Pocket Poetry

Streamatpark

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass,
How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed
maidens pass, 
And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads,
Like a host of armored knights with silver helmets on their heads.
And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human life may go,
For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet but shallows show,
And a soul may glow with myriad lights and wondrous mysteries,
When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors what it sees.

By the Stream - Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872 - 1906

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Thank you to Kym for sharing poets.org's project. I knew April was poetry month and I've read a fair share of poetry in celebration, but on this last day of April I thought I 'd share a poem with you.  (As a side note, the Poetry Foundation app is a great way to read poetry when on the go.)


In My Office

Another week with lack of blog posts cannot and shall not be. I am here, still trying to keep all the balls in the air. The office seems to be a place of urgencies, which leaves me ready to collapse at the end of the day. However, there is always something going on in the evenings and collapsing is not on the agenda.

Why oh why, is it I cannot pick up my phone and snap and picture?? This lack of thinking is why I haven't joined something like 365 (and no--it would not spur me on).  I am going to try my best to see if I can create something from "nothing". 

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This is how I personalize my work space. The tray under one of my computer monitors holds a few oddments; washi tape (which I have never used but have/had intentions of doing so), a sand dollar from Whidbey Island, WA, and a schedule of pay-dates (very important dates to know). The assortment of "sign here" stickies are used on occasion, but always at the ready.

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On the wall of my desk is a sticky note from Smith, which he long ago tucked into my lunch box.  When I happen to glance up and see it I take it as a bit of encouragement to get through the day. Not only do I use a boatload of sticky notes in the office, they are our #1 mode of communication when we're passing in the night.  The tea mug I bought at my favorite tea shop sits atop a coaster that was a gift from Vicki and it reminds me of all my faraway friends who are there silently sending encouragement, too. 

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One of my favorite things on the desk is a beautiful calendar by which I watch the days pass.  Each monthly scenes is peaceful and season specific. I love turning the page on a new month and seeing a new beautiful landscape (soon!).

My work day is full of paperwork and staring at a computer screen (or two), but having a few dear things near me gives me a feeling of home.  I may as well make my space my own. 


Weekending

"There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun." ~ Thomas Merton

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The rainy weekend was brightened by time spent with friends and the laughter and joy they bring to any leisure time. I also enjoyed the company of my Smith, despite his having to wake at o'dark thirty and head off to work. It's a cruel time of day, especially for him, but it gave us a couple of evenings together. Sadly, Smith also works until midnight the next two evenings this week. It's a good thing he's an adaptable sort. 

Sunday we woke to mountain (thankfully only mountain) snow and a day that stayed cold, cloudy and gray. How nice it was to see the setting sun hold promise of a brighter Monday.

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My weekend entertainment was provided by the birds. I spotted a scrub jay visiting the roof in search of peanuts, so I tossed a up a handful. Immediately I heard the very loud chirping of a robin and knew something was up. I watched for awhile as the robin chased the jay and the jay, in turn, chased the robin. The poor robin must have a nest in the pine tree by my back door and the jay was an unwelcome visitor to the neighborhood. I was completely entertained and, as near as I could tell, the jay flew away after hiding his peanuts. (The above picture was taken at my office, but the scrub jays of home are just as beautiful.)

Most of my weekend is spent catching up with chores; making sure I have good food for my lunches, doing laundry, leaving the house somewhat cleaner than it was at the start of the weekend, plus, any number of other things we all have to do. After hearing about many people in the world who have no home, no place of warmth or safety, I feel very humble to have a home to care for and grateful for all that I have. 


In the Pink

CrabappleIs it possible to get sick of seeing spring flowers, pretty pink blossoms, or for that matter, any flowering plant?

This week I'm trying to keep many balls in the air, and sadly, I'm not a very good juggler. When I have a few minutes I head out into nature, either Red Butte Garden, or into our own little garden where the garlic and peas seem to be doing well. 

The other thing that helped me disappear was a book (I just finished it last night), The World Before Us, where the ghosts held me fast. Beautifully written, part ghost story, part mystery, and certainly a story of searching--searching for answers, searching for memories, and searching for self. This is a book I recommend, as it captivated me, although I have a hard time saying exactly what it was that hooked me. Perhaps, it was just the all of it. 

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There has been a bit of knitting, a little beading (which I'm totally in love with) and, well, as I said, a whole lot of balls to be kept in the air. When I learn to be a better juggler, I'll be back. 


Winter Delight

We can hardly say "winter returns" when we really haven't had much of a winter. Tuesday morning was very warm, over 60, and moving in from the west, came a huge dust storm with hurricane force winds, which proceeded to take over the city, filling our eyes and lungs with the dust of the west desert. It was 75 by lunchtime and when I left work it had started to rain mud. I couldn't even see out my back window for all the dirt that fell from the sky. By the time I left for SnB the temperature had dropped 40 degrees and a rain/snow mix was falling. 

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By morning it had snowed a couple of inches and it snowed all day. Although it stayed very cold, the snow kept falling and melting and falling some more. All in all it amounted to at least 8", more than we've seen over the last 3 months combined. The best news was the mountains reported upwards of 3 feet! By the weekend our temperatures will be back in the 70s, so who can argue with a day or two of winter?


Count the Delights

Carole took a cue from my post of yesterday and decided today's Ten on Tuesday should be about 10 Everyday Things that Delight.  I often make a mental note of at least one thing that is my daily delight and it doesn't have to be something grand, and once you start taking not it's easy to find what it is that delights.

Myview1. My view! My mountain, at any angle, brings me so much delight on a daily basis. If by chance the view is obscured by cloudy weather (which happens infrequently), I have it in my minds eye and know it is always there looking over me.

