Little Libraries

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On my walk this morning I discovered that I have not just one, not two, not three, but FOUR Little Libraries my neighborhood!

Here they are, each unique, but all variations on such a quaint theme, pictured in order of my discovery of them.  I love the Little Library concept and the fact that there are four so close to me makes a wonderful statement about the quality and literacy of my neighbors.   This is so cool!

AMENDMENT TO THE BLOG ~  actually there are FIVE!   Just added the 5th picture.

Had I not decided to wend my walk down different ways, I never would have stumbled upon them.   So it seems there is much to be said for varying one’s comings and goings and not getting stuck in a routine.  Who knows what one might encounter.

 

I have “checked out” a book from each of them.

The first one,  which I discovered a couple of weeks ago, at 10 blocks distant is, of the four,  the furthest one from my house, which is interesting that I should find this one first.  From this one I withdrew the book: The Strengths Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath.

The second one, only a half block form my house, I discovered last week and withdrew Taming the Tiger Within, Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions.  by by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Both the third and fourth I discovered this morning.  I was pretty astonished.

The third is about 5 blocks away. From this I withdrew Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood.  It’s a post-apocalyptic novel, so should be interesting reading along side my short story, The Village of the Smokey Hills.

The fourth is about 6 blocks away.  From this I withdrew The Plains of Passage by Jean Auel, its a novel in the series originating with Clan of the Cave Bear.  A nice pairing of imagined pre-history to go with Atwood’s imagined post-history.

From the 5th one, about 6 blocks away form my home, I picked up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson.

from Wikipedia:

Little Free Libraries are a community movement in the United States and worldwide that offers free books housed in small containers to members of the local community. They are also referred to as community book exchanges, book trading posts, pop-up libraries, and Noox (Neighbourhood bOOk eXchange), amongst other terms

 

Stairway to Haven

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I would not disturb the sodden leaves
whose corpses now decompose
upon these ancient steps.
Lest it rouse the ghosts
of those unsettled souls
who ascended from here to eternity.

 

*************
One can’t use that final line without feeling more than a little self-conscious, so here’s a footnote:
The title of the film “From Here to Eternity” comes originally from a quote from Rudyard Kipling’s 1892 poem “Gentlemen-Rankers”, about soldiers of the British Empire who had “lost [their] way” and were “damned from here to eternity”.

Inguz

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My friend Kari Tauring, a Völva (Old Norse for staff carrying woman) once taught me that we can receive messages by paying attention to the runes we encounter in natural phenomena, primarily in the shapes formed in the branches of trees. (www.karitauring.com)

On my walk this morning I came across a scattering of tree seed pods lying upon the ground, the two pictured above lay angled toward each other, begging me to bring them together into the configuration of the rune Inguz. (if you look closely, you can see the outline on the sidewalk of where the pod on the right was originally positioned.)

 

Here are a couple of interpretations of this rune’s significance (it sounds like pretty good stuff):

 

http://runesecrets.com/rune-meanings/inguz

Inguz – “Ing-guz” – Literally: “Seed” or “The god, Ing” – Esoteric: Process, space

Rune of isolation or separation in order to create a space or place where the process of transformation into higher states of being can occur. Rune of gestation and internal growth.

Psi: internal growth, personal development, the power of suggestion, the inner-child, wholeness

Energy: earth-god, stored energy, gestation process, male mysteries, subtlety, planned bursts

Mundane: male sexuality, agriculture

Divinations: Resting, gestation, internal growth, expectation, time for oneself.

 

http://www.holistic-reviews.com/Runes/Rune-Stones/Inguz.php

The rune Inguz concerns fertility and new beginnings in general. It is also a rune of transitions and may call for us to leave the past and matters of previous situations behind us.

This powerful rune implies mental and emotional strength – the strength needed to achieve completion of a task, phase, or situation – and to move into a new cycle.

Inguz can signify many types of cycles as it represents the intuitive faculties (long associated with the moon). Lunar cycles are also associated with tides and with cycles of fertility, nature, and births and new beginnings in general.

This is one rune that is not always drawn in the same way. Rune casters and artists have their own preferences, for some the solid shape of the simple square represents strength while for others the slightly more elabourate shape serves as a reminder of the helix (cycles again !) of the structure of DNA – linking back into fertility and new birth/beginnings.

More about the name of the rune Inguz: The rune Inguz is associated with the god “Ing” who was an ancient Danish Hero.

Inguz is a positive, if sometimes challenging, rune – it always has the same positive meaning.

 

08-Inguz-Alternative 8-3

 

Waxing and Waning

New moon

Emerging from their covert coupling
in the clear blue sky
The Moon,
only after her lover has left,
begins to show her face.

That silver arc, the bow of Artemis,
drawn, taut-passioned
flings stolen arrows of Eros,
like blowing kisses
to her departing lover.
Sorrow sweet and sublime

Each day their circuits
take them further and further
from their lovers’ sides.
Until from opposite ends of the earth
they stare back at each other
across the vacuum of space.

Then their tides turn,
And Nearer and nearer,
their circuits bring them.
Attentive to her lover,
the moon again turns her face
away from the earth.

Once more, her bow is drawn
taut-passioned
enticing her approaching lover
with gleaming arrows
and far-flung kisses.
Yearning sweet and sublime.

Then, lost in the light of day
they mount the sky together
ride in ecstasy its length
with never a hint to the earth,
unless their love so completely align
it eclipses all below.

 

Eclipse

 

The Old Moon

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Half an hour before the sun rises, the moon is all but ready to hide her face from us… and face only the sun…

 

Each month we speak of “the new moon”, that first silver sliver of an arc that appears in the western sky after the sun has set.

The moon’s arc always faces the sun, then pointing toward the departed sun.

This is always the day following “the dark of the moon”.

It  inspires new beginnings.

 

Never do we speak of “the old moon”, that last silver sliver of an arc that appears in the eastern sky before the sun has risen.

The moon’s arc always faces the sun, now pointing toward the approaching sun.

This is always the day preceding “the dark of the moon”.

It inspires letting go.

 

During the dark of the moon each month, the moon rides with the sun through the daylight sky, invisible to us, unless their alignment is so perfect that it creates an eclipse.

 

Dark Moon – New Moon – Full Moon – Old Moon – Dark Moon

 

 

 

Courtship

 

Horned Grebe  in breeding plumage

Horned Grebe
in breeding plumage

 

Zenith Arc
My Sunrise Sadhana

April 25th: Day #21

So many signs of courtship on my walk this morning…

After days of poor wooing weather, we have a beautiful, clear & calm morning, perfect for serenading, and the Robins and Cardinals and Chickadees and Song Sparrows are out in force, singing with every once of libido in their bodies.

On Lake Harriet, the Loons are calling; Horned Grebes are parading about, dressed to impress the ladies; and the Red Breasted Mergansers, taking a very proactive approach, are engaged in their erratic, but presumably erotic, courtship displays…

Red Breasted Merganser

Red Breasted Merganser

 

Their display includes stretching the neck and bobbing the head, wing flapping, crest raising and tail cocking.   To see them in action, see this youtube:

 

The Terns and Herring Gulls were raising a ruckus, as usual, but I’m uncertain if that was courtship.

 

I did not take the pictures of the birds, but these were taken with my iPhone this morning:

 

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A very fine mist that hung over the lake this morning cast pastel hues over everything.   Is was all very serene.

While watching the grebes, an older couple approached me, asking what the birds were.  As always, I was pleased to share (show off?) my knowledge about the natural world.   We talked for a bit, discussed how much more waterfowl there is on the lake this year than is typical.  They live in the area and have walked the lake for years, and had never seen Horned Grebes before.  We agreed that there were more Loons and ducks than ever.  In a few days, however, the Loons and Grebes and Terns and Mergansers will all be gone, continuing their migration to more northern nesting grounds.

In all, my experience this morning felt more like that of a remote wilderness lake, than our humble, but hallowed, Lake Harriet located in the middle of the metro area.

 

 

 

 

 

The Way the Earth Follows the Sun…

Earth follows the sun

Follow Spirit, the way the Earth follows the Sun…
Revolving, revolving, eternally revolving around the light,
but measuring the distance of your circumsteller orbit,
lest you forsake the fountains of living waters.

Planets wandering too far soon become frozen, barren worlds,
lose their tether of gravity, and drift into eternal darkness.
Planets wandering too near soon become scorched, barren worlds,
succumb to gravity, and meet their maker before their time.

* * *

Follow Spirit, the way the Earth follows the Sun…
Turning, turning, eternally turning upon your own axis
but gauging the duration of your days and nights,
lest you forsake the fountains of living waters.

Cycling between activity and rest,
All the facets of your life must face the light of day.
Languish too long in darkness, they wither from inattention.
Languish in too long sunshine, they wilt from over exposure.

* * *

Follow Spirit, the way the Earth follows the Sun…
Tilting, Tilting, eternally Tilting at your own dispositions
but metering the rhythm and reason of your seasons,
lest you forsake the fountains of living waters.

Inclining to the bent of your own character,
but alternating focus upon the hemispheres of your soul
for that which is left in shadow, becomes your shadow.
Balance is achieved in wheel of the year.

* * *

Follow Spirit, the way the Earth follows the Sun…
Revolve around the light in life-sustaining orbit.
Turn upon your axis, giving energy to all the facets of your life
Tilt towards the changing inclinations of your soul.
Establish your habitation upon the solar plane.

 

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My apologies for the didactic tone of this poem; I’m not really comfortable with it. But I wanted to explore this metaphor, and this is what came out. As with my other poems, this one is still a work in progress.

My other working title was: The Habitable Zone ~ which explains the recurring refrain about water…

From Wikipedia:

In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ) (or simply the habitable zone), colloquially known as the Goldilocks zone, is the region around a star within which planetary-mass objects with sufficient atmospheric pressure can support liquid water at their surfaces.[1][2] The bounds of the CHZ are calculated using the known requirements of Earth’s biosphere, its position in the Solar System and the amount of radiant energy it receives from the Sun. Due to the importance of liquid water to life as it exists on Earth, the nature of the CHZ and the objects within is believed to be instrumental in determining the scope and distribution of extraterrestrial life and intelligence.

Surrender, Trust, & Gratitude

 

Rock

 

 

Today is Earth Day.   Not a political or cultural holiday, as are most that punctuate our calendar, but a day set aside to honor the Earth itself, and to celebrate our connection to it.

Much of my Sunrise Sadhana is about resurrecting my spiritual connection to the Earth.  Trials and tribulations strained my connection and led me away from my path for too long, but my internal guidance has been prodding me to re-immerse myself into the Earth’s mysteries.  My Zenith Arc journey to the solstice is in large measure about returning to the heights I had once reached and returning to the depths I had once known, by ascending and descending, I endeavor to reanimate the person I once was.

The rock pictured above came to me during that past life, while on a vision quest.  The short story is this….

While preparing to go on the vision quest, I was drifting upon a lake in a canoe, meditating with eyes closed.  When I opened them, the sun in the western sky was refracted through streaks of clouds, so that it appeared as though there were 3 suns stacked on top of each other.  And the phrase, “Surrender, Trust, and Gratitude” leaped to mind; I had heard this phrase some weeks before, presented as a process of actively practicing faith.  The 3 steps in the process I now saw embodied in the 3 suns that shone upon me. I felt that I was to carry this message with me on my vision quest.

Days after my experience with the 3 suns, I drove to the upper peninsula of Michigan, backpacked out into the wilderness, found a suitable hill top to do my quest, and began to settle in.  On this hilltop there was a shallow depression that I thought would make a good spot to build my medicine wheel, in which I would spend my time fasting.

