Thursday, March 27, 2014

Healing Power, Feeling Power

(Yesterday on a walk, I bent down and smelled hyacinths in a neighbor's yard. Their sweet smell reminded me of this story from a year ago. Enjoy, Dawn)

I clipped the hyacinths this morning not knowing they were frozen until I tried to smell them.  Their intense purpley-blue buds were scentless.  It may be Spring but I came inside to find the thermometer read 23 degrees.

It is cold outside.

It is cold inside.

This winter more than years prior I have been chilled to the bone, chilled to the bone a lot.  Last night I lay in bed and said aloud, "I may have to move."

The cold inside and out not only permeates my bones.  At times it seeps into my heart. Although I care, I do not care.  It is hard to live in this world of such beauty, a world I came here to love so, yet a world in which I experience such heart break.

Yesterday my heart break was related to learning vultures in Middle TN are attacking cows, live cows and calves in farmer's fields because there is not enough roadkill to sustain them.  Vultures to me are beautiful and I love cows.  Yet my heart is broken more by people and politics than vultures attacking cows.

I sat on the sofa this morning and wept. A backed up river of tears came pouring out of me.  Some small portion of this sadness was even related I suspect to my negligence in letting the hyacinths freeze.  Why did I not think to cut them a day earlier?

The river slowed and I picked up the vase again.  I picked up the vase to find the hyacinth scent had returned with the thaw.

I kept my nose buried in that simple purple bouquet as ribbons of sweetness found their way within, wrapping themselves around my heart.

I could not put the hyacinths down. Thawing hyacinths emitting sweetness are like thawing hearts doing the same.

Hyacinths hold a healing power.  Hearts hold a feeling power. 

This is my homeopathy, coming upon things in Nature that return me to me. When I can't imagine the Shift, Nature quietly, subtly, gently creates it.

May frozen hearts around the world experience the sweet smells that allow them to thaw.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 21 March 2013
and 27 March 2013

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Great Spring Shift

Each Spring, Nature annually enacts the Great Shift as things
appearing dead rise from Earth's depths.

This lilac bud, a Shaman presiding over my garden, spreads its green wings and calls forth life from the depths just as we are called to awaken, to come to life, in this time of Great Shift.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse
20 March 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Turning Times and Paradigms - How Do You Quilt in Life? In Honor of National Quilt Day

( I first posted this in 2010 after Nashville's Flood and remembered it again upon learning of  National Quilting Day.  It seems more appropriate now than ever.  Thank you to the women quilters of White and Cumberland County, TN who gave me permission to take the photos. When I took them, I wasn't aware I would be writing a story later that day or I would have gotten specific names. Thank you for reading and sharing with the FB and twitter icon's at the story's end. - Sincerely, Dawn)

Not knowing the magnitude of the coming rains the day of Nashville’s May Day flood, a friend and I went on a field trip.  (Field trips aren’t just for school kids.) She had driven to our house in the country for lunch and I suggested we go to a nearby quilt show. 

I grew up with grandmothers who sewed yet my paternal grandmother periodically quilted.  She suspended her quilts from a frame in the middle of the living room floor. I recall the magic and safety of sitting under one of those quilts as it hung suspended like the starry heavens overhead as she stitched above me. 

At the show, my friend and I audibly oohed and ahhed over the quilts.  We were struck not only by the beautiful fabrics and patterns but the intricate stitching that held each quilt together.  Upon looking closely, threads were visible that spiraled and curled with extravagance. Not being bold and colorful, these stitches were easy to miss unless one stopped to really see and be with each quilt.   

I walked the aisles created by hanging quilts in the exhibit hall aware these works of art and heart would in two weekends be replaced by guns, yes guns, as the building we were in would be house a gun show.  

I quietly walked and wondered, contemplating the symbols of quilts and guns.  Both are connected through love.  I thought of the millions of quilts stitched by the caring hands of women over time desiring to protect loved ones from the cold.  Similarly how many hands, especially those of men, have held guns while desiring  to protect loved ones from perceived harm.  I walked and pondered the metaphor of patterns midst the many patterned quilts.  Our personal patterns sewn together make up a life and when combined create the larger patterns of community, culture and society. 

One of the scheduled events of the day was a quilt turning.  Neither my friend nor I had seen a turning so we decided to watch.  Quilts from decades ago were neatly stacked on an antique bed.  They were held up one at a time by two women as a third woman described the origins and pattern of the quilt shown.  The quilt was then turned down at the foot of the bed as another was held for viewing.  

Four or five quilts into the turning the potential high winds and rain were announced.  Being nearly two hours east of Nashville, we didn’t yet have rain but we parted. I took my friend home then worked in the yard and considered returning to the show before finally turning on the tv. 

The first image I recall is etched on many minds I suspect for there floating by a Nashville interstate was a portable school building with cars and trucks bumper to bumper in rushing water.     

