Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tony’s Blog: Only boys keep their cheeks dry

Each storm-soaked flower has a beautiful eye.
And this is the voice of the stone-cold sky:
“Only boys keep their cheeks dry.
Only boys are afraid to cry.
Men thank God for tears
Alone with the memory of their dead,
Alone with lost years.”
Vachel Lindsay

There is very little I can tell you about the Boys Initiation Retreat that we arrived home from yesterday - because it will not be completed for years to come - because any attempt to share what we did will fail to describe the way that spirit and soul mix to bring us down into our darkest places and then rise to places of our highest self - because we entrust each other with the promise of confidentiality “what is said on the mountain, stays on the mountain”. Only the gifts discovered on the mountain are invited back down with us. Those will find their way into countless future discussions, expressions, poems and blogs.

There is no way to adequately share how wisdom and patience and honed gifts and love and anger and grief and camaraderie and caring and love intermingle to create a ritual that must be experienced to be understood.

I can share activities: We talked, listened, argued, sang, danced, climbed, yelled, accused, released, put on our masks, took off our masks, drummed, wrote poetry, hiked, we took the leap of faith & walked across ropes 30 feet in the air, rode bikes, played guitars, ate, raged, laughed … and cried.

We spoke to each other from our broken places… so we could cry the tears of men.

We honored our brothers who had passed…and shed long-overdue tears of grief.

We washed years of blood off our hands and cried into the river.

We listened to stories of pain inflicted upon the girls and women who try to love us…and cried tears of complicity.

We witnessed the anguish of pain conveyed by girls and women who try to love us…and released tears of anguish.

We shared the times when our “heads were cut off”…and shed tears of understanding.

We spoke of claiming our lives back…and produced tears of liberation.

We spoke of being freaks, with a foot in both worlds, and offered tears of pride.

We let go of shame…and replaced it with tears of honor.

We spoke of the inability to find love…and cried for the longing.

We spoke of finding love…and let the tears of our soul temper the burning of our hearts.

We faced the fire…and tears delivered healing water.

We saw the genius inside each other…and found tears of joy.

We spoke of the inability to cry…and then cried.

With tears rolling down each others’ backs…we cried together.

and began to feel more like men.


Outlaw Dervish said...

"We hold the Flame,
of Men and Children and Women,
born from bullets and roses,
and the knowing that carries
us over the invisible threshold
of the Mystery in tears,
rising up and letting go..."

YES! Awesome and deep to hear of the Mentee Openings Tony...
the World is blessed by this work - Thank You for showing up for it
so beautifully and so powerfully.


Chenjerai said...

I might not know what a prayer is. but I know how to pay attention...

Much love and respect to all of the men and women who went up on the mountain to the work of releasing and gathering, community and initiation that had to be done.

Chris Henrikson said...

I don't move mountains
The mountains move me
Like the tears of a blind man
Who discovers he can see
Like the raven that dives
Through live oak and pine trees
Or Mayan bears unaware
That they're finally free
I don't move mountains
The mountains move me
When fear disappears
On the edge of deep sleep
And the river runs straight
Down these bloodthirsty streets
Serenading the sadness
From mad-dogging heat
One heartbeat from heaven
One breath from reborn
One hug from a brother
Once broken twice torn
I don't move mountains
The mountains move me
When ancestors dance
As we face what's fiery
In the flames of a childhood
That burns like the wood
That we cut from the forest
Where our grandfathers stood
Far beyond bad and good
The words "could have" and "should"
Grows a field
That you once thought was enemy hood
Where fear is a figment
And tears flow like rain
Where hearts open too wide
To ever be claimed
To ever be tamed
Just wild and true
Like the pain and the love
That connects me to you

Tony said...

Thanks Travis, Chenjerai and Chris
Your words and soulful poetry inspire and encourage us to continue to strive to take this work to new levels, ever increasing the capacity to incite love and create change. The world is changing and I'm on board. Support from men such as you lets me know that we are on the right path.

Anonymous said...

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