Smash the Patriarchy

“One by one the women step up
and commit the forbidden act
of biting into patriarchal thought
refuting it, smashing it,
discarding it and beginning again
in the very beginning when women
loved their bodies
named their gods
authored their lives
when women refused to surrender
except to life as it pulsated through them.
Women reminding us
there is nothing wrong
there never has been anything wrong
there never will be anything wrong
with woman.”

~ Patricia Lynn Reilly

❤️

Art: Mary Magdalene of Growth
by Tanya Torres

Prayer to Our Mother

Our Mother, who art within us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come. Your will be done,
Unfolding from the depths within us.

Each day you give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits and we let go.
You support us in our power and we act with courage.

For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us.

As it was in the very beginning, may it be now.

-Sister Miriam Therese Winter

🌀

Sculpture by Avian Shinrei Thibault,
Sacred Tablets

Natural Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

~Billy Collins, Aimless Love
❤️

Image by Nancy Lankston

Blessed Are You

Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
who testify
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
in shadow
and grief.

Blessed are you
in whom
the light lives,
in whom
the brightness blazes –
your heart
a chapel,
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith,
in stubborn hope,
in love that illumines
every broken thing
it finds.

~ Jan Richardson

Image: Tree Sculpture by Debra Bernier

Crone Wisdom

“Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they won’t last the journey.
Your sense of humour though, will only get better.
Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
And your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time, will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore,
that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritise the uniqueness that make you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better.”

~Donna Ashworth

Stay With That Shakiness

“Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about.

…To stay with that shakiness — to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge — that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic — this is the spiritual path. Getting the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves, is the path of the warrior. We catch ourselves one zillion times as once again, whether we like it or not, we harden into resentment, bitterness, righteous indignation — harden in any way, even into a sense of relief, a sense of inspiration.”

~ Pema Chodron,
When Things Fall Apart
Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Kiss Your Demons and Heal

This is a good morning to kiss your demons
and change them into dark angels.
Do not drive them away or they will return.
Lust is not a demon but a dark angel filled
with un-created star nectar.
Anger is not a demon but a dark angel of healing fire
dancing in your amygdala.
Grief is not a demon but a dark angel bearing
seven oceans of love in one jar.
The demon of depression who lives underground
keeps Wisdom hostage, binding
her dark angel bones in delicious mycelia.
The dark angel of addiction brings gifts
under one broken wing, and uses the other
to help you fly, for one of yours is broken too.
If you do not bow to your dark angels, they will
possess you and you will have to act them out.
So breathe them in, let them become your
shouts and sighs, pants of lust and terror
in your lungs. Now exhale and dissolve them
into the clear ocean of awakening.
They don’t possess you, you possess them.
Your dark angels have become the blue sky,
a swirl of hummingbirds, tree frogs
discussing everything. But beware
of enlightened teachers who claim no darkness.
They will lead you into a deeper darkness,
the shadow that hides from itself.
Against your beautiful demons a true teacher
will never set your heart.
A true teacher will empower you to kiss them
with that kiss which the mind gives
to its most terrible thoughts,
so that names, images, teeth marks, hieroglyphs
of veins scrawled on the cave of your liver,
neurons twisted into Sanskrit
etching ancient spells into your hippocampus,
the rippling gristle-flower of sound in your bellybutton,
all disappear into one Body, this Body,
where you taste the starless wine of night itself
and give birth to tomorrow’s sun.

~Fred LaMotte

🌙

Image: Michelangelo