Friday, April 23, 2010

Love Will Track Me Down

I have after much procrastination begun to reflect on time in France last May followed by hiking into Havasu Canyon with a friend in June. Part of reflecting involves reading my journal from the months following my travels. In pages and computer files I find things like this note found seconds ago:

Last Friday upon arriving in the country, I proceeded to have four glasses of champagne. At a wedding reception that may not be a lot. If you're wanting a buzzz that may be not be a lot. If you’re 110 lbs on a 5’2” frame, that's a lot. Me? I was avoiding feeling.

Now here it is Sunday evening, standing at a sink of just washed dishes, with Jerry only gone fifteen minutes and I think: I could open another bottle of champagne.

I immediately and unexpectedly hear: “Dawn, there is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you. I am like your mother. I will always love you. I will never stop loving you.”

I spent the weekend in prevention mode. I weeded the garden. Typically I call this tending, something I find deeply satisfying. In near 100 degree mid-day sun, it’s torture. I read or better conveyed I called out words as I looked at them on the page. This too I find deeply satisfying usually but not when I’m avoiding writing my own words. And I slept something that’s also usually satisfying but not when done in the name of avoidance. I was reading, weeding, drinking and sleeping all to avoid weeping.

In the past, I’ve talked with a friend about developing the capacity for sacred weeping and how the world needs people, men and women with heart, who are willing to be the alchemical vessels for sorrow in the world. At the time this idea first arose, the former president was in the White House and I considered showing up at the White House to weep for him, for what I imagined were his own unwept sorrows and all the things hidden in his shadow ofwhich he knew not.

Now I think, ‘Who was I to think I could do that for him when I’m avoiding that for myself?’

There’s something about this voice at the kitchen sink that is deeply comforting, profoundly loving. To know I am loved. That I can run to the ends of the universe and there is nowhere that Love won’t find me. Love will track me down. Love will be there even if I’m found weeding on Mars, drinking on Venus, reading on Jupiter and sleeping on some far flung Milky Way star.
Love will stalk me and patiently talk with me on my time not hers.

-Dawn! the Good News Muse - 4/23/2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Of Happiness, Great Mama and Lives Past and Present

Happiness is....
Last evening after a very hectic day, I sat outside feeling at home inside myself, at home and happy and thought, 'Happiness is .......

- watering my newly planted squash, tomatoes, beans and potatoes as they poke their little green heads up through Mother Earth.

-noticing the pink glow in the distant sky.

-trading a jar of my homemade blueberry jam (from Bernie's organically grown blueberries in Fly, TN) for fresh brown, blue and white "home laid" (not corporation made) eggs that now sit in a bowl in the fridge.
-seeing a fox trot through the yard.

-the smell of dandelion wine as it ferments. Now there's a longer story.

-taking an accidental nine mile hike and enjoying it.

-finding nine mice, felt ones, stashed in Mystery and Bogey's hiding places.

-buying purple, gold and blue gem-like glasses on sale at Pier 1 after restraining myself months prior.

-being connected to someone I love miles and miles away as we simultaneously watch the moon.

-hearing my neighbor Judy eagerly ask: "Do I have anything you need?" and my surprising us both by responding, "Yes, a lot of love." (I'm unaccustomed to "outing" myself at this level, but I need a lot of love as I witness what we unconsciously do to Earth, Nature, Animals and one another in the name of progress and often greed.)

On this day, Earth Day and every day "Happiness is........." what to you?

Of Mana and Mama

In the nine-volume series "Religions of the World and Ecology" Leslie E. Sponsel in "Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community" writes: Traditional Hawaiians believed a mystical force called mana permeates everyone and everything, including people, plants, animals, fish, stones, landforms, sea, wind, clouds and rain. Prayers, chants, dances (hula), offerings and rituals are among the ways of channeling mana and communicating with the spirits. Thousands of diverse spiritual beings exist...."

The above reading was compiled by Peggy Rubin as part of my daily meditation through Jean Houston's Mystery School. I read this and thought, 'Yes, a mystical force does permeate everything. Mama permeates everything. Mama, the word connotes a sweetness to me. Mama reminds me of love that sacrifices, not in martyrdom or a look-what-I've-done-for-you attitude, but in a selfless I give and I give, I care and I care thus I share and I share kind of way, because the more I do this, the richer I am. Great Mama surrounds us.

I hear my own Mama calling down the long hallway of my childhood home, the one she stills walks every morning. I hear her calling to my siblings and me, "Come on kids, time to wake up."

The Great Mama now calls down the long halls of Time, calls to us all, "Come on Kids, Time to Wake Up."

The Poppy and Lives Past

I walk out this morning, mug of coffee in hand, and sit on the point of land that juts from my yard in the country. I did not intend this. I walked out to put bird seed in a near-empty feeder. After doing so, I walked to the point and sat down on the ground. In front of me was a lone poppy giving all it had to the surrounding chicweed, sedum and pebbles. Tears came to my eyes.

I was transported to Conques, an old French village, where I spent a few hours on my 50th birthday. We arrived by bus in a slight mist. It was all I could do to sit through lunch as I felt compelled to visit a distant monument on the pilgrim's path visible outside town. I ordered something simple then while others in my group went to explore the old church in town, I headed out of town. Not far down the road over a short wall, I saw a path. Knowing time was limited and feeling drawn to the overgrown area below I wound my way down.

I sat my back against this little tree surrounded by poppies and growing things that reminded me of my home in Middle Tennessee. I sat leaning against this little tree knowing I had lived here prior, that I had loved Nature here and let Nature love me. I sat supported by earth and this little tree knowing what I had learned here allowed me now to live and love in Tennessee.

I've only shared this specific story with one person since my trip. It is private and it's not every day I talk about past life feelings. I've no desire to be judged or argue, prove or disprove whether we've one life or many. All I know is this morning as the poppy 'outs' itself I do likewise. It doesn't matter if we've many lives or one. What matters is my heart's alive and I am witness to the poppy whether in France or Tennessee. What matters is, as Mama calls, I am awake and aware of the simple beauties in life, for it is in the beauty of nature that magic is revealed and we are taught how to really wake up and live.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 04/22/2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

I am Angry

I arrive in the country to write and I am angry. Blackbirds have taken over my bird feeders. Gone are the chickadees, cardinals and finches.

I was here last week to be inspired, to plant things and write. And yes, I found myself angry. I was awakened from sleep one night by a raccoon attacking a cat, a cat that is not mine that someone dropped off I suspect. That people treat their pets like property makes me angry. One neighbor says she's fed it while another saw it hanging around my house. The raccoon like the blackbirds devours the bird seed. He or she takes down the feeders. oftentimes dragging parts about the yard. This makes me angry.

I am angry. The land just above the spring where I've recently starting getting drinking water has been cleared. A few token trees are left standing. Homes will be built I suspect where once stood neighboring trees now felled and hauled away. Not only are the trees, homes to animals, lost but now I am concerned as to toxins in the spring water. The timing of this is ironic since just the day prior the Tennessean carried an article relating the political back and forth as to water quality issues in the state. A Republican candidate for governor complains there are too many restrictions and too much red tape while the the State environmental department and local environmental council provide statistics to support their work.

I am angry. I want to tell Mr. Ramsey and all the folks who complain of government red tape that if people did the right thing there would be no need for tape of any color or over site. If people realized our interrelatedness with nature there would less dishonesty, less cutting corners. And yes, the building might still occur above the spring but the builders would honor and protect the spring. If they had to cut trees,they would ask permission and forgiveness for taking a life. I'm making assumptions the easy way is being taken in this development since it's in the middle of Nowhere. But Nowhere is somewhere to me and for now I do not take the easy way. I do not turn a blind eye. I place a call, leave a message and await word as to whether proper safety mechanisms have been put in place to protect this water from which I and others drink.

I am angry. I have had a headache all week from the yellow coating of pollen covering everything. The fact that I have not written in a long time does not help this matter and that is not the pollens fault. The so-called Good News Muse is in a stew, a stew of her and life's making.

I walk around my yard, stomping within but no one would ever know. I am "nice."

The God with whom I grew up never got angry except of course to send people to hell. And that really wasn't' attributed to his anger that was an individuals fault. I could never understand what happened to all those born thousands and thousands of years ago long, long before Jesus. Did they get a free pass to heaven or "Do not pass go. Go straight to hell" card?

The Creator I consider today has to get angry. When She/He/It who created Earth or set in motion this chain of events that birthed this beautiful world looks at what we have done thus far to Eden I've no doubt He stomps around heaven and butts his head against heaven's walls while shouting, "What in my name was I thinking???"

We have been gifted with such natural beauty and what do we do? We concretize and asphalt over it with continued new skyscrapers, entertainment complexes, malls and condos so developers can make money, money, money. We drain Earth, dig in it and use it for materials, power and resources to build our homes and run all our stuff. Like a good mother, Earth has given and given to us for eons and what do we do, what do we give it in return? We give Earth our trash, our junk goes to landfills and is dumped in oceans, our co2 goes to the air and our toxins and chemicals to Earth's streams, oceans and rivers.

I can't imagine a God or Being that would create this beauty not being a little more than pissed and pissed a lot lately.

God has to be really angry when he sees trophy hunters placing the hides and heads of his endangered animals on the walls of their homes and hunting lodges. They weren't endangered when he created them. They are endangered because of mankind. God has to be angry as he overhears corporate conversations related to the continued destroying of the rainforest, the raping of Appalachia's mountain tops and the siphoning of minerals and metals from the Hopi and Navajo lands out west. But we go about our lives, building and buying our stuff not connecting the dots since Appalachia, the Hopi Mesa's, the rainforest, they are all so far away.

We should be the endangered species.

Then as I sit writing, trying to empty all the thoughts crowding my headachey mind, I glimpse a bat flitting through the dusk sky. He or she swoops and darts. I smile. To my left, a fox trots through the neighbor's yard. Its little silhouette, reminds me of natures dogs, the one's untamed, not called man's best friend. (Speaking of angry, man's best friend should be angry over how he's treated, but that's another story.) This little fox is my friend. As for the birds, they may not be in my yard but they sing in the night from a neighbor's yard as a goose calls overhead. A tear comes to my eye. I am angry and I am disappointed. It is disappointing to see people miss Nature's beauty. I am disappointed when anger clouds my vision and I miss Nature's beauty.

Then I realize as God's stomping around on heaven's floors, She/He sees a couple stop to really appreciate the sunset. They smile. God smiles. He notices the sparkle in a child's eye as she is first inspired to write a poem about Nature. God smiles. He happens to hear of the Middle TN man giving away thousands of tree seedlings in honor of his father. He sees the man who helps heal a wounded animal instead of hunt one and a tear comes to God's eye.

Maybe we've not gotten it so wrong after all. As long as one person, one child, one man, one woman opens his or her heart to Nature, hope and possibility survive.

My head has stopped hurting. I smile.
-Dawn! The Sometimes Angry Good News Muse 04/16/10

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Accidental Outing

It's seldom I get a remark in the comment section of my blog. Thus not long ago after posting a Musing I was surprised to find three quick comments actually at the site. I immediately recognized the first person, but the second one puzzled me. I knew several "Barbaras" so I clicked on the name and was immediately taken to information about this person including her own blog.

Her own blog? What? This was someone I knew or at least thought I knew. I went to the site and was flooded with reactions while reading these amazing poems, ripe and real pieces that felt like they had come pouring from my friend.

This prompted my own pouring of sorts. Questions came spillng out: Wait? Where have I been? Does everyone but me know about this site? I was hurt. I've not been that out of touch.

I scanned and read and the more I scanned and read, the more I had to admit, the voice of fear welled up within.

Fear said, "You've been writing these simple stories that are nothing compared to your friend's electric poems. She has amazing energy and will have a book pubished long before you. Don't forget she's really extroverted too. This makes for an exceptional marketer."

I told myself and Fear that there was enough creative abundance in the Universe for me and 10,000 other authors I've yet to meet. Fear promptly reminded me of the magainze and newspaper closures as well as the publishing downturn in the past year, not to mention the popularity of the internet over actual handheld books.

Fortunately my friend's rich expressions excited me more than Fear scared me. I quickly sent an email wanting to know why I didn't know about this. I shared the scope of my reaction from bewilderment to excitement and yes, even my competitive fears.

Barbara intially freaked out. Aware her blog was accessible but certain it would not be found, she had accidentally, indirectly outed herself. Through responding to my story, she had unknowingly provided me a trail to her. Our internet encounter gave us both a beautiful trail to aspects of our fears -hers, the fear of being seen and mine, that she'd be seen first.

