Rise

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Watching its wings

dance with the air

I see it!

Not the bird

but the air,

the space,

that which gives me life

as I breathe

though I see only the rise

and fall of my chest

and not that which infills me

– I smile

***

The creator too

can not be seen

but through the actions

of his creations

and so I pledge

in faith to rise

like that bird

on the dynamic thermals

of love

that the beloved

may see herself

– and smile

Try Wishing….

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Today is another of those which find me wishing the world were different, wishing I could take away the pain and fear, wishing I could leap heart and soul onto the collective brakes and scream STOP!

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to do some goal setting. I also had a blank wall that needed…’prettyfying’, and some bunting made from old postcards that wanted to be made useful. How do you soften and play with the dry, intellectual process of goal setting? You make A Wishing Line!

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A Wishing Line

Then things started to get interesting. Five wishes I decided. The first nudge, ‘What, only for you?’ Well no, ok, I’ll make one of them, yeah, the one I hang right there in the centre, a wish for All Beings. And so I did.

Then came the other four, which began pretty conventionally. I began writing them out, but something unexpected happened. I wasn’t wishing for stuff to just happen…I was wishing for the qualities I would need to bring about the realization of these wishes myself. So I didn’t wish for a successful completion of my writing course before my next birthday. Instead, I wrote…

I wish for the fun, focus and faith to finish my creative writing course successfully and with aplomb before my next birthday…

We are the genies, the fairy godmothers, the wish workers. We can’t offload the responsibility of bringing about our heart’s desire, we have to make it happen ourselves; to acknowledge and use our own ‘magic’ powers. So I didn’t wish for stuff to happen; I wished for the courage, clarity, compassion, determination, kindness, creativity and enthusiasm to MAKE stuff happen.

Wish, like Work, begins with a ‘W’. Yes, that includes Wonder, but it also invites Willingness. It’s not enough to wish the world was a more peaceful place. What am I going to do to make that more peaceful world a reality? And I’m going to keep both feet on the ground with this one. I can begin by consciously offering myself in service to peace at the start of each day.

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/making-compost/

I can remain patient when I find myself hungry, tired, and wanting to finish and leave work to go home for lunch, but the person in front of me at the photocopier is making multiple copies of multiple sheets. I can unpick and let go of the judgemental, frustrated thoughts that make my hands want to crash the unwashed pans as loudly as possible into the sink. I can stop my thoughts turning to rage and revenge as I read about innocent people being needlessly mowed down, and instead ask for the strength to first fully feel the sadness and fear, and then dig deep to find the belief that we can – we must – find another way.

And to all of this I can bring lightness, play, spaciousness. For me that means song, beauty, gratitude. Because when effort meets joy they channel a limitless source of creative energy that makes the most difficult of tasks doable.

And so I leave you with a song, which I remember from my childhood, sung by a Psammead.

Psammead

Try Wishing A Little Harder Every Day

The vocals were by Francis Wright

https://franciswright.wordpress.com/five-children-and-it-psammeads-song/

And the Song was written by Michael Omer

http://www.michaelomer.com/film_tv/5Children.html

And the only way I can find of listening to it is by watching the end credits on YouTube (starts at about 23 minutes)…it’s worth it, really – enjoy! And please do…

Try Wishing…..

 

 

The Familiar

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coffee

It’s the familiarity I love. I glance at the posters on my left, some still promoting events been and gone, and move along to look at the cakes. Waiting in line behind an older couple, I tune-in to their conversation, whilst deciding if anything could tempt me to shun my beloved brownie. The barista plays their satisfying percussion; bang, pull, push, pour. I thank them and take my tray to the back of the café where I can sit at one of the comfortable padded benches. Only now do I hear the song playing behind all the noise and chat. It’s ancient and uninspired, but it sparks a memory and makes me smile. I take a sip of coffee. I sigh. I relax. In a world, a life, so full of change, where nothing and no one can be relied upon it seems, my coffee always tastes the same. Why do I so love that?

 

I wrote this in response to a writing exercise I was asked to do as part of a course I started recently. Basically, using all five senses, describe your favourite place in about 150 words. Well, I have a long list of favourite places, mostly wild outdoorsy ones, but what came up was…a coffee shop. What?! Excuse me?! I was a bit gutted to be honest, like woah – come on!!! Of all the places in the world, PLEASE Harula not a chain coffee shop! Why? But I tend to trust my instincts. So I wrote it. And as often with writing practice, I found my answer.

All about me the world I love is being turned upside down and on its head and round and round and who knows where it’s going. I’m human. I find that a little scary. I’ve lived long enough to know, intellectually, that life is change, yet some part of me wishes for some things to remain predictable, dependable, the same. Writing this short piece helped me identify and find compassion for that frightened part of me; hug her, hold her, let her have her coffee (and sometimes even a brownie too…) Because she’s got work to do, and if 30 minutes of something familiar provides enough ground, a springboard strong enough to jump off into that deep, wild, unpredictable ocean of the unknown – well, that’s ok.

Where do you find your ground right now?

Brain Holiday

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Just stumbled across this , which I originally wrote and posted three years ago, but it’s that holiday time of year again, so thought you might enjoy. Written after reading The Lorax by, who else, the inimitable fantabulous most marvexellent … Dr Seuss!

(LOL – I think I just gave my spell checker a heart attack…maybe IT will take a holiday…)

 

I’ve thought and I’ve thunk

And I’ve tickled my brain

I’ve chased all the thinkylink

Thoughts you could name

I’ve just about caught

Every thought the world has

But they’re all just too big

Or too small or too sad

So I told my brain, ‘Go!

Have a holiday friend,

Find a beach or an island

A planet, a star

Go further than the furtherest

Everest star

And please don’t come back

For a few years or more

‘cos me and that drum

Playing musical chest

Where it beats and it bangs

‘till it won’t let me rest

That ripples and tickles

And gives me the frights

More frights that the darkest

Of blackerest nights

My heart says it’s got

Something ‘portant to say

But it’s shy and won’t talk

‘till you’ve gone far away

So we hugged and we cried

And I helped brain get packed

And I told her, ‘Have fun,

But please don’t hurry back’

Then I waved and I smiled

‘till I knew she’d gone far

As far as the fartherest

Everest star

Then I locked all the windows

the doors, and the bolts

And I locked all the keys

In a saferer vault

I made it the secretest

Safe that I could

Then I told that old drum

That had banged on my chest

So loud and so hard

That I just couldn’t rest

‘It’s safe friend, brain’s gone

Say what you must say.’

Then I sat and I waited

I waited all day

I waited all night

Then I waited some more

‘till I just couldn’t wait

Any sleepery snore

Then I heard it

So shyly

Quite quiet as first

‘till the whole of its drummingest

Music just burst

And I danced and I whooped

And I sang and I smiled

‘till I’d smiled just the shiniest

Smilingest smile

And I opened the vault

And I took out the keys

And I opened the windows

And doors to the breeze

And I shouted right then

At the top of my voice

I shouted because

I just didn’t have a choice

I shouted and screamed

‘till my face turned bright blue

Just right as that drum

In my chest told me to

‘Banish your brain

Till you’ve heard your heart song

Then sing it all day

And all year and all long

And when you can sing

With no effort at all

Then, and only then

Can you send out the call

To that fartherest everest

Far away star’

Yes, dear brain my friend

You holiday’s up

It’s over, finito

I need you, come back

I’m sorry I banned you

And gave you the sack

You’re hired, I’ll pay you

In diamonds and gold

I’ve got a great tune

Yes, I’ve found a great beat

Now I just need the words

So my song is complete

And now brain is listening

Real hard every day

To every small rat-a-tat,

Tinkle and sway

Collecting its thoughts

On the tune that it’s heard…

And when brain’s done ready

I’ll share every word:-)

Making Compost

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I’ve decided it’s time I kicked the habit of reaching for my phone and scanning the headlines each morning, before my eyes are even fully open. There must be a gentler, wiser way to welcome my consciousness back; a more helpful way to help it find its earthy feet in the new day.

From tomorrow on I will dedicate those first precious waking moments to inwardly offering myself in service to peace and the well being of the whole. In my experience the playful responsiveness of life will feed me ample opportunities to put that promise into practice, I just have to notice and act on them.

So in preparation I need to resource myself. It’s time to make some compost.

I’m no expert, but it seems to me that it’s the old, rotten, smelly, unwanted, inedible, unpalatable stuff that gets thrown on the compost. And what comes out? That rich, nutritious, dark, moist stuff that you dig into your vegetable patch and feed to your flower beds. But what of heart/mind compost?

 I’d chuck in your pain and confusion, mix in a little anger and resentment and layer up with a sprinkling of fear and overwhelm.

Good – so we’ve all got plenty of raw materials, am I right?

So what does compost need in order to break down? At the very least I’d say moisture, warmth and air. And if I’m a gardener of the heart/mind?

Song – When I sing I move, I soften, sound flows, vibrations ripple out.

Good, that’s my moisture.

Compassion – Time to stoke up the heart fire, watch those bright flames lift, throw on another log or two and don’t let it go out.

 Good, that’s the warmth.

Listening – To listen with depth and sincerity opens up a space so huge it’s like looking up at the sky while lying on your back in that field beyond right and wrong that Rumi speaks of. Nothing can fill that space – nothing is too big, or too scary, or too painful to be voiced there.

Good, that’s the air.

Ok, so I’ve got my compost and I know how to break it down. Now all I have to do…is wait.

Any gardener worth their secateurs knows you rush nature at your peril. Making compost takes sweat, and it takes time. Several months at the very least. And so with the compost of the heart/mind. Be kind. Do not expect immediate results. Be patient. Keep turning, airing, cultivating. Wait until it’s ready before you try and use it.

Apparently, when the worms have left, that’s a good sign….

