i am a friend to the birds of the night who emerge out of
the liminal spaces where light & dark meet & dance & blend.
we call out our wild joy to the moon & stars who now come forth
from their seclusion to shine soft subtle light into hidden
realms of moving misty forms, shifting through beckoning shades of
visibility. i am called beyond my borders by them,
enticed by these swirling shapes that glide, turn & recede from me
with the flowing meandering moves of those from somewhere else.
Shiva, lord of darkness & light, You are also truly lord
of us liminal people, drawn like moths to Your fiery love.
we sing with the birds of the holy night: the owls, whippoorwills
& chuck-will's-widows. like the drunkards brash midnight serenade,
we are loud & we won't stop our eager full-throated calling,
our powerful celebration of this transitional time.
i am a friend to the birds of the night who emerge out of
the liminal spaces to proclaim our heart's vision to You,
who wear the moon in Your hair & like to hear our songs: Shiva!
the banner of Your love flies for all outsiders such as we.
there are different ways of knowing than by form alone. there are alternate ways of being than those offered by the urging of consensus sociocultural demands. they will find you when you are made more tenderly receptive by forces vaster than you can understand or encompass.
it feels like destruction & devastation: the spaciousness! the bones of the old order no longer demanding your flesh, the freedom of nothing remaining to lose, save or cling to. you may fall into the heart of gravity or glide in winds of the cosmic breath of OM. you may pause at the still center beyond human thought as the divine play of polarity sets the cost of exit & ushers you through the dark doorway.
into the void you descend, the nothingness: but what sweetness pervades that mysterious emptiness! what love flows warmly through the center of the heart! there are many other ways of knowing than by form. Shiva, this i learned & now share freely in the same way that birds feel the urge to sing in glad wonder as the new day reveals rising light; or as the flower spreads the fist of the bud into petals held wide like fingers to salute You, Shiva, & bask in the rays of the newborn sun.
the body is elderly, yet the dweller within is ageless.
activity is limited by a medical condition,
yet the heart-center is online & the inner work continues
with vivid dedication & continuous cultivation.
in another realm i dwell as timeless receptive consciousness.
the many realms interpenetrate & i am in them all in
various conditions. the bodies change, yet i continue the
journey of increasing awareness & consequent devotion.
when words are available i rejoice, Shiva, i rejoice that
i am able to see a more expansive vision through Your grace.
the constraints of the physical realm dissolve in other domains.
the body is elderly, yet the dweller within is ageless,
returning repeatedly to the wholeness of heart-consciousness.
i am aware of You, yet there is no separation present.
we are blended consciousness, distinct yet simultaneously
combined as well. love is the substratum of our union, Shiva.
who i really am does not need a physical body to be.
i am forever You at heart, eternally Your expression,
dedicated to You as only ones deepest Self can be. here
now is the pure land in mellow shining glory, the beating of
the divine heart of the world sounding OM, sounding OM, sounding hOMe!
the body comes & goes, comes & goes, & You go on forever,
Shiva of numberless names, including the name i once thought was mine.
there is a sunrise in my heart. with each breath the sunglow increases;
with every thought of You, Shiva, the passing moment warms & brightens.
this sunrise of You fills me completely & i become a fountain.
there is a sunrise in my heart & love wells forth, showering gently
down, falling like a nourishing rain into all the thirsty places.
the cracked soil softens & brings forth tender shoots of green that flow like grace
through hidden lowlands & the wild places of nature, my own as well.
a chorus of birds is singing in the light that leaks from the sunrise
in my eager open heart. they fly to me now, bringing gifts of ferns,
flowers & leaves. they recognize Your energy signature, Shiva.
there is a sunrise in my heart, a faithful guiding light that persists
& ever returns to its sentinel post, comfortingly present.
in this light the sacred subtle dimensions soar luminous, revealed,
& You beckon to me compellingly to stand with You in the light.
like a falcon returning to the falconer's arm, i come to You.
i was blind for much of my life, Shiva:
blind to Your presence & power, to You
as the essence & core of all things &
beings. i was unaware & drifting.
i was blind to all but the surface. the
superficial outer aspect lulled me
to sleep in a deep hypnotic dreaming
that was decades in length & deadening.
yet night turns to day inevitably,
thus i finally awaken when You
relentlessly thrust me forth from my rut.
it was furnished with my favorite things,
though i chafed at its narrow restrictions.
now my sight returns & i see the truth
of Your presence. there's no escaping it.
now that i see Your ubiquity, my
heart frees the old bolts that held the door closed.
my heart is vowed & pledged to You, Shiva.
although i am a late bloomer, You wait
until my blossom is full wide open.
now i am here before You, patiently
offering it to You in tender love.
i'm blinded by the outer no longer,
coming to You stripped of worldly dowry.
i am transparent to Your ceaseless light,
rainbows shining wherever You touch me,
words dissolving like darkness into dawn.
there are no words to describe You adequately & hence
many words appear, like birds singing in the rising dawn.
they can't help themselves. it's their dharma to sing at first light.
i can't stop myself from discerning You in varied ways.
i sense You like water gently raining down upon me,
drenching me with Your ten thousand glorious names & forms.
everything points to You, turns to You, just as sunflowers
yearn earnestly for the sun & track its course in the sky.
i seek You in events & persist until i find You.
with equal determination I turn my gaze inward
& seek You within the hidden "i" of this persona.
ah Shiva! i play hide & seek with You as though i were
a mischievous deva lost in an earthly frolic.
i stand behind these many words i write for You, meaning
well, just like the dawn bird who sings so joyously, or the
tall sunflower lifting its face up to worship the sun.
it is the dharma of my sunflower heart to love You.
