The Guesthouse

December 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

paper birch healing

I’ve stormed through a sierra of feelings in the past couple weeks. Perhaps I’ve seen the worst of this battle with cancer, but a journey such as this is never simplistic.  The lymph node biopsy results still await, and the future is uncertain as ever.  I have been doing a number of things for my wellbeing: mistletoe therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, massage, blue light therapy, homeopathy, psychosynthesis, reiki and continuing with journaling, restorative yoga and meditation. I’m beginning to explore ayurvedic approaches to cancer, body-talk therapy, emotional freedom technique, emotional healing, hyperthermia and enzyme therapy. The more I read and learn, the more I feel empowered.  But sometimes it seems a degree of this journey lies outside of my own hands; it seems I am not entirely conscious or in control of all that passes through this body.  Feelings pass through me and at times pull me, and the more I…

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You Are a Daughter of the Sea

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sonnet XXXIV (You are the daughter of the sea)
Pablo Neruda

You are the daughter of the sea, oregano’s first cousin.
Swimmer, your body is pure as the water;
cook, your blood is quick as the soil.
Everything you do is full of flowers, rich with the earth.

Your eyes go out toward the water, and the waves rise;
your hands go out to the earth and the seeds swell;
you know the deep essence of water and the earth,
conjoined in you like a formula for clay.

Naiad: cut your body into turquoise pieces,
they will bloom resurrected in the kitchen.
This is how you become everything that lives.

And so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms
that push back the shadows so that you can rest–
vegetables, seaweed, herbs: the foam of your dreams.


As One Listens to the Rain

June 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

As One Listens To The Rain

by Octavio Paz

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it’s raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt’s shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift-go in,
your shadow covers this page.


Matt Wisnieweski: Landscape


“Here is the best true story on giving I know”

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment


“Undine Giving the Ring to Massaniello, Fisherman of Naples”, Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1846

“Here is the best true story on giving I know, and it was told by Jack Kornfield of the Spirit Rock Meditation Centre in Wood acre. An eight-year-old boy had  a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor.  They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was  good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight. 

The next day he went to his parents and he said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the glrl’s IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister; until the doctor came over to see how he was doing.  Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, “How soon until I start to die?”

Sometimes you have to be that innocent to be a writer.” (Anne Lamott)

The Rain Gods

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


by Nancy Ellen Miller

the rain split
the surface
of the puddle –
a speaker for rain sound,
ring upon ring radiating,
and the clouds bent down
like Dante’s angels,
shifting their shapes between
a heaven and hell form,
singing the verses for
a transfigured night.
if there was lightening,
she thought, it might ignite
the pavement, the trees, her hair,
eventually her body, and the
breath inside her mouth,
the same breath that formed
in insistence all the words
spun in seeming necessity,
it would burn them to ash,
leave them wet
and disintegrating
on the dark earth.
imagine such a lightening,
she thought, one that might alight all
our fear, turn all our syllables
into nothing but antidotes
to the poisons of pain.
imagine such a force,
omniscient, omnipotent.
but no such lightening
came, perhaps no such
lightening existed:
such fantasies
she has placed upon
the weather.
so the puddle before her
unfolded, or
rather it rippled
outward like a story
or a memory opened
and trembling to the brink,
appearing nearly like
shattered glass
or tears on watercolour paper,
depending on the angle,
it said these things:
flowers, silence, nothing,
and she stared blinking,
as if in disbelief.
“that’s it?”
she thought.
the rain was cold,
so she went inside
to get warm.

A Tree Within

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


By Octavio Paz

A tree grew inside my head.
A tree grew in.
Its roots are veins,
its branches nerves,
thoughts its tangled foliage.
Your glance sets it on fire,
and its fruits of shade
are blood oranges
and pomegranates of flame.

Day breaks
in the body’s night.
There, within, inside my head,
the tree speaks.

Come closer—can you hear it?

The Rain

May 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Rain
By Robert Creely

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.