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This one's for you Keith!

Friday, October 09, 2009

I've been seriously missing Keith's presence here in this community. This poem is dedicated to him, whose impassioned cries for justice speak to my soul, just as Michael Hartnett does. It's also true that Keith has chronic insomnia, so on a more mundane level, this exquisite piece has meaning for him as well!



A PRAYER FOR SLEEP

Grant me one good rest tonight, O Lord;
let no creatures prowl
the tangled pathways in my skull:
wipe out all wars,
throw guilt a bone;
let me dream, if I dream at all,
no child of Yours has come to harm.

I know, of course, that death's the norm,
that there are people who have yet to climb
the Present's rungs, who lag behind
(hyenas at the rim of civilization's light),
whose laughing hides a Stone Age howl,
who wait till darkness comes to pounce
and tear the guts of progress out.

Yet, grant me good rest tonight, my Lord,
blind my internal eyes;
guard my anxious baffled years
with Your protecting arm
and let me dream, if I dream at all,
no child of Yours has come to harm.

~ Michael Hartnett ~
(Collected Poems)
www.panhala.net/Archive/A_Prayer_for
_Sleep.html


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hartne
tt_%28poet%29
-- a little bio on Hartnett

"Lord" to me is the enlivening presence within; that which propels us to seek the Good and to reach out to others.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CORPUSANNIE 10/11/2009 1:19PM

    Thanks for this blog. It is a beautiful poem and I hope KuzinKeith sees that you have posted it. emoticon

Peace
Montie

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CAROLYN4033 10/11/2009 11:02AM

    Maha, you have a beautiful soul........Peace, Carolyn

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LYNNANN43 10/9/2009 5:36PM

    Three years and running as an insomniac as Tee pointed out. Couldn't wait to get home and read this blog when she texted me!

emoticon
Lynn

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STILLPOINT 10/9/2009 4:16PM

    Lovely Maha. You're so kind.
Blessings Keith

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CARLI_MAE 10/9/2009 1:41PM

    Me two (missing Keith & terrible nightowl) ... great selection, as always!
Peace,

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BABYFACE26 10/9/2009 1:31PM

    Let me spread the word - Homeopathy works!...I've used Calms Forte for years, and its totally harmless. You can even buy it in Walgreens in the sleep section. Pretty cool, huh? When I'm too caffeinated to sleep...I'm so happy its by my bed.

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PEACEFULONE 10/9/2009 12:13PM

    Yes!!! Beautiful and right on the spot for me (an insomniac). Thank you dear Maha for your kind sharing of such lovely blogs.
emoticon

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TEE803 10/9/2009 11:46AM

    Beautiful! I just texted my sister that she HAS to read this! She has been an insomniac for a looong time! Thanks Maha!

emoticon

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 10/9/2009 11:21AM

    Thank you for sharing that, Maha. It speaks to my soul and experience, thus is a balm and I will print out a copy to keep near my bed. My mother said I was born not sleeping. Homeopathy lets me get away with it...or has, so far. Thank you thank you thank you, for your lovely tribute and gift to Keith, as well.
emoticonSue

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MISS_VIV 10/9/2009 9:36AM

    Thank you so much for this beautiful peace.
I am sure if Keith is able to find the time and space to get onto our spark site, he will do so and be pleased that we are thinking of him.

This poem on sleep will be a welcome note to many who suffer.

HUGS
PEACE

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FLORIDASUN 10/9/2009 9:27AM

    I love your blogs Maha..they always help me through my day..which leads to a good day..that leads to a better life. You are beautiful! emoticon

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WILDFLOWER- 10/9/2009 9:25AM

    Lovely poem Ms Maha.

Do you know what happened to Keith? I noticed the other day that his account is gone ... I miss him too. And I'm ever so curious if he closed his account or ??

I hope things come around for him.

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Your life...is already perfect!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

OK, this poem simply burst into my heart this morning, begging to be shared...and so here it is...in all its outrageousness. Sufi poetry (Hafiz, Rumi, Kabir, etc.) is not for everyone, but oh how it resonates with my heart and soul.

