Monday, January 16, 2012

The Roots

Image: origin unknown

There’s a little boy that I’ve been
all dressed in white linen,
on his knees,
desperately seeking The Roots.

He’s finally found them,
fingers raw and blooded by
but there they are -

long residing at the base of
Rumi’s lamenting reed.

Cut off from our ancient lineage
we cannot but cry out
for a vision of Home –

Though the meaning of the
deep inner wailing may
elude us for many generations,

And the masks we take up
make us unrecognizable even
in our own mirrors,

We cannot deny the sound
emanating from our own
severed soul.

It’s the one that constantly
tells us that we don’t belong here,

that we have been forsaken,

and that we have forsook.

Rumi’s reed longed for a heart
so that it could explain
the pain of its yearning
to return to its roots.

This I have.

And so let me tell you how
I have ached:

Like the fledgling thrown
from the nest,
thinking its tending parents
now want it destroyed
on the hard ground below.

Like the Autumn leaves
torn away by winds before
they had conversed
long enough to learn the
names of all the other leaves
on all the other branches.

Like the rock rolled down
the mountain slope
in the wash of heavy winter rains,
never again to know the
boulder in which it was
brought forth from the belly well
of the inner Earth.

This is the power of Love,
I am told:

To dare to risk your offspring
so that they may learn to fly.

To make offerings of yourself
to the Holy that nourishes
you from above and below.

To surrender to the pull of gravity
as a humble act of coming
onto the knees of all Creation.

To dig until the melancholy fingers yield
the droplets of bloodlines
that have departed across entire
Oceans of destiny.

I am the last.

The last child has been taken
from me by the jealous hunters,
and so it stops with me.

I am the last.

I am the last to be the cut reed
and the reed cutter,

The oppressed
and the oppressor.

I am the last to forsake
the Truth
and be forsaken by
the story my lineage
construed to keep us
women safe.

Now is the time that
we must return to our

That we must reclaim
the connection to our Earth-deep
roots and grow forth
again with a ripeness
that when savored
seeks only to unite.

But how?


Acknowledging the suffering
of every reed cut
and of every reed cutter
who has been chased by
the fear of his own death.


Honoring the fleshy sacrifice of the reed
and the soul loss of the
reed cutter,

and the gift of shelter that they
somehow managed to
co-creatively manifest.


Learning to hear the reed’s
cry in my own voice,
and yours,
and too in the voice of the
reed cutters within.

Learning that the sound
most needed now is one
of joy.


Re-membering how to find
the way back to the Earth
through dark passageways,
carrying with me every
incense-infused gift
that my ancestors have passed down
in the wrappings of the prayers that
this day,
I would take up
the alchemical bundle
called Love
and return with it to my roots.

And so I anoint that little boy
and his Mother
with the purest essence of belonging,
praying that they will no longer
feel disconnected, lonely, and unloved.

And down the matrilineal line
this too I receive.

The hungry ghosts will find that there
is nothing left here on which
to feed;

I can again draw nourishment
from who I am.

I am the black bird with a heart
who remembers the holy song
of the forgiving flute
made out of sacred reed.

©2012-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World" 
Published by Talking Waters Press

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