A Spell and a River

My nipples are stones: smooth, hard, glorious. At the bottom of the deep river we see to the bottom. There are other stones, too. (So many days and dreams!) What they ask for is what we have.

Water…moves…languidly. Nobody rushes. It is midday: robins and wolves drink. Enough for everyone? Yes.

I recognize you, lover. You appear to be The Keeper this time. I appear to be The Watcher. Let the hands move back, let us see the vision: a sailboat, blue still waters, pyramids, paint.

When you first came, I was alone, shutting my eyes: unaware of, or ignoring the leaping possible. Keeping Time seemed easy.

 “Where have you been?” I gasped, crazy wide eyes. (This time not screaming.)

Air. Earth. Fire. Water. These are the elements that make us. You hold a bowl with your left, move a small gold sword in your right. We both fall silent,

making rainbows.


 

If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule a spiritual guidance session via phone or Skype.

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My Lover is a Priest

11863343_10204816779874795_48011293211071879_nYou’ve probably figured out by now that I’m not what you’d call a normal woman. Black swaying robes and lifelong spiritual vows are, to me, quite more alluring than millions of dollars or mountains of bicep. I am pulled to those who give away their lives. I am drawn to those who, gently, put their ego on the shelf. I am drawn to the courage of those who simply be. I am drawn to those who know: it’s not always so. It’s maybe.

In the summer of my thirty-second year, the year that began with a conversation with God, I went to Ireland, the holy land of Ireland, to the place where my Zen man lives. I went to Dublin, land of my ancestors on my mother’s side.

I lived with him for three and a half weeks. I became intimately near. We made juice together, ate chocolate, did laundry. I lived in his home, for three and a half weeks.

When I came back to America, we kept in touch, and then for a while we didn’t. I focused on other lovers. The priest had other lovers too. We both travelled. We drifted.

But now I’ve got the Zen bug again. I’m waking up earlier and earlier. I’m doing more sitting these days than my ego (and neck and back!) wants. I’m scheduling more nothings than somethings. Less doing; more being. And the Zen man and I…we’ve reconnected. In him, I’m finding a friend again: finding a calm center, in the warm gaze of my computer screen.

And these past few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing. What is it about him? What did I learn in Ireland last year? What keeps me? I look in my journal. Maybe the answers are there. I look at the words I wrote, two summers ago, as I flew back to America…

I’m in a plane, traveling back to a place I can no longer quite call home. I seem to, suddenly, have nothing: no home, no possessions, no special nook or place, no special tree, no lovers, no husbands, no wives or anything familiar or mine. There are no clocks, now, to keep task. I’m in the clouds. I’m free. I’m fullness itself. I’m being and non-being: this tiny airplane seat. To my left, a young Irish man holding a baby. To my right, an old American woman holding her head in her hands, drunk on bitterness, boredom, and wine.

 What has the Zen man given me? What might the priest know that I do not? That last morning in Dublin, the morning after the rainbows—our swirling limbs and hearts growing new as trees—I had wanted tears from him. I had wanted him to moan and cry and say “Don’t go, Anya! I cannot live without you!” But there had been none of that. No drama. There had been, rather, a warm coolness in his kisses. Sweet eye contact, but with no longing. No reaching. Instead, there had been holding my hand in the car, on the way to the airport, and there had been the word “maybe,” so many times, in response to my questions.

 Every time he had said “maybe,” something vanished. I don’t know what it was, but it certainly feels better now.

 I’m free.  


 

If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule a spiritual guidance session via phone or Skype.

Meet Me

1.

Meet me, whether you are quiet or not
Meet me, whether you are peaceful or not
Meet me here,
in this verse,
on this particular day

Meet me wearing the shoes
you are wearing
Meet me having the mood
you are having

Meet me

There is no discrimination

Meet me,
now,
in this beautiful moment

 

2.

