in Polish, the silence- silence, hush, abatement, appeasement, subsidence

A cold paw reached in and touched his fevered forehead. He didn’t react except for a slight tremor in the breath, lay still as a plank of wood, and even in wood, there’s movement. The dog pattered away, tail between his legs, head down, and settled on the worn path between the kitchen door and the stove. He lay on his stomach, sad-eyed head between two huge front paws. His ears monitored any kitchen activity, which was minuscule, known only to him, twitching backward and forward as his eyelids slowly closed, surrendering to the dense quiet. It was a quiet filled with the sound of insects buzzing in orchestral awe, then suddenly quieted. The sound of birds cooing and harmonizing then abruptly drowned in primordial silence.

*

The night remembers and trusts the inkhead sheep and brown-eyed cows of Scotland’s countryside. It forms a coded black around us as it dissolves into sleep.

June and July passed in a hot silence.

On Sundays, we look for nourishment, paws scratching in the half-damp of the unwatered, dewed garden. Have the deer eaten our flowers yet? A family, bright-eyed, waits in the tall grass beyond the bathroom window. We wink as we mutter as we shade our eyes from the cold,- [humid] light pouring through the clean pane. Looking for comfort in the hours of daylight ahead. Everything in us tilting, waiting, like flowers, towards dark. Flowers whose survival depends on the dark cover of night, the opposite of light, the soothe of the velvet night sky against our bodies.

We try to feel what we feel. And not reach for an easy excuse out of feeling. We try to be whole, meaning whole with experience but it is hard right now, the wonder of what lies ahead, rosebed, if the night will become ours, days and nights of wondering and uncertainty. We’ve grown used to them, this unknown love of the territories, we know this love, in our bones, mouths, around our eyes. It’s weird and inexplicable and wondrous and the wanting and longing and desire are pronounced and jutting, physical, premonition of objects battering at the soft edges of the world.

We were [are?] quiet here.

Right now, we are waiting to turn into something else, like the color of air when a curtain is swept aside. Waiting for alchemy, for the heart to remember its roots.

Magnetic North

The blue needle longed for magnetic north.
– Borges, Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

We will make it through. We are in the water. The loneliness and companionship of water, sunset beyond windows, within view or darkened prematurely by blinds. We’re in that blind and then blinded by a midday sun. There is no loneliness, we tell ourselves, we’re married, we have families, we have jobs. We have people we talk to every day.

The promise of water.

After all this time, I’m still the adolescent girl in my parents’ Dodge, lying down in the backseat, reading, as one or the other of them, usually my mom, bangs on the window, startling me out of a book, demanding I get out of the car and enjoy whatever view of whatever attraction at whatever national park. I’d still rather be in the backseat, reading.

Over the moon and under the sun, my reading encounters Borges and the Map of Uqbar.

Love presupposes language- silent language, one that is felt and heard in the body- we are existences of each other, one silent alphabet that unites all languages, dead and alive, posthumous recognition of the experience of all beings.

Ursprache: primordial language / proto-language

[what is moored in a presupposed or ore-(mineral, water, composite elements of matter)
Pre-imagined – what comes before imagination in the cosmos –
energy is what leads to pure being]

We go, as always, from desire into solitude, from solitude into desire. We unravel the effects of decisions we made in the past.

The new horizon is visible and there is so much light.

We can look at parentheses as a kind of sleep, which would be most accurately described by synonym slumber. What is held in parentheses is a dream. We are not quite sure if it’s physically real or if it is part of some imagined dream world.

The nine copper coins of Zeno are secret history, unknown waters, invisible presences, apparitions, the mystery of what came before and what will come and what is hidden now, the inner seams of the material of time and how it flows within matter, physical bodies, the earth, other planets, and love.

The premonition of objects and the sea.

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trees_trail

May 2015, Scotland

Tomorrow, I will ground farther into the woods. I will make my way farther into the sky. Where horses are blades of grass and the ancient temples sing with copper and stone. We are further into this, you and I, than we would have thought. This is not thinking. This is openness.

I walked around my neighborhood today, porous as a sponge. The street flooded with light, like a stream. The sun and a low plane.

Things in life are stilling, even as they move, as becoming still, how much movement there is in sleep, or ice, or soil. There are so many microscopies, like hidden words, hidden language. We move towards each other in ever hastening circles. We cast our lines into the water. We move about our homes. We ask for repetition and dew. We hold our hands out to receive and be with the open. The open land and open tongue and open language. Things–everything we see–is so beautiful. We remain perched as held by this knowing, that all we can imagine is brought forth in matter.

