The wire in this piece isn't a usual wire, attached at both ends by telephone poles. As I was creating I realized that I had constructed an endless wire. See how it reaches up into the sky, through the clouds? Where does it go?
Imagine your dreams are like this: limitless. Imagine that they can travel without the laws of physics. Imagine that YOU are limitless. What then? What then?
Understanding and love are not two things, but just one. Suppose your son wakes up one morning and sees that it is already quite late. He decides to wake up his younger sister, to give her enough time to eat breakfast before going to school. It happens that she is grouchy and instead of saying, "Thank you for waking me up," she says, "Shut up! Leave me alone!" and kicks him. He will probably get angry, thinking, "I woke her up nicely. Why did she kick me?" He may want to go to the kitchen and tell you about it, or even kick her back.
But then he remembers that during the night his sister coughed a lot, and he realizes that she must be sick. Maybe she behaved so meanly because she has a cold. At that moment, he understands, and he is not angry at all anymore. When you understand, you cannot help but love. You cannot get angry. To develop understanding, you have to practice looking at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. When you understand, you cannot help but love. And when you love, you naturally act in a way that can relieve the suffering of people.
It is officially midnight. Father's Day is now here (at least that's the way I visualize how my birthday begins each year).
Father's Day has such a different meaning for me this year as many of you know. I have been leaky for the last few days, weeping at the site of babies, old men, bagels, Elmers glue, photos of my dad, blue-eyed people, small mentions of my father. Sometimes nothing at all. My cat yawned and there I was blubbering again. Sigh.
Tonight I remembered something that I took from my father's things: a book I made him in 1996 for Father's Day. It's a book of photographs of me and my father through the years -- along with my mom and two brothers. I adorned each page with a smattering of painted designs and used gel medium to make the whole thing glossy. I also bound the cardboard pages with white string.
I made this when I was about 20 years old, a college student piecing together my life -- and counting on my dad's strength, grace, and wisdom.
I scanned in each page and made a little slide show in honor of my dad today.
May all those who have lost your fathers feel their presence in some way today and may any tears that flow remind you of your ever-present connection.
I touch him where it hurts-- his back, sore from 35 days hammocked in a hospital bed-- rub lotion into the dry patches chemo has left, and with my hands massaging the taught tender muscles of his trapezius, I search for that one elusive thing that neither of us can name.
I feel it in my own body, thumping behind my sternum, a little fist inside with a fight song beat. So I lay my hands on my father's back, pressed behind his heart, and with each beat I feel in my chest, I send him jolts of this unspeakable thing: hope, my hands transmit, hope, here is hope.
from a poem in progress called Hope Transfusion
Think about an offering you have given recently. Perhaps it was to a person -- or maybe it was an animal or to the earth. An offering isn't simply a gift or a gesture. There is an intention of sacredness implied with an offering. Perhaps you can explore what this memory of an offering (or the meaning of offerings in general) means to you through writing and/or art. And please feel free to share in the comments box.
I can take no credit for the composition, color, and overall beauty of this sunset. It was just the old digital camera's shutter action taken at the right time.
But even so, I see my heart in there, somewhere in that scattering of clouds, diffused with fading sunlight. So my "brush stroke," so to speak, is in this photo, known only to me (and now you), becoming part of this moment. My heart is half-full, half flattened. Half-remembering, half trying-to-forget. But mostly just beating. Beating. My do I miss this magical place.
Find yourself in a photo you've taken. The catch: you are not actually (physically) in the photo at all. Feel free to post in the comments box and link to your photo w/a statement of how you are "in" the photo.
I'm feeling the need to re-new my Quiet Girl heading so tonight, at 11:00pm, just as my eyes are getting droopy and the screen is getting blurry, I'm calling it a night. I'm working on something fun and vibrant for the header--perhaps this parrot, perhaps not--but something new will be here soon.
So pardon the strange layout in the meantime.
And if anyone out there knows how to get this Blogger template to center an image in the rounded-corner header, I would love to know! Blogger likes to shift the images to the right -- and right off the header background.