Friday, December 31, 2010

Two Small Feet

Two feet to remind us that we can change our path mid stride.We can adapt, change and choose a different path. Two feet to remind us that we leave footprints wherever we walk. Two feet melting the snow beneath to remind us that time is fleeting and what we see now we may not see tomorrow. Two feet, whose impressions are larger than life, to remind us that appearances can be deceiving, and perhaps the challenges we face aren't as big as they seem.


Two small feet, pausing for a moment, to offer a simple hello to the new year, and recall the pages of those past.



Monday, December 27, 2010

Listening

 There must be something in a child’s chemical make-up that with perfect harmony joins their facial muscles to the muscles of their body and vocal chords.  I think we lose this as we get older. I’m not talking about the pout of a teenager. Oh no. A teenage pout is something we never lose. The exaggerated arm movements, the strained voice, that exhale that would power a fleet of tall ships with their sails straining to contain the breath’s power. Oh no, we never lose that as an adult, the struggle for freedom thwarted.

I also don’t mean the tantrum a child flows in and out of like a professional basketball or soccer player who is suddenly on death’s door with an injury. When the penalty is awarded they leap up and score the winning goal. An amazing power of recovery. No we don’t lose this ability as adults either. Well, some of us have learned to lower our voices, tone down the red face but the tantrum is still there. Someone will not let us have our way and by gosh, they’re going to pay….until we get our way, greed.

No, only a child’s body and soul can create this look, sound and movement. Their eyes grow wide and big and they pierce through your own eyes.  Their shoulders drop, their bodies somehow become both rigid and totally placid as they look up at you. There is no resistance, just a quiet look and a whispered “no” or “why?” or, the piece de resistance, “o-Kay.”  There are variations of this theme, but I think you’ll know the look, the dance and the song. You wish they would go into a tantrum or slam their door like a teenager with the requisite exhale. You could respond then. You would have been provoked. But this, no this is perfect resistance that you cannot defend. In fact, more often than not, it will cause your heart to melt or at least question whether you are the one being unreasonable. It is pure innocence, honest emotion and an unshielded tender heart.

As my shoulders sank into my rib cage, I reminded myself it was a good idea. It was necessary. You’ve put it off too long.  If I could have, I would have knelt down, placed her hands in mine, met her gaze and winked. “C’mon sweetheart, I promise, if not fun, you’ll at least learn stuff and get to see new things, O-kay?” Alas, one cannot kneel down and take your hands as a child into your now adult hands. You can only sit, be quiet and listen, especially if it has been a long time since the two of you talked. Sort of like the Little Prince and the fox, you may have to engage in some ‘taming’ first.

Like a blind date, we sat in silence wondering if we could find something in common. At last I heard the soft voice whisper “I’m sorry you thought me so strong.”  With those seven words the wax of soon fifty seven years melted downward upon the wick, almost extinguishing the flame.  Two hundred twenty four seasons of have to’s, must do’s, responsibilities, need to’s, learn this, do this, take care of, insert whatever label you wish,  lay before me in the silence that fell after those seven words. The calculator crunched and the total printed – the don’ts outnumbered the do’s.  I had set my face towards the world and neglected the face within.  I was "strong" and would plow through all before me and help others to see, never realizing the eyes once walking with me were drifting further and further back, until out of sight.

I felt my eyes grow soft, wide, piercing through to the dawn’s blush, as my body became both rigid and placid. A whisper kissed my lips, ‘o-Kay’ and the heart giggled.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasoned Sand

There are times when I think the seasons are winning. They are moving so fast. I miss the pause. Where is the snooze?


It is then the flame flickers within, knowing no, no I do not, will not, cannot go back to sleep. I reach for the rake and my heart sifts through the tiny grains of seasoned sand. The texture changes. The shadows change. I can move the rocks. Every movement of my heart, however, small, creates a change, a path.


No snooze. With a whispered thank you to the flame, I pick up the rake within my heart. A simple, quiet, slow dance to tend the flame, to create a path, to believe.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Thousand Words

A simple truth staring up at me.












The remaining nine hundred ninety three words are yours.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Card

"We know you always thought our houses small. We thought the same thing when we were your age and someone was always stepping on our toes. We know you always thought so much food a waste. We thought the same thing too when we were your age. Yes, in a world where so many are hungry it could seem that way. But when family is brought together and not for a funeral, I think perhaps our exuberance might be excused. Everyone is so busy with their lives, except for funerals, Christmas was the only time everyone would gather in one place, in our house, that seemed small. Yes, we know you didn't want clothes, but it was a way to hug you, long after the toys were put away. And yes, we remember your confused look when three different "Santas" gave you the same toy truck with horses. We blamed the elves. Thank you for never questioning even though we think that is when you grew up and learned a different kind of Christmas magic. Remember the magic, and the houses that seemed so small."


Like the rings of life marking the march of seasons, the memories of Christmas Past ripple through my house that seems too big. One does not have to cut down a tree to see how old it is. You don't have to look to see if one season was better than another or how healthy the tree may be. Look to the roots. One does not have to make a big house seem small to know the roots of love. Look to the roots. There you will find the magic. It took a while, but I did grow up. Mama, Sister, Banks, Hoppie, Baba, Daddy Sam, Jansen, Willie Lee, John, Erin, Mike, Judge, Cobb, Annie Mae and others no longer here, I miss you all but you were right about the clothes. You were right about the magic. And your Christmas card tonight has made a big house seem small.


