that's the name that my final husband, bill, & i called our home to the various friends, family & wanderers who came our way over the years. we were the gates family, & we named our home "way station" to indicate that it was a place to rest while on a long journey. some came & left quickly, while others became a good part of our lives for ages. all were teachers of various kinds, & we also shared all that we could with them of positive world views & lessons we learned. we included the planet "saturn" in our home name, for he is the task master & way shower, the wise companion of our elderhood. thrift & discipline as a way of life were acceptable to us: we learned from everyone & everything, intending good will to all. we named our home "space refinery" because we so cherished the deep philosophical discussions & spiritual musings that we often enjoyed with other people. we felt that we contributed positively to the planetary noosphere in this small way. for more than forty years bill & i held this vision dear to our hearts, & manifested it in our lives. even here in this nursing home, we held fast to a positive vision & ideal, glad that we were able to remain at least under the same roof until death did part us physically. we are still together in the space refinery though, for it is nonphysical in its essence. the subtle inner work continues onward, only briefly interrupted after all. such has been Your influence on me, Shiva, silently guiding me through the years, refining the best in me to a realm of purity i could not imagine in my younger years of untried ignorance. saturn is another teacher in Your cosmic university. the gates' saturn way station & space refinery was just one small classroom in Your vast cosmic university, one among many. ah Shiva, so we move into the evolving energies of now, as i plunge wholly into You: the gates' saturn way station & space refinery merges fully into the infinite unknown in sacred solemn trust in You. You take this awareness far beyond the human & temporal into my true home in You, as You. just as the planet is one with the solar system, & the solar system is one with the galaxy, so am i also one with You, Shiva. i rest in You, never to be parted, for the body's death is but the opening of the door for me finally to come home to You.
things that float & fly trigger primal joy & amazement in us: birds, butterflies, bubbles & balloons; airplanes, spaceships, ufos. they draw our attention up to the sky, to the sun, moon & stars & other wonders too precious & arcane to divide into diagrams of nouns, verbs & their modifiers, arranged much like bricks in a wall to assure properly predictable results. things that float & fly need abundant space, emptiness, freedom, an openness so vast that the human mind pours itself into a quietude that watches & wonders without structured boundaries. You came to me in that way, Shiva, through the open doorway of the sky, & You established Your home in my heart. You made of me a temple, a place of worship & rejoicing over all these long years since my youth. You were my nameless, invisible companion & confidant & i was the one who held You close. now, at the endgame of this life, You have given me Your name to strengthen my sadhana & to encourage me to continue on here. i'm as though among the singers in a chorus, holding the notes steady & pouring my heart into the great thundering sonic concluding celebration of soaring sound. You lift me skyward, Shiva; You take me to that high place inside that feels like being on a mountain top with all the shining mystery spread before me. i fall into You, into that mystery, & it is none other than the vast undivided Self that exists free of definition & delusion. here, at the outer edge of words, things that float, fly & fall need boundless space, emptiness & freedom.
beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name: within the innermost vastness, deep, unknown & dark, You are here now in bold vivid presence. i don't know just how i discern it, yet i feel You as if You're my own breath, soft & full way down inside me, warm & welcome within, moving gently although unseen, known in silence alone. breath rises & falls & even speech is quiet at last, yet still You remain lingering in Your home in the heart. beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name: even so, i call You Shiva, the name that is inscribed somewhere inside so deeply down it can't ever be lost, even within the vastness unknown, where it shines as a spark of Your light. it can't be hidden; it can't be quenched.
having no power of my own, i am couched in limitless power. knowing the eternal truth, external judgements find no home in me. i have no home. i have no family, no worldly aspirations. having no home, i am at peace right where i am. having no desire to accumulate, i am as weightless as a bubble in the breeze & i discover myself at last at rest just where i need to be. every day i find myself anew. every night i release myself from focussed form & resolute need. soon i will not exist distinct in my originality, yet existence will go rolling on. all is nested & folded into patterns beyond casual thought, sliding through dimensions beyond & enfolding the usual three. You are with me step by step, Shiva who lives in the cave of my heart. You ignite the light that dims the dark, returning full color to sight. i feel the sunrise in my heart in the long cold dark of winter & now my sleep is over & ended, for my door is standing open. my door is standing open & fingers of the sun are beckoning. i have no body; i am formless & free, weightless as a bubble in the breeze coming to rest, shining alight just where i need to be.
need is honed by the whetted knives of appetite & truly, Shiva, i hunger for You. gone are home & husband: only You remain to feel my need & only You, my panacea, can satisfy it. after the hard fall from grace comes humility. after the blessing of divine presence comes also humility, for what on earth can long endure? i am like an autumn butterfly floating in the wind as if a bright & tattered fallen leaf spiraling in circles not of my own choosing. i am being carried home, Shiva, on this long journey of return to You, yet another weary old butterfly coasting on worn ragged wings & deeply rooted instinct as the days grow shorter & cooler & the nights fall even colder. the crisp clear nights are overseen by orion & the pleiades, who make their promises & work their spell upon my stuttering heart. i am promised to You, Shiva, carried & cloistered by messengers who are following Your firm command. my life is not my own. even my need & appetite do not originate with me but come as endowments, strange puzzles concealing Your calling card & messages written in subtle sensory glyphs which You have taught me how to read. they say, "wear it out, burn it up, let it go & seek Me everywhere as we play hide & seek in this burning ground of purification called daily life on planet earth. I will carry you home at the end." "are we home yet, Shiva?" i ask Him like a child, again & again, & we giggle & play tag in body after body one more time.
i am not meant to fit in or conform. i am made for the part of independent observer & outsider, watcher & listener. the body can no longer assert ties to my guardianship, for Shiva invites me to withdraw my vigilance over the body's condition & to release it to its natural process. i do. i release the body to its fate. i focus instead on Shiva: knowing Shiva, breathing Shiva, seeing, tasting, smelling & touching Shiva. i plunge deep into Shiva & take full refuge in Shiva, that i may live truly in Him, for i know that my home is not here. Shiva, hear my lament! or maybe it's a rallying cry for the forces of light to shine out ever more brightly & vividly. Shiva, hear my lament! or perhaps it's the dying cry of the ego as it exhausts the vasanas of the mind in weariness. Shiva, hear me in my loss & confusion & have compassion for this slowness & ignorance. hold me tightly as the ties to the world dissolve in the natural process of this transformation & flux. life is eternal; awareness is cosmic; words rest in the light of sudden pure direct knowing, & pieces & parts are one with the whole.
there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here. we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here. there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples, sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred. we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions. there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity. when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams. "you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you." we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!" so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules, breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through, every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out." Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings. the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia. when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!
holy is the rapture of fire & water, playing as spirit & matter, Shiva & Shakti, uniting. ah Shiva! let us float upon the waves of fond regard &, rising as mist, leave it all fading behind as we become transparent, as we become the splendor of light, as we become pure rainbow & nebulous aurora. oh Shiva! this dance of luminous flowing shapes dissolves into nameless effulgence of electrons! yet still You generously consent to these pale words as pointers toward that alluring numinous love calling us home. You are my home, Shiva, my heart's abode & resting place; i traverse this labyrinth of life securely in You.