Let Me Drink the Day

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
―Les Brown
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“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” ―Edith Wharton
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“Love is a decision–not an emotion!”
―Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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“To live is to find out for yourself what is true, and you can do this only when there is freedom, when there is continuous revolution inwardly, within yourself.” ―Jiddu Krishnamurti
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When the brokenness of the world makes you tired, run to the forest.
Remember how small you are.
Watch the leaves change.
Listen to acorns fall from the heights.
Let the wind and the water talk to you about what it means to heal.
Let The Creator show you the benevolent, secret places.
―Kaitlin Curtice
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“Every seed we plant is a tiny loving prayer in action.” ―Rowen White
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“In a time of destruction, create something.” ―Maxine Hong Kingston
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For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
―T.S. Eliot, The Dry Salvages
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“I guess if I’d had any sense I’d’ve been a little scared, but what was the point of being scared?

“The only thing they could do to me was kill me and it seemed like they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time ever since I could remember.” ―Fannie Lou Hamer
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“Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.” ―Albert Einstein


Gratitude List:
1. Sunrises. I love driving to school in the sunrise. Magenta on indigo clouds, then shooting rays of gold.
2. Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Shoofly Pie.” It’s been a joy to read it with my Academic Writers. They just wanted to keep reading stories together, it was such a pleasant experience.
3. Basic Kindness.
4. Habanero peppers–we sauteed one in butter tonight for the adults to sprinkle on our milk beans and rice.
5. The messages in dreams. I woke up with words ringing in my ears this morning. I need to listen, to find the key to make the message real in waking life. (Perhaps I need to engage the assistance of a life coach or a spiritual director.)

May we walk in Beauty!

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Seeking a Homeland

Posing

Handsome Sachs in a sunbeam. He has recently acquired the nickname Gunther.

“We are all of us seeking a homeland, even though we have only seen and embraced it from afar. We are all of us strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” —Frederick Buechner
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Love is not something you do; love is Someone you are. It is your True Self. Love is where you came from and love is where you’re going. It’s not something you can attain. It’s not something you can work up to, as much as something you allow yourself to fall into! It is the living presence of God within you, often called the Holy Spirit, or what some theologians name uncreated grace. You can’t manufacture this by any right conduct. You can’t make God love you one ounce more than God already loves you right now.” —Richard Rohr
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Danielle LaPorte: “You might have to face your own sadness and empty places as you wish for an other’s sadness and emptiness to be lifted. You will have to acknowledge your interconnectedness, which is particularly difficult when you are moving on. You will have to face your disappointment head on — and what you see might burn your eyes.”
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“Love is where you come from and love is where you’re going.” —Richard Rohr
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“I have two daughters.
Their names are Memory and Loss.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider (after Eavan Boland)
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Rob Brezsny:
“You and I and everyone else in the world talk to ourselves constantly. The conversation is mostly silent and covert, however.
As a result, we get away with abusing ourselves; we assail ourselves with mean thoughts that we’d be far less likely to fling if we actually spoke them aloud.
Now might be a good time for you to break this bad habit. In fact, I’m going to officially declare that it’s Speak More Kindly to Yourself Season.
For best results, shun the usual telepathic communion with yourself. Instead, say every word aloud as you carry on your dialogues.”
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Terry Tempest Williams. from Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert:
“I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget….

I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness….

I write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine….

I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love..”


Gratitude List:
1. Dreams full of cats. Tortoiseshells: fluffy ones, really short-haired ones, ones that are mostly white, with tortie spots, ones that have streaks of white here and there. Third night of animal dreams, each time remembering the dream because I am awakened by a small furry person licking my face or purring in my ear, or walking on my head. I think Thor is something of a Dream Companion for me. The first night he came to us, he awakened me from a nightmare.
2. A gloriously cool fall day
3. Going to the book sale and Steam-O-Rama with the family
4. Wise and compassionate friends who model thoughtful and respectful discussion
5. Layers. A glosa of a glosa. Harmonies with deeper harmonies. Fractalization.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Dragon in the Park



“What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours—that is what you must be able to attain.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke
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“Hope is a renewable option:
If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning.” ―Barbara Kingsolver
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“There is a voice that doesn’t use words.
Listen.”
―Rumi
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“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
―Carl Jung
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“I don’t ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depth of my seeing.”
―Mary Oliver
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“We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom, and light.”
―Hafiz


Gratitude List:
1. On the way past Sam Lewis Park yesterday afternoon, we saw a dragon in the sky. And two dinosaurs. And two trilobites. People were flying kites. I think they’re known as Finnish kites. A high up leader kite is tethered to a balloon-style kite. The higher kite pulls the lower one up into the air. It’s amazing to watch.
2. Bubbles. Also at the park, a couple had brought along several buckets full of soap solution and long rope-style bubble wands. They created enormous bubbles.
3. Sharing stories. Stories, like bridges between us.
4. The Labor movement–people believing in their cause–in worker safety, in justice and fairness in pay, in reasonable hours, in respectable treatment of employees.
5. Playing games with the kids.

May we walk in Beauty!

Words

 

“The words were on their way, and when they arrived, she would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.”  ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
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“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
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“I hold the most archaic values on earth … the fertility of the soul, the magic of the animals, the power-vision in solitude…. the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe.” ― Gary Snyder
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“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow: and without trees, we cannot make paper.” ―Thich Nhat Hanh
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“The study of silence has long engrossed me. The matrix of a poet’s work consists not only of what is there to be absorbed and worked on, but also of what is missing, desaparecido, rendered unspeakable, thus unthinkable.” ―Adrienne Rich
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“Be ready to be surprised by the crazy, wonderful events that will come dancing out of your past when you stir the pot of memory. Embrace those long-lost visitors.” ―William Zinsser
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Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds. ―Bob Marley


Gratitude List:
1. Fridays
2. Owl calling in the pre-dawn
3. Artists
4. Dreams
5. Words

May we walk in Beauty!

Gestating Ideas

lichen

What is gestating within you in these days? What ideas and dreams are you brooding on? What seeds are waiting deep within you to break open their casings and begin seeking upward for sunshine and air?

Now is the time to give them secret and tender names, to hold them gently and to imagine what how they will appear when they are full grown. Sing to them, those ideas and dreams. Breathe on them. Look lovingly upon them, with eyes full of wonder. It may even be time to begin to whisper them to the dawn: “I wonder how my life would be if I would. . .”

Gratitude List:
1. Gestating intentions and ideas
2. Time with family, chances to chat and catch up. These fine, fine young folks.
3. The Janus pose–looking forward, looking back. But being in this moment.
4. Figgy pudding
5. The marriage of wisdom and compassion.

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!

Long Naps and Dreamtime

solstice-morning-sun solstice-spirits
One of the perks of having people riding with me to school in the morning is that I can ask someone else to take pictures of the Solstice sunrise over the bridge. The picture on the right has been sent through a filter–I like what it did with the visual rhythm of the old bridge.

During these long nights after Solstice, I try to stay particularly aware of my dreams. This evening after supper, I fell asleep on the recliner. I can’t remember the whole dream. I remember a sense of feeling like I was sort of an outsider in a group of people at some sort of resort, but the image that strikes me was of a mountainside across a bay. There were large areas of woody hillside covered in blue and purple shadows, but the sun was shining down on one bit that was bright emerald green. When I conjure the image in my head, it’s like a piece of painted art rather than a physical landscape, but in my dream, I desperately wanted to get a picture of that little green patch of sunny green.

Last night, I had planned to spend some time working on a meditation I had just read. I thought I could work my way into the space of the meditation, and then gently fall asleep, but I couldn’t get past the first moment of focus on the candle flame. Every time I woke up in the night, I would go back to the flame, and start with orienting myself in space, and then I would be asleep. Perhaps it would be good to have something like that for the insomnia moments.

Gratitude List:
1. Christmas Caroling and Singalong Chapel. The men’s chorus singing “Twelve Days of Christmas” was one of the funniest Christmas carol moments ever. The women’s chorus was beautiful, and Javon’s final song, “Peace on Earth” gave me the chills.
2. Cloud-shadows on the sky
3. Fred’s Christmas routine. He can no longer jump up to sleep on the Nativity scene like he used to. Now every morning he goes under the little table, beneath the table cloth, and waits for someone to toss his mouse to him. Then he goes and plays shark hockey with the sharks that Josiah sets with his Lego world. He still has a lot of kitten in him.
4. Chocolate
5. Long naps and dreamtime

May we walk in Beauty!

If I’d Only

fire-and-water
Fire and water–A photo I took of fire, melded with the Japanese wave painting. I feel like there’s a human portrait in there. . .

Today’s prompt is to write an “If I’d Only _________” poem.

If I’d Only Had More Time
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

If I’d only had more time
had more rhythm
had more passion
had more energy
more focus, more rhyme

If I’d only had more zeal
had more wisdom
had more hope
had more tenderness
more compassion, more appeal

If I’d only had more sass
had more impertinence
had more whoop
had more in-your-face
more fierce, more brass

If I’d only had more only
had more mostly
had more often
had more will
more do
less lonely

Gratitude List:
1. The moment when I crawl into bed in the evenings. The delicious feeling of being just about to fall asleep
2. The messages in dreams
3. Poetry prompts
4. The mix of leaves in the yard: poplar, oak, maple, sycamore, walnut, locust
5. Always beginning again

May we walk in Beauty!

Anything is Possible

IMG_0068
Another of Ellis’s funky photos.  This may actually be me, caught in a swirl, against the barn, against the sky.


when the dream has shifted,
sifted away into the mist

will you still find yourself
moored to the rocks of the day

or off in some alternate realm
where anything is possible?

Gratitude List:
1. Yesterday’s message: “You are a beloved, precious child of God.”  Pass it on.
2. Chili lunch yesterday, thanks to the Junior Youth.  And there was a delicious vegetarian option.  And Cholulu Chipotle hot sauce.  And both cornbread and rice.  I’m suddenly feeling hungry again.
3. Outlining my classes.  I love the feel of possibility, the sense of organization at the beginning.  I am vowing to hold onto that careful organization more solidly throughout this semester.
4. Staff Development Day.  Sometimes I hate meetings, but Staff Development Day is a school day when I don’t have to be responsible to prepare anything for anyone else.  I can look forward to receiving all day.  I love the bustle of the full group of teachers from all the campuses.
5. Language.  What an amazing gift language is, the web of words that we build between us, to channel ideas and thoughts and dreams and feelings between us, bridging the separate worlds of our bodies.

May we walk in Beauty!

Three Eggs of Possibility

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Three Small Eggs

What three small eggs
are you incubating?

Three tender dreams,
three hidden hopes,
three waiting wishes. . .

How will you hatch them?
How will you nurture and tend
the golden possibilities they contain?

Name them now.

Gratitude List:
1. Endings and Beginnings.  Today is the last day of the first semester.  I am ready for a change, ready for the new start.
2. Baby Steps.  I am learning, finally, here as I approach the end of a half century, that I can take baby steps.  I don’t have to wait until I am ready to do The Whole Thing before I embark on a project.  May I keep learning this one.
3. Learning to know people from all over the world.  I keep being struck by how incredibly fortunate I am to work in a place where I can get to know people from China and Korea and Japan and Ethiopia and Russia and Vietnam and the Dominican Republic and. . .
4. The pink, salmon, tangerine glow to the clouds yesterday afternoon when I was leaving school.
5. Hopes and dreams.  These are the days when the seniors begin to show up at the doors of the English teachers, desperately seeking advice about their college essays.  What tender documents these are, holding their dreams.  Yesterday afternoon’s essay was an eloquent expression of a student’s desire to be part of the solution to poverty.

May we walk in Beauty!