In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Poem: Handcraft



I hide my hand from my lover
Dripping in apple’s wine
The season is now morning
The harvest hangs on the vine

I shall pick the fruit
Forgotten by my lover
I shall reap the award
Of the farmers labor

Dance across the leaf
That shines with dew
Hop along the river
A trail we once knew


***


Friday, May 23, 2014

Poem: Am I lovely? Of course!


Am I lovely? Of course!
BY VERA PAVLOVA
TRANSLATED BY STEVEN SEYMOUR


Am I lovely? Of course!
Breathlessly I taste
the subtle compliment
of a handmade caress.
Chop me into tiny bits,
caress and tame my soul,
that godly swallow
you love to no end.

***

Vera wrote, 
"poetry is like earthworms, thought is like cud, 
and understanding is like insanity"  




My thoughts are everywhere today.
In 7th grade science class our teacher took a block of wood and placed it on the front table.  He then told us, "Everything is made up of molecules.  Everything. The only reason why the molecules of this block do not merge with the molecules of the desk is because they are moving super slow."  He went on to say that if two objects touch long enough, they would merge.  It may take a million years, but they will merge.

Chemistry is the branch of science that studies matter that interacts quickly with other matter, and changes two substances, that form new substances.  Chemicals move faster than a block of wood set upon a teacher's desk.

I must consider the bonding of people, substances, the substance of humans, parts that move slow and others fast, blood and water, our solid bones and muscles, and the abstract of thoughts and dreams.

Does a relationship make it to the level of atom?






To learn more about Vera, go to her website:


   


   


Monday, May 19, 2014

Two-Toned

Here is a blog post from 2010.  I no longer own this watch.
This real life story is on my mind this morning. Hope you like it.
~Shannon



Sometime around 2004 I won a prize. My sales efforts for the year earned me a gift of one item from a catalog titled “Copper Tier Winners”. It basically meant I placed third, with hundreds of others, within the nation wide company.

This was during a time in my life when I was working so hard with my head down and nose to the grinder, that to receive recognition caused confusion. I didn't need a gift, I needed a vacation! Not really paying attention to my progress but just working like a dog, the numbers came in, and by years end, I was a winner!

Suffering from lack of sleep, long commute and a stressful work environment, I felt more cynical that elated. “Blood, sweat and tears and they give me a crappy watch. Oh well it’s better than nothing.”


IT'S DEAD
So, six years later, the battery dies. My new job requires me to work on a timed schedule in an environment with almost no clocks. After weeks of unsuccessfully trying to use the suns position as a guide, I decided it was time to get a new battery. So out of pure necessity I drove the three miles into town to fix this issue.

“How long will it take?”
“Come back tomorrow morning. It’ll be ready by then. Ten bucks total.”
“Great!”
That was in May.

Months later I called in to apologize and let them know I’d be in that week on my day off.
“What name is it under?” I told them.
“We don’t have a watch under that name. What kind of watch is it?”

I suddenly realized I didn't know the brand of the watch that I had been wearing for almost 6 years.
“Ummm it’s a two-toned ladies watch, like a cheap Timex or a Seiko.”
“Nothing like that here.”
I left them my name and phone number in case they came across it.

Feeling hopeful this afternoon, I walked in to the jewelry store to meet with the assistant in person.
“It’s been a few days. Have you found it?”
“What kind is it again?”
“A ladies two tone watch.”
“Is it this one?” In the clerks hand was my watch!
“YES, that’s it!”
Then the lecture started, with a smile, but a lecture none the less “Now, this is not some cheap Timex or a Seiko, OK. This is an upper end Citizen. The difference of about $300.”
“Really?”
“Yes. You had us looking for cheap ol’ ladies Timex the whole time.”
The owner walked over and added, “So we found the cheap Timex owner, eh?”

We all had a laugh and I thanked her for correcting me. After wearing the watch for 6 years, probably looking at the face ten times a day, I didn't remember the brand. To me the watch was a big joke.


The whole watch battery thing made me think back to that time. I thought about how hard that year was on me, “How’d I ever do it?” I wondered.

Seldom do we ever pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Sometimes, many of us who are performance driven belittle even the smallest achievements.

I’m glad I lost my crappy Timex; because today I picked up a Citizen!
I’m a winner!  (you can tell because I'm wearing a nice watch)




...and I still need a vacation.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Three Things

This week I am thinking of three things:  clouds, pockets and revelations.

As a kid I watched “Bewitched” re-runs after school.  Sometimes Samantha would join her mother in the clouds for a witch to witch conference.  They would argue with each other completely oblivious to their surroundings.  Apparently in that universe it was normal for witches to meet in the clouds.  How wonderful to wiggle your nose and ride a cloud for an afternoon.

Elizabeth Montgomery and Agnes Moorehead flying
in ABC's "Bewitched" 1964-1972


Only one cloud in my sky this morning, and it looks good for riding. 
What does this world look like from that cloud, sitting higher than birds soar? 

Perspective is everything.  Our planet is full, and getting fuller of people and we all have unique perspectives on the world, the neighborhood, the view of the lake, if Mrs. Green looks good in pink.  We all have different points of view.  How wonderful!

What about your point of view on the life’s journey?  
How are you doing? 
Have you figured out who you are yet?
I'm still working on it.

For a short while, years back, I was a daycare teacher for the three and four year olds.  One month we were teaching the kids about the five senses.  I went to the resource room to find games to go along with the theme.  The one I found for “touch” is on my mind this week:
Place random objects in a pillow case of different size and shape, such as a block, paperclip, action figure, rock, a string.  One by one a child places their hand into the bag, selects one item and guessing what it is only by touch. 

It was a success!  The kids seemed to enjoy it.


Revelation

I witnessed a man having a revelation, and it is haunting me.  He is in his 70’s.  The expression on his face was a moment of clarity.  I saw it.  It hit me hard.  A true WOW.

It was as if, for a second, the great mystery of life was revealed to him.  It looked as if he could see his life unfolding before his eyes, the important parts floating by, and now he could see, NOW he knew who he was, what his life had been about all those years! 

It was as if he finished reading that one page from a long mystery novel when all is revealed!
When you find out whodunnit and scream, "WHAT?  It was him?"

And at that moment I thought about the hidden objects in the pillow case and riding the clouds.  I thought about clues hidden by life’s veil, a rock that we carry with us forever in our mind's pocket, something we play with and touch, to see if it is still there, wondering the great wonder of what it is.  A stone we get to hold and view ONE time.

Written on the stone is our answer. 
Once we read it, we ride the clouds.