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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We are all worthy.
We are all worthy of good.
We are all worthy of bad.
We are worthy of whatever is perceived, or not perceived, as the definition of good and bad.
We are worthy of what we measure others with and others by.
We are worthy of how we measure ourselves.
We are worthy of our thoughts, actions, and deeds.
We are worthy of what we put forth, what we take in, and what we hold most dear.
We are worthy of what we keep to ourselves, what we hold tight, what we fear the most of losing.
We are worthy of what we fear the most of revealing.

Samantha Craft

Another new piece from today is here

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Elemental Cause

To give only to give, without expectation, without gain, without bursts of ego-gratification. To give without proclaiming, sharing, and classifying one self as giver. To just give, and know that in the cornerstone of heart, whatever ripple comes in return, is merely more energy set into reserve for future gifts. ~ Sam Craft

Elemental Cause

We are riding a wave of a collective unconsciousness that predicates actions, reactions, opinions, likes and interests, as well as disinterest. It’s mediocrity made insane, and semi-tamed.

I can’t help but see this all around me, from the fashion trends, to hairstyles, to the modern music craves, to the buildings erect and idolized. Divine design is all about; and yet we cling onto that which is perceived as the collective norm and acceptability.

Digging deep into the psyche, this pattern of behavior all comes down to the desire to be accepted and assimilated, even at its assumed worse; none is left untouched. Even the so-deemed ‘reject’ or dark sheep is masked himself, surely to be absorbed by another sort. If not the masses, then the anti-masses: the secluded seduction of isolation.

To be evaporated into the state of ‘not being’ in hopes of instilling a cloak to shield self from the chaos of being. Still this shield, self-made and created for the primary purpose of protection, serves as the resistance of what is not real. And the more one opposes a force, substantial or not in it’s reckoning, the more the force that is objectified grows.

In this way, the very act of retaliating against that which is perceived as wrong, or even ‘evil’, substantiates the existence of such force, and erects it as formidable in making. And more so, the process of chastising and banishing, even pretending the existence out of view, is equally detrimental—as the energy required to dismiss something from the mind, again substantiates the value of such.

Predetermination in and of itself seems to procreate and bring into existence what is naught. That is to say that the act of accepting something as so gives the mind’s creation power. The abstract made whole. The nothing becoming something from mere effort of mind.

The more one focuses on the abstract, the more the collective eradicates nothing into something. Whether this be judged or labeled as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ in theory makes no difference. For whatever is countered, in so countering the opposite thusly grows. In so being: if ‘good’ is countered, evil grows, but good also grows in equal measure. For the act of resistance, or the force of undoing, both equally grow that which is of primary focus.

And whose mind is to choose which energy is pushed towards the one, if not the other? Therefore if I focus on the sun—the light—the glimmer of whatever one chooses to associate with the source—I also, in equal measure, focus on that which is without the light. For to have light I must have dark.

To proclaim something is good, I must establish across the scale of justice that which is un-good. To have the un-good I must create and establish rules and boundaries. I must become judge. I must have basic standards. I must start somewhere. Or so it seems.

When in actuality, I am starting not. Instead, I am as climber on the mountain peak digging down into the depths and cores of endlessness, crumbling self and existing selves that linger about. I am tearing apart my essence from the inside out in effort to eradicate that which has been established is not enough and not ‘good.’

In this manner, I am my own avalanche. I am my elemental cause excavating below in hopes of bringing up that which is tarnished—the root explanation—the growth—the cancerous vector in which truth, once established, has been attacked and need surrender.

In unmasking a truth that is neither buried or alive, in seeking to find that cause that I believe is the unmarked burial ground of chaos, I render into exactness the very thing in which I wish to expose. I become that which is my enemy, in thinking my enemy is. I become that which is terror, in believing terror reigns. I buy into the acts upon acts that in turn render treason upon my soul.

I bleed out my beggar’s mentality in the very utterance of non-equivalent. In staking claim, the spot in which the flag bears my name and flies in high-wind is the same mound of nonexistent land that becomes my territorial truth. That which I proclaim as full enemy I proclaim as my reality. For whatever the opposite of enemy becomes, there in the act of proclaiming, becomes, too, my life-blood, that which in some variant degree, though at times almost invisible, I worship.

Tis truth, then, that in being, in thinking, in existing, I am forced to form sides, to single-out camps: those that are unbearable to the mind, body, and soul; and those that are acceptable, and often deemed desirable.

In order to set my mind apart from this useless game of mousetrap, I must first scoop out that which is the bait, the essence that captures first my appetite and then manifests my fears. For if I am deeming something desirable and in wanting, in exactness, still, I am deeming another undesirable and unwanted.

That which I shun gives power to that which I crave. In the same measure, that which I long for in dream-state gives recall to that which I dread. The unbearable stakes are set; and life becomes not of pleasure-seeking quest, though the game is curtained as so; instead, my daily burden becomes that to which I seek naught and find naught eternally.

This becomes that which I claim as real. And the real feeds off as stinging nettle to skin, lingering in pain-stricken cause with reminders of escape. The mind becomes the battleground, as in action; it begins as slave to sort out the mind’s cause. The it becoming the enemy of the it, when both were deemed innocent.

How this is, is. And how this is not, is not. And those that linger in this place of knowing, in their act of lingering, substantiate the facts furthermore, building a wall between that dark and light that serves as the landmark from deep space, indication that the war has begun. And the more the battle is spun, the more victims that are laid down in erect fashion. Standing as phantom ghosts as the shadows sleep in the ground that burgeons, spun from the fertilizer of demented abstractions of formed reality.

Here is where I walk, in the weeping hours, footprint after footprint, marking my territory as mine. When all the while the burial grounds seep blood from the sleeping masses of a thousand centuries.



I am searching beyond the starlight into the caverns of unknown, the deep dark space that collapses into itself and leaves me barren with questions.

Scraped out and open to all that is. All that will be and has been.

How am I, in this space of no space, ascending beyond without leaving within?

Am I not just a fleck of nonsense absorbing the currency of thought, scattered dividends of yesterday’s theories; my own mind the orchestrator of a tune that erects circumstances.

Had I not been where I’d been, where would I be? And how is it that everywhere I go there is this pressing truth of not being?

Am I free-floating in the vicinity of reason, circling as particle passed the orbiting truth without recognition, skipping by what is there, blinded to what exists? Bumping into random spectators and retreating through the passenger train of strangers.

Am I?

Or does this being reflect the potentiality of what could be, the waiting point, the singular place of beginning brought back to itself from the end?

A loop of circular life, receding and retreating, bleeding out and returning to the outskirts of humanity.

I am tormented but the totality of thoughts circumvented, as breech baby turned stillborn.

I am this drudger of no-man’s land, excavating desert storms and transforming the blind into seers.

This one with emptied eyes being the essential self, left barren still.


The Dwelling Place

I am entangled in an unknown arena: a place of darkness with light, a place of light with darkness.

There doesn’t seem to be an opportunity for navigation into the comfort zone. Everything is either heightened into an elevated state of awareness or lowered into an isolated state of escape.

To have a ‘good’ day, whatever one deems good, will inevitably lead to a day categorized as ‘bad.’ Something, it seems, beyond the sensory capacity, evens out the score, applies this cryptic state of karmic leveling, yin-yang doing, or substantial energetic balancing.

It is as if an over-seer self-corrects and steers me back to a place of equilibrium, balancing out all that was undone and compromised, and leading me into the middle point of existence. A place that is incompressible, unrecognizable, and unexplainable.

There is a bleakness to the solidarity, yet, also a hopeful uplifting in which I am made to feel the complexities of both ends of the spectrum of being.

In my living, I am neither on the number line of existence, nor on any recognizable solid foundation. I am substance itself, and all that occurs, exists within me.

Though I continually step outside of self, attempting to navigate the world as I see fit according to the demonstrated structures and laws of man, I again rewind myself, and am led back to the starting point of I am.

There doesn’t appear to be an alternate route. I am not made or bred or substantiated by the power of being to be anything other than that of what I am.

If I navigate too far to the right or too far to the left of the straight line, I am pushed or pulled back by an unknown force that appears to be me. However, even on the middle ground, amongst the avenue of appearing ‘straight,’ I am not there. I am nowhere. I am neither, in this state, uncomfortable or comfortable, I just am.

Here is where I remain, but only momentarily, for a blinking of an eye, and then I am brought back to the equilibrium unmasked, brought back and returned to a place of discomfort I choose not to live.

Again, I am here, fashioned into something or someone I do not recognize and do not wish to be. Again I return to the straight line of nonexistence in an attempt to catch a breath of life, of living, only to be reminded of my own effervescent fluidity, and returned from whence I came.

I belong on a plane that is not a plane, in an existence that is neither identifiable, nor part of reality. Even as the ghosts around me scream factuality and actuality, I recognize the inner hinderances of justifying the existence of naught.

I watch, as observer of self, fluctuating between absorbing the lies of existence and the truth of non-existence. And I am trapped in between the dwelling place of knowing nothing and everything. Made drunk by my own wishing to know, blinded in my actions to soften the blow of truth with the substances of earth unnecessary for growth.

Here I dwindle, with such un-delight, suffering in the cause of my own suffering. Pulling apart pieces of me to find only illusion.

If not I be, then who is this am that apparently strums the strings of hope? And if not I be, then what runs through me so thick like baptized blood of my forefathers? If not I be then where do I stand, and on what legs, and of what existence?

The mind queries from a place of inner dwelling, so deep the waters split and reveal the ocean floor below the ocean floor, the end and the start of the depths themselves.

I am haunted by the makings of my corridors, the inner dwellings in which the image of what I am ponders and stirs in and out of mysteries unwoven and spread out: strings and more strings. The threading I lost in the struggle.

Where am I, I call out, from the darkness. If I be not this angelic form or this demonic device, then what of the voice I hear. From whence does the voice come, and to whom does the voice carry her spirit forth?