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Trimming

 Today I spent a bit of time trimming the lavender way down. Tomorrow I’ll get to the grasses. The pink lost its color with the snows of January, and new shoots already are appearing at the base. It felt like springtime down below the porch.

When I came in I began rummaging around in my Word files which are about as messy as files can get with partially done manuscripts, titled first one thing, then another. I opened one called “A Delicate Balance,” which I thought would be the unfinished novel once called “Small Hands,” but it was just a snippet. I found it intriguing. Maybe I need to go back and work on this, I thought, as I changed a word here and there and eliminated a sentence that made the entire paragraph sentimental. Just another kind of trimming. Spring cleaning. (I don’t do that so well either 😉

Here’s the snippet. Are you at all intrigued?

 
Eva called Lewis late while the rates were low. His voice saying hello made a warm spot for burrowing. Where are you right now? She wanted to know, to be there with him, to sit on his old bean bag chair, to hold a glass of wine, to talk by candlelight. There was no phone in the attic at Mama’s, so she had to talk low. No one should hear the things she wanted to say to Lewis. He was her confessor. She sat in her mother’s kitchen where the phone hung on the wall.
Are you sitting on the sofa? She asked Lewis. Do you have candles lit?
Lewis’s light would flicker, casting first this plane then that one into shadow. She sought the plane of kindness.
“What can I do?” She asked him, not knowing if she meant her mother’s one lie or the extension of that lie through all the years. One adjustment in the tone-poem of being and the whole composition could be lost—or could become a masterpiece.
“I’ll send you some new reeds for your oboe d’amore,” he said. “You can practice while your mother is painting. It will do you good.”
“Lewis?”
“I’m here.”
“Lewis,” the words choked her. “When she dies…” She stopped. She had said it, but didn’t know if she could go on or if her voice simply would fade into the kind of silence she’d experienced as a child.
“Imagine the music, the progression of tones in your mind, Eva.” Lewis said in a steady voice.
She did as he said and imagined the music, the interval of yearning that had found its home.
     “When she dies,” she asked again, “how will I survive it if all my life we’ve both been someone other than what I thought?
     What if we both disappear, she was thinking but didn’t say aloud, and the world goes on as though we’d never been?
     “You’ll always be Eva.” Lewis said in that low, calm voice. “And if you forget, I’ll be here to help you remember what that means.”

Trimming

 Today I spent a bit of time trimming the lavender way down. Tomorrow I’ll get to the grasses. The pink lost its color with the snows of January, and new shoots already are appearing at the base. It felt like springtime down below the porch.

When I came in I began rummaging around in my Word files which are about as messy as files can get with partially done manuscripts, titled first one thing, then another. I opened one called “A Delicate Balance,” which I thought would be the unfinished novel once called “Small Hands,” but it was just a snippet. I found it intriguing. Maybe I need to go back and work on this, I thought, as I changed a word here and there and eliminated a sentence that made the entire paragraph sentimental. Just another kind of trimming. Spring cleaning. (I don’t do that so well either 😉

Here’s the snippet. Are you at all intrigued?

 
Eva called Lewis late while the rates were low. His voice saying hello made a warm spot for burrowing. Where are you right now? She wanted to know, to be there with him, to sit on his old bean bag chair, to hold a glass of wine, to talk by candlelight. There was no phone in the attic at Mama’s, so she had to talk low. No one should hear the things she wanted to say to Lewis. He was her confessor. She sat in her mother’s kitchen where the phone hung on the wall.
Are you sitting on the sofa? She asked Lewis. Do you have candles lit?
Lewis’s light would flicker, casting first this plane then that one into shadow. She sought the plane of kindness.
“What can I do?” She asked him, not knowing if she meant her mother’s one lie or the extension of that lie through all the years. One adjustment in the tone-poem of being and the whole composition could be lost—or could become a masterpiece.
“I’ll send you some new reeds for your oboe d’amore,” he said. “You can practice while your mother is painting. It will do you good.”
“Lewis?”
“I’m here.”
“Lewis,” the words choked her. “When she dies…” She stopped. She had said it, but didn’t know if she could go on or if her voice simply would fade into the kind of silence she’d experienced as a child.
“Imagine the music, the progression of tones in your mind, Eva.” Lewis said in a steady voice.
She did as he said and imagined the music, the interval of yearning that had found its home.
     “When she dies,” she asked again, “how will I survive it if all my life we’ve both been someone other than what I thought?
     What if we both disappear, she was thinking but didn’t say aloud, and the world goes on as though we’d never been?
     “You’ll always be Eva.” Lewis said in that low, calm voice. “And if you forget, I’ll be here to help you remember what that means.”

