Pain is a teacher

Desperation works. Yesterday, someone I love so dearly was in physical and emotional pain from an irrational fear. Helpless, I could do nothing but cry, choking through sobs and streaming tears.

Today, witnessing the same drama, I drew a deep breath and calmed myself: I’m OK. It’s OK. My stomach unclenched, my heart expanded, and it became true. I am OK.

Redirecting my desire away from trying to make the pain go away, to embracing my beloved’s chosen path, enables me to hold space for OK-ness.

Pain is a teacher, indeed.

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Still small scream

My grandson’s ear-piercing squeals attest to his cheerful will to be heard, seen, felt – the immediacy of his glorious presence. And there is his bright gaze as he, too, unwaveringly acknowledges me.

I remember the child whose song rose mightily to the setting sun – a prayer, a longing for the beauty of light and color to follow her into the darkness of fear and the anguish of wounded hearts seeking their own voice.

Now, I tell myself: I am guiltless, I am free, safe, and still I struggle to loose that still small scream, ever seeking to be heard. Here I am to say yes – every day another chance.

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Family

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. – Edna Buchanan

Though you are my family, I cherish the thought that we are also friends.

Perhaps I can explain, just a little, how important living with heart is to me and what this means.

When I was young I looked to the obvious beauties of the natural world, believing only that face of God, listening for words unspoiled by human thought. While I enjoyed a certain solace, my heart waited to feel a kinship with my own kind, equally lovely in its inspiration.

When I was blessed with children my heart expanded – my world, my dreams. Here, finally, something beautifully human. I never conceived the extent to which these four people would lead me to understand the true majesty of the human soul: Love.

I have come to believe that our beating heart is the jewel to be mined from this earthly dunghill. Buried beneath our collective sins – joy and pain, courage and greed – is a mighty inspiration.

But how to dig out? For me, it is no less than looking to the foundation of my own heart’s desires, understanding what drives me from rest to work, apathy to action. And my own heart is as much a betrayer as a defender.

Simply: every day my beating heart leads me to understand myself and others better and, perhaps, a little light is shed on what waits just under the surface of this darkness of ignorance.

Are you prepared to love another human being unconditionally and, equally important, are you prepared to be truly loved? Accept this jewel of the earth, this promise of heaven.

It is an honor to witness this miracle, even if for a short time.

Amada Reza
September 28, 2012

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Fullness

You hear my beating heart; I am afraid of its sound. My longing has reached your ears – too late, I am within your reach. I will myself to stay, to feel your love, but am I worthy to say I am loved?

Is this calm peace mine to keep, this sweetness true? If every effort to stay my hand from reaching for anything born of my own desire comes to this feast laid before me, what shall I do? Am I already full before taking one bite?

No, let me be honest. This ever-yearning heart of mine comes to you wondering what to do with fullness. I shall set the table for you then, taking care to put love into every detail – just so – this object of your affection disappearing before your eyes.

Young one, become aware of yourself: you are upright, your crown touches heaven.

Taste the sweetness that flavors your life. It should be so.

You cannot escape the one who is inside you, casting light from every orifice – your countenance the impression of angels.

Know yourself so that you might know the love I have for you, that you might see what I see.

Follow the trail of your desires until you find yourself standing before me, looking a lot like love, itself.

Amada Reza
September 1, 2012

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Fever

The human heart, strange alchemy within our breast, transforming blood into desires that move thought and limb.

If only I were content to be within the spaciousness of belonging, immersed in the mercy that quenches a soul’s thirst. But this fever burns – slow and warm, fast and hot – it touches my sleep and shadows my footsteps.

Oh, there is space enough – stretching to earth and sky in four directions; rivers run deep enough, above and below, to nourish this world and the next. Why must my eyes seek beyond the horizon, what will still my restless limbs?

Onto this wheel I was thrown by a Hand I reach for: Guide my steps to that eternal ocean of Love where all began. Let me see the purpose that humanity shares, stretching from always to always. I am part of You, and every thing that light shares with me.

Gentle comfort, soothe the longing I find in dark corners. Ever so carefully, untangle the knot that binds the human heart so it may be free to walk toward its dreams.

We breathe to the rhythm of one song; we keep time by its beat. Let me dance to that song, let me sing the words we all know by heart.

Amada Reza
August 25, 2012

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Courage

Courage, my daughter –
your heart holds
the give and take
of this world.
Like breath, take
what supports
you, give away
what does not.

You are strong
enough to stand
straight up for
who you are –
the awesome
truth of you.

Words fall silent;
actions are stilled –
time cannot measure
love that fills the space
between souls,
between worlds.

Memories gather
as rose petals
to guide our way
toward mercy that
forgives forever
the human be-ing.

Courage, my daughter
is what you have –
a river so deep
and swift it carries
hope aloft for
everyone to see.

For my daughter,
Happy, on her birthday.

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Choosing

I find that I need to consciously choose to feel my heart.
Once I do, I wonder why I don’t choose more often.

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Beloved

Growing within me
the spirit and soul
of one Beloved,
catching the color
of my life, the
sweet song of
hearts open wide.

Break through the
dark outline of
my womb into
the light, into
arms welcoming
this daughter,
this sylph.

You perceive magic
mischief in the room –
when you walk
you dance,
speaking you
vibrate to a
harmony sublime.

Gift, you are that
and rare, touching
the sleeper awake,
transforming the
unimagined into
the laughter of leaves
falling all around us.

Take heart though
you see the darkness,
angels adore you
though you ask not,
moving from the
unknown into
elemental rhythm.

I ask for ears to hear,
eyes to see the truth
you paint so beautifully.

For my Beloved on her birthday
April 1, 2012

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Word

My name is swallowed
up in the sound of
the world;

not lost, it adds
to the roundness
of the word voicelessly
spoken by every name.

I hear it
filling the space
between us, alive
with possibility.

March 3, 2012

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Map

A friend I trust once told me that God did not leave us here without a map.

I used to think that the signs were all around me, just hiding from my everyday awareness (feeling kinda outta touch).

Soft focus … notice that black bird? Is it black? Do I fly? Am I high enough? (No, definitely not high enough.)

Now, I begin to study myself. Am I the map? Am I the sign? So many signals, synapses, neural pathways all connected from the day I was born to the day I depart and beyond.

God help me … I am the cartographer of my human geography.

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