Monday, December 21, 2009

A Poem for the Winter Solstice in North Leitrim

The crow at dawn,
Dark and alive against the heavy sky.
Snow-burdened branches, evergreen,
Reach to embrace Y
ou as You rise.

The valley,
Your nativity, and
My mountains pay homage.

The Sun is born and
I sing His praises -
A carol in chorus with the
Wind and the birds and the
Beasts who stir near the manger.

Your warmth, once more, penetrates me.

And as in time before

Wakens slumbering seeds of
Need, desire, and a song of hope still unheard.

D Sallee, 2009.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Old Ways

MacDiarmada was one of the signers of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence declaring Ireland's freedom from England. He, along with many others, were executed by the British for their part in the Easter Uprising.

He lived in a cottage in the hills of North Leitrim and I visited it during a slight lull in the terrific weather we have had this month.

When we arrive there was a great fire roaring in the old hearth and Tina set about tending it.
Soon two workers appeared - an older man and a man in his early twenties. The young man was proud to tell us he was learning the old ways of repairing the cottage thatch... the torch is being passed so that traditions can be continued. They were happy to show me a bit of how they worked the thatch and then we all came into the cottage and talked by the fire. The frost came that evening...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Worst Flooding in Memory"

Nearly sunset after yet another day of heavy rain in Ireland. Worse in the Cork and Galway area but North Leitrim has had high winds and more rain than the saturated fields can hold. The lake beyond the main road is full but holding and I just saw my cows come out from their shelter under the trees. But the crows have not appeared so there must be more rain to come - and soon.

A thin crescent moon low in the sky...the wise woman told her daughter to look to the West for the weather. The clouds have lifted and the sun, with only moments left to share its magic with us, appears.

The West of Ireland - raw, rugged and struggling - yet it is here that I have found Home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

She any name She Is.

"The Virgin Mother"
by Ella Young

Now Day's worn out and Dusk has claimed
a share
Of earth and sky and all the things that be,
I lay my tired head against your knee,
And feel your fingers smooth my tangled hair,
I loved you once, when I had heart to dare,
And sought you over many a land and sea;
Yet all the while you waited here for me
In a sweet stillness shut away from care,
I have no longing now, no dreams of bliss.
But drowned in peace through the soft gloom
I wait
Until the stars be kindled by God's breath;
For then you'll bend above me with the kiss
Earth's children long for when the hour grows
Mother of Consolation, Sovereign Death.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Under Ben Bulben

W. B. Yeats.
Swear by what the sages spoke
Round the Mareotic Lake
That the Witch of Atlas knew,
Spoke and set the cocks a-crow.

Swear by those horsemen, by those women
Complexion and form prove superhuman,
That pale, long-visaged company
That air in immortality
Completeness of their passions won;
Now they ride the wintry dawn
Where Ben Bulben sets the scene.

Here's the gist of what they mean.

Many times man lives and dies
Between his two eternities,
That of race and that of soul,
And ancient Ireland knew it all.
Whether man die in his bed
Or the rifle knocks him dead,
A brief parting from those dear
Is the worst man has to fear.
Though grave-digger's toil is long,
Sharp their spades, their muscles strong,
They but thrust their buried men
Back in the human mind again.

You that Mitchel's prayer have heard,
"Send war in our time, O Lord!"
Know that when all words are said
And a man is fighting mad,
Something drops from eyes long blind,
He completes his partial mind,
For an instant stands at ease,
Laughs aloud, his heart at peace.
Even the wisest man grows tense
With some sort of violence
Before he can accomplish fate,
Know his work or choose his mate.

Poet and sculptor, do the work,
Nor let the modish painter shirk
What his great forefathers did,
Bring the soul of man to God,
Make him fill the cradles right.

Measurement began our might:
Forms a stark Egyptian thought,
Forms that gentler Phidias wrought,
Michael Angelo left a proof
On the Sistine Chapel roof,
Where but half-awakened Adam
Can disturb globe-trotting Madam
Till her bowels are in heat,
Proof that there's a purpose set
Before the secret working mind:
Profane perfection of mankind.

