Doorsteps & Footprints …

 

Raining Gold, and No One Knows...

The Call of Fall.

It speaks and we Listen.

There’s something reassuring about this.  It’s the smells of dying leaves and the colors stirred by November’s winds.  Perhaps a Childhood we once knew.

It speaks of Cycles.  Old Age.  Endings and Birthings.  Nature’s voice – again – among our many Trials and Distractions.  We settle into the warm winds and let them take Umbrellas for a ride.  Like Mary Poppins we Fly.  Over trails, worries, hills, dread, sabotage, relinquishment, hibernation, dreams.

And the familiar song calls us back.  “Us”.  Our Life.  Our Path.  Our feeling of wholeness, belonging, resolve, rest, arrival.

Doorsteps for our Footprints.

It’s a beautiful time of year.

Our region has been blessed this fall with some Days of Sun.  This is the Best Way – in fact the Only Way … to truly see the beauty of the season.  Vancouver’s perennial rain has taken many tolls on many souls.  We won’t get started on that.  Let us instead, dear congregation – sing the Hymn Of Autumn Sun.  Spectacular!  Uplifting!  Cinematography at its best.

The Homely Ancient Wine of Autumn-Land ...

So, the Triumph.

The war with no battle.  The win-win situation of this Elemental Nature that gives and gives and gives.  Our only challenge is to engage in it and bathe in it and delight in it and drink from it and revive our tired tissues in its fragrant and nourishing breezes.

This is the “church” of the “god” that really DOES exist.  The jubilant voice of Nature, within us and without.  Pay attention to the within … and you’ll be blown away by the without.

Without the within, there is no without, or the without – at most – is just passing scenery, a foreign movie by an unknown director.  Within the within, there is the Director, Producer, Cameraman and Audience … all-together-now breathing in unison … this infinite, momentary, delicious and delightful nugget of the sublime: one moment in the passing fad called “My Life”.

Noteworthy, I assure you.

Appreciation.  Of this time we have.  And it does pass by faster, as we age.  We’re told this, and we acknowledge this.  Something about the cycles and seasons and Wheels of Fire that spin us: they burn an important message into our heart: “Mortality”.

Mortality.

*Hmmm.*

A friend recently narrated an experience she’d had at a party, where the hostess made a sarcastic remark about looking in the mirror and seeing the signs of age progressing.  But after that off-handed dismissal, the subject was changed, and not re-visited.

And she wondered why.  And we shook our heads.  Well we know why.  It’s one of those unwritten, but blindly obeyed rulings about what we can and can’t say.  The “approved discussions” at social gatherings include, movies, politics, the weather … but not Mortality.  Well, isn’t that peculiar.

Astounding Morning Invitation to Sip on the Nectar of the Moment ....

We all celebrate the Day We Arrived.  Every year. And others’ Big Days. The congrats and confetti.  And may you enjoy many more.  But that “other” big day … the one that awaits us all … *uh* … let’s not go there.

Well the TREES GO THERE.  Look at that one right above us.  Those leaves are not coming back.  And in their passing, Their Mortality … they Dance.  They Delight.  They speak beauties indescribable to the eyes.  They literally sing.

Perhaps they’re humble.

Perhaps they haven’t accumulated SUV’s and RRSP’s and little picket-fence cabins on the Lakeside.  They don’t boast and swagger and hesitate and doubt and waste endless time pursuing fantasies of an endless “mind”.  Perhaps they’re just obeying their innate blueprint.

Perhaps the only problem is that we don’t know the sweetness of our Mortality, something like the smell of November Leaves.  The sweetness of our Mortality is that it’s touched by the Breath of Our Immortality, the immortal within.  Without the knowledge of this, then, all we have is religion, beliefs, the mascara of the mind, the man-made perfume of the pundits and priests.  That Old Musty Smell.

Doorstep Yet To Travel

So, my Blueprint Sings on this Quiet day.  Another setting sun.  Another leaf departs from another branch, never to return.  Never to look back, to lament to regret, to grieve.

