Belly of a Star

my practice of compassion


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I know someone suffering

waiting to be seen

I know someone who is suffering
I know someone who is in chronic pain
I know someone who has chronic fatigue
I know someone who is searching for answers
I know someone who has gone through divorce
I know someone who is in an unhappy marriage
I know someone who longs to find a soul mate
I know someone who is alone
I know someone who has no one nearby
I know someone who searches for another
I know someone who cannot afford the mortgage
I know someone who cannot afford the rent
I know someone who is homeless
I know someone who longs to reconnect with family
I know someone who longs to be accepted by loved ones
I know someone who has been hurt by those most trusted
I know someone who has lost all siblings
I know someone who has lost a child
I know someone who has lost a partner
I know someone who is in search of work
I know someone who is burdened by a job
I know someone who isn’t recognized for abilities
I know someone who can’t control anger
I know someone who can’t control the body
I know someone who can’t control actions
I know someone who feels trapped in the wrong body
I know someone who feels trapped in the wrong gender
I know someone who feels trapped by society
I know someone who has been displaced
I know someone who has been ostracized
I know someone who is searching for community
I know someone who is losing the ability to remember
I know someone who is in the last stages of cancer
I know someone who is preparing to end this life
I know someone who feels unseen
I know someone who longs to be heard
I know someone who is tired of cruelty
I know someone who gets trapped in the mind
I know someone who gets fooled by thoughts
I know someone who battles voices that seem real
I know someone who lost a beloved pet
I know someone who lost a beloved possession
I know someone who lost a part of who they are
I know someone who battles addiction
I know someone who pangs to live in the moment
I know someone who doesn’t understand why life is unfair
I know someone who is suffering
Samantha Craft
December 2016

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Scattered Gatherings

I vacillate between thinking I know something and accepting I know nothing. Wherein the tides of change of my conscious awareness of grasping used to vary from day-to-day, and maybe carry and effervescent glow that highlighted ‘attachment’ at random intervals throughout the week, now it appears that I shift continually, moment by moment, step by step. Had it not been for my finite reasoning in regards to spiritually studies, I would think myself mad, or certainly delusional. For what I find in the depth of ancient texts substantiates my own inner dwellings of non-substantiated self. I see myself sounding more and more like someone I am not, and losing a grip on what I used to be, and find myself further enjoying the journey of release and gratitude for existence, whatever form it takes, or ceases to take.

However, at the same time I perceive who I am as very much human with self-proclaimed flaws, though in divine perfection I be. This terrifies me, this semblance of being a failed creature.

No amount of reasoning can take me out of the state of ‘failure.’ In no way is this an interior battle of perfectionism or trying to be someone or prove something. In all ways this is a spiritual shedding, of sorts, in which I stand and face a mirror of a mirror of self, somewhere trapped between the reflections, hovering out of my body and out of what is manifested from viewpoint.

I cannot help but to do this, to dip back into a place that feels as humility, but borders on the primal definition of gluttony—the exterior outcry for redemption based on an exceedingly punitive view of the self in which the lessons learned are erased and all is abashed for the love of Christ to a degree that the deemed ‘victim’ slips into ego-state in embracing such self-inflicted misery.

I go there to a degree, but never fully. I stop myself, some hitchhiker through the galaxy of my own surmised prospect of self, listening to an inner voice that is neither pleasing or enticing, unless one peaks at the experience of being solicited my painful renderings spawned wild.

I am that I am, I remind myself, though I continually fall backwards into a predisposition of how could I have done this more accurately. Accurately being the key word, in meaning, how could I have represented my full self fully? This indeed is a contrary statement, for how can one represent the exact self, say ye full or empty, when no self is able waiting?

I query here, inside my mind, or what seems to be my mind, and sit a spell, and awful stench-filled spell, wading through the waves of inner demons. Had I not known I was of the light, I am sure I would sacrifice my own existence to relieve the internal pangs. As there is nothing as devastating to my own soul as singularly embracing the concept of deception. Deception of self onto self, creating that which is not genuinely authentic, but some offspring of gluttony risen, that being the prospect for fame, fortune, circumstance, or renewal of want for one alone. In this state, I dutifully self-punish, not in any fashion noticeable to the onlooker, only in a way that eats away at my own being, teaching me of things that are neither here nor there, whilst retaining a truth so strikingly piercing that the ears of the soul bleed out.

