Sunday, August 20, 2017

Of Bullets, Butts, Beauty, and Brevity - A Story for Today's Shadow Inspired by Blossoms and a Bag

Early last summer, these blossoms and I began an ongoing relationship. I first noticed them at the street’s edge during a morning walk in late June. Their pastel purple and hot pink got my attention. 

I picked one up to study its beauty. 

Unfurled, a few steps away a cluster of blossoms caught my eye. I bent down to get them only to realize the pink that I thought was part of the flower was actually pink bone shapes on a bag of dog poop someone had left among the blossoms. 

How perfect. We are all one.’ was my first thought. This was quickly followed by ‘Huh? This bag is unnatural. How can plastic be part of the one?’ 

I picked up a blossom and the bag and walked home pondering how it is we’ve unconsciously turned Earth into a dump for inventions, like plastic, whose long-term consequences haven’t been fully considered. 

Ironically our physical bodies will decompose long before the remains of our unconscious behavior. At times I fear we are creating an earth that’s artificial and unreal. 

I walked and experienced the beauty of this blossom that had entered a new phase, a phase many would label dead. Maybe it held a clue to some of the challenges presented here in Earth School.

I wanted to listen further to my finds so upon arriving home, I left them outside and got ready for work. 

The next morning, I mindfully held the blossom. Overnight it had changed ever so slightly, still it was beautiful fading and withering into a new texture, color, and shape. It was departing to eventually live as memory.

To make peace with departure - change, loss, declines, good-byes, and ultimately death - is one of the most necessary (and for me challenging) lessons in this journey. 

Suddenly I wondered if on an unconscious level plastics were made as a means to create beauty that would not depart. A plastic blossom or bouquet outlasts the nature-made yet doesn’t hold the energy this parting one did. Cupped in my palm, I felt the blossoms subtle energy as it shared its presence with me. 

My momentary meditation concluded but I could not relinquish the blossom. I continued to be drawn to it even in this parting phase. 

The next day enroute to a meeting, I intentionally drove past the site where the blossoms lay. To my surprise, more had fallen overnight. Their cylindrical bodies scattered about reminded me of cigarette butts and bullets. 

What might happen if someone had to hold a blossom before taking a drag or taking a life? 

I’m serious. 

What might shift in a person’s experience, their heart, body, soul, and mind, if they first had to hold a blossom in their palm? What space might open up inside if before taking another’s life or numbing one’s own experience, a person studied the lines, colors,and textures of a blossom or considered its wisdom?  

Could a blossom’s beauty be an antidote for violence and its brevity a wake-up call from numbing behaviors and sleepwalking through life?

I took another blossom as a reminder of this encounter. 

Several days passed. I had not walked or held the blossoms nor had I revisited the plastic bag in the mulch where I initially placed it. 

I set off on my morning walk but this time went in the opposite direction. At the turning point, the blossom crossed my mind. I circled a pile of roadside brush awaiting the quarterly Metro pick-up crew and looked down to see, yes, another blossom. Its petals, not yet curled inward, held moisture from the overnight rain. Its veins resembled a miniature lilac forest. 

I walked with this damp open blossom while pondering the importance of not becoming dry. I can easily slip into conditions leading to dryness when I experience life as a burden instead of a gift or when I live from “have to” rather than “get to,” when I tire of tears and close my heart or allow fear from current events to give rise to despair. 

Upon arriving home, this blossom joined the other two reminiscent of papery, Monet scrolls now residing on a bookshelf. 

Still I ignored the plastic bag. Thinking of it created an inner tension. It reminded me of my concerns for Earth. It stirred my frustration toward people who seem oblivious to increasing the plastic quotient on the planet. And it touched my personal despair related to the plastic I see flowing through my own life in the recycling bin each week.      

Weeks passed, before I finally retrieved the bag. In that time, our collective shadow was in the spotlight as black men were killed by police officers in Minnesota, Texas and Louisiana followed by the republican and democratic conventions.

When I finally went to get the bag, I discovered the beauty in it as well as the profoundness of where I previously placed it.

Nearly twenty years ago, we laid sod in our back yard. That sod never flourished. At the time, I didn’t realize each square was held together by green mesh (plastic of course) which over time began to reveal itself.

I’ve associated this mesh with a grid of Love as green is the color of the heart center. This time I realize I’m being shown the grid of Love and compassion rising in this time.

It is perfect that the bag of neglected dog waste (a symbol of our material trash and the stuff of our unconscious which drives our unexamined behaviors and attitudes) lay on the green grid rising from the underworld of my yard. The green mesh is a symbol of Mother Earth rising to love each of us despite our trash and our shadow. 

It is also perfect the bag is covered in pink bones for in this I see the pink bones of the Divine Feminine rising on the grid of Love holding us and all our shit and shadow just like the bag holds the dog waste. These pink bones rise to say, “Give me your weary ways. Let me have your have-to’s, your burdens, all the experiences that have led to your dryness, your heavy heart, your fears, your personal and your ancestral traumas, America’s sufferings and the world’s sufferings. My pink bones know suffering. My pink bones have been used, abused, violated, and raped. And my pink bones are rising in this time.”

Remember how that first blossom prompted me to consider how at death we physically decompose? 

Love is the great decomposer. 

Love is rising to lay to rest our disconnects internally and externally. If we choose, we each have the ability to hold the blossom of our body and feel its energy, hear its truths and reflect before pulling the trigger of reactivity, judgement, and condemnation.

This love is not the love of stuff and material goods or love that is temperamental and based in momentary positive feeling.This is Big LOVE, the Love embodied and lived out by Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc and millions of unnamed souls throughout time who have held the vibration of compassion in the face of profound judgment, torture and hate. 

This Love dismantles the old forms societally and within us. This Love is needed now more than ever as we witness the breaking down of systems that for eons have used power improperly to abuse and control. Yes, it’s messy, chaotic and violent at times as fear prompts reactivity rather than reflection and as the patriarchy clings to diminishing power. 

Yet Love is rising like the green grid in my yard to lay the dying patriarchy to rest as a healthy masculine emerges to dance with a healthy feminine in us all.

Love is the great composer orchestrating this new dance and love is the great decomposer breaking down our disconnects within and without. 

Months passed since that first encounter with the blossoms. In that time, I allowed my awareness and focus to be hijacked by my own shadow. My reaction to more shootings of black men by police officers as well as officers being shot, the presidential election and the neglect of Mother Earth stirred my fear and created profound inner tension for me. At times I’ve been paralyzed by rage and have wanted to beg Earth to destroy us all. 

I temporarily lost heart. 

Then I finally revisited the bag of dog waste. 

A critter had moved the bag from beside the chair that is my morning sitting place to beneath the Japanese maple surrounded by ferns not far away. The bag had been placed in what I consider the sacred resting place of my yard where I lay dead animals that I find or that find me. 

To my surprise, when I retrieved the bag the waste inside was gone, not emptied, but decomposed, gone. 

A squirrel or a Nature Spirit had done for my shadow what I usually do for the animals. It had  laid to rest my need to control out of fear and mistrust. It had laid to rest my self-negligence, my ignoring, my anger, my grief.  

This is the beauty of grace to me. 

Love is the great decomposer. Love is the great composer. And life on earth is a never ending love story of joy, pleasure, heartbreak, and pain. 

We are each departing, just as the old ways are departing, like the blossoms. If we can only realize Earth is this amazing home offering herself to us for this oh-so brief time maybe just maybe Earth wouldn’t be a dump for plastic or for the unconscious violence we cause to ourselves and others. 


Since last November, I have kept the parts of this story on a nearby table. I’ve avoided completing the story though I have literally from time to time held the parts -dried blossoms,green netting, and a pink bone covered bag. 

This week I shared with someone how my cats have different ways of sharing their messages with me. Redbud for example within one month of being in my home found a Grand Canyon National Park newspaper which he left in the middle of the floor. He had pulled it from a file folder I forgot I even had just as I was debating whether to cancel an Autumn Equinox trip to the Grand Canyon. Four years ago, I heeded Redbud’s message. 

I told my client that at times when I allowed Redbud into my office he left things in the middle of the rug as well. I was mindful as I spoke these words that he hadn’t done so in a long time. 

That evening, I found in the center of the office rug the green netting that is integral to this story. In the netting was a dried green leaf from one of the blossoms.  I was being reminded Love was rising to embrace me and my heart’s dryness so I could ultimately “leave” this self-inflicted dry period. Redbud was also telling me it is time to share this message of Love’s Rising. 

Remember how I've held the blossoms? 

To those of us who carry this Great Love, please hold these Times and our fellow travelers in your loving hands for you and I are the embodiment of those pink bones of the Divine Feminine. 

To ponder: 

1) I have literally held the parts of this story yet avoided this story?  In the quiet before pressing “publish” I realize I likewise have held the parts of this story internally and have avoided My Story out of weariness, fear of judgement, and feeling powerless. 

What parts do you hold related to your story and Earth’s Story in this time? Do you reflect and consider responsible action or avoid, distract, react, and ignore? 

2) What if realizing the brevity and beauty of life holds a key to violence diminishing between individuals and also the self-inflicted violence of judgement and self-hate? Really let Life's brevity sink in. You do not get another NOW. What keeps you from embracing now? What keeps you from seeing the beauty all around you?

3) We are, like the blossoms, each departing. What do you want the memory of YOU to be? How do you want to be remembered by those you encounter each day and by those who will hear of you in future time?

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  at Imagine the Shift 
20 August 2017 

1 comment:

Tony B said...

Dawn, you may have outdone yourself this time. One of the most profound posts I have read. A few quotes from my beloved U book.

P556:14, 48:7.14 12. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation.

P557:2, 48:7.18 16. You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and many truths are not really felt except in adversity.

...and especially for you:

P557:6, 48:7.22 20. Only a poet can discern poetry in the commonplace prose of routine existence.