Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Courage To Be At Peace

Heard someone ask the question: "Do you have the courage to be at peace?" We tend to think of needing courage to speak up or take action. Stimulated by too much information in a world where there is so much to do to co-create peace and justice, and community and compassion what would it mean to be at peace, and why would it take courage?

Being at peace is not about being passive. It's about the still centre that helps us know where and how we might best contribute. It's about the inner quiet that helps us be responsive instead of reactive. It's about the balance within that is needed for sustained participation and contribution. It's letting our heart break watching news of violence, and still staying engaged.

Being at peace helps us work with others without the kind of white knuckle attachment that leaves us hopeless and helpless when things don't work out as we'd hoped.

Why would it take courage to be at peace? Because it means we will see and feel it all: the compassion and the cruelty, the hope and the despair. Being at peace is about not being distracted, is about being fully present where the winds of all that is beyond our control- sometimes light breezes and at other times a tsunami- are felt.

And that takes courage. May we have the courage to be at peace. ~Oriah

When I saw this photo from Karen Davis Open Door Dreaming I smiled and felt the stillness of this egret in my own body.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Beauty that Sustains Us

It's Friday. I will go for a walk and buy a small bunch of daffodils to bring spring into my apartment.

My mother always said buying cut flowers was a "waste" because they would "only die." She did "plant" plastic poinsettias in the window boxes at Christmas. When I went away to college, if I had a couple of dollars left at the end of the week (I worked a couple of jobs) I would buy a small bunch of cut flowers at the grocery store- it felt like such a gift to myself.

Then my parents came to visit, and my mother saw a small potted rubber tree I'd bought for $1.99 for my room (I'd made sure there were no cut flowers), and announced, "That's it- you are cut off! You're not wasting our money on this kind of frivolous spending." She paused and then screamed at me, "Who do you think you are?!!"

It was okay- if it hadn't been that, it would have been something else and their financial support had been minimal, and I had my jobs. And, more importantly, to this day I love buying cut flowers - sometimes just one- as a gift to myself of the beauty that sustains me. Sometimes, as I put them into a vase I answer the question my mother asked so long ago, and whisper to myself with a smile, "This is who I am."

I wonder what beauty my mother longed for but would not allow herself.~Oriah

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beltane Fires

Blessed Beltane- a celebration of the fire that cleanses, the spark that ignites our passion and purpose and ecstatic longing. I wrote this on Beltane many years ago:

The Moment Before

I want to touch the sharp taste of the moment in between, the second just before, the place where the breath catches in anticipation.

It's the scent of heat held in the air between two mouths reaching for each other, hungry. The shine of moisture on slightly parted lips just before it melts into the wetness of the other.

It is the skin that tingles waiting, fine hairs at attention, reaching aching. It is the places that have not yet been touched but know they will be. It is the smooth, quivering paleness of the inner thigh as the outer is stroked and kneaded. The muscles of the abdomen tightening the back arching slightly, begging: come here, quickly, slowly.

There, in that moment, do not take your eyes from mine. I am here, awake, reaching to be met. Do not touch me and keep your soul out of your fingertips. Die into me or do not come into me at all. Ever after is in this moment happily or not.

Sacrifice the daydream. Dare to hold the desire for a great love. Be with me.

~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House

I love the fire in the sky in this photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming.