Gratitudes, Musings

Invented Magic

Gratitude of Resistance Fourteen:
The CryptoNaturalist–an account I follow on social media accounts. His name is Jarod K. Anderson, and he has a podcast (I don’t find time to listen to podcasts, but if you do, I think you might want to check him out). Short, wise, pithy epigrammatic notes about the humans occupy in the context of the universe. Here’s a recent example: “We are so quick to invent magic. To purchase magic. To bruise our fingers trying to squeeze magic from concrete and asphalt. What pale imitations we find compared to the poignant wonders we discover when we simply ask questions of our living world and bother to learn the answers.‬”

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems

The Pathway of Magic

  

  

Gratitude List:
1. Housecleaning. It’s not something we do with great regularity or relish here, and it’s very hard to clean a room with Legos strewn across the floor. Today, I got them to clean up the Legos and the techie junk that’s been cluttering up the whole downstairs for quite some time, and I vacuumed like a wild woman. I like to sit in the livingroom now.
2. Meeting a goal
3. Cool days
4. Cheese
5. Good people working for good.

Much love!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Oaks


Today’s prompt is to title the poem the name of a plant, and then to write the poem.

Oaks
(for the people who sit in their trees to stop the pipeline)

The women themselves are oaks
in this ocean of oak,
in these groves of trees–
Sycamore, Poplar, Pine–
riding their boats,
tiny houses high in the boughs of the oak trees.

Riding the waves of storm,
surfing the wind high up in the branches,
they have no safe port, no harbor,
no safe place to re-supply.
Below them, the sharks circle,
waiting for the first sign of weakness.
But their friends, too, have made a circle,
a web to hold the women who sit in the oaks.

The women are watching and waiting.

They are protectors.
They are the guardians.
They are trees and the mothers of trees.
They know the secrets of the acorn.
They know how long it takes an oak to grow.
They have the patience of mountains.


Gratitude List:
1. Warm spring weather
2. Spring breeze
3. Reading books together
4. The defenders of the earth
5. Magic

May we walk in Beauty!


A few weeks ago, I had a Facebook conversation with several friends about the books we loved as children because someone we loved read them to us. The conversation was brought on by a post by the author Kate DiCamillo, who wrote about her elementary school teacher reading her The Island of the Blue Dolphins. Kate DiCamillo is herself the author of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. On Friday, at the Kreutz Creek library book sale, I bought a copy of Edward Tulane. When Joss saw it, he said his Library teacher had read it to his class, and that it was one of his favorite books, and he said we were going to take a break in our reading of Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising in order to read it. We just finished reading it now, on the porch, and even though I knew what was going to happen, even though my heart had been broken and mended with Edward’s half a dozen times already, when the absolute perfect ending happened, I went to pieces and sobbed. Oh. It is exquisite. It is now one of my favorite books, too.

Musings, Poems

The Room of this Moment

Reposting a Poem from some time ago:

The Room of the Moment
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

ll this running
between one moment
and the next

from the room of this minute
into the room of the one to come
we scuttle and race

trailing the detritus
of our days like the stuff
falling from a half-open suitcase

appointments and obligations
litter the ground behind us
and we are gasping
grasping for the next

take a breath
sit down
on the floor
of the room
of this moment
in time

watch how the minutes flow over you
when you release your grasp
on the one ahead

watch how the space of this room
takes shape around you

watch how your breath
blooms into the air


Quotations for a Snowy Sunday Morning, Audre Lorde’s Birthday:
“There is a pivotal juncture in every Heroine’s Journey when she stands alone. Instinctually she is led by the depth of her convictions to take a stand – to name the unaddressed – to call out of hiding the secret malaise in her community. To bring to the surface some yearned-for truth. She arrives at a standpoint not without doubts, but in spite of them. Worse than the criticism such disobedience can invite, may be her rejection from those who are at odds with her truth. But the silent prayer which keeps her company in the night is that it is not for her critics that she raises her voice, but for those who would otherwise be made voiceless.” —Toko-pa Turner, “Belonging”
***
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” —Voltaire
***
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” ―Mary Oliver
****
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor … Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” ―Rumi
***
“Persephone walks abroad. The crocus have opened their golden throats and the earnest melissas are gathering pollen as an offering to their queen.” ―Beth Weaver-Kreider, a few Februaries ago
***
“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” ―Audre Lorde
***
“Wherever the bird with no feet flew, she found trees with no limbs.” ―Audre Lorde
***
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me, and eaten alive.” ―Audre Lorde
***
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” ―Audre Lorde
***
“And we must ask ourselves: Who profits from all this?” ―Audre Lorde
***
“Your silence will not protect you.” ―Audre Lorde
***
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” ―Meister Eckhart

