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Archive for September, 2008

THE GREAT TURNING

You’ve asked me to tell you of The Great Turning, of how we saved the world from disaster.
The answer is both simple and complex.
We turned.

For hundreds of years we had turned away as life on earth grew more precarious.
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river, the children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa.

We turned away because that is what we had been taught.
To turn away, from our pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes, from the drunken father or the friend betrayed.

Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away. And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world moving too quickly, too mindlessly towards its own demise.

Until it seemed as if there was no safe place to turn. No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.

Yet on one of those days someone did turn.

Turned to face the pain. Turned to face the stranger. Tuned to look at the smoldering world and the hatred seething in too many eyes. Turned to face himself, herself.

And then another turned. And another. And another. And as they wept, they took each other’s hands.

Until whole groups of people were turning. Young and old, gay and straight. People of all colors, all nations, all religions. Turning not only to the pain and hurt hut to beauty, gratitude and love, Turning to one another with forgiveness and a longing for peace in their hearts…

–CHRISTINE FRY–

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So, why were we in The Hamptons? Well, come on inside and meet some more of our old and new friends…

New friends Brian and Piper…

As you can see, we were preparing to celebrate…

Our “old” friends…Rachel and Kenny…getting the picture?

Wedding cake, anyone?

They say, “The family that cooks together…”

Let’s ask the MOB (Mother of the Bride)…

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Our time in the Hamptons was like a giant sleep-over with new friends. This is Julian with his daughter, Lilly. Lilly is so quiet and mellow…she slept in her “Bugaboo” and charmed everyone…

We spent time walking on the beach…deserted and beautiful…

The Hamptons after season is lovely, empty, quiet…

Even under a soft, gray sky, the pool was inviting…

Inside, warm and cozy…

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I know, dear blog friends, that it’s been a LONG time (17 days, to be exact) since I’ve written a post. Where have I been? Well, we spent some time in the Hamptons–more on that later, and, actually I’ve been working a lot, walking a lot, reading a lot and collecting up some more poems to share.

I love this poem by Lisel Mueller…in part, because I am incredibly near-sighted and, without glasses or contact lenses, everything in my world looks like a Monet painting. I’ve gone through various phases of attempting to improve my vision–doing eye exercises, taking vitamins, etc.  I even went through a period of not wearing any corrective lenses, including while driving–only in daylight–something I know you’ll find reassuring! With 20/400 vision and astigmatism, I have to say, I barely made a dent in sharpening my soft focus.

I got my first pair of glasses in the fourth grade. The frames were, get this, red “plaid” plastic. I remember distinctly how the world looked edgy and harsh with them on and soft and fuzzy without them. I remember how the yellow chalk on the green “black” board became suddenly intelligible; how colors seemed brighter and more distinct and how I wasn’t entirely sure that I liked this new in-focus world. In fact, for the first few weeks, I felt queasy and disoriented. I used to wonder who decided what constitutes “in-focus.”

MONET REFUSES THE OPERATION

Doctor, you say that there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

– LISEL MUELLER –

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You, too can be carved anew by the details of your devotions.

– MARY OLIVER –

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A mini summer vacation…we travel to Shelter Island to visit Grace and Madeleine….

Perfect weather…beautiful beaches…

Small signals of autumn…

Cool evenings…mornings heavy with dew…

Fresh water ponds border barren beaches…

Old quiet trees prepare for the change of season…

Madeleine parks her car for the night…

By day, she talks with fairies…

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