While clearing the debris out of the depression, I came upon a sizable rock.  It was largely buried, but with some effort I managed to dislodge it. Pulling it as though from the womb of the Earth, I discovered that upon the face of the rock were 3 red circles, that immediately brought to mind the message of the I had received of the 3 suns.  I was stunned –  my steps had been so orchestrated by Spirit that I could drive hundreds of miles away from home, to place I had never been, to a spot I had no idea I was going to, and from the middle of my medicine wheel, unearth a stone that embodied the very phrase i had been given to meditate on days before.

Upon closer inspection I saw that the circles on the face of the rock were actually reddish earth, compacted into holes in the stone. Using twigs, I scraped out the  earth to reveal the holes.   My guess is that millions of years ago this rock must have been part of a stream bed and that the holes are miniature “pot holes” bored out by the grit carried in whirlpools of water, and that glaciers deposited the rock on the hilltop, along with the hill itself.

The stone pictured above is of course that stone.  It’s about the size of a deflated basketball.  It was no small task carrying  it for miles out of the woods after a couple days of fasting.   Other than scraping out the dirt, I have not altered the holes in any way.  They are just as I found them.  I place the candles in the holes to of course represent the 3 suns and the 3 steps of faith.

I share this now, because of Earth day, to celebrate my re-connection to the Earth, and because this rock and this phrase have once again been bringing me solace.   As I continue going through my grief, I have sought to sooth the anguish by connecting with Spirit and to replace my pain and my fear with love.  Had I been conscious enough to invoke Spirit and to replace my fears with love some months ago, I would not be in the depths of sorrow that I now find myself

Reciting these  phrases, or some variation of them, can at times completely transform my emotional state from one of anguish or despair,  to one of love or serenity .

 

I surrender my situation with ____________, to the Great Holy Mystery.

I trust that the Mystery will guide my steps, and bring about the highest good for everyone concerned.

I am grateful for the love and support and the guidance of the Mystery.

 

I surrender my grief to Mother Earth.

I trust that She will transmute my grief into food for my growth.

I am grateful for the nurturing and the love and the transformative power of the Mother.

 

 

Surfing the Light Waves

Zenith Arc
My Sunrise Sadhana

April 18th: Day #14

In addition to all of my other intentions described earlier on my Zenith Arc page, it has occurred to me that rising and taking my walk each day before the sun rises above the horizon has another provocative dimension to it.

That being that I am bringing my presence to the same moment of each day, but not the same time. Despite variations in cloud cover, I am abiding in the same light each day, dwelling in one phase of the continuum of  phenomena that make up the entire day. I am subsisting in a period of stasis within a dynamic system of astronomical proportions.

Each day on its journey to the solstice the sun rises earlier, and thus I rise earlier to walk in the light of the dawn.  Each day, I revel in the moment of dawn,  and the moment that the sun actually rises, but the time on the clock is of course changing. And the season is changing; with it the plants and animals around me are changing.  The inclination of the earth’s northern hemisphere toward the sun is changing. And the earth’s position relative to the sun is changing as it makes its journey around it, which is of course what is at root of all the other changes that I experience around me.

Beyond that, the earth’s relationship to the moon and to the other planets in the solar system is changing; and the relationship of the solar system  to the galaxy is changing as it rotates within the galaxy, and solar system’s position in the galaxy is changing as the galaxy itself rotates around the massive black hole located at its center. And the galaxy’s position in the universe, and its relationship to the other galaxies,  is changing as the universe expands ever outwards.

By doing my moving mediation at the same moment of each day, I am inhabiting a still point amidst cosmic change.

Light, of course, displays properties of both a particle and a wave; it can be measured as either, though not simultaneously.  But by immersing myself into the same moment of light each morning, I now visualize myself as a particle of light, surfing upon the crest of a light wave, being carried forward to some unknown and distant shore.