Pleasures and Ponderings

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When I Hear This Song 11-25-2010

When I hear this song, I lighten up.
Mony Mony gets me to my feet.
For this song, I don't need a partner.
The rhythm winds me like a top.
My feet and arms spin through space--bedroom, office, dance floor.
Everything mundane is gone,
Like the crumbs from shaking out a tablecloth.
My inner table is clean, ready to enjoy what is set out before me.

Ah, I can clear my inner logjam any time!

I'm putting on the music and I'm on my feet! Yes, Mony Mony!!

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The Day She Chose to Die

She's taking the pills and thus her pain will end.
She's thought it out thoroughly,
Has received notes of love from friends in her building.

What freedom and lightness to be able to be so clear about completing her life.
That takes more trust in the unknown than I might have
Even filled with pain.

When I sit quietly opposite my friend, who's just visited her,
It doesn't matter that I don't know her friend.
I feel expansive enough to be in the shoes of Presence,
Walking towards Peace with this woman I haven't met.

My friend and I made biscotti today,
An endeavor I'd not have done on my own.
She shared some with her dying friend,
Whose appreciation gave me a minor role in this life-death drama.

I am grateful for biscotti that I can also freeze and enjoy later,
For sharing creative time with my friend,
And for the link today that encircled me in the strong chain of connection.
May she now, and we when our time is ripe, rest in peace.

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The Sun

Oh, the sun! It gently uncloaks my warm sweater,
And turns my serious lips into a smile,
Spreading its bright feast for miles around.

I see birds flying for the fun of it.
Children clap their hands and run toward dogs on the path.

It's more fun picking up polished beach stones
When the sun invites us to help ourselves.
Thoughts of "to do's" are replaced by "time for a walk."
Friends and neighbors are lighter in spirit,
Unharnessed from their cloudy day concerns.

Snow covered mountains remind me to stand tall and let my light sine.
I take time to watch the breeze fanning the branches.
My appetite for lightness rises.
I may even skip across the room and do a pirouette.
The scene from my window is framed in my receptive memory.
And now I'm treating myself to a pastrami sandwich with everything,
And I'll eat it on my deck in the sun. What good company!

The Scarf, the Brooch, the Anchor

The scarf around her neck wasn't warm or luxurious,
But it was an icon, a memento, that somehow spoke its meaning
To us who saw it.
The woman wearing the scarf radiated aliveness and cheer.
I just had to go talk to her after the poetry group.

I wonder what my talisman might be if I had it always with me.
Sometimes it would be a frog or a duck or Eeyore
Or the bright colors I love to wear.
Maybe it would be the brooch in the shape of an anchor, holding me still.
I have noticed that when I see the anchor on my desk, I seem more settled.

Instead of feeling apologetic about wanting some external version
Of a child's security blanket, I am deciding, with conviction,
That anything that engages me and enlivens me, belongs with me.
Welcome home to every visual reminder that I am fully alive!

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Talking to Myself About Holding on to Stuff

As the balloon lifted off, she grinned in anticipation.
Oh, the fun of being high over the forest
Looking down, looking around, missing nothing.
She wanted to claim it all, as though in a gold field.
When there was an eagle's nest, she named it hers.
The hidden lake was given her name.
The flame kept the hot air balloon high,
Where she felt free, unburdened, invincible.

She wondered, as they slowly descended,
What she could claim, name, hold on to
As she had owned her dominion on that high ride.
Now what could grant her that same fullness,
That wide, open, encompassing feel of enoughness?
Could it really be found in boxes of papers from past projects?
Could she be foolish enough to believe it necessary, even desirable,
To skim months old, years old, newspapers and magazines?

"But," she says, "it's me who's holding on. How can I make myself stop?
I want to believe it's some old part of me hanging on.
How can I get to know that part with compassion?"

I know the answer for today. There's nothing wrong. I'm ok the way I am.
When it's important, when the time is right, I will let go and recycle my boxes.
Right now, precious part of me, go in peace. Trust yourself. You will know.

