it quoted a 6 year old.

When we get to a stream we need to cross, Hudson eagerly stops to drink. The trails are forged by horseman and where you enter and exit the stream are soft, hoof-impressioned mud cakes. I am wearing nearly new tennis shoes. I choose the side where rocks that peek out of the water line the creek, but there's a down hill edge that's wet and more inclined to horse hooves than to Saucony Cross Training shoes. I take my time. My Yoga and Mindfulness serve me every day. Hudson has easily completed his crossing not stopping to think.

  Mindfulness is his way of life and he never shuts his yoga off. He awaits for me eagerly 15 feet beyond the crossing, concerned for me, watching where I've decided to place my feet and the stones I choose to use to get across. I've eyed up, of course the ones that look sturdy. I think Hudson bypassed them all and just leapt over the whole darn stream, intending to land on dry, stable ground. He's crossed this trail before and it only takes him once to know.

I can try to follow my steps back from where I think I came from, or  I can take an alternate trail and see where it goes.

I think I'll take the alternate trail and see where it goes. By this time now, I've entered on the blue trail, strode the yellow, I've found where the red trail sides up and walked that too. I hear there's another- the grey trail, maybe I'll dip into that one too. I note his excitement, and mine too. If I can't readily find my way back, I'll ask Hudson to assist. I trust his nose, but I trust my own inner compass too. Together we'll get there. together we two.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Whys and Wherefores of it All

Separating things
easier to digest 
and use 
and find

is the mother in me, 
the idealist in me,
the practical-ist in me

the consolidator in me

clawing her way into the light
with a roll of wrapping paper
some bows 
and a pair of scissors, me,

to deliver
what's presented
itself to me

In the most obvious way that I can, me.

Which is to say, 
"and the Angels sing"
and although I thought I was an Alto, 
I release a drawn out Soprano "ahhhh"

which is the result 
of a complete exhalation.

a decision.

Which is a relief 
of profound proportions

Where there is a Will,
There is a Way, me.

May I introduce you,

to Me.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Of Walking Sticks and Crutches, Puppies and Dogs

Last week we got a new puppy. It has been 5 months since our dear dog Captain died. Although we knew his death was imminent due to Cancer, and despite our best efforts, his loss was particularly difficult for me. If you've read any of my posts here, you may have happened upon quite a few whose focus is Captain. He taught me a lot. He brought me much Joy. He  kept me afloat. Experiencing his Cancer alongside him, and his amputation and recovery was one of my great Life challenges thus far. Making decisions for another soul is particularly hard. Especially for one who can't speak. The thing about Captain was his intention. He wanted to engage you. He wanted your attention. He wanted to make you laugh. And he did. When he left, he took those things with him. 

We've always had wonderful pets. God's gifted us that way. We've been given pets that are loving, and gentle. Pets that are funny, pets that show you Joy and pets whom others loved just as much as we did. When Captain died, I immediately contacted our breeder and discussed the possibility of a puppy. I'd automatically assumed we'd get another, just because we've always had one. And just because it had always been such a good thing for our family. For a minute there, Terry objected. He felt as if we needed more freedom now- the ability to travel at will. I was crushed. The thought of our family without a pet was something I couldn't fathom. 

Ever since I was a child I've connected with animals. I've needed them in my heart. Mostly, they were cats. If you've read any of my posts, you may know there were a few cats in my past. But not because my family were pet people- but in spite of the fact that they weren't. I'd like to think my folks saw my need to care for and connect with another at a different level,  and agreed to support that; but it might have been that they were tired and relented; with exceptions- no indoor pets. And I was the only one- of their seven children  who had that distinct need. Even bough I had been bitten in the face by a gas station dog who was chained to a fence. I needed to make it clear to Terry- that being with a pet was a function of my well being. I bemoaned this somewhat when I spoke to our vet of his death- I told her ashamedly that Captain had been my crutch- but she said, not crutch- walking stick. An important  distinction. 

So now we have a puppy. But the thing is, as I learned when we got Spencer, and and  learned when we got Captain, this dog isn't Captain, and this Dog isn't Spencer, and this dog isn't Marlin. It's a different Dog. It's a dog who's only job is to be himself, and to show me  "himself."  I've made the mistake of comparing them, and my kids have pointed that out. "Mom, he's not Spencer" I loved Spencer dearly. He was quick to curl up with me when ever I sat down.  Captain wasn't the same. But Captain ended up to be Captain; the dog who curled up behind the bend in my legs each night, the dog who kissed me incessantly every day without fail- the dog who did things specifically to make me laugh-The Dog whom I felt was God making himself known to me- reminding me of one of the places he resides. Dog spelled backward is clearly God. Captain had given me many blogposts. Stories. Not just about his every day antics, although they were entertaining enough- but metaphors and analogies- reassurance and comfort for whatever I was challenged by at any given moment. He gave me answers through his behavior as we hiked along; wherever and whatever we were doing- he had something of depth to convey. He was my pocket monk. 

This puppy clearly isn't Captain. At least not in this puppy stage-he is relentless and willful and attempts to eat everything in site: mulch, grass, flowers plants, leaves, and anything he can pick up. He isn't afraid of anything. He is pensive only for the shortest moment, and then walks right through. He barks incessantly at new dogs he meets, and when my brother-in-law's dogs growl at him, he doesn't heed their warning. When I open the laundry room door, he hightails it straight to the cat's litterbox and gets himself a treat. "No"apparently means step right up-and have another! I called the Breeder on day two, concerned that there was something terribly wrong. It wasn't met with much help, except the remark that we must be doing something wrong! Not feeding him enough, not giving him enough exercise....  No one in my family seemed as concerned as I. But I guess they are smarter than I. I guess they are expecting him to grow out of these things. Funny, I don't remember Captain having any challenging behaviors. But, he was a puppy once too. 

I just hope our new Puppy, Hudson will want to hike with Me. I hope he'll show me who he is. But what I'm wondering at this moment is if this puppy needs a walking stick. If perhaps I'm his walking stick. At least for now, or if we'll take turns being each other's walking sticks. 

Hikes are always easier with walking sticks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Apples and Oranges: Both Fruit

When my son was 17, he got a Jeep Wrangler. A few of his friends had them too. It wasn't long after he got it, that he discovered there was a fraternity among a Jeep  Wrangler owners: When you pass one, you wave to each other. He thought this was kind of neat- I did too.

I had always driven an SUV of some kind, myself. When I graduated from College, I was eager to buy my own first car. My dad was a co-signer, and wasn't very eager to sign off on something other than practical, so I got what, when  I look back on it, was an old Man car. A Chevy Celebrity. It was, however a NEW car. I had been all ready to buy a used Thunderbird, but on the day I brought my Dad in to look at it, there was bad news! The car dealer's son had taken it out for a Joy ride and crashed it. 

I had the Celebrity for  maybe 5 years, and it carried me through my first two children, until we were expecting our third, and we decided upon the newest family car out there, an SUV. The Ford Explorer was the first in  its class. It was a great car, and so were the next two that followed, which got larger and larger. Our next car was an Expedition, and as our kids grew and we had  friends along for every excursion it seemed, we got the biggest one yet- theYukon Denali. It was a beautiful big boat, and served us well, but as the kids got old enough to drive themselves, and soon were driving cars of their own,  I felt compelled to get something more economical myself. Something that got more than 12 miles to the gallon, but My husband wasn't interested in a Hybrid, which was what I was wanted - the Ford SUV that was Smaller than our original Explorer--the Escape. 

So we met in the middle. I got a Mini Cooper Clubman. The next size up from the classic Mini Cooper. I got my fuel economy, and style factor, he got the engine. This was  a wonderful treat, but a transition as well. I had never had a car that wasn't practical- the Mini, although, much more fuel efficient, was sporty and fun to drive. We also no longer had a cargo vehicle. This was the perfect opportunity for Terry to trade in his company car sedan, for an SUV himself. This was win win win. 

It didn't take long for me to realize that there was a fraternity among Mini owners too. The unwritten rules of  owning a Mini Cooper include waving and possibly beeping at one another when you pass each other on the road, ( I've personalized this with the peace sign) and parking beside other Minis when there's an empty spot beside another. You just can't help it anyway. They seem to belong together. Classic Minis from the 1950's or state of the art 2015 models, you want to acknowledge your connection. Old or new, you have something in common-your shared sensibility and aesthetic.

It's an informal Mini Meet Up. Where as the formal meet ups might be road Ralleys or Pajama Breakfasts at nearby restaurants. Or Road Ralleys  to far off places where everyone starts at one location and hits the road in long lines, traveling winding roads as a unit and hitting the great open to go motoring, as it's called. At zippy speeds, dotting the highway with cheerfully colored humming engines are we, like cells creating the body.

There's something very fun about having a car that connects you to others you don't know, and may never know, but have something immediately in common with. It's like Cousins- they are a given. You know you've always got them,  you've got something immediately in common- and before you  ever even meet- you are family. You're family. And you're connected by a common theme. Blood. You know all of the quirky features and accept them as unique stamp. Perhaps that's how family crests were conceived.

But why, I wonder, don't Explorer people wave and nod at one another? Or Yukon People, as they carry seven car-seats-full of adolescents to a birthday party,  or Excursion  People. What about them. Are they less friendly?
What is it about a Jeep Wrangler or a Mini Cooper  that makes you want to acknowledge one another and pat each other on the back for your exquisite taste in transportation?

It's a sort of comradery you feel at a distance even as you pass one another. I'd go as far as to say it's an energetic connection. I've tried the wave to other models of Mini- like the Countryman, or the  Coupe, but don't often get a response. I don't know if they wave to each other or not; they may not see us as one of their own- Either they haven't gotten the memo, they only wish to wave at those of their own, or their just a shy breed. I may never know.

But I know this. I still find myself waving  when I'm driving my husband's car, which must really wrack their brains as they try to figure out who they know who drives a Black Denali.

I think the roads would be that much more wonderful if we all waved to each other, and acknowledged each other as members of the same family of  those who commute.
But  barring that, I'm glad I have my own little extended family of Mini enthusiasts to energetically connect with like ships in the night as we Motor along, and if Im driving my husband's Denali and Wave to some Minis  along the way, then I've given them something to be curious about as they  motor along, and I bet thinking it was another Mini Enthusiast never  even crossed his  mind.

In the end We're all out there just trying to get to our destinations, experiencing our journeys in the vehicle we choose carrying valuable cargo. Ourselves.

In the Movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, families come together from different backgrounds, and challenges arise because they fail to understand one another. As a toast, the father of the bride, who likes word origins,  makes a point when referring to the wedding couple's last names:

Gus Portokalos: You know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word "milo," which is mean "apple," so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word "portokali," which mean "orange." So, okay? Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.

Monday, May 26, 2014

When you least Expect it....

I had a flat of flowers sitting on the table on my deck for a few days. My plan was to plant them in the pots that were already overridden with clover and weed, this late May day. It had been in the 60's by this time, so it was safe to plant them. I just hadn't yet. Since we were going away for the weekend, I thought I should get them planted before we left.

One by one, I began releasing the Portulacca from their little plastic market packs.  I love their mini little rose-like appearance, and the varied colors in which they come, and the fact that most are not in bloom when you get them, so you really never know what color they'll be. They may be multi colored or you may get a plethora of white or fuchsia. You just never know. But I have to admit, another reason I love them so much, is that they're drought tolerant--and since we go away for a good chunk of the summer, I know they'll be alive when I return, and I can water them till their heart's content, content myself in the knowledge that they'll come back, brighter and fuller and happier when they're renewed by the nourishment they need once again, despite the challenge they faced.

Another reason  I love them is that they reseed, and throughout the season, new little spouts are always emerging. Inevitably, then again, in the spring, new sprouts arise again from last year's fallen seeds. The first time I planted them, I didn't notice that the fallen seeds were coming up concurrently  as the original flowers grew, and are hidden below the established flowers, so seeing them sprout in the spring, after a winter of dormancy, was an unexpected surprise. Tiny, tiny, carpets of what look like Portulacca leaves. Oh!

When pulling the weeds  that have also dropped seed from the pots I am about to plant, I am careful not to accidentally pull the bonus seedlings, placing then three of the market pack plants into each of the pots and planters and as I'm nearing the end of my planting, I begin to hear the rumble of thunder. I'm unaware that rain is expected, but before I can get inside, the first of the rain begins to fall heavily.

I move on to the sunroom in my house and use the watering can I had planned to use outside, on my aloe plants inside. By this time, the rain has become torrential and the wind has picked up. I'm not too terribly surprised, because I'm not one to seek out the weather report. I'm enlightened every day by it. It begins to get louder as it strikes the skylights above me and I suddenly realize that it's no longer rain, but hail!  Hail in the month May.

At first I'm alarmed, but I quickly come to realize that it's something to behold. It's an unexpected surprise. I worry for a moment that my poor Portulacca seedlings will be harmed, as a significant amount of hail has fallen. But when it subsides, and the sun almost immediately emerges, I go outside to touch it. I gather it together between my palms, sweeping it into a small pile.

I inspect them and note their varying sizes and shapes.  Some look like the heart wood of a branch of a tree, and some are perfectly round  like the little silver balls you see on wedding cakes.

