she just wants

source unknown – but I do wish I could have drawn this!

SHE JUST WANTS

She does not want to fit into anyone’s box.
She just wants to love the earth, her fingers deep in spring soil; to remain strong
and engaged; to let her words spill onto the page.
She doesn’t want a product to justify her day, or to defend or explain herself.
She just wants a walk by the lake, creativity in process, evening wine; to snuggle in front of a winter fire with a good book and her dog by her side.

She does not want to go forth into tumultuous throngs.
She just wants to touch the hearts of those few she calls friend, or to whom
she extends the pen of discovery.
She does not want to listen to discord or chaos.
She just wants to live simply, choose silence or animated conversation
or Bach cello suites.

She does not want additives, modifications, directives or exclusions.
She just wants to ensure the health and well-being of living earth and her creatures.
She does not want to see the world collapse around her offspring.
She just wants to speak up for what she believes, for what is morally right and just.

She does not want 50 years of social progress burned in one moment of fevered frenzy.
She just wants people to listen to/treat/learn from one another with respect.
She does not want self-serving skeptics to destroy natural connections.
She wants us to re-member our humanity and shared responsibility toward our world.

She does not want to live in division, hate, falsehood.
She just wants to lift up what is beautiful and true with.

She does not want it to end quite yet.

3.7.17 fastwrite in ‘writing outside’ group, prompted by ‘Employed,’
by Beverly Rollwagen, from She Just Wants. Nodin Press, 2004

retreat, retreat!

barn from small pondFriday morning, 7/12: Sky Meadow Retreat, Stannard, VT

It’s such fun to watch women fan out, explore, discover for themselves what I have myself over the years: the pond, its magic that calms, draws us forward and out; the stillness of its surface and the depth of its pull to silence. I feel the energy of the group, of individuals, slowing and centering. I am filled with the peace of this place, and the sweetness with which Cella and her three girls tend to the abundant, delicious and completely nurturing meals – their attention to special requests, especially in this case to GF and dairy-free meals – all provided with smiles and deep caring. Peace settles among and through us. We have all become gifts of this time, this place.writing on the porchwoman writing on porch

What contrast to last night’s boisterous engagement at Girls’ Café as we sat around the table sharing of ourselves deeply – a community barely three hours in the making already communing like old friends, conversation, laughter and silent deep listening alternating like ripples in the nearby pond, lapping and overlapping and ultimately, completely still.

How little it takes to create such magic: time, space, intention. Intention on the part of our host family – I love listening to Miles offer gentle instruction to daughters and interns alike, his voice measured, soothing, instructive, ever sure and calm – and their dedication to living simply, purely; how that soothes us all and brings us to a common core of awareness. Self and the land. What else matters??

stampede for breakfastAnd of course intention on the part of each retreatant; to be present, to soak up and in; to become for these days alive and involved in the cycles of each hour, each moment. To be. Silent morning punctuated by the braying of three black sheep; the cackle of hens disrupted from their morning quiet by a veritable stampede of said sheep heading for the henhouse seeking what scraps may appeal; the alpaca in turns bemused at our presence and amusing in his antics – rolling in the long grass like a puppy after swimming, then lying absolutely still in post-breakfast stupor while the sheep nudge over and around him seeking that one perfect, sweet blade.early morning collage

Nurture, all of it. Gifts too numerous to list and yet, filling us each and all with wonder, gratitude, presence. This is a Women Writing for (a) Change retreat. This is about time to mirror and reflect back to one another, to our own selves, what is.  This is.

where there’s intention there must be ‘no’

‘intention & choice’

Last night my friend reminded me: “No is the first word we learn and the first we forget.” So simple. Like the life I am trying to craft for myself in the midst of more, faster,  bigger. Though not necessarily better. Turns out she and I share an intention to open more space in our lives for our personal writing. It also turns out we share a life orientation to service, stepping up and in to leadership. Not necessarily because we choose to but because there is a need that chooses us.

Which is where NO comes in.  Another wise mentor has told me, more than once: “Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you NEED to.” This can be a challenging concept to someone with multiple interests, a deep reserve of goodwill and curiosity, boundless creativity and a desire to jump in when needed. Equally challenging is taking a moment to step back, reflect and ask: “Is this how I really want to spend my time? Is this going to serve my best interests and therefore those of the call to which I am responding?”

For some, this fine line of discernment runs the risk of sounding self-absorbed, reluctant, or possibly lazy. However, there comes a time when a simple “NO!” may be the best service you can perform. In setting the boundary on too much, you get to live with enough. And enough is the abundance required for a truly giving life – one that gives first to the self and secondly, to others. A lesson gratefully learned in a circle of wise wording women.

who said ‘resolve?’

Intention

Intention (Photo credit: turahbird)

R-E-S-O-L-V-E. Makes me think about the rug cleaning product that neutralizes odors and disappears stains, leaving only a strong smell that repels pets and humans alike. Sounds goal-oriented, rigid and efficient. An ultimatum, use-by date, finish line. In short, something to hang over my head, to battle, to fear, to ignore and perhaps, well, DISSOLVE. I feel my fists clench, jaw tighten, and shoulders elevate along with my heart rate at the mere sound of the word.

I need something softer, more organic, more consciously intentional. Not even quite resolution as in music, a harmonic relaxation of tension in preceding chords, although this is at least complete and very much there.

What I’m after is something to help me EVOLVE.  I want something altogether Other: neither disappearing nor ending harmoniously. I want something that has staying power, that moves me forward, has life and integrity, adds meaning to my days. Which brings me to INTENTION.

I like how many relevant words rhyme with it: attention, retention, invention. I like that it sounds somewhat esoteric. And mostly, I like that it gives me permission to be human in my endeavors to change things about myself that grieve me and my loved ones. In other words, when I forget my intention, nothing is lost. I have not failed. I have full permission to start over again. And again. And again. Which is a good thing, because I’m a notoriously slow learner and this kind of repetition helps create the habit for what I am intending.

English: Everything starts from needs or desir...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My intention is always with me, something like that still small voice. Unlike conscience, however, it does not blare at me with outrage and indignation when I blunder. Rather, it continues its gentle, even tone underlying my decisions and actions. This is what I so love about INTENTION: it is a choice in every moment that sets the tone for my words and my actions. It shapes me gently without flagellation or recrimination. I can not fail. I can only pick myself up and keep on dancing.