Sunday, May 31, 2009

Watching and Listening


This morning came like a dove's wing,

Sky subdued by rain clouds,

not portentous, only pondering.

me and kitty watching

listening

capturing

content

the morning did not call for heavy thought

a kind of just BE-ing

came over me

just listen

just sit with your coffee and listen



watching starling fly into eaves
listening to the beat of a raven

twisting in my seat and being aware of a cluster of amber babies

wondering about this new world

most just sitting and letting it soak in

others becoming busy and spinning tiny filaments

i blow on them to watch thirty or so drop lines in flight

and crawl just as quickly back to the family

"hello babies" I say

i almost think of putting a hand under them to let them repel onto my palm

then i think better of it, remembering that one or two is nice

but hundreds are frightening.

of all the things to photograph this morning

the childrens' garden tools

leaning

waiting for work and play


i had to check on Robert Frost this morning
and tho' it didn't rain this morning, I did sneak out early and poked about beneath open windows watching and listening to the morning
this really felt appropriate to share
i ADORE this poet - his images are startlingly clear and yet soft:
THE VALLEY'S SINGING DAY
The sound of the closing outside door was all.
You made no sound in the grass with your footfall,
As far as you went from the door, which was not far;
But you had awakened under the morning star
The first songbird that awakened all the rest.
He could have slept but a moment more at best.
Already determined dawn began to lay
In place across a cloud the slender ray
For prying beneath and forcing the lids of sight,
And loosing the pent-up music of overnight.
But dawn was not to begin their "pearly-pearly"
(By which they mean the rain is pearls so early,
Before it changes to diamonds in the sun),
Neither was song that day to be self-begun.
You had begun it, and if there needed proof--
I was asleep still under the dripping roof,
My window curtain hung over the sill to wet;
But I should awake to confirm your story yet;
I should be willing to say and help you say
That once you had opened the valley's singing day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seeing Love

Love changes the world. Love, love and only love. Love is that connection between thought and deed - the "I should" and the "I did" - the idea and the action.

Love resides there as a sticky elastic glue to all deeds.



Love of "stuff" even...you may not believe this, but there is a kind of love and essence that lives in the stretch of all ideas and deeds that are birthed and lived. Love is the thought that guides it all. Love is ever present. Look for the LOVE.


When muscles stretch during exercise, endorphins are released. That is how love works. The thought to move, the end of movement. Love lives inside that place.





The force by which we call "LOVE" holds all of it together. It holds the ENTIRE universe together.

There is a kind of love that causes a robin to hop about my dewy front lawn, gathering bugs for her babies. There is a kind of love that causes that dew to form on the grass and a kind of love that brings the bugs out from under the ground so that robin can gather them. There is a kind of love that makes the sun to dry up the dew and the bugs to go back under ground.





There is a kind of love happening when a spider hatches out and sends a line of silk to catch on the breeze. It is that same love that blows the spider to a perfect place to spin a web from branch to branch. Love brings a moth flying into that web. Love puts that spider into the beak of a starling.



Love causes the wind to blow and a seed to drop. Love gives it enough water and sun to sprout and grow tall.
Love shows me the connections of itself between the birds, grass, dew, sun, spiders, webs, moths, seeds and me.





Love isn't grabbing. Love ALLOWS.
Recognize LOVE.

Imagine love as a spring of water. Grabbing for the water as it flows out of the ground won't make it come any faster or fill your bucket any quicker. In matter of true fact, if you were to patiently set your pail under that spring, and watch as your bucket overflows. You calmly drink from it, and refreshed, you can go back for more at any time.
That is how love comes.


You don't have to rush for it, dig for it, grab it, hunt it, shoot it down and skin it and package it and freeze it. You don't need to go on safari to find it. You are part of it. It is part of you.
Real and true love is constant. We ABIDE in it.
Calm yourself.
Get quiet.
Feel your connection to it.


