Guardian of Dreams

Today’s Prompt is similar to an earlier one, with a single letter change: ______ of _____

Guardian of Dreams
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

She rises from the shadows
when you wander in the dreamscape.
She stands above the doorway
and awaits your greeting.
She gives you the gift of her name
and stands aside that you may pass inward.


Gratitude List:
1. Enough leftovers for supper. What an odd, delightful mashup it was: Valerie’s lentil and collard soup as the base, with the leftover chicken curry and rice and some leftover noodles. Injera and oatmeal bread.
2. Dreams with messages.
3. Catching my breath. A little.
4. That pink cloud this morning. Breath-taking.
5. Rivers of crows in the sky.

May we walk in Beauty!


Last Night’s Gripping Dream:
We’ve moved to a new house, set on a hill above the barn. From the house, a small row of bushes obscures all but the top of the barn. As we explore the new barn, we’re a little overwhelmed by all the rusty junk and hay bales and mess. Cobwebs are everywhere, and it’s dark and dingy. We hear people walking around upstairs, but we’re too scared to go up there, so I yell, “Get out of our barn!” We go back up to the house.

A little while later, it has snowed, and we see that someone has shoveled all around the barn. We decide we have to confront the squatters. We get in the big red truck and race down the hill, right through the shoveled area and plow into a snowbank.

As we walk up to the barn door, we see a woman crouching in the bushes on the roof area above the barn door. She’s enormous. Heavy, sumo-style, and maybe eight or ten feet tall. She has a Renaissance-style hairdo with a pink rose, and she is completely naked. Her skin is a mocha color and she has enormous and compelling eyes.  I ask her her name. She says it’s Panella. (Or Panadella.) I do not feel threatened or anxious about her–I feel like she is sort of a guardian.

Inside, we are utterly astounded. Someone has, in an incredibly short period of time, completely cleaned the barn. The junk is gone. The hay bales and cobwebs are gone. There’s fresh plaster on the walls, neatly placed between barn beams. It’s gently lit, all over, upstairs and down. There must be fifty or sixty people in the barn. One woman is wearing silver body paint, head to foot. She and the others we first encounter seem a little startling, and not particularly friendly, but not threatening. The others we meet are friendlier, eager to show us around, to talk. It’s definitely my kind of party, no loud noises, sort of hushed conversations, but people everywhere, threading themselves through the space.

It is furnished like a house, and downstairs there is an enormous walk-in fireplace with a sort of ditch in front of the fire, and water running through the ditch. In front of that are lit candles. I am aware of how carefully people have placed the candles within the fireplace area, in order to be safe. They take us outside to show us the incredible compost pile they’ve created. They point up the hill to the other neighbors’ house. “Those are the hippie neighbors,” they say. The hippie neighbors’ house is a pavilion-style despite the frigid weather, and the hippie neighbors have their feet up on a low all, and they’re drinking and smoking.

Actually, the ones who’ve created this space aren’t here. They’ve gone out and left their friends there to have a party. There’s a young woman–I think her name is Elise–who used to go to the Waldorf School. A young man is a graduate of LMS. And there’s a third.

I feel incredibly drawn to this dream. There in my inner world, a space I tend to neglect in the rush of the daily, where I thought there would be clutter and ruin, are inviting rooms filled with energy and innovation. Jon pointed out that two of the Creators are from schools where I have taught, so I am wondering if the third might be a BCCC student. After a challenging morning conversation about some of the issues some of our students are experiencing, I spent a good part of yesterday worrying about my students, wondering if I have been doing enough to educate my students about racism and misogyny, about recognizing their entitlement and privilege.  I feel like this dream was a message from my deeper self that I need to trust that the daily work bears its fruit, that these people will have the creativity and resilience to create healthy lives.  And Panella? I think She is my Guardian.

Advertisements

Pathways to the Sun


Today’s Prompt is to write a “Shine” Poem.  I have been thinking about writing this short story about the tree shadows that grab my attention.

Once was a girl fell in love with the Sun.
Loved his shine, she did. Loved his flash and glory.
Once was a girl tried to reach her lover in his sky.
Tried to find the twisting pathway that led to her love.
Tried to find a way to get his attention.
She learned how to shine herownself, she did.
She shined all day long and all night
’til her own light was fading, she shone so.

And the people. The people, they loved her.
They loved her with fierceness for all her shining.
They loved her with tenderness for her fading.
‘Cause she passed that shine around,
’cause she was not afraid to show her longing,
’cause she wept and laughed at her own fading.

Came a day when she was old and worn and faded.
She walked in her garden under her Sun,
and she smiled for her love and she smiled for her longing.
She smiled for her long days of wisdom.
She smiled for her long nights of folly.
Saw a tree, tall and reaching its arms upward,
right into sunlight, basking in the tender arms of the Sun.

