The Tattered Pelt

This dream reveals itself and ravels like a fairy tale or myth.

It’s been two weeks since I listened to Martin Shaw telling the story of Fox Woman Dreaming, but something in my Dreambrain has reached back to that for images to tell myself this story.

Part One:
I am sitting on a concrete ledge, like a loading dock, of the garage of my house, looking out over the meadow and the woods beyond.

I hear a cry of frustration and rage: “Aaarrrnnnngh!”

At the edge of the woods, where the neighbors have logs for splitting, a large wolf is dancing around in extreme agitation. It has thrown an ax across the snowy field. Its fur is striped and brindled, mottled. It flips back and forth in its frustration. I know at once that the wolf is a shapeshifter.

I can feel its frustration deep within myself, and I am frightened as it runs up the field toward me.

I search around for something to offer it to help it, to distract it from attacking me.

I find that I am holding an old and tattered pelt of some animal fur. As the wolf paces around the side of the garage and the base of the ledge where I am sitting, I tear a piece of the pelt I am holding and toss it into the snow. It distracts and calms the wolf for a moment. It sniffs the piece of pelt but does not eat it.

Part Two:
I am walking down a brick pathway in a park, trying to feel the different rhythmic vibrations of the various bricks. I can sort of sense the patterns of a couple of them. I am trying to remember the poems/incantations for a ceremony to awaken and celebrate the awakening of the powers of a girl child. I am trying to help her to notice the vibrations in the bricks, trying to tell her the bits of incantations that I remember.

I am aware that the child is coming into her power and I am feeling the dissipation of my own.

As I am working with the bricks and incantations, I notice that the girl has found a stump with a large and tangled root system. A woman and a child, their faces painted with stripes of brown and yellow in many different shades, look out at me from the stump. The girl knows they are there and has been listening to them.

I have so many questions.
Am I both the Wolf and the One Who Watches?
If I am the Watcher, have I given away my own shapeshifting power, my own Wild, in order to protect myself and appease the frustration–ease the loss–of another?
What have I done?! I have thoughtlessly torn my pelt. Is it possible to repair?
I feel acutely both the loss of my own Wild (the Watcher) and the sense that it’s unbridled and out of control (the Wolf).

And am I both the Child and the Teacher?
Again, I feel acutely the loss of my own powers even as I am able to recover a little of my awareness of vibration, my memory of the words of ceremony.
I feel a need to prepare the Child, to mentor and teach, but the work has moved beyond me, and she has found her teachers in nature.
But I am also the Child. She has met the spirit beings who inhabit the stump and they are teaching her.

Both pieces of my dream seem to be about internal rifts/separations that help me to see the ways I am disconnected from my Wild, from my own personal sense of my power.

Maybe it wasn’t a bad idea to offer part of my pelt to the shapeshifter. Maybe that’s what I need to do, to offer my own inner Wolf the key to her transformation. But I need to tend to my “skin.”

And maybe I don’t need to focus so much on remembering the words and patterns of the ceremony for the Child, but just settle into a space where I can hear the living voices of the beings who surround me. I feel like this is a message to rely less on head knowledge, but to focus on simply perceiving what is around me.

Two nights ago, I dreamed again, as I often do at times of inner change and transformation, that I needed to push my way through a tight and claustrophobic portal in order to enter a new space. In these dreams, I sometimes refuse, or the dream ends as I am trying to find the courage to enter the constricting passage, but in my recent dream, I actually made it through the portal.

I think these dreams are connected. First, the portal, then the reckoning with the state of my own inner awareness.

1. The way shifting and de-hoarding and organizing makes space for energy to flow more freely and serenely. Clogged energy is either stagnant or frenetic. Unclogged energy flows.
2. I’m getting really eager to dive into the planning process for the coming school year. I relish the shift of this energy from the overwhelm of last spring (of the past three semesters, really) to the excitement of setting the table for the coming academic feast.
3. Mending. Like de-hoarding, mending makes the energy flow. And physical mending causes the heart to turn toward the inner mending as well.
4. A different type of energy, but not unconnected: Feeling my own physical energy returning. It’s been a circuitous journey. But it feels so good when we go walking and I feel the surge of energy and strength in the stride rather than feeling like I am fighting against gravity.
5. Thresholds. Liminal spaces. Betweens.

May we walk in Beauty!

“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” —Virginia Woolf

“Every person is a living treasure box. Listening holds the key.” —Mollie Marti

“The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

“I take care of my own.” —Hushpuppy (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

“You are my own, and I am yours–I think this is what God is saying, or trying to, over the din. We are each other’s. There are many forms of thirst, many kinds of water.” —Anne Lamott

“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

“You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to
remember that the planet is carrying you.” ―Vandana Shiva

“To be brave is to behave bravely
when your heart is faint.
So you can be really brave
only when you really ain’t.”
—Piet Hein

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” —Upton Sinclair

“You can never go down the drain.” —Mr. Rogers

“Good People,
most royal greening verdancy,
rooted in the sun,
you shine with radiant light.” ―Hildegard of Bingen

“Just living is not enough said the butterfly, one needs sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ―Hans Christian Anderson

“I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.” ―Dalai Lama

Beating Inside Us

Monday’s Quotations:

“my god
is not waiting inside a church
or sitting above the temple’s steps
my god
is the refugee’s breath as she’s running
is living in the starving child’s belly
is the heartbeat of the protest
my god
does not rest between pages
written by holy men
my god
lives between the sweaty thighs
of women’s bodies sold for money
was last seen washing the homeless man’s feet
my god
is not as unreachable as
they’d like you to think
my god is beating inside us infinitely”
―Rupi Kaur
There are Mornings
even now, when the plot
calls for me to turn to stone,
the sun intervenes. Some mornings
in summer, I step outside
and the sky opens
and pours itself into me
as if I were a saint
about to die. But the plot
calls for me to live, be ordinary,
say nothing to anyone.
Inside the house,
the mirrors burn when I pass.
―Lisel Mueller
“Keep strenuously toiling along this path,
do not rest until the last breath;
for that last breath may yet bring the blessings
from the Knower of all things.”
“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone’s skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?” ―Oscar A. Romero
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” ―Terence McKenna
“Nature is alive and talking to us. This is not a metaphor.” ―Terence McKenna
“And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”
—Raymond Carver
“Her imagination was by habit ridiculously active; when the door was not open, it jumped out the window.” ―Henry James
by Maya Stein

Just east of certainty. A little south of courage. A hair’s
width from ease. Clicks away from ready. A turn
or two from acceptance. A shuffle from faith. A set of stairs
from achievement. A riverbed from happiness. A handspan from
peace. A wink away from freedom. A few lines until the poem’s
done. A highway, a night’s sleep, a phone call, a touch, a rotation
of gears away from that certain yes that tells you where you are is
exactly where you need to be. I know, the signs can look as if they’re missing,
and the map so distant and unclear.
But I’m telling you, you aren’t lost. You’re never lost. You’re always here.

Gratitude List:
1. Last night as we got out of the car after a day away, we heard a funny squealing sound in the sycamore tree, then another in the dogwood. Finally, clear and perfect, a screech owl’s whinny from the walnut in DiAngelos’ yard. I am almost positive that some babies were talking to their mama. I’m fond of the screech owl wingfolk.
2. The perfect trio of flowers are blooming on the roadsides again. every year I look for them: day lily, Queen Anne’s Lace, and chicory. Probably none of them are natives–sigh–but then again, neither am I, really.
3. These young people. Coffee this morning with an incredibly thoughtful and wise young man who used to be a student of mine, who is as articulate about the nature of the universe and science and spirituality as anyone I’ve heard. And after supper tonight with friends at the Taj Mahal, a chance meeting with one of my Waldorfans from so many years ago–bright and shining soul she is.
4. Women in Black. Meeting with some of the WiB I haven’t seen in a long time.
5. A cool place on a hot night. We’re all sleeping in the living room tonight so we can be near the air conditioner.

May we walk in Beauty!

Dream Visitor

Fascinating dreams last night, strange, but not so unsettling as the night before. Doing yoga in a silent dawn, outside under the trees–this one happened at least twice. The main “problem” dream was this:

I look out the sliding glass door of the breezeway to see what looks like a cougar slipping through the grasses. When I get a better look at it, I can see tufty ears, like a lynx, and a golden spotted ruff, mane-like, on its shoulders. It’s taller, with thinner legs, proportionally, than a lynx, and almost wolf-like in shape.

I find it online by looking up maned wolf, and discover that there has been an escape of a young one (it isn’t actually a maned wolf–more feline) in the area. It comes up to me while I am in the garage, but I am too scared to let it approach (it is BIG), and I slip inside and close the door.

Later, I tell my friend about it and she says, “You should have welcomed it in. It needed your company.”

In my waking moments today, I looked up maned wolf and lynx, and it is nothing like either, but sort of a mishmash of the two. Come to think of it, it was very hyena-like, but the dream-memory keeps saying wolf-cougar-lynx. It’s a much better image to carry with me today than the previous night.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings;and of the gay
great happening ilimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
―e. e. cummings, read at our wedding 27 years ago today
“To live a creative life,
we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
―Joseph Chilton Pearce
“If music be the food of love, play on.” ―William Shakespeare
“At the still point, there the dance is.” ―T.S. Eliot
“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” ―Leonard Bernstein
“rebellion: playing streamside with my babies, teaching them and letting them teach me that water is alive” ―Natasha Alvarez

Gratitude List:
1. Twenty-seven good years married to Jon. I know that this is not something to take for granted.
2. Trinidadian cooking. Oh. My. Callaloo. We had a peanut drink, chicken corn soup with cassava, doubles (a spongy bread with chickpea stew), and a chicken stew with buss-up-shut (Trinidadian bread that you use to eat the stew much in the way you use injera in Ethiopian food).
3. All those monarchs yesterday! Must be migration.
4. Used book sale
5. Music chapel today: We have some incredibly talented students.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Secret Ways of Hi’Story


Gratitude List:
1. Help with the tale
2. Feeling better every day
3. Getting work done
4. Crusty bread, toasted and buttered
5. Hot chocolate

May we walk in Beauty!

These stories are becoming something of a family project. I read a few at a time to the children, and then they ask what will happen next, and what bits of the story I will reveal next. Or they make suggestions about how to unpack something in the next bit of story. I don’t quite know where all this is going. Perhaps if they come together into some sort of form, I will edit and revise them and try to publish them some day, but for now, it’s a pleasant thread to follow.

I think I will continue to spell it “hi’story,” to emphasize the story piece of it. Because Chinngis Djin tried to erase the Wolf Queens, the era of the Wolf Queens has become legend, and Story is a crucial part of keeping them alive.

While I have chosen to separate my story from the real Samarkand by changing its name a little, and placing it in something of a fantasy realm, I found the story of the sack of the city by Genghis Khan in 1220 to be rather compelling, and so I have kept him in the parallel. Several sources call him the Blue Wolf, and in one source, he is spelled Chinngis Khan.  At this point in the process, I do not intend to do the careful research necessary to make this an academically accurate historical/cultural novel. I just want to follow the thread of this hi’story, and see where it takes me.

The Secret Ways of Hi’Story

The hi’story of Zammarqand seemed to begin with the coming of Chinngis Djin, the Blue Wolf of the North. In the year 1220, the Blue Wolf and his hordes had ridden down the steppes like a mighty wind, conquering the villages and cities in their path, setting up fierce and brutal warriors to control the lands they overthrew. In the city of Zammarqand and it surrounding villages, the subjugation included an overthrow of hi’story. The great library was burned, the temples torn down, and the sacred groves were uprooted and laid waste. The Wolf Mother shrines that lined the inner walls of the city were simply plastered over, along with the dozens of small shops that were built right into the city walls.

The Wolf-Queen, daughter in a line of a thousand queens before her, was deposed and slain publicly in the market square, her children dragged off as slaves with Chinngis Djin’s southward-surging army, never to be seen in Zammarqand again. The peaceful rule of the mothers was ended, and a new day of military might and harsh rule began.

In the days of Leeta the Storymaker, three hundred years after the coming of the Blue Wolf, the governance of the city had settled into a patriarchal rhythm that had a great deal less surface brutality than it had in the first century following the coming of the Blue Wolf, though its deep reality was one of repression of the city’s daughters, and a near-complete erasure of the city’s hi’story prior to the coming of Chinngis Djin.

But hi’story has a way of making itself found. Images of the tender-eyed Wolf Mother proliferated in secret places in the city, for those who had the eyes to see. Grandmothers faithfully remembered the fairy tales and stories, passing them on to daughters and granddaughters. Young women would dream dreams of a great and watchful She-wolf sitting in the gateway to the city. Travelers would come upon wild groves of trees growing in near-perfect circles. And in the city, in houses that were built right up against the city walls, occasionally a plaster wall would give way, and a little room would open up, a small chamber holding a statue of a nursing wolf or a bust of the Wolf Mother.

When she was eight, in her sleeping room at the back of the little shop of Bilhah the Baker, Bilhah’s daughter Leeta one day discovered a crack in the wall. She had been ill for three days, and boredom was beginning to grow greater than the illness that kept her to her room. The child began to pick at the crack. Her mother, pulling a large tray of mooncakes from the ovens, heard a rumble and a crash. Racing back to her daughter’s room, she discovered Leeta unhurt, but covered in plaster dust, standing awed in the entrance to a newly opened chamber into the city wall behind the house.

The walls of the chamber were lined with shelves and each shelf was filled with scrolls, perfectly preserved through the centuries. The plastered walls that had been intended to erase the city’s hi’Story had instead preserved it perfectly for distant generations.  A plaque on one wall read “ElSheba Hi’Storian.”

Gormlek the Mourner had taught his daughter and then his granddaughter to read, a minimally revolutionary act in a city where only boys attended school, and the education of girls was frowned on or scoffed at.  Leeta and her mother wasted no time in reading and cataloging their new treasures.

How Bilhah Found the Baby


Gratitude List:
1. Giving in–just taking the day off work. Sometimes you just can’t muscle through, and you have to ask for help.
2. Sleep
3. Ibuprofen–this version of the bug has every nerve and muscle aching
4. Featherbed
5. The way stories reach out and grab you

May we walk in Beauty!

This is what happens after a night and a day of flu-fueled half-sleeping/dreaming:

How Bilhah Found the Baby

Bilhah, the daughter of Gormlek the Mourner, found the baby one evening after she’d been working in the almond orchards outside of the city walls. She only told the story to her father, and then to the child herself, as she grew.

In preparation for the celebration of the Wolf-King’s birthday the following week, many of the regular harvesters had been conscripted to work in the palace kitchens and sculleries, so there were only about eight young women in Bilhah’s group that day, and none of them would work the far ends of the rows because of the rumors that a great and vicious she-wolf had been seen prowling along the river, down beyond the orchards. Bilhah, seeking solitude, found herself working alone in the fringe of trees where the others refused to go.

Keeping her ears peeled for the sound of the bells that signaled the end of the work day, Bilhah had a found a rhythm to the picking that kept her moving at a quick pace. She loved the skittering sound of the almonds clattering into her basket, and reveled in the scent of the nuts warming in the afternoon sun. At the very end of the row of trees, she paused, sighed, and lifted her eyes to the river. A thrill of terror mingled with excitement filled her: there in the shadows of the big rocks by the river, she could clearly discern the form of a large wolf. It was sitting quietly, as though it were simply one of the city dogs, patiently waiting for its human to finish working and come home. Had she imagined its tail thumping twice against the ground?

She slipped back into the orchard to the next row, three trees back, and began picking her way once more toward the end of the row. She could see Zoha and the others working the other way down the row, close to the safety of the city walls. As she reached the river end of the next row, she looked again for the wolf. This time, she clearly saw the tail thump, and the creature stood, took two steps toward her, remaining in the deep shadows by the rocks.

Bilhah had lived with dogs all her life, and something in the demeanor of this fearsome wild creature kept reminding her of her own beloved Tigo and Amona. Underneath her fear, she felt an undeniable sense that this wild thing was trying to communicate something. She took a few steps out from under the trees toward the large rocks. The wolf shrank back into shadow. Another step. The wolf bolted to the left, down the rocky trail toward the river, but stopped suddenly in the shadow of a large fig tree and looked back toward Bilhah. She wants me to follow her!

At that moment, the bells began to ring in the city, letting the harvesters know that the work-day had ended. She heard Zoha and the others calling her name down the row. She had made the decision before she realized it had been made. Making momentary eye contact with the wolf, she turned and headed back into the trees. “Coming!” she called to the others, slipping down the row toward them.

Breathless, she caught up with Zoha. “Can you take my basket back for me? I want to see if I can find some figs for Abba on those trees by the river.”

“Oh, please don’t, Bilhah,” Zoha pled. “You know they’ve been seeing that wolf down by the river.”

“I’ll be fine, Silly. I worked down there by the river all day, and no wolf has eaten me yet.” She managed not to lie, exactly.

Zoha took her basket begrudgingly: “If you aren’t back by nightfall, I’ll send Uncle Drago out to find you.”

“Thank you, Zoha. You don’t need to worry about me. You know Granny goes out to the river all the time, and she’s never been attacked by the wolves.”

She watched the colorful flock of her friends melt into the shadows by the city gates, and turned to walk down the row of trees. There at the end of the row, almost hidden in shadow underneath the last tree, was the she-wolf! She followed me! Another thrill of fearful horror overcame her, and she almost turned and ran back to join her friends, but again something in the expectancy of the wolf’s posture made her pause, take a breath, and walk toward the waiting creature.

As she approached, the animal whirled and dashed into the shadow of the rocks by the river trail. She followed steadily, the wolf retreating in short bursts, waiting in shadows for her to approach. Down the long path along the river they went, and Bilhah even managed to pick several figs from the low branches of trees to tuck in her skirts in order to give truth to her words to Zoha.

The sun settled lower and lower in the sky, and Bilhah began to worry that she would not make it back to the city before nightfall and the closing of the gates. This wolf might be friendly, but what about the packs that roamed the steppes at night? She had seen the green glow of their eyes in the dark when she had stood on the city walls with her father to look at the stars.

And suddenly the wolf disappeared. She had dashed into shadow by an outcropping of rock up a little hill away from the path, and Bilhah lost sight of her. She waited, uncertain, considering whether she ought to just start back down the path to the city and safety.

A wolfy whine startled her, and she could hear distinctly the sounds of tiny cub whimpers. She has led me to her den. The realization filled her with a new mixture of fear and awe. She stood frozen, wondering what her guide intended. Am I supposed to climb up and see her babies?

That was when she heard the human baby, a whimpering sound, not of distress but of demand.

Without thinking further, she began to scramble up the hillside toward the rocky outcrop. Shadows impeded her view as she peered into the space between the rocks, and her eyes took moments to adjust before she could make out the distinct shapes of mother wolf and cubs deep in the den. A lighter shadow moved among them. A human child, nursing with the wolf cubs. The baby looked to be only weeks old, but well-fed and carefully tended. The mother wolf’s eyes were glowing green in the shadows. Bilhah watched her tenderly licking her cubs, wolf and human alike. As the squirmy bunch settled down to milk-dazed satisfaction, the she-wolf raised her head to Bilhah, gave a little whine, and again licked the head of the child. She is offering me the child. That’s why she led me here!

Slowly, hardly daring to breathe or even to think, Bilhah eased forward into the tight doorway of the den until her body blocked the light, until she could touch the smooth skin of the child. Her nose was assaulted by the musky odor of wolf, and the she-wolf gave another doggy whine. As Bilhah reached to take the child, she felt the tender tongue of the mother wolf slide over her fingers as it gave its tiny charge one last kiss.

Bilhah backed slowly from the den. “Thank you,” she breathed, catching the green glow of the mother wolf’s eyes one last time as she turned to slide as carefully as she could down the rocky hillside to the path, holding her sleeping charge carefully in her arms.

She hurried as quickly as she could up the rocky river path in the growing dusk, filled with the wonder of her encounter and of the child she carried in her arms. How had she come to be there in the wolf’s den? Had the mother wolf stolen the child? Had a desperate mother, unable to care for one more child, left her baby girl there at the wolf’s den? Bilhah stumbled in the near dark and almost lost her footing, but managed not to fall. Panting, she stopped and held the baby tightly, fearing to fall and harm the child, but fearing to be left outside the city gates when the wolves began to prowl.

As she began to step more carefully along the path toward the orchards, she became aware of a light ahead, bobbing up and down on the pathway, and then she heard her father’s voice calling her name.

“I’m here, Abba!” she called, waking the babe, who gave a tiny squawk.

Gormlek the Mourner told his neighbors the story of his cousin’s daughter, out in the Seven Villages, who had become involved in an unfortunate relationship with a passing merchant. The child of their union would have been taken to the orphanage in the Market District of the city. Wanting to save the child from such a fate, he and his daughter had decided to take her into their home and raise her as their own. They named her after his late wife and Bilhah’s mother: Leeta.

God the Wolf

Today you are God the Wolf,
howling down the forest pathways of my memory,
padding through purple shadows into moonlight,
elusive as the fogs which drift into the clearings
where I listen for you calling,
calling me from comfort into wildness.

Gratitude List:
1. Wildness
2. Philosophizing about time with teenagers.
3. This Pope.  He called today a Day of Prayer of for the Environment, and he’s declaring a Jubilee Year of Mercy for next year.  Perhaps the rest of us will learn something, too.
4. The Heart.  Abstractly and physically.  Too many people in my village are experiencing heart trouble right now for my comfort.  May their hearts beat with strength and fortitude, and bring them life.  And your heart, too–may it be strong and full of life.
5. The heat will break, and cooler days will come again.  (Yes, that was a back-handed gratitude, if I ever wrote one.)

May we walk in Beauty!

Words on the Wolf

Oh, that wolf.
I’ve walked with her before,
known her own shadow for mine.

Never been one to run with the pack,
but I can say I know her,
have even felt her companionship
to be a comfort.

Still, when she howls at the door,
I lose all my post-modern feminist sensibility.

I cower in terror
under the covers.

I am not walking out that door.
No, this is not the time to make friends.

The old metaphor still stands.
My, what big teeth you have.
And I am so very small,
and my grandmother, my children,
so very fragile and helpless.

This story is so full of people,
yet there’s no one in this story but me.
So I shoulder my ax. . .

In order to make it through this story
you have to live each character
until you’ve circled back around,
seen your own shadow

and recognized
the wolf.


Gratitude List:
1. The wolf.  Still, she makes me quake.  Someday, I think she’ll get me.  But she keeps me moving, keeps me alive.
2. I got the job.  I can’t think of a way to say it that comes near to expressing my gratitude, my sense of things falling together as they needed to.  I will be teaching high school English at Lancaster Mennonite School, doing something I love, using the skills I was trained for, at my own alma mater.  I’ll be teaching kids from really diverse backgrounds, teaching a subject that fires me up.  I don’t have to relinquish either the poet or farmer identities.  And at its most basic it fulfills the two important elements that I was seeking: of being full-time work that fits the schedule of my family.
3. MOON.  I almost thought I could walk up the hill and take her in my arms.
4. That chilly mist out there.  Makes me feel like a hobbit.  I want to travel, to adventure.  Bring on the wolves–I’m ready!
5. Poetry.  Goodness.  Have I ever put poetry on my gratitude list?  I think it should be there every day, along with my family, along with breathing.

May we walk in Beauty!



Gratitude List:
1.  The Wisdom of children.  (“Mom,” says Joss, “we have boats because of salt.  Because we need the boats to go get the salt.”)
2.  True entrepreneurial spirit.  Kristen is building her own business, and doing it with flair and panache.  And she makes people feel beautiful in the process.  I love it.
3.  Flavors of East Africa
4.  The wolf is not at the door, and even if he were, he COULD be a friendly wolf.
5.  Loving the work.
May we walk in beauty.

2012 July 056

Through the Same Door

despise not small things

Day 29 Poem-A-Day Prompt: Write a Birth Poem.

We all came in through the same door.
The young ones just beginning to learn
what their bodies can do,
the new crones bidding the blood farewell.

And all those rounding bellies.
There were more of them than any of the others.

I sensed the wolf the moment I walked in the door.
I almost looked around to see her,
before I realized the shadow was my own.

Of course.

I stepped across the carpet
carefully toward the desk,
past the pair who sat together
with heads bowed in wonder
over the full bowl of her womb,
willing them not to look at me
lest they sense the blood on me,
lest some contagion contaminate
their innocent joy,
lest the wolf turn her face their way.

Me, I had walked this way before
with my strange and dark companion,
carrying my empty bowl.
I was only there for confirmation
this time.   I knew what I had come to hear,
knew how to follow this particular path of grief.

Walking out again, afterward,
the fresh-faced ones were still there,
and the wolf and I again took pains
not to taint them with our shadow.

We left by the same door
and closed it quietly behind us.