24 November, 2014

23 November, 2014

Sunday - Saying Yes to the World

Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are.
Julia Cameron

22 November, 2014

21 November, 2014

Friday Ramble - Dazzled at Sundown

Falling snow, then rain and freezing rain, then snow again... At sunset, the world is rendered in dusky blues and taupes with flashes of deep red, burgundy and stormy purple. The setting sun is so bright it hurts the eyes. Sketches and paintings executed in such light look like photos; photos captured in the same light look like sketches and paintings.  One could be standing almost anywhere, but whoever she is, and wherever she happens to be, she is dancing in liminal light, and she knows it.

What is odd on our winter rambles, pleasing and enchanting too, are the elements that don't invite a thoughtful glance at other times and in other seasons: fence posts leaning their way along the hill and wandering away into the distance, the cedar they are made of, its lichens, weathered texture and dry fragrance. Furrows in the enclosed fields are as hard as iron under our boots.  Dried mulleins, milkweeds and grasses blow to and fro in the north wind, and they crackle in their oscillation.

Bare trees along the trail into the deep woods arch overhead and flash silver as we trudge into the forest with toboggans to fill wild bird feeders and leave apples for the deer. Sometimes the frozen trees and their dangling icicles ring like bells; at other times, they clatter like cymbals as we go along.

Something wonderful is present and waiting patiently to be known, but whatever that something is, it has yet to reveal itself in the dazzling sundown light. Perhaps the truth is that we simply don't have the eyes to see it or the wits to comprehend what is right in front of us and being held out in offering.

Standing here at sunset, we are all wrapped up in wonder, marveling at the falling sun, the noctilucent clouds and sky overhead, the earth under our wandering feet, everything around us. It is bitterly cold and windy on the trailing edges of a winter day, but the feelings of delight prevail, and they go right to our hearts and lungs, our blood and bones.  Everything is real, and everything is connected, and everything is plain old absolutely gorgeous.  Wow...

20 November, 2014

Thursday Poem - Sometimes I Am Startled Out of Myself

like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,
flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek
across the sky made me think about my life, the places
of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief
has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,
the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.
Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold
for a brief while, then lose it all each November.
Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst
weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves
come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,
land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.
You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find
shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.
All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.
They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.

Barbara Crooker
(from Radiance)

18 November, 2014

The Sound of Winter, Scent of Snow

The long white season has arrived and it's here to stay this time - not just dropping in for tea or plunking itself into a Morris chair for the afternoon with a stack of books and a good reading lamp.  Thermal underwear and toque, anyone? Boots, parka, mittens and snowshoes?

Winter writes its own words and music, sings the score in a hollow timbre that rises and falls on snowbound streets and parks, across hills, woodlands and fields, and a thousand and one other places deemed too desolate for attention, but wonderfully alive in their frozen shapes and textures.

Sometimes, the best thing one can do is be silent and let the season speak or sing for itself - just turn the doddering artist/scribe loose in the white stuff and see what she gets up to without giving in to the compelling tug to describe it all in words.  How does one describe the scent of fresh snow and spruce needles anyway?

The season is infinitely more tuneful and eloquent than this old woman with her camera and notebook, and it knows best how to work with these artful crystals, these frozen bits of aromatic greenery. For all the winters she has been wandering the earth, every winter is something new and beguiling.

16 November, 2014

Sunday - Saying Yes to the World

If we will think of ourselves as coming out of the earth, rather than having been thrown in here from somewhere else, we see that we are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth. And this is the voice of the earth.
Joseph Campbell