Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ancient Mother



I am trying to tell myself that I need to learn patience...I had the opportunity to sub today, but because I've been on the verge of vomitting since the middle of the night, I couldn't take the job...what a dissapointment. I can't tell you how much I just want to go and teach :( So, I'm trying to encourage myself that there is always a deeper meaning, and I am letting the Ancient Mother fill me up today. I hope this song fills you as well.
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a couple of other things that I've found today that fill me:


Our Lady of the Red Thread


Red Dirt Mother


and I'm wondering about the "red" theme today - tribe, roots, a sturdy base, femininity, fire, passion, love, hearts...hmmmmm....not so subtle signs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Lady of Shalott

One of my top 10 favorite movies of all time is the entire series of Anne of Green Gables. I LOVE the way it begins with Anne reading from Tennyson's Lady of Shalott. Because I can say about half the movie's script, I memorized the first bits that begin with "willows whiten, aspens quiver, little breezes dusk and shiver" - love love love it...and so, I began a search for a book like that in Anne's hands...so I could "read Tennyson by firelight" to myself. I found that book this last month! Tennyson's Poems (I wish I could find the camera this morning to show you what it looks like) - however, I want, want WANT to learn the entire Lady of Shalott by heart...it is a life's goal (you see, I'm a terrible memorizer, so I hope to get better with this) I'm typing it here to help me memorize it - Enjoy, it is a truly beautiful (albeit tragic) poem. I've also included 3 works of art that are my favorite of all of those who tried to depict "the lady" - I especially LOVE Waterhouse's version!!! woweee... ( I don't know WHY but blogger doesn't allow any "extra spaces" so that totally ruins the phrasing of this poem...try to bear with it though!)

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The Lady of Shalott
Part I.
On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gasing where the lilies blow
Round and island there below
The island of Shalott
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs forever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
The Lady of Shalott.
By the margin, willow-veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd.
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hat seen her wave her hand
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?
Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to tower'd Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplainds airy,
Listening whispers "'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."
Part II.
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down on Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
And moving thro' a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepher-lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.
Part III.
A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rod between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight forever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.
The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung,
Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helment and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hoovees his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
the Lady of Shalott.William Holman Hunt's Lady of Shalott
Part IV.
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining,
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance -
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott

John William Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott

Lying, robed in snowy white,

That loosely flew to left and right --

The leaves upon her falling light --

Thro' the noises of the night

She floated down to Camelot:

And as the boat-head wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her singing her last song,

The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,

Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her blood was frozen slowly,

And her eyes were darken'd wholly,

Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.

For ere she reach'd upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she song she died,

The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony

By garden-wall and gallery,

A gleaming shape she floated by,

Dead-pale between the houses high,

Silent into Camelot.

Out upon the warfs they came,

Knkight and burgher, lord and dame,

And round the prow they read her name,

The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?

and in the light palace near

Died the sound of royal cheer;

And they cross'd themselves for fear,

All the knights at Camelot:

But Lancelot mused a little space;

He said, "She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace,

The Lady of Shalott."

Dante Gabriel Rosetti's Lady of Shalott

Monday, September 28, 2009

Watching the Wind Blow

Today is a day when I have a list of work to do, and I finally sit down to do it. Today is a day when I am waiting and wondering when the next job will come. Today is a day of wind and scattered chicken feathers, deer in the hay pile, shifting fences, and whistling in the windows.

This is the waiting area.

I don't like for any of my days to be in some sort of holding pattern, but there it is...reminders of friends not seen in months and projects unfinished, books unread, dishes - piled and teetering...

This is a day for tea, and movies and wondering...I sang for half an hour in the shower...it wasn't even early morning, it was mid-morning before I dressed. I sang and thought to myself, "I could make a cd of all these songs I make up...they are pretty good." Where do I get this drive? Where do I believe it is possible? In which land do I sit in and think of these sorts of things?

