The Bud Always Opens Toward Decay


“Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.” ―Wendell Berry, from “What Are People For?”
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“It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.” ―Gertrude Stein
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“It is Story that heals us, that shapeshifts us, that saves us.” ―Sylvia V. Linseadt
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“It can hurt to go through life with your heart open, but not as much as it does to go through life with your heart closed.” –Jim Doty
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The bud always opens toward decay,
toward falling, the fragile bits within
slipping off their tiny moorings,
sifting downward, petals drooping,
dropping to the ground below,
offering beauty and a lingering aroma
in the briefest span.

The bud which never opens
also lives toward decay and rot
but never senses sun-warm petals,
never knows the draw of butterfly,
the tickle of the bee, never feels
the moment of release, of
settling to earth.
–Beth Weaver-Kreider


Gratitude List:
1. The gift of a new mantra. Today a young woman recounted a story of not getting what she needed in a certain situation. “Next time, I will speak my need,” she said. Me too.
2. That Ross Gay poem, “Sorrow is Not My Name
“I remember. My color’s green. I’m spring.”
3. Shelter. Food. Clothing.
4. Music
5. The last of the summer sweet corn. It seems appropriate to have an end-of-summer corn dinner.

May we walk in Beauty!

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If I say Green

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Back to my lime-kiln portal,  but this time with a Monet filter.

Here is a poem:

If I say green to you
when the winds of winter
still carry a chill
over the fields
at the top of the hill,
when indigo pockets of shadows
still harbor small mounds of snow,

will you know what I mean,
how even in these days
of limbo, of in-between,
something rises,
barely seen, a little frill,
a thrill of green
beneath the brown of winter?

(originally posted Feb. 28, 2016)

Gratitude List:
1. People you don’t really know, but you know you like
2. Daffodils
3. Young eagle flying above the highway this morning
4. Observing young women finding their voices
5. Cheese bread with a fried egg for supper: Comfort

May we walk in Beauty!

Long Naps and Dreamtime

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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!

All the Shades of Green

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See that green and orange tulip bloom against the red barn?  My body thinks that little flower wants to kill me.  When the tulip tree begins to send out its pollens, my body sets up a racket of sneezing and sniffling and eye-watering–whatever it can do to try to keep the pollen out.  Beautiful, though, aren’t they?  I would like to fly above a grove of tulip poplars in May.

Gratitude List:
1. My bright and shiny group of mini-course kids.  Yesterday was much harder than I had expected.  It is exhausting to be the sole entertainment and input for a group of students for an entire day.  A much bigger task than I had thought.  But I love it, and I love them.  Bright and shiny.
2. Murphy found his way home.  (A small dog I know got out of his fence two days ago and spent a whole night and two days away from his people.  He’s back with them now.)
3. All the shades of green.
4. Visuals for the sacred journey: labyrinths, spirals, pathways, stones. . .
5. Conversations that go deep and wide.

May we walk in Beauty!

Two Hands

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Gratitude List:
1. Two hands: one to hold the terrible, and one to hold the wonderful.  Breathing into the spaces between.
2. How the heart holds stories
3. Shades of red.  Shades of green.  The red buds of leaves popping out on the tree outside my classroom window, against the mossy green of the trunk.
4. Burrito for lunch
5. Transformation

May we walk in Beauty!

Heart

Barn

Gratitude List:
1. This is what I signed up for.  I don’t know quite how else to say it.  It doesn’t sound quite like a gratitude, perhaps.  More a statement of intention.  The gratitude comes from knowing where the priorities lie, I think.  It’s not about being comfortable or happy or at peace.  It’s not about fulfilling the needs of the ego.  It’s about doing the work that I am here to do.  That’s when it feels right.  That’s when it clicks, when I know I am in the right place. I am grateful for that, even if it challenges the equilibrium.
2. Heart Prayers
3. Green
4. The renewed courage and fortitude that dawn brings.
5. Humans of New York.  When I get overwhelmed by the viciousness and bombast of the political rhetoric, I scuttle over to Humans of New York and read the comment threads.  These days they are full of people’s open-hearted offers of help and connection and friendship to people who are in dire need.

