Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, All Rights Reserved, 2016

The Church of May

You leap beyond all
despair and hopeless falling.
Fiery woman, live;

no spire reaches
past your own sacred lightning,
flaring out fierce love.

Stomp and squeal delight
against a night of constant
yearning. Your love’s dance

blurs us past façades,
awakens all our hoping
towards sun’s warm call.

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, All Rights Reserved, 2016

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, All Rights Reserved, 2016

“May” is one of my daughter’s nicknames. On this day, pictured here as blurred trees and a church held steadfast against our movement, Marion drove us around to see some of the more lovely parts of Pittsburgh. Our trip to see her began with her trademark spontaneity and abandon when we drove up to her home. She leapt up and out the front door into the 1am cold night air and squealed with joy and then down the stairs, doing little run/skip/dance moves out into the street to reach into my car for a huge hug. And that is the best of the “Church of May.” She reveals, at her most fiercely loving moments, what we’re all made of and what we’re all here for … no matter how dark the time. We are the sacred, spiritual, divine-as-love.

 

 

Lines Bestowed

I love how all these leaves flutter and hover,
held fast by a moment in which the next moment
has already asserted the limitation of the time of holding,
of hovering aflutter as all that lies on ground cluttering earthsongs
once was held a few yards up ‘tween earth and sky
and how we are all right here uttering without much regard
for the brevity of the time or the lines bestowed on our minds…
the power to transform our bullshit and make meaning before we,
too,
fall to ground, joining an ancient chorus of ancestral rhyme,
a rhythm unrelenting, calling us all
to love,
to grow.

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, All Rights Reserved, 2016

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, All Rights Reserved, 2016

my meditation

River Speak

My curves whisper love,
risk, abandon and…
something about being whole.
Moments liquid spill
my feast for still minds,
unfolding sometimes rapidly, roiling, obliterating order
and then hushing, following slowly the pull towards home,
stirring hearts alive and begging transformation as you
lay your weary body down in my wealth,
washing, baptising days to come
and days gone by,
stirring youth back into those bones,
beckoning resilience from layers long sighing into the fight.
My colours ask no blindness,
seek no superiority over sight.
To not see, to not distinguish,
to not cherish every nuance and hue
is to die, to shrivel up inside,
never knowing your own precious blues.
Come, learn my ways;
liberate eyes into seeing how deeply we partake
when we can discern the differences
and know no fear, no ego’s tyranny.
Abandon inhibition here…
feed soul’s longing along the journey
flowing us all as love, by love, in peace.

j. ruth kelly, 2015, all rights reserved

j. ruth kelly, 2015, all rights reserved

The Peonies Reaching

Make me like the peonies reaching,
ripening and revealing shimmers of light,
born of darkness, from disintegration in a long story’s night
whose tale suggests only seclusion unending and a crushing fate…
until,
until the bursting out upon the day,
until the unfolding from haunts of burial entombing,
until all my songs release fragrance
sweetened by a holy undoing,
whose whispers in moonlight of a sun behind the night
birth soul beyond the doom,
holding sacred sway over a mysterious teaching.

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, 2015, All Rights Reserved

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, 2015, All Rights Reserved

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, 2015, All Rights Reserved

Photo by J. Ruth Kelly, 2015, All Rights Reserved

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 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

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.