broken and beautiful

broken and beautiful

note to self

oh my God, we are
broken and beautiful
every one of us
admit it or not
“we” includes
bright California poppies
filled with sunshine,
thief in broad daylight,
a knee-shaking kiss,
the rooster shagging
hens in the field,
incessant barking dog

how can it be like this?

how can it not?

our world is
kintsugi, broken—
an earthy bowl
lovingly repaired with
rivers of gold
again
again
and again

thank you Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for the title.

the grace path

the grace path*

he suffers
I cannot turn away
but truly see him
just as he is
lying on the carpet
always aching
self-medicating
fragrance
tinging the air

he does not complain
tends to his pain
as best he can
smiles, shows me
puppy livecams
my heart yearns to
enfold him in
mother love
he’s almost forty-eight
it’s not my place anymore

instead
he offers me a toke
maybe I accept
soft music and waterfalls
play on YouTube
we talk quietly of the big field
and the atmosphere
of that conversation
soaks the room in, yes, love
it’s taken care of
we lean into the grace path

*thank you Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for the title.

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

don’t go to battle with reality

don’t go to battle with reality

note to self

oh, sweetheart—just don’t!
don’t go to battle with
what is, a war
you cannot win
whatever has ensued
is already here
resistance won’t make
it go away

you can choose your
response—be kind?
helpful? generous, even?

when you’re overwhelmed
watch your buddy
the red squirrel sprint
along the fence
outside your office
no cares,
a speedy-rodent agenda
you’re not privileged to know

smile
breathe
remember
start again

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
disclaimer: I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

wonder

wonder

note to self

wonder thrives here
its comfortable home
inward, noticing
the movement
of consciousness

wonder in the midst of
the ten thousand things
is tougher these days
if I pay close attention,
even there I find
small blazes of kindness

fan those! bring
forbearance, goodwill
courtesy, too
shimmer with love
everyone suffers

then dive back inside
rest in the big field
attend fear, the feeling itself
it actually won’t eat you
can resistance soften?
who notices?
bring wonder to that

disclaimer: I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.
I write “notes to self” to jolt myself awake. Simple reminders, again and again.

sighing

sighing

note to self

I sigh a lot these days
in the brief moment I allow
to check world news
war
sigh
autocrats
sigh
climate
sigh
drought
sigh
politics
sigh
fire threat
sigh
mass shootings
sigh

sighing to release grief
grief so deep
it almost swamps me
yet lives
a lump deep in my gut
stay with it, girl
this is important
feel it
and sigh
sighing is a prayer

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine

disclaimer: I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

skin suit

I wake up as
pure being, stretch
oh so carefully
then clothe
myself in life

another day
in my skin suit
aching back
ease on clothes
make my mocha

morning treasure
diverts attention
makes the day
sustainable
I take a grateful sip

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
disclaimer: I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—
they may never turn into anything more than a clumsy attempt, or they might flower.

blue gel caps

blue gel caps
note to self

white hot
knifes through my lumbar
spools around a hip
plans must change

no long car rides
attention to
the subtlest move
and pain meds

yes, blue gel caps
are your friend
your mind is not
remember that

a worm hole
into suffering
oh no! what if?
never-ending?

start with breath
slow and even
move with care
pace yourself

familiar territory
you’ve been
through this
before

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
disclaimer: I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more, or they might flower. 

home!

My family is home, with power on in both locations. Perhaps the worst is over–for us. It’s clear others are still at risk, and I pray for their safety and their animals as well. I am deeply thankful to the firefighters who risk their lives protecting ours and our property.

Remaining wholly in the present made it possible to move through this time without debilitating anxiety. I only suffered those first minutes after the evacuation order came, waking me from uneasy sleep. Then I pulled out my metaphorical toolbox and put it to use.

Concern, of course. Planning, of course. We need the mind to navigate life. Distress is different–it takes an already difficult situation and makes it unbearable. Anxiety of that kind haunted me for decades until this understanding took root: emotional suffering is optional. It is not necessary when we embody where to take our stand, as the pure awareness that we are.

hot tub epiphany–parenting

Iman big eyesThe price of manifestation in this one-song-uni-verse is a wild, open, chaotic stew, where every thing and all things erupt.

The suffering my adult son is experiencing–all mothers carry this: “the mother gene,” with a scouring empathy for our offspring. If we allow, it burnishes us empty.

I bear suffering differently, now–as everymother, shouldering this particular flavor of stew.

It is not personal.

The only way, is through. All that is required is noticing, which by its very nature, is infinitely compassionate and eternally loving. No longer diving into the painful soup with him does not make me a bad mother. I’m a better mother for not doing so. I’m here, available, filled with love for my son-who-is my-very-own-self.

He knows my cell number.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2016
I took this snapshot about forty years ago.

 

 

addiction

hoarding cookiesThirty years ago, I used to be what I thought of as an “addictive personality.” I was addicted to trying to make myself feel better: through love, seeking belonging, and even regular marijuana use–to smooth the jagged edges I perceived in life.

I benefited from twelve step programs, eliminated the most destructive substances, and learned to manage more minor tendencies. For example, I ate mint chocolate chip ice cream in a tiny bowl–perhaps a quarter cup. My agreement with myself was if I couldn’t limit my portion to that, I couldn’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream in my house.

But I knew I had not found, nor addressed, the root cause of my wanting.

Fast forward thirty years. I was addicted to trying to alter my experience. I would never suggest this is true of anyone else, or even imply that my understanding would, or should work for them. But as I stopped trying to change what is, and not only surrendered to the heart of my experience, but have been willing to bring it closer rather than push it away, any sense of addictive pull has dissolved.

I am deeply grateful.

© Amrita Skye Blaine
image credit