Sunday, August 26, 2018

Shadows Twenty

Cosmos in my garden in 2014. They bloom again this year.

Shadows Twenty August 19, 2018

For Virginia

How do I describe my faithfulness to my
deepest knowledge, to what I see but
can’t easily reveal in words. I tried not
to be good as a child is good. I rebelled
against old formulas, trite words. I loved
Thoreau’s wisdom: “If I see someone
coming to do me good, I run for my life.”
I rejected that impulse to “do good.” Yet I 
have always worked against evil when
I saw it blazing up in corporations, in
those fearful of rocking the boat, or who
were terrified to be seen as bad, as trouble-
makers. So I’ve been castigated, dismissed, 
written off. It hasn’t been so bad. Some
tender hearts have loved me, and even
tough-spirited strangers have helped me
out. I have a few fans of my books. I
don’t need acclaim, but I do need to feel
loved and acknowledged by those I love
and trust, those who can see with clear
eyes who I am, what I care about. I’ve
been told many times that what I want
is impossible, will never happen. They
say life isn’t like that. You don’t get what
you wish for. In short, the power of evil
is too great. I don’t give up, however,
and then people love me. Things begin
to change. What my skeptics have
forgotten is the power of transformation
and what love can do when it’s unleashed,
when we see clearly, when other people’s
minds open like a book that wants to be
read. I can’t make that happen. I can’t
stop it. I can, however, give it my 
gratitude and let it go to work.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Shadows Nineteen

Zinnias in bloom a few years ago. they bloom now, too.

Shadows Nineteen August 12, 2018

For Tim

So much change since April, when
my son arrived to help me with this
aging time and the body’s unpredictable
messages. He was there when my nose
bled. He picked up chores when my
heart beat too fast. He scolded if I
worked too hard. He likes pizza and
spaghetti, so I make those often. We
talk out problems, so I write less
in my diary, and I’ve stopped reading
mysteries to help pass the time. We
argue sometimes and then make amends.
I go to sleep early, and he stays up late.
He closes the chickens up at night, 
and I let them out in the morning. He 
fixed the clothesline when it fell
down and loves my Wag as well as
his Sophie. He writes poems now
and came to my workshop. He’ll
soon leave to work in Durham, but
I can do most things now. I have my
strategies and resources. When I 
can’t find things, he finds them. I
couldn’t have made him move here
to help me out, but he came, and he
stays. He’ll get his own place soon,
but he wants to be nearby. There are
things I can’t do any more and won’t
try, but I write, I laugh, I share the
wisdom of having lived sixty years
doing what my Deep Self said to do.
I’ve also realized that I’m happy.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Shadows Eighteen

Shadows Eighteen August 5, 2018

Sleep is a gift. When I want to,
sometimes I can’t. When I don’t
want to, sometimes it takes me
without any notice until I wake up.
Mostly, it’s generous. I sleep at night,
even before dark, and before light, 
wake for the day, already rested.
I know it heals. The body and soul
blend together in sleep, help each
other, confide their troubles, and
let them go. I am changed, renewed,
healed, ready to take on what the
new day will uncover. Lately? More
joy than sorrow, healing laughter,
a grateful heart.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Shadows Seventeen

Judy making pizza in August 2018

Shadows Seventeen July 29, 2018

For Mary Susan and Tom Heath

At two a.m. I’m wide awake. What
is my mind trying to tell me? Not, 
I think, “Slow down.” I already have.
No, it’s urging me to do a little more
each day until I approach normal, a
new normal. Full recovery is slow, maybe
not even possible, but I can pick my
own tomatoes, make the soups and
sauces that will brighten winter days.
Tomatoes are good for the body and 
the soul. They heal in subtle ways.
In the garden I still find the neglected 
thyme and oregano. I add some basil
I dried a few years ago. I buy fat
green peppers and slice up strong
white onions. The garlic is sprouting,
but I dice it small and add it to the
celery, and then stir in tomato paste
and many sauce tomatoes. They are
ripening in paper bags where the
bugs can’t eat them, and keeping
cold in the refrigerator for the next
batch of sauce. Whatever my old
heart is up to, it thrives on a plate
of spaghetti with melted cheese,
and a rich tomato sauce. Don’t 
forget the bay leaf, a sprinkle of
black pepper added to the sauteeing

onions, and a dash of salt.