All That You Change Changes You


“In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing
When you look at the sky at night.”
―The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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“Now go hug your kids.”
―Bret Sidler (my heart is with you and Sue in these late June days)
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“All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you.” ―Octavia Butler
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“The world is not to be put in order. The world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”
― Henry Miller
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“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.”
―Jane Goodall
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Prayer for the World
by Rabbi Harold Kushner

Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
Amen.

 


Gratitude List:
1. Mullein. I know I said it a couple days ago, but yesterday I drove toward York, and there was a huge patch all along the roadside, all the bright yellow candles lit for midsummer. I did not have a fire last night for St. John’s Eve, but the Hag’s Tapers were lit up everywhere.
2. Titmice calling in the trees to wake me up.
3. Preparing for my time at the monastery, gathering books and art materials, ideas for meditation.
4. Today is Cycle the Solstice, and one small person in my house is really excited.
5. The way rain refreshes the soil, the plants, and my heart.

May we walk in Beauty!

Getting It Done


“What? Love.

Who? Everyone.
When? Now.”
―Glennon Doyle Melton
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“No, Charles Wallace said. “I have to go on. We have to make decisions and we can’t make them if they’re based on fear.”
―Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
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“Live not for Battles Won.
Live not for The-End-of-the-Song.
Live in the along.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks, Report from Part One
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“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole…. ” ― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
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“Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.”
― Abraham H. Maslow
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“I don’t try to understand everything in nature. I just look at it. And enjoy it.” –Bob Ross

Gratitude List:
1. Snugglesome cat
2. Lots of tea
3. Stretching sore muscles
4. Reading, reading, reading
5. Planning ahead

May we walk in Beauty!

The Fire Has Always Been Burning

golden1
On the original collage of this, there was a little strip of text that reads, “The fire has always been burning.” It was lost in the filtering process, but the feeling has been preserved.

Gratitude List:
1. Moment of Surprise: An enormous raccoon scrambled across the road to the creek and up into the bosque just before twilight this evening.
2. William Carlos Williams Moment: So much depends on the way the sun backlights a cloud against an aquamarine sky laced with crows.
3. Dream Moment: I carried with me all day the dream of my little cat. It was so real, I could feel her soft fur again, like angel feathers.
4. Satisfaction Moment: Jon’s delicious everything stew. With habanero sauce and smoked sea salt.
5. Anticipation Moment: I just have a sense that I am going to break the insomnia cycle tonight.

May we walk in Beauty!

Snugglesome

snugglesome

Gratitude List:
1. Bald Eagles. Twice in the last two days, I have seen a bald eagle (perhaps the same one) near the Wrightsville exit off 30. Once in the air, and once in a tree. Every time I see one, I bless the memory of Rachel Carson, and remember that one person can make a difference in the world. Were it not for Rachel Carson, we very well might not have bald eagles to be grateful for.
2. This snugglesome cat. I knew him when he was a kitten, and now he is an old man, and I have only slipped from young adult into middle age. I feel as though I have gone from being his Mama to being his granddaughter. And so time is fleeting, and I am grateful for the time he has with us.
3. Poetry–putting it out into the world in a more intentional way.
4. I think that the sick-folk are getting better. I haven’t heard anyone cough for a good half-hour now.
5. En-visioning. I began a little Vision Booklet today. It came together very easily because I used collage bits that I have been saving. Probably just for this. I think that I have sorted out my heart’s desire a little more explicitly this year than I have before. That is satisfying.

May we walk in Beauty!

Alien Bales

aliens
This is a photo of those round hay bales run through a Dreamscope filter. I’ve always thought they looked like something from and alien culture and this seems to prove it.
Gratitude List:
1. Rest
2. Time to focus on some poetry projects. I have another chapbook in the works for a contest. I hope to send it out before January.
3. The social comfort of card games
4. Dreams
5. A warm cat. We going to try letting him stay upstairs tonight instead of going into the basement. I am guessing I will be getting up at three during his angst-concert to put him downstairs, but maybe he’ll be able to keep it to himself.

May we walk in Beauty!

Invisible as Wind

sweetfred-edited

Today’s Tiny Tale:

There once was a boy who could become invisible as the wind. He would vanish without a word, without leaving a trail, and slip through the cracks in the walls, underneath doors, between lines of lazy type across a page.

Gratitude List:
1. Sundogs
2. The robust and muscular figure of a hawk in a skeletal winter tree
3. Stories
4. Snuggly cat
5. Sleeping and dreaming. This is the season.

May we walk in Beauty!

Seeking the Stairway to the Second Story

golden

In the dream, I need to get to the second floor of the house. I know I have been there before, but the only way to get up there is through a little cupboard space high up off the floor. There are no steps or ladder. I need to climb up on the back of a bench or chair, balance myself, and scramble up and through. I have physical memories of having done it before, but every time I dream this, it seems that the distance has increased, or I have gotten smaller. There is just no way I can make the scramble. (Years ago, the dreams had me scrambling through claustrophobic spaces. Now I cannot even reach the portal.)

In last night’s version of the story, the cupboard/passage was slightly to the right above the chair back where I was standing, hoping to get the courage to leap up to the opening–my arms couldn’t even reach this time. I think that is how it is in every version of this dream, above my head and to the right.

Last night’s dream included an incredibly gorgeous cat named Angel (pronounced Ahn-Jel, emphasis on second syllable). Angel kept her claws sheathed, and her toes were long and agile, almost like fingers. She had dark, knowing eyes.  The woman she lived with was named Jessica, and Jessica was terribly conflicted because she was a Trump supporter and none of the rest of us in the circle were. We were trying to figure out a way to help Jessica to feel welcome and comfortable. I said a prayer, but everyone stopped paying attention and started talking after the first couple sentences.

I am struck by the challenge of trying to get to the second floor. As much as I am working on getting my inner spaces in order, something seems to be a little off-kilter, a little too hard to negotiate.  Or perhaps I am longing for the ease with which I could access my deepest self when I was younger, and the older I get, the smaller I am, and the less able to make the leap into that space.

I am glad to have the magnificent Angel in my head, and Jessica reminds me to love and welcome all people, not to simply spiritualize the conflicts of the current political story, but to make the human connection.

I think that there is a purpose to my nighttime wakefulness–there are ideas that the Dream-maker would have me explore right now. Perhaps I can meditate on the way to enter the second story. (Wow. Now I am caught by the double meaning of that: second story.  Here I am, poised in the liminal space of midlife, and I am seeking the stairway to the second story. What will that story be?)

Gratitude List:
1. Friday. Hymn sing and a weekend coming.
2. I know those hidden rooms within me do exist, and I know that I can find them.
3. Cats and angels
4. Crossing the River these mornings in the dawn
5. Nighttime wakefulness, when it brings messages

May we walk in Beauty!

Thunderbolt and Courage

Gratitude List:
1.  This: “Sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt. ” —President Obama
2.  Bree Newsome–She climbed that flagpole and took down that obscenity.  She’d had enough already.  When they put cuffs on her, she held her head up, smiled, and recited the Lord’s Prayer as they walked her out.  We showed the video to the boys–“Sometimes,” I told them, “people break laws for good reasons.”
3.  Cat on my lap on a chilly evening.  His head is so heavy on my right wrist, I might have to quit typing.
4.  Shifting and re-making spaces.  Ellis wants space of his own, so I am giving him my “Room of Her Own” and moving my space up to the attic.  I’ll have to see what it’s like in weather changes, but right now it feels just right.  Even more my own than the little room was down below.
5.  Tending the head space, as well as the heart space.

May we walk in Beauty!

My Cat, the Alchemist

Ah.  This is awkward.  Today’s prompt is to name your poem “My (fill in), the (fill in).”  For some reason cat and alchemist were in my brain, and I didn’t manage to exorcise them before they started to become a poem.  Silly, perhaps, or campy, but something in me sort of likes it.

My Cat, the Alchemist

He takes me in my sleeping state
and transmutes me to my waking self,
reaching through the gates
between those two worlds
with a cry like a human babe

and claws that shred
the stuff of dreams
to ribbons of image,
figments of half-memory,

and I am running faster
down that railroad bridge,
running from a lion
who keeps calling my name,

I am pulled from my quiet wanderings
through the empty rooms of a house
I both know and don’t know.

Some nights I can pull myself
gently back between the bars,
mend the tattered cloth of dream
and sail back into my night voyages.

Often, though, I find myself
wriggling and twisting, caught
in the bars between worlds,
neither quite here, nor quite there,
but an industrial purr beside me
and a small warm body against my leg.
Gratitude List:
1. Yes, I am utterly and unquenchably redundant, but have you seen the pink trees?  Pink Trees.  Number one on my gratitude list.  Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink.  “That’s nice,” says Joss, “because pink is my new favorite color.”  <Yes!>
2. Dinner with the dormies.  That was fun and yummy. We took a walk afterward, and a student’s father yelled out his car window that he loves to see families out walking together.
3. Random blessings from strangers.  See #2.
4. The Lego Museum.  Halfway through the DC day yesterday, Joss said, “I want to go home now.  I want to make a Lego Museum.”  Art imitates life.  He could only take in so much before he had to go start creating in response to it.
5. Kindness.

May we walk in Beauty!