Gratitudes

Breathe and Push


A lovely script we found in an old book. I need to practice my general calligraphy.

Gratitude List:
1. Sibling games and songs in chapel today. Sweet, sweet.
2. Josiah’s first Christmas concert tonight, playing cello in the third grade orchestra. He was so excited. He made sure to invite his grandparents a week ago. He was counting down the hours until it was time. He was so proud to be part of it.
3. Valarie Kaur’s quote: “What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?” Images of an America in transition, in the final stages of labor, and we can hear the midwife saying, “Breathe!” and finally, “Push!”
4. How the future steps ever so carefully toward us.
5. You and you. I haven’t put you on my gratitude lists recently,  but you’re always there in some form. The fact that I can know that you’re out there, doing your work, changing the world, holding out the truth, narrating the story–that gives me hope, and reminds me that I am not alone.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems, Poetry Prompts

The Tree Spirit of Goldfinch Bluff


Can you see the thoughtful face of my friend there up on the hill, keeping watch over the farm?

Today’s Prompt is to write a “Stranger ________” poem.

Stranger Dreams
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

In that space between sleeping and waking,
aware of your day body breathing,
the sounds of the next-door world seep through,
the sounds of the dream-people speaking.

Past your body the dream-people wander,
and you are the watcher, observing
as they go about their dream-life day
while you listen to your own body breathing.

Sometimes you find yourself leaping
out of the breathing husk of your body,
grabbing the child from the predator’s pouncing
or answering questions dream-people are asking.

When you stumble back into your breathing body,
you find your eyes fluttering open,
echoes of dream-conversations ringing
into the quiet stillness of afternoon.


Well, I had a Dorothy Day Day a few weeks back. This seems to be my Bonhoeffer Day:
“We must finally stop appealing to theology to justify our reserved silence about what the state is doing — for that is nothing but fear. ‘Open your mouth for the one who is voiceless’ — for who in the church today still remembers that that is the least of the Bible’s demands in times such as these?” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.” —Nelson Mandela
***
“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” —Thomas Berry


Gratitude List:
1. Feeling good feels so good when one has felt bad.
2. Long naps full of crazy lucid dreams
3. Solitude (but for the dream-folk and the cats)
4. Kale and Jarlsberg quesadilla
5. The strong voices of women speaking out

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Memories That Have Not Yet Been

Today’s prompt is to write a Praise poem. I have been thinking about the way the Future sometimes seems to be coming back toward the present to embrace us, so:

I Praise the Future
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

for she rushes back toward me from the bend in the road,
for she holds out her hands, calling, “Come! I have something
especially for you!” and holds me with her twinkling eyes,
for she embraces me and calls my name, and then
she whirls and races back to the turning,
leaving laughter in her wake–it rustles with the fallen leaves
as her feet stir them like memories that have not yet been.


Today’s Quotations all seem to be about the inside and the outside:
Adrienne Rich: “When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility of more truth around her.”
*
“Walked for half an hour in the garden. A fine rain was falling, and the landscape was that of autumn. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered about the distant mountains – a melancholy nature. The leaves were falling on all sides like the last illusions of youth under the tears of irremediable grief. A brood of chattering birds were chasing each other through the shrubberies, and playing games among the branches, like a knot of hiding schoolboys. Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail.”
—Henri Frederic Amiel; 1821 – 1881
*
“Part of the tragedy of our present culture is that all our attention is on the outer, the physical world. And yes, outer nature needs our attention; we need to act before it is too late, before we ravage and pollute the whole ecosystem. We need to save the seeds of life’s diversity. But there is an inner mystery to a human being, and this too needs to be rescued from our present wasteland; we need to keep alive the stories that nourish our souls. If we lose these seeds we will have lost a connection to life’s deeper meaning—then we will be left with an inner desolation as real as the outer.” —Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee


Gratitude List:
1. That very red oak tree down Ducktown, across from Flinchbaugh’s
2. The way the sycamores along Kreutz Creek raise their white arms upward
3. The Dawn Redwoods and larches, which are turning a sepia brown and getting ready to release their needle-leaves
4. The maples along the highway, which turn orange to red on one side, while staying greenish on the other
5. All the blues of the clouds today

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Beauty Everywhere We Turn


Potato Plow

“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear. That means watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” —Krishnamurti
*
“…We are called to not run from the discomfort, not run from grief or the feelings of outrage, or even fear. And if we can be fearless to be with our pain, it turns; it doesn’t stay static. It only doesn’t change if we refuse to look at it… The other face of our pain for the world is our love for the world. Our absolutely inseparable connectedness with all life.” —Joanna Macy
*
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
*
“If words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart.”
—Rumi
*
“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.” —Hal Borland
*
“Love what God loves, which is everything. . .no exceptions.” —Richard Rohr
*
“Native Americans say: It is not you who sees the wolf. Not the small you: the fearful ego-bound self which makes fixed concepts out of separation, and only gazes on the beauty of this world to label and possess it. No: when you are ready, wolf may show itself, if it chooses. It may reveal some aspect of its deeper being that dissolves what you think you know, and brings you back to wonder and the unity in which all mind-made fears and oppositions are dissolved. And then you can return to the ever-present flow of freedom, like the horses, rewild your tamed and shuttered senses and learn again from life directly, in the one eternal Mystery that is made new in every moment.” —Eleanor O’Hanlon
*
“We have so far to go to realize our potential for compassion, altruism, and love.” —Dr. Jane Goodall
*
“Find yourself a cup of tea: the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things.” —Saki


Gratitude List:
1. The way social changes move gently outward, like breath. How social consciousness IS raised. You can hear me trying to work with my anxiety about Nazis in the streets, eh? I think about how, before Bree Newsome climbed her flag pole, much of white America didn’t have a strong opinion on the emblems of slavery. I was uncomfortable with the Confederate flag, grouchy about statues honoring Confederate heroes, but I hadn’t yet internalized how deeply wounding they were, hadn’t seen them through the eyes of those they were intended to intimidate. There was a time I was vaguely aware that my skin color was something of a protection, but I hadn’t really explored the incredible degree to which my white skin privileges me. Now our consciousness is raised. In the words Maya Angelou, one of the greatest voices of our time, “When you know better, do better.” Yes, we will.
2. My photographer friends. Such moments of beauty and wonder and marvel they bring me. Teeny tiny toadstools, fat baby porcupines, rabbits grazing in morning dew, flowers in their gardens, laughing children, spider webs ornately adorning the bushes. These things don’t cancel out the rage and worry of the recent days, but they help me to hold it. I can accept the worry and fury in my heart without having to ignore or repress them when I have Beauty to hold as well.
3. So often, the right quotation appears at the exact moment. I have been pondering how to hold and face the anxieties I am experiencing for the world in which my children are growing up, and suddenly, I am coming across quote after quote on looking into fear.
4. And truly, I think that these children are meant for these days. Our children, our students–they will walk boldly into the future with a deep understanding of issues and ideas that we are only barely able to grasp, and with open hearts full of compassion. I am so grateful for their wisdom, tenderness, and courage.
5. I’m on my way out to sort tomatoes. The biodiversity in tomatoes and potatoes is such a delight and a wonder. Pink Beauties, Mr. Slabaughs, Green Zebras, Garden Peaches, Cosmonaut Volkovs, Goldies, Lemon Boys, Virginia Streaks, Speckled Romans. Their names are a poem, like their skins. Beauty, Beauty, Beauty!

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Prayer

Today’s prompt is to write a poem about the Future.

To wait within the moment for the coming dawn,
To breathe the single breath of all that lives,
To walk the web on which we all belong,
To face the newborn day with love instead of fear.

To listen for the whisper of the Spirit’s wind,
To feel Creator’s heartbeat in the world around,
To hear the grace of the Beloved in my neighbor’s voice,
To embrace the sacred space between the past and change.

 

Gratitude List:
1.  Red-breasted mergansers and northern shovelers
2.  Playing by the River with my boys
3.  When you’ve been feeling bad, it feels SO GOOD to feel good.
4.  Amy got me tickets to see Jane Goodall.   What a gift!
5.  Getting organized.

May we walk in Beauty!