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
Saturday, March 13, 2010
In reading and celebrating the poetry and prose of SparkFriends recently -- including that of Azimat and Usha, Sandra and Gina, among others -- I'm reminded that it has been a long time since I've penned either prose or poetry. I say it's because I'm engrossed in school, but this could also be "grist for the mill" if I chose it to be so.
I do, however, feel as though it could well be a sign of a light hidden under a bushel...that I need to retrieve and reignite. Maybe it's that same quashing of spirit that is resulting in my lack of impetus for grabbing hold of the downward spiral of wellness-serving behavior.
There's a poem by my hero Mary Oliver that I keep on hand, to encourage and buoy me in my writing aspirations. I share it now, and then below them I will include some my pieces,sharing them with my SparkCommunity, as a way of saying, "Here I am and from here I can take off...and begin moving that spiral upward again!"
I want to make poems that say right out, plainly,
what I mean, that don't go looking for the
laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves. I want to
keep close and use often words like
heavy, heart, joy, soon, and to cherish
the question mark and her bold sister
the dash. I want to write with quiet hands. I
want to write while crossing the fields that are
fresh with daises and everlasting and the
ordinary grass. I want to make poems while thinking of
the bread of heaven and the
cup of astonishment; let them be
songs in which nothing is neglected,
not a hope, not a promise. I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable. I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.
~ Mary Oliver ~
I wrote this after one of many bike rides, during which I would have the repeated sighting of a great blue heron gracing me with its presence:
Roadside attraction --
Lounging blue heron
sunning in the bayou.
~ Maha ~
After some yoga asanas --
After stretching beyond familiar reaches
The body rests
As the spirit recharges
Preparing for more movement
Outside of the known and comfortable places --
Within and without
~ Maha ~
The Labyrinth at St. Scholastica, November 2009
I greet the sun-of-my-soul
in the morningtide
praying for the balance not to topple,
for wisdom to chart,
for patience to move mindfully
at the day's bidding.
I keep moving...
Through the labyrinth of my life,
one foot in front of the other,
trudging inside soul boundaries,
at times full of grace,
other times calling for mercy.
~ Maha ~
The Pond at St. Scholastica, November 2009
I skipped around the murky pond
noticing circles outlined in the water
but not seeing the source.
I reflect on my murky mind
as I skip through life...
at how I find myself
plopped smack-dab in the middle
of Circles of Wonder...
without an inkling, really,
~ Maha ~
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