"Focail do a Chara" is Gaelic for "Words for a Friend." I write about my experiences -- in my study of death and dying, in my teaching; in my spiritual seeking; in my call for social justice and compassionate living. I hope these words find you, friend, and bless you.
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The wind stills, still the bird sings.
I can sit in silence, but I can't silence the voices in my mind.
Turn your isolation into solitude.
Let the breeze wash over you.
Mother Nature's caress.
Holy pauses. Nature unplugged.
You are locked in the present, frozen in time,
and the suffocating sameness grows despair.
The sky drips a cold rain
and icy crystals form.
Possibilities flee like a ladybug taking flight from your fingertips,
and you are left with the dead carcasses of misbegotten dreams.
Eventually the sleet will turn to snow
and as the snow globe scene fills the air,
hushed birdsongs and fleeing deer will form a backdrop
to the powdered landscape.
Tomorrow the sun will return.
Life and decay are identical twins.
A person could get whiplash from all the
going and coming going on. It's like
the threshold is a revolving door, the
centrifugal force pulls me under like
a whirlpool and a feeling I don't like
overwhelms. I'm slightly dizzy headed
and I'm waiting for the air to clear like
after a warm summer rain. I'm headed
into the center where my wrong-headed
thoughts can't just whirl me around anymore.
Please pick one direction to be headed
in, couldn't you, I don't want any more
vertigo, but I don't know which I want more,
freedom or safety, I can't take much more.
Liminal spaces and times, the thresholds.
What do you do when you can't stay away,
but at the same time, you know you can't stay;
and reality's wearing a blindfold,
The worst is, your dreams can't get a toehold
if you venture a step through the doorway
because you're thinking too hard of what may
go wrong, and you're too afraid to be bold.
In those liminal places, their pauses
where you can't go back, you can't move ahead
and you're camped out in the space in between,
make you ponder your life and your choices,
the things you've said and the things left unsaid,
the doors never opened, some could have been.
In the late night silence,
I listen to the rain,
and your breath,
and the noises a house makes in the dark;
a cacophony of voices in my head.
Grief abounds, and loss,
and the worst is yet to come, they say.
What do you do while your foundation crumbles?
The word is unsettled today
morning sun reveals white clouds, blue sky,
some trees still bare-- their leaves still brown -- but
three chickadees sit on the branches
of the cherry tree, its almost pink
blossoms exploding, backdrop to the
birdsong symphony, warm up to spring.
The storm breaks, a light appears, and your eyes begin to see.
The voice of mother wisdom is mute,
but the message is inscribed on your door.
You know what you know.
There is beauty,
for you are beautiful.
Today the door to your heart is jammed shut with stuff--
hoarded hurts and musty musts,
piled high with disappointments, boxes of not good enough,
perfectionist tendencies gone awry,
and those voices that overwhelm and pull you under.
The knocking is gentle but insistent and all you have to do to answer
is clean a path past the clutter,
let in light and love,
let go the past, release.
Windows warm, transform, in sunlight,
cobwebs become works of art,
and longings elevate the soul to sunrise beginnings.
Begin again in peace, not perfection,
and let the preciousness of life draw you out.
Momentary prayer and pause,
you see the door is open after all.
The wind blows in peace.
What does your heart need?
Rest. And permission to be.
I sent a letter to the holy:
Holy one to whom I pray.
Who and where are you?
And why is grass green and not, say, red?
And why are people indifferent and cruel, even nice people,
and why is there hatred and war?
Why did Hitler last so long, and Trump,
and why Mitch McConnell and Franklin Graham?
Why are the mean people still walking around
and why are the dinosaurs not?
Why climate change and why free will
and why do we feel so lonely and restless much of the time?
What will it take for violence to end
and what will it take for me to be at peace with what happens, no matter what?
Why is the sun shining so bright when we are all just crying inside?