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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual journey’

Today, our Spiritual Journey blogging group is writing about Joy, Finding Joy.  I am gathering the posts in the Link button below this post.

I find joy on my morning walks.  Over the years I have joined different gyms.  I’d wake up in the dark, pull on some tights or other fashionable exercise wear, and go to a class or climb on the treadmill or rotate among the machines when Curves was around.  Last year I gave up all memberships and just started walking.  During the school year, I try to get out by 6 AM.  But now that it’s summer, and the days are getting warmer, and I don’t have to be anywhere, I’m out at 7 AM.  Charlie on the leash.  I carry my phone in a pouch that fits over my pants and stays in place with a magnetic grip.  Sometimes I talk to my Voxer pals.  Sometimes I listen to a podcast, and sometimes I run into a neighbor to chat with or who will join me.

These walks have become my Joy.

I find joy in the songs of birds.

I find joy in watching Charlie explore.

I find joy in waving to neighbors.

I find joy in the flowers, the trees, and the bayou beyond.

Another source of joy for me is poetry.  For this poem, I turned to one of my favorite collections, The Woman in this Poem.  Georgia Heard signed my copy with these words, “For the joy of poetry–and life!”

 

Happiness

by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form

for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful

hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
                     It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,

to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

From The Woman in this Poem Selected and Introduced by Georgia Heard

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Find the round up of Spiritual Journey posts at Donna’s site, Mainly Write

Today our spiritual Thursday bloggers are writing about Donna’s one little word, Reach.  This was my word in 2015.  I chose it that year as I was finishing a manuscript that I wanted to publish.  That book is still not a book, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the word Reach.

When I searched my blog for Reach, I found this quote above.  Sometimes wisdom comes to me.  Today I needed to see this again.  I needed to remember that all we can do at any one time is to be present to it.

I switched my classroom Wonder calendar to May and found this quote waiting for me.

Personal Courage Month

Many of us have big things we’d like to do, but we’re too nervous or shy to try them. Try doing one thing this month that will get you closer to the big thing you’d like to do–tell someone about it, ask for help, read a book about it.

I have an idea that I will be sharing with an upper administrator today.  Fingers crossed he gets it, understands my goals, and pushes me forward to meet them.

I have an idea for a poetry book.  I’m reading, researching, experiencing, and playing with words.  It’s about process, practice, practice, and process.

I will revise my works in progress again and again until they are ready for the wider world.  Confidence, patience, persistence.

Reaching is hard work.

Reaching is stretching till it hurts.  Hold.  Then stretch more.

Reaching is shooting for the moon and landing among the stars.  I’m OK with the stars.  I have friends there.

 

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National Poetry Month 2017

Find the round up of Spiritual Journey posts at Violet’s blog. Click the image.

 

These flowers appeared under the porch at Solomon House.  Volunteers vining from another plant about 10 feet away on the other side of the sidewalk.  There’s a line in a play my students perform about growing up at The Shadows, “We grow a flower called, ‘ham ‘n eggs.”  This is it.  See the pink ham and the golden egg yolk.  This flower is also a fractal, growing blossoms that look like tiny bouquets.

Today for Spiritual Thursday, we are writing around the theme of new life, spring, and Easter. I’ve been thinking about how we carry the spirits of our ancestors with us.  Like it or not, their lives influence ours.  We can see this as a gift or a curse.  We must be gentle with these spirits.

 

Pink lantana
sneaks under the porch
snakes through the dark earth
carrying the burden of a mother’s pain.

This fractal flower
springs forth surprising
the toes of the hungry and the poor,
lighting a path like grandmother’s Easter bonnet.

Don’t pick her blossoms.
They will sprinkle like confetti.
Just hold your gaze on her sunshine
remembering from whence she came.

–Margaret Simon

 

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NPM2016

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

I love the surprises of spring.  Every year some flower that I don’t expect appears and delights me.  This year there is a clump of iris in my front flower bed.  I don’t remember so many of them blooming at once.  On the back deck, a shasta daisy has popped up out of a pot.  Spring surprises.

purple iris

Holly tweeted a call for Spiritual Journey topics.  She chose the word “rejuvenation.”  We were suggesting words like renew and rebirth.  All of these words speak to these new surprises in my yard.  A synonym poem seemed in order.  I also wanted to play with a repeated word, “there,” because I feel like I am pointing to these sweet surprises of new life.  Look, over there, see what I see.

There the renewal of light in trees
illuminates tones of green.
Outside the store, a sign
“Spring colors are in”

There a refreshing scent
Rain hangs heavy on
jasmine, sweet olive

There renovating time–early rising–
that expectant darkness
when prayers are silent.

There restoring my soul
from under the heavy blankets
listening to the music
spill in from the window.

–Margaret Simon

Jan is adding a line to the Progressive Poem today. Click the image.

Jan is adding a line to the Progressive Poem today. Click the image.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

In the month of April, the whole Kidlitosphere lights up for National Poetry Month. There are so many exciting projects going on.

The gatherer of all Kidlit poetry postings is Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

2016 Kidlit Progressive Poem copy

Today the Progressive poem is here with Joy.

 

Click the NaPoWriMo button for more about daily writing prompts and poem sharing.

napo2016button2

I am writing a poem-a-day to images. You can join me by leaving a poem in the comments or a link to your blog. Use #imagepoems on Twitter.  Today’s image is Spanish moss.  It hangs all over the trees in my neighborhood.

Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss

Columbarium

Moss crawls like skeletons in the trees,
a lacy tent for playful squirrels.
Even my cat, usually lolling and lazy,
joins in the chase, paws at the waving ghosts.

The moss speaks to the heavens,
the heavens that opened up with wind
and a storm yesterday when we placed
your ashes in the dovecote

outside the church
where you can live forever
in the eyes of God, or, at least, I’ll
say hello when I pass by on Sunday.

We do not know what time
has prepared for us
to walk in or to walk out
with ashes on our foreheads,
and now you are ashes in the tomb.

What does this say about the squirrels?
Do they know something?
Who are they chasing?

–Margaret Simon

 

Process: When I wrote the poem to this image of moss, I had returned from a funeral for a church member.  I did not know him well, but every funeral is a deeply spiritual experience.  And I was moved by the sudden wind and heavy rain that fell immediately following the placement of his urn into the columbarium.  I looked up columbarium on Wikipedia and found the word origin of “columba” refers to the compartments used for doves, dovecote.  I somehow think Charles will like playing in the trees with cats and squirrels.  And now that I have written it, I will say hello to him when I pass each Sunday.

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Spirit Tree

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Holly invites us to write about each other’s one little word. This week we are writing about my word, Present. Click on the icon above to go to other blogs to see what they are saying about Presence.

On Sunday, one of the readings was from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He writes about spiritual gifts. Thinking of the word presents as a synonym for gifts, I decided to re-write the verse into a more modern version.

A rewriting of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 12:1-11

Now concerning spiritual gifts, there are many.
The Spirit is generous when you agree to it.
Manifested for peace and goodness,
our hearts must play along.

You may have the gift of speaking
with confidence and knowledge.
Like our friend, Martin, with his dream,
you should speak up.

You may be the one we can all count on,
you show up and bring food. You give us hugs
and tell us how pretty we look today.

You may be the one who comforts, you know
about essential oils and whole foods. Your touch
on our chakras can produce heat and healing.

You may understand fully the phases of the moon.
You know the best time to plant trees. You feed the birds.
You have an herb garden.
And free range chickens. One is named Harvey.

You may be a collector of words,
Uplifting our days on Facebook
with a quote of the day.
Always clever, ever kind.

Whatever your gift of the Spirit is,
use it. Flaunt it. Show it off.
You never know who’s watching,
learning, growing, needing
the very thing you have to give.

Don’t question the Spirit. It knows
what it knows and chooses whom it chooses.
Embrace His Presence. Let it shine.
Let it shine.
Let it shine!

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

DSC00205

Paper Whites, Margaret Simon

For the next few weeks, blogger-friends and I will be posting about the spiritual aspects of our chosen words for 2016.  This week we are writing about Carol Varsalona’s word, Believe.

I took this picture of paper whites blooming in my front yard this week.  When I see flowers blooming, I believe deeper in the true magic of life.  I didn’t plant these flowers, and yet, every year they pop up and show their little white star-like faces. They shine.  Wake me up. Make me Believe.

I encouraged my students to create an acrostic with their words.  An acrostic is when you use the letters of the word as the beginning letter for each line of the poem.  Sounds easy enough, so I decided to write one with the word Believe.   In my notebook I wrote about 3 half-possibilities.  Each one kept sounding sappy.

But Believe is not a sappy word.

Believe is a strong word,
a word that holds on for dear life,
never letting you completely fall,
Believe buoys you up,
especially when troubles want to push you down.

Believe is a word you can count on,
holding its own weight.
Trusting in you to show up
when the sun is rising,
be ready for this new day.

Believe is a certain word,
proud yet humble,
a handkerchief that your grandmother stitched
calmly drying your tears,
then showing you the stars.
Believe believes in you.

–Margaret Simon

 

 

 

 

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