The air is fresh and chill. The wind blows tiny droplets of rain onto my face. I close my eyes and it feels like I am flying but the honking of geese above me remind me that I am not. I am walking, and walking on a muddy trail at that. My eyes quickly scan the ground and I scamper up a rocky hill like a little mountain goat.
These trips have gotten me in great trail shape. I spend a good portion of my free time out here in the wildish trails around my home in Portland, Oregon. It is a necessary component of my life to get out in whatever nature I can get to. We have no car, by design , my husband and I. We walk, bike or take public transit which is pretty good here. We like this sort of life, this muddy trail kind of life. I am very fortunate to have found someone who likes this as much, or more than I do. We are best friends, pals and companions as well as a loving married couple. He encourages me to be me and he smiles and shakes his head in amusement as I run up and down hills and even sometimes climb into the trees to snap pics and talk to the animals, real and imaginary. This is great fun to us and we are lucky to live where we do. So in spite of the rain or maybe because of the rain we are here at one of our favorite spots.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a swampy, wetlands area smack daub in Portland, Oregon. Lots of birds live here especially ducks. I like to greet them as we pass by. We see lots of animals on our adventures. We have seen deer, beavers and nutria, possums and a plethora of birds especially the waterfowl. This is one of the places we go in all kinds of weather. Today it is super rainy and the trail is super muddy but we love this.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a city park of about 141 acres in southeast Portland, in the U.S. state of Oregon. Located in a floodplain along the east bank of the Willamette River near Sellwood, the park is known for attracting a wide variety of birds. Wikipedia
Errol Heights Natural area is cute in a boggy sort of way. This is a short walk but has become a favorite of ours since it is so close in the city. On our first visit we met a curious man who popped out of the bushes. He told us in breathless Kiwi accent about the 10 beaver dams there as he was running around trying to photograph all of them in order before the sun set.
One meets all sorts of interesting people in places like this.
The beavers are pretty shy but you can see evidence of them not just by the dams but but by the trees they are in the process of cutting. Many of the tree trucks are protected by wire netting but there is still ample wood available. The birds are typically out in full force here as it is a haven for waterfowl and songbirds. I love to just stop and listen to their beautiful music. Today the soundtrack is dominated by geese who fly overhead in their famous V formation. It is amazing a place like this exists in the middle of the city. We are lucky to live here.
Errol Heights Park & Community Garden, located at SE 52nd Ave & Tenino St, is 12 acres acquired by Portland Parks in 1996. Its amenities include a great walking path through the site with views of the Errol Creek wetland area. Many native plants and shrubs thrive in Errol Heights – part of the Johnson Creek Watershed.
There has been times in my life when it seemed the moon was my only friend. It seemed so lonely up there in the dark. And so it came to be that we’d keep each other company.
If we seem well acquainted this is why.
Having romantic notions about the moon. I felt my soulmate, my kindred spirit, my best friend, a person I had yet to meet was out there looking at that same moon wondering about me too. The moon told me that love is timeless and to be patient, for love is that too.
And so we’d have these little conversations wherein the moon reminded me just how small I am and how big and ancient the moon is compared to me. These talks tend to put things into perspective when I am as lucid as the moon which is only sometimes, most of the time I am a lunatic which is another story…
***Here are some Moon quotes intended to inspire the lunatic in all of us.
It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.
There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
“Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: – you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
I’ve always wanted to write poems and nothing else.
Coming in whispers that speak to that child that lurks within
the one that plays in grassy fields and kisses the sweet spring wind
she who laughs at chickadees and muses with birds
Quietly knocking one over the head with her simple earthy words.
I have been literally brought to tears on more than one occasion by this immensely talented writer and poet.
Mary Oliver is an artist who more than paints pictures with words. She illustrates profound feeling in vivid and not so vivid colors and hues. They hit me deep down in my soul.
Never before have I so connected with another’s words. It reinforces to me the greater connection we all have with each other and our beautiful planet.
What follows are some of my favorite quotes by this Pulitzer Prize winner.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
There is nothing better than work. Work is also play; children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work. But people grow up, and they work with a sorrow upon them. It’s duty.
“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.”
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
Do you love this world? Do you cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath? Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, and softly, and exclaiming of their dearness, fill your arms with the white and pink flowers, with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, their eagerness to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are nothing, forever?
We are born of Chaos. A singularity known as the Big Bang sent forth into being an ever expanding commencement of all things.
Clouds of dense gas and swirling universes come together and are pulled apart….Stars are born, they shine and explode and then die. Black holes devour all they touch. Galaxies collide spraying stars into eternity. Particles are continuously being created and destroyed; blinking in and out of existence akin to a ginormous Schlesinger’s Cat.
