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My First Book of Poetry

In this life I’ve not travelled much outside North America. Go deep, an inner voice instructed, and so I let that happen first on the boundary waters of Minnesota and Ontario, and then in a convent beside the Red River of the North. In the middle of li…

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EVIDENCE

Work begins in the intersection of night and day; in darkness. Material life tumbles out onto me. Heavy life. How can I carry it? How bear it, aching? “I am overwhelmed,” I complain to John as he plans his garden, soon to be added to our care. I imagin…

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The Word is Life

If I could bring to you through wordsEverything that can be seen,Felt, held, imagined, envisioned, danced, sung, And all the other ways we know the world The Mystery that holds that world and worlds infinite,I would. If I could find a word,But tha…

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Leave A Message

Dawn at Sunshine HillIt is January of a new year I hope to keep from breaking my heart. What choices can I make in this ambiguous world? Early in the month the nightmares came, the quaking in the deep reaches of the soul, the cries of something caught—…

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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.”

Continue reading Trimming

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.”

Continue reading Trimming

Aurobindo on the Trumpian Mind

Sri AurobindoPresident Donald TrumpOver 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 …

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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.

Continue reading Aurobindo on the Trumpian Mind

New Memoir

Event Flyer for this first volume of my Husbands Trilogy

Continue reading New Memoir

New Memoir

Event Flyer for this first volume of my Husbands Trilogy

Continue reading New Memoir