‘A time will come when your innermost voice will speak to you, saying ‘This is my path, here I shall find peace, I will pursue this path, come what may’ If you will persist and are patient, and above all never lose faith, your path will lead you unerringly to your goal’
~ White Eagle
My Mom worked nights a lot when I was growing up. My brother and I would make prank phone calls when she was out of the house during some of those evenings. I don’t feel that old, but this was the era after party lines and before caller ID when one could get away with such things. Anyone here remember those days when telephones all rolled thru Ma Bell, looked like a prop in THE MATRIX movies, only came in black & sat on that little telephone table in the corner of the living room where nothing else but a pole lamp would fit? They had short wires, so you had to sit like you were at your desk in Catholic school, dial the number and wait for an answer. And somebody was always home at night, yea?
So me n Joey would open the phone book for a local number. We’d point to a name and one of us would dial – yes, DIAL – a number, listening for that answering voice. We’d already be giggling and shushing each other – this needed quiet to pull off rightly.
“Hello?” would come the nice voice from thru the receiver. In his best and deepest voice, Joey would ask quite seriously, “Is your refrigerator running?” When the puzzled reply came back, “Well, yes, as a matter of fact it is…” he’d deliver the punch line: “Don’t you think you oughtta go catch it?” (Now this was the time when TV was still live, comics never said a bad word, and Ed Sullivan ruled) So I can only apologize for the vast humor we found in such stupid tricks… The next night we might call the same number to ask: “Does your nose run? Do your feet smell?” Sometimes we’d get a squawked “who IS this?” but most of the time we’d get a straight reply. If the poor innocent answered yes, we hollered out together: “You were built upside down!” before snorting with laughter and banging the phone receiver down.
Aren’t you glad the world has changed so much? Aren’t you glad I have changed so much? Or have I? My jokes have gotten so much better, but that’s because I take notes on others’ now.ar
For all our technology, it is still not that hard to take someone’s day apart. It’s just harder to do it anonymously. At the center where we live our truest life as spiritual beings, we are very tender creatures. We need to handle each other with care. We need to handle ourselves with care. But often as we unfold, we rip off the beautiful petals we grow to litter the battlefields where we fight.
All the words spoken on this platform here at our little Unity are about love, no matter what the topic for a Sunday may be. As Unitics, we just don’t muck around in judgment and defamation. Our God is more internalized, less “out-there’ish” Our God doesn’t have to anoint us with oils, for we are ourselves the beautiful essential oils perfuming heaven itself. Our good deeds, our helpful natures, our firm reaction of love in the face of fear all feed the loop that runs from our inner Godself to those of our relationships. Animals, gardens, foods, heaven & earth & especially our bright loving souls form the firmament of a heaven we dream of so seriously. Our conception & hopefully, our perception, of God are not the exclusive of master/subject in either direction. Rather it is the co-creative, procreative, energetic presence of God which infuses our lives with laughter, goodwill, thanksgiving, health & togetherness. If we say, all for one, we mean God at our center. If we say one for all, we mean God at our center. Every day we discover the God in our lives to be closer than we ever thought, deeper than we could ever know, more loving than all the great hero stories we’ve heard. And we love our hero stories, no?
My worst-case scenario is guilt. Hey! I come by it honestly. I was raised a Catholic and my first mother-in-law was Jewish. One day I woke up to a great way to externalize my inward mental yelling at myself. I had asked for a way to neutralize that little drone-voiced, green-shaded accountant in there going, “Uh huh, now you’ve done it!” Whatever “it” was.
I figured out that just about all the people who had yelled at me in my life pointed a finger at me first. So when I yelled at myself, I pointed at myself. Well, this was much like the old jokes I used to pull. It was too funny not to laugh aloud at. So I pretty much overcame yelling at myself for stuff. One of my husbands used to get SO MAD at me because I never apologized. I had read in some book early on that I AM are the God-words, so to say “I am sorry” was giving up in a peculiarly wrenching way. He got over it after the divorce.
Recently a modern-day philosopher I follow, Neil Kramer, said, “We live in a hit and run society.” I found that particularly descriptive. But after years of observing this development, I have also brought about a change in myself and how I play the blame game. I call it “unfoldment.”
Think about it: Your life is all about unfolding. If you watch an infant sleeping, they unfold with every breath. Children unfold almost explosively – they can go from zero to sixty in five seconds. They unfold in the light of a loving parent’s eyes. We grow in the light of a loving Creator who looks deeply, expressively, into our eyes each time we see a relative, a friend, a four-leg, or even a leaf opening on our favorite plant or tree. I watch trees all the time. Delaware is the greenest state I’ve ever been in with lots of open space where green grows. Daily, I drive past fields which are unfolding in a panoply of colors. Daily, I marvel at the face they show me that day. Our magnificent ocean is always unfolding, isn’t it? We call this unfolding “waves.” Each time you go to the beach, there is that moment of kinetic growth – the wave crests – when all unfolds into surrender on the beach. So we, too, rise on currents of lovingkindness to bathe another in our sheer-light beauty – one human unfolding to another.
We keep ourselves from spiritual stagnation – another phrase of Kramer’s – when we do that which is ours to do. Like the lotus growing in a water meadow, the petals of our sacred consciousness unfold. Hindu how-to books will tell you the crown chakra, the spirit connection to higher states of consciousness in the universe consists of a lotus with ten thousand petals. Ten thousand! Do you think that might require some unfolding?
The acorn is assuredly not an oak tree, but it will be when it finishes unfolding. Our DNA unfolds us as surely as our Yoga teacher tries to. Whether we wish to unfold or not, whether we want to or not…the saving grace is to bring humor into it because a laugh will save us faster than anything else.
Unfolding is seen as a guerrilla tactic by the ego which wants everything to stay just the same so it can tell you you’re boring, unbeautiful and ten thousand other untrue things. At this age, ego & I arm-wrestle every day. That’s how I got this crooked elbow, y’see? It’s been hard! But I won every time I got a giggle going and since I’m the easiest person to laugh at I know, it’s been a little less taxing for me along the way, I think. Ego is so perfect, it wants to run in place. While only showing the good profile side. We get exercised, but we don’t get any new scenery in the viewfinder. Allowing ego to call the shots is like putting an Evinrude in the bathtub. The agitation gives some cheap thrills, but you really don’t get anywhere. Ego serves a purpose, but “serves” is the keyword in that sentence. Ego is the servant of your spirit. If we can keep our ego out of the driver’s seat, we hold the space for our heart to steer the way.
How will you encourage your heart and soul to unfold? What can you do to make it so? What will make you feel bigger, better, faster, more? We all have a personal candle lit inside of us. There’s an old saying that a candle loses nothing when it lights another. Don’t wait for a stroke of lightning to enlighten you. Pick up your journey-staff and walk out to the road to meet the world.
Try it. DO it. Allow yourself to simply unfold into Who You Really Are. It’s just beautiful!
Lay down expectations like boards
Build you a bridge to inspiration
Hammer these down with nails of patience
Paint them in colors of inevitability and change.
Stand in doorways where the transition
Of forward & back will balance your brain.
Find my hand in the total darkness of eclipse
Pull me into that pregnant moment of emerging light
Frail is it may be
Enlivening all that ever was.
I find a west window of sunlight
Sit down, facing my back to it
As my neck warms and my hands,
I write poems
A tiny flag of incense curls
In the light
Music knits an afghan of sound
For a simply singular afternoon.
All I “should” be doing goes undone
In favor of these words flowing from this pen.
RIDING THE RAILS
May get me places,
But all journeys
Are made of expectations
When only the scenery changes
Is change enough?
My life seems a layby off the tracks.
(Twinned steel cutting the horizon, glistening.)
The habit of gifting
Is one to cultivate
I have been on the balance beam
Of gifting & receiving
While meditating on insufficiency’s
I have pierced these veils
Of unknown power sources
Skirting the edges of vortex
Many other times.
I have invited crucifixion
By my own emotions
And intransigence of purpose.
If all these beginnings
Lead to similar endings
Why even ask the questions?
I am the hapless beggar
In the Promised Land,
The starveling at the World Feast.
I have wandered the Lost & Found of life long enough…
Even when no Path appears,
I shoulder my pack,
I move on.
I am in Soul Rehab
Stripping walls of flocked paper strips
Snapping bowed valances to sweep velvet shreds
I tear at curling floorboards
A stale, sour smell of old wood
Rising from the sawdust cloud
I have no idea how to rebuild this!
I have only the belief I can.
The house groans, settles,
Creaks; obligingly dismantling itself
As windowsills tilt & slide
Down separating walls
I pull nails bare-fingered.
Standing, I push support beams
With strengthened shoulders,
Digging in my heels.
For all this determination,
There is no center to demolish.
Only a guess at what will bring
This structure down;
Only a hope it will not take me along.
In all this time of walking forever forward
Of wearing out shoes in differing directions
The compass whispers me to north & west
South & east
I do not heed these siren songs
I am a turtle with a rock upon its back
Thrusting forward my head, neck & finny legs.
Off to a rough start:
The bloodletting of loneliness
Collapsing my fluid body
To knots & gnarls
Tanned to roughened leather
A wrinkling purpose
Overlaid a pristine map.
“But,” I argue with the mirror,
“did I ever know? It was given to me:
‘Travel, stop, begin again’ over & over.”
These I did: a trio of begettings.
Would you have me make a list of my sins?
There are few enough to recall to my forgetting mind
I do remember toting buckets of them to
The confessional incinerator
Where sparks burst & flew
Dying is one of the best things I will do.
I don’t know how I know this…
Perhaps informed by intimate experience?
I am content to blossom as a rose,
Exploded of scent, explored for color
Curled & peeling petals taking
Flight for faraway –
Plucked to die, dreaming,
On a kitchen table,
Beheld with love each glance.
Not knowing how it knows this…
The chance to return
As a miracle on the Tree of Life.
But I say this not being in line for
Not really believing in death, per se
Remaining the nonbeliever, tho afloat in
A sea of total incrimination of
Evidence & experience
Responding to more of what I would not do:
I would not regret or mourn
I would be as fierce in death
As in death-defying life!
Cherished as the moment of breath
Breathed out after the intimacy
Of circling the heart
Form into formlessness
An eternity of time
To dip into life once again.
Momentary fulfillment &
The land that once rolled toward me
Traveling up & out-away
Once measured in steadying mileage
I am disengaged from movement
Bereft of directional impulse
Uneasily content to be part
Of a landscape
In favor of making landfall.
I would be bold before the Throne,
Demanding face-time with God,
A hug from Jesus,
A fig from Buddha’s Bodhi Tree
A tear from Guanyin
A knighthood with the sword of St. Germain
A high-five from Michael Archangel.
I would sleep for a thousand-thousand years
Each dream the petal of the rose
I would return in.