Monday, October 8, 2012

Listening to the Koln Concert

By: Robert Bly
from Eating the Honey of Words

After we had loved each other intently,
we heard notes tumble together,
in late winter, and we heard ice
falling from the ends of twigs.

The notes abandon so much as they move.
They are the food not eaten, the comfort
not taken, the lies not spoken.
The music is my attention to you.

And when the music came again,
late in the day, I saw tears in your eyes.
I saw you turn your face away
So that others would not see.

When men and women come together,
how much they have to abandon. Wrens
make their nests of fancy threads
and string ends, animals

abandon all their money each year.
What is it that men and women leave?
Harder than wren's doing, they have
to abandon their longing for the perfect.

The inner nest not made by instinct
will never be quite round,
and each has to enter the nest
made by the other imperfect bird.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yoga Class on Park Point at Lafayette

I will be offering a morning hatha/vinyasa yoga class at Lafayette on Park Point starting September 24th!

Details:

Dates - September 24 - November 26
Day - Mondays
Time - 6:15am-7:05am
Cost - $100

10 Total Sessions

If you are interested contact me at eldenkyle@gmail.com or graceintoxicated@gmail.com and I will send you a registration form.

IN THE TIME OF PEONY BLOSSOMING

By: Robert Bly

When I come near the red peony flower
I tremble as water does near thunder,
As the well does when the plates of earth move,
Or the tree when fifty birds leave at once.

The peony says that we have been given a gift,
And it is not the gift of this world.
Behind the leaves of the peony
There is a world still darker, that feeds many.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happily Ever After

By: Kyle Elden

When we hear the phrase “Happily Ever After” what typically comes to mind is finding the love of your life and living happily ever after just like the fairy tales depict. Oh the Cinderella complex, or the Grass is Always Greener complex how it can creep in and take over! I’m 32 years old, a single momma and a single woman. Last winter I was driving out for a snowy trail run with my friend Deb (also single at the time) and we were discussing how a few of our other friends had finally met the “one” and how happy for them we were. In the same breath though I lamented (half joking, half serious) “God, when will WE find OUR happily ever after!?!?!?!?” We both laughed and then began concocting the formation of our Happily Ever After Club – for single people who are happy being independent and single, aren’t looking to hook-up, but want to hang out and have fun together! We’ll go on trips, great runs, ski, out to eat, experience great music together, dance, bonfires, and on and on….we don’t NEED a partner to be happy and fulfilled! So, we followed through…invited other friends…over the months we had loads of fun! People came and went and came back again depending upon their relationship status. We made being single into a fun little joke of an exclusive club!

Through this little silly but sweet Happily Ever After Club and taking a good look at life and relationships I saw how much dysfunctional weight we put on finding the “one” – that, and in addition, thinking we’ll find that true HAPPINESS when we do find the one, or get that house, or finally have a family, or the job, or become more awesome, or rich, or sexy or fill-in-the-blank!!! Weaving into this a deeper spiritual practice and grounding myself in the sacredness that runs through all of life – I was feeling sad about needing to let go of someone I love deeply because the love was not reciprocated in the way I deserve and thus unable to be actualized – and I awoke one morning with continued prayers for healing and peace – and I walked out to the beach behind my house….soft sand cold and wet with dew on my bare feet, the lake still, a dark mirror reflecting a majestic orange sunrise – my heart filled to the brim, bursting with gratitude – tears of joy rolling down my face…..This is IT, this is HAPPILY EVER AFTER, every single day I’m alive! Life is a miracle, we only get one life, only get to live each moment once! And having loved, even with a broken heart in the end….you know what I’m lucky that I loved, and that I feel – even pain! It hit me in the gut with gale force, knocked the wind of dis-contentment and false seeking right out of me! Yeah life can be rough and tough, downright sad and heartbreaking – yeah, it’s okay to want certain things – to grow and create the life you desire! But God Almighty, if you don’t know that this IS happily ever after – that each day you wake up and open your eyes to see the beauty (and the ugliness both) that surround you, to look at your little daughter’s face and even fight with her about brushing her teeth and snarly hair, each day you walk across the floor to take a pee, that you can pee, that you can breathe – I mean breathe you are ALIVE! Holy moly, if I don’t know this – I mean let it really sink in and realize how absolutely blessed I am – well I’ll still be unhappy and discontent even with the “one” and the house and the great job and the blah, blah, blah blah! It is only thorough knowing this that we can fully appreciate all life has to offer and never put so much weight on any one or various external things that we think can magically make everything perfect….because guess what, it already is!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Don't Postpone Joy

A friend of mine indicated that he'd seen a bumper sticker while at the parking lot at Mount Royal Fine Foods:

Don't Postpone Joy

He stated that it made him think of me - awww, that was sweet :)

What a beautiful suggestion to keep as a reminder of how precious and short life is. I have taken this into my heart and keep it in mind as I navigate through the waters of life. In any situation I ask myself if there's any way I am postponing the joy, peace and grace that is available to me....I find when I truly execute this and look honestly at myself and the situation, I can respond and move forward in a way that makes manifest the most joy possible.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Half Life

By: Stephen Levine
from Breaking the Drought

We walk through half of our life
as if it were a fever dream

barely touching the ground

our eyes half open
our heart half closed.

Not half knowing who we are
we watch the ghost of us drift
from room to room
through friends and lovers
never quite as real as advertised.

Not saying half we mean
or meaning half we say
we dream ourselves
from birth to birth
seeking the true self.

Until the fever breaks
and the heart can not abide
a moment longer
as the rest of us awakens,
summoned from the dream,
not half caring for anything but love.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seed

By: Henry David Thoreau

Though I do not believe
that a plant will spring up
where no seed has been,
I have great faith in a seed.
Convince me that you have a seed there,
and I am prepared to expect wonders.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Morning Yoga in Leif Erickson Park!


