Stolen Memories


Red Lily – Australian Bush Flower

Observations of being human …

Gaia guides me, helps me value my memories and my Self — through Her kind and loving eyes I see the me of my story before memories and moments are stolen — or given away; She grounds me through the trees nodding in affirmation and recognition, and the path welcoming my footsteps, and the dogs looking to me for guidance and love. Full Circle. When I step into woods, I feel Her embrace and Her love holds my memories as sacred, as mine; my soul is nourished, our spirits are One. Gaia sees me as me. And She tells me to write into my own infinity …

If I don’t make the effort to tuck away my treasures, the essence of each moment’s quenching of thirst, the healing well, can be drained by those who presume to know what I meant … they steal the memory and put their own spin on it and I wonder if I’m crazy — ! Did I recall a fantasy, a story created in my mind or was it real?

To write is my way of putting a lid* on the memory, to wrap it up with a ribbon so that I can say: this is what I felt, thought, sensed, knew. No matter what anyone else may say or think, the memory has become real — it is my memory, not someone else’s.

I have barely any memories of childhood, of being part of my family’s life, of my socially active early twenty-something years — all the people around me sucked my memories away and made them their own, and I wasn’t quick enough or mature enough to realize I needed to write it down, that I needed to be the scribe of my own life or it would appear that I was merely a footnote, an addition, an accessory to someone else’s life and memories. My wispy memories are of a solitary child playing in the barn with cats, of watching roly-polies for what seemed like hours, of twirling alone on the green grass in an old square dance dress until, dizzy, I drop to the ground in my Gypsy fantasy.

Later, the longer I lived alone, the more memories I have retained, through writing in my journal and scripting the story in my mind — consciously pausing to write my story, my internal response to a situation, before someone snatched it away and said “no, you aren’t remembering right — it happened this way.” The space, a pause, a few moments of solitude and stillness are needed to set my memories firm, to establish their home in me.

They didn’t intend to steal my memories, or my innocence, or my identity. They simply assimilated the events into their own story — like The Blob in that old horror movie — and I disappeared, became a mass of bone and flesh without a sense of Self. And I do own my part in giving my Self away. But who was I if my memories weren’t there? Most people set such store by the importance of past — of memory — and my past was someone else’s footnote.

Only a discipline – writing – within solitude’s grace, the solitude I again came to know as my long lost identifier in a deeply rooted core of being, only then were my recent and new memories allowed to remain with me — they weren’t stolen away by good intentions of control or a foreign persona of deception.

Write, write it down, write everything down before someone can abscond with my experiences and create their own version of my story, my life. I hear it revised and rewritten whenever I visit family, so hard to hold onto it. Who I am disappears into someone else’s memory of who I was and my young nieces don’t see or know me — they only know the person I was supposed to be or the me who disappointed authority. I disappear into someone else’s memory — I don’t recognize that person they talk about, that me in their memories. But since my memories of the early years are gone, I cannot contradict, I can only shrink a little further into the bubble of my dimming aura, contract in so that no more memories are extracted. If I don’t speak, my voice cannot be stolen. Write it down; become the story in the pages, preserved a little while longer than would happen if the fire blazing through vibrant personalities made me disintegrate.

Now in my fifth decade, when I am with other people, silence preserves my voice from being distorted … I listen, feel, think, and then later write into wholeness of Being. Not to be chained by ego, but to recover and know my own soul in the world.

Are there other people with stolen memories?


Lily Pad Pond in Maine

Without abundant water and earth, is it possible I fear the desert fire and air will try to steal my memory — my identity — if I let go of my resistance to its intensity? I nearly lost it once in the desert already …

The desert is another face of Gaia. I’ve always trusted Her loving presence. Maybe it’s time to have faith that even in Her most fierce form — the Fiery Desert — She will keep me growing, safe, whole. She has nurtured as the North Woods, She has inspired as the Rocky Mountains — what is Her gift to me as the Sonoran Desert? She’s never stolen my memory before, why would She do it now? Unless … would She do it to teach me that I am more than my memory?


