I have listened to the cackling of crows.
I have risen from the cauldron with the white raven,
and now, I am told, it is time to be these things I so love,
to spread grace.
you will find only black rock
borne from the storm
under the shawl
when the raven never left me
and winds tore at my soul,
polished in the heat
of the fire
before you ran.
You will find basalt,
for the agony has
You cannot push me anymore.
You cannot have my blood
and this rock will not move for you.
You will mislead me no longer,
my song will not change for you
because it is my song,
the one which can be no other,
Here, springs a flower,
It will be tended
with all the wisdom I have.
It is no longer open
to your viewing,
for its soil
will not be poisoned
by your throes
of your wounds.
My mind grew keen,
in the forges,
the mastery of my beauty
– you chose not to see –
This sovereign land,
in ancient customs
You are not welcome here.
Not because you are bad, but
because your shape will no longer fit
I have no need or reason to reach
for a black hole
for my heart is a rock,
Your door is elsewhere.
ever fought for,
sought for, sacrificed for,
runs fresh in my veins,
It shifts my body before the notion to do so arises.
I am alive.
What I gained on the other side,
this glowing rock,
this molten lava,
this star bursting from my chest,
is not meant to be beared, but shared.
In stillness, I would cave and fester.
In movement, a booming echoes around me, from me somehow.
The magnet of my compass has grown so strong,
it is more trouble to ignore, now, than to follow.
What will I do?
What will I do?
I will discover in the doing.
[photo credit: https://downtheforestpath.com/2013/03/06/little-pagan-monastery/]
Once you have fallen down and rotted upon the earth
and dreamt your dreams
and picked yourself back up,
you cannot remain a skeleton.
The wind that blew through your ribs
to teach you its song
will only keep singing the same song,
and you have learned it already.
The ravens will not come back
because the have sated their hunger
for the dead.
Child of this earth,
the guardians give you a home now.
choose garments of color,
hum your song
and listen for the wind
when she wraps herself around you
on a late summer day.
She has secrets about being whole
as well as being dead.
We pass through a door
and as we return through another,
all the rest close.
It is the way of being mortal.
It is a good way,
for without song we cannot express.
Without song we cannot swell and beam,
shape and teach
what has come through us.
This time you will be different.
This time the terrain will be taken more carefully.
This time your ear will be attuned more keenly
to the authentic.
And then there is the time when after the long awaking, after the split, the sleep and the recovery, after the faith has been held for so long, that sustenance seeps up from the ground. Things look the same but the doors are open. Medicine pours into the dry wounds and pleasure for living returns. The fallow period has passed. All the dreams, the prayers, the offerings to the mother have been heard and the answer is now in your blood.
Live. Live the life you wanted. Defend the new life as if survival depends upon it, because it does. And you know that now so there is no more deliberating. It is a fresh page and you are not a young thing, so take the pen and stroke from your life, the tapestry which cannot be undone yet can always continue.
Not knowing has become fun again, only because of the rock inside. This rock which has been formed through so much hardness, this hardness which has become your strength. To trust in that strength is to find the will to be gentle again. To know that you have become your own protector grants freedom to be able to choose to be open again. This child, inside is safe and brings a joy to carry you forth.
Blessed be the seasons that pass. Blessed is the ground beneath our feet. Blessed is the food and the wake and blessed has been the silence.
We do not run, nor push nor fend. We stroll into a new world with the patience of time. We savor and we test. We choose again and we go for what we always wanted. With skill this time.
When the warrior finally reaches the green pastures and sunny meadow,
when the warrior puts her weapons down,
she feels the heat rise from within her and lies down to rest
under the high grass, smell of lyrical flowers.
Further no purpose, no quarry in sight, she dreams of battles
and then when she rises, all comforts greet her body
and she sighs, and she sleeps again.
When the warrior has found her way out of the darkness
into the light of her own heart
there is no longer need to strive
for arrival is done
and the land is still.
There is nothing left to seek,
yet the song still awaits, as she waits for the song.
Soothe the jagged remembrances of evil;
remember the misplaced soothing of jagged affairs.
Awake she is, like never before and
like never before, she draws from her sleep,
her being whole now,
glistening and listening to the holy voice within.
I asked, “Once the debris has been cleared and demons faced, transformed, what is left in the sacred vessel of the shadow within us?”
and I heard the reply,
“That which one is connected to, but has no words for.
That which gestates and must not be disturbed, lest it be damaged in the process.
The Great Mother, who holds us, who nourishes and who weeps and cheers for us.
This is also the realm of the White Raven, she who has been burnt through and through and yet still lives. She who is Grace with a thin cloak of iron unseen and unshakeable. She who is container, soft as feather, hidden power capable of those very things she yearned to do when in pain but put down as soon as she was able. She is Death, she has seen and understood every aspect of Death and yet she has no need to bring on Death. She holds forgiveness, her compassion gently touches us with the naked light of presence aware.”
Once stagnation is broken in the sacred vessel of shadow, once the river is flowing freely, dreams of the Gods come quicker, our journeys clear in the slipstream of their inspiration. Then when we tell, we tell from a place of the Gods.
This is all I know and I pray for.
I just finally got underneath the car and fixed it.
You know, that rattle, that pulling back when I am trying to move forward, that shaking, threatening to fall apart while I am distracted about what is on the road before me.
