Effulgent

8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

dragonfly by Barbara Rodgers

Is it a mistake to look to the world to tell us the meaning of our plummeting lives? Maybe we all have the power to shape our own structure, the structure of our metaphoric wings, what lifts us – our character maybe, call it our spirit. We all in our own ways catch the light of the world and reflect it back, and this is what is bright and surprising about a person, this rainbow shimmer created from colorless structure. Maybe there is no meaning in the world itself – no sorrow. In fact, no good or bad, beginning or end. Maybe what there is, is the individual way each of us has of transforming the world, ways to refract it, to create of it something that shimmers from our spread wings. This is our work, creating these wings and giving them color.
~ Kathleen Dean Moore
(Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature)

Time seems to fly by so quickly, and yet, each day seems so long in the living. Especially in August. Please! One crisis at a time!!!

8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

Near the end of August my sister and I finally and reluctantly decided that our aunt, who is 98, required more care than we could reasonably provide for her. The family doctor pulled some strings and found her a place in a “good” nursing home, much to our relief. She is now “settled in” there.

Our father, who is 91, is doing a little better, but is still on oxygen and remains very weak. So far my sister and brother-in-law feel they can manage him at home. He will probably never walk again, even with his walker… But I have to keep a watchful eye on my sister’s well-being – she has done more for the ancient ones than most people, including myself, would have or could have done.

8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

At the end of the month I spread my wings and accepted my daughter’s invitation to fly to North Carolina to visit her and my son-in-law in their new digs. It was the first time I flew by myself, although I had a flash of insight on the plane – I wasn’t flying by myself at all – there were many other people on board, fellow humans all with their own ways of transforming the world. All of us one. The flights there and back were spiritual highs for me!

8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

…Larisa at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Visiting Dima & Larisa for five days was wonderful! Very humid weather put something of a damper on outdoor adventures, but we had fun gardening in the early morning hours and decorating the living room and kitchen together one fun afternoon. We explored Durham in the air-conditioned car and talked and talked and talked. And had some great meals out and even better meals from their kitchen and grill. Had loads of fun taking pictures! I also came home with a lot of spider and mosquito bites for souvenirs. :)

8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

…I think this is a tropical quail (?) who lives in the
Magic Wings Butterfly House at the Museum of Life & Science

The trip did me a world of good – thank you so much for your gracious hospitality and welcoming arms, my wonderful kids!

8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

Supermoon ~ 6.23.13

6.23.13.6807

Satellite in my eyes
Like a diamond in the sky
How I wonder
Satellite strung from the moon
And the world your balloon
Peeping Tom for the mother station
~ Dave Matthews
♫ (Satellite) ♫

6.23.13.6819

 Avery Point Light, Groton, Connecticut

We speak of the beauty of the moon when we are speaking not only of its pure round whiteness in the night sky, but also of the mysterious influence it exerts.  We also imply its strange magnetism, its mesmeric hold on our imagination, and the inexplicable way it affects our bodies, our sleep, our moods, and all nature.  When we gaze up at night the moon unifies our world-view.  It is a mirror, reflecting the light of the sun, but in its own unique consistency.

The moon is more than what we see.  Its appeal is cosmic and beyond the mind’s full conscious comprehension.  It is as deep in us as it is far above us.  To see it is to resonate with a thousand invisible forces and feelings.

~ Ben Okri
(A Time for New Dreams)

mental optics rove…

Giant Gas Cloud in System NGC 6240 by NASA

Giant Gas Cloud in System NGC 6240
Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/E. Nardini et al; Optical: NASA/STScI

Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
~ Phillis Wheatley
(On Imagination)

far enough out…

“Earth at Night” image by NASA

If you go far enough out
you can see the Universe itself,
all the billion light years summed up time
only as a flash, just as lonely, as distant
as a star on a June night
if you go far enough out.

And still, my friend, if you go far enough out
you are only at the beginning

- of yourself.

~ Rolf Jacobsen
(Night Open: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen)

Be Filled with Light

5.27.13.5543

…My tree on May 27th…

It had been well over a week since I had last visited Grandmother Elm.  Almost two weeks – thirteen days to be exact.  I might not be visiting her as often as I had hoped to in the days ahead.  As you might imagine, having a cancer patient in the house has made planning our days unpredictable, as we slowly adjust to expecting the unexpected.  But look how well the elm’s leaf canopy has filled in during my absence!

5.27.13.5533

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver
(Thirst: Poems)

5.27.13.5534

According to one Celtic tree calendar, my birth date (January 12-24 and July 15-25) makes the elm, the good-tempered tree, my guardian tree.  And my gemstone is the moonstone. Deposits of moonstone can be found in Norway!

5.27.13.5538

You are probably quite unaware of the value of your ability to conquer anxiety, just as you are unaware that you are hard-working, reliable and creative.  You don’t try to belong to any group and you don’t want to be organised.  On the contrary, you are allergic to labels, even respectable ones.  You are overcome by embarrassment when the spotlight falls on you.  Your sense of moderation alerts you to the fact that an excess of light for one person can soon become too little for someone else.  You would rather hide your own light under a bushel than take it away from anyone else.  You prefer to praise your fellow men than to be exposed to their praise.
~ Michael Vescoli
(The Celtic Tree Calendar: Your Tree Sign & You)

5.27.13.5542

Well, all those things above do describe me well, not only am I overcome by embarrassment when a spotlight falls on me, I blush to a very bright red, which only adds to my distress.  Oh how I love to keep a low profile and hang around in the background!  :) The things I am discovering by means of my elm tree!

simple free being…

"Butterflies" by Odilon Redon (1840-1916) French Symbolist Painter & Printmaker

“Butterflies” by Odilon Redon

Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions.  Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego.  Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn.  The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise.  After that day we become seekers.
~ Peter Matthiessen
(Visionaries: The 20th Century’s 100 Most Important Inspirational Leaders)