Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

No Regrets, Coyote

Someone reminded me recently of how much I love Joni Mitchell’s music, although I haven’t listened to it in a long time. The last few days, a line from one of her songs keeps singing in my soul – No regrets, Coyote. It seems a perfect reflection on this year as it comes to a close.

Coyote has a prominent place in Native American mythology, often portrayed as a trickster, causing mischief and chaos wherever he goes. But his tricks are not necessarily malicious. They can serve to reveal to us our own illusions, our own vanities, our own humanity. They can shine light into our dark corners, expose what is hidden, and clean out old pain and shame.

Coyote has little respect for tradition and order and limitations. He crosses the boundaries of possibility and politeness with equal disregard. He is a crazy wisdom teacher.

And he came to visit me this year. He exploded my heart wide open and left me there –  hurt, confused, embarrassed, disappointed.

And purified, liberated, laughing, wholly alive, free. 

For that is Coyote’s gift, if we choose to accept it, the freedom of being wholly alive.

So as this year draws its final breaths, I ask myself – What will I leave behind this year? What will I carry with me into the new year? And what will I start fresh?

I will leave behind the stories that I tell myself about the past. I will carry with me an open heart. And I will start fresh with a willingness to say yes.

No regrets, Coyote.

For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes! ~Dag Hammarskjold

[Enjoy the song]

10 thoughts on “No Regrets, Coyote”

  1. So beautifully expressed Galen … and the song is extraordinary … I hadn’t heard it before but I felt it nonetheless ❤️

  2. Hey, Jean! I just linked back to your site to be amazed once again at your paintings. Wow. You have taken your art to a new level. It was always beautiful and fun and heartfelt, but somehow there is even more depth and soul, if that is possible. Thanks for stopping by, and happy holidays to you.

  3. Okay, Galen, as I read this just now, I experienced God bumps. Tonight, I wrote from my heart a poem called "Mary's Heart." The theme? She says, "Yes" to God. If anyone had an open heart, Mary did. What courage and what faith – those things to which I aspire and hope.
    May God send us both Mary's hope and courage in the New Year!

  4. I find that at the close of one year and the beginning of another that I do spend some time in reflection on my past year and where I have come from in my own life changes. I look forward in anticipation to what my new year will bring as blessings, challenges and changes. I love the thought of having an open heart and being willing to see yes; just as sweet Mary did. Merry Christmas to you dear friend! Big hugs~

  5. "I will carry with me an open heart. And I will start fresh with a willingness to say yes." Those are words to live by. Re: Joni Mitchell. I've been listening to her song The River of late. She had a way with words as well.

  6. I'm going to try to think about coyote as I am battling through the storm. Wish I could have your positive attitude more quickly!

  7. I hear you, Melanie! It takes as long as it takes. Thich Nhat Hanh writes beautifully about cradling our feelings, whatever they are, tenderly and with compassion, like we would cradle a baby in our arms. I find this to be a helpful practice rather than trying to deny or reject painful feelings.

    And it is a cyclical process. Feelings are rarely linear. So when the painful feelings cycle back through, I try to sit with them and sing them a lullaby.

    PS–Sorry for the delay in posting your comment. I've been away from the computer for a few days.

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