Unearthing Bones

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Unearthing bones 

That were buried

In silence

By the ignorance

Of cold, distant minds

Through darkness

The wind rattles

Between  gaps

Of light

Where the heart

Begins to beat

Flesh to life

The sacred dance

Of true love.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

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Navigating the Dark

wisdom of bones

What is felt

But not seen

What is so

But not apparent

The rattling voice

Of intuitive nature

 Profound wisdom

Reaching down

To the very bones.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

*photo by Antonio Mora, Dystopia Bella

Release

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“By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try.
The world is beyond the winning.”
– Lao Tzu

“Forgiveness is not always easy.
At times, it feels more painful
than the wound we suffered,
to forgive the one that inflicted it.
And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”
– Marianne Williamson

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“We have to let go of all blame, all attacking, all judging,
to free our inner selves to attract what we say we want.”
– Joe Vitale

“Honor your being,
Release each and every struggle,
Gather strength from life’s storms,
Relax into the arms of spirit.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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All I know is that I know nothing. I have to learn to open my heart every morning when I open my eyes. I have to learn to love everyday all over again. I have to learn to let go and forgive over and over. I have to learn to heal and breathe with each new day. I have to learn like this is the first day of my life. I have to learn how to use my wings so I can fly. I have to learn to trust my intuition. I have to learn self-compassion. I have to learn the strength of vulnerability. I have to learn the unbearable lightness of being.  The truth is that each day feels like a butterfly crawling out of it’s cocoon.

A  butterfly

Tenderly folded

It’s airy wings

A book of bones

Unbearable

Lightness of being?

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

Here I Am

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“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ― Maya Angelou

My heart is open

Longing for you to see me

As I truly am

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

Skeleton Woman

ImageShe had done something of which her father disapproved, although no one any longer remembered what it was. But her father had dragged her to the cliffs and thrown her over and into the sea. There, the fish ate her flesh away and plucked out her eyes. As she lay under the sea, her skeleton turned over and over in the currents.

One day a fisherman came fishing, well, in truth many came to this bay once. But this fisherman had drifted far from his home place, and did not know that the local fisherman stayed away, saying this inlet was haunted.

The fisherman’s hook drifted down through the water, and caught, of all places, in the bones of Skeleton Woman’s rib cage. The fisherman thought, “Oh, now I’ve really got a big one! Now I really have one!” In his mind he was thinking of how many people this great fish would feed, how long it would last, how long he might be free from the chore of hunting. And as he struggled with this great weight on the end of his hook, the sea was stirred to a thrashing froth, and his kayak bucked and shook, for she who was beneath struggled to disentangle herself. And the more she struggled, the more she tangled in the line. No matter what she did, she was inexorably dragged upward, tugged up by the bones of her own ribs.

The hunter had turned to scoop up his net, so he did not see her bald head rise above the waves, he did not see the little coral creatures glinting in the orbs of her skull, he did not see the crustaceans on her old ivory teeth. When he turned back with his net, her entire body, such as it was, had come to the surface and was hanging from the tip of his kayak by her long front teeth.

“Agh!” cried the man, and his heart fell into his knees, his eyes hid in terror on the back of his head, and his ears blazed bright red. “Agh!” he screamed, and knocked her off the prow with his oar and began paddling like a demon toward the shoreline. And not realizing she was tangled in his line, he was frightened all the more for she appeared to stand upon her toes while chasing him all the way to shore. No matter which way he zigged his kayak, she stayed right behind, and her breath rolled over the water in clouds of steam, and her arms flailed out as though to snatch him down into the depths.

“Aggggggggghhh!” he wailed as he ran aground. In one leap he was out of his kayak, clutching his fishing stick and running, and the coral-white corpse of Skeleton Woman, still snagged in the fishing line, bumpety-bumped behind right after him. Over the rocks he ran, and she followed. Over the frozen tundra he ran and she kept right up. Over the meat laid out to dry he ran, cracking it to pieces as his mukluks bore down.

Throughout it all she kept right up, in fact grabbed some of the frozen fish as she was dragged behind. The she began to eat, for she had not gorged in a long, long time. Finally, the man reached his snowhouse and dove right into the tunnel and on hands and knees scrabbled his way into the interior. Panting and sobbing he lay there in the dark, his heart a drum, a mighty drum. Safe at last, oh so safe, yes safe, thank the Gods, Raven, yes thank Raven, yes and all-bountiful Sedna, safe…at…last.

Imagine when he lit his whale oil lamp, there she —it—lay in a tumble upon his snow floor, one heel over her shoulder, one knee inside her rib cage, one foot over her elbow. He could not say later what it was, perhaps the firelight softened her features, or the fact that he was a lonely man. But a feeling of some kindness came into his breathing , and slowly he reached out his grimy hands and, using words softly like a mother to a child, began to untangle her from the fishing line.

“Oh, na, na, na.” First he untangled the toes, then the ankles, “Oh, na, na, na.” On and on he worked into the night, until dressing her in furs to keep her warm, Skeleton Woman’s bones were all in the order a human’s should be.

He felt into his leather cuffs for his flint, and used some of his hair to light a little more fire. He gazed at her from time to time as he oiled the precious wood of his fishing stick and rewound the gut line. And she in the furs uttered not a word—she did not dare—lest this hunter take her out and throw her down the rocks and break her bones to pieces utterly.

The man became drowsy, slid under his sleeping skins, and soon was dreaming. And sometimes as humans sleep, you know, a tear escapes from the dreamer’s eye; we never know what sort of dream causes this, but we know it is either a dream of sadness or longing. And this is what happened to the man.

The Skeleton Woman saw the tear glisten in the firelight, ans she became suddenly sooooo thirsty. She tinkled and clanked and crawled over to the sleeping man and put her mouth to his tear. The single tear was like a river and she drank and drank until her many-years-long thirst was slaked.

Then, while lying beside him, she reached inside the sleeping man and took out his heart, the mighty drum. She sat up and banged on both sides of it: Bom, Bomm!….Bom, Bomm!

As she drummed, she began to sing out “Flesh, flesh, flesh! Flesh, flesh, flesh!” And the more she sang, the more her body filled out with flesh. She sang for hair and good eyes and nice fat hands. She sang the divide between her legs, and breasts long enough to wrap for warmth, and all the things a woman needs.

And when she was done, she also sang the sleeping man’s clothes off and crept into his bed with him, skin to skin. She returned the great drum, his heart, to his body, and that is how they awakened, wrapped one around the other, tangled from their night together, in another way now, a good and lasting way.

The people who cannot remember how she came to her first ill-fortune say she and the fisherman went away and were consistently well fed by the creatures she had known in her life underwater. The people say that it is true and that is all they know.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~

*photo found on Pinterest via Luis Daniel Garza Fragoso

The Killing Jar

Image“Enter into direct dialogue with the Life/Death/Life nature by listening to the inner voice that is not ego. Learn by asking the Life/Death/Life nature direct questions about love and loving and then listen to her answers. Through all, we learn not to be misled by the nagging voice at the back of our mind that says, “This is silly…I’m just making this all up.” We learn to ignore that voice and listen to what is heard beyond that. We learn to follow what we hear -all those things that bring us closer to acute awareness, the love of devotion, and a clear view of the soul.

It is good to make a meditative and daily practice of untangling the Life/Death/Life nature over and over again. When we are untangling this nature, it would be good for us to sing something like this: What must I give more death to today, in order to generate more life? What do I know should die, but am hesitant to allow to do so? What must die in me in order for me to love? What not-beauty do I fear? Of what use is the power of the not-beautiful to me today? What should die today? What should live? What life am I afraid to give birth to? If not now, when?

If we sing the song of consciousness till we feel the burn of truth, we throw a burst of fire into the darkness of psyche so we can see what we’re doing…what we’re truly doing, not what we wish to think we’re doing. This is the untangling of one’s feelings and the beginning of understanding why love and life are to be lived by the bones.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~

Photo by Michael C. Mendez

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-The-Killing-Jar/71626/1232482/view

*title for today’s post comes from the title of the photograph

The Forbearance of Being True

ImageA friend of mine lately has inspired me by sharing their personal truth. Though this isn’t the time or the place to share that story, I would like to share how it etched something so deeply in my soul that for the first time in my life I am not afraid. I am not afraid of what has been, what is, or what will come. It is because of one simple truth I heard through his life. No matter what we are faced with in this lifetime or in the next as long as we can stand in the power of forbearance being true to our inner selves we will be able to endure anything because nothing can change our essence.

Looking up the meaning of the word forbear, you come across ‘to refrain from’ and ‘to be patient or self-controlled.’ Forbearance means the act of forbearing; a refraining of something; forbearing conduct or quality; patient endurance; self-control. On January 1st, I wrote a post called Honoring My Essence. The first lesson in that process for me is forbearance. When I look mindfully and deeply inside, I can see that I have let my personal suffering, sorrows, and negativity slowly erode my awareness so that I became dull. I have denied or ignored certain illusions in my life connected to anger, resentment, and bitterness causing a delay in my growth. I have done this so often that it has become a repeated pattern that finely lays within every atom, molecule, cell, tissue, organ, muscle, and living system in my being. It wasn’t until someone reached out in love to me and openly shared their truth that it could finally be lodged from my unconscious and brought to light.

Now I can take the first steps towards the forbearance of being true to my essence knowing that I have nothing to fear.

I would like to end this post on a meditation from Deng Ming-Dao that waters the seeds of trust.

Arctic breath coils the mountain,

Rattling the forest’s bones.

Raindrops cling to branches:

Jewelled adornment flung to earth.

Trees in winter lose their leaves. Some trees may even fall during storms, but most stand patiently and bear their fortune.

They endure rain, snow, wind, and cold. They bear the adornment of glycerin raindrops, glimmering icicles, or crowns of snow without care. They are not concerned when such lustrous splendor is dashed to the ground. They stand, and they wait, the power of their growth apparently dormant. But inside, a burgeoning is building imperceptibly.

Theirs is the forbearance of being true to their inner natures. It is with this power that they withstand both the vicissitudes and adornment of life, for neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are. We should be the same way. We may have great fortune, or bad, but we should patiently bear both. No matter what, we must always be true to our inner selves.

~Deng Ming-Dao~

*photo by Stephan Bruhl 

http://500px.com/photo/7180241