And as I share the Christmas card written by my roots, upon my heart, may I wish you a pause, a moment, to look to the roots this Christmas. Let the tree stand and grow old and weathered with memories and rings. Savor the moment, the roots, whatever they may be for you. And may this Christmas, or whatever holiday you may gather to celebrate, may your roots make a big house seem small. 



Namastè

To all of Christmas Past
To all of Christmas Present
To the precious keeper of my heart and breath who gifted such a wonderful Christmas card tonight.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Unfrozen Heart

Beneath the snow, and upon the green
Beneath the cold, and upon the hope
Warmed by the sun, the unfrozen heart.
Fear not the cloud, hiding the sun
Fear not the warmth, melting the snow
Once you have seen, you know its there.
Beneath the snow, upon the green
Beneath the cold, upon the hope
Love once seen, is forever etched.




Monday, December 13, 2010

Fingers of Truth

An Evergreen's fingers against a blue sky. Simple. Does not shout at you or scream notice me. 


An Evergreen's fingers, with tiny droplets of sunlight against the first blue sky after the blizzard. A blizzard that hid both the sky and trees in a wall of white. A blizzard that for two days turned the soft laced hush of winter's snow into howling winds that seemed to move the house itself. Winds and snow that left the other limbs bowed and weighted with snow. Not these. Somehow they shook off the fury of the blizzard. In standing tall, standing true, not bending, they shed the weight.


A rhythm to every season. The seeds of hope borne within the storm itself. They will not scream notice me nor will they shout their message. Simple. innocent. Gentle. There. Sometimes they only whisper once and are gone. The physical image lasted only a minute or so. The message, if grasped, will forever be touched by the sun. 







Friday, December 10, 2010

Truth Parsed



Do I dare to hope to be so free?
Do I dare to hope?
Do I dare?
Do I?
Do.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Collision of Warmth

The swirling howling wind was creating a dervish with the pellets of ice raining down from the sky. The temperature was plummeting as fast as the pellets. I arm wrestled the wind to open the plant door so I could get outside to breathe. When you need to go outside into these conditions to breathe, you need to breathe.

The door slammed behind me and I faced a wall of white created by drifts of old snow and ice pellets. My eyes closed. My lungs drew in every drop of air they could hold, never mind the cold. A thump and scratch upon my face retrieved my thoughts from the cold world. A leaf, from I do not know where, caught up in the wind, had collided against my face and fell to my feet.There are no leaves on the trees. Fall's shawl of leaves lay beneath the snow and ice. I smiled and inquired from whence the traveler had journeyed and laughed.

Even that which is seemingly lifeless, frozen, long separated from the source of life, the seasons having drained it of its color and vibrancy can carry and receive the touch of awakening. May it be so. Bowing my neck, I whispered Namaste and left the warmth.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow Eyes

The dust, storms, and the smokescreens of life can cloud our vision and blind us to what we need or would like to see. There are times these same storms, dust clouds and smokescreens open our eyes to see what matters, what we lack, or what we want to be. Perhaps it's nature's way of getting our attention and asking "Now can you believe?"


Sometimes you have to look through the eyes of snow to see the eclipse. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reflection

I cannot fret or dream about what tomorrow may bring.

It will be a reflection of what I am, I do and what I choose today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Emergence

 Neither the caterpillar nor the butterfly, I am both.

 A destined congruence of time and light.

A quiet emergence. 

Dancing with the hands of life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Now What?

Robert Frost had the luxury of a fork in the road. Now what? You can wait for summer and swim. You can wait for winter and walk across. You can find another path. You may even decide you didn't want to go there anyway. It is your choice. 


There is never a path that leads to nowhere.







Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Encased

It is a heart encased in ice. Winter's fingers, it seems, pushing all away. The heart, though, remains. The ice does not diminish it nor do the fingers crush it. 


Do not mistake what you may see for what is. For if you had paused and sat with the heart, you would have seen the sun's hand melt the prison. The branch, once bowed, sprung back and lifted itself in thanks. And in the lifting, the melting, the heart soared and danced.


To see what is, sometimes you have to sit. You have to sit knowing the melt is part of the ice.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life's Cup of Coffee

I will readily admit that I am a coffee-holic. Not just coffee but hot coffee. After all the cups of coffee I've consumed I cannot say it is the taste as much as it is the ritual. The running of hot water in the thermos carafe so that it is warmed and ready to receive the fresh brewed coffee, keeping it even warmer. My arthritic hands holding the mug of coffee. The mug's warmth coursing through my palms, hands and arms is the antithesis of caffeine, it is calming. The raising of the mug to my face and feeling the steam is my morning hot shower that awakens my eyes, my brain and my heart. The slow motion tilt of the mug and the anticipation of the hot coffee as it approaches my mouth, is my morning sunrise. It is the first arms of the sun's peak over the horizon spilling the blush of the sun and moon's kiss across the sky. 


