A poem from 3 years ago…seems appropriate in light of the marches!
Source: Miriam’s Song
A poem from 3 years ago…seems appropriate in light of the marches!
Source: Miriam’s Song
Here is part three.
All three parts of this series are written by a brilliant, insightful and passionate human being of the female gender…and she uses the FULL RANGE of her palate to express these truths.
Hey dudes…listen the fuck up! Pull your heads out of the sands of fear and your fingers out of your ears and shut yer pie-holes from babbling all about the estrogen the estrogen and LISTEN. You do not get to pass judgement on sumfin cus you are either comfortable or uncomfortable…you are under the same standard of restoration as the rest of humanity…is it the Way, and is it the Truth, and is it the Life? Whether you LIKE it or not…whether it makes you FEEL GOOD or not…
Thank you Jennifer. Your words are truth and life.
Woman: with the flu, a cramping, hemorrhaging uterus and a baby attached to her boob pushes through her daily myriad of responsibilities to take care of the family
male: devastated by Man Cold.
Ohhh CONSTANCE!! I have been transcribing this poem for a friend, the lovely Michelle Terry (Hi Grl!!)…and I fell in love with it again. Aaauuggghh!! I LOVE THIS POEM.
It’s about an evening that plays out between two hearts, two souls…it plays out between The Earth and Space…it plays out between waters and land, and heart and bodies…it plays out between Love and Lover and back again…it plays out between the carnal and the ineffable…desire and Desire…
I like my metaphors and use of them…I like the references and hints dropped. I like the movements, from Prelude to Finale. It is sensual and spiritual all at once, and it still feels really good.
Some critics have told me it is too long…perhaps they are right…but I allus ask them what do they expect me to do about that?? For I have about as much say over how long it is as I do how tall you are!
If you’re a new reader and dabbling, I hope you will take a run… ❤
There is an indigo bunting
outside my window singing
in the moonlight streaming by
a million miles an hour.
But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door…
Source: In Arpeggio Miles
the short period
during which all
the years of groaning,
from that first fatal blow dealt
by selfish egocentricity to the
entirety of creation…
which turned off the Divine Light,
are compacted into one designated
not “long”, but “longish”
and full of longing.
Waiting for the most part is experienced as obdurate dull hunkering down and drinking from the cracked teacups of platitudes…ingesting such sops as “everything happens for a reason” and “this too shall pass”…yeah no…those things will not cut it, to get us thru this night, this absence of Divine Light that lays over all things, this utter darkness of the ego dictatorship.
Waiting…true waiting is become for us an empowered marking of events as they flow, infused by a knowing confidence that we wait for something certain and substantial…we wait for something coming and yet already here…we wait for the joy that veritably strains at the gates of birth to come forth!
We wait for someone…Someone…and every year that Someone comes fresh and new…and full of the very Presence that fits the absence of our existence like a Hand in a glove, like a key in a lock.
The Ultimate Mystery of Existence is the Incarnation: that joining of Creator and Creation into one full and harmonious miracle of Being…a joining that was planned and executed before even the foundations of the earth were laid, long ago sometime in eternity past when God in communion with God manifested the Eternal Sacred Heart in Passion Absolute and took up residence forever at the crux and core of all things, all rays, all paths and promises…that begotten presence which chose to be called Son climbed that tree and hung…hung…hangs…and hangs…
behind, beneath, above, within.
In every single cry of horror the cross is at the center.
In every single laugh of promise the cross is at the center.
In every single expression of wonder, every single nightmare of despair
at the center
And in the most central and deepest Intention is that Union, at the center of which the cross veritably pulsates!!
It is the Mystery of the Incarnation…which is spoken of most plainly in the lowly caterpillar…or is it spoken of most darkly in the mystery of the Chrysalis? Wait…it is spoken of most clearly in the emergence of the butterfly.
We are that caterpillar, our lives a Holy Chrysalis of Dark Promise, and our becoming the butterfly whose wings we feel pulsating within our breast, that activity of Wonder which flutters in heaving convulsing implications that there must be Something!!
And so this morning, I wanna talk about that…the activity.
During Advent, we can look at the various “actors” in the Christmas Story to take our cues and understand our path forward, onward, higher/deeper, inward/outward…
Let us start with Mary.
She is the type for each and every one of us.
Each of us is a potential “Mother of God”,
a “blessed among all women”,
a chosen and fit vessel to carry the Child of Promise, the Messiah!
And Mama hovers, draws near, and watches…She waits too!
Did you know that God waits?
That every single day of time is God’s Advent waiting?
But back to Mother Mary…back to you…who if you will, can choose to “be” Mother Mary. She said to God “Be it unto me according to Your Will”, and “my soul does indeed magnify God”!
OH! The shockwaves of that declaration continue to ripple still! And she did indeed receive the Child into her inmost self, and God took up residence there and joined Themself to humanity forever and always, and the butterfly was born…the God-human, the human-God…that indescribable uncanny union of the Divine and the human, which is spoken of as “the new creation”.
And Mary brought forth that Child…after a 9 month Advent of gestation…and that Child is the Deliverer of Creation.
And this is the first phase of Advent Activity…and your first task. Make room within your being for the Child to come and be implanted within…and bring forth that Incarnation of human/Divine life into this world in everything you do and say and think and are…you yourself in a very real sense “Mother” God…birth God…and it is your divine calling…no…your Divine RIGHT to birth God this Christmas, this year.
And what exactly would that look like, to bring forth God in your life?
Well…who is it that you want God to be for you?
That is who you must bring forth to the world.
It is the activity of Advent as an individual to birth and bring forth the Divine presence that only you can bring forth.
Oh Chosen Mary, blessed among all humans…search yourself, and make room…for the Incarnation within to come forth…
Out in the cold, living in fields…Looking after animals, in the dark of night…
Lonely, stiff and cold, hungry, sleepless and miserable, surrounded by slumbering insensate beasts who couldn’t even begin to give a crap about anything except their own comfort and care…full bellies and security from wild beasts even if it meant being captive to their comfort and thus forever doomed to the dust-life…and never a dawning of even the beginnings of wondering what is Wonder…
…it is there we meet the shepherds…who are aware…ALL too aware of these things.
I mean, c’mon!
The story tells us they were living out in the fields!
They had no homes.
They had no place to lay their head.
Except in the fields…with the beasts they cared for…and their own sense of wonder…wondering why the rich sat at ease in their cedar lined homes…wondering why their bellies were so empty when the refuse cans of the rich were so full of excess and waste…wondering why the stinking Romans had authority to take and break and dictate…
wondering why God was silent, absent, insensate, indifferent…
and into that dark and lonely discomfiting despair came a Divine breaking in and breaking thru!!
In the midst of the darkest, most silent, most still, most absent of hope, most slumbering unaware time…came Heaven’s declaration that a Child had been born! A Child had been Given!!
And His name was Wonderful!
His name was Counselor!
His name was Prince of Peace!
He was The Everlasting Father (yet an infant, meek and lowly)!
He was the Dayspring, the Bright and Morning Star!
Ahh…Morning Star…that Star that presages that night is drawing to a close, is ending.
And then the shepherds were given His core name, His Heart-Name…
God with us. God with us.
God is with us.
Go to the lowliest place, for that is where God chooses to appear! Do you not realize that everything you wish God to be God IS in the revelation of Advent? He chose the lowliest, the weakest, the most foolish…and in that place was born…in a feeding trough…a manger.
You do get that, don’t you? The Bread from Heaven was laid in a manger (another name for trough from which cattle eat)? And broken there for us…to “eat”…to “ingest” and have Him become one in essence with us?
The shepherds were told to go and see the baby, and then to go, and tell it on the mountains, tell it in the valleys, tell it everywhere there were hungry ears…that EMMANUEL HAD COME!
And they did.
Thus we see the second activity of Advent: you are called, as a shepherd, as one who is aware (regardless of whether you are full of hope or full of despair…either one is the sign that you are an “aware one” and thus are chosen and blessed)…to go.
Tell it on the mountain.
Tell it in the valley.
And keep your eyes open to spot the Child! You shall find Him in your neighbor…that “asshole” down the street that drives by you everyday, eyes fixed forward and exuding anger and frustration…that “airhead” in the cubicle next to you who is seemingly obsessed with her makeup and her dating life and fashion…
You will find Him in that hopeless one next to you on the subway whose beautiful incredible skin is the wrong hue in this culture and whose shining incredible heart is so wounded and bound by the hatred of others…
You will find Him in the transwoman on the street just trying to live in her skin…in the homeless youth whose vision is more obscured by their hair than it is by their heart…
This is the activity of Advent for the shepherds: find the Christ Child…in all His mangers…and proclaim that Child’s Name:
Emmanuel: God is with us.
In a foreign land, early.
Not early in the day…or even early in the year…
…but early in the Kairos of Significant Appointed Time!
And with Open Eyes…there waited Wise Men…who watched the skies, looking always upward for the arrival of…SOMETHING…they knew it not, what they sought, but they knew it had to be…because of the ache inside and the absence of something that caused the ache.
And then…there it was! A star appeared in the sky, and in that quadrant that allus presaged SIGNIFICANCE!
And as they watched intently, behold! It began to shift! And as it shifted, so too within them something shifted, something began to be drawn…something…SomeONE…was tugging at them, pulling them.
And they left their homes, their places of comfort and familiarity…and began the road trip of all road trips, one that some scholars theorize lasted a couple years!
Do you see this?
The incredible events of Advent that happened within the scope of 9 months for the principle actors and happened in one night for the shepherds…
…began as much as two years earlier for the Wise Men!
Talk about Active Waiting! Their waiting involved a journey as well!
They passed thru many lands, and as they were men of means and wealth and influence, their entry into the various kingdoms and lands thru which they passed created a stir, even consternation! But only because it was…odd…strange…unusual.
Until they got close…to the land for which such things held great import…that land governed by an evil and malevolent pile of egocentricity. In “The Fox”, it was as if all of the original assertion of ego which extinguished The Beginning Light was concentrated and distilled…and this small, infected and diseased pus-ridden pimple of a human being who was so full of hate and fear that he even killed children in his attempt to maintain his power was jolted by the arrival of these men and the implications of the Star, and the shockwaves that were about to break.
He was cunning, unctuous, viscous and smooth of speech like a cobra hypnotizing its prey…but the Wise Men were, well, wise to him…and they held him at bay with deference and deflection…and journeyed on after giving him the impression that they would indeed abide by his word when in his land…
and then they at last came to the place over which the Star pulsed and danced…
a baby…in a humble hovel stinking of beasts and despair…and their open eyes beheld Him.
They gave Him Gold…because they saw He was High and Royal, above all beings.
They gave Him Frankincense…because they also saw He was a Priest above all Priests.
They gave Him Myrrh…because they saw something hidden, from all others…until it was manifest…
…they saw that this Baby was simultaneously there, in that manger, and also at the crux of all, and hanging in agony, in Passion, and that His blood was the Spring that watered the very roots of the Universe…
and the Myrrh was burial spice…for by His death our life is.
They knelt…and worshipped…and were changed…by Emmanuel…the Incarnate One.
After awhile, they chose to depart…but did they obey “The Fox”? Did they come under the rule of government?
No…they had been changed forever, and they now were serving the Agenda of heaven and they resisted the intention of the earthly…and they departed in “civil disobedience” in order to preserve the life of God With Us.
And that is the activity of Advent declared to you in the story of the Wise Men.
Part Conclusion: https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-advent-conclusion/
You must find the way that the Child calls you to live a life distinguished, transformed…changed after your encounter with the Incarnate One…
Encountering Emmanuel first within yourself, and bringing Him forth in the manger of your life…
Encountering Emmanuel next within others…and telling those who still languish in darkness that Emmanuel has come…
Encountering Emmanuel then in the World…and living in a way distinguished and different, resulting in the establishment of His Kingdom, the government on His shoulders, and His never-ending rule of Justice and Mercy Kissing…
This is the lesson and activity of Advent for us…may it be Living Bread for us.
This poem is about how the work of Advent involves a preparation of Empty Bequeathed…and it uses transition as its vehicle.
nothing has been exposed,
revealed as the imposter
it still masquerades as.
I am empty of screams
but full of me and
ready to receive
the Promise of words
to give voice to
what’s unspeakable, unnameable,
to dress that wound
infected with nothing
and salve it with
the scratchy tickle of truth
and set free we
shadowbound, to be
our shining selves,
instead of being flat
and cast by them.
It is the season of emptiness, and places
prepared by pain are hungry
for the Presence
and the Promise
that only emptiness contains.
Enough of the certified baby so boring,
our “gentle Lord Jesus so timid, meek and mild”,
enough of the muffled mage soft-spoken and sage
who wouldn’t say shit even if He’d a mouthful!…
away with the gimmicks
we’re done with your crap
the lies that you laid down
the manger a trap
we want a tradition
that’s living and free
and songs of thanksgiving
and fresh liturgy
that’s ancient and yet new
and still relevant
so profound, so simple
the Eucharist true,
sending out, gathering,
preaching Good News
Restore the New Baby
the Time Bomb in time
the Bread come from Heaven
the Living New Wine
away with the gimmicks
the scripts and the lies
So faith, hope and love can
come open our eyes.
I have come, like Hagar returning home…
back from the dark side of the moon
and I am full of wisdom gleaned
from sun-baked wanderings
across wide bleak and barren lands
and Beautiful Bedouin Deserts
and all the way to that distant shore…
the edge of my soul-wound.
I have faced the edges of myself
I have faced that Gulf of separation
and I have headlong heedless SWAN-DIVED
pure…and I survived
I have crossed over…that gulf
I have TRANS-ED!
And now I run
returned to you, same-sided ones
My CIS-ters dear and precious-rare
marooned and longing for The DARE!