Quattrocento put in print
On backgrounds for a God or Saint
Gardens where a soul's at ease;
Where everything that meets the eye,
Flowers and grass and cloudless sky,
Resemble forms that are or seem
When sleepers wake and yet still dream,
And when it's vanished still declare,
With only bed and bedstead there,
That heavens had opened.

Gyres run on;
When that greater dream had gone
Calvert and Wilson, Blake and Claude,
Prepared a rest for the people of God,
Palmer's phrase, but after that
Confusion fell upon our thought.

Irish poets, learn your trade,
Sing whatever is well made,
Scorn the sort now growing up
All out of shape from toe to top,
Their unremembering hearts and heads
Base-born products of base beds.
Sing the peasantry, and then
Hard-riding country gentlemen,
The holiness of monks, and after
Porter-drinkers' randy laughter;
Sing the lords and ladies gay
That were beaten into clay
Through seven heroic centuries;
Cast your mind on other days
That we in coming days may be
Still the indomitable Irishry.

Under bare Ben Bulben's head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago, a church stands near,
By the road an ancient cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase;
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beauty is...

I find myself in the midst of an ancient debate over the definition of Beauty. Plato opened up the dialog in this way:

"And this is the true discipline of loving or being loved: that a man begin with the beauties of this world and use them as stepping-stones for an unceasing journey to that other beauty, going from one to two and from two to all, and from beautiful creatures to beautiful lives, and from beautiful lives to beautiful truths, and from beautiful truths attaining finally to nothing less than the true knowledge of Beauty itself, and so know at last what Beauty is."

Somewhat later Joseph Addison in the early 18th century said it this way:

"But there is nothing that makes its Way more directly to the soul than Beauty, which
immediately diffuses a secret Satisfaction and Complacency through the Imagination. . . ."

Yet I am quite sure Beauty is a reflection of Nature and of our Soul - Byron understands:

"Are not the mountains, waves, and skies, a part Of me and of my soul, as I of them? "

And, of course, Shelley understands:

"Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world. . . ."

So, we have Love, Nature, and Soul...perhaps Beauty is the synthesis of these three. Or, not.

I continue the Search for Beauty. Perhaps I found it today in the miracle of a rainbow...

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Huntress With The Bow"

Now is it sea or land
Wide waste on either hand;
A nebulous amaze
Of waters, or of sand?

Plume of shuddering white,
Plume of irised light,
Gone - gone!
Was it a star that shone,
Or a sharp wave-onset on
The water-jewelled beach,
The sea's sure long-armed reach,
Swift ebb and overflow?

Proud and high,
In the dusk-empurpled sky
Runs the moon.

Ashtaroth, to-night you go
A-hunt with beauty-tautened bow;
And where you strike no hand may dare
Pluck forth the arrow quivering there.
-Ella Young

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Bee-Loud Glade

I took a seminar course as an undergraduate on W.B. Yeats. When I read the lines "bee-loud glade" and "for peace comes dropping slow" I knew there was a journey I needed to be on but I had no idea until now where the journey would end. And when I returned from Innisfree yesterday my friend in Wales had written to say her husband was "checking out his bees are all snug and tucked in to their hive for the winter."

I share with you - Innisfree.

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
-William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank you, Mom!

You never can tell where an important message might come from - or who the messenger might be. My mother just sent me a quote by Goethe that speaks directly to my new "religion" of taking action:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Part of taking action is knowing when to heed the warning signs and when to know they really are not meant for you and plunging right into the dark waters. Scary? Yes, but isn't stagnation even more scary?

Thank you, Mom!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brahms, the Sun and the Sheep

A fine misty rain all day with the heavy sky so near I could touch it. Then suddenly, with Brahms touching Beauty inside me, the sun broke through and shone magnificently
in the fields below my window. For a few wondrous moments the trees, their wet leaves golden in this season, shimmered brilliantly against the pale blue sky.

Two fields below the dinner bell must have rung, for a flock of sheep quickly darted across in single file. Running sheep from a distance have no legs. They appear as large cotton balls bouncing in the tall grass.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finding Home...

My third morning in North Leitrim with a mist lingering over the mountain across from me and the sheep all white dots in the fields below. Green everywhere and a few trees beginning to show their autumn colors. Home. Nothing has ever felt so deeply satisfying. Have I been on the path that brought me here for all my fifty-eight years? There is no book written that will tell you where your home will be - you find home by listening to your heart - is she singing? What makes her sing? And then, you get up, put down the book, turn off the TV and make a contract with your soul that you will go Home. Action - no talk and no excuses. Just do it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

In search of Beauty

Today I truly returned home to the waters that nourish my soul at the Brú na Bóinne in County Meath and began my new journey in my new land. I, a pilgrim, in search of Beauty. 

As the late John O'Donohue knew so well "Beauty calls us beyond ourselves and it encourages us to engage the dream that dwells in the soul." 

The rain washed me - washed away the barrenness I felt in California - and opened me to all the possibilities of my life. To be engaged - to be more than an observer and a consumer. To participate fully and wholly in the gifts of this life. To create beauty even as we seek her.

Peter is home now - I am home. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Silver Bird Awaits...

This is it - dreams become reality this moment. My new mantra "Action-Action."  I'm a believer. 

Next stop...Home!  I feel it life is about now and about tomorrow...

Friday, September 4, 2009

"The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty"

Book of Life - Lake of River - stuff of myths and heroic epics. Read this book and be forever changed. "God the Tailor accepts the fabulous lunatics of the earth and stitches the immaculate seams. Sense invigorates the cloudy souls. With charity cloth beyond all redemption,they are redeemed."

Ireland - her people - keep calling to me and I answer "Soon...wait for me" like I would to a restless lover.

I follow the moon and feel the pull of the tides. Soon is not soon enough.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"The Secret Scripture"

The Secret Scripture (2008), shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and winner of the 2008 Costa Book of the Year Award is a truly amazing book. I thank my dear friend Kathy for telling me about it at this time when I am heading off to the very region in which the novel is set - the northwest of Ireland.

The weaving of our lives and our connections. Choices made and consequences. The haunting of the past.

Sebastian Barry is a brilliant writer - his voice transports me to Ireland. Certainly not the Ireland of the Irish Tourist Board but of a place rich in the history of its forgotten people. A land rich in stories - what will my story be?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Envisioning our dream...

For the past month I have been taking action to make my dreams come true - I am going Home - I am moving to Ireland. As Tony, my real estate agent in Leitrim said to me over the phone: "Just come home...come home to Ireland and we'll sort it out."

One has to have faith - Big Faith at a time such as this. Here I am 58, no savings account, no property to sell, no cushy pension. But here is what I do have:

1. Confidence that I have so much goodness to offer Ireland that She will find a way for me to live and to contribute.
2. Confidence in myself because I know dreams don't happen without lots of action and I am an action-oriented person.
3. Friends in Ireland to help me - to point me in the direction I need to go to get my questions answered.

It's all a great and glorious adventure! I refuse to die with regrets!

[Photo of Beanna Bo (Benbo) Mountain, Co. Leitrim - thank you, Nuala McNulty!]

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Wolf Solent" by John Cowper Powys

"Wolf Solent" by John Cowper Powys reminds me why I started my academic life as an English major. I read my first Powys novel in the mid -1970's when I discovered his fascinating novel based upon Welsh hero Owen Glendower. In those years I was hungry for anything about Wales - land of my Grandmother - but there was little to be found. And now, 30-odd years later I discovered a worn copy of "Wolf Solent" in a discard bin.

It's language and imagery. It's a world that is no more. It's Nature nearly eclipsing an array of fascinating characters whose seemingly simple outward world hides the darkest primordial stirrings of Lenty Pond.

