flying into pieces

it seems in reverie that our various human lives are like leaves
swirling in the chill breeze of fall. they are sublimely brilliant, poignant
& pure, swiftly gone, whirling on, flying into pieces in the wind.
each life is different, yet they are also alike in many ways.
they are nuanced with deeply meaningful patterns, tender, touching &
precious. heroic stories are played out in swiftly gliding glimpses
that grip & sweep the viewer far inside to the heart of mystery.
& then they are gone: all the human lives, like the swirling leaves, flying
into pieces in the fingers of the wind within the witnessing sky.

ah, Shiva, You tell me to look beyond the transient to that which
remains continuously present as source essence. You are formless
& vast, & i am a focal point of You, extended into form.
let the leaves & lives fly by: i will return with them to formlessness.

i rise free

when i see the cool wind whirling leaves from the trees in the brisk autumn
noontime, i don't say, "oh, how tragic! what a sad destiny!" instead,
i delight in the bright colors of the crisp leaves & love to see them
dancing in the wind as they pirouette & play in the warm sunshine.

everything is coming & going, moving & changing, being born
& dying. it is the nature of things. beyond the domain of the
physical plane, other frequencies are calling me, for i do not
want to live as if this realm alone is it, as if there is no Source.

i see the sun reflected in a glass of water, but when the glass
tips over & the sun in the water is gone, i don't cry out, "how
tragic! what a sad destiny!" this would be like looking at one square
inch of a huge mural. i don't see the whole picture & i don't know
the whole story: it's being continually refreshed & renewed.

in this world of duality, every blessing holds its challenge &
every challenge also holds its blessing. thus i am simply grateful
for all my experience, regardless of its outer form. gifts are
delivered in various wrappings & i don't know what is inside.
i do know that somehow, somewhere, a gift from my divine Beloved
is contained within it, & i am grateful for the unknown blessing.

this is what You teach me, Shiva. You open up my vision to the
pure celestial shining within the terrestrial. You show me
the lotus rising from the mud & water, reaching upwards to the
sun. my heart is now doing just this as i chant Your mantra, Shiva.
i rise free from the thick cold dark into the radiant light of You.

dancing shadow shapes

the wind is playing with the newly-leafed tresses of the nearby trees
today, tossing them about as if they were the long curls of intense
& passionate spanish dancers. i only see their shadows on my
curtains, but oh, how joyous they seem to be, flinging & swinging their
new spring leaves in dramatic sweeping curves of visual gratitude!

deep within, Shiva, there is springtime in the soul as well, reaching out
eagerly to You in Your guise as the solar winds to dance in grand
cosmic revelry. although i cannot see it directly, i do
notice the evidence of light & freely given exuberant
wonder & joyousness. i am stretching full out to catch it in the
fingers of subtle new awareness & discerning observation.

in this world, only the form is seen, & it too is beautiful in
the way that graceful moving shadows are when cast upon a curtain.
they draw us to open wide the curtain that we may see truly with
direct perception rather than partially & obliquely only.

yes, Shiva, everywhere i look i see Your messages & teachings.
the dancing shadow shapes of the leafing trees are Your fleeting greetings,
giving rise to a broad smile on my face & melting warmth in the heart.

this fleeting human form

Shiva, You reach out to me through everything: through the high blue sky &
through a sudden breath of ambient air, warmer than the surroundings.
You stroke my cheek & my brow with gentle caressing intimacy &
thus i know--oh, i do know!--that You are here with me now, tenderly
murmuring "I love you" in the sweet subtle language You have taught me.

You are the sky pressing softly against me & the wind is Your breath.
You whisper to me that the body is a sacred vessel & that
the personality is loved just as much as a tiny kitten
is loved by mother in spite of its silly antics & accidents.
You lift me up in ways i can't describe & You wrap me safe within
the sky of You as if i am a gift offered to the storied world.

i am a gift: a virgin, holy mother & visionary crone.
i am Yours. All the roles & parts we humans play, we ultimately
give to You, for the gift & the giver are actually one in fact,
just as the deep blue sky is both space & atmosphere. Thank You, Shiva,
for respecting who i am inclusive of this fleeting human form.

the sky

the sky -- with its winds, clouds, sun, moon & stars & its fiery streaming
mysteries that pull us like a sacred magnet -- lifts us out of
ourselves, calls us to that which expands us & inspires us to awe.
the sky -- with its storms of rain, snow & light -- freely sparks
endless wonder as it plays with our earthly forms & creations.
it touches us with its airy hands, both gentle & sometimes fierce.
the sky holds us in its arms like a mother, guides us on our way
like a father, always there, always here: our holy family.

throughout this life i have taken more true comfort from the sky than
from anything else. the vastness of the curved blue dome stretches
as far as i can see. it is changing, always changing, shifting
in clarity from misty grey to a sea of brilliant azure
with immense rounded clouds like whales making their great mysterious
migrations, called by unseen energies. i too am called by the
unseen: Shiva, Your boundless power & love has convinced me to
cast off into the vastness of the shimmering unknown. the heart
is like a sail, catching the wind of spirit & filling full with
the gratitude that carries me onward in Your companionship.
You are my sky, holding my atoms in place. You are everywhere,
like space, wrapping me in Your indigo sky-blanket with the stars.
hold me close & hold me tight for i am but a child in Your arms.

invisible ashes

what wind unsettles the roots of my hair now?
what fire flickers in this enveloping night?
i cry to the origin of wind & fire:
Lift me higher, wind, so that i can see more.
give more light, i beg fire, that i may see truth.

the wind wraps me in its fist & flings me far,
shreds my deep certainties & my doubts to dust.
the fire burns the dust to ashes, grey & thick.
i am clothed in ashes, covered head to foot,
though this is not visible to most people.

the world does not know that the fire yet flickers,
hidden hot in the recesses of the heart.
i feed it with the focussed attention of
the pure rapt child who has just discovered a
butterfly rising from dark concealment up
into sunshine, wings glowing bright as embers.

what wind unsettles the roots of my hair now?
it is You, Shiva, You as wind, as fire, as
a suddenly revealed direct perception.
You are the light & darkness, fully filling
my awareness until You are so vast that
You seem like a field of endless galaxies.

were i not clothed in invisible ashes,
no one could see me through the resplendent light
of Your presence holding my atoms in place:
Shiva, lord of my heart & essence of all.