To me, truth is joy, and joy is truth – one in the same. So in my view, joy does not always come in the form of happiness. It does not always contain happiness. Always, it comes with the clarity of what is true inside. And that clarity brings a feeling of freedom. Not always a celebratory freedom. Sometimes it is a freedom that is heavy with responsibility to go forth and transform something painful into something so beautiful, it is worthy of the loss that necessitated it and worthy of those who will benefit from the gift of it.
Molasses And Steel
You brought colour to my life
Black for molasses
Blue for steel
You stood for things that were not real
You stole in the morning
Then peeled away
Laying rubber, black as molasses, on scorched streets
You performed elegant and death-defying feats
You raised a glass to greet something
That would beat us into submission
You were cold, hard
Blue like steel
Peeling away the layers of skin
That healed you into my soul
Is not a goal I cherish
Or claim the wherewithal to do
But there is a piece of me in you
And whether black or blue
We both must breathe
We must leave a trace of ourselves in this world
We have to be the steel and molasses
That builds and feeds
And sweetens harsh deeds into submission
It is our composition
At least it is mine
So if I am to thrive on the brine
In the glass you gave me
Break your fast and save me
A cup of molasses
I am often grappling with the uneasy coexistence of absolute oneness and the seeming separation imposed by being in a physical body and of an individual mind – the condition of being an earthling, as it were. Here, the antidote to existential loneliness is an acceptance of a connection that is not knowable through my physical senses – a real surrender to my own beliefs. Physical touch is so much easier, yet this other kind of connection is so much bigger. But how do we live that kind of connection in our day-to-day physical world? We have to reach out our hands, answers my intuition. She gives no further instructions.
The Art Of Touching You
Telescope to the sky
A tingling darkness rises within
Shaping me tenderly
Resonating with things too far or too close for the eye to see
Things to be known instinctively
I sit alone with the universe
Embodying its great infinity
Contemplating the boundlessness
And the borders we impose
Intersecting at nowhere
And it is here that I laugh again
Because you are so close
That I can feel and know and love you
You are in my very own particles
And yet you are uniquely apart, as am I
But the art of touching you
This is the quest for which I turn to the telescope
The finer details eluding me
Out there we intersect, you and I,
At every point imagined and unimaginable
Here, I lie back and open my soul
To the immensity of that truth
My cosmology defining nothing while explaining everything at once
In this vast darkness swirling immeasurable light, I surrender and repose my longing
And reach out my hand and accept that you are here
I hear a lot of talk about the state of the world. Often, I hear statements that begin with vision and understanding and shift quickly into sentences starting with, “but sadly… .” I hear a lot of voices filled with resignation saying “I hope… .” The implication being “I hope I’m wrong about where all this is headed.” This is not hope.
Hope is not passive.
Hope is not waiting to see what will happen. Hope is not about outcomes. Hope is making choices. Hope is choosing what you do with your thoughts, where you focus your attention, what you do in response to the challenges in your world. Hope is not passive.
Hope is investing in life. Showing up. Being here – for however long you get to be here. You wonder sometimes, “is there any hope for us, for our world?” Youare our hope. Be here! I am our hope. Stand with me! All we have to do is show up, see ourselves in each other and choose accordingly.
Heart Open is the first in the “Out Loud” series of my spoken word poetry. Any time you see the above white and orange “Out Loud” logo, click play and have a listen.
Heart Open is about living a courageous devotion to love, vulnerability and freedom and recognizing these as inherent experiences that we all share.
The opening lines, “her heart is open / and mine is watching,” were born as I watched Alicia Keys perform on television. She sang and played, heart on her sleeve, and I felt how my heart had become guarded after a few solid years of consecutive illness, brain injury and personal loss.
I perceived in Alicia Keys’ expression and performance, the fullness of love for life she is capable of enjoying because she is willing to be vulnerable in her art, and I remembered! I remembered how to achieve that experience for myself.
It is a universal experience. A universal capacity to love. To choose love. To be love. To remember that love is life, and life is the point. I am grateful that we can learn, and relearn, from each other. Awaken, and reawaken, because we see ourselves in each other and we know in our being the power of love that unites us.
Her heart is open
And mine is watching
Her heart is open
And mine keeps stopping to see
‘cuz if it’s her
Then it’s me
And the deluge is gonna come
And the day I run?
Woman, that ain’t gonna happen
If I’m livin’, I’m laughin’
I’m soakin’ up the sun
I’m dancin’ in the rain
And I’m sane
And if you’re gonna hit me with rage
I will stand with the almighty
The all-knowing power
‘cuz if it’s in my heart
It’s in your heart too
Sweet, sweet synchronicity
If it’s her
Then it’s me
Then it’s you