Tuesday, February 12, 2019

"Whatever Heaven Offers"

This is how the dream feels:
simple but full
of a strange
mystery too.
I keep reaching into some
kind of bottle or box
for new

blue contact lenses.
I lay them in my eyes
to see
the color of a pale sky.
I am seeing myself 
as a teacher of writing again too.

When I wake up, absolutely
everything feels possible.
I am skywriting
I am rewiring
I am uncluttered and
bathed in
rays of buttery light.

I tell Mary about the
dream and she says
think about this:
contact has a double meaning:
it describes the lenses yes
but it is also the condition
of new touching.
You have fresh vision in a
blue that is
cleansing and purifying.
It’s a wash that makes you
ready to deliver
whatever heaven
offers up.


Friday, January 25, 2019

More Naming Poems!!

By Sharon Flitterman-King, Ph.D.

The Swampy Cree Indians of northeastern Canada are known for their wonderful “naming poems,” simple narratives of how people earned their names, often in childhood. Here are a few poems I composed in the tradition of the Swampy Cree.

GIFT OF ROSES


Always when she walked, the roses
followed her—
bright and fragrant,
you knew when she was near.

At the end she left
a painting, full of roses

on her easel

A gift
for us to cherish—
all of us,
forever.


CHEERFUL WITH BUNDLES

Singing he went
cheerfully
with bundles
on his back

Laughing, sometimes
chuckling. The creatures
that he met
would greet him
when they saw him.

Scampering,
they followed
as he sang.


LOVED ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL

Morning moonstone
sky, evening sunset,
clouds ablaze
with color, flaming
gold or russet.

Always she was
capturing
the beauty with her
camera.

Walking in the woods,
a leaf. All weathers
were her friends.

That’s how we came
to name her
all things beautiful.

Sharon Flitterman-King, Ph.D., ia a writer living in Hillsdale, New York, with her husband, David King.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Buzzing Inside



Outside the sky is dripping white ice.

Inside, it’s so nice and cozy here by the fire of the words
that are steadily burning.
What a yearning I have to share this feeling that
gallops throooough me this morning.
Try this: close your eyes and focus for a moment on your fingers.
Linger there.  
The energy may come up as a buzzing
or a gentle tremble.
Keep your mind there but now stare into your toes.
And after a bit, go now to your feet.
Can you see where this is leading?
Hands. Legs. Arms. Torso. Head.
No matter how busy you are today, stay alive to your body.
Pause for a moment whenever you can and
just breathe and just feel steadily grateful for that breath.
Let the lung air wander through your body.
So when the weather outside is so much
worse than frightful
we can keep paddling along inside
finding new life in the wave of every single moment.

With thanks for inspiration in part from Eckhart Tolle, especially his book, "The New Earth." Do yourself a giant favor and read it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Naming Poems

By Sharon Flitterman-King, Ph.D.




The Swampy Cree Indians of northeastern Canada have a rich tradition of storytelling. Some of the most wonderful stories are told in their “naming poems,” simple narratives of how people earned their names, often in childhood. Here is an example of a Swampy Cree Naming Poem:

QUIET UNTIL THE THAW


Her name tells of how
it was with her.

The truth is, she did not speak
in winter.
Everyone learned not to
ask her questions in winter,
once that was known about her.

The first winter this happened
we looked in her mouth to see
If something was frozen. Her tongue
maybe, or something else in there.

But after the thaw she spoke again
and told us it was fine for her that way.

So each spring we
looked forward to that.

And here are a few of mine:

PATIENT WITH SHADOWS

She lived 
among the shadows
which she feared.

She lived
among the shadows, loving them
for what they asked
of her.

It was dark,
and it grew darker.
She grew light

And tranquil


DREAMED GREAT THINGS


He went
out to the mountain, dreaming
of his past

adventures, bold and
love—
such tenderness.

This he leaves,
and
dreams.


Try writing your own naming poem; think of something about yourself or another person to use in creating a name—a physical characteristic, personality trait, something you like, something funny, silly or heroic you’ve done.

             “To say the name is to begin the story.”

Sharon Flitterman-King, Ph.D., is a writer who lives in Hillsdale, N.Y., with her husband, David C. King

Reference: The Wishing Bone Cycle: Narrative Poems from the Swampy Cree Indians, gathered and translated by Howard A. Norman.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

PRAYING FOR ANOTHER MIRACLE, Please Help!

