The Wildest One Calls

There are windows everywhere, if you choose to see them.

Gratitude List:
1. That within us which is wild and untameable. The Wildness that calls to be experienced and known. This is why one of my names for the Holy One is the Wildest One.
2. Autumn walks. Leaves falling all around. Red berries. The scuttlings of small animals and birds in the brush.
3. Circles of protection and care.
4. Haiku and Tanka and terse, short-form poetry.
5. A good night’s sleep.

May we walk in Wildness!

Reflected Light and The Road to Faerie

Cherry Lane: In the Eastern Orchard, Cherry and Pear and Wild Rose

Gratitude List:
1. Red berries and autumn leaves and morning mist. And afternoon walks through the fields and orchards.
2. A day off. It’s a working day, but one I can take at my own pace. (Last night was really rough with gastro-intestinal issues, so I am especially grateful that I don’t have to go anywhere today. And I feel much better this morning.)
3. Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span and their fierce and folksy ilk–my soundtrack for today.
4. Reflected light.
5. You, my beautiful beloveds. How the right word always seems to come at the right moment. Sometimes I need to stew and fret and grumble for a while within the maze of my own troubles, but when it gets hard to breathe there always seems to be a thread in this amazing tapestry that I can grasp onto. May our webs and weavings grow ever outward to hold all within our reach.

May we walk in Beauty!

Trees Afire with Autumn

Gratitude of Resistance Eight:
The Maples, the Maples, the Maples! The Oaks, the Beeches, the trees–all gone golden, gone shining. All afire. Something has happened in the last week that has brought the colors here to a fever pitch. This month of November, I have an informal daily check-in in classes, asking students to call out the things they are grateful for. Yesterday, my contribution was the red maple across the building from my room, and in every class there was a chorus of awed Yes! when I said it. I love how we’re all caught in the beauty, captured by the same awe and wonder.

Living Poetry


Rumi: “Let yourself become living poetry.”
*
“We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are,” Wendell Berry writes. “Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all—by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians—be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us. How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.”
*
“If I write about the past as I simultaneously dwell in the present, am I still in real time? Perhaps there is no past or future, only the perpetual present that contains this trinity of memory.” –Patti Smith
*
“Waiting on the words
to do their usual tumble,
I will find instead
a pocketful of golden
leaves, and some scarlet berries.”
–Beth Weaver-Kreider
*
Come into animal presence
by Denise Levertov

Come into animal presence
No man is so guileless as
the serpent. The lonely white
rabbit on the roof is a star
twitching its ears at the rain.
The llama intricately
folding its hind legs to be seated
not disdains but mildly
disregards human approval.
What joy when the insouciant
armadillo glances at us and doesn’t
quicken his trotting
across the track and into the palm brush.

What is this joy? That no animal
falters, but knows what it must do?
That the snake has no blemish,
that the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings
in white star-silence? The llama
rests in dignity, the armadillo
has some intention to pursue in the palm-forest.
Those who were sacred have remained so,
holiness does not dissolve, it is a presence
of bronze, only the sight that saw it
faltered and turned from it.
An old joy returns in holy presence.


Gratitude List:
1. The black arms of the walnut tree against the sky
2. Indigo clouds draped like cobwebs upon the morning
3. Always new chances to practice equanimity and balance
4. Wise friends
5. Intellectual puzzles

May we walk in Beauty!

So Many Fragile Things

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ―J.R.R. Tolkien
*
“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire” ―Teilhard de Chardin
*
“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.”
―Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
*
“Grace met us right there. It meets you right where it finds you, but it does not leave you where it found you. It moves you toward breath; moves you towards things being a little bit better: wow. Grace WD-40. Grace is water wings. Grace makes you shake your head with wonder, and laugh and cry.” ―Anne Lamott
*
To Be Of Use
by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
*
“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” ―Oscar Wilde
*
“No single voice will be able to take control if everyone in the circle has a voice.” ―Kay Pranis
*
” I look up at God every day, and I say, “You are SUCH a show-off.” I have to shake my head and laugh. Maybe God does, too. If He or She does not have a sense of humor, I am doomed.” ―Anne Lamott


Gratitude List:
1. The protesters, showing us how to make courageous choices
2. In the new day, the crisis of the previous night pales
3. Today’s songs, especially this line: “. . .unseen wings, protecting, hide you.”
4. Catching up
5. Living with cats

May we walk in Beauty!

