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

And Rainbows…

“..we have all sorts of representations of ourselves which are really rather superficial. And we try to identify with them. But then once we do that, we have this quality of thought which infuses it into perception. We apparently perceive the thing we are representing – it seems to be there. It’s like the rainbow; we see a rainbow, but what we have is drops of rain and light – a process. Similarly, what we ‘see’ is a self; but what we actually have is a whole lot of thoughts going on in consciousness. Against the backdrop of consciousness we are projecting a self, rather than a rainbow. If you walk toward the rainbow you will never get there. The image of the table is produced in the same way, but if you walk toward the table you will get there and touch it.

“I’m suggesting that if you try to touch the self, it will be the same difficulty as trying to touch the rainbow. We have a representation of the self, which is really arising in a process. We don’t know this process very well; but the attempt to treat the self as an object is just not going to mean anything. So instead, suppose we say that this self is unknown. Its origin, its ground is unknown. And it is constantly revealing itself through each person or through nature or through various other ways.” David Bohm – Thought As A System

Thought As A System – David Bohm



ego tells me to draw conclusions…shore up my indignation or my melodrama, the one where I’m left out, ignored or otherwise tricked into a situation not best for me…the one where I’m enticed onto the dance floor, courage of a wallflower conjuring possibility…the one where I get there and it’s empty…the one where the latest story plays out ancient history…here, another loss…there, another loss…

see, there now. I can legitimize the pout, the hardening heart; the saga continues.

heart tells me to stay in the game…shore up my courage, stand naked, hold out for better days…perpetuate the script of constancy and hope…keeping afloat fantasies made from valid yearnings…distorting reality…one more swig from the bottle, just one…

see, there it is. I can accept and continue heralding heartfulness in the face of hard, harsh brick wall non-response; the saga continues.

mind tells me to get real…how much more obvious does it have to be before you see, it’s the same dumb sham…you’ve been played…you played yourself too…wake the hell up, chick…run fast and far…fuck ’em…be done and gone…besides, no proof of your perspective as valid, no proof of possibilities good, bad or otherwise, no proof, no nothing but silence… and silence speaks. see how much it meant? nada…nowhere…next?

and now, finally. I can dignify my stupidity by showing I see it, by throwing myself into a race in the opposite direction. there, the saga stops (nah, it continues).

but the shores shape and carve out the landmass… the mist makes feasts and evaporates… myriad possibilities, likelihoods, comfortings and abandonments form character, painting stories on soul’s terrain…somewhere between the melodramatic maybes, foolhardy courage and pessimistic realism is the song of a universe whisking us all onto dance floors we’ve not begun to fathom … and while I can’t stop the tides or discourage another etching on my backside, frontside or otherwise, can’t force justice, or awareness or love or … happy endings… I can let go and let it be as I move on, away from conclusions…embracing the way of nature … ‘though it seems fairly obvious sometimes…

all I know is this: I don’t know. I see all the possibilities in situations left languishing, cut short violently or otherwise aborted by unfortunate events. but. I don’t know.

move me, life, beyond judging what is not mine to judge… move me, great waters, into the floating real of what I can do for me right here, right now in this warm and gentle sea…

photo by ryan mcguire - bells design
photo by ryan mcguire – bells design

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.


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.

What It Be…

“Love is a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: first, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between your and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; and third, a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care.” Barbara Fredrickson

Stepping out into a sudden deluge of rainpour, I found wet pavement for my bare feet and a redheaded son in tow. After a week of rest after surreal travel setting my health back a bit, this feast was unavoidable. And beyond welcome. My youngest followed me out into the night and the grass underfoot was all squish wonder, wet and cool. The maples overhead, as I walked intently towards the street and the strange light in the torrential night air, fluttered under a relentless pounding wealth, dropping more fat wetness onto the top of my own red head. And I kept walking, my ancient son behind me, chattering, asking me “What are you doing?! Where are you going?!” He was shocked. I had gone from couch to doorway to outside in a fluid, silent spill. I couldn’t respond. I just laughed. Then finally the inner upwelling of little girl spoke, “I have to get out there to the street…” Then I stopped at the curb and stomped in the flow of water running like mad down the road. He balked at my madness, echoing my own endless reflections on non-point source pollution and all the possible chemical ick getting on my skin. I could only laugh, shrug it off “Whatever!” I stepped into the street, realizing my 75 year old Mama was stepping into the yard too, chattering away with my other ancient son, Isaac. They were laughing and following at their own pace. No protection, the intent clear in their progress under the same trees, towards the same street and surreal light. I spread my arms out wide and lifted my face to the downpour. Something I had murmured, I don’t recall, evoked spontaneous response in Evan. He shook his head and smiled and grabbed my arm to pull me into a hug. And held on. For whatever reason, he had needed my silly girl response to rain and fears of stupid chemicals in waterflow. He needed that reminder that I’m playful, girl, not just Mom. Then we were joined by two more and the walk down the road began. My own girlish Mama soaked to the skin and Isaac too, we laughed our way down the street. For a moment we did the silly walk, arm in arm, one leg crossing over the other’s (like the Monkeys, if anyone remembers such), singing. But mostly we basked in what it be… in love and torrential earth/sky fusion activities. We made it all the way to the end of the street and I had to turn around. It was the best I could manage after being laid out with my health for a whole week. But what a rush of renewal…

Once back under the maples and away from the street light, we lingered, all of us, chatting and grateful for a rainfall without the risk of lightning and the cool breezes coming up from all the gusty tanglings of elemental surrender. And because my youngest ancient child spoke of how we’d likely forget the moment, however wonderful, I have put this to post here. One day he’ll remember and laugh and the waterflow will call him out for another dance with the agelessness we all embody every once in a while. But I wonder where the world would be were we more eager to forget age and role and hair color and anything but soul as we soak up the song of rain, abandoning custom, worry and obstruction for just one more dance with the child within, how much more freely would love erupt and grow.

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014
j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014


All Those Rivers

my feet find me here
on soil and dirt speaking some
long, unending drum
song sung before all
was lost to progress killing
the unfolding feel
of soul from earth revealing
love’s eternal work.

somehow the dance moves
me beyond the fall and fear,
bounty awaiting.
mind kneels to feel
and naked knowing births earth’s
song from depths ancient.

take me always back
to the animal and sage,
my feet drinking all
those rivers erupting earth’s
resonating love.

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved
j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved