Sunday, March 30, 2014

Disappearing and Being Born

Sunrise on the Art Farm

Letter to One in the Near Future:

If I had a time capsule I'd send you the sky. If I could include you in this moment, I'd send you the heady spring sky. I'd send you the air spiraling with bird song and sweet pollen and wild whispery clouds. I'd send you the cool exhale of the garden lifting flowers in the orchard. I'd send you the blue borne breeze as it swirled and spun the new born grasses in the pasture. I'd send you the hint of loss and life, death and desire, wrapped in an aging man's hands lifting up the sun.

Can you stay awhile with me, friend? I'm not so far away now. Feel the wind where you are. Know the thoughts of the dirt. Catch the flickering magic of a black spun wing in the periphery of your dreaming. Be here.

How good it is to breathe, to be alive! Painful, agonizing even, but all gold. All, love of the trinity: Sun, Moon and Earth. Holy, the Triple Spiral, the vortex of wonder, the funneling passion of passing tides in the field that sings your true name.

You are alive if you are reading this. Dive into your experience. Unplug. Be still. It only takes a moment to be real. And in a moment more, you will be gone.

I see you. I hear you. I dance you.

Today I walk with the dearly departed on one side and dearly living on the other. With me, in-between worlds. I am disappearing and being born at the same time. Would you like to walk with me awhile, friend?


(c) Copyright (Image and Text) Richard Sievers, March 2014, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 28, 2014

Who I Am Now

Our reality has lost the presence of some fine people recently. 
To the friends and family, to the Ancestors who have passed:

Who I am Now

 Cloud strewn body of memory.

Sun filled space of heart.

Song of eternity’s spirit.

Flesh of Earth.

Mind of God.

Till we meet again..........


(c) Rick Sievers, March 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Offering of the Shadow

A man who has lost his dream has lost his way.
                                                                                         Aboriginal Saying *

Last night the wind whistled through the crevices of the half opened window. Ghostly dreams came to me. A frantic quality spun my slumbering.  I woke up this morning and realized I did it again. I stuffed the shadow so deep that it exploded out as the light of morning rain began to fill our room. There it was, my shadow, falling upon my head.

So I did what I do to hear the voice of God within me: I wrote. Above the journal was a fire of my breath. I asked the empty page: What is the truth that my body has given me?

And a whisper rises from the dusty corner beneath our bed: You forgot me. But I am here, always have been. Do you want me to come out and play within your waking dreams? Or must I manifest myself in some dark spot on your skin or soul?

I answered the shadow: I gave up everything for love. Sold the land, turned from the career, weeded instead of painted, all for the family, this home. But what have I really offered you, shadow in the half opened box? Do I offer up my life to serve what is crying deep in the darkness of my chest?

I wonder where the longings go when a person is nice and open and a servant to the whims of working hard? I'm reminded of an old Star Trek episode (The Enemy Within) where Captain Kirk is split into two bodies. The soul in one body is the good, kind, sweet version of Kirk. The second soul is one that is reckless and rash and emotional. The nice Kirk wanted to do away with the shadowed half of himself. But he found that he could feel little joy, make no big decisions or follow his rightful longings without the power that the shadow Kirk possessed. In the end both halves were joined again. And Kirk lived a fuller life knowing the powers of both goodness and passion.

I committed myself to write and pray every morning. But over time the "necessities" of the farm and family and finances have eroded the practice. But even worse, I began to write as nice and poetic as I could. Trying hard to make it right and good. I had forgotten that some of the best poetry, prayers and praises come from the messy, inarticulate scribblings. Just write whatever comes. Don't corral the wild mustang, at least not yet. Let the wild words be themselves. Then gentle some of them with the bridle of editing... but do that later.

Today I'm reminded of the blessing of the wild shadow within. I'm also reminded of my plaintive statement to the shadow: "I gave up everything for love of these people and land." That sounds good and noble on the surface. And it is these things. But the statement also carries the waft of resentment and sacrifice, all at the expense of what longs to sing the soul free. Resentment is a soul crusher to everyone in the family.

A Spirit that lives between the passion and goodness speaks now with simple insight: When offering something, the giver is as blessed as the receiver. And I interpret to also mean something in reverse: When sacrificing one's joy for a cause, the result is most often a harm to the creative passion that longs to come forward in the world. So, this is my litmus test: Do my acts of service come from a place of offering and joy, or from sacrifice and suffering? Am I blessed while I bless?

Which gets me back to that dusty dark voice from beneath the bed. What does s/he have to offer? How do we feed and nurture the creative exuberance that longs to be visible in the world?

There is a place in our chest that never sees the light of day. The heart lives there, flooding our body with living love, all inside the dark cave of the body. What does your heart say? Has your head instituted sacrifice as a penance for the heart? Or, on the reverse, have hidden emotions run about the house screaming, breaking boundaries that hurt others.

What are the choices of freedom? Is freedom just about going back and forth between the shadow and the light in our soul?  What would a co-creative marriage of the heart and the head mean to your life? How would that marriage change your daily practices?  Late at night, when all the house is asleep, what does the wind whistling through the widow say to you?

* PS The image is a full size self-portrait, based on a shadow projected on the wall. This was done in a wonderful dance class through: in Portland, OR.

What you resist, persists, as the old saying goes. 

(c) Copyright words and image,  Richard Sievers, March 2014, All Rights Reserved