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.