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Poetry

This day started badly for me…disappointment with the way a meeting went with a group I cherish. Apprehension about facing a much loved family member with fear. With the help of friends and space, things can turn around. I found this poem by Thomas Merton on the On Being blog .

“There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life, just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts. See within yourself, if you can find it.
I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me. It was magical.
We are already one, yet we know it not.”

~Thomas Merton (via crashinglybeautiful)

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Photo from above Hilo. I love flying above Hilo.

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I’ve always said that procrastination is part of my creative process. It’s an excuse to, well, procrastinate.

I want to write in a journal…daily. But I procrastinate. It’s January 3 and I’ve got a brand new beautiful journal. Beautiful blank pages..still…waiting…

Posting favorite photos from 2013 is another thing on my want to do list. I guess I better begin before we get further into 2014.

The other day David Whyte posted an essay called Procrastination from The Reader’s Circle essay series. Wow! My Dad always told me that I could find an article to support anything I believed. Here it was…there is an upside to procrastination!

Here are parts that especially resonate with me:

“Procrastination, when studied closely, can be a beautiful thing: a parallel with patience, a companionable friend, a revealer of the true pattern, already, we are surprised to find, caught within us; acknowledging for instance, as a writer, that before a book can be written, most of the ways it cannot be written must be tried first, in our minds; on the blank screen, on the empty page or staring at the bedroom ceiling.”

“Procrastination does not stop a project from coming to fruition, what stops us, is giving up on an original idea, because we have not got to the heart of the reason we are delaying, because we have not let the true form of our reluctance instruct us in the way ahead.”

And I love the way he signs it:
“Studying the nature of our own reluctance can be a strangely illuminating act. Procrastination was written on a flight from Seattle to San Diego, Jan 26th 2011, the lights of Los Angeles on one side, a dreamy sunset over the Pacific on the other, after finding myself practicing the subtle art of delay with regard to that enormously difficult task: the simple act of getting my laptop out of my bag and onto the tray in front of me.”

To read the article in its entirety, here is a link to a downloadable pdf:
http://www.davidwhyte.com/pdf%20files/Readers_Circle/Procrastination.pdf

 

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The blank journal…waiting

Feeling a little melancholy today. This poem lifts me up and keep me going…makes me able to put out junk and share it with the world. Thank you, Mary Oliver.
Poet with His Face in His Hands
The Poet with His Face in His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(New and Selected Poems Volume Two)

This morning I met 11-year old Sammi Raikow and her dad at the Farmer’s Market. They are raising funds for her educational trip to Europe as a People to People Ambassador.

I loved that you could purchase a haiku that Sammi writes for $1 on the topic of your choice. I chose ohia which is the tree in the Volcano rainforest, the first one to come up after a lava flow.

Here’s her haiku.

Haiku

You can also purchase a Haiku here: http://www.sammiseuropefundraiser.com/shop/product/buy-a-haiku-the-hundred-haiku-project/ or sponsor an adventure for Sammi here: http://www.sammiseuropefundraiser.com/sponsor-an-adventure/Ohia_SnapseedPhoto © Robin Scanlon

I love this poem by Karen Maezen Miller.I feel this way so often. Yet…my practice is working.

my practice isn’t working. By Karen Maezen Miller

If my practice doesn’t make me more tolerant, humble,
and generous,
my practice isn’t working.
If my practice doesn’t make me more respectful, loving, and
sympathetic,
my practice isn’t working.
If I can’t forgive and forget
begin again
stop, drop
turn around
wake up
say hello say goodbye
be kind be quiet be still
listen laugh
cry it out
give it time
sit down stand up
get over myself
smile
admit I don’t know
then my practice isn’t working.
If I’m not less cynical, less critical, less arrogant, less mean
then my practice isn’t working.
If my practice doesn’t fill me with wonder, gratitude,
fearlessness, faith and trembling doubt
my practice doesn’t work.

Does my practice work?
Only when I practice.
Let’s do it. Soon.

 

Shared this poem with my cousin for her graduation. Congratulation, Kristen!

by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays.

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