Yesterday, I supposed to myself, that there are about 10 good jobs I could do capably, willingly, and make a living at, but there was really only one career I care deeply about, dream of, think on, work on, watch for: teaching. And then I supposed to myself that my belief in my capabilities in any sort of job, and my willingness to learn any next step I needed for said jobs comes from the one real talent I do have. Being a good teacher means that I am always learning, always onto the next step of listening, discerning, taking on, wondering together...the fire to LEARN is what is at the crux of it all, isn't it?

All of this philosophizing I do by reading Anatomy of a Spirit, or The Power of Myth, or Simple Abundance, or A New Earth...writing my own philosophy on caring for yourself with Who Am I Really? and poetry that reflects it all...the compiling of my thoughts and beliefs here...this is all in the CLIMB to LEARN...the BEAUTY of LEARNING...the RADIANCE of KNOWLEDGE...

if you don't like to learn then you may not understand one thing that I am saying - woe to you.

I am not a simple person, static and unmovable.
I am complex, moving when I am sitting still, visiting and creating new worlds each time my eyes close. I can imagine new scents and undiscovered colors. Even in my waking world, I have wings and can fly...

So why do days of sitting inside watching the wind blow by me come today??!
I think of the Raven, who walk-hops just about as much as it glides through the air. There is a time to walk, there is a time to fly. There is a time to act, and a time to sit by and watch the wind blow. I'm learning...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Poetry Collections!!!


I was so excited by the success of publishing my first book, that I soon decided to compile my poetry into two small editions (complete with some of my best photography!!!).

They should be ready in about 2 weeks for sale!!!!
"Elemental Grace" has many poems that feature my unique blend of spirituality and nature.
"Finer Things" are more of an homage to the simple things in life that mean so much to me.
This one, I am showing the front AND back of the book - it has that really great hen that I painted the other day wrapped around the whole thing :) I'm so excited to be sharing some more poetry with you all. The editions will be FULL COLOR on the inside, and each is about 28 pages.

They will be $12 plus $5 to ship.

This is an example of what the pages will look like.

I just never stop, do I?! I love having new things to do all the time :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Covering up in LOVE

Really hearing a bird sing or really seeing a blue sky, we touch the seed of the Holy Spirit within us.

Living Buddha, Living Christ (Thich Nhat Hanh)

I'm impressed with God lately. I mean, really impressed. It isn't hard for me to be in awe...I find myself in that state often in my life, but lately, I've been in a state of "humble awe."

The nature of the Divine is so wonderful and beautiful and real.

I've been finding out that LOVE really can eradicate fear. That LOVE is actually what does make the world go-round. It is actually LOVE that we all need.

Love for anything is Divine: love of jumping in leaves has to be one of the purest, most godly forms of love I've ever seen. Our family (mostly the kids) played in it for quite sometime. Mostly, as an adult, I was awed by the kids' absolute fulfillment with the leaf pile. My son raked it up (and used a leaf blower - another JOY IN LIFE THAT FILLED HIM UP TO BURSTING!!) and jumped in it, covered himself in it, layed in it, layed under it, swam in it and crushed it over and over and over again...with the same HUGE smile every time. I kept thinking, "That is LOVE at its most pure."
I've been thinking about how the fear of a thing can push the love out. It has come to my attention that Fear puts on a mask of Power that makes our love curl up underneath and sit waiting. Fear of rejection, fear of acceptance, fear of the truth (whatever it may be), fear of the lie, fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of death, fear of life...FEAR, I feel, is actually the opposite of LOVE...I think that even in hate, there is something of love. You have to actually love something in order to hate something else. That is the balance of hate and love.

However, FEAR doesn't need hate. Fear is something altogether much darker, much more sinister...fear is that chill up your arm when you hear something on the porch in the middle of the night...fear is that call in the early morning hours before the sun comes up...fear is calling for your child and not hearing anything...fear eats you up.

How do you get rid of fear?

