An Evening Prayer

Sunset in Normandy

Sunset in Normandy

 

Let me rest my
head upon
your breasts
as this day
comes to a
close.
I have a need
for your love
I want to be
held by you
to feel your
gentle kiss
upon my
brow
to hear you
tell me that
all will
be well.
Let me be
cradled on
your lap.
I want to
feel your
gentle hand
stroking through
my hair
and know
the gentleness
of your heart
beat.
You who
hold all that is
within the
sacred space
of your
eternal womb
touch me please
at the ending of
this day
let me hear you
whisper
“you are oh so
loved, my darling”
Let me rest
my head
upon your
breasts.

~Joss Burnel, poet / author

I refuse

Super Moon Summer 2011

Super Moon Summer 2011

I refuse to do anything
but rejoice in each moment
of breath
I refuse to see anything
but miracles all around
each day
I refuse to get sucked into
negative shit
yours or mine
I will sing above
the sound of thunder
I will dance in the rain
I will run through the fire
I will exalt in HER love
For ME
I refuse to be quiet
to be silent
I will shout about HER
from the mountain top
from the valley
From deep within the cave
of your despair
I will overwhelm
your doubt
with my faith
SHE lives
SHE loves
SHE IS
And I
AM
HER
VOICE

- Joss Burnel / poet, author

Free and Wild

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The biggest error
in our thinking
is that life unfolds
in a straight line.
Look at the world
around you
poppies grow free
and wild
the forest twines
over and under
and meanders across
hill and vale
only man plants
trees in a
straight line.
The shapes of nature
are circles
and curves
spirals and
glorious offshoots
towards the light.
Bending with the wind
growing tall to
seek the sun
or low to find
necessary shade
nature moves with
and into cycles.
We get so busy
organizing
straightening
and lining up our
life
our dreams
our wishes and
desires
that they end up
stacked in neat
rows on a shelf.

God will not
stand for this
SHE knocks
things off our
tidy shelves
and if we still
don’t listen
SHE will tear
down the shelf
or have the damn roof
blow off and leave
us exposed
and ruined.
“Live” SHE shouts
“dance and cry
scream and throw
things
Make a mess
be a messy
juicy
passionate soul.
You are not here to
pack away all
that you are
bloom – for God’s sake
bloom!
Create beauty and joy
wallow in the
chaos of it all.
Do away with
this horrid linear
way – step into
the labyrinth
with me”.

~Joss Burnel / She Who Walks in Beauty

Thoughts at the Well

I have the most amazing soul-sisters and by their presence in my life I stretch and grow and often discover more of who I am.  Recently one of these magnificent women presented me with this image and asked:  Please meditate on this and share your impressions!  I sat with this image for a few days until the words flowed through onto the page.

A Well With Bucket And Rope Under The Shade Of Majestic Trees

A Well With Bucket And Rope Under The Shade Of Majestic Trees

 

The well sits at the side of the women’s tent
hidden from those who might casually pass by
in a quiet corner of the yard under the shade
of the old elm tree
Its deep fresh water has been
a source of energy
both for daily tasks
and for times of ceremony.

 Bleached by generations of hot sun
swept clean by errant winds
each lifetime women have tended it
with love and often with reverence
It has been a place to pause
and consider to whom this life-giving
water would be offered
and for how long.

 Today, though it is her own need
she considers
How often has she come here
with great purpose for others?
How many times has she offered
of the well’s riches to those who
cried out for help?
How much longer can she
continue to be the keeper of wisdom
of healing?

 She senses that her own days
are becoming shorter
that the time of abundance
is preparing to shift
She will need strength for the journey
yet to be completed
There are truths that must be penned
graces to be expressed
and ceremonies to be unearthed
and protected.

 She senses she is the chosen one
and cannot turn her
back on all that is being laid
before her – upon her
As she sits here, day dreaming
she knows the time of frivolous play
of fluttering here and there
has passed by her onto others
who are dancing around her flame.

The years of gathering in all that she knows
of winnowing the dross
and reaping the wisdom
are now open her.
The well will sustain her in new ways
and she will draw ever deeper into
its dark silent depth
offering up, pouring out
the walk in beauty.

~Joss Burnel

Broken Open

Maya Angelou died on my birthday this year. From the moment I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1970 I had hope. Maya gave me hope that life could be better, that somehow I could get out there and create a life beyond fear and terror, beyond abuse, beyond not knowing who I was or where my next meal would come from. Maya showed me that the human spirit could rise above any chains, any oppression and find a way to fly, to sing. From despair and frailty could bloom beauty and grace.

I dedicated my life to that. To not only finding the way but to following it. I learned, I taught myself how to walk in beauty rather than walk in fear. And the way continues to unfold. I continue to learn, to open, to find deeper and more meaningful ways to live, to be.

Words have power. Maya’s words had power when I read them. I read all the time and I listen. If you tell me something I will believe you are speaking from your truth, good or bad, weak or powerful: your words tell me of who you are and of what you believe to be true. I listen. I pay attention. Sometimes that hurts. Sometimes it opens a way of being, of walking that I hadn’t considered before.

I love words, it’s why I write. It’s why I read. It’s why I pay attention to the words of others. Words connect us as human beings, they teach us one another’s truth. Words are amazing.

A few years ago I closed one Facebook account, which was mostly a daily news kind of place to open another one. I wanted this place to be one where I could share my truth and provide an opportunity for others to join me in doing the same. And it has happened. I have a community of people who, sure, share bits and pieces of our daily lives with one another, but mostly we share about what matters to us. We share wisdom and advice, we support one another, encourage one another, send healing to each other, pray for each other and it truly has become a marvelous place of grace and love. Filled with words – of wisdom, of power, of change and growth.

And so we come to this week – to the purpose of these words today. Our van broke down, we are in southern France, far from home, even far from the friends we have here in France and the bill for repairs along with the cost of staying put in a motel for days while the van waits seemed overwhelming. We are traveling and yes it’s a grand adventure but we watch our pennies. We sleep in our van, often on the side of the road, most often actually. We fix our own meals and cut corners everywhere in order to make this adventure possible. How could we take care of this and carry on? I shared the situation on Facebook, because it’s what we do, my tribe and I. We say here’s a problem that feels too huge for me to solve. And then we receive. We receive encouragement, advice, support, questions and answers. I wasn’t even really looking for a solution, I just knew this was the place I can be me and be received. And that is a gift beyond measure, one I offer, one I cultivate.

And then a friend, and keep in mind that 95% of the people on my FB page are people, friends, I have never met “in real life” as they say. Which is so foolish because what happens in my FB community is real life, sometimes it’s as real as it can possibly get. But I digress. A friend commented I should create a way for her, for others if they chose, to help us out financially with this situation. And then a couple more chimed in. So, remember that whole “I listen” thing? Boy did I have to stop and think about that. Do I really? Was I going to pay attention and allow myself to create a tangible way to receive? I wasn’t asking. I wasn’t even being asked to ask! I was being asked to receive.

I created a post on one of my blogs – this one – that doesn’t have very many followers because…well, just because. That felt like a safe place to put a link for my friend and any other friends to “donate” to this mess we were in. I had no expectations. I had fear….fear of being vulnerable….and I moved passed it and followed my friends’ advice, created the post and went to bed, and slept.

And in the following 36 hours an amazing thing happened. Thirty people took advantage of that “donate” button and deposited money to help us pay the bill on the van. And my heart broke open. Oh, not in that “I can’t carry on”, or “life is too huge for me” way that I have known before. That each of us has known and will know again because life does that, it sends us situations beyond what we can handle at times. My heart broke open in a “I truly do belong” way.

I’ve always been that kid on the outside looking in. The one with the mismatched clothes and worn-out shoes. The one worrying about will there be money to buy toothpaste this month. The one wondering why she is here. I grew up. Sure. I grew past that place of poverty, of fear, of being on the outside. And yet….

I have spent the past day and a half receiving and it has broken me open to love in a way I never knew before. Today the universe feels like a place that truly welcomes me and I have my friends to thank for that. This openness is a gift beyond measure and it has changed me and will continue to change me. I just know that.

We are still waiting. Waiting for the van to be fixed. Waiting for the final bill. Waiting in a small hotel room, the smallest and least expensive available because that’s who we are. But we are not waiting alone. We are surrounded by people who care and who have given us a means to see light at the end of this tunnel. I will never forget.

tunnel through mountain in southern France

tunnel through mountain in southern France

 

 

 

Get us Moving

This post is being generated at friends’ request to help us get moving again.  Our van has broken down and needs a new starter and alternator and it will take another five days to have it back. The expense of motels alone, and we are in the cheapest one available, is huge. The cost of repairs is 875 euros which comes to $1300.00 Canadian.

I don’t know how to do this other than to create it here as a post. For those of you who subscribe to the blog and get an email notification, my apologies if this causes you discomfort in any way.  That is not my intention, I just didn’t know how to create a way for friends to donate, as they requested, other than this.

Thank you to each of you who have encouraged me to set this up.  I can only say thank you and offer you an autographed copy of my book “What if God Was a Woman” which will be published later this year by Starfield Press.

Thank you for insisting I put this page together and give you the option to help get us back on the road.  This is way out of my comfort zone and yet I know that I have in the past, and will continue, to assist others via donations.

Am sitting here realizing that pushing that “publish” button is not an easy thing right now and yet, why am I hesitating?  Do I not believe in the goodness of friends?  Have I not seen, in my life and in the lives of others how a whole bunch of small bits can add up to make a huge difference?  Do I think I’m better than others?  That where I see a need and meet it, someone else will see something negative?  Whoa!  How often in life do we, do I, hold back out of fear of one kind or another?

Enough of this!  We have got to, each one, learn to step out and claim good things, knowing that we are surrounded by others who also will take strength from each time we step forth.

A blessing to each one of you.

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