Words are bridges, Color matters, and Junior Parker Take nothing for granted. TLDR: Words build bridges between us, and it is our responsibility to create safe passage for others to connect with us. The world appears to be coming undone in many ways, and yet the Earth continues to revolve around the glowing fusion reaction we call the Sun. The world of human invention, held together by concepts, beliefs, and the mystery of will, is morphing. This process of change is painful,
"Nature Does Nothing In Vain," and Laraaji The other side of struggle is a spaciousness and freedom seemingly impossible from the vantage point of bondage. Softness, tenderness, and vulnerability are ruthlessly guarded by defensiveness, brutality, and violence. Shame, anger, judgment, and revenge keep us from welcoming each other in trust, kinship, and interdependence. The Divine plays with Lego, building itself an "I" with a variety of blocks; every expression uniquely made.
Spiritual Lifesavers, false refuge, and Marvin Gaye As waves of change shake our lives and cause us to reach for things we can be certain of, our knee-jerk response might be to reach for spiritual Lifesavers candy. We might try to savor the taste of "we are one" watermelon, "let it go" lime, "we choose our challenges before birth" cherry, or "part of the plan" peppermint. All of these ideas sound nice, but they are a false refuge and do little to address the causes of our cur
Maitri and Karuna, and Sly & The Family Stone The ocean of cosmic forces rising in and falling out; a wave cannot crash into itself. Mystery and possibility in play; terror at the edge of awareness begging questions to unravel the conceptual knots of I, me, and mine. Living is a supreme courage, invited upon us whether by chance or fate or necessity. We are breathing each other's breath gripped by gravity climbing over each other no meaningful distance closer to the sun no me
How to move through confusion, and Funkadelic. Are you feeling stretched thin? Confused? Anxious? Or are you exhausted from the intensity that seems unyielding, and the pressures to conform to expectations that are unclear? You are not alone. The uncertainty amidst life is present whether or not we are in the midst of great social upheaval, the throes of a global mass extinction, or a pandemic. There are no quick salves, potions, or antidotes for all that is unresolved and un
Courage, Joy, and The Voices of East Harlem With love and respect, Whatever kind of body we live in, we all have a lot of work to do right now. Our way of life is being shaken up in the most beautiful and challenging ways. Our collective journey has brought us to the edge of a great chasm. We are not equipped to fly over, to fall into the abyss, or to move the land. Our only way forward is to collaborate and build a bridge that will support us all in moving into the next part
Solidarity, Violence, and Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul The collective human experience is having growing pains right now. Like a child clinging to clothes and toys that don't fit, some folks are having a tantrum because they are afraid or uncomfortable about what is happening within them. Others are shirking away and still telling themselves stories that made them feel safe, and clinging to who they thought they were and what they thought life was. Others are paralyzed with
Cosmic Justice, Progress, and Sam Cooke There is a great reckoning happening, wherein we all are being held accountable. None of us are immune or outside of this process. The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis revealed a level of tension that cannot be ignored by anyone. We all have work to do in building a world based on equity. We must all take our place in the great circle that holds us all together, where all voices contribute their wisdom. To resolve our differences i
Quicksand, Meritocracy, and David Axelrod What seems to be missing from the conversations and barrage of news stories, infographics, videos, podcasts, and opinion pieces is a willful act of breaking down barriers of separateness. Instead we have to individually and collectively make effort, in the spirit of generosity and collaboration, through acknowledging our common desire to know and understand ourselves and our surroundings, but also acting beyond the desire to be right.
Matchstick houses, and Jimi Hendrix The fulcrum upon which the axis of dignity and equity rests
cannot be turned by the actions of only one person. Our minds tend to weave a story
wherein we are the central figure.
In this narrative, everything we do, think, and say
is a product of our own making and
ultimately adds up to something big
- a someone.
