Stillness

It has been awhile since I have posted. With the busyness of spring, it is hard to find quiet time to write.

The way I’ve found time to even post this is by being intentional with small pockets of freedom. I relish the 10-15 minutes I get to just be alone with my words.

In keeping with my intention of living a simpler life, the photo below is of a shopping ban I’ve decided to do. Instead of feeling restricted by this, I feel a sense of joy and weightlessness.

While further reflecting on this word, here’s is a recipe I wrote for stillness.

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: a state of freedom from disturbance, lack of or restraint from speaking, the near or complete absence of sound

  2. Origin: Old English; quiet, silence, peace, release relaxation

RECIPE

  1. Unplug from that which fuels your anxiety:

  2. The need to produce,

  3. The need to speak,

  4. The need to act.

  5. Find release in no reaction.

  6. Learn relaxation from the wild reeds

  7. That soften in the mud

  8. Even as the stream passes

  9. They find rooted stillness

  10. In their simple sway

  11. As the sun touches them.

Creativity

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: using one’s imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of creative work.

  2. Origin: 1859 - from “creative”: 1670s": possessing the quality or function of creating, “imaginative;” “creative” first seen used by Wordsworth; earlier version of the word “creativeness” from 1800s.

RECIPE

  1. Go walk in nature and

  2. There in the wholeness of the high trees

  3. And the whispering arches of the clouds,

  4. Allow yourself to be silent,

  5. Alone with your ideas,

  6. Allow your discomforts to disown you,

  7. Puzzle pieces that seem disparate

  8. Will fit together on the page, on the canvas,

  9. Or in your smile,

  10. Be still, be open,

  11. The glow of creativity

  12. Is here with you.

poetry pie chart creativity

Exploration

A word recipe for exploration:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: traveling (or travelling—with two LL’s!) through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it; a deep analysis of a theme or topic.

  2. Origin: Middle French, from the 1540s, directly from the Latin word meaning “an examination,” to “investigate” or to “examine.”

RECIPE

  1. Gather the parts of yourself that are uncomfortable

  2. Like a cluttered house that needs a deep cleaning let them simply be

  3. Their messiness, their futility create the pull toward a deep anxiety:

  4. Be with it, don’t rush to clean it up, walk around it, say nice to meet you my

  5. Name is x, and I don’t like you y, I’m not really sure but

  6. I’d like to know what makes you tick, and sure I may be an old crock,

  7. But that’s the unique thing about me, I’ll live,

  8. And make peace with you as part of this exploration

  9. To know the parts I hate, the ones I ignore, the places I agonize

  10. Seed the fullness of my present joy.

A poetry pie chart on exploration. Click the photo for the full post.

A poetry pie chart on exploration. Click the photo for the full post.

Empathy

A word recipe for empathy:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: to understand the feelings of another and share them; to be sensitive to and experience those thoughts and feelings of another without having them fully communicated.

  2. Origin: pointed from German philosopher Rudolph Lotze from Greek empatheia: passion, state of emotion, to feel

RECIPE

  1. Gather the places on-repeat in your past that will singe

  2. Deep from the recesses drag them to the fore, topple them with future fears,

  3. The heaping piles of pain, a calamity without solution,

  4. An insurmountable bonfire aflame,

  5. But pause,

    I beckon you to mine,

  6. And together,

    piece by piece,

  7. We douse the load,

  8. Word by word exchanged, in drops, we water it,

  9. And soothe our tired souls

  10. With empathy.

Optimism

A poem for optimism:

The Dawning Good

When you’ve had dreams of the same door locked, 

as you try to escape the smoke billowing

gunmetal mushroomed soot, thickening the air aglow of a dimming city,

It is hard to imagine every light not as a piercing strobe, 

accusing you of crimes the most severe of which are from and against you,

policing your own life with a cascaded system designed for failure. 

It is hard to imagine the door as opening, gently curtained 

swaying with a silken breeze that only asks for you to rest in it,

a fire that only asks for you to stoke it, so it can envelop you in a 

cocooned lull as it crackles. 

The fullness of this view emerges with breath-reversing slowness, revealing against all foretold inclinations: 

That pure rapture is achievement; 

 That maybe all that life needs from you is your fascination,

the slow tracing of your fingertips against as many surfaces that spark 

the thrill of your aliveness;

That this material world is not without faults, 

but like root-shaken plants that repair themselves, 

it is always becoming whole, 

arcing, 

rising,  

to meet the dawning good. 