We are born of hydrogen and oxygen, of nothingness and of everything. We are truly stardust come down to Earth.
Our home this planet has had a violent past and without all that disarray and upheaval we would not be here today.
We come from chaos and someday we’ll return there too. This is how infinity perpetrates itself.
We are a part of that.
As we are a part of everything.
Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. He knew that a stirring of the waters can sometimes conger up the fish. We know from history that many a good thing can result from many a bad thing indeed and if necessity is the mother of invention then perhaps chaos can be the father of the creative thought that sparks that necessity.
Fate forces our hand and we must act, even inaction is a form of action or reaction. We can go with the flow or fight it. Life is a raging river, never standing still, always moving, never the same…change is the only constant.
The death of one can come about the birth of another
Chaos is raw violence. It rips apart what was to make room for what will be. In it’s upheaval change does not waiver. It is indifferent to fate. It just is. Change devours the status quo. In its varying degrees it can make quite an impact. Life ebbs and flows. Stability returns with the growth that follows upheaval. Life is but a dance between the two extremes seeking to find an undulating balance between them.
Music interrupts silence and color disturbs the black and white. The peanut butter in my ice cream has only increased it’s tastiness to me
Imagine a world that never changes, a river that never flows, a planet that has lost its spin. Imagine a world without the audacity of daybreak. Imagine a blank piece of paper where words will never be. Imagine the leaves never falling off the trees, or crying babies never being born, imagine the butterfly never emerging from her chrysalis and becoming the butterfly she is meant to be…
This is why we need chaos you see…
Despite the pain of upheaval. Wonderful things can be found among the ruins. Sometimes it can be oneself.
I am myself at a time in my life where I have found the courage to make some drastic life changes. I write this as I sit in my new apartment, my name on the lease. It is mostly devoid of things for now but it holds the most precious thing of all: Love. The love that this place abounds in. I am truly blessed to have people around me that love me and encourage me to be the best me I can be. An unexpected butterfly landed on my shoulder one day last February and I haven’t been the same since. I found the strength to leave a situation that was not healthy for me or my children. I have taken upon myself to change this situation that I had lived with for many years. I will continue to keep you posted. Suffice to say I am happy and excited!!
Look deeper through the telescope
and do not be afraid when the stars
collide towards the darkness,
because sometimes the most beautiful
things begin in chaos.”
― Robert M. Drake
I wake to the sound of songbirds and the fluttering of sunlight tiptoing across my sleeping eyes.
I hear the geese
Never fails. Every time. Every year. The smallest sign of Spring approaches me and I bubble over in anticipation like a sparkling strawberry soda, all frothy, fruity and effervescent. I get giddy and happy and laughy. Seriously.
To me Spring is like a drug and I am totally under the influence. any sign will set me off no matter how small and/or strange. I spied a spider in the bathtub. A fuzzy gentleman or lady who I sang to as I scooped up and put it outside. It’s getting warm out there after all. The crocus are crocusing and the daffodils are doing their daffodilling. I saw a squirrel chase another up a tall pine.
“It’s Spring!“It’s Spring!” At least that what it seems the geese are saying as they fly overhead.
According to the calendar Spring begins Sunday, March 20 but to me and the Robin out there on the lawn who just slurped up a big fat worm, that glorious season has already arrived!
Spring is magical and I feel that magic down deep inside me, ready to spring forth as does all the greenery outside. Spring is hopeful. It is the season of light and whimsy. It is delicate and white at first. You can hold it in your hand, like a tiny seed. It embeds itself and begins to grow. It bursts out of the earth; vigorous and green with the exuberance of life, capable of taking on the world.
And I feel this and I feel hope. I feel good things are just waiting to bloom and spring up in my path. I will seize those tiny serendipities as they come and enjoy the hell out of them. Spring makes me believe all this can happen. Spring is like that; It’s sunny and happy. It cheers me on and fills me with gladness. I just can’t help it.
I know I’m not alone in this. I know that you too have a thing for Spring. So let’s do this…right here, right now. Why wait any longer? Let’s empower ourselves today and declare that Spring has sprung! And what better way to celebrate than with quotes about Spring.
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.
~Harriet Ann Jacobs
I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.
In the Springtime love is carried on the breeze . Watch out or flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.
~Emma Racine Defleur
On soft Spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars – Something good will come out of all things yet – And it will be golden and eternal just like that – There’s no need to say another word.”
― Jack Kerouac
In the interest of gritty and honest hard-hitting journalism I am out to sin and not just once but seven times! You guessed that right my friends, I am out to commit the Seven Deadly Sins and no one can stop me!
Just to clarify; the seven deadly sins are something the Catholics came up with, along with other lists as well. I’m not going to get into all that but suffice to say these particular sins seem tame as sins go. They are not so deadly; no killing or maiming or any bloodshed at all. They can’t be all that bad I’m reasoning to myself. Not enough to get struck down by lightning or anything drastic. Maybe some light finger-wagging by the guy upstairs?? And really what better time to go out and conquer sin? I’ve spent the great part of the last 20 years lost in some sort of June Clever-ish world, immersed in a certain domestic passivity that has separated me from anything even vaguely resembling sin. That being said, I think that it’s high time to embark on a wondrous journey of mild debauchery.
But then again…
It is wintertime and the downtown area of Portland where I was planning to sin gets mighty cold this time of year. Perhaps I will wait for the summer when it is HOT.
I will just have to get by with some light preliminary sinning from the comfort of my home. My favorite chocolate chocolate ice cream with chocolate and whipped cream sounds like a great start. I think I’ve got the sloth and gluttony down! RIGHT ON!!
…and while I think of other ways I can mildly sin from home let’s explore the world of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS through the following quotes and images:
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
~ ♦ ♦ The 7 ♦ ♦ ~
~Sade Andria Zabala
“You know, sloth is a sin,” he says softly.
“I prefer to think of it as an adorable animal.”
“Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor, both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.”
“Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.”
~Robert A. Heinlein
In Roman Catholicism, the Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, are a list of the worst vices that cut a person off from God’s grace. In Latin and English, the Seven Deadly Sins are: superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (extravagance, later lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath), and acedia (sloth). Each of the Seven Deadly Sins corresponds to one of the Seven Holy Virtues (see below), and together these lists were the moral standards and tests of the early Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church recognizes the seven virtues as opposites to the seven sins:
|Lust (undesired love)||Chastity (purity)|
|Gluttony (overindulgence)||Moderation/Temperance (self-restraint)|
|Greed (avarice)||Generosity (vigilance)|
|Sloth (laziness)||Zeal (integrity)|
|Wrath (anger)||Meekness (composure)|
|Envy (jealousy)||Charity (giving)|
|Pride (vanity)||Humility (humbleness)|
The words of Hafiz: How they enchant. They move, they writhe and wiggle up and down from right to left; dancing like crazy….inspiring me like crazy… Hafiz is another one of my favorite poets. Never mind he wrote these words in the 1300’s. They are timeless, ideas even more so. Translation adds a twist to these quotes. Daniel Ladinsky does a superb job. It’s hard to tell how much of himself he adds to the text. I concentrate more on the pleasure of reading and the places my thoughts travel to, invoked by the ideas, the whimsy and the thoughtfulness.
LOVE is always inspiring. Poetry lends the power of words and ideas and Hafiz adds the magic. Enjoy!
Your heart and my heart
are very, very old friends
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.
“I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious –
So kiss me.”
Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.
The tide of my love
Has risen so high let me flood
Let us be like
Two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with God
Into a sacred existence that defies –
Every description of ecstasy
On this Earth Day please do something however small for the Earth. Plant a tree, walk instead of drive. Don’t buy anything new. Look to the past for inspiration. We once were more in touch with the Earth and the basics of life and death. Life was messy and sometimes ugly but real.
We worked hard and got our hands dirty. More people grew their own food, made their own clothes and bartered with neighbors. Children played outside all day in the fresh air. We were strong and healthy…life was good and rich and full.. but somewhere along the line we gradually removed ourselves from the nasty bits of life. The dirty. the unpleasant, the time consuming.
Life is now for the taking, prepackaged and ready to go. It’s been inspected and sanitized. And it’s on sale for those that can afford to pay. Everyone else must make do…and we left the rural communities and farms and tight knit families. We worked in the factories to make goods and life was good, there was enough to go around…we reached a gilded age. A time of plenty.
It is not only unfortunate but starkly unfair that our spending spree comes at the expense of our progeny; the ones left in our wake who will not think so much of us I think.
On this Earth Day, plant a tree, plant several….do something, or better yet, do nothing. Go outside. Spend some time with the earth. With nature…
I think if we all spent more time outdoors. learned to love the natural world all over again….and if we brought our children and allowed them this gift; the love and deep appreciation of nature.
I think we’d as a people would care more about our beautiful planet and take active steps to do as little harm to our home as possible and perhaps leave it a little better than how we found it. Hopefully they will look upon us as pioneers who blazed the trail and set in motion events that will subsequently save our planet from us and thus save ourselves too.
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
“The earth is speaking to us, but we can’t hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then – maybe – the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.”