I sat in shock and disbelief watching the city I live in and love inundated with rain.  I sat listening to the commentator yet in my head I heard these words that were not mine.

"We are bearing witness to the turning of the quilt of time.”

I didn’t know where this came from nor what it really meant but I knew I had been given a truth.  

Four years have passed since I began contemplating patterns and heard the above statement.  In that time, I have been a Watcher, one of the many today similar to the women who stood on either side of the bed holding up quilts of personal and societal patterns for those who will to see including myself.

As with any crisis no matter the size, opportunities abound for the disrupting of entrenched patterns and the rising and piecing together of new patterns.  In the flood crisis, Nashvillians were exemplary in this regard. People reached across the divides of zip codes, color, gender preference and religion. Our one-ness was amazing and our one-ness was felt as patterns related to competition, control, detachment and isolation were replaced by compassion and connection.   

Since Nashville’s flood, there have continued to be crises especially of the environmental type.  From Japan’s tsunami, flooding all along the Mississippi and super storms in New England, to tornadoes destroying homes and killing many North, East, South and West of Middle TN and even wiping out a rural town.

Mother Earth has continued to bring challenges. 

Does She know we've this pattern of easily forgetting we are more alike than different?  Does She know we need to be reminded of the pattern of love we hold within?  In crisis we remember patterns that are ever present in the heart yet have been forgotten over time and stay buried midst our busy lives.

Politically on the other hand, things continue to be divisive.  Muslims, immigrants, women, organic farms, wolves, the Arctic, Mother Earth and just about everything related to Nature and democracy seem to be under attack primarily by systems run by men (and women who act like men) with monetary influence and entrenched power. 

Those enmeshed in the patterns of the patriarchy try to maintain the hold of the patterns of competition, control and dominance.  Most of us have participated in this pattern's conveniences and benefits.  These patterns though have also contributed to toxins, chemicals, cancers and stresses unimagined by prior generations.  These patterns have contributed to the exploitation and rape of Earth, women and children, the exploitation of the poor, the people and land of Africa and so many Asian countries.

Ironically those here at home often on the attack would say they are under attack.  They live in fear of their guns and money being taken and their children wanting to live with someone of the same sex or have an abortion.  Their attitude is “I made it so I deserve it all” and “If any one comes to take what’s mine I will attack.”  They live in fear of communism so much so that it’s nearly impossible to have a dialogue about taking care of the poor or the environment without being called a communist tree hugger. 

As I reflect on the words I heard in May 2010, “We are bearing witness to the turning of the quilt of time” I now see these struggles as symptoms of the turning of the quilt of time and the changing of paradigms.

We have before us the quilt of these Turning Times. Let's thank Mother Earth for being the exhibit hall that holds the display of our many patterns and ask her forgiveness. I personally ask forgiveness for my unconsciousness and ignoring.

Let's honor the male souls who came to Earth and took on the karma of the wounded masculine, especially men in power married to the patriarchy who have caused such damage and pain.  Let's honor women who have held patterns of fear and apprehension causing us to not act and take risks or when we do act the risks are measured.  

Let's lay to rest at the foot of Time's bed the quilt of these dying feminine and masculine patterns within us and between us.  

Then let's sit down around a frame like my grandmother had and begin the piecing of new patterns in peace, welcoming the quilt of living and loving from patterns of greater awareness, compassion, understanding and feeling, the quilt where patterns are sewn with threads of love stitched side by side.  

Just as I felt the security of sitting under my grandmother’s quilt like it was the sky above me, we live under the starry heavens quilted with constellations, the moon and sun participants in our earthly journey.  Like the field trip that started this story, life on earth is a field trip from the stars as we experience the field of love in physical form. 

To Imagine: 

What does it feel like when you quilt with Love's threads?
What does it feel like when you use Fear's threads? 
What personal patterns serve you?
What personal patterns distract from your life?

If you are easily discouraged, remember the hardly visible, yet extravagant threads woven through the quilts I saw.  They remind me great beauty and profound love aren't flashy like sensational headlines of today's news or pop culture.  Great love and beauty are woven subtly.  Practice seeking those threads and being that Love.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 17 March 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

In Honor of Pi

In late October 2011, I saw the familiar stones at the Stonehenge Golf Course east of Nashville and thought, 'That looks like pi.'  I had golfed there previously and never thought this.  I wasn't even sure what pi meant.  I mentally made a note of this thought that some would call random. To me it felt like a sign.

Two weeks passed and I felt compelled to drive to the country overnight for the 11/10/11 Full Moon.

Early the next morning before my drive back into Nashville, the moon still hung in the southwestern sky.  I had never before made a quick round trip like this and was only returning to the city because a friend invited me to join her for an 11-11-11 ritual at the Bicentennial Mall.

Two hours later, a traffic jam forced me to take an exit I had never taken as I tried to wind my way into downtown Nashville.  For some reason at that exit I felt led to invite any lingering energy related to sorrow and suffering to join me for the ritual.  When these ideas show up, I don't question.  I trust.  I spoke aloud asking that the residual pain of the Native Americans, slaves and civil war soldiers in this area join me.

I felt like I was on a mission that I could not have anticipated moments prior.  The road curved slightly and I was suddenly on a street leading straight into downtown.  I was running late. To my surprise policemen were stationed waving me and other cars through at each red-light.  It was as if they knew of the mission I was on.

I finally arrived at the Bicentennial Mall  and became more late due to cars parked everywhere.  I found a parking place and had a choice.  I could run ahead and join my  friend who waved to me half-way down the mall or I could start at the beginning where Tennessee's rivers and towns are mapped out in stone.

With a vase of summer's last zinnias in hand, a bottle of Glastonbury water in my pocket and great love in my heart, I started at the map of Tennessee.  I honored four communities to which I feel connected by placing a zinnia one each one's name.  Then I gave one to a homeless man bearing witness to my ritual from a nearby picnic table.

Next were the fountains representing Tennessee's rivers. At that time the fountains had not been working since the May flood of 2010.  I hurriedly walked past each river wanting to catch my friends before remembering the sacred water from Glastonbury, England in my pocket.  I stood at the Eastern  end of the state and blessed every river especially the Wolf River because wolves are such teachers and have willingly suffered so much and the Buffalo on which I grew up.

When I arrived at the grassy area that fills the mid-section, I realized the policeman were on a mission.  There were clearing traffic for the Veteran's Day parade.  Before me were civil war encampment scenes with cannons, costumed people and pyramid shaped tents.  Something about this was perfect for 11-11-11 as we began the shift from control and conquest to greater cooperation and compassion.

I walked through this scene and offered zinnias to many of those in costume.  Each person accepted my offering.  I placed one on an old ironing board that was part of a homestead and another on a cannon, symbols of the feminine and masculine.  I was born a bit late to be a flower child yet I felt like an emissary of Mother Earth leaving the beauty of love evidenced by flowers at stops along the Mall.

By the time I reached the bell towers, it felt like the zinnias were my loaves and fishes.  They seemed to multiply as I had given them away.  I reached the bell towers and joined my friend and two others who were already meditating.  We sat in the center of the towers with the zinnias, water and other honored objects in the middle of us.  My friend played her Peruvian flute as I quietly invited the suffering I gathered to be transmuted and leave this plane.

As I sat receiving love from below and above and sending it out to all, Spirit sent a test to ensure I was clear of judgement and fear.  A man announced at the small stage down the mall in front of us an artillery demonstration.

Speaking into a microphone between different guns being fired, he spoke of "warfare maturing" in order to "neutralize the field."  This was the perfect.  Love is the greatest neutralizer.  Throughout time it has neutralized hate and fear.

To make this even more perfect, my friend played "Amazing Grace" on her flute.  This experience truly was Amazing Grace.

We parted ways and I drove home.  That afternoon while still in Nashville as I went through the mail, I saw the symbol for pi (II) on two different things.  Then as I sat in the car awaiting Jerry and flipping through a home goods catalog, there it was again. The pi symbol was on the face of a clock.

When I receive messages synchronistically like this, I intentionally don't research them. To do so usually puts me in a heady thinking space which takes me from an intuitive listening place.

Late that afternoon for the first time in all our years of leaving Nashville, Jerry drove out of town on a state highway rather than the interstate.  He didn't know of my driving into town on an alternative route.  As we left town, I again invited the energies of suffering from this area to join us. 

Under the 11-11-11 moon, we offered a ritual honoring all souls that have known earthly pain.  With sage, lavender, zinnias and Glastonbury water, we honored the French and all those burned at the stake.  We called in the Native Americans torn from the Mother land they loved as well as those killed in the Holocaust.   We called in those connected to the land we now live on whose prior lives have been hard as well as veterans who have died in wars.  We honored the dark man, all those from Africa and other countries who were enslaved and we honored the dark man within - the shadow of humankind that has caused harm to others as well as ignoring Mother Earth and her children.

The winds were fierce as they often are that time of year in this particular area.  This was exactly how it is suppose to be as winds cleared the energy of suffering and sorrow that had joined us and came up from the valley below us.  I sensed the ancestors above us joining in this profound ritual that spontaneously unfolded through listening to intuition.  And I remembered those zinnias at the Bicentennial Mall.   I had left powerful little flowering portals with starry centers all along the mall.

The next morning we drove into Cookeville for the Art Prowl. I should have known since this was the 11th Annual Art Prowl that my story had not ended.

The first piece of art at the first venue I entered, Poets on the Square, took my breath.

 Pi in the Sky is by Kevin Courtney Delaney could have been the only piece I saw that day.  The Universe and God through this man affirmed the entire last twenty-four hours from Nashville's Bicentennial Mall to my rural yard.