The pleasure, the calling of coffee occurs and is embedded in the preparation more so than the drinking. It is reminiscent of the Tea Ceremony with its attentiveness and ritual. It is the image of my heart and its calling, its dreams. I must start with the warming of my heart. The intentional softening of my heart. A softening which will receive and nourish the dreams, thoughts, and values that will empty themselves into its openness. I choose the grounds that will make the coffee and the strength. Naught enters this brew but what I choose - a bitter cup of coffee or realization to drink sometimes. I choose how many cups, how full or meager I want to fill my heart. And then, I must sit and be patient while it brews. I must sit and be attentive, anticipating, trusting all will come together as prepared. 


But what of those dreams, those desires, those callings brewed in my heart that conflict with the dreams or hopes others may have for me or of me? What if others do not like coffee? Ahh, afraid I am not so wise. I know only that before I let myself ponder those questions I first have to tend the preparation so that I can hear, see, taste and respond to life and its calling. It begins with the preparation and willingness to take the time to brew. I cannot share what I have not prepared. If I do, I sit and wait by a silent coffee maker, my heart.  What I share is strengthened when I am attentive to my heart first. Then I become the perfect host, extending a cup of my heart, gently and mindfully brewed for you, for others, and for myself. The drinking of coffee is plural. The preparation singular.


And for those who do not like coffee or thought I should prepare tea or wine? I will be honored to prepare their beverage. I will be graced to sit with them at the table as we sip the outpourings of our hearts and their dreams. I will drink my coffee and not pour it into their tea or wine. I would ask that they do not pour theirs into my coffee. As our beverages touch our lips we can let our hearts speak. And should we reach an impasse, and cannot agree, with mindfulness and warmth we can sit in silence enjoying our company. If we must sadly part we will trust the brewing of things we cannot see, mindfully prepared by the hands of life. 


Either way, let us raise our heart's crystal and toast life, love and laughter. L'Chaim! Namaste! And having shared the last drop let us go forth in mindfulness and truth to share and serve our heart's brew. For the preparation and drinking have but one purpose.... to send us forth into the day, into the world. 



Monday, November 22, 2010

Defiance

 It mocks that your thoughts fly in the face of reason. It calls your affirmations that there "are no weeds" as you stand before a garden full of weeds, naive. It pours salt in the wound and becomes the pebble in your shoe. As if the drought of fall and the pending surrender of life until spring were not enough, it throws snow in your face.


The pull of doubt.


Reason can be wrong-ask Galileo. There are no weeds if you see the beauty of all living flowers and life. Salt heals. The pebble in your shoe can make you pause and refresh yourself.  And a snowball fight can cause the spontaneous combustion of laughter.


Walk peacefully in the world. Let the footprints you leave be soft upon the earth. But when you meet up with the pull of doubt, doubt not the simple truth that you are not alone. Take hold of the outstretched hand whispering 'come on, I believe' for there will be one. Doubt not the strength of Hope's defiance.







Thursday, November 18, 2010

Knock Knock

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
You did hear!"
Sometimes the soft knocking of hope - unadorned, without fanfare, stripped of shields and bent by winter - can be hard to hear, ignored or unnoticed. But still she knocks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sweet Tear

    A sweet soft tear. No other meaning. Attach nothing more. Sometimes, nature, like my heart, simply cannot find the words. And, if one is lucky or loved, like this tear, it will not fall unnoticed, unheard or alone.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seeing Through the Trains

A morning running late. A morning where everything I touched I dropped. A morning where I ironed more wrinkles into my clothes than I ironed out. A morning where not one but three bunnies decided to run across the street in front of my car on my way to work. A morning where I am still on the road when my printer should be printing. A morning when……you get caught by the train. A long long train. You may know the feeling. Your head crashes back against the headrest, the frustration explodes in your breath as you exhale, and then, quite simply, you laugh.


Sometimes life just moves so fast it becomes a blur. I find yourself thinking “Higher calling? Service to others? Meditation? Live in the moment? When?” Then the ultimate is whispered, “How did it all pass me by? I was too busy living to live. I chose living over life, a verb over a noun.”



Perhaps the barriers and trains that fall across my path, stopping me dead in my tracks are there for a reason. They force me to stop. They force me to see the blur and graffiti in my life. They force me to breathe. They force me to simply laugh. When I do, if I do, there comes a moment of clarity where I can see through the blur. I can see the road before me. And having seen, the choice is now mine

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White

Those who noticed probably saw clouds.
Those who did not notice, missed the clouds dancing in the sky.
I saw clouds.
I saw feathers.
I quite simply, saw white.


A cataract was removed from my eye yesterday. I have been struggling to read for a bit of time. I was anxious to be able to read, to see my work and to read without a struggle. What I was not prepared for, was the discovery that numbers and words were not the only thing I could not see. I had lost the ability to see colors. I work with numbers. I work with words. The loss was noticed immediately. I do not work in colors. I did not miss their loss. 


