192: Something Magical

self portrait

Self Portrait – V. Anderson

There’s something magical about poetry.
Everytime you don’t
write it down, it happens
to be the best.

And
and then sometimes when you do,
it just comes out like a jumble
of crashing waves.

It always comes to you when
you’re just not quite ready
and some of us even have to drag it
back in by its run-away tail.

But the other magical thing about poetry
is that not only
is it in everything, but
there’s nothing it’s not!

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173: Un/Conditional Love

I have this lover. I know that we were destined to meet because our palms bear identical lines and he is my mirror in every sense. At times he is a perfect image of me, and the rest of the time he is my perfect opposite.

However, this does not mean that our relationship is charmed, quite the contrary. You see, Hollywood taught me how to behave when a boyfriend cheated on me or didn’t get along with my best friend, but the challenges we two star-crossed lovers face are of another kind all together. For instance, today we found ourselves in the middle of a lively discussion about the nature of un/conditional love.

Struggling to express a concept I vaguely grasped, it was only a few moments before the effort brought it sharply into focus. I was left speechless at the realization that I understand more about the nature of love than I had been willing to admit. Meditating on my heart chakra, the nature of “unconditional” love always eluded me until today and now, here I am, trying to tease out the fine hairs.

Nature Never Fears

I thought I didn’t know what unconditional love was. I thought that I was utterly selfish, untrained by narcissistic and inept parents and that without an image of what that kind of love looked like, I was never going to find it showing up in my life. Well it turns out to have been there all along, I just wasn’t appreciative. It goes something like this: I am a giver. I am the friend that gets sucked dry by an insatiable desire to help others and a keen healer’s eye. My friendships have all but dissolved in the last year as I came to realize that the only thing I was receiving from them was the feeling of being needed and I sought a healthier start.

I never thought of myself as the doormat, the forgotten giving tree, or the tired old sweater – soft and comfy to the touch but the last thing you look at when a fancy prince comes to town. I knew there was nothing sustainable about this pattern of giving and never replenishing, it is inherently unbalanced. What drove this unsustainable behavior was not insanity (or maybe it was?) but unconditional love.

Sure, the extreme opposite of the sad old sweater love is giving love only when energetic compensation can be expected and that is equally shameful. No one would argue that love out of obligation is inherently less valuable, that’s for sure. But if a person finds himself making promises only to give as much love as he “is able,” does that not speak to an equally dubious condition? It says, “If I have enough energy for myself then I will give you some love in whatever form you require.” Well that is the very definition of conditional now, isn’t it? sunlovehafiz

So what’s our position on conditional love? Is it just a stepping stone to the unconditional variety? Should conditional love be looked down upon? What purpose does it serve? How can we take Mother Nature’s examples of unconditional love and feel their energy in our own lives? I am reminded of the effortless gift of sunlight which will someday drain our great star of all his life force. Does he ever ask, “What if I don’t have enough?”

I can’t tell you how interested I’d be to hear your thoughts. Don’t hesitate to chime in below!

119: One Job Could Change My Life

poopThree Steps

I don’t want this architecture degree,
the $60,000 debt and 90 hour weeks
just so I can get the job
that will change my life.

No.

I want the job
that will change their lives.

Why am I scared to admit the truth?
I want to change the world!
They get nervous when I say it
but I’ve stopped hiding.

I went to school.
I designed “sustainable” hotels.
I followed all their rules
And still I wanted more.

I went to Lima,
I met people in the slums.
“Human settlements”
they’re so elegantly called.

I cried with all my body,
paralyzed by the sight
of children walking home from school
through dust they had no way to escape.

Step one: design them showers.
I used Nature’s own designs
to recycle the costly water
children carried home on foot.

I hear poetry in the screams
of Our Great Mother
whose children are wasting
her gifts and their lives

while their buildings scrape the sky
and architects forget to ask
where do the showers go when
there’s no fresh water left?

And who will rent the offices
when people are scrounging for food
because the temperature’s too high
and the farms are all too far?

Mr. Politician, I can’t hear your ignorance
over the screams of OUR planet.
Nothing drowns them out and I can’t stop,
my body sobs along.

Hey, are you listening?
Do you know what’s up in Bangladesh?
Did you hear how millions are drowning
because of your addiction to oil?

My dream job doesn’t exist yet.
I know the why but not the how,
the what but not the when.
Step two: MS in GeoDesign.

Sustain-ability,
that’s step three.
Uniting people, buildings and nature,
building holistic communities, together.

Societies of living systems,
cities that are resilient, people
that are healthy and strong, that
is my dream.

Architect: it’s not a job.
It’s a call to the power of the universe.
The power to inspire change,
to build hope.

REDUCE stupidity and arrogance;
realize freedom and equality
and design a world where we all
have water to shower, clean air to breathe.

REUSE profit and power;
prioritize community-welfare
and remember we are all
children of the same Earth and stars.

RECYCLE laziness and complacency;
live up to those ideals and values
about which we talk the talk because
now, my friends, it’s time to walk.