Mother Nature

Breathing in silence

Breathing out love and patience

Earthling gratitude

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

Lunar Eclipse and Sweet Harmony

S0172047

Excerpts from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”:

Lorenzo:
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Look, how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
There’s not the smallest orb that thou behold’st
But in his motion like an angel sings
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn:
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress’ ear,
And draw her home with music.

Jessica:
I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

Lorenzo:
The reason is, your spirits are attentive:
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted… Music! hark!

Nerissa:
It is your music of the house.

Portia:
Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Nerissa:
Silence bestows that virtue on it.

Portia:
How many things by season season’d are.
To their right praise and true perfection!
Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak’d.

(Soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.)

The Pain of Being Pruned

IMG_0202

“Trust is my strength…and from trust I live.”

-Hermann Hesse

This hurts…terribly. Being pierced in the heart. Cracking open. Raw vulnerability.  Dying a slow death. Being pruned time and time again.

Pema Chödrön describes a time in her life when she had the following quote pinned to her wall, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” She shares that even before she heard of Buddhist teachings she knew this to be the spirit of true awakening.

When you’re suffering it can be so paralyzing that you wonder if you will ever have a chance for happiness. Change has a way of seeping into our lives whether we’re ready or not.

Chödrön depicts it as “Letting ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” This has been my experience…and it has left me with two possibilities either to let it harden me or to walk through the portal towards self-compassion. What happens next is a good question. That is where the strength of trust kicks in…it is the difference between being alive and living.

I Will Never Die

undercurrents

Do I have the courage

To allow the undercurrents

Of pain to rise in my life

There is healing and then…

Something simple like 

The sound of a piano

Breaks me wide open

A stream of pain…

Running waters

Yet these are waters 

That can gurgle

With the mirth 

Of laughter

water death

But I am haunted by fear

Fear that these waters

Will begin to rage 

Flooding my existence

That I will be surged under

To my death

pines cradle the sky

Then I look to see 

How the tips of swaying pine

Cradle the sky with love

I remember how deep their roots 

Reach into the Earth

How she holds them to her bosom

I wonder…

I wonder whether this is my pain

Or the pain of my ancestors

I can still be grounded

Even when the waters are rising

I can allow this fear

To have as much space as it needs

To breathe

naked before my own eyes

I find that I can allow the pain 

To mingle with mistakes I have made

Over the years…

I can allow the pain to flow freely

I can unlearn behaviors that bring despair

I can let the underclothes of judgement fall

Once again I am naked and vulnerable

Before my own eyes

leaflets and buds

Again I breathe

This time the running waters

Aren’t undercurrents of pain

But a cleansing rain

Cascading down upon 

The leaflets and buds of my heart

Nurturing the spring within me

That will awaken new life

Delicate and tender

I am flower fresh

jutting granite

Inwardly, jutting granite speaks

Of the solid strength

That we all bear together

In state of Oneness

Running waters grow still

As they collect in a natural basin

Of Love…

Reflecting what is true

Until the sun and moon

Sing of boundless freedoms

Ever expanding…

through the clouds

I know that I have arrived home

I have my place in the cosmos

I will never die…

I will return again and again

To kiss the earth through the clouds.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photos (in order of appearence) by:

Adam Taylor,

https://fstoppers.com/nature/photos-adam-taylor-captures-captivating-landscapes-5925

Brooke Shaden,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brookeshaden/4916539764/

Luke Gram,

http://man-and-camera.com

Greta Tu,

http://www.gretatu.com/about-me

Droplets from Tumblr:

http://mariplopis.tumblr.com/post/29797090845

Alan Howell,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashcroft8/3128393783/

Silouhette of girl on swing from Tumblr:

http://valscrapbook.tumblr.com/post/23284163399

***this poem was inspired by a dear friend on Twitter @stillnesspeakin

Surrendered Doing

S0859336

Fragility lies with death

S0869338

Letting life be

S0889342

Death becomes love impermanent.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014 

“All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence.” ~The Buddha’s last words

How Much More?

“Imagine a ray of sunlight that has forgotten it is an inseparable part of the sun and deludes itself into believing it has to fight for survival and create and cling to an identity other than the sun. Would the death of this delusion not be incredibly liberating?

Do you want an easy death? Would you rather die without agony? Then die to the past every moment, and let the light of your presence shine away the heavy, time-bound self you thought of as ‘you'”image

“Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to the past and future and to make the Now the main focus of your life . It means choosing to dwell in the state   of presence rather than in time. It means saying yes to what is. You then don’t need pain anymore. How much more time do you think you will need before you are able to say “I will create no more pain, no more suffering?” How much more pain do you need before you can make that choice? If you think you need more time, you will get more time -and more pain. Time and pain are inseparable.”

-Eckhart Tolle-

Flying Solo

flying

I may fly solo

Over vast oceans 

Of my life

Perhaps to be

Declared dead

But I will finish

What I started

With my last

Breath.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*photo found on Pinterest via http://www.pinterest.com/lindapetrova/

*inspired by Amelia Earheart

Life is a Mystery

mystery

“The God I cry out to in anguish or joy can neither be proved nor disapproved. The hope I have that death is not the end of all our questions can neither be proved nor disproved.”

― Madeleine L’Engle―

*photo found on Pinterest via http://www.pinterest.com/imabluefish2/

Are the Odds Stacked Against Us?

 

“Much of what life hands us comes without the prelude of fear and worry. Our fears don’t stop death, they stop life. More than we care to admit, more than we even know, our lives are devoted to dealing with fear and its effects. Fear is a shadow that blocks everything: our love, our true feelings, our happiness, our very being….But how much of what we fear is going to happen? The truth is, there really isn’t a big correlation between what we fear and what happens to us…Yet most of us live our lives as if the odds are stacked against us. One of our biggest challenges here is to try to overcome these fears.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross-

construction*photo taken from: www.alphacoders.com

Comforting Arm

comforting arm

I started to learn about true love when I walked “El Camino de Santiago” in 2011. I didn’t understand then what the universe was showing me…though I felt it…and now it is a little clearer…thanks to what it means to be a mother, but at the same time a woman who is trying to be true to herself. I still have to soooo much to learn about love.

Lately, I have been reading a book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, called Life Lessons. Maybe some of you can tell based on some of my latest posts. 🙂 Today I’d like to share a story she wrote that deeply affected me.

“Being there is everything in love, in life and in dying. Many years ago, I noticed an interesting phenomenon in a hospital. Many of the dying patients began to feel wonderful; not so much physically , but mentally. This wasn’t because of me, but because of the cleaning woman. Every time she walked into the room of one of my dying patients, something would happen. I would have given a million dollars to learn that woman’s secret.

One day I saw her in the hallway and said to her rather curtly, “What are you doing with my dying patients?”

“I’m only cleaning the rooms,” she replied defensively.

Determined to know how she was making people feel good, I followed her around. But I couldn’t figure out what special thing she was doing. After a few weeks of snooping around like this, she grabbed me and dragged me into a room behind the nurses’ station. She told me how, some time ago, one of her six children had become very ill one winter. In the middle of the night she took her three-year-old son to the emergency room, where she sat with him on her lap, desperately waiting hours for the physician to come But no one came, and she watched her little boy die of pneumonia, in her arms. She shared all this pain and agony without hate, without resentment, without anger, without negativity.

“Why are you telling me this?” I asked. “What has this to do with my dying patients?”

“Death is not a stranger to me anymore,” she replied. “He is like an old acquaintance. Sometimes when I walk into the rooms of your dying patients, they look so scared. I can’t help but walk over to them and touch them. I tell them I’ve seen death, and when it happens, they will be okay. And I just stay there with them. I may want to run, but I don’t. I try to be there for the other person. That is love.”

Unschooled in the ways of psychology and medicine, this woman knew one of the greatest secrets in life: love is being there, and caring.

Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control, we can’t be there physically. But that doesn’t mean we’re not connected in love.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross-

*photo by David Peat,

http://birdsong217.tumblr.com/post/31627838428

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAtWleBjM2k