~Native American Proverb (source unclear)
“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”
“We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life’s continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Earth Day: The History of A Movement (earthday.org)
Rebellion does not have to be violent or messy or loud; there can be quiet rebellion. a shift, a change. An insistent force of good can overcome the dark. To love can be an act of rebellion, to care about each other in a world that does not care for itself. To think for yourself in this world; that is an act of rebellion.
Lead me into darkness, I will not follow. Show me the light and I will embrace it. Shine your light and together we shine like the sun.
FIGHT the Power and have a nice day!
“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion — against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”
― Johnny Cash
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.~Albert Camus
THE EARTH NEEDS REBELS!~David Icke
It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.~H. L. Mencken
“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
― Tom Robbins
He was a poet, diplomat, bohemian and political activist. He was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but borrowed his pen name from another poet; Jan Neruda. He was a controversial character. A diplomat and senator from Chile he embraced communism and wrote poetry in tribute to Stalin and Castro. You don’t have to agree with his politics to appreciate the sincerity in his work. The man was an artist; a heartfelt poet who won the Nobel Prize in literature.
Words are words no matter who wrote them and some messages are bigger than the messenger. As a writer there are times I feel I am only a conduit for something else. A something that whispers ever so softly in my ear. I only write what is given to me; words. And it’s the words of Neruda that I celebrate today. The dark dreamy words that evoke images of a hothouse world; a lush tropical jungle where love scintillates along the cool breeze of the night. He brought to his poetry a sense of quiet longing, of sadness and regret but with a spirit that burned… fiery passion and darkness; wanton and thirsty.
When I read his words I am transported to this world….I become a hothouse flower sipping in the cool night air, gazing up at the midnight stars that dare shine through the gaps between the leaves of the trees. Themes of bittersweet longing; of lust and love and all in between. Neruda puts his heart out there with brushstrokes of raw emotion tinged with the fragility of love that weaves itself between the lines of this beautiful poetry.
Have a nice day and enjoy the Neruda.
The words of Pablo Neruda
“I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.”
“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.”
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
Pablo Neruda July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
References and related articles
Pablo Neruda (wikipedia.org )
Pablo Neruda Bio (infoplease.com)
Here I am. It is a quarter till midnight on the last day of February. I am floating beyond both the physical and the intellectual into a soft and fluffy sort of sugary mind-zapping void that not only resides in but thrives in wide stretches of the world wide web…..otherwise known as “the internets”.
I am currently googling “vintage strange people fun” and seeing the array of absurdities parading before my very eyes. (If you have never done this I highly recommend it.) …okay, I have a lot of time on my hands but not as much as you’d imagine…it is that important. Mad you say? Perhaps….
I start giggling then laughing which gives way to loud and succinct guffaws. I try to stop but keep giggling….oh my family must think me mad…..
She’s quite mad you know…
There’s more than one kind of madness. There is the crazy “out there” wacky madness. For example my conversations with random squirrels around town, recording this nonsense and putting it on YouTube. That is a fun kind of madness the type that many young eccentrics like myself and probably you too enjoy.
There is also the sort of madness that comes about when the squirrels talk back. This is a not so fun kind of madness, depending really on what they say. An example of the worst kind of madness is when the talking squirrels start criticizing your life choices and making fun of your colorful outfits.
Today we’ll be concentrating on the fun variety of madness; the kind that has been scrubbed clean of any unpleasantness with a good strong anti-bacterial soap.
What follows is an example of quotable madness accompanied by some trippy pics with a side of SBI.
Happy March my friends,
“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
― Douglas Adams
“Humor is reason gone mad.”
― Groucho Marx
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
― Marilyn Monroe
“The mad are happy, the sane ignorant; those of us stuck on the sane side of madness or the mad fringe of sanity are in a purgatorial cage.”
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.”
― Aldous Huxley
“Stay mad, but behave like normal people. Run the risk of being different, but learn to do so without attracting attention.”
― Paulo Coelho
The Mad Artist (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)
His words were simple and earthy. Words that came straight to the point, jutting out at odd angles, all the while meandering along the sandy bank, flowing along with the gentle stream. Words that reflected a quiet beauty; a oneness with nature conveyed in tiny jagged pieces that formed an exquisite mosaic of thought and feeling.
He wrote of love in such a simple and honest way and his words have inspired countless romantics on their quest to find their other half.
The general theme of Rumi’s thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is essentially that of the concept of tawhid — union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut off and become aloof — and his longing and desire to restore it.
All the quotes that follow are his…
Here’s to green fields and sunshine, blue skies ,timeless poetry and infinite LOVE ♥
May this romantic month bring you your heart’s desire.
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī , also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (September 30, 1207 – December 17 1273) was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the “most popular poet in America.
RUMI ( wikipedia.org)
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