For operating purposes,
this collection of shoulds and shouldn'ts,
would or wouldn't,
past and future images
The Sword Of Damocles, and Earth, Wind, & Fire Blessing or a curse, the choice is ours how we will collectively face the trials of our time here on Earth. Endowed with an incredible aptitude for creating categories and names, we have sorted and segregated all aspects of the human experience. Whether we attribute this to the long slow process of evolutionary biology taking tiny pieces of proteins and turning them into self-aware repositories for collective cellular memory, or
Rivers, Vairagya, and Fear Itself Want to see how powerful a river can be? Go look at the Grand Canyon some day. Just as in a river, in life there is a current that pulls and moves all things from beneath the surface. What we observe up above on the surface is not an adequate reflection of the deeper nature. We cannot help but draw conclusions from appearances; we have a biological system that survived because we could anticipate threats and quickly adapt to changes. Our whol
Ask for what you need, and Nolan Porter What in life has certainty
enough to allay the darkness of fear?
Ask the flowers if they know how long
the sweetness of their nectar will last.
Ask the birds how they know
their wings can catch the air,
and whether they trust the wind
to carry them towards the destination they have in mind.
What in life is precise
enough to predict accurately what will happen next?
Ask the waves if they ever break the same way
when they find themselves
Look into someone's eyes this week, and Tim Hollier All eyes that meet our own have the richness and depth of the entire cosmos within them. Whether belonging to us or to some other form of life, the life that lives behind those eyes is animated by the same presence. In a look, words unspoken penetrate the veneer of mind-made confusion that clouds our waking life. If we could rest our gaze in stillness, and peer into the openness of what lives within us, we might hear a voice
Offering and Dr. Alimantado In this unprecedented time of instant access and communication, and purposeful distance, it is hard to understand how to orient as the concept of "normal" slips further into obscurity. We have the capacity to wave goodbye to what was, and welcome and be curious about what is coming. We can find our way through the challenges of today by remaining open and available to what is present, by awakening our awareness through compassion, diligent effort,
Uncertainty, War, and Curtis Mayfield Uncertainty a hulking figure
Looming and unwavering
Obscuring future horizons
Lonely, listless, and lacking self-worth
Salt the wounds
Shout at the walls
"Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven"
Rue the day and curse the night
Dry tears sopped up by coming dawn
Plans, and plans of plans fail
Expectations unmet are seeds
of future conflict and resentment
Waves upon waves of sadness
Bids us to grieve what has gone
But also what n
Courage, and Ripple Rejoice! We have been given the chance to return our senses to the gradual and unhurried pace at which life itself moves. Our modern ideal of break-neck, fire-wire, ultra-high speed bit rate productivity has been interrupted by the forces of nature upon which all life depends. The same forces that gave rise to atomic forces, gave rise to the presence of biological life, and with it viruses. As much as some enjoy laying blame and pointing fingers through sp
Conversation with the Cosmos, Black Sabbath I sit and become quiet, hoping to enter a one-sided conversation with the cosmos. Aware of a cloud frenetic anxiety pouring out from all over the world. In the silence of my own heart I hear, "Listen and listen well little friend. I see your heart, as my own, alive and in the rhythm of every cell and season. Can you hear your kin, sick and afraid, clinging to the wind? Tell them that joy and sorrow are not separate, and that grief i
Social distancing is a gift. Talking Heads Take heart my friend,
The forces of nature move us all regardless of where we find ourselves on this planet. For our limited time here, we are meant to experience the full range of our humanness from uncontained joy to immeasurable sorrow. The recent development of the global health crisis we face collectively has set the stage for a level of vulnerability and interdependence the likes of which we have never seen. We have the opport
Our distorted view is a gift. Black Heat. Our distorted view is a gift. The cosmos enrobed in flesh and blood, a living, breathing, walking, talking microcosm. A perfect trap for awareness to fall into forgetful sleep; slowly weaving the container into dense self-reflective identity, only to wake itself up again. Thoughts and feelings whiz by like quarks and leptons, invisible to the naked eye. A soundless wind sings stories of generations echoed across space and time; wisdom