My tiny daughter by the Elm tree.

My tiny daughter by the Elm tree.
The one that gave me my vision.
.
A real Saul to Paul conversion.
Instead of Damascus,
or other holy sites
My parents’ backyard
in Kansas.
A cloud covered night.
Warm for January, still chilly enough to be urgent.
An urgent sort of awakening.
.
Barren in January, but not afraid
The Elm was older than all of my anxiety.
25 years, or at least 16,
I was afraid to look inside myself.
For fear of what I might find.
.
Another story of about a tree,
Eve.
A confirmation of my inner ugliness.
Every mirror, save one, confirmed this.
I had a grandmother who believed
Everything good about me.
.
Her love was a small life raft
Circular with a square red cross
.
But this tree, this tree didn’t believe anything.
It only whispered.
“Take a look”,
“Turn inward, eyes open –
no peering through closed fingers,
and see”.
.
Like walking off a cliff,
Into waters unknown.
I pressed my whole body into that tree.
“Can you come with me?”
.
Suddenly courageous, turning, running,
Leaping
From that cliff, the furthest branch of my self
Back into the deep,
The roots
.
And what did I see?
.
God.
Goddess, if that makes more sense.
Not alone,
But underneath everything.
.
How did I know?
.
A barren Elm, in the dead of winter
taught me.

— WRL, 1.1.18

 

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New Year’s Light

“Of course, the light is blinding.
No one blames you for turning away.
At least nobody normal
Still gripping the edges of their countertops –
Or steering wheels
Bathroom door knobs.
Handles on kitchenware.
Smart phones.
.
There are so many things a person can grab hold of –
And then forget to let go.
.
Each week, I spend my working hours
Asking people to soften
Their tightened fists and talon-like fingers
Around the things that keep them too busy, too distracted, sometimes too compulsive
To turn and face this fearsome, gorgeous Light.
.
But, of course, I am the same.
Lately, it’s a very gripping argument with my own image.
Wanting to find an acceptable version of myself in every corresponding community.
Channeling my own voice through a strangle of synthetic notes.
Sometimes clutching and coercing, other times polite –
.
There’s nothing creative in it, though
I’m undone by fear, and not by pride,
Neither dignity or manners.
No.
My fear is such a driver,
Too many steps have been surrendered
Hands too.
Tangled up too long in things that have never worked.
.
And still, somehow, this new day and every other,
By some Grace; let’s call it that –
I find by noticing the dimming,
I am again looking toward that light.”
.
-WRL, 1.1.18