Archive for April, 2008

Evening Train

An old man sleeping in the evening train,

face upturned, mouth discreetly closed,
hands clasped, with fingers interlaced.
Those large hands
lie on the fur lining of his wife’s coat
he’s holding for her, and the fur
looks like a limp dog, docile and affectionate.
The man himself is a peasant
in city clothes, moderately prosperous —
rich by the standards of his youth,
one can read that in his hands,
his sleeping features.
How tired he is, how tired.
I called him old, but then I remember
my own age, and acknowledge he’s likely
no older than I. But in the dimension
that moves with us but itself keeps still
like the bubble in a carpenter’s level,
I’m fourteen, watching the faces I saw each day
on the train going to London,
and never spoke to; or guessing
from a row of shoes what sort of faces
I’d see if I raised my eyes.
Everyone has an unchanging age (or sometimes two)
carried within them, beyond expression.
This man perhaps
is ten, putting in a few hours most days
in a crowded schoolroom, and a lot more
at work in the fields; a boy who’s always
making plans to go fishing his first free day.
The train moves through the dark quite swiftly
(the Italian dark, as it happens)
with its load of people, each
with a conscious destination, each
with a known age and that other,
the hidden one — except for those
still young, or not young but slower to focus,
who haven’t reached yet that state of being
which will become 
not a point of arrest but a core
around which the mind develops, reflections circle,
events accrue — a center.
                                           A girl with braids 
sits in the corner seat, invisible,
pleased with her solitude. And across from her
an invisible boy, dreaming. Quite swiftly
we move through our lives, swiftly, steadily the train
rocks and bounces onward through sleeping fields,
our unknown stillness
holding level as water sealed in glass.

~Denise Levertov: Selected Poems

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I cupped my hands over both ears
took a long, slow, deep breath in and out
again and again
until my breath was like a series of waves

and I washed up on the shores
of my own inner landscape

each wave of breath brought more
fragments of myself to the shoreline

I gazed into the broken places and
I saw grief comfort fear
I saw compassion laying on hands with envy
I saw hope reaching out to despair

now I could see where the separate places came together
to make the whole

and the whole was yet another fragment
of a greater whole

and I lay there
letting the waves
wash over
all my unbroken places.

~elizabeth adams

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Water From Your Spring

What was in that candle’s light
that opened and consumed me so quickly?

Come back, my friend! The form of our love
is not a created form.

Nothing can help me but that beauty.
There was a dawn I remember

when my soul heard something
from your soul. I drank water

from your spring and felt
the current take me.


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Recipe for Eternal Joy

Seek something in every segment of every day
that brings forth within you the feeling of love.


Abraham-Hicks, March 1, 1991, Austin, TX

Doesn’t that just say it all? I mean, totally and
completely all? How much can I love today and
what can I flow love to? And me flowing love with
my little light gives a twinkle to your little light, even
if you are the tree outside my yard, the plant in my
house I’m about to water. You light up with me lighting
up. Everything lights up when I flow love to it.

How much do I love that? How much do I love to love?
I can’t even begin to count the ways because they are
never ending, each NEW day brings something more
to love.

That’s it, that’s all I ever needed to know!

Love, Bethie

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overlooking the river, you
are brushing my hair, brushing
and brushing my long wet hair,
your brushing a caress,
your own private prayer

and then the tangle, the tug — “I’m
sorry,” you say, and I tell you
“Start at the bottom, brush
from the bottom up,” you have never
been taught to do this

you with your long thick hair
long since childhood, your mother
who picked up a bottle instead of a brush
tangling her memories in her daughter’s
hair, I pick up the brush

show you now on your own tangled hair,
a diversion so you cannot
see my face — messages never sent
from mother to daughter, I send them
now, send the most tender

memories I have of my own childhood,
evening of hair brushed softly,
rolled into socks before bedtime, creating
curls like the ones I brush now,
slowly, methodically, I brush these memories

into your own hair, I brush
my own prayer into
your long dark hair,
brushing love,
brushing safe, brushing home.

~Margo Solod
Some Very Soft Days

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I went to church today. The Church of the Great Blue Herons.

Now I know why Washington state has the lowest church attendance.
Why go lock yourself in a building and call it church when you
can go outside and experience church. As in: Be the church.

Did I tell you how much I love living here? No, I don’t love
rain all the time but you never take the sun for granted when
you live here. Never, ever.

So at the Church of the Great Blue Herons and they don’t call
them great for nothin’…these birds are huge, I saw over 50
Great Blue Heron nests and so many Great Blue Herons in one
afternoon, more than I’ve seen in a lifetime.

Off in a stone throws distance, high atop another tall cottonwood:
one solitary bald eagle’s nest. Normally, the two birds and their
nests are not compatible but apparently in the Church of the Great
Blue Herons anything is possible.

Whew, I’m a believer!

In case you want to go to church, too, it’s located at the Black
River Riparian Forest right here in my hometown of Renton, WA.

Love, Bethie

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So Much Beauty

Good morning everyone,

The world is busy with spring.
Now there is so much to notice.

The field by the pond with the
single dandelion, is now the
field by the pond with many

So much to take in, so much beauty.

Yesterday was a good day to renew that tan.
I’m still peeling from the cruise especially
on my arms.

Issie is almost done with her first menstrual
cycle. Who knew how much a female dog
could bleed?! Now I know. My beautiful
comforter doubled as a kotex pad. Thank
Universe for hydrogen peroxide. Thank
google for the 15 minute rinse remedy when
one is over exposed to hydrogen peroxide.

Ah life, isn’t it just so damn good to be alive.
Aren’t you just so blatantly happy you came
forth to be in this body? Don’t you just want to
shine love on everything?

Apparently we do just that. We emit little photons
of light, every living thing does AND this is the best
part: our little lights work in concert with each other.

Yes, this little light of mine, I AM going to let it shine.
And I can see all of you gorgeous souls twinkling out

This world is awash in twinkles.

Love, Bethie

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This World

I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it
nothing fancy.

But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open
and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is the dark
    pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
    were singing.
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music
    out of their leaves.
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and
    beautiful silence
as comes to all of us, in little earfuls, if we’re not too 
    hurried to hear it.
As for spiders, how the dew hangs in their webs
    even if they say nothing, or seem to say nothing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe they sing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe the stars sing too,
    and the ants, and the peonies, and the warm stones,
so happy to be where they are, on the beach, instead of being
    locked up in gold.

~Mary Oliver
Why I Wake Early

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Take that Risk

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

-Mark Twain

I love this quote from Mark Twain about taking risks.

I have one more quote on fear and risk taking. This
one comes out of Martha Beck’s: Finding Your Own
North Star. This is an excellent book by the way. I
highly recommend it.

“…the difference between success and failure
isn’t the absence of fear but the determination
to pursue your heart’s desires no matter how
scared you are.”

If there is something you have been wanting to
do but have let fear stand in your way, may you
find the courage to pursue it anyway.

Love, Bethie

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Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could. Some
blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow
is a new day; begin it well and serenely and
with too high a spirit to be encumbered with
your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love that Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Blunders and
absurdities, yes, I had some of that yesterday.
And now he asks that I forget about them AND
he calls it ‘old nonsense’!  Is he kidding or what?
There’s a whole novels worth of story making I can
make around those blunders and absurdities :)

Or not.

I used EFT yesterday to get beyond feeling sad
and bad about those blunders and absurdities.
It’s a lifesaver, this EFT.  I wonder: what did
Emerson do without it?  Well, no matter I don’t
have to do without it.  It is the best therapeutic
tool I have come across.

And now, yes I can begin my day anew.

Love, Bethie

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