i am sitting on the toilet when i see the spider watching me from the corner of the room. she is not large, yet has my attention. i am carefully tracking her since i can't go to her at this time. she moves to sit in front of the door & now my attention wanders. when next i look, she is gone. when i rise from the toilet, i check out the corners & crannies of the room: i don't see her. i carefully, slowly, alertly return to my room, searching for her. here she is! sitting in front of my recliner! we examine each other from across the room. i talk to her, explaining that i would like to take her carefully outside where i am fully convinced that she would be happier. i speak in a sweetly soothing voice & go to get my spider-catcher, a clear plastic drinking glass with poster-board lid to slide over the opening. i return to see her yet sitting by my recliner. i move slowly toward her, still speaking soothingly. when she sees the glass in my nearing hand, she quickly scurries away, out of sight. i sit in my chair, transferring the glass to the little table in front, still talking to the spider. she slowly emerges from hiding & returns to sit in front of my chair. i simply talk companionably to her & slowly reach for the spider-catcher, calmly rising with it in my hand. again, upon seeing the glass, she scuttles rapidly away, disappearing from my sight once more. i apologize to her for causing fear & explain that outside truly is better than in here, but she does not show herself again to me. hours later she returns to sit by me, seemingly still curious. i am determined to safely remove her, but she won't permit it: whenever she sees me with the glass in hand, she speedily departs. the next day i ponder this wonder-filled visiting spider event. she seems as intent on watching me as i am on watching her. she does seem to make certain that i see her, so it seems that perhaps she is giving me a message. an exchange of energy does take place: i can feel the connective charge between us, the mutual regard. slowly, like the sun rising over the far horizon, i begin to understand more of this event. Shiva, You teach me by coming as a spider to awaken me to the great holy realm of small earthly life. oh! didn't i just write a poem about maya's web? that's a spider-friendly image, & the lesson is to do what one must with conscious awareness & with kind & full intent to bless, while safely navigating maya's alluring situation set-ups. there is no judgement involved. it is all too vast & mysterious for heavy-handed words or confining concepts to seize & capture. i set my pen & paper down as i prepare to rise from the chair. wait! what is this? again my gaze lights upon the intrepid spider who taught me so very much, sitting here once more at my feet right now! a flood of wonder rushes all through me. the spider moves aside to sit nearby & i grab my smartphone to take her picture. she poses calmly. i move to get the spider-catcher & she moves too, swiftly gone now. this is no ordinary spider, accepting the smartphone held in my hand, yet fearing a glass held in that same hand! does she know my thoughts? i can't help but laugh in amazement at this glorious, outrageous display of divine playfulness! what else is there to do in the face of such events? anything is possible: Shiva can play the role of a spider. all life is holy & blessed in the midst of this pure sacred rising toward the endless glory of the light of being. all life is included in this abiding divine downpour of love.
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.
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.
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.
You took me at the peak of my glad celebration, negating laws of physics, erasing everything. You removed the concept "impossible" from my mind, threw me in a multidimensional miracle & shocked my mind silent, leaving me in stunned wonder. that wonder still clothes me like an invisible cloak, something too amazing to share, yet it changed my life. speaking of it is like catching fish with hands only, or caging wind in the hands to bring home for others. You shine light on my daily rebuilding of structure through my careful words like bricks in a tall wall, Shiva! yet i still want to say "look! see! there is such wonder!" so i string garlands of words that i offer to You because i overflow with rejoicing that you're here. i am blazing with Your presence & the light leaks out, cascading in these limited words i can't curtail.