Feel God and Sunshine

This the seventh in a series of poems from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. I put them together from phrases that resonate with me while participants read. I add nothing but punctuation and the occasional conjunction. This one is comprised of the words of five participants.

desert

Big, different color swirl —

My life lost in the desert,

Living with a lie.

Already fragmented –

Mish-mash of different purposes,

Bondage of self.

~

I cried…

~

I wanted to die.

~

But I kept going.

~

Time for excuses is over,

I confront the devil for who he is.

I take care of my needs first.

Give myself hope,

I work on being safe.

~

I am calm,

Mind light as a feather.

Surrender is the key.

~

Feel god and sunshine,

Feel your grace

~

I wish I could wake up further down the road but,

I am evolving.

Keep going, don’t look back;

Live with no regrets.

~

I am a tiger in the woods,

Can you hear me roar?

 

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In the Beginning was The Word

Here’s another poem written during grad school. This one is on the opening page of my thesis.
klimt mother child

In the beginning was The Word

And The Word was with Silence

And The Word was Silence.

In the beginning was Voice.

And the Voice was with Mother,

And the Voice was Mother.

It was with Mother in the beginning

Through it all things were made.

In Voice was Life –

The One-ness of all living things.

And the Voice became Flesh

Became Word

Became Face, became Image

Became Warmth, became Touch

Became Milk, became Taste

The Voice became Love

It resonated in the darkness

And Silence has not overcome it.

Yes! I Will Speak

From http://sensualblissvoyager.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/throat-vishuddha-chakra/

I stumbled across this poem today that I wrote two years ago during grad school. I don’t remember writing it and it’s far from the best poetry ever written. But it’s fierce, and I like it.

Yes, I will speak my truth although you tell me it’s not true
Yes, I will cry even though it forces you to touch your own frozen tears
Yes, I will yell when my chest hurts from holding on too tight
Yes, I will breathe into my belly and find my own creation there
Yes, I will tell you how I feel even when it doesn’t fit the shape you have molded for me
Yes, I will say what I need and I will do it even if sometimes it is not best for those I love
Yes, I will allow my body to speak to me not just to yours
Yes, I will move with rhythms of the earth not your man-made march
Yes, I will love with my presence as well as my body
Yes, I will be fierce when I, or others, are wronged
Yes, I will sing when I am sad, full of joy, and searching for inner peace
No, I will not be silent to ease your dis-ease
Yes, I will release the wisdom caught in the web of your lies, told to centuries of my mothers
Yes, I will shout the words lodged in my throat
Yes, I will speak
And, yes, and you will hear.

Prompt: “Yes, I will…”

Self, Reclaimed

18 months ago I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever made myself do.

I sang in public.

What made it so hard wasn’t that I had never done this before, it was that I had. Many times.

I started performing when I was very small. I was in school musicals where I usually had a solo singing part, and at age ten I opened my school’s Christmas service in the local church singing the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City.”  At twelve, I was given a lead role in a musical based on Cinderella — I was Prince Yohann.

Throughout high school I performed solos in each year’s choral concerts and sang a duet for our class’s graduation. In college I was the only Freshman with a solo part in that semester’s production of “Allegro.” I sang at friends’ weddings and I was given solos in many performances of the choir of which I was a member.

And then I stopped singing.

Why exactly, I’m not sure. Singing had been the very core of my identity for so many years. The fact that I became a mother right before I stopped may be part of the answer, but that’s too psychologically deep to go into here (I did investigate this in my MA thesis, however). Whatever the reason, by the time I was in graduate school at age 38 and had the chance to perform in extremely informal and fun cabaret, I could not do it. I couldn’t even remember the words of one of my most favorite songs.

I wrote my thesis about reclaiming voice, a metaphor for reclaiming self. It wasn’t until I was deep into my research that I made the — what should have been quite obvious — connection to my singing voice. My singing had been my way of expressing self for years. But I could no longer do that. Singing had become just too raw. Too vulnerable. Too in my body.

Then came my final semester of grad school. And my very last chance at Cabaret. I forced myself to sign up and then I cried. And cried. I was a nervous wreck for the entire 24 hours before the show. It felt HUGE. Like this was a turning point. I was either going to bomb completely or have a break-through.

I did neither. I got up there and I sang. And it felt like the most natural thing in the world. My body knew how to do this.

Today I am at another milestone. After a year of lessons, I am performing in my first formal recital in almost 15 years. I am learning to emote on stage, I am learning to be vulnerable. I am learning to go into body and find, then express what’s there. I am learning that I have a voice and that I have a right to be heard. I’ve never sung this type of music in public before — it is operatic, a style I denied was my true forte because it was so… so… loud. And opera-y. But I will deny no more. I have a voice. I have a talent and I will sing with joy. I will share my gift.

Yes, this is a big deal to me. I need it to go well. Because it is more than a recital; this is Me. Reclaimed.

 

Authentic Voice Project: Y is for Yes!

For redefinition, I was thrown back to myself, to my inner knowing… Marilyn Sewell, Cries of the Spirit

maa-saraswati

Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of arts, music, knowledge, and wisdom.

The Authentic Voice Project: Week 26 (Full Moon)

Y is for Yes!

This is the last post of the year-long Authentic Voice Project. I didn’t always stay on schedule but I did make it through the whole alphabet (excluding that confounded x and z). I was considering making this post Y is for Yahweh or Yoni (talk about different ends of the spectrum!), but as this is this project’s finale I thought I’d go out on a highly positive note. YES!

This was actually inspired by this post on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Facebook page where she shares a poem called “How To Silence a Woman, Retrieving Her Voice.” As Voice has been the whole point of this project it seemed appropriate to share my own “Retrieving Her Voice” poem.

Yes! I Shall Speak

Yes, I shall speak my truth although you tell me it’s not true

Yes, I shall cry even though it forces you to touch your own frozen tears

Yes, I shall yell when my chest hurts from holding on too tight

Yes, I shall breathe into my belly and find my own creation there

Yes, I shall tell you how I feel even when it doesn’t fit the shape you have molded for me

Yes, I shall decide what I need even if sometimes it is not best for those I love

Yes, I shall allow my body to speak to me not just to yours

Yes, I shall move with rhythms of the earth not your man-made march

Yes, I shall find resonance with my own inner pulse

Yes, I shall love with my presence as well as my body

Yes, I shall be fierce when I, or others, are wronged

Yes, I shall sing when I am sad, full of joy, and searching for peace

Yes, I shall not be silent just to ease your dis-ease

Yes, I shall release the wisdom caught in the web of your lies, told to centuries of my mothers

Yes, I shall shout the words lodged in my throat

Yes, I shall speak

Yes, and you shall hear

 

Prompt: “Yes! I shall…”

image and caption: http://www.brainpetals.com/haulmaxsecure/SaraswatiPuja.aspx

 

Authentic Voice Project: W is for Wisdom

For redefinition, I was thrown back to myself, to my inner knowing… Marilyn Sewell, Cries of the Spirit

The Authentic Voice Project: Week 24 (New Moon)

W is Wisdom

How appropriate this word would fall on a holy day: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which also the auspicious 12/12/12. It is also the last new moon – and so also the darkest night – of this year.

I am not Catholic and wouldn’t have known about this feast day if it hadn’t been in a posting on Facebook relating it’s significance to 12/12/12. And I wouldn’t have thought too much beyond that if it hadn’t been for some other happenings this week.

While in a recent conversation with a client the importance of the Catholic saints suddenly took on new meaning for me. They are like the mythical gods and goddesses who represented different facets of human behavior and psychology. Praying to them is like a conversation with Self (or Jung’s “God Within.”) And then a friend IM’d me to wish me a happy Lady of Guadalupe day not knowing I was about to write this post. She told me was in Mexico on this day ten years ago and watched them celebrate The Virgin, whom they consider a goddess.

In my studies I have also come to realize that the Catholics’ adoration of Mary – and her associated feminine aspects – allows for a spiritual (mystery) dimension to their faith that feminine-void dogmas may not foster. Wisdom is traditionally considered feminine. Think Sophia, which means wisdom. Snakes, bees, owls, the moon… all symbols of wisdom and associated with various goddesses.

All these thoughts come on the heels of a women’s circle I attended over the weekend called ‘Gathering the Grandmothers,’ which was a celebration of the wise “elders” in our community. As part of the session the oldest woman in the group was asked to share one piece of wisdom she had learned (fyi: it is to LAUGH!). This gave me an idea for a project  which I will introduce that in a moment.

So let me break down why this day for me is a day symbolizing Wisdom, specifically the feminine wisdom we ALL hold in our bodies and that which can be heard when we LISTEN to ourselves, whether through writing, meditation, or prayer to the (inner)saint/goddess of our choice.

  • ‘W is for Wisdom’ was previously scheduled for this day’s post
  • The wise moon is temporarily hiding her face, a symbol of a time to look inward; a time of renewal before re-birth/re-creation
  • The Virgin (original meaning: “a women unto herself,” i.e. a woman who knows her own heart/wisdom) is celebrated today as a people’s goddess whose act of creation bought hope to the world
  • 12/12/12 in numerology is a very important date which means creation – which for me is our ultimate act of wisdom – and completion. (Further explanation of this below.*)
  • I began my menstrual cycle today and pricked my finger: blood is traditionally a symbol of woman’s wisdom.

So, on this day of wisdom, I announce the start of a new project for the new year: WISE WOMEN SPEAK

When we listen and really hear the wise words of our elders we strengthen their voices and their Selves as well as ourselves – and ultimately our society. When we listen to each other we also begin to see each other. We raise our voices to raise the selves of all women.

Every two weeks, according to the phases of the moon I will post words of learned wisdom from elder women. I will be accepting submissions from Wonderfully Wise Crones (you can submit them here). I thank you in advance for your participation in this project (and I thank T.K. for the inspiration).

P.S. As soon as I pressed Publish on this post I clicked on Facebook and there was this post at the top of my Timeline:

“She represents the creating, subversive power within and the creative subversions of post-colonial peoples. She is the invitation to speak, to narrate, to tell, to talk back.”

And it was referring to none other by Our Lady of Guadalupe! Wow.

(From http://peterboullata.com/2012/12/12/guadalupe-mother-of-my-cross-bred-soul/)

~

*Significance of 12/12/12: Firstly, you can plainly see that the number 12 is prominent within these dates. 12 is a number of universal import and you see its repeating patterns in your culture; 12 hours of the day, 12 months of the year, 12 in a dozen, 12 zodiac signs, 12 apostles, and 12 days of Christmas, for example.

These relationships are not a coincidence, nor are they about convenience.
Within the 12 you find the number 3; the sacred trinity, third chakra, and number of creation. It is universal that when you put two things, ideas, or what have you, together, a third is naturally created.

In these December dates, you have three threes. This equals 9. Thus the creational value is tripled and the result is the completion of a cycle, which is a meaning inherent in the number 9. From this we can plainly see the vibrations at play of creation and completion, in the cycle of development. (From facebook.com/theGODDESStemple)

Authentic Voice Project: V is for Voice

For redefinition, I was thrown back to myself, to my inner knowing… Marilyn Sewell, Cries of the Spirit

The Authentic Voice Project: Week 23 (Full Moon)

http://mrg.bz/nfQbXIV is for Voice

Having a voice is embracing all questions and possibilities, accepting them all as part of the whole truth. It is feeling everything – pain and pleasure. Voice is emotion, sensation manifested, expressed, shared. It is the exchange of energy. Inside and out. It is an internal resonance of emotions humming within our cells. It is the resonance of the human experience against others’ experience. It is sound expressing the resonance of experience and knowing.

On Loss of Voice – What we must Reclaim

As Mary Field Belenky discusses in Women’s Ways of Knowing, different people have different levels of knowledge depending on their culture, background and education which make up their sense of self. How they express (or don’t) this knowledge is their voice (or silence). Loss of voice is the loss of belief in or knowledge of feelings – emotional and sensory. It is, due to the external condemnation of opinion and experience, a distrust, a lack of confidence in, or even knowledge of, one’s own knowledge, disabling one to express what the body knows to be true.

Singing or other internally vibrational activities touch this truth by activating the body-conscious. What one has have lost becomes too hard to face. The body remembers everything. Loss of voice is the disconnect from these memories and feelings. We cannot express them because the thick, dark wall of religious condemnation and patriarchal “rules” against the body and its intuitive wisdom, connection to the earth, other creatures and other (higher, deeper?) realms of knowledge prevents us from seeing what we have lost. We know it but we don’t know that we know it.

The patriarchal and hierarchical systems on which our culture is built muted the connection to body, emotions – to voice. Science cut us off from our spirit and made us machines, religion cut us off from our body and silenced us. It silenced the resonance of personal – natural – knowledge and experience by making them unacceptable, even evil, pushing them into a dark place of self-rejection and self-hatred. Religion gave divinity to an external being and authority to Other (causing distrust of Other as it institutes a hierarchical power over, us vs. them dynamic).

While we cannot express our deepest knowledge and feelings we also learn not to express any feelings, belittling our emotions as foolish, meaningless signs of weakness, something to suppress or overcome. Or we mold every emotion into the one form we feel comfortable with and stand behind it, using it as a shield to protect us from connection to self and others. We do not stand up for ourselves or understand when we are being led away from our own needs and desires. When we are silent we are easily influenced by other voices, external voices of authority that fill the space where our own voice should be.

Healing is re-connecting body and emotion and spirit and voice through voice by placing the divine (connected) source of vibration within – the internal voice of authority. Healing is no longer believing the lie that one should be silent lest you be judged or rejected. It is speaking out for justice and compassion for self and others. It is not believing that those in power – the Other –  is anymore right or anymore wrong than you, that we all have a place, a right, a voice.