Let me share a scene with Wolf and his illicit lover Christie:

"The weight of the immense vaporous summer darkness covered them there like a waveless ocean. They floated there upon a cool, yielding darkness that had neither substance nor shape, a darkness full of a faint fragrance that was the sweetness neither of clover nor of poppies nor of corn nor of grass, but was rather the breath of the great terrrestrial orb itself, a dark interior, outflowing sweetness between vast-rocking waves of air, where firmament bent down to firmament, and space rose up to meet space."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time Out

Sometimes the Universe forces you to slow down and sometimes that is exactly what you need. Case in point: instead of the whirlwind research 2-days away I had planned I sat in a hospital room with my friend while tests were done and she desperately tried for a few moments of rest. On the way to the hospital I grabbed a book my mother had just read and enjoyed - it haunted her, I could tell. I do not remember the last time I had hours to do nothing but read, drink tea, and knit the occasional row on a project that may never end. The sun came in and warmed my back where I sat in the window seat of her room. I even napped a few times - ah bliss!
My friend is home and safe and the book is completed. This is a great novel - a truly haunting novel. All is well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Takin' a Chance on Life...

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." ~Soren Kierkegaard

I did something wildly exciting today - I applied for a job that I really, really want! How scary is that?

When I was about 14 I lived in the Philippines on a Naval base. To keep the teens entertained and out of the local bars they had lots of activities for us. My favorite was when we all went out on a launch to one of the hundred or more islands in the area. Generally these were small islands with perfect white beachs and aqua water covering colorful coral reefs. O Paradise! And I knew it even then. But a couple of times we went to Corregedor - this was long before it became a park with a museum and tours for the tourists. We teens had the run of the place. At the end of the day our ritual was the daring dive off the high pier. Now, I am one of the world's most beautiful swimmers but I never learned how to do a proper dive. But I was not going to let the pier win the day and off I went only to do the world's biggest belly flop. It hurt. It knocked the wind out of me. But I did it! I overcame my fears and inhibitions and leapt...

So, I've done it again. Only this time the warm ocean is the cold void of a major career change...gulp. A life lived in fear is no life at all. I've learned that lesson ~ and so I jump!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jeffers, John Muir, Carmel and British Columbia

Connecting...connections. From the great northwest came a man to talk of Jeffers and John Muir and Nature. Fate denied me a seat for the lecture so I will pursue this clue on my own with books ordered, etc...Ron Dart in pursuit of a copy of Jeffers' Hungerfield poem brings me words of understanding and comfort and makes the ordinary Friday extraordinary. The Spiral turns once again for Nature is wonderful, mighty, and frightening ~ but She is our guide and our ultimate teacher. It is moments like Friday that remind me even as I am awed by Her work that this is the source of my lifeblood.

Peter, Peter...we should have gone to the mountain. Such a simple act. All we needed to do was follow the River...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blessings to the Earth ~ from Ella Young

"Ogma brought the Sword of Light from Findrias the cloud-fair city that is in the east of the De Danaan world; Nuada brought the Spear of Victory from Gorias the flame-bright city that is in the south of the De Danaan world; the Dagda brought the Cauldron of Plenty from Murias the city that is builded in the west of the De Danaan world and has the stillness of deep waters; Midyir brought the Stone of Destiny from Falias the city that is builded in the north of the De Danaan world and has the steadfastness of adamant. Then Brigit and her companions set forth.
They fell like a rain of stars till they came to the blackness that surrounded the Earth, and looking down saw below them, as at the bottom of an abyss, the writhing, contorted, hideous life that swarmed and groped and devoured itself ceaselessly.
From the seething turmoil of that abyss all the Shining Ones drew back save Midyir. He grasped the Fiery Spear and descended like a flame.
His comrades looked down and saw him treading out the monstrous life as men tread grapes in a wine-press; they saw the blood and foam of that destruction rise about Midyir till he was crimson with it even to the crown of his head; they saw him whirl the Spear till it became a wheel of fire and shot out sparks and tongues of flame; they saw the flame lick the darkness and turn back on itself and spread and blossom ¬murk-red — blood-red —rose-red at last!
Midyir drew himself out of the abyss, a Ruby Splendour, and said: "I have made a place for Brigit's mantle. Throw down your mantle, Brigit, and bless the Earth! "
Brigit threw down her mantle and when it touched the Earth it spread itself, unrolling like silver flame. It took possession of the place Midyir had made as the sea takes possession, and it continued to spread itself because everything that was foul drew back from the little silver flame at the edge of it.
It is likely it would have spread itself over all the earth, only Angus, the youngest of the gods, had not patience to wait: he leaped down and stood with his two feet on the mantle. It ceased to be fire and became a silver mist about him. He ran through the mist laughing and calling on the others to follow. His laughter drew them and they followed. The drifting silver mist closed over them and round them, and through it they saw each other like images in a dream—changed and fantastic. They laughed when they saw each other. The Dagda thrust both his hands into the Cauldron of Plenty.
"0 Cauldron," he said, "you give to every one the gift that is meetest, give me now a gift meet for the Earth."
He drew forth his hands full of green fire and he scattered the greenness everywhere as a sower scatters seed. Angus stooped and lifted the greenness of the earth: he scooped hollows in it; he piled it in heaps; he played with it as a child plays with sand, and when it slipped through his fingers it changed colour and shone like star-dust-blue and purple and yellow and white and red." "The Earth Shapers" by Ella Young. In Celtic Wonder Tales, 1923.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Haunted by Hoffman

It all started last October driving home from Bellingham with Peter's ashes safely tucked away in my red carry-on suitcase. After glimpsing a Borders from Hwy 5 I exited in search of a tall soy chai - my current addiction. I found the chai and on my way out picked up my first Alice Hoffman novel The Ice Queen for the motel room in the hopes of taking my mind off what the trip was all about. And thus began the haunting of Denise by Alice Hoffman. The story unfolds as a librarian (libraries figure big in Hoffman books) learns how to live with the "be careful what you wish for it might come true" curse. Me? I'm still working on that one...
Then last January while trying to shake off a nasty virus I found a well-worn copy of Here On Earth in my nightstand. Thanks, Alice, a book about love and obsession as timeless as Wuthering Heights. A book about wounded men...thanks, Alice.

And now I am working my way slowly through Skylight Confessions that truly is about haunting. Sam, a young boy - a gifted, brilliant young boy - loses his mother on the earthly plane but she remains with him - through the drugs, through the destruction. Thank you, Alice.

Not sure what this all means but I am drawn into her writing because of her use of myth as a mirror for our world and our lives. Heady stuff that makes one think - makes one examine ones own life and relationships. Go for it, Alice - somehow I don't feel the Haunting by Hoffman is quite over.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can we live without bees? At least 90 food crops are dependent upon bees - and we are dependent upon food crops. Bee experts say it is stress from ag business - treating the bees like industrial factory workers. Then, of course, there is the poison factor - the pesticides dumped upon the food you eat poisons you, poisons the bees, poisons the Earth...
get the connection?

A documentary is in progress on the loss of our bees hopefully entitled "Return of the Honeybees" - here is what the filmmakers say:

From the dawn of human society, the nature and origin of the honeybee has awakened the curiosity and interest of man. For the past five million years, this furry insect has been a creature of special sanctity, representing many things such as the human soul, industry, cooperation and the sacred feminine. Our relationship with bees also denotes the most ancient form of agriculture. Pre-historic petroglyphs depict women on honey hunts and Ancient Egyptian farmers floated beehives on rafts down the Nile to pollinate their crops.

And yet today, we live in a state of disconnect. The average consumer has no idea where things originally come from, not even something as vital as our food. They think edibles come naturally shrink-wrapped on a shelf and that the bees are merely stinging insects that make honey, when in fact these prime pollinators are responsible for one third of the food we eat, including most of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and even alfalfa used to feed livestock. In America, this amounts to about $18 billion in annual sales.

