January 20th, 2006

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This morning!

Softness this morning as I sit now absorbing what Jane and I share.  She tells me it is my job right now to tell you how I feel, and I am coming to understand that it is my job, and each of our jobs, to come to understanding of how we really feel.   Jane and I chose the word "Hop" this morning as our way to begin.  I thought I could do Hop.  Here is what came in my morning flow.

January 20, 2006 


Such a happy word.  Hop!!
Just saying it, my electrons jump
to new levels and frisbees spin -
I feel myself whirl like a top,
until the bones ask
for rest
and ways
to straighten
the waves of the aches,
and anchor the pain
that is guest.


I dial a wrong number this morning -
such a sweet voice at
7 AM -
A hopeful tone for the day
like seeing a bird
looping the ends of the sky
again and again


weariness in my bones,
achiness, pain -
I want to hop like a bunny,
but I am asked to sit
like the grass
and feel what dwells within -


a place to rest

the wind moves the grass,
nudges, the grass shifts back,

waving a flag

of persistence, insistence,

that strand  of life rising from the ground

producing oxygen,

and a place to lie down -



where jane goes

she throws the poem out
like a rope
and then lets go -
gathers it from the ground
and molds a crown
holding us all,
in gold -


nothing to push through
just spread the cells
like legs
and waltz on dew -

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from Jane today!!

In between rains is the moment of first awakening.

First comes light, the exhale, then space.

Someone turns on the heat inside this house.

Its purr consoles the suffering of dreams.

There is longing in the leaving.

All mysteries are revealed when we die.

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Kabir -


The shadows of evening grow deep

while love comes in

to soothe every mind and body.


Look out toward the West

And see the fading light of the sun.

Look within yourself

And see an endless sky of light.

Drink the nectar

from the petals of your heart

and let the waves

sweep through your body.


What glory in that ocean! Listen!

The sound of conches!

The sound of bells! Kabir says,

“O brother, listen! The Lord of all

 is playing His song within you!”




Quoted in Blaze the Trail of Equipoise

Published by Siddha Yoga
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Viktor Frankl

Words from Viktor Frankl, in his book "Man's Search for Meaning."

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked throughout the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

"Every prisoner had a moral choice to make," he says, "to surrender one's inner self to the Nazis, or to find the meaning in one's life that would give one the strength to go on."
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This morning while I was in my writing experience with Jane, I could hear Steve in the background talking to Mandu.  I sent Steve this poem, which came,  just for him.  I keep myself fairly private, I realize, about those things where I am most touched.  I sent this to Steve.  I share it now with you.  It seems okay to do.   

            Steve’s Voice

                   the hive,
            the honey, the bees
            that come
            from the flowers
            in the fields
            from the wisdom
             that thrums -

He replied: 

    I love this poem - and I appreciate that you enjoy my voice. I take great delight in your lilting voice as well; often when you are not even aware that I am listening.

     this is what love's about, and why it takes so long. I am not listening to the sound you make, but hearing the spirit behind that sound. for most of us, it just takes a long time to get around the loud voice of the self we listen to from birth, in order to hear the softer (and more beautiful) voice of the Self.

     I love you!!



I wrote a comment to National Geographic on the February 2006 article on Love.  I felt it missed some major points.  This is what I said. 

      Mark Twain said it took 25 years to know love.  Reading Lauren Slater’s article on “True Love,” I was struck by our paucity of words for love.  She seems to be speaking, at first, of lust, and maybe, by the end of her article she is coming to an understanding of more, through her comments on the hormone oxytocin, but, I think that Mark Twain is right on the time required for love.  A friend of mine works in a fertility clinic.  Some couples come in and discover they are not conceiving because they have been too busy to have sex.  Slater writes of hormones, but maybe love is simpler than that.  I’m going through chemo, and my husband loves the touch of my bare head.  Where some husbands are appalled, mine sees beauty.  Perhaps that is the novelty triggering dopamine, but isn’t it more romantic to imagine all that he sees in me, over all the years that have been and will come.  I think the place to learn of love is in poetry, the poetry monitoring our heart. 

Perhaps I am feeling particularly sensitive on this subject right now, as I just read a most beautiful love story that I highly recommend, "Sky Burial,"  by Xinran.  Not only is it an incredible  love story, but it, also,  gives a wonderful history and experience of China and Tibet.

      Bokonon said, “Let your life be the poem you write.”  

 I say, Let that life, that poem, be an infusion and absorption of the many petals of love.   There are multitudes of ways to bloom.

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Poet Forough Farokhzad!

Forough Farokhzad is, according to Meetra A. Sofia, translator of the following poem and others, "Iran's greatest contemporary poet, one of the most influential writers of the Middle East, and one of the world's best loved women poets of the twentieth century. During her short lifetime Forough became a legend." She died in 1967, at the age of thirty-two, in a car accident. Here is one of her poems.

Birds Will Die

My heart is sad and heavy
My heart is sad and heavy

I go out onto the porch
And bury my fingers into the outstretched skin of the night

The stars are not shining
The neighbor's lights have been put out

Nobody is going to introduce me to the sun
No one is going to invite me to have tea with the sparrows

Birds will die
Learn from them how to fly
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The Velveteen Rabbit!

Candice wisely points out that talk of true love must include the Velveteen Rabbit.   Of course, it is best to read the whole wonderful story by Margery Williams, but here is an excerpt on how How Toys Become Real.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

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Mandu -

Vicki,  in reading about the wondrous majesty and care of the incredibly astute and loving Mandu,  is reminded of these lines by Stanley Kunitz from his poem "Route Six."

The lines:

    "...Celia, our transcendental cat.
    past mistress of all languages,
    including Hottentot and silence."