Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The well


so often I forget

to be thankful
to be kind

caught up with my own life
thinking it is only one sided
needing to forgive

but I need forgiveness
for my own actions

forgive me

found written on a scroll near the Well of Forgiveness

Thursday, September 15, 2005

An Opinion


'tis easy to grant a soul mate
a gift of selfless love enduring;
which includes a caress of solace
for future pain from human error.

Because my 'house is in order' --
at least cobwebs swept from mental attic,
I can give you peace aforethought --
know that this I have fore given thee.

And in the magick of reflection
by which yearning spirit seeks balance,
I know that I am given in turn
soulful peace both fore and aft.

Today and on, I grant a stranger
that which I have learned to from thee --
that open heart and hand includes gift
of saying 'yes' be-fore the dawn of tears.

Forgiveness is chained to sorrow
with links of imagined guilt and shame;
forged by priests in self-enhancement
that you may choose not to empower.

When you escape from simple belief
and transcend to knowing love instead,
then be-fore you sing in sisterhood
you give all -- or not at all, by choice.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ears of the Fountain

I sit here by the fountain -- your fountain,
caressed by mists and music of the fall --
perhaps meant for another;
as I did not come by right of passage,
nor as a life-thirsty traveler,
but as one who would learn
more of forgiveness.

I muse over your fine offerings here --
opened hearts in simple awe and pain,
and sense your still vibrant presence
on the firm stones around me,
each slight indentation on the granite
but a lingering fingerprint of God;
and I shall pay attention.

I followed no serpent, save the one
ever wrapped around my yearning soul --
for Oroborus encircles my passion
in woven cycles of rebirth song
in which shallbeen and everwhen
are but whispers of my being;
and I shall pay attention.

Yet, as I sit alone in the bright shadows --
listening -- absorbing -- embracing;
I already sense a pulsing rhythm
that might guide my chance later sharing.
In timeless draw the word 'forgiveness'
is misspelled and therefore disengaging!
Consider friends the portent of 'fore-giving'


Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Train to Forgiveness

We set off with a light load:
Picnic stuff, pen and paper.
The grassy hill has a worn path
as wide as one foot.
The path leads straight up
And wanders near the edge,
Where you can have
a striking view of the bay.
Little boats dock
And children play in the surf.

A short walk and we arrive,
To a flat spot with a 360 degree view.
The sun is bright.
The sky is its most blue.
And here I write about forgiveness…

The seagulls cry out.
And with the magic earpiece I hear,
“The air is free and so am I!”

Under an umbrella
I write:

The Train:
from Venice to Rome

After settling in
I find my mother
dozing quietly near the window.

I want to write in my journal.
Flipping through
I find
an old entry about Leo’s birthday.
What was Leo’s favorite candy?
So I asked her,
Do you remember?
She slowly replies
with a deep chuckle,

And that begins the unwholesome story
of my father.
I can’t get a clear view of him.
And when it is clear,
I prefer the mystery.

I would like to imagine him good and kind
But my mother knew him, very well.
He was a hurtful person.

My aunt gives me a different view,
But she was too young.

I try to keep the conversation trivial.
But the long drives to Las Vegas,
Reappear without asking.
The strip clubs
With my young mother in tow.
How awful.
How undignified.
How sad.

It breaks my heart for her.
How… Why…

She was pushed so far,
It changed her.

If she was innocent and sweet,
It made her slightly rough and callous.
And that just pisses me off.

I have tried to change the view of my dad.
But what do you do?

He was a big tipper.
He likes to show off…

While in Orvieto,
we stop at a lovely restaurant,
and order a five-course lunch.

I don’t drink by choice,
But I decide to have a glass of wine
with this fine meal.
We are in Italy after all.
My mother puts her head on the table
And sobs.
Crying out in protest.
We all stare at her,
I fear a scene.

She makes me so angry.
She is always trying to control me.

From them on I move very carefully.
It taints our trip a bit.

But after some timid conversations,
I learn.
Her fear is the afternoon alcoholic.
At 36, I have never until then
had an entire glass of wine to myself.

On the train home,
we pass amazing landscapes.
I never thought I would
Spend time with my Mom in Italy.

Unshed tears, renewed anger.
I must move forward in this life.
I cannot hang on to old pains.
I make choices everyday,
That make me a worthwhile human being.
Each day is new.

The seagulls cry out.
We walk as my thoughts
go in and out of focus.

And there…
Hidden by an ancient oak
Is the Well Of Forgiveness.
A bamboo ladle waits.
I cup my hands,
With this magic liquid
And drink.

I think…
Not by magic
Not by force,
Can forgiveness be made.
By much working of the heart.
Can the edge of hate and disappointment,

In this chosen moment,
I give away my icky heartache.
I give my pain to the open sky.
And she takes it.
Drink in lightness.
Drink in wonder.
Drink in freedom.
As the air is free,
So am I.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Burden Lifted

I arrived at the well at high noon when my shadow was neither right nor left of me, when she was below me and, for the moment, out of sight.

The Blue Racer was draped across my shoulders, her serpent skin reflecting the brilliant blue of the sky. Her body was as the softest of leather. I called her Sunshine because even on the dullest of days, she was a ray of sunshine.

The letter, neatly folded into my pocket, asked forgiveness of many, not the least of which was myself. I was blamed, you see, for many things, most that were beyond my control, and I accepted and shouldered the guilt as if it were my duty to do so. I thought it was ... at the time. I accepted the blame and in turn, blamed others, which I discovered was a recipe for disaster.

I wrote and asked forgiveness of those whom I had, perhaps falsely, blamed. I told them that I was through shouldering the guilt I thought they had placed on my very young shoulders, telling them that it had taken me a very long time, decades in fact, to realize that I was not at fault and neither were they, for they were beings of their time as I am a being of mine. I knew as I approached the fountain that the burden had been lifted. The Serpent, Sunshine, had guided me through the labyrinth and to the fountain whose waters sparkled with the light of the universe. I retrieved the letter from my pocket and held out to the flowing waters. The sunlight caught it and burned, smoldering at first, from the center outward until all that remained were the ashes that floated away in the breeze.

I had cast my burden aside and in-so-doing had relieved others of theirs. Therein lies true forgiveness.

August 28, 2005

House of Serpents

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While everyone went to the Duwamish River and the Fountain of Forgiveness I took the time to wander up the path to look down upon the House of the Serpents and mull over the questions I would ask the Gorgons. As I sat, sketching, more snakes were making their way to the House. Clearly they are coming from far afield and are sssniggering about the fact that visitors have come.

Fountain of Forgiveness - Leonie Bryant

I have been down to the Fountain of Forgiveness this morning. I donned my glasses and absorbed the atmosphere around the river. The birds were very busy as you know it is almost springtime here. They were dancing around, singing their mating songs and feverishly picking choice titbits for their nests.

I took with me Esmeralda my beautiful snake. She is emerald green with metallic markings all along her back. She slid along beside me guiding me to the fountain. As we approached the pools I once again felt this sacred space. I sat, taking in the peace and calm of the waters. Gently I stooped down and put my face down and drank of this crystalline water.

I was moved to write my letter of forgiveness in the peace and quiet. As a sign that I had forgiven, I took my letter and with fire let it rise up in flames.

Fountain of Forgiveness by Gail Kavanagh

I am accompanied everywhere at the House of the serpents by a small green tree snake called Ernestine. We have been having friendly talks about the poor image snakes have in the world beyond, and a host of other things. Ernestine is very well read, since she usually resides in the library at the House of the Serpents. She curls herself around the visitors' necks and shares their books.

She likes to ride with me curled around my arm, which makes me feel like a Cretan priestess. I have taken to wearing a long flowing dress with a metal belt shaped like a snake that I found in my room. Every morning, Ernestine and I watch the sun rise over the valley - this friendship with a snake would have surprised and even shocked me once - but since getting to know Ernestine, I am taking quite a different view of snakes.

