VALERIEMAHA   50,451
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VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

Spring

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

SPRING

Somewhere
a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
rising
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
coming
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her --
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

-- Mary Oliver
(House of Light)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Spring.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 3/30/2010 9:24AM

    Thank you for the beautiful poem.
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KLEONIKI 3/29/2010 3:41PM

    Enjoy spring-time at its full dear co-sparker!
Good luck!

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LOPEYP 3/28/2010 5:44AM

    thanks for sharing.

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PENNYAN45 3/27/2010 12:39AM

    I think I have become a fan of Mary Oliver too!!

Thanks.

Happy Spring, my friend!

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DDOORN 3/26/2010 11:50PM

    Wonderful words to echo the joy in our hearts this springtime...!

Don

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CARRAND 3/26/2010 9:23PM

    Beautiful blog, beautiful poem. Thank you so much for sharing.

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KALIGIRL 3/26/2010 1:07PM

    ‘Perfect love’ – to be what you were created to be…
Wonderful – emoticon

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FRANCESCANAZ 3/26/2010 11:52AM

    Ahh me encantan la naturaleza y la primavera! emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/26/2010 11:42AM

    "her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love" resonated with me, this morning. LOVE Mary Oliver's specificity. She is like a breeze at dawn. Thank you, Mahalakshmi!

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LYNNANN43 3/26/2010 11:13AM

    Another soothing poem, MAHA:D

Thank you for the beautiful imagery!

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Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table....

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
of lovers.

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)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Perhaps_the_
World_Ends_Here.html


(Offered to my friends GinaBug and DarkThor and Stlrzgrrl, who love Joy Harjo as I do.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBIMAMMA 4/7/2010 1:04PM

    Lovely---thank you for sharing this.

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CARRAND 3/26/2010 9:25PM

    Absolutely lovely.

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DDOORN 3/26/2010 7:38AM

    Love it...such sweet thoughts ripple from this gentle toss of a pebble into a pond...

Don

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SLASALLE 3/24/2010 10:06PM

    Can't it be offered to the rest of us too????!!!! :) OK, I'll stop kidding you. Just what I needed tonight, my friend ...

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/24/2010 8:08PM

    Nice. Thanks for sharing!

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FRACTALMYTH 3/24/2010 3:54PM

    Thank you for sharing that lovely poem - I am actually most struck by the amazingly perfect title of her book and all the connotations it carries with it...

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PENNYAN45 3/24/2010 2:49PM

    These are beautiful images that recall loving memories. The perfect setting for beginnings and endings.

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LADYIRIS313 3/24/2010 2:27PM

    oh, this is lovely .. thank you so much for sharing it.

Have a beautiful day!
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KALIGIRL 3/24/2010 1:52PM

    Absolutely fabulous.
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I am going to share with my 3D friends as soon as I finish this comment.

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MEDDYPEDDY 3/24/2010 12:10PM

    Solstrimmigt köksbord
Katten dåsar på soffan
Livet här och nu

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LYNNANN43 3/24/2010 11:57AM

    What a gorgeous metaphor!

Thank you once again, MAHA!

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DARKTHOR 3/24/2010 11:50AM

    Mmmmmm.....so gorgeous. Thank you for this. I want things to end with laughter and crying, eating of the last sweet bite. My mind's eye is taken back to kitchen tables from my past, surrounded by those I love and the warmth and completeness of that circle.

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SWDOTB2 3/24/2010 11:37AM

    This reminded me of lines from Adrienne Rich's "Integrity:"

"...The hands that....
emptied that kettle one last time
are these two hands
and they have caught the baby leaping
from between trembling legs
and they have worked the vacuum aspirator
and stroked the sweated temples
and steered the boat there through this hot
misblotted sunlight, critical light
imperceptibly scalding
the skin these hands will also salve."


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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/24/2010 11:17AM

    Hmmmmm.... I prefer to think life BEGINs at the kitchen table ... but then as Hemingway has said, "Life is a moveable feast."
I'm thinking of babies in high-chairs, spooning puddles of cereal into their mouths and down their fronts. A moment when a sister tied a Raakhee on her brother's wrist to honor his manhood in a pure way. The numbers of birthday cakes aflame with candles shining love into families.
Thank you for evoking memories of my kitchen table.
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Usha.

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STLRZGRRL 3/24/2010 10:44AM

    Hey!

*I* love her, too!

My world will prolly end in front of a computer... I like Joy's vision better...

BIG FAT HUGZ!
Trace

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DEBRA_T 3/24/2010 10:22AM

    That would be a wonderful place for it all to end, especially surrounded by friends and family. Life is a feast, my friends!
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FRANCESCANAZ 3/24/2010 10:00AM

    Me gusta!

