All The While…

relentless roil of thunder
reverberating through every layer,
every sigh and song of loss
reaching past and gently tumbling
all these walls fretting against fear.

weary feet follow the deep drumming
and hope’s heart skips beats all the while wondering,
all the while summoning some ancient reckoning.
love and courage beckon beyond the edge,
a plunge for those whose languishing days
are over…


photo by j. ruth kelly, 2017, all rights reserved

Must Know Life…

Mumford and Sons’ song “After the Storm” has held my hand for a while now. It seems appropriate today given the grief and confusion the world experienced on 9/11/01 and since then, on such cataclysmic levels worldwide. It’s an idealistic song of sorts but I believe we cannot evoke change in the world without clinging to the best of humanity and…it’s why I hold…

Inception (More Weird Courage)

I went to see Inception last night. And learned a few things. I learned that I’m sick of sitting anywhere but high up and a bit further back since the screens are so engulfing huge panoramic now. I feel like I can’t even see what’s happening. You have to have bigger eyes, spaced further apart just to catch all the detail. And therefore, a bigger head. (Beware…we may “evolve” with this trend…mua ha ha…maybe those aliens are from a loop in a dream we dreamed back when we were more evolved and and and we’re stuck at the second dream within the dream and they’re trying to get us out and and and. I’m kidding….?) I learned that you don’t necessarily have to be sure what the hell is going on in the plot to get some gold from it. Sounds like life sometimes, eh? What else? I learned I can stand Leonardo Di Caprio in this role where otherwise not so much. The suggestion of beginnings and what’s “real” always gets my attention but this was a major twisting path covering all that can be lost or gained in illusion. Or…”reality.” I loved the subconscious “people” in these dreams. The projections. They speak deeply to the truth that when we change things in our worlds, we stir up all kinds of reaction around us until we make peace with the choices we’re making. This affirms my personal growth tenet that insists on serious downtime in growth phases, taking the time to become aware of what internal backlash is kicking up a storm so we can go into that storm and heal the conflict without wreaking havoc in our actual daily lives. I didn’t honor that rule soon enough and it caused me some pretty nasty injury a few years back. As I sat there watching the dream morph and the parts play out, it blew me away how deeply they reach into the truth. When we believe we deserve to be destroyed, misunderstood or otherwise accused for making pivotal changes in our lives (or not showing those changes soon enough to suit the understanding of others), we tend to reap that belief. But I have always had some pretty intense existence issues. This movie hit on some amazing layers, reminding me of the power of shamanic work in healing dreams, memories and other traumatic projection-imprinting events.  I want to see it again just to remember some of the lines that struck gold.

It’s so important to be aware of those projections within, to consider the possibilities – even the worst ones – in order to cultivate that courage to implement change, to create in love. What cures the worst projections? Self-acceptance, forgiveness, release from a fixation on right/wrong without losing a sense of what’s important and a huge dose of weird courage. Speaking of…

It makes me think of a very strange moment with my sister, Elizabeth. She has Downs Syndrome and does fairly well these days unless someone disrupts her sense of reality with a wedding or an upside down salt shaker. But the last night she was here I joked (over her head) about her to mom, saying “watch out…she’s probably God’s emissary on a mission to show how we treat her. she’s going to have the most amazing reports on some of us. how we assumed so much. she probably understands everything we say and is restricted from showing it. I can hear her now with God ‘They were so full of it. Thinking I didn’t get it! And boy did I get a lot out of their guilt too!'” On that note, without previously showing any indication of having been slightly in tune with any of us (and having had her own conversation with an imaginary friend off and on there as we all talked with each other ’round my table), she looked up from her meal, straight at me with a grin, big bright eyes looking right into me and an emphatic “uh huh!” coming out of her chuckling mouth and then a pat on my shoulder. I was stunned. Looked away. Looked back at her. She was still grinning at me. Holy Shite. We all shuddered, eyes wide, total dead silence for a moment, then stepped back from our sense of things and pulled out the totems FAST.

Just when you’ve got it all figured out, the joke is what’s true…? Life is a trip…

Life Is So Full . . .

And who knows what flows ’round the next bend?

I’m quieted by life’s twists and turns here lately.  My dear friend asked me tonight, “What are your dreams, Ruth? I don’t think I’ve ever asked you that before…” To see the world, to have a garden so lush there’s no spot left bare or without color alive, to finish at least one of the books I’m working on (writing), to start that blog I’ve contemplated for a while, to complete my latest pointillist piece and begin 200 more, to finish my education and grow the community I feel thriving in my womb, to … to … to … there are too many to list here.

