Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions" Natasha Bedingfield
In just the last couple of years I have become more conscious of the seasons of the earth and life along with listening to my own rhythm as well as that of the world. This fall season has brought renewed awareness of my feminine self. (On the surface it feels "new", however, my soul tells me it is more of an awakening thus the need to use the word "renewed.)
I have also spoken of my connection with the sun as well as dream work and collage. For a few weeks now I have been thinking of a poem I wrote last fall during my first experience of working with collage. Today I revisited that poem and noticed that the "season" was nearly an identical time frame to this year's "work."
Coincidence? Synchronicity? The rhythms of life? Who can say, all I know is that something powerful is at work!
Here is my poem from last fall:
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I am the pain of the world, covered with blue scarves & white.
I am the beauty of the world, bare-shouldered with upswept hair.
I am the fire of the world, burning with desire and hope.
I am the joy of the world, reaching toward the heavens.
I am the beauty of the world, bare-shouldered with upswept hair.
I am the luscious berry, bursting with flavor.
I am the joy of the world, reaching toward the heavens.
I am the soul of the world, centered through pain, beauty, touch and taste.
I am the luscious berry.
I am the fire of the world.
I am the soul of the world.
I am the pain of the world, covered with blue scarves & white.
photo by maryjane hughlett
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A very perceptive friend sent me these words which articulate well where I feel I have been recently:
“It sounds like you suffer from the classic case of ‘a threat to evil’ disease! It normally seems to come after a tremendously blessed event where souls are set free from ‘disease’ and you are involved in that healing process. It’s as though all their diseases ball up and pounce on You.!”
I have definitely felt “pounced upon”, so this leaves me wondering if
there is a difference between when we are standing in the gap or battling for others and/or trying to stand firm (i.e. not backslide) for ourselves?
And then there is this new question of “How much attention should we pay to evil?” Gerald May in his book Will and Spirit says: “when encountering an evil inclination or a questionable force, the most ideal form of spiritual assertiveness is: the best response is no response.” He goes on to mention the term apatheia which the Desert Fathers recommended to prevent showing fascination and undue self-importance to the “questionable force.” Apatheia is a term from Stoic philosophy that means something quite different and far more interesting than apathy (mental laziness). It is a conscious not-caring about things that are unworthy of concern.
So, how much concern toward evil is too much? I kind of like this idea of a “conscious not-caring”. It feels much stronger than denial or apathy.
For today, I think I will leave it at that for I have little more time or space to continue. Please understand, however, it’s not that I don’t care ☺. What do you think?
photo by h3images
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
shimmering golden me. The sun. The color of warmth, joy, happiness.
Still the barnacles grow, threatening to cover my sheen—but is it there beneath-- just like the diamonds that gleam in the darkness.
My truth stands firm and will not recede no matter what covers it.
The rocky path—tilting stones—no smooth way for me.
Still I proceed. Still I grow. Still I reach for the sun.
Green—the color of hope and new life—peppers my path.
Smooth stones, sharp ones, flat and tilting.
The mud and sand threaten to pull me under, but still I persevere.
Hope is all around.
Truth lies deep inside. Glimmering with each turn of the sun.
The barnacles grow. They are beautiful in their own right--enhancing the beauty like scars and wrinkles.
My body is weary. My dreams speak of darkness and light.
My essence. My ego. Embracing each.
They are connected like the barnacles to the stone.
Hope lies all around. Seeing things in black and white.
Good and bad. Truth and lie. They cannot be separated.
One cannot survive without knowledge of the other.
Slipping into the mud. I can freak out, panic, worry that I must stay there.
Or I can rejoice in the moment, find the humor and laugh with glee.
“Here we go again.” The silly ego. The beautiful essence.
The battle of my dreams and waking hours.
Black and white. Good and evil.
Still the barnacles grow on the shimmering rock.
photo by lucy 10.25.07
Friday, October 26, 2007
Some days you just need a big dose of delight and that is just what got served up to me yesterday. My strong “Lucy instinct” wants to kick in and say, “Na na na na na na! I got to do something you didn’t do, “ but I will attempt to remain a little more civilized (or not) and simply say I had a fabulous day.
The day started with one of my favorite things: a ferry ride. An amazing sunrise filled the sky and burst through fluffy white clouds that only the day before had been heavy and gray. I stood on the front of the boat in the chill morning air and marveled at the sea, the fog and the golden turning leaves on the distant shores. My destination was Hood Canal and the hermitage of the lovely Christine (and this is where I say inside “Na na na na na na” ☺.)
We walked along the rugged shore for two hours, crawling over logs, steering around oyster beds, stepping lightly through hundreds of sand dollars and watching Tune with her keen sense of smell search out crab shells for her morning snack. The biggest dose of delight came as a surprise (as surprises are prone to do) when Christine’s foot disappeared ankle high into the wet sand. Then her other foot vanished and just as I reached out to give her a hand both my feet were simultaneously swallowed by the beach. My balance not being as good as my friend’s, I soon was tilted backwards and plopped down in the wet sand. We both burst into huge fits of laughter and for a few moments we were literally “stuck” in time before we were able to gain our composure and inch and pull our way back to solid ground. It was a glorious moment.
The day was filled with many more delightful moments, but I will stop before I move toward all out bragging ☺. Well, speaking of bragging, I must share just one more event….Yesterday was my daughter’s last school soccer game of the season. She is a Freshman and made the varsity team at her school (brag). The team has, however, not been known as the best team around (oh, well ☹). In this final game, they played the #1 ranked team who has not been beaten in several seasons (7 maybe?). Well, the tides changed yesterday and guess who scored the winning goal (the only goal, I might add…oops there’s that bragging again)? You guessed it…my beautiful, fabulous, talented, wonderful, delightful daughter!!!! Brag brag brag brag….Needless to say I was one proud Mom as I watched her grin from ear to ear and the team embrace her when the whistle finally blew at the end of the game.
Enough already. The sun is shining here today and it feels like another serving of delight. I wish you your own joys in the coming weekend!
Blessings and cheers!!
elliott bay photo by bill
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
experiences that seem to be peppered from all sides with challenges and potential setbacks. It is enough to make me question if it is all worth it, but somehow quitting seems to be just what the enemy (whatever that means) would want me to do. And so, I dig my Lucy heels in and hold my ground while praying for sunlight, rest and wisdom.
I ran across this quote last night while reading Will and Spirit by Gerald G. May, M.D. He calls this the "fundamental contemplative statement concerning good, evil, and God:"
I DO NOT KNOW. I do not know what is ultimately good or evil, nor even what is real or unreal. But I do know that there is no way I can proceed upon my own personal resources. In this as in all things, I am utterly and irrevocably dependent upon a Power that I can in no way objectify. I call this Power God, and God is beyond my understanding, beyond good and evil, beyond doubt and trust, beyond even life and death. God's love and power and Spirit exist in me, through me, and in all creatures. But God is unimaginably BEYOND all this as well. I also know that in my heart I wish to do and be what God would desire of me. Therefore, in humility and fear, I give myself. I commit my soul to God, the One Almighty Creator, the Ultimate Source of reality. Good or bad, right or wrong, these things are beyond me. I love, but I do not know. I live and act and decide between this and that as best I can, but ultimately, I do not know. And thus I say, in the burning vibrancy of Your Love and Terror, THY WILL BE DONE.
photo taken on my morning walk today
In the midst of considering evil's role, there is still a place of light that shines through. The past two days have been filled with a rhythm of rest and restoration for me. The sun has been shining which always seems to help my clarity of mind...or at least my attitude about things. I have found joy in the simplest of things: cleaning my closet, taking my dog to the vet, restocking some groceries, watching a young squirrel in the fall leaves, seeing the turtles sunning themselves at Greenlake and best of all feeling the sun and wind on my skin while driving about in my little convertible with each of my family one at a time. The world has been bathed in a beautiful fall light, so I was not in the least surprised when I took this little quiz found at Abbey of the Arts and discovered that "I am the Sun."
Momentarily sitting in the Sun is a nice, warm place to be...especially when the rains threaten to return and the battle rages all around. More on that later...
You are The Sun
Happiness, Content, Joy.
The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.
Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.
The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sometimes the battle between good and evil feels so strong it is almost incapaci-
tating. Is that the goal of evil--
There is so much to consider in each seemingly small verse like the one above. I understand that the brothers (the "you") intended to harm Joseph in this story. They are human. But where I get hung up is God’s place in the whole scene. Did God “intend” for Joseph to suffer all those years so that many could be saved? The thought of imposed suffering for the good of others leaves me cold. It is a topic I have been wrestling with of late.
My last week was filled with an array of emotions and powerful experiences. I watched transformation of souls occur before my very eyes. I experienced it for myself. I felt the power of God in nature and witnessed it in the rain, wind and hail. I saw eagles soar and light shine on trees like something in a painting. Miracles were all around. And, I could sense a battle to stop this good from happening.
Does the heat get turned up when God’s work is being done? Who turns up the heat? God? Satan? The Universe? Me? Many questions bounce through my mind for which I have no answers. I feel like I could try to ignore them and hope they go away or I could become absorbed with them and thus paralyzed from moving forward.
The balance for me is in being aware and willing to wrestle with the thoughts. Even making a small start and putting a few words on paper brings me hope. Not that I will necessarily come up with the answers, but that I will continue to move, to choose life, to reach for the light rather than become absorbed by darkness.
I choose to wrestle. How about you? What does your wrestling look like today?
photo by bill
Monday, October 22, 2007
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Monday, October 15, 2007
I am the spinning hay
the air through the trees
solid & steadfast
earth meets water
making mud not mire
I am the fire in the basement
the hidden room
the arc of the sky
going to the highest heights
and plumbing the depths inside
God is with me
the painter’s pallet is broad and wide
photo borrowed from shelby
Sunday, October 14, 2007
spinning round through fields of gold
the painter by my side
will the convertible transform
or simply take me for a ride?
chains for boundaries—protection or harm
who is the faceless man?
angel bear floats by my side
am i doing all i can?
orange-tipped rose hints of passion
does mud speak merge or mess?
will we grow like the mighty oak?
will we survive this test?
my forehead creases into question
the tree stands by my side
gold prevails and covers earth
while water tries not to hide
oh painter grand with pallet broad
where are we going now?
the golden hues command my life
few droplets here to wet my brow
the road marches on
the path is so varied
must i walk it alone
or shall i be carried?
dream collage by lucy
Recently I have been pondering what it looks like to live in paradox. The already and the not yet. The both/ and. The Kingdom come. If we are not definitive, does that mean we lack conviction?
Having grown up in a pretty black and white, right and wrong environment, I must admit that I struggle a bit with the need to take a stand. I find, however, that being a person who “takes a stand”, who is unwavering for the sake of not being “wrong,” is no longer who I am.
I find I am more drawn to words like mystery and possibility rather than good or bad, right or wrong. Does this make me wishy washy and indecisive? I think not. Mystery and possibility feel so much more expansive than toeing the line.
The poet Rilke’s words speak deeply to where I feel I am in life today. He says, “I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie.” If I try to keep things folded up or in a box, it seems so limiting. It feels like a lie. And so I want to open up the lid and unfold the mysteries--the areas where I have placed limitations with my judgments and insecurities. I want to live in the paradox where by appearing as though I may not have convictions, I, in reality, have more conviction and truth surrounding me than ever before. The possibilities and the mysteries are limitless. To that I am convicted.
photo by bill
Saturday, October 13, 2007
It was fragmented and I could not find the flow which is much like the dream itself. I hesitate to put too much down here because it feels like a lot of processing is still going on. As I said earlier, it felt like I had been on a long journey. There was a bus ride, a pick-up truck with its bed filled with loads of baggage, a parking lot with only handicapped spaces available. I pitched a tent next to the lot. It was in a huge field of dry grass. My tent poles got twisted up and a woman I know (one that I see as quite depressed, sarcastic and conflicted) helped me realign the poles. There were two other tents in the field, but I have no recollection of other occupants.
After pitching the tent, I was riding along in my little convertible, going through the fields of dry grass. I was standing and trying to climb through the car while attached at the ankles to my husband. No one seemed to be driving the car. (Yikes! I can only imagine the symbolism in that one.) It felt as though I was constantly looking for water. Usually my dreams contain water and ironically while lunching with a friend yesterday, she suggested that I am closely associated with the element of water. Hmmm. Was I looking for myself all night?
There were lots of other unusual little images and symbols throughout the dream. It felt like a very long, foggy journey. Therefore, it was no surprise when I looked out my window this morning to see the neighborhood blanketed in white mist. It feels like a good day to cozy up in bed and see if the fog lifts.
I’d love to know what you think of dreams…yours, mine, or generally speaking.
fabulous new photo taken in whitefish, montana by bill
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Whenever I feel the pull of two seemingly unrelated things, I must begin to wonder how and if they are connected. The predominant pull for me lately has been toward a greater understanding of what it means to be a woman and more specifically a woman of God. I have been reading Sue Monk Kidd’s, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter which is her own personal journey from a traditional Christian background toward the Sacred Feminine.
The second topic that keeps popping up for me is that of grief and maybe more accurately “unresolved grief.” Mind Sieve had a provocative post talking about shielding grief for a child and how it moves with us into adulthood. Yesterday at a counseling session, my therapist asked me, “How much have you really grieved?” I wanted to say, “Lots” which is probably accurate, but then I must follow with “Is that enough?” “Enough” does not seem like the appropriate response, because it feels like however I grieve today will be different rather than just more of the same.
And then this morning, Christine’s post spoke of “a fear of darkness in our culture – a denial of death and a resistance to the work of grief.” So as I pondered that post, the thought of unresolved grief and my new awareness of the sacred feminine collided. At first glance I would call the two unrelated. Given a moment to think, however, my answer seems different.
For a few years now I have grieved for a little girl (me) who felt silenced throughout her life. Consequently, I have begun to connect with the woman (me again) who feels alive and vibrant in her own skin. As journeys go, however, the path must continue forward. And thus today, I believe I am being called to consider more deeply the missing pieces. It may include a visit into the darker sides of life, but it feels like light will greet me along the way like sunrays filtering through the heavy forest.
What path are you being called to follow during this changing of the seasons?
photo by lucy
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Live Big!! Sometimes, that's the best advice we can hear. Win or lose succeed or fail, go for it, and go all the way. As my flight instructor told me on the first day of flying lessons, "Keep one hand on the throttle and one hand on the yoke." "Aahhhhh!" I would say during my early lessons as the plane lifted into the air, but I kept the throttle pushed all the way in.
There are times when it's wise to be cautious. And there are times when the best thing we can do - the only thing we can do - is go for it by living big. Ask her out. Request the raise. Say no - and mean it. Learn to drive a racecar or climb a tall hill. Learn to snorkel or surf. Dreams remain dreams until you act upon them. Then they become real life.
Will you throw a few coins into the beggar's cup, or will you bring him a hamburger and fries from the local fast-food place? Will you do an average job at work, or will you look for ways to go big - really give it your best - in the everyday areas of your job? Will you put your all - your heart and emotions - into the relationship with the people you love? Will you wait for another, more convenient time to pray, or will you start genuinely trusting God?
You don't have to get a life. You've already got one. Live it, and live big.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The sky is on fire this morning. The orange ball has exploded and spread a wash of pink, orange, red and yellow across the fall sky. I cannot capture it with my camera. Can my eye hold the image? Can my words? So ethereal—slipping through my fingers. I want to hold it, touch it, capture it, roll around and bathe in it naked to find myself washed with the colors of the roses. Fragrant and sweet. A pleasing aroma to God.
Whole. Pure. Naked. Blossoming. My body is filled with desire for this feminine being. She has spread the colors through the heavens. Who else could yield the paintbrush so lavishly? It feels erotic and exotic—washing, spreading, bursting, filling the sky with gentle and bold colors. Both. Both/and. Gentle and bold. Tender and strong. The images of God. How can we hold that God is only male or female? How can we hold that God is anything we can name? Anything we can “hold?”
The image of the sky brings me alive. Washes away the pain in my head and arm. I am slipping. Moving back into my body. For a moment or two I was gone. I was one with the sky. The pen and paper. The world. One with God. More me than the moment before and the moment after. The glimpses of heaven. The shout of purity. The paradox. The both/and. The beauty of God. How can we say he or she? Why must we define? What is our need to categorize? Good. Evil. Right. Wrong. Both/and. Perhaps they just are. Who am I to say?
The sky is on fire this morning and of course it is not.
photo by lucy 10.09.07
Sunday, October 07, 2007
My art is where the world slips away and comes more fully into focus. It is where I get out of my own way. To disappear in one sense, but in another to become more fully visible and alive than in any other area of my life.
The wind and I become one. The flame burns within my heart and I am consumed yet not consumed at all. The words flow freely like water down a babbling spring or rushing like a powerful torrent over the edge of a mighty waterfall.
I am firmly rooted in the ground. My feet blending into the earth as I spring forth tall and majestic like the mighty oak reaching toward the heavens. I am the gentle breeze softly whispering words of love and care. My power is building, twisting, twirling.
The wind and I become one. And so the circle continues. I am timeless, beautiful, power-filled and unique. True to my core and essence of who I am created to be. I am the earth. The Mother. Matter. Earth. Wind. Fire. Water.
I am whole. Complete. Perfect. Me.
photo by h3images--who says in photographs what i cannot say in words.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
|Strawberry Ice Cream|
A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.
Does Strawberry sound like Lucy OR is Rocky Road more my style?
Rocky Road Ice Cream
Unpredictable and wild, you know how to have fun.
You're also a trendsetter who takes risks with new things.
You know about the latest and greatest - and may have invented it!
This was a statement that felt particularly true and doable and sane to me. I hope that I can manage to wobble along through this life well. Wobbling well. ☺ I think I’ll ponder on that one a bit more.
“Hitting the moment of balance” also reminded me of a lovely poem by Denise Levertov. So, here it is:
All which, because it was
flame and song and granted us
joy, we thought we’d do, be, revisit,
turns out to have been what it was
that once, only; every initiation
did not begin
a series, a build-up: the marvelous
did happen in our lives, our stories
are not drab with its absence: but don’t
expect now to return for more. Whatever more
there will be will be
unique as those were unique. Try
to acknowledge the next
song in its body-halo of flames as utterly
present, as now or never.
google image photo
Thursday, October 04, 2007
It is hard to hold in the feelings of the heart. It wants to beat. It wants to burst and break free. And, its cohort, the mind, wants to rest. All that thinking can be exhausting. Sleepless nights. Ragged days. Endless lists. Spinning. Twirling. Vertigo.
Body, mind, soul. See the connection? If the heart is the soul; if the head is the mind; and the body is, well, the body, they should all work together. It is the ideal balance. Created by God in perfect unity and harmony.
We are finely tuned beings. So, if one part feels like it is missing or out of whack—Pay attention. Think. Feel. Breathe. Let Go. Mind. Soul. Body. Harmony.
photo found here.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Needless to say, I am feeling a little scattered and disjointed. My most focused “quiet” time came last night around 2:00 a.m. when all of the above started to float around in my brain. I lay in bed for about an hour before I finally listened to that still small voice that said, “Why don’t you sit up and write for awhile? See if that helps.” Lo and behold, I journaled for a few pages until finally the words, “Be still and know that I am God,” appeared on the page. Simultaneously, I started to feel rest in my body. I finished the page I was writing, lay my journal aside and fell soundly asleep for the 1 ½ hours I had before the alarm clock rang announcing boot camp.
Today we went for a 3-mile hike with only flashlights to lead our way through Discovery Park. I walked alongside a woman I am not sure I would recognize in the daylight, but our conversation was full and the scenery as the sun started to rise was breathtaking. After the rain of the past few days, it was a reasonably clear morning. There were stars through the clouds and the hint of pink in the sky as the sun began to rise. For a few moments, I was able to forget the lists and give thanks to the voice that provides me rest in both my waking and sleeping hours.
Upon arriving home, I sat down to check in on some of my favorite blogs only to find that I had been recommended for the "Breakout Blogger" award by one of my personal favorites, Christine at Abbey of the Arts.
Christine described my blog as “playful and deep.” That feels like a lot to live up to and for a moment I really felt the pressure! Then I did what I do…I sat down and started to write from my heart. Is it playful and deep? Who knows? It is hard for me to judge. It’s just me and that is what I have to offer.
Part of the honor of being named a breakout blogger is to pass along four of my own favorites. (Again, the pressure ☺). Since I visit a reasonably small blogosphere, many of my recommendations have already been made. My top three favorites of “consistent” bloggers are Abbey of the Arts, Tess @ Anchors and Masts and Northwoods Contemplative. I would also add to this list:
Shelby @ Time with Shelby. Her readings range from her daily life of trying to find work and keep up with school to grocery lists she has found along the way as well as a variety of delightful tidbits that just plain make me smile. ☺
Country Parson is a new blogger who speaks of theological matters with a heart for the world. I generally have to put on my “thinking cap” here and always walk away with something new to ponder.
Sunrise Sister is a delight when she decides to let things pass through the Mind Sieve. I hope she will begin to write more as her life takes some exciting turns with the New Year. She has a lot of wonderful things to say!
It looks like the blood has reentered my brain for a moment or two. (I have to take advantage of that before the adrenaline runs out and I realize I only had about 4 hours of sleep last night, so I am off to enter my day…again ☺.)
Thanks for reading. As always I am glad you are here and would love a “hello” from your side of the screen ☺.
photos by me
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
how can you capture the wind?
where does day end and night begin?
how do you hold the hand of a long lost friend?
god whispers the answers when we are still enough to listen--
calm enough to hear.
photo by bill