She loved that.
With your whole body,
We don't have enough words
to say "love,"
so we use our hands.
We don't have enough hands
to do love,
so we use our tears.
We don't have enough tears
to feel love,
so we use our silences.
Not enough amazement
to contain love, so we surrender.
Now the murmur of soft morning rain
The shattered sun trembles at the tip
of every fern.
Stones grow soft, moss green.
With less than a song, a musical
question merely, the rosefinch heals us all.
Fragrances of death return
as shades of indigo.
If you understand this, you're thinking
Just let the sexual fury in a seed
become the glowing hyacinth.
Clever people seek partners in the market.
All they find are faces in a crowded mirror.
I dance to a throbbing drum
and meet the crazy lover in my chest.
When I open my eyes,
the world is a kiss.
The world seems full of problems. But there is only one problem, and it isn't the world. It is our own mind. Please don't mistake your mind for the world? Mind pollutes the whole creation when it turns bitter, judgmental, polarized with blame against an other. What is the cure? Spend a few moments each day being astonished.
Om is too stuffy.
Let's just hum like bees
drawn by the fragrance
of a wild dilapidated rose.
Of course this is no
are countless galaxies.
You swarm through
light-years of your wild
The scent that drives
you crazy is the breath
of your Creator.
Forget your own name
The honey is already made.
When I visit
at the close of day
(or is it evening now?)
at the end of Winter
(or is it the beginning
I am very sure,
nearly certain in fact,
is the space
is the source
and that God loves
which is why
this tulip emerges
from the snow,
this breath turns
and on the gravestone,
in the first letter
of her name,
this drop of dew
(or is it a tear?)
contains the sky,
the night, and all
the stars unseen.
Photo from englishrussia.com
It is very important to honor your breath tonight.
Your inhalation a destroying wind
that topples the spires of reason
and ruins the towers of memory,
clearing a path to the garden
at the center of the storm.Your exhalation a whisper condensed
into drops of sap on a silken taproot
dangling into groundlessness.Let crowds come, the whole earth
like a wounded doe, to drink from the spring
beneath your heart stone.May breathing be two wings
that carry the most beautiful Name
home to her secret nest,
the swirl of golden chaos,
that woven grail of tiny ancient bones
flecked from your spine.O conqueror of illusion, let there be
neither inward nor outward anymore.
Aloneness has swallowed all distances.
One and the same Fire,
trillions of suns in the emptiness
above your crown,
trillions of radiant cells in your body,
trillions of tears in the uberous valley
of your shadow.
One and the same sparkling diamond
Dissolve in That.
Photo: Heart of Orion by Nasa, Shiva by Jarmotuisk at Flikr, created for the NASA remix Challenge #12.
"I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem."
~Song of Solomon 1:5
~"The darkness is not dark to You; the night shines like the day, for darkness is as light to You." ~Psalm 139
There is an early Christian hymn - some scholars believe the earliest known to us - 'Phos Hiláron,' O Joyful Light. But my hymn shall be called 'Skotós Hiláron,' O Joyful Dark.
Here in the North, earth tilts toward December 21, the longest night. I am plunged in darkness, even as I wake in the morning. Yet at no other time of year does my inwardness glow with such mysterious rapture. The mystery is this: our secret ray does not descend from above, but percolates out from our hollowest core.
The external Christic flame that illumined the green world of summer, ripening fruit and grain, has now withdrawn to the bowels of creation, to rest in the night of luminous possibility, awaiting rebirth at the Winter Solstice.
Midnight is holy, and pregnant with noon. The mystics of the Church spoke of the "divine darkness": Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Aereopogyte, Meister Eckhart, Jan Ruysbroek, Hildegard of Bingen, Mechtilde of Magdeburg, John of the Cross. Yet their "dark night of the soul" was not a depressed emotional state.
The divine darkness of the mystic is not unhappiness or despair. For despair requires a "me." Only the ego can despair. The soul's dark night is interior to the mind, prior to any "me" who could say, "I am unhappy."
This dark night is not found anywhere in creation. It is groundless, centerless, and before any thought can arise. For there is an un-created part of the soul. Here the heart is hollowed out to make room for God. Without root in any-thing, this dark night is an inward fall toward no bottom, no soil. Yet the bitter herb that grows here ferments into the only lasting sweetness.
This dark night is the silence inside the bell, never knelled, never touched by external hand. Yet this silence vibrates with the clarion call of awakening. The unstruck sound is the fluctuation in the vacuum that swells into a photon, the photon to a star. This is the physics of creation out of nothing.
The poem of the cosmos is a never-ending series of similitudes for emptiness. I am a berry at the tip of a naked twig tonight. Or is it morning? I cannot tell. I am sap dreaming in the reed sheathed in ice. I am the sunken fire that plummeted to seed, raptured downward. I am not the absence, but the womb of light.
Why do we call this season "Advent"? Because we hear in night's abysmal womb the herald of rebirth. We devote each expectant sunrise, each fading vesper, to the pregnant Mother Mary. Her very name is that empty bell of resonance, sound of Mary, Mother, Mater, Maris, Ocean Star, Sea of Night, Dark Energy of Matter, Mystery of Our Flesh. Antipodes of Spirit? No. Unknow. Unveil duality in oneness, the body contained in the Spirit it births. Selah.
"Breath" and "Spirit" are the same word in Biblical Hebrew and Greek: "Ruach" and "Pneuma." "Adam" means "dust." Sod is inspired. What could be filled if not a hollow? What could be hollow that has no rind or husk? How would I know light if I had not been darkness?
Lungs are empty, heart is empty, belly empty. Empty the sacred organs of procreation. Dark and empty each atom of my body. Vacuum filled with Prana, void with Holy Spirit, night with stars. Zero in the black seed, unfolding its secret embryo, the Sun.
One proton of my flesh is an infinite chaos of quarks, containing all the information in the cosmos. I am made of bright worlds. Every neutrino of dark Mother-matter a weightless galaxy of gravity waves, singing violet flames of cherubic fire, fueled by no-thing.
O blessed mantra, "ex nihilo." O unutterable negation, good fortune of interior poverty, divine womb of the drowned Christ, nurtured in the ocean of naught. Quietness of the ancient Now, creation through no Word, in this very instant always prior to name and form, when dawn awakens the brave song of the wing-wounded soul: "Let there be light!"
Within me, or just beyond my window? That stricken feathered thing of air, who could not fly Southward toward warmth, but lingered in the night, to greet this Winter dawn. All the more beautiful to hear, because she has a broken wing. My very listening is God.
No need for me to say, "Dive in."
You have already drowned
in the ocean of grief,
the ocean of loving kindness.
You won't get stuck in the net
of "right" and "wrong,"
"pain" and "pleasure" again.
You're the water now.
But you can still breathe.
You can be a wave
of what is ever whole.
We all share loss unspeakable.
It feels like a void in the heart.
Yet no matter who abandons us,
our voids are all the same:
a door we enter to be changed
by what never changes.
Can you flee from this moment?
It will be Now when you arrive.
Travel ten thousand miles?
You'll be here when you get there,
resting as a witness immovable.
Better to honor the flowering
of your pain, this nameless blossom
whose fragrance has no edges.
Desolation herself gets burnt away
by this honor. Perhaps you have
suspected the truth all along:
creation springs from bewilderment.
into sparkling awareness.
Don't worry, you can still pray.
All the gods rejoice when you call
their name, the beginning of prayer
in every tongue, just one word:
Make a delicious mistake. Fuck up once in a while.
After all, I invented peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
when I was 4 years old, stealing and smashing
two jars from mommy's grocery bag, sticking my hands
in the mess, then in my mouth, wiping the glisten
of chunky brown and crimson from my cheeks
with soft white Wonder Bread. Yes I did.
When I was 7 I invented the frisbee
while throwing a plateful of broccoli
my babysitter forced me to eat out the window.
I did. And I invented S'mores at the age of 12
when a pimply camp counselor wouldn’t let me have
three desserts: so I crushed them into one.
Don’t you love people who crush things into one?
And burn the marsh mallow?
Even in the uterus my great aunt Molly, who lived
in a previous century, made me wear red rubber
rain boots, scrawling L and R on them, like left
and right would matter in the 8-shaped breath
of my infinite womb-swimming, which made me
so angry my subatomic bones would rattle the stars.
Yes, I was a mad and powerful embryo.
What did you invent by smearing, by smashing,
by your glorious lack of impulse control
in the sacred mayhem of childhood?
Go ahead, tell me everything. Or tell
an exquisite lie so outrageous it might be true:
"I invented the way light shatters in the prism
of a dewdrop by powers of ten, creating
the first rainbow." Or, "I was a wanderer,
hitchhiking before I could walk." Or maybe,
"My past sins cancelled all my works of mercy;
negative and positive collided in my heart,
adding up to nothing, no karma at all, which is why,
at birth, my fetus crowned through Zero."
Makes perfect sense to me, Friend. Now listen:
Whoever God is, She embraces this mess.
Squirting our mouths with milky streams of Life,
Life in abundance, She overbrims our grail with
Second Chances, permitting the Impeccable Blunder.
From the uncertain locus of an electron
to mutations in a molecule of cytosine,
right up the crazy chain of non-causality
to how black chaos engenders stars
in the belly button of a supernova,
all of us are mistakes of necessity, even Jesus,
hairline fractures in the magnanimous vacuum,
filled in with molten gold, kintsugi of the human.
So if you never got sentenced to time-out chair
in kindergarten, or sent to the principle's office
for pulling someone’s pony tail in grade school;
if you never cut class to explore the wilderness
in your soul, or skipped church to attend
the carnival in your body; if you never got
tear-gassed by cops on the street in college;
never got fired, never spent a single night in jail;
and never found your body in a hot mess
on the kitchen floor, your fingernails engraving
hieroglyphs of grief in the linoleum - dear one,
you may not actually have been alive.
Nothing could be more ordinary, nothing could be more miraculous, than this breath. Please remember, a breath is never taken, but given. Be grateful. At this very moment, what swirls the galaxy and sings the stars is breathing you. Every cell in your flesh knows this, and softly smiles.
The breath who comes to dwell in your body is the very form of the Beloved, and the very Goddess who plays by God’s elbow at the dawn of creation. (Proverbs 8).
Each rise and fall of inhalation, exhalation, polishes the golden cup of your heart, whose sparkling emptiness receives the image of God's face from every creature.
Somewhere in the forest, a fern unfolds; that too is your breathing. A trillium gazes at all your shades of green. In the empty robin's nest, your broken shell contains the whole blue sky.
Just for an instant, you return to the ordinary miracle of your body, and the kingdom of fear vanishes forever.
When we honor our own breath as the divine Guest, this perishing moment becomes a little Sabbath that lets eternity in. Friend, such Sabbath moments are not an escape: they heal the world.
There's an unquenchable spring
of lethal awakening
These waters are clear.
I've been pointing there, friend.
That's a difficult task.
Now you must do the easeful work
of turning, following the sound,
the subtle, wild and joyful murmur
from deeper in your body
than your soul.
Take the motionless green journey
of a spiraling seed
into the death of its flower.
We can only feel sorry for those
who wander up above themselves
and search the sky for another world
when the light they seek is
already gushing from their bones.
If you become so silent inside
that even your name disappears,
you will hear the music of this river.
Ah, that bitter word again, "inside."
There's nothing to be inside of, friend.
This is a little secret that can’t be hidden.
You are made of the very distances
you yearn and travel through
to find yourself.
Galaxies cluster and dissolve
in each atom of your flesh.
What bubbles up and pours
is your stillness.
Now drink, and become fierce.
All will be well
through dream and hollow
if your chest keeps
smoldering with hope
in this inhalation.
Let it be a kiss
upon your whole body.
Gaze at yourself
with the radiance
of a trillion stars.
Silence will dissolve
if you nourish
the intimate friendship
of what you yearn for
and what you are.
Rest your head on the pillow.
Rest your mind in the heart.
Breathe out the day.
Breathe in the dark.