Friday, March 18, 2011

"The Chasm" a poem

The chasm
Nearly swallowed me
It was so dark
I could not see

My eyes were closed
My conscious shifted
I felt your presence
I nearly drifted

Into a cold and weary end
My heart was broken
It would not mend

But in the wind
I heard you say
“There is a gap
So I will stay

‘til you are ready
to leave this place
I’ll stand in this gap
And keep you safe.”

I felt alone
‘though alone I’m not
I could not make
The intense pain stop

Your hand extended
I could not see
Though it was
Right in front of me

I felt afraid
The hurt so deep
I could not eat
I could not sleep

Slowly began
To fall away
Into the gap
“Take me...” I pray

and then I saw a silhouette
Ahazy vision
Interrupts regret

This gentle light
I could not see
Begins to grow
Envelopes me

And from within
There is a feeling
Familiar but distant
It is a healing

So from the chasm
I turn to You
Feel Your embrace
Finally a breakthrough

Love’s never lost
But sometimes displaced
It leaves path
That can be retraced

The light now glowing
I clearly see
The arms of Love
…have set me free…

 ©Acuminous Watanabe

SL/RL Synthesis Note (41): "Fall ...In Love"

Song of the Moment: “Fall In Love With Me” by Earth, Wind & Fire
Lyrics & Youtube Link below

I am crying as I write this note to you, but promise that I am smiling. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU again for all of you who have contacted me directly, or indirectly with loving sentiments and energy to offer support during my grief.

::pauses to catch her breath again and to allow the feelings to flow::

For the past month, I have been so grief stricken, down on myself, and feeling the pain of love lost. I have been diligently searching my feelings inventory for the script for deleting the pain of love. Despite the constant support of friends and family, I have been so focused on feeling trapped by the closed door in front of me that I’ve all but ignored many open windows around me. I’ve felt scared and afraid to love again, placing distance between me and the opportunity to be healed by everything else offering hope and promise of freedom from my grief.

Last night, I finally remembered a string of previous experiences that matched my current level of distress perfectly. In each case I realized that I loved those people HARD, like I love all people… but the difference was that they walked away from that love. Each of them, I believe, had never experienced such unconditional and genuine love and intense expressions of those feelings, as I tend to provide. For me, LOVE is always the answer.. it is always, always, ALWAYS the answer and so through it all I will love you. I will always love you, although sometimes forgiveness is required to maintain that love.

I have been hiding out, holding myself back, unsure if I can handle loving like that again. It hurts… a lot! ..but I reflected back again and realized that each of those painful experiences allowed me to grow. Each time, each person came back.. and helped me to know that I was a good person, and helped them in some way during our time together. I appreciated how they had helped me too, because I realized that the only motivator for change and growth in ones life is for something to go “wrong” (even if only perceptually so) otherwise, why would we WANT to change course in our lives.

Thank you for helping me to know, through your words and encouragement, that somehow I have touched some of you. I am eternally grateful that in return, so many of you rallied around me to help me to know I am loved reinforcing my belief in interdependence and reciprocal love and connectedness.

I heard the Song of the Moment this morning on my way home from dropping the kids off to school. I have been chanting the refrain “I can pick you up turn your life around, if you fall in love with me…” over and over.  There is also a lyric in the song that says “In love with me, find yourself a part of me… …In love with me help yourself to all of me”

I am in love with you… each of you… falling…

Love is the answer… ALWAYS the answer… I don’t have to be afraid… I can FALL in LOVE with you… and you with me! :D

::/me JUMPS...floats ...and smiles::

Forever and Ever… I love you XO

“Fall In Love With Me” by Earth, Wind & Fire

Listen via Youtube Here!

I can tell you that love
Is too deep to be played on
Down the line, you'd find
Time would reveal who to count on
I'm well inclined to use the lines
That comes from the learning tree
Let the seed that grows, and ages old
Give us our destiny

Baby, you know, I could pick you up
Turn your life around
If you fall in love with me
I would build you up, never let you down
If you fall in love with me

If you're having second thoughts from the past
I can cool you out
I've been there before, right down to the core
I can sing and shout
I can't hold back what I feel
I bring experience
I'll be your rock when Gibraltar falls
Baby, give me a cause

Baby, you know, I could pick you up
Turn your life around
If you fall in love with me
I would build you up, never let you down
If you fall in love with me
Baby, in love with me, find yourself a part of me
Baby, in love with me, help yourself to all of me

I've got your number and I wanna shout
I dig you baby, come and check me out

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SL/RL Synthesis Note (40): "Surviving Hell's Fire"

Song of the Moment: “Thankful” by Meshell N‘degeocello
(Lyrics and Youtube Link Below)

There is a lyric from a favorite song of mine that says "…And hellfire's a promise away I'd still be saying…I'm still in love” The song is about a man who is in love with a woman who is already taken by another man. He sings of the joy this woman brings, but also expresses his tortured frustration that the “hands of fate” did not allow them to find each other first. He acknowledges that he knows this relationship is doomed, hence “hell’s fire”, but he is willing to risk it, to be with her, even if just for this time. Pretty romantic stuff…

