Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To resolve or not resolve, that is the question!

Many of you who know me well know that I am not one to follow blindly the trends of others. In fact, tenacity r' us, especially when I feel strongly about something. So it is, also, with some of our traditions.

Whoever came up with the idea that in order to make a resolution you have to give something up? Why do we take the negative view on things? It only defeats the purpose.

"Giving up" food we love, things we like to do, etc., sets us into a negative frame of mind. Is it no wonder that we fail to keep our resolutions?
Being positive, I believe, helps make things happen. If I resolve to allow myself more time to walk each day, I will eventually begin to see a change in my body. Exercise is good for the metabolism. This idea is so much more positive than, "I am not going to eat." The "not" is what gets us subconsciously.

Therefore, the resolutions I want to make this New Year's Eve are:

I will allow myself more time for walks, dancing and playing.


I will allow myself more time for friends and family.


I will recognize my Light and share it unfailingly with others.


I will recognize the Light in others and unfailingly affirm it.


I will be an instrument of Peace in all I say and do.


Now, accomplishing all this might be successful only 2/3's of the time, but, I believe, the success rate is much more likely with a positive frame of mind.

Like our little tree, pictured here, the storms of life may come, but we can still stand strong against the wind and allow our beauty to show.

Peace, Love and Happiness for the New Year.





Standing strong (and beautiful) against the storm.

Monday, December 29, 2008

From the Poet's Soul

I have sat here before, in this little chair beside the windows of the garden looking for inspiration. Almost always, the Muse meets me halfway and the words flow onto the screen. Yet, today, I feel empty of words, empty of ideas.

Resolution: Never give up hope! (Never, say never!) Hope eternally!

So, I look into the archives...the dusty pages of hand written scribblings, the faded pages of type from my old typewriter (yes, many of my first poems were typewritten, literally!). I find a few offerings, my New Year's gift to you all.

NON-PRODUCTIVE

Holding the pen,
I strain to push thoughts
onto the paper.

My being is heavy
with the memories of the past,
thoughts for the future,
and reflections on the duties
due the present.

The phrases that appear
have no rhyme,
no reason.

Frustration and weariness
push dreams away...
the words are gone...
I am empty.

The mind would continue this madness,
but the heart rules.
Rest and quiet will fill the empty spaces.
Sleep will bring inspiration,
then, it will be time to try again.


INCOMMUNICADO


The telephone hangs silently...
an object d'art among others.
The mailbox stands empty...
a lone monument to words.
I reach out with my mind
picturing pen to paper,
imagining the tone of the dial.
I send my heart
filled with hope and love and faith
through the universe.
Life sometimes makes us prisoners
each in our own world.
But we are not alone...
Never alone!

ILLUMINATION


It lies quiet,
Deep inside...
Further than creation...
A forgotten dream.
Until,
A memory...
Half recognized...
Enlightens the heart.
Soul mirrors soul.



Or, when all else fails, play with the dog!


The contents of this blog are copy written. The conditions of use are: Users may print or download excerpts of reasonable quantity for personal, non-commercial use. No re-distribution or publication in any manner is permitted without the express consent of copyright holder. For further information and/or permission, please contact author at lupinelinda@gmail.com. Thank you!



Saturday, December 20, 2008

A gift of Poetry and Photo's from my home to yours! Peace, Love and Light, Linda

ICE DANCERS
Fluid grace…
Beauty in motion…

Gliding and turning across an icy stage
Two bodies move as one,
Etching love letters on a crystal page.


© 1983 LMRN



Winter Scene - South Deerfield, MA

WINTER OF THE SOUL

After the plow has turned the fields under,

The harvest of the heart yielding all it will,

They must lie fallow for a bit.

In the cold, dark winter of the soul
The spirit heals and is renewed.

Until the first dawn of Spring
'
When seeds of joy and peace and love

Bloom under a gentle hand.


© 12-01 LMRN York, Maine


Prayer flags in our yard


WINTER PASTURE


Harvest gold flora crunches

Beneath our boots

As we climb the rolling hills

That lead us to Dusk.

Like a great Victorian lady,

Sky wears a lace collar at her throat.

The intricate designs are held fast

By well-rooted birch and maple.


Atop the knoll we look

Down on a Robert Frost scene...

Farm houses punctuating the

Well-worked land.

Horses curiously watching
Our meanderings, perhaps wonder

Why we feel the need to work
So hard at “being”.


Amidst a snow ring,

The moon rises above us

While harvest gold flora crunches

Beneath our boots.

We "take the road less traveled"…

Crows and jays calling us back

To the warmth of friendship

Waiting at the kitchen table.


