Category Archives: Prose and Poetry

Privilege

What is privilege after all?
Is it something you own
or does it in fact own you?

Actually the privilege you have
exists only by comparison to someone else.
It is not otherwise a thing
in itself.

Yet we have somehow come
to consider it an important and
valuable aspect of who we are.

You may not brag about it
or consciously think you are
better because of it.

But stop for a moment.

Consider all the people and places
NOT on your wish list for trading
what you think you have.

Perhaps you aspire in some way
to "trade up" as it were - might
be difficult to find someone
interested in considering your offer.

So what to do with it?
If you are curious, I would offer that
you might learn to see through
whatever way in which you find yourself
privileged compared to others.

See through to where
you can acknowledge and appreciate
all the myriad ways in which you
and these others are the same

Perhaps slowly, carefully, not all at once,
allow some degree, of reveling
in the extraordinary sameness
you share with them.

This is called connection,
and connection trumps privilege
any day.

photo: linen bobbin lace figure
by Luba Krejči 1966

1 Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

A Sea Change

gave me the space to realize
we are currently at war
or very nearly there

Yet we continue to assume,
to blame, to ignore.
Hard to imagine in a time when
so much information is available
we choose (it really is a choice)
to assume, to blame, to ignore.

Friends and colleagues who are busy
with their lives,
Hard working people who are scraping by,
Young people disillusioned or disaffected
(as we all were at some point) realizing
fairytale endings rarely happen and
our history doesn't always make us proud.

All who feel to some degree
it's someone else's job
to clean up the mess.

I find myself searching for a sign to tell me
that everything is going to come out all right

And then I remember how young a species
we really are,
I imagine we are still fumbling in our youth,
not sure of our path ahead and what skills we will need
or what successes actually look like.

Which is why the sea changing
from calm to turbulent has led me
to this place of reflection

Anticipating that I am at risk if I attempt
to go into the sea by myself,
I need the help of others to make my way through
breaking waves amidst coral rocks

I cannot assume the return of calm,
I cannot blame the sea for being true to its nature,
I cannot ignore the crashing water and jagged rocks.

I cannot bring about a sea change.
But with more people around me
maybe together we can weather the change
and keep ourselves from going under.

Change is, after all, the nature of things.
Sea changes are just bigger and
require more of us to meet the challenge.

3 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

A Great Sadness and…

Like a wave that you don't see coming
or one that you expect to be less powerful
than it turns out to be,

A force that sends you rolling upside down
or pushed to your knees
leaves you wondering which way is up and
how to get yourself back to solid ground.

This is how I feel being pummeled
by wave after wave of media headlines and reporting
that seems to augur an impending, inescapable doom.

There is a wave of extremism seeking to
punish women, people of color, immigrants,
registered voters and so many others of us
who hold tight to a life in a democracy and 
who value the rule of law.

It is a denial of our shared humanity.

It is also, in fact, cruel and inhuman treatment
of the people with whom we share this planet.

It is a source of Great Sadness and...


It is also a Call to Action.

To remember that we have agency even when
we feel overwhelmed,

To remember that it is a minority in this country
that wish to control us in this way,
and we are MANY who stand against this wave.

We must be lifeguards for one another.

Working together we can do this.

7 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

The Color of Today





This day is a day
where the color of the sky 
and the bay are the same

It's a soft gray
where the edge of the sky blends
with the horizon line of the bay

It feels a bit upside down

As if I too could blend right in
and lose myself in 
the softness of this gray landscape

Would that be so bad?
To be held by the bay and the sky
in a liminal space?

Would that be so different really
from the space I occupy 
right now?

3 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

Trusting Intention

I've begun to appreciate
how my writing and my spoken word
both offer mirrors

I've had glimpses 
of this working, noticing
how intention finds a way to express itself

You may have had someone suggest that you
Trust the Process,
but suppose that trusting 
is itself the process?

I can have in my mind an idea of what 
I want to say or write and the more
I think about it, 
the more opaque it remains 

If instead I allow my attention
to drop down into my body,
I can simply be present
to the intention I hold

It is, however, a process that only works
when I trust that my intention is clear

Speaking and writing from
a place of intention reveals
the most meaningful representation 
of who we are

Trusting my intention can bring forth
words that mirror what's true for me

I suspect it may reveal what's true for you as well.  
 

2 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

Zen Moments

It's a wonder sometimes
how questions position themselves 
in my mind,
seeming to emerge 
from the depths of me

Am I seeking something
truer than the breath I draw
or the smell of a flower?
More real than the purring 
of a cat beneath my hand?

Perhaps the answer can be found
tucked inside the pages of a book,
years after having been put there.
Is it as true now as it seemed then?

Is it a measure of trust that
gives us the strength to stand 
and take the next step forward?

The answers are so much less important
than the questions, which are themselves
nothing more than 
whatever you need them to be.

Everything is of a moment.
The more appreciated moments you have,
the less you need to question,
the less you need to be seeking answers,
the more the answers will reveal themselves.

2 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

Inclining the Heart

A phrase captures my attention
and before I can register
the intention behind it

My mind carries it off
to places I didn't 
ask to go to

"Inclining the heart" is one such phrase.

I expect that my mind will make up a story
to embellish the phrase 
and yet I am convinced that this 
is not the mind's business.

Inclining the heart happens
when the whole body leans into,
pivoting to lend the weight of our core
to the task or issue at hand.

The mind just needs to quiet itself
and be present to what's happening.

Most important is that the heart
need only begin with a softening toward.
A full-court press is not required.
You needn't wait until all your
ducks are in alignment.

Turn toward and allow.
You can tell when this happens
because the chatter dissolves, 
along with the judgments, the stories 
and the what ifs.

They don't stay away forever.
And should they intrude and distract,
which they will,
claim your heart space as your center.

Take a deeper breath,
lean in 
and see what happens.

2 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

The Stories We Inhabit

We all have stories.
Some of them are true.
Many of them are real
but not necessarily true.

Taken together they make up
who we hold ourselves to be -
in the past, in anticipating the future,
and as we breathe in and out 
in this present moment.

These stories don't exist independently from us.
We are the ones who keep 
breathing life into them.

We are the ones who offer them power.
Oh these stories are such a burden.
Oh this story brings such guilt and shame.
Oh how to escape my past.
Oh why can't this be like it used to be.

Not all are dark and shadowed.
Some indeed are light and uplifting, 
but have you ever noticed how 
shadows often obscure the sun?

This question I would pose to you -
How might we meet these stories head on?
Do we invite them in to take a seat?
Do we let them hide in the closet 
and come out whenever they choose?

Naming them is a way to 
shift your perspective, 
create some distance and
make some space around the story.
 
You can acknowledge a story 
but set limits on when it can intrude 
and when it needs to back off.

This is more than a delicate dance. 
 It can be a way to interrupt the pattern
 of responding that keeps a story alive.

And if you don't quite understand
what I mean by "story" -
Well then, that's another story...
   


2 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry

Sweet Talk at COP27

If sweet talkin' be song
we are definitely livin' it
when we should be killin' it.
Really.

Here's how it goes...
"You know I care about you
I wouldn't do anything that
would hurt you, and besides,
you need me."

This is the song that the Fossil Fuel Industry
uses to keep us attached,
keep us dependent and
trusting of their so-called good will.

This is the song that an abuser 
uses to keep his victim
from rejecting the relationship.

We are all victims of these songs,
sung to us by the corporations
who are invested in coal,
oil and gas.

How do you break away from an abuser?

First you must stop believing he will realize
the damage he does and change.

Second you must accept you are
not responsible for the lies
and destructive actions he does.

Third you must seek help from others
who are aware of and share understanding
of the situation.

Fourth you must realize you have been
and will continue to be manipulated if
you do not end the relationship as it is now.

And most importantly remember
this is a situation where he has 
power over and nothing will change
until that changes.

This, sadly, describes our current relationship
with the Fossil Fuel Industry.

And if you didn't know, now you know. 

1 Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

At the Expense of Your Vote

We are truly living
in a time that challenges us
to find moments of calm

Sadly we find our focus is on 
issues that seem to grow big
and weigh us down

Our energy gravitates 
toward the divisions 
wrenching us apart

Country vs country, state vs state,  
community against community,
between family members 
around the kitchen table

Fear and anger have 
taken up the space
between people.

Give yourself over to the energy 
of anger and fear and you 
give away your power to a point
where you won't get it back

Beyond not getting it back
your power will be used against you
by others with more power

Remember that the ability to 
cast your vote and have it counted
is a Right in this country

A Right that we must hold with care 
or it will die at the hands of those who 
care nothing for your rights

Why is this so hard to understand?

**No photo here - you just need to VOTE!







2 Comments

Filed under Prose and Poetry