It is winter and outside everything is freezing, hardening, growing more cold. Inside I feel the exact opposite; a melting and softening, my tears run so free these days, wild streams with nothing to stop them, dam them, nothing to hold back. For a while I was counting how many times I would cry during a day but now I have lost count. My dreams are so loud now – sometimes my mind feels more awake when I am asleep – which is not to say there is lack of mental exercise during the day, but rather, explosions in the night. My dreams are thousands of years long. I invent golden flying machines in the night and in the morning I draw them. I take my most beautiful photographs in the dream world. I so deeply wish I could share them with you. My mind is a compost heap: I am trying to grow from the dead ends, the things that make no sense – what if they were only a source of something new and vital? In that spirit I have stopped eating all animal products. I cannot participate in things I believe are harmful – so like sugar, and alcohol and drugs. I must let go of what I know is no good. I decided this just before thanksgiving – and I quietly ate my plain lettuce leaves as my family feasted, yet I felt very FULL the entire time. Knowing you has helped me accomplish this. I remember the first night I spent with you in the garden and you spoke about fasting. I got so much courage from listening to you nonchalantly let go of the things we cling on to the tightest. I have gotten this feeling from you on many occasions. When you truly make up your mind to do something, it becomes so simple. There is no struggle. I don’t want to be fueled by anything that has, or that will cause sadness. That is a sign of a broken system and a broken human if you thrive in any way off the suffering of other things. I choose not to participate. I think about the people I saw in the Colca Canyon in Peru. It feels like time travel down there – villages that are hundreds of years in the past. The pre Incan terricaces are farmed by this traditional community that is protected from the outside by the magnitude of the canyons walls. Down there is feels deeply peaceful to walk through these wild jungle farms. The people of the canyon work so hard and live so close to the land; they waste nothing, time nor resources. Yet they have no modern technology to protect them, and for the past several years it has been a terrible drought and the people grow more desperate. They climb to the tops of the tallest peaks and sacrifice their precious llamas and alpaca to the gods in exchange for rain. Last year it did not rain a single drop and, in their desperation they climbed to the top of the highest peak and sacrificed a child – the ultimate price, the sign of greatest desperation they gave up so much to ask for the water that the gods deny them. This hurts me deeply as I know that the drought may not be the work of the golden Incan gods – but of the developed world that still values gold above human life. By living in the western lifestyle your choices ripples out and effect everything – and my god, it is the people who have the least, those who are not contributing to the problem of climate change, that will be punished the worst. I can not in good conscience do nothing. So I decided that it is such a tiny thing, to give up meats eggs and cheese when there are people in the world who fall to the ground weeping and give up so much, their own blood in sacrifice. So I make my own sacrifice for the earths healing – it is such a small price. And in the moments when I possibly feel a little hungry or envious of my family that eats turkey and pie before me – I know that pain in my stomach is so very small compared to so many others in the world.
There is a slowness, the seems to come with wisdom,
and you grow wiser, slower, larger.
The elephant that never forgets, with its heavy slow footsteps, the blue whale that is never lost with its great falling tail, the red wood trees that never stray, standing so straight strong and true, the big drifting clouds that know to always change, and the strong deliberate mountains that over millions of careful years of reaching upward come to rest in their most glorious state.
Some of the most exquisite dances of my life have been the moments we hold each other – perfectly still – for hours. Feeling our bodies passing the exhale back and forth in perfect synchronized rhythm.
And my heart is loud, leap leaping higher than the legs ever could.
And our foreheads rest solid and our nose tips sit lightly and our lungs fill each other’s empty spaces and our bellies are soft together and our hips are strong and our thighs make the slightest space for each other while our toes still say ‘closeness’.
Feed me poetry please
Like a baby bird
Speak it directly into my mouth
what better food than perfect words
exhaled from a body so perfect
it can keep me -
- surviving on exhales.
I once asked a man,
“What are the good things about humanity?”
He answered with only three things. And later, amended it down to two.
It stunned me into silence that the list could be so short.
But you know, it is not that short, that was his list, and he was a real pessimistic curmudgeon of a grandpa. I could feel his heavy boots. And my, how cold and hard the world becomes when almost everything you see is bad. Yes, there is a lot to be sad about, but there are so many amazing things holding us up!
In the desert one night I thought about that question. And every time I thought of something genuinely good, I lit a tea candle. A little warm light. I was all alone in that profound darkness and quiet. But with every thought, I got a little light that would keep me warm and safe. And there were so many that came out, hundreds, they formed a protective circle around me. I surrounded myself with the good things.
It was a lot better than birthday candles – in which you snuff out a light in the hopes of receiving something. But what if every good thing, that you already have all around you lights a candle that keeps you warm and safe. All you have to do is notice it, and it is there. Holding you up.
When he speaks
(it hits you)
you drop to the floor and begin writing the letter
in the future -
but there is no paper,
so you write on all your bare meadows of skin
Hope it skins in
So your future self
When you come to swim in the ocean
In the rain
In the downpour
And you are so thirsty
So very thirsty
You are a brave light
You feel different then everyone else. The human landscape is big and wide and rolling and many people are mountains to be climbed or meadows to frolic in, but you feel different. Like a cave or a dark still body of water, something I look at longingly, wondering, how deep does that go? I curled my toes over your edge, feeling pulled in by the mystery. Wondering if I am allowed to go inside… I know I would be gone for a very long time if I begin the exploration…