DRIVING THROUGH THE NIGHT

I have word that right now, in the indigoes of the night, loved ones are driving toward a gathering for the sharing of love in its healing mode.
Night or day, this is welcome.
Take this thought with you:

“P O P P I E S
The Poppies send up their
orange flares, swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black curved blade
from hooking forward —
of course
loss is the great lesson.

but also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight —

and what are you going to do —
what can you do
about it —
deep blue night.”

…………..MARY OLIVER, from her book, New & Selected Poems, Volume One, 1992

There might be a song you could be singing,in the solitude of almost dawn, that gives permission to feel the warm, blessed feeling of love.

Prayers to all.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

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LOVE AFTER LOVE

This morning’s thoughts are wings for the words we
would say to those who have chosen this time to
move on. To those who are leaving this world and
its fluctuating mind/body/soul adventures for the
next experience, Pat and you, too, Brendan, listen up:

“The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread.
give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

…………..DEREK WALCOTT, from the book,
Saved by a Poem, (Kim Rosen)

The title of the poem is: Love after Love.
It’s not new to most of us, I go back to it, again and
again. And again and again, I relax and
go for the ride.

That’s what they would have us do in memoriam.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

"greet yourself arriving at your own door"

AWAKENING

There are so many small changes, recently and more to
come, that I can’t truly get the long view that encourages
me to let the little details go. It’s possible that this is not
just me. It’s possible that those sun flares I hear about
do affect us in such a broad way that it seems to be
about me, when it’s not. It’s about us.

I turn to the poets who have sustained change with such
nobility. Strange word, nobility, and yet that is what we
are called to express right now. Listen:

“A garden inside me, unknown, secret,
neglected for years
the layers of its soil deep and thick.
Trees in the corners with branching arms
and the tangled briars like broken nets.

Sunrise through the misted orchard,
morning sun turns silver on the pointed twigs.
I have woken from the sleep of ages and I am not sure
if I am really seeing, or dreaming,
or simply astonished
walking toward sunrise
to have stumbled into the garden
where the stone was rolled from the tomb of longing.”

…….DAVID WHYTE, from his poem entitled,
Easter Morning in Wales.

Thank you for listening. May your day be good.

with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

"A garden inside me, unknown, secret, neglected for years.."

I HAD A DREAM

I did.
I just awoke from a dream in which I was able to create
a diarama, like at a Science Fair, in which I showed the
story of water, for example, in its changing forms, with
clouds made from light-weight material as they moved on
a track under which I could imagine I could walk.

All manner of experiential moments were present to show
how ideas could alter our environmental problems.
As I awoke, I lay there, almost afraid to breathe because
that dream had been so real. And how happy I felt.

Imagine if our politicians had to budget funds to demonstrate
how their proposals could make our lives better, more pliable,
more fun, even. Museums of all sizes would be available to
allow us to walk through a fantastic future, given the creative
help of specialists who could see the value of any proposal
and were trained to run with it.

That would be poetry.

“What if ” would be a way of looking at our relationships with
each other, by the experience of being ‘on stage’ briefly to
test new paths. Maybe we would find what worked and drew
us together a generation ago no longer suited how the
community, the family, the town was looking at as possibility.

I look around me from this vantage point of being about to
celebrate my 93rd birthday in December. Sometimes lately
I have felt the pain of shifting needs, shifting dreams, not
mine, but yours.

What if the emotional winds that impel people to change
and grow apart or together are the means to allow a freedom
of choice that could spur a new sense of purpose. What if
all concerned could find themselves moved to embrace their
own creative contribution to the general welfare because of
this shift in relationship.

What incredible joy, what incredible ever-renewing potential
for being alive that could be.

That dream of just a few moments ago is still with me. I feel
hope for an expansion of the way we could view how and
why we are together.

I’m sure some poet has already captured this. I’m keeping
an eye out for that.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

Touch Drawing by Leslie Prodis

WHEN THE WIND BLOWS

Some of us felt a great wind blow recently when hurricane Irene swept up the
East Coast. We called it a “clean-up” and proceeded to restore order within
which we can continue.

