I am celebrating the 900th Letter from the Red Thread Cafe
with the topic that started it all…compassion.
It was this time of year, I was 24 years old. I had just left San Francisco and my corporate gig and higher education for a life on the mountain with my mother, Caron and Sue. A chop wood carry water life.
Here I had a series of very beautiful and heart-breaking experiences that left me truly changed. I felt like I could hear the cries of the world and I had to respond with my own life to offer encouragement and care and blessing. This is when my Great Work, Intentional Creativity came forth. This was my way to respond and share the medicine I carry. Is it medicine that we actually care? I think so, as so many do not. Joanna Macy reminds us not to take for granted that we care, but to cherish that we do, because it isn’t as common as we think.
This letter, number 900 is an honoring of my own devotion to offer comfort and encouragement – and also a call to awaken compassion. It hasn’t been a chore, even when a letter like this takes hours upon hours to create and send, it is still a pure joy. Thank you to Sarah Mardell, Director of Communications here at Musea for being my partner in delivering these letters to you since 2012.
Dear hearts, during times of challenge and change, it can be hard to see beyond what we are each going through personally. We are so caught up in our own pain it can be hard to look up and see the pain of others, do we have room for it even? Can we metabolize it? Be with it? Will it make us feel worse? Sometimes it does. Yet I want those I work with to get stronger, so we don’t have to turn from suffering, but can be resourced enough to turn towards it.
You can read my letter about compassion and see my new painting below – or you can listen to me read it, live from Musette Gallery on my new podcast, Tea with the Muse HERE. (also available on Spotify and Apple)
I remember the day I started these letters. I was sitting at my table in Mendocino, my gallery was called Wisdom House. I learned the software and just started that day and I haven’t stopped since. That was over 18 years ago. Thank you to those who have been here for years reading my poetry and writings, and witnessing my art – THANK YOU. I am truly grateful and look forward to bringing you messages of inspiration, love, poetry and stories for years to come.
Red Thread Letter #900
Opening the Portal of Compassion
PORTAL of COMPASSION
I often wonder
why some people care so much
and some people don’t care so much
Is it possible to teach compassion
or do we have to awaken to it
through personal experience?
Compassion is as mysterious as grace,
a gift to the Human Spirit from the Divine Spirit
A way to open consciousness rooted in love
Compassion is elusive to teach
or to compel, when someone is adverse
to this kind of heartful care
and loving kindness
At times we almost seem afraid of it,
What might happen if we love that much?
Might it hurt? Yes it can hurt, and it can heal
What needs to happen to open the heart?
To say to Life and to feel in one’s own life:
“May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the
light of their own true nature.
May all beings be free.”
When I sing these words from the Metta Prayer
I always cry, because I really really really
feel it and really really really mean it with my whole being
Is that so strange to feel? So uncommon?
I remember the day my heart opened
Since that day I have not ceased to do my part
to open hearts too, to a deeper level of caring
Mostly it is a long journey to teach this,
not because people don’t care but because
they are truly busy, challenged, afraid
and find this life difficult to navigate
I do understand, I do
I want so much to speak of the quiet joy
that comes from loving so much even
so much that it hurts sometimes
I want to speak to what is possible
when compassion comes to live in your home
I want us to care more
Oh I have plenty of places where I am
challenged to care – usually when there is
lying, cruelty, rudeness, lack of care or witness,
addiction without acknowledgement
It challenges me to find new places
as I lean into my edges
It isn’t that those of us who are teaching love,
have it all sorted out and can share it with you
so you can do as we do – not so
Rather, those of us in teaching love,
learn to love more
and that is pure joy
I just want us to care more
and I also want to care more
and allow my actions to follow that care
May the portal of compassion be opened
to every being who is ready to receive
May the portal of compassion be a tender
teacher to every being ready to give more love
May the portal of compassion show us
the way to be human together
and fall in love with Creation
Everything that is on this earth
was given by grace, given freely,
this is our paradise given
Oh please let us know this with
our whole soul