Prayer for the Inmost Light

Beloved Creator, God of the Universe, open my inward vision to the beauty of your hidden presence. This morning, each day, in all places, may my mind be seeking you in love and delight, most Beautiful Presence. May I be able to see you and know you when you appear in the grace of the world. Fill my mind with good thoughts and deep joy. You are the One who looks out through the eyes of all creatures. Inspire my words and actions to reflect your delgiht, great Light who never expires. You make the darkness shimmer in the night with the stars of your inmost light.

 

 

Originally Written April 2nd, 2016

Photo by Mark Kamalov on Unsplash

The Name of All Songs

 

When I write, who will come to visit me in my words?

Rumi, I also wonder who says words with my mouth.

But when you, Friend, come to my door

I will know to open it for you, and your name

will be the name of all songs.

 

And by many names do you come!

And through countless faces

you look out at the world in love.

Let me be your abiding place

where you come to stay without worry.

And by the good words that come

from the core of the happy heart,

may your breathing be the life of all lands.

 

 

 

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

Benedicite

The following is adapted from a letter recently written to an acquaintance.

Well, sir, you showed up in my dreams for the past two nights in a row. It’s a record. I’ll keep you informed if you-or-your-apparition shows up again. You never can tell, these strange days on the wide earth, who’s who wandering where in the Lord’s lands.

I’ll take it as a clue from The World that you must be greatly anticipating the transcription of our interview. Ha! It’s on its way. I’m learning how remarkably full one’s time becomes when one starts a business. I hope to not believe too greatly in it, however, and to remain utterly insubordinate. Tom Robbins warned, “Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.”

Here’s hoping my rambunctious exit adieu to the school staff didn’t make you blush too hard, now.

Let me know if you get this. I think once in a different time I emailed you or something and I didn’t hear back. Or maybe I dreamt it –who knows? Something about meeting an old blind woman with a dog, and my helping to walk her home, and there was our country made new again. It really happened, one night, when I was the last of all souls to leave. But I think you either did not receive it, or were like, “whatever.” :)

What dreams have come to visit you? It’s in this time of the darkening, turning year that these animal dreams of humanity do ache in the chest all the more. Visions seep hind-wards and earth-wards into memory of family and home, the recollection of fire, the passing of faces across the grey sea between one pair of closing eyes and another.

Benedicite,
Gentle J. Pine

“I kneel to sow between the Lord’s fingers
by way of the Almighty’s hand
on this earth that is growing
this glade that is coming up.
Old woman of underground
soil-dame, earth-mistress,
now set the sward pushing up
the strong earth heaving!
The earth will not want for strength
ever in this world
while there’s love from the givers
and tending from nature’s daughters.”

                The Kalevala of Finland

Thoughts on Femaleness

 

We women are active and we women are passive. We want to run and we want to sit down with a book. We want to be involved with the emotional lives of others. We want to do our own thing. We are not ashamed of relationship, find no inferiority in our sensitivity, and where we draw power by our own wisdom doesn’t have to be judged by a male standard. Sometimes, we are so hungry. Sometimes, we cannot eat. We want to be filled with the world and so we will fill the world in return, cut through the veils that would lie and say we have no importance. We have a world of importance. We are life-makers even when we do not give birth. We give birth to ideas, to good works and ways of being and seeing. We are in conversation with the ancestors from one womb to the next, bearing traumas or joys or the place of passing between. We involve men and want to make life with them. We put the pieces together again, revel in the taste and the sense and the touch.

……

When stories are told of female people being trafficked, I want to see those accounts ultimately paired with stories of sex-positivity, empowerment, and an awesomely recovered joy in sex. It’s too easy to let the victimization of girls give the message that girls should fear sex and men, should be ashamed of their bodies’ desires. Girls already feel too damn responsible for the shit put on them to begin with. I know I was severely shaken by this subliminal message of female-at-fault as a kid. There’s been a lot of crap out there where people twist up agendas: using the documentation of sex slavery as a way to scare and silence female people away from their own sexuality and ability to say “Yes!” as well as “No!” when the time is right for each.