Aurobindo on the Trumpian Mind

Sri Aurobindo

President Donald Trump
Over the past year of watching and listening to Donald Trump I’ve been deeply troubled not only by his words but also, and even more, by the process of his thinking. During my teaching years and later during my years of working with emotionally and cognitively disabled children, I did intensive study of human cognitive and moral development. (studies by Piaget, Erickson, Kohlberg, Fowler, and much later of Ken Wilber) It’s been chilling for me to realize that if I were to place our new president on any of these developmental charts, he would be at or towards the bottom. This is not to say that he is not shrewd. Mostly it is a question of whether he has managed to process and incorporate complexity in all the various areas of life. This leads me to conclude that he is not developmentally human enough for the job of being president of any large company and much less of a country. Of course he can make deals and make money. Anyone at the lowest level of Power/Pleasure/Punishment can do that if that person also has the quality of being shrewd.
In his studies of integral spirituality John has been reading the works of an Indian scholar, protester for justice, and spiritual teacher educated at King’s College, Cambridge, England, at the turn of the 20th Century.
About 1910 Sri Aurobindo wrote of the undeveloped mind:
“The intellect of most men is extremely imperfect, ill-trained, half-developed—therefore in most the conclusions of the intellect are hasty, ill-founded and erroneous or, if right, right more by chance than by merit or right working. The conclusions are formed without knowing the facts or the correct or sufficient data, merely by a rapid inference …the process being unsound by which the conclusion is arrived at, the conclusion is also likely to be fallacious. At the same time the intellect is usually arrogant and presumptuous, confidently asserting its imperfect conclusions as the truth and setting down as mistaken, stupid or foolish those who differ from them. Even when fully trained and developed, the intellect cannot arrive at absolute certitude or complete truth … but untrained, it is a quite insufficient instrument, at once hasty and peremptory and unsafe and unreliable. …
“The thinking mind has to learn how to be entirely silent. It is only then that true knowledge can come.”
From The Integral Yoga, p. 240 and 242.
In grade school some of us learned a prayer that began, “Come Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds…” Perhaps it is time to channel some of the positive energy  we saw in recent  marches towards prayer for the president (and his staff), that they might grow into their jobs and experience such enlightenment.

Aurobindo on the Trumpian Mind

Sri Aurobindo

President Donald Trump
Over the past year of watching and listening to Donald Trump I’ve been deeply troubled not only by his words but also, and even more, by the process of his thinking. During my teaching years and later during my years of working with emotionally and cognitively disabled children, I did intensive study of human cognitive and moral development. (studies by Piaget, Erickson, Kohlberg, Fowler, and much later of Ken Wilber) It’s been chilling for me to realize that if I were to place our new president on any of these developmental charts, he would be at or towards the bottom. This is not to say that he is not shrewd. Mostly it is a question of whether he has managed to process and incorporate complexity in all the various areas of life. This leads me to conclude that he is not developmentally human enough for the job of being president of any large company and much less of a country. Of course he can make deals and make money. Anyone at the lowest level of Power/Pleasure/Punishment can do that if that person also has the quality of being shrewd.
In his studies of integral spirituality John has been reading the works of an Indian scholar, protester for justice, and spiritual teacher educated at King’s College, Cambridge, England, at the turn of the 20th Century.
About 1910 Sri Aurobindo wrote of the undeveloped mind:
“The intellect of most men is extremely imperfect, ill-trained, half-developed—therefore in most the conclusions of the intellect are hasty, ill-founded and erroneous or, if right, right more by chance than by merit or right working. The conclusions are formed without knowing the facts or the correct or sufficient data, merely by a rapid inference …the process being unsound by which the conclusion is arrived at, the conclusion is also likely to be fallacious. At the same time the intellect is usually arrogant and presumptuous, confidently asserting its imperfect conclusions as the truth and setting down as mistaken, stupid or foolish those who differ from them. Even when fully trained and developed, the intellect cannot arrive at absolute certitude or complete truth … but untrained, it is a quite insufficient instrument, at once hasty and peremptory and unsafe and unreliable. …
“The thinking mind has to learn how to be entirely silent. It is only then that true knowledge can come.”
From The Integral Yoga, p. 240 and 242.
In grade school some of us learned a prayer that began, “Come Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds…” Perhaps it is time to channel some of the positive energy  we saw in recent  marches towards prayer for the president (and his staff), that they might grow into their jobs and experience such enlightenment.

