Walk In Beauty

Many years ago I was on a road trip through the American southwest and in a bookstore somewhere, stumbled across a small square book titled: Navajo, Walking in Beauty. It was then that I was first introduced to the Navajo word hózhó. Roughly translated into English as “beauty”, hózhó encompasses the concepts of harmony, balance, and reciprocal relations. Instantly, I fell in love. I was deeply moved by the possibility that beauty is an expression of harmony and profound spiritual realization—a perception that understands beauty to be both embodied aesthetic expression, as well as ineffable and transcendent sensibility.

Hózhó is realized by aligning one’s self with the forces of nature. It is a dynamic and ongoing process of harmonizing the self with the world and the entirety of the universe and existence. To “walk in beauty” is in essence, to live a life of harmony and peace.  

Following is the concluding refrain from a Navajo ceremonial song:

Beauty before me, I walk with.
Beauty behind me, I walk with.
Beauty above me, I walk with.
Beauty below me, I walk with.
Beauty all around me, I walk with.
In old age, the beautiful trail, I walk with.
It is I, I walk with.

Not only is one blessed to walk in a world of beauty, but in the end one becomes beauty itself. Hózhó. It is with this understanding of beauty by which I am most inspired to express myself in the world. Through my writing, photography, dance and poetry, I hope to invoke this world of hózhó. Whether on this website and blog, my social media pages or publications, I hope you will find inspiration and hózhó for your own journey through life. May you walk in beauty.

if today i die
may beauty be my only 
footprints in the sand

ONE

we are one
one love
one light & one shadow
one dance
                                 It is said that the illusion 
                 of separation 
                                                         leads to suffering, 
                           and that the realization 
                                                                        of oneness 
                                                                                                    leads to          peace. 

世界人類が平和でありますように May peace prevail on earth Nahasdzáán Bikáági Táá axtsogóó Hózhǫ́ǫ́ dooleex برقرار باد صلح در سراسر جهان 세계인류의 평화가 이룩되도록 Go raibh síocháin ar domhain Хай буде мир людству у всьому світі Que la Paz Prevalezca En La Tierra Εύχομαι να Επικρατήσει η Ειρήνη στον Κόσμο உலகில் அமைதி நிலவட்டும்  Gum buadhaich sìth anns gach ceàrn dhe ‘n t-saoghal 我們祈禱世界人類的和平 Puisse la paix régner dans le monde ഭൂമിയിൽ സമാധാനം നിലനിൽക്കട്ടെ Да будет мир человечеству во всём мире Vallitkoon rauha maailmassa Àyǝʼǝtɨ anɨ mǝ tá mbɔɔnǝ kwɛrɨ nsɨe ntsɨm Che la pace regni sulla terra Megi friður ríkja á jörð पृथिव्यां शांति अस्तु Dünyada barış daim olsun රී ලංකාවේ සාමය පවතීවා Niech ludzkość świata żyje w pokoju Che la pace regni sulla terra Даян дэлхий энх амгалан байг Tiqsimuyupi allin kawsay kachun Wo’ wa’hwa la ma’ka a’kan u’num’we Nguyện xin hòa bình đến với toàn thể nhân loại trên thế giới Tangnefedd ar y ddaear Alàáfíà fún gbogbo àgbáyé السلام للعالم أجمع Sana’y Manatili ang Kapayapáan sa Mundo ᎡᎶᎯᏃ ᏙᎯᏱ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ Ať mír vždy vládne na Zemi Няхай будзе мір чалавецтву ва ўсім свеце Måtte det være fred på jorden 🌏🌍🌎💟

magic

“You don’t need to believe in magic.
You are magic.
Believe in yourself.”

Emmanuel Dagher

The above quote crossed my path the other day, like an unexpected butterfly or rainbow in the sky. Riveted, I stopped. “Yes!” I thought. “We are indeed magic, and if we just believed in ourselves… no—if we truly knew that we are magic, why anything wonderful, miraculous, and beautiful could be possible!” It is true, don’t you think? That if we arrive, if we show up each day simply as we are—unadorned, messy but real… unafraid to be whatever particular expression of life that we just so happen to be—then our days cannot be anything other than magic and magical. So I was inspired to step out of my personal comfort zone and share this quickly snapped, unfiltered, messy-haired selfie-on-a-whim… to say hello to the world and to you, whoever you may be. We are all, after all, one light and one love.

