April 18th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

Steve said this morning that, "Enthusiasm is the engine of the world."   I like that.   He has a great new elevator idea, a glass elevator with a glass counter-weight.  Imagine watching a glass counter-weight move up and down opposite you.  I have stood on top of an elevator cab as it went up and down and it is pretty exciting to do so.   This would re-create the feeling, only it would be like magic.  It feels like Cinderella's glass slipper at the ball.  We will see.   Buildings codes are not easily changed.

I feel well this morning and ready to go back in on the book and polish, just polish.  The hard work is done.  What a relief!

Someone spoke yesterday of pregnancy, of having life within, creation, a being.  It is quite amazing and those days are no longer possible for me, at least not in the form of a little person birth, but I see that those days of the womb and creativity are always there for us, both male and female.  There is a great deal to ferment within, and there is always something new to brew.

May today bring creativity and life to the song you are here to hear and sing.
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There is a new film called Waitress which is billed as an ode to pies.  I love to make and I love to eat pies.  It reminds me of our many car trips when I was a child when we stopped in the middle of the night for a piece of pie.  Nobody seemed to gain weight in those days.  We ate and ate and all was just fine.  Now, people look askance at the thought of a piece of pie, but a movie like this may change things, or not.  It sounds like fun, and it definitely is fun to make a pie - pumpkin, apple, lemon, blueberry, cherry, chocolate.  At Christmas I make a crimson pie with blueberries, cranberries and half an orange.   Yum!

This, though is strawberry shortcake time.  Again, Yum!

I can tell my mind is not on the book and that my hands and tummy are thinking of fillings and dough.  It is time to turn the layers of my mind toward work and words.   The pie and shortcake await, though perhaps there is also a place to consider dinner and dessert!
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Irreverent Perhaps!

Jane and I had forgotten that in January of 2005 we were sending poems back and forth and then we both got busy and forgot.

I come across a poem from that time and it relates to pie - what a surprise - and my reach to understand what images mean  -  where we see sacrifice and where we fulfill.   I intend no disrespect but I have always been entranced with the Christmas ornament I saw in Bangkok which was of Santa Claus on the cross.   Was intention mangled?   Was it irreverent, confused, humorous or simply commerce?   It is what we choose to see.  Images form and reform and give us what we need.

                                Image A La Mode

                                     Desiring to fill,
                      I replace the emaciated image of Jesus
                            pinched and nailed to the cross
                         with one of Laughing Buddha standing,
                                     arms raised in embrace
                                        connecting earth and sky.

                                                    Touch  Down!

                          I see the Buddha in the center of the cross
                                                 savoring Apple Pie!


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Hafiz -

Here is a poem by Hafiz giving us all we need - Love.

Poem by Hafiz

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one's self.

O I know the way you can get
if you have not been out drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's

That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
And Wanting,
Just Wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me,
For I am a Sweet Old Vagabond
With an Infinite Leaking Barrel
Of Light and Laughter and truth
That the Beloved has tied to my back.

Dear one,
Indeed, please bring your heart near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!


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Pablo Neruda asks -

                “Where is the center of the sea?

                                      Why do waves never go there?

                                        Pablo Neruda 

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Change -

Chris sends this.

This is a video of the Carpenters, complete with full orchestra, doing a rather bizarre cover of a rather bizarre song.

The idea for this track was suggested by an actual event that is described in The Flying Saucer Reader, a book by Jay David published in 1967. In March 1953 an organization known as the "International Flying Saucer Bureau" sent a bulletin to all its members urging them to participate in an experiment termed "World Contact Day" whereby, at a predetermined date and time, they would attempt to collectively send out a telepathic message to visitors from outer space. The message began with the words..."Calling occupants of interplanetary craft!"


In checking it out, I found this.   This was "our" song.  How young we were.   : )     And still are, of course.


You will have to cut and paste the addresses into the browser.  They are not coming up in blue.  I listen to the music and think how sad it is that Karen Carpenter died of anorexia.  So beautiful and she couldn't see it.   Again, image.  May our eyes see kindness, gentleness, and beauty wherever we proceed.

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Growing Heart -

Yesterday when I heard that a friend's mother would be having a double mastectomy even after undergoing breast cancer treatment a few years before, I didn't have the emotional response I had when I heard the news of Elizabeth Edwards.  I recognized I had healed and separated myself out from some fear around the return.  I intellectually understand there are percentages involved here and I don't have to panic and fear that another's illness is my own.

I was feeling pretty good about that and then a friend asked me advice about buying hats for a friend of hers who is now bare-headed from chemo.  I checked out some web-sites and found myself recoiling from the hats I had once worn, so it is a back and forth and in it all is a place to continue growing and expanding my own heart to contain all of this and more.

Pema Chodrun has an article in the May 2007 Shambhala Sun.  I quote from it by plunging into the middle, knowing you will catch up.

    "And what's especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think we've hit the bottom, when things are at their worst. Instead of asking ourselves, "How can I find security and happiness?" we could ask ourselves, "Can I touch the center of my pain?  Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away?  Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace - disappointment in all its many forms - and let it open me?"  This is the trick."

She continues on and then says this.

    "When we're putting up the barriers and the sense of "me" as separate from "you" gets stronger, right there in the midst of difficulty and pain, the whole thing could turn around simply by not erecting barriers; simply by staying open to the difficulty, to the feelings that you're going through; simply by not talking to ourselves about what's happening.  That is a revolutionary step. Becoming intimate with pain is the key to changing at the core of our being - staying open to everything we experience, letting the sharpness of difficult times pierce us to the heart, letting these times open us, humble us, and make us wiser and more brave.

     Let difficulty transform you. And it will.  In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away."

She makes it sound so simple and we know, as does she, it is a life-long practice and there are tools.  May we each find the tools that ease our way and allow us to stay with pain until there is no more.  Expand and open as you look within to open and clear your core.

Remember, also, that "spaciousness includes pain."
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In Mind!

I met a woman last Saturday who was wearing a necklace with a beautiful opal.  When I asked about it, she told me to read this poem.

I offer it to you to choose.

In Mind
  There's in my mind a woman
of innocence, unadorned but

fair-featured and smelling of
apples or grass. She wears

a utopian smock or shift, her hair
is light brown and smooth, and she

is kind and very clean without

but she has
no imagination

And there's a
turbulent moon-ridden girl

or old woman, or both,
dressed in opals and rags, feathers

and torn taffeta,
who knows strange songs

but she is not kind.

Denise Levertov

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Prose poems -

Gary Young wrote this prose poem.  It comes from his book DAYS.

Our son was born under a full moon. That night I walked through the orchard, and the orchard was changed as I was. There were blossoms on the fruit trees, more white blossoms on the dogwood, and the tiny clenched fists of bracken shimmered silver. My shadow fell beside the shadow of the trees like a luster on the grass, and wherever I looked there was light.

    Gary Young

He talks about form in poems.

    "My attraction to the prose poem is emotional rather than critical. The prose poem is a maternal form. It is comforting and embracing, but it can also be smothering, constricting;  once inside, there is no way out, no place to rest until the poem is finished.  It is a clot of language, and must convince through revelation.

     But, in truth, what I treasure most about this form is the moral pressure it exerts.  The prose poem encourages a particular kind of modesty. It might even at times achieve a certain humility, a humility which may, through grace, be reflected back upon the poet's own heart."

            Gary Young

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Care -

“The more we care for the happiness of others,

The greater our own sense of well-being becomes.

It is the ultimate source of success of life”


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso