Monday’s Musings

 

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Spent a most delightful morning in the presence of a wonderful woman. What an indulgence. Sadly, an indulgence we often deny ourselves. To be with someone who fills our cup and loves us just as we are in this present moment. An act of mindfulness that is also a gift to self. I am blessed to have discovered this … at long last … that I am enough, that I am precious, that who I am can morph and transform and that is perfectly and imperfectly perfect.

 

Cutting through the fog of shoulds and oughts and could have/might have beens…to see the real beauty that lies within.

 

And to top it off a writing colleague who lives in the UK — Peter Forster — posted this in a private group just this morning… I’m excerpting of course… If you click on the links you can read more about him and of his writing.

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“allowing me

to see the world anew.

Every view,

texture,

hue…”

And that’s what my dear friend does. She allows me to see the world anew, every view, texture, hue. And when I do that I grow through the mundanities and inanities of this world’s day to day. (If I made those words up, I’m sure you know what I mean.) And when I see the world in its fullness, every nuance, in the present moment, then, and only then, and only sometimes, things fall into place and the world makes sense in its senselessness.

So I owe a debt to both Peter and Louise for their gift of presence, sharing, and allowing me to see myself through another’s eyes.

 

“With every leaf a miracle.” ~~ Walt Whitman

A long time ago I found an artist’s blog. Her poignant pieces of art, she called “leafology” … the blog is no longer online and I can’t find any indication of it ever being there. That is sad because I’d like to let this artist know how profoundly her work touched me. So if she sees this, I hope she will smile realizing the impact her art had on at least one soul.

I approach this blogging for my own purposes. It would be a bonus if it touches you, dear reader. But clearly as I sit here wrestling and wrangling words into some sort of coherence, I realize that this is for me. I need to strike an authentic chord deep within my own spirit.

I can’t think of a better name for this newest phase of my blogging, but writing (and mostly poetry) therapy. I’m presently working with Susan Furness of Write Path and I would highly recommend this method of going deep. I’m being brave; I’m sharing my journey. Thanks for hiking alongside me for a bit.

I have interpreted “leafology” as the “theology of trees” and for that I have Wendell Berry to thank.

In his book of poetry entitled “A Timbered Choir” which is subtitled “The Sabbath Poems” he begins with this…

“I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet

around me like circles on water.

My tasks lie in their places

where I left them, asleep like cattle.”

until he concludes this particular poem named “I” (the Roman numeral 1)

“After days of labor,

mute in my consternations,

I hear my song at last,

and I sing it. As we sing,

the day turns, the trees move.”

 

This!

This is what brought me here so long ago. I kept returning. We kept returning. Until we could not leave. And now I call this place home.

I’ve been forgetting that.

I’ve been lost in what things “should” be.

I’m trying to find my way back home.

To find my self.

To stop and rest…

to listen…

To practice Sabbath keeping.

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Photo Credit: Jeff Suchak of Mythic Landscape

Poetry is helping.

More on that later.

 

 

Newness…turning over a new leaf

BrownisacolorI hope you’ve noticed that I renamed the blog, Leafology. It’s not an original phrase, but I fell in love with it a long while ago when someone else posted their art of leaves and named the page leafology. They are no longer on the internet (I’ve searched and searched). I’ve named a print from Jeff’s photography “Leafology” and delivered a sermon named after the print. So if you are that person who inspired me, please take this as a compliment and consider yourself my muse.

Why “Leafology”? It’s not just a theme, it’s my way of looking at life and there are so many metaphors that I can attach to that name. So, Leafology, it is.

I’ll be back Friday with a new post and a poem or two since I’m an apprentice Poetry Facilitator.

See you then. My goodness it’s great to be back!

A short narrative in a tone poem

Propelled by a process found in a tool called “Sojourn” whereby you draw 3 words to accompany a theme word using word dice.

On November 21, 2012 I drew these:

SOUL (theme die)

doubt / inspire / truth

Interestingly enough the friend who gifted me with this tool ceased to be friend just today.

