Poem: Today, I Joined the Resistance ~ Theodora Goss

July 4, 2019 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Today, I Joined the Resistance
~ Theodora Goss

Today, I stood under the blue arc of the sky
and said, all these people passing by
are my sisters, my brothers.
The children playing in the parks,
running after balls
or swinging, legs stretched out,
up and down and back up again,
laughing for no reason,
are my children.

The Earth is my home, and nothing in it
is strange to me, or a stranger.

I will become a teacher, a caretaker.
The trees are my responsibility.
The birds flying above or perching
among the branches, gossiping in song,
the fish slipping under lily pads
through lakes glittering in the sunlight,
the wolves loping through forests,
the otters tumbling in river shallows,
all that lives are my family.
Even the stones, that dream
so slowly, and so long.

Today I decided that I will step lightly,
speak out, defend the defenseless.
I will live with a fierce joy,
and when I am afraid,
I will act anyway.

I will write a poem, plant a garden,
seek the truth, speak to the powerful
and say, not us, for we stand together,
sisters and brothers, for each other,
for the children, the trees, the otters,
the quick silver fish.

We stand for love, for sorrow at your depredations,
for righteous anger. Whether we are together
or, of necessity, alone.

How do I want to be remembered?
As one of those who gave in, gave up, collaborated
with the evil inside and outside myself?

Or one of those who stood
in the light and resisted? Who said
I will not collude with the enemy,
even when it is my own darkness?

Who was guided by love,
which is not an emotion,
but a decision?

Today, I joined the resistance
because it was the only choice
my heart could make
and be whole.

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Close the Camps Demonstration, July 2, 2019

July 3, 2019 | Filed Under Devotions, Things I Think About | No Comments

Tried to get photos from the Close the Camps demonstration outside Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office yesterday, but only one came out.

The demonstration moved into the street at Montgomery, so SFPD rerouted traffic back up Montgomery to clear it and Post Street. Several of the demonstrators helped guide traffic to get the drivers back on their way.

The demonstrators then moved into Market Street, and a while later set off for Representative Pelosi’s office at 7th and Mission. I bowed out at that point, having hit maximum crowd exposure.

Lots of news cameras, and wow, talk about a job that requires you to be light on your feet and have eyes in the back of your head.

Tourists stopped to take photos of those of us across the street holding signs. Just another day in San Francisco.

The prizewinner was a middle-aged white man who was in the stopped traffic. He got out of his car, came up to me and my friend, and asked, “What’s this about?” We showed him our signs. He snorted derisively, and said, “Thanks for ruining my day.”

Dude, being stuck in traffic is an inconvenience. You know what ruins your day? Being held in a cage with no food and sleeping on a concrete floor.

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Poem: Snake in Phoenix ~ Sharon Suzuki-Martinez

June 27, 2019 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Snake in Phoenix
~ Sharon Suzuki-Martinez

If I had to describe
the movement of the snake
crossing a road
in Phoenix
this summer morning,
……………I would not say
……………………..it slithered,
…………..but rather,
………………………………..she shimmered
……………………flowing before traffic
………………………………………………..like a deathless river
in a dust city.

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Poem: Epitaph ~ Elinor Wylie

June 25, 2019 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Epitaph
~ Elinor Wylie

For this she starred her eyes with salt
And scooped her temples thin,
Until her face shone pure of fault
From the forehead to the chin.

In coldest crucibles of pain
Her shrinking flesh was fired
And smoothed into a finer grain
To make it more desired.

Pain left her lips more clear than glass;
It colored and cooled her hand.
She lay a field of scented grass
Yielded as pasture land.

For this her loveliness was curved
And carved as silver is:
For this she was brave: but she deserved
A better grave than this.

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Rest Is Not Optional

June 24, 2019 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

One of the things that is painfully out of balance about our current culture is that it does not value rest. We are supposed to be doing something every minute of the day, and that’s simply not healthy. Even our hunter-gatherer forebears and agrarian societies had times of rest. I read one book (don’t ask me which one, it was more than five minutes ago) that estimated the survival work averaged about 20 – 25 hours per adult each week, outside of the push at spring planting and fall harvest.

We, however, bolstered by technical advances of every kind and a theoretically higher standard of living, are supposed to be fully occupied with some damn thing or other 16 hours per day, and still somehow enjoy 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep. Given that that most 8 hour workdays are really 10 – 11 hours because of commuting, the numbers do not add up. It’s insane, and we can’t keep insisting that this is a workable norm.

We can take care of ourselves by setting boundaries on our time, and focusing on what’s truly important, and on doing only those things which are based in love, joy, and fulfillment. There are endless books, blog posts, and advice columns telling us that it’s just a matter of planning and being organized.

Right. (Most of those also feature perfectly-groomed women doing yoga on the beach, or laughing over a bowl of salad in an immaculate kitchen. Consider the source.)

The reality is that, no matter how well we manage our time, we still have only 24 hours in which to live each day—and for many of us, most of those hours are consumed by the need to work and pay for our daily existence. The struggle so many of us experience, trying to set boundaries and find that balance is, in itself, consuming our time and energy.

No matter how good our intentions, or how intense our desires for an authentic, creative life may be, we are unable to alter the fact that we have limited time each day, and many of those hours are claimed by obligations which are not optional. (Unless, of course, you are independently wealthy and can delegate everything to other people, but I don’t personally know anyone with that particular luxury.)

Be kind to yourself as you figure it out. There is no one right answer—some days, things flow effortlessly, and other days, the Universe operates with complete disregard for your plans. Do your best with what arises, and do your best to defend your quiet time, your time to do nothing, and your time to sleep.

Whichever kind of day you are having, you can take the time to stop, breathe, and decide how you will spend the next 15 minutes. You may not be able to manage the entire day, but you can manage the next 15 minutes—and that may be to unplug and be quiet, so you can deal with the 15 minutes after that.

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