warm sunlight kisses all my tears and hurt away levitating rainbows
~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.
i dream skies clear blue an airspace of love and peace encircling one world
“You may say I’m a dreamer”, but in fact, what comes first: the dream or the day? Imagination or reality? Perhaps the difference between the two (dream and day, imagination and reality) is not so distinct after all—one bleeding into the other as our dreaming and waking worlds are nothing more than a continuum of one consciousness, of one stream in time and space navigating terrains all at once sublime, spellbinding, and atrocious.
“You may say I’m a dreamer”, but is it not the dream that gives rise to words articulated and actions initiated? And ultimately to that concept which we call “reality”—which is indeed precisely that, a concept, a conceptualization of the mind. It is the mind which dreams and thinks and creates. It is the mind, consciousness itself, which is the ultimate “reality”. We all dream; we are all dreamers—inevitably. So direct your dreams and your desires beyond what you have been taught is possible, beyond the visible horizon and into skies of clear blue.
“I see no conflict between reality and imagination. They are not in fact separate. Our real lives hold within them our royal lives; the inspiration to be more than we are, to find new solutions, to live beyond the moment. Art helps us to do this because it fuses together temporal and perpetual realities.”~Jeanette Winterson
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.
After atrocity, the only thing that makes any sense is peace. Survivors of the August 6, 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima have spent their lives dedicated to the abolishment of nuclear weapons, to educating succeeding generations about the horrors of war, to peace movements around the world. We do not hear of survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) advocating a retaliation against the U.S. “Never Again” is the widespread mantra among survivors of atrocities worldwide: the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Nanjing massacre, to name a few.
Likewise, on a more individual level, the expression, “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy” is used by those who have endured some form of extreme pain or hardship. It could be surviving an excruciating illness or a traumatic act of violence. Having experienced something so painful, the natural human response is compassion. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. We don’t go about scheming how to inflict similar suffering upon others simply because we’ve suffered ourselves. On the contrary, we seek to prevent similar experiences of suffering. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, March For Our Lives, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, to name a few.
The only thing that makes any sense, is peace.
Many women, and #MeToo, have survived some form of domestic violence. Over my dead body, would I wish anyone the same experience—including the very man who committed the violence, including any perpetrator of violence, including, everyone. It never occurred to me to try to make the one who assaulted me suffer in some way. To respect my boundaries, my choices, my freedom—yes, to be held accountable—yes; but to inflict harm upon him—never. It simply is not worth it. What we do to others, we do to ourselves.
The only thing that makes sense is peace.
So what propels some of us to commit acts of violence? The answer ultimately is fear—its irrationality and ignorance. No wise sage ever, said, “Let’s bomb the @#¥%&! out of those weird people!”
For comfort, fear seeks control; for control, fear hordes power. The power and brilliance of the sun, hijacked and desecrated, by the hands of men gone mad. In a single blinding flash at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a fifteen meter per second firestorm in the thousands of degrees celsius ripped through Hiroshima incinerating some one hundred and forty thousand lives. Three days later on August 9, at 11:02 a.m., repeat.
Why? Why, why… why… how…..
After atrocity, the only thing that makes any sense is peace.
Americans were scared of the “Japs”, and the Japanese were scared of the “foriegn devils”. In wartime, humans cease to be humane, seeing in one another only danger, forces of evil, and one’s own demise. Fear raises its monstrous head and slaughters everyone—indiscriminately. Everyone, every single one of us.
My American grandfather, in WWII frenzy, derided those Japs, his future family and his own descendants—his cute granddaughters who giggled in delight when sitting in his chair anticipating being lifted out by their doting grandfather who never tired of playing the same game.
Children, in their innocence, are wiser.
ONE Look into my eyes, and you will see a shadow of Hiroshima. You will see a dark room, illuminated by its single stream of WHITE light flowing from the humming projector as it reels GREY, WHITE, BLACK images onto a screen. You will see ten silent rows of seated people, formless figures in the darkness. And you will hear the rusty recording, as it comments on BLACK, WHITE, GREY images thrown onto the cold square screen: Atomic bomb “Little Boy” explodes at 8:15 a.m. August 6, 1945… Epicenter reaches several million degrees centigrade… ground temperature reaches 3,000 – 4,000 degrees centigrade… thirteen square kilometers completely destroyed… three hour firestorm with velocity of 15 meters per second… over one hundred and forty thousand deaths caused by “Little Boy”… (etcetera, etcetera, etcetera) b u t the ears of a small girl have forgotten sound listening only to naked terror run over the screen h e l l Her eyes stare wide open in innocence tainted with blood, as the screen throws daggers into her eyes. Daggers of broken, burnt and twisted bodies lay strewn across an old wooden floor. LOOK! s i l e n c e Pale white light reflects from the screen softly illuminates her tired eyes, her confusion, her small clenched fists. She tries with one fist, to grasp that “Little Boy” that Daddy’s country dropped, and she tries with the other fist, to grasp that firestorm that burned in Mommy’s country. But a life of six short years knew only how to reach One hand to hold her mother’s One hand to hold her father’s.
After atrocity, the only thing that makes any sense is peace.
The only thing that ever makes any sense, is peace.
Reclaim your innocence, like my grandfather did.
Peace, is a verb.
May peace prevail on earth.
May peace prevail.
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