Music is permanent, only listening is intermittent. from Bury your money by Jean Valentine Poetry is permanent, only the internet is intermittent Love is permanent, only like is intermittent Beauty is permanent, only pretty is intermittent Creativity is permanent, only cleverness is intermittent Learning is permanent, only knowing is intermittent Truth is permanent, only believing is intermittent Life is permanent, only living is intermittent God is permanent, only faith is intermittent Poetry, love, beauty, creativity learning, truth, life, God and me myself I inhabit eternity
One Fall Seven years ago Woody planted One hundred daffodil bulbs Most bloomed that spring Each year since then More than most Bloom each spring More and more than most Until Woody dug some up Divided and replanted them The next spring Yellow and white faces On green legs Nodded and smiled at me From unexpected places Just so My grandfather returns In a saluting man in uniform My grandmother in a woman In a fancy hat My father in a wave that Tickles my toes My grandchildren, Madeleine and Lorien, In a double stroller Gordon in every prayer And so I live among Ever more Golden daffodils
Suppose you were me Would you figure out a better way Of being me Suppose you were a murderer Waiting through appeals On death row Suppose you were always happy Laughing while others cried Grinning while other mourned Suppose you were always sad Crying while other laughed Mourning while other grinned Suppose you were careless And let life slip away While you were making lists Suppose you were careful Filled with care for life Consumed by love’s eternal flame Suppose you were just you Not particularly great or memorable But also not just one thing or another Suppose you, like Walt, contain multitudes And are wonderfully made Just as you are
I sink down Breathing in This dark salty water Beneath the waves Beneath the storms Beneath the fishes Beneath the foam Beneath arousal I sink down Breathing in This ocean of tears Tender tears Joy and love Sorrow and loss Life whispers I sink down Breathing in This eternal sea Resting Now Quiet Now On the bedrock of your love As I listen Thoughtless - That is Deeper than thought As I breathe Careless - That is Quieter than care I make love to you with my hands Kneading your stiff shoulders My nose breathes in The analgesic As my mind breathes in The dark quiet Waters of divinity I breathe in NOW Just now I breathe out love Always love I knead love into your shoulders With the analgesic Beyond orgasm Lies the learning How to make love In the deep unknowing
Wednesday was A very not special day But I did get out of bed Before noon (Ah, the luxury of retirement where 9:00 counts as early, 10:00 as usual, 11:00 as sometimes – and then there are the days when the morning passes with me still abed. Like a poet in some Victorian romance. I read, I write, I play logic games on the computer, I pray, I listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos about whatever has most recently caught my attention. Ah, retirement) So there I was Awake and dressed Bed made Before noon I finished loading the dishwasher And turned it on I washed some pots and plastic ware My hands luxuriating in the warm soapy water While I gazed out the kitchen window On daffodils and Lenten roses Carolina jasmine And buds just visible On our newest Japanese maple I ran some errands I organized some paperwork Woody and I watched An episode of Vera I joined two friends for dinner Two good friends One is 30-something One is 50-something I am 70-more-than-something Our dinner stretched Stretched like our friendship Strong and elastic And oh so comfortable Perhaps we three are Maiden Mother Crone Perhaps we are, each one, all three Perhaps we are just good friends Then I came home At midnight To Woody and bed It was good to be alive on such an ordinary extraordinay day
Sometimes Not often but sometimes I feel each breath As creation One day Perhaps not very distant now I will breathe in And not breathe out again Or perhaps I will breathe out And then not in again And some part of this created me Will die Some part of this once me Will no longer be me Some parts may Become A fuzzy dandelion With once me nodding in the grass Or a fat worm Taking once me into the dark rich earth Or a speck of cosmic dust Swirling what was once me through the infinite universe I trust that I Will always Be created and recreated In divine love
Making Space for the Divine
I am doing a six session online class on “Centering Prayer as Divine Therapy” led by Jana Rentzel at CloserThan Breath. ( https://closerthanbreath.com/ )
Monday, during the third class, Jana led us in a Lectio Divina practice, using a verse of our choosing from the Lord’s Prayer. I chose “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
After the Lectio Divina time, Jana spoke of kenosis “self-emptying” – and at first I thought an immediate NO – I want to be myself, not empty myself. But then Jana spoke of our “self-talk” and I realized how very often my self talk is negative: wants, needs, inadequacies, irritations or disappointments that I can’t let go off, ever lengthening to do lists.
Jana quoted Cynthia Bourgeault, “…love made full in the act of giving itself away.”
And like the traditional light bulb at an AHA moment, I realized the paradox of kenosis: Only by emptying myself of my own self-talk can I make space for the self-fulling love of God; the divine love that allows me to forgive those who have wounded me (including myself) and to experience the love made full in the act of giving itself away.
And so I was brought back to my verse from the Lectio Divina practice, with new appreciation for the depth and promise and sweetness of “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
I Am A Woman
I am maiden She who will become I am mother She who has borne I am crone She who loves And is loved.
The First Shall Be Last
If the first Shall be last And the last, first Then let me drown out The world’s noise With my silence Let me answer The world’s questions With my ignorance Let me seek The divine In the mundane Let me share Generously From my poverty Let me believe A crucified criminal Is God’s anointed Let me pour new wine Into old wine skins And rejoice at the bursting If the first Shall be last And the last, first Then let this imagined me die That the unimaginable true I May live eternally and divinely With You My Love
I spent most of 1973 as a pregnant hippie So of course I learned LaMaze breathing With my partner That was the first time I became aware Or at least the first time I knew myself to be aware Of the power of breath DUH! Breath keeps us alive Without breath we are dead Dead as a doornail (Is that the right expression – it sounds so odd) How much more powerful can breath be Than keeping us alive? Ah, I sigh My nose inhales (though my nose is filled with COVID germs) to a strong quickstep 1, 2, 3, 4 Then stillness 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 As my breath pauses Six nanoseconds of balance My exhale is a long gliding waltz 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8 Through pursued lips A little bit of LaMaze A little bit of pranayama A little bit of centering prayer A little bit of mind-body-spirit connection I inhale 75 years I pause here Before I slowly exhale compassion And, When I am very lucky, Words