COOKING

imageI have thought of cooking as time-consuming and an
interruption of my day. I am amazed at those who relax
in cooking and find delight in that task!

I’m always grateful to receive the results of cooking,
and so it is with respect for that that I include this
ode to the process:

“COOKING

Peeling, chopping, cutting, mincing, slicing
measuring, pouring, stirring, poaching,
bubbling, frying, turning, simmering, serving.
These are words I cook with.
They are all motion, all process.

I know as I create this meal
there is another cooking going on.
It, too, is all motion, all process —
an inner transformation.
Help me to give myself away
as easily as this carrot, this new potato.
I want my layers to peel away like the onion’s.
I want to be empty and clean
as the universe in a sweet green pepper
with its white star seeds.”

……………GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book,
Being Home, a Book of Meditations. 1991

“white star seeds” indeed. It is in such awareness of
the ordinary beauty of dailiness that we become
the stirring, bubbling personal expression of all
that is lovely and lively in just being alive.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

START of the week SMILE

imageIt’s ┬álater than I think, and it’s still dark!
If you are awake, too, here’s something to lighten the dark:

“THE WICKED SMILE

“Please, please, I think I haven’e eaten
for days.”

What? Ricky, you had a huge supper.

“I did? My stomach doesn’t remember.
Oh, I think I am fading away. Please
make me breakfast and I’ll tell you
something you don’t know.”

He ate rapidly.

Okay, I said, What were you going to
tell me?

He smiled the wicked smile. “Before we
came over, Anne already give me my breakfast,”
he said.

Be prepared. A dog is adorable and noble.
A dog is a true and loving friend. A dog
is also a hedonist.”

……………MARY OLIVER, from her book, Dog Songs.

Right. The thing is that I think it’s always time to
have breakfast, too. It’s the most simple, most fun of
any other meal. It generally has fruit, protein and a carb.
I can have breakfast now, decide to go back to sleep
even though Sunday was yesterday, and get up to Monday
soon again for breakfast.
That’s logical.

always with love,
Mom,Mimi, Toni, Antoinette

ABOUT A FOREST

imageLooking out the window yesterday I noticed that most of the leaves
are still on the trees, despite the sudden coolness and a flavor of
actual Autumn.

I treasure that sight and celebrate that with words from the forest:

” LOST

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here.
and you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you .
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.”

……..DAVID WAGONER, from the book, Good Poems,
selected by Garrison Keillor, ’03.

Have you noticed it does, find you, that is?
One foot in the meadow, one foot in the forest,
that’s all it takes. I find myself quietly found.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

 

FOR HUMANS and ANIMALS

imageA silent conversation with a dog may seem odd, especially at 4 am, and there is no dog. I think about my friend Cindywho has two dogs (and incidentally, two cats). Too early to
call her right now.

I do have a book titled,”Dog Songs” and that will have to do.
So, here goes:

“SHOW TIME

And here come the dogs. Brushed, trimmed
polished.

“What on earth have they done to them!”
said Ricky. “They are half shaved. And
where are their tails?”

It’s the rules, I said.

“And look at those women trying to run.
They sure don’t look like you.”

Thank you, I said.

“I’m getting a headache looking at this,
I have to bark!” And he began.

It does no good to bark at the television,
I said. I’ve tried it too. So he stopped.

“If I ever meet one of these dogs I”m going
to invite him to come here, where he can
be a proper dog.”

Okay, I said. But remember, you can’t fix
everything in the world for everybody.

“However, ” said Ricky, “you can’t do
anything at all unless you begin. Haven’t
I heard you say that once or twice, or
maybe a hundred times?”

………..MARY OLIVER, from her recent
book, ‘DOG SONGS’.

Oh, yes, it does take reminding, doesn’t it.
Respectfully reminded.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

 

WILD OATS

image“Wild Oats”, what a funny way to put how we grow up,
live our lives as if that were all there is, and then sum
it up as ‘wild oats’! All along the way I have
looked eagerly ahead to a better time, a joyous reunion
of questions answered. I will know it all.

