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Journal/Coast to Coast—Day 3

Journal/ Coast to Coast—Day 3

Date: August 24th, 2017

THIS day…I Raise my head—
I see,
AND am filled with Blessings…

One extraordinary kaleidoscope of hidden treasures bursts open the ‘chest’ tucked in every corner of a terrain etched out~~~

An invitation heralds like a letter addressed—“this might be the way you follow.”  This after this gentle ‘prophet’ prepared a banquet, holy communion, to sustain my companion and me on the path unplanned this day.

We set out to complete the loop~~~a seven mile stretch began at the marker C2C— #000.  Before our arrival at the Irish Sea, we spotted a messenger, St Bega a young girl who at age 12—ran away from home.  Her father, a king, but she would not subject herself to an arranged marriage.  She sailed away arriving here, living as a hermit.  Already I AM ‘captured,’ and set free in this place.  She left her ring band behind~~~she lived her life doing good things for people.  She held a vision~~~
the mother presenting her the Christ child and she sought to create a nunnery.  We entered the priory—we entered the garden…we beheld The Mother, her children all around her and in her arms a little one rested.  I experienced deep peace and I  heard a voice—a woman entered the garden and said, “You can enter the church~~~it is beautiful.”  Steps led to the west entrance. It was like passing through a halo..

Inside…the kaleidoscope danced in every direction~~~symbols painted, quilted, etched, carved~~~my eyes bounced in between. Tears held within washed me in mystery beyond words.  I was wrapped in the ARMS of the Mother…and in the arms of ALL the significant women in my life~~~alive today and those who have made their way.  They filled my spirit NOW birthing a joy bursting as if from a cocoon.  My wings—drying as they prepared for flight.

Just then—Mary arrived.  Mary~~~the keeper of the plants swayed into the Chapel extending “Welcome”~~~offering invitations for sweet communion.  She revealed herself, her lovely weavings adorn the altar AND the simplicity of her Christ presence filled the room…
She was love.

The kaleidoscope of her being set us off in the direction of the sea…our boots blessed in the roaring waves as they raced to the shore…stones gathered to carry us to Robin Hood’s Bay~~~ our ending.  We’ve begun, BUT truly will our ending BECOME, once again, a beginning?

Our soles kissed the trail…a union grounded in ‘being.’  Here the kaleidoscope exploded~~~colors deep beneath the surface pushed through creating an endless green comforter.  To our left, a comforter of blue in an array of hues sparkled in the sun until soft drops of rain dabbed the canvas beneath our feet.

A light house greeted us as we made our ascent…its very ‘presence’ lifted us, our steps renewed and we walked as if we were in flight…were we flying?  We slid along the cliff sides.  In silent wonder, we held the sounds of the surf countless feet below.  Yellow fields of wheat to our right~~~liquid gold.  In my mind’s eye, I leaped plunging into a sea of grains~~~their seeds…the life they shall offer I AM fed and, though it is not a food consumed, I am filled with nature’s nurturing, life-giving resurrection encounters.

Making our way off the trail, we turned back for St Bees…a train track running parallel to our left side.  We walked amongst sheep, cattle, forest trees, tall grasses, wet bogs, and angels disguised as clouds.  The sun began her descent as we made our way back to our ‘beginnings’—

I write, I whisper, “GOOD NIGHT.”  I almost wish I could erase the line hoping THIS day would never end.  We were asked to find the kissing gate.  We never did, or did we?  I feel like I have been kissed by Heaven and endlessly reminded—“SIMPLY RECEIVE!”

 

Sketch of Myself/ “From the Beginning…All IS Good”

Sketch of Myself/ “From the Beginning…All IS Good”                                                                                   In Memory of Richard ‘Dick’ Glater
                                     (September 20th, 1941—January 9th, 2018)

Inspired by Walt Whitman’s Poem “Song of Myself”
Pen Sketch by Artist Sandra Mattucci

Journal/Coast to Coast—Day 2

Journal/Coast to Coast—Day 2

Date: August 23rd Arrival in St Bees Time kept ticking—flying through the night…hours passed—the minutes thread themselves into seconds and on August 23rd, 2017 our descent was made into London.

A distance from our immediate view, Big Ben stood erect~~~a time piece echoing the hours until NOW.  The clanging bell (for a first time) STOPPED…moments seem lifeless.  But, am I more ALIVE in its present-present not ‘clanging’ to time?

I have toyed with this piece…this piece of time—dictating when we should arrive, what time to begin. Time, time, time does not mark the beats of my heart.

My gaze holds the changing patterns before my eyes…my lids wish to close, but a train (the train I am on) slips its way through the green misty country side.  Sheep graze in the fields, bright luminous purple flora laces itself in the grasses. Small shafts of light break the clouds for a splinter of a moment AND, at this ‘time,’ I am held in silence.  So many, the scenes of my life, flash in front of me directing me to where I am and preparing me and my kindred companion for St. Bees and the Indian Sea. Our first steps will begin on Friday—tomorrow, not yet come and like time unheard, I will not rush to fill in the lines waiting to be written.  I will allow the clanging/ceaseless bell in the capsule of THIS temple—time to rest.

Like Ben, I’ll refrain from making any sound and hear the song whose notes make NO sound yet carry a vibration guiding a way that will be followed in a path charted, often unmarked, destined with unfamiliarity yet welcoming us home.

 

 

A Path Shared…(A Journal) Coast to Coast (C2C)

     The brilliance of a ‘shared’ walk across England (Coast to Coast/August 22-September 14th, 2017), remains like a golden nugget tucked within the heart of a mountain and the valleys of my being’s terrain.

Months ago, I and a fellow Sojourner, traversed this stimulating landscape.  In words, I attempted to capture the daily encounters…the ‘ones’ putting flesh on my soul.

The memories now in the mansions of my dwelling—they are golden gems.  For the next twenty one Mondays I will share some ‘light’ that radiated from the pages of my journal and snapshots that captured my heart.

Welcome to C2C…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                      

                                   A Path Shared…(A Journal) Coast to Coast (C2C)

Day 1

The date: August 22, 2017

   “I live my life in widening circles
                                                that reach out across the world.
                                               I may not complete this last one
                                                     but I give myself to it.

