Unlike Me

April 11, 2017

A kind of poem, memoir and statement of an evolving feminism and poetic activism rolled into one. And today… there are some unseen peacemakers in the world who, like the artist or the healer, drink the poison (the shadow, the unlike, the toxic waste) of a place, country or culture to hopefully open our eyes, wake us up to play our part; this is for them too.

It is
Only
With
Mine
Very
Small
Eye
That
I sees
I am
Another
Statistic
Of women
And Ye men
Who will
Be (I do)
Forever
Replaceable
By an
Eternally
Younger
(Like me
Tho I do
Too) newer
Bomb
Shell
Model

 

It is the bigger broader all-seeing eye of the vast landscape of the world that likes us each in it so truthfully and sees You too just as you are greatly singled out and Me as small as the two-cells-meeting seed I began as yet as wide and free as the life I am ready to birth where we all stand to see each other just as we are held by love and with the banner of

No
More
War
Peace
Justice
Freedom
And hope
For a
Better
World
Waving in
Our hand
Hearing
Heard
At last

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Because We Are Already Root

December 8, 2016

falling-up-into-treesThis poem is about darkness and light. The language we attach to these polarities. Actually, in the journey of the soul, to the divine, they are the same. It is the naming that divides them. The poem questions, why do we see light as ‘up’, darkness as ‘down’? And what might evolve when these ‘opposites’ come together?

 

 

 

 

 

Because We Are Already Root*

Hidden in dead leaf though we may be,
We are lifting down, down
Into the deepest of days.

A big red moon has fallen,
Through the window, tumbled
Into the blanket of blackness,
Sounding of the constant breath,
Known only in the bone-deep folds
Of the night, its bountiful skin.

Here, through doors of no evidence,
We reach into the traceless;
The travel-empty, no-bag-or-stick journey,
The you-must-rise-and-leave scent
We all must follow, come Spring, come death;
For darkness is as the light to You.

So, refugee of the turning world,
Take comfort, take thy divining rod,
And plunge into the winter waters
Of your soul, its swimming body.
For as She Was Already Root,
So you, in love, are already root.

Drowning in the river though we may be,
We are falling up, up
Into the deepest of nights.

We have lifted, burning red suns,
Into the blanket of brightness,
Sounding echoes of this constancy,
Hidden only in our skin-deep reach,
As the light slowly turns, returns
Its dear face towards us, again.

*(based on a line from Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem of Orpheus and Eurydice)

Poem of the Pelion

August 18, 2016

Me shadow PelionIn gratitude for the friendship & beauty, and inspiration of The Moving Archetype, Anilio Centre, June-July 2016

I crossed lands to climb this mountain,
And the mountain climbed into me.
First, it’s fern shadows flickered at my forehead,
Second, it’s pines started their moan-song in my mouth,
A breath further, it’s springs were pooling silver in my chest,
It’s shoreline nudging through my hips, legs, hair,
Mountain foot wetting first my feet, then everywhere.

The mountain climbed inside me!
When it’s tune catches me and lumps rise in my throat,
Volcano fires go tunnelling for escape in my rib cage,
When belly starts echoing, dark abandoned cave,
Gut pulsing as stream gushes into gorge,
I know it is in there saying, in moon’s glisten,
“The nights are a fullness here, stay awake and listen!”

 

Natalia Anilio Chapel 2016It’s message clear as daylight spilling crystal from the cliff;
On this mountain there are places for human passage,
But there are also areas you must not trespass;
And you know full well it is time to wait,
To rest in safety, in complete and even stillness,
When Clio*, muse and gatekeeper, is hoisting up her sign,
And Calliope* holds his palms out, like an icon in a shrine.

In the emptiness, the silence, another voice circles:
“I am This and you are That.
You are This and I am That.
We are defined as we are united.
The centaur and the manifold of gathered gods has made it so.”

 

 

 

 

Martino, Sue Claire, me Pelion beach 16Between the split legs of the valley,
Where the restless water wrestles and breaks free,
The song of Echo* bounces from it’s distraction,
Bringing myriads of this-and-that together in her singing,
Saying, “I have held you here for a reason,
This mountain is your body,
and as you hide within it’s precious fold,
A world is being born anew, it’s name ’til now untold.”

Don’t only trust the mountain’s peak, it’s tablets of stone,
But also Terpsichore’s* shifting body, her dance alongside trees;
Learn faith in how light quivers
against the shade, veiled lovers,
The gurgling child, the re-beginning of sound;
Know that this This-That has re-joined, made a whole,
The mountain both the path beneath, and breathing in your soul.

 

*Clio, one of the nine muses of greek mythology, protectors of art. Clio is the protector of history and scrolls.
*Calliope, protector of poetry and writing tablets.
*Echo, rejected by Narciss, creates distraction so Zeus can evade his wife Hera and make love to the mountain nymphs, so creating new life.
*Terpsichore is protector of dance and the lyre.

Jill-Purce-The-Mystic-Spiral-BookQuote from The Mystic Spiral: Journey of the Soul by Jill Purce – Thames and Hudson, London, 1974

In a second, the faintest perfume may send us plummeting to the roots of our being, our whole life verticalized by a fleeting sensation: we have been connected by a mere smell to another place and another time. The amount we have changed in the recognition of this moment – this is the spiral: the path we have followed to reach the same point on another winding.”

Spiral is a natural phenomenon – in the patterns we see in the natural world, in the unfolding of time, and in the body. Our relationship with this is, to a certain degree, conditioned by how or where we feel our ground to be, a patterning learnt from the womb. As we are born into gravity, mature, learn to carry our own weight through the world, we see how these patternings can change, when we discover the energy and health of our soul.

Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth

Spirals manifest as shapes that are circular. However, it is only a spiral because it exists on different levels. A circle stays on one plane; a spiral deepens, drops, widens and rises into multiple planes. The same is true of the body. Being ‘stuck’ often means that we have misinterpreted the journey of the spiral for a circle. From here we can experience a loss of energy and direction; either because we lose a sense of ‘turning’ or rotation in the body, so stay on one plane; or because we lose our centre or axis. This can go one of two ways; a downward spiral (a sense of flopping or crashing), or a ‘taking off’ into a upward spiral or spin (the feeling of ‘losing my head’). Both patterns of holding and collapse cause tension in the body, which yoga seeks to undo.

Equally, importantly, we can misjudge this single, circular perspective as being the only way that exists, or the only way we have choice to follow. We sense a lack of meaning, loss of connection to our own truth and to others. We lose the ability to find right orientation and to interpret our life experience in new and deeper ways. When this happens collectively, it can be destructive, as we see when a group creates a barrier between the people ‘inside’ and those ‘outside’.

A hallmark of this from the perspective of ‘I’ can be that the world and others around us take on a mirror-like quality, which is stuck in that it is inherently created by a solidified sense of self, therefore can only be self-referencing. A true friend should be able to spot when your life narrative becomes over-personalised, when you speak without listening and have become disconnected from a bigger picture.

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

We live in a world where we can attune to the idea more than ever before that everything is connected. So this is no longer the new perspective we need to attain. Perhaps the deeper question is, why do we want to find this connectivity? What drives us? What really interests us?

This question points to the wider picture, which is often beyond our understanding, but that holds within it everything that is trying to find connection.

In the body, there are millions of possible connections that we might like to investigate. Yoga means ‘yoke’ or ‘joining together; union’ – things revealing themselves as being united, belonging to each other. Ultimately this is the joining of the head with the heart, which yoga seeks to uncover through the layers of our being. Without some understanding of this, we will always be experiencing some level, overt or subtle, of splitting, fragmentation, separation.

Georgio O'Keeffe

Georgio O’Keeffe

However, once we have found the perspective of yoga we must not stop there. Vanda Scaravelli, as well as many other practitioners including Krishnamurti, warns us against the trap of using yoga to fix things (the body or the mind) to suit our own agenda. There is a point at which a certain attachment to the connectivity that is in the body can lead to a self-fulfilling neurosis, which simply mirrors our culture and may describe some of the ways yoga has become expressed in the West.

(See conversation with Krishnamurti https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chPBmSzvStQ&app=desktop)

This question of yoga in the West is a big subject, one for another fuller discussion. But perhaps for now we can see this theme of ’embodying the spiral’ as a creative invitation to gain a new orientation. One that connects us to a deeper sense of ourselves and what draws us more energetically to the source of life.

Through a coherent yoga practice, one that has an interest in true integration on all levels, one that enables a coming together of ground and sky in the body, a joining with the ‘higher’ with the ‘lower’, we find ourself as participators in a whole new source of energy. Energy that, in Krishnamurti’s words, is no longer caught up with the self. From this experience, which in spiritual language is referred to as a conversion, it is as though a new moral compass is opened up, one that is not linked to circumstances but an inner orientation.

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

We could see this as the energy of the spiral, the inspiration of change, or metanoia, when a radical turning takes place in the soul. It is when the soul knows it is on a journey. It is an event, a process, when eventually the body understands what needs to stay, secure, hold, harness, anchor, offer direction and strength (the masculine energy) and what needs to release, circle, question, rise, fall, curve and coil (the feminine energy). And the freedom we seek lies in the eternal dance of both.

Autumn Poem

September 13, 2013

Autumn 2013 in Frome etc 003by Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

I love this treasure of a poem I found by this undiscovered poet of her time (of the 1,800 poems she wrote only 7 were ever published)… and I’ve been contemplating what the modern equivalent might be to ‘put a trinket on’?

March 13, 2012

Only the soul knows we grow best in the shadowlands. We are blinded inside of either total light or total darkness, but…ironically, it is in darkness that we find and ever long for more light. Did you know that even physics is now telling us that what looks like total darkness to the human eye is actually filled with neutrinos, which are light?…the mystics like John of the Cross knew this to be true on the spiritual level too.

Richard Rohr

I have no source from these quotes but wanted to share them…”The deeper I go into practice the less I’m prepared to act in ways that diminish my sense of purpose in the world.” And “Salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” A beautiful spurring on into action that is not cluttered by needing approval from other people.

I’m reading a new book by Franklyn Sills, the craniosacral guru of Karuna Institute and worldwide renown. It’s called the Breath of Life, and gives deep insight into ways of working with our own suffering and the suffering of others in the context of what is known as ‘biodynamics’. Here is a quote:

“In the biodynamic context, it is seen that suffering is eased when the human mind-body system truly aligns with the deeper universal forces that support life. It manifests as an alignment to something beyond the conditions and contingencies that organise our mind-body system and our sense of selfhood, to an innate Intelligence much greater than our human mentality. This occurs when the conditional forces of our past experience are reconciled within us, in states of balance and stillness. In the stillness, know only in this present moment, something else can occur beyond the suffering held.”

Foundations in Craniosacral Biodynamics: The Breath of Life and Fundamental Skills (p.3: Starting Points)

There is no true solitude except interior solitude. And interior solitude is not possible for anyone who does not accept their right place in relation to others. There is no true peace possible for the one who still imagines that some accident of talent or grace or virtue segregates them from other people and places themselves above them. Solitude is not segregation.

 Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books), p 56.

“Seek to do brave and lovely things that are left undone by the majority of people. Give gifts of love and peace to those whom others pass by”.(Paramahansa Yogananda)