For this new moon

 darknessIn blackness we begin

In blackness we return

Light moves in the inbetween
and waxes and wanes as it sees fit

light moves in the inbetween
shining from the Cauldron of life
whether we acknowledge it or not

When we sense the blackness, the light moving farther away
we can be quiet and listen
or moan and wail

If
IF, we are quiet and listen, what does the blackness speak to us?
Will we let the blackness permeate our lighted spectacle?


Animal nature

Animal nature – Where did it go?

It never left.

Our growling turned into domestic violence

Our drooling twisted into “food-ism”

Our sex turned into a process of power over

Our sex turned into something other than we intended

Where is that fierceness of a Momma bear when our children are slowly poisoned by the treats, toys, gadgets, cars, water, food, air and thoughts we are so eager to provide for them to have a “better” life than we did?

Animal nature doesn’t rush to get to the coffee drive through before the 2-for-1 sale is over

Animal nature is loving and protective of it’s children, for the most part – yes I’m aware of the caveats.

Without knowing our animal nature we run the risk of thinking the planet is some sort of machine that can be “used” indefinitely.

Without our animal nature we run the risk of not accessing some of our deepest knowing.

What does your intuition tell you when you take a walk among the trees?  At the seaside? In the Desert?

Who are you?

IMG_1087


For your reading pleasure

I recently had the honor of having a piece published in the local weekly newspaper, Flag Live!

Here’s a link to the PDF – “To the mountain, again and again” is on Page 4

Here are a couple of images to accompany your reading pleasure.

 

4 o clocks Cosnino Exit dirt road to peaks distant peaks


Simple

No ashram

except the kitchen sink

No temple

Save the toilet that needs cleaning

No guru

other than whomever is standing before you

No doctrine

other than the thoughts

you choose.

IMG_1993

 


Reflecting on the death of Charles Bowden

Ciudad Juarez is reality. American Ninja Warrior, while an entertaining show, and representative of many hours of working on ones core muscles, to compete well, is not reality. How do I know this? Because the TV show will fade into the past while the past, present and future of Juarez lives on and on, because poverty and violence stain the human mind and heart.

ciudad_juarezwtmk

Ciudad Juarez just across the border from El Paso

I lived in Juarez when I was four years old. My mother had made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my lunch one day and I had the innocence to leave it, partially uneaten on the table, in full view of whomever might walk by the front window of our very modest home. Not one minute later a little girl, in a thin dress, with an old newspaper wrapped around her shoulders for warmth, came by and spied the crusts of bread. She knocked on the door and asked my mother for the crumbs. She gave them to her. A few minutes later the girl returned with her brothers and asked for food. My mother gave it. This continued for a number of days with the crowd growing like a cancer each time we opened the door. Very soon we learned to not open the door. The whole neighborhood must have gotten the word that the gringos living on the corner were rich and could give food away. We attracted a small entourage that followed us through town when we would walk to the local market. I know it broke my mother’s heart to shoo away all those kids like so many flies. To preserve our meager existence we had to turn our back on those less fortunate. Heartbreaking reality.

My experience of domestic violence in that house, and others, mirrors the violence that pervades that border town. Desperation, poverty, helplessness, all these things resided side to side with my knowledge that while we didn’t have much at all, we were the richest folks on the block. These experiences, and more, have shaped how I view reality. Hold tight to the small, real advantages – bread, running water – riches beyond comprehension. Affection from a loved on, unmarred by strings attached? Priceless. The audacity to continue living despite every sign pointing to a dead end.

Via Forbes Magazine:

“A longtime researcher of Ciudad Juarez, Bowden focused on the overlapping an intertwined effects of globalization, free trade, and drug cartel-related violence. Deeply critical of NAFTA and the 1990s era economic relationship between Mexico and the U.S., Bowden also offered clear headed analysis of an impossibly complicated city.

A few years ago when I went to Ciudad Juarez for the first time I brought a copy of Bowden’s 1998 photo book Juarez: the laboratory of our future.  Bowden was among the first researchers to delve into investigating the evolution of Ciudad Juarez at the outset of NAFTA. He introduced many readers to now common images of border fences, migrants crossing the Rio Grande on rafts and police investigators at homicide scenes. His prose is careful, analytical, thoughtful. He describes Juarez as “part of the Mexican gulag, the place for the people no one wants” but also writes “I’ve eaten in Juarez, drunk in Juarez, been happy in Juarez, and been sad in Juarez…I am not sightless. Juarez has a distinct quality. It is the city wherepeople may dream and f*** and drink and sing, but it is not the city where people hope.”


