Friday, March 26, 2010
In the midst of my happiness and anxieties, machinations and lack of planning, successes and starts-and-stops on the path toward wholeness of body-mind-spirit, there remains...always and indubitably...Spring (within if not without) AND Mary Oliver. In this I can freely and endlessly find joy:
Grizzley Bear in the Rockies
a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring
down the mountain.
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring
I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:
how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge
to sharpen her claws against
of the trees.
my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,
it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;
all day I think of her --
her white teeth,
her perfect love.
-- Mary Oliver
(House of Light)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The "kitchen table" metaphor is so apt for us in the SparkCommunity. And gifted Native American poet Joy Harjo wraps verse around the image in a way that speaks not only to our rational minds, but also deeply to our spirits.
I offer this in the midst of my busyness to build upon our joy, to assauge our sadness and to gird up our courage as we make this journey together...to The Table.
PERHAPS THE WORLD ENDS HERE
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the
table so it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe
at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what
it means to be human. We make men at it,
we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms
around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back
together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella
in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place
to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate
the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared
our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow.
We pray of suffering and remorse.
We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
while we are laughing and crying,
eating of the last sweet bite.
-- Joy Harjo
(Reinventing the Enemy's Language)
(Offered to my friends GinaBug and DarkThor and Stlrzgrrl, who love Joy Harjo as I do.)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Sybil Head Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
-- John O'Donohue
(Echoes of Memory)
John O'Donohue (1 January 1956 - 3 January 2008) was a poet and Hegelian philosopher from County Clare, Ireland, where his father was a stonemason. He is best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.
O'Donohue received a PhD in philosophical theology from Tubingen University, Germany, in 1990. He was ordained as Catholic priest, but left the priesthood in the 1990s.
* Eternal Echoes (1998)
* Conamara Blues (2000)
* Divine Beauty (2003)
* To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings Doubleday, 2008.
* Anam Cara, (Gaelic for "Soul Friend"; 1997)
...hearing John O'Donohue speak on "Imagination as the Path of Spirit," beginning with "Beannacht:"
..hearing him speak "On Beauty":
...seeing O'Donohue speak "on the privilege of being at the 'death bed'"
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I have no time to comment on this passage which I love so and comprises an important part of my daily philosophy of life. So I will simply leave it with you, hoping that Whitman speaks to you in that place that touches your soul as well!
This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people...
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.
~ Walt Whitman ~
(Excert from Preface to 1855 edition, Leaves of Grass) www.panhala.net/Archive/what_you_sho
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