Friday, October 31, 2008

Haiku #50

Again this summer--
Fruits fell before they were ripe,
Now its leaves drop, the paw-paw

Haiku #49

Moon--waxing crescent,
Nine percent of full--
All my hope's in you

Haiku #48

Skinny college kid
white bag in hand
stumbles on sidewalk

Haiku #47

Husband returns from store
candy for me in his magic coat pocket--
I like surprises!

Haiku #46

Tonight--
What spirits roam the earth?
All Hallow's Eve

Haiku #45

First time ever--
I spoon rich ground coffee
into chili recipe

Haiku #44

Showing off its seed heads--
sedum's now purple and tough,
ready for snow

Haiku #43

Where did you come from?
Skinny October fly
on empty soup bowl

Haiku #42

October sun--
can't hide the chill
as Earth turns toward winter

Haiku #41

Look up--
I thought they had all migrated--
a lone buzzard.

Haiku #40

Bellies pink
from running through field stubble--
my little dogs

Haiku #39

Make no mistake--
on any spiritual passage
you can't fool the wind

Haiku #38

Whisper: O Lost
Te of Piglet, Tao of Pooh
Road of life and death

Haiku #37

Loosestrife, love songs,
eggs, horses, baptisms, scars--
luminous things

Haiku #36

My life
in the palm of my hand
a poem

Haiku #35

In our field, a holly--
Some bird must have planted it there
after eating seeds

Haiku #34

Five percent of full--
It will be so dark tonight,
Moon, waxing crescent

Haiku #33

Two in the morning--
put another log on the fire.
It's time for bed.

Haiku #32

Change--
Look, her husband is waiting.
Now Persephone descends

Haiku #31

Be quiet,
Persephone is telling her mother
good-bye

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Haiku #30

Why don't you get up?
Even now, your husband's cutting the wood
that will warm your house.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Haiku #29

I want a warm fire.
Cold rain falls on dark fields.
I'm on my way home

Haiku #28

Look at the streetlight.
That's how you know it's there--
October snow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Haiku #27

Four in the morning--
refrigerator cuts on
in this quiet house.

Haiku #26

Three a.m., Listen!
Window panes rattle--
black train roars through the night

Haiku #25

October surprise!
Ragged pink impatien
blooming in jade pot

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Haiku #24

Four in the morning
Outside old tabby cries
We're both sad tonight

Haiku #23

Field stubble
waits patiently for winter--
so do I

Basho

An excellent book on haiku is The Essential Haiku, edited by Robert Hass.

In this book are thoughts on haiku attributed to Basho. Reading these thoughts helps me to understand why I am coming to love haiku more and more.

1. Basho says, "the basis of art is change in the universe." A haiku is a snapshot in time.

2. Basho says, "Make the universe your companion, always bearing in mind the true nature of things." The search for the true nature of things seems to me the only pleasurable way to live.

3. Basho says, "One should know that a haiku is made by combining things." I take this to mean that the poet combines something experienced through the senses with the emotion and experience of the poet. This is the aspect of art that intrigues me most.

4. Basho says, "One must first of all concentrate one's thoughts on the object. Once one's mind achieves a state of concentration and the space between oneself and the object has disappeared, the essential nature of the object can be perceived." I have never seen a better explanation of the artist becoming part of the world in order to describe the world.

5. Basho says, "Then express it immediately. If one ponders it, it will vanish from the mind." This is what I keep telling my students. The intellect kills art.

6. Basho says that being an artist is not really a pleasurable activity. He says of poetry that it is "a fireplace in summer or a fan in winter." To really follow your art, you will have to make sacrifices in terms of comfort.

He says, "Since ancient times, those with a feeling for poetry did not mind carrying knapsacks on their backs or putting straw sandals on their feet or wearing simple hats that barely protected them from the elements. They took delight in disciplining their minds through hardship and thereby attaining a knowledge of the true nature of things."

He says, "One needs to work to achieve enlightenment and then return to the common world."

