Skip to content

The Medicine of Loneliness

March 14, 2019

canal journey sepia

*photo by Pam Trachta

The Medicine of Loneliness: A Mythos for our Time

Over this last year of my healing journey, I’ve been opening the door to loneliness when she comes knocking. Yes, I’ve been inviting loneliness in to have a seat at my table, to tell me her stories, to share her searing truths with me.

At times loneliness comes as an ache in the heart that will not let up.  Or, as a feeling of otherness that might strike, out of the blue, in the middle of a gathering with people I love and who love me. Or as a kind of existential burning that rains down when I am standing under the moon, showered by starlight.  Or as a broken open tenderness in my bones as I walk down the supermarket aisles, looking at everyone’s faces—everyone with somewhere to go, things to do, people to be. I too have places to go too, people to be. But it is just in those moments, when the quiet rushes into the field of noise, that loneliness throws her fishing line out and hooks me from behind.  She has a song for me.  She has medicine for me.  She wants to dance.  But this is a bitterroot medicine I want to turn away from, spit out, cast off.  After all, who would want to tango with loneliness?

Spending time in solitude is one thing—it is a wellspring I must drink from for sanity. Yes, solitude—in balance—nourishes.  But loneliness?  Well, that might happen anywhere, at any time. She might slip into the back door of the heart and pummel you with invitations you don’t want to accept. And besides, shame often accompanies loneliness. And all the voices say—whatever you do, just don’t open that pandora’s box. Just… don’t. Quickly, fill it with stimulus or substance or distraction or….something.

Perhaps, we wonder, if we spoke the truth of loneliness, people might misunderstand— they might not see that we also experience a thousand other things—like bliss, connection, communion, beauty, and joy. They might not understand that there is a sweetness to loneliness, like the wind sheer on a lone falcon’s wings. They might think we want them to fix us, save us, feed us, or empty the loneliness from our souls. That’s the catch 22 of loneliness.  We often stay quiet about its presence in the same we stay quiet about grief or fear or death— because the mere acknowledgement reminds us of our fragility and of the elemental forces that change us and act in and upon our lives.

The other day, I sat with a friend on the bank of a river that had been completely shape-shifted by a massive flood a few years ago. Trees uprooted, thousands of tons of rock shifted, the flow re-routed—the river’s story had been entirely rewritten in one night. I could relate. I have had many such floods in my life—the most recent moved through just this last year.  And it has humbled, softened and re-membered me into a never before seen expression of my self.

In the witness of that river and this friend, I spoke to my loneliness—to the shape and color of it, to the taste of it in my mouth, to its scent on my skin. I shared this not from a place of looking back on it from afar, or from the perspective of having figured anything out, or from needing anything, but simply from the place of speaking the truth—that today, in that moment, loneliness was perched on my shoulder.

Whatever I thought might happen, didn’t. The river kept flowing and singing its cadence of high and low notes. The myriad currents flowed together into one single beautiful offering. Nothing was excluded or othered here. I was received with compassion, witnessing, open hands—by my friend and by the land itself. Sometimes we are the ones to offer ourselves this open hand, but in that moment, I felt the relief of being met in this place by anotherwho has also felt loneliness. I felt the possibility and grace this risk opens.

The UK has now established a Ministry of Loneliness[1]—because loneliness has become an epidemic and national health crisis. This could be seen as a kind of mythic meme for our times. In so-called modern western culture, we are collectively wracked with a core loneliness we rarely admit to or address. At the center of our “modern” consumer way of life is a devouring hunger.  More and more “content”, more and more speed, more and more noise and high drama, more and more technology. Such a desperation this loneliness evokes when not met, addressed, tended to.  Our culture of addiction, celebrity rise and fall, consumerism, pornography, and closeted hungers will continue to devour what is most sacred if we are not willing to look into the shadows, to see what we find, to befriend our own discomfort and vulnerability. For it is the adherence to the illusion of extreme autonomy and self-reliance that is part and parcel of the spin towards personal, communal and planetary demise.

Perhaps it is by turning into the medicine of our loneliness that we receive essential aspects of ourselves back—whole chapters in the book of our wild, untamable heart. What if the acknowledgement of our loneliness brings us face to face with the untruths we have been telling ourselves—that we must be invincible, fearless, entirely self-sufficient, without need, and “put together” to be whole or loveable or useful?

We are quite literally wired for connection, relationship, and interrelatedness. We have a mammalian heart. Belonging is our birthright and call.  And the crisis of “loneliness” offers us a chance to turn to each other and say—I am whole, I am sovereign…. and I need youmy community, my beloveds, my planet. I belong to you and you to me. Perhaps from this place of compassionate meeting—we might understand more about the ways we nourish and are nourished. And from a place of deeper resource, we can let some of the hungry ghosts that are creating so much chaos in our world simply….rest.

