Passport Stamp

dingleDuring a recent session with my spiritual mentor, I was guided through a meditation. The meditation focused on breathing with the rhythms of the earth and allowing those rhythms to guide me to new places. I found myself relaxed rather quickly, as I listened to my mentor’s voice and focused my breath. My mind cleared after several minutes and much of the meditation evolved into a genuine journey for me.

At the moment I was most released into the earth’s cradling breath, I saw my Grandaddy. He died almost twenty years ago, but he has continued to be a guiding presence in my life. He was a farmer—a quiet, funny and graceful man—always known for his kindness and easy acceptance of others.

I found myself on a dam by the lake in my Grandaddy’s pasture. We used to sit on it and fish when I was a child. On the side of the dam opposite the lake, there is nothing but grass. No trees or cows. Just a little area of seemingly unused land. I realized I had journeyed to the same spot in a meditation several years earlier. In the original meditation, I saw Grandaddy on the grassy side of the dam and he was surrounded by beautiful golden lights. I couldn’t quite make out the place I was seeing. I could almost see it. The blurry image was beautiful, full of hope, celebration and possibility.

During the meditation a few days ago, Grandaddy was there, in the same grassy area. He smiled at me and fervently shook his head up and down as if he had won the lottery. He was saying, emphatically, “Yes!”. I ran to him. We embraced. It was a wonderful homecoming, and I could see his face, perfectly and clearly, just as it was twenty years ago.

In my recently written book, God Is Not a Bully: A Not-So-Churchy Memoir, I describe my Grandaddy as an anti-bully during my teenage years. At the end of the chapter that focuses on my relationship with him, I include a poem that is based on the original meditation described above. The poem is a description of how I commune with him today.

Last night, at a local art event, I read excerpts from my memoir, including stories and my poem about Grandaddy. I only knew seven people in the room of friendly strangers, but as I read the words, I felt Grandaddy’s easy presence. In that moment, the group of listeners present communed with him, too. We journeyed together and added to the communal dance that binds us in grace and unlimited transcendence.

What is your binding cloth? Who connects you to the earth yet lifts you to the sky so that you may journey deep into your heart’s greatest desires? Where will you travel in this season of darkness and hibernation? I wish you openness and richness in quiet moments where the miracle of breathing provides the ultimate stamp on the soul’s passport.

 

Inner Wall

 

tavern door

in the lower trunk of a brown and gray tree

vertical corrugated bark

taller than the water tower

I used to pass

on dark trips home from summer stock

 

light outlines the frame

an upside down U no taller

than a hobbit’s hut

but without straw and melodious morning glories

 

forest holds me at the bumpy base

where roots are frozen in earth

like the snakes of Pompeii

 

I raise a chalice glazed with a potter’s scraps

the sky before

like yeast suds on beer wort ventilates

reveals pure liquid blueness

brighter than astringent mouthwash

 

every bird and flying thing emerges

grander than any firework display

rivals even the most elaborate drag show

 

the noisy little door leaks

a thread of its tune throbbing in the trunk

laughter

 

homecoming for the class of ever-presents

victorious win for all the mascots

summoning to raise the rafters

whether we sit at the root in earthly body

or raise a glass in the inner wall

where the jig is danced

 

 

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