7. Basho says, "The bones of haiku are plainness and oddness." This is what I strive for in my own work--oddness, not something that is elegant or even pretty.

8. Basho says, "Haiku exists only while it's on the writing desk. Once it's taken off, it should be regarded as a mere scrap of paper." I would say that this means that the true value in the haiku is the moment when you are writing it. After that, you should be looking for the next haiku moment, not looking at your work and stroking your ego!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Haiku #22

Harmony--
black cat lapping
white cream

Haiku #21

Look like gold from here--
October-apples
rotting beneath the tree

Haiku #20

Sitting on rusty woodstove,
With his back to me,
Old gray tabby, alone in the world.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Haiku #19

On Highway 6,
less than a mile apart,
two American flags flap in the rain

Haiku #18

Cat cries at the door
Rain patters on windows
Autumn afternoon

Haiku #17

Little dogs sigh in their sleep,
awaken briefly and flap their ears--
night is long.

Haiku #16

Husband's old bones ache---
price he pays for youthful fun;
rain is coming

Haiku #15

Little whirling dervish,
my black and white dog
dances for a slice of cheese

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Haiku #14

Red sun sinking fast
Red leaves on green grass
Red blood of Autumn

Haiku #13

Windy Autumn Day
dry leaves swirl in the air
touch your hands and face

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Revision, Revision

Worked a while on the first chapter of the novel last night and today. I long had suspected the chapter was overfull, that I was dumping too much information on the reader and not developing the characters enough. I worked to remedy that, and I am happy with the changes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Haiku #12

Little tiger cat
Jumps on door, wanting in--
It will frost tonight

Friday, October 17, 2008

Juniper madness

Original Poem (rough draft) based on fairy tale, "The Juniper Tree"

In April, on the day of her marriage,
she planted a Juniper into the wet-black ground
that was covered in robins
bobbing their heads
in search of worms.

She planted the Juniper
for want of an evergreen,
for want of something that lives
forever. She had always known
she would never live to be old.

It did not make her sad,
not very, but she wanted to
leave some mark upon the world,
even if it were only a little tree that
she had planted.

But the tree did not stay little.
It grew quickly, and by
Christmas it was the height
of three men. She decorated it with
lights, paper chains, and beautiful
glass apples that shone in the sun.
She tied seed bundles to the branches
so the cardinals would sit in the Juniper
and sing to her all day long
their sad, pretty song.

Haiku #11

"Wake up,"
Spirit said. Spirit said,
"You are the eyes of the world."

Haiku #10

Flash of yellow
Flash of sorrow next to his skin--
Good-bye Little Prince

Haiku #9

Firefly sparkles
Just at dark
The bat swoops

Haiku #8

Sun beats down
on two old drunks
Lily pads cool their heads

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Confessional

When Allen and the dogs are away and I am grading papers, I turn on the TV without sound "for company."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Haiku #7

Licking his wide paw--
Fat yellow cat
on a rusty chair

Haiku #6

Dark cupcake
cools
on white napkin

Friday, October 10, 2008

Haiku #5

Night sings to me--
Electricity--
Insects in tall grass

Haiku #4

Logs burn brightly
Two little dogs sleep back to back
October night

Haiku #3

Tree shadows
dance on door
House is so quiet

Haiku #2

Their time's running out
It's five in the afternoon!
Autumn crickets chirp

Haiku #1

New goal: in one year, write 100 Haiku.

Haiku #1

There, in our headlights
Walking down the driveway to greet us
Old black and white cat

Doodling about Issa

A Kind of Elaborate Doodling I did while Thinking about Issa in Provincetown

After finding the book of Japanese Haiku at Tim's Used Bookstore in Provincetown, I became very interested in Issa. One of my favorites of his was, and still is:

In this windy nest
Open your hungry mouth in vain
Issa, stepchild bird.

I later found a book of 45 Haiku by Issa, translated by Nanao Sakaki. Nanao Sakaki is an Issa-like, playful prophet. Sakaki believes that compassion is not something we make, that it is human nature: "Everybody has it originated in our blood," he says. Sakaki says that Issa wrote 20,000 Haiku! Out of the 20,000, he loves "maybe 200." Out of the 20,000, "maybe 10 great."

One of the 45 Haiku translated by Sakaki that I like a lot is:

Just myself
Also, one fly
--an enormous house.

It says something to me about loneliness.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Haiku

I fell in love with Haiku again when I was at Provincetown. I found two beautiful little books of Haiku, and I became especially fond of Issa.

One sings
The other will sing no more
--Cicadas of Autumn

--Issa

Trickster Tales

The students performed the tales, and we had such a good time. Some of them went all out with wigs and props. The "Talking Penis" group had me laughing so hard I was crying. They solved the obvious problem of how to portray a talking penis by having one student (the penis) situated under a table. They hung a blanket over the table so the student couldn't be seen. He kicked the table when it was his turn and shouted his lines, once in a while laughing wildly (the tale calls for it).

Trickster tales are always better performed rather than read. I think the form almost demands a performance.

I am always amazed at the creativity and talent of young people. They had only a few minutes to plan their presentations, and they did a first rate job, all of them.

I just love being a college teacher.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Juniper Tree #1


A Poem I wrote recently based loosely on the fairy tale "The Juniper Tree" ...

When I Was a Child

When I was a child,
I buried dead birds
and said prayers for them
over graves decorated
with popsicle stick crosses.

When I ceased to be a child,
my mother ate poison berries and died.
Her body was buried in the yard,
under the Christmas cedar.
I cried, but I wasn't worried.
I waited for the resurrection to happen.

One day, I put a dead bird in a box
and covered it with a lid.
I put the box on a shelf.
The next day I lifted the lid and
stopped believing in the miracle.

Another mother took my good mother's place.
She had a different understanding
of what we would be to each other.
I was no longer a child by then.
I've said it twice, and I'll say it again:
I was no longer a child by then.

Hello, death, I said, Hello.
Goodbye, Mother, Goodbye.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Talking Penis

Today in Native American Literature, I broke the class into groups and assigned each group a Trickster Tale. I told the students to plan a performance of each tale, and the students will be doing their performances tomorrow. I assigned one group the tale: "The Talking Penis."

This tale is found in American Indian Trickster Tales, edited by Simon Ortiz and Richard Erdoes. It originates from the Gros Ventre.

In the tale, Trickster hears a powerful man singing a song which brings buffalo to the people. Trickster wants to learn the song. The powerful man agrees to teach Trickster the song but warns that Trickster should not sing the song very often: "Use it only once during the hunting months." Trickster wants to show off, though, so he sings the song all the time.

"Stop singing the song," the powerful man tells Trickster, but he doesn't listen. He just keeps singing.

Then Trickster's penis starts talking. The big penis stands up and shouts: "Buffalo, do not come, stay away!"

When Trickster wants to copulate, he calls out to some girls, saying he wants to dance for them. But the penis shouts: "You girls, do not come. He only wants to abuse you! Stay away."

This happens several times: Trickster brags about things he really hasn't done, and his penis tells on him. Now he is embarrassed and wants his penis to shut up. Trickster asks the powerful man to help him, but the powerful man says he cannot. The only person who can help Trickster is a very ugly old woman. Even though Trickster does not want to, he visits the ugly woman in her tipi:

"He stays there for a long time. They did something in there. Trickster was not smiling when he came out of the ugly woman's tipi. He looked grim, but after that his penis never talked again.

"'How did the ugly woman cure you?"' a friend asked.

"'I don't want to talk about it,'" Trickster said."

It really is funny story with a clear meaning: Trickster is told not to use the song but once, but he wants to be a big shot. This tale is about Trickster being taken down, learning humility. The tale satirizes men in position of authority and power.

Of course the students were laughing and shaking their heads in wonder. It took them a while to figure out how to present the story: I can't wait to see what they do with it.

After class, I Googled "Talking Penis" and I found this delightful advertisement for condoms. Is this the new kind of Trickster Tale?

