The One Thing

I, being the perfect shade of vanilla, have no memory of my ancestors or knowledge of herbs beyond cooking very basic meals. I know nothing of traditions beyond the usual holidays that are part protestant and part government. I also do not participate in Christianity, as I was raised by those who had already turned their faces toward the substances of relief rather than the folded hands of prayer. I’ve never been bothered by this. Gods many houses are beautiful but I never felt like god was there.

This peculiar thing about God’s pronouns also gave me pause. He, being a father, is all well and good when you need a father but I thought we needed bigger and better words for God, or whatever, what is there? How do you say, well, anything besides father? A few Hebrew choices are offered but those words mean no more to me than any others. So, leaving words like God behind I favored words like Spirit.

Spirit was when God was more like a flower, like a wave rushing up to the shore or thunder crackling through the rain soaked sky. Spirit was when my dog had puppies and was there still when one of the puppies died. Sometimes Spirit wore the face of a woman or a girl when I looked at my own reflection, when I looked at other women and sometimes Spirit looked like a man but I was by this time so separated from the word god that even when I saw him I didn’t call him that.

Going Home

When I said I’m coming home 

You laughed, you knew

I was always on my way

I just kept stopping to look around 

To look back

I would forget but not for long 

I only wanted you 

Unending light

The breeze that tickled 

the soft curls around my ear

The smell of earth and flowers 

The simplicity-

Yet the path was winding 

The sun was high 

Ten sticks slung over my shoulder 

Home was too far

much too far to remember

let alone, reach

but this home you said was inside

not inside doorways 

or beyond thresholds

it was also not the heavy shell

of the body, natures machine

filled with chemicals and tissues

laden with response and bias

Nor is it the mind, wherever that is-

this home was a thread 

it ran through all things

has been and is all places

every moment I miss it 

I spend with it

Not knowing any better

it cannot go

no more than I can pretend to leave

-or return

Spirit of Place

I want to go warm places and be wrapped up in the safety of happy thoughts. I’m sure I can do this whenever I close my eyes. You can certainly go anywhere inside your mind. Temples, gardens, mountains, whatever you decide, lately I have been going to a tower.

Its in a castle that overlooks the ocean on one side and the forest on the other. Its far away from civilization, a lone beacon on the coastline of an emerald sea. I can hear the water lap the shore and then pull itself back out again taking the unsteady sand with it in a swift rush. Packing all its feelings back up and leaving only to spill them back out again.

I am solitary like this castle. I stand tall and take the wind and rain. I light my windows in the dark of night and ponder stars that seem to do the same. I fly like a witch around my highest tower and bury my secrets in the garden below. What brick or stone does not know me here? What beam does not support my structure? What flower does not smell like my perfumed hair? What cool smile of mine is not reflected in pond or chalice?