Reflections from a Snow Queen

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On a chilly December day which seemed to birth the beginning of the new season, I had the privilege to be Snow Queen. As I sat festooned in a tent under sparkling icicles and blue twinkly lights, I sat in suspension waiting for the little ones, medium sized ones, and big ones to arrive. I sang my wintry song that began like this: “Deep down in the belly of the night, dream sweet winter dreams . . .”* and watched the little footsteps through the billows of tulle coming my way along the wood chip path. They would approach the tent, some of them a little apprehensive at first, and then they would gently enter the snowy realm.

Then their eyes would meet mine. They would listen deeply and attentively, sacredly even, to the words I shared with them. Words about forests and hearts and flames and crystals and warmth in the shimmering snow. They stopped. They truly seemed to partake in what John O’Donohue calls “slowtime”. That magical space where time stops and we get to enter the place of wonder. I watched as children from two to ten paused for just a few moments to receive the gift of song, verse, and clear shining crystal. And they held the gifts so well.

I believe the greatest gift I received in the little woods that day was seeing the deep wonder in each child’s eyes, every one of them- the deep wells of their souls opening up during a time of wonder. I ceased to be “Gina”, and got to embody an archetype- a season of slowing and mystery, the season of winter. Like the crystals I held in my hand and gave to each one, I will cherish this, too, in my heart.

*song written by Becky Reardon

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Are you a falcon, a storm, or a great song?

Happy birthday Rainer Maria Rilke! Among the crystal cold awakenings we experience during the birth of winter in this month of December, I love to think about Rilke’s clarity of thought in lines like this one: “I circle around God, around the primordial tower. I’ve been circling for thousands of years and I still don’t know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song.” I’ve pondered this line more than once before, and was even asked by one of my teachers which one I would choose. How about you? Are you a falcon, a storm, or a great song? The adventure I take with this “Saint of Centers” in my book “Camino Divina”, is one of well, centering- “into the heart of things”. I invite you to come along. Enjoy!

The encaustic painting featured today is by Caterina Martinico, an artist featured on Etsy.

A Welcome and Invitation to “Soul Souvenirs” Retreat!

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I come into the peace of wild things . . . .

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

–         Wendell Berry

Welcome! We invite you to join us for a retreat amidst the glistening advent of a new year- and what better place to enter into it than near the rich red roads and yellow sandstone towers of Ghost Ranch, with beautiful Mount Pedernal purpling the background—all possibly glazed with sparkling New Mexico snow! The gathering is called “Soul Souvenirs: Walking the Divine Way in Winter’s New Light” and our focus is on renewal, the beauty of soulscape and landscape, and of course, rest and rejuvenation to prepare for the new year. Our time will include small group interactions, walking meditations based on the practice of Camino Divina, times of reflection, and explorations of our inner and outer landscapes within the beauty of Georgia O’Keefe’s luscious backdrop. Here’s the link for more information- would love to see you there!

Soul Souvenirs: Walking the Divine Way in Winter’s New Light – G17S112X

3 New Ear Candy Episodes! Come along for the ride . . .

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I’d love to have you join me for my three new Ear Candy podcasts on Whidbey Air. It’s a sweet blend of music, poetry, and essay, curated by me, as your guide. It’s easy to access, and the links and descriptions are below.

Episode 1: Winter’s Cocktail: featuring the music of Fleet Foxes, Belle and Sebastian, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Robin and Linda Williams, Vampire Weekend, and Leonard Cohen. Featuring poetry by Louis Jenkins and Mark Svenvold. Listen now:

>EC1 Debut Show – “Winter Cocktail”

Episode 2: Lost and Found: featuring the music of Josh Garrels, Ray Bonneville, Sufjan Stevens, Sixpence None the Richer, and The Pixies. Featuring poetry by Jeffrey Harrison and Gina Marie Mammano. Listen now:

>EC2 Lost and Found 

Episode 3: Hearty Stew: featuring the music of Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, Deb Talan, Gringo Star, Joni MItchell, and Andrew Austin. Featuring the poetry of Joyce Sutphen, William Shakespeare, Margaret Hasse, and Khalil Gibran. Listen now:

EC3 Hearty Stew

Thanks for supporting the show!

Ear Candy: a sweet piece of sound for your mind to suck on.

– Gina Marie Mammano

Ear Candy

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I would absolutely love it if you would check out my new streaming radio show, “Ear Candy (a sweet piece of sound for your mind to suck on)”. It’s a lively mix of music, poetry, and prose with themes like “Winter’s Cocktail”, “Lost and Found”, “Hearty Stew”, “Liminal Leap”, and “Canticle of the Wind”. Check out “Winter’s Cocktail” now at this link: http://kwparadio.org/ear-candy-podcasts/  to hear the podcast.

And now . . . back to my (mostly) regularly scheduled blog!

Warmly, Gina