Delight

Again, I seem to be noticing simple delights more often than not. Such a wonderful story of my life – to be 98 and welcoming a sense of good luck and a lovely decrease in impatience!

Today’s haiku is a playful way of welcoming the sun after days of rain.

Love Always, Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

“WRITING DOWN THE BONES”

IMG_1607I’ve always loved the title of that small Shambala Pocket Classic,
written 30 years ago.  My dog-eared copy shows those years!

The sub-title, “Freeing the Writer Within” is what hooked me in the
beginning, and since then has proven its worth.
Consider this on page 87:
“I say all writers, no matter how fat, thin, or flabby have good figures.
The are always working out. Remember this. They are in tune, toned up,
in rhythm with the hills, the highway and can go for long stretches and
many miles of paper. They  move with grace in and out of many worlds.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

Yes!  tomorrow I may have a poem but this is my ode to urge you to
pick up a pencil or pen and just write your heart out. No erasures,
no crossed out lines, just go for it, and leave it to continue another day.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

OCCASIONS

PAFA-Image-3
Woman Reading by a Window, 1905 Artist: Gari Melchers

To celebrate the return of the early sun is a kind of wonder.
What do we say to each other?

How about this:

“I wish for you that when you awake

You emulate the leaf and the bird;

That like them, touched with grace, you take

Note of the wind.  You have not heard

Its low-voiced billows yet, nor seen

( Lost in your less elated rest)

The empty light upon the green,

The leaves and tumbling birds that gave

The wind its due, and then redressed

That small excess, each bounding spray

A boat that dances on the wave,

A whip that tingles in the day.”

……………..DANIEL DAVIE, 1922-1995
from an Anthology of the Best Poetry Since 1900,
edited by Michael Schmidt

Very much like the view from my window this April morning.
Celebrate the day.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

A Cool Platter of Cooked Shrimp

imageWeeks after my birthday gift in December, I used my gift card
of $50 to Whole Foods to have this amazing experience of
abundance when the other day I bought a whole pound of fresh
shrimp, cool & cooked, with a balance on that gift card left over
for another foray into food extravaganza.

“Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.”

That quote is from a Mary Oliver poem that has nothing to do
with cooked shrimp, but has every thing to do with Joy. When
I knew I could share this odd joy of the cooked shrimp with you,
I went looking for a poem to match the sense of aliveness that
having all you ever wanted of one thing was right there.

It takes only one moment of being in the right place at the
right time to know it’s possible, at no great cost, to find joy
in the smallest moment.

You’ll recognize it when it happens to you. The memory of
this got me up at 3:30 this morning to remind you.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

……….Quote from the poem, October, in the Mary Oliver book of
poems, New & Selected Poems, Vol. 1, 1992.

 

 

CONVERSATION

photo 4WHENEVER I read a poem for the first time, I start out
eager to explore. ( please be advised that this is not
the way to treat a poem)

Because in the middle I am so curious as to where I
will end up, not even where the poem will end up,
that I get to the last line out of breath.

I may suggest that I simply step out of myself,
reach for the poem and let it happen. Yes:

” YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE
A CONVERSATION IS
GOING TO GO

Said Ricky to me one day, “Why is it you
don’t have a tail?”

Well, I just don’t. Maybe once upon a time
I had one, but not anymore.

“What happened? Did you have an accident?”

No, no. Things change. Sometimes. Over
time.

“You mean, maybe sometime I won’t get a walk,
I won’t get dinner? I won’t get hugs? That’s
scary, plain scary.”

No, No, it takes a really long time. In
fact, some things change, over time, and
some don’t.

“Well, how do I know what’s what?”

Day by day, Ricky. You find out.
Has anything changed that troubles you?

“Actually, nothing. I like everything a lot,
every day.”

Well, see? Just keep on liking things
and praying.

” I don’t know anything about that.”

Yes, you do. Every time you wake up and
love your life and the world, you’re
praying, my dear boy. I’m sure of it.

………………………. MARY OLIVER, from her book,
Dog Songs, 2013

I did have to read that one at least three times.
Every time, it changed me.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

 

A ‘DAILY’

imageAt 4am I awoke, looked out my window, and
across the parking lot I saw 3 large deer silently
walking east at the far edge. I went back to bed
but could not sleep, so got up again,
looking for today’s inspiration, and found it:

“THE OPENING OF EYES

That day I saw beneath dark clouds,
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before,
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing,
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.”

……….DAVID WHYTE, from his book of poetry
called River Flow, 1984-2007, page 31.

The power of creative expression through art
of any kind to pierce through to the heart’s place,
we are so blessed.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

 

METAPHORS

Another part of my library shelves contain books that
have been sources of encouragement for dark times.
We all have those. Of course.
So, this morning I found an old book that I’d forgotten
was there~ a book entitled, “What Is An Angel Doing Here?”.

Randomly opening the book, I found this:
IP
“There are acts of Love in the Bible
that you hear metaphorically.
Hear them as fact.
Can human beings move mountains?
If they believe they can.
You created those mountains in the first place.

Can a sea be parted?  Of course.
Was it? Do you dare believe it?
Can a human being be nailed to a cross,
die, be brought down, buried,
and then rise again?’
Fear tells you, “We have to temper this,
adjust it to where it is intellectually acceptable’.

As you try to soften truth,
you bring yourselves farther
and farther away from Home
and the remembering of who You are
so that you walk in your narrow world
looking for proof that there really is a God.

(and the angel asks):

Is truth so particular
that there is only one gate to heaven?
There are no gates.
Heaven is inside you.
You are not even the gatekeeper.”

………..from Emmanuel’s Book III,
‘What Is an Angel Doing Here’, compiled
by Pat Rodegast & Judith Stanton.

Back in the day (1994) when this was first published,
I loved Roland Rodegast’s illustrations for those books.
Light-hearted, simple, fun to accompany such
questions.

I have been accompanied by myriads of gods and goddesses
in my stretch of life so far.  Each day more and more
are showing up.

Welcome, dear ones.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

537 PAGES, CIRCA 1990

imageOnly 24 years ago, Contemporary Poetry was prolific with reference
to so much of the past.  Reading it today, I am amazed at the distance
we have traveled in our common understanding of our world, our hope
for change and growth…. even the sense of a direction needed through
which to carve a future.

However, I found a voice there I’d like to remember:

THE WAKING

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair,
I wake to sleep , and take my waking slow.

Great nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady.  I should know.
What falls away is always.  And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by goIng where I have to go.”

………THEODORE ROETHKE, printed in the
Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry,
edited by J. D. McClatchy. 1990

Timeless, for sure.  And so it goes.

always love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

DELAYED GIFTS

Today we are on the eve of a new moon,
a little after 4 am tomorrow.
A time to wash my hair, shower until the water feels like rain,
and bask in freshness.

I knew Mary Oliver would have a word or two on that:

THE SWEETNESS OF DOGS

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise.  It’s full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, make me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven.  thus we sit, myself

thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world.  Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face.  As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.”

………..MARY OLIVER, in the book of poetry,
Dog Songs.

Back to the subject I chose: Delayed Gifts.
I received that poetry book at Christmas, 2013.
I read the last poem, a middle poem, loved it
and then the long winter of 2014 took over.

New moon or full moon, the words touch me
and I am grateful for this morning, for the idea
of me being one iota pondering heaven, and
how rich it is to love the world.

Oh, yes,

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

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