Monday, October 13, 2014

Word of the Week - 32

Thank you, Tricie.  Found here.
Word of the Week: FLORIBUNDA

Characterized by large flowers, growing in clusters, floribunda roses are hybrids.  It seems the word may also refer to other plants with copious and showy blossoms.  The sublime in bunches, nothing stingy, pure generosity.

If we have lessons to learn from the moth, the earthworm, the oak, the tide, I have no doubt that roses are our teachers as well.  Be beautiful in your own unique way, be an explosion of what feels extravagant and lovely.  It does not require external assistance.  It is about your essential self flowering in and out of season.  Carlos Castaneda said, “The spirit listens only when the speaker speaks in gestures. And gestures do not mean signs or body movements, but acts of true abandon, acts of largesse, of humor. As a gesture to the spirit, warriors bring out the best of themselves and silently offer it to the abstract.”  If coming into bloom isn't an act of true abandon, then I am not sure what is.

I will speak for myself, knowing that I am not alone in this:  I believe we too easily under-value our worth and worth may manifest in such subtle forms.  The mere sight of a rose delights and, surprisingly perhaps, reassures me.  All has not turned to dust, to despair.  I find such hope in the bright and fragrant (real or imagined) splendor of a rose or its bud.  It is a botanical marvel.  Be as the rose, the poets might say,  bringing to any situation such gifts as humor, compassion, attentiveness, insight, kindness, generosity, wit, sparkle, gravitas, foolishness, honesty, presence, for that which the heart or eye or spirit finds pleasing is you in full flower.

Think of your most glorious, abundant self as a modest daisy if you wish, a wee violet, but remember there are no small gifts.  In our quiet ways we are heady, billowing, profuse and possess the ability to turn soured milk sweet.  We are that amazing and powerful, capable of serous magic.

From Pinterest, here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mooning about in the Billington's Cove sunshine

Gloria's sandwiches, borrowed from here.
Robert was thinking, "lucky day" as he watched his workmates head out to string the fairy lights for the dance.  They had actually drawn straws, a commodity the hardware store could produce, to see who had ladder duty that day.  The Reading Man was willing for any task that needed doing and was also grateful to be more earthbound.

If he'd been working in the field, so to speak, he could have swung by Gloria's for lunch.  Any of the voices he heard that morning included conversation about sandwiches for workers.  Someone mentioned feta and sun dried tomatoes on ciabata.  Maybe they could bring him back a few.  (Fisherman's pants! his mind half shouted at him, but the vision of an ample lunch refused to shrink.)

The other half of his mind had begun to fill with music, all of it decades out of date, all of which he had danced to, sometimes with enthusiasm, sometimes with a detachment he hoped seemed cool.  Shuffled in among best loved oldies were the few songs he'd overheard Gloria singing in her kitchen.  Folk songs in a sweet voice that made him think of a mandolin and girls with long, straight hair who had, once upon a time, laughed, it seemed, from the soles of their not-quite-clean feet, only knew how to cook spaghetti and didn't complain.  He remembered they had each grown dreamy from the smell of his porch-dried chambray shirt and shampooed hair.

Good thing they hadn't assigned him power tools today, Robert thought.  Saws, drills and their ilk in combination with ladders.  He had sidestepped into his time machine, the state of suspended disbelief discovered in childhood where now became any time he wished, either with clear memory or soaring imagination.  He knew from experience it would be a jolting re-entry to find himself back behind the cash register, his youthful wonder boy self disguised as a man of increasing years.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tom Waits bonus track

Because this made me laugh out loud and, hey, it's Tom Waits day at my house, thanks to Melissa's call this morning.  xo

Tom Waits sings our tiny boat away from the dock

Photo shamelessly borrowed from here, with thanks.
Does it every come over you, a sense of change?  You've been sitting in the antechamber for what feel like lifetimes, time enough for others you know to produce creative work and find a market for it.  What I once thought of as sloth may be essential marching in place.  We are not where we were, we are not yet ready to step into whatever is next.  From all sides the possibilities beckon, they insist, but the bridge has not yet been built and we are not such strong swimmers.  Is it any less wrenching to leave an old, likely outgrown version of self than to leave others we love?  Perhaps even more difficult, for we, it, can never be fully abandoned, we will always be with us, if not in fact then in memory.  No wonder we fear and resist change.  It is a solitary journey across open water, even with a boat our arms grow tired.  I wish my sense of adventure were more robust, my reticence more easily overcome.  I have doubts about being too old for this, not entirely clear about what "this" is.  As I am occasionally quoted as saying, when given a directive by the universe or its front man, inner wisdom, "You can't mean me, you can't mean now."  However it does mean me and if it doesn't mean now it means sometime very close to it.  Shiver me timbers.  My heart's in the wind.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The fiction of normal

From the email,  Notes from the Universe, 10/8/14:   Marylinn, you are the one who was sent to make a difference, to be a bridge, to light the way, by living the truths that have been revealed to you, so that others might do the same.

So now you know why you've always seen the world so differently than others.

To help,
    The Universe

“A ‘normal person’ is what is left after society has squeezed all unconventional opinions and aspirations out of a human being.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
Hunter S. Thompson

I know I've used this video before, at some time in the past six years.  That this song, these musicians, could fuel a car if played loudly enough I do not doubt.

If each of us is unique, how can there be a standardization that labels some as normal and others as variants?  Ideal, perhaps, as in medical, psychiatric text books.  Preferred, the word chosen by some for the lack of problems caused.  We are either authentic or we are not, trying to pass as false selves or showing up with no mask, all inside-out seams and safety pins, held together by self-administered sutures, improvisation, unmatched in any known place, wishing that genuine involved a bit less pain.

The question is rhetorical, yet I have to ask myself how much of my life energy has been spent in an attempt to appear other than as I am?  I've watched too much sci-fi not to know the amount of power a device consumes while holding back the sea, conveying search parties through wormholes or trying to escape the relentlessness of a tractor beam.  Such a charade is depleting, it steals the life force.  No wonder the cities are haunted by approximations of the species.  The message and the models encourage fitting in, matching up, maintaining formation, shunning otherness, keeping the noise down and the waters calm.

I was praised for being a quiet child, a practice begun in fear yet turning out to be a natural response to the world.  In spite of that, trouble-making tendencies found their way to the surface.  I am reminded often of Mary Oliver's Wild Geese, " only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves."  Those are the words we need imprinted in childhood, that is the model that is still conspicuously missing from the mix, the examples, the billboards not of pop stars but eccentrics to assure us we were never meant to blend in, that that was not the plan.

The real plan, with a scant few directives to get the ball rolling is this:  Revere your unconventional mind, allow it to make synaptical leaps that cannot and should not be explained.  Love what and who you love as though your passion was the one thing that could save the planet, for it very likely is.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Word of the Week - 31

Word of the Week:  POND

It is larger than a puddle, not as large as a lake and is thought, by consensus, to be a small body of still water.  On a good day, it could be my mind.

"A capacity for stillness" was not an attribute I could have named until I came to know my son and saw in him what I might never have seen in myself.  For all my twitches and human shortcomings, I have for my whole life been able to become quiet and spend time in my own company without screaming.

A pond, a pondering pool, unruffled water beside which one might sit in dreamy idleness.  Spirits and faeries would gather on its banks.  Their just-missed presence could be detected by the prints of their leaf-shaped slippers where the ground was moist.  Fall asleep there and faerie mischief might weave vines and trumpet-shaped flowers in your hair.  They might take your best silver ring, either to guarantee your return to look for it or as fair barter for the bits of magic they tuck into your pocket, pin to your lapel.

We move beyond time when near a pond.  The deeper the shade, the thicker the moss, the farther we have wandered from what is ordinary, burdensome and dulling about everyday life.  Unlike the hypnotic, stirring motion of the sea, a pond abides.  The ocean waits, it can wait forever, yet it paces and prowls, roams and returns. A pond is undemanding, certain we will arrive exactly where we are meant to be without its prodding.  A calm presence, it trusts our wisdom.  What it reflects turns us back to ourselves, our secret chambers of longing, our wishes, our dreams.

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

"However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names." - Henry David Thoreau,

Monday, September 29, 2014

Word of the Week - 30

Painting by N. C. Wyeth
Word of the Week:  FORETELL

As a younger creature, I wished to know what life held for me.  Consulting, even infrequently, psychics,  readers of runes and such had two fatal drawbacks: it cost too much money and the ones I consulted must have found me unreadable.   The conclusion I reached is that I was not meant to know.  Such information would be far more curse than blessing, I can see that now.  But once it felt intensely important to know if there would be a happy ending.  In the absence of knowing what would come next, the other option was to prepare for any eventuality, which we know is not possible.  For many years I described myself as "a belt AND suspenders" type.  There are no guarantees.

Recently I was referred to a website as the source for uncommon words related to color.  The site, The Phrontistery, meaning a thinking place, has gathered obscure, forgotten and little-used language for an array of subjects of which color is just one.  Another was "Divination and Fortune-telling."  Oh ho.  So many untried avenues, unexplored methods by which to foretell.  So many caught my attention but I think the best match would be stichomancy, "divination by picking passages from books at random."  Reaching for the book closest to the keyboard, a swell volume called "Beach Beauties: Postcards and Photographs 1890-1940," I found this on the first page I turned to:

"Of course, postcards are notoriously unreliable. (is this a clue?)  While they can serve as the cultural historian's dream, they are also sometimes creative works of fiction." (how to interpret this?)  As the Magic 8-Ball might say, "Signs unclear, ask again later."

I don't believe there was a single category for "divination by intuition."

What awaits is information beyond our knowing and for good reasons.   Hope and possibilities keep us showing up.  Predictions and proclamations are highly mutable.  I like to think that most doors remain open, in spite of what experts tell us, even those practiced in tyromancy, "divination using cheese."  I rest my case.