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BECOMINGONE 3/24/2010 9:28AM

    Simply beautiful!

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Happy St. Pat's from a quintessential Irishman!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Sybil Head Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

BEANNACHT
("Blessing")

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
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)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Beannacht.ht
ml



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.

Works:

* 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)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
...hearing John O'Donohue speak on "Imagination as the Path of Spirit," beginning with "Beannacht:"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=huT7YZ6iENw&
NR=1

(the conclusion:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpDARK4MV1E&
NR=1
)
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..hearing him speak "On Beauty":
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tt1CO_4pX0&
feature=related

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...seeing O'Donohue speak "on the privilege of being at the 'death bed'"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NpHYXw2Ruw&
NR=1

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His website:
www.johnodonohue.com/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 3/21/2010 10:34AM

    May the clay dance to balance you.

Excellent. :)

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PEACEFULONE 3/20/2010 4:11PM

    It is always a beautiful pause in the day when I pause to read your posts.
Thank you again and again for sharing. Peace, joy and blessings to you.

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MACGIRRL 3/19/2010 11:08PM

    I cannot send gratitude enough for the discovery this took me on this night...
thank you so very much for this morsel of relevancy current. emoticon emoticon

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BECOMINGONE 3/19/2010 7:32AM

    And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

What a wonderful play of words. Thanks for sharing!

Sandra

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SANTANDERE 3/18/2010 6:55PM

    Loved his website! What an accomplished man... I found this quote there: "The greatest privilege of a human life is to become midwife to the birth of a soul" Isn't it amazing?


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Comment edited on: 3/18/2010 6:56:24 PM

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LIVIN-N-LEARNIN 3/18/2010 11:21AM

    beautiful. just beautiful....
thanks so much for sharing!! emoticon

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DDOORN 3/18/2010 6:44AM

    Great share...thx so much!

Don

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PENNYAN45 3/17/2010 10:22PM

    You always post something to feed our souls! Thank you for this beautiful Irish poem today!

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Comment edited on: 3/17/2010 10:22:44 PM

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DARKTHOR 3/17/2010 10:19PM

    BEANNACHT to you, I hope your day has been lovely.

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CARRAND 3/17/2010 10:03PM

    Lovely poem. Thank you.

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BETHGILLIGAN 3/17/2010 7:42PM

    Thank you for sharing!! Happy St. Patrick's Day to all! emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 3/17/2010 4:31PM

    Thank you for a wonderful blessing from a wonderful human being!

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JOHAL52 3/17/2010 3:03PM

    Beannacht on you too, from another Valerie, another Irish descendant.



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WALKINGANNIE 3/17/2010 2:45PM

    Thanks for sharing another thoughtful choice of words Maha.

The 'nourishment of the earth' reminds me that friends' SP blogs provide so much nourishment for the spirit and complement perfectly all the advice and guidance about food for the body.

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LADYIRISH317 3/17/2010 12:54PM

    I am SO homesick for the land I've never seen!

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KALIGIRL 3/17/2010 12:46PM

    BEANNACHT to you dear friend.

Once again you delight our senses with sight, symbolism and sound.

Happy St. Patty's Day to you! emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 3/17/2010 10:35AM

    I wanna go to Sybil Head Dingle...

I'm gonna say it all day today just to let my tongue have fun!
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GINABUG 3/17/2010 8:53AM

    Ah, yes, Maha! I owe you BIG time for introducing me to John O... Wish he were still on this earthly plane, but who knows what his spirit is doing in its new place? Guess I shouldn't be selfish about it! :-)

Happy Day, friend!

Gina

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DEBRA_T 3/17/2010 8:38AM

    May the slow wind of love wind its way around each of us today! emoticon

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CORPUSANNIE 3/17/2010 8:23AM

    Bless you my friend! Wonderful blog to start my day. emoticon
peace
montie emoticon emoticon

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This is what you should do!

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
uld_do.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARKTHOR 3/17/2010 10:15PM

    The words embraced me as if I were floating in the warm waters of the Gulf and the gentle surge of a wave lifted me and then just as lightly lowered me all under a lovely blue sun-swept canopy.

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1LATINAJOURNEY 3/17/2010 9:36AM

    Fantastic. Thank you.

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COLIBRI930 3/17/2010 7:50AM

    Such a simple and direct poem with wisdom that speaks to the heart. I would love to live every word of it!


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PEACEFULONE 3/17/2010 1:49AM

    "Food for the soul" is such an excellent description of this piece and all your blogs! Thank you again and again dear MAHA! Also Kaligirl, many thanks for your addition it is wonderful.

