clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world


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Listening to your own wisdom

This month has brought a huge amount of energy to us Earthwalkers, both collectively and individually. For months now I have shared the collective experience on this blog. Tonight I would like to share a personal view.

Obviously Life isn’t always what it seems on the surface. It’s important, when given some breathing space, to take time to reflect on your life and relationships, in relation to how they brought you to Now. I have had opportunities to do this recently, and it has been helpful.

Dear Readers, perhaps some of you have also been looking back at events and periods of your life in order to understand how you have come to Now. What those experiences brought you, whether painful or joyful, were opportunities to grow and heal your soul. We often cannot understand it in the moment, and indeed some of those painful times hurt so much that all we really want is for them to be gone! Now! Forever! But, we still had to live through them, and coming out the other side we can again breathe, think, and gain understanding.

I think it’s very difficult not to have regrets about your life; what I might have chosen, had I not gone down that road, may have been much more wonderful and made me infinitely happier than the path I did choose. Then there’s the trap of guilt; had I chosen differently, I might have spared my loved ones a whole lot of pain and suffering. This is all speculation, and probably not a helpful way of thinking. After all, I chose what I chose, and my current life is the result of the cumulative effects.

I’ve had intense moments of sorrow lately about things that happened in my past. I believe they have come up again for review so I can heal and let go of them at ever deeper levels. We are really not consciously aware of how profoundly we hold our human experience: memory stored in our DNA from eons of time and vast experiences that we may only recall as a vague feeling of discomfort, anxiety, anger, or sorrow. As we continue to evolve into our multidimensional selves, we must let go of the old experiences of separation. How many times have we loved someone, only to be hurt by them? Or likewise, have hurt the very one we so passionately cared for?

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We may feel alone in the world, but in reality we are always connected with all life, both on Earth and in the starry realms.

Nothing we said or did can be taken back. The play has been performed, the actors all played their roles perfectly, and that show is done. More and more I see my life as a series of one acts, improvs and feature length films. I observe myself living my life a lot these days. Now I am riding the bus; now I am standing in the sun with these other people; now I am cooking; now I am dreaming about what happened years ago. It’s an odd feeling, like I am both in and out of my body, observing and being observed.

The events on the world stage this past month have caused great anxiety and also moments of great exhilaration within my soul. I’ve had moments of pure stillness, when I am certain that beneath all appearances to the contrary, we are fundamentally alright, we will be alright, and in fact, will enter a golden age at some point in the not too distant future. Then I have days when everything seems grey, dark and nearly hopeless, those moments when fear grips my soul so strongly that I have anxiety attacks. The fluctuations are crazy, like a lifeline; up and down, relentlessly.

Dear readers, I write these words to you all tonight in hopes that some of you may take them to heart. Those of you who are feeling similarly buoyant and despondent by turns, please know that you are not alone. Even if you feel like you must be going mad, or the only one who feels like that, you must know that there are far more of us walking upon the planet now than ever before. Together we are here to create a new world. It is time for the crumbling and destruction of the old paradigm for real: Here and Now, in all the countries and continents of Gaia. The old ways of controlling people, resources and economies no longer work. We are collectively awakening, en masse. So the struggle, or rather battle, for freedom is raging strongly at this time.

From this battleground, the fires are burning. Eventually they will smolder, and then there will be ashes. From those hard won ashes, the Phoenix will rise. It’s happened before, countless times throughout our planet’s history. And it will soon happen again. The battle of the human soul is both personal and collective. If you feel like you are in the middle of a battle of some kind or other, that is correct: You absolutely are. So take the time, as much as you can, to rest. To find stillness and peace within. The more peaceful and joyful our experience while in the midst of all the chaos, the more we can each contribute to the whole. I do not advocate drowning yourself in substances which make you oblivious, not at all. Rather, it’s all about becoming evermore conscious. But warriors need to step back from the battle, in order to replenish. Every day.

Thank you for all that you are doing to help the world, the animals, and nature. Everything counts; no matter how small, it matters not. What matters is that you are contributing to the good, the positive. Keep forgiving yourself and everyone else, and shining your light.

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Election Eve musings

As I write this tonight, the United States presidential election is only a few short hours from being decided. By the time most of you read this post, we will know who will be taking the reins of this country’s government for the next four to eight years. This election cycle, begun by presidential hopefuls over a year ago, has been particularly painful to watch unfold. Painful for its lack of authenticity, and for the lack of any human whom could be considered a true leader to the end. It has been bitterly contentious to the extreme, and very tiresome.

Whoever wins the coveted title of Supreme Leader of the United States of America come 2017, I wish them much inner strength, fortitude and integrity for the difficult road ahead. Our country has seen bitter opposing sides on issues before, but never before have the problems that we face been so enormous and global in scope. Never before have the People of Earth been facing the possibility of world-wide catastrophe on the scale that we are now going forward into the future. The problems that we face, as Americans and as world citizens, are in fact so large and dangerous, that no one single human could possibly have the skill, courage, heart and intelligence to navigate them. So in essence, the person who next sits in the Oval office, although with considerable power, will not have the last say in regards to most of the situations they will be facing very soon.

Which leaves the rest of us, dear Readers. If you haven’t come to it quite yet, I am confident that you eventually will realize that the fate of Earth, our beloved home planet, and everything upon Her, including the humans, rests quite literally in our hands. All and each of us. Every single day, the decisions that we make, the thoughts we think, and the feelings in our hearts and souls determine what goes on in our world. This has always been true, but never more so than now. You don’t like what’s happening ‘out there’ in the world? Tired of people destroying the environment, of killing and hating one another? Tired of seeing people sleeping on the sidewalk as you pass by, like so much rubbish? Sick of animals being abused and slaughterd by the millions so humans can buy cheap hamburgers? Fed up with people lying, cheating, torturing, abusing and violating each other? The list goes on and on.

What can we do about it? First, it should be obvious to all but the most naïve, that electing yet another political pundit is NOT going to change the world for the better. That said, what can you do to change this world, to make it friendlier, cleaner, more sustainable, more safe? To reduce hatred, greed, power-grabbing, ignorance, ugliness? How can we make this world more equitable and fair for all people who live here, not just the ones with money and supposed power?

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The answers are perennial wisdom of the ages. We end hunger by feeding those who need to be fed. We end lying and greed with truth and generosity. We end war by becoming peaceful. We end disparity and smallness with equity and largess of spirit. We end hatred and fear, by finding love and peace inside ourselves, and sharing it with everyone we meet during the day. We recognize our common humanity rather than turning away in fear, shame, or disgust. We open our hearts in all the thousands of ways we can, and we embrace the simple fact that we are very fortunate to be alive, to simply breathe in air, to feel the sun. We become grateful for every single good thing in our lives, without exception.  This is how we change this world. We take full responsibility for our part in creating it, every single day. We care. We are kind.

The world will go on, without a doubt. Whether Clinton, Trump or Tinkerbell is sitting in the White House matters not nearly as much as what you, yes small, insignificant you, are thinking, feeling, and doing each day that you live. As you realize your true worth, your actual significance, and how much each and every human being matters, you will begin to grow up and become the person whom you aspire to be, no matter how old you are. It isn’t and never was, outside of you. The others are merely reflections of your soul. I am you and you are me and we really are all together, as John Lennon once wrote. We are in this together, and it is time to really, deeply understand this fact.

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So no matter who wins the presidential election on November 8th, rest assured that our work continues. Becoming truly Human is the real work of being alive. I see the Light that you are, whether you can see it or not, and I honor it.


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The Cruelest Holiday

There is a waning crescent moon outside my window tonight, reminding me that there is still a sliver of light within even the darkest night. Tonight is the eve of the rather ubiquitous Valentine’s day, a holiday that, more than any other which falls within the calendar year, serves to remind one of the folly and pain of love for those who are not currently in a hot relationship or happy with their partner.

Working inside my local and very mainstream American grocery store today, everywhere was decorated with products emblazoned with pink and red, while roses, chocolate covered strawberries, hearts, flowers, and every other kind of kitch imaginable to sell shoppers this holiday of love is on offer. Ugh. The whole thing made me want to run screaming away (as I do so often while working, but especially so today.) Another marketing extravaganza for the great American consumer society to lap up. And lap they do. In the cheese shop section of the store where I work, many slices of creamy, sexy (?) brie cheese were bought by couples, as well as many other delicacies for their lovemaking weekend of bliss. Now, before you, dear Readers, think I am just an old sourpuss for not thinking it is sweet or fun, please know that I understand all too well just how sensual and wonderous food and wine can be, especially in concert with other kinds of sex and romance on just such an occasion. Back to my original point, which is the pain and folly of romantic love for some of us humans walking around the planet this weekend.

For the handful of you who read this blog, a few may remember that when I started writing, I was living with my Danish love in the country of Denmark, a bit lonely for my homeland and friends, but in love nevertheless. That was back in 2012, which feels like ancient history by now. Fast forward four years, and here I am on Valentine’s day eve, with no lover to dip strawberries into whipped cream and drink champagne with, among other delights that I won’t go into but instead will leave up to your imagination. It has been a long time since I have written honestly about my personal life on this blog, since I decided that it seems more important to write about what is happening in the larger picture of Earth and humanity than my own small life and problems. But. Tonight I am indulging myself in a bit of emotional processing for my own sanity, and you are invited to either read along, or delete this blog post. Your choice, as always.

Love Day, once a year?

This evening at work, I heard a couple of co-workers’ stories in short form. One, a woman about my age and a New Yorker through and through, described her life as a series of interesting jobs, a failed marriage, leading to her life completely coming apart, a brief stay with her father in southern Florida, meeting a nice man, working with, then moving in with him, and one day about a year ago, getting on a plane with him and coming here to Denver, where they remain to this day. There was a lot in between the lines of her story that I intuited, which involved pain and suffering. Then I heard another story, by a man who started the same week as I, who told me that ten years ago he was on track to finish his degree for becoming a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), when suddenly out of nowhere, the financial aid woman told him he’d borrowed his limit of money for school, and cut him off. He had only 4 courses to go to finish his degree. Zap, just like that, there he was with a big debt, no degree and no CNA career ahead.

