Tag Archives: Poetry

AWAKENING TO WINTER’S DELIGHT

“Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.” Walt Whitman

winter-snow-landscape-snowy-tree-trees-wintry-3

Do you enjoy winter and its snowy days? Do you like the glint of the sun on ice? Or do you love to curl up near a fire and disappear into a book or write poems about a lost love?

Quiet Winter Days May Be Creative

I have to admit I am rather excited by snowy days when I don’t have to go out and can use the weather as an excuse to just read and nap while the winds whip around the house and spill branches into the yard. And yes, I build a fire in the fireplace and sometimes poems rise to the surface as I sit, not needing to do anything.

I lived in Nebraska for two years when I taught dance in the university and winter lasted most of the year. The first thirty days I was there in December and January the temperature was below zero. It wasn’t unusual to walk around in snow up to my knees.

On one of those days I wrote this poem. No doubt many of you can relate to this picture today.

NEBRASKA WINTER

 Ice bends the trees of this arid land

So that woods appear like shrub forests,

Locked in a white crystal blanket.

The sun sparkles, shatters, plays

Off the hills like a melody of mirrors

Playing songs through the air.

The land flies by as we drive,

Like silver plates skipped on a stream.

Gray deer dart across our path,

Flying shapes connected to the land

By color and vibrance,

Alive in this frozen world

Where ice has stopped the flow of human life.

Only what is close to the land

Survives, vibrantly, through the ice.

Unlike most days in Nebraska, the sun has come out today and melted the icy streets in this North Carolina mountain town, but it has been a lovely contemplative day. I’ve been sifting through my poetry, deciding it is time to publish some and trying to decide where.

Winter, A Time To Turn Within

Winter is the perfect time to turn within and contemplate our lives and evaluate what is working and what is not. When spring arrives, we will be too distracted by the beauty it showers upon us to stay inside ourselves to do this work. But when the cold frosts the windows and makes the stairs treacherous, it feels safe to go inside, to do winter’s version of spring cleaning and decide how we want to change our lives during this year. So, I guess the decision I’ve made is to get busy sharing my poetry, make a book, get it published, and publish some poems on the internet.

miley-sitting-in-the-road

Poetry Is A Very Personal Form

Poetry is so personal, and I feel nervous about putting it out there. Silly, isn’t it, when I’ve already published a memoir that is very personal. So today, I’ll share another poem which really is a silly poem I wrote as I imagined being a tree. We poets do things like that. Of course, maybe I was a Druid in another life.

WINTER CONVERSATIONS

Mountains hold up the snow,

While cedars talk of rumors

In the wind,

Shaking their heads as if to say:

“Mother Earth better watch out

For those wily hunters of fortune.”

snowy-trees

 Wishing all my readers a lovely warm day!

How do you like to spend a cold winter day? Is it a good time for you to turn inward? Please share and comment.

© 2015 Georganne Spruce                                               ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  13 Ways of Making Poetry a Spiritual Practice,
Sanity: A Dialogue with Echkhart Tolle

AWAKENING TO THE POWER OF WORDS

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing, there is a field.  I will meet you there.”  Rumi

Simon_Glücklich_Paar_im_Gespräch

Painting by Simon Glucklich

Do you think before you speak?  Are you comfortable communicating your feelings with those close to you?  How has the quality of communication in your relationships helped or hurt them?

Over the years, the thing that I remember most about past relationships is the way the other person and I communicated and how that style of communication helped or hurt the relationship.

Many People Fear Expressing Their Feelings

For example, my ex-husband did not reveal his feelings—it wasn’t manly.  Another man was warm and romantic when he needed to be close to me, but when he didn’t want to be bothered, he became distant and irritable.  Still another could not handle conflict or what he perceived to be conflict, and he distanced himself by literally leaving or shutting down emotionally so that no real conversation could take place.

None of those relationships lasted although I managed to stay married for ten years.  My father had been a man of few words who rarely showed his feelings, so I didn’t expect much.  In contrast, I had grown up with a grandfather who expressed his love in many ways, and I longed for that.

Book conversation

Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.

Conflicts Require Us To Choose Wise Words

We all find moments in a relationship when we need to express our hurt feelings or clarify what we or our partner has said to avoid misunderstanding.  These moments may be very touchy.  We worry about how the other person will react.  Will this separate us further or bring us closer together?  Will we choose the right words without upsetting the other person? After one of these moments in a former relationship, I wrote the following poem.

Tapestry
by
Georganne Spruce

We talk –
Our words weave webs
To trap us,
Entangling syntax and emotion
Until we catch a thread
That unravels the pattern
Or unsnags the snare
Our egos have woven.

This tapestry we weave
Is precious and rich
With dangerous detours
Like silken strands
And designs that rise
To its shimmering surface
Only after the hum of our loom
Finds silence.

We sit surprised
By the shape it has taken,
Not the form we intended
But the one we created.

 

FEMA_-_21662_-_Photograph_by_Greg_Henshall_taken_on_01-21-2006_in_Louisiana

Photo: Greg Henshall for FEMA

We Can Learn To Communicate Better

We are fortunate today because there are so many opportunities to improve how we communicate.  Harville Hendrix’s Imago Relationship Therapy offers training in this area and includes learning a mirroring technique that helps us to truly hear one another.  Nonviolent Communication teaches us to speak with compassion from the heart.

Let Go of the Ego and Speak From the Heart

How we communicate may determine our success or failure in a large range of activities because we are interacting with others in almost every aspect of life.  When we are able to let go of ego’s needs and center ourselves, we are more likely to be able to hear what the other person is saying.  When we release our fear and communicate with love, we help the other person to feel safe, and hopefully this will allow him to speak with honesty.

Now that I am in a relationship with a man who communicates well and isn’t afraid to show his feelings, I feel such freedom.  I know him on a deeper level than I knew most of the other men with whom I’ve had relationships, and that makes all the difference.  We share so much more of who we are because we trust each other to be honest and kind at the same time.  Sometimes our words do surprise us, but we choose to ask for clarification before we react.

Release Fear and Be in the Moment

We all benefit when we find that field, about which Rumi speaks, where judgment is suspended, where we can be heard, where we can speak without fear, and where we can untangle the web we have woven. Whether written or spoken, our words have power to enrich our lives or to harm them.  Developing the consciousness to be in the moment so that we think before we speak or send an impulsive email is a wise practice.

What have you learned lately about the power of your words?  Please Comment.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Zero Negativity (Harville Hendrix), Seven Pointers for Couples to Prevent and Resolve Misunderstandings, Conflict Resolution Skills

AWAKENING TO WINTER DREAMS

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”  Albert Camus

Winters Dream

Winters Dream (Photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~)

During autumn, the highway landscape between my city and the next town was ablaze with the red, orange, and yellow fall leaves.  Each time I drove this route through the mountains, the beauty took my breath away, but last week I drove it again, and the utter bleakness of those same trees stripped of all color startled me.  The contrast was shocking despite the fact I had bagged too many leaves falling from my own trees and was certainly not unaware of what was happening.

Winter Is a Introspective Time

Some people may be inspired by the sparseness of winter, but not me.  Without nature’s colors or flowers inspiring me, I just want to go inside, and when I’m depressed by the bleakness, I visit my imagination for something more interesting.  Winter becomes a time to weigh things, to sort out ideas that are not beneficial and let them go.  It’s a good time to write because I’m not distracted by what is going on outside and it is a good time to just be, dreaming by the fire.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 WINTER DREAMS

In the midst of winter

We dream rose dreams.

The fragrance of flowers

Fills the inner landscape

Until we awake in the deep night.

Tulips, Dogwood and Jasmine

Invade the moment

Between sleeping and waking

And we long to wake in spring

And bloom like the flowers

In the garden

We will surely plant.

Winter flower

Winter flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The fact is—I plant gardens in the winter—inside my own head.  I conjure up new ideas for classes, write poetry and essays, and have long stimulating talks with friends over cups of hot coffee.  With fewer distractions, I can commit to tasks that I’ve been avoiding.  Winter can be a most productive time.

Fear May Prevent Us From Looking Deep Inside

Andrew Wyeth says, “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape.  Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”  Perhaps it is the fear of what lies beneath our surface that makes us dread winter.  Confined inside by the cold, we cannot escape as easily those parts of ourselves we’d like to avoid—the ways we have disappointed others or failed to live up to the commitments we’ve made.  It is an excellent time to examine what we need to change and what is not working in our lives.

Over the last two years when I was completing my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, I ignored a number of things about my house that needed to be done.  I committed to completing the book above all else.  However, the rainy season was more intense than usual and mildew developed in closets and other places in the house.  Distracted during the spring and summer with many lovely distractions, I’ve promised myself I will clean this up this winter.  In fact, there are several “spring cleaning” kinds of tasks that I prefer to do in the winter.

attd_kindle

We Must Look Inside to See Who We Really Are

But these are superficial things.  It is the deeper aspects of our nature that we may find more difficult to face.  How can we repair the damage we have done to friendships or family?  How do we escape from a long term relationship that is abusive?  How do we find more confidence in our own abilities to make changes in the way we live?  While we may need help to solve these problems, we must begin by going inside and asking, “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?”

We Must Envision the Changes We Desire

We need to envision what we want in detail in the quiet of our own minds, stilled by meditation or prayer, opening ourselves to dream of how we want our lives to be and then be willing to search for the answers.  Only when we are clear about what we want will we be able to develop a plan to create the life we desire.  With this clarity, we will be able to take the first step.

Winter dreams may take many forms.  We may dream pleasant fantasies about the coming of spring, the birth of a child or new relationship, or a more fulfilling job.  But hopefully, like Albert Camus, we will be able to create an “invincible summer” within us, a hope and positive way to look at life even when everything is falling apart or frozen.  That “invincible summer,” a belief in ourselves, may help us believe we can make our winter dreams come true.

What are your winter dreams this year?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Finding an Invincible Summer, When Your Dreams Change, Let Your Values Guide You, Introspection Overload: The Value of Journaling, Neuroscientific Support for the Value of Introspection

AWAKENING TO THE SACRED DANCE

“Something opens our wings.  Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.  Someone fills the cup in front of us.  We taste only sacredness.”  Rumi

Sergey Yeliseev

Photographer: Sergey Yeliseev

What is sacred to you?  How important is it in your life?  What role does it play in helping you deal with challenges in life?

Accessing the Sacred Through Creativity

I begin to write a poem inspired by a thought created by something I see in nature or one that comes to me through Spirit.  I start writing, letting the thoughts and images flow without editing until they stop.  There is no rational thought here.  It feels like the words come from a sacred place filling the empty page, and if I am writing about nature, a tree or an animal, it feels as if I become one with it.

Any creation is sacred.  When I am creating, it doesn’t matter what is happening in my life.  The conflicts, aches, frustrations all drop away and I am floating in a clear sky, peaceful and full of potential.  Opening my wings, I open my mind.

THE RAVEN’S DANCE

by

Georganne Spruce

The breath of the wind

Rustling through the maples

Touches my cheek gently,

And I become the Raven

Coasting on an updraft.

Wings touching the clouds,

I bend backwards and stretch

Upon the cool fresh grass,

My wings becoming

Arms again.

The crickets sing in my ear,

Their chorus of ancient rhythms

Inspire me and I dance

On the breath of life

As I have never danced.

Like the cave artist, I draw

My ecstatic dance through space

Singing with the crickets,

Dancing on the earth

Where fires will glow at night

Welcoming sages.

I will dance for them

My truths,

I will dance for them

My joy,

I will dance for them

The Raven’s dance,

Wings flying through eternity,

Littering holy messages

At their feet,

I will dance life,

I will dance life,

I …will…dance…LIFE!

