Author Archives: Carol Capper

Deep Down Time

Today I appreciate having some

Deep Down Time

to explore the richness underneath

where I can live through the space

in between my thoughts

I find a fertile ground where

thoughts and words emerge

like a giving back

after all that’s been taken in

and tended to like a gardener would

Though I can never be sure

exactly what will spring forth where

and am always surprised when

some volunteers show up

What comes might wrap itself into a poem

or provide an intention for the rest of the day

or a project for the days ahead

What I know for certain is that

my connection in these moments

feels true and whole

Not a searching or imagining but

a grounded sense of the path I’m on

even when the outcome isn’t sure

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

In These Times

Today we are all preoccupied with 

The Before Times

Hoping to get transported back there

Wherever there might be

Some of us are even longing for 

The Far Back Times

Of course those memories are often 

based on hearsay

We are in fact still in The Pandemic Times

though seeming to work our way out

And then there’s the continuing

Racial Injustice Times

And also the Burning Times leading to the 

Misogynistic Times

And now The Climate Crisis And Time of

The Sixth Extinction 

We don’t have Time to be longing for the

Far Back Times or even

The Before Times

What we must do is see where we are now

And choose what we want our

Next Time to be

As individual souls

And soulful communities

And soul searching societies

Our Time is here

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

Whiteness Undone

Whiteness is a power source

It’s a category we don’t choose but emerge into

A label that separates as it was designed to do

and blinds many of us to the harm it does.

What does it mean to unplug ourselves from whiteness?

Is it possible for each of us on our own to do this

or undo this as it were?

Seems either we assume whiteness is simply The Reality

or we fear losing Power if we turn away from its legacy.

What I wonder most is not so much

how we choose our way out of whiteness

It’s instead the why of it that worries me

Business as usual is a comfortable route

and keeps our focus narrow on the day to day

We need the bigger picture

the one that shows us that you can’t just be anti racist

you can’t just pretend that white supremacy doesn’t apply to you

you can’t think you way out of whiteness

It’s history that’s grounded you in this

and history that’s been rewritten to make you believe

you are who you think you are.

Who would you be if you were not white?

Perhaps you could be just this body that

descended from ancestors carrying their storied history,

born out of a lineage that survived and thrived

by helping each other along the way.

You can be one among a community of others.

It can be community that holds you to the task

that keeps the ground from caving in

that allows the spreading of new growth

coming into the spring of whiteness undone.

Imagine being held in such a community

and remember this

so you can recognize it when it happens.

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

Winter Pause

I found myself pausing in the middle of this day

deciding what to do next

And realized that pausing is not something

I generally do

at least not in this way

‘Generally’ means moving from one thing to another

not stopping to look around

or think about what I want to do

There have been years of going and doing

This, however, is the year of slowing and stopping

imposed by a pandemic

on top of aging, cancer and the

slipping of the Polar Vortex

I imagine this is enough to allow a pause,

to welcome a surge of gratitude for this life

unfolding as it is

before taking the next step 

into the next moment

and the tomorrow after that

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

Clarity and Distraction

Reassuring to sit in meditation and have 

the lens of your mind clear

Not that it happens every time

But today Clarity stepped out

and showed Distraction to the door

Have you met Distraction?

A rather jumpy character she is,

not wanting to settle in one place 

or stay quiet for very long

She also gives more energy to some

rather than others, making them seem

more serious or dangerous or true

When they are not

But when the rush of life is carrying you

it’s so tempting not to pause and really

look at what Distraction is offering

Clarity on the other hand is like 

the knife that cuts down to the core,

exposing what one’s true intention 

can be

She shows you the simplicity of it all,

making it possible for you to simply

rest in what is

Clarity doesn’t give you the answers –

just the focus you need to find them.

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

More White on White

Letting go of whiteness

means letting go our identity

Maybe not all of who we are

Just the ground on which we stand

We might have to experience

being groundless for a while

Until we see and feel

Who we really are underneath

all that default whiteness

After all this identifying as white

is in our cells

Is in the air we breathe

from the time we’re born 

Hell – even before that!

So it’s going to take 

a kind of rebirth

Not simply a relearning

It won’t be easy going

It will require effort and

supporting one another

to remove this cloak of whiteness 

and reveal who we truly are

Hoping all the while

that we can love what we find underneath.

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

White on White

I searched for poems by white  poets 

on the subject of racism

To close a gathering of white folks who met to talk about race

I found none

All that I found were by Black poets and they were

Tremendously Powerful and Evocative

Why are white folks not expressing such

emotion about our commitment to undo racism

Are we not really committed

Are we expecting Black folks to do all the work

As if racism was their problem and 

They are the ones needing to solve it

Is this another case of having drunk the Koolaid? 

We who identify as white

just don’t see the racism we support

And benefit from 

Every moment 

Of every day

Day 

After day 

After day

We are the ones

who must do the work

and write the poems

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

Haiku in the Time of Pandemic

Raindrop sounds strike glass
Outside stillness painted gray
Daffodils bow down


Spring arrives on time
Pandemic spread continues
Housebound all are now


Colored masks appear
Smiles hidden from my view
Passing eyes connect


Tiny sparrow sounds
Hidden in the leafless bush
See me walking by


Wailing ambulance
Chases virus laden souls
Fearful of their lives


Bodies stacked in trucks
Out of reach of families
Mourning absent lives

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Filed under Prose and Poetry

The New Normal?

We all have a sense of what is normal, generally in a way that is specific to our experience growing up. Normal is almost always based on past events and relationships. While we may assume that others share our idea of “normal,” as we navigate through life we find that our assumption isn’t quite accurate.

What then when we find that whatever is happening doesn’t fit our idea of Normal? (I’m thinking the word deserves a capital letter since it takes up a lot of space in our current and ongoing news cycle.) We either open to accept the difference into our concept of Normal or reject what doesn’t seem to fit. Of course, mostly the first encounter with an outlier doesn’t simply lead to an embrace – we are generally more skeptical than that. It can take repeated encounters with what’s new or different.

I believe that recognizing a new Normal also involves an attitude of acceptance. We may not like or appreciate the change to which we are adapting, but there is an attitude of taking in and acknowledging that leads us to say “OK, this is where we are now.”

Resistance on the other hand signals a push back often based on what we determine to be threatening to our current sense of Normal. Behind the “I don’t like this” is the fear of a serious challenge to our way of life or our beliefs. Sometimes that fear is real, sometimes not. However, if our emotional response leans into fear, the reality of anticipated threats may be irrelevant.

There are two aspects of our current lives that have earned the label “New Normal.” One is the attitude and behavior of the current president – which is very far out of sync with our previous expectations of what a president says or does. He has been able to create chaos and disruption, constantly capturing the news cycle with a daily barrage of tweets and challenges to the limits of his presidential powers. We have now come to expect this behavior from him as some kind of New Normal. What’s particularly interesting is that this change in expectations has less to do with policy issues than with personal issues. His agenda is personal but since it apparently allows members of his party to push through some of their issues, he has their support. Not to mention the fact that he also threatens and bullies them into remaining loyal to him.

The second New Normal has to do with the changes in climate that are a result of decades of fossil fuel use plus current agricultural methods, and dumping of trash and toxic waste into our water systems. Our dependence on nature’s systems has been ignored. The story we live by has become one largely based on an extractive relationship with natural resources and the environment. Alterations in weather patterns form just the tip of the (melting) iceberg resulting in climate events that are now viewed as the New Normal.

These ways in which our concept of Normal is being challenged don’t have to be accepted as the way things are now. We do have a choice when it comes to what we want our Normal to be moving forward. We can work together to create the New Normal that serves all of us. We can be the immune system that fights for a fair and just government and preserves a healthy planet. Starting now!

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Filed under Evolutionary Activism

Waiting for the Bell to Ring

This phrase came to me recently while sitting in a large room with many other meditation practitioners. Waiting for the bell to ring isn’t simply about sitting on a cushion but applies to pretty much everything we do every day. When you are not being present to what’s happening for you or around you right now, often your attention goes to anticipating what you expect to happen next – with the accompanying sense that what comes next will be better, more interesting, more fulfilling.

I believe there is a deeper issue hidden in this posture of waiting for the bell to ring or for the next moment to capture your attention. I want to understand how it inhibits us, not only from fully inhabiting the present moment, but also how it keeps us from action. Waiting is a practice that holds us back, keeps us from going forward. 

I’m thinking about how we respond to crises in our lives – individually and collectively. I need to know how it keeps us from responding to the biggest crisis affecting us and our planet. Waiting for what happens next is essentially inaction. This current and developing Climate Crisis requires us to do more than wait.

I have an image of the starting gate at a horse race. All animals and jockeys poised and ready for action, waiting for the sound that signals the start. The Climate Crisis, however, is not a horse race – if it were we could burst into action because we would know exactly what to do. We would know what was required of us. Instead we dither about on our cushions waiting for the bell to ring so we can legitimately offer our attention to the next passing thought. Perhaps we look around and see that others are doing the same – waiting for the bell to ring.

So how do we respond when we are not sure what to do – when the expectations are not clear? I believe first is to let go the idea that if those in power, in government, are not charging ahead then the Climate Crisis is not so urgent. Science and the experience of millions all around the world show the opposite is true. Warming oceans, more intense storms, increasing areas of drought and wildfires are all driven by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane that are released into the atmosphere to a greater degree by industrialized countries. We who live in those countries are accustomed to a way of life based on the use of fossil fuels. Our response has to be to change the way we live.

Making this change requires acknowledging that we all must do this together. This is a fact that we should find more comforting than scary. We can take individual steps, but it is collective action and speech that will shore up our courage and lead to the changes we need without leaving anyone behind. 

Do what you can do now without waiting for the bell to ring. That’s all. In reality there is no one at the front of the room holding the bell. It’s our inner knowing that something is terribly wrong that is actually the bell that is ringing loudly. Take a moment to listen deeply, and I’m sure you can hear it.

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Filed under Evolutionary Activism, Meditation