Gratitudes

Cool Air

  

Gratitude List:
1. The large list of students who signed up to take the ASL Club that our deaf student is leading at school.
2. Breaking through the walls. People wear walls on their faces, and the walls are meant for protection, but they hinder belongingness and tenderness and community. I don’t think I am good at knowing the exact thing that will break through a wall, but yesterday, two of my attempts were successful, and the joy of those moments of connection with hidden souls made my day.
3. COOL AIR!
4. Kind words.
5. The Resistance. Keep resisting, keep pushing for kindness, for goodness, for compassion, for community, for humaneness. You give others heart and hope whenever you stand against the tide of unpleasantness and crassness and greed. You may not always feel it, but thousands are standing with you.
6. (Did I mention cool air? I can think better in cool air.)

May we walk in Beauty!


“Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.” —Naguib Mahfouz
*****
“Humans are vulnerable and rely on the kindnesses of the earth and the sun; we exist together in a sacred field of meaning.” —Joy Harjo
*****
“Everything I love most happens most every day.” —Howard Norman
*****
“I was just thinking
one morning
during meditation
how much alike
hope
and baking powder are:
quietly
getting what is
best in me
to rise,
awakening
the hint of eternity
within.” —Macrina Wiederkehr
*****
The Wild Geese
by Wendell Berry

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
*****
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” —William Wordsworth
*****
“Death is an ascension to a better library.” —John Donne

Gratitudes, Musings

Snakes and Startlement

  

Gratitude List:
1. I met a long black snake in the grass on the way up the hill to water at the greenhouse today. I do have a startle reflex every time I see a snake, but I love them so much, and this one was glossy and watchful. I always feel like it’s a blessing to see them.
2. The excitement of kids getting ready for a yard sale
3. Corn on the cob
4. The people who know what is right and just and good, and then they do that, even at cost to themselves.
5. Quiet time

May we walk in Beauty!


Friday’s Quotations:

“Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.” —Aldo Leopold
***
“Recognize the invisible hands that guide you, the breath that breathes you, the walls and roof that keep cold from chilling you, the water that magically springs from your taps, the long line of ancestors whose every step made your incarnation possible. You belong to these holy helpers. You have undisputed membership. In your recognition of this wealth, your own life cannot help but become an offering back to that which feeds you.” —Toko-pa Turner
***
“For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning.

“You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, but it is still not enough to be able to think of all that.

“You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open windows and the scattered noises.
And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.” —Rainer Maria Rilke
***
“. . .The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth…” —Carl Jung
***
“The very form of our thinking has to be re-formed from “thinking about” to “thinking within,” and Silence is the teacher. . . . Silence is intelligence. . . . As we enter into Silence, we enter into Wisdom. We do not become wise but enter into the objective Wisdom of world processes. Judgment, as the primary mode of our thinking, ceases or is taken up only when needed for our practical life. As we enter into the Wisdom of Silence, we allow ourselves to be taught by the things of the world.” —Robert Sardello
***
“We are not alone. The world gets so heavy sometimes, but it’s at the heavy times that you can look around you and see all the people who are stepping out to the front to get the Work done. Sure, there’s a lot of fluffy and ranty clamor that distracts, but keep your eyes and ears open. They’re there, stepping into the fray, holding people, presenting clear and thoughtful ideas, loving their neighbors and the world. Often, they’re keeping their mouths shut, though sometimes they are the ones writing cogent and articulate pieces that help to shape the conversation. Listen and watch. The Workers are out there.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider
***
“To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits. The history of human progress amounts to a series of Promethean acts. But autonomy is also attained in the daily workings of individual lives by means of many small Promethean disobediences, at once clever, well thought out, and patiently pursued, so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely.” —Gaston Bachelard
***
“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” ―Linda Hogan (Always a favorite)quotations

Musings, Poems

Did You Not See?

