44 The guest is gold and crimson

 

The Guest is gold and crimson –
An Opal guest, and gray –
Of ermine is his doublet –
His Capuchin gay –

He reaches town at nightfall –
He stops at every door –
Who looks for him at morning –
I pray him too – explore
The Lark’s pure territory –
Or the Lapwing’s shore!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written in late 1858 and bound into Fascicle 2.

Lapwing – a bird native to the American Northeast.

Love and namaste –

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39 I never lost as much but twice

 

I never lost as much but twice –
And that was in the sod.
Twice have I stood a beggar
Before the door of God!

Angels – twice descending
Reimbursed my store –
Burglar! Banker – Father!
I am poor once more!

[Emily Dickinson]

Oh, the levels, the soul, the depth of feeling! She has expressed the ineffable confluence of emotion that is grief.

Love and namaste –

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38 I never told the buried gold

 

I never told the buried gold
Opon the hill that lies –
I saw the sun, his plunder done –
Crouch low to guard his prize –

He stood as near
As stood you here –
A pace had been between –
Did but a snake bisect the brake
My life had forfeit been.

That was a wondrous booty.
I hope ’twas honest gained –
Those were the fairest ingots
That ever kissed the spade.

Whether to keep the secret –
Whether to reveal –
Whether while I ponder
Kidd may sudden sail –

Could a shrewd advise me
We might e’en divide –
Should a shrewd betray me –
“Atropos” decide –

[Emily Dickinson]

Atropos – Greek: without turn. One of the three Fates – goddesses of destiny. The oldest of the three, Atropos was known to be inflexible. She chooses the mechanism of death and snips the thread of life with her “abhorred shears.”

Written autumn 1858 and bound into Fascicle 3. This one seems light and airy at first, but wow. I read it aloud last night and am writing it out today, and it has grown to be a meditation on childhood and adulthood, on the fracturing that can happen to our joy, on the trauma that can intrude on our lives and steal away our treasure. Damn, girl! I love this. I hope you do, too.

Namaste –

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36 If I should die

 

If I should die –
And you should live –
And time sh’d gurgle on –
And morn sh’d beam –
And noon should burn –
As it has usual done –
If Birds should build as early
And Bees as bustling go –
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
‘Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with Daisies lie –
That Commerce will continue –
And Trades as briskly fly –
It makes the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene –
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written autumn 1858, Fascicle 3. I just love her whimsically realistic relationship with Death, showcased sweetly here. Also, her capitalization is worth noting. Throughout her work, you’ll find patterns. Used to show respect, to personify, to emphasize – attribute whatever reasoning you please. Play.

Namaste –

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34 Taken from men this morning

 

 

Taken from men – this morning –
Carried by men today –
Met by the Gods with banners –
Who marshalled her away –

One little maid – from playmates –
One little mind from school –
There must be guests in Eden –
All the rooms are full –

Far – as the East from Even –
Dim as the border star –
Courtiers quaint, in Kingdoms
Our departed are.

[Emily Dickinson]

This was written in autumn 1858 and bound into Fascicle 3.

ED used her lexicon like a Bible, selecting each word with intention and understanding. I like to look up certain words, even if they’re already familiar to me – sometimes the official definitions are richer than the ones I know.

Even – steady; unwavering; consistent; equal; balanced.
Marshall – gather and arrange in a force to perform an action.
Quaint – unusual; old-fashioned; delightful; delicate; incomprehensible. From Latin cognitum, to ascertain.

Namaste –

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33 Whether my bark went down at sea

Written Autumn 1858, bound into Fascicle 3. Ah, the daily adventures of the mind and soul –

 

Whether my bark went down at sea –
Whether she met with gales –
Whether to isles enchanted
She bent her docile sails –

By what mystic mooring
She is held today –
This is the errand of the eye
Out opon the Bay.

[Emily Dickinson]

And, with practice, the eye becomes sharper, quicker. And the bark becomes increasingly resilient.

Sail bravely –

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19 So has a daisy vanished

Written summer 1858. You’ll see that Daisies recur throughout her poetry – she wrote a set of letters in which she referred to her self as Daisy. The symbolism runs deep! Enjoy –

So has a Daisy vanished
From the fields today –
So tiptoed many a slipper
To Paradise away –
Oozed so, in crimson bubbles
Day’s departing tide –
Blooming – tripping – flowing –
Are ye then with God?

[Emily DIckinson]

Gratitude and Love –

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17 It’s all I have to bring today

This lovely ditty was written in the summer of 1858. Ah, the moments when the heart is so full, it’s all there is –

 

 

It’s all I have to bring today
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – sh’d I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

[Emily Dickinson]

We are so enough. Let’s relish the fullness of life.

Love –

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beginning again

I’ve just taken a month off from writing. I had internal work to do – physical and emotional and spiritual healing, and I needed the freedom and the space to devote my full attention to this. I had thought that, upon beginning again, I would take my record here in a feminist direction – elucidating the female experience for the sake of everyone who doesn’t know what it’s like, to lend my voice to whatever the feminist movement is now, to share my story.

But then – well, I told my mother on the phone this morning that I had my equivalent of St. Paul’s revelation on the road to Damascus. For all intents and purposes, I saw the face of God. I’ll relate the full story in another post, but trust me when I say I was and even still am a bit reluctant. Because this all happened in a way that made the reality of God undeniable for me. And I’m not entirely comfortable with that.

 With this revelation, I’m motivated to revisit the Bible, to study Christian texts, to understand what exactly it means for me to believe in God. Now. Because my faith was everything to me until I was about 16, but now, truly, I’m starting anew.

What I know is this – for the last six and half years or so, I’ve been trying on Darkness. I threw my purity ring to the wind, engaged in all the debauchery the world has to offer, and had some truly sensational experiences [I’m literally writing novels]. All my lights were out in the summer of 2014, when I found myself unbearably depressed, isolated, and numb, spending 72 hours in a mental facility so I wouldn’t kill myself. This was the low point. I see it as my rock bottom – the moment when I realized if I spiraled any further I would extinguish my flame entirely and that I had no choice but to go up from there. Since then, I’ve been building, exploring, studying – practicing. Gradually awakening parts of my self I’d dulled or forgotten, gradually remembering who I was as a child, as a teenager – before all the pain, before all the darkness. I started practicing yoga daily, consciously eating healthy food, treating my body with respect – I started being kind to my self. And I started exploring spirituality.

I’ve made incredible friends who explore this as well, had myriad conversations about Buddhism, faith, meditation, religion, politics, the principles of right and wrong, the way the world works, what it is to be “cool,” – etc. And I found solace, comfort, solidarity with all these people who seem as lost as me. Who are curious, intelligent, awake to reality on some level, but left without viable options when it comes to spirituality. We each seem to form a syncretic cocktail of ideas and, comparing stories and philosophies with so many, I find that we’re all headed in a similar direction. We all want love and kindness and unity and acceptance – the very ideals Christianity supposedly purports. But I’ll be honest, not many people want to be associated with Christians. I certainly didn’t – the people who claimed to espouse my devout beliefs in high school were the very ones who ridiculed me. Even now, I’m reluctant. And I know I’m not the only one.

So, as I embark on this journey of figuring out what the hell it means to believe in God, to read the Bible, to potentially classify my self, once again, as a Christian – I figured I might as well publicly document it. I’ve had enough conversations with enough of my peers to know that other people are asking the same questions I am. This is for you. For me. For anyone who wonders what it means, now, in this century, in our present culture, to live. This is for the sake of love. Unity. Understanding. Hope. For Light.

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Love –

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