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Playing … an exploration of surrender May 26, 2019

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I was born magick in a world of logic and reason. Creativity was tolerated in children in the context of play, but the real world was the ultimate arbiter of life. When I was a little girl, I may have been allowed to draw moons and stars on my forehead with blue paint and golden glitter, but these kinds of antics were not tolerated in my grown-up self. “Play” was frivolous and must be put aside. I would have said then that I surrendered to authority, giving up on magick and settling into the mundane. But now I know, to have followed the magick would have been the surrender. All I did was give up on my true self. It was not surrender but betrayal. The worst kind of betrayal. And I have been working since then to make it right. To win back the trust of the one who should have been … always … the most important in the world to me. Myself. Once you lie to yourself, it is so much easier to lie to others. Once you betray yourself, betrayal becomes your imprisoner, your signature, the mask you wear, the face you show to the world. Others do not call it that – betrayal — for most wear the same kind of mask. We call it reality, the real world, just the way it is. And we are told we might as well accept it. Life is not fair. Surrender. Give up.

But true surrender is not a giving up, it is a giving in to a higher calling, a purpose. It is a type of courage that calls one to live from the heart, serving the voice within that tells us that there is infinitely more to life than what we can see. That magick still exists. That we ARE magick, and our magick serves a powerful energy that can only emanate from spirit. So, rather than weakness, rather than loss, to surrender is a means of service above and beyond any we thought capable of. Surrender calls us back to our essence, and there …

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed, in my imagination, into long, black waves, thick and abundant. My skin has darkened somewhat and my bearing is regal. I feel exotic, different, and I relish my differentness. On my head sits a golden crown in the form of snakes, their heads rising above my forehead, where I used to draw the moon and stars, proclaiming to all my worth. I wear a long white gown, so that I feel as if I am enrobed in clouds, my power as wide as the sky. In my right hand I carry a long sword, but it is gripped casually, a relic from the past that I treasure for what it has taught me, but it is not the source of my power. It is not who I am. Some have called me princess, but I am no prince-ess, no lesser-than prince. No priest-ess. No god-dess. None of these. I am neither s\he nor fe-male. I am simply who and what I choose to be in the moment I surrender to my choice. Nameless until such time a name is possible. Until new words are created, new vocabularies formed, new tongues proclaimed throughout a land revived and reborn.

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed and my head is topped with tight black curls. My skin has darkened and my body broader, huskier, more muscular than before. My voice has deepened and drips with authority. I carry no weapon, and yet I feel that the moon and stars would bow at my feet, were I, priest of all that is sacred and holy, to command it. A channel of energy rises through me, and I have a choice: to follow that which is seductive and promises the kind of power and authority that most men dream about. To be the saver of souls, the changer of lives, the maker of rules, the arbiter of life … mine and others. Or to surrender to the unknown. The unseen path that draws me with the power of the soul and the dread of responsibility. The path of service. The path of the change rather than the changer, giving way to the moment with acceptance and a willingness to act when it is time to act, to be when it is time to be. The path of vulnerability. The path of courage.

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed and my head is topped with tight black curls. My skin has darkened even more and my body is long, lean muscular. Around my head, a white halo-band of beads and tassels. Strung beads hang from my neck, crisscross my breasts, and shells encircle my waist and my feet, marking me as a dancer. My weapon, if you want to call it that, is my joy. If I could, I would use it to bludgeon others into surrendering to this celebration, giving in to the exuberant persistence of life. But surrender can neither be forced nor coerced, and so I dance. It is no more than an invitation, but it is what we know to do, we mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters of the world and the spirit. This is the story we carry within us, the story we use to paint the sky with rainbows, to draw the moon and stars on our foreheads, to tattoo our bodies with the scars that mark us as courageous in the face of our failures and steadfast in our vulnerability. We dance a reminder of the blessing of surrender and the power of choice.

— Linda Maree

Queen of Doves June 23, 2017

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QUEEN OF DOVES

Once upon a time, when Earth was still but a tender infant, a call went out to the great queen, asking for her blessing for the emerging new life on the blossoming little planet. The queen, delighted, put on a cloak of white feathers over her ruby-heart gown, unfurled her strong wings, and flew across the universe, ready to shower the infant Earth with her most potent star-shine and breath of love.

But the queen, being immune to the particularities of time, arrived an eon or two too late, for duality had already settled onto the tiny blue orb. The great queen was saddened to see this and cried bitter tears, for she believed her gift would not be accepted in the face of such reality. Luckily, magick was still alive and well, and the queen’s tears became a flock of doves that flew about her head, beseeching her to grant her blessing in spite of the seeming futility.

Appeased, the queen agreed to hand over her blessing to the doves, who, in turn, vowed to share with any who were ready to listen. The queen’s words of blessing were as numerous as the stars: kindness, compassion, unity, wholeness, and so on. When the doves had collected all her words, the queen again donned her cloak of white feathers and flew back to her distant realm … and the work of love on Earth began …

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MoonStone October 18, 2014

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She had found the stone when she was still a child, amusing herself in the woods behind their home. She had had such freedom as a child, roaming the whole of the village at will, creating imaginary queendoms in the surrounding woodlands — the snakes, owls, and scurrying mice her unknowing subjects. Always they did her bidding, though, as her bidding was whatever the creature was doing at that moment: scampering, slithering, gliding, resting, eating, sleeping. She had had a strong imagination, yes, as well as keen powers of observation. And so she had found the stone.

She was by the river that day, the one place she was to avoid, particularly when the rains were plentiful. So of course it was the one place that drew her with the most potent magnetism. Still, she was careful not to go too often, and never after a storm. This day, the sun was shining, the river flowing quietly, gently. She squatted at the edge, her bare toes touching the cool water, drawn by the glint of sunlight on something shiny, gleaming, opalescent, as if the moon were bathing in the clear river. The stone seemed to beckon her and she reached for it, moving further and further into the water until her hem, even though she had raised it, was soaked, and she had forgotten the prohibition of the river.

