a letter from home

[I can never leave – not for one heartbeat –
but I can write letters from home and this is one]


Letter to a friend


dear friend

are you looking for a sanctuary?
a place that’s private and quiet?
that’s rent-free, and can’t be bought or sold?

(you will never be evicted for any reason

that you don’t have to share – even with your family
or lovers – because you can’t?
that requires no maintenance?
that needs no insurance because it can’t be damaged?
that’s as large or small as you wish?
that you can take everywhere you go –
even when you have no fixed earthly abode
and you find yourself “homeless”?

that’s as solid as rock, yet lighter than a baby’s breath?
that has views onto both the temporal and the timeless?
that has a warm hearth glowing, and a welcome mat
with your name on it, at the door?

would you believe me when I say
it is wherever YOU are, no matter what your experience?

it’s wrong to say it’s close,
it isn’t even near

it’s simply right here, when thinking disappears

with warmest love

– miriam louisa


Image source


an invitation to extreme creativity

If creativity is radical discontinuity in a pattern of thought, then going on retreat is an invitation to extreme creativity.

Retreat is radical discontinuity in a pattern of being.

It’s not so much a movement towards anything, although it might it might involve wandering in unknown places or bunkering down in a metaphoric cave.  It’s more of a movement away from the known life with all its impositions, distractions and habitude.

As the disappearing Dharma teacher said – it’s a total commitment to awakening.  Not just in little glimpses, but in rock solid steadiness.

You will know when you’re ready and you must go.  There won’t be a second thought.  You won’t be driven by your mind or even your heart and certainly not by your feelings for they are the most fickle of all.

You’ll be driven by Grace, by a sweet and unquestionable imperative that will shock you and your N & D.  Resisting the call is possible but the consequences to health and sanity are dire.

When the invitation comes, grab it, beloved.  Park your procrastination into long-term storage and walk, empty, into the arms of Life.


The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver