Saturday, January 18, 2014

Destiny

I had to let go of that dream.
It was to be me.
In that picture of a happy family-
There, on the other side of the world.

Sometimes you don’t get the life you think you should have.
What you get is a chance to look closer.
A chance to stop wanting more,
and start wanting wholeness.
No matter how hard you look,
you will never see that picture with clarity.

Instead,
one day
you wake up
and see your destiny.
Reaching out to grab you by the scruff of the neck.
Telling you to look at what you created,
and what you destroyed,
right there in front of you.

It’s funny how that works.
We have.
We loose.
And then all we can do is rebuild.
There is no other way around it.
The loss lives with you always.
It’s a splinter of wood in flesh.
There, just below the surface.
A subtle reminder-
as you walk with it in your side.

week 51.
I've been experimenting with watercolor. I did this piece that seemed to resemble clouds with rain. It reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years back. Lately I've been thinking a lot about this idea of rebuilding, starting new. I try to accept all the choices I've made, good and bad. It seems every day we have to carry all those choices with us into everything we do, like a kind of scar. To carry the past and rebuild at the same time seem very brave to me. It also seems like a bigger feat than we give it credit for. The past can block us at every turn. The things we tell ourselves can confuse us with their contradictions. What is really the truth of who you are can be so damn hard to see but it seems important to keep looking for it, even in the pain.



Friday, April 12, 2013

Crashing waves


Walking along the shoreline, 
waves crash and the seagulls break the horizon.
This path of rocks and pale bushes meander forever along the pacific coast.

The voice of the ocean is out there again,
today like every day,
following me at every turn.

Sneaking tides are at my toes,
in a whisper.
The edging of the salt water, up to my ankles.
I pick up a shell and put it to my ear,
Is there someone there?

Then out of the blue,
a wave comes upon me.
Crashing into the silence,
astounding me and bringing me my knees.

I am pulled down
but it is only when I’ve fallen that I can see
that I am mere grain of sand.


week 50. Message in a bottle.
Some days I am looking for messages. I believe if I can look at what makes me suffer then maybe I will learn something about myself, something I need to learn in order to grow. There are times when I feel as though I know something is out there, something with a message. If I look, I don’t always find the answers, but I still need to look. I realize that falling, being brought to my knees frees me. It reminds me that vulnerability is the only way to to courage. To walk though and not around. I believe every time we fall or faced with something astounding there is the potential to heal.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life's work















Life’s work is done little by little.
Tiny movements are everything.
There will be creeping crawling doubts that weave though the dry dirt
and there will be fears and sadness
that will wander carelessly into each morning,
when there is more rain than sun.

To do life’s work
Means carving, pulling, weeding
and always dividing in to piles,
all the stuff that in necessary
and all the stuff that is not.

To do life’s work
requires more digging that you ever thought was possible.
So much so that you’ll think “I don’t even have the right tools”.
But you’ll do it anyway,
with your hands,
because that’s what God gave you.

To make something beautiful of this life
is the greatest gift you can give yourself
and those around you.
We are made to stumble upon answers;
Answers are made to be found,
nestled deep within the earth.
But they are hard earned.

To build a life you can only do everything within you.
Only you can go out into it
and listen to all that pulls you deeper.

There is beauty in the simple little things 
and there is grace in the digging.

week 49.  Digging
Digging is one of the best ways I know to describe the act of searching for the truth of who we are deep inside. I always think about how I try to make things beautiful in my own eyes. I want the to see the beauty even when it’s not beautiful. I’m not the first to say that living really is messy business. We confront, we fight, we defend, and most of all we have to get in there and figure out the path. It all requires so much energy. So why do it? I guess it’s purpose is so we can get a tiny bit closer to our own truths.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The story




I have a book
With many pages 
and many stories bound to tell.
If the mood is right
I will read these words
Without regret,
only tenderness.

In this book of many pages
There are leaves pressed between.
Dividing chapters and events.
A birth.
A death.
A change of address.

In this book of many pages
There are blank pages too.
Without text or image.
Unsaid words.
Places I’ve yet to go.
Colors I’ve not seen.

I'm so careful not to break these fragile flowers.
Which remain tucked away
Aging day by day.
Slowly fading back into
The yellowed pages
where they were born.

And just as ashes bring forth the springtime,
so the story goes.
Memories remain on this shelf.
Between the leaves,
in my book of many pages.


week 48.
Sometimes the spring just seem too far away. I need something to remind me it's really on it's way. At times like these, I like to imagine a different life. I dream of a life where I can finally achieve all my heart yearns for. But the truth is there is no better life waiting on the other side. We have what we have, right here in front of us. There will always be parts unfinished, relationships undefined, feelings that need time to heal. All of it is a work in progress. We have good years, we have bad ones, just like crops and plantings. At the end of winter I like to open my old books and look at the dried flowers and leaves. I like to see how they fared, maybe just to remind myself that the story goes on.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

River stones



The shifting plates of the earth,
they move with a subtly that almost goes unnoticed.
The way the clouds roll past, 
those too,
mere, small increment for the gods.
But the unsettling nature of how huge that can be can throw me off,
even today, with steady footing.

Such a place is familiar,
when all I know is the way to the next stepping-stone.
I skip across them.
One by one.
Somehow, next one to arrive beneath me foot.
How is that?

So let the stillness have its way.
Let the silence break my every doubt.
Because somewhere up in the sky
tomorrow may hold
that small lessons
lost on today.

Week 47. Stability
On my walks through the woods I always cross over a brook on my way to the pond. One day I thought about the rhythm I felt as I jumped from stone to stone. It’s funny how you need to trust that the next stone will be in the right spot, nice and steady beneath your foot. This made me think about the way we must trust the paths we choose. We never quite know for sure if the path we choose will be solid but we must follow through regardless. Unsteadiness is always a possibility. The unknown can be scary but it can also be exciting. Sometimes I think if you can balance both the fear and the excitement of it your not doing too bad.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stars




I have one last wish for the day.

As the sun diminishes

into the vast unknown.

I wish for stars

tonight,

When the world begins again.


When I promise compassion.

Despite everything I gave

and everything I could not give.


When I know the beauty

of looking forward and backward

at the same time.


When I see what has remained

and I love it anyway.


All I need is something small.

A tiny glimmer,

Something way up high

that will lead me

where I cannot see.

Yes, I wish for stars

tonight,

When the world begins again.


Week 46. Faith.

During the last week of year I always feel like I’m looking forward and backward at the same time. I’m contemplating what I achieved through out the year and at the same time I’m reaching ahead for what I can take on, for challenges and for ways to grow. I await the New Year with promise even though there is so much unknown. I define Faith as our ability to allow ourselves to accept what that which we can't see. So I guess that’s what I wish for next year, to continue to discover small lessons of faith each day. I figure if nature can makes sense of this complex world so can I.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas


Christmas is not far off in the distance.

I can see it.


In the houses illuminated with lights.

Outlining every bit

of their existence.


In the evergreen.

Standing tall yet swaying,

when the snow weighs upon it’s branches.


In the cardinals.

As they magically appear,

and then are gone again.


In belief.

Belief that what can not be seen

is greater than anything that can.


Week 45. Symbols of hope.

This Christmas I got to thinking about symbols, but not the images we normally associate with Christmas, the symbols you can’t see. The things that remind me of what I feel inside during this season. One word that comes to mind is “hope”. Hope is believing that there will always be lightness somewhere, even in the darkest of times. Hope is seeing the beauty in small everyday things. Hope is like a tiny little gift. Not the kind we plan for on December 25th but the kind that shows up when you least expect it. Just when you think you’re too tired to keep looking for it, somehow, it’s there, right where you left it.