Tag Archives: dance

I give and receive music as love

I give and receive music as love
because there is no second place for the kingdom of heaven
to cleanse all these flavors of longing

I give and receive music as love
because the notes write a smooth fence for my mind dog
with a bone she loves

I give and receive music as love
because the plucked string of my pain is pure fire
and cannot be put out by an imagined pool

I give and receive music as love
because it defies the urgency of consciousness–
the most earnest root cannot know the river

I give and receive music as love
because it never goes,
always resting in these teeth,



Filed under writing

late night pep talk.

I’m noticing the love notes I write to myself tend to sound more exasperated than loving.  If desperation brings freedom, will exasperation bring love?  This little note came in a quick moment, flying from the fingers of a faithful and impatient parent to my humanness.

I’ll set the stage. Our heroine sits in a full slump-yet-still-able-to-type on the leather sofa, light box propped on her lap. It is the quiet of midnight in an empty house that sits above a remote oak grove in a lonely stretch of valley.  She types, alternately pausing to reel in a freshly-comprehended work list of nightmares, exhausted and mucking out one of many Promised-I-Would-Do-These-By-Yesterday’s.  She looks with increasing desperation for a distraction that will ease this impossible request for focus.  She surfs Facebook for seven minutes before shaking loose and closing her browser tab fast.  She goes upstairs and makes tea.  She pulls on her hair and looks in the unflattering kitchen mirror and wonders how tomorrow will go down. What series of orchestrated events will fit three days into one? She daydreams. She sits again and works for four minutes. She stops and eats half a chocolate bar.  Suddenly, that tap on the shoulder arrives – the remembering that answers come to the questions underneath.

She screams, Fill The Void!
but always so I will hear and not see
always so I will follow and not lead.

The puppeteer’s wires are invisible
yet the movements of a puppet are undeniable.
The dance between each is a beauty requiring the other.
These strings – extensions of my own fingers.

Dance if you must, but be the dancer,
for god’s sake.


Filed under Big G., lisa goettel

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.)


Filed under life, lisa goettel, writing

The break up

So I’m at that lousy moment. My Ego and I have had a longstanding love affair, intercepted with bouts of Buddhism where I decided to pay it less mind, but it’s been pretty hot and heavy again lately. And here I find my self figuring out how to call it quits. Once and for all.

How do I know I’ve had it, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve spent an enlightening (enlightenment by the way, is not all glowy and rainbows – it’s more like realizing that dog poo you’ve been smelling is actually on the bottom of your shoe) few days participating in this dissatisfying internal dialog about how wonderful I am. Not the good kind of wonderful, mind you. The “listen to how wonderful I am” kind of wonderful. It’s like being asked to dance and instead of dancing I count the steps. Especially the one’s you screw up. I dance with miraculous after miraculous person and all my darling little brain can think to do is find evidence of my betterness.

(Note: Historically, I’m usually content with being worse. It’s just one less thing to argue about. But I’ve been feeling pretty good lately.)

This is all feels nice and tidy talking about this now – alone in my dark little cave, writing into blogdom. But over and over there is the moment – the one when I’m looking my friend in the eye and their genuine distress about a fruitless job search turns into an opportunity for me to silently confirm that yes, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into this pickle and then proceed to spout my wealth of wisdom. I rarely muster up the gumption to just fess up and stop it.

If I’m not wonderfuler than you, how on earth do I have the right to offer anything to you? And if I have nothing to offer, than why on earth are you listening to me? Why am I here? The desire to contribute is real. But my god, the concept of both of us just sitting here in our incomparable wonderfulness is still baffling to me.

To be fair, I’ve been sneaking out and seeing my higher self on the side. I have glimpsed it. But in the day to day, my playing field with you is almost never level. I’m watching the bases and listening to the score – measuring the advantages – experience, personality, reputation, smarts, talent, poise – you name it.

I want to know in my bones I’m important and I’m enough. Just for existing. All the time. With everyone. No matter what.

That’s a big commitment. Maybe we should start with coffee.

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Filed under life, writing

Dancing and swimming

Swimming upstream
seems to me a strange destiny
for an entire species.

Then again,
if the water didn’t move,
nothing would be nourished.
If the gravity didn’t pull,
the water wouldn’t move.

The interdependencies
created by having all of us here
are beyond any possibility of understanding.
I wonder
that there is any swimming at all.

There must be an extraordinary
amount of grace in us
to be dancing like this.

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Filed under life, poetry