Thoughts: Homer’s Garden

Funny (or serendipitous) how the Forces fighting for us toss out those lifelines at the peak of necessity. This morning when frustration had just about hit peak implosion, Tom’s moving post appeared in my reader feed. Reading his thoughts which echoed many of my own I felt a wave of relief pushing back at those time eating demons. I no longer feel so isolated in my fight to reclaim what my spirit keeps urging me it needs. Thanks Tom for the connection and the reminders. If we reach out and listen, we will hear the Truth; none of us is ever truly Alone.

Quarry House

Homers Garden 2

I spent some time in my studio yesterday. It’s the second time in a week I’ve cut aside some time to paint.

The woman I love is always concerned when I am not painting. She knows the bigger story of my life, and how, many, many years ago I got so involved in a busy life that I let my creative life get pushed aside and how, after years of letting it evaporate, I slowly came undone.

Was that the reason for my undoing? Not alone. Other things, in particular, my marriage, were also coming undone at the same time, but the lack of creativity was the sign I have come to understand, of something else, something else.

The lack of expressiveness.

In the end, I have come to believe, creativity is less an end to itself than a method of expressing ourselves, of opening ourselves up, of getting things…

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Guest Post: It’s So Much More Than a Dream

So fellow travelers, in the space of these two weeks since January 20th,  I have taken on the role of moderator for two new groups.

20170202_171123

One is a labor of love, for a crew of local rescue volunteers (more on that perhaps in a future post, for now a few photos  of my recent overnight guests will have to suffice) and the other was born out the desire to support a small yet determined group of fellow local activists in these challenging times.

I know~ as one of my cherished blog followers messaged me recently~the beautiful photos and heartfelt haikus have taken a back seat recently to more pressing matters.

Because to me kindness, liberty, diversity, justice all matter.

Because All of Humanity matters to me.

All humans~ ALL ~not just people who look or think or believe or act like me.

Accepting people with opposing views does not mean I have to agree with their views to be respectful. It means I expect the same and as I wrote recently, I’ve been disappointed in that regard.  Accepting another person’s right to believe differently from me does not give them the right to force their beliefs on me or on people I know and love.

As I work my way through the actions needed to help put in place my piece of this global movement to secure liberty, diversity, justice and kindness for future generations I will be sharing the work of other writers who are crafting pieces which resonate with my heart.

And don’t worry~  there will be images and heartfelt haikus from me too.  I promise.

For now this Guest post from: Author Nadine Jolie Courtney

“There is very little I can say to change the mind of people who don’t understand why separating immigrants and refugees into “good” (white-skinned Christians) and “bad” (dark-skinned Muslims) is wrong and against everything that has historically made America wonderful.

But I’ll try anyway.

People saying “but we need to put ourselves first” and “Make America Great Again” seem to be missing the point. A crucial part of what makes America great is a unique ideal: the first amendment in our Constitution. It guarantees protection for the very freedoms now under attack, the very freedoms denied in totalitarian countries: religion, speech, the press. I’ve seen arguments online saying that America needs to only welcome those with similar cultures and beliefs, which–again–is missing the point. We are rejecting the singular ideals that lifted us up and made us great in the first place. We are rejecting humanity itself: the humanity of those suffering around the world, and our own humanity, too.

Refugees fleeing war-torn countries like Syria are trying to escape the terrorism that our troops and intelligence services fight against. They know its evils much more than we ever will. They have seen the ravages of war. They have buried their children. They seek a clean, safe place to lay their heads and raise their families and pursue their own version of the American Dream.

Things have gotten so politically ugly and divisive recently that it’s easy to forget we’re ultimately on the same team (even when it doesn’t feel like it). Those of us who are horrified by the direction of our country under our new President–and heartbroken that he chose to sign this executive order on Holocaust Remembrance Day–don’t support terrorism. We don’t want people coming to our beautiful, beloved America and hurting it or us. We’re not blindly bleeding-hearts…but we do *have* hearts. Our concern for human dignity doesn’t end at our front door.

We shouldn’t abandon our founding principles when the going gets tough: we should embrace them tighter. The Statue of Liberty reads, in part, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” They are beautiful, poetic words–but they have long been so much more.

These words on Lady Liberty signify that those in their hour of need can look to America–the country of immigrants, the country of possibilities–and we will swing the door open wider, rather than slamming it in your face. We welcome all faiths, all cultures, all countries. Yes, Syrians. Yes, Muslims. We are a melting pot, and ours has more than one color and more than one flavor.

It is a scary world, no doubt. There’s a lot of darkness out there. But there’s light and goodness, too–both in foreigners and in us, on both sides of the political spectrum–if we can dig deep and be open-minded even when fear and anger is the easier option. Let us continue to lift our lamps beside the golden door.

Last thought: this is a photo that hangs in our house. It’s my Muslim Syrian grandmother hugging my Episcopalian nun mother-in-law at my wedding. It is an immigrant hugging the descendant of immigrants at an interfaith Muslim-Christian celebration of family and love.

THAT is the American dream.”

You can find more of Nadine’s work at this link

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

the first present

So fellow travelers, on my annual holiday road trip to distribute gifts and hugs to my side of the family, we drove from windswept snowbound vistas through freezing drizzle in the Poconos arriving at last in not-quite-as-Sunny-as-the-show-claims-Philadelphia. Warm hugs, cheerful banter and hearty meals quickly dispelled the gloominess of grey skies. I woke this morning to find this post from my good friend Kate in my blog feed. This has been a holiday season with too many empty chairs at the table. It is good to have friends who keep the embers in our souls alive when the winds of change seem hell bent on extinguishing hope. As I read I could feel her rich tapestry of words wrap around me like a soft warm blanket. May peace and comfort bless us all.

Life With Horace

there are trees here too
grown out of deep soil pockets
heads above the hardy root dug
mountain friends of home
this gathered woody host a nest
to hold a house containing
every one I love
still sleeping as the light
creeps up all cloudy
through the rain
a christmas only minds eye white
with clear skied sunrise
catching tree tops
by surprise
red bronze briefly
glistened with strings of
love and memory
from those gone ahead
beams creak awake
almost the hour
for letting loose small bodies
counting moments since last night
behind me thumps and sighs
two sets of eyes meet mine
my patient dogs
the first gift of the day
belongs to them
and we are kitchen bound

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a small gift of words, a time filled with more love than things, christmas as it should be. my heart is very full.

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Living with Volcanoes

So fellow travelers,  many of us feel we are living on shaky ground these days.  It’s unnerving because even if we have not yet been directly affected,  I expect the majority of my readers know someone who already has been.

For the past five days I have been working my way through waves of confusion, sadness, fear and anger.  I have pushed myself not to react from those frames of reference, even as I go through the important phases of processing those feelings. Denial only ensures our  feelings weigh us down  and now more than ever we need to travel Light as we navigate the tricky path ahead of us.

As is my way, I have sought the quiet wisdom of my favorite walking trails.  My dog Delilah has been thrilled at the additional opportunites to roust little critters from the leaf beds lining our paths. No worries,please, she is properly leashed and supervised so no woodland nymphs are injured in the course of our wanderings.


This morning I found this excellent piece by artist and writer Rachel Barlow. Her insight has pulled together some important pieces for me. (More on that in future posts) I hope my readers will find seeds for the future in her post as well.

http://rachelbarlow.com/2016/11/12/absence-of-fear/

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready

 

 

 

… on ‘we’, the people

I’m with Dingle.

just ponderin'

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Our flag.

More than once in my life, ‘my’ candidate has lost.

And more than once, I was ‘in’ – big time – for my candidate… was certain the country and world was at risk if he or she (well, however they self-identified) lost.

I have been in the boat of being crushed, and in disbelief, and using the phrase “But this time it REALLY matters!” and watching states threaten to secede and and and… seriously. Been there. Done that.

But it has never occurred to me to dismiss the fact that those on the other side felt just as strongly as I did.

Not once, have I felt the pull toward violence against a side that won, want to beat someone up who voted the way I did not.

And it has never occurred to me to rub a victory in an opposing voter’s face, physically hurt or intimidate…

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… on the complexity of ‘all you need is love’

A Big Magic moment when creative hearts and minds connected and wove something of substance. Consider yourselves “Dingled” as we call it. It’s quite a gift.

just ponderin'

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Wind At Sea

Sailboats are more about knots than nets, so you’re going to have to bear with me.

The other day I was messaging with a friend in that very cool, smooth, to and fro way that friends who have invested in the creation of a history do.

At one point we were touching on some of the life stuff we were each seeing and feeling and she was half joking that she was going to write a ‘house on fire’ poem and I said I was half thinking about writing one about cults, but was having trouble finding words that rhymed with ‘cult’.

She offered a few close rhymes – dolt, colt, molt, volt.

I volleyed back that I was thinking of making up my own words.

Lult – as in I was lult into a false sense of security.

Mult – as in I multed under…

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Empathy, redemption, and the kindness of letting someone go

Wise words on the dividing line between encouragement and enabling, a line which benefits no one when crossed. Clear boundaries are essential in healthy relationships and group dynamics.

The Trailhead

080 This, I assure you, is my own image. It’s an animal butt, after all.

(I’m taking a brief break from my out-west postings to address something timely. Then back to our regularly scheduled creek crossings/weirdo encounters, etc)

Earlier this week it was discovered that a member of one of the Facebook groups I help to administer has been stealing photos from the web and posting them as her own, on our group and others, for a very long time.  As an avid photographer and a lawyer – and hell, as a person who generally likes other people — this was a topic of interest to me, beyond merely my personal experience with this particular event.

I’ve worked for many years, hike and paddle many miles, and spend thousands of dollars on travel expenses and gear to get my images. The idea of someone claiming them as their own is not…

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Where have all the humans gone? Is civility dead?

A most excellent piece on a most essential point from my friend Kathy Dewez

Ramble in the Bramble

*climbs on soapbox* Soapbox7

As one of the ugliest political races that I can ever remember continues to rage *out there* I’m left shaking my head in bewilderment.

We are bombarded daily with televised and written media and we do have a choice whether to watch or read, but I want to talk about social media, Facebook in particular.   Most of us use Facebook to keep in touch with the people we love, to participate in online groups, or make new friends.  To this point in my life, it’s been a great addition socially.  But for the past few months, my Facebook newsfeed seems to be polarized and filled with posts of anger and blame on any number of issues or raging hot topics.

People who have been friends for years are unfriending each other or calling the other names because of their politics and beliefs. When did we stop…

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… on scheduling nothing

Sharing this wonderful piece from Lisa Dingle’s blog. So timely as we come through a month of very hectic family events, some planned, some unexpected. While my own plans for a do nothing day this weekend were sidelined by a random stomach bug, I am not feeling badly. I have actually been enjoying the sights and sounds of several birding areas, thanks to an intrepid birder who posts a video “tour” every weekend on line. The down time is also giving me a chance to process my thoughts about our own birding expedition last weekend. That post will be up soon.

just ponderin'

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A Lotta Food

Years ago, when JoHn and I were both still working bazillion hour weeks and juggling our careers with two, then three kids, we would schedule days to do nothing.

Yep.

We actually scheduled them, by leaving the days intentionally blank.

Because there were things all over the dang calendar, all the time and it felt impossible to get rid of them, or stop them from coming (sort of like lice, but less itchy).

“Mac. Gymnastics Meet. 2 – 6”.

“Sam/Evan Playdate. Here. 1:30 – ?”

“Gabe…” (He was third so I don’t remember what we did with him but it was something).

Even family oriented activities like “Try to Talk Kids into Digging to China so We Can Have Coffee in Quiet” looked stressful on the calendar.

So the days would be left intentionally blank and they became, like, beacons.

We loved them. Unplanned days to do or not…

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What will I do today?

I have followed Mary Muncil’s blog for several years. I admire the honesty with which she writes about her spiritual journey. Often I feel as if I have come to a similar spot on my own path; this piece is one of those moments.

Mary Muncil ♡ White Feather Farm

P1250469 Eleanor snuggling with one of Luke’s toys

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” E. B. White

For much of my life, I’d felt a deep urge to help others…but it never seemed like I was doing enough. I believed that life was a long, narrow, uphill, climb toward some place of perfection where I would finally be in my right place, doing my right work, at the right time; a place where I’d finally know who I was and why I was here. I struggled for years to get to this place, yet it always seemed out of reach. Rest was not an option on this path.

During these years of struggle, I was incredibly self-concerned, but I didn’t realize it. I thought that my striving was noble…

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