But, what precisely is magic?

magic

         maybe magic is, 
     a heart cracked open
   to the tender beauty of the world
                    to be
     raw    open     and real
   and tumbled like broken pieces of sea glass
    worn smooth with the grain of tides
   high and low
    of time
                           to be
               to just be
     in this one world 
   both wounded and wondrous
 allowing the soft edges of shadows
   to dance
          into the light
   like sparkles and glitter of rain
     in the sun
   and finally
             finally and at last
                            to stand on the shore
                                      with arms outstretched to the  wide  open  sea
                                                           and declare
                                              here i am my love
                                              here i am
 

blackness

the deepest shade of love is black
that unknowable depth
from which all creation comes—and ultimately returns
is the kindest love
unconditional   embracing   infinite
in black, there's every shade of grey
and white is taken in everywhere

in this moment
feel raven wings alight
and hear the midnight of winter solstice
they swirl an elemental vortex
folding into itself
the sharpest cut of diamond

and in the tender arms of blackness
even rainbows find reprieve 
from arching displays of color writ loudly in sky blue

and now somewhere far, far out in the distance nearby
lies a   black   panther
limbs resting softly on the dark belly of the earth
she stirs into the heart of all being
a power
the deepest shade 
of love 

the gift

and stumbling along the seashore
she found in the round curves of a rock
her heart
Ah-ha! she exclaimed
Here is the perfect gift to give
my love
This heartrock warm in the sun
is my heart
my heart of eternal love
May the seasons spin round and round and around
and may the storms wail and rage and rage until 
they turn themselves
skyblue
Meanwhile my heart remains here
unchanged
on this seashore—on this woven red strand by dusk
and by dawn
dancing all the sparkles 
the light and the shadows
into one
into one timeless
one timeless and divine
love

captured

clouds have so very much to say
      it seems
 capturing the light and the shadow     both
out here in this summery blue
                                       if i could just fly
    straight up  and 
into those soft billows  and 
                              linger awhile
i'm sure i'd hear a heartbeat  and 
      a silver voice
   singing
singing the shapeshifting story
       of the skies

house of love

in the black ink of sky          
stars dance   
toes dipped in glitter bodies draped in sheer silk    
swirling, arched, sweeping       
they scribe    
a new path across the milky way           
and ignite     
fire in this body burning   
a virgin light       
tumbled raw open and naked     
yet wrapped up in these angel arms             
i'm carried across the threshold   
into a new spiral of glittering galaxies     
into this dance                       
into this eternal           
house of love   

beauty

maybe if i spill open
my heart
at the break of dawn
and let love shine
like sun gold
as it climbs over
peaks tops and ridges
glittering everything into new day

and maybe if i embrace
the light
with noontide soaring
to release my fears from
the shadows secrets and silence
like feathers
they'll erupt into euphoria
and flight

maybe if i serenade
the dark
as dusk deepens
and surrender my dreams
like sand
they drift to ocean beds
singing dancing and shifting
into pearls sparkling in the night

and maybe if i pour
my self
into the soft fold of night
to fall steeped in love
like moons
swollen cradled and hungry
for the round gravity
of blackness

then surely when i dance
for you
until i die
and give my body to a sacred fire
in beauty i will
have danced lived prayed and loved
in beauty i will
embrace death

with the water

i step
into the water
cold tingling
my toes
ankles
the backsides of my knees

swirling all around
submerged 
with the water
i run
twisting and turning
wind like
through wild summer prairies 
and snow-steeped tundra in winter
i run
falling and flowing
light like
through slot canyons
gorges and ravines
i run

with the water
i run
cascading and streaming
over and down ever onwards out ahead and forwards
i run
i run to the ocean
to the magical ocean of my dreams

murmuration

my heart     
like a murmuration of starlings     
races, swooping and soaring     
all throughout these rosé wine skies     
aglow and glimmering twilight     

like a murmuration of starlings     
i'm flying     
here in the light and over there in the shadows     

somewhere, i know there is a pathway or a secret door     
somewhere here in the open wild of these fields, windswept and pink     
or here somewhere, in this enclave of elms, shifting and shady     
i am sure, i am sure...     
here is the pathway or the secret door     

like a murmuration of starlings     
i long for home     
to feel forever     
somewhere here or there or somewhere anywhere     
this skin soft landing     
in your arms     
your arms holding     
holding     
my heart     

skin

the river's soft skin   
slows wild rapids of my heart                    
running to the sea