Fairytale

April 7, 2019

Once upon a very long

time ago-

In a country

so old-

the people

had

all

but

forgotten

their name-lived

(You guessed it)

A princess.

Like every good fairytale.

And

always

the

same

story-

Your-

story-

My-

story-

Our-

story-

making

History.

(But whose story is it anyways?)

Always a wrong

that needs to be set right—

A “dragon to slay.”

A “call to adventure.”

It’s dangerous work being a princess.

A ‘true princess’

possesses civility

and courage.

She is kind

to

ALL

and

serves

ALL–

who

would

follow

her.

She is quick to forgive.

(So says

All the good fairytales

I’ve ever been told; or read somewhere…)

But, back to our story…

Our little girl grew up

not knowing

she

was

of

“Royal blood.’

But oh! the way she played!

She must have had an inkling…

Years went by.

(As they do…)

At first very happily-

When there’s

no cares

in the world

and it’s summertime…

But always the same story—

Darkness enters the land, by way

Of a backdoor: it’s up to a

‘True princess’-with the help

Of her

(Oftentimes

Mystical) friends

(Of course)

To: set the kingdom in order and break the spell over the people…

But our little girl

didn’t grow up

in a castle,

did she.

And how was she to know-

she was a princess—

if no one

ever told her?

Such was, the state of affairs, in this country so old;

The people had all but forgotten their name.

That is to say:

Not everyone forgot…

Awakening

March 31, 2019

She still

Smiling

That

‘All-knowing smile’

(She’s seen it before).

On her knees

In her garden

Pulling weeds

From the soil

(And from her soul)

The thought

Of the priest-

Perplexed:

“What did you say, girl?”

“You can’t hurt me anymore.”

She rising to her feet

To meet the priest-

Looking deeply into his eyes;

“You can’t hurt me anymore”

And the priest

Knowing she spoke truth-

Turned to leave;

Looking back

To see once more

She

On her knees

Praying...

But today

She is in her own garden

Tending her own little patch of earth;

Preparing a place for herbs and flowers to grow…

Thinking back on all she has seen-

(It is, sometimes, too much to bear with a straight face and heavy heart)

She has no choice-but

To smile.

So she continues her work

With dirty knees

And hands-

And gratitude

For the priest

Who

Not understanding

His own part

He played;

Showed her a truth

She no longer can deny-

And awakened

In her heart

A new beginning…

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Picture taken by me.
Me 🙂

The Reconciliation of the Heart and Soul.

March 21, 2019

Both agreed

The need

To work

Together

Was something

Neither

Could

Argue.

Their very

Existence

Depended

On

Cooperation

And

Collaboration.

Dependent

On

Each

Other.

But where

To begin?

Again

And again

Take it from the top;

5

6

7

8

This dance–

A delicate balance.

Someone has to lead…

She looks to

something

Greater–

Outside herself.

Some thing

She connects

Feeling

Deeply

Inside

Her body.

The same body

She treated with

Contempt…

Now

She

Doesn’t

Understand

How

She

Could

Be

So

Cruel.

Self-hate

Her

Hamartia.

Never again.

Her

Heart

And

Soul

Embracing-

Together

With renewed

Resolve

Pledging-

To make the inner reflect the outer.

Heart’s Response to Soul’s Admonition

19 February 2019

Ви помилилися

Не визнати

Робити помилки у

Своїх думках.

Щоб поранити вашу дружину.

Якщо не можете відчувати її біль—

Ви не можете лікувати її біль…

Якщо ви любите її,

Йдіть до неї!

Vy pomylysya

Ne vyznaty

Robyty pomyky u svoyikh dumkakh.

Shchob poranyty vashu druzhynu.

Yakshcho vy ne mozhete vidchuvaty yiyi bil’—

Vy ne mozhete likuvaty yiyi bil’.

Yackshcho vy lyubyte yiyi—

Ydit’ do neyi!

…You were wrong

Not to admit

The mistake in your thoughts.

You were wrong to hurt your wife.

If you can’t feel her pain

you can’t heal her pain.

If you love her—

Go to her!

March 15, 2019

“Do you respect me?”

Her heart had been broken.

She did feel betrayed.

Years

Of

Wounding

Winding

All

Around

Her-

Self

Constricting.

Death’s face

She sees

Staring back-

Reflecting;

Smiling

that

‘all-knowing’

smile.

‘Patience, Death.

Not today, please.

Today

I

Have

Much

To

Accomplish.’

But she knows,

It’s just a matter of time…

“What do you mean, ‘do I respect you?’”

Her soul on the other hand;

Her

Indestructible

Soul

Who

Knowing full well

The impermanence

Of the body

Is meaningless

And

Death

Nothing to fear—

Can be at times

Stubborn,

Distant

And

Aloof.

Her heart continues:

“I won’t be

with you

Always…”

“No.”

Agrees

Her

Soul:

“However,

Sweetheart,

You

Will

Remain

Dear

To me

In my

Memory”

And hearing this

Her softening heart-

Resistance

Melting

Her wounds

Into

Golden chords

She

Cuts them

Loose.

“You,

My beloved

Soul-

I need

You

To care

For me.

Respect me.”

And hearing this

Her soul

(Eyes lowering)

Seeing

Now

For

Perhaps

The

First

Time—

“And I You.”

Message From My Soul to My Heart

Inspired by You. I am grateful to share in this experience together.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Grandma: “Дівчата плачуть! Хлопці плачуть!”

Me: “Dad? Why is grandma always talking about the ‘girls and boys crying’?

What happened?”

Dad: “It was a long time ago…”

Me: “How could they do this to us? I hate them!” (stamping my little foot down)

Dad: “Hey, don’t you ever hate the people for what happened. It was a few ‘dummies’ in office. It wasn’t the people. Don’t you ever hate the people. We are family. We are blood…”

Message from my soul to my heart.

Until you can forgive me—sincerely and truly reconcile me—

There is

nothing more

I can do

for us.

And you make me and my words a hypocrisy.

You think I have all the answers?

Are you-out-of-your-ever-loving-mind?

Do you honestly think I have a clue

As to “what the HELL” is going on here?

“Life is a joke.” And

I am as clueless as anyone.

But still.

I am

willing to play

the game;

run the experiment.

For the sake of us.

Even if you don’t support me.

Even if you don’t understand…

I’m sorry

I got you

in into

this mess

In the first place.

I had no choice.

It wasn’t mine to make.

Maybe I said too much.

“Just trying to live life like a human.

But I am not human. Am I?

So I should know better.

What does it mean to be human…

There I go again

Stumbling and bumbling along

Making a fool of myself—

Just for the laughs.

Just for the smiles.

Just to know

there is

ONE

safe-place

in the

WHOLE

Universe

I can be myself—

in all my

Шикарний відвертість.

Is that too much to ask?

I found that place.

It’s right next

to courage

under a book

I once read long ago…

I would take you there; if only you were willing to follow me.

But—

I warn

you now

in advance

Don’t follow

too closely.

Sometimes

I trip and fall….

These words

may never

be read, but

they have

to be written.

Now.

While I still remember them;

While I still can write them:

If

what I say

becomes the death of me—

I will not stray

Oh Lord

from Thee.

I vow today

Tomorrow

And

Everyday—

I

Live

And

Die

Free.

So tell me then,

What are the rules

Of this game?

And what is the goal?

Why bother with any of this in the first place?

And what’s in it for me?

Am I a narcissist?

But

a “true” narcissist

doesn’t ask such

ridiculous questions.

And

only a “non-narcissist”

would be offended

by such a silly question.

So perhaps I am somewhere in-between?

And that brings us back to the first question:

“What the HELL” is going on here?

And “What’s the @#$% point?”

“Life’s a joke…”

And a damned-funny-one at that!

None of this

could have

happened

without you.

You do know that, right?

The

last

time

you

left

the house

“SEE YA!”

leaving a trail of mud behind you—

I was sure.

It would be.

The last time.

I ever saw you again.

And I was frightened like a child…

But I am a woman.

And I know: “Everything happens for a reason.”

So I took a bath.

And when

I returned

to see you

sitting there

in your

favorite chair.

I thought, “All is well.”

But I was wrong…

Inside-

a-fire-raged-

in-your-

cold-stone-heart.