I will probably get some flack, for saying this, but in my own spiritual belief, I don’t define Hell (or Heaven for that matter) as a place, but rather a state of being at various points in our lifetime. Hell is the consequence for SIN which I believe stands for “self inflicted nonsense” since being in hell is a personal experience based upon what I am thinking, doing and feeling. One of my favorite classic writings is Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy”. The cantos from this work are often falsely attributed to the bible and used to “shame” practitioners away from certain behaviors. It should more accurately be seen as an allegory of the soul's journey towards God, or “Divine Peace”. The “Divine Comedy” is given credit for Christianity’s understanding of hell, purgatory and the seven deadly sins (or 7 roots of sinfulness). The origins can be traced back much farther than that…but that’s another note…. Anyway, purgatory is described as the place between heaven and hell where we are stuck in the “mind” of  sin… the place where thoughts lead to the actions which promise to bring us to Hell’s fire or deliver us into Heaven.

I have toyed with the idea of Second Life as my own purgatory. In the last few months, I have lost 3 people in SL who were very close and dear to me. The most devastating was very recent, (and probably the best for both of us), but is tremendously painful to grieve. Last night, I encountered this person off the grid, accidentally, and was devastated that I wasn’t even acknowledged. There were no words exchanged, (other than my genuine greeting and expression of love), so after the silence I was left only with my thoughts about what that lack of acknowledgement meant. I could have decided, it was a technical issue, but instead, I completely tanked resulting in an hour or so of grief stricken sorrow and self-doubt. It was hell… you can’t tell me that was not hell, although it was absent of the fire and brimstone I’d heard so much about in Sunday school. When I tried to decide what SINs I had committed (my mind to), I decided gluttony (over indulgence of anything to the point of waste) and sloth (failure to utilize one's talents and gifts) continue to keep me in this Hell like state.

I was initially attracted to Second Life for the social richness relationships provide here. The grid gives me access to people of different cultures, beliefs, lifestyles, ways of being, thinking and feelings that add to my experience in both lives when shared. The love, passion and grief developing those relationships offer me are unparalleled. However, being in two places at once has its benefits and consequences.

Freedom (and deliverance) from my Self Inflicted Nonsense, according to the poem, is marked by joy, courtesy, and service. Although Second life provides opportunities for all of these, the balance between gluttony and sloth versus temperance and diligence are challenging ones for me. It is EXCESS that turns something beautiful into something perverted and SIN-FULL. Balance will deliver me. I help HARD, I grieve HARD, I love HARD, as anyone who is close to me will attest too. I am so busy giving, though, that I am left empty, spent, feeling used…and wrapped in SIN.

It is equilibrium that I seek, faithful that it will provide space for me to RECEIVE in a reciprocal way so that all my relationships are able to grow in a healthy way. The feelings of happiness, disappointment, pleasure and pain that allow me to EXPERIECE life, in a way I never could in ONE place…country, state, city, neighborhood, house…and so more quickly than ever before, when “the student is ready, a teacher will arrive.” If the lesson is patience, he will force me to wait; if the lesson is faith she will leave me so that I am left wanting; if the lesson is peace, he will tear my world apart so that I am left only with those pieces that continue to serve me, allowing me to let go of those that don’t any longer. Relationships allow me to LIVE these ideals, to feel them, understand them and make use of these states of being in a way I could not learn, any other way.

As I grow, I endeavor to be grounded in reality, …but liberated virtually!

With Love XO

“Thankful” by Meshell N‘degeocello
Listen via YouTube HERE :-)

just wanna be happy

mother&*©#ers like fancy things
big houses,
big cars,
like movie stars
gotta have everything
numb myself to the suffering

just wanna be happy
and thankful
not just
try to get through
just wanna be happy,
not just
try to get through

should i lie
should i cheat
turn on my tv
tell me what i want,
what i need
i lose my faith sometimes
i lose my faith sometimes, yeah

so much suffering for
fancy cars,
big houses,
i lose my faith sometimes
i lose my faith sometimes, yeah

just want to be happy
and thankful
not just
try to get through

just want to be happy
and thankful
just want to be happy
and thankful
try to get through

you're all i need
lay your burden down
ease my sadness
you're all i need

i lose my faith sometimes
i lose faith sometimes
just trying to get through
i lose faith sometimes

you're all i need
lay your burden down
i lose faith sometimes
you're all i need
i'm thankful
that i feel you

ease your sadness
you're all i need
lay your burden down
ease my sadness
you're all i need
lay my burden down

i laid my burden down.

Free Yale University Video Course on the Divine Comedy can be viewed here!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Call for Support in Japan (SL/RL Synthesis Note [39] "Tree of Life"

After meditating this morning, I again became cognizant of the tree in my yard that sometimes obstructs my view of the water. As  I reflected on the number of times this awareness occurs when I am feeling less than joyful, I went back into meditation. I thought about the people in Japan being affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and about the challenges of life, ...those expected and unexpected challenges that can turn our world upside down. I could see in my mind’s eye a Baobab tree, in Africa known as the Tree of Life, and the spiritual principles represented in the Kemetic Tree of Life for ways to navigate life’s cycles.

I was inspired to write the poem I’ll share below that I gently combed after an SL log in. A request for prayer went out to one of my groups and I submitted the following words to channel my love to those affected. Please allow my words to be your words, if you like or take one moment to offer silent affirmations for these other human beings in need.

Peace and many blessings unto you ….

I love you!

Sweet Spirit, We come to you humbled by your Divine Grace, knowing and affirming that it is Your Will at work always in our lives . We  call upon Divine Love  as our spirits are moved to send affirming loving energy to those affected by the tsunami and ask that you embrace them with Our light, enfold them with our love and provide them peace of mind and heart so that they are open and receptive to your Grace, Healing and Wisdom as to how to move forward in their lives. We release this prayer knowing that all things are ultimately for your good and that even as we read this it is done, it is done it is ALWAYS done. and so we bless this...together... so it Is... Amen (Ra)

Tree of Life

It is the tree
It is the tree
Calling out to me

It asks why there are tears in my eye
It asks what cause has made me cry

I do not answer
It’s just a tree
I am of sound mind
A tree cannot speak

The leaves begin to rustle
The branches sway
The wind whispers to me
“It doesn’t have to be this way.”

I close my eyes, feeling anxious
For it must be a dream
My face floods with water
My eyes have lost their gleam

A leaf falls close to me
It brushes over my feet
I’m reminded I am grounded
I prepare my voice to speak

“How I wish I were as strong
and majestic as this tree
Every day and every season
Experiencing life, living carefree

No boss to direct its branches
No family to bind it down
No obstacles or obligations
To bring this tree top down

The tree says …
“There are seasons
When it gets very cold
Although my branches feel weak in these storms
They nourish other souls”

“I know the seasons always change
Voices of life renewed are sounded
With every year that passes
My roots more firmly grounded.”

The message gives my mind great pause
My heart slowly releasing
And love enfolds the empty space
My misery is ceasing

“I am the tree!” I say out loud
And so the tree I am
One and the same, cycle of life
I begin to understand

For what goes up
Must come down and up it will again
But time…the only healer
Makes way for wounds to mend

Standing near the majestic trunk
My palms against its bark
I sweep my hand along its length
Until my back is arched

I close my eyes inhale this dream
The wind begins to blow
Again I feel I am at peace
And rest in Spirit’s flow.

 ©Acuminous Watanabe

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SL/RL Synthesis Note (38): Rez-olution

res·o·lu·tion [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] –noun
1. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
2. the degree of sharpness of a computer-generated image as measured by the number of dots per linear inch in a hard-copy printout or the number of pixels across and down on a display screen.

Last week (March 2, 2011) marked the 4th anniversary of my Second Life. Each time a new year passes, I try to reflect on my time here and make a decision about how SL will fit into my life moving forward. I have spent a significant amount of my existence here the past four years. When I found SL in 2007, I was in a particularly vulnerable place in my life having lived within the confines of a very narrow definition of what it meant to live a “good life”. At the time, what I valued most was my marriage, family, financial stability and career mobility. What I realized at that critical time in March 2007 was that none of those things gave me happiness. Of course at different times, in different ways they each gave me joy, but I was not satisfied with my life.

As I reflected back I realized that, at that time, I had become socially isolated, while meeting the demands of my family and career; that I no longer remembered how to save time just for myself, to contemplate…anticipate and grow; and that I had given up what I valued most…the gift of creativity. As a result, I could no longer see my value because I felt out of place within the confines of this predefined role I assumed and worked diligently to mold myself into.

Second life changed all that. On the grid, there were no limits or expectations about who I was or what I was doing there, other than those I self-imposed. I was free to create in ways I never had before and to explore relationships more deeply than I had ever imagined. I love people so much, and being reconnected was like a rebirth. After a while though, I found that all I wanted to do was “be” in second life. The gift of relationship and intimacy also taught me that I was hungry for something deeper in my life, to some how synthesize what I was experiencing in SL into my first life so that I could feel it more intensely and regularly. Life doesn’t always work the way you want it though and after 4 years I am realizing that SL has its place, but to try to integrate it into my first life in some permanent way, would cause it to lose some of its majesty, mystery and infinite possiblitiy.  It is a part of my life, but a separate part and one that can bring both intense pleasure and pain as many of you well know.

So I’ve decided that it’s ok, to have two separate lives that influence but don’t necessarily coincide with each other. I’ve resolved that my “rez”olution in world is only part of my “resolution” for LIVING. That instead of living my second life in the real world (which will never happen until I can fly and teleport [wink]) that it is much more useful for me to create a second FIRST Life. A second “phase” , if you will, appreciating that I can choose to develop new ways of living for as long as I am alive. That I do not have to limit myself in one lifetime to one way of living my life! This go ‘round I’ll include those prudent things that help me to maintain food, water, shelter…and internet access (grin) but more importantly it will also include first life “paved ways” for exploration of the self in tangible way.

“It is better to create than you be learned, creating is the true essence of life.”
                                                                                    -Barthold Georg Niebuhr

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Love Is...

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
-St. Augustine

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