Tag Archives: connection

The Leaf and the Tree

Mama Tree and Papa Bear

Mama Tree and Papa Bear

As I prepare to lift off for a new experience in the tropical wonderland of Bali, I am celebrating and appreciating both my parents who decided to take the leap too.  They accepted my invite to participate in the retreat I’ll be co-leading there – Soulful Relating Through Song and Dance.  It’s truly a leap for them at every level, and their courage is inspiring.  I’m really looking forward to this time with them and with everyone in the group – reflecting on the ways we connect to our self, our soul and spirit… to others and the outside world as a whole.

Gratitude is one of the most direct routes I know of to that sweet spot of connection, and it’s the key ingredient in my annual holiday poem hunting for family members.  Honestly, the tradition has given way to a (ahem) more fluid and unpredictable timeline – the poems come when the muse stikes and I make enough space in my crazy life.  This year, one made it out on time- my splash around the big pool of Thank You to Mom.

The Leaf and the Tree

I knew of a great tree,
standing within a great forest.
Great, not for anything but being as it was
a natural climber that sought the sun.

She was one of a million sisters, brothers there
making life among life
Raised by the sky that brought food and storm.

She grew strong, like the others—
shapely, positioned on a high slope on a clearing,
more strongly sown than some perhaps, for the exposure and angle of her roots.

She spoke in slow stretches of bark, making leaves as fruit.

She became my tree.
I would come and go, connected to her in grateful, silent ways
though my days and purpose were different, moving—

I spent hours against her trunk yet I could not tell you her true story.
I spoke another, noisier language,
seeing from behind my own reachings.

I wondered how it was for her,
if I had come to serve her, or she me,
if she saw herself reflected in my shiny, watchful face.

She saw me surely,
tended me generously, being tree as she was,
sheltered me as she knew well to do,
with no instruction but her forest and seed.

I saw her from my own eyes, alone among that forest
not knowing if she knew
that my very presence was testament to how she lived
her roots unfurled, giving thanks to her sky.

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Filed under gifts, lisa goettel, offerings, poetry

Upside Down

This is not me. Yet.

This is not me. Yet.

I’ve never done this before, but I want to dedicate this post to my dear friend Tuaca, who I love, and she knows it.

I went to my first aerial dance class yesterday.  I swung around and climbed and went upside down on a big circus rope and hanging fabric like those super pretty people who fly around in Cirque de Soleil, doing super pretty and amazing things.  In my case the only pretty amazing thing is the fact that I can’t lift my arms today. Muscles I forgot I had are still vibrating, my neck aches and my feet and hands are pink with rope-burn.

Still, I swung and played and giggled with pigtails and utter school-girl glee. My mind is racing to visions of thrilling and graceful theatrics, hanging 50 feet in the air from a tree on an ocean cliff.  My nightly push-up and sit-up sessions have new purpose and I’m pouting to have to wait two weeks till the next class.

Honeymoon-phase enthusiasm is always finite, but right now I’m eleven-years-old again and remembering the lost art of infinite possibility.  I’m making room for passion to hang out in the same room with the budget and but-but-but’s and better ideas.

I think I feel all airy and sweeping and la-la right now because this infinite possibility point is feeling like the punctuation on one big, long, magical weekend.  The whole series of events that even got me swinging upside down was a perfect snowball of synchronicities.  I was talking with girlfriends on Thursday night about my love and aspirations for aerial acrobatics, bemoaning the lack of a class within 75 miles. Next morning I pick up a hitchiker on the way in to town. We get to chatting, she mentions a new aerial dance class coming to Monterey that she’s taking starting Monday. There are one or two spots left.  It meets the next three Mondays (skipping the one Monday I’ll be out of town.) We swap emails, and the rest is history.  When I’m a very, very famous star of Cirque de Soleil, you can say you read this post back when…

Over the weekend I was in a workshop at Esalen, offered to me free at the last-minute, about intuition and the power to create our worlds.  The instructor was a celebrity psychic who loathes being called a psychic and is fond of observing synchronicity as the inevitable validation of well-used intuition.  We gave each other readings, practiced mediumship and telepathy with little instruction beyond “go.”

In her groups she talks a lot, regaling us with long, unapologetic diatribes of her neuroses and successes.  She declares her adoration or disdain for us at regular intervals and upholds her Esalen reputation as a famous wine and sugar pusher.  But when it comes time for us to dive in and try our hand at reading the future or healing a stranger, she channels a drill sargeant. Not speaking is not an option. Should your stream of prophetic visions and healing energy slow to a trickle or (heaven forbid) hit a roadblock, it invites a quick and public suggestion to go try out the yoga workshop.

A few years ago, I inhabited a pretty-much permanent emotional fragility living at Esalen, busy gazing at all my deep, dark psychological woundings. This workshop and her seemingly incompassionate style would have shattered me into a thousand million little pieces then.  With a little thicker skin now, I found the gifts layered and deep (if bouyed by her pull-aside comment during a break about my incredible intuitive prowess.)

One of the most valuable take-aways for me was to hear that after 30 years of being a well-known and extremely successful intuitive and healer, she still feels like she’s making it up.  She never feels comfortable and in control of what she’s saying or doing in a reading – just comfortable in her trust of the process.  She reminds and reminds and reminds us that we just have to GO.  The train has to leave the station. You have to jump in the river in order to be carried.  “Define your target, follow your attention and report” is her only guidance, and it’s all we needed.

I love inhabiting the paradox that life is a river carrying us along to our destinies but we can tell the river where to go or crawl to shore when we choose.  I love feeling like I am tapping into the truth and connectedness of the universe when I’m just sharing whatever pops up in my consciousness.  I love believing that my being at the aerial dance class yesterday was a result of the perfect mix between happenstance and intention.

I’m suddenly thinking of my grandmother, who is probably rolling over in her grave right now as her 35-year-old, unmarried grandaughter has run off to California to swing from a trapeze and study telepathy.  I hope she knows that for me this life is just another expression of love, like for her it was making us eat third or fourth helpings of dinner.  I’m following a river that my faith and spirit and intuition tells me existed before and way beyond me, but I’m choosing and creating and directing it too.  I hope she sees how alike we are in this.  (And I know she does.)

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Filed under life, lisa goettel, writing