OBSERVING MY ILLUSION OF SHAME

OBSERVING MY ILLUSION OF SHAME

Why, I just observed

a stark feeling of shame

sneaking in through my front door,

snaking down the hallway,

slithering momentarily

before disappearing

in the blink of an eye.

Today I know

I am not that shame;

nowadays I observe

those deceptive gaps

when I feel smothered

by this familiar illusion—

an illusion I once thought

to be reality.

How deep are the

origins of my old dictums.

Their reverberations revisited

take me back into my

innocent and naïve years

of childhood.

Always trying harder

to be whatever

I should be, or ought

to be

(god knows

whatever that meant),

I did my best

to look good

and

do “the right thing,”

lest I loose my

ego-constructed

image (mirage?) of success

and well-being.

Sometimes I forget

that I am an Octogenarian.

And I place unnecessary

expectations on myself.

My physical energy

no longer parallels

those foregone younger years;

there is a definite sense

of loss and grief,

(or false guilt?)

which, misunderstood

and unattended consciously,

feigns to become shame.

Embracing my natural

and quite magnanimous

passage into impermanence,

I again embrace

my metamorphosis,

my transformation,

my passage

from youth to old age.

Turning the illusion of shame

into the reality of gratitude

is the meaning of this moment

and the heart of

this little exercise.

It’s a good thing

to wake up

again.

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda

September 24, 2015

DO I CHOOSE MY OWN VOICE?

DO I CHOOSE MY OWN VOICE?

 IMG_8186

It may take a lifetime

of energy

to liberate

one’s own voice,

one’s true vision,

one’s grounded pathway.

 

We scream our way

from eternity

into this tenuous sphere,

and most of us

scream our way

fast-forward

 into eternity.

“It is finished!”

 

How do we

attend the Voice

that confirms

what truly isn’t

and what

truly is?

 

What Voice

or voices

do we obey?

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MY CHOICES AND MY WELL

MY CHOICES AND MY WELL

IMG_3386This poem was born out of an experience I had flying through Damascus into Jordan in the mid-eighties.  I sat next to the Coptic Archbishop of Egypt, and during our conversation I asked his holiness, “What would you like most to say to the American people?” and he answered quite spontaneously, “Yes, please tell them to stop ‘helping” others; tell them to be present to others, to be with others in a most genuine way.”  

—————————————– 

From beginning to end,

It is my

soul work

and my

courageous choice—

And mine alone.

My growth and

my awareness

are my

responsibility.

I cannot depend

upon what’s outside

to accomplish

my inside journey.

 

Whether I am happy

Or unhappy,

Committed or confused,

Grateful or narcissistic,

forever dependent upon others

or

dedicated to

digging

and drinking

from

my own Well–

These are my choices

my burdens,

my opportunities.

 

No matter the circumstances,

no matter the consequences,

no matter the challenges–

It’s finally

up to me alone.

 

I have nothing

nor

no one “out there”

to blame.

No one else

can do my work

for me.

Thank you

for

not

“helping” me.

It doesn’t help.

 

Thank you

for

not

messing with

my destiny.

 

Thank you

for

honoring

my

suffering,

my

awakenings,

my

journey.

 

Thank you

for

believing

in

the essential

Me,

for encouraging

me into my

true potential.

 

I can,

I will,

I shall

draw

that Living Water

from

my

deep

well

within.

 

I

choose

now

to

pick up my

little pick and shovel

and

dig through

my hard rock

of shame

and my mucky shale

of blame.

I choose to

drink

the soul-refreshing

water

that bubbles up

from

my

deeply hidden

well.

 

 

–Hal Edwards–

January 23, 2013

Wauconda, IL