Turn and face the strain.
Go with the flow.
I am just a passing wave. A sea turtle out at sea. Drifting from one micro-cosim of blessing to the other.
I am also a body. A soul in a body navigating this ship into the night. There is the smile. There is the laughter.
There is the pain. There are the late nights and long drives.
For my weariness I have been given strength.
For my sickness I have been given health.
For my wings I’ve been given…
Wake up in Tahoe. Wake up in Vegas. Wake up in San Francisco. Wake up in Reno. Wake up in Denver. Wake up in Hawaii. Wake up in Fargo. Wake up in Minneapolis.
What time is it here? Do people smile in the street as they walk past? Do we give handshakes or hugs here? A kiss on the cheek? Much less? Maybe more?
Has it really only been 5 weeks?
I am not the man I was yesterday. I am not the child I was before. I am not the ghost I will be tomorrow. I am not the demon. I am not the angel. I am not the memory nor the premonition. I am…
Conor Oberst has a line in one of his songs where he says “We’ll need something to remind us of all the sweetness that has passed through us.”
Lately it seems, sweetness prepares the way for sweetness.
Past becomes present. Present becomes future.
NOW remains NOW.
It is however, a gift to reminisce.
Remember walking for hours? Past those dark dragons and serpents at the rivers mouth. How we dove through the waterfall past the bloody fallen angel, where you stopped and washed his feet and we paddled forward and onward to that great magic beast. All leaf green and towering over the waters. I’ve never seen anything so massive in my life. I can still feel it’s leviathan breath on my essence. I can still feel your hand in mine.
Remember walking up the hillside? Broken glass and homeless remnants of the American dawn. Each step a stronghold or a pitfall. Panting at the top. Dirty and covered in sweat. We found that field of mangos. Each one like some bountiful eightball that said:
At the end of each trial is treasure.
Remember the mountains? The fire that swept through acre after acre. Remember how Johnny showed us he really could fly? Bouncing from peak to peak and screaming the name of his virgin gods. Do you remember that wild fox screaming Adonis and Messiah and Shiva as he drove that trident into the cliffs and how the earth shook and the winds howled as he offered up his song of protection. For the people of Boulder. For the children of the hills.
Remember the stage. The sweat? The endless heat and those 4 doors. I thought I would die and you held me. I thought I would live forever and you smiled and said,
“We will see.”
We walked barefoot on the rocks for miles and miles. Towards the moon. Towards the great eclipse. We raised our spirits from the sands and howled at the greatness of the pyramid night sky.
Sleeping in vans. Sleeping in buses. Sleep in planes. Sleeping on sidewalks. Sleeping on floors.
Where am I now. Where was I yesterday?
Are we really so young? Biking crooked to Yellow Cafes where Jesuit cultists call false prophet, fool, and while one druken companion just smiles and says:
“Between false gods, and whiskey, I do believe I’ll have myself another drink.”
That tax collector scoffed;
“You are a fool to think that God is Love.”
And we just smiled and stumbled all the way to Denver, basking in the endless glow of wild fire and heavenly love.
Shit, I even fell off my bike. Drifting from memory to memory. Sunflowers and bird wine. Drunk on solstice air. I howled then. Loud like before and louder as to come. I remembered another dream.
Hot tubs. Sauna. Resort living with full stomachs. Counting stars and kissing in the moonshade of that great sleeping buddha. We were kittens. Running through the farm, picking up mice and rubbing our whiskers in the soft afternoon grass. We were dolphins. The whole beach came alive with our laughter. Swallowing saltwater and diving deeper and deeper into blues and greens and ocean grays.
You would always be the first to jump. I would always be the first to catch you.
Stuck in this machine as we may be, we choose with each breath to honor the Sun and Moon and serve the sacred earth. Through the darkness of the age. Through the darkness of self. There is a greater depth and a deeper light within that calls to all beings. A void that beckons us all.
We have answered the call. To protect the earth. To honor every living being as serene.
The greatest beauty of all.
She hears us.
My name is no longer.
I am free to be as I have always been.
Free to see the perfection.
Free to take the good with the bad.
Free from definition.
Free from this hell.
I had erected prison walls. I stood for years captive in my doubts, my regret, my fear, my shame, my pain.
I erected an altar for each. I gave them names and with my power of will I gave them life.
I numbered them. I gave them systems of guilt. I gave them complex rules and guidelines.
I spent years perfecting this prison.
From time to time light would crack through. I would catch a glimpse on the cell walls.
At first I would only see the darkness illuminated.
A light would shine on my fear and I would only see FEAR.
It took awhile.
Grace never gives up.
Grace is relentless.
Grace keeps on shining.
So shine she did, and by her persistent grace I began to notice cracks in the walls.
They appeared first as cracks in the paint.
I had always been restless in this prison of fear and lies. Upon seeing the chipping paint, I began to pick.
The paint was solid at first. Stuck and dried from the years of application.
But the light. The light continued to shine. The light continued to beam it’s truth and I kept picking until the letters began to peel away.
I saw fear give way for LOVE.
I saw pain turn away for PRAISE.
I saw shame give way for FORGIVENESS.
I saw death become LIFE.
I saw doubt become BRAVERY.
I saw all that was shallow regain DEPTH.
I saw all that was silenced SPEAK.
I saw all that was selfish in me learn to GIVE.
I saw the prison walls TRANSFORM.
I heard the angels SING.
Such a glorious sound coming from all sides. Cracks in the walls vibrating in deafening angelic intensity. The walls shattered. The intensity growing and growing and above that chorus of light I heard a new voice. A voice I had only heard once before when my being was called into existence. This voice rose above all the others and began to swell like a giant tidal wave and crashed against the final remnants of those prison walls. I heard the voice cry out
ALL IS FORGIVEN.
And in that instant I was free.
Free to walk in a world of endless blessing.
Free to SMILE.
Free to LAUGH.
Free to DANCE.
Free to SING.
Free to SHINE.
The best part is now, I realize…
The voice was mine.
A wise man once said:
“it is only when we realize that the divine speaks through us that we can truly begin to speak divine.”
Well, what are we waiting for?