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:  Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Dear Christie”: https://ahundredfallingveils.com/2017/05/22/dear-christie/  Scientific American June 2017 issue, “The Meaning of Lichen”
Collage: Raven from Bryce Canyon, UT. Lichen from Red Corral Ranch, TX.
April 16, 2017. The many currents of thoughts and other energies can blend in surprising ways. Sometimes the nonverbal among us present the clearest responses.
January 31, 2017. Lately, a series of dreams have occurred driving solo in my Rav4, and while I puzzle over the varying symbols (a horse in the back seat, a bear hauling me and Rav4 up a huge tree) the constant of behind-the-wheel is perhaps of greater significance. Pondering if the Dream Maker is promoting solo travel, I found my way back to this poem.
My last big solo drive was January 2013, to Taos NM for a meditative intensive. I was quite hyped about going, both for the experience once there and for the long hours driving. Driving solo is a unique meditative experience in and of itself.
But going entails separation … this poem wrote itself between home and Taos. While I have no photograph of the departure scene beyond the poem’s imagery, I do have the contrast view a few hours post arrival. Parting words of caution rang in my ears as I skidded into Taos along with a major snow storm, icy roads, and much anxiety. Nothing prettier than an undamaged car, blanketed down for a few idle days.
January 7, 2017. My 2017 has begun with a flourish of intriguing dreams, stirring me to create a collage of dreamscapes that have made repeat appearances in recent years – trails, steps, bridges, houses, fences, water, mountains. I’ve yet to figure out how to take a photo while in a dream … so these actual photos stand in as symbols for the illusive dreamscapes.
(Perhaps another night, another collage of dream animals – cat, duck, and a new one this week: horse.)
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/