Ascend

 

Cavedale Photo by Keartona

Cavedale. Hope Valley, UK

 

 

Conquer worry, vanquish panic

Climb peaks of improbability

And do not let what is or isn’t feasible

Take the best of what

Is possible.

Master hope

Defeat all hate

Into compassionate submission.

Ascend into yourself

As you were meant to be:

A part of all that is

Uniquely interconnected

No better and no less

Than any other who draws breath.

 

For The Daily Post

 

Birth of Hope

magic-etsy-com

 

“I didn’t think it was possible,” she said. Her hand hovered close over her heart, a tremor perhaps mirroring the flutter inside. “I never dared to even hope.”

A budding of something long buried illuminated her face, softened the crows’ feet around her eyes, smoothed a line of worry that had etched itself, preemptive and ever-wary, onto her forehead.

It’s been such a very long road.

“Can you believe it? At my age?” She shook her head, amazed.

She lowered herself to the couch and patted her own knee in self-comfort or maybe to convince herself that she was real and wasn’t dreaming.

Her voice whispered wonder. “He loved it. Bought it on the spot. My baby. My first sculpture, sold.”

Awake

1923483_52647789908_329283_n
                                                                  Atlantic Sunrise: Na’ama Yehuda

 

 

Be awake.

In the world. For the world.

Be aware.

Of the life that unfolds

On pinpoint.

Keep your eyes

Open.

And your heart

Soft.

Wake up all words

Of hope.

Even those

Packed away in tight bundles

And locked.

Be awake

To the air. To the light. To the rain.

As shimmer reflects

And compassion

Remains.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Can You Hear?

Can you hear the hearts that beat

across the mountains, deserts, oceans

hoping for safe harbor,

an anchor

home?

Can you see small fingers gripping

other little hands

bereft of parents,

lost,

alone?

Can you hear the soft breaths

of babies

sleeping

in tired arms

weighted by

desperation,

violence, hate, war?

Can you hear the calls

in dreams

in prayer

for safe passage

for a welcome

to belong?

Can you —

how can you not —

hear,

the urgency

of hope

that hardship snuffed

and yet

still

yearns to grow?

 

refugees-express-co-uk

Photo by express.co.uk

 

 

For the Daily Post

 

Above all, Love.

Breathe now

The light

That dances on the pavement

Filters between branches of bare trees

From winter sky.

Breathe now

Because the truth

Remains

In spite

Of images

Or imaginings

Of misplaced

Amplified

Fear.

Breathe …

Because above all,

Love.

Of life

Of nature

Earth

All babies

Freedom

Oxygen and gravity.

Love of

Heart strings and connection

Of compassion

And

The ties that bind.

883230_10152716304365302_1977778148_o

Photo by A.Katz

 

For The Daily Post

The Scent of Home

syrianrefugee-unicef-photo

Child Refugee – Photo by UNICEF

The scent of home that she no longer has.

The spices, baking, the aromas

Of togetherness

And family

And love.

The scent of grandma,

Gone,

Killed by bombs.

The scent of ugliness

And war.

The scent of mornings

Blurred by smoke.

The scent of sea, now tainted

With the stink of gasoline

And sick

And worry.

The scent of tent

And mud

Hunger

Cold.

The scent of hope

Faint but held

In Baba’s handkerchief —

He said he’ll find them

One day

In Wherever Land.

The scent of fear

In mother’s arms

Trying to filter comfort through her own terror

Devastation. Loss.

The scent of home that she no longer has

Wafting away

In search

Of someone

Who will help

Her

Make a new one.

Unfiltered Illusion

interconnectedness-by-deificusart

Image by DeificusArt

Until not very long ago, people lived under the illusion that their small corners of the world were separate entities somehow disconnected from the remainder of the Earth. Their lives focused on the immediate surroundings and the people they had met or known or who shared their close environment. Other places were ‘far away.’ Unseen worlds where things happened to ‘other’ people; as alien as Mars; not our concern.

We know better now. Or should.

The reality that all of us are huddled on a marble hurtling through space is indisputable. The reality of our deeds impacting the survival of another is a fact, not fiction. Humanity is interconnected. We all are children of the same ancestors. The ‘others’ aren’t really any different than our own.

It is one planet. We’re all roommates, essentially.

Our actions and inactions impact everyone, this way or another, whether we follow the threads of our choices responsibly, or kick the can, turn off the light and pretend the mess we left is someone else’s to clean up.

You toss a plastic bag into the trash and the next thing you know it tangles fishing lines thousands of miles over and kills the fish that feed the children there. You drill the depths for oil and gas and the next thing you know it spills and blocks the sunlight from the reefs, confuses the navigation of oceanic animals, pollutes the very bed of life we all depend on, the very food on your plate. Someone grows hate in faraway ‘over there’ and it oozes onto disillusioned youth ‘here at home.’ It feeds on itself and on the fear and anger that spews from it. You make war and it kills people in concentric circles of misery that span the globe, physically and otherwise.

Ripples in the water. One vast system.

We’re not separate. Separation is made up.

Borders are man made lines of convenience and power. They contain no values of their own. They aren’t filters of morals, merit, or ‘type of person’ for who is or is not worthy of respect or life or empathy or a home. It’s an illusion to think that other countries are somehow disconnected, unaffected, un-affecting, irrelevant, less than. It’s an illusion to pretend that one’s borders make one a better person, or make the ‘other’ a lesser. It is blindness to believe that all we need to do is tend to ‘here’ and that the ‘there’ is for someone else to care for. There is no ‘here’ and ‘there’ on a shared sphere.

What we spit out, flush out, frack out, drill out, spill out … how we treat each other, all life, and everything on this planet … is an immediate reflection of who we are, a shared future. We all use the same water, air, resources, and atmosphere.

Filters of religion, race, location, finances–they are all artificial.

One planet. One species of humanity. One biosphere.

It is time we filter out division. It is time we hold a sieve to separate false-views of qualitative value that puts one human’s worth above another’s. It is time we catch the flotsam and jetsam of bigotry and misogyny; apprehend the debris of religions used not for tolerance and acceptance but for divisiveness and pseudo-hierarchy; dismantle outdated beliefs of patriarchy and other pretended superiority that use lies and fear-of-other to justify all kind of war.

Because when all that artificiality is filtered out, when layers of man-made pretense are taken off and we see life for what it is and not the ‘alternative facts’ some want to force into pseudo-reality: It becomes clear.

In the core of real spirituality in all traditions, it always was:

The truth.

We are, and always had been, one.

One planet. One climate. One. Interconnected, intertwined

No walls can change that.

What we see; why we don’t

now where...

Photo Credit: A.M.

“How come they didn’t see it happening?”

“How could they let this happen?”

“How is it possible that it took place and no one knew?”

“How can they say they didn’t see?”

“Can people really be this blind?”

“Don’t they care?”

“Don’t they see?”

 

Maybe they didn’t. The improbable is possible. People can be that blind. Even when they care, they may not see.

It is easy to see what one wants, what’s congruent, what matches assumptions or views or held beliefs. It is easy to recognize what one had learned already, to follow perceptions already accepted, ways familiar … easier to understand words that resonate with what does not burden with new challenges or calls for reassessment or brings up shame.

Shame. People don’t like to see what brings up shame.

The very whiff of it can bring on denial. Projection. Deflection. Blame of others. Avoidance. Cold shoulder. Dismissal. Refusal. Minimization of the pain of others to avoid feeling one has done wrong, seen wrong, is wrong.

Shame tugs along with hate and violence, in words or action or both. Inflicting pain on others might get justified or explained away … A way to keep downtrodden what one thinks should stay unnoticed, un-make-wave-able, quiet, under rugs, buried. Unseen.

It takes time, heart, and bravery to crack and drain shame.

It is easier to blame. To point fingers. To make “an other” to scapegoat or distance from. To claim misfortune due to one’s abilities, affiliation, religion, political leanings, nationality, age, gender, race, vocation, location, possessions or lack thereof.

To yell “false claims”, “exaggeration”, “attention seeking” or the newest term: “fake news.”

Shaming is a weapon of pseudo self-preservation for those who need to ensure the pain of another remains unseen and one’s own comfort can stand unprovoked.

Shame silences:

Unspoken words of wounded children

Pleas of disrespected women

The worlds of the oppressed, belittled, turned against them.

The desperate, the lost … unanswered. Unaccepted. Unacceptable.

Unseen.

 

It does not need to so remain.

To face what was already there but eyes were closed to, is the first step to unmaking shame. To healing pain.

May we find ways to see. May we take heart to act. May we become for others what we need or needed them to see in us, to do for us, to hold with gentleness.

May the unseen become the visible.

May shame be drained.

each other

 

For The Daily Post