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Self

"The self must be a bridge, not a pit."

"I like to think a thing part way through and feel the rest of the way."

"To be weary of one's own individuality--is that to die?"

"How bleak and black and dead-ended can be the literal approach to experience: the eye is not enough."

--Theodore Roethke, Straw for the Fire

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Desk-Table and Vertical Writing

While I was at Provincetown, I fell into a nasty little habit of measuring progress in number of pages written.

Now that I'm home and no longer have unlimited hours to spend making pages, I'm trying to find a way to make my narrative deeper and richer. I'm doing what Andre Dubus has famously called Vertical Writing. Vertical Writing involves diving into characters' souls and using whatever might be found there to shape a story. Dubus has said that while practicing Vertical Writing, he would not move on to a new sentence until he understood completely the implications of the last sentence he had written.

When I engage in Vertical Writing, I actually lose pages. The writing becomes compressed.

In the past, I've lost much writing time during the school year and for all kinds of reasons. One reason is that I've gotten used to writing in complete aloneness in my writing room. This is a habit I fell into when the children were still here. But when I was in Provincetown, I developed the habit of using my laptop in any room that pleased me. Tonight, I did Vertical Writing on my laptop in the livingroom.

One thing that's made that easier is that one of my sons recently gave me a coffee table that opens up into a desk. I now have a place in the living room to spread out my manuscript, and a place to store it (along with the laptop) once I've finished. I found that the TV being on didn't disturb me as much as I thought it would.

I got quite a bit done tonight. I think if I hadn't worked on the laptop, I wouldn't have written earlier tonight, because I simply didn't want to leave the room that Allen was in: I didn't want to leave him alone.

It is also chilly tonight. We had a wood fire going. It was nice to be sitting in a warm room to write. My writing room is far away from the heat source. Many times in winter I've chosen not to write because the room is just too cold. Maybe I've found a way around that now.

Sometimes it's good to shed old habits.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Some points on writing

Between listening to music, working on my novel, and checking the Internet now and then this evening (O. J. Simpson is guilty, says the New York Times--the e-mail arrived not ten minutes ago), I found this article by Steven Millhauser about writing. Specifically, he compares and contrasts the short story and the novel. Some points he makes:

What the short story lacks in grandeur, it makes up for in elegance and grace. The short story is like William Blake's grain of sand: it becomes bigger than itself; it becomes bigger than the novel; it becomes as big as the universe.

The novel is exhaustive but the world is inexhaustible. The novel is ponderous. The novel is always hungry and dissatisfied; it fears coming to an end because then the world will run away from it. "The novel wants things. It wants territory. It wants the whole world."

Oh, Were you writing a novel?

Oh, was I writing a novel? I guess I was, but where has the time gone between August and October?

Tonight I looked at my 150 pages with cold eyes and decided to play around with tone. I changed the main character's name to see if I might like it better. I wrote a new beginning that is more lively than what I came home with.

I'm not afraid to start again...if it will make a better book.

Friday, October 03, 2008

AOL Redux

AOL is shutting down its journals service permanently. I came to Blogger in 2005 after AOL put ads on our journals, but I never migrated my entries. I honestly don't know if I will go to the trouble of doing that. But I did visit that old journal today. I suppose I should be grateful to AOL journals. I don't think I would have started a journal if AOL hadn't initially made it so easy. But I think it's just cynical and sad that they are shutting down that service now because it brings "no money."

Here is an entry I did at the AOL Journal just prior to the ads showing up on our journals, quite to our suprise, one fine day:

October 31, 2005
Times are busy for me right now at the university, but I wanted to do this entry before the thoughts slipped through my hands.

Of late, I've seen journalers questioning why they are keeping a journal. I've seen journals abandoned, journals put on hold, and journals searching for a new direction. Just a few entries ago, I was writing about how we are finding our tribe. Now people are questioning what their role is within the tribe. This is a good thing, it seems to me.

"Where are our moorings? What behooves us?" These are questions the poet Adrienne Rich once asked.

In searching for my mooring, I find myself always going back to the heart.

