Saturday, November 4, 2023

I Am Here - written 10/12/2023

Written after the 10/7/23 Hamas attack on Israel, and before Israel's response in Gaza.

I Am Here  

I am here.
In Hebrew, "Hineni."
This is what Moses said, when God called to him from a burning bush.

I am here. Hineni.
My heart, my body, my soul 
are here, present, focusing  attention
on the sacredness of this present moment.

I. Am. Here. Grounded in the center of my being.

And yet, I am not here.
I am 6,000 miles away.
I am in Israel, I am in Gaza.

I am in the hearts of those who have lost loved ones in heinous ways.
I am in the hearts of those who fear they will soon lose loved ones.

I wish.
I wish I could enter the hearts
of those who hate and kill.
I wish I could open their hearts 
to my Presence. 
To the Presence of All Life.

I am there, joining hearts with those who continue to reach for Peace in the midst of so much anger and righteousness, generations of anger and righteousness.

Hearts hardened in a history of wronging and being wronged. Hearts hardened as they perpetuate more wrong-doing.

Hineni. I am there.

The world teeters, unsure of finding balance in the madness of religion and the might of power.

Hineni. I am Here.

I am here
with Mahatma Ghandi
whose plea to embrace religious tolerance even India has forgotten.

I am there
6,000 miles away
where families pray and so-called leaders and zealots prey upon each other.

I am here.
My heart beats with yours,
whether you feel it or not.

Even if yours has been hardened.

I wish 
I could wave a heart flag
and end all war.

I am here, with my own, still living breath.

I am here. I grieve with you as the breath of your loved ones expire.

Hineni. I surrender to inner peace even as horror surrounds me. 
Even as helplessness threatens to suffocate me.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Reach Out to Re-Connect!

I recently attended a wonderful Authentic Voice workshop with Stephanie Heidemann. At one point, she invited us to let our voices express the differing elements of earth, air, fire and water.

That reminded me of Orton Graves, a drummer with whom I played flute 30 years ago.

Days after we had met and briefly played together at a party, smeone asked me to play for her chakra workshop. She wanted a flute and a drum. (This was long before drum circles!) I called Orton, not knowing if he was familiar with chakras (he was). I said, "She wants us to play something different for each of the chakra colors, is that something you could do?" He said, "Sure, yes. In fact, I was just playing purple!"

Wow, was I excited! We continued to play together. Once, we recorded ourselves playing the seasons! Another time, we played on stage for an AIDS benefit. For that, we played the life cycle, birth to death. Somehow we were able to communicate, flute & drum, so that our music flowed and expressed whatever theme we chose.

Orton drummed for dance classes, and he taught drumming. He invited me to play with his class. I suggested, and he used, the name "Wild Palms: A Florida Percussion Group" when we performed.

It has been many years since we'd been in touch. I was looking forward to calling him and reminiscing. I just discovered it's too late. 

When you think of someone, let them know. Don't postpone reaching out to reconnect. 

R.I.P. Orton. May the music of your soul bring joy wherever you are.