This morning during meditation I picked two angel cards at random.
The cards read “GRACE” and “EXPLORATION.”
At once I thought, something quite wonderful is being asked of me, but
WHAT IS IT EXACTLY? How does one explore the very core of divine mystery?
Then I looked down and realized that a third card
just happened to fall out of the box. It read
“SISTERHOOD BROTHERHOOD.”  That’s when the task became as clear as holy water.
It’s time to pray in poetry and prose and art and music for my sister Karen, who suffered
a very serious stroke last September.
She was struck on the weekend
of her 63rdbirthday.
At the time, doctors were hardly encouragaing.
The neurosurgeon removed a clot the size of a tennis ball from the left side of her brain. It disrupted the area of her brain that controls language and motion.
So the doctors told us not to get our hopes up. They said they didn’t know if she would recover at all.
But then the miracles began. She found the strength  and will to recover much of the motion in her right leg, so that she can walk with assistance.
And she began talking once again in longish sentences.
Just recently, though, she has grown discouraged that she has no motion in her right arm and hand.
She carries them in a sling resting against her chest. Just a few days ago she saw a doctor (an orthopedist) who told her it was doubtful she would regain use of that arm.
NOW IT”S TIME TO EXPLORE GRACE. NOW IT’S TIME TO FACE THE PROBLEM SQUARELY. THE DOCTOR, YOU SEE, COULD BE WRONG. ACTUALLY, THE DOCTOR ABSOLUTELY WOULD BE WRONG IF WE COULD JUST WORK A MIRACLE.
Karen has already achieved several miracles in her recovery – just ask the neurosurgeon who saw her last week for the first time since the surgery.
He was amazed at her progress.
So how about we begin a campaign right here and now to achieve another miracle.
We focus our prayers on Karen regaining motion in her right arm and hand.
We picture her using the arm in all kinds of ways: throwing a ball, catching it, using a yo yo, shuffling cards, drying dishes, swimming, sewing (her favorite pastime), folding clothes, holding a baby (her daughter is pregnant), painting, planting (her other favorite pastime.)
Key to this miracle: we must get Karen on board with this visualization activity.
Maybe that too is part of the exploration of grace.  Maybe my job is to pray for a healer to appear, someone who has the power to convince my sister that she can go beyond the physical plane, that she can occupy the realm of the spirit. I am asking right here, right now for such a healer to appear. I am laying down lines of words in the hope that they are being heard in the sphere of the divine.
My sister isn’t a stranger to miracles. She came alive in October after she managed to say these two words out loud: BOUND AND DETERMINED! I wrote a whole poem about that, and about the extraordinary progress she made. She went from a feeding tube to solid food in less than three days. SHE FLABBERHASTED THE SPEECH THERAPIST!
So IT’S POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE HER.
Coming home from the rehab center, Karen has lost touch with that gung ho spirit of recovery that filled the air there.
We need a cheerleader. Somebody with credibility and somebody my sisiter respects and believes.
Please, God, I am asking for such a person to appear.
I am also asking that all the people who read these words think of my sister shrouded in love and light. THINK ABOUT HER FULLY HEALED.
Your prayers worked wonders in October and November.
So now I ask you, say another prayer, in any shape or form it comes out. Any prayer you can think of would be welcome, but make it as powerful as you can. Make yourself see my sister waving or digging or eating or doing anything else with her right hand.
And if you feel moved, write to her care of me. TELL HER HOW MUCH YOU HAVE INVESTED IN  HER RECOVERY. TELL HER HOW HAPPY YOU ARE THAT SHE HAS MADE SO MUCH PROGRESS. TELL HER TO KEEP THE FAITH. TELL HER TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THAT BOUND AND DETERMINED ENERGY ONCE MORE.
I am so grateful for your help!


Surrender

I see light flooding the meadow.
The furthest hillside is green and gold.
I am holding this beauty, and my sister, in my heart.
I start the day asking for divine guidance.
I beg the Almighty Infinite presence for a miracle,
that my sister may move her fingers.
I surrender in every moment.
I am grateful for the love of my husband.
I am grateful for this sunny day.
I am grateful for the way the sunshine falls on the meadow.
How many times can I say it before I fully surrender?

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Linger

Only cool beneath these fingertips
and beneath the flesh of my hands.
Only a soft tickle of breath inside my nose
always and over and over again.
When I look up, sunlight is licking
the grey and brown trees and a pleasing
light light blue passes between the green.
I have seen this panorama every day.
Needles. Branches. Rock. Sky.
Maybe this time,
Maybe now 
I’m in the 
now
I will 
just feel it.
Air expanding my lungs.
A rainbow of prayer flags swinging
fluttering
between the saplings.
Everything is happening and
nothing
is how the now feels.
Nothing but cool
and warm air
and the less
and the less
I say the better.