Meet me in the place of Gratitude
Meet me where the trees have lost their leaves
But their heart is always warm
Meet me in the bangs and pangs of sorrow,
Or a place of pure light

Meet me when you brush
Your lover’s hand today
Or kiss your grandmother’s cheek

Meet me

Meet me, in the wine and in the bread,
Meet me
in the nourishing
of your daily breathing

Meet me

Yes, Meet me:

Meet me when all the worlds call for it

When nothing else can happen but that

Meet me

Meet me forever

 

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                                                                                            Halle Roland Photography

If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule a spiritual guidance session via phone or Skype.

Dear Leonard: A Farewell Letter

young-leonardDear Leonard,

This morning I wear a scarf, wrapped around my head. I am in mourning. I am saying goodbye.

Leonard, we never met, but we did. Somehow, somehow, you reached across the ocean of mystery, touching my deepest, most secret places. You became real. For years I joked to friends about being your lover, but the truth is…it was not a joke. I sometimes made it sound more silly, more lighthearted than it really was.

Perhaps I was afraid. Maybe I’ve been afraid, this whole time.

Somehow, somehow, in your rolling words and echoing rhyme, you dug up parts of me that I did not want. You exposed me. You became real, and I could not look away. You became real. Sometimes, whole albums on repeat for days: my body shaking, an earthquake. Sometimes, I’d be cooking dinner and have to stop, fall to the floor—there would be a line that was just too much. Sobbing. There was one moment I remember in particular. One song. One afternoon. You shattered me: The course of my life changed forever.

Leonard, your music was my meditation. My medication. Leonard, your music was my release.

And the world, the world feels so different with you gone. Call it the curse and the blessing of being a teacher of energy—I have felt your physical presence depart. I can, quite literally, feel the absence, in my bones and spine. In the air around us. You’re gone. You’re gone.

Dear Leonard, dear lover, you soothed and aroused so many hearts. You, you my love, you did it! What a life! You dared to write and sing—really write, really sing. I remember you saying how sometimes it would take days, just to get a line right.

Leonard, I must say more. I must speak of the deepest things. I must speak of the things you may have never known and might always know. Leonard, you came to me in dreams, for so many years. The last time was in September. It was a night of nightmares.

I am working in old restaurants, falling-down creaking old restaurants, where nothing works and dust and rust prevail. I am in charge of a cash register, and money keeps on vanishing. I’m a lousy clerk. Everybody knows it. The people are angry, and they ball their fists into their hands. This goes on for some time. Then, finally, I notice you. My love, Leonard! You! You are in line with the customers.

At this moment, I know it is okay to leave my role; I know, suddenly, that I am dreaming, and that this is not some horrible situation but rather my own cunning creation, my own fascinating play. I leave the register and walk toward you. I am happy, exuberant, knowing some great blessing is on the way.

Suddenly, the scene changes. Now you are sitting in a small school desk. A desk for a child. You are resting your head against the white wall, a picture of perfect grace and repose. I bend down, come up close to your face, and say, You! It could only be you!

Your eyes grow wide, Leonard. There is amusement playing on your face. You reply:  Yes, Anya. I’m here. And I’ve got to tell you something, sweetheart. You have to learn that even though you are asleep, you can breathe. You can breathe deeply, my love. And that is what you must do. Breathe…

The word “breathe” comes from you like a purring cat; your voice echoes through my spine and heart. Reverberates and soothes. I can taste you in my mouth. I lean forward for a kiss. I always get a kiss when we dream together, so I know it’s okay. It’s part of our dance, ancient and thrilling.

You kiss me. You kiss me, Leonard! You are eighty-two years old but you are also a sweet child. You are both. The grey mingles with the new skin. You are my love. I kiss your cheek, so softly, and then somewhere in the midst of our cloud of kisses you begin to sing, gently, into my right ear. You always sing into my right ear. I soak in your love, I bask in the glory, as wakefulness begins to come…although I don’t want to, I gently sigh, letting go of the dream, letting go of your embrace…

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Leonard, we are both poets. We share that. We are both keepers and champions of the word. We know what the word can do. (And we know what it can’t do.)

