A Mere Formality

We say one thing and do the other, standing back as they roll out a defense against our own depravity.

Their fury.

But the recriminations we face if we validate it…

Oh hell to the no, we’re heavenly folk, not guilty broke.

See, now that we’ve had a history of bullying the four of them for decades,
their fury is real, is wholly healthy, so we’ll declare them intimidating
(we’re cornering the market on “isn’t that rich” since our parenting creed
for decades was “you must break their spirit”. so, how fitting
that we are intimidated by their full-grown adulthood,
and if you fall for our excuses, then you’re one of us, the morally insane.)
and the fact that our betrayals commenced
well before their valid fury unfurled, that fact will be an irrelevant fact.

The women. Got angry. They ranted. They threw down ultimatums.
Nothing more to know here, for there is no greater sin than women angry and demanding.
Rant after we betray, and legitimize our treachery by that rant because, well, female.
We’ll send letters declaring our total loss to understand the situation, as well.

See, we’re the slickest shit.

We can vote for Trump and call ourselves the “called out ones.”

He gropes and violates and gets elected so, our time has come, too.
We’re real cozy with violators. They earn nicknames, not shame, and a place at our table.
Most especially if they violated our own.

We can malign those who trusted us after we rebuked them for not trusting us previously
to not do the thing we did, after all, do, so hey ho, we’re noble souls.

The joke is on them, the four we slander, hammer and malign.

We have cornered.

The market on.

Duplicity Divine.
Moral Insanity.

All that the Good Book refers to when dragging up Leviathan, we are it.
And we would invite you to have tea with our murky pet.

Just don’t get mad at us if we violate truth or devour you without regret.

We’ll use it against you, judge you unforgiving, call you uncouth,

Invite you to court and play on your ignorance of just how dark our hearts can be.
(the witnesses we invite from your childhood will be part of a “mere formality”)

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.