Thursday, October 27, 2005

In The Moment...

One of the things I adore about portraiture photography is the ability I have to stay in the moment, over and over again. With different results. When I am behind the camera I am not thinking about cancer, or my fears, or about what is for dinner. I am thinking about exactly what is in front of me. And while I *do* spend time working the situation to capture the whole person, mostly what I am looking for is that moment of Grace that hides just behind the eyes. I am fortunate, buy inherited design or by my own hard work, to be able to capture that spark more often than not.

For this I am Supremely Grateful. For, when I am looking at Grace face to face, all else fades away and I bask in the sheer Joy of what it is to be human, and what it is to be a part of someone revealing the Inner Self to me, even if it is just for a split second.

Monday, October 24, 2005

U Be U...

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 21, 2005

Three Thirty-One

And all I really want to do is crawl under my blankets and rest my weary head. But roofers have been banging over me all day, and children need rides to hockey. My throat is just a bit sore and my face feels sensitive and stings to the touch only on the left side, something that happens sometimes when my immune system cranks up. It feels somewhat like a sunburn, but goes down to the muscles, so it aches a bit when I smile.

Today the rather odiferous non-english speaking worker who was "wiring" the overhead fixture in the bathroom, the one with the light and the fan that was leaking water this last storm, was working up on his ladder, fiddling with the cables and wires. The lights were on over the sink. Thus, it is safe to assume the room was live. I spoke to him about the possibility of shocks using wild gesticulation. His response was to touch the wires over and over saying "No! No, eet okay, see?"


Gah, bah and ow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Contemplating Relationship

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

Monday, October 17, 2005


I grew up in Pennsylvania, land of the Buck-eye. I had a huge chestnut tree right in my yard, and it brought me many seasons of joy. The spring brought large, conical clusters of flowers which the bees devoured just outside my window. I would stand there as a small girl in cotton undies and a t-shirt at naptime, listening to the buzzing of the bees.

When the spiny balls dropped to the ground they burst open and Supreme Newness would fall out. Silky to the touch, shiny, almost oily, the chestnuts with their burled wood designs would call out to me. I would collect shopping bags full of them and arrange them in piles and circles. I would study each one , feel the damp, spongy white spot, smell them, put them to my lips and rub the skin over mine.

I would also chuck them at Tommy next door. Over the hedge, ducking furiously down, whipping them at the side of his house until he emerged, I would pelt him with a rain of chestnut bullets.

Today I collected these, and remembered the joys of my youth when the leaves fell in crispy colored bunches and the spiny orbs dropped revealing a beauty that would fade in time, only to return every year.

Walking the LIne

Originally uploaded by Firespiral Arts.
I spent time this weekend thinking about consciously creating community, and how to open the hearts of people around me. Sometimes I want to walk up to people and clap my hands and yell "Wake Up!" So many people are just walking the line, stepping through their lives, not really questioning, or opening themselves to the Deeper parts of life. I wondered about doing a sermon at my UU congregation about Taking Risk and Intimacy. I wanted to ask people if they, too, had deep, sometimes ugly feelings about what it means in their lives to take care of their elderly and sick, or if they, too, had issues with raising children who are so vastly different from themselves that they find themselves loving, but not really liking them. I know I am not the only one who has these life feelings. I know that there are people sitting there pretending. I wonder how many of those who, like me, question the ability of our group's ability to EVER get to a cohesive Loving Place without taking risks.

Coffee hour is more about Dodge and Parry, hit and run, "Hi, I'm FINE" than touching someone deeply even if it is just to acknowledge the difficult times and give hugs.

I NEED a community of like hearted souls to commune with often. And then I ask myself, "how exclusionary is that?!" I want to have people around me who are like me, who make me feel comfortable. Like the Boy Scouts who don't want gay people to join???? That, too, is walking the line. Taking risk for me may just involve opening up to people who are NOT like me, finding the Tender Place inside for everyone, not just "My Tribe"...

I refuse to live an unexamined life. And I don't want to pry people open like oysters. I want to find people who want to ask questions of themselves, of me. Not that everyone has to be on the Growing Edge all the time. Just sometimes...

Ask yourself some difficult questions. Then ask someone you care about. Then take a risk and ask someone you don't know well. See what happens.

Intimacy necessarily involves Risk.

Don't just walk the line.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fall In Earnest (1993)

Originally uploaded by Firespiral Arts.
Boughs and berries
acorns deep
upon just willing soil soon to frost

And ever distant
echo across the miles from waves of distant shores

I walk the lands
of this home away from home

I mourn the loss of summer fair
yet welcome this season new
of squirrel's plunder
when dew freezes over

a gentle entrapment of
moisture stars

Do your footprints hasten
across the lawn as
you come in from the cold
my hot-house flower?

Do you ever search for the warmth
of my sun?


Originally uploaded by Firespiral Arts.

Of worldly loneliness
Do you still perhaps possess
Loves sweet silent consciousness
To calmly wait for life to pass by
For all those who are still battling
The questions and worries of why

~silent lotus

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dream and Rise...

When we learn to move beyond mistaken concepts and see clearly,
we no longer solidify reality. We see waves coming and going,
arising and passing. We see that life, composed of this mind and
body, is in a state of continual, constant transformation and flux.
There is always the possibility of radical change. Every moment -
not just poetically or figuratively, but literally - every moment we
are dying and being reborn, we and all of life.

From: 'Loving-Kindness - The Revolutionary Art of Happiness'
Sharon Salzberg p88

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sitting With It...

What does it take for you to just Sit With It? Finding that zone of Peace even in times of trouble, fear, immobilization can be just a moment a way, or hours, days, weeks. Pema Chodron wrote:

"Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us"

"Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together and fall apart again. It 's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy"

Take some time to sit quietly with that which binds you. Realize your True Freedom comes from Within.

Monday, October 10, 2005


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I attempt to find some balance in all the chaos swirling in the world these days. Sometimes, most days lately, in fact, I find myself worried about all the destruction, the loss, the grief. I feel trapped in the Universal Swirl of What Is. Trying to find safety, I realize that struggle is futile. Sitting with the pain of the world is frustrating. I breathe in and out and send Peace to places where pain grows. So many lost, reaching for Hope.

Here, seemingly safe in suburban New England, the days come and go with tea and books and work and children, shopping the store for milk and fruit. Continents away there is digging through rubble, bones, mangled lives.

For all those lives trapped in the Kali's dance of destruction, I send huge amounts of love.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fret Not...

Originally uploaded by Firespiral Arts.
I want to spend more time listening to music. Really. Good. Music. My collection spans so many genres. These hands belong to a friend of mine. We used to hang out in diners and talk about the people there, what their lives looked like, felt like. We sipped tea and ate and smiled. We don't spend much time together anymore. Our schedules don't jive, our lives became so busy, that our special times just stopped becoming important. I miss my friend. I miss his music and his smile.