Poem – This Way Before

I have been down this path before
that empty silent road leading
nowhere and everywhere, the cold
wind, the bare trees, and the sky
merging with the earth –

where does it end
and where does it go?

I have been in that state
of disconnect, beyond lost,
detached from people, from
reality, from myself, from home –

that place we come from
and look to for direction.

I looked, and looked everywhere,
out there, in the distance, to the sky
with anger and confusion, to others –

until I finally found the answer
here, starting with my feet touching
the dirt, and in each leaf and in
each animal gracing the earth.

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Signs, Direction, and Another Room

The lead-up to decisions, where the result impacts many people and is one of those moments where life changes direction, and the person years from now may not recognize the person now, is the most gut-wrenching moment swirling in self-doubt, a search for reasons, and a forced self-reflection. So much responsibility that borders on a burden that can turn into anxiety if we let the outcome consume our being. Will time allow the mind and heart to return to a normal and balanced state? Or is this something that will be carried for the rest of this life?

The burden weighs heavily, and after so many years in this position, the mind is tired and the frequent headaches now become signs that a change is needed. That it is time to seek out and find a new direction, a new path, and push ahead through new challenges, furthering the distance and time from previous chapters.

Is it too much to ask for a new field to live this life upon? May I start over with the experiences but lose the burden?

I stand on the corner beneath the summer sun and there are cars passing slowly by. Windows are rolled down and music plays from a large truck and like the lyrics of country music, I wallow in despair at the state I find myself in. This is not what I wanted, but in one sense I allowed this to happen, but I have come so far that I have lost some of the drive and push from the earlier version of myself. So I continue to stand here on the corner and watch others pass by on their way to appointments, home, loved ones, or the bar down the road. Any of these destinations or purposes is better than just standing here as time is not kind to those who waste precious minutes, but I am afraid, scared, very comfortable in this position and when I look over the cliff, I no longer feel the excitement of childhood, but instead an intense fear and with some thought I do not have faith in myself.

Where did I go wrong? What moment in this life changed direction to such an extreme that in many ways I do not recognize that person, but that version has become the light I look up to, the person on the pedestal in the middle of grand and empty room with many doors and windows, that I find myself unable to open. No matter what other color I dream for the room, it returns to white, to the same state as when I awoke here. The subconscious knows the comfort state and will override the mind when it begins to see glimpses of a new direction.

How can I break this cycle? How can I awake in another room?

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Poem – Fort Snelling

Another poem from the “Joline” series.


(1)

We walked to the river
beneath the towering cement bridge.

A solitary barge moved with
grace and silence.

Our voices were not silent.

Djarum smoke filled the space
between us as we took turns

speaking and telling stories
releasing pent-up anger.

I felt your direction was directionless
you felt I was not happy with you.

The fragile state of mind we brought
fractured, exposing the vulnerabilities

and baggage weighing and influencing
our thoughts and actions.

(2)

Who was right?
Who was wrong?

Pride became the wounds
opening before our eyes

and that road we foolishly
set to walk together, vanished.


Fort Snelling, Mendota Bridge

Fort Snelling, Mendota Bridge

On Paths

The following is the introduction I wrote for the Spring 2014 issue of Stone Path Review.


Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of Stone Path Review. Our primary mission is to present art that delves into life and path in life, the route and direction we take, and the struggle and triumph we all endure. The path is often dark before the full light emerges.

Where we are going and what tomorrow will look like is rarely known today. Sometimes tomorrow arrives, and we wonder how did I get here. There are many variables and external influences pushing and pulling against you. These directly affect what constitutes that path, and what tomorrow will contain.

That path, that thread, is often dark. Comprised of a myriad of emotions it saturates the mind, filling the soul, and pushes us to breaking points that we are unaware of. When we get through the experience, what happens next is essential in determining where this leads, as the path we are on is never static. It is constantly changing in response to our state of being, the environment we are within, and how we respond to that environment.

Across the distance, from where I sit in a rocking chair, the space is full with trees, hills, small valleys, and marshland. I tell myself I can touch the sun. I convince myself there is no distance and there is no time. Such is the path I attempt to define while mired in the daily chaos I struggle to avoid.

The path we travel is toward something. It can be anything we seek to attain or obtain from this limited time we have chosen. Here I call this the source, or a bright light. Some schools of thought call this enlightenment or salvation. The end goal seeks to be the culmination of our experiences and a reason for what we have endured. It is a light in the distance, where no straight path or direct route exists, but it shines regardless.

Each day filled with doubt, loneliness, or a sense of loss or purpose. The path is stormy and there never seems to be enough time to reach the source before the sun disappears and the day is over. And this begins again the next day as we continue to navigate that path – sometimes not realizing the answers we are looking for have quietly entered our mind and our being.

Even when we see the light and feel good about the direction there are storms building. Perhaps we do not believe the goodness, even in small doses, a lotus growing in middle of a burned field. There seems to be something hiding and lurking in the background. While it is simple to look the other way and ignore what is still an opportunity, these challenges further the growing experience building the person you are now and will become shortly, as each second passes.

What is most important is how we respond and react to each moment and what we want from this limited time – this determines the shape and direction of our path.

There is goodness and light beyond the dark. There is something more beyond what we see now and we can make it through knowing this. The more we experience gives more options as we choose pieces to keep in building the person within and the path to follow. The more positive the path becomes, the more positive the impact on people and nature around us.

Poem – Shift in Energy Patterns

We survived the 21st and made it to northern MN, to be rewarded with Nature’s majesty.  Photos will be posted later of the sunset of the winter solstice and the guardian Orion watching over us.


We are still here
having survived the end of this
physical place.

Did I learn anything from
this warning issued across
thousands of years, cultures, and space?

We spend the evening free of clouds
the first day of a new calendar
beneath the winter solstice
baring its black sky
a thin line where it meets the
black sea and we know it is there
from the half moon, an orange/lemon
pie and the luminous Cassiopeian queen
watching over Orion, Venus, and Mars.

THe night black as the apocalyptic
words we escape from, hiding the truth
fully veiled within conspiracies, interpretation, and fear.

We emerged on the other side.

But who are we now?
Are we different people,
or different spirits, energy?
If this was a transition
what does the new space look like?
Where is the map for us to follow?
And if we have been dropped in the
middle of an un-cultivated field
what is the first task to complete?

Go within.

The path through the field, the journey
through this new age, a new period of time,
is ingrained in our fingertips.

This field I was dropped into
crosses a sea with rays
of light riding their back
to the shoreline.

Winter smoke rises as the
cold sea burns
a mystical fire free of
boundaries, cultures, thoughts,
ideals – primal, the result
of the suns power to change
the landscape and live
harmoniously with the sea.

A moment passes to gauge the direction
as the horizon is shifting with
seemingly no pattern and the colors –
I have never witnessed a palette born
from the first quantum seconds
of the universe.

Today she bares all in celebration
of a shift in the energy we live within.

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