November 19th, 2006

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Good Morning!!

The wedding yesterday was lovely.  I love weddings, and this one was an especially beautiful celebration.   Two wonderful  people are now joined in Holy Matrimony.  How resonant and sacred those words!

Here is a poem by Linda Pastan.   Joyce sent it to me saying how perfect it was for yesterday.  The fog is in today and it is cozy, and I am in nesting mode, and this poem is perfect also for today.

The Birds

 are heading south, pulled
 by a compass in the genes.
 They are not fooled
 by this odd November summer,
 though we stand in our doorways
 wearing cotton dresses.
 We are watching them

 as they swoop and gather--
 the shadow of wings
 falls over the heart.
 When they rustle among
 the empty branches, the trees
 must think their lost leaves
 have come back.

 The birds are heading south,
 instinct is the oldest story.
 They fly over their doubles,
 the mute weathervanes,
 teaching all of us
 with their tailfeathers
 the true north.

    - Linda Pastan
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Instinct -

We are instinctual creatures, and I woke this morning thinking of why it would be important in our nature to stay away from those who are sick.  They might have an infection that could sweep through the whole tribe.  It makes sense.  I think we have an instinctual fear of the "stranger," because who knows what disease they may bring, and yet, as I think on it many native peoples did not have that instinct.  Otherwise, they might be in better shape today.  The Polynesians were welcoming.   The Native American tribes also welcomed and then were often decimated by disease, so, perhaps it is not instinctual, but learned, and that means that, in these times, where diseases are so often healed, we might re-program what may be there.
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Ah, chaos -

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."

                            -- Nietzsche

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Verlyn Klinkeborg - November -

The Rural Life

A Private Month

Published: November 19, 2006

By now, the wind has emptied the milkweed pods. The goldenrod has gone mousy. All the leaves are down, except for a few tenacious oaks and beeches and an ornamental dogwood that is a reprise of the entire season. Each tree looks more singular — and the woods more intimate — in this bare month than in the thickness of summer. October’s memory seems a little lurid from the perspective of mid-November. The sumacs down by the road might have been reading Swinburne the way they caught fire and expired, vaingloriously, in last month’s light. But now that drama is over, as if the year had come up hard on a plain, Puritan truth and was the better for it.

I used to hate November up here — a month of freezing rain and inconclusive light. It brought out my most urban sentiments, a reluctant longing for the enclosure of the city, its containment and warmth and distraction and all those lights. Up here we are no more vulnerable to the prevailing wind than we were in August, when the trees still had leaves, but it feels as though we are. I still can’t get over the size of the November night. And yet my old disgust with the month is somehow slipping away.

I suppose this is partly the snobbery of place. October’s vivid colors are a public spectacle. You can take them in even through the tinted windows of a chartered coach lumbering down the road. You can track the peak of the foliage as though it were just another commodity fluctuating in price. But nobody really chronicles when the lights go out in the goldenrod or when, all at once, the most luminous color in the landscape becomes the green of the moss that grows on the ledge outcrops in the woods. These are private gratifications, the kind that come not from passing by but from staying put.

I have been replacing fence up here this fall, and the other morning I walked along the western property line, where the next stretch of new fence will go. This is the edge of the hemlock woods, where the ground is either bedrock or fungus. A few yards further in, there is a gorge with an intermittent stream. Most of the time the water goes underground well above our land, leaving the rockfall dry. But after heavy rains the gorge sometimes flows with the sound of a heavy wind. That morning was one of those times. In that somber place, as dark and deep as the month we’re in, a stream was now rushing, not in flood, perilously, but working its way down the rocks, carrying the broken light of the sky with it. Another day or two, and the gorge would be dry again, leaving me to imagine the subterranean course of that stream.

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Evening -

I am with the purchasing and preparing of food today, the wonderful gift of that.

Today, Tiger hopped out the door and romped in the yard a bit as we watched.   Usually, the deck is the only outdoor spot for Tiger and Bella, but he ran from tree to tree and rubbed against the bark and even climbed a bit, and then, dropped down.  Just as the first time they went outside, I felt I was at the beginning of creation.  I was seeing everything new, just like Tiger.  It was exciting.  We are all tucked now, and excited about the coming holiday.   I feel so grateful and I am noticing how much I miss my mother.  I open my cookbooks and there are old birthday cards from her as bookmarks.  Her cards were so carefully chosen, and I feel a pang as I see her handwriting.   Jane's mother is staying at her place for awhile until she feels a little better, and Jane and I are both feeling our mothers come into the book.  It is rightly so.

Happy three days until Thanksgiving, and yet, every day is a day of giving thanks.
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In preparation for tomorrow -

Here is Ted Kooser's morning poem from November 20th.

     november 20

          Clear and still, a heavy frost.

          The pale gray road lit only by stars.
          A rabbit runs ahead, then stops
          at the edge of the sound of my footsteps,
          then runs ahead and stops again,
          trembling in darkness
          on the cold outer rim of the present.

May we live in the warm hug of the present, stand within the rim.
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Interpreting with a smile -

Someone just sent this to me.   Pretty cute!

Here are some really funny answers given by children on tests .......enjoy

These answers come from a Catholic elementary school test. Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by children.

1. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off.

2. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was Joan of Ark. Noah built and ark and the animals came on in pears.

3. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

4. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic genitals.

5. Sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.

6. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.

7. Moses led the Jews to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.

8. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to mount cyanide to get the ten commandments.

9. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

10. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

11. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.

12. The greatest miricle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

13. David was a hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. He fought the finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.

14. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

15. When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the magna carta.

16. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived they found Jesus in the manager.

17. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.

18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

19. Jesus enunciated the golden rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained a man doth not live by sweat alone.

20. It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.

22. The epistels were the wives of the apostles.

23. One of the oppossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.

24. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity, he preached holy acrimony which is another name for marraige.

25. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.



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Rumi -

               Birdwings by Rumi

    Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror
    up to where you're bravely working.

    Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
    here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.

    Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
    If it were always a fist or always stretched open
                    you would be paralyzed.

    Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
               and expanding,
        the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
                                as birdwings.
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the power of love -

    Someday, after mastering winds, waves,
        tides and gravity, we shall harness the energy of love;
            and for the second time in the history of the world,
                                man will have discovered fire.

           - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin  - paleontologist and philosopher
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Hope -

Hope is like a road in the country;
    there never was a road, but when many people walk on it,
             the road comes into existence.

                   Lin Yutang,  Chinese author and activist