Oh enduring friends of continual creation. Oh patient patrons of organic process. Oh dedicated dervishes of the vines that flourish forth from ash & rot.

Thank you for sticking with me. Time to be transparent: I've been struggling. Ouch, living & learning. So many times in my life I have been blessed with Perspective & given the courage to greet growing pains with joy & welcome & faith & perseverance.

And sometimes, hard shit is just hard.

So I will acknowledge that I have had a hard time accessing the hutzpah to corral the necessary resources & peoples & focus to bring this album to completion. I have been listening to voices inside me that say I don't have it in me to finish what I start, to keep things on track when they threaten to fly off the rails. I've been allowing myself to forget the difference between swimming & drowning. I've been flailing in a sea of turmoil.

... Then, sometimes, with grace & sparkle, kindreds will come along to remind you that you have gills and arms both, that swimming is both movement and breathing, that it's never over. You will have dreams of letting go at the point of drowning and in that moment find yourself breathing deep the wide clean air upon the shore. You will be reminded of the sacredness of broken things...

You will remember this is an album of coming alive in the hollows of a burnt down house. You will dig in to what is already there, trusting that the truth is the truth is the truth, believing in the fronds that curl up toward the sun of their own accord.

What I have to offer on this day: lyrics for Four of Swords. Those who know the origins of this card in the Tarot, your insights & comments are welcome. Those who don't, I have this to share: there was once a tradition of soldiers building their own funeral pyre before they left for battle, and if they came back alive they would spend the first night lying there in gratitude & contemplation, knowing they had prepared to return there one way or another, finding themselves graced with the gift of returning to that place, this time, awake. Though I do not consider myself a soldier nor do I wish to court battles, I have been in this practice myself for years, appreciating the aid it gives to my heart in hard times.

May it hold hold gently what is awakening.

Four of Swords:

I'm not victorious, I'll be no cavalry this time,
no heroine of history.
Oh, but if I may, this bedraggled, battered Heart,
I will lay in the stonegarden of Saint Vincent DePaul

Dragging the bones of a heretical hopelessness
stumbling to the dragon's egg nest,
the grateful grave of homing signals
landing whole, fulfilling purpose still but unvictorious

I'm not victorious....

A Scotsman screaming "Saoirse!" to a ghost beloved, headless
at last, alive to tell the tale,
unbound & broken, unchained, and breaching again a birth,
a sob of Jezebel, a Hunter's bow, the Good Book dog-eared
& broken spined, glowing past dust jacket, driven
past the snow, newly framed with tin & carved with horse's hair
& deer's back bone

Plenty of time to think
when done dreaming
Plenty of time to dream
when done digging
Plenty of time to dance
when done dying
Plenty of time to do
when done hiding

What is and what will never be..
Ticking away to the stone of fallen walls,
you're just ticking away to the stone
of fallen walls

I'm not victorious...

Doves & silk flowers, citrus of tiny strangers,
veterans with ink,
sky, the skin of forgiveness
wrapped real tight round the muscle of rightful pain,
the blood of the Hanged One reversed,
birthday candles for Glory,

I'm not victorious, I'll be no cavalry this time, no heroine of history,
but if I may, this bedraggled, battered Heart,
I will lay in the stonegarden of Saint Vincent DePaul,