I am guessing that, were I to interview others who work at that big, highly corporate grocery store, I would find many more variations of the same theme: people who have gambled with their lives and mostly lost. It is a kind of land of broken dreams that I now find myself in, and I admit that I fit right in with the other lost and broken dreamers. I too have gambled with my life and lost, many times. In fact, I could make the case that I have mostly lost everything that mattered to me at one time or other. Sometimes I get very down about this fact, and feel like a real loser in this game we call Western Contemporary Society. I see others who look like they are winners, and I feel badly in comparison. Now, some of you, dear Readers, may want to tell me to just change my attitude and raise my self esteem and everything will be just fine. Well, maybe. On the other hand, when I look around and hear fellow travelers’ stories, I have to shake my head. There are many of us who have not ‘won’ in this game we are forced to play. Very often I have only wanted to escape, and somehow find another way to live that doesn’t involve winning and success in order to be happy. I have had glimpses into these other worlds, alternative lifestyles, or ‘off-the-grid” living situations. They seem nearly ideal to me, and I have wanted to be able to stay there for the duration. But never was I able to do that, something or someone always pulled me back into mainstream life again. So here I am, summoning my will strongly each day I have to go into that job, putting a smile on and asking folks if they want to sample some cheese. I am a cheese pusher now.

Tonight before I left work, I caught the last five minutes of the Republican debate in South Carolina. I heard three of the candidate hopefuls give their last pitch to the good old conservatives of that state, to try to convince them to vote for him in the primary election. Each one of those men said very similar things, and the gist of it was as follows: “I will be the man to help get our great country back to being great again, to having its values restored of one man and one woman marriage, of having God be our authority and not the government, to getting rid of Obamacare, to abolishing the IRS (granted this is not a bad idea), to keeping our enemies afraid of us, and most of all, to once again being the most successful country in the world.” After each candidate spoke, there was a burst of applause as the audience obviously agreed and liked each man’s words. What I realized from hearing these speeches tonight, is that we are still very divided in the United States between the folks who want to keep things as they remember them being for much of their lives, and don’t like the idea of anything changing (this is obviously a very large topic), and the folks who are at the completely other end of the spectrum, like me, who are very much wanting things to change radically for the betterment of humankind, starting with better laws, much greater equality between classes, races and economic divides, more honest and progressive people making decisions for the rest of us, and of course, a lot greater protection for our environment and all the beings living here. For folks like me, the concept of “winning against our enemies” does not exist, it is about quite other issues entirely.

How can we humans possibly resolve the gaping split that divides us? How can we meet and agree upon the most pressing issues of our times, when half the population simply wants to pretend that we can keep doing business as usual, and even return to pre-catastrophic times here on planet Earth, just denying and not even being willing to see the state that the planet, the country, and many many many of the people are actually in? Just right now, on this rather depressing evening before Love Fest 2016, it is feeling slightly impossible. Then again, I recall my dear friend’s admonition to me: “We’ll do the possible today, and the Impossible tomorrow.” Tonight I can only say, We’ll see.


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Our lives are not our own

“This world spins from the same unseen forces that twist our hearts.” –Robert Frobisher, Cloud Atlas

It is once again the time of balance, at this Spring equinox. For a brief moment, the world seems to hover between day and night, dark and light, seen and unseen, known and unknown. We can only have glimpses into who we really are, so much greater than we can perceive through these small, fragile and often faulty bodies that house our souls. What is a human soul, if not a storehouse of experiences, emotions, ideas, memories, dreams and desires? We do not know our own immensity, our true divinity, nor our potential for harm or for good in the past, present and future. We are born, live and die to our flesh and blood countless times, for what end? Can any of us living on earth now give a definitive answer to the perennial questions that persist in our hearts and minds?

At this time of equinox, of balance, I once again ponder these thoughts. My life feels bigger, more enhanced these days. It is as if I am seeing through a larger, clearer lens, one that provides brighter colors and sharper intensity than before. Throughout the course of day and night I find myself running various film clips through my mind’s screen: from being a child to teenager, from standing in a forest somewhere in another country to walking with my children when they were no more than toddlers, to being in another world somewhere with people I do not know in this life. I often feel these days that I am walking through a waking dream more than anything I used to call reality. In point of fact, I no longer feel at all sure as to what constitutes ‘reality.’ And am realizing that I never knew what it was, I only believed that I did. As the lines between dreams and waking, this life and the former and the next continue to blur and the veil grows ever thinner, less and less of this matrix that passes for our real world seems real at all. We have all had collective amnesia for so long that most of us truly do not understand that all we see and experience around us is of the illusion, so powerfully do we believe in it.

During the past month, I have watched two films that I waited to see until I felt truly ready to experience them: The first Matrix movie, and Cloud Atlas. If you have seen them, you understand why they impacted me so deeply. If you haven’t, all I can really tell you is, these films deal with the human condition in profound ways, and touch nerves deep in the human psyche, heart and soul.

Your life can’t be measured in hours, you can’t measure the immeasurable. Your life is pure energy. You are endless, timeless. Every birth, every death is just a transaction of life forces. You are vast, you are the vastness of space. You are the beauty, you are the unknown.” Anita Krizzan

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Dear Readers, this world we are living in has become extraordinarily difficult for me to take. Everywhere, it seems, is in a kind of chaos– extreme polarization, environmental catastrophe, political upheaval, social disasters of every description, global weather off all former records and charts, and insanity seems to be running the show. And, as many of us who read such posts already guess, things are bound to get even more so for the foreseeable future. The problems mankind faces are by now so vast and feel so unstoppable, they are a runaway train with no driver, heading straight for the cliffs of oblivion. There are good reasons why films like the ones I mentioned, along with myriad others, depict an apocalyptic world run by those who have enslaved and genetically changed human beings: because we know and understand on some level that this is precisely what IS happening to humanity, right now, today. The food we eat, the beverages we drink, the air we breathe, the jobs so many of us have, what we do for entertainment and relief from the relentlessness of this world, all of it has by now been tampered with, manipulated, artificially created and very deliberately designed to keep the human species at a very low level of consciousness, basically in a sort of sleepwalking state. It has been this way for many years by now, but only in more recent ones have some of us been waking up to the awful truth.

