August 31, 2010

My World Tuesday

North Umpqa River above, and Little River below

I dream the dream of a pond

who lives not just to mirror the sky

but to let willow trees on the bank

drink me up.

-Shu Ting

August 30, 2010


“You have to grow from
the inside out.
None can teach you,
none can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher
but your own soul.”

~Swami Vivekananda

August 29, 2010

For the Sleepwalkers

Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible
arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.
I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,
palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.
And always they wake up as themselves again.
That's why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.

Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music
of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests.

We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-
walkers who rise out of their calm beds

and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.

~ Edward Hirsch


I love this poem - it so matches my intentions this morning. I am outside by my garden as I write this. The sounds of summer are everywhere, the feel of ths sun is so wonderful. I am the child bathing in this warmth, turning my face once again to the presence that fills the openness. Here I am exploring openness - where there is room for Presence to revel itself... knowing somehow that the nature of our nature is open.

August 27, 2010

Breath Made Visible

I’ve always said dance is the breath made visible and that covers about everything because once you stop breathing and the breath is no longer visible, you stop moving. ~Anna Halprin

Click here to see a beautiful video trailer of Breath Made Visible / Anna Halprin

August 26, 2010

Camas Lilies

Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas
opening into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the natives ground their bulbs
for flour, how the settlers’ hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?

And you — what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything —
leaving only a note: "Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming."

Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course
your work will always matter.

Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
~ Lynn Ungar ~

Oil painting by Ann Ruttan

August 25, 2010

My Mountain Flower

...and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

James Joyce

August 21, 2010

A Spiritual Journey

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.

~ Wendell Berry ~

August 19, 2010

A call to Love and to Ripen

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most
difficult task of all...., the work for which all other work is but
preparation. It is a high inducement to the individual to ripen...
a great claim upon us, something that chooses us out and calls
us to vast things.


August 18, 2010

Sleeping in the Forest

The Umpqua River near my home...

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

~ Mary Oliver

August 17, 2010

My World Tuesday; SE Oregon Desert

Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at that matters. It's what you see." I think he was right about that.

August 16, 2010

Pelted By Beauty

The power of love received in the body:
this was the Festival!
how we stood and faced one another
and we took hands
and the love came.
And all the flowers swarmed about our heads:
deep deep the sting goes.
Let love be welcomed the moment it seeks us.

—M.C. Richards

August 15, 2010

The Hummingbird

The sunlight speaks. And its voice is a bird:
It glitters half-guessed half seen half-heard
Above the flower bed. Over the lawn ...
A flashing dip and it is gone.
And all it lends to the eye is this --
A sunbeam giving the air a kiss.

Harry Kemp

August 14, 2010

Open from Deep Within

Sometime go outside and sit,
In the evening at sunset,
When there's a slight breeze that touches your body,
And makes the leaves and the trees move gently.
You're not trying to do anything, really.
You're simply allowing yourself to be,
Very open from deep within,
Without holding onto anything whatsoever.
Don't bring something back from the past, from a memory.
Don't plan that something should happen.
Don't hold onto anything in the present.
Nothing you perceive needs to be nailed down.
Simply let experience take place, very freely,
So that your empty, open heart
Is suffused with the tenderness of true compassion.

- Tsoknyi Rinpoche in
Carefree Dignity

August 12, 2010

Reciting Poems

Reciting poems in the moonlight,
riding a painted boat...
every place the wind carries me is home.

-Yu Xuanji

August 11, 2010

This is My Motto

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony."

~ William Henry Channing

August 8, 2010

Presence into Silence

Metta Inst Last night Ram Dass taught a group of caregivers, 80 in all, via Skype about "presence". His wise council included how to find a level above the disease, the story, the suffering, to relate soul to soul with another. He reminded us that we are not our personalities, our roles, but rather just loving-awareness. His grace touched hearts and minds, and then we fell back into silence.

What does Love give?

"Love gives us the fortitude to lighten the sorrow of others and ourselves. It soothes us like sweet cream and warms us into a gazing calm which makes us feel a sense of awe in the presence of something magical. Love helps us recognize the quiet grandeur or beauty of life. We notice the earth, the sky, a breathing, ...functioning planet, full-flowering gardens, and bending branches over silent walkways" C.J. Good

August 7, 2010

Married to Amazement

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world in my arms. When it's over, I don't want to wonder if I have made my life something particular, and real. I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened or full of argument. I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
- Mary Oliver

August 6, 2010

Watch with glittering eyes

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
— Roald Dahl

August 4, 2010

The Longest Journey

The longest journey I've made
is the one back to myself.

August 3, 2010

My World Tuesday

God's Lips Upon The Veil

God has never left you.

It is just
that your soul is so vast
that just like

the earth in its innocence,
it may think,

"I do not feel my lover's warmth
against my face right

But look, dear,
is not the sun reaching down its arms
and always holding a continent
in its light?

God cannot leave us.
It is just that our soul is so vast,

we do not always feel God's lips
upon the

St. Catherine of Siena