There is no doubt that part of the ferocity of these intense times invites us to remember that we are on this earth ship together and that our very survival (much less our thriving) is dependent on connecting with and working with and turning to—the apparent other—within and without.

Loneliness knocked on my door and I let her in.  She stayed for a while.  She drank her fill, and I offered her a second cup.  We settled in together and shared a laugh or two. We drank starlight and mused on the mystery of eternity.  And then we got quiet—very quiet. In that stillness I met her gaze, and there, right there, I saw how loneliness and connection are two wings of the same bird called grace.

***

“Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more deep.

Let it ferment and season you as few
human or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft,

my voice so tender, my need of God
absolutely clear.”

–Hafiz

Ministry of Loneliness:

http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/world/europe/uk-britain-loneliness.html

[1]http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/world/europe/uk-britain-loneliness.html

canal journey sepia

The Library of the Body

February 28, 2019

image.png

The library of the body is a revelation.

*

Today I pull out the book of grief

and find one hundred chapters.

There is the chapter on letting go~

where brilliant leaves,

tumble down the branches

of the page, veins lined in gold.

*

The book of rage comes next.

Rage at the song we could not sing.

Rage at the father who broke our spirit.

Rage at the lover who left us on our knees.

Rage at the god who would not lift us easily

above the rough waters of this world.

*

This book laughs—throaty and guttural—

and then begins to weep. For such losses

are not to simply be cast off and forgotten.

Here you light a candle as you read

and burn each page as you go on.

*

Then there is the book of joy.

This book has no words.

This book simply pours

moonlight across your skin.

This book sprouts roses

when you are not looking.

 

And when you have finished every volume,

the whole of the library unfolds itself

into a trembling forest, and each book

becomes a gleaming apple on the tree of life

that whispers—eat, taste, nourish.

Reflections:

~What stories and images live in your book of grief? Your book of rage? Your book of joy?

~When you consider the library of your body in its wholeness—what wants to be remembered, seen and honored?

©Laura Weaver
excerpted from LUMINOUS: Poetry & Inquiry for the Soul’s Journey
**to learn more about my work or purchase the book, you can go to my website luminouspoetry.com or lauraweaver.org

AMAZON LINK:

https://www.amazon.com/Luminous-Poems-Inquiry-Souls-Journey/dp/0692146695

–or you can find a copy locally at Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, CO

**sign up for this blog at soulpassages.wordpress.com for regular posts and poetry delivered to your inbox

 

 

 

Winter’s Dreaming

January 29, 2019

silver tree

Here, in the still point between

hibernation and emergence

down deep in the soils

seeds stir and tremble

in the lengthening light.

 

What it is to trust this gestation—

the fullness of this space

that will birth us again

from mystery into form,

from the wild wordless hum

 

of no-thing into full symphony.

This morning I awoke to feel

the soft curled petals

of the inner worlds just beginning

to unfurl—ribbons of flame,

 

a fire burning on low, underground.

I bowed down in thanks

for this delicious slow approach of spring,

for these revelations that come

one tender leaf at a time.

Reflections:

~How do you value (or resist) times of gestation and stillness, when your life includes less external activity?

~What is opening in you, now—one tender leaf at a time?

©Laura Weaver
excerpted from LUMINOUS: Poetry & Inquiry for the Soul’s Journey
**to purchase the book, you can go to my website luminouspoetry.com or *lauraweaver.org for the link to amazon –or you can find a copy locally at Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, CO
**sign up for this blog at soulpassages.wordpress.com for regular posts and poetry delivered to your inbox!