For a long time (years, really) I was unable to see or to admit that humanity is being controlled. I guess you could say I had been taking the blue pill that makes one forget about what is really happening. Now that I have awakened from that amnesiatic state, I can never return. Nor can anyone who awakens, which I realize is the whole point. Perhaps if enough of us awaken, we can begin to turn the train around and set it on another track before it goes over the edge into the abyss. It is a truly frightening thought that we humans have the power to destroy our planet to the point of utter desolation. Yet we not only have that power, but through our collective ignorance and denial, we are doing it. What will it be like in California once there is no water there for the people to freely use? Once the Megacities are in full swing, ten or twenty times larger than they are now? Once many coastal regions are underwater? Once the Arctic ice is completely gone? I do not have answers for any of this, I only know that it will be a very different world to live in than at this moment.

“Belief, like fear or love, is a force to be understood as we understand the theory of relativity, and principles of uncertainty. Phenomena that determine the course of our lives. Yesterday, my life was headed in one direction. Today, it is headed in another. Yesterday, I believe I would never have done what I did today. These forces that often remake time and space, they can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born, and continue after we perish. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment, at each point of intersection, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction.” Isaac Sachs, Cloud Atlas

I used to believe that my life and my little problems and dramas mattered more than anything else. When you are in the middle of it, of course they do matter, terribly much. And yet. These days I am taking a higher perspective, as I realize more profoundly that it is not just my life anymore, and it never was. It is OUR life, our collective life as humanity upon Earth, that truly matters. If I go down, you go with me. If you perish, I too will die. We can no longer afford the illusion of separation under which we have been living for so very long. We are ONE body, ONE heart, ONE being, we are connected in ways we cannot fathom nor understand with our limited human capacities. It is only by growing new capacities, by evolving into greater beings than we have let ourselves be, that we will gain this understanding of the truth. It is a truth that has been taught by the Wise Ones of all eras and cultures, nothing new. Yet it is needed now in our times like never before. Love is the Great Truth and Reality. It is the only thing that actually matters, that gives meaning and purpose to our lives. The evidence of what a loveless world is like is all around us. The time for a world based on Love is NOW.

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Heartbreak, Loss and Resilience

Heartbreak begins the moment we are asked to let go but cannot, in other words, it colors and inhabits and magnifies each and every day; heartbreak is not a visitation, but a path that human beings follow through even the most average life. Heartbreak is our indication of sincerity… Heartbreak is the beautifully helpless side of love and affection and is just as much an essence and emblem of care as the spiritual athlete’s quick but abstract ability to let go. Heartbreak has its own way of inhabiting time and its own beautiful and trying patience in coming and going.  — David Whyte, via makebelieveboutique.com/2013/12/20/7881/
Hello again dear Bloggers. It has been long since I have felt like sharing here. Now, on these last days of this eventful year, I wish to share my story, what is in my heart.

The past few months have been difficult and heartbreaking. During this time, I have left my life in Denmark, and returned to the United States. At one point I thought that I was ready for this change, and felt strong in my decision. But, as always, Life has had its way with me. Life has once again brought me to my knees, leaving me begging for mercy. There have been intense lifeshocks during this period, bringing a kind of pain to my heart and soul which I had yet to experience until now.

The end of 2013 is not only the end of this particular year, but also the culmination of the past four years of my life. The relationship with my beloved Danish man is at an end now. These are not easy words to write, and I have even been afraid to write them until today. I realize just how afraid I have been to let go of the life I built with him, and yet it was time to let go for us both. By taking the giant leap of faith across an unfathomable abyss this autumn, I freed us both.

The letting go has been more excruciating than I have words to describe, dear Readers. Some kinds of love are truly a kind of madness that takes over one’s soul utterly. And when it ends, one is left gasping for breath, crumpled in a heap on the floor, the doors to the heart completely opened through searing, white pain. It is as if the Creator himself opened His Great Oven and led me gently inside, to burn away all the dross of my human soul, leaving only the gold and silver behind. Salty streams of tears have flowed and flowed, helping the purification process along.

walking-away-rosesThis heartbreak flu has lasted for three days and nights. It leaves me empty, hollow, feeling half-dead.

Pain has a peculiar way of disciplining a soul; it is impossible to hide from it so all one can really do is give into its strange power. Surely I will recover from this, I tell myself. In time I will regain strength, find courage, and move on with my life. Just now, in the eye of the needle, all feels lost. Yet I trust and have faith that I will come out the other side of this time stronger, more compassionate, and more golden than before.

This world is a terrible, beautiful, terrifying place. There are moments in every life when no matter what you try, Life will lay you low. Life will beat you into submission, it will throw you into the air like a toy, and you will come smashing down to the ground. It is unavoidable, this thrashing of us by the Gods. All for our own good, of course. As much as I have faith in God, in Life, in the angelic realms to help, I also know this to be true. You cannot be a human soul in body without experiencing intense pain in your life sometimes. No matter whose life, no matter what the storyline. No one is immune to heartbreak here.

Today I look back on this year full of experiences, some happy and joyful, some dark and somber. I cannot help but be grateful for it all, for of course I have grown tremendously through all of it. I would not choose to experience such intense pain as have been the past three days, yet my writing to you now proves my resilience. I am still here. The new year is nearly upon us, a blank slate not yet written upon. I have become a bit wiser this year, enough to understand that no matter what we may wish to write into creation, Life will give us all things, people, situations to deal with as best as we can. The most important thing is to be very real with ourselves and with everybody else. To see Reality every day.

Dear Readers, I sincerely wish each one of you a blessed New Year. May you have the strength and courage you need to face your life each day. May you have all that you need for your lives to work well. May you grow in wisdom and compassion in the coming year. And may you find resilience within your soul, as you continue on your journey. Namaste to you all.

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Moving through this transitory life

‘What does the world mean to you if you can’t trust it to go on shining when you’re not there?’ –Mary Oliver

It is nearly the autumnal equinox again. Every September the same feeling comes over me, of completion, balance, endings… which invariably lead to new beginnings. I have always embraced this season as the true ending of the yearly cycle, for the signs are everywhere and unmistakable: changing and dying leaves, the last of summer’s flowers, the harvest of the whole growing season. Another year at is end, and before too long the cold will set in, first at night, and then the days will become cooler until finally winter will again settle upon the earth and we humans will enter a new cycle of time.

autumn-leaves-waterWhat is Time, actually? More and more I ponder this question, dear Readers. Is not Time simply a human construct, designed to mark out our lives into manageable bites for easier digestibility? Yes, we all know the sun rises each morning and sets each evening, that winter turns to spring, turns to summer, turns to autumn, and again to winter. We observe each other and ourselves changing through the seasons of our lives, children grow up, we grow old, decay and death arrive eventually. And yet. On another, more profound level, this life we find ourselves in is such an illusion. It may sound like a tired cliché, but mean it very seriously. Here’s an example:

You meet up with an old friend whom you have not seen for some years. At first glance, he appears older, a bit different in appearance than the last time you saw him. Once you get over the initial shock, however, and settle into conversation, the joy and delight of being in this friend’s company touches you deeply. At some point you realize that it is as if no time at all has passed since you were last together in such a way, and he is just as you remembered him.

In reality, we are constantly shifting between past, present and future as we journey through our lives. When we are quiet and still, it is easy to find oneself back in time to a pleasant day, maybe, or even a difficult one. With not too much effort, our imagination fills in all the details; the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and even touch of another moment in time. Conversely, it is not too hard to imagine a future time we will experience, and fill in all the details of the event.

“Look, I want to love this world as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get to be alive and know it.” –Mary Oliver

More and more, I feel I am watching myself walking through my life as an observer, a watcher. So who is this Watcher who is watching me living? It is a big question, one of the mysteries of being a human being on Earth. We all realize how fleeting, how transitory this life is, how quickly it flies away. This knowledge can help make us more tuned into the present moment, even as we know it is like water through our fingers. The river of life flows, it cannot do anything else.

My personal journey during this last year has been quite poignant, dear Readers. I have been blessed with some very wonderful days, and have also suffered a lot through some very dark ones. Now as the season comes to the balance point, I will shift again. This time my travels will take me back to my family and friends in the United States. I have just finished my teaching at the little school where I have been for the past year. Another bittersweet ending, as I realize how fond I became of those children and adults with whom I worked. Some asked me if I was returning to them, to which I honestly replied, ‘I believe so, but one never knows in life.’ This life is a constant turning, transitioning, growing, dying back, and growing anew process. How can any of us know what is to come in future days? We cannot. Not one of us knows for certain what will happen next. We can expect certain things, and hope for more, or fear for others, but to really Know What Is to Come– that is simply impossible.

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Some of you might remember this old American spiritual song. I offer it to you today, in the spirit of exploration and the times we are living in. May these times prove to be filled with blessings and miracles, as we each continue on our journey toward a more peace-filled and beautiful world. Namaste, Leigh


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Inspiration at the crossroads

Happy September, Dear Readers! There is just something about the thought of September, a combination of longing and desire, that deserves recognition. The summer is past, the winter still a distance away, but September signifies change…. wind…. colors…… beautiful light…. a turning point.

Where do you find inspiration, dear Readers? Perhaps you are one of the lucky humans who can find it the moment you step outside the door– or even within your own home. Or even within your own soul. But, if you are like me, it might take something a bit unusual, new or strange, to transport you to a place of feeling inspired. This summer was inspiring for me. I traveled in southern England for over five weeks, working on organic farms, experiencing the English people, countryside, history and natural beauty of that oddly familiar land for the first time in this life. The English charmed me through and through with their lovely voices, wonderful English expressions and mastery of my native language. To the English, things are ‘luvely’ ‘brilliant’ and they say ‘cheers’ a lot. They smile and love to laugh often, at themselves, each other and life in general. They aren’t afraid to wear bright, colorful clothing and smile at strangers. England may not be perfect, but it was perfectly wonderful to me as a first time visitor. I learned about the different English accents depending on what part of the country one comes from, and loved them all. The weather cooperated amazingly and unusually well, gracing me with hot days and warm evenings, so I really embraced the heat for the first time in a few years.

There are some incredibly ancient and wonderful trees in southern England.