We were both outed and in turn we outed the two simple but potent fears that run many of our lives thus much of our world, the fear of really being seen and the fear of loosing out or not being seen. Who does not have some degree of fear around really being seen especially when vulnerable? Who does not have a fear of loosing or at least a desire to not loose when competition is built into the American system beginning in school as we vie to see who can color within the lines best and later make A's? Classroom competition sets the stage for the rest of our lives as we compete for the best stock portfolio, zip code, outfit, golf score and lawn as well as our rooting at times rabidly for our sports team and political candidate. If competition quietly or not so quietly runs us, none of us, at least Americans, will rush to reveal our fears or relinquish a need to win.

Since my encounter with Barbara, others have unknowingly offered little probes and tests of sorts to see if I could continue outing myself. A facebook friend I had just met asked if I'd be a guest writer on her site. I visited the site and was instantly intimidated by her capacity to weave concepts and words. I waited a day before responding. I said "Yes" then outed myself and my Fear once again.

After this another friend from long ago shared that my writing made her feel shallow. I shared with her my experience of the day prior, of feeling just as she had felt "shallow" while comparing myself to another. As I told my friend, everytime we compare ourself to another, we not only create separation within by judging ourselves but we in turn create separation from the other.

The other piece of this that's intrigued me is my interactions thus far have all been with women. How is it that we women, the relational gender, the sex supposedly taught to build interpersonal bridges are walking around harboring fears that create divides and separate us? How is it we've bought into the predominantly male paradigm of competition quietly comparing and contrasting ourselves to one another? How is it we women have allowed this to happen???

The gift for me in this is that having the courage to be honest with my friend lifted any fears at least at this point that she will do 'better than me.' Tomorrow that may change and I will let her know. For today I find great joy in the thought of rushing to be the first in line at her book signing.

Owning my fears even though my fears at times seem endless, personally frees me and lightens the world's quantum load of fear as well. There's a beauty in outing oneself - in owning one's in-sides to the out-side world. This level of honesty, risk and courage heals the tears in the web of relatedness in one's inner world and the outer world. The more we do this, the more we live from the inside out, the more we truly realize we are not separate. We are one.

Imagine the shift if we had a National Day of Outings, a day designated for showing and sharing a hidden part of oneself, not seeking another's approval or care, but simply owning a part of who you are that seldom gets spoken to by yourself, you to you, or spoken of to others.

Until that happens, find inspiration for your own outing by reading some of my friend Barbara's poems at Yes, she agreed to let me out them here so do take a look and imagine the shift in your own life if you lived from the inside out. Diminish your own and the world's load of fear!
-Dawn! The Good News Muse with permission of Barbara 4/16/10

I'm Being Held Hostage this Spring

I'm being held hostage this Spring. No, don't send a ransom. I've been captured and enraptured by a tulip tree. For fifteen years, day in and day out, I've walked and driven past this tree. For fifteen Springs, it has faithfully stood alongside my driveway, but this is only the second time in its life that it's flourished with sweet smelling blossoms. Usually a sudden Southern frost brings to an abrupt end the colorful life emerging. Then as summer ensues, green leaves replace dead blooms.

Earlier this week, the tree was covered in rich purple buds reminiscent of my grandmother's lipstick samples kept tucked in a wooden box on her dressing table. The little white tubes held mesmerizing colors. Then overnight it seemed the buds began to open, each at its own pace, a beautiful natural ballet. I found myself wishing I could open to life the way the buds were with seeming trust and grace.
This morning to my surprise, the blossoms were in various stages of reopening after having been closed for the night. I was struck by the fluidity of this process, the opening and closing, the back and forth.

How is that for fifteen years I've missed the tulip tree teacher until this week? Is it because I've valued the external show over the internal spirit of the little tree. It's taught such tenacity spring after spring, freeze after freeze.
It is said, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." Teachers surround us and we are unaware. Nature quietly goes about its business teaching not preaching, showing us quietly how to live and die, trust the process of life. Imagine the shift if we showed up for this class every day!
-The Tulip Tree & Dawn, the Good News Muse, 4/2/10

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Facebook as Therapist & Teacher

I've been amused off and on all day at how life, or Facebook as happened this morning, offers little therapeutic probes of sorts. First though the back story....

