Allow Yourself to Be Seen

The white egret has been visiting the creek across the road since the neighbors took the bamboo down. I took a photo with my phone through the binoculars, then did some filter-work to add some mood and deal with the odd blur.

I put my mantra on a sticky note on my big computer screen yesterday:
Limber, Heathy, & Strong.
Then I added another:
Straighten your spine.
And then:
BREATHE

These were good reminders throughout the day. It was hard to keep my intention of getting up every hour–back-to-back meetings, getting caught up in the thing I was doing, forgetting to check the time. . . Today, I will try again.


Gratitude List:
1. Visiting egrets
2. I found my Spirit Voyage Sampler CD–just perfect for quiet stretching and meditating.
3. How April throws up poems from previous years in my face. Some I thought were pretty good are kind of meh, and some I was uncomfortable with are grabbing me now. Maybe in May, I’ll finally find the energy to start another collection. We’ll see.
4. Catching new rhythms.
5. So much green!

May we walk in Beauty!


“‪‪Imagine the tiny percentage of your body that is directly involved in reading this sentence. Now, consider the oversized percentage this conscious part of you occupies in your concept of yourself. So? What does this discrepancy mean? Is our “who” different from our “what”?‬‬” —Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist


“Where you ache to be recognized, allow yourself to be seen.” —Toko-pa Turner


“People have said to me, ‘You’re so courageous. Aren’t you ever afraid?’ I laugh because it’s not possible to be courageous if you’re not afraid. Courage doesn’t happen without fear; it happens in spite of fear. The word courage derives from ‘coeur’, the French for ‘heart.’ True courage happens only when we face our fear and choose to act anyway, out of love.” —Julia Butterfly Hill


“Where is our comfort but in the free, uninvolved, finally mysterious beauty and grace of this world that we did not make, that has no price? Where is our sanity but there? Where is our pleasure but in working and resting kindly in the presence of this world?” —Wendell Berry


“Every country should have a Ministry of Peace” —Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire


“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” —Tom Robbins


“I never want to lose the story-loving child in me. A story that meant one thing to me when I was forty may mean something quite different to me today.” —Madeleine L’Engle

Rhythms and Seasons

Gratitude List:
1. Joy runs underneath it all, like an underground river, even when things on the surface are dry and barren.
2. Misty mornings. Sun shining through the mist in the mornings.
3. How last year’s plans inform this year’s work.
4. Rhythms, seasons, cycles.
5. Color, texture, pattern–in the visual field, and in writing and speaking and music.

May we walk in Beauty!

Rooting


Today’s prompt was to write an action poem. I chose rooting as my action. I am really weary, and this feels like half a poem, and raw at that, but I need to get to bed.

Rooting

Take root.
Root around.
Spread your roots
deep underground.

Breathe into your roots.
Put your feet in the earth.

Root into the deep soil of a poem,
seeking the truffles and treasures
that lie in hidden caverns of sound
and rhythm and image.

Root through the fertile ground
of a conversation to find the seeds
a new ideas, the gemstones of an open mind.

Send your taproot down,
further down,
where the soil nourishes
your burgeoning green.

The Questions of Others to Hold


“Each moment from all sides rushes to us the call to love.” -―Rumi
*
“The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves
into the rhythms of the human heart.
The earth is not outside us; it is within:
the clay from where the tree of the body grows.”
―John O’Donohue
*
“There were far worse strategies in life than to try to make each aspect of one’s existence a minor work of art.”
―Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline
*
“The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. Just go ahead and live positively; go to the side and do it differently. Don’t waste time with oppositional energy.” ―Richard Rohr, writing about the thinking of Dom Helder Camara
*
“The heart of faith is the call to love one another. . .” ―Avis Crowe
*
A Gift
by Denise Levertov

Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.


Gratitude List:
1. A tiny cow and a little mouse who were entranced by the big kitty in my trunk during Trunk or Treat. Ellis was a wild panther we had caught, and he pushed candy through his cage bars to the children. Mouse and Cow kept coming back just to stare, open-mouthed, at him. Finally, after fifteen minutes of gazing, Little Mouse opened his mouth and belly laughed. Cow joined him, giggling.
2. Fun, friendly community events that get people out and talking to each other, and blessing each others’ children.
3. The tender hearts of certain teenage boys. They may present as goofy and crusty, but they’re as sensitive as anyone.
4. Getting it done
5. Playing dress-up–Happy Halloween!

May we walk in Beauty!

Children of One Blood


“It is often said that the first sound we hear in the womb is our mother’s heartbeat. Actually, the first sound to vibrate our newly developed hearing apparatus is the pulse of our mother’s blood through her veins and arteries. We vibrate to that primordial rhythm even before we have ears to hear. Before we were conceived, we existed in part as an egg in our mother’s ovary. All the eggs a woman will ever carry form in her ovaries while she is a four-month-old fetus in the womb of her mother. This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother’s womb and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother’s blood before she herself is born. And this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother. We all share the blood of the first mother – we are truly children of one blood.”
–Layne Redmond

*
“For it is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us.”
~ Carl G. Jung
*
The Call Away
by Robert Bly

A cold wind flows over the cornfields;
Fleets of blackbirds ride that ocean.
I want to be out of here, go out,
Outdoors, anywhere in wind.
My back against a shed wall, I settle
Down where no one can find me.
I stare out at the box-elder leaves
Moving frond-like in that mysterious water.
What is it that I want? Not money,
Not a large desk, not a house with ten rooms.
This is what I want to do: to sit here,
To take no part, to be called away by wind.
I want to go the new way, build a shack
With one door, sit against the door frame.
After twenty years, you will see on my face
The same expression you see in the grass.
*
“On this day, the Autumn Equinox, we are in perfect balance between light and dark. As we straddle this threshold time, you may be experiencing both an expanded sense of self alongside some painful contractions into a familiar darkness.

It may help to remember that sometimes we are plummeted into our darkest depths precisely because we have elevated our ceilings on Love. Our demons appear most ferociously when they feel threatened by a new attitude.

So please consider your contractions are actually validations of where you are bravely digging into your own substrate to unearth those limiting patterns and, in releasing them, revealing a greater capacity for belonging and joy.

Keep going,” Toko-pa Turner


Gratitude List:
1. Holding paradoxes. Leaning into ambiguity. (I stole this from last year’s list, but it’s apt.)
2. Tiny Toad
3. The village–fun and play, and support when things get tough
4. People who know what to do in a crisis
5. Cool evenings

May we walk in Beauty!

Re-Do

oak1

I heard someone speak today about the “re-” words, about how they’re so often really positive: rejuvenate, reconciliation, resolve, resolution, recreation, recharge. . . I like that, and I love looking at the probable root words: juvenate, conciliation, solve, solution, creation, charge. . . I agree that they’re positive, but part of their brightness lies in their shadows. If you are re-conciling, there’s a suggestion that the first “conciliation” didn’t quite work out. If you need to re-solve an issue, perhaps it was left un-solved, or it dis-solved somewhere along the line.

I don’t think that makes them less perky or positive, however. Perhaps more so. To know the willful comfort of a re-solution when the first solution didn’t take. To understand the depth of peace in deliberate re-creation which takes me back to a sense of the wholeness of creation.

I suppose it’s become a truism that people only deeply appreciate something when they know how easily it can be lost, but that’s probably because it’s so true. There’s a wonder and a joy in the initial birth of a thing, but the deep appreciation and gratitude for what we have often comes in the awareness of how easily it is lost.

I have been disdainful of the term New Year’s Resolution because of the flippant and glib ways in which we discuss and create New Year’s Resolutions in our culture. Perhaps if I consider (or re-consider) them as re-solutions, they might make more sense to me. In what ways have my past solutions not been sufficient? How can I re-solve my challenges? And in the process, can I offer my past self a little more compassion, knowing how easy it can be to lose sight of my original intentions?

Gratitude List:
1. Listening to a man whistling and a boy harmonizing with him on a hum
2. Getting back into the rhythm
3. Preparing a short story for submission–I don’t think I’ve ever submitted a short story before
4. Re-solving, re-storing, re-creating, re-conciling. Re-
5. Sleep and dreams

May we walk in Beauty!

Play

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Today’s prompt is to write a poem titled “Play _Blank_”

Play Me for a Fool
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Play me for a fool and I may seek for wisdom
Play my secret songs and I will hear your voice
Play the wind against my hair and I might sigh with pleasure
Play the tired longings of a thousand hearts

Play the ancient rhythms of the forest
Play the wild music of the stars
Play the quiet dreamings of a toad in summer rain
Play the simple melody of childhood’s happy hours

Feels like it needs another stanza with a shift in rhythm and a last word, but I am falling asleep.

Gratitude List:
1. Anchors
2. Rhythm
3. Dreams
4. Wisdom
5. Listening

May we walk in Beauty!

I Come, I Go

floerstones
A quick trick rock stack.

For the month of November, I have decided to move my writing time to the time before bed. I will use my more wakeful mornings for the tasks of grading, use my more reflective evenings for writing and gratitude lists, and use the whole day to consider the poetry prompts at Robert Lee Brewer’s blog for the Writer’s Digest.

Today’s prompt is to write either a come or a go poem, or both.  Here’s my attempt, trying to get at some of the tension I feel when overwhelmed by lots of work, and unable to give the rest of my life the attention it requires. Composed in the shower.

I go, I come.
I’m gone, then home.

I’m home, My Dear!
Not there, not here.

My restless soul
is everywhere.

I try to rhyme.
The words won’t come.
There isn’t time.
My brain is numb.

I want to stay.
I want to roam.

I come, I’m gone.
I go, I’m home.

Gratitude List:
1. All the colors of the maples. The fires of autumn.
2. Shifting habits and rhythms and rituals. Changing it up to shake it up.
3. That sandalwood soap, so richly-scented and lathery and heartening.
4. Blessings. The real kind that people pass to each other.
5. Clear water from the spring, with lemon and lime.

May we walk in Beauty!

Sea Glass

marie
Sea glass: the transformative power of water

Here is to wakeful, cooler days, to that crisp feeling in the air, to a watery slant of sunlight through the atmosphere, to sweaters, to the shushing of leaves, to the preparation for the dreamtime of winter.

Gratitude List:
1. Back to the regular rhythm, even if I am not quite prepared
2. Water
3. Turnings
4. Autumn
5. All the shades of blue

May we walk in Beauty!

Back to Work

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Gratitude List:
1. Back to the rhythm, with lots of extra prep time under my belt.
2. The words of Rumi.  Today: “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
3. The helpers
4. That wren out there, welcoming in the morning
5. Onions and mushrooms sauteéd in butter

May we walk in Beauty!  Beauty all around.