Last night I discovered the white on the background of this web page. I discovered the whiteness of a sheet of paper. I laughed to see a white paper towel. I could see white. And white, trust me, is not the absence of color. At work today I printed everything in color. I will confess to giggles as I walked back to my office, opening the bad eye to see the dingy world. Closing the bad eye to see a world of white, reds, greens, yellows and blue. Yes, I can now, out of the good eye, see the other colors, but it is the color of white that has captured my heart.


In the midst of my absolute child like wonder over colors, over white, my heart paused and my breath jumped. I did not know. I had not missed them. My world had become dingy and I did not notice. I stood with firm resolve, from the knees of my heart, to never again not notice. Perhaps white was first restored because it is a simple color, a simple truth.  My job may be with numbers. My passion may well be with words. But my heart will forever be white. And I will tend that white flame forever with you precious Keeper of my heart and breath.







Monday, November 8, 2010

Voice


Poet's and dreamers have long talked of the fragility of the heart. Images of broken hearts have populated almost every possible media. I have been pondering the often forgotten twin sister of a broken heart - eyes that cannot see.

If eyes are the window to the soul, what happens when the soul cannot see? What happens when like the moon, they are cloudy and the only light for the night's darkness is hidden? How does the heart respond when the eyes cannot see?

The entire premise of this blog has been the resiliency of the human spirit. A resiliency I refer to as Hope. A resiliency that day by day, minute by minute adjusts, twists, turns, goes quiet and yes, at times may even scream. One thing is for sure, when one antenna of this resiliency is weak, another will grow stronger. And so, precious Keeper of my heart and breath, when my eyes are cloudy and I cannot see, I will tell my heart to be still and listen. Listen to your Voice knowing the clouds will pass, the moon is full when only a sliver, and tomorrow, yes, tomorrow, I will see.

Yes, I believe the eyes are the window to the soul. I believe they are the twin sister of the heart and they dance and respond together. But sometimes, sometimes, the oft forgotten ear is what is needed most. Could it be the ear, the sound of a voice, not the heart, not the eyes is the backbone of our resilience? To stop and listen....  For you, precious Keeper of my heart and breath.... I have heard Your voice.



video



[note: if you have trouble seeing the video in Google Chrome, use Internet Explorer. I own no rights to the composition or lyrics of the song, no copyright infringement is intended]














Sunday, November 7, 2010

Phoenix

    I remember the line so well, "and a Phoenix shall rise from the ashes...." Looking up, the clouds created a phoenix of white against blue. My heart soared to see such an image. Where there are ashes, where there appears to be the remains of cremation and hopelessness the phoenix emerges, hope takes flight. It is not blind. It is not fingers crossed and a whispered 'maybe.' It rises with thunder. It rises with softness. It rises.


And then, to my surprise, as I uploaded the photo, there, beneath the left wing...a smaller phoenix. Caught in the back draft of Hope's phoenix soars Destiny. Hope completed. Hope perfected. Hope destined. Hope flying free. Take flight, believe ... 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hope's Cradle

   You brushed away the debris of life and found my stony resilience.  You placed your hand upon my weathered heart which could not reenter the stone. And here, in hope's cradle wood, stone and earth become one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dancing

 They were oblivious to walking feet. Perhaps the wind orchestra surrounding them was even more carefree because the grounds belonged to a cemetery. The picture is a frozen moment in time. You cannot see them dancing in the breeze. You cannot see them swaying together and leaning into each other playfully as if they had been dancing all their lives. Then again, maybe they have.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Betting the Heart

    A sliver of hope. That is the phrase I usually hear from others and yes, even from myself, as I ponder things that could be. A sliver of hope is meant to discourage or temper one's enthusiasm and belief to avoid crushing disappointment. A sliver of hope, not much chance.


This morning the moon offered another possibility. Gazing into the sky I saw her sliver. I saw her timelessness. I saw her constancy. I saw a full moon where others saw only a sliver.


A sliver of hope. I'll take those odds. She's never failed to appear. And yes, precious keeper of my heart and breath, she is always full, our sliver of hope.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

RSVP

Perhaps it is just a small leaf sitting and basking in the sun. Perhaps it is just a leaf saying good bye to the Mardi Gras of spring. I could have not seen it and plopped down crushing its fragile fall body. It is, it was and I did not.


The leaf appeared to be where it was supposed to be, sitting upright overlooking the water's edge. Acknowledging its presence, I asked if the other side of the bench was taken. Acknowledging my presence the leaf replied 'yes, by you.' 


And so we sat, both of us where we were supposed to be, sitting upright overlooking the water's edge. Nature and flesh tending the seasons, seeing and speaking volumes in silence. Nothing more than presence required.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Opened Curtains

The windows were hidden behind their curtains. I had been up since two in the morning, like Jacob, wrestling with an angel, demanding to know its name. I heard a whisper to feed the birds. Opening the curtain, covering the glass door leading to the deck, the morning burst before me dismantling the curtains covering my eyes. 


I stood frozen. I heard another whisper and grabbed my camera. It is an image of sunrise. An image of fire. The fierce blush of the kiss between sun and moon. A wake up call with no snooze. Pouring the seed in the feeder I watched the fire smolder and evaporate. A bird landed not a foot from me and a squirrel poked his head out of a tree just a foot or two from me. I inquired whether they had seen the beautiful sunrise and smiled as I turned to go back into the house. 


Another whisper and I turned around to see them eating. They looked up and I acknowledged my rudeness in not letting them speak. And the whisper returned, as the tiny creatures returned to their buffet, it matters not the seeing, it is in the giving and feeding that hope is born.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Maps

Would it not be grand, if when we looked to the heavens for direction, a map would appear showing you the directions with exits, turns, construction, detours and points of interest?


A map does appear. It always appears. It is conveniently small so you can carry it in your heart. The directions are simple
"You are here."

Beyond that, it is choice. And if you're looking up, the sky is limitless. I just have to move from 'here' to ... 

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Path

Where I walk will be my path. What I can no longer see I can still remember. It is only the season that hides the way from my eyes. I will walk with my heart, precious keeper of my heart and breath, it knows the way.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heads or Tails

Sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph made walking from building to building quite difficult. I felt like a mime doing an impression of being inside a glass box as the walls of wind brought my walk to a halt and pushed me backwards. And yet I walked from building to building.


I walked through the wind because I've always walked through the wind. It's just something you do. Something you can do. I suppose if I had never walked in the wind then there would be nothing that could tell me I could not, and so, I would still walk through the wind. The result is the same- heads I win, tails the wind loses.


So why this image? Why the image of a tree broken, possibly by the wind? To remind me there are many kinds of winds. Some, are just more obvious than others. The image is not, will not be me. Care to go for a walk in the wind, precious keeper of my heart and breath? 



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ETA

There is a rhythm and symmetry in nature. We speak of an "early winter" or a "late summer" like there was a computer monitor displaying arrival and departure times. Nature does not flee one season running madly into the arms of the next. Nature does not hang on or cling to this season begging the next to tarry. She simply walks and arrives when she arrives.


Through time some seasons are longer than others while others are shorter. Fall, however, does not come immediately after spring nor does summer follow winter. All in due time. Each following its own course across time never touching those outside the before and after. A rhythm, a symmetry a simple beauty with no complaint or sense of loss or gain.


Would that I could always maintain her patience and mirror her stride. And so I listen harder and softer. I look and I see. I am trying. I am learning to simply walk knowing the seasons of my soul will fold one into the other and I will arrive, quite simply, when I arrive.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Soft

A gloomy Sunday morning with misting rain. No chance of getting outside. No chance of walking with nature and clearing my head, to breathe. I heard you whisper "Go and see." 


This is what I saw. This is what I would have missed. I heard your whisper, precious keeper of my heart and breath. If I had not listened and believed I would have missed your touch.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Simple Truth

How long to create this home? How long to peck and bore, within this living tree, to create a place of shelter and safety, warmth and shield from all the elements and unsoft in the world? Imagine the patience. Like a sculptor who sees a work of art in a block of marble the creator of this home worked removing bit by bit, piece by piece all that should not be. 


I doubt there was any fanfare. Nature simply entered the door, snuggled in and instinctively knew it was home. Simple truth. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Portal

Could it be a portal? Could it be a gateway or threshold that would take me into a world of magic, timelessness and dreams unrealized?


I ponder what awaits on the other side. I chuckle to myself that I can clearly see the other side. Perhaps it is not the 'seeing' that is the object. Perhaps it is the crossing under and believing that creates the magic. And that is the 'other side.'

Friday, October 22, 2010

Almost Unseen


Soft. Playful. Held ever so delicately but not even the wind could dislodge it from the arms of a blade of grass.
A reminder. A gift. So small, almost unseen. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sea Horses

They looked like prairie dogs standing upright surveying the landscape for danger. Then I thought they looked like sea horses. I giggled to think of my childish wonder when I ordered sea horses from a coupon on the back of a comic book. Then I thought they looked like the heads of wild horses standing among the mountains or prairie, perhaps they were looking at the prairie dogs. They could be caterpillars doing yoga, maybe the sun salutation pose. They looked like fingers of a pianist, raised just above the keys poised for the final climatic chord. 


I stood and pondered their images. And then, with gratitude that my camera had a stabilizing function for shaking hands (mine from laughter) I snapped "their" picture, whatever they were. In the end, they were, what they were. What I made them to be, saw them to be, would make no difference... to them. What I made them to be, saw them to be in my eyes and heart....ah yes, that is where the difference is made. I cannot change them. I change myself by what I choose to see.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Witness

I've set in silence with my comatose mother in hospice. I've set set in silence waiting for "the" call. I've set in the silence of a house with no power after the storm. I've set in the silence of a house once with two now with one. I've set in the silence of an empty church on a weekday morning. I've set in the silence of meditation. I've set in the silence of nature at sunset. I've set in the silence of a star filled sky on top of a mountain at midnight. I've set with a good friend and spoken volumes in silence. 


Today a stark realization. The turning of a healthy ear deaf to someone's need drowns out silence's silence. The absence of listening turns silence silent.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Ride

A simple statement was made, "We can always cling to hope." I understood the context and yet something in me recoiled. In rejecting the statement I was transported back to the first time I rode a horse. Of all the instructions I was given, the most important was not to hold the reins tightly. I was told more than once to hold the reins loosely in my hands. If you have ever had a rope, a leash or the reins of a horse's bridle ripped out of your tightly clutched hands you will understand how painful this lesson can be. 

No, I will not cling to hope, I will hold her reins loosely in the palms of my hand. I will hold them loosely not because I fear the pain of hope, love, life or faith unexpectedly jerked out of my clutched hands. No, I will hold them loosely so Hope's Windhorse feels my trust. I will hold them loosely because relaxed hands are more sensitive to movement and changes than clutched hands.

In a world with so much anger, despair, hopelessness do I ever feel like the only hope is to cling? Yes, oh yes but it is a different kind of clinging. It is at those moments, when I trust my heart, that I lay my body down upon the bareback of Hope's Windhorse and clutch her mane, no longer a bridle needed. I press my legs against her muscles, her mane flying in my face, her head thrust forward in energy against the wind, and I whisper in the ear of Hope's Windhorse.... 'I believe! Let's ride!' 

The way I ride is up to me. 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Waterfall

I went to a park for the first time in the eight years I have lived here. I followed the trail marked "waterfall." Sitting on the bench I confess at first a tinge of disappointment. 'Waterfall' to me conjured a different image than this. Letting go of my preconceived image I sat in the silence of its sound and movement.


The silence was broken when a mother and her two young daughters came running down the path. The smallest one squealed back to the others "There's water now!" I watched the three scurry down the path, the kids playing tag with the water and the mother quickly taking pictures. The waterfall seemed to grow larger as the girls darted in and out and the mother laughed and snapped picture after picture.


She climbed up the path, joined me on the bench and we watched the girls play. I heard a heavy sigh and then she spoke, "It's good to see water again. The rains were hard but the waterfall is back." A voice in the distance called them away.


With only one kiss of the seat of my pants to the earth, I made it down to the waterfall. The splashing of the water was no longer simply background noise. My hand reached out to touch the water. My voice whispered 'welcome back.' Looking up to the gentle flow spilling over, I pondered that even waterfalls, like hope, life, dreams, love and laughter, must be fed. Bowing, I left the breadcrumbs of my heart alongside the children's laughter, like cookies and milk for Santa, a small thank you for the gifts and nourishment to grow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Instinct

  How my eyes saw the tiny one I do not know. They have struggled all week to see numbers and words not three feet from my face. Yet, while house cleaning, looking out the window, I saw him. I went outside with my camera and he did not fly away. He turned after the picture, looked at me and took flight. 


A single migratory sentinel keeping watch while the others scampered along the ground. I do not think he knows how small he is compared to the hawk that hunts in my yard. I do not think he realizes how small he is compared to even the tiny red squirrels that do not like to share. No, he stands his post, unafraid, watching. It is, you see, his instinct to believe. 













Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sleep Walking

    In a world where the immediacy of the moment is almost more important than the moment, sleep can be relegated to a dream. A 'good night' can be translated into 'I hope you wake up on time," "I hope you can stop worrying about...," "I hope you can wake up without pain," or "I hope you have a night without fear.' Sleep becomes not the object, the goal but the obstacle or perhaps the means to the goal or desired outcome.

And so a moment of pause tonight. A moment to simply say "sweet dreams" and nothing more. A moment to say to yourself, your loved ones dance, sing, love, and enjoy life for the next few hours. For the next few hours live without restrictions, labels, fears, deadlines, cannots, should nots or what ifs. May need some help here, precious keeper of my heart and breath. It can be hard to turn everything off. Maybe, if I could get used to these hours and their freedom and softness where I see myself so differently, who knows, maybe I'll learn to sleep walk and live my days the same way. I think it is time for bed precious keeper of my heart and breath.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hands Down

Today I helped serve hamburgers to our plant employees. I was "bun girl." My job was to split open the hamburger buns on the plastic plate so that "burger girl" could put the hamburger patties on the buns. Next "cheese girl" put the cheese on the burgers. Unfortunately, we had two minor glitches. One, the provider of the buns did not pre-cut the buns. You had to rip them open with your fingers and hopefully not totally mutilate the bun. Second, the plastic gloves we wore were X-Large size. I could literally bend the excess "fingers" down to the base of the palm of my hand.... and they were bright purple. Okay, the latter is not so much a glitch as it just highlighted, in brilliant purple, my struggles to open the uncut buns in over sized gloves. And no, much to the delight of everyone, "burger girl" and "cheese girl" were not willing to switch positions. 


It was a fast paced assembly line with plant workers on their half hour lunch lined up ... With a laugh, smile and my eyes locked dead center in theirs I asked each one how they were doing followed by "white or wheat?" Odd, most just pointed. They were too busy laughing to even care. One kind soul found a plastic knife and brought it to me. A plant worker, patiently waiting for his bun stole it and said 'she don't need it.' 


This morning the battery in my wireless mouse died. Tonight I went to change the battery and my hands, which have a tremor at times and arthritis could not open the little flap for the battery. I struggled and struggled and could not get a grip or enough pressure to open the flap. Suddenly I remembered my cat's fascination with my little mouse. I recalled them swatting it to the floor and...yes, you are correct, the flap would open and the battery would inevitably fall out. I pondered this. And with a stern warning to the cats that this was NOT to be taken as permission for them to attack my mouse, I dropped it on the floor. The cats sat there and looked at me as if to say, "boy are you going to be in trouble!" Me? I slipped the new battery in and am a happy little camper with my wireless mouse.


I've often said my hands are me. Sometimes, I just don't feel like I "fit." Sometimes, I mourn the things I cannot do or can no longer do. I think today was a gentle reminder of the simple joy of looking someone dead in the eye, acknowledging their presence and making them laugh. A gentle reminder that even nature can take "should not's" and turn them into little victories. 


In the end, it is not so much about what they can and cannot do as it is what they hold on to and what they release ... just like my heart. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mile Marker


The sun has now set three hundred and sixty five times since I first hit "publish post" and exhaled Hope's Breath. Much in my life has changed this year. And yet I am still a child looking at the world, the sun and my precious moon with so much wonder each time I leave my simple musings. I can think of no better words than those written earlier. And so, keeper of my heart and breath, for you who keep drawing me back here, we light one candle with the sun's rays setting upon the horizon and leave for all, for us, for you and for me a simple birthday card to be opened each day. And we leave a wish that none will wait three hundred and sixty five days to read.


I am here. I cannot promise that I will be here tomorrow. If I am not, it will not be because I chose to leave. Sometimes the path we travel can take an unexpected turn. But for today, as you awake, know that I am here. Unlike your coffee, you do not have to wait for me to brew. My gifts, my smile, my laughter and touch are waiting for your eyes to open.
    Awaken my love and let the day begin. Awaken and grab hold of me as you did those Christmas mornings long ago. Squeal and grab hold of me with the same abandon you tore open the paper wrapping. Worry not, I have not bought you socks, and if I did, I promise they would be festive. Awaken my beloved and play with me for hours. Let me see your eyes grow big and sparkle with delight. No single day to say ‘I love you’ or present a bouquet of flowers. Look around my love the earth is your vase. I am here my beloved and I am yours.”

    If nothing else is remembered, if all reflections leave me, if my musing spirit grows quiet may be this be the one that remains with me. May I always call to mind the love letter each day leaves for me. May I greet each day with the anticipation of unopened opportunity, gifts and love. May each day be the best gift ever because I was brave enough to ask, to open. May my eyes be open, and bold to read the letter, Life’s Valentine, and in reading, to write my own and then give away.


****
To each of you I bow from the waist, bend my neck and whisper Namastè, I truly honor you. And may I ask, if you are inclined to leave a comment, may it please be a candle of gratitude for something or someone in your life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Changing Drivers

"Are we there yet?" was cute when I was five. 
Now, I am the one driving. 
And when i hear that voice inside my spirit.......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Heard Your "Yes"

I have seen the yellow ribbons tied around trees to celebrate a homecoming. I have seen the parades and confetti fly to celebrate coming home. I have seen the native son and daughter return home and realize they never left. I have seen the widow and widower laid beside their partner and felt their kiss of joy for being home together again. 


And though in comparison, it may appear small, to witness the homecoming of the creative spirit is a sacred sunrise. The return of the muse, the artist, the writer, the poet to their art, craft and heart is the fabric and texture of life itself. It is the mirror of life-the calling home to be who and what we are. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Splash

In my mind, I have an image. I am standing at the water's edge with three rocks. One, technically, is a pebble. The second is a rock and is much bigger than my hand. The third is pretty much a boulder, it is really big. 


If the rocks represent my ability to "believe" or "dreams" and the water represents Life's response to my ability to "believe" or "dreams" I wonder which one I would toss into the water? How faithful would I be to continuously throw the rock into the water?


In my heart the image carries a warning: "CAUTION: Not Responsible for any Shrinkage Occurring to Dry Clean Only Clothes."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Flow

When the imagination in our mind is bold enough to take the heart's hand possibilities are unleashed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Canteen Water

  A man or woman too long in the desert, their body dehydrated and longing for just a drop of water stares at their canteen. Its purpose is to hold water, why does it not have water? He can dip the canteen into the desert sands as often as he wishes, as often as the illusions in his mind tell him to, but he will still drink sand. To hold water, to offer drink, to serve its purpose, the canteen must be filled. The canteen cannot hold nor can it offer what was not poured into it.

Is it winter's frost gathered upon the branches? Is it fall's fiery colors, the prelude of winter? In truth, it will be what my mind tells my eyes they see. I can see beyond seasons, space and time and see winter's frost glistening in the dawn. I can see ashes of fall's fire resplendent in their white coat. I can see the moon's reflection mid-day.It really matters not the season, I need but tell my eyes that what they see is beauty. Simple truth. Simple belief.

And, maybe, just maybe, keeper of my heart and breath, with a bit of training and gentle coaxing, if I train my eyes to see the beauty, I will not forget to fill my canteen. Smile, and remember to bring extra.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Not Picture

I sat watching the tiny dancer twirling in the breeze. Its pirouettes flowing and free with the wind its only choreographer. I watched it leap into the air and become a cloud racing across the blue cloudless sky. I watched its descent soft and unhurried. Its wind dance would rival the most skilled human dancer with both a brain to see a dance and an orchestra providing the texture and mood.