This is one Doorstep all of our Footprints will pass over.  No need to knock. But something in the Dance of Life carries us, loves us, informs us, whispers the Essential Notices in our ears.  And our True Nature Speaks.

We Listen.

The Drag Queens of Westminster Spring

Well, it’s about time.
We’ve been waiting for the Show for fifteen months,
shivering in Vancouver’s damp, dismal, grey
Rain-soaked Stratosphere.

Now they’re here. Yay!


These are the Queens of Spring, and more importantly – the Queens of New Westminster’s Queens Park Neighborhood. They show up every spring to party for a week or two, and then leave us panting on the edge of our seats, hoping that Summer will be half-as-much-fun as this Great Drag Show of Spring.

They are shocking and unapologetic, for their shameless excess. They are right-in-our-face with their glory, their thinly disguised Macho Femininity.  Their bravado with overdone makeup, mascara and pink, pink, pink … enough to make Callgirls Blush.

Yes, brothers and sisters of the Sidestreet.  They are Magnolias.

And they have been decreed, by the Great Gary Gustaf Bandzmer, to be the Official Drag Queens of Spring.

These Volatile Hipsters won't negotiate with anyone ...They come in various shapes and sizes.  Mostly of two persuasions: Pink and White, along with permutations and inter-marriages of the two.   Some are “auto-erotic” – like the Pink Floozie in the upper left Boudoir.   Others do it in two, groups or whole-tree orgies.  Yes, I’m shocked as well.  But … bear with me and I will do my best to explain the juvenile behavior of these wayward blooms.  Be warned though: it may overcome your senses to the point of intoxication.   Find a designated driver for the trip home.

When the Season finally arrives, well … these young princesses are hardly what one could call “shy”.  They begin emerging at the slightest Hint Of Spring.  It’s like, they want to be the first ones on the block with all the color, and they truly do make the most visual noise, often quite deafening to innocent passers-by.

The white ones attempt to appear more “spiritual” – but it’s a ruse.  Outwardly they try to convince  you of their godliness, cleanliness and austerity.  But soon their unbridled passion and thinly disguised extravagance shows though.  They are not the stately nuns and priests one would expect in such wardrobes.

So, these gay, screaming fools basically take over the neighborhood for weeks at a time.  There’s no stopping them.  You can call the Police, you can write letters, you can have private chats with the clergy, for all that matter.  But it’s known by the elders and crones, to be a complete waste of time.

The baby magnolias of springtime ...And, as some might say: they take over the whole town.   That’s right.  There simply is no other show that competes.  They blow those other dancers right out the door.  Japanese plum blossoms?  Good luck.  Any others, of any shape, size or color: they simply don’t match up.  The Magnolias run the show.  “Mob connections” – you think?  The chances are good.  Their competitors never had a chance.  You’d think they’d been ‘whacked’.

Well, it makes us all feel inadequate.  Lousy lovers.  Even with our best – and finest – wardrobes, and you girls: with your most expensive, environmentally-correct makeup, your new color-coordinated accessories … it all falls desperately short of the allure of the Magnolia Queens.

They own the streets and they’re here to stay.

If there’s one thing they teach us about Spring, it’s this: Love Is Not A Polite Whisper.  It’s Led Zeppelin.  It’s Janis Joplin.  It’s the Music turned up to Number Ten.   If Love and Life wait for no one, then Spring is the first out the door, led by the Mad Magnolia Queers.  Talk about “Parades” or doing it in public.  They are not ashamed of being who they are.  In all their glory: they amp it up, they stretch and bloom and arch their velvet, pouting petals in every majestic direction they can: reaching for the Sky, the Sun — and everything in-between.

There is no prude in magnolia Pride!
So, this is a little late.  The show began a month back, and the Majestic Ladies are now showing their age – the few that are still left around.

Such crude and unrefined show-offs, they don’t even try to disguise their age!   The big floppy, velvety, soft, sensuous petals begin to brown and wither … and soon, within days or even hours, they are lying on the ground, inebriated, dead-drunk  – willing to rot or surrender to the merciless rake of the Japanese Gardener.  Whoosh, scritch-scratch, they are gone!  Unceremoniously dumped into some mundane back-alley disposal unit to end up in the civic land-fill, remembered by  … who?

