Tag Archives: Simplicity

good kind of paradox

20 Jan

life goes by so incredibly fast,

and still there is no hurry.

the best non-acting role for this life

18 Apr

is simple because you only have to memorize one line,

one word, really,

yes

and repeat it often.

if i ever forget again, i’m putting this here to remember

27 Jul

Even leisure can be a to-do list:

___  get out in nature,

___  bathe,

___  relax!!!!

___  pet the cat,

___  listen to the owl,

___  go to yoga,

___  sit silently for x amount of minutes,

___  eat nutritious food,

but true letting go hammers no list.

Health comes in its own time with no terms.

Music is found under layers of clutter, cleared away.

No one was actually keeping score.

The list keeper is happy to turn the reigns over,

as long as she is

convinced

converted

at last

by the magic mother once again –

she is stunned into silence by a something larger

that she cannot understand.

She is silenced finally in

open space full of nothing

no appointment

no calls to make

no bills to pay

no food to eat

no person expecting…anything.

How many years does it take to clear space like this?

Many and none –

a miracle

this island

in the middle of doing

always existing, almost invisible

right here

a chair

a breeze

an open ear

without a ready response

no sizing up

no plan

no worry

houses lost

clothes outgrown

a trillion cicadas clacking, mating and dying

while this body learned to have no clock

learned that needs will make themselves known

without having to cry –

a baby again

in the arms of such a large mother

as I can be to myself.

No other task was ever more important;

no job was ever asked.

 

 

laying it down

12 Jan

 

Today,  in the forest, the sound that echoed all around, even a half an hour into the walk, was that of my busy life.  I was deep into the coming semester’s scheduling and the possible conflicts ahead with the juggling for time in days that have yet to arrive.

The trees, the birds, even the crickets who come out for every warm spell, were not very forgiving of the noises I brought into the woods – they asked me to let it go, already.  They compelled me to sit a while on every bench made of fallen trees.  They told me to listen.  They called to me, endlessly, a distant longing at the edge of my compulsive mental mapping.  I couldn’t stop.  I could not find the wire that connected my ears to my perception – I was lost.  Finally –

One tree stuck his tongue out at me and said, “hey lady,” (sounding a bit like a beastie boy).  “We hear you and all your thoughts, but can you do this?”  and he pointed to his naked branches stretching out in 10,000 different directions.  “Hmmm?  I grew out into this from just a little seed.”

Then next to him, another tree one upped us both.  “Yeah, but can either of you hold onto your green all winter, even in the darkest and coldest of days?”

The heron perched nearby turned his back.  He was above this playground banter.  He glanced back at us over his shoulder.  “Don’t drop down to her level, guys.”

There seemed to be some agreement to let me proceed on my way and to trust me to end my campaign to disturb the peace.  Fields of stalking rice and grass,  rooted in the deepest wisdom of mud,  waved to me was I passed by, oblivious that there could ever be any other way.

The wind at last was able to toss me the rhythm of my breath by the time I had to go.  He had been trying to to pitch it to me for over an hour.  “Nice catch,”   he offered.   I caught that kindness, too.

tango in the tangible

29 Sep

Money used to show up in statements, digits printed out.

Seems it’s not in a box behind the counter at the bank.

Who is using that money?

And in what way?

Do I like the fund, the group, the digi-dollar demons?

It is me who built matrices within the matrices

and swallowed blue pills for years.

On the board, now,

I desire not to lord

but to move freely from square to square,

or end to end as I please.

The money system houses, hotels, whole blocks are pretend today.

I missed the freedom that I knew was mine,

so I took the bank man out for tea;

turns out he agrees with me.

I traded my digi-world for matter,

for things that I can touch and

can float on water.

I’m a thimble, a shoe, a cannon;

now you see me, now I’m gone.

I traded in my metal piece

for me.

This just in:

I’m opening up a school,

where everyone can teach –

Now employing for real jobs:

poets,

players,

collagers,

paper cutting pasters,

breathers,

getting lost on purposers,

laughers.

Enroll now for the seminar on napping;

don’t miss the power shifts we yield.

Join me for these workshops:

Beach Walking,

Dead Man’s Float,

Listening to Raindrops,

Petting Cats,

Blowing Thoughts and Thoughts about Thoughts out the Window,

Bubble Wand Ceremonies,

Advanced Staring into Space.

Survival: just how do we get the flow that we want?

How can we flow within the necessities?

some days as simple as:

sing while folding laundry,

dance while prepping dinner,

yoga lunge to clean the shower,

whistle while at the meeting,

until we are advanced, and can

clean our insides out with light,

move Mt. Mitchell with a glance.

 

holding the door

30 Jul

I am sure, tonight,

the cricket

is calling me to task,

for even as I have a list

of things that must be done,

he is telling me

that there isn’t a plan outside of sleep

and maybe then waking, again.

I am losing my fear of being nobody –

having no thing to say and so

now I can listen to Jiminy.

This nobody place

provides a washing for the eyes.

When people start to glow

a pure white light on their outer edges,

I stop

trying to make sense of their

words and just watch

them spill out of their borders.

I have a bag of magnetized words

that I am trying to trade for silent and suspended water,

but these clouds are still being perfected

in a factory just past my view.

I am part of the process, converting my thoughts

from language to mist –

Someday, I know, rounding a corner,

we will  come upon

a quiet sage, holding the emergency exit

in the plane that took us up to white towers

that we created together.

Have I met him tonight, my bodhisattva, in the form of:

Cricket?

His green, persistent song

tells me to slide on into clean,

brown sheets – making sleep my job.

I am slipping into other lives,

out of plans and words,

mapping new terrain

beneath a canopy of chirps.

 

 

gruyere

12 Jul

Just a sliver on the tongue,

 eyes closed,

my head rocks like Stevie Wonder for the

layers in this cheese.

How does this slice,

no bigger than a tack,

compare to a stack

of plastic-wrapped american cheese?

Am I finished with the tasteless,

candy-colored,

numb-tongue empty?

A droplet stretches into an ocean,

of blackberry,

of caper,

now basil.

New life is birthed here,

upon the buds,

not with cesarian and doctor bills,

but with

whole cream teats,

plated wind,

full-bodied rain,

water with legs.

Corner-clip me some 85% cacao,

for

next,

each day,

one grain of rice.

Here is the trick:

each grain contains

the world

of every taste

within.

 

 

craving normalcy

6 Jul

I do have  sympathy for the following monologue that was performed for me in real time on Friday:

Why can’t you be like other moms?  Why don’t we have family friends like other families?  Why don’t you have plans for the 4th of July?  Why don’t we have a group of family friends who all get together for like bar-b-ques and vacations, dinners and stuff?  Why doesn’t my life look like my friends on Facebook?

I should have stayed out of town.  Why did I come home where I am unhappy?  Why are you so happy being alone? Why can’t you find a step-father for me?

(Oh good lordy, on that last one.)

The 4th of July, so american, every holiday, really, brings up the pull of normalcy, the old and insidious lie of fitting in – and standing out – at once.  To be like everyone else will bring happiness.  To be liked.  To be good-looking.  To dress well – to say the right things – to have activities and people to surround us – to have photo opportunities every few hours – to package our lives in an understandable and compelling form.  To be desired.  To be outside of the flow of normalcy feels wrong.  To be in the flow of normalcy feels wrong.  It is an interesting place, to be comfortable with the flow, finally, now, but to live with others who are still in the searching mode, wishing all were different, wondering,  Where is the postcard version of our lives?

I listen to the storms of discontent of teenagers who feel free to express themselves.  The storms are dramatic and loud, but they pass.  I offer a freedom that is so close that it is not even perceived.  I offer a large space for the sound and fury, for the rage not against the machine but to be more part of the machine…

I am present and still – and  content, even so (quietly so as to not intensify the suffering by the contrast).

Despite my lack of normalcy, the 4th of July dilemma works out beautifully!  We jog/bike to the river, where the fireworks can be view from 240 degrees – and after our arrival, with no car to park – we find a spot on a floating dock inches from the rapid current – families, smiles, colorful explosions reflected in the dark water, together with our american brothers,  yet doing our own thing, too.  In serendipitous wonder, we stumble upon a restaurant with a young woman singing with her guitar and we split an appetizer and relax and talk before our jog/bike back home, late at night.  We are whistled at from a car of boys and I question, Who are they whistling at?  I know the answer, but it is funny to throw myself in the mix 🙂

Stepping out of the role of parent, teacher, wise one, can be tough when the voice of complaint wants a response and there is no response that pleases – I’ve tried them all.

When I talk, I imagine my voice often sounds like this:

Years move on in measured beats, bit by bit, ever changing, chinese water torture/pleasure drops; something new is coming around.  Even if I think it is the same, it is not.  A malcontent teen has to experience on her own, and her movement and turning may be slow and then suddenly fast – any snapshot is not the whole story.

Shift shift shift the angle of your boom and watch the wind fill up the sail, let the line go slack and watch the stillness hold you there at sea – never motionless even then. Learn along the way.  Go below, stay above, jump overboard and swim with sharks, burn your skin, drink salt water, eat ramen and sardines for days.  Drown and watch another avatar appear.  Never Game Over – never never never – hell or heaven, every second, burn and rise, burn and rise – bread as flesh, loaves and fishes, fisher of men, age of pisces, dawning of aquarius, summer, fall, winter, spring, repeating yet never the same.

Stay in this vessel from ballast to the top of the mast, bow to stern, move throughout the river of time, see the full buffet – and do not skip dessert.  Today, Chocolate Mousse for breakfast, pleasure in the unplanned days that bring bike rides and frog symphonies, and cheeky waiters, and organizing rooms, and found lost items, and rolling thunder, and fertile silence.

Ah life, said Emily Webb, you are too beautiful to imagine.  Oh no, here are the actual lines:  Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
― Thornton WilderOur Town

These words – a wave rising, not original, not profound, just a mass of water that wants to move up, then sink down again, again and again, for no reason.  Living life, in the moments, in the sensations, hello.

 

because

20 May

Only one friend  has ever told me her IQ;  she had a high one, and she much identified with her quick comprehension and multiple, impressive degrees.  I enjoyed her edgy sarcasm that felt refreshing amongst all the proper moms on the playground.

But her cleverness, after a few glasses of wine, became a cruel streak which she used to debilitate others and build herself up.  She came into my life with a gift; she helped me to demystify the mind.  She helped me see that being intelligent and well-educated did not lead one to happiness and heart opening.  Obvious, I know, but up to that point, I had some faulty thoughts in this area.

She also helped me to detach from the importance of my own words.  I remember the feeling of being hurt whenever I was cut off in conversation.  This friend, in her verbal cruelty, showed me that  a cut off  in conversation might be a blessing, a break to take a breath, switch gears, a chance to be more mindful in our words.     What this friend began in me has been furthered by my kids:  they get so tired of my words and explanations.

They are always cutting me off.

They say to me all the time, “just tell me what you want me to do; don’t say because.”      They want me to just say what I want, but not to say why.

Often, when I use an explanation for whatever I am asking, or doing, or thinking, there is no explanation necessary.

I am grateful for the reason to stop and just trust what they are telling me.   For a while when they said to me, “Don’t say because,” I was confused…what does that mean?    They were showing me that mostly the WHY is self-evident and over-explanation is tedious to listen to.  Let me give an example:

“You really need to clean up your room because you have been losing things lately and your dirty clothes are not making it into the hamper to get clean.”  Ugh.  I don’t like even typing that.

They know all of this already.  I can say:  “Clean up your room.  Put your dirty clothes in the laundry.”

Or better yet,  “What do you think needs to be done in your room today?”

This over-explaning does not only apply to parenting.  I am beginning to suspect it is more universal.

When Eden was sitting beside me while I was grading essays, she told me to stop explaining so much.  I  feel compelled to write out explanations to students telling them not only what is incorrect, but also explaining why it is incorrect and explaining how to correct.  Goodness, overkill!  “They don’t read all of that, mom.  If they really want to understand, they will look it up or they will ask you.”

Something clicks inside of me.

Ah, explanations are a lack of trust!

I feel like I need to explain my actions or requests “because”  I don’t trust you to get it; or I don’t trust myself in asking for it.  I am not trusting my students to learn on their own when I offer all of this explanation.  And the truth, they don’t read all of my statements; most just look for the number grade and move on.  All that work, dust in the wind.  🙂

I am going to work on eliminating the word “because” in my home and at school and see if I can.

I think I will speak more clearly, more powerfully.

Why?

Well, the answer isn’t because…

 

hallo you sun, above the thick, grey mattress pad wrapped around each corner of the sky…

6 Mar

rainy day trees

I lived in a house made largely of windows.  A choice was made to do away with most of the curtains and blinds so that even under a canopy of  leaves, bright sunlight filled each room.  At night, the house was lit from within.

What do people call a house like this, a fishbowl?    I was on the stage in a house full of windows.  I showered more; I dressed for breakfast;  I moved through the house, making entrances and exits,  an actress playing a role.

Today, I am shrouded behind curtains, or so I think,  here on my bed, lounging on a quilt full of giraffes and monkeys with a live napping cat.    This is not a show house, but a house for the moment, full of comfort and warmth.  My dishes are functional, my blankets warm and worn.

I think we are all creatures in a zoo, in boxes of every sort, observing and being observed.  There are routines and patterns and a measuring to our days counted in such small, expansive joys;  scripts move us daily to sweep, to wipe up, to turn appliances on, to purchase food,  to wash our bodies, to answer our emails.

The keys out  are  metal and cartoonishly large – rattling around the waist of the guard.  He is stopping by your cage now, peering in the back gate, seeing what you are up to…what are you up to?  Are you  counting your food pellets,  or making your bed from the soft underbrush, or are you frozen in space staring?

I, too, am frozen at a window, but not the windows of yesterday.  I am in a window full of condensation.  I am faceless, standing still and staring out at rain.

What holds me here?  Only my one job, to parent.  It is a job so important I can hardly face it,  yet it is a job on shifting sand.

I start some doing and stop and think about doing again, but instead, I sit here, drinking tea, looking at messes.  I’m fixin’ to and startin’ to all day, turning on music, joy goes all the way down to my socked feet as the rain dots my roof  just like my thousand, shivery goose pimples.

The only way out is up;  there is no fence on the sky.  The cage is comfortable, the food is adequate – but above is open.  Swimming through miles of goosedown, I imagine the sun still there.

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