I watched it skip across the concrete. I watched it stop. A tiny twig interrupted its dance. I laughed and asked what it would do now. Its arms reached into the air and took hold of the breath of simple joy. I saw not the end of its wind dance which carried it beyond my vision.

You must know that this is not its picture. No. It is but a moment in time. The picture, keeper of my heart and breath, the picture, its essence is in the dance. And the only camera I know of that can catch that is the heart.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lesson Plan

I am not old. I have walked enough seasons to have shed my youthful innocence when looking at the world. For the most part, not much shocks me anymore. If I have not experienced the “shock” myself, someone I know has, I have heard or seen it or, in some cases, life’s text has prepared me. And then, and then, I say with a giggle, there are days like today that start at 2 a.m when you pour over your notes from Life’s classroom thinking you must’ve missed class that day.

So I do not forget, I shall leave Life’s lesson here.

Even in the jungle I can still find a forest in which to dance.

Sweet keeper of my heart and breath....may I have this dance?


Monday, October 4, 2010

No Reply

    It is not the water of the mountain lake, crystal blue, reflecting the mountains that make you feel alive. It is not the swelling and cresting waves of the Gulf that turn you into a squealing child. It is not my Dad's swimming pool upon which you float and bask in the sun. It is not even a clear puddle of rain begging the child in me to "accidentally" walk through with a big splash. It is muddy stream water from the recent floods, leaves freshly fallen and organic remains from seasons past. 

And yet it whispered 'come swim.' I admit quite the hearty laugh and replied "Why would I want to come swim in you?" To which the reply left the philosopher with no reply, "Because you can."



“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” ~Rumi

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Do You See?

  Seasons and growth may dictate that the sap be drawn down deeper into my roots. In the drawing down, I must surrender and let go. Fall.

Even then, in the color of spring, the color of hope, your hand, precious keeper of my heart and breath, reaches out. Nothing is lost.

I will not dread the dormancy of winter. I will not live for spring. I will not get distracted by summer. I will not feel cheated by fall. It is simply a dance, a dervish without a beginning and without an end. Timeless. Growth. Deepening roots and your hand upheld asking through each stage, each dance, "Do you see? Do you understand? I am here. I will catch you. Just dance."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Picture's Focus

   In the midst of the brilliance of fall, the starkness of winter when fall has fallen, the glory of spring's newness and summer's growth the green fir tree stands. It stands through all the seasons unchanged and unnoticed. It is not exactly a sight that would make one get out of their car and take a picture. You might notice it during a Minnesota winter when it would be the only non gray or white color you see for several months. Other than that, just a simple fir tree that is quietly, simply, without fanfare, there.

I think I shall name her Hope.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Simple Courage

The work day started at 3:30 this morning with my work phone exploding.  By the time I got off the phone and dressed, and made my way into the hallway of offices at 6 a.m. the defeat had already settled. It is a unique relationship, being the only woman in a hallway of men who have only known the manufacturing world, grease, machines and manual labor.  Defeat had leveled the playing field. Those gentle men who towered over my short body now appeared to be my height. 

As I started my computer one of the guys came in and literally fell into a chair.  I turned and one look at his face told me all I needed to know. I walked over to him and held out my hand. He stood up and I hooked my arm in his and made him do the Dosey Doe dance with me in a tight circle. When we stopped our dance, in my most authoritative voice, I gathered the others and my faithful beach ball. I tossed it in the air and used my head to send it flying to one of the guys who immediately turned red when he jumped, “like a girl”. Game on. Opening my desk drawer I brought out a toy that played the Star Wars Darth Vader Theme Song. For the next fifteen minutes we played soccer and beach ball hackey sack in my office and in the hallway to the blaring of the Evil Empire’s Anthem. With each bounce, each slam dunk, each rebound against the wall and each bellowed “do over” I watched mighty oaks break forth from acorns and reach for the sun.

When all slowly dispersed, I sat at my desk, sipping my coffee and staring at rows and rows of Excel lines, rows, columns and squiggly things called numbers. No, I wasn’t seeing the data, I was listening to laughter, to men talking about “manly stuff” and, I was listening to the sound of courage. No, nothing about the reason for defeat had changed. No the phones and emails did not stop, in fact their intense fury increased. The only difference was they had the courage to face it and figure it out. If they could not succeed, well, at least they didn’t surrender.

Yes, the butterfly has to flap her wings; we have to act to make the “magic” happen. Sometimes though, we need to stop flapping and notice our surroundings. We need to see those who maybe are a bit timid, dare not believe, are not allowed to believe, or theirs is the only voice trying to believe and is overshadowed by the fear of those around them.  It takes courage to flap our wings. It takes courage to believe. And, like love, courage reserved or held within does nothing but atrophy. Sometimes, instead of flapping, maybe we need to make sure we are also lifting, reaching, touching and aware of others.  To pause in our busy lives and our own excitement of flapping to do a wing count and notice those who cannot. That is the real courage, the real magic. And the beauty of the magic is that it can be as easy as a simple hello. Now that’s a butterfly effect. That is Hope’s Breath.

Hello.