open like the sky

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My heart is soft toward so many things. My heart opens like the sky for butterflies, or purring cats and smiling dogs, for the wind in the trees, for children in their tears or laughter or deep concentration, for strangers in their tentative hellos, for loved ones in their foibles and certainties and even in their angry moments. My heart responds with ease and joy and readiness to a beautiful, complicated world under the soul-sea of the heavens.

So I am surprised that this ready heart of mine remains aloof in a certain respect. How is it that my lone inner self, part of the ocean of being otherwise held so benevolently in my heart, is somehow almost invisible in there? 

I want my heart open to the me in me, giving love and solace and care there. Laughter and delight, too. It is, paradoxically, the me in me that is this wonderful heart so soft toward so many other things, is it not? Today, I allow my tender, embracing heart to reach everywhere.

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ukulele: fun and friends

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Little did I know on that snowy January day when I wandered into the music shop that the ukulele would come to figure significantly for me. And I am so glad it has.

I have faithfully been attending my ukulele club every week. I’ve gotten to know several wonderful people as a result, and enjoyed many awesome evenings strumming and learning together.

As the months go by, folks experience the ups and downs that life delivers. At ukulele club, we are able to share some of that and then set it all aside while we get lost in the music. We are always all smiles at the end of an evening playing together.

We have a fantastic leader and teacher who is just as excited about our progress as we are. He always brings us some challenges and theory along with some music we can jump right in with and party. I have learned immensely.

As the weeks have passed, we’ve gone everywhere from The Beatles to Phil Ochs, the Grateful Dead to the blues (ridiculously awesome!).

Last night, we played songs ranging from Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” to The Band’s “The Weight.” Our wonderful teacher also has us working on The Beach Boys’  “God Only Knows.”

The other delight from last night was a finger-picking version of Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.”  Wow, is this fun! I’m still amazed I can even read the tablature and make sense of it, much less play it. This one’s going to take some practice though.

Other perks that resulted from landing in the world of ukuleles include my first-ever attendance at a drumming circle and a dulcimer-led jam session, and multiple invitations to camps and festivals — hopefully I’ll actually attend one before the summer’s over!

I’ve been inspired by the people in my group. I love their many interests and the way they fuel themselves on music. No one can walk through the music shop on club night without testing out a new instrument. Last night, one of our club members showed up a little late because his cello lesson ran long. Several members are also very active in harmonica groups.

I admit, lately, I find myself drawn to percussion, too. We’ll see where that leads.

I am so grateful for this group and the ukulele. During a few stressful months, it remained a beacon of joy for me. Fun, learning, friends. What could be better?

Posted in connection, music | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

earth and me

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I keep a wary eye on the darkening clouds as I head out for my run. I know it can’t be too long before the weather unleashes, but, damn, I need to run. So, off I go.

At first, it’s just a few drops of spattered rain. Big deal. Maybe the whole thing will just skirt past. I’ve got my phone in a baggie.

I keep going until all of a sudden the wind whips up, and there’s a rush of rain, a clap of thunder. I duck into the high school baseball team dugout as the weather moves through, just a few minutes. We’re right on the edge of it.

When I step out of the dugout, and onto the asphalt trail, I notice the bright green sprig that’s fallen there. The wind whips it, but it remains in place. It looks so fresh and so beautiful, so alive against the asphalt.

I pick up my pace because I can see the clouds amassing, not thinning. They are angrily piling up and darkening, and I head homeward, disappointed that I won’t get more miles in.

I’m not all that far from home when the skies break loose, exploding with a sudden violence.  Wind, rain, lightening. I dash toward a school building. There’s an awning reaching out from the entrance doors. I head there and find just a little shelter. The wind is driving rain everywhere.

I feel so exposed, so defenseless as nature lets go. All I can do is stand and watch as lightening strikes and thunder claps, over and over.  The wind pushes the rain into unexpected places. There is nothing to do but watch, and be amazed.

It’s bigger than me. And yet, I feel connected right through my feet as the thunder rolls. I am soaked with the rains. I am awed and humbled, scared and honored.

When the fury subsides, I trot home, thankful, taking nothing for granted. 

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walk in the forest

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walk in the forest
trees creak in the wind, birds sing
we breathe together

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check out The Drabble

 

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Thanks so much to The Drabble for recently publishing my piece, “On a Sunday.” A drabble makes it happen in 100 words or less.

Check mine out here:

https://thedrabble.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/on-a-sunday/

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friend always

veru4_2_19I miss you, my friend.
You, so close,
          and
you, the one I will never know.
I don’t know where you are.
This was always the design.
You are going somewhere new
          without me, again.
What can I do but make wishes for you,
          like always,
and simply remain.
I miss you, my friend.

 

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notice what’s beautiful

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For today, I notice what’s beautiful.

The world is so much more than what turns up on a screen. So for today, I look around me and notice what’s beautiful. And it is everywhere.

I notice the cat’s gentle eyes. I notice the early morning trill of a bird. I notice the way the sun sparkles across the river, the graceful branches of the trees. I notice your smile reaching into your eyes.

Looking up, and noticing, there is beauty all around me.

Today, each day, I notice what’s beautiful.

Posted in life, love, self compassion | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments