Don’t ever let anyone tell you
There is only one path to freedom.
You know, as you look within,
That your stories are wholly yours,
The way they circulate with your blood,
And form the very mass of your bones.
If as they say you are stardust,
Then you know from looking up,
Through the cloud of your doubts
Into the clearest sky at midnight,
That the stars are infinite,
That each one has something
Different to tell you, from near or far,
That one is winking, while another cries.
We don’t have to be told
That we are made of our ancestors,
Each a snowflake, a grain of sand
Gleaming on the landscape of time,
An entire universe crystallized
Just like this, in one exact moment
That can and will never be repeated.
The beauty of the thread of love
That unites us and allows us our love
Honours each of our differences,
Without which a hole the size of the world
And our profound losses could never be filled.
But we are here – we are all here,
Arrived with a special capacity to grow,
And find ever new ways of growing,
That will always start with who you are,
And how much you are willing
To love yourself enough to begin,
No matter what the forces saying no,
In the light of all the love saying yes.
I want to start again,
Be conditioned by trees,
As though I am
In a position to come awake
For the first time.
I want to find myself
Crawling on forest growth,
And I want to use a rock
To steady myself
As I take these first steps.
I want my first friends
To be grasshoppers
And owls of the night,
And I want to learn early on,
That death is life’s way,
And that this is not
Something to be scared of.
I want to come alive again
to the sound of wind
To the place needs to go,
And to invite everyone
To arrive with me there.
The art of remembering, and forgetting … like all binaries, it has to be all about balance. We don’t want to remember so much that our entire world becomes a recreation of a past that doesn’t exist anymore, so that we become incapable of living in the present moment. But we don’t want to forget so much that we lose the context for our being, the heart and bones of our ancestry that fills our vessel with so much of what makes us who we are. We don’t want to cling to what has caused us pain and give this too much potency, nor to an overwhelming nostalgia for a time we will never have back and that never quite existed. But we don’t have or want to condemn ourselves to being completely unmoored, either. We can allow ourselves to be rooted in the nurturing ground that gave rise to us without being indebted to every detail of our history. We can work toward finding freedom within the form or shell that is the life we came in to. We can work toward honouring the past and finding it it the many valuable and necessary lessons for a more hopeful future while working our hearts out to cultivate, forge, pioneer, and create the unimaginable gift of an open life for ourselves.
There are times when the veil lifts,
You have been here, but not like this.
Treading softly into seasons’ tenderness,
The whole world to touch, nothing less.
How about, instead of asking
where I come from,
you ask me where I want to go,
and instead of offering your name,
you find self in a warm embrace?
How about a smile instead of a rebuttal,
an ear for listening instead of shouting?
How about looking at a rainbow,
and marveling at how few you’ve seen,
and are likely yet to see in this life,
and mark the day as a miracle?
How about making wondering,
wandering, too, your true vocation,
becoming a master in the art of awe?
How about looking around
and seeing it all for the first time,
inventing new shapes in the clouds
before they, too, disappear,
and how about inviting this change,
and finding beauty in what can’t be held?
How about finding a new perspective
instead of delighting in the already known;
how about finding and honoring
both the teacher and student in you?
How about taking your shoes off
and grounding in the earth,
and feeling this support through life?
How about talking to trees,
Finding songs in a breeze,
How about being still and
catching it all and remembering:
There is so much love where I am,
and I am here, and I am free.