Held in open language, as held in water, the stunning continues, after and after another of sweet roses with wings halt and burst into flame, becoming ether or dust or weather.

It matters: we solidify into form. Our necks, our snakes into ether and body. We matter then extinguish. Fully in the belly of becoming. Cauldron.

We are orbits of each other, down here in the vast depths. We know each other like fire, like ash.

We are pronounced to each other as hearts beating in concascadent rhythm.

I will wake early tomorrow and the sun will be out.

I will sleep deeply in my bed, surrounded by the atoms of you.

We come back to ourselves as to each other as the Beloved.

loch_katrin?

Loch Venachar, Scotland

IMG_0676
The shadow.

I’ve dreamed it all, the mountains and the light, the light going behind the mountain, the dark descending as if it would never be light again, the shadow of trees, the shadow of my own dreams as nightmares, morning light burning around the edges of the curtain as I lie, half-awake, half-asleep. This is the full dream. There is no half-dream. The dream is whole.

The shadow is in between the blades of grass.

The shadow is in the light and the light is in the shadow.

When I am afraid, there is always light. There is light in my fear. Fear and comfort are the same, there is comfort in fear, they go together.

The shadow reaches across the barn. The shadow is in the barn.

The shadow is in the black around the sun.

There is no full shadow in nature. Humans create full shadow around them. In nature, one is contained in the other. If I am quiet, I see the break of light in my shadow. The full shadow is created by the mind. It does not exist in the body or the spirit or the spirit world or the natural world.

The shadow is there to separate things – not as we understand separation – to separate as to create time, to differentiate periods of time.

Sit and watch the field with me, the grass blowing in the wind. There is no place in nature that is all shadow or all light.

*

The center of the storm is a quiet place. Many around here think of it as death. When they talk about it, which is rare, they look downward and their breath comes hard.

The center holds.

*

I want to forget the world. But I don’t. I want to forget nothing. The ears of the trees are bent to the wind. I break open like a fig.

Synthesis, integration, integrity, wholeness are not smooth and flawless – they are active, fluid states of being, requiring thought and presence and focus. There are bumps and creaks and turns in this process, not a fixed point of arrival.

There is a tiny bird above the field. There is a tiny field above the bird.

We are here, in this field of light.

That which you offer via the Black Madonna becomes a drink whose colors intoxicate me with details, with time and space. Without touching us physically you have found a way to show us a true world for touch. The Black Madonna and the chakras translate our bodies. Can you please tell me about possession?

I am open to possession in the work. Though I take care as I invite it, I do invite it. There is useful information in the slips, the many genres of entity-convergence.

Every book I have ever written has been a possession of some kind: alchemies and transfers, transmutations and swells. I give in; I offer you a little of this identity within me so you can take up space within me.

I have found unseen beings can continue to approach me as their guides or embodiable sites for re-allocation, threshold crossing, as I maneuver by invoking and involving myself in intentional possessions.

Recently, doing a mediation with Merlin, the verdant and mad prophet, he presented to me as a strange and hysterical, rabbit-toothed form. He was touching me and tickling me and coming off as a little bit creepy: kind of a jittery, drooling, cosmic accident. When I realized what he needed, I just looked at him in the eyes and said blatantly, with some force: “What are you doing? Why are you here in this observatory acting like a critter on your back when there are stars out there beside you in the darks of the forest? Why are you looking up and emanating this manic vibe when you could be looking in? You are here to be in there.” I point out to the crowded wood. I point to Merlin’s heaving chest.

At that moment Merlin’s face snaps into place and he looks like an aged prophet: the lines on his face like text on an old manuscript, rolling and rolling as it unfolds. He grows quiet. Now he is walking out into the woods that love him so completely. He is in search of the stars that are here on Earth.

I know in the unseen realms unseen beings come to me in their most feral forms so they can treat me as a guide by whom they are compelled to get further into the stuff of their desires, dreams, and identities.

I am interested in finding out what they want and need. I sort of lovingly slap them back into a calm state (like kink!) by practicing telepathy and high intimacy with them, by my willingness to be what they need in order to move on to a next step or state by offering them some logic that might make sense to them.

The logics of any current era or culture do not necessarily make any sense to unseen beings. How could they if they barely make sense to a Priest/esss who was born into them?

Keep going, please, in re the green.

On the day in question, was it because I eventually opened myself to affections with green ghosts that I became possessed by an odd personification within the geography of dead girl?

