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Friday, April 24, 2015

A beautiful meditation for presence (and peace of mind) by John O' Donohue:

I found this on a daily digest from one of my Yahoo groups. A beautiful meditation for presence (and peace of mind) by John O' Donohue:

 For Presence

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

~ John O'Donohue ~

Spring cleaning....I hope.

     I have to 'fess up here people. My house is a DUMP. I'm not exaggerating for dramatic effect, either. Dishes are piled up all over my kitchen (clean ones, but still); days worth of laundry needs to be put away...I don't know how my boys are getting into their room, never mind sleeping in it, and baby plants in flats are everywhere. Add to this a pile of half-written newsletter articles, just-begun stories, blog post starts (and stops), and various activity plans for work, and I'm beyond overwhelmed.
     Do you know how you decide you're going to get in there and clean up that mess, get yourself all psyched up, then you walk in and don't know where to begin?? Thank you. (Even as I type this my laptop is perched on top of a pile of library books that I think were due back a few days ago. WTF?)
     As this is my day off, I will put some serious effort into hacking my way through this disaster I call home, inspired in part by an email received from Dr. Christiane Northrup, whose blog I follow with near-religious fervor. Read on for some guidance and inspiration. I'm going to finish my (cold) tea and get moving. *sigh*

Why are so many of us buried in clutter? And why is it so darn hard to get out from under it? Having dealt with this dilemma for decades, I am finally living in a personal paradise—and in exactly the same house I’ve been in for over 30 years. For many years, this space provided a roof over my head, but was far more cluttered and messy than I wanted it to be.
So how did I create my personal paradise? I learned how to organize like a Goddess. Here are seven decluttering tips to help you do the same thing.

Step 1: If You Don’t Love it, Re-Gift it to Someone Else

This includes everything from clothing to furniture, especially inherited furniture. Terah Kathryn Collins, author of The Western Guide to Feng Shui teaches that our “stuff” is always talking to us energetically. Imagine the bed that you inherited from an aunt talking to you every night. Do you love what it’s saying? If not, time for it to go. Anything we’re keeping out of guilt or obligation is a health risk—I’m serious. Let it go. And if you need help, get a friend to come over and assist you.

Step 2: Give Up Perfectionism

Marla Cilley, the FlyLady, is a world-renowned expert on decluttering. She says that the biggest impediment to having a clean, organized house is perfectionism!
That’s right. We think the house has to be perfect and every drawer needs to be organized at all times. This is not realistic. It leads to exhausting ourselves trying to get rid of 15 years of clutter in a weekend. We end up simply exhausted and depressed.
Instead, set a timer and declutter for 15 minutes per day. Then rest. Do not do more than that. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in 15 minutes. Stop yourself from doing more.

Step 3: Start with Your Sink

About five years ago, I watched Marla’s video on how to shine your sink.

And I followed her directions precisely. And shining that sink each and every night became a habit. Now I can’t go to sleep without a shiny sink. And when I get up in the morning, that sink is such a restful sight. A new day—a nice clean space to work. And miraculously, when one area of the house is organized, that organized feeling tends to become contagious. Over time that organization spreads.

Step 4: Get Help

Some decluttering projects are just too big and too daunting to tackle by yourself. I hired a personal organizer after I did a major bathroom renovation. I didn’t want to just pile all the old stuff into a new space. That organizer was one of the best investments I ever made. We worked in two hour blocks. More than that is far too taxing. It’s very difficult to let things go. But with the right help, it gets easier and easier. The basement was what I called “The belly of the beast.” Cleaning it out became exciting. With every load that went out the door I felt freer and lighter.

Step 5: Decluttering is a Way of Life, Not a One Time Thing

Let your spirit move you. There are times when I’m really into decluttering and cleaning out. And when one of those times hits, I go with it. Right now I’m looking at about 12 file drawers full of medical articles collected over my career. And guess what? Most of them are going right into the paper recycling bin. With most stuff now available on the Internet, I really don’t want to keep yards of paper that my kids will one day have to get rid of!

Step 6: Make Decluttering an Offering to the Goddess Herself 

Or to whatever Divine being you prefer. In her wonderful book Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead, author Tosha Silver has a chapter called, When in Doubt, Clean. Make the act of cleaning an “offering to the Divine.” Let the very act of organizing and cleaning be a reverent ritual akin to reclaiming your own inner order and Divinity. There is nothing more fulfilling and uplifting than making a mundane household chore into a sacrament!

Step 7: Trust your Innate Priorities

When you have little kids, go easy on yourself. When my kids were little, and I was working way more than 40 hours a week, I just didn’t have the will to organize my house. It was much more rewarding to take a walk with my kids or go to the beach. And so—I never really got organized until the kids were out of the house. Trust me on this—life is long. And there will always be time to organize your house. Don’t make a career out of it.

Share with Other Ageless Goddesses! Share or Pin this:

7 Steps for Decluttering Your Personal Paradise
Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.
- See more at:

It's garden time!

I'm not planning to plant potatoes this spring (then again I wasn't planning to plant asparagus, and guess what I bought the other day?) but all my plantlings are growing fabulously, even the indigo rose tomatoes that my evil kitten Momo the Destroyer kicked off the windowsill the other day. Two kinds of winter squash, pumpkins, zucchini, five types of tomato, bell peppers, hot peppers, garlic, onions, two types of carrots, yellow beets, three types of beans, eggplant, watermelon, cucumbers, and some flowers my little guy and I couldn't resist: Chinese Lanterns, Bells of Ireland, coleus, and the red tulips he planted last year, not to mention the asparagus crowns I picked up the other day. I suppose I could fit potatoes in there somehow.....

Digging Potatoes, Sebago, Maine

by Amy E. King


Summer squash and snap-beans gushed
all August, tomatoes in a steady splutter

through September. But by October’s
last straggling days, almost everything

in the garden was stripped, picked,
decayed. A few dawdlers:

some forgotten carrots, ornate
with worm-trail tracery, parsley parched

a patchy faded beige. The dead leaves
of potato plants, defeated and panting,

their shriveled dingy tongues
crumbling into the mud.

     You have to guess where.
     The leaves migrate to trick you. Pretend
     you’re sure, thrust the trowel straight in,
     hear the steel strike stone, hear the song
     of their collision—this land is littered
     with granite. Your blade emerges
     with a mob of them, tawny freckled knobs,
     an earthworm curling over one like a tentacle.
     I always want to clean them with my tongue,
     to taste in this dark mud, in its sparkled scatter
     of mica and stone chips, its soft genealogy
     of birch bark and fiddleheads, something

that means place, that says here,
with all its crags and sticky pines,

its silent stubborn brambles. This
is my wine tasting. It’s there,

in the potatoes: a sharp slice with a different blade
imparts a little milky blood, and I can almost

smell it. Ferns furling. Barns rotting.
Even after baking, I can almost taste the grit

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A beautiful, thoughtful post from Terri Windling-Gayton's Myth & Moor blog:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Who knew Robert Loius Stevenson was so paganish?!?

Flower God, God Of The Spring

-by Robert Louis Stevenson

Flower god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,
Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,
Here I wander in April
Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
Spring, flower-planter in meadows,
Child-conductor in willowy
Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:
Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:
O child, happy are children!
She still smiles on their innocence,
She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,
Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:
Thus one cunning in music
Wakes old chords in the memory:
Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.
One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal
Green - one more, and my bosom
Feels new life with an ecstasy.                  (This is a link to Poem Hunter for poems specifically about April. How great is that? I wonder if there's a page for poems about July? I have to go look now, just because.) 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Oh, to be five again....

I have a day off today, and am spending it with my littlest child. His exuberance about this fact is overwhelming, bubbling up like a fountain every time he asks what we're going to do today. In light of this sweet joy, I give you Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill:

Fern Hill

- by Dylan Thomas

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace.

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would
take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It is a foggy, rainy day here in Turners Falls, much like the day I wrote this:

                   View from a Parking Lot
                                 ~Nicole Kapise Perkins

There is a veil

Over this forgotten village;

People rushing to work, to school,

To their mistresses and money.

Tearing through the fog

They don’t see the silver sun

Shining through tree branches,

Parting for black telephone lines

Like lips for a kiss.

The library glows 

With Carnegie’s halo

As mist washes over its marble casements.

I’m late for work.

I want a camera to preserve the valley’s mist,

Watercolors to immortalize its soul.

Art isn’t for the living...

I start the car.

I’m off to brick and steel,

Glass that reflects the mist

But won’t let it in.

This view is for me alone,

Lost as I leave the parking lot.