~ structure ~


Sometimes, our life situations can feel precarious.

Like there are so few supports or threads holding them all together.

Try as we may to keep upright, to maintain the illusion that things are healthy and intact, sometimes we simply have to let them go.
We have to expose them, allow them to fall apart.

This can be painful and messy.
But once we realise we can no longer support the heaviness and weight of their current dysfunctional from, once we release them, there can be a great sense of relief and freedom.

When the old structures no longer serve us, it is time to start again.
We do not have to detonate our homes or destroy our relationships, but we may need to completely re-vision them or seriously renovate. This can take care, time and commitment – tough conversations, big decisions, frank honesty with yourself and others.

It can feel disarming, and we are not always guaranteed of a particular result. But living outside of our truth, outside of our integrity, is both overwhelming and exhausting.

The apparent hardship of starting again isn’t always true.
The energy we put into maintaining old, outdated structures is often times harder and more draining than creating something new.
It is normal to be fearful of making changes, but sometimes we just have to.

In each moment we are given opportunities to begin again – be it in the way we think, the way we speak, how we spend our time, or in what we do.

We can keep propping up our old structures and outdated habits and ways, hoping they hold out a bit longer, or we can choose to make the courageous changes to honour ourselves and what we really want and need.

We can begin again at anytime.
We can collapse the old and then search amongst the wreckage to salvage what is still good and useful.
There is always treasure to be found.

We can start again.
Our hearts will always show us how.

(C) Chandu Bickford 2019

~ our beloved ones ~

It is ending.

It is always ending – our life, the season, the moment, the day.
It leaves us, finishes so soon, moves on, passes away.

Or we do.
We choose a different route
or stop, stay still
and watch it’s sweet procession pass us by.

The skin, the blood, the breath
with which we were born
has long ago left, been replaced
replaced again
as we were ravaged, relished
reconstructed
and re-moved
from ourselves and the memories and milestones that no longer serve us, that no longer exist.

This constant recalibration keeps us safe, fresh, vital, alive.

We gather, we focus
for but a moment.
Make contact, gaze deeply into
the hearts, the eyes
in to the mirror
of ourselves or another.

We move so fast
past
the remnants of our relationships
the recognition and real moments of meaning
and often only stop and pause
when we are pierced
with deep pain
or are caught at a poignant place
too pleasurable to not pursue.

As the end of the year presses upon us
as we are permitted rest and provided with opportunities to reflect,
let us practice catching life’s precious moments with both hands.

May we snatch them off the shelves of our seemed ordinary existence and appreciate and share them with the ones we love.

May we spread them and their simple joy, before us like a banquet, and invite others to join with us and dine.

We each have a smorgasbord of sweet and sour stolen moments – they are made up of our decisions, our dramas and discernment.
They have been secreted into our hearts, tattooed and woven into the fine fabric of our lives.
They help us recreate ourselves.
Over time they become who we are – the new fibres of our very own DNA.

We are here at yet another ending.
Our year, this season slips away.
Let us savour its magic.
Let us sit with it and those we love, a little longer.

Let us say goodbye to what no longer serves us, without remorse, guilt or regret.

Let us pause between our thoughts and breaths and become very aware, very present.

And may we then present ourselves and our lives, with all our imperfections, as precious gifts to those we love.

May we offer up our true and loving hearts to the extended family we have created and formed – those with bonds beyond blood and birth.

The family that we choose – our friends, community and sisters of the heart – the ones that live beyond the endings.

And may we give thanks for the gift of them – our beloved ones.

The ones who have loved and stayed with us through all of our endings.
The ones who still believe in us,
who are willing to help birth all that we are yet to become.
The beloved ones who are part of our every new beginning
still waiting to be born.

(C) Chandu Bickford 2018

Artist credit – “The daughter of the daughter of the daughter” by Julie Dillon.

~ on dreams and waking ~

 

And awakening from deep sleep,
I wonder, which is the dream?

In the quiet of morning I reflect on the nights journey. My meetings with old faces and tours of familiar places. The hours spent with souls known and not.
Our dreamscapes, where shapes shift, change and rearrange themselves seamlessly, seem to only make sense only behind the softness of closed eyelids.

