Slow Food for Thought

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(beautiful art by Loren Webster)

 

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

– John O’Donohue

“Slow time” is a pair of words I like to linger within, when I can remember to slow down long enough to do so. It reminds me of a Japanese phrase- “mono no aware”- the heightened, yet transient ahh-ness of things. What comes to mind right away when I think about this are lifecycle moments: a peony at its peak, ready to drip its plethora of petals, a moist forest carpeted with the plums and browns of decaying leaves just before the snows come in, or a young fawn on spindly legs still speckled with the soft signs of just being born. I remember having just discovered the term “mono no aware” on a hot summer day in Palm Springs, California. Looking up at the sky for the first time with this new awareness gave me such a fresh perspective. It brought me immediately into a place of gladness, presence, and the present. How long would the sky remain that shade of blue? When would that cloud formation change into a new form? I didn’t know, but in that moment, I granted myself the time to appreciate every second before me- each tinge of perfection and change in its own current and unique state. I had somehow entered into “slow time”.

Spring Soul Bath- offering

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MARCH 25TH 1-4 PM

With Karen Calhoun and Gina Marie Mammano

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Join Energy and Sound Healing Therapy Practitioner Karen Calhoun and Poet, Author, and Spiritual Director Gina Marie Mammano for an afternoon of soul bathing in the waters of soothing sounds, guided poetic meditation, haiku, and submersion into the rich hues of the art of creating the finger labyrinth. It is an opportunity to pull away from the tumult of daily life and the stresses of our current age and spend a few hours in a sauna of self care as we move into the earth’s renewal into spring.

Registration limited to 25 people.

The Afternoon Includes:
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Hand pan and singing bowl sound bath
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Poetic guided meditation

Creating a finger labyrinth
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Crafting a spring solace haiku
Cost: $30
Materials Fee: $10
LOCATION:

LANGLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH FELLOWSHIP HALL 301 Anthes Ave, Langley, WA 98260

To reserve your spaces, contact Gina Marie Mammano at this site in the comments section, and I will direct you to how to register. Hope you will join us!

Are you a falcon, a storm, or a great song?

Happy birthday Rainer Maria Rilke! Among the crystal cold awakenings we experience during the birth of winter in this month of December, I love to think about Rilke’s clarity of thought in lines like this one: “I circle around God, around the primordial tower. I’ve been circling for thousands of years and I still don’t know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song.” I’ve pondered this line more than once before, and was even asked by one of my teachers which one I would choose. How about you? Are you a falcon, a storm, or a great song? The adventure I take with this “Saint of Centers” in my book “Camino Divina”, is one of well, centering- “into the heart of things”. I invite you to come along. Enjoy!

The encaustic painting featured today is by Caterina Martinico, an artist featured on Etsy.

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An Adventure Into the Familiar

It’s a good November day to think about author and poet Wendell Berry and things familiar- things to be grateful for- the miniscule, the often unnoticed. He once wrote: “The search withholds the joy from what is found” in his poem “Boone”. It seems like a great time peek around the corners of the everyday, the familiar, and utter a small or extra large helping of “thank you”, even though it may be hard in times like these. I’m in the city of Seattle as I write this, grateful for every person who opens a door for another, every smile given gratis, every face of every color and shade. Let’s keep opening the door for one another, and say “thank you” to every kindness or a glisten of light that comes our way today.

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Happy Hildegard von Bingen Day!

Happy Hildegard von Bingen Feast Day! Celebrate this amazing “polymath” saint of a pre-Renaissance renaissance woman by lifting a glass of German brew touted by her for producing “a rosy complexion” and preserving medieval nuns’ insides from unpotable drinking water. She is truly an amazing person. Take a “Camino Divina” walk today in her honor. She is highlighted and celebrated in chapter two of my book. Cheers!

And while you’re at it, enjoy this trance dance version of one of her compositions . . . it  truly a cool listen!