I want to thank everyone who came out last Saturday to celebrate my book The Last Star. It was an amazing evening thanks to an incredibly devoted and active audience, and the always so friendly venue Tea & Poets. I also want to say a big thank you to my editor who held such a lovely introduction and who has supported me all the way through the work with my poetry trilogy The Golden Passage. Thank you also to musical guest Martina who once again boosted my poetry with song and guitar. I am so thankful to everyone who have bought my books and appreciated them and made them their own through heart to heart conversations with the poems. My readers are the best!I love having a dialogue with you!
I am here where everything is as it is. I am free without owning anything, not even myself. I am without labels, without résumés, without titles, accomplishments and therefore I do not perfectly fit into this world where everything - even the spiritual - is measured, weighed, analyzed and evaluated. I am what I am and I express that every second of the day, in every breath, as breathing, living and constantly dying. This is the truth. This is the enormous grace of being.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I’m an international poet and writer living in Miami. I’ve been writing for many years and my main focus has always been existential questions. Who are We? How do we live? What is truth? What is love? Parallell to my writing, a spiritual practice developed. I started with yoga and meditation in the early nineties and I ventured so far that now I am at a place I can’t call spiritual anymore. Because in this realm all concepts lose their meaning. Now it’s simply life lived naturally without any particular beliefs, rules or needs. It's an utter simplicity. What is, is.
2. Give a brief description of your book, The Last Star.
You could say that The Last Star reflects the culmination and end of my spiritual search. It led to a language that is very plain and simple, and a seeing that doesn’t shy away from anything we encounter in life.
3. Why did you write The Last Star?
In a sense I didn’t write it. It wrote itself. All my poems are born out of meditation or contemplation. Sometimes it’s a voice that says a line in my head and then I just open myself to what is to come. This book was special because almost all poems arrived as they are. There is minimal editing done to them afterwards.
4. Is this book part of a series?
It’s the third book in the poetry trilogy The Golden Passage, which refers to my spiritual path. The first book, As Silence Is Your Witness, is mostly blissful (I actually struggled to make it less blissful, thinking that people might find it too light!). The second one, Midnight Transit, visits some darker places and the third one is open to everything in life!
5. The writing style of The Last Star is so expressive. Can you tell us about your methods?
As I said above, all the poems are born directly from meditation or contemplation. So I think they have a depth and a sensory awareness brought into language. I often feel that I am somehow able to translate the silence of being (or spirit) into words. Also, sometimes a poem can arrive while I’m walking my dogs! Formally, this book is a little different the other two in the trilogy since I'm not working with line breaks, which usually is typical for poetry. In general, for me it's always been content before form!
6. What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
It really wasn’t challenging at all. A few years back I stopped struggling with anything and allowed everything to be as it is. In some areas the shift was gradual, in others it was instant. The whole process with this book was totally enjoyable, every step of the way. There was absolutely no challenge writing it. What can be challenging is to live an ordinary, every day life, in your role as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, person, citizen, human being etc. That is what can be challenging, even if you let go of struggle. Because, well, life! I think I have mirrored some of those very mundane challenges in The Last Star.
7. What other books have inspired you?
In the past I read a lot of metaphysical, religious or spiritual writing. And the daily, crazy news cycle as well! Recently I have also rediscovered Japanese Zen poets and 500 century Chinese poets in a new way. I feel very connected to them personally and linguistically.
8. The Last Star is a great title. How did you come up with it?
It’s a reference to Buddha’s awakening. He was at his wits end toward the end of his spiritual search and decided to sit under a tree and not get up until he had realized the truth. It is said that he reached enlighten-ment as the last star faded into the morning sky. So that’s the meaning of the title. I should add that I see figures like Buddha, Jesus, Krishna like ordinary people. I don’t see them as representing a religion. To me religion is not important. It can even be an impediment. Things should never be taken at face value but always be investigated. What is important is how you let religion inform you in every day life. To make my point clear, some religious people become terrorists, others saints. Awareness is the key to truth. With complete awareness you can never slip into ignorance and hate. No matter what religion you belong to.
9. What is your favorite poem in the book and why?
Hm. I’m not sure… I know it’s my favorite book of all the ones I have written. I think. Leafing through, what about this one? I think it's cute in it's openness to life. And it's very short :-)
Everythingness, I am in love! I want you
for who you are.
10. What aspects of your own life helped inspire this book?
I think I answered this question in most of the previous questions! J But again: my own spiritual search for truth and freedom inspired it. It could not have been written otherwise. That search is also what the trilogy name The Golden Passage refers to.
11. What can readers hope to get from reading The Last Star?
I think, or hope, it will inspire people to be honest and aware. I think that it can show people a new way of seeing themselves and people around them. My hope is that it will give a glimpse into realms that are still unexplored within the reader. If they are open to it and want it, of course. (Hint: That’s where all the exciting stuff is!) If you choose, you can see the books in The Golden Passage as a spiritual companion guide. But you don’t have to be spiritual to enjoy them. As I said in the beginning, I don’t call myself spiritual anymore. Now I only use that word out of linguistic convention. For me there is no distinction between spiritual and worldly. Spirituality has no meaning for me anymore. So in a sense I am back to where I was before I even started poetry and yoga! But, of course, in a completely different way. It has been an amazing journey. And it’s one that never ends.
Yes, it's time for another book! The third book in my poetry trilogy is here and soon available for purchase! It has a beautiful yellow cover. And I think it is my best book by far. (Shhh! Don't tell the other books or they might get jealous and think that I have a favorite child.)
Isn't it beautiful? I am absolutely thrilled. In this baby, sorry, book, I go even deeper into the exploration of life and the mystery of existence. And when you go really deep, what you find is a true simplicity that you can only reach on the other side och complexity.
I hope you will enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Book release party at Tea&Poets for my book Midnight Transit took place last Saturday. It was a lovely, friendly evening with warmth and love, much needed in these times. Music and poetry and friends and strangers coming together to celebrate life and the possibility of peace, inside and outside.
Midnight Transit is finally out and available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Etsy. As with As Silence Is Your Witness I have created a scent for this book as well. It is hot, sweet and sensuous like a tropical night! The ingredients are almond oil and a blend of black pepper, patchouli, vetiver, benzoin, copabaiba, ylang ylang, cardamom, ginger, coriander, bergamott, grapefruit and clove essential oils.
The book with fragrant oil is available on Etsy. The book alone is sold on Amazon and Barnes&Noble, where it is also available as e-book.
Midnight Transit is the second book of poems in The Golden Passage,a poetry trilogy. In this collection, I continue exploring human emotion and the deeper spiritual realms. Again I invite the reader to safely travel beyond the boundaries of our minds and into our true being. Midnight Transit is a continued journey into the mystery of life. It offers a constant reminder that the capacity for love is within each of us and that the obstacles on our path are simply imaginary even though they seem so real.
And then one morning you wake up and you realize that the heaven you sought and the hell you wanted to escape, were just a dream. There is no departure and no arrival. What is, is here. What is, is now. What is, is reality. The smell of coffee in the morning, the rain, the tree, the love, the tears – it’s all you. Everything was just a simple misunderstanding. Everything!
Everything that caused you grief, everything that made you cry, everything that made you doubt, all the things you thought would give you joy – a misunderstanding. You ARE the joy! You are your own magnificent play and absolutely nothing can go wrong. You are the call, the one calling, and also the one being called! Heaven is not only within – it’s what you already are. Hell is the misunderstanding, the obscuring dream and you are beyond. Listen to your call for freedom. Jump into the unknown
After a brief visit in heaven, I left and walked into hell. I had no idea this would happen. The scriptures never bothered to explain. I was blind in hell and kept walking through the fire. I knew I had to keep on walking, walking. I was completely lost but kept on walking, my eyes fixed on nothing but the walk. There was no question of belief. There was no question of doubt. There was necessisity, a burning force that wasn’t mine but acted as if it was. There was no question of giving up because there was nothing to give up. The resilience wasn’t mine. The resolve wasn’t mine. There was trust. There was never any choice. The madness wasn’t mine. The failure wasn’t mine. The success wasn’t mine.
A voice kept calling me; the voice that is not a voice. Love kept calling me; the love that is more than love. The love that falls outside of every characterization, the love that goes beyond relationship, the love that is not about two, nor many, nor a lonely one. The love that doesn’t have a name, the love that never begins nor ends. Freedom kept calling me; the freedom that is more than freedom – and peace whispered my name.
Illusion after illusion fell like torn out pages from a book; the story of my life. I learned you don’t clean up in hell, you keep on moving even though you don’t know up from down, right from left. You keep on moving, keep on losing, because that is the only way to heaven. It goes through hell.
Heaven is an open invitation. I know the travel there isn’t very tempting and not many will accept. But if you are handed the invitation by that voice, by that love, by that freedom and that peace, you won’t be able to decline.
Important people will promise you can win. Don’t believe them. Not in this game will you ever win. This game is set up for losing, only you must know that losing isn’t what it seems and winning isn’t either.
I’m a hero in this story, a fallen soldier, a disoriented captain. I extend my hand, I’ll keep you company on this journey where you will be your own imperfect guide. You will learn to avoid the downfalls on your own, how to jump over the abyss, grab onto branches and find the resting place. If you decide to make the journey I’m right here where I can always see you. You are my love, my heart, my hero. Now jump! You have everything to lose and that is the point! The winning is in the losing.
When on Earth we are subject to gravity.
When in a body we are subject to our humanness.
A human life means relationship to self, things and others.
Love is where humanness and divinity secretely meet as one.
Relationship is not the same as love.
Love is not the same as relationship.
Love is never a problem.
Relationship is sometimes a problem.
Sometimes love can help transcend differencies and the differencies be accepted, softened or even disappear.
Differences are not a problem in themselves.
It only becomes a problem if we feel threatened by the other’s difference or by misunderstanding the other.
Sometimes differences and misunderstandings need to be looked at.
Listen, try to understand.
When you listen don’t just listen with your ears.
Listen with your whole body.
Be the other person for a while.
Repeat what they have said with your own words.
Seek and give emotional support.
This gives rise to intimacy and closeness.
It builds trust and security.
Don’t try to be perfect.
Don’t expect the other to be perfect.
Allow yourself and the other to make mistakes.
Be honest with yourself.
Be honest with the other person.
Everything will be resolved in truth.
Don’t be afraid of truth.
Look deep in yourself to find it.
Give the other the benefit of the doubt.
This goes both ways.
Both parties need to listen and be listened to.
Both parties need to seek and give emotional support.
Both parties need to ask questions and be interested in the answer.
Everything will be resolved in truth.
Go wherever truth takes you.
Don’t let fear dictate what you see as true.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Charlotte Brady about love, life, God, poetry, writing and abiding in the heart at every moment. This is where flesh is spirit and spirit flesh in raw unadulterated devotion. Life is worship!