Her heart, like a shadow, almost stopped its beating.
She leaned into light, like the tree, arms raised upward.
She leaned into sunlight, she rested on sunbeams,
felt his hands on her face, his arms ’round her shoulders.
And in that moment she saw them, the pathways of shadow
that lead to her lover. Never looked backward.
No, she never looked backward, but followed the shadows
outward and upward, into the arms of the Sun.


Gratitude List:
1. Doors opening. Opening Doors. Reframing the question: Instead of “How do we seek progress? Asking “How do we open doors for change?”
2. The wise people who help to reframe the questions.
3. Family times.
4. My father’s bluebirds
5. Hard conversations, especially when they bring clarity.

May we walk in Beauty!

Every Day, I Am Remade


Today’s Prompt is to create a Remix of a poem from earlier in the month. I had already planned to re-work my construction/deconstruction poem, so this gives me a little more incentive to give that one a little creative attention. I wrote an initial stanza and then ran it through a Whisper-Down-the-Lane series of Google translations.

Re-De-Construction
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Every day, I am remade,
every day, I’m reconstructing,
every day, I’m rebuilding,

reborn from the husk,
retrieved from the waters,
regenerated from the shell
of yesterday’s creature,
from the body of tomorrow.

I’ll give you another day.


I did another one of these the other day, using a form of the last line of my Day of Reckoning Poem: Now we must reckon with women.

Now we must reckon with women.
Now we must count on women.
Now we must trust women.
Now we must rely on women.
Now we have to believe in women.
So, we must believe in women.
Therefore, we believe that women should be.
Therefore, we believe there should be women.
That is why we believe that there should be a woman.
We should have women to think.


Gratitude List:
1Such a stack of grading I completed this weekend!
2. Elderberry syrup
3. Fire cider
4. Crafty afternoon with the kiddos listening to Ellen Nesbit’s dragon short stories
5. My children love old-fashioned stories with old-fashioned diction. I’m proudly raising them to be nerdy.

May we walk in Beauty!

Late Bloom


Today’s prompt is to write a “How I’ll be remembered” poem.

How I’ll Be Remembered
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Forget my tendency to pedantry,
the grammatical dogmas,
the adherence to form.

Remember the need for grace,
and the giving of it in return.

Remember the wildness, the laughter,
remember the deconstructed rules.

Remember the earnest Mennonite face, yes,
but hold also the image
of the wild creature on the hillside,
resisting capture in a closed box.

Remember the flakiness, too,
the tendency to butterfly
from one idea to the next,
and the ease with which delight arose.

Remember the fire of my rages,
and let them fuel your own workings.

Remember the flawed and the broken,
remember the one who walked
outside the walls of the City of Despair.

Remember the late bloom,
the long gestation.


Oak is supreme in late November. Maples and willows and sycamore and poplar have lost their leaves, while oak still holds its leathery leaves–golden, brown, burgundy, red–shining in the slant of November afternoon sun. In a few short week, oak will lose its kingly mien and holly will take the place of honor. Holly and pine. For now, oak draws my heart upward.


Gratitude List:
1. Chicken curry and injera leftovers for supper
2. Making progress–slow but steady
3. The ache of muscles after good, healthy, hard work
4. Such a variety of leaves! I think of us as poplar, maple, and sycamore here. I know there are some oaks, but when we rake leaves in autumn, I always find at least three different varieties. I need to walk the property more. Of course, we’re in the hollow, so anything higher on the ridge will eventually drift down to us.
5. Fire Cider/Dragon’s Breath/Rosemary Gladstar

May we walk in Health and Beauty!

We Do Not Have to Be Slaves to the Machine

Second post of Two Today:

There’s so much to be angry about–despairing about, frustrated about–in these days. Why not stage your own protest? Begin with Black Friday and the Christmas/Yule holidays that approach.

Protest the Big Corporations and the 1% by buying your gifts from small stores, from Makers and Creators, people who lovingly craft items of beauty and usefulness.

Protest the racists and white nationalists who have been crawling out of the woodwork by buying your gifts from businesses owned and operated by people of color.

Protest the sexism and predation of the patriarchs by buying your gifts from women-run businesses.

Protest the consumerism of the season by taking your loved ones out to eat at local restaurants run by women, or people of color, or immigrants.

Donate to an organization that causes good things to happen in the world by donating to a cause that stands in the face of that which causes you pain. Donate in the names of your loved ones and make that a gift. Sit together at the Thanksgiving tables and talk about what organizations you as a community/family/tribe can contribute to together.

Volunteer, donate your time, take the little ones on a nature walk, or color together. Play games together. Make art. Write stories and poems together.

Share your dreams and your hopes with each other. Read each other your favorite poems. Tell stories. Listen. Make this coming holiday season about connection, about working together to create the future we envision.

In our family, the children have certain expectations of particular gifts, and we will probably fulfill certain of their desires, but I want to do it in the context of open awareness of who and what we support.

We do not have to be slaves to the machine.

A Thousand Shades of Blue


The Hans Herr House, from a couple years ago. Blue sky.

This is the first of two posts today.

Today’s prompt is to write a preface poem.

To write a poem is to shapeshift,
to become spider, who anchors her line
upon a slender twig high in the sycamore,
then casts herself forth upon air
to float earthward, supported only
by the capricious air and the line
of her own making, trusting to its strength,
trusting that her web will travel from Point A
to Point B in the most efficient line possible.


I wrote this last year on this day, on my Facebook page. Let’s keep looking for those doors. And I think about that line I wrote in the poem yesterday about God being a Mother who opens our doors. She helps us find the new ones, too.

“This morning, I feel as though a door has opened wide within me. It’s like those dreams, where I am wandering through Grandma’s old Victorian house, and opening doors I never noticed before, and finding rooms I have never seen. Suddenly, in a dark inner corner that I thought led to a dead end, I have found a new door, cobweb-covered and enshadowed, with deep green paint beneath the dust. And behind the door, a thousand shades of blue.

“Walk through the shadows to find the next Yes.

“Of course, this doesn’t change the world. But it does en-courage me to step forward. Let’s all take hands as we find our new doors, our new steps forward into darkness and light.”


Gratitude List:
1. La Luna
2. Los gatos
3. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin roll
4. My sweet snuggly kiddos
5. Teaching Nate to knit–he’s a fast learner

May we walk in Beauty!

Day of Reckoning


Such beautiful eyes, boy and cat. The purring was loud.

Today’s Prompt is to write a “________ Day” Poem. I am fighting-angry these days, so this poem will speak to that .

Day of Reckoning
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

This is the day we reckon with the lies of the old men.
This is the day we see how the truth is uncovered.
This is the day we pick up the rock,
and watch what crawls out from beneath.
This is the day we watch patriarchy crumble
beneath the load of its own falsehoods.

This is the day we open the golden doors of the cages
where blind old men lock their little dolls
safe from the ravages of others, safe for themselves.
This is the day we stand up and say,
Our bodies are not your political tools.

This is the day we welcome the Mother
from the mists where She has been hidden.

Sisters, God is not a withered old man
who will lock you in a box until he is ready to use you.
God is an Aunty who will teach you how
to unlock the cage of your throat.
She is a Grandmother who will dress you
in your fierce and glorious clothing.
She is a Mother who will open your doors,
and throw wide your windows.
She is a Sister who will listen to your questions,
and teach you how to fight.

This is the day we reckon with women.


Gratitude List:
1. Clean floors!
2. Time to work on grading, and still time to clean and be with boys
3. The truth will out
4. The mothers, the aunties, the grandmothers, the sisters
5. Chicken curry and rice for supper, and Jon says he is bringing home some injera!

May we walk in Beauty!

A Daily Day


Today’s Prompt is to write a Construction and/or a Deconstruction Poem.
I am wiped right out tonight, so I am going to do my favorite form of deconstruction. I am going to take a little poem and run it through Google Translate several times:

Every day, I am remade,
reborn from the husk
of yesterday’s creature.

(To Malayalam and back again)
Every day, I’m reconstructing,
Resurrected from throat
Today’s work.

(To Bangla and back)
Every day, I’m rebuilding,
Resurrection from throat
Today’s job.

(To Gujarati and Amharic and back)
I will rebuild every day,
From the Crucifixion
They work today

(Chinese)
I will rebuild it everyday
Crucified
They work today

(Hausa)
I’ll rebuild it everyday
Cross
They work today

(Sindhi)
I’ll give you a daily day
Cross
They work today


“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
—Nelson Mandela
***
For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your beautiful eyes.
—Hafiz
***
“Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.” —proverb
***
“All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.” —Rumi
***
The magic of autumn has seized the countryside;
now that the sun isn’t ripening anything
it shines for the sake of the golden age;
for the sake of Eden;
to please the moon for all I know.
—Elizabeth Coatsworth
***
“. . .fairies’ gold, they say, is like love or knowledge–or a good story. It’s most valuable when it’s shared.” —Heather Forest, The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies


Gratitude List:
1. A Tuesday that was a Friday. Big sigh of relief.
2. Time to catch up on my work.
3. That moon
4. The musical students of LMH
5. Resolve

May we walk in Beauty!

The Wayfinder


Today’s prompt is a What I Learned poem.

What I Learned
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

How much a heart can hold, of fire and of earth,
how wild a soul can feel, how feral, how untamed,
how deep attention causes the spirit to rise,
to break free of its earth-bound chains,
how solid the earth upon which we walk,
and how free it feels to rest upon air,
how fire consumes but does not burn,
how water is its own pathway for journeying.


“Oh to meet, however briefly, the greatness that lives under our surface. To summon enough bravery to be without armour and strategy, for the chance at meeting that irreducible power. Oh to make of our terrified hearts a prayer of surrender to the God of Love; that we remain safe in our quivering ache to be near that Otherness, even for a moment. To touch that ancient life who will never relinquish its wilderness, who lets instinct make its choices, whose knowing lives in bones and whose song is a wayfinder.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love.”
―Parker J. Palmer
***
“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
―Emily Dickinson
***
“One of my favourite teachings by Martín Prechtel is that ‘violence is an inability with grief.’ In other words, it takes skillfulness to grieve well, to grieve wholeheartedly. It requires us to bravely, nakedly come to face all that is lost, keeping our hearts open to loving just as fully again.

“When we make war, lashing out in rage and revenge, it is because we are unwilling to make this full encounter with grief. It is easy to enact the same violence which has taken so much from us―including towards ourselves―but the greater work is to let that which is missing enlarge your life; to make beauty from your brokenness.

“Whatever you hold in the cauldron of your intention is your offering to the divine. The quality of assistance you can generate and receive from the Holy is governed by the quality of your inner offering. When you indulge in fear and doubt, you are flooding the arena where love is attempting to work.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth
in the present moment.”
―Thich Nhat Hanh
***
“An Awake Heart
is like a Sky that Pours Light.” ―Hafiz
***
“Gather the dawn and wind.
Breathe in sun and frost and song.
Hold for a moment.
Breathe out birds and words and joy.
Breathe out moss and stones and hope.”
―Beth Weaver-Kreider


Gratitude List:
1. (What was beautiful?) Three geese winging low over golden fields with sky turning to sunset behind them.
2. (What sounds brought you awake?) Students hitting the chimes in my doorway. I have a little chime magnet that hangs from my doorway, and several students hit it on the way in and the way out each day.
3. (What smells enlivened the day?) I can’t smell much through this cold, but the essential oils I wear in the mornings–patchouli and sandalwood, sweet orange, palmarosa, and lavender–got through. Essential oils help to break through the sinusitis.
4. (What was good to the touch?) I brought out my large black and white scarf, so soft and warm. The cats like it, too. They knead it like little kittens.
5. (What is the flavor of the day?) Turkey Hill’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream. It tastes like my childhood.

May we walk in Beauty!

Honesty Matters

Today’s Prompt is to write an Abundance poem:

How can we speak of abundance
amid such an abundance of wrongs,
when the throngs of people seeking safety
are turned from our borders,
when we long for justice within,
but the strong still crush the weak,
when we seek simple peace,
but we’ve begun to doubt that the meek
will inherit much of anything,
much less the earth?

Still, much remains, abundantly,
beyond the walls and the hostility.
The abundance of tender friends,
of quiet moments of reflection,
of laughter bubbling between us,
and tears that bring release, and heal us.
Kindness sometimes overflows
and gentle eyes and warm hands,
and stories woven together,
the cloth for a table lavishly spread,
with a welcome for all.


“Walk fearlessly into the house of mourning, for grief is just love squaring up to its oldest enemy.” —Kate Braestrup
***
“Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything.” —Neil Gaiman
***
“Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors, but today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.” —Kahlil Gibran
***
“To write is to ask questions. It doesn’t matter if the answers are true or puro cuento. After all and everything only the story is remembered, and the truth fades away like the pale blue ink on a cheap embroidery pattern.” —Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo
***
“With guns, you can kill terrorists.
With education, you can kill terrorism.” —Malala Yousufsai
***
“The wo/man who moves a mountain
begins by carrying away small stones.”
—Confucius, The Analects
***
“That day,
the morning came golden,
sudden,
like wind over the mountains
pushing the dark away like a curtain.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider
***
“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?” —Wendell Berry


Gratitude List:
1. Oatmeal toast for supper. Simple, delicious comfort food, made by my dad. Also, apples and cheese. And chocolate cake for dessert. But the oatmeal toast was the medicine for the moment.
2. More people weaving their stories into the tapestry of our lives.
3. This congregation I belong to: People to laugh and cry with, to discuss and discern with, to deepen and grow with. And that’s just one Sunday morning.
4. Lights at ends of tunnels. Walking through those doorways with people I love.
5. A couple years ago, I wore through the heels of a couple pairs of striped socks that I loved. Rather than throw them away, I cut off the feet, and now I wear them as undersleeves. That little extra layer on my arms really helps to keep me from getting chilled.

May we walk in Beauty!