Monday, December 28, 2015

Love Wins

There seems to be a consensus among many that God is Love. And yet, I have never heard anyone say that Love is God. I was thinking last year about the term “in love with,” and what it really means. Of course it is a feeling, rather than a thinking, term. But for some reason I got to thinking about it one day. I was feeling that it’s not about a person, per se. Really, I began to feel a sense of it meaning “in God.” And yet of course it is, and if only we were to treat it as such and realize this fully, how different the world would be. In this case, to love someone is to God them - in other words, as I love you, I treat you as God does. I am not looking for what I can get from you or how I can patronize you or idolize you. I am simply embracing you in your wholeness which is simply you. I have no wish to take from you because I am here to simply allow you to be your most complete and compelling self. I am here to nurture your inspirations, to give wind to your sails so you can navigate the waters of your life. I am here to inspire you with the beauty that is naturally emerging.



And, too, I am here to hold space for your heartache and disappointment when they come ‘round. I am gentle and kind, yet stern when you must know where your edges are. I don’t set or create rules to govern your world, rather I reflect back to you those you have created for yourself. This can get confusing because as we project our own rules onto the world, the world adheres to them and sometimes we forget we have projected them first. Coming back to us these rules are not always fair, and yet they originated with us. In Love and in God, for you I must be Grace. If in fact I am being my best self, this is my job in regard to others - and ultimately to my self. And so if I find myself grasping and sliding into drama, I realize that a) I have lost my Grace of the moment and b) I have projected my small self onto you and am not recognizing the Grace of God in you as an expression of Love.



There are those people around whom we feel most “in God.” I just saw something on social media talking about how we “love people.” But I don’t think it’s that we love people as an act. We don’t. There are simply those people around whom our barriers to the love that we are tend to fall away or dissolve more readily. I am simply a unit of pure consciousness/God/Love walking around with a body. Over time, I have built up, shall we say, armor around my “self” - one mask for this, another for that, a whole costume for certain situations. And all these leave residue around my spark of existence, thus making me seem like a separate, more heavy, solid thing - like a crystal that has been coated with layers of clay and dirt and seems of a different quality due to the weight and heft, when in fact there is a clear, bright crystal inside. Sometimes, though, I can find myself around a group of people or a person, or in a place, that acts as a warm bath of water or vibration that causes the dirt and clay to fall away, melt or slough off of the crystalline structure, and then light shines through and reflects and beams.

To love, to truly love someone, is to treat them as God would/does treat them. And so a worthy exercise might be to come to awareness around how we behave toward those we love and are in love with. Am I acting as God in Loving you?

Never think your love is wasted. People may say your love was wasted on the wrong person, the wrong cause or the wrong whatever. It is not for us to know why or how our love is evoked. Forgetting for the moment that all creatures deserve to receive love, however wretched they may seem, try to remember that love is coming forth. What a gift to find ourselves expressing that which we are divinely tuned to transmit into the world via our humble flesh vehicles.

When I think about my biggest love (even sometimes unrequited) what I feel most clearly is the impulse to create, offer and share of myself in so many forms and ways. The impulse to transmit the beauty I find and see and make in response to the frequency of another, the impulse to share the breathtaking awe and excitement exactly as it arises - without even a thought - simply a pure impulse to share to one with whom I feel a sense of the kindred godness.



The beloved may or may not know of this impulse in me, may or may not seem to deserve such a sharing, may or may not feel anything remotely similar, and may or may not even feel the gifts arriving. And yet, here I am with the divine spark leaping forth in my heart. And here is the spark of life erupting from my hands, my mouth, my being. Now I can work with this.

I can work with it in the name of the Beloved, or in the name of the Divine, or in the name of a nameless, homeless, formless being of my choosing - I can work with it in the name of that which I rest within, the boundless field of the One Consciousness, which I both inhabit and contain. Which brings me to the place where I can release and receive and make offerings all at once. What I do to one I do to all, what I do for one I do for all, what I take from one I take from all, what I receive from one I receive from all and so on. And really what does it matter what or whom evokes this impulse in me?



For quite some time now, I have been seeing heart shapes in the most unexpected ways and places. I have begun documenting them with photographs. Now you must know that for many an artist, things like this are very off limits. In art school it felt drummed into us that as artists we are not to focus on the sappy sweet stuff of kitty cats and hearts and sparkles. It’s just not done. And yet here I am, a year or so into actually photographing all these hearts. There have been hearts in the water, hearts in the sky, hearts on trees and hearts on the pavement. Nowadays everywhere I cast my gaze, it seems I am to receive one of these hearts. I can hardly believe that I have shared countless of these images on social media. It is so highly unlikely. And yet here I am, sharing about the hearts. One of my favorites was two hearts conjoined at the base of a mature Beech tree - somehow part of the trunk leading to the roots had formed these “siamese hearts.” Or the heart shaped opening in the clouds as reflected on water that I was photographing to capture the rain circles - only in the reflection was it facing me so perfectly.



So a couple of days ago - the day after Christmas and the first day the sun shone after many days of many inches of rain - I went for a walk in the woods. I had a clear destination in mind (a couple miles each way) along the river - Otter Rock (another story for another time). This day was so warm and beautiful, though, and the river was so swollen from all the rain that I didn’t stop at Otter Rock. After days of inactivity, I just wanted to keep on moving and feel my body working this day.

And so I continued along the way, welcoming Nature to give me a message of guidance, as I often do. Many times this guidance comes from a critter of some kind - a snake or a deer or a spider, say, once a snake eating a toad - or some feature in the landscape. Along this particular walk, I was called by a small creek in one place, startled a deer to blow in another and witnessed a strange, small four-legged creature dive into the bushes by the trail ahead of me (I’m still not sure what it was). And now I was on a stretch of trail I’ve never been on before. I had already passed by a small waterfall that Laurence and I had picnicked on years ago. Now I was about 3.5 miles out and knowing there would soon be the place I am looking for to sit in silence for some moments before turning back.

Just before reaching the place where I would turn back, I came upon a tree with a very (loud and) clear message on it. It is a dead pine tree, succumbed to the southern pine beetle, of considerable heft. On it someone has painted a message in the most vivid cadmium hue, replete with heart shaped O, "LOVE WINS.”

Related previous posts: Let Everything Be Love and Sending Forth

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mitigation (a poem)

Mitigation

In sanguine chador,
with a hint of cerulean
sky on her brow,
here is a girl
whose horrific suffering
is offset by her reflection.
She models the grace
we all doubt but long for,
that we can dare to keep our innocence
in the presence of our tragic wounding;
that our courage could be so great
as to look ourselves
in the face of our deepest pain
and remain standing,
remain whole, with our compassion intact.
With the divine spark in us
still capable of igniting
our deepest hidden ambition
to incarnate uniquely
here in this place,
here in this time,
leaning into that which we cannot feel
any other way than by crashing into it.
And the poet, silently bearing witness
from an earth-colored bed,
catches in a glimpse,
that ephemeral spark
dancing its lightning-fast,
almost imperceptible jig
between the implicate
hidden urge to exist
and the quiet blooming of life
emerging as this being comes of age.


This poem comes from a recent dream. It feels very potent, poignant and important to share in the form of a poem that describes the image received in a dream contained in a poem. This gives me hope and added faith that by making art and poetry, we may somehow, by grace, mitigate even horrific suffering in the world while maintaining the innocence we must embody in order to keep seeing the world whole anew in spite of great challenges to our faith and in the presence of continuing tragedy. Perhaps an image will follow. In the meantime, I will include the image nearest to my body while dreaming all of this.


Bearing ©Honor Woodard 2006

Popular Posts

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

There was an error in this gadget