50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

Love (#4, Ecuador, 2013)

Friday, February 15, 2013

View of Rio Intag from terraza outside our room at Tierra & Sol Lodge, Intag, Ecuador

Aimless Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door --
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor --
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

~ Billy Collins ~
emoticon all its guises and forms, the very force of life as we know it, yet manifesting in the smallest, most homely, most subtle ways. Travel definitely helps me keep in touch with the reality of This Love.

With this, I am beginning the 4th pictoral blog in Ecuador.

Amrita, my god daughter, is on vacation between trimesters at school, so we traveled to a rainforest zone called Intag for 4 days..."we" being German, Amrita's dad, Adelaida, her mom, Kenisha and Josh (young adults here on university study abroad projects -- Adelaida is hosting them in their holme).

We rented a room for six for $40 per night in Intag at Tierra & Sol, a lovely lodge, and $7 each for three lovely meals per day(I broke my "flesh" fast and had some of the delicious trout from Rio Intag who I thanked for sacrificing their lives for our wellbeing). We also ate platanos (a type of banana, cooked in various exquisite ways), yuca (a potato-like tuber, which is prepared in many ways) and many other delicious delicacies.

More photos in Intag:

If you look at the first photo with the huge prominent rock on the other side of Rio Intag, this is the same rock Adelaida and German are waving from, taking in some sun. To get there, they crossed the bridge that you see further down among the photos.

Path from our room.

Kenisha at the gate to Tierra & Sol (you can see the "Sol" part of the sign)

The six of us at breakfast in the lodge -- from the left Joshua, Kenisha, Adelaida, German, Amrita, me

Kenisha and Adelaida

Kenisha and I heading up to a garden owned by Tierra & Sol of bananas, pineapples, coffee (Intag is known for their delicious beans), yuca, corn, etc.

Amrita heading up to the garden

Me, Joshua, Adelaida on a hike

Hanging out in the thermal pools

More hiking, crossing the Rio Intag

Amrita, Adelaida, German and I also went to another beautiful pueblo and area called Zuleta, where the indigenous women are known for their beautiful embroidery.

German is enjoying the wood furniture of an "artesano" in Zuleta

Adelaida and I

An imprompteau picnic in the country surrounding Zuleta (German took the photo)

Barriga llena, corazon contento (full stomach, happy heart).

A few miscellaneous photos:

Amrita and I heading out (watch out world!) The front house is owned by an American couple, Cassandra and Julian, who have started the first micro-brewery in Imbabura province in their B & B, Rio Blanco Bed & Brew. Ours is the back house.

Amrtia taking a juice break from helping mow the front yard

A nice fire going in the front room

Fanicita, a dear friend and very special woman, with a deep sense of service to others, modeling a hand-made hat

Kenisha, Amrita and me in the kitchen at home

Amrita and Joshua

Amrita's amazing hair, in a dressy style (Josh and Adelaida in the background)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIANTPANDA 3/28/2013 7:14PM

    Wonderful! Namaste!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 3/28/2013 6:28PM

    I discern in your blogs, small pauses from your exhilarating adventures, small breaks allowing reflections while sharing with us.
Now and then, it is important to pause in our pursuit of happiness, and just be happy.
I can feel this happiness as if I was touching it. Like a small rock bouncing on water, joy, kindness and happiness bounce back on us, happy readers.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLORIDASUN 3/24/2013 9:42AM

    Such joy in simplicity...ahhhh! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNAH31 2/22/2013 1:31PM

    You look wonderful in these photos! You must be feeling the beauty of the area and the love of your friends. I am happy for you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 2/18/2013 12:09PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

    I love that poem too!
Looks like a wonderful time. The country is beautiful, la familia tambien!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEACEFULONE 2/17/2013 2:47AM

    Lovely to see what you are up to and to know that you are having such a great trip. Delightful poem. Thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 2/16/2013 7:47PM

    Dear Maha, I have missed you and always love
to hear from you. The countryside is so beautiful.
Good friends, good food - healthy life. I also love
the poem. Hugs to you my friend. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
2BMYOWN 2/16/2013 5:53PM

    Love it, Maha, happy travels!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEEJAY3 2/16/2013 2:18PM

    Well, you got me back over here with Billy Collins. I've missed you! And am so happy to see your happy face, and your traveling miracles.
Blessings on the road that unwinds before you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ABURRIS2 2/16/2013 11:41AM

    What beautiful country and beautiful friends! There is such a sense of ease and happiness emanating from these that is wonderful. I am glad for you! Thanks so much for sharing more of your life.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 2/16/2013 10:26AM

    Oh, I adored that poem!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 2/16/2013 7:51AM

    Very nice!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 2/15/2013 11:41PM

    So lovely to see how you have immersed yourself so thoroughly into the lives and world of the people of Ecuador!

Savor, savor, savor!


Report Inappropriate Comment
CMRAND54 2/15/2013 8:40PM

    Wonderful poem! I love Billy Collins.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTRACHEL 2/15/2013 8:33PM

    The world is all the more welcoming with you and Amrita walking into it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ME_HERE_NOW 2/15/2013 6:52PM

    keep enjoying your friends, nature, and good food! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
2WHEELEDSHARON 2/15/2013 5:05PM

    That poem and those pictures are blissful! Thank you for an amazing blog, Maha.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GENKI_WARRIOR 2/15/2013 4:35PM

    OH that poem!! I dig it! It hits me right here!
Lovely photos; looking forward to more! so glad you're having a BLISSFUL time!!! Keep following THAT!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 2/15/2013 4:23PM

    Oh how I love that poem...y tu mi amiga Hermosa. La vida es buenisima!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    What a beautiful blog and photos. I love the poem too - thank you for sharing that. I was lucky enough to go to Quito and then to the Galapogos Islands. What an incredible part of the world you are in. We are enjoying it through you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 2/15/2013 12:30PM

    What beauty. I hope to someday see this piece of the world, when the time is right. In the meantime, your pictorials continue to keep that journey still in my mind, and as we know, "where attention goes, energy flows" ...


Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 2/15/2013 12:01PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 2/15/2013 11:59AM

    Fabulous emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISBEM 2/15/2013 11:57AM

    those pictures are beautiful

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Universe (#3, Ecuador, 2013)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I emoticonthe Teachings as expressed by Eckhart Tolle!


Life continues to careen toward the Center in all its fierce beauty, and I'm holding on for dear life, mostly enjoying the ride.

I decided to post a few more miscellaneous photos for no particular reason, other than the fact that I'll be able enjoy the record of them many moons from now, and perhaps they will bring a smile to your face as well.

My very precocious and lovely teenage god daughter, Amrita, who displays with great flourish *all* the qualities of adolescence

A couple more photos of Adelaida from our hike this week (Amrita's engaging, bright mom -- no wonder Amrita's the way she is LOL)

Travelers from Oregon who arrived from San Agustin, Colombia and styed a few days before continuing their journey...old friends of Adelaida and German (Adelaida's partner, Amrita's dad, who is currently in San Agustin, Colombia)

Amrita, Adelaida and Donald examining the delicious lunch that we're about to eat, prepared for us by two of the young travelers. They're on the patio of the rustic home I normally stay in out in the country with Adelaida and Amrita

Imbabura Volcano (15,190'), for which the northern province I sojourn in is named. I took this photo one early morning from the terraza of the cottage I'm staying in while I cat sit. Can you see the famous heart which nature carved out of the far right side just above the shadow?

Speaking of the kitties --

Mother Suzie, foreground, and son Moonboy

Moonboy crawling through the window...the way they go in and out of the house

The back gardens (for some reason I didn't get any shots of the front gardens, different and also very lovely) that Suzie and Moonboy play in around the cottage (Cheryl is quite the gardener (I've been enjoying harvesting kale, her only vegetable among all the flowers) --

"Lemon tree very pretty...."

A nice spot for morning coffee (or up on the terraza)

I paid $2.25 for this fruit, each piece much larger than it appears in the photo -- three sweet papayas, three lucious mangoes, and one succulent avocado --


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 3/28/2013 6:13PM

    I "pinned" your last picture (by Eckhart Tolle too?). It was exactly what I needed to read and to be remembered. Thanks for always helping me to count my rainbows through your experiences!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLORIDASUN 3/24/2013 9:46AM

    Looking at these beautiful pictures makes me feel so calm and appreciative for all the beauty that the world offers. The landscape is so peaceful and the beauty of friendship abounds! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 2/7/2013 6:58PM

    All I can say is WOW. What a lovely group of photos, showing the type of company you hold on your sojourn, looks and feels (I "feel" photos) wonderful, healing, peaceful and "family-like". I haven't checked in on your blogs in awhile and I see I've been missing a good deal. So very happy that you are sharing your joys with us. Thank you so very much.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    The little girls is turning into a woman.
Very pretty.
It looks so peaceful there!

Report Inappropriate Comment
XNANNY 1/25/2013 11:04PM

    emoticon the pictures. Thank you for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECOMINGONE 1/24/2013 8:18AM

    Hola, mi amiga! You are ever on my mind. Hope all is well with you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ME_HERE_NOW 1/23/2013 2:00PM

    friends, nature, kitties, fresh fruit, looks AMAZING!! :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
FARRAH511 1/22/2013 8:35AM


Have a Marvelous Day!


Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 1/21/2013 12:51PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 1/20/2013 8:33PM

    Now is right on time! YEAH!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 1/20/2013 12:46PM

    Looks like you're living the good life, my dear ... enjoy all that is now ... xoxoxo

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILLB000 1/20/2013 11:39AM

    Really liking your photos and comments Maha. Thank you for continuing to post them. What an experience.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 1/20/2013 5:52AM

    Beautiful Maha. I'm so glad you are enjoying
your time in Ecuador. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 1/20/2013 5:39AM

    Very nice!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 1/19/2013 10:59PM

    Beautiful slices of a wonderful world filled with special enlivening this must be for you! Thank you for sharing with us...

Tolle is someone I've overlooked so far...should read up on him soon.

Found a simple little line that made me smile:

Happiness is never stopping to think if you are. ~ Palmer Sondreal

I"m betting you're not stopping to think down Ecuador way: just reveling in NOW! :-)


Report Inappropriate Comment
CMRAND54 1/19/2013 7:19PM

    Beautiful pictures!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 1/19/2013 7:08PM

    Great pictures! And now is indeed right on time . . .

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 1/19/2013 5:48PM

    Gracias por compartir Hermana. Imagino que tu espanol esta mejorando!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 1/19/2013 3:25PM

    Life is GOOD!! You are rockin' this one.
Fave pics: kittehs! I loves me some kittehs. Flowers too. Oh and the fruit! I'll bet it tastes as wonderful as it looks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANSERENE 1/19/2013 12:59PM

    Life is so very good when you can live unfettered, exploring, discovering, renewing with no timetables or urgencies to attend to. Enjoy! You deserve the peace and beauty, Maha; you're living the blessing!

Namaste and Keep Sparkling! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTRACHEL 1/19/2013 12:06PM

    How lovely to see Ecuador this morning and the warm lives of your friends.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 1/19/2013 11:48AM

    Fabulous photos - thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIRIRADHA1 1/19/2013 11:42AM

    So green and lush compared to what's outside my windows! I'm sure you're storing up wonderful memories!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 1/19/2013 11:13AM

    What a beautiful place to play. Enjoy the kale and the wonderful fruits so readily (?) available. It looks positively the best place in the world to be right now. The Susie cat, looks so much like one that is trying very hard to become my housemate........

Joy, joy..........enjoy emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

One World (#2, Ecuador, 2013)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Poem of the One World

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating above the water
and then into the sky
of this one world
we all belong to
where everything sooner or later is part
of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

-- Mary Oliver

Today my beloved friend Adelaida and I went for a hike near the house. And took a few photos. Here are some of them taken during a break to gaze at the beauty around us:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 3/24/2013 9:48AM

    The moments we most remember usually occur in nature. This is so true of that statement! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SGRAY478 1/21/2013 5:06PM

    The thing I loved most about Ecuador when I visited was how gorgeous it was!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 1/21/2013 12:51PM



Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANSERENE 1/19/2013 12:45PM

    A lovely Mary Oliver poem to begin my Saturday and thank you, Maha! It's a special delight knowing that you are in far-off places enjoying this incredible world of ours. The photos are beautiful and the rock formations fascinating; I bet you learn a lot while you're there. Soak it all in so you'll have an abundance of precious memories to bring home! Enjoy, my friend!

