Deck the Halls…

I do not wish to deck the halls with boughs of holly
Nor do I believe that this is the season to be jolly
I do not desire artificial light and merriment

At this time of year I welcome the silence and the dark
I enjoy watching the colour drain out of the landscape
Leaving us with the subtle muted tones of green and brown

I crave this same process for myselfphoto
A fitting finale to the cycle of the year
I envy nature her truth

I am not afraid of the dark
I do not wish to deny death its moment of glory
Much within me is ready to be committed to the earth
Dust to dust ashes to ashes

Celebration does not always require a fanfare
Let us keep this for long hot fecund days to come Could we not allow ourselves to rest?

To follow natures example and empty out
Lie fallow
Breathe gently like Mother Earth

And wait…

(written Friday December 12th 2014)

I’m doing the best I can

To be a carer is to have a powerful magnifying mirror
Held up in front of me
Every blemish every flaw revealed and reflected back to me

I tried at first to blame others “No one offers to help!”
To become angry and indignant “I’m not an only child!
The victim then the martyr “Poor me, I’ll have to do it alone!”
But deep inside I knew – couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes

This was just about me my opportunity to learnIMG_1319
And grow into the self I already thought I was
These unattractive traits a blessing in disguise

I have learnt not to shun the mirror
To accept and be tender with myself
‘I’m doing the best I can’ my mantra at these times
For truly I am

The guilt shame and blame that comes with self-persecution
No longer have me in their grip
In the mirror what I see now is an ever evolving consciousness
Full of love and compassion for its human condition…

(written Saturday December 13th 2014)

For Karen – She Who Listens

Brought to me by love
She Who Listens
Sits and smiles
And the whole world shines from her eyes

An alchemist
Her listening is transformational
Originating in her very soul
And in this moment
She is my ‘anam cara’

She Who Listens
Takes me to distant places never visitedphoto 4
And through her listening
The unknown landscape becomes terra firma
On which I walk unafraid

She Who Listens
Casts her spells as questions
And falling into their magic
I am released like Snow White
From a deep deep sleep

She Who Listens
Scatters soul-dust
And an Oak tree is revealed
Strong of limb in full leaf
Vibrant and fertile

No ivy clings a parasite
Stealing its life-force
Rather a symbiosis is established
A natural pruning
An agreement to nourish
A respectful partnership

She Who Listens
Smiles and laughs and nods
She knew all along
That this is the way it is…

Autumn clear out

I have been having an Autumn clear out
Not as vigorous as a Spring clean
Often more spontaneous
Driven by the anticipated excitement of summer
And a feeling to clear the decks for action

My Autumn clear out is more a gentle pruning IMG_1555
A cutting back leaving space for something new
Things hang more freely, move more easily
Reveal themselves to me more readily

There is room to breathe thinner fresher crisper air
Natures colours thin down to greens golds reds and browns
Their subtle tones easier to see and to enjoy

And with the clear out comes a neatness
Things tidied away, a new order established
A time for fires in the hearth and in the heart
Bonfires – natures funeral pyre
A time to say farewell to the old and play my part in what is to come…

(written Monday September 29th 2014)

Climate Change

My mother is like the White Cliffs of Dover
Beautiful a landmark in our livesWhite-Cliffs-of-Dover1
But at the mercy of the elements
Slowly being eroded
So that her landscape changes daily

One day battered by stormy weather
In danger of losing her footing
The next basking in the sunshine of sweet memories
Only then to be engulfed in a bewildering fog
Through which we guide her back to the present moment
Where she anxiously searches for the familiar

This then is the climate in which we all live
Those of us who care for her day to day
There are no forecasts
No predictable weather fronts
So that we can prepare for the day to comeimages

Our minds in need of order and structure
Try to invent them
But truly they do not exist
The chaos of climate change is upon us

Mum has redefined ‘normal’
It has become wherever she finds herself
She has torn up the rule book
Which every now and then we try desperately to reassemble
Frustrated indignant impatient often overwhelmed
We find relief in sharing our stories of mum

photoMum is often frustrated indignant impatient too
And lately I have come to understand
How overwhelming it must feel
To have no one who understands her landscape
To share these feelings with…