You still stuck on that Lost Coast
of desolation waiting at the long deserted
service station called same old
same old same old old old SIDE
Ohhh Sarahs! I have heard such secrets in
the red-reed voice of Scirroco winds
Oh the things I know, winnowed by that
wind and winnow-stick of courage
from the shifting Sands of self…
I have sifted and been sifted
by the heat and cold and light…and
the dark that knows what sleeps alone
the dark that knows what it knows not
(and nought, ahhh, yes, the dark knows nought)
the dark that knows what it knows nought
and it has taught me Love Notes…
on the dark side of the Moon
OHHHH MY MOON!!!
You see, she is stuck too (just like you, Sarah, just like you)
in his orbit circling and one side shining one side dark
her endless pasted happy smile while growing thin and desperate
and starved, ravenous in the night
Oh Sarah, remember you laughed, back then!
Well, I could teach you a thing or two about Laughing NOW!
Cus from your chuckle sprang a promised child
who grew into a nation dusty rusty red?
But I…me? Hagar??
From the Womb of my laughter
springs forth The Children of Her Promise!
I!! The Outcast ME!!
My Laughing womb brings forth
the very Rose Behind The Sun!!
We are two wombs, two moons, Sarah…you and me
But I’m a moon that got fed up and broke away
and learned to spin and twirl and dance!
I learned how to gladden this close Dark
I have understood how to please the Light
as I spin and twirl and turnturnturnspinstepspinturn
I am your Hagar! Outcast and returned
here in your hour of great need!
I stand before you, with you
with my wand of Cedar freedom waving
and my book of Mama-Conjuring!!
Ohhh Dearest Sarah, can’t you see?
That you are the same as me?
Look past desert veils so long ago assigned
Peer deep beneath this hoary hated hide!
And see the vital fertile oceanic sea…
Ohh Sarah, I see you! I was you…
languishing in bitter wounds of old
I see you in your hurty night
your tear stained grief
and darkened dreams
I see your Chrystal Mountain Rare
now Shattered in Indifferent air
and Chasm shards!
And I have come to mid-wife you
from the womb of your true self
to the mercy of your real True You!
I will help you see with eyes unblinking
thru your tears those canyons riven
by erosion bit by bit from
your most treasured self!
STAND! Leave behind the CIS-ter lands
and join me, we’ll reclaim OURSELVES!
Finally forever truly SIS-TERS
For in truth?
Our destiny is one.
To be exultation light-filled
and spinning wildly,
Joyful in the Night!
So I wanna give a lil glimpse to how I weave poems into poems…this is Sands and Shadows and Pearls, but taken apart into its strands…you can read each strand, and then go back and look at how I juxtapose to create Poetic Harmonics…this should create some depth and distance in the metaphors and implications of waking, dreaming, shadow, sun and what casts the shadow.
I hope you will work with it some… ❤
I do shed tears, these days
I also shed dreams too
I dreamed, last night
I also shed tears too
I dreamed that I walked lands crying
and my tears fell on red sands glistening
my tears on red sands sizzled
because I had no shadow,
they had no shadow
and then in that glaring sun unbridled,
that staring star unfiltered
they became pearls
of My Mother,
the Mother of Pearls
and then I saw,
Her, walking there,
sowing in tears
and reaping in pearls
with nary a diamond
and She turned to me,
She bid me pick them up
and take…eat…and I did
and where they lay
the sand was gone
and green grass jumped lush
into my eyes with verdant glee!
And the pearls tasted like honey
and the pearls
became glory within me
and I rose up on glory,
I rose up in glory,
glory within me
and glory in the air
and I saw my shadow,
distant and crumpled
and pinned to the ground
for always by arrows
and spears and the knives
of those children
of red sand and shadows.
And just as I began to wake
I realized that ever
would they gather there,
around that shadow
pinned and empty
of all save their vitriol and hate
while I walked free but achy
across the red sands,
with no shadow
and that stark sun
except for the glory
that’s given by pearls
plucked from green grass
so verdant that used to be
red sand so hot
on which was shed precious
tears without shadow.
So I wake, each time
I wake and realize
I do not need a shadow
to stand between me and the sun
and some something
to tell me that I am, I am.
I just need those tears
shed on sands red and glaring
become pearls from my Mother
to wrap me in glory
and glory wrapped in me
and no shadow my shadow
(and nights…it is strange
to wake and find the wet
residue of sorrows dried
and digging at the corners
of my eyes),
(last night…it is strange
to wake and find the dry
remnants of dreams moist
and pressed, pushing into
the spaces between me
and my pillow)
(my tears glistening,
not the sands, they lay leering,
skulking, glaring flat and angry)
(the ones in my dreams,
the ones with no shadow)
(the tears and me,
not the sands and dreams)
(like the armpits of abalones,
who also learned to live
not the abalones,
or the red sands,
or the shadows)
(born of tears shed on red sands glaring,
tears glistening and without shadow)
(not shadows or sands)
(because diamonds have shadows
and slinky songs and glittery platinum
brittle best friends)
(the pearls, not
sands and shadows)
(like shadows flee daylight)
(and clear thirst-quenching
(and the pearls of my Mother,
not the sands and shadows)
(not to day,
not in night,
I wake to me)
It took me there, it broke me there
on a sandy sliver midst some smooth black stones
so silent, sitting at the edge of this lake longing,
this tarn quiet, dark and clear
from deep inside my mouth
I felt my wet heart rise, surge burst…
I would’ve screamed forever
but cannot get sound past the breaking
past the past and into and over
I’m so full (there’s more)
I can’t take any (more)
I struggle to breathe
and then I relax
and I desperate while stars dance
burst, birth, explode, rip right from my heart
my lungs my breasts bright surging
I am me spread-eagled
beneath Her velvet verses,
my legs slick, straining against air surging
ebbing, words liquid raging flowing pushing
tearing thru me and me and me
quicksilver soul, a lake, a mirror
shattered by this Stone
unseemly and perfect,
Huge and Lacey
Light and Heavy
flung down from faraway
(who knows where?)
and into this lake
and a million murmuring moaning circles
pushing outward sliding downward
groaning upward thru this water
sainted, and that Air, each circle
almost pulls me beneath under
I am buried living-forward
I’m resurrected dying-backward
I am stained forever always after
with that pungent glory,
with Her Glory running down
my chin and from my lips so wet
and thus I shiver deep within
all the way from my down-low throb
to the very roots of my
ecstatic shining hair
She pulls Her hand out, slowly wraps
Her arm around me…I curl up
and drift off, musky fragrances anointing,
smearing my eternal cheeks
singing in my hol(e)y heart
singing in my whol(e)y heart
singing in my holy heart
“Edge places fascinate us, because at heart we too are seeking the edges, the places of risk and unknowing. We long to embrace our own wildness. We feel alive when we live from our wild hearts, breaking out of the boxes of convention and expectation, and growing in trust of ourselves and the deep wisdom that emerges from our bodies and the world around us.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Class ~ Earth as Soul Care Matrix: The Wild Heart of Ministry
Where are the edge places in your life? Where are the places of risk and unknowingness where you experience both fear and joyful anticipation simultaneously? How might you set your wild heart free?
