Grace and Gratitude

Path Through a Wood: Photo by Noelle at Roxborough State Park

Path Through a Wood: Photo by Noelle at Roxborough State Park

I am richer for having begun to blog with all of you. Each post you make, whether I like that post or not, has taught me something. You have shown me the world with your essays, poetry, photographs, and paintings. Your support of my site has kept me inspired to keep going, too. I realize it is not Thanksgiving everywhere, but I send to you all from here in beautiful Colorado the deepest gratitude the holiday inspires for us.

I am moving my home this weekend so won’t be posting much in the next few days, but Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Let Them Run

Re-posted from Enchanted Nature's Facebook page

Image re-posted from Enchanted Nature’s Facebook page

I want freedom. Freedom from a tongue bound by convention. Freedom of thought that need not be harnessed back like horses wild. Let them run, I say. I want freedom of time that has no tick. No deadline. It belongs only to me. I am the boss who’s burning that midnight oil for inventions that build a life. My life. I want freedom of style as I slip on skinny jeans, GoGo boots and too much eyeliner. I want freedom of money, mullah, bank, green dogs braying with a jingling, jangling pick me up off my sad ass, hard times, hard luck self. I want freedom of space. Open plaines and wind swept deserts. Where I can walk a mile or ten in my crusty, beat up hikers and no one holds my line to any destination I desire. I want freedom of heart. Open it up wide as a storm gray clam glistening with sea water and pearls, while it still holds the grit I earned honestly. I want the freedom to love you. Love you as I take you into my skin, bury you deep in my belly and warm you up like mama’s stew. I want the freedom to open myself to possibilities and disaster. Good times and crazy adventure. I want freedom that only a bird knows. Alone, in a winter wood, with nothing but silence and every branch I own.

Work in progress from The Writing Church Writer’s group hosted by Marj Hahne, Boulder, CO. Inspired by the poem “What Do Women Want” by Kim Addonizio

Masted Ship

Bing free stock photos

Bing free stock photos

Your mistakes are your discoverer’s map. The means upon which you travel all seas ahead. You are no yeoman peeling potatoes in the galley. You are the captain and master of your vessel. All captains must know the feeling of beaching their vessel, losing their north star, struggling against the sea to hold the rudder on course to truly know the art of navigation. You must be willing to stand with a spent sail, no wind and no discernible idea where you are to develop the talents for finding your way home. This is how you come to feel deeply your metal.

To flay your heart, a tuna on the deck for the mere miss of a red light, a promotion not received, a misspoke word, or the bus not caught is to spend your life little more than the tie man grabbing the lines of other’s ships pulling into your port. We treat our sacred selves as slaves captured on lone islands doomed to a life of servitude, our light little more than a flicker. See more broadly not merely the horizon you travel toward, but the very helm upon which you stand. Your spirit is not in the dinghy. Regardless what your mind deceives you with as you look in the mirror, be assured. Your divine light is on a great masted ship and your sails are full.


Re-posted from the Mind Unleashed Facebook page

Image re-posted from the Mind Unleashed Facebook page

Long lines winding up an aisle in incense fog to papery offerings. A feeding of our soul so sterile I am drifting out the door before my mouth opens to receive. Receive what, exactly? Paper, bread, body, blood of Christ. A distorted figure that makes no sense, as I furtively glance at red dripped cross hanging, hanging, hanging for centuries that is an eternal damnation to a heart stuck on butt-worn bench. Sinner ever waiting to be clean. Sit, stand, kneel, sit stand, kneel. Tongues curling round words spoken in mindless cadence that eyes glaze from the loss of meaning. Cold seeps from stone floors into my shoes and all the wiggling toes will not warm my feet. I cough hard to shake the religious congestion loose, purulent and thick with dust.

Doors swing wide. Light pours in. Air fills my lungs.

Communion is the hunger flowing from my spirit alive and green. Running in open fields and winding up forest trails; exploding like Niagara out of the great northern territories. Communion that permeates my skin with loving rain and grounds my feet in Spring mud, a crocus rising at the equinox. Communion that fills me with such wholeness I can no longer tell where I end and dandelion seed begins its journey on the wind of my billow’s breath. Communion flooding the senses with peach juice down a child’s chin and autumn’s smoke of leaf fed fires the incense that opens the nostrils. Communion so sweet my mouth is filled with its mystical wonder and I sing out, an early morning robin alerting all to a day’s break. Communion that is an opening of the heart into a river that floods the delta with endless meandering trails that follow no crafted, structured pattern or timely release. Communion with the unknown, unrehearsed, unpredictable wonder of spirit. Now, on every breath, bookless hands raised to a midnight moon. For that I am famished, parched and deliciously ready to devour.

Working piece from Front Range Writer’s Group on reclamation of words. Marj Hahne facilitator.


Seagulls at Johnson Lake: Photography by Noelle

Seagulls at Johnson Lake: Photography by Noelle

“He spoke of very simple things- that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.

“Set aside,” came a voice from the multitude, “even if it be the Law of the Flock?”

“The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said. “There is no other.”

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Girls of Autumn: Photo Poem

Light Trails: Phot by Noelle

Light Trails: Photo by Noelle

A recent study demonstrated that light-emitting photons continue to emit light for up to twenty-eight days, AFTER, the photon had been removed. That is, the light the photon gave off when it was at a given point in space and time would still exist in that space and time even after the photon had moved on. They found the average degradation of that light was approximately twenty-eight days. Give this some real thought. Imagine as you move through your day that you are quite literally walking through light trails everywhere you go. Not discernible to your naked eye, but there, nonetheless. Look at these little girls running, dancing amongst cattail particles on a sunny day. They are not merely dancing in cattail dust, but dancing in light that is refracted off of every surface that autumn sun hits. And even after the photon hits and leaves, its light gift remains floating there for you to touch. The negative of this picture captures this idea for me, as each little girl appears to be leaving a light shadow.

Psychiatric and therapeutic circles spend a great deal of time discussing what Carl Jung referred to as our “shadow”. The side of us we don’t want to see or confront. Our ‘darker’ aspects. But what if the real story isn’t in our darker side, per se, but in our light shadow? What if, by confronting our darkness what we really find is a light trail we are leaving everywhere we go? What if the trail isn’t a dark shadow at all, but like those light-emiting photons we are leaving light wherever we go?

My favorite Thomas Merton quote goes:
“There is no way to tell people they are walking around shining like the sun.”

Hard to get people to believe, but I will tell you all the same. You are walking around shining like the sun and as in the photograph, you are leaving a light shadow everywhere you go. Embrace that today. Namaste

Thank You

image nominated my blog for the Semper Fidelis award. This whole year has been a curious journey for me, so your kindness is keenly felt. Blessings to you,