                                   I circle around God, around the primordial tower,
                                          I’ve been circling for thousands of years
                                            and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
                                                   a storm, or a great song?”

                                                     ~Ranier Maria Rilke~

Yesterday, the day before departing for a journey, a trek, the circle of the sun was overshadowed by the moon. (An eclipse)  The landscape’s horizon grew dim, the birds flew without a song—sparrows dipped in the earth causing the dust to rise and coat their feathers.

Metaphorically, the shadow became my friend who departed her tiny tent of a being on August 12th.  In my arms, she drew her last breath and I breathed part of her within me—

I felt her in the shadow—emblazoned in the sun…she has become sun, clouds, dusk and dawn~~~she is ALIVE in all things and as I write it is NOT metaphorical—her ‘BEING’ is in everything and the Divine paints itself in this grief~~~my heart broken and so full of life.  I write upon a blank canvas.  Yes, these words which, perhaps, make no sense still flow as I sit within a cage waiting for the gate to open.  I will fly across a pond…a light glowing in the distance. The light circles revealing its fullness and welcoming the shadows as they pass in between the brilliance of light uncharted.

So, just who am I?

Am I a falcon, a storm or a great song?  Maybe I’m something completely other than these three BEINGS or maybe a part of me IS the falcon~~~wings in flight, carried by the storm swirling in my soul AND the song unfolding revealing who I AM as I walk a path—A trail called Coast to Coast (C2C) and this time I walk with a companion, a soul friend whose voice is solace, whose presence is gift, whose story writes itself in between the pages of my life.  Will we ever be the same?  I think NOT.  How can one be if one enters into the fullness of a journey yet unseen, but already begun?

So many questions impregnate my hollowed dwelling~~~ the questions echo within the chambers of my heart…they crackle through the cage of my ribs, they plunge into the blood running through my veins.  Answers no longer suffice—all I’ve been taught, studied, believed in…GOOD—but, no longer carry the relevance they once held.  I’m fine…perhaps, more than fine, in all UNKNOWING…no more pretending everything makes sense!  Sense is not what I seek.  Instead, what I seek—the ability to LIVE each day grasping life’s lessons~~~ allowing me to awaken, inspiring me to see that the wheat and the weeds within the garden of my life grow purposefully.  The wheat lives in me, the weeds live in me and they dwell together.  When the harvest of my life comes, I pray I see the wheat & weeds as anything but separate…their roots allow me to hold to the grounds of life.

I carry so many persons on this passage.  The weight of my backpack—not heavy.  The more I remember as I make my way, the more I trust the lightness of my steps.  Together, my friend and I will be led…heaven knows it is how we are here—NOW!  It has BEGUN.

 

Sketch of ‘Myself’ 2018

                                              Sketch of ‘Myself’  2018

Inspired by Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” I’ve bound together a tapestry of sketches—
a ball point pen—a sheet of paper.

THIS ‘timeless’ Sojourner soaks the pages NOT with words, but instead with ‘images’…
a simple prayer unspoken, yet imbued in every detailed shadow…black, white—color.

From a transformed heart, I will share with you on the Mondays in 2018,
“Sketch of Myself.”

“I am the poet of slaves and of the masters
of slaves

                          I am the poet of the body
                          And I am
                          I am the poet of the body
                          And I am the poet of the soul
                          I go with the slaves of the earth equally with the masters
                          And I will stand between the masters and the slaves,
                          Entering into both so that both shall understand me alike
                         I am the poet of Strength and Hope.”

Whitman’s earliest proto-lines that lead to “Song of Myself”

                                       Crossing—over or under…it is all up to you

What I Need…Love, me

What I Need…Love, me

As soon as I
learned of You,
I asked, “Bring us together.”

It seemed the more
I pleaded—the
further the divide became.

I attempted to
bridge the divide—
fortunately, my idea
did not come to fruition…
if it had, I am uncertain
how these words
would have written themselves.

I have come to
realize or accept
‘coming-together’ was not
in Your plan…
At least, the way I needed
it to take place.

So, I simply do not
ask anything of You
anymore…how is that for persistence?

Don’t get me wrong…
Please, do not read this
incorrectly.

All I know is
You are there—
You are constant.

I do not need much else.

I know You are love!
How? You are not something
I can put into words.

Because of that—that
love…that is You
I try to pass it on the way designed for me.

Often I have been
blessed by the recipients
of my love.
Truly—it is in giving that
we receive.

It is difficult
when those whom you would long
to share it with MOST
—envy you
—spew untruths
—harm those you love
because they love you.

This is a short autobiography of my life.

My life so full
—graces ‘unfolding’
beyond my ability to see.

I do not need
anything

Because—I know
You are there.

Love,
me
Photo taken by Lisa Marie Teubel walking a shared path on England’s Coast to Coast Trail

Mystery Transfigured

                                                      Mystery Transfigured…
                                                 THIS day…’we’ celebrate Life.
                             Everyday after we hold in gratitude the ‘birth’ of EVERY being—
                                               AND, we envelop the unknown—
                                           everything begun before the memory of today.

                                                         Mystery Transfigured

A Season of Change

A Season of Change

Years—
I have watched
the seasons come
and go.

They have changed
and so have I.

The large Oak
rooted in the forest
—a broken branch
—its torso reshaped by wind
—leaves come and gone
only to be reborn
in ‘another’ new season.

The tree stands, for now,
as do I.

All the other trees…
pines, maples, birches, weeping willows,
they, too…stand.

The trees~~~
they call NO attention
to themselves.

They ‘face’ the seasons—
all the different
weathers—and, simply
say “yes” to a
silent voice ‘birthing’
life into newness
each day
—an ever unfolding
‘incarnation’ of mystery.

The change of seasons
mindfully calls
me to its passing.

I’ve harvested
what has grown inside
my interior shelter.
I have released what I
no longer need to carry.
I have quieted myself
for moments to listen
and I have painted images
at times, in word,
adding flesh to
the exterior of my
person-hood.

Changing—I have become
the Seasons…
a solitary speck
joined with every sand
crystal washed ashore
and pulled back out with
the tides.

Something far larger than I
lives in my marrow
and collectively calls me—
speaks to me
in this dance…this Season of Change.

I simply, divinely
am living ‘in’
each step
until they be no more.

Yes

Yes

Saying ‘yes’
to life
gives birth
to the Universe
inside us.

This unexpected
‘Creation’–it groans
and sighs…waiting

Continuously born anew
—gasping in wonder
—blissfully laughing and crying
—sorrow so deep
the flood gates
release the living pools inside.

Breaking open dams—
Lavishly forming
new channels,
IF willing,

the ‘vessels’ we are
from our ‘beginnings’
reach an ending.

Pouring freely—
pouring into
an open sea
widening the way

we start
again and again
moving beyond reach of the shore…

Yes.

Lost

Lost

Many times
the words become ‘lost.’

It is then THIS Wanderer
becomes alive on a trail leading toward
endless tomorrows.

No longer
immersed in crowds,
the need to follow others
saying, “This is the way.”

Now…this lost path
traveled by few—
it is the yellow Brick Road.

‘Oz’ is not the destination.
No, it is the enchanted
eternity ‘being’ lived in.

All around
life pours itself out—

in chaos…a scarecrow becomes
‘conscious’—“thinking”…the wonder of it all

in calm…a tin man lubricates a
heart that has never missed a beat

a stillness learned…a courageous lion sits
perched within a pride.

Lost…
so silent

The only sound ‘breath’
…breath, a prayer
holding this moment

hoping NOT to be found…

and a pair of shiny red shoes
lay beside a roadway

the path trodden
rising as if no step
had ever been taken.

The Wanderer—
a small ‘point’ on the horizon’s line

Lost—indeed…
In a spectacle of wonder.

The Liturgy

The Liturgy

Inside
a ‘wind’ stirs

setting into motion
what ‘reason’
cannot begin to
resolve.

A candle remains aglow
listening
in the pregnant
silence.

The whirling gives
birth
to expectant
miracles

—There is a change
in color
—Then a letting-go
—An empty period, dormant…
lifeless, yet
moist with preparation—
for arrival.

The winds lift
the cover.
A seal waits,
waiting for ‘whenever.’

Time—irrelevant.
A shadow cast.
The moon sets
in the presence of the sun’s rising.

Blossoming—
Returning again
changed, and
yet, the same.

This beginning will end
when a cusp of air
hurls itself across the
water sprinkling
life on a a bed of grass
longing to be christened.

An ending will sweep
across the garden
to prepare itself
for another
beginning.

Death does not end.

Quiet…
a bell softly
clangs in the distance.

The liturgy has begun.

 

Advent…Prepare

Advent…Prepare

A shadow hovered.
In the darkness
hanged a solemn void.

She, curled in a corner…
‘fear’ gripped the soft
delicate temple of her
shivering body.

A profound ferocity
broke her silence.
With a strength
that lay hidden,
her incarnate voice spoke,
“Yes…let it be done.”

Fast forward…
everything in between
created and unknown…

Until—
That hour.
A bleak shade pulled
down ACROSS the world.

Her knees bore into the earth.
Her hands clenched
the rocks she dared
to grasp, but would not
throw.

Soils spilled through the
open spaces of her
fingers.

She looked up at
her child.
Her ache so deep—
she began to choke.

For one moment
did she stop and think, “If only
I said, NO?”

When it was finished…
She held her child
in the cradle of her arms—

Lifeless, she caressed
his brow…
Her tears washed
the blood
stained across his face.

The other women stood at her side.

This was NOT a moment of bliss.
These women were ‘conscious’—
allowing the pain.

No outward ACTS of violence…
their ‘silence’ a protest—
THIS, the Gospel message.

Mary’s voice held back words
AND her beating heart
echoed aloud, “Yes, yes, yes!”

SIBYL MAGAZINE—December 2017/ An Artistic Web

SIBYL MAGAZINE—December 2017/ An Artistic Web

A Pilgrim Seeking Temples

Sandra Mattucci—An Artistic Web

A slender thread spooled itself from within my being.  From where did this fine feather-like hair of elasticity come?  An invisible place inside me creates, often times, without my seeing the intricate web of life from which I hang. My every step, a piece of twine, dangles from the earth within which I am centered.  The core of my being is fashioned to the very breath inhaling and exhaling in effortless wonder.  But is it that effortless?  I humbly respond, “Yes.”

For a moment, I envisioned myself to be a tiny spider dwelling in a gigantic home called earth.  On this spinning marble, she swings mystically fashioning a pattern, not needing a single second to look back to see if everything is unfolding as it should.  This tiny clever being trusts what is forming is GOOD.  She hopes that the web she is weaving will hold her, what flies into her design will sustain her, will birth the life growing inside her.  Her children’s first steps will emerge from the strands she has woven.  Storms will arise and wreak chaos on the foundation she has spun into life.  Even if all she has artistically made is launched by winds to a new uncharted terrain, she will build anew.  Each time knowingly and unknowingly all within her will continue to create an Artistic Web of Life which will connect her to her dwelling place.

The Camino upon which I embarked, began before I physically set out.  I was nudged to make the arduous pilgrimage to discover the me I thought I had lost.  I accepted the invitation.  The path became the ground of my being.  I walked, I skipped, I danced, I paused.  My back pack did not slow me down.  Instead, the rhythm of every step gauged the pattern of life.  Returning home, I took my pen and began to fill in the canvas.  Slowly, the creative process took on a life I could not have imagined.  The web of my being discovered this simple pilgrim.  I found myself an explorer of sorts.  A gentle strand, frayed at the edges, connected me to all of life.

My imagination stretches me and I swing from a tree branch attaching myself to the wings of a seagull in flight.  I caress the peaks of mountain tops and attach myself on an unfurling wave…I cast ashore on a speck of sand and I rise to the stars.  I latch onto the moon and dare to reach for the sun where I will burn with desire.  The quest, to seek the Source of Life that lives and moves and fashions my being, connecting me to all.  The artistic way of life is a never ending pilgrimage.  The ‘temple’ now easily discovered.

These past twelve months you have woven yourself into my story.  Find your thread now and create the life you are meant to live—Beautiful temple that is You—that is I.

In Gratitude
Buen Camino

Construction

Construction

Torrents of rain—
Summer sun—
Sleet, snow
fog.

Driving down the
roadway…
what’s the speed limit?

I’m going to make it
on time.

What’s this?

Orange & White
cones!

NOT today!
NOT today!

Suddenly, I’m in a
back up…
The orange & white cones
surround me—
I’m STOPPED…

I’m moving again—slowly!

—Roadwork
—Pothole repair
—Complete lane changes
—New painted lines

Someone ‘honks’ behind me!
We’re moving.

I make it on time…

The unique parallels—
What needs ‘constructing’
in our own lives?

Can we slow down?
Hold off rushing to NOwhere…

The pavement of our heart’s
terrain—
does it need mending?
Are there cracks, divides
that separate us from our
very selves?

What paint are you using
to SEE the world?
Orange & white are
comforting colors.

Stop…proceed when ready—
you can create lane changes if
you’re off course.

The road ahead is yours to
blaze…use caution
when necessary.

Trust ‘your’ inner guide.

 

“Just…a Dream?”

“Just…a Dream?”

It was a cold winter’s night—
the creatures scurried round
and round.

The trees joined branches
circling the ‘pine’
standing in the center.

The wind whistled
—it howled.

The tree in the middle around whom
all were gathered
began to sway.

A little girl
wandered through the forest—
she heard the hoot of an
owl, leaves crunched beneath
her every step.

Suddenly, she saw a star—
it burst through the
velvet black sky.

Tiny spectrums of light
fell
attaching themselves to
something up ahead—

The girl ran.
Twigs cracked echoing
in the chill of the valley.
She almost fell over a stump…
with urgency
she traveled in haste

and when she came
to the site,
she barely could
believe what lay
directly in her gaze…

A beautiful pine decked
in star dust—
its light revealing
all the tiny creatures that
nestled around.

The other trees
seemed to give a bow.
When they clicked
their branches,
one song after another
could be heard…

The little girl chimed
in— “Oh, Holy Night,”
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing,”
“What Child is this?” and
finally, “Silent Night”…

The small child curled
herself underneath the tree—
the animals cradled
beside her…

the owl flew down
unfolding its wings like
a blanket
and covered the sleepy child.

When the child woke
after sleeping in heavenly peace,
she threw back her covers—
her boots were unlaced
at the foot of her bed
and she rushed to her window
speckled in frost—

a star hung in the
night sky.

In the distance
beyond her sight,
she noticed a glow.

The child thought she was dreaming,
“Could it have been real?,” she
thought to herself.
She heard a faint ‘hoot’—she was certain
it was the owl.

Then the wind began to roar
and she heard,
“Star of wonder
Star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright…”

The little girl was
singing along
until a forest creature
made its way to her
window pane…

it laid a
pine cone
on the ledge
and scampered off.

The little girl
whispered,
I Believe!”

She covered herself
in a swaddling
blanket
closing her
eyes
singing,
“Joy to the World.”

Resurrection

Resurrection

My ‘eyes’ closed
UNTIL
before me
‘Transformed’
like in no other time
I SAW,
I BEHELD,
I UNDERSTOOD.

The Bridge—
I saw it so many times.
I walked across it.
I touched it…
my soles to its wood.

THIS time I looked in
the water and there it was—
so visible.
But, I could NOT touch it.

STILL, I knew the message
like at no other time
before.

Do I believe in
The Resurrection?

The bridge ALWAYS
before me…

I’ll cross it one day
(The BRIDGE which holds my gaze in the water…oftentimes invisible)
and STEP into
a NEWNESS

ONLY my

HEART

can behold.

Great Heron

Great Heron

ACT I
The curtain opens.
The water’s edge
a striking reflection
like that of a Monet—
Slender legs like river reeds
dance unhurriedly.
Slowly, the stalker
seeks her prey.

ACT II
Motionless…
her feathered tutu
adorns her body.
A gray sailing ship
removed from the
pool, she’s afloat.
Her reflection gazes
back at her.

ACT III
The trout come out
from beneath the riverbed…
Swimming like Olympians, the fish
enter ‘open’ waters.
Is it safe?  The music softens.

INTERMISSION

ACT IV
The sun rises—
it is the moment she’s awaited.
Frozen, transformed as if a
rock wall of stone
her eyes ‘fixed’
holding the moment.
Her neck, like an elastic
cord unleashed.
Her beak a fine sword
rips through the water.
The symphony plays a high note.

ACT V
Rising triumphantly
a poetic tragedy held—
then devoured.
The morsel no
longer visible
cascades down the elevator
of the heron’s
lanky neck sending
the feast to the
storage bin.

ACT VI
The curtain closes.
The performance far from
ended.
The dance goes on
and on
and on.
From the orchestra pit
a ‘pitch’ played—
a haunting completion.

FINALE
A fish leaps from
the surface…a splash heard—
two slender reeds sway
unnoticed in its direction.

 

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes I do not
                  seek the words.

Instead, I hold a
       simple gaze
   and the words seem
       to write me.

Nocturne

Nocturne

You, fairest darkness
your ebony melts
like honey trickling from a comb.

The sounds of night—unseen.

I hold this moment.

My inhale—cascades down the keyboard.
Pregnant pause exhales long enough to
become a star.
Written and inspired under the wise tutelage of June Gould/Guest House 2017.
Mary Lindberg eloquently performed the piece “Nocturne” while the poem ‘played’ itself!

Death’s Doorway

Death’s Doorway

I stood
beside death’s doorway…
there was NO sting.

For a long time I sat until a
stirring utterance seemed to
whisper, “It’s NOT your time…but you are welcome.”

So many I knew and loved passed through
this Way—I held my questions
sitting in the Silence.

Death spoke. The doorway spread wider.  I heard ‘its’ creaking and she
said, “I’m NOT an end.”

Do I really believe this?

Death seemed to understand my
inner stirring…
present day ‘trials,’ chaos all
around, suffering
(and YES, GOOD tucked between).
It is anything or everything BUT an illusion.

The ‘pains’ of life have
become my greatest teachers.
(would I choose these moments?
Heavens, NO—still I would not
change what at present is)

Death nudged me from my
mindless stupor—

“I’m your friend…I’ll carry
you to the beyond…when it is your time.
We’ll go alone, you & I , but—
I’ll say no more. Hold the Eternal…
and for NOW—
please close the door.”

SIBYL MAGAZINE—November 2017/ A Well on my Back

SIBYL MAGAZINE—November 2017/ A Well on my Back

A Pilgrim Seeking Temples

Sandra Mattucci—A Well on my Back

I carried a well on my back each day I walked the Camino.  It was FULL of everything I needed—‘well’ at least what I thought was essential.  This ordinary pack I chose to carry was weighted.  Each morning I meticulously filled and re-filled its contents.  A deep space existed within like a pool. It was so deep not even an echo could be heard as I set out.

Without realizing, I became this well.  I was anything but separate from what I carried on my back.  Daily lessons revealed themselves.  I left some-thing of me, from this well, behind—I left it for another in need and for a need in me to free myself from all the right ‘stuff.’  Literally and figuratively, I began emptying this well.  I longed to pour out more especially when my ‘sights’ fell upon a woman seated outside the cathedral doors.  She sat christened in the sunlight, wrinkled by rains that drenched her body, but her posture was prayer.  She held out an ’empty’ basket.  She had no need to perform.  She spoke not a word.  My eyes immediately focused on this woman whose quiet demeanor drew me to her.  I noticed the many tiny photos scattered at the bottom of a simple basket which rested at her knees.  Images of children captured my attention and tugged at my heart.  Were they her children?  You had to look deep ‘into’ her well to see what was her heart.  She had let go of everything.  She trusted that she would receive all that she needed for this day.  And, if not, if she received nothing from the pilgrims who passed her, she would be content with the little she had.  She was filled with gratitude.

Loose coins in my pocket seemed to fall into her basket without my raising my hands to place them into her container.  My instincts were correct.  She raised her eyes to meet mine and whispered, ‘thank you.’  I turned away weeping.  It was she who became for me the grandest of cathedrals…empty, yet so filled with gratitude.

The pack on my back was lighter.  Each day as I set out, if I listened closely, I heard a hollowness in this well.  Throwing a stone into its chamber, I would hear the splash.  Voices teaching, prodding me “Fill your bucket, you can ‘pour’ out more,” but now I was twirling around in my inner mind—EMPTY yourself, it is then you know how much more you have to offer.  I pray that I never become so full that I am not able to hear a drop upon a stone’s throw.  I desire to hold the emptiness just enough that I never stop giving.  A servant’s heart, empty I am, inwardly receiving a spring of living water.  Each day I attempt to live in this current flowing into wells interconnected in time and beyond…

In becoming Empty, I am forever full.

In Thanks…Until December,
Buen Camino

Shivvvvvvvers

Shivvvvvvvers

Who painted THIS reptile—EVIL?

It wraps itself, coiling around our
‘healing’ medicinal logo!
(Caduceus/Rod of Asclepius)

It is the ONLY living creature
who sheds its skin,
transforming itself—LIKE
resurrection!

TRICK or TREAT?
SSSSSSssssssssssss

Prayer…

Prayer…

has a way of sneaking
up and down
upon you.

In the busy highways
and byways…
in the sounds of traffic
and blaring muzak
the silent hush of prayer
whispers,
“I’M HERE, I’m Here, i’m here.”

In the soft wind
draping through the leaves
dangling within the trees’ branches—
prayer sits in an empty
nest…”I’m here.”

In the darkness
frozen in winter’s nakedness,
a band of snowflakes
paints the world a delicate
essence of white.
Prayer is the shadow
bringing ALL together
night and day…”I’m here.”

In the sweet, savory
moon going down in
the west—
the curtain
closes on a musical
that never ends.

In prayer—
no words necessary…

The unveiling of Oneness
ALWAYS before us, beside us,

within us.

My Soul’s Address

My Soul’s Address…

Does not live on a
particular street.

No zip code
can trace its location.

A label attached to a letter will NOT
lead to my Soul’s Address.

Where then can my Soul
be found?

Wrapped in the blanket of
my body~~~

—which stretches like
a tree
—that basks in the sun
—that delights in falling rain
—that shivers in the cold
—that ‘feels’ both joy and heart break
—that one day
will unzip itself
releasing my soul.

My soul has borrowed THIS tent
for ‘some’ time.

My Soul’s Address soars like a flock of migrating birds
into the eternal unknown.

 

SIBYL MAGAZINE—October 2017/ A Shaft of Light

SIBYL MAGAZINE—October 2017/ A Shaft of Light

A PILGRIM SEEKING TEMPLES

Sandra Mattucci—A Shaft of Light

A cloudy sky, a down feathered blanket stretched outward across the dome above my head to all four corners of the Universe.  I walked under a tapestry such as this on several days of the Camino and I have come to love these ‘clouded’ moments—so solitary and wildly abandoned.  The gray skies cast shadows revealing hidden images tucked in the landscapes ‘in’ between.  During these times of stillness, I envisioned stretches in and between the soul of my being.

Stepping quietly, the only sound I heard was the ‘crackle’ of my foot prints.  I waited and watched knowing it would come, but when?  What was it?  What came?  A shaft of luminous light pierced the seamless aloof sky.  The light, so intense, cast a tunnel reversing the ‘unknowing’ and paving the day allowing the dampened colors to be exposed.  The wait over, but the clouds found another way to cast their shadows.  Trekking in this timeless “unexpected,” I was pushed, pulled and my very breath reshaped.  Then another ray penetrated the vast sky like a contraction followed by numerous other strikes in rapid succession.  What I beheld was a fan spreading out like fingers being stretched—no visible between.  Time became forgotten, inconsequential.  Golden light seeped to touch the earth as my being soaked in warm resplendent hues.  I would not understand if the shadows in my ‘person’ remained unseen, unnoticed.

I am alive in this womb of being.  Cloudy days renew the ‘birthing’ of endless dawnings within.  The embryonic fluids of a life lived have thrust me in the spiraling gestational rhythms of life where every change of season births me anew.  Creation is adorned in all its majesty and I am called to celebrate life around and within me.

The Way opened paths to me that I had not recognized and whose message I did not grasp.  Today I sit—my pen strokes this page as I attempt to convey the lived experience.  How do I relay adequately the beauty revealed in bleak unknowns, in transparent prisms of light which at moments ‘blinded’ my sight until the heavy damp clouds let loose, raining down on me, soaking me with showers heralding a charted path.  Every step—every breath seemed to be a first.  My being embraced the wonder.  My eyes opened seeing life anew.  Each morning as I walk, I am new.  Everything I smell, hear, touch and what ‘touches’ me ever so intimately, I hold never to take for granted what I have been given.  My spirit swells with bliss.  The womb of life bursts yet again.  Reborn am I.

A shaft of light ignites the sky.  A bolt of lightning nothing can hold back strikes.  What will be struck?  A thunderous roar like a band of endless drumming reverberates and shivers ripple down my spine.  I walk, I wait trusting the light will come.  Now I realize I am this light Shining On.

Until November,
Buen ‘BEAM’ Camino

SIBYL MAGAZINE—September 2017/ Treasures ‘within’ the Universe

SIBYL MAGAZINE—September 2017/ Treasures ‘within’ the Universe

A PILGRIM SEEKING TEMPLES

Sandra Mattucci— Treasures ‘within’ the Universe

Each day as I walked the Camino, I embraced the soil that welcomed my footsteps becoming every curl of cracked mud beneath my boots.  All weathers greeted me and took on vibrancy.  The land became alive as I walked upon its flesh.  Far from being buried in all I encountered, I was awakened to creation before me.  The landscape became a treasure beckoning me to look out and ‘see.’  As I focused on a hidden chest I sought since childhood, I recalled fairy tales and hunting for buried treasures.

Allow your imagination to recall the adventures that transported you across oceans, a single oar in hand, sea creatures circling your little boat until it caught a final cusp of wind and brought you to an uncharted island.  Uninhabited?  Was it really?  A jungle appeared and countless eyes gazed upon you.  You dared to step.  Suddenly, you were hurled into the air not knowing what lifted you from the surface you thought safe.  The adventure continued.  High into the tree tops you were taken in by a family of what appeared to be familiar faces.  These creatures nuzzled you, ran their fingers through your hair, tugged at you, then beckoned you to be still.  Below a ravenous hunter smelled you and rushed to have you, but you had been baked in an orangutan’s dander and laughed heartily.  These creatures never knew you but they welcomed you, held you safely in the haven of the lush jungle greenery—their home.  They bid you to stay promising you shelter, food, and comfort, but I had to pursue the treasure our ‘little’ minds literally believed ‘real.’  Reawakened as an adult NOW, the make-believe chest overflowing with rubies, diamonds, gold coins and sapphires is the landscape—the terrain is the Pearl of Great Price—the Way has become my life.

Richness fills me.  Not even the Dow Jones equals the gains I have made on my journey of discovering the me I sought.  The little I have is all I need.  The Camino experience opened my eyes.  I ask myself if I am willing to let go of more as I pursue the quest for the ‘pearl.’  I now realize that the pearl is the universe that has been created as my dwelling.  Myth and metaphor cloud the endearing memories of childhood which lured me to see what my adult mind easily complicates as it whispers, “Grow up now.”

The Reign of God in my soul sees the tracks made by my boots, the mud drizzled across my face as I wipe the sweat off my brow with dirtied fingers.  I look at the sun and gaze at the storm clouds covering the light.  The rain begins its dance and I am reminded that unless we become like little children we will fail to see the treasures within the Universe.  Galaxies beckon us to so much beyond.  I leap into the biggest puddle that has formed.  Therein lies the Treasure.

Until October,
Buen Camino

What is the Soul?

What is the Soul?

Let me ask you—
do you believe in
the soul?

If you answer “Yes,”
then I need not
go on.

If you answer “No,”
I need not
go on.

What matters is not the
answers we seek
but, the questions
that keep us LIVING.

Beside the Wailing Wall…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land(Coming Home)

Beside the Wailing Wall…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Coming Home)

I stood.

Another ‘wall’ split its center
‘dividing’ the masculine
from the feminine.

I began to wail—
I could not contain
my weeping.                                                    

Suddenly, a woman
drew herself near to me.
She stepped up
where a structured ‘rise’
allowed her to glance ‘over.’

I joined her.

A man approached.                                            
He did not appear threatening—
He stood on the rise.
On his side of the divide,
his small son beside him.

He embraced the woman
with a single arm
whispering, “I want you as
close as you can be.”
He pulled her to him
as if the ‘division’ was
no longer there.

AND, began
their child’s barmitzva.

This message of love the father gave
to his son…

I can ONLY hope
such love will
break down these human
barriers.

 

She is Risen

She is Risen

Here inside
this shelter—
A roof over head—
the sound of a million
drops can be heard as they
pelt the canvas top.

They spill into a sea of green~~~
a woven blanket…
each slender strand
effortlessly holds a drop balanced as if
on the top of a sewing needle.

THIS day the roof of
the Universe appears
pulled back—
wide enough for
friends to allow their
broken companion to be
eased down…eased down upon
clouds…soft pallets
allowing the wounded One
to find a way…

BUT, a way to where?

To the Healer…Mother Earth
who gathers ALL she is given.

She calls NEW shoots
to life.
She opens the grounds
packed solid.
She invites the leaves
to unfurl
and rejoices in the song birds
as life re-creates itself
again and again
and again.

Her garden—ready.
She tenderly takes her time—
time which
means nothing to her.

She’s laced the edges of her garden
with lilacs, tulips, daffodils
and roses.

The forest animals come to taste,
to nibble and an abundance
is left over
after their feast.

The Mother holds out her
arms pulling to herself
the sojourner ‘let-down.’

She whispers. “It’s finished…
well done—Come, take your rest—Return to the Garden
from where you came.”

The showers continued to fall
into the night…
a few friends lingered
beside the garden.

When morning came,
the Sun could not rise
quickly enough…almost as if it knew.

Everything in the garden
glistened
unfolding every flower.
Tracks in the soil were visible
not only the images made
by the creatures.

Until this moment
footprints led out on
an unforeseen trail
never noticed
never seen.

Looking toward
the horizon, two silhouettes appear.
They stood hand in hand…
the Mother and the One
let down.

The pallet—gone.

Walking into the sun,
they became the Light.

A single drop fell.
This time the dew
gathered in my eyes.

She has Risen—
She has risen,
indeed.

Inspired by and dedicated to Helen “Peanut” Surowiec—my FOREVER Friend.
                             August 5th, 1919 to August 12th, 2017

 

A Not so Ordinary Check-Point…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

A Not so Ordinary Check-Point…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

There they stood
outside its gates.

A check-point—
but, how could one call it ordinary?

I suppose
here—in THIS place—
it has become Ordinary.
Or, perhaps NOT.

I gazed
bewildered.
Suddenly
a little boy
of seven or eight
made his way up the hill                                           
toward the check-point.

Suddenly, he froze—
fear ‘captured’ his body and terror was in
his eyes.
He raised his hands
settling his frightened soul.

What ‘held’ him
‘outside’ the gates—
Two armed uniformed officers
machine guns in hand
fingers ALWAYS held on
the trigger.

I gasped
holding my breath.
I longed to wrap my arms around
the child—
I wished ONLY to cover his
eyes…
but, you cannot pretend
what is VERY real
does not exist.

The little boy made his way—I wept.

SIBYL MAGAZINE—August 2017/ Eternal Temples

SIBYL MAGAZINE—August 2017/ Eternal Temples

A PILGRIM SEEKING TEMPLES

Sandra Mattucci—Eternal Temples

A liturgy of Life.  The path I walk resembles eternal temples.  I envision sheets of music filled with endless notes, chords, harmonies playing orchestrated symphonies the likes of Mozart heard rummaging ‘within.’  We, every living being, is a page of endless pages.  We are sheets of music.  This is what the Camino has become in me—my path alive with the sound of music.  There is no rhyme or reason, the crescendos rise slowly descending ‘into’ a gentle silence.  Then, ignited like a flame, the light engulfs each stanza.  Have I missed a note?  It matters not.

While walking The Way, yellow markers were the ‘notes’ I followed.  On a few occasions I inadvertently missed a sign.  I veered off the path, but was I off?  Yes, I had to turn back to find myself anew.  As I stood examining the landscape in an effort to find the marked path I would walk, a song reverberated inside me that I had never heard.  An unknown lyric would never have formed had I carefully followed the yellow markers.  The extra pages written were a result of new paths discovered and unseeing encounters beheld.  Panic did not overwhelm me.  Instead, color seemed imbued in the black notes, the black lines measured with precision on the white sheet.

Music permeated the air around me wrapping me in its majesty.  I was consumed in beauty as it took on the color of every pilgrim, of horses grazing in the meadows, of farmers plowing the field, every dirt path, every scattered stone, of storks nestled high upon the  steeples of cathedrals, of rivers flowing holding the sky’s reflection, of the soaking rain slogging in my boots, of hot coffee with steamed milk sliding down the tunnel of my throat warming my insides, of mountains drizzled with creamy snow melting into landscapes of eternal temples.  Every living being a temple singing a song for a lifetime even if the moment be a minute of solitary unfolding or years of life coming to an end on the actual path named The Way.  If you are not able to hear the song in these words—all is well.  This is my song, my heart’s song.  I sing it as I write and it matters not how it is sung.  Still, it is everything that matters for it is from me—a me that cannot STOP singing.  I sing a timeless ballad.  My feet dance as my hands hold onto the dazzling stars.

The liturgy of life I live is not a composition formed by my religious beliefs though they contributed to the orchestration of my being.  Religion is no longer the bell ringing in my heart.  The song of each day’s dawning is the musical performance calling me.  I awake to the song birds announcing creation’s purest temple.  The curtain rises—so does my being as I walk toward eternal sunsets.  The temple’s last light blows itself out while smoke rises and the stars find their way home.

Until September,
Buen Camino

Architect of the Heart…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

                            Architect of the Heart…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Each prayer whispered…
Every silent utter…
The wet tears caressing, cascading
down your cheeks…
A hearty burst of holy laughter
THESE are what break the
walls surrounding the heart
breaking them ‘enough’
so that the Architect moves in                     
‘unnoticed’~~~
Softly, gently
and at times pushing, pounding
firmly—-
the Architect expands what IS—
making more room—
‘showing’ more ways to LOVE.
How beautiful when the Wall
comes tumbling down.
It is then the heart truly can hear
its own beating—joined
with ‘EVERY’ living, breathing
‘being’~~~
Prayer EXPANDS—
it reveals the Architect’s blueprint.
No matter where we LOOK…
it is A PROMISED LAND.

Messy Lives…A Pilgrimage to the Holy land

                                    Messy Lives…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Quietly,
in a silent room
—a song
—a prayer ‘sings’ itself
outside my window and I listen.

From a Muslim Mosque
across the Galilean Valley
in THIS town of Nazareth,
prayers became ALIVE.
Their echo is heard before the sun’s arrival.
Allah Awakens.

I pause and join                                        
THIS prayer.
In my breath, YAWEH
clings
bringing together Oneness
stretching across the night sky
across the rolling landscape
across the flowing water ways.

I join others who have
‘risen’ in prayer.

NOW…church bells echo
from the Christian Cathedral.

I hear a symphony
in ‘all’…
the sounds of traffic, a honking horn—
still, the busyness of the day
has not begun.

A rooster crows—
a dog begins to bark

my tiny coffee pot
lets me know it is time to pour.

The aroma fills the air
like incense…                                                        
can I dare draw THIS comparison?

I AM in ‘church’—
Three distinct religions call to me

and yet I feel as if I’m in an
all encompassing MOMENT—
NO religion to be NAMED…
Relationally ‘united’ in ALL things.

In our Messy Lives,
a beauty resides
when quietly, solemnly
we share ourselves
enough to listen.

The sound of a child stirs a parent
and the little one lovingly
is called back to sleep.

BUT, the little one’s dreams
have ‘revealed’
an entry—
the door ‘open’
—time to play.

I awake from THIS messy prayer
NEVER having slept…
(Although you might think these thoughts a culmination of ‘all’—)
these words take on a mind of their own.

I’ll go back
re-read, add on, eliminate
change a line

OR

maybe I’ll leave this mess
and give thanks
for THIS very MOMENT in life.

Stone Cutter…A Pilgrimage to the Holy land

                                       Stone Cutter…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

What was it Joseph?
What was it you were truly
chiseling?  Reshaping?

He watched you…
pretending to be you.

He picked up ‘any’ stone…
he could NOT reject any.

Is THIS why he became
the corner stone?

He recognized in the broken fragments
‘persons’ rejected, left out, lost,
poor, disadvantaged.                                 

He would call them
without hammer
without a chisel.

He would call them…
“Come—
Follow.”

He re-shaped lives.
He transformed those who would
be called simple, unclean,
adulterous.

Your son, Joseph,
heard ‘every’ stone
calling…
he listened
AND
to this day
he ‘cuts’ into
hearts

reaching the core…
AWAKENING lives.

This he learned from YOU…Stone Cutter.

Where is your Home?

Where is your Home?

Picking up a rock,
I spotted an earthworm cradled in the dampness
echoing, “It’s taken.”

Beside the sea,
I lifted a chorus of reeds.
A trout revealed itself
singing, “It’s taken.”

Scurrying upward
traversing a rocky hill,
a mountain goat stood
atop its steeple.
Like a bell the goat chimed,
“It’s taken.”

Shuffling my feet
through a sandy desert,
the heat played tricks with my
vision—a mirage?
I was drenched
and pouring over and over me the sound,
“It’s taken, It’s taken, It’s taken.”

Exhausted, I laid myself
down in a meadow.
A soft warm wind lulled me to sleep.
I dreamt of all the places I
searched, looking, seeking my HOME.

Waking hurriedly, I wondered if
“THIS” place where I found
myself was also taken?

Rising, I looked.  No one was there,
but when I glanced ‘down’
my ‘impression’ embedded itself in
THIS field.

THIS place …it was taken
by me, in this moment—

I lay back down
gazing into a blue sky.
The clouds formed a message
just above my head,

“Welcome Home.”

I closed my eyes—
what a beautiful place.

Prayer of Attention…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Prayer of Attention…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

My being lured—
pulled as if by a string.

A voice with NO name
‘speaks’ in my breath.

I inhale—
the beat of my heart ‘wakes’

and, as I exhale                                             
another ‘beat’ goes out
into the world
like a soft drum roll

lingering on and on and on.

Called to ‘attention’
NOT in a moment
But,
rather in Each moment—

Each moment
draws attention to the fabric

of life

knitted all around me
and in me

A single strand
One with ALL.

SIBYL MAGAZINE—July 2017/ A Return to Eden

SIBYL MAGAZINE—July 2017/ A Return to Eden

A Pilgrim Seeking Temples

Sandra Mattucci—A Return to Eden

A rush of emotions fills me.  Like a bottle uncapped, the liquid inside splashes me—its endless fizzle drenches me with delight.  What is it?  I believe no word yet created describes the daily ‘present’ I swim within.  This present ‘sea’ enveloping me is more than ‘feelings.’  Each new dawning rises inside my being and I am bathed in the flow of life.

As I walked the Camino, dramatic moments captured me.  A waterfall of tears dropped from the corners of my eyes.  At times, I barely breathed as emotions flooded my being.  Still, joy washed through me that I could not satisfactorily explain.  I was embraced in peace—I was alone but did not need nor wish the void to be filled.  I did not want to leave these tranquil surroundings.  I desired to hold sacred this place much like a mother who holds her child for the first time.  But—I had to let go.  I was entering Eden again slogging through the mud realizing the grounds of life beneath my feet.  Every foot step I walk, have walked, will walk tills me in this garden within its soil.  Eden’s beginnings bear fruit everywhere I glance and beyond my gaze what is planted is bursting with life.  I’m immersed in a lush fertile blanket of life.

I am absorbed in the succulence I taste daily.  Each day I choose my path at times without realizing the adventure ahead.  Yet, I select unafraid to bite.  I abundantly consume all the original blessings allowing the juices to wash over me moistening my lips, cascading down my chin, over my naked breasts and quietly prayer sings itself into being.  Prayer is my breath.

All around me beauty abounds—endless birthing fills this garden spreading itself with the gifts of life.  Shadows appear of faces past and of the futures that yet have not arrived.  This Eden is a Holy womb of splendor.  I am draped in heaven, not in some place beyond.  I frolic, running with ease.  I have stopped bowing, genuflecting and I am extending my hands like the wings of a bird.  I am in flight.  Yes, I fly.  I fly and a voice softly echoes, “Daughter play, play in this garden and when you tire, rest and I will be there stroking your brow.  I will hold you and when you wake, I will dip you into the sea where a host of dolphins will carry you upon the waves.  I will be right here, daughter.  How I love your laughter…the exuberance of your tender innocence.  Laugh again and again until you begin to cry.  I will cry with you for you have found the solitude you have sought.  It has been within you.  One day you’ll leave this garden but your seeds will sprout and others will taste the ‘you’ dwelling in all.”

You are this garden.  A return to Eden—unspoken oneness over and over.

Until August,
Buen Camino

The New Ark of the Covenant…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

The New Ark of the Covenant…A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

THIS morning
the sun rises in Nazareth.

What was it like for you, woman
that very first morning
you held him in your arms?

I know a star shone
above you.
Did the SUN fill the sky
like never before?

You, Mary
birthed the Son of God (You, the New Ark of the Covenant)
AND, now
in this place
may I, too,
give birth
to the Christ
inside of me.

As the sun rises upon Nazareth.

 

Rejection

Rejection

Someone I have
loved for a lifetime
has tried to teach me
the lessons of
‘rejection.’

I did NOT want to
understand…

I’d do everything to
push the lessons away

—I wanted to fit in
—I wanted to be accepted.

But, now, I’m listening
to myself.

My friend who has loved me
before I was,
ALWAYS loved ‘me.’
This friend
has sat waiting—
wondering when I’d
love me enough to
endure rejection
AND love back.

Loving back the people
who say…

—THIS is God!
—GET the story right!
—You’ve LOST your way!

My friend laughs with me
NOW when I say,

I don’t UNDERSTAND God…
still, I SEE God in everything.

My story…while it may not be
RIGHT, it is far from WRONG
and I’m living each page
writing itself.

What I’ve lost,
what I’ve let go of are
—rules that exclude
—dogmas that speak of infallibility
—rituals that are consecrated
by a single gender.

Rejection has become
a Sacrament…

An anointing—
preparing me for what?

I have no idea.

I know me…
Again—my friend is laughing,
giggling aloud.

I know you, too—
NOW you know me!