Tag Archives: Poetry

I have gone a’bone gathering…

Dearest souls,

I wanted to share a poem with you this week that echoes my own journey, and I imagine the one I share with many of you as well. Especially, the past few weeks, I’ve been coming back to it a lot as a sort of anthem. If you find Shiloh Sophia’s work as inspiring as I do, please check out her website.

Bone Gathering

Returning to one’s self
after a long voyage into the
desert is the work all beings
must do one day.
The day will come when
the absence of the missing bones
and the pieces of your heart
that you left on the highway to die
after too many mornings waking up
alone, in body or spirit or both,
will require you to return.
For this sacred work,
a map for returning will
be provided, so you can find
the missing persons reports.
This map is not in a language
you will understand. Are you surprised?
With each stop on the quest
there may be a sitting-down-hard
head-in-hands-wondering-why
and even despair you thought
you had gone beyond.
Grief and wonder are the
companions you will find
because they are also the way
through the hard to see places.
Give in to them. You will be okay.
I wish I could say it
could be easier than this.
Hiding, cutting, dismembering
ourselves wasn’t so easy, was it?
We did it to survive, we thought,
and we wrapped up the bloodied
limbs and continued on,
almost soldier-like in our sacrifice
of ourselves. Never mind the blood-loss
of not being ourselves.
Never mind not even knowing what song
belongs to our mouth and
what movement our body
loves the most.
How did we go on this way?
All that is done now.
No more, we say,
and that is how we found ourselves here.
This excavation requires
specialized tools,
if it didn’t
bone gathering
would have started long before now.
Yes I know you have already started.
I can see that in your tender eyes.
Don’t worry, yes it is scary at first.
The tools are intact for excavation
and user friendly,
you will find they fit your palm just so.
The stranger within you
knows how to use each one.
She was the one yelling at you before,
to listen listen listen inside the soul cave,
but now that you have listened to her,
she will be the one to help you see in the dark.
This is the one we call the Muse.
Visionary bones are made of stardust
and glow in the darkness.
Come.
You will find them. You have to.
I need you to.
We need you to find them.
I have gone a’ bone gathering
and I found this poem here in the wet earth
and brought it to you.
Dust off the mud and muck
and you find words dry enough
to light your spark.

-Shiloh Sophia

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My War of Art

colorsWhen I was young, aside from wanting to be an herbalist and “good witch”, I also wanted to be an artist.  My 4th grade class took a field trip one day to an artist’s studio and from that day forward I decided that when I grew up I needed to have my own creative “workshop” where I could make art AND potions.

As I got older, my ego voice showed up in my head to tell me there was no way I could make a living as an artist.  There were only a select few who could support themselves making art of any kind and I’d probably have to go to art school if I wanted to be any good.  Who was I to think I could spend time and money on something like that??  I should just go to college and major in something useful (BTW, I majored in medieval history).

Fast forward to present day…

In a moment of clarity a couple weeks ago, I had a vision of what I want my life to look like and it dawned on me that I need to be making art.  I feel most grounded, at peace, and in my flow when I’m in my right brain, watching as colors and lines take shape on paper, writing poetry, or even fumbling through chords on a guitar.  My ego wants me to be good at everything before even trying it.  That voice doesn’t give me the space to play, experiment, try and fail and try again.  It doesn’t allow me to be a beginner, to mess up.

So I’ve created a new practice for myself.  Every other day I schedule time in my calendar for creating.  I give myself permission to play.  It can be music, painting, poetry, drawing, writing, making vision boards, etc., fully acknowledging that it may not look or sound good at first and that’s part of my process.  I’m allowing myself the space to fail.  During this time I can set aside my ego and give myself over to my inner guide, listening to what my HEART wants to be doing right now in this moment.

It’s just been a few days but here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

  • I feel more grounded in the moment AND in my body
  • My self-critical ego voice has quieted down
  • In other aspects of my life I’m gentler with myself
  • I approach other tasks with more creativity and mindfulness
  • I actually get more done!!

SO – here is my call to action for you…

Schedule creativity time for yourself.  Write it in your calendar and commit to this practice.  Start with just an hour a week and then gradually give yourself more time.  Give yourself space to mess up.  Notice what starts to shift in other areas of your life.  I hear so many people say they’re not creative, but it’s because we don’t generally give ourselves the time and space to tap into our inner creativity, our own intuitive, artistic brain.  Stop thinking and start doing.  Give your heart a chance to speak to you and really listen to what he or she needs from you today.  Let this be an experiment to just play with your time and let yourself have fun doing it!  I’d love to hear your feedback, ideas, and experiences with this, so please leave comments below or visit my FB page!

So much love to you all!
~ Katie

A Prayer in Spring

It’s finally starting to feel like spring!  It’s been raining for the last few days (with a little snow mixed in), but it feels softer, the air is wetter and it feels easier to breathe.  It makes me want to sit outside under a big tree and just listen to the rain dripping on the leaves.  My body is starting to loosen up and my mind even feels like a block has been lifted.  I love the spring.  It feels so full of possibilities and light.  This year I especially have a sense of renewal.  If I think too hard about what specifically will come about, it slips from my grasp, but if I let it rest, like a bubble, hovering just out of my reach, I can still get a sense of peace from the promises it holds.  I know if I let this new life and potential unfold on it’s own time, without the urgency and rush that exists in the rest of the world, wonderful things can come of it.  It reminds me of a poem by Robert Frost, “A Prayer In Spring”:

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

I love this poem because it reminds me to enjoy the present, to stop and appreciate each moment for the life it holds.  The simple pleasures in life, the feeling of wet grass under bare feet, falling asleep to the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the roof, the silence of snowfall, always seem to bring a sense of calm, peace, and clarity.  What are some of the small things that make you smile to yourself?  Once you start thinking of them, you’ll notice more and more things in your day-to-day life that you appreciate. 

In a culture that values constant striving for perfection, the natural world brings balance because it reminds us that life will go on at its own pace no matter what we do, and there are forces greater than ourselves at work.  We don’t know what will happen in the future, or the “uncertain harvest,” all we can worry about is “the flowers to-day,” what we know at this moment, and take pleasure in that.