Monday, February 23, 2009
I awakened on this quiet late winter morning, beginning this day sitting and doing some pranayama. I promised myself yesterday that I would be gentle and kind to myself today as my special offering to me.
Two special gifts I'm offering myself today are ~~
~ Speak with the Research Department of the AR Legislative Council about allocating a portion of the lottery bill revenue (100% designated for education) to prisoner education
~ Begin the advanced Spanish program at the university language lab
I'm deeply grateful for so much -- the gifts of spiritual teachers who point the way, vibrant health, friends (cyber and 3-D all over the world) to share the journey, MORE than enough resources to live comfortably and then some, numerous options on how to live it out, second language skill which gives me the opportunity to communite with over 4 million Spanish-speaking souls on the planet, the joy of service...and SO MUCH MORE.
I often find myself sad and anxious, surveying the local and global world about me with all the violence, chaos, greed and suffering and so I especially appreciate the reminder of friend Cynthia's birthday poem (which I have posted on my computer desk!), penned by e e cummings:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
Friday, February 20, 2009
Starlings in Winter
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbably beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays)
Monday, February 16, 2009
It's clear I'm at one of the MANY crossroads in my life of traversing the planet for almost 67 years. It's scary and confusing and difficult...and joyful and mysterious and exciting. So many things are in the balance, including my future in Ecuador. My dear friend and kindred spirit Annie is visiting and we are in dialogue about these "passages" in our lives. I recall my friend Patti in Kauai saying, "Just invite!" and I think that this *inviting* in a way stamps out the fear and opens my heart to welcome whatever comes.
An intrepid traveler, poet and mystic, Irishman John O'Donohue has expressed my heart's desire. I invite you to sit with this wisdom. May it herald the arrival of the NEW for us all!
It's All Love,
FOR A NEW BEGINNING
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
-- John O'Donohue
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
Saturday, December 27, 2008
It's all about priorities! And it's so easy for me to get "off track" in this world of constant distraction, distortion, delusion, delerium, daring, ad infinitum....
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
-– I Corinthians
Most of us find the death of another person or creature deeply unsettling, yet after a time we manage to submerge our feelings and carry on. For someone deeply sensitive to the transitory nature of life, however, an encounter with death can leave scars that last a lifetime. As a teenager Saint Augustine witnessed the untimely death of a bosom friend, and suddenly a trapdoor opened into deeper awareness. He was devastated. “I thought death suddenly capable of devouring all men, because he had taken this loved one.”
The word anxiety is a weak term for expressing this continuing uneasiness, this unsettled sense of being out of place and running out of time. Generally we can only ascribe it to external events, if we succeed in linking it to anything at all. But what is actually happening is that a wisp of memory is rising, whispering to us from deep within that nothing external in life is secure, nothing physical ever lasts.
No matter how hard we may try, in the long run none of us can escape the devastating fact of death. Yet an encounter with death, as in the case of Augustine, can leave us changed decidedly for the better. It can prompt us forward on the long search for something secure in life, something death cannot reach.
-- Eknath Easwaran
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