108 Days of American Sentence – 23

Brown rabbit crosses curved path – pine tree, moist earth, lilac – cool breeze on skin.

~

evening aspen on way to see my love © Holly Troy May 4, 2017

incarnation manifestation – root wisdom

evening at forbidden meadow - holly troy 2016

 

Love yourself. Love your body. Love Mama Earth. Love one another. Love. Remain in your body, meet the world in Love.

What do you want to make real? You have the right to be here – what do you want to do with your physical time on the planet?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Collected Quotes on Muladhara Chakra to ponder:

“The Thing To Remember ~ we all chose to incarnate to go through the times ahead together.” ~ Anne Ortelee

“You are one of the ones of the One…” ~ Bill Attride

“I feel like a citizen [—] it’s time to go and come back a drifter.” Jean Michel Basquiat – from The Notebooks

“We are this close — this close! — to losing our democracy to the mercenary class. So close it’s as if we’re leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon waiting for a swift kick in the pants.” – Bill Moyers

“Young folks today . . .  are placed on a conveyor belt and expected to achieve as quickly as possible, to make big life decisions before they are ready.” – Penny Arcade, New York Times, Penny Arcade is Still a Force in Edinburgh

“In every out thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is a story of the earth.” ~ Rachel Carson

“You are your own forerunner, and the towers you have builded are but the foundation of your giant-self. And that self too shall be a foundation.” ― Khalil Gibran

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” ― Khalil Gibran

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself” Khalil Gibran

Khalil GibranCareful-quote-Malcolm-X“I’ve had a problem feeling real all my life.” – Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

“PLEASE BELIEVE ME. I’M REAL. NO REALLY, IT HAPPENED. IT HURT.” – Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

“I don’t know what belonging means… I can only use my brain and intellectualize. I really wouldn’t able to tell you from the heart what belonging means… My memories of that place are my link to the place — memories of your experience in a place is your link… All people belong to the world. There is no exclusivity in that… The soil from America can differ from the soil in Malaysia, but its soil, it’s still the same. And the color of people’s skin can differ from place to place but it’s still skin. And, in that regard, there is no difference. People must belong to the earth and a traveller must belong to world somehow and the world must belong to her or him somehow. But, you know, then there’s the social level — that’s just the archetypal level, people usually live in the social level.” —Jeff Buckley

“We do not exist in isolation. Our sense of community and compassionate intelligence must be extended to all life-forms, plants animals, rocks, rivers and human beings. This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future.” ~Terry Tempest Williams

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”~ Emma Lazarus

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.”  —Stephen Covey

“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. But when none of this is presented to them, if they’re not shown how food affects the mind and the body, they blindly eat whatever you put in front of them.” ~ Ron Finley

“Poetry is my native land.” ~ Marina Tsvetayeva

“We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere/We have a country of words.” ~ Mamoud Darwish

Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. As members of such an economy, we have all been programmed to respond to human difference between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals. As a result, those differences have been misnamed and misused in the service of separation. ~ Audre Lorde Sister Outsider (1984)

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” ~ Irish proverb

“Our cities with their swollen populations and cliff dwelling high-rise buildings are breeding places for loneliness . . . In a world of wheels, old and comfortable groupings of people have disappeared.” ~ Allan Fromme

“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.” ~ Mother Theresa

“’Should’ is a bad place to live, but boy, do we set up a lot of tents there.” ~ Saul Bass

“One has just to be oneself . . . The moment you accept yourself as you are, all burdens, all mountainous burdens simply disappear. Then life is a sheer joy, a festival of lights.” ~ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.” ~ Rumi

“The important thing is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” ~ Charles Dubois

“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.” ~ Anais Nin

“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.” ~ Anais Nin

“Our entire biological system, the brain and the Earth itself, work on the same frequencies.” – Nikola Tesla

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

snowshoeing by mt. humphrey's “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the loneliness of it-the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it-the whole story doesn’t show.” ~ Andrew Wyeth

“If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.” ~ Walt Whitman

 “Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” ~ by Caroline Adams

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” — Henry Miller Tropic of Cancer

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

bryce canyon (c) Holly Troy“Welcome to the world—I’ve been waiting for you!” — John Bradshaw

“Happy Birthday!”