New Memoir

Event Flyer for this first volume of my Husbands Trilogy

New Memoir

Event Flyer for this first volume of my Husbands Trilogy

O EMMANUEL, COME




O EMMANUEL
GIVER OF A NEW LAW
TO ALL NATIONS
COME AND SAVE US
FOR YOU ARE OUR GOD
This morning I received three love letters from dear friends across the space and time of my life. They were more than Christmas cards; in fact they were not Christmas cards at all, must momentary impulses on the part of three separate people to shower me with the blessing of their hearts. To me, today, these friends came as Emmanuel. “God With Us.”
a virgin shall conceive
and bear a son
and his name shall be called
Emmanuel
Isaiah 7:14
It really happened, my heart whispers. And it continues. Put all this together: There’s a new law. Jeshua tells his friends, “A new law I give to you. Love one another.” Love is not written in stone but in our hearts. Isn’t this the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy (11:19)where God says in him, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
 The virgin has/IS an undivided heart. That heart conceives a divine child God-With-Us who brings this new law, Love.
Oh dear. Where are the words? As T.S. Eliot says: “Where shall the Word be found? Where shall the Word resound? Not here. There is not enough silence.” And now the music of Handel’s Messiahcomes booming into my mind, “Why do the nations so furiously rage together?” And, yes they do. How can there be Emmanuel when the slaughter of children continues in Syria and elsewhere? How can there be peace on earth when stony hearts spread terror?
Yet, the world was no different that year in Bethlehem. It was likely not a silent night. Chances are there was no comfort for that virgin/mother in the cave behind the too full Inn. I suspect people were grumbling about Rome upping their taxes and taking their names. The shepherds probably were cold and trying to get a bit of sleep in shifts somewhere on the rocky earth. In  houses throughout the town other mothers tried to quiet their babies with lullabies, not knowing that in only a few weeks Herod’s soldiers would raid their homes and kill their sons. Into this Emmanuel would come.
Eliot was wrong.
Even in and out of the raging the Word of Love is spoken, heard, found. Emmanuel. Go deep inside. The divine one is what you are. Emmanuel is your deepest being. Even in the body brokenEmmanuel. Even in the bombed cityEmmanuel. Even in the murdered childEmmanuel.  In the refugeeEmmanuel. Deeper than the anger and fear of the terroristEmmanuel. May the stone dissolve to reveal the heart’s tender flesh. It’s the time for it to happen.
May you receive a word of love today, and may your heart be tender to receive.
Let the New Law come to all the nations and into every heart.  Let Divine Love come.

O EMMANUEL, COME

O EMMANUEL, COME




O EMMANUEL
GIVER OF A NEW LAW
TO ALL NATIONS
COME AND SAVE US
FOR YOU ARE OUR GOD
This morning I received three love letters from dear friends across the space and time of my life. They were more than Christmas cards; in fact they were not Christmas cards at all, must momentary impulses on the part of three separate people to shower me with the blessing of their hearts. To me, today, these friends came as Emmanuel. “God With Us.”
a virgin shall conceive
and bear a son
and his name shall be called
Emmanuel
Isaiah 7:14
It really happened, my heart whispers. And it continues. Put all this together: There’s a new law. Jeshua tells his friends, “A new law I give to you. Love one another.” Love is not written in stone but in our hearts. Isn’t this the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy (11:19)where God says in him, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
 The virgin has/IS an undivided heart. That heart conceives a divine child God-With-Us who brings this new law, Love.
Oh dear. Where are the words? As T.S. Eliot says: “Where shall the Word be found? Where shall the Word resound? Not here. There is not enough silence.” And now the music of Handel’s Messiahcomes booming into my mind, “Why do the nations so furiously rage together?” And, yes they do. How can there be Emmanuel when the slaughter of children continues in Syria and elsewhere? How can there be peace on earth when stony hearts spread terror?
Yet, the world was no different that year in Bethlehem. It was likely not a silent night. Chances are there was no comfort for that virgin/mother in the cave behind the too full Inn. I suspect people were grumbling about Rome upping their taxes and taking their names. The shepherds probably were cold and trying to get a bit of sleep in shifts somewhere on the rocky earth. In  houses throughout the town other mothers tried to quiet their babies with lullabies, not knowing that in only a few weeks Herod’s soldiers would raid their homes and kill their sons. Into this Emmanuel would come.
Eliot was wrong.
Even in and out of the raging the Word of Love is spoken, heard, found. Emmanuel. Go deep inside. The divine one is what you are. Emmanuel is your deepest being. Even in the body brokenEmmanuel. Even in the bombed cityEmmanuel. Even in the murdered childEmmanuel.  In the refugeeEmmanuel. Deeper than the anger and fear of the terroristEmmanuel. May the stone dissolve to reveal the heart’s tender flesh. It’s the time for it to happen.
May you receive a word of love today, and may your heart be tender to receive.
Let the New Law come to all the nations and into every heart.  Let Divine Love come.

