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Wise Friends and Wise Dreams

In last night’s dream, there are four photos of me with clouds behind me. It’s clearly exactly the same smiling image of me, but the clouds behind me are different: In one, they’re sort of happy and flowery, in another they’re simply bland and grey, in one they’re dramatic, and in one they’re clearly in the menacing form of a shark.

I’m wrangling these days with what it means to be honest and real in the midst of crisis. On one hand, I think it’s important not to put on a false face, to not pretend like nothing’s wrong when things are crumbling. I have always been grateful for people who let me in, who share the deep realities, even when they’re painful. I want to follow their modeling.

On the other hand, it’s not safe for me or others for the shark-cloud or the rainclouds to be obvious all the time. We wear the sunny face to protect ourselves and others. It would be exhausting to be wearing those drama-clouds all the time, and it would control every conversation. And I don’t want everyone to see those.

So there’s a balance, and I feel like I am only learning the way to sort them out. I might thundercloud you when we’re in a light and airy space, or look cheery and chipper when I really want to tell you how much everything just sucks.

I think this uncertainty about how to feel the Big Feelings and still be “socially appropriate” is something some of us never quite learn to sort out. Every time I live through something momentous, it’s always the same. Perhaps it’s my social awkwardness coming out. So many of our children’s books deal with how to feel Big Feelings–we probably ought to all have a shelf of those in our houses.

I received a card from a friend yesterday in which she gave me the excellent advice to give myself time and rest on this part of the journey. “If you had broken your leg two weeks ago,” she wrote, “would you really expect yourself to climb the hills around your house now?” Sage advice from a wise woman. Also, I am a seven on the Enneagram, and pain avoidance is my specialty, but, as another friend told me: “You’ve got to feel it to heal it.”

Between my wise beloveds and my dream state, some good reminders to sit with the strong emotions, not to simply pack them away and ignore them.

When you are in crisis and the world seems to crumble around you, may you, too, feel the protecting arms and gentle words of beloveds to hold you through your storms.


Gratitude List:
1. I heard Oriole this morning! My best friend bird is back in the holler! No matter how chilly the day today, I am going to have the doors open at least for a little while, so I can listen for him.
2. The healthy green of the new leaves on my Mary Magdalene (Lenten) Roses. Really, the healthy green of everything right now!
3. Wise, wise beloveds.
4. I went to the Junior Recital of one of my students at Millersville last evening. Such incredible talent. I am awed and delighted at the many different gifts of these almost-adults.
5. Sometimes when you’re sad, people feed you. Nothing like a lemon muffin to bring some loving zest to the first morning of another week.
May we walk in Beauty!


“A woman who has uncovered and honors her intimacy with the earth through developing a relationship with nature or through the power within her own body carries a wisdom of infinite mystery and potential. She moves through life with one foot in a strange ocean, one on the solid land of her ordinary life.This is not just an idea, but a way to live. Mystics, artists, and mothers of young children know this ability to be half-absorbed in unnameable creative forces.” —Hilary Hart


“The only time incorrectly is not spelled incorrectly is when it is spelled incorrectly.”


“There is no such thing as one-sided generosity. Like one ecosystem, we are each at different times receiving or purging, growing or pruning. In those moments when you believe you aren’t receiving enough, consider what you most want to receive might be the thing you need to give away.” —Toko-pa Turner


“Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.” —Henry David Thoreau


“Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Yet we so easily take this gift for granted. That is why so many spiritual traditions begin with thanksgiving, to remind us that for all our woes and worries, our existence itself is an unearned benefaction, which we could never of ourselves create.” —Joanna Macy


“What if the Creator is like the poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s God: “like a webbing made of a hundred roots, that drink in silence”?
What if the Source of All Life inhabits both the dark and the light, heals with strange splendor as much as with sweet insight, is hermaphroditic and omnisexual?
What if the Source loves to give you riddles that push you past the boundaries of your understanding, forcing you to change the ways you think about everything?
What if, as Rusty Morrison speculates in “Poetry Flash,” “the sublime can only be glimpsed by pressing through fear’s boundary, beyond one’s previous conceptions of the beautiful”?
Close your eyes and imagine you can sense the presence of this tender, marvelous, difficult, entertaining intelligence.” —Rob Brezsny

Beltane Eve

A Reprise of Last Year’s Words:
Today is May Day Eve, one of those special moments in the solar calendar, situated between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. We’ve watched the riot of spring creeping over the gardens and fields, delighted in the shining colors of flowers and the tender greening of leaves, paid attention to what is hatching within us.

May Day, or Beltane, is about celebrating the freedom from that egg, about jumping into the green of the season, feet first, taking risks, whooping with joy. Dust off your wild barbaric yawp. Wanton is the word of this season. We’re stripping off the constricting cloaks and coats and scarves of winter, and running through the fields, barefoot and maybe naked (I’m going to keep that purely in the realm of metaphor).

What do you need to release and let go of in this season? What are the names of the items of clothing you drop in your wake as you run to the fields? What is the name of the green field before you, the thing you give yourself to with every ounce of your passion?

As we enter the season of Beltane, consider all that has kept you from living fully and joyfully and passionately into your purpose. Name the habits and boxes and dogmas that keep you from living in the world with your Whole Heart. Drop them. And run for the fields.


I’m not going to get all my poems written before the end of the month. I have five to do today, and a full schedule. Here’s the link to my slideshow, if you want to check out what I have done so far.


Gratitude List:
1. The Youngfolk who came to visit yesterday afternoon! Such a treasure! Such a marvelous treasure! And so healing.
2. Book Club–we haven’t been together for a little while, and I am eager to see them again.
3. Dreams with messages from deep inner realms (last night a woman cleaned my glasses for me), and gratitude for all the people who help me to see more clearly in waking life.
4. In a world where a couple people can do an incredible amount of damage, the throngs of good and loving and compassionate people outweigh the meanness a thousand to two.
5. Crossword Puzzles
May we walk in Beauty!


“Things aren’t so tangible and sayable as people would have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are world of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.” —Rainer Maria Rilke


“We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living. We live ourselves into a new way of thinking.” —Richard Rohr


“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.” —Georgia O’Keeffe


“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.” ―Rebecca Solnit


“The child’s hand
Folding these wings
Wins no wars and ends them all. “
―Thomas Merton

Horizon

On one of the poem-a-day prompts lists one of my students dug up at the beginning of April, the prompt for the 25th is to write a poem about the word Horizon. The events of my April have meant I have fallen a few days behind on my poeming. (Well, that’s my excuse anyway!)

Horizon
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The horizon
lies on
the edge of
the world

and you never
can reach it
though you seek
with your whole heart.

It is always
a day’s journey
away from the place
where you start.


Gratitude List:
1. The way the horizon always leads onward
2. Guests. Guests require a little housecleaning, and a clean house is nice. Plus, guests are nice.
3. The hostas are coming up!
4. I think I saw my friend the oriole this morning. It could have been something else with the sun hitting it just so. But he should be here any day now. I am listening for you, Friend!
5. How poetry holds feelings.
May we walk in Beauty!


“To love, my brothers and sisters, does not mean we have to agree. But maybe agreeing to love is the greatest agreement. And the only one that ultimately matters, because it makes a future possible.” —Michael B. Curry


“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.” —Barry H. Gillespie


“Immature people crave and demand moral certainty: This is bad, this is good. Kids and adolescents struggle to find a sure moral foothold in this bewildering world; they long to feel they’re on the winning side, or at least a member of the team. To them, heroic fantasy may offer a vision of moral clarity. Unfortunately, the pretended Battle Between (unquestioned) Good and (unexamined) Evil obscures instead of clarifying, serving as a mere excuse for violence — as brainless, useless, and base as aggressive war in the real world.” —Ursula K Le Guin


“There is room for you at our table, if you choose to join us.” —Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing


“For beautiful to happen, the beautiful has got to be seen.” —from the musical “Ordinary Days”


“You will be found.” —from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”
****”
“How do you become the person you’ve forgotten you ever were?” —from the musical “Anastasia”


“The universe is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of tiny stories.” ―Joseph Gordon-Levitt


To all the children
by Thomas Berry

To the children who swim beneath
The waves of the sea, to those who live in
The soils of the Earth, to the children of the flowers
In the meadows and the trees of the forest,
To all those children who roam over the land
And the winged ones who fly with the winds,
To the human children too, that all the children
May go together into the future in the full
Diversity of their regional communities.


Carl Jung: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” ―Rumi (Barks)


“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.” ―Isabel Allende


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ―Bréne Brown, Wholehearted

Rebirth

A magnolia leaf from my classroom. Didn’t quite make it safely home. But now it’s here, and you can receive its message too.

I’m behind again on the daily poetry, so I’ll pull another from a previous day. The prompt was to write a 3-5-line poem which was a story of loss and redemption. I cheated (it was my own prompt anyway) and made it six lines. Not sure where the angels came from, but there they were. I’ll receive them.

