Tag Archives: shine

One Million Dreams _ An Original Song

Earlier today a song came to me. It was inspired by an image I kept seeing in my mind of a million lights radiating out over the earth, each flame the spark within a person, dreaming for a better world. It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I made a first attempt at a recording tonight. Enjoy!

One Million Dreams

One million dreams fly
One million dreams fly
Over the ocean
Earth and sky

Shine, shine
You were meant to blaze brightly
You were meant to share your light

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The Enormity of Our Selves

For a second, I turn my eyes inside away from the glare of noise and lights and sirens and crying babies and dire news blaring into eyes and ears. I listen to something other than the clatter of a world begging for attention from every direction, every time and space, every joy and need. There are sunrises and sunsets, trees, pets, opportunities and friends, all for which to run about, to notice, and to heed.

Yet, somewhere beneath the surface of the self I present outwardly, is a wild, fearless, determined, patient unwavering light. It glows blue and green and violet. There is still, peaceful, expectant water in a pool just below the rocks. There are places for sun and shade. There are places to be overcome with joy. There are places to lay my sorrow and watch it seep away, slowly transforming into what will grow into new life. This is a place for me, all for me.

I don’t know what tomorrow, or next year, or the year after will bring or why I persist in the things I do, or where my path will lead, or what being of this time and not another has fixed about the perspective I will either share or not share with other people. But in that space beyond the ordered chaos of the comings and goings of the calamity of living, I am collected like tears out of disparate rivers and there unknown destinations, and coalesce that way transparent and clear, whole regardless of how many signals pulse out from that one, centered bead, and fragment into the broken information that travels trembling and unsure of itself to the outside where others might listen and receive.

If only we had ears to hear the songs of each others’ beginnings, we might not respond to love with fear. Being close would not be a burden, a burst of concessions: “I am vulnerable and just as human as you are.” Instead, everything would testify to life.

Awful and awesome once shared similar meanings. The sublime is not just in nature outside us, but our own nature as well. We are mysterious and mesmerizing, the kind of being that inspires wonder and terror, joy and caution. To understand ourselves, we cross a threshold out of which nothing exits tamed. I think this is what captures us, captivates us. The enormity of ourselves. The wildness at the heart of us. Strong and intricately woven like spider’s thread.

We scream and cry and flail and judge and give and take and try and fail and soar and fall and act and sleep and love and push away and build and tear apart and fear and long and hurt and heal. We are none of these things.

We are the streams of blues and greens, we are the songs throughout the woven sky sung through the stars and the silent seeds that spring from moonlit nights and soaring things. We are the stillness that contains the wild cry, we are knotted so inextricably into the weaving, and when we cast aside our needing to keep grasping what we mistake for what we are, no longer fear its loss and leaving: then we arrive at the threshold of being, part of a strange and endless dreaming, where tides will shift without receding. We are the light by which we’re seeing, our shining radiance is spirit singing.

How many dive beneath the waves that crash relentlessly upon fragile, fragmented lives, to find that glow so deep inside, enfold them in silence, until they recognize who they really are for the first time. I am the light in every world. I’ve let go of what gets left behind. I have heard that wild song, belonging to everyone, yours, and mine.

I will love and fear and do and plan and strive and wonder if I’ll ever fly. Still, the enormity of ourselves dares and calls and cries to us to look into each others’ eyes and stand with nothing left to hide, together in the mystery that shines, and shines. In each of us the mystery: flesh and bone but made of light, vast and small within us all, finite and ephemeral, but so alive, ever alive.

Song for Brighid

I wanted to share the lyrics of a song I wrote last September while preparing for a surgery that would help heal me from a chronic illness. I finished the last verse recently, and hopefully I’ll have a recording at some point to share as well.

Brighid

Learn the language of all that is remembered,
Share the voice inside you that you hid away,
To Those who eat, but hunger still for meaning,
Say the things that love would have you say.

Come bring all you are and stand beside us,
You who know the spirit of this place,
Seek the echoes lingering, to find us,
Keep strong through all the silences you face.

Chorus:
Shine in me,
Give light to me,
May light shine through me though darkness surrounds me.
Shine in me,
Be light to me,
May I find wholeness resides in me.

One too many people gone before you,
Barely can remember what it is to live out loud
But you will learn to do this from your shadow,
How to drink the water in a cloud.

Keeper of the healing fire, the song of life,
Maiden by the well appearing very old
Waiting through each season for a passerby,
To recognize the woman they behold.

Chorus

When in desperation I first found her,
Running place to place to look for where I left myself
I saw within her radiant flame the spark that was my own
The light I almost lost to someone else.

Rekindle what is yours, reshape your world anew,
Between your hands exists the pulse of life,
Forge a new beginning for the one who lives in you,
She told me before vanishing from sight.