At the end of our time at Esalen, Sy Safransky, editor of The Sun, mentioned a book called After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. After I got home, I ordered the book and have just finished it. I still need to reread it and underline passages that are important to me, but I want to say something now about this book and how I think it relates to my moorings.

After the ecstasy of discovering our tribe, comes the day-to-day work of living within the tribe. Of "doing the laundry," so to speak.

In a section of the book, called "The Heart's Intention," Kornfield says that "Becoming aware of intention is a key to awakening ..." He says that it is in "small things that we fulfill the lessons of the heart. It is from our intentions that our life grows. It is in opening to one another that our path is made whole" (253).

I think that as long as we bring some kind of awareness to the table we are spreading for our Internet friends, we are fulfilling an important need. In opening up to one another, our lives are made whole.

Later in this book, Kornfield quotes E. B. White, who once said, "Every morning I awaken torn between the desire to save the world and the inclination to savor it."

I find this is exactly where my intention springs from--the tension between these two states of being. If I incline too much toward trying to save the world, my writing gets dull and preachy. If I write just to savor life, my writing loses its spiritual component, which is very important to me. I have always been drawn to authors who elevate ordinary objects to the realm of the spirit--Richard Brautigan was such a writer, so was J. D. Salinger. So, naturally, that is how I want to write, too. To do that, I have to cultivate awareness.

Richard Brautigan wrote a story called "The Kool-Aid Wino." In the story, a child found delight in making a jar of Kool-Aid. Because the child was poor, he put at least twice the amount of water into the mixture he was supposed to. But the point of the story is that when he drew the water, the spigot thrust itself out of the earth like the finger of saint. Thus, making the Kool-Aid became a ritual, a spiritual act.

That is the kind of awareness I want. That is the kind of awareness I want to bring to my writing. Even to this journal.

In my last entry, I talked about the perils of the publishing world, that uniqueness is sometimes eshewed in favor of the "tried but true."

Another idea I meant to express in that same entry was that if I begin any creative work with the goal to publish it, that piece of writing is dead from the start. That's because, for me, writing for the sake of publishing is the wrong intention.

Don't get me wrong, getting work published feels good. But I can't start there, with that intention. I have to start with the need to reveal an awareness.

All of us do writings that have clear purposes, writings that are requirements for our job, for our bread and butter. I'm not talking about that kind of writing. I'm talking about the kind of writing we do because of what's in our hearts. The kind of writing that expresses why life itself is so precious.

It is much harder to determine the purpose of heart writing. But that is indeed what we must do.

Lest you think your writing is self-absorbed or that you're being selfish by taking the time to do it, consider what Kornfield says in his book:

"Years ago Ram Dass went to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, to ask, 'How can I best be enlightened?' His guru answered, 'Love people.' When he asked about the most direct path to awakening, his guru answered, 'Feed people. Love people and feed people. Serve the Divine in every form.'"

Remember what I told you Barry Lopez said? That sometimes a person needs a story more than food?

Kornfield then asks, "But whom are we serving?"


His answer:

"It is ourselves. When someone asked Gandhi how he could so continually sacrifice himself for India, he replied, 'I do this for myself alone.' When we serve others we serve ourselves. The Upanishads call this 'God feeding God.'"

So then, what are our moorings? What is our heart's intention? Why do we keep a journal, anyway?

For many of us it is to speak the matters of the heart.
In doing so, we feed ourselves. In feeding ourselves, we feed others. In feeding others, we get closer to the divine.


I've never had as many readers/commenters as I had at the AOL Journals. They really had a good thing going. It's too bad they couldn't see that. The Comments:

#23 Comment from deabvt Email deabvt11/11/05 5:13 AM Permalink
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Hi, TheresaI just completed a seminar with a friend of Kornfield`s, a devotee of Tibetan Buddhism. It was great.V
#22 Comment from belfastcowboy75 Email belfastcowboy7511/6/05 8:12 PM Permalink
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Theresa, I hate to see you agonizing like this. Don't you know that all you need to do is hit "align center"? Pure poetry.
#21 Comment from libragem007 Email libragem00711/6/05 8:10 PM Permalink
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"Why do we keep a journal, anyway?..""For many of us it is to speak the matters of the heart."wow...hits home!I was nodding my head in total agreement the whole time I was reading this entry.Gem :-)
#20 Comment from tsgerkin Email tsgerkin11/6/05 12:41 PM Permalink
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Okay Ms. Theresa, I love this entry only don't you think your break time is up? Hugs and smiles always,Tamara(I finally figured out how to put your link at my blog. Don't laugh, just stop by when you have a moment and say hello. We miss you!) http://tianka.blogspot.com/
#19 Comment from crashtruthgirl Email crashtruthgirl11/5/05 8:27 PM Permalink
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Theresa,> I was reading Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of> Bees at work today on> my lunch, and I came across this paragraph and had> to share: > "Where do you come from?" he asked me. This is the> number one most-asked> question in all of South Carolina. We want to know> if you are one of> us, if your cousin knows our cousin, if your little> sister went to> school with our big brother, if you go to the same> Baptist church as our> ex-boss. We are looking for ways our stories fit> together. Later Kidd says, "If you don't tell a story, it dies." > > Isn't that neat? I felt a small epiphany surge as I> read that. It's so> true! I love the connection. It makes me want to> find my own words and> write them. > > :) > Megan
#18 Comment from oceanmrc Email oceanmrc11/4/05 7:44 PM Permalink
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This is a really fine entry, Theresa. And I've always loved Jack Kornfield books, too. AND as I've been catching up on some reading tonght I'm discovering just how many of my alerts are kaput, yours included. So. . . hi there!http://journals.aol.com/oceanmrc/MidlifeMatters/
#17 Comment from ibspiccoli4life Email ibspiccoli4life11/4/05 5:53 PM Permalink
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Kornfield's book is wonderful and I love the way you conveyed some of his thoughts here. I've out and about "savoring the world" lately, but I always have ideas to write about, and I plan on getting back on the journal bus real soon (actually I just posted something new on the Blue Voice yesterday). At any rate, I love this post. Thanks for being here. dave
#16 Comment from meforevermore Email meforevermore11/4/05 1:58 PM Permalink
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Very true. I believe wholeheartedly that writing for the sake of publishing kills the work. If it isn't written from the heart, it hasn't truly been written.Lovely entry, as always lol~Lily
#15 Comment from octoberroots Email octoberroots11/4/05 1:03 PM Permalink
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I so enjoy coming hear to read your writings. You feed me, Theresa. Wonderful entry. I will be back when time allows for a second read.SINS
#14 Comment from ggw07 Email ggw0711/3/05 11:40 AM Permalink
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I watch the fall leaves rustle in their splendor and all I can do is enjoy this- Delicious thoughts!ggw07@aol.com
#13 Comment from floralilia Email floralilia11/2/05 7:54 PM Permalink
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lovely. succulent food for thought wisdom too...http://journals.aol.com/floralilia/SucculentWisdom-juicynessfromj-l/entries/1074
#12 Comment from ckays1967 Email ckays196711/2/05 7:21 PM Permalink
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In dreaming my dreams I touched your souland it surprised me to see myself there.http://journals.aol.com/ckays1967/myjourneywithMS/entries/1151
#11 Comment from gypsytrader49 Email gypsytrader4911/2/05 3:15 PM Permalink
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I have Jack Kornfield's book on tape. It was one of the great helps to me when I was first diagnosed. You reminded me that I need go back and re-listen. Listen and re-listen. Learning to do that is hard. Thanks for such a thoughful entry.KAthyhttp://journals.aol.com/gypsytrader49/ksuergiu/
#10 Comment from ckays1967 Email ckays196711/1/05 6:01 PM Permalink
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I know one thing, if I should happen upon you in a coffee shop, we would sit and talk and maybe just stare a bit at the sugar.And that would be ok.
