A change of plans

Laid out with careful consideration
Like cards from Tarot
Each option an action
Each person an archetype
Each possibility an outcome
Each potential interacting
with each laid card
All placed with skilled hands
Read with trained eyes
Aware of interrelation
Accepting of interdependence
Interpreted without influence
and an understanding of consequence
A future is revealed
Under the Seer’s gaze
Considered with attention
Reread with intention
Then shared
Defined
Explained
Discussed
Reshuffled
Re-laid
Reinterpreted
Again and again
Until agreed upon

 

Then carelessly laid aside

ignored

and forgotten

 

Now

deck in hand

I once again shuffle the deck

and place the cards one by one

to reveal

only

the direction of my path

without expectation:

 

Forward.

Always forward.

 


Image: Two of Discs from the Thoth deck.

This house of Love

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Truth
Hope
Faith
Honesty
Courage
Vulnerability
Compassion
Care
Passion
All intentions of Love
Gratitude realized
They are the foundation
Upon which we build
Each supports the other
Builds upon each other
Seamless
The mortar between
Made from their union
A blending
Truthful hope
Hopeful faith
Faithful honesty
Courageous vulnerability
Vulnerable compassion
Compassionate care
Careful Passion
Passionate love
Each stone with deep roots
Based in experience and understanding
All firm
None are loosened by illusion
Or fantasy
Each floor laid
With deliberation and purpose
With careful design
The plan determined
By each preceding
It grows
Stone by stone
Board by board
With every loving action
Every caring word
Touch
Kiss
Passion
Floor upon floor
Rising endlessly
The walls form
Where floors end
Yet have no limit
Rooms without walls
Walls without ceilings
One with Gaia and the Universe
It is a house of Love

 


 

Image: “Solitude” by Christine Lantz

 

 

 

 

 

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

You don’t know me

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You don’t know me.

Maybe we’ve met or spoken. Maybe you have read what I write. Maybe you only know what it is that I do for you, that I love you, that I care.

But you don’t know me.

You know the man determined to live by the simple and incredibly difficult intentions of love and gratitude, but you don’t know why he loves so deeply or what it is that he is ever so grateful for.

You know the man who shares his heart openly. Who is unafraid to admit that he cries as much as he laughs, but you don’t know what it is that would make him happy or why it is he cries at night.

You know the man who is generous to a fault, but you don’t know that his son tells him, “Dad, focus on yourself. You seem to focus on everyone except yourself.” You don’t know why you come first. Even his son doesn’t.

You know the man determined to change himself and his world, but you don’t know why he is so determined. Who he was before the change and why it’s so important for him to change.

You know this man only because of what he does for you.

I could tell you that he goes without food for weeks in order to be sure that you don’t. That he falls four months behind on rent to be sure you have what you need or why his landlord is okay with this.

You know the man who will always be there for you, no matter what, but you don’t know how he cries for you when you are afraid
or when you feel as alone as he does.

You don’t know where or when I was born, what towns I grew up in, my favorite foods or colors. You don’t even know my middle name.

I could tell you these things but you still wouldn’t know me.

It’s okay. I don’t know you either.

You know what you need to know.

You know that you are loved.
~
~
Almost as published in Elephant Journal (except they tried to turn it into a poem)
~
Author: J.M. Greff
Image: Jake Davies/Unsplash
Editor: Taia Butler
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Wa