Meat Parade

The Sacred Dance
has no preordained steps toward abstraction
yet we imagine it does
The Sacred Dance includes unadulterated water, food, soil, and emotion, not emoticons

Image courtesy of http://thereikimuse.com

Image via: thereikimuse.com

This meat parade our souls participate in daily

pales in comparison to your first sweet,wet kiss

pales in comparison to the thrill of watching a hawk soar and swoop through the air

cubicle

This meat ballet
of digital
and fast
and now
and fuck tomorrow

doesn’t quench our soul’s thirst

nor our mouth

nor our belly

nor our heart

From the early days of our abstraction we thought we could
one-up reality, but

A puka shell isn’t a tuna

and $300,000 isn’t a home

So we push our meat to the next social networking watering hole
hoping to find nourishment

But, what is real and true inside ourselves?

Why is it so difficult to identify real and true in the line-up of our meat parade?

Why have we sunk so far down this empty well?

Where do we grab a foothold and heft ourselves back into the Land of the Living?

Why are we afraid to reside in the Land of the Living?

What has such a fierce hold on our collective Joy?

The meat parade can be beautiful but the Sacred Dance always is –

Even when it’s terrifying.

Better to be real and broken

than abstractly whole.

{When searching for an image to accompany this post I came across a group of I haven’t heard of in some time.  The Cacophony Society of San Francisco apparently had a meat parade – who knew?  You can read about it here. }

I also found this.


Abandoned Chair

Shelley couldn’t believe Tracy had just left the chair in the back alley like that. That chair that had been her mother’s. She had sat upon that very chair for six years of college degree completion. The chair that after it’s first messy repair job had stayed out on the front porch and became Shelley’s smoking chair, until she quit when Brandy passed away. Shelley mourned the loss of the chair, and her only daughter, from her life three years ago when she put it out next to the trash can in a rage. She hadn’t really wanted to get rid of it but was purging everything from her life that had come to her before her daughter passed away. She only wanted to be surrounded by new things, not ones with countless stories tied up in the fabric and the wood.

Tracy, her neighbor until yesterday, had snatched up the chair before the trash truck arrived. Shelley saw her take it in through her back door. She felt relieved and betrayed at the same time. Relieved the chair wouldn’t rot in a landfill as soon as she had thought it might, and betrayed because the release she was seeking wouldn’t happen with the roar of the garbage truck condensing the chair into little bits like she imagined.

For three years she had watched from her kitchen window as Tracy was courted by David and then married. Tracy had given birth to their son, Cyrus, in their bathtub a little over a year ago. Shelley always was a polite neighbor, but harbored deep jealousy of the seemingly perfect life being lived next door.

One day Tracy had brought the chair to the back porch to sit in the sun. Shelley decided to pay it a clandestine visit.

“Hi, Tracy” said Shelley, “It’s so great to see the sun after all that rain, huh”?

“Oh Man, is it ever! I couldn’t keep Cyrus from jumping off the walls after the third of fourth day. He actually took a tumble off of this chair pretending to be a helicopter, and we nailed it back together just last night”

Shelley didn’t let on that the chair had been hers – that it was laden with so many memories.

“He didn’t hurt himself, I hope”?

“Nope, just a couple of little bruises. I swear that kid must be made of teflon”

Tracy cocked her head when Shelley said, “You know, household accidents are one of the leading causes of death of children. You’d better keep a close eye on that little whirlwind of a boy you got” She stretched her arms above her head and turned to walk inside.

“Uh…..yeah…..thanks for the warning”

 

Six months later Shelley began to hear Tracy and David fighting a lot. Every time it was something different – money, lack of sex, how to raise a toddler – all the usual stuff. Her kitchen window was placed strategically in such a way that if their windows were cracked even a little, she heard everything from their living room, kitchen and master bedroom. She took a tiny amount of pleasure in the fact that their perfect life wasn’t so perfect after all. She felt a little guilty about that, but it didn’t stop her.

Then yesterday, she saw the Uhaul trailer parked in front of their flat. She went out to investigate. Tracy said she and David were separating, and started to cry. Shelley knew this had been coming but, of course, didn’t say anything.

The next day the chair was out in the alley, nowhere near the trash cans. Seeing that chair, alone, sitting in the alley, next to the overgrown grass, and the beer bottle shards, Shelley couldn’t help but tear up at the thoughts of all the hours that chair had been useful to someone. She contemplated taking it back, making new memories with it, but decided against it. This time, someone she doesn’t know will take it and she won’t be bothered by the sadness. She could let it go now.

Abandoned Wooden Chair on Bull Island, Dublin


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