The adventures I have chosen have been filled with potholes to move around (dropped a wheel a few times), filled with close scraping branches (no bother until the scratches start to rust through), filled with high winds and some furious storms.
Well, I stopped the car and got underneath it and fixed the darned thing. And when I got up, wiped my hands on my jeans, a road opened up that was level and open. The sun shines down and the engine purrs and I think, “Wow I could’ve done it before.”
But I didn’t. So I did it now and the ride will be so much better now.
That seashell white.
That clear space.
We are all innocent.
We will always be innocent,
that place inside us that sings,
that can’t make sense of unkindness.
That place that didn’t mean our own unkindness.
There is a space for our young child
we need to protect so that she/he may flower.
The flower that risks so much,
without knowing it is risking
to be open and delicate.
Perhaps the blossom itself,
it’s own effect on our senses
is what causes the world to leave it be,
except the honey bees and humming birds,
kissing and propagating.
Our young child will grow,
find the wisdom in boundaries,
learn to protect
Yet our innocence remains.
Blessed in gentle play.
This, our most sacred self.
The orchid will bloom in her own time.
The dirt will lie, perfect patient receiver of the rotting life. It will change slowly as pungent passes and chaos reorganizes into readiness.
Then she will lie down too and listen as everything passes by her. She will dream her dreams and sort through all the possibilities of what to be. She will listen and listen until she remembers and then she will yearn with all of her might, her yearning the only power within her purview. Her yearning can only be truly answered by that which makes orchids, so any wrong turn, any receiving of haphazard medicine will shape her asunder.
So, patience, patience.
She yearns, her little mind filled with orchid visions and of the sun kissing her buds.
One day, in delight, she realizes that her yearning has burst her shell and she has become a seedling, thrumming with tender excitement. She dawns in her stretching and she ever reaches. Her intoxicated wonder bursts forth with her bloom and then dances a wild interplay with her new world, filled in the diversity of the cosmos. She receives and receives, sure of her vision under the nurturing great forces of moon, sun, water and wind.
Be an orchid my friends, bide time. We cannot stay forever in the cauldron, but we cannot leave until the Goddess opens the way, lest we run our dreams back into darkness. As decomposition turns to fertility, as the path is etched in dreamtime, each step is a long passage, each a juicy time of medicine to be schooled by and digested.
Our yearning is synchronistic faith and singular force of creation together. The nature of yearning is to birth, to co-create with the Gods. Hold this, my ones. Nothing is more important than the clear, unprecedented arrival of your bloom.
Scars mark the way to future conflict.
Their beauty still me
as I bend to scoop
on my face.
There I am.
I would not recognize myself
for want of a compress,
soothe my presence.
I caste out a spider web and it sticks to their faces. It sinks in, penetrating their soul until I can see every pattern inside them. I draw from the pattern.
“Is this the way? Is this the way?”
I bring the pattern unto myself and try to fit into it’s shapes, to see if I will feel better.
“Is this the way? Is this the way?”
It is not the way. But I am so lonely. So I dip into my spider bucket and I try again. Again and again, onto the same person or different persons. Persons who look happy. Persons who look loved.
There is nothing left in my spider bucket and my imprints are jumbled and cross-sectioned inside of me, telling me what to do in so many ways that I do not know myself anymore.
“Is this the way?” “Is this the way?”
I am less lonely, because of all the voices. But I am less happy. And now I must be away in order to untangle the mess.
What is my pattern? What is my pattern? Does it run through me freely? Is it made of ideas or is it the song of my own soul?
The spirits sing. The spirits shout towards me. They say do not waste your precious life being anyone but yourself! Do not waste your precious, precious time..not exploding into the rapture of your precious, precious self, a song that no one can ever or will ever be able to sing but you. If you don’t, we will miss it. You will miss it. You must share yourself with the world. You must find the flower and care for it like it is your very own. Because it is the one thing that is.
I put on my mask, poured hot from the kiln and pounded into a shape only I can describe. The marionette strings are high, up into the world where no one can reach them. I dance, and it is not my dance. It is the dance of a jester, one who calculates how one will be received. I am happy. I am received and well, my brooches are colorful and dancing.
But my heart is deep within and my heart is hidden from all of you. For you are the enemy. My wiles and my smiles are meant to weave other webs, the kind I can sleep in and dream lullabyes sung to me by made up sweetness. But it’ll do. It’ll do fine as I do not ask much of anyone besides their praise. My heart is closed in a way that even I do not know it.
If I ever want to find true love I will have to get alone. Cut the marionette strings, consider the mask of power and lie still while my heart beats quietly.
“Is this the way? “ “Is this the way?”
My little heart speaks to me in syllables unspeakable. The spirits are silent, waiting to hear me stir in the darkness, to come clean with my own blade of reason, to feel the truth inside me.
Years pass and I am still lying on the dark earthen floor. I am taking in the butterflies. I am considering my past. I am looking at the edges of things, where they were not serving me before and will not again if I continue forward. I am watching great forces move across the horizon. I do not want to make a move, for I have not changed. I do not know who I am.
There is nothing. There is nothing and there is nothing. Once again, I am nothing. There is no master pattern to map and there is no self to hold onto. I am a vessel. There is nothing but movement and change. There is no expression but song. The kind of song that burst forth unprepared for with no warning. I am a song and I have lost my way.
But there is no way and stillness, eventually, only leads to death.
“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road– Only wakes upon the sea.
Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”
― Antonio Machado, Campos de Castilla