The Day of Venus XIX

This is the 19th Friday of my Day of Venus Posts, where I let wash up what is present in the undercurrents of my mind, heart and spirit. I am honored and deeply grateful for your readership as I cultivate my writer voice blindfoldedvertebrae by vertebrae, all chrysalis and soil.

Snorkeling between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates!

I am on a train in Norway, and it is going north. We stayed in Oslo last night, in a more popular and standard type of hotel compared to the hostels and tiny family-run ones we were at through Iceland. My suitcase is the larger one in the group, which we decided we’d use for the food we brought along to save us money as we travel through these pricey countries. For the last 8 months I’ve often felt very silly looking at myself scramble for money for this trip, as I quit my secure teaching post and refused to join a m-f salary secured position as I figured myself out for awhile. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel at times it was a mistake to be making a trip like this a priority, in the middle of a post Saturn return shake up where I realized I couldn’t conform to certain things any longer. But here we are and here I am and I am choosing to enjoy it, as life should be enjoyed. Anyway, my suitcase was left behind in Reykjavik by the Icelandic airlines, and they are supposedly sending it to where we are going now, to Stavanger. I feel blasé about not having it, and somehow free because I haven’t had to lug it around at all. I feel no attachment when things like this happen—there is the initial hustle to figure it all out, and then once the loss or mishap or detour is made aware of, I let go easily. I am wondering if this is another one of those blessings in the disguise of an accident, because I haven’t had to lug my suitcase around at all for the last 24+ hours of traveling by bus and train, and if it is delivered in the next few days, I will be reimbursed for the items I bought at the Norwegian mall last night. I got $7 high-waist salmon-pink pants which remind me of the slinky dress I wore in New Orleans during my first shroom trip, a turquoise thong, and a sleeveless white tee that plunges around the pits. I am thanking my lucky stars (aka Jupiter in my 1st house 🍀) that that is the case—that I dodged having to carry my suitcase and scored some free pieces of clothing in the process.

It is green everywhere here. In Iceland it was lava and lupins. Droves of trees for miles and miles surround us. I feel a growing longing to be submerged in earth—dirt and soil and seed and ground. When I get back home I have no idea what I’ll do, which is more exciting for me vs. nerve racking—a wide open field and a blank canvas. I am present and I am also a page being written so I keep inventing scenarios in my mind of things-I’ll-do. I could be on a farm and busk and sing at all the open mics around town. I can keep writing my songs and developing them and join other musicians on streets, in bars, on the road, on stages, in yards and pretty rooms filled with art. I could watercolor as the sun goes down and learn how to take care of bees. I could work at the farmers markets and cook things I’ve never made before and help chefs in kitchens. I could sing and dance and with children and do yoga by rivers and meet new trees. I could learn a new skill and play a new instrument and dance a new dance with my shoulders back and my heart bursting. I could be around a bonfire with loud and happy men and women and sing until we cry and cry until we laugh. “Oh, all of the things I can do” I imagine and I imagine and I imagine while here.

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My mother stayed quiet and also didn’t stay quiet, about the tiny and monumental things that felt unjust or insincere or false. Things that no one spoke of, (but did they think about it?) and of the many ways she could feel a certain not-quite-right in the world around her. In her humanness she probably could have used a friend to assure her she wasn’t crazy or wrong or “bad” for wondering, for wanting something deeper, something more. And then in her humanness she gave in to things that make you go fast, let you flee your reality, and keep you feeling like you’re alright and life’s alright and you’ve really got it going on. Despite all the humanness, the guilt she didn’t deserve to carry, and all the ways she kept her eyes closed, it was easy for her to tap in and surrender to a force greater and more all-knowing than she was. I am probably most grateful for that—to have witnessed her bow her head and fall to her knees, then get up again to try and carry herself. For all of the vivaciousness, generosity, and then also the train-like fury she embodied, today there is a silent acceptance and a watchfulness in her ways, and I want to write her story, and I will, and I am.

I want to tell her and everyone of how she was right about the things she read in people, and that her love for them didn’t mean they honored her independence or her mad spark. I want to tell her then and now that she can trust herself. I want to tell of the way a light that burns like that would want to be bottled up and kept and harbored, and that she shouldn’t let it be. I want to give her the warnings that people have given me. I want to teach her that boundaries are good, and she can create them with graciousness, but then with a wolf-like and snarl-toothed flash when necessary. Maybe she was given those warnings too. I want to talk with her about how people might say it isn’t real (that burning thing inside) and she shouldn’t believe them for a second. I still have a thing in me that wishes I could have been a friend to her, and that is a place I sometimes return to where I think I’d like to save her, even though I know that by saving myself I free mothers before me I don’t even know of yet.

More things I’d say to her, that I say to myself, and that I say to all: You were right about your spidey senses that told you something wasn’t right about him, that, her, that place. I’d tell her not to doubt herself. And so I remind myself not to doubt myself. I don’t want to waste my moments dismissing the inner signals, no matter how illogical or opposed they are by the world around me. The more we practice saying NO, the more we give in to what looks like chaos in the name of what is right, and the more we follow that North Star inside—even when it is so very different from the paths laid out around us—the more assurance we get from the universe. We choose ourselves and the world responds with YES. We choose the wild and overgrown forest of our soul-self, and the world responds with “oh here you are—a bit of a gift you’ve dreamt of long ago. We choose the unorthodox, the impractical, the scorned and laughed-at path we know is right, and the world says “here are the others and you really can live in a state of adventure and peace; you are always taken care of; you are loved; you really are love; I love you.” Jump off of the cliff and you will swim or you will fly.

When we give in to forms of escape—substances, television, other peoples fantasies of us—we put ourselves to sleep. And we wake up yet again in a state of restlessness at 3am, and we feel the not-quite-rights and we are given the choice to go on pretending or to give our world a little earthquake, a wildfire, a flood for new life to be born.

Be willing to be lonely, in faith that you will not be. Be willing to be without, in faith that you will not be. Be willing to give up all of your comforts for the sake of your burning soul, knowing that the comfort of your soul burning true is what will bring comforts unimagined to your doorstep.

It is not unreasonable to regard your life as a precious gift. It is not unreasonable to believe in peace. It is not unreasonable to care as much as you do about the sacred things.

The Day of Venus (XVIII)

Journaling on the way from south to north Iceland

The glacier is the river and then it is the bay where the dolphins came in at the dock, and in that way the glacier is them too. Then it is the patches of deep green where the slopes of the mountains are too gradually inclined for the glacier to become stream, so the glacier becomes moss and tiny white, purple and yellow petals. Then the glacier becomes the sheep and the wings on birds.

And so it is that the inside of us is the outside too, and the music of the world in which we reside so eerily becomes the same music we produce, without us even trying. Everywhere it is like this and when you listen close and lean your chest in to really hear, you notice that the way the rain falls and the birds call is the same rhythm and pattern of the music made in the region of those sounds.

When we hug the earth and rest our bodies against cliffs and bark and grass, we are hugging ourselves, and that isn’t just spiritual faerie hippie mumbo jumbo—it just is. And the veil thins and the coincidences become less coincidental.

The bodies we are near are also our own, as much as the earth we take from and give to and love and are loved by. We are made of the same. When we nurture one another we nurture ourselves. Giving love from our chests is a practice we have to cultivate, like choosing to see the goodness in one another. Loving on another with your being—and I am not talking about touching or even using words—is loving ourselves. It is something to practice and stay sharp at. It takes a willingness. It takes surrender. To be vessels and givers and receptacles of this kind of grace is to lay your human stuff down—your defenses and explanations of why you are different and separate and more special than the next. To get into this practice is to come to love the feeling of that weight being lifted off of you. You love it so much that it becomes the only thing that makes sense to do.

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Please give me your behind-the-scenes, your shadow that clings to your shoes and knows no color, brand, style or separation. Tell me that you wanted to connect but felt jealousy, or indifference, or scorn, or irritation, or resentment, or shame. Tell me about the time you questioned your decisions and how you sometimes wonder if you’re lying to yourself, or not. Let your hair get mangled in the pursuit of a belly-laugh and spit the jagged and molded-over truth out like it is a sandbag keeping you from running into me again.

When I stopped trying to be good I became more of a friend to myself, and more of a friend to everything and everyone. When I lost the appeal of what is appealing to the masses, I won the appeal of my soul-self. And it feels like coming home.

I hope you stay strange and never sacrifice your cackle for a more likeable laugh. I hope you never run out of meters when you are scribbling lines onto pages and sand and chalk-ridden sidewalks. I hope that children always feel a safe kinship and sense of relief around you and your 57 goofy voices. I hope you never get so serious about an idea of yourself that you miss an opportunity to connect and be soul instead of a human. I hope your singing gets gruff in the night and you sing anyway. I hope that a sky to look at and a hand to hold will always be enough. I hope you find the others, and they find you too.

The Day of Venus (XVII)

This is the 17th Friday of my Day of Venus Posts, where I let wash up what is present in the undercurrents of my mind, heart and spirit. I am honored and deeply grateful for your readership as I cultivate my writer voice blindfoldedvertebrae by vertebrae, all chrysalis and soil.

