Look where your feet are planted, and bloom where you are.
Look where your feet are planted, and bloom where you are.
(Reposted photo by unknown photographer and words by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
We Were Made For These Times
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.
We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.
You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
Know that joy is rarer, more beautiful and more difficult than sadness. Once you make this all important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.
I’ve been saying Fuck fear! to everyone today, especially myself. The surrealistic results of last night’s election were shocking and fostered images of increased violence, economic disparity, disenfranchisement, senseless cruelty and suffering in our country and beyond our imaginary borders…yet while out with our dog, I marveled at the stars sparkling as they have and will for eons.
So many compassionate people with social and historical understanding are scared, yet fear is how slave owners and terrorists, bullies and rapists, gangs and militias have gained and maintained entirely too much privilege for too long. Fear paralyzes. Fear wraps us in numbing behavior, PTSD and isolation. I’ve spent too much of my life focused on moving out of fear to embrace it now because our young nation is struggling with issues of entitlement and humanism; the ideals of capitalism and democracy; the definitions of freedom and propaganda. Fear locks the brain in a simplified fight or flight state rather than perceiving others through the complex lens of empathy and layered perspectives.
Fear, like anxiety, is a mighty imaginative force. If I let it root I’ll be paralyzed in ways I’ll be too blinded to even see, so fuck fear. We rise above bad circumstances and heal through love and connection so let’s make our way to 2020 as intact as we can as a nation, as connected as we can with our entire world and with as much deep listening, caring and intelligence as we can offer one another.
May all be happy, safe, healthy and at peace.
I’ve never understood the arrogance peculiar to certain people or cultures that denounce other species as lesser because homo sapiens “are the only ones who can make tools, speak, or have emotional bonds, consciousness, problem-solving skills, complex thoughts” and the like.
Most of these assumptions have already been debunked, albeit one species at a time, one tool expanding our limited sensory ability at a time.
However, we know so few, if any, absolutes about ourselves–individually or collectively–so little about existence, potential, unraveling, or our tangled-unconscious reactions and impulses, yet too many claim knowledge about other species’ limitations that can’t possibly be known, especially when we lack the sensory means of even observing what other species can or can not do.
Since we can’t fully inhabit another, we are left with our limited knowledge of ourselves and those we can most closely empathize with. The rest is often projection.
So who knew mice could sing? Not a squeak, but frequencies beyond human hearing that change to match other mice and woo the females. Imagine Elvis’ little hip grind if he’d been a Mus musculus. (More about singing mice)
(photo by TLB)
Possibility of Hands
I hold your hand
palm up, lace your
fingers with mine,
stretch the palm wide
so my thumbs can press
tight muscles into pools
of softened warmth;
open, your hand could
slap a child’s face,
brush away crumbs,
press the sternum for
shape the sides of
a porcelain bowl
while fingers curved could
pull a trigger—crosshair
parting the bridge between
eyes, press rounded keys to
blow jazz through
brass, suture severed
flesh with catgut and needle—
within this skin
no purpose but life.
Thank you to the editors of Poets for Peace and http://lit.carayanpress.com for publishing this poem.
Dark in Light
Wanted to show you the moon
but cruised off the wrong ramp
and wound up in a war zone
where there is no curfew:
men standing solo in the middle of the street
or huddled, talking beneath burned-out lamps;
wanted to show you the soccer moon
but drove down darkened roads with bars
enclosing windows and doors,
barbed wire spiraling a hardware
store and nursery—planks and daisies
out of reach;
wanted you to count the seas
across that haloed orb
but drove alone
through neighborhoods as treeless
as that dog-song moon;
beat-up cars driven
beyond unmarked borders
pulled over by uniforms
with clubs and guns,
jagged tension cutting concrete air;
I want to know who
declared this war of Americans
children peer from sheeted windows,
women hide behind hollow doors,
a man looks up from an empty street,
each of us equal
distance from the sun’s reflective sphere.
Thank you to the editors of Something Like Homesickness and Literary Well/Pozo Literario for, respectively, printing and then reprinting this poem.