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Rhythm Heart


The heart of the rhythm, the sweet, strong beat, flows from the ocean of emotion in motion,

and from the higher fire of desire; flames in my blood and pulses in my soul like sweet Oshun-honey.... 

The first-heard sound in my prenatal ear was the steady heartbeat of my mother, and now,

the heartbeat of the Earth herself pours in me and through me,

singing through my voice and playing through my hands like water, like fire, like magic. 

It has been said that if you have a heartbeat, you have rhythm and if you have rhythm, you can drum,

and this, I know, is true.... 

The drum leads us on our paths, introducing us to new friends and lovers,

granting us blessings and teaching us lessons on the way as we dance, or stumble along,

...changing our lives, in the process. 

The drum is a microcosmic universe for us to experience,

just as we do the greater whole;

any issues, any growth, any feelings we encounter while playing

are working themselves out in the macrocosmic world around us.... 

We heal ourselves, each other, and the planet as we learn and teach and play together,

reminding ourselves through rhythm and trance who we deeply are.

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A Response to the Preacher-Man:

Yes, sir, I do believe in God.  I believe that there is only one God, and that this God wears many faces, like a multi-faceted diamond.  I believe that this God is all knowing and all-powerful, and that this God works in mysterious ways.  I know for a fact, that God is far wiser than I am, that God knows what the children need far better than I do, and that there is a plan for each and every one of us. 

The God I believe in is Love, and Kindness and Compassion.  I am not a Satanist- I do not believe in Satan or in Hell or in absolute evil or eternal damnation, or in sin.  I believe that disease exists, that sickness and poverty exist, that chemical imbalances in the human brain exist, and that these conditions can create extreme and unhealthy situations, but I don’t think they’re punishments sent from on high. 

I believe that through our words and our deeds, we create heaven here on earth, or not-   I believe that each of our souls has come to this plane to learn about love and about Spirit, in whatever way we choose to access that reality.  I will not believe in a god-form that condemns millions of innocent Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and others to burn in Hell because their God has a different name.  God is One- it doesn’t matter if we call God Krishna or Jesus, Adonai or Buddha, Isis or Goddess- Spirit knows who we are talking to, there is no confusion in Spirit’s mind, being all-knowing, S/He can figure it out. 

We are judged, if you will, by our deeds- If we are using our spiritual connections to berate and fight and force and coerce-- we need to ask ourselves, is this what Jesus did??  The answer is no- he spent his time learning, and teaching, preaching his message of love and compassion, and “turn the other cheek,” to his disciples, to the people who sought him out, who resonated with the messages he was bringing forth... 

Jesus absolutely was the son of God, just as I am the daughter of God and you are a child of God.  We are all Spirit, under our skins.... Our job is to access this knowledge in whatever way seems appropriate for us as individuals, to share it with people who seek us out and resonate with us, to act as God would have us do, with kindness and compassion and clarity and love...

For it is by our actions that we show what we are made of, that we demonstrate our Divine selves.  I don’t need you to save me; I am not lost.  I will not burn in your vision of hell, I am creating heaven around me now... When I die, I will go back into complete unity with Spirit, without fear... But for this moment, and this breath, and this heartbeat, I have work to do- and blessings to offer to all, even you.
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Ascending

The morning light had awakened me early, the red, hot glare of the desert and the wide-open sky beckoned me to come for a walk, to see and be seen by the creatures and spirits of this new place, to greet and converse with the stones and the cacti....   As I started walking, I found a piece of plastic blowing in the wind, picked it up and put it in my pocket, and tangibly felt the desert's gratitude and approval. ... And found myself at the base of a formation of about six rocks, and thinking how frightening and risky and dangerous it would be to climb them, there, in the morning heat, wearing my hiking sandals... thinking about how easy it would be to become water and flow with the current, up the stone, as if I were a mountain lion, or a nanny goat...  Ascending the rock after some moments of communion, touching the surface, exploring the sensations in touching the rock, feeling the rock enjoying my touch in it's own quiet, rocky, stony sort of silent exhalation.  And being granted permission to climb, to test my own limits and go through a piece of work to push me a little, with fear and risk and affirmations and new ways of looking at things...  Whenever I would begin to feel afraid, I would chant to myself that every step I take is safe, the next step is safe.  I would maintain my hold with three limbs, solidly, and allow the fourth to find the toehold or finger hold...  I was moving slowly, almost a tai-chi meditation, in the flow, waiting patiently until the next move became clearly revealed by the stone itself... And when I looked at how high I had climbed, without thinking about it, suddenly, I was very afraid, visioning myself freezing like a deer in the light, needing to call for help to get down, a confused kitten gone too far up the tree...  and so I got small on the rocks, low down and close to them, until I could smell them, and persuade myself to take one more step... all the way up, and then all the way down the other side, filled with profound gratitude....

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Fall Musings

The temperature is dropping, and the days are getting darker earlier.  Just outside of town, the leaves have mostly fallen from the trees, a symphony of color, in radiant finale.  Samhain is again nearly upon us, marking the ending of the months of light, and the beginning of the dark-time ahead.  Once again, the television warns of impending terror, of bad-guy bogeymen to fear in the times ahead.  The dark-time descends; perhaps that's why we call it Fall? 

Let us call on our ancestors, on those who came before us, to lend us their guidance, their wisdom, their wiley ways, to help, aid and inspire us as we move forward from this moment in the stream of time.   At this holy time of year, I call for the wisdom of my Great-Grandmother Anna, who lived through the Depression, the wars, the oppression, disease and the anti-semitism.  She prospered, becoming matriarch of a good and strong family.  I call for my Grandfathers, Harry and Ed, to remind me of the power of laughter, of song, and of family... and for my grandmothers, Muriel and Anne, to share their strong and gentle ways of being and their long-forgotten stories.  These are the ancestors I knew personally; it is on their shoulders I stand tall.  At this time of year, I choose to remember the beauty and goodness in them, and to honor their memories, through the veil of time.  I call for the ancestral wisdom of those who lived in times of terror, through the Holocaust in Germany, through the pogroms in Poland and Russia, beyond and beyond, back into the source of strength.  Send your words of hope, of having faith that the light will return.  Send your light to keep us warm.

On Samhain night, I will go to the ocean's side and I will listen for my ancestor's voices, in the waves, and in the foam, and in the stillness. 

There's a Sweet Honey in the Rock song that says: "Listen more often to things than to beings-- 'tis the ancestor's word, when the fire's voice is heard, 'tis the ancestor's breath in the voice of the waters.  Those who have died have never ever left, the dead are not under the earth...." 

On Samhain night, I will sing them my songs, and their songs.  I will ask for their wisdom, and they will speak to me, in their own ways.  I will remember friends and other loved ones who are no longer on this plane-- Jeff's parents, my high school friends, those who died at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, in all the wars, and I will honor their memory, as well.... and I will give thanks...

for the beauty of these moments, now,

for the community which cradles me in love,

for the gift of my husband and my daughter,

for the deep, sweet, loving connections in my life

for health and strength, and so much more....


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