When her hand finally closed on the stone, cold and smooth as polished marble, she felt a ripple of energy pulse up her arm and through her body, unlike any she had ever experienced before. Finally, now waist deep, she felt, too, the pull of the water, the current swifter here than it appeared. Thankfully she remembered, as well, the creed her family had lived by for generations: When caught in a swift current (life, river, it mattered not), remain alert and move with the flow.

And so she did.

Stepping carefully in the water of the swiftly moving river, and yet keeping an intense focus on the grassy bank where she would find firm footing once again, she navigated the current without incident and found her way out of the river, the stone, which had seemed to guide her, clutched in her hand.

When her feet touched the soft grass at the river’s edge, ribbons of wind caressed her, quickly drying her clothing and holding her shivering body in a warm embrace. In the river, just at that moment when the current had caught her unaware, she had felt isolated and small, her body like a tiny, lonely room in the house of the earth. This feeling of disconnection had been brief, but powerful. She knew then, as perhaps only a child could, how close she had come, knew in the heart of this living moment that holding on to that feeling of disconnection could only lead to her dissolution from this physical existence: death.

She had sat in the grass that long ago day at the edge of the river and held the stone up to the bright sun. She could see deep into the stone, as round and bright as the moon, to its very center, its essence, could feel all the phases of its life, from new to full to new again.

Awakening August 30, 2014

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She is offered the cup, takes it in both hands, and drinks deeply. Ancient stars explode in her head and her vision clears to a crystal clarity that allows her to see what has been unseen, hidden right in front of her, within her, all along. The moon shines full and a cascade of starlight illuminates the scene before her: Her childself who still believes in fairies and magick, eye-to-eye with the child whose stories have become clothed in practical concerns and the mandatory adherence to dry, out-dated customs long past their usefulness. She — this young, purposeful, practical self — stands strong but bewildered, wanting so badly to be her “other,” to don her fairy wings and fly . . .

Fast forward . . . 40, 50, 60 years, it matters not. It is no accident that she has been led to this place again, this point in time/no time, every moment, every life experience strung together on a necklace of pearlescent wonder. She wants to reach out, trust herself. Trust her own true nature to lead her on a path of healing and a bliss that transforms not only herself, but the world — the planet, her sisters and brothers, all beings. To know the self that sprinkles fairy dust onto the chaos and stands back to watch the result: A world in which we all reach out for each other — to help and be helped — without recrimination or judgement, but rather with joy for the opportunity to love deeply, freely, completely.

Her magickal self, the fairy child, laughs at her hesitation and reaches for her hand. “You’re making this too hard,” she says. “It’s simple really: Remember you are magick! Just come with me, spread your wings, and dance, dance, dance!”

Compassion Fruit August 3, 2014

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She poured each of them a cup of tea, then sat back and smiled. The other woman bent over the cup and allowed the fragrant steam to pink her cheeks and fill her nostrils. Then she smiled, too, but just a little. “Mmmmmm,” she said softly, “My favorite.”

“Of course,” the first woman said. “I haven’t forgotten.”

Tears welled up in the second woman’s eyes and her faint smile disappeared like the steam wafting from her cup. “Sometimes I do,” she said. “And then even when I can’t remember, still I have a sense that I’ve forgotten and I feel so ashamed.”

“There is no shame in illness . . . or aging,” said the first woman. “Each apple ripens and rots in its own way.”

“Rots is an ugly word.”

“It is a true word.”

“Yes.”

Silence.

Then the second woman, the sad one with tears in her eyes, said, “Some apples become bruised and spoil before the others in the same basket, picked at the same time from the same tree. Why is that, do you think?”

The first woman shrugged. “Perhaps it is luck. Perhaps a combination of circumstances: Sunlight. Food. Water. Handling.”

“Yes, some of us have been handled roughly.” The woman’s tears fell – plop! plop! – into her tea.

“We are like apples, but we are not apples,” said the first woman, patting the other’s hand gently. “Drink your tea and later you will tell me your story, the part I don’t know. I will listen. And I will remember.”

Womb-en: To Be En-wombed July 1, 2014

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In the center is womb-en:

reborn,

arising from the salty waters

of her own womb,

the ocean of life

within all womb-en.

 

The stories,

written while yet asleep,

fall away and become

en-wombed in the depths,

gestated,

nurtured,

brought to maturity

and finally released,

powerfully birthed in a flow of

blood and water,

milk and honey,

a sweeter life than, dreaming,

dreamed possible.

Dancing Under the Grandmother Tree March 2, 2013

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Why dance?  A story . . .

Under the spreading limbs of the Grandmother Tree we set the bowl of fire. We light the fire with the flame in our own bellies and begin the dance. As we dance, Grandmother draws on our energy and becomes once again as she was when she was young and supple, before she gave birth to so many, before she was battered by storms and cut by sharp knives and sharper words. We dance, we hum, and Grandmother opens her throat and her heart, blessing us.

We dance all night, and as our bodies tire our minds fall into deep quiet, and it is then that our hearts open and we hear Grandmother’s voice fully, because now we are one, speaking heart-to-heart, without words, transmitting our story: the one we must never forget; the one we carry in our bones, our blood; the one that is not yet finished, that will both end with us and continue on as long as there are women with breath and blood and dance.

What do you really want? I hear. And my heart answers:

I want to dance under the Grandmother Tree with my sisters, and open the space for a world of peace and plenty, where the word “war” is not in our vocabulary, and violence is not seen as a solution to anything, but is recognized as a random act that is a cry of pain and a plea for healing.

 

 

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