What A Ride…

“Until you have loved, you cannot become yourself.” -Emily Dickinson

Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology posted the above quote on Facebook today. And I have to say this resonates more deeply for me than anything going on in this rather roiling world. News of riots in the streets of London and surrounding cities, hurricanes hurling category 3 in the aftermath of atypical quakes in my own town here, ugly political posturing, corruption amuck and with each issue after issue I follow passionately – finding no solid resolution – the one thing that shores me up, defines every footstep and hand-holding moment is love and, in particular, loving others. Loving others. In whatever way life allows, in whatever way we can create, envision, revolutionize, we become more truly who we are by our loving. This is especially true once the masks have been stripped away, the safety mechanisms melted down into acceptance and the ego purified, tamed.

A nearby train hails me on a regular basis and it twists through my ideas of what should happen in a life, what is “fair.” Love is tied to that train but a love I can’t access as I want to access it. That train held my kids when I hoped they wouldn’t know the hurts they know now (ah and the joys…the lessons learned, the wisdom), that train held a promise of healing of my own childhood, that train faithfully calls out, haunting, insisting, reminding me I cannot control outcomes but I can certainly be fully on the ride this life has become. And what does it evoke of me? Love of other. And it magnifies. Increases. Grows me up, asks me to accept what is and release what isn’t, allow all my longings to birth me beyond any guarantee of their fulfillment. It reminds me that we all have such a hailing reality somewhere in our lives, maybe even deep within calling out possibilities, asking that we love beyond the control-filled drive to get there now, flowing in a spiraling wonder of returning possibilities. Maybe new ones but it’s always love. Love is always returning us to the deep place within so we can grow more fully into who we are.

I hear the news. Watch cause and effect unfold in my own life. And it’s quite a ride. We do the best we can and sometimes that best doesn’t fill the void, assuage the angry wounds. One of my kids is grieving on levels deeper than I would ever fathom or imagine to witness, grieving his parents’ split. And it splits me, rips me into pieces as I give all that I can and find that I have, in pouring myself out, not begun to fill up the loss for him. It’s a process his life will unfold and I can only augment, give room for his awakening to what life is and is not, what love can heal eventually. This loving in the midst of grief and joy and challenges surreal does something to the stuff of amness. There is a solid being emerging here, there, in-between the shocked pauses but only as I allow love to stew me, brew me into presence. It’s not so much about scrambling for a solution as it is about standing in, being with, holding up.

I love the scripture that says “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” For all my frustration with many mis-translated, mis-interpreted scripture this one sings out a truth I cannot deny and that cannot be mistaken. It’s a highly powerful filter through which we can determine how much “love” is truly love. How many of us respond to others in fear of not being loved and call that very exchange love? How many of us respond to others in the hope to make them happy because we’re frightened of disappointment and identify that very response as love? What if it’s all we’ve known?

It’s the love that comes like a bit of a thief in the night out of nowhere that births us. It’s the love that melts away all the poses we identified as love, ceases all the reactions in the hopes to make mom and dad (in the form of someone who has become their replacement) understand or love us just a bit more, quiets the endless clamoring for the next fix and evokes heart, soul, mind in expression of gratitude, in constructs, creations that affirm the heartbeat of humanity. Through this unfolding of love for other, the fearless love, the control-free love, we become. And in our becoming the train goes ’round one more time, one more ride, and yet another.  And we experience yet one more opportunity to manifest ourselves as love.

On with it…


We stood there under stars                                                                            

we grew dreams
and felt the moon grow within,
deeply steeping stillness
stirrings, silent
unknown yearnings.

We made babies there
in the womb of our love,
we made grown-ups too
and more
more we felt the moon
growing us up a-sway,
and more away from our time under the play and ply
of dreams not our own,
dreams others hoped we’d grow,
fill up the void, prove their best by our lives’ strain.

But we grew. And beyond the dreams,
beyond their slumber there the moon spread
precious seeds of inevitability,
relentless moonbeams awakening these children,
all of us, growing
unearthing raw real flow
breaking up all the dreams,
tearing us to pieces save,
save the wholeness,
the bridge between us,

birthing our lives beyond the stars,
past the zenith of schemes
into the soil of soul’s truth.

Fill ‘Er Up…

Life fills us up when we quit believing we must be the compensation for fear-driven loss. And it fills up those we think we’re responsible for. Guess what? It does it even when we’ve left, when we’ve given up, when we’ve tossed it all at the feet of “fate” and said: “I have to live…”

to overflowing...

On with it…

Mirth and Birth

Eesa (also spelled ISA by my kids) is life’s slightly mocking inspiration for me right now as I pull back a bit to focus more heavily on my blog, Religion’s Refugees, and, of all things, the cultivation of more mirth. I’ve decided it’s a serious (cough) need in my world right now. I’m also finalizing details on a long overdue finalization or two. As final as that sounds, I feel myself standing on the foundation of beginnings supreme. So…in honor of those beginnings, I’ve posted Eesa’s amazing mirroring of exactly what I need.

ME? Too Serious?! Ha.

Stirring It Up – Pure Lust

“Dionysian surrender to life includes an ego-relaxed receptivity to sexuality, a willingness to let life be shaped by desire and by sexual inclination. Yet when this Dionysian spirit is linked to the compassionate eros of Jesus, it takes an unusual form, becoming an emotional oxymoron – carnal chastity, promiscuous compassion, or, in the perfect phrase of Mary Daly, pure lust.

The Dionysian spirit is usually seen as a sexually expansive force, and so it is not obvious in some portraits of Jesus…Ruether concludes that ‘Jesus appears to be a person unperturbed by sexuality because he relates to both men and women first of all as friends.’ …

The image of Jesus suggests a way of placing limits that derives from joy and pleasure rather than fear and anxiety, limits determined by a positive choice in life. Jesus seems to suggest joyful celibacy and then to tolerate the struggles of others to establish their ways of being sexual and their ways of finding limits. …

The sexuality of Jesus consists in his openness to strangers and friends, the physicality of his healing, the sacramentality in his approach to food, the tolerance he displays in the face of sexual transgression, and his espousal of a philosophy based on love. Only a worldview mired in materialism could fail to see the sexuality in this expansive and inclusive erotic philosophy. The sexual teachings of Jesus, told best through his example, present a soul-centered eroticism in which friendship and a compassionate heart are not only included but placed at the center.

We have a strong tendency to think of sex as emanating from the sex organs or from the purely physical body, but Jesus demonstrates a quite different notion – sexuality rooted in compassion and in the capacity for friendship. It is a more broadly defined but no less sensuous sexuality, in which love and pleasure are joined integrally. There is no need to import affection to what is thought to be a plain physical expression or to justify sex with love. In the sexuality of Jesus physical lifea nd compassion are two sides of a coin. In him we find that the heart is an organ of sex, as surely and effectively as any other private part.” – Thomas Moore, The Soul of Sex

Some could consider this “sacreligious” but it resonates for me, deeply, since I’ve been examining the impact of fear-filled religious dogma on my own concept of myself as a sexual being. Marriage. Divorce. Dating. Sex. Motherhood. Academia. Writing. Art. What breathes life into any of these realities? Love. But going deeper into love, what “type” of love? Can I identify one that feeds all relationships with innocence and grace? What infuses everything? I keep landing on one: Eros. When fear melts away, when shame fizzles out in the light of the sun, when power struggles are stripped of their inferior control-frenzied gropings, eros is given the room to express and infuse itself into every layer of living as that pure lifeforce, erupting in poetic spill or artistic flow, feeding the motions of care-taking in all its forms, impassioning the goals for fitness or achievement of any form. Erotic love is not about fitting into a role as a married person or a saint or a sex symbol or a captured image of acceptable (or taboo oo oo) sexual functions. It is the infusion, the flow, the glow of surrendering to being alive with pleasure no matter your status.

Right now my status is boiling over a cauldron of change and growth and and and. I just might be late for class if I don’t kick it in. But I’m going to do it making love to life every step of the way. Jump and jive…

Sacred Path

“Our personal progress is a matter of free will. How deep we are willing to go to reach understanding depends ultimately upon our desire to become explorers. We can see ourselves as victims being tossed between bliss and despair, or we can look deeper and begin to take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions. When we choose to change, refusing to become victims, we have chosen to see life from the eye of Eagle. The power of personal connection to the Creator and to spirituality is found in the individual who is willing to commit to life’s paths of initiation. When we acknowledge that we are spiritual beings who are willing to fight in the trenches of human self-empowerment, insisting on personal integrity, we have chosen to test ourselves by entering the paths of human initiation that lead to authentic wholeness.” Jamie Sams – Dancing the DREAM…

These wise words bolster me for the week and upcoming months of change. Sams’ insights speak to the heart of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

On. With. It.


It’s quiet today, inside and out. My kids feel it, sitting in front of the fire in our tiny living room, waiting. For what? Maybe I’m the one waiting and I see it in them. We’re sifting through science project ideas, watching the rain fall and generally holding on to the restfulness of the day. But I have this wistful turmoil within, this sense of things quieting just long enough for me to begin again. But not to begin the same story. 

the pause

Is this how a plant “feels” before breaking the surface of soil? If so, this is not the first emergence in my soul. What is it? Where will it lead? It’s time to re-group, to renew, to re-know and re-establish beyond what was sure even just last month. There is something unique about divorce and parenting, going back to school and meeting newness everywhere.

The hands that held my children, the hands that began in a marriage, are chopped off by divorce. But the hands that hold them beyond all loss, those are the hands now growing, that learn to re-know them as children of life and not so much of a marriage. This has been going on for years now and it progresses beautifully as I find myself beyond the identity I had before. Even when that marriage is thoroughly over, this growth of the hands, of the heart that holds them flourishes and grows beyond every accomplishment, beyond the ideas of who they are or will be. Or who I thought I was. Or. It’s about parenting as one who facilitates without capturing, accomodates and guides. But we get to, all 4 of us, re-learn our relating and our growing as we are changed by life. Who is “mama” as a student? Who is “daughter” as a wise soul weathering some big changes? Who is “son” who now needs dad far more than ever and how does he hold his mom? If I hold to them as the child of once upon a time and then, they have no one solid to be with, no one here but a prop clinging to an idea…as they grow beyond.

But…that’s not the story here because for some reason life won’t let me fade to blank.  I have to sometimes go to ground, hide away and find a place to re-work the hands that hold even the idea of myself, not just who I am as a mom or…or…

Not much of a post today but it’s life. And it’s pausing pregnant promise beyond the toil, the stretch to reach with new hands. And rest with heart learning life anew.