A Dusting of Winter

A dusting of white snow

Falls from the sky

And covers this world

In a beautiful quiet sugar coating

Crystals, clear, white, purity.

A chance now to settle down

Into some winter healing

Playing, resting, cuddling

Yoga before sudden snow squalls

And naps in front of warm fireplaces.

Hot tea to coat the soul

White winter dreams

Emerging through the long, cold, dark nights

Twinkling like the stars

That guide us from above.

It’s just a dusting of snow

For now it’s here

And tomorrow it may be gone

Flying away, melting back to earth

Like the thoughts that stream through

Our warm winter dreams.

 

 

The Fall

Glorious colors all around

I am entranced as I move through the forest

Small crab-apples crunch under foot

Leaves of orange, yellow, and red abound.

*

A breath, a second, a moment

And I am face down

Seemingly tripping over nothing

I lay sprawled on the soft mud and moss.

*

It could have been a rock or a root

That rose up from the earth

To meet my face

Instead my fall is broken softly.

*

I continue on

More cautious, still observing

As some leaves come sailing down

Gloriously dressed for their final descent.

*

They captured the sunlight

God’s beauty blazing through them

And now they shall soon rest

After the wind ceases to blow them here and there.

*

I too am like these leaves

Maybe now is the fall of my life

A time to blaze with God’s glory

And someday make the gentle descent.

 

We need a world of peace

We need a world of peace

Of connection

Of understanding that

We are one

~

We need a world of love

Where people reach out

To one another

With full and open hearts

~

Everybody must be taught

To acknowledge the differences

Release the sufering

Accept life deeply

~

We need God’s love

Open your heart

Feel it here now

Full of healing light

~

We have the capacity

For this love and light filled world

Surround us in the light

Fill this world with peace.

~

Boston, April 15, 2012.

Eagle or

I thought it was an eagle

At first

Grandly flying by

Oh, wait …

~

Look harder now

See what I can see

Maybe it’s just a gull

Betraying of my eyes

~

Breathe and notice

The river gone out to sea

The blue, blue sky

The fading of the day

~

She flies by again

Graceful and giant

Huge wing span

Oh, Osprey

~

So clear now

And I can let go

Let go of desire for eagle

And embrace the osprey

Falling

They keep falling, falling right in front of me

All around me like a swirling blanket

I glance up to see swooping, flying, and dancing

They fall and land and take a rest at last

*

Each in its own unique pattern

Bright white, reflecting the light

Falling from hundreds of feet above

They fall and come to rest, releasing the swirling dance

*

I cannot see then individually, they cling and fly apart

But they act in concert, soon they will be the blankets and piles

Blankets of bright heavenly postcards

Blinding me when I look up, blinding me with brightness and ice, they fall and rest

*

They come to rest and yes, some are plowed into piles,

Others formed into snowmen and snowballs

Or forts, or trails for skis, or icicles

Dripping down, down down toward the ground

*

Come Spring and Summer, I will drink them

They will become me

Part of my cellular makeup, the water on which I will run

In that way, I am also falling whiteness, a blanket right now

*

I am falling, and bright white, and piling up

I am snowballs, and trails, and piles of snow

I am melting and becoming one into the earth,

I am seeping into the water supply moment by moment

*

And you, you are also white and frozen now

Falling, piling, forming, melting

Coming back to earth

Coming back to the Htwo and the O

*

White postcards from heaven

Falling silently, I cannot hear them land

But I know soon, soon, soon

We will be one.

Write Me

I admire so many great American writers

Their volume!

Their tenacity!

Their creativity, bravery, and courage!

Word, thoughts, ideas, stories, relating the human experience.

Writers, writers, writers, giving me so much to read.

~

Stephen King- quintessential, Maineiac, prolific.

He writes everyday

And he gets down into it- fear, pain, hallucinations, phobias, sex, blood, gore, psychology.

Did I say fear?

He writes and he writes and he writes

He even wrote about writing. His children and his wife write.

Carrie, The Stand, ‘Salem’s Lot, Pet Cemetery,

The Dark Tower, Children of the Corn, Christine

Cujo, Firestarter, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

Green mile, and more, more, more.

~

Ken Kessey- truly a master who somehow was not able to write and write and write.

One of the best novels I have ever read

Sometimes a Great Notion

Read the book, don’t watch the movie, unless your heart swells

for a young Paul Newman.

Characters come to life in an Oregon of brutal reality

Feuds, chainsaws, and death. You will cry. Cry, cry, cry.

Your heart will open wide.

~

Mary Karr, the great poet and autobiographer

Sharing her deepest secrets in Lit

The Lair’s Club

Cherry

How does she remember those specific conversations?

I remember so few from all of those years ago

And she captures pages, and pages

Chapter upon chapter

of precise conversations and dialogue-

Real stories, real people, a genius who found sobriety and God.

I love you Mary Karr (not in that way, silly).

~

James Frey

With the repeating catchlines

You may even believe he was a drug addict, an alcoholic, and a criminal

Despite the facts that proved otherwise

He still may have been a drug addict, and alcoholic, and a criminal.

How can you resist

James Frey

With the repeating catchlines, the repeating catchlines.

~

Three books in a series, all captivating and yet somehow all the same

Violence, greed fear, love, pain upon pain, war

Suzanne Collins- an empire known as the Hunger Games.

She did it- bestseller, sold the movie rights, admirers everywhere.

Katniss creator; a female heroine.

What about peace Suzanne?

~

Caroline Knapp, gone too soon

Such relate-able stories

Chronicling the challenges of growing up

And becoming a woman in recovery

Rowing saved her

How did she drink so much, and yet write so well?

~

Hilarious writers: Too funny to believe

David Sedaris, an NPR regular

His sister Amy Sedaris

Augusten Burroughs

And his family-

Not as funny, but still relatable

brother John Elder Robison

mother Margaret Robison

~

And then there are the great spiritual teachers and leaders

of personal transformation, so many books, so many methods.

Help us to be present, to know love, to let go of Ego and attachment:

Pema Chodron, Thich Nat Hahn, Louise Hays, Wayne Muller,

Joan Boryenseko, Wayne Dyer, Ken Wilber, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil,

Jon Kabat-Zin, Jack Kornfield and many many more

Fill my hunger for a better life

~

Ah God, please just shine yourself through me

Help me to write, write, write-

Funny things, factual articles, touching moments,

Help me find the time

Help me get the kids to bed on time when I really just want

to sit at the keyboard and write.

Grant me the grace, strength, patience, focus, love, and passion

To write

Help me write, God, shine down on me as you have upon them.

Write me God, write me.

A Heart

How do you fix a heart

That was broken so long ago?

It was stitched and patched back together

With silk and gossamer tears

And thin scar tissue barely threatens to hold

The broken heart halves together

~

How do you mend that hole

Where the blood and the tears mix

Together as one

Before they leak and then pour

Merging into a lake sized puddle

Spreading slowly across the floor?

~

Where do you go

To buy the proper materials

And find the best mechanic, artist, technician, or doctor

To put it all back together,

in a way that makes sense?

Please make this poor heart, so full of holes

A whole heart again

~

This heart full of holes

Releases its leaden balloons

Sending up signals

Here is anxiety

Here is pain

Here is fear

And anger comes along too

Leaden, heavy balloons

~

They are floating

Floating heavily before me

Until they slowly fall

Dragging the broken stitched up heart behind them

Into the lake puddle of blood

Leaving me wondering

What now for this empty, empty space

The remaining hole in my chest

With the heart that could not be patched or stitched up again

What now.

 

Holon Speck

I am driving along, somewhere between Maine and Vermont
It must be New Hampshire
64 mph in my SUV
And suddenly I am a speck
A tiny speck in the universe
And I feel like a universe within a universe
On my own
And so far from home

That’s me, the speck

~

I feel so far away from my family, my grounding

And I wonder just what it is I am doing

What do I think I am doing

Whizzing around across 3 states in 3 hours

By myself in this big car

Looking for some answers

Chasing some rainbows

On this beautiful day meant to be spent outdoors

Not driving across 3 states

~

I chew on my inner lip

I do not know why I do this when I am driving

It hurts and yet somehow that is comforting

I check in with my body, I listen to Terry Gross, I give myself Reiki while I drive

I do not stop driving

~

I get their, to this college town

Where the beautiful boys without shirts

are working out on the track

And the co-op I stop at for supplies asks me if I am a member

And I don’t know where I am going

But I find the Thai restaurant right next to the campus

I request that they make the green curry with tofu

Thai spicy

I laugh and I say, “I like for it to make me cry”

The young lady laughs and tells me to wait for 10 minutes for my order.

~

Despite the friendliness of all around me

In this amazing college town

I feel like an outsider amongst these beings

Who are perfectly nice and friendly

Who let me in when I am trying to turn left and it seems impossible

who recognize my out of town plates

I know I don’t belong here

At this Ivy league school

With the hippie children and the beautiful boys

Perhaps my children, though, one day….

~

That night in the lovely resort

I cannot sleep

I sweat and shiver; they call it peri-menapause

The window is open and I hear the rain

I wake up craving coffee

And I run mile after mile on the treadmill

Looking at the beautiful lake

Rain pouring down

Feeling shy of those around me

~

I get to the conference early, I absolutely must have a front row seat.

I have driven 200 miles to see the speaker

And I want to absorb her knowledge and wisdom

I want her to look at me when she talks

I want to be her, I want to share my life with her, I want her authentic self to be my authentic self

I sit and silently watch her set-up

Right in front of me

I am in the front row

When do you tell her about how you use the book and your students do as well

~

And then it begins

She gives me everything I needed

Every bit of science spread right there in front of me

To demonstrate that learning to love oneself, learning to walk into things

and not run away

Is all a capacity based in psycho-neuro-immunology.

