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

 

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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!

Keep Waiting, Keep Listening


I took this last summer with a mirror filter with my son’s camera.  Angels everywhere.

Last night’s dreams don’t feel like any place to gather large and thoughtful ideas for the year, but here goes:

  • I got a ticket for parking my dune buggy in a handicapped space.
  • I spent a lot of time waiting for something to happen, in a bar, with someone named Conrad, a quiet and comfortable presence.
  • What looked like a dauntingly enormous tankard of beer was suddenly a quiet cup of steaming coffee in my hand.

Perhaps it was all a reminder to keep waiting, keep listening (like Conrad), accept responsibility for myself even when I don’t realize that I have broken the rules, remain temperate and awake.

Gratitude List:
1. The long Sabbath of Christmas Break, impending.
2. Answering well, then disengaging.
3. The way One Small Boy loves to make Christmas.
4. A life free of boredom.
5. All the creative ways in which people birth their dreams.

As salaam aleikum.  Shalom.  Peace to you.

Sunreturn

2014 January 010
The sun is not up yet today, and I must be off, but this is from a previous, and snowy, year.  Here comes the sun!

Sunreturn is the name I give it.  After the longest nights, we whirl back to face our star.

Last night’s dream images:

  • Riding on top of the bus–terrifying.  I had to tell the others that I needed to find another way to get where I was going.  I was too afraid of sliding off.  There was one person–I don’t know who he was, though he was substantial and comforting–who let me hold on to him while I was up there.
  • Trying to find route 76.  Also called Trout Highway.  (I don’t know a rural Rt. 76 in waking life, nor a Trout Highway.)
  • Vast and glorious vistas–rolling hills and mountains, like Scotland.  I think I needed to be on top of the bus to really get those views.  Sigh.
  • Getting separated from my friends (because I couldn’t handle sitting on top of the bus), but finding my own way anyway.

Gratitude List:
1. Watching Mandela with people from the school community last night.  The turn-out was a little small, but hopefully it will still spark some good discussions about how to respond to unjust situations.  “This is how it begins.”
2. Sunreturn.  This morning.  In a few minutes.  We begin to whirl back toward the sun, begin to turn our face once again sunward.
3. Christmas Break.  Soon.  Soon.  Soon.
4. Kindness.  It gets a little under-rated, and sort of smooshed under the big calls for Change and Justice.  It gets pushed aside sometimes by Righteous Indignation.  But Kindness needs its own time in the center.
5. How these children are growing and changing and becoming themselves.  It’s terrifying (No!  Where’s my little tyke?) but so beautiful to watch.  Just now, a small person came to tell me something, and I didn’t entirely recognize his face as he spoke.  Some new, older child is emerging.  Even the loss of a teeny tiny baby tooth shifts the way he looks, the way he speaks.

Salaam, Shalom, Peace.

Shortest Day

NASA photo

Today is Solstice.  I like to picture us flinging our way through space, held in our ellipse by the flaming star at the center of our dance.  In these days we are out at one of the further points of the oval, and our northern face is turned away, mostly, from the sun.  We get to gaze, for these few moments a year, into darkest space, to sense the comfort of the darkness that enfolds our tiny galaxy, to really feel the presence of the stars.  I feel these Solstice days as a hush or a pause, a breath, before we begin our inward whirl again, back into light, back into slightly closer proximity with the sun.

The twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany are often spoken of as high holy days, days in the Christian calendar when people reflect on the darkness and the light, on our place in the cosmos, on the past year and the coming year.  I like to begin those days of deep reflection at the Solstice, to watch my dreams, to see what images and visions come to me, what words become important.  Perhaps what comes is purely random flotsam from the unconscious, or perhaps it’s messages from the Spirit.  Either way, what appears provides me with visual and linguistic hooks on which to hang some of my meditative practice for the coming year.

May your dreams comfort and disturb you in this season.

Gratitude List:
1. The quietly enfolding darkness
2. Dreams.  Quiet.  Waiting.
3. Good counsel.  I am not alone.
4. Prayer.  Praying.  Inter-cession: being “yielded between.”
5. Looking backward.  Looking forward.  Looking inward and outward.  Up and down.  How many ways can I examine the space around me?

May we walk in the light of the stars.

Moss and Magic

Gratitude List:
1. Science: The boys watched Bill Nye the Science Guy today.  They learned about mixing moss and milk or yogurt and then painting it on a surface, so we did that tonight.
2. Magic: Ellis used his moss mix to make a carpet for the faerie house under the sycamore tree.  Then they both ran inside asking to fill sea shells with milk and honey as a gift for the faeries.
3. Prayer: I am so sad and disheartened by the continuing medical struggles of a beautiful, wild, and gentle soul that I know.  I feel so hopeless and helpless, and prayer is a line that I hold onto.  Thin sometimes that line is, but real.  And strong.
4. Dreams: Last night’s dream was unsettling.  Still, I think it had a message which I will take to heart, a message for which I am grateful.
5. Poetry: During tonight’s class, three of us read papers on poems we’d read–William Stafford, Madeleine L’Engle, and Mary Oliver.

May we walk in Beauty!