Monday, December 5, 2022

Celebrate the aged


So often we assume 
That as things age, they lose their beauty, 
If not their value.
 But who would deny 
That the appeal of this picture 
Lies in the charm of the old truck, 
The washed out textures of the barn and its roof, 
And the magnificent curves of these ancient trees? 
Rather than mourning the loss of suppleness,
 Let us celebrate survival, 
 And the wisdom that comes with experience.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Fragile reminders


As the skies grow gray 
And the grass turns gray with frost 
We long for color, and feel doubly blessed 
When our loved ones bring us flowers. 
These fragile blooms remind us 
To be grateful for life’s blessings 
And mindful of those less fortunate 
Who desperately seek shelter from the cold.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

In gratitude


The snow kindly held off 
Til our drive home, 
The gallery was packed 
 With friends and strangers, 
The paintings beautifully displayed —
 A lovely evening: all my worries were for naught. Thanks for all of your good wishes; 
Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Winter storm


I’ve spent this last year working 
 Toward a show that opens tonight 
In a gallery far, far away
 (Actually slightly more than an hour’s drive) 
But of course tonight there are warnings 
Of snow and high winds, 
So the trip promises the possibility of adventure. 
And so, though I’m a person of faith, 
The worries begin to surface: will anyone come? 
What if the lights go out and no one can see? 
And what if we can’t get back home? 
Who would care for our cats? 
Perhaps I should never have offered to hang 
This painting, appropriately titled 
Winter Storm!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

We are enough


As the chill of winter deepens 
And the sunset colors fade, 
We send hope, and warmth, and comfort 
To those in need of each, 
And do our best to carve out 
 Quiet time for ourselves 
To remember we are loved, and we are enough.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A blessed reciprocity


Say what you will about the current admonitions 
To maintain an “attitude of gratitude,” 
The fact of the matter is 
That when you’re determined to stay open 
To the blessings in the here and now, 
Eventually they will thank you in return:
 A blessed reciprocity at the root of being.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Monday, November 28, 2022

Feeling thankful


The setting sun tosses a final splash of color 
To ignite the night-blackened branches 
Of my neighbor’s trees: 
A perfect end to a perfect weekend, 
And yet another reason — one of many — 
To feel thankful.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A simpler life


There is, within, a part of us 
That hungers for a simpler life, 
Forgetting how much work goes in 
To maintaining fields and farms 
And how little recompense 
 There is for all that labor. 
With time, we learn to make space within 
The more complex lives we’ve chosen 
To appreciate what might have been 
And, driving by, to stop; drink in 
The beauty that we pass.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Projections


We put hummingbird stickers on our windows 
 To keep the birds from flying into them. 
Yesterday this little guy perched on the fence 
Five feet from one of those windows 
And stared steadily at the sticker 
For some ten minutes.
 Perhaps because my mother would 
Have turned 100 this month
 (She died a quarter century ago)
 I wondered if he might be missing his mom…
 Projection: it’s not just for movies.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Outside in


Crossing the bridge, 
 On our way back home after Thanksgiving,
 I am reminded of a lesson learned 
A long long time ago that bears repeating: 
Structures, organizations — even relationships 
 That look stable, and inviting from the outside 
Can have a very different feel 
 When you’re inside, and can actually see 
 What’s holding them together…

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Giving Thanks


Perhaps today, unlike my cat, 
We can pause our endless search 
For what’s hidden, new, or different 
And make time to be not only grateful 
 But content with all the blessings of this life. 
Knowing that everything could change 
In a single moment, 
We appreciate what’s here; what’s now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Maxfield Parrish sky


Yesterday, when watching for the sunset 
(Which comes so early now 
I sometimes forget to look, 
 And then it’s dark)
 I remembered to look east 
Instead of just focusing on the west 
And this amazing sky 
Loomed over our neighbor’s farm. 
A Maxfield Parrish painting, 
It left me breathless: 
So grateful something prompted me to look!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A hidden opportunity


In every moment, there’s an invitation: 
A hidden door, through which —
 If we were brave or wise — 
We might, upon adventuring within, 
Discover that deep- buried well 
Of love and creativity 
 Which joins and fuels us all. 
Open your eyes and heart and seek that door, 
And pray you’ll have the wisdom 
 And the courage it may take to step within 
And find that boundless source of all that is.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Maintaining focus


This being human seems to be a matter 
Of constantly shifting focus 
Between what’s here and now 
 And what lies ahead: 
Like a camera, we can find it challenging 
 To achieve a satisfactory balance 
Between next and now, light and dark, 
Frequently losing sight of one 
While fixating on the other.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The textures of the Now


Where we are will always have its imperfections — 
Relationships patched or broken, 
A future partially obscured 
By echoes and reflections 
Of a past we cannot seem to leave behind — 
And yet, there is still beauty in this moment,
 If only we could pause, be fully present,
And appreciate the textures of the Now.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Thankful and mindful


The leaves are down and crisp with frost 
That sparkles in the morning sun 
As winter’s chill moves in. 
Be thankful for what warmth you’ve found, 
And mindful of those who shiver in the cold.