*The portal for the above was Emily Dickinson’s poem (#1266), drawn at random:

When Memory is full

Put on the perfect Lid — 

This Morning’s finest syllable

Presumptuous Evening said — 


Lily Pad Room, Onondaga Cave, Missouri

I have also been reading When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams, and I know her essays influenced my direction toward contemplation of voice.

Words Fly Free

3flowerswrittenFields of Forever beckon but I look away from those Fields to the garden of Home and breathe in Love. Blessings push up through the compacted soil, the sweat of my beloved’s effort sweetens and amends, filtering out the stark barren expanse so that green is unearthed and new life sprung through hair-like roots, see them wriggling? Three rows of agave curve around a corner, softening the drama and edge of sharpened perception. Little green plants poke up tall, finally in a place to spread their feet wide, spread arms out long and far away. One tree in, two to go, three in a row, all around they fall in line along the wall, to share color, texture, air — breathe in and out, we share life. I stay sane, they grow safely; we are protected and encouraged.

I no longer pretend to be someone I’m not, no longer hide the shadow that is part of my skin, but neither do I let it rule and make all the decisions. Time leans into place and I know an urgency building; I keep at my work, my efforts. It’s not “hard” or “easy” — it has become purpose and something I am meant to do. I don’t know why, I just am. Perhaps it is as simple as keeping me “here on earth,” to love and be loved, to care and be cared for, to provide the arc for someone else’s rainbow purpose and journey.

E.D. #613 (randomly selected) ~ Emily Dickinson Poetry as Portals

They shut me up in Prose — 

As when a little Girl

They put me in the Closet — 

Because they liked me “still” — 

Still! Could themself have peeped

And seen my Brain — go round

They might as wise have lodged a Bird

For Treason — in the Pound

Himself has but to will

And easy as a Star

Abolish his Captivity

And laugh — No more have I 

I, too, grew up with the hobble-phrase “children should be seen, not heard” though home was more often a boisterous household of chatter that by its very noisy nature held my tongue silent and my mind vocal, conversing with the people in books.

pathThe prose of story set me free, though, it didn’t restrict; stories were the adventure into which I happily shut myself, a diversity of experience without needing to leave my closet at all! A joyous adventure through words and worlds, where poetry was the puzzle, the mystery, where I didn’t fit. And now I welcome the freedom to write however I wish to, without limitation – ignoring “do not enter” – because the expectations are nearly invisible. I don’t care if I should write like so-and-so says, because I write like me. I could do the structure well if I chose … sometimes I do … I’d rather flow and when structure leans in the window frame, allow it to set a panel or hang a margin or plant a verb.

Me and my shadow enjoy the closet, the comfort of walls all around that allow few visitors. But prose is not a closet but a castle in the forest that tells me secrets and holds mine in its roots; my closet keeps me “still” but I like the stillness when mind expands and all the birds fly free!

When I am out, walking, connecting with the world, the voices are listening, gathering petals, leaves, acorns, twigs. I am not a captive; to be so is delusion and weakness — my open eyes see possibility to choose a path. The only captivity is imposed by Self — my mind is always free. And so I write. And even set my writing free … in blog, in book. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to let the letters fly; no more.

I honor the women who have been part of creating a world, a society I am blessed to live in, where my words can be let out and about. I honor, too, the women whose words are still confined to mind … by writing mine down.

And like these free words, I will travel for as long as I can — another freedom that has been hard for women to own as their right; not to be doled out like a long leash, but to sever the leather strap, the chains. My beloved partner understands that setting me free is the way to love … and why I return to him with love.

