“Featherweight” by Suzy Klassem

 

Featherweight
by Suzy Kassem

“One evening,
I sat by the ocean and questioned the moon about my destiny.
I revealed to it that I was beginning to feel smaller compared to others,
Because the more secrets of the universe I would unlock,
The smaller in size I became.

I didn’t understand why I wasn’t feeling larger instead of smaller.
I thought that seeking
Truth was what was required of us all –
To show us the way, not to make us feel lost,
Up against the odds,
In a devilish game partitioned by
An invisible wall.

Then the next morning,
A bird appeared at my window, just as the sun began
Spreading its yolk over the horizon.
It remained perched for a long time,
Gazing at me intently, to make sure I knew I wasn’t dreaming.
Then its words gently echoed throughout my mind,
Telling me:

‘The world you are in –
Is the true hell.
The journey to Truth itself
Is what quickens the heart to become lighter.
The lighter the heart, the purer it is.
The purer the heart, the closer to light it becomes.
And the heavier the heart,
The more chained to this hell
It will remain.’

And just like that, it flew off towards the sun,
Leaving behind a tiny feather.
So I picked it up,
And fastened it to a toothpick,
To dip into ink
And write my name.”

 

pexels-photo-196667.jpeg

 

Featherweight attribution:
Kassem, Suzy. "Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem". Awakened Press, 2010.

 

 

 

Earth, Air, Water, Fire.

Contentment
by Jim McGregor, The Tao of Recovery

I want money, houses, cats, furs, stereos, friends, and … contentment!

I have everything that I need, but I want more. Then I will be secure.

But will I be content?

My inner space is empty, and I have tried so hard to be fulfilled that I am tempted to give up.

It seems that I have treated spiritual fulfillment as I have treated cars, money, and houses. I want it and I am fighting for it.

I have heard that desires cause pain.
I have heard that peace and serenity are already present in me, if I will only allow them to manifest. 

I believe that I will give up the fight and wait for the beautiful gift of contentment. 

 

 

Wapiti River + O’Brien Provincial Park
South of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

 

The Stars My Destination, Mr. Alfred Bester

Written by Alfred Bester
“The Stars My Destination”

“There’s got to be more to life than just living,” Foyle said to the robot.

“Then find it for yourself, sir. Don’t ask the world to stop moving because you have doubts.”

“Why can’t we all move forward together?”

“Because you’re all different. You’re not lemmings. Some must lead, and hope that the rest will follow.”

“Who leads?”

“The men who must…driven men, compelled men.”

“Freak men.”

“You’re all freaks, sir. But you always have been freaks. Life is a freak. That’s its hope and glory.”

“Thank you very much.”

“My pleasure, sir.”

“You’ve saved the day.”

“Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,” the robot beamed. Then it fizzed, jangled, and collapsed.”

pexel-night-television-tv-theme-machines

“Feel.” Music to Raw Poetry.

Beautiful couple. young girl and a man sitting facing away from each other
Written by
Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers
as preformed by Robbie Williams

 

Feel.

Come and hold my hand,
I wanna contact the living.
Not sure I understand,
This road I’ve been given.
I sit and talk to God,
And he just laughs at my plans.
My head speaks a language,
I don’t understand.

I don’t wanna die,
But I ain’t keen on living either.
Before I fall in love,
I’m preparing to leave her.
Scare myself to death,
That’s why I keep on running.
Before I’ve arrived,
I can see myself coming.

I just wanna feel
Real love fill the home that I live in.
‘Cause I’ve got too much life,
Running through my veins,
Going to waste.
And I need to feel
Real love, be in love ever after.
I can not get enough.

Come and hold my hand,
I wanna contact the living.
Not sure I understand,
This road I’ve been given.

Not sure I understand,
This road I’ve been given.

Not sure I understand.

 

Devour the poetry, then lose yourself in the music. 
Purchase “Feel” by Robbie Williams on Itunes. 

Invictus

Invictus

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Woman walking on the beach at sunset

The Journey to “The Road to India”

 

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs, 2005 

 

Scene 1:
Yoga Studio. Bridge Pose.
“This can’t be it. This is not you. Kerri. What the hell are you doing. You are living the wrong life. You need to fix this. You are meant for more. This cannot be it. No. This is not you.

Woman with mask in funny concept

Scene 2:
The Story Teller. 

“Strange year, 2015 was.
It was the best year ever.

But please do not mistake “best” as a synonym for “easy”, “blissful”, “perfect”.
It was far from that. 2015 was raw, jarring, transformative, and … adventurous.

“Carpe diem” seemed to fit well with the theme of the year… (How could it not be with a catch phrase like “it seemed like a great idea at the time!”.)

The summer of 2015 was… well, something else. Hard. A strange emotion took over me and rattled me defenceless.

Anger.

You don’t know me, (presumably), and I don’t know you, (presumably), but anger was never once a word to be attached to my character. Soft spoken. Door matt. Easy going. No back bone. Submissive. My boiling point would be a crack of emotion falling into tears. Not anger.

The inner guru was awoken after watching an episode of Dr. Phil nearly 13 years ago. “Anger is a masking emotion. You are never JUST angry. Under the emotion of anger resides fear, hurt, and abandonment. Anger only masks it.” At fifteen years old, this was a life altering “a ha!” moment. The only thing stronger than anger, is wisdom. In moments when anger would flush my cheeks, detached, I would go through the checklist until I found the root of the anger.

Yet, here I was.

Angry.
So angry, that it pulsated through my days, weeks, even months, until, September 2015 hit.

So angry, that the only solution was this:
I wrote a letter to my employer requesting a 6 month leaving of absence.
2 months to travel to Goa, India, followed by 4 months to reside in London, UK to work, obtaining my dual citizenship through my fraternal heritage.

(Or… in my mind… two months to just simply let go of everything. Two months where not a single person can reach me. Two months of running away to the desert to pick away the shards of glass in my soul, to wipe clean. Then four months to re-build from the ground up in a city that does not wait for anyone. Hustle or be eaten alive. Prove myself and to find direction in my work life.)

“I will leave Canada March 8th, 2016.”

I have six months to prepare for departure.
I can make it until then.

Focus.
All I need to do is focus.

Scene 3:
Yoga studio.

Unglued in an ocean of self inflicted misery and sweat, I lowered out of Bridge pose, one vertebrae at a time, until my tailbone was firm on my voiceless blue yoga mat.

Anger. Irritation. Boiling over.

“What the hell are you doing going to India? Why are you going to study yoga? Why are you filling your days learning about yoga? You are NOT meant for a life and career to teach yoga.”

This last thought left a whiplash, as a thought of my dream of being a saavy entrepreneur seemed to be continually drifting farther and farther away from me.

“Who am I even?
Have I lost the driven boss lady drive?
Am I now the willowy, poetic, soft, malleable soul?”

A burning flare of heat rippled my body.
Anger.

No.”

Scene 4:
Time. What a brilliant, seductive thought.

Six months to prepare, to focus.
So much can unravel in six months.
Yet. Not a single fucking thing can change.

Each month became a new scene to the road to India.

September. Abundance.My contagious hyperactive faith took hold. I was going to allow this to come to me easy. Effortless. With true discipline and the law of attraction on my side, I have set my intention. All is coming.

October. Infectious second chances. “Carpe diem” was the tone. Drunken nights, a new outlook, new perspective. It was fun. Truly. But I let my guard down. The effect began to show. Hallows’eve allowed me a chance to wear my crude violent anger as a tone of hair colour.

Liverpool red, I called it.
I decided to keep the red hair.

November. Alcohol. Numbing. Debt growing. “I can still do this.”

December. Keep moving. Just keep fucking moving.

January. I withdrew. I realized the truth, and it almost broke me.
India was not going to happen. England was not going to happen.
I found myself withering more inwards – as I was seeing this chance to runaway becoming a foolish whisper of a dream. I did not have the energy to begin to prepare for collusion of a failed opportunity. I just sank deeper.

February. As I tiptoed inward, I absorbed defeat.
This trip was not going to happen.
I need more time. Time I do not have.
I need more money. Money I do not have.

 

 

Scene 5:
March.
Yoga studio. Happy Baby. Vulnerability.

Thoughts of sadness overcame. Pure childlike sadness. I cried.

Then anger appeared. Only one person could occupy the face to my anger.
I felt a wave ripping my attention wide open in this asana.
Grief. Anger. Betrayal. Anger. Abandonment. Anger. Violence. Anger. Addiction.

I heard a familiar soothing voice replay in my mind, a voice who soothed me to sleep each insomniac night. “We don’t need any more anger. We need more love and more self acceptance.”

I melted to the divine present moment I was united with truth.

I did not fail. India is within reach, and to her, I will go.
I may not be able to pursue an epic fresh start in London.
I have something even more precious: A chance to runaway to India.
I don’t need a plan. Or maybe the plan is there is no plan!

It may be on borrowed dime, but I acknowledge at this point im living on borrowed time. I need something drastic, powerful and I need it fast.
Scene 6:
The Storyteller:

In less than one month, I will be flying to New Delhi for the right reasons.
This is not a “fuck you” to anyone. It is not to erase memories, flee, wipe clean. This trip is for me. Absolutely sinfully divinely selfishly for me.

I leave soon, knowing that I do not need to be fearful about leaving. The ones who love me will be there when I return. The ones who love me will welcome me home. The ones who love me let me go, knowing I carry them with me in my heart. They know it will be difficult, and I may break many times on my journey but they will know I am going for the right reasons.

Because one day, I need to know – that a time will come in my life when I  can look in the mirror each morning, reflecting on my love/ career/ passion projects/ family, taking it all in, with gratitude. As I can say without an ounce of hesitation, “if this were my last day on earth, is this exactly how I would chose to live it?”

“Yes.”

David Bowie.

It was a summer of discomfort, transition and growth in the northern city of Grande Prairie. Days were filled with intoxicating contradictions, a medley of heat wave, soul searching and extreme feelings of displacement, anxiety and uncertainty.

And I- I was fighting every single day to turn the negative into something positive. I knew that the shit I was going through needed to happen because there were things in my life that needed to be addressed, changed, and resolved.

I was ready.
I was grateful.

But I was struggling immensely to navigate through the waters to find comfort. I knew from my Yoga training, everything I needed was inside of me – I needed to let go of my attachments and find “my center“. On paper, I knew what was holding myself back, but I was frozen still in a puddle of anxiety.

I needed something- anything – to numb the seducing sense of failure so I could make it through the day.

As I was trying to dissect all this junk in solitude, I was fortunate that two friends of mine, Nate & Jay, saw I was struggling and intervened. The boys would call me on a daily basis and say, “come over to the house Kerri, bring your guitar.”

It took a lot of strength on my part to overcome the introverted walls I had built up, (and on their part, ALOT of pestering/ calling/ texting/ nagging/ peer pressuring! lol) but eventually, they succeeded.

They had no expectations from me. It didn’t matter what kind mood I was in, they were simply happy to see me show up. They gifted me with an unique space where I could be around friends – family, really – but not have to worry about putting on a show or pretending to be ok. It didn’t matter to them. Besides, they would be engrossed in the Xbox, watching old movies – you know- “boy stuff”. Fighting and bickering the whole time like true blood brothers.

I felt safe.

Some nights I wouldn’t even say a word- I would be absorbed in Instagram endlessly looking for quotes that would comfort my heart, hoping that the right combination of words would spark me back to life.

Some nights, I had my laptop or journal in tow, lost in another world where my thoughts drifted into poems, journals, stories and lyrics.

And magically, some nights, like a curious puppy, I would quietly pick up Nate’s guitar and softly strum, it’s six strings whispering words I did not have the energy to speak. I would rest my head along the curves of her body, and just play. Allowing my fingers to go where they desired, but somehow, they seemed to continually flow into the same chord progression.

In the most tender of moments- when I didn’t know how to cope, what words to say, or simply, what I was supposed to do next – I found the comfort I had desperately been seeking- all within an acoustic guitar rooted on my lap, the same chord progression moving my fingers and it’s partnered melody lighting up my imagination.

I began to find my voice. 

When the words failed me, when my shins quivered with anxiety, when I felt like a stranger in my own body- music was there to make me feel whole again. All I had to do is pick up a guitar, and let the music speak for me.

Rest in peace Mr. Bowie.

Thank you for your music.
Thank you for “Heroes”.

Forever in debt,
– kp

jam

winter solstice.jpg

“I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”
      – Billy Joel

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