Last year a wolverine broke loose, came slashing and gashing, ran up and down
canyons and cliffs and crittering quick up tree-trunks with such fierce red claws…
Snarling and yowling the haunting roar raged, moaned and cursed with such
hunger, such fury, that flurry of wood-thirsty teeth insatiable, free from hiatus and
running heart birthed straight from Their Great Altar There which purifies
all things with Holy Fire so freeing, so cleansing…wafting austere like pure Incense
arising, in billows and plumes and ash, ASH, everywhere and in perpetual
Wednesday, marking the Cross on all things there…within.
the fire had time to make up…
One Hundred and Fifty years to turn…and it was said to be
A Great Mosaic Burn.
At last to feed its need to cleanse a forest fat with care, beneath the watchful eye of
Moses there, beneath his rod extended, as if the sun stood still again, and trees grew
up and great in grit and girth like Children of the sun, see how fat they had
become…See them, their indifferent eyes unblinking, safe, satisfied and
self-centered and all together, such a stand of forest land, secure, untouched…
so sleepy, nodding off with rusty Time’s tock-ticking Heartbeat softly crooning
to ossified great forest stands so very grand that didn’t know they needed
Severe Mercies to come with fire and hot kisses from the Phoenix.
It had not chosen cleansing
It did not know it’s need
for resurrection, for refining
For fire comes to cleanse and make new everything it can consume and challenge all
it cannot touch to understand that TRANSFORMATION’s the destiny
of every-thing with the courage to crawl out from underneath the letter and run
from the rod and leave behind the tyranny of the typical to the flames…
and walk away from Moses, into freedom in liquid-gold fireworks,
free from the cares of the world that cling so fierce and so easily entangle us,
choke our lives in hoary growth and lullabies lulling us fast to sleep,
a Sleeping Beauty Bride on her bower of soft and easy privilege.
She like an eye unblinking
safe in her cloister so fair
deaf to Her loud Divine Dare.
And (just like that forest or Sleeping Bride), there amidst that red hot bloody conflagration set another eye, a forest eye, unblinking sightless eye and
woke up wide awake in terror tribulation, hushed in dread anticipation and fear and with helpless petitions arising, not like incense but like signals…smoke signals…
to Moses? To God? To the Universe Fire come down to feed? Protected by roads
cut with care and foresight, that Eye Unblinking sat there in fright…
and Holden its breath and leaning against a wolverine dread come at last to
consume the dead, to rip that forest wide open and slash the woods to crimson rags
dripping bloody with flame and red flurries…
wrapped in silver sheets reflective, shiny
(or were they merely space age burial shrouds?)
It never blinked, that Eye, and all was shrouded safe, cocooned within
and underneath the rod and the Letter, striding secure thru the Red Sea Fire
escaping the sharp teeth of wolverine the Eye remained preserved amidst
a work that renovates the face and gives a skin-deep makeover, but leaves
the sleepy years untouched and undisturbed on laurels long gone brown
with age and loss of life though all appearances would say that Holden is
alive and well and safe from that destructive hell of fire and fear…yet
none could name that something still so desperately needed a root canal of flame!
for all the Who’s in Holden sigh
for yesteryear, forgetting that it’s
the thief that steals tomorrow.
And this year, one year later in the same Unblinking Eye I rolled in on the waves
and wind (Charissa, meaning “Grace” but named “Char”-issa, “Ashy-one”) seeking
to drink of the life that flows through a village untouched by anything that fell
outside the Mosaic burn and no longer shrouded outside but just maybe mummy
rags still wrapped so tightly around a heart perhaps long grown so slack, so sleek
and oh so fat just like that forest was last year before God gave a wolverine to rage and feed, and cleanse, renew…I saw History on display and windfall fruit rife
on the ground and satisfaction ruled the day, and familiarity won the race
and wore her shiny tangy plumy purple tinsel crown…
Golden Apples, everywhere and casual and everyone was on the in,
societal, and fire roads cut secure and ohh soo straight.
So I said Hi and reached with blinking eyes that squint into the light,
oft times in fright of storms and lightning flashing forth…and found
my blinking words rebuffed by cool and hooded eyes that had seen it all,
eyes satisfied and cynical cus been there done that, ho-hum…done much worse
I ran aground on fire roads and that Moses curse of long ago still Holden Court
over long hearts that found consuming fire fearful, dreadful and to be avoided
at all costs by any means…and thus She stands this very day…Holden Village
on cusp of…petrification?…or on that hot edge of the Phoenix Way!
Holden, Eye Unblinking, ensconsed
in the forest, last year just as this one,
in a forest cleansed to living bone, and Holden?
I heard the Spirit resounding The Word that Fire must fall upon a village that mirrors the forest that kneels all around…She said that She has a fiery crown and Holden is that forest fat and ready for the Refiner’s Fire, the Cleansing Burn that
resurrects those vital dry bones waiting…but She must choose that fate and blink…
Yes, we must welcome Fire Fate from God and let the dead wood burn,
and blaze, and feed Mosaic Ways to the flame and trust the Good God of the Fire
to keep her safe underneath Their Name and resurrected, cleansed, renewed
and ever delivered from stain and shame!
Let the rod be cast into the fire hot and be consumed!
For Moses died on Southside, short of Zion is his tomb!
And find us Lovely on the Northside, once again the Spirit’s womb!
Letter cannot take us there, nor blaze of past great glory fair
We must eradicate those roads of preservation that we wear!
They trap and capture us and cut us off from Grace unhindered
so we, like the forest, turn dull and dry, reduced to deadwood’s kindred!
I see Holden cleansed by Fire, and crying Holy tears when Holy
Spirit has free reign again to fall in fires that restore
and interrupt Sleeping Beauty’s snore and dead trees gone,
that speck removed and blinking eyes await the Dawn!
And animals can come again now welcomed
and bathe released in Grace and Precious Holden,
His Eye now blinking free and shining fair in Jesus’ Face.
Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!
To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night
that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,
“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”
Shine into the darkness
of brooding quiet forces
that do not want you there.
Radiate into those shadow grey spaces
that don’t claim the name of place
and thus do not receive or comprehend you…
shine on loudly into that sinister lurk.
Your bones deeply grasp
their independence from person,
place or thing…they embody
the stringy collaboration
with you and you alone.
They do not need anything’s
skunky permission to be
or to do or to sing into the
communion of the stars
of courage and anthemic
soaring adoration of LIVE!
Some would shine like the sun…
but you, like the moon
are magnanimous and magical
in your mystery and simplicity
and your goodness and gift radiates
in glowy glimmers and clear silver
beams bouncing off soft evening meadows.
They wait for morning, in
that sinister lurk, that cold
and sinister lurk, while you
mount up…big, bony,
beaming gentle in the soft
that sable cotton brilliant
“For the desert mothers and fathers, the monastic cell was a vitally important place.
It was both literal reality, a place where the monks retreated to experience a deep stillness.
Yet it is also the symbolic place within us where we welcome in the fullness of our experience.
Consider holding this image of an inner cell during this journey – the place within where you can
retreat and be present to the fullness of your experience.”
— Christine Valters Painter, PhD The Self-Study Online Retreat ~ Women on the Threshold: The Wild Heart of Longing
and I didn’t even
know I was sleeping
inside dead wood and
splinters waiting for
a spark or a coal
The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
is matched only by
Your manifest mercy
and glorious grace.
And now I am awake
and walking free
in living flesh
In the 57 years I have spent on this planet, I have taken communion tens of thousands of times.
The most recent of those times was at Pride in Portland Oregon on June 19th, 2016…served to me by Pat Christiansen while a gypsy troupe danced to insistent almost militant drumming behind us…
I closed my eyes as I took the elements, just as I always do, and looked to Them to see Them, to taste and SEE that the Lord is good…and I saw the Sacred Flaming Heart Icon…pulsing…beating…THROBBING…in time to the militant drums, and I was certain that this is the heart of the Risen Lord who wears the Two Edged Sword and Eyes like Fire…
The Heart was pulsing…pulsing…PULSING…
There was a frame around the Heart, and it was getting bigger…and it was pushing against the frame.
The frame began to splinter…and then at last, the Heart gave a MIGHTY PULSE and burst the frame, shattered it and splintered it, and then grew bigger and bigger until it utterly enveloped me and I knew it was off to the far reaches of everywhere.
The nightclub’s name is Pulse. The city is Orlando…which means “Famous Land, Land of Renown” and lesser meanings of Times of Importance.
I find the entire experience prophetic and insistent…and I wonder…
…are you going to stay inside the frame? The Heart has left, departed…gone outside the city gates.
Are you going to sit and imagine Jesus coming to earth to kick ass on all the people you do not like…yunno, sort of like the Pharisees did and when Messiah showed up and punched them square in the conscience they got so mad they killed Him?
Or are you going to understand that God is stirred in Mercy and Compassion to the point that those things become the consuming fire of Light and Love and each thing they touch responds according to its matrix of being…if it is true it becomes pure and if it is not it simply is consumed.
Stand with The Sacred Pulsing Heart. The time is now.
If you wanna be in the “next move of God”, it isn’t with the so-called prophets and evangelists who seek after gold dust and commit adultery on a mass scale while the crowd has what amounts to a spiritual cluster-fuck.
No…it is in the highways and byways, where Mama compels to come in, and the Heart races to rush out.
“We will never be the same again.
But here’s a little secret for you—no one is ever the same thing again after anything.
You are never the same twice, and much of your unhappiness comes from trying to pretend that you are.
Accept that you are different each day, and do so joyfully, recognizing it for the gift it is.
Work within the desires and goals of the person you are currently, until you aren’t that person anymore,
and everything changes once again.”
you’ve been running canyons
looking for yourself
that beautiful wild girl
who sat there in the dust
and wrestled with that trike
while others just looked on
(they had forgotten joy)
and cursed you with perspective
above and to the right
that made you second guess
and work hard in the night
to be the perfect one
and get them off your back
for good, for evil too
but it just distanced you
and gave you space to run
in canyons made of bones
along your Sangre River
still looking for yourself
alive and free and wild
well, Baby, you have found her
she thrives though she is short
and the sun’s rays are slant
they still can peek down deep
to feed you evergreen
I have always seen you
I see you still, here, strong
and still, delicate, fragile
and still indestructible
growing wild and free
I dashed this off…
well, actually it just
shouldered its way
from my soul
and forced me open
and muscled forth.
it is not polished,
or even much good,
but it is insistent
that it wants to be…
just as it is…
on fire and fierce.
let its blood
trickle across your tongue,
down your throat to infuse
you with starfire unquenchable,
with the seeds of birth that come
when nebulas collapse
so that new stars
can be born.
Will you let
in you today!!??
Will you rise
though ye tremble,
grieve and wail
on the mountains…
and drink this philter
as you pour your tears
like rain upon these bloody
sands so desperately needing
the touch of falling stars to ignite
the birth of light again in this dark night!
Carry this fire inside
you, Prometheus returning
to those gods weak and beaten
and frightened in a pulsing night
cowering before their creatures
unfettered and held hostage
to hate and darkness…
bind it to your forehead
bright diadem of Hope
and going past the fallen
crumbled thrones of old gods
doddering and wetting the bed
of their comfort and ease…
to the Halls
of the Risen Lamb
slain and shining ever
in Love, our Sun/Son/Lion!!!
though you be bitter
and seem so final,
you are nuffin to me!
I have fought
thru 5 decades
to get to this
time and place.
Martin and Martin
Susan and Harriet and Joanna…
Joan and Hildegard,
Thomas and Peter
I see them,
a sea of those
pour it out,
TAKE IT UP,
your tears now
jewels of fire
and eat them,
feeding the fires
of new stars
in your souls…
I await you
in the streets of life,
and I shall never
I shall never
stop or waver…
We have come this far by faith,
and we shall not turn back now.
See the enemy posture…
covering that cowering fear
as we loom, our faces bright
and fair with Love
and Mercy and Justice
our diadems and Mama
and Jesus Avatar of Love Eternal
I await you.
This is your time.
Come out this weekend, ye privileged!
Cast your crowns in the gutters
so they can find purchase and grow
and their roots tear down
the walls of Massa’s farm.
I await your sacred steps.
I saw the stars fall in the night
it was dark and closing in
as I lay paralysed and still
and shivering in deathly fright.
In waves and showers down they plunged
as sable curtains tore and trembled
in the hand of some great evil
threatening to eat the sky
But somehow, each one shot to me
and landed in my shaking soul
and burned within me fierce and fell
and banished fear and made me whole
Until I burned with stellar fire
and shone in gold galaxy gleams
my heart a starfield bold, untamed
for Mercy’s greater than hate’s schemes!
And so, though Nebulas collapse
let them fall fast to this earth
into your open mouth and heart
Not for destruction, but for birth
Of new stars brilliant, unshakeable
that shine with Justice and with Joy
Children born of grief and ash
Who rise above hate’s cruel slash
This is our birth, our ne’er turn back!
A thousand stars, a million dreams,
A myriad songs and voices shout
We burn bright…our light…
will never…never…burn out
i sit in winds
and let my shawl flow
loose around me
and lifted like wings
and as it unfurls
the hard ground exhales
and i become light
as i sit in winds
my heart rises up
when liberty sings
though limbs sit so still
though limbs sit in winds
the wings of my heart
soar high as the sun
and over the moon
there, sitting in winds
carry it gentle
in your faithful heart,
your treasure precious
and hidden from yourself
speak it out loud, exhale in blue
let your truth breathe, sing
of how its blood runs
true and rings with
with only ever
“Christianity is often thought of as a set of principles that people struggle to follow, working their way into God’s favor by offering tokens of self-denial and obedience. Even Christians who profess a far bigger story sometimes live as if this is the reality. But such a story looks at God as we might look at a gumball machine or a bank. If the prize we seek is God, we cannot earn our way to the thing we have our eye on—no matter how many tokens we might come up with. For the shiny quarters we proudly offer, belong, in fact, to God.”
“Be. Here. This moment. Now is all there is, don’t go seeking another. Discover the sacred in your artist’s tools; they are the vessels of the altar of your own unfolding.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
Trusting is just such a powerful challenge
to lay down my life without knowing for sure
it will ever get picked up again…by…anyone.
a potent surrender to God (and to others)
that commends my only possession (that’s me)…
to the Hands and the Head and the Heart of all things.
A turning away from the will to possess,
from power and reflex to cling and to clutch
with brazen heart, hard face and bravado whistling…
afraid in the night of the Breaking Day Coming…
the willing embrace of a breaking that gives birth
to wholeness and health…well…trusting is just such
Medicine Woman Trust
yourself with tenderness
softer than snowfall
and give yourself
the gift of grace
like tender moonglow
the darkest clouds
Medicine Woman Heal
in the shining
by walking thru
look into the heart
of this becoming
Medicine Woman Imagine
your glittering goals, resources
diamonds, move toward them
in waves, sails raised
in those winds
creativity your calling
and your deepest well
Medicine Woman Celebrate
your Holy Years believing
your inner self, remember
your outer self as well
is beautiful like trees
that dance in glory time
with hands raised to the sky
in greens touching the Blue
Medicine Woman Love
yourself like mountains
love the clouds, the sun
and value vital friendships
of other truest women
all of your Bright Days
the difference between living and dying
can be found in the difference between
the Grand Canyon and the Milky Way
Another way to say it is
Living Mutual Dependence Dying
We need the solidarity of the reaching skies
in swathes of silk and shades of grey
to close that gap completely
all the way
trump cards over torture and unbridled ego…
habits that engulf so many with such ease and lack of effort
Adversity sometimes coaxes out
the best and the most beautiful
in human beings but only if
the sky can partner them
thru the gap
that unrelieved thirst
that threatens to engulf
and the utter madness
of misdirected sanity.
Ah…and the skies like banners unfurl
The Difference Between
there is a tide, red and rough, a red tide
there is a sea current deep and dark blue
they twist together on Time’s spinning loom
or are they the needles that Fate clacks together
to spin out, to weave our quick times?
deep in my blood flows a tide and a current
twining in red and in blue and the echos
and rumours of beauty are driftwood in me
remnants from dream islands not yet discovered
but whispering of That Place where All Is Well
and the ancient and old, the fearful and bold
walk the earth in my blood or sail in the blue currents
to woodlands and hills and to mystery legends
returned in the Hope and the Promise of paradise
tidal and twining insistent in me
the glacier moving blue
and stolid crushing step
occasionally makes noise
as it crushes rock
and crumbles it to dust
it listens to the waterfall
cascading off of granite cliffs
and hurling thru exultant air
and roaring in its falling flight
and does not understand
the tumult ringing loud
and shout of exultation
its liquid sister sings
and so in all its stolidness
the icy glacier murmurs
that waterfall should fly
but quiet in the night
and careful in the day
and keep her singing heart
concealed within her breast
and hidden in the light
and tumbling down…
as if a waterfall
could not sing, ever sing
in joyous flying freedom
and just gallumph along
like glaciers, crawling over
whatever may be there
glaciers grind all things to dust
but waterfalls can fly
and waterfalls can shine
and waterfalls can sing
and wash the stones so clean
and leave them shining there…
and dancing double time
The Art of Blessing the Day
This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.
This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.
This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.
This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.
This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let’s not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.
The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends’
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.
But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.
Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.
the dam finally broke, and
I just kept smiling, smiling,
smiling like Aphrodite.
and why wouldn’t I?
tornados run across this fruited plain
fires race around these redwood trunks
each one natural, powerful, hungry,
and THOSE things, well…
I think I would run
I know I would
but a dam? well, pshaw!
a man made that, thinking
to choke out a river? HAH!
stupid dolt, we just kept pushing
Aphrodite and I.
I kept smiling because She
gives me Her Nod, Her
quick chin lift and dancing
bright flashing eyes that tell me
every hour is Holy
every sensual second
is Sacred in its quick
butterfly rise and its
sad sinking sunset.
and that pile of patriarchy
eminent in threat and rattley-death
hard and straight and deaf and dumb
(fee fie foe fum!!)
jammed down Her fertile river-craw,
those dirty fingers down the throat of love
that choking violating deep and rough and raw
in turbine hums exploding in the cries of mourning doves
well it’s blown now…and on the run
in painful splintery disjointed strides
streaked with dirty water and rust
and ruined careful engineered remains.
and Aphrodite, that river, and me
lick at the bones with our eyes
and our waters and our ululating
triumphal throat-splitting ear-spitting
SCREAMS OF RELEASE!
We suck, we clean, we set free and tear
the stench of man right out of marrow
and sow Sacred Communion, Holy Power
of Body and Blood anew across the waters,
alive again, alive
those waters once again
So…keep smiling and just yank
that unruly thread until it comes unfurled
and falls apart, all fall down
in one beautiful disruptive moment
such a beautiful disruptive moment.
when you speak of me
you speak of weeds and brambles
thorns, nettles and stoney ground.
when you think of me
it’s craters and dark
and bare landscape stark
and lacking curves.
I am gardens, moon, roses, sea.
I am me, in bowers and blooms
and labyrinth beds of unusual growth.
I am small trees and tall firs
fragrance stirs, honey bees
I am Grace in the echo
of the moon’s deep wells
I am tides reaching and running
yearning and aching
I am reflected light
soft yet bright
sometimes yes often no
Please…think of what you know.
the endless ache of bones
the songs sung in your marrow
the shadow in your eyes
the light that holds your heart
think of who you know
when gravity gives up
finally worn out
in my grave insistent
persistence at breathing.
