Thursday, November 22, 2012

GRATITUDE & Reminders to Self This Thanksgiving Time

What we appreciate appreciates.
Brother David Steindl-Rast

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. 

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought for a moment then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" 

"The one we feed", the old Cherokee replied.

                   ADVICE TO MYSELF 

                       Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
                       and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
                       Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
                       Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
                       Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
                       Don’t even sew on a button.
                       Let the wind have its way, then the earth
                       that invades as dust and then the dead
                       foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
                       Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
                       Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzles
                       or the doll’s tiny shoes in pairs, don’t worry
                       who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
                       matches, at all.
                       Except one word to another. Or a thought.
                       Pursue the authentic—decide first
                       what is authentic,
                       then go after it with all your heart.
                       Your heart, that place
                       you don’t even think of cleaning out.
                       That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
                       Don’t sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
                       or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
                       again. Don’t answer the telephone, ever,
                       or weep over anything at all that breaks.
                       Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
                       in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
                       and talk to the dead
                       who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
                       patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
                       Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
                       except what destroys
                       the insulation between yourself and your experience
                       or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
                       this ruse you call necessity.

                       Louise Erdrich 
                              (with thanks to Louisey at Letting Go)


I appreciate you, friends.

Joy to you & Happy Thanksgiving


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OUR COLLECTIVE DREAM | Lynne Twist & George Bernard Shaw

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations."
George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TUESDAY POEM | Home Theatre

           HOME THEATRE

              Alone in the room she holds the key, winds herself in velvet drapes to face
              Pandora's box. Outside, ball-chasers charge, warriors fence to keep the falling night
              at bay. They juggle their play, bounce their voices high to push the neighbourhood dark
              away. Inside, she turns the key in the lock on the box, at once is knee-deep
              in phosphorescence. Behind the cobwebs, beyond the window, the players watch
              as colours pop and sizzle across her face. All noble combat is abandoned then

              prospects of victory over dark no longer tempting in the rounding dusk. Paper cut-outs
              in the guise of children blow now into the room. They sink flat and folded, buckle up
              to make the trip comfortable in the sofa's cushioned lap.

              Ah me, blank box, the old oak table on which you stand once was the wooden floor
              for grandmother's dolls-house dramas. You give us grounds for discontent and yet
              we lift your lid in any case set your contents loose upon us.
              All plump and animated chatter shrinks to settle in the wings amongst our game and books
              and other well-worn things. You take the stage and strut, displaying the stuff of which
              you are made. You suppose we cannot see you taunt and flirt and purse your painted lips?

              But no. We are wiser than you might think.


This week we have a guest editor on the Tuesday Poem hub -  Madeleine Slavick, a US writer who lives in the Wairarapa. Madeleine has chosen SO THERE by Robert Creeley.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

TUESDAY POEM - The Silence of The Stars by David Wagoner

I posted this poem earlier this year but because it's a favourite and because night skies with random constellations of stars seem to be at the tip of my paint brush these days, I'm posting it again. . .  

Night Watch (details from work in progress - Oil on Paper)

                 THE SILENCE OF THE STARS

                     When Laurens van der Post one night
                     In the Kalahari Desert told the Bushmen
                     He couldn't hear the stars
                     Singing, they didn't believe him. They looked at him,
                     half-smiling. They examined his face
                     To see whether he was joking
                     Or deceiving them. Then two of those small men
                     Who plant nothing, who have almost
                     Nothing to hunt, who live
                     On almost nothing, and with no one
                     But themselves, led him away
                     From the crackling thorn-scrub fire
                     And stood with him under the night sky
                     And listened. One of them whispered,
                     Do you not hear them now?
                     And van der Post listened, not wanting
                     To disbelieve, but had to answer,
                     No. They walked him slowly
                     Like a sick man to the small dim
                     Circle of firelight and told him
                     They were terribly sorry,
                     And he felt even sorrier
                     For himself and blamed his ancestors
                     For their strange loss of hearing,
                     Which was his loss now. On some clear night
                     When nearby houses have turned off their visions,
                     When the traffic dwindles, when through streets
                     Are between sirens and the jets overhead
                     Are between crossings, when the wind
                     Is hanging fire in the fir trees,
                     And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove
                     Between calls is regarding his own darkness,
                     I look at the stars again as I first did
                     To school myself in the names of constellations
                     And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,
                     I can still hear what I thought
                     At the edge of silence where the inside jokes
                     Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,
                     The C above high C of my inner ear, myself
                     Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:
                     My fair share of the music of the spheres
                     And clusters of ripening stars,
                     Of the songs from the throats of the old gods
                     Still tending ever tone-deaf creatures
                     Through their exiles in the desert.

                     David Wagoner

This week's Tuesday Poem editor is Renee Liang 
with Transport
by Riemke Ensing

Please click on the quill. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

TUESDAY POEM - Disturbed Earth by Margaret Atwood

Detail from a work in progress - Oil on Paper - 2012

                           DISTURBED EARTH

                           Disturbed earth: some plants sprout quickly in it.
                           Sow thistles come to mind.
                           After you've wrenched them out
                           they'll snake back underground
                           and thrust their fleshy prickled snouts in
                           where you'd intended hostas.

                           Hawkweed will do that. Purslane. Purple vetch.
                           Marginals, hugging ditches,
                           flagrant with seed,
                           strewing their paupers' bouquets.

                           Why is it you reject them,
                           them and their tangled harmonies
                           and raffish madrigals?
                           Because they thwart your will.

                           I feel the same about them:
                           I hack and dig,
                           I stomp their pods and stems,
                           I slash and crush them. Still,

                           suppose I make a comeback -
                           a transmutation, say -
                           once I've been spaded under?
                           Some quirky growth or ambush?

                           Don't search the perennial border:
                           look for me in disturbed earth.

                           Margaret Atwood
                           from The Door

This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub is Seattle-based poet Therese Clear 
with March 6, 1890: Eugene Schieffelin Releases 80 Starlings in Central Park 
by Holly J. Hughes

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