April 28, 2016. Last night again rain, and with this round some fierce winds. By dawn, clear sky (the better to assess damages). Chainsaws buzzing all day – removing fallen and torn-left-hanging branches – kept me stirred up.
I can’t recall my dreams, but I woke with Ray Wylie Hubbard singing about true believers out on the road tonight (from his song The Messenger) and instantly thought of the baby wrens nested near our front door. I am awed by the unwavering trust birds have that another and then another tasty insect is ready for the snatching and taking back to hungry young. Too busy to worry! They must also trust storms will cease.
I found the wren house intact, a chorus coming from within. Assorted yard objects at peculiar angles amplified my gratitude for a sturdy bird house securely hung in an optimal location. As often happens, gratitude leads me to my camera. I got lucky catching both wren parents in a single shot – but their motion made matters a bit blurry. I experimented with artistic processing tricks and ended up with this soft reflection of their energy.
April 21, 2016. Another rainy day. But last night for several hours, the moon was in full view. My favorite moon view is in the front yard, from under the live oak – always a bit of repositioning required as both tree and moon are variables. Last night I stood on the walkway where earlier in the day lichen debris had clued us to a mockingbird nest fairly well camouflaged. Nesting materials downed by all this rain? Or Mama busy decluttering? Pleasing to know she was near, settled, as I stood moon-gazing.
April 14, 2016. In a recent workshop with John Fox (Mr. Poetic Medicine) and Mirabai Starr (Mystic), we practiced the poetic therapy of reading a poem several times and then writing a personal response – a new poem perhaps tied to the one read, and perhaps off on some diverse tangent. In other settings, I am practiced in reading poetry ala Lectio Divina – three times (for phrases that resonate; then for feelings engendered; finally for meaning to the listener). Mirabai shared her father’s emphasis on reading poems three times which struck me as a beautiful description of Lectio: First reading, you are knocking on the poem’s door. Second reading, you open that door. Third reading, you enter the room of the poem.
A few days after that workshop, I sat with a friend and David Wagoner’s poem “Getting There”. We read it to one another – knocking, opening, entering – and then wrote. This poem emerged, stemming from Wagoner’s reference to cheek against sandstone – which took me back to Lake Powell on the Arizona/Utah border. Tall red sandstone cliffs rise from bright blue water under blue skies. Tour boats take you past row upon row of what look like ancient women in robes, shoulder-to-shoulder. I’ve been there twice, and both times had the sense of being called to by cliff voices. This image is from 2007.
You can read David Wagoner’s poem “Getting There” here: www.ayearofbeinghere.com/2014/08/david-wagoner-getting-there.html
Go here for more on poetry therapy: http://www.poeticmedicine.com/
Go here for more on Mirabai Starr’s many contributions: http://mirabaistarr.com/
April 12, 2016. This post is a tribute to Story Circle Network and its founder Susan Wittig Albert – for the force motivating me (and so many others!) to put into writing the stories running through our lives, our hopes. I found Story Circle in 2000 when I was still getting my feet wet writing poetry. At my first Story Circle workshop, prompted to write about something important to me, I spurted out the story of the rocking chair that helped me transition from home to college. I was hesitant to read aloud, but that seemed to be expected, and so I read. Susan Albert’s exclamation “You’re a writer!” went right to my heart.
Now Story Circle has given this blog its “Star Blogger” endorsement. I’ll figure out soon how to make this badge part of the blog’s opening pages (learning curves never end!) but for now …
… in gratitude, I go back to that rocking chair. Like many a story that defines me, over time my telling of the story tightens to the essentials. It feels really good to do so adding an image. (Those clouds are the sky two days ago over Austin’s St. Edwards University.)