The Scripture of all Living Things
“These are the days of madness and
The earth cries out its churning need
and I cannot save it.
but perhaps there is a way to kindle
Each, alone, and for each other
from the deeps of our own savage darkness.
We all have two sticks we can rub together.
We must fly out over the edges
Performing intricate, spontaneous
until we stumble across a moment.
the fear-voice grows small
like an echo
or a photograph from atop a distant hill
50 years ago,
the joy, and the life voice grow strong
and full of strange woven music-
turbulent and prophetic
and plagued of knots and
When you can look at your life
I don’t care if I get rich, or end up in the gutter.
I don’t care if anyone comes alongside
or thinks I’m relevant.
I will stand here fighting dark things
with my last invisible breath
until I crumble to holy dust
and fall to the earth like
dandelion firework ash,
because this is True.
and what else is there.”
I spent March in the dark, in a soul cave, in the cleft of a rock, my fingers stained onyx with ink.
“Winter is past,” the holy one said, and I lay on the cold stone of my soul and cried.
Winter. The season of scarcity. Of lifeless landscapes, of hunger and want. A season I've known since I was a little girl signing her name in ice on the inside of her bedroom window.
Not enoughness—of warmth or love.
Outside, the turtledoves moaned and inside, I wrote my soul. I read John O'Donohue by candle fire and rubbed sandalwood oil on my skin. I wrote hard things: the longing, the grief, the shame, the confession. I wrote the heavy bones of winter. Holding. Feeling. Undoing like a worn, frayed tapestry unwoven in the dark.
All the while, doves dwelt in the winter tree, singing the sap warm and calling for love.
It echoes now...
“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
This is a call for artists.
We need awakening. We need a new beginning. We need rebirth. We need artists to show the way through times of murder and oppression. We need artists who hold the ache in their bodies to listen to the wisdom of their pain and to sculpt, weave, write, ink, photograph, dance, sing, preach, declare a new way. We need love artists, the healers of the world. Beauty artists, activists of alchemy. We need creators-of-worlds-we-long-for. Big soft shoulders to lean into and hold us as we join hands to lift the oppressed up, up, up into ravishing light.
We need creators of feasts to offer bread and wine, and we need love prophets to speak bold truths, and we need alchemists of mercy to press truth into flesh and bone, incarnate and shimmering. We need the courage to stay and feel and listen and see. We need to not turn away. We need believers to keep the faith and we need the brave to stand tall, luminescent creatures of embodied hope. We need luminous makers of love who will kneel into bloodstained ground to gather love close, to re-work the soil, nurture roots and seeds and tender living things.
It's harrowing and it's achy, these haunting days of tenderness and grief and holy rage.
“Sometimes I don’t know the difference
between collapsing and creating.
Where you see ruin I see refuge.
And maybe sometimes I feel too much,
cry too much, hurt too much…
But you will never be able to tell me
I’ve looked love in the face and walked away.
No, I’ve stood in front of the face of God
and listened to my own voice echo back.
I’ve loved those who could not love me in return and still I continue to love. That is the
bravest thing of all. Not allowing the lack
of other people’s love to affect your own
endless unbending love.”
—Shelby Asquith, LOVE ALWAYS
I am just one. I do not know how to change a nation. But here are things I do know: not knowing how is no reason to not do something. Humans are being oppressed. This is evil. How can I use my freedom to birth justice, healing and peace?
Nonviolence is the answer
to the crucial political and moral questions of our time:
the need for man to overcome oppression and violence
without resorting to oppression and violence.
Man must evolve for all human conflict
a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Loose the chains of injustice.
Set the oppressed free.
Break every yoke.
The power of love works FOR, not against. And I can work within the parameters of who I am to love...a soft-spoken artist. A writer. A sensitive soul. I can support those on the front lines of change. I can listen and move the conversation forward. I can give my Self. It won't be good enough for some and I will be awkward and fumbly but I will keep listening and trying. My blood and my voice are portals and pathways for a love activism that works for freedom, for beauty, for the sacred lives of humanity. I can pour them out. I can raise them. I can create from them. I can do something. I will figure it out. I will figure out how to carry the bones of winter. I will figure out what I can do to create the world I long for and I know that it must start with love.