Be Still and Listen

Rereading old posts in an attempt to spark a fire in my pen. The “you there” is all of us at one point or another. Writer heed thy words and heal thyself!

This Pedestrian Life

You there.

With camouflaged heart

armed sentries guarding the moat

you’ve filled with ten thousand tears.

You there.

Who seldom smile

lest the beauty of your wounded warrior soul

appear bare naked

in divining light.

You there.

Of weary spirit

driftwood memories

smoldering in desert sands

searing the soles

of one soldiering on.

You there.

Of passionless daydreams

suicide steering

into doldrums of doom.

You there.

Choking on melancholic bile

despair’s aroma

layered yet upon tufts of hopes.

You there.

Simply be still.

Take care and listen

as the cicadas hum

the soulful song of your rebirth.

Listen

as the hummingbird’s Lilliputian wings

break the silence of your dark night

into glistening shards

and harken you back

to journeys of joy.

Listen

as the rushing river

smooths the jagged edges of acerbic days.

Listen

as a choir of wolves

howl a fierce “new day” song

and devour your sorrows farewell.

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What It Means To Love Without Conditions

The very moment you become a parent your heart cracks open.

It’s not just a Lilliputian hairline crack, but a canyonesque fissure, through which your child enters, through which he/she will travel all the days of your life.

You will carry your child and their heart with superhero stamina and strength, never noticing the additional weight.

As he/she grows from playgrounds to proms your roles will be altered one hundred times and somewhere between band-aids and butterfly kisses and waiting up to make sure the midnight curfew is met, that fissure in your heart becomes filled with a mighty river that floods cyclically and nourishes the surrounding valleys, a powerful river that carries your child to lands near and far, to discover grand treasures and experience necessary tribulations.

On no particular day, your child will decide to try other modes of transportation and the flood gates will be opened. And just as you have during all the other days of their lives, your river of love will carry them out into the world.

With parent’s eyes you will ache and rejoice as they grow in knowledge and courage, as they take risks you’d advise against, as they succeed and fail, as they make decisions you disagree with, as they open your eyes and heart even wider to the greatest of gifts—unconditional love.

 

Peace and Love

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Because Cancer Sucks

Because my mother would die just 4 days later.

Because I’m still grieving.

Because life is fleeting.

Because there is someone that you need to call or visit and tell them that you love them.

Because cancer sucks!

https://thispedestrianlife.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/shell-be-alright/

 

Peace and Love

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Her Story

Her story ended 5 years ago tomorrow. Or did it?

I can still smell it, the aroma of it, in a Sunday pot roast slow cooking on my counter and also in the domestic union of fabric meeting hot metal as I iron a favorite linen shirt.

I can still feel it, the warmth of it, in a quilt the colors of spring, lovingly sewn by arthritic hands and also in the sunshine- like memories that my heart recalls.

I can still hear it, the playlist of it, when once youthfully ignored lessons emerge in my own mother voice and also in the beckoning ocean as she welcomes me home.

I can still taste it, the flavor of it, sliding from spoon to throat, as I spread Virginia apple butter on a sandwich of cheesy grilled comfort and also in the salty air that tingles my tongue.

I can still see it, the purity of it, in my grandchildren’s eyes as they fall in love with animals and life and also in the goddess smiles of women as they birth brand new hopes.

Her benign spirit departed its malignant body 5 years ago tomorrow but her story didn’t end.

It lives on in the auspicious cells of her children, her grands, and her greats and in all of those souls touched by the goodness of her heart.

Her life here ended 5 years ago tomorrow. But her story did not.

CRR

7-1-16

In loving memory of my mother❤

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Rain Prayer

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This poem is an adaptation of one that I originally wrote in May of this year titled “Let It Rain”. This second version was sadly born of the recent Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando, Florida, a town I grew up in and live near today. Like millions of others around the world I’ve been reeling with emotions regarding the horrifying event. To deal with those emotions I felt compelled to write and started several different essays, eventually tearing each one up, feeling my words could never say enough to do justice to or pay tribute to the 49 beautiful souls gunned down and the 53 others injured by hate. Days passed and then while sitting in my home office listening to the “pulsing”  water as it hit my roof on a rainy afternoon, these words arrived. May they be heard by our hearts. May they be of benefit. Peace and Love.