I ordered a print and spent the rest of my day somewhat distracted wondering what pi really meant.  Upon arriving home, I broke my rule and went on-line in hopes of gaining an understanding.  I still didn't get it.  I could not cognitively make connections.  There was something missing in my brain or in what I read.

Two weeks later at Thanksgiving dinner in Iowa, I sat by Jerry's teenage niece.  I asked what she enjoyed in school.  As soon as she said, "Math" I asked if she knew about Pi.  Her eyes brightened.  We went to another room.  With pen and paper, Abbey explained pi in her way and it clicked.  I go the message I needed when she said, "Pi goes on for infinity."

Infinity !

That's when I knew the beauty of Pi in the Sky and the rituals for transmuting sorrow and helping it pass on 11-11-11.  I was being shown infinity really is in the sky.

To solidify that I GOT this, the next day in a rural Iowa bookstore I found a paperback of which many had read but I had not. It's title?  The Life of Pi.

There is life in Pi. Life never ends. Love never ends.  We change form but we and love go on and on. Those who leave us are never really gone. We are connected through Pi throughout infinity to all we have loved.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 14 March 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Deer Whiskers - Finding and Renewing the Adventure in Life

Yesterday I uncovered our chimnea to put twigs I had collected inside it.  As I did, I glanced down to find what looked like an animal's whisker stuck in the deck.

An animal's whisker?

Being a lover of Nature's things, I decided to hide it alongside my keys.  The problem was somewhere in the three steps it took to get to my keys the whisker had slipped from my hand.  It was gone.

Being someone with a shelf filled with Nature's things,  I told myself I could live without the whisker.

I took my morning walk, the first one I've taken in two weeks.  As I got to my back door there it was again. The whisker's white caught my eye against the brown deck.

My heart jumped and I picked it up as deer whiskers crossed my mind.

Deer whiskers!

Was this the time of year that I first saw and found deer whiskers years ago?

One beautiful aspect of having my writing on-line is I can search for a story and find it as well as the date.  And although I am tempted to throw away daytimers (those paper calendars some of us still use) as well as my journals, they allow me the opportunity to literally hold my journey in my hands and correlate the days and dates of the years prior.

This was the very week I found deer whiskers in my yard four years ago.

March 17, 2010

Deer whiskers make me smile. Don't ask me why. They just do. I didn't even know deer had whiskers until a couple of weeks ago as I looked through my binoculars at one, a deer that is, in the back yard. As it munched on grass, I thought I saw drool. A deer drooling?  'Hmm, maybe,' I thought, 'it's really good grass.' This prompted me to get out my binoculars through which I discovered that deer have chin whiskers.

I've personally been experiencing chin whiskers for quiet awhile so there is something comforting in seeing these animals I so love sporting really long chin whiskers. Let me tell you this deer had no care for length. It actually went with this deer. They belonged on him or her. They were reminiscent of a movie in which a wise old, grandaddy of a deer could talk.

I've now evidence that the whiskers are for real.  Only two days ago, I went out to leave corn and found a pile of whiskers on the rock where I always place the corn. You would have thought it was Christmas morning with the delight I felt. I tucked a few in my pocket and drove into Nashville to work.

Entering the grown up world of work, I forgot the whiskers until the next morning, when I went to get a massage. Yes, I had on the same pair of pants. When I reached in my pocket to take out a stone I intentionally brought to the session, I pulled out a few whiskers which I excitedly showed Garth who shares a wave length similar to mine.  The four whiskers were placed under the red stone.

Today as dusk falls, I go outside to ensure there's corn and to my surprise there are more whiskers. Although I was trying to practice non-attachment, I had quietly hoped there would be. It's as if the deer said, "Dawn, if you so graciously give us corn while we're awaiting spring leaves, the least we can do is share our whiskers."  I in a very grab-all-you-can-get-American way took an entire handful. Or maybe I'm just exuberant in situations like this. I was very grateful.

The whiskers lay by my laptop now as I write. They exude an essence, wise and kind. I want to learn more as to what deer have represented to the many traditions. That time will come. For now I have dear whiskers and right now that is all I need.


When I initially found those deer whiskers it wasn't uncommon to see a dozen deer in my country yard each evening.  I still see in my mind's eye the seventeen I counted one night when I happened to look out.  They were bedded down not far from the kitchen window.  I thought that was normal. Now it is not.  Between building, hunting, people who target practice and coyotes I can't recall the last deer I saw.  The deer are now gone from my yard except for two or three that pass by occasionally that neighbors tell me they see.

I miss them so.  That was a magical time.  They were my messengers and now I am aware I quietly block missing them because of my sadness upon remembering their absence.

Yet there is beauty in this whiskers presence because I found it on my deck in the city.  It reminds me the deer are still with me and that there is magic to be found wherever I am.

According to "Animal Speaks" by Ted Andrews, deer represent the gentle lure to new adventure.   They often lead heroes and heroines away from their ordinary life and into the woods where real adventure begins.  I need deer's reminder that life can be gentle rather than hard (as I grew to believe) and that I can trust when intuition, events and Mystery lure me that life is an ADVENTURE.   This message soothes the part of me that has felt betrayed by Spirit and God when I have not trusted where I was being led.

This deer whisker is a treasure. Those I initially found in the country and bundled in thread were lost.  I had placed them in a red pouch and over time between traveling to and from the country they came out of the bundle. The telling and sad thing for me is I never realized I lost them.  I forgot these dear whiskers just as I forget I am called to adventure.

This whisker also had a new message.  When I picked it up I also heard that I am to use my senses in listening to Life's messages and in discerning the next steps to take.  (I later confirmed that whiskers are an instrument of sensing in animals.)

Adventure is not just meant for the movies, fairy tales and gaming!  Adventure is personally meant for each of us!

Do you experience life as adventurous?  Do you listen to or ignore and suppress your intuition and your senses?  When was the last time you experienced your life as magic?    

Slow down. Listen from within.  Notice what gets your attention.  Feel for what stirs you.  Pay attention and be curious as to your inner voice.  This is how Mystery, God, the Divine finds us and encourages us to open to the life that is meant for us.

-Imagine the Shift with Dawn! The Good News Muse, 03/17/10
mid-section written and posted 17 March 2010
re-experienced and posted 12 March 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Crawling Home - Finding Grace - Earth Worm's Message for the Heart and Me

This morning as I walked home with an earth worm cupped in my palm, I thought of the first time I did this and the story below that resulted.  I left my friend in my yard then found the story.  It bears retelling as I remember the beauty in its message today and many yesterday's ago.    - Dawn

During yesterday's walk, I came across five little earth worms.  All in close proximity to one another, they lay dry and dead on the sidewalk.  What caused this exodus from the rich, dark earth they call home?  Did a chemical sprayed on the nearby lawn, the roof to their world, prompt this evacuation or had they been lured, not by a neighbor's greener grass, but by the warmth of the sidewalk after the sudden drop in temperature this week.

I held each one then placed it in the grass, actually down into the grass in the dirt then covered them with leaves. I thought of a phrase I had first heard Jean Houston reference "to see the all in the small" and walked on.

A couple of blocks further down the busy street, I came upon another worm.

Were the worms presenting themselves, as a high protein offering, to the birds for some animalian holy day of which I'm unaware?

Cupped in my hand, I held the worm.  It began to move.  To me, this presented a problem. What was the right thing to do? Should I place him back into the grass where the chances of living seemed slim at least in this area or leave him on the sidewalk to his own devices? What felt most like love was to relocate him to my yard where he could crawl among the chemically-free grown ferns and determine whether to live or die.

I, a grown and graying woman, walked down Natchez Trace with a worm cupped in my hand nestled alongside a golden ginkgo leaf I had picked up earlier. I walked and wondered: What if this little earth worm is the heart of the world? (I've quit asking where these questions come from and instead just go with them.)

If not the heart of the world, at least a part of the world. This is when I noticed a tiny bit of blood on my palm coming from the earth worm. Maybe it is the heart of the world or the heart of the earth. Both are bleeding, yet like the worm are still very much alive.

The heart needs us as tenders of the heart to hold it each in our own way.  It asks to be held and considered by people in places of prominence as they make decisions as well as held by people like myself walking the world's sidewalks loving an earthworm and all it represents.

Suddenly I panicked. If I'm holding the heart of the world or a piece of it, I do not want it to die. I picked up my pace, like a human ambulance, trying to get the little worm to my fern recovery room. I then realized in my rush that I was missing a significant part of what I was being offered.

I slowed down. The little worm was offering itself and its love to me. How often do I give love while missing the experience of receiving? The Earth Worm says: Don't rush. Hold me. Listen. As you share with me, let me share with you.

It has forgiven me for its many kin whose lives I took while fishing as a kid in country creeks. Furthermore as we walked, it taught me about me and who I am.  I am love, care and compassion. I have been offered this lesson by animals before but never by an earthworm.

Arriving home, I walk into my backyard with a spirit of reverence, a sense of the sacred. I knelt among the ferns and opened the door of my palm as a little brown line of life crawled home.

This is grace. I have arrived home changed knowing the Divine palm that has held me safely with familiarity is opening. Some days I fly.  Many days I crawl. What matters most is I, like the earthworm, am coming home.
-Dawn , The Good News Muse,  11 March 2014
first posted Nov. 2009

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day - To Those Who Tend and Mend

I noticed last weekend when I turned the calendar over to March that today is International Women's Day.  I immediately thought of specific slides I had taken in the 80's while traveling overseas.  My calendar also noted that tomorrow is the start of Procrastination Week.  So I got a head start and postponed looking for the slides thinking it would take a long time to sort through the carousels and find what I needed.

