Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Sorrow run the white water
Graze sharp rocks
Course a great unknown
Watch from the shore
Flailing hands sink and surface
A heart is all that I hold
Watch it rise on the white foam
Water diamonds shimmer as it beats
Desperation and grief
Float and toss toward
What is wanted
Toward what is
Beyond reach of control

Sunday, May 31, 2015

30 Days of Ritual ~ Day 15

My daily ritual of prayer for my mentally ill daughter has continued to metamorphose and grow. As the days continue, change continues to manifest:

She showed up one Saturday morning in the alleyway behind our home, setting up "camp" with two shopping carts full of her bags, a tarp, and an umbrella. The woman next door who is selling the house paid us a visit to complain, asking us if we knew the "person" in the alleyway and telling us that the "person's presence" was making it difficult for her to sell her house. Creator saw fit that I was not present when she came to my door, my rafeegh answered her rude knocking.

After discussing our options, we allowed her to move her things into the garage and to make a temporary place to sleep with her agreement that she would go to the local shelter where she would be safe and have access to services that would help her to find a permanent place to live. She had been bouncing around, walking all day and night, being rousted by police wherever she stopped. Her illness has made it impossible for her to go to most of the local shelters and the only one  left is, thankfully the best one for her situation as a Transgendered woman. She resisted at first, but after a couple of days. she let go of her fixation when I promised her that we would continue to help her with doctors appointments and such and that we would help her find a good and permanent place to live on her own.

Physically, she is has wounds all over her legs and feet, some look infected. We're taking her to the doctor tomorrow. This is huge considering she told us a month ago that we should stay away from her and not be involved in her life.

I continue to pray each day. I've added a white seven-day candle and Psalm 15, a Hoo Doo prayer spell from long ago. I reached out to my women's group, asking for them to hold sacred space for my daughter in any way that was holy to them. Several have and I attribute her appearing in the alleyway to the boost in sacred energy from women united in purpose and direction.

I don't know where this is all going. I do not know how it will all end. I only know now. For now she is safe, fed, and watched over. I am profoundly grateful, profoundly blessed.

Ashé, Ashé, Ashé-o!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

30 Days of Ritual ~ Day 5

This morning is the sixth day since I began a small ritual of prayer, offering incense, and healing breaths. At this point, I feel a daily post is redundant as the changes that occur within me don't always happen immediately. I very often need time to allow what is happening within me to come to the surface. I think perhaps a weekly post or even by weekly would serve this time better for me.

These past two days, I have noticed that the candle flame on my altar has been leaping upward, glowing bright red and orange as I went through the healing breaths. This is new, and I'm not going to speculate on its meaning. Still, it is a noticeable change.

The energy in my home is calm, the sound of the water in the fountain keeps the quiet cadence. Today the sun is in and out of the clouds and I want to go into the garden. Last night I indulged in eating far more than I needed. Sleep was restless as a result and today I am not as well in my body as yesterday. A lesson learned.

This act of prayer and offering is causing me to pay more attention to the consequences of my choices. It is bringing me away from autopilot and into a state of awareness I have not been able to experience in some time. It is also teaching me to be more forgiving of myself, less harsh. I'm not sure why this is. I just know that it is.

Songs from Earth

Water sings its own song for its own purpose
The soil it blesses takes up the chorus
Seeds down deep wake to ancient music
The kernel of life within their center
Shivers in anticipation of Sun
Barely a whisper within me
A longing to remember
All that I knew as deeply
As my place among the stars

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

30 Days of Ritual ~ Day 4

I overslept this morning and I'm refusing the strong urge to engage in negative self talk for not rising before dawn to pray and offer the sandalwood. It is more important that I found my way to the altar, eyes full of sleep, achy and tired. My heart is sincere even if I am not as prompt as I could have been.

This morning I added five minutes of healing breath using one of the Medical Meditation exercises from Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Cameron Stauth's book. Right now I cannot sit in easy pose so I sat on my low stool in front of my altar practicing the Complete Breath, then breathing slowly through first my left nostril, then my right. In the opposite hand I held the mudra of thumb to fore finger. While breathing this way, my mind became more quiet.

Before beginning this ritual a few days ago, I was so tortured by worry, fear, and dreams of loss. I had been waking several times a night with an unshakable vision of my daughter being beaten or worse at the hands of predatory people.

