Saturday, January 31, 2015

feeling good

I’d kiss you but you’re not here
I’d play solitaire but my hands are busy
I’d stop
Like that
And longer
Because I can’t resist the pull of such love
In my belly.

It feels good to be alone
with the Beloved One,
No telling what a threesome will feel like.

 photo artist Ember Fairbairn


Persephone is alive and well
Able to travel here and there
The queen of the underworld.

Her innocence sacrificed
she gained the kingdom of her body
No longer fearing its limitations
Or its shadows.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

home fires

not one of a kind
woman is all of one kind
hearts blazing in truth
lighting fires in every home
the daughters pick up on the heat
the sons stand in awe, eyes down
but hearts beating whispering
stand up speak up
you are right
in defense of life
no boychild would follow a father's footsteps
where feet had not been scorched by the lie
thousands upon thousands upon thousands
women walk forward as one whole
whispering imagination to the leaves
the daughters learning the language by listening
by loving
the trees respond
this song of women together
women together
that is the fruit, the harvest.

how to stop the trafficking
the greed
the wars?

keep singing
connect the threads
the web of light grows stronger
men who were boys know the song
they begin to hear its whisper
at work
in the factory
in the machine
it keeps them up at night
whispering to their imaginations
that they are trees, too.

soon they step out under the moon
alone and safe
knowing what is right
they give themselves permission
to recreate the world into a safe home for all.

prompted by Passion (1980)
and by Directed by Desire. The Collected Poems of June Jordan.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

a poem

stay low 

connected in the clay

trust the dark cave of your beginning.

stay close to the earth

breathe deep and easy

release the concern for right and wrong.

to be a poem requires no explanation

you've got a taste for it

keep it on your tongue

roll it around in your mouth

and enjoy it.

knowing the taste of your origin,

be the mystery body and the earthen bowl.

bleed hot like a volcano

ripple gently like the stream

roll strong like the ocean

dew laden, the morning grass kisses your feet.

Prompted by N. Waheed's poem visceral

Sunday, January 18, 2015

reflection in the dark

in the dark of the moon 

my inner marriage vows 
were printed on my hand
it took until now 
for the ink to reach my heart

photo credit: Brenda Van Ness 2006

winter spring

i woke up again
this morning
and damn if it doesn't feel like spring
in my heart.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

close to home

"It is critical that we feel worthy."
Flora Aube
The Heart is a Portal for Beauty and Light

And the heart is a portal for truth!
Today, I understand the truth and power of this word - critical.

It is absolutely critical that we feel worthy.

I did not feel worthy for many, many, many years.
I was too critical, of myself.
And yet I painted and I showed paintings.
I ping ponged between feeling the best and the worst.
I could not bear to see what I painted for long.
And I destroyed a lot of painting.
The painting on this postcard is from a small exhibit of my work at Lord Fairfax Community College, some time before 2006.

The name of the exhibit was "Close to Home."
I destroyed the painting, let it go to hold another painting,
because no one "wanted" it.

It is clear for me that I could not own it myself.

The woman standing at her home is me.
And today I can see she is also the goddess Lakshmi, pouring golden blessings from her hand.
And I can see and feel Hecate dressed in black even though I don't know much about her. As the asteroid Hecate she is a dark moon goddess who stands at the crossroads between the visible and invisible worlds. She can bring the need to live in day to day reality home to us.
If I had not reacted in fear to the strength she exhibited, I could have learned from the forms that I intuitively painted and felt worthy of the mirror they offered to me.

Ah, now a memory arises. I painted that painting from an old photo I saw of a local woman standing in her garden.

I forgot. 
I was trying to remember myself through her. 

It is no mistake, that I forgot 
and that I remember, through women,
who I am.

I have been able to hear my sister Flora and understand her work as my heart opens, no longer afraid of our differences or the certainty she shares in her process.
I have remembered who I am through the circle of Awakening Women Institute, led by Chameli Ardagh, no longer afraid of the multitude of forms and gifts woman embodies.
It is no mistake that I have come home again, returning to a home studio after three years of being in a group space at River District Arts.
And it is no mistake that I am writing this morning for Wild Woman Rising, a piece in response to Mel Shapcott's question/prompt - where is your heart?

My heart is close to home.
And home is family and a few friends, mountains and woods and rivers.

It is critical to feel worthy of love and beauty
then it rushes to "curl up at your feet" as Franz Kafka once wrote -
in his own way.

I am closer to home every day, in my own way, in this body.
In every moment that the gap closes, I am simply home. Period. Present.
In this awareness of the flow of life and death, I am home as life itself, as Woman.

It is critical that we feel worthy of our way of being and creating and living.
May you be home in your way.

There is work to be done and celebrated.
It is critical to know,
where is your heart?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

what is true?

The truth does not change
But change is absolutely necessary
To live what is true.

a family home
a family dog
in the hollow

Thursday, January 8, 2015

the morning guest

Here is that vague feeling again
The morning guest
Of not enough
I need more
A vibration of fear
Or is it the fluttering of arrival
As the in-boxes empty?

The bird feeder is full though
And I braved the cold in my pajamas to fill it.
My coffee is nearby,
the eyes of my heart are open,
And my fingers ready to scribe.

What will I open to meet today,
Scribing in word or in color?

In the stillness
I ready me to stay near myself,
To be empty enough for the response
That fulfills the promise I’ve made
to be true and in joy
and to be so expressed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

morning musing

power of the imagination

Imagine that winding a ball of yarn
Or watching the birds scattering seed in the snow
Is a way to commune
with what you love in the deepest possible way.