Namaste, Maha. Keep Sparkling! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 1/19/2013 12:11PM

    You look at home and at peace, my dear. It's so very important for us to take breaks and gaze at the beauty that surrounds us, for it really is everywhere, if our ears, eyes and hearts are open to it...

Much love,

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILLB000 1/18/2013 11:26PM

    Wow Maha..... really love your photos. Even your pics tell such a complete story. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHANTISHANTI 1/18/2013 12:58PM

    Such gorgeous pictures. I love following your adventures and admire your dedication to service.

Oh, and by the way, you really do make my heart sing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMRAND54 1/17/2013 7:27PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 1/17/2013 4:35PM

    Beautiful poem and photos.
Your friend Adelaida looks like my friend Pilar! How cool is that?

Report Inappropriate Comment
SYNCHRODAD 1/17/2013 6:33AM

    Pretty cool pics. Although there are lots of rocks, the area looks like a soft touch on the heart.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUST_BREATHE08 1/16/2013 10:41PM

    emoticon I love the pictures!! Thank you so much for sharing! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 1/16/2013 5:55PM

    How lovely!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 1/16/2013 4:24PM

    Beautiful, you and the lanscape! I like that little bridge!! So glad you are able to share a bit of your adventure with us. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 1/16/2013 1:33PM

    Love the pics...thank you for a glimpse into another corner of our planet! The Oliver poem echoes so beautifully my thoughts & feelings about our world.



Report Inappropriate Comment
2WHEELEDSHARON 1/16/2013 11:23AM

    Hello, beautiful you! Thank you for sharing these gorgeous images that I'll have in my mind all day:)

Report Inappropriate Comment
FARRAH511 1/16/2013 9:07AM


- Farrah

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 1/16/2013 8:36AM

    Wonderful photos - they exude serenity.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 1/16/2013 7:42AM

    Makes me think of this song -


Report Inappropriate Comment
ME_HERE_NOW 1/15/2013 10:19PM

    looks beautiful, glad u are having fun :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 1/15/2013 10:18PM

    such great views.. such wonderful sharing
glad to see you are comfortable without heavy jacket and boots. I am jealous.. Cold here...


Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 1/15/2013 9:44PM

    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 1/15/2013 7:52PM

    This one world is more beautiful because you are in it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 1/15/2013 7:27PM

    So nice to see your smiling face again amiga. Glad you are enjoying your days there. Miss you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 1/15/2013 7:22PM

    Beauty truly surrounds us - in nature, people and all things. Thank you for sharing. So glad you are enjoying your time there! CJ

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAVOY1 1/15/2013 6:59PM

    Thank you for sharing emoticon

Both of you ladies and the landscape are beautiful! and another lovely poem.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BCARSON11 1/15/2013 6:35PM

    Thanks for sharing both the poem and the pictures! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 1/15/2013 6:26PM

    Beauty is indeed everywhere around us.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAPUNZEL53 1/15/2013 6:12PM

  Great pictures!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Presence (#1, Ecuador, 2013)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

My place of residence with Adelaida and her daughter Amrita (my god daughter) is about 15 minutes southeast of Otavalo, heading toward the town of Cotacachi. For reference, Ibarra is about 35 minutes northeast of Otavalo.

I am more and more deeply aware in my life of the importance of PRESENCE as I live it out, and who better to encapsulate what that means than a favorite Irish poet, John O'Donohue.

John O'Donohue, 1 January 1956 - 4 January 2008, was an Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher. He was a native Irish speaker, and as an author is best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.


Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

I arrived to Ecuador in time to celebrate Amrita's 13th birthday on Dec 30 and to bring in the new year. There is a tradition here to create a dummy/puppet character named "Old Year" out of clothes and other things one is ready to release. This is the version we created. Here I am with Mr. Old Year and Adelaida, as well as her wonderful ex-pat American neighbor, Casandra from Georgia (her lovely husband Julian is taking the photo). You can see Adelaida's wood frame house in the background and to the left. of Julian and Casandra's terra cotta home. My little bedroom is on the second floor.

Here's Julian with Sr. Ano Viejo

Dec 31, burning the old, making way for the new

Dec 30, Amrita's birthday party. Just a couple shots, because I can't download my camera. About 50 friends, young and old, came to their home and lots of good vibes and good food were shared. The "birthday girl" Amrita is behind me in purple.

