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Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Warp & Weft of Living




Morning Poem
by
Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches-
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead-
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging-

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted-

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning.

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

I have never read anyone who can stop me...from thinking...from breathing...
Mary Oliver's words stir my soul to the very depths of truth and beingness.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leaving the Nest



I seem to wish to have some importance in the play of time....
What is deep, as love is deep, I'll have deeply. What is good, as love is good, I'll have well. Then if time and space have any purpose, I shall belong to it.
~Jennet Jourdemayne (Christopher Fry)~

 These are interesting times.Changing life patterns, daily routines about to be turned upside down. Who knows what will be presented to me. I have complete trust and faith in having followed my heart; I just don't know any other way to live.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Messenger



 Messenger
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird-
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work. Which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here
Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a  heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever. ~ Mary Oliver

I was on my Facebook page the other day, February 16th actually; and I saw a post asking for people to send their well wishes to Mary Oliver because, as the statement read,…had to cancel all her performances due to a serious illness. I stopped cold – what!? Mary Oliver? I quickly went to her FB page to see more then 700 “well-wishers” sending their love. Fortunately within 24 hours it was reported that perhaps “serious” was too strong a word and they were expecting Mary to have a full recovery from her illness.

But it sure stopped me in my tracks. Mary Oliver. She has saved my life more than once during turbulent, difficult, challenging times; me and just about every other person who loves her and her gorgeous use of language. And it really made me feel deeply about the power of a poem, the power of words, the gift of language and communication. And it made me think a lot about so many of the teachings that I’ve been given over the years that basically, point to not taking things people say or do personally. And yes, I certainly work towards this in my daily life and particularly with those who, knowingly or not, push the exact “buttons” which allow me to “take it personally”, and then figure out how to best work with all that “taking it personally”.

And I think of Mary Oliver’s poems and how they reached in so far and deep and pulled me through those emotional waters. Words…whether I like it or not, words are strong, personal, evocative, and can quite often make a lasting, emotional mark; from pain to anger to self-worth, self-love and yes, joy, happiness and of course, love. So words do cut deeply and in many different emotional directions and yes, damn it! Words are personal…I take them personally.

This is very pronounced for me in my work situation; really for the past nine months. Over and over I hear, “Don’t you remember, I already told you, you need to remember, you need to pay more attention, you need to concentrate.” You get the picture. I’ve got nine months worth of processing to share about this but at the end of the day it really does come down to what I take personally, what I feel is really true for me, and then…how do I want to spend my days…do I believe any of it…am I going to let the words tear my heart and make me feel less than?

I am a work in progress and believe I deserve better, kinder, more loving and truer words…words that inspire and uplift and bring light and joy…I will give these gifts of words to myself because this is where it truly begins and ends.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Magic Of Things

Her eye, her ear, were tuning forks, burning glasses, which caught the minutest refraction or echo of a thought or feeling...She heard a deeper vibration, a kind of composite echo, of all the the writer said, and did not say. 
Willa Cather 

Just take me away, she said; don't want to think about tomorrow. I want to believe in magic, she said. And so he took her to a place like no other, filled with mystery, history and yes, magic. She said, thank you. He said, you're welcome. And so it was that she was reminded of the beauty and timelessness of this earth and of her life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Your own Creativity

 "...when you take a photograph, what's inside you comes out and a part of you becomes permanent. It's one of the most basic forms of creativity." - Edwin Land




Monday, February 13, 2012

The Heart of the Matter



The Buddha’s Words on Loving-kindness

This is what should be done
By those who are skilled in goodness,
And who know the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties & frugal in their ways,
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: in gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born—
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world,
Spreading upward to the skies,
And downward to the depths;
Outward and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

My Full Potential?



A sobering thought:what if, right at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential? ~ Jane Wagner.

I found this lovely quote, (where I find many of the quotes that I use on this site) in a book called, "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy", by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Sarah responds to the quote by saying (I'm paraphrasing), be easy because you wouldn't be reading this book if you were living up to your fullest potential. Well, I've been thinking about this and I'm fairly certain I hardheartedly disagree! I truly believe, at every single moment we are exactly where we are supposed to be and this renders us absolutely living the full potential. There is only this moment...and now this one...and now this one...in every moment, every situation, every thought, we always have the opportunity to see the moment as perfect and our "fullest potential" - or not. If I say I am not living up to my fullest potential then I am belittling myself and all the possibilities than can occur. This is not to say that I don't keep moving forward and work towards newer and ever new exciting ideas and creations; but I don't ever want to limit myself by saying I'm not there yet...not quite yet Mary...not just now. That feels like I'm making myself not good enough. 

I am good enough...and so are you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love is the Spirit





Love is the spirit that motivates the artist's journey. The love may be sublime, raw, obsessive, passionate, awful, or thrilling, but whatever its quality, it's a powerful motive in the artist's life.
Eric Maisel

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Each Friend represents...




 Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~Anais Nin

Looking up at the sky, at a stop light on my way home from work...it was a respite just to stop at a red light, open my window and look out at the sky...even with its electrical wires and lamp-posts...the sky is still big enough to bring a sense of newness to this full moon eve. The sunlight in the west brings colors of magic to the mountains in the east, newly covered with snow. We ask so much and the earth gives freely.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Dyslexic Drives Into a Sonic....


I stopped at one of our local fast food places for my co-worker and decided to get me a burger and onion rings....wrong. I got so disoriented...loud blasting music, it's a drive-in, so you pull up, look at the menu and then press a red button when you're  ready to place your order. A person comes out with your order...if your lucky it's this lovely adept woman in roller-skates, who I really wanted to get a picture of but alas...it was not to be. I did grab an image of my presenter - of-horrible-fast-foods- this wonderful older gentleman, as he was exiting my view. I ran the image through a new app that I am loving and it really is a perfect depiction of my cockamamie experience....Don't think I'll be visiting there any time soon, but hey, I made a fun picture!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Secret Home


I have taken many picture of this home since it was first built around 7 years ago. I'll pull over and just look at it. It's unusual stucco tinting for Santa Fe but folks seem to be getting used to it. This one is a wonderful reddish hue and a mid-green surround trim, glass blocks for windows. The first time I saw it I had a little Canon point and shoot and actually went up to the door to see if I could get someone to show me the inside! Hah! No such luck. But, that's alright...it still brings me pleasure every time I drive by!

Ring of Passion





Inside you there's an artist you don't know about...Say yes quickly, if you know, if you've known it from before the beginning of the universe. ~Rumi

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!


Today would have been my Mom's 93rd birthday...can you imagine?!? Last night I had another dream, this time with my Mom and Dad. We're in a huge football like stadium dressed in what looks like storm gear....great big yellow rain parkas. I can't see their faces but I know it's Mom and Dad. We're standing near an entrance looking out onto a football field. There's some kind of problem because there's some guy whose going around throwing people off the stage...and there he is standing at the entrance, waving me to come towards him, I don't trust him and don't want to go but my Mom gently pushes me forward...I look back and I can "feel" them both telling me, "You need to go on alone." No sooner do I "hear" this than I am fully awake and quite clear of the message!

Some night, stay up till dawn as the moon sometimes does for the sun.
Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way of a well, then lifted out into light.
Something opens our wings.
Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness.
~Rumi~


Friday, February 3, 2012


 
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
Oscar Wilde

Late afternoon and my eyes move from looking outside through my office window to a picture taken nearly 12 years ago; me, my two sons and our first dog after the divorce, Bella. She's hamming it up and grinning from ear to ear. It was a rough time but looking at the picture, it reminds me how we all love to smile and how resilient the human being is. The well of strength is bottomless. 
This year I'm really aiming for light-hearted living, joy and a gentler way of learning life.




I just read something that shines some light on how I've been thinking and experiencing my Dad who passed last May; another phase is the cycles of grief. But first, the dream I had 2 days ago.

I dreamt of my dad...there's a large body of quiet water (a lake? an ocean?) Dad is walking ahead of me, his glasses fall off his face (rimless - not anything like his real glasses) he goes to catch them and falls, effortlessly, full body into the water...and he's gone...no struggle, no stirring water. I awake and at first I think, "What the hell was that?" But you know, it's a dream...so I give it some time - me  some time...and I know..."Oh, Dad's merged with the infinite...how perfect...and thank you for showing me this, Dad."

And now, John O'Donohue speaking about silence and landscape,
(Four Elements:Reflections on Nature)...

There is the silence of absence and especially the silence of one's final absence from the earth; the silence  that death bequeaths as it erases the individual life. The world is full of invisible ruins, silent absence-spaces which each deceased animal and human leaves behind them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Celebrate Myself...



I celebrate myself, and sing myself
I loafe and invite my soul...
~Walt Whitman

                    

Tara Apped
Perhaps loving something is the only starting place there is for making your life your own. ~ Alice Koller



(Thank you to Sarah Ban Breathnach for making these quotes readily available!)


Aspens

Aspens
Bending Branch

Aspens

Aspens
Aspen Bark

Aspens

Aspens

Buddha Applied

Buddha Applied

A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time
Silence

Silence Series

Silence Series
Silence2

Silence Series

Silence Series
Silence3

Street Photography

Street Photography

Train Graffitti

Markings

Faces From the World

Faces From the World
Bhutan

India

India
Folk Art Festival