Snow Melt

It’s been a sleepy time in Tessland, lots of hiding between teaching gigs (that are oh so very life-affirming and it makes me feel so blessed to watch things grow and change over the course of  a semester). Down time is necessary but hard.  In the meantime, it is good to be reminded of the infinite possibilities that exist out there for oneself, there for the taking.  Not just the hopeful stuff. . .but all the facets, the lights and the darks and shadows.

alleevilla_des_fleurs_gustave_caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Paths: The Te of Piglet

“Thousands of years ago, man lived in harmony with the rest of the natural world. Through what we would today call Telepathy, he communicated with animals, plants, and other forms of life-none of which he considered “beneath” himself, only different, with different jobs to perform. He worked side by side with earth angels and nature spirits, with whom he shared responsibility for taking care of the world.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Te of Piglet

“Without difficulties, life would be like a stream without rocks and curves – about as interesting as concrete. Without problems, there can be no personal growth, no group achievement, no progress of humanity. But what mattes about problems is what one does with them.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Te of Piglet

“In the Age of Perfect Virtue, men lived among the animals and birds as members of one large family. There were no distinctions between “superior” and “inferior” to separate one man or species from another. All retained their natural Virtue and lived in the state of pure simplicity…In the Age of Perfect Virtue, wisdom and ability were not singled out as extraordinary. The wise were seen merely as higher branches on humanity’s tree, growing a little closer to the sun. People behaved correctly, without knowing that to be Righteousness and Propriety. They loved and respected each other, without calling that Benevolence. They were faithful and honest, without considering that to be Loyalty. They kept their word, without thinking of Good Faith. In their everyday conduct, they helped and employed each other, without considering Duty. They did not concern themselves with Justice, as there was no injustice. Living in harmony with themselves, each other, and the world, their actions left no trace, and so we have no physical record of their existence.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Te of Piglet

“Wherever Gandhi went, he transformed situations and lives. As one friend and biographer wrote, “He…changed human beings by regarding them not as what they thought they were but as though they were what they wished to be, and as though the good in them was all of them”
Benjamin Hoff, The Te of Piglet

Cut Lilies by Noah Warren

Cut Lilies

Noah Warren
illustration

About This Poem

“‘Cut Lilies’ came during a nadir of loneliness in the early spring. Though I’m not religious, each year I find I need Easter more and more. Blake’s ‘Holy Thursday’ was heavy in my mind as I tried, through something like the pathetic fallacy, to trace the contours of the guilt behind my self-pity and my need.”
—Noah Warren

Noah Warren is the author of The Destroyer in the Glass (Yale University Press, 2016). He is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Palo Alto, California.

 

Photo credit: Ana Flores

This is for a friend who is struggling with something scary and for whom I have no words . . .

 

 

 

blessing the boats

BY LUCILLE CLIFTON

                                    (at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back     may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

Comfortably Dumb

--Edward Hopper, "High Noon"

–Edward Hopper, “High Noon”

Suicide.  It’s been over six months since I’ve had this urge to google it.  Six months ago, I put that urge away. . .put it in a strongbox and swallowed the key.

This is the last time you haunt the house of my brain .  Here’s your hat . ..don’t let the unlocked door hit you on the way out.

And  here, I hesitate to say,  it is six months later and he’s back, Jack. That asshole with the hobnail shoes, exhausted, nauseous, spent. Stomping around in the kitchen again. . .rummaging through the produce drawer, looking for palpable courage.

The long hallway with all the family photos: every last one of those faces emaciated, expressionless.   You want to save them. . . load them all into boats, bound for anywhere

but here, where the hurt is.

I mean it is one kind of unholy to go there yourself, but you look into that sea of faces. . .so far from shore.  Hands and arms aching all the way to umbilicus that keeps you tethered to heavy heavy heavy.

Holden Caulfield in a Coast Guard boat, waving a white flag.  Enough already.  Uncle.

Uncle uncle uncle.

Eleventeen Reasons I Love. . .(cont.)

This post was supposed to be about Bob, but in light of recent events, today it will be about Lou.  Another subterranean rebel but with a heart so tender he had to hide it under that gruff voice and those long distance

Lou Reed. Schinitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR

Lou Reed. Schinitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

lyrics.

LInger on, Sweet Lou.