The Poetry of Jamie Reaser
The beauty of Jamie Reaser’s poetry causes my heart to thrill, to ache, to still—with each turning of lyrical phrase. In Sacred Reciprocity she is both transparent seeker, sitting in deep communion, and gentle guide, gracefully leading us to those innermost places where the Soul revels.
The Sacred Way of Giving and Receiving
Jamie and I have a mutual connection through Andean mystic Don Américo Yábar where, many years ago, we were both exposed to the life-affirming practice of reciprocity—in a vastly different way than when we think of that word in our culture. The Quechua word ayni has no exact translation but can be understood as a sacred sense of giving and receiving, a balanced energetic exchange. You see, in the Andes, all is related to energy and respect. Ever since I learned of ayni, its my daily intent. I’ve taken it to heart.
So has Jamie; she offers this further distinction in the introduction to her new book: “…Ayni can be established among people, between humans and all other beings, and between all beings and the animate Cosmos…What is given may not be anywhere near as important as how it is given. In ayni, it is the heart that counts.”
Jamie Reaser is a naturalist who has worked around the world as a biologist, environmental educator, eco-psychologist and much more. But the aspect that allows me to know her true nature—and devotion to ayni—is her ability to: sit in silence where she lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia; take in the glory she experiences…and transmit it back in such beautifully accurate ways that speak of our common condition. Here is just one sample.
dressed in dawn robes,
rose with time enough
to kiss the Moon, his beloved,
on full, wanting lips.
still distinguishing themselves from
the wings of dreamtime,
looked abashedly at each other,
How often had they
failed to seize
a precious passing moment…
A moment that could have
united the transiting heavens.
That was the morning birds
decided to sing.
Jamie will be joining us for our Winter Solstice “Entering the Maya Mysteries” journey to the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala. I’m delighted that she has consented to share her poetry during sacred periods of those travels because—I know—it will add to the deep meaning of that time.
Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life is a new title published by Hiraeth Press in August 2012; also available via Amazon. My review of Note to Self, her previous book of poetry, is located here. And be sure to visit her poetry blog Talking Waters.