Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Follow the Thread

The Way It Is

There's a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you can do can stop time's unfolding. 
You don't ever let go of the thread.
                                     - William Stafford

Describe the thread you follow with its mystical potential.

Show its weave in colors. Does it thunder? Will it spark imagination with lightning? 

Add a scent like the earth cleansed by rain. 

Consider how it entangles or trips you at times. 

How does humor run through it? 

Do you share it?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Random Acts of Courtesy and Kindness

Life requires random acts that 
include courtesy and kindness.

                         Practice RACK today!

Reach out to a stranger.

       Anticipate a way to show appreciation.

Create an adventure to share.

               Keep searching to share Kindness.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March Love

Hearts leap from the marmalade. Mysteries abound created by elements of love and the weather. 

Spring ushers a kaleidoscope of flowers. 

Mockingbirds trill their stolen notes past the windows.  

At nest sites, seagull pairs take turns to gather twigs for April clutches. 

Wild parrots rise and squawk above the palm trees each noon. 

In hidden spaces, Black Phoebes have started their nests.

Harriette, the hummingbird's nestlings sprout feathers.

San Diego's March weather changes in an eye blink. The marine layer sends spritzes. A brush of azure erases the gray as sunshine awakens the city. 

Here's a heart on edge.  Or is it about to take a chance?

The sea waits for the sky to make up its mind.  

March sends surprises.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Beyond Cages

I feel frustration and sadness when viewing panthers, lions and tigers at the zoo. How can one cage an animal of such ferocity and determination?  

I design ways to rescue these creatures during each visit.  

Off we'd go.  Then what's next?

I decide to look deeper and observe their magnificence with wonder. Who is caged and who is not?  Who is looking out and who is looking in?  

I delve into myself and write my thoughts to avoid caged feelings. 

Writing beyond cages, I ride life's waves in search of wisdom.  

I discover the perspectives of looking out and in.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Writing Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony honors four guiding principles of discipline: to seek harmony (wa) with nature and other human beings; to show respect (kei) for all things and people; to revere the purity (sei) of a clean and orderly environment; and to enter a state of tranquility (jau) amid the chaotic world in which we live.

In the environment of the tearoom, the unadorned natural materials reveal themselves in utensils and furnishings. Within a serene and orderly atmosphere, guests show respect for their host and objects used to prepare and serve the tea.

Careful attention paid to the craftsmanship in the objects creates appreciation. A poetic message inscribed on a hanging scroll sets the theme and refers to the season.

The host pays attention to the needs of his guests.  Nothing extraneous is present in the room nor in the conversation.  No unkind words are spoken.  Tragedies and turmoil of the outside world are left outside the garden gates. 

For the moment, host and guest reflect upon the time given together - ichigo, ichie - each moment only once.

The above ceremony might apply to daily writing practice.

Do you seek harmony with nature and other human beings in your choice of subject matter?  In what ways does your writing show respect?  How will you bring order to your writing environment? 

When you write, what helps to bring you a state of tranquility so you leave the chaotic world behind? As author, how do you pay attention to the needs of your audience of readers?  Will you make the most of each moment the pen flows on paper or fingers push keys? 

Write your own principles of writing practice.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

World into Words

Imagine a world of your own creation.

Who speaks to communicate ideas?

Which life forms would you become?

How do sounds rise and riffle?

Reveal nature in scents and textures.

Arouse and amuse.

Write a solution to a situation.

Paint a portrait in words.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Fling

Take time to respond for a Spring Fling.

1. Write about what you've learned at this stage of your life. Move words 
for fifteen minutes.

2.  When you catch yourself thinking about what's broken, consider what you want to happen and how you can make it happen on your scale. Keep writing.

3. Believe in living in the moment. Don't dwell on negativity. Write beyond it.

4. Write about what you truly need feel content. Delve into why you think, “I'll be happy when I have this or that,” or “when I live over there,” or “when this happens.” 

5. Write your successes. Examine misdirections. You have choices. Examine your priorities. 

Additional Points to Ponder:

6.  Choose wisely what you read, listen to and the people with whom you associate. Avoid letting negative individuals populate your world. You cannot change them. Move on.

7.  Learn to listen with both ears. Evaluate before disrespecting  another's opinion.

8.  Examine how you take responsibility for yourself with healthy choices of diet, exercise and mind push ups. Nurture a spiritual force that supports your efforts.

9.   Take pride in the natural world and explore it daily with all your senses. 

10. Work on the power of You.  

Fling into spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Taste of Tao

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. - Lao Tzu

The named is the mother of the ten thousand things. 
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. 
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations. 
These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness. 
Darkness within darkness. 
The gate to all mystery. 
          - from Tao Te Ching translated by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English

Lao Tzu (his name is sometimes written Lao Tse or Lao Zi, also known as Li Erand Lao Dan) was born in Honan on March 24th in the year 604 BC. Called the “Old Master,” his name means “old-young.”

Late in life, Lao Tzu rode on a water buffalo to retire in the mountains to a province in the western frontiers. A border official, named Guan Yin Zi, urged the master to write his teachings so that they might be passed on.

In mountain solitude, Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching, went westward and was never seen again.

Lao Tzu's messages concern the discovery of the self. He advises to sense the world directly and contemplate impressions of the laws of nature. He says the ways matter and energy function in the universe is the Tao.

Intuition requires cultivating to predict change. Personal power (Te) needs awareness and knowledge of physical laws in the universe and minds of other. That power can direct events without resorting to force.

The practice of simplicity stimulates growth. The balance of contradictory forces (light and dark, positive and negative, male and female, mountains and rivers) creates harmony.

Lao Tzu appreciated the importance of humor. "Without the laugh, there is no Tao," he said.

Stay in the moment. Absorb nature's wonders. When you need a change, work on a small area of concern.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Celebrating 125

Today I celebrate my father's 125th Birthday. He taught me a fascination for life and to marvel at the eyewinks of sunrise and sunset. In a blink, darkness animates morning and day sneaks into night.

My father and I watched my "big ball of fire" as it eased into the horizon. He described a moment when the sun finds the sea and changes color in a "flash." Green sparks for a second or two. 

We coddled our patience through myriad twilights to catch that perfect moment - the green flash. It never happened for us to share.

Now, living on a hill with a view to the sea, I continue to watch and wait. One day the mystery will unfold when I least expect it. The search means placing myself in a variety of circumstances to "get ready." An amazement awaits in mirages and light shimmers. 

Writing also has its mysteries that I cannot perceive without the patience of the process. I feel awakenings daily as I attend to my practice. The thrill keeps me eager until a flash reveals itself. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cozy into the Blue

Imagine a nap under the sea's comforter,
                 awash in a blanket of blue from nose to toes.

Just a snuggle into the sea
                while clouds perform
                               to relax concerns.

Moments taken to snooze among the ripples.

To let the mind melt into the luxury of sea and sky. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cotyledons to Wildflowers

A cotyledon pushes through its seed's shell. This first shoot twists and turns into greeness that vibrates with life.

A shattering from its case moves the leaf into the world. It gains momentum with nourishment from the sun, earth and water.

How will you break through barriers, release from inhibitions, and send out a cotyledon in your writing this spring?

Rumble and race past your protective casing.

Anticipate a burst into blossoms.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrate Spring Renewal!

March 20 signals the first day of spring. The vernal equinox enlivens growth. 

Take time to renew and revitalize. 

Review your diet and exercise routine. 

Avoid negative influences. 

Sport laughter and creativity.

Expand the mind with reading
quality literature.

Invite a friend to play.

Let laughter ring.

Play music and sing.

Explore the natural world and write the sensory details.

Feel and express Gratitude. 

Pay attention to what really works for you.

Give yourself a day's retreat to evaluate how to spend time.  

If you can't avoid technoloogy for a day, do it for an hour at a time. 

Notice how joy enlivens the air.

Breathe in spring's messages and write.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring in!

How do they know the timing?

Without the benefit of calendars, clocks and watches, who reminds them of their spring performances?

The vernal equinox arrives with the dawn.

News travels from the roots to shoots, bulbs and seeds.

Green and colorful ones, it's show time!

Did a team of wizards stay up all night to paint these new faces?

Sensitive and alert, they smile and make their entrances.

Sap rises and leaves pulse from the branches. Yellow, oranges, pinks and brights emerge dappled with sunlight and dew. They sway  and bow with the breeze.

Hurrah for all!

Never enough curtain calls will applaud their performance!