The Pain that Can Start the Path

(These are also lyrics to the musical piece “Locked Ache” found on the Compassion’s Caress Album)

I have so much ache locked inside
No tears fall from hallow eyes.

Try as I might to live within this pain,
wave After wave compounds the AGONY.
I walk the dark streets of my mind.

No scream, no moan, comes from me.
Why can’t they see the HOLE in me?
Yearning clashes with “what’s wrong with me.”
Does anyone know as they talk to me?
I die again, and again.

Same pattern just different cast.
Time is breaking this hourglass.

Sunlit star shining down on me:
“Now, will you hear Me” Love says to me,
“Are you real?” I hear my self say.

Oh streams of hope, shimmering,
Soul crying, for its home.
Lost, abandoned, by my own neglect.
Fragile core, its needs unmet.
I cry, as I find you now.

Pheo Rose
copyright 1976, Contemplative Life Foundation



My life had become like one imprisoned in a dark damp prison cell.
Tears of suffering dripped like droplets from its dank walls.
What windows there had been, were now encased,
with only a dim outlined remembrance of light.

No one came, bringing warmth of intimate conversation.
What happened to easy companionship?
Where were friends who would care enough
to release me from the loneliness racking my bones?

The one companion I had was an inner voice
that only hammered me with accusation:
“What did you do that condemned you to this?”
“You most wretched being, your selfishness has condemned you.”

Then one day, crossing the one stream of light under the door of my self absorption,
I saw a tiny bug busily making its way.
In a voice that had been so silenced, I found myself croaking:
‘I hope all you do comes out well.’
My inner voice of condemnation chided me:
‘Look what you are reduced to. Which is more pitiful you or that bug?’

But I refused to listen, and instead thanked You, O Oneness of Love,
for this tiny life that was freer than I.
And, as that little bug regularly crossed back and forth,
I continued to bless it in You.

Then one day the light under the door dimmed,
but a creaking spoke of its being opened.
Carefully checking the threshold not to step on my busy friend,
I stepped out into the softly lit hallway of opening to care about others.

I greeted a fly that softly buzzed by;
And stopped to compliment a spider on its wonderful web.
To the moths circling the candle’s flame I found myself easily saying:
“Be of care, for that light you seek can bring more than you want.”

Going further, I was greeted by the dusk sky.
I was overwhelmed by the life I could now take in, greet, and give to.
The sounds of the night creatures, the smell of day’s end;
and I cherished all the soil’s flourishing life swaying before me —
life that I had once had no relationship to.

I laughed with joy and cried with realization.
O Oneness of Love,
I, who had thought only that only accomplishment could sustain me,
was imprisoned in this until I became so bereft
that I sought the companionship of a tiny life.

I was not pitiful to have croaked my first sentence of blessing,
but Blessed with enormous Grace to recognize and serve such companions.
Now, here are all these lives for me to enjoy, care for, and Bless in You.

O Oneness of Love, what companions these innocent lives.
What warping of human pride that so easily dismisses them.
What a cold deadened species we have become.

We are imprisoning ourselves as we destroy the life around us.
Such Loneliness drives us on recklessly.

May the Vision of the World so beautifully created,
Break through our Prison
and May We Free Ourselves by Serving all Creation. 

Pheo Rose
copyright 1985, Contemplative Life Foundation



Have you ever sat and wondered where the day is filled with aliveness?
Am I left behind because I am not trying?
Is it off somewhere laughing at me, partying?

Have you ever sat and wondered  If you would find that aliveness during the night?
I dressed up, went out, but in the end was left with an empty class of hours, waiting?

Have you ever felt that aliveness has left you behind?
Am I stranded, am I a waste?
I might as well get up, I am being robbed, blind.

Pheo Rose
Copyright 1977, Contemplative Life Foundation



From here, I know not where I will go …
my direction is uncertain, my company unknown.

I am lost in the place I know …
will I be found in the unknown?

Courage to stay, courage to go …
Which is required of me?

You, O Oneness of Love, are a sure Light,
I have wandered such a long time
following my will’s dim light.

It is time to listen in solitude, which where I find You.
Directing my faith and strength
In/To You. And into Aliveness.

Pheo Rose
copyright 1973, Contemplative Life Foundation



Will I die to myself,
So that a new life may be born in me?

Will I have the faith to dare
To follow the wisdom of the ages and not the crowd I see?

Will I seize the Inner Journey,
To rid myself of my shadows,
so my Light of Love may shine?

Will I reject hatred by refusing to hate
And defeat hatred with Love?

I have seen the evidence
of those who traveled this trail,
I have their words and actions,
And how they cared.

Now I must choose,
for my life is only so long.

Pheo Rose
copyright 1982, Contemplative Life Foundation