Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

23 December 2011

Peaceful Christmas Wishes To The World, from Makropoulos

Whether you believe the story or not,
the sentiment of it is important:

Peace on Earth,
Good Will To All --

on this Christmas,
during this tumultuous time,
may we all find the Jesus within us all.

As I've said so many times before,
if only we could all do that,
Jesus would come
or truly,
for the first time.

21 December 2011

Beside Myself

I'm standing beside myself
and staring
up a long, cold concrete stair,
walking beside myself,
doubly visioned,
unaware --

momentarily divided in two
by the tilt of the earth
by the pull of the moon.

My other self,
my darker self,
the self I like to hide
for a moment illumines,
its unbearable brightness
filling my mind
lighting the truths 
about me
about life.
These are
the truths that I hide
because they're so large,
no one could bear
to stare
at them daily.
But when I'm beside myself,
when I'm split in two,
I see what lies hidden,
and I see
what hides it, too,

You too.

Have no fears.
Even in this weight of stark
self division, we are turning
back towards coherence;
 even as we are moving
into the darker days,
each imperceptibly longer,
the sun is moving too,
planning its return --

Prepare yourself
for that time, when
we can be whole, and gaze
at the beauty of earth again, 
and revel
in the gifts that it gives.

This solstice,
this Christmas,
give the gifts of a child -
of peace and love,
and wide-eyed honesty, so
the next time your self divides
you are happy
with what you see.

16 December 2011

forbidden fruit

There's always been a forbidden fruit,
and there always will be.

There's always something that
within our conscience,
we know we should not do.

(Our conscience, by the way, is that ever flowing,
border crossing,
spiritual entity
that both dictates our individual actions
and unites human - kind.

Essentially, our conscience
is the essence of the Creator
that we all share.

The moment of The Fall was
the moment of evolution
during which
humans recognized they could discriminate,
and make decisions
that are both in tune with the
more significantly,
contrary to 
the will of the Universal Conscience.

It set us in motion to become
in our own right --

So, to reinterpret
that story that I love to interpret
and reinterpret so much:
some early humans
with the initials A and E
once upon a time
were the first to have the capacity
to make a choice 
to ignore the voice of Conscience
and do something contrary to the wishes
of the Universal Good,
and then, they also chose
to pretend that what they did
was just fine.

Thus began
the game of deception that we call Civilization.

( igniq )

We have made the terrific mistake
over the centuries
of believing that our conscience
is individual,
when in fact
it is the steady constant
that provides universal ethics
for harmonious living.

The voice of God
screams out from the depths
of the You
you currently occupy;
it demands
that You cooperate
and collaborate
with your fellow Humans
(and the other animals, as well).

We have stifled the Voice Inside for far far
too long.

If you hear a voice screaming
in your head right now,
as I do,
a voice you cannot ignore,
it is the voice of our shared consciousness
and our source
demanding to be heard.

Listen to it.

12 December 2011

The Dream That Must Be Interpreted (by Rumi, illustrations by Odilon Redon)

This place is a dream.
Only the sleeper considers it real.

Then death comes like dawn,
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was your grief.

But there's a difference with this dream.
Everything cruel and unconscious
done in the illusion of the present world,
all that does not fade away at the death-waking.

It stays,
and it must be interpreted.

All the mean laughing,
all the quick, sexual wanting,
those torn coats of Joseph,
they change into powerful wolves 
that you must face.

The retaliation that sometimes come now,
the swift, payback hit,
is just a boy's game
to what the other will be.

(this, and the above, from
artunframed )

And this groggy time we live,
this is what it's like:
                             A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived, and he dreams he's living
in another town.
                    In the dream, he doesn't remember
the town he's sleeping in his bed in.  He believes
the reality of the dream town.

The world is that kind of sleep.


The dust of many crumbled cities
settles over us like a forgetful doze.
But we are older than those cities.
                                 We began
as a mineral.  We emerged into plant life,
and into the animal state, and then into being human,
and always we have forgotten our former states,

except in early spring when we slightly recall
being green again.


                     That's how a young person turns
toward a teacher.  That's how a baby leans
toward a breast, without knowing the secret
of its desire, yet turning instinctively.

