this holy dance

when You came to me at first, Shiva,
i was newly mature in body
& yet a child in my mind & heart.
You were beautiful & good & kind
& You revealed that You loved me &
that i was good & perfect at heart,
& You held me within Your own heart,
so very close that i became love.
i melted into endless vast love,
wanted it like oxygen & light --
to be enfolded & suspended
in goodness, beauty & gentleness!
transcendent, divine, all-pervading!

when You came to me at first, Shiva,
i was tender & raw in this world,
betrayed & broken down to sorrow.
therefore i returned from our union
in amazed disbelief that such love
could ever be mine. i turned away.

i turned away from Your light & love
in shame at my own disordered life,
undeserving of pure divine love.
i plunged down a precipitous path
in thoughtless, careless exploration.
i would descend to the depths; i chose
to discern the domain of darkness.
i shut You out in raging despair,
throwing myself away to the world,
a boulder rolling down a mountain.

i could not bear the weight of Your light.
thus darkness swallowed me entirely
& i wallowed in grey shame & pain
while the universe wheeled around me
in ecstatic song, calling my name.

calling my name again & again,
tapping me on the head, sending me
visions of You loving me, Shiva,
until i slowly lifted my face
to see You offer a love letter.
i accepted it, took it to heart,
soaked up Your love like dry ground in rain
& moved forward from the shadowland.
You set me free when i was able
to accept such glorious freedom.

i no longer turn away, Shiva.
You are my doorway, sun, moon & stars.
i open to You in devotion.
You're a patient lover, i am shy.
i am divinely touched & entered.
Here i am, as an open window,
as a portal to deep mystery,
forever changed by what i have known.

i am an old woman writing this.
i confess that i want You so much
i secretly call You "my Shiva."
You will come for me at body's death.
i aim to yield & melt into You
like egg & sperm in divine rapture.
everything temporal & human
dissolves in this ultimate union.

hold me in Your embrace, my Shiva,
gliding in this holy dance with me,
eternal lover & companion!
whirl me & turn me & take me home!

even this

all i'm ever loving is You, Shiva --
for all is spun out of You
& threaded through & throughout
the tapestry of this maya.

only You observe through these eyes,
only You warm this body.
my wordlessness is Yours too,
& my words as well, my silence.

i can only find You inside
what i thought was me & mine.
i look for me & i'm gone.
only awareness remains --
even this is You, Lord Shiva,
as we dance this dance in tandem!

this quest

You have set me apart
from the start of this life.
the pattern continues:
my yearning for union,
seeking to cleave to one
other person & place.
this ever eludes me.

what choice have i but to
turn to You, true constant
in the kaleidoscope
of this impermanence?
You sent me on this quest,
You accompany me.
i cling to You, Shiva.
You don't turn me away --
how could the heart turn from
its very own beating?

the point

events & worldly circumstances
wheel fast around me & i wonder,
am i turning too or watching it?
swiftly changing, the whirling blur is
too fleet to discern faces & forms,
only movement, the great dance of life.

shifting my gaze inward: constancy,
here, the point the wheel revolves around.
here is the steady living presence --
Lord Shiva, You populate my heart!
other loves are reflections of You,
all constantly pointing back to You.
this is my inner knowingness now.
this is my comfort & nourishment.
Your ceaseless companionship teaches
what is real, good, true & beautiful.
Let the world rush in its spurt of speed --
i cleave now to the Auspicious One.
Shiva, i am devoted to You!

circling around You

i confess that people in my life
are like shadows cast upon a screen.
though they reach out, they cannot touch me.
their voices blend with the rushing wind,
as real as stars at noon, sun at night.
they come & go, rise & fall & fade.
only You stay steady, Lord Shiva.

