Country Mountains

Country Mountains

Today is my 90th birthday. It might seem confusing since I have been celebrating
this birthday for several days now.

On Saturday, 19 of my family, across three
generations including four great-grandsons, took me out to Tequila Mockingbird for dinner.

Poetry or the lyrics of songs always accompany any occasion in this family of assorted creatives. Just now I pulled out a birthday folder of 2 poems and Lizzie’s comments following each.

 

I intended to share one poem by Pablo Neruda,
closely related to my own art,when I noticed Lizzie’s comment on the first poem:

The first line made me think of you and how often I say to

you that I long for you to fall in love with yourself, to

remember who you are in your startling beauty and passion.

I push this —and this poem made me realize there is no need

to push this. It happens. It happens. We find that love

when we find it — and until then —we are held in our knowing,

held in patient, loving arms, held in our troubled sleep —

held in our darkness — held in the mountains.”
………………………………………………………………………………..

Here is that first poem:

HERE IN THE MOUNTAINS

There is one memory deep inside you,
in the dark country of your life.
It is a small fire burning forever.

Even after all these years
of neglect
the embers of what you have
known rest contented
in their own warmth.

Here in the mountains,
tell me all the things
you have not loved.
Their shadows will tell you
they have not gone,
they became this night
from which you drew away in fear.

Though at the trail’s end,
your heart stammers
with grief and regret
in this
final night
you will lead down at last
and breathe again on the
small campfire of your
only becoming.

And draw about You
the immensity
of the black sky
which loves your fire’s
centrality.

The deep shadow
that forever
takes
you in its arms.

The low song
of the long
and patient night
that holds you
in your sleep

and stitches
faithfully
with that impossible light
the dark blanket
from which you were born.

……………DAVID WHYTE

Lizzie ended with ‘held in the mountains’, the mountains of memory
for us being the Catskill mountains in New York State.

I love the next to last stanza: ‘the low song of the long and patient
night that holds you in your sleep,’ —- recalling the sound sleep of
youth and memories of each annual trip up to the “country mountains”.

Thank you, one and all, who are sharing this journey with me.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

WHEN I LEFT

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:

“WHEN I LEFT

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,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

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

 

MORNING POEM

“Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.”

………..MARY OLIVER
new & selected poems, volume one.

Even relinquishing the easy balance and strength of my body, in my 80’s and now at mid-90’s, took more
than I thought I had of a willingness to “keep trudging”.

My morning silence this whole year was like holding my breath to reach a landing place I could trust.
This far and no further.

That’s what I thought.

And this morning I honor what it takes to dare to be happy.
My prayers were all over the place, prayers for us all.
Maybe scattered because I was only trudging, unsure of what prayer can actually do.

Sometime in May this year, a ground swell of gifts showed up at my door, and I learned just how wonderful it is to feel so loved.

A few people knew about the edema in my lower limbs, and spread the word that I needed equipment to enable my body to adapt to a healing mode of life. To each and every one of you, who contributed so fully, THANK YOU …. Thank you for caring.
Words don’t say enough.

My place has been changed to create room for a lift-chair, bookcases moved, a new TV to delight in. I have learned to use my Rollator with seat to move with confidence anywhere.

Feeling loved?
I had to dare to let that in.
I can dare to pray, whether or not I have ever truly dared to pray before.
……………………………………….

Well, really, our hearts pray for us before we even understand prayer is being in love with life, with each other, with every breath.
……………………………………..
See you around dawn, soon.
always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Antoinette/Toni

20130707-210428.jpg

BELLS ALREADY RINGING

I thought I was just putting my busy book shelves
in order yesterday. I came upon a card, slipped
in between two books, and I stopped and read it.
That was not in my plan. I was out for order!

On the small 4″x 5-1/2″ card there was a photo,
a drawing and in small print a poem. Well, not
exactly a poem, rather a song. Here’s what it
said:

“May God bless and keep you always …
May your wishes all come true …
May you always do for others …
And let others do for you …

May you build a ladder to the stars …
and climb on every rung …
May you stay forever young …

May you grow up to be righteous …
May you grow up to be true …
May you always know the truth
and see the light surrounding you …

May you always be courageous,
stand upright and be strong …
and May you stay forever young …

May your hands be joyful …
May your song always be sung …
and May you stay forever young.”

……………..lyrics by Bob Dylan

And the photo?
Stan & Sally Perham, Megan, Dave and Jaimey.
Every year they have sent us music from Maine, to
celebrate the season we are now just beginning,
the Christmas time.

Thank you, guys, I love you and miss you.

IMG_4752always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

BEING LOVED

This morning I picked up a book that I’d cut my
spiritual teeth on! The poet, not of the ancients,
nor even one popularly quoted & noted, but surely
one who, once read, is truly remembered.

Let’s begin with this poem, quoted from that book:

“A N N U N C I A T I O N

Even if I don’t see it again — nor ever feel it
I know that it is — and that if once it hailed me
it ever does —

and so it is myself I want to turn in that direction
not as toward a place, but it was a tilting
within myself,

as one turns a mirror to flash the light to where
it isn’t — I was blinded like that — and swam
in what shone at me

only able to endure it by being no one and so
specifically myself I thought I’d die
from being loved like that.”

…………..MARIE HOWE, from the book,
Saved by a Poem written by KIM ROSEN

On the facing page there is this note:
” The truth is, in the wake of every poem that
touches me, there is this uncanny sense of
being loved. Perhaps that is what it feels like
when the soul door swings ajar. Will I walk
through and dwell in the territory of wonder
for a while? Or will I turn away and launch
into the next task on my perpetually humming
to-do list?”

Always simply my choice, night or day, day or
night, the music hums within and I follow, even
if briefly. And so it is.

always with love,

Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

“a tilting within myself” – toward love….

OUT OF SEASON

I have gotten out of the habit of awaking and reaching
for a poem. Lately, I have chosen to simply go back
to sleep. Tonight, or rather this very early morning,
I got up and reached for a poem:

LESTER TELLS OF WANDA & THE BIG SNOW

“Some years back I worked a strip mine
Out near Tylesburg. One day it starts
To snow and by two we got three feet.
I says to the foreman, “I’m going home.”
He says, “Ain’t you stayin’ til five?”
I says, “I got to see to my cows,”
Not telling how Wanda was there at the house.
By the time I make it home at four
Another foot is down and it don’t quit
Until it lays another. Wanda and me
For three whole days seen no one else.
We tunneled the drifts and slid
Right over the barbed wire, laughing
At how our heartbeats melted the snow.
After a time the food was gone and I thought
I’d butcher a cow, but then it cleared
And the moon come up as sweet as an apple.
Next morning the ploughs got through. It made us sad.
It don’t snow like that no more. Too bad.”

……PAUL ZIMMER,(1934, Canton,OH) ran university presses
at Pittsburgh, Georgia,and Iowa, then retired to his farm
near Soldiers Grove, WI. Author of many collections, he is
known to have said, “Some people view life as food served
by a psychopath. They do not trust it.” But Zimmer expects
always to be happy. Puzzled by melancholy, he pours a
reward and loves the world relentlessly.

Although I am alone here, I laugh out loud at that remark
noted in Garrison Keillor’s book, Good Poems.(2002)

Good morning to you all.

always with love, Mom/Mimi/Antoinette/Toni

“…laughing…. At how our heartbeats melted the snow.”

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"

Homage to Pat Rodegast & Emmanuel

Let’s jump right in.
I have so many wonderful memories of Pat and so
many sessions with Emmanuel over the years that
crowd in for a voice this morning as I think of her
passing to spirit yesterday, April 4th.

To begin with, a Q & A:

“Q: Where are you, Emmanuel when you are not
speaking through Pat?

A: I am everywhere Love is and so are You.

Q: I have been accustomed to thinking of the inner
mystery of myself as God or Divine. You use the word
‘Angel’. Is it the same?

A: Absolutely, as long as you allow God to be who
You are.
The concept of God has, traditionally, been given such
awesome, distant, historic vastness.
Angels are more manageable.

Q: What is the state we know as enlightenment?

A: Such a state involves the perception of two realities
at once.
When one moves to the awareness where all things
are seen as perfect and therefore as dancing light,
while one is still holding profound respect for the
human experience,
one becomes a bridge to both worlds.
That, I would say, is enlightenment in physical form.

When physical form is done with, then one can erase
“enlightenment” and simply pencil in “Homecoming.”

Q: Is it possible to live enlightened in the world?

A: Yes, but you will not then see the world as you do
now. Your senses will clear and you will see nothing
but Angels walking in the masquerade of their own
adventure.

When I say you are Angels, that is exactly what I
mean. I am not using a metaphor. I am not just
choosing a pleasant word.
I am stating what I know to be true.
You are beings of Light.

Let me urge you again to be who You are.
You will then fulfill every dream you have ever had,
merely by that one simple commitment
to trust yourselves..
When your human hearts are in accord with
the Angel’s mission,
you experience bliss, absolute delight,
and joy, for no reason that will satisfy the mind.
You will find yourselves daring to reach beyond
the stars.”
……………………………….. an excerpt from
EMMANUELS’S BOOK 111, ‘What is an Angel Doing Here?’

In the next few days I will share other material from these
three Books.

Whenever I was present at the public Emmanuel events at
Wainwright House in Rye, NY, I so resisted Emmanuel’s
answers to” first love oneself”! Wonderful, specific
advice followed, but in my frustration with my life as it was,
I just wanted answers to be spelled out for me.

It turns out I had to live it out, …. still doing that.

Always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

"Love is all that exists." ~ Emmanuel

RENEWAL

This was written on the eve of the first day of Spring.

I think of each of you, joining me at odd hours for a
poem, a reminder, a thought with which to begin this
day, and the next.

We, in Southwestern Connecticut, have been spared the
weather harshness of a winter this year. Yet, for so
many the winter months have contained challenges as
bitter and demanding as ever.

Today, with Spring ‘arriving’ tomorrow, March 20th,
this winter has ended with a major shift in the lives
of my daughter Sandy and her husband,Cliff. Health
issues have inspired them to renew their marriage
vows, and to see them moving forward with renewed
intention and energy.

For them and and for others who may be experiencing
this opening to release the past and welcome today,
I offer this poem:

” W I N T E R C H I L D

Myself at my door
like Blake
at home in his
heaven
my own heart
newly opened
by the news
and my face
turned upward
and innocent
toward them.

All the stars
like a great crowd
of creation singing

above the blessed home.”

……………DAVID WHYTE, from new & selected poems,
1984-2007, also already shared with you before this
in January, 2010.

always with love,

Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

"my own heart
newly opened.."