31 xian (Seeking Union)

To open,
join opposites.
Receive what is given.
Let the unexpected pathway
unfold.

This poem was first posted in 2018, inspired by Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and I Ching 31, which appeared in the envelope collage I did based on a linear print by Joan Mitchell.

I read many interpretations of this hexagram, and tried to distill what I thought was its essential message.

Shelter encloses, but it opens, too.

For earthweal, open link weekend.

Between

between full comp

The path connects the path divides,
the sky is rising like a tree–
the ending moves, retreats, and hides
what is, is not, has yet to be.

The sky is rising like a tree,
the land grows, following behind
what is, is not, has yet to be–
an offering returned in kind.

The land grows, following behind
the dance of water, spirits, earth–
an offering returned in kind–
a trance, a dream, remembered birth.

A dance of water, spirits, earth–
the ending moves, retreats and hides
a trance, a dream, remembered birth–
the path connects the path divides.

A pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I love the rhythm of circular dance that this form always evokes for me.

between close up wood s

I photographed the art on many many backgrounds; it looked different on each one.  But I kept going back to these two:  vivid blue and wood floor.  Each brings out a different aspect of the painting/collage.

between close up blue s

This is a reblog from February 2018. Sue’s prompts have inspired a lot of work that holds up for me when I look back at it. Her photos are always magical.

Linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

If the circle opens, will it become a line? (new moon/almost like praying)

I wanted to reblog my response to an old prompt of Sue Vincent’s in honor of the New Moon this weekend. The Oracle had something to say about it too.

In my original post, I explained my inspiration: I discovered this week that the plural for luna mare (moon sea) is lunar maria …is that wonderful, or what?  So when I saw Sue Vincent’s Luna photo prompt, above, I had to incorporate it into my response.

Here’s the poem I wrote for Sue’s photo:

The arc of
lunar mountains, edged
dark with bays
of basalt…
Maria!—your names reflect
as mirrors to fill

with sorrow,
forgetfulness, snakes,
storms and fear.
Can we find
the sea of tranquility
and sail into dreams?

between is and if only
we listen
as earth grows restless

breathing wild ancient song
beneath murmuring leaves

climbing windshine
over rock rooted paths

wandering through the hidden secrets
of the moon’s dark night

And of course this song is still and always appropriate.

You can see 14 other interpretations of “Maria” here.

Also linking to Earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Like Breathing

circle sky birdlings s

Black is the color of creation.
The void is beginning.
Emptiness must be filled.
You can’t have something without nothing.

And how does that apply to imaginary beings?
Must there also be a counterpart that’s real?

Must every question have an answer and every answer a question?

Catch the words–
in context they become magic.
Recreate the patterns that create potential,
the map to being born.

A cloud is like breathing.
Breathing is like catching.
Catching is like stopping time.
Stopping time is like an earthquake.
An earthquake is like a heart beating fast.
A heart beating fast is like drumming.
Drumming is like dancing.
Dancing is like a bird.
A bird is like flowers.
Flowers are like a rainbow.
A rainbow is like a song.
A song is like the universe.
The universe is like a wheel.

The void is pregnant.

The journey is alive.

Do we get broken so we can be fixed?

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, from August 2017. I’ve been missing Sue’s prompts. Sending this one out to her along with wishes for healing, a good night’s sleep, and the taste of a strong cup of coffee.

circle birdlings close up 1s

Also linking to Earthweal Open Link Weekend.

sailing the moon

ghost ships rise
along the crescent,
shadowing
their moonmasts–
sails blurred blue into oceans–
dusk stilled into night

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt of August 20, below.

I posted my original painting on memadtwo with the Oracle’s meditation on Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I was dissatisfied with it and intensified the dark for the painting above.  I had written the poem at that time as well (even though I was offline), and it complements the Oracle’s words I think.

The crescent moon circle was taken from one of my photos, but I think I should have glued it down.  A small task I will get to soon.

Also sending good wishes to Sue as she deals with a serious illness.

unexplained

unexplained s

gathered in
like harmony
spilling out
like wings

like harmony
a stillness
like wings
unfolding

in stillness
each chord
unfolding
the world

each chord
filling
the world
with song

filling
the edges
with song
reaching

unexplained close up s

the edges
uncontained
reaching
the invisible

uncontained
singing
the invisible
to eternity

singing
beyond reason
to infinity
all needs

beyond reason
spilling out
all needs met
and gathered in

An unrhymed pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

seasoned

seasoned s

Do we bless the worn, the weary,
the visible scars?

or do we replace what remains
and begin again, forget?

What do we owe the elements
that lack breath?

They too hold spirits–
remembering, keeping watch—

sentinals of imperfect journeys–
the everything of alive

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

seasoned close up2s

Because of all the energy usage due to the heat, Con Ed has been threatening power outages for weeks.  Now it’s the tropical storm/hurricane.  I haven’t had power problems except for intermittent internet.  So if I’m not around much, that’s why.

borderlands

borderlands 1s

time
distills
into the
slow motion of
half-forgotten hours–
astral sunsets emerge
inside the dense dazzled air–
waiting to join the fading light
that veils the edge between earth and sky

A nonet for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, with synonyms for blessed and hex, provided by Anita Dawes.

borderlands 2s

I did two  rorschach paintings which turned out slightly different.

wings 2s

But somehow I always end up with wings.

wings 1s

 

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

sue labyrinth s

After “The Owl” by Arthur Sze

I believed I was lost.
Night was on its way–
the path was purple in the dust
and seemed to have ended.
I had arrived here
without a destination.
I longed for sanctuary,
a resting place.

I saw an owl, perched,
watching me.
I spread my arms,
willing wings to appear
so I too could shelter
on a branch.

But I remained earthbound,
weary and alone.
And when the owl stirred,
a fine dust formed patterns
in the disappearing light.
It was as if a portal had opened.

Constellations
fell from its wings.  I was
surrounded by the cosmos,
spiraled into a glowing darkness
and deposited in a held breath.
All was silent then.  And I felt
safe, like the arms of the universe
held me in a vast sacred space.

Nothing stirred forever–then I sensed
the owl quaver.  And at dawn, waking,
I saw with clarity the world
becoming new, transforming
into a landscape that never existed
before now.  The path was green
and meandered back into itself.

I could not see where
I was going but it felt
familiar, like I had circled
with the seasons, following
the path of the planets dancing
with the sun and moon.

We emerged
reborn
into the
May light.

I’m bringing together a lot of different trains of thought here, so bear with me.

in the middle of now june 2016 grid s

The Kick-About challenge #6 is Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.  Though I have not read that particular Solnit book,  I have read at least one essay she has written about labyrinths (“Journey to the Center” from The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness), and that’s the first thing that came to mind.

A labyrinth is not a maze–there is only one path in and one path out.  Labyrinths have been found in cultures all over the world, and are often used as forms of ritual or pilgrimage–a way to return to the source, to lose yourself in something larger and as a result find yourself again.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, gave me that feeling too–could not those paths be circuits on a labyrinth, doubling back to the beginning of the journey?

mapping the wind s

Labyrinths have been linked to circles, spirals, and mandalas–all patterns of sacred geometry.  They have been compared to a map of the brain.

Solnit:  “Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”

map labyrinth s

 

When you walk a labyrinth you are walking the same path to and from the center, yet the journey in and out are not at all the same.  The seven circuit labyrinth is often layered with rainbows, mirroring the 7 chakras, the 7 notes of the musical scale, the 7 sacred planets, the 7 days of the week. The journey creates a bridge from earth to the cosmos and back again. In a symbolic death, you return to the womb, shedding the things you have acquired but no longer need.  Rebirthing back to the entrance/exit you open yourself to finding new patterns, new ways of being in the world.

chakra painted labyrinth s

Lost can mean adrift, forgotten, missing, but also captivated or consumed.  Lost can be hopeless or bewildered but it can also be rapt, immersed.

Solnit: “…to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”

owl moon s

This poem is another instance where I spread out the lines of someone else’s poem and filled in the empty spaces with my own thoughts.  You can read Arthur Sze’s original poem here.

 

Who drinks your tears, who has your wings, who hears your story?
Rebecca Solnit, “The Faraway Nearby”

go make people s