“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches”

beautiful girl lying down of grass

“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives-
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
hanging from the branches of the young locust trees,
in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left –
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
which is the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
To set one’s foot in the door of death,
and be overcome with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened in the night,
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses: deny me not, but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them.
Maybe I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I backtrack. I float.
I ramble my way home.”

~ Mary Oliver,
”West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems”


From: The Alchemist


“When each day is just the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

~ Paulo Coelho

Don’t Go Back To Sleep

hara chakra

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.


Love For Certain Work

rain puddle
Traveling is as refreshing for some
as staying at home is for others.
Solitude in a mountain place
fills with companionship for this one,
and weariness for that one.
This person loves being in charge
of the workings of a community.
This other one loves the ways
heated iron can be shaped with a hammer.
Each has been given a strong desire
for certain work, a love for those motions,
and all motion is love.
The way sticks and pieces of dead grass and leaves
shift about in the wind
and with the directions of rain and puddle-water
on the ground, those motions
are all following the love
they have been given.

When You Can Endure

The words stop
And you can endure the silence
That reveals your heart’s pain
Of emptiness
Or that great wrenching-sweet longing,
That is the time to try and listen
To what the Beloved’s eyes
Most want


Our Jeopardy

It is good to use
best china
treasured dishes
the most genuine goblets
or the oldest lace tablecloth
there is a risk of course
every time we use anything
or anyone shares an inmost
mood or moment
or a fragile cup of revelation
but not to touch
not to handle
not to employ the available
artifacts of being
a human being
that is the quiet crash
the deadly catastrophe
where nothing
is enjoyed or broken
or spoken or spilled
or stained or mended
where nothing is ever
pored over
laughed over
wept over
or found.

~ John Thomas Carlisle

A Spacious Choice

The New Year is a time we often use to very consciously choose. We find ourselves setting goals, we inquire and reach into our dreams; we create!  Life is such a vast array of choice and creation, what are you choosing this year?

For me, within the myriad of choices, lies my commitment the deep communion that is my yoga practice. On the mat.  Entering asana. Entering myself. Feeling my body.  My breath. Opening, freeing limbs and spine.  Movement. Awareness.  Alive!

Will you join me in this?

This Sunday the 15th from 1-4pm at It’s All Yoga Studio we’ll be exploring a quality of spaciousness in body, heart, and mind.  Creating space around our experiences frees us to choose outside of our quick reactions – we practice welcoming what is, even when it’s hard, uncomfortable, tight – we stay with it, a vulnerable and uncertain place, no doubt, but powerful in its capacity to shape the way we relate to our experience.  In practice this weekend we’ll be inside the places that the body with scoliosis experiences as compression, tension and density; and we’ll bring to it breath, attention, patience and kindness.  We’ll elicit the creative use of props and anatomical imagery to lengthen, strengthen, de-rotate, and align.  The cost of this workshop is $45.  I do hope to see you there!

Sign up at http://www.itsallyoga.com on the “workshops” page or call 916-501-4692.

(special thanks to Narelle Carter-Quinlan for adaptations from her Newsletter)

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