feeling renewed

Lately I have felt unable to write here. Sometimes writing to me is like being haunted, you can feel the presence of something looming, stalking, roaming somewhere behind you. I sometimes stop and ask, “what are you? What do you want to say?” But only when the ghost is ready does it answer.

Sometimes I write things and I read back and think, “wow that’s exactly how I feel!” and other times I look at the page, a little jaded, thinking my attempt to capture a feeling seems half hearted and worn out. But I gently remind myself that it’s all part of the journey and I just keep writing. I try to stay in motion.

Yesterday I spent time with a friend that I made here in London. He is a wonderful person. Though I’ve only known him for a short while, I can tell he is genuine… One of those people you can trust with anything.

Him and I spent the day at the market and then we had tea and talked in the park. We went to the market so I could get this bracelet I saw there a few days before. Its a silver cuff in the form of an owl that’s wings wrap around your wrist. I fell in love with her the first time I saw her and she stayed with me… So I had to go back and get her. After searching through stalls and stalls we finally found her again.

I wrote a poem about five years ago called the Haunting Owl. It was inspired by me seeing an owl in the daylight three distinct times all within a few days of each other. Now I feel like I’ve found her…in London. I will cherish this piece because it brings the spirit of that poem to life and it reminds me that there are those moments when the spirit of your words come to life and take flight.

So ending my day with my friend, we sat in the park by a church and talked about life and writing and music. We shared our stories, adding a much needed spark of inspiration to both of our lives. In the park were flowers and herbs and near to where we sat was a sage bush. It’s leaves were beautiful silver green and I spotted it the moment we sat down. I have always loved sage. I picked a few leaves, rubbed them together takin in their essence. Then gently tucked them into my journal as a symbol of cleansing and renewal.

It was a great day. Sometimes you need something in your life that just recharges you. It’s often the simple things. Time with a caring friend. The cool breeze of a park scented by sage. And a warm cup of mint tea.After all the rioting and the chaos that ensued I was left feeling a little abandoned and somewhat afraid. But I soon realized that I have a micro family here. People really showed they cared and it touched me. I feel more at ease now and yesterday helped bring me back to center.

I looked at my calendar this morning. I only have a few weeks left here and now I feel I will truly miss it. It has been magical, emotional and life changing. I’ve seen so much in such a short time. Another chapter of my life has been written, another facet to my journey. I came here to grow and I have and London will always be a part of me.

I hope all of you are doing well. Give me an update. Share your stories with me. I hope no matter what your doing… I hope your still dreaming. The worlds big, it’s badass and sometimes it pulls us under, but if you keep sight of something with meaning you will make it.

“I watched it burn. I watched them learn. I watched us pull from the ash something of change. I watched them cry. I watched them laugh. I watched them love again. So the haunting owl whispered on the wind.”

Love you,


(c) Shaheen Miro 8/15/2011

fire burning

I wanted to write to you, but I don’t really know what to say. I am overwhelmed at the moment with everything that is happening. Here in London there has been an outbreak of riots and they all began in Tottenham about three blocks from the flat I am staying in.

The night it all began it sounded like a warzone outside. The helicopters were so loud and they loomed overhead, ominous and cold and as I watched out the window the thick sent of smoke wafted in warning that something was to come. Looking out flames began to rise over the rooftops of the quaint little houses. They licked the sky like a dragon, burning a relentless path through the lives of helpless people.

Why would anyone feel that it’s okay to harm other people in this way? These fires were set intentionally, as a way of retaliating against the police for killing an innocent man. I don’t know about the man who was killed or the events that took place that night, but I do know that people were acting like animals… using the death of a man to rationalize their complete disregard for life and community.

It’s sad to see pictures of what’s left of the High Road, nothing but the shell of something before, haunted by the shadow of anger and greed. It’s really shocking to know that something like this could happen so fast. The whole thing just felt out of control. It was pure chaos. I wonder if those people realize that they destroyed their community and further segregated themselves. I pray for them and I pray that everyone is safe and can pick up the pieces and start over.

Being in this hostile and uncertain environment has made me feel on edge. It’s unnerving to not know what’s next. People keep saying that it will all clear up in the next few days, but I keep wondering if that’s true. They’ve gotten a taste and now they want more, hopefully these people are stopped soon.

I keep going back to that night seeing the fire rising high into the night sky. It’s weird to say that I felt a symbolic connection with that fire. I came here to learn something about myself, found myself here in this part of the city and I watched it burn to the ground… in that fire was a part of me. Something old died in the flames, something was taken from me and now I look out at the world seeing things differently. For now it feels tarnished and unsettled… but in time I will begin to see better with these new eyes.

It’s surreal to have seen so much of London and to have experienced so much here. I have permission to return home because of the riots, but for now I will stay because I don’t feel like I am ready to return home. There is something left here to be recovered. It’s not the first time I’ve seen the fire… and it’s not the first time I’ve pulled something from the ashes. Until that last fragment is recovered here, I cannot return to the states.

I am in another area of the city, spending time in the cozy flat of a very gracious friend. Sipping on warm chamomile and listening to the rumble of the train, I feel at ease with life. Being in London has been an adjustment in every sense of the word. I have had to fling myself fearlessly into this situation and not look back. I feel very at ease with change now. I am learning to dance effortlessly with life…letting go of rigid thoughts and feelings.

I wish all of you well and I ask that you send your prayers to the people of London who have been affected by the riots. I ask that a gentle rain fall over the city cleansing it of the pain, the anger and the destruction. I ask that the angels stand tall at every door, gate and town square, safe guarding those who live there from the malicious hands of others.

With love,


© Shaheen Miro 8/9/2011