Monday, December 20, 2010

Reclaiming Fire

Monday night I sat outside before a fire under the full but cloud-covered moon, the moon that in the middle of the night would be eclipsed on Winter Solstice. It occurred to me that throughout childhood and my youth, I feared fire. I feared the fires of hell and the God of whom I heard would send people there. Who I was got repressed and suppressed in large part due to the fear of fire.

I sat before a fire and thought of the women who died in 1534 and the surrounding times, the last time this particular combination of celestial events occurred between the Sun, the Moon and Earth. I sat before a fire thinking of the scores of women burned at the stake by the church, through the Catholic Inquisition and the Protestant Reformation, the powers of the time, killing women accused of being witches. I thought of how these fiery deaths not only killed but instilled such fear in those left behind, their fullest selves suppressed by the fear of fire.

I sat before a fire and watched blazes orange, blue and red turn to embers shining like gold and I reclaimed fire, the fire for me and all my earthly kin, woman and man, young and old, who have suppressed who they are out of fear of fire.

I reclaimed the fire of love for fear may dim the light but the embers still burn bright.

Fire makes Love stronger.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 20 Dec. 2010

Chords of Love - A Story of Guitars and Trees Inspired through Tim and Me

When I’m fully present and aware (not distracted by things I think I have to do or am suppose to do), I’ve a sense of being at home inside myself. It’s in those moments that I hear, sense and see at another level the richer reality by which we’re all surrounded and in which we’re all connected.

For example, recently I stood at the stove cooking when my friend Tim’s music crossed my mind. Thanks to Facebook, Tim and I have crossed paths again. Although we were in high school together we really didn’t know one other. (Can you really know another as teenagers when one hardly knows oneself?) Now over thirty years later, we’ve discovered we’re kindred spirits as we share a love of Nature.

About a month ago, Tim messaged me, requesting my phone number. He wanted me to hear a bit of music he had written. If I liked it, he’d in turn send me a cassette if of course I had a cassette player. I smiled. We’ve at least two or three along with cassettes we occasionally play.

Later that day, the light on my land line blinked alerting me to a new message. (Yes, we still have a land line too.) I pressed ‘play’ and heard these beautiful chords seeming to reach from Tim’s guitar out into the ethers, into the Universe.

A thought crossed my mind as I listened to the brief clip. I thought…

‘This would be soothing to the trees.’

I had no idea which or what trees, but I immediately emailed Tim and shared my impression. He enthusiastically wrote back “Yes, I’d love for you to play it to the trees!” and within days, the cassette arrived.

We had company so I set it aside but I didn’t forget. I sensed I needed to wait for the right time although I didn’t quite know what that meant.

The time arrived last week as I prepared lunch. I stood at the stove stirring when Tim’s cassette crossed my mind. 'Was this the time?' I wondered. 'And if so, why?'

Within seconds of my wondering, I knew. In a magical moment of profound beauty, I knew for I heard. I heard the chain saws.

Tree cutting crews had been roaming the neighborhood cutting the trees I connect and commune with on morning walks. As someone who deeply loves trees and also desires to hold the whole of our world including the tree cutters and loggers in a conscious, loving way, seeing and hearing trees being cut always evokes mixed and deep feeling.

That very morning as I drove Jerry to work, I had noticed two trees one block over stripped of all their branches. I was hurried and didn’t want to see. It was too early to be ‘stirred’ too early to be feeling deeply. I didn’t even walk that day due to the earlier snow. I came home and busied myself until that moment I stood in the kitchen cooking.

That's when Tim's music crossed my mind and suddenly I knew why. The two trees nearby were coming down as all the trees seemed to call to me, “It’s time. It is time.”

I put in the cassette, turned up the sound and imagined the trees as they were cut being comforted by the peaceful vibrations of Tim’s guitar. I felt the sounds reaching the trees all along Natchez Trace, trees now missing their limbs nearest the power lines as well as those that hadn’t been cut. I sensed them all finding comfort as members of their family left this physical plane.

I felt them being soothed by the chords of Tim’s guitar as musical vibrations reached the trees in a beautiful chain of connectedness.

I want to play Tim's music again while walking down my street. I want to play it in honor of the rolling country hillsides where trees are logged daily in our home county not faraway. I want them to feel the vibration of beautiful music as they give their lives to become floors, press board and beams in walls, as they, the trees, become our homes.

I envision ribbons of loving sound reaching around the Earth, wrapping in the vibration of love the great Sequoias and Redwoods of the West Coast as well as the tree covered Appalachians and Adirondacks. I envision all the trees and people on Earth feeling joy and gratitude for the dance that we share, human and nature, connected by the heart's vibration, connected in loving appreciation.

This magical moment while stirring at my stove reminds me there are no ordinary moments. We are surrounded by a much richer reality in which we're invited to engage as we’re present and allow ourselves to be stirred.

Tim’s allowing his heart to be stirred is what originally birthed the piece he shared with me. I learned as we continued to exchange messages that Tim's longing to connect with his deceased wife prompted him to play the guitar chords that resonated with his heart’s chords. These sounds in turn resonated with my heart and my love for the trees. (Is it a coincidence that cords of wood heat many homes?)

What beauty! Tim's yearning to connect, reaching for his beloved, allowed me to connect with my beloveds, the trees.

We humans get entangled debating global warming, the whys and why-nots and the right use of resources. I’m not saying that’s not important but it’s just as vital that we stop our side-taking and remember we are instruments of loving vibration walking Earth.

Nature, the trees, plants and animals, benefit most from our gratitude, from an awake heart, the source of Tim’s music and the source of all beauty.

On this Solstice Eve, the time of darkness, the world is made lighter by the chords of love connecting us all.

I'm grateful to all artists especially men who listen to and express their hearts yearning. And I thank you, Tim, for entrusting me with your music and allowing me permission to share this story.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse 20 December 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Sacred Geometry of Bread Pudding

I didn’t intend to make bread pudding this year. Last year was my first attempt and although it was good, I’ve just not been in the mood that is until I pulled into Trader Joe’s parking lot.

Yes, as soon as I opened my car door, bread pudding crossed my mind’s radar, Butterscotch Habanero Bread Pudding to be exact. Then within steps of walking into the store, I spied Alex my favorite employee whose presence after the parking lot inspiration were the only signs I needed.

A bit of backstory: Alex and I met last winter as I debated which hot sauce would be best for this sweet/hot treat. Alex’s helpfulness merited bread pudding so I delivered some the next day. Alex wasn’t there. He wasn’t there for some time. Had I accidentally poisoned him? Was he hiding in the employee hang out room, if Trader Joe’s offers such, as a means to avoid me, the woman who thought he liked bread pudding. Alex was not from the South so I hoped he had not fallen prey to pretending to like things as Southerners seem prone even when they despise whatever's being offered. We finally happened upon each other. I was glad to see Alex alive and he enthusiastically thanked me.

Back to the present: When I saw Alex recently, just as the kitchen muse had struck, I told him bread pudding was in the works.

Yesterday I cubed three baguettes and over the course of the day, the bread soaked in rich concoction of eggs, heavy cream, milk, butterscotch chips, sugar and yes, hot sauce.