Perhaps it’s just a turn of the head,
a motion relaxed, and right now is enough.
Let’s see what the poet has to say on this:
“In the language of heaven
the angel said
go make your own garden

I dream I am here
in the morning
and the dream is its own time

Looking into the old well
I see my own face
then another behind it

There I am
morning clouds
in the east wind

No one is in the garden
the autumn daisies
have the day to themselves

All night in the dark valley
the sound of rain arriving
from another time

September when the wind
drops and to us it seems
that the days are waiting

I needed my mistakes
in their own order
to get me here

Here is the full moon
bringing us
silence

I call that singing bird my friend
though I know nothing else about him
and he does not know I exist

What is it that I keep forgetting
now I have lost it again
right here

I have to keep telling myself
why I am going away again
I do not seem to listen

In my youth I believed in somewhere else
I put faith in travel
now I am becoming my own tree.”

……………W. S. MERWIN, from his new book, The Moon Before Morning, 2014

I wish I could tell stories the way a poem is told.
Just a few words sets the scene, carries the story
ahead to a pause that I can handle.

“now I am becoming my own tree.”

I’ll bet I could have said this again and again
starting from being 21 years old. You, too, are here
no matter how soon or far you are in life.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

TEN YEARS LATER

imageWe think in terms of a river’s flow so easily and
it becomes okay to have rocks along the way. The water propels us on.
I picked up a poem today that is helping me navigate these later waters:

“Ten Years Later

When the mind is clear
and the surface of the now still,
now swaying water

slaps against
the rolling kayak,

I find myself near darkness,
paddling again to Yellow Island.

Every spring wildflowers
cover the grey rocks.

Every year the sea breeze
ruffles the cold and lovely pearls
hidden in the center of the flowers

as if remembering them
by touch alone.

A calm and lonely, trembling beauty
that frightened me in youth.

Now their loneliness
feels familiar, one small thing
I’ve learned these years,

how to be alone,
and at the edge of aloneness
how to be found by the world.

Innocence is what we allow
to be gifted back to us
once we’ve given ourselves away.

There is one world only,
the one to which we gave ourselves
utterly, and to which one day

we are blessed to return.”

…………….DAVID WHYTE, in his book
of poetry, “River Flow”, 1984-2007

September is here. Always a newness around that time.
The earth knows no sense of ‘date”, since September
Twenty-first has been nature’s way of marking the way.
I feel as if I’ve been ‘given’ this time, these days, in which
to adjust to
any change.

always love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

FIRST DAYS

imageThese first days of September are startling and yet such an open space.
We’ve felt the first real hot days of a strangely mild summer here on the East Coast.
That is startling.
And I find myself in the “between” place of time, looking for a new kind of daily schedule.
That’s never left me, since I was such an eager student, loving getting back to school.
This morning’s choice says it the best:

NOTHING HAPPENED. I didn’t expect

anything to happen. I was something that

lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins,

and I did not want to be anything more,

I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that

when we die and become a part of something

entire, whether is is sun and air, goodness and

knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness;

to be dissolved into something complete and

great. When it comes to one, it comes

as naturally as sleep.”

…………….WILLA CATHER, from the book,
Intimate Landscapes: the Canyon Suite of
Georgia O’Keefe, page 63.

It’s approaching my witching hour of 5 am.
The poetry that would not let me sleep until it was heard,
is now with you.

Back to sleep until the sun reaches my window.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

KEEP IT SIMPLE

imageWhomever we address with that, let’s end it with

K. I. S. S.

keep it simple, sweetie’.

It’s just an attitude.

So, I have looked for a few lines that make that sound
wonderful, affordable, enchanting, grounding.

Like this:
AMAZING LOVE

Even if sorrow conquers the horizons
someone held by Love will not be sad.
A single speck of dust that danced with love
will conquer this world and the next.”

……………….The Rumi Daybook, #213
which includes a note saying, ‘This world
and the next’ is literally “the two worlds,”
ie, the seen and Unseen.

Since this is an informal recognition of a
possible end of summer, we CAN keep it simple,
and say, ” today and the next day”, just like that.

Always our choice.

with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette