Belly of a Star

my practice of compassion


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Never Giving Up

Nightmares began before the age of four
And never ended
Typically, demons and monsters
Sometimes they come true
An only child
Capable of skipping the first grade
Lost two fathers to divorce
Entire step-family, brothers and sisters, gone
Never seen again
Best friend kidnapped, soon after
Life with a single, low-income parent
Latch-key kid, learned to cook, on that old cast iron skillet

I walked a lot, hid in the comfort of tall oak trees
Shirley Temple Black’s house, just around the corner
Near Stanford University’s tall, green grass
Without Mother, attended my own parent/teacher conference
A gifted-kid, hyper-active, with a tendency to daydream
Saving babysitter funds, to buy my own toiletries and clothes
Red striped Nikes, Grandmother’s
Size six, one size too small, but I made them work
Three pairs of pants, rotated, accessories were luxury

A high school freshman, on the east coast
Bullied and ostracized, called out in the halls
“Slut,” “Idiot,” “Bitch”
Wept to the bearded school counselor, to please listen
As something was wrong, couldn’t read
Stomach pains, can’t comprehend
Can’t spell, can’t remember, please help
In response: smirks and claims ‘she is too pretty’ to have problems

A mid-year high school freshman, on the west coast, elevated in status
Loved for the outside . . . homecoming princess, cheerleader
Countless tears in the front cab of my sweetheart’s truck
He didn’t understand, and neither did I
Hippy-, loving-, free-spirited mother
Her black best friend married to a white man
Taught me how cruel onlookers can be to “different”
Her foreign, Persian boyfriend, in times of hostages and chaos
Came with late-night tire slashing and unspeakable threats

Graduated with honors, scholarships, somehow
Only college freshman in upper-division classes
Victim of multiple predators . . .
First female on both sides of family to earn a degree
Graduated from teaching program, early
Taught in low-income school, 110-degrees outside, windows sealed shut
No air conditioning, needed fumigating
Nominated teacher of year, received highest marks, always

Master’s degree earned, while disabled and
Raising three sons, one on the autism spectrum
Stay-at-home mother, working from home
Home schooling middle son, after the bullies came
My own late-age diagnosis of Aspergers
New remote-job, promoted and promoted
Dyslexia, dyspraxia, generalized anxiety . . .
Divorce, uprooting, finding ‘home’ again
Crying in the front cab of my van, this time, alone
Heartache, heartbreak, reality of world, once more

Published book, took ten years to write
Sharing stories to build community
More stories to build, more living to come
My doggy, and time, passes on
Comforts of home and family
Getting our “Geek” on
Lord of the Rings, Dungeon and Dragons
Showing it’s okay to be

Last count, 8 chronic pain conditions
Most of this spring in bed with a virus
After traveling through LA airport
Covid-19, social unrest, more sadness
Still, 3 sons graduate, all on the same day, the 13th
A happy June, well-adjusted, content, and kind
My sons, loved ones, and me
Still thriving, still speaking, still working
Nightmares began before the age of 4
And never ended
Typically, demons and monsters
Sometimes they come true
Sometimes they don’t


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Octopus Garden

This is the fifth painting on this one canvas. I often paint and paint, until the final product appears. There are 6 to 10 layers of paint, and about 20 hours of painting. “Octopus Garden” represents my love for my autistic partner David. He is the bird holding up the nest — of protection/home. I am holding his beak. There are many other symbols that have deep meaning. It also represents ‘as above so below’ and many other complex thoughts.

It was Bird Man’s Dream from a previous post. And before that Layered.


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The Trinity

I usually don’t know what I am painting until hours of layering and removing of paint.

After the painting is done, I sometimes analyze for symbolism:

Dandelion:

Healing from emotional pain and physical injury alike
Intelligence, especially in an emotional and spiritual sense
Surviving through all challenges and difficulties

Veil:

Many meanings, including the veil between heaven and earth and the white veil of Jesus.

Purple cloth and white heart and dove/spirit:

Lydia made purple cloth in the Bible. Lydia heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Bible says that God opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying (Acts 16:14).

The bird in sky, the snake like animal, the beast in the field

King James Bible Hosea 2:18

And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

Psalm 148:10
wild animals and all cattle, crawling creatures and flying birds

 


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A Few Thoughts

A few thoughts:

“Each day is another opportunity to choose to partake in the process of discernment. In implementing discernment, I stay on equal ground with all. In judging others’ behaviors, I automatically give up energy, and view myself as lesser- or greater-than. In observing, while gently releasing judgmental thoughts, I remain energized, at peace, and available to serve.”

“There are those who would profit off of their victimization. They make the most callous of leaders and point others astray. Listen with open heart to unveil deepest intention. Seek purity. Especially beware the individuals who magnify their victimhood, who justify their hurt — their proclaimed suffering masked as boldness. Be weary the wolf who appears meek and wounded; there in lies the deepest of traps. Step away from those who lead with a metal clapper.”

“An amulet of honor houses strength of character, a sense of right and wrong, and faith. It fortifies gentle wisdom, demonstrates patient maturity, and amplifies clear sight. True integrity shines in the deepest of caverns, silencing the monsters at bay without need of sword or flame. Be that which is true and free. Free of the damaging ways of the world, dictated in a million ways through a million voices. Shut out the dark of days, with truth and dignity, that which is the light of you.”

~ Samantha Craft, July 2020


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The Observer Watches

Hurt people point fingers at hurt people.
Some pointing is masked as good deeds.
Some pointing is masked as ill-will.
Both remain pointed fingers.

The observer watches in silence. The observer works behind the scenes, building bridges and building peace. The observer does not judge the others who are not like the observer. The observer is naught.

For the observer, there is no end point. There is nothing to point at. Nothing to claim. No one to listen.

The observer knows:

How the logic mind sorts, categorizes, discovers, and declares. Thoughts and grasping of truth . . . want, need, must do.

Judgment, evaluation, and end point.

Limited perception equating to magnified confirmation bias.

Imaginary worlds.

The observer knows:

Nothing in the singular world is in the collective world.
Where WE truly meets is in the in between space. Beyond the finite.

How singular judges and why singular judges and who singular judges is interdependent on the observer and receiver.

Perception is interdependent — bouncing molecules.

No endpoint.

As singulars don’t squat on number lines. And aren’t stagnant.
All is temporary truth.

Each singular houses an internal eco-system filled with mysteries of the sea, beyond bone and blood is another bounty-filled treasure.

As good leads to bad and bad leads to good — things aren’t as they seem.

Power can be seized, when We see We as mirrors facing mirrors.

Power can be seized when We recognize ‘life’ as hypocrisy.

All truth creates separation. All words — sound formed by singular — create separation.

Once something becomes truth and separate, all outside that truth is alienated.

As one claims this ‘a box’, then what remains are ‘not-boxes.’

As one claims singular as better than, then what remains are less-than.

All words lead to boxes; all boxes leave singulars outside the box.

Rhythm and motions create knowings without words. Vibrations, sounds without meaning, are healing. Images without borders. Pictures without definers. A Mother’s heartbeat to infant.

Observer cannot claim to know any truth or any reality, without equally claiming another singular does not know the full of truth. For observer’s truth can only be observer’s truth, unless the veil of logic is peeled away.

Billions living in singular painted worlds. Each with a singular view. Which singular creation is the right one?

The observer does not have the capacity to choose and also houses the capacity to choose. The observer is a contradiction. The observer sees a singular world as contradiction. Observer can choose, but chooses not to choose. But in that choosing, he chooses.

Observer walks existence as a collective: an interdependent droplet in the massive sea. He cannot be the water rising, even if willed to be, without the body that remains. Observer can stand as a drop. if he was made to know the drop. But as Observer is the collective, he is the ocean.

Wherever there is division, there is finite. Wherever there is finite, love cannot be. As love is infinite. And one cannot slip infinity into a bottle.

Whoever is not inside a finite bottle, is excluded.

A flag that makes proclamation creates separation. It claims finite. It claims ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Right and wrong creates battles, war, destruction. No matter how right, no matter how wrong, it is division.

