I am admittedly hesitant to post this piece, however, after sharing it with a good friend we discussed how this is precisely the kind of hurt that many women are working to heal at the moment and important it is to name it. I see it as a symptom of the larger divine feminine healing that is so desperately (and predominantly) needed in today's world (for both men and women and society as a whole). So I share this with the hope that it can help awaken us to this deeper healing:
I am sorry for misunderstanding and mistreating you. Growing up I heard judgments about you and I felt I needed to be ashamed of and hide you. I felt you were a dark secret, forbiddingly loved, and subversive to my good and true being. I did not recognize examples of wholesome sexuality, people who stood as burning bushes, pure in their virulence, respectful in their sensual love. I did not understand advice, urgings to treat my body with reverence, to honor and respect you and nurture and protect you like one would a beloved sapling or sprout. Instead I heard this advice as directions to repress you and deny you, which at times I did and other times I raged against in unhealthy ways. And so I never learned how to be with you in a healthy way.
I trampled on you in my play. I fed you the polluted soil. I blocked you from the sunlight. My own unconsciousness allowed me into partnerships that did not nurture of care for you or did not allow me to fully appreciate and absorb the nurturing that was there. I did not ask these partners to be mindful of you or even know that I should. I did not ask because I did not know that I needed to. The potential for this care was there in some cases, but unrealized because I was so disconnected from you, from being with you, in a healthy way. And eventually this unconsciousness grew into self-hatred and I grew to abuse you. I feel this hurt my core. I feel your pain that I caused.
I recognize that society reinforces this pain and there are so many with this pain. My heart goes out to us all as we face this and work towards healing.
I have learned that I need to respect and honor you; to feel a deep burning "rightness" with you. Help me learn how to do this. Please give me the insight and the words to help advocate for you and grow in healthy relationship with you. Please forgive the mistakes I have made and will make as I learn. Speak to me of your needs and how I can lovingly meet them. I honor you as a significant part of my being. I await the true unfolding of our right relationship and all of the potential that is held there.
With love, gratitude and a hopeful sorrow,
A major current life theme for me is centered around the importance of creativity during a time where there seems to be so many problems facing us as a people. We have the wild and inspirational intelligence to create our way out of these seeming stalemates, road blocks, and even our imprisonment in a system that is failing. However, this creativity seems blocked. I feel it in myself. Sometimes it is just a sense of hopelessness that one small person can't do much of anything in the face of EVERYTHING! But I know deep down that isn't true. The Dalai Lama said "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." And if you are part of a flock of mosquitoes - wow!
What I have started to see as a huge creative block is our own self-criticism. Our comparison of ourselves to others, our wishing we were something more, because "then I could really do something." Insecurity is not something often openly spoken of in our culture and it is a kind of silent sword at the throat of so many. A sword that is unfortunately made stronger by our judgement of each other. I feel this judgement in myself when I find myself get angry over conspicuous consumption or unconsciousness about what is happening in the world. But this kind of "whose doing right and whose doing wrong" or "who is better than whom" is what got us into this mess in the first place...to get out we need to change our thinking.
Climbing Poetree uses their strong, beautiful and penetratingly insightful voices to illustrate this human frailty in their first poem at the Bioneers conference. I hope will give you not just a smile, but hope to you as well - I know it did to me. Accepting and connecting to nature and accepting and connecting to MY true nature...one and the same...and the beginning of a new way of thinking and being in the world - beyond judgement. "Effort give way to existence." Now THAT inspires a creativity worthy of Creation...
Joanna Macy, a wise elder, and Anya Young, a wise youth, weave together a beautiful interview that outlines to me what this unfolding really is. This is the eloquence that streams straight from Grace. And it is the result of 14 billion years of evolution...a gift (as well a burden...this gift comes with its own weight...but also deeper wealth) from all of our ancestors as Joanna so beautifully says.
Listen to this inspiring interview HERE.
what if procreation was actually FOR CREATION?
not just and act of replication
or an accident of copulation
what if we taught our children about their real role
as stewards and deep wild lovers
of the wonders of this earth;
as caregivers who actually give
more than they take;
as dreamers who witness and imagine
for the earth
in a way that makes it groan with pleasure
and beg to create more for us
“oh please, let me create for you one more time
so I can hear your sweet whispers of exquisite love”
instead, we lock our children away
with our fear our guilt our shame
our perfectionism our duty our unimagination
our boredom our laziness our hopelessness
our disconnection our pathological consumerism
our passive acceptance
we provide them with an inheritance of unconsciousness
and a life sentence of servitude
to the very thing that is killing us
this hurts so deep, it takes the breath away
and yet, in their voices, their unclouded eyes
there is something that rings like a freedom bell
that is both a reminder and a potential all in one
when will we listen to this reminder?
when will our most sacred act of creation
become an act
it will happen when we befriend death
when we can feel the totality
of our collective pain
and still dance under the stars
with awe and wonder
it will happen when we remember that
true joy comes from doing those
hard but necessary things
that we will never see the effects of
and that may not even be enough
but whose passion to be done
beats in our heart, pants in our breath
and sweats in our palms
when we think of the alternative
it will happen when we stand our ground
and face the beast our generations have created;
when we stop running
and fling ourselves into the lions den;
when as we are pulled apart
flesh, bone, blood, spirit
we realize in true shock and awe
that we are actually making room
for the REAL act of creation
we are making room for real love beyond co-dependence
a love that is co-creative
a love living deep in the womb of the earth
deep in the cave of our heart
waiting to be born
* Original poem by Summer Starr, July 2015
"Lovers cannot make their moments of oceanic oneness happen. They can, however, freely choose to assume an inner stance that offers the least resistance to being overtaken yet one more time by the graced event of oceanic oneness in the love that sustains them day by day. A poet cannot make poetry happen. But a poet can freely choose to assume the inner stance that offers the least resistance to the graced event of poetry pouring out onto the blank page. Those committed to healing cannot make healing happen. But they can freely choose to asume the inner stance that offers the least resistance in which the gift of healing occurs."
-- From James Finley's writing titled "Turning to Thomas Merton As Our Guide in Contemplative Living" as part of the work celebrating his centennial "We Are Already One."
On the 5th of July I posted a poem titled "Mother's Fury". I've been dealing with a lot of anger and pain in myself over the environmental changes I am seeing and the unconsciousness of myself and so much of our society over this issue. It feels like I have been trained to act and think in a way that now opposes the fabric of my being as I emerge in my unfolding process. This frustration has left me feeling like my heart is closing and I am becoming bitter and judgmental of myself and others. So this morning's period of contemplation was centered around a prayer for help with this issue and this poem is the result. Enjoy.
the real wrath of God
is the simple laws of nature;
what goes up
must come down
for every action
there is an equal and opposite reaction;
but if you sit and deeply listen
to the heart of the world
to the hustle and bustle of nature
you'll hear within it a larger heartbeat -
the sound of creation -
and there is an unmistakable love there
a bounty, a ridiculous abundance
of wonder, mystery and potential;
let this take your breath away
and it is this heart that breaks a little
every time her children go extinct
her landscape goes bare
her waters become polluted;
but mostly she weeps for a children
who have gone astray
in deed and purpose
this heart has hope
and directs us
if we listen
let today be a prayer
for deeper listening
and our collective anger and grief
for greater love
* Original poem by Summer Starr, July 2015
I wrote the following piece for the Stillpoint at Beckside community, a Christian Contemplative Center, to explain why I believe the contemplative path is needed in today's world. For those of you who are a bit uncomfortable with the Christian vernacular, know that part of my work is to understand it as a vernacular and see to the validity of the true powerful practices within that tradition. To me, the contemplative path is such an important practice in the Christian tradition because it is transformational. It is not simply a way of worship, but it is a way of changing one's self through deep contemplation of the Divine. I leave it to you to define what the Divine is to you. For some it is the Tao, for others it is the beauty of the natural laws of the universe, still others it is God or Gods in many forms. What ever that is for you, somehow the deep contemplation that leads to relationship opens a window to transformation within us. I say it changes our mind and our soul, but you may say psyche. What ever interpretations we each have, the universal truth is that delving more deeply into the mystery of the universe changes us!
