We are a million hours of time away from the boy who wrote poems and drew pictures -- and the girl so excited to read them, to know him, to love him. Those children lost in the fogs of doing adulthood -- The Serious Business of Living -- That Delusion -- Teaching them to hide away in the dark shadows -- alone. Grief is a selfish master. His remembering what is lost always living that past image. The dearness of it roots the tears, forces the chest to grow upward in swelling pain. We grieve the possibility that died. The honesty we forsook. We grieve what could have been if we were other than we are. We grieve the hours spent believing we could be anything and everything to each other -- those doors always closing in silence, the noise of our breaking heart the only sound left echoing through the room.
The Words are only
for the truth emotion energy
hieroglyphs forms symbols
they never truly say
this artifice of speaking
for the internal aspect
of human divine knowing truth
mute words can’t speak
these mute donkeys that plod
the garden of living
is not possible
the words do
the best they can
and I find
the one place
where honesty shows up
in mystical magic
the words speak
any of the words
I bled for you
“How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out.” ~Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is the perfect guy to help you survive a mid-life crises. He is funny, eccentric, wise, and doesn’t believe in reality. The best kind of friend for the transition spaces in a life between what was and what will be.
So, I heard Jim say, “How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out.” And the question and answer stuck. I walked around with it for months, rolling and turning it over in my mind like a precious gem in my palm.
I was beginning to move forward from a 3-year period of devastation and redirection. A twenty year marriage had ended in a nasty way, the following relationship became a traumatic and painful experience, and I’d exited a fifteen-year career field with no serious idea of what was next. All those standard future plans, life assumptions, and normal expectations disappeared along with the personal identity aspects of the woman who held them. I was entering my 50’s in an existential crises state!
I was suddenly in one of those mid-life crises states that I’d read numerous articles about through the years but never expected to experience. Life has a funny way of surprising us! We get all comfy and cozy and complacent and … Bam! Our soul suddenly moves us toward greater circles of being, brings us new challenges and growth in the form of a major shift and expansion of the self. Hang on! Life says. Change is coming whether you want it or not! My favorite Picasso quote, once applied only to my artistic endeavors, suddenly became my whole life experience!
Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. ~Pablo Picasso
The “I” listening to a You Tube video of Jim Carrey was a skeleton sketch, a “flat character” I was trying to figure out how to flesh-out into a multi-dimensional, active character in my own living story. At that time, not much was certain. I knew I needed to heal and build a new life based on a different structure of understanding, both within my self and within the world. I’d spent fifteen years in a high-pressure, profit-driven industry that ate my soul away a piece at a time. I knew it was imperative to leave that arena and return to the arts and my love of creation and contribution. But, how?
Being open-minded and exploring new facets of myself and my interests was the first step. Opening my mind to new possibilities and fresh ways of seeing life and the world within me and around me allowed me to find new loves and joys in different forms of artistic expression and involvement.
Writing seemed a natural option after all the years as a poet, writer, publisher. But, it also felt old and stifling to some degree, too much a part of the “old me” that I’d outgrown. And what exactly was I to do if I wrote? Should I finally put a book manuscript together? Focus on poetry? Do some essays or short stories? Or, something new? Contemplative pieces or activist efforts?
The shift of creating from a more personal perspective to creating as a way of serving the world wasn’t totally new to me. My first writings and Infinity Forum Magazine were easily “activist oriented” back in the nineties. Still, activism as such wasn’t compelling. There was no fight I felt pulled toward or battle I wanted to join. And yet, there was the desire to do something worthwhile; to create in such a way as to bring value to others and the world around me in whatever way my talents would allow.
Eventually, the desire to serve the world and the fun and enjoyment of taking pictures led me into photography. I spent a year “playing” at it with my I-phone, and then bought a professional camera, gear, and books on photography and the Adobe Programs. It became a new passion and a serious area of study and effort. I started seeing photographs from the narrative, story-telling perspective. They became a form of visual poetry to me.
In photography and poetry, and it could be easily argued – in all art, the artist is in the act of creating a picture or an emotion for a reader or viewer. Painting with words is not dissimilar from freezing a scene and its emotive quality in a photograph. The interest and willingness to try a new thing and master new skills gained me a position as a photographer for a local neighborhood magazine. I serve my local world in a small way by taking photographs of families that help tell their stories and introduce them to other members of their community.
The photography and work for the magazine led me back to my love of writing, design, and publishing. A new glossy national magazine is in the works to begin publishing this fall. The love of artistic expression and creatives helped me to reach out and initiate connections and friendships with other local artists and craftsman. They are like-minded souls seeking to create positive change in the world by using their gifts and talents in service-minded venues and organizations. I am learning to work in co-creative groups and spaces with the goal of talent as a form of service rather than only individual expression.
These are still major changes for me — some days I dive right in and other days there is some tension and stress in the growth process. But, that’s okay. Life is wonderful about meeting you in the growth and expansion as you move forward and deeper into it!
Every day is a new opportunity to learn and grow, to become a more expansive being within ourselves and within the world we share. It isn’t about being perfect, having all the answers, or even knowing exactly what to do in a given moment — it’s truly about being open to living in such a way that we are open to the newness and beauty and opportunities life brings our way. That we find courage to keep believing there is more to learn, understand, and experience. This growing into wider concentric circles of connection and being is what a vital, conscious life offers us.
So, dear friends, take some time and ponder the quote by Jim Carrey. How will you serve the world? And remember, you are constantly going into the next widening circle of living. Trust life to carry you and know that we are all still learning and becoming. And that is a beautiful thing!
Blessings & Love,
~for Peter & Mickey
Gulls drop down from a darkening sky —
knowing the land is temporary — sky
their true home. As they fly away again
I walk the sands of shells and time changing
from day into dark into day again- changing
is the flux of dying and living and dying
in this one lifetime — A heart-child cries
in the dark hours of storm and shadow
reaches — toward the shimmering-sparkling
lights shinning on a new horizon – those
bright-built heart diamonds of love light
answer the cry with a gentle-soft whisper —
Come, baby girl, they say, take my hand.
You don’t have to be afraid, storms passing
and a blazing new sunrise is coming soon.
As the mirror loves
The face reflected –
As the water loves
The sun that warms it –
As the lake loves
The night that chills it –
As the air loves
The lungs that breathe it –
As the peach loves
The mouth that tastes it –
As the word loves
The pen that writes it –
As the poem loves the poet
That hears it speak –
We talk over the old bones of the past,
The way people sitting beside a campfire
Take a stick and poke the dying embers of flame
Licking the last log-remnants
Burning in the night air of endings.
We sigh over how it makes sense now
The scenarios once locking us all in blindness
Show themselves clear and sparkling
As light dancing on water
Their jagged-edged episodes
Blistering clear in the light of passed time.
It is how a mother and daughter pick through the past
Of a husband, father, grandfather – his absence
Like a leaf we hand back and forth
Turning it over and over again
Examining its veins and edges and discolorations —
As if this examining will somehow tell us
What made it turn loose and drop from the tree.
Walking toward Photography in search of
a How To book that isn’t there — I turn
toward the whispering shelves of poetry–
Hafiz, Billy Collins, Rilke, Rumi, a chorus
calling me to take them home. I do.
A million sparkling lights of hope and
friendship — voices, voices, voices calling
out a hum of knowing, living, being. Yes!
This chorus of light vibration wisdom is
the Holy Ground of libraries and bookstores.
I often tried to explain to friends:
On bad days or during times of sorrow,
I walk into a bookstore and ask God —
Help, give me the words I need to hear.
And He does. And they laugh, Yeah – Right!
And I further tried to explain the science,
the physics of vibration, energy, contraction
Einstein’s universal laws lived out in reality —
but they couldn’t understand my language.
I explored the topic in deep sharing:
Everything is energy and movement — atomic.
Voices in books are the writers Being with
me in conversation, friendship, vision.
The books are just un-bodied people I know.
But, my friends laughed — Yeah, okay! And,
I stopped trying to explain with explaining.
The God of your Soul-Self will come to you
in the way you can know Him, love Him.
He will meet you in the Space between
longing and faith and call you Home.
Each thing carries Him inside it.
Each breath a confirmation.
Each need an answer to Union.
Each cry a step closer to Wholeness.
One — into many — into One.
The spectrum has many colors
but there is only one Light.
“Awake, Oh Sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
We fall into the place of forgetting
how precious the living is, the deep joy
of ocean breeze across heated skin,
the sound of a bird chirping, singing
gratitude for Grace and sunlight, life
a precious flowing river ever changing
us. Most people, falling into dark sleeping
memories that plague our hearts losses
with all that was, is gone, the past “we”
no longer the “we” of now. These quiet hours
alone in desperation, crying to our Maker
until Mercy pours light and hope and love
down from the heavens. Then, a friend comes
and brings new Adventure Days of hope,
bright laughter, we are playing at life again
like a young child unaware of time, moving
into a new us, a new future, a new phase
of living, growing, becoming whole – Reborn.
These are the gifts we give from deep heart places
where God shines treasure and hope and love
outward, from within us, until everywhere we look
there is gleaming joy and the birds are singing —
Awake, Oh Sleeper, Awake! Rejoice and Live!
You sing me songs through the air.
You say every word I’ve cried to hear.
You run to me when I long for you.
You put your normal life on a platter
Toss it into the sky, Turn
And hold out your arms to me.
Your circling spiral of energy
Tornado and whirlwind breeze
Heat, turning calm, knowing
All at once in my soul
You hold me, meet me
In the space of vast seeing
A place both foreign and home
In this instance (we are flowing)
Like the way we breathe —
Sometimes with knowing focus
Other times Naturally-unaware
That life pulses through us
With us — Is us.
I love the way you love me
Like the wave loves the ocean
and the ocean loves the wave.
Sunset comes in the bright fire
of disappearing earth and atmosphere
meeting like lovers
like hushed voices
and loud laughter
fall, roll, tumble
in lovemaking and tenderness
cream skin caress
hot frantic need to
touch everything within you
heart, soul, mind, spirit, knowing
consumed in fire
the cool darkness holding
the heated promise of a new day
and an I love you vaster than time.
Meet me at sunset, my sweet Beloved,
at the portal of life becoming Divine.