Hafiz is Sufi, the mystical arm of Islam which is universal in nature, those crazy-wisdom teachers, including the whirling dervishes. Remembrance of the Divine is the most basic teaching and practice of Sufism.

I have a deep *knowingness* that if I can somehow intuitively learn to move to a rhythm closer to the pulsing of the universe, my mind and body and spirit will align with it and I will be healthy and at peace in all ways in spite of outer circumstances. Ahhhhhhhhhhh....

OUT OF GOD'S HAT



The stars poured into the sky
Out of a Magician's hat last night,
And all of them have fallen into my hair.
Some have even tangled my eyelashes
Into luminous, playful knots.

Wayfarer,
You are welcome to cut a radiant tress
That lays upon my shoulders.
Wrap it around your trembling heart and body
That craves divine comfort and warmth.
I am like a pitcher of milk
In the hands of a mother who loves you.

All of my contents now
Have been churned into dancing suns and moons.

Lean your sweet neck and mouth
Out of that dark nest where you hide,
I will pour effulgence into your mind.

Come spring
You can find me rolling in the fields
They are exploding in
Holy battles

Of scents, of sounds - everything is
A brilliant colored nova on a stem.

Forest animals hear me laughing
And surrender their deepest instincts and fears,

They come charging into meadows
To lick my hands and face,

This makes me so happy,
I become so happy

That my rising wink turns into a magic baton.
When my soft-eyed creatures see that wonderful signal
We all burst into singing

And make strange and primal beautiful sounds!

My only regret in this world then becomes:

That your shyness keeps you from placing
Your starving body against God

And seeing the Beloved become so pleased
With your courage

That his belly begins to rock and rock,
Then more planets get to leap
Onto the welcome mat of existence
All because
Of your previous love.

The Friend has turned my verse into sacred pollen.
When a breeze comes by

Falcons and butterflies
And playful gangs of young angels
Mounted on emerald spears

Take flight from me like a great sandstorm
That can blind you to all but the Truth!

Dear one
Even if you have no net to catch Venus
My music will circle this earth for hundreds of years
And fall like resplendent debris,
Holy seed, onto a fertile woman.

For Hafiz
Wants to help you laugh at your every
Desire.

Hafiz
Wants you to know

Your life within God's arms,
Your dance within God's
Arms

Is already

Perfect!

-- Hafiz
(The Gift -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Gods_Hat.htm
l


And for those interested:

The whirling dervish is a mystical dancer who stands between the material and cosmic worlds. His dance is part of a sacred ceremony in which the dervish rotates in a precise rhythm. He represents the earth revolving on its axis while orbiting the sun. The purpose of the ritual whirling is for the dervish to empty himself of all distracting thoughts, placing him in trance; released from his body he conquers dizziness.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JNEUBS 10/8/2009 5:26AM

    You rawk my world Maha ;-)

Thanks for being you!

Peace!
ChiTown Jeff
emoticon emoticon emoticon

PS...saw whirling dervishes this summer at Navy Pier in Chicago...had no idea!

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DOKEYOKEY 10/6/2009 10:29PM

    Wow, Maha. I had to sit down for that one 'cause I didn't conquer the dizziness that poem brought on!

Thank you!
Kathleen

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SLASALLE 10/6/2009 6:00PM

    How can anybody not enjoy this? I LOVE the concept of the whirling dervish. I had learned about this before, but it was buried somewhere deep in my brain (as are many things these days), to be brought forth again by this blog!

Thanks!

Stephan
ie

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MENT2BE 10/6/2009 5:13PM

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Your choice of photos was PERFECT. Divine Order is certainly alive and well in your life.

Thanks for sharing!!

emoticon

Namaste,
--ME

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PEACEFULONE 10/6/2009 3:02PM

    Maha you are amazing.

Your blogs always seem to touch me in the most profound way. As a child I used to love to twirl and someone referred to me as a "whirling dervish". Thanks for the memory and for the beautiful poetry!

