Welcome, rain. Welcome, dawn on this chilly morning. Welcome, work of the day, of the weekend. Welcome, time yet to come when the work is done. Welcome, clean new pages to write my next chapter.
Gratitude List: 1. Yesterday’s dawn. It began as we pulled out of the driveway, with pink streaks on the horizon over Spicher’s field. On the way to pick up our car pool, we passed the small paddock where two mountainously fluffy sheep graze, and the sky was beginning to glow gently magenta against the woolly clouds, the grass a green almost glowing. The River, as we crossed, flowed pink beneath the old bridge to the south, and the lamps were still twinkling along its span. By the time we reached school, the sky colors had shifted out of indigos and violets and pinks, to tangerine, and rays of coming sun shot upward through the low-flung clouds. 2. Rain and reflections on a Saturday morning 3. People who stand up for peace 4. People who stand up to bullying behavior 5. Poetry
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” —Rainer Maria Rilke
Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word. It is the word “maladjusted”. Now we all should seek to live a well-adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“.. One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. ..” —Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ―Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ―Alice Walker
“We were together. I forget the rest.” ―Walt Whitman
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ―Henry James
“My continuing mantra: be gentle, be gentle, be gentle. Stand your ground, know your truth, but be kind.” ―Terri Windling (from her Myth & Moor blog)
“Reconciliation is like dressing a sore: You can’t bandage a sore without first cleaning it.” ―Leymah Gbowee
Gratitude List: 1. The eagle who flew above us as we were driving the bridge home across the Susquehanna last night. 2. My Speech class. In the past, I’ve struggled to set up safe classroom communities in Speech without it devolving into just play and goofiness. This class is so diverse in so many ways—seriousness and silliness, many nationalities, introverts and extraverts—and I was really worried. Yesterday in class, as they were doing simple introductory speeches, they started calling out, “You got this!” and “We’re with you!” as students walked up to give speeches. And it wasn’t snarky or patronizing, just supportive and sweet. 3. The light is returning. Every morning is a little brighter a little earlier. Every afternoon, the sun stays later. 4. Crows everywhere. 5. Rain in Australia.
Gratitude List: 1. The satisfying pinkish shine of a well-scrubbed copper-bottomed pot. 2. The clucks and buzzes and twitterings of the people in the bushes on the late migration south. 3. Rain and wind. I love storminess. I remember when Miss Gehman showed us the Olivier version of King Lear in high school Shakespeare class–It was the storm that sold me, the King and his Fool out in the storm. 4. There really are windows everywhere. You just need to know how to look. Sometimes when life is intense, it’s just hard to see them. 5. The urgency of Greta Thunberg and Autumn Peltier and their cohort.
Poem from a year or so ago: Prayers and Rage by Beth Weaver-Kreider
What can we give besides our prayers and rage?
And what will that avail?
Send out the story on October winds.
Fling it high, where crows are flying.
Send the message echoing into earth
with every pounding step you take.
Let the shells of your ears gather the story.
Reel in the gossamer strands of the tale
and weave them into the veil you wear.
Listen for the stories of those who weep,
those who rage, those who only speak
with the shrug of a shoulder,
with a sigh, with a shudder.
Listen, too, to those who walk right in,
who step into your circle without invitation.
Listen to the voices that are hard to hear.
Offer only the bread that is yours to give.
Be like the old gods, with the raven Wisdom
on one shoulder and Memory on the other,
and Reason perched upon your hat.
Offer what is yours: your rage, your prayer, your watchful quiet heart.
And another, more thematically whimsical: Duck, duck, goose. Goose, goose, wren. Mist, moon, mist. October.
Gratitude List: 1. Finding my way again to deep breath. 2. Chilly autumn rain. Yes, really. The melancholy of a rainy fall day can be satisfying even for sanguine personalities. 3. While I have never been a big fan of the cold season, I love wearing layers and leggings, and that season has returned, and so I feel much more comfortable in clothing. 4. This full-spectrum lamp that Jon bought to help boost us through the coming winter. Light-bathing. 5. The distinctly autumn sounds of the calls of geese and jays and crows. I feel my animal self more distinctly in these days, pulling between the longing to migrate and the longing to hunker down and burrow in.
We are two days in to the season of Awakening, of Hatching, of Breaking Open. Two days in, through wind and sunshowers, through gusting rain and rushing cloud. Last year, on the second day of spring, a foot of snow fell in the hollow. This year, a seemingly endless drench of rain.
In the season of Brigid, back in February, we felt the Earth stirring, noticed the sap rising, watched pull toward birth and sprouting. Now we feel the promise, watch the winter aconite drop seeds for next years golden cups, and Persephone’s footprints–all shades of crocus–springing up across the lawns, uncontainable by flower beds.
What, in you, is hatching now? What thing, which has lain long and silently within you like a seed in the darkness, now seeks the sun and breezes? Hold that thing within you, like a seed. See the rough, hard casing which has protected it in its dreamstate. Breathe in the sun of spring, the chill air biting as it enters, and feel your lungs, your belly, your capacity, expand. Watch the casing of your dreamseed break open, and feel the roots push downward within you. Feel the sprout nosing upwards to the light and warmth of spring. What is being born within you? What new capacity? What new heartspace? What plan and purpose? Blessed be your seeds. Crack open. Seek the sun. Feel the rains of spring caress your growing roots.
Gratitude List: 1. The groundhog who is nosing around on the hillside behind the house 2. A day off, to ponder and paint, and catch up on the work 3. The fog of winter is lifting 4. Watching the children grow and become so gallantly themselves 5. The seeds which are sprouting
Gratitude List: 1. The Women’s Trio this morning at church. Blending of voices, colors, textures, rhythms.
2. Feeling the bass rumbling through the back of the pew.
3. Rain: Making it not-hot
4. Rain: I get to walk around with my cheery yellow duck-headed umbrella
5. Rain: Lying on my parents’ couch, wrapped in Uncle Henry’s red-violet blanket, watching the rain and listening to the murmuring and laughter between my parents and my children in the garage.
May we walk in Beauty! (And may all your basements stay dry!)
Someone appears to be watching in the tree shadows.
Gratitude List: 1. Rain. Oh yes, the rain. The scent of it. The coolness in the air. The way you can feel the plants sighing with relief.
2. Yesterday, in one visual moment: A crow in a dead tree, and a monarch flitting by, blue sky behind.
3. Chicory. Have I mentioned the chicory? A blue that heals.
4. Writing Day. Today I took John Terlazzo’s Flame in the Hand Writer’s Retreat. What an utter joy. My spirit is quieter. My resolve is firmer. I feel anchored. Chanting, meditating, listening, writing.
5. Looking through old college yearbooks with college friends. Oh my.
“There is so much in eternity that is trying to reach us, if only we can suspend our wranglings long enough to be touched.” —Toko-pa Turner
“I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea.” —D. H. Lawrence
“Water, the Hub of Life. Water is its mater and matrix, mother and medium. Water is the most extraordinary substance! Practically all its properties are anomalous, which enabled life to use it as building material for its machinery. Life is water dancing to the tune of solids.”
—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893 – 1986) Hungarian-American physiologist; Nobel laureate
“There is really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” —Arundhati Roy
“God is only ever where we stand with our neighbor in trouble and against injustice.” —Naomi Wolf
“Follow the waters,
lean in with the trees,
breathe the cool morning air,
walk through the swirling mists.”
I copped out a little on the Lenten unloading today. I was tired and cranky, so I pulled out several pieces of jewelry. I know I have too much jewelry, and it’s not particularly painful or brave to give away jewelry.
I find rage to be exhausting. It’s a seemingly constant barrage of tragedies born of our lack of political will to stand up to the NRA and fight for the lives of our nation’s children. If you want to be pro-life in this day, #breaktheNRA. Don’t vote for any politician who gets political money from the NRA.
Gratitude List: 1. As always, the music chapels at school are a lift and a treasure. students show tremendous courage and vulnerability to go on stage and perform. And they’re incredibly gifted.
2. The helpers. Mr. Rogers says to look for the helpers.
3. Rain and rest. Sleep-inducing rain on the roof.
4. It’s almost Friday
5. Cats. Whenever a human is sick, the cats seem to feel it their bounden duty to sit upon the sick one until she feels better. Cats are natural Reiki masters. I am not sick, really, but I caught that cold, and cat therapy has helped.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.” ―Rumi
“The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.”
“Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy.”
―Sarah Ban Breathnach
“Any feminist who has ever taken the high road will tell you the high road gets backed up.” ―Andrea Gibson
“Almost every woman I have ever met has a secret belief that she is just on the edge of madness, that there is some deep, crazy part within her, that she must be on guard constantly against ‘losing control’ — of her temper, of her appetite, of her sexuality, of her feelings, of her ambition, of her secret fantasies, of her mind.” ―Elana Dykewomon
“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”
“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives.”
―St. Seraphim of Sarov
It’s 3:23 in the morning, and I’m awake
because my great, great, grandchildren won’t let me sleep.
My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams
what did you do, while the planet was plundered?
what did you do, when the earth was unravelling?
surely you did something when the seasons started failing
as the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
what did you do once you knew?
―Drew Dellinger, Ph.D.
“At any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” ―Abraham Maslow
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
— Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
“Never forget: Justice is what love looks like in public.”
Gratitude List: 1. More powerful storytelling this morning
2. A nap
3. Rain. I love rain.
4. Gaining clarity through the fog
5. I love this little purring person who has to always sit on my lap.
“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
“To understand the world knowledge is not enough. You must see it, touch it, live in its presence.”
–Teilhard de Chardin
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” — Maya Angelou
“Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.” –Pablo Neruda
“Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be okay.” –Anonymous
“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old …” –e.e. cummings
“Truth was a mirror in the hands of God
It fell, and broke into pieces.
Everybody took a piece of it,
and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” –Rumi
Gratitude List: 1. Collegiality. I really enjoy the people I work with. Laughing together is powerful social glue.
2. Cool mornings and rain.
3. Supper at Mexitaly last night. Big burrito with mango habanero sauce!
4. These cats. I know it’s an obsession these days. Thorby is so funny, flopping on the floor for belly rubs and petting his own face. Sachs still likes quiet, secluded spaces, but I no longer have to snort dust bunnies under the bed in order to get to know him. He comes out for regular petting sessions and purring.
5. Three deer in the horse field near Highpoint last evening when the sun was slanting in.