Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poetry Invitation # 34 :: Honouring the Gift of Earth

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Every so often, Abbey of the Arts hosts a poetry invitation. She posts a picture and a theme and invites anyone to respond with poems, reflections, prose. Check the icon for more info. Read my submission below.

~ Note: I've chosen a picture of my own, rather than use the picture Christine provided in her 34th poetry invitation. ~

Magnolia ~
She whispers in her silence,
beckons me, closer.
And I, in my darkness,
feel her light
wrap its arms around me.
Looking deep into her heart
I see a reflection
of deep wisdom.
Magnolia ~
She whispers in her silence,
I am but a fingerprint of God.
As are you.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lovers ~ The Embrace

Saturday, April 25, 2009

~I'm sick, again! Grrrrr. So here I go, once more, with the Vicks Vapo-Rub, my Ventolin rescuer inhaler, many hot, steamy showers, and more blankets. And, oh yeah, lots of juice to drink. I'm beginning work on my book. Hugs to you all.~

You surround yourself with art and music and are constantly driven to express yourself. You often daydream. You prefer honesty in your relationships and believe strongly in your personal morals.

[I found this little quiz while blog surfing; I love colour ... so had fun with this.]


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What I'm Thinking, Reading Writing

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
On my Mind & Conscience ...
I've had a little period of silence, here on the Tea Party, My last real post, about BlissChick's 100-Day Dare, has weighed in my heart. Late last week, just thinking about making the particular change I had in mind when I wrote that post, made my heart a little sick. The many commenters to that post gave such encouragement, but I fear that I am weaker than any of you think. Alas, a work-in-progress am I. And, so I take the tiny steps, only considering the one I'm taking, and not the ones that lie ahead. [Assuming today is day 1, then day 100 happens on July 31st.] I've spent some time grieving someone who has estranged himself from me in many ways, but who contacts me from time to time. Just a little taste, to remind me of the sweet flavour, and then great famine for an unknown while.  On a more practical front, I have an appointment scheduled next week that may eventually lead me back work, part-time.

white blossom ~ DTES Vancouver
On the Bookshelf ... 
Thomas Merton continues to lead me into contemplation with and about God in New Seeds of Contemplation. I've continued to plod slowly, but surely, through Karen Armostrong's The Bible: A Biography. And, of course, Eckhart Tolle's Now sits nearby; I read Tolle in spurts, then take some time to digest what I've read. I also have Susan Haskin's Mary Magdalen: The Essential History in the pile, beckoning me to open it. And, once in a while I flip through the $5 used copy of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, which sits on my nightstand, atop my dictionary-thesaurus and beside my lamp. I have read Thich Naht Hanh's book about true love, a really quick and easy read one Sunday afternoon. That same afternoon, I read a lovely book about angels, their history, presence in different cultures, and the angel hierarchy. The next fiction book I'll likely read is the second book in the Stephanie Meyers series.

white blossom ~ East Vancouver

On the Writing Table ...
I watched The Matrix again, and it inspired me to write yet another post about the metaphors and symbolism in that movie. I've nearly finished the post. I just had to leave it for awhile, before concluding it. I've written several poems lately, inspired by Abbey of the Arts' Poetry Invitations. I've so far only posted 2. I'll post more as the time seems right. I've been pondering and considering my book of late. Some stability has seized the waters of my life, leaving just enough friction to keep fueling creativity and endurance of that creativity. I have to start disciplining myself, schedule some time out of each week, each day, to work on the book. I suppose I have stalled a little because parts of the story felt too painful to relive just yet. Also, at times, I feel as though perhaps the story has not ended yet. In my heart.

mosaic heart ~ DTES Vancouver

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday ~ Gilded Freedom (a poem)

Sunday, April 19, 2009
A crimson heart ~
sweet as nectar,
and a scarlet, burning ember
 too deep to fathom ~
love, pure, fresh love 
cleaves him to her.
He opens the gilded cage,
watching, awestruck
and with baited breath.
Apprehensive, her wings unfurl,
She flutters, then sails away
on the gentlest stream of 
a breeze.
she returns 
to the gilded cage
and sees Him there,
Her wings,
in time with her heart.
Her heart,
in time with His.

image credit: google, public domain
poetry: copyright Roxanne Galpin

Inspired by and dedicated to Martin, who showed me that I do have wings, that they can carry me, and that I can fly on my own. He showed me this through the anguish of his love, which gave him the strength to hold the cage open for me to fly out. Of course, I flew back into the cage to my husband, a man who understands that loving me requires giving me alot of space.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Encouraging Bliss:: Twilight Reflections

Friday, April 17, 2009

 It's the middle of the night. I'm sitting in bed, under the covers with my laptop. Somehow, the bed feels larger. Perhaps, that's because I feel much smaller, tonight, than I did this morning. Dear Reader, you cannot imagine how small I feel. My shame lingers in the spaces between words spoken; it stagnates, like the smell of something burning. I find it a challenge to examine my rather large and foolish error without judgement. Foolish ~ too harsh a word, maybe? Alternatives? Ill-Considered. Careless. Naive, even.

[Photo ~ taken on a sunny day here, in Vancouver a week ago]

It seems pointless to persecute myself. It seems purposeful and wise, though, to really take to heart and mind what I need to do, and gaze at it through the prism of wreckless, wanton desire (the force that fuels my error). I see, more clearly, the painful struggle one endures in the quest for Self ~ the self I think I want to be vs. the self God created me to be. The Wannabe seeks comfort by filling herself. The True Self seeks comfort in acceptance and through emptying herself.

I must begin to empty a particular falseness. Its a falseness that coats the Wannabe (entraps her, really) like a poisonous membrane. She must no longer fill herself with poison. She must purge. It feels like I must release my grip from the edge and fall freely away from the known precipice, toward the unknown, without fear or tension. When I let go, I will liberate myself. When I let go, my wings will carry me; I will feel such joy and peace ... and BLISS. Do I have the courage to follow the obscured and jagged trail that leads to the light?

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Empty Chair

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Golden thoughts of you
on a hush
of the languid tide
in my restless, sepia heart.
The stark solitude of
your empty chair
screams ~
your absence, lamented.
Yet, I feel you ~
tendrils of your spirit
like the casings of dandelion seeds.
The grain of your existence,
has melted into mine,
has melted
into the very grain of
your empty chair.

image credit: DeviantART
poetry: copyright Roxanne Galpin


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poetry Invitation # 33 :: Practicing Resurrection

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Every so often, Abbey of the Arts hosts a poetry invitation. She posts a picture and a theme and invites anyone to respond with poems, reflections, prose. Check the icon for more info. Read my submission below.

Twilight Resurrection
dancing with a golden mirth
She skips across the sun-soaked beach,
splaying her toes, softly burrowing
into velvety sand, then splashing,
splashing ~ making iridescent ripples
in a silent and silvery sea
that seems to come from 
beyond twilight
She sparkles in a dusky sunset, 
appearing simultaneously
miniscule and monumental.

photo credit: Christine Valters Paintner
poetry: Roxanne Galpin


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday ~ A Contemplation

Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Cross casts a dim shadow on this day. A shadow ~ absence of light ~ has a meaning only in the context of light and contrast. When I find myself in the shadow of an object, I know that light shines beyond this object. If the object had any degree of translucence, the light would shine through it, diminishing the shadow. I spent the afternoon and evening contemplating and considering this today. I longed to explore this train of thought, this seed of inspiration. A seed for a blog post, I thought, to express the fruits of my contemplations of Good Friday, beyond the plastic cliche He died for our sins.

I did an internet search. (Reading the thoughts and reflections of others helps me formulate my sometimes chaotic thoughts.) I waded through a unreflected sea of mindless scripture-regurgitation as well as some guilt-tripping, to get to a few thoughtful and contemplative pieces of writing about Good Friday. I intuitively have a sense that we just don't get it ~ the Passion of Christ seems so mysical ~ moreso than I'd ever realized in all those years of church-going. Each year I heard the same hollow words spewed out by those plastic church people. Words that mostly obscure the light of the mystical and often get confused for it. Plastic words that made my heart feel ill-at-ease. My heart silently begged to know. How can I know truth --- of the cross, of Good Friday --- in the Now? How can I transpose this truth into my self?
For so many centuries people have been spilling blood to get to God. But in the crucifixion it is reversed - God spills his own blood to reach out to us. This is to take away our old fear, that by spilling blood we try to appease an angry God. There is no such thing as an angry God - only an unconditionally loving God.
Richard Rohr, OFM
The crucifixion ~ a vision of Jesus mangled, bloodied, and dying ~ symbolizes the purest and most ultimate poverty [i.e. complete destruction of selfishness]. It's a divine act of selflessness, a shining sign of his divine nature. The light and love of God shine toward me, through the cross.
The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will -- above, below, without, or within -- you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.