Well, they don’t care.  They’re not egotistical enough to ask for a “Magnolia Graveyard”.  Or will it be “cremation or burial”…?  They care not for paperwork and diplomacy.  No one will have a “Celebration of Life” for them.  Paradoxically, their LIFE is their “Celebration of Life”, not their death.  They celebrate life, by stretching, dancing, yawing, screaming … into their extravagant unique amazing individuality, and they take it to the Nth degree.  Not polite and reserved like us Canadians.

Gay White Sailors waiting for their Love Boat to come ...So, here it is, May 14th.  Spring is finally feeling the Fingers of Summer and the White-Gloved Hand of Winter is gradually letting go.  It seems that it is these courageous blossoms that have paved the way.  They announced Spring, by announcing themselves.  They made a Big Noisy Party and Winter could stand it no more; that Quiet, Icy, Catholic Nun left the house.   And Summer, on it’s Harley-Davidson arrived with a Roar.

Oh, to Live That Way.

Those humble and exotic flowers can teach us so much.

If we care to listen to their song.

How can you miss it?

Lonely Souls and Lovely Roads

I thought I would write about "aloneness". It came out of a Facebook post I replied to - an image that showed two people walking together down a road. The quote was something like, "I can walk your road with you, but I can't walk your road for you." The quote drew some agreements and commendations from "friends". It seemed nice. Like one of those spiritually-correct, new-agey kind of things to say. *Hmm*. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I begged to differ. I added this as a reply to the quote:
No one else really walks it WITH you, either. Truly. Because they're on their very own road. It's yours alone. It's human to avoid and deny our true aloneness in this world, but it's a fact. We came that way ... we leave that way. In the center of this very disconcerting reality, is also the sweetness of our own soul - only available in your true "aloneness" ...

As life goes on, as you pass through decades and decades of living, you "get" some things. Most of these things that you get are truly gifts. Others are obtained by trial and error, some by very expensive lessons and brutal teachers. A few by Love & Life itself. One of the things that I've gotten is that yes, we truly ARE alone in this world. No one particularly likes that concept - partly because it has a deep truth to it, and partly because we end up engineering our Comfort Zones in life to include others - family, friends, lovers, children, students, peers - and on and on - and, well, hey, what's wrong with that anyway, I mean, isn't that "normal" and right?

Well, to get at the truth of things, we often have to mine, to dig, deeply, under the surface facades of what "appears" to be correct, or 'normal' or acceptable in life. Perhaps, it's only our own true heart that seeks these kind of answers, these kind of "absolutes" in life, and only our own true heart that can claim and acknowledge and own these truths as something resonant with our own soul. Therefore, these truths that I've found are uniquely my own. They may - or may not - speak to you, but regardless, you must find your own truths by mining the deep 'gold' within your own being - knowing and owning your own true riches, true wisdom and true understanding of what lies at the center, the core, of your own life. For me, I've been gifted with certain truths - most of which can't really be communicated in words. They can be painted, like beautiful adjectives, on beautiful menus, in a beautiful restaurant ... but they can't be eaten. You have to give yourself that very food, for your very own soul. It is true that I am alone, and I know I've always been truly alone, and as time goes on, I not only get more and more comfortable in that "aloneness", but I crave it. I drink long sips of it on a daily basis. I soak in it - sometimes for hours, enjoying, enjoying, enjoying.

The paradox and the true beauty of this aloneness, is that this aloneness does contain and reveal your very heart and soul. The seat and center of your longing, your emptiness, and your yearning as a human being - and simultaneously - the oasis, the fountain, the source and center of the liquid oneness that fills that very same void. This is the real jewel of aloneness, the source and center of who we are at our innermost core.

