considering trees

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

sometimes i am stuck
in the mind-skin of the child i used to be
when i’d climb my pepper tree
to hide from all
that i was not,
would never be.

this morning i awoke,
sun glancing through full branches
of my pear tree,
reminding me that love
is quite enough

and that whatever this day brings,
whatever the years may hand me,
i shall always find a tree.

Written for Marina Sofia’s prompt for dVerse Poetics in response to the question: “Describe a morning when you awoke without fear.” I also had in mind an earlier  prompt of Shanyn’s that I was unable to write to. 

Monday Meanderings–On Keeping a Journal

This is a post from a long while back. I’ll give you an update at the end.

I’ve been keeping a journal for longer than many of you have been alive. Right now, my journals fill up the better part of a book-case. I don’t revisit them and have no idea what to do with them but some force compels me to hold on.

Perhaps the day will come when I’ll peel out the earliest tome and peruse the state of my soul way back when. I know the journey will lead me through angst, joy, guilt and growth. That’s it. I hope the growth will be the theme I take away.

For the most part my journals consist of the insights and roadblocks I’ve met on my spiritual journey. My dreams are there, too–along with my understanding (at the time) of the messages they’ve imparted. There are periods of time when I journal every day, and then there’s a drought where there’s nothing at all.

I have a smaller stack of writing journals, too. Notebooks overflowing with ideas, descriptions, outlines, writing how-to’s–you name it. Those I have revisited and culled a line here or a description there that makes its way into a poem or short story.

In a way, I guess, posting on a blog is a form of journaling–but doesn’t allow the freedom you have when what you’re writing is a part of your “secret diary.” I don’t think a journal should be shared or written with anyone else in mind except yourself.

If you haven’t tried this practice, I suggest taking a look at “The Artist’s Way.” Journaling is an asset, not only to the spiritual journeyer, but also to the writer, poet, artist–the creative spirit within you.

Journaling remains an important part of my life. I try to maintain a practice of three 8.5 X 11 pages daily, as recommended in “The Artist’s Way. In the meantime, I have begun those re-visits with an eye toward the growth that’s happened and that which still awaits me. I have notice, perhaps as a function of easing toward the end of life, there is more gratitude, less striving and more self-acceptance.

Have a happy week with pen and pencil whether you’re writing for yourself, or penning under the influence of your muse for the delight of all. Creativity rules!



The Web of Illusion–Monday Meanderings

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Friday was the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year, the first day of summer. I turned my meditation corner around the day before, facing my chair looking out the window instead of looking at the eerie but beautiful reflections of the leaves of our ornamental pear tree fluttering on the blank wall of my room. While the images were hypnotic, I couldn’t help but think of Plato in his cave and the thought haunted me that this was illusory beauty.

Photo Credit: Sara Loverling

Photo Credit: Sara Loverling

Looking directly at the trees, deep into our yard and yards beyond our own allowed me to see the play of light and shadow, and only a slight flutter of leaves. For the moment, stillness was able to come in…until illusion reappeared in the form of a bird that land on our roof and projected its shadow onto the side of our neighbor’s house. The shadow appeared long and skinny, almost like a sand piper or a heron, but since we don’t have either of those birds here in Reno, I realized I was once again facing illusion.

As I age, I’m aware of the imperative to dispel the illusions I’ve so carefully fashioned to carry me through life. A few months ago, I began digging through old journals, over forty of them—reviewing life, tearing up pages, letting go of secrets, negative emotions, anger and hurt, unfulfilled dreams, dusting off the mysterious web of illusion and, yes, celebrating growth, insight and success.



It’s interesting to see how the same old issues that cropped up back in 1988 are no different than those of today. I had to chuckle at my observations on then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI) ultraconservative stance that I found alienating to so many. If I’d only known.

And then there was/is my need to control—my perfectionism. I complained that I was only getting 6 hours of sleep because, when I awakened, I thought of how much I had to do and couldn’t go back to sleep. This morning I was up at 4:00 trying to see the Super-moon (couldn’t find it) and, of course, stayed awake thinking of how much I wanted to get done today. It’s like that most every day.

And thus: illusion. Here I am—approaching the end of another decade of my life, still believing that so much, everything, depends on me. In another ten years, if I’m still playing this wonderful game of life, will it still be the same?

A few questions to reflect upon: What are your illusions? What purpose do they serve? Is it time to do something about them? You can comment if you like, but my intent is just to get you thinking.

Happy Monday!