Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Sip of Sky

She's in the garden at dawn, taking notes. She once met a bluejay who could mimic a hawk. This morning she met a Raven who could mimic a duck. "Now I've seen everything", she said, "or not". Suddenly it began to sprinkle. She wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and held her coffee mug up to catch the rain. She took a sip of sky and said, "thank you".

Some days ago,  a Giant Leopard Moth came to her front porch and died there so she saved the creature's body.  This morning a Tiger Moth was in the same spot, resting...waiting to chase moonbeams.  It seems to be the summer of the winged big cats!

Every soul is a teacher.
Every soul is a student.


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posted by Wendy at 11:36 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, July 18, 2014

Godspeed, Nicole!

I bless the day your voice reached my ear. Godspeed, fire spirit, godspeed!

Earth My Body from Nicole Sangsuree Barrett on Vimeo.

Earth my body,
Water my blood,
Air my breath
and Fire my spirit

I like to sing to the earth
I like to hold her
She likes to sing to me
She likes to hold me

I carry fistfuls of leaves
I make love to the breeze
I carry fistfuls of bones
I trust they will lead me home

I carry grief on my wings
I know why caged bird sing
Through many turns of this moon
My women have suffered wounds

But my grandmother's with me
Close your eyes can't you see
And my children are here
The rose, the Crow and Deer

I am surrounded by light
The light of stories
I need to quiet my mind
I need to listen

We are surrounded by light
The light of stories
We need to quiet my mind
We need to listen

Earth my body,
Water my blood,
Air my breath
and fire my spirit


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posted by Wendy at 9:48 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Song of Summer

“Your self is sacred; be true to it.” - Paul Brunton (A Message from Arunachala)
"There is no right way or wrong way", her teacher said softly, "there is only the have to trust that you are the way". Suddenly, she felt herself expand into the spaciousness of those words. When she awakens each morning thereafter, she takes a deep breath and exhales a long, quiet "thank you", then slowly places her feet on the floor. 
"I'm just a soul in a human-suit", she thinks to herself, "no more, no less".  She remembers tripping over tree roots in the moonlight, and the way the rocks wiggled beneath her feet while crossing the stream. And the fireflies in the tall grass, the way they floated there so silent, so full of light.  She counts these things as blessings and keeps a list in her mind.  They are her buoys:
  • The patina of her homegrown blueberries 
  • Summer peach pizza with balsamic reduction
  • Ukeleles
  • Swimming pools
  • The wings of the Giant Leopard Moth
  • Wheels and the wind in our hair


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posted by Wendy at 2:22 PM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, July 12, 2014

His First Sash

"No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.”  - J.R.R. Tolkien

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posted by Wendy at 1:51 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, July 11, 2014

Resonance: Oh Sweetest Song

Resonance: when one object vibrating at the same natural frequency of a second object causes that second object into vibrational motion.

That reminds me of one of my favorite Rilke poems...

Love Song
Rainer Maria Rilke
How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin’s bow,
which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.


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posted by Wendy at 6:34 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Unus Mundus

"Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest, and is the exit of the rest, You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul." - Walt Whtiman (I sing the body electric)

"The Reunion of the Soul and the Body", illus. William Blake / etching Schiavonetti (1808)


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posted by Wendy at 6:34 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Unshaddowed Light: Summer's Start

Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest. - Wendell Berry


How monotonous our speaking becomes when we speak only to ourselves! And how insulting to the other beings – to foraging black bears and twisted old cypresses – that no longer sense us talking to them, but only about them, as though they were not present in our world…Small wonder that rivers and forests no longer compel our focus or our fierce devotion. For we walk about such entities only behind their backs, as though they were not participant in our lives. Yet if we no longer call out to the moon slipping between the clouds, or whisper to the spider setting the silken struts of her web, well, then the numerous powers of this world will no longer address us – and if they still try, we will not likely hear them.” ― David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology


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posted by Wendy at 9:48 AM 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dance Therapy Intensive: Magic in Movement

O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer, 
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole? 
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, 
How can we know the dancer from the dance? - Yeats 

It's as though I've been given a set of special lenses and now I need time to explore these new lenses because at this very moment it's like seeing the world for the first time and there's so much to see that I never noticed before and it's all happening at once. I need time for re-entry, re-seeing, re-experiencing the dance that is my life. YES, it was wonder-FULL!

Articulating my dance:

I'm spinning several projects at once. It reminds me of when I was a wee girl sitting on my Grandpa's lap watching the Ed Sullivan Show and there was this dude spinning plates on sticks. It's kind of like that. Everything seemed to grow in warp speed while I was away and now there are four lemons on my little lemon tree. If only you could have seen my happy dance for that discovery - you would have laughed. The Honey Locusts are so lush you can't even see their spiky thorns, and the wild mulberries are ripe and so yummy, and the black walnut tree outside my studio already bears fruit for making a new batch of walnut ink this Fall. The community pool opened whilst I was in NY and I returned in time to start some seasonal laps and that's good, very good. That feeling of weightlessness and then the way gravity greets me as I pull myself out of the pool - that tension of opposites.


It's also Lindy season which means it's time to shake the rust off these tail feathers and get ready for the swing set. My late dad was a Lindy-hopper and my first memory of music was that of Louis and Ella andGoodman et al. Did I ever tell you that when I moved to Syracuse I won tickets to a swing event to shim sham shimmy with the great Frankie Manning? True dat! He wore glow rings around his neck and he called me "doll" and I can still hear his gravely voice saying "shim sham time now shake it" and then how he laughed - and oh how my dad would have flipped his lid if he could have seen that moment. Mr. Manning died a few years later so I was very lucky. Very lucky.

There are so many of these thoughts dancing in my head…is it any wonder why I go there? It's sort of like basting and I think it's what makes my soul juicy and tender. My way of being in the world is in living it fully, all the way to the edge of my skin…living it to the point of tears and living it with laughter so saturated with joy that my ribs ache trying to contain it. I like sharing that part of me. And occasionally I find myself in fear, but I do my best to stare it down even though it makes my legs tremble. And when I have sorrow it always shows up in the form of salt, albeit in tears or by sweating it out on a good hike. I don't always share my sorrow and I don't know if that makes me a good friend or a shitty one. But when living it the way that I do gets to be a lot, I go back inside my head and that's okay because it's a mostly nice place to be. And what that feels like is…like standing on the shore and the ocean pulls at your ankles and you begin to sink into the sand and it feels like you are moving at great speed, but you are really standing still. That's what it feels like when I sink inside myself. And sometimes, when I need to, I can move outward beyond skin and from that perspective I can really see the "her" that is me and when I see "her" I know that I love "her" and maybe I love "her" more than anyone else can because I know "her" so well and I like what I know about "her".

(and I like what I know about you too)

And then sometimes (like today) I can go sit and be neither in my head, nor in my body, nor outside of it. And in that moment the sound of my breathing becomes the sound of all breathing and then that too expands to becomes the breeze I hear outside and then it all becomes one and I am not outside of it, but within all of it.

Somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond any experience...


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posted by Wendy at 1:35 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Birthday Letters: Nine

Dear Satchel,

I can hardly believe how much you've grown this year.  You are just 12 inches away from looking me in the eye.

You have grown in many other ways too.  You have become adept at math and your illustrations are filled with extraordinary details.  You are a kind and loyal friend to your pack of pals.  Your sense of humor remains steadfast as your repertoire of jokes expand. 

You are still Mother Nature's Son, and say that you feel most peaceful sitting in a tree top.  You love catching and releasing fish as well as the many other creatures you so skillfully find. 

While you still enjoy skateboarding, you've taken a new interest in magic and  Kung Fu and I am amazed by your effort in practicing your moves.  I can watch your self confidence growing with your widening smile.

You are such a big boy now that I have to look a little more closely to find hints of the baby I gave birth to 9 years ago.  The boy who changed my life forever in the most profound ways imaginable.  The boy who came through me to teach me why I am here.  The boy who reminds me who I really am so that I can never forget. 

I celebrate this day -  the day that filled my life with joy.
I celebrate you -  for you are the greatest gift in my life.

Happy 9th ride around the sun, Satchel.
Thank you for being my son.

All my love,

(Posted at the time of your birth)


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posted by Wendy at 12:50 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And Still I Rise

Godspeed, Maya!  Thank you for the many ways you've touched my life without knowing.  And still you rise!  I rise in honor of you.

‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


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posted by Wendy at 11:03 AM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nine Rides Around the Sun: Gone Creekin'

“And the walls became the world all around.” - Maurice Sendak

He wanted to celebrate his 9th ride around the sun with a Creekin' party.  When I asked him what his favorite part of the day was he said, "All of was so much fun".

We built boats and sailed them in the creek.

When we returned, we feasted on a fleet of hummingbird cupcakes and a dirt cake with gummy worms.

And a good time was had by all.


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posted by Wendy at 7:57 PM 1 comments links to this post

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