Friday, March 18, 2011

A Poem for Ostara

The Enkindled Spring
~D.H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up, and the flickering, watery rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, these sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.

Picture found here.

Spring Reads

hat tip/SJ Tucker.

Thank You!

Many, many thanks to the very kind "Anonymous Reader" who sent me A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book by Ceisiwr Serith. Here's one of my favorites:
*Here in this city, surrounded by a canyon of
buildings that seem to block out Nature,
I pray to the gods of nature, who are present everywhere,
here no less than in the wild forest,
or the empty plains over which the storm winds blow,
or the ocean that hides its immense number of life
in its depths.
For we human beings are not separate from Nature,
and have our own nature,
and this nature is above all to gather into
and to form societies,
and to build cities.
So I stand here in this city and praise Nature,
present here all around us.
How could we keep Her out?

*Open my eyes, Dyeus Pter, to those around me.
Open my heart, Gouwinda, with your loving care.
Unite me with them, Xaryomen,
into a society of individuals,
based on reciprocal exchange.

Picture (of my city) found here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Synchronicity -- Wherever You Go, There It Is

There's this:
You don’t have to wait until things reach a critical point before you take stock of your life. Make it a habit to regularly sit down, be with yourself and ask yourself what you want, if you are happy with how you spend your time, if your relationships are strong or just a place to gossip. Go on a retreat, take a weekend to write in your journal and read inspiring books. Step away from your life in order to look at it more deeply. To paraphrase Michael Gerber: “Work ON your life, not just IN it.”

TAKE it off.

What are you still settling for in your life, in your surroundings, in your schedule? What’s draining you? What’s not a “hell yes?”

Be ruthless in answering these questions. And then, be ruthless in letting go. Take it off and feel the space that’s created from not settling for excess maybe’s in your life. Make your life one big YES – and live from that place.

How to Heal a Planet: A Give-and-Take Guide by Christine Kane

and, there's this:
And my time is particularly precious right now, because I’m not only writing but also teaching full-time and attempting to finish a doctoral dissertation. And I have a seven-year-old.

To be honest, I think what I did to make time for all those things is cut out the things that wasted time, that didn’t seem worthwhile. But that took looking at life a little differently.

So for example, once upon a time I used to make dinner. I would get home from the university and make dinner, which took about an hour. When we lived in the city, that was easy to do and still left time in the evenings. But here, after my commute, I am far too tired in the evenings. So instead of making dinner, I rely on organic frozen dinners. I know, they’re not homemade, but they’re as healthy as anything I would make myself, and Ophelia gets to try all sorts of things I don’t know how to make. . . . And while they’re cooking in the oven, I can write a blog post.

There are all sorts of other ways in which I decided to simplify my life and make time for what I thought truly mattered. For example, I decided a long time ago never to buy any clothes that required dry-cleaning. . . . All of the dishes and utensils go into the dishwasher, including the silver plate. If silver plate is used every day, it doesn’t need polishing. I have furniture that doesn’t need a lot of care, solid wood pieces. The floor requires sweeping and the rugs must be vacuumed, but this is a small house, relatively easy to keep clean. (It could be both cleaner and neater, but here I’ve decided that I’m not going to feel guilty about spending time writing instead of cleaning. Because after all, everyone who visits tells me how neat my house is. So that’s good enough, right?)

. . .

I should say, too, that there are a lot of things people consider leisure activities that I don’t bother with, partly because to me they’re not all that interesting. Going to movies in theaters, for example. Any sport that involves a ball. (I’ve discussed, haven’t I, my experience with balls? We repel each other, like magnets. Imagine how difficult that made kickball, in elementary school!) Going sailing, just to go sailing rather than getting anywhere. Going to any sort of gym for exercise. (Why? I’d rather go to a dance class.) Going to a spa. (Why? I’d rather learn to spin wool, or fight with a sword, or just about anything.) And I don’t shop, except when I’m going to an old book store, a thrift store, an antiques market. If I’m going to shop, it’s going to be an adventure. (Malls. Why?) That’s a good rule, actually: don’t do anything unless it’s an adventure. The other stuff: what’s the point? (Unless you like doing it, of course, and then you should. But don’t do things just because you feel as though you ought to.)

Not that it’s effortless. There are days when I’m tired, days when I don’t want to write. But I do think that writing is not about having time, but about making time. It’s about priorities. It’s about doing the things that truly matter, and trying to minimize the rest.

Making Time by Theodora Goss

In the end, it all comes down to Mary Oliver's Very Important Question: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" (I'm not a tattoo girl, but if I ever did get tattoos, one of them would be that question, somewhere like on my forearm where I could see it all the time. (The other would be one of my favorite quotes from Rumi: "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you./Don't go back to sleep./You must ask for what you really want./Don't go back to sleep."))

Picture found here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Read for Me?

I know that one is supposed to pretend otherwise, but I love birthdays. I love to make a fuss when family and friends have birthdays, and I love my own. Everyone deserves at least one day a year to celebrate the fact that they were lucky enough to incarnate on this breathtaking Goddess of a planet and that they've made it for another trip around the sun.

I'm 55 today, and proud of every single wrinkle, grey hair, and scar.

Like a lot of people, I do a reading for myself on my birthday, asking for some guidance for the coming year. (I want to make each one count!)

This year, I pulled:

A quality I need to foster this year: Playfulness

A Goddess with whom I need to develop a deeper relationship: Pele

My body/health/physical existence: Page of Pentacles

My job: 3 of Cups

My family/home/garden: The Star

My spiritual life & circle: The World

If you feel inclined, I'd welcome your readings in comments. May you, too, enjoy many wonderful birthdays!


Loosen up the roots and let the Earth get warm.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Poetry Blogging

I am continuing to sit at my altar for Japan.

A Song on the End of the World

~ Czeslaw Milosz

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Warsaw, 1944

Picture found here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Things Will Die

On Being a Gardener: From "And I Shall Have Some Peace There" from Margaret Roach on Vimeo.

Margaret Roach, reading from her new book And I Shall Have Some Peace There.

You've got to love a gardening book titled after a poem, especially a poem that includes the words "bee-loud glade," which I think make the world's second-best poetic description, just after the ineffable "wine-dark sea".

Sunday Ballet Blogging