Easter – Gratitude

Writing Prompt:  I give thanks for…

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Day 40

The end of the Lenten Writing Challenge is upon me.  The structure of daily writing will not end, just change.  Like everything changes.  What have I learned these past 40 days?

It’s generally better to head into projects prepared.  But sometimes that’s not possible.

Writing everyday is a practice that sustains me.  And can be boring, annoying, frustrating…etc.

I really enjoy taking pictures everyday.

Winter turns to spring, even if it feels like cold rains will never end.

The world has great harshness, violence and pain.  There is also great creativity and love that strives towards blessed transformation.

The dishes still need doing.

The words still flow.

I am learning to grow.

Writing Prompt:  I am learning to….

Day 38

On the Lenten calendar we head into Maundy Thursday with ritual and custom.  And here’s the thing:  tradition is always changing.  I have made it my Lenten practice to keep this pattern of blogging and I find it to be a satisfying way to give attention to my intention of letting words out.  Writing each day gives a container to the season that calls me to pay attention to where “spirit” is moving and for me.  This year I will be working on Easter Sunday, and that means the days leading up are filled with preparatory activity and tending to practical details.   I am not attending to other rituals or customs – I haven’t even bought eggs to color or whipped up a brunch menu.  And I have no plans to attend a seder this year.  But ritual is everywhere…even if I am preoccupied.

I know that today, pantries are being emptied of wheat and sugar and cupboards are being scrubbed clean.  I know that there are foot washing rites in progress this moment, too.  Nearby, tables are being set.  The wine is open and breathing.  Tomorrow there are stations to visit, walks of memorial importance, memories, silences, lamentations and the extinguishing of candles.   Prayers will be spoken and sung.  The preparing gives space for what we can’t imagine, but trust with deepest belief to be true.  We prepare in order to be present to what is.  And when we are present to what is, we can meet the mystery with ease.  All this is to ground us for miracles.

Writing Prompt:  Today I am washing away….

Day 37

There’s a new art show up at the Zocalo Cafe where I like to spend time writing and consuming the elixir of life.   Right above my head is a colorful watercolor of bamboo.  The stalks are vibrant yellow with a background of deep purples that gives a sense of exotic mystery and depth to the piece.   This particular painting was done by the instructor of a course and it seems other pieces in the gallery were done by her students.  You can see something of their personalities in the styles and subjects they present in this show.  The tranquil landscape and the fruit bowl still life stir different imaginings than the animal poses and the close ups of flowers all stamen and pistil and petal.

The plan is that my Good Diva photography gals and I will share some of our photos in our own exhibit here later in the year.  We’ve been challenging ourselves to take a photo a day (up to 170 days so far!) and it really has been great to explore so many subjects and themes.  We’ve toyed with prompts and “free-style” days as this spiritual practice unfolds….just like with the practice of writing there is much to be framed, and much to see in all new ways!

Writing Prompt:  My thoughts are framed by….

 

Day 36

Hurry up.  I’ve got to do this and that and the other thing all before I get to the urgent task and that is already past due.  What happened to my awesome time management skills?  Out the door and into the recycle bin, or tossed inadvertently into the compost.  I worry that I can’t get it back.  But I don’t have time to worry today.  Stayed out too late last night (Silly girl!  Out on a school night?  What were you THINKING!).  Oops – another vital email in the inbox, got to respond to that right now.  And check in on Facebook.  Wasn’t there someone I was supposed to wish a happy birthday to yesterday?   What sort of foolish wisdom says slow and steady wins the race?  I’ve got to answer that call, write the summary report and squeeze in some meditation….ack it’s almost 10 am!  Where did the morning go?  And where are my shoes?  Gotta run!

Writing Prompt:  I’m much too busy to….

 

 

Writing Prompt:

Day 35

Monday of Holy Week.  Great adventures abound.  I am looking forward and backwards as I shift towards Easter.  It seems literal and metaphoric, of course.  I’m taking time to reflect and to plan.  There are words to write, programs to lead, paper work to finish up.  There have been spelling errors to correct, assumptions to challenge, sly winks to affirm.

Heading towards Easter, I have eggs to color, words to write, flowers to cultivate and blessings to bestow.  Looking back to a year ago, I can’t even fathom where the time has gone.  It seems impossible to reconcile the shifting gears and shifting years.

This is what I wrote on Monday of Holy Week, 2011. “These are changes that happen without ritual or story. And while the aging process offers moments and glimpses of nostalgia on occasion, there is always so much change that goes unnoticed.  So I will plant redwoods and I will savor the chance to pay cash for something that won’t be disposed of today.  My intentions for building on the writing practice with ink and paper, and a business with ritual at the heart will grow slowly, too!”  So I offer the same prompt!  

Writing prompt:  I almost forgot….

Palm Sunday Gratitude

As the Lenten Writing Challenge heads into Holy Week, I find there is much to be thankful for, once again.

The heartbreaking news of the world continues, yet in the small moments of beauty, grace and abundant love it seems that hope stays alive.  For that possibility,  I am thankful.

An out pouring of “likes” and new followers comes fluttering into my email box this week.  For new friends,  I am thankful.

It’s always true that sunshine follows after rain.  For blue skies, I am thankful.

Arguing with 9 year olds leads to enlightenment.  For laughter and logic, I am thankful.

No matter what the pundits might say, healthcare access is a worthy social endeavor.  For healthy healing friends and family, I am thankful.

And  spring training turns toward opening day.  For a new season after a winter of discontent, I am thankful.

With special gratitude for the service of our beloved ‘Ru and all the memories she has helped to make.  And a warm welcome to “Ruby” the new car with spunk, I am thankful.

Writing Prompt:  I give thanks for…

Day 34

Lenten Haiku

I.

Calendar pages

Flip fast as cartoon movie

Slow down Holy Week

II.

words cease as breeze gusts

a frenzy of thoughts blow by

quiet mind opens

III.

Lottery Tickets

Line of dreamers wait to pick

Number Nirvana

Writing Prompt:  Try one, or 5, or 7 Haiku today.  One form says 5-7-5 syllables.  Often the themes are found in nature.

 

Day 33

no stone face on me...

In an unexpected twist, this week included some (dreaded) car shopping.  Even as I eschew so much of the consumer culture and resent my own auto-dependency, the family needs a car, so a car we will be buying.  Now, there are zillions of jokes, stories, websites, warnings, strategies and services to “enhance” the purchasing experience.  Me, I’m just wishing it wasn’t some big game.  I wish I could enter into the showroom confident that value and service were assured in my agreement.  Instead, the beloved and I are role playing how to be stern faced and silently walk away…And if you know us, our Picasso faces are not well suited to this experience.  So wish us well, or give us a cut of your winning lottery ticket this weekend?  I have a feeling we’ll need it!

Writing Prompt:  My face will always give away…