Spirits Rebellious

I found Spirit’s Rebellious on a book shelf many years ago when I was struggling with obeying the voice of my heart and soul vs. obeying the multitude of voices (both inner and outer) telling me what I should do. It’s been years since I’ve revisited it, and I’m again awed by the sheer beauty and poignance of Gibran’s truly timeless words.

“Are you contented, as sons of God, with being slaves of man? Did not Christ call you brethren? Yet Sheik Abbas calls you servants. Did not Jesus make you free in Truth and Spirit? Yet the Emir made you slaves of shame and corruption. Did not Christ exalt you to heaven? Then why are you descending to hell? Did He not enlighten your hearts? Then why are you hiding your souls in darkness? God has placed a glowing torch in your hearts that glows in knowledge and beauty, and seeks the secrets of the days and nights; it is a sin to extinguish that torch and bury it in ashes. God has created your spirits with wings to fly in the spacious firmament of Love and Freedom; it is pitiful that you cut your wings with your own hands and suffer your spirits to crawl like insects upon the earth.”

Also — I’m posting mostly at: www.morganbolender.tumblr.com these days.

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The Islanders – A Fable by Indries Shah

This is for you.
Click “read more” and read the entire story.

Here and there a candidate still represented himself to a swimming instructor, to make his bargain. Usually what amounted to a stereotyped conversation took place.
“I want to learn to swim.”
“Do you want to make a bargain about it?”
“No. I only have to take my ton of cabbage.”
“What cabbage?”
“The food which I will need on the other island.”
“There is better food there.”
“I don’t know what you mean. I cannot be sure. I must take my cabbage.”
“You cannot swim, for one thing, with a ton of cabbage.”
“Then I cannot go. You call it a load. I call it my essential nutrition.”
“Suppose, as an allegory, we say not ‘cabbage’ but ‘assumptions,’ or ‘destructive ideas’?”
“I am going to take my cabbage to some instructor who understands my needs.”

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I am what I thought I wasn’t.

-Fall, 2009:

Quit everything. Knocked out all of my walls of orientation and moved to an organic farm in the jungle, where no one wore a bra, most went barefoot, and nearly everyone was brilliant in some way that couldn’t be measured. I met intelligent, competent people who had never stepped foot in a college classroom. Mind blown open, old pathways redirected.

-Spring 2010:

Spent 3 months living in a tin roofed room on stilts with screens for walls in the jungle. became whatever i was doing. Recognized that my idea of myself and my worth was completely contingent upon what I’d done. Sought to strip myself of those labels and identifications and experience my true essence. I am washing dishes? I am a dishwasher. Did that until I understood: I am not what I do.

Journal, 7/6/2014:

Identity is so tricky. I’ve been so focused on sloughing off identities, and keeping encroaching ones at bay, that I haven’t, until now, realized that I’ve been holding onto identities of who I am NOT.

And it’s made life feel strained. It’s made me pull back when I want to embrace. It’s made me hide away when I want to glow.

As a child, I refused all things pink and frilly. When someone would say I was cute, I’d scrunch up my face in disgust and flex my muscles. Somewhere along the way, I accepted the idea that soft cannot be strong. But … water! And I am That! Soft and strong, fierce and so very sweet.

I am in the tender space of transition, now. I can feel this new understanding washing through me. It feels like freedom.


These thoughts of identity have been so relevant lately. Today, I was asked by two separate people for my musician bio. I haven’t been playing/writing/practicing much since moving to The Bay, but gigs keep popping up; the music that comes through me is taking on a life of its own, seemingly unaffected by whether or not I’ve deemed myself “ready.” I don’t want to get in the way, yet I’ve frozen up in response to the bio requests (first ever!). I feel blocked; my easiest mode of expression, writing, completely obstructed by an idea of what I am NOT.

I am deeply challenged, in this moment, to work through the old idea that I am not a singer/songwriter.

I have all the perfect angels around me to remind me of who I am.