As I stirred, cubed and cooked, I realized the many circles and cycles of sharing involved in this gift of bread pudding.

Here’s what I mean. The first cycle of sharing started with a circle in the shape of a nut. This nut through many seasonal cycles grew into a tree. That tree gave its life so I could receive a newspaper. (Yes, I love trees but I still enjoy holding a newspaper in my hands each morning.) The delivery man shares his energy as he delivers the paper making him part of my daily cycle as I am his. In the local paper last winter, a recipe was shared, a recipe for the above bread pudding served at Nashville’s Sunset Grill.

The hot sauce/butterscotch combo got my attention. So I in turn shared money (shared with me by clients) with the grocery. Cows at Hatcher Dairy and hens from McDonald’s Farms both local were part of the cycle and circle of sharing.

These gifts from Nature combined in a circular bowl soaked for hours before going into an oven made from metals shared by Mother Earth and baked by circulating heat.

Later thanks to the many circles and cycles in my car (wheels, steering wheel and belts for starters) I will deliver bread pudding to Alex and others at Trader Joes and I’ll share this through the internet.

Most importantly I realized while engaged in this process, that the cycles and circles of nature -sunlight, rain and soil- provided the jump start for my baguettes. Thanks to Nature the grain became the wheat that became the flour that became the bread.

Bread, the Flour of Life, nourishes our bodies.

And even more beautifully, these many connected circles create what Sacred Geometry calls the Flower of Life, the basis or recipe of all Creation.

I think of the folks who first made bread pudding 800 years ago, people salvaging stale bread for sustenance, were onto something of great value to us today. Regardless of our state of affairs, economically or otherwise, you can’t feel poor in spirit when you’re sharing good food or sharing in the circles that are part of the economy of the heart, Love.

Recipes are used in feeding our physical bodies, but a greater recipe feeds the spirit in life’s kitchen, the circles and cycles of sharing presence in the connections we make.

We’re surrounded by circles, seen and unseen, circles and cycles of continual sharing, giving and receiving. May we all awaken to the beauty of being fed by the Flower of Life and Creation and in so doing share the flour of life so all people can be fed.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 16 December 2010

Thank you also to Leslie Blackburn at for introducing me to Sacred Geometry and to Noa for just beginning to tutor me last summer. The compass just wouldn't work on that poster board :) .....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holding Baguettes, Sensing Babies

This morning I sensed babies as I stood in Provence Bakery with five baguettes cradled in my arms.

These locally made loaves of bread were headed to my kitchen to be cubed and soaked all day in a rich concoction that would eventually be baked to become bread pudding to be shared with others.

Yet in that moment, bread in my arms, I felt kin to the world's mothers, all women and men who hold and have held babies in the bend of their arms.

How is it that we get so far away from our first story of Love? How do we get separated from that first sense memory of being held in loving arms?

Our bodies remember what our minds forget. And this morning standing in the bakery, my body remembered the sense of shared love!

Awakened by my senses, I knew and felt love that in turn was energetically transmitted to those loaves of bread the way parents share love with held babies. That vibration of my love will go out into the world through bread pudding, my gift of food.

I imagine bread pudding, as well as this story, awakening a loving sense memory in all who partake of them.

Bread and story filled (field) of love feed us, allowing our bodies to remember what our hearts and the child once felt.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse 15 December 2010
Coming later, a video inspired by Butterscotch Habanero Bread Pudding.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Capped Angels and The Ocean of Love

Some places on Earth have snow capped mountains. This morning I've snow capped angels.

The younger one sits at the back door its arms now filled with crystalline love while the elder, her hands folded in prayer, quietly stands watch over our yard as she has done for many years.

I look at them often and am gifted with love and peace. This morning I'm reminded of how the energy of that love and peace finds its way into my heart's rocky terrain feeding me the way snow on the mountains melts and feeds Mother Earth.

As snow becomes water flowing into rivulets and streams that reach the rivers and join the world's oceans, my love flows with your love into the greater ocean of love holding Earth and all her people in these Times.

Yesterday as the snow fell, I walked about humming "Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow." This morning thanks to snow-capped angels, I sing, "Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow."
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 13 December 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Greetings from the Dolly Bob & Dawn

(Find the link to Bob's birth at the end of this one.)

Bob and I started this piece over a year ago when it became obvious I was having trouble closing shop aka bringing closure to my tiny raised beds for Winter. Bob suggested I might want to look at the issues I have with endings. I'm stubborn so I didn't admit it at the time, but I knew he was on to something. I had (and still have) a bathroom ceiling half-way painted, not to mention a file drawer of unfinished stories and a bag of recipes that I clipped in 2008 with the intentions of organizing them.

Eventually the tomato, bean and squash vines were uprooted, but the ceiling's not yet painted nor the recipes filed.

I then took Bob out a couple of times. Literally he joined us at Bosco's in the Village for a friend's birthday then around New Year's he spent some time in the kitchen at Cookeville's Maddux Station. (He's the tiny speck on the stove's corner.)

In Spring he briefly helped with this year's garden though what I do isn't what my grandparents or most folks would call gardening.

Being outside in Spring jump started a story again between us. The energy of Spring is known for that, starting new things not just seeds. Actually Bob wanted his own facebook page a companion to my "Imagine the Shift". Bob insisted his page "Imagine the Shi_" include vignettes as to how the shi_ in life helps us grow and evolve. I was having enough trouble with my own page, embarrassed with accidentally becoming a follower of myself, wondering if friends would 'like' me.

I resisted Bob's request but he continued, to talk to me that is. I began to call him the Dolly (as in Dali) Bob since we began a piece on the importance of happiness, the simple happiness that arrives when we're present and engaged with the journey.

As our story unfolded we read where the Dali Lama was in the states personally speaking on happiness. I became alarmed upon hearing the Dali Lama say things that Bob had been telling me. Not wanting to be accused of plagiarizing the Dali Lama, the story got stuck and so did Bob. He spent too much of the summer on the kitchen window sill and I spent too much of mine allowing stories to pile up. (Bob would say there are no mistakes and that he was exactly where he was suppose to be....keeping an eye on me.)

Last month, Bob helped me as I closed shop and later as I sat among the mums, the mums he had seen me plant last Fall. We began to reflect on the things that make us happy or bring deep satisfaction.

For Bob and me, like the holidays, the seasons and gardening are magical. Where else can this - nine potatoes, tubers, as they're called.....

become blossoms....

that become a basket of potatoes - red, white and blue - despite my negligence this summer of them too.

And the blue potatoes held potato snowflakes inside. This is the magic available in our everyday life! For Bob and me it brings joy and delight as well as a feeling of deep peace. Can you feel it, the inner satisfaction of being present with the simple things in life?

In this the time of Winter, the outer gardening is over and we turn our attention to gardening our internal lives. May you find and feel the magic that awaits you and over winter when you're missing the magic stop back by to be mesmerized by the journey of the potatoes and read more from The Good News Muse and the Dolly Bob.
-Dawn! the Good News Muse, 11 Dec. 2010

*Read the story of Bob's birth - "I'm Gonna Have to Face It I'm Addicted to Mums."
Or click "What about Bob?" (Nov. 5, 2009) and "Back to the Garden" (Nov. 7, 2009) for two other Dolly Bob inspired stories.

