The winter sky holds
the empty field
waiting for the
to fall with silence
and with peace.
Old growth trees line a worn path cut from loggers decades before.
The floor is covered with fallen needles and moss.
A single white birch exists within the pine trees and glows no matter the time of day.
Red squirrels run up tree trunks and jump to the next branch.
If this is a dream, if this is a reality that is both here and not here, I have found the perfect place. I have perfected the fields I wish to walk within the rest of this life.
But these moments are fleeting and pass like seeds on the easterly wind, carried for distances beyond what we can see, into the realms of the mind and the buried experiences.
How do we unearth and keep alive the existence where we are most happy, where suffering is kept to a minimum?
The light reaches over the tree tops and the forest is flooded with white pulsating energy as I close my eyes and walk into the open arms.
After the smoke clears and unnatural sounds dissipate
the valley, mountains, and river return.
The mountain shadow continues the journey started millions of years before
and the river moves animals and earth further downstream to fertile
lands and eventually to the delta spreading its fingers for miles with
long threads reaching into the sea.
For a moment the clouds pause as birds swarm from the forest
and overtake the sky filled with defined shapes alternating
from grey to pink as the sun has completed another day and makes
its way to the horizon before one last wink says goodnight.
Beyond the clouds there is hope of peace.
Thinking back on the past
I see the signs and guides
more clearly and with more
openness than at the time.
Thinking about where I am now
I plan what future I want,
the reach of my sphere of influence
and the morals I must exhibit.
What I question are the words
thrown to the wind by others,
by shamans and preachers.
By those speaking of truth,
another way to live, of
supposed lies, our blindness
while they pilfer our pockets
and exist in the same state.
What matters most are words and actions
of respect, peace, and unity to those
we love, know, and hold and those
we have never met here.
What matters most are the daily choices
made for ourselves and those around us.
An early morning walk through a November-drenched park with Leroy, Alaskan coffee, and music. As the wind blew hard off the lake, yet the pace was slow and purposeful, I chose “Lost in the Chambers of the Sea”, by Startle the Heavens (Ben Leopard).
Starting off brisk and cloudy, we watched thousands of ducks float upon the water and eat. Hiking through the trees and along another lake, we left the city behind and let nature cradle our spirits and heal our minds. Looking for peace, we found the rising light and a path through the forest.
I looked to the sunset.
I saw your face in the
orange tinged clouds and
now I know what to do.
In the silence I watch the dog
watching with wonder the dragonfly.
Perched on the chair back
translucent wings and red body
conjure images of life before life
when we were single-celled organisms.
I swim the vast sea for days
seeking something I cannot name.
Fueled by hope for tomorrow
to be better than today.
What demons did you finally succumb to?
Did you give so much to the world, to people, that there was nothing left for yourself?
May you finally rest in peace and look down upon the earth and see the tears and hear the laughter and voices speak of the impact you had on all of us.
I tend to be a private person when it comes to political, economic, and social issues, but the state of the world now is too much to keep inside, to keep from spilling like blood into sands. As a person and part of humanity, with a connection to each living being, I feel sadness and loss when tragedy befalls innocent people. Regardless of a state of war, what sense, what purpose is there to take the lives of women, children, and men as passengers on a plane? What purpose is there to take the life of four children playing on a beach?
These wars have been raging for thousands and thousands of years, and peace or a truce are nowhere to be seen. No matter the cost, the lives lost, any misguided direction, any god complex, wars continue to roll through communities, cities, countries, and take on a life of their own. The war takes over the people and grows its own purpose and this monster has no care, has no feelings or empathy for those that get in the way. In many ways it becomes the sum of each person involved in starting the machine and we lose any chance of controlling or stopping what we have created, what is essentially an extension of our self.
Wars… a battle for power, ideology, resources, respect, and survival. If the causes are addressed before they become a battle cry, can we prevent the war? At the end of day, what do we really want? Safety, food, water, opportunities for us and children, and respect. I believe something. You believe something. As long as it does not interfere with the basic needs of others, has a moral framework, I have no issues and have respect for your beliefs. Wars over religious beliefs, and those demeaning to others, make no sense. If your deity is loving and caring, died for you, do you really think it makes sense to kill over an interpretation of words, arbitrary boundaries, or the thought “my belief is better than yours”? That seems to fly in the face of what you think you are fighting for. Either communities need step up or governments need to step down to find a balance between the people’s basic needs and the government providing a framework for those needs.
Retaliation to an act causes a reaction to the retaliation, and each response escalates. It only ends when nothing is left and neither side “wins”. We will throw out words of peace, balance, and truce. But that will not come about until we understand the people’s needs, the root cause, and sometimes have to swallow pride in the short-term to find a solution for the long-term, to find stability, to find a balance between people, communities, and governments.
There will always be those who want more, how are not satisfied, and will take from others. If the community as a whole is in peace and working together, we can deal we these situations before they become a local and then global war.
There will be no children left to pick up the pieces of a shattered world and move forward, to rebuild, to come together.
Poem – The War-Child’s Innocence
Standing among the ruins.
He looks out over to the west, as the sun sets upon the land
And the smoke billows from the ruins.
Many thoughts at once run through his mind and collide.
He stands alone, afraid to look.
Afraid to ask.
In his arms, he holds all that is left of his life.
The life sniffs the air and hides his eyes under his paws.
He knows what has happened as he howls at the blood red, war torn sky.
A tear falls from both of their eyes.
I sat down to write what’s consuming
my mind day in and day out.
I thought on the state of the world
the wars, the drought, the famine –
the social and environmental
issues that continue to plague all beings.
I thought about what can we do
I thought about what can I do.
What is the root cause?
I know someone who talks
and preaches about a shift,
the coming end of what we think
we know and what we should know.
Existing or not existing
in that darkness, in that space
of nothing from which words
of proceeding masters are
twisted and malformed into a
new philosophy for a new age.
That age I move away from into
my own space, an inclusive space.
For how can we bring about change
by condemning another’s thoughts
another’s beliefs – peace comes
from understanding and respect
not guilt, shame, or hatred.
Light seeps through spaces
between tall buildings.
Life on the streets waken –
traffic, voices, birds.
I look in the mirror
swept away of dust
as the wind blows through
the open window.
Grey has overtaken this face
the past year filled with
experiences and changes in
the path I had chosen.
The silent mountains
engulf us as we drive
on winding roads,
and near the snow-capped
peaks as we search for
our grass hut
in the mountains.