Beauty is the Messenger

Beauty is a messenger
Calling love out from forgotten places
Hidden by worry and fear,
And misplaced under the illusion of scarcity.

War, pain and conflict are all too evident
Between border towns, strangers and commuters.
But love grows exponentially faster.
It is the speed of light.

So, kindness reaches its destination
Infinitely faster than the time it takes
For the heaviness of cruelty
To chafe across toughened skin.

Beauty is a messenger
Waking up the sense of wonder,
Rounding up our wholeness into connection beyond ourselves
And increasing our capacity for limitless love.

Beauty is the messenger
Proving the incompatibility
Of splendor and malice;
Showing simply by example…

What is possible.

Poem by Deb Rodney, from Beauty is the Messenger

Poem for Mother

Mother Jane with my late brother, Richard

Contemplating this poem by David Whyte this morning on Mother’s Day and how I wouldn’t be the person, the woman, the healer, or the artist that I am had she lived. Her death twenty-one years ago and my grief broke me open to “a larger sea,” to quote Whyte. (Read my story by clicking here) He writes, “The most difficult griefs/ones in which we slowly open/to a larger sea, a grander/ sweep that washes/all our elements apart.” For me, this a profound grief that washes away separateness and egoic striving while opening our hearts to compassion and love in service to the greater good. Something I believe that we are all being called to do during this collective dark night of the soul. It took over a decade for me to experience the possibility of “exultation” that the poem also speaks to and I continue to give myself permission to experience joy even amidst my pain for the living Earth–the Mother of us all–that is being assaulted daily by greed and the illusion that more stuff will make us happy. Does it really? Or is the source of our happiness grounded in love, community, belonging, and purpose and for me also beauty, art, creativity. Something to think about as we celebrate, mourn, and remember our mothers. May all beings love and be loved.

The Shell

-David Whyte

An open sandy shell

on the beach

empty but beautiful

like a memory

of a protected previous self.

The most difficult griefs

ones in which

we slowly open

to a larger sea, a grander

sweep that washes

all our elements apart.

So strange the way

we are larger

in grief

than we imagined

we deserved or could claim

and when loss floods

into us

like the long darkness it is

and the old nurtured hope

is drowned again

even stranger then

at the edge of the sea

to feel the hand of the wind

laid on our shoulder

reminding us

how death grants

a fierce and fallen freedom

Away from the prison

of a constant

and continued presence,

how in the end

those who have left us

might no longer need us

with all our tears

and our much needed

measures of loss

and that their own death

is as personal

and private

as that life of theirs

which you never really knew,

and another disturbing thing,

that exultation

is possible

without them.

And they for themselves

in fact

are glad to have let go

of all the stasis

and the enclosure

and the need for them to live

like some prisoner

that you only wanted

to remain incurious

and happy in your love

never looking for the key

never wanting to

turn the lock and walk


like the wind

unneedful of you,




So Much is in Bud

From my April Newsletter.

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To borrow from the poet Denise Levertov, “so much is in bud” as we journey further into the season of Spring. The garden is bursting with new growth and on a global scale, we are witnessing the death of old structures in preparation for giving birth to new ways of being in relationship to the other, the earth, and the Divine. Like so many of us, I feel this energy intensely and it has been organically coming forward through my artwork. The sculpture shown here, MotherEarth (part human, part tree) is the second in my maiden/mother/crone series and is nearly complete. The womb in the back spontaneously emerged much like the womb/fetus in the “Creation Illumination” that I shared with you last month (you can view the painting below). On Saturday night, in honor of Earth Day, I also attended the seasonal sweat lodge ceremony at my spiritual community, People of the Heart. It was powerfully symbolic as it occurred on the day between crucifixion and resurrection during the Easter holy days. Entering into the womb of the mother earth, I let go of old wounds that needed to die in order that I can birth anew–trust, vulnerability, and JOY amidst these challenging albeit evolutionary times.

I find it fascinating that the word Easter originates from Astarte, the Greek goddess of fertility and sexuality (she is also appears throughout the ancient world in my other forms as well). Hence the bunny rabbits and eggs during the holiday festivities. This time of year does usher in a fecundity, a ripening energy that is the life force that feeds new growth, communion with the beloved, and our creativity. This time also coincides with the Celtic celebration of Beltane on May 1, the half way point between spring equinox and summer solstice, wherein the ritual mating of god and goddess was celebrated in ancient times. In other words, a marriage of the masculine and feminine, similar to what is being born collectively through us in our own time. As an interfaith spiritual artist and practitioner, I honor all paths to the Divine and believe that no matter who/what we choose to worship–Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, or a Tree, we are all interconnected in the web of Creation. My work is in discovering the common threads between our religious traditions and with those of our earth-honoring ancestors, so that all beings may come to realize we are indeed all One. To read more, click here.

You might want to ask yourself what needs to die within you in order to give birth to that which is most essential or what unique gift is yours to bring forward that the world needs now? If you would like to share that with me, I’d love to hear from you as always.

May the beauty of the season be with you and may the muses guide you in your blooming creativity!

For love of the EARTH!



-Denise Levertov

From too much love of living,

Hope and desire set free,

Even the weariest river

Winds somewhere to the sea-‘

But we have only begun

to love the earth.

We have only begun

to imagine the fullness of life.

How could we tire of hope?

-so much is in bud.

How can desire fail?

-we have only begun

to imagine justice and mercy,

only begun to envision

how it might be

to live as siblings with beast and flower,

not as oppressors.

Surely our river

cannot already be hastening

into the sea of nonbeing?

Surely it cannot

drag, in the silt,

all that is innocent?

Not yet, not yet-

there is too much broken

that must be mended,

too much hurt we have done to each other

that cannot yet be forgiven.

We have only begun to know

the power that is in us if we would join

our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must

complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.