WHO IS YOUR GURU

What, who is my guru? ………
I have disappeared into the past, searching for the light
that has shown so brightly, that changed the course of
my headlong plunge through the everyday, any day, to
reach the numinous.

Don’t hold your breath. The truth is it could be you.
Really.

Forget the inefficiency of memory after all this time.
I’ve always retained the essence of the message long
after I no longer remember the messenger. Famous
names elude me, and so I cannot impress you with the
scope of my reading, of my searching, of my contact
with the ineffable.

I remember you, one by one. I remember just looking
into your eyes, hearing your voice when I was most un-
reachable.

You answered my questioning with another question.
You were the mirror that showed me beauty. You sat
next to me, wordless, and that was all that was needed.

When I asked you who you were, what you did,
you smiled and easily shared a list of references that
gave me clues, like the language of poetry or astrology.
In a few words, I got who you were. I got that you saw me.

“Guru” sounds singular. It is singular in that it only
happens through an exchange. The giver, and a receiver.
Like water, the essence flows in, around, over, embracing
the giver and the receiver.

So, dear one, thank you for that question! I would never
have thought to let you know. Stranger still, I would not
have known until you asked me that question.

My Guru is truly you.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

“SHE’S YAR”

That phrase, ‘She’s yar’ is an echo from when I was growing up,
and had a remarkable step-father who loved the old stories of
New England’s sailing ships, from clippers to dories, and those
words meant the vessel had fine, clean lines.

This morning, I looked up the word ‘yar’ in Webster’s dictionary,
and it’s not there. Curious. Did I make this up? Memory has a
way of recall that might be creative!

Along those lines, I have a poem for you:

“WORKING TOGETHER

We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again.

The visible
and the invisible

working together
in common cause,

to produce
the miraculous.

I am thinking of the way
the intangible air

traveled at speed
round a shaped wing

easily
holds our weight.

So may we, in this life
trust

to those elements
we have yet to see

or imagine,
and look for the true

shape of our own self,
by forming it well

to the great
intangibles about us.”

……… DAVID WHYTE, written for the presentation
of the Collier Trophy to the Boeing Company marking
the introduction of the new 737 passenger jet.

‘Yar’, for sure.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

TAKEN FOR GRANTED

STANDING. I had not realized how much I take for granted.
This morning I picked up a small book of poetic prayer,
intending to send to family and friends something from home.

A small reminder, maybe.
Instead, I found this amazing, simple awareness:

“This morning as I put my feet on the floor
let me remember how many thousands of years
it took for this act to be possible —-
the slow and painstaking development
so that a human creature could rise,
could stand on two feet, and then walk.

From the very beginning, from the first explosion
Your precise and patient love has been creating us.

The wonder is that now my hands are free
even as I walk or run or stand or dance.
The wonder is that now while I am upright
my eyes can gaze at the ground,
along the ground, and beyond to the horizon ….

I know You have made me
and all creatures for freedom ….
an ever-increasing, evolving freedom.
I am filled with awe by this.
It requires that we face the unknown,
that we rise to it.
You are still exploding in us
and I am scared.
My trust is so puny.

But You are near. You are here
even as You have been from the very first.
You are the vast time and space
in which life is happening. You are Life itself
providing us with centuries to become
Your conscious image.

With wonder at what You have entrusted to us,
help me to know that You are both
the ground and the being
apart from which there is nothing.
Help me to stand up
in Your freedom.”

…………GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book,
Being Home, a book of meditations.

This time of year, the bright lights conceal the fact
that we get up and return home in the dark. a time
for me to get started singing along with Pete Seeger,
“… this little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine,
let it shine,
let it shine.”
with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

BABES IN TOYLAND

“…… Magical, merry JOYLAND…
once you pass its portals, you may never return again.”

The sounds of that music echo from my childhood.
New York’s November & December programs on stage
were standard fare in our home. My sister and I put on our white gloves,
carried our little purses, and boarded the train to Grand Central
for the magic of illusion, accompanied by the adults.

Dears, that was many moons ago, yet is this not the season
for the very young?

Who could have said it better than this:

“My heart of silk
is filled with lights
with lost bells,
with lilies and bees.
I will go very far,
farther than these mountains,
farther than the oceans,
way up near the stars,
to ask Christ the Lord
to give back to me
the soul I had as a child,
matured by fairy tales,
with its hat of feathers
and its wooden sword.”

……………..FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA.

Hearing those words, who could not reclaim that
simplicity of childhood, matured, indeed, as it has through
the years and tears and tears to the fabric of belief.

Yes, Tinker Belle, I believe!

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Antoinette/Toni

IT’S BEEN A WHILE

I carefully pick and choose my inspirational sources, workshops,
poetry, diet clues. This can be serious business, yes, business
is the word, isn’t it?

So, when I come across a poem that frees me totally from these
aids and compulsions, I treasure it, very simply:

“….
And the people slipping on the ice in the street,
twice,
twice,
two different people
came over, goin to work,
so earnest and tryful,
clutching their pitiful
morning Daily News
slip on the ice & fall
both inside 5 minutes
and I cried and cried
That’s when you taught me tears, Ah,
God in the morning.
Ah, Thee
And me leaning on the lamppost wiping
eyes,
eyes,
nobody’d know I’d cried

or woulda cared anyway
but O I saw my father
and my grandfather’s mother
and the long lines of chairs
and tear-sitters and dead,
Ah me, I knew God You
had better plans than that
so whatever plan you have for me
Splitter of majesty
Make it short
brief
Make it snappy
bring me home to the Eternal Mother
today
At your service anyway,
(and until) ”

……..JACK KEROUAC

I’m not sure that I know whether I cry to laugh
beyond limit, or cry to stay within decent limit.
The result is the same. I am transported out of the
mind’s response and into the intuitive charm of
the absurd which comes very close to being in
touch with (divine) wisdom.

In any event, we ARE at your service anyway
(and until) .

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

POETRY AS MEDICINE

I discovered a gift totally by accident this morning.
To share that, here’s a clue that made this possible.
It’s a quote from the incredible book, “POETIC MEDICINE,
The Healing Art of Poem-Making” by John Fox.

“As the traditional medicine of many peoples demonstrates,
disease can be treated with images.
The patient, for her part, needs to see the images of her
healing, just as any of us in distress might look for the
stories and images wrapped in our complaints.

But she shouldn’t bring them too close to her, making
them too close to her, making them too personal,
or they will break apart.

We can only approach the gods through poetry,
and if the disease is the disguise of the gods,
then our medicine will be full of art and image.”

………….THOMAS MOORE

ART AND IMAGE, the very stuff of my Inner Portraits!
I sat here and wrote down, without pause or editing,
the understanding of the gift of my ‘gift’.

Here it is:

An Inner Portrait, to be so close …
I open myself to you, sitter, utterly,
and desire nothing from you.

Imagine the delight of being close,
to be in the presence of another and to have
the peace and clarity of no desire except
that of witnessing your beauty and giving you
the gift of insight, maybe.”
……………………………………………………………..

I could edit that by saying ‘sharing with you’
instead of ‘giving you’. I said “without pause
or editing” and so I’ve typed it as it was.

If I could believe I could write poetry, I’d
be able to say what joy this brings to me,
to actually see what I do in this light.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

IN THE BEGINNING

On page 26, I quote:
“But first let us begin at the beginning, back there
in the Garden of Eden, and explore not where it all
went wrong, but what in fact was so right, so gloriously
right about Eve and that scrumptious apple. And why,
above all else, we are so fortunate to have the pleasure
of sitting here in a human body with all five senses up
and running.”
………………….ROGER HOUSDEN, from his book,
Seven Sins for a LIfe Worth Living.

Pleasure, indeed. We’ve had a July 4th weekend, for
some of us, three days away from the usual. That’s re-
newal. Curiously, there was not much traffic, not the
usual bumper-to-bumper, traveling thru 3 states.

And then there was the heat.

Have you noticed that we are very aware of our bodies
when it’s very hot or very cold? We call it ‘weather’ but
it’s a time we change pace and allow ourselves to meet
the weather where it is, either very active or simply slow,
your choice.

All my five senses are up and ready to be running, what
joy! Summer is here. Just that word, summer, brings up
the idea of easy pleasure, evenings still full of light, and
permission to ‘come aboard’.

I suggest you pick up that book I mentioned earlier, and
let that be your guide for the season.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

FIND THAT PLACE

I have been asking the universe (Universe ?) to help me find
where I am blind to myself. It’s there somewhere because I
find I am often not happy.

I have made this a conscious search and request, and I have
today seen enough to know I am on a path to the answer.
Well, maybe to the right question!

Fast forward to the poem that has given me the clue today.
It’s called “KINDNESS”,
by Naomi Shihab Nye.

This poem has many lines, and it’s worth reading, but I am too
impatient to let go of that in me that needed to be seen and
which you might also find to be familiar in you if you take a
moment to notice, with courage, what’s present. Stay with me
on this one.

I would not describe myself as one who avoids contact, who
finds it easier to leave quickly after a moving movie, a spec-
tacular spiritual experience, a poetry reading. And yet, that’s
what I want to do. I can make up lots of good stories about that.
Instead, I’m sitting here, letting it settle in, staying with that.

Here’s what the first lines of each of the poem’s four stanzas says:

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve, in a moment…..”

“Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead at the side of the road,”

“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

“Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,”
…………………………………………………….

It was with kindness that I was able to see how I had projected my
inner environment on others, felt the pain from those others that
I, also, may have caused unknowingly along the way.

Many of you who read these dailies are my friends.
Wow! It is with kindness that I befriend myself now.
How much easier it is to be with you that way.

Always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

IT’S ONLY A THOUGHT

How many time have I carelessly said, ‘It’s only a thought.” No big deal.

Well, I’ve had lots of thoughts lately, coming from some deep well within me. These thoughts, these random bits of interest that occurred to me as I went about my days, were in response to the actions of others that stirred up stuff I thought I’d left far behind.

In case this may be happening to you, I’m passing on an amazing thought, a staggering paragraph from that metaphysical counselor, Louise L. Hay :

“No matter what the problem is, our experiences are just outer effects of inner thoughts. Even self-hatred is only hating a thought you have about yourself. You have a thought that says, “I’m a (stupid) person.” This thought produces a feeling, and you buy into that feeling. HOWEVER, if you don’t have the thought, you won’t have the feeling. Change the thought and the feeling must go.”

There’s more, but I know you are already there!

This past week I had a response to an experience that took me back 40 or 50 years! Cripes, I’m dealing with stuff that’s 50 years old? That was past, I’m done with it. Apparently, not quite completely done with it. Not done with it enough, so I picked up Hay’s classic, YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, and another paragraph I’m sharing with you this morning is really a reminder:

” This is only to show us where we get many of our beliefs. But let us not use this information as an excuse to stay stuck in our pain. The past has no power over us. It doesn’t matter how long we have have had a negative pattern.
The point of power is in the present moment.
What a wonderful thing to realize!
We can begin to be free in this moment.”
…………………………………..
Well, it’s a beginning. This moment, this Tuesday morning, this fifteenth of June, 2010, I take a deep breath and know I AM free in this moment.

Just a note, pain is very present when stuck in old beliefs that got buried.
What helps me right now is that I can be very present to what’s coming up again, and stop it right here. I will not let it get to ‘there’.

Words are thoughts, and, well, you know what happens after that in the ‘there’ of the next moment.

Always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

BACK IN MARCH

I never thought I’d live this long, … or this well !
Back in March, to even realize that months have passed and
2010 is here and happening each day.

Well, back then I shared a poem with you by William Stafford,
ending with:
“Maybe there are trumpets in the houses we pass
and a redbird watching from an evergreen —
but nothing will happen until we pause
to flame what we know, before any signal’s given.”

Another Stafford poem ended: ” I stood there, fifteen.”

Yesterday a poem showed up here on my screen:
“You Reading This, Be Ready.”

“Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life —

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?”

……………..WILLIAM STAFFORD, as shared 5/25/10
by Joe Riley, link: Panhala@yahoogroups.com

How immediate the poet’s perception is. I’ve found
myself in moments when time and space and future
disappeared and I was alive in that moment without
need for memory.

These moments do not last long. The great thing is
you never know when one will find you, ready and
waiting.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette