Tuesday, January 25, 2011

as plaid to weather

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. ~May Sarton 

Good mid morning...it gets to be about this time before my brain kicks in although I'm up at dawn with thoughts only- of getting the fire going.  It may be 6 degrees outside, with a stiff wind blowing- but I am in here- safe and warm- so I will write a bit apologetically- of January. 
Flurries and bitter cold for today.  In Maine they don't actually call it flurries, they call it showers and that is an apt description.  The way the wind blows and the snows come- seems to me a plaid design...coming from all directions and often ugly when taken to the extreme.  My mind works in mysterious ways- I can't say for sure why I'd attribute something as unnatural as plaid to weather related circumstances- but I do.
Do you, dear reader- often wonder why you think the way you do or how is it that you pick up something familiar and add some kind of twisted symbolism to it?  Again, please forgive- it is January and what else is one to do but clear out the cobwebs in the old brain?  Yes, there's that as well as Clean up the desk and organize the clutter.
  That is my goal today. 

 I have gotten awfully good at not keeping anything worth throwing out so the clutter is actually of use...but not in it's current state.  Piles here and there, a bulletin board over the desk displaying many good intentions with thumbtacks to emphasize and hold some direction I had intended to go in- in place.  
I seem to be getting better all around, meaning- blood pressure, pretty good.  Goals- at best like little candle flames at the end of the tunnel, still flickering.  Seed orders, progressing.  Writing, writingwriting...aaargh.  It's hurts my heart and my head- to bring out the gook.  This blog of many colors has taken a back seat to the writing I won't share until it is bound and delivered or simply gone through and bundled for kindling.  Therapy for me in season- writing in the winter, farming in the summer.  Both begin with seeds, some take root- some go to more seed, some take years and years to produce a crop...and many never germinate.

(I can't help but think that the John Wayne calendar just aside the bulletin board is inspiring me to be ever more qualified in writing about the lessons I've earned...my Em gave it to me as a gift and I do so love the Duke.  I enjoy his movies but more importantly to me- Mr. Wayne has always had a special place in my heart.  Maybe it was his walk, his talk but most probably- he wasn't a fearful man in a role or as a participant in life to my way of thinking and recalling. 
 I remember being the only girl in third grade who diligently tried and did walk like the Duke and was frequently made fun of because of my gritty, hitching stride- but I just figured some day, they'd get theirs...and I would keep walking as I please because that surely was the thing to do, per John Wayne's lessons to me.)

Well, that's the post today~
  Rather wide and far reaching, deep and uneventful- January.
Take care-

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chicken Coop Manifesto

 So what teaching is it that you would need to explore in order to transform your distress into wisdom? Rob Brezsny

 I would like nothing more than to bypass that question, head on out to the little Hoop-Dee-Doo House and hang out with the chickens.  But, me being a true wonder and all...that is a great question worth pondering.

It is good to be as smart as a chicken and that may not sound like the ultimate goal for any sky-high thinker but! the Big Fish and I have contended that maybe a good part of the population isn't...  so- we kind of look to the poultry for common sense...

Similarities I have observed between the two subjects-

 People vs. Chickens

Pecking Order
Pretty much the same, but people pretend to be mannerly when deep inside they're seething-"Hey bud!  I was here first..." - we should peck back sometimes.

Laying eggs
 *kind of, sort of- you know- like how we really get puffed up and clucky when we hatch a new idea.  
Making sure Basic Needs are met- water, feed, shelter, safety in numbers, etc.
  (of course not all people score well here...just saying.)

Talk, talk, cluck, cluck- thing is, chickens are actually listening to one another better- I observe.  Doesn't take long for the slowest among them to catch on to the wisest and act accordingly.

Comfy spot/shelter
Hard to say here, more observation needed.  (As soon as I'm done with this all too-time-encompassing post, I'll research some more- from a comfy spot...)

Joyful pursuits (No great scientist will ever tell me that chickens don't know joy-a fly loose in coop to a chicken would be like me singing back up for Emmy Lou Harris, joy, joy, joy!!) 

OK, keep trying to follow me here...sure, none of the above can be provided by a chicken- we as their keepers bring much of it about, but after the four walls and a roof, basic stuff is provided- the chickens do the rest, impeccably I might add...hope I didn't lose you with that one...there's more-

Should a shadow appear over their yard, in they go to safety- but only after one of the smarter pluckier ones squawks out an alarm. 
If the feed/water dish should run dry, they don't stand around worrying- they get right to work on scratching and picking up every little thing they might have missed in the ever bustling scamper for anything yummy.
I have also observed that a chicken never feels sorry for itself, even if it loses it's place in the order.  They simply take a licking and keep on keeping on...eventually, they learn to stand up for themselves and struggle mightily to proceed to the top of the order again.
But every now and then, one of those silly sometimes not as smart as your average chicken chickens- surprises me. 

There is one little old gal out there who takes no crap off of anybody.(Including me!)  She never ceases and desists, never takes her eye off the prize she seeks and yes I suppose it might be said that if worse came to worse she would die for the good eggs she loyally sits upon.  And should a common enemy confront all of them- well, this little plucky soul would perish perhaps by fighting off the intruder, not just for her self or the eggs but the whole cockle doodling group.   I know this because if one of the group's inhabitants gets her feathers ruffled by me throwing the door open too quickly, thereby surprising the flightiest one- the brave, seemingly independent one charges me. 

The message given- Proceed with caution, or else!!!

The message taken-Geez, that chicken is doing something so unchicken-like it's freaking me out, she's so little and yet...so fearless!

Which leads me to wonder AND answer the question left hanging way up above there- 

The teaching, the base line lesson that might transform my distress into wisdom?  
Worry is just another way to not confront fear.  It absolutely changes nothing as my health, my head, my heart and my hope suffer.  It belittles all those aspects of me, it actually sickens my soul.  Believe me, I have only recently figured this out.  I have been ill.  
Really ill...high blood pressure.  Lethargy.  Hopelessness.  I can handle dreams being cancelled, thoughts being outgrown, love leaving and honest hostility but no hope AND bad health?!  Well, I wouldn't be a true wonder anymore, I'd be compost, pushing up daisies and that sort of thing.  Yikes.  It took some physical ills to come around to acknowledging not only are we what we eat, we are what we think.  We are what we feel.  We are weak if we say we are.  We are strong when we act accordingly.  And we are at our lowest when we allow  doubts to drown out all of who we are. 
 Luck has not been good as of late, challenges coming right, then left- over the wall and up through chimney...yet my stress response darn near nearly killed me.  And even though my little black hen didn't say all of that to me...in a way, she showed me how to handle the ups and downs a little better.

Conduct Befitting a Good Egg
The Chicken Coop Manifesto

Be tenacious, even when the going gets ugly.
  At worst, you'll lose a few feathers.
  At best- you'll ruffle a few.*

Be who you are- exactly.
(Not sure who you exactly are?  Turn off TV, radio, news,internet,people who vex your very soul,books,busy roads,etc...you will find out and grow more of who you were meant to be.  Might be a poet, might be a hero, might just be you.  A chicken is a chicken is a charming bird with character.)

Love everyone, even the assholes. *(see # 1)
**though consider the bottom line
Would you risk your life for just about any one?
Then, why not your grace too?!

Don't let the bastards get you down.
(And that may be your self in the telling...we are hardest on ourselves.  My little black hen struts her tiny stuff and the so-called cock of the walk* backs down sometimes.)

Stand your ground.
(You may not be first in line, ever.  But that doesn't mean you have to take any crap off the other chickens either. We are all a little chicken about some little big thing.)

Be Brilliant in your plumage.
(Dress to impress your self.  Fluff your feathers when you damn well feel like it.)

Question everything.
  (Including your self.  What motivates your actions? My chickens  put up a big fuss, like questioning...when the snow covers their hoop-house home, blocking the sun. ) 

Be kind when it is warranted and even, maybe...when it is not.
(A good broody hen will never leave the nest and will peck your eyes out given the opportunity- but a better chicken will step aside and let others lay eggs in her humble and warm nest...so that I might easily collect the eggs.)  These are my rules and this is how I see it.

  Take care of the children.
  (And if the brood watching the children needs instruction, do it.  Children, chicks are the only ones entitled to our little wise hen-ness direction.  That doesn't mean telling someone how to do it, it means taking opportunities that arise to teach for the benefit of the little ones. )

Those that do, succeed.
Those that don't- won't.  Nothing.  Ever.
(Success doesn't always come from an end result, sometimes- it is a minute by minute reaching further, risk-taking-small-time-step ongoing adventure. Like a little chick sticking it's head through the chicken wire and grabbing up the fattest bugs.)

Do not take good health for granted.
(What a gift breath is.  What a joy swallowing is.  What a blessing upon blessings sight,taste,hearing,touch,feeling is. When a chicken is in moult, she seeks shelter more often than not and takes the time to let her health glow again.)

Life is a blast.
(Every time I open the hoop house door, there stands the little black hen- ready to take a gust of wind or a shower of snow.)  

Seek shelter when shadows appear, but when they have gone- come out into the sun and
 Crow about the light. 
* Verne
**Bottom line
(Anyone and I don't give a spit who you are...if you neglect, harm, exploit a child- all bets are off.  There should be no cover, no shelter for you- I do not care what brought you to your demise, do not harm children.  Period.
I will never be so enlightened to see a lesson in the suffering of children.
I have never said this on my blog but I strongly feel that some crimes should be handed over to Mother Nature, and there should be sharks and grizzlies involved.  And that goes for Military funeral protesters too. If you agree somewhat- write a damn letter.  Post it to your social networks.  Think freely and act accordingly.  Oh...and please listen to Mumford and Sons.   They are partially responsible for my lack of diplomacy.  Awake My Soul- say that aloud and often enough and true wonder is what you get.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

nothing.all of it.me.grateful.

"....and that is where you found me, at the water's edge.
I could see across the river then and I showed YOU
the other side-
But you, in your boat of reason
sailed smoothly across....
leaving me to swim."
T.L. Starks~Waves 2003

Here it is, the magical thinking day...a new New Year comes to pass.
Magically I will extract all the poison, I say- from the old days and put it on the compost pile.  Hmmmm...maybe magic isn't the word, perhaps mightily is how I proceed this day.

Unforgettable moments to grow on:

And I, you...

True, true wonder...

Might I always leap when overwhelmed!

May I always, always notice such things...

And be humbled by the enormity of beauty, be still when  it gets noisy; deeper still when it gets too quiet.

Walk a ways, every day.

Try on serenity- wear it, share it be aware of it.

What I will forget- nothing.  What will aid me, all of it.  What hurt me most- me.  Lessons earned, lessons learned...and may all of it make me grateful.