Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday


When they criticize you how do you
hold your wings? I hold mine out
and down, descend a little, then more.
Cool air comes. Nobody cares how low
I descend, and the way my eyes close
makes me disappear. They have their sky again.

So thin a life I have, scribbling dust
when I turn, trailing as if to follow
something inside the earth, something beyond
this place. If I accept what comes,
another sky is there. My serious face
bends to the ground, the dust, the lowered wings.

William Stafford

I am in love with William Stafford. Every time I read one of his poems I feel like he has taken a peak inside my soul and written the words I cannot say. I hope you are inspired to spend some time with him...

serendipity hits blog world again. I came across Lisa's blog over the weekend. She has been posting poetry on Thursdays for quite a while now. I guess it is a feature on the Washington DC Craig's List. I think this is just incredible. Here I am out here in Washington State deciding to post Poetry on Thursdays, and other people around the world have joined in on the fun, while people out on the East Coast have been having fun with Poetry Thursday for a while now. People around the world sharing poetry. I just love it!

I am often asked: what are the rules of Poetry Thursday? No rules really. To participate in Poetry Thursday, all you have to do is post a poem (by someone else or your own poem) on your blog on Thursday (or close to it). If you don't have a blog, you can post a poem here in the comments. I am out of town until Sunday, so if you are new to Poetry Thursday (and you aren't in the list on my side bar) and you posted a poem on your blog, please leave a comment with your link so others can visit you. Also, if you want to join Poetry Thursday, please send me an email at waywardtulip @ and I will add you to the list when I return. Make sure you include a link to your blog and the way you would like your name to appear in the sidebar.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

{SPT} tea time, art, and ice cream

Tea time week 4

Another week of boiling water, brewing tea, pausing, taking a polaroid, and drinking tea as the picture develops.

I am amazed that I have all these pictures of me now - with no make-up on. It is liberating in a sense. Even though I do look so tired illuminated only by the bright flash...

Maybe I will keep doing this every day. Pausing. Reflecting. Letting go.

And my favorite tea from this experience is a new green tea with brown rice. I love earthy green teas. Mmmm.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

sleepy thoughts...

...on a sunday night.

I am not alone. I am not alone in my feelings about Bush. I was worried about putting my naked feelings out there. I haven't really ever walked the line of politics on my blog. Because even though my views make up a big part of me, they are not the one thing I want to be identified by in this world that can seem so polorized. (and really, how well do you know someone just reading her blog everyday? people make so many assumptions. but, i guess you were safe assuming that this yoga teacher who migrated from a RED state to a BLUE state might just be a bit blue herself. it is, afterall, my favorite color.) Thank you for leaving comments so I know that I am not alone in my inability to put Bush up on my altar. And no, I didn't suddenly cut out a picture of him and put it anywhere near where I meditate. However, I have put the idea out into the universe, so maybe we can all think about less hate and more compassion.

I spent the last two days at a yoga workshop about yoga therapy with the Mohans. Incredible. My mind is still processing it all. My favorite phrase from the weekend: The mind is the corrupt prime-minister of the body.

I am getting things ready for ArtFest! I cannot believe I am going in three short days (well, really 2 1/2 now!). Please know this: I am behind in reading all the blogs I enjoy so much (see list at right). I am sorry about this because I hate missing all of your words, inspiration, and knowing what is going on in your worlds. I will be playing catch up next week because I am treading water in the deep end right now, looking for my water wings (ok, interesting image, I mean I am simply super busy). Know that I am thinking about all of you. Yes. I. Am. And appreciate you "stopping by to have tea with me" for a few seconds here.

I cannot believe The West Wing is ending. I cannot believe that I will be crying over the death of Leo soon. I have not fully mourned the loss of John Spencer because in my mind, Leo is still alive. I love this show. I wish it was real my world. I wish Hawkeye Pierce or Matt Santos could be my President. I still have the Newsweek cartoon that came out after the 2000 election where they showed Martin Sheen beating out Bush and Gore. For the last 7 years I have held on to the fact that for one night a week, Jed Bartlett was my President. I feel about this show the way my mom felt about MASH. (We love Alan Alda in this family.)

Okay, this sleep-deprived woman must get to bed now...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

who is on your altar?

Tonight my husband and I watched the movie Good Night, and Good Luck. I am still sitting with all the thoughts that came up as I took in this film. The shadows and lighting were just incredible. And the faces of these actors - the quick moments of emotion captured. It felt so timely, beyond timely really. I wish we had a voice of reason like this today. Right now. Do we? And if we do, will that person who stands up for freedom of speech and belief lose his or her job? Be moved to a Sunday afternoon time slot that no one will watch?