Peace, blessings, and love to you, Elaine
emoticon

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FRANCESCANAZ 10/6/2009 11:33AM

    Beautiful...absolutely! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 10/6/2009 8:25AM

    I love this...I need to learn more about the dancing dervish...I need to conquer the world's dizziness...yes I do! emoticon emoticon emoticon for sharing this dear friend..it is amazing to say the least!

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Monday morning....

Monday, October 05, 2009

"Woe to the bozo who says No to tee hee ho ho and ha ha" indeed! My donkey neighbors and the surfing dog on Baldwin Beach, Maui, know all about it -- I seem to get in touch with it best while in nature too:

ODE TO GAIETY

Go gloom
Begone glum and grim
Off with the drab drear and grumble
It's time
its pastime
to come undone and come out laughing
time to wrap killjoys in wet blankets
and feed them to the sourpusses

Come frisky pals
Come forth wily wags
Loosen your screws and get off your rocker
Untie the strait lacer
Tie up the smarty pants
Tickle the crosspatch with josh and guffaw
Share quips and pranks with every victim
of grouch pomposity or blah

Woe to the bozo who says No to
tee hee ho ho and ha ha
Boo to the cleancut klutz who
wipes the smile off his face
Without gaiety
freedom is a chastity belt
Without gaiety
life is a wooden kimono

Come cheerful chums
Cut up and carry on
Crack your pots and split your sides
Boggle the bellyacher
Convulse the worrywart
Pratfall the prissy poos and the fuddy duds
Take drollery to heart or end up a deadhead
at the guillotine of the mindless

Be wise and go merry round
whatever you cherish
what you love to enjoy what you live to exert
And when the high spirits
call your number up
count on merriment all the way to the countdown
Long live hilarity euphoria and flumadiddle
Long live gaiety
for all the laity

-- James Broughton
(Glees)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLI_MAE 10/6/2009 1:45AM

    ... and be sure to never git yer knickers in a knot! emoticon emoticon
Me

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ABQUEST 10/5/2009 11:55PM

    Thank you for a delightful blog entry - you lifted my spirits!

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TEE803 10/5/2009 11:43PM

    My sister was right! I'm glad I stopped by! This definitely put a smile on my face! Thanks MAHA!

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FRANCESCANAZ 10/5/2009 9:13PM

    LOVED it!

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SACTOKAREN 10/5/2009 5:30PM

    Now that's uplifting!

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WOODLANDMYST 10/5/2009 2:57PM

  Aw, such a great blog! I need to send this to a grump or two I know....

Keep your spirits up!
Cyndy
p.s. LOVE your page background photo emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 10/5/2009 12:17PM

    Maha...I'm for SURE signing up for your blog alerts...I NEED your blogs..I NEED you dear one...ha, ha, ha, ha...I LOVED this blog and I love your donkeys..what fun! Now if I could just figure out how to distill this blog and inject it into my arm...hee hee! Blessed are you and your uplifting soul! I'm going to go find some fun and have a belly buster in your MAHA honor! Yip! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LYNNANN43 10/5/2009 11:31AM

    emoticon

I just texted TEE to read your blog. She REALLY needs to read this right now!

I'm gonna have a smile on my face for hours, then come back and reread it again:D

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SLASALLE 10/5/2009 10:36AM

    "Here, here" is my best response to this. If we cannot laugh at ourselves and at life and the things we love to do, then it all becomes pretty boring!!!!

So "ha ha" to you, my friend!!!!!!

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STILLPOINT 10/5/2009 10:25AM

    Thank you Maha....I needed that pick me up today. Have a 'cheery' day.

Blessings,
emoticon

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MISS_VIV 10/5/2009 10:18AM

    Maha, Broughton was quite a writer.. and when you share his words they become more meaningful and powerful. It is truly a great way to get in touch with yourself. "Come frisky pals
Come forth wily wags
Loosen your screws and get off your rocker
Untie the strait lacer
Tie up the smarty pants "

Yep, time to lighten up and get on with having a little fun in life. I know I have been guilty (so I have been told) that I take life 'way too serious'.