You have to fill yourself up with LOVE. Put Love right over the top of Fear like a band-aid...a band-aid that never comes off, so that one day, when it comes time, you'll take off the band-aid to see what was under there and find only a faint scar of what it was...something you vaguely remember. When LOVE goes before fear, you've won...you've won...you've been filled up with SPIRIT, and you've won.

How, oh how, do we put our fear away?

Only with a spirit of mindfulness - only by putting LOVE first everytime you think of peeking under the band-aid. Only by prayer - ask for help for goodness sake! - only by faith that LOVE is stronger. LOVE is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my whole life, and it is STRONG.

Let it wrap you in its arms, let it enfold you...SEE beauty, Feel LOVE.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Website

I'm very excited to share this with you: www.intothewoode.com
My life is taking new paths, and as it does, I am going with it. Please go and see what you think.
You can purchase my book (and any future books!) there, as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Self-Heal for my Birthday - and a present for you!




With the morning sun shining on my closed eyes, warming my face, I slowly shuffled the Druid Plant Oracle cards, letting them talk to me. As I slipped the cards from place to place, one of them warmed the tips of my fingers, gently asking to be read. Knowing this was the card, I put the others aside, opened my eyes and read this: Betony.



Betony goes by many names, the most common of which are All-heal, Self-heal and Stachys. In Gaelic, the plant goes by "Lus bheathag", which literally means "Life plant."


An ancient Italian saying says, "Sell your coat and buy Betony." That is a witness to how powerful and important this plant was.



It was known as a "woundwort" for its ability to stop bleeding and heal wounds - of course the Ancients would attribute any physical properties to a spiritual property as well (those smart peoples) and felt that Betony (I call it Self-Heal) also had the power to staunch bleeding hearts and heal spiritual wounds. If you were to make an infusion, you could drink it and make peace with someone you'd been arguing with. If you created a cleaning solution with Self-Heal as your main ingredient, you might scrub your house with it to be rid of marital discord. Whatever the touch-point, it does have the power to heal.



In abundance Self-Heal grows at Cold Springs. It bursts forth from shady places, reaching into the dappled sunlight around the crystal clear water. It beckons me to touch it, it beckons me to use it, and so I do. I touch it, I shake its seeds into my hand. I put a fully flowered head behind my ear. I take what it offers. If I were to have a plant that has deep meaning for my life, it would have always been Self-Heal, so it is no accident that I picked it out of the deck today.
The Self-Heal is a plant that holds, but can also let go. Beautiful, upright, radiant Betony - thank you for your lesson. Thank you for lending yourself to my life.
Today marks the time 34 years ago that my little soul saw the world for the first time. Today is the day that I said, "Hello." Today is the day that I saw my mama for the first time, after so many months of being safely protected by her body. Today is the day that my journey began in this life, with those first happy tears and kisses and touching toes and little fingers. Today is the day.
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As a gift today, I am giving you another chapter of my book!!!! (please read chapter one here) Signed copies are available for $15 plus $4 to ship from me here (I take paypal, so credit cards are no problem!)
Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display
qualities which he does not possess,
and to gain applause which he cannot keep.
~Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, 1750~
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TWENTY-ONE

