Archive for the ‘Perspectives’ Category

May is always a magical month, where winter’s dreams of warm sunshine and spring travels begin to come true. This year is shaping up as a summer of houseguests and homeland adventure, but we managed a quick trip over to the Continent to celebrate World Labyrinth Day with friends from our labyrinth community. Once abroad, who could resist the chance to indulge in an extra bit of European culture and gastronomie?

Sparked by an invitation for Jeff to speak at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam, we planned a rendezvous with our dear friend Lea Goode-Harris, literally picking her up at the airport on our way to catch the night ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland…. and it didn’t take long for the magic to start!

Lea and I hadn’t seen each other for six months, but had been in daily contact in that delightful way that technology affords. There is nothing like seeing a plan come together, though; first there were hugs, and then there were gifts, laced with the special magic that can only be sparked in the presence of a long and deep friendship and a uncanny sense of kinship:

Pinks

A hand-painted silk scarf that exactly matched the salmon-y pink shoes I had only just purchased for the trip… How did she know? An amazing accessory for my first pair of post-boot shoes!Eyeliner

The perfect green-gold eyeliner, one that only a really close friend would know how to choose (perhaps reflecting the many hours we’ve spent together at cosmetic counters over the years).

Zentangle Kit

And an Official Zentangle Kit of my very own!
Don’t know what that is? Prepare to be amazed!

In Harwich we feasted on freshly-caught fish and watched our Stena line ferry slide past the window as it came in to dock. Once checked-in and onboard, we reveled in the coziness of our sweet little cabins then headed to the bar for a celebratory drink before retiring for the night. It felt a bit like we were setting off on a mini-cruise, knowing we’d be on the other side of the North Sea by the time we awoke. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is….

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Meandering paths
crisscross the planet, always
leading home to Self.

One of the deepest gifts we can give in this world is our attention — our full, open-hearted attention. And yet, it can be a hard thing to do in our busy lives when society often insists on judging us by our ability to multi-task with ease and grace. In reality, however, ease and grace come from an altogether different source, an inner place where we can take the time to listen to ourselves, to Spirit, and to those who matter to our hearts.

Because we travel so much, I’ve learned that I like to pay attention to Place and Person, which means I don’t like answering the phone and responding to emails when I’m spending time with a friend, and that I need to retreat into Quiet in order to take in the sights and sounds of Place when I am exploring new terrain or making pilgrimage to sacred sites. What works for me is to write on a daily basis, no matter where I am, because it is my writing that helps me to make sense of my surroundings and recogize my community. But then I wait until I get home to distill meaning and polish my writing. So it is only now that I have returned to the routine of my daily life that I am ready to write here about the travel delights that we’ve just experienced. I so appreciate the immediacy of posts from people who can process and publish more quickly, but I am also coming to an understanding that I, personally, work more slowly. Thus, I apologize for the time delay, but hope that what I say here will reflect my deepening understanding of the Path. I will be sharing the stories of our recent journeys gradually over the coming days, both here and on our Labyrinthos blog… I hope you’ll join me!

Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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Restating what I said in my last post, I have some catching up to do here. Despite my good intentions to blog regularly, the busy-ness of May threw an interesting conflict onto my Path. I wanted to blog, but I also felt committed to being fully present with our houseguests and the things we were experiencing together, internally and externally. While I love my extended online community, I know that it can also serve as a distraction. So, for the past few weeks, I participated in the gift of unplugging and attending. Not only have I enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m also enjoying my return to the regular rhythm and routine of my life, feeling renewed and recommitted. More posts, photos and poetry are on their way…

Before I launch into my travelogue, however,  I want to share the unexpected delight of a First Date. No, I’m not stepping out on Jeff, but rather I’m reaching into a long-neglected part of my own soul. As a California-trained psychologist, I have long admired Julia Cameron’s work, and have adopted bits and pieces of her Artist’s Way program into my life. I value my practice of writing Morning Pages, but I have always resisted the whole idea of Artist Dates, especially since moving to England where I’ve struggled to maintain my independence. I had promised myself that I would make a serious commitment to the practice as my houseguests departed and my life settled down a bit. And on Monday, it happened. I hugged my friend goodbye in the Green Park tube station and headed towards the British Library. I had seen an advertisement for a Writing Britain exhibit at the British Library, and my newly empowered Inner Writer suddenly felt an irresistible urge to spend time with her Tribe. Bemused, I went along for the ride.

The exhibit was amazing and, for me, transformative. An ambitious visual display of Britain’s literature through the centuries, it was organized by Setting and Place, rather than the usual structuring by chronology and genre, and therein lay its brilliance. Having travelled from one end of Britain to the other these past 13 years, I can understand this structuring, can feel it in my body as well as see it in my mind’s eye. Stepping through the portal, I was swept into British landscape, from its Magical Realms to the Dark Satanic Mills to the Wild Places, Waterlands, and Cockney Visions, meeting new faces and familiar authors, on their own terrain with their friends and characters.  JK Rowling was there, her handwritten manuscript looking plain, ordinary, and infinitely accessible as well as magical. Chaucer, Dickens, Austen, Burns, Woolf, du Maurier and a host of others made appearances and contributions, each drawing on their visions of the landscapes around them. Their greatness, I realized, lay in their willingness to put pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) in order to tell their stories. Just that, combined (of course) with amazing talent and perseverance.

Two things happened for me… first, I felt these authors take on a new realness, encouraging me to follow their lead in writing for writing’s sake, in writing to give expression to my own vision and voice, without holding back. Second, I felt welcomed into some invisible Literary Circle, invited to step beyond the curtain of mystique that I had previously experienced as impenetrable and forbidding. I could hardly wait to sit down with my Kindle and my keyboard. I left feeling in love and on fire.

I am reading. I am writing. I am home.

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England seems to have lost its Spring this year, but my calendar tells me it is May despite the weather. My foot is healing, and today we are off on a long-awaited adventure. We will meet up with our good friend Lea Goode-Harris in a few hours, then take the night ferry to the Netherlands. Tomorrow is World Labyrinth Day, and Jeff will be speaking at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. From there, we will drive down the Dutch/Belgian/French coastline, returning to England through the Eurotunnel on Tuesday night. We plan to explore several labyrinths, rendezyous with old friends and new, and enjoy lots of good food! So it seems the season is blossoming despite the weather…

Cold rain turns colder,
Only my heart feels the warmth
of the Beltane fire!

Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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Like much of the world, England is watching its weather with confusion and amazement as worry and amusement intermingle. In the same week that a hosepipe ban (water rationing) was rolled out across southern England, the heavens softened with irony and rainclouds moved in. We are booted up and duly engaged in endless weatherly discussions, happily debating the probability of forecast accuracy.  As an experienced ex-pat, I’m used to the talk…. but as a novice poet, I am intrigued and delighted by the poetic possibilities hidden in our weather updates. How marvelous to find lovely phrases weaving through the lunchtime news, gifts of poetic magic from the BBC! My pen had only to dance them onto the page and ease them into form.
Image
brollies at the ready
as shower clouds bubble up,
sunshine and shadow
Wherever you are in the world, may you find poetic delight in your weather this week!
Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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Hand to Heart

Damien Hirst was interviewed on British television a few nights ago… I was already familiar with his work and the controversy surrounding it, but I’d never really heard him talk about his own art. His words were touching:

Anything done well is art.
All art is magic. 

As I visit other poets and artists in blogland, I receive imaginal food for my soul which provides me with a sweet nurturing of my own creative nature. This, then, is a love letter to all those who kindly and courageously bare their souls and bring magic to life by offering their work into the world:

I savor your work;
your images flow through me,
transforming my heart. 

˜ ˜ ˜

Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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My ankle must be healing…. I am beginning to think clearly and care about things again. Last night as I was looking through the photos on Jeff’s camera, I found the one I’ve been wishing I had taken; greeting us as we arrived at the hospital in Glastonbury was this carved stone:

No kidding!

Despite the pain and drama,  this bit of welcoming magic assured me that this seeming accident must surely hold some deeper meaning for me to discover….

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