Be deepened by it. Stand still and let your roots grow down into it. Let it nourish you.
See the love in others even when they aren't giving it freely. It is there. How do they show it? How is it coming?
We analyze. We keep our mind working. We read books on the subject, we may even internalize. What we need, eventually, is to understand that the only thing that really HELPS in this world, is LOVE.

Love yourself and everything you do is wonder and magic.
Love others and everything they do is wonder and magic - Radiant Beings to be marveled at.
Love your World and you hold it delicately in your hand - also a wonder, a magic, a marvel.


Love is not a perception that everything is happy or perfect or rosy or sweet.
Love is SEEING the wonder of it.
Love is SEEING.

Love sees a cloud of mosquitos and marvelling at their delicate formation, their hunger, their drive. Love does not mean to walk into their midst without an obscene amount of insect repellant on.
Love is understanding your connection to them. Love is seeing yourself in them. Love is "getting" why they do what they do. Then you spray yourself down and walk through.

Love is understanding someone's anger, but not condoning visciousness.
Love is understanding, connection, observation.
Love is the spiderweb that connects. All of it rippling when one piece moves. Love is generous connection.





Love is not on the surface, but deep within the well of the heart. Our ability to TRULY LOVE is hindered only by our ability to climb down into that well and traverse the underground rivers until we find the heart-wells of those around us.






Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Translucent Greens

a heady bloom pales
near
the light within
translucent green
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Every year we have an extremely long winter, and we just can't wait to get outside and smell the grasses and see the blooms on trees and bushes. The green seems to be full of it's own light.

My little brother turned 31 yesterday, and he and his sweet wife are expecting their first little baby in another couple of weeks. How Exciting!!!It was one of those lazy-feeling days where you watch more than you engage, and you listen more than you talk. I took loads of pictures around their yard, and just soaked in the sunshine. What a beautiful Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays - The Beautiful Fairy Land I Live In


A Fairy Land beckoned us today...
Luscious and Verdant with
Drooping Flowers


A tiny set of stairs going up and up and
ever up

The walls of the Fairy Castle where very hard to scale,
but scale we must...
to hear a secret from a Fairy Princess
in a topmost tower
In her tiny voice she said, "You must travel past the Growing Gold
and Piles of Lace
Follow the Bend in the Path
Crossover the sleeping back of the Water Dragon
Fight your way past the Rapid White
and the Mossy Coolness.
Once you have done these things, you'll have found the
Treasure...
The Source of the Spring, from whence all Life Flows.
Water Springs forth from the Rocks.
There will be your prize.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lost Cameras, Wired Hair, and Grandma

I just never thought I'd get here. I've spent a lot of days in the dark and the dank of my home wondering if I'd quit being tired, wondering if I'd ever feel like doing anything again. And Lo! I am finally back to myself. I've drastically changed my diet, because some food has been making me feel sick, and though it is tough tough tough, I do it because I can't be in that dark place again. I just can not.
And so, true to form, I've gotten myself busy as all get-out. I've been spending my time doing end-of-the-year fieldtrips with my son, finishing this month's Goode Ladye's Press, finishing writing my book, visiting friends, taking an art class, and spending quite a few days away from the computer, if you can believe it. And then, damn it all but I lost my camera.


I could get real sad about that if I let myself, since I've been learning how to actually use it, but ah well, it'll hopefully turn up stuck in an odd bag somewhere around here. I found the old camera again, and though it won't focus quite right, I made it do it's best for me today.
I recently took Marion's Whimsical Wired Characters class, and I tell you truly, it was like playing with my little girl self. I found myself just really and truly PLAYING! It was amazing. So, I have to share what I did here, and of course what I did at home, too.

I basically used beads and copper wire and scraps of fabric and threads to make these dolls. I learned how to twist wire into hearts and make wire/bead hair and their sweet little wired legs and feet, how to roll the fabric for their bodies, and was free to choose any head I wanted to. This project was so inspiring, I went home and made two more again. My kids have each made two of them, too.