Maybe

Let us say that we have before us a dusty old hat, filled to the brim with slips of paper on which are written words. Some of them are just everyday words, like “tired”, “happy”, “bored”, “hungry.” Perhaps there are a few thrown in that are more complex like “synthesize” or “demonize”. Let us now suppose that each morning, for as long as you remember, you have pulled out one of these slips of paper. Before you even set foot out of bed, you have to read this word. Once you’ve read this word, this is how you are going to feel or act for that day. You believe that this is the final word for the day. Where you got the notion, you don’t remember. But this is how it’s always been, and you believe that’s how it’s going to be.
One morning you wake up with the sun shining, and you hear a red-winged blackbird outside your window. You take a deep breath of the bit of fresh air that is wafting over you from your partly open window. You feel something stirring inside your heart for today…it feels hopeful. You’ve been on a bad streak for two weeks in a row, grabbing words like “depress” and “dysfunction” and “dastardly”…you shudder to think what today might bring.
Slowly, blindly, you reach for the hat, and as you do, you hear the blackbird closer than before. Opening your eyes, you twist your head to see out your window, and there he is. He warbles at you again and you smile. “Hello?” Your voice sounds tentative, even to you. He flies away with a soft snap of his wings, and you decide to just get it over with.
With a deep exhale, your hand once again stirs blindly toward the hat, and just as your fingers touch the slips of paper, the blackbird warbles loudly. Startled, your hand drops and the old hat flips. Off fly the slips of paper, and the fresh spring breeze pulls them right out the window.
In amazement, you stare after them. They float like snowflakes across your yard, catching in the fence and fluttering in the branches of an old Elm tree. When you’ve recovered from your shock, you realize something astonishing: how will you know what to be or do or feel today, without the papers?
Sitting up in your bed, mouth agape, you stare down at the now overturned hat beside your bed. You lean down to pick it up, and as you do, you notice a corner of white paper stuck in the hatband. Quickly, you pluck this straggler out, then look inside the hat…yup…empty for sure, just this last one. With a sigh, you turn it over to read it; perhaps there is one last bit of direction from the hat after all. What you read, you don’t believe. You haven’t had this sort of word before. It makes no sense. It is bewildering, baffling, downright maddening. How could a word like this have made it into the hat? It isn’t something you’d ever bargained for. What would make someone put this word into the hat?
You turn it over, hoping for more. This seems to be more of a post script, or an unfinished game of hang man. This should not be happening. But there it is, in bold letters: MAYBE.



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How would it feel to open your spirit each morning to the possibility of wonder and delight? Each day the practical matters may be no different than the day before. But if you’ve heard a little bird say, “Maybe,” then today has potential. It might change your morning. Perhaps you wake your children for school by rubbing their backs and saying, “Welcome to the day, sweetie,” rather than yelling up the stairs. Instead of grumbling with your head down at your desk, you might step into work with a light-hearted “Good Morning.” Greet your doctor’s appointments with openness, and a mind that is ready to accept a hopeful word. No matter what the day may bring, keep in mind the wisest word in the hat, “maybe.”

*

Write a story about a day in which “maybe” is the watchword. How would you greet each moment with hopefulness? Write about how it would go, from the moment you wake, until you lay your head on your pillow at night.
Then write the word “maybe” on a card, and place it on your night stand so it is the first thing you see in the morning. Be intent on coming to your senses in the morning, with “it may be” on your lips. Let hope settle itself into your bones as you begin each day. I don’t intend for you to “Polly-Anna” your way through life, and no one else will love you for that either. It won’t serve you to see the world through rose-colored window-panes. Instead, be hopeful. Hope is much wiser and far truer.

(from Who Am I Really? Finding Yourself Along Life's Pathway 2009 by Katie Estvold)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ReadWritePoem - Wordle Prompt #92

I do just love these wordles (this is for Prompt #92 from ReadWritePoem) - this time, I told myself I didn't need to use all the words, as I just didn't want to push the inspiration. Seeing the word "plum" made an instant scene in my head and I worked quick to describe it. I'm seeing a new approach to poetry: stepping into the scene and fleshing it out - rolling it around like an apple, noticing every bump and bruise and bird peck. Normally, I literally run with it, with very few interruptions. I maybe tweak a few words, take out lots of articles. I start twisting out overused nouns and punching in a few compound adjectives, then I make myself be done. This one took me longer as I wanted to get down to the meat. I love pared down verbage; phrasing that gets down to point but has soul and movement. I love description that both informs the mind and moves the soul. Anyway, we'll see if that does any of that here. (p.s. no matter how many times I tried to add spaces for phrasing, I just couldn't do it! So, I'll go with the flow and let this just stick together like this)
sleeping within summer
bare branching arms
under the sun, they extend
dappled lime-light
tenderly touching my hip
through plum confections
that droop and drop in the heat
like wrinkled little remedies
lying in clover-sweet wind
caressing my cheeks like kisses
eyes close, I sink in deeper so
blue-green grasses conform to freckled shoulders
now the wisp inside spirals up and upward
lifting the leaves like a zephyr
leaving my soft pink-skinned husk lying
now under the tree, safely
losing myself
I dream

