Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Tree Beings


Recent bits and pieces. Lots of imaginings with Trees lately.

And here is a photo of shadows of branches on my wall. I have run it though a couple filters. Can you see the Tree Being gazing at you?

Gratitude List:
1. Young Adults. Those shiny folks who spoke in church this morning.
2. I’m not grateful that I got poison ivy, but I am grateful for its lessons. It reminds me of boundaries, and of the work it takes to re-establish a boundary that has been breached. It reminds me of the need to take care of myself, and gets me working with jewelweed, which is another good herbal ally to work with.
3. Summer suppers: tomatoes sandwiches with mayonnaise, corn on the cob, steamed green beans.
4. Rivers. The Susquehanna especially.
5. Weaving. Poems, stories, songs, words, people, ideas.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Visitors

   

   

I’ve been away from the blog for a couple weeks, finishing up my semester, caught in the whirlwind, keeping my head above water. I haven’t been making gratitude lists, but I’ve been noticing. Instead of the long sustained gratitude practice of noticing several things in a day and keeping them in my memory for evening’s contemplation, I’ve been a grateful butterfly, slipping from flower to flower on a breeze, noticing in the moment and passing on to the next shining thing. I think it’s good to practice this kind of immediate presence as well as the deeper holding of a daily meditative contemplation.

During the last two days, I have been feeling the tug toward the sustained contemplation again, so here, again, is a Gratitude List:
1. This is the season of peonies and foxgloves and naked ladies: The flowers of the Grandmothers. I feel as though the Grandmothers are reminding us that they are still among us. They support our Work.
2. Today’s sermon, and the image of Godde as a child, holding our faces in her dimpled little hands and gazing into our eyes, looking at our wounded parts in awe and wonder, seeing the beauty and tenderness in the parts of ourselves we reject or hide or minimize.
3. Yesterday’s visit from a black rat snake. Such a magical creature. Ellis petted it. We got to watch it slither through the long grass, tasting the air with its tongue.
4. Our Lady of the Flowers is sitting on a nest of lichen and cobweb in the sycamore tree, right where we can watch her from the porch.
5. Changing of season. School is almost over. The grading will get finished. We will go on vacation. I will write. I will share tea and conversation with friends. Green will keep happening.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Daily Feather

  
In the lower right, the original photo, of a feather in the clouds. The others are filtered through Dreamscope app. 

“In summer, the song sings itself.”
―William Carlos Williams
*
“All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.” ―Edward Abbey
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“They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.” ―Kahlil Gibran
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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ―Pablo Picasso
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“Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life’s breath, the ocean of air that envelops the earth.” ―David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature
*
“Memory is an invitation to the source of our life, to a fuller participation in the now, to a future about to happen, but ultimately to a frontier identity that holds them all at once.” ―David Whyte
*
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
―not actually Benjamin Franklin, as the internet claims
*
Lines
by Martha Collins

Draw a line. Write a line. There.
Stay in line, hold the line, a glance
between the lines is fine but don’t
turn corners, cross, cut in, go over
or out, between two points of no
return’s a line of flight, between
two points of view’s a line of vision.
But a line of thought is rarely
straight, an open line’s no party
line, however fine your point.
A line of fire communicates, but drop
your weapons and drop your line,
consider the shortest distance from x
to y, let x be me, let y be you.


Gratitude List:
1. Not feeling wretched. Sometimes it’s good to have a day of pathetic wretchedness in order to remember how wonderful normal feels. Is that weird? It just feels so incredibly good not to feel awful.
2. Driving Pippi Prius again. In the same vein as #1, I was incredibly grateful that my father let us borrow his car while Pippi was getting her battery cells fixed, and his car is wonderful, but it just feels so good to drive my car again. As a smallish person, I feel most comfortable and safest driving a little car.
3. Following #2, I am grateful that we did not have to replace the whole hybrid battery just yet. The local garage thought that would be necessary, but Sam the Prius guy was able to change the cells instead, and they were still under warranty. We’ll save the big expenses for another time.
4. Long weekend ahead. I have a lovely day of in-service ahead with my colleagues, and then three days of break.
5. The puppycat. Joss and Thorby are playing fetch all over the house.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes

Gate’s Open

“The Wild Mother whispers, ‘Have you noticed? I left the gate open just for you?'” ~Anonymous


Gratitude List:
1. Grades are done and marked ready for the Registrar. Weight off my shoulders.
2. Anticipating summer fun.
3. Hearing the voice of one of my Beloveds on the phone today.
4. Full moon
5. Crocheting. It’s like poetry–making meaning from a simply meaningless string is like making meaning from a seemingly meaningless collection of words.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Dreams of Flying

hildegard-2
Here is another version of the Disibodenberg photo with a parchment paper look. I keep seeing faces in this this one. At first, I didn’t like it because the abbey ruins themselves sort of disappear into the sunlight, but as I consider it, that has become my favorite thing about it.

I am still working the dream from Sunday night. Sometimes dreams dissipate like smoke, and every attempt to grab and hold them down only scatters them further. Sometimes they recede until a random comment by someone in the day-life throws them in the pathway of the day. Sometimes they come back throughout the day, and grab you and grab you again, as this one has done.