Wednesdays, July 18th - September 19th (10 weeks)

6:15AM-7:05AM


Back by popular demand, our Hatha/Vinyassa style yoga class designed for runners and triathletes! Once again the class will be led by Kyle Elden, RYT. The class will incorporate tennis ball work for fascia release and focus on abdominal strengthening. We will especially focus on common muscles used by runners and cyclists.



The summer session will meet in Leif Erickson Park behind Duluth Running Co.

Dates: Wednesday, July 18-Wednesday, Sept. 19
Times: 6:15AM-7:05AM
Cost: $100.00
Must pre-register for all 10 weeks.
Space is limited to 40 members.

All class members must bring their own mat. Yoga mats are available for purchase at Duluth Running Co.



Register HERE!


Registration is also available at Duluth Running Co.



If you have any questions, please contact Kyle at k_elden@yahoo.com or call 218-341-6115

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fire


This is an example of how my book will look collaborating with Kate Whittaker's beautiful paintings. Please visit her website
Poem Fire By: Kyle Elden; Painting By: Kate Whittaker
By: Jane Hirshfield

Past time, I threw the flowers out,
washed out the cloudy vase.
How easily the old clearness
leapt, like a practiced tiger, back inside it.






Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign: HELP FUND MY BOOK

My Dear Friends & Supporters I am collaborating with Kate Whittaker to publish a collection of my poetry weaving throughout a tapestry of Kate’s beautiful paintings. The publication reading/reception will be mid-October. I have been awarded a grant through ARAC, but am in need of additional funds to support the publication so have started a Kickstarter campaign. Any support you are able to offer (even just $10) would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time and consideration :) Follow this link to support:


Kickstarter LINK

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scarred By Struggle, Transformed By Hope

I would like to share a bit of correspondence between myself and Cindy Spillers inspired from an earlier post of mine. In addition, included therein is a power point presentation by Cindy that includes some of Joan Chittister's quotes as it relates to the topic at hand. Enjoy, I certainly did:

So, early in April I checked into Grace Intoxicated and read and reread your post about Joan Chittister. Thank you so much for posting that. At the time, I was putting together a paper for the MN Speech & Hearing Association conference, on the inner transformational journey that some clients travel while they are traveling the external therapeutic road. I used the Wizard of Oz as an example of a hero's quest and as a metaphor for this inner journey. AND your post helped me to articulate and tie together some things that I was struggling with. I borrowed some Chittister quotes from your blog and cited you as the source in my references.

Here is the link to the slides that I put together, if you're interested.
Power Point Presentation

I developed this topic and presentation for the Minnesota Speech and Hearing Association Conference (MSHA), April 2012. The link goes to the slides that I used in the MSHA conference.

BIOGRAPHY:

Cindy Spillers is an Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her main areas of professional practice include fluency, voice, and counseling. Most recently, she has conducted research and written on the topic of incorporating spirituality into professional practice.

CREDENTIALS:

Ph.D. in Communication Disorders,1982
Associate Professor at UMD
UMD faculty for 28 years
Certificate in Spiritual Guidance and Direction
ASHA Certified
MDH License

The initial version of this topic appears as part of a chapter that I wrote for a book on the therapeutic relationship. The citation for the chapter appears as one of the references at the end of the slides.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

All My Life

By: Mary Oliver

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

Love

By: Amma

"Love just happens. Nobody thinks about how to love, or when and where to love. Nobody is rational about love. Rational thought hinders love. Love is a sudden rising in the heart. Love is an unavoidable, unobstructable longing for oneness. There is no logic in this. It is beyond logic. So do not try to be rational about love.'

Monday, June 11, 2012

Humility

By:
T. S. Eliot, 1944

There is, it seems to us,
At best, only a limited value
In the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived
Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.
In the middle, not only in the middle of the way
But all the way, in a dark wood, in a bramble,
On the edge of a grimpen, where is no secure foothold,
And menaced by monsters, fancy lights,
Risking enchantment. Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possessions,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Best Day Ever

By: Kyle Elden


I was recently reading Deborah Adele's blog entry entitled The Best Day Ever, follow to read:
http://www.deborahadele.com/2012/05/best-day-ever.html, and I loved it. She describes little kids playing with bubbles in her neighborhood, swept away in the present moment with the simple, yet profound joy found in experiencing the good and beautiful moments in life. One of the children, caught up in the magnificence and wonder of bubbles exclaims, "this is the best day ever!" Deborah Adele reflects on her own life at this moment pondering when it was she last felt that sentiment. That got me thinking about the way in which we take in our lives. I recently read James Bryan Smith's The Good and Beautiful God and there is a chapter, "God is Trustworthy" with a soul training (a daily, practical practice to help one connect with God) Counting Your Blessings. He discusses the way in which we tend to overlook the many ways in which we are provided for, the ways in which we are surrounded with incredible beauty and blessings. What if we awoke each day reveling in the absolute miracle that we can simply breathe and open our eyes to see a spectacular sunrise or watch lightening dance in the sky and rain splash against a window pane? I notice that, even when things are tough, I am disappointed or frustrated, or my little heart is breaking, when I do take the time to shift my perspective of life and allow myself to revel in the bounty of goodness that is at hand - well, I can't help but become flooded with absolute gratitude and feel close to God. I can't help but be filled with hope and peace. So, thinking of that little kid deeming the bubble chasing moment day as the best day ever - well, I freaking love the spirit of that statement. And, although I may not proclaim every day as the best day ever!!!perhaps at the very least I can appreciate and ruminate on precious moments and days in my life that are more than pretty damn good and find myself saying more and more, "Damn! This is good, this is the best ever!"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jacob's Ladder

Gary Boelhower, a local Duluth resident, mentor and friend was awarded the 2012 Foley Prize in poetry from America magazine for his poem "Jacob's Ladder." The poem appears in the current issue of America and a reading is available on the America magazine website www.americamagazine.org His book Marrow, Muscle, Flight won the Midwest Book Award from the 12-state Midwest Independent Publishers Association. To me this poem is more like a prayer. It is a beautiful reminder of shifting our perspective of life and seeing through eyes that are God-focused, and to notice the way in which so much of life is a blessing, a miracle.




Jacob's Ladder
Gary Boelhower | JUNE 4, 2012

The editors of America are pleased to present the winner of the 2012 Foley Poetry Award, given in honor of William T. Foley, M.D.

When you are on the ladder with a paint brush
twenty feet of air between you and the ground
do not swing in anger or fear at the yellow jackets.

If angels are ascending and descending the ladder
of your spine let them stretch their strands of light
into the small spaces between the discs of bone.

When you notice the way your heart can lean
toward shadow pay attention to the story
you keep telling yourself as if it were the truth.

If you are keeping track of the times you
fold the laundry or take out the garbage
you are not an angel ascending or descending.

When you curse the baby bunny eating lettuce
from the garden it is time to notice and listen
how the angels sing of mercy and bread.

If the spider is crawling up your sleeve
use your opposable thumb and consider the vow
of the bodhisattva and the levels of humility.

When you forget to roll up the car window
before the rain storm think of each silver drop
as an angel descending with blessed reminders.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Untitled

By: Farid ud-Din Attar (1120? - 1220?)
from The Conference of the Birds


The pilgrim sees no form but His and knows
That He subsists beneath all passing shows --
The pilgrim comes from Him whom he can see,
Lives in Him, with Him, and beyond all three.
Be lost in Unity's inclusive span,
Or you are human but not yet a man.
Whoever lives, the wicked and the blessed,
Contains a hidden sun within his breast --
Its light must dawn though dogged by long delay;
The clouds that veil it must be torn away --
Whoever reaches to his hidden sun
Surpasses good and bad and knows the One.
The good and bad are here while you are here;
Surpass yourself and they will disappear.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bring it Back Gently

By: Saint Francis de Sales

If the heart wanders or is distracted,
bring it back to the point quite gently and
replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence.

And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour
but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence,
though it went away every time you brought it back,
your hour would be very well employed.




The Signal

By: David Ignatow

How can I regret my life
when I find the blue-green traffic light
on the corner delightful against the red brick
of my house. It is when the signal turns red
that I lose interest. At night
I am content to watch the blue-green
come on against the dark
and I do not torture myself
with my shortcomings.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Closing Doors, Ending Chapters: The Good News

By: Kyle Elden

I had this really sweet moment where a deep life truth became evident through a connection with a friend. I believe we have these experiences throughout life. We interface with people, and together we are given these understandings about our existence here on earth.

During this orange, glowing gorgeous morning sunrise over Lake Superior I was sitting with a dear friend, who is currently amidst a divorce, and we were discussing the deep grief and loss present when we either have to make the choice to, or are forced to, close a door, end a chapter – to say goodbye to a person we love. This happens for a variety of reasons: divorce, break-up, death, geographical move, betrayal, a friendship ceases, or just a natural drift. Maybe it is your best friend, your fiancĂ©, the father of your child, a great love of your life, the death of a parent, your roommate. Whoever it is and whatever the reason, it does not mitigate the fact that your time with that particular person (the good and the bad), your connection, and the love you shared is significant and real. That which has occurred, cannot be undone. What unfolded between you, in your life, will forevermore be what happened. I remember this line from an Indigo Girls song I used to like in high school, Mystery, “so what is love then is it dictated or chosen, does it sing like the hymns of 1000 years, or is it just pop emotion, and if it ever was there and it left, does it mean it was never true, and to exist it must elude.” Yes, everything that exists does elude; however, because it once existed, it does mean it was/is true.

So, as the sun was rising and the lake was doing its morning dance with the sandy shore, my friend and I talked about having to say goodbye. She shared her heart with me about getting a divorce, and how this is the true, right and honest thing to do to love and honor all involved. At the same time however she will always love her soon-to-be ex-husband and will miss many things about their time together. This does not change the reality of this ending. I knowingly nodded, understanding the bittersweet, painful business of closing doors, ending chapters. Then, she looked me straight in the eyes and stated, “but I know, even though he will no longer be in my life in the same way, he will be one of the first people greeting me with love and open arms in the after-life!” And we both spoke not another word. We just nodded with this deep truth, this knowing, and began to cry – grabbed each other’s hands across this kitchen table, squeezing with all our might, and we found comfort.

Ahhhh, people do come and go in and out of the forefront of our lives. Here on earth we are on this journey and continue moving forward. Things change, people leave. We cannot hold, keep, grasp on to that which needs to be let go of. The deep life truth that became evident to me in this moment is that this is not all there is to the story, this is not the end. When we leave this human form, we return to our true home with God. And with God the love we share in this life and the significant people we have had to say goodbye to will once again be present. Love is boundless and infinite when we are with God. In the human realm we need to have boundaries, we need to have parameters around relationships and people, we need to say goodbye for a variety of different reasons. We cannot contain more than we are able at one time because this leads to more suffering and pain. But in God’s realm, there are no boundaries, there is just pure love. I imagine this complete joyful reality where all these people are with me and all this love is present, I am laughing and completely joyful, and that would be heaven to me!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Love Story