“I CELEBRATE myself,
And what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me
as good belongs to you.” — Walt Whitman

“When I was five years old my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

“Life is a beautiful magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish.” ~Charles Chaplin

“STAY IN SHAPE! SOMETIMES A MUSICIAN WAITS FOR A GIG, & WHEN IT COMES, HE’S OUT OF SHAPE & CAN’T MAKE IT.” – Thelonious Monk

“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”  ― Charles BukowskiWomen

“Hard times require furious dancing. Each of us is proof.” ~ Alice Walker

Having a Place

I came across this essay while pulling a manuscript together. It was written in the spring of 2009. I’ve left Flagstaff and come back twice since then. I love this place – and since I ride my bicycle almost everywhere I go, my relationship to Flagstaff has changed from when I drove everywhere. I’ve slowed down, I notice more. Having place, being in this place, is a rich experience.

IMG_3605Having Place

New things are OK, but new places are even better. Bill Plotkin, author of Nature and the Human Soul, says that soul is a place where we reside, not a thing that resides in us. We must find our place. When we are displaced, it is sharp and painful.

My soul moves a lot. It is in New York City, then, it’s here in Flagstaff, it’s onstage creating an outpouring of music, it’s in bed with my lover, in a yoga studio, on the mountains. It goes to Buenos Aires, Peru, Costa Rica, the South of France, Ireland, Prague, Morrocco.

My body hasn’t caught up to all the places my soul goes.

Lately, I believe my soul has been hanging out with Amit, my seven year-old sponsor child who lives in Northern India. I’ve been Amit’s sponsor mom for three years. He is a lovely little boy who is beginning to smile more easily in the pictures Children International sends to me. His skin is the color of terra cotta; his eyes are so large that they open his whole face. His lips are tiny, like a little heart.

Amit’s birth mother sends me letters – telling me Amit is too young to write. He colors pictures for me. His favorite color is red. I have not sent any pictures of myself to Amit, though it has recently occurred to me that he might enjoy that. I wonder what he would think of my red hair.

If it is true that a photograph steals your soul, then, I will happily send mine to India.

The Earth says have a place/be what that place requires. (William Stafford)

I have not been to many places in the world. I’ve never left North America. I am soon moving to Boulder, Utah, population 180. I will be living among Mormons and Buddhists. My lover and I will be apart for seven months. Then, I will go to another place.

My soul has moved to another place and I’m not sure where it is.

How many times have I said I’m sick of this place! I’m done! I’m tired! What if I turned around and nurtured a place – really paid attention to it and loved it? Would it love me back?

When I first came to Flagstaff, the mountains fascinated me as I drove east on 89 toward home. Wow! You don’t see this everyday! Now I’ve lived here for a little less than two years, and I barely notice them. I notice cars, traffic, bad drivers, the budget, Jillian Ferris Cole announcing that I am listening to KNAU.

There’s a quality of honesty when a place is new, when I am a stranger.

Sometimes a place simply requires us to leave.

How permeable is place? One of my teachers, Swami Swaroopananda, says that our souls become fully formed on Earth when we turn about 35. Before that, we aren’t completely here – we are still working with karma from past lives. Once are souls are grounded, we need to live our lives more profoundly, making new meaning for ourselves.

Place requires us to be conscious.

I made the conscious decision not to have children. Last August, I had my tubes tied. When I met the doctor who performed the procedure, she assumed I already had children. I simply ran out of time prior to meeting her to fill out the page that asked, How many pregnancies carried to term? She described the procedure and I had two weeks to think about it.

I came prepared with a list of reasons for not wanting children.

  • Carbon footprint – the world has enough humans.
  • I can’t afford a child; I can’t afford myself – I live a very simple, minimal life, yet I am in debt.
  • I believe if people are going to have children, they should have only one. I know enough people who have more than two, therefore, my allotment is taken.
  • I believe there is a possibility of insanity in my family that is genetic.
  • I’ve played the role of parent to too many people already—now I need to take care of myself.

I had the list down and I didn’t have to use it.

A few months earlier, I saw a popular gynecologist in town. I took off of work in the middle of the day. I waited for 45 minutes past my appointment time amongst exhausted mothers hushing crying babies in one arm, holding onto snot-covered toddlers with the other arm, and shifting their sore pregnant bodies uncomfortably from one position to another.

When I was called from the waiting room, I was weighed while wearing three layers of jackets and a sweater and a pair of boots. Then, I waited another ten minutes for the doctor to arrive. Posters of smiling babies with bright mothers hung on the office walls. Several parenting magazines featuring cherubic cuties on the covers were next to my chair.

I was in the wrong place.

Still, I bravely told the doctor I was there for a routine check-up and to discuss what a tubal ligation would entail.

She clenched her teeth, “You don’t want that.”

I gave her my top reasons for not wanting children. She practically covered her ears. Her eyes narrowed. She pushed a new form of IUD when I refused the pill, said I hadn’t met “Mr. Right” yet and closed the discussion.

She left the room. Even though I felt like telling her off, I stayed for the examination. I got undressed, put on a paper robe, sat on the exam table and waited. She came back into the office chattering away about her two girls. She never stopped talking about them during the exam, which was quick and rough. She never stopped to say, “I’m inserting the speculum now, I’m taking a pap sample now . . .”

I wanted to ask her who was raising her children while she was at work.

Tearing the top of my paper robe for my breast exam, she noticed my mala beads. While pressing my breasts and squeezing my nipples she smiled tightly and mentioned she did yoga. I told her I was a teacher and that I practice my mantra with my beads.

Feet still in stirrups, top half of my body entirely exposed, she thrust her hand out for me to shake. “Nice meeting you. If you’re interested in an IUD, give me a call.”

I felt the pinch of politics of this place.

I wanted to tell her to go to hell, but I could not because she was a friend of a friend. I was in a daze of anger when I left her office. I had to concentrate on driving carefully and politely.

When I finally had the procedure, my lover came with me. He held my hand until they wheeled me away.

The anesthesiologist was a kind woman. She looked at us approvingly. “Honey, before you go to sleep, I want to hear you say, ‘No more babies.’”

Huh? Oh yeah. “No more babies.”

They were taking care of me. I let them. I felt like they practically cooed at me before I surrendered.

Be what the place requires. 

What if my place is my body?

 

 

 

 

Villanelle – Pressing Against Chaos

Wish I Were the Earth

Wish I were the earth
could open my mouth
and swallow the blur.

Turn a wail to a purr
in my warm dark house
if I were the earth.

A natural re-birth
on deep stable ground
if I could swallow the blur.

Wouldn’t leave me to murmur
my pain in your couch
if I were the earth.

A place to clear hurt
to quiet loud sounds
and dissolve the blur.

Fear turns to dirt
when it is found
that I am the earth.
I will swallow the blur.

* * * * *

I’ve been going back and forth with the idea of applying for the MFA Prpeaks (c) 2015 Holly Troyogram in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University. I’ve put together my manuscript, but have yet to write my application letter and request my letters of recommendation.

Do I go to school to write, or do I just keep writing?

This poem is another response to 9/11.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Spring!

Holly

Free-Write Intro to My Writing the Energetic Body: Pisces 2014 Class

I am getting really excited about my class! I encouraged my students to introduce themselves on the class blog – so I decided, “Why not introduce myself as well?” This is a half hour free-write on the topic of introduction.

My name is Holly Troy. I passionately love our mother planet earth and am grateful for my experience of living with her. I really do love the world, and I feel like it is important to do what we can to be gentle on this planet. We need more awareness of how we spend our time. Are we really feeling, connecting, creating, loving?

eat this (c) 2010 holly troyI am grateful for technology, and I am beginning to see the need to pull back – or – edit what it is that I absorb through the media. I remember when I lived in NYC I used to be so overwhelmed by the bombardment of advertising everywhere I walked. It was so hard to get away from all of it, the constant messaging, even the most expensive and exquisite advertising covered with a layer of greasy soot.