Marion is a physician who is also adept at massage and other therapies. Poor Adelaida was experiencing lots of neck and shoulder pain, and got a wonderful massage.


Sunday Cotacachi Organic Market

So, I hope with this little glimpse that you've felt a bit of the presence.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 3/24/2013 9:53AM

    OHHHHH the pure joy and bliss of a TOTAL organic market! The birthday girl got a beautiful gift in having her godmother there to celebrate! Such a beautiful climate filled with loving and good people! Hugs to you my beautiful deserved this trip and I'm so happy you are sharing it with us! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ME_HERE_NOW 1/23/2013 1:58PM

    look at that market! happy adventuring! :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 1/21/2013 12:50PM

    Fantastic! I love these pictures!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SHANTISHANTI 1/18/2013 1:12PM

    I love that poem Maha, thanks for posting it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUST_BREATHE08 1/15/2013 5:33PM

    Absolutely Awesome...Thank You Maha so much for sharing. The pictures are so Beautiful!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIRIRADHA1 1/9/2013 11:08AM

    I'd like to be at a mass where Fr. John gives the final blessing!

So many great pictures! Thanks, Maha! Did Adelaida like her necklace?

P.S. I'm back on SP and lost almost 8 pounds first week (water weight, I'm sure!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 1/8/2013 5:47PM

    You both look and sound so very happy there. This makes me happy, my friend. Glad you made it safe and sound, despite some false starts!! As always, thanks for sharing the pictures.

With love,

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTRACHEL 1/7/2013 7:58PM

    Lovely to see your journey. What a wonderful tradition, to make a body of the old year and then send it on it's way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 1/7/2013 10:41AM

    So happy that you are enjoying your New Year with old friends. Love the pictures, especially al the fruits! Be blessed amiga. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 1/7/2013 9:41AM

    Very nice. Brings back memories of my years living in Peru.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 1/7/2013 9:31AM

    I just want to pick up an orange and sniff it. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 1/7/2013 8:27AM

    emoticon for a WONDERFUL glimpse!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILLB000 1/6/2013 11:48PM

    I love John O Donahue's writings and this poem. Thank you for that.

Your photos and words are wonderful. I so appreciate the culture of Central America and South America. Having travelled to and around Guatemala numerous times I look forward to the day I will return.

I appreciate your sharing perspectives from your travels.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZORAHGAIL 1/6/2013 6:45PM

    Great blog! One of my 2013 intentions is to Practice Presence, so that poem was lovely. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ABURRIS2 1/6/2013 6:45PM

    Thank you for sharing some of your own quiet immensity, my friend. Warm wishes as you follow what beckons. ~a

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAVOY1 1/6/2013 5:47PM

    Maha I am so happy it looks like you are having a great time. The poem and sentiment are delightful and I enjoyed the pictures especially, as of course my young gun is off to that neck of the woods in March and it's fun to see glimpses of real life in Ecuador. Thanks for sharing emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 1/6/2013 4:49PM

    Thank you Maha. I always feel your presence. Love
the poem. Thanks for sharing the pictures and telling
us of the traditions. good times ahead for you all. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMRAND54 1/6/2013 4:38PM

    Lovely poem. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECOMINGONE 1/6/2013 4:26PM

    Hi Maha,

I always enjoy your presence -- both physical and metaphysical in the sense of relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses. Your blog captures your presence ...


Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 1/6/2013 4:00PM

    I love the poem!
In the pagan tradition the Wheel of the Year turns and the "new year" which as you likely know begins on Samhain or Halloween and celebrated with costuming and resolutions. For example, if one decided on needing more strength one might wish to dress up like a bear for Samhain. Need more cash? Dress as royalty.
I love rituals and traditions.
Happy New Year Maha!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISY443 1/6/2013 3:36PM

    Through your eyes, I felt the presence!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SNOWSNAKE 1/6/2013 3:26PM

    Your poem and lesson on "Presence" was a great start to my day. Thank you for opening my mind just a little bit more, such an old soul you are! Happy New Year to you and yours, ***SNOW*** emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
COSMIC_ENERGY 1/6/2013 3:12PM

    The presence of your friendship is enriching!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 1/6/2013 2:49PM

    LOVE the pics! AND Donohue's blessings as well.

What a beautiful place the people and land of Otavalo are...great landscape pic.

