Often when I am overwhelmed — I remind myself to stand still, both physically and mentally. Right now I have much to say — so as a form of my verbal pause — here’s an excerpt from Rumi’s poem ‘This Eternal Play’..
“When I looked I could not see myself
By the magic of the moon’s light
my body dissolved into pure spirit
In this form I journeyed on
Merging with a boundless light
Then the secret of the eternal play
opened up before me..”
I am happy to welcome in a New Year — my 2012 was rough, tough, exhilarating, interesting, happy, sad but most of all transformative. A year that swung on a pendulum of extremes, tumult, unexpected changes and events yet punctuated with moments of excitement and happy.. Ultimately it ended on a sad note, resonated from a life-event and closing the year’s cycle of eventful tectonic changes.
So when I stood at the door of 2013 — I was excited to grab its knob, open and walk through to what I hope will be a year filled with the chance to appreciate the challenges I plowed through and from..
Sometimes when I write poetry on a whim – the half-hewn composition is thrown into a holding folder where it marinates ..before and at some point is eventually edited, polished and considerered a final draft. I was going through the folder and found this – which didn’t seem to need much tweaking..
Here and Now
of walking up
to a tree
Picking its fruit
..as its nectar
Rise and reaching
in the palm
of my hands..
I raise arms
turn in a circle
to the sky
See my heart
in the stars
Feel its beat
in the wind
Hear its song
in the throng
..of an elevated
into its imagination
Takes us on a trip
to far away places
But, it is..
I look around
See a beauty
Feel an abundance
Hear a song
Sense an amazement
is right here
Where I am.
Note: ..one day I will write about what inspired this poem — it’s actually contrasting to its context and incorrigibly funny!
At work, a copy of this painting ‘The Valley of Arconville’ (c. 1887) by Theodore Robinson (1852-1896) …sits on a wall, just off the 2nd floor elevator door. It depicts a young woman sitting on a slope, comfortably on grass and reading. Perched in natural surroundings, she is lost to the World …transported into her indulged tale.
Paintings of women reading, for me – often invoke an excitement and camaraderie – of Literature, to bask in and explore. A sense of concentrated immersion ..into a tale, an idea, another world – concrete or abstract. The energy leaps from the picture as an aroma of adventure experienced ..horizon expanded or frontier discovered. All within confines of mind, book, iBook, outdoors ..on the grass, amongst the trees – with scents and sounds mingled in a gentle breeze…
So along the same vein of ‘Impressionism-Inspired’ ..Spring …and because I adore paintings of women reading – especially outdoors ..it’s only fitting there be a celebration of both.
As we get into the last leg of Spring ..the pollen and ragweed still linger ..weather warms and effort to sprawl outdoors on grass, a mat, blanket… or cozied up in a comfortable chair with a good book…
..becomes an endless longing.
in love obsessed with the iBooks app, on my iPhone!
Imagine an entire library of your favorite books – even books 1300 pages long ..all condensed in an application, stored on your cell phone? Ah! The invention is practically THE phenom of the decade!
So, if ever I should be caught gazing at my cell with a giddy smirk or lost in some reverie? — it is only because I was bitten by the iBooks bug.
Now, when doing any kind of waiting or at whim – it’s such a treat to whip out the cell and immerse in a tale ..humdrum through debates and opines ..excite from literary musings ..or simply lose oneself in a poem ..sigh!
Claude Monet’s ‘hoarfrost near Vetheuil’ posseses a stark quietude.
But, what seems like ‘captured stillnes’ ..on closer inspection and depicted in its detail – is a frenzy of paintbrush strokes. Creating a visual bareness abound with hues of varied light and neutral tones – all in formation of miniscule tumult. An arrangement irregular, yet controlled.. A picture, complex in its austerity. A beautiful contradiction in stillness and frenzy.
I saw this painting last December. It was part of the exhibit: ‘Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay’ at the San Francisco De Young. The Exhibit was the second installment of a Tour. An impressive collection on loan from the Musée d’Orsay’, Paris, France.
The entire exhibit was varied and wonderful …but this painting turned into one of my favorites. I guess amidst my frenzied December, it emanated a peace ..its solitude, resolute.
Since the month began – I am happily affirming plans to ‘Run Less and Walk more..”. So, on a cool but sunny Winter’s day in the middle of February’s first work week — I spontaneously took a day off! By the end of the afternoon – found myself at Piccolo Caffe in Sausalito — relaxing on the outdoor patio, sipping on a whipped cream laced Mocha and enjoying the Sunset’s amber light turn pink over the East Bay and San Francisco skylines ..absolute Bliss!
This was followed by a long walk – south, along Bridgeway Blvd — well past the row of stores and restaurants. As I leisurely strolled, drank in the early evening air – embasked in the sound of gentle waves splashing on pebbles and delighted in the night views of the San Francisco Bay and City skyline. It was utterly delicious, relaxing and enjoyed…
Image: samasc.com ..San Francisco Bay and partial city skyline at night, from Sausalito..
This is my first post of the year ..so on that note: A Happy, Hopeful 2011 and ‘Year of the Rabbit’ Wishes!
My year began with a “Bang!” …well, with the usual fireworks, parties and all that.. heehe!
It is now three weeks into February and I am still recovering from both the beginning of this and last year.. lol
Anyhow ..as I think back to the moment 2011 was toasted in — I remembered what a great 2010, I had — with the exception, it sped by so fast — it’s a bit of a blurr.
Like most of my years — 2010 was filled to its brim with Work, Projects and Activities – social and personal. (..this from a year I barely travelled ..phew!)
Apart from my head, and its endless mulling over ‘to-do lists’ …days and its nights were jam-packed with a schedule, where on average — most things are confirmed two weeks to months in advance ..and spontaneity a rare but coveted diversion.
It seemed like I was always running from one thing to the next.. (operative word: “running”)
There is always something or so many things to do, indulge or amuse oneself with — the perks of living between the city of San Francisco and Wine Country in Northern California. Much as I appreciate all the wonderful things I have the privilege to enjoy — I couldn’t help but think it was missing its essence of “joie de vivre”.
Generally, I am good at being “present” in my moments ..but it is, in this one — I can understand and value the notion and need ..of being completely and wholly submerged.
When I was discussing this with a friend, they commented: “yes, you can’t see anything if you’re always speeding by”. I agreed.
So, for 2011 ..I’ve made a commitment to slow down — I am tired of running, I want to walk..
Since it would be unrealistic to expect myself to stop running altogether — I think, I’ll start with Run Less and Walk more..
Image: artistandart.org — ‘A Stroll’ ..by Czech Impressionist Artist: Antonin Slavicek (1870-1910)