Archive for the ‘Trusting the Body’ Category



Fever is composed of now, a starlight apocalypse that hasn’t happened yet. It is beautiful and tempting, the way death is. Death stands by the door, with food and love. The afterlife is hidden. It falls under trees and leaves, like so much moonlight. Recovering from death is heartache and prose, summarizing branches into lines of fortune. The stars go blind. The night sky collapses in so much mesmerism. Where facts hold sway and water. There is no tune that carries in this sky. The night is silent.


Instead of focusing on the next year or month, plant energy in the day that surrounds you. The ground holds so much water. The water is today and only today. The flood.


Intention & Magic


Surplus energy makes us feel vulnerable and sometimes lonely and afraid. That emptiness is an illusion of water. There is no emptiness. The fullness of the way time measures itself against one’s openness. How long does it take and how courageous we must be to follow not our habitual patterns but our souls. Needing to fill that space of longing, assuage that restlessness. The restlessness makes us feel so open, these fields of burning wheat and stakes.


Talismans are tools of intention and focus and faith in what might not yet be seen except in glimmers. Magic and intention must be paired with the hard work of making them into concrete entities in the world. These glimmers of faith in what is coming into being are powerful resources. There is no magic without right effort.


A miracle happened last night. It was one of those miracles with and without words, with bodily weight and light. Weightlessness and gravity as centrifugal and freeing forces.


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Language finds a place in the world. Language finds a place in the body.


One of the best things about working for myself is that sometimes almost everything just stops. There are lulls in the workflow, where regular work comes in but it’s not crazy. The daily to-do list is manageable. There are spaces in the rush of New York. I love being busy and working on a huge project and kicking ass on it and being inspired and energized by deadlines and the great teams I work with. And I also love when it slows down and I wake up to quiet mornings and slowly drinking coffee and reading and answering emails without the pressure of fifteen deadlines ticking through my brain.


I have been working on getting more honest, with myself, in the words that I speak to others, in what I write. I’ve been working with observing what I’m feeling and thinking and asking myself, are these honest thoughts? What am I really feeling? This bareness of observing and awareness to come to a place of truth is a solid path. Awareness itself becomes the stability, is the stability. When the pace of life and work slow down, there is room for this inquiry. And for noticing and listening without agenda or goal. Giving up of goals is difficult in an accomplishment-driven era. But that is the only way to really see your basic nature, hear your heart, allow your soul to express itself in unbidden and unpredictable ways.


So, lately, work has been slow. I finished up two big projects that took up much of my time and energy and mental space about two weeks ago. The silence and slowness have allowed me to get back into the imaginary worlds of my poetry manuscript and novel and spend lengths of solid time there. These are the stories and lines and paragraphs I write and live inside that are distinct imagination and creativity.


Then there are the other stories, the psychological constructs and emotionally driven patterns that are created. The slow pace of days and nights has also allowed me to separate my emotional reactions to events and see where the raw emotion is and where the story that accompanies the emotion starts. We all have memories and past hurts and past joys that connect to present events and we have overarching stories about who we are, what our lives are, what they’re going to be. These stories are based in fear and reaction, not the true presence of what is actually going on in our lives. It’s easier sometimes to create scenarios and outcomes in our minds than to face an uncertain array of futures, the fact that the future and even some things in the present are uncertain.  So we build stories, attributing opinions and actions to the people in our lives that we don’t know are real, but they comfort us, in their known-ness. When we allow ourselves the time to look at these stories honestly, and really break out which of the storylines are ones we have clung to so that our lives make sense, it becomes clear that most of what we think we know is not actually known to us. Then we are left with the honesty of that: that we don’t know what other people think and feel, we don’t know what’s going to happen, we don’t know the outcome of the path we are taking. When we face this, it is easier to stay grounded and make good decisions and choices, based on where we are right now, rather than reacting to a scenario in our heads.


Our concern then is: what can we do now that is true to ourselves and honest? What can we do now that feels right in a grounded way? This is a beautiful thing, this awareness and slowness and quiet. From this aware, slow, and quiet place, we make decisions based not on fear but on that quiet, still space inside of us that is connected to our root, our heart, our soul. Right action for the sole purpose of itself. Not to get anything or get anywhere but simply to be in the right place doing the right thing. The attunement to what feels right becomes steadier and is easier to gauge. This affects every action, from answering an email, to making a salad for lunch, to whether or not to move or take that job or sign that contract.


From this place, we naturally do what is most beneficial in a wholesome sense for ourselves and those around us. Beneficial in promoting peace and understanding and growth.


From this place, writing becomes a measure of silence, of the spaces between lives, where the dead speak and the unknown reaches of time and universal space inhabit themselves. Life, the way it moves, is an uncertain paradox. My connection to the words and the space that words represent becomes deeper and more intimate. Language finds a place in this quiet and quiets me. Quiets my breathing and my mind and my heart. This allows the stretch of language, of writing, to go deeper, to awaken musculature that has been sleeping, to open up the prime numbers of the mathematical equations that underlie grammar. I love the quiet intensity of these times of writing where I feel closer to language itself because it becomes a code through which the world is deciphered, for a minute, then the code breaks in another direction and is as soluble as so many substances in water.

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We Create Our Own Shadows


We are feral children, living in abandoned tunneled concrete underground. The surface = danger. The bits of garbage, our remaindered archaeologies, are precious to us and we arrange them with care, treat them as artifacts. Suddenly, there’s an unmarked van on the surface come to rescue us. Half of us move half of our fractured crockery, our rusted pipes, our cracked plastic up to the surface. The other half will come the next day. At night the tunnels and rooms collapse while we wait. Don’t look back. Don’t look back.

Lee Ann Roripaugh


I had a hard night last night, emotionally, and a difficult conversation with someone I love with all my heart, unconditionally and eternally. A soul mate, someone who has taught me how to love, how to be in the world as myself, living close to my bones, my desires, my truth. Bone, desire, truth are not just words describing these things: bone, desire, truth. They are decoders of the obscure nature of what they denote and create a place and a language that transcend their physicality. They inhabit a place of being to which we both ascend and descend, finding lost things, healing wounds that have been invisible to us, lighting our path. The hard emotions that came up last night put me solidly on my path. Again and again, I return to it.


I woke up with a heavy stone in my chest. Things I used to tolerate are becoming intolerable. There is more, seemingly, to fix, to take care of, to handle. What I realized this morning is that this is a healthy thing, there is energy and power there.


We determine so much of our lives. We can make tragedy for ourselves and compound our misery or we can look steadily at what is happening around us, in our lives, in the world, and use our power to answer those misfortunes and to thoroughly enjoy our moments of peace. The place where demons dwell—one place that is many places in the physical world, and even more worlds in the soul. Tiredness that weaves around the body, stretching into our thoughts and passions, making longings grow deeper. The truth of where we put our focus and our energy determines how we live. This is a hard topic, as fate intertwines with free will and our own consciousness and self-power. It bears thinking about and honing the skill of being in concert with the world but also in answer to it.


Have we entered the poem more deeply than we had imagined? Finding purpose, light and shadow, the crook of a neck, the nape of that same neck, kissing that is like coming home, tragedies that break us open and hold us accountable for our presence.


Primo Levi writes, “…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…”

The sea, its strange shores and incandescent glow of planets low in the sky, close to earth, for hours or minutes, during which we can see them with the naked eye—come together and Opherion, Orpheus, the underworld all become visible. The invisible harnesses we hold ourselves to, the seemingly meaningless things we tolerate on a daily basis, to find, when we become conscious, that they’ve made holes in our shirts, dulled our skin and breath, taken away our breath altogether. This is the point of action, this vulnerability and discomfort. Becoming disenchanted with the illusion of our lives as we would like to see them, letting go of the need to appear perfect or refined or even well-defined, makes us free. Just being with ourselves and our lives the way we are, the way they are lifts a tremendous burden off of us.


It allows us to be who we are, to let others see us and be close to us, creating deeper and more fulfilling connections with everyone and everything. These are the connections we long for, and this intimacy is sustainable, because it is true. That which is true sustains.


Trust the body, the things the body knows before they happen, the body as an echo of the future, premonitory, live, sensitive, all the organs and blood and nerve endings acute readers of signals the soul sends out, the world bowing and swelling to meet these sounds, knowing it’s time. Almost knocks us down, this feeling of it’s time. What does this mean to us, and how do we stay true to it?

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What Has Been Beautiful So Far in This New Year

Trusting the body and marveling at its innate healing process. Acknowledging how amazing the body is.

I’ve taken some time off-line, which was necessary. The world is not the computer.

Reconnecting with a simple, exalted quiet.

Thinking about what I want to heal this year. What are my goals for healing mind, body, heart and spirit?

Here’s a good measure of a realistic goal: how do you feel when you set the goal? Do you feel relaxed and joyful and open and positive? Is your breathing regular and deep? Your heart rate normal and measured? Or does your breath stop in your chest or on the way out of your nose or mouth? Become aware of your breathing, and notice how it feels. If you suddenly feel constricted and tense when thinking about your goal, try to set a new goal that is smaller and feels more natural. Goals are met organically – healing and health are a lifelong process. It’s not a race to the finish line.

What do you want to heal this year? What are your goals for healing your mind, body and spirit?

What has been beautiful for you so far in this new year?

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Rest in the basics of breath and body. Observe your breath through your entire body. This is home.

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