TAKE OFF from February

Can we wait for February and it’s weather’s ups and downs to
be done with? I realize how weary we are for the change of
Spring and a sense of lift-off!

The armchair traveler in me will have to do with this poem:


Our jet storms down the runway, tilts up, lifts.
We’re airborne, and each second we see more —
Outlying hangars, wetland with a pond
That flashes like sheened silver and, beyond,
An estuary and the frozen drifts
Of breakers wide and white along a shore.

One watches, cheek in palm.  How little weight
the world has as it swiftly drops away!
How quietly the mind climbs to this height
As now, the seat-belt sign turned off, a flight
Attendant rises to negotiate
The steep aisle to a curtained service bay.”

……………………….TIMOTHY STEELE, from the book,
180  more Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, compiled
by Billy Collins.

always with love,

Art by Lucy Campbell
Art by Lucy Campbell


I awoke this morning hearing the sonorous voice of
the poet, Leonard Cohen, singing “Alleluia”, and behind him
the hundreds of our voices, singing with him.

Some time ago there was a ground swell for this unity
of yearning and awareness that made such sadness become
the release for winter.

Here we are again. I looked out the window and saw a
streaking dawn, low clouds heralding a day still in the
throws of winter, not yet released to a joy of a newly sensing

I offer you the poem to suit today:

” I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And
yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my
coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

i thought again, and again later, when buying a
hairbrush: This is it.
Parking.  Slamming the car door in the cold.  What
you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up.  We want the spring to come
and the winter to pass.  We want
whoever to call or not to call, a letter, a kiss —we want
more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a
glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the video store, and I’m
gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned
coat that I’m speechless:

I am living, I remember you.”

……………MARIE HOWE, from the poem, “What the LIving Do”.
I found it in the book: ‘Ten Poems to  Change Your Life Again
& Again’ by Roger Housden.

Life dawns upon us, no matter the time of day, doesn’t it.

always with love,

Morning Has Broken Photo by Elizabeth Strazar
Morning Has Broken
Photo by Elizabeth Strazar



As I find my self clearing paths through winter’s landscape,

I look to the classics for a reassuring word or two that could
make it feel easier, maybe already travelled.
These February blues, doubts and retrograde upsets have come
and gone before.  If I look, i can find encouragement.  So, I have
started with Kahlil Gibran’s The PROPHET”:
” Say not,”I have found the truth, but
      rather, I have found a truth.”
  Say not,” I have found the path of the soul.”
  Say rather, “I have met the soul walking
       upon my path.”
  For the soul walks upon all paths.
       The soul walks not upon a line, neither 
       does it grow like a reed.
  The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of
        countless pearls.”
It’s a challenge to see these many days of snow as a gift of
countless pearls. My resistance to what feels like disorder is
very present.  Until, returning to the classics, I find a breath
of fresh air:
    Why question gifts?
    Embrace warmth
    when you feel it,
    allow earth to support you
    when you stand on it.
……GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book, ‘A Mystic Garden’,
Working with Soil, Attending to Soul.’
They say we will have a February ‘thaw’ in the next few days.
always with love,
Heart Thaw Photo by Elizabeth Strazar
Heart Thaw
Photo by Elizabeth Strazar


I’d already picked up the book, chosen the poem and headed
for the computer when I glanced at the cover of the book:

New & Selected Poems

Wow, bridging into a new century and moving along.  As now in
February, 2014, we seem to be bridging into a new time,
at least weather-wise.
Back to the poem:

“Come down drenched, at the end of May,
with the cold rain so far into your bones
that nothing will warm you
except your own walking
and let the sun come out at the day’s end
by Slievenaglasha with the rainbows doubling
over Mulloch Mor and see your clothes
steaming in the bright air.

Be a provenance
of something gathered, a summation of
previous intuitions, let your vulnerabilities
walking on the cracked, sliding limestone,
be this time, not a weakness, but a faculty
for understanding, what’s about
to happen.

Stand above the Seven Streams,
letting the deep down current surface
around you, then branch and branch
as they do, back into the mountain,
and if you were able for that flow,
say the few necessary words
and walk on, broader and cleansed
for having imagined.”

…………..DAVID WHYTE, from the section of that
book of poems, entitiled “Ireland”.