A word recipe for optimism

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: hopefulness and confidence about the future of the the successful outcome of something; doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

  2. Origin: Voltaire (French), modern Latin - the greatest good, the best, the best of all possible worlds in which the creator accomplishes the most good at the cost of the least evil

RECIPE

  1. Create your world by

  2. Laughing into the canyon of yourself

  3. The empty crumbling walls echo beautifully

  4. The symphony reverberating from your voice

  5. Aloud, it shrinks the distance of impossibly

  6. Living with kindness amplified, not space

  7. Between sun and skin, even the overcast surface can buoy

  8. With optimism.

Love

A word recipe for love:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: an intense feeling of deep affection; to feel a deep affection toward someone; a person or thing that one cares very much for

  2. Origin: Old English: lufo - a feeling of love, romance, affection, friendliness; German: lob - praise, lieb - dear beloved

RECIPE

  1. The parts of you that won’t go away,

  2. Or creep up upon you in the night,

  3. Feel their constriction around you,

  4. See them for their ugliness, but

  5. Do not stop there, for behind that

  6. Lies the beauty of their flowers,

  7. Gather them, petals soft against your nose,

  8. Inhale deeply,

  9. And say to them, dear beloved,

  10. You are love.

Confidence

A word recipe for confidence:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust; feeling the truth about something; feeling self-assurance from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities

  2. Origin: Old French and Latin– belief in the good will; veracity; firmly trusting; bold; reliance on one’s own powers, resources, or circumstances

RECIPE

  1. Look toward the horizon

  2. At the new coming in like a tidal wave,

  3. As it approaches, do not brace,

  4. Open your arms, love it with the wide depths

  5. Of curiosity that live in you, like an endless well

  6. Let the warm water fill you, move the sand in the forgotten bones that ache,

  7. And notice, as it leaves, the grains that remain

  8. Have befriended you, re-building a tiny lighthouse long-abandoned,

  9. Guiding you to this, again, with confidence, you can say

  10. I am here; no matter the weather, in me, I am home.

Resistance

A word recipe for resistance:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: Refusal to accept or comply; attempt to prevent something by action or argument; the ability not to be affected by someone or something, particularly adversely

  2. Origin: Old French and Late Latin – make a stand against, oppose; organized opposition to a ruling power; electromagnetic opposition; a science and engineering term: the path of least resistance

RECIPE

  1. Realize there is beauty in the opposition

  2. In the force that says intuitively, instinctively this is wrong

  3. But also that there is more to say in the rasp of anger

  4. That there is a lesson about ourselves: that we demand peace,

  5. That we demand ease, a well-thought out arc that bends toward

  6. Seeing the dawn rise with more colors than just red.

Clarity

A word recipe for clarity:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: the quality of being clear, of coherence and intelligibility, of being easy to see or hear; sharpness of image or sound

  2. Origin: Old French and Latin - brightness, radiance, glory, splendor; clearness of judgment or style

RECIPE

  1. We live muddled lives mostly in our minds, as spinning tops

  2. Disconnected from our bodies we fail to notice that they continue rounds, keeping us the impossible patient afloat

  3. Despite our non-linear thoughts we move forward, but these limbs we heave are heavy, begging us to

  4. Stop

  5. When a moment of pause arrives, do not run,

  6. Sit with it again (it is hard), and again (it is harder), and again (it is agony), until the calm shifts us brightly, and we can sigh,

  7. Relish the sharp cool of silence.

Forgiveness

A word recipe for forgiveness:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: the act or process of forgiving; forgive: to stop feeling angry toward someone; to cancel; to excuse impoliteness

  2. Origin: Old English: give, grant, remit, pardon; late Old English: to give up the sense of desire or power to punish

RECIPE

  1. Be with your anger

  2. Watch it consume your every thought like water that finds its way into all the crevices

  3. But then tilt it on its axis

  4. See how easily you can guide it and cajole it as it washes away

  5. The remaining earth will dry and what you've gathered is your gift

  6. That will quench your thirst for not theirs, but your own peace

  7. Forgive yourself; the rest will follow.

Strength

A word recipe for strength:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: to be strong or to be a good quality of a person or a thing

  2. Origin: Old English and Germanic roots; related to manhood, fortitude, vigor, violence

RECIPE

  1. Believe everyone can be good

  2. Because everyone has a strength

  3. Though strength mostly surprises us

  4. As discovered treasure, its presence like a gift

  5. Hold it like a silent prayer

  6. With the trust that quiet is still power.

Courage

A word recipe for courage:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Definition: being able to do something that scares you; being strong despite pain

  2. Origin: 12th century Old French - heart; Middle English - what's in your mind or heart

RECIPE

  1. Realize fear is the easiest emotion

  2. And doing easy in the short term is hard in the long term

  3. Find the veil that fear is covering and cast it aside

  4. Watch it get swept up and away with the breeze

  5. Shake hands with what's left for a job well done

  6. And meet the hidden friend named courage.