Rebirth
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The onslaught may feel like it’s carrying you away,
but in the morning, though fear remains,
though pain, though worry,
though the guardian still waits at the gateway,
Resolve will awaken within you,
and you will have the strength of angels at your back.


Listening to Mamuse’s “We Shall Be Known By the Company We Keep” over and over and over again these days. If that’s the case, Friends, I am in a good place. The company of You is so wise, so tender, so articulate, so compassionate, so justice-serving, so playful, so winsome, so deep.


Gratitude List:
1. “Always we begin again,” said St. Benedict, and I am finding his message a simple and comforting reminder.
2. So many people committed to justice and democracy and goodness and saving the planet.
3. Pink, pink, pink, pink trees!
4. Dawn chorus
5. Wise friends. Such wise friends.
May we walk in Beauty!


“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” —Diane Ackerman


“I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.” ―Wendell Berry


“A crone is a woman who has found her voice. She knows that silence is consent. This is a quality that makes older women feared. It is not the innocent voice of a child who says, “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fierce truthfulness of the crone that is the voice of reality. Both the innocent child and the crone are seeing through the illusions, denials, or “spin” to the truth. But the crone knows about the deception and its consequences, and it angers her. Her fierceness springs from the heart, gives her courage, makes her a force to be reckoned with.” —Jean Shinoda Bolen


“Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther.” —Thomas Carlyle


“At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include than included for who I exclude.” —Eston Williams


“Free me. . .from words, that I may discover the signified, the word unspoken in the darkness.” —Byzantine Prayer


“Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.”
—Maya Angelou


“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
—Leonard Bernstein


Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.”
—Mary Oliver


“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” —Harper Lee


“Some days, you don’t know whether
you are stepping on earth or water or air.
Place each foot carefully before you
and offer your weight gratefully to
whatever it is that holds you.”
—Beth Weaver-Kreider

Is a Rose a Rose?

This is actually not a rose, but a carnation, I believe. Visual irony?

I wrote this one a week or so ago. It’s a form called a zejel, which requires this rhyme scheme in the stanzas: AAA, BBBA, CCCA, DDDA. I decided to edge it toward a sort of pantoum by actually repeating the A lines in the last three stanzas.

Is a Rose a Rose?
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I’ve always thought a rose is a rose.
What you see is what you get, the saying goes,
so what a person is ought to be the part that shows.

Each heart must hold its own singular reality
and secrets belong to the keeper of the keys of that city,
no matter how lonesome or rageful or gritty.
Still, what a person is is eventually the part that shows.

Our innermost isness, no matter how hidden,
will come out in daily living, often unbidden,
to show our deep truths, holy or forbidden.
What you see (looking deeper) is what you get, the saying goes.

A secret self that is anchored by Love
will, under duress, be inspired to move
and to act accordingly, thus-and-such, and thereof:
A rose ought to be, in its essence, a rose.


Gratitude List:
1. People who are what they seem no matter what keep private to themselves.
2. The Ones Who Love. Sometimes you leap, and it’s not a net that appears, but a thousand waiting arms.
3. Possibilities. Oh, the possibilities!
4. These sunny days and frothy pink trees.
5. Birdsong, and poems about birdsong.
May we walk justly, with mercy, and humbly.


“You know you’re on the right path if your capacity for holding paradox expands, your sense of humor broadens, your commitment to justice deepens, your compassion for and protection of life grows, and your love of people transcends race, color, creed, tribe, religion, politics and sexual [orientation].” —Rabbi Rami Shapiro


“It’s not fair,” Linus said, staring off into nothing. “The way some people can be. But as long as you remember to be just and kind like I know you are, what those people think won’t matter in the long run. Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but as long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.” —excerpt from The House in the Cerulean Sea, T.J. Klune


“As truly as God is our father, so truly is God our mother.” —Julian of Norwich


“Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.” ―Anaïs Nin


“Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.” ―William Wordsworth


Forever Oneness,
who sings to us in silence,
who teaches us through each other.
Guide my steps with strength and wisdom.
May I see the lessons as I walk,
honor the Purpose of all things.
Help me touch with respect,
always speak from behind my eyes.
Let me observe, not judge.
May I cause no harm,
and leave music and beauty after my visit.
When I return to forever
may the circle be closed
and the spiral be broader.
―Bee Lake (Aboriginal poet)


“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
―Joseph Campbell


“I can’t tell you why your story is important, only that it is.” ―Mara Eve Robbins


“Time is like dragons.
They are both imaginary, yet can eat you anyway.” —The Cryptonaturalist


Heather Havrilesky:
“The antidote to a world that tells us sick stories about ourselves and and poisons us into thinking we’re helpless is believing in our world and in our communities and in ourselves.”

Bleeding Hearts

My landscaping plan is generally: Buy or be given a new plant, and plant it wherever. Random is the order of the day. I dig up a few hostas and ferns every spring, and put them along the shop or in other beds to fill things out. A couple years ago, I bought a small bleeding heart at a perennials sale. Last summer, I took some of the now rather extensive bleeding heart and planted it by the shop–both plants came up this spring.

When my brother and sister-in-law stopped in to hug me last Friday, he said, “Oh! Look at your bleeding heart!” Then he gave me one of his classic looks, and said, “I mean the plant, of course.”


Gratitude for All that Opens the Heart:
1. Humor
2. Tender Words
3. Kind deeds
4. Children and teens and young adults
5. You
So Much Love!


“Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.” —Simone Weil


“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” —Leymah Gbowee


“God speaks to each of us as [she] makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.” —Rainer Maria Rilke


“I do not see a delegation of the four-footed.
I see no seat for the eagles.” —Chief Oren Lyons, Onondaga


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” —Kurt Vonnegut


“I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.” ―Rachel Held Evans


Go deeper.
Past thoughts into silence.
Past silence into stillness.
Past stillness into the heart.
Let love consume all that is left of you.
—Kabir

Re-membered

Once there was a woman who was set upon by bandits.
They took everything:
more than her money,
more than belongings.
They took her belonging.
They took her name.

And she was left feeling invisible.
Erased.
But only for a moment.

For as the dust began to settle,
the ones who love appeared
and they put their hands on her
to remind her that she existed
and they spoke her name
over and over again
until she remembered.

They re-membered her.
They re-minded her.
The re-solved her.

And their words became a weaving around her,
each strand holding her name,
each woven pattern saying,
We See you.
We Know you.


So many good people there are in the world, my friends. People who gather ’round and tell you your name when the sky falls, when the bandits strike, when the world comes crashing down.

I’m meditating today on ripple effects. How one person’s pain becomes other people’s pain. How when you comfort and Name someone whose life is imploding, those who’ve been caught by the shrapnel also feel the healing. How hurtful words radiate outward, but so do words of comfort, and those are more lasting.

How the young person who stands up for what she believes is right not only brings more justice to the world, but shows others a pathway. How she instructs others to also stand up and be Present.

How all the kind words and texts and messages and hugs are teaching me how to be better at being Present myself.

Love overcomes hatred. It’s not just a platitude. It’s not just a cliche. And love can be so, so fierce.


Gratitude List:
1. The musical revue my students (they’ll always be my students) put on this past weekend. What brilliant singing and dancing and acting! What absolute heart and soul!
2. The ocean of kind words.
3. Reminders to write, and to do art.
4. Possibilities. There’s a future out there on the other side of this.
5. Walking these foggy places together. I hear you, too, in your own fogs and brambles. There will come a time when the sun will burn away our fogs, and the thorns will give way to grassy meadows. May you feel yourself Named and Known.
May we walk in Beauty!


“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned, it’s their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.” —Nina Simone


“A loving silence often has far more power
to heal and to connect than the
most well-intentioned words.” —Rachel Naomi Remen


“The secret to waking up is unscrambling the word earth.” —anonymous


“I have come to regard with some suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven’t actually read it.” ―Rachel Held Evans


“What a comfort to know that God is a poet.” ―Rachel Held Evans


“Geometry is the archetype of the beauty of the world.” —Johannes Kepler


“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” —John Keating (Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society)


“You are the Ground of all being
the Well-Spring of time
Womb of the earth
the Seed-Force of stars.
And so at the opening of this day
we wait
not for blessings from afar
but for You
the very Soil of our soul
the early Freshness of morning
the first Breath of day.”
—John Philip Newell

A New Day Begins

Gratitude List:
1. Kind words
2. I returned from Atlanta and the goldfinches had goldened!
3. Such kind words
4. Remembering a beloved friend who has gone. What a huge, huge heart he had! And reflecting on the way people shape who I/we have become. I would not be the most truly Me without You.
5. Kind, kind, kind words
May we walk in Kindness!