I'm not one to seek out the weather report. I'm enlightened every day by what it brings.  Perhaps I'd be better served on some days, to have checked the weather report first, and I may end up caught unaware, unprepared. But much like my drought tolerant Portulacca, I am resilient. 

A collection of hail can accumulate around the base of a flowering plant, in an unexpected hail storm in the middle of May,

but being Spring time, the sun is quick to return, and the hail very quickly melts, nourishing the root system, which allows it to flower and reseed, renewing it once again. Perhaps when you least expect it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Breaking through Barriers

When I was little, I played a game on the playground with my friends. It was called Red Rover. Maybe you played it too. Basically, you chose up even teams, and each side would line up, arms grasping arms, overlapping , creating a wall, or barrier of children. Two sides, two barriers of children, on either side of the playing field, facing each other. The goal of the game was to have the strongest held barrier wall. Each side took turns, allowing one person from each side, or team, to run full speed, directly at the opposing barrier wall of linked people in an attempt to break through the grasp of those tightly held arms, thereby breaking the chain in half. 

If the chain isn't broken, then the player changes teams, linking up with them.  The competition  ends when the last person comes to the opposing team, and what's left is one lone barrier wall. 

It all begins with an Invitation. 
The first team chants loudly, "Red Rover Red Rover, let Billy (or Bobby, or Suzy...) Come over! " And they brace themselves for his arrival, trying not to let him break into their chain, their team, their tribe. Inevitably, the chain will be broken, and like it or not, the team whose chain is broken, loses a player  to the opposing team. The teams are now lopsided. The team with fewer players now has an opportunity to break the opposing team's chain. The game continues until, there is one person left. And the invitation's called. "Red Rover, Red Rover, let Terry come over!" In the end, all of the children end up on the same team, the same side. 

In order to get the game going, someone has to take the initiative to suggest the game be played. The second child who agrees to play - he or she makes the first child's idea OK. Without the second child, there would be no game.

Others will be more likely to accept the invitation to play if Two are already committed. 

The game requires an even number of children, and the more the better.  with only a few children, the game is soon over.
 Everyone has permission to invite more players. The whole playground is a source. All of the children on the playground can play. The More who are willing to join, the more additional children will join. 

That's the power of an invitation. Whatever it is that you're doing, or enjoy, or know in your heart is inherently good, you have the opportunity to give an invitation to others to join you. They may or may not know how, they may or may not have the confidence. You may or may not know how, you may or may not have the confidence- They may or may not have the courage. 

But if YOU have the courage to offer an invitation, 
the likelihood of inspiring the creation of a team increases. 

Alternate interests and alternate skill sets may only seem like barriers. But with an invitation, there is no such thing as competition, really. Because even tho it may seem we are on opposing teams,
We are on the same team.

It all begins with an Invitation. 
And the Courage to offer it. 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Every Seven Years, Your Body is Entirely New

I read somewhere once, that every 7 years, your body is entirely new: that our cells are regenerating every day, and that everything from our skin to our bones, to our organs and tissues are entirely regenerated within 7 years. I liked the notion of this. I consider it a notion, because  I'm not sure it's entirely so- at least in my understanding of  it, as I  imagine it to be. As I think about it critically now, I'm imagining a lung, riddled with cancer. Black. The kind they show you pictures of,  from cadavers, when you're in high school, and they're encouraging you not to smoke. If your lungs are completely regenerated within seven years,  then why do people die of lung cancer? The Cancer regenerates faster, than the healthy cells. In yet undeveloped Cancer,  If regeneration is a constant, and smoking is a constant, then I guess they must cancel each other out. But I've also read, that once you stop smoking, within a certain amount of years, the damage-the visible damage, that the tar and nicotine have inflicted on your lungs, can actually be undone. I'm not sure you can undo Cancer, by stopping smoking: but the wear and tear that the  tar and nicotine that each cigarette wipes on your lungs, like muddy work boots wiped on a rug, I guess that kind of sullying, that kind of soiling, can in time, with consistent introduction, of air that is clean, and consistent subtraction of contaminating factors, regeneration can occur; new living, breathing  structures.

I'm thinking about these things, as I read the posts each day on a leadership blog. I'm thinking about the things I read, which resonate with me: things  which may be new to me, yet immediately ring true- things I might have already caught wind of, but haven't yet been able to incorporate, or make habit. Things I haven't been yet able to manifest. I'm thinking, that in order to make anything new; in order to create a regenerated me, I might have to start totally fresh- I might have to completely let go of  many many things: ideas, beliefs, labels, resistance. We shed cells of  our skin every day. I've read somewhere that the majority of the contents of our vacuum cleaner bags are skin cells. I  don't want to envision what we'd look like if we didn't shed our skin. At least it happens without our really knowing. At least we aren't snakes. Actually, maybe it would be easier- if we didn't have the subtlety of growth- the growing pains- but bam! There we were, all of a sudden, in a completely new skin- pink, bare, smooth, without shade nor sun screen, under the blazing sun, straight up fodder for sunburn.

I read somewhere once that skin cancer, which  appears on your body as an adult, began, in fact, in your childhood. Maybe I didn't read that one somewhere-maybe my Mother implanted that one in me. Not as a child, because there was no such thing as sunscreen then- but as an adult. But raw sunburned skin, has a tendency to regenerate quicker. Or perhaps just more noticeably. It doesn't have a choice.

I said that I guess you can't undo the Cancer, once it's turned Into Cancer, but That's not entirely true. Cancer has been known to recede. I've read that somewhere. I've heard of these spontaneous healings.
Without the assistance of chemotherapy or radiation.

I guess the body, a collection of cooperating cells, makes a decision- and gets to work, ousting those cells that are threatening it's thriving, and  forces itself to become stronger. In order to do it, it has to lose the old notions which allowed the Cancer to invade from the start. It happens, by some concerted agreement, among a collection of cells, who decide it's in their individual, and collective interest to do so. And they had to decide that the alternative to the Cancer was much greater. And they did, and they do. Instead of  focusing on fighting the Cancer, they decide to accelerate the regeneration process to the point where the ratio of healthy and thriving cells to cancer cells, far exceeds it. And  before long, those healthy cells engulf the Cancer, leaving no trace of its wrath. I didn't read that anywhere, I just think it might be true. So I will try it. In order to make anything new; in order to create a regenerated me, I might have to start totally fresh- I might have to completely let go of  many many things: ideas, beliefs, labels. We shed cells of  our skin every day, I must shed resistance too, and build something entirely reborn, and new.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Merging into One

On a well traveled road that is intersected by another road and a stop light, underneath a bridge, there are two lanes of traffic. When you arrive under the bridge at the stoplight, there is only one lane. which means you have to merge. When traffic is light, most travelers remain in the right hand lane. but as it begins to be lunch time, or rush hour, there is nothing left to do, but to inhabit both lanes. For if we all chose to travel in the right lane, we'd be backed up two or three lights back, and those traveling in the perpendicular direction would be hampered in their travel.

I've observed the behavior at this traffic light for a while, and I've noticed that traveling in the left hand lane amounts to the same thing as traveling in the right hand lane. When you travel in either lane, and you  reach the bridge where the road narrows and turns into one single lane, people inevitbably take turns. No one remains steadfast in their belief that cars should be in one lane or the other. They realize that in order to move ahead, and get where each is going, that  each,  must at one point, submit. If you are already in the right lane, you may have to submit to the person on the left. you may let them go first. If you are on the left hand lane, you may have to submit to the person on the right, allowing them to go first. When you do, it is inevitably your turn next, and the person in the right hand lane just knows this.

The merging of traffic is much like the weave of fabric. Over under, over under,  over under. Left, Right, Left, Right--many strands merging together, taking turns, become one piece of cloth.

The flow of traffic becomes effortless when we travel in our own particular lanes, side by side,  and arrive at a point where we surrender. 

Without surrender, we'd merge into each other, not around each other.

I can't help but think about how smoothly it all works out, when we submit once in a while.
At least when you travel this particular road. 
When you travel this road, you have to. 
Whether we make the decision of our own accord
or We're left with no other option. 
When we Surrender, traffic isn't a curse, 
It's a blessing. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Dreamed of an Eagle

Last night I dreamed there was a young eagle
in the open window above my kitchen sink,
 just sitting in the window sill

As I got nearer,
 by the site of his beak, his orange beak
I knew he was an eagle
And I knew he was young
Just by looking in his eyes

I wanted to hold him
Because how often do
You even glimpse site of an eagle
let alone a young one
Let alone in your house

And some how he perched upon my arm
And I carried him as if he was a parrot
And I wondered where he came from

And as I walked into the living room
I see where he came from
Lindsey, my daughter, is standing there
With the mother, perched on her arm
Her arm bent at her hip,
its feet resting firmly on her arm

She carries it as if she has a scarf draped over her arm
the weight and power
it bears no burden
And I wonder why they're here.

Because it's spring
and the windows were open?
Because they perch near by?

I can't speak

They are emotionless
Yet knowingness
I accept that they're here
And wake up

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