Winter yard
hard cold soil
no snow.
Keep going back to the breath.
Keep landing there in your diaphragm.
BE.
Reverse your vision.
Stare into the back of your eyes.
Be here, empty.
Be here, present.
Drawing air there into my windpipe.
Cool fingers.
Linger.
Longer.
Try as I might to hold onto them,
I must lose all my beloved words
to go beyond them,
to feel what I have already heard.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Golden Blue Morning

I can't let this morning go by
without saying that the weather
forecast today was all wrong.
Instead of four hours of snow
as predicted, we have this
ridiculously magnificent
powder blue sky and just a
speckling of snow. It feels
like the sky is melting into
the sun and the towering
pines and lower maples
are draped in a golden glow
too

heavenly to name.
I never tire of staring
into the sky and wearing
my baby blue mala beads
around my neck while
meditating over a candle.
And let me end by saying
that when I woke up and
saw the forecast I wanted
so desperately to see a
blue sky I thank the cosmos
for this dazzling and unexpected
blessing.




Saturday, December 29, 2018

Adventures in Blue

To begin, you are lying in bed, at least you think you are, your eyes are closed and you are feeling calm. You are breathing steadily and in front of you is a warm sea of heavenly blue green water, you can smell the salt, you can hear the crush of waves over and over again on the beach, you walk through the warm golden sand and kneel down and dig into it with both hands, and soon you are sitting cross legged at the edge of the sea, the pale blue sky filling you with sun, and you are infinitely grateful to be alive. Without thinking, you inhale a big breath of fresh ocean air and you exhale and you are infinitely grateful for an infinite number of things, starting with your breath and the world around you. 
You open your eyes and as you do you humbly ask for help from the angels and all ascended beings up in heaven and they come flying through the cosmos and land in a sparkling dancing ring of light all around you.   Close your eyes, they say, and do not open them again until we tell you to. They proceed to help you up from bed, robe you in powder blue, and lead you to the kitchen where you make a cup of delicious coffee.

Then they guide you to your meditation pillow. They help you sit down cross legged and it is at this point one of the angels whispers, “OK, you can open your eyes now,”and you do, you smile, because you are back in familiar territory, you will spend the next 45 minutes observing your breath, your thoughts, your body, your mind. To begin, you take a few big breaths in and out, you center yourself in the now, your soul begins rising no matter that there continues to be a red hot fire lurking somewhere, threatening at any moment to snuff out the light and close the blue road right down.
Your blue this time is the ethereal air, a heavenly place you are always aspiring to, and the angels continue to whisper in your ear.
All the while in the face of that scary red threat, you once again make a plea to heaven, you ask to be lifted up and out of your ego. Once again you feel the angels and ascendant beings circling you, this time they only need whisper the word ‘remember!’ And they circle you right there, you do remember that in every moment you have a CHOICE, in each moment you can turn toward the light, observe, observe and observe, sit there and let everything be what it will, accept the world the way it is, there will always be the red hot fire, just accept the fact that red is steady, just like blue, just watch it all, keep remembering you have FREE WILL, and in each moment, in every NOW, you can align yourself with the DIVINE, the HEAVENLY BLUE FORCE THAT EMPOWERS ALL EXISTENCE. Over and over again, you choose to focus on gratitude, thanks for this sister who is healing, thanks for that grandchild who is flowering, thank you for this house that is so beautiful, and on and on you make a list.
After a while, you get up from the meditation mat, and the day begins. You take out your exercise mat, and you do your yoga and when you get to the tree pose, which is your very favorite posture (making you think that you were a tree in a past life) you smile. Your adventure in blue has brought you to a peaceful place, where you can stay the rest of the day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Vast Rose Lighting up the Night Sky


This beautiful sky object, called the Rosette Nebula, sits in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn.  The nebula, which measures some 130 million light years in diameter, consists of a cosmic cloud of gas and dust that lies approximately 5000 light years away from earth. It resembles a rose. Massive stars at its core have exploded a hole in the cloud of material. In what looks like the petals, new stars are being born.
You don't have to be an astronomer to appreciate this spectacular formation. Just close your eyes and set the image squarely in your imagination. Try to fathom its size or for a real challenge, its distance from earth. I find that it lifts my spirits just to know that it exists here in the universe. You could say that it puts things in some kind of grand perspective.