And why…yes, this is important
the why of me
dancing on desolation
rhyming in respiration
overthrowing tables of treason
and though it is dark,
it is not night, My Love,
it is the season of silence
that speaks, that sings
sings in me garden
sings in me moon
sings in me roses
sings in me sea
sings in me
the careless sowing of seaweed
in the currents, in the tides
in and out and out and in and in
the fog clinging melancholy
to its ever love green heart
hills, bristly beneath its touch
the singing needles verdant
joying in the glimmering sun
glancing off the bright dancing waters
the artful accidental masterpiece
of a world random in Intentioned Love
and the soft mercy of knowing eyes
and you, me, a part of everything
apart from everything
and everything in its place
i’ve been marking time since day one
day by day by day by day by day
and for each spin around the sun
i carve a line within
i haven’t figured it all out,
not quite, not yet, not all
whether those lines mark the way
out of these bars or just pass the days
but now they are my act of faith,
my memorials stark and blue
and some day i’ll slip between them
or simply pass thru to you
i am marking time, my countdown to you
There’s a universe inside me, bound
between my soul-yearn’s furthest reach
and my bleak body’s dullest beach,
a nexus edge, of light and dirt
Bright pin-prick sharp stars pierce my heart
and shards, a thousand brilliant shards
release their shattered broken song
in full throat glory greater than…
and I swallow my tears, my pain
and my hurt too and hope this gain
this extra gravity jars loose
those stars from my deep skies inside
and shoot them streaming fiery
and hopeful and without limit
thru endless skies within my soul
until they finally hit that wall
at the horizon where my body
and my spirit dance…just at
the limit…and if they, perchance? Should MEET?
Oh…the Fireworks!! The GLANCE!
And then shall the night finally
become complete and my soft eyes
shall finally close and come to rest,
my heart shall at last breathe it’s best
at the rim
of my soul’s
Originally posted on Catholic Trans*:
This is the text of a talk I gave as part of a panel on “Transgender in the Church” at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA on February 27, 2016. You can order the audio here…
I have such a long way home
such a long league of the sea
the last one, longest of them all
as I swim home to my True me.
I have come so far across
the desert sands so red, so hot
no water any where to dip
my tongue, my pen, my deepest thought
But here I am, the sand and sea
embracing in an endless dance
where there is both and neither here
as I transform in this final chance
to swim the promised depths, my home
in waters full of mystery
I have such a long way home
but I will get there, true and free
it’s a thousand points of light
stark against the black
reflected in my eyes
refracted in my heart
a thousand thousand times
in gold, in yellow hues
embedded in the sable soft
stuck in molassess skies
amber warm and endless sloe
i feel the tête-à-tête
vibrate around me, in me too
and I begin to know
that I will never fade, burn out
or disappear in black
for I’m a thousand points of light
afloat in Holy Black
The journey difficult and hard,
black and blue and bitter cold
upon the road thru long days old
and vales of death and darkness.
In hardship and travail we walk
and most of us will quit before
we reach the end, and yet that end
is still a mystery so vast…
It strikes me that of all the ways
to make appeal to human hearts
They chose to magnify the cost
and left rewards as afterthoughts.
What exactly is Their point?
What is promised with this pain
and sacrifice…and…what? Comes next?
More mumble mumbo turbo trouble?
Fatigue and hardship hand in hand
in times of darkness shared in light?
Not the cheery words that humans
think they need and want, but turn from.
Jesus looked at His best friends
and told them that in this hard world
they could be promised suffering
and then He spoke a miracle:
“Have courage, My dearest friends,
faint not! For I have overcome
the world and all that is there in”
And pain’s denied sour last say!
Somehow the Son of God joins us
within it all and thru it all
So what exactly is success?
Is it simply winning? Tell me!
Because something shines beneath!
Something lurks Gold and Beyond!
I smell victory past defeat
and virtue is its own reward.
The forest has swallowed my name, my face
Just like so many things before me
I entered the woods with my heart full of grace
but the forest just gulped and *poof* without a trace
I was lost, deep inside a birch tree.
I like to think it’s the same, just the same
as with so many things, just perhaps…
It mimics when God came to us, Incarnate
and They chained Themself to us both early and late
in the wood of our grim dark collapse.
And so now we wait, here in the wood deep and dark
We share all things in this broken wheel
Them and us and the tree
and what was and will be
Bound together forever we kneel.
Sometimes I come out of the forest, I do.
I walk in the world full and free.
But the wood and the God go with me as I walk
And they soar as I wander like some divine hawk
Cus the forest, the God, swallowed me.
Remember Litter-Mate…the fact that they other and police you affirms your authenticity!!
oh City of Bones
laying hot and dry in the sun
beating down on streets, on tombs
and tiles so red over white and so hot
and shimmering radiant still,
oh ye bones!
Barcelona, City of Bones
Baking before the gates of the Sun,
I sacrificed my purity for thee, such as it might be
(my purity, not my sacrifice)
of heart and soul,
song and deed
and strong intention.
Barcelona, my sacrifice
so droll, so dirty is actually
as purity and thus is merely
the absence of jazz,
the absence of spice,
the absence of that
jagged noise of exultation
and thus there is no
purity and nothing
Gladly do I lay it there
(my sacrifice, not my purity)
on the bony altar of your burning eyes
hung there above the freezing flames
of your sharp haughty sniff and thus
do I seek sanctuary in the fires of
your hunger, games appeased and satiated.
And these words I leave
(my longing words so red, so sharp)
along the edge of your wet teeth,
hard teeth so white and glistening,
and there, blurred,
there they mingle
with your breath,
with the liquid you
and thus become
inflammable and ready
to leap up like the Phoenix
to take their ease in air and be
us, there, us there
be us there in the air.
And this city here,
right in plain sight and swaying
in the salty breeze blowing in stiff
off the racing aching blue seas,
this City of Bones dancing on air
with my words
there in air
like banners in the wind,
like thirsty golden kerchiefs
flying midst meteors, comets,
midst stars in the night
flapping in the solar flares
and furies of the sun and lapping
up the finest purest beams
of silver, argent grey moonlight
And those fires
(of the night)
my words those silver fires
streaking, shooting across
the vast expanse of velvet
black thick nothing, silver flames
curling, licking at the bones
of the City hanging
in the deep dark void
And the music rounding there amidst
those handy banners sounds like owls
talking soft and hooty in the wind-torn branches
and our hearts are slender limber flexing long flagpoles
and we fly our flags of love like maidens flying
tokens for our champions…Together we all
(words and banners and bones)
shine upon your battlements
City of Bones
UPDATE: I have edited this a little…because I always had to force it to make the other one a part of it…truthfully, he ghosted, present by proxy but I never ever saw him walking in the crucible…he was an outside lurker, a skulker, and too shamed and hangdog to enter in…and skert too. Skert that he was so bad that there would be nuffin’ left of him once the cleansing fires got their way…and maybe even more skert that there WOULD be sumfin left…
I think of you…nearly every moment of the day while I am fully functioning, doing other things…I can smell the burning singing smell that is so acrid to the natural nose, and is the sweet incense of devotion unto the One who walks the Heavens and searches the earth.
“Precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the Death of Their Saints” said the prophet of old…he knew his shit, that dude…
But you are there…deep inside me, in those lonely caverns that I have wandered, those places of the soul that the force and floods of horror, of rage, of desolation, and of utter defeat have worn so smooth over such a long time.
You are there…and it may seem so utterly dislocated and strange to you that you sometimes are bewildered, sometimes bemused, and always befuddled that the failure of humanity and the fucked-upness of specific humans can simultaneously be so powerless and so crushing.
I have not seen anyone else in these places. I say this to you to encourage you…and also to disabuse you of the notion that there is any exit except death…there isn’t. And that is such a good thing. I am dead-living proof!! No, you do NOT want to have come this far only to have some small parts of yourself left alive to be like “trichinosis of the heart”, just parasitically causing you to vomit up the food that God gives, the bread from heaven.
There is a company that forms in each generation…it is the company of the dead-living and it is the opposite of the living-dead. There are not a lot of beings in it at any one time? And yet there are whole halls of heaven that are full of nuffin but these royal noble cavaliers! Hebrews 11 is the way they are described in the bible, but I prefer to see them for what they are: anti-zombies.
You have figured out why zombies are such an attractive modern myth, have you not? I mean, think about it: dead people, who ambulate, and are compelled to bite other people and infect them with the exact death they shamble in…or, given whatever mythos you subscribe to, they may even eat the brains, or consume the flesh, whatever…the point is, they take other healthy people and reproduce their death in those people and enslave them to the same doom.
Well “anti-zombies” do just the opposite.
But how is it that the dead-living can accomplish this work?
You know…now. You know.
We must die…die the death of the One who has gone before, and be resurrected in that One now dead to ourselves and alive in the Living One’s life…and there is nothing that can come thru that except thru the gate of death…thru the Eye of the Needle…nothing else but you can get thru.
Thus the layers…thus the experience of getting burned, thinking okay this is the last level…then a new level of sorrow, thinking okay that was it…and a new level…and so on and so one.
My love…do not lose hope or feel sorry for yourself. Behold what manner of Love the Father has given unto you! Turn! Look around, see who is remaining, and look into their eyes, deep! LOOK!!!
*Charissa stops typing, waits*
Who else do you really want? You have been thru the fires! You have seen the worst, and the best thing about that is it is so ridiculously benign and dorky…it is now ready to become lovable and precious and your absolute best asset. We are promised that Their Perfect Strength is perfected in our weakness, and thus it is that we begin to literally and honestly boast in weakness so that Their strength may be made perfect!
Anyway, as I was saying, I am aware that myriads of our company has been formed in a manner like unto the same one as I have endured…but I have never seen anyone else wandering the particular halls that have been mine to both haunt and inhabit in grace…and there you are.
I think perhaps it is because Mama has given me to be the “Virgil” to your “Dante”? Weak Metaphor, but the notion of one who has been in the crucible, died a few times in the crucible, and been raised/risen after these deaths and now ready, willing, and able to encourage, exhort and edify you as you make your way along the path of losing all to gain Hearts Like Theirs.
I wish I could do more…I wish I could give you sumfin, grant sumfin, wave my wand and holler out some magic word that would “get er dun” and release you into the freedom found only under the mercy…but that would leave the work incomplete, and your faith and trust would be in me rather than in the only One who can grant that very thing but in the form which lasts eternally and transforms wholly other into that New Creation of which Immanuel is the first fruits and older brother.
What I can do is leave you lil packs of food…leave you canteens…make my slash marks on the barren tree-trunks and scratch my hieroglyphics on the walls of limestone so smooth, so implacable…they look a bit like bones, don’t they? Cool to the touch, smooth, lacking flesh or any hint that there was ever any life in them…and yet…
…and yet, place your fingertips upon their surface…see how they shimmer when you do!! See how they pulse with promise and throb with anticipation of the coming flames that are the Phoenix-Flames.This morning, I was remembering a particularly difficult stretch, waaaay back in the 80s…it was so strange back then, to be so young and feel so old and weary…and there were the oddest collection of souls that came my way in various places and times and ways and means. One of the best was the New Wave groups that became somewhat popular during these days…Talking Heads, The Clash (yes, I call them New Wave and Not Punk), Joy Division, Public Image LTD (the implosion of the Sex Pistols birthed that group)…and one of my very faves Echo and the Bunnymen. Their music got me thru so much.
Take a listen to these tunes…and you can turn the music up and SCREAM THE LYRICS AT THE TOP OF YOUR FRIKKIN LUNGS!!! Giggles…it is soooo freaking freeing. And as you listen, think about young Charissa, wandering the halls even back then, and now a topsider who walks among zombies uninfected tho not unbitten.
When your head pop out of the ground, it will be to spring, for you will see no shadows.
In the meantime, know that you are never alone…not for a moment, because I am thinking of you, carrying you like a beloved book-bag, holding you like a precious journal that must be written in everyday, and scrawling my prayers onto the Face of God like I desperately scratched my thoughts onto the livres of that long ago tome.
I have just re-read this…there are whole outlines inside each sentence…if you want them, they fall vertically from the words, and are hyperlinked to your shut eyes and open inner vision as you think, as you listen, as you weep…and know that the tears shall be sweet and cleansing, and you will be glad in the Lord for every single ounce of suffering.
I am not blowing smoke…I am not giving you platitudes. This shit is real, and you are gonna lose all things…except for the things that are you and are the flesh and blood gifts of the Goodness of God. But all the things that need to go because they keep you allergic to zombie-venom and thus vulnerable to becoming one of them? They are gonna go…up in flames, thru your fingers, gone.
And you will find yourself still here. And pretty soon, it will be time for the gathering of stones (now is the time for casting them away). And it will be time to light the grill, and cook some fish, some turkey, whatever…and beyond that? I don’t see anything.
Wanna know why? Because there is no beyond that!! That is the whole point! It is then that the what-you-do’s and the things-you-say’s are so ordinary to you, and so extra-ordinary to those who need medicine in the soul!
In the meantime…here are a couple of songs from one of the cadre that kept me alive in the 80s, and the knowledge that other feet have trod the paths of the dead…and emerged laffing our fool heads off!
I love you…and JD…what can I say to you that we did not already say before we knew we knew one another?
Steeples and graves stand marked in memory,
by a crucifixion making way for the last to be first,
and the guilty pardoned, making way for
the creature and The Creator
(the Dying/Living One Living/Dying,
dying/living here, within me too,
I who lack in every grace
to just die already,
so full of Great
Grace to live
it’s a sign so mysterious and standing
at the core of history the core of the world.
and sad sorrow He
(Supremely human He)
submitted willingly hanging
doggedlybroken and bleeding
holding our infirmities in
His bloody Holey Hand
(He’s Got The Hole
World In His
it’s a gift of forgiveness
and assurance, depiction
of the depth of divine mercy
and hope of God and us.
Is this querulous song enough
to quiet restless running thoughts
and ease unanswered questions’ ache,
that burn so cold in hearts laid low
in suffering, hearts whose hope is seized
and despair left laying in its wake
But we must willingly carry
defeat and thirst and emptiness
through to the end of darkness, to
the end of self, and to the world’s long waited end
bringing meaning to suffering and peace to hearts in pain
in this symphony of blood
in that song of loss and gain.
Learning to thrive in the new life Jesus offers us - 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
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Jesus said, "Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." Matthew 11:29 (The Message Bible) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Space for Renewal Program Information and Pastor Robyn Hartwig's Sabbatical Reflections
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