My independent spirit, though often terrified and insecure, nevertheless gets up and walks, travels, writes. I have to — when I haven’t, I felt dead. I am nothing yet everything because I am not the outer result but the inner growth that comes from earthing true in manifestation. I know myself in all my fear, pain, sorrow, insecurity, and I breathe in the courage to step into my Self. I breathe in the courage from all those women who lived before me, doing their best to live true. Little steps that might transform into courage. I keep on, believing. The stories I hear and see in my mind and heart, the ones written and unwritten, are powerful ways toward courage — encouragement.

path2For those of us who live in the caves, or at the edge of the valley where sunlight is scarce and shadow abundant, for us to know our nature as worthy and beautiful and powerful — this is a blessing. Not to be taught and restricted to be someone we aren’t but to instead harness our own ability and gifts, darkly elegant, often sensed and felt rather than seen through bright floodlight. We are the night, our actions held forth at dawn and dusk: gray, pastel, deep, soft, slow, quiet.

We are hard to picture, difficult to photograph or identify clearly…

Eternal night is a welcome friend that we hold at arm’s length, touching often, yearning for that kiss but knowing the sweetness of divine union must wait a little longer — for now, there is one more word, one more walk, one more loving embrace by an understanding physical partner. We live fully present, each moment a choice to be here now.

A Solitary Dancing Slipper

To admire the strong, the sturdy, the confident who grace the vast expanse of our experience and do not even notice when their time has past — is a wonder. Many flock to such a unique and gifted soul that does not hesitate to raise her face, high, chin tilted; tis her nature not her desire that carries her through that life, where mine is short or subtle cry escapes. She could no more be me, than I her, and if dwelling in her true nature she holds no bold proclamation of being “better than” for she bears a tremendous responsibility to all those who seek her out and beg of her essence in excessive quantities. To bee and butterfly she is Queen and her mantle could weigh heavily if she were not at ease in her own individuality, born to this, her duty, her vocation.

I do not want this, though I admire her qualities … her beauty, abundance, sweetness, praises sung to her that vibrate across the land. Look how long she has to live! Look how much she has to give! Devoted to those who bow in her presence as they redeem their devotions from her stores of energy.

Yes, she may grow earlier, stand stronger, give more, spread, be admired by all, living longer, and feel no defeat when felled in her own time. Yet, honest and praiseworthy though she may be, would be a shame if were no diversity.

singleLadySlipperSo let her spread in obvious profusion, and I in my hidden glen, a single stem of green wearing a pink slipper, shall dance unseen in dappled dim day and mellow moonlight while the air carries my essence, the rain and dew linger in my cup that allows a few in need to drink, a brief interlude I stand here swaying and then just as softly sink into the humus for another long, sweet sleep, thankful that a devotee held a chalice into which the unique essence of this moment and me could seep. I am become immortal, outside the bounds of time and space when in Gaia’s Grace, and known as both separate and One. Feel into Her — now. Do not wait, for my time, my nature, may not be the longest stranding or hardiest or sweetest, but I am vital if only to offer a solitary sip to a weary traveler in a hidden forest.

The poetry portal by Emily that led me into the above was:  Continue reading


From Ms. Emily ~ a Poetry Portal …

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 1.48.05 PM

I taste a liquor never brewed — 

From Tankards scooped in Pearl — 

Not all the Vats upon the Rhine

Yield such an Alcohol!


Inebriate of Air — am I — 

And Debauchee of Dew — 

Reeling — thro endless summer days — 

From inns of Molten Blue —


When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee

Out of the Foxglove’s door — 

When Butterflies — renounce their “drams” — 

I shall but drink the more!


Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats — 

And Saints — to windows run — 

To see the little Tippler

Leaning against the — Sun —  


~ Emily Dickinson (#214 Johnson)


——————-and here is where I’m led … Continue reading

Countless Butterfly

© Kerry

© Kerry

from Ms. Emily ~ Poetry As Portal …

A science — so the Savants say,

“Comparative Anatomy” — 

By which a single bone — 

Is made a secret to unfold

Of some rare tenant of the mold,

Else perished in the stone — 

So to the eye prospective led,

This meekest flower of the mead

Upon a winter’s day,

Stands representative in gold

Of Rose and Lily, manifold,

And countless Butterfly! 

