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Singing at Sundown

There’s a nightlight in the bathroom

A good way to get a book taken away

Is to sit on the counter and read by it

The elastic on that night gown itched and pinched

A little ruffle around the cuff

Candy pink with flowers on it

A little ruffle by the calf

It’s not completely dark

A fan in the hall whirs to dampen stray noises

Private conversations

Whimpers and pleading

Thuds and crying

Yelling and misery

A good night is quiet

Not too quiet though

When something brews in that silence

I began to sing

I am a child of god and

this is my father’s world

grace would be amazing if it arrived in time

Can my voice stay the hands that violate

And would they have me sing in front of crowds

Using the voice that protected me

(or tried to)

I gave my voice away as an adult

I gave it to my babies when they struggled to sleep

I gave it to the dishes when they were dirty

I sang the floors clean and the dust away

I sang to the falling waters

To seedlings and horses

I made up songs and story songs to entertain

Rambunctious children

As they grew we sang together at the table

(this was never allowed to me when I was young)

This voice that falters in front of a camera

How a camera triggers

Being photographed and video’d

Exploited

Being shoved forward to perform

The grand lie of a happy home

We’re a happy family

We’re a happy family

Me mom and daddy

Sick

There’s a soft glow worm finger puppet

that provides a tiny light in the dark

while I sing myself forward

out of a nightmare

and into life

Photo Credit
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Heart Wadi

Heart WadiHeart Wadi

Written May 6, 2010

In the desert of my heart, I found a spring. 

The eye of the mother woke up weeping for her children.

As I drank deep of the clear water, the sky let loose with rain.

The sands burst forth with flowers, yellow blooms, green leaves.

Thank you, dear friend, for leading me to the well of compassion.

Thank you, dear friend, for leading me to the well of joy.

In the desert of my heart, I stood in need.

The sustenance I needed, could not be found.

When you took my hand in yours and led me further,

I wondered what at the end we’d find.

Thank you, dear friend, for leading me across the valley.

Thank you, dear friend, for staying by my side.

In the desert of my heart, know that death did stalk me.

The desert dogs were nipping at my heels.

Thirst and hunger were quick to overtake me.

The rocks tore at my hands and knees.

Thank you, dear friend, for shelter and for safety.

Thank you, dear friend, for food and for a drink.

In the desert of my heart, I stood in silence.

The pulse that should have been could not be heard.

I bent my ear down to listen to the stones.

From this position I could see your wounds before me.

The eye within me opened wide to cry.

Thank you, dear friend, for leading me to my heart.

Thank you, dear friend, your presence made it start.

Dear friend, let me help you cross your desert.

We will keep the dogs and thirst at bay.

Drink from my well until you find yours.

The rain will come and wash away the sorrow.

Dear friend, let me dress your wounds and soothe you,

And, we will live to lead another on the way

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Infinite Gesture

I started a podcast. The first Episode is: Dreams and the Stories We Tell Ourselves.

The transcript, studies, and my notes on the text can be found here on my website.

Everyone has dreams while they’re sleeping, even if they don’t always remember them. I sometimes have dreams that come true, and I am not always sleeping when I get them. A big blow in my life came when some of the dreams that had come true for me ended, and my subsequent reluctance to really unfold any new dreams coming my way stems from that. Some of the dreams I have had which came true were in direct response to my being nervous about a big life change out in front of me, such as when I moved to the Caribbean with my at-the-time-husband, and our three young children.

Some of the dreams were the catalyst for a life change, like moving from Saudi Arabia to Vermont with my three middle school aged kids, and starting a horse farm, giving lessons, and raising chickens and other fun farm stuff.

We speak a little about memory and how unreliable it can be, even though we launch ourselves, and our worldview from it. Which led us to talking about the stories we tell ourselves, and about the impermanence  of things, and adapting to living within the paradox of these stories.

There are refences to myth making and the personal narrative, how our perception narrows based on environmental reinforcement, and how humanity is, perhaps, living in a skewed room. We end up touch back on how life is like a sand mandala. We put in the effort, even if success is only for a second, and then put our shoulders back to the wheels. 

What are your dreams?

What stories are you telling yourself about fulfilling them?

I drew this drawing, Infinite Gesture, to go with the podcast, and it’s available on RedBubble where you can stick it on T-shirts, coffee mugs, and whatever. If you’d like to do that, just follow the link below.

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Daily Poem 11/14/2020

There is a burnishing of the soul

How it hurts

Scraping away the etchings of the past

There is the forging

Dipped into fires too hot to withstand

And then pounded by fate

Dipped, and pounded

Finally thrust into to cold water

The worst though

The worst is that moment of being chopped into pieces

Melted into a featureless brick

Placed on a shelf for later

Centuries pass

Until there is need

Fires and forging

Molded and shaped

What will I become this time

Burnished until gleaming