“If we ARE a soul embodied

and how can anyone doubt that this is so?

That doubt is our only truth.

Indeed it is doubt that inspires our search,

our journey,

our yearning to

discern

our truth.

The Truth must then be

subjective and innate;

or do I mean inane?

insane?

Hidden deep

within the tissue

of embodiment.

For the soul is and lives truth.

This embodiment

is that which perplexes us.

So we must cast if off.

To cast off the body must be

carefully and thoughtfully planned;

performed so that the body’s task is complete

Death is simply

casting off

the lies and deceit

that life on earth presents.

Only in “death” can we discover soul’s truth

that truth with a capital T.

Ahhh … how I ache to set my soul free

and be

the truth

I clearly see

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Footnote:

This death of which I speak is the meditation on “death” which is inherent in both vippasana and zen meditation. My practice teaches me much and so I believe that I must capture it on paper. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” says Pema Chödrön

Another look at homecoming …

In Ladder to the Moon, Allegra Taylor, speaks these words outlining the expansive view of home:

“Home, as journey’s end, as a spiritual destination, as coming to rest in my own heart. The end of exile.”

And today these words bite into my heart till it bleeds. For today we are having the Bruce Grey Owen Sound’s late edition of Sisters in Spirit Vigil Imageand it is the day I hear the news that 2 more young women are missing – Nicole Hannah Whiteduck and Laura Spence.

These two young mothers (Laura has 4 children, one is three months old, Nicole has little ones waiting for her also) left to go and “party” … or so we surmise. They had come into some money, and they cashed these cheques, but they left their wallets and cell phones home … and that surprises me because I have daughters and sons of my own who bring their cell phones everywhere. They left home with only the clothes on their back.

Ironically, Bridget Tolley, Laura Spence’s mother, is a founder of Families of Sisters in Spirit.

By all appearances they didn’t plan to disappear. But they have.

It is hard to “go missing” on a reserve; they are true communities; everybody knows everybody. Yet they have truly “gone missing”. They have been missing for five days.

No calls to families. No contact with friends.

And we worry.

We pray.

We hope against hope.

More than five years ago, Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander, went missing from the Kitigan Zibi reserve and neighbouring Maniwak. The same communities that Nicole Hannah Whiteduck and Laura Spence belong to. These women are still missing and unaccounted for.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, called for an  inquiry into “the ‘disturbing phenomenon’ of missing and murdered aboriginal women” in Ottawa on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Yet the federal government seemed not to notice his call for “a comprehensive and nationwide inquiry into the issue could help ensure a co-ordinated response and the opportunity for the loved ones of victims to be heard and would demonstrate a responsiveness to the concerns raised by the families and communities affected by this epidemic…”

Yet here we are – exhausted from the effort of repeatedly finding ourselves in the position of helplessness approaching hopelessness and futility as to how we can prevent this kind of thing happening. Worse still, we often worry alone in our own small communities…alone and feeling unsupported.

So tonight, it warms my heart to be joined by others who empathize with our loss…and not just the loss, but the callous disregard to find answers and … frankly to find these women and/or their abductors … and sadly sometimes their murderers.

We gather tonight to say Gi zah gin to each of these girls and women (and to boys and men) who are far from home. We love you. We will always remember you. We will wait and work until we can bring you home. Until every single one of us is safe everywhere we go… none of us can truly feel safe.

I want to reassure this community that we are cohering into a small group of concerned First Nations people and thankfully some who may not know their connection to our Nations, yet know that we are all connected…we are all Relations. Plans are underway as we meet here for 2014. Next year, we will be gathering again on the real ceremonial day, October 4th to honour these women, to bring them home…and to let all the powers that be know that we will not be silenced, we will not rest until every person in this land takes the “going missing” of a woman, a girl, a boy, a man, a child of this land seriously enough to take action … until that is resolved. And we will continue to do this until there is no longer a need, may it be so, for us to worry, to pray, to hope for the return of our daughters and yes, our sons.

ImagePhoto Credit: Jeff Suchak

Until we are all safe until Mother Earth calls us home.