And breath is a pretty decent ally.

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Addiction to Struggle

Hi beauties — I copied this entry directly from the place I’ve been unraveling as of late: www.morganbolender.tumblr.com. Something about that spot is cozier than this one at the moment.

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To Israel! / Sexy Life

The beginning of my Israeli adventure… C’mon in!

*FUN FACT: I was denied admittance onto this Taglit Birthright trip (trip I’m given for being born into a Jewish family in America) because:
Current Religion: Love
sounded suspicious.

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Read If You’d Love To

A few years ago, I began replacing “can you [please] _____?” with “would you love to _____?” I don’t remember what prompted the shift. I do remember feeling awkward, but determined.

I knew that I wanted to live in a world where every move is made in love. It felt vulnerable and exhilarating to claim that. It felt even more vulnerable and exhilarating to practice it. It still does.

Last fall, I went to a gathering. As the music waned and drowsiness descended, I asked a new friend if he’d love to give me a ride home. “I wouldn’t love to, but I will.”

It was late. I was tired and feeling sick. It was too cold and too far to walk. I felt pressured by friends to accept the ride, and the thought of explaining myself to my new friend was exhausting. Can I maintain this “only if you would love to” mentality even when it’s inconvenient? I felt challenged and frustrated when the peppy, “what a great time to practice!” thought fist pumped through my weariness. I thanked him for his honesty and declined the ride.

He grew irritated.

“But I said I would take you.”
I shrugged, felt soft and strong.
“Everything can’t be done in love!”
“I’m going to try my best.”
“It’s impossible.”
“I need to try.”
“How will you get home?”
I shrugged, felt soft and strong.

He walked away, exasperated. A few minutes later, he returned.

“I would love to take you home.”

The ride back was quiet. About two weeks later, I received a message from him:

“Would love to hear more about the practice of loving everything you do.”


Reckless love is my experiment in fearlessness.
reck·less (adj.): Without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.

I want to love without fear. I want to live in faith that love works, every time.
I want to feel, down to my bones, that whatever comes from love is just right.
I want to trust in life.

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Poetry Is Feeling

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feeling through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel-but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling-not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time-and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world-unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does this sound dismal? It isn’t.
It’s the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.

E. E. Cummings

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Tired of Speaking Sweetly

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town. – Hafiz

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Unbind My Mind (Eden)

Loosen the bindings around the mind and the heart says, “touch me and unlock my chambers — so much to say, so much to share, so much to feel.” Hiccup, when you see buddha, run. Or stay. The mind grasps for control, pulling for any remaining fibers of doubt — reaching out desperately again trying to mummify but in it’s detection arms fall limp and head sags. Back to the heart that burns the same as the sun, that if not used to illuminate and support growth might just turn inward on itself, implode.

Evacuating the Babylon in my mind break down the walls and with each blow the tide comes, gentle and ever thorough and clears away the debris — it drips down my chin or falls in droplets and now the well is deeper — blessed excavation.

I’ll dance like licks of fire i’ll caress like water (water isn’t afraid to touch anyone anywhere) sing like the rushing rushing cacophony of water outside of that screened in Waipio Valley library, never bashful of how loud and always it was, where I decided I wouldn’t be afraid of the rats because this is the jungle and the decision has made me long ago that I will live and live and live until I die because this brain can’t have it any other way and continue living. Hell, this heart. All of it, none of it.

Compasses — external devices we use to orient based on fixed measurements, right? When did my compass stop pointing due north? the first right and wrong, good and bad, I do believe. It’s no wonder freedom is disorienting — no map to follow, not a damn thing to follow, “follow” is duplicitous and duplicity is original sin. I don’t know much about snakes and apples, but at the bottom of it all, the dendritic outward division of energy begins when one becomes two — how can it be any other way? But of course it could literally be any other way because writing like this is again like trying to communicate an orchestra’s sound by displaying a photograph of a treble clef.

(more inside).

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