“People have said to me, ‘You’re so courageous. Aren’t you ever afraid?’ I laugh because it’s not possible to be courageous if you’re not afraid. Courage doesn’t happen without fear; it happens in spite of fear. The word courage derives from ‘coeur’, the French for ‘heart.’ True courage happens only when we face our fear and choose to act anyway, out of love.” —Julia Butterfly Hill


“Where is our comfort but in the free, uninvolved, finally mysterious beauty and grace of this world that we did not make, that has no price? Where is our sanity but there? Where is our pleasure but in working and resting kindly in the presence of this world?” —Wendell Berry


“Every country should have a Ministry of Peace” —Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire


“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” —Tom Robbins


“I never want to lose the story-loving child in me. A story that meant one thing to me when I was forty may mean something quite different to me today.” —Madeleine L’Engle

The Moth Emerges

Moth Begins to Emerge, by Beth WK and AI

It’s been a difficult two weeks. I’m still finding words as I prepare to walk through this next bit, but at least there’s a way forward now, after a couple weeks stuck in a strange limbo. I’ve walked through (am walking through) a couple significant losses: a malicious cyber stalking attack, the very sudden death of a dear friend, and now moving on from my job.

But in the middle of the ugliness and sorrow, there’s been such an ocean of love, of Love, to rest in. The support and kind words from people in all the merging circles of my life have been humbling and encouraging, in the deepest sense of the word.

Couer: French for heart. So courage is to be heart-filled, and to encourage is to offer someone courage, to fill someone’s heart.

So. I think this moth is emerging, ever so slowly, from her cocoon. That goo stage was excruciating, and the emergence has its own angst and drama, but–to be a little cliche–Love wins. I still have to sort through vast rooms of sorrow and rage and anxiety, but Love is a strong presence in the process.

So much love has come my way in the past two weeks, and I want to allow it to flow in and through me, and outward. The tower of my ego has taken a significant hit, but so many of the people I love (and even people I don’t know!) have Seen me and told me who I am, that I think I emerge with a greater sense of purpose and belonging, and a determination to answer every question with love. (That doesn’t mean I won’t be raging and weeping and angsting my way through this–love has room for all of that.)

Remind the young people in your lives that their voices matter, even when it feels like they aren’t being heard. Their voices make a difference in ways that they themselves might not see and know at the time. The world is a safer place with this crowd of youngfolk moving in.

Because of the cyber stalking, I have made it a little more complicated to comment here, for now. At the beginning of this mess, someone was leaving spiteful comments on my recent posts here. You can still comment, but you may need to have some kind of password. Sometime in the future, when I feel safe again, I’ll open up the comments more freely.

Because of my recent silence on social media, I stopped posting poems for every day in April. I won’t fill the blog with all of those. I’ll start from here and move forward. Here is the link to my slideshow, if you want to read them all. For today, this is the three-part poem I wrote on the morning when I began to see the extent of the ugliness that was being dropped on my doorstep. It’s in the mondo form, a form that my students really love. Haiku-style stanzas, the first a question, and the second an answer. Zen-like.

Holding Center

1.

How to hold center
when the savage wind pummels
at your sacred, inner truth?

Be love, that is all.
Be love, and love, and more love.
For love will be your anchor.

2.

When angry voices
try to silence and demean,
shall we go out with raised fists?

To what end do you
attack when you are attacked?
Be a stone Love breathes into.

3. 

Where do you go to
find the Holy One when hate
destroys all that’s in its path?

Listen, always, for the
whisper of Love in all things
for She will never fail you.


Gratitude List:
1. The mycelial network of loving circles of community that has held me during my trial by fire.
2. Feeling the feelings, even when they’re awkward and gooey. That’s part of what I think I’m here to do, to learn how to feel and integrate and transform feelings, no matter how raw and ugly they are. So, not grateful for all the feelings, exactly, but for the learning and the growth.
3. Young people. Their fire, their love, their sense of fun.
4. Dreaming of what might be
5. Maybe this is sort of a repeat of the first point: Being Seen and Named.
May we walk justly, in mercy, and humbly.


Earth Day Words:
“The world is, in truth, a holy place.” —Teilhard de Chardin


“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau


“You are your own cartographer now.” —Ralph Blum


“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke


“Every creature is a word of God.” ―Meister Eckhart


“The forest for me is a temple, a cathedral of tree canopies and dancing light.” ―Dr. Jane Goodall


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” ―The Onceler (Dr. Seuss)


“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ―Rachel Carson


William Stafford: “I place my feet with care in such a world.”


“A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.” ―John Sawhill


Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ―Rachel Carson


“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” ―Rachel Carson


“Few words are so revealing of Western sexual prejudice as the word Goddess, in contrast to the word God. Modern connotations differ vastly from those of the ancients, to whom the Goddess was a full-fledged cosmic parent figure who created the universe and its laws, ruler of Nature, Fate, Time, Eternity, Truth, Wisdom, Justice, Love, Birth, Death, Etc.” ―Barbara G. Walker


“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, “They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” —by Toko-pa Turner