Friday, November 18, 2022

You’re an original



Judging by appearances, 
You might think this is a pumpkin 
Only a mother could love. 
But arranged with a bunch of “normal” pumpkins, 
She turns ordinary into extraordinary.

 
Don’t be afraid to be different: 
 That which sets you apart 
Might be exactly what is needed in this world.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Sharing our needs


To be thoughtful and kind does not have to mean 
 We carry our unvoiced needs to the grave,
 Hoping someone will notice. 
Those of us who find joy in caring for others 
May need to remember, as the old song says, 
“No one can fill those of your needs 
That you won’t let show.” 
Listen to your heart, and don’t be afraid 
 To let others know how you feel: 
Allow them to feel the joy of caring for you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Inevitable imperfections


It’s important to remember 

That however perfect life may seem, 
There will always be imperfections. 
Yes, this town is fortunate 
To be blessed with views 
Of both water and mountains, 
But those beautiful plumes spewing forth 
Carry within them the distinctive scent
 Of a paper mill. 
Whatever you’re choosing — 
 A job, a mate, a home, a community— 
You’ll need to know what’s important to you 
And learn to accept and even appreciate 
The gifts contained in the inevitable imperfections.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Seek th blessings


There are the clouds that drift into our lives
 And the ones we make ourselves, 
When in our rush to achieve and acquire 
 We divide all our experiences 
 Into high and low, good and bad: 
Divisions insubstantial that can interfere 
With learning and growth. 
Seek, instead, the blessings 
 That reside in each moment, and be thankful.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Be the light


The morning sun gilds the trees 
And turns the bottom of the seagulls’ wings 
To gold as they surf the wind. 
May you find light today, 
And BE the light 
That brightens someone else’s morning.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday’s invitation


Each week begins anew 
With Sunday’s invitation to recharge.
Setting aside our concerns, however briefly,
We find a way to rest out at the edge 
Of whatever challenges we face 
And turn our gaze to the peace that lies 
Just beyond our grasp, 
 Listening for its echoes deep within.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Challenges ahead


As the last bright colors of fall begin to fade, 
And winter’s chill belatedly creeps in, 
Our thoughts turn to the holidays ahead; 
Anticipating gatherings of family and friends, 
The days ahead are filled with plans — 
For food, for gifts, for traveling — 
But also with anxieties, with loneliness and loss. 
Conflicting expectations can easily drain energy: 
Be kind to yourself and others 
In the challenging months ahead.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Joy in Boundaries


Someone once asked why I added these stripes 
To the corners of this painting.
 I could have just said I liked their look, 
But instead I got philosophical: 
“I’ve learned,” I said, 
“That I’m much more comfortable 
 Working within clear boundaries; 
That there’s a lot more freedom 
When my edges are defined — 
I don’t waste so much time 
Trying to figure out where they are.”

Thursday, November 10, 2022

With each breath, an opportunity


As we make each day’s journey into night, 
Our thoughts are always colored 
By the place in which we stand;
 By the urgencies of the moment, 
Where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.
 But with each breath 
We have an opportunity 
 To step back or to step in; 
 To see the larger picture 
Or to deepen our understanding 
 Of what is and who we are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

This arc of light


This lemon sliced moon, seen reflected here,
 Seems to have multiplied itself 
As it slowly slides down the arc of night
 And into the reddening sea. 
So, too, we glide through the arc of life, 
What light we bring into lives around us 
Reflecting, then fading as the new day dawns.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Bend with the wind


This tree still stands on her windy cliff 
Because she’s learned to bend 
And her roots go deep. 
We, too, will survive these trials 
If we stay rooted in community 
And gracefully adjust 
 To our changing circumstances: 
All shall be well, and all shall be well 
If we follow her example.

Monday, November 7, 2022

A gradual unfolding


Think of life and relationships 
 As a gradual unfolding, 
Slowly opening our hearts 
Til we reveal that inner core 
That both withstands and welcomes…

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Blest be the ties that bind


We who are humans, 
Broken and scarred, 
Are bound together 
By fate and our faith. 
May the ancient and timeless 
Words of love 
Bind us together 
Both now and for always.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

When you walk through a storm


What looks like fire behind those clouds 
Is actually just a sunrise, 
But at first glance, one might fear 
Disaster’s looming — a good reminder 
Not to leap to assumptions, 
And to stay calm in a storm — 
Don’t waste your energy worrying, 
But rather spend it in preparing 
 To care for one another 
 And be grateful for what beauty you may find.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Time to open the door


Perhaps it’s time to take another look: 
To open that door in your heart, 
The one you shut so long ago, 
That protects you from the pain 
Of the hurts and losses you’ve experienced. 
You’re older now, stronger, and wiser, too — 
Quite capable of converting those experiences 
To energize and fuel your creativity.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Underlying unity


For so long I’ve yearned for bolder shapes 
To emerge in my paintings, 
But I’m finally coming to understand 
 That that desire is almost always over ridden 
By the underlying sense of the unity of creation 
Which seems determined to express itself 
In my work.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Hampered by the past


We need only be limited by our past 
If we identify with it and get stuck. 
Why choose to sit, powerless; 
To linger beneath the clouds 
 Of anger, bitterness and regret, 
When we could take up our oars 
 And paddle away in hopes of landing 
On the sunny shores of gratitude?

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The beauty of imperfections


It’s easy to become obsessed 
 With our imperfections; 
The many ways we fail to live up to 
Our expectations of ourselves. 
It sometimes takes a friend to point out 
That those very imperfections are 
What make us uniquely human,
 And that it is in wrestling with them 
That we find our path to healing.

Monday, October 31, 2022

In gratitude for forethought



Having moved from New England
To a region where deciduous trees are rare,
 I am grateful every autumn 
 For the thoughtful folks who planted these
 For the delight of generations yet unborn.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Rest in the Divine


Sunday is like the lap of the week: 
A place where we, like cats, curl up 
And safely rest in the arms of the Divine…

Saturday, October 29, 2022

On boundaries


I am thinking this morning about boundaries, 
And how important they can be — 
Not (as we often assume) 
To shut people out or protect us, 
But as a way to guide and foster growth; 
To reduce distracting elements in our lives, 
And focus our attention 
 On the path to which we’re called.

Friday, October 28, 2022

When the weather shifts


Listening to the pounding wind 
And the rain on the roof, 
Is it any wonder that the images I’m drawn to 
Speak of summer and still waters? 
However late the winter weather arrives — 
And it was at least a month delayed this year — 
It’s still an adjustment. 
We put away our summer clothes 
And move the hoses to the shed, 
Knowing it’ll be many months 
Until we drag them out again, 
Then learn again to bundle up and settle in, 
Grateful to be warm and dry 
When so many, less fortunate, are not…

Thursday, October 27, 2022

As the day begins


As the day begins, breathe deep, 
 And listen for the words in your heart: 
 How might you best serve the world today?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Enjoy the ride


By now we know 
What lies at the end of the road,
 If not how it befalls us — 
All the more reason 
To slow things down a bit;
 Make time to appreciate 
 The scenery along the way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Summer memories


As the skies begin to fade to winter gray 
And my grass turns brown, 
I rejoice in the memory of summer’s flowers: 
The bright joy with which they greeted the world 
 Makes my heart sing with gladness.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Appreciate simplicity


Having once lived through tumultuous times, 
We learn to appreciate boring: 
The simple pleasure of a gray-blue sky, 
Littered with fluffy clouds, 
Sharp verticals of tall grass, 
Not needing to be cut, 
Waves splashing on the rocks and beach, 
A seagull’s salt-scented cry 
 And the reassuring promise of a distant shore — 
All balm to the troubled soul.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

A day to rest and breathe


Sunday is a perfect day 
To step away from your to-do list 
And take some time to appreciate 
 The simple things: the patterns and the colors 
Of the leaves that will soon fall, 
The play of light among the branches, 
The lichen; the texture of the bark… 
Let your heart rest 
 In the shedding of what’s done; 
Breathe in the passing beauty 
 Of what’s now and what’s to come, 
And know peace.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Childhood memories


I confess: I’ve an addiction 
 To the rural countryside: 
Having grown up next to a farm 
(On the edge of suburbia) 
The sights, scents, and sounds 
Of cows or horses in a field 
Remind me of the happy place we called home. 
But what about the children 
 Who grow up in a battle zone? 
Will they find comfort 
 In the sights, scents, and sounds 
 Of violence?

Friday, October 21, 2022

Fallen


Like love, from that single stem, 
Her speckled skirts spread far and wide 
And glittered with reminders, 
Not just of tears and rain, but a life well-lived; 
Of hearts broken open and scarred; 
Of darkness, and the warmth of flames and sun; 
Of the mix of sorrow and rejoicing 
That accompanies each one of us until 
We fall back to the ground 
From which we’ve sprung.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Fresh air


Smoke levels in the valley 
I drove through yesterday 
 Are at record highs: 
 Amazing, when you consider 
 How far away the fires are. 
It’s yet another reminder 
Of how closely we’re all connected, 
And how a single choice or action 
Can have such huge repercussions. 
Be careful out there, keep breathing, 
And take a moment to appreciate 
 What fresh air you may have.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

As the storm clouds gather


Looking out as the winter storm clouds gather 
Over all you have so carefully been tending, 
It’s hard not to wonder what will survive. 
But you have done your work, my friend, 
And now’s the time to stop, and rest, 
And breathe in the confidence 
Of knowing what will be, will be; 
Your work, at least for now, is done.