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DDOORN 3/16/2010 10:50PM

    Beautiful words...! Forgotten about Whitman...thx for reminding me of his wisdom...!

Don

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CARRAND 3/16/2010 9:09PM

    This is a wonderful quote. Thank you for sharing.

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FRANCESCANAZ 3/16/2010 5:19PM

    I'll use this one in Spanish class. I believe it would make a great English to Spanish translation exercise in groups! The students will be learning more than Spanish in the process. emoticon

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SLASALLE 3/16/2010 5:16PM

    I'm with my buddy a few comments up. Patience is my hardest piece and I am consistently working on that one! As always, my dear friend, you provide food for the soul ... that's just part of who you are ... and it's all good ...

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KALIGIRL 3/16/2010 4:46PM

    This sings to me, not only because of my study of Gnosticism, but because of a book I'm reading. The author (a Quaker minister) gave a sermon @ 1st Plymouth Church in Lincoln last Sunday.

From "The Heavens We Create", by Philip Gulley, author of "If the Church Were Christian"

"...It is staggering to realize how seldom Jesus talked about heaven. Though he did talk, quite extensively, about what we could do to create a heaven right here. In his most famous prayer, he expresses a hope for God’s kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven. He didn’t want us to pine for some far-off heaven. He wanted us to bring it about now. This would happen, not by believing certain creeds, but by living a certain way.

By loving our enemies now
By being truthful now.
By forgiving now.
By working for justice now.
By experiencing wholeness and unity and community now.

How will we know we’ve reached this heaven? There’ll be signposts along the way. When the hungry are fed. When the poor are valued as much as the wealthy. When the lonely are befriended. When the powerful no longer do whatever they wish and the weak no longer suffer whatever they must. That’s when we’ll know heaven has come to earth..."


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WANT2CHNG17 3/16/2010 4:21PM

    I love this! Especially...

"have patience and indulgence toward the people" (patience & indulgence towards OURSELVES as well!)

Thank you for sharing!

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THE_SILVER_OWL 3/16/2010 2:21PM

    I agree with the writing, except for "despise riches". It has been partly because of my blessings of abundance that I have been able to help those in need (ie build a school for extremely poor Mayan children). I find it far more healthy to give thanks and "share" my blessing of riches.

The rest of the passage I LOVE!

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WALKINGANNIE 3/16/2010 2:10PM

    Thank you for leaving such beautiful words with us Maha.

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FRANCOPHILE619 3/16/2010 1:47PM

    Amazong quote. Thanks for sharing. It gave me goose bumps and a lot to ponder.

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DEBRA_T 3/16/2010 1:26PM

    Beautiful poem; love every line. Thank you for posting!
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STLRZGRRL 3/16/2010 12:42PM

    SHOULD... have patience...

SHOULD... have patience...

SHOULD... have patience...

Ya, I should...

Imma work on that...

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PENNYAN45 3/16/2010 12:37PM

    Thank you for these beautiful words to ponder from this great poet.

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COYOTESFAMILY 3/16/2010 12:36PM

    Love this! Going to write it down!!!! thanks for sharing!

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LYNNANN43 3/16/2010 12:33PM

    That is one powerful and thought-provoking quote!

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JESPAH 3/16/2010 12:29PM

    If my flesh becomes a great poem, can it be a limerick? Those are small. :)

PS Thank you for this. I definitely don't have enough peace and poetry in my life. Thank you for bringing it in.

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PONDERTHIS 3/16/2010 12:28PM

    Thank you for this! You are bringing riches to the table ~
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TEENY_BIKINI 3/16/2010 12:23PM

    "reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,

**Been doing that for as long as I can remember...

"dismiss what insults your very soul"

**The sooner, the better - for sure

and your flesh shall become a great poem.

I JUST LOVE that line. XOXO


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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/16/2010 11:59AM

    "I lean and loaf at my ease ..."
The peaceful activism of Whitman gets me going, too.

xox
Usha.
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The unthinkable can be thought

Monday, March 15, 2010



Some beauty fairly CRIES OUT to be shared...and this extraordinary offering of Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska supremely qualifies in that regard. May your day be richer and fuller for having "bumped into" her.
nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literatu
re/laureates/1996/szymborska-bio.html




MIRACLE FAIR

The commonplace miracle:
that so many common miracles take place.

The usual miracles:
invisible dogs barking
in the dead of night.

One of many miracles:
a small and airy cloud
is able to upstage the massive moon.

Several miracles in one:
an alder is reflected in the water
and is reversed from left to right
and grows from crown to root
and never hits bottom
though the water isn't deep.

A run-of-the-mill miracle:
winds mild to moderate
turning gusty in storms.

