Sunday, April 13, 2014

beauty adventure

dogwood days

I started a good book today, How the Light Gets In, and was so surprised to run across some lines from a poem I had just read in the past couple of days by Joy Harjo:

Some say God is a murderer for letting children and saints slip through his or her hands. Some call God a father of saints or a mother of demons. Lila had seen God and could tell you God was neither male nor female and made of absolutely everything of beauty, of wordlessness.

This unnameable thing of beauty is what shapes a flock of birds who know exactly when to turn together in flight in the winds used to make words. Everyone turns together though we may not see each other stacked in the invisible dimensions

I'd already been thinking this would be a great thing to quote here, but then it was such an amazing coincidence to see these lines again today, I knew it had to happen. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

wonder adventure

redbud season

What a week this was! We're doing a renovation at my work, which has us all a little on edge I think. Something happened that really got my ego all stirred up and on Wednesday night I was the closest I've ever been to wanting to transfer to a branch, to say "To hell with all this, you do it!" and walk away. And then in a moment of grace I saw it all for what it was - pain feeding pain. And then love and possibility came back into my heart and I remembered that if I transferred I would miss so many people and lose the opportunity to try out some exciting new ideas. I only mention this story because it was a big part of what put me in my current frame of mind, which is "Grounded Gratitude," a phrase coined by my friend, Joe Z. I keep finding myself singing that great line from Van Morrison's "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart": "I'm a soul in wonder!" I think sometimes we have to go through what I call "the Big Squeeze" to break through to this place of wonder and gratitude, to be reminded of what we really care about and how good we really have it. So if you're going through a Big Squeeze right now, take heart, and trust that the process will land you in a far better place.

The redbuds are blooming in the woods right now. I always really enjoy their subtle beauty and think we should have a special celebration like the Japanese have for the beloved Cherry Blossom. This means dogwoods can't be far behind and then the woods will get green and leafy and we'll forget the other more desolate costume they wear when Persephone returns to Hades. In the meanwhile, I'm going to soak all of this up! I am, indeed, a soul in wonder.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

spring adventure

spring blossoms

I just had to share these gorgeous blossoms and this equally gorgeous quotation from Rebecca Solnit's Faraway Nearby about her mother:

"After she was gone, I felt more strongly the presence of the dark-haired, yearning, thwarted young woman before I existed and the mother I must have clung to as a tiny child. The middle-aged woman who had so confounded me for decades became just one figure among many, and I missed the ancient, gentle, far-gone person who brought up the rear of the parade."

Love that! And here are some golf clubs someone left by the recycling bins at my Park & Ride. Their humble beauty caught my eye.

left behind

Sunday, March 23, 2014

documenting adventure

hyacinth 2014

Happy Spring! I'm so glad that it is officially here. And every year I get confused about when the flowers bloom, so I thought this year I would document the progress of the season. Right now the hyacinths by our back steps are just coming up and smelling heavenly and the forsythias are just starting to hit their stride. For some reason I thought they bloomed before the daffodils, but now I'm remembering they come after. In whichever order they arrive, I'm delighted to see them! As well as the blue sky today, when they'd predicted clouds and cold. Along with reading The Red Book for my active imagination class and reading The Faraway Nearby for fun this morning, I'm having a delightful Sunday. I hope you are, too!

forsythia 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

meandering adventure

trungpa spring

I should have more to report, but I find that even with one class, once I pour my truth into a post for the discussion board, I'm feeling pretty spent. I'm sure to work out the kinks, I mean, at least I'm here and there's a photo and I'll post a couple more below, so you have a trio of daffodil photos. What I can say, because I simply cannot stop talking about her to anyone fool enough to start listening, is that I LOVE Rebecca Solnit! More and more with each page I read it turns out. How can I not love someone who says this:

I still think the revolution is to make the world safe for poetry, meandering, for the frail and vulnerable, the rare and obscure, the impractical and local and small, and I feel that we’ve lost if we don’t practice and celebrate them now, instead of waiting for some ’60s never-neverland of after-the-revolution. And we’ve lost the revolution if we relinquish our full possibilities and powers.

You can read the whole interview in The Believer, by clicking here. I warn you, I predict it will make you want to read everything she's written...

In the meanwhile, Happy Spring!!

ground spring

spring home

Monday, March 3, 2014

imaginary adventure


Just when I thought winter was behind us, we had a crazy ice storm last night that thankfully mostly went north of us, but still kept me home from work today. As you can see, our bird friends were very grateful for the seed Rodg put out and I will be very grateful for the sun coming out tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here are some things I've been enjoying lately:

My active imagination class! I love my dream life. I tend to have pretty vivid dreams and it feels like there's a whole geography to this other world. I notice that I'll have a series of dreams that feel like they're all taking place sort of in the same area or years later I'll come back to a familiar place that I only know in dreams. One night years ago I was trying to fall asleep and thought if I remembered a dream it might put me in a sleepy frame of mind. Instead I remembered dream after dream after dream and could see how they were connected to different places in my dream world, as if it all spread out before my mind like a huge map of years of dreams. So you would know I'd love a class about dreams and a method Jung developed for working with dreams in a conscious and engaged way - active imagination. In active imagination I can have a dialogue with a dream figure or go back into an interrupted dream to continue the action. We're reading great stuff for this class, such as Robert Johnson's Inner Work and the founder of Pacifica, Stephen Aizenstat's Dream Tending. Yum, yum!!

Rebecca Solnit is still blowing my mind. I finished A Field Guide to Getting Lost and highly recommend it! Now I'm reading River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, which is also amazing and takes me back to my California roots. I feel like this book should be paired with Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man for a complete picture of the Gold Rush! Still, it isn't as personal as A Field Guide and to be honest I will probably put it down as soon as her newest book, The Faraway Nearby, is ready for me at the library. Described as a "personal, lyrical narrative about storytelling and empathy," The Faraway Nearby sounds like just my kind of thing!

And it is so much fun! Now that I'm just taking one class at a time I can watch movies again! Hallelujah! I've seen some great stuff streaming on Netflix lately and my top two picks, no, wait, make that three for those of us who love to watch paint dry, are: The Guilt Trip (all-around fun, feel-good movie), Unfinished Song (heartwarming and SAD), and This is Martin Bonner (slow and nothing happens and everything happens). Enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

returning adventure

reflecting ponds

And I'm back! Again. I'm hoping not to have to be away so long anytime soon. I just had to simplify for a while there. Things have been intense and while I've tried to enjoy it all, some of it has been really hard. The hardest part was that for a while my dear dad was in hospice care, but the good thing is that he seems to be doing a lot better. I am definitely enjoying that news! I finished up my last full-time quarter at school and am very excited to just be able to focus on one class at a time from here on out. And to be able to focus on some other things than just school and work! This week that has included reading Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, which is rocking my world with possibilities! I am really discovering through my school projects how much I love writing and the structure of Solnit's essays excites me in the same way books of quilt patterns used to. Now to figure out how to build in time for a writing practice... I know it can be done.

So here's what I've been learning about enjoying so far. Even in the hardest parts of this winter, there have always been things I'm enjoying and it has been good to recognize them. They may be small, but seeing them reminds me that life is a rich mixture of good and bad, happy and sad. And enjoying is really about being open to the whole catastrophe, to quote Jon Kabat-Zinn and Zorba the Greek. There is enjoying in loving someone so fiercely that you don't want them to go and in realizing how your love for them extends way beyond their physical form, that your love for them extends even into everyone around you. In fact, where isn't it?