A few months ago a friend who I had known long ago found me on Facebook. I had just found myself, or my password to be more accurate, and gotten into the friend's thing or community, I guess is more appropriate. My friend and I renewed our face-to-face friendship thanks to facebook. Somewhere in the midst of our posting, this person suggested I set up a fan page for Imagine the Shift, which is the name of my website but also where I post Musings from the Good News Muse. I thanked her for her support but shared I had no idea how that might happen since I hadn't a clue as to creating a page. Until....

A week ago, I found a little button that read: Create a page. I was excited and apprehensive. Within minutes I had a page that I didn't know what to do with. So I thought, 'Well I best be writing a story.' I told of the unfolding of events this time a year ago that ultimately led me to France, a huge shift for me, and even included photos. I was feeling pretty good especially in relation to my technical don't-know-how.

Then I pressed 'Send' to invite "all" my friends. Being a writer, I have to monitor my on-line use, but let's just say the Inner Monitor was off duty. I checked every hour to see if I had fans. None showed up. The Monitor was saying this was not such a good idea. I emailed a friend who said, "No, I didn't get a notification."

The next day I pressed "Send" to invite "all" my friends again. Once again I overrode the Monitor and checked again and again to find three friends, but still I thought some thing's up. I emailed one of them, my sister, who said she found me through a mutual friend's wall who happened to be the person I called.

To those who know me, I appear outgoing but I am very sensitive, too sensitive. Facebook was offering me an opportunity to work with this. So once again I went to the Send function. This time I discovered I was only pressing Send without actually clicking on each friend. I hurriedly clicked each person and pressed "Send" and like magic I ended up with thirty fans.

Then to my surprise there were forty, sixty and darn. Ooops, I'm sounding like Sarah Palin+. I created pressure for myself that resulted in writer's block. I hadn't intended in sharing all of this. Actually I had filed it away into Denial. But in this moment I realize what valuable material facebook's been giving me to work with to teach me even prior to today.

This morning I decided I needed to personally thank each person for becoming a fan/friend of Imagine the Shift. I still send paper thank you notes to folks so why wouldn't I thank folks on-line. I had already thanked a few and didn't want to get further behind.

I began at the top and started down the list and before I knew it I had sent forty or so emails and posts including the link to my latest story in each one. I was humming along knowing I needed to stop when suddenly on the screen a box pops up reading: "You may be engaging in socially obnoxious behaviour on facebook." Don't quote me on that. I was so frightened the facebook squad was about to come after me for something...I didn't know what. I shut off the computer, my heart racing and sweat trickling down my sides.

I freaked out. I thought I was in trouble when suddenly I realized I was just sharing my gratitude and excitement to people who had clicked on my page. I considered taking a walk but a part of me felt shamed. 'What if someone driving past knows I've been involved in socially obnoxious behavior?'

I didn't even know what that meant exactly, but I felt like I had my hand slapped. The great thing was this didn't last. I got back on-line and yes, went to my page to ensure I didn't have a barrage of posts saying I was truly obnoxious.

I was getting quite a laugh out of this when somehow totally by accident I clicked a key that made me my own fan! Yes, somehow I became a fan of my own page. Now I was conceited, maybe this was the socially obnoxious behavior of which I had been accused.

I clicked on my name in order to delete myself and got another box that read: Since you're the administrator of this page, if you delete yourself you delete your page.

My site is Imagine the Shift, but that was one shift I was not consciously going to make, deleting my page.

Now I realize on this April Fool's Day, facebook has unknowingly been my teacher, therapist and friend. It's been like an off-and-on therapy session all day for I certainly am not going to delete myself. Been doing that way too long. And although I don't intend to get involved in socially obnoxious behavior, here on Planet Earth there will come a time when I offend or threaten someone with my writings, not intentionally but just because we're different. Come to think of it, I did that twenty years ago unknowingly and was called a communist and told to leave the country. I guess I'm in good company. That's what some folks call President Obama.

Imagine the shift if we could regularly laugh at and be amused with ourselves. That's one shift I want to make. Join me - on this April Fools Day and everyday. And thank you, Beth.
-Dawn! the Sometimes Socially Obnoxious Good News Muse, 04/01/10