Today she showed me the way to the Fountain of Forgivenmess - I have never tasted such pure, sweet water. There was some parchment and pen and ink nearby and I sat down to write a letter of forgiveness. As I have already forgiven all wounds and injuries - in my previous soul searching I made the surprising discovery that I am no saint myself - I decided to ask forgiveness of my body for the wretched way I have treated it. If a body is a temple, then I have treated mine as an attic. Filled it with junk and neglected it shamefully, yet it has given me very little trouble for almost 60 years. Then, just because it started to complain of arthritis, I reacted as if it had left me down shamefully.

No more - from now on I will be grateful for every day it still gives me, and the many ways in which I can still enjoy use of it. I hope it can forgive me (especially for the number of time I dumped it on its behind getting here...)

Ernestine seemed to find the whole concept very hilarious, but then she has a lovely sinuous snake body that glides and slides around. I love to watch her.

After the Fountain of Forgiveness we wandered back up to the House of the Serpents where all the talk is of the disappearing river. I took a copy of the Duwamish Courier out onto the veranda and tried to read it, but there are flocks of startlings circling over the valley and that distracted me. I have never see so many, and they sparkle in the sky like drops of silver water...

The Other Side by Anita Marie Moscoso

I haven't come here to forgive the things others have done to me.

I've come here to forgive myself.

I walked through the ruined gates and murky waters and passed the ruined tombstones and and when I walk back out I'm going to leave behind every injury I've ever done to myself.

I need to lay it all to rest and move ahead.

So I'm going to forgive myself for all of those awful things I told myself over the years: I was stupid, ugly, worthless, dirty, a failure and a disgrace. Words and deeds more hateful and harmful then anything inflicted upon me by my worst enemy.

It's important that I forgive myself for making a life a chore, a task a sentence instead of the gift of adventure it was intended to be.

I've come here to forgive myself ... once upon a time my worst enemy.

I hope she will become my friend.

Fountain of Forgiveness Part 2 Alex Chua

As I drifted off into sleep, I could feel the slip of water I drank from the Fountain of Forgiveness flowing through my body. My consciousness followed the flow and I found myself in a labyrinth. My legs were walking by themselves again and I was an observer. I heard the voice of Alexandria (my spirit guide donkey) as Maya (my totem spider).

“There is only one path in a labyrinth. This path always leads you to the source of forgiveness and unconditional love. You have made the choice to enter. Now, follow it with faith and you will arrive at the center of the labyrinth where a sacred space is waiting for you to experience healing and rejuvenation. There you will feel the redemptive powers of forgiveness and you will be empowered with the energy of love! You will once again feel light and free, without the chains of anger, bitterness and guilt! Forgiveness frees your spirit.”

“Easier said than done... ” I thought to myself.

“The labyrinth symbolizes a transformative journey into your own inner essence and back out into the world... just follow your heart and listen to the music from your soul” whispered Maya, “and you will find your way.”

I continued walking through the circuitous, spiral and meandering path, keeping my focus on reaching the heart of the labyrinth where I will find the secret of forgiveness.

“Wrong!” screamed Maya in the voice of Alexandria the donkey. “There is no way to forgiveness... forgiveness is the way. You reflect on your life as you walk this labyrinth and you will become aware of how your life is like this walk... and you will come to realize the importance of forgiveness and why anger, bitterness and guilt are all unnecessary.”

So... I will learn the lessons as I walk... hmn.

I pushed on. This labyrinth was a test on my patience... there were sharp turns that led me along rocky parts and there were long, slow portions that seemed to go on forever. I felt I was going in circles and not getting anywhere. I observe the flowers along the paths and I notice that I am in a different place. There were subtle differences that marked my progression towards the center. I quickened my pace and as I did so, the path seems to grow in length!!! I felt that I was somehow farther from the center than when I first started!

“Am I still on the right path?” I questioned myself.

“Good... ” I heard her voice again “I see that you are awakening... you are becoming aware of your experience. Now just relax and enjoy the walk. Do not panic and do not rush, or you will miss the point. As it is with walking the labyrinth, so it is with life... the point of living is being in the present moment. The present moment is where you find power and have the responsibility to make choices.”

I realised an inner knowing of the truth that exists within these words of wisdom. The past is gone and the future has yet to arrive. Only in the present moment do I have the power to live my life to the fullest. There is no sense in feeling regret, angry or guilty about the past. Similarly, there is no reason to fear or worry about the future. Instead, I must learn from the past, be inspired by the future and simply take positive action in the present. I felt a surge of elation, engulfed by a deep sense of peace. Peace of mind.

A distant memory invaded my tranquility and at that instant, my peace was lost. I was suddenly filled with anger at my girl friend for deserting me. My mind was flooded with shame as the memory replayed itself with 32 bit true colour and 3 dimension surround sound. Although we are back together again, I never really forgiven her. I was overwhelmed with both anger and guilt at the same time. As I stood frozen in my tracks and wallowed in self pity, I heard Maya's whisper coming from all directions.

“Just because you do not agree with the decision someone has made about their life does not mean that they are wrong. Each of us are walking in this labyrinth called life. Each will walk at their own pace and each will be at different points of labyrinth at any one time. Cultivate the compassion to see your fellow beings clearly and you will no longer need to judge them.”

My hatred dissipated and with it my pain. I remember all those beautiful memories we shared together and the previous scene faded into oblivion. I t was suddenly clear to me that I have unconciously allowed allow one negative event to define the course of my love story! The speel was broken forever and the truth set me free! Now I understand.

I was the one at fault all this while and I could not see... how stupid can I be? I am so unworthy of love!

“Maybe it will help if you also stop judging yourself. Forgive and you shall be forgiven... you are on the right path too. In the labyrinth of life, there are no wrong paths. A labyrinth may look like a maze at first but it is not. A labyrinth has twists and turns but there are no dead ends. There is only one path, and you cannot get lost. The same path that brings you into the labyrinth brings you out again. Walking the labyrinth of life need not be frustrating or frightening. You can choose how you feel while you walk. Why not choose to enjoy the flowers?” Suggested Maya faithfully.

I found myself at the center of the labyrinth and I saw the Fountain of Forgiveness resting in the embrace of nature. It was overflowing with what I now recognise as unconditional love. I understood that at this present moment, both my girl friend and myself were no longer who we were when that awful incident happened. That was a moment in the past which cannot be changed. The two of us that existed at that moment were gone forever... ...

There were a piece of bark and a burnt twig sitting quietly at the base of the fountain. It was as if they have been waiting patiently for my awakening. I picked them up and started writing a letter of forgiveness to my beloved.

As I finished off with my signature, a strong gush of wind blew past and the bark glided away from my fingers into the Fountain of Forgiveness. I watched in amazement as the letter dissolved and became one with the holy water. At that moment, I knew that I too was ready to become one with the water in the fountain.

Fountain of Forgiveness - Alex Chua

After missing in action for so long, I feel disconnected, isolated & lost. It is a sad feeling but I just have to endure the immediate loneliness by fueling my spirits with the beautiful memories from the recent past and inspiring visions of the impending future. I resolve to find my fellow travellers again!

But how? Hmn... I remember... I reached into the dusty bag and pulled out the pair of magic spectacles and the special ear piece...

My reality expanded beyond possibilities once I put on these magical aids! I began to see colours and hear sounds that form an infinite grid of energetic pathways that is the proverbial zone which is also know as the field. When I am in the field, I was at one with nature... I was in the universe and the universe was in me... I was the rustling of the leaves and I was the gurgling waters flowing along the underground rivers... I was in the flow and the flow lead me to the Fountain of Forgiveness.

(I was not given a serpent as I was late and all the serpents have gone away...)

As I enter the waters in the Fountain of Forgiveness... I felt myself being purged from the flow... I heard the water speak to my heart... I realised that I was not being rejected by the Fountain of Forgiveness... it was in fact me rejecting the pureness of the Fountain water.

There were people I needed to forgive... and before I do that, I cannot be at one with this source of life. Take a sip from my crystalline waters... I was told... and you will find it in your heart to forgive...

I took a sip and I felt sick... I have to rest now... I wonder what awaits me tomorrow...

Quench my thirst - Lois Daley

I shall fly on wings with this serpent of mine
So that I may partake of healing waters
To remember those who scorned me long ago
Not to ask forgiveness
There is nothing to forgive
To love children long gone is easy
To love he whom I loved for many years is no burden
I do not need to drink of the Crystalline waters
The past has been forgiven long ago
I will rest and reminis without tears,
remembering those whose blood runs through my veins and
mine through theirs
I drink only at the fountain to quench my thirst....
Lois (Muse of the Sea) .

Friday, August 26, 2005

At the Fountain of Forgiveness

After a walk along the dry riverbed, which had its own austere beauty, my two lovely resident serpents whispered to me that the Fountain of Forgiveness was very near. They nudged me in the right direction, and I found a lovely shaded pool with a cacsading fountain of water. I sat by the pool for quite some time with my two companions, who lay on a warm rock that the sun struck as it penetrated the trees. I could not think of the person that most needed my forgiveness, and so was hesitant to drink from the fountain. I ate the delicious lunch that Cook packed for me and drowsed by the fountain. AFter a brief nap, I cupped my hands and drank from the fountain. Immediately I knew who needed my forgiveness and why. I pulled out my notebook and wrote a letter, which I folded into a tiny paper airplane. I stashed it in my bag for a later date, a day when I was near a cliff, so that it could be lifted on a rising thermal column and deliverd to the universe. The snakes formed themselves into a heart shape on the rock, which made me laugh. I walked back to the H of S along the dry riverbed, and caught sight of a serpentine path formed lazily in the air. As I gazed at it, a fish fell from the sky. I caught the poor thing, and took it back to the fountain, placing it gently in the pool. It swam away with a flash of gold.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fountain of Forgiveness

Today Sylvia (my snake) showed me around the grounds of the House of the Serpent. She slithered along just in front of me. Cook had provided us with a picnic basket for our

We wandered down the path, winding this way and that. I thought we would get horribly lost. The path opened out into a large clearing with a fountain at its centre. Sylvia said -“This is the Fountain of Forgiveness, drink from its waters and find forgiveness in your heart.”- as she curled up on a rock to sun herself.

I drank of the waters and settled back to write my letter of forgiveness. When I had finished I folded it up and tied it to the branch of a nearby olive tree. I settled back in the sun with Sylvia for a picnic lunch and an afternoon nap.

in which Hiss and I visit the fountain of forgiveness and make a krathong

The day dawned bright clear so, having nothing more pressing to do, Hiss and I set off to explore the grounds of the House of Serpents. I had been told that there was a fountain of forgiveness and I was interested to see what it was like. Not because I had anybody or anything to forgive, I didn’t think, but because this fountain was very old and was reputed to have healing properties. I knew it was quite a way away so I took some refreshment for myself. I regret to say that I didn’t pack anything for Hiss as I guessed (quite correctly as it happened) that he would be able to feed himself on the frogs near the fountain.
I had been told to follow a well-worn path through the woodlands to get to the fountain as it was a popular place and that I would have no difficulty recognising it from all the votive offerings hanging in the trees.
When I got to the fountain I sat down in the shade of a willow tree while Hiss went off to find a frog or two, ate my packed lunch and thought about things. I allowed myself to drift into a sun-warmed doze. I saw myself on a darkened beach launching my krathong onto the waves. Launching a krathong on moving water is a buddhist idea. You make a krathong from a cross-section from a banana tree, attach flowers, foliage, one candle and three incense sticks. You light the incense and candles, place it on the water (stream or river) and push it off and it takes away all the bad things that have happened to you during the course of the year. I decided I would make a krathong and would put my letter of forgiveness on it and launch it on the little stream that flowed away from the fountain of forgiveness.
Having thus decided, I returned to my room in the House of Serpents to write my letter. Hiss confirmed that what I was about to do was a good idea and asked if he could add his bit in a PS at the end. He was feeling a bit guilty about the number of frogs he’d consumed recently. I waited until dusk had fallen to return to the fountain to light my incense and candle and send my krathong on its way. I watched it drift away until my eyes hurt with straining to see the ever diminishing flame in the darkness. Eventually all that was left was a faint aroma from the incense sticks.
I made my way in peace back to the House of Serpents.