It is brain science

~

She is alone at the break and I take my chance

The book is signed

I stand face-face to tell her my story

Of how I saw her last year

How we adopted the book

How we struggle to convince others of the importance of this work

She authentically wishes me well and holds my eyes

And we diminish that space again and again.

~

I cradle the book after the conference

I am so content and happy with what I have learned

So affirmed on my journey and ready to welcome the challenges

Ready to welcome my voice

Ready to let go

I do not look at the message

It is like saving a piece of candy

To be opened at a time when it can be savored

~

As I drive home

In pouring rain and poor visibility conditions

Flying across the highways,backtracking 24 hours later, over 3 states,

I now feel like a more powerful speck

Like perhaps I am not a speck of dirt in the universe

But I am more akin to a speck of cosmic star dust

An eternal aspect of the universal whole

A holon- both whole onto myself and an aspect or a speck of something greater

~

I arrive home

Freshly bathed children inside are eagerly waiting, wanting kisses and treats and hugs

Husband inside is rapidly cleaning, after a messy dinner was consumed

And before I leave my SUV

My time capsule, space ship, traveling mobile, giant machine of safety

I open the book, read the inscription

And I radiate with love.

Hello Fall in New England: Remaining Sugar-Free

Though we are still technically a few days away from the Fall Equinox, this weekend has felt like Fall in New England. The weather has been gorgeous with cold nights and mornings, warmer days, but a hint of crispness in the shade. We have had clear blue skies, puffy clouds, and the foliage is just beginning to hint at the promise of an extravagant color show to come. Yesterday I did a 6 mile run through the woods and the perfectness of the day filled me with joy, gratitude, and a glowing appreciation for this beautiful area of Western Maine. Apple picking and pumpkin hunting need to be added to our weekend agendas, and thoughts of the last fair of fair season in Maine (The Fryeburg Fair) bring about excitement to our young girls thoughts. They ask about rides, cider, donuts, and ice cream.

So, yes Fall means that there may be new temptations as sweets and sugar seem to continue to abound in the landscape of life. I have made it 5 weeks sugar-free, and a common question has been, so what has changed for you? As I have written about before, the changes have been subtle, and I have come now to appreciate these questions (mostly from yoginis) as a chance to really reflect on what the benefits have been.

I have lost some weight, but now I need to focus on making sure I get enough to eat that I don’t lose any more weight, as being underweight may affect the immune system. Losing weight was not really the goal of this change in lifestyle. I feel more “even” and do not have nearly the extreme swings and sudden outbursts in temper or loss pf patience with my kids that I had before. My energy and endurance are improving, and the other day I noticed with my running that I am able to do about 10% more mileage in a given time period then I was able to do before without feeling any more effort.

But I have to say the greatest aspect of being sugar-free is that my anxiety has decreased greatly. Things that would normally send me into an internal stomach knot, I am now able to contemplate, recognize the feelings, and start to breathe through them. I feel as if I am more aware of my body in yoga, and I am able to find my edge and then back off a bit to be in a greater state of focused relaxation. On the days I don’t work out, I don’t feel quite as antsy I usually do.

I still have not gotten my lab work done (hopefully I can do that this week), but my hope is that with the elimination of sugar and the associated processed foods, perhaps my high cholesterol levels will have come down. I think this will be a huge supportive factor in continuing this process.

I also know that I need to be gentle with myself, and I need to focus on an eating plan. I am currently reading the book the Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program, (SATRP) and the author, Kathleen Desmaisons, has some great ideas about how to change your diet and lifestyle. I honestly had never thought of myself as a sugar addict,I was doing this as part of my yoga training, but when I look at her definitions and the lifestyle of a sugar addict, I realize that indeed I fall within the parameters of the sugar addict. I prefer to not eat breakfast, I prefer to eat a sugary treat as my first food of the day, I get hypoglycemic episodes, and I had my special foods and treats that nobody else was to eat.

With the SATRP, Desmaisons has a gentle and long-term approach to supporting the recovery from sugar addiction. Although I don’t feel I can completely start from the beginning of this program (you start by eating breakfast everyday that has a protein source), I would like to incorporate some of her ideas, such as eating 3 meals/ day at regular times and incorporating some protein, equivalent to 1/3 of daily needs, with each meal. I did order some protein powder to add some protein to some of my meals; I think being a vegetarian may make this a challenge. I have found some protein bars that are sugar-free and meet this criteria, and I will combine those with a piece of fruit for a meal. Hard boiled eggs and cheese will be my friends, as will veggie burgers, Quorn products, and beans. Desmaisons also recommends a potatoe before bed to increase serotonin levels and she offers an understandable and somewhat scientifically sound explanation for how this might work in the body and brain.

I know this will take a lot of planning, and trips to the grocery store, but I think the nurturing of my body is worth the effort I will need to put forth. I know that should I opt for a sugary treat, I should combine it with a meal to decrease the impact on my blood sugar and spend the time to really reflect on how my body-mind-spirit feel after having the treat. In all honesty, I almost want to have a treat to see if it really does make me feel woozy/ foggy, but perhaps I will wait until the fair to try it out…