Sing Back the Light

December 20, 2018

46454434_10157154821197345_8944681680715644928_n

Because you have gone diving
into the darkness, explored the cracks
deep in the earth and swam
in the underground rivers of your soul….
*
Because you have traversed
the tunnels between worlds
to find your own heart’s pulse and longing….
*
Because you have written story after story
for lifetime after lifetime
and arrive here, now–quaking
in your naked truth.
*
Because you have walked through
fierce fires and watched parts
of yourself turn to ash—
*
Because you have alchemized your wounds,
metabolized your grief, and danced your love,
against all odds, in the midst of ferocious storms.
*
Because you have planted seeds
in the still heart of winter
and believed in the harvest
when you could see no signs of life.
*
Because you are a divine lover of the fertile dark,
and the Beloved mystery–and know the way
she teaches us to see with the inner eye—
and trust our inner compass.
*
Because you have the courage
of the first morning star….
*
Sing back the light.
*
Sing back the light
to the places that have forgotten—
sing back the light
to the places that are numb
*
Sing back the light
to all that has been desecrated
and abandoned
sing back the light
to the desperate and hungry ones
*
Sing back the light for the ancestors
who encircle us, whispering
instructions while we sleep
*
Sing back the light
to our children’s children’s children
who remind us –everything is at stake
*
Sing back the light
at this time of Holy Revelation
*
Sing back the light
that heals the wounds of separation
*
Sing back the light—because tonight
the whole world says—
I am tired,
will you stay with me
when the flame flickers
in the darkest moments of this passage?
*
Sing back the light–
because you are the medicine
the new world is thirsting for–

because you are a star traveling
at the speed of love–

because you wear the wings
of the Dove who takes flight now
in the darkest hour.
*
Sing back the light,
because we are a mighty forest
growing up through scorched ground—
Yes, we are the seeds
that open with just this kind of fire.
*
Sing back the light
because your song ignites my song
and the chorus is a swelling ocean of Awakening—
and we are just beginning
to hear our own roar.
*
Sing back the light
because this is how we remember—
this is how we remember—
this is how we remember ourselves
past this ending
into the beginning –
*
For in the beginning
there was the Word
there was the Song
and we are here now
to sing ourselves Home.
*
Sing back the light!

©Laura Weaver
LauraWeaver.org
luminouspoetry.com

 

images-2

Solstice

December 14, 2018

**an annual sharing for the Solstice time and season of Light…..

26167047_1667017653354952_2643617878949966187_n

Days are brief interludes

between the quiet hands of night,

the earth tilting away from the sun.

Fields lay fallow—only the skeletons

of last year’s harvest exposed,

the bones of the frosted land. 

 

Pale skies draw us inward

to the place of no speaking, no words—

to stillness where we wait

in the threshold between worlds. 

Here there is the deep sea of ourselves,

the strange fish of our dreams.

 

This is the place of incubation,

where all appears lifeless and barren,

as if it gestates nothing but space.

Rest in the node between in-breath and out-breath.

You need not do anything, but wait

for the pull of your own north star. 

 

See it in the sky now? 

It knows your naked beauty,  

your clear vessel thirsting for light.

For even now you are pregnant—

full of the just forming,  the newly given–

the exquisite bird of your soul.

 

Soon she will emerge—first beak, then wing,

until she breaks from the center of the egg

and kisses your life, showing you how

to live inside your own wild skin.

~Laura Weaver

excerpted from LUMINOUS: POEMS & INQUIRY FOR THE SOUL’S JOURNEY

**LUMINOUS is available at luminouspoetry.com or Boulder Bookstore or from me directly if you are local! 

Holiday gifts: Books purchased from me are 3 copies for $30 through the new year

Contact information:

luminouspoetry.com

LauraWeaver.org

weaverpoetry@gmail.com

 

Cornucopia

November 25, 2018

golden_tree

 

Out of the empty vessel, the riot of the earth’s wild feast

layed before us, daily, in places we have forgotten

to look. In the veins of the leaf in the sunlit corner

 

of the room. In the depths of the tiger iris of the daughter

who has grown into a woman overnight. In the clear pools of water

where night animals bend down and drink. If we have any task

 

it is this: to live in this exquisite seeing, to clear our eyes

of the dust of memory and expectation that would leave us

blind to what we most long for. Even in the leanest of years,

 

when our bodies are wracked with grief, there is more than enough

beauty to feed all the species of this world. Take the Pleides.

Take Jupiter arcing west in the night sky.  Take, the bees

 

that roll over on the flowers drunken with nectar. Take the globes

of squash and the sage brush in the russet hills. Take it all in.

For even in the bones and cinders of the old world

 

children reach into pockets for marbles and a man

gives another man his coat. Even in the skeletal remains

of fields gone fallow, seeds settle and germinate.

 

This cornucopia is what you have come for. This chance

to tend the life within and without, to give back

to that which gives, to be breathed one breath at a time.

©Laura Weaver

luminouspoetry.com

LauraWeaver.org

excerpted from LUMINOUS: POEMS AND INQUIRY FOR THE SOUL’S JOURNEY

AVAILABLE NOW AT BOULDER BOOKSTORE AND ON AMAZON! (OR FROM ME DIRECTLY IF YOU ARE IN BOULDER–AND WOULD LIKE A SIGNED COPY!)

https://www.amazon.com/Luminous-Poems-Inquiry-Souls-Journey/dp/0692146695/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1541773794&sr=8-2&keywords=amazon+luminous+poetry&fbclid=IwAR1RbTd_LZXX7YM-uoITW0Wgh_TPQR6mGqMygXUOpboULNupUcX2Xu8cTzI

LUMINOUS available on amazon

November 16, 2018

Hello dear ones!

You can now order a copy of Luminous off of Amazon.  I’m so happy to share it with you —it’s been a long time coming! Thanks to all who helped make this project happen! 

You can also go to the landing page for the book at luminouspoetry.com to order or find out more information about the collection and upcoming events. I will be posting poems from the collection and recordings of poems soon!  

https://www.amazon.com/Luminous-Poems-Inquiry-Souls-Journey/dp/0692146695/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1541773794&sr=8-2&keywords=amazon+luminous+poetry&fbclid=IwAR1RbTd_LZXX7YM-uoITW0Wgh_TPQR6mGqMygXUOpboULNupUcX2Xu8cTzI

Luminous is a powerful and unique poetry collection that invites the reader to take a transformational and self-reflective journey through the depths and heights of human experience. An enlightening and provocative “roadmap for the soul’s journey,” this collection touches universal themes through a personal lens. These poems evoke the power of the wild earth, the richness of the seasons of life, the fierceness of our soul’s passages, and the beauty and resilience of the human heart. Each poem serves as a doorway into our inner landscapes–where we discover our unique stories, wounds and gifts, as well as our deep sense of belonging and connection to Life itself. Each poem is followed by reflective questions that support you to explore your own growth and evolution. This collection can be used as guidance and inspiration in your own personal practice, in meditation or support circles, and by teachers and presenters.

 

Praise for Luminous

“Luminous is a precious gem, a masterpiece of loveliness, a deep dive into the soul. The poems in this book will enlighten, nourish, support and envelope you. Laura has written a gift relevant to all people—but particularly to seekers, awakened ones and people committed to their constant growth and development. It is a treasure.“
~Lynne Twist
Author of Soul of Money & Co-Founder, Pachamama Alliance
*

“Laura’s poems are magical adventures. Like shamanic journeys, they inspire us to soar through portals to our higher consciousness. We reawaken to our connection with nature, the earth and the universe.“

~John Perkins
Author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, The Secret History of the American Empire, The World as You Dream It and many more
*
“Luminous is a collection of poems that have arrived out of Laura’s deep kinship with nature—both the outer landscape and the inner seasons of the soul’s unfolding. With an attentiveness to their contours, rhythm and flavour, it’s as if the poet reunites words until their combined picture emerges—and we unexpectedly, gratefully find ourselves in it.“
~Toko-pa Turner
Author of Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
*
“Laura Weaver is fluent in the language of the heart—the heart that knows the beauty and joy of being touched by the seasons of time, the pain of loss, the rootedness of the natural world, and the delicacy of stillness. I suspect that like me, her poetry will authentically touch your heart in a way that you too feel seen and known.”
~Michael Stone
Journalist and Host and Producer of The Shift Network Shamanism Global Summit and KVMR’s Conversations
*
“A poet of the soul, Laura Weaver’s Luminous is an invitation to hold sacred the truth of our vulnerabilities—our greatest strength. Every word is a carrier wave delivering intricate sound codes that awaken the mystery and mastery of a human life.”
~Tryshe Dhevney
Sounds True Recording Artist, Sound Healer, Actor & Director
*
“There is nowhere to hide in Laura Weaver’s exquisite poetry. Luminous shines the light on our deepest longings, wounds, joys and sorrows, with no apology. This utterly beautiful collection will break you open—over and over again.“
~Pasha Hogan
Author of The Joy of Creative Discovery and Third Time Lucky: A Creative Recovery
*
“Laura Weaver’s poems are a salve for the human soul. These pages will accompany your path, as they have mine, providing expression for the ineffable, solace for the unbearable, and profound hope and inspiration for what’s possible.”
~David Tucker, Pachamama Alliance
*
“This is a book of poems that I want to show my mother, my daughter, my grandmother—and bask in their aching, loving truths and insights.”
~Rebecca Ghanadan, PhD
Founder, Aspis Coaching Group
*
“Laura Weaver’s book of poetry, Luminous is a light-filled journey into the deepest recesses of our heart and soul. The words and images remind us to be hopeful in the vast mystery of life. This collection could easily be used as part of a daily meditation ritual.”
~Diane S. Turner, LCSW, CLC
Author, Heart Wisdom, A Concise Companion for Creating a Life of Possibility

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: