Monthly Archives: June 2015

You are not alone

I want you to know it when you wake in the night and can’t sleep,

when you wander the halls like a fevered stranger

looking for the place you called home.

This is not normal. It is not normal to watch the world we know and love slip away bit by bit. You are not crazy. It is not wrong of you to feel lost and scared. It is not wrong of you to ache for more.

It is not wrong of you to pray to the Gods of your childhood, or seek solace in the stars, or lay your warm body next to another’s night after night in search of happiness.

You are not wrong. You are not broken, or ruined, or bad. You are not the problem.

This is.

This brittle and abused culture of sadness that pits victim against victim in an endless, bloody dog fight. This monstrous civilization with it’s endless appetite. This hell bent path of destruction and ruin.

This is wrong. This is broken. This is ugly, and tragic, and sick.

This stifled life.

You are beautiful. You were born expecting more. If you think hard you can remember a time when everything was magic, when you could still see the shimmer, however fleeting. You can have that again.

You deserve more. You are smart. You are brave. You are kind. You have an endless capacity for loving.

This civilization wants to break you down. It wants to bind your arms and muffle your screams. It wants to make you hurt. It wants you to be afraid. It wants you to be afraid of others. It wants you to be afraid of everything.

But if our hearts grow hardened it wins.

We must stay soft. Even in the face of growing calamity we must remain open.

Some days your heart will hurt so much, you’ll beg for a pill to ease the pain. You’ll drink, you’ll consume. You’ll distract. You’ll howl into the clear, blue sky. And still it will hurt.

And then you’ll break. Into a million pieces. You will cry an endless flood of tears. You will lay on the cool floor panting and breathless.You will cry out to the dark universe and ask for a miracle. You will beg for this to stop.

But YOU are the miracle. Because even as you reach your lowest point you are healing. Even as you melt into a puddle of grief and sorrow and mourning, you are living. You are ALIVE.

YOU are the greatest gift. YOU have the power to walk away. To sever the ties that break your heart. To end the cycle of damage, of violence. You have the gift of life.

This thing is dead. It is a zombie world that thirsts for blood. Our only hope is to out-run it. Our only hope is to out-fight it.

Our only hope is to let our hearts out-love it.

Let your love run wild. Love the plants, and the trees, and the animals. Love the people, the rocks, the ocean and sky. Love yourself.

Let your heart break. Let the pain rush in strong. Cry for help. Be a child in the world. Find others like yourself and hold on for dear life. Do not let the mind numbing tedium and petty disagreements tear you apart.

Make a small life. A simple life. Learn to live with less. Learn to live with nothing.

Create. Make things. Cook, knit, hunt, forage, plant, and harvest. Do good work in the world. Organize. Rebel. Refuse to conform, refuse to give in. Care for the ones who are too damaged or broken to go on.

Cut ties with those who wish to hurt you. You will find spirits so darkened by trauma that all the light is gone. It is not your job to fix them. It is not your job to heal everyone’s pain.

Be a ship in the night for other lost souls. Be a beacon of light so kindred ones can find you.

Be extremely gentle with yourself. As though you were a newborn baby. As though you are the smallest bird with a broken wing.

You are one of many. You are a diamond in a sea of broken glass.





Thank you.

Please forgive me.

I’m sorry.

I love you.

Thank you for listening,



In the desert of purple shadows

Last night I dreamed of walking miles through a brittle desert. Wil was there. And Revel. We walked and walked, following the shadows cast by a bright moon. Purple shadows, like bruises, painted over cool sand, and marking our skin.

I felt tired,

there was no end in sight.

We just kept walking and walking. Dry soil crunching softly under bare feet.

I’ve been thinking about surrender lately.

How it can be an act of giving up, or quitting,

backing down from the fight.

But also it can be a giving into,

a turning towards the unknown,

an opening up to new ideas, things, and worlds.

Surrender can be a kind of listening, I think.

A kind of seeking,

a sort of looking for answers

outside of ourselves.

Being alive right now requires constant work,

demands an endless ability to live and grieve at the same time.

The push and pull of this is painful. But not altogether unpleasant.

I’ve been lost for awhile. Awash in a sea of questions and demands. Awash in a sea of survival, small civilized worries. Yet again tricked into playing the game. Or at least making an attempt to.

But suddenly we’ve lost our home, my small family and I. Painfully, and traumatically, we lost the only security we had left.

Our little house sits, emptied of us, but still filled with the things that make up our lives. The books on their wooden shelves, the bins of toys, some drawers of food. Small things. And even smaller things. Beads. Little statues. Skulls, birds nests, art.

We’ll get all of our stuff back of course if we wish. But sitting here separated from the things that make up our home, I can’t help but wonder, are we better of without them? Already in my mind their purpose seems fuzzy, their importance seems…not so important after all.

And what now? Do we find a new home somewhere? A rental, more expensive really than we can pay, to house our small things and smaller things, a place to rest our heads at night after long days spent doing things we’d rather not do to pay for a home we’d rather not have to house the things we don’t really need when I all I really need is right here, sleeping in this borrowed bed, in the home of my mother who loves me?

And all in the name of what? Survival? Progress? Because it’s the right thing to do? Because there’s no other choice?

Questions, questions.

So we walk, onward and onward through the desert of purple shadows, forced into a cross examination of our lives.

And always in the distance there is the wild calling.


Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen


Mostly, now, I feel an immovable writer’s block. What is there to say that hasn’t been said? We are living in a time of collapse. The world feels very chaotic. It’s hard to find peace, stillness, quiet. The wheels are spinning out of control, while at the same time, the gears are grinding to a halt.

We are being torn asunder.

And yet…

This morning I took my little son and my nephew for a walk in the woods. We wandered barefoot, and they found magic in everything. Blades of grass morphed into wands. Trees turned to dragons, and old rotting stumps transformed into knights. We delighted in miniature monarch butterfly caterpillars chewing at the underside of the Milkweed leaves, and marveled at the brilliant orange of the baltimore oriole flitting across the sky.

How can it be this way? That somehow even in death we are in life?

This planet is dying! I want to scream.

I want to grab the massive bouldered shoulders of the earth herself and shake until her teeth rattle; scream “wake up!” I want to gaze into her crystal clear eyes flecked with blue and yell, “Why don’t you do something!? Shake us off, murder us, throw us from the surface of your spinning, marbled world. Ruin us, destroy us, end us, put us out of our own fucking misery!!” I want to spit at her, claw her sun kissed skin and pull her wild hair, blame her for letting us do what we’ve done, blame her for all that we are doing.

And you know the worst part? I know she would listen. With her gentle mother ears she would hear me and understand.

But she would never ruin us. She wouldn’t and she couldn’t. Because she is us and we are her. We are held here at her breast to suck even though we don’t deserve to, even though we can never understand the love she has for us, even though most of us don’t even care that she’s alive.

We’ve forsaken our mother. But our mother?

She will never forsake us. She will only guide us through the rough spots with her abundant love and forgiveness. She will hold us tight with both her arms again and again, bandage our scraped knees and kiss our brush-burned elbows, whisper “there there” into our hair. She will feel our failures like the sharp blade of a knife but she will not intervene.

We are her children.

And even though we cannot yet understand it,

She is teaching us a lesson about faith.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

I need to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to my friend April, who sent me the beautiful poem below when I was at my lowest point. Thank you for giving me a lesson in faith. Thank you for allowing the earth to speak through you. Thank you for sharing your words.

Our Only Obligation
by April

In the middle of the night I am awoken by poetry –
words spoken like dear kin I had one lost or forgotten,
and it’s been so long that when they stumble from the dark
to pronounce their voices visible, I hardly recognize them

as the living, breathing beings
they have somehow come to be.

These words
they shake me –
softly at first, but then
with a lustful force
when I try to roll over
and simply go back to sleep.

They are fed-up with being rejected.
They arrive without warning or invitation,
and will not go away until I promise to entertain them.

So I pull my bare-skinned body up and out of bed,
leaving my love behind to safeguard our stockpile of dreaming.

I sit in the dark of our house,
quietly receiving. Curled up on the floor
like a crumpled piece of paper, carefully
ripped from an old and well-worn book of poems,
written in a language only the sacred can remember.
I pray these wasted lines, which now emerge from my wrinkles
and folds, will be in service to something greater.

My only obligation is to listen –
to the spaces between the silences
where we drape all the blessed things
we never quite know how to say

things hung in the open air to dry
like aging meat, fat unfastening from its bone.

I hear the snow curling over the mountains,
casting a storm that promises to be bitter
but not more than it longs to be beautiful.

I hear your heart beating, miles and miles away,
and I hear your life changing, well before you’ve learned
how to let the conviction of change, take your quivering hands
and guide you deeper into the night. I hear urgency

straddling our flailing limbs as we flee down the face of the mountain,
and I hear loneliness in the people who are constantly running
from each another, but since distance has become such a trustworthy aid
somehow those people have forgotten they are still running.

I hear the tremor of the imperfections
we’ve been hiding from all those
who threaten to step in too close –
flaws that favor the landscapes
where love can take root and grow
into acres and acres of fruit bearing trees.

And I hear horror in the hacking of our forests.

I hear misguided messages
blaring into our hardening hearts,
telling us it’s perfectly normal
to keep our grief private.
So much so, that we hide it

even from ourselves
and when we go to find it,
we discover it will always
be buried bellow boxes
of seemingly more serious
of things. I hear the heaviness

of our footsteps, weighed down by clay and
all the artistry we’ve been unable or unwilling to see,
like the traces of those who’ve walked before us
or the nearing wail of the ones who’ve not yet come
into being, begging that we listen
to what is beautifully hidden,
yet is too obvious not to be wholly seen.