May 22nd, 2006

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Morning Flow -

Here is my morning flow.   Jane was thinking about emergence when she wrote her poem, though she didn’t feel she went there.  She went within.  We agree that her theme seems to have touched my poems,  though I thought I was more in the celebration of rest and renewal, and yes, that allows emergence, and allowance is big for me right now.  I notice that my hair looks like that of a newborn’s.  It is soft and fluffy, and frames my face, but is still not over-abundant, and that way I can see.  My eyes are wide as I take in this new world.  I feel myself stepping like a child into it, looking, then, crawling, and I am beginning to stand.  The world is new for me, both within and without.   Here is my morning flow.


Rest and Renewal


I sleep deeply now,

dream of playgrounds

and long slides

with no end -

I slide down feet first

allowing the glide

as it turns.

I am the stream

burning the rocks

with motion,

stamping them with knowing

that movement comes

from within the without.

I am a fast-moving stream.

The time for eddies is past,

and the ocean nears.

The hand calls the fingers

to close.

The opening -

I can’t imagine -

I’m still the slide.





warmth today looking out

fog slides a trombone of notes

across the sky,

then,  a blast.

I hear Louis Armstrong cohere,

and then little gazelle feet tapping,

my dance.

I find the footholds on the mountain

and clasp

my own horn

and touch it to the sky,

a unicorn branch

for the wind to stroke as it glides,

a bow for the arrows resting inside. 



Inside Out




I am the door

and inside, outside

I am the river and the storm,

          the ocean, an animal

              pawing the sand.

I am the land, a womb,

the triangle where creation waves,

          points,  like flags,

stand here and there and everywhere,

          on one hand and the other,

crave the literal, metaphorical, archetypal,

          merge and mine,

          mind, body, spirit,

brave the tree, and climb down,

into the savanna grasses, wands for legs.

          Enter, and out, the cave.

            Enjoy the particle spice of each wave.

                       Cinnamon on fun.




My hair is growing out

like a baby’s.

I feel myself like a fast moving stream

no curves, no eddies -

I see the world whole -

my eyes look for patterns -

each moment the first,

I cohere.  


I wondered about my image of the unicorn as a gazelle.  I google’d it, and discovered the Shadhavar of Persian myths.  It resembles a gazelle with a single hollow horn.  When the wind blows over and through the holes in the horn, beautiful music is produced.  I had the image without the  myth.  Now, I have both, and so, if you did not before, do you.


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Jane's Poem of Today!!

I dusted the piano and the china cabinet, wiped the table and the countertops with soapy water, shined the mirrors, washed the sinks, made up the bed and mopped the floors, folded laundry, sewed three dangling buttons on and mended the shoulder seam of the orange satin blouse his mother gave me. Then I ironed sleeves and collars, plackets, cuffs. All of it driven by a longing to touch my life, hold it near.

    - Jane Flint  

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quote -

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage."

-- Lao Tzu


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The National Anthem -

Back in the January-Febuary issue of The Atlantic, Garrison Keillor wrote some poems that were his interpretations of how others might write the national anthem.  I suggested you each do your own version.  A letter in the May issue of the Atlantic suggests a new anthem.  I like Keillor's reply and place it here.

    It is a bold idea, dear reader, to suggest that someone write a new national anthem, but there's nobody who could do it, and only a fool would try. Think about the poems written for inaugurations: they all got decent burials, and nobody will ever read them again.  Francis Scott Key's magnificent poem isn't about national power and triumph; it's about survival, and that is its brilliance as a national anthem - so much is left unsaid.  The song has been abused by aging divas and faded pop stars and every soloist who ever sang it, but when it's put in the people's key and sung by a crowd, it's thrilling. People think they don't know the words, but they do. You come to "land of the free" and the sopranos rise up like angels, and the "home of the brave" is majestic, and everybody feels great at the end.

I digest that.  I like his words, and I would like to see a world anthem.  I consider the controversy about the national anthem being sung in Spanish.  I think Francis Scott Key is probably thrilled it is still sung, and probably he doesn't care about the language in which it is sung.

I read this in the NY Times today.  "A new U.S. antimissile site in Europe would be designed to stop attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies."   I continue to wonder why we have money for a whole new project for defense, and nothing for the deteriorating infrastructure in this country.  I guess the difference is there are no limits on money for defense.  It is more fun to bid on those projects, and the bidders are the friends of our ever-so-friendly leaders.  They are all buddies. 

I am reading a wonderful book called The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.  Jim, our horse therapy leader, mentioned it to a woman who was surprised when he said there are societies where cooperation is the norm.  The people do not compete against each other.  They unite to ignite.   What a concept!   I recommend the book.  It is about "transforming your relationship with money and life."
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Thich Nhat Hanh -

Thich Nhat Hanh says, "A tiny bud of a smile on our lips nourishes awareness and calms us miraculously. It returns us to the peace we thought we had lost."

There are buds all over today.  Let the "tiny bud" of your smile be a blossom among them.   Smile, and feel your own sweet nectar swell toward the light. 
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another poem by W. S. Merwin -


Is anyone there
if so
are you real
either way are you
one or several
if the latter
are you all at once
or do you
take turns not answering

is your answer
the question itself
surviving the asking
without end
whose question is it
how does it begin
where does it come from
how did it ever
find out about you
over the sound
of itself
with nothing but its own
ignorance to go by

W. S. Merwin
Migration: New and Selected Poems
Copper Canyon Press
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connecting the dots -

Amazon has given me free two day shipping for three months.  They are giving me a chance to try out how wonderful it is, so I will be addicted to no book taking longer than two days to get here, and so will pay $79.00 per year for the privilege.  I just ordered a book and I must admit it is pretty fun.  The book will be here Wednesday, and,  of course, for right now, it is free, and will continue to seem that way, I am sure, if I pay with my credit card the yearly rate.  For now, free delivery for three months.  Now, is that a good thing?

I note that Google has a Sherlock Holme's like character today as part of their Google Logo, and so, I am thinking it must be the birthday of Sherlock, but now, I realize it is probably a nod to The Da Vinci Code, which is taking us all over, with pieces of intrigue, mystery, and solving of code.   The world is rich indeed, rich enough for a multitude of beliefs. 
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a real James Bond -

There is a delightful article in the New Yorker this week on Patrick Leigh Fermor, a man who was "a major in the Special Operatives Executive, a secret outfit established by the British to carry out clandestine sabotage, and to support local resistance movements, behind enemy lines."  The article is written by Anthony Lane, and the last paragraph is a treasure.  I place it here. 

     My abiding memory of Patrick Leigh Fermor comes from Crete, eight years ago.  We had spent time there, and I wanted to know how he would be returning to the mainland: a flight to Athens, presumably, followed by a taxi to the Mani.  On the contrary, he said; he would board the overnight ferry.  I offered at least to book him a cabin, since the night could be cold.  (This to a man who knows as much as anyone alive about sleeping under the stars.)  He smiled, and replied that he would prefer a chair on deck, adding,  '"My dear boy, I have a bottle of red wine and a copy of 'Persuasion.'  What more could I possibly need?"  Within that question like the two competing virtues that have fed his prose and fuelled his inimitable life: a settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere.  Here he was, at eighty-three, taking ship in the company of Jane Austen, one of his few peers in the art of the imperturbable.  I could well imagine the pair of them at close of day: side by side, exchanging compliments, taking a little wine, and watching the old world slip away.

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quote -

Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless mystery it is.  In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

    - Frederick Buechner
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Rilke -

Here is Rilke, as translated by Robert Bly.

    I love the dark hours of my being
    in which my senses drop into the deep.
    I have found in them, as in old letters,
    My private life, that is already lived through,
    And become wide and powerful now, like legends.
    Then I know that there is room in me
    For a second huge and timeless life.

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"Change the dream."

In The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist writes of John Perkins who heads his own organization called the Dream Change Coalition.   In his work with indigenous Amazonian people, he has learned that the job is to "change the dream" of the modern world.    What does that mean?

Lynne writes:

    "Changing the dream may really mean to see the world completely differently - as indigenous people do.  They see a world that is totally suffficient, animated with spirit, intelligent, mystical, responsive, and creative - constantly generating and regenerating itself in harmony with the great diversity of resources that support and collaborate with one another through the mystery of life.  They see human beings as part of that great mystery, each human being having an infinite capacity to create, collaborate, and contribute."

She quotes "Inuit Wisdom." 

    "Words do not label things already there.  Words are like the knife of a carver.  They free the idea, the thing, from the general formlessness of the outside.  As a man speaks, not only is his language in a state of birth, but also the very thing about which he is talking."

She reminds us of Bush's response to 9-11.  Go shopping.   What kind of response is that?   The American flag was portrayed as a giant shopping bag, with the words, "America Open for Business."   Rather sick, isn't it, since, then, we decided we had to kill other people from a country that wasn't even involved. 

Lynne quotes the Indian scholar Shantideva:

    While " we have no hope of finding enough leather to cover the earth so that we never prick our feet on a thorn, actually we do not need to.  Enough to cover the soles of our feet will suffice."

She reminds us again of the wonderful words of Teilhard de Chardin: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience."

Lynne sees our use of money as "a direct expression of one's deepest sense of self."  It is a practice, and we work at it.   We work at it everyday.

Amazingly, a friend calls and we have a good discussion on this subject of money, energy, passion, and where our focus is now.  She and I are each a bit in the unknowing right now, and that is okay.  Our intention is set.   May we each find, follow,  and fulfill our bliss, as Joseph Campbell suggests we do.