Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Metallic Gold, an Artist, a Friar and a Marine






For me, there is no death, there is only life.


Places of burial are sacred to me. They provide me with immense peace. I am at home standing upon the thin line between worlds I wholeheartedly walk into. It is natural for me to be among the departed.

Spiritual weight I am used to. I am an ultra-extra sensitive empath, medium, energy and body worker and all around practitioner of the healing arts as a whole, so I kind of have no choice in that matter and accept spiritual matters humbly and with reverence.

Boundaries are crucial. What is disturbing is when others, beyond your control, overstep the boundaries you have carefully honed for yourself as you bled through life when you step away from the calm serenity of the world you created and into society. 


Not all society, mind you, but most of it. That kind of suffering is beyond my control and I am exhausted from having to deal with it. Alas, this is how the world currently works. I stay away from it as much as possible, yet we must exist within both worlds, simultaneously at times.

Jean-Paul Sarte penned my state of being nicely in Being and Nothingness:

"Sartre contends that human existence is a conundrum whereby each of us exists, for as long as we live, within an overall condition of nothingness (no thing ness)—that ultimately allows for free consciousness. But simultaneously, within our being (in the physical world), we are constrained to make continuous, conscious choices."

No kidding. Not an easy thing to do.

Upon waking, I wished to get deep into the woods, my ultimate grounder. Instead, I was diverted to a cemetery to visit my Father on Memorial Day. The need to go there was so intense. Magnets pulled me there.

Driving, I turn down an old walking path, one not meant for driving, yet I drive down it anyhow. I entered a part of the cemetery where the sun rarely shines. On this day, it did.

Directly before us were rows upon rows of trees. 



I put the Jeep in park, got out and knelt down on one knee on that path. I crouched down low and listened to the birds singing, to the hum-buzz of the dead, living. The wind whipped my hair around my face and in that moment, I was fully awake and alive staring up and into trees.

Kneeling down in awe to those before me on this strange Earth, I knew then why I was guided to this healing place.

My son and Mother were with me. It is always only the three of us visiting my Father and my Uncle. They are side by side, yet passed 15 years apart.

My son diligently dressed up my Father's military memorial stone. I was only 15 when he passed so the gold faded to grey. My son, the artist, on his knees in the grass, painted over each letter and scroll, in shiny metallic gold, matching exactly how that stone was the day my Father left this plane.

Next to my Dad is my Uncle. The Franciscan Friar. He never fully took that oath publicly, spiritually, yes. I tore away the overgrown grass, the three of us worked in the sunshine, a perfect day, soaking up the energy of this dear Earth. We cleaned the stones, polished them, and placed flowers and memorials by each.

As we worked, silently, the birds, squirrels and wind sang to us. The beauty of nature, existence itself, rumbled within and around all of us. Freely, open and accepting of all that is, the three of us understood that we were in another world, standing and praying on holy ground.

I knelt before a most divine tree and took several shots of her upturned arms reaching towards heaven. I placed my right palm lightly upon her ancient skin letting her know that it is safe, that I am here in reverence. Then I turned my chin upward and saw dozens of emerald tops of sainted holy heads, all standing in lines, like soldiers. 


On Memorial Day. 



At that exact moment, my son yelled out, "Mom! Look!"

Two massive, majestic hawks flew over all three of our heads. The wingspans were immense. They circled back and forth, like fighter pilots, several times, painting the sky, and our lives, with blessings personal to each of us. They continued to circle until we left each graveside.

There are no coincidences.

I inhaled deeply, my hair dancing with the breeze, and looked all around me. My blood, my bones, my very soul, all of me - on fire - with the absolute aliveness of nature and the spirits that guide me on this well worn path.

They told me to keep going and that everything will be fine. They told me I am loved and watched over. They told me not to worry so much. They told me that life, dear soul, life is good. They told me that they will help me grow into the woman I am yet to become.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Struck






thunder
struck -
barren and stark,
against the
full moon,
howling.


a tree branch
cracked -
and I felt my heart
snap -


and my hands
shook,
worn and lined
from years of spilling my soul,
on pages
upon pages
of ink,
that turned to blood.


and you,
you, oh my dear soul,
how your silence speaks
louder than the mightiest maelstrom
and I,
my wings, white,
mourning.