Have a super week.
Bless you
Hugs


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AUNTYEMM 10/5/2009 8:45AM

    Maha, you are one of a kind (unfortunately for all the rest of us) You see things so much clearer than anyone I know. I love the blog! I do try to be a cheerful chum and to Cut up and carry on Crack your pots and split your sides Boggle the bellyacher and Convulse the worrywart. Life has no value if you cannot enjoy the ridiculousness of it. Thanks for bringing me the first smile today as I attack the "serious" work I do today.
Mary
And you are blessed!

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Top Superfoods for Fall

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A wonderful article along with special fall foods ideas. Definitely worth the read!

I, for one, love the idea that there are superfoods -- certain edibles that go the extra mile in terms of nutritional chutzpah. They may not leap tall buildings, but superfoods are purported to fight the evil villains of heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer and a host of other diseases. Blueberries, for example, have become a superfood darling for their powerful punch of antoxidants -- and I have to say, they do seem pretty mighty to me.

That said, I think some of the trendy superfoods are stealing the spotlight from the true heart of the matter -- from the everyday heroes. It seems to me that almost any grain or produce that is grown organically, unprocessed and prepared gently, has much to offer. I just can't see a list of ten superfoods that earn obvious rank. In fact, if you look at 10 "Top 10 Superfoods" lists, you will see that they vary widely.

The truth is, most good food from nature is pretty super. So with that in mind, I like taking a seasonal approach. Rather than debating the merits of acai berries over goji berries, I prefer to look at what's in season, and work with the nutritional workhorses that I can get here and now. These are my favorites for fall, based primarily on nutritional variety and strength, but that also give me that primal, sensuous satisfaction that comes with eating what's in season:

1. SWEET POTATOES AND PUMPKIN
I go crazy for these flavors come fall, and no wonder: The dark orange vegetable family outdoes all others in vitamin A content. Sweet potatoes are also packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.

2. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Crucifers such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collards and turnips contain indole alkaloids that may help prevent cancer. They are also high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Along with their fabulous flavor, once you get the hang of cooking them, they may have an added bonus: they may help bolster memory as you age. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that women who eat the most of these foods are the least likely to be forgetful.

3. POMEGRANATES
Pomegranates have very high antioxidant activity, offering brain and memory protection. And research shows that drinking pomegranate juice may help with lowering the risk for hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis.

4. BEETS
The pigment that gives beets their super-beautiful fuschia depth-betacyanin-is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Beets' potential effectiveness against colon cancer, in particular, has been demonstrated in several studies. Beets are also particularly rich in the B vitamin folate.

5. THE ALLIUMS
Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots contain sulfur compounds that may protect against heart disease and some cancers, they can all help the liver eliminate toxins and carcinogens.

6. BEANS
An excellent source of protein, antioxidants, folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, beans are flavorful, nutritionally dense, inexpensive and versatile. Read about heirloom varieties and cooking tips.

7. OLIVE OIL
Several large studies suggest that the monosaturated fat in olive oil is good for the heart. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol levels and increases good cholesterol. It is hgih in antioxidants -- and is one of the superstars of the Mediterranean diet. Recent research shows that heart-attack survivors on a Mediterranean diet had half the death rates of those on an ordinary low-fat diet.

8. TEA
The caffeine content in tea is useful for stimulating alertness, mood and motivation, but is also a rich source of the antioxidant called catechins. Studies suggest that catechins protect the artery walls against the damage that causes heart disease and prevents formation of blood clots. It also does wonders for the spirit on a cool autumn day.

9. RED WINE OR GRAPE JUICE
(Hello! I LOVE that grape juice is FINALLY getting the equal *press* that it deserves!!!)

Grapes provide vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6 -- red grapes also contain powerful phytochemicals (especially phenolics) that may help decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. These phenolic compounds are housed mostly in the skin of the red grapes, which is what makes red wine red and dark grape juice red or pruple. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic stilbene found in the skins of red fruits including grapes, may be responsible for some of the health benefits ascribed to the consumption of red wine. Resveratrol has been shown to have anti-oxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory activity.
www.care2.com/greenliving/top-10-sup
erfoods-for-fall.html?&page=2

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHATAGRL42 10/5/2009 3:00PM

    yum! I like getting my produce delivered from a local certified organic CSA farm. There is always variety, and it's always in season. I've been getting a variety of squashes and small cooking pumpkins. It's fun to experiement with the variety!

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WOODLANDMYST 10/5/2009 2:59PM

  Great list - I try to eat these as often as possible.

Cyndy

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MENT2BE 10/4/2009 4:54PM

    I agree!! Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are at the top of my list...ALL year long but especially fall. It's all about eating as close to the source as possible.

DELICIOUS article!!

emoticon

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LYNNANN43 10/4/2009 1:45PM

    Ok, here's 2 articles for making pumpkin puree instead of buying the canned stuff (this is NOT pumpkin pie filling that already has the spices added):

Baking the pumpkin whole:

http://southerncuisin
e.suite101.com/article.cfm/fres
h_pumpkin_puree_for_recipes

Or cut up first:

http://homecooking.ab
out.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/b
lv314.htm

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BABYFACE26 10/4/2009 1:19PM

    Great article, darlin. thanks for sharing. I have a question. Whenever I have a pumpkin or a squash...with very hard shell - my knife won't go thru it, and even if I manage to cut through, what should I DO with it? How do I cook it?
..my favorite thai food, is pumpkin curry, because of the way the sweet soft pumpkin meat tastes...ummmmmmm.
Help!

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VALERIEMAHA 10/4/2009 12:50PM

    Oh LynnAnn -- tell us how you do it? Do you peel it first, etc.? Purdy plzease with brown sugar on it!!!

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LYNNANN43 10/4/2009 12:42PM

    emoticon for sharing, Maha!

I have this urge to go bake a pumpkin something now! emoticon

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SLASALLE 10/4/2009 12:09PM

    Great article, Maha. Thanks for sharing. Right up there with sweet potatoes and pumpkin for the fall are ACORN SQUASH.

One of my Aussie friends made a delightful stuffed acorn squash. She cooked up gluten-free (for her) Lundberg brown wild rice, then sauteed it in olive oil, with garlic, and finely chopped red and green onions, baby tiny tomatoes (seriously way smaller than grape tomatoes), zucchini, kale and spices - MAJOR YUMMY AND HEALTHY!!!

Apparently, they do not get acorn squash in Melbourne, so I'm checking into whether I can take her some - she was SO excited to see them at Whole Foods!

I LOVE pumpkin - but at least here in KC, we have a canned pumpkin shortage!!! Not sure of the whys of it, but I know I found some yesterday and bought many cans, plus called a friend who I had given my supply to for her dog (of all things, it helps keep her dog regular!!! ROFLOL).

Happy Fall!!!!!

Stephanie

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MISS_VIV 10/4/2009 12:09PM

    YUMMMMMMMMMM my favorite foods. I got butternut and spaghetti squash at the farmers market yesterday, along with some garlic and green onions. Some white turnips (which are the sweetest ever) complete with the greens for another meal. Love the fall season and the bounty it provides.

Love

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MAZZYR 10/4/2009 12:06PM

    Thanks for sharing this article.

Have a good day, hear Maha.

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LADYIRISH317 10/4/2009 12:05PM

    All yummy! Great foods -- I love pumpkin and winter squash whenever I can get them.


Important and delicious information. Thanks for sharing this. emoticon

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So strange the way we are larger...

Friday, October 02, 2009

There are so many different kinds of deaths in our lives....

I hope this resonates with some of you. Things are shaken up for me and David Whyte met me where i am this morning.



The Shell

An open sandy shell
on the beach
empty but beautiful
like a memory
of a protected previous self.
The most difficult griefs
ones in which
we slowly open
to a larger sea, a grander
sweep that washes
all our elements apart.

So strange the way
we are larger
in grief
than we imagined
we deserved or could claim
and when loss floods
into us
like the long darkness it is
and the old nurtured hope
is drowned again
even stranger then
at the edge of the sea
to feel the hand of the wind
laid on our shoulder
reminding us
how death grants
a fierce and fallen freedom
away from the prison
of a constant
and continued presence,
how in the end
those who have left us
might no longer need us
with all our tears
and our much needed
measures of loss
and that their own death
is as personal
and private
as that life of theirs
which you never really knew,
and another disturbing thing,
that exultation
is possible
without them.

And they for themselves
in fact
are glad to have let go
of all the stasis
and the enclosure
and the need for them to live
like some prisoner
that you only wanted
to remain incurious
and happy in your love
never looking for the key
never wanting to
turn the lock and walk
away
like the wind
unneedful of you,
ungovernable,
unnamable,
free.

-- David Whyte
(Everything is Waiting for You)
www.panhala.net/Archive/The_Shell.ht
ml

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILDFLOWER- 10/2/2009 2:30PM

    Beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for your support & I hope your struggling passes quickly.... *HUGS*

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SLASALLE 10/2/2009 1:06PM

    Maha, my friend. How amazing you are. Today is the third anniversary of my brother-in-law's death and I truly doubt that you remembered the actual day. Yet, here is your wonderful blog, right on point and so totally appropriate for my day.

I have forwarded to my family so that they, too, can share in such a thought-provoking poem on the anniversary of Tom's death.

As always, thank you for being who you are!!

Stephanie

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CARLI_MAE 10/2/2009 12:02PM

    What I find so wonderful about this piece is the implications of the first stanza, which are actually more hopeful than one might think upon the first reading, with the emphasis on loss and grief. The empty and open shell to me symbolizes not just death/grief as we commonly know it, but the kind of letting go/death that is necessary for growth, renewal, and expansion of our spirtual beings (or recognition of that expansion, as in reality, our Spirit is already all-encompassing, no?)
Love,
Carli

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SACTOKAREN 10/2/2009 11:06AM

    Wow - thank you for sharing. This hit me to the core.

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EMILYBEMENT 10/2/2009 10:54AM

    very moving, but very still in it's own right...


thank you

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JNEUBS 10/2/2009 9:48AM

    emoticon

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 10/2/2009 9:32AM

    That is beautiful! I am sorry you are in ´this place´ right now. I think that we all have these grieving times in regard to various things we lose. I have mine and I am so glad that I gain my footing once again and move forward choosing to live MY Life!
emoticonGo with the flow, girlfriend!

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PEACEFULONE 10/2/2009 9:31AM

    This has touched my soul and I thank you for that, and for the powerful, sad, happy memories it has evoked.

May peace, light, and hope come to you today!
emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 10/2/2009 9:31AM

    Dear Maha:

This blog is so powerful to me. Grief does crack us wide open and exposes our core doesn't it? When we lost our Josh (our son only 22 years tender) I truly wanted to hurl myself right off the ship that we were notified on into the churning waters beneath. I wanted to be with him..wherever that might have been. I could not imagine how he could have left us when he knew how completely we were in love with him.

But after reading hundreds of books on the afterlife and always knowing myself that our soul preceeds and succeeds the fragile body I know that we are only here for a short time. I believe to learn our lessons or to teach our lessons...Josh was a teacher extraordiniare..from the time he was a tiny boy I always had the sense that he wasn't long for this world. I do know that he is STILL very much with me..just now in a different way.

I know that he has pushed me in a direction I never would have had the courage to venture into myself. I am grateful he gave me a mission, I don't like it very much because I'd much rather be with my pumpkin, but when the soul is called home it is time.

I hope that you can know how deeply beautiful you are and how deeply you are cared for and whatever burden you are carrying that we as your friends are always here to hold out our hands and our hearts! Blessed be! I printed out the poem and will hang it on my mirror..when I read it I will think of my beloved son and of you a dear friend and I will smile! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/2/2009 9:32:52 AM

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