 

Wise Words for Wednesday:
“The only time incorrectly is not spelled incorrectly is when it is spelled incorrectly.”
***
“There is no such thing as one-sided generosity. Like one ecosystem, we are each at different times receiving or purging, growing or pruning. In those moments when you believe you aren’t receiving enough, consider what you most want to receive might be the thing you need to give away.” —Toko-pa Turner
***
“Long you sat and wept,
feeling the bars of the cage
that held your spirit fast,
until one bright May morning
when you raised your eyes
toward the sun and saw
how the bars were only shadows,
each one a pathway
showing you the way out.”
—Beth Weaver-Kreider
***
“Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.” —Henry David Thoreau
*
“Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Yet we so easily take this gift for granted. That is why so many spiritual traditions begin with thanksgiving, to remind us that for all our woes and worries, our existence itself is an unearned benefaction, which we could never of ourselves create.” —Joanna Macy
***
“What if the Creator is like the poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s God: “like a webbing made of a hundred roots, that drink in silence”?

What if the Source of All Life inhabits both the dark and the light, heals with strange splendor as much as with sweet insight, is hermaphroditic and omnisexual?

What if the Source loves to give you riddles that push you past the boundaries of your understanding, forcing you to change the ways you think about everything?

What if, as Rusty Morrison speculates in “Poetry Flash,” “the sublime can only be glimpsed by pressing through fear’s boundary, beyond one’s previous conceptions of the beautiful”?

Close your eyes and imagine you can sense the presence of this tender, marvelous, difficult, entertaining intelligence.” —Rob Brezsny

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Any Road

I think it is only a couple months that I have been putting these quotations on this blog, but I have noticed that I began the practice on FB about a year ago. When they reappear now, I re-use some of them, and I choose a few new ones from the day’s searches.
****
“Hold on to what is good, Even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, Even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your life, Even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, Even if I’ve gone away from you.”
–A Pueblo Indian Prayer
*
“All roads lead to my house,
Even ones I’ve never known.
And when I’m backing out my driveway,
I’m just taking the scenic route home.”
–Trout Fishing in America
*
‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.’ –Lewis Carroll
*
yellow walnut leaves
twist and twirl silently earthward
lavishly giving themselves to breeze, to breath
prodigal as love –Beth Weaver-Kreider
*
I wish for you,
when you lose your way,
a bright feather on your path.

I wish for you,
when your eyes are spangled with tears,
a shaft of shining light to prism you a rainbow.

I wish for you,
when the load is heavy,
a gentle wind to lift you up.

May your roads be green.
May your stars shine brightly in the night.
May the valley ahead be filled with small hearth fires
and the sound of singing. –Beth Weaver-Kreider
*
“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”
— Maya Angelou
*
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
— James Baldwin


Gratitude List:
1. Going back to school. Yesterday, when we were buying school supplies, the young man at the check-out told us he is a high school senior. Talking to him, I realized that I’d flipped the switch on summer–I want to be back in the presence of teenagers.
2. The boys are excited to go back to school, too.
3. Entering new rhythms
4. The sheer joy of playing fetch and mouse hockey with a madcap cat
5. The glorious weekend that stretches before us

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems

“Grow, Grow!”

“Sacred activism is the fusion of the mystic’s passion for God with the activist’s passion for justice — creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing. ” ―Andrew Harvey
*
“What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.” ―Frederick Buechner
*
“Listen to the night as it makes itself hollow.” ―Rainer Maria Rilke
*
Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.” ―The Talmud
*
“Choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people, including yourself. One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time.” ―Brene Brown
*
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”  ―Joseph Campbell
*
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ―Elie Wiesel
*
“The seduction in the wake of betrayal is to take up a thicker armour, to practice at expecting less of others, or to punish one’s own naïveté. But these are the same refusals from which our world is dying. Never should a judgement be made against one’s willingness to open the heart.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa
*
“I’m so lucky we lived through who we were to become who we are.” ―Neil Hillborn
*
Prayer for Kyla (in Tanka)
Beth Weaver-Kreider (a 2 years ago―grateful today)

breathing in patience
breathing out worry and fear
breathing in silence
breathing healing, breathing hope
breathing light, breathing courage

*
“Grace bats last.” ―Anne Lamott


Gratitude List:
1. Vegetable stromboli. So satisfying. I think I am going to make it lots this summer with whatever veggies we have on hand.
2. The sound of the wind singing in my hoop earrings.
3. A clean house and a mowed lawn. Now I want to just be here.
4. The mumbly wuv-yous of bluebirds. All day in the hollow: “There, there. It’s all okay. See here, I wuv you, wuv you.”
5. A roomful of stories: A friend of mine challenged his FB friends to try to tell a story about themselves that no one else on the thread would have done or experienced. I copied him, and the stories that have come from that one prompt are amazing. Funny, terrifying, richly inspiring, mortifying, humanizing. I don’t know if I have ever hosted such a successful party.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Shame-less

One more note on shame: I once wrote a poem on shamelessness. I’m not sure the poem itself is one that stands the test of time, but the idea continues to capture me.

Take one thing that makes your insides curdle into shame shapes when you think about it. I’ll use the messy house. I imagine people who might cluck their tongues and judge me for it–like the women on TV who dance around their houses cleaning and tidying–a whole crowd of them. I imagine them looking at me and my house and saying, “Shameless! Have you no shame?” And then I take a deep breath, and I stand tall within myself, and I say, “No, actually. I have no shame. I am shame-less.” Wear the blessing in the curse when others’ judgments make you start to feel ashamed.


Also, I recognize that today is the United States independence day. It’s always crunchy for me.

I don’t celebrate war and war “victories.”
I don’t celebrate a freedom that was borne on the backs of slaves.
I don’t celebrate the genocide that wiped out, marginalized and impoverished the people of the first nations.
I don’t celebrate a freedom that ignores our slave-owning and genocidal history to proclaim us all-good and all-powerful, evidence to the contrary.
I don’t celebrate the increasing calls to close us off, to keep out those who seek sanctuary in our borders.
I don’t celebrate throwing candy to the rich while grabbing bread from the poor.
I don’t celebrate the rush to destroy this beautiful part of the Earth, to call her gifts “resources” that must be maximized and used until she is played out.
I don’t celebrate the fear-mongering that I see, the use of fear to keep people in their places, afraid of each other, afraid of their own freedom.
I don’t celebrate “America First.”
I struggle to celebrate when the country itself is in crisis, when those who were chosen to administer our ship of state have instead chosen to rule like the king we thought we had freed ourselves from those centuries ago.

I can celebrate human community.
I can celebrate the spirit that longs to break the bonds of tyranny for all peoples.
I can celebrate the spirit of that statue that stands in our harbor, her lamp held high in welcome for all who seek refuge.
I can celebrate the strong spirit of resistance to tyranny that continues to pull people to demand rights for ALL of us.
I can celebrate the beautiful diversity of us, and the way we find connecting points, the way we so willingly wear each others’ stories.
I can celebrate the music, the foodways, the arts, the dialects, the histories, of us in all our many colors and shades and tones and temperaments.
I can celebrate inTERdependence.
I can celebrate the hope that we will stand up to the greed-mongers and the fear-mongers and the hate-mongers, that we will work to create a nation where all can be free, where all can expect justice.


“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” ―Lao Tzu
*
“The heart is the house of empathy whose door opens when we receive the pain of others. This is where bravery lives, where we’ll find our mettle to give and receive, to love and be loved, to stand in the center of uncertainty with strength, not fear, understanding this is all there is. The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power.”
—Terry Tempest Williams
*
“You are something that the Whole Universe is doing, in the same way that a wave is something that the Whole Ocean is doing…”  ―Alan Watts
*
“You are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly, more dearly than the spoken word can tell.”  —Roger Whittaker

*
“It’s a matter of discipline. When you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend to your planet.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery in “The Little Prince”
*
“To cope with losing our world requires us to descend through the anger into mourning and sadness, not speedily bypass them to jump onto the optimism bandwagon or escape into indifference. And with this deepening, an extended caring and gratitude may open us to what is still here, and finally, to acting accordingly.” —Per Espen Stoknes
*
. . .if truth is to be taught, then teaching and learning must take the shape of truth itself–a community of faithful relationships. Education in truth must bring teacher and student into troth with each other, into the very image of the truth it hopes to convey.” —Parker J. Palmer
*
“No matter what they ever do to us, we must always act for the love of our people and the earth. We must not react out of hatred against those who have no sense.” ― John Trudell
*
“I celebrate independence anywhere it happens. The question here is how. When a diversity of peoples is destroyed or diminished in a holocaust of outrageous proportions for independence, does this truly result in liberty, justice and freedom for all? In a few generations indigenous peoples of America have been reduced to one-half of one percent. Imagine Africa with one-half of one percent Africans. We have been essentially disappeared in the story of America. Our massive libraries of knowledge, rich cultural and intellectual gifts have been disparaged, destroyed and broken by interloper religions and a hierarchical system of thought in which indigenous people exist only as savages. What then does this say about liberty and justice in this country?

“For healing the wound needs to be opened, purged and cleansed. Our stories need to be allowed. Our traditional ways and languages need to be honored. This country needs to apologize and reparations must be made. We all need to come together, every one of us to make a true plan for liberty and justice for all. As long as indigenous peoples are disappeared and disparaged, or surface only in Hollywood movies like The Lone Ranger, this country will remain as a child without parents, who has no sense of earth, history or spirituality.” —Joy Harjo


Gratitude List:
1. Anticipating family time
2. The Statue of Liberty: a national symbol that I can wholeheartedly support
3. Sunny morning
4. Wise thoughts
5. Wild berries

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes

Now We Begin Again


The secret of the Universe.

A somewhat random assortment of quotations for a Monday morning:
“I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” ― Anne Lamott
*
“[E]ducation is not just about utilizing a particular curriculum, or ensuring that critical reflection in a community follows a particular formula. It is full of intangible and random events. It is not just taught in the classroom, but lived in the midst of the community in ways that are not even fully quantifiable.”  ―M.S. Bickford on the educational theories of John Westerhoff
*
“The trouble with trouble is, it starts out as fun.” ―Anonymous
*
“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time…give it, give it all, give it now.”
— Annie Dillard
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“You can tell people of the need to struggle, but when the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire.”
— Leymah Gbowee
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“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.” — Wangari Maathai
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“Throughout my life, I have never stopped to strategize about my next steps. I often just keep walking along, through whichever door opens. I have been on a journey and this journey has never stopped. When the journey is acknowledged and sustained by those I work with, they are a source of inspiration, energy and encouragement. They are the reasons I kept walking, and will keep walking, as long as my knees hold out.”
— Wangari Maathai


Gratitude List:
1. First CSA Day of the Season! Today is First Harvest. We spent hours yesterday getting the market room ready. I took a mop to the walls. I need to make an offering to Athena again–the poor spiders had their lives severely disrupted. I actually need to run out somewhere this morning and get a new drive belt for the vacuum cleaner, which I severely overworked. But we’re essentially ready! The curtain is rising on the 2017 production of Goldfinch Farm CSA.
2. Good exercise. Every day, for the past three days, I have awakened with a much greater level of stiffness and ache, but it’s all from the increased exercise of summer. I should plan now for how to maintain that in the coming school year.
3. I am holding someone else’s good news like a secret and precious gem. Not my story to tell, not yet.
4. Feeling like I am getting organized. I am a conundrum. I love to be organized. I love spaces and datebooks and thoughts that are carefully and neatly arranged, but my world tends to fall rapidly toward chaos and mess. Right now, I am finding energy for the creation and maintenance of organized datebook and thoughts. Perhaps the physical spaces will follow, too. getting that market room ready yesterday was a help.
5. Weaving stories together.

May we walk in Beauty and Love.