Brooklyn

No wonder he loved you so,

you borough of buzzing

doers

drawn by a scent only

you smell.

 

No over-thinking

as you whirl around each other

in a dance only you know–

moving moving moving

and

we who look on

can only guess at the smells and sounds and steps

of the strangers and soulmates

in this whirling troupe

bound by 

birth and by fate.

 

You earn your place there

by doing

and from the beginning

you know you belong.

 

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March 29

Muff Fregia’s quilt (left) introduces the idea for this week: Joy expressed in art. Because many philosophers and mystics believe that joy is not governed by circumstance, but rather by inner resources, we consider what it might mean to muster enough strength during difficult times (while not ignoring our anger and/or sadness) to steady ourselves, breathe deeply, and make a decision to override inner turmoil with acceptance of what is. Joy might not come immediately, but it takes only one or two small kindnesses given to someone else from this place of acceptance to settle into a subtle joy.

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Amid brokenness, do we have the energy to begin again?

Ideas found in the writings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung suggest that across cultures, themes of a shared consciousness and recognizable archetypes emerge, including the images of starting over.

And so we observe and celebrate spring rituals: Easter, the colors of Holi in India, Carnival, Passover, festivals of eggs, celebrations at the Pyramid of the Sun, and other reminders that there is life after seeming death, sun after clouds and gray, and birdsong and birth after silence and the sterile cold.

 

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I’m waiting

for the oldest week in winter

to die into spring

for the fat, hot buttercup bud

to burst to yellow,

                                               defying frost,

                                                burning it to droplets that

                                                   slip down slithery infant leaves

                                                          slide down stems and

                                                                   send up watery, worshipping

                                                                                                 vapor hands

                                                                   petitioning…

and accepting.

                      –Julia

 

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February

At the heart of many cultural and most spiritual traditions lives the idea that only love prevails. This week as Valentine’s Day approaches, the idea of love and friendship mingles in this poem with mystical playfulness. Enjoy, and respond with your own “love” creation if you choose. Send to Julia.Gregg3@gmail.com.

 

February in Broad Ripple

The tenth morning in a row

                melted like pewter

(gray after gray)

onto the single striped awning

guarding the door of the modest shop.

 

Did a tiny bell jingle

as I walked in,

or did I imagine echoes

across the narrow aisles?

 

Twisting through stacks of leather-bound journals,

slipping past shelves of lacy, scrolling jewelry,

touching tags with twine and flowers,

lingering before papyrus rabbits

                              (asleep on a table in lamplight),

I heard the whispering.

 

The owner adjusted her reading glasses

and smiled before returning to her book.

 

Here you have it straight:

These ivory cards,

(bound loosely with ribbon

–each with a single heart)

quietly pulsed a wispy, “Pick me.”

 

My dear friend:

I knew that you must have one…

 

So I send this simple heart

like sunshine itself,

across a leaden February fog

to a place where you live

                               amid yellow wood roses

                              and the promise of an early spring.

                                                                                   –Julia

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