water is a perfect pilgrim, a poet on a journey and where she travels becomes the spirit path… like the goddess of wisdom, waterfalls must sing out wisdom and then come to rest in a still, silent pool…
may we all take joy and peace in the sounds of falling waters flowing in perfect rhythm home to our one heart…
gathering under gemini new moon
opening space for divine union soon
intentions painted in pearly sand
borne by tides across venus land
flying high and diving deep
path with heart our quantum leap
flowing and rippling rhythmically
graceful dancing rainbow mystery
in this wild and precious moment under the wild and precious dark moon of the cosmic womb, the navigating the journey moon, let’s gather together as creativity creating creation setting our compass and contemplating the map we’ll draw and dancing/singing the song of wisdom for this moon journey…
how will we nurture creativity?
what will we focus on creating?
what will we be/do to deepen and heighten soulful creation?
such a vital calling vibrating in the cosmic airwaves of turbulence
for the wise ones to sing us home, to help us to navigate the journey into peace guided by justice and anchored in love…
For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O’Donohue ~
A Spiritual Journey
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
~Wendell Berry ~
on this new moon in gemini, in every moment, with every breath, we enter into the unknown… this mysterious realm is known by the heart, it is home to the heart and with every step we walk deeper into the journey, into life… when we still ourselves and quiet the noise and chatter, we are able to see the heart’s road map and hear the directions… and, when the anxieties, worries and fears pop up, we simply return to the breath, to the cosmic hum, to source, the penultimate resource to re-source, re-source and re-source again… Mary Oliver speaks so beautifully about the journey we are all on, may her words inspire courage, inspire our taking heart…
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.
today is the last day of the fifth moon, orbits of the heart, it seems so fitting to memorialize this 5th of the 13 moons with the 5th of my 13 painted ponies, the children’s prayer pony…
painted in the fall of 2001, with prayers of children of many faiths for all the chidren of the earth, this pony shares heartfelt messages of hope for seven generations…
No one knows the wonder
Your child awoke in you,
Your heart a perfect cradle
To hold its presence.
Inside and outside became one
As new waves of love
Kept surprising your soul.
Now you sit bereft
Inside a nightmare,
Your eyes numbed
By the sight of a grave
No parent should ever see.
You will wear this absence
Like a secret locket,
Always wondering why
Such a new soul
Was taken home so soon.
Let the silent tears flow
And when your eyes clear
Perhaps you will glimpse
How your eternal child
Has become the unseen angel
Who parents your heart
And persuades the moon
To send new gifts ashore.
~ John O’Donohue ~
being still in the tiny space of the heart
opening to boundless spaciousness
floating in eternity
today, the journey transports me into Stillness, a natural place, a sacred space where i love to sojourn, especially during the ebb tides when life goes dormant and slowing down and grounding deeply into dark earth is the way through… holding the tension and embracing the pause ensures our seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel… do you see, feel, taste, hear, touch the radiance? breathe in deeply through our one heart with me and hear this sacred space of silence singing… love greatly, live gently, let go gracefully…
walking the rainbow trail today
being the center in a sacred way
weaving a radiant web of love
encircling earth below and sky above
it is the 22nd and 22 is the number of grace and may is the moon of miracles, a sacred space of re-membering who we are… as wanderers of wonder, weavers of rainbow joy, let us wave our rainbow wands over all our relations gifting all with openhearted, trusting wonder…
“A child’ s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout their life.”~ Rachael Carson ~
today is the weekly installment of sharing the astonishing lightness of being when in times of discouragement… thought i was going one place and wound up in another… here we are in graduation time and the late, great Howard Zinn gave quite a doozy a few years ago in 2005… it’s long and well worth it and so needed today…
contemplate the words of Zinn as he urges the students of Spelman College not to be discouraged, not to despair, but to enter the world with heads held high, imagining what each of them might do for him or herself — and for the rest of us.
I am deeply honored to be invited back to Spelman after forty-two years. I would like to thank the faculty and trustees who voted to invite me, and especially your president, Dr. Beverly Tatum. And it is a special privilege to be here with Diahann Carroll and Virginia Davis Floyd.
But this is your day — the students graduating today. It’s a happy day for you and your families. I know you have your own hopes for the future, so it may be a little presumptuous for me to tell you what hopes I have for you, but they are exactly the same ones that I have for my grandchildren.
My first hope is that you will not be too discouraged by the way the world looks at this moment. It is easy to be discouraged, because our nation is at war — still another war, war after war — and our government seems determined to expand its empire even if it costs the lives of tens of thousands of human beings. There is poverty in this country, and homelessness, and people without health care, and crowded classrooms, but our government, which has trillions of dollars to spend, is spending its wealth on war. There are a billion people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East who need clean water and medicine to deal with malaria and tuberculosis and AIDS, but our government, which has thousands of nuclear weapons, is experimenting with even more deadly nuclear weapons. Yes, it is easy to be discouraged by all that.