As salamu alaykum.  Peace be unto you.

Awash

Today’s prompt is to write an across the sea poem.  Here’s a haiku:

Alas!  I’m awash
in this sea of a season.
I’ll drown in that green.

Gratitude List:
1. Ferns unfurling
2. YWCA and its anti-racism work.  I was proud to support it by joining the Race today.
3. Shakespeare.  I am awash in his poetry.
4. The way the streetlight turned the new leaves on those trees by the Rutt building to a fairy golden.
5. Reading books with the kids in the new fort that Jon built out by the United Melvin Hall.

May we walk in Beauty!

Green Shadows

Sometimes you start to write a poem, and an interesting structure emerges, and so so go on and formalize it and make your own structure.  What emerged here was a 2/8/8/3 syllable-count poem.  These really busy summer days when the farm is ramping up, but the feeling of the world is slow and lazy and dreamy, something about the structure of this appealed to my sense of being caught behind a veil, stuck in a conflict where something in me wants to live in a quiet instinctual place while the world is bustling about me.

The song
of the house finch is green, and the
way the sunlight dapples the wall
in shadow.

Green is
the soul of the field mouse, and the
way that the brook meanders through
the meadow.

The heart
of this morning is green, and the
morning breezes that eddy in
the hollow.

 

I realize that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are crunchy for many people, for many reasons.  If this is the case for you, I wish you comfort and solace, a chance to look quietly at the attendant pain, and good strong breath to carry you through.    Much love.

Gratitude List:
1. For my father, for the way he so gracefully blends reason and wisdom and compassion.
2. For Jon Weaver-Kreider, and his gentle spirit.
3. For books and stories, myths and fables
4. For work, preparations, and planning (opening day on the farm is this week!)
5. For that green sun peaking over the hill.

May we walk in Beauty!

Something from a Dream

You know about the woman
who walked through walls, right?
Her long-eyed gaze.
Her straightening of shoulders.
Lifted chin.
Deep breath.
Then

she’d slide right through.
A shimmering.
A sucking sound.
And then a ringing in your ears,
like a chime.

I don’t know if this
is story or poem or dream.
You saw her go,
you knew the distances
she’d traveled to get here.

I will never forget
the color of her eyes.

 

(That one needs a Dali clock in it somewhere.  Not sure exactly where it came from.  Sometimes those are the most delicious to write.)

Gratitude List:
1.  Wild weather.  Yes, I am anxious, too, about the possibility of flash flood, especially here on the farm.  But something King Lear-ish in me wants to go wander the hills in it.  It makes me feel so alive.
2. A lovely morning yesterday with my five-year-old.  He likes to shop.  So we went shopping.  Spent a long time at Hinkle’s just looking at all the little Schleich animals.  I fell in love with a chimpanzee mother and her baby.  He liked the alligator.  This is bittersweet.  In the fall, he and I will both be in school, and we will both be older and wiser.  May he always access his powerful ability to marvel and wonder.
3. Doodling.  It releases some sort of blockage in the brain, doesn’t it?  Makes you able to walk through walls, perhaps.
4. Bats.  They’re back in the hollow or out of hibernation, if that’s the story.  May they thrive here.
5. Did I mention the weather?  This wild rain.  It evokes.  Remember the sound of it on a tin roof?  Ooooh, wild rain, wild green.

May we walk in Beauty!

Green and Nettles and Play Group

Gratitude List:
1.  Nettles, mint, and honey
2.  Green, viridian, verdancy
3.  Shiny bits of quartzite
4.  Nearly a dozen small boys and a girl playing at the pond and in the creek, catching polliwogs and crawfish and little fish, moms talking and picking watercress, Golda the giant koi swimming up to see what was going on.
5.  Listening to mockingbird and phoebe and the longingly off-key song of the white-throat.

May we walk in Beauty.

Boys and Chickens 2013 April
Photos by Angel Brown
Play Group 2013 April