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Unchopping a Tree by W.S. Merwin -

I rarely review books on Amazon but W.S. Merwin's book, Unchopping a Tree, is a true gem.

I posted this, this morning on Amazon. I am stroked and touched by the leaves in this book that open me to the leanings and learnings of trees.


This book contains all we need to know. I am stroked by holding it in my hand, then, opening each page carefully, pages given by a tree, with words and drawings that reach inside, and take me apart and put me together again and again. This book is a treasure, and a wonderful gift for one’s self and others. I am held in the friendship and teachings of trees. I am moved to open and close with the breath of leaves, leaves of a book, leaves of trees.

I recommend this book. It will feed something you may not even know you need.

James Hillman on "Freedom"!

James Hillman: "I'm saying that we haven't thought about the idea of freedom enough. It needs to be internalized as an inner freedom from "demand" itself: the kind of freedom that comes when you're free from those compulsions to have and to own and to be someone. For example, there is the kind of freedom that Nelson Mandela must have experienced when he was imprisoned. He completely lost his freedom in the outer world, yet he found freedom within. That's an example that broadens our current limited idea of freedom: that I can do any goddamn thing I want on my property; that I am my own boss and don't want government interference; that I don't want anybody telling me what I can and can't do; that we've had too much regulation, and so on. This is the freedom of a teen-age boy.

From America on the Couch, Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture by Pythia Peay.

Touch One Moment!

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently… As if it is the axis on which the earth revolves. Slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.
When you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything. When you touch one moment with deep awareness, you touch all moments."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Intention for Today

Being Peace

I trust how I’m evolved
Eyes simple and compound
I bend to hold what comes
Circle root, stem, and ground

Morning Thoughts!

My brother will start chemotherapy on Monday.

bardcat posts this: Fear & Hatred ~
600 people showed up one night this week at the old courthouse in the town where I live.
With the exception of a single voice, a Jewish woman, the three hour gathering protested the creation of a mosque and cemetery on 120 acres owned by our Muslim friends.
A Southern Baptist preacher joined the crowd and spoke of the danger of a place for Muslims to worship. Not sure the cemetery idea bothered him much.
No other clergy, if there, said a word. Reminds me of the early days of the civil rights movement.
A woman said, “We got a Muslim president eight years ago who only supports Muslims.”
A man said, “A place like this would only draw terrorists to our town.”
The undercurrent was like this: ‘The U.S. Constitution be damned. We got our Bibles we follow.’
I kindly suggest the folks in the crowd do not know the Constitution or follow the Bible.
The commission voted a six week moratorium on licenses for any religious organization while they whispered with their lawyers.

I am sobered by this. I think Trump and the Republican party have stirred up such hatred, that whether or not Hillary wins, we may not be able to be brought back together as a nation. Perhaps it is a minority that kills the dog of a family who places a pro-Hillary sign in their yard in Texas. Perhaps these are isolated cases, at least that is what I want to say to myself, but then, Jeff posts the above, and I wonder how there can be so much hatred in this country right now.

We have so much. Is that the problem? I recently read Sebastian Junger's book Tribe, On Homecoming and Belonging. Do we need war to come together, crisis? Can't we come together in peace, recognizing each one of us comes to our own conclusions, has our own needs, but ultimately we share a planet, rich and abundant enough to feed us all, educate us all, and yet, there is this fear, of what?

I am of an age where I might prefer to be clothed on the beach. Sunblock isn't great for the skin, so unless I am swimming I wear long sleeves and long pants. How is it not okay if another chooses to be clothed on the beach? How does that threaten me? I keep trying to understand, and more and more I come to knowing I need to nurture peace from within, to gently stroke the softness there, the tenderness, the vulnerability, the love. I don't want to hate. I will not hate, so it seems of late almost a conscious need to every moment, moment after moment, moment by moment, to offer blossoms to the world, a world I love, a world for which I am grateful and for which I care.

I am with the words of Rumi: There is a fountain inside of you. Don't walk around with an empty bucket.