In the dream I have been hiking on a trail with two other women. I don’t know them in waking life, but we are friends in the dream. We are resting in a little cafe, and the one woman will not stop talking, will not stop just hanging out. I want desperately to get back on the trail again, to get out in the wild, but they just keep telling me to wait. Finally I tell them that I am going out again, and they can catch up later. They’re as happy to see me leave as I am to get out of there.

I am heading down a precipitous rocky and dusty trail, so grateful to be out in the wilds again, so free. It must be noted that in the physical world, I tend to stumble and trip down mountainsides, but in this dream, I am elated and confident. I take a sort of leap down the mountainside. I don’t fly, exactly, but I catch air. I drift down. I feel air holding me as I glide down to the next dusty shelf. Again I leap and glide and land. Again. Again.

Then I am walking on flat land, in woods. I think this is another of those regular dreamscapes, one of those places that doesn’t look exactly like the previous woodsy dreamscape, but I know now, looking back at it, that it is the same one as in a previous dream.

Scene shift and I am in another cafe/store, gathering supplies to get back on the trail and try to meet up with my friends. I feel delayed again, but this time I want to get to them, not to get away. I walk out of the town, following small back roads through farmland. I cannot find the woods. I stop people and ask, but they say that the wild lands are really far away–how did I get all this way on foot? I stop at a farmhouse, and it happens to belong to friends. They offer me things to read, food to eat, and a lovely skirt and blouse that don’t actually match each other. But they can’t help me find the trail.

My dream is book-ended by impatience and dissatisfaction. But oh! The flight.

Gratitude List:
1. Dreams of flying
2. Wildlands
3. The Water Protectors
4. Deep sleep
5. The last hurrah of summer

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes

My Candidate

josiah for president
Finally, a candidate I can really support!

Gratitude List:
1. Co-thinking discussions.  I love conversations in which the unstated premise is that you are taking the information or idea offered by the other/s and building upon it or re-interpreting it in your words, then leaving your piece out there for someone else to mold and shape and build upon.  I always feel like I come away from such conversation with a deeper understanding of the world than I went in.
2. Just doing the tourist thing.  We spent yesterday morning with friends being tourists in Lancaster County.  Despite the “touristiness,” it was fun to watch people and to consider what about this place makes people want to come here.  I love Lancaster County.
3. Those phoebe babies getting ready to fledge from the forebay rafters.  Nobody can look madder than a baby bird.
4. Moving into the next stage of summer.  There was the finishing up and recovery time, and then the relax a bit and play time.  Now comes the get down to business time.  It’s true that the second year of teaching in a new place is easier than the first.  It is also true that the difference can be sort of minimal.  But now, preparing for my third year, I feel much more energized for the preparations.  I can see the planning all mapped out in my head much more clearly, as opposed to simply hopefully.
5. 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.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Step Away from the Gates

Yesterday was perhaps a bit of a let-down day after the high of Luna Moth Day, full of barely maskable crabbiness and low-grade anxiety.  Sigh.  I suppose we can’t always live in the realm of the sublime.  The mundane has lessons aplenty.

Worn out by the anxieties and slog of the day, I lay back in the recliner for an evening catnap, and the first part of this just sort of fluttered into my head.

Don’t sit so close to the gates of Despair, sister.
I don’t need to to tell you how the gates open inward,
suddenly drawing the shuffling masses inside the yawning arches.
I don’t need to tell you how easy it is to be carried along in the wave,
or worse, trampled by feet of those who are eager
to prove their dark visions and those who cannot
relinquish their lifelong addiction to fear.
You know them too well, these shadows.
You’ve been in that land.

Roll up your mat, gather your books,
pick up your bucketful of bright yellow flowers,
and walk twenty paces east of the gateway
to the place where a sapling grows patiently
out of the moss-covered pavements.

From this spot you will hear the faint whisper
of breezes, from faraway places
where courage is dawning.

From this breathable vantage point,
you will hear the distant shushing
of waves on the beaches
where hope will awaken.

I know why you choose your perch,
there, on the doorstep.
I know why you watch them so carefully,
tending the crowd like a garden,
why you believe yourself safe,
you, with your books and your flowers.

I know, too, how you belong there,
in that waiting crowd of restless people,
how some days your flowers turn lifeless and ashen,
how the words in your volumes, on grayest of days,
run down the pages like ink-bled tears.

Pick up your mat, I say, now before the gates open.
Turn your back on that archway.
Follow the pathway of bright white pebbles
that I laid there myself one gray day.

 

Gratitude List:
1. The way words come together to make meaning
2. The holiness of the everyday
3. Tomato sandwiches
4. Cool summer morning breezes (“. . .blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”
5. This web that we belong to.  And I don’t just mean the www, though that one has its contribution.  Can you feel how the strands connect us, how the energy runs between us?

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems

Summer Morning Tanka

the first is the crow
then mourning dove on a wire
sparrow tremolo
a dog barks up the hollow
and the day is beginning

Gratitude List:
1. Morning yoga practice.  It’s very short, but a few balance poses in the morning make me feel balanced all day.
2. Putting a plan into action
3. Making new friends
4. Feedback
5. Research

May we walk in Beauty!