The Path of the Heart – Monday Night Poetry

February 14 2024

Another fantastic Monday Night Poetry. I 🖤 these beautiful, creative folks. 🥰🥰🥰

I shared an oldie from 2018.

The Path of the Heart

The path back home seems littered with suffering and struggle.

What is this insane ability to cause
one’s self such suffering?

Suffering by way of the thoughts
that dart
here and there,
at times penetrating the soul as if they
were a cold, jagged knife.

When one golden day the tides of change
bring the knowing that the path
is also littered with Love.

A Love shining remarkably bright and clear,
suffering seems almost
not to have happened.

The path of Love
The path of suffering
The path of struggles
The path of Joy
The path of Harmony
The path of irritation
The path of guilt
The path of Peace.

All the same path
The path that we each travel.
Made to seem different
by way of the
degree of suffering we endure.
Made to seem different until that glorious day
that we learn
to love ourselves
and
to love one another through everything that happens.

For the things that happen will still be;
yet, the perception
of each will shift
the more the one
loves one’s self through the things.

The path of Love.
The path we all shall arrive upon one sweet day.
Oh, glory be. We shall see.

November 17 2018

Give Me One Reason – Monday Night Poetry

February 9 2024

Last Monday was exactly what I needed and I had a blast! Love these deep diving poetry folks!

The Space in My Heart

Give me one good reason
Why I should stay

When we’re together the words
You say to me
Bury themselves into the fertilizer
Of my heart
Watered with the tears that shed
When you ignore me
Sprouting, growing into the garden of you

Only to be crushed by the boot
Of your unreliability, dishonesty
Your empty, meaningless words
Supported by your inconsiderate nature

You come to me as an option
When you need replenished
When you’re lonely, sad, or confused

I am sustenance caught
In your web
Suspended, stuck
Waiting for you to come for me

I’m continually questioning my
Position in your life

I’m tempted by your tasty fruit
I know I should disconnect

My soul knows this

I want to understand you
I want to explain how I feel

But my soul knows I need someone
Who chooses me over and over again
Someone whose efforts reflect
I am wanted in their life
Someone who abundantly fills my cup

Give me one good reason
Why I should stay

Are we just telling ourselves stories?
We would do and say anything
To hang on to each other

Fiction filled stories
With pieces of truth
Patching the plot holes

Dancing to the tune of
Each others energy
Smiling in each other’s sunlight
Singing the joy bursting from our hearts
Drawn together like magnets

Is it fiction or truth?

Deep down I know the answer

Infusing myself with the strength
Of all the goddesses before me,
I close my eyes,
take a deep breath
And I
Walk away

February 2024

Inspired by Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason”

Hosted by @sidewayseightprojects and @mondaynightpoetrynv

The Alchemy of Writing – Monday Night Poetry

January 13 2024

Monday Night Poetry celebrates 2 years of once a week gatherings! I’ve only been participating since May 2023 and am deeply grateful I decided to step out of my comfort zone last May. This is the absolute best group of folks!! ❤️🎉❤️

The Alchemy of Writing

Originally written in 2019, Modified January 2024

Writing = Poetry

Writing
a sanity saving bridge that has led to peace and solutions.
Single parenting two children,
losing nearly everything,
choosing to dig deep within,
led me on a journey for which I had no map.
Through writing
Creating the map as I travel this wild life journey.
Writing led to acceptance
Acceptance of myself
Acceptance of my role as sole parent
to two unique and beautiful children.
Writing brought solid steps to take
Writing has been a shining thread of grace that connected my heart and mind along this life journey.
And still is.
Writing that first poem in January 2013.
It felt wild having these words populate my mind
It was an indescribable feeling,
Being compelled to set these words free.
It was the beginning of the alchemy.
Alchemy which continues to this day.

When I write
the emotions I feel within cannot be contained.
They are as hot as lava and as sweet as honeysuckle,
from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.
I write while listening to music,
or while immersed in the sounds of family,
or in silence.
I touch my fingers to the keyboard
I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and type a few words.
Once the first few words appear on the screen,
something within takes over.
My heart begins to race with the excitement of anticipation.
I become lost in the flow of words.
My fingers and hands become warm,
the veins in my hands rising like miniature mountains.
The words begin to flow as fast and smooth
as water running from a faucet.
I type as quickly as my fingers and hands will allow.
At times, I notice I have forgotten to take a breath
for fear of missing the words that are streaming forth.
Writing is my witness,
my soul song.
Writing is my therapist,
my medicine,
my best friend,
My lover,
my parent,
and my advisor.
Writing alchemizes what I experience.
My laptop becomes the couch I rest upon;
while writing my experiences becomes the therapist.
Writing becomes an avenue to connect with
and release the avalanche of emotions
and experiences of life.
It is through writing that I find myself.
It is through writing that I allow myself to physically feel emotions.
It is through writing that I connect with the unlovely events of the past
It is through writing that past and present events
are alchemized and released.
This has been my journey to consciousness,
to living from my heart,
to peace.
At times, I skirted the healing that called to be addressed.
At others, I walked directly into the triggers,
with pain from the past that festered like a venomous poison
coursing through my cells and bones.
I walked into the pain with fear,
yet with love to embrace what part of me feared to let myself know
and physically feel.
It has been incredibly difficult at times,
yet deeply freeing.

Happy 2nd Birthday to this amazing, warm venue
Overflowing with talented writers
Each who create their own unique alchemy
Breathing life into their creations
With the power of writing.

January 2024

Pax to the Max – Birthday Party with Poetry Friends

January 7 2024

What a fun afternoon celebrating my Monday Night poetry friend’s birthday! Happy birthday to you Pax! 🎉🎉🎉 Pax to the Max!!! Took some photos in front of the Pax Wall. 🤣🤣🤣 Got to dancing and didn’t take anymore. Oops!

Memory Lane – Monday Night Poetry

November 18 2023

Monday Night Poetry – Such an amazing, beautiful, poetic group of folks. I love poetry nights!

I shared an oldie, but tweaked it a bit for my current mood.

Memory Lane

Why did the beautiful and fun memories hurt so badly
Why did her chest feel
heavy and her stomach in knots

The place where she and her children had spent seven years of their lives.

The place where her youngest spent their young life from one year old through eight years old.

Driving past the many sidewalks and the trail where she had taken walks alone, walks with
just her youngest, and walks
together as a family.

Driving past the home
her parents had lived,
the home she and her kids had lived, the second home her parents had lived.

Remembering neighbors she had chatted with. Remembering
the spread of holiday cheer.

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Why do such wonderful memories hurt her heart?

Why does she feel
a sense of loss
no longer living
in this neighborhood? No longer having
her parents live
in the same neighborhood.

Why does she feel
like nothing turned out as she had wanted?

Why does she feel like she has failed her children in
not providing them with the same kind of home that they loved so much
in their early childhood?

Why does she feel
like she has given up?

Why do the tears flow in mourning something that never really was?
She keeps reminding herself that nothing is permanent. The only thing that’s permanent is change Itself.

She reminds herself that home is truly where the heart is.
Yet, what if the heart is closed and calls bullshit on that.

What if she reminds herself that none of
it seems to have gone as she wanted it to go,
the way she dreamed
it would.

Seems as if she
has been but
a piece of sand
in a vast ocean
of life tossing
her here and there into this experience and that experience.

She thinks she should not return to this place if it is so painful …
but then she knows
she must keep returning until she has felt
all the pain there
is to feel, for in
feeling the pain and being with the pain
loving the pain
embracing the pain
is she assured
of the joy and beauty that awaits her
on the other side
of the pain.

She may not have
fully let herself
feel the pain at the time she and her children
had to leave their
home and neighborhood.

Brushed it under
the heart she did.

Believing she did not have to feel the pain. She knows she let herself feel some of the pain.
Yet, there is more there.

She makes a new commitment to continue to visit this neighborhood until she has let herself feel every single bit
of grief, guilt, and sadness there is to feel.

She will feel it, feel the
aches in her chest, feel
the knots in her stomach
feel and taste the salty tears as they stream down her face.

She reflects back on these times as some of the happiest of her
and her children’s lives.
So carefree and joyful.
Doing many things together
as a family, many adventures, every trip in the car an adventure.

It seems those times are no longer. Where have they gone? The kids are no longer kids. One a teenager and one a preteen. Change.
Change is the nature
of life. This season of autumn reminds us always that this
is how it flows. Change.

Why did she grip so tightly to that time in her life,
in her kids’ lives?
Why does she not want to let it go? Why does she remember it with longing?
Why does she feel lost in shifting to this
new normal for her and her kids?

Interests have shifted. What was fun and exciting is no longer.
How does she go with the flow, with the change, without clinging to the Past?

She does it one breath at a time.
One blink at at time.
One step at a time.
One gratitude thought at a time.
One fucking meltdown at a time.
One act of kindness at a time. One smile at a time.

With kindness and love directed to herself and her heart.
She does it by observing and not letting herself
get caught in the spiral
of emotions. Or spiraling with the emotions.

Be with them, feel them,
and let them release to reveal the new normal. As it will only
be the new normal for a short time.

That is the nature
of life.
For life will support
in whatever stage of life one finds one’s self.

Nature is the Gift that allows one to experience change and the cyclical nature of life.
Be still. Feel the emotions. Let them pass through
like the wind passes through the autumn leaves. And know.
This is life.

We are always on our way home.
November 2017
Camilla Downs

The Facets of Invisibility – Monday Night Poetry

November 4 2023

Monday Night Poetry! I had missed an entire month. It was lovely to be amongst these beautiful folks once again. I shared a new poem and an oldie that was published in Elephant Journal in 2015.

The Facets of Invisibility

The I in neurospicy stands for invisibility

The other day I came across this quote,

“Invisibility didn’t keep me safe. It kept me lonely.” – Facilitate Joy’s instagram

At first I thought, Yes! That’s it! And then I thought, No! I like being alone!

Invisibility is control
It is staying in the safety of my home
Reaching out on my terms
Texting on my terms
Posting on social media on my terms
Answering the phone on my terms
Stepping out the door on my terms

Invisibility is not saying yes to invites because on the day of the event I may not have the spoons to be around others
It is waiting until the last minute to buy tickets because on the day of the event I may not have the spoons to be around others
It means buying the tickets, but staying home because on the day of the event I didn’t have the spoons to be around others

And then I came across this quote,

“Too much. Too fast. Too intense. The glass soul falls to the ground and shatters into a thousand words. The invisible boy becomes visible, and all of a sudden, his emotions blast neon.” – Author: David Levithan

Invisibility means safety
Being vulnerable only when I’m at my strongest,
mentally and emotionally
It means loneliness and longing
It means happiness and contentment
It means encouraging and loving myself
It means longing for a deep friendship or a partner
While intermittently being profoundly happy with my current status

Invisibility means being alone more than I’ve been partnered
It means having mind blowing conversations with my teen that are the same fucking conversations I have with myself

About relationships, understanding social cues, understanding why people do the things they do, why it’s so damn hard to make friends, build friendships, and make romantic connections

Invisibility, loneliness and contentment become my partners
We dance together to keep each other company
Invisibility is the times when I’ve been brave
Stepped out of the comfort zone of my home
Exposing my tender under belly
Losing the mental acuity I possess when working, writing, and advocating
I become naive, trusting what others say
Attracting absolutely the wrong people
Losing control, losing myself

And then I found this quote,

“I was invisible, and I was only just beginning to realise the extraordinary advantage my invisibility gave me. My head was already teeming with plans of all the wild and wonderful things I had now impunity to do.” – Author: H.G.Wells

The I in neurospicy stands for invisibility

Invisibility means control
It means retracting back into the safety of my home
Reaching out on my terms
Texting on my terms
Posting on social media on my terms
Stepping out the door on my terms
And beginning the process all over again.
2023 Camilla Downs

Oldie shared:

Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear Meltdowns, Welcome and Meet My Friend Mindfulness

Sometimes I’m able to sense when you’re lurking in the shadows. Sometimes I’m not. And you sneak up like a cat stalking its prey.

You penetrate the peace of an otherwise tranquil day like an earthquake suddenly rocking and rolling in the middle of a quiet night’s sleep. You are the complete opposite of fun and joy.
You are loud, aggressive, physically harmful, and verbally malicious. You lack compassion, empathy, and kindness. You take all actions and words personally.

What I want you to know is that I welcome you. Not like I’d welcome my best friend coming over for coffee and chatting. I welcome you like one later appreciates a grumpy relative during the holidays knowing that being around this person can help us to learn more about our own triggers.
You are helping us to know what emotions and situations Lillian has resistance to fully experiencing. You are the red flag that goes up as a warning that THIS is where she feels vulnerable.

So, I welcome you. I meet you with love.

When I am in a peaceful, mindful state, going with the flow of life, I handle you just as easily as a leaf floating in the wind. I choose not to accept your meltdown hook.

When I’m resisting life, choosing grumpiness, and having an off day, I accept the hook you’ve thrown out and jump right in with both feet. These are the times I learn more about myself.
Either way, one thing I know for sure is that you are not the true Lillian. The true Lillian is there, and you are simply acting as a buffer so she doesn’t have to experience the rawness of life. It is my hope that as I meet you with kindness and compassion, you see that it’s okay to move aside.

Lillian can handle the unexpected, the discomfort of not getting her desires, and the “letting go” of learning to be flexible. It’s okay to release your grip.

I will continue to meet you with a calm voice and compassion as often as possible, until the day you realize it’s okay to become dormant, slip into an eternal sleep, and allow a miracle – the miracle of Lillian fully experiencing emotions and going with the flow of life.

Love,
Camilla (Mom to Lillian)

And the story behind this one (from my 2015 perspective).

Lillian has a rare genetic condition called 18p-. This means that she is missing the short arm of chromosome number 18 and it affects about 1 in 50,000. The main way this manifests for her is that she is speech impaired, and has balance and motor skill issues. Also, for the past year and a half she has struggled with experiencing anxiety and difficult emotions.

Situations that can cause Lillian to meltdown:

Events not unfolding as anticipated
Schedules being adjusted
Communication difficulties
Being reprimanded
Teasing from her sibling

In July 2015, Lillian had the worst explosive meltdown we’ve ever experienced. We made a quick stop at the grocery store to get a few items.

As I paid for our items, Lillian caught up with me, and once I was finished, I could sense her energy shift. Apparently, there was a miscommunication between us about looking at more gluten free desserts.

This quickly led to a volcanic explosion for Lillian. Fortunately, I was close to the exit doors, so I made my way out and headed to the car with Lillian melting down behind me. I quickly got into the car and invited Lillian to do the same if she was going with me. She was not open to doing any of the mindfulness techniques we’ve been learning.

I decided to start making our way home even though she had not calmed down – not the best choice in that moment. She was scratching, pinching, and pulling my hair from behind.

I pulled the car over, turned to Lillian and screamed some ridiculously outrageous comments. I quickly realized I must get out of the car. We needed space between us as I was bleeding and in a great deal of pain from the scratches and she was a big hot mess.

Once out, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and asked to see the situation differently. Upon opening my eyes, I saw, shining up at me from the rock and dirt filled ground, a beautiful red jewel heart. There was my answer, a reminder to always respond with love.

At this point, Lillian was ready to do a calming, mindful technique and I requested that she do it on her own. She got out of the car, chose to pick up a couple of rocks and studied them. After a few minutes we got back into the car and drove home.

We’ve not had anything of that magnitude happen since and I am hopeful this was simply “one step backward” before more steps forward. When this happens, one of us must be fully present and mindful or things can escalate.

Lillian has been seeing a psychotherapist since April 2015. We are working on cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness training. Additionally, I work with her on physically feeling the emotions within her body.

She has made great progress. It’s slow going, yet I feel we are closer to the ultimate goal.
The miracle of Lillian truly experiencing negative emotions and the rawness of life without the buffer of a meltdown.

At some time or another it’s possible we’ve all experienced our own version of a meltdown. Mindfulness is a miraculous practice to bring into one’s life. Once we become practitioners of mindfulness, more often than not, we are able to remain calm and peaceful when we or our children experience the rawness of life.

