Transformative Question

We encounter shifts in our lives that assure we transform and are transformed. They might appear as deaths, of family, friends or others, and/or deaths within ourselves of ideas, tightly held beliefs, or some part of the self. There is often pain involved, and/or a vision that stops you because it contradicts, enlarges or goes beyond everything you know to this point.

As a country, we are collectively going through such a shift. In the seat of leadership is an overgrown, unruly, selfish child. He does not have the skills of rulership, but he’s had a television show and is a rich man who will do anything for attention. This is the face of the American dream, a nightmare in which our children’s greatest wish is to be rich and famous. The dream’s fallacy is now in the open. To see the outcome so clearly is alarming and shocking.

This may have contributed to my current state of mind and knowing. It may not have, yet, the fortunes (so to speak) of this country will be forever changed. I have been caught up in the chatter and static of churning facts, alternative stories, and chicanery on social media and the Internet that began to burn fierce during the elections. I am being forced by my inner spirit to let it go and reconsider modes of communication, how I communicate, what I communicate, and what I believe about communication.  You can substitute the word “energy” for “communicate/communication”, or the word “believe”–and then run it all up against the doorway of death. That doorway could be a bird at my shoulder, or a ladder made of clouds.

No, I am not leaving this realm yet, or at least, that’s not the plan as I know it. There’s been an inward shift that I am still investigating. I cannot explain it logically. What I find will go into my new music (I am working on an album) and my new memoir.


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  1. This morning I was reading that trials and difficulties can result in perseverance, and that if we let perseverance finish it’s work, we will come out of the trial as mature, complete, and lacking nothing.

    Tonight I wish for you lots of perseverance and the hope that it will create in you some new strength, new trajectory, new hope.

    Our America needs your living voice to take the world we know and bridge it with the hope of what we can be. I believe that only someone living through the struggle can show us us how to overcome it.

    If we lose your voice, who will teach us the things you’ve already learned? I wish you the best with your music and memoir. We need them.

  2. You have given so much to so many, Joy. Personally, I re-read several of your poems — comfort food for both mind and spirit — fairly often. Thank you for what you have done and will do in the future. Insight like yours is precious to us all, and so necessary at this time.

  3. A wonderful, insightful post ~ your words have inspired me to continue with this current event – this modern quest for self-awareness; I consider this quiet call-to-action to be one of the most courageous and necessary aspects for healing, growth, truth and equanimity.
    Thank you for sharing as it’s always helpful knowing we are not alone during this transnational time.
    Looking forward to your music and memoir.
    In Oneness,

  4. Thank you for this, Joy.
    I see now that when we become so fixated on the crazy-making chant of the orange-haired man that we can’t hear Earth’s heart beating, that’s when we’re in trouble.
    When you said, “I am being forced by my inner spirit to let it go” — what a blessing that is! She’s making you drop that toxic thing and turn around to face Her. Spring/Rebirth is coming no matter what he says or what he does. Thank goodness!
    As always, you strengthen my heart.

  5. To contemplate the possible futures that the current regime is attempting to usher in at such a devastating pace is almost more than I can bear. My heart breaks, my anguish grows. I don’t know where to turn amidst this relentless onslaught against reality that wants to twist it to feed the thirst and hunger of the Ego-in-Chief and his co-horts. The sacred is trampled underfoot, nothing seems to be spared.
    You speak of shifts and there are many. Here, in Michigan, the Magnolia bud is about to burst but it’s only 17 degrees outside. It was fooled by a premature warming. So too, the Robin, recently returned, sings shrilly to stave off the cold, confused. But it seems certain that the shifts go beyond these Divided States of America to encompass the globe. The power brokers making an ultimate stab to take it all and take it quickly–like they always have, I suppose.
    I try to go to a place where I can dream a future, but I’m drawn back to now. So, where to look for hope in the present?
    The other day I came across, for the first time, the poetry of Mary Oliver. She sings the nature that surrounds her. It reminded me that, even now, there is beauty in this world and I can still go there, even if I know it’s under an ever-increasing threat. I need it more than ever. I also picked-up your latest publication, Ms. Harjo. Thank you for sharing your time and creativity with us . Your work opens a space of prayer for me and reminds me that the Sacred endures. I really dig the jazz interludes too!
    So, there’s a few thoughts from a kindred spirit under the light of the full moon. Take care, and I look forward to the art that comes out of this messed=up moment we’re living through.

  6. Thanks for all your expressions of power and courage. Glad to hear there will be another memoir at some future date.
    Carry on!

  7. On Saturday, we lost a woman we considered our sister due to a massive heart attack. She called 911 and transitioned to another life in the presence of strangers. Shocked, we are collectively gathering our thoughts to give a good send-off to a beloved friend and reaffirm that every moment is priceless, fragile, and meant to be used wisely.

    It is with the same sense of urgency, that I am moved to make the best use of time. While as a private citizen, my impact is small but I can work to improve the situation within my family, and among people I know. Pono (correct /appropriate) action widely replicated can bring massive change, beginning with one pebble..

  8. Hiya
    A different perspective from the Canadian north where the Bee Goddess has led my journey to a magical gulf island that rests upon a base of quartz crystal. The community has a strong buzzz of activism. Last evening a concert fund-raiser to stop a 15 billion $$ dam project up iin the Peace River. One young man with an acoustic guitar singing his environmental songs stirred up 125 happy dancers — young and old. And we gathered $1,500 for the legal fees of the Peace River First Nations defence fund. Nevertheless, I advise my Canadian relations to not get too smug when gazing across the border to the south.

  9. Today our poetry group here in Mosier, Oregon—Tina, Lynda, and myself—spent the afternoon listening to your songs, reading your poetry, and then writing reflecting upon your transformative question blog. We are inspired! We love your words. We were transported by your work this spring afternoon and always. With deep gratitude.

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