Love is infinite. It speaks only love. It has not bottle. It has not box. And thusly, all are invited. There is not inside, and therefore there is not outside.

Equality is in infinity.

Singulars cannot see what they are not. When they look at self they see singular. When they look down, or through, or in reflective glass: singular.

Love cannot see what it is not. When love looks, it sees whole. When it looks down, or through, or in reflective glass: union.

Love sees outside boundaries. Singular sees finite.

Love knows only love. Words are foreign. The concept of ‘me’ is foreign. Without me, singular doesn’t have to be as me, look as me, move as me, believe as me.

Love cannot expect others to believe in itself, because it cannot see belief. Love is because love is infinity.

Hate is finite.

Hate is woven from the fiber of boxes and the glass of bottles. Hate is made in a singular world.

Love is everywhere, as it is infinite. Love fills the emptiness. Love pours in where it is invited. Love fills the space about, within, and in between, in the narrow edges between lines and points.

Love is in the creases and cracks and crevices. It is fissured, stamped, emerged, broken. Love is the spaces. Love is the substance that houses the space. Love is the molecular structure within the molecular structure.

Singular knows boundaries, and time, and space. That’s why singular plants flags. That’s why singular makes boxes. That’s why singular paints itself, as it believes there are other singulars watching.

Non-singular is love. It watches the flags. It watches the boxes. It watches the paintings. But Love doesn’t try to do anything with the watching. It doesn’t think to do anything.

Love is not finite. It is outside loves realm of existence.

Love is the observer and the observer is love.

Love says: I have nothing to prove. We are.

Love sees no singular.

Samantha Craft, July 2020


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Flying Elephants

Flying Elephants

The judge
judges the judge
For behaving as judge
Villains
coloring villains
outside the lines

The Watcher watches
from a space
in between
where words breed

Imagining
Their kingdoms
of sandcastles
Built upon the other
Without thought
of the coming waves

Watcher floats
on the sea of sea
Drifting
Turns the cheek
to find no cheek

Comes the pictures:
A High Priestess
in her high castle
gazing down below
mocking stupidity

Comes the pictures:
The Low Warrior
standing his ground
glaring upward
cursing the darkness

Mirrors within mirrors
The monster and the muse
The muse and the monster
Standing low
Pointing up
Standing high
Pointing down

The judge
judges the judge
For behaving as judge
Villains
coloring villains
outside the lines

A singular ball
bounces
down, down, down
A singular ball
bounces
up, up, up
Fires burn
A bucket of hot tar
Down!
An arrow lit aflame
Up!

Invisible Sanskrit
Dripping squid ink

Up becomes down
Down becomes up
Upside down
Upside up
And choice drains out

Inside the watching
Merry-go-round
A spectrum of
merging blue
Twirling
Evaporating

The Watcher moves
as jelly-liquid
swimming in
folding batter

Springing rope
shoots up
Crashing ladder
swoops down
Climb!
Cling!
Climb!
Cling!

The claimers shout
at the claimers
For acting as claimers

A flag of proclamation
erases the errors
of flag of proclamation
Their way
becomes
absolved of error
Their way
becomes
solvent
made of error

Handless
Watcher moves
Legless
wobbling on splintered-stilts
Telepathic ringing
stinging
As nettle stings

Houses built: woven baskets
Houses built: deep wells
One carries solid
One carries liquid
And they battle over
What is

Flying elephants
holding
The ears
of flying elephants
with snake trunks
The water gushes out
of fork-tongue

The judge
judges the judge
For behaving as judge
Villains
coloring villains
outside the lines

Samantha Craft, July 2020


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Wrong Planet

“Wrong Planet”
About 10 layers of paint, spent processing feeling displaced on earth and by others’ ways. The outcast watching and reflecting and attempting to communicate with a device to the other standing in odd, bird-like clothing. I am trying to relate the person to an animal, but they aren’t anything I recognize. The ‘helmet’ atop emerged from a combination of face-blindness and the unfamiliar atmosphere. The letter A represents earth, where there is no telepathy. Sometimes I am the one in the strange costume being judged, trying to breathe and adjust; but most of the time, I am the creature, feeling confused and bewildered, longing for home.