Layah Cottonwood is an accomplished artist – painter, tile maker, screen printer, foot reflexologist! She is also my very good friend.
In 2005 I bought a beautiful house in Kalispell Montana. I decided I would call it ‘The Center’ – and to make it into a meeting place. A place of peace and safety. We did yoga, had potlucks, dinner-and-a-movie nights, kids played while adults talked and dreamed and envisioned.
I love the Rumi poem “Only Breath” so I asked her to do a tile collage for me – it’s what you see here.
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system.
I am not from the East or the West.
Not out of the ocean or
Up from the grounds,
Not natural or ethereal,
Not composed of elements at all. I do not exist.
Am not an entity in this world or next,
Did not descent from Adam and Eve or any
Origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
Of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved,
Have seen the two worlds as one –
And that one call to and know,
First, last, outer, inner, only that
Breath breathing human being.
Categories: Music Poetry