There are also moments of great pathos
As when evening approaches mum nervously says
‘Don’t be angry with me
But I think I’d like to go home now’
And I choose to interpret this
As a loss of the memory that this iIMG_3418s her home

She speaks often of ‘her family’
A term that doesn’t embrace we who care for her
And we have taught ourselves
Not to take offence at this exclusion
Sometimes she weeps for the absence of them
And the memories of happier family times

I do not try to comfort or distract anymore
I have grown to respect her reality
Sometimes I go with her into the pain of absence
It is a valid place to be –
And stay alongside as she surfaces once more
In this world that feels less and less like home…

(written Tuesday october 28th 2014)

Chasing away the Blues

Here’s my recipe:

To chase away the blues
Change the hues
Take yourself to the park
Just for a lark
Indulge in a long walk
To stop the mind-talk
Use your eyes
You’ll her surprisedIMG_1602
By the beauty you can find
When you switch off the mind
Breathe deep and slow
It will help you let go
Of the thoughts that bring pain
So you don’t go insane
Open your heart
Embrace the dark
Without it there’s no light
You don’t need to fight
That voice in your head
Which fills you with dread
When the blues come
Let yourself be glum
Allow the feeling
It can be very healing
Not to resist or disown
What wants to make itself known
Let it surface and release
It will bring you peace
The blues are your friend
They will help you mend…

(written Saturday October 25th 2014)

Sowing New Seeds

I am planting a new crop
I no longer want to harvest
Sorrow pain guilt or shame

My new catalogue arrived
Full of exciting possibilities
And I placed my order

In due course the seeds arrived
Joy abundance peace prosperity
And carefully with full attention
I pricked them out
Green-housed them watered them
Waited in anticipation for them to grow

Sure enough tender green shoots appeared m90047_GYGG-Grow5
Ready to be planted out
In full and glorious sun

I have turned and mulched the soil
And lovingly introduced them to the earth
With enough space to grow and stretch
With no risk of of crowding or competition

I weed from time to time
Removing anything in danger of impeding
Full strong healthy growth

But in reality it is nature that does the work
While I look on and wait…

A New Awareness

Each new day unfolds into love and acceptance
But it was not always so
Food, alcohol, shopping, work
All have been used to numb the pain
To fill the void of another empty day

There must be more to life than this!
Would be my silent mantra
As I selected my anaesthetic for the day

IMG_3526And all the time I was blind to the beauty of life
Fearful and faithless I did not know how to surrender
Because I did not know there was a bigger picture
Thought foolishly that I was in control
That this ego was all there is

Then came the day when no anaesthetic would work
And racked with pain I stumbled and fell
Out of control into the darkness

This forced surrender was my saviour
My mantra had been heard
I had fallen into the loving waters
Of the Universal Flow of Life
Swept along to the truth of what I am
A slip stream of this Eternal Life

Immersing myself in this new thought
My ideas about life changed
No longer alone but part of the Whole

Everything appearing in service to me
So that I might serve…


Death II

And so death arrives
More often than not
We believe uninvited

But in truth
From the moment of our birth
Death is our companion

Peru 347Offering us opportunities to befriend her
Make our peace with her
Allow her a place at our table

Rarely are we wise enough
To accept deaths invitation
Choosing instead the pain and loneliness
Of our perceived failure loss rejection

If we could but know it
These homeopathic doses of death
Offer us immunity from suffering and oblivion
Which is what we most fear…

M’I Self

A final gentle tug
And the gates swing open
Fresh air rushes in
Filling spaces left unoccupied
For life times…

A light released
Shines clear and bright from within
Illuminating the exterior landscape
And everything feels looks sounds more alive

Apparently there are songs to be sung
From this placephoto
Words and ways to be woven
A language of the soul
Ancient and timeless
To be resurrected

My time has come…
Stepping out of the bardo
I carry the Light with me
And the cloth I have been weaving
In eternity
Tumbles out around me…