I sent a poem of mine to a friend from my life in the Twin Cities. She is a talented poet, artist and author of a fiction.
She sent me a reply asking if I was going to "send it out." And I wrote this poem in response:
These poems, thoughts, letters written to myself and secretly to you, notes on scraps of paper hidden, in a darkened sunrise, (discovered later while cleaning out a drawer or relationship)
These verses, Ideas, held like recorded night dreams, for later, dated to-do lists with some lines crossed out like visitation stones placed by the dead, many unsent love letters,
confidential, hidden, private promises, held until that flicker in the distance arrives, that invitation to look up (from the page) and out over a threshold of deep aloneness
from this place of unpredictability (words here, now, like stones placed across rushing waters)
These words all have a place to go first within, then toward that horizon writing through the inner dark yes, in search of light, appearing more as a flicker than flame
Let this small blessing of light that appears more like a burning out of a fire (the one lit long ago for your vision quest) as actually the ongoing, burning embers of the original fire, always there, yes, always, let the fire emerge fully in you, into full blaze of story or song, and then, then, yes yes into the world. (a petroglyph for all future travelers). –For Shannon on her birthday, 1/2022
What gems have you kept private, even from yourself? Find them, and write about that. Collect your notes found here and there and bring them together. Write from there. What in your life is in search of that Light? (That flicker?). Write about that.
Due to a more consistent meditation practice I find myself recalibrating to a truer self, the one hindered by the ongoing pandemic, climate crisis, the platformed violence and injustices. This truer self writes secret poems, scavenges nature, wakes up to see the sunrise and writes "as I walk." My next book and ideas percolate as I walk through the dog park with Lulu, or wash the dishes. Or sit in conversation with a good friend. And too often disturb my meditations. (I like this kind of disturbance!)
What percolates in you as you read this? Write about that! Write a poem and share it in the comments.
Here is the poem I first sent my friend Shannon about my meditation practice:
Beneath all Storms
Breathe here, now Move down into a place within you where this holy of holy can be found Notice peace, or stillness a calm beneath all storms nothing to cling to
breath in breath out
brushing the nostrils a rising and falling in your abdomen breath meeting up with mind
no one to be no other place to go nothing to hide
no detours no rushing
just this breath on the ride in all the way down and out
no forcing just ride the wave of the ocean of breath and life that is you, is us. Wave and ocean, same.
Through breath and mindfulness this is embodiment
it really can be this simple.
In February I will be offering a 3-day meditation and writing retreat, virtual and live. We start on Thursday night, February 17th for an hour meditation and welcome (7 PM CST). We end on Sunday the 20th at 4:30 after our closing circle. This retreat includes a morning meditation with writing prompts from 9 till 10:15, shared and optional Noon lunch meet ups on Friday and Saturday; evening Writer's circle and community from 7 till 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday night. All CST. A $55.00 registration fee is requested to register. (Please let me know if you are not able to pay this due to finances. No one will be turned away). Donations during the retreat are welcomed but not necessary. Come! Come as you are, meditate, breathe, scavenge, let the writing prompts take you where they will, write and gather with some of your writing community. Email me: HERE or Register HERE.
I live in Mount Horeb WI where I walk (snow shoe in the winter) my dogs through Stewart Park or Military Trail, garden my corner lot, wear a mask in public (and a cape at night). I love to write & connect to writers and spiritual seekers. My book The Clue of the Red Thread is my latest of eleven, written in collaboration with Parker J Palmer and poet Rebecca Cecchini The Clue of the Red Thread: Discovering Fearlessness & Compassion in uncertain times came out in January, 2021 through Shanti Arts, Nine Rivers Imprint.