The Shape of Desire
by Shiloh Sophia
The Muse comes to my backdoor
I am feeling overwhelmed with life today
so I am grateful for the distraction
I throw open the door.
She raises an eyebrow
and steps cooly into the kitchen,
I notice she has muddy feet
and is tracking grassy prints
onto my newly mopped floor.
She smiles, coy as usual
and starts in right away…
Why don’t you ask for what you want?
Because I am often afraid
to ask for what I want,
I feel guilty for wanting it at all.
I do not ask
because I fear I might not get it.
So to name it means
I will have spoken aloud something
which may not come to be,
Then my want turns to awareness
of the lack of what I had named.
pours herself a cup of coffee
adds three teaspoons of honey
and sits at the table.
Make yourself at home, why don’t you
Such is the stuff of self-shame
So, if in secret you do not speak it
then is your desire somehow safe?
Why do you desire such safety?
Even for something ecstatic like
the fire of desire? You are missing out,
You think you can moderate
something like that by keeping a lock on it?
It’s still there,
hiding behind your shadow trapdoor.
I guess I think it is better to not name it
than to risk not having it and know I don’t.
I am not making sense, am I?
Hey, what’s a shadow-trap-door anyway?
Well there is an inherent flaw
in your approach,
Many things will be given
and taken away
whether you name it or not.
These are not punishments or rewards
They are just life happening through you
Yet if you are not present enough
and brave enough to speak to desire,
then the most potent of
potentials may not arrive at all…
I ponder how I have been keeping
what I want hidden for a long time,
I notice she has tiny white flowers
cascading in her tangled hair
She always looks like she just
walked out of some
wild forest disco party
and I missed out.
I say: Oh…My…
Now that is a risk – to not know
how you actually feel
to not love what you actually love
To miss out on the feeling of it altogether,
Now that is a risk!!!!
She gestures for me
to have a seat at the table.
I have already had too much coffee
but I make one anyway
I also pull out my birthday cake
leftovers in the fridge,
pull off the saran wrap and
hand her a fork.
She genuinely grins,
takes a huge bite of a pink frosting rose
and she says:
Cake for breakfast?
Now, aren’t you something wild and sweet?
My mood is already improving,
If you don’t ask
then you don’t know
Then you may not have your desires at all
Not as a punishment, but
because your life has no place
upon which this beauty can become itself.
Beauty must reveal itself,
sometimes with a little flirt,
a little bit of lace, or an offer of cake!
You can’t earn it or deserve it
All the beautiful things are graces,
Your desire makes a space,
a fertile ground for growing
something new, you know?
She has frosting on her upper lip
and I get lost in her smile
I start to feel less agitated and
I just feel grateful for her presence.
I manage a reply:
Oh. Um. Oh. So. What do I do now?
Consider that the desire you seek
is a sensation not a destination,
I feel the quickening in my body
as she says those words.
Today is a good day to begin
being honest with yourself
about what you want,
But I do give you this one bit of advice…
What you seek is a feeling,
and that feeling is inside,
and only you can bring it forth
Not naming your desire
Isn’t going to hurt anyone
You don’t need to tell anyone
but at least, tell yourself
And stop lying to yourself
Thinking that withholding your joy
somehow increases the joy of others.
Not so, more bullshit
Compassion for others doesn’t
look like what you think it does.
A shadow door hides all the things
you make up to be good
Like thinking if you don’t have desire
you are somehow helping the world
be a better place because you think
people who want things are somehow
bad capitalist, consumerists – but
you have mixed your metaphors again
Good people wanting good things
for themselves and others is a good thing
So, What do you really want?
The words come easy now and I say:
I want to tell myself the truth,
I want to feel how that feels.
Now that is a worthy thing to want,
a worthy thing to desire
Start right there…
I already have
Later as I am cleaning up,
I notice her hot pink lipstick kiss
on the edge of the white cup.
I take off my shoes
and walk outside
barefoot in the grass
a silly grin on my face
and the sensation of desire
fills my body with hope.
I am taking on the shape of desire.
I feel all of it
I feel fulfilled for today
I am a permission slip
to open to my own truth
…and cake and a cuppa,
for breakfast with the Muse
is always a good way to begin
~ Shiloh Sophia
Red Thread Letter #880
Embracing our Desires
Dear One Sarah,
I’ve been known to be a big dreamer. I always have since I was a little girl. This is mostly because I love serving others, and so I am always finding ways to expand my capacity to reach those who are seeking spaces of community and self expression.
This is how I’ve been able to do some of my deepest soul work – like going to the United Nations on behalf of women and girls. Or bringing virtual museum exhibits to thousands of people world-wide to witness images made by women. These, and many other projects, all started with a desire that I nurtured, some of which took many years to come to fruition.
The word desire is often a hot button word. Some of us love thinking about our desires and embrace them, while some of us have been conditioned to believe that our desires don’t matter or may be selfish, unrealistic, (fill in the blank).
Especially now, it can be hard to focus on what we want to create in our lives when there is so much going wrong and so many are suffering.
So for today, I am inviting you to consider this inquiry:
What are you present to when it comes to what YOU desire?
Here at Musea, we let the pen and paper do the work. Got 10 minutes? Of course you do! Take a pause in a quiet place where you can close your eyes, and with paper and pen, ask yourself: What do I desire? or Am I worthy to desire what I want? Then, allow the pen to move however it wants and see what emerges.
When finished, speak aloud to yourself what it is that you discovered. This will bring life to those words and give them space to be witnessed and heard.
You can go a step further by considering how your stated desires will not only bless you, but others around you. Good people who want good things in the world naturally give as they receive greater abundance in all ways. There is often a ripple effect beyond our knowing…
One of my big desires came true last weekend. Jonathan and I welcomed guests into our new studio and gallery, Musette Atelier! We are located on the Sonoma Plaza, where my mother and grandmother had owned their own businesses many years ago. A full circle experience that has fed my soul and breathed fresh life force into my work.
While there is a level of risk involved in starting any new venture, the greater risk (in my experience) is not choosing to bring awareness to that which brings us joy and a true sense of purpose. Life will continue to happen, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and so I choose to keep dreaming my big dreams, and falling in love with the mystery…
I’m thinking of you today and holding awareness of the desires that matter to you.