A Poem Dedicated to Madyson Middleton and Laura Jordan of Santa Cruz, California
She calls, provides me with a simple life,
a life on the San Lorenzo River,
overlooking pink eucalyptus and pine.
She urges – become a painter, a writer,
live in an intentional arts community.
Some mornings, coffee in hand,
cat on my lap, I marvel.
I am suppose to paint, write,
I am suppose to contemplate,
drink it in, the flash of
of the iridescent blue jay,
against the forest green.
Called, yes, thirty-three years ago,
a sudden awakening, a rebirth.
I was led to the Unity Prayer Room,
Lee Summit, Missouri,
praying with people from
the U.S, the world.
“Be still and know I am God.
Be still and know I am.
Be still and know.
My vocation included sitting for a
half-hour in the dead of night, winter,
in the dimly lit chapel
where prayer had been
continuous for ninety years.
I did my best, I didn’t understand,
how I’d arrived there,
but, I was deeply honored;
my own wounds healing.
It’s as if I’m on an invisible path,
sometimes lit, sometimes not,
headed north, slowly, following a map of
valleys and mountains without designation,
but with stars and moon revealed.
And just last summer
a little girl, Maddy, eight,
a neighbor on the first floor,
was murdered by another
neighbor, fifteen, a sick boy
who just wanted to know what
it felt like to kill someone.
On this holy ground,
Tibetian monks performed
an exorcism – with loud clanging
bells, gongs, and drums.
They chanted for a good hour,
red and gold robes in dim light
in our community room,
releasing, cleansing, and purifying.
If only it was that easy.
I and others, children too,
lit candles and prayed for days.
I was called to offer
a light of a painting,
red and gold, “Golden Spirit,”
to Laura, Maddy’s brave mother.
Now I know why,
in all this light and darkness too,
I paint, pray, and write.