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs the dream,

and that will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are.


just a pair of shoes

I can't believe it has taken me
over a week
to post this entry . . . .

I am still around! 
But the world has been way too much with me. . . 
to all the readers who pass by this page
either purposefully
or by happen-stance,
I promise:
I'll be back to regular blogging,
and regular visits to your blogs
very very soon . . . .

About a week ago,
I was part of an organized discussion,
where the leader proposed we all contemplate the topic
of shoes.

Quite frankly, I didn't think the conversation would last all that long.
But we all quickly came to realize that one should
never underestimate
the meaning of
a shoe

This conversation was part a training session
for group leaders
in a spiritual context,
so nearly everyone considered the sacred places
where we take them off --

This seemed far too obvious to me; my mind
went to symbolic shoes,
magical shoes,
not to mention
my own shoes, too.
These are the shoes I am wearing right now:

( zappos )

They are also the shoes I was wearing on the day,
when I contemplated shoes.  As I sat there thinking about them,
I could suddenly feel them --
feel my feet inside of them,
and the ways the shoes held my feet:
comfortably, inconsequentially --
minimal support but enough
to get by.

'Tis true:
 shoes do
say a lot about me and about you.
In fact, we talked for quite some time
about the Meaning of Shoes.

I don't have a lot of shoes,
but the shoes I do have I buy for walking;
I have very few shoes
for decoration only --
I take shoes seriously, and I don't give them up
Because I wear my shoes well,
and by the time they are unredeemable,
they are so full of stories that I cannot part with them.
I have more old shoes than I have
photo albums, not to mention
more old shoes than I have
new shoes.

I am no Imelda Marcos
. . . and yeah, I have big feet.

As I sat there thinking
about shoes,
beyond my own shoes,
a collage of symbolic shoes
crossed my mind --
shoes that have trod the pages of popular,
and unpopular
culture for centures, and I was amused
and amazed by the stories
they told,
far more than the average library.

For me, when someone leaves my life
for whatever reason they might
the hardest thing they could leave behind would be
a pair of shoes --
I would have to look at them
every day,
twice a day,
until I got up the nerve
to pick them up
and get rid of them.

In their emptiness,
shoes imply stories,
some finished,
some in progress,
some yet to start.

So as I contemplated this humble
entry on shoes,
I started looking for pictures of
interesting shoes ~ ~

Well, here are a few,
only a few

Read on, and let their emptiness
fill your mind with images of where
they may have been:

( bible-archeology )

( lizciokajlo )

( )

( prior two photos from arttatler )

( indiashoes )

( americanduchess )

( newworldorderreport )

( fashionfabulous )

(above two pictures from jerzygirl45 )

. . . . . and . . .

Shoes are magic,
never forget it,
shoes can take you
you want to be.

01 December 2011

Like a Prayer: To My Mother

Hanging up the phone tonight, after talking with my ancient mother, I said to her, as I always say: "I love you."  Obligatory, yes, and yet, I know I truly mean it.  I know that if tomorrow, if I had not said it, and if I were to receive the call that told me she has finally departed this domain, I would tear myself apart for not having said those three words to her the last time we spoke on this beautiful planet.

Those three words are an obligation, and yet they are all I want to have ever said to my mother, because they summarize all of my messages to her, over the years, over the decades, over the centuries:  my messages of hope, of expectation, of disappointment, of demand, of guilt, of sadness, of hurt, of happiness, of intentions, of plans, of relationships, of joys, of men, of women, of children, of change, of desire, of despair, of impatience, of patience, of giving up, of acceptance, of life, of life, of life --- all those messages I've ever shared with my mother over my multiple lifetimes, which she has listened to so patiently, are best summed up with one message: I love you.   And so I say it, dutifully, every night when I call her before she goes to bed.  It's true.  I do.  Like a nighttime prayer, I call my mother, listen to her litany of pains and changes in her aching aging body, and then I say "I love you," and "sleep well."

I love you.  What does it truly mean to say that?  In the long term, when you've lived as long as I have, it is to say this:

You have a place in my heart.
No one else has that place --
only you--
and when I visit it, I am
with you.