A-half-century’s-worth-of-pain.

Hidden…

The Damned: “Did I do that?”

The Child: “Forgive me.”

The Woman: “I sincerely apologize.”

Where do we go from here—

is anyone’s guess…

So much hatred

To contend with.

How is it—

to hate

is easier

than

to love?

How is it

humans guard

their hearts

with fear

and hatred

against

the unknown?

I can’t hurt you

if I can’t get through

your layers

upon

layers

upon

layers

of armor.

But you are hurting.

Aren’t you.

And it has nothing to do with me…

I’ve been with you

since the beginning. And

I have no intentions of leaving you.

The

Answer

Is

Inside

Your

Cold

Stony

Heart.

Let it burn.

Afterward

1-19-19

“I like it.” He said. “It’s like you’re writing in code.”

“Did it make you blush?” I asked.

“Yeah, but in a good way…”

1-2-19

This is difficult for me to say:

So please

Just bare

With me.

I’m not looking for a fight, and

I don’t want you to

Think

I’m attacking you.

I’m not…

I need space.

Time alone.

Not from you—but from myself.

Most of the time I feel content.

Safe. Happy.

(Sometimes—I can’t explain it–

maybe hormones, maybe

years of abuse

working it’s way out?)

But–

I need to be alone.

I’ll actually feel physically sick—

You don’t

want to

see it.

Trust me.

The energy builds

And wipes me out.

I have

to close

my eyes

and rest…

Rest until

the feeling

settles down.

It’s not serious.

It’s weird.

Sometimes—

I may cry just a little.

Maybe it’s normal?

I always feel better afterward and happy to see you again.

1-19-19

Please forgive my errors. I am still learning. And practicing.

Song For My Unborn Child

пані америка

Ukie жінка

вродлива лековажна жінка

жалюгідна жінка

меленький метелик

моя душа українська страждає.

тане… я не розумію чому ми воюємо.

вони взяли з ферма діда. вони спалили дім бабусі. вона плаче…

однак я не ненавиджу вас.

я твоя сестра!

ти пам’ятаєш наша червона кров наше походження змішалися разом завтовшки?

що шкодує!

може вода очистити нашу ганбу. і я можу назвіть вас моїм братом наново.

ом мур мур вічний мур.

And From Your Ashes I Arise Ch 6

“…it crosses a line into verbal-abuse and abuse left unnoticed goes untreated…”

10-28-18

Hey–

I hope

you

don’t mind

me saying this:

But lately,

I’ve been

reflecting

On what is it

exactly—

I find so

charming about you.

Just thinking about it makes me smile.

I like sharing time with you!

And it doesn’t matter we don’t see

each other for weeks

It

is

still

the

same.

(I’m glad to know you miss us too

and we are also in your thoughts…)

So what it is then?

Because

Believe me

when I say

I’ve put some time into this riddle.

Ok. Here goes:

Nowhere have I found a place (until now)

where I can be so vulnerable—and still feel so at ease.

There.

I said it.

Nothing like a good vent between friends, eh?

Are you blushing?

You can always make me laugh..

…and I always feel better.

You laugh at my jokes—

and don’t take offense.

You never take sides.

You

show

me

a

side

I

never

could

have

Seen without you.

Of course

my worst

fear

is

that

I

somehow

Accidentally

or not

Hurt you—

That would break me.

I pray, Lord keep you safe always.

—————————————

12-9-18

“…you two had a grand-falling-out I heard. You ok?”

“Yeah. Thanks for asking. I’m ok. Laughing about it now…

The only thing bigger than that man’s mouth is his you-know-what! HA!

But lately, it seemed something was wrong—

I didn’t know it’s been wrong-every-time-he’s-seen-me.”

“Ouch!”

“Yeah…that hurt…

Maybe stress is getting to him? Maybe too much small-town politics?

Stubborn man…and I’m fond of his kids—”

“Nuts don’t fall far from the tree!” Interjected the Friend.

“Well, that’s for darn-sure! When I saw how his daughter disciplined her

puppy (a puppy for Pete’s sake!) I can see how she must have been treated as

a child. It’s just plain sad to watch…I didn’t know what to say…but I

think I made it very clear my dislike of that-kind-of-language—it crosses a

line into verbal-abuse and abuse left unnoticed goes untreated…”

“Because if you come right out and say, ‘what you are doing is emotionally

abusing your pet’, she will deny it.”

“Yep! Then come the excuses…I know, I’ve heard it before. I had to walk

away…and such a sweet puppy! Playful and affectionate. I dont blame the

puppy for ‘not listening’ and how can I blame the girl?”

The Friend looked down thoughtfully and then spoke up,

“There must be a kind-way to let people see the harm their words and actions

cause others; let them know (without a confrontation):

Your words are crossing a line into verbal abuse territory and I would

appreciate if you took three steps back and a deep breath in.

You know…help them to break the cycle.

Better for them, better for everybody!

So ok, back to your story—what happened next?”

So he said to me:

“Then how about we

just don’t

speak

to each other

anymore

and that will

solve

the problem!”

“Brilliant!” (disbelieving-laughter from the Friend)

“now

each day

that passes

i actually

feel more

E!”

E

R

F

“You aren’t angry?”

“No, I’m not angry. Disappointed yes. But angry?

Why?

(It’s not like the first time

I’ve opened my heart

to someone only

to have it broken.

But that was many years ago…

Today. I. Am. Strong.)

And if he were standing in front of me right now I would say,

‘What kind of a fool-of-a-man disrespects another man’s wife?

Do you not see you disrespect us both?’

But until that day comes,

I’m not holding my breath—

I have a family to care for and a home to keep.”

“Amen to that!” Said the Friend. “Is there more tea?”

The End.

And From Your Ashes I Arise Ch 5

1:33 Mairī karunā muditā upēsksānām sukha duhkha punya apunya visayānām bhāvanātah cittaprasādanam.

“Through the cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy, and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, the consciousness becomes favorably disposed, serene and benevolent.

This sūtra asks us to rejoice with the happy, to be compassionate to the sorrowful, friendly to the virtuous, and indifferent to those who continue to live in vice despite attempts to change them. This mental adjustment builds social as well as individual health. Besides cultivating these qualities, one should follow the social virtues of yama (2:30) for the well-being of society as a whole…”

BKS Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sūtras of Patanjali (1993)

Posted with permission from the publisher.

28 August 2018

Letter To My First Yoga Teacher (written during a flood event on Kauai)

Here I am, sitting quietly (yet anxiously) in our “jungle hut” (the smell of cookies baking in the oven). The Hanalei river continues to rise and the sound of water rushing underneath is one I won’t soon forget…

Thank you for gifting us with your book! And thank you for the sweet inscription. I am touched.

Reading your personal story is giving me a deeper understanding into the nature of my relationship as a student, to you as a teacher; and why it was so important for me to leave your class before I lost heart. Looking back now, I see more clearly than I did before. Again, thank you. Some of the most profound lessons come in the most subtle of guises.

It seems our paths have been converging for some years as I also grew up in Chicago (west side), and was first introduced to yoga in 1975 when I was four years old. Do you remember Lilias Folan on public TV?

Fast forward twenty-two years when we met. I was awestruck by the grace, strength, and confidence you demonstrated with your practice. You inspired me. And now, again twenty-two years later—I am still practicing.

As part of my svādhyaya practice, I began journaling as a way to reconcile a long family history of emotional abuse. As you say in your book “…not one of us is immune…”. So true. As I wrote, I found an inner freedom to express my own unique, albeit small, voice. I made friends with my “inner guru” and discovered she is a poet!

My shattered-self-confidence continues to recover; everyday I am learning it is our relationships to others and how we treat one another that is most important for a happy, healthy and productive society.

So, here we are, back on the island after twenty years—our paths cross once again. The beginnings of a new chapter. It’s been a fantastic adventure complete with fires and now floods. I am happy to report that just in the time I’ve been writing this letter to you, the waters have receded significantly, birds have come to feast on tilapia, and we are devouring cookies!

Lovely to reconnect with you and the growing yoga community here on the island. The spirit of “aloha” is a live and well. And it would seem, the spirit of discontent is also thriving? Paradise and Hell all wrapped up in one.

So grateful to be alive at this time, and a witness to the eternal unfolding of the cosmic drama before us. And yes, forever grateful you were a part of our introduction to the practice of yoga! Om shanthi.

March 9, 2018

Dear Mr. X,

I hope you don’t mind me saying this:

I only wish to put a smile on your face and a warm glow in your heart.

There are so many beautiful words I wish to tell you…

But first, I must apologize.

It was a long time ago.

I was young.

Too young.

I was used to being abused.

Not loved.

It was all so confusing…

I am sorry I hurt you.

Can you forgive me?

There are so many beautiful stories I wish to share with you!

And

lately

I’ve had

the most

fantastically real dreams!

And…I’m dying.

Sooner or later

who can say?

It’s ok.

I feel pretty good actually

for a middle-aged woman in love.

Yet,

I feel

my health

isn’t what

it used to be.

Years

of abuse

is hard

on the

body

and mind.

However,

my soul-

my indestructible luminous soul-

is strong

and ready to take flight!

This old cocoon

is getting

uncomfortably

tight

And can’t contain

what is beginning to emerge….

April 11, 2018

Yesterday,

on the way home from bowling,

on the way to the butchers shop,

we drove past a sign

in front of a church

that read:

“Every day gives a new reason to praise God.”

And I thought,

Yes! Of course!

And praise

Allah

Yahweh

Jesus and Krishna

Lord Shiva

Perun

Thor and Zeus…don’t forget Kali…

When

we give

thanks

for one another,

with our

encouraging words

and

heartfelt gestures;

lifting up

one another’s spirits to

God—recognizing

the absolute infinite spark

in each and every

one of us

dwelling within—

are we not also praising God?

I am grateful for the reminder.

I am also reminded

how so many souls

have lost sight

of their God.

Unwilling to praise. Unable to surrender. Ungrateful.

Still,

God’s will

is stronger

than mine.

And today is a brand new day.

April 15, 2018

“Have you been drinking?”

“Why do you ask?” Was his response.

“Because I am your aunt.”

(Because I’m watching

your behavior

and it is so predictable.

You aren’t the first alcoholic

I’ve ever known.)

Then comes the excuses…

The feeling is indescribable–

becoming estranged from a loved one.

Saying, “You are no longer welcome in this house.”

The bitter heart ache

when you realize

you’ve been betrayed.

Again.

But there is also freedom

and a lightheartedness

that I haven’t known before…

If I were standing in front of you now,

what would you do?

Because while there is a part of me that wants to box your ears;

another part wants to hold you like a baby crying in my arms.

I don’t understand

how you

can be

so hard on me.

(Is it because you are also hurting and I’m not there to hold you?)

You will

miss me

when I am

dead and gone.

Remember this while you are twisting your knife into my heart…

You are my sister’s son

and just like your mother

as long as I give you what you want—

you can be so sweet to me.

And when I refuse—

you show me just how deep is your need for me.

Why do you fight me when I am on your side?

Yes, it is true,

you were a victim

of childhood emotional abuse.

No child should have to endure what you did.

Yet, here we are–

and you are

no longer

a child.

It is difficult.

I understand.

Despair is a treacherous thing

when hope seems

so hopelessly

far away.

It

Is

A

Struggle to climb up

Out of the depths of depression

Fear

Anger

Bitterness

What’s the use anyway?

Why should you care when (seemingly) no one else does?

But. They. Do.

If you can’t

On your own

“Square yourself

Around”

Don’t.

Seek out members of your community who can help.

And I think

you will find

they are willing,

more than willing

to help you

become

the best of you.

For you.

For your community.

For the whole of society.

Your

Well-being

Is

A

Blessing

To

Us

All.

There is nothing more I can do for you.

Not because I don’t love you or because I don’t care.

I want to see you

Becoming the most

Brilliant

Loving

Successful

Young man

You can become.

Nonetheless, you have to take responsibility for yourself.

And so

I have to risk losing you,

my angel baby.

My fond memories

of you-

your sweet

cherub smile-

I will always hold dear in my heart.

When you are ready

to face the darkness—

you will find

you are not alone.

We all need friends

who understand us.

Whom we can count on.

Who can count on us.

My heart

once broken

wide open

is strong again.

And I hope…

I’ll never stop

hoping

you

one day

realize your wings.

Only time will tell what God already knows…

May 4, 2018

He wants her to be more passionate in bed.

She wants him to be more affectionate in public.

They both cite: “too much water under the bridge”.

And so the two of them

go about their day

doing all the things

they normally do

for each other.

Waiting…

for the other

to make a move.

To change.

Looking up

occasionally

from their iPads

smiling at one another to say:

“I’m still here doing the best I know how in this moment.”

Twenty plus years of shared experiences.

They lash out:

“I am not what you say I am…I am a better person than that!”

Water under the bridge. Moving too fast…

I admit

when we met,

I was naive

and foolish.

(Still, you found me attractive—remember when?)

But I was hopeful…

…hopeful we could be more to each other

than just expectations,

desires fulfilled,

and selfish needs met.

We could grow up together…

I’ve learned so much

from you

over our twenty

plus years together.

But now l am

so painfully aware

of just how little

I really know.

We treat each other as if we deserve to be punished.

Perhaps we do.

It makes me sick to my stomach…

We didn’t know each other well enough to get married, did we.

And yet here we are.

Twenty

years

gone

by the wayside.

Do I deserve to be punished?

Then do it

and get it

over with

before the raging waters

destroy this bridge

between us

forever.

May 10, 2018

“I have this terrible secret.”

So says my childhood fears.

“If he finds out

he will leave me.”

Or worse

come to resent me.

I know

I have

Something

Wrong

With

Me.

Choose from any of the personality disorders de jour.

Any one may fit.

Depending on the time of day.

It’s embarrassing and I’m not exactly proud of the stupid things I did or the way I behaved; bills had to be paid and I had to keep up the appearance I was a functioning adult–trustworthy and dependable. But I wasn’t. And deep down, I knew it.

This is no justification for my poor choices.

“It wasn’t my fault!” Cries the child. “I didn’t choose to be abused!”

Or did I.

Perhaps I did choose to incarnate

in this particularly difficult body

to have this particular experience.

To go through hell

and discover

what hell

truly is.

Not some

mystical place-

underworld-

outside of myself.

But inside.

“Life is suffering”

So they say.

And for thousands of years so many “theys” have said exactly the same thing.

So

Maybe

They

Are

Right.

I remember a time

long ago

when I was

joyful.

I tried

to be

a good

girl.

Adults are supposed to care for and protect children. Are they not?

It seemed to me

I was always in trouble

for something.

I grew to hate my birthdays.

I grew to hate myself.

But always

there was this thing

inside of me.

I never could

fully explain what it was.

But it was there

and it kept me alive–

Whispering, “Hold on sweet soul. Just one more day…”

I don’t know

from where

it comes–

but here it is.

And it doesn’t

hate anything.

I’m not so sure

it matters

what you call it.

Just as long

as you

have it

inside of you

And you listen–

Please

Never stop

listening to the soft-whisperings…

I think

without it

I would have

taken my life…

so many times ago-

just to end

this suffering.

Hell hurts.

And there

were times

when the pain

was so great-

almost unbearable-

That I thought

I would leave

this awful-place-

of-suffering.

Once.

And.

For.

All.

It does make it a little more bearable to say:

“I chose to incarnate in this particularly difficult body to experience suffering.

And I choose to go through hell, if for no other reason—

just to see what is on the other side.”

Whether I deserve it or not, I am still alive.

Painfully. Joyfully. Alive.

And if he finds out–

all the better.

And From Your Ashes I Arise Ch 4

Nov 27, 2017

“Get over it!”

They said.

But it was too big

And I was too small.

“Let it go!”

I was told.

But it followed me.

I tried to go around it

But soon found it was everywhere…

I had no other choice but to go through it.

And to my surprise

A

Door

Opened.

It was dark inside,

However,

With

Each

Step

I

Took–

A warm glow in my heart

And a smile on my face

Grew brighter and brighter…

And

Now

I can see

More clearly

All the images

That once haunted me

Are nothing

More than

Shadows

Flickering.