Saturday, May 27, 2006


I seem to have this strange affliction. I love color - will plant rainbows in the ground, make salads that look like a flower garden, drink in the beauty of the colorful women all around me, sing songs of every color of the soul...

...but I can't seem to wear anything but white, or shades nearby. Something won't let me. Drawn to pink, or red, or green, I try them on, but immediately take it off. Garish, I feel painted false. Even my old standards of black and brown - something just won't let me. So I put on the color of the breath and just let go...

"Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free..."

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Why I perform...

From time immemorable, dancers, singers, priests have been "performing" their devotions for God. By offering ourselves to the highest art, we allow something greater than us to come through, and we give gratitude for this little taste of God, of the mystical, that we are able to taste in our experience. I think of the Devadasis (bharata natyam dancers - "servants of the divine") performing their duties, their dances, daily in the temple, invoking the transcendent through movements so intricate that simply the devotion to learn them is an immense offering to God. I think of the ancient Rishis, opening themselves to the divine cosmic source and discovering the ancient syllables of creation. I think of the ancient musicians who practiced the art of listening, devoting their entire lives to the inquiry into melody (raga) or tal (rhythm), how these relate to the relentless and ever-changing currents of all life, and offering these same ragas and tals back to the divine. I think of Mirabai, singing the river of her heart in absolute desire to merge with her beloved, the divine Krishna (one face of the Absolute). At the heart of all true performance is the desire to merge with God, and then to share what we receive. How simple. What a blessing.

My own story is such...
I knew not who I was, or what I was here for. I only knew that I didn't feel I had a place in this culture, and yet I felt there must be something more. Years of spiritual seeking culminated in a deep longing, a passionate desire to experience the divine, the mystical. That longing, that desire, triggered an immense opening over a few year's time - first as a simple "kundalini" experience, then as an explosion of light radiating from my heart, then as the experience of being "danced" from the inside out, and finally, as a voice strong and pure that came from nowhere... now here.

For me, the song, the dance, is a tremendous blessing, a gift from God, the greatest healing gift I have ever received. By desiring God so fully, that Light began streaming from within me, filling me with lifeforce and creative energy. I had been cut off from this connection for my whole life, hiding in the shadows of my own shyness, fear and unknowing. And suddenly, by Grace, I was given the gift of Life, of Wholeness, of connection to Source.

It is many years later now, and I continue to follow the creative path, continue to sing and dance. I brought up this subject - why perform? - because recently the issue has been raised on the subject of "performing" kirtan. But I've discovered that whether I'm singing kirtan or "performing," there is no difference. In either context, I am simply singing my heart out. I'm not in it for the recognition or prestige, but simply to offer the gift of beauty that has been my deepest healing. Like any of us singing kirtan, I am simply here to share my heartsong longing for God, my Love, and my deep Gratitude for the many blessings I receive. For me, both kirtan and performance are ceremonies of re-connection, and an invitation to take part in the dance of life. So long as we are true to our own connection and/or longing for the divine, so long as true inquiry and innocence guides what we do, we can't go wrong. And so we sing, we play the ancient melodies and rhythms, we dance for the earth and for the heavens. And in the beauty of creation we play our part.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Making love...

I'm mad with love! It's one of those days I'm so in love with life that I just want to make love with everyone. The springtime Shakti is rising, and I feel myself whirling in the realm of passion. Every beautiful eyelash, texture of skin, coil or knot of hair... Every breath of wind caresses my skin, the sweet fragrant springtime air... I want to touch the textures of green, kneel on the damp, sweet earth and smell her, throw flower petals on every beautiful soul I pass by... Man, woman, curve of stone - I want to touch you!

Perhaps this is the tantric way, dedicating my every passionate breath to love of All, and especially to the creative-bliss-current flowing through all life. Jai Shakti! Jai Sarasvati!

Earth mother, YOU are my lover.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Why I tend to the earth...

I've been on shamanic journeys with this amazing Peruvian woman several times. Each time, the earth speaks to me. She tells me to tend to her, to grow gardens, to make love, to sing, to share with the children, to honor her blessed fertility.

Once, the first time, I was swallowed by her, my body becoming compost for new life, my very breath on the edge of extinction. In this blessed death, I learned to give thanks for life. To hold gratitude for this tremendous blessing of the sunrise, the song of birds, the hand of a friend...

And she asked me, then and there, to make an agreement - the Great Agreement. That is to honor her - the body of all life, the Great Mother, by offering my hands back to her. In praise, in song, in loving, and in tending the earth, I offer my immense gratitude for this unbelievable gift - simply to be here, now.

Om Shanti ~ A

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Digging, part II

The rains came in yesterday. I hesitated too long in going into the garden to dig up the little patch I was going to put vegitables in. Socked in by the rains, wishing I'd have gotten those seeds in the ground to be nurtured by the dark, cool moistness...

Today, cool and damp again, but I've gotta get those seeds in! It's after May 1st, and just after the new moon - I'm already late!

So between rainshowers I go out. Funny gardening gloves help keep my hands warm. Diggin' with the shovel, pulling up deep roots of some noxious groundcover weed that some people think is pretty. Hacking through rain-packed dirt, chopping it up. Then raking with the real rake - not the wimpy one we move leaves with, but the strong one that sifts the soil and finds the leftover roots.

Smoothing the soil, my gorgeous brown bed is ready...

...for beets, radicchio, kale, spinach, mustard greens, carrots, lambsquarters, lettuce, marigolds, and a border of zinnias - old seeds, just what I happen to have on hand. Let's see if they take!

I'm still waiting for the lavendar and nasturtiums I planted in those pots...

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Monday, May 01, 2006


Roughly, "Bliss Princess" in Sanskrit...

Thanks to Laurissa ( ) for the translation, and the blessing.

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