Monday, December 31, 2012

You Have to Sweep the Temple Steps

                                                                      Clear a new path

                                                                     brush away the dirt                       

                                                                 gently prepare for change.

                                                         Wash away the compulsion to rush, 

                                                               wander the grounds one slow

                                                                               step at 

                                                                               a time.

                                                                      Feel the peace of 

                                                        No resolutions    pledges     promises

                                                                        Instead     savor    
                                                                explorations     revelations

                                                                   Notice pure stillness

                                                                             in action.

Regard   Distill   Reveal

There is time enough between 

spaces of doing 


just be.

With broom in hand, begin again

clear a path 

brush lightly 

sweep the temple steps. 

Harmony, California 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Warm Christmas

Christmas on the Coast from monica devine on Vimeo.

Persimmons, birds-of-paradise green and blue, lovely Pacific breezes.

Christmas in a warm place, where flowers are in bloom, and

the air is sweet and mild.

Long conversations, walks on the beach.

It is a "summery" winter for us who hail from a cold northern latitude.

We drink fine wine, cook a big turkey. Take off our heavy coats and

turn our faces to the sun, content, grateful, full-hearted.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter in Alaska

Winter in Alaska from monica devine on Vimeo.

In a few days, we'll be on our way to California for Christmas with our grown children; away from the snow and cold, to swaying palm trees, farmer's markets, and the glorious heat of a shining sun. And then on to Hawaii, for long hikes to waterfalls and swimming with the turtles and fishes.

We are snowbirds, my flock-mate and I, fleeing midwinter out of the darkest days in Alaska, and into the silky light and orange sunsets of warmer climes.

That first curl of the toes in hot beach sand is a remarkable "ahhhh..." moment, such a vivid contrast to where we've been, how we've experienced this beautiful earth the past few months of a dark and snowy winter.

From snow boots to flip-flops. From long underwear to soft cotton sundresses.

And to think it was only yesterday we trudged through knee-deep snow on the Palmer hay flats, cameras in our hands, eager to shoot the pink-rimmed Reflection Lake covered in a white, austere beauty; our hearts flushed with excitement at the curling bark of birch trees, and the giant, snow covered logs, now cold and still, lying in a heap at the confluence of two frozen rivers.

Hot and cold.
Ebb and flow.
Sorrow and joy.

Always, we have each other.

From my tribe to yours...warmly,
Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012


At twenty below the moon comes up                        
       in blue daylight; our mattress, dense with sleeping bags 
and white feather pillows
belies any sense of warmth-slash- comfort.

(pretense): how we used to walk on
  white sand beaches, sandals dangling
from my fingers.

                                                         we lie chilled, flung beyond hope as
trees lean over the frozen lake.

this house, my paper-strewn desk, the thin-shelled walls, 
                  cold-soaked we resort to energetic huddling, drawing knees to chest,
closing hands into fists (unlike prayer), while 
the deepening fog rises by its own law.

thoughts arise and go unspoken
   there is the daily torpor, hibernations where 
   talking is like the sun (scarce) and
    no blazing words can warm us, now.

we can't plow out, so
 sucking stale air, we dig in
burrowing like wild animals, underground,
shivered, and wheeling our barrows of third-rate regrets
nosing its garbage, stumbling through snowdrifts

waiting, waiting for a chinook
to melt puddled ice and bring back
the light, and (all of) its gulping brightness.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Purpose of Fun is to Have It

Someone once said the opposite of play is not work:                  

it's depression.

Play: a creative way to become un-balled up (my definition).

To become un-self-conscious. Un-clutched. Un-moored &

"in" the shining moment (no matter how grim).

Children break the ice: bring them into the boardroom &  

all the execs relax.

Play is Non-Result-Seeking and un-important? &

children abandon themselves fully to it.

I can count on abandoning myself fully when I babysit my friend's children (healthy prescription for a retired older woman: once/week).

They teach me lightness, how to have fun fun fun...til' your Daddy took the T-bird away?

Girls just wanna have fun? I know this from experience.

you're only alive until you're not, right?

On the limousine ride to my father's grave, my brothers cracked jokes.

Lots of them (about our dad's frequent/silly/stupid puns). we laughed &

the load was lightened.

I tell myself: before the wind is sucked out of me, Have Fun.    

While the wind is being sucked out of me, I tell myself:

play with the children to feel happy and alive!

Someone else once said: to advance humanity, we need to be playful and immature, NOT

sober and cautious, so I figure

you're not really wasting time, if you're having fun wasting it, right?

I tell myself: Let us be grateful to people (especially children) in our lives, who make us happy &

encourage our hardened souls to bloom. They don't really do this with, or, on purpose.

they're freely leaving their "selves" behind on the doorstep &

simply having fun.