I don't remember waking last night. In fact, I slept through most of the night. My dreams are not filled with fear, though I haven't focused attention to remembering them as yet. Right now in this moment I am breathing fully and I am looking beyond my fears. Ashe, Iya, Ashe.

Monday, May 18, 2015

30 Days of Ritual Day 3 ~ A Prayer Answered

My prayer was rushed this morning--early appointment. I am glad kept my commitment to the ritual. I was able to think of my adult child several times this morning without, the grip of fear in my gut.

She has been incommunicado for over two weeks. Even though her living with me is not possible, the text messages she usually sends daily let me know she is still alive. After a long silence, I  saw her today for the first time in over a month.

I am flooded with gratitude that she is alive. She is surviving, if not thriving. This is not the life I wanted for her, but the choice is not up to me.

My prayer was answered. She is, for this moment as safe as she will allow herself to be. Thank you, Iyalode.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

30 Days of Ritual ~ Day 2

It's 9:30 in the morning on Sunday. I've finished my brief ritual for healing and release. It took all of five minutes. The fragrance of sandalwood is curling through the house and the sound of the water fountain is murmuring softly almost like tiny bells.

I'm allowing the  thoughts of "should have given more time, should have been...better..." to come. They come, attempt a foothold, then without encouragement they go. I'm aware of my own self sabotage, self-talk that dampens my ability to be free, to be whole. That awareness, too, has its own ability to diminish me if I let it. My answer to the chorus inside my head,  "Today I am beginning and it is enough."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

30 Days of Ritual ~ Day One

On the heels of National Poetry Month, a bright light who goes by the moniker of Brown Betty inspired and delighted me with her  commitment to writing a poem a day for the 30 days of April. I haven't checked in with her to debrief, but I came to look forward so eagerly each day to her writing. She has a gift to be sure and I love what she pens. There was something else at work as well in her postings and I feel it as the beauty of ritual. The word ritual has its roots in Latin, and Middle French (see etymonline). Ritual is often associated with rigidity, prescribed and strict rules of conduct regarding religious practices, but it also carries a healing energy, a means to connect with Source through the beauty of a repeated act of celebration. As Miz Betty posted her poems each day, I came to see her posting as a ritual of honoring her gift of writing gorgeous poetry. Each of those 30 days enriched my life. Those 30 days broke open a place for me to deal with some heaviness.

Without getting into the grit of personal details, I have wrestled with the reality of having an adult child who is severely mentally ill. She is homeless, and vulnerable to all that the streets lay out for those unfortunate enough to have to live on them. She has  chronic life threatening health conditions which require daily medications, frequent visits to health care providers, and if that's not enough of a challenge, she is transgendered. To say that I worry, doesn't do justice to the despair. All of my children struggle with personal issues to some extent or another, but for some reason, this child has not sat lightly in my heart. I've coped and thrived and put their lives in a perspective that allows me to function and if not always feel happy to at least be content. Not so with this one child. Knowing why she weighs on me as she does is not helpful. It does nothing to help me cross through. What I know I need is a way to put the unrest of her spirit in the hands of Creator and our Guides.  Knowing that I have no control over her her life and putting that into practice as a mother is more than a notion. If you've loved a child, if you've mothered a child, you know of what I speak.

30 days...30 days...the phrase has been ringing in my head like a bell. Getting out of my head is what I need to do most. Ritual has always been good for me to do that. So why not 30 days of ritual to release my despair? Why not 30 days of honoring the grief? I write this as I am thinking it, creating the possibility of healing right now with you the reader. Everything I need is here in my home. I have sacred objects, the elements and the means to call to them. I have my connection to Source and while it has been wobbly during these years of illness in body and soul, it is far from gone. There is nothing else to do at this point except to begin where I am.

Creator Mother Father God
I lay my heart in your care
Look with love on my child
Ease her pain as she will allow
Help us both to remember
Why we chose this earthly life
I release all sadness, anger, worry, and despair
Thank you for the gift of this life

This is a simple prayer that I will offer each day along with sandalwood incense. A holy and sacred substance, sandalwood creates healing and positivity and brings us closer to Divine Beings. It encourages healing and is often used medicinally. It calms and soothes the mind and spirit and is protective.

So begins my 30 days. This is as basic as it gets, but to me it is powerful. This may be all that I do or my spirit may be moved to add to this as time progresses. I am not looking for a miracle, simply some release, relief, and healing for us both.