Happy Compost Making!

 

 

 

 

Singing a Bridge

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I don’t know how to reach you

So I’m singing out a bridge

I’ll be there to meet you in the middle

Will you come?

**********************************

** It’s time to put thoughts of you and me aside

There is no this or that to choose between

Yeah, we can have it all if we leave ‘me’ and ‘mine’ behind

Dancing with the beauty we’ll be singing in

************************************

I don’t know how to heal this

So I’m singing out a pledge

I will listen till your heart is freer

Will you come?

************************************

I don’t know how to build it

So I’m singing out a call

Let’s create the world we want together

Will you come?

 

I wrote this song this morning. Hope you enjoy:)

 

 

 

 

I’m gonna sing, sing, sing…

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Truth hides in paradox –

The soul in the singing

so tangible in the silence

of an audience so moved

they daren’t clap yet

 

The home found in harmonizing

transcending the pathways

of melody and words

to create a belonging so deep

 

that when the coach finally stops

it’s hard to leave that space

to physically go home

so we sing each other through the door

 

Cups of joy spilling over

in eyes that shine with the sacred

and from glasses filled in a moving coach

by hands unsteady with celebration

 

To be one in such a whole

is a feeling so expansive

the ‘I’ can shrink

for what we do together

just can’t be done alone

 

 

I wrote this the morning after I performed (a week ago) for the first time with the local choir I joined in January. It was a very joyful, powerful experience and I was in tears with the emotion of it all the following morning…and that’s when I turn to poetry. When something is just too beautiful to keep to myself, I have to write it out and share…

 

 

Walking Along – Me singing it…

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It’s taken me a while, but at last I’ve figured out a way to share the tune of the song I posted lyrics for a while back. Thank you  https://smallerandsmaller.wordpress.com/ for your encouragement – you gave me the nudge I needed. Below are the lyrics and the YouTube link so you can hear what it sounds like. I hope you enjoy:-) Of course, the sound quality isn’t great, but at least it gives you an idea of the melody. Enjoy:-)

Walking along
I sang to the trees
I sang you’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
x 2
They said;
You gotta feed your roots to know who you are
Be strong but also flexible and you’ll go far
Now open up sweetheart, what ‘ya tryin’ to hide
You have so much, be generous and life will be kind

Walking along
I sang to the sea
I sang you’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
She said;
You gotta know everything you need’s inside
Just dive down deep and treasures you will find
Stop being so scared of what’s outside of you
‘Cos darlin’ I’m telling you that’s not what’s true

Walking along
I sang to the breeze
I sang you’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
She said;
Lighten up honey if you wanna be free
Just spread those pretty wings and come and fly with me
Your dreams should be big enough to fill the skies
Your life is just beginning, come on open your eyes

Walking along
He shined his rays on me
I sang father sun
Won’t you help me please
He said:
Shine the light of truth on all you think you know
Then you might grow some wisdom, not a fat ego
And if the skies darken and you’re scared of the night
Have faith my child and trust in the return of the light

 

 

Father

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In honour of my fabulous father, who came to hear me sing yesterday with the choir I’m in, and with whom I’m have shared (and will share) so many other life affirming moments, whether in celebration (like yesterday!) or commiseration – a solid rock from which I can launch myself at life with courage and joy…and song:-)

 

Foundations of a life lived full and well

Are built with care, early and deep

That love that loved me at my most unloveable

Has packed my heart with strength to ‘boldly go’

Every song I sing on the journey rising with a joy

Resonating right down to the roots of me

 

 

Affirmative Acrostics Postcards!

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It’s my great joy and pleasure to introduce you to the postcards I’ve been ‘cooking’ whilst sharing this series of acrostic poems with you. I’ve been playing with the designs over the last couple of weeks, and the first sample of 10 came through earlier this week. I was ‘jump up and down, unpack them – pack them again – unpack them’ excited when I opened them! They’ve been created through a website called moo.com, and I must say I’m impressed with the quality (excellent) and cost (reasonable).

I’ve been going through them in detail,  putting improvements in place, as well as correcting some horrible mistakes (a free set of 10 of the finalised product to the first person who spots the serious mistake which can be seen in the above photo!) with the intention, in the near future, of having a starting selection of 25 ready to be sold at £1.00 per postcard.

In my dream world, having these postcards flying around the globe, and being seen not only by those who send and receive them, but also by those who sort and deliver, might serve to share the essence of some of these beautiful qualities, and spread some smiles.

So, I invite your feedback and support, and will send one of these ‘first draft’ postcards to each of the first three people who comment, wherever you are in the world! You can send your postal address to my email: harulaladd(AT)yahoo(DOT)com. Celebration and constructive criticism equally welcome, and I’d also love to receive suggestions for other words you’d like to see ‘poetisized’ (a word?) on such a card.

I really appreciate all the encouragement and support of those who’ve been regularly reading these poems, and look forward to reading your thoughts on their next evolutionary step.

With joy and gratitude,

Harula xxx

 

 

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