There are some incredibly ancient and wonderful trees in southern England.

England was a blessing and very inspiring to me on many levels. Now I feel at a crossroads, both personally and collectively. It feels there are some big choices to be made directly ahead of us, even during this month of September. Depending on the direction we take, we will determine our future for years, and even centuries, to come. What kind of world do we wish to create, dear Readers? Words are easy enough to say, and to come up with catch phrases: Love, peace and happiness, and all of that. But. What do those words actually mean to each one of us?

How can my image of peace and happiness join with yours? Does it even need to? We throw words around unthinkingly every day. The reality of trying to make the people of the world get along with each other in a non-harmful way is something utterly HUGE in magnitude. How can we meet in the middle, at the core of our humanity? These are big questions which deserve our attention and deep consideration. Can we heal what is broken in our world if we are not healed ourselves from our own brokenness? Or can the broken parts of us act as a mechanism to break us OPEN to the heart of the world?

I was reading something recently where the author talked about finding one’s ‘edges’ in relation to healing. He explained that the edge is the place where the action is, where healing can take place, where change occurs. Looking at the news these days, it is undeniable that humanity stands at the edges of itself, at the limits of what we can stand for and what is life-giving or life-destroying. Yes we have been here before, but right now feels different in important ways. Look at England, for example. Cameron, the prime minister, was ready to say yes to going along with the United States and France’s wishes to begin an air bombing campaign in Syria. But. He changed his mind suddenly, and the reason he gave was ‘public opinion and outcry.’ In other words, The People spoke out loudly enough and said No More War, concerning this latest proposed atrocity, and the amazing part is, he listened. To me, that signifies a big change in the western world, away from Business As Usual and towards something else, something new, something having to do with Life and freedom. If Britain can make a momentous decision like this, after all the years, no, centuries, of propagating war and imperialism around the globe, then there is Hope for the rest of us: (read: the United States of America.) There IS another way to live in this world, and we who are reading these blogs and writing them and thinking about these things know it. We all KNOW things are changing. It is simply a question of time.

Ripple_effect_on_waterSince coming back to Denmark a few weeks ago, I have been unsure of how to continue with this blog. When I started it in January of 2012, my intention was to practice writing, and give voice to my thoughts, frustrations and inspirations of the world I found myself (in Denmark as a foreigner) and try to make sense of the craziness known as Life. Over the months, I have written about various subjects, and also shared articles I found interesting and that I thought you might also enjoy reading. Some of you have been following my blog quite devotedly for some time, and I am very happy and grateful to those of you who have done so. Still, this blog and my words are reaching a very small and limited group of humans, and considering the vast amount of bloggers alone currently writing and sharing their ideas and inspirations, my contribution feels like the tiniest pebble in a vast ocean.

Therefore, dear Readers, I will be taking time during the coming weeks to focus on just what it is that I wish to do with this blog, with my creative life, and also with the big changes I feel are just around the bend. I do not know if I will be posting much, if anything, for the next little while as I try to sort things out. As always, I encourage you all to hold to what is Good, True and Beautiful in your lives, in the world, and in each other, while all the time working to be courageous, to speak out from your hearts, to open up to people, to move beyond fear and aversion and anger, into the Light. It is here and available to us in every moment. All we ever need do is to reconnect.

With many blessings for your upcoming changing season, Leigh


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Life gives you what you need

“God doesn’t give you the people you want, He gives you the people you NEED, to help you , to hurt you , to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be…”– anonymous

Hello again, Dear Readers. This morning the sun is shining and the sky is blue overhead. There can be no denying that Spring has finally come to Denmark. Thank goodness.

Many thoughts are spinning around in my head today. I wish to try to write something cohesive but please bear with me if it comes out a bit of a mess. Guess my soul is in a process right now (is there ever a time when it isn’t?) If I had a life motto, it would be, Work in Progress.

Last night my husband and I watched a movie by the filmmaker Robert Altman, called Short Cuts. It was made twenty years ago. The story takes place around Los Angeles and Bakersfield, and is filled with many characters who are neurotic, dysfunctional, angry, lustful, bored, frustrated, and just trying to get by in this crazy life. There are stories within the larger story, and they are woven loosely together through their relationships to one another. There is much irony in this film, just as there is in life. It was a long story, three hours running. Within this time, we witness people living in the middle of modern life’s sicknesses and excesses, trying to cope with themselves and each other. All the large themes are present: love, jealousy, avarice, lust, deceit, vengeance, desperation, despair, death. People living lives of not so quiet desperation. We watch, helplessly, as the characters hurt one another, lying to each other and themselves, without much compassion. Few of them are innocent, and the one character who is blameless (the good wife and mother, played by Andie Macdowell) is rewarded by having her just-turning eight year old son get hit by a car, go into a coma, and die during the course of a couple of days. This film takes no prisoners, there is no redemption for these people; only the continuation (for most of them) of this endless, sometimes utterly senseless and absurd theatre we know as Life.

The film did what all good stories ought to do; it showed us ourselves in the rough, without gloss or soft lighting. Whatever else you can say about life in a human body, you can also say that, shortly put, we’ve got issues. We’ve ALL got them, there is no one walking the planet today who is immune. We are in turns small, scared, angry, frustrated, guilty, guilt-ridden, loving, sweet, selfish and selfless. We toil, endure endless drudgery and suffering of many fools, not the least of which is our own self. We suffer, and suffer some more. We make decisions out of need, desperation, and desire for relief. What helps, what heals?