We've All Divine Inside - The Source of Real Security

Sometime ago I was a contestant in the Princess Game. No, I’ve not kept secret my competing in a reality show. Ella one of our favorite kids had invited us to play her new board game.

I, Snow White, lost repeatedly to Ella and Cinderella, aka Uncle Jerry.

As we prepared to leave, Ella asked me to come upstairs. At the top of the steps she whispered, “I want you to have my b.” Never had a runner up in a contest received such a special gift. Ella had many soft, silky blankets she called b’s but this was one of her first.

I lost the Princess Game but I floated home feeling like a queen, my prize the little worn blanket.

Regardless of the distressing events in the world that day, that night I slept peacefully with the b, symbolic of profound love and trust, at my side.

The next morning, with coffee in one hand and the b in the other, I realized it was covered with drawings of children, children of many cultures. Each tan, brown, white and black baby floated on its own little cloud. Despite their racial differences, each cloud was the same and each child was content. None were looking around comparing and competing to see who had the bigger or better cloud. Then I looked more closely and realized each child on Ella’s b had wings. Each child was an angel.

I wondered, ‘When do we change? When do we start comparing clouds and accumulating them, thinking one won’t suffice? When do we decide we need bigger and better wings? More importantly, when do we forget our wings altogether?’

It seems we slowly trade our wings for things. We buy the illusion that security can be purchased through the right schools, cars and zip codes while wearing the latest haircuts, clothing and styles. We’ve social security for our later years, security systems for our homes and Homeland Security for our country. Somehow we forget that real security is an inside job.

If we remembered regardless of class or color that everyone is created in God’s image, hunger would be inexcusable and poverty unacceptable. Corporate, political and personal misuse of power would cease. People would be seen from the bottom of our hearts not for their impact on the bottom line. Differences would be embraced rather than used as the basis for wars.

All too often instead of thinking for ourselves and considering the complexities of life, we listen to sound bites, mental fast food, and follow leaders, who seem at times to want us to forget our wings. Labeled and separated into liberal/conservative, rich/poor, educated/ uneducated, black/white, we become vulnerable, more easily controlled and pitted against one another. Left unchecked our attitudes and stereotypes further separate us.

True security isn’t found in possessions or positions, looking like Cinderalla or being born a Rockafella. It doesn’t reside in winning board games or war games, contests or conquests. Nor is it found in turning over our minds to politicians and the media.

Real security comes from remembering that like the winged children on Ella’s blanket, we’re all divine inside.

-Dawn! the Good News Muse, 10 December 2010

* Enjoy a short, free audio story inspired by Ella where my cd's available at my site Imagine the Shift.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walking Nashville ! Camaraderie and Adventure Save the World

Until a few years ago, I associated winter with short days, long nights and gray skies. Then for some reason my tip-toeing-around-the-edges-of menopause mind can't recall, one November I decided to begin my New Years resolutions two months early. That year I began walking most every morning and working out. I discovered what "they" say is true and what I knew but had forgotten. Exercise shifts ones mood.

The winter after that I determined although I wasn't particularly in the Christmas mood I would hear holiday music for the month. In one week alone, I heard the Holiday Belles at the downtown library, the Fisk Jubilee Singers in Jubilee Hall and Nashville in Harmony at Dickson's Renaissance Center. (NIH performs "Twisted Tinsel" this year Nov. 16th at TPAC.) I immersed myself in music and created a memorable December.

This year with the recent cold, I've wanted to crawl under the covers and stay until April or at least March. But I've continued my morning walks until tonight.

Yes, tonight I hiked seven miles in the downtown area thanks to a newspaper announcement regarding the Nashville hiking club. I met up at a meetup with nine other friendly, bundled up folks at Five Points in East Nashville and proceeded over the Cumberland River with the crescent moon as our guide. The river shimmered quietly flowing beneath as we walked above.

We passed the Municipal Auditorium, home to my first concert, David Cassidy (slight embarrassment) as well as the upcoming O'Jays concert. Think I may have to pay the Municipal a visit. I'm hearing "Love Train" even as I write. I confessed the D. Cassidy thing to the group only to hear one woman say she had an even more embarrassing concert confession. She had seen the Osmonds there. (I had too.) We laughed and walked on trying to recall what psychic had predicted the fall of the Municipal Auditorium roof. (Jeane Dixson, Shelby. I think it was Jeane Dixson.)

We then walked the Bicentennial Mall where under the stars the carillon stood Stonehenge-like. Gotta do that again. We climbed the stairs at the capital (need to that again and again), made our way past legislative plaza, the Ryman Auditorium and down Broadway where I had Arctic Mint Hot chocolate at Mike Ice Cream shop.

Our tribe of ten sometimes banded together and at other times were strung out a block apart. We walked organically at times in pairs yet sometimes alone, sometimes silent, sometimes sharing. I told one person of arnica montana for sore muscles and another about the microwavable disks my cats love to lie on in winter. From downtown we crossed Shelby Bridge and passed the Titans stadium enroute to Five Points.

What's my point? Stepping outside the box, trying new things, immersing oneself in new experience or as Ella and Lily, my favorite 10 and 6 year olds would say, having "adventures" is vital to a rich life. Our little group of ten didn't solve any major world problems but we shared a camaraderie reminiscent of when I've hiked the Grand Canyon.

Camaraderie, Adventure, Immersion...

Maybe our world leaders should put on their tennis shoes and start taking walks rather than sitting around those big tables and wearing their stuffy suits. Better yet, why wait for them? I suddenly hear words from the first 45 I ever played, owned by my parents not me...."These boots are made for walking...."

Imagine if we all started walking the streets of our neighborhoods and cities, getting to know our neighbors and those who aren't our neighbors like I did tonight. Imagine your daily life if you began immersing yourself in your experience...and I don't mean watching more tv.

Immersion in the new would grow a new you which in turn with camaraderie and adventure could save the world. Imagine that !
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 8 Dec. 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Waking Up to Love

Here it is December. While most folks are rushing about doing the holiday thing, I'm still smiling at Autumn and the thought of my young adult nephews donning turkey hats for a Thanksgiving photo. Although yesterday I did find myself thinking of the wise men.

I had just returned from my morning walk, where at one point I stood mesmerized in a mass of golden ginkgo leaves that had blown from under 'their' tree to the sidewalk on which I travel.

Drivers zipped past in cars as I stood in the leaves wondering if any other walkers-by had noticed these delicate, fan-shaped treasures some still holding a hint of green. I asked permission to pick up a few for a miniature bouquet. I felt like Earth's bride holding those six little leaves in a cluster.

Their beauty prompted me to wonder if the Japanese maple in my own yard still held its leaves. I had been mindful that of the six little maples in our yard, only one as of last week was covered in red. I visited it just about every day to acknowledge and appreciate its beauty.

I was deeply happy to return home and see many leaves still on the tree. Gratitude welled within me as I realized Nature is largely responsible for waking me, for showing me the beauty of my heart and providing a key to accessing deep feeling and experience that has for so long been buried.

I grabbed my camera and took a couple of shots as I heard myself softly singing, "Hallelujah." I touched the trunk of this dear tree and continued singing. What sacredness I felt, kneeling before this part of God's creation, my forehead in a pile of leaves.

I felt like one of the wise men before the Christ child, whose presence and life were all about Love, the transformative power of Loving compassion.

Experiencing deep love whether through the vehicle of Christ, Buddha, the Goddess, a person or Nature is transformative. It wakes us up. The more of us who are awake to love, the greater the likelihood of a global shift to loving. Maybe this is connected to why things of beauty in the world so often seem under assault. So many have been hurt by love or those who were suppose to love them. So many do not have self-love so they can't appreciate their own beauty, nor beauty in their loved one, a child or .... a tree.

In this the Season of Love, I envision a world in which every season, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, is a season of Love because we realize the beauty that resides inside, inside the many cycles of Nature evident all around us and inside our insides, our bodies, hearts and minds.

May we all wake up to Love.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 7 Dec. 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Mind is Great. The Heart is Good. (Love as Daily Bread)

(I didn't know as I wrote this that December is Universal Human Rights Month.)

This morning I found myself suddenly thinking of the blessing we said before every meal when I was a child. You may know it. "God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food. By his hands, we all are fed. Thank you, God, for daily bread." I quietly repeated the familiar refrain when the following began to grow in my mind. I hurriedly stopped what I was doing and scribbled what came.

"The Mind is great. The Heart is good.
Both gave us wisdom to grow our food.
By corporate hands, many now are fed.
May we return to Love for our daily bread."

Minds in the Industrial Age envisioned and created machinery, machinery that ultimately gave us the capacity to feed millions. We feed millions and we overfeed ourselves; yet many die of hunger.

Scientific minds then created chemicals, chemicals that allow foods to remain on store and cupboard shelves for months. These chemicals, made I suspect with good intent, and the resulting processing of food not only diminish the life in food but may be related to the rise of certain diseases in our time.

How is it that we slowly turned our nourishment over to scientists, inventors, agribusiness and corporate America? What will our legacy be to future generations as they look back on our times? Will we be known for our technological leaps in making wireless connections yet miss the connections inside our own bodies?

Our minds are still great and our hearts still good.

May we remember the wisdom that resides in our bodies, in both heart and mind, so that our age will be known as a time in which humankind reconnected internally as well as externally. May our age be known for returning awareness as to how we are nourished by Earth. May we remember how to really nourish ourselves and one another and not be satisfied until every person on this dear planet has enough literal daily bread born of the bread of love.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 30 Nov. 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mystery & The Mystery

"We are living a mystery. Hopefully we are not too busy to miss the vital clues."
-Merlin in "Return to Merlin" by Depak Chopra

Lately I've noticed the parallels between Mystery, our calico cat, and the Mystery that is life.

For example, Mystery is insatiable. The only thing she loves better than food is lovingly getting attention. Likewise, life's Mystery is hungry for experience. It wants to be lovingly attended and fed through us as we open ourselves to new experiences in life.

Mystery knows how to relax. Likewise the Mystery that is life calls to us, "Relax" for when we're relaxed we're more tuned in to what really matters each day.

Although she likes attention, Mystery does not like to be held. She wants to explore. To be held is to be confined. The Mystery that is life cannot be held. If anything, it holds us. It moves freely in our lives aware that when we try to confine its energy a part of us dies.

Recently Mystery sat looking at me as I said, "Thank you for keeping my heart open." (Mystery came along only two weeks after my cat of 18 years died, as my hurt heart was closing.) The Mystery when we allow it arrives to keep our hearts open often as we're wanting to close them.

Mystery especially on cold nights will lie on the bed between us. Likewise after all these years it's easy to think or assume I know my partner as he knows me. The truth is the Mystery lies between us, it is the rich Unknown waiting to be ventured into, waiting to be lived.

Mystery is primarily black with patches of yellow and white. The Mystery of life resides in the dark matter of quantum energy. We miss Mystery when we think of darkness as frightening or negative. The dark is space that has yet to experience light.

"Imagine the Shift" in your day as you become curious as to how Mystery is showing up or trying to arrive in your life.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 19 Nov. 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

To Ian...

For a time every morning during my walk, I periodically meet a young man decades my junior with an artistic gentle feel.

After passing each other two consecutive days, I determined on the third to introduce myself and ask his name. Ian was walking to the bus stop for work downtown. He had graduated from my alma mater earlier this spring. We talked. Ian said he would like to continue to live in the neighborhood prompting me to share how I had lived in the village since '77 thanks to a series of synchronicities.

We got to end of the block, our fork in the road, prompting our separate ways. Ian walked up the hill, the scenic way to the bus stop as I wanted to call out, "Wait, I talked too much."

I walked home wishing I had inquired more of him, this kindred spirit who preferred the serene yet uphill path to the bus stop over the traffic-lined one.

The above meeting was two weeks ago. I've not seen Ian since. I was away for a week then it turned cold.

Today I walked along pondering Ian. What was I really trying to say with all my sharing?

"Ian, allow yourself to really desire, to really want something in life, then
stay awake, pay attention to the signs and clues. Spirit or the Mystery has
a way of sprinkling them before us and from this a rich life flows."

I smile for I thirty years later am reminding myself of this too.
-Dawn, the Good News Muse, 18 November 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Tree, The Heart & the Hand of Mystery

I've passed this tree hundreds of times in the last fifteen years most always noticing the heart in its trunk.

It was only recently that I walked up close to stop and really see. The heart, mostly dark and charred probably struck by lightning, is bordered by what resembles two snakes, the guardians of treasure and sacred places in myth and story.

Reaching from the depths is a tiny hand of stubby bark-like fingers. The day I took this photo, the hand reached from a spider web as one finger pointed at me.

This day I also notice a yellow ribbon around the tree, not a statement of longing that a loved one at war return home, but a sign that the tree has been marked for extinction or trimming by power line crews.

The little bark hand reminds me of the heart, one's personal heart as well as the heart of the world and how they often reach for one another through strangers, family and events, often dark times, moving us to greater compassion.

The little hand beckons me to come sit in the darkness and learn rather than fear for in the darkness lives Mystery, the Unknown. In the depths, Wisdom waits.

I recall telling God after a traumatic speaking event in fifth grade that I would go to Africa, the Dark Continent, and do anything asked of me as long as I never had to speak in front of people ever again.

Much later in adult life, I suspected that instead of traveling to some far off country, my greatest mission was to go into the unknown regions of my personal Dark Continent, my unexplored heart-the sacred place inside of me.

Today I see this dark heart with the tiny hand emerging from the spider's web, calling me into the Unknown, to engage with the Mystery of these times and the Mystery that is my life. It is the hand calling me to have courage, the courage to enter my own dark insides and discern how they are connected to the greater web of life.

As for the yellow ribbon, I do not know the fate of this tree, but I do know it reaches out for us to come home for we are the ones who have been away. It reaches out for us to come home to who we really are so Love will not become extinct.

How do you experience or think of Mystery in your own life? How does the heart of the world speak to your heart? How do you consider your connection to the greater web of life?

Imagine the Shift if you allowed yourself to be called by the Mystery to an aspect of your own journey that you've avoided or set aside.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 15 November 2010

P.S. Later in the week, I met the man in whose yard the tree stands. Seeing my camera, he offered to take my photo and shared as well how he and his wife had already saved the tree from power line crews once. The energy of this couple balances those who raze trees seemingly thoughtlessly not appreciating their beauty or the fact that trees are the earth's lungs taking our CO2 and in turn giving off the Oxygen we need to breath.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Report from the Wilds (of the Bathroom)

Dawn here, reporting from the bathroom where wildness just passed through. (No, not that kind of wildness.) The essence of wildness passed through me as Jerry showered. (Not that wildness either.) I erupted into a spontaneous cheer as he prepared for something new.

How often do you get cheered? How often do you get to hear someone clapping while spelling aloud your name followed by rounds of "You can do it."

In these times when folks more easily jeer than cheer, encouragement is medicine. Mood shifting and mind lifting without negative side effects. (Okay so folks may judge me. That's negative energy though for them, not me.)

I wonder how wildness will try to flow through you today?
-Dawn! The Cheering Good News Muse, 13 November 2010

For the prior story related to Wildness just go to the story that follows: "Men on Mowers" dated Nov. 12. For the Cheerleading Trilogy click on 2009 in the column to the right and go to October 31 . I'll continue to try to link stories. For now, I've wilder things to do.

For the trilogy inspired by Lily! and Halloween last year click HERE
Followed by "To Pee or Not to Have Peed" HERE
and "Costumes, the Betrayal of Portrayal of Essence" Click HERE

Friday, November 12, 2010

Men on Mowers & Mirrors- A Musing on Wildness

"We need the tonic of wildness. We can never have enough of nature." -Thoreau

What is it with me and men on mowers? No, they don't excite me like some modern day version of cowboys on horses. They incite me. Earlier this week while driving down the interstate, I noticed two men on mowers. Well one was on a mower and the other watched as man #1 mowed a swath of tall, swaying grass, grass formerly known as goldenrod, now arrayed in Fall's muted tans, browns and rusts.

I reminded myself that the man mowing has a job as does the watcher. That each of them will be able to feed and clothe their families because my tax dollars support this.

It is not my job to judge. Being outside on a mower may be their tonic as Thoreau referenced, but can't we come up with something other for men to do than chop down wild and growing things?

This pushes my buttons similar to people who mow weekly in summer not because their yard needs it but because it's part of some task list encoded in our cultural DNA from decades past when advertisers told us we needed well groomed yards (groomed of course by their mowers).
This summer I felt such tension as neighbors mowed dirt. Dust clouds swirled around them as they rode the range that is their yard and I kept my mouth shut.

Both instances push my buttons because I love wildness. There's a freedom in the energy of wildness that ironically, here in the "Land of the Free" we try to squash, contain and control.

How is it that we tame wildness whether it's in our yards or in children? Our educational system is considered successful if we turn unruly (spirited) children into good (well-behaved) ones.

Wildness is where inspiration, creativity and spirit lie yet we relegate it to Animal Planet or a stuffed head on a wall, to reality shows where folks compete to survive in the 'wild' or videos of coeds at the beach on Spring Break known as girls gone wild.

I'm reminded of learning in France that the grand cathedrals were usually built over natural springs, springs where people worshiped Spirit as the Goddess in nature. Thus began the containing of the wild as the patriarchy separated people from nature. The church got its money as the people were controlled and yes often educated intellectually by the church, learning to read and write, but disconnected from the education that comes from nature and being in our bodies and not just in our minds. The energy of wildness did not die.

For now what I know in the wild ramblings of my mind is men on mowers mirror the part of me, my own energetic wildness, that I sensed was chopped down in childhood. Men on mowers remind me of how in turn even now I control wildness in myself when I forgo coloring a strand of hair fuchsia or turquoise out of concern for what others will think.

Yet I also recall times when imbibing of the tonic in nature or oddly while shopping awakens my insides, stirring that energy of old. Memories of the tonic of wildness make me smile as I recall rolling down a grassy slope not that long ago, dancing to my favorite band not caring what others think or buying not one but two halter tops for my fifty year old body or just this Fall laying in the bottom of the Grand Canyon naked in the Colorado River.

I don't know about you, but I need, I want, I desire the tonic of wildness to help me remember who I fully am. I want to drink daily from the tonic of wildness to keep the energy flowing in the Land of the Free that is inside of Me!

Imagine the Shift if you did one wild thing today. What would it be?
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 12 November 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Witnessing & Remembering - Nature Leads Us Home

Enjoy three small stories and a video inspired by Nature reminding us that contrary to the saying, "You can never go home", we can return to the home within over and over again.

A butterfly floats past.
A brave butterfly at October's end.
The sun sinks out of site
Today will never be again.
As I hurry through the kitchen I spot a tiny praying mantis like bug, the size of child's fingernail perched on the heart shaped woven basket, a beautiful basket made in Linden, not far down the road, my hometown.

I take this tiny being and place it outside or at least I try. It refuses to crawl off my hand.
We come back in.

I ask it where it wants to go and hear: "With you. I want to be with your heart."
This could be a problem. I'm headed for the car.

Then I realize it needs to go to the area of our yard where we buried Templeton.

I place my hand on the Earth in front of a grave marker and this once hesitant creature quickly crawls away.

This Summer we witnessed the launching of six or seven baby wrens. We lost count somewhere between the three on Saturday evening just prior to dusk and three or four more on Sunday morning. (We questioned our count after seeing one bird leave the nest and then return.)

Throughout Saturday afternoon, the wren parents perched in trees and props throughout the yard while loudly calling coaxing the children to come out.

Each fledgling in a test flight of sorts fluttered from the nest to the deck which then served as a runway to freedom. One landed by the flat metal squirrel then looked up as if to say, "The world's no longer flat, you know." Like today's kids who arrive exquisitely alive and ready to fly, they know what adults forget. We are multi-dimensional.

Each wren until the last one used the deck as a runway. The last one was the one that left and then returned. The second time out, it flew between the rails and was suddenly air born toward a nearby Japanese Maple.

I caught its flight with my camera. While doing so, I wondered if wren was yet another of the words deleted from the latest version of the Oxford Jr. Dictionary. I checked and found my suspicion correct.

Why would anyone omit wren?

For now rather than allowing this to spin in my head, I choose to remember wren, wren sharing its pre-flight chirps followed by flight for I want to fly. I want to always be inspired by birds in flight, bugs on the ground, sun in the sky. I want to remember we can fly and yes, we can always return home, to home deep within.

For this we long.
To feel at home.
The butterfly, the sun, the bug, the wren.
Flying, setting, crawling, flying away again.
Showing us the way.

Here's fourteen seconds of flight for you, for me and for the world that is here to be. Enjoy... and click HERE for the original story about the children's dictionary that's deleted 10,000 words many related to what they call Old Nature.- Dawn! The Good News Muse, 8 November 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nature's Texting - The Animals in the Rocks

My mother first taught me to see animals in things. Nearly three years ago as she lay in a hospital bed, awaiting her second surgery in six months, we watched tv. Actually the only channel we watched showed a steady stream of landscape images, images of flowers, rocks and trees. At first I didn't see them. She'd say, "See that bear in the rock" or "Look there's a cat" and I'd quietly chalk her creative visions up to one of the drugs she was taking. As I softened my focus and quit trying so hard, I too began to see them. It was a beautiful thing, my mother and I there in her hospital room in a vulnerable time finding animals emerging from nature unexpectedly.

Today I found a dolphin's meditative face in landlocked TN (in a rock of course). Last month I saw a fox.
How many treasures are hidden in Nature awaiting those who see?
- Dawn! The Good News Muse, 2 Nov. 2010

Nature's Texting - Young People and Trees

(Today, Nov. 2nd, I intentionally opted out of watching tv and instead opted for hiking.)

The photo doesn't clearly show it, but many of the older trees along this trail have been felled by a storm since I was last here. I was initially disappointed until I realized sprinkled all around me were young evergreens of various sizes. reminding me of the young ones coming up behind us.

The young ones, the youth, so many, so loving, so honest and wise. Knowing they are out there allows me to more easily embrace the shifts of today. =Dawn! The Good News Muse - 2 Nov. 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nature Uniting Us, Elections Dividing US

(Although this is written with Middle Tennessee’s May 1st flooding in mind, it applies to anywhere there’s a crisis or natural disaster uniting us juxtaposed to elections dividing US.)

The six month anniversary of the May flood nears as we find ourselves on the cusp of an election. I’ve been pondering these two events, one of nature, one of humankind. 

Not so long ago, one brought us together uniting us, offering an opportunity to bridge political, religious, racial and economic divides while one more recently intentionally separates us by playing on these divides.
In both, images were and are used to motivate us. During the time of the flood and immediately afterward, images prompted us to reach out and show compassion. Good will flowed as strangers helped one another.

The beneficiaries were individuals, families, communities and ultimately the human heart as we were Tennesseans at our best, baptized into a greater understanding of people around the world who have lived through natural disasters.
More recently in the weeks leading up to the election, commercial images have been used to serve up attacks, perpetuate untruths and stir mistrust in an attempt to manipulate and separate us, to get us to forget the lessons learned and experiences shared during the flood. Money flows while business and political bedfellows help one another buy America. The beneficiaries are special interest and lobbying groups and many corporations.
I’ve never really cared for the phrase ‘acts of God’ used in insurance policies referencing acts of nature such as the flood. I don’t believe in a God that ‘acts’ in this way. Yet I am mindful there is a grace to these events for they shake us and for a time awaken us empathically and remind us of what’s really important.
Crises remind us on a deep level that we are more alike than different whereas elections seem to thrive on getting us to forget these differences.
Regardless of who wins Tuesday, we each have the privilege of deciding how we hold the lessons from the flood. In the privacy of our insides, we each get to decide what governs the territory of our individual heart and mind. We can choose to remember the connections made and lessons learned in May or forget them. Regardless of who wins Tuesday, we each get to decide whether to live from a place of greater awareness and love or to live in reactivity and fear.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 30 Oct. 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sudden Sadness, Sending Love

(I wrote this Sept. 11th after the experience the night prior. It wasn't until writing it that I realized the day was 9/11. I read it recently to a friend who said, "Do not edit. Send, Dawn, send." So here goes.)

As I washed dishes Friday evening, a sudden sadness came over me accompanied by the thought that in that very moment someone was contemplating how they would kill the President. I immediately said a prayer of protection for President Obama and his family. I prayed that hate and fear would be eased in the world.

I thought this all quite strange, this sudden sadness, this frightening thought. Then I realized in every moment someone is plotting to take a life. Plotting seems a strong word but human beings are making choices whether through an overt act of violence or an indirect taking of life as happens in boardrooms where certain groups of people are seen as expendable and less than.

My prayer was not enough. I went outside and sent the energy of love and peace around the world. I sent love to those who hate. I sent love to those filled with fear especially those whose actions are fueled by fear and they don't even realize they're afraid. I asked that President Obama again be protected as well leaders with whom I disagree.

It is so simple. How easily we forget. We are built for love.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse

The Woman Who Buries Things

I am the woman who buries things. A fawn, a fox, many birds including a hawk, a butterfly, firefly, three June bugs, a squirrel, earthworms and a mouse one of my firsts. Just last weekend there was a raccoon.

My first was actually Templeton my cat of eighteen years. I held her in my arms for seven hours the day she died. After she passed I held her longer.

Why is it we are so quick to carry off the dead in their bodily form? How is it we allow others to swoop in and take them away when their spirits have just left, their bodies are still warm? My friend Nancy told me she and her family stayed with her father recently for three hours after he had died. I later said, "That's what I want. Someone around who isn't afraid of death but is willing to be with me or what's left of me on this plane even after I'm so called gone." I'm not convinced I'll really be gone.

At first I resisted the burials mentioned above. I didn't resist them as much as I dreaded the sadness they stirred. I didn't want to cry yet I answered a call as these animals showed up in my yard or in the road near my home.

I remember late this summer seeing a dead bird and instead of thinking 'Oh, no' I thought, 'I get to honor this bird.' I am slowly getting 'it.' The animals are also honoring me because they know as they're laid in Mother Earth, I'll thank them for coming here, for giving us the opportunity to hear.

I am the woman who buries things and each time I am given a gift, the gift of uncovering my long buried heart. What in your journey allows you to feel the uncovering of your heart?
-Dawn! The Good News Muse - 25 Oct. 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Song that Plays through Time (pt.2)

I’ve been thinking about ‘the Song’ to which I referred in the last Musing, the Song that plays ever so softly through time not forcing itself upon us but running quietly through our lives.

One of the verses of the Song that I’ve come to recognize in my own journey relates to beauty, not the makeup and material beauty that’s promoted and pushed by advertisers, but the beauty found in nature, in acts of kindness and the beautiful unfoldings in life.

Beauty was in the ethers even before we arrived a month ago at the Grand Canyon’s Backcountry permit office. Due to lagging energy, I had severely delayed officially requesting a permit. Upon submitting an application three weeks prior to our trip, we learned campsites in the canyon are booked a year in advance. We were informed a site might be secured in person due to last minute cancellations.

We showed up with the intention of getting a permit knowing we'd be disappointed and relieved if space wasn't available and excited and scared if space was available. A site was open ten miles down to which we excitedly and apprehensively said 'yes' and quickly paid twenty dollars.

This was beauty to me. I had wanted to hike Bright Angel trail for a year as well as sleep in the canyon during the Autumn equinox and full moon. Not only was there beauty in the process of showing up but we were met by facets of beauty everywhere from the elk bugling as Jerry said, "We need a send off" to the stranger, a kindred spirit, who took our photo and celebrated our adventure as three days later we again reached the top. (I had wished while hiking up, up, up that someone at the top would greet us and revel in our accomplishment.)

In between there were a dozen deep blue dragonflies that landed around me and on me as I cooled off in a stream one afternoon, a deer that grazed at our campsite, a cluster of bugs dancing mid-air thousands of feet above the Colorado river at sunrise and hearts in stone, on the trail and in the rock walls, as well as the walking hearts of fellow hikers who offered encouragement, stories and food along the way.

Often deep beauty involves sadness as happened with my father’s beginning his dying process five years ago this very time of year. I visited my parents regularly as my father after a year of intensive chemotherapy ended his physical life in a hospital bed at home with hospice care. Early on I would sit by his bedside and sing to him all the hymns of my childhood. When I ran out of those, I'd sing songs from my women's drum circle then cycle back through hymns again. (This was new for me. I was not a singer of songs in the presence of others.)

One afternoon as I sang I asked if I could hold his hand. To my surprise he said 'yes.' At some point after a song, he said "That's beautiful" then took my hand and placed it on his chest where I felt the most intense heat I had ever felt between human hands, this heat exchanged between us. I was being allowed into the energy and power of my father's heart, a heart like that of so many men, hidden throughout their lives from those they love and maybe even from themselves. This was a potent experience and gift of beauty.

Beauty was what unfolded regarding the house that found me just over five years ago. I don’t think of myself as materialistic thus I never dreamed I would grieve regarding a house, but I did. Upon crossing its threshold, I viscerally knew I was to live there. I had never felt this way about a place. After long deliberation, we made an offer, an offer that was trumped for another’s cash. We lost the house. I wept and was stunned having been certain this space called to me only to learn of my father’s dying. Over two years after his death and many trips to my mothers, the house found me again. There it sat a ‘for sale’ sign on its little spot of land as if to say, “You should have known I would come back around. It wasn’t time when we first met.”

Beauty was walking the streets of LePuy in Southern France on the eve of my birthday suddenly weeping for an unknown reason yet knowing deep within that my soul had felt much sorrow there. Beauty was one of my traveling companions quietly taking my hand and walking silently side-by-side along the sidewalk with me in LePuy.

Beauty was recently looking out the window wondering if the three bats we’ve dubbed Betty, Buddy and Benji would show up one more time before winter sets in. On cue they arrived, all three of them flitting and dipping about the back yard. Their dance brought tears to my eyes reminding me of the preciousness of life.

Beauty arrived again as we drove into a neighboring town the next day. In the middle of the road lay a dead raccoon. We were silent. On the drive home, I heard myself say aloud, “I have to bury that raccoon” as Jerry said, “That’s what I was thinking too.” We returned shovel in hand to get the dear animal or one of its kin that aggravates us so, raiding our bird feeders and digging up everything we plant. We planted its body next to the spot where we had placed the dead fawn months prior. Beauty was in our hearts but also around us for there was no trace of the fawn. Mother Earth had lovingly taken its body. All that remained were the twigs with which we covered it. Those same twigs and pine needles now cover the raccoon.

My father’s dying, our hopes of hiking, the loosing then finding of a home, even the burying of an animal – all of these in some way involved showing up in my heart while also letting go. This for me is beauty.

You know how I said early on that Beauty is one verse of the Song that runs through my life? Beauty is all the verses. Beauty is the Song of my life. Tears of joy and sorrow polish the singer, the heart, that lives inside.

When we hear it, the Song that plays through life sings us home to our deepest, truest Selves.

Imagine the Shift of discovering each day verses to the Song that plays through your life.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 22 Oct. 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Song Played through Time (The grace of getting do-overs)

Remember in childhood receiving or granting do-overs, the opportunity in a game of kickball or softball to try again? Do-overs came to mind as I navigated my Monday morning walk last week.

A few blocks up I noticed two men sizing up a tree, a tree I suspected that was about to come down. Things of this nature are not easy for me. I've worked at making peace with the workmen sent regularly by the utility company to trim area trees near power lines often resulting in an entire side of a tree being shaved. I try to think of these chainsaw wielding men as poet John Wright references. In one particular poem he writes "...let loggers (or in my case tree trimmers) be druids specially trained and rewarded to sacrifice trees at auspicious times.....let chainsaws be played like saxophones."

This particular morning the tree these men examined looked at least outwardly very worn, leafless and lonely. So many green and growing things have struggled due to the summer drought that ironically followed Nashville's May flood. Our summer weather pattern reminded me of our human tendencies toward extremes, all or nothing, black or white, rain or dry. These extremes seem to have taken a toll on this tree.

I walked on, turned around at the mile mark and proceeded home until I heard the sound. The whir of a chain saw, I mean saxophone. I had just the night prior heard David Sanborn making magic with his saxophone at the Ryman. I did not think of these men as making similar magic but I did immediately realize there was a magic of sorts afoot.

Their "music" provided an unexpected auditory cue taking me back to this past June when on yet another morning walk I passed an extremely large shrub being pulled up by its roots in a neighboring yard. That particular morning on my first pass I judged the young men doing the deed and I equally judged myself for not having the courage to walk over and do the thing I felt called to do, bless the shrub and invite it to let go with ease. Even during the same walk when I came upon the young men pulling up a second equally large and beautiful shrub granting me a do over, I allowed the fear of being called 'that crazy lady' keep me from being me.**

This morning, months past the first do-over, my heart's tempo picked up in excitement and apprehension. I was getting a second do-over, the one wished for in the prior situation. I was getting an opportunity in front of three strangers to love a tree, to love a tree as it was passing while feeling no embarrassment.

Whereas in June I allowed my fear to prevent me from being me, this morning I heard myself say to the owner of the house who was now outside also that I wanted to say good-bye to the tree. I walked over, kissed my palm then laid it aside the trunk of the elm.

This morning I not only got to love the tree, but also meet the man who lives in the house, the man I've said hello to occasionally in passing but whose name I've never known. Hunter, a kindred spirit, tells me he's tried to keep this elm alive for sometime and that he intends to plant another tree nearby.

This grace-filled morning a dying elm, a neighbor and two saxophone playing druids gave me a synchronistic opportunity for a do-over. I not only got to love the tree, but also love me. Rather than betray myself as happened earlier, I was true to me. I walked home feeling beautifully free.

Although a week has passed since my encounter with the tree, I awoke in the night thinking, 'There is a song played through time polishing the singer that lives inside.' This song for me orchestrates the magic woven through daily life offering do-overs.

Imagine the Shift as you awaken to and embrace the do-overs magically offered in your life each day.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 18 Oct. 2010
* from "Earth Prayers from Around the World" edited by Roberts & Amidon
** to read the Musing referenced "Magnets of Love" click HERE

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One More Thought about the Bright Angel Trail

(This is a follow-up to "The Bright Angel Trail" posted Oct. 1st. I believe it was Flannery O'Connor who said, "You shall know the truth and the truth will make you odd." The following may put me in the category of odd but I'll choose odd over silent. - Dawn)

In the earlier Musing about the trail of Divine Love issuing from a morning glory and experienced while hiking in the Grand Canyon, I wrote that there's a "necessary living" to which we are called and that I hoped to continue listening to the flower and my trip long after the story was posted.

No sooner had I posted it than I heard something else, actually several things. I realized for me there's a necessary listening I must do and that I betray my purpose here on Earth and am unfaithful to myself when I'm not attentive on a quieter, deeper level.

It isn't uncommon when listening for me to hear things that I know I must share or release onto the internet air waves. These messages at times take a circuitous route. I hear something, jot it down, accidentally, intentionally misplace the jotting, then feel out of sync and disconnected until I realize I've allowed fear and apprehension to silence me.

This happened just after posting the Bright Angel story. I continued listening for I had been captured by the Light coming from the Morning Glory. I thought of how plants carry the light of the stars and that we ingest plants and in turn carry light likewise. Despite what my poet friend Mary Ann says, I edited myself since I've no science or astronomy degree. (Mary Ann says there's no need to explain what I write. That I just have to write it.)

Then I heard the third thing, the thing I noted on the back of a crumpled piece of paper, then placed at arms length literally on a nearby footstool and avoided for days. It reads:

"I imagine the Bright Angel of Divine Love in the eyes of a child about
to be trafficked or an animal about to be tortured. I imagine the light of that Bright
Angel being glimpsed, being seen by the dim but still present Bright Angel in
the abuser. I imagine this meeting of Light and Love initiating a great waking
up, a waking up that births a healing heard around the world, the sound of
Bright Angels being freed from their prisons of trauma and shame."

I set aside this notation fearing someone would think I had no business writing of torture or trafficking if I've never experienced it. Yet I am reminded of it daily through emails regarding the unconsciousable treatment of children, young men and women and as well as animals in our country and our world. (The global yearly profits from trafficking people for sex and forced labor is 31.6 billion dollars! Trafficking is the third most lucrative black market just behind drugs and weapons. These numbers are five years old and staggering!)

Leonard Cohen sings, "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." The first time I saw this in print I thought, 'There's a crack in everything including the hardest of hearts and that's also how the light gets out.'

I believe in invisible circles of life, light and love, circles of interconnecting reciprocity in which we live most of us unknowingly. I imagine a dormant, untapped reciprocity between the light longing to be freed, longing to get through the crack in the heart of a Bright Angel who was abused and is now an adult. I imagine that Light connecting with the Bright Angel in that person's potential victim.

Some will say this is too simple. I believe the unfolding solutions to so much lies before our very eyes. Some will say this can't be done. I believe we must try.

Won't you join me by offering your Bright Angel, your divine heart, to help turn up the power that's been dimmed in others for whatever reason so the Black Markets around the world become places of Divine Light.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 8 October 2010
P.S. Colette Bercu founder of "Free for Life International" will speak on trafficking Friday Nov. 5 at 7pm at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville as part of "Sojourning Women - Women's Global Voices on Interfaith, Immigration and Violence." For more info click: Sojourning Women II.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nature's Texting...

Long before pre-curled ribbon came onto the gift wrap scene, I loved running scissors down pieces of ribbon then watching it spring into curls to be placed atop a gift.

This Arizona plant and tree recently reminded me that Mother Nature likewise tops her children with ribbons, gifts for those with eyes to see.
-Dawn! Imagine the Gifts! 4 Oct. 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Bright Angel Trail

Last week I was backpacking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon via the Bright Angel Trail. I’m not a regular hiker. The most regular I get to hiking is a two mile morning walk. And I’m certainly not a backpacker.

I attempted this journey because I was answering a call, a call sensed months prior. I knew I was to go to the Canyon, actually go into it and Listen. I didn't know why. I only knew I was to show up. I tried to talk myself out of this challenge due to continued exhaustion from earlier surgery and wanting to hole up somewhere and sleep. My hesitation was always met by an inner knowing that I would regret not following this mysterious call. By not showing up, I was aborting my journey.

I’ve now returned to walking city sidewalks. I walk and listen.

Monday as I zigzagged through Hillsboro Village streets, I passed a brush pile enveloped in morning glories. I set out the next day camera in hand in search of that pile. I felt compelled to find it. Just as I was about to give up, there it was in the same yard where the Snow Goddess sat eight months prior during an infrequent Nashville snow.

This pile of dead wood covered in blossoming morning glories is an exquisite example of life and death, living and dying. The dead twigs and branches provide a framework for the flowers and ultimately sustenance for eventual new life as the wood and flowers gradually decompose. On this spot of Nature’s canvas, I witnessed death supporting life.

I snapped a couple of photos, hoping also to capture the star in each flower and returned home intent on sending out a tidy little short story.

I loaded the photos to my computer only to realize I was being gifted with much more.

See the light coming from center of the star? Death was not just supporting life, that life, the morning glory, was emanating Light.

I could not produce an instant story. As in the canyon, I needed to listen, to allow this morning glory to take me on a journey.

One of the things I heard last week early on in my trek was “We are all Bright Angels walking the Bright Angel trail.” I whispered this into my hand held recorder and forgot it.

Sitting on my sofa miles and miles away from the canyon, I sat with the morning glory and knew the Light it held is Love. Divine Love is the Bright Angel trail that each of us comes here as Bright Angel’s to walk and to carry.

In reflecting on the bigger picture of the wood and flowers, life and death, light and dark, I thought how often the Bright Angel within is most deeply contacted and brought forth in the darkest of times, how alchemically the pain of loss holds the opportunity for new life.

I thought of my dear friend who having lost all she owned and all that defined her, saw the Light of love in a child’s face, a Bright Angel in Africa intimately acquainted with death, rearing her younger siblings. That Bright Angel inspired my friend to be the diligent scribe for a musical for the children and elders of Africa. “I Dream” one of the songs from the musical debuts tonight as esteemed Broadway singer Ernestine Jackson presents it at the Washington DC benefit for Kenya’s Nyumbani Children’s Home.
I thought of the young man I met on my flight home from Phoenix, a young man whose family has lived through the unfathomable loss of their daughter and son, ages 3 and 2, to a rare motor neuron disease. During my flight I learned how this man and his wife, John and Laurian Scott, in two short years have created The Olive Branch Fund to increase awareness, provide families with resources and raise research monies for Brown-Vialetto-Van Leare disease. They’ve created ongoing, multi-city fundraising events for this cause, published Thisbe’s Promise a children’s show and tell book written by Laurian for her daughter who loved the myriad of animals around their Tennessee home and this past Spring attended the International Children’s Neurology Congress in Cario where Thisbe and Noah’s cases were presented.

This family and my friend have navigated great loss to emerge as Bright Angels touching not just those around them but answering a Higher Call to share their Light with others worldwide. As the pile of twigs and branches supports the flowers, these people have allowed loss and death to not only support life, but to help them ultimately emanate Light, the light of love and compassion, the Light I see streaming from the center of the beautiful morning glory.

I set off this week in search of morning glories. I was shown that we are surrounded by morning, noon and night glories, the glory of being Bright Angels showing and sharing love for and with one another in these times as well as with the greater Earth family.

I hope to continue listening long after this story is posted. For now I know that in all the dying in our world, so much unnecessary dying in our dear world, we are called to a necessary living, to each shine the Divine Light of love and compassion wherever we find ourselves on life’s trail. For we are carriers of Divine Love. We are all Bright Angels on this the Bright Angel Trail.

Deep gratitude to Sharon Mounu Riddell and to John and Laurian Scott for permission to write of them in this Musing. Please take a moment to be inspired by the two websites below.
-Dawn! Imagine the Shift! 1 October 2010

* The Angels of Africa Project - artistic projects using story and song to raise awareness regarding the orphan crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. "I Dream" should be available at the site after tonight's performance by Ms. Jackson.
* The Olive Branch Fund- A Thisbe and Noah Scott Legacy