January 1st, 2006

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The New Year Is Here!!

I wake, full, grateful, and happy to greet the delicacy of this new year.

I start the new year, looking both back and forward, honoring memories of the past and intention for the future, even as I stand firmly in the present.

This poem by Robert Bly is a reminder.


It's morning; there's lamplight, and the room is still.
All night as we slept, memory flowed
Onto the brain shore. Memories rise and fall
And leave behind a delicate openness to death.

Almost a longing to die. That longing
Is like rain on canyon ground, only droplets.
And the brain is like brown sand, it stretches
On and on, and it absorbs the rain.

What is a poem? "Oh it is some remembering,"
A woman said to me. "Thousands of years ago,
When I stood by a grave, a woman handed
Me a small bone made red with ochre.

"It was a poem about heaven, and I wept so."
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New Year!

I am savoring my steps into this first tender sprout of a new year. Soon, it will branch, but, for now, it is like the bare willow branch just waiting to dance into spring.

Steve and I walk along the marsh this morning. It is still. My feet are healed. I light two candles, and meditate, place my 2006 Reading Woman calendar on the wall, and peruse my books.

I suggest a wonderful book to treat yourself to in this new year, "The Subject Tonight is Love, 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz." Daniel Ladinsky is the translator.   I try and choose one poem to share, and I want to burst all of them over your heads like pollen in spring.  How to choose, and I do.   This one!

    Because of Our Wisdom

In many parts of this world water is
        Scarce and precious.

    People sometimes have to walk
               A great distance

    Then carry heavy jugs upon their

Because of our wisdom, we will travel
                 Far for love.

        All movement is a sign of

    Most speaking really says,
       "I am hungry to know you."

  Every desire of your body is holy;

     Every desire of your body is

                    Dear one,
       Why wait until you are dying

          To discover that divine

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One More!!

Hafiz as translated by Daniel Ladinsky:

    No Other Kind of Light

Find that flame, that existence,

        That Wonderful Man

Who can burn beneath the water.

        No other kind of light

        Will cook the food you