Monday, November 16, 2009
I LOVE Billy Collin's *in-touch-ness* and I even own a CD of him reciting his work. This poem speaks deeply to my soul and deserves to be shared in its fullness with my friends, "in the tremble of thought taking the vast outside into ourselves."
You know the brick path in the back of the house,
the one you see from the kitchen window,
the one that bends around the far end of the garden
where all the yellow primroses are?
And you know how if you leave the path
and walk into the woods you come
to a heap of rocks, probably pushed
down during the horrors of the Ice Age,
and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now
against the light-brown fallen leaves?
And farther on, you know
the small footbridge with the broken railing
and if you go beyond there you arrive
at the bottom of sheep's head hill?
Well, if you start climbing, and you
might have to grab on to a sapling
when the going gets steep,
you will eventually come to a long stone
ridge with a border of pine trees
which is as high as you can go
and a good enough place to stop.
The best time for this is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of a birdsong or leafy
falling of a cone or nut through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.
But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.
Still, let me know before you set out.
Come knock on my door
and I will walk with you as far as the garden
with one hand on your shoulder.
I will even watch after you and not turn back
to the house until you disappear
into the crowd of maple and ash,
heading up toward the hill,
piercing the ground with your stick.
~ Billy Collins ~
(The Art of Drowning)
Friday, November 13, 2009
To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.
-- The Buddha
I had this seemingly simple little process tucked away among saved files and after Sandra's blog yesterday which spoke, among other things, of discipline, it fairly jumped out to me. It sounds deceptively simple, but there can be great power in simplicity!
I wonder if this is something we could do together -- make a 30-day commitment...I think we can comment on this blog as our forum (???), instead of creating a team to see if this makes any difference at all in our lives. (If it seems to be something we want to continue with we can create a team in December.)
Each morning, I post 3 things I am committing to do that day. (If your tasks require revisiting, come back and click on "Edit" to complete them as the day marches on.)
1. Something I absolutely will do, like breathe or get out of bed.
2. Something I have been putting off for a while (days, months, years...it doesn't matter, but one of those things I hide behind!)
3. Something fun/rewarding.
Next morning, let us know how many you achieved and post your next 3.
What do you think? Wanna' play with me? In any case, I'm beginning today and doing it here, because I want a witness!
Fri, Nov 13 (our LUCKY DAY!) - Sun, Dec 13?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
That's all (and that's enough when it's Mary Oliver)....
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
~ Mary Oliver ~
Monday, November 09, 2009
It's so easy for me to bow my head and feel cheated, feel like a loser, feel like I've only got half a life.
"WHAT'S THAT ABOUT?" I ask myself.
Well...it's a habit, developed over recent years of seeing the glass half empty...and even further back, in the devlopmental years and beyond, of indulging in negative affirmations. Uh huh. But LOOK AT ME --
~ though I wobble on the path, I have indeed made AMAZING strides toward wellness, teaching myself to eat in a whole, organic way that supports wellness and carrying around over seventy pounds less of dead weight on this compliant body
~ though my life in these later years may have challenges and difficulties that require clear seeing and creative problem-solving, I have myriad resources to assist me in that important work
~ though I have not managed to attain a consistent daily sitting practice, any efforts toward PRESENCE and MINDFULNESS will be, and has been, rewarded with greater consciousness
~ though I have a nay-sayer in my life who constantly reminds me of my shorcomings, I have the tools to sweep the path of these psychic obstacles and prepare for WONDER
So, better said --
~ I am living witness to the benefits of healthy living. I took control. I'm DOING IT.
~ I have wonderful friends, new and old, who love and support and guide me on this intrepid journey
~ I know the importance of continuing in spite of failures, because my ongoing success is built upon these holes on the path that I tumble into and climb out of
~ I choose joy over sorrow, both being ever-present
James Boughton is an ever-present Joy Guru, ALWAYS bringing a smile and making me want to get up and move, and reminding me of the goodness in this topsy-turvy journey we call life.
intrepid all the way
walk toward clarity
with sharp eye
With sharpened sword
clearcut the path
to the lucent surprise
At every crossroad
be prepared to bump into wonder
~ James Broughton ~
(Little Sermons of the Big Joy)
Friday, November 06, 2009
...so says musician Matisyahu, the personification of harmony. He is a Hasidic Jewish musician from New York City known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock, and hip-hop sounds.
He pushes musical boundaries by incorporating a variety of genres to create unique sounds with deep messages that aim to unite and uplift. Matisyahu once said, "All of my songs are influenced..by the teachings that inspire me. I want my music to have meaning, to be able to touch people and make them think."
Chasidism teaches that music is 'the quill of the soul.' Music taps into a very deep place and speaks to us in a way that regular words can't." Listen to one of his latest songs 'One Day', which he created as an anthem for hope and a source of inspiration for people struggling to open their hearts and stay positive.
Don't miss this soul-touching, heart-opening moment!
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