Transformation

A butterfly emerging from its chrysalis,
a snake shedding old skin,
new life born from the womb

Becoming happens in the dark,
new life develops in secret,
the transformation of a being
is always hidden


I wonder if the butterfly trembled with fear before unfolding it’s wings

I wonder if the snake’s new skin felt vulnerable and tender

I wonder if allowing your new self to emerge is always a challenge

I wonder if perhaps it’s meant to be

Escape

As I stare out at the vastness of the ocean stretched before me, seamlessly melting into the cloudy grey of the endless sky above, I am struck by the inescapable fate of being conscious. Being human. Comprehending the miracle of my very existence, which leaves me speechless.

We attempt to explain it, but there are no words. Oh, but we continue to try. We fill textbooks and poem anthologies, we study and explore and photograph. We become experts, we hold summits, and we educate our children.

We take apart our bodies, bone by bone and cell by cell. We search inside our selves for evidence of who we are. What we are. Why we are.

We explore the darkest depths of the ocean and the furthest expanses of space. We climb icy mountains and descend into caves.

We have deep conversations and face the shadows of our mind. We create religion and meaning through rituals and prayer. But we cannot escape the pain of death and destruction.

And so we imagine a fairytale land, up in the sky. Where life becomes stagnant and static instead of constantly flowing through the cycle of death and rebirth. We decide we no longer want to fight for this earth. For the world which we have cursed with anger and strife. We want to escape. Just take us away for all of eternity.

To a place without diversity and no one to challenge our views.

But oh, when you just stop the searching. The meaningless making of meaning. The senseless condemnation of human passion. The crime of extinguishing the light in the eyes of a child innocently exploring the smorgasbord of sensation this world was designed to offer us…. in the name of discipline and obedience.

Oh, then, when your god has been buried on your hill of pretentious holiness. When you have sufficiently mourned his death, you finally see it.

That it was always just this. This life. This world. This earth.

We cannot escape it, and we never will.

But then finally—

I no longer want to.

Freedom

Death is what gives us the freedom to live our lives as wildly and exuberantly as we desire. Because no matter how badly it could possibly turn out, we will eventually be done. No situation, however miserable it may be, will last forever.

Embracing life is embracing death.

are you afraid of who you are?

oh how I wish you would
love wildly, without limits
live wildly, without limits
experience, touch, and feel

let your true Self shine
with all her glorious quirks
don't let shame hold you back
be unapologetically 
You

There

It’s strange how
I let go
In every way I know
And yet you’re still
There

I don’t understand why
I let go
In every way I can
And yet you’re still
There

Is it futile?

Will you always be
There?

Emily Dickinson

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church—
I keep it, staying at Home—
With a Bobolink for a Chorister—
And an Orchard, for a Dome.

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice—
I, just wear my Wings—
And instead of tolling the bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton—sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman—
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last—
I’m going, all along.

On Mortality

Life is: feeling the passage of time as an ever-pulling current, the pressure to make the most of the unknown quantity of sand remaining in your hourglass. 

It is only death which gives our lives any meaning at all. And yet, most humans seem to spend most of their waking hours attempting to evade this fact. We are absolutely obsessed with staying alive. We are also obsessed with distracting ourselves from our own mortality. I have a hunch that people who engage in high-risk activities may subconsciously fear death more than the average person. Being able to return from the brink of death repeatedly could be a way of confirming their own assumed immortality. 

Highly religious people seem, to me, those who fear death most. The idea of losing their identity horrifies them so much, they must cling to a belief wherein they will not truly die but continue to exist forever, as the personality they are here in this world. They are so completely identified with their ego, they cannot fathom letting it go when their spirit leaves this body.

And I understand that the mere thought of releasing attachments to the perceived self, and, almost worse-so– to the people we love, is absolutely unappealing to most of us. It definitely was for me. But just a small glimpse of the connectedness of everything and the identity of nothing is so exhilarating, so stunningly beautiful, everything else seems to fall away. And I cannot believe that my highly-religious upbringing didn’t convey even an ounce of this truth to me.

It is laughable, really, how religions (especially the 3 largest monotheistic ones) have managed to reduce the Divine to such an awful representation of the source of pure light, love and wholeness. 

“One of the main functions of organized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God.” – Carl Jung

pure light

and when you stand in awe 
before the Divine
you understand why
for millennia
even the greatest poets
were rendered silent

Calluses

Just like every morning, you wake me up by rubbing my hands and aggressively snuggling closer.

Your body is warm and soft, yet so clumsily brutal in the manner of a small human still learning how to control sharp elbows and lethal knees.

I squint against the early morning sun filtering in through the window behind our bed, and hug you tightly against my own soft body in what I know is a futile attempt to convince you to let us both sleep just a little longer.

I rub my nose against your blond curls, deeply inhaling the scent of infancy which still lingers there. My hands wander across your back and down your ever-lengthening legs in a gentle massage. Like countless times before, I let my fingers slip around your foot, which fits so perfectly inside my hand.

A startling sensation jolts to my comprehension. On your soft baby soles, which kicked me from within not long ago, I feel the beginnings of hardness.

It’s really not astonishing at all, of course. This is your second year on your own two feet. And like your brothers (and also your mother), you prefer to explore the world on bare feet.

I sigh as I squeeze you tighter and press my face against your chubby belly, this time with a little more intensity, fueled by bittersweet knowing.

Calluses.

They’re inevitable, of course, and a silly thing to feel sad about. But as you look at me, your eyes shining with youthful innocence and pure beauty, I sigh again. And this time, it’s not for your feet, but for your heart.

And I say a silent prayer. For wisdom and light sufficient to counter the hardness of this world.

For neverending openness and wonder.

For a heart uncallused.