Freedom in the Mind

“It is our mind, and that alone,
that chains us or sets us free.” —Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

That quote is one I have had tucked away in the unlikely event that I would end up in jail or in a hospital, or sheltering in place during a world pandemic. Hmmm. Well, here we are. I think quotes like this can be used inappropriately, to make people feel like they’re not working hard enough at the inner life if they’re feeling caught and trapped. On the other hand, I am finding it profoundly liberating to keep reminding myself that the claustrophobia and sense of entrapment in this experience is partly self-imposed, that I can be free, even in confined conditions. And to be honest, I am hardly confined, here on the farm. But that shows me even more deeply how the sense of being chained or free in a situation like this has more to do with my inner work than with my outer situation.


I’ve been posting twice on these April days of Poetry. Once in the morning for musings and quotes and gratitudes, and a second time in the afternoon, when I have written my poem for the day.


Gratitude List:
1. Though I miss Room 206, my current office/classroom is a pleasant, well-lit place.
2. My coworkers and students (present and virtual) are lovely people.
3. Such hope-filled Zooming with beloveds yesterday.
4. I’m wearing my bracelets today. I don’t usually wear them around the house, but I have missed having the clink and the flash of color.
5. In the midst of this terrible uncertainty, there is much to be certain of: love, spring, birdsong, laughter. When I sit on the recliner, I know that within ten minutes there will be a cat on my lap–that is a comforting certainty.

May we walk in Beauty! Take care of each other.


“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.” —George Orwell


“We must live from the center.” —Bahauddin, father of Rumi


“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologising for my wild.” —Nikita Gill


“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” —Albert Einstein


“Writer’s block results from
too much head. Cut off your head.
Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa
when her head was cut off.
You have to be reckless when writing.
Be as crazy as your conscience allows.”
—Joseph Campbell


“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” —Annie Lennox

License

I was completely uninspired by yesterday’s “Write a license poem” prompt, and so I left it, again, until the last minute, and here I am the next morning, awakened by cats and a disturbing dream, writing yesterday’s poem. I decided to write a blessing for a new driver.

Blessing for a New Driver
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

May you be wise behind the wheel.
May your eyes be clear and undistracted.
May you feel your freedom hitched
to real responsibility.
May you be safe.
May you be safe.
May you be free.

Mercy and Fear

Today’s prompt is to write a triangle poem:

Triangle: The Spell, The Sleep, The Waking
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

First is the spell, the incantation, the bright blessing.
First is the curse of the jealous fairy.
First is the vain step-mother, the anxious interloper.
First is the dawn of the golden child.
First is three wishes and a wild, wild wind.

Second is when she loses the golden ball of her voice.
Second, the falling asleep.
Second is ball gowns and tea cakes.
Second is the pampered pedestal.
Second is a red bird in a golden cage.

Third, the clocks booms midnight.
Third, the wolf howls.
Third, the cock crows.
Third, the red rider races across the pathway.
Third, she opens her eyes.


“Mercy is the willingness to enter into the chaos of another.” –James Keenan
*
“The heavens are sweeping us along in a cyclone of stars.” –Teilhard de Chardin
*
Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that, you are free.” –Jim Morrison
*
“You need not wade through the mists and bogs to reach the moon.
You need not climb a ladder of cobweb.
You need not ride the stallions that wicker in the sea’s pounding surf.

Draw back the curtain and open the window.
Breathe the bracing air and listen:
The whinny of an owl, the click of the bat,
The grunt of a buck and the distant roar of the train.

The full moon will spill a milky road before you.
That is all the pathway you will need.”
–Beth Weaver-Kreider
*
Joseph Campbell: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.”


Gratitude List:
1. Robins gathering in the hollow in the growing dusk
2. Russet. Nice word. Nice color.
3. The steeples of Wrightsville. This really is a lovely little town nestled into the hills of York County.
4. Falling leaves. Rilke’s poem really got into me. There’s nothing quite like translation to put a poet inside your head.
5. Moon moon moon moon mooooooooooooon

May we walk in Beauty!