Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Loosening Attachments

A few somewhat random thoughts, some drawn from yesterday’s discussions:
* Just as I want to loosen my attachment to the physical stuff that bogs me down and overwhelms me, I want to loosen my attachment to my sense of the infallibility of my perceptions. Admitting that my own perceptions may be fallible does not mean that I am relinquishing my core beliefs.
* About that loosening of attachment to stuff: Tidying, de-cluttering, un-hoarding, relinquishing–all this allows me to actually deepen my delight in the Beauty that surrounds me.
* In much the same way that loosening my attachment to stuff allows me to see Beauty more clearly, perhaps loosening my attachment to my righteous rage might allow me to see the complexities inherent in moments of injustice.
* I learned about Anonymous Collective Rage from a friend yesterday. I think I knew what it was, but I didn’t know it had a name. While I would never join those who write threatening letters and who call for violence against the young men from that school, my own immediate rage was part of the collective pile-on. I feel some shame at my quick leap into the fray. Still, that rage is born of a sense of justice and a desire to bring change.
* There are not two sides to racism or misogyny, or to mistreatment of elders. While events like the one that occurred in DC on Saturday might be more complex than they first appeared, disrespectful treatment of others based on their age or their race is unacceptable. Always.
* Could people who are experts in restorative conversations, in rebuilding peace in tense situations, offer to help moderate conversations between those boys and Mr. Phillips and his group? This could be a time for real healing and learning.
* I think that the time of Catholic boys’ schools is pretty much over. Time for a new model. They seem to simply be training schools for the patriarchy.

Gratitude List:
1. Yesterday’s time off. I needed the rest. I always need the rest.
2. Tidy drawers with clothes folded so I can see everything at once. Now I look forward to getting dressed instead of hating putting clothes on. I hope I can sustain it.
3. The lines of tree-shadow cast by the morning’s moon
4. That red eclipse
5. This is going to be a really busy semester for me–I have more preps than is ideal, but I love the classes I am teaching, and I love the kids in them. Last year was my first year teaching Speech, and although it wasn’t bad, I just didn’t quite have a handle on it. This year, I feel like I am much more able to pin down the perfect resources. Of course, I am only one week in, but already the course is taking shape with greater liveliness and interest.

May we walk in Beauty!


fire and flight

“In writing, and perhaps all endeavours, there must be a way which doesn’t simply do as men before us have done, but turns to its own erotic authority. The feminine voice comes from the body’s knowing. It is the writing of aches and ragged breath and dirty fingernails from climbing out of the underworld. It is the sonority of our words which is primary, not their definition. This voice is the howling of a child for its mother before language is even learned. It strives not for the objectivity which is removed from feeling, but rather sinks us deeper into the muck of it. It takes things personally. And it gives personally in return. There is no such thing as impartiality when you live in a body. And it speaks from the flesh and bone rhythms of that first belonging.” —Toko-pa Turner


“A noise annoys an oyster, but a noisier noise annoys an oyster more.” —Anonymous


“…The green earth
is your cloth;
tailor your robe
with dignity and grace.”
—Rumi


“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” —Thomas Jefferson


fire and flight

after the fire
has kindled
within you
patient gestation
of coals beneath
your heart
between
your ribs

fire within you
fire in the earth
fire in the fruit
the egg
the seed

flames will burst forth
and you will rise

you will know
your wings
you will
open your feathers
catch the breezes

the old world
of magic and monsters
will fall away
below you

you will dance
on pillows of cloud
you will swim
in rivers of air

you will hear your
true name
in the voice
of the wind
—Beth Weaver-Kreider

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Finding the Map Home

Repeating some questions I asked myself a year ago:

When have you felt yourself to be your best self?
When have you been most comfortable being who you are?
What would it take to find your way back into that house of yourself?
Did you leave yourself a map?
Is there an old photograph in a dusty album somewhere in your heart
that you can use to guide yourself back to that place?
It might be as simple as taking three deep breaths,
clicking your sneaker-clad heels together three times,
and chanting, “I want to go home, I want to go home,
I want to go home.”
Shall we try it?


A series of Random Musings for a Snowy Day:

“We use language to build the structures upon which we hang our ideas. Language is the scaffold upon which we develop whole structures of thought. Language anchors and shapes and breathes life into thought and idea. Conventional thinking, and conventional language, can end up being a pretty tight little box of a windowless building that doesn’t let in the light. The air in there gets pretty stale. When language—and its attendant ideas—become calcified and crippled into arthritic patterns, poetic image and word-use can find new ways to say things, can break windows into the walls of those airless rooms and build ornate new additions onto the old structures. Poetry jars the cart of language out of its constricting wheel ruts. This is why poets and writers can make good revolutionaries—if they know their work and do their jobs well.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider, 2014
***
“The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist-deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.” —Carl Sagan
***
Mary Oliver, on the Great Horned Owl: “I know this bird. If it could, it would eat the whole world.” And then: “The world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I too live. There is only one world.”
***
Fierce Wild Joy
by Beth Weaver-Kreider, 2016

May this year bring you joy
like crows rising from the fields

fierce
wild joy

yelling full-voice
into the wind

rowing through the tempest
with nothing but feathers.
***
“Have patience with everything
that remains unsolved in your heart.
Try to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms and like books
written in a foreign language.
Do not now look for the answers.
They cannot now be given to you
because you could not live them.
It is a question of experiencing everything.
At present you need to live the question.
Perhaps you will gradually,
without even noticing it,
find yourself experiencing the answer,
some distant day.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke
***
“With life as short as a half-taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.”
―Jalaluddin Rumi


Gratitude List:
1. Two-hour delays. They wreak havoc on the teachers’ end-of-semester schedules, but 10 o’clock is such a humane hour to begin the work day. Breathe. Sleep in.
2. Bhangra Dance. It’s so joyful, so full of life. I’ve been looking up How-to videos on bhangra dancing. It’s all very funny-looking on my part at this point, because I have both the Mennoniteness and the hobbity-ness to contend with, but at least I get a little exercise, and I entertain the family while I practice.
3. Home remedies. I still have an uncomfortable cold, but I have a hunch all the home remedies helped get me past the trampled-by-rhinos phase.
4. Cold weather. Odd thing for me to say, because I really hate being cold, but it feels right that January be cold. After the mildness of November and early December, this feels right. Still, I will be glad for Spring to begin showing her feathers.
5. Good literature.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Awaken Yourself


My parents put so much care into the growing of their bed of lisianthus flowers. This one is only slightly altered with the Dreamscope app. The photo was a little blurry, but I like the composition, so I sent it through the filter.

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.” ―Bill Bullard
*
“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” ―Lao Tzu
*
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” ―Mae Jemison
*
“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” ―Leymah Gbowee
*
“I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past.” ―Clara Barton
*
“When we seek what is truest in our own tradition, we discover we are one with those who seek what is truest in their tradition.” ―James Finley
*
“This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Our planet teeters on the brink of atomic annihilation; dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
*
“We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.” ― David Suzuki
*
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ―W.B. Yeats
*
“There are two ways to live:
you can live as if
nothing is a miracle;
you can live as if
everything is a miracle.”
―Albert Einstein


Gratitude List:
1. The Lehman fields of sunflowers, how they turn their golden faces to the rising sun.
2. I have a very light day today because of 9th-grade testing and orientation. I have a bad cold and a sleep deficit, so it’s perfect timing.
3. How we get to create the meaning of our own stories.
4. The way a cup of coffee transforms me from sleep to waking. I know it is a drug, but it sure was a helpful one this morning.
5. Resolve

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes

Trying Not to Mention Cold

Gratitude List:
1.  Unfrozen pipes.  This is half a week old. On Sunday night, the intake pipe in the spring froze.  It’s never done that before.  My fundi (Swahili for handyman) husband figured out how to unfreeze it and how to weight the pipe so it stays under the water in the spring so it doesn’t happen again.  (Knock on wood.)
2.  This new governor.  I don’t plan to be starry-eyed.  I haven’t been particularly excited about the work of the last couple  of governors.  This one has already put into place a moratorium on the death penalty in PA.  Maybe we’re moving into a more humane future.
3.  Snow geese.  Have I mentioned the snow geese?  Tonight, driving home in the snow, I watched them settle like snowflakes, like leaves, like feathers, into a field near the highway.
4. Being inside.  Having a warm house.  Saying prayers tonight for those without shelter.
5. Teenagers.  These people are so sparkly and earnest, so silly and irreverent, so sweet and so edgy.  I have probably said this one, too, but it bears repeating: The world is going to be in good hands if these people are going to be the ones running things.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes

Motherline

2013 December 087

Gratitude List:
1.  The light will return, the light will return, the light will return.
2.  Vegetables harvested from right out of the snows
3.  Nate Willing’s hot sauce.  I think this is an appropriate time for an O.M.G.  Sublime.  On scrambled eggs for breakfast and quesadillas for supper.
4.  So much love.  So much light.
5.  The Motherline.
I am Beth Weaver-Kreider,
daughter of Ruth Slabaugh Weaver,
daughter of Lura Lauver Slabaugh,
daughter of Mary Emma Graybill Lauver,
daughter of Elizabeth Shelley Graybill,
daughter of Lydia Gingrich Shelley,
daughter of Elizabeth Light Gingrich,
daughter of Mary Dohner Light,
daughter of Anna Landis Dohner,
daughter of Fronica Groff Landis,
daughter of Susanna Kendig Orendorf Groff,
daughter of Elsbeth Meili Kundig (?),
daughter of Anna Barbara Bar Meili,
daughter of Barbara Biedermann Bar (born 1580 in Hausen, Switzerland).  Thanks for starting up the conversation again, Sarah Preston.

May we walk in Beauty!