Leonard, we are kindred spirits. You are my friend. You have been my friend, my dear companion, these years. No one can replace you.

In honor of you, Leonard, I shed these tears. We never met, but we did. In honor of you, I wear this scarf, wrapped around my head. It is purple patchwork. It is my favorite.

Anytime you like, come kiss me in dream sometime.

 

All my Love Forever,

Anya Light

 


If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule an intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session via phone or Skype.

The Face of the Present Moment

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The present moment is intense. Our President Elect is a person who ignites extreme fear, sorrow, and panic into so many hearts. These are understandable emotions. It is easy for me to feel empathy, because I have felt these emotions too. I intentionally don’t own a television, but, in the past months, whenever I’ve encountered television sets in public spaces (restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, etc.), Trump has seemed to be on the screen a majority of the time, spouting red-faced angry statements that have truly shocked me.

This Trump character frightens people. In the past 24 hours, since we’ve woken to a new world, a world where Trump is our future leader, I’ve read so many ventings and cries for help on Facebook. My friends are feeling angry, depressed, and even suicidal, unable to get out of bed. They are finding work difficult and alcohol a much-needed comfort.

Friends, I feel your pain! People of America, I feel your pain! And, let it be known, there is this part of me that is totally calm. Totally at peace. There is this part of me that is untouched by all that is going on. How? I am keeping things simple. I am tasting the food that I eat. I am smiling at those I love. I am breathing, slowly, in and out, and looking at the trees, as I walk in the woods this autumn morning. I am keeping things simple…and because of this, I have been able to have an insight. I’d like to share it with you.

Friends, things are not as they appear. Look again. Look deeper.

If you dare to look deeper, maybe you will see what I see. Maybe you will see it, too… that Donald Trump is helping us. Trump is our mirror. He is an excellent—and no doubt intensely challenging!—mirror.

Of course, yes, I know, Donald Trump’s explicit aim is not to help us. I know. His aim is clear: greed, ignorance, violence, division, power. That’s obvious to so many of us wise, compassionate souls. However, he is helping us still the same by his very presence in such a central position in our media and government. Seeing his face on the screen, we can now no longer deny or ignore the fact that something is very very backward here, something is very very broken and outdated, not only with the entire current (global) political system as it stands but also with our human collective consciousness as a whole. We see we have much healing to do. (Maybe much more than we have been wanting to admit.) We also see that the time must be now.

This is the face of the present moment. This is what Trump’s face allows us to see.

And, dear friends, let me be very clear. In no way am I excusing Trump’s actions and words of racism, sexism, greed, and hate. I am not saying it is okay. Please look deeply at what I am saying and allow your heart to unveil my meaning.

Friends, there is always a deeper way of perceiving things. When we look at Trump—deeply look—what can we see? What can we find?

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What we can see and find is a perfect, stunning (yes, often horrifying!) reflection of the state of consciousness of a majority of people in this country and in the “civilized” world. We see where most people are at: stuck in fear, stuck in ignorance. And seeing this reality, so blatant and obvious right in front of our face, with nowhere to go, nowhere to escape to, we know our efforts at peace are needed—really needed, right now. We know our efforts to open our hearts with compassion to help others is a needed effort in this current world. We are needed. We can see how people are hurting by how they voted. We can see how they do not know. And we do not judge them or attack them for their vote, but rather we feel inspired and revitalized by the current events, by the present moment. By the possibilities that lie deeply, at the heart of this moment.

When we look at Trump, what else do we see? In addition to recognizing the seeds of fear and ignorance within others, we must also acknowledge that the seeds of fear and ignorance are also present within ourselves as well (to various extents). When we look deeply, we see that we, too, have been capable of fear and ignorance in our daily lives in the past, or maybe even today. Sometimes we have said angry words to others. Sometimes we have judged or condemned others. Sometimes we have been so locked in the closet of our own pain and despair that we have been unable to open that door and listen kindly to those we love when they have been in pain. Sometimes, we have not been our best self.

