Monday, March 26, 2012

Darkness, Born.

Looking up

I've got this new line that I live by. It's in response to the Emma Goldman quote, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."

There will be mystery at the revolution. That's all I know now.

There will be darkness and We Will Not Know Where We Are Going. That's what happens when you  turn the ship against the tide, with no real map or compass for the land you're headed to.

All you get is your body and a choice: Will you journey in the dark, getting bumped up and bruised, as you seek the door knob to the next light room? Or will you sit frantically wishing that you could see--that you could make sense of the dark in your mind without ever wandering through?

Some of us seek a life with the lights on, always--not trusting that if we reach out our hands we will find our way in the unknown. But for the darkness walkers, the shadow trekkers, perhaps nothing matters more than friends... people to journey with, to help you know you're not so alone or insane or absolutely ludicrous for thinking you could turn that ship around all by yourself with little fuel and no direction... people to tell you that if you just keep meandering your way, the light will come, you will be unstuck, you will not regret your journey.

Alone, in the dark corners and caverns of adventure, there is paralysis, there is doubt, there is absolute hatred for how reckless you must have been to land in this pitch black terror. But if you keep going, there are breaths, tiny steps, and soft hands extended, asking Will you travel with me? Will you hold me when I get scared? Will you remind me that trying to see the light won't make it so--that the only way out of the dark is through old fashioned feeling, hands-out exploration, a mysterious navigation with no map but your own?

What is it about touching your two hands to the walls, following something strong and firm until you finally find a soft opening?

A mind's journey will only take you so far. Your body knows how to move courageously, how to dance and dance in the dark.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Best Advice I've Ever Followed

Madeleine and Jen on the kitchen couch--a mother-daughter sweetness built on freedom, love and friendship.

A year ago, she would say things to me and I'd have no clue what she meant. All I knew is that her words didn't come from a place of ego or trying to be wise. No--they came from Hell. And Hell's the only real trustworthy classroom. At least that's what seems to be true from the little life I've lived. Our sob stories are our salvation when we grow through them. Our shit turns to gold if we learn how to process it correctly. And sometimes, years of suffering in a certain shade or shadow, is just enough to push us into a cosmic kind of light. (And we're still left bemused; how did it take me this long to understand; to see clearly?!)

These days, we call each other on our cell phones from the floor above or below, beckoning each other into bed to tell stories of our latest escapades. Was I foolish? Have I said too much? Who knew that our lives could be this much fun? The top of the mountain is just as torturous as the climb. I forbid you to say another word. Only dancing and snapping allowed. I just love you.

During one of our day-lit pillow-lounging confessionals a few short weeks ago, she told me the best advice I've ever followed. Ever ever ever.

The only thing that's certain, ever ever ever, she said, is that everything around us will change. So if you don't like the spot you're in--if you want everything to truly change--Do Nothing. 

My antenna raise and quiver. Huh? (I know the plot's about to thicken when Jen Lemen leaves me with a blank-faced Huh?)

Yes!-- She smirked in a serious kind of way. When you keep doing, keep striving, keep trying to change things--you're just repeating your usual patterns and ways. Nothing changes. Not really. 

But if you truly Do Nothing--nothing at all--everyone else will keep moving around you, and when your part falls through, the world will scramble, and everything will be revealed.

Let them lead. Do Nothing.

Terrified, confused, and confident, I did everything in my power to Do Nothing. No conversations. No deep listening. No problem-solving. No sexing. No brainstorming. No facilitating. Nothing. Openness. Deflection. When asked to fill my usual Do Something shoes, I'd say--

"I just want to Do Nothing for now."
"Your call."
"What do you think?"
"I trust you to decide."
"There's nothing to be done here. Nothing wrong. Nothing at all."
"I love you but I need some space."

It took two days for my entire life to transform. 

The whole ship changed directions. It was a painful, heavy load to move without moving a muscle, like being crushed or being stretched and having no say or no power--just surrender, just Yes.

I gambled without knowing what I was gambling for. I gambled for a chance at new; for a release from the stale air we were beginning to despise.

And my gamble was small compared to many--I didn't leave my husband or my country or my job or my addiction. I left one box that I no longer fit into; hoping and praying that something would be able to hold me.

The truth is--this new space is still hard (everything is), but I'm glad I'm here. And I'm finding, oddly enough, that when you break down the walls of your boxes, you're left with a round, expansive Earth who knows how to hold every bit of every thing.


I'm over here wondering what your darkest days in Hell have taught you, and the best advice you've ever given or received? The likelihood that you'll comment with such deep revealing seems rare. (Is it just me, or is blogging a dying art?) Either way--I'm excited that you just might share your story. Written, spoken, or otherwise; I'd be thrilled to hear a bit of your truth. I've been so touched by honest connection lately. If you're seeking a bit, reach out!

Sending you love and gratitude for being part of my life here in this little pixel of a place. I appreciate you so much.


ps--I love how raw and honest and alive Julie Daley is. Have you read her work? She's one of those people who seems to stay true to her natural expression, as opposed to trying to sell her worth/work. (So rare--so profound). This post is about spring and letting the earth kiss your feet. It's beautiful.

pps--If you're feeling sad or hopeful or resentful about love, this old country song might be good fuel for the fire. And sometimes, a fire needs to be fed and flamed before it can really die out.

ppps--I'm so proud of Jen and Ria and Henry for all their hard work launching the most exquisite of websites and missions. Take a peek at the little chicks and Hopeful World's new home.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

for the best of the best--an homage

there are friends who leave you speechless
their wordlessness a song bigger than the beauty they sing
their ready eyes a moment's notice away from tears, just when you need them so

who forgive you when you've gone too far
who hold you when you refuse to open to so much pain
who fly out for your birthday, simply because you asked
who don't hold it against you when you can't return the favor
who stay out with you for the adventure that would never happen if you went in

there are friends who you can call back 10 minutes later to say 10 more things
even when they're out of time
even when there's other stuff to do
even when the kids have yet to fall asleep

friends who buy you dresses or chocolate or a nice bottle of red
who you tell your secrets to--who keep your shame at bay
who laugh just a few minutes longer, because we all know we all need the release

yes--there are friends like this
but they are few and far between
and when you find them, you are wise to sing their praises--
to hoot n' holler in just the right tone, any time they need support
to love them in all the ways you know how
because they are beyond worthy, and anything less would be sin

you are wise to write them poems
to sing them hallelujahs
to fill boxes to the brim with so much joy and magic
and keep nothing for yourself because you two--
you are truly, fully, together
and together is everything
nothing is better
together, together 


happy birthday wild & free, jodi. thanks won't ever say it all. i love you, i love you, i love you. wishing you succulence & adventure & peace & discovery during this cosmic trip around the sun!
yours always,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a tree to existence: on loneliness

they think i just go through the motions, emotionless, at peace
but there are days--days and days and days
of dying and dancing and dangling by a tired thread

even we fear the claw, the coming winter,
the winds at night when no one is watching
even we taste the sour scent of rotted skin and flesh
lying lifeless beneath our reach

even we are overwhelmed by our
brightest moments--
our olive greens, our sage and steadfast stance
our giving and giving and giving
that asks for nothing in return

what alive knows not terror?
what living thing fears not the ultimate loss?

who that has died, would not answer Yes!
to all the torture and triumph,
all the wishing it weren't so,
given the chance to cry and shout out--
branches naked and free amidst a quiet sky?


for the trees, and bindu, and me and you and him and her and all the suffering in this wild world.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

[best read aloud, over and over until you feel every word.]

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


Thanks to my dear dear friend Alyssa, for sending me this poem, which came my way long ago, but I'd since forgotten. It's the perfect timing, indeed, since over here asking myself these questions daily. And you? What would you want to know, if you could know anything at all about the deep & daring heart of the matter?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Radically Open Hearts & The Real Power to Change the World

What if your vision were so big, so holy, that you actually called on 1 billion people to dance in the streets until the violence STOPS?

What if you knew that our capacity for healing and our desire for a new world were actually that strong?

--That we've just been waiting all these years for someone to call us into our power?

I'm dumbfounded and speechless over Eve Ensler--in my opinion, one of the most revolutionary humans on Earth today. No vision is too big. No dream unattainable.

I mean--her life vision is to actually END violence against women, globally.

No half-hearted dreams for this woman. She's TIRED OF WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DREAM BIG. She's tired of WAITING for other people to come around about rape and violence in their own sweet (and lagging) time.

She's opened her heart so wide, so fearlessly, so boldly--that she's actually trudging through resistance and doubt--walking right past those voices of "reason" that say it'll never happen; war and rape and violence against women will always be reality.

Those voices of "reason" come from a deeply rooted source of denial--denial over the truth about how ugly and horrendous things have been for women (and men, and all living things). But there's no denial for Eve Ensler.

You can't deny the stories when they're told to you. You can't deny the broken woman standing before you, bullet through her head, genitalia in her hands. You simple cannot deny what you are shown in broad daylight.

This is the gift Eve Ensler has been given: she is shown the ugliest of truths.

But we are all given a gift. It's how we respond that makes us geniuses, or not.

What makes Eve Ensler a genius? What's her bedrock for complete and utter world-shaking instigation?

She has this thing down:
"The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned." -Antonio Gramsci 
She sees the truth and says "fuck it" in the same breath. Whatever she believes possible, is. She goes for it.

In this case--she insists on a better world for women; a world of peace, embodied.

Watch this video. Watch the glow around Eve as she talks: she knows so much how holy she is, how holy life is, and how much power we really have. She's going for the gold.

Tell me, friends. What would you really go for if you knew that anything were possible? That the world has been waiting and the time is NOW for embodiment?