Why am I Breathless?


Is it from hearing, “I don’t understand what love is and I may come to love you in time.”

Is it from that first high dive plunge?

Is it because you died?

Is it because sunset in the desert bleeds love from the sky?

Is it from the cacophony of disharmony spewing from the television?

Is it from the soft nuzzling of an animal touching your soul?

Is it from deep chasm guilt that blisters once more with no warning?

Is it from falling upward into the stars on a dark Wyoming night?

Is it from free-falling changes that color our sojourn here?

Is it from meadows of wildflowers on a zephyr kissed mountain?

Is it from childhood lost?


Is it from rising out of within and embracing without?

Is it from a mind full of laughter and family bonds?

Is it from finding the woman that IS me; gentle of spirit and She Bear on fire?

Is it from touching another and feeling reciprocation in light exchanged?

Is it from seeing my aging hands on the steering wheel … “Whose are THESE!?!

Is it from the fragile nature of life becoming still?

Is it from wonderment toward after living?


Am I breathing?

~erb 2018

In My Mind

I still

I still run carefree in bright wild-flowered meadows.

I still ride hair flying on thundering hooves.

I still call out to that which is Higher.

I still touch others then kneel from their gifts.

I still believe there is good in the world.

I still feel gratitude for all I have lived.

I still feel the touch of lips from first kisses.

I still smile with eyes of the girl there upstream.

I still feel the breathing from times of warm loving.

I still send my love based on swirling wellsprings.

I still know my actions have harmed on the way.

I still know forgiveness and hope spring eternal.

I still know that I cannot fix what needs fixing.

I still hear my father’s soft voice as he prayed.

I still know that life is a wheel for the spirit.

I still feel the rush of that walk on the dock.

I still know the sound of hot hardship a’knocking.

I still see the colors of struggles receding.

I still feel the bliss of a sweet wedding day.

I still know that loss has a sting without mercy.

I still feel the pain of a dear life lost fully.

I still know the glow of a miracle’s touch.

I still know my life is a dot on this planet.

I still know that each of us bleed just the same.

I still know that wrongs of our fathers still touch us.

I still feel the shame of it flow in my veins.

I still know we all walk this world path together.

I still feel love thriving in spite of the pain.

I still …

~erb 2018

River of Rage

Some years ago it was necessary to accept and embrace my personal beast within (an ongoing process) thereby bringing a level of balance to the whole. Diving deep and with words streaming onto paper without hesitation … it was a day of miracles, spirit gifting and strong healing.

Swift, deep and dark runs the River of Rage.
Bless me now,
cleanse me with sweetgrass and sage.

Come, dear Grandfather and lend me your knee,
To sit ‘neath your wisdom while learning to see
– how the water roils down to the great cavern keep,
– where what lives there is sullen and never asleep.

Please tell me, Grandfather, in words warm with love,
How must I now raise this worn creature above?”
Grandfather sat tall in his old cane back chair,
‘side the window that looked on eternity there.

From my place at his knee, I looked into his face,
While his slow, quiet voice said, “It isn’t a race
– to bring up what lies in those caverns within,
– filled so richly with lessons the Medicine wins.

Be kind to it, child…the great beast living there,
For it feeds on what you send down river to share.”
I sat in the stillness, head still on his knee,
Feeling loved beyond words as he sat there with me.

His face was warm gold in the window’s soft glow,
And with rustle of skins, his hand raised toward me slow.
As he lifted my chin to look strong in his face,
He said, “Must you know more, child, while here in this place?”

“Grandfather, I must know one thing ‘fore I wander,
On back to my home, in that life over yonder.
Will it come with me willingly into The Wheel,
To confront and caress it, and bring it to real?”

Grandfather’s full love flowed warm down over me,
And I knew his next words would lead me more to see.

“Dive deeply, my child, in the River of Rage.
Swim strongly and free from the old mental cage
That envelops us, binds us, and holds us so taut,
When it needn’t be so, as it’s only for naught.

It waits for you there, in a way most surprising.
The love it feels for you is raw – no disguising.
This beast is so lonely, and wants to be with you,
To integrate, balance, and sing praise for rescue.

As you rise in the still-pool, within the dark keep,
Adjust to the dark – you will find it asleep.
But not so! For the glint of its eyes will bring light,
To this darkest of places, so far beyond night.

Red scales shine like fire licks, low glowing as embers.
Its wings rustle soft as it fights to remember.
The snarling that greets you is loud, long and strong.
Fear not, child, run toward it. You’ve done nothing wrong.

Midst stomping, fire-breathing and tail thrashing, too,
Burns a flame in its belly, a longing for you.
Climb swift on its body, ride high on its back,
Wrap your arms ‘round its neck, steer its head toward the track.

Toward the still-pool you entered, you both must take flight.
You’ll know it succumbs when its scales cool to white.
Slide into the still-pool, merge quick with the River.
Push hard and break water to see the great sliver.

Grandmother Moon shines on The Medicine Wheel.
The goal for both travelers to rest, share and heal.

The large, lonely beast rises slow from the deep.
Curled warm in the wing down, the warrior’s asleep.
Dirge walking, exhausted, its scales glistening white,
It centers itself in The Wheel, on this night.

On waking, the warrior finds joy in the knowing,
The center is won, and the Sacred Fire’s glowing.
Ancestors are present, the Council is High,
Much work to be done, child, for morning is nigh.”

Swift, deep and dark runs the River of Rage.
Bless me now,
cleanse me with sweetgrass and sage.

~erb 2010

My Four Doors

We all compartmentalize our life experiences and place them in the nooks and crannies of our neural pathways.  I am no different than any other in this regard.  A preference has grown within me over the years to think of my life contemplations as being behind four doors marked Family, Spirituality, Friends and Teachers. They are in no particular order of importance, as said order ebbs and flows throughout our lives based on guess what … life experience. My theory may appear simplistic because we all know there are countless other things that make the mind go around … and around.  For those of you needing a greater level of order in the filing cabinet of the mind, let’s just say there are plenty of long hallways with smaller doors representing gazillions of subsets under each of the four master doors.  Let me introduce you to my doors and bring you to a level of understanding that may turn out to touch the soft underbelly of me.

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 8.47.29 PM.png

Waiting in my mind is a door to an older home with a screen door overlay … so necessary toward “bangin’ that baby” on the ingress or egress.  Here rest memories of joy and abandon, love and distrust, new life and too soon gone, baking bread and burning water, embraces and arguments, commitment and deceit, welcoming and letting go. It is the place of all things family, and includes those special few who are family beyond friends.

Door In The Forest.jpeg

There is an immediate olfactory quality when nearing this door; old growth forest and the crisp healing quality of well-oxygenated air.  It is heavy carved wood and covered with symbols of all faiths.  Many glyphs upon it are without association to anything known. This door never looks the same way twice as the metamorphosis of my soul changes with every passing moment.  It represents the reason of my existence, the honing of the real me … that which stands at the windows of my eyes and looks out upon the world.  Here you will find respect and judgment, light and dark, empathy and disdain, love and hate, giving and receiving, forgiveness and heart hardening, ritual and nature experience.  The list is endless and everlasting.  It is difficult to touch upon both sides of our nature; to recognize, accept and embrace.  Here it must be done.  Behind this door, down in your deepest well, hold the child that waits for you there … it is the universe.

Apartment Door.jpeg

Ahhh … the comfort of friends and tender environments in which one is welcomed without question.  This door is ordinary and leads to an inviting apartment where friends gather in wild abandon.  It is a sacred place of listening and being with, walking alongside and bringin’ it, gut-grabbing laughter and free-wheeling tears, emotional bonding and accepted disagreement, love and the hot sting of rejection, lifelong relationships and never forgotten friendships of a single day.  Life is not fully complete without the dear ones behind this door.  Those who have not been blessed by friends and/or the opportunities in life to nurture or find them … it brings tears to think of a life so difficult.  Perhaps their soul is honed in other ways, such that it becomes pure gold.

Teachers Open The Door.jpeg

The large oaken door of life-academia, holding those things that have taught and branded the spirit … leading to those true teachers in the traditional sense that left their indelible mark and the kid next door who engendered realization not everyone has food on the table; the mirror warning not to wear that “slutty” dress (a judgment of society) and said dress that taught me how to wield “it” … and it was good; moments of unjustified temper leaving shame in the air and megaphones of demonstration bringing attention to injustices that abound without resolution; the lover that brings a heart to open without restraint and the flaming pain experienced when the last kiss fades; kind and loving souls of those who give to others in a balanced yet never ending stream and embittered hearts of those burned out by having given beyond their sanity.  We teach ourselves and are taught by everything else there is.  For some this is a difficult acceptance and for others it is a welcome relief.  My personhood will serve to teach others in spite of itself along the way in my day-to-day; I will be taught and I will learn … always. My gratitude is endless.

Each door is a complexity indescribable.  My words are lost in the din of it.  There is a common thread behind each of the four doors discussed above.  Did you notice?  Weaving its way into all avenues of life … it is our purpose.  Simply love.  Be it.

~ Eve ~
The Walking Owl
For the love of stones … and more …