September 16, 2021. We’re packing to travel again, returning about a week into October, so I’m in a swirl of preparations for cat-sitters and packing and all those essential tasks that precede rolling out onto the road, headed for Nature’s tranquility.
Before I go, I want to share this poem. A more enjoyable sort of swirl. It felt good in the writing and I continue enjoying the visual I’ve created. Where might one find an actual paisley dance floor? Why not on the moon – so that’s where I’ve imagined (and collaged) it. Turn on or imagine your own music and enjoy visualizing your own feet swirling across paisley “up there” where you’re aware of no one but yourself. Trust me, it feels good!
April 6, 2021. This poem keeps teasing me to “do something” – perhaps posting it will stimulate clarity. It’s a product of a rich writing session with Ali Grimshaw (flashlight batteries – Ali Grimshaw) back in March – triggered by the Kim Stafford poem Ali shared and by group energies – then reinforced a couple of days later reading this quote from Pablo Casals: “It takes courage to listen to your own goodness and act on it. Do we dare to be ourselves?”
I’ll dare to share my angst with growing tensions in my state, in my country. I see no clear path toward meeting in the middle, given so many choose “loyalty to cause” over any tiny concession. But I can smile at those standing in line for vaccinations, neighbors in their front yards, people in the grocery store – not knowing which side they are on but recognizing we are all in the same mess. A wild card is an unknown or unpredictable factor influencing outcome. I can hope some good ones come into play. I can hope I recognize chances to be a wild card in personal encounters. And I can embrace inner wild card appearances that nurture my own understanding.
Image is my 2021 focus mandala (addendum to 2020 Uncertainty mandala).
March 30, 2021. I turn to a labyrinth to focus inward – the image here is my frequent walking meditation choice as getting there involves minimal traffic and usually I have it to myself (my preference, although there are gifts in walking a labyrinth with a group.) Since discovering labyrinths back in 1999, they have become my visual metaphor for “life’s path”. In both, the goal is “centered” where pestering perplexities sort of make sense and a calm settles in, acceptance of conditions and recognition that conditions almost surely equal opportunity, even if details are elusive. An alternative to walking a labyrinth, I also turn to finger labyrinths – small enough to fit in a lap, circuits traced with finger tip while eyes remain closed.
Bothered ongoing through the past year about divisiveness in attitudes toward politics, COVID precautions, and what my role might be in the midst of what our country is going through, I recently took my befuddlement to the labyrinth. Stepping into the path, I thought of finger labyrinths I’m creating for a group experience in August, puzzling how to add a tactile confirmation of having reached center (to ease the urge to open eyes to check!) This poem emerged as I walked toward labyrinth center curious: How will I know on my life path when I’ve reached center?
If you count life center as mid-range in years lived, I am surely way past center. But if life center is the point of centered awareness of why I exist at all … well, I need to keep going.
November 13, 2020. Scenes of burned forest embody both horror and hope … and present an apt metaphor for the current political scene in the U.S. Imagery here is from New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness which includes forest land that burned several years ago and promises to evolve eventually into renewed (albeit different) beauty. While there in September, many days the sky was darkened by smoke from active Arizona fires. And the news was full of Colorado and West Coast fires. Reminders that the devastation in front of us was not a one-time freak occurrence.
What can I contribute toward healing either former forest or former democracy? I offer imagery to promote hope.
July 27, 2020. Following my prior post (also on personal encounter with creativity) I’m reusing the image as it perfectly suits! I stumbled onto both poems while clearing clutter … on two separate occasions. Prior poem is repeated below this additional poem from same era. (I’ve no clue which was written first! Nor what may emerge from next decluttering urge.)
Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Recently, clearing clutter, I stumbled on a handwritten poem clearly written back in my Old Normal: mornings wandering through poems on WordPress, evenings lost in yet another jigsaw puzzle – both meditative practices, both prone to spark poems. Usually such poems go quickly into the computer; some connect to photos I’ve taken (or decide to take after writing); and some of those arrive here.
I’ve not posted in a while. Life got very complicated, and will continue in that vein for a while. My son was taken to ER in Minnesota (where he’s lived a couple of years) and ended up having brain surgery: glioblastoma stage 4. Devastating. Since, I’ve been to Minnesota, packed up my son and his things, and brought him here for what lifespan remains.
I am bit by bit turning back to meditative time-for-me (which benefits everyone under this roof!) and this poem has me blogging again. This collage merges imagery from the referenced posts with my own photo of lines in the sky.
These poems are well worth reading (again, if you already follow the poets):
May 9, 2020. COVID-19 makes for odd times, the new normal ever evolving. I feel my sense of time (days, hours) slipping further and further from the forefront of thoughts and actions. I’ve begun putting routine tasks on my calendar, but then I forget to open it, and oops! Two days late dosing the pets with monthly heart-worm preventive. This poem was written in those hours that challenge my dating the page: is it still yesterday or already tomorrow? I had great fun creating the collage, though difficult to choose which of the 40 photos taken of our first 2020 echinopsis cactus bloom. So many petals, so many angles, so intriguing to steadily observe, wishing I could slip between petals for a snooze.
April 11, 2020. I’ve been sewing … first time in awhile! Making face masks to wear into grocery stores and such per COVID-19 expectations. In years past I did a lot of sewing, but not recently. Feels good to be back in the saddle, so to speak.
February 5, 2020. Sometimes it’s good to excuse ourselves from current events and commune on a more spiritual level with our surroundings.
Finally I’m able to stand between my eclectic shaman and my backyard fountain – mindful of energy moving around and within – triggered by the brilliant turquoise of fountain replicated on a limb trimmed from our Texas Persimmon tree. To replace the shaman’s original staff weathered away, I began late last summer working the branch, sanding – but somehow the painting stayed delayed. Now it has all come together! (I’ve put the two closer together via collage.)
Shaman: Made to order about 10 years ago, combining characteristics of Texas rock-art shaman figures with their Arizona kin – 3’9″ boosted higher by stump
Fountain: Standard variety, central feature in our backyard “wheel garden” – attracting many winged visitors – 3’9″ high
December 3, 2019. Our rosemary has not looked all that well since the freezes a year ago, and cutting it back was on my list after our first 2019 freeze. Well, good thing I’m slow getting to that list!