March 31, 2012

seeing all blurry or things we take for granted

this morning I awoke feeling like I had something huge in my eye and was unable to dislodge it.  I finally saw a specialist on emergency call in Windham after a long hairy sight-impaired drive.    
We take so much for granted.  Sight. hearing. the fact we wake up each day.  My body is not the same body that I had in my 20s and I truly miss that body and I miss my energy.  What I have exchanged in slowing down is wisdom and peace which I treasure.  The perfect me would be both, but since I don't feel that is going to happen, I relish the new me with pull of gravity and middle age spread and aches. Yes all those for they are part of the aging.  And I truly love the new me that really does not care what anyone thinks of  me.  That is huge because I have spent donkey ages worrying about the right outfit and the right words.  Now I realize these are not important.  AND I so love this place I am in.  God bless!  
Everything each day is a blessing and I am thankful.

March 29, 2012

to be the crazy ones....

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. 
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. 
And they have no respect for the status quo. 
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. 
They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. 
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? 
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? 
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

March 27, 2012

what are shadows?

Like reflections 
we can't hold on to them.  

They are here and  then poof 
gone with the light.

March 25, 2012



 beautiful things you can not hold

March 24, 2012

not what it seems

What make photography magic is it slows you and makes you look and see.  When you pick up the camera and walk you start paying attention to color, light, shapes, textures,  and what is around you.  Today  I saw lots of new little holes by the septic and thought ants. There were lots of tiny bees buzzing around which made me realize these were not ant holes, but  bee holes. They have dug out of the sandy soil.  When I saw a bee emerging from a hole I tried to get a shot,  but they jumped back into the hole.  I sat and waited.    What kind of bee I don't know. So did a bee, wasp, yellow jacket lay eggs last fall and they hatched out in spring?  Have I always missed this? 
So much going on around us that we miss. 

 "A wise old owl sat on an oak
The more he sat, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?"

March 22, 2012


Am I invisible?  It sounds a little crazy to voice this question.  People don't seem to see me, hear me.  Some people are a real presence.  I don't really care to be a huge presence.  There are not many pictures of me, that I understand.  People don't remember me, they walk by me.  I say something and they don't listen.  I have made a conscious effort to quiet myself.  Perhaps that is part of it.  
Apparently I am not alone in this.  This is a problem of others, particularly over 50 women.  
Try this~
The conclusion I came to was that being visible had little to do with youth or sex appeal.  It came from a feeling of empowerment, and from a belief that I should be noticed.   There’s a commercial on TV now that shows a woman all dressed up, coming down the stairs.  The voice over says “It’s the difference between ‘I’m here’ and ‘Here I am.’”  
Thus, if I wish to be visible, it is up to me to make my presence known.  
So the question is now:  do I prefer to be quiet or visable?

March 21, 2012

off course

This morning a lone goose flew over, then around me, and off. Goose don't seem to get lost and this one seemed fine although alone.  How do they know where they are going?  When to go?  Their lives don't see to be  unsettled.
Here we are in midMarch with May weather.  I planted peas and spinach in warm dry soil.  Usually the garden is still under snow in spite of it officially being spring.  I feel out of kilter with the winter not being winter and the spring being HOT.

What have we unleased?

March 18, 2012

78 in march?  Is this the new normal?  Field is mostly clean except for that little patch of snow across the pond.

Is anyone thinking that all this strange weather is not right and what might be causing it and should we be worried?

I feel like chicken little saying the sky is falling.  No one drives less or uses smaller cars or or or seems even slightly concerned, so perhaps I am like chicken little over reacting.
If the sky is falling, in time we will know for sure. By that time it probably a bit late for a fix.  In the meantime warm March in Maine thrills my soul.  Usually this time of year I have on boots.  Today I was barefoot.  

March 16, 2012


 Who am I beyond the labels and descriptions ~ romantic, wife, friend, Catholic, Independent, passionate, hard worker, gardener..... 

what is the true me? 

Into the water’s world she looked

to find where she belonged.

She found the answer staring back
 it was herself she found.

March 12, 2012

color oh my yes

As a treat to myself, I stop at Lilies in Cornish and bring home one stem of something.  
She has roses and lilies and the usuals.  
She also has strange and unique others like this mimosa.  
She suggested I not put it in water, but allow it to dry.  
This is one happy making flower.  

March 11, 2012


black and white?

Sometimes it makes a huge difference on this not so much.

March 10, 2012

 Sometimes  I wonder why we live in Maine  ~  long winters, mud, cold, pesky bugs 
and then there are the many moments that I know.

March 9, 2012

the natives (and I) believe that god is in all things, rocks, birds, people, cars, all things
  all things should be treated with respectful reverence.  
That might be what is meant in the bible 
love one another.

"The secret to a long and healthy life

 is to be stress-free. 

Be grateful for everything you have, 

stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running." 

- Fauja Singh, 100-yr-old Marathoner -

March 8, 2012

Morning of the World;   a Wild Soul Moves On
by Tarin Chaplin
A week ago today, the last day of one of Soul Flares workshops, we prepared to exchange gifts. The sweet things had all been laid out on a table, the directions for the exchange given, and a gentle music filled the room as we closed our eyes. When the time was right (ripe) each of us would go select one. Almost immediately, I found myself getting up, eyes still closed, to be the first. Two thoughts filled my head: I don’t need any more stuff, I have a home full of stuff, beautiful stuff gathered over the years, antiques and artifacts and treasures of natural and human hand, trinkets, beautiful objects of wood and brass and porcelain and leather and glass, sinew and string, fiber and tin; and in front of me (though I hadn’t take the time beforehand to look at them all), was more stuff feathers and clay bowls, drawings and poems, beaded and ribboned and painted and glazed and woven and dyed and glued and carved and molded and written and fused and waxed and cast and hammered things, things made from resources mined or grown from or dug up from this earth, things that required trees for paper or handles or wrapping, that depended on oil to be converted to plastic for cellophane packaging and to gasoline to transport them from the raw source to wherever they were made and from there to be sold, sold as raw material and as value added products, things to be converted into objects of art and even into things for spiritual practice that could remind us to honor the earth that they were mined from in the first place. So I went to the table, my eyes closed, feeling my way, knowing I would keep them closed, hoping that when I passed my hands over the objects and intuitively felt it was time to lay my hand down, that it would land in an empty space, a space between things, and that would be my gift, the holy emptiness, the sacred nothingness/everythingness of air/breath, and not only hoping for that, but wanting it, expecting it, fervently desiring nothingness. I let my hands roam over what I knew was the table, and let my left one, the intuitive one, float its way blindly down over what I wholly hoped would be an absence.

But it was far from nothing. It was feathered, and furred, and rough, and hard, and large, and the more I felt, the larger I found it to be, this object that would not fill my desire for nothingness. And I picked it up and took it, knowing it had been given to me, that I had not sought it. Keeping eyes closed, I felt my way back to the circle, to my chair, and stood facing those in the circle. Before opening my eyes, I held it up to show and heard oohs and ahhs and umms.and then chuckles and laughter as the woman who’d brought it said, it’s a dance fan, danced and gifted to me.  It was made by a Native American and now its time to pass it on. I understood the irony which was more than a coincidence I am a choreographer, a dancer, and everyone there knew it. I opened my eyes and saw the fan. Fashioned from a curved stag horn handle, a variety of feathers sprouted out a securely bound fur ruff that ringed the bone like a wristlet. In the tradition of the one who made it, this is to be passed forward, the gift giver said.

I wondered how or when or to whom that would happen. It would be sooner than I expected.

Just off the next dirt road where I live is an old gate that opens its elbow onto a worn grass path that rises in a curve into a hillside pasture. On the western slope, just below the highest rise, a few huge old, haggard maples stand sentinel. The fields radiate out in a broad expanse to the east, and atop the knoll, ledge sticks out, crowned by a few firs. The deer come here in the winter; Id often found the melted patches in the snow cover, rounded depressions left from where they’d bedded down, their warm bodies and vaporous breaths melting the snow under them, which had frozen in shallow basins once they woke and picked their way off the safe high spot from which they had their 360o view. Id often comes here to pray, to do my Qi Gong. Only two weeks ago, my daughter had come at dawn to perform a ceremony for some tough things she’s facing; all in my family know and revere it.

