Beneath this dry crust

Beneath this dry crust

grit, dust and pain
soft whispering tears
gently refresh Your name
to re-soothe this fright
caress stress and this strife
impress hands side by side so
to fill within Light.

chorus
cheek by cheek, may we discover
Jugular breathing of Lover to lover
Beloved release us, incense us with sweetness
immerse us in perfumes of True Love’s completeness.

Light pouring out
Illuming this living
Re-shining doubt
so to see without seeing
exposing confusion
we free flow these Oceans
to joyfully drown within
earthly illusions.

Poetry for wellness

During lock down I have been offering

an eight week ‘Poetry for wellness’ experience via Zoom. Me and two friends have been communing around some poems and themes offered by Lisa DeVuono (and others) in their wonderful new ‘Peer Facilitators Manual’. At the end of each week we have written spontaneously for 15 minutes and then shared snippets with each other (to further feed our ensuing weeks).

As I come to write up and share the final email with my two compatriots I have re-met these offerings. For a record of my journey over the eight weeks I have curated glimpses of my spontaneity within those 15 minutes of free flow writing below. What a privilege and what beauty my two friends offered, it is a shame I cant post all of their offerings, but during the first week we offered lines of our writing to each other which formed a group poem:

Initial group poem

Simple things in life, melt in.
Is this my child speaking and waiting?

I plant seeds for salad to eat soon and
I plant a tree that will bear fruit next year.

The harvest of an endless crop
The translucent sunbeam through the trees
Teasing new shoots to grow.

This life is an invitation to melt in.

Week three: On self-compassion

Unforgiving
drunkenness
crawls within me.

Week four: Making it real

Shutting out the world
is really
not an option
it has never been
it comes in glorious floods
sensations, opportunities and creations beyond
my wildest imagination.
Maybe I can be gentle enough
Featherlike enough to, let this newness
fall
and rest in my hands.

Week five: Overcoming obstacles

If

I embrace
this
Unknowing
maybe I
can ease
into my growing

and while

facing
the Sunshine
maybe
I will
emerge

more

clearly.

Week six: Creating Hope

Together
we are
melting fatigue
by
swaying on the branches of impulse
launching songs
entraining sirens of newness
we are
Together.

Week seven: Being in gratitude

To become released, to become more open, flowing even.
To hide and be happy.
To appear and be happy.
To be resourced and tearful and gratefully imprinted like Gibran, with his
‘Tear and a Smile.’
To allow the tears and be gentle.
To find the light, like my old friend Shuntaro Tanikawa.
The light in the darkness and darkness in the light.
To celebrate re-finding old friends, who I have neglected for so long.
Shuntaro, you have taken second,
third and fourth fiddle to Rumi and Hazarat, Gibran and Neruda
but now your ’62 Sonnets’ press in on my pen.
With silence my companion,
Floating the river of Melancholy,
Coca-cola Lessons,
The Traveller, The Naif, Watashi. All yours, signed sealed
and delivered to my bookshelf.

And ah, At Midnight In The Kitchen I Just Want To Talk To You.

Yes, tomorrow my friend, If I should be so lucky, we too shall talk again.

Week eight: Self care and endings

I am wondering where to go now
where to go now,
how to grow
How to move freely
Breathe more deeply
Love with an openness that
is all mine, an otherness that
is all yours, a togetherness
combining to stop time.

Read more

First year thankfulness

It is now exactly one year since I started this blog.

It began as an experiment to see if I could distil some of my daily journals into readable form. (For the last 13 years these journals have just been written for my eyes and my sanity). These 70 odd posts are the first concerted effort to share my mumblings and ponderings with others.

Although these posts are mainly offered as a practical way of me letting go, I am none-the-less touched and thankful for the number of views and for the gentle trickle of ‘likes.’

I also feel honoured to have had 18 other souls on this earth follow my output at different times over the past year.

As I don’t have any other on-line or social media accounts or presence, I am constantly surprised that my blog posts actually find their way to anyone at all.

Your encouragement has been and is appreciated and noticed. Thank you very much indeed.

Sculpting the river of my week

Kierkegaard

If anxiety takes a firm grip, then look down at the wild flower at your feet and up into the heavens at the birds flitting joyfully in the air

Robert Besson
Translate the invisible winds by the water it sculpts in passing

So to my week:

