throw the mountains down on these depths
cover me in dross and tangles, slice through the channels
this whispering stream of life deeper still,
moss-covered resilience humming…
something ancient, always new.
nothing can kill, mute, destroy
the singing song of soul within

tallulah song 2011

A Day in A Morning…

We’re fortunate here in North Carolina thus far this week in spite of recent losses. Tornadoes, not just tidal waves, don’t beg forgiveness. My home had a bit of adventure, big branch crashing down awakening me at 5:15 am, catapulting me out of bed flying. Lightning loves water and Bradford Pear trees hold it well enough to split the night when the bolts come crashing. Something about being dragged out of sleep by reverberating blasts of nature’s brew invigorates and exhausts all at once. It’s been a day already and it’s not even 9:30. Or is it a week in a day? I’m not complaining. I don’t live in Alabama, Mississippi or, amazingly, Georgia where folks (including my parents) huddled in basements and hallways and more than 170 succombed to nature’s brutality. My folks are fine but tired and their home is safe.

I’m struck today how the slightest passage of time, movement of the earth spinning out tales of woe and glory can change a life in just a flash. How that same change ripples across decades, tying some people together in love, tearing others apart. While at Tallulah River I was captivated by the fact that a split second decision to reach out to a gal I didn’t know, after years of being schooled in a highly strict cubicled environment (and rendering me very shy and insecure), has joined 5 children together (especially two gals – our daughters) in ways whispering of generations beyond now. They enjoyed the roaring river call, hugging and huddling at water’s edge, filling my heart with awe. This is heritage. To turn on a dime and make a split second decision, take a risk, follow the heart, trust life’s tides and even, painfully, life’s tidal waves. (And tornadoes)

These events, the trigger effect of choices and their forces, winds and rains speak of the power of the flow of life and of soul. How much more richness and learning supreme we reap when we sow in the winds of intuition, of those nudgings to move in a certain direction or reach out to someone somewhat “foreign” without any logical reason to do so. We might rationalize it, enlist a whole outline of reasons after the fact or during the act but that initial subtle but lightning quick prompt cannot ultimately be fathomed. The depths are way and well beyond us. And that’s a good thing. We need, thrive on mystery.

And so it is. I await the claims adjuster’s call and contemplate friendships near and far, friends safe and saved from harm and how the winds of life’s mysteries have joined us. We all have our days in a morning every now and then, cram-jamming “accidents” and coincidence into meaningful efforts in love while sirens blare and lives are lost or found in the wreckage. We build. We grow. We learn how precious it all is and the treasures life grows up from the cracks grace our lives, and even our tables, with glory we would never fully appreciate were it not for the vulnerability, the potential for loss, the risk we call fate.

On. With. It.

nature's brew

A River Runs…

my river supreme

…through my soul
filling all the hungry places
calling out songs ancient,
healing tired corners scorched
by loss,
restoring, reviving, resurrecting
creative flow… 

tallulah river, n. ga. april ’11
This past week I was gifted with the opportunity to hear the most deafening roar of Tallulah wonder I believe I’ve ever heard. Nature’s songs have become more fierce, richly bellowing out a ferocious opulence. I managed to scramble, clamber onto huge boulders with a camera while watching my kids with some trepidation. They were so awed and touched by the overwhelming roar that their usual eager risk-taking tendencies settled into a sober respect for the power. I didn’t need to worry. They weren’t about to be foolish. Such a huge treasure this river…
 [click on the images to get a much better view…]

Vital Visual

I need the river right now…so much on my plate…so much running away with me and. And there’s nothing like a river to flow me back home, into resonance with all that hums eternal rest even in the rapids of life’s twists of fate, fateful choices and “accidents.” My tribute to all we experience when we both rest and flow, go and grow along the winding trails of life…

smooth and crashing
smooth and crashing

I can’t not turn to Tallulah peace. It sings and shines both retreat and release, both advance and decide. It hums that ancient abide. Flow Tallulah, flow…

Vital Visual . . .

River's Winding Roll Down Below
River's Winding Roll Down Below


While in Georgia visiting family and friends, my sister, children, nephew and I travelled to our favorite Tallulah River spot. We got there just in time for the rains. It was a first for us, to get there and be rained out. But we changed our agenda and ventured away from the typical routine, ending up at Tallulah Gorge in a great store with the perfect lookout spot.

Tallulah’s my place. It’s where my ashes will flow, where my heart sings and my spirit finds deep resonance with the Divine, with a vibrant vitality indestructible.

Sexuality and Nature…Forces of Evil?

Nothing evil here . . .
Nothing evil here . . .
“…the relegation of sexuality and nature to the forces of evil grows out of the belief that strength and clarity of consciousness depend upon cultivating a one-pointed and exclusive mode of attention. This is, in other words, a type of attention which ignores the background in fastening upon the figure, and which grasps the world serially, one thing at a time. Yet this is exactly the meaning of the Hindu-Buddhist term avidya, ignorance, or “ignore-ance,” the basic unconsciousness as a result of which it appears that the universe is a collection of separate things and events.”

Quoted from Nature, Man and Woman by Alan Watts.

This puts me in remembrance of the idea of “fallen” man. And woman. “The woman thou gavest me…” It draws up from the wellspring of my own personal experiences and takes me to that place where I recognized one thing pivotal about the Garden of Eden. The tree was that of the knowledge of good and evil. I ventured to see it as a moment of partaking of the awareness that evil exists, that good exists. But to assume that we would then be equipped to determine which is thus was . . . doubtful, a twist of “truth” for the truth that we cannot arrive at God via the knowledge of good and evil. For to be “like God” via that route, that knowing good is and evil is, is not to be Godly but to be a distortion of divinity, a taking on of “God-likeness” from a narrow view. You cannot, after all, see a whole forest when you are fixated on one tree.

No such venture succeeds except in reaching the depths of man and woman’s inability to be naked and unashamed.
It was that point of recognition that put me on a path of seeing Jesus as one who leads us, whether we believe he existed or exists or not at all (or whether he is merely symbolic, a representation of a vital part of transformation), he is one who leads us through and beyond the lies created by awareness of the existence of evil, of good. We are able, by dying to accusations created by judgements in the hellfire of good vs. evil, by dying to distortions of purity able to resurrect that same intrinsic innocence found “in the beginning” and partake of the Tree of Life. We work out our own “salvation” out of the lost realms of fixation and dependence on the knowledge of good and evil. We are redeemed beyond limiting knowledge while we learn how love safeguards our lives against forces truly destructive.
When we approach nature or sexuality from that idea of having “fallen” or when we approach nature or sexuality in a reaction against that idea, we miss it completely. We have an idol and an emptiness that whispers and cries for deeper, more sustaining feasts beyond comprehension. Rivers of living water . . .