New Year Resolve / To Shove Away The Clutter / To Come Back to Still Water

Austria,lake

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

~ May Sarton, “New Year Resolve” from Collected Poems, 1930-1993


Notes:

 

Running With Anguilla. On Christmas Day.

palm-trees

“What are the winter months?”

The cab driver chuckled.  “You’ve not been to Anguilla Sir?”  He paused and continued.  “There are no winter months, Sir.”

Who you callin’ Sir? Aha. Old and stupid. 18° 15′ North – standing on the Equator. No seasons.

That was a week ago. It’s 6:10 am.  52° F.  We’re trudging up a severe incline at Mianus River Park in Connecticut, back to reality.  It’s Christmas Day.  391 acres. No humans, no superficial chit chat – ISTJ magic. Squirrels, Zeke and me.  He’s at my heels, the clanking of his steel tags breaking the morning silence.  He’s panting. I’m heaving.

It was a week ago.  It was 82° F, gusty, the fronds on the palm trees slapping.  Anguilla’s beach, fine white sand sifting through your toes, walking on cotton.  The sea is warm, clear, the white sand carpets the ocean floor.  I’m floating on a thick foam mattress, the tropical winds sashay the hammock.  Wispy clouds, paintings, lazily pass overhead.  If there was heaven….

That was a week ago. It’s a muddy track from the rains. Footing is sloppy.  The Sun is working to burn through the clouds. Mist is rising from the earth.  I’m over layered, overdressed and overheating during this December heat wave.  And there’s Anguilla. Ever present. But, could you live there? [Read more…]

Morning Walk

James-reebanks-photo-england

[…]

Stillness. I would say to them
About living in the country, peace
Can deafen one, beauty surprise
No longer.
There is only the thud
Of the slow foot up the long lane
At morning and back at night.

~ R.S. Thomas, The Country


Credits: Photo of Lake District in England: James Reebanks.  Poem Source: James Reebanks: The Shepherd’s Life 

 

Paris

paris-terrorist-peace


Peace for Paris (Thank you Rachel)

A good trade.

lotto-ticket-spain

In mid-November I flew to Madrid. […] In Cartagena we made a pit stop at a restaurant called Juanita. […] I was sitting at the bar, having lukewarm coffee and a bowl of marinated beans warmed in possibly the first microwave ever made, when I realized some guy had sidled up to me.

He opened a well-worn oxblood wallet to reveal a solitary lottery ticket with the number 46172. I didn’t get the feeling it was a winning number, but in the end I paid six euros for it, which was a lot for a lottery ticket. Then he sat down next to me, ordered a beer and a plate of cold meatballs, and paid for them with my euros. We ate together in silence. Then he got up, looked me straight in the face, and grinned, saying buena suerte. I smiled back and wished him luck as well.

It occurred to me that my ticket may be worthless, but I didn’t care. I was willingly drawn into the whole scene, like a random character in a B. Traven novel. Lucky or not, I went along with the part I was targeted to play: the pigeon who gets off a bus at a pit stop on the road to Cartagena, hit on to invest in a suspiciously limp lottery ticket. The way I look at it is that fate touches me and some rumpled straggler has a repast of meatballs and warm beer. He is happy, I feel at one with the world— a good trade.

~ Patti Smith, ‘Her Name was Sandy’ from the M Train

Notes:

There’ll be days like this

Home at last, I haul in the grocery bags, swallow a couple of extra-strength Tylenol, put the entire Van Morrison play list on the stereo, and spend the afternoon roasting vegetables and making pasta sauce, salad, and a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Outside, the rain comes down in sheets. I am singing “Days Like This,” belting out the song. The kitchen fills with good smells.

~ Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment


Notes: Related posts: Katrina Kenison

Quiet has many moods

bed-sleep-sheets-covers-

Quiet has many moods. When our sons are home, their energy is palpable. Even when they’re upstairs sleeping I can sense them, can feel the house filling with their presence, expanding like a sail billowed with air. I love the dawn stillness of a house full of sleepers, love knowing that within these walls our entire family is contained and safe, reunited, our stable four-sided shape resurrected. But those days are the exception now, not the norm.

~ Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment 


Notes:

T.G.I.F.: Let’s be – that kind of clear.

rain-drops-raining-gif

Let’s walk around outside
and forget it is raining.
Let’s get soaked in all that noise.
Let’s be water all day,
and breathe like low tide when we sleep,
breathe like dew, and grateful faucets.
Let’s be the ice melting at the top of mountains—
that kind of clear.

~ Sophia Holtz, “Prayer to be Said on the Evening of a Terrible Day


Credits: Poem Source: The Sensual Starfish. Photograph: Namaste

I was wondering why so many people had turned out, when suddenly: an electrifying moment.

forgive

“On a weekday evening in early September, more than 400 people, from their late teens to their early 80s, crowded into a standing-room-only event on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The topic was not politics, film, fashion, celebrity or any other subject that could be expected to draw such a crowd. The topic was forgiveness. Sitting in the audience, I was wondering why so many people had turned out, when suddenly: an electrifying moment.

About halfway through the discussion, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, a speaker and the author of “Jewish Literacy,” asked this question: “In how many of your families, at the level of first cousin or closer, are there people not on speaking terms?”

Two-thirds of the people in the room raised their hands. I, along with everyone else, gasped.

“I know,” he said. “It’s a staggering figure…

~ Bruce Feiler, How to Ask for Forgiveness, in Four Steps 


Notes: Quote – Thank you Susan. Photo – Stefano Corso.

Saturday Morning

wind-hair-sunrise

Outdoors,
anywhere in wind.
[…]
What is it that I want? Not money,
Not a large desk, not a house with ten rooms.
This is what I want to do: to sit here,
To take no part, to be called away by wind…

~ Robert Bly, “The Call Away,” Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life


Notes: Poem Source – The Distance Between Two Doors. Photo – Come as you are

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