As I listened to McCarthy's words, I felt the same way I feel when I watch the news or the Sunday morning political shows or hear the voice of George W. Bush. However, through this reaction, I had one split second of sanity and was reminded of a teaching my yoga teacher shared with my training group when we met for the first time after the 2004 election. It is a story about the spiritual teacher Ram Dass. I ask your forgiveness in that I am paraphrasing a story that has been passed down, but I believe that he wrote about it in one of his books. During the 80s, Ram Dass found following his teacher's teaching to love everyone challenging. Every time he saw Casper Weinberger on the news, he felt lots of emotions but love was not one of them. His teacher said that this teaching was not one you decide to follow one day and then let go of another. So Ram Dass brought a picture of Weinberger to his altar. Imagine coming to your altar where you have symbols, pictures, artifacts, a candle for peace and so on that all represent your spiritual teachers and teachings. You might say, "Hello Buddha. Thank you for your example Jesus. Good morning Mom. Thank you to the spirits who have gone before me. Hello my favorite rock that reminds me of my connection to nature. Thank you for the reminder to let go of attachment Shiva. Ah...Casper. Yes. Hello to you too."

My teacher was challenging us, and herself, to think about putting Bush on our alters. Can I do this? Can I put Bush, McCarthy, Weinberger, and so many others on my altar? Can I project compassion instead of anger? Can I open my heart enough to realize that loving everyone is non-negotiable? Tonight, I am certain, that I am not ready for this. (One person did ask my teacher, "Can it be the bobblehead Bush?") I might need to start with someone else. But then again, if not now, then when? And, if I can bring Bush to my alter, maybe I can bring people who have hurt me to my altar. Those people in my past I may not want to think about. Those people who also need my compassion.

Who needs your compassion more than your anger? Who do you need to bring to your altar?

Friday, March 24, 2006

it might just be me...

On my way to teach yoga the other night, I went to change lanes and realized that for the last mile or so I had been that person with the blinker on driving the people behind me crazy.
I can only imagine what was said about me.

"Is she changing lanes or what?"
"Why isn't she getting over?"
"You have plenty of room lady!"

I felt horrible and was embarrassed, so I just turned up the music and sang a little louder.
My thoughts turned to something a yoga teacher said to my training group one day as we were studying the yoga sutras. "How much time do you spend thinking about your relationships with other drivers? These people that you do not even know." The context was to think about how much time we put into the relationships with the people we hold dear to us. And how much time we put into our own relationship with ourselves. Then to think about the time we put into relationships and moments that are not about us at all. But we make them all about us.
Think about it. The last time you were annoyed, angry, furious at another driver. Someone. you. do. not. even. know. Someone you might become friends with in a week, a month, a year. Someone who is dear to someone else. The people who cut you off, talk on their cell phones as they swerve, put make-up on, drive too slow, and yes, the people who leave their blinkers on. And the people who have been angry with you because you did any and all of the above. The people who threaten you with a glare or a finger in the air. Angry with them or feeling horrible because how could you do such a thing as run a stop sign? How often have you spent minutes or much, much longer thinking about that short relationship you had with another driver.

Imagine if you spent that much time sitting with yourself...talking with your best friend...reading a favorite book...walking outside...calling your mom and telling her you love her...hugging your partner...laughing...twirling around your bedroom...finding the gratitude...writing a note to someone just because...letting your brother know you miss him...playing with your dog...looking at yourself in the mirror with a candle for peace...coloring...smelling the flowers...letting go...meditating...praying...singing...eating an apple...drinking a cup of tea...listening to the whispers of your soul.

Imagine if you did that today.
Right now.

And the next time you are behind that person with her blinker on...remember...that person might just be me. And I sure would love it if you would just laugh with me. Or just turn up your radio and sing.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

poetry thursday


Grandma, whisper, everybody's turning around.
- Well is she being thrown out of the convent?
No, she is just going to be a governess for a while.
- What does she have on?
A brown dress, hat and she's carrying a suitcase.
- Where's she going, is she walking or what?
Yeah, she's walking to the house where she's got the job.
- Why didn't they pick her up in a carriage?
So she could sing a song on the way.
- Is this a true story?
I guess so.
- Well I bet they picked her up.
Now she's meeting the family.
- She married the father, Ingrid told me.
He's very handsome and rich.
- I thought you said she was still a nun.

