Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Healing And Serving


sit in silence now    let your heart come to rest
you've ridden the passionate wave long enough
words jetting forth   gouts of blood on the page

such was the sacrifice you were called to make
and you poured it out to the last agonized drop
the syntax of horror     transmuted into ecstasy

your choice was neither sublime nor ridiculous
only the needful work of service in this world
if or how it made a difference--not your concern

but you were changed by it    purged through it
what was blinding wound     now teaching scar
the giving brought the healing     it set you free


My busy heart who shudders as she talks
Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.

-- Dylan Thomas --


     From the wound came the word. The word was the spoken blood which kept on pouring--dark and clotted or bright and burning. Poetry began as the blind, groping voice of my anguished soul.

     I didn't know this then, as a teenager. Or, if I did, I wasn't aware of knowing. I just wrenched open an inner spigot and out it came. Nor did I realize how crude and clumsy those first fumbling literary efforts were. Yet they were the only way I could express a reality I didn't even understand. Something enormous, horrifying, implacable, had smashed into my world and splintered my being. Writing those earliest poems was my desperate, brave, lonely, impossible attempt to impose some kind of meaning and order on what seemed utterly meaningless, totally obliterating.

     So began what turned out to be the creative challenge of a lifetime. Gradually however, over the years, writing poetry came to stand for more than just an indispensable cathartic outpouring of emotions; more even than my imagination's keen delight in discovery, or my mind's growing mastery at crafting those inner visions into finished works of art.

     During a later period of raw personal upheaval, poetry emerged as a spiritual vocation. I was called to surrender my ego; to open my consciousness as a conduit for a higher Creative Energy, to offer myself as a vessel of loving service. The cost of making this choice cannot be exaggerated--other than to say "everything." I lost my life as it had been, as I wanted and expected it should be. In exchange, I was given the chance to experience a Greater Life--the Life of "We" rather than "Me"--the Life of the healed, boundless and liberated soul.

     But the only way to this new, Greater Life led through an ever deeper plumbing of the depths of my shattered psyche. That speaking blood still had to stream forth, whether in agony, ecstasy, or from somewhere--everywhere--in between. The long, slow, difficult struggle for psychological healing, and the equally long, slow, exacting labor of creative offering merged, became one.

     There's no redemptive climax to this arduous inner journey if the blood simply flows on forever, the vital healing never happens. Explore a primal wound profoundly enough though, and eventually--blessedly!--you pierce right through to the other side; to the soul's original, pristine wholeness, before all violation or betrayal, any stain of grief and loss.

     The core breakage doesn't go away. Damage was done which can't be undone. It changed me, permanently. But now I've reached beyond it to a purer, clearer, transcendent dimension of my being. Coming home to this Eternal Reality inside; living wholeheartedly from this Universal Consciousness, I experience my childhood trauma and its aftermath not as a blinding wound, but as a teaching scar.

     Poetry--the speaking blood, the unhealed wound's witness--is finally draining dry. There's only a little left at the bottom of the well. But I can understand and accept this now. It's not a symptom of writer's block or creative burnout, but rather a sign I've stayed the harrowing course, sounded the terrifying abyss, and so at last become truly healed, down deep in my soul.

     At the same time, inseparable from the essential task of personal healing, I've sought to express the fullest measure of loving service, from the Highest Source within me, through every spiritual gift in my power. The giving brought the healing. It set me free.



  1. Beautiful poem & meditation... but no picture this time?!

  2. Thanks May! If you look back over my past blogs, you'll find that occasionally there's no artwork. Sometimes a poem and drawing were already companion pieces. Other times I found congruence between writing and art created independently. But now and then there's no artwork which goes with the poem and meditation--as is the case here.