Love’s Year

The moon will show herself one last time this year. She begs me to do the same, calling my name in that sweet soul-whisper only she and I can hear. It is a hushed riddle she requires me to answer before opening the door to the unmistakable truth. She only uses it to beckon me when I’ve been hiding too long. She’s quick to remind me it’s been a while.

Don’t worry, sweet one, she murmurs. We’ll wait for you if we need to, and we’ll love you voraciously all the same. But it’s been long enough now.

I can hear the indisputable thump-thump-thumping of my heart… or is it hers? There is no difference, 491ef5df644db602d3142dd48662a3acI feel, but I cannot know for sure. There is an unambiguous anxiety that builds as the clock tick-tocks it’s way to a new calendar. The moon has orchestrated a mesmerizing rhythm of waves crashing over each other like the days of the past year, muddled and messy and powerful; and this cold, salty air pleads me to look back as though it carries all of my secrets, disappointments and revelations. I can feel it right down to my marrow. I’ve been stretched in a way that cannot be unstretched. I’ve learned things impossible to unlearn. I know it is a good thing – it’s been a formidable few months. I’ve taken giant steps only to (momentarily) fall back tenfold. I’ve brushed myself off and seen the ferocious beauty of my universe-sized soul only to hold a mirror up to where I’ve conveniently been hiding a small speck of darkness. More, always more, she urged of me. Each time, managing to force me into deeper knowing, added forgiveness, and continually expanding grace. So now this head of mine begs for some spacious silence, a patch of warm ground to rest on for a while, a few spotless moments to piece together the puzzle of sagacious wisdom gained and not yet fully understood.

I will draw a bath in these last hours of the year. The salts will leach the worries out of my precious bones, one by one. The water will soak away the impossible expectations I’ve come to have of myself. I will replace them all with lists of laugher and smiles and sweetness past. As the hourglass drops her last grains of sand, I will set the unresolution to just be. I will deepen all of my cracks and wrinkles until they become grooves, prayers that hold an infinite capacity for love. I will meet your eyes with unconditional softness and trust that you will do the same for me.
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Soulmap

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This is who we are.
Sinew and bone.
Marrow and earth.
You and me.
Dirt and dregs and ashes.
Entangled roots and ancestors.
Ghosts of the past and forest dwellers.

This is who we are.
Intestines and organs.
Blood and water.
You and me.
Dolphins and seaweed and pirates.
Crustaceans caught in nets and fisherman.
Mirrors of each other and companion seekers.

This is who we are.
Courage and ribs.
Fire in the belly.
You and me.
Coals and rocks and flames.
Fearful hamsters and cages.
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This is who we are.
Two lungs, side by side.
Heartbeat and air.
You and me.
Dogs and fields and wheat-berries.
Rolling hills and farmers without land.
Compassion and corporations.

This is who we are.
Mouth and teeth.
Words and truth-serum.
You and me.
Eagles and crows and carcasses.
Too much space and chaos.
Disappearing acts and tiny boxes.

This is who we are.
Mind and centre.
Knowing in the unknown.
You and me.
Moon and stars and sky.
Darkness and shadowy corners.
Creeps and sweethearts.

This is who we are.
Crown and Universe.
Silence and sound.
You and me.
Galaxies and milky ways and nectar.
Contraction and expansion.
One and all.
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I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You


There is something I have been meaning to tell you. If I say it out loud, you’ll know. It won’t be a secret anymore. The hear-me-roar of the tiger’s teeth I’ve learned to wear around my neck won’t deceive you any longer. I’ve taught myself how to trick you, you see. I’ve tricked you into thinking I am strong beyond belief. I’ve fooled you into thinking I’ve got it under control, I’m not easily bruised. I am stillness on the lake at dusk, undisturbed beauty and calm, a three hundred year old cedar.

It’s true. Sometimes it’s not an illusion at all. Sometimes I walk in the skin of a panther. I feel my hips sway to the rhythm of my cool, powerful strut. It’s true. Some days I am fragile like dew dropping blossoms in the morning sun.

I know you understand. I can see your thoughts spill out of your sensitive eyes. You don’t always know you are sharing your joys and your pain. You do it all at once in technicolour codes. I’ve learned how to speak that same love language. Some days I am a crow feasting on your leftovers. Don’t turn away. It is still me, I promise. Don’t be fooled. I am the owl, only my wings have been tied down for a while.
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Perhaps, if you and I no longer hide, we will meet by the riverbed and drink the lovetruth serum. We’ll see our intimate fears transformed into the filaments of gold that they are, pulled up into the vastness by the moon of our eyes. We’ll know that we already are our magnificent selves. We’ll understand that our brokenness is a magic carpet ride that leads us back home to the light.

I am preparing to lose a piece of my body. The puss will be drained, the tissue will be cut out. There will be bleeding and pain and scars.

I will be forced to rest.
And I will be reminded I am not these bones.

I will be asked to choose. I could wrestle myself into un-wholeness. Instead I will step fully into my altered casing. I will learn and relearn and learn again. I am not my breasts or my curves or my sex or my organs. I will know, from the depth of my darkness, from the heart of my heart, from the fire of my belly, I am the universe inside this skin. I will see what I already see. My light cannot exist without my shadow.

And I will continue to try, by and by. I will coax myself into letting you see my fragility. I will ask you to let me in to your secret hiding places, to invite me to play and sing and dance by your side.