Rain Prayer

Wash away

the choking sediment of hate

transported like pollen on incendiary winds,

the invisible film of separateness

coating traitorous hearts.

Rinse out

the marrow deep prejudices

the fear of that unknown, that foreign, that strange

those centuries old perceptions sewed into consciousness

by unconscious souls.

Cleanse us

of limiting ideologies

the unholy lies we tell ourselves

our selfish denial of interdependence

our staunch proclamations of “them” and “us”.

Flood

our hearts

that we might recognize the pulse of all humanity

as our own

and save our world.

 

CRR

6-28-16

 

 

 

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Advice From The Sun


Show up.

Every damn day.

Regardless of how many clouds get in your way or attempt to shadow your shine.

Ignore the thundering nay sayers who storm in noisily and proclaim their shock and awe light show to be superior.

Do what you were created to do.

Create the life that only you hold the power to.

Be of benefit to the world.

Burn bright.

Wear your colors proudly.

There is no substitute for you.

You’re one of a kind and without you

the world as we know it now

would cease to exist.

Show up.

Shine your light.

 

Peace & Love

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There Isn’t Even A Ceiling

We cultivate our history with each passing second, minute, hour and day. We’re the authors and creators of the tomes that future generations will read and hopefully learn from. Last night, on June 7th, 2016, a truly historic pinnacle was reached as Hillary Clinton became the very first female to secure the presidential nomination (Democratic) of a major political party in our country. At 68, she broke through the proverbial glass ceiling that women have dealt with since they began pursuing lives outside of their homes.

The title of this post came from an exercise I took part in at a Writing and The Body Workshop I attended in Portland, Oregon in March. It was hosted by two phenomenal women, authors Lidia Yuknavitch and Jennifer Pastiloff, and combined the practice of Yoga with writing. For myself and the 40 other women who participated, it was a life enriching experience we won’t ever forget. For this particular exercise, we daughters of Eve were asked to write one sentence to the women coming after us, to tell them what they need to know to survive. One of the attendees, (I can’t remember who) shared hers and said , “There isn’t even a ceiling.” It struck me then and I immediately wrote it down. Today, I was drawn to reread it and reflected on how serendipitous it was given that Hillary Clinton had just busted through a ceiling thought to have existed for so long.

As I write, I know there are a multitude of my sisters who could read this and disagree, maybe even comment angrily that there is most certainly a ceiling, one they’ve personally struggled against in the workplace, a seemingly unbreakable glass ceiling, above which no women have ever risen. The key word is “ever”. Until now. Had Hillary thought there was a ceiling she was determined to break or had she denied the existence of one? Has it been there all along or did a certain faction of our population just want us to think it was there, as in perception is reality? If we believe it, we take part in creating it. My belief is that Hillary recognized the fact that some wanted that proverbial glass ceiling to be real, but she simply refused to let it deter her personal fight.

If we look at an obstacle and acknowledge its power to block us, we have lost the fight before the referee has blown the starting whistle. If we proceed on our path with intention towards whatever goal we’ve set for ourselves, if we acknowledge the obstacle but problem solve and deny it any power, we empower ourselves. When we fight hard for what we want, believing in our personal strength, we are creating a new order, a new normal, a new “herstory”where there is no ceiling. We are simultaneously giving birth to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hillary saw her prophecy fulfilled last night. Little girls around the world also saw and heard  it. And even if they have been raised in families that have promoted 110% gender equality from day 1 of their lives, until last night they’d never seen it played out at such a level. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of Hillary and are voting for her, this is a monumental achievement for all girls and women. I’ve always told the girls in my family and in my classes that with hard work they could do whatever they dreamt of doing. Over the past 30-40 years we’ve witnessed large numbers of  women break down proverbial barriers and enter professions formerly considered by our mainstream American society and culture as befitting only males, but there is still much work to do in terms of workplace and gender equality.

Of course it’s not over till it’s over, but as of last night little girls now have real proof that it’s truly possible for a female to rise to the highest office in the government of the largest democracy in the world. Hopefully on the second Wednesday in November of this year, those little girls will wake up to find that this new possibility has become a new reality.

Peace and Love

 

PS- If you attended the workshop with me and are the author of “There isn’t even a ceiling, “please contact me so I can give you credit!

 

 

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Celebrate Now

Hubs and I were watching a recorded NCIS last night ( which is why I’m a few weeks late to the party, as usual) and Abby the quirky, sweetheart, forensic goddess was pitching her new movement, #LivingRocks. It’s about spreading love and appreciation to the people who make your life rock. It’s a movement to celebrate people while they’re still living, instead of waiting until their funeral to say wonderful things about them. It’s about telling everyone in your life what you appreciate about them, now, while you have the chance. In a split second, everything and everyone we’ve known and loved can be wiped out, leaving us battered, reeling and wishing we’d had more time to say things. There is no time better than right now to celebrate someone. No better time than now to stop and realize that living does rock and if we just open ourselves up and truly see others, we’ll see angels among us. We’ll see those whose kind words push the reset button on a craptastic day. We’ll see the friend who stops their work to help you find your car keys, so you can go home, probably way earlier than her. You’ll see the bagger at Publix who makes a concerted effort to make you smile before you leave. You’ll see the online friend who tells you your words touched their heart or moved their soul. You’ll see there are so many things about life that do rock, and so many people who help make it that way. You’ll see that no matter where you are or what level of life suckdom you’re experiencing right now, the secret to making it through the shitstorm is focusing on the good, no matter how minute it may be. You’ll get an acidic eyewash from hell if you keep focusing on the bad. And that shit hurts!

So let’s join Abby and celebrate people now. People that make us smile. People that simply come and hold our hand and say nothing when our loss is unspeakable. People that take the time to do things they don’t have to, just because it looks like someone needs it. People who make us laugh. People who give the best hugs. People who always have your back.

Today I celebrate my next door work neighbor Renee, who heard that I had lost my keys and came to help me find them. She walked me and talked me back to them when she had better things to do. Today I celebrate her selflessness.  

Join us! Look around and tell someone what you appreciate about them, how they help make living rock, because unfortunately they won’t be able to hear all your kind words and compliments at their funeral. #LivingRocks 
Peace and Love

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Let It Rain

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Not meant to be a doomsday diatribe, for there is goodness and beauty everywhere but…
It’s an election year here in the USA and the wildfires are burning. To turn on the television or read the day’s news online or in print is to witness a drought of historic proportions. Our country is thirsting for civility, sanity and common sense. And that’s just the beginning of the list. Our world (excluding the likes of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram,the Taliban, etc.) is thirsting for peace and bands of brothers and sisters on every continent cry out in fellowship against the ever present threat of terror and the suffering of so many innocent souls in so many places. Our entire planet thirsts for balance as we contaminate and alter the very molecules that sustain us.

What we desperately need now is a good rain, which my Cherokee ancestors believed, not only offered sustenance and growth, but brought good spirits to cleanse away the evil ones. The falling rain was believed to contain the spirits of past tribal chiefs, who would battle the evil spirits in the transitional plane between our reality and the spirit world. Today I call upon all those good spirits who have gone before to assist us as we each work in our own corner of the world to effect positive, life affirming change, to make it rain.

Let It Rain

Wash away the choking sediment of hate
transported like pollen on incendiary winds.
Rinse off the invisible film of separateness,
corrosive, under its cloak of comfort.
Cleanse us of the binding fear of the foreign,
the unknown, the strange.
Expunge our ancient perceptions,
the marrow deep prejudices,
the unconscious shame.
Bathe our limiting ideologies,
the unholy lies we tell ourselves,
our destructively selfish pride.
Allow the elemental union of earth and water
to birth the petrichor
that fills our lungs with newborn hope,
yet unspoiled by tainted histories,
endless possibilities,
the scent of a virgin world
emanating from the soil.

The ash covered soul of humanity
cries out for these.
May it be.
Let it rain.

CRR
5-14-16

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Shine

  
Peace and Love

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