Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bouncing After They Fall


at once
this loneliness exploded
into thunder
reverberating off
the face of my heart

6 months in a foreign land

self expression
has been reduced to
hola” and “adios
fucking pleasantries

don’t focus on the dark
says the soft voice of a distant sun

but i am obsessed with my storm
i only watch one channel -
my inner-bad-weather channel

okay, then focus on the darkness,
but know that you’re suffering
at your own hands

get out! get out!
go play in the actual rain
revel in actual thunder
be blinded by actual lightening -
not this head-made fantasy shit

my circling clouds
have become my habit

and then my black dog
in a tornado of crazy joy
with the enthusiasm of creature
absent of an inner-bad-weather channel
tosses a crushed plastic bottle
up in the air
to himself
and catches it

and tosses it
and catches it

again and again
his body bouncing
like raindrops
when they meet the earth

bouncing after they fall

bouncing after they fall

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Mind (When She is Well-Behaved)

She’s a child-like ‘old soul’.
Her definition of Power is Love.
She will not follow blindly.
She will follow beauty.
She succeeds in academic settings.
She thrives in nature.
She’s not that good at spelling.
She’s really good at ‘meaning’.
She’d rather evolve than be right.
She’s down for the challenge.
She loves a good question more than a good answer.
She’s also loves sun bathing at Barton Springs while the sun graces her chest and navel.
She loves to learn through touch, music, movement and breathing.
In fact, she learns best through these vehicles.
She’s a Truth-chaser often tumbling down the metaphorical rabbit hole, cascading into inner worlds, exploring new-found lands and drinking tea with the interesting characters she meets.
She pays attention and takes a lot of notes.
She’s been kneaded by loving hands who knew how to “work her” just right and let her to rise.
She’s fearless when it comes to expressing herself. This sometimes gets her in trouble.
She’s not a fan of confrontation, but she’ll stand her ground.
She’s almost always down for “talking it out”.
She’s willing to call out her own bullshit.
She’s communicates with kindness.
She is willing to forgive.
She feels safe to cry.
She loves to laugh.

She has quirks too:
sometimes thinks she’s fat, even though she’s not
sometimes she gets crazy angry in traffic - a sort of turrets effect
sometimes she gets real hard on herself for not yet saving all the children in africa and for other ‘human shortcomings’.

She is inspired by people who have symbiotic relationships with Forces greater than themselves.
She is inspired by just about everything Nature gives birth too.

She walks the tightrope, balancing between two poles: Humanity and Divinity.

She enjoys the company of people who are smarter than her.
She has yet to get enthusiastic about math...but she’s not a quitter.
She can spend hours with poetry in one hand and her dog, Lizzy, in the other.
She’s listens for Grace.
She listens to Grace.
She’ll always listen, eventually.

The World Comes From Us

Three months ago...

“The world does not come at us. The world comes from us.”

Like an old childhood lullaby, I instantly remembered these words when I heard them. They were not news to me. I had heard these words for years from the voice within my heart.

Most recently I have been holding those words up to the reality of living in a third world country. And not just a third world country, but a third world city. And not just a third world city, but the largest third world city in this country.

Ah, San Jose, Costa Rica.

In San Jose there are people who make a living by risking their life helping you back-out of your parking space into oncoming traffic. God bless them - really, please bless them, God. There are people here who make a living collecting other people's garbage and reselling it on the sidewalk - old broken toy phones, half-used packages of stained napkins, batteries (used, of course), electronic cords for missing electronic devices, etc.

Here both sides of the economic spectrum are well represented: the ricos and the povres. The ricos live in houses surrounded by large cement walls adorned with barbed wire and the povres live in houses surrounded by thin metal bars adorned with barbed wire. There’s a saying here, “The one thing the rich and poor have in common is that they both live imprisoned in their homes while the criminal run ‘free’ in the streets.”

So how do I - in this third world city - implement this deep knowing that ‘the world does not come at me...the world comes from me’?

Because the truth is that a lot of fear has also been coming from me lately.

The fear has been brought on by not being able to speak Spanish, not being able to drive without envisioning the worst or not being able to walk alone at night or make my way to the other side of the city or avoid the dagger-like male gaze or avoid the toxic fumes of every passing truck or express myself authentically to anyone but Evan.

It seems the more fear that comes from me, the scarier the world becomes.

It’s a tremendously uncomfortable feeling to go from existing is a relative state of ‘fearlessness’ in Austin to feeling cloaked (from within and without) in a heavy dark veil of fear. Fear, which could also be discussed as ‘insecurity’, uproots any and all ability to rest, relax, trust, have faith, be calm or be quiet. And, as a yoga teacher, I long ago began making my living and building my life upon my ability to rest, relax, trust, have faith and be calm and quiet.

Who am I if I am in fear? Or rather where did ‘I’ (the one who once lived without fear) go? And where did my old free-of-suffocating-fear reality go? Are my fears legitimate and not to be downplayed or are my fears giving rise to the growing disdain and discomfort in the world o' San Jose? Is it me? Is it my environment? Is it both? Am I creating my own reality? Is my reality creating me to be a fearful person?


Some months have passed since the largest of my fears were gobbling up my light. During that time I began to learn Spanish. I knew nothing of Spanish before moving to Costa Rica. Nada. No-thing. Not a lick. So along with learning the language came the ability to once again express myself. Granted I can not express myself ‘profoundly’ or ‘poetically’ as I did in the states - but I can express bits and pieces of heart, parts that have not seen the light of days for months.

Interestingly, as soon as I began to express myself everything in my world changed before my eyes. The world does not come at me. The world comes from me.

It’s not that the city suddenly became clean or crime-free or that the men became any less macho or that the buses gave off any less black smoke, no, it’s that I was no longer imprisoned by my inability to communicate. I was no longer trapped behind a verbal cement wall decorated with barbed wire. I was no longer imprisoned by my inability to express myself through the medium of my art - language.

In the same moment that my inner light was finally able to once again shine out through the gift of language and communication - in Spanish - the big dirty city ceased to be so big and dirty. Instead the city of San Jose became the home of many dear friends and fellow teachers, the place where I was brought to my knees with humility for anyone who ever moved to a foreign country and couldn’t speak the language, the perfect contrast to the comfortable passivity that so many of us get stuck in at certain times in our lives.

So does the world come at us or from us? What are your thoughts?

Deep Humble Love.