PERMISSION TO SLEEP

I have picked up one golf memoir, two books of poetry,
and now this well-worn book of meditations called
B E I N G H O M E.
It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, and I want to finish my sleep.

I know that if I can find the best, best words to share with
you, I will fall back into bed and into deepest slumber.

So, here they are, those words:

“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.”

…………..GUNILLA NORRIS, 1991, Being Home.

I am lost in that wonder. Let me never take it for granted.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

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

GARDENS

As a child, I grew up reading “A Child’s Garden of Verses”,
familiar and wonderful. Now grown up considerably, I read
“A Mystic Garden, Working with Soil, Attending to Soul” by
Gunilla Norris. The familiar words never fail to become
new each year at this time. Just look:

“Daylight comes earlier now that it’s spring. Birds sing
even in the dark. Dormant life stirs in the garden. Inside,
I am stirring, too, waking up from something sleepy and
inert, something that’s held me quiet in the cold.

After a long winter we may feel a new permission.
Isn’t this when the gardening begins to begin? It’s time to
raise the blinds and open the windows as well, to let air in,
even if it’s cold. It’s time for new life to touch our faces
and our inward being.

The light is there. We can ask now to really be awakened.”

……………….. GUNILLA NORRIS, 2006

The tree outside my window has loved these few days of
mist and rain, and the first greenish leaves are pushing
through!

We have new “green” windows that bring in such light,
and frame each morning magically. Will I remember,
next year, that this year the leaves opened on April
Sixteenth? Will I remember that that’s when I really
got myself outside and walked for blocks? Will I be
the new person I long to be, from this spring, beginning
now?

Not a question, just a note.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

EQUANIMITY

“Summers are still warm,” is part of a sub-title for an article called,
‘It Would Be a Pity to Waste a Good Crisis’. Right now I am
concerned that Spring is not a bit warmer! While I am waiting for
real evidence of a change of season, I can entertain myself with
some thoughts from that article to try on for size:

“If you lose everything, you may also be lucky enough to lose

who you thought you were, along with any fear and despair

that goes with that identity. It might be that what we have to

learn is to play in the world like someone who really did run

away to join the circus when she thought about it as a child.

We are part of something vast, and generosity is an effortless

consequence of discovering that. We give away, in our turn,

what we have discovered and what we have been given.

It’s important not to discount the idea that in a crisis, one

might be having the time of your life.”

…………. JOHN TARRANT, in Shambala Sun, January, 2011

Having quoted that, let me hope for you that in any crisis you
may be undergoing, let there be someone who can run away
to that circus with you. OOPS! Figuratively, that is.

After all, we ARE all of us in this together.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

FOR TIM

I opened a familiar book just now, and had to laugh.
There is a page on “January Thaw”!
Gives me hope with still another week of January 2011 ahead.

In this book I found a conversation on gardens;
something to dream about, at least:

“My garden is a place of commitment and neglect, of arrogance
and humility. It is a place of taking stock and of deep silence —
a place of contemplation. And so for me over time it has
become a place of grace.

I experience as the particular human being I am. I have no
choice about that, but I trust that I am more like other people
than not, and that what I find working the soil might also be
what others find working theirs. I want to trust that with reverence
for place and awareness of my foibles, I can grow to be more
present and a better steward of my small corner of earth.”

…and on another page, the voice within said,

“Any love that has been experienced
is not lost.
It returns to Love itself.

How full of invisible life
is the garden you’ve been given.

At this very moment,
you are in company with everything.
Trust does not need visible signs.”

……………GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book,
A Mystic Garden, Working with Soil, Attending with Soul.

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

HAIKU Beautiful Short-hand

Let’s start with the sound of water:

Heard, not seen,
the camellia poured rainwater
when it leaned.

*

The banana tree
blown by winds pours raindrops
into the bucket.

*

With plum blossoms scent,
this sudden sun emerges
along a mountain trail.

……..BASHO

……………………………………………

How free I feel after a rain when the sun
bursts through and a new sky opens up,
releasing all winds to my thoughts.

Any one of these might fit your present moment.
Be Basho’s guest.

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

UNCLE EMMANUEL

Composed on August 29th.

It’s a summer Sunday.
‘Deep’ can wait.
I found this Introduction to a spiritual book as it was
written by Ram Dass:

“Introduction: Uncle Emmanuel”

“When I was a child I had a wonderful uncle who
brought me ‘surprises’. Now, fifty years later, the
spiritual child within me that is just waking up still
delights in the thought of having a benevolent uncle
who would give me gifts. But now, rather than
material benefits, I would prefer that my special uncle
share certain qualities with me.

The uncle I might look for now would be wise and
compassionate, with a dry sense of humor;
tough yet tender;
someone who would keep me at the edge of
consciousness through
prodding,
titillating,
kidding,
and loving me;

someone who by constantly reframing my reality
would help me to see the theatre of illusion
in which I am acting, the shadows on the wall;

someone who would transform my ‘problem’ into
exciting possibilities, and when I took myself too
seriously would show me how poignant I am;
someone who could guide me through the minefield
of my mind with cavalier confidence and joie de
vivre;

someone who is not afraid. Such a being would
be an ‘elder’ whom I could properly honor,
and at the same time fully enjoy..”

………………..from the Introduction to
Emmanuel’s Book II, The Choice for Love.
compiled by Pat Rodegast & Judith Stanton.

My edition of that book (1989) is full of underlines,
corners notched, coffee stains. This morning was
the first time I’d read the Introduction!
Well, Uncle Emmanuel, it was worth the wait. These
messages come when I’m ready for them, ready for
the simplicity of just saying I love the gift of being
surprised. Each of you is always surprising me.

always with love,

Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

A GOOD MORNING

Composed on August 14th.

In my middle years I was in therapy with an amazing woman,
Gunilla Norris, who lived in a beautiful small old house on
an energy ley line near Monroe, CT. It had a steep staircase
onto a front porch that greeted the sun. She wrote a book
of meditations about that house, called ‘Being Home’.

Here is her way of beginning a day:

“I climb downstairs to the first floor
and I think of ladders … the one that Jacob saw
with the angels going up and down … the one
rising out of the kiva … the one against
the burning building on the evening news.

Help me to not be so afraid
of the heights and depths! Help me
to concentrate on the connection
between the two: those humble steps,
those one-after-another steps,
which are the only ones I can really take.
Help me to love a slow progression,
to have no prejudice
that up is better than down or vice versa.
Help me to enjoy the in-between.

Standing here on the first floor I remember
going down the stairs on my bottom
as a toddler. THUD ..THUD …THUD …
It was energizing.

I want to reclaim bumping along again …
Please keep me from all spiritual ambition.”
…………………………………………………………………….
This morning, first thing, I showered, dressed, had some sips of coffee,
and strode outside, carrying my cane over my arm (just in case), and
walked before sun-up.

It was only ten minutes. It was a beginning.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/ Antoinette