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Thoughts at the Bainbridge Bluegrass Festival 2010

The stage was set with new performers at the Bluegrass Festival.
People were sitting in 80 degree sun, some under canopies.
Toes were tapping, and two little girls were swinging arms with their mom.
Mary Ann Moorman (,
Whose stories I hear every Sunday at 8:30 am on 91.3, was emcee.
My two friends had eaten their tuna sandwiches on the ferry,
And now I ate mine with yellow pepper slices and guava nectar.

I wish it were as easy for me to change my stage with 15 minutes of sound checks,
And then move on to my next set,
Whether boy friend, income producing, blog writing, clearing clutter, or whatever.
For now--oh, if only I'd remember every now--
I can take the breaks between boy friends,
And the dismay over a less than stellar class I've taught,
And the contrast between messy room and cleared room,
With a bit more grace and ease.

I can be like the musicians, who play their music with zest
And leave the stage when their set is complete--
Not sad, because they know music will always be part of them.

When I picture myself letting go of papers, of projects,
A dread comes over me, reminiscent of a bad report card.
I want to keep what I'm not proud of to myself.
I don't want to admit that my choices, my plans,
Could have had brighter futures.
Like today's musicians, I want to celebrate and be celebrated.
And you know what? Tomorrow is soon enough to get going on that.
Today is the time to dance and enjoy other people's music.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

What We Shared Over Breakfast Feb. 2011

The gold lamp suspended above lights up this Subway
Where we got our 2-for-1 breakfast sandwich.
I got to be the little girl clapping inside at this free morning meal.
And now my heart is singing harmony with my inaudible clapping.
I bet the music could have accompanied Genesis' singing this morning.

And here at the table when we had our fill, my friend offered me a trip
Late May to Arizona and three national parks.
She's one of the easiest persons I've ever met to feel at home with.
Soon we'll walk to the bus and I'll show her the route from Burien to West Seattle.

Talking to her is like opening the cookie jar and
Having a leisurely cup of coffee or tea.
She indulges my love of variety and new experiences.
And even this 2-for-1 breakfast and anticipation of our trip
And the vitality of the church music and the large and welcoming congregation
Fill me. I'll go home and listen to bluegrass and the day will be complete.

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Looking Down on Alki Beach Feb. 19, 2011

The birds hoer, caught in air pockets
On this wind-ravaging day on Alki.
The Olympics, dressed in their finest winter white,
Are the background we'd love on any February calendar page.

The waves are chasing each other
And carrying a long waterboard surfer far and fast.
The ferry is making its trip to or from Vashon
And those seagulls fascinate me
With their acrobatic show on the wind's trapeze.

The artificial flowers at our table give color
As we eat our fish and chips.
The crowd around us is enjoying the Saturday respite from daily concerns.

I'm with a friend with whom I can be totally myself--
Another picture I'd love on a calendar page.
And those birds, those waves, those mountains
Fill every spot that's open in my heart.
I am content, more than content.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Trip to the Tulip Festival at Mt. Vernon

Mountains with patchwork snow,
Trees with scattered blooms,
Families at picnic tables with popcorn and drinks and picnic lunches.
Paths of red and yellow, orange and purple tulips
A windmill surrounded by every color tulips come in.
Tales of past adventures coming from nearby tables,
Tents offering burgers, hot dogs, flannel cakes, ice cream.
Tulip plants and grass vases (!) for sale in the big tent.

Benches for viewing private auditions of a tulip performance.
My three friends and I at this table sharing fudge, chips and stories.
And the sun is out. What a day! And we're still on the move!

We drive by more tulip fields, and stop at Farmhouse Restaurant for a lunch buffet.
Then a jaunt to Padilla Bay estuary, and the nearby visitors center
Where we're welcomed to the exhibits, even though they're closed on Tues.
We watch and read about sea life and birds,
And I hit the button five times for the sound of ducks,
That brings me at warp speed to every duck pond I've ever stopped at.

Now we're driving up to Mt. Erie, with its views of valleys and mountains and farms.
On the drive coming and going,
We discuss Byron Katie's and A Course in Miracles.
Gratitude and hugs are shared for this perfect day.
Our friendship is even deeper. Life is good.

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