Loving Darkness, Sharing Light


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

Heart of Gold


“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!

An Enduring Connection


I opened the old book you gifted me and found a flower inserted into the page.
Instantly, I could recall the moment of this gift, and the meaning behind the poem excerpt scribbled in its title page:

Camerado, I give you my hand! 
I give you my love more precious than money, 
I give you myself before preaching or law; 
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? 
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
(excerpt, Song of the Open Road, Walt Whitman)
You see, there was an innocence to the love of a friend that, at that tender time, went beyond romance and eros. The love had a pure quality of a sisterhood, but it was deeper than blood and genetics. It was a chosen one, and will always symbolize the truth of loving to me.
At that time in my life, I was ever pursuing the romantic. I wanted something I didn’t understand, something that my imagination created out of novels and poetry.
In reality, it was something I knew nothing about, and in retrospect, would have been better off to have left alone. Now, I see only the sadness those pursuits brought me.
However, I am still touched deeply by the youthful innocence of the love of my friend, and of the many things we shared.
Tonight, I revisited the old book and photos of our days of exploration. I had done a series of photos of her in black and white that I would one day like to publish, along with the poems I wrote based on them.
Tonight I wrote a draft of the final poem in the series:
I keep returning
to the garden
long after it’s
fallen to dust.
And the stone statues
are smoothed by
Times constant hand.
Even the ghosts
can no longer
remember our laughter
or their own names.
I’ve lived too long,
too much time has passed,
and we no longer linger here.
We are but flecks of gold
in the eyes of the gods.
Loving on,
shining always,
somehere in
a mirror dimension
with no more ties
to the one
I now walk alone.
~JL ©

Friendship and Healing

“Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.”
Virginia Woolf

Today I was inspired again by another amazing person who has recently entered my life. This awesome soul was introduced to me because we share the same name. Now, that may happen often if your name is Sue or John, but when your name is Justina…well, that’s always something new. And then, after meeting and chatting with her, I discovered a kindred spirit! How rare and how perfectly lovely!

Justina 2.0 graced my world with a message today on the power of friendship, and how it sometimes saves us from things that seek to break us down. After the disasters and breakdowns, it’s such a miracle to have certain people in our lives that pick up our broken pieces and remind us what is right in the world.
I hope you all have the people in your life that keep your head above water. XO

For Justina

Sometimes the words of the world
are like knives in the darkness.
You’re bleeding out
faster than your own hands
can cover the wounds.

Here are a second set of hands.
Please, I’m not using them,
and I only want to hold you together.
No, the blood won’t stain,
and the darkness doesn’t scare me.

Come closer, look and see:
some words can mend what is torn,
some actions can take away pain,
and the light of friendship
will indeed dispel this darkness.


Understanding Our Light

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

This morning I awoke to a very lovely message from a friend. It’s content reminded me of the importance of being open and loving to the people in our lives while we can. She very lovingly told me of the way I had influenced her life in the brief time we have known one another. Then, she proceeded to say this:

“Eulogies are for the living. If we love people, we shouldn’t wait until they are dead to express it. That is much of the cause of our deep grieving, I believe. It is always sad when someone leaves us, but if we know we expressed our love fully to them, the loss is not so wrenching.”

All of her thoughts this morning touched my heart, but this truly hit home.
And I thought: We are the light of the world. We are here to share that light.
How can we best do that? Perhaps the best way is by being the most genuine we can be, no matter what the circumstances. If we love someone, we should tell them. If our lives have been guided by someone, acknowledge their help on the journey. If we learned a lesson from someone, even a painful one, perhaps we should thank them.
And try to be kind to one another. We have no idea what someone else is going through.

Understanding our light can be as easy as remembering the quote by Ram Dass:

“We’re all just walking each other home.”