If you carry the cross willingly, it will carry and lead you to the desired goal where indeed there shall be no more suffering, but h ere there shall be. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you cast away one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one.
~ Thomas a' Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book II, chapter 12
At one point in my online reading, I glanced upon a sentence that said something like, the human part of us sees death [in the cross], but the spirit in us sees love and life. I tucked that away in the recesses of my mind, for further contemplation. I contemplated. I read a little of Merton. I contemplated some more, silencing the din in my heart, and the loud shouting from my empty thoughts, in a hot, steamy shower. I considered so many things. I felt fluid, metaphorically speaking. And then it made sense to me.

Imagine a tragic analogy ~ a father takes a bullet for his son, thereby saving his son's life, but offering his own. Naturally the son will grieve the (perceived) loss (to himself) of his father. But, should he expend much effort feeling responsible, or guilty, for his father's death? Or should he silently cherish the knowledge that his father loved him, so much that he gave his life, willingly and with love?

Does he not diminish the greatness of this gesture, and possibly his father's love for him, if the son feels guilt and regret, in the wake of the father's death? Does the father feel anger, at having given his life to spare his son's life? Surely Not! The light and love of God shine to me, through the cross. If I consider the crucifixion in the construct of guilt and (self-directed) shame, do I not then diminish its divinity? And possibly the love that underlies the crucifixion? The crucifixion represents God's forgiveness of us all. Forgiveness = surrender. God surrenders to us through his Incarnation.

And then my heart travels to thoughts of Mary. As a mother, I think of her especially on Good Friday. I meditate upon her passivity, as a still and silent witness to her son's suffering. Mary dearly loved her human son, but she loved and honoured the glory of God more. She collaborated in our redemption. For me, Mary's sanctity lies in her immense sorrow, what St. Bernard called a martyrdom of the heart. With her purity of heart, she teaches us love, humility, faith and obedience. This leads me to think of God's will as a road map, and not a direction or a destination.

Jesus made his mother our mother. He made everyone kin to me, to you. Each of us contains the pure glory of God within us. And therefore, although strangers, we belong to each other through an inextricable, divine link. Thomas Merton wrote of a metaphorical dream-state, of illusory separateness, of spurious self-isolation. He described awakening from this dream, seeing and feeling the gate of heaven everywhere: I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs. And, Peter Storey writes, “From the cross where he is nailed, Jesus nails us to each other ... If Jesus has made everyone kin to me, would that not make every war in history a civil war and every casualty a death in my family?”

Wow. I never saw it that way, before. I feel filled with light.

[Here's a great article on the vulnerability of Jesus.]


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Friday, April 10, 2009
So many things to consider. Lucy's post got me to reflecting upon Good Friday in a way I hadn't, previously. I stayed up all night. It's noon here. I need to sleep. When I awake I will write about Good Friday. In the meantine, here's a favourite of mine, from Dali.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Encouraging Bliss ~ Do Not Get Rid of Your Vice

Thursday, April 09, 2009
Seeking Over Stimulation ~ I have lived life like a hummingbird, that moves in a frenzied blur from flower to flower, in search of the sweet nectar of excitement and stimulation. When life gets me down, I run from the anxiety and boredom by overindulging in variety and activity. I often have felt like that child, who runs down the aisles of a toy store, fearful of choosing one toy because she will miss out on the rest. Before this time in my life, I have rarely stopped to experience my inner self, to focus on completion. I've sort of felt like that stone skipping across a lake ~ when it slows down or stops it sinks deeply. And then? Oh no ~ have I sunk too far inward? Have I gotten dissolved in the contemplative moments?

So, what's the upside of this vice? How can I transform my vice into a virtue? Well, my creativity, my ability to visual beyond what's present. That quality has served me well, wherever life has taken me. However, I could stop worrying about dissolving, or sinking into oblivion ~ when I stop ~ and taste the sweet nectar of life as its offered me. Eckhart Tolle writes of thinking as a disease ~ a cancer. Indeed, with me, its so. And this blocks my path to the present, to the here and now, to my self. It also fuels that frenzied, fluttering hummingbird, which seeks constant movement, but does not savour the moments.

I found this exercise difficult to complete. I hope I have done it some justice. I feel like I've just barely skimmed the surface.

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Full Moon Dreamers ~ Pink April Moon

Full Moon Dreamboards ~ a creative way to express what we wish to manifest in a particular month. Each month has a name, a this becomes the theme or inspiration for the dreamboard. For more on Full Moon Dreamboards, visit Jamie's site.

Full Pink Moon - April - This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon (the full moon before Easter), and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the Shad swam upstream to spawn.

Pink ~ the colour of fresh, young skin; the colour of deliciously broiled Wild Sockeye Salmon fillets; the colour of White Zinfandel (a favourite of mine); the colour of the tartest, most refreshing Pink Lemonade; the colour of bitter and juicey Grapefruit flesh; the colour of sunrise skies, also of sunset skies; the colour of the sun on a lazy and sultry summer evening; the colour of magnolias and Cherry Blossoms; (in Feng Shui) the colour of universal love.

