Posted by: jruthkelly | November 5, 2014

Earth Awaits

brilliant-coloured birds tend their silence here, perching on stillness and heart’s ache, a hushed fear catching in their throats, poised against a hope we’ve lost sight of in life’s cruel twists…

whose song will they next sing for us, breaking out upon the night a memorial of life precious, fleeting? surely their melodies weave eternal tapestries from the light of each heart that has ached and joyed before us and will flow onward, grasping our own and those yet to come…

let us hear their silence and know all the earth aches for each one of us.

and when their songs fall again on our ears, may we be gently enclosed in the comfort of their epochs, our stories alighting on trees, interwoven with the spirits of all nature, whispering into valleys, bursting along rivers we may never see, yet filling hearts with melodies uniquely given by each of our lives…

let us hear the love and know all the earth awaits our answering songs.

but for now the womb of silence weeps. the songbirds listen,
holding sorrow’s breath…

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

Posted by: jruthkelly | October 24, 2014

Hammock’s Sway

Healing hammock ride the sky, in my lingering repose.
Silence washing, flooding,

Crash this deafening noise, all the clamoring
impossibilities’ haunt of rhythm’s worst explosion, enigma’s crueler clarity
suggesting daunting end of days sooner as I

long for, work for, breathe for later, much later.

Wipe away my necessary practice,
the trauma of doling out tomorrows’ chances
via feverish weighing today of…
how much too much, just enough
or not enough now will facilitate more of a future, not less…
why must all these labors somehow suggest
no now and no when or where in which to be or go to or later for which to aim
when their aim is to seize assurance?

So, in my fevered necessities,
somehow slip me past the grasp that deadens days
and back into flow…

Take me to obliteration lovely, blanking out the doling minutes, seconds…
Bind me to places where eternity emerges, maybe there shimmering
on the edge of twilight…or here unveiling the timeless rule of leaves,
and trees holding hammock’s sway.

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Posted by: jruthkelly | September 14, 2014

Sun’s Seek

Gut raw reveal or run. Don’t you weary of holding it all in?
What is it you think your breath will collide with
if you exhale sooner rather than later?
Some untimely death of all your delusions?
Or is it the fear of all that involuntary relaxation,
opening self as soon as you let it all out,
something might penetrate, find your hiding places,
discover your humanity?
Some inner code might unfold. Some quiet desperation may wail.
You might feel something more real than anything experienced before or before.
Or ever.
Or maybe, once wails are spent and feelings felt
and you find you didn’t disintegrate into complete annihilation of existence
-though you may not be sure who this emerging you now is-
you bloom
in the quiet aftermath
of total bankruptcy,
loss of all you perceive as wealth.
Blooming songs long unsung, uncovered in sun’s insisting seek.

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j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

 

 

 

Posted by: jruthkelly | September 9, 2014

Magnetic Resonance Imparting

Tenzin Choegyal’s singing, particularly with the Metta String Ensemble and particularly the Crane Nomad song reached into those places humming with a bit of futility, of loss collecting in dark corners of the soul. The timing was perfect, right before an MRI to see if I have MS, ALS, or some other crippling illness. I suspected it is the same battle I’ve fought for over 20 years but the concern shook me up. Choegyal’s voice pulls soul parts back from the edge of the abyss… beautiful healing… insta-weep and weep of the best kind of cleansing.

My only complaint is that he laughs at the symbolism of the crane, or, more specifically, the spiritual medicine. But I suspect he’s laughing at the thought of how strange he must sound to the western mind. The crane has been speaking to me already…nothing strange. Longevity. Good health…wings…moving on from dark times…

His expression takes me back to a childhood filled with some of the most beautiful, mystical singing imaginable…good medicine.

Posted by: jruthkelly | September 4, 2014

Red Runs Deep

pounded by rain, shine…
elements crushing seed’s code…
still I bloom red, soft.

now maybe the dark
envelopes all I believed
but warmth lingers, light

in my veins: a story
of days on the horizon,
blooming life anew.

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

 

 

 

Posted by: jruthkelly | August 13, 2014

The Opposite of Depression…

…is vitality, says Andrew Solomon. Spot-on eloquence and tear-evoking insight, worth the 30 minutes to feel/hear this medicine of clarity. It is another example of what I recognize in my own life as radical grace.

 

“…shutting out the depression strengthens it; while you hide from it, it grows…our needs are our greatest assets…valuing one’s depression does not prevent a relapse, but it may make the prospect of relapse and even relapse itself easier to tolerate…I had learned in my own depression, how big an emotion can be, how it can be more real than facts and I have found that that experience has allowed me to experience positive emotion in a more intense and more focused way…the opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality and these days my life is vital, even on the days when I’m sad…I have discovered something inside myself that I would have to call a soul…I found a way to love my depression. I love it because it has forced me to find and cling to joy. I love it because each day I decide, sometimes gamely and sometimes against the moment’s reason, to cleave to the reasons for living and that, I think, is a highly privileged rapture.” Andrew Solomon

Posted by: jruthkelly | August 12, 2014

Truthful to the End, Robin Williams

Robin Williams ended his life. And it reverberates across the world, this collective uproar of loss realized. Images, endless scrolls and screens of Robin Williams’ memories and tributes. His face speaks something other than tragedy. His presence, as long as we had the privilege of it, upheld a priceless gift. It’s hard to reconcile that he would find it within himself to end it all, that someone who has made such a profound impact on humanity just by being funny and real, spontaneous and crazy, that he would take that away, decide it’s not worth another second.

But something in me feels defensive of him and of his legacy, that it not be diminished by his inability to continue. Why is that? He made a bold statement in his dying. On the one hand, he has every right to choose the time, the how. On the other hand, he’s commenting and saying that no matter how much acclaim you earn or how loved you are, if you’re not able to reach it within yourself, that source of love, all the acclaim in the world won’t save you, won’t keep you alive another second longer. He’s saying it’s just that tough. And it’s too precious to bear sometimes. Awareness and the artistry of unusual expressiveness comes with a price. Intensity cuts deep, sees more than any one soul can manage alone and if there’s not one who can share that awareness, the desolation pounds a deafening cry of seeming futility.

When a person takes his life, he is saying the one thing he will do is the one thing he can do…end the agony. Would that we, humanity, possessed much more skill in discerning when to stay with those who are so abandoned all they can do is leave us. Stay and break all the rules of propriety or discourse and insist on piercing the lie that another second of living is one too many.

Russell Brand said it better: “What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was? That fame and accolades are no defence against mental illness and addiction? That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves? That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful? That we can’t tarnish this tiny slice of awareness that we share on this sphere amidst the infinite blackness with conflict and hate?

That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore?”

So it is…there are those who remind us we have so much farther to reach and deeper to dig before we have become so alive, soulfully relentless that not one would dare entertain the solution of suicide. 

Posted by: jruthkelly | August 6, 2014

The Feltness Path

“Our logic says that what happens to you doesn’t matter to me, what happens to the world isn’t happening to me, but our hearts disagree. This logic contradicts our felt experience…what’s happening to children in Haiti…to child soldiers in Africa…to the whales…to the forest…that’s happening to me too. That’s something we can feel, that’s why it hurts when you see that photo of the sea bird drenched in oil…”

One of the biggest challenges in personal growth is one of bridging the gap between the logical/separate self and the connected self. The idea of the self as separate is essential for certain phases of our growth and structuring of identity. It’s what makes us distinct. And yet we are also the connected self. If we let one rule before the other, we can lose much of what we would otherwise give in connection. And yet if we never allow the heart’s own mind to have a say…we wither. The world withers and bombs explode. With the connected self, we recognize that on this day in 1945, we lost on levels unfathomable. And we continue to lose when we turn a blind eye on the murdering of innocents, piling up the death count into numbers well beyond what we encountered on 9/11 as we shake our heads, parsing words and labeling certain lives as expendable.

So much we can make whole when we embrace the connected self while accepting the separateness that makes us unique. We get there by way of what Rilke beautifully describes as a ” …more human love (that will fulfill itself, infinitely considerate and gentle, and kind and clear in binding and releasing) will resemble that which we are preparing with struggle and toil, the love that consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.” [Letters to a Young Poet, pg 58-59]

It’s this protecting, bordering and saluting, honoring of each other as separate but precious, and connected and even as one whole expression revealing love itself (all of us, man, woman, child, animal, earth, sky, nature) which will preserve the very point of life itself. It’s that dance between unity and separateness whose only music is love’s best, a dance whose steps celebrate connection without destroying our distinctions and uniqueness.

 

Posted by: jruthkelly | July 26, 2014

The Moon’s Say So…

The heart of the soles of my feet of dancing sigh…they ache on earth pulsing a song long begun, hearing ancient knowing, yearning through the toes to the top of my head.

No ounce of will can bend the tides without the moon’s say so. No gumption of the reddest desire can re-write the years gone by or shift the mountain aside.

So, my feet wait and sigh, humming earth tunes through my being, reminding centuries of roots stretching deep, breathing life in spite of all the carnage haunting dreams left wanting.

And to my end this may be the most these soles know: to grow old in the hum of an ancient song and wait for the next expression of love, to know that only those gifted with fortunate favor and a timing divine make it beyond the mountain and across the sea, only those who dig deep find the center – the one source shaping stories for love’s next challenge, to know one’s failing may be the other’s best and that a world crawling on her knees never gets invited to the wedding feast.

Courtesy Of Dave Grant, 2011 - 2014

Courtesy Of Dave Grant, 2011 – 2014

Posted by: jruthkelly | July 17, 2014

Safe Harbor

“One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to trust. To trust love you must be convinced of love. One cannot admit what he does not yield to. To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love. One cannot love what he does not dedicate himself to. To dedicate yourself to love you must be forever growing in love.” Leo Buscaglia


shore breaks here whisper
something about constancy.
love knows all our fears

tossing in tides of
change. we cling to sea’s uproar
’til the silence sighs

and we float ashore,
tumbling mystery and
faith in what we know.

Blog Post Image 2014

j. ruth kelly, 2014

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