Little Goddess

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There is a watchful woman
who lives inside my belly,
coiled and taut as a snake.

“Little goddess,” I say, “what do you see?
Show me how to be free.”

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Your Demons

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Your demons are not devils,
They are merely wounded animals.
And they only come to stalk you
When you leave them cold and starving.

They are lost without affection,
No tender words to soothe them.
And they cry out in the dark of your night,
Howling pain and sore affliction.

But all you see is gnashing tooth and cutting claw,
A creature who wants to bleed you.
So you’ll fence them in
With barbs and wires and chains,
And punish them for feeling.
They punish you for feeling.

In your sleep, you can still feel
The heat of their breath
And the glint of their eyes
Beneath that thick black darkness.

But, my love, they have not come for your soul.
Oh no, they have come for your healing.
Oh how they need your healing.

A Slow Reminder

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There is something about an autumn blue sky.
Something about its clouds, its sun, its thinning air.
Something that begs a deeper thought from you.
Something that both warns and soothes.

A slow reminder.

Take these days, it says.
Hold them like jewels in your hand,
Small and shining,
Only as valuable as the attention you choose to give them.

Three in One

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Some mornings are a slow gathering together of body and mind and spirit. The three returning again after being apart for the night. That perhaps they dwell in separate places while I sleep, exist on separate planes. And I will not face the day until they’ve settled together once again and said, “We’re here now. Let’s begin.”

A Gift From the Morning Light

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Drinking liquid light to illuminate my dark corners,
The hidden pockets of body within me,
The sliding rhythm of me.
I am that. I am
The glowing goodness,
The delirious joy,
The secret smiles,
The thrills of knowing and unknowing.
Looking within while looking without.
With telling heart and sureness of spirit
I will bring the truth into being.
With a breath and a glance I will
Conduct the symphonies and swell the tides.
The flowers will bloom at my caress, and
The breeze will come at my call.
And each morning my voice
Will rise with the evaporating dew
To return to the sky that it so dearly loves.

Failure’s Nourishment

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I am done trying to avoid failure.
I am done trying to outrun disappointment.
Instead, it will be the foundation I build my successes on.
It will be the slow decomposition that richens my soil for growth.
And when my dreams begin to rise and materialize, they will be all the stronger for it.

So let’s go fail, and let’s go live.
Let’s dive headlong into terrifying uncertainty.
We’ll recover.
We’ll brush ourselves off.
We’ll adjust and try it again.

The body heals, and the body learns.

Untitled

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New shadows appear when bright light like this shines. Those jagged, obsidian edges dig in, obstinately. They appear in corners and crevices that we never noticed before. And so with new vision and new vigor comes new downfalls and new demons. Only more light from more places will soften the shadows. Only more sources of shine will cause them to become as unsubstantial as smoke.

Make me a warrior.
Make me a healer.
Help me to know how to be both.

You Are

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Human, do not sever your soul from truth’s complexity.

Do not turn away from the murky work of balance and understanding.

Do not hide away from the pain in the world because without it beauty is only
half-felt, half-real.

Do not resist your grieving,
do not fight your discontent or confusion,
do not silence your despair.

Only in the depths of agony can your real strength be found.

Not the kind of strength that rages loudly or glistens in the sun
but the kind of strength that whispers to you in the dark of night
when you feel most alone and says,
“You are.
You are.
You are.”

A Mother’s Love

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My grandmother was born a fatherless child and her mother was confined in a sanitarium. She grew up in an orphanage and in the homes of less-than-loving relatives. She was abused. She was unloved by those who should have loved her, unsheltered by those who should have sheltered her. But she was a woman of great spirit, intelligence, and strength, and she ran away from those dark places at fourteen to find new paths in the big world.

Of the many accomplishments of her life, she raised three bright and curious daughters. But my grandmother was perhaps too distracted with her own overpowering instincts of survival to give much time to nurturing a deeply loving relationship with her own children. And when you’ve never known a mother’s love, how do you try to express the mother’s love in your heart to your own sweet daughters?

My grandmother died in the slow thaw of early spring. As her daughters gathered around her deathbed, they nurtured her with a motherly love that had been able to grow in their own hearts because of the decisions she had made long ago. And while it may have taken all of my grandmother’s energy and resolve to end the cycle of abuse in her own life, the echoes of that choice will be felt for generations. Because her daughters knew a mother’s love even if they didn’t always feel it. And because of her, I know and deeply feel my own mother’s love.

In death, I feel her spirit more clearly than I ever did in life, free from the hazy static of those lurking demons that she fought so hard to silence. In death, the love she felt in her heart courses freely without the pain of living to impede its way.

First Love

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It took just one conversation for me. One unassuming but deeply felt exchange between two souls. The first time I really fell in love, that’s all it took. One amazing conversation and a hug goodbye.

And I walked through the back alleys toward home, past dumpsters of trash, unmarked doors, and murky rain puddles, but I stopped in my tracks and looked up at those blazing stars above me. I shimmered at them, and they shimmered back.

“So that’s what it feels like,” I whispered to the stars in amazement and continued on my way.