storms and shelters

The Wellspring sees me studded in blue lights. The lights aren’t actually embedded in me, but hang in strands, a little off my body, running from my head to the ground, a curtain of lights. They bump and rattle as I move.

I climb the hill to the cave of days. The weight of what I carry solidifies around me as I enter the cave, becomes part of the mountain, and stops, trapping me in the seal of its angles. For a heartbeat I am lost, then I sift out of the containment like dust through seams, I drop free.

I leave everything behind and walk away.

I step through into a great wind. Howling and blowing grit. I bend into it. It is impossible to tend to what needs tending while exposed to the force of the wind.

Princess Brainiac takes my hand, guides me behind a rock where it is sheltered and I can breathe again. There is a cave entrance there. I go into the small cave. It’s good there. I can do what I need to do, undisturbed by the gusting wind. I sit. I shell my peas. It is good.

Then, without warning, the rock collapses around me. I am trapped, buried in rubble, my peas scattered. I think for a moment that all is lost.

But all is not lost. Though I cannot move, I can see my right hand in the darkness before me. It emits a blue light. In the pool of my hand’s light I see a single pea. Nourished by the blue light, the pea roots and sprouts, growing swift and certain. The pea stalk twines through the rock and then lifts the rubble up with it as it grows, creating space around me and organizing the stone into new walls of protection, a living shelter.

I had no idea a pea could do all that.


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inscrutable acts of love

I’m not doing nothing.

I keep blowing out little globules of possibility, denser than soap bubbles, more like fish eggs, they cluster and cloud me.

“Hey.” The Ferryman touches a finger to my heart, steadies me. I’ve gotten a little crackily with it, blowing out more and more and still no traveling movement, no established trajectories. The Ferryman anchors me now. I breathe and take stock.

I’m at the starting gate. The gate is open. I am webbed-up in a froth of possibility-eggs. Beyond the gate is inscrutable darkness. The eggs glisten and gleam. How can I begin to move?

I hunker down, blow into the dark just in front of my feet. The dark slips back like a curtain. A stone appears, a warm sandy glow. A first step. All around and beyond it the darkness remains insubstantial, unspoken.

I try to step out, but it’s not my step. It’s the River King’s step. Where is he? Swathed in egg bubbles, buried in all my hopeful noise. I blow to clear him, apologize for the mess of my enthusiasms. But it’s not for nothing. He has swallowed a few bright eggs. They have nourished him, kindled something hopeful in him. He steps to the gate. Will he chose the step I have revealed? Maybe. Maybe not. Some step must be taken. Will we go together? Yes. Will I lead? No. He will step first. My job is to keep blowing away the darkness ahead and feeding him these baubly eggs, feeding him yes.

Everything we’ve ever been through together, every fight, every loss, every laugh has been in support of this moment. He hesitates at the threshold, feet solid planted in the past. With all the love in my heart, I bend and blow-out the old ground underfoot. Gone to black. Poof.

“Step now. I’m with you. Step now.”


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meant to dive

I am standing on a thin, sharp peninsula of rock, high in the air, far above everything but wind. My feet completely fill the tip of the ledge. In front and to either side there is no ground, there is only air.

Wow. How did I get here? Must be all the thinking I’ve been doing, pulled me up so high. Where is the river? Somewhere below. To look down requires leaning over. If I lean I will dive.

I am meant to dive. And so I do.

I commit myself to wind. My wings unfold, broad and certain; they hold me, level me. I cut wide, slow circles in the air. From here I can see everything in its overall.

I will watch. I will listen. I will learn. When the time comes, I will dive.


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in the deep

It is dark all around. Dark but translucent. Weight with space in it. I am in deep water. There is a bouyancy to being here. The water does not negate the pressure and turmoil in effect at the surface, but it does provide a certain buffer. The water holds its own. Me. The water holds me.

I reach out my hand and the Ferryman takes it. I cannot see him, but he is here with me. I am not alone.

There is movement in the water, slow and complex. Currents of warm thread the currents of cold. I am anchored but fluid, a water plant, riding the currents but not leaving this spot. Small fish come and go, curious kisses.

The River King is there too, not far away, hunkered down with elbow on knee and chin on fist. He releases a string of small bubbles from his mouth, as if blowing out smoke, a bi-product of his contemplations. Ribbons of bubbles rise all around him defining the space he occupies as separate and special. I watch, thinking he might speak to me, gather me in, but he does not. He is thinking.