I suddenly don’t feel at all like my own name but I know very much that I am with it. I am turned inside out. Dear dead girl: what frequencies do you frequent?

Last week, when I heard about the girl who drowned in the mountains, I went immediately to a place along the river where it might have happened. I was looking for her, for proof she had left for me to find. I stumbled upon a rumpled and gorgeous field of tattered poppies. Their interiors were soaked with pollen. During the improv-ceremony I offered, among the enigmatic poppies, and let her know that of course I understood why she would be hanging around still: the keeners were calling her name in public!

Her human funeral was nearing. But I also wanted her to be aware that at any time she was ready to go she could (regardless of what she thought her family might need or expect from her). It is your right to go, dead girl. I threw petals into the tumbling river piece by piece.

Why, nearly a week later, did dead girl eject me out of my body? I have experience with possessions of many types and there has never yet been an entity that needed me to be outside my body in order for them to be within me.

While outside me, with her in me, it feels as if I am drowning in wild water. Is this an enforced churn in the seventy percent wetness that comes along with me by the nature of having a body? Is she causing an undertow, a tidal jolt? Am I drowning with my eyes open?

My hands are shaking uncontrollably. Purification methods by which I usually find comfort are too harsh or not harsh enough. When she turns me inside out, my subtle body is in my middle and my physical body outside of that. Then I have to perform psychic surgery on myself while being located outside my body. I guess being outside of yourself makes it easier to operate on yourself, but the sensation is very new for me and a bit jarring.

I sit with the question: “In the context of myself, to what degree is allowing me to be in grief about a dead girl of any use?” And now I am being shown by dead girl that the value of human grief is not contained in how it makes the human fallible or not, but how it can be responded to.

Dead girl has grief at her own passing. She drowned by being turned and turned in something, as a daughter of a Priest/ess, her mother has taught her to love: the river. As this girl’s grief runs amok in my body I can be responsive to her, and do so in a precise and cosmically confident way. It is her grief I am interested in responding to in my own ways (none of which are grief).

I pray for dead girl. My prayer is prying into her. “I need you to know my body is not your home, dear. It feels good in here because I have made it inviting to you. Though I have made it a welcome site, just as I told you when I cleared things for you at the river, you have every right to go.” I won’t attach her to this Earth. That is her role in her own cosmic evolution. I will, however, offer myself to her and others, infinitely, as extension of the Black Madonna. “I will hold you for as long as you need, before you go.”

This is my queer Bodhisattva vow. This is why I am staying: to facilitate you as you go.

Dear dead girl: I honor you as a Priest/ess of your own design.

The mother prairie dog has leapt the long way off the curb. Her body falls in a clunk. She is moving a bit too fast, gathering the dead body of the baby prairie dog in her mouth. The cars are rushing by and I can see she is shaking, dizzy. She is not able to orient to anything in this moment, in the wealth of all of her prey-intuition. In this moment she is not able to orient to anything but her dead child.

It is because she chooses to hold the dead child during these passing moments that she is unable to get back up onto the curb. She is willing to make that sacrifice. She will stay in the gutter, the interim, the bardo. She will be a crispness in the sodden art, an unexpected light flashing such forceful glint that she folds by her actions, into cosmicity. She will be some errant elastic in the centerfold between embodiment before the violent and violating event and embodiment after it.

Three Poems

Daisies (1939)

After Henri Matisse

a whorl of white recurs
whorls in blue
yet also lemons, a vase
a field is black
sur la table
et dans le nuit
green’s brilliant
foliar mirage
evades gravity
erupts against night’s gap
ah red–

desire floods her
(such arms
her knees her elongate
thighs
fulsome arcs
not pink
not
a silhouette in gray ecstasy
pinwheeling daisies
leap
into light
white on white
tabled black
field
blue’s rectilinear certainties
whorl or real
ecstasy in white and blue

Gold-

luminous angling
a door/ shadowladder ::
red plays over white
itself burnishing

a thumb (or glance) mysteriously
ironwork
remains

the round
surfaces of an orange
relentless working of glass
has light

red’s pink ( )
or the architecture of blue walls
cut plane

(sea)
we are nearly there
salt
scrubs our breath

awash we
reach one lithe
light

tumbling we’re spent
rubyform
held against the sky

I love the smoking spark°

for j/j & Tracy

a borrowed language
    (fire)
love’s enumerations‒
topples me
wind dancing through

that it has always been

shadow aligning east
shape of an eye
the ten   sephirot
     of desire
what pine what aspen

brought us here
laden heft
of lavender bending the air
topology
of mouths

ear one
finger’s electric
touch
catalog of pressures
(hod   tefirot   chokhmah

that was always there

(fire)
coupling with air
this     (cloud-form
     earth
pillowed on your breast

there also
wild sweet
furl
     windshadow
now heat‒

there is such light    was always

here
liatris punctuating prairie night‒
white-barked     aspen
      garden
          canyon

     light
2 women
2-fold felicity
held (hold)
you

this blue    electric lassitude
dear heat
dear light
     such fervor
thrives

IMG_1933

Loving is risky. It holds us down underwater until we break free into it, gasping for air, coughing. We disappear into it and reappear like little stars. We shame ourselves, as so many in the past have taught us to do. That to love so nakedly, so far into the bone, is dangerous and unrealistic. That it’ll change into gas and vanish as soon as we come up for air. We make up new words for sorrow when we lose someone. We approach death with a stick, pointing it before us as scry and sword. We inhibit and dowse ourselves in protection, following a path in the snow left by deer.

It has been a long winter.

We have spent the past two weeks hurting from things not said. We have spent the past two weeks gasping for air.

Falling again and again into openness and feeling around in the river for the driftwood I thought was a tree. Are you a tree? My mom said, about a guy I was hopelessly in love with in college: he’s like a piece of driftwood. So began my initiation into love, a piece of driftwood.

There is a pair of practices and journeys we do in shamanism called dismemberment and remembering. We go through the dismemberment, letting go of unhealthy attachments, illness, heavy emotional patterns, anything that we have taken on that we want to let go of. Then we ask to be remembered as whole, healthy, and illuminated. For a long time, I named it disintegration because the word “dismemberment” threw me and felt too violent. I was able to disintegrate my body into the night sky and become a star. It was lightening and releasing. Seeing myself and others in divine light, filled with the power and essence and light of the universe, of what we name as divine, is a deep and profound experience. It takes discipline and focus. It requires letting go of all judgments, thoughts, preconceptions, prejudices, conformity to which we hold ourselves and by which we define ourselves. It requires letting go of the body. We let go into the void and are born again out of nothingness.

The moth homes we build in yard torches and porch lights. The rough buzz of getting too close to the light. This is our whole lives. We live in half-darkness, leaning into the light and leaning away from it. We move into light. We lean into love and we lean away from it. And we keep coming home every night to the one we love, if we’re lucky.

Our homes, safe. We need to make safe homes.

We want to be safe. So much is consumed by this desire. We burn safe in a fire. We want homes that are safe, loves that are safe. Our parents will never die. Our families will never die. We know they are immortal. Our own death is something we think about so that we don’t have to think about what the death of someone close to us would do, rip our lives apart, rip us apart into the fragments we were before they made us. The starlight shining through little tiny holes in our abdomen. We are fireflies, dozens of them, finally released from the jar but we love the jar, we miss the jar. It’s transparent and clear and we can see out of it.

We look up at the sky at our grandmothers and grandfathers. We are their tiny hands, bony and strong, grasping into flesh and bone. We hold hands with them, remembering the light in their eyes and their smiles. They were the only ones who smiled just to see us, it seems. My grandmother’s face the purest joy I have ever seen when we first saw her at the airport after a 17-hour flight, then awake for more than a whole day and night. Halfway around the world from where we lived, we were home. I long for home so desperately now. Where I am has hollowed out. I exist in a narrow beam of warmth. I feel warm and expansive, the space here is not. When we no longer belong where we have been. When it is time to move.

Loving is risky.

We define ourselves by someone and then startle awake to see the impressions left on us. Sometimes, we sleep so deeply, we are still dreaming when we wake up.

We accumulate burden unconsciously. Consciously releasing the burdens, energy, and influence of others frees us. We are all one, and we are also here to explore the outer limits of our own being as we are given this life and this being for the time we have. Releasing frees us to love.

There is something we talk about in shamanism called stealing souls. It is a habit we have. When we get so close, are breaching someone else’s space, we inadvertently steal a part of someone else’s soul. In Sandra Ingerman’s Soul Retrieval workshop, we did a journey and ritual after our soul retrievals to release the souls we had stolen. It was one of the most freeing and beautiful experiences I have ever had. I journeyed to ask whose souls I had stolen and asked for a ritual to release them back to the universe until they are ready to be called back and returned to the person to whom they belong. While my partner drummed behind me, I looked out to the mountains beyond the creosote and yucca and Joshua trees hugging the parched earth with their roots and I blew bubbles for each person whose soul I was releasing. I do a practice called H’oponopono, a Hawaiian forgiveness practice, in which I list people’s names and forgive each one in turn and ask for their forgiveness. It is powerful. It is life-changing every single time we forgive and release.