-To Love is To Let Be-

There is an unruly and wild horse within us, and I want you to keep yours running into the horizons you are in love with, grazing through the miles of swaying ground that love you back, flying and alive. The traces of playfulness and charm in your words and movements make the world a safe place for dancing, for spreading out our arms and hugging life’s offerings. Being alive is to welcome and nurture the healthy need for a new page, a new spice, a new experience–it is human and necessary. Loving someone is wanting them to keep their mad spark, their whipping and dancing flame of aliveness—loving not just someone in a romantic sense, but anyone, everyone. It looks like: wanting our neighbors to keep their loud backyard parties, and feeling joy and excitement about music and cultures around you that are not your own–that you haven’t seen or heard before. Celebrating all of the questions of children–the absurd, apprising, enlightening, and unnerving wonderings that are so very telling of the world we’ve made, and how little we really know. Letting children be children–letting them have prolonged periods of silliness and unstructured play. Allowing all of the grandiose and nonsensical and high-hoped reveries of our friends, and of all of the strangers we come by, to go un-challenged, and let off any leash of resistance.

As Saturn goes retrograde beginning tomorrow, June 4th, we are called to examine the structures we have made for ourselves–the foundations of our livelihood, where we want to invest energy, our currency, and then where there are boundaries worth enforcing which allow you to simply be. Depending on how you look at it, Saturn can be a planet of bore–of father-time laws and restrictions and balancing of checkbooks, or it can be a planet that you use to your advantage–you make the rules you want to reinforce, you are disciplined in what you feel is worth being disciplined about, you create limitations and boundaries around things that do not allow for more freedom, more play. We are living in a time where laid-out structures deemed as permissible and un-permissible are deteriorating.

In every classroom, every organization of learning, the “other” boxes are growing, and children continue to challenge a sit-down-and-listen framework that does not work. What we will continue to find is that where there is more space and time to play, and where curiosity is nurtured and encouraged, there is less friction, less tension, less “behavior problems”. In anything where spirit is void—packets are filled in and forgotten, adults are authoritative figures to obey—there will be defiance and pressure to come up with solutions that have never been implemented before. “To love is to let be”—not to tame, to control, to monitor, or to punish. To love our children is to ask them what they’re interested in, what they care about, what brings them joy, and then to allow for models of teaching and learning to bend, mold, break down and rebuild.

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I am in Iceland, and it is 3:44am. My two travel mates—my friend of 26 years and my partner are sleeping. Yesterday we drove for 6-7 hours after being on a flight for 7 hours, and by the time we got into bed our eyes were burning. It is always daylight here, but blackout curtains are common and a little light never prevented me from sleeping. These days my body craves the stillness of the before-hours, and when I stirred awake and realized I was the only one awake I seized the opportunity.

There are birds along the coast in front of me, just behind the trees that resemble rounded pines. Their white wings are dipping low and back up in figure eights just a few feet above the black sand and water. “Oh, to be a bird” I thought yesterday again and again.

I’ve had more dreams of flying this year than any other year, and with every dream that comes I learn a little more and get a little better at surrendering to the lift offs. I’m able to stay in the air longer and it is tricky coming down. Parallel to these dreams in my moon world, in my waking day I’ve noticed old songs in new ways and they’re often about the take off and landing of things.

The fact that we can be conscious and aware of concepts, feelings, processes—we can “know” them but not really understand them until they’re happening within and around us—is an ever-apparent trend in life. I’ll read a poem I’ve always read and felt but for the first time I feel in a different way and it seems as though it followed me to this moment. Anyway, that’s all I can really say about that. I’ve grown tired of talking about myself, therefore also writing about myself. There is a shushing I’ve been doing lately toward any part of me that wants to explain who I am or defend something. I’m interested in the microscopic and macroscopic details. And I suppose we are always talking about and telling on ourselves, even when we are talking about the way volcanic rock looks like it has imitated a bird’s wings, or bird’s wings have imitated volcanic rock.

I am going to be going through old posts over the next few months and editing, deleting (but still saving of course), extracting the lines and phrases I’d like to expand upon, turn into a poem, an article, a letter, a song. I’ve been working on this post since Friday and between looking at a version of myself in the rear view mirror and getting ready for this incomprehensibly beautiful country to be enjoyed, this is all that has been conjured and is being conjured.

Underneath what isn’t being laid out on the dinner table that is this post, is a world of nutrients and mycelium threads intertwining in the dark. So I’ve been reading and listening and choosing the quiet, even if that means being misunderstood or unheard. When the crystal I tied onto my partners wrist came undone, I told her to just put it in her backpack, and I said “no one needs to see it in order for it to work anyway” and I thought about that for a long time on the flight.

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