the dust that falls from the sky on a high windy day is
borne here from far unknown origins. it carries countless
particles of our ancestors, called forth by the winds of
these times. the necessary mantric chants have been performed
& the spirits have gathered around us. the old mammoths
buried beneath ancient stone & earth are sending forth their
cellular emissaries: ancestors, all of them. they're
restlessly roaming the wild wind currents of the skyways.
Shiva! our most humble helpers have now arrived with this
new wind. they are widespread, part of this vast crucible that
constitutes our planet earth. the winds of change stir with the
return of the ancestors & the old earthly dreaming.
the long scroll of maya rolls out the script that we all must
fumble our way through. it goes on & on, through ups & downs
forever. it brings new challenges, such as the winds our
primeval ancestors lash us with now. they demand our
accountability, those ancient ones. they urge us to
respond, all those ghosts & phantoms of the past, the specters
& spirits who have risen into the wind to get our
attention now in this time of planetary ripeness.
Shiva! we hear the message & we ask for Your guidance.
our hands are covered thick with the dust of the ancestors
& we know not what to do! Shiva, we implore Your grace!
You have made many cameo appearances in my life, Shiva, brief sightings to reassure my fragile human self of Your presence. You have given wonders & miracles to wake me up somewhat. i am grateful. i wish that i could remain awakened, but dullness & weariness grip the body, & my initiative has slowly congealed & become stiff, encumbering me & slowing me down more.
i am old & i am not a hero: i simply continue to endure. sometimes i feel this must surely qualify as heroic: just to keep on going! oh Shiva! is it time now for another cameo appearance? or maybe even a small wonder? i will wait here for You, alert & observant, continuing to endure, chanting Your mantra day after day & writing these poems to You.
You came to me softly in the night all those years ago, Your tender
comfort wrapping me as completely as a swaddling blanket, from the
top of my head to the soles of my feet. i had never felt so loved.
You were bodiless, yet Your attraction was strong, like a tractor beam
sweetly drawing me in to You. i had called You to me: You may have
me completely. i give myself to You fully in service to light.
i said that with a thirteen year old's sincerity in a stifling
society. i turned my back on that world & i faced toward You,
my visitor from another dimensional realm of mystery.
alas, Your visit was so fleeting! You stayed but briefly, just to teach
me how to make an altar that supported my deepest inner life.
after all the detritus & dust has settled, You emerge again
to me, in your body of power this time. i am swept up. i am
wholly pulled in. i am with You, connected at the heart & by Your
name. we are sealed together with Your mantra: om namah Shivaya.
initially, You came to me softly in the night, yet now we walk
in the light of day in bold unconcern & nonchalance. after all,
You do have me completely, while the human world has but a small part.
i travel this journey with You, Shiva, swaddled in Your divine name,
which surrounds & overlights like the wild charm of Your holy aura.
i am enraptured by the songs of the mountains! their huge throats are
vastly deep & they reach up high where the air is cool & refined.
the earth itself offers up its sacred bass voice to these mountains.
they sing divine mantras & wordless praise songs of celebration
& they hum OM ceaselessly. sometimes i can feel it in my bones.
they hum OM ceaselessly & this pervades my very cells, provides
a foundation on which i can stand firm, be open to receive. thus
receiving, i myself become kin to the tall singing mountains,
sustaining the foundation of this ephemeral existence.
Mount Kailash is Shiva's beloved abode because He honors
that holy mountain's primordial song. sometimes i can hear the
two of them harmonizing all through the night & long into the morning.
i hold their song dear & i softly weave my voice in also.
You play a long game, Shiva, so i'm often looking for signs
of You, to get an idea of what You have planned for me this
time. You keep me alert, curious, & i feel lively when
You are near. Your energies make me tingle & giggle like
a shy young schoolgirl. i need more of this for the secret doors
of my heart to slowly work themselves open. that is where the
overflow of silliness dwells, pacing behind the closed doors.
now the doors fly open! & the most arcane silliness of
all comes forth, prancing & skipping & dancing through the biggest
doorway, laughing & flirting as it comes up to me. i hold
out my arms & it leaps gladly up to be cuddled & stroked
& tickled on its little soft fuzzy belly, snuggling close.
"let's play dress-up," i whisper in its eager ear. "come see all
my costumes," i say as i carry this silliness with me.
i have some long game costumes like mountain & ocean & tree.
my favorites are the stars, & that's also what my rescued
silliness wants: to fly swiftly through the sky like a star. it
won't believe me when i say that stars don't actually fly.
"you just haven't paid enough attention," my silliness snorts.