I see it is only 100 km from Quito the capitol.

Enjoy, enjoy! :-)


Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 1/6/2013 2:25PM

    i am so happy to see the pictures of taking out the OLD YEAR.. and of course the area where you are staying. I can't blame you for being so in love with Ecuador. It is totally awesome... thanks so much
Much love

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAUIMA 1/6/2013 2:14PM

    I too loved the poem. :)
Thank you for the new year's message.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 1/6/2013 2:10PM

    Thank you for a marvelously rich blog! I love the poem, the photographs and most of all your reflective words!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 1/6/2013 2:07PM

    Thanks for locating your "presence" for us geographically and visually (I like imagining you living there!) and thanks for the wonderful poem!

You beam out a powerful presence.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CASSIOEPIA 1/6/2013 1:54PM

    What a fun tradition!

Report Inappropriate Comment

The invisible thread in pilgrimage

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I am looking at this three-month sojourn in South America, which will begin on Christmas Day, as a pilgrimage, a stepping off into the mystery, opening to the mystery, being the mystery, in my world without borders.

It is said by the ancients that there is an invisible thread connecting us to the Source, to the Sacred. The thread could be called "the God within" or the soul itself. The thread will guide me on this pilgrimage.

I had an idea to create a blog before leaving to develop the idea of travel as pilgrimage...and the invisible form of guidance that is leading the journey. Then my flow of preparation was interrupted by a huge and disturbing eruption by my housemate this afternoon creating profound feelings of not-ok-ness. I know this will pass and that I absolutely should not take the outburst personally, but in the moment I am deeply distraught. So I decided to take a break and post this little blog. In dealing with my angst, I cannot be reminded of the Four Agreements of Don Miguel Ruiz too many times, so I've posted them here for easy reference.

And finally, I am going to simply share without commentary a favorite Billy Collins poem, since he says it all and it speaks so deeply to my journey and I daresay the journey we are all on.


You can have Egypt and Nantucket.
The only place I want to visit is The Blue,
not the Wild Blue Yonder that seduces pilots,
but that zone where the unexpected dwells,
waiting to come out of it in the shape of bolts.

I want to walk its azure perimeter
where the unanticipated is coiled, on the mark,
ready to spring into the predictable homes of earth.

I want to stroll through the pale indigo light
examining all the accidents about to rocket into time,
all the forgotten names about to fly from tongues.

I will scrutinize all the surprises of the future
and watch the brainstorms gathering darkly,
ready to hit the heads of inventors
laboring in their crackpot shacks.

A jaded traveler with an invisible passport,
I am at home with this heaven of the unforeseen,
waiting for the next whoosh of sudden departure
when, with no advance warning, to tiny augury,
the unpredictable plummets into our lives
from somewhere that looks like sky.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULFISH80 1/4/2013 5:47PM

    The poem sums up how I try to approach life. It is in the unexpected that life bubbles over into the sublime. It is not in the oh so well laid out plans that I find my divine appointments with other worlds of wonder. No, it is in this moment, now, here, maybe later, maybe tomorrow, maybe not, who knows, not I, but it is organic, alive, supreme and beyond anticipation or control. We all live for it, it is our muse, our delight, our joy. These times of serendipitious ecstasy, arising from unforseen lovely, so wonderful, so real, are what I dream of and ultimately live for. Thanks for the post, as always you have managed to delight the inner sanctum of my soul, thanks Maha, you are a true delight. ( Can't wait till you get back to share your journey with us, I'm imagining all is well with you in all your current endeavors.)

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 12/28/2012 11:25AM

    Well, I know you've left on your journey and I know you were stuck at the airport with no flight out for a day or so, so I can hardly wait to hear from you again in regard to what you think about all of that.
I had my own little interruption lately...last Sunday I wasn't feeling well and decided to stay home from dinner out with JF and my step daughter Val. JF told me via phone on his way home that The Universe must have been directing him and Val because what happened between them never would have happened if I had been present. When I asked what happened he said I would have to wait until Xmas to find out. What happened arose out of a conversation JF had with his daughter about what to get me for Xmas and he suddenly realized that the perfect gift for me was right around the corner at the National Arts Center - he got us tickets to go see Diana Krall the Canadian jazz pianist, composer and singer (married to Elvis Costello) and Val got the three of us tickets to a play - Metamorphoses - performed underwater!!
Anyway, it's not life changing stuff...but then again, maybe it is!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILLB000 12/28/2012 9:31AM

    Bless you on your journey Maha. There are those in the part of the world you will be traveling who will be blessed by your presence. As a Spark Friend, I must not be selfish I just hope you will somehow let ((me) know if you begin a blog and how to access it. I would like to travel with you on this venture.

You have opened my heart to some beautiful poems. The Billy Collins poem is the latest. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FARRAH511 12/26/2012 11:55PM

    Dear Maha

Bon Voyage


Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 12/26/2012 11:16AM

    Though you are well on your way by now, I'm hoping you'll check in on Spark at some point to receive this. I wish you an amazing sojourn into the mysteries ... I know you are surrounding yourself with love in the midst of your soul family.

With love,

Report Inappropriate Comment
AZIMAT 12/26/2012 9:12AM

    So interesting the way our loved ones choose to express their reactions to change, isn't it?

Have a magical journey, my sister.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ASHERAH38 12/25/2012 11:11PM

    Bon Voyage. Here's to journeying.


Report Inappropriate Comment
MTRACHEL 12/25/2012 9:32AM

    I'll be thinking of you, traveling in the blue and when I miss your words of inspiration, I'll remember to look at the sky.
Take care. Rachel

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 12/25/2012 8:13AM

    Perhaps the outburst was due to the fact that you will be missed so very much as you travel. Be at peace and know that you are loved and appreciated by many. Feliz Navidad mi amiga. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 12/24/2012 5:07PM

    Thank you so much! And have a sterling time, filled with poetry, awe, and beauty.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 12/24/2012 12:31PM

    How fab. Enjoy SA.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GENKI_WARRIOR 12/24/2012 12:12PM

    People "come" and people "go"--some more often than others; treasure those moments of presence--cast off what insults your soul (those moments of the absence of Light).

May you have a blessed journey; I hope you'll find ...I know you'll find soul food where ever you go.

I find myself wishing that someday I can go with you. I tell myself it's not about changing my circumstances; that one ought to be able to find and grow in their peace anywhere...yet there's something in changing one's environment that innevitably changes you--you are destined for much change on this pilgrimage into the depths of your soul.

-Radhika loves Krishna, and Krishna lives in you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNAH31 12/24/2012 10:14AM

    I wish you soul-filling adventure as you travel "that zone where the unexpected dwells."

May your seeking spirit lead you to the unpredictable and present you with surprises that leave you feeling renewed and rejuvenated.

And may you find your home of peace and love.

Hugs to you,



Report Inappropriate Comment
DOKEYOKEY 12/24/2012 9:57AM

    I hope poem has already brought you a measure of peace and in spite of the upset in your household.

Your energy, courage, and good will inspire me!

I hope your journey brings you all that you seek and more.

I will miss you...and I would be delighted if you somehow found time to log on and keep us posted!

Merry Christmas!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 12/24/2012 8:57AM

    That poem evokes such beauty and joy. Thanks for sharing. Hope things have settled down at home. Sending a care pkg of light love and peace. Should be arriving just about now. And it takes no room in luggage. Have a wonderful and safe journey. Wish I was there. Gonna miss you big time. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 12/24/2012 7:06AM

    Dear Maha, Bon Voyage and safe and happy travels.
We are citizens of this wonderful world and I am so
envious that you are taking this time to go seek.
Have a wonderful Christmas. May the New Year give
you strength to follow your dreams and path and above
all, good Health. You are a beautiful person and I love
your spirit and gentleness. Take care and God bless.
Love and hugs
Anna emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 12/23/2012 8:40PM

    Bon Voyage, 'Maha with cheers to mystery, to renewal, to re-connecting with ourselves through others!

You are the BEST & I know your travels will fill your sails, returning to you all the good you bring into the world!


Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 12/23/2012 8:28PM

    Sorry about the consternation on the eve of your departure. All best for an epic journey of discovery anyhow . . .

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUST_BREATHE08 12/23/2012 8:25PM

    Absolutely emoticon, Maha!! Thank you so much for sharing. Enjoy your journey. emoticon to you my friend.
Merry Christmas! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/23/2012 8:27:17 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
UMBILICAL 12/23/2012 8:14PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Last Page