Chorus

For many years I wandered as a stranger,
Unable to accept everything I had become,
Giving into fear and doubt and anger
Convinced there’d be no rising of the sun

Then she bid me walk into the water,
And I let go of all that I’d been through,
When I awoke I met the world with laughter,
Returned to the belonging that I knew.

Chorus

Rite of Passage

Every cell within me comes alive, I am,
With nothing left to grasp but the truth I find inside, I am.

I feel, I act, I let go, entrust my life, I am,
Familiar faces are those of strangers in this long enduring night, I am.

In joy and pain I cry, I am,
I face my fears stained red with blood, yet never have I been alone, I am.

Three times I walk the circle of the ancient ones and the fires in my eyes still burn, I am,
Somberly I journey to the center, to meet the maiden, mother, crone, I am.

As fragile as a child, led in darkness hand in hand, I am,
All around me fierce and wild, before the Rífhéinní and the sidhe, I am.

Ignoring such as fear, for rooted tall and surely here, I am,
I do not move or cast my eyes away, intrepid though not entirely prepared, I am.

The kinship of Brighid’s household, dare I seek to claim, I am
To face the Cailleach under Nuada’s watchful eye,I am.

In the world beyond the world, I forge the measure of my name, I am,
As from the depths of me begins to rise a strength I never knew was mine, I am.

I, who pass the trials of the sidhe, I am,
Held within the mystery of land and sky and sea, I am.

Awaking deeply moved, brightly shining, I am
Overwhelmed, in gratitude to those who sought to my becoming, I am.

Full of awe and wonder at the dawning of the day, I am,
And for all I’ve ever been, I will never be the same. I am.

Voices From Cnoc Alúine

Caoilte

I will raise mountains to the sky
I will cover Islands with the sea
And I will gather broken things
And weave them quietly through dreams.

I will sing forgotten songs
And lift my voice, though none join in
And I will come by wind and rain
To see the lost live once again.

Ailbhe

Who will count the landscape’s scars
The path is red, blood of old stones
Shards of time, earth mother’s bones:
Once more found, are we never alone.

I

I will journey on the seven tides
To find the reason for your cries,
And I will sit in surrender to
The sadness welling up in you.

For you who are so very dear,
I will hold the far more near
And shed a single, weary tear
For all the dreams that flew from here.

Oisin

The great conversation is not halted
By the sun burnt desires of the taking
I am here in all that is,
What lies broken, all awaking

Do not cast a cry from the tallest trees
For what was never meant to last
Has not future met it’s origin
Has not the child come home again,

Striving for beyond,
And held the strands of the pattern in weaving between her fingers,
To become the song of sunbeams whose streaming laughter lingers?

In your hand you hold the vast and through it learn to soar,
Patiently within you, for child, it is yours.
There is no turning back, only turning, earth and seasons turning,
A time for growing and relearning.

Time to realize we’re all some mother’s child,
Time to honor and continue to rekindle
The wild look in your eyes,
And the color of belonging, green and blue and wise.

Did you really think there would be a single one
Who would not make it to the other side?
Change, the knot
That cannot be undone, it lies

Between our orchestra of longing,
And the whole with fractured facets rearranging.
And among chords played, between silences, we fly,
Letting go of all that’s left behind.

Life shimmers like a firefly’s light,
Transient and tenaciously, we dance what’s yours and mine.
Life leaps in joy and wonder into everything,
Glowing then for all it finds.

Life strikes out in frenzy through forever,
And for that, ever, ever shine.

*This is in response to my friend Ali Isaac’s post, “Almu, The Home of Irish Hero Fionn mac Cumhall,” which you can read here: http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/2014/05/15/almu-the-home-of-irish-hero-fionn-mac-cumhall/.

The Match-Stick Girl’s Fire

Silver eyes scan the road at twilight,
Tracking purple fog.

Flashlight eyes, cold as flint stone,
Their spark a smoldering of embers

Red dark circles under her eyes,
Imprints of old anger left behind.

Without a sound,
Match sticks strike.

Match-stick girl, cold and alone,
Do not douse your fire with tears.

Ash-child run,
Leap lightly, flicker like a dancing flame,

Burn away the should and could haves that leave their dingy sheen,
Bleach the strife-stains to golden, turquoise, sylvan green.

Shining girl put match sticks down,
Hair singed black, now auburn once more,

Whittle futures with the sharp edge of the present,
That lamp behind the map of yourself, turn the switch.

Watch your space from inside out take shape,
Definite, solid, the topography of relief.

Then firefly girl, find you rising
Rise and rise, and open your eyes,

Fire bird’s child, glow as the night infused with dawn, from near to far,
Radiant, like a wild and silent star, you are.

My Cherished You

My cherished you, my cherished you
So undefined like water, run
Perturbed, and turbulent you flow,
Unknown and still
Not understood.

Oh you who caused complacency
To decry its apathy, and fear remove,
Hold fast to ground with roots of love,
Hold on my love, my cherished you.

Oh you who from the pines’
Descending, scent after a rain
Fall, beat your droplet wings, pooling into sand,
Seeping — tear-dropped into palm.

Oh you who cling like crystaled ice
On every gnarled and broken branch
Scattered beneath the tree of life,
I offer you my two small hands.

My cherished you who cradles truth
As close as sea is rocked by land
Lost inside our winding youth,
Though we stir, we cannot stand.

Our foundations are the sands of seas
That motion shifts in shapeless change,
Til truth unwound is
Rearranged and older
We accept our wounds.

We often think you lie within the open
Arms of those we meet, the homes
We built with tears and sweat, sweet
Time enraptured presents lent, loved ones

We will not forget.
Happiness calls you its home,
In time, why
We’re terrified to say goodbye.

My cherished you, my cherished you,
The color of belonging, the song for which we yearn,
In every life, you shimmer through
Weave together each of us in turn.

We live again constrained by nothing
But our love, and patiently, outwait the world
Eyes open to a dazzling sun,
Once more the tapestry respun,
We call our lives our own.

My cherished you, endless, enough,
That is how the fight is won:
By simply showing each our love,
We light the way,
We rise above.

To The Four Who Helped Me Heal: I Remember You In All I Do

I sit in my room in California at a computer with words in my head, and wonder briefly what you would think of this place Or of us, so starved of space and time,  so anguished to find purpose and meaning and a sense of our own measure.  With tears in my eyes, I am afraid that I am unable to mend the torn And shattered places where we  are full of pain.  Afraid that I will not know how to gather this screaming, ravaged and wounded world Into my arms, close to my heart like a mother cradles her child,   and with gentle hands and soft murmurings, allow it to remember itself  and let go, sob like an infant for all that’s broken within it. 

 

All I yearned to do out on a walk today was sit with back against tree so we could console each other, the tree and me.  Instead I walked without rest like a wandering shade because I could never come to a tree alone without getting lost. Because of how many violations of love do I have the privilege to live where I do?  Because of how many truths trampled in the clash of cultures, twisted within the bindings of forced misremembering, do I go out and walk this world?  I don’t know whether you’re gone to another world or whether or not we have all run from the startling possibilities you show us are always within ourselves.  If only we were not afraid of our own power, our own voices. 

 

They say you lie still, well met by those with the courage to turn their eyes inward, hidden within the caverns of Ériu, among the sidhe.  Within the underground passageways blocked and overcrowded with discarded forgotten ones, we stored the maps to our souls and we could not retrieve them.  We left all who dwell there to shine a light of their own ineffectively at the bare gray walls where no one living dares to tread. 

 

I heard your call, faint and distant on the wind, and answered you, journeying to that forbidding landscape, hushed with the heavy presence of an ancient imprint, where a traveler twice blew the Dord Fiann, but I found nothing there.  I tried to excavate shadows of what could have been.  I scrambled, falling and sliding,  along the limestone paths leading underground that spiral down, down, down.  I hurled myself into motion, and shouted what words you lived by– the truth against the world–, and gave an almost forgotten cry, and threw my wild defiant spirit so that it flew as high as the dome of the sky.  And tears fell on my hands like rain, but I could not recover all that lies dormant within us, or disentangle your memories from the snares and trappings of our history. 

 

So I stayed where you are, sitting down with you,, unwilling to fly like the wind when you could not now do so yourselves.  We exchanged stories, and though mine were few and yours were numbered as many to formulate an age, we found the grit and color of our everyday living had carved it’s deep lines into the faces of all of us in turn.  And slowly the sound of all things that happen resounded throughout all I’ve ever been, and all I am now. 

 

And then I realized  the cave was merely a projection made by this day’s obsession with fear when, in fact, we each are standing on the tallest hill.  Each watching the sun rise, so close we could reach out, hold each others’ hands, though our times here on this sacred ground are farther apart than a millennium. For a moment, our journeys crossed, and in that moment I felt the walls dissolve and in their place, Green and shimmering, hundreds of miles of fields, and a peace I never could have dreamed.

 

But I did dream, and have done better than dream.  In my dreams I have come to the land of the young, Tír na nóg.  In my dreams I have been to the places you once walked the earth, fierce with wise wonder.  I have spoken with you face to face and you stood by me unconditionally.  And despite the caves and the fear and the many running from who they are, those of us who still remember Rekindle the light that otherwise might have gone out of our eyes, and are not afraid to stand by our own experience, not afraid to blaze with every fiber of our being, burning with passions that never had names, shining out from the very core of our wild and wondrous, mysterious and majestic selves, like living stars.