2. My iPod. I've expounded on my love of my back pocket friend, but the books, podcasts, and daily pedometer count it gives me is a daily delight.

Thejayfamily3. Cheryl calls me a scrub jay magnet, and I am as attracted to them, as they must be to me. As you can see yesterday, it has nothing to do with the copious number of peanuts I scatter. I had not a single one with me on Saturday, and the babe still dropped to drink at my feet. I feel chosen.

4. This year spring arrived in January and it's put on a show ever since. We have loved our extended spring, as well as the roller-coaster weather. If it's cold today, just wait until tomorrow as it will be beautiful once again.

Springflowers5. Because of the extended spring, the flowering season has been long. A variety of daffodils have been blooming at Red Butte Gardens since January and every time I go I see something new and interesting, not to mention beautiful!

6. One of my daily delights is friendship. It might be face to face, in a letter, an email, a text, or a blog post, but every day I have the joy of friendship with so many lovely people.

Mytea7. I gave up coffee when I had surgery 5 years ago and I have explored the love of tea ever since. My cupboard is full of delicious varieties from all over the world, and I've become a bit of snob.  How much do I love the warmth of a cup in the morning and cold sip of tea iced at the end of my day? The thought brings pure delight.

8. Seriously, how many of us could live a day without at phone attached to our hips? I love putting it aside at the end of the day and rarely look at it past 6:00, but it is my lifeline for much of the day. The camera, the calendar, the connection to family and friends, it offers in a variety of ways. It is a double edge sword, but we all carry it for protection and connection. A smartphone is a daily delight.

9. My knitting, or sewing, or reading, or writing! Every day I must do something to create and use my hands. It is a very sad day I cannot do one or the other and a day I can do all, or at least, several crafts, is a wonderfully delightful day.

Whiskey10. The end of the day on the days I am home with Smith is one of my greatest delights. We sit and relax, read and sip a tiny shot of a good whiskey. This doesn't happen daily, but just the time to truly unwind is truly delightful.


Weekend of Delight

"Every day," says Mary Oliver, "I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight."

As Mary says, every day I see something that stops me, grabs me, and fills me with delight.  After I read Mary's poem I started silently naming my "daily delight". Often I am unable to photograph my delight of the day, but often the camera (phone) is at hand.  My goal (and I'm not all that great at follow through of goals, is to take a photo of that special moment. 

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Friday night, while Laurie and I ate our sushi, and a ray of sunshine graced the plate. We both were filled with the delight of a delicious dinner and the warmth of the sun shining through the window.

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After dinner we visited a very fancy gift shop, a shop we both enjoy, but where we rarely buy anything. This time we both found little treasures, items that brought us delight. I found a pencil with a lead of six color, which change color with each letter as I wrote. I had to buy it and I love writing or drawing with this pencil full of delight!

Saturday I visited Red Butte Garden and had one of the most delightful visits ever! As I walked through the Fragrance Garden (which is already filled with heady scents), an immature scrub jay sat on the branch of a leafless tree. I watched with joy as he fluffed up his dark gray breast and tried his best to squawk, only creating a funny kind of croak. I stood very still and watched for a long time and was rewarded with sight of an adult popping from a pine tree to feed the little one.

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After the feeding the baby must have needed a drink of water as, in a surprise move, he jumped down to the walk at my feet and drank from the sprinkler head.  (That is my shadow!) He drank a couple of times and then flew back to the branch for another feeding, dropping once again to drink from the sprinkler. This time I had my camera at the ready, as I had slowly taken it from my back pocket. My lesson of the weekend was delightful things will happen in unexpected ways when you stand still, pay attention, and stay open to the joy. 

Mindful

by Mary Oliver

Every Day
      I see or hear
          something
               that more or less

kills me
      with delight,
             that leaves me
                   like a needle

in the haystack
    of light.
           It is what I was born for—
                  to look, to listen,

to lose myself
      inside this soft world—
            to instruct myself
                   over and over

in joy,
    and acclamation.
          Nor am I talking
                 about the exceptional, 

the fearful, the dreadful,
       the very extravagant—
               but of the ordinary,
                     the common, the very drab 

the daily presentations.
         Oh, good scholar,
               I say to myself,
                     how can you help

but grow wise
         with such teachings
                 as these—
                       the untrimmable light

of the world,
        the ocean's shine,  
                  the prayers that are made
                         out of grass?


I'm So Excited!

And I just can't hide it...

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Woohoo! The newest member of my Alabama Chanin library arrived in the mail! I'm brimming over with ideas and building desires. The package was lovely, as inside was an Alabama Chanin notebook, pencil, and tape measure, as well as the new book bursting with patterns. However, I first must work on the two projects I've already have in process.

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You may remember the market bag I started ages ago and abandon when the T-shirt arrived? While I know this T-shirt is going to take many, many hours to complete, I will be happy to return to the market bag, which will be pure fun to carry. I predict it will take me many more hours to complete than the T-shirt.

With each petal I cut I hold my breath, hoping to do a good job and not cut through to the layer below or more of the petal than I should. I have been very careful, taking great care to do it well. The flowers on the front piece of the T-shirt are ready for beading and I only have eleventy-gazillion beads for the job.

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Time is the only factor in this equation, but tonight I have all to myself and the plan is to start the process of sewing on the beads. How many per petal and how should they be spaced? Should I bead the outside as well as the inside? Many questions and possibilities bounce around my head and I don't think the answers will come until I start. I'll keep all the Alabama Chanin books by my side as reference, but try  to not become distracted by the beauty of the projects inside.  The trick is to stick to my own work and the process in front of me.