Facing the trouble, whatever it is, is a help. Naming it, speaking it out loud, seeing that we are not, are never alone in it. No matter what the trouble is, no matter how ashamed or filled with pain and remorse we may be, we must remember that we are not alone, not the only one with that heartache. On the contrary, there are many others with that same wound, carrying that same pain as us. Rilke once wrote that ‘perhaps all the dragons of our lives are simply princesses who are waiting for us to see them for who they truly are.’ My interpretation of his words is that even the most dark and terrible secret that a person can hold is something to help us learn how to love, how to become more human. The holes in the heart of one can and are healed by sharing them with another. It is painful to share these, yes. It takes time, maybe many years, for the healing to happen. But it CAN happen, it does happen, the miraculous thing is that by sharing one’s wound with others, instead of hiding it away, the wound can be cleansed, dressed, cared for, attended to, healing balm applied, sunshine and fresh air given it until it becomes smaller and smaller, and finally is gone.

We all want healing. We all have wounds and broken places. We are all of us singing over the lost bones of our lives, singing them alive again, calling them back into being. Yes we have lost our way and forgotten totally who we actually are and where we come from. Anyone looking around at the current state of the world will readily agree with that. The question is, are we lost forever? Will we continue sleepwalking through our lives, unwilling to feel or see that others’ pain is equal or perhaps greater than our own? Will we succumb to our own feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, letting the weight of life’s cares crush our spirits and smash any small sprouts of hope?

sometimes all you can do is laugh....

sometimes all you can do is laugh….

There is no one solution to this problem of living, but there are wise ones who have found some tools to help. I have a slip of paper (one of many) at my desk that states, “Practice looking at each situation in your life and forgiving everyone and everything throughout this lifetime, and most especially, yourself.” This is ongoing, daily practice. And it makes good sense, because if I cannot forgive myself for the messes I have made and the hurts I have given to others, then how can they ever forgive me? We are our own judge and jury in this life, ultimately. As in the Robert Altman film, each of us is walking about trying to keep our heads above the swirling waters of insanity which are all around us. How can we cope, unless we begin with self-forgiveness? And after that, forgiveness of everyone else, as difficult as that may seem, is really essential. We cannot possibly change this world into something kinder, more loving and peaceful, as long as each of us still carries hatred, greed and revenge around in our souls. In the movie, there is a woman blues singer who sings at a jazz club every evening. One of the songs she sings talks about being a ‘prisoner of life.’ You could say that this idea is the main underlying theme of this film. It is so easy to feel this way! I have, a thousand times over, and have felt quite justified in doing so. And yet. I am realizing more and more, that if I am life’s prisoner it is because I myself have been my own jailer. Realizing this makes finding the key to unlock the door much easier.

In the end, it is true that Life gives you what you need to grow and become a better, not a worse, human being. In the kitchen last night, after the intense experience of watching the three-hour long film, my husband and I spoke together. He mused, “I actually suffer much more than you do, however I carry my suffering with a lot of dignity.” I gazed at him a moment, and then replied, “Yes, you certainly do. You really have a lot of dignity, and it is one of your most beautiful qualities.” He was pleased to hear my words, and I meant them sincerely. Carrying one’s suffering with dignity is extremely important. So is the ability to laugh at the craziness of this life.

 


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Overwhelm, fatigue, wonder, pathos and melancholy

What a week. Nearly every day this week contained the potential for blog after blog to capture some of the impressions and musings from my small slice of our collective world. Yet night after night I found myself ‘flat out.’ with overwhelm, fatigue, wonder, exhaustion, and finally melancholy. Now I am telling myself, Enough, already, and am making myself write something to you, my blogger friends and family near and far.

What I am musing just now is something about passion and pathos, those intense emotional states which humans have capitalised on for as long as anyone can remember in order to create the greatest art and cultural works of our world. There has been much speculation these days about the changes that humanity is collectively going through as we spiral up the evolutionary road towards…. bliss? Nirvana? Everlasting happiness, paradise? It is difficult to even put words on what this new time is actually about, since we are heading straight into completely uncharted waters, evolutionarily speaking. monk-meditatingHowever, if we take the world’s greatest wisdom traditions as a guide, for example, the goal of zen buddhism is total enlightenment, or becoming awake, a fully conscious human being. Some of what I have been reading for months now, points to the idea that once we become truly aware of our divine nature, we will naturally live in a blissfulor paradisiacal state perpetually. I take this to mean it will be joy and light and grace everyday-in-everyway.… the archetypal image of harp-playing, angelic beings floating about in long, light robes, utterly benevolent, radiating only loving, joyful, happy Yes! Energy forevermore. Well, that is perhaps one variation of a theme… but you get the idea. In other words, in this newly minted world of Peace, Joy and Happiness, those old emotional states of passion, desire, melancholy, and pathos will simply be passé, a funny memory, relegated to the dusty tomes of yesteryear, forgotten and good riddance, right?

And yet. As an artist and lover of high art and culture, I cannot help but wonder how our human life will be without intense emotionalism, without the old depths from which such gloriously, magnificently, profoundly deep emotional artistry arises. If we are all walking or floating around the planet in a perpetual state of bliss and peacefulness, won’t it be a tiny bit, well, flat?

