A Shrinking Feeling


 

A shrinking feeling overwhelms me;

the giant issues that surround

the world

suffocate and diminish my spirit slowly.

Will we survive?

Will this craziness pass?

Will we ever find the door

that leads to the garden of love

and peace?

 

Let us be strong again;

Let us believe again;

We must survive

the lunacy,

the autocratic greed,

the narcissistic need to lead

blindly, arrogantly, foolishly,

and selfishly.

We must believe that we are truly one.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Stanley Kunitz


 

(c) Melba Christie 2018

Every spring I try to plant a beautiful garden like the ones I have seen in magazines. No sooner I plant Begonias, Calandula, Petunias and Pansies, our resident cottontail rabbit and  occasional visiting deer snap up the fresh or new blooms.

The rabbit loves the clover that grows wild and free in our backyard. Clover is a weed but I cannot bring myself to stripping it because it has very dainty white flowers and because I too love the green leaves.

Therefore, my garden is composed of large ceramic pots. I have resigned to the fact that I may never have a garden except for the improvised one on our deck.

So what does Stanley Kunitz have to do with my want to be garden? Nothing really. Except that Mark Doty once described how Mr. Kunitz would walk through his garden “paying strict attention to every inch of it.”

I too thought about Mr. Kunitz’s  visits to his garden.  My grandmother never left her house for years except to step out into her small garden. Hers was a real garden.  She talked to the flowers and plants; she claimed they would grow more and bloom more robustly.

Thus, I wrote a poem about her love of nature and especially her garden.

 

Grandma only felt safe in her garden

the lavender plant soothed her soul

and helped her cope with her phobia.

 

On a few occasions, I heard her sing

to the tiger lilies. They leaned and seemed to listen.

She stood very still as if she were watching out

for prey like the cottontail did on the grassy lawn

there were no prey to speak of

no one would ever harm her

but she listened carefully to nature’s sounds and warnings

every morning among the daffodils

She is gone now

and so is Stanley K.

I wonder if they stand together

in heaven’s divine garden

praying for us here on earth.

 

 

“Let’s Do It”


 

Reinventing yourself?
Are you the curious observer?
Are you the deep thinker?
Release those thoughts!
Instead be still and take in the view
Breathe deeply
Cultivate Calm
transcend the ordinary
Love self.
Love others selflessly
Love, Love, Love
all of nature knows the rules
all of nature knows how to do it
“let’s do it”
Let’s love each other
Like Cole Porter wrote,
“Even lazy jelly fish do it”
Reinventing yourself?
Just do it.
Love will make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More On Mindfulness


 

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.

 

 

 

 

The Landscapes of My Mind


Sometimes I go to my favorite place;

silently and all alone.

no fancy name given

no signs to direct me there

no houses, no people

simply a natural space

in which to roam.

 

If ever you should need to go there

I will gladly show you the way

but there is one thing I must say

all you really need is to close your eyes

take three deep breaths

and wish yourself away.

 

* I often have dreams where I am just walking through beautiful and peaceful landscapes. The painting is one that depicts my latest dream.

 

 

 

On Meditation


Meditation brings us closer to the silence

we all need right now

the more silent and still

the more awareness grows

like wild ferns in the deep forest.

 

Peace evolves from within:

the soul develops hardy muscles

to keep depression out;

like a great cyclone fence

it protects,

but still lets the sun rays dance around you.

Meditation energizes;

it brings back the pep in your step.

Breathe the Yoga Master commands

Breathe and let your heart sing

as you meet all your soulmates.

Breathe and be still

the thrill

will

elevate you

high up

and soon

you will feel

the clouds.

Breathe!

Peace to all.

 

 

 

 

 

One Thought


One thought dripped down reluctantly,

into the vast and lonely

sea of forgotten thoughts.

As it sank into oblivion

and fused with notions unconfined,

it believed it would be accepted at last,

but it was not.

It succumbed along with deep thinking,

proposed in silence, stillness and solidarity.

Philosophies never noted nor known

by great thinkers.

One thought that could have been

a contender, comprehended by the

masses of non thinkers,

with open hearts

to a lonely thought of peace.

 

Listen to my recording

 

-Melba Christie 2015

One Thought

Great Essentials of Life


I now have lived long enough to know the real essentials in life. The reminders flow into my life constantly. All I need to do is look at a photograph of my grandsons or look deeply into the eyes of my husband or children and everything is put into perspective. I find myself researching my roots and trying to remember memorable events about my childhood. I don’t think it’s a baby boomer mentality. A friend told me that baby boomers go through a similar experience.

My journeys continue. My goals remain stronger than ever. My bucket list grows longer by the day. I suppose that is a good strategy to keep yourself in check. I still hope for world peace. I believe in the wonder of Santa Claus. I believe in God above all things. I even believe in myself lately. I ask myself about destiny. I wonder about if there is another side. Although I still ask the why questions about things, I think I figured out some of the  mysteries about my soul.

Joseph Addison, an English essayist, once said, “The great essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”

I think I have most of these covered. However, I believe there is a continuum. You have to shift the focus every so often. You also have to be grateful for everything in your life. Some experiences will be magical, inspirational, and others will bring you done like a roller coaster out of control. But that is what makes up this thing called life. It is what makes us alive. To live is to learn. Your heart will tell you what do each time you are in doubt. Just listen. Don’t let doubts creep up on you and fill you with fears. Be still and you will find the answers you are looking for.

The essentials to happiness are clear to me now. I listen to my feelings and take notes. I try to hug the people I love a few more counts of Mississippi. I take deep breaths to avoid getting upset over nothing. I take longer breaks for me to be me. I pray more. I send out blessings into the universe for anyone who may need them. I visualize only as far as I can see. I locked my ego outside of my heart. I forgive and forget.

The essentials of happiness begin with every new day. This is what I have learned and will live by. I imagine a field of Daisies waving hello and greeting me. That always puts a smile on my face.

 

 

PHOTOS FOR KEEPS 469