January 31st, 2008

Book Cover

Good Morning!!

I feel great today and beautifully refreshed by yesterday.   Now, I easily tackle the things that I love.

I repeat this quote because I love it so much.

Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.


Teilhard de Chardin
Book Cover

Anne Sexton -

I have spoken of growing my heart.   Here is Anne Sexton on that.

The Big Heart
"Too many things are occurring for even a big heart to hold." - From an essay by W. B. Yeats
Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance
in the people I have:
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn,
Arlene, Father Dunne,
and all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly,
in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wine of the best region.
They are my staff.
They comfort me.
They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes.
And God is filling me,
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God is filling me.
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs,
the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in--
all in comes the fury of love.
~ Anne Sexton ~
(The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton)
Book Cover

(no subject)

Joan posts this today and I borrow it.

It is a lovely place to dip and rest.    You will need to cut and paste, so do it gracefully, with ease and peace.


Book Cover

Grief -

Last night I read The Maytrees by Annie Dillard.  It is a fast read, but is her usual perceptive, probing, descriptive writing and is quite a story of forgiveness and love.

I am intrigued by this paragraph.

    "If you were a prehistoric Aleut and your wife or husband died, your people braced your joints for grief. That is, they lashed hide bindings around your knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and hips.  You could still move, barely, as if swaddled.  Otherwise, the Aleuts said, in your grief you would go to pieces just as the skeleton would go to pieces.  You would fall apart."

How different this is than what we expect.  "Hold yourself together," we say.   Hold yourself, and so we do, with muscles tight as bone.

Book Cover

Morning thoughts -

I am each year struck by this last day of January.  February brings in a whole new energy with its extra light and Valentine's Day and the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington all packed into 28 days.  It is so neat and compact.    I use today wisely, transition into the pink and red passion of February, leave the gray depths of January, behind.

January 31, 2008


Lighting Transition like a Fire


The last day of January

and waterfalls roll down the hills.

This moment so precious,

I light a candle, Mitchell’s candle, Cranberry Spice,

and simmer in the light like tea.

Two birds cross the sky.

Yesterday a hang-glider took off below me,

then, circled and rose,

teaching me how to wait for the wind,

push out my arms and let go,

lift in the circling rise of the thermal,

be the air in the boat.

Book Cover

The Maytrees - by Annie Dillard

There is another section of Annie Dillard's book, The Maytrees, that I find soothing so I thought I would put it here.  She is speaking of a woman who lives in Provincetown, very independently and quietly.

    "Lou hoped scandalously to live her own life. A subnormal ceiling, since civilization means cities and cities mean social norms. She wanted only to hear herself think. She admired Diogenes who shaved half his head so he would stay home to think. How else might she hear any original note, any stray subject-and-verb in the head, however faint, should one come?

    She pushed the tiller hard over, came about, and set a slashing course upwind.  The one-room ever-sparer dune shack was her chief dwelling from which only hurricane or frost exiled her.  Over decades, she had reclaimed what she had forfeited of her own mind, if any.  She took pains to keep outside the world's acceleration.  An Athens marketplace amazed Diogenes with "How many things there are in the world of which Diogenes hath no need!" Lou had long since cut out fashion and all radio but the Red Sox. In the past few years she had let go her ties to people she did not like, to ironing, to dining out in town, and to buying things not necessary and that themselves needed care.  She ignored whatever did not interest her.  With those blows she opened her days like a pinata.  A hundred freedoms fell on her.  She hitched free years to her lifespan like a kite tail.  Everyone envied her the time she had, not noticing that they had equal time. 

    The bay and ocean and daytime sky did not change. Lou lived in color fields. By habit, she ignored the Cape's man-made changes.  In town it was tough to break the habit of checking skies every hour or so. These new people kept imaginary beasties away using streetlights and spotlights. Not one of them asked about burglary rates.  They thought they knew.  They unknowingly brought their big-city obsession with crime and appearance and status as rats bring etc.

    When winter forced her back to town she braced to enter the same low-ceilinged cave most Americans lived in unknowingly.  Always in May the Milky Way returned to belly overhead, as if equinoctial storms made of the galaxy a spinnaker that is opened to north winds. Any fuss reached her anyway, even though she ducked just as, swimming, she took a breaking wave by diving under it.

    Three days a week she helped the Manor Nursing Home, where people proved their keenness by reciting received analyses of current events.  All the Manor residents watched television day and night, informed to the eyeballs like everyone else and rushed for time, toward what end no one asked.  Their cupidity and self-love were no worse than anyone else's, but their many experiences' having taught them so little irked Lou. One hated tourists, another southerners; another despised immigrants.  Even dying, they still held themselves in highest regard. Lou would have to watch herself.  For this way of thinking began to look like human nature - as if each person of two or three billion would spend his last vital drop to sustain his self-importance."

Of course, now we have a few more billion of those with self-importance, and perhaps we begin to learn to be a bit more like Lou, if we so choose.