Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Into Light - Poetry of the Spirit to Brighten October

Why is that that we find ourselves, when alone in a birdsong-filled forest, park, or garden? Is there a sound more nourishing and refreshing than the song of the nightingale by the running spring?  I still remember the first time I heard the real nightingale in Poland, walking at night by a hedge of lilac in bloom, suddenly surrounded by sounds floating from nowhere. No wonder Oliver Messiaen, the great connoiseur of birdsong and music, has called some of these melodies the "lunar phrases" - they sound like the are coming from afar, sliding down to us on rays of moonlight. I wrote a couple of academic studies of the song of the nightingale in music, from Beethoven, to Mahler, Stravinsky, Bartok and Messiaen. Fascinating... 

Now I'm equally fascinated by light, its rays coming down to touch us, like the hands of Aten on the ancient Egyptian relief, giving us "ankh" - the spirit of life.  Here's a beautiful relief from the throne of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (or Tutankhaten), photographed by Jerzy Strzelecki:

Jerzy Strzelecki - http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagen:Tutanchamon_%28js%29_3.jpg

Since ancient times, some people lived on sunlight alone, the "sun gazers" they are called, and the energy they absorb from sunlight is the Qi or Prana energy of life.  Since they inhale and transform into their body energy the "breath of life" they are also called "breatharians." Read more about it or watch the documentary In the Beginning there was Light. 

I'm not going there, not yet.  I'll do it after I turn 90 years old, maybe. Or 100... then I'll live on sunlight and air alone... Meanwhile, my image from Descanso Gardens' birch and azalea corner, by a stream, captures some of these rays shining on colorful flowers in the spring. All we need is a unicorn coming out of shadows... and voila, a world of magic and wonder... I like this photograph so much that I used it for a "blessing of light" that was my Christmas wish one year:

May the blessing of light be on you
Light without and light within
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire

And, of course, there is the cover of my "Into Light" book of poems and incantations:

Another of my favorite "sun-ray" portraits is of a white camellia in Descanso Garden's camellia forest: Again, the straight white ray touches the heart of the flower, giving it life.

The Bluest

Oh, to float into blue distance —
a dream of weightlessness,
knowledge of nothing but the air
in the lungs, air carrying the limbs
from cloud to cloud into being,
into tranquility, into peace

All made of water, we live
in the Cloud of Unknowing
we breathe mist of a shroud
surrounding the mystical
peaks of the Ancient One
that will not be known
nor understood fully

We have to, we must fly
higher, we must grow wings,
strain in our childish hope
that we’ll find the brilliance
hidden beyond the bluest
blue of infinity, of time

(c) 2016  by Maja Trochimczyk, from Into Light: Poems and Incantations, first published in an anthology by Poets on Site, 2009. 

shadows recede
to the roots of new leaves - 
light blossoms

Why focus on light, when it is almost Halloween? Did you notice there are more and more ugly Halloween celebrations around? Dozens of horrid ugly masks in a local pharmacy, at a child's eye level, so they get frightened already... Fear, "loosh" is food for evil and generating fear is what humans are here for, on this dark energy factory, called  Earth... Or so they say. And then there are 
people who are psychic vampires, take our energy out of you, if you do not evade their attacks and avoid engaging in extended battles that nobody wins, except the vampires, of course.

So thinking about light, wrapping yourself in a cocoon of light is a way of protecting yourself.  Is it enough? Perhaps not, but if you cultivate the "right" kind of thinking, you may succeed.  First and last: avoid fear. As the famous man (FDR) said: "there is nothing to fear, but fear itself" - how true! Not just fear, giving in to any other darkness is to be avoided - worrying about things that do not matter, anxiety about the future, the yellow-eyed viper of jealousy, and the red-hot volcano of rage. Toxic emotions, toxic foods, toxic air, toxic thoughts - all to be avoided, replaced by the positive. Can't think of anything "light" - just laugh! The bubbles of air will lift you up! 

If the dark minions come anyway, avoid them, say "goodbye" and go on your way. Up and out: to the garden, to the forest, to the park... Among trees, listening to birdsong, walking barefoot on the beach, or digging into the soil to plant, move, trim, or care for your flowers and trees - that's where you will find safety. Breathe deeply and slowly.  Close your eyes, raise your face to the sun. When you go inside, turn off the TV. Listen to life-affirming music: classical symphonies, Bach's partitas for solo violin, Indian ragas, Native-American flutes, Ella or Frank or, even Celtic women.

Turn the music on and sit on the porch caressing your cat, if you have a cat. Let its purring be the afternoon's healing song. In short, make gardeners and musicians your best friends.  Of course, you cannot befriend a cat! Get a dog then, and stay in the light.

Breathing Light
for breathing inbreathing out

I am loved — I love
I am a gift — I give

I am creative — I create
I am beautiful — I share beauty

I am peaceful — I share peace
I am joyful — I share joy

I am patient — I wait in silence
I am kind — I spread kindness

I am strong — I share strength
I am wise — I share wisdom

I am Love in action
I am Light shining in all

Lovely words, poetic and to the point. I particularly like the shift in the line "I am patient - I wait in silence" - unexpected after the repetitions, and then, returning to the mantra-like pattern of reflected words, outside and inside, being and doing.

The Stream

I am the stream of Love
I flow towards the Divine
to all, in all, through all

I am the wave of Light
I move towards the Divine
to all, in all, through all

I am the cup of Love
I'm filled with Love Divine
for all, from all, in all

I am the spark of Light
I shine with Light Divine
for all, on all, through all

I am the sea of Love
I'm filled with Love Divine
for all, from all, in all

I am the ocean of Light
I shine with Light Divine
for all, on all, through all

Blessed be the stream
Blessed be the wave

Blessed be the cup
Blessed be the spark

Blessed be the sea
Blessed be the ocean

Now and Before and After
Now and Now and Now

I read these and other spiritual poems along with my friends, five poets  - Elsa Frausto, Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, and Ambika Talwar - during a special open and free reading during the Lit Crawl 2016 Poetry Festival in North Hollywood, on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.  The reading took place at XMA HQ, 5140 Lankershim Blvd., an unusual location for spiritual poetry, that suited us very well.  You may read the biographies of presenters and more about this reading on the Moonrise Press Blog. 

Marlene Hitt, Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk
at the first reading from Meditations on Divine Names (2012).

The reading also included poems from Moonrise Press's anthology Meditations on Divine Names (2012), my largest "spiritual" project to date.  


Let me end with one poem from this collection, a meditation on the distance between us and the divine, the distance that can only be breached by love.

Playful (Via Negativa)

Think what he think will; forevermore he shall find it
a cloud of unknowing that is betwixt him and his God.
                                           ~ The Cloud of Unknowing, Chapter 69

A seductress
Enveloped in her seventy-seven veils
Disappears like a bride, shy in a lace cloud

A misty mountain
That knows how to dance
And moves swiftly to the horizon, calling me

Higher – follow – don’t stop – follow

You play with me
Reveal and hide your secrets
Lure me to ascend

With a promise
Of the light’s softness on my cheeks
The reassuring glow of comfort

Dazzling absence
You shroud yourself in darkness
I walk closer, the horizon moves back, receding

Your steps are solitude
I fall into the crevice of silence
Like a plum in a bowl of my grandma’s kompot

Tranquility sings
With the blood in my veins
Louder than the ceaseless chatter of the world

Where are you?
I dream of your snowy peaks

In crystalline air above your meadows

In the Helena Modjeska Historic Home "Arden" Modjeska Canyon, Orange County, 2016.