Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

2Apr/150

Learning Rest

I've only been able to establish a restful sleeping pattern in the past year. Peeling back the years of trauma and job-related stress (those 17 odd years of being on call) that created my inability to sleep well, chronic insomnia (couldn't get to sleep, couldn't stay asleep), starting from age 4 or earlier, has been hard. Multiple professionals have helped to treat me and give me tools to help me learn to rest at last.

These days I don't sleep as often or as much as I was in early 2014, but the need is still there. After more than a year of practice I am finally able to listen to my body without fear or self-shaming and let myself nap, fully rest, whenever I need to. It is nothing short of miraculous.

Learning Rest

Bleeding Hearts Return - Portland, Oregon - April 2, 2015

After a lifetime
Of restlessness.
Nights of scattered,
Small hours of sleep
Caught between the
Night terrors and the
Waking anxiety that
Brings them.

To experience the
Gift of sleep, to
Learn the rhythm
Of the body and
Its need for rest,
True rest that heals,
Is sipping from
Kwan Yin's jug.

Drinking in the
Elixir of life.

1Apr/150

New Path and National Poetry Month 2015

As I am feeling my way into this new way of being in the world, emerging into the life of a yoga teacher, artist, and writer with equal measures of joy and trepidation, I am trying to return to some things that helped foster my creativity, like annual 30 Poems in 30 Days project for April, which just happens to be National Poetry Month.

In years past I've really loved showing my love for poetry by committing to challenge myself to write 30 poems in 30 days. I'm not sure here on April 1, 2015, if I've ever done them all. I'll have to look back and see. I'm not sure I'll get them all done this year, but I feel good about reviving this "tradition" on my blog. Trying to write poems each day challenges me in many positive ways.

The biggest challenge is to just compose a poem. Write it, one day, often at a single sitting (although a haiku may take me the whole day to compose). Don't fiddle with it, just write it, publish it on the blog. Don't judge it, just write it. That's a hard one to work with, but this annual exercises challenges me to work with my inner critic.

New Path

Hospitality Agent Lumpy - Portland, Oregon - April 1, 2015

This uncharted territory
Had beckoned to me,
Yet always seeming
Far off, shimmering
On the horizon.

Yet now I find myself
Right at the edge,
Ready to step down
The road to a new way.
Now, now is the time.

I feel, all at the same time,
Joy, fear, uncertainty,
And, to my surprise,
Delight at moving into a life
I never dared hope to live.

30Apr/130

Fish Watching

Swirls of Pollen - April 29, 2013 - Portland, OR

 

Heron still, watching.
Hoping to glimpse hiding fish.
Pollen swirls, ripples.

30Apr/130

Spring Colors

Rusty Heron - April 29, 2013 - Portland, OR

Spring comes in with
Small bursts of color.
Snowdrops give way
To crocus, which greet
The sweetness of the daphne.
Days grow longer,
Warmer and soon
The world is bursting
In colors from the camellias,
The blaze of azalea, and bright
Torches of rhododendron.
Not to be out done, the
Leaves put on new, bright
Green and ferns uncoil
From the moist earth.

28Apr/130

Frog Return

Frog Swimming - April 26, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR

With a plop
I turn to see
A frog surface,
Then glide.

All around the
Shallows there
Are great numbers
Of tiny fish
And tadpoles,
Frogs-to-be,
Rushing from my
Great shadow.

Other poets have
Described it better,
Yet still, that "plop"
Of a the frog surfacing,
Inspired poets anew
Each spring.

**Here's Bashō's haiku about ponds and frogs, as translated by Alan Watts:

The old pond,
A frog jumps in:
Plop!

27Apr/130

Along the Way

Advice I - April 14, 2013 - Portland, OR

Here we find one another.

Still breathing in
And laughter still
Rising to the surface.

Yes, there remain
Sharp, narrow places
Between many of
The breaths.
(most of the breaths)
Exhalations expressing
Out in sighs.

There is also the
Sense of having
Arrived.
Not where, exactly.
Just the feeling
Of having made
It through.

Reminded
That the Buddha
Assures us
There is a way,
But reminds that
The going can
Be hard.

26Apr/130

Sakura Clouds

Sakura Clouds - April 25, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR

 

Clouds of sakura.
Delicate petals drifting.
Softest, sweetest snow.

26Apr/130

April Moon

Yesterday I forgot my personal laptop on my desk at my office. I'd had it with me while taking Mom to her labwork and forgot to drop it off at the house when I took Mom home. Yes, I could have borrowed one of CK's laptops or I could have typed something up on my tablet, but instead I just wrote down a haiku inspired by the gorgeous April full moon.

Old School - April 25, 2013 - Portland, OR

Not sure why there aren't moon-viewing gatherings in the spring, perhaps the weather is less likely to be lovely as it is in autumn. Our new deck is perfect for watching the moon rise and track across the sky. Clearly an autumn party will need to be planned for.

April Moon - April 25, 2013 - Portland, OR

The text of the haiku, if it is too hard to read the tiny picture of it:

Bunny hopping up.
Golden Spring moonrise above.
I gaze in delight.

24Apr/130

Flurry of Change

Heart Seeds - April 23, 2013 - Portland, OR

 

Even as
New flowers turn
Bright, petal faces
Toward the sun
Seeds are falling
Along with the
Faded cherry blossoms.
A kind of flurry
Of change that
Flutters by me
As I stroll past.

23Apr/130

Star Flowers

Star Blossoms - April 23, 2013 - Portland, OR

 

White blossoms like stars
Sing, "Come, let us welcome Spring!"
As I stroll past them.