Tag Archives: existence

Competencies of Belonging

Photo: Janice Sandeen, Late December Hoarfrost & Pueblo Peak, 12/29/2018

Quote: Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, 2017

Competencies of Belonging

“Most of us think of belonging as a mythical place, that if we keep diligently searching for, we might eventually find. But what if belonging isn’t a place at all, but a skill: a set of competencies that we, in modern life, have lost or forgotten? Like the living bridge, these competencies are the ways in which we can coax, weave, and tend to the roots of our separation—and in so doing, restore our membership in belonging. Like any practice worth undertaking, belonging cannot be mastered overnight. Because it is a disappearing art, we might find ourselves going it alone for a while and the temptation to lose hope will be strong. But we must keep a vision of how we want our lives and the world to look, and work towards weaving those first threads together. Even when the garment of belonging seems flimsy and inadequate, we must keep to the task until it substantiates.”

Excerpted from Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner

Belonging is a 2017 Nautilus Gold Award winner.

The Green Tumbling Down

To remake oneself while the house
is crumbling all around you,
That is the finest dream there is:
to take to heart all that is true and real
by the measure which no one owns but you.

I had to climb in from the back side door,
someone else’s entrance, to save what I’d lost.
Even then the pieces no longer made sense,
others’ notions of decorum and amorous play
remained and needed casting out, a wild gesture,
which nearly cost my last ration of aliveness.

How can we take someone else’s word? A word is spoken,
a word uttered, is uniquely its own, cannot be held,
cannot be possessed: only given free rein within.
And yet I seemed to have made a house of words,
too often borrowed and put into service unawares;
no wonder this crumbling, going to pieces.

How to build, when instead those former structures
long to crack and spread under their weights,
the weight, the waiting in time? Let them. Let them.

So, I found myself riding the falling staircase
as it clamored to the ground.
I found myself, capacity clear and centered,
like riding a wave and knowing my own,
landing unscathed, vitrified, transformed.

I found myself abiding in a radiance akin to the sun,
a light burgeoning a peace like none of another’s making.
A peace that could only come with the calming
of the many internal storms, a peace harboring itself,
casting its wonder as lines to the shore,
the shores of partiality for this very heart.

This undoing in the making, the making in the undoing,
is rough business and not for the faint of heart.
Although it is sometimes arrived at out of exhaustion,
a half-heartedness from trying to fulfill another’s destiny,
from trying to fulfill a destiny other than one’s own.

Landing, finally, in my own body, my own corporeal soul,
that word that is the concrete refuge, the heartened wood.
I give the green arising of this vitality free rein, free reign.

15 January 2007
Fairfax, California
Janice Sandeen

note: This poem was written some time ago, back in 2007. Partly due to a conversation about experiencing challenges in my life, the time of letting go and dying that autumn is naturally, as well as ALL the feeling that is so incredibly alive and stirred up at these times with everything occurring at this time, I looked for this poem here and realized I had not ever published it on Contemplative Fire. I wrote it years before I ever dreamed of starting a blog to share my poetry. I share it with you today. Deep blessings to you and thank you so much for reading.

introducing Zero Point Collaborative

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Zero Point Collaborative is currently an inception, a vision, a knowing at this time and season of Spring 2017, yet it* is calling me to bring it on. Slowly Zero Point Collaborative is showing me where and how it will emerge on the visible or external/physical plane. I am so looking forward to collaborating with you and the zero point field of YOU!

Please do stayed tuned in with me and more will SOON be revealed ❤

[Here on Contemplative Fire, Zero Point Collaborative has it’s own pages and heading and may soon have a site all it’s own. For now, it has the companions of the other aspects of my work & offerings.]

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*  what is Zero Point collaborative? 
Zero Point Collaborative is many things, as it is not “something” per se, it is  an opener, an activator, a container (without actually being something that contains, as in limits), it is a conscious field of awareness in which, continually or simultaneously whatever might be touched within and as this field returns to its most vital emptiness as the zero point of creation and perception both. It is a place to both begin (or resume) collaborating and to experience what serves the very heart of collaboration itself.

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The Kitchen, the Friend, the Heart of the Question

The small ritual

placing things here

attending with water

adding cleansing agents

rinsing while ordering my world

anew with each breath

of this morning

setting things just so

 

I think of my friend

and how she doesn’t reach out

at least not that I know of

perhaps ordering her world

just so, attending with

what I can only guess at

but still ordering her world

whether it’s apparent or not

 

Which brings me to

the question, the heart of it

as I ask many questions,

each being a facet of the one,

what calls me to pause

in concern (is it concern?)

in a wish for her (what is my wish?)

to find the deepening element

 

That which has its own way

of upsetting the cart, which

carries it all: hers, mine,

yours, ours, and what is

not any of these

Another question filters in,

is it peripheral or the very heart,

as what can be carried is surely external

 

Returning to the kitchen

another cup of tea is poured

My friend perhaps wakes now

almost a thousand miles away

The question is a living vein of

vitality, ardor, nuance –a distillery

extracting the purity of the disturbed,

the trace minerals of this Ancient Now

Mapping the Material World

[written & drawn as an opening to a creative collaboration w/Daniel Ari in some way, shape,
or form for a book of Daniel’s querons* & drawings/art/illustrations of 58 artists – titled ‘One Way to Ask” to be published later in 2014.] 
 
*a poetic form of his design, although this poem is not a queron
 
.
We map our existence
with the oddest of things
And yet is it any surprise
really? We being the creatures
Of comforts, habits, all the controls
strung out barely discernible
Yet everywhere we go ~ handling
this, setting that just so,
Hot, hotter, quiet, quieter even still.
Beauty, fragrance, order, mess.
Taste, timing, listening ~ all experience
awaits and awaits, yet also
Passing us by, pondering us like
the creatures we are.
Experience having us, we are
possessed by that which dawns on us,
possessed in measure, great and small.

.

IMG_0236Mapping the Material World