Gratitudes

Magic Happens

Gratitude List:
1. I love writing poems in November, and I am always relieved when November is over.
2. Some days, you just let the students hijack the lesson and magic happens as they tell their own stories.
3. Morning mists and magenta sunrises
4. Trying again after you fail
5. The open spaces of a weekend

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Guarding Our Deepest Treasure


Today’s Prompt is to write a “good for nothing” poem:

Good for Nothing
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

This poem has not practiced its lines,
it hasn’t memorized the tricky bits,
it doesn’t know the plot shifts.

This poem might be good for something,
but more likely it’s a time-waster.
More likely, it’s just addlepated.

This poem knows it isn’t going anywhere.
It knows it’s got a short shelf life,
so it will just take this country minute

to saunter into the middle of the room
and bow, and tell the only story it knows:
about the poem that has not practiced its lines.


“When Tolkien needed someone to place in the face of the great rising evil in his story, he chose the small ones. You and I are the small ones, friends. Let’s join hands and stand together. Let’s work together, speak together, sing and whisper and shout together.” —EWK
***
“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.” —Terence McKenna
***
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” —Audre Lorde
***
“Don’t operate out of fear, operate out of hope. Because with hope, everything is possible.” —Winona LaDuke
***
Our deepest fears are like dragons
guarding our deepest treasure.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
***
Praise Song
by Barbara Crooker

Praise the light of late November,
the thin sunlight that goes deep in the bones.
Praise the crows chattering in the oak trees;
though they are clothed in night, they do not
despair. Praise what little there’s left:
the small boats of milkweed pods, husks, hulls,
shells, the architecture of trees. Praise the meadow
of dried weeds: yarrow, goldenrod, chicory,
the remains of summer. Praise the blue sky
that hasn’t cracked yet. Praise the sun slipping down
behind the beechnuts, praise the quilt of leaves
that covers the grass: Scarlet Oak, Sweet Gum,
Sugar Maple. Though darkness gathers, praise our crazy
fallen world; it’s all we have, and it’s never enough.
***
“Look at everything
as though you were seeing it
either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
—Betty Smith


Gratitude List:
1. Synchronicity
2. Magic
3. The bravado of the Fool
4. The wildness of crows
5. Reminders to be true to myself

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems, Poetry Prompts

What I Meant to Say

Today’s Prompt is to write a “What I Meant to Say” poem.

I said I was tired,
but what I meant to say was that I had intended to be bolder.
I said you were right,
but what I meant to say was that my own opinion counted, too.
I said it didn’t really matter,
but what I meant to say was that it was a matter of life and death.

I told you everything was fine,
but what I meant to say was that my soul had just caught fire.
I told you I could live with it,
but what I meant to say was that something in me was withering away.
I told you it could be fixed,
but what I meant to say was how furious I was that you broke it.

I said, “Excuse me,”
but what I meant to say was, “I need you to get out of my way.”
I said I was sorry,
but what I meant to say was, “That’s my business.”
I said, “Please,”
but what I meant to say was, “It’s my turn now.”


