Respite

I watched quietly as the sun set and twilight blue kissed the golden tips of still warm trees.
I let it surround me; the cricket’s song, the azure glow, the falling away of the day.
I unclenched my hands and allowed my mask to slip lose from its tight grip on my face.
There beneath it, the unshed tears were free to flow and dry in the evening breeze.

~JL 2015

Loving Darkness, Sharing Light

HolmesMuseumRose

There are souls who
illuminate the darkness,
gilding its velvet hues
with rich, golden textures,
and azure accents.
Carving beauty
from the unknown.

~JL ©2015

Today is my birthday.

In my quiet life, I am always so amazed to wake up to a social media storm of well-wishes and many happy returns.
It humbles me.
I happily live in my own introvert bubble, and I lovingly create my own adventures and journeys that suit my whims. I live amongst books, movies, and my own writing and art. I occasionally step out for coffee dates, dinner meet-ups, visits, and the rare small gathering.
So when the universe grants me just a small peek at all of the lovely souls that surround me, I can only say thank you. I simply say a prayer of gratitude. Because we always forget that we touch lives everyday. No matter how quiet or reclusive we can be in our outer worlds, there are still ways that the tendrils of our souls reach out and make connections with others along the path.

I find that is the basis of why I write, and why I have decided to share what I write with others. I want to reach out of my safe place, and touch your hand, my dear readers. I want to communicate in the best way I know how; from my heart and using the voice of poetry. This is how I give back to all of the love I recieve. This is how I find beauty in the darkness and transform it into light.

I hope these offerings bring you something you need.
I love every one of you.

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
~John Keats

Journeying

IMG_0417Journeying
transitive verb
:
to travel over or through
~Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“To reach something good, it is useful to have gone astray.”
― Teresa of Ávila

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ernest Hemingway

What can be said
about the path we walk?
That it is forever
winding,
at times
confounding.
That it may
be covered in
flowers,
or shards of glass.

We may walk it
in solitude,
or with someone
we love,
or someone
we loathe.
We may find
peace
in the journey,
Or only
despair
in the process.

But we walk;
and sometimes
we become
aware.
Taking the
steps,
counting our
breaths.
In and out,
we smile
at the flowers
as well as the glass.

~JL©2015

 

 

I Needed a Doctor

Amelia-Pond2“He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And… he’s wonderful.”
-Paul Cornell, The Family of Blood, Doctor Who, S3 E9

The other day, in a time of sadness,  I found I needed to believe in magic again. I needed to find the child inside of myself that remembered the truth of Myth.
The world overwhelms me, tips me off the thin line of balance into darker places. I don’t judge these places; they have their purpose on this path. But I fell hard and fast, head first into the dark, and I needed a guide.

We all have our heroes. We all find solace or strength in symbols outside of ourselves. It’s not really magic. It’s not even really faith. It’s the power of myth, and the strength we all have to create our universe. It’s the work of the poets and the dreamers, the storytellers and the wise ones.

Stories help me realign myself. They allow me to take myself out of my own teeming brain to observe from the heart. It could be a good book, a tale told, or, in this case, an hour-long episode of a story about a being with two hearts who can’t help but save the human race every time we are hurtling toward disaster. Perfect.

My hero, that day, was the man in the blue box.

The stories of the Doctor have been charming us, teaching us, and healing us for over 50 years. There is an alchemy to these tales, transforming separateness into compassion. They are sometimes sad, scary, or touching, but always they are honest and from the heart.

Finding myself in a place of fear, I am reminded that fear is a natural reaction to change. In truth, we are always in flux, forever changing. In these darker moments, we have the gift of one another. We have our fierce will, our resilience, and our dreaming hearts. We can walk through the shadowed valley because we have the power within these hearts to overcome our fears.
My own heart beats steadily, animated by the thousands of stories I hold deep within its chambers. It moves me back into a place of balance, where I can be strong again for myself, and the people I love. It generates a hope that has me looking to the stars for the tiny light in the darkness.
As the Doctor tells us, “My experience is that there is, you know, surprisingly, always hope.”

Are you alone
and waiting?
Does the night
sit quietly beside you?
In your dreams,
did the star man
promise to return?
He may be
a little lost,
but he is coming.
You may wait
for oh so long,
but he’s your
greatest hope.
The universe
is vast
and perilous,
but the
madman in his box
is actually
looking for you.

Don’t give up hope.
Don’t put away
your childish things.
Even stories
have ways
to save us
in the end.

~JL©2015

Heart of Gold

IMG_0454

“I wanna live,
I wanna give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions I never give
That keep me searching
for a heart of gold.
And I’m getting old.”
~Neil Young, 1971

 

A long time ago, I asked myself, What kind of life do I want to live?
My answers have changed, evolved. Sometimes they have even fallen silent in depression or self-loathing.
But, always, they have come back to a core truth:
I want to live a life of service. I want to be a light in a dark place. I want to be a good friend, a loving person, and a smiling face to a stranger.

Everyday, we walk through a place that is thick with doubt, pain, suffering, and malice. We encounter destruction, abuse, ignorance, and want.
Becoming a tiny flame in the darkness may seem like a monumental task. I find I may struggle with identity, with finding stability, or with my own demons, but there is always in my heart a desire to bring light to those around me. It’s then I understand that it’s not monumental at all. It’s as easy as sharing a smile, hugging a friend, listening, staying open-hearted, and being present.
Also remembering that everyone carries invisible pains that we know nothing about. Treating everyone with respect and dignity allows us to open our hearts wider, and become more understand of those hidden places in someone else.

Last night, I spoke to a friend who was grieving the end of a relationship. We are an ocean apart, and I could not share a physical moment with her. But, instead, I listened, spoke honestly and from my heart, and I was present in her pain. It was as close to a hug as I could get. Later, as we spoke our farewells, she told me I had a heart of gold.
I could think of no higher compliment.

IMG_1741This afternoon, as I sat and prayed quietly by the Peace Pagoda in Grafton, NY,  I reflected on the last time I sat on that very rock. I had been asking for guidance, trying to understand the emptiness I had inside of me.
Today, the answer was as clear as the water reflecting the sky; I had been emptied to allow the dark places to be filled with light. A light to share. I hope to do this everyday with all that I am.

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

*Top Photo by Author
*Bottom Photo by Roseanne Amorose
(Please do not copy without permission. Thank you.)

Share the LOVE, kind readers! Tell me your tales of light!

In Between

fog

 

 

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.”
― Rumi

 

 

Somewhere,
between the shadow of night
and the light of dawn,
exists a place of
balance.
A doorway
into the beginning,
and a path
into the end,

A bird sings just as sweetly
at the sun’s coming
as it does
at the twilight of the day.
They are the gate-keepers
of the in between.
A harbinger of
the moment in balance.

Sit quietly
in that moment,
or walk the pathway
into the fading light.
Let bird-song
and shadows
take your awareness
to the places
that are most tender
in your heart,
and pour light
into your wounds.

Here, live the countries
of your imagination.
No longer a fairy tale
but a true place of knowing.
Your heart space,
a dimension in itself,
is present where the
azure shadow
meets the
golden light.

~JL©2015

sunrise

 

 

 

 

The Demon Tea Party, or Heart-Space Housecleaning

demonkiss2

Last night,
during the full moon,
my demons came calling,
awakening me from my slumber
ready for a tea party.
The trouble with demons,
no matter what messages they bring,
is that they refuse
to do the dishes
after consuming
all the cakes.

~JL©

 

When we lie awake examining the darkness inside of ourselves, it’s actually a way of taking stock of what we need to clear out of our hearts in order to facilitate growth. It’s messy, exhausting, and often painful to dig deep into the crevices of our hidden wounds.
Visiting demons bring messages that poke painfully into the tender places that we try to avoid. But their presence is a glaring reminder that we cannot hide from our wounds. We need to examine them, forgive them, forgive ourselves, and then move forward. Then they will begin to heal, and another space inside of our hearts will be opened to let in something new.

And did I mention, it’s not the easy path. It’s not the length of a simple sentence or the chapter of a book. It’s work. And it’s hard. But, for myself, I have never once regretted pulling open the doors, and letting the truth in my life… demons and all.

So, spring is a great time for cleaning house. I guess today I work on cleaning up after the tea party!

“Demons are like obedient dogs; they come when they are called.”
― Remy de Gourmont

 

(Kind Readers, please feel free to share your experiences with me! I would love to chat with you. Leave comments, write emails! I send you all my love.)

*Art post by Max Ernst
*Original poetry by Justina, please do not copy without asking.