Now blinking awake, I come to this world, fresh at the start of the day. The possibilities found so easily in dreams seem suddenly limited, illogical and lumbered with both thought and fear.

As we slip between the planes of consciousness – be it in meditation, in process, in prayer – awake or asleep – we are gifted with glances into unknown aspects of ourselves.
Here we see and experience our connected self, our deepest belonging, our true being beyond mere birth.
In fear and forgetting, we can feel fragmented and tortured, lost, in the lonely, waking thoughts of ‘I’.

Each day and night, eyes closed or open, we merge with the greatness of a complex truth that transcends and challenges the training of our education-tamed minds.

We have been taught, that seeing is believing.

But in our hearts we know, that first we must believe…and then it can become real.

Our intuition tells us to move forward in faith, towards that which our hearts can conceive but often cannot see.
It tells us to keep our hope alive, despite our hardships and harrowing life circumstances.
We struggle and ask – do I listen to my heart or my head?

We are gifted with giant brains.
Our intellect is capable of great problem solving and creations, and yet we are distracted or dulled by the sedatives of screens, prescriptions and shopping.

On the surface, our cart is full, but underneath our hearts are empty…haemorrhaging.

This modern day malady can create inertia and despair.
Or it can refuel our commitment and inspire us to look for depth and connection beyond what we can easily see.

When my heart is heavy, when I find it hard to discern between the waking and the dream, I hear a call from deep inside me, a part of my self that knows what is best.
She says to me.

‘Go outside my friend.
Look for something real, something alive and living.
And touch it.
Not just with your hands.
Touch it, hold it, honour it with the sacred kernel of your deepest attention.

Be not distracted or seduced by the trappings of your fleeting thoughts or feelings.
They run like endless films across the screen of your short and simple life.
They will confuse you, confound you, creep into your being and convince you they are real.

Step back.
Slow down.
Breathe in the brilliance of the morning. Let the birdsong bathe your soul in its beauty.
Welcome the freshness of day without the fragmentation of newsfeeds and yesterday’s fears.

Be not afraid to open your heart to the wonder of what is quietly on offer.
The trees, the streams, the sunshine and clouds will be your friends when all else is gone.

Trust them.
Trust yourself.
To reconnect.
To listen deeply to their truth.
Your truth.
Trust that you will always know what you need…
to lead your sweet self, home.’

(C) Chandu Bickford 2019

Art by Vasil Woodland – Heavenly Canoe

~ on giving and gifts ~

Today I am sitting with the awareness of endings.
With the feeling of finishing.
With the truth of completions.

Our calendar year comes to a close.
Solstice is but a breath away – the longest and shortest day and night, draw nigh.
It provides a place for natural pause and reflection.
A sacred space to stop, to bring our awareness back to the ever gracious moment.
It invites us to suck a long, slow breath of sweet life into our lungs. To hold it, relish it, appreciate it for the gift it is, it gives.
And then to exhale any tension, worry and pain we may have accumulated, created or carry in our bodies and our hearts.

These precious moments can be lost beneath the rush, the crush of commitments and holiday expectations. They can be swallowed by the swirl and frenzy of ‘snapping up bargains’ and seizing last minute ‘stocking stuffers’.
We can easily lose ourselves in the fast-flowing stream of sales, celebration and sensationalism.

This year I am choosing to do it differently.

There will be gifts and gatherings.
And there will also be time for many gentle breaths.
Times to reflect on the greater gifts I have received throughout the year and in my life so far.
Time to appreciate, to be grateful for those that I am graced with every day – my family, my friends, my health, my life.

For I am watching – with wonder, awe and much pain – others who are ageing, unwell and passing over.
Those for whom the simplicity of breath, the gift of comfort or sleep is not a given, nor at times, even possible.
Others are facing major family upheaval, financial burdens and fear for their fragile and uncertain futures.

If we have not already visited these places in our lives, a time will come when we too are tested and tossed into the deep waters of hardship and loss.
No amount of Botox or insurance will save us from the inevitable onslaught of time and it’s truth.

Where ever we sit in the world, whether it is with the searing heat and sultry summer storms or tucked away in the quiet, still cocoon of winter, may we stop for just a few moments and give thanks.