MonaLisa-closeup

Dear Readers, I know I am treading on thin ice with these thoughts tonight. Of COURSE we all want peace, love and happiness to be the soupe du jour forevermore, don’t we? We are sick and tired and exhausted and nearly dead from thousands of years and who knows how many lifetimes of strife, violence, hatred, greed, and other equally negative states of mind and being, andso we are now collectively saying, No more suffering and separation, thank you! We are ready for the peaceful, harp-playing, robe-wearing, ever-smiling, everlasting happiness world NOW!! Glory Hallelujah. And not a moment too soon.

Davids_Face-everypainterpaintshimselfAcross the world of Great Cultural Achievement, it only takes a moment of reflection to see that without pathos, the world’s greatest artworks would be seriously hampered. If we only had art (including visual, music, poetry and verse, dance and drama) that reflected happiness and joy, I believe our cultural heritage would be extremely less rich and beautiful. One could use the analogy of eternal summer and daylight, a world without the mystery and depth which belongs to evening, nighttime, winter.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. Perhaps life without passion, darkness, suffering and pain would create the most fabulous works of cultural achievement so rich, so incredible that we cannot now even begin to fathom such a world. Perhaps the future world of peaceful happiness will produce works that will make Beethoven and Michelangelo seem like child’s play in comparison. It is impossible to fully imagine what a non-suffering human world would look like, since no one alive on Earth has the faintest recollection of such a world. All we have to try to grasp it is fragments in ancient stories, such as the garden of Eden in Genesis’s account of our first, paradisiacal world. Not too much to go on.

Okay, I admit it: I am a died-in-the-wool melancholic to my soul’s depths. I can no more imagine living in perpetual sunshine and roses than I can imagine living without breathing the air. For those of us who live with sorrow as easily as with joy, a future without the shade, the dark, the depths, seems nearly impossible to fathom. I feel like a traitor even uttering these forbidden thoughts tonight, dear Readers, since so many of you seem so Up With JOY! And I hate to disappoint any of you with even the slightest hint of anything less than. And yet. I am musing as sincerely as I can about this, because it concerns me deeply. What is this fifth dimensional life really about, is it about letting go of emotionalism altogether? And if so, what would humanity be like without it? No more highs or lows, simply a constant state of Om?

I will end this little musing-rant tonight with some wiser words, from the great poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. He was a person of great sensitivity and insight, a true artist and believer in truth, love and humanity. He wrote, “How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples – those myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses. Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses, only waiting to see us, once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible in our lives is, in its deepest being, something helpless, that wants help from us.”

and, “So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever known, if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadow passes over your hands and over all that you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall.”


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Musings of 11-11

Eleven. The number, according to numerology, of the master. There is something very elegant about it, the ones standing so near to each other, combining to make something much more powerful than one alone or even the number two. The eleventh of November, the eleventh month. Remembrance day, Armistice day, then Veterans day. A gateway to something else. Yes, a way to remember, and to move on.

This past week has been significant in ways large and subtle, both in the world at large, with the U.S. Election, and various shiftings and sortings of the rich and powerful, as well as the shifts and sortings of individuals on profound energetic levels. Tonight I am bone-tired from it all, but still wanted to write something to let you who are reading that I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet, only have taken a breather from blogging to simply be, observe and ponder the curiosities and wonders of this thing we call life.

This afternoon I stood in an old graveyard in an old city here in Sjaelland called Roskilde. There were gravestones from Beethoven’s day there, and an enormous, ancient tree trunk which had been carved into a kind of strange musical instrument, interesting and beautiful. The living trees were even more so, most have nearly lost all their leaves by now, with the exception of some graceful, big birches which were still covered in golden leaves for a little while longer, not quite ready to give them all up to the inevitable. I stood silently observing the bare trees outlined against the late afternoon sky, noticing the pink and golden clouds against the cerulean sky. Winter is coming, the scene was saying, it is nearly here. Cold winds and rain, followed by ice and snow, the sky will change and the days grow shorter until the Winter solstice arrives in all of its dark glory. It has been a melancholic day, dear Readers.

Some days call for ingenuity and cleverness, some days for laughter and silliness, some for solitude and quiet, some for friends and family near. Sometimes we feel wise and happy, sometimes dumb and ridiculous. This life is so full and rich with experience, learning, coming together and falling apart…. though there are consistent themes and threads, a steady routine and kind of predictability, at the same time there are surprises, new things happening, and unexpected moments which keep life interesting and worth pondering. There are wonders all around us all the time, but we simply cannot always see them or feel them depending on our mood and the color of the day. The best I can offer tonight, from my own experience, is to say yes to it all, to allow all of it to move through you like the clouds move over the landscape, to, as deeply as possible, take it all in, and then let it go. Nothing here, it seems, is permanent: not even the most deeply held beliefs, no one, nothing and no place, ultimately, lasts on this planet. We are continuously spinning around in space, whether we choose to notice it or not. The ground is not as solid as it seems, time is more fluid than we think, and space is still a vast mystery which we have yet to understand. What can we do, except yell when we need to, whisper when we ought, kiss our beloveds, hold all others with regard, and most of all, recognize our own beauty and worth, despite our flaws and transgressions, and forgive it all, love it all, and remember to breathe.

I wish you all a good week of living, loving and growing.

“Tell me of despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile, the world goes on.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over, announcing your place in the family of things.
  — Mary Oliver