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Much love, and Namaste...

Columbia River Gorge

Exult Road is here to uplift and celebrate life, and you. 

Publishing, Writing, Consulting

Jill L. Cooper

Jill L. Cooper is a poet and writer. Her writing has appeared in print literary journals, The Raven ChroniclesThe Floating Bridge ReviewShark Reef Literary Magazine, as well as online magazines, Rewire MeThe Rebelle Society, HIV Here & Now, and others. Cooper’s poetry has been anthologized in Silent Applause of Butterflies (Columbia Center for the Arts, 2014), Pontoon (Floating Bridge, 2015), Delirious—A Tribute to Prince (Night Ballet Press, 2016), and in I Only Wanted to See You Laughing (Yellow Chair Review, 2016), and others. She was the creator and editor of The Yes Book (Exult Road, 2014). Cooper has served as the Executive Director of a Buddhist publishing house, and as a consultant to publishers, and as an author coach. She is currently working on a book-length collection of prose poetry, and on a collection of lyrical essays. Cooper lives in the beautiful Palouse region of Washington state. In all her work, she intends to affirm and celebrate existence. To contact her, write to jillcooper11 at gmail dot com. 

To Find What is Divine in Everything.

Jill Cooper

My dear, when anything touches or enters your body
Never say it is not God, for He and I are
Just trying to get close to you.

God and I are rushing
From every corner of existence, needing to say,
’We are yours.’
— Hafiz, tr. by Daniel Ladinsky

The Divine is in everything. My "normal" reality is what I used to call "magic." Free of real doubt, free of cynicism, no problems to solve at all. There are no more unwanted stories, but for a few seconds, dropped wholly, and so no unwelcome feelings. There is nothing to be worried about. Even a headache brings either instruction or a motherlode of treasure when unresisted. The unrest of anyone I love is trusted, now, to this Divine.

As time goes by, proof is provided daily. There is Divine everywhere and I see it in the pink-gold dhalias, the sun, the milky way, swirling through my daughter's recent wedding, surrounding me dancing with my daughters and son and husband and friends and even x-husband's family, and my mom and (fully recovered from cancer) dad! Yes!

The Divine is pouring out all over everything, through everything, through the hours, over the grass, from the walls, the most beautiful flood, I let it in. I drown in it and yet I breathe easy! It is rolling through my prostrated body, working body, sleeping body, playing body - less resisted every day, moment by moment.

The Divine is in the mail that comes to my house, even in the junk mail that turns into a folded basket for fresh eggs gathered on the way back to the house. I eat with the Divine! Enjoying the heart of a summer watermelon with a tiny sprinkle of salt jewels. The Divine lives there in my reflection and love for the wrinkled brow of a tired and troubled friend on her creative journey; it is in the cluck of my hens; it is in the empty cup of tea; and it is rich - the wealth of the universe. It is pumping through the pages of my journals.

I feel the Divine blinking in the empty feeling that comes when I am before the blank page, beginning to write. It is rich and vital and flowing through the quiet between words. It is beyond words, yet in them. It is in the nectar of a love-letter from a friend, in my skin, and in the play and illusion of time. In a spoonful of honey, and in my sleeping, and in stretching, in yearning and in accepting. It is in all flowers and sky, in all allowing and even in my resisting. It is in all moments when I forget and in the delight when I remember again who I really am. It is in the pages of my "Positive Aspects Journal" that fill up swiftly and easily day after day, boosting love. It is in poetry and music.

The great Divine is in knowing that enlightenment is not saintliness! The Divine is in the awareness that I can riff across options, attitudes, and ideas from the critical and sharp, to the soft and sublimely attuned! They are all okay. They are all welcome. It is all Divine. There is nowhere The Divine is not.

I am always safe, and always free. I am always doing and going where the Divine is. I am free of hooking my happiness on any conditions. Yet, I am noticing all the conditions that contribute to my happiness multiplying in proportion to my cultivated focus on what I appreciate, to what works, to what I value.

I love the emptiness. The great vast emptiness that (I used to think was scary and sad) is the void from which all creation is born, and peace and connection to everything and everyone blossoms. It is where loneliness vanishes. It is where ideas drop seed. I love how my reception of wanted ideas, events, relationships and situations is growing in relationship to my experience of joy-for-no-reason. I cultivate that joy through appreciation and focus. 

People who love me, who are attuned, come closer. All unkindness, and barbed words softly vanish from my sphere. The Divine is glittering all through my wise son's kind, winged words of encouragement and adventure. There is no one I need who does not arrive, right on time. There is nothing I feel that I don't want to feel. And even when the feeling is pain, I see that it is a signpost to where treasure is hidden. I no longer analyze the reasons, I no longer remember ever feeling abused, jilted, or worried. My head and heart and body cells feel transformed and then lifted again. I love. If I cry, I cry. If I laugh, I laugh.

There is a deep, deep wordless feeling of love, serenity, and creativity. I am in love with it all, but also keenly aware of this life as being one blip on a massive scale of being-through-eternity. I feel in flight through it, buoyant and calm. As I near completing one project, I see others lofting up as pure potential. I give one subject after another to The Divine. And I feel like a young child with favorite playmates when among those who genuinely celebrate and welcome bliss; where appreciation is understood as the powerful, impactful, creative and playful tool it is; where raving with joy is recognized to create more good as the words and energy spiral out into the universe growing and expanding through the heart of the world.

May you all experience and celebrate your bliss,