Rowing Through the Rot

He paddled, day after day and night after night. Looking into the mirror of experience. Looking for that truth. That essence of his being that seemed to be missing forever.
Some would call it the Rot. Some would call it the “dark night of the soul.” The dark swamp of despair that he could not get out of. The paddler is like the Grim Reaper coming forth from Death to carry you across the Hades, into the underworld, where you will sit – wondering why you can’t really speak to anyone. Where you feel like you look around and every one seems happy and joyful and you just are not a part of that, while also knowing you are a part of everything at the same time.  Knowing death is imminent, you infinite, and human all at the same time. The feeling of now-ness, of nothingness. Of wanting to connect with your true self yet manipulate the tides of nature and her curses all at the same time. Using your gifts of magic to speak wisdom to the ages, yet lost at sea, alone, wanting to finally reach that next tree, but the water of consciousness just keeps running forever, knowing that you will never quite get there without a fellow paddler at the bow. Yet you keep rowing along, the lone traveler, thinking “If I just try this” or “If I just did this correctly” I would finally get there and I would be whole again. I have bad news for you – the water keeps going and from the illusions of trees there is just more water. You need not row forever, because, my dear, you have not yet learned to just rest in the stroke. You’ll see – something that used to be essential now Rots away, a compositing of the muck you could say, into the very White-Hot heart of Our Being.

The Woman Warrior

Ever feel like a book comes to you at the perfect time, describing the exact emotion you have been wishing to capture for so long?
We all know the feeling, and I’m an addict. I confess I have a vice for getting used books each time I pass a Little Free Library or find a free or cheap book bargain shelf. All of them spoke to me in a title or a passage. Most of them now sitting on my shelf, waiting to cozy up with me at a cafe, couch or park and be devoured for hours. It’s real.
When I went to NYC last week, I found The Woman Warrior at a vintage clothing shop where nothing I tried on seemed to fit quite right. I put on a nice poolside cover-up thinking Hey, this will motivate me to swim and get in shape this summer. A woman waiting in line told me I “looked like a lady of leisure.” I had just gotten off from my teaching job for the summer. My mother, just retired, after 30 years.  Yet, the passage I picked up out of this book was about work, as the narrator is talking to her mother about her life after immigration:
“See what I mean? I have worked too much. Human beings don’t work like this in China. Time goes slower there. Here we have to hurry, feed the hungry children before we’re too old to work. I feel like a mother cat hunting for its kittens. She has to find them fast because in a few hours she will forget how to count or that she had any kittens at all. I can’t sleep in this country because it doesn’t shut down for the night. Factories, canaries, restaurants — always somebody somewhere working through the night. It never gets done all at once here. Time was different in China. One year lasted as long as my total time here; one evening so long, you could visit your women friends, drink tea, and play cards at each house, and it would still be twilight. It even got boring, nothing to do but fan ourselves. Here midnight comes at the floor’s not swept, the ironing’s not ready, the money’s not made. I would still be young if we lived in China.”
I have been feeling this for the past two years, but really lately, trying to explain to others how deeply my friendships, relationships, and experiences unfolded when living in rural China. How expansive life felt, and yet bitter at the same time. I couldn’t seem to quite touch that again in the US. Only a few friends stuck around enough to get “bored,” which usually left us singing, dancing or sometimes sleepy.
At times, I feel blocked between the knowingness of “time” and its natural flow, and a culture where acquiring more money, more material items, and less time is bounded towards our eventual death. Not enough for this, not enough for that. Everyone moving about with deep seeds of unworthiness in the lack of our “productivity.”
The stars have it out for us as well. We are all healing the mother wound and our relationship between our focus on the masculine essence of linear time and the feminine co-creative universe. Despite a messy election cycle, there has been a tidal wave pop culture art of women in the past year and few months – the Women’s March, the Handmaid’s Tale, Beyonce’s photos, Hidden Figures, Moana, Wonder Woman, etc – ya know what I’m saying. The list goes on.
I see the fruits of the long evenings in my friendships bearing gifts to the world.
One of my closest friends from China just made a return, and looking at her pictures reminds me of this feeling.
Another friend has started her own clothing business, another will deepen her passion for teaching and the healing arts in grad school. Another, falling in love again like it’s the first time.
I wonder if those changes came about in those long evenings – movements we took to pause, sit, share our souls, and simply be.
Our modern, culture does not allow for this. Political action wants you to think otherwise, but see what happens when you stop living in resistance, and rather in receptivity.
For the next week, I challenge you to sit with a friend as if time would never end.
Hold that space in your heart and see what change comes about.
– Blessings


\\\ Entrance \\\
“Pittsburgh is the only city with an entrance.”
“It’s a Mayan portal”
“And you do you know that?”
Look at the wooden coasters at Kennywood
All the deaths in ’68
A microburst killed someone on the whip
In a city of mountains
Who thought a tornado could
Take a life
In a place where the trill of it
Is an upside wheel spinning us
To the brink of death
For our own amusement
Just to remind us how we’re still alive

Civilization Concept

\\\ Civilization Concept \\\

I am here in awe of my own humility
In gratitude of what remains
Holy supper, simple flame
I have known you for only so long
Yet you have been here my whole life
From boundaries of this house, not solid
I found doing nothing is doing something
Oh, oh, so much more than something
Rather, the process of becoming everything
The lights of autumn they bow to you
And fill your cup
But now is the time for mine to fill thine
To undercut and rewind
Ages of second-guessing
Who was the one to come, to save us all
Rather known, inside of us
Then he spoke about glory
About Hallelujah
But who are we?
We are no bodies of belonging
I sat, forsaking those
Given names
Weighing heavy on my heart
You know them well perhaps, after I
Left to become a local celebrity
Returned to nothing more than
flattened trash, blackened asphalt
roadkill, Saturday shopping sprees
Shreds of nothing
Why such then do I live
“I found my own self-worth when switching to Geiko. Namaste”
And suddenly the rage of 3 armies
from a heart so small
It is not true.
It is not true.
It is not true.
To denounce the church of a
    mighty capitalist is one thing
To leave him is another
When still need your money
   if I am
To walk on solid ground
But what then, if the ground
never invited me to remain
  if I have perhaps
always been able to float?
  Fly, even?
What then do I make of
 your eyes
     your pyramid
          your martyrs
     Now I know
You only told us that to
     Justify your
    civilization concept
Comprised of indentured servants
     and African slaves
That never agreed to build
         your holy homes
From the roots of sacred ground
Of course, the wanderer asks
  what if we had only allowed
their children to
Away from silk submerged greed
   In what light then
would we write
   our creed?
One could only hope a true beginning
I need the Atom for my Eve
A molecule to send us off
on some trusted noble steed

Found you in the woods

I found myself lost again in
your words, in your embrace on
the rock

We watched a child splashing through the

Both of us, wanting to be present – but what was missing?

For me – the absence of a child between our sevles

How I wanted a part of you to fill me again –
your energy to sink into me, your breezy
cloud of healing, as my hips opened
and you declared me whole

But you never stayed you always
had to leave, somewhere better to be, I guess,
I craved to hold you again, admit you are my meant to be,
a powerful master, and held beneath you I wonder –
Why did I choose this life?

We only see the subconscious,
We can never really be free from
a society of laws, yet you and I are divine
creation, in four