But the piece of land has been sold for an exorbitant price -- by the farmer who is bit by bit selling off his land. A few days ago, on one of my morning runs, Id seen a crew of workers at the gate to the rise with their big Caterpillar equipment. They told me they would be blasting for the foundation of the home that was going in.

So it came to me, what to do, and last night I wrote on a piece of joss paper (which is used for prayers in the spiritual traditions of China):

Dear Morning of the World,
for 30 years I’ve been coming to you, standing on you, facing east as you open your wings to another days journey.
many many days, most days, I’ve not been here, but you, you always are.
Now, today, this day, they will blast a hole in your belly; now today, this day, they will rip a scar across your face. I cannot stop that.
But I can gift you. I can hold your hand one last time in the peace and morning murmurings of how you have been for millennium. I can make time for you. I can dance for you

And I woke early this day and took that dance fan and went out at 5a.m., jogging down the road and up the rise and onto the cusp of that hillside. And I cuddled down in a tuft of grass within the staked out circle of where the charges would be laid. And as the sun rose, I did my dance, my offering not a beautiful swinging, leg and arm graced dance, but a grief dance, bulky and awkward, as though Id never danced before and didn’t know how to do this, an odd-looking dance (if you could even call it that, dressed as I was against the morning frost in a hat with earflaps, an woolen plaid jacket with holes in the elbows and missing buttons, my clumper shoes, and ragged mitts).  I moved as I was moved to move, feeling the embarrassment and the craziness of how I might appear to anyone viewing me from afar, this old woman, waving a stout feathered fan about, quaking and spiraling and lying on the ground and rising to face the sun, and suddenly its glint was there, sparking out of a distant mountain like fire from flintstones, and for the 230 seconds it took to fully clear that ridge and begin floating its sphere across the day I witnessed and stared into it and said the prayers and sang the songs and offered my thanks. And then I placed the dance fan down, atop my little letter, placed it into the small dip of earth Id danced within, and without looking back, left, jogged down the hillside and back to my little red schoolhouse.
 I leave my eternal home and come into my temporary house, I murmured as I turned the
knob of my front door.
 The sun is high now, and soon they will be blasting.

 (Tarin was my roommate at the Wild soul weekend and the fan she choose was one I brought.  I had picked up a small beaded work from Africa that she had placed on the table.Tarin was bigger than life.  We were to be connected that weekend)

In Memorium: l. tarin chaplin (1941-2009)

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved flame-haired beauty, our mama, l. tarin chaplin who died of cancer May 25, 2009. Born in 1941 in Brooklyn, NY where her father ran a gas station, tarin began dancing at the age of three. Seven years later her family relocated to Miami, Florida, where they operated "The Silva", a commercial fishing boat. Head majorette at Miami High, upon graduation, tarin married Anton S. Chaplin and started a family of her own in State College, PA, from whence she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English and a minor in dance. After completing a master’s in dance at UCLA, tarin and her youngest son moved to Vermont in 1976, eventually settling in her little red schoolhouse in the town of East Montpelier.
A life-long “eco-choreographer,” activist, writer and dancer, tarin sought to connect people to the earth, the elements, and the sentient and non-sentient beings that share this universe with us in all their magnificent manifestations. Embodying this perspective, her art, which was performed on both proscenium stages and in site-specific venues, was known for its piercing imagery and rich symbolism. This past winter, for example, she brought her community the twelfth annual "Ice on Fire", an outdoor event that tarin conceived and directed in which she draws on storytelling and myth to celebrate the ferocious beauty of deep winter.
A portrait of him with his toy always with his toy!

Geese are back.  
SPRING Is happening. 

We heard them 
on our walk this morning.  
Not just one flock,
 but several.

March 7, 2012

The Gunniwolf
         retold by Wilhelmina Harper

There was once a little girl who lived with her mother very close to a dense woods. Each day the mother would caution Little Girl to be most careful and never enter the wood, because- if she did- the Gunniwolf might get her! Little Girl always promised that she would never, NEVER even go NEAR the woods.

One day the mother had to go away for a while. Her last words were to caution Little Girl that whatever else she did she must keep far away from the woods! And Little Girl was very sure she would not go anywhere NEAR it.

The mother was hardly out of sight, however, when Little Girl noticed some beautiful white flowers growing at the very edge of the woods. "Oh," she thought, "wouldn't I love to have some of those- I'll pick just a few."

Then, forgetting all about the warning, she began to gather the white flowers, all the while singing happily to herself:
Kum-Kwa, Khi-wa
Kum-kwa, Khi wa
All of a sudden she noticed, a little further in the woods, some beautiful PINK flowers growing. "Oh," she thought, "I must surely gather some of those too!" On she tripped, farther into the woods, and began picking the pink flowers, all the while singing happily her song....
Khi-wKum-Kwa, Khi-wa
When she had her arms full of white and pink flowers, she peeped a little further, and way in the middle of the woods she saw some beautiful ORANGE flowers growing. "Oh," she thought, "I'll take just a few of those, and what a pretty bouquet I'll have to show my mother!"

So she gathered the orange flowers too, singing to herself all the while: (song)

When SUDDENLY- up rose the GUNNIWOLF!!!!!

He said, "Little Girl, why for you move?"

Tremblingly she answered, "I no move."

The Gunniwolf said, "Then you sing that guten sweeten song again!"

So she sang: (song)
and then- the old Gunniwolf nodded his head and fell fast asleep.

Away ran Little Girl as fast as ever she could:
Pit-pat pit-pat pit-pat pit-patThen the Gunniwolf woke up! Away he ran:
Hunker-cha hunker-cha hunker-cha----Until he caught up to her.
And he said, "Little Girl, why for you move?"
"I no move," she answered.
"Then you sing that guten, sweeten song again!"
Timidly she sang: (song)

Then the old Gunniwolf nodded, nodded, and went sound asleep.

Away ran Little Girl just as fast as ever she could:
pit-pat pit-patAnd again the Gunniwolf woke up! Away he ran:
hunker-cha hunker-cha

pit-pat pit-pat pit-pat
hunker-cha hunker-cha
until he caught up to her and said,
"Little Girl, why for you move?"
"I no move."
"then you sing that guten, sweeten song again!"

So she sang:(song)
Until the old Gunniwolf again nodded, nodded, and fell asleep.

Then AWAY ran Little Girl:
pit-pat...until she came almost to the edge of the jungle!

until she got away OUT of the woods!

pit-pat pitty-pat
until she reached her very own door!

From that day to this, Little Girl has never,
NEVER gone into the woods again.
The end!

March 6, 2012

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.” 
 Johann Wolfgang von GoetheGötz von Berlichingen


March 5, 2012

"Sometimes I go about pitying myself
And all the while I am being carried across the sky
By beautiful clouds."
Ojibway Indian saying

I love to visit the edges of things where worlds meet and merge

from Katherine Muth in Maryland
"I Rise"

I rise, as the morning of my day has also done.
Light seeps through the window shade, no sun,
that I have seen as of yet,
but the coming of rose before it, in anticipation.

Song of Spring's beginning came forth days ago,
early is it not?    But then, Mother Nature has been rather mysterious lately
in her weather pattern.   What have we done to Her.

I rise to a crisp, cool morning.
Birds greet the day, trees budding in a wake
that should not be as of yet.
What is to become of the months of Spring we knew from yesterday.
The calender will have to change its celebration dates.

And we will either have to move faster, to keep up with what we've created
or start re-creating our future in hopes that it is still there.

I rise, as the morning of my day has also done....WHEW!!

March 4, 2012

black elk, Lakota

Grandfather, Great Mysterious One, 
You have been always and before you nothing has been. 
There is nothing to pray to but you.  The star nations all over the heavens are yours, and yours are the grasses of the earth.   
You are older than all need, older than all pain and prayer.
Day in, day out, you are the life of things.
 Grandfather, all over the world the faces of living ones are alike. In tenderness have they come up out of the ground. 
Look upon your children, with children in their arms, 
that they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of quiet.

Teach me to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that live.  Give me the strength to understand and the eyes to see. 
Help me, for without you I am nothing.
this is the prayer that named our land.  
We tried for years to find the name.  It would not come and then one day it was there~ 
face the winds

This may no longer be a farm but the signs of farming still remain.  

March 3, 2012

messy icy day to start
now all the ice and snow
is melting off.
In the white of winter I cherish color