Wednesday, August 29, 2012

what osho might say, if he were to speak to me

don't speak so much
let yourself empty out
without emptying it out
on everyone else

you will become like a lantern
inside, a beautifully lit light
you will carry yourself quietly
into rooms dark with dis-ease--
places where no one wants to see
the simple tiny truths
of living and dying

you will stand and smile
and everything--
will change

there will be day
in the darkness
a small light,

no one will need to say a word
the words will fall away
the light,
it will stay


highly recommended reading:
tantra by osho, or any of his books, i imagine.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Morning Solitude

i like how quiet it is out here at this cafe... the sunday morning solitudes people retreat to: books, journals, magazines, cigarettes... there's a space to remember myself, my own breathing. my mind feels lost, though, the moment i let it. my body, so far from the touchstones it craves. my heart, still so open, like a screen door swinging in the summer at the neighborhood block party. and this spirit--it's like a fly on a tomato that some big angry hand keeps trying to swat away. but it just goes on buzzing around, knowing nothing can really stop a fly from landing on a tomato. 

an old crush walks up. my neurons buzz with excitement--that illusive positive feedback loop that suggests someone might sleep next to me, wake next to me, run their fingers over my profile in the morning while i still dream, and then pull me close into their strength to remind me of where i am--alive, in a bed, with a lover next to me who also so desperately wants to connect, wants to feel part of something as familiar and primal as flesh on flesh. there is nothing crazy about this longing. there is nothing wrong with my body's pull toward life. 

but here i am. there is nobody really here but me. so on the days when i wake alone, walk to the cafe alone, sit at the table alone drinking my coffee and writing in my journal... on these days when my brain waves are subject to the torture of disappointment, i slip my sandals off one by one, right here in public on the back patio of desire. i slip my sandals off and let my toes touch down--that cold, hard stillness massaging the bottom of me like a mystery. 

how unfamiliar it can become--the thrill of something cold and sturdy holding you like when you first learned how to walk; when you first made eye-contact with the speed of solitude. 

i plant my feet a bit heavier now, letting each toe take its time reintroducing itself to that old, untouchable home. 

i plant my feet and i breathe.

nobody, nobody but me.

Friday, August 24, 2012

there is a rope that we are all tied to

there is a rope that we are all tied to
it begins past where the eye can see
and ends further than the sun's farthest star

i do not know what made it so 
that we
are tied to this rope

most of the time
i don't even 
my body
can't even feel
its cling to me,
i can't even feel
my body

it's a problem
it's a misery

last night, even, i had a dream
i was tied to a lover
we were tied to each other
and we were sobbing
and then laughing
and then sobbing
and then laughing

we were floating
in a dark abyss
far, as far as we could float
from that rope 
and still hold
to each other

something had cut our cords
something had snapped that
spiraling strand
that earthly hemp fray
that held us close to the center
of belonging

god only knows what it was
or when,
what kind of massive force
or tiny flame 
it took
to make us believe
in our minds
that we could ever really float
farther than a star
farther than the eye can see
farther than eternity

so eternally alone
that we have to tie ourselves
to each other
that we have to grasp
and cry out
for forever

it was just a dream
so i know, it was an illusion
that nothing could ever cut that cord
that i could never be untied
from this holy earth

but sometimes that dream
feels like my reality
sometimes i let it 
come and trick me--
i write too much poetry
i go too far into fantasy
i go past the world of make-believe
and i make myself believe
that the underbelly of existence
is my reality:
that i am lost from we 

but there is a rope, still
and i am tied to it
it tied itself to me
like a morning glory 
ties its vines up a tree
it tied itself to me
before there ever was a me 

and every time i try to shake 
myself clean
i shake myself lost
i shake myself into 
that terrible dream
i turn myself insane
i erase my humanity

it is scary, i know
to turn and touch that rope
the trembling hands
the swelling throat
the eyes low
i know this fear like family--
can i really touch eternity?
is it really in me?

and i can't answer in words
it is too much to speak
so i just let this rope hold me
and i weep
and i weep
and i weep

Who am I? Who am I? A Call for Sages.

