I have now read Susan Cain’s book, The Power of Introverts, and watched her at Google and enjoyed her Ted Talk. People see me as an extrovert, and, at times, I am, and I know how much renewal time I need. I love solitude. I love reflective time. This is an excellent look at how each of us individually, and as a society, need to look at where we nourish. We need to work together. We need to work alone. We need to go to the wilderness, to go out and walk, and to honor the wilderness within, that beautiful place to cultivate and pull from the wildness that is uniquely our own.

It is Valentine’s Day and my heart is full, full of the joy that living brings. I look out on a tree, white with plum flowers. The buds are swelling on the Maple trees. It is Spring. I attended a conference on Aging on Sunday, a gathering of people interested in exploring, augmenting, and expanding, the next stage of life, one in my case, which may be another thirty years. It was a gathering at the Rosen Center, and I felt Marion Rosen, even in her passing, was there, watching what she brought to life and light, expand and spread.

The Heart is about Courage. It requires courage to love, because love risks loss, and loss can hurt. Those we love may die, and certainly they, and we, will change. We are constantly letting go. We too, die to an old self, and come to meet ourselves new. We do this over and over again. We live the seasons, the phases of the moon. We, too, have tides.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: “Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between two contradictions… For the god wants to know himself in you.”

Whatever your image may be of “god”, know the heart is huge, as it stretches to know the contradictions, loves, and joys that bloom, fruit and flourish in you!

Marion Rosen passed away last Wednesday night. She was a mentor for me, a teacher, a leader, a friend. She will be missed, is missed, and yet, I feel her opening windows for me, windows as in an Advent Calendar.

See this, and this: I’m free.

This poem by Jane Hirshfield guides me to feel her “largeness pass through me”.

The Supple Deer

The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.

Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through.

No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.

I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.

Not of the deer:

To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.

– Jane Hirshfield

January is a month to reflect. Poetry opens the ion trail, the tracks. With thanks to Arthur Sze.

Comet Hyakutake
by Arthur Sze

Comet Hyakutake’s tail stretches for 360 million miles—

in 1996, we saw Hyakutake through binoculars—

the ion tail contains the time we saw bats emerge out of a cavern at dusk—

in the cavern, we first heard stalactites dripping—

first silence, then reverberating sound—

our touch reverberates and makes a blossoming track—

a comet’s nucleus emits X-rays and leaves tracks—

two thousand miles away, you box up books and, in two days, will step through the
invisible rays of an airport scanner—

we write on invisible pages in an invisible book with invisible ink—

in nature’s infinite book, we read a few pages—

in the sky, we read the ion tracks from the orchard—

the apple orchard where blossoms unfold, where we unfold—

budding, the child who writes, “the puzzle comes to life”—

elated, puzzled, shocked, dismayed, confident, loving: minutes to an hour—

a minute, a pinhole lens through which light passes—

Comet Hyakutake will not pass earth for another 100,000 years—

no matter, ardor is here—

and to the writer of fragments, each fragment is a whole—

This is the month we make New Year’s Resolutions for mental, spiritual, and physical health. It is also the month, in the Northern Hemisphere, that invites hibernation. Perhaps the two are one. Each morning, give yourself a little extra time to rise slowly. Imagine yourself as a bear waking up from a long sleep, stretch your arms and legs, curl and uncurl, reflect on what is most important to you, just for today.

Use a kind voice as you speak to yourself, just for today, kindness to you!

There is no greater jewel than kindness to you, each moment, each day.

This time of year I bubble. Grace seems almost tangible in the long, angled rays of light like we can climb a little higher and look out with a wider view on connection, and the deep need to know ourselves, and each other. Peace!

Yes

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out — no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

~ William Stafford ~

(The Way It Is)

I am entranced with the light this time of year. It is as though the sun, thanks to the tilt of the earth, appears to move south, allowing us each to come home, home to the fire within.

It is a reflective time. As the year comes to a close, I feel a desire to fulfill those resolutions made January 1st and to gently come to completion with hopes and desires. What can I conclude and restart as I honor the exchange of vows, the embrace of one year with the next?

This whole week we live with extra awareness, with more noticing of blessings and giving thanks.

My husband had surgery two and a half weeks ago and is awakened from dreams/nightmares of being invaded.

Naturally! Surgeon’s hands were inside. His psyche knows, and yet the medical world considers him healed. We know there is more.

We need time to heal, time to nourish the soil within. The leaves are falling.

Let each of us feel the feathered fall of leaves, cushioning the inner to better receive, and breathe through change, trauma, and gifts.

Today I came across the book “embrace your inner wild”. It is 52 Reflections from an Eco-Centric World and is by Mary Reynolds Thompson with photographs by Don Moseman.

I will give it to a friend, to many friends, and yet, I sit now with the wisdom within this book of precious photographs of Marin and words strung together like songs of friends.

Perhaps what touches me most is this:

A friend asks an indigenous elder from the rain forests of South America, “Are you ever lonely?”

Silence.

“There is no word for loneliness in his language,” the translator explains.

If you are looking for something to fill you so well there is no word for loneliness, this is the book.

Next to a photo of an orb weaver spider in a web at Muir Woods are these words:

“The deeper we go into our individual nature, the more we discover that we are part of the whole.”

About this blog:

Cathy and Jane started writing together during Cathy's illness, and that writing became a blog, which then became a book!

We hope you enjoy our blog and invite you to join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jane
Cathy

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