March 16th, 2006

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Good Morning!!

I first typed God Morning. Perhaps, it is that, and Goddess Morning too. The garbage trucks are rumbling, and I am feeling juicy joy, like an orange, squeezed. I woke in the night at various times to the sound of rain and exulted in the sound and presence of rain. It is a friend hugging me close. I felt drawn out of the house by the rain even as I was warmly in it. There are just a few drops in this moment, a residue, and that, too, feels just right. I see how I am drawn out of myself and into a fuller wholeness both, in the silence, and in the rain. Today, I feel wonderfully whole within myself, and in, and with my place in the world.
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English is Odd!! Enjoy!!

This comes in an email. Ponder and enjoy!

Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this .

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UPthe kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so............ Time to shut UP.....! more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U-P
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Morning and Mourning -

I found myself saying to Jane this morning that, lately, each time I type "Good Morning," I find myself feeling and thinking "Good Mourning," and maybe that really is what I am in right now, mourning. The rain feels symbolic as I find my eyes so often full and moist. I am not sad, just feeling whole and rich and grateful, and maybe sad. It is like I feel so clearly each breath, the in and out, the expansion and contraction, the choice in staying here, yep, another breath, even as each breath brings us closer to the final letting go. I watch the breath now in Mandu, as I did my mother near the end. Is he breathing? Yes, he is, and I found myself today feeling how when a baby births, the placenta is no longer needed. Isn't it the same when we die? The body buried as the soul soars in another, until birthed, unseen sky.
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Morning flow -

Morning Flow

When I feel well
and my family, friends,
cat and plants
are well,
then, the rain beating on the roof
day after day
is a welcome,
tap of presence,
and care.
When I am down,
I fee fi fo fum,
in a stew of beans,
and fallen stalks.

Softly this morning,
the heater purrs,
accompaniment for my cat.
The day outside is wet,
shooting down, then, up,
exploding in leaves in the plants.
Moisture inside,
honors the routes,
what keeps us alive.

I look through
the past, those daily steps
walked all over,
a brand new map.
I hoist the kitten into the air,
the kitten, now a cat,
stalking, catching,
combing the house for rats,
until, slow steps,
Time wraps,
nose to tail.

The transitioning cocoon,
lays down
new bounds
of birth,
as the caterpillar
to leave
the earth.


as the breath
of our elders
leads the way -

as the breath
lets go,
and returns to earth -

the body, like placenta,
inhalation opens
a birth.
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Poem by Li-Young Lee

The Hammock

When I lay my head in my mother’s lap
I think how day hides the stars,
the way I lay hidden once, waiting
inside my mother’s singing to herself. And I remember
how she carried me on her back
between home and the kindergarten,
once each morning and once each afternoon.

I don’t know what my mother’s thinking.

When my son lays his head in my lap, I wonder:
Do his father’s kisses keep his father’s worries
from becoming his? I think, Dear God, and remember
there are stars we haven’t heard from yet:
They have so far to arrive. Amen,
I think, and I feel almost comforted.

I’ve no idea what my child is thinking.

Between two unknowns, I live my life.
Between my mother’s hopes, older than I am
by coming before me, and my child’s wishes, older than I am
by outliving me. And what’s it like?
Is it a door, and good-bye on either side?
A window, and eternity on either side?
Yes, and a little singing between two great rests.

   Li-Young Lee
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words of Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee:

"There is only ever one subject when you are writing a poem. Most human sounds are made with the out-going breath. ... When we breathe in, we feel comfortable. We can breathe in almost indefinitely. ... A poem is a score for human speech. All poems are done with the dying breath. ... A poem is a score for our dying. That's the subject - the dying breath ... and how do you ransom the dying breath. ... Hopefully as you die and exhale your poem, hopefully, someone else is inhaling."

"All art is Yogic. It yokes us ... to experience the reality. ... We have huge deep spaces inside of us. ... poetry is a way to inflect that silence. ... That body of silence is huge. ... The mission of poetry is to give us back our solitude. "
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another poem by Li-Young Lee -

Somehow this morning his poems, his words, are what I need to inhale.

Tearing the Page
by Li-young Lee

Every wise child is sad.

Every prince, is a member of the grass.

Each bud opening opens on the unforeseen.

Every wind-strewn flower is God tearing God.

And the stars are leaves
blown across my grandmother’s lap.
Or the dew multiplying.

And of time’s many hands, who can tell
the bloody from the perfumed,

the ones that stitch
from the ones that rip.

Every laughing child is forgetful.
Every solitary child rules the universe.

And the child who can’t sleep
learns to count, a patient child.

And the child who counts negotiates
between limit and longing,
infinity and subtraction.

Every child who listens
all night to the wind eventually

knows his breathing turns a wheel
pouring time and dream to leave no trace.

Though he can’t tell what a minute weighs,
or is an hour too little or too long.

As old as night itself,
he’s not old enough in the morning
to heat his milk on the stove.

But he knows about good-byes.
Some of them, anyway. The good-bye
at the door each morning, a kiss for a kiss.
The good-bye at bedtime,
stories and songs until it’s safe to close his eyes.

And maybe he’s even heard about the waiting room
at Union Station, where dust and echoes climb
to the great skylights

accompanied by farewells
of the now-going, to join the distant
farewells of the long gone,

while a voice announces the departure
of the Twentieth Century for all points West.

Yes, every wise child is heart-broken.
A sorrowing pip,

he knows the play
he’s called away from each evening
is the beginning and end of order
in a human household.

He’s sure his humming to himself
and his rising and falling ball are appointed
by ancient laws his own heart-tides obey.

But he can’t tell anybody what he knows.

Old enough to knot his shoelaces,
he’s not old enough to unknot them.

Old enough to pray, he doesn’t always
know who to pray to.

Old enough to know to close the window
when it storms, old enough to know the rain,
given the chance, would fall on him,

and darken him, and darken him, the way
he himself colors the figures
he draws, pressing so hard he tears the page.

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Evening -

The rain comes down, after a bout of hail. My friend Karen came by and we each had a glass of wine, and talked about what evolves for each of us, in this moment, and the next.
Then, an old friend calls from the past. I bring her up to date on what is going up with me. The last time I saw her we gathered wood on the beach and she was showing me how to carve. She has Parkinson's Disease and is a dynamo in the Parkinson's community and a drumming community she created to help elders and others, and probably every community she touches. Well, she had a lot to say in guidance for me. So, I sit here tonight, feeling like this is the best I have felt in over six months, and I know there is more to go, and already, doors are opening in the most delightful of ways. How can I not believe in the beauty, wonder, and connectiveness of this world? Mandu and I are both quite fine tonight, and I hope so are you.