Finding Peace At Our Centers

But when our wings don’t open, and the boredom and hurt don’t disappear, and no one fills the cup, what can we do?  This morning I had to balance my chakras before I could do anything.  The challenges of mundane life became a burden this week, and every attempt I made to move forward was blocked.  I’ve felt emotionally exhausted from not being able to complete the changes I needed to make and finally realized I was neglecting my spiritual self, and that was what was creating the problem.  When I am centered, the challenges do not become burdens.

English: A dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya perf...

English: A dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya performing one of the Karanas (key poses) of Natya Yoga. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Releasing the Ego’s Concerns

Often, stepping into the spiritual realm by doing meditation, affirmations, yoga or chakra balancing will take us to a place where we can let go of our ego and emotional attachments to the things that burden us.  When we have released the attachment, we can often see the situation more objectively and open our minds to solutions we haven’t considered.  But most importantly, it reminds us that there is more to us than our physical lives.

Connect With Spirit Through Nature

Denver 030

For me, connection with nature has a calming influence and reminds me I am connected to all living beings and that awareness expands my energy.  The sound of flowing water, the soaring bird, the playful squirrel all remind me of the beauty inherent in all of us and that we are all One, connected by the energy of Spirit and that there is a peace beneath the surface chaos.

Art May Take Us Deeper

But words, music, art, or dance may also take us to a deeper level and bathe our soul in peace or joy.  Athletes often speak of being in the flow.  Regardless of the activity, when we experience the Oneness of that flow or connect on the heart level to a piece of music, art, or poetry, we are in a sacred space and become a part of the dance of life.  We are uplifted in the deepest sense and strengthened by our connection to the sacred.

How do you experience the sacred in your life?  Please Comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  9 Practical and Spiritual Tips for Letting Go of Unhealthy Attachments, Eckhart Tolle – Acceptance and Surrender, 5 Ways to Find Your Center When Life Feels Overwhelming

WORDS ARE MY DNA

Where does the intoxication of spring lead you?

When grape hyacinths and red tulips spring up in my front yard, I get an urge to create something new in my life.  Like many people, I’ve never created children or a vegetable garden. Words are the DNA of my creations, and whatever form they take is a new creature.  When I wonder about what I have to pass on to the next generation, I think it is simply this: the word beings I create through time.

Like the flowers in the yard that scatter their seeds so that new flowers will grow next year, I scatter thoughts, ideas and stories into the wind, hoping they light on fertile minds and light a fire or provide comfort.  Growing up, there was one thing I loved as much as Nature – books.  Before I could read, my mother had to lock my books away in the dining room bureau drawer to force me to go outside and play. 

I can’t imagine what kind of life I would have had without knowing Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, Keats, Dylan Thomas, Margaret Atwood, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf or Alice Walker.  Books exposed me to cultures and ideas that I would never have encountered in my environment.  My mother taught me to love books, and with books in my life, I have never been bored.

So, as warmer spring days descend on us and the fragrance of fresh cut grass fills the air, I always come down with spring fever.  I have trouble focusing on any work and stand in the yard feeling the breeze blow through my hair forgetting what I came out there to do.  The activity of my mind slows down as I take the time to watch the squirrels spiral up the tree trunk and the crows congregate for a communal discussion.

I’ve come to understand that spring fever is the mental equivalent of cleaning out the closet.  It forces me to slow down and clear the mental space so that there is room for a new revelation or this year’s spring poem to come through.  I wait patiently for the bud of the idea to appear and when it opens, spilling its beauty onto my paper, I birth a new creation. 

I am always saddened when I meet people who believe they are not creative.  The Creator lives in each of us.  How can we not be creative?  It’s in our DNA. When we allow ourselves to think outside “the box” or learn something new, we are exploring our creativity.  When my electrician finds a way to rewire my ancient lighting fixtures although the parts he needs can no longer be bought, that’s creative.  When I have to substitute rice flour for wheat flour in a recipe, and I still end up with an edible cake, that’s creative.  Creativity is about living, not just about art and poems.

What creative urge is pulling at you?  Rebirth yourself this spring and feed your creativity and spirit.  There is always something new to be created.

© 2011 Georganne Spruce