These are some of the words I truly love:
There’s gorgeous, grandiose, and green
then there’s soothe, silly, and savvy
and of course, omnipotent, and magnanimous
along with mini and mania,
but best of all are verbs
like kiss, kissing, and kissed.
These words I will forever miss.
Since this first poem I have added some more words I love.
There’s lenience, tolerance, and mercy
attention, expectation, phenomenon
unity, diversity, and harmony
humility, reverence and respect
but the best are verbs and acts of kindness
like love, loving, inspiring, and unifying
giving, caring, and keep
I deeply hope you got my gist
Let us stand up and help love persist.
I am so happy that someone promoted having a day dedicated to book lovers. I have loved books since I was a very young child. My father collected books and stacked them all over the place. My mother kept asking him to put his puts on shelves or bookcases. He finally pleased her and built a few bookcases. He loved old books and books out of print. I have a few which are not by great writers but for me they are my treasures just because they belonged to him.
I have books about many things. I collect poetry books. I have anthologies I used in college I cannot bring myself to give away. I have a collection of cookbooks which is funny because I make my own concoctions in the kitchen and could never give anyone a recipe I created. But they talk to me at the bookstore and I end up buying titles that are more appealing than the actual content. I own art books. many of them are how to books: how to draw, paint, watercolor, and cartoon. However I have art books that focus on one artist.
I own many dictionaries: English, Spanish, French and Italian. I have grammar books and books on writing.In other words I have a lot of books.
I even collect quotes about reading and books. Here are a few:
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
– Mark Twain
“The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night.”
– Isabelle Allende
Happy Book Lover’s Day!
Out of no where I began humming “One Moment Time”, a song made popular by the late Whitney Houston during the 1988 Summer Olympics. It dawned on me that I was going back to a special one moment that was and has been very meaningful to me. It was the song chosen by my students to sing at their high school graduation. I was one of the teachers in charge of a high school graduation at the time.
The moment I played back in my mind was when the students were called up to receive their diplomas. They were all so proud of what they had achieved. Most of them had been labeled at-risk and they were so proud they had made it to graduation. These moments are the ones that matter to a teacher, parent or grand parent. It is a moment in time that does not escape one’s memory very easily.
I suppose this is a good example of what mindfulness is all about. That moment in time was to create awareness of all things around us and our own self awareness. It was the culmination of many instances that lead to the to it.
“Mindfulness is being aware of or bringing attention to this moment in time deliberately and without judging the experience.” Thus I must have been aware of many of the details of that particular event.
I must admit however, that it is a little more difficult these days to be mindful and focused in the moment. Eckhart Tolle, author of The New Earth urged us “to be in the present or in the now” where each moment counts.
In my book, Haiku Moments I try to exemplify my ideas on mindfulness with the moments expressed in haiku and some of the photographs that connected to those moments.
But again focusing on the present moment is not easy these days. There are too many distractions. However, the challenge is ours to stay focused, grounded and still. It may be that we need to start talking to each other face to face. We need to get rid of our devices and basically stay disconnected but at the same time making ourselves available to others.
Mindfulness to me means holding yourself captive so that nothing else matters.Here is my poem about mindfulness:
One moment in time
It is a magical moment,
one that you can never live again.
It is a moment well spent with a friend,
it is a time to make of yourself a masterpiece.
So that others take you in as their special moment.
A moment in time
is a deep breath
to cleanse the body
and build a spirit.
One moment in time
may connect you with your soul mate
It is a dance in which missing a step will
stop the music playing.
One moment in time is a time to be
mindful and calm,
still and in tune with nature
and your being.
It will be a “time to be free.”
Hopefully it will be the one moment for Peace and Love.
Please let me know what mindfulness is to you.
I came across quite a few workbooks at the book store that suggest that we keep lists of some sort or another. One book caught my attention Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed. It made me think of my mother who was a list maker. She made lists to remind her about things. She made a to do list every day. Sometimes the list would remind her to tell me about something she had heard on the radio or an ad she had seen on TV. Most times she suggested that I buy a certain supplement or warn me about a recall that only affected people living in Montana or somewhere else miles away. But her theory was that they may have missed listing our town or state.
There is an art connected to this idea of making lists and it is called listography. One can decide to make list of or about almost any topic. When you go to the book store you will find all kinds of journals that are organized into different types of lists. An example of one journal is bullet journaling. “It has grown in popularity over the last year, with almost 200,000 hashtagged speed journals on Instagram and hundreds of customized templates and helpful tutorials on Pinterest.”
There are websites and YouTube videos that teach you how to organize your journal bullets and or mindful thinking. My mom would be thrilled to have had one of these. Her lists and notes were written on pieces of paper. She recycled everything she could possibly recycle. She told she lived through the Depression and that she learned to reuse many things. So her journals were the backs of used envelopes, all kinds of scrap paper, even napkins.
