The calling

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It has been a really difficult month but there have been some amazing highlights.¬† One of them was reading this poem at Mother Tongue. It has served as something of an affirmation or a mantra, these words remind me of who I want to be and who I already am. I offer them to you because the more I share these words, the more I strengthen my commitment to this vision and if I’m really lucky maybe you will find solace in them too.

I was called in the middle of dancing
In the pause between the first wave and the second
Between the inbreath and the outbreath

The voice of the earth pulled at my heart
I call you she said
Yes I answered, without hesitation
Take me, use me, let me serve You
An inward breath, a pause, a moment of clarity, of ecstasy

And then I crumbled
I am not enough! I am a poor instrument! I will Fuck it up! I’m lazy! I’m a terrible procrastinator!
I became small, shut down,
A woman reached out to offer comfort and I snarled, I almost bit her hand.

I was called but I don’t know what it means
These moments of insight seem so profound
But afterward the current of life pulls me onward like nothing has changed
Before enlightenment, get up, go to work, make dinner, do the bedtime routine.
After enlightenment, get up, go to work, make dinner, do the bedtime routine.

Is this all there is? Is this all I am?
Is my calling going to feed my family?
Is the Earth going to set me up with a sweet job?
Am I wrecking it by asking these questions?

I am a tree
I am rooted in the Earth
My limbs give shade, shelter and solace
Creatures call my ample boughs home
My generousity is limitless
Yet never diminishes me or those who receive my grace

Who would find fault in the beauty of these twisted branches?
Who would measure the performance of my striving shoots?
Who could doubt that I am enough?
Just as I am
Rooted in the Earth
Reaching for the sky

I am the voice of compassion
I am the voice of the earth
I am the voice of the universal life force
I transform the world by being me.

On grief

Grief came in the night and curled up on my chest
I woke to it staring me in the face
Placid, implaccable but somehow menacing.

As I stared into those yellow, unblinking eyes, it’s tail began to lash.
I grabbed it with firm hands,
Craning my neck to avoid a counter attack
And sat up, slowly, expecting it to drop to the floor
instead I felt its claws.

Pin pricks became angry red lines raking downward hot and heavy.
It clung, ripping, tearing but never letting go
Pulling great wracking sobs out of me
Dragging at my heart through my ribcage
Sinking it’s teeth into delicate flesh.

I thought I would die.

Body tense, teeth clenched, hands fisting away tears.
I stretched beyond breaking,
torn asunder but somehow inescapably still here.
Every part of me pinned by claw or tooth
Laid out, throbbing
A dissection of human suffering.
Helpless.

I gave up.
Stopped pushing, stopped fighting, stopped trying to be free.

I laid each hand across my heart and wept.

Of their own volition, my hands found soft fur
Drew my fingers in long, languid strokes.

The pain ebbed,
The cat
purred.