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VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries


Friday, February 12, 2010

Life is nothing more, nothing less, so I'm trying to use 'em well, 'cause that's all I've got!

This film is poignant in places and shocking in others...just like life.
Check it out:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STILLPOINT 2/15/2010 7:56PM

    Oh Maha! Awesome! Thank you. It leaves me with so many mixed emotions - incredible film.


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THE_SILVER_OWL 2/15/2010 1:57PM

    I was running out of my "Spark time" today and about to close down the computer to get on with my day so almost did not take the time to watch this. I am so very glad that I did. One of the more powerful messages I have received lately and such perfect timing.

emoticon most sincerely!

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    I ended my evening with your blog. Fitting, relaxing, centering. That was lovely. Thank you.

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TKADEEPBREATH 2/14/2010 8:15PM

    That was beautifully done. Thanks for sharing. I'm a believer in enjoying the moments. Hope you had many of them this Valentines day . . .

emoticon Jan

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STARRY-EYEDGIRL 2/14/2010 7:36PM

    Further to my comment...."first impression was, that it made me appreciate that I was not epileptic". - The first 20 seconds or so of this wonderful William Hoffman video, immediately before the wise, beauteous eyes of the recently born baby opened and piercingly stared for a second, knowingly, sage like, in recognition of my soul. Well the first 20 seconds of quick-cut editing could be a provocative factor in triggering seizures in those with photosensitive epilepsy.

emoticonMarg xox

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_VALEO_ 2/14/2010 1:25AM

    As said in the video, "moments" are universal, and this film did bring back some memories to me.
Moments are like milestones in our life, little peddles marking our life, little gems to be remembered when we're having a bah day.
Seize the moments! Wish you many happy moments to light your life!

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PENNYAN45 2/13/2010 5:47PM

    Enjoyed the film! Thanks for sharing it.


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STARRY-EYEDGIRL 2/13/2010 5:21PM

    I wasn't sure whether I was ready to enter the karma tube, but what the heck! Well - first impression was, that it made me appreciate that I was not epileptic, but the overall result was I felt more joy - and that dear Maha has to be good. emoticon

It was also interesting that the sound track was 'Where were you?' because I was asking the same thing as I watched it in silence, which may have actually made the footage more poignant!
Life is magnificent isn't it?


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LISANANCY 2/13/2010 8:42AM

    I love your photo. I was hoping that this was a picture of you! Happy Valentine's Day my SparkFriend. Keep going, you are the greatest emoticon

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SLASALLE 2/12/2010 8:28PM

    You never cease to bring on something that is very thought-provoking, my friend. Thanks for sharing ... and yes, life is just like that!!!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/12/2010 3:53PM

    Thanks for sharing!

I passed it on to my friends and family!

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WILDHONEYPIE1 2/12/2010 1:55PM

    Loved it. emoticon May your moments of joy greatly outnumber those of your sorrow. emoticon

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LAPORTE2006 2/12/2010 1:40PM

    Love the picture but I don't watch videos on here because my sound is messed up. There is something in nature that touches your soul and makes it feel.

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Mistakes ARE worthy teachers!

Monday, February 08, 2010

This morning, as I move into this day, I'm right on the edge of being seriously discouraged by my recent lack of care of this body for which I'm the steward. It's so easy for me to just go into "I give up!" "I'm not worthy!" "I'm such a slug!" etc., etc., ad naseum. But that's SUCH an old tune...and so unworthy of me.

Then I opened today's "The Golden Present: Daily Readings by Sri Swami Satchidananda" and BAM! there it RIGHT. simple wisdom, nothing new, but obviously something I needed to hear YET AGAIN in this very moment...just get up, dust myself off, and trudge on ahead, doing my best today to make better choices.

I must admit I was a little ashamed as I read about not making the same mistake over-and-over...but ultimately encouraged that, yes, I can and will learn even from IT! The big lesson for me of loving self-care is that it is a life-time undertaking...I've come a long ways and, though I have a long ways to go, I'll continue the journey with you ALL, holding hands, baby-step by baby-step, since it's the journey we're on together, to optimal health and self-care!


If you make mistakes it doesn't matter. Make mistakes and learn. The best teachers are your own mistakes. You learn even faster by your mistakes. Once I was at a conference with the great modern scientist Buckminster Fuller. He stood up and said, "Friends, forget about all the `Do this. Don't do that' business. Commit as many mistakes as possible, as soon as possible. You'll become great!"

It's true. Every failure is a stepping stone. Remember, though, that you can't use the same stone for each step. Every step should be on a new stone. That means you shouldn't keep on making the same mistakes. Learn well from each one. The problem with many people is that they commit the same mistake over and over. Even so, they will eventually learn from that mistake and move on. Experience is the best teacher.

Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi
Sri Swami Satchidananda

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUCHAHOOT 2/18/2010 10:44PM

    "Every step should be on a new stone." Love this! thanks for posting. YOu always leave me pondering!

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GEODAWG 2/13/2010 10:17PM

    Thank you! /great blog!

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AZIMAT 2/12/2010 9:49AM

    Hi Muchacha, thought I' d cruise over here and see what you're up to...linguistics, mistakes, stepping stones, OK! sounds like life is full. What more....

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FLOWINGWATER 2/12/2010 9:43AM

    Mistakes are indeed wonderful opportunities! Thanks for the reminder - a great way to start my day!

You are so right. Giving up and negative self talk IS so unworthy of you!! You deserve the same amount of loving kindness that you give to others! emoticon

Have a wonderful, blessed day!

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MEDDYPEDDY 2/12/2010 12:45AM

    "Experience is a good teacher, that sends horribly expensive bills..."

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SANTANDERE 2/10/2010 7:56PM

    It is such a simple theory, yet so profound... Indeed mistakes are our greatest and dearest teacher.


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MAZZYR 2/9/2010 11:18AM

    Oh Maha, the freedom to make mistakes... thank you.

Today my intention is to... "Get up, dust myself off, and truge ahead, doing my best to make better choices."

Thank you, dear Maha, I really needed to read and HEAR this.

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PUDLECRAZY 2/9/2010 1:16AM

    Indeed they are! There are cultures in which to make a perfect weaving, basket, piece of jewelry, etc. is considered to be an affront to God - human beings are not meant to be perfect.

My new students are always perplexed at first, when I tell them that not only am I not so concerned about mistakes, I actually want them to make mistakes. Learning is all about trying, thinking of many solutions to a problem, and looking at difficulties from many angels. The very act of thinking, even if the answer is wrong, stimulates brain synapses and opens our brains to new ideas. How easy it is to so get stuck in wanting to be 'right' that we stay in the rigid confines of 'safety'.

I love this post and it has given rise to my next blog.


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DOKEYOKEY 2/8/2010 10:28PM

    Maha, my dear -- I am, as always, inspired by your posts...and I send you lots of loving care that you can aim toward yourself!

And -- I want to tell you that in a funny synchronicity, one of my students tonight quoted the exact same line: "Make as many mistakes as soon as you can."

GBoomer, if you're reading, I like the scientific approach of calling it "data."

Clearly, that is a message from the universe for me today! Thanks for being part of it.

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GINABUG 2/8/2010 9:35PM

    Dearest Maha --

Two quote thoughts for you:

“What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - what do you find? That you can swim! Well - life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!” ~ Alfred Adler

“I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life's experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life's experiences would be a great mistake.” ~ Luis Miguel

Love and blessings to you!


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    Great points--and ones I need to be reminded of from time to time.

GBOOMER's comments on scientific experiments brought to mind a remark of Thomas Edison's--not particularly eloquent but spot on for me. I think it's the willingness to keep on keeping on that helps me make progress--the knowing that as I travel my path, I will learn new ways to serve me better and discard what is no longer useful. Nonetheless, if I'm lucky, I'll always be a work in progress until the day I die--after that who knows!

Happy Monday to all!

I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.

---Thomas Edison--

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/8/2010 3:07PM

    Experience and awareness, and divine timing! Great blog! Great share, and great timing for me as well!

Hugz my dear friend!!!

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EOSTAR_45 2/8/2010 2:22PM

    Mistakes are great teachers indeed. The best. I am learning to stop beating up on myself when I keep making the same mistakes over and over and over :-) but to ask--what is I need to learn from this???

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/8/2010 1:22PM

    Gracias otra vez, amiga. I made a very costly mistake last December. I bought some Sugar Daddys on sale after Halloween to give to the students for Spanish Bingo games. Then I decided to try one since they were sooo tiny and sweet and I hadn't had one since I was a kid in the projects. emoticon something big and hard in my mouth...not the sugar tooth! Today it cost me over $2,000. to crown the molar and other top tooth I broke. No more Sugar Daddys for prizes DE VERDAD!

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LAPORTE2006 2/8/2010 10:56AM

    The soul would have no rainbow,had the eyes no tears- John Vance Cheney
We learn to recognise the good by going through the bad. We learn and move on , one step at a time. Even if we go back a step, we move forward again.
Have a great day Maha . Pam

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STLRZGRRL 2/8/2010 10:36AM

    Oh, I am a pro at inventing new and different ways to fail!

I am quite proud of my infinite creative ability to find new ways of falling off the path!


Fall down seven times, get up eight, right?

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KAT573 2/8/2010 9:08AM

    Two thoughts that struck me the most in here;
1. "The big lesson for me of loving self-care is that it is a life-time undertaking."

2. The importance of making mistakes.

The first one is true and trebly true if it was not part of our childhood lessons provided by those in power. So I daily must take this on every day of my adult life, and it is a most serious task.

On Making Mistakes:
I have to take exception to the logic that making mistakes is important and that we learn from our mistakes. I think there is another element in there which is needed in order to "explore and take action" in spite of fear of failure, and to "see" the possibilities after realizing the barrier of our expectations, and their nature, so we may move beyond our expectations that are the true barriers, to breaking through and learning from our actions and consequences.

Each of us must go that journey alone, and yet not. Knowing there is something far greater than we encourages us to shed the boundaries of memory, and to spread the wings of possibilities!
Keep on keeping ON!

Comment edited on: 2/8/2010 9:09:17 AM

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GBOOMER 2/8/2010 8:56AM

    Yes! So hard to not be hard on oneself. So hard not to just give up or veg out.

Reading your post, the thought came to me that in scientific experiments, they don't call them "mistakes", it is called "data".

I like your line, "I'll continue the journey with you ALL, holding hands, baby-step by baby-step, since it's the journey we're on together, to optimal health and self-care!"

I think that key to living better lives is creating with others such an atmosphere of love, support and growth.


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GENKI_WARRIOR 2/8/2010 8:39AM

    love the fails! ;P
seriously; it's how we've come this far--accepting ourlseves as is (not as was, nor as will be).
thanks for sharing : )

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BECOMINGONE 2/8/2010 8:37AM

    Dear one,

As Disneymom said this morning, they aren't mistakes -- they are opportunities to improve. There will always be opportunities to improve ... it's a process not a destination. Hang in there! Hope you had a productive and restful weekend!


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LISANANCY 2/8/2010 8:14AM

    If you stay very safe and never do anything, then you will not make any mistakes. If you out there, living life, trying, , then you will make mistakes. Now you are living. Leaning from the the mistakes is the big secret. Good for you to see this. Thank you for reminding us all. Keep going. Be blessed. emoticon

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Here's to the CRAZY ONES!

Friday, February 05, 2010

For me, it's all about being the "CEO" of my CRAZY MIND (rather than its "pawn") for, as Eknath Easwaran said:

All spiritual disciplines are done with a view to still the mind. The perfectly still mind is universal spirit.
-- Swami Ramdas

Meditation is the regular, systematic training of attention to turn inward and dwell continuously on a single focus within consciousness. With practice, we can become so absorbed in the object of our contemplation that while we are meditating, we forget ourselves completely. In that moment, when we may be said to be empty of ourselves, we are utterly full of what we are dwelling on. This is the central principle of meditation: we become what we meditate on.