Pink emits a soothing energy. Designer use pink to convey softness, tenderness, playfulness. Both bold and gentle could describe pink. Pink expressed joy, hope, and gentle vibrancy. I entered this world through my mother's pink door, just as my sons entered this world through my own pink door. Ahhh, pink ~ portal of life, as in the pink canal.**

As the Full Pink Moon approaches, my spirit stirs to embrace life more vibrantly, taking courage to hold hope closer to my heart, and remembering the plethora of joys that bless me in my life. I feel also, a stirring in my soul to work toward spreading hope to others with the smallest of gestures, and to embrace transformation with my whole being.

** credit to my husband, Martin, for coming up with this interpretation of and metaphor for PINK**

~ all photos taken by yours truly;
I created this mosaic at BigHugeLabs~

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday ~ Wishes for Transformation

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This week's Wish Prompt ~ What do You Wish to Transform?

And, so, this week, this holy week ... I make wishes for transformation. As the week leads me to Good Friday, and thoughts of Our Lord suffering persecution and death, and then to Easter Sunday, when he rose from the dead, I ponder what transformation means for me, in my life. Transformation dances all around me ~ in the blooming cherry blossoms, magnolias and rhododendrons, in the awakening woods. I live transformation ~ each moment I breathe ~ that's transformation.

I wish to transform the world around me, through transformation of myself. I wish to transform myself by standing firm in the present ~ living in, embracing, the now. My life encapsulates itself in the now. I wish  to transform myself by gaining a truer understanding of those around me, embracing them with compassion, rather than judgement. I wish to transform the world around me by making small gestures of hope to those who need it most.

What do you wish to transform?

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Mystic Monday # 1 :: Unmarked Boxes

Monday, April 06, 2009
Mystic Monday ~ An alternate to Manic Monday.

Unmarked Boxes
by Jalal al-din Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks
Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round
in another form. The child weaned from mother's milk
now drinks wine and honey mixed.

God's joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box,
from cell to cell. As rainwater, down into flower bed.
As roses, up from ground.
Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,
now a cliff covered with vines,
now a horse being saddled.
It hides within these,
till one day it cracks them open.

Part of the self leaves the body when we sleep
and changes shape. You might say, "Last night
I was a cypress tree, a small bed of tulips,
a field of grapevines." Then the phantasm goes away.
You're back in the room.
I don't want to make any one fearful.
Hear what's behind what I say.

Tatatumtum tatum tatadum.
There's the light gold of wheat in the sun
and the gold of bread made from that wheat.
I have neither. I'm only talking about them,

as a town in the desert looks up
at stars on a clear night.

How I love this poem, and the poet who wrote those words. This poem tells me that nothing really ever dies, but only changes form. One can only count on change, as a constant in life. And, in the eyes of God, we have sameness, no distinctions ~ when we return to him, the human construct of separateness melts, just the same as a water droplet that falls into a vast ocean.

The graces of God which we receive, we cannot control. The divine works, unseen, in unmarked places, and at unmarked times. He moves from unmarked box, to unmarked box. And, as for loss ~ those dear ones that lose physical form, whose matter we can no longer see, touch, smell, hear ~ remember, forms only change; they do not die. Perhaps, then, we might conjure up the image of a star exploding, shedding off layers and layers and seeding many new stars all around. Death does not exist, really. And, life cultivates life.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Project 287 :: Week 2 in Review

Saturday, April 04, 2009

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Friday, April 03, 2009

The Ones That Didn't Make It ~ #2

Friday, April 03, 2009

I a little tired today, at the end of this week. I did the final titration of my Valproic Acid to TID (3 times per day). I suppose my body has to get used to the increase. All in all, a great week. Enjoy the slideshow, and have a wonderful weekend!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday ~ Wishes for Trust

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This week's Wish Prompt ~ What do You Wish to Trust?

I wish to trust myself, my inner voice ~ that one which speaks from the seat of my soul. I wish to trust my creative muse, who so oft I have felt wont to disregard and cast aside. I wish to trust God, the truth of whom has for many years, felt obliterated by my confusion, arrogance, vanity, and reckless abandon. I wish to trust in the sacredness of my marriage, which has taken quite a bruising these past few years. I wish to trust that trusting, rather than holding suspicion close to my heart,  does not make me a naive fool. I wish to trust that I have it in me, to handle the incredible responsibility and burden of nursing, once more ~ without anger, without rage, without resisting the Now.

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