"you watch me now!" it gives a really big, mighty, mammoth jump
that totally breaks free of gravity's ties, & it goes up,
soaring across the sky with a huge grin shining on its face.
it doesn't burn up either, it just puts on a wild dance show
that leaves all the other star systems gasping in awe, & with
the urgent desire to let their own silliness roam free &
wild. all silliness is good at finding the wells of healing.
in this way, the silliness got set free to be in our lives.
so is this Your long game, Shiva? bringing us more laughter &
ridiculousness? loosening us up to free our vision
from the hard grip of the tight & narrow patterns that we had
become entangled within? what a holy blessing! thank You,
Shiva, for holding my world together from the inside out;
for filling me with Your presence & touching me with Your love.
the rhythm of Your dance echoes in my jubilant heartbeat.
for five years now i have seen my life history in a new way.
before You came to the forefront of my regard, Shiva, i saw
a random collection of chaotic & confusing events
that i tried to make my way through as best i could. i was aware
of a general guidance in my life that took me from place to
place & adventure to adventure. i always heeded it, for
i knew that a great power was present. i was attuned to that.
You finally show Yourself to me at this time of the endgame,
the final act of the play. i didn't know it would become so
intense & immediate, right at the center of awareness.
because of the quickening Your presence provides, these past events
& adventures fall into a coherent story revealing
the awakening soul coming forth at last. there are no loose ends
any more, no dreadful mistakes or shameful blunders or sorrows.
after eighty-one years, patterns emerge resolving confusion.
it all fits together clearly now, every one of the baffling
puzzle pieces is snugly & meaningfully aligned in place.
i know that beauty & goodness is emerging from it. i know
that the story spilling out is intended to be a blessing
& an offering. i know that i am much more than the body
& its history. i can feel the holy ripeness of this time.
this is where You come in, Shiva. Please teach me kindly to quiet
the mind & calm the inner activity, that i may mirror
You to the outer world more completely. i humbly invite You
to intervene where necessary. my life is Yours already;
please help me to sustain it with grace, kindness & open-hearted
humor, that Your radiant light may stream without obstruction through
me, even here in this place of final attunement & blessing.
i keep returning to the image of the pool in the forest
of japan. it is central in the artwork painted on the low
lacquered table that my parents purchased in tokyo. the painting
offers mystic access to the portal that the pool really is.
other dimensions impinge into our world via such portals.
underneath the lacquer in the painting, the peaceful private scene
seems to hint at subtle secrets & mysteries, if one would but
linger for a while by the side of the serene pool; if one would
but gaze, long & unfocussed, into the coolly soothing waters
that gently touch the smoothly rounded stones waiting at water's edge.
i keep returning to that tranquil pool in the deep cool forest
of japan. i wonder whose eyes may peer out & contemplate me
from the shifting shadows of the nearby trees. what dark rich fragrance
may rise like a questing spirit from the leaf-strewn earth stretching out
into the timeless magical realm between realities. i
easily slip into resonance with the silent magnetic
yearning of this mystical portal. i feel soothingly softened.
ah, there is so much HARD in this heavy world! how sweet to become
soft & yielding for a while, as the eternal mystery makes
its slow way through all available channels. i am drenched with it,
all shiny & wet with the birth fluid of this very moment.
hello Shiva! You must surely be the Lord of Portals, for there
are so many open portals of passage to Your side! thank You
for the tender intimate communions with wonder & magic
that You have freely shared with me over the years & under the
banner of love. one day soon we will sit together by this pool
& touch its chill waters, honoring it as one of the varied
hidden portals placed roundabout as a blessing to humankind.
i will wait for You, Shiva, by the pool in the restful forest.
when i was a small sparrow & i ate seeds where i could find them,
i said "thank You" to Shiva for giving them to me. when i was
a hawk & i could catch a sparrow on the wing for my supper,
i said "thank You" to Shiva for providing my next meal for me.
when i was a deer & i munched on tender grass & leaves to feed
my hunger, i said "thank You" to Shiva for offering Himself
to me in this form. when i was a wolf & i ate deer to stay
alive, i said "thank You" to Shiva for this welcome gift You bring:
& i laid myself down flat upon the ground, prostrating to Him.
now i am human. i ask Shiva what He suggests I should eat.
He tells me that i, myself, am both the eater & the eaten.
Shiva confides that everything is made from His own body, that
all things nurture in their own way: & that once i eat i also
am confirmed within the realm of the eatible. all matter is
circulated & transformed in the process; as caterpillar
becomes chrysalis; as water evaporates from the ocean
to become rain. all matter is subject to transformation, &
the master-transformer is Shiva, who provides everything that
we eat from His own primal substance, His body of expression.
all is given by divine provision, for it is one & it is
holy. i call this Shiva; others may say God or Jehovah,
Allah, Buddha, Krishna or the Tao. Although appearing as quite
diverse, all is seen essentially as one, when examined with
holistic sight & a receptive heart capable of melting.
though all is made from the substance of that one vast holy being,
what i eat does become part of this body, thus i'm selective.
i don't eat anything that has a face, so i eat vegetables,
grains & milk products, giving some degree of purity for You
Who finally partake of me in the higher realm that i am
headed for. i say "thank You," Shiva, as i offer myself like
a sweet, juicy purple plum, ripe on the branch in morning sunshine,
ready for a transformative journey to Whom all things return.