But let me tell you why, in spite of what I have just described, you must not be discouraged.
I want to remind you that, fifty years ago, racial segregation here in the South was entrenched as tightly as was apartheid in South Africa. The national government, even with liberal presidents like Kennedy and Johnson in office, was looking the other way while black people were beaten and killed and denied the opportunity to vote. So black people in the South decided they had to do something by themselves. They boycotted and sat in and picketed and demonstrated, and were beaten and jailed, and some were killed, but their cries for freedom were soon heard all over the nation and around the world, and the President and Congress finally did what they had previously failed to do — enforce the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Many people had said: The South will never change. But it did change. It changed because ordinary people organized and took risks and challenged the system and would not give up. That’s when democracy came alive.
I want to remind you also that when the war in Vietnam was going on, and young Americans were dying and coming home paralyzed, and our government was bombing the villages of Vietnam — bombing schools and hospitals and killing ordinary people in huge numbers — it looked hopeless to try to stop the war. But just as in the Southern movement, people began to protest and soon it caught on. It was a national movement. Soldiers were coming back and denouncing the war, and young people were refusing to join the military, and the war had to end.
The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. The government may try to deceive the people, and the newspapers and television may do the same, but the truth has a way of coming out. The truth has a power greater than a hundred lies. I know you have practical things to do — to get jobs and get married and have children. You may become prosperous and be considered a success in the way our society defines success, by wealth and standing and prestige. But that is not enough for a good life.
Remember Tolstoy’s story, “The Death of Ivan Illych.” A man on his deathbed reflects on his life, how he has done everything right, obeyed the rules, become a judge, married, had children, and is looked upon as a success. Yet, in his last hours, he wonders why he feels a failure. After becoming a famous novelist, Tolstoy himself had decided that this was not enough, that he must speak out against the treatment of the Russian peasants, that he must write against war and militarism.
My hope is that whatever you do to make a good life for yourself — whether you become a teacher, or social worker, or business person, or lawyer, or poet, or scientist — you will devote part of your life to making this a better world for your children, for all children. My hope is that your generation will demand an end to war, that your generation will do something that has not yet been done in history and wipe out the national boundaries that separate us from other human beings on this earth.
Recently I saw a photo on the front page of the New York Times which I cannot get out of my mind. It showed ordinary Americans sitting on chairs on the southern border of Arizona, facing Mexico. They were holding guns and they were looking for Mexicans who might be trying to cross the border into the United States. This was horrifying to me — the realization that, in this twenty-first century of what we call “civilization,” we have carved up what we claim is one world into two hundred artificially created entities we call “nations” and are ready to kill anyone who crosses a boundary.Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary, so fierce it leads to murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking, cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on, have been useful to those in power, deadly for those out of power.
Here in the United States, we are brought up to believe that our nation is different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral; that we expand into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy. But if you know some history you know that’s not true. If you know some history, you know we massacred Indians on this continent, invaded Mexico, sent armies into Cuba, and the Philippines. We killed huge numbers of people, and we did not bring them democracy or liberty. We did not go into Vietnam to bring democracy; we did not invade Panama to stop the drug trade; we did not invade Afghanistan and Iraq to stop terrorism. Our aims were the aims of all the other empires of world history — more profit for corporations, more power for politicians.
The poets and artists among us seem to have a clearer understanding of the disease of nationalism. Perhaps the black poets especially are less enthralled with the virtues of American “liberty” and “democracy,” their people having enjoyed so little of it. The great African-American poet Langston Hughes addressed his country as follows:
You really haven’t been a virgin for so long.
It’s ludicrous to keep up the pretext
You’ve slept with all the big powers
In military uniforms,
And you’ve taken the sweet life
Of all the little brown fellows
Being one of the world’s big vampires,
Why don’t you come on out and say so
Like Japan, and England, and France,
And all the other nymphomaniacs of power.
I am a veteran of the Second World War. That was considered a “good war,” but I have come to the conclusion that war solves no fundamental problems and only leads to more wars. War poisons the minds of soldiers, leads them to kill and torture, and poisons the soul of the nation.
My hope is that your generation will demand that your children be brought up in a world without war. If we want a world in which the people of all countries are brothers and sisters, if the children all over the world are considered as our children, then war — in which children are always the greatest casualties — cannot be accepted as a way of solving problems.
I was on the faculty of Spelman College for seven years, from 1956 to 1963. It was a heartwarming time, because the friends we made in those years have remained our friends all these years. My wife Roslyn and I and our two children lived on campus. Sometimes when we went into town, white people would ask: How is it to be living in the black community? It was hard to explain. But we knew this — that in downtown Atlanta, we felt as if we were in alien territory, and when we came back to the Spelman campus, we felt that we were at home.
Those years at Spelman were the most exciting of my life, the most educational certainly. I learned more from my students than they learned from me. Those were the years of the great movement in the South against racial segregation, and I became involved in that in Atlanta, in Albany, Georgia, in Selma, Alabama, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Greenwood and Itta Bena and Jackson. I learned something about democracy: that it does not come from the government, from on high, it comes from people getting together and struggling for justice. I learned about race. I learned something that any intelligent person realizes at a certain point — that race is a manufactured thing, an artificial thing, and while race does matter (as Cornel West has written), it only matters because certain people want it to matter, just as nationalism is something artificial. I learned that what really matters is that all of us — of whatever so-called race and so-called nationality — are human beings and should cherish one another.
I was lucky to be at Spelman at a time when I could watch a marvelous transformation in my students, who were so polite, so quiet, and then suddenly they were leaving the campus and going into town, and sitting in, and being arrested, and then coming out of jail full of fire and rebellion. You can read all about that in Harry Lefever’s book Undaunted by the Fight. One day Marian Wright (now Marian Wright Edelman), who was my student at Spelman, and was one of the first arrested in the Atlanta sit-ins, came to our house on campus to show us a petition she was about to put on the bulletin board of her dormitory. The heading on the petition epitomized the transformation taking place at Spelman College. Marian had written on top of the petition: “Young Ladies Who Can Picket, Please Sign Below.”
My hope is that you will not be content just to be successful in the way that our society measures success; that you will not obey the rules, when the rules are unjust; that you will act out the courage that I know is in you. There are wonderful people, black and white, who are models. I don’t mean African- Americans like Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell, or Clarence Thomas, who have become servants of the rich and powerful. I mean W.E.B. DuBois and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and Marian Wright Edelman, and James Baldwin and Josephine Baker and good white folk, too, who defied the Establishment to work for peace and justice.
Another of my students at Spelman, Alice Walker, who, like Marian, has remained our friend all these years, came from a tenant farmer’s family in Eatonton, Georgia, and became a famous writer. In one of her first published poems, she wrote:
It is true–
I’ve always loved
Like the black young
At a white
beach (in Alabama)
I am not suggesting you go that far, but you can help to break down barriers, of race certainly, but also of nationalism; that you do what you can — you don’t have to do something heroic, just something, to join with millions of others who will just do something, because all of those somethings, at certain points in history, come together, and make the world better.
That marvelous African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston, who wouldn’t do what white people wanted her to do, who wouldn’t do what black people wanted her to do, who insisted on being herself, said that her mother advised her: Leap for the sun — you may not reach it, but at least you will get off the ground.
By being here today, you are already standing on your toes, ready to leap. My hope for you is a good life.
are you hearing the sacred voice calling your name? re-minding/re-heartening you of your divine mission, your soul purpose… whispering for us to awaken to our genius, the unique seed in the center of our being,,, the call to be who we are – rainbow beings of love, compassion, wisdom, peace and joy…
let’s take this miraculous moment to conspire, to breathe together, to breathe in deeply descending into our one heart…
I AM loving awareness…
I AM loving awareness…
I AM loving awareness…
I AM loving awareness…
I AM loving awareness…
here we are in sacred space re-membering we are…
love, compassion, wisdom, peace and joy…
always be true…
All over the sky a sacred voice is calling your name.
~Black Elk ~
today as i listen to the cosmic hum, i see the peace pilgrimage as our unfolding collective journey moving from egocentrism to ecocentrism… let’s listen to the sacred voice always calling us home…
Then a Voice said: “Behold this day, for it is yours to make. Now you shall stand upon the center of the earth to see, for there they are taking you.” I was still on my bay horse, and once more I felt the riders of the west, the north, the east, the south, behind me, as before, and we were going east. I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks and forests on them, and from the mountains flashed all colors upward to the heavens.
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I saw in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
Then as I stood there, two men were coming from the east, head first like arrows flying, and between them rose the daybreak star. They came and gave a herb to me and said: “With this on earth you shall undertake anything and do it.” It was the Daybreak-Star herb, the herb of understanding, and they told me to drop it on the earth. I saw it falling far, and when it struck Mother Earth it rooted and grew and flowered, four blossoms on one stem, a black, a white, a scarlet, and a yellow. The rays from these streamed upward to the heavens so that all creatures saw it and in no place was there darkness.
Hehaka Sapa, Black Elk
thirty-seven years ago today, Mt St Helens exploded shooting ash 80,000 feet into the air and violently sweeping away thirteen hundred feet of her height, in effect, decapitating her, disappearing Spirit Lake, desolating a once fertile landscape, delivering ash around the world and prompting a communal mourning… today, we bow to the raw power of nature and to her cycles of ebb and flow, destruction and creation, desolation and restoration, chaos and harmony and sorrow and joy which are all integral to the unfolding design of oneness…
this “after” picture, taken recently, from Harmony Point shows a restored Spirit Lake and green growth gracing the once inflamed area reminding us rebirth always follows death always follows rebirth, the eternal turning of the comic wheel, breathing in and breathing out the only constant… only love is real…
i’ll close this post with a “before” and “during” picture of the ancient wise woman, Mt St Helens towering above the life giving waters of Spirit Lake…