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Falling In Love in the City of Love

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It all started one morning as I lay on the makeshift bed, trying to plan my day. Metro stops, directions from here to there, frantic notes taken in my book and on my phone, all to ensure I wouldn’t get lost.

photo by Myriam Khouzam

I realized I was wasting precious moments, my mind slowed by the fear of being disoriented. It was enough to move me out of doubt.  I slipped into my favorite jeans, wrapped my heart in my scarf, and headed out the door.

The magic opened up before me. She found me instantly. She guided me through winding streets, reminding me patiently to trust my intuition.

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There I was, lost among the crowds of tourists. They were missing the beauty, their noses so perfectly buried in guide books. There I was, found in the beauty of my surroundings.
For a few days, I learned what it felt like to be truly present, one breath, one step, one bite at a time. The past and the future chose to forget me and I saw myself reflected in windows and flowers and beautiful eyes looking back at me.

I ate croissants and watched lovers kiss. I felt the sun, and later the rain, tickle my cheeks. I navigated the streets of Paris waiting for my heart to be swept away, searching for romance.

And I found it.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the company I kept. We made the most of those few days we had alone together, lost in time for a while.

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We took each other on long walks, talked to locals as though we were one of them, and they believed us. We sat for long, delicious meals, allowing the wine to go to our heads and mesmerize us by our collective beauty. We told each other fairytales and they melded so perfectly with reality that we could no longer separate the two.  We teased each other and laughed. We learned the language of soul-speak and without a single word, absorbed the history around us, communing not only with our own selves but with those who had taken these very same steps before we had even inherited these bodies. We looked at old photographs and tombstones and knew we had been here before, many times.

At night, we shared our discoveries with our beloved and her smile became a reflection of our own.

We were me, and I am all of us.

I know, with the cells of my soul, I am in love with each of you and with the moon reflected in our eyes.

 

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*all photos by me. see more here

The Universe Inside Our Heart

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We sat in a circle.
Ten souls new to each other,
As old as the world.
The tears of the world flooded our eyes and our mouths.
We became a conduit for the suffering, and in turn,
The healing of the earth.
We sat in the darkness,
The rain challenging us to step up to the task.
And they came
By the thousands, they came
Checking us out,
Wanting to be a part of the conversation.
We let them in.
We held each other through the storm.
We lifted the curtains and
Entered beyond the veils.
We tasted immense beauty
And knew that our love was not enough
We can always (always!) love more.
So we sat with ourselves and each other.
We struggled with feeling alone and small.
We marvelled at our bigness.
We became immeasurable.
And we knew.
Beyond words, we understood.
It is our darkness that allows the light.
It is our light that stirs us to the knowing.
The entire universe is inside our heart.

We don’t know how lovely we are.
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In Between

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Sometimes you sit in sadness.
Sometimes the lines get blurred and you don’t know the difference between your own tears
and someone else’s.
Sometimes the bleeding wound you’ve been running from is exactly where you need to be.
Sometimes the blistering is what points you to the tenderness of your own
breaking heart.
Sometimes it is your aloneness that shows you kinship,
your pain that teaches you gratitude,
your defeat that guides you to the light you’d forgotten.
Sometimes, something gives you the courage to step out of yourself,
and into your self.
And you find your way to the centre of your centre,
to the heart of your heart.
And there you are once more, returning home
fragile and tender and broken.
There you are again,
strong and magnificent, a wild horse running.
There you are,
the universe inside the universe.

Love-d.

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Learning to Listen

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I got to bed late last night.
This morning I am up before the sun.
It is bitter and crisp and dark outside, my breath a cloud of smoke.
I feel sorry for myself, tired and irritated and chilled to the marrow of my bones.
As dawn rises, it paints the sky a thousand shades of yellow and pink. Without trying, I look up to see her staring back at me. She is shining in her majestic grace, half of her face cloaked by the growing sun’s shadow, the two so perfectly mismatched and yet unconditionally entwined. She shows her sectioned self, and in an instant I know she is preparing to rest a while. Her wisdom is in the repose that allows her to return again, as she always does, fierce, bold and clairvoyant.

Now that I’ve gotten to know her, she is impossible to forget. She keeps me a (consenting) prisoner of her subtle changes. Inevitably, I find myself riding the waves of her tide. From time to time when I forget to let her in, she knocks me to the ground, a reminder of her strength and her unrelenting vigilance and love. She doesn’t speak much, not in the way you or I do. But she is constantly teaching me, tirelessly (and oh so patiently) waiting for me to get it. Sometimes I do, and other times it takes a few repeat lessons. She faithfully becomes my tutor and through her compassionate command, she shows me again… and again… and again.

tumblr_mzj0ra4IeU1qmjc0fo1_500And so this morning, in one quick, impressive glint, she summons me to rest.
She whispers: “Rest, my sweet child. Wrap yourself in warmth. Be with stillness. Immerse yourself in the ritual of running a bath, making a cup of tea, cuddling with the dogs.” She sings in her moon-shine language: “Be with your irritable, sullen self without judgment. Hold her until she thoroughly understands what love means. Warm yourself by the fire of your own heart. Listen to it’s rhythmic cadence and let it’s tenderness bundle you with unblemished goodness.”

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Half of my face is veiled too, a childish mimicking of hers. Part of me wanting to push and fight and run and do; the other, an undeniable knowing, a fountainhead of wisdom.

This morning, I choose to listen. I choose to let myself be moved by the current. I choose to give in to her stream, the moon’s tempo, and be carried toward a mending, a healing that can only happen in the belly of the quiet, in the place where the dark turns to light.