Truth and Falsehood

Once, Truth and Falsehood met at a crossroads, and after they had greeted each other, Falsehood asked Truth how the world went with him. “How goes it with me?” said Truth. “Each year worse than the last.”

“I can see the plight you are in,” said Falsehood, glancing at Truth’s ragged clothes. “Why even your breath stinks.”

“Not a bite has passed my lips these three days,” said Truth. “Wherever I go, I get troubles, not only for myself, but for the few who love me still. It’s no way to live, this.”

“You have only yourself to blame,” said Falsehood to him. “Come with me. You’ll see better days, dress in fine clothes like mine, eat plenty, only you must not gainsay (contradict) anything I say.”

Truth consented, just that once, to go and eat with Falsehood because he was so hungry he could hardly keep upright.

They set out together and came to a great city, went to the best hotel, which was full of people, and sat and ate of the best. When many hours had gone by, and most of the people had gone, Falsehood rapped with his fist on the table, and the hotelkeeper himself came up to see to their wants, for Falsehood looked like a great nobleman. He asked what they desired.

“How much longer am I to wait for the change from the sovereign I gave the boy who sets the table?” said Falsehood. The host called the boy, who said that he had had no sovereign. Then Falsehood grew angry and began to shout, saying he would never have believed that such a hotel would rob the people who went in there to eat, but he would bear it in mind another time, and he threw a sovereign at the hotelkeeper. “There,” he said, “bring me the change.”

Fearing that his hotel would get a bad name, the hotelkeeper would not take the sovereign, but gave change from the reputed sovereign of the argument, and boxed the ears of the boy who could not remember taking the coin. The boy began to cry, and protest that he had not taken the sovereign, but as no one believed him, he sighed deeply and said, “Alas, where are you, unhappy Truth? Are you no more?”

“No, I am here, ” said Truth, through clenched teeth, “but I had not eaten for three days, and now I may not speak. You must find the right of it by yourself, my tongue is tied.”

When they got outside, Falsehood burst out laughing and said to Truth, “You see how I contrive things?”

“Better I should die of hunger,” said Truth, “than do the things you do.”

So they parted forever.

— “Truth and Falsehood”– Georgios A. Megas, Folktales of Greece (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), pp. 133-34




“The artist isn’t afraid of decay.”

Sitka rose-- 9.18.15, Anchorage, Ak
Sitka rose– 9.18.15, Anchorage, Ak

It’s never comfortable to be the lone voice which speaks contrarily to the group, especially the group to which one feels belonging. The hope is that in speaking truthfully, one might still be loved and accepted – even respected for the courage it takes to say the thing that others dare not.

But often you travel these lengths alone, even from your most beloved companions, and it rarely feels courageous while you do so. But if you can stand the terrible loneliness and doubt, there might slowly emerge the young tendrils of understanding in the hearts of others. Then, and only then, will you see that you’ve been tremendously brave.

Instinctively you know that it isn’t enough to stay within bounds. The soul thrives on novelty. It comes alive in the dynamism of change and works at the edges of our perceived boundaries. It doesn’t ask for permission, because it obeys a higher authority. It takes its cues from the rhythm of nature herself, which is always crumbling into chaos, breaking down into the rich humus that fosters creativity.

The artist is vigilant for those places of stagnancy where traditions have been left unquestioned for too long; where establishments have been exclusive to a chosen few; where chaos and inappropriateness have been cleansed, and therefore thriving just below the polished surfaces.

The artist isn’t afraid of decay – she befriends it. She is an agent of collective conscience – outing the unspoken, exposing the hidden, voicing for the voiceless.~


Animal soul.

My little friend-- 8.1.15, Anchorage, Ak
My little friend– 8.1.15, Anchorage, Ak

Nearer to the earth’s heart,
Deeper within its silence:
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are:
Whereas they are always
Looking out from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being,
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds,
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear-eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And the light and the rain.

~John O’Donohue

Guidance I can trust.

Airport-- Merida, Yucatan, Mexico-- July 2013
Airport– Merida, Yucatan, Mexico– July 2013

If it doesn’t resonate (even if its “supposed” to be the right thing to do), I choose not to do it…
I wait for my intuition and body instinct to give me the go ahead!

I focus on the “feelings” in my body,
I obey my insights,
I can determine the difference between a yes and a no on an energetic level.
I know what’s best for me in any given moment…

I question everything handed to me as gospel,
it is censured through my heart…

I trust my “heart self”
She is my connection to the source of all knowing,
She is my mentor and guide…
Through her I make choices that truly serve my well being and blossoming awareness.
© Caroline de lisser

We’re all indigenous now.

Bohemian waxwing in our crab apple tree-- 1.16.16, Anchorage, Ak
Bohemian waxwing in our crab apple tree– 1.16.16, Anchorage, Ak

This morning during my nature meditation, I became aware once again of the importance of, as Natalie Goldberg has taught, of “caressing the divine details” (seeing with the eyes of the heart). Beholding my surroundings in this way led me to a state of continuous unbroken awareness.

There was a flash of realization that  “civilized humanity” is largely at odds with Mother Nature. As we become present and aware, we naturally bring humanity back in alignment with nature. Now is the time.

We’re all indigenous now.

“Descending into the body…”

Sacred Cave (Yucatan, July 22, 2013)
Sacred Cave (Yucatan, July 22, 2013)

Underneath the narrative of your life, just below the grand storyline, even beneath the colorful emotional landscape, there exists a rich, mysterious world of sensations – a somatically-organized field of intelligence and creativity. It is so alive, a timeless environment of wisdom, clarity, and majesty – but is not organized around the very compelling story of ‘me.’

Despite the vastness, it can also appear a bit disorienting to the mind that is scrambling for ground and a future moment. For within the mandala of the inner body, there are no ‘problems,” and nothing to be fixed, understood, transformed, or shifted. There is only an untamed fire of presence.

In any moment, you can infuse your awareness within this field and see very directly that every feeling and emotion – no matter how disturbing or electrifying – is utterly valid, immediate workable, and outrageously creative. It is an unprecedented assembling of pure energy, weaved of the magic of dark and of light.

Descending into the body, into this wide open, empty space can seem terrifying, because it is so unknown. You can no longer find many of the familiar reference points from which you have come to organize your life. There is no complaining here, no resentment, no ‘understanding’ – not even any ‘transformation’ or ‘healing’ as we have come to think of these terms. Nothing is ‘unhealed’ or in need of transformation. Just raw, naked, experience, free from interpretation and shimmering with awakened energy.

The body is an invitation, an entryway into the freedom, love, and vastness that you are. For it is out of this alive, pregnant crucible of potentiality that flow the qualities of kindness, compassion, attunement, and presence. This is what you are.

— Matt Licata

Everything is inside.

Sunrise-- 1.19.16, Anchorage, Ak
Sunrise– 1.19.16, Anchorage, Ak

Each sensation, each surge of emotion, each wild, untamed feeling – the intelligence of the universe is here. Inside you is the erupting creativity of the sun and of the moon.

— Matt Licata

Waxing moon-- 1.18.16, Anchorage, Ak
Waxing moon– 1.18.16, Anchorage, Ak

The Deep Art of Storytelling.

Roger Fuson tells a story at Tellabration! 2014, 11.22.14, Anchorage, Ak
Roger Fuson tells a story at Tellabration! 2014, 11.22.14, Anchorage, Ak

DAYS AND DAYS WITH A STORY satisfies my longing for more uncanny compassionate performances. Simple images become revelations. The landscape arises as bait for the hook of intelligence. A random event or a small detail reboots deep respect for stories to be told, before white washed editing and political or literal interpretation rests on understanding. The dream of the dream is internal awakening when met with patience and deep listening.

Laura Simms

Surrendering to earth’s intelligence.

Wolcott Circle Spruce Tree-- drawing by Pam in 1980, Anchorage, Ak
Wolcott Circle Spruce Tree– drawing by Pamela Ann McDowell Saylor in 1980, Anchorage, Ak

Book of Hours II, 16 

How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing –
each stone, blossom, child –
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God’s heart;
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

-Rainer Maria Rilke from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy