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If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.

John Lennon

~~~~@~~~~

Earlier this month, I received a special gift from a fellow yogi: a full 60-minute playlist of Beatles love songs to use in our Valentine’s Day class. This gift inspired a contest – whoever guessed the number of times the word “love” occurred in the lyrics during the class won a prize. It was SO much fun!

In appreciation for the playlist, I compiled a list of Beatles lyrics and quotes in the spirit of yoga wisdom. Each quote went down on a little decorated card and was placed inside a repurposed Altoids Tin.

crocus

“Like the crocus that pushes into spring willy-nilly, the artist also pushes forward into growth. The crocus lies beneath the snow waiting for the slightest touch of warmth to spring forth. Like the crocus, the artist does not pause to ask if his work is timely or welcome.  Critical reception will perhaps be chilly like an unseasonal snow, but like the crocus, the artist survives.”

–Julia Cameron, Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance

 

May you be safe and healthy and continue pushing forward into growth.

2015-07-14 08.16.55

 

7 a.m. Sunday morning.

Gardening is a never-ending labor of love I muse as I begin gearing up for the ritual. I don the white vestments, the boots, gloves, hat, glasses, and braid. Only then I am ready to meet the Mistress. I open my door to a surprised hummingbird. We regard each other a moment before she flits away. I gather supplies and materials while the wasps and bees still sleep. Time and other trappings of the world recede until there is only the dirt and the things in it, living and dead. Weeds are ripped from the earth; the worms beneath them churn wiggly and wet. Beetles and spiders run for their lives.  Secret ant cities are uncovered, their nurseries revealed. The ants abandon whatever plans they had for this day to grab their babies and rush them to safety. The whole colony fights for survival in this sacred space where love, duty, and instinct meld into one indistinguishable force.  Blood is spilled over the roses, a sacrifice they demand regularly as thorns prick and stick fingers through gloves. God is in Her place.  All is right with the world.

 

There are some things you can only do with love. You will know that you have love when you do one of them.  --Walter Anderson

There are some things you can only do with love. You will know that you have love when you do one of them. –Walter Anderson

July & August Garden Goals

  • Plant the seeds for the fuzzy pink flowers in the front bed and containers.
  • Split and replant zinnias.
  • Prep the raised beds (weed and add compost).
  • Plant rainbow chard, musclun lettuce, kale, collard greens, arugula, and romaine in the raised beds.
  • Plant oregano, cilantro, borage, bee balm, and chives in all the right places.
  • Weed front flower bed,  cover with weed fabric, and mulch.
  • Plant garlic?
  • Water, water, water

 

Dear Garden People of the Internet: What wisdom regarding growing garlic can you impart? The spring’s attempt did not work!

 

~*~

The Garden

The cherub and the virgin Mary,

the Buddha and the garden gnome –

all the garden statuary –

talked in spring of how things grow.

Buddha said, “From compassion.”

Mary said, “The Lord above.”

Gnome replied, “It must be magic.”

Cherub sighed, “It must be love.”

And it rained then

in the garden

and they all stood ’round

and witnessed in stillness

and listened to that lovely sound.

And St. Francis in the corner

spoke up the gathering.

“Peace,” he said is most important,

“Peace for all the living things.”

And the stars burned,

and the earth turned,

and the sun shone down.

And they knew then in the garden

Life was stirring in the warming ground.

And St. Frances stood entranced

as Cherub watched beguilded.

Gnome’s hands laid on his sharp spade.

Mary gave thanks

and Buddha smiled.

–Peter Mayer

Inferno

I’ve been working on a choreography for Emma Shapplin’s The Inferno for months now.  The song stirs something in me that badly wants out. A version of the song is embedded below.

After months of reading, thinking, listening, and moving, the idea is finally beginning to find some form in motion. I need to finish it.

The quote in the image above was taken from John Ciardi’s translation.

Yes, there’s a lot aflame around here lately.  It’s an energy that needs to be channeled somewhere safe, like dance.

This weekend I was in the kitchen minding my own business, when he walked in and announced, “I organized your pads by size and color…”

Perplexed, I stood at the sink trying to blink some sense into his utterance. Nothing about those words or their arrangement fit into our normal everyday existence. This is not a man to organize anything by size and color.  We share a closet, you see, and I took over laundry duty years ago for the sake of my sanity. Under his charge, if clothes were lucky enough to make it from dryer to closet (and rarely were they ever), they were hung all willy-nilly, coat hangers askew, pants cavorting with shirts in an unholy way, with no thought given to color or context. This is the man whose shoes I pick up and return to the closet multiple times throughout the day.  Flip flops and dress shoes and Birks and not one but TWO pairs of work boots. All in the bedroom, but not the closet. Who puts on and takes off this many shoes in one day?

But there he was standing in the kitchen Sunday showing me proof of deed. In his hand was a Tupperware container he had commandeered for the purpose.  T’was a veritable rainbow of feminine hygiene products tucked neatly inside this cornucopia. I stared dumbfounded, mouth agape, as he followed up with, “…just in case you ever forget what love is.”

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others will destroy overnight.

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

–at Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta

One of my dear teachers sent me an exerpt of desiderata today.  Good advice to tuck into the heart:

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Be on good terms with all persons,
Speak your truth quietly and clearly,
and listen to others.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
Be gentle with yourself;
no less than the trees and stars you have a right to be here.
Whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.

 

–Max Ehrmann c.1920

august 16 011

 

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.  To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

–Henry David Thoreau

august 16 017

MoonPie & Azeleas Close

Each flower smiles with me.

–Thich Nath Hahn

 

May flowers 010

 

Let your wings of forgiveness flutter and take you into a garden where the flowers of peace blossom.

–Dodinsky

 

May flowers 002

I have arrived – I am home, my destination is in each step.

–Thich Nath Hahn

~~*~~

…if only there was a way to post the scent.

Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light, nothing flowers.

–Mary Sarton

May1 012

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.

–Gertrude Jeckyll

May1 004

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

–Buddha

May1 002

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