Monday, October 26, 2009

Stepping Into the Unknown

My highest self is excited about the challenge. She says, "I bring it in to myself with expectancy and a smile." She isn't afraid; she stares it in the face and laughs with excitement. She watches the sunrising through the misty trees and waits...she breathes the crisp new air deep into the depths of her lungs...
She weaves her webs and lovingly allows the dew to collect, standing to the side watching it drip and drop...content with standing aside. My higher self allows & smiles & lets it fill her to the top.

Standing without her petals. Naked to the world. This is the way. This is what has come.
This is my higher self.

The woman who writes this in front of her tv tonight is unashamedly afraid.
She does not want to walk into the room and not know the plan.
She is desperately wishing she had not said yes.
She is saying frick and frack and crap and what the H...
she doesn't want to crawl out of the house before dawn to step into the unknown...
but off she goes, holding the hand of her Higher Self...




Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin-Gettin'

I don't have much to say (hard to believe) - but I wanted to share a tradition with you - my family loves to pick out our pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch that is basically like someone's working farm, complete with rusty wires and sharp objects laying around, because it feels so homey. It was so beautiful this time, I had to share these photos with you.

You can't take a bad picture of a pig.









Saturday, October 17, 2009

Releasing

In this moment in the deepest portion of the dark, when I am alone and all I hear are night noises, my sense comes alive (how funny that I didn't say "my senses come alive"). I am able to release the idea that I must have rhyme and reason, and I begin to allow myself to step into Faith.
When I randomly put up 5 photos to share with you tonight, I decided not to think too hard nor too long, and I had no new photos to share, but I have still been itching to share this poppy with you (and it isn't the last you'll see of it, I am sure)
...this proud poppy, with one fragile pink-crepe petal left moves me...
it moves me in the same way a beloved doll with an arm dangling by one thread, would.
It moves me in the same way that an unhatched egg that is pushed from the nest, would.
It moves in the same way that a spider leaves one skin behind,
emerging shiny and fresh and fragile, would.
The mostly round pebbles for this picture were carefully put together as a prayer of thanks for my little family on a day when I was so full of love for my son's interest in all-things-under-rocks. When I was so full of love for my daughter's delight in the warm wind through her golden hair. When I was so full of love for my husband's unabashed excitement to be running on a shoreline with his pants rolled up and his white feet in the warm water, instead of driving down a hot and dusty road to God-Knows-Where.
I created it from little pebbles that had been released from the tide of a well-traveled river on the shore in a well-played park...I honored LETTING GO by using things that had been LET GO.
I admire the leaves of the oak that DO NOT LET GO...the wind may shake and pull and tear at them, shouting, "It...is...FALL...for...Pete's...sake...LET...GO!!!"
and they do not budge
they do not drop...or they try not to drop, and that is Stick-to-it-ness, isn't that.
I admire that trait in myself and others that stays with something until the very end, that voice that says, "Hell no, we won't go!" I love that about myself...I have to pry my own hands off of a project to make myself quit. I am an Oak in this way, though I am also more of a willow who has the ability to release, release, release, release
and never break...
I can bend and bend and bend and when the wind is done with me, I will spring right back, as though nothing untoward was attempted.
I am a Willow in this way.



I am this fragile leaf that is the veil that covers the Otherworld. I am the one who stands before it, waiting to Let Go. I am the one passing through it, and I am the one behind it, who has Let Go. I have let myself go from the tree in a Primitive Response...it is what I was made to do...I do it willingly, with little suspense or wonder. It was time to go. It was time to stop hanging on.
I must let go so that I might become something else on this new adventure...when I fall to the ground, what will become of me? Will I decay and provide food for that which released me in the beginning, without anyone noticing or wondering over me? Or will I float merrily down into the palm of some mystic woman's hand wherein she will touch me carefully, and sigh and place another warm hand over me and bring all of this to her chest and feel so thankful, so grateful for this old leaf? All things end. All things must let go.

And what OF letting go? What of it?
When we let go, we create space for others...when we let go of the expectations others have on us that no longer fit, we make room for our OWN expectations. When we let go of the burden that weighed us down, we make room for the the sun-rays to create wings on our backs instead. When we let go of that which does not work for us anymore, we make way for that which does.
When we retire old dreams, we create rooms (windows thrown wide, mind you) for our new dreams to be sewn together in.
We must release one in order to get the other...

I find myself at this moment of release, and I've known it for weeks (and perhaps months now). It is time for me to let go of the Sparrow that I've held onto for so long. This Sparrow that I've protected and guided and chided and cajoled and ran after and lost and found and broke and mended and put on public television and sold and bought and cried over and rejoiced over and held to my chest when too many people wanted to pick at her...(sigh)...I'm tired of having her out in public...she wants to come home now.
She no longer wants to be shared. This Sparrow has flown and flown until her wings are tired, and she is sore of the vultures pecking at her tender flesh. This Sparrow is old, and no longer wants to be tough-enough. She flies back to her warm little nest In The Woode where she belongs. It was time...a long time ago...
I don't expect a lot of whining or fanfare...she will go quietly, just as she came in...but I still mourn it, in my own way.
I stood outside this week when the rain was coming down as if it were spontaneously forming at every open space in the air around my body and not falling from a little cloud that floated above me. It collected in tiny droplets on the hairs on my arm and I was fascinated by it, and for some reason, it was then that I knew I had to let my Sparrow go. She wasn't out there in the rain with me anymore. She wasn't bursting forth from my chest with inspiration in that moment, she was back inside, old and needing warmth...I realized it was time to release her to make way for the new dream, and so I do...
You can read more about this here.





Friday, October 16, 2009

Twisting in one Direction (or the Definition of Becoming)

Nature is most lavish in her gifts and in order to appreciate them we should listen to her voice and study well her teachings. ~J. Clark
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't know how I happened upon that quote one day when I created this blog, but I did...happen upon it, that is. And at that moment, "Into the Woode" meant to me something mysterious and unknown, rather like walking in a darkened wood with nothing whatsoever on the agenda except to follow a rustling breeze, or the musky scent of a toadstool. To gather what you may, while you may, and even after you may (o gasp), was the impetus that drove me to write down my thoughts here.
Into the Woode was a bit nebulous and sticky, like the stringy-fingers of the cat-face spider's web. It was even a bit grabbing like a bramble at your skirts.
Through the summer, however, I found that the Woode became lighter, brighter, even diffused into tiny fairy specks suddenly gathering and just as suddenly dispersing like dust motes in shafts of light. My Woode is the sound of rain dripping from my eaves, and the snap of a juniper log on the fire. My Woode is the groan-grackle of the chickens in the purple-black of dawn. My Woode tastes like bacon pop-cracking in the cast iron skillet and the richness of the deep amber of my coffee in a rustic pottery mug on a bright, cold Sunday morning.
My Woode is a dew drop.
My Woode is one pretty fragile petal left.
My Woode is a tangled grassy path through the bottom of a lake bed.
My Woode is the Autumn sun poking at me through the leaves of my favorite little
Choke Cherries.
My Woode changes as I twist and tumble through the labrynthine maze of the seasons, through the wheel of the year, as I Become in every moment, at the breaking of each day and the second my eyes are closed...
My Woode is My Becoming.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The First Snow

This picture looks like something from the cover of a scary story...but I assure you there was nothing scary about the First Snow...only cozy...see the red glow from the chicken coop?
Later, when the sun came up, I went out and took a little video, and you can hear the chickens telling me "Good morning...good morning...where's our grub?!"


video

Monday, October 12, 2009

This is what I do...


There I was today, in the middle of some kind of anomaly...over 70 7th and 8th grade kids all in one gym together after lunch because it was too cold outside, and only ME to watch them...it was like being in a black hole. I was in disbelief for the first 5 minutes as I watched the basketball hoops come slowly down and looking, frantic, for WHO was doing it?! Too much yelling and chaos to figure it out, but it was happening...and did I just see the outside door click shut? Who went out there? Why are these kids throwing basketballs as hard as they can at each other's heads?!
It was like trying to get up a hill of molasses, at dusk, on a tricycle...

