The Queen of Shovels
After 1000 broken vows
We will rise again. I promise.
Surrendering to the mystery
of knowing or not knowing.
We finally understand
that we will not do
everything we say we will.
This confession should feel like a relief.
We have transcended getting it right
when we finally get it that we won’t.
We can finally let ourselves off of our own meat hooks
when we finally know that integrity
comes and goes. And we just have to keep trying.
That perfection is illusively granted
and highly over-rated. (give it up)
When we realize one fine day
that in the night our truths lined up single file
and went out for a midnight spree
and didn’t come home and we wake up
Then it is time to begin again.
To invent oneself anew.
To forgive ourselves and others
and to take the armor of the heart OFF.
And Breathe. Better that the heart
be broken 1000 times
then never open all.
And when those who are called to serve
break one thousand pencil tips on 1000 future plans,
finally realize we will not be able to save the world.
We wake up and smell the future.
After all the promises and all the dreams broken
open by love and effort and fervent passion –
we have many tools to choose from. We do!
We have perspective. Experience. Humility
and longing. Oh that relentless longing.
And, thankfully, we have many, many shovels.
And keep waking up to what needs to be done.
But just imagine what it would be like if the hopeless dreamers
stopped dreaming of peace? The world might stop spinning.
It isn’t that I thought I would save the world…
My job is to wipe the fevered brows of our creative musings
not demolish the hospitals that house our sicknesses,
though I do dream of revolution for breakfast.
Don’t you know – we each who move in light
must also walk the valley of tears to wake up
to brightness again? It is ok to touch the strings
of disillusionment and pluck them until a pure
note comes out even if your fingers bleed.
And this is my truth: That I have no idea what is going on.
Nor do I claim to. I only know that we must create and keep
But that whatever it is that is happening in our world,
I do know what Rumi knows:
This is not a caravan of despair.
And it doesn’t matter if we have broken our vow 100o times.
Before the mending with red thread and Mary’s needle
– first the breaking.
I am not the queen of joy or positive thinking
or secrets revealed. If I am queen of anything
it is the queen of shovels. Shovels for digging
through and excavating the lost parts of women’s
herstory, my own herstory. We who run with
wolves must also dig for bones.
The last dig revealed my paintbrush was too dry.
Covered in dust and cobwebs I cried at the sight of it’s
stiffened bristles. Fingered the crusted read paint
at shaft’s edge. Delight in a sticky sparkle of glitter,
a shining fragment from happier times.
My paintbrush is covered in tears now
thankfully, and finally those dry bristles are wet
with the salt of me and the sea,
and ready to mark
a blank canvas with a new life.
A new vow.
Vow 1001 – I have been waiting for you.
I don’t know how it all works
or how it will all work out.
I know love rules supreme and that I am
ruled by the house of the heart.
I know Jesus told me to love others as
He first loved me but I don’t know what that
means today. Though other days I feel it.
I know kisses are medicine
I know the ocean heals.
I know my mother loves me.
Open the doors open the windows
open the chimney and sweep out the cupboards of shame-filled crumbs.
Shake the rugs and empty the bottoms of the closets.
Dust off the cowgirl boots and put them at the foot of the altar
where the Icon of the Black Madonna glows in our sister’s circle.
then write it all down or paint it all out
or sing it all out loud or dance it into the sky.
Give your intention as a gift to your creative muse.
But whatever you do – don’t keep it locked inside.
The queen of shovels has sent you an e-shovel,
the post attached reads:
So in the final moment of this musing
dogged and drafted with sorrow and hope.
I beseech the Black Madonna
Mother of dark roots –
and red earth and bumble bees
mother of bright blooms and withered branches
help me to dig. Show us where to find the treasures
and how to excavate the glistening shards.
Signed in stardust and soil,