Walk in Beauty

leaf2

Every December, as we begin to seek our way down the steps into the last darkness before the light returns, I carry within me the story of the Conestogas, the last tiny village of Susquehannock people who lived in Lancaster, who were brutally massacred by the Paxtang Boys, a band of white men who wanted to wipe out the Native people.

I suppose it’s because last week I was going through some of my poetry that mentioned them that their names were in my head, but this morning during my insomniac looping, the names began to appear in my brain-loop, like messages: Sheehays, Wa-a-shen, Ess-Canesh, Tea-wonsha-i-ong, Kannenquas, Tee-kau-ley. These were the six who were murdered in their village in Conestoga on the morning of December 14, 1763. I tried several years ago to memorize their names, but I didn’t realize that I had managed it until the wee hours of this morning. They appeared like a message. Two weeks later, the marauders broke into the Lancaster jail, where the remaining six adults and eight children of the Conestoga band were being kept for their protection, and killed them all.

May we do better in these days. May we be more effective at standing between the vulnerable ones and the marauders. How can we keep the Paxtang Boys from riding again?

* * * * * * * *

Today’s Prompt is to write a poem that begins: I Want __(Blank)__. I am tired and I still have work to do, so this will be a little riff.

I Want the Moon
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I want the moon on a platter.
I want my cake and a side of pie.
I want a day when no one needs me.
I want a Michelangelo sky.

I want to wander in an oak grove.
I want to sing incantations in the rain.
I want to run away to islands.
I want to come back home again.

I want to sleep in a seaside hammock.
I want to memorize every color of blue.
I want to write a thousand poems.
I want to spend more time with you.

Gratitude List:
1. Sometimes things just work out better than you expect them to. Big sighs of relief.
2. These two little (not-so-little) rosy-cheeked folks at my table.
3. How Jon takes care of us when I can hardly remember to take care of myself.
4. Leaves
5. The comfort of knowing that you are there, holding all this, too. So many of us are doing the Work, day by day and minute by minute.  So much love.

May we walk in Beauty!

Layers of Time

Making hay on the old farm
(Old Slabaugh Family Photo.  I’ll need to ask around to find out who they are.)

Layers of Time

Sit in this bubble
of now, and settle yourself
into the moment.
The past will wash over you,
and the future will rush in.

Gratitude List:
1. Were I on our custodial staff, I would hate it, so I feel a little sheepish saying this, but I love the way the leaves leaves track all over the floor at school on rainy days.  It’s like the trees are trying to come inside.
2. Our long-suffering and hard-working custodial staff.
3. One of my Chinese students made sushi for Advisory Group snack yesterday.  That was delicious.
4. Problem-solving.  Puzzles.  Conundrums.
5. Restorative Justice.  What if our schools and communities would start offering classes and workshops and trainings in restorative justice, in creatively addressing conflict rather than escalating it?  What if all prospective security guards and police officers were required to log 50 hours of restorative justice training (and anti-racism training) before they entered their jobs?

Blessings on your Beautiful Day!

Waiting on Words

DSCN7584

Waiting on the words
to do their usual tumble,
I will find instead
a pocketful of golden
leaves, and some scarlet berries.

Gratitude List:
1. Farm friends and farm crew.
2. Bringing the season to a close.  Moving on to a new Season.
3. Yellow carpet of leaves
4. The observations of a six-year-old.  This morning: “Fred’s legs aren’t made like ours are.  It seems like his knees come out of the backs of his legs.”
5. The light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s there, even when I can’t quite make it out in the distance.

May we walk in Beauty!

Because

“I lack the peace of simple things,” says Wendell Berry
and I concur, almost, because
of the frenzy of the daily commute, because
of the the houseful of stuff we don’t need,
that we trip over in the darkness, because
of the way I am so lost in doing all that must be done.

But Wendell, you know better than most how it’s all around us,
how you can settle your soul into the simple peace, because
of those flaming leaves falling all over my head, because
of the giggle of a five-year-old, because
of sleep, deep restful sleep, because
of the way the corn tastes yellow, but the beans taste green, because
of the way words weave and twist themselves
into something that means something akin to hope.

Gratitude List:
1.  Because of pumpkin pie and delicious Sunday Dinner with good folks
2.  Because of good class preparation time this evening
3.  Because of the color orange, orange in all its colors
4.  Because of Rainer Maria Rilke and living the questions, living into the answers, and because of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the world being crammed with heaven
5.  Because of that song: “In the bulb there is a flower”

Because we walk in Beauty.