~~ Emily Dickinson (#100 Johnson)

___________________ and the portal led me …

Dig and root around, among body, earth and plant we find all secrets soon sharing their mystery little by bit and under the watchful moon, it is here our wandering eyes do behold as we follow into the chance moment; not by the science are we led but by heart of Gaia sink into Her bed and we then see the secrets without the need to scrape, uncover, rather here are bones, fragments of the story once whole and living. Here are the flowers in the grove of that one under ground wherein lies the skeleton draped in former glory we try to preserve … do we really want to learn the secret of life? We turn away from the mystery of death except that of body and hide the evidence in a box buried alone with a headstone marked and careful attention paid to disguise the way to secrets held ensouled.

Excavation, archeology — unearthing, exposing, revealing how the world works on a physical level — some may see this as finding the solution to the puzzle but I agree with others who feel that explanation is not the same as description … so while our sciences may describe the function, they cannot explain the mystery of how and why it all comes together, for reductionism, the relating to a single “bone” to think we can solve the riddle of walking is no more effective than thinking we know the story by reading about a single character’s leg, for without the interaction of body and communion there is no story. We can describe the components or aspects that comprise the character — or bone — but that doesn’t explain the activity that can go in a zillion directions.

I may go out and pick up a stone that glimmers in the shining sun but when I bring it into the house the darker nuance clouds the gleam until the stone is not what it seemed while lying on the ground where it was all surrounded by its friends who led it to the very end of hoof and claw and feather strange and on the air was winged things that picked it up and flung it down — a different spot — it traveled on.

A juicer lets the liquid flow but halts the pulp from going on and casts aside the fiber thick until the juice is thin and slick into the body one will go, without the other, separate now. Down to the essence, down to the dense, not of material but of presence, without the bulk we thin and slim and ghostly become in our material world, where once we held the flag and now the mind begins to lag behind the journey of friend and foe because there is no place to go when all is same and nothing new and overwhelm a constant companion.

Rest. Sleep. Fall into the deep and let go into Nature.

Never Alone

We are never alone … feel into the essence of Ms. Emily

© Kerry

© Kerry

Alone, I cannot be —  

For Hosts—do visit me—

Recordless Company—

Who baffle Key—


They have no Robes, nor Names—

No Almanacs—nor Climes—

But general Homes

Like Gnomes—


Their Coming, may be known

By Couriers within—

Their going—is not—

For they’ve never gone— 

 ~~~ Emily Dickinson

Thoughts, ideas, imagination, the scurrying of monkey-mind so that I am never alone and envision heart as home, cells as dens, body and soul as One in hosting the Divine without a separation where I could not find for here is all the possibility moving inside and coming out to say “hello” upon the pages white with lines to be filled by mind conjoined into heart space.

Do not fear for we are always here in Oneness.

From the corner of my eyes I see me in the shadows waiting to emerge, and I do! Host to my own desires and thoughts that play upon the page, never alone. In poem or story, prose or myth, we are memories resurfacing and the collective that shimmies down a lightening bolt to rocket along my spine radiating outward in all directions. Or seeping in from startled clouds that shed their sweat on balmy days and leave a rainbow in the arch of my foot so that when I walk the endless colors of flowers are the soft petals on my path. Never alone, held away by no key or barrier, and why would I want me or thee to be?

The dangerous ones are welcomed into the circle by a fondness for the healing of disembodied souls of self and many … surrounded by friends of fur and feather, flora abundant, spirits pluming into my room from the window peeking open with a tiny grin to welcome inside the night air … don’t despair of loneliness for having been there I now squint into the darkness and stars rise high into velvet sky of lunar lumen holding a ball, a free for all of voice and song that play within my mind and slide up and down the waterfall in impossible directions simultaneous.

Am I crazy? So be it!

Did Emily see the fairy world? Did she see the subtle energy fields and shapes beyond the veil of illusion of form? Was she visited by them as well as by inner voice? Wouldn’t it be funny if everyone thought she was using metaphor to describe “real life” when she was actually using external “symbols” to describe an inner and/or parallel reality just as valid? I smile with unknowing …


Another poem from dear Ms. Emily

Copyright © 2012

Copyright © 2012

I’ve nothing else — to bring, You know — 

So I keep bringing These — 

Just as the Night keeps fetching stars

To our familiar eyes — 

Maybe, we shouldn’t mind them — 

Unless they didn’t come — 

Then — maybe, it would puzzle us 

To find our way Home — 

~~~ Emily Dickinson


What is the unique gift within? What do I bring into the world to each person who might intersect the path I travel? With whom do I interact? What little offering do I make that seems small and insignificant, my love and caring minuscule among the grander gestures. And yet, if I cannot find my own way home without them … maybe someone else would be confused, too, without one of the pebbles I’ve placed in my travels to give a glimmer of hope and guidance? We navigate by different stars among the billions that surround us every night dark and inviting, the Grand Gesture is in the lead perhaps but how boring it would be without all the others to inspire and delight us along the way! Without myriad stars, a placid journey would ensue to a single destination without detour or adventure or the background painted luminous into rapture upon raised faces!

“I keep bringing These” … these reflections, ideas, stories, visions, healing remedies.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring quiet, contentment, caring, sanctuary, depth.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring giggles, sweets, slowness, smiles.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring gratitude, devotion, creativity, kindness.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring stillness, song, slumber, realization.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring sacred space, perspective, joy, respect.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring earth, water, fire, air, space.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

… I bring listening, empathy, exploration, curiosity, conversation.

Maybe they are someone else’s “way Home,” too?

I often use someone else’s stars to find my way home.

Maybe These will help someone find their way home?

Stars in a cosmic womb to which we return Home again and again.

The womb is Home and the stars guide our way like fireflies, smiling encouragement with their familiarity.

Each of us is a star to another, to others, sometimes few, sometimes many.

Keep twinkling even if you’re not the North Star!

Fainter Leaves

Grandmother TreeNature — sometimes sears a Sapling — 

Sometimes — scalps a Tree — 

Her Green People recollect it

When they do not die — 


Fainter Leaves — to Further Seasons — 

Dumbly testify — 

We — who have the Souls — 

Die oftener — not so vitally — 

~~~ Emily Dickinson (#314)

Mother Nature is far wiser than we who claim to have the souls and say that they do not; these stalwart trees and wild glens and fertile fields where rabbits play, deer nibble, and a trickling stream giggles at our ignorant unknowing.

Loving the message within these two lines: Fainter leaves — to Further Seasons — Dumbly testify. Its relational resonance undisputed. Dumbly as in mute, silent, and far from human stupidity and ignorance. Implied can be the tree that lives and tells of its trials by growing “fainter leaves” or, going deeper, can be the tree that dies and tells of its passing through the fading, dying “fainter leaves” resting upon the ground — either of which give silent testimony to what it has endured. Its testimony held through its ability to remain standing or through its death passed along as nutrients that give new life to others. It is our perception that understands the message of the tree’s living or dying.

A release of waste, of death and letting go, always heralds beginning, and what we see as lifeless is Life Abundant within a tiny world so complex yet seen as simple so that our minds feel superior to the deceptive mystical message. Our short lives powered by busy brains, thinking, thinking, allow little space for testifying to the creative transformative power of the death process Nature honors so well and with such vital recollection.

I place myself into the well of Gaia’s forms not mine or me or thee. Swim in Her ocean and all is revealed, recollected, honored, and soul permeates the world in profusion. I feel the pull of soul and ocean, of psyche and diving, descending, going deeply. Leave behind a tiny piece of decaying wisdom, the sense and thought that transform a brief life to further the compost of civilization’s soil with living organisms in ideas, love, emotion, and presence. Silently carry the passage of time and transformation our words forgot to note and so we lose the vital force and acquire the chaos that is change without wisdom, voices loud but empty of soul … the soul that is vividly abundant within every particle of Gaia.

And yet, the wheel turns with Gaia’s grace and a new face is appearing on the horizon, the feminine principle emerging from Her dwelling deep within so we can see her since we can no longer sense her … her presence becoming known, her graceful shadow is dancing us into remembrance seeking to restore our vital connection to every root and star and waving seaweed frond that feeds all life among the disintegration, promising a change. Change will come, Mother of blue, green, and brown hues is birthing something new out of her womb. What will it be? Will we ever know? Will we experience it in a different form in the loss of a humanity that destroyed our own cradle and refused the gift of transformation? I’m okay with being a “fainter” leaf … whether growing from a charred trunk or decaying into the ground.


Surprise LiliesGaia’s infinite wisdom and essence permeates all life and universe vast without limitation for She is not a Being, a construct, an energy — She is All of these and None of these — She is form and non-form, in me and part of me, me within Her and Her outside of me flowing as the ultimate Source. She is beyond comprehension and what we glimpse of Her are facets of Her Grace, thus, the possibility of my grace, our grace.

“Know Thyself.” ~ earnest advice inscribed at the Oracle of Delphi, but a far more ancient concept.

“If that which you seek, you find not within, you will never find it without.” ~ from Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente

That which is sought, the “it” is: Self, peace, love, divinity …

Through Jung and his perspectives on psychology … To be seeking Grace and the Soul in Life, in Living. Not to be trapped in the past or stuck in reviewing the past, but rather using it consciously as a tool, a mirror into revealing sacred Self and Source. There is a balance to be discovered within this exploration, one that allows peace and love to flow … if these energies aren’t becoming stronger during the times of non-reflection, then the Self-discovery is stagnant and stuck in the ego-woes of former moments. The psychological quest is meant to be a healing process; if one is not feeling the healing seeping in like a transfusion of a fresh, clean, pure blood from the heart of Gaia … then one must review where one has gone off the healing path. Jungian psychology supports the process as both: a healing journey and a spiritual journey.

Continue reading

The Compassion of Mountains

Rocky Mountain Daisies 2013The Himmaleh was known to stoop

Unto the Daisy low — 

Transported with Compassion

That such a Doll should grow

Where Tent by Tent — Her Universe

Hung out its Flags of Snow — 

~~~Emily Dickinson


Never hesitate to stoop and help one less able, as the ancient wise woman would stoop, creaking joints and all, to water the wildflowers in her garden. As with this and animal rescue and more, all life needs a helping hand at times. If I fall … no, when I fall … who will stoop to help if I have never done so? Or even if I have, who will see me growing low and hidden in my solitude? Will they stoop? Will I? The apparently immovable can indeed be “transported with compassion.”

Flags of snow, glacial chalices, perky petals surround the core … a transplant, a volunteer, appears in the garden unexpected, a doll among the vital mystery already well-established … odd one out. It’s strange to know oneself as different from the rest, the realization often comes on slowly with a test to mark the Truth. To accept one’s difference and yet embrace also the desire within to be one of the group, an instinct for survival that is constantly triggered setting up the internal conflict that can appear outwardly as indecisive or selfish or aloof and without care, unable to commit to others’ demands of oneself because that would mean death.

To move or be moved from one place to another takes will, courage, and compassion for oneself among the challenges and fears that often bring on the cascade of tears. Among a new land, we can be a soul hidden beneath the canopy of tents that can be cold concrete scraping the sky or forests deep that paint rainbows upon blue canvas; choose within which one we intend to sleep come winter chill. Move our fragile flower under an eave or bower for safety, don’t let the cold freeze or shadows darken too soon our narrow petals reaching out to connect.


Here is the prowling Bee’s thoughts on this poem.