freedom

~a short meditation on flight, three~

When you see birds flying in the sky, does your heart not also soar? 

love is

love is deeper
than the deepest ocean
which, in the end
has a bottom
a finite place of rest

and love is brighter even
than the brightest and most brilliant star
which, although still visible
billions and billions of light years away
will twinkle out 
some day

love is more beautiful
than even the most beautiful red rose
which, held too tightly
pierces the heart
thorns sharp and steep 
searing

love    is    love
which, has no end
no void
and no restraint
love is 
infinite
boundless
and like birds flying into the wild blue sky
free
 

we are all angels

~a short meditation on flight, two~

Who does not dream about flying? 
Although our actual physical bodies are essentially tethered to this earth, it seems that flight is somehow intrinsic to our souls. Somehow, I really do know what it is to fly, in this human body… I can feel it in my bones, and on the surface of my skin caressed by wind—my entire being buoyed by its light power. Soaring. 

Do you? Too, like me, know flight?
Does your heart lift, with the first rays of sunrise—taking you out beyond the horizons? When the birds circle overhead, can you meet them up there in the blue sky—seeing eye to eye, and the dancing tree tops below? As the soft pads of your bare feet sink into earth, gently with each step on the path, are you not also drawn upwards and a little closer to those not so distant cloud bottoms? And at night when the stars twinkle so invitingly, do you dance there too among all the glitter? Gloriously?

Maybe we are all angels, after all? 
We’re just walking this earth awhile—for the grand adventure of it all… for dreaming dreams, for the thrill and for the mania, for sleeping and awakening, for creating something beautiful or fantastic and then reveling in it too… But above all, maybe we are here for love—simply, to love and to be loved. Love.

the sky beneath your feet

~a short meditation on flight~

the sky beneath your feet

gravity moves in two directions, and
falling into earth has its own 
fleeting 
transcendence
the sky is not always overhead, but
when we do
fly up and skywards
we push down first, and then
suspend

in a heartbeat
we are birds, soaring everywhere there is space
and into the strong arms of wind we go
twirling swirling tumbling
landing
just when, the ground rises

it is a love affair with light
it is surrender and a prayer
and dreams surfacing into day
it is the sky beneath your feet

Source

Who can tell me, what is the source of love? 
Not the whos nor whats which we love, not our dreams nor passions. But like rain from the clouds, rivers from the high mountains, song from morning birds, from where does love come?

Like this body made up of trillions of cells, and cells made up of biomolecules, and biomolecules made up of… ah, um, let’s just skip right to the part where matter essentially breaks down into nothingness… where this body is nothing but empty space. 
And what of love? What are its elemental parts and particles? Like the body falling into a microverse of emptiness, into what space does love fall, eventually? Like trying to locate physical origins of consciousness itself, trying to locate the same for love may very well be futile—an endeavor best left to the poets among us. 
(It is apparent, yes, that science is not my forte!) But surely, there are no grand laws of physics, quantum physics, or other physics for that matter, which can tell us how love arises into our hearts and minds, and bursts so brightly, into our souls. 

So let the poet in me humbly suggest a theory. 
Love, like light, comes from the sun. Yes, that’s right. All those millions and gazillions of stars out there? They are actually love-generating furnaces! 
It makes sense does it not? Physical matter breaks down into emptiness, so we are actually bodies of empty space being filled with light. Or is light only a result of a collision of particles and waves between the sun and our vastly empty bodies? I think that light too, like love, cannot truly be contained in the mind. 
These uncontainables, and these apparent immaterials… are like wind which can only be seen in the swirl of desert sand. Or water, in the long and slow curves of canyon walls. Sound, in the reverberation of strings. 
And love, seen in the light of a smile or felt in a remembered birthday, arises in the betweenness of things. In relationship. A mother and child. A butterfly and an irresistible flower. Shimmering rainbows of water and light in the sky. A spider and her web. Love is light. Like how we come to see the sun—in the collision of particles and waves. A reverberation felt in the deep space of the heart. 

In the photo above, do you not see the heart shining out from the sun? I offer you this, my empirical evidence that the source of love is indeed, the sun.
So the next time you gaze up into the starry night sky, perhaps you will feel the overwhelming presence of love shining everywhere there… And your heart, your one precious heart, flooded with light.

wild flower

today i found my heart
in the spirit of a wild flower 
wrapped around
this love
this singular and this sweet love 
delicately
and yet, and yet, and yet
and yet ever so 
inextricably 
 

What love courses through every fiber, cell, and mitochondria of your body?
What is the one precious love you hold on to?

no place to hide

LOVE  is light    which        like the  SUN            has no         place                                        to       hide.

Once upon a very, very long time ago, the world was suddenly thrown into utter darkness and chaos. The notorious Susanoo, god of storms and the younger brother of the sun goddess Amaterasu-Omikami, wrecked havoc in the goddess’s rice fields and committed other acts of flagrant violence which so angered Amaterasu-Omikami that she hid herself inside a cave and barricaded the entrance with a boulder too heavy for anyone to move. She would not respond to any appeals to come out of the cave. 

Faced with this dire situation, all eight million deities of Japan convened in front of the cave and devised a plan to convince Amaterasu-Omikami to come out of hiding. A large mirror was placed in a tree just outside the cave’s entrance and another goddess, Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto, proceeded to dance atop an overturned bucket. Dancing with abandon and stamping upon the bucket,  Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto danced and danced and danced and then tore off her clothes all at once, causing the other deities to laugh uproariously. 

Hearing all the commotion from inside the cave, Amaterasu-Omikami could not contain her curiosity. What on earth could all the deities be laughing about in her absence? And so she opened the cave a tiny bit to peek out and saw her own brilliant reflection shining back at her in the mirror! Bedazzled just long enough, the strong god who had been patiently waiting there at the cave’s entrance then pushed the great boulder aside and pulled Amaterasu-Omikami out from the cave. A shimenawa, sacred rope, was placed in front of the cave, preventing the goddess from going back inside. 

And at last, light was restored to the world.

no place to hide

Do not hide your love, little one. 
Like the sun, be bedazzled by the brilliance 
of your own light, 
of your beauty,
and your love. 
Go ahead now, step out, 
boldly and brightly 
into every sky, Shining.
Dancing,
all naked, raw, and real.
For not a single day goes by, 
that does not need your light and
your love,
that does not need
you. 

sunrise in the land of the forgotten

On my path two white feathers nestled together like lovers—one bloodstained and the other not—give me pause. What unseen shadow is trying to come into light? Searching and searching and searching for something, weights seem to pull me down beneath busy surface waves, but my flashlight finds nothing to shine on. Like the great wall of China running beyond horizons east and west, the veil is endless and the sun refuses to rise, in this land of the forgotten. 

Like the dark side of the moon, mystery is for earthbound dwellers only. How might i drift to the other side? Might it be a perilous voyage, or pleasant? But shadows only exist in the light, disappearing as they do, into the darkness. How to find them there? Futile, is it not? Chasing shadows in the dark!

It seems i must, rather, coax them into the light. Not into the full glare of noontime, but into the gentle and warm glow at dusk—the between times in which worlds come together. Holding hands, light and dark dance together and shadows are set free to spin and to twirl without worry, without blame. 

Here, on this light red ribbon between earth and sky, the forgotten might surface softly into the welcoming arms of the soul. Into a love-lit world and shed its amnesia quietly into the sea.

But dreams crashed by despair, innocents violated, curses cast by exes, love gone astray and betrayed, bodies beaten and bloodied… these shadows are not light. Their exile into the land of the forgotten might often be the one thousand armed goddess of mercy shedding tears. Without release, without respite, they are like ominous clouds haunting the horizons, bound to erupt into fire storms and broken river banks.

ash

repressed memories 
explode
like stale fireworks past their expiration date
up into a void and blanked out space
the embers fall, slowly
drifting down
through this bitter smoke-filled sky
and choking, i shed my body
like skin in the aftermath of exposure
to flames
let the ash float
twinkle out and extinguish
in an ocean of darkness
and finally, i shall rest in peace
on a soft seabed of amnesia

The seabed is not so soft after all. Rocky, dark, cold, unforgiving, and lonely. Grave diggers will find no jewels here, no chest full of treasures. Where is my heart? It seems to have scattered somewhere—singed and scorched—in the smoke filled skies. 

Where is the way out? Where is that red lifeline, umbilical cord like, to the round curvature of mother earth? Can i surface from these depths and cry loudly into the pink light of dawn, my love and my light—memories intact? My heart, intact? And my soul, free?

Somewhere in the darkness i hear a heartbeat and a whisper: 
Look, look my love, over here.
The sun, all crimson for you,
ties this light red ribbon tenderly 
around your heart. 
Hold my hand and we’ll fly, 
spinning and twirling together now
up into the sun
dancing 
into a beautiful 
beautiful new 
day.

in touch with the world

When a poet brainstorms, writing somewhat stream of consciousness for an essay, it turns into an essay-poem or a poem-essay! What genre is this?! It is, a meditation on touch. 

in touch with the world 

touch, is the fundamental sense
the connective tissue between inner and outer worlds
bringing the faraway full moon into spectacular view
and the sweet sound of a loved one singing
straight into the heart
waves and particles crashing and colliding
connecting
childhood memories to the smell
of chocolate chip cookies baking, and 
fourth of July sparklers burning, bright

like the sea to coral reefs, or 
the sky to rainbows 
touch is the universe materialized 
made sensate and knowable, tangible 
to the heart and mind alike
to fingers, toes, and taste buds

the abyss
is touch deprivation
soundless, sightless, without taste or smell
senseless
love itself
an unknowable abstract intangible
void

in touch with the world
we are caressed by the flight of butterfly wings
the dance of sunlight
the soft fragrance of roses
the song of the ocean 
the sugar of honey

in touch with the world
our hearts are moved 
by kind words and thoughtful gestures
by the bravery and boldness
to connect
to other hearts

in touch with the world
with your hand on my heart
mine on yours
together 
we are healed

in touch with the world
together 
with one another
we discover our selves
beautiful
holy
 

Love & Light

Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.

Kahlil gibran

We have sat for millennia, it seems, staring at walls into candle flames into the darkness and into the depths of our souls, in silence and solitude—seeking answers to resolve all of humanity’s imperfections, suffering, and ignorance… and for a way out of the dark. 
Perhaps moths are wiser, irresistibly drawn to the light, without second thought.

We have repented, confessed our sins, flagellated bare backs of ourselves and others, prostrated in front of superiors, and walked millions of miles on broken feet and bleeding knees. We have beaten, stoned, shot, mutilated and murdered—in the name of some greater light. 
Perhaps the flowers know better, naturally unfurling to the sun, without thought.

Perhaps life need not be so burdened, after all. 

Maybe we are in essence, simply beings of light and of love. We will realize our true nature, like the flowers, when we turn to the light; when like moths, our hearts burn with love, without thought. Maybe freedom is a bird in flight—on the wings of love and light. And divinity itself shines everywhere and in everything, omniscient and omnipresent. 

Perhaps, after all, we are simply divine beings of love and light. 

Go ahead—smell the roses and dance in the rain. Do it now—without thought, and for no reason. Shine.

dancing for the dead

Dancing for the dead is not macabre.
Dancing for the dead, we celebrate continuity, community, and life itself. 

In Japan, Obon is a traditional celebration in which the ancestors are remembered and honored. Family altars are cleaned and special offerings are placed in front of photos of the departed. Those living in far away cities return to their hometowns and to their families. Indeed, it is said that our ancestors too, return to our homes during Obon. For the living, there are gatherings at local festivals with music, folk dances, and stalls selling food and games. Bon-odori, folk dances performed during Obon, are usually done in a circle and the movements are simple and repetitive so that everyone can enjoy dancing together. In the commemoration of “the dead”, we join together as a community and culture—vibrant and sustained.

The stars do not cease to exist during the day simply because we cannot see them. Likewise, the souls of those who have come before us do not suddenly cease to exist at the end of their days. Rather, death is like night—a passage of time between skies full of light. And like the stars, our ancestors dance among us.

do not be afraid

do not be afraid
in the quiet blanket of nighttime 
do not be afraid
dreams come alive and 
love shines in candlelit cascades of whispers 
and caresses
it is darkness which makes the stars visible
guiding us home 
unveiled and holy
do not be afraid
to cross deserts windswept wildflower fields seas and 
mountain rains
the open blue of day welcomes you
warm outstretched and
just around golden pink corners

(photo taken six years ago at an Obon festival)