Day after day we danced in the kitchen to songs that normal people would never consider "danceable". Anais Mitchell was one of our favorite go-to musicians. Her songs finding their way into my bloodstream one at a time, month at a time, to the point where it became completely laughable, like a parody of some life-coach, hippy-dippy, braless folkfull hopeless romantic. *Flowing, she winked and whimsically waved, swirling you onto the kitchen floor for a slithering, smiling, slow-motion samba...

For the longest time, I didn't understand why this song mattered to me. That's another theme in my life: foreshadowing music. I choose songs 3-5 months too early. Now, it's clear. Now, I know why I needed a song about transmuting to fit the next lover, about not knowing who I am with my rock pulled out from under me, about the scariest question of all...

Beyond What can I become for you, for us?... Beyond What's my role in our together? there's an honest, humble realm of Who am I, unpartnered? I'm floating down into it. I'm scared. I am confronted with myself. And it makes me think of mirrors, and nature, and how the wild does not see itself like we do. Perhaps the moon, too, would have an existential crisis, if it could perceive itself, it's own existence. But that is ridiculous. The moon is just the moon. It never has to know. It just orbits the earth. It asks no questions of itself.

But me, I'm a human, for better and for worse. And us humans like to think that we can choose together or alone. It gets us into trouble. We look too far, too narrow.

In my search for self, which is really just my humble attempt to get down to the bottom of my existence, it really does feel like no one taught me how to cry in the night. And I just keep asking, Why is there still so much grief? Shouldn't this be easier? Look at me! I'm awesome. Why is it so hard to just be? 

I am 25. I am too young to have the answers. The best thing I can do is ask honest questions, like my heroine, Anais...

Didn't I gleam in my father's eye?
Who am I? Who am I?
Didn't I split my mother's side?
Who am I? Who am I?
Didn't I drink her nipple dry? 
Who am I?

So I pose this as a project to the sages of the world.

Answer how you'd like, but please, for all of us wondering and wandering at the crossroads of Who am I? and How do I belong in the grand family of things?... Why is it so hard? What's the grief of self-discovery all about? -- What's the deep, ancient wisdom that we don't yet see? What's the truth underneath our searching? -- The shape of the car keys that we've trolled the house looking for, only to find in our own two hands twenty years later?

Blog, facebook, comment, phone call, dinner party, poem, song... pick your favorite way to share your sagehood. I love you. I thank you. I'm listening with my most humble, open parts. I'd be fetching you water and food for your tales if we were ever 'round the same fire. Always, always, forever and ever, amen. Thank you.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

How to Know if it's Love :: A Story of Sage Advice


We had hiked to the top of a hill across the street from his house. I was standing, arms wrapped around a tree, looking with tears in my eyes, at this strangely beautiful man before me. The wind was blowing south east, the direction I was facing--a swirl of my curls danced before me. It'd been the most magical week, but I had to go. We were saying our goodbyes.

I don't want to sound like your parent, he said, but be careful out there. I know you need to go. I know you have a life to return to, routines to get back to, fun times with lots of people to be had. And it's good, Rachael. I'll miss you, I'll really really miss you, but it's good.

I want you to promise me something, though. Promise me you'll be careful. Through tears and silent nodding, I reached one hand out for a firm hold on his, the other touching tightly the rough bark of that small pine tree. Your heart is huge and you love so deeply. You have things people could easily want to take from you, manipulate, use for the wrong reasons. But I don't want that for you. You deserve true love. 

He stopped, stared into my eyes like his gaze came from the roots beneath our feet. I swallowed, gazed back. I didn't have to ask, How should I be careful? I didn't even have time to protest in my mind, What kind of advice is 'be careful?!' When you know in the soul of your being that someone really loves you, ten thousand usual annoyances get so easily dismissed.