The drought in California and all of the Southwest goes on. The lessons of the desert I brought home with me. What is survival and what is beyond survival? Nature strives to live, to protect life cycles and natural balance. It produces flowers and bees and stardust and blood.

We are given so many things. We are given the natural elements of the external world, air, earth, fire and water, and the corporeal elements of heart and bone, all made up of the same matter. We are all made of the same elements. We strive for survival and what is beyond survival.

We must be compassionate witnesses. This includes being kind to ourselves. Compassion begins in our own hearts. True wealth and true freedom come from this spring: compassion, faith, reverence, gentleness, kindness. True love comes from this spring. We are ready to love. We love because it is the only thing to do. We love because breathing underwater is exhausting. It is not in our nature. We return again and again to the place of breathing, to letting things be, to our natural place in the wild.

A blessing for the Solstice.

I am finally in my life now like a real human being, occupying space and my body as if I belong there. For so long, I didn’t feel like I belonged in my own life. I felt that I didn’t exist and was scared all the time. This fear was born in me at a very young age and solidified more and more so that I became less aware of this—this marginal existence, where I was half in my body and half out. It has taken a long time, a lifetime, to feel like I fully exist, and I still have to remind myself that I am here, in the world, in my body, at this time and in this place.

The erasure of myself was quiet and, therefore, could be denied. It was tender and seductive, like taking a sleeping pill and going to sleep for the rest of my life. There was an abdication of form, a releasing of my body that happened. But, even in this half-erased state, that was not the only truth and I continued to fight from somewhere deep inside, even though I didn’t really understand exactly what I was doing. There was an anger, a temper that flared and fought to stay alive, to give voice to all of the silencing that happened. One of the truths of my life was that I was comfortable being invisible. It felt, for so long, safer. The only safety I had was being not there. If I was not there, then no one could hurt me.

I have come now fully into my body. Shamanism is an embodied practice. It does not let you hide. I have been slowly filling my body with my essence, my soul, my heart that has always known who I am and seen me clearly, as a being that is fully here, on this earth, and wants to live. You have to want to live. You have to want to exist. I have always wanted to live, I know that the force in me to stay alive, the self-protective instinct is fierce and powerful.

Both desires in me were true. They coexisted. But now, to have fully come into my life and feel my breath in my body and my heart beating and know that I am alive, in a body, at this time, I know the difference between a whole existence and a half-life.

I have been thinking a lot about healing and connection and compassion and empathy. There are so many intricacies to human thought and emotion and consciousness. I believe we are naturally compassionate and empathetic, and we build up defenses as we go along in life and get hurt. We give away our power. We make ourselves smaller in order to fit into a picture we have in our heads that has nothing to do with our souls. We are told that what we believe on a raw, instinctual level is wrong and we are steered away from that innate knowing. I am not saying, of course, that everyone and everything takes us away from what we know. But there is a tendency to want to connect by minimizing ourselves and our light and taking on others’ pain. It is hard work to parse out what is our emotion and what is tangled up in someone else’s. Healing and interdependence can come from many places, and their crux, where the warmth and unconditional love lives, is in our own hearts. We can look around outside ourselves for this love, but if it’s not in us, we feel empty and alone.

I have been thinking so much about the interplay of my own heart and giving to and receiving from others and nourishing solitude and fulfilling relationships. When I look at the bare, skeletal trees against the sky that holds winter light, I feel connected to an immeasurable and indescribable beauty that exists alongside grief and despair. Everything is together in this place, there is no separation between the grief we feel about our own lives and the world and the joy we feel. The stark tree against the sky accepts itself, holds its roots in the ground, and bears the cold of winter. It is not self-conscious, thinking it needs to be all dressed and leaved.

One of my Solstice blessings for myself and everyone is to trust ourselves. Trust our own experience and not let anyone or anything take that from us. We all have a gorgeous power that comes from knowing ourselves and trusting that only we know how we feel, in our emotions, bodies and spirits. Not letting anyone define that for us. We are alive, embodied spirit. Along with having spiritual confidence, and defining our experiences for ourselves, we can also be humble. We don’t know everything, so to listen and be open is a gift. This balance between standing firm in our own space, taking up that space and knowing we breathe and live and exist, and knowing our connection to everything and everyone is powerful and healing.