The Cartography of the Heart

vzm-img_20160808_193742-300x277The Medicine Lies Within

(the shadow speaks:  And this is what I have come to hear in this conversation between one and oneself)

as I understand it…

there is a fire between us.

the self.

words slipping off my tongue like turpentine

cause little explosions of white hot pain, of confusion, of endless


and now

we are left with a devastatingly quiet

holy smoke to stumble through.

there is not enough breath between us to make it out alive.

so we drop to the ground,

becoming that horizontal line where earth and sky meet.

orange flames licking the sky…

engulfing the last blue of dusk.

this is a place of imperfect beauty.

this is a place, if ever there was one, of forgiveness…

this is a place

that we can, at long last, lay our s(words)

to rest

and return home to our beautiful oceanic selves.


The Medicine Lies Within

(the heart answers)

Stars take their sacred place.

You lean deep into the canyon,

searching for your heart.

Surely, it is still here.

Surely, you remember what it is

to love yourself.

You spin backwards in time,

tumbling through star-held darkness.

You left your tired questions here

the night you spoke aloud

of self-doubt, ego-death, body-tension.

Your heart…

covered with a dusting of bones

and elegant failings polished smooth.

You look up

as the stars

become your quiet hope.

Climbing down into the canyon

you lift up your heart with weathered hands,

covered with white earth and dreams.

If you do not love you, who will…?

Who can?

Surely, within the weight of this knowledge

lies  your medicine.

It is a necessary remembering

of bones       of dust       of stars

of forgiving yourself

for all the ways in which you withheld

your love from your self

as if you were the sky…

refusing the tilt of the earth.

About Denise Andes

I am a Neo-Reichian Body Psychotherapist, CRT, and LPC. My graduate background is from SAIC/Rush St. Lukes Medical School and the Bodynamics Institute of Denmark. I’ve had the gift of studying with Dick Olney, Peter Levine, Sandra Ingerman, and many others, two and four-legged, whose teachings continue to be a source of inspiration. As a shamanic teacher and creative thinker, I have woven eidetic imagery and shamanic healing over the past 25+ years into my private practice in Santa Fe, NM. I work extensively with developmental, shock/trauma, and self-acceptance issues.