Some Day. . .



Gratitude List:
1. The interesting visitors continue: On the way to school the other day, I saw a groundhog that had climbed into a pair of bent-over saplings. It was contentedly chewing on the leaves of one, about three feet above the ground.
2. Re-reading my January journals about my vulture dreams gives new depth for contemplating healing, transformation, and grounding.
3. Tomorrow is the last of the school commitments–then finish grading and sail into summer.
4. Senior dedication and Commencement ceremonies were beautiful and tender and inspiring. Now they fly on their own. This was a sweet class. Solid. Steady. Earnest.
5. Companionship. Hospitality. Warmth.

May we walk in Beauty!

Sunday’s Notes and Quotes:
“I feel like I’m binge-watching the fall of the Roman Empire set to the music of Benny Hill.” —Bill Maher
“We will not know our own injustice if we cannot imagine justice. We will not be free if we do not imagine freedom. We cannot demand that anyone try to attain justice and freedom who has not had a chance to imagine them as attainable.”
―Ursula K. LeGuin
“Each of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm. When we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.” ―Maya Angelou
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ―L.M. Montgomery
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ―Jorge Luis Borges
TS Eliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
by Nikki Giovanni

I love you
because the Earth turns round the sun
because the North wind blows North
because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you
despite the charms of gravity
keeps me from falling off the Earth
into another dimension
I love you
because it is the natural order of things.
“The third near enemy of compassion is idiot compassion. This is when we avoid conflict and protect our good image by being kind when we should definitely say ‘no.’

“Compassion doesn’t only imply trying to be good. When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to know when to say ‘enough.’ Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart we let people walk all over us.

“It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line. There are times when the only way to bring down barriers is to set boundaries.” —Pema Chodron

Gaga Ball

Woodland treasure

I want to keep practicing haiku, keeping in mind the concepts of the kigo  and kireji in the poem. It really shifts the brainwork and pondering to begin to imagine the poem more in terms of the two words or phrases that hold the “cutting” and the seasonality. Here is a helpful description, if you want to explore it, too.

a wren breaks the silence–
then returns to stillness
in the morning chill

Gratitude List:
1. Gaga Ball: Every muscle on my body aches today, but it was totally worth it. Between Gaga Ball, hiking, and swimming in really cold water with a kiddo who is just learning, I got a LOT of exercise yesterday. Gaga Ball is a great kids and adults game–surprisingly simple, but challenging. The adults have the advantage of strength, and the kids have the advantage of agility, so it plays to everyone’s strengths.
2. The fleecy patterns of clouds against blue sky last night just before the sun went down. Like a dream of a sky.
3. Thermal delight. I know it’s going to get hot again. I know it’s going to get cold. This weekend, however, has been just what a day should feel like–a little chilly around the edges and warm in the middle without going to any extremes.
4. Opportunities to practice. I have been spending time at the internet site “Abbey of the Arts,” and pondering their idea of being a monk in the world–living with that sort of intention. One of their principles is based on a Benedictine idea that I have been exploring this summer: Radical Hospitality. The more I explore the idea, the more I realize that it isn’t just about being with people, but about being with oneself as well, about welcoming in all the guests, as Rumi says–even the awkwardness, even the meanness. I kind of roared at the kids last night as they were escalating a conflict over back seat territory–how do I welcome that part of myself without judging it? ( I want to change that about myself, but I do think I need to welcome that part of me inside with joy and hospitality before I can really make a change.) I have a long way to go until I feel like this all comes easily for me, but every moment offers up an opportunity to practice.
5. My messy house. Yes, I get frustrated and ashamed about it. But looking around right now, I see so many centers of play and imagination where my children spend their time. Yes, we’ll clean and tidy the slate for them to start all over again–they need that, too. For now, though, I bless the messy spaces that hold their busy minds and hearts.

May we walk in Beauty!