Small Stone for 5 May, 2017

In the flat lands where the wind plays for keeps, and what it takes is gone, gone, gone.  Where it thrums through the utility wires and leaves a film of dust over everything, including the sky.   Where the wind has urgent and important things to do someplace else.  Where the wind is as bored and restless as a rambunctious four-year-old who’s been cooped up inside all day.  Where vast herds of wind take days to pass through.  Where it blows with a fierce, relentless current like a river rushing through a gorge.


Small Stone for 25 March, 2017

I am doing a hat meditation for a friend.  Meditation wants accoutrements — candles, incense, a rosary or singing bowl.  It wants location, a quiet place set apart from interruption.  Meditation wants a point of focus — a word, a verse, a formula, some sort of mental coat hook on which to neatly hang one’s busy thoughts out of the way, to make room for meditation to occur.  The accoutrements for a hat meditation are knitting needles, a ball of yarn,  a bowl to put the yarn in, a cable needle.  The quiet place is  a comfortable chair and ottoman curtained off by soft music.  The point of focus is the knitting pattern.  And in the quiet meditation of knits and purls and cable crosses, memories of thirty years of our friendship drift quietly through the still waters like particolored koi slipping slowly through the dappled shadows underneath the lily pads, and now and again they undulate through open water where the sunlight sparkle on their scales.  In the meditation of the hat, happy thoughts and blessings become tangled in the yarn, and slip into the weaving of the knits and purls and cable crosses of this hat that will go with a friend on a new journey to a new place, a new life.

And the zen of it is this:  Intention effects outcome.
One does what one can.

Small Stone for 24 March, 2017

stoneSunlight shining through raindrops makes rainbows.  Life shining through souls makes art.

Small Stone for 15 March, 2017

People have got the idea of crowns all backwards.   It’s not an award.  You don’t get to wear one because you’re worthy of it.  First you get it, then you work like hell for the rest of your life to become worthy of wearing it.  The last two monarchs of England have understood this very well.

Small Stone for 3 March 2017

stoneHow wonderfully those great blue-grey heron wings row upward over the air, in careful strokes; yet even so, a smoke-grey wingtip lowering upon the outstroke might brush so gently against the heart and leave a tickle of wonder behind, as it rows away across the still blue waters of the sky.

Small Stone for 13 December, 2016

smooth stoneA spontaneous manifestation of iambic pentameter from out of the ether.  An orphan verse, alas,  still looking for the rest of the poem.  I’ll be interested to see what it finds. . .

“There is a bridge to the Land of Sighs
That is not for the faint of heart.
The road is long, the route unmarked
And the map is full of lies.”

Small Stone for 29 November, 2016

stoneThe leaves on the oak tree next door are a pile of crumpled russet velvet that shimmers in the morning sun as the wind brushes its fingers back and forth across the nap.

Small Stone for 25 November, 2016

smooth stoneIn the early morning darkness, eyes are useless.  It is touch that defines the world — the warm cocoon of the bedclothes, the cool air on my nose where it pokes above the covers, the warm furry kitty body curled against my shoulder.  After a moment on the surface of wakefulness, I take a deep breath of quietude, and sound like a whale back down into the depths of sleep.

Small Stone for 14 July, 2016

stone“July had been doing a slow burn for weeks, when late this afternoon, the sulky, sun-bleached sky prestidigitated clouds from thin air, heaped them up into a line of portly, big-bosomed fin de siecle matrons in long grey skirts and wide-brimmed hats and sent them flouncing across the sky pitching hissy fits of steam-scented rain.  It  came hurtling down in huge drops that splatted when they hit, slapping against the skin hard enough to sting and drumming on the car roof like tennis shoes in a clothes dryer.”

Small Stone for 6 August, 2015

smooth stoneThe peregrini did not seek out the solitary wilds that they might speak to God where there was no other voice to be heard but theirs, but that in the lonely silences at the edge of the world, they might listen where there was no other voice to hear but God’s.  And what else would God have to say in the wail of the wind, in the whisper of the waves, in the wild birds’ cries, in the vast and glittering darkness,  but “I am here.”