PEACE AND PASSION

male-female

For my 40th birthday, Sherman, my husband, gave me the best gift ever. He designed and self published a book of my art. I had been saying I needed to do this for years. I had many of my paintings already photographed. He managed to do it without me knowing. I was shocked and moved and very grateful. I was able to go back into the program he created it in and edit the book, as he knew I would want to. I added poetry and paintings, and yet the original was beautiful and complete unto itself.

The title of the book is Peace and Passion. I feel like those two words truly encompass the essence of my art as well as my personal approach to life. Not so long ago I wrote this poem:

Peace and Passion

I am passionate about Peace
it is the essence of what I desire more than anything else…
the sensation of peace

Peace is a passionate place
that resides deep
in the red hot crevices
of my heart

It is soothing
and sensuous
It is sexy and expansive
It is ecstasy
and the deep sleep
that follows a passionate
release.

It is the place
felt
after resistance
yields
to surrender.

It is commitment
to the innermost
intimate place
that when we touch it
we open to
the most ecstatic
passionate

F R E E D O M

Passion without Peace
is an amputation
a limb without the body to
ground it

into the lush
yummy
silence

Passion without Peace
is flight
endless flight
without a place to land
when the wings are weary.

Passion is Peace
the expression of all that Peace knows
They are the yin and the yang of each other

I choose Peace
first
and then may the wings of Passion
carry me
into the unknown realms
that Peace would have me know

then….
may Passion
open me
render me helpless
to control its joy
its vast, endless, bottomless pit
of Love….expressed

May Peace surrender me to Passion
and may Passion
open my heart
fearlessly to
All that Is

All
that
Is!

image

Compassion

IMG_2584This is an excerpt from my unpublished book, a spiritual memoir about Awakening.

Compassion is a feeling, an e-motion that moves us into connection with another that is suffering. Compassion dares to wade in the water of pain to touch the one who is submersed, unsure of whether she will drown. It caresses her and sits with her in the watery depths of despair, breathing enough oxygen for both of them, being mindful to keep its head above the water. Compassion is fearless in its willingness to be present in the pain that so often elicits humanity to its threshold. It knows its connection to Divine sustenance, and takes that knowing with it when it enters the frays of human disconnection. It leans into the dark hole of forgetfulness, connecting to its own humanness to connect the one who weeps, to the world of infinite love and wisdom. Compassion sits comfortably with the sadness and holds gently the bereaved. It opens human heart to hold the fullness of her sweet pain and transforms it into the Love that it truly is.

Compassion is the human expression of Divine Love. It is the delicious connection to humanity and sensation. It is the flesh of love that binds us to each other. It offers the visceral awareness that we are truly One.

The challenge with compassion arises when we unconsciously choose compassion over alignment with Source/Self. While compassion delivers us to the heart and soul of human connection, if we are not awake in our empathy, we may drown in a perception of another’s pain forgetting not only their intrinsic wellbeing that lies at the core of all beings, but we may be swept away in the current of another’s disconnection, risking our own stability which is often the very thing necessary to support the other in their resurfacing and realignment with their True Self. We must temper our propensity to dive into the depths of someone else’s despair when our nature leans towards compassion, and remember to keep our head above water.

I notice when I am feeling lost and unaligned that the peaceful strong energy of my mother, my husband, a friend, is much more comforting than someone who commiserates with me in my story of pain. Yet, I do not want them to pull me out of my emotions with the likes of a cheerleader on the sidelines coaxing me to joy, prematurely. I am grateful when they step into the space where I am, with their love and reverence for the process I am experiencing, honoring my pain, but not joining it. I am grateful when they sit quietly as I weep and I can feel their strong knowing that I am well, that I will feel well again, even when it seems impossible to me in that moment.

I choose to cultivate within me, this perfect blend between the compassion that dares to lean into the heart of human suffering and the mindfulness of staying awake and connected while reaching into this space of dark beauty, staying grounded in knowing the wellbeing of the other and of myself. I choose to be intimate with life, with my human nature, and I choose to be fierce in my commitment to alignment with my Divine nature. As I continue the practice of Unconditional Love, that knows love in all conditions, I am confident that my ability to remain in alignment while compassionately connecting with another who is not, will grow and blossom.