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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Tilicho Lake

I used to ice fish. I went with others and would catch a few, usually more than others. Once I caught my fill, I lay on the ice and with my head covered watch fish swim past. Different fish move at different paces. Northern pike ease past the hole and whitefish move much quickly. There was never certainty. I did not know if I was going to catch fish and see fish. Some lakes were too deep, but occasionally a fish would come up the hole and catch a breath of air.

I used to feel like I could leave everything behind and just be. It is much like when Kathy and I hike in the mountains. There is a being that does not count on any certainty. It just is. David Whyte wrote this poem. I think the prayer of rough love is just being there, in the moment, and ready for what comes. There is a beauty in that and I think a fearlessness I need to cultivate.

In this high place

it is as simple as this,

Leave everything you know behind.

Step toward the cold surface,

say the old prayer of rough love

and open both arms.

Those who come with empty hands

will stare into the lake astonished,

there, in the cold light

reflecting pure snow,

the true shape of your own face.

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 41 – The Hainan Gibbon

ivonprefontaine:

Amelia does a terrific job of providing information on various endangered species. For those of you have not had a chance to visit this site, here is an invitation.

Originally posted on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor:

Hainan gibbon swinging through the trees

Source: Unknown

Description
The Hainan gibbon is one of the rarest monkeys in the world, possibly on the brink of extinction.  There are only twenty-six left in existence;  including three babies born this year.  And, all of these are all living within the confines of the Bawangling National Nature Reserve on the tropical island of Hainan in the South China Sea.

These delightful apes are sexually dimorphic.  Mature males are almost totally black, with occasional pale cheeks, and mature females are a pale golden colour with odd dark patches on the body and a black crest on the head.  Both have long arms and legs and no tail.

They swing through the trees using a movement known as brachiation;  something gibbons seem far more skilled at than any other species.  They swing hand over hand, carrying their long, slender bodies forward.  With their powerful muscles and supple joints, they do…

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Making Peace

Denise Levertov wrote this wonderful and I think it is a good way to bring my week to an end as I head to Sabbath. Stephen at Grow Mercy posted this earlier and I did try to share it with those who follow my blog. It did not make it over and this was the next best thing I could do to get it to you folks. Take a moment and visit Stephen’s blog.

I used a lesson plan with my students where we talked about a culture of war and a culture of peace. They had to describe each one and we did them separately. We have many more words that come to mind when we talk about peace. I filled whiteboard, they would share for an hour, be disappointed when it was over, and the quiet ones were always present. There is a presence in peace. The students ran out of ways to describe a culture of war very quickly.

A voice from the dark called out,

“The poets must give us

imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar

imagination of disaster. Peace, not only

the absence of war.”

But peace, like a poem,

is not there ahead of itself,

can’t be imagined before it is made,

in the words of its making,

grammar of justice

syntax of mutual aid.

A feeling towards it,

dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have

until we begin to utter its metaphors,

learning them as we speak.

A line of peace might appear

if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,

revoked its affirmation of profit and power,

questioned our needs, allowed

long pauses. …

A cadence of peace might balance its weight

on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,

an energy field more intense than war,

might pulse then,

stanza by stanza entering the world,

each act living

one of its words, each word

a vibration of light–facets

of the forming crystal.

L’Orologio di Nonno

ivonprefontaine:

One of the items I received from my Dad when he passed away was a pocket watch he had in his jewelry box. It always fascinated me and like the Guy Clark song about his dad’s pocket knife there is something in the old things that carry timeless memories.

Originally posted on Poesy plus Polemics:

Photo from pocketwatch.kohibikidou.com

Photo from
pocketwatch.kohibikidou.com

Grandpa’s Watch

soft old gold patina
warmed by a rough rustic palm
timing medieval birth
of my father
in candlelight colored
by frescoes of Apennine landscapes
he painted while wearing
his bridegrooming shoes
this timepiece spoke life
carried vestpocket snug
from distraught
mezzogiorno antiquity
crossing the ocean of century
ticking its tireless memories
into the hands of my uniformed son
it holds heartbreak and triumph
the bloodline experience
marking we four
generations of men
nestled deep
in its intimate gearworks
where family converges
with history

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Coming Out

I spent a good part of the day reading Taoist material, namely the Chuang-Tzu. Eastern philosophy and its teaching are mostly about being rather doing. It is about being mindful, attentive, and being part of the larger whole and not outside. A quote I came across was “People cannot use flowing water for a mirror; they use still water for a mirror.”

Mark Nepo captured the need to be and allow ourselves to become one with the world in this poem. In unity, we find wholeness and come out in the world.

While there is much to do

we are not here to do.

Under the want to problem-solve

is the need to being solve.

Often, with full being

the problem goes away.

The seed being-solves its

darkness by blossoming.

The hear being-solves its loneliness

by loving whatever it meets.

The tea becoming-solves the water

by becoming tea.

Nix Lapse

ivonprefontaine:

Silence is the silence of God. We need the quiet to bring out the real in our lives. It is a time to listen to the “inner teacher” and draw from its deep pool of wisdom.

Originally posted on Tanushree Srivastava:

tumblr_lwoqsdV2E91qax8p2o1_500_large“Silence is the language of god,
all else is poor translation.”
― Rumi

I am constantly travelling in a time machine from one phase of life to another. No I don’t have a time machine but my mind is a good enough medium to make this wish true. I am either in my past, dwelling over something or in the future, fantasizing about things. Yes, I enjoy the present, but never completely.

My parents always taught me that my mind is superior. It should control my body. But mind is a part of our body, it was never meant to control our body. They co-exist to fulfill their parts. They are mistaken to be two different entities but they are two parts of the same energy.

Why can’t we stop these thoughts?

We are highly unsatisfied. Ask the Queen of England, she missed peace of mind, Ask the shopkeeper, he…

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remnant 33: “There’s the story…”

ivonprefontaine:

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author and poet. This quote resonated with me. It is the way my storytelling goes.

Originally posted on DISCOURSE as quilting:

There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too. (p. 56)

MaddAddamMargaret Atwood

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