I set my body
to fire -
blazing like lightning
that struck
once,
my breath
the wind,
my hair
the grass,
my eyes
cloudbursts,
my arms
rushes and reeds,
my blood,
crimson bursts
of buds that bloomed,
and my smile -
the sunburst,
that once did give sight
to your now blinded eyes.


you would not recognize me
as I do not, you
for I am taller
than the mightiest oak -
my limbs reach
through the dirt and earth,
to crevices and fault-lines
that can hold this planet together
or break it,
apart.


and you,
you once held me dear,
so dear,
oh so utterly dear,
and now -


you are a rock,
stuck in mud,
not moving,
gathering moss,


and I peer down low
and kneel,
in holy prayer,
and pick you up
once,
in my palms,
so utterly precious -


and throw you

as far as my soul
can see.


photo and words © Susan Marie

Friday, April 28, 2017

Come Hear Us Read --> Center for Inquiry/Just Buffalo Literary Cafe Wed May 3rd


http://www.centerforinquiry.net/wny

 
The next Center for Inquiry / Just Buffalo Literary Café event is Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7 - 8:30 p.m.
 

The featured readers include Susan Marie, Tom Yorty, Rebekah Keaton, and Celia White

This will be a wonderful event and I hope to see you next week!  
The Center for Inquiry is located at 1310 Sweet Home Road in Amherst.  
Parking and refreshments are free, as always. 

Best, Curator, Jennifer Campbell

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Bones & Breath, A Man's Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine and the Wild Soul

  



http://www.thebonesandbreath.com/contact/index.html




L. R. Heartsong, artist, writer, author, French trained chef, light worker, shaman, and utterly wild soul, published a profound 223 page softcover volume, The Bones & Breath, A Man's Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine and the Wild Soul, via White Cloud Press.

This book is not specifically for men. This book is for all souls in search of themselves, of something more than simply existing. The Bones & Breath  is for all humans fully human, yet spiritual, or seeking to simply be. My connection to this book and the author changed my life, solidified my thoughts, enhanced my state of existence and caused me to realize that I am not alone. This volume will touch you deeply, if you allow it to, if you are willing to explore this grand stage and promise to stay in a state of absolute awe and wonderment.  This book holds your hand, yet guides you.

L. R. Heartsong, or River, is prevalent in the fields of bodywork, shamanism, naturopathy, and psychology focusing on progression, self-awareness, authenticity, exploration of the divine, acceptance of the light and dark within self, one another and the universe. He has well over twenty years working professionally in various fields of spirituality and continues to educate himself in order to help others.

When I first received this book, I excitedly browsed through the pages. What I found fascinating is the reader is able to stop wherever they please, not following a designed pattern, more so, a creative one. One can start at the beginning and follow River's empathetic story or open any page and begin. This is only one important aspect of this book.

The chapters are easy to read, not scientific or medical in nature, and as a student of Western and Eastern Medicine, as well as spirituality, this volume is most useful for all people practicing the healing arts. River's understanding of the human mind, body, and spirit connection is palpable, and his own journey within the pages creates a safe space for the reader to begin or continue upon their own path.

The chapters are as follows:

  •      Intro: The Erotic Warrior
  •      Eros, Passion, and Soul
  •      The Sacred Masculine
  •      Ensouling the Body
  •      Myth, Shadow and Light
  •      Pleasure, Power, Sex, and Eros
  •      Wild Soul, Wise Heart
  •      Conclusion: The White Hart
Within each chapter towards the end, are soulful insights, much like skill building, to utilize ways to empower, test and push yourself, lightly, at your own pace. River gently suggests, based upon his life experience and training, ways that you can question your own soul, mind and body to further progress.

For example, if one wishes to face the dark within self, at the end of chapter 4, Myth, Shadow, and Light, the author suggests embodying soul skills to explore your inner darkness. The suggestions are merely just that, questions that you can choose to ask yourself and choose to answer.

If one wishes to embark, the questions may bring the hidden, to light.

As an artist and a student of all forms of healing arts, The Bones & Breath  is a most treasured addition to my own continuous quest on this plane. Easy to read, stunning writing bordering on majestic, true to life analogies, 100% real life tried and tested ways of being, this volume simply must be consumed then digested.


Written from pure stream of consciousness, The Bones & Breath  speaks to the soul. Every chapter involves new ideas, allowing the heart to open wider, the mind to expand, and the dark side to emerge and the light to shine brighter than a beacon. This is not only a book everyone needs to own, but also a book ripe with extensive knowledge of the human experience and all it encompasses. 

Upon receiving this book, Chapter 6, Wild Soul, Wise Heart, spoke to me immensely. This chapter outlined exactly who I was, am, wish to be. This is the beauty of the author, this book, a loving gift to self.

The immense caverns hidden in each chapter, the wide-open spaces left to explore, the absolute giving of oneself, this is The Bones and Breath.










Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ravensong








a threshold, she stood,
feet, bare, body clad,
in white cotton raiment
swirling about her ankles,
as the wind
sang like a lute,
upon the still night sky.


a woman's song
carried upon the breeze,
playing with the edges
of light and dark,
night and day,
the precious time,
between
dusk and nightfall.


her ravensong
burst forth
from mouth,
wide open in awe,
chin upturned,
jawbone outlined,
tears precious
gifted in humble grace,
against the light
of the coming
of fresh eve.


the lyrics
danced around her shoulders,
tickling them just so -
tussling hair,
three feet long -
burnt sienna skied tresses.


a dreamcatcher
she was,
weaving lives
within lives,
connecting the dots,
with her fingertip raised
pointed at stars,
moving them
across Father Sky -
to meld into one another -


just
like
lovers.


this is her solace -
the ancient firmament
where Gods and Goddesses exist,
eternal,
where celestial wars rage,
she pulls both arms outward
with heart, full -
like some majestic holy crucifixion
and met the maelstrom head on -

for this
is
all
she
knows.


- forward -

and she jumps
happily,
into this rebirth,
this knowing and unknowing,
learning and unlearning,
growing and dying,
smiling while screaming inside -


to lead
not only herself
but others -
into the great abyss,
the infinite chasm,
the unknown universe,
the holy grail,
the swan songs of birds,
the most precious calling
to the wild souls of nature,
beyond all
that
is.


a threshold, she stood
feet, bare, body clad,
in white cotton raiment
swirling about her ankles
as the wind
sang like a lute
upon the still night sky.



Words and Painting © Susan Marie



On Soundcloud HERE 

 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Poetry from the Banned Seven [a global artistic activist incentive during National Poetry Month]




 City Lights photo of banned books display 1957


Please contact Timothy McPeek about this event HERE 

Timothy McPeek is organizing a fantastic artistic, activist driven, poetic event at Rust Belt Books:


This event will showcase and celebrate poetry from each of the seven countries affected by Trump's travel ban.  The material gathered in preparation would be a resource to share with the community--crucially not only among those of like mind, but with all people in a non-threatening and fundamentally human way.  It would be an opportunity to try to understand and appreciate the cultures, histories, and especially, the individuals of these countries. 

The idea is to have an exhibit of poems, very much including little stacks of copies. Visitors will be free to explore, relate inwardly,  share--and would be encouraged to take copies for dissemination in any fashion, tentatively set aside the weekend of April 14, 15, and 16th. 

On Saturday the 15th
, there would be an informal "opening": refreshments and community.  It would be wonderful if local poets from some of the affected countries could be found and invited to share their work, and/or if we could have people reading some of the poetry in the original.  Other than that, the exhibit will be self-presenting.



Here's what's needed: 

   1)  Ideas.

   2)  Research: pick a country (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) and find a poet/poem with which you really connect.  Then let me know the poet and country. 

   3)  Spreading the word.  Contacting individuals/groups who might be interested and willing to contribute poems or help locate native poets/speakers.  This is so absolutely open to all.


   5)  Anyone free and willing to help set up/lovingly decorate the back room of Rust Belt Books--poetry, color, fabric - before the event.

One last thing, the Iranian poet, Forugh Farrokhzad, made a 22-minute documentary (1962) about a leper colony: The House Is Black.  Subsequently, she adopted one of the children.  A screening of this film may also be a part of "Poetry From the Banned Seven." 




