Life holds out her hand
arrayed with gems and charms
even as we are looking
up and down and
all around for
that one thing
we're fixed upon while
all that is precious is going
going and then gone.
How many a prize
How many open hands
how many momentary
feasts forgone? I see
most of my time with my father
and others--places. The children
grown, the greens are brown. It's all
over before we know it and still
I forget to live
the dust of the corners
of my sills, to stroke
the clouded panes
the blemished floor
the crooked stairs and door
frames: my home.
Why, I had a home
fruit of the vine
I have a home bread of
Life I tossed away
for a time--why?--
as if I were mis-
guided or lost.
How I love the fact, the symbol of Winter Solstice. There is so much dark, dark every-
where, for so much of the day (night) at this time of the year in this hemisphere, but there is a turning, and if you pause and 'listen,' you can witness it, feel it, the turn, the turn away from the darkness and toward the light. It is the season of Lights. The Light is returning.
I remember a conversation of years ago, via email no less, with a woman I would never end up meeting. She told me of how she would sit sometimes by the ocean, on a jetty preferably, and wait, watch, listen for the exact moment--and she swore she could detect it--when the tide turned, when the flow ceased and the tide began its incremental, hours-long ebb. I loved that. And though I've never experienced it myself, I think that today I came close. The light is indeed returning, and however incremental and barely perceptible the turn, I felt it--like an about-face, I felt it. That's the fact.
As for the metaphor, I see opportunities moment by moment, one after another, to look in the direction of the darkness or of the light. To see the opulence in every living moment, or to see rents there: this missing, or that missing.
What a brilliant gem the great poet has cut from the earth of this:
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is
~W. S. Merwin
Here's to the indomitable Light.
In memory of Alan Houston
With thanks to Michael Losier for his audio boost this morning, I whole-
heartedly refer you
to a 15-minute tune up that I guarantee will leave you seeing abundance all around you--a welcome shift amidst the deluge of voices drawing our attention elsewhere these days. Sign up for Michael's free e-zine, and then listen to the complimentary "Mini Law of Attraction Training on Audio" entitled "Seeing Things as Abundant." It's a welcome reminder that what we see is what we get!Abundant Love Hugs to you, Michael. And here's to an richly joyful and prospered holiday season for all.
Despite myself, despite my knowing better--understanding the metaphysical consequences of such thinking and all--I often still think about the money. I am deeply dyed in the wool of "How much?" followed by the weighing of value and cost. Dealing in euros isn't helping matters any, what with currency conversion shaving 25 to 50 percent right off the top.
When my cat Sylvie toppled a framed artwork in the apartment here smashing its glass, I thought first about the waste (I could see it coming; if I'd reacted more quickly, I could have prevented it). Then I thought about the precious euros it would take to repair the damage. There was also the matter of how, of where: I am in a new city, in a new country look how long it took me to find a fuse! And could I find a place within walking distance? I'm on foot, remember.
Thank you Google. In no time, I'd turned up Baggot Framing, off Baggot Street. Right around the corner! I mapped the walk and found the place was even closer than I'd thought. Great! I rang them up.
"Just pop in and I'll take care of it for you," offered the man who answered, after a brief exchange.
Success! I was so excited for this quick resolution that I had hung up before my reflex flexed. What could it be, 3, 5 euros? Ten tops, I imagined. Whatever the cost, it would be worth the convenience, I decided.
A few days later when I rounded the corner onto Eastmoreland Place and saw the studio-storefront, I was hit with an 'uh oh' feeling. I could see this was a custom, craft framer. This was going to cost me. Oh well. I had already accepted I would pay whatever I had to pay. I had twenty euros in my wallet and was confident that this would more than cover it.
"I'm sorry," said the gentleman when I entered the shop, crippled artwork in hand. "I won't be able to do anything before Christmas."
"Ahm...I called," I mustered after a pause, "about a piece of glass. You said to just pop in..."
"Ah, I remember," he said, brightening. "Yes," he said, "I can cut the glass for you but I can't frame it. "I happily accepted, thrilled that I would accomplish my mission. The piece was kind of a mess by this point, glass fragments and shards having started to escape the frame and collect inside the bag I'd used to carry it. It was really in no shape to make the trip back home. He signaled to his shop mate to do the cutting, but not before checking my measurements, which turned out to be off. He read off the new figures in centimeters to the other man, then returned to his task of delivering a mounted, framed rugby? Orange, bearing the name "Dillon" jersey to another customer, and collecting the 200+ euro check for his work. Somewhere in there the phone rang."Let it go," he said cheerily to his partner. And then, to no one in particular (we were a temporary little community by then): "It's my wife. I can tell by the number of rings--that's the code."
Was it by his words, or his tone, or the light in his eyes that I knew he wanted this call, that he would be quick to return it?
Whenever I watch a glass cutter, I can't help but think, "The right tool for the right job." I said as much to the two guys waiting for their jersey piece to be wrapped, as one of them seemed impressed by the process as well. We watched and marveled together. Then they were off, and it was my turn to complete my purchase.
"No problem" I had told the proprietor. I would assemble mine at home, I didn't live far. But somehow, we three ended up in conversation about white walls, and the shopkeeper's son, a photographer, who isn't allowed to hang his prints in his apartment either.
"Ah, that's why you have broken glass," the framer had said when I mentioned this restriction.
"That and the cat," I said. "The cat's why I have broken glass, really."
I think that's when he suggested sticky hangers. After which we three launched into an exchange about spackle and white walls and how easy it is to fill tiny nail holes, and how seemingly unnecessary was this prohibition on tenants.
The next thing I knew, my perfectly sized piece of glass had been Windexed, wiped clean of any speck of dust, inserted in my simple metal frame, and within minutes the artwork was all together again, all new. When I asked if I could empty the last of the shards from the bottom of my now torn and only marginally useful bag, the glass cutter produced a new one--plain and brown, sturdy and perfect.
"No Fendi or Armani imprint to show off," he teased, with a smile and a twinkle, "but it will do the job."
My wallet has been out for awhile by this time. I'm ready to be told what to pay but am getting no indication of how much. When there is nothing else to do, no demand or slip is presented, and none seems forthcoming, I resort to asking: "So how much do I owe you?"
"Ah it's just a little piece of glass," the framer replied with a wave of his hand. I'd thought I was ready for anything, but I never expected this. He was so cheerful and clear and final about it though, that I put my wallet away."Oh, my goodness. Well that's a wonderful Christmas present!" I said, thanking and blessing him. I was warmed through and through, and I instantly knew where I would come the next time I had framing to do. "You will be my neighbor-framer," I declared and then, after more thank you's, stepped out into the gathering night struck by a glow I carried all the way home.
Days later, that glow is still with me, and not abating. This, I think, is the spirit of Christmas. How bright is the Light of Love and how enduring.