Part of that experience was the care neighbor gave to neighbor, family to
family, and we came together even feeling some relief that we now had a
reason to share, to let go of routine, and reach out where help was needed.

It felt good to do that.

Today I can remember that morning ten years ago today when, what felt like a
usual day became a huge wake-up call for us here, not just on the East Coast,
but across the country, creating a change of course, and opening us to
the awareness of just how much we do care for each other.

That feels good, too.

Oddly enough, this past week has found friends and family moving across
the country for our change of season back-to-school trips, birthdays or
weddings, reunions, or even showing up for celebrations that champion
how much we all have moved forward.

I want to welcome back from Texas my friend, fellow-artist and gifted massage
therapist, Gail Bernson, who will be here for a few weeks in her home town of
Norwalk and can be reached by phone at 832-405-9101. A session with Gail
is a gift to yourself.

If you’re looking for a last hurrah for summer just gone, you might try this link:
www.patch.com and click on your town.

Somehow no poem showed up to be with us today. Maybe tomorrow.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

LAST LINES

I find myself walking along with a poem, taking it in as if
we’re just strolling. And then, the last line wakes me up!
Try this portion of one on for size:

“GOLDENROD”

“……..
I was just passing by, when the wind flared

and the blossoms rustled,

and the glittering pandemonium

leaned on me.

I was just minding my own business

when I found myself on their straw hillsides,

citron and butter-colored,

and was happy, and why not?

Are not the difficult labors of our lives

full of dark hours?

And what has consciousness come to anyway, so far,

that is better than these light-filled bodies?

All day

on their airy backbones

they toss in the wind,

they bend as though it was natural and godly to bend,

they rise in a stiff sweetness,

in the pure peace of giving

one’s gold away.”

…………MARY OLIVER.
New & Selected Poems, Volume One………………….

… ‘ in the pure peace of giving one’s gold away.’

What lightness of being that brings with it. All struggle
falls away when nothing is held tightly to one’s breast,
protectively. Such abundance of allowing, of generosity.
of plentitude.

I can turn and there is so much more.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

VEES ACROSS THE SKIES

On Sunday my friend Diane and I took salad-take-outs to Southport Dock,
where sitting on a bench one can see a huge horizon. Lovely. Suddenly,
silently, some sense said, ‘look up’, and there they were, a long stream in
V-formation, heading north again, the geese.

Breath-taking.

Seeing that affirmation of nature’s order was like turning a calendar page.
Yes, it’s Spring, wild geese time. I honor that by recalling the freedom of
a poem:

W I L D G E E S E

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You have only to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell my about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

………….MARY OLIVER, from New & Selected Poems,
Volume One.

A chance glance, and all seems new.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

MORNING THOUGHTS

Hello again. It’s been a while, and many group physical changes
have required being present in a tunnel-like way. And I have new
windows!
So, this morning
I have chosen a curious poem by Mary Oliver:

M O R N I N G

“Salt shining behind its glass cylinder.

Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.

The cat stretching her black body from the pillow.

The way she makes her curvaceous response to the small,
kind gesture.

Then laps the bowl clean.

Then wants to go out into the world

where she leaps lightly and for no apparent reason
across the lawn,

then sits, perfectly still, in the grass.

I watch her a little while, thinking:

what more could I do with wild words?

I stand in the cold kitchen, bowing down to her.

I stand in the cold kitchen, everything wonderful around me.”

……………………..MARY OLIVER, 1991-1992

It took a second reading for me to see that here, too,
there are new windows. From one line to the next (the last),
a leap of awareness.

As easy as that.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

A MANDALA

In a group meditation last night, I saw a mandala of our Earth
and I wondered if I could draw it. I was anxious about that,
and awoke this morning, looking for a poem that could still
my dampening of that experience.

Here it is:

” …..What is precious, is never to forget
The delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love,
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the Spirit.”

………………..STEPHEN SPENDER

The mandala of the Earth, this green planet,
the delight in our blood that sings in the stones
and breaks through rocks as water,
water that sustains the leviathans and the sea shell.

That’s a beginning. maybe it will never be drawn,
but its genesis is alive and well.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette