“Listen, listen, listen. How will I write anything if I don’t listen?” —Judith Jordan Kalush
Preview: Episode 52 on how we bring our whole lives to our creative practice
Our conversation with poet, dreamworker, playwright, novelist and student of divinity Judith Jordan Kalush is part of our ongoing endeavor to interview some of the creatives who have most influenced Rosemerry and Christie on their own creative paths. In this episode, we discuss the treasure in moving through tough times, how our health and wholeness are in service not only to ourselves but to all, how easy it is to be distracted, and how important it is to show up and face the world as it is. Oh yeah, and falling into holes.
Judith Jordan Kalush is an unpindownable wonder of a human who was raised in Brazil where her father was a Baptist minister and missionary. In 2005, she received her Master’s Degree in Creation Spirituality from Naropa University. As she says,” As far as I can tell the world is held together by a glue called LOVE. The oneness of everything.” She was the founder and director of Colorado’s performance poetry festival, SPARROWS, which was held 1999-2007 and now creates poetry videos for her youtube channel, PoetJude. For decades, she has led dreamwork circles and classes and in recent years opened a Fair Trade business. She and her wife, Micah, are presently living in California.
What We’re Reading and Listening to:
How differently might you treat a stranger if you knew that you would be the last person they interacted with before they died? That’s the premise of this powerful poem by Ellen Bass, “If You Knew.”
And along those same lines, imagine the person you are engaging with right now will someday not be here. How does invoking that knowledge inform the present? I love the way Carrie Green explores this in her poem “Robbing the Bees,” posted in American Life in Poetry.
I snagged my mom’s copy of The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters: a True Story of Family Fiction by Julie Klam and read it in two days. The book explores how the falsehoods and embellishments embedded in family legends shape us and what they can reveal about our histories and ourselves.
When Arielle Duhaime-Ross learned that her cousin had been posthumously baptizing her dead relatives into the Mormon church, it bothered her. A lot. In this episode of the Vice News Reports podcast, Duhaime-Ross talks to her cousin about why he has been doing this, and why it gives her pause. Over the course of the episode, she eloquently explores what makes the practice of posthumous baptism so troubling and why it was important to her that her cousin and others in the church know that she does not consent to it.
Riding to New Life on the Dark Night of the Soul
(Instructions 1-8 by Julian of Norwich Mystic born 1342 Author of the first book in English) Interpretation by Matthew Fox, “Medicine for Trauma,” in Oneing,” Editor Venessa Guerin.
This poem has 8 statements of Julian of Norwich beginning each stanza. Some of them slightly rephrased. Her instructions begin each stanza.
For the video version, please visit Jude’s YouTube Channel
1.Do not go into denial---face the darkness and suffering.
Because the skin
Of my soul has
Been torn open,
I have no covering
I am naked.
My brother’s Pandemic death
Joins hands with the shots
Of my insane neighbor
And these horrors
Lie in bed with me
I know intimately
Friends who carry
Deeper pain and sorrows
I’m pushed to make peace
As we open the door
To excruciating pain
Only when I work poetry
Does my anger fly out
Crashing and flashing
On clouds too
Dry for rain
i feel like sin
In my sleep i am trying
To rise from filth or
Step down into real dirt.
2. Focus on the goodness, joy and awe which are also all around us-----”the first good thing is nature.
Then a eucalyptus tree
Calls my name shimmering
Peace leaves in a strange land
There god names me again
My feet feel dirt birthing a million
Beings to heal the world I cry out to
My beloved son who comes just
Because i have need of him
We sup together binding the wounds
Of my heart feeling God with skin on
In Piccino’s over pizza and hugs
3. Resist all dualism even within yourself between body and soul. God is in our sensuality.
My lover comes to me scattering
Fear in the great moment of “nothing-
Else-matters” though we are in the throws
Of moving and leaving and loving don’t come easy
Our song birds and the screaming neighbors
Become one as I pull them
Into my body remembering, Oneing.
I remember who I am and every other beloved
Human, tree and rock I know how each of us
Has lived dozens of lives and survived
Each in her own inimitable way
From birth to now, still here as always.
I feel this forever in my bones.
4. Move beyond patriarchy that is essentially dualistic. See God as mother, mother, mother.
I nurture myself in the mirror of seeing god there
Open myself to the need only a real mother can supply
Cry again now with abandon touching my own face
To soothe my broken heart, salving my bleeding soul.
Kiss, kiss, kiss I say into the silence of the dark
Night feeling god’s skin touching the wonder of
Universes, trees and me . My BE LOVED ones Bodies
Wrapped into One Love I begin to ease my
Separation syndrome how could there be
Abandonment and separation if there is only One?
5. Learn trust.
I have learned to trust here
Even though i am blind in the dark
Feeling the cradle of Love rocking me
And she who holds planets in place
Holds me in this space a wonder
Of Oneness. Trusting I throw myself
Into the abyss falling, falling falling
And still all is well. All is Well All IS WELL
I have never fallen out of HER.
6. Trust that All things are in God and God whom we do not see is in us.
I scream to heaven and then laugh
At myself and scream louder into
My own living room on the couch
Help, I Say, Can You Help ME?????
I sense Her like a strong flashing wind
Because even though I walk through
The shadow of the valley of death
I will fear no evil for LOVE is with
Me and I am with making LOVE
My poetry turns into video and
In creations wake I realize there is
Gift here, for me there is something
Bringing something into being
Relieving anxiety, dancing a little.
7. Embody compassion and serve as a good mother serves.
I find a way to fund some food for those who
Live in Brazil where my brother died. A mother
Who was once his mother-in-law joins me
And we distribute food to families suffering from Covid’s wrath
Where fathers and mothers break into tears and praise God that
Food has come for their hungry families
I do this for myself and in return I am returned to
The language of my childhood full of love flowering
With compassion and joy words from this other
Mother’s Brazilian tongue
We are all mothers of God.
All is One All is One All is One
8. Know that Love conquers evil and even laughs at it.
I hear Her belly laugh when i point out the beady eyes
Of some devil i have devised from my fear. I scream
For LOVE and She laughs again, but holds my hand
So that I can feel this other way of being.
Evil She says is just a charade hoping to take
The power of your love and make it HIS. Turn
The other way and you will get the joke!
In that direction, i see Nothing following me.
We can’t control our laughter as the spook
Disappears and LOVE walks in the door holding
The WORLD in Her WeMother Hands Of Forever LOVE.
And I know now that a good joke comes directly from God Herself.
A Note About Paid Subscriptions:
First, we want to thank ALL our subscribers! We are so grateful you join us in this conversation about what it is to engage with yourself, the world and others in a creative way. And a BIG thank you to our paid subscribers. You make this podcast possible. Starting this month, only our paid subscribers will receive our bonus episodes as a thank you for their financial support. If you are not yet a paid subscriber, you can go now to our website, EmergingForm.substack.com or by clicking the button below. Thank you!
(share your answers with us here on Substack or in our FB group)
When you realize you’re distracted, how do you bring yourself back to your creative practice?
Who is one of your greatest mentors for your creative practice?