retail, noise, traffic, distracted drivers.
concrete, loose gravel, strewn trash.
watch out. don’t get hit.
spit, drizzle, cool.
cool air, damp air, rain-filled air.
trust your feet. drop-fogged glasses.
pathways around and beside.
beneath, tucked away, nearby.
allow the ahhh. it’s for you.
Breeze moves across bare legs,
knees remember long pants,
and toes yearn for socks.
The heat, so bright,
ignores the shadows,
on the northside.
Summer voices surf in on the breeze,
reminding the shadows that the sun,
will expose its secrets soon enough.
But for now the cool shadows,
are only pierced by rattling dishes below,
and memories within that do not forget.
as you say,
summertime often fills the water with voices.
But around the bend,
that is where my eardrums cease to tingle.
And in the silence,
I am Gaia,
creator and creation.
Without tingling ears,
plastics or steel,
we are all one, interconnected.
The Spirit moves us together,
she dances around the edges.
An opening appears,
and she oozes into the space between us.
The Spirit fills the space with respect,
laughter, and comfort.
She dances joyfully,
overjoyed at our response to one another.
The Spirit smiles and nods,
bursting with joy.
“Aha!” she says, “I told you:
human separateness is a myth.”
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The tears come.
Sobs burst forth.
Dad is in the hospital.
Again. And I’m so far away.
Phones. Texts. Not the same.
He’ll be heading home.
A new diagnosis: worry with a name.
Aging. Loving. Living.
Life is hard.
Life is connecting.
Clinging. Crying. Worrying.
Embedded, oozing fears of loss.
Fears of impermanence, reality.
Drip. Drip. Healing tears dry.
Be still. The divine is here.
Extravagant love is always.
clouds hanging close,
the damp breath of God clings.
Truck starts, car glides,
delivering God’s people,
and the meeting house comes alive.
The joyful noise,
melodies & catching up,
fill the upside down boat.
last coffee and cookie,
quiet descends as the last door closes.
Fog gone, sunshine out,
the celestial movement,
reveals itself through the shards of color.
In that moment,
I enter finding the healing,
embracing warmth of sacred hues.
I get that.
The whole world tells us we’re supposed to be strong,
but I’m not.
I’m just tired.
I’m hurting and fragile.
We’re supposed to be gruff and unfeeling.
Provide and protect, we’re told.
But I can’t.
And you don’t need or want that.
I can’t help it. I feel deeply.
I think it all in my heart.
They, the others, say I should be,
but I’m not.
Sometimes it bothers me,
but sometimes it doesn’t.
I know I don’t need to fit a mold,
but I feel the world trying to squish me into it sometimes.
Or is that my loneliness doing the pushing?
They say I should but I can’t.
I sometimes try anyway,
because the cravings and yearnings are powerful.
I am me. I choose my am over their shoulds.
(Well, most of the time.)
I hope you get that.
East of the endless retail, and
the keeping it weird of Portland,
lies a land forgotten.
Far from the fir & fruit trees,
the nation imagines,
is another Oregon.
Beneath the infinite sky,
the sage grows wild, and
wheat, wind, & warmheartedness sustain.
In the arid landscape,
the rare rain & tree are treasures,
as beloved as family and history.
The tiny grocery, the pub,
& soda fountain are the venue
for a shadow vibrancy unseen by passersby.
Beyond that neighborliness,
using only my feet and legs to carry,
I step along a rocky path once walked by rancher.
Deep in the canyon,
beneath the hot spring sun,
my ears are baptized with silence.
Beside the deep blue river,
and beneath the azure dome,
my thoughts come easily.
Purifying sage reaches my nostrils,
the Spirit descends,
and divine love & clarity permeate palpably.
The rocks beneath & sky above are me.
My toes hug the rocky soil,
and my spirit soars among fluffy clouds.
I am one. We are One.