Pleasures and Ponderings

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Poem I Wrote in a Park in Dublin May, 2009

I will sit on this bench, quietly,
Till the sun shuts its light off
And my warmed body begs me leave.
I will pretend I'm held in a lover's gaze
Along with the many couples lazing on the lawns.
I'll remember the nap on Christchurch grounds
Where I was wakened by sweet church bells.
This park will be my Dublin memento
More than Grafton Street's walkers only shopping,
As much as Trinity College's library and Book of Kells.
Here I am quieted, grounded, balanced.
I need no entertainment, no new experience,
Not even another's companionship.
The peacefulness burrows around inside me,
Settles in, and pulls me to it.
When I leave with the sun, the peace comes along.

Labels: , , ,

Musings in a Grocery Store

One thing I'm enjoying a lot: looking around me when I'm with a friend and we pick out something we see and start a prose poem with the same first line. Here's one.

The boxes stacked high in the grocery store are eye-level from the upstairs tables. Rows of peanut butter, cereals, crackers, chips, cocoa, soups, rice, pasta. Processed food every direction I face. It feeds us, pleases our taste buds, calls us to the table, to family and friends. The boxes from this high spot suggest factories, automation, abundance.

The produce has a different pull. I see sun and rain and ready-to-eat. The produce in my work life shows itself in grins of recognition, aha's, ease. The boxes are tasks that are necessary, not fun.What conscious rain and sun could bring a harvest or peace and satisfaction to the work in front of me?

I don't know yet. But I believe I'll find out.Moreah Vestan Nov. 2009

Labels: ,

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Experience of Awareness I Had Today (11-1-09)

I am the scribe, the reporter, of my time—my mind, my movements, my thoughts.
I lie in bed on this lazy Sunday hearing restful wordless music.
I notice myself drifting to the calls I should return, to the sun calling me to Nature.
To the next meal, the friend to hang out with.

I just finished Lessons From the Dying
And am musing on time and surrender, on impermanence and right here, right now.
As the dying do, I want to be present to what is, and not live with past regrets or future longings.

I notice almost a palpable pull to start my tasks, yet I still am settled into the fireplace feel of this music,
The sun, the leaves on the tree barely moving, the warmth of this comforter,
The awareness of the peace and ease and freedom I feel as I consciously choose to let the CD serenade complete.

This now moment takes in my Mt. Shuksan wall mural,
The empty wine bottle from a fall trip with a lover to Vermont
The aqua vase with a dried branch arrangement,
The three plants on the windowsill, the vase, the lilac teddy bear
The blue stuffed Eeyore perched above a pile of unread books,
The clothes not yet put away, the cloth monkey I sleep with.

I know how easily I fall into one project, then to another,
Without witnessing, observing, my inner terrain.
How I want the clear awareness I’ve honored myself with today
EVERY day, each hour, in any activity or lack of activity.
If it takes setting an alarm several times a day until it becomes a habit to stop and check in,
I can do that. For now, I will read this every day and relive this experience of awareness.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reading in Bed

I sometimes play hooky from my Inner Director.
Usually it’s on a Saturday, and I leave my bed
Only for food. The phone is beside me. I’ve made no promises.
I’ve gathered unread Sunday papers, months-old magazines,
Plus scissors, and folders in case I want to feel organized.

The journal keeper in me may even write
One sentence wrap-ups of news stories and essays.
This eclectic music lover will switch from classical
To bluegrass, to Prairie Home Companion.
I’ve always loved two-for-the-price-of-one,
And I get it with music + relaxing while catching up on reading.

Growing up, I don’t remember ever being able to relax in bed.
I’d be reading a book and be called down by Mom to help.
I wonder how many hours, days of reading
It could take to “make up for” those years as on-call helper.
It doesn’t matter now. I needn’t prove anything.
I can tell my internalized Mom to just relax.

I can be grateful that now I have choices.
And indeed, I just thought of a different book.
And I’m up. I found it.
I grabbed some berries, and propped up my pillows.
And no one will call me to help.


Humor for a Bedtime Snack

I’m often at my computer 8-10 hours a day.
I also do regular tai chi and workouts at the nearby gym,
Eat meals on the back deck, nap, and read in between.

When I’ve finished my day
Or when Discovery or travel shows
Or dance competitions strike my fancy,
I lean back against the pillows in bed and turn on TV.
The dancing partners dazzle me
With their dogged commitment, their pride, their grace.

I usually watch Wife Swap on Mondays at 8.
I never cease to be amazed when,
After two weeks with another’s lifestyle,
How many changes happen—
A husband who never helps, cleans the stool and sink,
A workaholic Dad cuts back and plays with his kids.
A vegan raw food family uses the stove.
A woman whose goat and dogs lived inside lets them out.
A totally messy teen cleans up and likes it that way.
I feel awe and hope and delight seeing people’s resiliency.

Watching Rick Steves, I’m delighted retracing steps
At Cinque Terre or Gimmelwald or Barcelona,
And new appetites arise for places yet unknown.

I always grin at Red Green over Harold.
Massive use of duct tape, the scrapes they get into.
TV, meditation, books and new experiences—
A balanced diet for this lover of life.


Cleaning Out my Sock Drawer

It's hard to understand why I keep single socks.
I imagine it's the optimist in me
Who remembers that time when a mate did show up
(You'd have thought I won the lottery!)
The other day, from no particular motivation,
I emptied all 102 socks. (I love numbers and facts).
Soon 40 pairs went back, and 22 had a second chance.
One housemate claimed a few and then,
Bravely, without looking again at the solo socks I really liked,
I scooped them up and dropped them in a bucket,
Now to be used for wiping spills, cleaning floors.
Knowing I'm no more likely now
To clip pairs together for laundry bonding,
I've made the hard saver's choice:
Let it go. Don't look back.And so it is.


Memories for the Grandma Book

It’s for you, Kayla, my granddaughter, now 10.
I started writing in the Grandma Book the first month of your life.
Things you asked, words you spoke in baby’s tongue,
Sentences you spoke that tickled me, touched me.
Songs you sang, pictures you made,
Which little friend you did what with—
Barbie dolls, outdoor shed, park swinging, cooking.

We once stopped at a stamp show—
You were willing to look for 5 minutes.
25 minutes later, you’d scooped up the allowed amount of stamps,
Had pages for an album, and were ready to collect.
We looked through all the cancelled stamps I had at home
And soon had a page with flowers, another with animals,
With people, with lighthouses, with vehicles.

At my house we play Guess Who. You sometimes win.
You jump on the rebounder, and ask me to give you orders.
We play store and restaurant and theater.
You’re so efficient as you ring up by bill,
Serve me food, arrange my tickets.

In my poem, “I’m a Grandma, I Get to Play.”
I told of your eating cookie dough,
Tying your braids around poles on a bus, doing gymnastics there too.
The bus or porch or garden are all playground.
I’m waited on by you at my living room café,
Buy clothes at my dining room outlet,
Play monopoly or chess on the deck table.
Mi casa, su casa, Kayla. You bring me joy.