After a time he lifts his head in my direction. He blows a swath of bubbles my way. When they break on me they release tiny, bright musics. I am serenaded.


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floods and aftershocks

There is mud. Over everything. In everything. My hair, my ears, my mouth. The Ferryman takes my head in his hands, clears my eyes with the pads of his thumbs, gives voice to words I can’t make any sense of. I know nothing but mud, my skin rings with the taste of it.

I want it to be over. I want to be done, to wash clean, be weightless, to rest. But its not over. I can feel the next wave coming. Like when you’ve been vomitting all night and there’s nothing left to expel, and you are wrung out with exhaustion, but there it comes again, gathering in the pit of your stomach, that tremor you have come to know so well, the precurser to the great and unstoppable surge. There’s another wave coming. I don’t know if I can see it through.

“Look at me,” the Ferryman says. “Hey. Look at me.”

I find his eyes, black and shining in his weathered face. There is a light reflected there. My light. The Ferryman gives my light to me. “Look at me,” he says. He will not leave me. He will keep telling me back to myself, through whatever comes. He will keep stoking that fire.

The great wave is coming. The mud trembles. The Ferryman holds my face in his hands. “Look at me,” he says. “Right here. Look at me.”


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fertile ground

The flood waters receded.

There was a flood, a rush of noise, a fullness beyond capacity. Some things were lifted and carried. Some things were buried. Everything, everything was tested in its hold.

I lie in the mud plane, a swath cut by the drag of what had fallen. Everything now is still and lumpish and brown. I am indistinguishable from the rest. Slowly I come to understand that the still air above me is not water. I could sit up now. I could stand. I uncurl my fingers.

There is a green smell to the brown, an edge of mint. The ground crackles like rice crispies in milk, the wet soaking in, the air bubbling out. “This is good mud,” I declare, rising to my elbows on the strength of the revelation.

From where the water left him in the top branches of a tree still standing, the Ferryman throws back his head and laughs.


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many things at once

It is raining, turbulent. The Ferryman and I are hunkered down in the boat, heads bent, keeping our weight low. A song comes through me, from the water, from the chop itself, and the wind. The song lights a fire in my heart. I sing.

There is another layer to this now. There is blue sky and a fluttering of birds, at the same time as the pelting rain and turbulence. There is also a calm protected darkness, a stillness in which I might lie down and rest in the bottom of the boat. All these simultaneous. Perhaps it is a matter of choice which to occupy. I wonder about that.

I rest my hand on the bottom of the boat, sense the River King below. In answer to that presence, I flow through the planking into the depths. There is a calm there below. The River King welcomes me, invites me to tea. I am concerned about leaving the boat untended in the storm. “What need have we of a boat?” he asks.

“Maybe you don’t, but I think I do.”

“There’s something you don’t know about me,” he says, and turning, opens a brown chest in the corner. Sunlight erupts from the chest, gysering up through the grey water, opening space like the throat of a flower. The River King opens his arms to me. We stand together in the light. We dance.


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spell of waiting

The Ferryman brushes the wet hair from my face, my eyes; I am soaked by the mist, heavy with wet, blinded. His hands find me out. I am raked open by his kindness. All that is heavy, the physical limitations, fall away. I am a pillar of light, a flame.

I stand in the boat. The boat is midstream. We are surrounded by fog. The Ferryman poles slowly. All there is is the small kiss of wave against the boat, the stuttered joy of the drips that fall when he swings his pole forward, the smell of waiting.

Below the grey surface I see the shimmering of the River King. Is it my light that catches on his scales and calls the color out like that? No. He is generating his own light. He is warming himself on it. He is remembering movement. His remembering releases me.

I give my flame back to myself, feed my heart.

A cliff face looms, more heard than seen, a thickening, a tension behind the cloud. We turn parallel and make our slow way along.


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I stand ignited

I go to be of service.

The Wellspring says, “Only be the light. Nothing focused or specific. You don’t need story, you don’t need detail. Stand and draw the light through you and send it out into the need of the world.”

I am a crystal in the dark, ignited. Light streams out in all directions.

I bathe the suffering in love.


Posted in The light flows soft and warm. Unconditional. I give them that. | 1 Comment


There is a great noise, a clatter and roar. Frantic readying. My hair pulled back from my face, armor in place. Hands at my shoulders. Hands at my chest. Small touches. Quick breath. Action is called for. Something.

I can’t move. Can’t move. Can’t see. Frozen in darkness. Buried in rubble.

A hand of sweetness reaches in to touch my brow. All tension is released. I sink into sleep.


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