Connect

 

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Without a thought
To the cogwheels, circuitry
Nuts, bolt and divine engineering
We forge or stumble forward

As the day dawns

With all faculties replenished
One foot then another
One task to the next
Obligations and responsibilities
Desires and obsessions
No questions asked
Working this machinery
The human form
We do as we please
Yet in one mere second
All operations
Can come to a screeching halt
A&E all over the world
Full of stories never heard before
Details dramatic, devastating,
At times even demonic
Yet the fact that life
Is somehow limited
Is just so hard to accept
Fact undeniable
Yet realism is demoralizing
So pretense to oblivion
Manufactured as the norm
Maybe too deep,
Too philosophical
Yet I insist
STOP
Smell not only the roses
But the fragrance of life
Watch as it permeates
All that moves, dances
Sways and flies
Connect with the source
Acknowledge this power
As you rise each morning
And go about your way
Breath in, breath out
Befriend the magic
The blessing, the power
The foundation
This breath in all your days

Faces to Face

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Playful mischief, joyous;
Entertaining, enticing
Mutually enjoyable
Spirit of youth.
Effortless and poised
Every muscle showing,
Direction and intent
Clearly undeterred and successful.
Pained, exhausted, lonesome
Fallen face of luster.
Requiring, requesting,
Yearning for the deepest loving.
Coming or going
With differing days and times,
My face or yours
We recognize them all.
Knowing all our faces
Knowing all we face,
I say lets offer
To each other
Never to face it alone.

Sagrada Familia

 

Continued visionary,
Gaudi, introducted by chance
As originator, Villar
Passed the reigns so each
Block, tile, chiseled wood
Glass, marble, steel
And more formed every
Pillar and pew
Chapel and alter
Stairwell to steeple.
All standing together
As this monumental structure served
By the many creative minds and hands.
Today, Jean Vila-Grau
Stains panes so beams and rays
Glow and rain in
To majestically
Bless moments beholding
All past, present and future combined.
The density and charm of light
Heighten senses
As constantly as the changes from dawn to dusk!
Sheer size and variation
Of formations inside and out
Captivate with a stupor
The boggling conforming
Mind! What lessons to learn
As few can claim
This absences of completion
Ongoing effort
Continued metaphorism
Yet is this not the commonality
Between all that lives?
The continued transformation
As stagnation is progression to decay
Perhaps inanimate
Yet a power still resides
Catholicism? God? Existentialism?
May the answers
Be as creative as the creating force
And challenge to inspire the search
Of one’s own divine individuality.

Om

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Thumb to index
Gentle touch for closure
Creating encompassing circuitry.
With this centric
I gather and hold
Even relax and quieten;
As this is where there is home.
Here I am awaited
Fully and singularly.
Pinky through middle
Stepwise incline
Yet platformed without summit.
From here I let go
Let fly, that which is no longer owned,
Pains even gems of wisdom.
Lips seal and hum
A vibration of life
The Om song of eternity.
Om in my hands
Om from my lips
Om of my heart
Inscribed and indelible.
May this sanctuary
I always know,
For my rest and renewal
For resetting and reinforcement.
Then may I grow
To know
The teachings
Buried deep of patience
Of compassion
And mostly
Of the One wholesome love.
Photograpy compliments of Robert W. Kelley.

“….weather the uncertainties of love….”

I feel compelled to share a write up by Maria Popova from her Brainpickings publication, on one of my most favorite artists, Gibran, about his understanding of love…

The following gives me a window into how the depth of unfettered love can be allowed to unfold as we learn to love, not just a person but all parts of creation.

“Kahlil Gibran on the Courage to Weather the Uncertainties of Love

“Love is the quality of attention we pay to things,” poet J.D. McClatchy wrote in his beautiful meditation on the contrast and complementarity of love and desire. And what we choose to attend to — our fear or our faith, our woundedness or our devotion to healing — determines the quality of our love. How we navigate our oscillation between these inescapable polarities is governed by the degree of courage, openness, and vulnerability with which we are willing to show up for and to our own hearts. “The alternations between love and its denial,” philosopher Martha Nussbaum observed in contemplating the difficulty of knowing ourselves, “constitute the most essential and ubiquitous structural feature of the human heart.”

That is what the great Lebanese-American poet, painter, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran(January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931) explores in one of the most stirring passages from The Prophet (public library) — the 1923 classic that also gave us what may be the finest advice ever offered on the balance of intimacy and independence in healthy relationships.

Kahlil Gibran, self-portrait

Speaking to the paradoxical human impulse to cower before the largeness of love — to run from its vulnerable-making uncertainties and necessary frustrations at the cost of its deepest rewards — Gibran offers an incantation of courage:

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

Illustration from An ABZ of Love, Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite vintage Danish guide to sexuality

In a sentiment John Steinbeck would come to echo a generation later in his beautiful letter of advice on love to his teenage son, Gibran adds:

Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

The Prophet remains a timeless trove of wisdom and a mighty clarifying force for the turbidity of the heart. Complement it with Gibran on why we make art and his stunning love letters, then revisit Adrienne Rich on how honorable relationships refine our truths, Erich Fromm on the art of loving and what is keeping us from mastering it, Leo Tolstoy on love and its paradoxical demands, and this wondrous illustrated meditation on the many meanings and manifestations of love.”

The Baobab Tree

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You may not tower
But stand you do
Strong and grounded
With reassuring girth
Your vertical ripples
And segmental trunking
Branch up symmetrically
Dispersed across the plains
You lend life to many
Hosting beehives
Nesting Superb starlings
With dried out river beds
Elephants gnaw deep into your trunk
Sucking your rich sap
Parasitic plant life
Twine around and into your branches
No harm done
As your longevity is into the hundreds
Oh mighty tree
Humble and kind
In this arid bush land
You stand giant-like
Sharing all you are
Giving house and nutrients
Denying not even the termites
In awe of your qualities
Humbled by your lessons
You teach it is possible
To live with all who share your space

Bird of Paradise

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Distinctly present

With colors unadulterated

Definition unquestionable

With geometrical challenge

What creative precision

With beauty spectacular

As adorned with grand stature

Claiming humbled respect

Bird of Paradise

You inspire a freedom

Exotic and rich

Yet sprout amongst us

Feeding from shared sun and waters

What wise lesson you teach

That wherever you are

With whatever colors and form

We too can unfold

Majestic and magical