Warrior Three

when you were three
and your father knocked
your sister’s tiny body
off the bench
for an unknown something –
you already knew about justice
it was a fire in your belly
and on that day
it started burning

later
when the violence
trickled toward you
you knew what to do
tender to dogs and toads
climbing giant trees
picking wild flowers
burning with the freedom
of knowing differently

coming of age in
the brutality of patriarchy
Christian community hating
father berating
boys raping
the constant taking away
your potential waning
and even in that
seat of darkness
embers burning

and no one knew
the winding through
your gut inclination
the canny way
you held the light
how you knew
the great idea
that is you
and you
did not lose it

coming into
becoming a woman
distinguishing
the fire of injury
as action
as creation
as transformation
becoming woman
in your own vision
casting out the causeless
to an unconcealed you

no one knows the trek
you have taken
in your mind
to find
an even keel
or the courage
to rewire
to burn new
the script fed to you
the vigilance
the blistering friction
to hold the difference –
but you knew

then life comes
with another shove
your sister’s last breath
her last words
“not yet” –
that which has been
burning in you
turns to you, saying
“are you ready
to lose everything
for true love?”
and your “yes”
leaves you full
of emptiness
and starting again

no one witnessed
your willingness
to navigate
your shattered arteries
when grief consumed you –
but you let it burn you
so that when death came
you would acquiesce
with a soft “yes”
having lived
with true purpose
and real kindness
without – “not yet”

learning in a steadfast way
to harness the breath
the lioness
of the body intelligence
stalking and digesting
the disappointment
the self loathing
the bitterness
filling the emptiness
with light
ignited and valiant
charged with
the great idea
that is everything –
moving through you

the leaps
in your consciousness
are not visible
simply
staring at your earth body
but you know the difference
the thick shifts
from primal angst
toward more refined
impressions
you keep up
unnoticed –
lioness
keeper of the fire
warrior
bending the arm
of the universe
toward the just

ksage, 2016

A Manifesto

By way of recognition that the power lies in me to change the course of history and that I am the source of what is manifested in my own life and my community, I hereby resolve …

TO CHECK MY OWN HEAD – Every day, I will come to a space to meditate – whether it is communing with nature or sitting in silence or the conscious re-directing of my mental energy – every morning, every day – I make time be alone. I’m going to check my own head so I know where I begin and end in the infinite nature of things.

TO NURTURE MY RELATIONSHIPS – Every day, I will consider other people in relation to myself. I am going to do my best to act with kindness and consideration. I will take in the stories of strangers. I will maintain solid connections with the people I most trust and love. I will consider those in my life who are most isolated and offer what I can to help them to become more integrated. I am going to take the time to demonstrate gratitude and affection and bear loving witness to the people who are my kin and those I have not yet met.

TO PROTECT THE EARTH – I will respect the source of essential life-giving nourishment, air, and water – the planet that supports life. I will make choices daily that contribute to the recovery of our damaged environment by walking, biking, gardening, consuming in mindful and moderate ways, by recognizing the impact of each decision I make, by direct action if necessary – in reciprocity – in INNI – to protect and nurture the environment for generations to come.

TO CREATE MORE THAN I DESTROY – I recognize destruction as an essential element of creation, and that sometimes it is essential to break down old structures to make way for new. When necessary, I burn wood, but I have resolved to create more than I destroy – by planting flowers and foods that attract butterflies and bees, by repairing instead of replacing, by choreographing beautiful movement and writing visionary fiction, by creating space that supports others in healthy living. I am a creative and I will continue to be part of the force that urges us toward beauty and bliss.

TO ACT IN MEANINGFUL WAYS – To the extent I am able, I will keep my body healthy, limiting consumption of processed foods and other intoxicants. I will keep my mind sharp so that as each opportunity to act arises, I act from a conscience and clear place. I will take responsibility for myself, but remain aware that there are some among us who are not bothered with a conscience and may even harm willingly. I am vigilant and ready to act on another person’s behalf or my own. I will avoid violence by all means necessary, but remain strong in mind and body to protect myself and others from those who may be acting from a place of hate, fear, or willful ignorance.

TO HAVE ENOUGH – I am resourceful. I am able to meet my needs. I am more and more likely to let go of what I have that is not necessary, especially if it can be put to better use by someone else in my community. I recognize greed, especially its influence on me. I counter greed with generosity or by other means, if necessary. Not only is there enough for me, but there is enough for everybody – and peace on earth becomes increasingly a possibility.

TO REFLECT – Every day I will use my skills of critical thinking to reflect on my position and the way in which my thoughts manifest as action. I will read and take in information. I will take in ideas of other people. I will observe what has happened in the world. I listen to my intuition. I ask for counsel of people I trust. I maintain a code of ethics – all grist for my mill of discernment. I will refine my thinking, my position, my actions as I develop new insights that arise from a deeper-seeded intelligence.