To me, the contemplative path is one of learning to connect with and delve more deeply into a realization of the divine presence in each moment. By doing so we change ourselves. We experience new aspects of ourselves in divine relationship that are revealing in sometimes disturbing ways, but in ways that are also ripe with potential for a greater reconciliation into divine wholeness. It is a path towards wholeness through deep connection to All-That-Is.
This is the contemplative PATH. But what does this mean when we look at the contemplative as a STANCE in the world? How do we take this process of deep-connection-leading-to-wholeness into the world?
To me, this is an arrow pointing straight to ecospirituality. To me, the genesis story is about our break with the natural world as much as it is with God. To me, all of the strife that we see in human history is caused by our not fulfilling our role as stewards for this earth, which includes being stewards for each other. With the eminence of ecological change so great that we can't and don't want to begin to comprehend it, now more than ever we need to, as a human race, grow up into adulthood and finally take on this role of stewardship.
And I believe that the contemplative path provides tools that allow us to do this. What stands between ourselves and our true role on this planet is our own disconnection from divine creation and the divine creator as one and the same. This disconnection and the resulting wounds are exactly what the contemplative path works on in its practice to restore wholeness through deep relationship with the mystery.
The contemplative path also supports us in creating a heart and body connection to divine purpose in a way that takes our role as stewards out of the “just another thing to do on my list of things to do” and into a “I am on fire with my love for creation, how does this inspiration overflow into action?” We have to change ourselves, our priorities, our attitudes, before we are ready to change the world.
It is my belief that dealing with climate change and the ecological disaster that is upon us will require us to do some of the deepest personal and collective spiritual work of human history. And the contemplative path can be a great tool for this if we remember the end goal goes beyond personal salvation to creating that heaven on earth.
"A civilization is a community of beings united in a common aim of creating the beautiful"
I'm reading this little 1982 publication by Matthew Fox, theologian, and Brian Swimme, physicist, and wanted to share some of the opening and very inspiring words:
"Though cultural chaos dominates the global situation of our time, the vision of what is to come can gather us into the work of creation in the midst of collapse and confusion. The chaotic fragmentation that surrounds the globe represents the confusion that accompanies every great birthing hour. The world quails with the fear of labor, and it is the task of our generation to act as midwife to this great birthing, to assist in the cosmological movement itself by creating those forms of life and being that will usher in the era of the global civilization."
last night I fell asleep
to the bomb blasts
and my neighbors
this morning we awoke to
a different type of fireworks
- the forest kind
the sky looks angry
and the wind whips
something in me trembles
a taste of what's to come?
this independence day
we realize we are
not so independent
as our green grass
a couple of months early
and our water supply dips
to unprecedented lows
my heart cries for mercy as we prepare
for the full wrath of God
when we will all turn in anguish
"mother why have you forsaken us?"
but it is we who abandoned her
in search of our childish dreams of
a sugar-coated, gun-powder-laced freedom
that will never come
*Original poem by Summer Starr, July 2015
the earth that birthed you
the process of change
that unfolds so beautifully
Love the divine creator
who speaks through creation
telling a story of love
Fall in love with the divine story
and make it your own
live closer to it
open fully to it
drop your defenses and disguises around it
and let it change you
And let it change the world
what has been emptied
shall be made full
through spirit (in you)
and through divinely inspired effort (in the world)
*Original poem by Summer Starr, July 2015.
Wild Lotus Living is me, Summer Starr. Here I share my personal musings and resources on my own path of unfolding