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.
when the sky splits open & sunshine pours
through the broken clouds, i see You, Shiva.
You have no form, yet Your presence is strong.
may the heart be touched & blessings kindled.
may sweetness be released to permeate
all who dwell in deep appreciation
of the sheer wonder of sky overhead
& breath in the warm animal body.
may we bow to Your fragrant presence here,
Shiva. You make beauty from brokenness
& angels from the most humble among us.
when the sky splits open & sunshine pours
golden honey through the clouds, i see You
turning toward this fierce realm. i mirror
You, shining light out freely to the world.
this light is Your own, recycled through me,
giving form to the formless, love to all.
the field is open & bare, harvested to stubble,
soaking up the streaming light of the sun, rejoicing.
the sun, in sacred union with the whole rolling earth,
blazes love & joy into the entire galaxy.
the galaxy, in vast dance with other galaxies,
spins in etheric quantum entanglement & love.
love like dark matter. love like nebulae, like quasars.
love like gravity, like magnetism, like lightning.
love moving like the tides or like blood & lymph flowing.
love like egg & sperm uniting. love like human birth.
it's the same everywhere: this dance of energy,
the holy harmonium sounding a sacred chord
that echoes through the heart & bloodstream like music, pure!
Shiva, the stars are shining in the sky of my eyes
in the heavenly quantum entanglement called love
where i am filled with the sound of Your sweet primal OM.
when i threw myself headlong & heartshort into the rowdy suffering of the world,
You gave that to me, You allowed me the vividly intense experience i sought.
thank You, Shiva. i learned to endure & to value the kindnesses that kindled my heart.
when i wrapped myself deeply in my personal sorrows, You gave that to me as well.
Your permissions were generous. my greed was strong & omnivorous & relentless.
thank You, Shiva, for allowing me the deepening darkness that urged me to seek the light.
when i called out to You in love & longing, You came to me & held me to Your heart.
You remained with me as i meandered the obscure paths & the hard brightly paved ways.
You turned my life around when You transported me in my car to a different road
than the one i had set out upon. You wonder-bombed me, awed me silent, stunned & still.
You got my attention, enraptured me, woke me up & laid a new path before me.
on this new path we walk together & You teach me, remind me of what i forgot.
You comfort me in the midst of discomfort. You instruct me as guide & companion.
Shiva, for the time of intimacy to come i had to be stripped of my armor,
my shiny conclusions & competence, & brought to the knees of my humility.
it is here that i surrender my love to You & open to Your love beyond words.
so it is that You place me here in Your service within the crucible of Your love.
thank You, Shiva. without You all is hollow, yet dense enough to leave bruises behind.
with You Life is rich & promising like an april sunrise on a sentinel hill
in the pure realm of the devoted heart. i am Yours, Shiva. You are Lord of my heart.
i go through it again: the loss, the pain, the suffering & loneliness.
again i cleave to You & give it all to You -- it's all i have to give!
there is nothing to offer but the heaviness of the occluding flesh
& the memorized stories about how it came to be the way it is.
they are worn thin at the edges, ragged & smeared with multiple corrections.
every day i throw them away again but they crawl back in the dark night.
yet fewer words are there & the manuscript is thinner now over time,
after these years of turning my back & resolutely walking away.
oh Shiva! this is a hard lesson, all this emptiness & loneliness!
it has held me down & had its ruthless way with me long enough indeed!
You help me see the old eroding patterns to leave them. You guide me home.
You come back for me relentlessly, You reach to me as i reach to You.
i walked the cold solitary halls of separation & division
& i'm headed for the door, Shiva, walking onward to full disclosure,
where we share sweet infinite kindness & love without a word or a thought,
& nothing stands in opposition or defense to the purity of love.
i am foolish to speak of You for what can words say of You? i long to commune soul to soul as we did when You first came to me years ago. You ignited the flame of love, made it burn. it has been a beacon throughout the storms & clashes of life. You marked me for Yourself & i also have vowed my service from a deep well of recognition & heartfelt commitment. without You, i am a shadow falling flat upon dark earth. with You, i am sky, galaxies, dimensions beyond telling. i am foolish to speak of You, yet i do this very thing! it is love's nature to be the profoundest of contagions!
i need to live with You day & night, my Shiva.
i need to wake up & feel You here next to me.
i need to say Your name before anything else.
i need to walk with You down the long wide hallway
& talk with You about things important to me,
like kindness, courage, endurance, respect & love.
i need to tell You what i learn from the Gita
& which part touches me the deepest & the least.
i need to show You my favorite old graveyard
& how peaceful & beautiful the silence is.
i need to walk with You outside in darkest night
& contemplate the stars & sing to them with You.
I need You to be so profoundly within me
that i cannot find who i used to be before
You revealed Your identity, my childhood friend.
i need You like air, water, sun, food & body.
i need to be Your partner, child, servant, vessel.
i need to feel You living deep down within me
as You look upon the world through my open eyes.
i need You like the body needs a beating heart,
so come, Shiva, come to me & be the rhythm
that sends the life pumping through this ready body,
wear me like a second skin, fill me with Your fire!