Julie O'Callaghan
(from the book Sixty Women Poets edited by Linda France)

Can't you just hear them? Oh, I just love it...the silliness, the exasperation, the understanding, the obvious, the cycle of it all...

If you want to join in on Poetry Thursday, share a poem on your blog. Feel free to share a poem you enjoy or your own poetry. If you do not have a blog, you can share a poem in the comments of this post. If you would like to be added to the list of participants here in my sidebar, please send me an email.

I hope you discover a new poem that you just want to soak up into your soul.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

{SPT} tea time, sushi, and pj's

tea time week 3

Another week of this daily self-reflection...self-acceptance.
It is getting easier. (a tiny bit easier). I like that I felt happy when most of these pictures were taken. Though I admit that it was hard not to crack up as I took these. Something about posing in front of that polaroid has just made me giddy this week. But that soons goes away. I take a sip. Then I breathe in and I breathe out. Watching the picture of me, my face, my huge face, develop before me. Breathe in, notice the mind. Breathe out, let go again. And again. And again.
I have been editing an online course for the last two days, so I have review quizzes on the brain. Here is a little mix and match game for you. Match the picture with the sentiment.

(Warming up after a day of flea market finds, half-price books, and walks outside.)

(Yes, I was tired, but not that tired. Right now though, I feel like I look in that one.)

(Taking a quick break before searching for more information about ArtFest. Have you heard? I am going!)

(I am as tired as I look. And still wearing pj's as noon aproaches. Though I have actually showered but just decided to put the pj's back on.)

(No, we do not have the ugliest couch in America. In fact, I am in a booth at our favorite Japanese restaurant I Love Bento. After a long, long, long day, Jon and I went out for sushi and this was finally a time when we could both take a deep breath. And I could enjoy my favorite tea in all the world.)

(The house may be quiet, but I am snuggling in for a night of blogging and my new green tea with brown rice.)

(Edna Mode is on the otherside of this mug. Do you know her? Find out who she is and study her ways.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

a day in april (inspire me thursday: think big)

a day in april

This is my creation for the challenge Think Big.
I usually work on paper and in smaller sizes, so I decided to try a larger canvas. I had the idea to incorporate a hummingbird, then the big flowers. And one thing I love about canvas in this case was that I could paint over things when they went a little differently than I had planned. As I thought more about the challenge, this image of a little person sitting at the foot of the flowers appeared. Then came the story:
The song of your heart has called me.
Can you feel your wings...
do not be afraid...
climb up
and I will show you how to use them.


The image at the bottom...the words say:
...and on a day in April, she heard her own song, and she began to climb.

Images of wings and flying have been going through my head lately. Looking at the work of other artists has been inspiring me. In this artwork I have seen and in the words I have read, there seems to be a connection between finding your wings, finding your path, and finding your tribe. Wings invite me to once again think about letting go. And in the midst of this afternoon, my thoughts turned to my grandmother and the idea that maybe the hummingbirds were speaking to her over her entire lifetime and then, one day, she joined them.

find inspiration from the creative minds of other folks at inspire me thursday.

the happy dance

Last night, I had a wonderful moment while painting for this week's Inspire Me Thursday challenge. I realized that I just want to experience this. ArtFest! The deadline has passed for signing up. But. I decided to email Teesha Moore anyway and see if there was a little tiny chance that I could still be a part of this event. And....this morning...she emailed...and said YES! Oh I am so happy. I have literally been dancing around the house singing "I am sooo happpyyeeeee, I am soooooo happyyyyeeee!"

I remembered that Kim said she was going, and I have connected with her. This is her first time too. We talked today and she was explaining the artist trading that happens. Oh my. She had the great idea that I do something with the senses, like the posts that I write here weekly. The brainstorming has begun.

On a sidenote, this moment of deciding to go to ArtFest was precipitated by a delightful conversation I had with Melanie. I had a dream two weeks ago that I emailed her about helping with just Be... So in my waking life, I did email her. And the brainstorming has begun. (If you want to help with this brainstorming or add your ideas, please head over to her site.)

If you are going to ArtFest, please leave a comment (or email me) and let me know. I would love to connect with you there. And if you have been to ArtFest...please leave a comment (or email me) and tell me more, tell me more...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

senses. a day with blue sky.

march reflection

march flies

march taste

march feels

march blooms

{and know}
march beginnings

Saturday, March 18, 2006

i spent the night with...

kenny rogers.

so here is a little secret about me. i love kenny rogers. i love him in an i-loved-singing-his-songs-into-my-fisher-price-cassette-recorder-as-a-little-girl kind of way. i was probably two or three when i started singing, "oh ruuuuuby... don't take your love to town." and one of my favorite lyrics of all times comes from "coward of the county," "...but you could of heard a pin drop when tommy stopped and locked the door." the dramatic pauses in that line just make my heart happy. i have seen every kenny rogers made-for -tv movie. yes, i have. and i bet i am not alone. but coward of the county is the only one i have on tape somewhere. i love that movie.

tonight, my husband was excited to show me this on (you can see videos online at this site). When our new paper delivery person didn't get the morning paper here in time for jon to read it before school, he started watching vh1 and mtv while eating breakfast - going back to his high school 80s days. there are a few favorite videos he wanted to share with me. i am kind of take it or leave it with videos. i love listening to music, but i don't always enjoy sitting and watching videos for a long period of time. but this was fun! and you can search for so many artists on this site. so yes, i searched for kenny rogers and enjoyed some old-school kenny videos. this led me to iTunes to share some of my favorite kenny songs with jon. which led me to download this, his twenty greatest hits.

i probably saw my first kenny rogers concert when i was three, and we went again and again throughout my childhood. i saw him with dottie west, crystal gayle, the gatlin brothers, gallagher (yes, that comedian with the exploding watermelon), ronnie milsap, and maybe a few others.

some of my favorite memories involving kenny mother, father, and i are walking from the car to the ACC at Notre Dame (the basketball arena where concerts are held). my dad picks me up so i can ride on his shoulders. i am probably four. A tour bus pulls in. yes. oh yes. it is kenny. the back windows weren't tinted like they are now, and he is sitting in the back with the curtain open. he waves to me. to me! i remember giggling with delight and marveling later that the man singing all those songs i love waved at me. he knows who i am.

...i am visiting my grandparents. i am probably six. it is time for my grandfather to take the garbage to the dump, and that means one-on-one time with him in the car. i get to ride up front and help him. he starts singing, "you picked a fine time to leave me lucille" and adds words of his own. and i say, "no, no grandpa, that's not how the song goes." on other trips he will start singing and say, "now, who sings better me or that other guy?" the little girl inside me remembers just reveling in this attention. feeling amazement that my grandpa really thought he could sing as good as kenny. we laugh about this still.

...a few weeks before fourth grade, the summer of 1985. and my mom, my brother, my aunt, cousin, and i are all driving from indiana to south carolina for a family reunion. kenny is on the tape player singing "fighting fire with fire." you might not know this one, but at 10, i knew all the words. one line made my mother pause, turn her head around to the backseat (she was driving), and say, "do you know what that means?" the line: "any place he touches or kisses diana, is someplace i've already been.", i didn't so much know what that meant then.

...boarding school. over a weekend at home i find a pin that says: "i spent the night with kenny rogers." if you knew my parents you might find this to be kind of odd - how old was i when they bought that for me? i wear it as my kilt pin throughout my senior year. hiding it from the powers-at-be because it was definitely "non-reg" and not part of the wardrobe. could i have been any cooler with that pin? goody-two-shoes liz with her scandalous kilt pin. wedding reception. i don't throw the bouquet. instead i present it to the couple who has been married the longest. my grandparents. fifty-seven years. and then i dance with my grandpa; jon dances with my grandma. the song. kenny singing "Always" by Irving Berlin. a favorite song of mine. a way to blend the sentiments of this song - love between my grandparents, my love for them, my love for jon - and the memories of kenny and my grandpa singing. this gave us one of the best moments of the evening. if i close my eyes, i can see the look of bewilderment, embarassment, pride, and love on my grandmother's face as i share with our guests how much she and my grandpa mean to me. the tears of joy as jon and i walk over to them and give her the bouquet. jon takes her hand. my grandpa takes mine. i hear my grandpa's laughter as i say, "grandpa, can you tell who is singing this song?"

and tonight, as i listen to these songs, i am reminded of words i have known for over 25 years. part of the soundtrack of my childhood. some words resonate with me even more now. other words make me giggle as i join kenny in a duet. a few words bring tears to my eyes. all of these words invite me to sing and sing and sing. tonight i wrap myself up in the memories of these songs...the words swirl around me...and i feel at peace. it has been a good life so far.

Friday, March 17, 2006

finding the happy

happiness is...

an unexpected late afternoon walk along the shores of puget sound with my husband. finding sea glass. laughing. hearing a group of girls singing about how they are celebrating abby's birthday. coming across the names of boys that they "love" written in the sand.

watching a movie just for fun, just to laugh, just to rest the brain.

being able to get into my blog after it seemed to be lost for the entire day. glad it is still here!

reading the poems people choose to share and create for Poetry Thursday. this idea is catching on...

facilitating a positive yoga experience for a new student. "this was wonderful." thank you. feel the space you have created inside you with this awareness of your breath. so good.

buying myself these earrings and this bracelet. i have not taken the bracelet off; it is my talisman to remind me that i have the power to do anything. i am my own superhero.

connecting with more bloggers every day. this medium is such a bright spot in my life. (thank you. yes. you. thank you.)

letting this little dancing artist inside me out to play. the ideas are swirling around in my mind, and i am so happy that i am giving myself permission to create.

a long warm bath reading the poetry of Diane Ackerman. followed by my favorite polka dotted flannel pjs. (and even though i wish it was warmer outside, i am kind of glad it is still chilly enough for me to wear them.) a mug of jasmine green tea and a little bowl of ice cream.

what are you happy about right now?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

poetry thursday

My readings of late, blogs and books, have had a theme. Recognizing your fears, recognizing the life you want to live, learning to let go of fear to begin to live that life. I have spent some time synthesizing my thoughts about all of this. But I am not ready to write them yet. Today, on Poetry Thursday, I will let the words of Mary Oliver add to this theme.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom; taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver (from the book New and Selected Poems)

If you are not yet a Poetry Thursday participant, and you would like to share a poem today, post one on your blog or share one here in the comments of this post. If you would like me to add you to the list of participants, please send me an email and I will add you to this list.

And if you feel moved, print out a poem you read today or find a favorite book of poetry, run a bath, and have a Poetry Reading in the bathtub. Just you, the words of another (or your own), and your voice vibrating around you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

{SPT} tea time, a cupcake, a new 'do

Tea time week two

Taking time for tea, week two.
Continuing the process of letting go of my self-criticism as the picture develops. Some days are harder than others. I think, "I look that tired?" or "double chin, that bad, i look huge" or "I need the sun! I am so pale." Then the next day, I look again and realize that this is one very brief moment in time. One look. One pause. And it does not represent my whole being, who I really am.

(Well, I like to think that the first picture kind of does. I was laughing about how I am posing in front of the camera every single day. Who does that? And this photo captured me in a moment of joy, silliness, and wonder. I would like to think that this is me - at least the very best of me inside and out.)

And yes, I did get a haircut and a new color. You can't really tell with these little polaroids (and the fact that sometimes I have done nothing with my hair). But it is in fact a bit red now. Imagine taking dark brown and adding purple and magenta. This would be the color of the hair on my head.

If you click on the photo it will take you to my flickr page and you can see what I am really drinking every day, the time, and the date.

Be inspired by other SPT bloggers here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

inspire me thursday. a sense-less maze.

a sense-less creation.

close my eyes and choose random paper. keep the eyes closed and tear the paper. open my eyes. i do not love the colors i have chosen. but then i turn the papers over. interesting.

there is no sound. no music. the dog sleeps at my feet. if i really try to hear something, the clock ticks. i quickly glue the papers to the page. a bit of a puzzle. i take a break. i am hungry and need to taste and smell.

come back and spend a few minutes thinking about moments when we might really lose our usual sense of senses and have to rely on our senses in a new way. a maze. use the white oil pastel because i have a hard time seeing it myself.

there are many ways to get to the center of this maze. and many ways to get lost. i am not even sure if you can get to the center. you might just have to turn around and find another path all together. kind of like life...

see other inspire me thursday creations here. enjoy!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

serendipity in blog world

Last summer I was reading a few blogs on a daily basis, though I hadn't started my own. One afternoon I linked to a new blog, then another, then another and at some point I read a post that had a link to a webpage of artwork by an artist that that blogger loved. And there I found this. And my eyes filled a bit because this was it. What I had been looking for that combined my grandmother's love of hummingbirds with her love of gardening. That summer my husband and I had started a garden for the first time, and I felt a connection to my grandmother every time I walked around to see what was growing or found the perfect plant to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Even though I couldn't talk to her about it, I could feel like her spirit was with me during these moments. We had been to several art fairs and garden shops but I had yet to find what I wanted. Something I could have that would remind me that she is with me.

I remember calling my husband into my home office saying, "look at this, it is perfect!!" He immediately agreed and said I should buy one of them. But they were out. And I was so sidetracked by that thought that I didn't bookmark the page. And could never find it again. I would think about this Hummingbird Lady every now and then and wish she was living in my home, but again, I couldn't remember the webpage or the artist's name.

Then in January I started reading Alexandra's blog. And then she introduced her friend Laini's blog. I was drawn to Laini's artwork and one day ventured out onto her webpage. I was linking from page to page and found this (which speaks to my soul) and in trying to find out if she had prints for sale, I linked to a page and suddenly I thought, "I have been here before." And then I linked on to Laini's Ladies...and gasped. The Hummingbird Lady. Laini (my new blog world friend) is the creator of the Hummingbird Lady. Amazing. Simply. Utterly. Fantastically. Amazing.

So now, I am blessed with a Hummingbird Lady in my house. She sits above me as I work, create, write, dream. She watches the hummingbirds out the window. She looks over my ever-present tulips. She reminds me I am not alone. Thank you Laini.

This month delights me for many reasons, the main one: Spring. She is trying to spread her wings and sing her song. We may have had traces of snow here (SNOW!) but the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. At the same time, I am reminded that this time last year, I was able to call my grandmother to say, "the daffodils are blooming and my tulips have buds." And I certainly would have called her for tips about what to do with the snow and my budding plants. This time last year, we were having our last few conversations but neither one of us knew it. Later in March, last year, she was going through many tests and was tired and the doctors could not figure it out. I am entering that time when the anniversary of her death looms in front of me. It is still a month away, but it sits heavy on my heart.

Yet, in the midst of it, the serendipity of the blog world brings a smile to my face. Earlier this week, Hobess sent me a beautiful collage she had created for me. (Thank you my dear.) It touched my heart and reminded me again that through this grief, something amazing is blooming. New friendships, I am learning so much from others and myself, my own creativity is through death. The cycle.

My grandmother is smiling more than she ever did while she was here and laughing louder than she ever would and flying with the hummingbirds.

Friday, March 10, 2006


As part of the two year yoga teacher training intensive I am taking, we have to write a paper and present a project. My project is about journal writing as a practice. Part of the research I am doing has led me to this book:
Life's Companion
Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest
by Christina Baldwin

It is resonating within me with intense vibration; I feel like I might have been led to this book. And I have to share part of the first chapter.

We go to work, come home tired, make supper, do laundry, watch over the children, talk to our spouses or lovers or friends. There's nothing good on TV. We try to glimpse life's meaning in trips to the grocery store, talks about the weather, thoughts about how things are at work or at home and how are lives are turning out. We feel vulnerable and perhaps disappointed. Something has sifted under us that we thought we could count on, an assumption about reality we never named, and now it isn't there. We're trying to figure something out and we don't know how to help ourselves. We are waiting for the way to be made clear, only there doesn't seem to be "a way." We are alone with ourselves as we are, and life as it is, learning to attend to what Willa Cather calls "that which is about us always." This is a perplexing situation, but confusion in the way pilgrimages and journals most often begin.
Despite the pressure of the times, the journey cannot be forced to grow like a hothouse bulb. The best any of us can do is ready ourselves with spiritual openness that we have practiced during the lulls in our life, so that when the turning point comes, we have structure in place to help us decide which way to turn. We practice finding spirituality in the ordinary so that we may recognize it in the extraordinary.
What I think we are up to, we throngs of journal-writing pilgrims, is reclamation. We are searching for ways to reclaim a sense of place, a sense of empowerment, a sense of healthy relationship between our lives and times. We look for whatever can help us make sense of the moment.
We write.

Do you want to know why I come to this screen and write? This is why. We are pilgrims together on a journey. Pilgrims. Reclaiming our dreams, hopes, desires. Living.
What we are afraid to let out into the world, we can let out here. What we think no one else might understand, we can put into the universe through the written word. This is so powerful.

(on a side note: is there a book about journal writing that you recommend? Or about art journaling? Or about writing as a practice? i would love to hear from you if any come to mind.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

poetry thursday


Like a spider suspended
from a beam, the moment
swayed. The silk
of the web was invisible.
Belief seemed an unlikely thing.

And the spider herself was monstrous,
a spotted bulb with transparent legs
sharp as hooks. She fidgeted in midair,

plucked the strings of the web
to re-create a keyhole,
to make herself
the key into the next passage.

Nothing seemed apparent.
The breeze moved through the keyhole.
I wanted to flatten
against a wall like a moth.
Two lips holding back a cry.

Jennifer Grotz

This is from Grotz's 2003 collection of poems entitled Cusp. I chose it this morning because, for me, it speaks to this idea that is turning around in my mind (that I wrote about yesterday). This idea that we need to let it out. To let go of the fear of the unknown...

Please join me and post a poem today. If you accept my invitation, send me an email and I will post a link to your blog in my sidebar here. If you don't have a blog but would like to share a poem, please leave it here in the comments of this post.

May the words you read today invite a shift in your perspective.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

the whisperings of a movement

Finally, I had a few hours to catch up on lots of blog reading...and I think I have stumbled upon the whisperings of a movement (and I bet you may have heard these whispers too). The movement to let it out. I came across it here, then here, and then here (where it all began - thank you for being the catalyst Pixie!). Then I read this post and this post that had similar themes. And I was reminded of Michelle's post about letting yourself ROAR.

And my mind began to turn. This balance of the "stuff" we may have stuck within us and the wild woman who is inside us. The idea that the only way we may be able to uncover this wild woman, to let her breathe, feel, and howl, is to dislodge some of this stuff.

How do we do this?

I am not sure that I have any answers, but this is what is dancing around in my mind tonight. As I teach yoga, I remind my students to breathe. To create space inside them. To open the heart through the breath. I believe this is one piece. We must move the energy inside us. Breathing is one way. Creating sound is another. Take a breath. On the exhale, create the sound "ooooooh" - let it vibrate within you. Feel how it shifts your focus, your awareness.

Maybe through this connection of the breath and sound we can begin to shift the energy. We can invite the vibrations to lighten the load that we carry. We can put names to the "stuff" we have inside us and take away its anonymity. We can sing, giggle, talk, cry, scream, laugh, shout, chant, whisper with intention until we feel the wild woman inside of us awaken.

Maybe if we do this together we can really start a movement. A movement to let it out. To breathe, feel, live, and let it out....Do you want to join me?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

{SPT} tea time, salsa, and laughter

Tea Time Week 1

Every day I am taking a break from my life, for a few moments, and making a cup of tea. This month, I am capturing part of this moment in a photograph. I am still turning this idea of embracing all of me over and over in my mind. And decided to try to incorporate it into this month's theme as well. So I am using my polaroid camera. I use the timer and pose for a moment. Then as the picture develops I pause and drink my tea. And I try to watch my face appear without any judgement. Ahhh. This has been interesting. I am trying to take a few minutes a day to breathe through the judgement while I drink tea. Trying to be the watcher of my thoughts.

Though on day 6, I must admit that I was so hungry (having skipped lunch) and juggling phone calls with work while making lasagna, so I decided to forgo tea and snack on chips and salsa. And yes, that is an apron I am wearing. Channeling my grandmother when I make her lasagna, wearing her apron.

Oh and one more thing. This little exercise of sitting for a few moments each day, watching my face appear has invited me to make a call. To a beauty salon. I think I need a new 'do.

See other SPT posts here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

senses. inspire me thursday.


my art supplies scattered all over the dining room table. the colors that result as i mix blue and purple paint. the lines in the photo that begin to appear as i scratch away with sandpaper. color disappears and reappears as i apply bleach and water to the photo with a brush. some of my grandmother's favorite seashells in a bowl on the table. the joys of figuring out a way to add them and finding the ones that already have a hole in them. deciding where to place these objects on the canvas. over here? no. here? hmmm. how about this way? yes.

I tear the paper and head to my office. the typewriter keys move and create letters on the newsprint. click, click. the words come from my brain to the page. click, click, zing. as i ponder how to adhere the shells to the canvas, i tap a pencil on the table. after my a-ha moment, i hear my feet along the floor as i run to the guest room closet. my long-lost bead collection. the beads roll and tumble in their plastic containers as i pull the bag off the shelf. my feet again as i run back to the table. i open the bag and the containers inside. "yes!" i cry. wire. david wilcox sings in the background and i am a back-up singer as i twist the wire into knots. my husband asks, "do you want some tea?" yes, please, i reply.

the fume-y-ness of paint, gel medium, and bleach. the woodsy, clean green tea as i bring the mug to my lips when i pause to let things dry. later, the strong wrinkle-up-your-nose smell of the varnish; a cross between oh-what-is-that-odor and moth balls.

i bring my fingertip to my tongue in anticipation of leafing through some paper and grimace as i my tongue hits the coppery taste from the wire that lingers on my finger. in the hope of capturing a memory of the sea, i bring a shell to my tongue. but i taste nothing. the warm, soothing green tea as it slides over my tongue and down my throat.

these moments are all about touch. i use my hands for everything. i feel the stickiness of the glue on my fingers. the rough, little pebble-like feel of the sandpaper. the smooth, then rough, round, edges of the shells. the wire as i sew the shells together. twist, turn, loop, thread.

{and know}
an artist. yes. an artist. there is an artist inside me who danced and laughed and sang as i created this piece of me. you have one inside you, too.

see other inspire me thursday art pieces that use all of the senses here.

the typewritten words say:
do not fear
the unknown
the answers
are the guts
of it all
your life

taking my own advice (take one)

So this is for all of you who have a hard time saying no.

I did it. Today. I said no.

I can't help you. Today, tomorrow, or the next day. Yes, I do have a job, and I will not have time. Between teaching four yoga classes and editing four chapters (with more to come) and handling the other responsibilities I have, I will not be able to help you.

Thursday? Oh well, Thursday...well, I might be able to help Thursday. Just let me know.

(I am trying...)

Sunday, March 05, 2006


The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Henry Miller

Friday, March 03, 2006

a prompt

I stoped by Sarah's site today and felt prompted to share some thoughts...

I yearn for...a place of my own where I can create, write, practice yoga, meditate, nap, look out the window, daydream....maybe a treehouse, a cabin in the woods, a cottage at the sea, a little studio in the backyard...a place just for me (and yes, I will invite you to come and visit).

I ache...for my grandmother. Every day. I ache with the missing. It has almost been a year. A year. This amazes me. I ache for her.

I adore...spring flowers. All of them. Purple, pink, orange, white, red, yellow, fuschia, blue, striped. Everywhere. Makes my heart so happy to see the earth awaken from her slumber.

I find the goddess inside me. The sexy, beautiful, strong, wild, superhero, wise goddess inside me.

I continue to let go every day. Let it go. Take a breath. Let it go. Let go and have more fun. Let go of the guilt, anger, sadness, ego. Let go and throw my head back and laugh and laugh and laugh. Let go. And live.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

poetry thursday

I discovered this poem standing in the poetry section of a wonderful used bookstore in Tacoma. I laughed out loud. It is from the book The Evening Sun: A Journal in Poetry, which is a collection of David Lehman's daily poems from 1999-2000. In the books, they appear as a poem a day for one year.

November 4

You know what
the greatest sound
in the world is?
It's the sound of
a cellophane
candy wrapper
in the row
behind you
during Elizabeth
Frank's "attention
must be paid"
speech in Death
of a Salesman
makes me love
my fellow man
a little more
each time

David Lehman

If you want to participate in Poetry Thursday and you haven't sent me a link to your blog yet, please email me, and I will add you to our growing list. If you don't have a blog but you would like to share a poem, please share it in the comments here.

Hope some of you take the poems you discover into the bathtub for a poetry reading today...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

three things (a tag)

Melanie of navylane and inspire me thursday tagged me to answer this great list:

3 Things You Wish For (just for you)
that i would write more (start a book!)
to take belly dancing lessons
to learn to swim without fear (i can swim, but i am always just on the cusp of terror)

3 Things You Would Do To/For Yourself If There Was No One To Judge You (or if you had the guts to do it!)
get my nose pierced
dye my hair red
go on vacation by myself
(get tattoooo! but this one i do plan on at some point in the future - maybe on my 30th birthday later this year. shhh...don't tell anyone.)

3 Bad Habits You Have
thinking ice cream is a food group
not putting things away in the same place after i use them
not putting new toilet paper on the roll; i just put it next to the roll and leave it for jonny to fix later

3 Insecurities You Feel
i don't think i am ever as pretty as my friends
that i do not know as much as a person i disagree with (so i often just disagree in my head instead of out loud)
that i may never have the group of friends here in my town that i really want

3 Talents/Skills You Wish You Had
driving "stick" (at least that is how we say it back home in Indiana)

3 Things That You Would Do If You Had More Time
cook (ok, i have time for this some days but i just don't do it enough)
learn to sew
write more letters

3 Things That Bring You Peace/Relaxation

3 Things That Spark Your Creativity
my favorite things in my house (probably another post all in itself)

3 people you want to tag
M of Creative Stumblings
Cate The Bean Counter
acumamakiki because we know she loves a good list (and i don't think you have done this one)!
Of course, feel free not to accept the tag. And if others are inspired to play along, please do!