”When we see the Beloved in each person,
it’s like walking through a garden,
watching flowers bloom all around us.” ―Ram Dass
***
“The present moment is the intersection of eternity with time.” ―Beatrice Bruteau
***
“Only the present moment contains life.”
―Thích Nhất Hạnh
***
“It is the paradoxical nature of grief to lead us to love. There is a seed planted in loss, an evolution made in breaking, a genius found in separation that is rarely apparent in the heart of crisis. But often what looks like deviation is really proliferation, like satellite initiatives born from a group’s dissolution. Intimacy is forged in the hearts of those who know exclusion. To them is given the gift of tenderness which can mentor another through their own isolation.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful – an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”
―Ansel Adams
***
“You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something, God is not going to put it in your lap.” ―Fannie Lou Hamer
***
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the Earth seeking the successive autumns.” ―George Eliot
***
“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”
―Hermann Hesse, Demian
***
“I went inside my heart
to see how it was.
Something there makes me hear
the whole world weeping.”
― Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi
***
“Did you ever hear a tree pushing out of the ground or the snow falling? Great things happen in silence.” ―Mother Angelica
***
“Everything belongs, even the “bad” and dark parts of yourself. Nothing need be rejected or denied. No one need be hated. No one need be excommunicated, shunned, or eliminated. You don’t have time for that anymore. You’ve entered into the soul of the serene disciple where, because the Holy One has become one in you, you are able to see that oneness everywhere else. Almost like magic!” ―Richard Rohr
***
“Our work is to show we have been breathed upon – to show it, give it out, sing it out, to live it out in the topside world what we have received through our sudden knowledge, from body, from dreams, and journeys of all sorts.” ―Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
***
“We found ourselves in a realm
where dreams are formed,
destiny is chosen
and magic is as real
as a handprint in the snow.”
―Libba Bray


Gratitude List:
1. The River of Cats. We have a new route to school these days to pick up L at her new house. We go on a dirt road past a farm where a dozen cats or so stream across the road as we approach. Needless to say, we drive very slowly. In the morning dusk, their eyes are a dozen sets of tiny headlights as in our car’s lights.
2. Handsome Duck. There’s a silver-feathered handsome duck on the same road.
3. Lancaster. Almost two hours to go in the day of the Extraordinary Give, and we’ve already broken the record we set last year–over $7.5 million dollars. We don’t have a lot to give right now, so we chose one to give to, and it seems so small. But being one little drop in this ocean of giving helps to keep the cynicism at bay.
4. Saying what I mean
5. Sleep

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Maybe You Are Magic

“You take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.”
—Frida Kahlo
*
“I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth? … And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”
—Audre Lorde
*
“The greatest influence you can have in any situation is to be the presence of love.” —Robert Holden
*
“I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” —Stephen Jay Gould
*
You Reading This, Be Ready —by William Stafford

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened 
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life––
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
*
“We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us… . We must recover the sense of the majesty of the creation and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.” —Wendell Berry
*
Tony Hoagland’s The Word:

“Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds
of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder
or a safe spare tire?”


Gratitude List:
1. Cloud-shadows: I think that gazing at the undersides of clouds has given me a deeper sense than anything of the true color of indigo. Mostly I see grey, but in recent years, I sometimes see that deep indigo.
2. This little ginger bundle of purr on my lap
3. Getting a little relief from the ragweed sniffles
4. My children’s teachers
5. Stones for grounding, which is also to say: There are many ways to pray.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Live Like the Truth is True

“I want to live like the truth is true and go where love has not been found.” –Al Letson, host of podcast Reveal, quoting Father Greg Boyle, about his reasons for protecting a white supremacist from a beating
*
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
*
“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
(excerpt from “Inversnaid”) –Gerard Manley Hopkins
*
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what to hope for.
And the most you can do is live inside that hope.”
–Barbara Kingsolver
*
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
~ Roald Dahl
*
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ~C. S. Lewis
*
“Between thought and expression lies a lifetime.” ~Lou Reed


Gratitude List:
1. I came home from work yesterday and went upstairs, and both cats were on top of the bed. Nobody scurried away in terror at the approaching sound of my feet. No one even flinched when I came into the room. We’re making progress.
2. First responders and rescuers in Texas. I worry about what mob spirit does in fractured times. Those who have put their time and lives on the line to rescue people and animals caught in the floodwaters are participating in a different sort of “mob” spirit, building off of each other’s energies to save lives.
3. Spiralized summer squash sauteed with tomatoes, topped with pesto.
4. Reading poetry to young people
5. The silence of early morning, when the thundering goblin cats have settled down, and only I and the crickets are awake.

May we walk in Beauty!