By: Kyle Elden

This life I’ve been given, precious and unique – my one and only. Each day a miracle filled with boundless amazing gifts. I can’t help it! I’m smitten with you life, downright grateful. I’m grace intoxicated, buzzed on happiness – joy spins circles and makes me dizzy, leaves me smiling. The sun rose like a rosey-red faced little kid playing peek-a-boo, poking her sweet little head right over the broken open lake today, all that ice melted away from the warm almost-spring rainfall, back into its other form, water (so sure of herself, moving and flowing, you would never know she was once frozen, she was stuck) – that holy moly sunrise brushed my kitchen wall with gorgeous pink light as Andrew Bird sang and whistled me into this new day. And yes, I was alone so I danced a bit, I spun, I made goofy faces and laughed at myself in the mirror. And I don’t care if I look like a nut cuz I’m happy as hell. A little dark roast coffee with raw honey and cream, a petite garden salad with dripping wet sliced oranges, runny yellow beautiful soft-boiled eggs and Third Street Bakery 8 grain toast with melted butter glistening across the top. And freaking a’ the lake is shimmering as the sun floats up out of the darkness, now all golden and aglow - throwing down a light show right out my back window, filling in every shadow. Grace, grace I drink you up in all of this until I’m absolutely intoxicated, until I’m filled with these blessings like a fizzy water, a carbonated drink all shook up and overflowing the moment the lid is cracked…and grace, I drink you up in my water with fresh squeezed lemon. You follow me wherever I go. You are the water that splashes against my skin as I wash my face. You are the breath I breathe. You are my daughter’s smile, and freckles and little hand wrapped inside my hand, staying in bed just a little longer on a school/work day to cuddle with her sleepy little lovebug self – her head of dark curls nestled in on my shoulder just under my chin, arms tangled up in one another. You are the Atlantic ocean and seashells and A1A Beachfront Avenue that I just visited and makes me sing the Vanilla Ice song rockin’ lovers driving Lamborghinis that I know every freaking word to and I’m the girl in the bikini with my friends in the sun and my little girl doing tornado tricks in the pool. You are the sweet taste of a gin and tonic with a touch of grapefruit and the soft sting of a fresh sunburn, a succulent juicy burger with melted cheese and ketchup dripping down my chin, dripping onto the plate, and sweet, sweet watermelon bursting in my mouth. You are the faces of my family and friends and invitations to different states with cactuses and the best holy mother of god single-track rocky trails imaginable to run along, sweat gleaming on every inch of my skin and mountain ranges all around. You are SeaWorld and Shamu, pink flamingos and the magic in my daughter’s eyes. You are wine and beer with good people and laughing til’ our stomachs hurt, making up crazy dances to old school 90’s music of Prince and Rex in Effex and Naughty By Nature Hip Hop Hooray, and Madonna– we’ve got the running man and roger rabbit down, around-the-clock and fancy basket ball moves with lay-ups rocking across this club’s dance floor. You are skinny dipping in Lake Superior under summer stars and a plump peach moon, standing around a bonfire dripping wet with smiles and stories. You are sharing green smoothies with friends or freshly juiced apple carrot juice and homemade, four bowls worthy, venison stroganoff. You are sun-salutations to sunrise and falling down on hard packed snow with guttural laughter with my daughter, stumbling over one another and skis hand in hand, teaching her to downhill ski on Spirit Mountian’s bunny hill. You are dance parties in the living room and my daughter’s funky fashion shows, Cyndi Lauper style with red high heels five sizes too big and pink crooked ballet tutu. You are oh my goodness crab legs dipped in a deep cup of melted butter with chives, watching Bridesmaids eating vanilla bean cheesecake slathered in Brandy peach blueberry sauce laughing our guts out, or slopping through a pint Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food watching Chappelle’s Show laughing til’ we cry. You are also in these tear and mascara and snot saturated crumpled up napkins from broken hearts, and deep cracks, and obstacles we bump into and mountains we all find ourselves climbing up, scrapped up knees and blurred vision. You are in the holding on with nails dug in to the skin of that which is changing or has already died, the letting it fly away like the ashes from this fire made with dead branches of trees we planted together - all orange sparks and smoke blowing away forever. In the saying goodbye, all the memories, memories imprinted in my mind, on my heart for eternity.....You are the cold feel of my grandma’s skin on her forehead, after she’s died when I say goodbye, the smell of her on her hair I savor for the last, last time. You are the hand on my shoulder, the utterings of prayers, the strong arms that hold me as I sob. You are the phone calls, the listening ears, the kindness that overwhelms, blows in like an east wind and sweeps you off your feet. You are all this love bubbling up from the beginning of time, the love that is painted by God in the marrow of our bones, as sure as the blood that flows through our bodies, the love that draws us through life like a magnet waltzing, whether we know it or not, with the One who gives us this gift. So look up, look up – look around – yes, notice, notice where you are, who you are, what you are – and make your life, with all its cracks and scars, with all its brilliance and light, a prayer, a great love story, a beautiful offering.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Before You Know It

By:Kyle Elden

Before you know it
you smile again
find yourself humming,
singing out loud when alone
a prayer of gratitude spilling from
your lips as you catch the sunrise
spreading light across the morning
soaking the sky with the deepest pink
imaginable
and you know there are a million
ways to hide from your heart
a thousand reasons to be sad or scared
but even more, even more reasons to be
fully alive
to move forward
as the hawks are called forth
to migrate, over and over again,
to wherever there is more bounty

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Believe In YOU Charles Bradley :)

Man, this brother can sing it - uggghhhh! I tell ya', I feel it, every. damn. time! I've been diggin' this Charles Bradley No Time for Dreaming record like crazy. I can't help but sway and wink and wanna say things like, "Hey baby, get in the car....let's roll..." all smooth-like, in a deep sexy voice, eyebrows raised, as the sultry music pours from the open door, picking up my friend for a soulful drive to a cabin adventure this weekend.....I imagine I'm in a beautiful emerald green 1970's Monte Carlo, but my champagne Subaru Forester is the furthest thing from it...;) check it kids:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope

By: Kyle Elden

In my job at St. Louis County as a Child Protection social worker I have the privilege to be on the planning committee for the Health and Human Services Conference. This is a rather large proportioned conference which draws a couple thousand people to attend. St. Louis County has been responsible for bringing in renown speakers such as Rabbi Kushner author of When Good Things Happen to Bad People. This year, thanks to Mary Bridget Lawson, we are blessed to have Sister Joan D. Chittister, a best-selling author, internationally known lecturer, and the executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center of Contemporary Spirituality, as our keynoter. The title of our conference this year is to be Scarred By Struggle, Transformed By Hope. This title comes from the title of one of Sister Joan D. Chittister's books. When I heard scarred by struggle, transformed by hope, it struck me. This title, this concept completely highlights the dichotomy of life. It doesn't gloss over suffering and struggle, which are inevitable parts of our life. However, it also includes a glimmer, a promise: HOPE. Here is an excerpt from the book:

There is no one who does not have to choose sometime, someway, between giving up and growing stronger as they go along. And yet if we give up in the midst of struggle, we never find out what the struggle would have given us in the end. If we decide to endure it to the end, we come out of it changed by the doing of it. It is a risk of mammoth proportions. We dare the development of the self. Life forges us in struggle. From one end of life to another we duel and joust, contest and dispute, rebel and revolt – against forces outside ourselves, yes, but against tensions within us as well.

I have seen person after person broken by the breaking open of life’s great fissures. And I have also seen them survive. I have learned through them that all struggle is not destructive. I have come to understand from them that it is not struggle that defeats us, it is our failure to struggle that depletes the human spirit.

All struggle is not loss. All those who struggle do not give way to depression, to death of the spirit, to dearth of heart. We not only can survive struggle but, it seems, we are meant to survive in new ways, with new insights, with new heart.

Struggle is a part of life. In fact, struggle is an unavoidable part of life. It comes with birth and it takes its toll at every stage of development. In each of them we strive for something new at the price of something gained. We tussle between the dark and the daylight moments of the soul. If we stop struggling, we may die. But if we struggle and lose, we stand to dies as well. So how are we to think of struggle? Is it loss or is it gain?

Life itself is the answer. If not one can escape struggle, then it must serve some purpose in life. It is a function of the spirit. It is an organic part of the adventure of development that comes only through the soul-stretching process of struggle. No other dimension of life can possibly offer it because no other process in life requires so deeply of us. Struggle bores down into the deepest part of the human soul like cirrus tendrils, bringing new life, contravening old truisms. The problem is that struggle requires the most of us just when we expect it least.



Wow, I love this. How often I've looked at myself and others and wondered what the difference is in this person's life, in this person's unique response to the difficulty life sometimes bears, and recognize the choice we have to succumb to depression, darkness, and death of the spirit or that of expansion, growth and wholeness. How often do we see ourselves and others exist in a limited form of the potential that exists. I've said to myself on many occasions "you are so much greater than what you are living out, putting up with, existing in!" When we are amidst struggle it is perplexing, unbearable and downright painful. However, when I have come out on the other side of struggle I look back, and although I may never want to live through that same experience again, I am amazed by how much I learned, how much growth took place, how much I developed, was changed for the better through that struggle.

Therefore, no matter what the "struggle" experience(s) you may reflect back on, or be amidst, it is not in vain. This Leonard Cohen quote, "Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in" speaks beautifully to this truth. Those cracks in our lives can be where the "light" gets in if we so allow it to shape us in that way. For me, I can honestly say that I am grateful for the struggles I've endured. Some of the most valuable things that have been instilled in me as a result are deeper relationship with God, humility, knowing how to love wholly, not taking people for granted, treating others as I wish to be treated, and the list goes on.

Sometimes we view other people at fault for our struggle, our pain, our heartache. Not that the actions of others don't impact or hurt us, that is absolutely true. But the manner in which we are able to respond that that is paramount. In the Bible Matthew 5:43-45 tells of of the radical message of Jesus “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. or Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. One of the greatest lessons I've learned through the struggle of forgiveness is that anyone that has hurt or disappointed me has not done so with malicious intent. It is through having compassion and understanding, love and forgiveness, and blessings pouring out for that person that I have been freed of the toxic fruits of bitterness, anger and wishes for ill will. I have been filled with peace and joy and experienced unconditional love. I am able to thus run my fingers over these scars from the struggles of existence and be truly transformed by the hope that resounds.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Advice for Living Life

I was reminded of this commencement address given by Kurt Vonnegut at MIT I remember coming across probably 13 years ago and loving it then - I still do love it and find it refreshing and real:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4:00 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Musicapalooza

By: Kyle Elden

I've got myself a bad case a' download fever. iTunes can be a dangerous, gluttonous fly-trap of an invention if left in the wrong hands. I find myself downloading, from my iPhone, like crazy in waiting rooms (like my doctor's office for my 'annual' you know what), waiting at the courthouse for Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) cases for my job, or in the long-as-h-e-doublehockeysticks line as I wait to pick up my kid at school. My iTunes account linked so devilshly to my debit card, so easy, so hassle-free - and it's nothing....download, download, download until you are in a blissful music frenzy, a haze of beats, boppin' your head in your car like a mutha' - it's so easy! I think I've got it under control until I check my bank account and whoa momma....the numbers are dropping fast!! But, what is life without passion eh?!?!?

So, two albums I've been devouring are as follows:

First, there's this sweet little Birdy - a fifteen year old sweetheart with a voice that is tremendously mature and other-worldly ~ as my daughter Stella so eloquently put it, "momma, I can't believe she's 15, she sounds so old, like she's probably like about 20 or something!" Yes, that's right kid, she sounds old :) Her debut album is phenomenal - seriously, it's a compilation of covers from some of my favorite songs from my some of my favorite artists - the best 'covers' album since Cat Powers The Covers Record, which is amaaahhzingggg!! Stella loved Fleet Foxes version of White Winter Hymnal, but little Birdy, boy oh boy - it's good stuff. And c'mon, James Taylor Fire and Rain (they played that damn song at my grandpa Clem's funeral when I was twelve, it always wells up my eyes with tears)! And then throw in The National's Terrible Love, Phoenix's 1901, xx Shelter, and holy moly Bon Iver's Skinny Love....and it's all over!! My little girlie and I have been listening to this, singing along together all weekend long!! Check out some of the aforementioned songs:









and just go google like crazy to listen to the rest - or better yet, download the album :)

Okay, and then I've been diggin' Polica !! A friend had sent me a link to a youtube video a while back and then on the wearehunted website I came across them again. Damn, I tell you this is sweet, smooth, sexy music you can get lost in - feels like I'm being swept away in a sea of sultry beats and a sweet voice like honey taking me to another place that I like, a lot!! It's hypnotic!! As I researched the band a bit more they are from freaking Minneapolis and the lead singer is this absolutely adorable, stunning woman (admitted woman-crush :)) from the duo Roma Di Luna that I love too!! Another recent download Polica's Give You the Ghost is start to finish goodness! Check out a couple:






And that's all I've got!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

In Praise of Honest Enthusiasm for the Awesomeness for Life

By: Brendan Leonard (http://semi-rad.com/)
*Thanks to my good friend Deb for sharing this awesomeness with me :)

One Saturday morning last October, my friend Greg and I were running down the North Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon, close to halfway through 26 miles of trail. We had run four miles and would run about four more to Phantom Ranch, where we could double-fist coffee and Lemmy lemonade at the cantina before climbing 4,400 vertical feet back up the South Rim to finish a hike/run Rim-to-Rim.

I turned around mid-stride and said,

“Hey Greg!”

“Yeah,” he said.

“We’re running in the Grand Canyon!”

Sometimes I get to do awesome things, and I kind of forget how awesome they are. Do you? I get stressed, caught up in other stuff, and I forget how fortunate I am, how incredible life has turned out to be most days, and some of the special places I’ve gotten to see. Most of the time, though, I try to keep a pretty good handle on it — try to remember to turn around and yell to my friend that yes, we are running across the most famous hole on Earth, and that’s pretty special. Or, you know, even reminding someone a few months later about something special.

Kurt Vonnegut, in a 2003 speech to students at the University of Wisconsin, said,

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”

In 2012, I urge you to notice when something is awesome, as it often is, and exclaim or murmur or just make a mental note of it. Isn’t it just goddamn fantastic that you have your health, for example? Or running water, or electricity? Or that you have enough money to actually pay someone else to make you a cup of coffee? Or if you want ice cream, you are at any time in America probably only 5 or 10 minutes away from a place that sells some form of it? (Trust me on that one)

Your life, even the bad parts, is fucking amazing. And most of the small things that make up your life are amazing, too — mountain bike rides, rock climbs, ski runs, sunsets, stars, friends, people, girlfriends and boyfriends, dogs, songs, movies, jokes, smiles…hell, even that burrito you ate for lunch today was pretty phenomenal, wasn’t it?

What was your enthusiasm for these things last year? I recommend you step it up in 2012.

People can disagree with things like quality, maybe your taste in food, or whether or not a movie is good. But no one can argue with enthusiasm, especially when it is over the top.

Do you think that climb you just did is the greatest climb ever? Great! If someone tries to tell you it isn’t, who cares? “Greatest Rock Climb Ever” is not an objective title. Thusly, when you are excited about a climb (or a trail run or a summit view or a bike ride or a sunrise), don’t let anyone bring you down.

A conversation where someone puts down your favorite ski area/mountain/rock climb/trail/burrito is not a conversation about ski areas/mountains/rock climbs/trails/burritos. It is a conversation about that person being a pompous asshole. Go forth and be positive in 2012.

Enthusiasm doesn’t have to stand up to criticism. It doesn’t even have to really make sense. If you finish a ski run, MTB trail or sport climbing route, and you like love it, I encourage you to try out new superlatives when describing it to someone else. This goes for everything you’re excited about. Examples:

“I’m just going to tell you now that Outer Space is the most incredible rock climb you will ever do. You cannot not smile while climbing it. It’s like the Beatles. Even if you for some ridiculous reason don’t enjoy it, you can’t deny its inherent goodness.”
“Have you heard the new Macklemore song? It will knock you on your ass!”
“The Eggplant Parmesan sub at Pasquini’s is probably my favorite sandwich in the entire city of Denver, if not the state of Colorado. In fact, now that I’ve said that, I think we should go to Pasquini’s immediately.”

Maybe some of the stuff you like love, that you’re passionate about, isn’t cool. Hey, this is 2012. Everything is cool. Irony is either everything, or dead. Be honest: When you see someone wearing a Motley Crue t-shirt, you don’t know if they’re serious, or wearing it to be ironic, do you? Do you like Motley Crue? Then ROCK THAT SHIT. And spread happiness.

Remember it is not illegal to high-five anyone. Do you use exclamation points in the salutations of your e-mails? Well, why not?

Do you like to laugh? Most people do, don’t they? Including baristas, waitstaff, and retail personnel. Perhaps you have at some point had a real conversation with one of these people. This can sometimes begin by sincerely asking those people how they are, instead of treating them like a machine that makes you coffee or orders your salad. This opens the door to making them laugh. If you play your cards right, you may be able to high-five them at the end of a conversation.

Remember yesterday, when you saw that one thing that reminded you of that one friend of yours, and you thought about how if you sent that friend a photo of the thing that reminded you of them, they would smile? But then you didn’t send your friend that photo, and it wasn’t awesome. Don’t do that again. Here’s what you do:

Take the photo.
Send it to your friend.
Your friend smiles. The world is a better place. Thanks.

If God Invited You to a Party

By: Hafiz

If God
Invited you to a party
And said,

'Everyone
In the ballroom tonight
Will be my special
Guest...'

How would you then treat them
When you
Arrived?

Indeed, indeed!

And I know
There is no one in this world

Who
Is not upon
His Jeweled Dance
Floor

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love More

Two beautiful versions of this stunning song originally by Sharon Van Etten. A reminder that through all experiences we can learn to Love More :)




Monday, March 12, 2012

After Drinking All Night with a Friend, We Go Out in a Boat at Dawn to See Who Can Write the Best Poem

By: Robert Bly

These pines, these fall oaks, these rocks,
This water dark and touched by wind---
I am like you, you dark boat,
Drifting over water fed by cool springs.

Beneath the waters, since I was a boy,
I have dreamt of strange and dark treasures,
Not of gold, or strange stones, but the true
Gift, beneath the pale lakes of Minnesota.

This morning also, drifting in the dawn wind,
I sense my hands, and my shoes, and this ink---
Drifting, as all of this body drifts,
Above the clouds of the flesh and the stone.

A few friendships, a few dawns, a few glimpses of grass,
A few oars weathered by the snow and the heat,
So we drift toward shore, over cold waters,
No longer caring if we drift or go straight.

Robert Bly reads 'After Drinking All Night With a Friend, We Go Out in a Boat at Dawn to See Who Can Write the Best Poem' from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Master and I

By: Paulo Coelho

(these notes were written in August 1986)
We are sitting in a garden in a French town.
– Deep down, people complain, but they love routines – I said.
– Of course, and the reason is very simple: routines give them the false sensation of being safe. Thus, today will be exactly like yesterday, and tomorrow will bring no surprises. When night falls, part of the soul complains that nothing different was experienced, but another part is content – paradoxically, it is for the same reason.
“Evidently this safety is completely false; no one can control anything, and a change always appears at the moment one least expects it, taking us surprise and with no chance to react or fight.

– If we are free to decide that we want a uniform life, why does God force us to change it?
– What is reality? It is that which we imagine it to be. If many people “think” that the world is like this or like that, everything around us crystallizes, and nothing changes for some time. However, life is a constant evolution – social, political, spiritual, on whatever level it may be. In order for things to evolve, it is necessary for people to change. As we are all interlinked, sometimes destiny gives those hindering evolution a push.

– Generally in a tragic way…
– Tragedy depends on the way you see it. If you chose to be a victim of the world, anything which happens to you will feed that dark side of your soul, where you consider yourself wronged, suffering, guilty and deserving punishment. If you choose to be an adventurer, the changes – even the inevitable losses, since everything in this world changes – can cause some pain, but will soon thrust you forward, forcing you to react.
“In many oral traditions, wisdom is represented by a temple, with two columns at its entrance: these two columns always have names of opposite things, but in order to illustrate what I mean, we will call one Fear and the other Desire. When a man stands at this entrance, he looks at the column of Fear and thinks: “my God, what will I find further ahead?” Then he looks at the column of Desire and thinks: “my God, I’m so accustomed to that which I have, I wish to continue living as I have always lived.” And he remains still; this is what we call tedium.

– Tedium is…
– Movement which ceases. Instinctively, we know we are wrong, and we revolt. We complain to our husbands, wives, children, neighbors. But, on the other hand, we know that tedium and routine are safe havens.

– Can a person remain his whole life in this situation?
– He can be pushed by life, but resist and remain there, always complaining – and his suffering will be useless, will teach him nothing.
“Yes, a person can stand for the rest of his days facing one of the many doors he should go through, but he must understand that he has only truly lived up to that point. He may continue to breathe, walk, sleep and eat – but with less and less pleasure, because he is already spiritually dead and does not know it.
“Until one day when, as well as his spiritual death, physical death appears; at that moment God will ask: “what did you do with your life?” We must all answer this question, and woe betide those who answer: “I remained standing at the door.”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Morning Yoga at Duluth Running Company

Kyle Elden, RYT

Starting March14th-June13 (14 weeks)
ONLY $100 (less than $7.25 per class)
Must pre-register – call or go to Duluth Running Co.
218-728-1148 – 1026 E. Superior St., Duluth

Wednesday mornings, 6:15-7:05 (50minute class)

Bring your own mat!

The class will be a Hatha/Vinyasa style, will incorporate tennis ball for fascia release & focus on abdominal strengthening. Great for all people; however, will concentrate on common muscles runners/cyclists utilize.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at k_elden@yahoo.com or 341-6115!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Love My Friends

By: Rumi

I love my friends neither with my heart nor with my mind.
Just in case…
Heart might stop. Mind can forget.
I love them with my soul.
Soul never stops or forgets.

Let Nothing Upset You

By: Saint Teresa of Avila

Let nothing upset you.
Let nothing frighten you.
Everything is changing;
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
Who has God lacks nothing;
God alone fills every need.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Taste of Forgiveness

By: Kyle Elden

“Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“It is easy to forgive, until you have something to forgive” ~ CS Lewis


When people are careless

When sweat and tears are wet on your face & body
from carrying the heavy weight of hurt

When you have dark marks on your sacred heart
from reckless hands

When your eyes are marred by dirt and dust
of another’s stumbling walk

When it seems it will never end

When the pain closes in, pulls you under
in this body of water, this undercurrent

When thrashing in the depths, at the bottom
you taste death’s dismal wine

When you come up, break surface

When you take deep breath and know
you are alive

When your eyes open and the world is bright,
the sun greets you, spreads warmth, wraps around you

When you have been lifted, called into the arms of
the Beloved, you know Love

When you sit at love’s feast it is sweet ripe red & purple berries,
juice of forgiveness bursting in your mouth

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mornings at Blackwater

By: Mary Oliver (from “Red Bird: Poems”)

For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.

And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.

What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.

So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,

and put your lips to the world.
And live
your life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Voice of Love

By: Rumi

Every second a voice of love
comes from every side.
Who needs to go sight seeing?

We come from a majesty
and we go back there.

Monday, February 20, 2012

To Have More Life

By: Gregory Orr

To add to our own suffering
To the world's: tempting
When we're young,
Easy to confuse that
With love.

As if
The beloved desired
Our sacrifice, wanted
Us to be the moth
Impaling itself
On the candle's radiant
Thorn.

We'd only
Smother the flame.
What the beloved wants
Is to burn more brightly
To have more life.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

God Is LOVE

By: The Innocence Mission

Rain or shine, this street of mine is golden.
Rain or shine, this street of mine is golden
with the gold of hickory leaves.
I can walk under these clouds.
Rain or shine, this street of mine is golden.

God is love
and love will never fail me.
God is love
and love will never fail me.
If I’m driving there today
and I really am this afraid,
God is love
and love will never fail me.

Some birds I know are moving on this weekend.
Some birds I know are moving on this weekend.
And I’m under the sky, I am on the ground, with my coat.
Some birds I know are moving on this weekend.

God is love
and love will never fail me.
God is love
and love will never fail me.
And some days I will decide
to let everything else go by.
God is love
and love will never fail me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HOME

By: Kyle Elden

Brokenness
terribly messed up
sharp illustrious edges
shine like diamonds
alluring, calling out all the want inside
rising like a snake upward to
the flute music of its charmer

I’ve chased rainbows
cast from shattered bits of life
illusions of light breaking through shards
stomping over the shadows
the dark underbelly
the substance upon which I stand
longing to be soaked in color
intoxicated on false hope
a mirage just always ahead
dry throat, unbearable thirst
through nights, and days and years
drinking from empty glasses
broken cisterns

Jesus, God your name
used to be stones in my mouth
I tried to choke down, or spit out
a dam holding back
a great force of rushing water
I was afraid would swallow me whole
but the Kingdom is so much greater
than I imagined
there was always so much
steam and condensation
I’ve now wiped away from the mirror
to see myself clearly
to see myself as You do

I have burn marks from the flames of hell
across my body
scars from the casket that held me like a womb
dirt underneath my fingernails from the grave
I’ve been climbing out of
cuts from rocks and roots I’ve grabbed
to pull myself up

Toward you
the greatest love of my life
GOD
You are everywhere
and within
above and beneath, all around
You were always holding me
wanted me to feel my head against
the beating of Your heart
Your arms wrapped around me
love pouring into me overflowing
glasses of wine and laughter
dancing with me, spinning until
I see stars
singing into daybreak
kissing my forehead
brushing the hair from my eyes
whispering in my ear
“my child, welcome home!”

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Untitled

By: Gregory Orr

Weighed down with the weight
Of the world. What can lift you?
And how did it become so heavy?
Is it because the beloved left?

How dark those rocks seem now.
That tree shadow more solid
Than the tree itself.

Help,
Help is on the way. The beloved
Is coming. A cloud over the sun
Doesn't mean there is no sun.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blessing in Chaos

By: Jan Richardson on her blog at The Painted Prayerbook on January 24, 2012


To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.




Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,




that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.




Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.




Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.






The human heart continues to dream of a state of wholeness, a place where everything comes together, where loss will be made good, where blindness will transform into vision, where damage will be made whole, where the clenched question will open in the house of surprise, where the travails of a life’s journey will enjoy a homecoming. To invoke a blessing is to call some of that wholeness upon a person now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prison

By: Rumi

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.
Walk out like somebody suddenly born into color.
Do it now.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Window

By: Kyle Elden

There is a window to the self
that is the window to the Beloved

This sadness, this sad story
all grime, all residue
dust fallen and heavy
on the window sill
on the ledges
a darkness thin as sheer curtains
that separates you from yourself
that is in between you and the Beloved

It is this simple:
Push the curtain aside
wipe away the grime
and there is a whole world
out there, moving and alive
reflected in your eyes with joy
extravagant and shining
through the window to the self
which is the window to the Beloved

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Words to be avoided: "Someday", "may be", "I will try", and "if"”
~ Paulo Coelho

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fire

By: Kyle Elden

The sun leaves this day behind
No regrets, don’t look back
Slips down the edge of the lake
Sky catching fire
Pink flames, pink tendrils of smoke fading
Into the dark, dark blue of night closing in
Tossing up sparks of stars
She knows how to move through this cycle
Knows there’s no other choice but to orbit
Onward through light and dark
Through life and death
Knows there is nothing tangible we can hold forever
Not inhale, not exhale
Not this moment, or that one
Not the body
Not anybody or anything
So let go
Move through the setting
Burn through the fire
Ash and dust of what was
To rise
To resurrect
To shine

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Gift

By: Kyle Elden

When people leave us
they are never really gone.

You are the dark oiled mark of a fingerprint,
love forever in my blood
in my thoughts when all else is quiet
no one is around, the distance could not
be greater
you are near
you never fully left
your spirit touched mine
rearranged, reconstructed, chipped away
helped form who I am today.

In your leaving
I am not a ghost town
vacant, broken down, void of life
I am a museum of flesh touched
and touching one another
floor boards worn differently because
of the way you walked across to greet me,
to hold me, to love me
our time together, the good
the imperfect,
a gift I carry forward
golden and glowing
around the edges of my life
in the way your beautiful light
will always stay.