May we be grateful for all the gifts and great things that already exist in our lives.
May we pause and appreciate all the problems that we don’t have.
And may we extend some kindness – of heart and of action – to those who are experiencing hardship, fear, grief and loss at this time.

For regardless of our beliefs, backgrounds, behaviours or bank accounts, we can all, always, use a little extra love.

(C) Chandu Bickford


Artist credit Bibbie Friman

~ allowing ~


I am watching the children play.
Tears are forming.
I am hearing their laughter from a distance, though they are right in front of me.
We are together and yet a cosmos apart.

They are free, fully in their childhood, their innocence.
Alive, vibrant, full of vitality.
I am a witness, marvelling at their simple magnificence, at the brilliance of their natural, unhindered embodiment.

Tears well and gather in pools behind my lashes. They gently begin to flow.
By the end of each year I am a vessel too small to contain the bigness of my emotions.
They burst out in spontaneous bouts of laughter, become snappy dance moves in supermarket aisles, they sometimes seep down my cheeks in rivulets of un-stoppable tears.

By the end of each year, regardless of my self-care and soul-supporting practices, I am exhausted.
My peers and my observation of others, tell me I’m not alone.

Being this honest could feel like an admission of failure.
But if being truthful means I’ve failed by modern day standards, then I’m happy to be at the bottom of the class.
It feels more important for me to be real, than be right.

And as for truth, I am continually discovering it is never just one thing.
It is an amalgam, a mixed bag of many.
Paradoxes, ironies, dichotomies.
I lean into them all, accepting them and me as we are – transient, tremendous, tired.

At the end of this year I find I am fiercely proud of my professional work, my passionate support of myriad programs and feeling more than ever, deeply privileged to be a parent.

I am also pooped.

I have taken and enjoyed real times of rest and relaxation.
And I have also been so revved up by life’s fast pace, that at times I’ve found it hard to slow down.
I have been graced and given to and received so fully in the spirited dance of divine flow.
And I have also occasionally had to lock down my feelings and sensitive heart to simply get on with the daily tasks required of me.

My truth tells me, I am vulnerable, versatile and so very tough.
I can plough forward like an army tank yet still feel the blessing and tender touch of dewy grass. I am gracious in my morning rush out the door. I am a queen as I do the dishes at night.

I think back to the years I moved across our planet without money or home. When I lived way outside the comforts, confines and structures of our western life.
Times spent surrendered to the seasons, deeply connected to our earth. Time immersed, devoted to simplicity, trust and deep truth.

No one is more surprised than me to find me back here.
In a place where we are expected to function and thrive inside a system that demands perfection but never allows it.
To provide quality services in spite of impossible standards.
To try to stand sovereign in a world that prefers similarity and submission.
But here I am. We are.
This is a truth.

I am stopped, separated from it all now as I sit and fully immerse myself in the children’s joyful antics.
My tears are streaming and I’m letting them wash over me.
They carry in them the cellular memory of the all the pain and excitement, the tremendous fear and love I felt when my womb opened and allowed these big-eyed, brilliant creatures into the world.
They carry in them the years and seemed lifetimes of licking ice cream off noses, cooling fevered brows, cradling their once tiny forms through their own cries and fears.
My tears do not remove any struggles of times passed, but by bringing them to the surface, allowing them, these memories and feelings are softened, surrendered and soaked with a spirit of gratitude for the simple, sweet life from which they were born.

I know for so many of us it has been another year of stretching into new territory, sacrificing our time and energy, surrendering to a path with no guarantees.
We know, regardless of our struggles, It has been worth it.
That it is a great privilege.

One beyond my dear friend who lies now in her palliative care bed.

I sit in the playground, holding her heart in mine as our combined and overwhelming sorrow and gratitude courses down my cheeks.
She will not know the ending of a year beyond this one.
I hold her precious truth close as she leans in and courageously let’s go of a life that I still have the chance to live.

I look around.
On the faces of other adults I see strain and also smiles. I see weariness and moments of sweet wonder. I see fatigue and an overarching sense of family, community and fun.
We are humans, experiencing life in all its forms.
We don’t give up.
We give over, to the reality of life – to it’s endless emotional and energetic shifts.

We enjoy and we endure.
And sometimes we arrive at a place beyond them both – into the sacred space of equanimity.
Where we remember that none of it really matters.
Where we give ourselves over to something greater than ourselves.
True allowing.
Acceptance.
Grace.

The children whoop and play.
My heart is opening, breaking in another of its infinite ways.
Who would have thought it could hold so much?
Who would have known it grows like a great tree inside my chest – roots reaching deep into my being, branches bursting beyond me to the sky?

My tears are gushing now. My nose drips.
I am quiet, settled into the sensation of their release.
Some parents shoot me concerned glances.
Slide over to where I am.
Enquire.

I have no words to adequately explain.
I don’t want to try.

Like our rambunctious children could not otherwise express the fun and sweetness of their togetherness, I cannot share my own mix of pride, pain and personal euphoria at simply being here, at being part of this great play called life.

My tears are no different to their laughter.
An expression of truth. My truth.
My own sweet moment of freedom.
I let them fall.
Unhindered, rejoicing
I allow it all.

 

(c) Chandu Bickford 2018

~ the call ~

You know it.

You know you know it.
You have never known anything more fully  in your life.

You know it is real.
That this is really yours – because all your cells are singing.
Shrieking.
Your insides are aflame.
Humming.
Hungry.

Beneath your thundering heart, you are trembling.
A tender, new, hope-full part of you is coming alive, is opening… swells.

You have not fallen under a spell.
You have never felt more clear.
More assured.
In this moment you know that anything is possible.
That these opportunities are perfect, have been created just for you.
You see it, you know – that you are the magic and the magician.
Both the master and the maker of this, your destiny.

And you are sure. So sure.
That this is yours.
That you will make it, take it.
That this is the very thing you have been waiting for – the sign, the opening, the chance.
You are ready.
Willing. Able.
You want it so bad.
And you will do anything to make it happen.

Until you don’t.

Something happens.
An invisible veil falls across your face.
The certainty that you felt only seconds before is slipping away.
It has all become too scary.
It suddenly seems so out of reach.

What was a definite is now an impossible.
Your ideas seem delusional.
Down-right dumb.

Embarrassed by your boldness, your eagerness, and excitement, by your believing this to be true, you step in and start to shame yourself.
Shoulders slump.
Hope slips away.
You tell yourself…
‘It was a dream.
A silly idea.
How could I deserve such a thing?
Who am I to even to dare??’

Doubt overrides.
Dullness and despair descend.
Your hope-fuelled heart falters, fails.
You begin to give up – before you even begin.

Be it a lover, a new project, career move or friend, after the enormous euphoria of our initial ‘YES’, our mind swoops in with evidence stacked for all the reasons it should now be a ‘No’.

Our inner pendulum swings like a wild monkey – from the definitive and defiant, to that of our greatest doubt.
And soon after, a long, slow tug-of-war begins.

We dance between our desire and our doubt.
We baulk at making the courageous choice to turn towards our dreams. We slide into distraction, self-flagellation, procrastination or like a coward, silently, slink away – from our longings, from our deepest desire, from our secret, most treasured truths.

Yet hidden between the drama of our highly reactive yes and no, lies a quiet and tender space – called rest.

Here we find the gentle cusp where the great leap made by our intuitive heart can sit quietly and catch her breath. A space where she can wait patiently for our human head to catch up.

Here, in this sacred in-between space, we can witness the dance of spirit, wisdom and divinity swirl and sort out all the details.

Here, if we are aware, and willing, we can step aside and watch the wonder of our brain, our heart and deep intuitive nature, do battle.

And we can watch all of them win.
For each has their own genius, their own innate intelligence.
They can lead us with their mastery, towards a place of understanding, of courageous choice, decisive action and higher love.

We can rest in this place and allow our great dreams and aspirations to be assimilated, absorbed, attuned.
Here, we can gather that which we already know and also wait for new information to integrate and appear.

Here we can sift, sort and surrender our small ideas to our higher purpose, we can utilise the treasure of deep listening for ourselves, and attune our hearts to the call.

It can be easy to become distracted, to fracture our tender dreams by folding to our initial overwhelming fears.

That first bold ‘Yes’ is often exactly right, but we need time to adjust our vision, our awareness and capabilities to adapt to its huge new size.

Give yourself time to rest, to stretch and grow into a new idea.

Ask for help if you need it – from someone you can trust. From someone who sees your greatness and will reflect it back to you. Someone who knows you can do it. And that you deserve to.

And most of all, trust yourself.

For the call doesn’t come often.
It is a gift.
Listen for it.
Learn to say Yes, with both the big and small parts of your heart.

And be ready.
For in those moments when we surrender – when we say Yes to all that we wish and all that we are – Grace has a way, of making it happen…in ways far greater, and with more ease and more blessing, than we ever could have imagined.

Even if it’s a whisper….say yes.

(C) Chandu Bickford 

~ on endings ~

Endings can be bitter and unclean they can feel final
yet their residue can linger
little fingers playing
fraying
eroding the fragile remnants
of a friendship, a family
or our long-hoped for dreams

Endings can be dramatic
full of the fire of destruction
damaging
devastating
destroying the delicate tendrils
of any love that once was
or a love that could
maybe should
despite it all
remain

Endings can be cautious
can take their time
and yours
weeks, months, years
pain, anguish, tears
gingerly stepping up to and away
from an edge that feels too sharp
too high
too hard
to face
a holding back
a resisting
of that one last embrace

Endings can be messy
a stumble, slur
a drunken dance
a trance
intoxicated
by our own uncharted emotions
seduced
by our sweet strangled truth
we carelessly drop the past and stretch forward
severing, tearing apart the boundaries of our lives
our hearts
as we try to start
anew

Endings
can be smooth
benign
a mutual agreement
merely to sign
a simple slipping away
from the sanctity
the sacredness
of another stage
another play
yet full of honour and
self-respect
a simple surrender
to a naturally changing state
and moving forward
with gifts we both cherish and
remember

But most endings
come with some sadness and pain
the growing, awkward challenges of loss and gain
the pin-pricks and punctures
the paralysis and purge
as pasts are let go
and too
our needing to control
to know
as patterns reconfigure
as hopes are unhinged
as our hearts are handed over like house keys
we are eventually
from its chains
exquisitely released

Our endings
un-ended
not intended
are some times full of rage
or heavy with shame
though no one is often
really to blame
the fullness of feelings
hidden, stuffed beneath the mat
buried treasure not bought back
from the peddler of time

they can become our
smudged, rough-handled
tattoos
the indelible ache
of all our taboos
distorted
wrinkling
memories collapsing upon themselves
as we age

Endings
are simply beginnings
in another
sometimes more complicated form
they offer up a necessary pause
a place to sit, reflect and rest
before we move forward

as we let go of the old
so we allow in the new
let us do so with kindness
with grace and
love too

(C) Chandu Bickford 2018

 

 

 

 

 

~ on courage ~

Courage
and acts of courage
are not always loud or bold.
They are often small decisions, seemed simple choices –
to think, say or do something differently.
To challenge ourselves
to face down a fear
to forgo an unhealthy habit
to forgive, let go and move on.

Courage is about making continual choices –
to follow our heart
to do the right thing
to believe in ourselves and our dreams.

Courage is not a one-off event.
It is a daily consideration.
An everyday effort.
Moment by moment.
Step by step.
One big breath in, followed by another.

When things are changing or unstable we need more courage.
When we are wanting to create change, courage is the constant reservoir from which we draw.


Courage is not just a ‘Yes’ to what we do want.
It can also be a strong and clear, ‘No’.
To that which no longer serves us.
To what is unacceptable. Not ok.

Courage, comes in many forms.
It can be silence or shouting.
Movement or stillness.
Action or inaction.


It is often found in the steely, unspoken determination of ordinary people – people who have extraordinary stamina and extraordinary dreams.

Look for it around you.
Seek out the souls who strive beyond their suffering.
Be a witness to the wonder beyond our wounding.
Hunt for everyday heroes.
And observe the courageous hearts of others out there in the world.
May they inspire and en-courage you
to follow your own.

 

(C) Chandu Bickford 2018
Artist – Duy Huynh Art

~ these hands ~

~ these hands ~

I spent the day in the garden.
A day close to nature is always a day of coming home to myself.

But beyond the outer signs of broken nails and blisters, sits a softer, simpler awareness.
An unspoken intimacy.
For as I tend my garden, I tend my heart.

I breathe.
My body lifts, shifts and bends.
My hands clasp, grasp, release.
Sacred movements, simple acts of reverence.

As I chop, prune, mulch and mow, as I move through sunshine and shadow, as I sweat and feel the cool kiss of the sweet spring breeze, I reflect back on the many and varied seasons of my life.

I look at my hands and feel grateful – even though they are grubby and sore – these hands say and do more than my words ever will.

These hands.

Have stroked the faces of the dying. Have held a newborn as his mother continued to bleed.
Have slowly caressed the body of my beloved.
Have peeled potatoes, chopped the onions, shelled the peas.

These hands have stopped the busy highway traffic, as I’ve helped victims flee from crumpled cars.
Have with trembling fingers dialled emergency numbers, desperate for help, but with a terrified and broken heart.

These hands have shaved the chins of elderly men, warmly washed the bodies of the frail and of the aged.
Have painted landscapes in the sparkling morning sunlight, have released healed birds from inside their cage.

They’ve scrubbed floors and stairs, straightened tangled hair, rubbed shoulders, created puppet shows.
They’ve clawed the backs of lovers, slipped out from under covers, to wipe many a runny nose.

These hands have clung tight to runaway toddlers, stirred soup and curries, slipped on stockings and high heeled shoes.
They’ve scooped up a slippery newborn from between my legs, and deftly delivered my own placenta, while shoo-ing others from the room.

These hands have washed clothes in African rivers, wrung and slapped them hard against ancient stones.
They’ve cut grass, planted seeds, sewn buttons, fought disease with medicinal rubs I’ve bought from wrinkled Indian crones.

These hands have cradled my sleeping daughters, they’ve been wrung and clasped in prayer.
They have frosted cakes, mended gates and applied makeup with great care.

These hands have washed countless dishes, lit fires, candles, incense, and written letters by the score.
They have wiped tears, passed tissues, beaten drums and made pickles, opened and closed so, so many doors.

They’ve been clenched in fists and pounded into pillows when emotions too strong have stayed.
These hands have shaken with fear, when danger has been near and all my courage seemed to have strayed.

These hands have crafted endless feelings into words and verse, they have written so many poems and songs.
These hands have reached out to others, when no language was able to tell them that they simply and naturally, belong.

They juggle and gesture the myriad words that my mouth finds just too hard to say.
My hands touch, create and do the huge work of my heart, out for me in this world every day.

 

(c) Chandu Bickford 2018

~ polarity ~

She is standing.
Deep in thought, still caught in the complexities of the day.
Beneath her clothes, she wears her body armour like an invisible skin.
It is dented and damaged from the blows it’s taken throughout the week, throughout its lifetime of use.
It is not exactly comfortable, but it’s so familiar she often forgets it’s there.
It has become a habit, a companion – slightly restrictive but reassuring. It has also become a tool to protect her from being bombarded at work, a friend to help her bear the harrowing tales of the nightly news. It’s become a buddy to help her battle her way through her endless busy schedule and someone to walk her home at night when she’s tired and her guard is down.

She is standing.
She feels a heaviness inside her body. It is subtle, familiar.
She thinks maybe she’s just tired.
And she is – tired of managing the myriad tasks of money and motherhood. Tired of maintaining a soft and open heart in an often, hard world.

But the heaviness is more than that.
It starts at the top of her head and drips down, slipping over her curves and flowing with gravity towards the ground.
She moves her attention through her body.
There are aches and general weariness, bits of her that hurt. But there are other parts that have no feeling at all – some bits that seem completely numb.
She moves a little, restless, trying to shake awake the blank spaces – the places in her body that have forgotten how to feel.

She remembers times of feeling vibrant, vital, trusting and alive. Was it really that long ago?
She moves to put on some music.
Loosens her hair, her shoulders.
She begins to release the woman within.

She rarely shows herself to others.
And although the world sees her ability, her skills, her deep, heart-felt care, there are some parts of her that are almost never felt, never seen, never shared.

She is standing.
The music begins to slowly penetrate her.
She begins to drop the damage of the day, to feel at ease.
She can now, come out of hiding.
Slowly, as if awakening from sleep, she stretches, and makes a long, deep exhale.

 

He is standing.
Watching.
He has been waiting for this.
For her to arrive.
He feels an inner shift in his own awareness. A new alertness rises in him.
Silently he acknowledges,
I am here.

He stands back, observing her.
He knows her heart.
How it is hardened by her daily battles.
He knows the demands of her life and the even higher demands she places upon herself.
He knows she needs time – to reset, to return to herself and reclaim her space and sanity after giving so much.
He knows sometimes she has nothing left give.

So he asks for nothing.
Instead he slips seamlessly between her and her tasks, between her and her thoughts.
As a man, he slides into action, he steps quietly in and around her.
He silently supports.

Unconsciously, she responds, relaxes, receives him and his simple gifts – the dishes done, the children settled, the bright lights of the house now dimmed.

He can see her standing.
Standing still.
How long has she been like that? Holding herself upright, brave, braced?

He knows it is time for her to rest.
To soften. To lean on and into him.
He has already relaxed himself, worked to become present and cleared away his own daily debris.
He is ready to offer her the space and holding she needs.

He wants to invite her to him, but he knows he must be respectful, full of care.
If he expects anything in return, if she senses he wants something from her, she might freeze, harden against him.
He will lose her again. He will lose this chance for deep connection.
They will both become lost.

So he checks his own heart.
He feels his deep love for her, and also, for himself.
He knows between them an ancient dance of polarity is playing out.
That the divine is daring them both to show up, be completely open and true.

The music plays.
He walks slowly towards her.
He stops close enough so she can sense him behind her, but not near enough to touch.
He is letting her know,
I am here.

His proximity offers her a choice.
A choice to turn towards his heart and her own, or to turn away.

He knows that as a woman her choices are sometimes limited, are often made for her.
He knows this makes her feel disempowered, disregarded, and deeply enraged.
He knows she can project these feelings onto him in times of despair. He knows he is sometimes deserving of them.

He is a man.
He understands why she is wary, why she’s so f*cking mad at men right now.
But he is her man.
He’s not perfect but he’s trying. He’s showing up.

He wants to be there for her, as a man, in ways that will restore her faith in him, their relationship and connection. In ways that will restore her faith in the world at large.
He knows together they are stronger, better.
He trusts together, they can make it through.

They are standing.
The tension builds.
He is inches from her.
He holds the space.
Steady.
Welcoming. Strong.

She is fighting with her inner demons.
Her fatigue. Her rage.
Her deep inner desire to be independent and free.

He meets her with his silence.
Allowing her process.
Knowing she needs more time.
He knows sometimes he is unavailable, aloof, distant.
He wants to change that. Is working to be more present, open, real.

He is unmoving.
He stays.

She is standing.
The music plays.
It softens that silent, sacred place in her.
The place of knowing without a name.
The place that she has known her whole life but has never fully claimed.

It is a place far beyond all her anger, her fear, her wounding.
It lives beyond her lifetimes of endless longing…to be heard, to be held, to fully love, to deeply trust.

An ancient grief arises and lodges in her throat. She fights it for a moment, then remembers to breathe, to stay with it, allow it, let it be.

Then slowly she succumbs to its truth.
Her truth.
Her deep longing. Her intimate feminine truth – to be touched, to be seen, to be treasured and met.
By him.
By him in all his flawed and gracious masculinity.

She has waited for this moment.
One of so many they have shared.
Another sacred surrendering of her heart.
She is scared.
So open, vulnerable.

And so is he.
Rejection lingers, looms.

They stand.
A breath apart.
Hearts throbbing.
Wanting.
Needing.
And also, ready to flee.

He finds his resolve. Claims his space.

Unspeaking he says,
I am here.

She knows.

She knows she can choose to deny it all. Him.
Again.
Or simply dive in.

He has to show her his commitment.
She needs him to.
He steps closer.
So close.
I am here.

His body heat melts through her armour.
It drops and slides to the floor.

She is standing.
Naked now.
Tenderly, he whispers,
I am here.

She knows.
She has always known.

Leaning back into him.
They both come home.

 

 

(c)  Chandu Bickford Oct 2018