O EMMANUEL, COME

O RULER OF ALL NATIONS

O RULER OF ALL NATIONS
TRUE DESIRE OF OUR HEARTS
YOU ARE THE CORNERSTONE
BINDING ALL OF US
INTO A HOME FOR GOD
COME
FREE US
WHOM YOU HAVE FORMED FROM EARTH
My heart aches as I meditate on this antiphon. All the centuries of our tearing apart of this earthly home which is not so much a place for us as it is our very body. We are the body yearning. We are the body yearning for that alchemy, that binding, that element of Being, that Suprapersonal Light, that Transformer, that True Light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world. 

We are the heart of the One. we are the mind of the One. We are the mouth through which the Word is spoken. We are the feet and the hands and the wombs. We are the wings. We are the cry, the song, the calling of whales. We are the seas. We are the mountains and rivers and lands. Why do we tear ourself apart? We are the woman on her knees weeping for her children. We are Rachel  and our children are the stars. We are the sky and we are the caves reaching to the center.  
How can I say it? The blood of God flows through us all. How can I find the words? Oh desired One, you do not come; you are already here, but we don’t see you, feel you, know you in our poor abused body. Our brother, Paul, could see when he questioned: Can I say to my hand, “I have no need of you?” Our sister, Mechtilde, knew when she wrote: “The day of my spiritual awakening was the day that I saw, and knew that I saw, all things in God and God in all things.” Our brother, Francis, recognized the kinship of all creatures in one living bodyBrother Sun, Sister Moon, even Sister Death, because I can die and you can die and the Body of God remains.
O Ruler of all nations, O Holy One, O Cornerstone that unites us, touch our eyes and hearts to see who we really are. In all this vastness each is a reflection of the All. In loving anything we increase the One Eternal Love we are and have always been.

O RULER OF ALL NATIONS, COME

O RULER OF ALL NATIONS

O RULER OF ALL NATIONS
TRUE DESIRE OF OUR HEARTS
YOU ARE THE CORNERSTONE
BINDING ALL OF US
INTO A HOME FOR GOD
COME
FREE US
WHOM YOU HAVE FORMED FROM EARTH
My heart aches as I meditate on this antiphon. All the centuries of our tearing apart of this earthly home which is not so much a place for us as it is our very body. We are the body yearning. We are the body yearning for that alchemy, that binding, that element of Being, that Suprapersonal Light, that Transformer, that True Light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world. 

We are the heart of the One. we are the mind of the One. We are the mouth through which the Word is spoken. We are the feet and the hands and the wombs. We are the wings. We are the cry, the song, the calling of whales. We are the seas. We are the mountains and rivers and lands. Why do we tear ourself apart? We are the woman on her knees weeping for her children. We are Rachel  and our children are the stars. We are the sky and we are the caves reaching to the center.  
How can I say it? The blood of God flows through us all. How can I find the words? Oh desired One, you do not come; you are already here, but we don’t see you, feel you, know you in our poor abused body. Our brother, Paul, could see when he questioned: Can I say to my hand, “I have no need of you?” Our sister, Mechtilde, knew when she wrote: “The day of my spiritual awakening was the day that I saw, and knew that I saw, all things in God and God in all things.” Our brother, Francis, recognized the kinship of all creatures in one living bodyBrother Sun, Sister Moon, even Sister Death, because I can die and you can die and the Body of God remains.
O Ruler of all nations, O Holy One, O Cornerstone that unites us, touch our eyes and hearts to see who we really are. In all this vastness each is a reflection of the All. In loving anything we increase the One Eternal Love we are and have always been.

O RULER OF ALL NATIONS, COME