Please contact Timothy McPeek about this event HERE 





Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Heartbeat of Mother Earth Summit






The Heartbeat of Mother Earth Summit, a free global online symposium showcasing 36 experts (scientists, shamans, mystics, psychologists, and more) who will offer their wisdom, research, and personal guidance, all stitching us to a deeper connection with self and Nature.

Collectively, this is an incredible conversation arising from some of the new thought leaders, visionaries, and "sacred activists" of our time.

A few of the topics include: accessing your intuition, shamanic tools & practices, Jungian psychology, the Dreamtime, nature-based rituals, astrology, planetary ascension, Sacred Feminine consciousness, connecting with water & the ocean for healing, the physics of the new consciousness, plant & tree medicines, embodying the Sacred Masculine, crystal healing, the Vision Quest, Goddess spirituality, and many more.

As Jocelyn Mercado, host of the summit says, "It is a rare opportunity to connect with some brilliant minds and learn the different ways that Mother Earth is reaching out to us to join in community, heal one another, nurture the planet, and open to our full potential as healers, teachers, and spiritual warriors."

Click here to learn more. 


How it works:

The speaker series is free to those who register. Once enrolled, you can watch as few or as many of the presentations (scheduled across two weeks) as you like. There are between one and three sessions a day. Each video is available online for 72 hours after it goes "live," during which time you may access it.

If you have registered, you will be able to view interviews whenever you wish, up to 72 hours afterward (until February 13).

Same format applies for all of the speakers. If you would like to purchase unlimited access (for a year) to ALL 36 interviews, information is available on the summit's website.

I do hope that you'll join us for this very special opportunity; an unrivaled conversation about Earth, nature, soul, and our personal relationship with a much larger story.


Click here to learn more & register today.






Friday, February 3, 2017

il caffé





© Mogul


Her name was Juliana.

I met her in a coffeehouse ducking out of icy New York rainfall. I didn't notice her at first.  She is that type of woman, alone, in a dark corner, mysterious. I did not plan on staying long, wished to grab a cappuccino and get back to my flat to relax.

I made the last payment on my Jeep and desperately needed to slip out of my work clothes. Credit card in hand, I walked over to Zeke, owner of the café, to inquire about part time job openings as a barista.

That is when Juliana noticed me. 

All it took was a slight turn of my head and our eyes caught and I was blinded.  Everything around us faded into background. The only sound,  my blood, pumping, sending oxygen to my cheeks, rising, as apples in October.

She motioned to me and I nodded. Slinging my leather backpack on one shoulder, I held my books under the other arm, juggling my coffee.  She stood to help me, smiling as she approached.  She had the softest brown eyes I ever saw.  


I could stare into them forever and that evening, I did. 

She spoke, introducing herself.  I studied each strand of her mane, that of a thoroughbred, wild and shining.  It was just past shoulder length, straight and black and she kept waving it from in front of her eyes. 

She was painfully adorable.


Juliana asked if I had any plans for the evening. Shaking my head that I did not, she took my hand, leading me out of the café. 

Opening the passenger door for her, she slid into the Jeep I now owned. I knew a drive up Route 5 along Lake Erie would be a reprieve from the dankness of this day.

She popped a CD in the player and sang as I drove. Tilting my chin upward, I glanced towards her out of the corner of my eye.  No words needed to be spoken.  We both recognized that stare.       


I was falling in love with a complete stranger. 





Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Masters of Zen




 © Susan Marie

I sit,
perched
like the starlings,
stoic marble,
mottled black and grey,
like a charcoal sketch
drawn by the hands
of one enlightened.

I watch them
diving like kamikazes,
in the frigid winter breath,
pecking at bread,
grateful for crumbs,
their beaks, mighty
their eyes, knowing
they move swift.

- Masters of Zen,
on my balcony -

They have no concerns
for this dying human world,
they teach me
that mindfulness
is a state of existence,
that instinct
outweighs thought,
that I, this fragile human shell
am capable
of flight.

Their wings sound
and resound
right above my head,
standing in
this frigid wind,
grateful for breath,
for the constant beat
of my own heart,
for the wonder
that has been gifted to me
to be able to see

beyond.



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Black Elephant - A Literary Journal




 © Black Elephant


Seriously humbled to have my photography
focused on elements
published in
Black Elephant - A Literary Journal
's
Color Print Book!

Please check out the trailer here:
https://vimeo.com/200085840