So here's how, Rachael. His voice lowered with importance and his eyes locked in on mine. Look them straight in the eyes. Really look, Rachael. If you look, you will see. You will see what they're really there for in their eyes. You will know everything you need to know just by looking. Do you understand?

Out there on the land there are long pauses between thoughts. Images of past lovers and the ways they'd looked at me danced through my mind. The sun was setting the sky lavender and all the grass was golden. At the bottom of the hill, cows trotted along the cattle trail like a line of ants finding their way back home. This man stood strong and sweet, his red face the backdrop to two soil-brown eyes that saw me with no resistance nor reasoning--just an open, pure yes. And I knew he was right, that it was true, that a simple look is enough to know what's before you. I knew because I'd seen so many eyes averted, so many stares cut short or shaded with fear. I knew because no one had ever looked at me the way he did. And no love had ever felt more true.

On our way back down the hill towards the house--which is really not a house at all, but a tee-pee, but a straw bail hut, but a loft, but a dream--I stopped and squeezed his hand, turned to him, looked him square in the eye. Thank you for telling me to really look at people. I think that may be the best advice about love I've ever gotten.

He smiled, laughed like a baratone saxophone. Yeah? Good. It works both ways, too. When you love someone, even just your friends, give them your eyes. Grab Jen by the face when you get home. Look her square in the eyes and holler out, 'Jeeennn! I loooove youuuu!'. 

We laughed like jazz all the way home.


So often we fret and fray over what something is or is not. Whether dating, in a relationship, or focusing on your solitude, we can't help but wonder, Is this love? Is this love? 

When it's been long enough since we've really felt it, we ask like a child who's forgotten what her home looks like. Is this my house? Is this where I belong? Is this door open for me? Do I feel safe enough to walk through it? To stay? We ask like children, because underneath all of our confidence and zest and candor and adulthood--beyond the sex and stories and sentimental moments--we are still just itty bitty babies seeking refuge and tenderness, the kind of safety that makes way for our deepest selves to emerge fully.

But reasoning our way into an answer doesn't always resonate for our bodies or the rest of our beings. That's why we keep traveling back to the question. That's also why they say, When it's love, you just know.

If you want a litmus test, if you're seeking clarity, then peek in with purpose. Look it straight in the eye. Feel how honestly you want to hold your gaze. Feel how wholly they hold theirs back. Feel how long you could stand to stay with them in that spot. It is what it is. If you look clearly, you will see. If you really want to know, the how is simple. The answer's in the eyes. Yours and theirs. Just look. You might not get the combination or reality that you want. But it's all there in plain sight.

Wishing us all the courage to look openly, to see clearly, to enter fully into what's real and true and divine. More on that divine business next time. For now, thank you for being here.

What's your take on how to know if it's love? 


Monday, August 6, 2012

poem #1,725 (or so)

when the cape fades

it's okay
that we were proven

in the end,
i'm still glad
that we acted

look at us now--

the way we can
the ways
that we're

the chains we can break
with our wild

so what
if we had
to break, too?

Friday, August 3, 2012

for writers, who are wondering

the hard part about writing isn't the writing,
it's the feeling
how long can you linger in the lump of your ache?
dare you whisper the worst words of all?

when the rain rises from your teeming past
do you run around with tiny buckets, trying to catch 
a storm so grand?
or do you let what must, be drenched?

dare you stay with the raw dripping slashing skipping
long enough
to bleed something true?
tiny drops, deep red
and royal?

for a moment
you enter the cracking thunder
houses and heroes and heartache fall around you
and you, a queen of courage, 
you hold your gaze
you take the hits
you let everyone see
the way it looks
to be rumbled

PS--I'm writing a poem a day for the month of August and sending them each to one person only. Head right here to find out how to get in on the magic. There are about 15 spots left. xo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Loneliness of Being Alive & The Game of Surviving Together

Sometime back in early 2011, when the Jodi, Judy and I all lived on the same block.

