Step Off the Ferris Wheel

I thumb through the photo album.

There I am in at age six

wearing a Sunday plaid suit.

Defiant, I dart my tongue at the camera.


In high school,

a pudgy face and body

from boarding school starch,

I slouch in the Y of a tree.


In college, tan, golden hair,

I fondle a Coors.

Morning headaches

cloud my studies.


Graduate school, no makeup, haunted eyes,

first real awareness of life’s harshness.

I pretend to be an intellectual,

armored against pain.


A college writing professor

round glasses, tired smile

and a look of desperation

from reading too many student essays.


A travel writer,

I wear a backpack

and stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon,

broad smile, lonely heart, seeking love.


Each stage of life a new incarnation,

new faces, new houses, new towns,

but the lessons remain the same

as I churn on the Ferris wheel

drilling deeper, closer, to the true self.


I see my resilience, enduring,

shining through experience after experience,

a steady presence amidst the chimera of this life,

which mirrors my eternal adventure.


As the wheel slows

the Beloved hands me an escape map.

The next time my feet skim the concrete,

I step off,

and remain in the effervescent stillness

of Love.



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23 Responses to “Step Off the Ferris Wheel”

  1. Teddy January 3, 2018 at 7:12 am #


    Happy Blessed Shabda filled New Year.

    Love and appreciate your words, sweet expressions, experiences, aware ness.

    Thank you, I look forward to your emails and inspirations.

    Much love.

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 10:21 am #

      Thank you, Teddy. Happy New Cycle to you too! I appreciate your participation in this blog. Very special.

  2. Rebecca January 3, 2018 at 8:19 am #

    What a wonderful piece to wake up to as I step into the 2nd anniversary of Don’s translation. I am in Mendocino. I will leave behind a newly planted tree overlooking the ocean. Thank You!

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 10:23 am #

      What a wonderful action to take, Rebecca. This morning I contemplated some loved ones who I’d always felt were taken from me in a cruel way, but today the Master showed me how kind it was to take them and send them into their next journey. It’s amazing how these viewpoints can be turned around. Sending love to you!

  3. Sally cloud January 3, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    Thank You for this New Year reminder that we are really all the same~L O V E~

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 10:24 am #

      Thank you, Sally! Definitely L O V E !

  4. Stephani January 3, 2018 at 9:30 am #

    Thanks for this poignant prose and photo essay of the kind of life we share in this generation. Much appreciation, as always, for your penetrating thoughts and words. Wishing you a deeply meaningful and authentic 2018.

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 10:25 am #

      Wishing you a wonderful 2018, Stephani. Thank you for your lovely participation in this blog. It mean a lot to me.

  5. Rudy January 3, 2018 at 10:18 am #

    Oh my, I just love this piece. The whole idea of stepping off the Ferris wheel the next time it touches the concrete brings tears to my eyes. What penetrating photos you have of this last incarnation’s journey, and such insight you offer about them. Yes, we have all lived many lives in this single incarnation that we hope to be our final one, and you articulate so beautifully their conjoined meaning. And who doesn’t want to give that little 6-year-old a big hug!?

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 10:29 am #

      Haha, Rudy. That’s such a sweet response to the poem and to the photo! That photo was the bane of my existence when I was young, because everyone thought it was funny, and I was completely embarrassed. I tried to destroy every copy, but failed. And yes, it is such a lovely image to simply step off, which we can do in any moment when we image our Beloved.

      • John Jennings January 3, 2018 at 11:19 am #

        Gee Lesley:

        Your words give me strength. John

  6. John Jennings January 3, 2018 at 11:18 am #

    Gee Lesley:

    Your words give me strength. John

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 11:28 am #

      I’m so glad, John. You are definitely in a very intense and lasting incarnation. Your strength inspires me. Thank you!

  7. Katie Whitmarsh January 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm #

    LOVE this, so real!! Love ALL your poems! Excitement and a breath of fresh air each time they land in my email box. Thank you. 💙

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

      That warms my heart, Katie. I’m happy to be a channel of the love. Thank you!

  8. Monica Zmuda January 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

    Dear Leslie- Your journey, skillfully displayed with your lessons learned weave through the fabric of what is your life. I admire the bold risks you take. You are an inspiration to the rest of us on this path headed HOME. Love and appreciate you so much. Monica 💕

    • Lesley January 3, 2018 at 6:33 pm #

      Thank you, Monica. You are such a brave soul, that means a lot. It was a bit of a stretch for me to use these photos rather than one of a Ferris wheel that seemed much safer, but now I’m glad I did, because it adds another dimension to the poem. With the Master, we’re always pushing the limits. Love you so much!

  9. Luana January 5, 2018 at 1:24 am #

    Good Morning Lesley
    Here in the UK
    I feel inspired by your writings
    This poem I can see myself
    Touched me and I let a breath out as I read and re read your poem
    Gratitude and Shabda Blessings

    • Lesley January 5, 2018 at 9:48 am #

      Luana, it warms my heart that my little poem traveled all the way to the UK to be with you! And that it touched you. That makes my day. And now you have channeled that love right back to me. Thank you!

  10. Kelley January 5, 2018 at 8:55 am #

    I love seeing these beautiful photos of you and am touched that I have known you and loved you for so long my dear friend.

    • Lesley January 5, 2018 at 9:46 am #

      I feel the same way, Kelley. What an enduring and loving friendship we have shared. When I pulled out my old photos I looked at our senior yearbook from CSS and the photos of us together touched me deeply. You are a treasure!

  11. al medina January 9, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    Mmmmm…tasty is the truth, Lesley. Here’s my favorite part and feelings about your condensed life saga, for you speak for all humanity:

    “I see my resilience, enduring,

    shining through experience after experience,

    a steady presence amidst the chimera of this life,

    which mirrors my eternal adventure.”

    Eloquently and succinctly you have described the “constancy” of the real, eternal Traveler – the Soul. Even at death, we are told again and again, the Soul continually moves on and dons a new garb, a different covering from which to engage and learn from its environment. Yet again to find the True Guide, be lovingly and patiently taught, trained and tested until all the exams are passed with unmatched ease and perfected humility. The pictures are what you were. Now you have shed those temporal identifications and are stepping off the Wheel forever…as Soul! We have the Beloved to thank and praise when this supreme event is gifted to us. Bravo and thank you!

  12. Teri Eaves January 30, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    Dearest Lesley,
    As usual, you speak to my Soul in such a beautiful and divine way, that I am inspired!!!
    Thankyou for your Seva!

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