I finally sat down an hour ago and immediately found what I thought would take hours (that's what I get for thinking.) In no time at all, I found the women (and girls who are now women) whose faces have been with me since hearing of International Women's Day.

These are some of the people who made me feel welcome as a twenty two and twenty five year old often when I didn't even know their language.

Like the babushka who listened to my Russian phrases and only frowned when I accidentally told her I was a Russian man.
Or the young Russian girls in the Orel hotel who gave me a beautiful macrame owl necklace that I still have. I had been thinking of it just last week when I happened to find it or it found me.  Did they know I would come to have a relationship with owls in my 50's?

Yesterday as I heard a bird sing, I thought of the women who sang in the church I attended on Sunday's in a South African homeland.  Those women, with whom I could not speak due to a language barrier, spoke to me through music.

This photo of some of the children of the area as stayed with me as well.  I had a copy made of this because of the exuberance of these children in the midst of having nothing compared to all our 'stuff.'  It seems our stuff so often drains our energy in subtle ways as it requires time, care, a place and then it's sold, given away or thrown away.  And where is away?  I have wondered what these girls did in the ensuing years and where they are today.   With the enthusiasm displayed in this photo I imagine them doing great things.
Then there was Kriti who would now be in her early 50's.  We traveled Europe on a bus for three weeks.

Do you ever have thoughts that you don't know you have until something occurs and they're revealed?   I didn't even know I was expecting a bus full of Americans until I met my group in a Brussels' hotel lobby.  I was one of five Americans on a bus with representatives of the world. What a gift!

I don't think I had ever met anyone from India at that time in my middle TN home.  Kriti was my room mate. She was traveling with her aunt and uncle.  Now I go to the grocery, to music events or to walk and it feels as if the world has come to me.  

As a sheltered young twenty year old, these are just some of the faces that helped me realize

The world is vast. 

There really are no strangers.  

We are so much alike than different.

And this photo taken while looking up from a boat in a Venice canal reminds me of something a friend said recently.  We were talking of the myriad of things that mothers do daily and she referred to the thousands of invisible hands that make the world run.  

Here near the end of International Women's Day I honor the millions upon millions of hands especially the hands of women that tend and mend this dear world. 

And I offer an heartfelt thank you to the women pictured above as well as the many women since who have loved and supported me and those who surrounded me as a child.

It is an honor to walk Earth in this time. 
-Dawn Kirk, The Good News Muse  8 March 2014

Tree of Life

Webs of Wonder insides green soon to be my canopy.
Reaching skyward stretching tall.
Life you bring to one and all.

Yet our impact is debated, argued over, legislated.

Meanwhile you go growing on helping me remember Dawn.

Roots beneath me help me heal all that comes to sense, to feel.
Sorrows past. Joys present.
Love flows in your presence.

Haven safe.
May we all know Tree of Life in which we grow.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 8 March 2014

These words arrived as I sat outside under the trees in my Nashville yard.  Primarily hackberries unloved by most, they have hoovered above and around me for twenty years bearing witness to passersby on busy Natchez Trace as well as my comings and goings.  It is likely some of them experienced the Civil War battles occurring here which takes me to an energetic experience.

The day I wrote this I had tried to explain how I have heard pain in trees.  The first time this happened I was walking in the woods and placed the side of my face to a tree to appreciate it.  Immediately I heard female cries of such pain.  I knew I was hearing the cries of those burned at the stake.  A few nights later on Winter Solstice, I lay in my yard and felt Tree's pain flow through me and though my heart.  Their suffering as well as the voices of those I heard was turned to joy.  This was one of the most profound experiences of my life.  

Since that time Trees and Rocks have taken my pain and weariness. There is a grace-filled reciprocity in Nature to those who are awake and awakening. 

How are you in relation to Trees around you?  

Stop.                        Notice.                    See.                         Be.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Message for the Ukraine

(Although this starts humorously, the message is vital.)

My sofa this morning reminds me of the Ukraine as three factions sit in different regions.  Moments ago one of those factions reminded me my sofa holds natural gas, yet it doesn't hold precious metals or oil.  If it did countries controlled by corporations would instigate a war to take control of it as is happening half-way around the world as I type.

My worn, brown sofa holds something more vital than precious minerals and oil. It holds precious Love - Mystery, Bogeysattvah and Redbud who are often my wise teachers.

At times they fight trying to control the house and vying for my attention.  A skirmish occurred this morning before they each claimed their region of the sofa. I remind them sometimes quietly and at other times through shouts that there is enough of me to go around.  I tell them there is no need for fear or greed in my house.  I remind them we have the opportunity to share this beautiful home together.

In the quantum world, through which we are all connected, my sofa is the Ukraine and my cats are the entities vying for control of that part of Earth and gearing up for war.  

My cats could not be more different in appearance and temperament yet they are still cats.  Similarly the entities behind the Ukrainian conflict have different physical characteristics and histories, yet they are all souls in human form.  And for now they are spending their precious time on Earth posturing and pulling strings trying to gain control of Ukraine's resources so their corporations can rule at making and fueling more things.  They have forgotten the most precious Thing isn't a thing!

