Life

I’m reading William Elliott’s book Tying Rocks to Clouds, a title I love.  He interviews various spiritual leaders to find guidance for his own path.  He asks them a series of questions about their beliefs and ideals.

As I answer for myself, I feel the purpose of life is for each of us to fulfill in our own unique way. I think of the sea star, the creature that eats by extruding its stomach out through its  mouth to envelop a meal.  When the food is digested, the stomach is drawn back into the body.  It’s an image I can use to consider how I might meet another person or event, to more clearly expand how I listen, receive, and perceive.

On that note, Robert Hubbell has this to say.

The wife of a supreme court justice participated in an attempted coup. That fact is outrageous and should matter to every American and should remain on the front pages of every newspaper in America until the justice resigns or recuses himself from all election-related cases.

I say he should resign.  He’s tainted in a multitude of ways and should never have been allowed on the Supreme Court.   

It might seem easy to ignore Clarence and his wife in light of Heather Cox Richardson’s column today where she issues a warning that you might need to skip reading about the abuses in the Southern Baptists church.  

And with that, on this beautiful day, I trust in balancing beams of love with shared awareness and care.  We can’t heal what we don’t know, and the more we learn of abuse, the more we can focus on healing the wounds.  May this be so!

Looking out my window –

Connection

I continue through my archaeological dig, what I’ve collected over the years.

I come to these wondrous words of William Stafford.

If you don’t know the kind of person I am 
and I don’t know the kind of person you are 
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world 
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. 


For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, 
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break 
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood 
storming out to play through the broken dyke. 


And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, 
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park, 
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty 
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact. 


And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, 
a remote important region in all who talk: 
though we could fool each other, we should consider– 
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark. 


For it is important that awake people be awake, 
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; 
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe– 
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. 

Doris Day rose blooming today
Mother’s Day Bouquet

Mother’s Day Weekend

Birth is happening all around us.  Mother Earth is springing to life.  For those of us whose mothers have passed, there’s a bit of sadness in the weekend celebration and there’s also the knowing that life continues even as we release those we love.

I feel my ribs as they float the canoe of my being, heart stable and expansive in its ability to curve and flow pumping in and out.

I just finished a book by Jeanne Achterberg, Woman as Healer.  From prehistoric times to the present, there’s been peace, growth, and prosperity  when women were honored and revered for their role as healers and creators, as essential beings in this world we share.  When they were held down, dishonored, and demeaned, there was war.

I’d not realized the numbers of women burned at the stake during the Middle Ages.  Women were feared for their knowledge of herbs and healing, and destroyed.   

A neighbor shares that ten monarch butterflies just hatched from milkweed she planted.  What a gift as we honor and acknowledge we each have our own right to choose how we best serve, nourish and create.  

Early Morning

Now

Ease

In an article in the summer issue of Parabola Magazine, Benson Bobrick writes about his relationship with P.L. Travers who wrote Mary Poppins and studied with G.I. Gurdjieff.  These quotes come from letters she wrote to him and his former wife.

 “Let ideas just go into you.” 

 “By “standing under” I mean to let it come down upon you as you would if you were willingly and restfully standing under the rain. Or sunshine, if you like.  Be defenseless. Do not ‘try’ so hard …. The trying can become merely muscular; the mind has muscular gestures as well as the body. Let the ladder, as it were, draw you up rather than forcefully putting your foot on each rung.”

What an image.  Let the ladder, as it were, draw you up rather than forcefully putting your foot on each rung.”

I lift like Mary Poppins floating up into the sky.

What resides inside the trunk of a tree, inside the trunk of me –

Spirit Friends Serenity

This morning I was looking at the words on my frig from my poetry magnets and Spirit Friends Serenity popped out as guidance for my day.

I’ve been a bit frazzled lately, feeling torn this way and that, but today all seems to settle and come to rest as Spirit Friends Serenity uncoils ribbons of connection sowing peace.

Leaning to Meet

Smiling

How are we affected by a smile?

Thich Nhat Hanh inspires reflection, exploration and contemplation with  Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.” 

Exhaling, I play with how deeply from within the smile comes. 

How far does it extend?

Is there a bow of connection with in and out?

I’m reminded of the book Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel.

In archery, the hitter and the hit are no longer two opposing objects, but are one reality.

That brings me to Frederick Franck:

While drawing grasses I learn nothing ‘about’ grass, but wake up to the wonder that there is grass at all.

Frederick Franck: I know artists whose medium is life itself, and who express the inexpressible without brush, pencil, chisel or guitar. They neither paint nor dance. Their medium is Being. Whatever their hand touches has increased life…. They are the artists of being alive.

Ah, to be an artist of being alive, and with that,  “breathing in, I calm my body.  Breathing out, I smile.”

Smiles are Everywhere – Commonweal

Day 12 – The Weight of Grief

The fog has come in. There’s a gray embrace, a clasp of wetness.

I am heavy with grief, weighted down as though pregnant with new birth, though I’m not bringing forth a child into the world, but the weight of myself, a knowing in the cells there is a wider birth of earth than just this collection of cells I am right now. It is my energy that animates, and that energy halts now as it rearranges the knowing with which I connect. My umbilical cord is stretched and will snap back.

I open John O’Donohue’s wonderful book, To Bless the Space Between Us. I open to his poem “For Grief”.

For Grief

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.

There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.

Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.

It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time. 

John O’Donohue

Two rocks – One from Monhegan Island – the other from the Ganges
Healing abides

The Weight in Grief


I have some idea that I’ll share as I did in the last blog post and then move on.  When my daughter-in-love Frieda called to console, I quickly moved the conversation back to her, and she just as quickly took it back to me.  She’s clever, that girl/woman, a female embodiment of love and compassion, a wisdom gong, as is my other daughter-in-love, Jan.

I rejoice in the grace of wisdom gongs in my life.

Sometimes I find it hard to receive and yet here you are, all of you, so many beautiful messages and offers of support and I feel myself broken apart, as though if I let the bedrock go, the mountain that rises from that bedrock will break it into little pieces and the pain will be less.  Is there less pain, or more, when a mountain lets go and little rocks fall and flow, perhaps gathering with avalanche strength and force?

And now I learn that Notre Dame, Our Lady, has burned.  

I pause, caught on, and in, the elements today, broken apart – earth, air fire, water.

Yesterday I was above the waves as I sat on the ground at Pierce Point.  I watched, mesmerized, as the waves below seemed to be moving slowly and methodically, their white tops clearly defined.  Sitting above, I saw an orchestrated rhythm. If I’d been on the beach below, the waves might have seemed random, and violent perhaps, as they blew apart with a crash.

Sitting above, my whole being slowed to the pace of viewing from a distance, a distance stretching time to a curve, a healing to embrace.

And now, today I am earth, crumbling, and fire, passion, perhaps at first, as I had to mobilize to align, and now today, ashes as the structure of my being sinks to change.  I woke this morning feeling my face malleable as if it was curious to found and birth new form. I could view it as death to the old but transformation has a more inviting bite and taste.

I’ve recently learned that some people choose to have ashes from those they love mixed into the ink of a tattoo.  I don’t need to do that. My being is opened and opening to receive the ashes of my brother, the essence, as I integrate a wider being of knowing, reception, and trust.  Though painful, I rejoice in new form. I am a leaf unleashed.

I was away from my home four days this week, and never looked outside on the fifth, and yesterday, I saw that my Maple trees had released themselves into full leaf, now weighted with morning rain.   

Everyday Enchantment

I began a blog on Live Journal in 2005 when I was going through nine months of treatment for breast cancer. I continued that blog for years, then, transferred over to Facebook but much as I love the quick snapshots of life Facebook provides, I see there is no continuity as to who I am. Therefore I’m starting this blog for three reasons. One, I love connecting with you with more depth than Facebook allows. Second, I want to “promote” my new book that will come out soon: Airing Out the Fairy Tale: My Journey through Nepal and Midlife. Third, I want you to more thoroughly and clearly know the woman I am now.

I’m an elder now, and in many ways, we are all elders. Even the fetus in the womb influences the mother. We are always influencing our environment, the world around and within. What I see though is that we change with age, if we beckon and allow it. I may be less flexible physically but my consciousness is widening and wanting to embrace and be embraced by more than I see, by more than what my immediate reception might perceive. 

I’ll turn seventy this year. It’s a rite of passage, another one, one that feels even more precious. What of myself can I share with you now? What wisdom might I have gained over the years that I’m inspired to impart?

I’ve always believed in enchantment, and more and more I come to see the truth of that as I cultivate my knowing of microorganisms in the soil, and this wider world of which I’m part. I unfold into the beauty, fragility, tenderness, vulnerability and support of living fully while I’m here.

I ask myself: How much can I embrace as I’m embraced? How much peace can I touch within my heart and bring forth to share?