Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seeing You Through The Window

There is a delicacy in the grandeur.

A sun-shaft sweeps across the green face of the meadow.

It is brilliant gold and then is gone.

A smile rises behind the tear.


After the morning broke I rushed into the rain to tend to the straining crop of beauty that is embracing our home. After the work outside I walked into the cabin muddy and cold. I sit now at my desk with pink flowers blooming just outside.

The memory of last night trickles in rivulets off the glass. Suddenly I am not present. I remember our dinner together. Real for a moment is the anger sitting as a milky skim on the eyes of a child. The soup my wife lovingly prepared steams as it is pushed away by a child. A light of grief pulls my beloved’s gaze into her bowl. I watch, bent over and small, my trembling spoon sending ripples across my broth.

The wonder of her meal is salted with betrayals of gratitude. A dark seasoning came from many miles away to mist our food. I see it spread onto a young boys face. Sometimes I think he looks toward a future of being eternally right…and unhappy. Then he laughs with a face as bright as any star… and as sweet as any spring day. A shaft of sun comes for a moment. What do I know?


How do we breathe through this tension of life?


We take our stands, blocking the deflating punches of warfare kicked at each other beneath our beautiful table.

Blessed wife, there is your creation. I see your gift in the bowl of my soup. Here beside the meadow view…Field so fertile, I hear your roots reach deep and your leaves open wide even as the tractor is humming a song of destruction on the fence line. The barbed wire is taught and the boundaries of posts are strong. But I still am afraid.


Outside, our cat stalks the chickens as she dangles from the hell bent wire of their coop chattering with fanged teeth. I rush out of my mixed reverie to the aid of the perpetrator and the victims. The chickens peck blithely at their food not knowing that their death is only spared by the intervention of stones thrown and fences bent straight again. I am fierce and open as the sky at the same time.

The boy who bullies our house at night is at school now being bullied himself by ones he calls “friend”. For now this particular field is safe. In the distance I hear the clank of a tether-ball chain swinging back and forth on the play ground. The swell of children's voices rise and fall in the cool breeze. For now the world right here is safe. For now the world here is soft.

It is only morning.

The day is stretched out beyond the window pane, through the rolling cloud banks.

The sun is really not so far away at all.

My love, I wait for you at this window.

I see you.

I am here


Blessings to you in the places of refuge and grief.
Blessings to you in the places between.
Blessings to you in the sun and the rain.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Memorial of the Heart

"...The things you brought from home look back at you; out of place here
They take on a lonely power...

Slowly, a new world will open for you

The eyes of your heart, refined

By this desert time, will be free

To see and celebrate the new life
For which you sacrificed everything."
John O' Donohue
Excerpt from the Book
To Bless The Space Between Us pp. 109 -111

We were carrying the memorial stone for my Soul Friend J on the bow of the speeding boat. It was my last crossing from what was my sacred land. Half way across I asked my friend to stop the boat. We drifted in 70 feet of water. I reached for the fairy statue that held my grief for a love that was lost in the ordinary world. I reached to the winged girl and lifted her gently over the edge of the boat. I released her into the ocean. I watched her upward gaze and her wings swirling deep into the crystalline green of Burrows Bay.

In the past I would have clung to the statue as an emblem and touchstone... something "real", a symbol of a beautiful life that had now passed from this world. My heart now decided to let this concrete image of the spirit go. A gift now rests in a sandy meadow within of a kelp forest at the bottom of the sea.

I swear I heard the vibration of a hundred singing ancestors rise in the emerald shafts of sun. And the song sank right into my chest, where I hear it now. What lived surrounded by a hedge of salal and juniper and granite now is something more.

I think of the statue at rest on the ocean drawer. I smile and feel sad and happy all at once.

Blessed sister, thank you for your life that gave so much light in this world. You still sing. I hear you! The great ocean holds you dearly as it will hold us all. Thank you for joining the chorus in my heart. For now I say goodbye beloved friend.

I miss you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Dear reader:

May you meet the wonder of love and compassion behind all the solid forms of this world.

May you hear the song of the universe in your heart.


(c) Rick Sievers, 2010.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Burrows Island April 2010

Shamans have a technique that helps ensure that their entire soul returns to their body at the conclusion of a spirit journey. It's important to have safeguards. The other world can feel so unifying, so peaceful and so beautiful.

The wise soul traveler knows that the deeper they go into the beauty and refuge of spirit the easier it would be just to stay there... leaving the shell of the body behind. Yet the wise shaman knows that freedom also dwells deeply in the connection and even the commitments back in the ordinary world.

So the shaman comes back to their body after flying within the secrets of the universe. S/he comes back to share information, bring healing, reveal beauty or to carry soul parts.

I am no shaman. I'm an ordinary stumbling sensitive man. I have had the great privilege to witness a few rare people with real compassionate power. My gift of sensitivity has allowed me to go to dream worlds. But my frailties made it hard for me to return.

I faced the dilemma of coming home this week. I sold my sacred island land. Today is my final day as legal steward of a place that I actually felt safe and at peace in this world.

I ferried over on a shining silver boat to remove all my belongings. I packed up every tool and blanket and chair. I even took the memorials of my beloved J and my brother. As I was flying back to the mainland on my friend's boat I made a decision:

To come all the way back into this world
and face the realities here.

I also wanted to bring a story
of the earth's beauty back to my family,
and back to you.

The shaman's technique I alluded to earlier is simple. The shaman-spirit traveler has an assistant who whispers in their ear as they return from their soul journey. The assistant reminds the master of the ordinary experiences that bring joy and smiles in this life. These whispers could include things like chocolate cake or holding hands with a spouse or playing cards with the kids. The whisper could be describing an event of beauty like the rush of wild flowers in the cool spring wind.

I'm no master. I sought refuge on the island I called Avalon because I needed the medicine of wildness away from my fear of people. And now I release that particular dream. I come back for my family and friends. I come back to share with you about my journey in a tangled forest and rocky shore of singing tides.

I'm grateful for my friends and family who help transport me home every day. I am grateful for those who remind me of why I am here.

What brings a smile to you?
Is there a way to integrate a safe & beautiful place
right into the ordinary miracle of your body,
here and now?

Peace to you from the shores of Avalon in my heart.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Silver Light of a Passing Storm

The rain gauge leans heavily in a pool of standing water. Two inches of sky have fallen into it since yesterday.

At one o'clock this morning I woke to the thrum of a million water horses galloping across our roof. Sheets of water resurrected from the Pacific rolled by our bedroom window in the darkness.

I lay there recalling
a poignant moment yesterday.
It was a simple and ordinary moment.
It was a moment like this one,
where I happened to wake up.

I was standing on the greyscale prairie of a Fred Meyer parking lot after grocery shopping. My wife was patiently waiting for me in the car. I stood behind the taillights transfixed by the steely clouds rushing through a labyrinth of sun shafts. The storm that had been turning within me and around me had suddenly dissipated. The concerns about the kids, the bills, the leaking roof were washed away.

All around me people were going about their day, pushing clanking shopping carts, or edging into line at the stop sign. The people were going about their ordinary business. Most seemed to be lost in their thoughts or were rushing to get home.

For a moment I raised my arms wide. Swollen raindrops meandered across my open face. The cold golden sun stroked my hair.

I thought:
"How beautiful.

How exquisite this experience

of breath and sight and rain upon the skin."

All the previous morning I had prayed to Creator for release of my attachment and sadness about my island land being sold. I've been trying to let go of a central story about my life that no longer supports me. All that morning I'd stood beside my resistance with a voice that praised a hundred possibilities (and challenges) now open to me.

The prayer of release later rose through my body to meet the sky in a Fred Meyer parking lot. The simple experience left me quiet and awed on the drive home.

This morning the roof still leaks. The bills are still being addressed. And the kids still struggle with their anger and hurt. Yet I recall the moments in the pause between storms. I remember the living power of the storm itself.

These are moments worthy of being seen,
worthy of being praised.

Blessing to You in the pause between storms.

Blessings to You in the silver light of the clouds.

Blessings to You in golden gaze of the sun reflecting your face.


(c) Rick Sievers, 2010, All Rights Reserved.