Eventually, meditation will make our mind calm, clear, and as concentrated as a laser which we can focus at will. THIS CAPACITY OF ONE-POINTED ATTENTION IS THE ESSENCE OF GENIUS. When we have this mastery over attention in everything we do, we have a genius for life itself: unshakable security, clear judgment, and deep personal relationships.
-- Eknath Easwaran

Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine.
They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

-- Advertisement for Apple Computer, adapted from the writings of Jack Kerouac

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 2/9/2010 1:23AM

    Thank you Maha, Jack Kerouac, Apple, and LV4Tay!

This fits so well with your later post about making mistakes... the great beauty of human achievement comes from the willingness and ability to step outside of the expectations and norms set by others, to try new approaches, and see things in new lights.

LV4Tay - No Child Left Behind is the worse thing we can have done to education, IMHO.

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LAPORTE2006 2/7/2010 8:47PM

    I never have fit in LOL. I am that square peg in a round hole. Have fun.

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LV4TAY 2/7/2010 4:02PM

    That is the best argument against No Child Left Behind I've ever read.

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WILDHONEYPIE1 2/6/2010 12:19AM

    I *hope* I'm crazy.

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MACGIRRL 2/5/2010 10:00PM

    Feels like home here... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/5/2010 11:43AM

    Collaborating in our little huddle of A New Earth... lol!

I enjoy being among the crazy ones, and can't wait to come back when I drift off with the normal ones!


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MAZZYR 2/5/2010 10:39AM

    Oops. Somehow I lost my crazy self. Lol, and I'm missing her.

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/5/2010 10:26AM

    Ser LOCA es buenisima!

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COLIBRI930 2/5/2010 9:30AM

    I must be crazy, then!
thanks for passing this on....
Is crazy contagious?

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MISS_VIV 2/5/2010 8:52AM

    I am SO GLAD I can stand among the crazies.
And that I know when my mind is so full that I need to shed some of the stuff running around in there and causing me distress. Laughture and sunshine let me be who I really am. emoticon

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    Do something crazy every day and you will enjoy life even more!

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STLRZGRRL 2/5/2010 7:42AM

    *goes over to stand with the crazy people*

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_VALEO_ 2/5/2010 7:36AM

    Why would you want to change your crazy mind?
We need crazy, lunatic fringe minds in this world willing to homogenize us to prevent us from thinking by ourselves.
Craziness is sanity!

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LISANANCY 2/5/2010 7:26AM

    And can we have an Amen!Thank you for this one, my crazy like a fox friend. emoticon

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Expect Nothing!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What a perfect lesson for this morning from a contemporary hero of mine. Hear hear! oh heart of mine!

"Live frugally on surprise.
Become a stranger to need of pity."


Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
Become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny a human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

~ Alice Walker ~
(Anything We Love Can Be Saved)

Alice Walker:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 2/16/2010 2:35AM

    As always your blogs touch my soul and add peace to my life.
Many, many thank yous, dear Maha.

Comment edited on: 2/16/2010 2:36:15 AM

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PUDLECRAZY 2/9/2010 2:20AM

    Great post. Alice Walker is wonderful!

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MACGIRRL 2/5/2010 10:03PM

    So very timely here in my parka hood... (gratitude) emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/4/2010 2:14PM

    Thank you for sharing this. Very bold mandate, to expect nothing. Reminds me of the Sannyasi's way, the way of the renunciate. Though I can see that expecting nothing one would live in a constant state of surprised gratitude. We are so blessed.
P.S. I also love the non-attachment of the frugal mind that takes nothing for itself, lives free of story and judgements.

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WILDHONEYPIE1 2/4/2010 11:16AM

    Brilliant. I just finished reading Ms. Walker's "Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart" and found myself frantically searching for a piece of paper so I could jot down lines that were too amazing to be forgotten.


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CARLI_MAE 2/4/2010 11:15AM

    Ha. I just read this one. A lesson I am grateful to have been brought up with from childhood, though I think it got lost on most of my cousins ... and they wonder why they are so unhappy. Ah, well. Then again, I do have one weakness in this department ... it is not expectation of things, money, etc., but the bewilderment I feel when people choose to act in ugly, beligerent, self-centered, crass & insensitive, unthinking, illogical ways.

Hmmmm ... I guess that's quite a bit of stuff! But if we stop expecting civility, and quietly submit to it, aren't we giving more power to it? Or would we be robbing it of its power by doing so (e.g., the pacifist's way)???

Just thinking ....

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/4/2010 11:14AM

    I love surprizes!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/4/2010 10:24AM

    So true!

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LYNNANN43 2/4/2010 8:05AM

    How very soothing for this very cold morning :D

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LISANANCY 2/4/2010 7:43AM

    emoticonPerfect for a new day emoticon

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DOKEYOKEY 2/4/2010 7:36AM

    Great! Your posts are balm for the soul. :)

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SWEETNHOT 2/4/2010 6:41AM

    Wow, very true!

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Oh my...the brilliance...the knowingness...of the great woman, Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska, takes my breath away. Listen:


WHOEVER'S found out what location
compassion (heart's imagination)
can be contacted at these days,
is herewith urged to name the place;
and sing about it in full voice,
and dance like crazy and rejoice
beneath the frail birch that appears
to be upon the verge of tears.

I TEACH silence
in all languages
through intensive examination of:
the starry sky,
the Sinanthropus' jaws,
a grasshopper's hop,
an infant's fingernails,
a snowflake.

I RESTORE lost love.
Act now! Special offer!
You lie on last year's grass
bathed in sunlight to the chin
while winds of summers past
caress your hair and seem
to lead you in a dance.
For further details, write: "Dream."

WANTED: someone to mourn
the elderly who die
alone in old folks' homes.
Applicants, don't send forms
or birth certificates.
All papers will be torn,
no receipts will be issued
at this or later dates.

FOR PROMISES made by my spouse,
who's tricked so many with his sweet
colors and fragrances and sounds -
dogs barking, guitars in the streets -
into believing that they still
might conquer loneliness and fright,
I cannot be responsible.
Mr. Day's widow, Mrs. Night.

-- Wislawa Szymborska

(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997,
trans. by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

About her:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 2/3/2010 1:45PM

    That's so powerful. I love the "I TEACH silence in all languages."
Few persons can really stand the silence, and are able to "hear" it.

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AZIMAT 2/3/2010 10:44AM

    These poems from Panhala are just so lovely. I went ahead and subscribed, too. Thanks for posting them here. A wonderful act of service.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/1/2010 9:44PM

    WANTED: All the vast intelligence that my Maha has to offer!

NEEDED: Patience to take my time!

ACCEPTANCE: To know that I cannot know it all, and never will!

GRATITUDE: For the things I do know, and the friends I meet along the way!

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SANTANDERE 2/1/2010 7:30PM

    Thanks for sharing... Ms. Szymborska is a delight emoticon


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CARLI_MAE 2/1/2010 3:30PM

    Yes indeedy, she can do that very well, Stlrzgrrl! Thank you for saving me a trip to look up Sinathropus! She also educated me in an earlier blog about this phenomenal poet. I really do believe AR gets more hrs of time per day than the rest of us. A conspiracy!!! Yes, Jes! I think it do be so ... you betcha!

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WILDHONEYPIE1 2/1/2010 12:37PM

    Thank you. emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 2/1/2010 10:35AM

    Thx to I not only know what this wonderful woman is on about... I found a poem while I was looking:

To Mr. Day's Widow

The Homo erectus Skull Peking Man
is also known as Pithecanthropus pekinensis (Sinathropus).
The original reconstruction was prepared from the fossil remains
found in the caves at Zhoukoudian.

The skull is somewhat unique--
a rare metopic suture is present.

The jaw is more massive based on males.
The skull has a large brow ridge
and a ridge of bone on the back of the skull.

Stand available.

Maha, you do delight in sending me to the far provinces, doncha'?!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2010 10:36:57 AM

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/1/2010 10:24AM


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LISANANCY 2/1/2010 10:16AM

    OK, you got me with this one had to google sinathropus jaw. Just love how I learn something everyday. Good to have you back teaching us. emoticon

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