Then I stood for 5 full seconds with my eyes closed, went inward and pulled it out...I pulled up the courage and said, "What in the world, they are just kids." And then I also pulled out my new whistle (thanks, sweetie!!), and I'm not afraid to use it, let me tell you. I KNOW how to blow a whistle, and I have a LOUD voice...so quickly, I rounded up the hooligans who went out the wrong door, stopped the hoop-remote hijackers, sat the four kids on the sidelines who were throwing the basketballs so hard and generally took control of things...
*did you know that buttercups can grow in little spots of gravel that seem to have no water, and that, though you step on them and they seem to wrinkle, they do not lay down...they stand up straight and keep on going...that was me, today*

Align Center
I thought about my wish to have my own classroom (what joy I'd have to teach Language Arts to 7th and 8th graders!! or Social Studies...ooh, I LOVE Social Studies!!) and I thought to myself how much I love these CRAZY kids, and the lovely crazy teachers who stick with them through these awkward years, and LOVE it, and it made me feel as though I were a part of some underground society: "We Who Step into the Bubble of Tweendom, and Relish it"
What is it about them? Even the hardened (foot taller than me) boys who look me straight in the eye and say, "No!" and I calmly smile and say, "You look like a really old lady when you sqwinch up your eyes like that and say, 'noooooo!' I expect you'll do it anyway, or I'll have you scrub out every single one of these garbage cans in here before you go home today. Okay? Cool."
I LOVE that...I love that the boy smiles (trying to change it into a smirk) and says, "Geeeeeeeez!! Fine." and then does what I asked. Score one for me.
This is the challenge I take on. This is what I love...I love to watch some kid trying to form this "don't touch me, I'm too cool" bubble around themselves, and then I love to step right into it bursting it open and watch them smile. I LOVE it. I love to help these kids come back to themselves...

This is who I am...
irreverent, saucy, dishin' it out, listening to woes, straightening it out, and
caring absolutely...
I am with them because I'm called.
No better reason then that.




Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cold Springs in the Fall


there were bowers of glittering jewel-tones
and pale papery roughness of birch bark
it filled up my senses, made me close my eyes and breathe deeply of the crisp air

it caused me to lay on logs and look closely at textures

looking for bright bits of shocking purples here and there,
the last of this sort of color for the season

it made me look low and find this perfect acorn-shaped wasp's nest
in a very strange little place among the reeds only one step from the water's edge...
The little details from my favorite place at my favorite time of year wraps me in it's healing energy for days afterward.











Saturday, October 10, 2009

Strands and Pockets


This Saturday afternoon, I sat down to create the mandala that represented my life these days, and I am STRUCK with how different it is than the other two...This one wanted to fill the page, it wanted to be made as strands of meaning, pulling itself out beyond its limits. It wanted to create pockets of meaning as well...little spots that hold me down and keep a hold of me.
I am an individual, separate and yet a part of what is going on around me. My energy exchanged with others' energies, making me stronger. My dreams are resting in my hands, as they always have been. They come true when I am willing to share them.
Here is the blessing of my life:
"We are not the same persons this year as last. Nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person."
W. Somerset Maugham

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

the world stopped and listened



So, what have I been thinking of...I've been thinking of what my Mandala would look like, and I still want to make one for you...but lately, it has honestly been a little 3-dimensional, with audio, and warmth and taste...I'd like to make a mandala that has the music of some sort of bird that I hear early in the morning - it sounds like a Fox Sparrow {and Here,} and feels like heat from the woodstove, tastes like really rich morning coffee {the first cup}. It looks like my lavendar August-to-August planner, but it feels like the soft-rabbity-ness of my kitty cat, Boo-Boo.


It feels a bit anxious and interested in how well this idea is going: http://www.intothewoode.com/ {why not just WOOD? you ask...because I like olde spellings and fit them in whynever I see fit to...so it is WOODE}, but not overwrought or anything like that. It is SO interesting, because when I was doing more of Sparrow's Cottage, I was always constantly worried about the latest "copycat", and whether or not anyone would buy my wares. This time, because I know that what I offer is so much more authentic, I just don't worry. I have this HUGE feeling that those who need what I have to offer, will just be there...they'll just come...
I love to have some time to myself at night when everyone else is in bed, because now that school's on, I don't get any mornings to myself - they are all dash and hurry and lunches and homework folders and kisses and hugs and out the door - so I get evenings...that is good, it suits me better. I love the dark, and the quiet of the moon, she is MUCH better company to me...my sweet Moon.


So, this night, I went and fiddled with my website some more, and I added this page about "FREE goodies", as you can see...and a pretty background (softer, but still clean-looking).

What is my point, what is the idea??!! I don't even totally know myself. Isn't that something? What I Offer...hmmm...the tangible, hold-in-your-hands things are books {oh joy my favorite things and I've made three of them!!!} and necklaces {they hold power and spirit and healing for me} and make-it-yourself journals from rescued books and spiritual tokens of intuition and inspiration...But what do I OFFER? You mean besides the Website Design/Creation service?
What do I OFFER??!! I think I just offer me. I offer my experiences, my gift of encouragement, my offering of a hand to lift you, the words of inspiration, the heart of little revelations... This website is the first real, tangible, out-in-the-world step of me saying, "guess what, this is me..."
I wrote a poem today about it...I'll leave you with it:

she held them all
- sparkling and squirming -
like tiny fish
close to her body
with both hands
tight but sharing
her fingers feel the softest ones
and one hand deftly grabs those
molds them back into her chest
to rest
in her heart until later
when things are safer
and she feels stronger
the others
-sparkling and squirming -
she gently relaxes her hold on
still protecting
but wanting
but needing
to share them
pulling out one by the tail
hugging the others to her body, still
she looks
-with glittering eyes -
into its wonder and fantastical-ness
then out into the world
and says, "listen"
and the world stopped
and listened

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sick Days

My sweet little son is not feeling good with the "walking pneumonia" yesterday and today and on top of it he had a mild allergic reaction to the medicine for the pneumonia. I enjoy having him to myself, though I wish he wasn't so sick...you can only watch so much Sponge-Bob and can only read so much of your Stink books before you get just tired of trying to keep yourself busy. His eyes hurt and he is just too tired to do any homework...and I am so glad to be with him yesterday and today...

I'm thinking about the day I wanted to sub, but couldn't because I was sick and I was so sad and upset about not being able to teach that day. I'm thinking about yesterday and today and that there were two job offers yesterday and four job offers today and I calmly, purposely, said, "No thanks...I'm taking care of my son." I would like to have that kind of attitude toward myself when I am sick...just happy to be with myself...just happy to take care of myself. I can learn from this.


I mean, look at this cat. He says, "no thanks" every single day, and he doesn't make one excuse. He just yawns and stretches and tucks his head in, and that is that. Here is the cat this day...happy to be in a room heated by the woodstove...cozy and warm and quiet. I can learn from him, too.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Becoming...


Above is a mandala that I made to represent how my life was going at the moment...I called it "Containment" - everything that was real and beautiful and soul-true was bottled up on the inside. I did this one on 10 September, 2007.

This one, only eight days later, I call "a peaceful heart." I was on my way to sharing how I really felt about life, where we've come from, where we are going to, what life means, how that knowledge was to act out in my daily life and what I did about it all...profoundly changing. The beginning of letting go of what I expected of myself.
I can't wait to create one now...a little over 2 years later...



Thursday, October 01, 2009

I've Been Dreaming in Black and White

My dreams are vibrant, multi-faceted, complicated...wing-ed
and this is true.
My dreams are black silhouettes against a dusky purple-white sky
and this is true.

I look into the face of my dreams and I see them as words on a page,
delicate serif fonts of wishes and talents and deep-longings.
I look into the face of my dreams and I see white-hot sparkles
of desire and drive and excitement.
My dreams feel like an old photograph of grandma at 20-something,
black and white and sepia...bold and bountiful and beautiful.
My dreams fit me like my own skin.
I stand gazing at it, feeling it in the palm of my hand
like a black rock just before the sun goes down...hefty and real...
remembering the way the dream feels after the sun goes down.
I don't need my eyes to know my dreams. I know the feel of what I'm good at, what I long for.
Standing, again, in that classroom full of fresh teenagers pulls me flat in my solar plexus...
like tendrils of strong sinew tying me down, grounding me, calling out to me, "This is YOU. You are here. This is what you DO. This is what you were BORN to do."
I know it in my bones...my white bones...
I know it.