Alright in all ways

Yellowbells
I lay back on the hard ground
and pull a blanket of stars
over my cold body.
I shiver and then
lay back, still.
A warmth from deep within
stirs,
enlivens.
I listen and hear
the creaky voices of frogs
singing a welcome song of spring.
I look and see
stars shooting across the sky
and satellites and a lone plane
blinking red
in the inky black
new-moon night.

I take a deep breath
and feel the earth move
beneath me.
I close my eyes, enveloped in
an ancient knowledge
unnoticeable most days,
most lives unnoticed.

I am, we are, going to be alright.
Always have been, although
we often don't think it.
Always will be, only not
in the ways we have been told
to think.

But yes, we are going to be alright.

In the steady ways
of a river.
And the swirling ways
of  wind.
In the sparkling ways
of fire.
And the dark ways
of night.
In the fleeting ways
of dreams.
And the mysterious ways
of the universe.
And in the deep, deep ways
of the earth.

by David LaFever

Be still. Listen.

An Imagined Letter from Corona to Humans

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Stop.
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.
Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Listen.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.

– Kristin Flyntz

Praise the rain

“Praise the Rain” by Joy Harjo:

“Praise the rain, the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk —
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity —
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep —
Praise the mist, the warrior name
The earth eclipse, the fired leap —
Praise the backwards, upward sky
The baby cry, the spirit food —
Praise canoe, the fish rush
The hole for frog, the upside-down —
Praise the day, the cloud cup
The mind flat, forget it all —

Praise crazy. Praise sad.
Praise the path on which we’re led.
Praise the roads on earth and water.
Praise the eater and the eaten.
Praise beginnings; praise the end.
Praise the song and praise the singer.

Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.”

A Love Letter to Life

Hello Friends and Family,


My heart is heavy today, filled with anxiety, worry, sorrow and the flutterings of other uncertainties. Living in Washington, although not in Seattle, we seem to be one of the coronavirus front lines in the U.S. There is plenty of exchange between our little valley and Seattle, however, which is a connection that we cannot deny or be too casual about these days. Today the Governor of Washington closed all schools until the end of April at the earliest. As people here dashed to stores to “prepare”, whatever that might mean, I stayed at home and tried to give my kids some semblance of a decent day. Feeling fear rising and falling in my body and mind, try to respond to their needs and not to the anxiety I was feeling nearly all day long today. I am reminded of the importance of being mindful, returning to the present, and the need to stay connected. For me it means connected with my body, connected with my loved ones and community, and with the natural world. These are the sources of well-being and ease, even if there is the possibility of connection bringing with it a shadowy side. We ARE connected whether or not we choose to believe it. This virus is surely showing us that. 


It is said that you don’t choose your family and yet tonight as I was rubbing my daughter’s head in the darkness of bedtime, I realized that we CAN choose our family. We can choose them each and every morning when we arise. We can choose them each and every night when we bid them goodnight. Yes it is true that we do not choose the cards we are dealt in life and this virus is not something we are choosing either. So what do we do given this reality? 

Do we choose to ignore? Do we choose to isolate? Do we choose to resent? Do we choose to let fear and anxiety drive us mad?


The poems that I am sharing through my blog say something about this. The first one is by Lynn Unger and was shared with me by a friend today. The timing was perfect and I will carry its message in my heart throughout the coming days, I hope. The second poem is one I wrote last night which speaks a little to greeting our shadowy side. 


Light and darkness, shadows and sunshine are all always intermingling in this thing I can life, this shadow I call me, this sunshine I call you. 
Please stay connected with one another, reach out your hearts even if you cannot reach out your hands. And don’t forget to wake up each day and choose to greet whatever comes with as much love and compassion as you can. I hope to do the same.


Most sincerely,
David

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

--Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Shadows of Light and Dark

Moonlight caresses the river
only its surface, its skin
as moon-glow and coyote song
mingle, separate, mingle again
in a melody of light and dark.

I follow her down river
mesmerized by sparkling waters
confused by quick changes
here wide and bright
suddenly narrow and shadowy.

And I think that my life is like this
dazzling and muddy
delightful and damning
wondrous and wrathful
always changing, ever impermanent.

And I think, I want the good to stay, and the bad,
well, you can have the bad, the shadowy things.
And then I think, I love my shadow and
I was just playing with it last night, hide
and seek, as I stood outside looking up at the moon.

by David LaFever