There is nothing that beats the feeling of being FREE to CREATE. No matter what come out of my hands with these little dolls, it is right. Absolutely right. I love them each, and they have their own little personalities. Marion teaches me to live in that child-like wonder. I sure do adore her for that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've been thinking about the intermittancy of life again. How one thing comes and another goes, and there doesn't have to be sadness, it just is part of life.
I am so thankful for all of the things that have come into my life, bad and good, because I wouldn't be who I am without them.
I think of my Grandmother, long gone in body though always present in spirit, and how she inspires me even today with the pleasure she took in the simple things in life: a really good yardsale, a hummingbird taking a moment at her feeder, her garden whirly-gigs, her container gardens, books, french onion dip, Twilight zone marathons, dolls, bears, rootbeer, sales (I can hear her right this minute saying, "Oh! It's only a dollar!!!!" and buying it whether she really needed it or not), sunshine, birds, tall grass, old trees, warm blankets, fuzzy socks, strawberry shampoo, strong hugs and kisses kisses kisses.
She wasn't a complicated mixed-up woman. She knew that life had hardship and pain, and life had sweetness and laughter. Everytime I am in harmony with myself, I feel her so strongly. I know this might be the perfect image of what I know was an imperfect soul, but I dearly hope I am remembered for all my positive wonderfulness, too.

I carry her with me wherever I go. I see her face in bright flowers and afghans.

She smiles at me and says, "See honey, I told you that there is always sunshine after the rain. It is a very special feeling that you have when you are in the sunshine, and I hope you have much more if it in your life. Just when you least expect it, it comes to you. I love you, little Bird."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays - Two Books




This morning, I'm inspired by authors. I am currently reading Benjamin Black's Christine Falls. Let me tell you, wow. What a superb writer he is. This is a mystery that takes place in Ireland in the 1950's. I just am taken with some of his descriptions. Here are a few to entice you:

"Behind the Four Courts now a dark-blue cloud with an aspect of grim intent had begun edging its way up the sky, eclipsing the light of an as yet unseen sun." (pg 11)

"His eyes scalded, they felt as if they had been boiled; he closed them, and shivered as the lids touched, imparting to each other along their inflamed edges a tiny, horrible kiss." (pg15)
"The greenish air of evening was softly warm." (pg 21)

"She had taken off her hat and set it beside her plate; it looked like a table ornament, its feather languidly adroop." (pg 23)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I know that recently I also mentioned that I'd begun reading Kate Horsley's Confessions of a Pagan Nun. I finished it, and was absolutely entranced with it. I've never read anything quite like it. Ms. Horsley has a very distinct, unique writing voice and I just loved it.


Here is what the Library Journal had to say about this book:


When we think of the Dark Ages, we often think of a dim, primitive society where people struggled just to stay alive, with no room for spirituality or philosophy. The cool, clear, gemlike precision of Horsley's (Crazy Woman) new novel tells another tale. Gwynneve is born into a world suspended between paganism and Christianity: Ireland circa 500 C.E. While the rest of Europe was well on its way toward Christianity, at this time Ireland remained much closer to its pagan traditions. After losing her mother, Gwynneve trains as a druid and practices as one for many years. By the time she sets her story down, though, she has converted to Christianity and become a nun. The book is written as a memoir detailing her journey from her birth into a pagan tribe to her end as a Christian with near-saintly status. Her story is not just that of a strong woman making her way in a hostile world. It is also the story of what happens to a country when a new religion takes the place of the old. A beautifully written and thought-provoking book; recommended for all fiction collections.




These are some of my favorite quotes from the book:


"My mother's fingers holding herbs, stained by the black earth she dug them from, and her merry mouth, one side curling up, are pictures of pagan freedom that I cannot purge or unlove." (pg 12)


"There is no round light behind my head, God forgive me. I sometimes enjoy rage. Neither do I have the character of the martyr, for I love comfortable places where the rain is not cold and the meals are not meager." (pg 18)


"It is hard to know the truth in the matters of saints. Some still say that Sister Aillenn is a saint because of her suffering. But if suffering makes saints, then all the people of this land are saints." (pg 70)


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Saturday, May 16, 2009

of a Saturday

Grubby little hands bring their offerings.

Not just the tops this time, but the whole blasted things.

Roots & All.

"Just for you, Mama."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My offerings are just the same.

I bring myself, roots & all.
It is only natural for me to bring all or nothing...Today I choose, all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I might have mentioned to you a few posts back, that I had started writing a book.

The words & ideas have come so fast to me,

that I can't believe that I see an end in sight for the book

on this day.

My heart yearns to inspire hope in other women,

to help them to stop clinging to the inside of the whale that has swallowed them.

This must be the fire that is under me, of late.

I plan on self-publishing, so I would say that a book will be ready

before the end of summer.

I would love to share the first chapter with you all:



Not until we are lost do we begin
to understand ourselves.
~Henry David Thoreau~

Chapter One
Stuck in the Brambles

Hello Sweet Thing…Yes, you! Now is the time to begin. I want you to come out of this feeling hopeful and excited about your next steps on this journey. Imagine, if you will, that your life is laid out before you as a path through a forest. There are times when it is pleasantly winding, with sunlight streaming through the canopy. There are birds twittering and flitting from branch to branch above you. You smile and close your eyes and breathe deeply of the heavy loam that is crushed by your feet as you walk, ever in. That is where you want to be. That is the part of the path you long for. But you are in a particularly sticky part of the journey right now. The brush has come closer, the rain isn’t just falling, it is absolutely pouring, and your hair is caught up with brambles. You are covered in scratches and just can’t seem to get anywhere. You look around yourself in a huff, and wonder, “Did I stray somewhere?” No, the path is clearly under your feet, and you can see it through the dense brambles as you peer into their darkness. You’ve hit a full stop as it seems too hard to just keep going. “I guess I’ll camp here,” you say, as you pull your coat tighter around your shoulders and bring your knees to your chest. This isn’t what you bargained for. This is terrible. Take heart! There is one thing that you absolutely must remember, though the way may be hard and it becomes more and more dense, this is still the path of your life. Kahlil Gibran would say,

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your
understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must
break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And
could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your
pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the
seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass
over your fields.” (from The Prophet )


If your whole life were birdsong and sunshine through the leaves, you wouldn’t ever truly appreciate the good things that came to you along your journey. If you hadn’t had your heart broken, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the faithfulness that your sweetie has for you. If you hadn’t lost your job, you wouldn’t have been able to spend more time with your little kids. If you hadn’t come to this point in your path, you wouldn’t be able to experience the full joy that life offers you on the other side of these brambles.
So, now…get up and start hacking away at the path in front of you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Secrets of Living


~beautiful woven box from my mama~

I've hid myself away

in airy rooms with discouraging words on walls and warning signs over windows

~my world through the cioppolini~

I've peered through a guazy veil and seen life

yet never poked a toe into that Otherworld.


~wrapped in Grace~

I've bound up my gods and pressed them into the mold

that was safe and conversational


~the best kittycat in the whole wide world~

Then I opened my eyes.

I tore down the window warnings.


~her calling card~

I walked to the veil and saw that it was a lacey leaf

and lo! the Goddess was there

in every darkened vein

and tattered edge



~a scent addiction~

through the window floated her scent

heady and sweet

mysterious and enchanting

breathing her deeply, down



~a mother's day gift~

I live in an open nest that dives and darts with the wind

swayed by boughs of a rooted spirit

my wings are tucked

my heart is stilled

and stirred

by a soul-deep knowledge:

at any magical moment I may snap them open

and

fly

away

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




may my heart always be open to little birds

who are the secrets of living

whatever they sing is better than to know

and if men should not hear them men are old


may my mind stroll about hungry

and fearless and thirsty and supple

and even if it's sunday may i be wrong

for whenever men are right they are not young



and may myself do nothing usefully

and love yourself so more than truly

there's never been quite such a fool who could fail

pulling all the sky over him with one smile

~ e.e. cummings ~