Imagine that leaving is returning
And going is coming.

Imagine what is coming
And never leaves.
That is you, love.

The beloved meets you here,
Where ever you are
What ever you do.

Imagine that.

Friday, January 2, 2015

waking up, rising

I wake up
a new day is here
but now what?

ever so slightly
mind steps into this open space
judgement   fear    doubt
how do I make the first move?

I don't.
The first move has already been made
my response is all that is required

be it to make a cup of tea
or coffee
to shower
to greet the sun and morning birds
to taste a dream fragment just a while longer
or to breathe more deeply till the body alights....

so, to be a response to this new year's day
will take me in
to a flow
to choices
and to trust in what chooses.

today the rose petals were dry enough
to fall easily
with a finger's nudge
into a waiting bowl.

their color, once a shocking magenta,
somehow rosier now,
deeper than memory.

I'm offering rose petals to the unknown
another silent gesture
planting seeds in trust.

January 1, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

winter solstice 2014


It is never too cold to make one.


I watch it dance
Increasingly fine moves
Till it disappears completely.

I trust that what I have burned will find its way,
To inform my new moves.
The smell of smoke remains,
my gratitude for such a ferocious dance.

I'm ready for a new dance card now,
But not waiting for a partner.

memo - what is crone time

one thing that is suddenly apparent to me, at 60, is that the definition of who I am is no longer fixed.
 I am none of the definitions I have collected to name and confirm myself. 

I am much freer in truth than any of those names - mother, sister, beloved, writer, friend and even artist. Most particularly artist is falling by the way side. 

I was not prepared for this. And now that I sense what has been happening is a loosening of identity,  I can relax a bit more. I have been really physically stressed, and not knowing why.

Writing serves me to communicate. 
Painting serves me to express what words cannot touch. 
Everything is working out just fine.

What prompted me to see this change just now, was seeing the paintings of the winner of an "important" art thing I applied for. I had felt sure my paintings could hold the space of this show, and I was rejected. 

This is not the kind of rejection that really hurts me, it is more of an 'ok, thank you for guiding me' kind of thing.  The rejections that do hurt say the same thing...go this way, Barbara, it just sometimes takes me longer to say thank you!

When I looked at the work of the young (born 1980) winner, I saw what the art world I was asking to be in, says is a viable and interesting artist. 

And I paused, and said, thank goddess.
I am being lead to want the life I live.

The impulse in me to share takes many forms.

Life is finding how to share itself through me with the world. 
The internet is the mother supporting so many connections.
We find one another.

And I could not have found my way here without being able to express myself in words. 
everything is coming together,
this is the co creative crone time.

written in 2013, still pondering the wonder of croning in 2015

experience creates your "skill set"

 Today I experienced the value of conversation with another human being. 

Just taking the time to talk, to receive, to listen showed me that despite my lack of "professional support skills", which seem to be flooding the marketplace, I have experiences to share, and a point of view that is always "other than" and can, for this very reason, be of help.

Experience gives us our "skill set." 
Experience, lived and learned through, can fill our tool box. 
Trusting what rises to be offered in relation to a friend's dilemma comes over time.
I'm in for developing the trust.

pondering communication in 2013 
continuing the practice in 2015

Attention to Detail

God is in the details, they say.
The details come down to the relationship of one thing to another.

Tonight I listened to Ahmed Moustafa give a talk on Arabic Penmanship- the Key to the Cosmos.

The clarity of spirit in numbers,

Happy Mother's Day - Whose child are you?

Do we dare to be a child of the Mystery?
Do we dare to take our hand and hold it to the end of the chatter, even beyond a daily meditation practice?

I am daring something new today.
To ask these questions knowing they are my own.

I have started to notice how people sometimes introduce themselves through the identity of someone else.
Or through the ideas of someone else.
Or through a thing, a job, or a place.
We introduce ourselves so often as anything other than this Mystery we live so intimately with.

Two mysteries meeting. Wow. What could be more exciting!

I notice this because for so long I used to think I wasn't enough just as I am, and I proved it too, in some wild ways.

I had to be identified with someone or something bigger and better than just me, or of course anything more interesting than me, a place or an experience. 

I remember when my identity as a painter began to disappear, the experience had become an invitation to something so mysterious, I couldn't take credit for the paintings.

And my identity as a mother. 
And my identity as a wife.
And as a lover.
And as a friend.

A journey sister calls the cause of this experience "the benevolent thief."

 Fear, of course, is to be avoided at all costs. And the cost is a great one. Our mind works overtime to help us steer clear of the abyss of no self.

I noticed today how this makes me feel nervous to meet someone through the identity of another. 
I understand this from my long impersonal quest to be someone else.

I become a little seasick, unmoored as I am in the other's sea...they become my own medicine to find my feet, be this changeling that I am. To feel this intimacy with the unknown, the unspeakable, and the joy of this freedom inherent in being so related to the Mystery. 

The Mystery is our Mother.
The well spring of Creativity.

It is a kind of insanity, to have so many other voices speaking as me. Or so many other people that I would present myself through.

One teacher of mine could feel this need in me so strongly before I myself was even aware of it, and told me, "Barbara, be yourself."

taking a break

Taking a break.
what does that mean?

Night falls and the single life carries shades of emptiness.

I breathe this in, gently letting this feeling remain as long as it needs a place to be.