Depression need not enter. As it appears that even depression is no match to the wallowing that suppresses me. It is a tampering of the reality in which I perceive my being, a way in which the world is toppled through, without the hope that I once carried. Erased I am. And in my erasing, nothing remains to hold that which might enter, except the residue of what is not. Again, I spin some circle of thought; yet, clearly the truth be told.

I hold onto this naysay position with remarkable fortitude coming up with what must be a thousand thorns to the heart. Each one recognized and determined as factual. Each one named by that which I had done or undone. Each remark countered. Each specter weighed. I am the weight of my actions, the mass of my thoughts, indicative to the cow who gives her milk in rations, only to hoard the honey for her own drinking. I am this spinster, not able to give out what is mine to give, nibbling away at the best pieces and embracing the bride of pride. How dutifully I dance in this state, frayed out between what was and what is, counting, as miser, the stools of my dissertation, as if the stench that bleeds out of contradictory terms inside the barrier of mind be the hindsight of discovery. I am not what these words say, and yet I placate my self in this space, keeping her held as hostage spun askew. Holding her down in the muck of what is not, to tear out of the deepest heart-chamber what beats as truth.

I twist here, torrential storm, windtunnel sucked under, and remain here uncertain of my sanction, uncertain of my calling, thinking I am nothing but a slight fool hammering away at a place that is erect no longer. Where is this invisibleness leading, the indignation of the righteous one calls out. And I bleed further into the realms of hot demon coals, the fire long ago leached, and the feathers of the falcon lay waste, symbolic representation of further demise. All who trespass are demolished. All who dive in wiped clean. And still I remain in a drafted dungeon of my own doing.

Had I not been a fool, I would not know how to stand here today; had I not endured the spectrum-spun way of non-gentle rendering, I would not exist as speaker. I am dead to myself again upon again, torn open on display as to release the poison within, the scattered gatherings collected that hindered my sight and came as treasure from this earthly dwelling naught. I am sacrificed for the further dawning of self, taken to the night, so I might spring forth anew and reborn.

Had I not been a witness to my repeated suffering, I would stand as the erect one proud, pleased of my own doings, and there the filth would leak from my renderings. Instead, as soldier to knee, I am surrendered to the forces that be, waiting for the time of standing, when I can face the enemy line purged of that which is deemed ‘unclean.’ I am a warrior, yes, but a warrior that stealthily dies upon thy self day after day, morn after morn, moment onto moment, to wipe away all that is a casualty of existence.


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Awake

awake (no time)

AWAKE  (a portion of the watercolor on canvas I did this morning)

Each morning, I have a strong desire to paint and to write. Each morning, I wake up thinking I won’t have the desire today! This day I will be ‘normal.’

Alas… here is my newest painting.

Each day and night, I find solace in reading spiritual texts. I sink my spirit into numerous readings. I steer clear of dogma, rigidness, and structure. Rules and regulations in regards to spirit, and all things stemmed for the benefit of an establishment or a singular one, make me uncomfortable in all parts of my being.

I am a bit out of control of this ‘self.’ This burning fire-like passion builds and builds and builds, until I feel I might explode. I am pushed by some unknown force to create and expel part of what continually penetrates and feeds me–though the fuel feels less nourishment than banquet of grace-filled meals. At moments I sense I could devour my own self. In many ways I feel lost and alone; yet at the exact time entirely connected to source and the universe.

I guess I  ought to be elated. At moments I suppose I am. Actually I feel more akin to a newborn bird, my feathers wet and my appetite unending. And though I have never felt such grace, awareness, understanding, and unconditional love, I have also never felt such penetrating sorrow for others and the want to make the world a place of open eyes and open heart.

I cry more. But I laugh much, much more. And my child-heart smile is back.

I am genuinely at peace at a deep level.  My mind is extremely quiet now. I don’t often think about the coming hour or the coming day.

Physical pain seems to be my primary obstacle. But I see all obstacles as lessons and teachers. Even to classify with words such as good or bad seems non-essential and inadequate.

I battle with a sense of melancholy, often triggered by my physical challenges and the sensation that I am somehow no longer whom I used to be. I still struggle at times with inadequacy, often when I am focused on my physical appearance. If I am in deep connection with the spirit beyond ‘self,’ all my own suffering is released and I have only the purest and sweetest of thoughts.

I am a constant observer of self, watching my life as a director watches a theater production. Only I am silent, collecting thoughts and releasing, without knowing the origin, meaning, or cause.

Judgment is for the most part gone, except when I get down on my physical being.  Most, if not all, of my emotional angst, beyond suffering with wanting to help others, is stemmed directly to the moments I see myself as separate in human form and not part of the Collective All.

awake (painting)