To Unearth

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I would not have had to shout
my questions,
if I had only known
how simple it would have been
to simply awaken.

It was not a matter of despair
but a matter to unearth.
I only had to ask
and my track record would have shown

if I qualified for an answer.

photo by Josh Hallissey

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Time To Bend At The Knees

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It is time now to take cognizance of what we have done to our Earth planet.  She is still here to give us breath, polluted though it may be in some areas.  She challenges us with sparse watering.   She allows us to live as best as our livelihood does.  She continues to love us with passion.  But what we have done to her is abominable.  We take advantage of our good resources and give nothing back most of the time.  A few steps to the recycle bin oftentimes seems too far to walk.  But she keeps on teaching in spite, despite our obliqueness.

Yet we are asked once a year to honor her.  And hopefully this once a year will be enough to embarrass us, make us feel guilty, so guilty that we will change our ways and give honor to her who has been our grounding, our bed of rest and the best classroom in the universe.  How else to honor this lady,  this teacher,  this mother?  We must find new ways if we are to continue in this classroom where to have an idea is to make it manifest as fast as we can collect the materials.   There is no other place so conducive to easy learning as this classroom.   No other place that accommodates us to the degree that our Earth Mother does.   We will chance it every time we decide that next time we will do better.  The next time the neighborhood may not be quite as nice.

We are in a crucial junction.   We are where we are because we have neglected our stewardship when we contracted to care for this place we inherited.  What to do?  How much do we treasure the early morning with the dawn rising clearly and with punctuality?  How much do we treasure our love of evenings when the sky darkens and the moon sources our light?  As we reach for our Other and hope that what we wish for ourselves is also wished for Others.   How much would  we treasure rainfalls on cracked ground;  foodstuffs now rising in price so that milk for our youngsters is too steep for good health?  We treasure our way of life.   We treasure what is ours and we hope that our progeny will be able to be inspired by the same sun and moon and waters of this green planet.

We must begin.   Our environmentalists have told us time and again what we must do.   Somehow we cannot wrap ourselves around the idea  that this Earth cannot sustain life as we know it.   We already see Nature’s harsh lessons.   If we are ugly when the weather does not suit us,  let us be aware that Nature too reviles our habits when we do not honor her.   It is long past the time to change.  The bill is overdue and time now to bend at the knees to this Great Mother.

photo by John Holmes

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Many Worlds

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When first I started my journey there was  a need to know.   It was my focus.   Everyone has their own need.   The way for the each is to focus on one’s need.   The criteria for that need requires insight.  We must focus inwardly.  It is not easy.

Many Worlds

I wander about in many worlds
trying all on for size.
Walking timorously, fearful always
of a misstep.

Generously coping
with a plethora of ideas,
alien in context,
coming from sources I can only wonder.

Now a word,
a complete thought
fitting incongruously
into my world of now.

I surrender to a multi-faceted existence.

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

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Someone Who Waits For Us

There is a common problem among us and it bears thinking about in the hope that there will be an answer or a lesson learned that may point to a possible resolution.   It is the need to know that there is a someone who waits for us.   Or a someone who cares whether we come home or not.   Or a someone who cares where we are at this very moment.

For children,  this is crucial.   How crucial we only have to see what is happening in the world or watch what is happening on our street.  For the child in all of us,  who has not been allowed grow up or whom we hold onto for fear of growing up alone,  it is just as crucial or even fearful.  We have become a society that we say cherishes its independence,  doesn’t want others or anyone to account to or truly exhibits a facade to show the wold at large we are really quite all right with the way things are.   But let me put this into this equation.

If this is truly the situation, if we are truly this independent society that doesn’t care whether anyone takes note of our goings and comings,  tell me then why the heart responds with ‘I really  needed to hear you say that’ when I tell my beloveds  that their being in my life makes my life worthwhile?  But you see everyone needs to hear that.  Everyone needs to know that someone thinks their life is worthwhile,   no matter how small the difference  one makes,  what does matter is that someone notices this difference which may take all the effort this soul can summon.  Everyone needs to know someone cares.   Not the someone only in family whom you think has to love you,  but someone who notices you as a person who is trying their uttermost to make a difference.

Everyone at times, if not all times for some, feels isolated.   There is this separation that is more common in this day than I care to think.  It is because life is awry.   There are few meals together and no one on the premises.   No one at home.   And we need someone at home when we are children and it is nice when we are adults.  It is a wholesome goodness to know someone is waiting for us to come home.  That someone cares enough for us to want us to come home.  I realize how difficult it is to raise children even on two incomes.   Perhaps we need to make room for extended families again.  Perhaps we need to rethink our directions and what is important to the whole family.    Do we need to rethink our priorities  and look to see accommodating various elderly members within the family again.  There is a problem not only in our cities but in suburbs and rural areas as well.   There are ways to help with this dilemma.

We can work it out.  We must.  The emotional growth of our very young and our peoples as a whole need to know we are not alone and there is someone,   even one someone who looks forward and waits for us to come home.  We may find that there would be a spiritual healing throughout our lives should we invest ourselves in this very common problem.   We may yet come alive with emotional good health and spirit.

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We Come With Love

IMG_20140408_153830_460Can we go to the lady who likes blue cloths, the young one asked.   And I was taken by surprise as to why he wanted to go.   I asked him why and he looked at me and said because she know-ed things and I want to ask her some questions about stuffs.   And I asked him what kind of questions.

And he looked at me and said, you know, you know.   But I don’t I said and waited.   It is always good to wait.   But there was nothing coming so I asked again why?   And he said that she knows things and she like the blue cloths and those are special.   Why are they special, I asked.   And he said becauuuuusseeee. . . they just are!  Can we go?

And I said get your things.   He was quiet while we were getting there but when we came to the shop he sat still for a minute.   You not mind if we just talk about private things, he asked.   I said,  it was all right with me.   May I listen?   I want you to he said.

We were greeted warmly by the lady of blue cloths and the younger wrapped his arms around her waist.   Good to see you again, she said.   I saw-ed you last night, he said, and you said it was always good to ‘member where you come from.  I think hard all night and I ‘member , he said.  I ‘member.   And I ‘membered you because you teach-ed me about not being ‘fraid of stuffs.  And I know-ed what you said and I know-ed where you were with the blue cloths.  You ‘member where you come from?

Yes,  she said,  I do.   It is a place of great feeling, love that is bigger than anything we know.  It is like a big ocean of love spilling over us and there is nothing to be afraid of.  We can touch this love with our hands and hold it in our arms.   And it will hug us back.   What do you remember?

That is what I ‘member,  he said.   And that is why I not ‘fraid.   I ‘membered and then forgot and I know-ed you would know.   Can I come back and ask again what I forget?  Always, she said,  always come back.

He reached for my hand and I nodded to her.   I not ‘fraid now I ‘member.   We come wit’ love and go to love, too.   Yessssss,  I said and squeezed his hand.

click on the blue cloth to magnify

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One Pilgrim’s Journey

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One Pilgrim’s Journey

In my early years on this pilgrim’s journey,   I would awaken and think through the night’s lessons and get my marching orders for the day.   They were equally important.  One morning though the conclusion was that it truly was a world without end.  But world without end has a magnitude about it that I am now understanding.   I have long said that we go to where we belong;  earned the right to be where the patterns of our days prepared us.  It truly is a universe of no retire.   If gravity and its inhabitants have worn us to a frazzle,  there will be rest,  but there is the new address awaiting.

These worlds do exist.  In this particular world only five senses are used to inhabit it.   But there are other aspects of Being which are not yet ours.   Some people have extra senses that piggy backed on the ones most of us inherit.  There are no skipped grades in any world.  What is ours to do may be different than what the next person has to do,  but there is graduation for all of us.  No need to worry about early exits either.   What is not learned once will be given other chances.  It behooves all of us to learn what we must wherever we are.   The next time may not be as agreeable nor as conducive to easy learning as this Earth is.  And we are held accountable.

Some of us are obsessed with questions others do not give thought to.   They come with faith in their carpetbag.   Faith of necessity is blind otherwise it would not be faith.   Questions would only complicate an already complicated life for some souls.  Whatever framework we have chosen for this world grants us what is necessary to work life through.  But within each rises the question which will turn the individual to the opening of the treasure chest within.   He/She has the key to open it.  And it is the word ‘why?’   That word,’why?’ either starts or closes the journey.

We have our camouflage systems worked out beautifully.   We construct our walls in the mind and do not allow anything disturbing to enter.  Occasionally a crack will appear and we will scurry for the emotional plaster or caulking to seal it.  The one who can no longer pretend the pieces fit the puzzle will begin the process of discovery and his/her journey begins.   They will hear ‘you have to be crazy to do this to yourself’  but they are crazy like a fox.

The roar you hear will be the heaven’s rejoicing that they have ‘a live one’  down there!   Let it be you.

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Worth Thinking About

DSC_2922Worth Thinking About

Knowing what to say is a social skill.   Meaning what you say takes the form of action in the heart.

Sometimes our heads understand what our hearts cannot.

Do what the heart requires and not what vanity insists.

The heart is the organ of redemption.

With love,  the heart salves the wounds of the world.

The psyche of man is healed by the heart.

Who can say that to be a butterfly is unfair?  Who would not rather be a butterfly than a caterpillar?

Death continues to be creative and teeming with energy.  We view the absence and cannot see the transformation.

We are as alive or dead as we ever will be.

There are times when friends reach out to touch the fear in us and lay grace to it.

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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A Validity

IMG_20140402_182216_046(1)A Validity

Stressed beyond belief,
my heart wanders in worlds
unseen by human eye,
not felt by human touch,
but altogether real.

Mountains are climbed
where dizzying heights
force vision beyond normal scope,
chancing accidents not plausible
but valid.

It is my guess that distance
is traversed on foot
through lands uncharted
and my footprints left on another heart.

How do I know this?
There are stretch marks on my heart
I cannot remember this life admitting.
There are headaches piercing a memory
nowhere given time.
There is heartburn a love
would not allow.
And there are dreams connecting
a time and space
as vivid as this reality we claim.

But all for naught?
I say not.

For when the heartburn
cannot be touched by any antacid
and headaches cease,
when memory is identified,
when life admits the stretch marks
and heart cannot allow another footprint
and when the new country becomes
a sweet focus,

we know the night is finished.

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The Jockey

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In a square inch of soil we were told you will find all the history pertinent to your time and all you need to know in this world concerning all you need to know.   We laughed at the old Teacher and labeled him The Jockey because he was on our backs all the time.  We may have laughed but I for one was out in the hot sun for hours.  As the years took me,  I often thought of the old Teacher and what he tried to teach.  He was an influence in my life in every segment teaching.

How could such a statement have any meaning in this day of technology and economic problems?  How could studying a square inch of soil put me in touch with my roots, with my humanity,  with my self?  I knew my classmates gave more thought to this than they were ready to admit.

Hours spent on hands and knees looking at the lifted square inch wondering how it would answer the questions harbored.  I stared at it and saw nothing but cut off roots.   But on further study  ants appeared with root hairs snaking through.  Questions formed and I wondered out loud if perhaps in Egypt was the same composition?  At some Oasis?   Or was the grass just our hybrid, but might grow elsewhere with root transplanted along with what it was fed,  somewhat like a belief system?  Certain foods,  rituals and customs practiced and honored?

Was this the soil of my childhood and my ancestors?  What were the practices and procedures then?  Transplanted would their grasses grow where I was rooted.?  Would I have difficulty being transplanted with new roots and customs?  One question fed another.   And soon with thoughts of more root systems dusk was near with a chill in the air.   I replaced the soil as we had been taught and looked to the night with a new moon arising.

I was very young then but I continued the practice of going out to the fields.  With insatiable curiosity that the Jockey had instilled,  I was  learning new life forms and rituals  which were not only interesting but necessary if peace was to be a fact.  This kernel of knowledge fed not only me but my children also.    When curiosity about the outside world exploded in their lives,  fields became our private yards and weeds noticed and their history unearthed.   Their possibilities were endlessly discussed and often ended up as table decoration.

This led to the study of June bugs and fireflies and how many were needed in a mason jar to read by?  Seeds were planted,  grasses sown and nurtured.  Big and little dippers were sought nightly and moon phases studied.

Root systems, cultures, ancestry all with histories uncovered.   Leading toward philosophies studied,  literature dissected with humanity’s progress followed through baseball statistics, and runners still carrying the message to Garcia.

We pick up smooth stones to find our names on them.  They too have life in slow vibration for ears attuned to them.   Climate changes are our concern with glaciers melting where they should not,  rubber trees no longer grow and some species of birds no longer fly.  The world is our classroom and those unborn our concern.

It is said that when the student is ready the Teacher appears. It is often when we need that one the most to change our lives forever.    My hope is for everyone to have the Jockey who will give that pertinent point to start the journey from even one square inch of soil.   To awaken the questing mind that keeps the curious mind alive.   I was fortunate to have a Teacher who considered his life’s work sacred.   And when I see a child with a scoop of soil and studying it carefully,  I know that child has been truly gifted.

Art by Claudia Hallissey

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The Memory Makers

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The Memory Makers

The smell of the damp morning
kindled memories of earth mold,
as she fetched the wood
and stirred the fire anew.

Warmth crept into the chill room
as ghosts of Springs past kept watch
and in unison nodded approval
to make waves on the still-born  ethers.

The children slept;
their various ages revealed
by the length of their slumbers.
Each in his turn made thanks
in silent novenas to the Memory Maker.

Her precise movements
were liturgical practises
in acknowledgement of their presence.
They were easy to love.

The fire spit;
the fresh ham already
sent its perfume through rooms
with closed doors.
The sleeping children
stirred in deep recollection
of some thing long ago enacted.
They would soon rise and
rub sleep out of granular lids
and bid the good morning.

And she, with her own
Recollection of Remembrances,
would nod in tribute
to the Lords of Memories
who discount arthritic knees

to press on each generation of Memory Makers.

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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