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Mood Apart


Today, after I picked Emmie up from preschool she wanted to do "pwahjickts" - which translates to "projects" - with me. That really just means, "Can we do some art together mommy?"
For something simple, I grabbed out her cheapy little watercolor box and some paper and we sat in the front lawn and painted...mostly Emma layed on my back while I painted...and I found myself doing what I turn to when I get my watercolors out:
noticing every little line around an object.
I like to stare at the object while I draw with my pencil, and pretend that I am a teeny tiny bug going up and down and in and out of the line around a tree, or an animal, or a flower. I come up with two areas: the area inside the object, and the area on the outside of the object. I LOVE to fill these spaces up with solid watercolor. I found that it was highly meditative and took a good hour doing these three watercolors - two Juniper trees, and one big chicken.
I LOVE the way the chicken came out - that is exactly the shape she has.
What I found, though, is that it took me into "a mood apart" as Robert Frost would say...it reminded me of a poem, and when I was done painting, I went right in to find the poem. I was richly rewarded, because here it is...
A Mood Apart
Once down on my knees to growing plants
I prodded the earth with a lazy tool
In time with a medley of sotto chants;
But becoming aware of some boys from school
Who had stopped outside the fence to spy,
I stopped my song and almost heart,
For any eye is an evil eye
That looks in onto a mood apart.
~Everytime I read my buddy Bob, I know he was a kindred spirit. The fact that he knew this mood, makes him a friend of mine. ~
I often find myself in a mood apart...I find myself wandering to quiet corners when in groups or at parties. I like to sit in my garden and twist my toes around in the dirt. I like to stare at the bugs that crawl and hide under the tomatoes. I like to sing to the chickens and the cat. I find myself soaked up in my little watercolors...defiinitely in "A Mood Apart"
Amen and thank you, Bob.





Monday, September 14, 2009

All Hurried Up and Waiting - Inspire Me Mondays


When my garden was planted in the spring, I had bare ground to stare at for a few weeks...nothing but sticks in the ground with promises of something yummy or beautiful later.
As summer went on, surely enough, Mother Earth blessed me with green, green and more green for all of my toil and care...thank you very much...
and since that time, I've been guarding it all so carefully from these really terrible, ravenous MONSTERS that roam our woods: deer. Without so much as a by-your-leave they run into fences, breaking through and eating off the tops of every blessed thing. Vultures...bloody nasty vultures.
But anyway...

As you can see, from the outside looking in, my garden is still green and growing and it causes me to think - oh gasp - about how much hurrying and bustle we get into to make things nice and we tarry along, hoping and hoping and hoping that all the tomatoes will ripen (or the substitute credentials come in the mail) or that the deer will stay out (or the computer doesn't quit) or that at least ONE pumpkin will mature before the frost (or that the car tires last one more month)...
so as you can see...
I'm never really talking about what it seems I'm talking about...I'm not really talking about my garden - so it seems.
My days have been filled with my own agendas for 7 years. If I was late or made a deadline, they were MY deadlines or my lateness. If I was too busy to change into clothes I could be seen in public in, that was alright. If I wanted more money, I only needed to make more goodies to sell on my website. But now, I'm cultivating that long forgotten garden of Katie's Personal Dreams. I don't mean to say that my children weren't my dream, they MOST CERTAINLY ARE, however...I want to teach school again. I've been working so hard and being so diligent to get my substituting going and it seems that no matter what setbacks (if only I could just put up deer netting to fix these problems) there is always something out of my control...
So, here I am, having FAITH and WAITING.
I am never one to give up on a thing on account of roadblocks. I just forge ahead, set my tendrils out to curl around every available sturdy thing and I keep looking for the chance to grow some more, to poke up toward the sun - this is who we are, why should we quit when the going gets tough?
I get inspired by this aspect of my personality: tell me I can't do something, and I work like hell to make it happen. I'm a go-getter and I tend to act fast. This is definitely teaching me patience.
I like to think of these things as "character building exercises."