In the quantum world, my sofa is Mother Earth's worn, brown body.  She holds precious Love, the most important thing, and is the wisest of teachers.

Just as I remind my cats there is enough of me to go around, Mother Earth longs for those behind the Ukraine's strife to awaken and remember their time on Her is precious.  There is no longer any need for fear and greed in Her house.

Earth is no longer a place of wanting more.  The time of using threats has passed.  There is no longer any need for power over for we are all in this together.  There is enough to go around for all.  There is no need for war.

You may think this story isn't serious but I am very serious.  Indigenous people knew and know what science is now proving.  We are all connected through an invisible web.  More people thanks to the world wide web know about this energetic, spiritual web.  Let us send the energy of reason and the knowledge of Earth's abundance to those behind the strife in the Ukraine.  Envision them relinquishing their greed and awakening to Mother Earth's beauty and her needs.  Send the energy of LOVE to every living thing in the Ukraine, people, plants, rocks and trees.

And may we each personally relinquish fear and greed and awaken to presence within Mother Earth and Love, the most precious Thing of all.
7 March 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nature's Fare- Technology's Wares

I have hesitated sharing this simple piece written a couple of weeks ago after finding last Fall's ginkgoes in a book. It would be easy to assume I'm dissing technology and money.  Without technology, I would not be at a laptop nor would you be reading this.  Yet I question where we are headed as technology and Nature so often seem at odds even in ways unexpectedly like wind turbines killing great numbers of birds.  The numbers are hard to know.  To me, any are too many.  I envision a time when those on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley discuss their full impact of their actions and creations on generations to come.  I've read Native Americans considered 7 generations out. I think one generation would be a good start. -Dawn

Pressed leaves in pages of a book, worn feathers cause me to stop, to look.
Why do bits of Nature's fare mean so much?
Why do I care? 

They're reminders of a leaving way, if technology takes the heart's place.

For test tube trees and lab made birds, do not stir wonder in my world.
They make money for Wall Street men and send stocks rising, but what then?

To the moon, to Mars, to planets far.
What good is that without the heart?

Do creators in Silicon Valley hear the song of dove in these feathers dear?
Does creating apps and brokering deals really
make them happy?
How do they feel?

I will keep these glorious treasures from the growing, flying Ones I love.
I'll hold them dear and with great care and listen for their secrets shared.
 -Dawn, The Good News Muse 6 March 2014

Thoughts Inspired by Dragons, Don and Dawn

How do you honor your spirit, your life force, your soul? 

I happened to peer out the door before going to bed and saw stars.  I grabbed my coat, gloves and a blanket because lately stars have been rare in the winter sky I love so.  

I stood bundled in the back yard after midnight looking up.  My body felt the inner Ahh that words fall short of explaining.  Then I glanced toward the neighbor's house.  Did I see smoke?  No, it was my breath made visible due to their porch light.

With this, a memory rose of being a kid blowing smoke in the cold. This and candy cigarettes were as close to smoking as I got.  I thought of people who smoke as well as dragons with their fiery breath.

The much maligned and misunderstood dragon represents something that needs to be transmuted or changed rather than slain.  

With a cup of hot tea under the sparkling sky, I sat wondering what offers itself up to be transmuted and shifted through compulsions.  What is trying to make itself known within a person's experience that smoking or addiction squelches? 

I also realized this little spot of earth is where we have three birds feeders.  And it is where we smelled cigarette smoke on different occasions that were anniversaries related to my father.  My father is dead.  My father loved birds and yes, he smoked.

My father's smoking ultimately squelched him.  I never knew what the dance with his dragon was trying to alter.  I never fully showed up in my heart with him.  I came so close in his dying weeks.  And I had experiences with him that I hadn't had prior, but I never allowed him to fully see me.  With my father, I didn't allow my own dragon to change my fear of judgement to joy and freedom.  

Before coming inside, I stood again in the middle of my little yard. I took deep breathes and with each exhale came beautiful smoke - spirit, life force and soul made visible.   

If these things - spirit, life force, soul -  were honored compulsions would lessen.  

Dragons and We would be free. 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse , 6 March 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

From the Personal to the Planetary - Thoughts on Being, Beauty and Waking Up

'I feel like Rip Van Winkle,' crossed my mind Friday morning as I began to clean and organize.  I don't recall the specifics prompting this, other than my usual learning of something in the world of which I didn't know.  I miss a lot not being plugged in though it remains to be seen if what I'm missing is all that important.

The Rip Van Winkle image made me cringe.  Snow White with her white hair appeals more to nearly fifty-five-year-old-going-on-white-hair me.

I remembered how my intuitive friend Maryann once said, "Dawn, you're Snow White."  This was four years ago and really didn't jive with how I thought of myself.  My gray hair, long face and prominent nose are anything-but-the-princess look.

As I continued cleaning Friday, I came across what I purchased the day Maryann shared her 'seeing' with me.  That same day my neighbor Judy asked if I would take her to Goodwill.  I'm all about spontaneity so I agreed.  As I stood with Judy at the checkout counter, there it was, the book intended for me:  Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs.*

As you probably know but I didn't due to my 'sleep,' Snow White is filled with symbology.  At least in the book from Goodwill her look is somewhat plain. Her  hair is not white.  And she went into her sleep three separate times.

Inside I smiled, as I perused the book.  The pictures brought

me such delight and one paragraph caused me to cry.

In case you can't read the above, the dwarfs asked Snow-White if she would look after their house and cook, make the beds, wash, sew and knit.

I love tending my home although it is far from neat as the dwarfs also requested.  But there is something about vacuuming, cooking, washing and even at times dusting that brings me deep joy.  I read this paragraph and knew why.  I do these things, that many call chores and today relegate to housekeepers, because as Snow-White said I do them "with all my heart."

I moved on with my cleaning.  Under some books by my bed was a cassette tape.  Remember those?  I slipped it into the cassette player (another relic from the past) and dusted our bedroom to "The Four Seasons."  Then I turned it up louder and vacuumed.  This cassette came into my possession around the same time I got the book.  It was in a hand held recorder that I purchased at a yard sale for a few bucks.  When I offered the cassette back to the seller, he said I could keep it.

Classical music has partially been responsible for awakening me.  Thanks to the Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville symphony, I've discovered something that wasn't accessible during music appreciation class or was missed in my 'sleep.'  I played that cassette and cleaned.

Later Friday afternoon I called about getting a spontaneous hair cut.  This wasn't in my plan nor in Gary's but he said graciously agreed to my coming over.  We bantered and laughed as is common in Gary's chair and at one point he said, "Dawn, you're just like Snow White." 

I didn't tell him I really am. Nor did I know that over the coming weekend numerous Apple store employees would be my seven dwarfs.  I didn't clean and cook for the Apple employees nor did they offer me an apple to eat.  They offered me a home of sorts off and on over five hours while determining what was wrong with my new mac. My Apple experience ultimately was similar to Snow-White's as it prompted my own kind of reawakening. (But that's another story).

As for Friday's synchronicities, I didn't consider them further until this morning when I opened the local news to see "The Four Seasons" referenced.  (A friend asked me just last week why we still get the Tennessean. I often learn about history which is something I missed in my sleep.)

Frank Daniels III ** shared the following on this Vivaldi's birthday. This is a distillation of what was written:

Born in Venice in 1678, Vivaldi became a priest at 25. He left this position a year later to teach violin to girls at a local orphanage where nobility sent their children from extramarital affairs.  These girls were renowned for their music.  I find this beautiful on a deep level.  It is possible these girls separated from their parents and feeling shame through no doings of their own, except their souls choosing to be born, could have experienced the glorious joy that comes from making music with stringed instruments. 

By his early 40's Vivaldi was popular throughout Europe's capitals yet at his death twenty years later he was nearly forgotten. 

Close to two hundred years later, a music professor at the University of Turin found much of Vivaldi's music in storage.  It was revived in 1951 at the Festival of Britain. Now Vivaldi is considered the Master of the Baroque.  

On this still wintry March morning in Nashville, I played "The Four Seasons" again and this time thought of beauty and synchronicity in finding and feeling Snow White and Vivaldi.

I considered the beauty and grace in many of these orphaned girls possibly relieved of shame and finding their heart's connection through music's stringed instruments.  Isn't it profound that Vivaldi's spirit and music were revived after two hundred years?  And I must admit I still smile remembering Gary's excited words to me as he cut my hair:  "You are Snow White!"

Yet equally and possibly most beautiful grace-filled is that on a collective level we can fall asleep repeatedly and awaken again and again through common cast off things like my treasures from a yard sale and Goodwill.  

I love how Mystery's messages arrive.  I want to be a Master of Listening and Paying Attention.  Sleep for me is at least a part of this.  To really know what it is like to awaken, I have to first experience sleep and learn to discern how 'spells' are cast on me.  These are usually cast by my forgetting that I am Snow White.

Contrary to what Hollywood and pop culture suggests, being a princes isn't a looks thing.  Being a princess is a being thing which in turn impacts how we do everything.

I suspect Vivaldi and the orphaned girls experienced what Snow-White and I feel when cleaning.


Snow-White cleaned with all her heart.

Whatever you do, do it with an open heart and with all your heart.   

This is the Shift that I continue to live and re-learn day after day 
for it is never too late to Wake Up! 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 4 March 2014

* This translation is written by Randall Jarrell and illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert.
** Frank Daniels III writes for the Tennessean. The full Vivaldi piece can be found by clicking on Mr. Daniels' name in the above piece.