Lately I feel like Facebook has turned into Obituary Book.

The more I get outside and breathe and hike among the boulders and mountains and gnarled trees, the more I want to be outside.

The family dog, Stoney, loves it, too. I’ve been walking him a lot lately – he’s been helping me heal my nerves and my heart. He reminds me to slow down and look at the light of the setting sun on the prairie grasses. He knows exactly where to stop and find something to smell so I can look at my surroundings more closely. Resin is pouring out of the bark of some pine trees along our walk. Trees are starting to wake up!

I love this earth! I said that before, but I do. And I love the sky, the deep orange and pinks as the sun sets and sun rises. The washed out blue as the sun dips beyond the horizon, still glowing with light that can only be seen from this particular place. I love the gigantic woodpeckers that live here! I love the ravens, how they speak, I love the crows. I love all the lovers I have ever had. I love riding my bicycle! I feel like I am riding in the sky sometimes, living up here in the mountains. I love the smell of cold. I also love the smell of warmth being carried on the wind when the air is still cold. I love the smell of rain in the desert.

Everything is Color (c) 2013 Holly TroyI am amazed how the more I look at the chakras, the more I realize the awful cost of the division of the Divine and the physical. The disconnection of the Divine from our bodies is mirrored in our disconnection from the earth, from our need for connection to one another and all beings on the planet, from our desires, from our ability to trust and love, from our creative spark. The more I connect, the more I realize the cost of disconnect.

I am grateful that people want to connect. I am grateful that people want to feel more subtlety in their alive experience. There is power and grace and awakening in the subtle.

Om shanti!

I am looking forward to connecting with you all!

Holly

Born on a Thursday #47 – awake, alive

It feels like we are at dawn in the earth’s cycle around the sun. Light is breaking through on the edges of the horizon and creatures are stirring.

view from where i write (c) holly troy 2014The other evening, I was done with work, but not ready to go home (I’ve been this way for a couple of weeks now). Sydney suggested a hike. While hiking, we both felt the feeling of the earth quickening. By the time we were leaving the woods, the sky was a dark chalky blue and the moon was pale yellow. We talked about the moon and sky, love and relationships, sex and sexuality, creativity and creative process, survival, money, how we are valued and how we value ourselves (the usual for us).

This week I’ve been working too much on things that don’t matter to me. After Tuesday night’s hike, Wednesday felt flat – too much sitting and protocol, too much work for the amount of hours I am allotted and valued for. And then I saw that Maggie Estep died. Maggie was a poet, novelist, and spoken word artist. She was someone who was a part of my world when I lived in the East Village – on the periphery, yes – but still part of it. While she was able to express her rage, I was navigating my anger and sexuality quietly (and I still scared the shit out of men). I am grateful for her, for her ability to say things I tended to keep more private.

As I was cycling home, I realized that there are a lot of people who were pivotal in (saving) my life during that time (the 90s) in New York – and so many of those people who were important to my development as a writer and artist and loving human being – I will never see them again. There I was, pedaling slowly up the mesa, into the sunset, with cars flying past me and tears streaming down my face.

I felt awake, and more alive than I have felt in a long while.


Maggie doing her thing:

I still feel like an emotional idiot!

And I still hate being harassed (though it’s not as frequent as it was in NYC).

Getting to the Root can be Fun!

I like exploring, and will try just about anything at least once. Of course, once I find something I like, I get into going deeper. ( I geek out). I like working/playing with the chakra system. After leading a few Writing the Energetic Body workshops, I have found that many people get almost weighed down in the first chakra, so I often begin my workshops at the crown chakra now, and work the way down to the root, or the first chakra.

Root Chakra Element - Earth
Root Chakra Element – Earth

Our earliest physical experiences on this planet start with the first chakra. Our sexual energy is also stored in the first chakra, and begins to move in the second. I suspect that our unconscious and societal beliefs about sexuality are also stored in the root chakra. As we understand the world from our individual perspectives, our personal beliefs about sex and sexuality may change – and may be incongruous with the beliefs we were brought up with.

This is where many of us get stuck!

While it’s good to analyze the past – it is also important to stay in the present. Moving the body helps!! Laughter is good, too!

Here is a lo-fi video I made to get the first chakra stimulated:

Like I said, “I’m not a ballerina!”

Peace!

Holly

Born on a Thursday # 42 (on Friday) – Earth, the only planet we’ve got

I missed last week’s post. I was catching up with relationships and life. Sometimes you just have to nurture (and be nurtured by) the people you love in real physical life, real time, no virtual anything involved.

One of my intentions for 2014 (and the rest of my life really) is to be outside even more! I want to experience nature as much as possible, to see the natural world before it is gone. (I know, sounds gloomy, but I’ve missed so much already – and in the high desert, the environment is, well, everything. If you really want to get upset, look up uranium mining in the Grand Canyon or the “clean coal” chemical spill in West Virginia).

I’m going camping this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited. Deep beautiful Earth, Grand Canyon, Colorado River!! I’ve got packing to do, so I will leave you with these quotes regarding the earthy, physically manifested, first chakra.

1st Chakra: Muladhara ~ Root • Survival • Tribal Power • The Right to Have, To Be • Earth

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the loneliness of it-the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it-the whole story doesn’t show.” ~ Andrew Wyeth

magical tree (c) Holly Troy 2013“If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.” ~ Walt Whitman

“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” ~ by Caroline Adams

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut

You can find more quotes, and more chakra information at my site Writing the Energetic Body.

Born on a Thursday #30: Auras

migraine sunset (c) 2013 Holly TroyI’ve had the trippy experience today of almost having a full-on migraine but catching it before it got debilitating. I started seeing an aura around 2:00 this afternoon (c-shape in my field of vision with flashes of rainbow-colored light, which made it difficult to actually see for a while). I had an appointment downtown, so instead of lying down, I walked the couple of miles to town, got to the store and bought some generic Exedrin®. My entire sensory experience was otherwordly, colors and sounds seemed intensified. It wasn’t unenjoyable actually, but I wouldn’t want to be like this everyday – and of course there was the thought in the back of my mind, “Gee, it would really suck if this was a stroke.”

Right now I feel sort of fragmented, and am a little head-achey. More tired and stiff than anything, and my hands are a little shaky. I get migraines about once every five or six years, and when they are full-on, I am wasted with nausea. So, I’m glad I’m pretty much just tired and sore.

On the walk home I was thinking about September 11th. I found these poems I wrote about it. Looks like I was having a hard time “digesting” the situation. They are both experiments in formal poetic styles, perhaps some unconscious attempt at controlling the chaos I was feeling.

Wish I Were the Earth

Wish I were the earth
could open my mouth
and swallow the blur.

Turn a wail to a purr
in my warm dark house
if I were the earth.

A natural re-birth
on deep stable ground
if I could swallow the blur.

Wouldn’t leave me to murmur
my pain in your couch
if I were the earth.

A place to clear hurt
to quiet loud sounds
and dissolve the blur.

Fear turns to dirt
when it is found
that I am the earth.
I will swallow the blur.

* * * * * * * *

Humid

Breath is pulled from my lungs,
my throat goes hollow
every time a howling
fire truck wails down the street.

My throat goes hollow,
I could swallow those anxious faces peering
from the fire truck wailing down the street.
It would be safer in my mouth—

I could swallow those anxious faces peering,
despite pounding temples and blurred time.
It would be safer in my mouth—
I could shout a warning.

In spite of pounding temples and blurred time,
every time there’s a howling
it’s a warning
that’s been pulled from my lungs.

* * * * * * * *

Have a great week everyone!

Thanks for reading.

Namaste,

Holly