Without that, "aloneness" turns into loneliness. Without the attachment of the heart to its true "mother" within, the mind - in its restless, relentless, agitated nature turns impulsively to external attachments to keep it engaged, distracted, "happy and satisfied" with the temporary passing delights that it loves to articulate with, be they ever so frail, ever so finicky, and ever so fickle. So, that wonderful person, or persons, or family, or community ... that seems to walk by your side, on this road of life: note that there are times when they're not there. Note that they're subject to illness, anger, death, sorrow, depression, addictions, distraction and that, finally, at the end of the day, you truly do rest alone with yourself. No matter how close their body is to yours, their soul is light years away. Note that all the things that you possess, whether it's wealth, property, toys, health, balance, prosperity .. note that all these things come and go - by their very nature.

And also note that your dependence, your leaning on these things, your grabbing onto these things, your aching for these things, brings about repercussions, both in your own reaction to disappointments about their nature, and their own resentments for the extra weight you place upon them with the yoke of your desires. We have a deep longing, a yearning within our own beings - and when we try to stuff external things into that yawning empty space - it backfires. Those things, by their very nature, are not meant to fulfill the true yearning of a human being. It seems, we have an aversion to aloneness. We like the noise, the bubbly-ness, the loud and flashing colors, the engagement of the senses deeply in the pool of distraction: email, text messages, images, beeps and bops, ring-tones, high definition, surround sound, 3D Cinema, fast cars, organic chocolate.

Nothing wrong with any of that. A matter of balance. You can't eat the menu, or the posters. Or the radio ads. Or the Billboards. Or the conversations. Or the recipe book. Or the food pyramid. You gotta have the real food. Then, hey, what's wrong with a little cheesecake?

Same thing with the true essence of self: once you're comfortable in diving into that sweet pearl at the center of your own true aloneness, you realize you'll never be lonely again. Because you've found the true friend within. And you don't have to try to stuff all your other friends ... and relatives ... and strangers ... and distractions, in there. Balance. Based on the foundation of something you truly know is yours.

All else will be left behind. On this road ... this lovely road of Life. Which one day, elegantly or not, will come to an end.

 

Paper of Empty ~ Vessel of Song

The Notebook of Life is open
the Pen rests quietly on an Empty Page

this Pen has written on Many Pages
this Pen will write on pages to come.

This Pen now rests on an Empty Page
an Empty Page in mid-October Sun.

In Resting & Renewal, there is an Understanding
of Silence; a Gentle Marriage to the Still Places
of Life.

Inside these Still Places, there is a conversation
with our own Deeper Wisdom, our own Inner Friend;
A Drink from the Fountain that flows at River’s Source.

The Notebook is Open
The Pen rests quietly on the Empty Page
There is Nothing to Begin,
Because Everything has already Begun

There is Nothing to End

Because Everything is Over,
everything we ever Started …

The only thing Not Ending, and Not Begining,
is the Wonder Beyond Words
Which there are no words for, no pens for, no paper for;
no Formalities, Rituals or Celebrations
that Do Justice
to the Unsung Song.

The Pen rests in Silence
It’s tip in Wet Eternal Kiss
on Empty Paper.

All songs have been sung,
and no words have sprung
From this Overflowing
Vessel
of Song.

White Cat ~ September Sun

This is the end of September.

Another year, another decade, another bottle of the smells of summer, dreams of winter and the ‘sandwich’ of autumn in-between.

Sometimes, it’s just a walk in the Wilderness of the Moment, a Lost Morning – a 2-hour holiday in a Nameless Neighborhood, where all is predictable and nothing stays the same.

I have a camera and an eye, and a thirst for the Light Of The Moment.  The Longing of Now.  The expression of the Amazement of the  Beauty of Life, the one that escapes us because we’re moving too fast, going nowhere, around in circles, occupied by the mundane items on our day’s shopping spree.

So, even in this Same Old Neighborhood, named after a Queen long-dead, the light dances and plays and changes over the simple life-span of a Coffee.  The flowers that were lit are now deposed.  And circumstance has painted a nondescript veranda with the signature of Picasso.

So it goes.

