My morning ‘window moment’ was spent with Jane Hirshfield’s ‘Ten Windows’. I revisit her work often! Here’s a taste from the chapter “Close Reading: Windows.” ... “Many good poems have a kind of window-moment in them — they change their direction of gaze in a way that suddenly opens a broadened landscape of meaning and feeling. Encountering such a moment, the reader breathes in some new infusion, as steeply perceptible as any physical window’s increase of light, scent, sound, or air. The gesture is one of lifting, unlatching, releasing;mind and attention swing open to new-peeled vistas.” ... Isn’t that beautiful? My thoughts wander to window-moments that are not only found in poems but through the course of our days. Those subtle moments that lift us, that expand our vistas — the sound of birdsong, watching children play, a kind word given or received. Small things. That change our direction of thought. That deepen our experience of the ordinary. What do you think? Wishing you a window-moment kind of day!
Monday’s reflection: What The Silence Says ... “I know that you think that you already know but— Wait . Longer than that. . even longer than that.” ~~ Marie Howe ... I want to be silent enough to hear what the flowers have to say. ... Wishing you many quiet moments throughout this new week.Happy Monday!
Monday’s reflection:: “We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us, but life is a banquet of common enchantment waiting for our alchemist’s eyes to notice.” ~~Jacob Nordby ... In a garden of white roses and Shasta daisies, it was this tiny geranium that caught my eye. The colour drew me in. And as I soaked in the complexity of its simplicity, this funny little feeling I can’t quite name came over me. Common enchantment ? Presence? Sweetness? I don’t know. But I’m glad to have experienced it and wanted to share it with you. ... Wishing you a wonderful start to your week!
UPDATE: it’s Tuesday and you’ve probably heard, but just in case: all the children and their coach have been rescued! What wondrous news. The team who’d been in the cave caring for them will soon be making their journey home too.This brave and internationally coordinated rescue effort moves me to tears of joy. ... On this Sunday morning my thoughts are with all those involved in the Thailand cave rescue. May they all travel safely home.
“...here I must take a leap of faith: into regions I would not expect anyone to follow. “I have a vision of the Songlines stretching across the continents and ages; that wherever men have trodden they have left a trail of song(of which we may, now and then, catch an echo); and that these trails must reach back, in time and space, to an isolated pocket in the African savannah, where the First Man opening his mouth in defiance of the terrors that surrounded him, shouted the opening stanza of the World Song, ‘I AM!’ “ ~~Bruce Chatwin (1942-1989), The Songlines ... We’ve had this book on our shelves for over a decade. I’m not sure why I decided to read it now. But so it goes. The Songlines is an intricate blend of memoir, history, metaphysics, science, reflection, and, of course, travel. Chatwin tells us he went to Australia to learn the meaning of the Aboriginals’ ancient concept of Songlines. He considered his book a combination of fiction and non-fiction. His editors disagreed and marketed it as a travelogue. In any case, it is quite the inner and outer journey! I should say, this is not a book review. So you might want to stop reading here. It’s a glimpse of my own journey with this book. ... Fact or fiction? I don’t know. I do know this: an old, familiar restlessness came rising to the surface as I read. I found myself reaching back to my birth story. The one my mother loved to tell. I was born at home, in a small town on a saint’s feast day. Just as she gave birth to me the choir, which was making its way to church, passed our house. Their song blended with my first cry. And I remember her eyes sparkling with tears each time she told it. ... Later, I walk in the garden and I wonder: what am I singing into the grass I walk upon?the flowers I touch? What, if anything, does the land absorb from my being here? ... And I wonder about our collective presence on the landscape. What will our trail of song sound like for those who will trod upon
Monday’s reflection: leaning in to listen ... “ I want to write about the great and powerful thing that listening is. And how we forget it. And how we don’t listen to our children, or those we love. And least of all—which is so important too—to those we do not love. But we should. Because listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force....When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand...” ~Brenda Ueland, essay Source: Utne Reader, 1992 .... This morning I wrote a ridiculously long reflection about listening. All day long, through the haze of heat and headache, it didn’t feel right. And now at this late hour, I realize all the words felt so cumbersome. The aspect of listening that I really wanted to acknowledge was so simple, I nearly ignored it: it’s the capacity in each of us to lean in toward another or toward ourselves and wait quietly, patiently to hear what needs to be heard and what needs to be said. Sometimes it takes me a while to get there! .... May the week ahead find you creating, unfolding, expanding!
Is this where the expression ‘busy as a bee’ comes from? I posted the second clip because my little friend flew away and then to my surprise came diving back for more. At that point even the birds decided to cheer it on! Sweet, unexpected moment on this sweltering Sunday morning! Wishing you a day of sweet delights!
Sometimes you have to create your own light. At least that’s what I tell myself on this dark and rainy Wednesday. It’s not a gentle, soothing type of rain. It’s oppressive — the kind of rain that makes you feel you are carrying the weight of the black sky on your shoulders. It draws me into a neither-here-nor-there state. I have no desire for contemplation or conversation or doing very much of anything at all. ... Late in the day, in the midst of a downpour, I take a quick walk in the garden. “What’s going on with you today?” my husband asks when I run back inside. I’m dripping water over the floor, holding a single yellow primrose in my hand. “I’m craving light,” I say, and hold up the flower as if no other explanation is required. ... I put the rescued flower in a vase and take it upstairs. A floppy ray of sunshine for my desk. Once there, I move aside the book and journal that have been waiting for me since 5:30 this morning, when I chose to ignore them. ... But now, I open Mary Oliver’s book to this: “I did not think of language as the means to self-description. I thought of it as a door — a thousand opening doors!— past myself. I thought of it as a means to notice, to contemplate, to praise, and thus, to come into power...I saw the difference between doing nothing, or doing a little, and the redemptive act of true effort. Reading, then writing, then desiring to write well, shapes in me that most joyful of circumstances — a passion for work.” ... I’ve been craving light all day. I’ve also been avoiding the act of starting the first draft of an essay that deals with a challenging topic. On some days we create the light by letting go of fear or doubt. On other days, the light comes to us in the form of a primrose, or in the pages of a book, or in the ‘redemptive act of true effort’. And so, I turn on all the lights. I open my notebook and begin to write. ... By the time I post this, it will be tomorrow for many of you,
Monday’s reflection: these words by Maya Angelou :: “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.” :: Wishing you a week filled with moments of kindness — given and received. ✨🌹✨
Monday morning reflection:: “...carry into evening all that you want from this day.” ~~’You Reading This, Be Ready’ by William Stafford. Slide over to read the entire poem. ... In the early morning hours — before I’m fully awake and my brain becomes flooded with thoughts about the day ahead or things that happened yesterday or the pulsing pain in my left eye that hints at a migraine or before I stumble downstairs to make my jasmine tea — before all of that, I shift my attention to the moment. Me waking up. The pulse of pain. My husband sleeping. The birdsong outside the window. A sliver of morning light. .... A sense of gratitude washes over me. Sometimes it’s for specifics, but usually I give thanks for another opportunity to start from where I am, whatever that looks like on that given day. Choosing what I want to bring into the day doesn’t make migraines or work or laundry disappear, but it makes a difference to the tone and colour of the day. It prepares me to respond a little differently, see more acutely, hear more intently. And usually, when evening comes, I have an answer to Stafford’s question, “Starting here, what do you want to remember?” And what about you? What would you like to remember at the end of this day? ... Have a wonderful day and a good start to your week!
Waiting room reading— recipes in a home decor magazine, because sometimes waiting for tests makes concentrating a little tricky. But mostly because I have a thing for reading recipes — like this one for pavlova, which I know I will never make! ... In truth, I love reading beautiful cookbooks. Some are like art books, aren’t they? Each photo, a still life. Having said that, excuse the quality of my photo — I was called in just as I snapped this. ... I’m home now and all went well. Hope your day was filled with sweet moments!🍓🍓🍓
Monday’s reflection:: The Unfolding of Serious Joy ... This morning two things happened: Journal in hand, I went out to the deck to write. But first, I checked on the gardenia plant I purchased about a month ago. I’ve been keeping a close eye on it because gardenias have never done well in my garden.Even so, I’ve never stopped loving their sweet fragrance and creamy colour and textured leaves. And, me being me, I thought, Maybe this time. ... And look! Slowly, shyly, the first flower is opening. The sight of her filled me with a quiet sense of joy. So I sat on the chair beside her, opened my journal, and began to write. I’m sure you know how it goes when one idea unfolds into another. Before you know it, you’ve written page after page, although you’re not quite sure if any of it makes sense. That was definitely the case for me this morning. And then the second thing happened. ... I read a review of Michael McCarthy’s book “The Moth Snowstorms: Nature and Joy” by the so very eloquent Maria Popova (brainpickings.org weekly digest, 5/11/2018). McCarthy’s message gave me a greater context for the joy I’d experienced by witnessing a flower in bloom. And so I want to share some of his words with you. ... “Joy has a component if not of morality, then at least of seriousness. It signifies a happiness which is a serious business. And it seems to me the wholly appropriate name for the sudden passionate happiness which the natural world can occasionally trigger in us, which may well be the most serious business of all...The natural world is not separate from us, it is part of us...the union can be found, the union of ourselves and nature, in the joy which nature can spark and fire in us.” ... I hope you had a good start to your week!
Early Sunday morning reading in the garden: The New York Times Book Review. Pictured here is the last page where animals are asked: “What are you reading?” Hmmm.... I like what the cockroach had to say: “People have been telling me to read ‘Metamorphosis’ for years but honestly so far it’s kind of insulting.” ~ by Brooke Barker author and illustrator .... Have a lovely Sunday!