As I continue to work on my laptop this morning, putting together financials for yet another grant I am applying for to advance my "Blooming of the Lotus" work, I thought of my poem "Imperfect." As I reread it, I was gratefully reminded that, in all that I do that is less than perfect, in all that I am who is FAR less than perfect, it is okay. I am just who I am and simply doing the very best that I can.
have to be
to every single person
in the entire world.
I do not have to
climb to the moon
every last piece of me
I can just
be as human
as the person beside me,
with as many faults
and as many weaknesses,
and still —
with the most
enormous light bulb
in my head
and the sirens sounding
and the fiercest winds
bringing this to me —
I can be safe.
© Robin Lynn Brooks, 2013
This morning early, I walked to the river and wrote a piece of rescue that will find its way into the prose sequel to "The Blooming of the Lotus" perhaps or a later book on soul mates after trauma.
Sometimes, the only way I can find my way is to BE in nature.
In any case, it got me thinking of my poem "The Lake," another piece of rescue:
A large patch of earth
uncovered by snow.
I scrape even
the pine needles away.
I lie on the earth,
my cheek pressed
On the way here
I saw the earth’s hips,
the sharp bones
of her ribs.
shone through the trees
like a searchlight
As I walked,
I did not understand
what moved me
as often happens now,
Perhaps the stark beauty
to the brutal truth
of what I now know.
I feel myself
from the life
of these trees,
from this sun
as I walk now daily
in what I can
Today I know
there will be no epiphany,
even with the grace
of these trees
But as with the talk
on the phone
with my good friend
I am held at least
from full dying.
© 2013, Robin Lynn Brooks
Did you know that for the last two years I have applied for the prestigious Purpose Prize?
The Purpose Prize, now in its ninth year, is the nation’s pre-eminent large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The Prize awards at least $100,000 annually to individuals creating new ways to solve tough social problems. The 2014 Purpose Prize awarded $300,000 to six individuals.
In the first year, I simply received a polite response of, "No. Sorry. You didn't make it."
In the second year, I was invited to add my story to the many people out there who are working diligently and with passion towards bringing about change in the world. I was so honored!
I will apply again every year until I am awarded this incredible prize.
If you would like to see my story on their website, please visit:
Thanks so much for your honoring me with your readership of this new blog!
I am the one standing at the edge of the forest, caught doe-like with my toes licked by the rounded jag of water from the endless pond. Beavers came over years and years to gnaw at trees and fell them and eat their parts to make this their home.
I am the one who stands here now, who was bereft, and yet feeling the curling outwards from the vapors of remaining sadness out onto the surface of this slick liquid home.
In infinitesimal movements by body stirs towards the pond, almost floating but in slow motion so my feet are immersed and I can feel the silver essence smooth into and up the veins and flesh and being of my body. Its liquid magic enters like an ink blot spreading over absorbent paper, changing its color and what it is made of. I myself am changed.
The water spreads through my body to the tips of my fingers and my heart and brow and crown until I am made of it, made of this water, its pure holiness of creation.
I was bereft. I WAS bereft. But on the long walk here, little by little, much of this drizzled out of me. And, as I stand here, the shaman liquid filling me, and, as I am now filled, I let go of the remainder of the loneliness and ache, letting them be transmuted by the silvery elixir.
I feel a tremor of wonder, like the transportation of winged creatures, and I know this tremor is because I recognize the dance and beauty of who I have become.
How can I feel sadness when I recognize that, even if it has spoken through all my early years and bled through into now, how can I not realize these things happened to only my body and the soul of this life? How can I not reach for the lyrical reality of a spirit that, coming straight from Source, teaches me and informs me of the beautiful creature I have always been?
Grief can be a fleeting thing. I do not mean come and gone in a moment, but certainly with years and years of healing, may I not let myself see how, in the course of my soul’s life, these years have been BUT a moment?
Can I not simply allow this overall, superseding of transcendent light and magnificence that is and always has been my own spirit’s gift? Can I not allow THIS to flood through me, washing away what only humans have done to me this lifetime?
When I begin to soar out of myself, I come into contact with so much fluidity of awareness, joyous intimacy, expansive and earth-quickening conception — so much of this passed on to me by those I am now attracting. Can I not see and hear and resonate and let myself evolve with all of this?
I stand here, rooted to this spot, sunk a bit lower over this time of rumination, into the mud at the edge of this pond. As my body stands, all that is under my skin and of my skin is not stagnant but is glowing and shifting and flowing as iridescent waves within me and yet in every moment interchanging with the still, wild water which IS the sacred feminine.
I shapeshift as I stand, my being moving down through the soles of my feet into the beavers’ domain, and — eyes wide open in spirit — I smooth my naked flesh through this murky underworld of water. I feel the essence of my hair as algae and my fingers as the water plants that trail behind me. I am made of water, and I disappear into it. As I sink into its depths, as my own depths become lost in water, I realize THIS is who I am. THIS is what I was made for.
For the magic. For the wild. For connection with the animals and green things. For the workings of my spirit and expression of my soul — unfettered, unchained — just let go!
I dwell in this release, all of me that has been so tied up, resting and healing in this freedom. I learn, yet again, why I live where I live so I may clave out into the wilderness — the “wilder-ness” — any time I like. And why winter is so hard for me, as some of this freedom is lost and I feel my wings clipped.
This is a craving for wildness born of imprisonment so many years as a child. To not be held vise-like nor confined by the ropes of submission and violation that I myself continued as I chose relationship after relationship that only mimicked those I was raised by.
I cannot any more live behind bars. I have to have the freedom of this release.
Here, underwater, made of water, I no longer feel my nerve endings shrill with electrocution. I feel them calm, the water in my spirit and blood soothing them, quenching their panicked fires.
I stay and stay and stay in the pond, suspended deep down without body or breath. I let myself join with the decaying plants at the bottom, the mud born of millennia of layers of decomposed leaves and plant life. I revel in the stillness, the dullness, the lack of excitement.
Dust to dust. Human from “humus.” I am earth. I am mud. I am nothing, nothing.
Here I will stay, hour after hour, having died but not dead. Lost but knowing where I am. In this place of rest and being gone and deep, deep mudness.
But, knowing me, I know that soon I will awaken, and sure enough, I feel the light touch of a tiny pond creature tickle flesh that is not there, and I am nudged to waking, invited to float up slowly, as I draw one breath into my spirit lungs and then another. As I rise to the surface, I see the green light beckoning, and, breaking above water, the sun shines on me fully. My insubstantial self skims along the surface towards my flesh body, and I stream back into myself.
Feeling rested, feeling I have left behind the weight that I came here with, I sit on a rock and pull on my socks and my hiking boots. I take one last look at the pond — my savior of today — acknowledging all it has given me. Then, I turn back towards home, retracing my steps through the earth’s folds to my own open land again.
I live the next days in temperate harmony until it comes the time I need, again, to seek my wild.
I will not write a lot here. Mostly, I just want to let those of you who also need quiet know there is nothing more important in life than to find a way to give yourself this quiet down time when you need it. Those of us that need it HAVE to have it so we can restore ourselves and be ready to give and produce again.
I give you permission.
Go for it!!
As I write, I discover more and more who I am, and, as I do so, I share with you, in case anything I write may resonate with, help, or guide you.