Mon Cheri, Berkeley, 2007
“More and more I see how true is the Hindu idea that a man may leave family and responsibilities and become a “holy” man, a wanderer, in old age, in order to complete himself – a time for laying aside all that has pulled the soul from nature, from pure contemplation.” May Sarton ~ Journal of a Solitude
Lunch time comes around and I don’t feel hungry. All I want is a break to run out and see you. I drive about 10 minutes to our meeting point. You’re there already, as usual. You’re always there for me. Today is another beautiful sunny day. The light here in Berkeley has been exquisite lately. I’m bringing my camera in hopes of striking a pic or two. I like how the light wraps around and accentuates your delicate features. I want to examine all your hues and shades carefully. I want to study the lines in your profile and their relationship to the sky. I want to capture your confident form and your effortless grace.
I arrive and promptly get on with my ritual of laying out my quilt on the ground and taking my shoes off. I like to feel the soft grass between my toes for a second (and giggle!) before I lay down next to you. Today I don’t need to talk. Actually, we hardly ever need words anyway… I know you don’t expect me to say a thing. When I’m with you, it’s all about our comfortable silence and the gentle breeze brushing against us.
A couple of birds come up to you. I envy you for that. How do you do it? I wonder if you could teach me how to attract beauty and blend in with the natural world like that. I don’t have much time, though. Soon I have to go back to the chores, the job tasks and the structure that keeps me from feeling open like this.
Another breath. The noise and confusion that infiltrate my day have melted away now. In this moment of quietness, poetry and nature… I am complete, I am enough.
A butterfly circles around you, flaps its orange wings and comes to land on my bag.
Tell me… Does that mean I am already making progress?
For more unnamed beautiful things… Go here!
Archive for February, 2007
Portrait blues, 2006
Since I missed out on the fun last week, I decided to wrap Poetry Thursday and Sunday Scribbling in one post.
It is really hard for me to admit this, but last week my body checked out. It said: “Goodbye. I’m closed for renovation! ”
At first I was very upset. I understand my body may need a break once in a while. But no warning at all is unacceptable, I thought. The body didn’t care. It said: “Deal”. And for a second, I even wondered: “Hey, maybe I can use this time to play at home. Do some art, write and glue pictures on my journal. Maybe even squeeze a yoga class in here…” Instead, before I took another breath, the body said: “Lay down.” That is when I hoped for a movie, something inspiring and light. The body complained again: “Nope. Too late. I need all the energy I can get now”. And in exchange, believe it or not, the body gave me a fever and a migrane. When I tried to respond, the body said it was working hard to lift me up. And it insisted with me once more: “Please stop now. It will be easier that way.”
I was appalled. This might have been the first time since I was a kid that I had a temperature and ~ I might add ~ a fight with my body. I fussed and rolled around in bed. But here is how the body handled the situation. It turned off every channel on me. The eyes got shut and declined any light. My voice was silenced. Gone. The ears were ringing loud avoiding every other sound. And the body begged me from deep inside: “Please surrender.”
And so, I had no other option but do as the body said. I spent 5 days in bed without energy, without color on my face, not feeling my muscles, not hearing my voice, with not much of a sight and hardly any appetite. I drank water and juice, but not even that was wanted. The body was very upset. Finally, after a week, it started coming back slowly, and it began whispering gently to me.
This time the body was calm and compassionate. It told me how many times it had tried to warn me before it’d given up. It talked about how many projects I had taken on and how overwhelmed I was with it all. It told me I worry too much and that my stress is making me very tired and weak. It told me I have to say “no” sometimes. Then it went on to show me that it understands my frustrations and that it knows of all the dreams that are on the shelves, waiting for their turn… It cheered me up and reminded me of all the places that I’ve been already and the many dreams that have already come true. It also told me it will help me get to the next place, if I take it slow and if I am kind to myself.
Lastly, it questioned me softly: “Do you know how we got this far?” “I couldn’t say”, I replied. And the body said: “That is exactly right. So stop wondering “how”… All you need to know is where you’re headed… I’ll take you there in time. You, my dear, please… Just let go.”
So here I am now. Feeling much better and puzzled… At how much the body knows…
More “the body knows” writings at at Poetry Thursday!
More “puzzled” writings at Sunday Scribblings!
Under the Magnolia Spell, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 2006
Trying a little writing exercise to entice my muses:
Some Smells I love…
Freshly ground coffee and Cinnamon buns… In the morning.
Rotisserie Chicken and corn on the cob… For a lunch in the country.
Southern biscuits… Just out of the oven.
Warm chocolate chip cookies… Baked in a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Cocoa butter… On my lips in the ski lift.
Campfire… In the woods or on the beach.
Brazilian Quentao… A traditional winter beverage made with hot cinnamon, ginger and “cachaca”.
Salty Ocean Breeze… For long strolls along the sea.
Fresh Laundry… To fold on a sunny patch of the bed.
Lavender Eye Pillow… For Shavasana.
Cilantro… On panang red curry.
Basil and Rosemary… Growing wildly in my garden.
Misty and Mossy waterfalls… On a hot day in Hana.
Pineapple, Mangoes and Jackfruit… Heaven scents from the Tropics.
Tropical Rain… Earthy bliss especially enjoyed from a thatched roof bungalow in Thailand.
Eucalyptus Forest… While looking for Koalas down under.
Sage… On my hikes in Northern California.
Spicy Cedar… In the Enzyme Bath at Osmosis.
Fresh Flowers… In my home and by my bed.
Red Ripe Blood Oranges… For a picnic in the park.
Oatmeal and coconut oil soap… Always in my shower.
Lemongrass tea… With a book on a gloomy cold day.
Cuban Cigars… At a bohemian cafe in Buenos Aires.
Jasmine bloom… On a nocturnal walk… And carefully woven through my hair in India.
Wet grass… When I first step out after the rain.
Magnolia Blossoms… Sweet and intoxicating at Golden Gate Park.
And some delicious and newly discovered smells…
Anything Red Flower
Everything from the Organic Oasis!
What are your favorite smells?