You are seated firmly in the heart
& my life is circling around You,
held fast by an unbreakable cord.
Your fragrance tells me that You are near.
we are invisibly blended, wed,
& the party is in full swing now
in my heart's most resonant chamber.

the shadow people, slowly turning,
seem to move in time with Your music
which is leaking out through all my pores,
drenching the surroundings with Your love.
my hand, in Your hand, reaches to them
to whirl us in a vast circle dance.

patterns

You weave Yourself into the pattern
of my life after childhood departs --
my cry for meaning calls You to me.
You show me how to make an altar,
tell me about the world appearing
as pairs of opposite qualities.
You teach me to balance opposites
through You, by taking refuge in You.

i cannot say that You save my life
because first You tear it all apart.
or i tear it apart because i
can't stand the emptiness any more.

You bring me to a mountain to serve
& honor everything as sacred.
You're the thread stitching all together
in a pattern of pure symmetry.
jewels are hidden in the design,
dappled light, trees, foxes, bears & crows,
sunlight glowing through mist & green leaves,
birds carrying messages to gods.

i have loved You in Your many forms.
You are pattern, You are energy.
You are the weaver & the woven,
the rhyme that repeats in my lifesong,
great maker & breaker of patterns.
i am Your expression, Lord Shiva,
i am You singing me into life,
laughing in delight at our playing.

a lump of coal

i was a lump of coal when first we met.
i was thirteen, just reaching to see
beyond the family walls. You were
my friend from another dimension,
my secret companion in wonder.

through these many years You pressed upon me,
impelling me inward & slowly
increasing Your pressure until i
became strong, bright, able to endure.
my darkness slowly changed to clear light.

You then carefully cut & faceted
the diamond You made of the coal
of my heart until, in my elderhood,
i became a rainbow & gave hope
& encouragement to those near me.
You never relented nor gave up
on me, continually shaped me.

now i can sit in darkness & yet shine
with light, for You have filled me with Your
downpouring loving light, Lord Shiva.
You have made me a diamond in
Your hidden treasure box, a fragment
of Your own majesty & glory.

i am a star in Your celestial
constellation; i am a blessing in
Your gift basket for humanity.
thank You, Lord Shiva, for the darkness
that makes the light irresistible.

Shiva’s gift

a girl who is me at age fourteen
begins to awaken from sleep.
she is taken on a journey --
there is movement toward a being.
there is awareness & consciousness,
there is You, a beacon calling
in timeless, spaceless, placeless flow.
steadily i am pulled toward You.
You are all there is to me now --
You are a magnet, i am iron.
i come to You, ever closer.
this awareness is filling me up!

approaching You, converging now,
we blend into no me & no You,
just endless Being remaining,
& completeness, all-embracing love.
only belonging exists now
& grand radiant goodness & love.
there is no "i" within that realm,
yet i am there forever it seems.
i still remain there, even now,
so deeply am i touched, implanted,
marked by Your love & pure presence.

in my elderhood in this earth realm
i see what a treasure You gave
& celebrate Your light gratefully.
You are the gardener of my soul
& i am blooming for You, Shiva!

i missed our tryst

i missed our tryst this morning.
my mala lays cold, untouched.
the heart stutters in sorrow,
the mind shrinks back in dismay.
i call to You in longing,
confess my unconsciousness.
Shiva! the world dragged me off
to myriad diversions
& i forgot! i forgot
that i am betrothed, in love,
that i am pledged to You now.

i missed our tryst this morning.
i turned my back on our love,
lost in this transient world,
forgetting my vow, unstrung
like a broken old guitar
that yearns for music again.

i missed our tryst this morning
yet now i am here, renewed,
mala held close to my heart,
Your sweet love cleansing my soul,
patiently calling me home.

messages of love

in the hot desert aridity,
in the whipping cold wind of the plains,
in the darkness & in the sunlight,
You are present, Shiva, You are here.
i sometimes forget, oh, i forget!
You do not forget me, not ever!

i reach back in my mind through the years
to the young girl who sought her true self.
i call out encouragement to her.
i tell her that the story ends well,
that it is good to be curious,
to question, to search & inquire,
that she really is completely loved.

You, Lord Shiva, do the same for me.
You keep sending messages of love.
my scrapbooks are filled with evidence
of Your presence, power and grace.
soon i will put down my storybook
& look You in the face & thank You.