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.
March 10, 2018. I spent February studying Zen poetry – reading many of the classics and writing to suggested prompts. Lorraine “Bird” Mejia is a skilled online teacher and manages to pull things from me I did not expect. True with the Zen writing, for sure. But one of the exercises took me a bit off-prompt, smack dab back to the New Mexico mountain where we camp every August – specifically, back to the “snag” (a tree dead but standing, top broken off) where I sit in solitude. I posted about that snag in 2015, and here I repeat that earlier poem followed by my “Zenish” perception. One snag, two takes.
Who knows? There could be more snag poems to emerge …
October 2, 2017. A few days ago, on a ranch out in the Texas hill country, a group of us spread ourselves out for individual silent contemplative wanders. Our intended focus: “Earth connection”. I headed for the labyrinth, which consistently helps me focus … and is made of Nature’s materials.
Even on the labyrinth, focus is vulnerable to the unexpected. But then, paying attention to Nature’s surrounding energies is, in fact, connecting with Earth.
May 11, 2017. Reflecting on a day at Red Corral Ranch in the Texas hill country – I go every other month with a spiritual awareness group. Last week, right after group reflection on a Stanley Kunitz poem – we went out into the May sunshine to spend some quiet solo time reflecting and observing. Red Corral is home to a number of peacocks, noisy birds, calling back and forth to one another. Their squeals are intense, sounding like “HELP” – mixing in with Kunitz words, the birds helped this poem emerge. They reminded me who I am – poet.
April 4, 2017. Not typical Spring Fever! My restless state stems from too many changes I am unable to influence – this urge to tackle something tangible, make something prettier, even if insignificant in the larger realm of unpredictables. Why not transform a once-stately (still-comfy) rocking chair into a bright turquoise meditation station?
March 28, 2017. I’m wrestling with the loss of our tabby a couple weeks back – just when I think I’ve gotten over it, I find myself in tears again. Yesterday I watched the calico sitting in dappled shadows – I drifted deep into meditating on her focus in the moment, pondering her intuitive feline ways of adapting to this loss of companion. I found more questions than answers, but also acceptance that I don’t get to choose when grief resolves.
March 8, 2017. For those who ponder how poems materialize, today’s example (not exactly repeatable, but representative): Morning routines are just that – routine … Sketch begins trancing … Gary pauses on way out the door to describe a scene he’d rather stay home with … I tiptoe to peer at cat and experience a flash of envy … Pen in hand first, I think of camera a little too late … I rely on words to convey the scene.
The image is thus of resulting state rather than feline process of “getting gone”.