Do the Stars Long to Shine?

It is in the nature of Life for it to throw us some curves and challenges. My resilience has been challenged in the last eight months by the death of my father, my sister in and out of critical care at the hospital four times out of six visits in a four month period, my car rear-ended at high speed on the freeway and totaled…all this for starters. And now…
Now it’s been too long since I’ve posted and I start getting that constipated-creative uncomfortable feeling when I’m not sharing here something of what’s flowing through my system. Perhaps it was the recent week spent with my 93 year old mother-in-law in her dying time. It was the most conscious passing that I have been privileged to be part of. And it was an intense week. I have journaled about it…and not yet posted the intimate reflections.
That week was immediately followed by four days with 700 or so of the world’s top resiliency and sustainability scientists, researchers and practitioners at the Resiliency 2011 conference held at Arizona State University. Talk about a cognitively intense and analytical experience!
I retreated to quiet evenings and dinner alone in order to integrate and incubate on the days’ events. I’ve been writing on this momentous 2nd international event, and this post will be followed by at least one if not more to come.
It is time however for me to open the spigot here, so to speak, or risk the consequences of damming myself up more. So here goes; below is my first conference evening’s response to perhaps 15 heady scientific papers and two keynote presentations on Resilience, Innovation, and  Sustainability: Navigating the Complexities of Global Change.
OK, so I was desperate for some heart felt expression.

A Resilient Nebula?

Cone Nebula

Do the stars long to shine?

A tree think to grow roots?

The meadowlark to sing?

Resilient SerpentDoes the young bull snake
at my door consider if
the time is right to shed its skin?

Resilient InsectImagine the dilemma of the cicada—

whether to risk crawling out of an exoskeleton

grown too small—or to stay safe…inside.

And what of the butterfly?
Imagine the quandary of the caterpillar:Resilient Transformation
Should I surrender to this impulse
dissolve into a gelatinous molecular gel today
and risk…risk what?
What shall I become?
Will I have a name?
Will I know it?

No? You cannot imagine these things?

Then try this:

Imagine you live undivided—

at one with who you are.

Trusting fully

the intelligence of the life force

of which you are a particularized expression

—not fragmented and not broken—

and you are fully capable of listening…

listening to the still deep silence

that palpable presence

living in an old growth forest of towering Red Wood trees

living in the eyes of every new born baby

living amidst the rising and falling ocean swells

with you in your kayak and

not another soul visible—anywhere

yet there is a presence in the beating of your own heart

a primal drum calling you home

like a rain drop returning to the sea.


Resilient Rain Drop

Please share this post if you like it… and commenting is good for…well, I appreciate ’em! So take a wild risk and share your response.

Note: Audio and slides of invited presenters are now up on the conference web site program page: Resilience 2011 Program.


  1. cheryl

    03/31/2011 at 8:55 am

    How beautifully you have expressed your thoughts and feelings. It has been a challenging time for your family. But also, a time of learning to trust and grow closer. Being here in Hawaii helps me appreciate the power of nature more than ever. The landscape, the ocean, witnessing the power of the tsunami all make me believe more in the intimate bond we have with the earth. Wishing you peace. Cheryl

  2. Tom Wojick

    03/31/2011 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for opening the spigot just a little! I read this just after having an intimate visit with me deceased father. I was appreciating the deep level of trust we developed in last few years. I really miss him.

  3. Kelsey

    04/03/2011 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings. I lost both of my parents two years ago, and also had the intimate experience of being alone with each of them as they passed, 3 weeks apart! Renewing my ties with nature on a daily basis, reading poems like yours, trying to be in the moment, loving everyone in my life and my dog and cats … is what makes sense to me. Those who write and share like you do help my journey more than you can know!

  4. Larry Glover

    04/08/2011 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks for your note Kelsey. The loss of both parents within three weeks of each other…can only be intense beyond words. And your turning to nature and your love of life for renewal…well, as you know that is where I turn also.
    One concept I picked up at the Resilience 2011 conference is the idea of ‘urgent Biophilia.’ It was used principally in the social context of people turning to nature and gardening during times of war and environmental disasters. It fits for me too on a real personal level: finding renewal in and through nature during our personal challenges is… shall we say “second nature” to us.
    And Thanks too Kelsey for the writing encouragement. Comments such as yours help me keep going too.

  5. Rose Gordon

    10/24/2011 at 6:09 pm

    Beautiful heart felt posting and replies. Inspiring. I did have a friend, from way back on my commune days, find me and come help for a few months. He was in pretty rough space emotionally, physically and psychically. I asked him to work on my garden in exchange for room and board, partly as a means to help him maintain his dignity and partly cause i thought it could help him. Later he told me that working in the garden every day saved his life. And he grew the biggest, most beautiful Sunflower, that one first prize at the county fair. Taking a risk myself here, he returned the favor some years later – after he had died of a heart attack -and saved my life, warning me VERY CLEARLY in a dream that the brakes on my care were failing, which they were…I would have lost control on my 85 mile journey home to Taos, but because of Santiago’s clear advice I did not. Working in and with the earth is a precious source of healing…in this case it saved 2 lives!:)

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