April 14, 2019. Recently I had the opportunity to sit in silence by a campfire, letting the dancing flames erase just about every thought … then present a face smiling at me from a burning log. Not a laughing grin … a serene smile. Apart from the added circle, this image is what my phone captured. The next morning I stared again at the face, recalling how it had indeed smiled all the way to sudden collapse. The haiku here is the result of multiple revisits to figure out just what message to take from that smile.
Maybe you will see a different message.
March 13, 2019. Another rainy morning, not quite so cold as the December morning I wrote this poem. But the same mood prevails upon me, upon the Labrador. We both seem inclined to sit peacefully and just observe.
Thank you, Ken Gierke, for pointing me to GIMP for photo manipulation. I like its “waterpixels” effect, appropriate for the scene, the mood.
January 18, 2019. Winter weather changes certain habits – like wandering about in the yard looking at the day’s blooms and potential blooms while Labrador Buttercup tends to her morning business. A heater on the enclosed back porch (our seasonal greenhouse) tempts and I navigate toward the rocking chair near by, leaving the porch door cracked for dog’s return.
Often porch time becomes reflective, more so these past few days as I’ve begun reading Alan Watts.
December 10, 2018. Today marks 2 weeks since a hurried scurry in my driveway left me flat against the concrete wondering briefly what all have I broken? And who saw me fall? Good news on all fronts – nothing broken and no distressed neighbors hovering. I got myself up slowly, marveling that everything still worked, and began puzzling why I tripped on something always right there, why on the day before I go to my aunt’s 94th birthday, why, why, why?
Richard Wehrman’s poem “Traveling” helps make sense of a seemingly senseless stumble. I’ve added bloom and swirl to a photo of my purple-puffed chin.
P.S. I am back to normal skin tones. More attentive in the driveway. Pondering still.
December 5, 2018. Once upon a time, when younger and more flexible, I would lay out a labyrinth on the mountain up above Cloudcroft NM each summer. In a national forest, one “leaves nothing and takes only pictures” – hence no permanent stone-lined labyrinth. My challenge included: repeatable installs, rain proof, cattle proof, materials must fit in the back of an already-crammed car.
Each summer, I would spend a spiritually connected day creating the labyrinth before the group arrived, and a frenzied couple of hours at close of the gathering – pulling up anchored straps and packing materials snugly back into their container.
Near the labyrinth center, I placed a bowl of polished gemstone fragments – and encouraged walkers to stir the collective energy as they passed.
This collage puts a smaller capture of the bowl near center over a larger capture of stones within the bowl
October 23, 2018. Once a year the Lone Star Flute Circle (Native American flutes) meets at Austin’s premier garden (and more) center – The Natural Gardener. Unique flute voices float out from the porch of the main building, hovering over ever-changing seasonal plants and yard sculptures. Husband Gary stays on the porch, taking turns with the others, contributing several of his flute voices. I wander the grounds, returning intermittently to the porch, listening to flutes all the while.
Except – as I approached the labyrinth in the back corner of the property, flutes were overridden by a raven calling, calling, calling. The stark shift in tone from flute to caw jogged my thoughts back to words read earlier – glass half full – calling as insistently as the raven – commencing a labyrinth walk focused on capacity to add more to my glass.
Referenced: RobertOkaji.com – “Letter to Harper From Halfway To The Horizon”
October 6, 2018. Today the U.S. has taken a turn many of us deem disastrous. But why sit home and follow the predictable senate vote? Better to brave traffic tension, spend the hours with meditative peers. Not a word uttered about the politicians’ games. From the silence, I’ve come away determined to keep a beginner’s mind, to follow whatever comes next with curiosity, to remember that nothing happens in a vacuum, nothing escapes eventual change.
This verse formed in my head as I drove toward today’s gathering – an intention mantra of sorts. The image is yucca seeds, gathered temporarily before separating to spread yucca essence beyond original setting, mixing into varied landscapes.