Inspire Me Mondays

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Freedom of the Moon

Tonight I'm saying, "What the...?" at this new poem I found from my buddy Robert...I had NO IDEA there was this poem, and I thought I'd read the anthology...how does something like this happen. I feel like I was just handed a jewel, and at exactly the right time...Here it is, with a photo of the September Moon by me.

The Freedom of the Moon
by Robert Frost

I've tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.
I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Letting Go


Here I am. This is what I look like when I've let go. This is me thinking about how easy it was to finally just let it go. This is me thinking about life without holding onto the past. This is me.

I'm a holder. I don't just hold...apparently I hold it IN and let it stew around and build up...but I don't even want to talk about that anymore. I just want to breath in this new freedom.

I feel like this thistle: all prickle and sadness trying to cover it over and then in the fall, it burst open with fluff and those fuzzy little wishes that float off on the breeze. I found out that letting go of the old hurt was as soft and gradual as simply stepping over a line. First I was there, and now I am here. Simple as that. It was like sitting at the bottom of a mountain, crying that I would never get to the top...trying to find an easier way up the top...trying and trying to get there without actually climbing. I found that once I started the climb, I was, amazingly, already at the top. As simple, and as complex as all that.
When I woke up the next morning, I realized something was missing.

Anger had been my constant, unwelcome companion. But that morning, I found, it was gone.

I wondered at how gently and simply I had let it go. One moment I was thinking, "What will I be without this?" The next moment I decided, "I don't know what I'll be, but I have to feel differently." And that teensy tiny decision to want something different is what made a veil lift, a candle to be snuffed out, a step over a line, a poking of a seed into the dirt, a sigh...something simple had gotten rid of something so destructive.

Because it had gone so quietly, I had to make sure it was gone.

On 33 (one for every year of my life) teensy slips of paper I wrote things like, "I let go." and "I am filled with peace." and everything else I could think of that was gone...

Then I took them to Cold Springs, and I sent them on their way from the source of the spring. I was amazed at how they all just floated away, not hanging up on anything as they went. Then this last one, seemed to uncurl and did catch on a rock, so as I meant to prod it along, I saw what it said, "I let go anger."

Afterwards, I saw this message in the clouds and I thought to myself,

"So, this is what it's like..."

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Art as Prayer

I bought a piece of art yesterday...this is HUGE because let me tell you how I am really quite a cheapskate and I just NEVER buy art. The last time I bought art it was a knitted Chakra wall hanging from my friend Tricia...which I ADORE.
This time, I went to visit my artist friend Alma, literally walked through her front door and as I was giving her a hug I looked down at some new artwork she had sitting about and I latched onto this one and said, "What is this?! Oh my god, what is that?!" I looked closer and breathlessly said, "Alma...can I have this? I want this one."
I know it must've been made just for me.

You see, Alma listens and then she does.
That is the goddess within speaking - I am convinced of it down to my bones.
The "Divine She" talks to Alma, and she lays down fabrics and papers and paints and does it.
The colors of this piece are PHENOMENAL. The red is a metallic raspberry-beefsteak tomato. The turqouise is Clear Lake blue.
There are browns and creams and pinks and the most wonderful shade of lime.
It was made for me-I'm convinced of this also.
Do you see how the sun glints off of it? It reflects the light of a higher power.
Do you see the delicate courage of it? Do you see the strong femininity of it?
In the palms, I see flocks of birds, with only their eyes showing. I see hearts ready to give,
I see the tree of life and veins. I see the lotus, reflecting the idea that my life opens as the petals do...slowly and surely and oh so beautifully.
I see reflection and light and offering.
I see womanly parts reminding me of how sacred and beautiful and giving my body is.
And then, because there are no accidents, I knew I'd seen these hands many times before, and only just recently have been paying attention to them.
These hands are quite like the Hamsa:
From Wikipedia:
The hamsa (Arabic: خمسة ‎, khamsa, lit. five, also romanized khamsa and chamsa) is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The hamsa is often incorporated in jewelry and wall hangings, as a defense against the evil eye. It is believed to originate in ancient practices associated with the Phoenicians of Carthage

This is The Hamsa prayer:
Let no sadness come through this gate,
Let no trouble come to these walls,
Let no conflict be in this place,
Let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace.

How I love this piece of work!!! I've hung it in a place of prominence in the living room so I can soak up its message...I can't take my eyes off of it...it a prayer made visible:
Let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace

See Alma's work here:
http://www.almaart.com/
and read her blog here:
http://www.almasart.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 03, 2009

to shine

ire-dim wall that is never touched
slips through its body the mercury bowl
sloshing out and dripping speckles across itself
in spatters of light
touch-tumbling themselves
into virgins and bears and hunters
would that I were one on that dewy necklace
of star-webs
whose only work was ever
to shine

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My Baby


When we first saw her, this is what she was like...round and red and squalling and LOVED LOVED LOVED...no shortage of love.
My daughter has always been best at a cuddle. Her tiny arms grabbing and her little mouth kissing. Her leg rolls inviting a squish.

This is her first birthday. Precious.

At two, her hair was long enough for the littlest poking-out pigtails.
Awwwww...

Here she is in mid-cuddle with me, at the age of 3. Sweetie-pea :)

I just can't believe it, but here she is today.
She's been 4 years old for a couple of months now.
Today is her very first day of preschool. When she woke up she said, "Oh thanks mommy for waking me up. I thought I would be late." Too cute.
We drove her to school, and dropped her off with a big kiss and a hug, and she was almost instantly off, until she leaned into my leg once and looked up and my throat caught and I gave her another kiss and smoothed her hair and said, "I'll be here at 2 to pick you up!"
When my son and I got back in the car (his school doesn't start for another week), I just sat and cried. I couldn't seem to just be okay. I let the tears just flow down my cheeks and I took great gulping breaths, and when I felt okay, I drove back home.
My son said, "Mommy...why are you crying? Does Emma have to go to school on the weekends?"
To which I laughed and said, "No sweet-pea, I'm just sad and happy all at once. I cried just like this on the day I took you to preschool, and you only went for 3 hours, and I was with you for one of them! I'm just thinking about you guys being babies and how you really aren't babies at all anymore, and it makes me a little sad, even though I'm so happy and proud of you both."
He didn't get it whatsoever, but he said, "Oh. I thought Emma would be in school on the weekend."
Here he is, three years ago, on his first day of preschool. Nervous, and worried, but excited. I remember he told me his tummy hurt. That's my boy...
My children are not babies anymore.
That is kind of hard, isn't it.
Those of you with kids of your own, know just what I mean.
You don't, of course, want them in diapers and bottles for their whole lives, but there is a kind of letting go at this age that is so bittersweet.
So, today, I'm being gentle with myself and letting myself cry, waiting by the phone for any little thing Emma might need on her first day of school, looking at pictures of her with chubby little baby legs and tiny pigtails.
For heaven's sake, she is only four, but she's my baby.
There's a little song for her on my playlist at the very bottom today, Baby Mine.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

elemental grace



oh elemental grace
coming down like heat-rain
mud between toes fitting like skin
brung as silken webs pulled forth
gently stringing down
giving forth
generous and round-bellied as a practiced mother
full and ripe and gracious
skin stretched tight as a promise
i thank you
fingers, knuckles, palms and wrists
in the earth
i thank you