Moonflower


Full Moon filtered through flowery Dreamscope app.

“This earth that we live on is full of stories in the same way that, for a fish, the ocean is full of ocean. Some people say when we are born we’re born into stories. I say we’re also born from stories.” –Ben Okri
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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” –Albert Einstein
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Out of my life I fashioned a fistful of words.
When I opened my hand, they flew away.
—Hyam Plutzik
“On Hearing that My Poems
Were Being Studied in a Distant Place”
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Richard Rohr quotes Thomas Keating on the way of peace: “It means to show love tirelessly, no matter what happens. That’s the meaning of turning the other cheek. Once in a while you have to defend somebody, but it means you’re always willing to suffer first for the cause—that is to say, for communion with your enemies. If you overcome your enemies, you’ve failed. If you make your enemies your partners, God has succeeded.”
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“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” –Rumi


Gratitude List:
1. Singing “Swing Low,” “Oh When the Saints,” and “I’m Gonna Sing” in chapel today
2. Beautiful morning rain
3. Looking back through old blog posts this afternoon, watching how the ideas and dreams that I began to sift and plant last winter have begun to gestate within me.
4. Somehow, I know that I will be able to build that bridge from where I am to where I need to go
5. Cannoli dip

May we walk in Beauty!

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The Golden-Eyed Monster

“A society is defined not only by what it creates but also by what it refuses to destroy.” ―John C. Sawhill
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“There are no ordinary people.You have never talked to a mere mortal. . . . Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses.” ―C. S. Lewis
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“We have the power to turn our upsidedown world right.” ―Leymah Gbowee
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“Once upon a time, they say, there was a girl…there was a boy…there was a person who was in trouble. And this is what she did…and what he did…and how they learned to survive it. This is what they did…and why one failed…and why another triumphed in the end. And I know that it’s true, because I danced at their wedding and drank their very best wine.”  —Terri Windling
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“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.”  —Linda Hogan
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“Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.” —Patricia A. McKillip
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“When you put your hands and mind and heart into the knowing of a thing … there is no room in you for fear.” —Patricia A. McKillip
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“There are no simple words. I don’t know why I thought I could hide anything behind language.” —Patricia A. McKillip


Gratitude List:
1. Foods class. The boy has to make a snack or dessert for the family this weekend. He wanted to make cannoli. I convinced him to try making cannoli bites instead–still a little complicated, but not quite so demanding as the real thing. I love watching him work independently. And HE is supposed to clean the kitchen!
2. The writing of Patricia McKillip. Her words transport me to a dream-state where many levels of reality are working at once. I am currently read The Book of Atrix Wolfe,  one of the books that I reread every few years because it reminds me to keep in mind the consequences of action and inaction.
3. Breakfast at Columbia Market House. We wanted to go to Hinkle’s because we want to get there as often as possible before they close, but the line was incredibly long. Instead, we got to eat omelet and crepes and soul rolls at Columbia Market House.
4. Playing board games with the family. Okay, so The Farming Game is truly a little too realistic for comfort, but there’s something addicting about it. “Can’t we just go through one more year? Maybe I can make up for last year’s losses!”
5. Hopes and dreams.

May we walk in Beauty!

Embodiment

“What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?” –Audre Lorde
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“This is the true meaning of embodiment: To show up with wholehearted presence for this moving encounter with life. Instead of clambering towards ever-furthering horizons or withdrawing into distractions and addictions, showing up for those absences in our lives. Welcoming our fears and discomforts as necessary conditions to creativity. Loving the gestation as much as the harvest, even while remembering the barren season that must follow. Aspiring, in all things, to be human.” –Toko-pa Turner
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“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
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“Human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness.”
–Elizabeth Cady Stanton
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“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born,
and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere–on water and land.” –Walt Whitman
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A Prayer for the World
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. Crows in the mist
2. Robins making a deafening ruckus in the hollow at dawn
3. A murmuration of starlings
4. The tender, open, compassionate hearts of teenagers. Every day, there’s something that melts my crusty heart a little.
5. I love Jon’s new job

May we walk in Beauty!

Cast Aside the Jug


“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” ―Thomas Merton
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“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen” ―Robert Bresson
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“We have to learn to love people even if they are not giving you what you want… and then not take it personally. If you feel hurt, you have to recognize that they are not hurting you because you are you, but because they are them. You have to try not to be so hard on yourself.”
―Krishna Das
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“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ―Meister Eckhart
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“You will stand at the center of your story
and decide in this moment who you will be.
You get to decide how you will play your part,
and that will help to decide the outcome.”
―Beth Weaver-Kreider
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“And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in two windows of a house, bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.” ―Celtic Blessing
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“If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she’s giving you great company.” ― Vandana Shiva
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“The outward form of things passes away, but the essence remains forever. How long will you be besotted with the shape of the jug? Cast aside the jug, and seek the water. If you look too closely at the form, you miss the essence.” ―Rumi
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Or she:
“If the believer understood the meaning of the saying
“The color of the water is the color of the receptacle,”
He would admit the validity of all beliefs and
He would recognize God in every form and every object of faith.”
If the believer understood the meaning of the saying
“The color of the water is the color of the receptacle,”
He would admit the validity of all beliefs and
He would recognize God in every form and every object of faith.
~Ibn ‘Arabi
Ibn ‘Arabi
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Last Year’s Gratitude:
“How everything connects. Your heart and mine. The hummingbird and the vulture. Poems and stories and art. The thin spidersilk of prayer, spun out across impossible chasms.” ―Beth Weaver-Kreider


Gratitude List:
1. Lying on a bed with a cat snuggled up on either side of me.
2. My surprise 50th birthday dinner. My sisters and my mother took me out to John Wright Restaurant. I am so fortunate to have these incredible women in my life.
3. Crawfish Etouffee
4. Saturday afternoon naps (and waking up and realizing that the poison ivy covering every inch of my body was only a dream)
5. Walnut trees. The walnut by the barn is the last to get dressed every spring, and the first to disrobe in the fall, but the way she plays with the light in her leaves is the finest art.

May we walk in Beauty!

Remembering How to Fly

“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”  ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
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“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'” –Kurt Vonnegut
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“I know there are people who don’t read fiction at all, and I find it hard to understand how they can bear to be inside the same head all the time.”  ― Diane Setterfield
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“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”  ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
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“A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth.” ― Diane Setterfield
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(Yesterday, my friend Christi sent me this exquisite poem)
A Small, Soft Feather
by Joyce Rupp

a small, soft feather,
still warm
from bluebird’s wing,
falls onto the receptive
forest floor.

lightly it lands
under a thick-branched oak;
quietly it waits,
unnoticed, unattended,

until a sister of earth pauses,
beckoned by a flutter
of unseen energy.
she bows her kindled heart

stoops ever so slowly,
and the remnant of the blue bird
comes home
to her generous hand.

days later another earth sister
opens an envelope;
resting inside, waiting,
is the blue of sky
in shape of a feather.

from warm wing
to great oak,
to earth sister
to friend,

comes the soft blue signal,
and in a sparkle of recognition
a woman, weighed down
with too many wants,
remembers how to fly.


Gratitude List:
1. One of the four major projects that 3rd graders do at Wrightsville Elementary is a report on an African American historical figure. Josiah had already decided that he wanted to do his report on Ruby Bridges. But we watched “Hidden Figures” last night, and he thinks he might do his report on Katherine Johnson. Can’t go wrong either way.
2. Goldenrod
3. Saturday morning with a talkative boy and a playful cat
4. Walnut leaves dancing down the wind. Mabon approaches.
5. Words

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!

Remembering a Visitor


Last year on this day, we were visited by this messenger. I’m still in awe.

“Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.” ~ Hafiz
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“When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life.”
~ Christy Ann Martine
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Every word you utter to another human being has an effect, but you don’t know it. If people began to understand that change comes about as a result of millions of tiny acts that seem totally insignificant, well then, they wouldn’t hesitate to take those tiny acts.”
– Howard Zinn
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“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” –Leonard Bernstein


Gratitude List:
1. Coolness, blessed coolness
2. We have at least one working car again
3. How hard conversations help us learn and grow
4. Enough. I have enough of what I need.
5. Coolness–Have I said how grateful I am for a cool morning?

May we walk in Beauty!

Hugs


My little old man cat has got me thinking about hugs. He doesn’t like to just sit quietly on my lap. He has to have his paws on my shoulder, like a cat hug. I think he finds comfort and ease in the heart-to-heart contact. And it strikes me that that’s part of the healing power of a hug: For just a moment, your heart and my heart are together, right next to each other. Offering a hug is offering your heart. We help each other to regulate our breathing and our heart-rhythms when we hug each other.


Gratitude List:
1. Watching that moon rise. Last night, we went down to Hellam to watch the moon rise. A bubble of flame breaking free. No matter how many times I watch, I am always sort of stunned by how quickly it rises, how we can see it moving. It sets my heart a flutter. We also saw the space station.
2. Planting herbs. I am expanding my mint bed to include other herbs. The wild St. John’s Wort that I planted last year is flourishing. Today I planted thyme and oregano and rosemary. I need some white sage yet.
3. Cycles of work and rest
4. The lure of words. I am restless, picking up my journals and printed poems, shuffling and browsing. I am ready to edit and reconfigure, ready to settle into a writing rhythm for the summer.
5. This boy bought himself a pair of water shoes today with pink insets. “That’s okay with you, the pink?” I asked, casually, just to be sure that I wasn’t investing my money in something he wouldn’t actually wear. He shrugged: “They’re water shoes.” Righto.

May we walk in Beauty!

Islands

The distance between two bodies
may be a word and a word and a word.
The map of the distance between them–
that’s a story sent out like a boat on waves.

We may indeed be islands, separate
in our separate skins, and lonely
as rocky hills jutting from the sea.
It’s words that span and sail between us.

TOMORROW’S PROMPT:
We’re nearing the end now. Some people call it Judgement, that final reckoning before the end of the game, the life, the story. Some call it Karma, or Prudence. Perhaps it’s Accountability. It’s the moment of the Last Look Back, the Assessment, the final Final before graduation. How does the Fool stack up? Can she see what she has learned? Find value in the work she has been doing?

Gratitude List:
1. Lily of the Valley. I can’t get enough of the scent. When Skunk Hollow isn’t filled with the smell of skunk, it’s filled with Lily of the Valley.
2. A good story to follow. Right now it’s Poldark, and it’s breaking my heart almost as much as Downton Abbey did. I love Demelza.
3. Song Sparrow
4. These boys. Last night as I was reading to Joss before bed, at the part where Ma Gasket stands up to Polybites, he stopped me and said, “I like these books where the women are leading, too.” Well, there.
5. That tiny little light there at the way far end of the tunnel.

May we walk in Beauty!

Waiting on Words

DSCN7584

Waiting on the words
to do their usual tumble,
I will find instead
a pocketful of golden
leaves, and some scarlet berries.

Gratitude List:
1. Farm friends and farm crew.
2. Bringing the season to a close.  Moving on to a new Season.
3. Yellow carpet of leaves
4. The observations of a six-year-old.  This morning: “Fred’s legs aren’t made like ours are.  It seems like his knees come out of the backs of his legs.”
5. The light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s there, even when I can’t quite make it out in the distance.

May we walk in Beauty!