Garden Party

October 20, 2017.  An invitation we initiated in March has brought exactly what we hoped for – migrating Monarchs arrived this afternoon, four days after first blooms opened on the new blue mist bush.  We brought this home from Rancho Lomitas after watching Rio Grande butterflies congregating, making clear their preferred party food.  (Please don’t ask me the technical name. But do check out: http://www.rancholomitas.com/)

I stood in the midst of the flurry feeling invisible, a wallflower hanging around the buffet at an elite social event.  But no complaints!

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Drama Replay

September 17, 2017.  For several days, I’ve been rummaging through old photographs (from before I went digital) hoping to spy a certain mug. It was white stoneware, with a pink primrose painted on the side – part of a set, four different flowers.  Those mugs were my first purchase post divorce, back in 1979.  Symbols of independence – kept through the years though discolored from tea and coffee.  The pink one, most used, was the worst.  When Gary and I merged our lives and belongings under this roof in 2006, off to Good Will went the ugly mug.  I kept its blue mate, least discolored, as souvenir.

Striking out finding an old photo of the pink mug, I’ve let the blue one take its place in this collage.  Behind the mug is a scanned 1997 view of my backyard swing – scene of the drama.

Here’s to memories of mindfulness before I claimed such as part of my practice.

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Turquoise

August 19, 2017.  Home from summer travels, I am finally able to connect a poem written right before departure with images I did not have along on the trip.  This one’s been waiting for me to get home!

We lost our tabby Ziggy unexpectedly earlier this year.  I painted the back porch rocker turquoise, all that sanding and painting a way to deal with grief.  Since then, I keep seeing turquoise everywhere I turn.  And every time, Ziggy comes softly to mind.  One such encounter was an Eremos-sponsored day of Contemplative Poetry at St. Matthews Episcopal (in Austin) in June.  I did not yet know about the turquoise table movement to encourage neighbors to sit together and get to know one another.  The table pictured seemed just one more appearance of turquoise!  So I sat down and communed with Ziggy about turquoise.

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Near Rociada

July 23, 2017.  Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations.  This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace!  I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees.  Research proves its value.  My experience here bears witness.

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Defiance At Campground

July 19, 2017.  Traveling, taking in (our first time!) the 20th annual Woody Fest in Okemah, Oklahoma; WONDERFUL music experience for anyone considering what to do in future Julys!

Research led us to Pine Trees RV about 2 miles out of town – w,here we were under pines, overlooking a beautiful pond, at the end of a gravel road.  Blissful!  Those trees were most welcome in Oklahoma July heat.

We discovered a female kildeer thought so too – her “nest” barely out of traffic’s path. Speaking gently, approaching slowly, it was easy to get close.  But the moment I crossed her perceived boundary, she tripled in size and fierceness.  And I apologized!  (Right after snapping this image …)

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Collective

June 1, 2017.  The last half of May was a bombardment of encounters – a piling on of understanding my own impermanence, connectedness, and choices. This poem has been finished multiple times, only to reopen given the next day’s encounter.  Not all-inclusive, some pieces were trimmed to make space for others.   I’m calling this complete now.  (Though there could be a sequel!)

This began with breaking open during Jimmy LaFave’s final performance three days before his death – witnessing his choice to live his last year on his own terms, embracing life rather than fighting death.  The wrap-up arrived as a scientific article on lichens.

References:  [1] Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Dear Christie”:  https://ahundredfallingveils.com/2017/05/22/dear-christie/   [2] Scientific American June 2017 issue, “The Meaning of Lichen”

Collage:  Raven from Bryce Canyon, UT.  Lichen from Red Corral Ranch, TX.

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