#9 Comment from ckays1967 Email ckays196711/1/05 5:57 PM Permalink
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So then, what are our moorings? What is our heart's intention? Why do we keep a journal, anyway?For many of us it is to speak the matters of the heart.In doing so, we feed ourselves. In feeding ourselves, we feed others. In feeding others, we get closer to the divine.Humm.......speak (or write) slowly and enuciate all of your words. I sense peace here. I sense divinity.I shall linger a bit more for the taste of it.
#8 Comment from judithheartsong Email judithheartsong11/1/05 2:24 PM Permalink
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very good post Theresa. judi
#7 Comment from deabvt Email deabvt11/1/05 2:11 PM Permalink
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In doing so, we feed ourselves. In feeding ourselves, we feed others. In feeding others, we get closer to the divine.Wonderful!V
#6 Comment from deabvt Email deabvt11/1/05 1:44 PM Permalink
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You write such thoughtful essays.V
#5 Comment from courtenaymphelan Email courtenaymphelan11/1/05 2:49 AM Permalink
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Tonight I was feeling guilt. I wrote an entry...Your Worst Nightmare... a true happenstance...my readers were disapponted with the anticlimatic ending. I was disappointed I had written it at all. It was heartfelt. It was the truth. But did it edify anyone? No! It may have helped me get it iff my chest. BUT.... I wrote an epigram once to the effect "when we get something off our chest, we need to consider how it will look on someone else's ear"Thank you for this entry. If we have a responsibility to society, we certainly have one to our readers in J-Land. We never know who is thirsty, and through our own selfishness, we are not available. Love, Courtenay
#4 Comment from vxv123 Email vxv12310/31/05 11:18 PM Permalink
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I do love that picture, Theresa. I've seen it before!A heartfelt entry, my dear, and well worth reading. I have just about finished the Kornfeld book, and every page contains a piece of wisdom that has me nodding my head in understanding. And of course when he quotes my beloved Ram Dass, then I am hooked. I am re-formatting my journal, or maybe returning to the original format, and in so doing, I find I am feeding my self. This way, I can be more centered, and thereby be of more support for others. You have certainly done that for me.Love, Vicky xxhttp://www.livejournal.com/users/vxv789/
#3 Comment from bethsfrontporch Email bethsfrontporch10/31/05 8:01 PM Permalink
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"I have to start with the need to reveal an awareness. " I find I have to start with a question I want to answer. Perhaps it is the same thing. I have to write to even find out what the question is! Theresa, I especially loved this entry. --Beth
#2 Comment from sistercdr Email sistercdr10/31/05 7:21 PM Permalink
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I'm reminded once again of the spiral as a symbol for the spiritual journey, the deeper one goes into oneself, the nearer one draws to the Divine, always moving inward and outward simultaneously.
#1 Comment from tsgerkin Email tsgerkin10/31/05 5:40 PM Permalink
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Bravo Theresa! Great entry! I love your introspective thoughts and especially those at the end of this entry:"Why do we keep a journal, anyway?For many of us it is to speak the matters of the heart.In doing so, we feed ourselves. In feeding ourselves, we feed others. In feeding others, we get closer to the divine."Hugs,Tamara

RIP Hayden Carruth

I just found out that one of my favorite poets, Hayden Carruth has died due to complications from a stroke. Of his work he once said:

“My poems, I think, exist in a state of tension between the love of natural beauty and the fear of natural meaninglessness or absurdity."

I love his poem, "Ecstasy":

For years it was in sex and I thought
This was the most of it
so brief
a moment
or two of transport out of oneself
or
in music which lasted longer and filled me
with the exquisite wrenching agony
of the blues
and now it is equally
transitory and obscure as I sit in my broken
chair that cats have shredded
by the stove on a winter night with wind and snow
howling outside and I imagine
the whole world at peace
at peace
and everyone comfortable and warm
the great pain assuaged
a moment
of the most shining and singular gratification.
The Great Pain Assuaged

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Dreaming

Dreaming

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych

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Wishing

Little Deer

Little Deer

Transformation

Transformation

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back

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