What stays with me, to begin with, is “nothing will warm you
except your own walking”.  When I begin with that, I know
I will find that flow of my own.

always with love,

Painting by Lenny Moskowitz
Painting by Lenny Moskowitz


Right now, the snow is falling softly. I’ve been watching

for the wind.  So strange, no wind. So, it’s not a blizzard
we are expecting, but something steady and simply falling.
A pattern of some kind, I suppose.  I wonder what the poets
would make of this.  So, just now I reached for a book I had not
read in a while, a compilation of poems of summer!  
And I found this:
” To ……………………..( an empty line)
There on the top of the down,
The wild heather round me and over me the June’s high blue,
When I looked at the bracken so bright and the heather so
I thought to myself I would offer this book to you,
This, and my love together,
To you that are seventy-seven,
With a faith as clear as the heights of the June-blue heaven,
And a fancy as summer-new
As the green of the bracken amid the gloom of the heather.”
……………..ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON,  from the book, 
‘A Dream of Summer’, poems for the sensuous season. (2004)
Today is the day before St. Valetine’s Day (2/14) and this goes out 
to you as a valentine view of fancy heights and June-blue skies, in
sunshine, somewhere above the snow  
always with love,



I am about to share a few words from Rumi this morning.
Have you noticed that when quoting Rumi, not much else
is even needed because those words start the journey of
heart and mind without a map.

Heaven only knows where it takes each of us.
So, acknowledging that, here are some Rumi words:


For a time, imitating everyone else,
I preferred myself. Unaware,
I only heard my own name.
Because I was in myself,
I did not deserve to know myself.
Not until I left myself, did I see myself.”

from the Rumi Daybook, compiled by
Kabir & Camille Helminski, Shambala 2012

When we meet and say hello, I can see my own
reflection in your eyes.. However, I am generally seeking you,
and don’t notice me.

Enough. You know I cannot resist a comment.
Stay with the words I offer you today.

always with love,

"Not until I left myself, did I see myself"
“Not until I left myself, did I see myself”



My travels are mainly looking through the large windows
surrounding the courtyard where the SWOOSH of wings
tells me a flock of birds have found their way to shelter.

Now, if I had a dog and if I were in my 30’s again I could be
having quite another experience:

” Now through the white orchard my little dog

romps, breaking the new snow

with wild feet.

Running here running there, excited,

hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins

until the white snow is written upon

in large,exuberant letters,

a long sentence, expressing

the pleasures of the body in this world.

Oh, I could not have said it better

…………………………………MARY OLIVER,
from her book of poems, ‘Dog Songs’.

Oh, yes!  I, too, could not have said it  better.

always with love,



Good morning.  I have wandered through Georgia O’Keefe,
Rumi, William Stafford, their words informing art, and I search for
exactly the right feeling to pop off the page.

That could be a metaphor for our times in February of any year.

So, I offer this at the start of this Sunday morning:

“My voice sings back to me
across the echoing lake.

If my time is right I could
be in harmony with myself.”

……………CAROL A. ARMSTRONG,  from her book of poems
entitled ‘Everything Waits To Be Noticed’, as part of a 3-part
set: A Coming Together.

It will soon be light and the day can begin.

always with love,


How does a new day begin?  How does a new way of life start?
How does it suddenly become apparent that there is a new way,
a new idea, a  new dream?

Perhaps it’s just an awakening.

” In that first
hardly noticed
in which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
where everything
there is a small
into the day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can live
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.

You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
you are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love?  what shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees
beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
in the waiting desk?”

…………..DAVID WHYTE,  his poem
entitled, What to Remember When Waking,
found in the book, ‘ten poems to change
your life again & again’ by ROGER HOUSDEN.

So we pass it on, one to another, encouraging
the emptiness to take its own form.

always with love,

Photo by Iam Williams
Photo by Iam Williams


So strange, to see the snow quietly fall with no sound at all.
Such softness for a Monday morning is quite possibly
a new way to begin a new week.
With dawn, the parking lot lights were turned off,
and the falling snow was hardly perceptible.

After fresh coffee, I pulled off the shelf a book on Zen.
It is the book by Haven Trevino, called THE TAO OF HEALING,
Meditations for Body and Spirit.

This is what I selected for today:

“Let go your desire to heal
Watch God emerge.”

always with love,

Morning Gift
Morning Gift