For Life

Starry Starry Night, by Richard Weaver

The prompt for today is to write a For _______ poem. I decided to ask my family to help. The first one was all I needed.

What are you grateful for today,
I ask, and he says,
“For life,”
and that is the end of the poem.


Gratitude List:

  • This family
  • Good listening and honest talking
  • The hammer game
  • Wise people
  • Making music with my beloveds

Thanksgiving Thoughts:
“You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them.
That is how prayer works.” —Pope Francis
*****
“Allow dark times to season you.” —Hafiz
*****
The Thing Is
Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
*****
My November Guest
by Robert Frost

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.

To Those Who Wander

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Today’s prompt is to write a Visitor Poem.

Blessing for the Visitor
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

May you who wander, who sojourn, who travel,
may you who make your way to our door
find rest for your tired feet and weary heart,
food to fill your bellies and to nourish your minds,
and company to bring you cheer and inspiration.

May you find comfort for your sorrows,
belonging to ease your loneliness,
and laughter to bring you alive.

And when your feet find themselves again upon the road,
may they remember the way back to our door.

Gratitude List:
1. Coming through a conversation feeling more like myself. I wish everyone could have someone like that, who can ask questions and build upon ideas with you, help you sort things out. I am grateful for the people of my family, who do this for me.
2. Nieces and Nephews, good cousins to my children. The in-laws–my siblings chose their partners so perfectly. My parents.
3. My mother’s question: “How shall we pray for each other?” Reminds me of the sacred question to ask the Fisher King–the one that leads to the finding of the Holy Grail.
4. The art on the walls of the houses I visited today. Such beauty, such rich depth of meaning.
5. Gathering around a table with people I love. As Joy Harjo says, “Perhaps the world ends here.”

May we walk in Beauty!

Clearing, Culture, and Civilization

A little sun, a slight shift up the thermometer, and I catch my stride again, find my way back into my life.  I’m glad we got all those boxes of Giveaway ready earlier in the week.  I know that packing boxes would not have helped to lift me out of the puddle of winter blues–it requires too much psychic attention.  But carrying them out of the house and putting them in the trunk, taking them to Reuzit–that was a definite pick-me-up.  Now the energy flows through the house with a little more grace.

Beth’s Personal Remedies for Winter Blues:
(not guaranteed to work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot)
1.  Make Gratitude Lists
2.  Notice the shadows and footprints on the snow
3.  Do yoga tree poses.  Lots of tree poses.  And king dancer poses.  And warrior poses.  Laugh when you fall.  Keep trying.
4.  Get rid of Stuff.  Being a Manager of Stuff is energy-sapping at the best of times, but in Winter, it’s numbing.
5.  Sometimes: Give in to it.  Wrap up in a blanket on the recliner, read a book, and drink lots of tea.

Speaking of getting rid of stuff, I found this great little list at the Pachamama Alliance:

Not Shopping List     I posted it on my Facebook site, and people began to add to it:

Recycle
Dumpster dive
Joyfully do without
Wildharvest
Re-vamp, re-fashion, create

So many good ideas.
What would you add?
How can we support each other in community
to do these things rather than settling for the easy path of buying more
plastic junk that won’t last and that we don’t really need, and probably don’t
really want, if we’re really honest with ourselves?


Gratitude List:
1.  A good tutor.  I feel much more confident about my computer savvy after just an hour of good help.
2.  Fish tacos
3.  Conversations about grief, sharing stories, opening hearts.  I have such wise, compassionate friends.
4.  Conversations about Culture and Civilization–more good semantic distinctions to be made.  Civilization has gotten us into a peck of trouble, has it not?  How does it differ from culture?  What do we pass on to our children–what culture do we share with them?  I have such wonderful, thoughtful friends.
5.  The light within us all.  I don’t know how to write this one, because it comes out of a really challenging conversation about why people harm other people, even when they know better, about why people engage in bullying behavior.  I recognize too, that I have shadows myself, some unhealthy shadows.  That’s crunchy.  But liberating.

May we walk in Beauty.