Beyond here be Monsters

rio.grande.nm

A little piece I wrote this seveal years ago when I was facing the necessity of rejoining “civilized society” after being off-grid and pretty much off the map for a time.

It’s interesting to go back in time and find these little sparks that encouraged the flame within that burns so bright today and to recognize the dark places they came from.

The lesson for me is clear; embrace my past and be grateful for what I learned. But never go back.

___________________________

Here, at the edge of the world, I find contentment and chaos. Old friends, both. Neither expected nor warranted.

I find myself frozen in this pivotal moment. Momentum gathers with the clouds that seem determined to follow.

Not long ago I sent them back to spread their seed of malcontent upon the shoulders of those who manipulated. The cries of their masters, now quelled by the wind that always lives in the canyons where I take refuge, were never heard. I cry instead for them.

Here, where the Universe Herself sings with such beauty that my soul aches to touch Her just once again. Such things may not exist.

Here, I am at peace.

Here, standing at the brink, I wonder; Stand or Fall.

Beyond here lay the rest of the Pack, ferocious and cunning and ready. I will join them for now, but they will know; I do not belong.

My guise will last, my purpose will be fulfilled, and I will flee to the Refuge of Love with Life renewed and Balance, at long last, achieved.

I will stand.

Light within.
Love and Life beside.

The view at the edge really is not so bad.

 

Image by J.M.Greff

This is my Heart

this.is.my.heart

I scan the news with horror
How can we
Presumed advanced
Assumed superior
Be anything more
Than most inferior
So long as we treat others
Our sisters and our brothers
With hate
Because of the color of their skin
Or the person they love
Or the person they are

They are Human
All of them Sacred
All of them
Us
All of us Carry
A Spark of Divine
All of us Sacred
All of us
One
All of us Sacred Human

I turn it off
There is no room for hate

This is my Heart
There is no room for hate
This is my Soul
There is no room for hate
This is my Life
There is no room for hate

My Heart is a place
Of Peace and Compassion
Of Truth and Passion
Of Hope and Sensuality
Of Joy and Sexuality
Of Teaching
and Learning
and Sharing
and Growing
and Acceptance

and Awakening

There’s no place here for hate
It has no place in my Heart
This is a place of Love
A place of Love
A place of Love
A place of Unconditional Love

This is my Heart

It is large enough for Everyone

 

 

Image by J.M.Greff

 

One person at a time

 

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As published in Elephant Journal 8/5/17

 

I see a young woman punished by a mind that differs from my own pushing a shopping cart through the dregs of society.

The aisles of humanity staggered randomly like blockades of sheeple that spite or ignore or pretend she does not even exist.

She winds carefully through the labyrinth. A test of the gods. A test of her worthiness that she believes she failed long ago.

I wonder: What test? What god would be so cruel to allow this woman, who carries the spark of the divine itself within her breast, to live like this? Why threaten to extinguish the gift of that spark?

I step in front of this woman, only occasionally glancing behind, and part the cascade of ignorance like Moses in a sea of flesh so she can make her way to the hovel that is her home.

I see a man on a corner with a worn sign that says “will work for food” and I know, without a doubt, that he has neither worked nor eaten in far too long. I watch the constant flow of people pass by like a river of wealth that is just beyond his reach while he slowly dies from dehydration.

I wonder: Why should he work for what the planet gives freely? Why should he be reduced to begging for that which comes naturally?

I step into the closest convenience store, a place convenient only to those with means, and spend what little is left on my debit card to ensure that he will not go another day without that which is his right, and I bring it to him with one request—that if he knows another who has not eaten, he share it. He looks at me and offers a portion, and I gently refuse because I have a job.

I see an old man struggling to carry his meager supplies to his humble home. He staggers under the weight of the few small bags that are his sole source of sustenance for the next month. His “retirement” is barely enough to pay for the two rooms in an ancient building that could, at any time, be condemned and leave him homeless.

I cross the street, add my own bags to his, and carry them all to the crumbling facade which represents the dreams of his youth. Without a word, I leave all the bags, including my own, at his door and walk away in silence as he speaks the only word we shared in those six blocks, “Why?”

I wonder: Where did he work so hard that I can see the memories of his past etched deeply into his face? Why did the system he paid into for so long leave him with not so much as cab fare to transfer a true month’s worth of food? Why would my actions, which seem so natural to me, leave him questioning my motives?

When I return home, I see myself in the mirror: this man that proclaims love, who shares it freely with the hungry, who widens the aisle with his imposing figure and intimidates the sheeple with a glance so the meek can pass, who carries the bags for those who are too weak to carry them, and leaves them with more than they started with—where would he be if not for the love and care of the one person who first offered the very same compassion that he feels for others: his Self.

I see their faces in my reflection. I feel their pain, know their suffering, and, in fact, share it.

Where would I be? Exactly where I am now—with them.

I quietly acknowledge my gratitude to a universe that gave me the gift of this vision and know that I am home.

If you want to change the world, begin with yourself, and then carry that change into the world one person at a time.

~

~

~

Author: J.M. Greff
Image: Pixabay/quinntheislander
Editor: Travis May

Speechless

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I am speechless
Not without words
They come too fast
Too many
To capture more than a few
I catch but snippets
Like lines from long forgotten songs
Begging to be sung again
Though they are songs I’ve never sung
Belonging to a life I’ve never led

“I long to feel the dance of our souls
To hear the mixing of our song…”
“… raised to heights
Of intense delights ..,”
“My lips pressed to yours
Our tongues touch and taste and tease …”
“… until infinity passes and we begin again…”

They come in flashes
Strobes of insight
Waves of passion
A flood of desire
that drowns out the words with its roar
and leaves me speechless in its wake

 

 

Image: from the Basal Roman Font Digitizations Project by the P22 Type Foundry

 

 

Why I write love letters to myself

message-in-a-bottle

 

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.“
– Buddha

I love someone. Deeply. With all that I am and all that I will ever be.

I do not know this person. I have never met her. I have no idea what she looks like or how she speaks or walks or where she works or what her favorite color is, but I love her. Deeply.

I sometimes write her letters to express the love and passion and desire that I have for her.

I do this for several reasons;

  1. It helps me to learn how to love her better:
    Writing allows me the opportunity to “review” my intentions. I can look over what I’ve written and see both my strengths and weaknesses.
  2. It helps clarify those things I need to do for myself:
    In reviewing them I see, in black and white, not only those things that I need to do for her, but, since our partners serve as mirrors for ourselves, those things that I should be doing for myself in order to be more prepared to love her unconditionally by loving myself first.
  3. Because the desire to “be loved” is as important as the desire “to love”:
    Desire, though detrimental to living, is a requirement of love. It is only through embracing my desire “for love” that I learn “to love” completely and unconditionally.
  4. Because passion requires an outlet or it will whither and die:
    Passion like any other emotion, is not just something we feel, it is something we express. In writing these letters I learn how to more fully express my passion and that passion, one of intimate love, carries into everything I do.
  5. How I love the person I am with, love being an action and not a feeling, affects all of my relationships from friends to family to the cashier at the coffee shop.

We have all been around people who exude that glow of fresh love. We have all basked in the heat of their passion. Been lifted by the energy of their desire. We have all basked in it.

I love that feeling and I want others to feel it. To benefit from it. I want people to smile without knowing why they are smiling when I am near.

Does it make me a little insane that I want to feel this way even though I am alone? Maybe.

One thing we can all agree on is that love, at least according to my interpretation of mental illness as defined by the Canadian Mental Health Association  as those things “…that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around us”, is madness.

I accept said madness because it is my hope that in writing these letters, like messages in bottles, to my unknown beloved that she will hear my call, and that in preparing myself I will be ready when she arrives.

 

 


 

Note: I decided against submitting this article for publication several months ago because, honestly, I don’t believe I’m qualified to write self-help articles, especially when they focus on the unusual sort of help I offer myself, but mostly because I lost faith that “she” would ever hear my call. I post it now because it turns out she may have been listening for me all along.

Eden

West-Texas-oil-fields

Eden

I suppose in my mind,
that clanks like the tiny brass gears of a broken clock,
that Eden is in the eye of the beholder.
For many,
Eden is a quantitative term.
“A place of non destructive production.”
While others might maintain,
“It is where the waters run cool
and clear the ghosts that visit and stray.”
Or  “A place where once,
at least for a time,
everything seemed right in faith and facts.”
But I have been there.
It was the noisiest place cloaked in silence I have ever been.
The Eden where need
is replaced by absolute greed.
Where hunger is fed
with solitude.
Where the meek remain meek
and the holy are not.
I have now,
I think,
travelled far enough apart
from the Eden of my past,
as viewed through the eyes of my youth,
to come to that place
where quiet desperation
is replaced by inspiration,
where “eden” is just a word,
and the wisdom of lifetimes
can be found in a song.

 


Poem began in 2010 while working in the oilfields of West Texas and finished tonight.

Satellite image of West Texas oilfields.