It hurts, yes, that moment of realization—the moment where we see within ourselves what we dislike in others—but it is also the moment where the whole game is seen for what it is. Trump is helping us! The situation of Trump has broken through the clutter of our busy lives, and, now, we are in the moment of now. We cannot help but be. We have no choice but to pause, in our deep grief and concern. We are here, in the now.

For me, this is a time to look back and realize that only twelve years ago, I was watching the television show The Apprentice, admiring Trump as a strong, confident leader from whom I could learn. (At the time, I felt ashamed of what I felt was my “feminine passivity.”) For me, this is a time to realize that it was not so long ago that I too actively strived for the values that Trump touts: the creeds of “success,” competition, and materialism. For me, this is a good time to reflect deeply. Many of my biological family members voted for Trump. It is not my intention to divide myself from them, to shake the finger at or blame them. What good would that do? It is Trump himself who advocates division, anger, judgment, and blame—so why would I want to continue to propagate the cycle? The only way to end blame is with compassion. The only way to end violence is with peace. The only way to end hate is with love. Teachers since time immemorial have taught this simple message. Teachers such as the deceased Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi as well as the still-living inspiration Thich Nhat Hanh. Their message has been simple, yes, but difficult to carry out. But now, in the present moment, we can feel the stirrings and the callings for change. Real change. We felt such hope when Obama was elected…but what really changed? The core of the system is flawed, and so our hopes went unanswered. What is the opportunity here? What can we do now that we couldn’t do then?

The way forward, the first step, is with compassion. Can we see how we are more alike than not to our brothers and sisters? Perhaps we are not so fearful and ignorant as to vote for someone like Trump, but if we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that we ourselves do have some elements of fear and ignorance present within us. That fear and ignorance may not be manifesting as much or as obviously as in others…but does that make us superior to them? No. The way forward is the way of peace, the way of compassion. We have compassion for ourselves when we act with ignorance and fear (or maybe that is something we are still working on, too), and so we remind ourselves of that self-compassion, and extend it outward to others, no matter how they voted, no matter how ignorant or crazy they may seem.

Do you not see the beautiful paradox of this? That in the age of Trump, we have the most stunning, vital possibility for peace. In my life, I have found the deepest truths to happen within the caverns of mystery, in the places of paradox that seem to make no sense.

Friends, in this difficult, confusing moment, what if we could perceive our common thread of humanity? What if we could see that all our brothers and sisters (even Trump himself!) need love and compassion, in order to help us all awaken to our best selves. Friends, let us put this 2016 political election to great use. Let us not waste this opportunity.

Let us love.

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If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule an intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session.

The Voyage Home

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Him and I, we are lovers again. We make love; we bring our bodies together. We whisper and smile and kiss on pillows.

We are lovers. The word rolls off my tongue and I blink in surprise.

It is endlessly awesome, this game of life! So many twists in the path, so many unforeseen ways and happenings. Leaving, then returning home again.

At this time, in this particular moment, I am surprised. By the indescribable beauty and simplicity of this love. This relationship. I am grateful for the calm beauty, for the reassuring presence. For the safe haven and the space to learn and grow.

I am surprised. By the man I said goodbye to but now am saying hello to, again. I’m beginning to lose track of how many times we’ve said goodbye and hello. I’m finally starting to come to terms with it. We follow our hearts, and that is all. This coming and going, this returning and leaving, it seems to be our dynamic. (Maybe part of the suffering, in this lifetime and others, has been our not recognizing that, not embracing that.) Sometimes, I have to go. Sometimes we say goodbye; sometimes we say hello. Sometimes it’s chaos and tears, and sometimes it’s utter perfection and peace. Sometimes we forget about the reality of impermanence and we (ignorantly) create labels and plans. Sometimes we remember that we remember and we chuckle together.

I feel there may be another leaving in my future, another adventure away, but I’m not sure when. I tell him this. I am as honest as I can be about the future I’m not sure about.

