Posts Tagged ‘Beauty’

No mud, no lotus (a beautiful saying of Thich Nhat Hanh’s).
No lotus, no more mud.
No more mud, no more lotus.

No compost, no food.
No food, no shit.
No shit, no more compost.
No more compost, no more food.

If there’s shadow,
there’s light.

If you’re in one of those muddy, shitty, shadowy places,
hang in there. You’re not alone. We’re all in this together.

© Lynda Skeen

Lotus in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, © Lynda Skeen

after St. Francis of Assisi’s “Prayer for Peace”


Surrender to our subtle, quiet mysteries,
and let us help you find peace.
Where there are stormy fires of undigested passion,
where there is the new pain of unreleased injury,
we offer you the cool salve of earth and silence.
Where there is doubt and mistrust,
we offer you the imperturbable elegance
of transformation.
When you are stifled by despair,
we offer our rich castings of promise.
For your sadness, we offer the gentle smiles of our curves.
In our darkness, feel the comfort of shadow.

Release all that no longer nourishes you.
Allow yourselves to slough off the old, to grow,
to acknowledge mistakes,
to say, “this isn’t working anymore, this isn’t right,
this isn’t doing anyone any good.”
Together let us explore the silent, mysterious journey,
the non-linear churnings,
the indispensable winding detours.
Let us turn your leftover mustard greens and sweet melon rinds,
your jagged egg shells and ignorance
into new gardens flowering with broccoli and lettuce,
cherry tomatoes, daffodils, and wisdom.
Let us teach you
of time’s unhurried alchemy.

Till your gardens with kindness.
Slip under the earth’s brittle crust with us
and delight in the infinite, hushed shades of our brownness,
and the fertility of decomposition,
as we wrap our long, comfortable bodies around the world,
transforming the world
one moment at a time.

May the cycle of blessings
and the blessings of the cycle
nourish, sustain, and intrigue you.



(“Worms” © Lynda Skeen, with thanks to the publications Abalone Moon and Tiger’s Eye where it was previously published)

Saving a Worm on a Rainy Day in Seattle, © Lynda Skeen

Saving a Worm on a Rainy Day in Seattle, © Lynda Skeen

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When I first tried to camp at Joshua Tree, all the campsites were full, so the ranger at the gate gave me a slip of paper with a map to some nearby BLM land and pointed me north.  I drove to the multi-use land as sunset neared, and found a spot past the boy scouts, the ATV’s, and the radio-controlled model plane operators (note to self, make sure you don’t camp ON an ATV path…) at the foot of a small mountain of black volcanic rock.
 The area was less than pristine, but it wasn’t too bad; I cleaned broken glass and scattered trash and then settled with a cold dinner of hummus and chips and salsa (no fires were allowed) and waited for the full moon to rise.  My friend Emily and I journey for each other long distance on the full moons, and I spent some magical time journeying with my rattle as the moon rose over the black rocks.  The moon was so bright in fact that I didn’t get much sleep that night.  The moon kept speaking to me, and I kept taking notes, scribbling in my journal, hoping I’d be able to transcribe my notes the next day.
At some point, I hiked to the top of the black rocks, and peered over into a trash dump, which knocked the wind out of me.  Why pick up broken glass and trash at my campsite below when just over the hill was a dump full of not only more broken glass but refrigerators and mattresses and much more than I could pack out? I always tried to leave things better than when I found them, and hoped people would take up the slack behind me if I inadvertently left things more of a mess, but sometimes it was just very disheartening.  One of Spirit’s messages that night though was to “pick up my campsites as I go,” and not to get bogged down in how much I couldn’t do.  If I felt called to tackle larger projects that was fine, but I need to let other people be responsible for their own actions as well.  Feeling overly responsible was actually a kind of arrogance on my part.  Hmmmm…..
The moon was so beautiful that night, and Spirit was really strong.  It was just one night, but I drove back to Los Angeles feeling like a different person.  And I hadn’t even ended up where I’d intended to go.  (Another hmmmmm…..)
I’ll leave you with a poem that came out of that trip.
Here’s to full-moons!
Full Moon in the DesertI want to be the one you confide in,
the one you share your mysteries with.
So, tell me why I can now accept
my waxing and waning,
the cycles of becoming full
as well as emptying into newness.
Finish what you started that night in the desert
as I watched your imminent rising
from behind gothic black volcanic rock,
the sand all around me sparkling,
my eyes stinging from your beauty.
Tell me how I can ever rest
now that it is too bright to sleep!© Lynda Skeen

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