Sandy’s Flotsam

Some amazing photographs were published in the NYT. The subjects were ordinary acts by families and individuals. But when the storm Sandy swept them up they were transformed and ethereal and spoke to me of life’s transience and of what endures. I wrote this for a poet friend…little haiku to hold my thoughts.

A Response.

Do not wait for great
Chop onions, sort laundry; write
when the heart says write.

The great storms are here
What if yours is the poem
Flotsam left behind.

Write in indelible ink.
Speak of our friendship,dear poet
How it survived all.
RAS

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The Problem Is The Problem

In our angst and advertising driven society so often I hear people self diagnose and identify with their diagnosis, “my depression” or “my OCD”. One of the things I like about Narrative Practice is the idea that the problem is the problem. You are not the problem. This allows for a collaborative problem solving and some interesting new possibilities. There are many ways for persons to engage in therapeutic conversations that strengthen and expand a personal knowledge of one’s resourcefulness.
Read about narrative practice from the originals. The Dulwich Center in Australia generously shares material in their library.http://www.dulwichcentre.com.au/what-is-narrative-therapy.html

Courage to be kind

I awoke this morning to the twittering of the tiny hummingbirds in the sage outside my window.
In my office hangs an etching of a hummingbird by Rosey Rosenthal from Los Osos,Ca.
The hummingbird speaks of highly focused attention, all that energy to be still and gather nectar.
There is grace in taking only what we need. We are not deprived because the sweetness is already distilled into nectar waiting for us. That was the work of the sun,earth and flower.

Life still is sweet even after trauma. It won’t stop the suffering around you to be still, to be kind to yourself but it will give you delight and strength to do your part.

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Lay Good Things On The Heart

For me voicing poetry and writing poetry is transformative. It requires presence and breath. It requires acceptance of one’s experience in this moment and gives the gift of a changed experience through the very act of reading or creating. Here is a poem I wrote about one such moment of awareness.

Pond Cleaning.

After this winter
of cruel stories
The hungry bandits.
Decimation.
To find frog eggs
tiny fish
breath unbreathed
lives to be yet sung.
The smallest frog:
the loudest croak.
I am still here.

It was the quietness of your voice
your hands in the dark pond
the sitting soundless together
that left me
with the soft cloak
of possibility.

and here is one from Rilke, traslated by Joanna Macy.
Part Two, Sonnet XXIX

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Aha!

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Once at a workshop we participants were challenged to walk barefoot on a hike through the forest.The invitation to discard hiking boots induced the gamut of reactions.

A good antidote to “stuck” is inviting surprise. Most of the time surprise enters through our senses rather than our thoughts, so the more we settle into our bodies (grounding) the more likely we are to receive the surprise when it comes with joy rather than anxiety.

Walking in the redwoods barefoot brought an edge to our attention.

A few notes, a word or two, a sketch, an iPhoto and a new memory is anchored.

Banking new memories helps us past the old.

From “stuck” to “surprise” to “stillness”. Aha!

Beginning Again

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

Beginner Mind….again and again. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) since 1984. Primary focus: creating a safe environment for reflective conversations. Revising the narrative of one’s life can lead to choice and change, acceptance and contentment. This is a … Continue reading