Dreams are essential for some of us. They keeps us percolating, reaching beyond the moment as we settle down into eternal now, settle in ways not destructive of beingness but in ways affirming, resonating with a creator spirit, reaching for the sky as we sink roots deeply or flow more intently along the path. Lakes thriving, rivers sparkling have the reach, the grasp beyond as they are encompassed in the cycles of their ecological systems. Their waters are stirred, evaporate and brought back to them by the earth, the sky. It’s lovely to imagine they dream of beyond, responding to the heat of sun in a surrender for the heights, for the fall back down to earth fertile.

Perhaps this is what we do when we dream. Perhaps we are like these lakes, streams. Whether our dreams find the fulfillment we envision, or whether they simply inspire us to keep responding to life’s most vivid dawns and restful dusks, dreams stir the microcosms of our worlds and keep us in flow, in perpetual response to the preciousness of all life.

Strength to us and our dreams. Here’s to more inspiration, to more rest and to the sweetest resonances beyond the moment. And within. We are nothing if not residing in the both/and as a lake rests and reaches all in one silent, still slice of eternal time.


Dusk @ Lake Mack
Dusk @ Lake Mack

Dreams Delayed?

I ended my evening yesterday on news not encouraging. In the middle of priceless treasure discoveries, rich givings by life itself, my life has consisted of obstacles overcome, setbacks redeemed and yet more to overcome, plow through. And even, to re-do. It’s not an unusual story, in general. Though it’s even fairly typical as “hardship” goes, it has its unique and uncommon elements. There’s never been any solid financial wealth. Mostly it’s been a story of poverty well-dressed and holding her head above water, appearing on the verge of wealth or even consistent sustenance, taking hits from waves created on distant shores. And that is it. Nothing to whine about. It simply is. A richness of soulful knowing, growing awareness of things more precious than gold serves me feasts in dark nights, feeds me strength in bleak times. Without the struggles, would I know how sweet it all is? No. Know what, though? I’m tired of the stark contrasts. (insert whining tone here, immediately cough and clear the throat. moving right along. no more whining allowed. it will be okay!!!)

Life dishes some struggles more daunting lately. ( Two steps forward…three back? Um, wait a minute. That’s not even remotely fair! Hey! Look at all these people with me in this same seemingly rigged journey! I wonder if we’ll discover the secret.)

I rely on whatever paltry sum freelance writing can bring me at this time in my life. Believe me, paltry is a generous notion. I often feel like Jack came home with the beans and I should toss them out the window in outrage, hoping for mythical giant smashings, landing golden solutions at my doorstep. Then I laugh at myself. How silly. How delusional. Where’s the beef?! : ) So, I dig around for more opportunity but the restraints on my life make that digging a limited endeavor. I’m the childcare, and gladly so, in a separation soon heading for divorce. And amicably, kindly so. No ugly nonsense going on here. I am thankful for my feasts! Being the childcare is more affordable, on so many levels, than the alternatives that will cost me heavily in health, in peace, in so much. I did the full-time mad woman working and picking her kids up at 6pm every night. I almost died (okay, not literally). CFIDS relapsed, smashing me back to my hearth and home, wimpering like some lost child. But what I found of myself because of that disaster is priceless. I came home on levels I’d not been able to do before. Home to being mother, to being woman. And my body has been mending.

Now what? Do I go back out to full time in the wake of yesteday’s bad news? Smash me into compliance with “the way it is?” We rely on one income here while I manage it, budget up to two years and include the financial arrangements that divorce will bring. The not-ex-ex is thankful for that. The goal is to get me through college and onto a job that won’t toss me into CFIDS reruns, a job that will solidify futures. Many moons ago I put him through college, paid the bills, got increasingly more ill and crashed into motherhood. Somewhere in there it hit me that the marriage never actually happened. (Not for lack of effort here.) One year of college, years of work and then over a decade of mostly parenting with part-time and some full-time employment. All the while writing,writing, writing and going through changes epic. Here I am. It’s an oversimplification of an arduous journey. But it suffices.

The bad news? The not-quite-ex may have to take a cut in pay or worse. So…college in the fall? Or…a job at Walmart? I kinda doubt there’s much more than that. Where? How? What? When you look at the possibility that dreams will never come to fruition, you are forced to fall back on that intrinsic, that innate, that basic enjoyment of being in skin, of breathing deeply the smell of life after rain, of feeling intensely every ounce of life’s sweetest gains, of sunsets surreal and healing, moon’s ushering quiet calls…however fleeting, however seemingly small. These can never be thwarted, stolen or otherwise laid off. (A piece of cake is nice, too!)

Courtesy of Will H.
Courtesy of Will H.

And while you fall back on it all, watch the bloom of night’s horizon, you refuse to release the dreams. Even if they never reach their fullest glory. They are the balance between living and merely existing (for me, anyway).

At least…that’s how I feel today. And I’ve suddenly run out of things to say. On with the quest…