The Fire Has Always Been Burning

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Saying Goodbye

Winky and Fred

Nikhita “Winky” Weaver-Kreider (2000ish-April 23, 2014), left in photo

Tonight we said goodbye to our dear friend and companion of ten years, Winky.

Gratitude List:
1. A compassionate vet and nurses and office staff
2. Hundreds of swallows dipping over the River, catching insects and chittering happily
3. Two white snowy egrets, flying slowly upriver, low to the water, and then suddenly upward and into the sun of the dying day
4. Last night’s rainbow, the bridge for a small cat to cross on her journey
5. My cheer-up brigade: “Mom, Winky’s dead, but now she’s in Aslan’s Country, so she can talk!”

May we walk in Beauty.

Today’s poetry prompt is to write about a location.  I have a visual love affair with the photography of Kilian Schonberger.  Every time he posts a new photo on Facebook, I let my fairy tale mind roam into the picture and let it tell me a story of some sort.  Today’s poem is based on his photo of trees in a bog.  Look up his work.  It’s incredibly magical.

I saw the photo and his reference to is as being about “becoming and passing away,” and wrote the poem before Winky died.  It feels much deeper with meaning now.

Remember the day
you stood in the mud
at the edge of the bog

and watched the slow shiver
of the birches
reflected in the water,

how you saw
the faerie creature caught
there in the middle of the pool,

between the worlds
of visible and invisible,
how you waded out
into the muck to release her,

and saw–for the briefest of moments–
as she whisked out of sight,
the bright sun shining
through the door from the fields of Faerie?

Looking Within

2013 October 015
Cat in the compost. . .

Gratitude List:
1.  A wonderful and rich morning with Alyson Earl, looking deeply within.  Thank you so much!
2.  All my helpers, healers, mentors, guides, faery godmothers, friends.  I get by with a little help. . .
3.  That clickety little bird who sings in the chestnut tree these days.  I don’t know who it is, but its call says, “Stop and pay attention.”
4.  The way the vegetables and fruits that are ripe in any season are designed to give the body exactly what it needs in that season.
5.  Balance

May we walk in Beauty.