To My Sistahs

witch-04

Sometimes the beloved Goddess, with golden locks, full breasts, and flowing garments grows a mustache and a hairy mole and a long, beaky nose. She hoists her little cottage up on chicken legs and runs cackling and clucking into the night.

Sometimes the fairy godmother is nothing but a con artist.

Sometimes, perhaps, Cinderella needs to trade in the fancy up-do for inner sovereignty.

Sometimes Mother Nature provides the sweetest nectar in the daintiest of flowers. And sometimes she provides the pungent effluvia of hot bodies. Who taught you they were different?

Sometimes the craggy old witch and the slithering snake are the best allies.

Sometimes we should take the apple. Bite it. Go ahead. I dare you.

Sometimes innocence must be exchanged for something more fierce, more nourishing.

Tonight is Halloween. Put your masks on, ladies. Or better yet, take them off.

Wolf Woman

I realize I have many wonderful friends and family who follow this blog.  If you are here reading, then I ask that you respect all of me. I choose to see and express all sides of myself. I no longer turn my eyes from the savage, the wild, the untamed and the dark sides of myself, as I once did. We all have these sides. Whether we admit it, or express it, is a personal choice. I admit it, express it, and love it.  Thank you.

http://www.thelocalrose.com/a-womans-bible-women-who-run-with-wolves/

I am working. I am trying.

Something’s lurking.  Someone’s dying.

I am nothing. I am all.

I am stumbling. I’m the fall.

I am cooking, cleaning, screaming.

I am looking for the meaning.

Ticks and tocks and mismatched socks

The old La Loba in me rocks

Me back and forth, I am her daughter

Claws and fangs and old mop water.

Shaggy mane and growling heart

The love that rips my world apart

So fuck the safety, fuck the cover

Release the crazy, darkest lover

Skulls and bones and hooves and horns

Break me open, smooth skin torn

So let me bleed, and let me cry

To birth the new, the old must die

From deepest wounds and gaping holes

I hear La Loba cackle

Sisters dancing in my soul

And old bones start to rattle

Transformation in surrender.

Never  be the same

Reignited ancient embers

Howling out my holy name.

My holy name.

My holy name!

The Mothering of Bumble Bees

bumblebee

 

Bees are remarkable insects.  Dedicating themselves completely to their colony, willing even to give their lives in defense of it, and without ever a thought of reward or appreciation, these little buzzing wonders embody such pure mother-energy as can be found in nature.

Last Sunday, amidst my own various matronly duties, I had a bit of a run-in with just such a creature.  While folding laundry, I noticed a stumbling bumble bee on the windowsill just inches from my fingers.

After my initial reaction of jumping back from a bee, I looked at this beautiful creature with great pity.  Somehow it had been trapped inside the house, probably from this window being opened, and could not escape.  It was evident from this little bee’s blunderings on the windowsill that it was disoriented, exhausted, and had been imprisoned for some time.  It was dying.

I resolved to save it.  I opened the window, but my little bee was too weak to fly.  My daughter happened to be playing outside, and I called to her.  We worked as a team, she on the outside and me on the inside, to free this little bee.  I somehow persuaded the bee to crawl onto a sock, and with some nimble maneuverings negotiated the sock onto the edge of the windowsill to pass to my daughter.  Of course, it is a lot to ask of a child to handle a tiny sock with a bee crawling on it, and alas both the sock and its passenger fell to the ground.  My daughter bent over, and peering down informed me that the bee did not leave the sock.

I left my pile of laundry and came outside to inspect.  Yes, there was the bee, tottering on the sock, hardly moving save to attempt keeping its balance, and it was doing a poor job even of that.

My daughter was anxious; she did not want to get stung.  Perhaps, she thought, we should just leave it alone.  That would have been the easy thing to do; she could get back to her game, and I could to return to my mountains of laundry, and we could both avoid a potential insect sting. But my heart was breaking, and swelling, for this little bee.  I shan’t stop now.  Into the house I ran, up the steps and into the kitchen.  Here I grabbed a wooden spoon, and upon it I drizzled a few drops of raw honey and a few drops of water, just for good measure.

I arrived to the back yard, where my brave girl kept a cautious yet close watch on our little friend.  We carefully dripped our honey onto a dried brown leaf left from the winter.  At first our bee did not respond at all.  It seemed not to notice nor to care.  Finally, we sort of wiped the leaf on its little bee face.

Oh, the excitement that ensued!  This suddenly large tube (proboscis) emerged from somewhere hidden in its little head, and went to business like a living broom/vacuum attachment.  It slurped every last drop of honey while the back segments of its body gyrated.  My daughter dashed back upstairs for more honey, and returned with both the honey and her brother.  Our bee fervently vacuumed the honey with its efficient and rather magical attachment, while we each volunteered our own delighted and bubbling commentary.  Then…flight!  It took a victory lap, buzz buzz buzz in a circle around us, and with great satisfaction we watched it zig zag away.

We did it.  We saved a life.   We were, all three of us in that moment, triumphant mothers, and felt such exhilaration as cannot be explained by the saving of an insect.   This mother energy that we embodied also changed something once viewed as fearful and dangerous into something dear, loved, and curiously funny;  for I have noticed in the days since our little intervention, neither of the children now run from bumble bees, but actually tag along behind them in the yard, giggling at their drunken antics among the wildflowers.

These little mothering bumble bees work for each other,  protect each other, and that is all they see, all they know.  Yet there is a much bigger reality of which they play a crucial role, and to this reality they are blind.  For, these little buzzing bees are the Earth’s pollinators, and without them many a living creature, including humans, could not survive.  Thus, in the wake of their buzzing wings and gyrating bodies, they birth new life into the fresh springtime gardens and orchards and wild forests of the world.

To this end, I would like to, on this Mother’s Day, honor and appreciate all of you magical mystical bumblebees in my life, tending to your individual spirit-gardens with such love and care.  How the vibrancy of your flowers delights and encourages, how your sweet nectar nourishes and sustains.

To the healer who tended the growth of magical dandelions, honoring the last breaths of a dying tree,

To the exquisitely lovely Ms. Magoo, navigating her vessel through life and motherhood with such tender skill and care, that the salt water sprays my face and falls from my eyes by the depth of her words,

To the exquisite life-dancer bringing beauty, humor, and grace to every corner of the world she touches, to every corner of the humans she befriends, even to her own eager-to-please appliance Hilde,

To the mystical philosopher who, upon finding a tiny stranded fish on the ocean’s shore, stopped his strolling and his musings to wade chest high in the cold water to save it,

To the stand-up spiritual comedian, bringing laughter and enlightenment through blogs and Hafiz,

To the man who works more than he should to support his homeschooling wife and their three children; who returns from the stiff corporate board rooms to be tackled and hugged, who sits on the floor and sings silly songs and shakes baby rattles with his disabled 7 year old, who spreads the seeds of wildflowers and sunflowers and delights in the birds enjoying them,

To my own mother and father and sister, for all the crazy humor and freedom and support you bestow upon me,

Happy Mother’s Day.  I am renewed, I am refreshed, I am enlivened, and my garden grows fruitful and lush, because of you.

 

 

Eden

Image

I was there, and you were with me.

We dwelt together in the depths of forever, yet there was no time.

Never too much.

Never too little.

Never, even, enough.

Only the peace of the garden without. The silent stillness of being, within.

If our human hearts could touch the love we shared, they would surely burst.

 

Yet we awoke

Together

With an emptiness unknown before.

 

We had always loved her, the Great Tree of Life

But we awoke to know she was different from us.

She could change.

She blossomed with flower, unfolded with leaf. She bore fruit.

Her flowers would wither, her leaves dry up and fall away. Her fruit may rot.

And yet through her seasons, one thing always changed.

She grew.

 

And you and I, together under her boughs, found that we did not grow.

We wanted growing, like nothing else.

And we awoke within ourselves, the Serpent.

 

And she sighed and heaved, for her decision was heavy, and her branches drooped with the weight of it.

Yet we endured her scrutiny, and her apples fell freely into our open hands.

And thus, we came ourselves,

Naked and hand in hand

To our own Initiation.

 

She clad us in old gray leaves

And circled us around a great dancing bonfire

Fueled by her own blood of broken branches.

We sat together, trembling, touching.

The masters came, cloaked in the deepest black among the shadows.

Great masters, those we had once known, yet somehow had left this place, and we had forgotten them.

They now returned, like the shadows of ghosts.

So many rising up, returning.

 

And her soft voice echoed among her branches.

The desire for growth, for knowledge has awoken within you.

I grant it to you, yet it comes at a heavy price.

None may receive such power if ill prepared to wield it.

It would fill you, derange you and utterly destroy you, for you are babes, innocent and fragile.

Thus the journey begins.

 

This place will be nothing but a whimsy of the imagination,

A faded fragment of a dream,

A whisper buried beneath a thousand roaring voices.

You will be naked

And shameful of it

Because you will have forgotten.

This is the burden you must bear.

Yet we do not leave you helpless.

Go with the Trinity, the gifts of the Divine.

The Apple gives the gift of the Mind, the gateway to knowledge. It will bring you contemplation and endless vexing chatter.

The Masters give the gift of the Heart. They shall be with you always, disguised as the sleepers, the hopeless sinners, so that you may be tested and learn compassion and solitude. The Heart will bring you hope and despair.

And I, the Tree of Life, give you Will, a fire of my blood, flaming deep in your bellies. It will bring you strength and clarity. Let it be your beacon, for it is the only way Home.

 

A hunger raged in our bellies,

And we ate of the sweet apples resting in our hands.

And its magic began pulsing through us.

 

Then the animals came.

Horses and wolves and ravens and eagles and bears and owls and steeds and all manner of creatures

Snatched us from our bodies and bore us down, down, denser, deeper, thicker

To Earth.

 

There is great trial and tribulation here.

Forty days and forty nights and more.

Sometimes we sink.

Sometimes we drown.

But we are strong swimmers now, and I will not let you go.

And you will not let me go.

 

Somewhere our bodies still sit together, warm and bright.

Trembling and touching.

I see your face now.

I know that face.

Yes, yes! I know those eyes.

For even on Earth, we may find our homecoming.

How I love you.

Zen Eyes, Beginner’s Eyes

shoebox

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Three beer cans; Miller, Budweiser, and one so rusted it remains a mystery.  A lost, printed movie ticket.  Black tissue paper.  An old cracked plastic cup filled with dirt.  A yellow feather from a craft shop.  A freshly dropped thin pinecone.  And a strong, thick shoebox, once home to shiny new business-man shoes, but now home to things much less shiny, but no less interesting.

Yesterday my 9 year old son came bursting through the front door, all in a huff of excitement.  He called for me with several gasping breaths, and I rushed from the kitchen, still with soapy gloves on my hands, hoping I heard excitement and not panic in his voice.  (One never knows, it could go either way.)

Luckily it was excitement.  With a flourish of pride and flushed cheeks he proceeded to show me the contents of the shoebox.  All these things, he announced, had been discovered in the woods behind our house.  And not to worry, he assured me, about germs or rust or other motherly vexations, for he was wearing his football gloves and was thus immune to any such nonsense.

As he catalogued his treasures to me, I thought, what a funny thing.  He has collected what most wise grown ups would term ‘trash’ in the woods, and yet he is ultimately pleased and delighted with himself.

But yes, if one looks closer and rubs her eyes to remove the sleep of adulthood, she can see it too!

These things are ancient relics, hints of other times and places, alive with stories!  What mysteries and secrets they hold!  Someone drank this beer, perhaps out in the woods.  Who was it?  Were they alone?  Was it sneaky?  Someone used this cup.  What was it filled with? Apple juice? Perhaps it was a child?  Would that child be fun to play with? And someone lost this printed ticket.  I found it!  I saved the day!  If that someone needs it, I will keep it safe for him.  Oh, and some gigantic tree dropped this pinecone.   How long had this tree been preparing, making, molding this pinecone?  Will it open soon?  Will the shape change?

After some pondering, the shoebox and its cache of treasures was positioned carefully on the front step, and I returned to my duties in the kitchen and forgot about it.

sunrise

This morning my husband had to leave early for work.  I am not an early riser, and I grumbled my way out of bed at the horrific hour of 5:30 a.m. to make and pack his lunch.  However, after a little coffee and fumbling around the kitchen, I realized I was up in time to see the sun rise.  At 6:12 a.m. I was outside with my steaming mug, sitting on the front steps and watching the light filter through the trees.  For one who enjoys staying in bed till the latest acceptable hour, seeing the sunrise is a rare treat.  For this, I have beginner’s eyes.  This is the precise moment when my gaze fell upon the treasure chest of the day before.

It was as if I had never seen it yesterday.  It was pure magic.  Transfiguration.  Alchemy in a shoebox.  I watched both for a long time; the magical sunrise and magical shoebox.

When I reentered the house, there was this new presence with me, like special sight had been bestowed upon my eyes.  Everything around me had an essence, a story, offering up some energy to exchange with my own.  There is a shape and a contour, a history and a secret, a craftsmanship and twinkle of merrymaking in all of it.  The sneakers, the candles, the baby toys (including a singing dog complete with chocolate smeared paw), the old telephone and the books.  The tiny green glass bottle holding a pine branch (my daughter’s creation), the spiral notebooks, the pencils and the empty mug of coffee.

Tummy  Pine needles

Such beauty surrounds me, and yet I am most often blind to it, never allowing my eyes to penetrate the world around me.  What foolishness in labeling the inanimate as such!  What poverty to disregard the whispering mystical accoutrements of life in search of some grander distraction! No no no.  From now on, I go deeper.  I make it a priority to See.

There are signs of the animate awakening.  Little footsteps above me as I type, the creak of doors opening and the flushing of toilets.

The Beginners are awake.  What lessons shall they teach the expert today?

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers