some teachings are reminders

(spoken at a meditation retreat)

and reveal yourself again
take your two hands
put them to your chest
let your strong fingers pull open the cages
show the longing heart

I see you
so brave in the sunlight
blood on your nails‍

you are the sacred space you long for.
be curious about all that is given to you.
a life that ends
a struggle that persists
a love, so fierce for this world.‍

‍love is always moving.
the wind is closer to the light
the ocean is deep and dark
and there is a place in you for rest. ‍

‍‍see how this mind and body are in a dance
let us love ourselves.
and it looks like this,
let us love.
it looks like this,
let love repeat as long as it needs.
like this,
make it new.
let go of the dead.

‍‍it looks like you,
moving through life death and life again

you are the sacred space you long for.
the longing is sacred.
be with it
without resolution.
and look for yourself
lost on a road not taken
concerned with a way not your own.

the work of longing.
the work of silence in longing.
the desire to speak of longing to others
then the silence, again.
the way reveals itself.

fear calls out your name from the dark,

with your small light, run into that place
give it attention
and go gently with what you find there.

giants may be wounded too and may need your help
the trees will have something to teach you—
how to protect your boundaries.

allow yourself to look
again from spacious grace
take the teaching
don’t get hung up on the teacher.
don’t get attached.

listen closely.
the tools are not the craft.
the guideposts not the end
and there is no destination.

find the beginning.

it’s okay
to say it again
to make space for mystery
to see the start and be
your own beloved.

I call up the monstrous in me
I name the dark place
and to the shadow I say:

I am the staying struggle
I call the doubt,
the second glance at the exit,
the sweet fatigue,
and the rising in the morning
that will surely come, beloved.

the discipline I commit to
that shapes me into a strange key
for locks on gates ahead,
the hurt that I have
and am,

the chaos that I am,
the quiet.

no one else’s
my own

the beloved leaves to show you
there are secrets to uncover in the known.
the beloved
dies first.
in solitude, a teaching arrives:
your identities are true and not real
pain is instrumental
you are the instrument
die before you die.
where you don’t see the beloved is where the work is.

and when it comes,
I have learned to say "my struggle is so beautiful today.”

the smell of lilacs in the air
my children playing at the park

the struggle is beautiful,
so difficult in the low sun.

but the lilacs are on the breeze again
a rampage of joy.

I am mighty

a tree hollowed out
by hard tools.

a drum you play

Spring 2024