Where have I gone? Where am I headed?

A quick check-in tonight, to say hello and goodbye. Tomorrow, I leave the country for a month of sojourns. My travels take me to South Africa, Botswana, the Seychelles Islands, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.

As promised, I will be ushering in the next chapter of this year’s Generosity Chronicles: a series of letters written daily to last year’s Star Spotlight recipients (with a few extra brilliant folks thrown in for kicks!). Due to questionable connectivity, I’m not making any promises about daily updates, but I look forward to sharing whenever I can–and definitely, upon my return to the states.

One more important mention: HAPPY SOLSTICE! I am truly feeling the pull of these dark days; the invitation to turn inward, to slow, to contemplate and muck around in the gunk of my psyche. I’m befuddled, bemused, enraptured by the fact that tomorrow, on the shortest day of year, I’m headed into midsummer half a world away. I’ll be so curious to feel how this sharp contrast affects my soulful subconscious.

For all of you in the Northern Hemisphere, however, I leave you with this tonight, from the beautiful Seattle poet, writer, teacher, activist, and feminist Jody Aliesan, who died of ovarian cancer in 2012, at the age of 69. She famously lived a life devoted to “telling the truth, and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Winter Solstice

Thinking only makes the heart sore. – I Ching
when you startle awake in the dark morning
heart pounding breathing fast
sitting bolt upright staring into
dark whirlpool black hole
feeling its suction
get out of bed
knock at the door of your nearest friend
ask to lie down beside ask to be held
listen while whispered words
turn the hole into deep night sky
stars close together
winter moon rising over white fields
nearby a wren rustling dry leaves
distant owl echoing
two people walking up the road laughing
let your soul laugh
let your heart sigh out
that long held breath so hollow in your stomach
so swollen in your throat
already light is returning pairs of wings
lift softly off your eyelids one by one
each feathered edge clearer between you
and the pearl veil of day
you have nothing to do but live
by Jody Aliesan
Grief Sweat, Broken Moon Press 1990

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