And, of course, the Flowers speak their own language – this we know. They show us things we would rather not see, but we are suckers for Beauty and we grab the rose, thorns and all.  The flowers tell us of beauty, but they also speak of the Change Of Seasons.   In a day, petals worn and freckled.  In 2 days, petals kiss the grass.  In 3 days, the Clippers come and the Flowers are memories.  Frail, but Significant.  Beauty In The Moment, if it’s heard in its True Language, will also remind us of Mortality.  And mortality has its own Beauty  … not the Language of Cosmetic Appeal.

Flowers in the Light of Day

Besides Mortality: Change.  The inevitable.  If I do not take this photo right now, this photo that is screaming at me and staring me in the face and telling me all the sadness and wonder of Infinity – if I do not take this photo right now, in two minutes the light will change and the photo is gone.  This is “grabbing the moment” – this is “plucking the cubic centimeter of chance” – while it is right here, dancing before my eyes, Firefly of Infinite Pleasure, Butterfly of Only the Moment.

… and then it is Gone.  As certain as it Came, it goes.  And my steps move on.  Through Incredible Blue Skies and Hot Ephemeral Sun of September: neighborhoods are now quiet, kids in school, vacation over.  Quiet Streets, many shades of green.  Fall has not quite struck; we’re in Late Middle Age.  Still Productive, but Reflective.   The Journey is Afoot, no turning back.

the Mistress of the Moment, it seems ...

A lonely white cat in a yard of Green.  White Cats have appeared to me here and there in my life.  They seem to be Silent Messengers, harbingers of sorts.  A metaphor for the Silent Companion that accompanies us all through life, whether we acknowledge or not.   Patient.   Knowing.  Trusting.  Persevering.   Partly in Shadow, partly Luminous.  Revealing, Concealing, Suggesting, Hinting.

Watching.

The Harbinger of Infinity ...

So, the Cat and I witness the waning of September’s Sun.  Thankful for this moment where we can Play, Pray, Stay, Stray.   Thankful for Mystery, scantily clad in the clothing of the Mundane.  Denizens of this Neighborhood, but also, members of another Lost Jungle, descendents of a Different Creed.  We linger for two and a half minutes, six photos, and a breath of fresh air.

Then she disappears.  Under a neighbor’s porch.  Who owns her, and what does she care?  We’re both slaves of the moment, and property of the Great Librarian of Time.  By chance we met on this Side-street of September, and we’ve already forgotten each others’ names.   Such is City Love, such is Changing Light.

We notice Picasso’s Porch as we wind up another Morning of Mystery.   Wind-Chimes, Bicycles and Flowers.  This is all one needs in Life, the Major ingredients.  The Song, the Journey and the Color.  Vehicle, Voice and Nature’s blessing.  The Trinity of September’s Virtue.  All a chance discovery, all a significant letter from the Beloved, to me, personally.

The Art is Waiting for your Paintbrush ...

 

I Land I Know

Hello.
“Island Time”, once again.

It’s luscious, it’s delicious, it’s a place to slip the senses into the tissues of time.

There are certain Fragrant Wishes that we water our pores with: Late Afternoon August Sun, the smell of seaweed; the gentle clamor of a peaceful evening tide; distant gulls, ferry horns a million miles wide in foggy blue forever.

Sun is sweet on the skin.  We are onions and we peel away our layers as the bright orb in blessed Blue Blanket bathes our Solar Plexus once again in Dusty Gold, Shimmering Velvet of the Moment.   Ocean winds carry delights.  Dead crabs and live seaweed are all part of the Perfume. We bathe in the gentle quiet of the lapping waves.  Boats with no names bob at anchor.  Everything – every little thing – in creation’s core is happy and content at this very moment.

We listen and talk to the Stones.  They are the Old Gentlemen of the Harbor.  They were there long, long, long before any of our famous Roman Chariots graced the streets.  Timeless things, solid and sturdy.  You rest upon them; they tell no lies.  Change comes slowly.  Rough edges are pounded clean by patient oceans in the twinkling of a million-year day.  We love and caress their boundaries, their orifices, their curves.

We have a hard time remembering Christmas; these Rocks remember Creation.  Something about the Space-They-Occupy: the Tableau of Creation’s Elements.  The meeting-place of Land, Sand, Water, Sky & Sun.  It’s all there.  We’re made of all that stuff.  The elements outside of us, are also the elements inside of us.  Do we know now why people love the Beach?  Worship the Sun?  Anoint themselves in Waves?

It is a re-union with the Lost Minerals of Bones, of Blood, of Breath. Interesting.  Mandatory.

We seek Balance.  In everything we are; in everything we do.  But – as it stands – we are precariously unbalanced.  People, neighbors, lovers, societies, nations, planets.   We stand poised for war, not soaked in peace.  We stand separate, disconnected, strangers to our brothers – a land of marginalized hobo’s.  Transient Vandals.  Gypsies with no violin.

And who will undo this anesthesia of the soul?  This forgetfulness of the very purpose, the seed, the core, the essence: of human life.  Who will remember what it is to be human – underneath the layers of cement, the obligation, the mandatory and mundane cruelty of the norm.  Who will dare to live, to breathe life, to dance and celebrate Certainty … in the midst of the Ugly Shopping Malls of day-to-day living?

We are held in the Arms of Something Vast and Protective.  Something we postulate and theorize about and “believe in”.   This is not our neighbor, this is not our dog, this is not Friday Night at the Movies, this is the crux of who we are and what breathes us on the Inside.  This is to be Known, not to be Hoped-For.

This is the helping hand of the Divine, clear point of awareness, Marching Drum of the Dance Going Home.

This Vast Stone, Giant Hand, Wholesome Heart, Melting Sun, Not-Too-Distant-Star … is what Rumi talked about when he said this:

” I will set you on my breath, so you will become my life”.

 

 

 

 

An Old Rose ~ Like Me …

Every day, Life brings us Small Things to celebrate.

These are the things that save us.  Uplift us.  Remind us.  Nurture and Nourish us.

These small things are not small – indeed – but are truly significant pieces of the Puzzle of Life.  Significant, in that they have the capability to pull us into the magic of NOW.  This is the Kingdom that small children inhabit.  This is the origin of Play, Mystery, Delight, Dance and all spontaneity.  This is the quality that we – as adults – long for, strive for, emulate, imitate, and gravitate ~ towards.

It’s simply a small fragmented mirror, mirroring a small, fragmented piece of who we truly are.

Babies and Buds amidst Elderly and DyingToday, I wandered into Queens Park, after a day of difficulties, compromises, bad news and severe struggles.  Queens Park – one of the redeeming aspects of Life in New Westminster – has a beautiful little Rose Garden.  Bless the foresight of the City Council, that preserves some quality places for the senses of the Weary to Unwind and resuscitate.

Old Roses.

I have seen these Roses through only a few glimpses of their fleeting Life Cycle.  (“It seems just yesterday that … “).  We went there only a few mornings ago, to do some improv dance & video work among these flaming wonders.  It was a mixed morning: the magic of fresh rain on the flowers, but a grand-central-station of gardeners, earth-moving equipment and curious tourists, sniffing and inspecting every nook.  Already, the roses, bathed in teardrops, were beginning to show their mortality.

Red Family 4 youAnd now, this was evening.  A tentative summer’s evening in a Tentative Summer, period.  The Failing Light of July’s uncertain sky, illuminating these Gracious Old Ladies with a soft – sometimes unworldly – cast.

We need to say something about Roses here, in that Roses are uniquely Roses: nothing else comes close, nothing else matches, nothing can compare, all else in the Flower Kingdom is a mere squeak, alongside this noble Orchestra of Grace and Elegance.

Old Ladies, Queens, Queen Mothers, Sages, Crones, Witches, Whores, Ladies of the Night, the Day, the Evening – and all hours in between.  These flowers are the undiluted voice of the Divine, laughing, tempting, seducing, healing, calming: both calling and answering the unspoken longings of our deepest hearts.

And so we age.

Our spots also appear.  Our leaves curl in places that are straight.  Freckles, dimples, warts, crinkles wrinkles and wrappers: all seem a noble, unpretentious part of the gallant display of these Girls-Who-Never-Went-Astray, these denizens of the Courtyard of Kings.  These valiant musicians of the Unspoken Song; they were right all along.  Beauty sees itself in the mirror and it sees perfection and imperfection walking side-by-side.  The child in the Grandmother’s hand, dancing wildly through the disappearing land.

Big Yellow Birds of the Open Sky

And so, it’s amazing how time flies.  You just planted them Yesterday.

Buds in the Morning.

Blooming at Noon.

Fragrance in the dusk.

And the next day: Age looks itself in the mirror, surprised, sad, nostalgic, reflective, sober.

We’re stopped dead in our tracks: the Reality Check of Time.  Mortality.  The Ticking Clock.  All the things we Should Have Done, Could Have Done, and ‘will do’.  The pleadings of Tomorrow, the Begging Dogs of Yesterday.  The whining uncertainty of the most certain thing you hold in your hand: the breath of life, sustaining you in the moment.  Your tricks are over;  your hiding places are gone.  You are back in the uncomfortable, but oh-so-familiar cradle of this moment of NOW.

AND you feel strangely at Peace.  Old Rose that you are.

later Day Illuminates Those who stay ...

Elegance.

Cheap.

There is no admission fee.  Who can charge for the sight, sound and smell that is a Gift from the Unseen Hand?

Beauty.  You can’t spell it, but you can Smell it.  Your tired and feeble mind shuts up at last, because it has no say in this world of sensuous delight.  You want to go to bed with these Total Strangers, you want to Drink, eat this Madness. sink into and Drown in some reservoir of forgotten delight, this Naughty and Lost Child inside, this Insecure Adult, wrapped in his profound and pointless mysteries of Money, Privilege and Fame.

Roses are Red, Why are U Blue?And the Petals fall like Rain.

And no, they will not wait.  Tomorrow morning, they will be gone.  Dead, buried.  The Gardener’s knife will mid-wife another birth, another life, and the Garden will go on, long after you Stop.   Pick up a few petals, note the angle of the Moon.  The deep Emerald of the lawns, the singing of the Sprinklers, the Empty beds, promising Future Lovers their lost Eternities.

All this, from a few Old Roses.

Oh, what we know … and what we have Forgotten.

 

And so, Life Goes On.

Day at at time. Breath at at time.  Flower at a time. One Petal Falls.  No one notices, no one cares.  Drowning in Rain, drowning in Tears.  No one really knows us; these visitors, these stodgy tourists – they get so close and yet they are so far away.

They capture us with their cameras, and yet, they live in Prisons Themselves.

Who are these Humans, these passing Thieves?

They can explain the color content of a 24-bit RGB pixel, yet, they can’t explain what they feel …

when they see an Old Rose …

an Old Rose Like Me.

 

Thirty-Seven Years of Gold.

Yesterday, June 17th, was a significant day in my Young and Old Life. I would like to share the significance of that day with you.

Thirty-seven years ago, I ran into a man who was -at the time – a seventeen-year-old boy. I was twenty-one.

I had been studying Yoga in the mountains outside Sacramento, California with my girlfriend of the time, an aspiring Yoga Teacher. By ‘mistake’ (although nothing is a mistake, really) I ran across a communal house-type information center about the work of one young man from India who had mixed reviews as the sensational child-guru, a man who was named “Maharaji”. I thought I would check this out; why not? I was into checking out anything with a spiritual twist, anything from the East … anything which acknowledged the inner journey in life.Prem Rawat (also known as "Maharaji")

Well – that was the beginning. What I heard and what I felt and what I knew from spending that time in that old house in Sacramento, was the beginning of a lifelong commitment for me: a journey of the Heart, the longest and most significant relationship I’ve had in my life.

Prem Rawat – given the honorable title “Maharaji” at a young age, became my Teacher.   He had come over to the West from India at the age of twelve; initiated as a teacher by his Father/mentor’s passing at the age of eight; instructing and inspiring as early as age four.

And now: I’ve been a student of this Master, this Teacher, for 37 years.  Yesterday marked the 40th years of Maharaji’s work in the west. From a humble start of a few hundred western students in 1971, there are now over a million world-wide who practice this gift of Knowledge, and who have seen it transform their lives from the inside out.

Maharaji – literally “Great Teacher” – is celebrating 40 years in the West, as of yesterday, and what an amazing 40 years it has been.   What a miracle, in a world of hype and packaging, a world of innuendo, protocol and sales pitches, that this timeless message – both ancient and contemporary – is not merely sustained and kept alive by a privileged and eclectic few, but is practiced, available and acknowledged all around the world – in every nation, in every walk of life. From prison colonies to pastors to prestigious colleges and seats of government; from winning awards in community TV programming years in a row; broadcast on thousands of networks across every continent as Words of Peace Global to addressing record-breaking crowds of a half-million in India who sit in pin-drop silence, drinking in pure inspiration, word by word.

Maharaji - also known by his given name, Prem Rawat, see www.wopg.orgFor a world saturated with violence, deceit and struggle; for cultures inundated with valueless material and commercial gratification; for individuals perplexed by a myriad of  convoluted “spiritual”, religious and philosophical offerings; for societies in which position and acquisition become the calling-cards of merit — what an amazing gift it is that this man humbly presents to us: the gift of an inner connection to one’s own heart. A sanctuary, an oasis, a well-spring of nutrition and wisdom that each of us can draw from, thrive from, express and celebrate in our own unique individual ways.  A sweetness, a sense of purpose, meaning, and direction that we can truly own and call our own.

Prem Rawat continues his work around the world, gifting both individuals and societies with the products and by-products of consciousness and humanity.  The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF.ORG) has been awarded the highest merits of all charitable organizations, both transparent and effective in its mandate, and operating in and out of partnership with well-established institutions in providing disaster relief and food and medical support to some of the poorest communities on earth.

Prem continues to inspire, instruct and remind us of the most important connection in our lives: the connection to our own hearts.  Whether in an intimate group of 200 or a vast throng of a half-million, the relationship between student and teacher remains paramount, and the one-on-one connection magically triumphs: a unique grain of sand in an ocean of love. One of the few connections in the world that truly deserves the title, sacred.

Although Maharaji doesn’t need or ask for acknowledgement – he’s doing this selflessly as service both to the human race and to his father & mentor – I need to acknowledge him.  His work, his excellence in everything he does, his patience, compassion, humor, respect, kindness, wisdom, insight … and his ability to “show up” to the nth degree, to bring unending sparks of light into the cauldron of seething darkness that this humanity is emerging from.  This is my gift and privilege: to share the same gift and privilege that has been bestowed on me.

Thank you Maharaji, for all that you are, all that you have done, and all that you continue to do: the gargantuan effort, the mandate of forging a pathway through what no one else in the world could even conceive of.  A pathway, not just for your footsteps, but for all of us who seek clarity and inner purpose.  A journey of potentially unspeakable difficulty has been made attainable and enjoyable by the work that you’ve dedicated your life to accomplish.Maharaji, from an interview with journalist Burt Wolfe.

And for me, I’m reminded every day, that no matter the shape of the “world”, no matter what storms come and go – fair weather and foul – there’s a safe harbor inside me: warm and dry.  There’s a beautiful rain falling every moment – for the thirsty – a rain of Gold, a rain of Sweet Music; a small and huge Womb in the arms of the Infinite, that I have the privilege of entering – through the most intimate of doorways.

It’s there for me.  It’s there for you.  And because of the efforts of this amazing human being, it’s there for the whole world.

Thank you Maharaji, for turning  my hovel into a Mansion.  Thank you for revealing the gold mine inside, and for injecting true meaning, sweetness and clarity into my humble existence.

Maharaji’s personal website contains short samples of his writing and music: www.maharaji.net.  Words Of Peace Global (www.wopg.org) is a resource for introducing his teachings on the inner journey.  TPRF.org (The Prem Rawat Foundation) spearheads charitable work and disaster relief in ongoing projects, world-wide.