© 12/01 LMRN

The contents of this blog are copy written. The conditions of use are: Users may print or download excerpts of reasonable quantity for personal, non-commercial use. No re-distribution or publication in any manner is permitted without the express consent of copyright holder. For further information and/or permission, please contact author at llascell@educ.umass.edu. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Traditions

Webster's defines "tradition" as: 1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice; 2. something that is handed down; 3. a long established or inherited way of thinking or acting; 4. a continuing pattern of cultural beliefs or practices; ...The definition goes on for several more explanations, but I think you get the idea.

Growing up, we had a few traditions. Some were so entrenched in our lives that we didn't realize they were traditions until we stopped practicing them. Things like, Wednesday was spaghetti night; Saturday, we had beans and franks; and on Sundays we usually had a sit-down meal at around 2 o'clock. We called it dinner, which cracks my daughters up every time I ask, "So what's for dinner?" They call it supper.

Other traditions were explained in sincere, one on one talks, like when my Mom told me why we went to church on Sunday or why we didn't put the Baby Jesus in the creche until Christmas morning.

As my children grew, I practiced some of these traditions without much thought; they were simply conditioned responses to the stimuli of a particular time of year. Perhaps it is getting older and having grandchildren that brings me to this place of reflection. Or, perhaps the catalyst for examining traditions is our first Christmas without my Dad.

Mom and Dad had a tradition that
each year, when decorating the tree, they always put up a red and gold-trimmed ribbon before anything else went on the tree. It was from the first Christmas after they were married. It was their only decoration that year. This year, without Dad the significance of this tradition will have changed greatly.

Upon further reflection, I realized that as the holy/holidays arrive, I planned to do what I had been taught to do, without realizing it was a learned response. This has made me stop to look more closely at the reasons for each tradition, weeding out the ones that no longer serve a useful purpose or have lost their meaning and focusing in on the ones that are truly significant to Roger and me.

To begin with, we put candles in our windows this year, not because folks seem to be returning to the days of lighting up their homes, but as a simple reminder that the Light still shines bright in a world of darkness. I love the symbolism of the candle and have used it often in my teaching. The simplicity of its message of Light and Illumination is powerful.

We will put up a tree. I didn't have a tree two Christmases ago, and I won't ever do that again. I found it to be very depressing. Our tree is artificial - our contribution to the environment on many levels: more living trees left to clean the air, less pollution from dead trees being burned or thrown into dumps. The tree is symbolic of Life and Hope. "Ever" green, it reminds us that Life goes on from season to season.

Along with decorating the tree, I will decorate the inside and outside of the house. Outside, there will be fresh greens, red berries hung with ribbons on the door and light posts. Inside, there will be vignettes of angels (I love my angels...they remind me that I am never alone.) and snow people, which reminds me to stay child like...full of expectation, hope and wonder.


We will send greetings, but only to the friends and family we won't see over the next few months. However, if this doesn't get done before the end of December, I am not going to stress out. It will get done within the first few weeks of the New Year. (Once I got wrapped around taking care of babies, working, etc. and didn't send them until April!)

Another tradition we have scaled down greatly is gift giving. We, both, felt the need to go back to the times when gifts were small and mean-filled, usually homemade and always personal. Again, as a way to help give to the world, many of our gifts will be fair trade.

And, we will have a creche (manger scene) or two. (It is why I celebrate this season, for which I make no apologies. I find it sad that so many feel the need to apologize to the world for practicing what they believe in. My feeling is that no matter what your faith tradition, you should be able to celebrate and share it with others.) The Baby will be hidden until Christmas morning and, God willing my mind doesn't go on vacation, I will find Him and place Him in the manger before we do anything else.

These will be the traditions that Roger and I will follow. However, my daughters are now all of an age where they are developing their own traditions. I have watched with interest as my oldest daughters sort out the traditions they wish to keep. I try to remain neutral to their decisions. It is, after all, their lives. I wonder what wonderful traditions my granddaughters will cherish, as I see them becoming more aware of their world. It is an exciting time for all.

My two youngest daughters are just beginning this journey. One is off to Utah to discover life without immediate family nearby. For her, I think traditions will become an important part of this season. The other is on the threshold of the future, so it is too soon to know what she will decide. Meanwhile, Roger's daughter, a freshman at Smith College is enjoying learning the traditions associate with her school as well as those observed by her classmates while continuing many of the traditions of her family.

So, whether you will be keep time-honored traditions or creating new ones, may the traditions you practice during this season of Light and Love, enrich your life and those close to you. May you be reminded of the many blessings we all have, the many sacrifices of those who came before us, and the many dreams for a world of Peace we all hope for today and each day into the New Year.