I’m still learning…  the calls of the wild, the oracle of ancient trees, the buzz of the bees, screech of the hawk and owl…

On her spring calendar, my mother marked the day each species of bird returned: robin, bluebird, junco, sparrow, the wild geese, her favorite. Even though she said she wanted to live in the city, every time my father took her to tour a house for sale that she thought she’d like, she’d shy away from the clatter and congestion, returning to the solitude of the country, her sanctuary, a home that sometimes felt like a jail cell to her, yet oddly comforting. I grew up outdoors, playing in the headwaters of the Ischua creek where it sprung from the ground for its long journey to the Ohio river, then the Mississippi and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Deer and turkey paraded through our yard, except during hunting season when they miraculously disappeared. Our cat Maggie met her demise, snatched by a hawk and left to die in the crook of tree branch, where my father found her.

A coyote yips during morning prayers and the dog howls just as we end meditation in full uproarious laughter. The day officially begins. Now at 67, in the morning mist of the redwoods at the hilltop sanctuary, I’m still listening… and learning the call of the wild. Bunnies scurry around the land, munching on fallen pears. Bees busily gather pollen, two-by-two on the heavy thistle blossom. Hummingbird Moths stretch their long tongues into the deep centers of the Clockvine. The Borage bushes are full of bees frantically buzzing from one tiny blue blossom to another. I dance with morning sunbeams streaming through the trees, to catch the angle that shows their glorious glow at its very best. Glimmers of beauty tickle my peripheral vision. Spider webs catching the morning dew. Giddy as a child full of wonder and awe, because no two mornings are alike. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the fog rolls in so dense you can see it streaming through the trees, see the forest breathing. The breakfast bell rings.

At dusk, exiting the temple, brother Hawk sits on a wire over the gopher field, patiently waiting for his dinner to pop up. Aggravated at my presence, having lingered too long, he flies right at me, swooping down to clear my head by only a couple of feet, then circles back for a second pass. I get the message. Time to leave him in peace for his dinner. This land is only slightly tamed. The old buildings need to fall down, giving way to new. But the whisper of the ancestor redwoods will be preserved so that we can continue to learn the calls of the wild. As we leave the next day, Hawk is sitting on a wire at the bottom of the hill where the driveway meets the road. “Good riddance, for now,” he says. Like icing on the cake of our Holy weekend, Bobcat crosses the road on the way home, and I hear him say, “Hold these messages close to your heart. Share only with those who too love the wild and will listen to our calls.”

I’m still learning… Wild Writing take 2
I’m still learning how to love. There, I said it. Admonishing myself for being a chicken-shit in my first attempt because I didn’t want to face the “love” issue. Perhaps I’ve put too much pressure on myself, as I don’t think I’ve ever truly known a certain kind of love. So, I’ve set out to try to define the many kinds. I mentioned this to a therapist friend who replied, “Aren’t we all learning how to love, still?

I know the love of accompanying another as their heart breaks over the loss of a loved one, a mother, father, spouse, child… The loss of my own parents, the loss of a beloved pet. The love that comes when a friend receives a diagnosis that fills them with fear. I know the love of nature, the trees, flowers, hawk, bee, bobcat; the beautiful landscapes untouched by humans, the landscapes scarred by massive mines leaving craters and mountains without tops. I know the love of a million-zillion stars overhead on a moonless night in the desert, the sound of an owl’s call to its mate. I know the love of a crackling fire keeping me warm, burning so hot the stones around it break.

But I’m still learning how to love myself, in a complete and generous way. The generosity with which I love my best friends, clients, patients, family. Maybe I’m trying too hard to define love. I just know in my heart of hearts that I’m missing the type of love one enjoys in partnership, growth, a sacred love. Someone once said to me that some old souls need to travel this incarnation alone. Karma… I’m tired of traveling alone. I miss a love I’ve never known. I suppose there’s still time but if my heart’s not ready, I may miss it entirely. Those scars run deep, deeper than I ever imagined and oddly closer to the surface as I get older.

Still young, I tried to learn how to love, often giving too much, too soon, or withholding completely. I was once told that I was “unattainable,” whatever that means. So as my days get shorter, I do my best to keep my heart open to receive and to give the love I know I’m able to. Maybe, that’s enough. Maybe, the love I think I seek doesn’t even truly exist.
###                                      Inspired by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem, The Invitation

Beauty as MedicineClick on any image for Gallery View

This may seem crazy, but…
I saw the Barbie movie a couple of weeks ago and have since read many reviews and interpretations. Lots of hidden and not so hidden messages. It’s quite thought provoking when you see past the pink, (I love pink) and the obvious symbolism. I highly recommend it. I can imagine it being taught in film schools for its pop-culture iconography, and even philosophy classes and spiritual circles.

Which leads me to…
Recently, I’ve been listening to lectures by a Hindu religious scholar and studying the sacred text the Devi Mahatmya, (a Shakta theology) which establishes the Supreme Goddess/Divine Mother/MahaDevi as God the Mother/Ultimate Reality/Source; that which existed before the universe, is the creator, sustainer and liberator; able to include and sublimate all other aspects/iterations of devis and devas, including Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. For anyone looking for the Divine Feminine in religious philosophy, this is a powerful resource.

So, what’s the what with Barbie and MahaDevi?  Here’s my mash-up interpretation, which, while I started in jest, actually works…

Perhaps Barbie’s creator, Ruth Handler, is the MahaDevi, and stereotypical Barbie is the pure-of-heart Devi, and ALL the Barbies, and her gal pals, including and especially Weird Barbie are the MahaDevi incarnate in her many forms, characteristics, attributes and names. When Barbie asks, “Does anyone think about death?” Is this her Kali self asking? Just sayin’…

Barbie/Devi enters the Real-World, meets the masculine forces (ie: malevolent asuras/shapeshifters), residing there, and recognizes the misalignment of their human minds and hearts. The Mattel execs especially… When she escapes their attempts at boxing her in, Barbie/Devi meets the MahaDevi (Handler) who helps remove the veil of illusion and offers her the option of liberation from Barbie Land, life after death.

Ken/Shiva who wouldn’t exist without Barbie/Shakti, enters the Real-World and becomes enamored with the malevolent energies of the patriarchy (ie: the lust for power, pleasure and possessions). He takes all this darkness back to Barbie Land, covering everyone with the veil of maya/illusion from the Real-World.

Returning to Barbie Land, Barbie/Devi has to dissolve the ignorance of all the Barbies caused by the Real-World maya/illusion infecting them, reconnecting them with their inner divinity. The army of Barbie/Devis then all conspire to liberate the Barbie Land Kens from their Real-World illusion, thereby allowing them to reconnect with their Divine selves. In essence, there’s not power over one or another, but empowerment for all.  The sacred marriage of Divine Feminine and Masculine energies.  🤗  🕉️ 🙏🏻

Peace and blessings,
Rev. Lisa

Spiritual Companion/Guide, Healer,
Interfaith Chaplain, Contemplative Photographer

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“The earth is full of thresholds where beauty awaits the wonder of our gaze.” John O’Donohue