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.
this peaceful old hippie is also the daughter & wife of career soldiers.
thus have i landed here in this military nursing home for old soldiers.
it's clear to me from Shiva's teaching that this body & the circumstances
of its birth are not who i really am, but is the role that has been given.
in outer action due respect is offered, while inwardly it can be seen
as karmic duty until awakening. Shiva's hand propels the action.
There's no limitation to the inner life, & culture is shed like old skin.
outwardly the role is well fulfilled & the long social dance is nearly done.
hippie & soldier live side by side when the dust of the battle has settled.
ideals, livelihood & bodies are but props in this grand play of maya.
yet still i speak of my love for Shiva: He rises in my heart like the sun.
my hands lift up in namaste & the warm light of His love pours freely down.
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.
when You were the sky, Shiva, & i was a cloud in Your vastness,
You played with me through dancing fingers of wind, shaping me into
magnificent forms far beyond my own insubstantial command.
when You were the sky & i was Your cloud, i was held close in the
purity & power of Your divine reach & thus was in the
fated place to rest upon the wild blessing of Your broad blue chest.
i was at the center of the target, Shiva. Your aim was true.
now the body is human, yet You have come to play anyway:
Your love is spacious, embracing all who sincerely long for You.
just as You opened Yourself in the sky, so it is that now on
earth You appear before me & draw me deep down into Your heart.
You have made me Yours, marked me with Your touch & sign, declared Yourself
in full to me. I say yes again, world without end, & we dance.
what control has a drifting cloud in the windswept heights of the sky?
enfold me in the swift current of Your divine intent, Shiva,
& dance me across the wide sky into the blaze of a new dawn.
to me You have no form, though i love the forms ascribed to You.
You are essence, presence, numinous energy signature.
You are within me as i move in the vast ocean of You.
You signal to me through clouds & i reply in semaphore.
my whole life is a semaphore, an action-adventure play
designed to get Your attention, to call You to see my need.
i tire of action & searching & i turn within to rest.
so it is that in the calm of this silence, You come to me. You come.
You come like the breeze, like dew at dawn, like the stars emerging
out of nothingness into somethingness, calling out my name.
You wrap around me as if skin, & i breathe You like the air
until i grow bright as the crescent moon shining in Your hair,
placed in the darkness of Your hair, no longer able to speak,
silently rejoicing in You who are hidden in all forms.
You are essence & presence, evoking deep recognition.
You call Your own & i respond, fighting through forgetfulness.
i continually move forward, slowly & steadily.
Your energy is my primal imprint, marking me for You.
i am Your agent of transformation coming home to You.
Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength
rather than to drift within the drama which i see dancing around me.
i see the cracking everywhere, the evidence of a dying age.
even beyond the human ferment i register the shifting aeons,
the mysterious powers that ebb & flow in the wild daily display.
Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength,
to look for Your hidden loving touch of presence, expressing tenderly,
rather than to fashion socially accepted scripts, repeating daily.
i come, appearing as this body-personality, offering it all.
i come to You raw, unfinished & coming apart, yet yearning for You.
This is the record of my sadhana, which gifts You with my total sum.
You taught me earlier to be serious, focussed, deeply thinking.
then, at that time, it served me well. now You teach me quirky playfulness,
which has great value in this nursing home where laughter is less common.
i am Your student of silliness, practicing my funny faces
in the mirror & with the friend You bless me with on the internet.
toilet paper -- thin, crisp & flimsy -- provides a lesson in humor,
fluttering into angular shapes at the touch of a reaching hand.
it perversely creases & crimps & pleats & twists, corkscrewing
into weirdly angular lengths, dancing gently in the drafty room.
You show me that the elemental entities of the air frolic
in the folds of the tissue, delighting in its insubstantiality.
i can almost hear them now, laughing like rowdy children running wild
without any supervision inside the playground of the bathroom.
You teach me that i do not need to take life so seriously.
the crisp & kinky toilet paper was once an irritation &
now i smile at the antics of those frisky little beings playing.
i delight in their comedy act & they like my silly faces.
what could i possibly write about, think about or do
that is not in reality done by You, Lord Shiva?
there is nothing else but You, my Lord. all my words are but
clouds in the vast sky of You, drifting in the wind of You.
out of the light in the eyes of strangers, You can emerge
like swift invisible fireworks that light up my shy heart,
linking me with You in powerful silent explosion.
how can i forget You who dazzle with Your effulgence?
the plot of this human story, like walls, encloses me.
enforcers on the rooftops of my mind shoot down upon
freedom fighters determinedly smuggling contraband thoughts,
yet i press forward with them anyway, dodging sniper fire.
a fierce joke is this maya, long skirts hiding combat boots!
i am laughing & crying, as i also stand apart,
while gazing upon this lovely mesmerizing drama,
wild compassion overflowing the floodgates of my heart.
there is nothing else but You, Shiva. all my words are but
clouds in the vast sky of You, drifting in the wind of You.