Merry Eostre


So my dear and diverse readers in blogging land, I’m going to diverge from my normal protocol (well mostly) and stick my toe into the potentially controversial topic of religion.

Today as most of you know is Easter here in the US. And some of you may also know, because I have mentioned on my blog before, I am not Christian– although I do tend to be a very spiritual (and respectful) person. But there is one thing that I have found over the years perplexing (and maybe slightly tiresome) that I’m going to put out to you all.

Why do people–like almost everybody I bump into–feel compelled to wish me a Happy Easter and assume this has meaning to me? This has been going on for days leading up to today and each time I hear it, I just wonder what they think when they say it. Do they think that I too am Christian and celebrate this particular holiday or is it just something to say instead of: gee, it’s a nice day out?

To me it would seem the more appropriate thing to say might be: Do you celebrate Easter? And then this might open a conversation. Or they could even discuss their Easter plans and say: What a great day for Easter. Then it leaves the other person open to speak of their plans if they have any, or just listen if they don’t.

If someone is a completely different religion, say Jewish, wishing them a Happy Easter, is not particularly relevant to them. At Christmas time these phrases (Merry Christmas!!) happen too, although folks seem sometimes to be a bit more aware and sometimes offer a ‘Happy Holidays’ just in case.

I understand that people aren’t trying to be rude or anything, but it’s more about awareness of ones interactions with people and who they might be. Like the adage: don’t assume. Just because you believe something and it has meaning to you, doesn’t mean it does to someone else (even if it has meaning to a large population). It’s maybe not a big thing really. Just a small politeness. A tiny way to say: hey, I’m me, but maybe you’re you and it’s OK. We can all live here together with our own beliefs, traditions and truths. A way to keep trying to connect our world on a more individual level and not lump everyone into a category. Maybe if we tried this and took the time to get to know each person we met rather than treat them as a reflection of our own insecurities, there wouldn’t be so much hate and fear.

So what if I said to you: Merry Eostre. What would you say and how would you feel? Would you take the time it hear what it means to me? Or will you remain in your own story till the end…??

I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Sunday.

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Endless Mind


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Living free may only be an illusion as there is always something hidden waiting to confine the beauty of unfettered space. Maybe an unsuspecting visitor or fence covered with lush camouflage that pretends to be part of the landscape. It fools and traps the wandering dreamer.

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Step by step the visionary may walk, hopeful of its future. And in the moment all seems at peace. The surrounding landscape is hushed and still. It lulls those that pass into a false sense of calm. But what may come at the next bend? Is all as it seems?

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Best to tread lightly these earthly footsteps. Cautiously move and trust home is within. Freedom may only be skin deep. Found in the echoes of  the ancestors. Search for it not in tomorrows, but inside the endless mind.

Poem: Seek Not


Just gotta keep on walkin

till the paths divergent go

or a single one does open up

and your feet are raw and muddy

keep on pushin

however slow

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Just gotta keep on walkin

though the road may be tough

you may meet many strangers

who you never even know

some greet you friendly

but some are mighty rough

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Just gotta keep on walkin

and push the branches back

they’ll tear your legs and

rip your arms

the blood may drip bright red

and it will leave a track

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Just gotta keep on walkin

following  the trail

wherever it may lead

you may not know

but it’s your path

seek not the Holy Grail

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Poem: Sweet Lies


How many blown out wishes

just climb onto the curling smoke

and float away

I have breathed hard into my dreams

forced my diaphragm to believe

that blowing would make it true

The melting wax proves my plight

but the cavity left empty by sweet lies

leaves me wondering

if any of them

ever came true


 

The Music Of The Universe


Lately, in keeping with all the inner work I’ve been doing and with the great changes coming out of the last few years of my life, it has naturally moved me back to the more spiritual side of myself. In my past, the spiritual plane was almost equal to the plane in which I lived on a daily ‘normal’ basis. This meant I often felt very in tune with so much more around me and on a much deeper level: people, animals, the natural landscape and of course: the mystical.

Then, the course of my life got in the way, and this beautiful and magical part of my life slipped away  without me really noticing. The spiritual habits that I had practiced left me; all the ‘unexplained coincidences’ that would so often pop up joyfully in my life seemed to disappear and life just became a dull and routine existence.

Like so many of us, the tether to the unknown–to that thing beyond us–(call it what you may), isn’t always there unless you are really looking or open to it. Many just don’t believe, being simply too rooted in reality.

But we all have our own scopes of what reality may be. And I know that my reality had encompassed many things which could not be explained by scientific or simple explanations. You just had to be there to understand. To have faith in the powers and energies that flow. And I did.

So the time has gently begun to seem right, bit by bit, to reemerge within my spiritual self. To put back on my garland crown and flowing robes and step back into the circle once again. And I feel my power returning like an old friend. It was just waiting for my call.

My dreams have been full of visions, visitations and clarity. I use a dream book that I have to help interpret them and I’ve been writing them down in my journal, along with other long and inspired thoughts about my journey.

My interactions with people feel more purposeful and I am often drawn into deep conversations on a sidewalk with neighbors. Seeing people now brings me warmth rather than anxiety and I’m happy to share these moments and feel they are all meaningful.

Most things now feel part of my plan, that I am drawing all things to me. Some days I pick a tarot card to see what it might say, and often it will reflect what I have been feeling during my meditation. That nothing is random: I am creating this reality around me.

It has a been a very long walk to this place of inner peace; to be able to shrug off the demon within each time it threatens to claw its way to the surface. And now that I am dancing on my spiritual path once again, my peace is sweeter: for finally  I can hear the music of the Universe with my whole soul.

Benches


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As she sat quietly on the bench, she recalled so many times of reflection. Times of stopping, of sitting still to breathe and think of her life. It wasn’t always easy to create these moments, to stop the moving train that was her life, long enough, to simply see what was around her.

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These benches were everywhere. Even if people were around, they could cradle her; let her thoughts roll through her mind, easing the turbulence with the help of the surrounding landscape. They were guardians, givers and saviors.

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Sometimes she would be present, sometimes drift off to another place.  Somehow they were conduits of time travel: as though a space had opened up and she slipped into it and could go forward or back, depending on her mood. Because of this, she walked in places long forgotten, places of lost love or deep pain. The remembering, though, somehow put it in an ethereal plane, so the visitation became moments of healing.

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Some places to sit weren’t really benches at all, but still created for her the right second to watch a sunrise. Just the act of seeing one could erase months of chaos in her soul.

She remembers now these sacred vessels and can recall far into childhood how many she has visited. From cities to the middle of nowhere, the times she took to just stop and sit–to contemplate, meditate and be quiet.

And now she wonders: where are all the benches yet to come?

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Distant Shores


When I was a child, there was an ice-cream that I used to get from the truck that would come to the park near where I lived in NYC. It was the Good Humor truck, for those of you who might remember the familiar jingling of bells as it rolled slowly down the streets so the gathering children could get their 25 cents ready. This particular favorite of mine, was called an Eclair I think, because on the outside it had bits and pieces of nuts and maybe little pieces of chocolate; vanilla ice cream was the next layer which made up the largest part of the pop; but best and most special (and the best part) was the secret hunk of icy fudge-like chocolate inside. It wasn’t very big piece, but it was delicious (or so I recall) and had this particular texture that made it worth the wait.

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I was never a kid to just bite into the thing just to get to the middle. I would savor the whole thing to make it last and then take my time with the special part. Funny, because I never had much patience in life–but with treasures, I did. Just like how I never tore into Christmas gifts, but would open them throughout the day…(my kids hated this about me).

Someone who has known me for a long time, when I explained where I am  emotionally now and how I am conducting my day-to-day existence, said: that is not you at all! It gave me pause. What is me? Who am I really?

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I’ve run most my 60 years in a frenetic and unfocused way; making decisions based on how my mood was or the wind was blowing. It felt like I was making rational choices at the time, but in retrospect, I see now it wasn’t the case at all. Rather I was a sailboat buffeted by the winds trying desperately to steer to the nearest coast. Each shore looked better than the last, but upon reaching them they felt uninhabitable.

Of course this meant those around me were riding those waves too and often were cast overboard. Many drowned, but some found their own lifeboats and floated on to better beaches…thank goodness.

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It was nothing intentional. It just happened– it was the way I lived.But there was a part of me that knew it wasn’t working. Seeing the floundering of others hurt me, and my own inability to stand upright on this ever swelling craft was making me ill. At some point the ship must dock–in the deep recesses of my mind I knew this as truth.

So who is really me? I moved away from my comfort and have come to live in a place that is alien and barren to me, a desert devoid of water in which to sail. This was really unconscious on many levels, but I am starting to realize absolutely necessary to answer the question. Many spiritual treks to find ones true self include a time where one goes off on a quest: a solitary walk about or vision quest to discover what is real and what isn’t; what to keep and what to leave behind.

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We go through life rather like that Good Humor ice cream pop: multi-layered  with secret parts. Sometimes the secret parts are hidden to even to ourselves. There are bits and pieces we cover ourselves with that have rough edges or appeal, but it’s only the outside, a glamour…the part that faces the world at large. Dig deeper and maybe you will get to the soft part: it is white and can be colored by what we take in through the years we live. It protects the true gift: the sweet, central, secret core. This is the one we work for and may not know for years.

I’m stripping down the layers to find that me. I believe that is the real one, not the one that has faced the world so far. That was a mask I was unaware I wore. I believe my friend had it backward…what she knew was not me; what I am discovering now will be the real person I have had buried within. The visions of her were in my head longing to escape, but were trapped by my own shifting cage.

Someday she will be set free and sail for a place, heading into the sunrise.  Docking at some distant land, she will know with full awareness and clarity, that all will be good.

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Lost In The Forest


There are times when it feels like it takes all my effort to keep the beast at bay. We each have our own beasts: financial burdens, relationship woes, weight issues, an illness, family problems, an addiction–the list is endless. My beast has been hiding in the bushes probably my whole life, blending in and camouflaged by the surrounding landscape. That landscape has been partly the creation of my own mind and parts of my life that simply lay hidden beneath the surface, like a creature that lives below the surface of the earth.

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For many years I have lived my life with this beast only in my peripheral vision; it was often a silent marauder coming to me, slipping in and out of dreams and reality. But I was young, strong and mostly unaware. Life was a whirlwind of distractions: that carousel spinning, making me dizzy so I mostly didn’t notice this strange visitor who crossed my path.

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When it did happen though, my heart became larger in my chest and I could feel it thudding in the front of my chest. My head felt heavy and my temples hurt…the room might tilt, if only for a moment, and reality would feel different. I knew something was closing in. It felt the air getting less and it was hard to breathe.

But the moment would pass. The world would return to normal (as normal is it can be) and I would forget, tuck it back into the recesses– the folds of my memory.

Now I am older and the habitat in which the beast dwells is thinning. Maybe climate change has effected that forest too, or maybe I am chopping the trees down myself? It seems I can sense this thing is coming closer; there is more clarity in which I feel its breath. I am familiar with the scent and know when it might be approaching at times. But there are still those unexpected moments when it creeps up on me and takes me by surprise, and I feel that weight again sitting on my chest. If I listen hard enough, then, I might hear the low growl of its voice telling me to beware…

It might be near, very near now, but what it wants, I still do not know. Why it hunts me is a mystery. And try as I may, ridding myself of it remains a secret lost within the darkness of the forest.

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Heartbeats


It struck me today as I was busting a gut on the workout equipment at the gym, that I heard somewhere that we only have so many heartbeats in our life time. So here I am, with my heart racing away and I think: is it good or bad that I’m working out so hard like this and all the years I did it? If we only have so many heartbeats allotted to us, then if we raise our heart rate working out so much, won’t we use those heart beats up sooner? Or is the converse true and we create a stronger heart like the American Heart Association would like us to believe? Or doesn’t it really matter??

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Are the number of heart beats given to us figured out ahead of time? I’m sure some would say yes, along with the exact moment we are going to die, so who cares if we do this or anything else, because it’s all planned no matter what anyway?

And yet some of us work really hard to extend our lives by eating right, exercising, keeping our stress down, wearing our seat belts and doing all the right things. But we know, somewhere keep down in our subconscious, that when it’s our time, we can’t beat the facts. We maybe aren’t extending anything really because it will happy anyway–just the way it’s supposed to, when the beats are up.

Humans like to feel they are in control. So we keep on those treadmills, hoping that it’s helping rather than beating us closer to our allotted usage. Some like to test fate and do crazy things, but I’m not a gambler. I’ll be here far shorter than I’ll be gone. I plan to cherish it and play it safe as I can.

But if all the right things I have done don’t take me to all the heartbeats I hope to get to, well then, it hasn’t been a waste anyway. Because the choices I made were for other reasons too, so I’m perfectly satisfied I made them!