The notes I found after her passing taught me a little bit more about what motivated her and what she cared about. She loved to learn new words since English was not her first language. She would write the words phonetically and then ask me what the word meant. I found out that my definitions did not satisfy her sometimes. She would eventually write down the dictionary meaning in a notebook she had divided into different sections and listed all the new words into categories.
She made lists of things she stored away in boxes. I found at least ten gift boxes with brand new nightgowns see had never used. Inside each box was a note about who had gifted her and for what occasion and then she would note why she was saving it. I even found a sort of black list of people she did not like and her explanation as to why. I never let anyone see that list. She made lists of new characters in her favorite soap operas and explained why she liked or disliked them.
When she became very ill she made a few different lists of instructions for us to follow when she passed. One list told me the things that had made her the happiest. Her children were at the top of the list. She also made a list of all the money she had spent during her illness. She made of list of the people who had borrowed money from her in the past and check marks were made after the names of the people who paid her back. She double checked the people who still owed her but whose debts she would forgive. I never knew she had that much money to lend out.
I only recently found out about listography. My mom was on to something. She had done this for years. All I know is that my mom’s lists revealed so many things about her. I learned so much about her dreams and hopes.
I have started making lists myself. Here are some starter lists that I believe my children will find amusing when I am gone. Happy Mother’s Day.
- List of things I know make people happy.
- List of my friends when I was in elementary school.
- List of questions I always wanted to ask but was afraid to ask.
- List of questions I will have when I meet with God.
- List of favorite things.
- List of places I wish I had visited.
- List of the things that most frightened me when I first became a mom.
- List of special moments.
- List of things I said that I regret.
- List knock knock jokes
The following is another poem inspired by my fellow bloggers. Thanks for your beautiful posts. The attributions follow. Check out their beautiful work.
All is prayer
When thoughts are still
A rainbow of hope
Fills the sky
All is prayer
And I am here
To tell you
We are one
All is prayer
Who am I but a body in time,
I ask the universe for love
I am a woman, an artist, a mother, a worker,
But I want to be like water
And sometimes still
All is prayer
Let it be what will
A few years ago I wrote a piece titled Don’t Die Wondering inspired by a quote by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. I published it on a website called Divine Caroline which is where I started submitting essays and poems as a guest blogger. I would get so excited when I received an email from the site telling me my poem or essay was accepted for publication. I have read almost all of Dr. Dyer’s books. He has been an inspiration for many years now. I feel like he was my mentor and teacher. I’d go back and read his quotes and my notes in the margins and use them to inspire me when I got writer’s block. I was always in awe of how no matter what book I’d pick up or what page I turned to, the message that caught my eye was so proper for the moment I was living.
Sadly and to my surprise today I read on Dr. Dyer’s Facebook page this message posted by his beloved family. “Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side.”
I was in shock. Just a few days ago I was ready to sign up to attend a conference in New York City on November 14 where Dr. Dyer would have been a keynote. He is considered a self-help guru and most of his books are listed as New York Times best sellers. Once again he is a source of inspiration to me. I will never get to meet him in person as I had hoped during the fall conference in the Big Apple. But I had the privilege of reading his work which was also an education in philosophy and cultural perspectives.
I shared his books with friends and most especially my beautiful mother-in-law who is also my inspiration. She is 87 years old (please don’t tell her I told you how old she is) she really doesn’t look a day over 50. She nurtures her soul and spirit with positive thoughts and good energy. When I told her our dear Dr. Dyer had passed she said, “He must be in a place surrounded by butterflies.” It was a reference to one of his books where he appears on the cover with a butterfly in hand. I got goosebumps when she said that. We would talk about his books and make references to his thoughts and his philosophy about life all the time. As soon as I ended our long distance phone conversation I went to the book shelf where I had stacked most of his books. Among them was Inspiration:Your Ultimate Calling. I opened the book and saw where I had underlined a quote I loved.”
“Dedicate your life to something that reflects an awareness of your Divinity.”
I hope I can live up to this suggestion. Dr. Dyer was “a creative master” and he encouraged his readers to “express their Divine nature.” I could see that he “must be in a place with butterflies” similar to the Monarch that flew into his hand one day as he thought about his friend Jack. He wrote, “As God is my witness, the butterfly made a U-turn and not only headed in my direction, but landed right smack on my finger! … I felt a deep affinity to this precious living being.” He used a picture of a butterfly throughout the book. He teaches us in the book the benefits of living an inspired life. Dr. Dyer was the greatest example. I can almost picture the scene when he meets God and where he can surely “see clearly now” across heaven.
In his memory I drew a butterfly. I have asked for inspiration to write a poem within the next few days to honor his memory as well.