Right now, though, I want to be home with him again. I have voyaged home, and I want to be here. I want to wake on Saturdays and say: “Let’s play!” I want making love on Monday mornings before work. I want it all. I want the slow afternoon strolls out in nature and the long evenings of surrender and touch. I want gatherings and meal-makings and hosting our friends; I want flirtations and laughter. I want my knees rubbed and mouth kissed. I want to scratch his back and hear him moan in my ear.

At this time in my life, in this moment, I am surprised by love. And I love that I am surprised! I didn’t foresee this chapter.

Love. Wow, love. It never is what I think it is—it keeps changing. I am learning big lessons. I am learning that sometimes I have to venture out, into the darkness, without a map. I am learning how to stop comparing him to the One of that one beautiful year. I am learning it’s okay, truly okay, that love feels different with different people. (I thought I learned that before, but the learning is going deeper this time.)

I feel big changes coming. Not too far, on the horizon. But for now, I settle, I sigh. The soft glorious blanket of this love. I rest. His arms. I thank the Universe for this love. It is teaching me so much.

Three cheers, my dear. Here’s to another chapter.


 

If you like this blog, you might also like Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a more intimate encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule your intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session.

Twin Oaks: A Story of Communion, A Story of Love

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As I step onto the Twin Oaks property, a fragrant wave of October air fills my lungs. My eyes absorb my surroundings: broad leaves overhead beginning their transition from green to orange to red, cows gently mooing on nearby hills, and serene, smiley-looking people walking down dirt paths. A wonderfully weird sensation washes over me. Have I been here before? What sort of déjà vu is this?

The truth is, I have not been here before. (At least, not in this lifetime!) Nonetheless…it feels so… familiar. Like a home I’ve left but can’t remember leaving. Like chords of a song, beloved in childhood. Or like looking up into a maze of stars on a warm summer night. Twin Oaks is something like that. Coming here is something like poetry, something beyond the logical and the rational. Something beyond the mainstream notions of what life “should” be.

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Twin Oaks is an intentional community in rural central Virginia, founded in 1967. It’s the longest-running and most well-known of all the egalitarian communities in the United States. Members of Twin Oaks (approximately one hundred people) live by the values of sharing, cooperation, nonviolence, equality, and ecology. Many members avoid the term “commune,” due to some lingering negative connotations with the word; however, that is exactly what it is. A commune. A communal way of life. Members are like family: they share income, they share their days, they share their dreams.

I’ve been visiting Twin Oaks on a three-week visitor period. I’ve worked and played and lived. I’ve tended the greenhouse, bottle-fed baby calves, worked in their organic tofu factory, harvested peanuts, facilitated Reiki healing sessions, made homemade pizza with wild mushrooms, and gotten lost in the breathtaking river and trees. It’s been incredible.

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I’ve been pondering how to summarize my experience, and realized one of the less-popular definitions helps me to describe how I feel here. A “commune” is a mode of communion, a way of communicating in a very personal or spiritual way. Indeed. Twin Oaks is a place of deep, intimate communion: with the land, with the animals, with the plants, with the Earth itself. It’s a place of opening. A place of expansion. It’s a place where one meets and is, finally, met. It’s a space of air. It’s a story of love.

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When I leave in a few days, I will leave more humble than I came. Twin Oaks has been a powerful mirror. It has helped me see myself more clearly. And, in that sense, it has much in common with a lover. Twin Oaks has been this beautiful, intense, intimate, and in some ways challenging entity that has helped me perceive some of my more hidden, pernicious character weaknesses (areas for growth!) and has also helped me strengthen the gifts, skills, and passions I naturally possess. It has reflected both the positive and the negative aspects of myself—a dynamic, of course, that hasn’t always been easy!

I came to Twin Oaks with the intention of adventure, and that is what I have done. Along the way, I have shared walks, work, smiles, silence, hugs, songs, and snuggles with dozens of beautiful souls. In short, I have communed with a new kind of lover. And that lover has just begun to be explored.

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Love this post? Awesome! If so, you might love Opening Love, Anya’s book about navigating the challenges and ecstasies of intentional relationships.