The We of a Tree: A Story

Photo on 2018-03-29 at 6.48 AM #2

Often, when I do yoga here, at home, on the seventh floor of our building, I wish I was closer to the ground, so that I could feel the earth below me, rather than sort of hovering over it – grounding is so important for everyone, especially “airy, in-the-head” people like me! But today, after a particularly intense practice, I was lying on my back at the end, and suddenly a vivid image came to me, of the six “layers” of people below me, and we were sort of forming the trunk of a tree, so that the nourishment of the ground was coming straight up though this “tree of people”, supporting me, my life, my journey, and I was also receiving, from the sky, and this was flowing right back down through everyone back to the ground. We were a tree, the spine of a human body, connected, working together. I was such a beautiful lesson.

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Trust and Love

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I think the word “trust”
and my heart cowers, trembling,
trying to squeeze
into the tiniest corner it can find,
to be left alone to pick up
a million shattered pieces,
find utmost tenderness
in the wake of a thousand heartaches.
There are so many ways of falling apart,
each feeling like a well-trodden road
that can take you to your place of pain
with the great ease of the unburdened.
The climb back, out, in the other direction,
the monumental effort of this.
The ache of one tiny swivel of the head,
the reward is instant.
Right there, just off to the side
on the road of worry,
a tree, gargantuan, protector and protected.
Both ways.
It makes no promises, asks nothing of you.
So you are drawn here, slowly, to observe,
to witness
(still clutching your aching heart)
the great way of the tree,
standing through all seasons,
accepting of its plush plenitude
and bear nakedness alike,
harming no thing,
nourishing as it is nourished
only to the extent that it can,
so that it always has what it needs,
the great lesson in this.
The great miracle
of being teaching being,
of all that is offered, all the salves
to a heart in need of healing.

– tt

We are the Blessed Ones

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to the gods and goddesses
living inside us,
to the parts of us that are
wounded and unsure,
to the depths of power
we hold within such fragile frames,
to the fear we cling to
to keep ourselves smaller,
to our celestial visions
and our subterranean workings,
to those who scamper to treetops
and those whose feet hold firm to the ground
to the singers, dancers and dreamers of light
and those who dwell in the shadows,
to our mothers and fathers and children
and to the families that we make:
we are the blessed ones,
even when the sky has fallen
and the waves have receded from the shore,
and everything seems to be slipping away,
we are the blessed ones
and we are not forgotten;
may we never forget.
– TS

We are Home

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we find ourselves
turning away from what
we’ve had and known
dreams of distant suns
and faraway moons
proving too powerful
to calm the restless heart
and allow us to stay
we see ourselves
getting lost in the
seas and oceans of
the hearts and minds
of others, the din of
all that came before this,
as we search for the compass
the gravity, the ground
until we experience,
in one moment, a return
that is not quite a return,
and it can be the glint of an eye,
one embrace, the rustling
of one leaf or the magnanimity
of one ancient, holy tree,
and we know:
we are protected
the ground is ours and not ours,
yet yet, in our humility,
an opening as wide as
a cave that promises the world
has offered itself, and we are ready to
find the treasures and shadows within:
we are home.
– TS

We Are Gold: A Poem

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our gilded days
and we are –
an imperfect yet holy
refraction
caught in our desires
that come down to this:
to be whole
to be loved,
and the mistakes we make
in the way we cannot
recognize
that we are not what is
left over, incomplete,
searching,
no, we are a reflection,
illumined and pure,
of the vastest space
we can imagine,
and I envision this,
as I my eye catches the spark
of the sun glinting off
gold leaf
on sacred temple grounds:
I don’t have to transport myself
anywhere
for my transmutation.
I am here
with everything that is,
and I will stay here,
until I understand that
love seeps through me
the way the moon
bleeds her light into the sky,
unhindered, abundant,
limitless, moving mountains and seas
with nothing but
inner light.
– TS

The Art of Meditation

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breathe in –
breathing becomes laboured
snagging and catching before the end
 
breathe out –
the breath becomes a cry
caught on a gasp of surprise
 
sit tall –
the spine aches from holding
stories thousands of years old
 
be soft –
i feel not softness but threadbare fragility in
bone and skin that threaten collapse
 
i am falling –
but in the falling, an acute awareness
of what i’ve neglected so long
 
i am restless –
i have within me infinite little pieces
that have been struggling to be heard
 
i am suffering –
i have awakened to brilliant depths
of what it means to be alive and trying
 
i am human –
i will ache and burn as i sit with each one of us
feeling a unity in all our pain but also our triumphs
 
i am learning –
every moment, every breath in, breath out
is a change, a movement, a new leaf born. – TS

I Stay

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heartland
world goes to dusk
verdant landscape blushes
as sun paints the world
one last streak of fire
for this time
 
i stay
as she makes
her serpentine descent
i mourn the world
that will soon be
shrouded in dark
 
i resist
the temptation
to leap toward the horizon
and follow the sun to
all those places
on the other side
 
instead
hands to heart
i fix my gaze on the tree
i slow down my breath
that pulses with twilight fear
and i stay – TS