This past year and a half, my best friends and I were all on these crazy spiritual journeys. We weren't calling them that as they were happening, necessarily. We were just occasionally calling each other over the phone, gasping through tears, Will it always be like this? Does anything last forever? I've never cried this much IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I'm so disillusioned.

Scattered all over the world, each of us "on our own", we had to learn to keep going without the support of each other that usually helped us through. It was a year of growing up. An era of entering our womanhood, forreal.

One of the big questions we've been asking each other is about love (most of us having ended a major long-term relationship): Is it possible to stay with someone, to stay in love, forever? and then, as if the two questions have anything to do with each other, Are we always ultimately alone?

Are we always ultimately alone?

This is where I usually get stuck with my writing... at these big, major questions, at my search for an answer in words--as if words or definitions or absolutes could ever possibly add up to the deep, visceral truth and wisdom that lives in our bodies. (The thing in us that knows, knows, knows, how impossible alone is. How exceptionally connected we are to every single thing there is).

Still, I'm a writer. I want to put words in impossible places.

So I called up Jodi and read her the beginning of this post and told her how I was stuck... and she said, That's a really powerful place to enter into, Rach. The not-knowing. That's huge. We're all trying to answer things... What if that's it... What if the not-knowing is everything? 

Upon which I answered with glee... 
Jodi, do you realize we've been spiritual life partners for over 10 years? Do you know how many "I don't knows" we've had together?!
--Probably like, thousands, at least! she said.
We both broke out in laughter... Oh my god... We've lasted! In the I-don't-know, we last!

I don't know what this means.
I don't have a pretty, sparkly bow to tie up this post.
I don't know how to package my not-knowing or my knowing-that-I-don't-know nicely.

But I think that's the point. Somehow, if we can just give in, if we can feel it all, if we can be with the scary delight of that which we'll never have rational answers to.... I don't know... Maybe then, it doesn't really matter if we're alone or not. Maybe that's the thing that melds us together: the fact that we all doubt, that we all fear, that we're all grasping for some sort of answer to make us safe and eternal. 

Maybe what matters is that we're brave enough to just keep going, eyes open, ready to see -- that we're willing to sing our doubts together, and dance and dance and dance, then fall over exhausted, and weep, if we must.

Maybe what matters is that we learn to love it all, in an ultimate, forever kind of way... sunken in, surrendered, not-knowing what we're gonna get, not letting our not-knowing get the best of us.


What about you, beautiful soul? What's your take on these questions? I'd be honored if you entered the conversation... If you joined us in the powerful space of wondering, together.
How brave, how brave, to be alive.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

31 for 31 Special!!! A Poem A Day Give-away!

my excitement's a little bit like this right now... ahhhhhh!!!!

Loves!!! It's here! 31 for 31 has officially begun. I am SO EXCITED. I'm feeling blown away by the positive responses and rahrahrahing I've gotten over it... and I'm having one of those small moments of disbelief... Did I really call this in? Is it really manifesting as beautifully as I had hoped and worked for?!? Helllll yes.

Logistics: I'm half booked (eeek!), so you can still sign up for a session right here. I'd love to have you on my calendar. Truly, truly, YES. Just joining the conversation? I'm doing 31 coaching sessions in 31 days with 31 different people... feel free to read on.

In other news, I've got a little surprise & dare I call this a give-away!?

I'm taking the month of August as an opportunity to really hone my intuition and practice the skill of completely opening to what wants to come through me. (In coaching, creativity, and otherwise). To enhance this practice baby, I'm going to write 31 poems over the next 31 days... a poem a day... each poem for ONE PERSON'S EYES ONLY. (Unless I end up loving it enough to publish it... But initially, at least, if it's your day, it's your poem).

SO--you can sign up to be on the receiving line of this lovely little practice by e-mailing me at with the subject line POEM (in all caps). The first 31 people to shoot me a line will get a poem.

That's all I've got for now, cutie pies. May your August 1st be full of whatever you're really craving today. May your body guide you home. Hellll yeah!

love love love,