Homesick

Captured light

Art by Gabriel Dawe, Exhibition called Wonder, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery

Art by Gabriel Dawe, Exhibition called Wonder, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery

Homesick


I want to be home.
I have been gone.
Stuck in time.
Working with matter.
Bound to things
Lost and cold.

I want to be light.
Freed from this night.
Know my soul.
Moving as love.
Be the essence
Of eternity formed.

I want to be me.
Heaven beneath my feet.
No more waiting.
Knowing I’m enough.
Cocooned by God.
Alive in Oneness.

I want to belong.
It’s been so long.
On the fringe.
Carrying this load.
Take me back.
Send me home.

Alice W. Lee

Unlikely Places

The gift of oneself

A chair from the cliff--the nature of gifts and gifts from nature.

A chair from the cliff--the nature of gifts and gifts from nature.

Unlikely Places


It was vibrating at the plane of shame and pain.
He explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“The more I love someone, the more I criticize them.”

(How curious to find this cactus by this forgotten lane…)

He taught, “We are alike.  We are average
and must work harder, to be good enough.”
Its point poisoned instantly—I could hardly feel myself.

It was vibrating at the plane of fear.
She explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“Be good.  Drive carefully.  Don’t die on the road.”

(How strange to hear it singing in this shadowy sphere…)

She warned, “Always wear make-up, when you go out."
"To avoid wrinkles, you should stop having expressions.”
A mask for my mask to mask the life without and within.

It was vibrating at the plane of sound.
He explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”

(How surprising to find it in this vacuum, spinning around…)

He repeated, “I’m too busy (to play with the kids,
hold a conversation, or catch the fly)."
Oneness that leaves one feeling lonelier than being alone.

It was vibrating at the plane of service.
He explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“Would you like a picture taken of the two of you?”

(How poignant to feel its warmth melt the frozen surface…)

He revealed, “When I was young and naïve . . . ”
"I gave $20.00 to an addict and waited and waited for his return.”
The butterfly effect of such gifts determines its restoration.

It vibrates at every plane of creation.
I know its nature and have felt its effects.
“Thank you for loving as you are.”

(How enlightening for the soul to grow from exploration. . .)

Emmanuel channeled, “Love is all that exists.
Love is the universal communication.”*
As long as it was meant in love, I honor it, unconditionally.

Alice W. Lee

*Emmanuel’s Book Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton, p 47

Chipped Teacups

On the gift of unconditional love

Chipped Teacups


Middle-aged, with curly, graying hair,
she enters my practice, because of her despair.
Layers of fat beneath her floral dress.
Her eyes cast a shadow on all they rest.

“I was never perfect enough for my mother.”
“Last night I dreamed I was fighting a tiger.”
“I refuse to talk to my husband, so we use notes.”
“There were too many words on the one he wrote.”

I listen and think while seated at my desk,
pondering on patterns, weighing what is best.
My mind dissects, and my heart connects.
Busily analyzing, as she reflects.

I know her mother—so many such mothers…
and the unfulfilled need to be good-enough daughters.
The belief that perfection could earn true love,
and contains the power to prevent its loss.

A vision dawns of a chipped teacup lit by light,
sitting on a windowsill, simple and white.
“Even a chipped China cup is perfect,
if it’s loved perfectly,” words interject.

For, love leads to perfection—this is the order.
The yearning and earning of a child can’t change a mother,
who searches for love she lacked from another,
neglecting those she holds, leaving souls to suffer.

On a rainy afternoon, her husband came.
Balding, bent, black umbrella as a cane.
Like J. Alfred Prufrock, obsequious and mild.
A soft voice, with sad eyes, even when he smiled.

“Before my wife became ill, she asked me not to leave.
Alone, in her depression, abandoned to her grief.”
“I promised that I wouldn’t, and I will stay.”
“I don’t care how long it takes, for her to find her way.”

“I removed dirty dishes from the dishwasher.”
“I thought they were clean, so I cleared them for her”
“Now, she refuses to speak with me.” 
“I’ll write shorter notes, if that’s what she wants to see.”

The connection between love and perfection,
gave him the strength to endure denigration.
The chipped teacup became my symbol—
of wholeness and healing from love’s role.

Years later, when writing for a conference,
I remembered the words, my youth, and innocence.
“Even a chipped China cup is perfect, if it’s loved perfectly.”
A sudden shift--of meaning made for me.

My heart filled with what had been given,
to the chipped China cup that I had been,
bathed in sunshine, on the windowsill,
unaware of the light that loved me still.

Alice W. Lee

At the Gate

In memory of love without barriers and barriers that reveal love

At the Gate


Together, inside our walled garden, by the red gate.
December in Taipei, Taiwan.  Mimosa, courtyards, and luggage.
The air is always warm.  The sunset casts bronze light and black shadows.
My grandmother and I stand close, but talk of parting.

She is fifty and steps gingerly, on half-bound feet.
I am seven and skip along, braids bound by red string.  
I am leaving for America soon,
to reunite with my father there.

I have no choice but to go. 
Am already aching for my return—
to see her wrinkled face again,
and hold her vein-filled hands in mine.

“Grandma, it will be a long time before my return.
You may die, before I can come back.”
“Don’t worry.  Street vendors often come, selling ‘Long Life Pills’. 
I will live to a hundred and wait here for you.”

“That’s good.  Remember to buy them. 
It will take me a long time to grow up. 
I promise I will come back to you.
Don’t forget me.  I will always remember you.”

At the last moment, I refuse to get on the plane. 
I wriggle away and run towards her.
“Grandma!  Grandma! Help me!”  I call.
I am not going!  This is my choice!

My mother pulls me back to the plane,
and I resist with all my strength. 
She slaps me once. 
The pain freezes me, forever.

Grandmother looks on, unblinking,
standing behind a barrier made of rope.
Her face and arms hang down.
Tears and tears at the gate.

Alice W. Lee

The Ballerina

The horcrux of love, freedom, and creativity

The Ballerina


16 years old, 8½ by 11 paper, a 14-pan watercolor set,
and a pin-point of hair on a small brush.
Dab, dad, dab, dad, David, dab, dad, David…
Painting L’air Du Temp’s ad of a ballerina—
a floating angel of swirling vibrant color.
Light from a window shines on her black hair,
illuminating her, as she dances in a dungeon dark space.

Hyper-focusing, blending light and dark,
texturing rubber cement on the shadowed walls.
Blinking back the tears, keeping my lips firm.
Everything must be perfect—her face and dress.
Creating something beautiful out of water and despair,
because it would be useless to question why.
“Why did you stop him from seeing me?”

Why did you stand like a guard at the front door
and send him away, as he smiled his poor smile?
What is so wrong with a boy who calls,
to argue about how to cook an egg,
to share how his mother had died,
then writes of his mission in Hong Kong,
and comes to visit, after being gone so long.

I had been alone all my life, until he came.
Why do you hate his name?
And I…I stood silent and afraid.
I should have said, “You are a monster.  I hate you.” 
I should have pushed you aside and opened the door.
I should have cried to him, “Please forgive us.  I’m so sorry.”
Instead, I paint, with blinding focus and quiet intensity.

Walking by, he smirks, “You’ve never looked happier.”
If I were a python, I would wrap myself around him
and squeeze, until every bone cracks beneath my coils.
Like the Joker, I could put a blade in his mouth
and show him how my happiness feels.
I return to the painting and let
the work transform my hatred and regret.

The ballerina shone like the Orion nebula.
When it was done, I gave it to him, as if to say,
“I forgive you for being who you are.”
His sister saw it, later, hanging above his bed,
and asked me to give it to her, and I said, “No.”
He wrapped my forgiveness in brown paper for her sake.
Then—along with the part of me that paints—it was gone.

Alice W. Lee