Sunday, October 16, 2016

"Emerge and See" in Times of Emergency

(This simple epiphany came to me initially when Nashville flooded in 2010.  It comes to mind during times of flooding such as happened in Nepal last year and has occurred along the Eastern Coast recently especially in towns like Lumberton, NC and in the country of Haiti.) 

At lunch, I glimpsed news coverage titled "Flood Emergency Update." The word 'Emergency' caught my eye because I immediately saw tucked within another word - "emerge." Then I heard myself saying, "Emerge N C" followed by "Emerge and see."

I love words. They are simple yet powerful keys available for us to see the possibilities in times like these.

Imagine what is being held in this crisis if we can hold and use this as an opportunity to Emerge, to come out, to bring forth new ways of being, living and relating to one another and to Mother Earth.

Every emergency offers an opportunity for us to emerge and see the patterns, people and things that really matter.

Emerge and See with Me !
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 5/7/10, 5/01/15, 10/16/16

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Of Patterns, Papaw & the Patriarchy

(I originally wrote this in 2011, ten years after my grandfathers death. Yesterday it popped up in social media as a "memory" ..... moments after I realized today would be my grandfather's b'day. I reread this story and found it possibly more appropriate for what's occurring in our country today than it was in 2011. I hope you'll take a moment to read, share and consider how you are in relation to the patriarchy, control, or however you consider the challenges written of and evidenced in the world today. Then pause to meditate, pray or send good vibes to all.  - Dawn

This week at dinner I heard myself tell the cliff notes version of a story related to my father’s parents. I had not spoken details of this story aloud since summer when my 2ndcousin shared it.  

This cousin with whom I had never really talked at length and I had a random encounter in March at a high school basketball game. Now I know our meeting wasn’t so random.  I asked if he knew who the Native American man was in our family.  He told me a bit, but it wasn’t until August as I prepared to go to Cherokee that I called to talk further.  

Thirty years ago this year, I had seen a Native man in an old family photo.  My cousin was unable to fill in specific details about this mysterious man but I did learn Albert Crow was my grandmother’s grandfather, the unwed father of her father.  To those on prior branches of my family tree, to have a Native in the family and in an unmarried couple at that was something of deep shame.  Details are few because people refused to speak. 

Our speaking of the un-spoken loosed the bonds on other family un-spokens. My cousin asked if my father ever spoke of how my grandfather treated my grandmother.  This was the man we called Papaw, my father’s father who was so very controlling.  
My paternal grandparents prior to their marriage.
Today I see their photo and feel such sadness and compassion for them both. 
I shared how as a child I stood between him and my grandmother as he yelled at her.  I had also heard stories filtered through others after my grandmother’s death as to the abuse she had endured, abuse my father never spoke of but I suspect haunted him through life. 

At dinner this week while telling my friend of our family’s native kin and a bit of the above, I suddenly remembered this was December 23, the anniversary of Papaw’s death.  

Ten years ago he lay dying just down Natchez Trace in a nearby hospital.  My parents made the trip to sit in the ICU waiting room all day as I sat for periods of time with them. 

Each night after they returned home, I would check on him.  One night just prior to his death, he kept repeating two words.  “Lord’s prayer” over and over was all he said.  In my grandfather’s dying I glimpsed his terror.  I asked if he wanted me to say the “Lord’s prayer” with him or for him. He bluntly said, “No.”  I said it aloud anyway.  

My cousin shared how his own father did not speak to Papaw for decades because he could not bear how meanly his sister was treated.  He quit speaking to him until her death in 1981.

At the time of her death my grandfather, I learned, began to call his brother-in-law and ask forgiveness.  My cousin shared how his father listened at times quite regularly to my grandfather cry and share his sorrow.   

This morning I realize my grandfather, the frightened man who lay dying just down the street ten years ago represents the dying patriarchy and the frightened, vulnerable part of us all that tries to control situations out of discomfort or fear of loosing control.

Although I don't think of myself as controlling as Papaw, I too am part of the patriarchy.  That night at his bedside my intentions may have been good, but I exerted control, assumed I knew what was best as I said the Lord's prayer rather than honor his request. I said the Lord's prayer as a means to allay my discomfort as much as his.  I took control rather than risk vulnerability and share my heart's words, "I'm sad you're scared."

This holiday ten years after his December 23rddeath, I’m grateful to know Papaw found his confessor in my cousin’s father.  Ten years later in my own journey, I'm grateful to remember that speaking from my heart may make me feel vulnerable, yet it is in vulnerability that power lies.

In this time of changing patterns, as competition and control give way to compassion and community, I find myself wondering, "If greedy CEO's and lobbyists suddenly made themselves vulnerable and said 'We're sorry. Forgive us' could I hear them as my cousin’s father heard my grandfather?  Can I hear the fears of those who in their anger don’t even know they’re afraid or vulnerable, the many politicians and white men especially rallying behind cries for fewer restrictions on guns and the EPA?  Can I hold their fear as they unconsciously sense their numbers are diminishing as America becomes more diverse?  Can I offer the dying patriarchy compassion?

With awareness, loose threads from over the decades seem to find their place in life’s tapestry.  Broken connections are healed between the generations and in the greater connected web as we offer compassion through openness, vulnerability and a desire to understand.  
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 1
3 October 2016 first posted 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Message from a Morning Walk - Creativity and Will

From a couple of houses away, the cup's bright yellow caught my eye as I walked Monday morning. My irritation stirred upon realizing the cup lay wedged in the storm grate headed down the drain into Nashville's water system.

As I picked it up, I noticed a tree-shaped car freshener and half of a plastic egg in a clump of leaves and twigs over the drain as well.

The different shades of yellow reminiscent of summer's sun and flowers seemed perfect for the season. Yet my first thought was of the solar plexus, the energy center below the breast bone. Yellow is the color of the third chakra, the seat of will, creativity, energy, and passion whose element is the fire of the inner sun.

On this particular walk, I had just listened to a recording made while backpacking in the Grand Canyon. I had forgotten it but in the recording I heard myself say:

"In the beginning there was a fire longing to be listened to, gathered around, and explored. All souls that come to Earth agree to take a piece of that fire's energy and passion. We've free will to choose what we will do with that spark while we are here." 

Curiosity trumped irritation as I collected the trio of humankind's creation and turned to walk home only to see more yellow.

Scattered on the sidewalk were yellow leaves having fallen prematurely from lack of rain. The leaves  were the perfect reminder of Nature's creation resulting from Tree's inner fire.

I picked up the nearest leaf and stood holding the artificial and the authentic, the nature made and human made.
I walked home mindful of the stunning amount of plastic flowing through our lives and collecting in the oceans and landfills. I walked pondering how creative will invented plastics and how creative will with connected consciousness now has the opportunity to do something about the stunning presence of plastic on Earth.

The objects on the drain grate reminded me of the phrase "down the drain." Some say humankind as a whole is "down the drain" or certainly headed that way as artificiality trends more than the authentic and genuine.

Personally I'm often like the objects clinging to the grate, resisting going with the flow. If you were a fly on the wall in my home, observing my actions would tell you to what I'm committed. You would find me trying to get everything done on the never ending list (ordering and controlling my external world) and only episodically committed to my creative endeavors (birthed from my inner world).

Consciously using my energy or the spark of fire I carry is one of my greatest challenges. To really be clear and conscious of how I use my fire, requires turning off my devices and tuning into my greatest device, my body, heart, spirit and mind.

In the big picture, the objects I found or that found me, suggest we are already in Time's great drain. The cosmic egg has opened, energy pours forth and we now travel along in the flow of Time.

Over 7 billion of us each carrying fire's spark are here together on this amazing, creative, energetic planet Earth.

We only have moments and each moment, we choose how we use our will, energy, creativity and passion.

Each moment, we choose whether to invest energy and presence into creating more of the artificial, manmade or the authentic., Nature made.

Each moment, we choose whether to honor or ignore the spark we agreed to carry here on Earth.

Imagine that.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 27 June 2016

Link to "Plastic Whale" a company fishing plastic from the ocean and turning that plastic into boats. 
Click HERE for a "Messages in the Mess" another walk related musing.
Click HERE for a link to another Musing on Naming.
And HERE for a Grand Canyon musing on FIRE.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Paying Attention to the Nuts and Bolts of Life

I walk just about daily because movement is good for me, not in the eat-your-brussels-sprouts-they're-good-for-you way or I-met-a-goal way. I walk most mornings because I feel internally satisfied when I do whether I'm sweating profusely as has ensued this summer or bundled in three layers as happens often in winter. 

Yesterday early on while walking, I realized my satisfaction has more to do with being present. Yes, even though sweat stings as it runs into my eyes and there's not a dry stitch on me, I enjoy walking because I am present rather than just wishing my walk complete. 

Thank to presence, I am a Noticer. Twice lately as I've pondered how I've not seen many dead birds this Spring, I have come upon a young dead bird each time. I've blessed each as I held it before placing them under a nearby shrubs. 

It's common for me to notice the stuff of man's making that ends up as trash on the roadside. If I can joyfully pick up the trash (without resentment or judgement), I usually do. Oftentimes the odd assortment of rubbish becomes the stuff of a story. 

The manmade held a message yesterday mid-way down West Linden. I came upon something unusual and potentially hazardous scattered near a driveway. As I bent down to pick up the assortment of hardware, a thought zipped through my mind...

'Pay attention to the nuts and bolts of your life.' 

'That was definitely interesting,' I thought, as I placed the hardware on top of a nearby water meter by the homeowner's mailbox. 

I turned the corner a couple of houses down the street and there were more nuts and bolts scattered this time in the middle of the street. I'm guilty of not paying serious attention to the messages I receive so this time I picked up the assortment and kept them. Maybe I needed a literal reminder to pay attention and really consider the nuts and bolts of my day.

I turned left at the next street and within a couple of houses there they were, nuts and bolts, scattered about again. I grabbed these, walked down the street and there they were yet again. 

'Ok. Ok. I really got it,' I thought. I really DO need to pay attention to the nuts and bolts of my day. My hands were full when I looked up to see a cup just large enough to hold the collection. I continued walking, my cup full literally and metaphorically. 

I chuckled thinking how I walked with hardware symbolic of my walking each day with "hardware" mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and energetically that I don't use to its full potential. 

Every morning this week, I had experiences of which I knew I was to write. Then as soon as I began, I allowed distractions to intervene. 

This morning would be different. In the ninety minutes, I had before work I would shower, get my lunch ready, then write. I would not stop to talk to the screenwriter friend I hadn't seen in years one street over who I happened to see trimming shrubs. (Failed that test.) I wouldn't stop to knock on the neighbor's door and tell them I could hear water running from the meter under their portion of the sidewalk. (Failed that test.) I wouldn't stop to talk with my elderly neighbor who often calls to me when she sees me outside. (Fortunately she wasn't out.)

But our hydrangeas were wilted and the lilies and balloon flowers needed deadheading. I placed the cup of hardware on the recycling can, turned on the hose and began. Fifteen minutes later I finished but not before wishing the Miata were in the drive. I'd rinse it since we're trying to sell it. 

I showered, ate, and sat down to write just as three work-related calls I was awaiting came in one after the other. Twenty minutes remained of the initial 90 I had and I wrote nothing in that twenty minutes. 

This is how my entire morning can unfold when I shift focus and loose energy. 

The nuts and bolts of my day are varied. Visiting neighbors, tending the yard, answering a text or checking Facebook aren't negative unless I allow them to derail me from what I know in that moment is to be my focus. When that occurs, which is all too often, I am not honoring my time nor my soul's calling. 

For me the most important nuts and bolts of my day are the parts and pieces of my life that I know and sense I am to value, but my actions don't value .... like the four written pieces I began this week. Honestly I only wrote the beginnings of the beginnings before allowing other things to intervene. 

So today as evening drew near, I felt compelled to feed the birds and refill the bird baths before ending this piece. I tuned in to ensure I wasn't distracting myself and headed out with seed in hand. My breath was taken by a hairless baby bird by the chair where I usually sit. 

I scooped it up and sat outside humming my gratitude and sorrow to it until its eyes closed. 

This was not a distraction for in one crystal clear moment I knew this dear creature whose earth journey was maybe all of one week was providing the most important piece to this story.

What matters most about the nuts and bolts of my day (and therefore my life) as I walk through it is I am aligned with the love that's inside me whatever I'm doing at any given moment. That's really all that matters. If I am aligned with the love that lives in me, I will then hold the stories that come through me with the same tenderness and devotion that I hold this baby bird.

So I leave you with this: What really are the important nuts and bolts in your life? How committed are you to them? 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  24  June 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Guns, Gender, God, and Grace - Thoughts on This Journey

As I hiked a new trail a week ago in the Smokies, I glimpsed a large feather hanging in front of me. I thought of a Native American headdress and instinctively reached up to brush the feather out of my eyes only to realize what I cognitively knew. There was no feather. 

I stopped momentarily. This got my attention as did the sun shining exceptionally bright through the cathedral of trees towering above me. Stopping allowed me to see the spider's web hanging before me. I sensed I needed to take a photo of this place. 

The photo confirmed what my body felt. Light from the Universe was pouring in from above as fuchsia light shown on the other side of the web (hanging vertically near the middle of the photo). 

As I continued hiking this land once home to the Cherokee, I was mindful of the unfathomable pain of being torn from home as white man claimed ownership of what wasn't his. I pondered how everything in life's web is interconnected. 

This was a new trail for me to be hiking. The further I ascended, while not knowing what lay ahead, the more sweaty, tired and self-focused I became. I periodically hummed "We are climbing Jacob's ladder," a song I never sing yet I assumed came to me due to climbing. Physically I was exhausted yet internally felt like I was walking in heaven on earth. Gradually I neglected my experience with the web and light 

....until I reached a place in the descent where I sensed something light-related happening. Again I took a photo yet this time I saw eyes in rainbow-colored light of lines and concentric circles traveling what to me felt like DNA. I hadn't a clue what this meant. 

That evening upon reaching my room, the first thing I did was read that fuchsia light represents forgiveness, mercy and transmutation. 

The Native souls of this soil got my attention through the feather as a means to get me to stop and see the spider web and the Light. Sorrow and pain have been transmuted throughout time as victims of violence offer their offenders forgiveness and mercy. (I think particularly of a story from South Africa that Andrew Harvey tells in which a woman whose son was killed during apartheid asked that the man, a white officer, visit her weekly and be her son since he had killed her (black) son. The officer passed out in the presence of this woman's mercy.) 

I fell asleep with just about every muscle in my legs and feet aching yet grateful I heard this Truth revealed as the Divine Light of Love pours to Earth and onto the web of all my relations (not just humankind but onto earth's soils and waters, as well as her plants, animals and trees). 

I fell asleep forgetting the rainbow bridge photo and not knowing until today that to some it represents the DNA ladder or bridge between heaven and earth and forgetting until moments ago that the rainbow flag represents the LGBT community. I fell asleep that night not knowing that in just over a day, publicity's light would shine on that very community targeted by violence in Orlando and stirring conversation, debate, attack, responses and reactions related to guns, gender, and God....

....and potentially providing an experience of grace if we are open. 

A deep breath comes from me as I write the line above for sorrow, outrage, trauma and fear prompt closing rather than opening. I know "closing" personally though I didn't loose anyone in Orlando. I also know that grace arrives through and after the weeping, raging and questioning. That present events, when we reflect, reveal how we are connected to these seeming horrors of the world. And reflection allows us to respond with mindful action. 

Just as I didn't know what lay ahead on the trail, we do not know at any moment what lies ahead. We make plans and fill our schedules yet we do not know what Mystery has planned. Yet just as I stopped and saw the web of connection and sensed I was to take the photo, when we stop, we are more likely to see how we are connected to one another. When we mindfully stop, we are more likely to see how external events are connected to our internal workings. Stopping allows us to sense what the next wise step (response) is. Stopping isn't passive. Stopping is actively accessing our beliefs, fears, judgements, the things that drive us unconsciously. 

Stopping to be with the depth of feeling can in some allow space for forgiveness and mercy to the offender as well as to those who will continue to offend through fear-based comments and stereotypes. 

We are on Life's trail or Jacob's Ladder as hummed through me. Contrary to the news when bad things happen, we are as a whole ascending. Consciousness is rising. Our capacity to Love greatly and deeply is increasing. We don't know what lies ahead yet we can know we are not alone. When we become self-focused due to discomfort (the fear of "other," those who are different, feeling vulnerable due to change) it is easy to forget that we are all connected in the greater web of life. It is easy to forget the Light, the light pouring in. 

I share what was shared with me in compassion for those who hearts are breaking, for those who will now live with a hole resulting from loss and I share this on behalf of the tortured souls who take life. The trauma, terror and alienation of their inner world must be unspeakable. 

May those of us who are in this time attuned to receiving Divine Light be anchors for mercy, forgiveness and wisdom so heartache, discord, and terror can be transmuted and Peace be felt by all Living Beings in Love's Great Web. 

Peace to you. 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse at 16 June 2016 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When Bird Food Became Soul Food

I try to provide equal access to all the critters in my yard when it comes to seed and nuts. Alas the chipmunks learned to beat the blue jays to the peanuts so I thought I was helping the jays when I placed peanuts head high on my deck in a clay dish.

This strategy worked a couple of days until I walked outside and reached for the dish and found this.

My first thought when I saw the four dove down feathers was a precious dove had left me a gift. Then I saw the rest of the story. Dove feathers were scattered about the corner of the deck. A hawk, the bird associated with messages, had fed on a dove. My joy quickly turned to regret for unintentionally  creating such an unprotected space for the dove to be eaten. 

Yet I was intrigued by the four feathers and one lone dove feather suspended 
in a spider web before me. 

Needing to return to work, I snapped photos and wondered as to the message Nature offered in this unexpected turn of events.

Days later while reconnecting with two dear friends in from out of town, one referenced the planet Saturn being related to foundation. When I heard this, the proverbial light came on within me. Suddenly I got it.

Dove had left me a gift and Hawk was the messenger. I remembered that "4" is the number related to building a foundation. I was being told to make my foundation of Love and Peace, qualities exemplified by dove. When I do this, everything that comes my way can be embraced and trusted as part of my inner growth in a beautiful way. 

Some days this is easy. 
Other days (when I'm accused of having intentions that are actually the accuser's projections or I'm  struggling with Lyme disease as happened shortly after the dove's gift) it's challenging to embrace and trust what's coming my way. 

What I'm certain of is the food intended for the blue jays became food for dove 
then hawk and ultimately soul food for me. 

And I am the feather (as are you) suspended in a web connected to Nature and Others who provide clues to this Earth journey. 

We are all, Nature and Humankind, participants in building if we choose a foundation of peace and love to lift Earth in this Time. 

-Dawn, (Most Days Still) The Good News Muse,