Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter garden








Winter garden is temporary acquiescence.
It sings of silence. Life suspended. Of turning inward and down and deep.
Weeds that seemed to taunt me, to mock my efforts mid-summer are now submissive.
No fight left. No desire to conquer.
They have laid down their bones, their armor.
Anyone believing it is a truce, would be mistaken.
But it is reprieve. I revel in it.
I love the dark and deep that is the earth smelling of leaf decay.
I love the skeletons that were last season's fierce vines.
They rattle in the wind and tell me stories of warmth, of facing upwards, of tea mornings spent together in solitude.

Life, death, rebirth;  constant reminders.
The ongoing cycle of the growing-dying things here.
My life which has always seemed to pivot in the garden.
My center seems to come back and back and back.





Moss covered hand-prints in concrete telling of children who are no more.
Their now-hands will never fit that small shape again.
Mosaic fragments of a life that no longer exists, hiding beneath
hibernating rose bushes. A pin prick view into the past.
Rebirth isn't always some mystical idea.
It's happening all around. Every second.
I know this to be true, in the winter garden.






There is no choice...
Change is the crux of everything.
Our conclusion is in the stories.
In the building of fragments.
In the shifting of seasons. How well we navigate loss.

In moving hulls of seasons past, and protecting soil, in clipping of rose hips, and
clank of shovel I find the center of the universe.
Everything hushed. Everything waiting.
To show me the exuberance of growth untamed yet again.
How "life persists" is the constant and death not separate.
It never was.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Diving into the deep end





                                                                                      Photo copyright; Keith Dixon Studios 2014




It calls to you.
It laps at your feet and drifts through your days, like river gently chiseling stone.
It feels like you might finally shrug off this long dormancy.
Finally awaken.

But you can't see bottom, so you back away from the depths and keep on doing what you do.
Stay with the surface.
That which feels like safety in an unsafe world.

Your dissatisfaction with that safe world, takes you right back to the threshold.
To the silky feel of the deep end lapping at your feet again.
You dip your foot in.
It's so soothing, so intriguing...
ebb and flow.
You wonder what would happen upon submersion.

Diving in seems both exhilarating and terrifying.
Because you know what might be there, what is calling.
You don't know how deep you can go.
Or what will swirl up out of the abyss.

So you keep playing roulette with your dreams.

No. Can't do it.
Responsibilities.
What will people think?
How will I make money?
I don't know if it's safe.

You don't have to fling yourself off a cliff and grow wings.
You just have to keep tuning in to the things you love.
Utterly.
Wholeheartedly.
Unconditionally.
With all the fears riding along, until they slowly drown....because the deep end can't support them.

Can you quench this longing, this unending desire?
You will never know how deep you can go.
Knowing is for the safe ground.
Some get tired of standing at the edge and wondering.

So you step forward.
It's the baptism only you can give yourself.
Nobody else in all the world holds this voodoo.
The world marches on, it isn't holding it's breathe.

What you thirst for washes over you, it closes over your head.
You aren't drowning though.
Not at all.

It melts around every smothered emotion.
There's so much in the deep, all you can do is be alive this moment.
Be unsure and terrified and in love with this one life,
with the chasm of desire and every possibility it holds.

The truth is, you can swim and float and even dive and dive again.
You don't have to fling yourself off some ledge.
Just step in. Sink deep. Feel what you love surround you.

Come on in...the water's fine.



                    Photo copyright; Keith Dixon Studios 2014



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Threads of our scars

Cancer survivors;Martha, Sharon and Brandie.Courage and beauty embodied


What I have learned is that we are made up of scars. Fabulous, awful, cutting and dangerous scars that connect us. Connect our stories and our alone. Scars our bodies weave. Scars we weave.

Knit them gently, oh, so gently. Let them be a landscape.  Delicate embellishment.  These scars that connect us. Never knitting them so tightly we can't breathe. Or making a tomb of them. Never knitting them into a casket of fear and longing. Knit them gently. So we can pull a tendril here, or there. A thread of seeing. A thread of knowing. Of  "I see you" and of the telling.

 Let us be a landscape. A Story. Let us sing of longing and desire and pain. Sing loudly. Sing boldly. Intertwine these scars ever so delicately. Press them into our skin, our spirits with love. Let the sediment sift down in between so the scars don't define us as much as our stories about them. Let these scars illuminate strength... fortify fragility with the knitting together.

Inspired by Andrea Gibson poem, "Birthday".
Our bodies will walk with the strong fiber of being. Walk through this world with threads trailing behind. Don't pull one too hard. Let them brush against our skin as we walk. Stitch us together in resilience, their tendrils entangling. Kindred spirits facing dark. Facing hurt. Facing light and breathing it all in at once, until the scars can barely contain the fiber. Until the dark nights and lonely days turn into soft. Until the tide of your existence can ebb and lull without a battle.

We are not at war with this world. With it's stories told upon our skin. Our scars are not battle wounds. They stretch with our coming and going. Becoming silken threads. They float with us as a trail of braided wonder. Touch them.  Yield to them. Feel their ridges describing this terrain.

Our craters and lumps, our tears and engravings, the gaping holes we try to fill that scream of longing not met. That meteorite impact can't be filled. Except with wonder. And maybe occasional chocolate. Look in awe at this skin carrying cells. Broken and vast and whole all at once. Own this terrain that is ours.

This fearless wonder of a machine that has not yet taken us out of this world. When it does, I hope our scars are soft and perfect and woven so gently we can breathe down into them.

Let them be a cradle to carry our stones and eggs and beautiful things. Let them be an ark to carry our iron, our blood, our dreams. Rocking inside that boat of scars, across the voyage of forever. Our star-stuff embodied in broken flesh.

Flesh that walks like a flash on this sphere before morphing into other star stuff. Cocoon ourselves in this scar-boat carrying us across the vast. Love it; every cell is art, stories, earth, and salt. It's varied forms were never meant to last.
"500 Reasons to Love You"


*Credit and thanks to Keith Dixon Studios for photography.
Art available at Ren Allen, Artist online gallery.