Living in Reflection

This morning I sit in the corner of the couch, my legs in a vee, my computer on a lapdesk reaching from knee to knee. I see a flutter on the white front door (open at an angle to me) & glance up to identify a bird winging by. It comes to me that I often use reflective surfaces, facing life indirectly. But this is done automatically now. I think by everyone. as we face our dramas & get reflections back in media.

The point is to ask how much of our reality is reflection? It sure seems real at this level. Yet the poems, the learnings, the subjects of deep and intensive studies urge our return to a reality we are firmly convinced we occupy. There is always a deeper level when we look more closely, though. Most of the time it’s a little farther out from where we & often a bit higher up. Of course, it’s always a Decision. It always requires more work on our part to get there.

But we’re very busy in the Reflection.

While busy causes echo ~ (another reflection.)

The self-help & the selfies reassure us of our presence in a rendition format only. Since they are never pictorials of our true self, of our true self-perfection, they become a log of this reality’s unfoldment for us. If the outside is a reflection of the inside, how do I mete change out to myself?

Later these pics will be looked upon like old Polaroids sepia now with age – with half a memory for when these were the latest tech of all.

We will say, “Look, here’s where I decided I needed to make a change & here’s where I really got to make one.”

Most of our soul hidden by some cloaking device.

Fire

Once upon a time, high up in the Sandias outside of Albuquerque, I sat comfortably in my van, in sunshine, while ten yards in front of me a solid wall of snow slanted down, making the rattling, that sliding sound as when there are so many snowflakes they bump into each other.

Today I prowl indoors, couch to kitchen to couch again. To go outside is to venture into a marshmallow clasp of heat, clingy, smoky, stinging if you are driving with your arm out the car window.  The apartment is sealed up, the swamp cooler refining & wetting the air.

Tonight I walk outside to the grasp of smoke long tired even of itself, yet still pouring upward, the smoke of a forest being transformed from earth to ash. It is an exhaustive fire. It is not going to sleep for the night. It’s an irresistible heat, sustained, defensive & bullying. Smoke nestles down in the bowl of the town, a cloud from a distance, yet seemingly clear from within it.

The breaking mornings are coolest; a shifting night breeze has peeled off the smoke & the air seems moist in the absence of that forged heat.

Indelible summer arrives.  

Apotheosis

PRAYERS OF THE TRAVELER

The priest, the postulant, the penitent

Evoke the random ministrations

Of universe, pointing at my sins & laughing

The Pastor said, “don’t follow your heart lest it lead

To falsity…”

But I’m just not that independent; I need heart to

Shine my way, to filter my thoughts, to bring me

To the altar where I will not kneel, but

Reach instead my arms to God

With my heart outstretched, elastic

Ready for the learning, for the leaning

Ready for the love to flow from me for me

So ready for the love, God, the magnification

Of who I am into who You are

Not boasting, but becoming the outpouring

Of all You have shared with me

That I may express You with my life

With actions, speech & understanding

“Know thyself to know God.”

APOTHEOSIS

I play in halcyon days

Ingesting, digesting

Parsing, praying.

Offsets of accomplishment

The truth of divine mind

Made manifest by my actions.

Even this far along in life

Rich with effort, rife with falling short

The paths of life forever circular

Still, I strive like salmon reborn upstream

After flying against persistence

To be recreated

In Your image.

A PRAYER AT 5:15 a.m.

Wholeness in the world

Begins setting myself to rights

Tugging down my shirt

Polishing old shoes with miles of soul

Searching for the heights of spirit

Falling short, then falling in

The flow catches me,

Asks if I’m ready,

Tosses me towards heaven

Telling me to fly it on my own

In a whisper, constant & sure

The Holy Spirit of effort

Builds ladders to the stars

While I stand aground, looking up.

Knowledge smiles upon me

Wisdom takes me by the hand

Aligns me to Spirit

Over & over again

Never losing patience or

Succumbing to anger’s frustration.

Build for me a heaven, Lord

Just for me? You promised

A Holy Land at the end!

Where I become my own nourishment

Healthy & wholly

In service to God.

Mother Nature brooms the landscape

Shaping with wind so generous to share the dust

On my heels back to earth.

While lifting me into Love.

MY PRAYER AT 1:30 P.M.

Never to have the same moment

To be bored or tired of life

But accepting change

As its axis

While I spin in its regard,

The Father’s child, the mother’s girl,

Gathered up in arms to rest my head

(My heavy head)

Upon your shoulder.

My heart to yours, beating in holy synchrony

Inspired with breath, with mirroring You

With shining eyes & windblown hair

A kid You can be proud of

“Watch me, Lord!

I am doing this all for You.

Covid Heart

A short bout with Omicron has left me with heart flutters, a strange appetite for sugar & hotdogs with mustard only, for doughy rolls & canned food. What the hell is this? How could a virus change my organs? I am more timid, less allowing, rigid too. This outcome is definitely not of nature which has never forced itself against me so, obscene in overture, slippery smiles & tentacles snapping, reaching to snare my unwary parts.

I must be more conscious now. I defy these symptoms with salads, with rice crackers. I tell my heart, “Wait a mo'” while I fix a coffee to test the boundaries of its beats. I defy this new normal & create yet another unmoved by terror of failure. My past is already satiated & complacent. It is only the present with which I struggle.

I surge forward & upward, escaping the snaky holds. I will not cower before another man’s creation. I will not surrender if there is aught in me to continue the fight. Nothing not of God will enter me, control me, devour me.

COVID HEART

The fear in my heart pulls in the edges, isolates me

Protects itself, its waves recede;

The open beach left exposed is flat, empty,

Bubbles sink & dry, harden, their

Moisture drained. The winds begin a wail

Whip up frenzy

Heart cowers more, sinking deeper into self

Crusts over so little more can enter

Stung by sand whipped

Almost mooing, my heart remains bovine.

One morning, the winds will still

thinking me cowed…

The tides return; the memory retreats, That moment

I leap, anticipating its return, I leap

To an understanding – that knowledge that I have

Shown fear my future

& frightened it away.

Begone, Fear! You have no power here!

The vast engines of energy gear up with a roar

Stunned, my little self finds a vision larger to inhabit

Hastens there, slamming doors behind

That fear may not follow.

In the new light of being unafraid

Emerged from fear’s long shadow

I create again

I move again forward

I gather all about me

In triumph

Heart emerges in fanfare, confetti, parade!

I am healed. Unblemished. Ready.

Who’s to tell me what’s possible?

I don’t think I know anyone who’s in charge anymore. This is now mine but I’ve disowned it before, effectively, too. It’s too clearly defining to try to pass along this one now.

What if I’ve had a bucket list going since the beginning, I just didn’t know it then? If everything has happened to me in the right place at the right time eliciting the right emotional ringtone and I answered? What? Did I do something wrong?

I wonder where I’d be if the word ‘better’ had been erased from my life. I was always compared to that. It made life longer somehow. It’s a can’t-win word. Likely not the first of its kind I encountered.

I do feel the groundswell of a major change oncoming. If tech has been kept a hundred years out from us – a generous idea – how far behind am I anyway? If my generation has iPhones, they have telepathy for sure. But theirs isn’t to be considered mine anymore.  

Forging the next path is all i can see now. There’s absolutely no time to look behind me, not for followers, not for the ones who didn’t – like parents & siblings who led the way, leaving me on my own. They think of me now – like it was 100 years ago they were here.

And I still don’t care. I’m still the same stubborn child with crossed eyes & chewed fingers, the same electric-strange hair & attitude. Just because I’ll never catch up, I am not stopped from moving on. Just because I don’t even know where or when I’m going … I am not stopped from moving on.

It’s all trivialities. It’s all a moment on the beach, that perfect moment 100 years ago when there was nowhere else to be.