©2006 Machu Picchu Amy Livingstone


I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,

faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curing and impossible
slither of light before the final darkness.

But I have no faith myself
I refuse it the smallest entry.

Let this then, my small poem,
like a moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.

-David Whyte

What does it mean to have faith? Faith in god(s)? Faith in science? Faith that our elected officials will indeed make choices that benefit all citizens of this country while passing legislation to protect our ailing planet and all her creatures? Or closer to home: faith that my father will walk without pain and the assistance of a walker? It has been an excruciating few months for us all as both he and my stepmother have been in and out of hospitals, rehab, and seeing countless specialists for one ailment or another. This is a world that most of us, including myself, are ill prepared for and I have ridden every emotional wave one can imagine. Walking a spiritual path is certainly easier when the way is smooth but how do we navigate the physical, emotional, and psychic landscape of our being as we hit the inevitable bumps in the road on this human journey? On a good day, when I’m not exhausted, I know from my history that I am standing in a threshold and that on the other side is, ultimately, transformation. How to keep faith in that?

First. Knowing that we are not alone. That most of us collectively, and globally, are experiencing similar upheavals in our lives and on a much larger scale than my scenario. That we are all standing in a common threshold amidst one of the largest evolutionary periods that has occurred in our human history. According to the Andean prophecy of “The Eagle and the Condor,” we are living in a time known as the Fifth Pachacuti, meaning world turned upside down. I first learned of the prophecy when I was preparing to go on pilgrimage to Peru in 2006. Since then, we have been witnessing what social thinker and visionary David Korten has coined the great unraveling in the larger context of the current global economic, political, and ecological crises. As this prophecy plays out on a microcosmic level in our personal lives, how can we find ways to support one another as we go forward? In my workshops and retreats, participants practice compassionate listening and I have seen the power of this seemingly simple act time and again. Listening with an open heart. Out of our own discomfort, we often feel an impulse to give advice or share our experience when the person we love is going through a painful transition. But being silent, listening deeply, is the greatest gift we can give to one another. When we feel heard, we can heal the wounded heart. 

Second. Keeping faith in human creativity which I have written about often here. And a profound belief that art in all its forms contributes to the healing of our hearts and our world. Though my time in the studio has been limited over the past few months, I am excited to share that the short-documentary (10 min) “Journey into the Creation” is complete. “Like” Sacred Art Studio on Facebook to learn more about the symbolism behind the “Lovers of Creation” triptych and watch for opportunities to view the painting and the video.

Sadly, I may not have faith in our political system to change, but like Whyte, I have faith in the moon. Faith in the ability of the earth, Pachamama as she is known in South America, to heal and regenerate herself. Having faith in the wisdom of the earth is a coming home to our place in the web of life and what the prophecy is asking of us now at this time. To remember we are all of the earth and to make those often difficult choices to live mindfully and sustainably on this beloved planet. May it be so.

What or who do you have faith in? As always, I welcome your thoughts. 

For love of the EARTH!