Like Words Together » poetry Reflections from the deep end of Practice. Sat, 25 Jul 2015 05:01:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Learning Rest Fri, 03 Apr 2015 03:58:46 +0000 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.

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New Path and National Poetry Month 2015 Thu, 02 Apr 2015 05:51:48 +0000 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.

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Full Moon, August 10, 2014 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 05:38:48 +0000 It has been kind of a tough week. Not anxious, more down, just another low of grief and anger to process. Between the session a week and a half ago and going through some photos of me as a child I've been stuck in a kind of anti-social funk all week. Once I just accepted that my week was going to include this processing, made space for it, I was able to find things I felt like I could accomplish and was also to take moments to really feel the happiness the exists concurrently, in the same space as the grief and anger.

Despite my hermit-y mood, I did make it out Friday to a neighborhood, small-business owner lunch. It was held at a place I was familiar with and knew food wouldn't be an issue. I got to practice saying things like, 'I'm a yoga teacher." and "I'm an artist" with strangers. Also practiced acknowledging I got really ill this past winter due to extreme stress and sleep disruption with both my old job and living with my Mother. I left with someone possibly interested in some private sessions to help her create a home practice she is comfortable with.

Today I got up and walked Dora then started puttering around the house most of the day. I may have over done it about, especially since there was a lot of moving stuff from upstairs to down and from down to up. However, I look around at the work done, much of it to improve my own studio space, and it feels good to make progress despite feeling a lot of aches.

After some dinner and watching a little MLS on television I went out to soak in out hot tub, listen to the frogs singing, and appreciate the "super moon" rising. We never really had any wish to have a hot tub when we were house hunting in 2012. That said, we're appreciative of the house having one that's so convenient to use (right off the kitchen on the deck). My doctor and other care-givers strongly urge me to soak every night before bed, and I do think it has been helping a lot with sleep and the level of nighttime-to-morning pain.

Tomorrow CK returns from London, briefly, before heading down to California. It will be so nice to have her company for a little while. Her laugh and made-up songs always lift my mood.

Super-moon - August 10, 2014 - Portland, Oregon



I couldn't resist a haiku in honor of tonight's moon:

Summer moon rises.
Golden and full in the sky.
Frogs sing gratitude.

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August Art Break Wed, 06 Aug 2014 05:11:20 +0000 This week CK is in London. My big goal is to try and do some good photography of the artwork I began working on this past winter. I feel like it has been a whole new expression for me. At times it is almost as if the lack of creative output during those last 18 months or so dealing with my Mother and my job just condensed into a more complete expression if that makes any sense.

Last month at the World Domination Summit (WDS) I ended up sharing my newer work with quite a few people. I was pretty blown away by the positive response and the interest to purchase pieces. I'm going to be exploring the wonders of setting up an Etsy shop in the next week or two and start selling artwork. I've also started to post about art projects, technique, etc. on our new blog, ZenZada; there's even a post up about a co-creative project I've started because of a workshop I took during WDS. I'll continue to explore what art means to me, and how it is part of my healing, here.

Last week had a tough therapy session. After nearly a month of nightmares with a pretty consistent thing, we looked into what was coming up around it. I was disappointed that it is one of those Big Trauma incidents from when I was 9, which was a year really filled with upset all around, but one thing in particular really haunts me. I always hope each time it comes up that I'll be done with it and moving on. Apparently not yet. My therapist says she thinks I need to work on forgiving my 9-year-old self.

All that and CK in London, plus my planned Saturday beach trip has been canceled due to illness. Just enough to make me sigh and feel a little blue. On the positive side, the creatures are happy to spend quiet time with me, I'm seeing a concert tomorrow evening, and this summer has had us listening to frogs singing, which suits our treehouse-feeling home perfectly.

Balloons - Portland, Oregon - July 13, 2014


Summer Haiku

Frog song in the night.
Wind whispering the bamboo.
Waxing moon arises.

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Magnolia Haiku Tue, 08 Jul 2014 23:04:41 +0000 Magnolia Scent.
Heady perfume on warm breeze.
A cicada sings.

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Fog Days Fri, 14 Mar 2014 05:41:50 +0000 Warming up for April, National Poetry Month, and my annual attempt to post 30 poems in 30 days.

Fog Days

There are the days
When a grey fog
Rolls in to
Obscure the
Green hills.
On other days
The dense,
Heavy damp
Rolls in and
Over me and
I am chilled

The hills and I
Wait those
Long hours for
Either strong wind
Or warm sun to
Turn the cold,
Obscurity into
Wisps that
Melt away
Into clarity.

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Winter Wind Fri, 24 Jan 2014 02:58:40 +0000

Exposed - November 17, 2013 - Portland, Oregon


Outside wind howling.
Chimes sound a cacophony.
My heart is heavy.

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August Stroll Tue, 20 Aug 2013 04:02:17 +0000 CK is in Toronto this week for a team meeting. It feels like she barely returned from Hong Kong.

As the weather warmed in our new neighborhood CK finally found a Good Walk. Suitable for both dogs and humans wanting a good bit of exercise. We've been trying to walk together with the dogs as many evenings as possible. Trying to wedge some time in the Busyness to get some time together, a bonus because it is doing something for our good health together.

When she's away I try to keep up the walks for the dogs and I. Tonight we even spied a dead bird along the way. I had to laugh at this find making me think of CK, but we're definitely the type to be curious about such a thing. Were she here tonight we could have taken turns holding the dogs at bay while the other got a closer look. Having a supportive partner makes all the difference in life.

I wanted to share this walk for my Love, who I am hoping is well asleep. A poem for a late evening in mid-August is the result of that desire to share.

August Evening Walk

We walk to the park.
Really, the dogs
Walk me.
Pulling toward the
Steep hill
Covered in grass.

We arrive at the
Time when the
Last orange of
Sunset fades
To the pale
Blue-grey of
When the sparrows
Give over the
Hunt to the bats
And the frogs
Begin their songs.

We rise,

As we return it
is I who cajoles the
Dogs along toward home.
Pausing here and there
To watch them press
Warm bellies
Against cool grass.

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Iris Miracles Wed, 15 May 2013 05:04:40 +0000

Native Irises - May 13, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR


Spring brings irises.
Each rising from the water.
Golden miracles.

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Fish Watching Wed, 01 May 2013 05:25:11 +0000

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


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

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