I'm Toastmaster tonight at my Toastmasters club and I'm perusing John Fox's book, Finding What You Didn't Lose in a search for ease and insight.

I come across these quotes:

Brenda Ueland: Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illumined perhaps, and forever talked to by God and his messengers.

Rabindranath Tagore: Children with the freshness of their senses come directly to the intimacy of this world. This is the first great gift they have.

Rainer Maria Rilke: Almost all of our sadnesses are moments of paralysis of feeling when we can no longer hear our surprised feelings living.

e.e . cummings: It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.

Announcing Revitalizing!

This morning, I am with self-motivation. It's so easy to go "slack". I'm working to avoid that, to hold the tension in the opposites, to hold and know my center, and allow it both softness and strength. I want to be vulnerable with myself.

I know that creativity is an act of self-love. In cultivating my creativity, I inspire on self-love, and in that, am more visible. Hmmmm!

I want to integrate the parts of my life, to not keep anything separate. Two words are guiding me right now: Integration and Visibility. I call it my Interval IV. I bring forth. I nourish from within.

I announce this here because it seems part of visibility, part of being visible to myself as I curl and curve and circulate to allow myself to unfold, to unfold into being integrated, visible and whole.

Listening -

This morning I am with listening. A meadowlark has been hopping in the tree outside my window. All seems quiet. Is it?

The Silence of the Stars

When Laurens van der Post one night
In the Kalihari Desert told the Bushmen
He couldn't hear the stars
Singing, they didn't believe him. They looked at him,
Half-smiling. They examined his face
To see whether he was joking
Or deceiving them. Then two of those small men
Who plant nothing, who have almost
Nothing to hunt, who live
On almost nothing, and with no one
But themselves, led him away
From the crackling thorn-scrub fire
And stood with him under the night sky
And listened. One of them whispered,
Do you not hear them now?
And van der Post listened, not wanting
To disbelieve, but had to answer,
No. They walked him slowly
Like a sick man to the small dim
Circle of firelight and told him
They were terribly sorry,
And he felt even sorrier
For himself and blamed his ancestors
For their strange loss of hearing,
Which was his loss now. On some clear nights
When nearby houses have turned off their televisions,
When the traffic dwindles, when through streets
Are between sirens and the jets overhead
Are between crossings, when the wind
Is hanging fire in the fir trees,
And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove
Between calls is regarding his own darkness,
I look at the stars again as I first did
To school myself in the names of constellations
And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,
I can still hear what I thought
At the edge of silence where the inside jokes
Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,
The C above high C of my inner ear, myself
Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:
My fair share of the music of the spheres
And clusters of ripening stars,
Of the songs from the throats of the old gods
Still tending even tone-deaf creatures
Through their exiles in the desert.

~ David Wagoner ~

(Traveling Light)

Mothers -

We each have or have had one. This came from Writer's Almanac yesterday, August 18th. http://writersalmanac.org/page/2/

On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote. The first national constitutional amendment had been proposed in Congress in 1878, and in every Congress session after that. Finally, in 1919, it narrowly passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the states to be ratified. Most Southern states opposed the amendment, and on August 18, 1920, it all came down to Tennessee. The pro-amendment faction wore yellow roses in their lapels, and the "anti" faction wore red American Beauty roses. It was a close battle and the state legislature was tied 48 to 48. The decision came down to one vote: that of 24-year-old Harry Burn, the youngest state legislator. He had been expected to vote against it, but he had in his pocket a note from his mother, which read: "Dear Son: Hurrah, and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt. I noticed some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the 'rat' in ratification. Your Mother." He voted in favor of the amendment.

I must admit I've been a little down about the political situation. Where do we put ethics, morality and honesty amidst all this, but reading this today gives me hope. Women can vote, and we will.

William Stafford -

The poems and integrity of William Stafford came up many times in the poetry workshop of this weekend. Tonight, I sit and read his words over and over, with intention to embody and wake.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other


If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the
and following the wrong god home we may miss
our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each
elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.