Holding the Bowl of the Heart

And the Third Circle is the Heart
by Beth Weaver-Kreider
(from Holding the Bowl of the Heart)

“The eye is the first circle, the horizon which it forms is the second: and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heart, too, is a circle,
the horizon expanding to infinity
or contracting into a small black hole.

The work, you say, is to keep opening,
casting that radius wider
at every turn of the wheel,
to hold everything within its protective arc,
the bright flowers and the white-hot stones.

You looked through the windows
into the soul
and saw.

Saw the round bud of the heart
opening, itself a circle,
the radius expanding.

When I begin to say
that I am you and you are I
then the pain that you wear
must wound me too.

This is the work,
to widen that horizon that lies within
to hold the world, if we must.

Speak your story.
Let it fall like a stone
into the quiet pool of my heart.
The circles expand out and outward,
not matter but pure energy,
more doors opening.

I see you.
I feel you.
I know you.
I recognize myself in you.

These are the doors we step into.
These are the circles we enter.

This is the burden
we choose
to carry:

To be watchers,
weight-bearers,
to inwardly transmute
these stones we are given to bear
into gems of great value.

To keep soft,
to let the ego
slip down
into a weightless place.


Gratitude List:
1. Affirmations from strangers
2. Possibilities
3. Cookies
4. Rest
5. The way words and memories and dreams appear from the past, like wrinkles in the fabric of time, so that what happened five or ten or thirty years ago informs the moment. Living in layers. (I managed to quote both Madeleine L’Engle and Stanley Kunitz in that one.)
May we walk in Beauty!


“The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and other young women is by example. If they see their mothers and other women in their lives going forward despite fear, they’ll know it is possible.” —Gloria Steinem


“You can learn to be lucky. It’s not a mystical force you’re born with, but a habit you can develop. How? For starters, be open to new experiences, trust your gut wisdom, expect good fortune, see the bright side of challenging events, and master the art of maximizing serendipitous opportunities.” —Rob Brezsny


“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.” —Linda Hogan


“You choose to be a novelist, but you’re chosen to be a poet. This is a gift and it’s a tremendous responsibility. You have to be willing to give something terribly intimate and secret of yourself to the world and not care, because you have to believe that what you have to say is important enough.” —May Sarton


“There is indeed a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, cultures, languages, ancient skills, and visionary wisdom. Quelling this flame and reinventing the poetry of diversity is perhaps the most important challenge of our time.” —Wade Davis, The Wayfinders


“. . .war against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. . . . [E]very war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defence against a homicidal maniac. . . .
The essential job is to get people to recognise war propaganda when they see it, especially when it is disguised as peace propaganda.” —George Orwell

Part of the Bowl

IMG_2071
(Josiah’s Jack Frost Picture)

Gratitude List:
1. Tonight’s Open House at school.  I love that I work for a place where I anticipate such an event.
2. Being part of the bowl.  Sometimes when someone you love is in a hard spot, all you can do is step into the circle, grab hands with the people beside you, and become part of the net that holds your loved one.  I am grateful for the net of love that connects even strangers in such times, that makes family of us all.  Now for grace and patience and earnestly holding the energy of prayer/healing/light.
3. Bobby Mcferrin’s setting of Psalm 23 (you can google it on youtube) {Oy.  If only my thirty-something self could hear me talking like that.  She’d roll her eyes, of course.}
4. Elderberry syrup and ginger tincture.  And zinc. (And Dragon’s Breath, if the sniffles progress much further.) I am not going to catch the cold.
5. Organizing.  Shifting.  Making spaces.

May we walk in Beauty!

Bowlful of Prayers

EWK 5 001

The stories converge.
The strands on this web meet,
connect, and twist outward again.

This is a bowl of stones, holding prayers:
a shining soul who just received a terrible diagnosis,
another bright spirit who is caring for a suffering loved one,
another, walking the confusing labyrinth of a broken relationship,
a quiet spirit grieving a loss that never seems to heal,
an eager heart aching with loneliness,
a disappointed one,
a tired one,
and you?

A stone for each of these I love,
and also, one for the bright cardinal
who comes with messages of hope,

one for the courage of the activist
climbing high and challenging oppression,

one for hope, one for love, one for tenderness,
one for patient remembering to give yourself time,
to cut yourself a break, to let yourself cry,
to remember your truest, greenest, most powerful self,

and one for the spider who brings all the stories
together in a web, binding us all into one.
One story.

Gratitude List:
1. Change
2. Stability
3. Prayers, stones, and feathers
4. Watchfulness
5. Root beer floats

May we walk in Beauty!

Bowl Full of Winter

Here in the space between what it means
and what is brightly shining,
in the moment between breathe out
and breathe in again,
in the doorway to May

I have found the key to the door
of my grandmother’s old house.

Here in the thin space
between sun rays,
in the verdant corner
between the wren and the bluebird,
on the threshold between worlds

I place the key,
along with a small white stone
and the small arm bone of a squirrel
into my bowl of winter.

I have been pulling poison ivy
from among the honeysuckle vines,
plotting kindness to my neighbor,
watching how the wisteria twines
around the iron railing,
how it cascades into sunshine
like a purple waterfall.

Gratitude List:
1.  Reiki.  I saw so many colors during my session.  Such colors.
2.  People who support their local farmers.  I am humbled and honored by it every year.  Grateful, so grateful.
3.  The Gnomes of Goldfinch Farm.  They offered Jon the gift of a stunning clear quartz crystal today.  A twin, with double terminations.  Jon would say he found it.
4.  The way the wheel turns so lucidly into May.
5.  Fried Rice.

Namaste.