warm sunlight kisses all my tears and hurt away levitating rainbows
i dance to breathe and breathe to dance to fly to fly to my sun i dance in the light, and on the light feather of the hawk so swift so soft and so f i e r c e i fly to my sun burning on fire burning brightly and, oh so lightly on these skins, these mountain skins and i breathe i breathe i breathe to dance dance to breathe here between heaven and here between heaven and this earth
"In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no one can see you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art. ~Rumi~
What is it that awakens your love, kindles your desire to create, and
like the water’s sparkling surface—reflects back to you the artistry of your own soul?
If you know the answer to this question, you have found all that you will forever need.
If not, then rest assured that the light once sought, always find its seeker.
Reunion is the inevitable resolution of quest.
~a short meditation on healing~
Each person sheds her own light on the same landscape, allowing us to experience shifting perspectives as the cycles of day and night circle one another. Who among us would stop day at high noon, saying truth is only revealed through full exposure to sunlight, at the expense of never again feeling the gold of sunrise or peering into purple shadows at dusk? Indeed, the nature of a rock is not just in its exact proportions, mineral content, etc., but also in its relationship to sun and moon light, hot and cold, wind and rain. In its fullest capacity, truth is known in the continuous spectrum of light and dark, changing continually through the seasons and expanses of vast time. ~excerpt from my master's thesis chapter discussing research methodology
There is a tendency in western culture and/or in the English language, to equate light with truth and revelation, and shadow with obscurity and dishonesty. To “shed light on” means to reveal something previously hidden or unknown; to “descend into darkness” communicates an anguished journey into mental/emotional confusion or ignorance. In this dualistic and dichotomous worldview, truth is reduced into a series of either/ors incompatible with a holistic realization of experience. In the fanaticism of either/ors, of light versus shadow, we may experience blinding whiteouts and loss of vision in violent flashes of light, or, we may fall into states of alienation and estrangement and depression in the pitch dark of blackouts.
When we suffer, we are counseled to seek the light, to lift ourselves out of gloom and doom, to step into the light, to come out of the shadows… What if, on the other hand, we were encouraged to embrace both the light and the shadow, to befriend our monsters, to live with our angels and our demons—both? Perhaps we would then see that there is a special glow in the between spaces that connect rather than separate… In these spaces shared and cohabited by the light and the shadow. We would see that it is a dance—a beautiful and an intimate partner dance. A warm embrace. A love, unconditional and eternal.
Kyoto Coffee flowers startle white in the black night caffeine-steeped
and camouflaged in e l e g a n c e i awaken all enchanted the wild blossoms are singing light into new day .
I wrote the original version of this poem about three years ago, after enjoying coffee in an elegant cup at a café in Kyoto. After a long talk with a good friend, the night was late and I cycled back to my small, secluded-away in a quiet and dimly-lit neighborhood near ancient temple grounds in Higashiyama, house. Along the way, I was startled to encounter these white flowers glowing out of the darkness—similar to the white flower on my black coffee cup just a short while earlier. What magic potion had I just consumed, I pondered, in the guise of an elegant Kyoto cup of coffee? Little did I know then, just how truly magical and extraordinary our worlds can be. And I was entirely guileless as to the adventure I’d unknowingly embarked upon. But here I am now, three years later, still traversing these caffeine-steeped nights of enchantment. And what has emerged? Worlds of poetry, beauty, magic, and a precious love—like no other.
So what it the moral of the story?
Surrender to the irrational demands of your heart and of beauty, to this wild world far too vast to be contained within the narrow confines of our minds. And something more magical than you could have ever dreamed of will welcome you, on the other side of night.
In this one weave of life we are all connected. Ultimately, there is no real separation and there is no real other. And in actuality, there is no real enemy to fight. It is the conceptualization of enemies, which allows for hostilities and fighting. This is the very simple reason wartime propaganda aggressively demonizes the “other”, the so-called “enemy”. For without an enemy, whom are we to fight? But in the very creation of “enemies” we ourselves become an enemy—our enemy’s enemy—and the realization of peace vanishes instantly. In the very moment we conceive an other as an enemy, we ourselves are already defeated; our own peace shattered instantly.
Indeed, everything is energy. The life-sustaining light of the sun is energy; the life-annihilating force of nuclear weaponry is energy. We cannot shield life from the destruction of warfare with more violence; only love can do that. The energy of rage and indignation—whether expressed as anti-Putin or anti-NATO sentiment, whether experienced by perpetrator or by victim of violence—is essentially the same energy. Liberation from violence does not come through violence itself; only love can liberate.
Ultimately, peace is an alignment with love; whereas war is a state of misalignment—imbalance and disharmony. In the pursuit of peace, the important question to ask is not: How do we defeat the enemy? But rather: How do we align with love?
Can we not see that the light of the sun shines everywhere, on everyone, equally and indiscriminately? And that the flowers blossom simply because it is their very nature to do so? Love is our very nature, and by design, love does not discriminate.
So whoever you are, wherever it is that you come from, whatever your walk of life…
in these times of fear trauma and hate of senseless violence hold on to your light your love and your beauty offer to the altar of life the sacred flower of your heart
This post will be in place of my usual weekly post on Fridays, 12:00 a.m. UTC. I expect to return to my usual schedule next week on March 11. Thank you so much for reading, and may love and light be with you always.
philocalist: a person who loves beauty; one who sees and appreciates beauty in all things.
What is beauty? Like love, beauty is some kind of nameable uncontainable, some kind of innate and immediate and intrinsic nature of our humanness. And like love, beauty eludes definition the way sunlight escapes boxes and the shadows. We cannot live without the light. We cannot live without love and we cannot live without beauty.
Beauty might be a rose, or a stranger who comes to our rescue. It could be that smooth shiny surface of wooden floor boards worn step after step after step after step—a million times over. Or sparkles dancing on water. Dew in the morning light. A friendly smile. Honey. And sweetness.
In one way or the other, beauty is everything that is good. Like a natural point of rest, beauty is the default setting for our most essential selves. The Navajo word for it is Hózhó. Harmony balance reciprocity peace.
So in your moments of darkness, of hurt or of despair, look into the mirror and remember that not only are you beautiful—but that you are beauty itself… beauty reflecting beauty. Say not “I am beautiful”, but declare “I Am Beauty”. And everything else in this tumultuous life shall fall into place—step after step after step after step—you shall Walk in Beauty. Hózhó.
philocalist: a person who knows themself as beauty; one who walks in beauty.
t um blin g at the edge of the world i fall down tumbling with the awkward grace of a dancer unhinged unfettered unbridled and entirely undone free free now and cascading freely down and over the edge and at last tumbling tumbling down t um blin g down and and into the l i g h t
this love is gold light in wild flowers and bold skies beauty everywhere
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.