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—

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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.”

The trees are losing their leaves and branches reveal like bones. We settle into our homes, into the structure of what is left when the sun’s seeming departure south draws a deeper veil upon the days.

I sit more easily in the dark, more aware within.

Cheri Huber writes:

Most of us are so unaccustomed to breathing naturally that the body can hardly accept the breath deeper than a couple of inches below the collarbone. When we allow the body to relax, it will naturally accommodate a fuller breath. We do not make the body breathe. It knows how to breathe, breathing is what it does. We simply allow the breathing to happen.

“Allow the breathing to happen.”

The season’s pulse drops. Breathing is clear.

Though the days shorten, the light is bright and sharp, cutting clearly through the branches of trees as leaves fall.

May we each give ourselves space to be.

I am with the words of Sue Bender:

“In that tiny space between all the givens is freedom.”

I saw the movie 50/50 today and it is an excellent movie that captures the experience of cancer treatment.

That said, I urge caution in seeing it. I cried all the way through and sobbed in the car. It was cathartic and intense.

I felt compassion for myself, and for those who cared for me. I know there is a place for experience, and there is a place for tears, and I think this movie is so well-done that it needs a rating as to the powerful effect.

I think we are all aware of the passing of Steve Jobs. We are communicating this way because of his vision, power, and passion. Medical treatment gave him extra years, and there is a cost. This movie immerses you in the pain for all involved when a friend or family member is sick and wanting to live.

About this blog:

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

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