Tag Archive | creativity

Desert Fire: Befriending the Monster in my Mind

I’m please to share that Desert Fire is finally finished.

YAY!
It is available in print and digital
HERE AT LULU and also on AMAZON.COM should you dare to enter the desert, and the strangeness of my mind. In brief, what do you get when you combine a transplant to the Sonoran Desert with mind-created monsters, living landscapes, elemental impressions, Ayurveda, flower essences, earth-centered spirituality, dogs, history, geography, archaeology, desert denizens, and writing therapy? You get Desert Fire.

I could easily have spent another six to twelve months fine-tuning Desert Fire further,

but felt that its time has come to go out into the world just as it is.

Now I can move on to other writing projects pressing to be heard.

__________________

[excerpt from Desert Fire]

If I hadn’t researched the dogs of the Americas, seeking to understand the history of the tiny Chihuahua dog, I might never have met and resonated with a deity on my own continent who shares some of the qualities of my beloved Artemis. Dogs and forest wisdom are threads that link the Greek Goddess Artemis and the South American Goddess Yampani Nua. In the Achuar, a tribe of South America, they tell of a divine Mistress of Dogs, the “female spirit Yampani Nua.[i] The Achuar are situated just below the equator putting them in the Southern rather than the Northern Hemisphere where I live. Their traditional lands ride the boundary between Ecuador and Peru, and they are far from being desert dwellers. Achuar women held status within their communities, and, similarly, pre-Hellenic Artemis is aligned with the former matrifocal cultures of Greece. The mythical Artemis roamed the wild woods with her pack of dogs, her Alani, and it is not a stretch for me to see Yampani Nua as sister-goddess to Artemis, each representing a different continent. Both are responsible for the care and protection of these remarkable canine Beings that I consider sacred guides for and protectors of humans. While Artemis and Yampani Nua resonate through unique patterns of cultural divinity, their roles are both that of a Mistress of Dogs. Thus, I feel a kinship with them because of their strong relationship to dogs and the forests. [i]. Schwartz. A History of Dogs in the Early Americas. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. Print. Page 59.

Gratitude Womb of Dark Moon

GratitudeWombGoddessGratitude for the blessing of this life, the gifts uncountable in their number and numinous darkness, as the moon falls into her black mood of reflection unseen by human eyes though felt; I feel her endarkenment as a sweet nectar in which I float within safe space — womb. Here is the origin of my life and I am entranced whenever I am returned to the unlit peace and seclusion, listening to muffled voice, thrumming to a heartbeat of “out there,” a vital force unseen, floating in a brew of life-giving nutrients as I lay curled within human mother and more-than-human mother. I could be the spiral of galaxies as easily as spongy-flesh of unformed creature.

Gratitude for reflective love, as every year since the new millennium began its turning is icing on a cake of life that touched the stars and sank into despair; those emotional tandem bicycles spinning wheels of possibility. For then, after finding myself in Gaia, she brought a tangible masculine form for love into an opening, into a space that was left vacant by the acceptance of the Infinite in a guise I’d always known but was untitled, like a book with a missing cover that had fallen away through the ravages of time. Through love a new cover has been crafted from soul and smoke, from sifting sands and a magic cavern always in transformation.

Gratitude is the heart of being born into a tribe of kindred spirits rather than one of blood, for this dance is a masquerade ball among smiles and capes, hugs and warm fur settling into the curves of my body, releasing into the peace of transparent presence formerly hidden. Only this.

Gratitude as I wait for each word to emerge, as I trust it will, and this is another gratitude that flows on its own from Source and gains momentum and individuality pounding through the muscles and nerves from top to tip, from head to digits, and among the swirls of ink-become-mystery. I don’t know what I’m going to say until the words reveal themselves, a mystical process that lies within the space that is neither mind nor hand but apparently emerges on gossamer streams flowing in the subtle space near my heart.

Gratitude that my womb has never been empty, though it has never grown a child, rather within the space where a vacancy sign has been blinking off and on for decades lies a cauldron of creativity that flows unending and I manage to cup my hands occasionally, drinking the nectar that pools therein and shapes itself into forms of an imaginary world. If it is true that we dream the world into matter, then my dreams are part of a new beginning led and held by the ancients of bygone eras who whisper, their words spiraling in the cartilaginous labyrinth of inner ethereal ear, an oceanic conch shell so long out of its unity that silence and solitude are the filaments I need to form the framework in which to listen … and create.

Is this litany of gratitude a gift of time and age or one that has always been humming since the womb? Across these musing flickers of neurons is the wholeness that joins hands, jumping from one dark thread-trail to another, always present, only revealing themselves in the glowing tip of a temporary wand of incense, the seed within the womb of life.

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.

Amber

Amber : goddess, resin, animal ?

DSC03990_3She is the fiery sap that has cooled yet retains a fluid vibration. Saraswati. Her colors are white and yellow-gold: the yellow of saffron, of golden rays, of creative spark, and, to me, she is the energy of amber’s golden flow that has paused to be seen and held like the flow of thoughts and soul into words that can be held and shared. She is Goddess of knowledge, learning, and creativity, and much more. Through her birthing waters, She is also Goddess of intuition, which combined with knowledge emerges as wisdom. She is the ultimate Creatrix releasing visionary flow into our world of form through our souls and yet the emanation is in all directions at the same instant. She is the wisdom-in-presence that is our taproot and branches at the same time.

It is no wonder that tales say Saraswati became Word; She is the Gayatri Mantra. She also moves through and beyond us by virtue of language, lyrics, our expressions of thriving. We are not meant to hoard what we have learned, but to share it with all who seek, and Saraswati reveals that Her wisdom is in us no matter what age or circumstance. We assimilate knowledge from the moment we enter the world (or even in our mothers’ watery wombs!) and we also carry in our cells the intuition of knowing, therefore we are all potentially wise and have opportunities to share this with others in our own unique ways, subtle or overt. Yes, Saraswati is Goddess of knowledge and learning — I’ve experienced first-hand Her power to help me during my final test at KSA — and I love learning for the pure joy of learning. But if and when I want to share what I’ve learned, I intend to say grace and honor Saraswati’s influence in sharing knowledge entwined with intuition to emerge as wisdom.

I don’t know if there is any ancient relationship between amber resin and Saraswati, but my intuition whispers that there is a deep vibrational connection. My logical brain first made the connection through “color” when I was wondering what gems are associated with Saraswati. And when I saw the glow of my amber resin, it was as if I just knew they were resonant — at least they are for me and, after all, isn’t that part of opening to intuition? Making our own connections? Realizing our own unique truths and not relying exclusively upon external sources of what is true for someone else? Saraswati touches me with physical intimacy when I wear amber, and this is Her reminder to open to intuition, the instinct of the soul.

AmberDreamI first met Saraswati, though, not through amber resin or Her Goddess archetype, but by the grace of the gentle soul that was my Amber-in-Collie-form, named, as it happens, Amber Dream. Together, we learned obedience exercises, but from many years of love and mistakes, Amber also tried to teach me the wisdom of seeing and knowing her nature as well as my own. We often struggled in classes because we were both naturally “soft” yet all the teachers I met took a very “hard,” disciplined, and unyielding approach to training. Nearly three decades ago, I lacked confidence, and I didn’t know myself well enough at that time to stand firm in my nature and in Amber’s nature. We endured the hardened phase of amber without treasuring the pliable, flowing phase at the beginning of amber’s creation. There is wisdom, however, in realizing — before she passed — the journey of both union and individuation that she and I had experienced together. Thank you, my dear sweet Amber.

We are blessed in the magnificent diversity bestowed upon us, the diversity that allows us to experience the Divine in such a variety of forms.

Possibility

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.

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Inkwell of Purpose

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A few days ago, I read the following on the Writing a Sacred Path blog:

“Even if all you do is spark a few moments of doubt in the mind of someone who thought they already had everything figured out. Even if your writing does nothing more than let in a single sliver of light. Even if your lovingly crafted words are just a quiet whisper in the reader’s ear.That whisper, combined with hundreds more, can turn into a roar.”

These few lines from the Writing Can Change the World post were the inspiration that I needed in that moment, the words reminding me of the conclusion I arrived at after my pilgrimage, after writing a memoir about that journey:

“As long as I can continue spilling feelings and thoughts like a river upon the page, then I am fulfilling my inkwell of purpose as scribe for the life-giving Creatrix of this precious birth. Through this practice, the energy of my joy and passion vibrates into the universe. I remind myself that I don’t need to know any ultimate reason, or see the results of my efforts, because the joy of my vocation is to witness and then share what I see and experience, with the framework of loving-kindness my guide, and Gaia my inspiration.”

This intention of honesty, vulnerability, and awareness is what I seek to bring into presence whenever I’m writing, whether it’s a blog post, or the novel I’m working on, or the non-fiction manuscripts that seem unending in their call to create and share.

I have no delusions of grandeur that I am or ever will be a great writer, and that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am following my heart and soul, witnessing, whispering. This is the path of writing into relationship with the Divine Feminine that is within me and out in the world.