The mystery and the magic lies
in this:
my heart has more places
than I can count,
and each has a different shape
                         and size
that can only be found
when its occupant is found --
In other words,
dear reader,
I did not know that place existed 
in my heart, that place
the size of you
until I met you, and then
there it was --
beating, throbbing, flexible, growing
that place in my heart 
that was made for you --
that was waiting for you --

No one else will fit there,
and it will endure,
as long as I endure--

is what it means when I say
I love you,
and I do ---

ever you are, my many
silent ethereal, virtual friends --
love you ---

read it every night
before you go to bed
                           like a prayer.   

24 November 2011

Turkeys Revolt!!! (Happy Thanksgiving)

So sorry I haven't been here for a little while --
it's a busy time of the year for me,
not simply because the holidays are starting.

It's just the nature of the business I'm in.

I was cleaning and stuffing a turkey this morning,
when I was approached by a four year old
who climbed up on a stool and looked very closely
at the beast in the sink.

"What do you think?" I asked him.

"I just want to look at the turkey," he said,
"but I don't want to eat him.  I really feel sorry for him."

I tried to come up with a good reason for eating the beast,
including the fact he was raised free range,
and fed natural foods,
there on a beautiful farm
somewhere in Upstate New York,
but I realized by the look on the child's face
that I was presenting a very convincing argument
for keeping the bird alive.

Oh, well.
I'm still eating turkey tonight.

But I did want to see how the turkeys themselves feel
about the ongoing abuse against them.
And I may have found a few answers:

hey, happy thanksgiving!

17 November 2011

On Purity & Perversity

"'t'will out! 't'will out!" (Othello  V:ii)

There is a point where the pure
meets the perverse,
and that is the place
                   of secrecy --

The place of hushed whispers
and slapped hands,
the place of shame
                                      and private penance.

The insiduous shadow of sin
creeps in
when childhood curiosity
meets adult greed, revenge
and guilt.

Come here,
little boy or gilr,
come here.
I know you just discovered
the feelings in that part of you
that no one ever talks
You can talk about it --
             you can show it
                                        to me.
and I'll show you
            what I have, too --
just as someone
once had me do,
              I'll do
                   unto you.

But keep it quiet.
No one will know.
We live in a world,
                                          after all
where we all are led to believe
that only what we see
is true.
There is a point
where the pure
meets the perverse,
and that is the place
                         of secrecy.

I woke up this morning to this story on the radio:

(click on radio for story - thanks to
NPR Morning Edition)

The recent revelations that a university football coach could abuse a child have yielded more admissions of childhood abuse then the pedophile priests ever did.  More and more men (and women) are coming forward with stories of how they, too, were abused -- by coaches, troop leaders, neighbors, uncles, friends.  Why does this incident spur this wave of admissions when pedophilic priests did not?

NPR claims that having this vice discovered in a college football locker room brings it into a more familiar realm and treads into the domain of what I would call secular manhood -- a sacred domain all its own.  In the USA in particular, the altar of the Sunday Football Game is visited far more regularly than the corner parish, and the communion of beer and chips shared with more reverence and passion than a thin tasteless wafer claiming to be the body of One Who Died For Our Sins.  Instead, the average American male opts to view the carnage of their favorite sport, again and again, sanctified and revitalized by those who live through it, week to week.

The Penn State story tears a hole into the ritual of manhood and carnage we call American Football, and this NPR story seems to suggest that, thanks to this, during those commercial breaks, more men, women, boys and girls are finding words for secrets they've hidden far too long.  In some cases, these secrets may have festered and produced self doubt and castigation, and ultimately created more victimizers, and more victims.  Seeing not only the perpetrator but also other coaches and a university president pay the price for this indiscretion helps the victim see that they were indeed a victim, and that society will sympathize with them.  There is something terrifically refreshing about this, because once a victim can identify his own victimhood, and realize that those who victimized them were indeed wrong, then that individual can take positive steps down the path of healing.

Meanwhile, as the NPR story says, there was little to no retribution in the church.  Pedophile priests were "outed" and for a day or two, they were the talk of the town, but then they were shuffled back behind the sacred veil of secrecy and silence.  Some returned to active congregations.  Some may have been defrocked, but no charges were filed.  Most recently, the Vatican initiated liturgical reforms that some argue reinstate language that takes steps back towards obscuring what is happening in the mass.  Language itself can be a barrier to hide behind: cryptic language makes true understanding and personal interpretation less possible for the average church goer, and restores the power of translation and interpretation to the priests, thus diverting attention away from those nasty little stories about priests and altar boys and replacing it with a reverence for the priest's specialized access to sacred knowledge.

~ ~

( christmasideas )

Meanwhile, a wounding contradiction festers.

At the core of Christianity is the fetishization of innocence
and purity :  the return of the child who can save
the world.  The story
that is so adored
and repeated because it is adored
looks to the Innocent - to a Child - for redemption.

the Christmas story is a beautiful vision,
for only in our children can we find
our better selves.

So why must we maintain this secret place where, even as the innocent is adored,
it can be defiled?  If the great men of football can man up enough to punish those who hurt our children
then why can't the Church?
So much healing could begin, if the cycle of abuse
in that oldest of abusive institutions in the world could be broken.  Both abusers and abused (many of whom may be one in the same person) would benefit from a public confession and atonement.

with every new story of abuse that we learn of,
the finger points back to the abuses that have yet to be punished.
The truth will out, for
the secret is tired of being kept --
Every secret ultimately longs
to be told, and

purity is demanding its time again

11 November 2011

11/11/11, reprise

I have republished one other 
of my earlier entries,
and today I want to do that again.

This one was actually originally written
on 10/6/10,
I think,
but it was written about today,
and I actually had a fantasy when I wrote it,
and still harbor that fantasy,
that it would inspire the world.

Well, maybe not the world,
but maybe you.

Here goes:

So, as we all may know,
there's a growing community of folks
who are a bit worried
about the date
Somethin' about
the Mayans,
some kind of planetary alignment.

Well, I had a revelation
today, and
it goes like this:

That's not really the date to watch
out for.

Well, ok, so it's true;  the evidence
(if you accept that kind of evidence as evidence)
does suggest
something major,
ranging from
major paradigmatic shift
ice age
metaphysical awakening
alien encounter
total destruction


fill in the blank

on 12/21/2012.
somy35 )

But I had a vision today,
and it was
that the really interesting
temporal event 
will be:

11:11 on 11/11/11

I think it could be
a.m. or p.m.

you choose.

~ ~ ~


I would propose that

11:11 on 11/11/11

should be declared

the deadline time

for the one-ness,

and if we meet that deadline,
and stay in a state
of oneness
until 12/21/2012,

we'll pass whatever

judgement day test

God has in store for us



Get it?

You see,

the deal is this:


by some weird



we are facing Armageddon,

then hey,

what the heck?

Would it really hurt us to try,

for a little over a year

to just be at peace,

to just love each other.

This Is My Request,
My Dare,
To The World:

If everyone would meet that deadline:

11:11 on 11/11/11

a.m.  or p.m.,

you choose,

and then

beginning on that date,



stop all the hate.

Stop all the fighting.

Stop all the bickering.

Stop all the competition,

and hating,

and hurting,

and murdering,

and just start loving,

loving people


you never thought you could love.

Find a place in your heart

where you can see

the thing that makes those people
who anger you, or have hurt you,
or who you don't understand


those people,

find the thing that makes them


and love them until


Well, actually:
 let's say
the danger zone for
a real,

that sounds good --
those solstices 
can take awhile,
especially when they involve
a realignment
of the Earth's
magnetic fields.

So, given that,
if we get through
and we're still here
and the sun
is still shining
and Santa Claus comes
and brings you
all the presents you asked for,
well then,
if we're still here after
and we've loved for a year,
and we've communicated honestly for
a whole year
and we've given to the poor for
a whole year
and we've forgiven all our debtors
for a year
and our debtors have forgiven us
for a year
and we've built up Iraq's infrastructure
for a whole year
and gone to tea with the Taliban
for a whole year
and the Taliban has gone to tea
with us
for a whole year

So, let's say
we do all that for
a little over a measly year,
and we get past the 
end of the Mayan Calendar
with no Apocolypse,
no voice from the heavens,
no planetary destruction,

why then,
if that year or so of loving
each other really proved
to be a waste of our time
we can start hating each other again,
and go back to fighting each other again.

That's the deal.

That's the deadline.

11:11 on 11/11/11

begin the one-ness