poem ::: how we pray …

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Five A.M. in the Pinewoods

I'd seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
Finally
one of them — I swear it! —

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

- Mary Oliver



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what you can do

How do you swim inward?

How do you flow outward?

How do you pray?

These questions are simple, yet when you allow them to settle into your bones, they stir up something.

What is that something, for you?

Can you settle into it? Can you write about it or create in some way from it?

And nothing else?

Can you stop the trying, the pushing and the pulling?

Can you swim inward and flow outward from the core of your insides?

For just a moment?

Find a way, any way, to create from your feelings.

Write the answers in a non-expectational stream of consciousness journal entry.

Pick up your paints and smear them around, letting go of your expectations.

Tear, cut, and glue papers and ephemera down.

Make up a poem.

Write about that memory, the one you refuse to give airtime for all the reasons.

Drop all pre-conceived notions, and find your prayer-full devotion to your self.

Can you give yourself the time?

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be. (from Mary’s poem, above)

What COULD BE your world … if you let it?

Let it. Please. Open and flow, pray and allow.

When we create from this place of questioning, vulnerability, uncertainty?

We are creating from raw, untamed LIFE.

LIFE that is OURS.

Please share your experience with this poem, and your response to it, in our FB group.

If you are creating about your family … or war … or your relationship to yourself and your body …

And your brain is saying, okay great. But how can I relate this to that? And sits in lockdown from the zillion questions of how and why and when and where …

You will JUST KNOW when you swim in the inside …

You will JUST KNOW when you flow from the inside to the outside …

Instead of the outside to kind’ve maybe sort’ve inside …

You will JUST KNOW.

That is the nature of true prayer.

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my deepening

This week I’ve been thinking A LOT about the ways we sell ourselves. About how the social media world has undone me, has highlighted inherent and unconscious tendencies … AND how it has served me.

I’m thinking about how I want to live more quietly, more unplugged, more in tender communion with myself and my community.

I wrote a whole thing HERE. It feels vulnerable because it contains many things that I have bottled up.

It includes all the things we are not supposed to be, publicly, as women.

It includes phrases, hints, and subtexts of all the things that we ARE.

I think about us. Women. And how we think we are SUPPOSED to be.

Isn’t that why we are all here, in this space? Because we long for more, better, richer, deeper living?

Because we know we are more than a pile of supposed-to’s in flesh and bone

Dragging ourselves around on a desert floor, nourishing ourselves on gritty sand

Dying a little more every day.

Sure, we have beautiful things in our lives.

But what is going on in there? In the place where we swim inward, flow outward, and pray?

A couple of nights ago, I did something amazing. I painted on a huge 8 x 5ish foot canvas.

It felt primal, ritualistic, and feral.

I am those things.

Oh, I so am.

Aren’t you?

THIS is how I pray.

(For the sake of full transparency, I reach for my own truths incessantly and I still gulp in fear when embodying them).

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muse ::: the four of cups

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This card is from the Starchild Tarot, made by the same artist and visionary who made the Moonchild Tarot (from a couple weeks ago).

What do you see when you look at this card?

What do you feel?

For me, this card is about not noticing what is right in front of me, surrounding me, adorning me. There is so much more here to see … it seems to be saying.

What about you? What do YOUR eyes see? Not see?

What does your heart see?

What do you NOT ALLOW your heart to see?

Does your soul have a sight, a say, a right to be?

Do you smother your sights, visions, truths?

All tough questions … but it is even tougher to live life un-Seeing what we See.