 

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It’s too easy to “tell the story” without offering empowering, joyful solutions to victims and viewers of sexually traumatic stories. It’s easy to sensationalize it, even unconsciously by well-meaning people, or to present the survivors as forever helplessly victimized, emotionally disabled and unable to overcome and move on. That attitude of victimization-as-identity puts survivors in a hole, socially predestining them to be always defined by a trauma they went through. But identifying with the trauma doesn’t heal it. We are not defined by what we have survived. We are defined by how we get our lives back to empowered vitality so that the trauma has no more a strangle-hold on our lives. Yes, there is the critical importance in telling the story, but don’t stop there. Don’t stop at the narrative of endless pain. That’s not who we are! Go all the way to the joy of life rediscovered that follows! Others will see your empowerment and will know there is sacred life ahead to be regained and lived. We recover and distance our identity from it, from the toxicity that tries to pull us down into re-victimization around every bush. We move on from dwelling on it, sensationalizing it. We strive to cope with and not be overcome by the knowledge of these terrors. We participate in the world to come, and all the good of the world that is already here.

……

Gender equality must include the wellbeing of male people with female people. A gender equality movement that is sustainable for many generations will care to support men in transforming away from abusiveness and toward a compassionate guardianship of all people. It will be lovingly male-positive. Only by loving that which needs changing do we care enough about it to heal and transform it. The focus should not be on “liberating” one sex from another, but to bring people of both sexes together in loving, trusting affinity. It is healthy to foster affectionate platonic friendships between boys and girls early in their lives, so that they may empathize with each other without competition or early sexualization. Human beings, male and female, belong together. Life functions well when we are interconnected with the whole of who we are. I am skeptical of any society where female and male people are segregated on the basis of avoiding assumed harm from the other.

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I wonder if all-girls schools or all-boys schools, for example, reinforce the alienation from and assumed threat of the “other” gender. It is enriching to have a women’s social group but I would not appreciate one where the group is defined as getting refuge from the perceived threat of wicked male-kind, as compared to a group that merely wants more focus on female friendship and talk of women’s lives with other women. There is a critical difference between running away from or running toward something. The same goes for a men’s religious group which excludes women on the basis of fearing women’s sinister sexuality will “tempt” their own natural masculine desires. Compare this to a healthy fraternity of men that mingles fondly and respectfully with women, but is focused on fostering more brotherly affection and confidence among men’s lives and experiences.

The Visitation

There has been a visitation here;

what creature’s tracks of forefoot and rear

are present, signed their name into the sand?

What perfect pressure of heel pad or tiny hand

has loped or softly crawled or slithered,

out of skins of other lifetimes withered?

Into places that I cannot go, they go:

the spirits of the world in fur,

my familiars of the Maker– Her

imprint kissed the quiet ground

for hominids like me to know;

perceiving shapes and hearing sound,

a story of the living world below.

 

 

 

Image © Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.

Recollection of the Birds of California Route 41

It might be the drive between sparkling, montane Quail Springs and comforting, familiar Fresno which is the most dismal, alienating four-hour drive in all of California. A ghastly expanse of oil rigs puncture godforsaken rock and ash where once were gentle Valley Oak and wildflower savannas roamed by Tule Elk and Bear. Nameless towns of nowhere on dusty highways appear from the no man’s land of big-box fast food stops, gas stations and sketchy motels with blinking neon lights. Any sight of human habitation in the form of neighborhoods are either monolithic tracts of identical mini McMansions, or lopsided old houses supported by tarps and barbed wire appearing to huddle together for dear life (assuming the inhabitants have found strength in community, as I hope). Just to make sure I got the message, I was pulled over by flashing blue and red lights and awarded a speeding ticket for doing a modest 68 in a mysteriously unmarked 55 mph zone, according to the cop, who was just doing his job. And when I, approaching Fresno from a distance still on the lower highway 41, saw that the air was so afflicted by a heavy carpet of smog so as to veil the mountains and the sun’s full shine in a brown haze, I almost no longer believed. At the edge of despair I thought the land was lost forever, when at once, something flashing, flame-shot with gold, caught the corner of my eye. From below the signposts and still grass of the roadside there arose in chorus a great congregation of birds from the earth like a fleet of angels in resurrection. I saw their beating wings catch the morning sun and reflect, in each perfectly synchronized turn of the flock, the red haze of the marred light in a new-made shimmer as if to give unshakable glory to the life eternal which still lives in this world, even in such a time as this. I saw more flocks gather around me as my car traveled on, and they flew overhead and resided there in the air in cadence with my own pace of flight. Their shadow was so dense above me that my sight became for a moment darkened, the outline of each feathered body becoming one. When having passed over me entirely, and, leaving the wake of my movement to myself once again, they seemed to take all darkness with them. And my eyes were wider, restored with light.

A recollection from my time at Quail Springs Permaculture Farm, Autumn 2013

 

image source: pixabay license