Sunday, August 10, 2014

karma yoga adventure

summer flowers

Last week I mentioned going to hear a talk by Lama Marut, after having read his wonderful book Be Nobody. In the past it would have been very likely that I would have gone to the talk, enjoyed it, possibly overextended myself to go hear his other "deeper" teachings over the weekend, and by Tuesday be on to the next thing. I don't know if it's getting older, the summer inclination to slow down and savor, or just the right thing at the right time phenomenon, but I only went to the Friday night "light" talk, which seemed plenty deep to me, and have been putting it into practice ever since. The big message for me was that of karma yoga, or doing an action for its own sake, without thought of what I think I'll get out of it. This translates for me as putting myself 100% into what I'm doing without the extra mind chatter of the implications of the action or without thinking about the next thing I need to do.

Lama Marut also encouraged decreasing our time online and at least starting the day by not turning any electronic gadget on, checking email, etc. for the first hour of the day. I had already been noticing how much I LOVE starting my day with a cup of tea, writing for half an hour, exercising while listening to some kind of wisdom (these days talks by Lama Marut, but it can also be Debra Silverman's hilarious and awesome radio show, Eckhart Tolle, or Pema Chodron), and a splash of poetry and meditation. I find that I don't check my email until I'm on the bus, which is a good 3.5 hours after I wake up - I know, I get up before the crack of dawn, but I like it that way. I also find that I avoid email and the internet in the evening after getting home and I've even cut down on lurking on my school discussion board.

I'm certainly not saying everyone should live like this, but I am finding that I'm much more relaxed and happy in my life and that's a good thing. It didn't happen overnight. The word "weaned" popped into my head when I was thinking about these changes recently and that makes me think of something you do with piglets, which means that perhaps the last time I thought about weaning from something might have been when I read Charlotte's Web. But I think in this day and age of instant everything and going cold turkey, etc., it is nice to remember that we can be more gentle. Anyway, that's what's on my mind these days. Hope you're having a beautiful weekend!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

trip adventure

welty house

stax and rodg

goner rodg

Sorry for no post last week! It's been a busy time because we went out of town this week to Jackson, MS to visit the Eudora Welty House for an upcoming library exhibit and came back via Memphis to break up the drive and have some fun, as you can see we did! Highlights of the week have included:

Falling in love with Eudora Welty. What a lovely woman. You have to hear her talk. I haven't been able to find much on You Tube, but this should work. And her niece was so welcoming and kind.

Seeing Richard Jenkins in Jackson! (I will not say where because he looks like a man who likes his privacy, although he returned my friendly smiles when I thought he was just a guy who looked like Richard Jenkins - confirmed he's shooting a film in Jackson when I got home.)

The amazing Stax Museum and a happy Rodg at Goner Records.

Seeing Lama Marut at Cheekwood at the end of the week. His Be Nobody book has knocked me out and it was a real treat to see him in person.

So much goodness! I hope your week was fun, too!

Monday, July 21, 2014

summer residential adventure

pacifica hills

Back from my summer residential at Pacifica and it has made me ravenous for stories! We did an amazing workshop with Ginette Paris and now I just want to amass a huge vocabulary of images - written and visual both. That's the big draw right now.

pacifica flowers 1

pacifica tree

pacifica feather

pacifica eucalyptus closer

pacifica flowers 2

Sunday, July 13, 2014

good stuff adventure

mr grape

I'm getting ready to go out to school this week, so I'm just going to share two things that made me smile recently. One is Mr. Grape. I have no idea what the grapes themselves are like, but I loved the packaging. "What will make these grapes stand out?" "I know - we'll call them Mr. Grape!" I just seems so The Simpsons to me.

And then I was talking with a friend about my new, and beloved, writing practice and how I have no interest in if anyone ever sees what I'm doing, that I just love getting up early and seeing what appears on the page. He recommended this poem and I loved it!

Between Races by Charles Bukowski

I know that I'm not supposed to bother
you, he said.

you've got that right, I

but, he went on, I want to tell you
that I was up all night
reading your
latest book.
I've read all your
I work in the
post office.

oh, I said.

and I want to interview you for
our newspaper.

no, I said, no

why? he asked.

I'm tired of interviews, they have
nothing to do with

listen, he went on, I'll make it
easy for you, I'll come to your
house or I'll buy you dinner at

no, thank you, I said.

look, the interview isn't really for
our paper, it's for
me, I'm a writer and I want to get
out of the post

listen, I said, just pull up a chair
and sit down at your

no interview? he asked.

no, I answered.

he walked

they were coming out on the track
for the next race.

talking to the young man had
made me feel

they thought that writing had
something to do with
the politics of the

they were simply not
crazy enough
in the head
to sit down to a
and let the words bang

they didn't want to
they wanted to
succeed at

I got up to make
my bet.

no use letting a little
ruin your

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Inuit adventure

I feel so grateful for all the wonderful things I'm exposed to through Pacifica! Our assignment for this week was to watch The Snow Walker. For some reason I was really resistant to this movie. I checked it out from the library a while ago and ended up having to turn it back in unwatched. I then bought a copy cheap off of Amazon just to keep things simple and again I just put it on the shelf until this week rolled around. And, of course, once I actually watched it I fell completely in love. Who's surprised?

I then read the short story that the movie is based on (after watching the Making Of, of course), "Walk Well, My Brother" by Farley Mowat, which can be found in a collection titled, appropriately enough, The Snow Walker. Then I fell completely down the Inuit rabbit hole and watched this, which speaks for itself.

So much goodness!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

busy adventure

nonie's teacups

I'm in the middle of an eleven-day stretch at work, so I thought I'd share this poem by Pat Schneider that I read this morning and fell in love with:

The Patience of Ordinary Things

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

poetry adventure


I've been able to work ahead a little bit with my discussion posts for school and I was so excited when I got to the linked haiku assignment that I thought I'd share it with you here. It's so fun to think of connecting prose and haiku to create a little word movie. I hope you enjoy it, too!

* * *

There are home movies from the late ‘60s of my father carrying me as a crying toddler through the lush gardens at my grandparents’ house, holding me suspended over the plants and flowers, showing me a close-up view of the place that meant so much to him, trying to soothe me, teaching me to find refuge in nature. Now, several decades later, it’s the natural world we return to, where we find points of connection. “Look at this!” we say across the distance. “Ah!” the other one says.

by the Pacific –
circling and swooping up
the swallows are back

goldfinches all day
downy woodpeckers give chase –
springtime in the South

each in our own world
the silver moon rises high
miles away from us

* * *

Also, if you're in the mood for poetry these days, like me, check out the new Poet Laureate, Charles Wright - he's rocking my world!