Innocence Remembered Is The Healing We Seek

Remember this
My tender and wounded friend
You were innocent and free
When you arrived here

Because that is your true nature

Everything else, all the guilt and shame,
The self berating, the hurt, the rage,
Are learned and taught
By those who carried their own lost innocence
And knew no better
Brought up in toxic culture

Generation upon generation
Of walking wounded
Handing on trauma, passing it down
Desperate for healing
Yet unable to stop

Until now, until you
You who have eyes to see
Ears to hear
And a heart open enough
To understand
How it all happens
And to put an end to the endless story

It feels personal
But it’s not personal
Every story has a personal element to it
But when you see that your story
Is everyone’s story
Your suffering is everyone’s suffering
It’s not worse or better
But it’s different
When you see that and really feel it
Your heart and mind open so wide
The whole world pours in
Through simple compassion
And the pain doesn’t go away
But it becomes more bearable
Because you see yourself in everyone
And everything

And you remember the innocence
You arrived with
And you become that innocence once again
And yet there is no naivety in this innocence

This is the innocence that includes life
That includes life’s wounds and experience
But hasn’t become bitter or resigned and rageful
This is the innocence that includes everything
Yet stays true to it’s nature

So please, I beg you, turn towards
That place in yourself
And, through great introspection and softness,
Find that light within,
Burning quietly and patiently,
Waiting for eternity
For your return.

This Great Vulnerability

Oh! this great vulnerability
That underpins all action
And all thought

We are so vulnerable
Having arrived, seemingly unbidden,
And thrust mercilessly into the arms
Of strangers
Who claim ownership of us
And mold us, bend us and entangle us

We who came from god knows where
To this mystery of god knows what

At either end of the delicate thread of time
Lies eternity
And here we are
Desperate to make sense of it
Terrified of existence
And terrified of non existence

We have no idea why we are here
So we busy ourselves
With loving and tormenting
Ourselves and each other
Pretending our lives have meaning
But underneath
We have no idea what is going on

We are vulnerable children
At the mercy of forces
We do not understand
Apparently alone in a bewildering universe
That stretches to eternity
On a tiny ball spinning through space
That we cannot leave

We are so vulnerable
And we need each other
We need to be able to stare into each others eyes
And cry and laugh and scream
At the madness of finding ourselves
Alive without knowing why.


I FEEL YOU – For Amoda’s Mother.

A song I wrote at the time of my wife’s Mother’s death. It was an extraordinary time. Deeply moving.

The river was so long we got carried away
All the while we waited for something to say
And everyone was wearing white
We couldn’t work out why it was the only game in town
We waited for a sign to take the television down
And I was always lost in space
You just kept repeating amazing grace

I feel you, I feel you
I feel you all the time

We walked beyond the bridge and wondered where we should go
We didn’t know the road would take us to the great unknown
I didn’t recognize the place
Further up the path and we got lost in the trees
We couldn’t find our way and we fell down on our knees
And prayed for a holy sign, I remember thinking how life is divine

I feel you, I feel you
I feel you all the time

When you went away I looked everywhere for you
I found you in the places and the things that I do
I see you everywhere I go
I feel you in my heart and in my blood and in my skin
I feel you in the life I live and everywhere we’ve been
I see you in the empty space
And I can hear you singing amazing grace

I feel you, I feel you
I feel you all the time

dark clouds

there are days
when dark clouds
of despondency
hang overhead
all day they just hang there
taunting me
with their heaviness
threatening rain

all i can really do
is accept them

fighting causes such pain

why should i be cheerful?
what is this expectation
that life is a smile and a laugh?

life is a hard journey
and a cruel test.
when the vast ocean
finds itself
in a tiny jar
it doesn’t complain
but it hurts
to be captured in something so small

why did i come here with no wings?
just these legs
that stick me to the ground

at times
nothingness seems appealing
and then i get yanked back
into the beauty
of all this
and i forget
this despondency

be kind to your experience

you find me in a moment of sadness
when my heart aches
for those lovers wrenched apart
by fate’s cruel hand

life can be
so very mean
it makes some
thick skinned and they try and
tough it out

but it doesn’t work

we all have to soften eventually
so do it now
better to soften up now
than at the end

be kind to your experience
and hold yourself
gently and lovingly
as you would a child

i can’t see any other way
to get through this.

what matters

only the inner life matters
this whole experience is really
a conversation between you and god
between form and formless

only the inner life matters
the questions you ask and the answers you receive
and the love you feel for existence
and non existence

only the inner life matters
and the perceptive canvas
is there to point you
to that inner life

it is a humbling realisation
and one that draws a tear
and even a sadness
from this tired warrior.

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