Archive | March, 2014

The Jockey

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In a square inch of soil we were told you will find all the history pertinent to your time and all you need to know in this world concerning all you need to know.   We laughed at the old Teacher and labeled him The Jockey because he was on our backs all the time.  We may have laughed but I for one was out in the hot sun for hours.  As the years took me,  I often thought of the old Teacher and what he tried to teach.  He was an influence in my life in every segment teaching.

How could such a statement have any meaning in this day of technology and economic problems?  How could studying a square inch of soil put me in touch with my roots, with my humanity,  with my self?  I knew my classmates gave more thought to this than they were ready to admit.

Hours spent on hands and knees looking at the lifted square inch wondering how it would answer the questions harbored.  I stared at it and saw nothing but cut off roots.   But on further study  ants appeared with root hairs snaking through.  Questions formed and I wondered out loud if perhaps in Egypt was the same composition?  At some Oasis?   Or was the grass just our hybrid, but might grow elsewhere with root transplanted along with what it was fed,  somewhat like a belief system?  Certain foods,  rituals and customs practiced and honored?

Was this the soil of my childhood and my ancestors?  What were the practices and procedures then?  Transplanted would their grasses grow where I was rooted.?  Would I have difficulty being transplanted with new roots and customs?  One question fed another.   And soon with thoughts of more root systems dusk was near with a chill in the air.   I replaced the soil as we had been taught and looked to the night with a new moon arising.

I was very young then but I continued the practice of going out to the fields.  With insatiable curiosity that the Jockey had instilled,  I was  learning new life forms and rituals  which were not only interesting but necessary if peace was to be a fact.  This kernel of knowledge fed not only me but my children also.    When curiosity about the outside world exploded in their lives,  fields became our private yards and weeds noticed and their history unearthed.   Their possibilities were endlessly discussed and often ended up as table decoration.

This led to the study of June bugs and fireflies and how many were needed in a mason jar to read by?  Seeds were planted,  grasses sown and nurtured.  Big and little dippers were sought nightly and moon phases studied.

Root systems, cultures, ancestry all with histories uncovered.   Leading toward philosophies studied,  literature dissected with humanity’s progress followed through baseball statistics, and runners still carrying the message to Garcia.

We pick up smooth stones to find our names on them.  They too have life in slow vibration for ears attuned to them.   Climate changes are our concern with glaciers melting where they should not,  rubber trees no longer grow and some species of birds no longer fly.  The world is our classroom and those unborn our concern.

It is said that when the student is ready the Teacher appears. It is often when we need that one the most to change our lives forever.    My hope is for everyone to have the Jockey who will give that pertinent point to start the journey from even one square inch of soil.   To awaken the questing mind that keeps the curious mind alive.   I was fortunate to have a Teacher who considered his life’s work sacred.   And when I see a child with a scoop of soil and studying it carefully,  I know that child has been truly gifted.

Art by Claudia Hallissey

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The Memory Makers

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The Memory Makers

The smell of the damp morning
kindled memories of earth mold,
as she fetched the wood
and stirred the fire anew.

Warmth crept into the chill room
as ghosts of Springs past kept watch
and in unison nodded approval
to make waves on the still-born  ethers.

The children slept;
their various ages revealed
by the length of their slumbers.
Each in his turn made thanks
in silent novenas to the Memory Maker.

Her precise movements
were liturgical practises
in acknowledgement of their presence.
They were easy to love.

The fire spit;
the fresh ham already
sent its perfume through rooms
with closed doors.
The sleeping children
stirred in deep recollection
of some thing long ago enacted.
They would soon rise and
rub sleep out of granular lids
and bid the good morning.

And she, with her own
Recollection of Remembrances,
would nod in tribute
to the Lords of Memories
who discount arthritic knees

to press on each generation of Memory Makers.

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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Come To My Table

DSC_2912This poem was written a year ago and was received  with such warmth.  Much has happened in the past year to all of us.   Memories rise unbidden sometimes,  but needing affirmation.   So we affirm them and ourselves;  along with the memories welcome
and again. . . . . .

Come To My Table

Come to my table
and sit awhile
and I will tell you tales
of years gone by,
attended by loves and those
who held magic in their hands.

We have supped
and laughed and cried some
but mostly told the tales
that love spun out of gold.
It was a rich time;
not the coin of the day
but the values in the hearts
of those who dined.

It was magic
that threaded us together
through the years to find us
all at the same place, entwined.
But the love and the magic
may have been one and the same.

Do you think?

March 26, 2013
Art by Claudia Hallissey

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We Lift Our Heads

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We Lift Our Heads

We lift our heads
as we face our Source.
We  give thanks
for these gifts
beginning our day;
a body without pain
and a mind clear and receptive;
a heart that beats steadily
and ears that hear clearly.

For these gifts we are grateful.
Open us and allow not
one bird to miss our thank you
for his song and allow not
the breeze to be without
gratitude for its breath.

Take this day
and use us for Thy purpose,
for we will be at a loss
when time in space
cannot be breached by thought
and the abyss
cannot be spanned by a leap.
Let our thoughts be more than a footnote
in the story of this day

        and our lives lived with compassion.    We ask.

 

Photo by John Hallissey
click on photo to magnify

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C’est Moi, It is I. . . .

Icicles on treesThe underlying factor in these universes is that there is an ethically divine purpose to do good.  We have to because we are born to.  Which is why we clean our doorstep and sweep our sidewalks.  Even if those sidewalks are dirt.  Why we wash our clothes and wash our bodies, even if the wash tub is a creek or a river or a bucket.   We look out for our neighbors and love each other because we are brothers.   We ask to be born because we want to make a difference that counts.

We were told that whatever is loosed on earth is also loosed in heaven and we are the reflection of what is loosed in heaven.  In metaphysical, (meaning physical and cosmic) language and circles, we learn as above so below.

It is to be remembered that the underlying principle of these worlds, of these universes,  the overwhelming ethical premise underlying all worlds is to do good.  No matter the world or planets, it simply Is.  Every thought, every action,  must, must be pulled through our hearts.   The habits of our days shape us into who and what we are.   When our name is called we go to the world our actions and thoughts have prepared us for.   It has ever been thus.

There will be those waiting for us and they will pull us across as we shout,  c’est moi,  it is I.   Will the song of our days be a beautiful song?   Our melody will linger long so let us not be afraid and work in harmony.

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We Are Farmers

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These barns are good. . . .

good for carrying on important business,

good for storing things,

good for being the fragrant strongbox

of our memories. . . .

places where we played,

growing up forever.

                                          Tresy

 

 

 

(Our first born son,  whom we call Tresy,  has given me permission to reprint a card sent to us.   He is the true poet in the family.   A photo of a barn on the card had me ferreting out materials for the wall hanging.   The trips back to The Farm when they were young had them thinking they were Farmers at heart.   And we are.  Whenever we feed body or soul of an Other,  actually or by example,  we are Farmers.)

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Winner of The Last Bird Sings

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It is nearing midnight and I am going to announce the winner of The Last Bird Sings.   To accommodate my readers from across the waters and those who work nights,  the winner is Laura Libby Jones.     I will be contacting her for essential information and the book will be on its way.   I want to thank all who entered for their interesting and gracious reasons for wanting the book   I hope all of you will subscribe to my blog because I will be doing this more often.   It is great fun for me and I hope it was for you.

Maria Wulf is to be thanked again for her support.   Full Moon Fiber Art is a wonderful blog and I have learned much from Maria’s venture into Gee quilting.   She has interesting ideas to share with  us and she shines as the true artist and wonderful person that she is.  I am glad to call her friend.

Again,   thank you for entering and making this a most interesting week.

 

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Excerpt From The Last Bird Sings

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Felix is the Elder,  the mentor and Marshall is his student, needing Felix to teach him what Marshall needs to know.   They are out in the field with the huge machine,  lovingly dubbed by the Brothers as The Hemingway.   It is hot and Marshall is fidgeting.

“Why do you say that evening can be felt when the sun is still high and so hot?”

And Felix looked at him with a delight that only the teacher feels when words take to the mind and light it like the sun itself.

“When the sun is heading for its resting place, it makes a movement in the sky.  At
a particular time in its journey, faster than the eye can see,  you can feel its path.  The touch of the air on your face will alert you to the evening coming upon us.  You will not see it but you will feel it.   And now that you are aware of its journey,  you will watch for it.   Some  things are felt long before they are seen.   And in due time,  you will know that all things,  even that as slight as the breath given by the sun in motion will have a substance.   And you will tell about all things by the feel of all things.”

Felix turned the Hemingway around at the end of the field.   He pointed it in the direction of the mountain and cut the motor.   He made motion for Marshall to take the wheel.   But this time he removed himself and walked around the machine.   He climbed into the seat that Marshall had vacated and sat there a moment.

Marshall looked at him with excitement as well as apprehension.   His voice was almost a whisper.  In fact when he opened his mouth,  the words could be heard as a croak of a frog.

“You mean to let me drive this by myself?  I don’t think I can do it, Felix.  Not by myself.”

“You can do it Marshall.   You can do it.  Just remember to lift the plough if you do
not intend to look back.   But You decide.   I will close my eyes and rest them a bit.  But you can do it,  I know.”

And Felix laid his head back on the shoulder of the seat and closed his eyes.   A light
twinkled around the corners of his eyes but his mouth did not betray him.   He gave a deep sigh,  and settled himself.

Marshall sat there for awhile wondering at this turn of events.   The sweat beaded on his upper lip and his hands shook.  With an effort that duplicated his inner quaking he turned the ignition on the Hemingway and with a roar,  the machine answered.  He decided after a minute that this first time behind the wheel, he best lift the plough.   And with a movement which spoke a trust of his budding confidence, he grasped the wheel and announced to Felix,

“Just this first time I lift the plough.   Tomorrow I will be able to look back at the
furrows I make and guide the Hemingway, too.  Today I get the feel of the machine but tomorrow I will be able to look back and go forward too.”

Felix lifted his hand in acknowledgement and wanting Marshall to note his approval,  with his hand in motion he wiped the smile off his face.

Leave your name and a comment for the blind drawing of The Last Bird Sings.   The winner of the drawing will be announced Friday morning the 14th of March.   I look forward to hearing from you!

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Book Drawing

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The Last Bird Sings is a story within a story and the form is much loved in European Literature.   It contains excerpts of my life along with my understanding of these events in the long scope of my life;  how they have shaped me into who it is I am.   How and why I view my Self with what I consider All That Is.  It is about my need to build a philosophy that would hold me up no matter what the events of my life would be .   I write of our connection as human beings to All That Is.   It is my view of our humanity and our divinity.

The book drawing will be from Monday the 10th through Thursday evening the 13th of March.  The winner will be announced Friday morning the 14th of March.   And then the book will be in the mail as of the next week.  It will be a blind drawing and all that is required is that you leave your comment on my blog.  Your e mail address will not appear on my blog.  You may comment on a post that I have done on my blog or why you would like to have a copy of The Last Bird Sings.   I will welcome your comments.  And I hope you think it is fun that you might be the winner!

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The Night Sounds

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Not quite 50 when I wrote the following one Saturday night in a September journal entry.

 

The window is open where I sit and it is black outdoors.   The dampness is coming in and I am almost transported to my youth and it is once again life on The Farm.   The crickets are making their own kind of noise, certainly peculiar to crickets but the night itself has its own kind of sound.   Does stillness have its own sound and can you hear it?  The muffle of the daylight brings on the darkness and it pulsates with its own vitality.   I wish I had the words to tell it.  It is almost as if I can flow right through the screen and become a part of the night and disappear into it.  With not even a ripple to disturb the night.   The poem said it long ago that somewhere the night has a thousand songs waiting to be sung.   But never enough time.   Never enough time.

Is there a point in life where if you lived just one day longer,  you would find a difference in your perspective and it would convince you that your entire life had been lived with the incorrect premises?  I wonder. . . . .And what would that do to you?   Would that one day more convince you that it was not necessary to repeat another life or make you more determined to come back to earth and try again?   And who has the time in physical life to take on the enormous task of searching for the gods?  Can you squeeze it in between the work life and home life and million details of just plain living that boggle the mind?   Or will you find it at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning?  The search is all encompassing and consuming for those of that persuasion.  It amazes me that there are those who give it no thought at all.  Can you live a life without searching for some meaning, any meaning?  Or is it enough simply to get through it?  I wonder what sort of contracts are written before birth to enable one to move through earth life with no complications.   Some ground rules must be laid and if  so, by whom.   Except no doubt by the people involved.

(As the mother of 3  I innately knew and told them as often as I could and always on birthdays that I am glad they chose me as their mother because I chose them.  And it was a ready answer for the often adolescent retort which invariably stated. . . .I didn’t ask to be born!     Ahhhhh but you did!)

Photo by Joshua Hallissey
click on photo to magnify

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