• On a silent walking retreat my soft heal crushes a snail into a shocking brown-greenness.
• In a mindfulness class I arrange spider plant (with babies attached) and a succulently small money tree so they are both at the centre of our shared circle of intent. While holding in my hands the third natural teacher (a dead fungus filled stump that was once a verdant Kalenchoa), we all sit and count our breath.
• I iron my orange shirt for todays marriage of a seventy-year-old guide leader to her scouting sweetheart. The creases eventually cannot resist the heat.
• I practice songs for next weeks cremation of a vibrant local boxer until the mechanical call of an NHS text reminds me of my own hospital visit. Smiling I realise that I will check in for signs of cancer on the same day I sing as he checks out for and from the same.
• Encouraging the fly, I flap my arms while he, or she, repeatedly hits the glass and belligerently misses his or her freedom to vomit over the grassy dog poo just outside the counselling front door.
• I spend many evening hours, over four days, crafting a poem evidently too pious, too repetitively derivative and self-conscious to share. Celebrating unfixing myself from insecurity and fixed view-point I post the poem on my blog regardless.
• Closing the door to the dog poo, I listen to confusion and hurt within relationship.
• I listen to withdrawal and concrete thinking.
• I listen to anxiety and lowness, anxiety and slowness, and forms of anxiety that meet unknowing complexity with palpitations and screams from inside.
• I listen to sexual and intimate delicacies.
• I read emails of thanks and connection, direction and guff.
• I listen and read and listen and learn and listen and interject maybe too much, certainly, this is too much, I say, too much, too much, and after its done I call all this stuff, my exhausting, thoughtful, heart expanding, working, contracting, intimately searching and ultimately, at the end of three days, I breathe with release and relief from another instalment of these fee paying weeks
• and yet
• Today I meet friends and family who too are sharing, who are struggling, who are marrying, who are dying and mourning, rejoicing and worrying too hard and too long, who are avoiding and connecting and flourishing, rejoicing and sharing their joy in fellowship and song, who are quietly anxious, depressed, or just happy, gregarious and maybe withdrawn, stressing to futures, regretful, forlorn and for each and all of this wonderful otherness, I call them my life, my riches, my home.

Casting forward

Beginning thinking about

the start of a new creative writing and mindfulness gathering, already germinating and readying for the start next Wednesday, I meandered through my diaries and came across an entry written during the last session of the last group, held on a misty early evening Bristol, December 8, 2017.

I have transposed my words just as they came, (trying as much as possible to resit the temptation to edit and refine and I find I have almost succeeded!)

In this moment I am feeling the ache on the back of my neck, my body temperature has increased, my cheeks feel somehow fuller. I am rested but tired, relaxed but also on the extreme edge of my energy.

And now we are joined by the blackbirds call, this wonderful chirrup to the coming of evening, the mystical movement, the passing of hours, unbidden, unstoppable, but glorious and open, opening, dreamlike, like the far off petals of spring, evolving even now long before their heightened March to their spectacularly unseen future unfurlment.

Delicacy within our unconsciously shared movement, our universally delicious and sensual earthiness, our ongoing ageing, drifting until with a sigh I recollect that I am indeed right now, alive, interactive and becoming immersed in the complexity of loving, of growing and shedding to ink the desires of this day, streaming, steaming into newness.

Even unfurling from and within this sticky antiquated university carpet flooring (the creak of my boots as they attach and free, as I rhythmically write as they seem some how similar and yet infinitesimally different from one week, from one breath to the next.

Breathe in and out and in and it reminds me again of Evelyn Underhil’ls wonderful writing about how we habitually name a flower as flower and move on, not seeing the uniqueness, not tasting or waking to the unbearable childlike wonder that surrounds us in abundance in every moment. Missing our interconnections, big time, big times and small.

What concentration and lightness of touch these fellow humans show as together we caress the page in spontaneous flow. What luminosity and laughter, painfulness and sorrows await these paper leaves.

How wonderful to have time to rest and reflect, to observe this blackness flowing from my arm, down wrist finger and fountain pen. How freely the page absorbs my words, without complaint or resistance. Maybe the paper is acting as free and unbidden as God does with love? What would you say to that Mr Merton, my ever present mentor from beyond?

Ha, the morning reading from his Seeds of Contemplation have germinated and flowered in this oddest of moment.

But back to the tangible dimension of this room, of these five people sharing this writing expansion, over looked by the austere oil painting of some distant founding father, sitting upright on these velveted high backed throw backs from the 1950’s.

Yes, coming back to ourselves, gathered around this dark oak table, gathering  in shards of shared and uniquely different endeavour. What of the beauty of shared reflections, not verbalised but absorbed within the private scratchings of pen and pencil upon the deconstructed, deconstructing forests of life.

Maybe even thoughts flow between us.

Unknowingly my past sigh, her gaze into mid distance, her little grunt of surprise or appreciation squeaked out between sentence creation, maybe all of these little humanesses transmit and absorb skin on skin, glimpsing each other within each other, as gently we cradle this gradually dimming place, gently we encradle the space within these privately shared endeavours of the Soul.

The sighs deepen as the evening light descends. Maybe arms ache and the wells are drying, maybe we dance within our various ebb and flow, maybe our hearts and breathing coalesce.

I look at my watch, careful not to overrun the agreed time. I re read and am caught by words that have emerged from beyond the me of me,

‘gently we cradle this gradually dimming place, gently we encradle the space within these privately shared endeavours of the Soul.’

I am taken aback while simultaneously joyful and reconfirmed in my love of shared writing, my love of having my private passion intersect within the mist of shared humanity, no need to talk or express but merely subsume unspoken connections within the sharing glide of pen. This is where I am free and uncensored, I am unleashed in a torrent of emerging expression, a suspension where I too can notice and be friendly towards, to float and refill, to rest in awareness and….

‘Ok,’ I now need to say, ‘gently come to the end or if you dare the middle of your present sentence, let your pen come to rest and let us all breathe…..’