A miracle in the first place:
cows will be cows.

Next but not least:
just this cherry orchard
from just this cherry pit.

A miracle minus top hat and tails:
fluttering white doves.

A miracle (what else can you call it):
the sun rose today at three fourteen a.m.
and will set tonight at one past eight.

A miracle that's lost on us:
the hand actually has fewer than six fingers
but still it's got more than four.

A miracle, just take a look around:
the inescapable earth.

An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:
the unthinkable
can be thought.

-- Wislawa Szymborska
(View With a Grain of Sand, translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Miracle_Fair
.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 3/17/2010 12:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Your blogs are a such a gift!
Thank you, Thank you!

Comment edited on: 3/17/2010 12:16:37 AM

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LUCKY-13 3/16/2010 2:55PM

    Thank you for introducing us to her! I really enjoyed this!
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WILDHONEYPIE1 3/16/2010 11:09AM

    I love the thought of "commonplace miracles". Thank you for sharing.

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GREENCAT1 3/16/2010 6:42AM

    Such beautiful thoughts! Thank you for sharing!

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MEDDYPEDDY 3/16/2010 5:47AM

    "A miracle in the first place: cows will be cows"... I love that!

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/15/2010 10:38PM

    Well, that was amazing. Thank you.

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CARRAND 3/15/2010 10:28PM

    Wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing.

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THE_SILVER_OWL 3/15/2010 9:31PM

    Awesome words! Thank you for them...
~JJ~

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DDOORN 3/15/2010 8:53PM

    What a beautiful celebration of all miracles...great and small...or not so small...! :-)

Don

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SANTANDERE 3/15/2010 8:27PM

    Es increible como algunas personas impactan nuestras vidas para hacernos pensar, y hacernos mejores por averlos conocidos...

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FRANCESCANAZ 3/15/2010 7:52PM

    emoticon gracias amiga! emoticon

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 3/15/2010 7:16PM

    You and me - we are miracles too!

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BECOMINGONE 3/15/2010 4:50PM

    You made me smile!

You are always letting your light shine brightly. Thank you!
Sandra

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WALKINGANNIE 3/15/2010 2:26PM

    Another nutritious blog for the mind Maha.

There are so many miracles that we overlook every day.

Thanks for your message on my page. I loved the 'The Elegant Gathering of White Snows'.

Let's walk on, unburdening .....

emoticon (Yes - the secret sign!)

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KALIGIRL 3/15/2010 2:02PM

    emoticon for yet another powerful posting of photo and poem. Her face is inviting and her words open our hearts.

“Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none had ever happened.” —Libbie Fudim


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PONDERTHIS 3/15/2010 1:10PM

    I am so moved by this poem. Thank you so much for posting it. I immediately copied it and sent it to a friend ~ I want to print it and paste it into my journal. I am starting a journal again. Your own poetry and now this piece are encouraging me to let myself write poetry again too. Funny what you'll discover on the path to greater physical health - it might just be your inner self. Amazing discoveries await us.
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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/15/2010 12:50PM

    How extraordinary! Oh, frabjous day, calloo, callay! Thank you for sharing this. I'm so exhilerated I want to make up my own word: ponderful! Or sit quietly with this ...
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Usha.

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_VALEO_ 3/15/2010 12:06PM

    The picture of her is amazing: wisdom, serenity and mischievous eyes like a child inviting us to "eat" the life.
This poem is a miracle in itself.
"the unthinkable can be thought."

Wonder when she wrote it, considering the Polish history...

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VALERIEMAHA 3/15/2010 11:58AM

    Gina, so interesting that you should make reference to Elinor Ostrom. I subscribe to the YES! newsletter and when I got it recently, I sent the article along to Sandra, who you probably know is an economist, to also share with her economist husband! Ostrom is such a breath of fresh air!!!

Thanks for the share!
Maha

http://www.al
ternet.org/economy/145
889/t
he_woman_who_just_might_sa
v
e_the_planet_and_our_pocketboo
ks

Comment edited on: 3/15/2010 8:00:00 PM

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WANT2CHNG17 3/15/2010 11:53AM

    Wow...........
So glad I popped over here to read this today - it has buoyed up my soul.

Hmmmm - the unthinkable can be thought. Love it.

Thanks for sharing!

Hugs,
Mary Ann

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GINABUG 3/15/2010 11:49AM

    I LOVE this piece! This is the second piece about a woman who was a Nobel Prize winner that has come to me today. Thought you might enjoy the other as well: http://www.alternet.org/economy/145
889/the_woman_who_just_might_sa
ve_the_planet_and_our_pocketboo
ks

Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder. With love and light!

Gina

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