With mindfulness we are able to tune into our body and notice the beginning signs of a meltdown; clenched jaw, increased heart rate, tight shoulders or neck, stomach pain.
At this point we can say or think to ourselves, “There is anger inside of me.” This is the opposite of thinking or saying, “I am angry.” These two statements have completely different meanings and will take one down different paths.

Once we acknowledge there is anger (or any other uncomfortable emotion) within us, we can then put our focus on how this physically feels in the body. Is it tight, rolling, moving from place to place?

Let’s be real here. This is absolutely not fun and can be extremely uncomfortable. Yet, if we stick with this practice, it will become more of a habit and eventually the uncomfortable emotion will release.

Poetry: Burn it to the Ground – Monday Night Poetry

September 9 2023

Monday Night Poetry – Thank you to my friends, Melinda and Fran, who surprised me with showing up!! It was so fun to see you two, and hang out together! The poetry shared by everyone was absolutely amazing! What a great night!

This is the first poem I’ve written with this tone, and with the specific intent of being spoken. I wanted to record myself performing it, but I just don’t feel like it. For those of you who have heard me speak, or had conversations with me, imagine this in my voice, with the emotion of a person who has had enough!

When I finished speaking this poem, I received the most applause I’ve received so far, with some commenting that I need to run for office. There just happened to be a campaign manager in the audience. Ha!

I’m not looking for advice. I’ve got everything figured out. This was written to help move through what I was feeling last Monday.

Trigger warning for mention of suicide, lots of cussing and if you work in the insurance industry, don’t take this personally (unless you are a higher up in the industry).

Burn it to the Ground

She said they had received the paperwork
It’s in review
There’s a 14 day turnaround
Unless it’s urgent
Urgent bumps it to a 24 hour turnaround

This had already been in limbo
For a month and a half I tell her

Approved visits were depleted
Authorization requested for more visits
Denied.
Something not submitted,
Or filled out properly.

Resubmitted.
Each time submitted
There’s that fucking 14 day turnaround

I ask her
What would elevate this to urgent?
I tell her this has to do with mental health,
The person has an official diagnosis of major depression
One can’t say to suicidal thoughts,
“Hey, hold up now we’ve got to wait 14 days
Before we’re approved more visits with the therapist.”
That’s not how it works.

I’m placed on hold while
She speaks to the authorization department.
You see, I’m not “allowed” to speak
To the authorization department.
Only providers/doctors can do that.

Which is complete bullshit
And depends on who happens
To take your call.

How do I know this?
Because I called two weeks ago
To inquire about the hold-up
And I eventually got transferred
To the AUTHORIZATION department.

She comes back on the line
Authorization department
Says the provider can call
And tell them that the matter is urgent
This will escalate to a 24 hour turnaround.

Okay. I let the provider know this.
Has it been done?
Who knows?

Insurance in this country
Is a fucking load of bullshit.
Meant to wear us down
Confuse us, overwhelm us

I just happen to be one of those
That won’t give up
You cannot wear me down
I have a tenacity fueled
By the hammer of the gods
I will fight for what my family needs.
Many people can’t do this,
or don’t have the energy
To deal with the system.

A system that fucks over the
Actual people who need health care
Lining the pockets of those
Who need their pockets stripped clean
To take a walk on the side of those
Of us their screwing over.

You would have thought I received
Good news when I received notice
That the promotion I got in July
For a few more hours, and few more dollars
Also resulted in me being eligible for insurance benefits.

Let me tell you
There’s something seriously wrong
When you have to sit through a THREE fucking hour
Orientation to learn about these benefits

They making it so fucking confusing
It would almost be easier just to opt out
Of the whole racket.

So now this few dollar raise
Has bumped me over the limit to
Receive the crappy ass medicaid we’ve
Had for the past 13 years
Now I’ve got to choose between 4 fucking plans
That eat away at the few dollars raise I received

All with different levels of my contribution
Co-insurance, deductibles,
It’s plenty enough to make an ADHD brain fucking explode.

So, yes, we need to burn it all to the ground
Start from scratch again.
Simple, easy

One shouldn’t have to have the tenacity
Of 20 people, a college degree
Or a non-chaotic mind to figure this shit out.

