When You Flew

   

   

Gratitude List:
1. Chicory everywhere! Bluer as sky, blue as Mary’s robe, blue as my beloved’s eye. Joy on the roadside.
2. Cucumber rounds with cream cheese. Perfect. Just perfect.
3. Dragonflies
4. Novels. Stories. Narrative. They teach me who I am.
5. Biscuits and gravy.

May we walk in Beauty!


Words for Wednesday:

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.” ―Brennan Manning
***
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” —Frida Kahlo
***
Rob Brezsny ft. Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
“Devote yourself to your heart’s desire with unflagging shrewdness. Make it your top priority. Let no lesser wishes distract you. But consider this, too. You may sabotage even your worthiest yearning if you’re maniacal in your pursuit of it.

Bear in mind the attitude described by Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her book “Women Who Run with the Wolves”: “All that you are seeking is also seeking you. If you sit still, it will find you. It has been waiting for you a long time.”

Speculate on what exactly that would look like in your own life. Describe how your heart’s desire has been waiting for you, seeking you.”
***
“Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
casually.”
―Robert Hass, Field Guide
***
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ―Albert Einstein
***
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ―Terry Pratchett
***
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large—I contain multitudes.”
―Walt Whitman
***
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche

Bramble and Thorn


Today’s  prompt is to write a danger poem:

Bramble and Thorn

Now you have endangered our children.
Your insatiable greed
and your ravening thirst
bring death to their doorways
and poison their waters.
You’ve sold your souls
to any devil who can pay
and you roll across the land
with your ravening hunger,
your howls and growls of need.

So we make ourselves into brambles.
We become the thorns
that stand in your path,
make the land into a maze
that will turn you and taunt you,
send you curling back upon yourselves.
Like the wild rose and the blackberry,
we dig ourselves into the soil
and new thorns rise.
You trample us,
and our broken stubs take root.
You cut us back, and we flourish.
More and more and more of us,
we rise in your pathway.
You cannot pass.


Words I am Grateful For:
1. Harbor: safe, protective, intentional, revolutionary
2. Revolution: turning, changing, fierce
3. Fierce: loving, protective, nurturing
4. Thorn: challenge, protection, secretive
5. Wilderness: wildness, safe, free

May we walk in Beauty!

The Fountain Is There

Today’s Prompt is to write an unlucky poem. I’m going to pull a phrase from the Leonard Cohen quote at the top of today’s list, and follow the ideas of Rob Brezsny in the quote at the end of the list.

Bahati Mbaya
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

All the lengths we go to
to armor ourselves against fate,
to shield our hearts from destiny:

Bad luck, we say. Just tough luck.
Dumb luck, 
we tell ourselves.
Lady Luck has not seen fit
to reward the risks we’ve taken.

I’m talking in my own ear here,
singing myself a lullaby,
crooning in Swahili:
Bahati mbaya, Mdogo.

Maybe I just can’t get there
from here. It’s not in the cards
or the gods are not smiling
upon my endeavors.

How we do make ourselves unlucky.
How we do call the losing hand.
How we do set up the game for failure.
How we do fail to take a stand.

I’m racking up my rejections,
calling in my losses,
wrangling my failures,
bearing my crosses.

Bad luck is luck all the same
and the odds are good
if we hang on to hope
that the next roll of the dice
could turn this game around.


“It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.” —Leonard Cohen
*
Denise Levertov:
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.

I have seen
The fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes
found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched–but not because
she grudged the water,
only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
refreshed.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
The fountain is there among its scalloped
grey and green stones,
it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.
*
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen
*
“Remember that day in the woods
when everything was so dark, so dreary
and you were so terrifyingly alone?

How can it be that these are the same woods
and you the same soul
and everything shines so,
and everything is filled with life?” —Beth Weaver-Kreider
*
“Acquiring problems is a fundamental human need. It’s as crucial to your well-being as getting food, air, water, sleep, and love. You define yourself–indeed, you make yourself–through the riddles you attract and solve. The most creative people on the planet are those who frame the biggest, hardest questions and then gather the resources necessary to find the answers.” —Rob Brezsny


Gratitude List:
1. How everything shines so in autumn
2. Breathing
3. Stretching
4. Untangling threads
5. Listening for deeper rhythms

May we walk in Beauty!

How You Get There


I am signing off for a few days. I am going to the woods with some of my beloved community, to sing and laugh and play together, to walk the labyrinth in the woods, to listen for birdsong and look for tiny fungi in the leaf litter, to breathe and to wander. I will see you here in a few days.


“I remember nothing more about that night, except knowing that the enchantment of that moment would be with me forever, how what was burning so intensely in my heart could manifest itself in all of nature and how a song could thread itself through a needle, and stitch it all together, for one other-worldly, soul-aching, heart-breakingly hopeful glimpse of Nirvana.” –Excerpt of blog by Gloria Talcove-Woodward
*
“How you get there is where you’ll arrive.” –Cynthia Bourgeault
*
“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” –Louis C. K.
*
“Never apologise for your sensitivity. It is the thinness of your skin which makes you brave. You are willing to live. You are willing to be alive.” –Dreamwork with Toko-pa
*
“Acknowledge your mission. Trust your path. Become your chosen destiny.” –Jamie Sams
*
“You are what you eat eats.” –Michael Pollan


Gratitude List:
1. Fridays: Week’s end, Faculty Hymn sing, the anticipation of rest and time in the woods with beloveds
2. Yesterday’s clouds, which were dragons and caves of flame and featherbeds
3. Teenagers and their enormous hearts
4. Monarch and dragonfly
5. Sharing laughter. What warmth of human connection when someone says, “Hey! Wanna hear a joke?” The social connection of good, healthy humor, how it bonds people together
6. (I am breaking the rules today and adding another) Playing with sentences. In a couple different classes right now, we are playing with sentence structure, copying the forms of professionally-written sentences, writing poems based on set formulae of absolute phrases and participial phrases. For some, it’s a bit tedious, but it has been delightful to watch the twinkle in the eyes of others when they begin to get it, to feel what it’s like to write a really elegant sentence.
7. (while I am at it. . .) Yesterday’s chapel talk by Brenda Martin Hurst. She reminded me of how much work has been done by so many to create a world and a church in which girls and women are valued as much as men and boys, and how much work there still is to do. I am grateful for my mother and others who worked with such love and courage and sheer will to begin to pave a way for women’s voices to be more fully heard in the Mennonite Church. This, more than anything, gives me great hope that some day we, too, can break through the wrongs against which we raise our voices.

May we walk in Beauty!

Waking Up

Today’s Writing Prompt from Auto Writing Prompt is to write a two sentence story with a mood change.

I have been walking through this fog, in this wood, since before there was a before.  Today I saw a shimmering silver light above the trees.

Gratitude List:
1. Deer on the hillside
2. Sharp-shinned hawk in a tree
3. Snowflakes
4. Baby wombats (google “baby wombat images”)
5. Mary Oliver’s “Starlings in Winter” (you can google that, too)

May we walk in Beauty!

Before

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Before we wandered these hills, other feet stood on the rocks, walked these woods, heard the way the breezes played through the poplars, watched the sun shoot its borning rays down into the hollows.

Before the parking lots and asphalt roads.  Before the houses and the malls, like a million million mushrooms gathered in every valley and on every hilltop. Before the tearing machines, the industrial fumes, the buzz and rumble of commerce.

Before the barbarians came, before the savages appeared with their guns, with hearts of stone seeking halls of gold.

This is not a new story, but somehow we keep missing the point, keep calling the wrong ones the savages, keep stepping up to the bench of divine justice, lawyers defending the mass murderer.  Before the first (or not the first) one sailed the ocean blue, before him, yes, there was war here.  Yes, sometimes there was famine and disease.

But before the big boats began to appear here, there were functioning and thriving societies here.  Families in villages and longhouses, in townsful of people.  There was hunting and fishing and foraging.  There was knowledge and wisdom.  There were councils and songs, dances and dreamings.  There was art and society, law and leisure.

Today I will not celebrate the ending of that world.  Today I will mourn for the world that was lost when “first contact” was made.  I will walk in the woods with my children.  I will forage for something to make into tea or supper.  I will stand on these stones with my feet and re-member what stories I can.

Gratitude List:
1.  The ancestors.  Of me.  Of this land.
2.  Telling the truth
3.  Re-wilding
4.  New dreamings
5.  Robins in the bosque

May we walk in Beauty.