Yes, all life is sacred. Many cultures worshiped the bee - the Greeks in particular. One of my favorite books is "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd that richly illustrates the healing power of honey flowing into the healing energy of a special group of women. The Queen Bee as High Priestess.

Life is Sacred.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tea For One...

Last night I heard an interview on RTE Radio with English poet Carol Ann Duffy. Poetry just keeps getting in my way these days - sidetracking me from that thesis statement I seem only to be able to compose in my head at 3 a.m. The words never make it to my iMac. So here it is - one of Duffy's deceptively simple poems that reminds me it is often the ordinary acts of love I miss the most...


I like pouring your tea, lifting
the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

Or when you’re away, or at work,
I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

I like the questions – sugar? – milk? –
and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,

as the women harvest the slopes
for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

by Carol Ann Duffy in Rapture - Macmillan UK (September 1, 2006)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seamus Heaney and the Gifts of Nature

RTÉ Television this week presents a tribute in honor of poet Seamus Heaney's 70th birthday:

"Seamus Heaney: Out of the Marvellous explores the key personal relationship in Heaney's life, that with his wife Marie, through a fascinating interview with both of them. It also follows Heaney to Harvard, New York and London, to readings, signings and public interviews, encountering friends and colleagues such as writer and fellow Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, American critic Helen Vendler and Stephen Page, Chief Executive of Faber and Faber. These encounters reveal not only Heaney's gift for friendship and collegiality but also give many compelling insights into the working life of a major writer... digs deep into the rich store of Heaney's poetry to reveal key periods in his life: the raw pastoral of his childhood in Mossbawn, County Derry..."

This is one of my favorite poems by Heaney:

Personal Helicon

for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

There is a small grassroots movement afoot called "No Child Left Inside" that sprang from the thought provoking book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. Ella Young, an Irish poet from a time before Seamus Heaney, knew the value of Nature in all our lives. She worried that children of her day were too caught up in their "mechanical toys" and needed time to sit in the garden - to be still and to listen and to let their eyes see the smallest creature crawling beneath a leaf and the wonder of tree tops swaying against the clouds.

Oh, Ella, if you saw the toys of today and the children with ears iPod-ed against the real music of the winds and the birds and eyes that only know the illsuion of the pixelated screen how you would weep. I weep now, Ella, for the disconnected children who have never known the pure joy of wonder and the grown-ups who do not understand that our imaginations need nurturing and that comes from the stillness - from the quiet moments when our souls begin to whisper to us. How can we hear when we are so distracted...take a child into the woods or into a garden where the lady bugs build their it soon and do it often.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wise Women

Long ago I owned a bookstore - a special nest to nurture women's creativity and the ongoing quest for their "authentic selves." It thrived for a time and so did I because daily I came into contact with women and men seeking something new to ease the pain, to fill up the emptiness, and to give their lives meaning. I was given as much as I received...and today I found a book that once I sold in the store. Today in a thrift shop I found Susan Cahill's anthology Wise Women: Over 2000 Years of Spiritual Writing by Women and when the 70-something volunteer who took my $3.00 commented "Wise women?" and looked at me with more than a question in her eyes - she was asking me to give her what all her education, all her family, and all her churches had failed to give her: a sense of honor for the fact she was a woman and a sense of connection to all the mothers of her mothers and all their grandmothers back to the very dawn of human life.

And so the Spiral - like the River - flows on...

Monday, April 13, 2009

For Peter - who gave to me the deepest more in exile.

Ezra Pound


O helpless few in my country,
O remnant enslaved!

Artists broken against her,
A-stray, lost in the villages,
Mistrusted, spoken-against,

Lovers of beauty, starved,
Thwarted with systems,
Helpless against the control;

You who cannot wear yourselves out
By persisting to successes,
You who can only speak,
Who cannot steel yourselves into reiteration;

You of the finer sense,
Broken against false knowledge,
You who can know at first hand,
Hated, shut in, mistrusted.

Take thought:
I have weathered the storm,
I have beaten out my exile.