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Personal interpretation, with the aim of providing hope and comfort

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Some of us are born into exile. In the beginning, life is this fascinating kaleidoscope of colors, sounds and tastes, and at the same time an unbearable and terrifying assault on our senses. We feel too much, think too much, sense too much, perceive too much. As babies we sleep a lot. They say we are good babies, easy babies. We really just need healing time for the growing brain. 
We live out a push-pull relationship with life. On one hand: an attraction to love, a deep longing for connection with Life, an innate curiosity to understand its different parts. An intense desire to belong. On the other hand: threatening energies, incessant soul-wounding, inexplicable fear. A progressive loss of innocence with every foray into the outer world. The inner world is a dark tangled forest we run to, equally scary, equally mysterious but subtler, quieter, seemingly safer. 
We watch the adults around us with no concept of the past, no way of understanding they are the product of their own lives…

Joachim The Tree

During a walk the other day I came upon a tree whose name was Joachim. He was an oak, the kind one meets around here in the South, with the broad crown of luxuriously spread thick branches draped in Spanish moss and fern. Occasionally in urban areas Spanish moss is replaced by Mardi Gras beads, hanging down from the lower branches and glimmering in the sun. Other times they have black and white signs with threatening red letters nailed to the trunk: PRIVATE PROPERTY. Joachim bore one of these signs and though I would have ordinarily taken this as a sign to keep moving, the tree was so tall and beautiful that I stopped to consider him and allowed myself to enter a little reverie in his shade.
Looking at the sign brought a feeling of sadness tinged with anger. What is our relationship with the living world, truly? If the sign indicates that responsibility is being claimed for the tree’s wellbeing and protection then yes, that is a worthy statement. Did the owner assist the tree by mulc…

The Heart

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At last. The heart has awoken.With a flutter, with the iridescent buzzing of light-dancing starsprinkles, the heart like a sleeping giant has started to blossom. In my heart, a portal has opened to the heart of the world. 
Come, cedar waxwings, come eat of the berries on our trees, so that the strawberry farmer relaxes his frown. Come, our back yard beckons you over with its sunny patches and its water puddles and its outstretched limbs, bending with berries to stain your feathers red. Come, the whoosh of your flock washes over my body like a godly caress. 
How people have twisted truth into a thing of power and possessiveness, how humanity is spiraling in an insanity of separation and stickyness, greed and jealousy, hiding even in the smallest nooks disguising itself as love. It's not true! None of it is true. We hurt each other, kill each other, poison each other's hearts and souls. If one were to let one's heart open completely, how could one bear it all? 
I dare not d…

An afternoon with Roux

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The Hate

For the past few days I have been sleeping very badly, waking up frustrated, physically and mentally exhausted, scattered, angry.

On Sunday three police officers were shot dead by a gunman. You can easily find the horrible details on the news. I tried to write a post about how I felt, but the draft has just been lying there confused and frightened on the screen. Forgive me. There is so much I don't understand about life right now. Why am I here, what is going on, why is this happening? What is going on with the country, with the city, with me, with us?
None of my friends called to ask how we are doing in light of what's going on. How is your husband holding up, what's the situation over there, how do you guys feel? I felt angry about that. I am not sure I have any friends anymore. My father says I need to forgive people, "they don't know how to take things, how to talk about things, how to discuss difficult situations". My brother said "maybe they don…

July 6, Baton Rouge, LA

While I was up late at night writing my last post, only a few blocks down our house something terrible was taking place. A man standing outside a convenience store was shot to death by a member of the police force. Someone caught it on video, and today it was on the national news. The two police men involved were put on administrative leave today, and the case has been handed over to the Justice Department who are carrying out an investigation. 
Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I felt an immense wave of desperation washing over me. The suicide bombings of the past few days, the continuing war in the Middle East, the refugees, the state of the environment, BREXIT, the U.S. elections...and a whole lot of hatred and division everywhere in the comments sections, media outlets and particularly palpable today in our town of Baton Rouge. Has the world gone mad, or was it always this crazy? 
All I know is what I saw on the video and what is being reported by the media. I do …

Tomato Meditations

Yesterday my friend told me the tomatoes I gave her were the best tomatoes she had in a very long time. "I did not cut them up and put them in the salad, I just ate them like an apple". My heart! No salt, no vinegar, nothing to change or add or mask; she ate them just the way they were, she ate them whole. That's why I love her.
When I look at my harvest of tomatoes now I see the sun, the rain, the soil. I remember the plants when they were but seedlings. I remember staking and pruning, chasing away the stinkbugs. I see all the tomatoes that didn't make it to my lap, the ones that were eaten by slugs so that the others would survive. I see the spider that spun a web among their flowers to catch the little flies. I see myself, singing and walking around the garden, barefoot. I see the mourning doves and the cardinals, feeding under the plants' shade. I see Mark turning the faucet on from the other side of the garden while I shout "Thank you!". I see the…