Monday, November 30, 2009

goddess #14

"the tinkling of a hundred windchimes
flashes of color, even on this rainy day
bring a smile to all. . .
thank you!

may I ease the suffering of one person in the morning,
bring joy to one person in the afternoon"

Very near to where I live there is a magical tree. It grew over many years, sprouting windchimes and shiny things, spreading light, color, and music beneath its boughs. It is the garden of one of the Brookline "projects" and the creation of a family that immigrated here from Cuba decades ago . . . it reminds me, on a smaller and more delicate scale, of Simon Rhodia's Watts Towers. People are often drawn to dancing or playing within this fantasy world and it seemed a perfect home for a goddess dedicated to bringing joy to those around her.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

goddess #13

"on their journey toward freedom,
men and women
girls and boys
found refuge here

may all beings find refuge on their journey towards freedom"

Goddess #13 stands among the remains of a stone wall behind a church in Yorktown Heights, NY that served as a stop on the underground railroad. I am told that there is a tunnel connecting the church and a house across the street. It is moving to realize that this very contemporary prosperous suburban town has a history of offering protection to runaway slaves who were fleeing north to Canada. At the front of the church a plaque on one side commemorates the members of the Rhode Island Regiment, a company of black soldiers who died in the Revolutionary War in the battle of Pines Bridge, and a Peace Pole is planted on the other side. This circle/square juxtaposition is in the back of the church with no explanation, but somehow it feels like it might mark something significant.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

goddess #12

"Yet another unseasonably warm November day
The quiet of the graveyard
Across the road the vitality of a schoolyard at recess
life and death
side by side

May understanding come to our hearts and we transcend the cycle of birth and death."

Brookline's Old Burying Ground is home not only to some of the town's most prominent citizens, but also to several slaves who were buried in unmarked graves near their owners. This piece of Brookline history has only recently been unearthed. It seems fitting that these bodies, owner and owned, now are inextricably joined, nourishing the verdant grass, soft moss, and magnificent trees of this place. Indeed, being here  I can really feel the spirit of Thich Nhat Hanh's words, to paraphrase, "I am the slaveowner who lives in the big house, and I am the slave that works finger to the bone to serve the master, I am the body feeding the grass and I am the child running on the grass calling joyfully to my friend."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

goddess #11

"Indian summer
returned for the day.
How glorious to have
eyes that see
ears that hear
a body to feel the breeze,
soak up the sun,
and connect with the aliveness of the earth
and all things that grow"

May all beings touch their own aliveness with awe and gratitude.

Literally floating on a log in the Charles River, goddess #11 is not far from the Perkins School for the Blind, a wonderful institution that dates back to the days of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. Walking in the woods nearby made me keenly aware of how precious this human body truly is and grateful for the sensitivity of our senses and to our amazing ability to learn and adapt to changes in our individual and collective being.

Monday, November 2, 2009

goddess #10

"Autumn equinox
Full moon
momentarily in balance
then not . . .

May we all elarn to dance the shifting sands . . .
balancing dynamically from moment to moment"

 Goddess of the the Arboretum junkyard and chipmunk playground . . .
she stands amidst rotting logs carpeted in moss . .
rusting oil tanks and old truck tires melting into earth . . .
a place out of time, out of mind . .  yet completely present . . .