Fuck off insurance companies!

**Since writing and performing this poem, I received word that insurance DENIED more therapist visits. To say I was filled with intense rage is putting it lightly.

I will appeal but in the meantime, I will be paying out of pocket for visits that happened during this two month period. How can you look at a person who has an official diagnosis of Major Depression with suicidal thoughts and then DENY their fucking therapist visits?

I am seriously done with being kind. Those in the insurance industry who make the damn guidelines can pack it. May it always rain on them whenever they leave their home, may all their food taste like rotten lemons, and may they be forever constipated.

The Gallery of Me – Monday Night Poetry

October 23 2023

Monday Night Poetry. Beautiful people. 🖤🖤🖤

I shared a work-in-progress.

The Gallery of Me

As you enter the gallery of my heart
Tread lightly
Viewing the exhibits with
An open mind and heart

Leaving judgments and criticisms
At the door
You are welcome to retrieve
Them upon your exit
And you are welcome to leave
Them behind to be discarded
With the trash and nonsense that
The gallery routinely ejects.

Let’s cleanse the senses before entering
Close your eyes
Take a deep breath
Inhale the scent of this lemon
Touch your legs and your arms
Run your tongue along your teeth
Listen to the sounds in the room

Now step into the gallery.

Observing the first exhibit

You see what looks and smells
Like an apple pie
You pick it up
Sensing the sweet heaviness
Of apples, sugar, and flour
You look underneath the apple pie
And see and feel the discomfort
Of not being listened to
Ignored, mistreated, misunderstood,
You sense the longing of wanting
To fit in, to be liked.

You are looking at my childhood
A time of unbounded joy
Pure innocence

Intermingled with deep sorrow and trauma
You see a young girl who learned
How to dissociate
How to figure things out for herself
How to navigate her young life
Minus the emotional support of the adults around her
You see boundaries violated
A young girl who felt like she had no one
No one who understood and knew her true self

Moving on to the next exhibit

You see a field of honeysuckle vines and wildflowers
The scent is sweet and wild
Beyond the field you see
A dark tree-filled woods
mysterious with an air of loneliness

You are observing my teenage and young adult years

A time of wildness
experimenting,
Heartbreak
Violation of this body
Confusion
Escape
Living life from a mixture of my
Neurospicy mind co-mingled with trauma
Of my childhood and teenage years
Yet, not knowing this was how
I was living and responding to life.

Moving on to the last exhibit

You see a wildly colorful caterpillar
As it moves through all stages of
Transforming into a magnificent butterfly

You are observing
My adult life

A time of love,
Or what she thought was love,
Birthing
Loss
Grief
Struggle
Despair
Hope
Awakening
Knowledge
Discovery
Diagnoses
Growth
Healing

Finally learning who I am
Working through the trauma
Releasing it’s silent, yet destructive grip
On my mind and heart

Setting boundaries
Speaking the fuck up when moved
Embracing my
Neuro-differences
And my romantic attraction preferences

Enjoying these last
Moments with my youngest
As they prepare to create
The next exhibit of their own life.

May you tread lightly
As you exit the gallery of my heart
And may you continue to fine tune
And create the exhibits of your own heart.

2023 Camilla Downs

Photos by and facilitated by @sidewayseightprojects and @mondaynightpoetry

*** I often write about my childhood, and many times it sounds unlovely. There were absolutely fun and carefree times, too. I have written about those. I write what is currently in my heart and mind. And absolutely none of what I write should be received in a disparaging way towards my parents. I love them very much and know they were doing the best they could. ❤️❤️❤️

Poetry: Water Dance and The Space Within and Shining Star Bag

September 24 2023

Monday Night Poetry! I read some oldies, plus a work-in-progress. I’m not ready to share the WIP yet so here’s the oldies.

Water Dance

As the suns reflection
Becomes a dancer
Of the water,
She takes by the hand
the one who walks.

She whispers sweet reminders,
To the walkers heart.

She dances elegantly.
She dances of love and grace.
She dances unknown
To many who see her
Only with the eyes.

For those that catch
Glimpses of her water dance
Life loses the illusions
of trickery.

She dances to
Guide them in
Remembering what
Their hearts continue
To know.

She reminds them
They are all different.
Yet, they are all the same.
We are they.
They are we.

The hand she
Took the walker by
Melts into the Sun.
The Sun swallows her
And she swallows the Sun.
They become One.

The one who walks
continues her
Walk of life
Having been reminded
Of what the brain had clouded.
Yet.
What the heart always knows.
And lo, free and lighter, she continues to Walk.
-©️2018, Camilla Downs

The Space Within

There is a space within
A space occupied, it was.

Occupied with judgment
Occupied with harshness
Occupied with unkind thoughts
towards others.

There is a space within
where the darkness
of judgment used to live.

Judgment lives
here no more.
Evicted.
It has been.

There is a space within.

A soft space of love
of compassion
of empathy
of understanding.

For a journey
of a thousand miles has
been lived with
the understanding
that each one of us
has traveled a similar journey.

To be sure,
not the same journey.
No, not the same.
That matters not.

Each has traveled a journey
of a thousand miles.

And each viewed not
according to their journey,
yet viewed with eyes
that flow from the heart.

A heart that knows the two
are connected,
viewed with eyes flowing
from the heart that only
knows unconditional love.

Eyes wide open to
the Truth of each one’s journey.

The Truth that judgment of another is
simply a reflection of judgment
held within one towards oneself.

There is a space within,
a space that was once filled with
the darkness of judgment.

A space that is now
available for compassion
and love for one self and others.

Space to breath easier
Space to live easier
space to live peacefully
Space to allow all to BE
and travel the paths chosen.

There’s a space within.
A Beautiful Space.

May we all release
and expose this space within
for the Beauty it reveals.
-2018 Camilla Downs

This poem flowed forth from the below words I had written at a different time regarding judgments and compassion. For some reason I saved them. Now, I know why.

” ……. The space within me that held the weight of so many judgments …

Judgments against people who thought and felt differently, judgments against single moms, judgments against parents whose kids act out and the kids too.

Every single time one of those judgments was released, a cushion of compassion took its place. There are still some wee judgments hiding in there.

Some that stay hidden and some that peek out to see if its safe. Within me is not a safe zone for judgments … You are released and a warm, soft, loving cushion of compassion takes your place.”

Shining Star Bag

You can take
All the hearts
Nature puts forth

And put them 
All in a bag
Made of stars
Wrapped in a
Bow of beautiful
Green grass.

But there’ll be
Days when no
Matter the beauty
No matter the love
No matter the
Depth of knowing
How the Light
Shines within.

There’ll be days
When a heaviness
Envelops and that
Shining star bag
Full of love means.

Absolutely nothing.

There’ll be days
When the sweetness
And beauty of
Every breath
Is not felt or seen.

Yet, these days
Shall pass.
These days
Shall pass.

Pass, they shall.
And waiting will
Be that shining star
Bag of hearts
And love.

For Nature is
Patient.
Nature is ever there
With love and light.

Love,
The Seed Pod
xoxo
-2017 Lessons from Nature

Poetry: Where Are You?

Monday Night Poetry last night, always a beautiful time.

Where Are You?

I am halfway to nowhere.
I am halfway to everywhere.

I’ll meet you in the middle
I’ll meet you in the trees

We’ll dance to the music of the stars
We’ll laugh to the touch of the ocean

I am halfway to nowhere.
I am halfway to everywhere.

We’ll be each others sanctuary
We’ll transform into wild animals

We’ll laugh together as the oceans waves sing to the shore
We’ll embrace as the moonlight drips into our souls.

We’ll walk barefoot through the wet grass
We’ll hold hands to the scent of the sun.

I am halfway to nowhere.
I am halfway to everywhere.

We’ll whisper secrets as the trees embrace us
We’ll share music as the wind sings her song.

We’ll kiss as the flowers dance to the tune of our music
We’ll look into each others eyes as the clouds swallow us to be reborn as rain.

I am halfway to nowhere.
I am halfway to everywhere.

I’ll meet you in the middle
I’ll meet you in the trees.
2023 CamillaDowns.com

Photos and facilitated by @mondaynightpoetrynv and @sidewayseightprojects