Brigid’s Day

Today is Brigid’s Day. The patron saint of poets, healers, and fugitives. And tomorrow is Brigid’s Day. Celtic goddess of the flame and of the well. Tell me, friends, how will you keep your fire stoked today? How will you keep your well filled with life?

“And the day has its feet to it that will see me coming
into the hearts of men and women like a flame upon dry grass,
like a flame of wind in a great wood…” – Fiona MacLeod

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An Adventure into the Familiar

It’s a good November day to think about author and poet Wendell Berry and things familiar- things to be grateful for- the miniscule, the often unnoticed. He once wrote: “The search withholds the joy from what is found” in his poem “Boone”. It seems like a great time peek around the corners of the everyday, the familiar, and utter a small or extra large helping of “thank you”, even though it may be hard in times like these. I’m in the city of Seattle as I write this, grateful for every person who opens a door for another, every smile given gratis, every face of every color and shade. Let’s keep opening the door for one another, and say “thank you” to every kindness or a glisten of light that comes our way today.

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Small Things the Reflect Light

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A dear friend of mine and I were talking about the antidote to a toxic climate in this election. I’ve resolved to come up with one or two or more, much like the rriiiiipppping! sound of tearing off a prescription in a doctor’s office. My first prescription for myself was a poignant reading written by Richard Rohr on his “Center for Action and Contemplation” site.  My second one is this: small things that reflect light. What small things all around you are reflecting light today . . . including you?

Feel free to post a picture or description on this site- let’s share the love, and the light!

 

A Fresh Morning Perspective from a Friend

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I asked the whitebark pine

 

a question, and he said to me,

“aren’t you glad we don’t all talk?”

And in silence he spoke:

a million voices whining, droning in

each other’s ears like a carnival madhouse?

Each leaf, each tendril, each rooty spine spinning

sounds, yabba, yabba, yabba, yabba.

The quiet madness of the mosquito multiplied

more than a million times over?

Aren’t you glad some of us convey

by bark, by bearing, by Being?

Aren’t you glad some of us commune

in the quiet witness of Living?

 

and in Silence, I understood.

 

  • Gina Marie Mammano

Day of the Living

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Today, at 48 years old, I am dressing up. Am I going to a Halloween party? Do I have school aged children to promenade with in all my splendor door to door for trick or treating? No and no. I choose to dress up on the eve of the Day of the Dead to celebrate the Day of the Living. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do respect, even enjoy the Day of the Dead. It is an opportunity for families to celebrate the lives of those who have passed and even invite them to sit down for another kind of spirit, a drink, and a calaveras poem recitation to remember and commemorate that person’s unique quirky contribution to the world. And, just as the Aztecs once asked their progeny not to cry on this day, so that the spirits of their loved ones didn’t slip on their way home, so I, too, choose not to cry (just for today!), but to laugh. And if tears come from too many giggles, well, perhaps the departed will just have to slide around a bit and giggle as they try to keep their balance. Today I choose to dance on the threshold. To let my shadow side give me a whirl on the masquerade floor and perhaps give me a tickle under my arms. To relish the gifts of life as we come face to face with the mysteries of death. Today, as a citizen of the living, I choose to live!

Breath-ful

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A friend of mine said to me, “breath is everything”. I couldn’t help but be narrow-eyed and jaded. “Everything?” I asked. That’s a big word.

“It’s the beginning of everything. Everything starts from the breath,” she continued.

Still muddled, though less jaded, I started to let that thought work its marinade at the back of my mental refrigeration storage unit. It sat there for awhile.

And then, a few days later, events entered my life that created anxiety. An emergency here. A major worry there, my mind and soul whirring off of their mountings. Breathe. Just breathe, I remembered. It’s the simplest thing I can do. It’s the one thing I can do successfully right now if I take the time to do it thoughtfully, intentionally. In this time of spinning outward into the stratosphere, I can center on the very thing that gives me life: breathing. I can give myself this gift of life within the twirling chaos.

Breathing. It isn’t everything, but it is the beginning of everything. Sometimes paring life down to bare bones beginnings can open up worlds in us that may lead to other places. Better places.I’m banking on it; I’m breathing on it.

Standing on the Threshold of Now

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On the threshold of now.  A door is opening. I don’t know what is on the other side. I guess it is being open to all that is that counts. The possibility of pain, hardship. The possibility of release, relief, beauty, gratitude. It is all there. And I am here.

For a moment, I step out of my own shadow. Sometimes we look at shadows as the places of our own darkness, and that’s fine, but they are also the sum of the sun and earth- proof of our own physicality. My hair blows in the wind in the late afternoon, strands of shadow on the ground are the picture show of what is. We are here. A black silhouette of ourselves moving or standing still shows it.

If I can step outside of this portrait for a moment, what do I see feel in front of me? What can I see in the long stretch of shadow that feeds into the distance? Will it be a surprise gift? Good health? Strength? Or will it be illness, challenge, difficulty?

I don’t know, but I’ll standing in that outside place for just a moment. Looking on. Hoping to be open to receive the bounty beyond the door.