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Archive for the ‘cooperative’ Category

I recently celebrated a birthday and it was in a beautiful snowy spot in the mountains and woods of Colorado.  I particularly love this picture of the Spruce trees surrounded by the Aspens.

In a cooperative and loving spirit, I want to share a poem that a dear friend handwrote to me for my birthday in 2009 written by John O’Donohue. The theme behind this message is that you are loved, and makes me grateful for friends, my many blessings and what I continue to learn through my mistakes and disappointments.

Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day
The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite
Your soul to growth.

Praised be your father and mother
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
with no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be
Blessed be those who have crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.

When desolation surrounded you,
Blessed be those who looked for you
And found you, their kind hands
Urgent to open a blue window
In the gray wall formed around you.

Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
Your health, eyes to behold the world,
Thoughts to countenance the unknown,
Memory to harvest vanished days,
Your heart to feel the world’s waves,
Your breath to breathe the nourishment
Of distance made intimate by earth.

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart
know the stillness of serenity
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.

In an odd way this poem evokes life and death as I think about praising my mom and dad who loved me before I was…and trusted to call me here with no idea of who I would be.  The miracle of life is so incredible, and in a similar vein the pain we feel when we lose our parents evokes such feelings of grief.

I think this is a contemplative poem to recall once a year, and I imagine depending on my life’s events, different sections will speak to me.

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A number of friends have told me that grieving comes and goes for about a year after you lose a loved one like your Dad, Mom, a spouse or sibling. In a cooperative vein I would like to share a recent experience.

Rodgers and I just returned from Washington, DC, a 1,750 mile drive. During those couple of days we caught up on our lives as we often work so furiously just before these long road trips. We were away 3½ weeks. Our excuse was Rodgers’ art show at Susan Calloway’s in Georgetown, but we spent most of our time with our Moms and our siblings which was great, especially as we had lots of beautiful snow fall, and to clean up after!

We were so grateful that not one snowflake fell the whole way home. As we drove, we spoke about how great it was to be with our families, and we enjoyed the views of the states we passed through: Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and home sweet home, Colorado. I particularly enjoyed the dreamy scenes in Indiana. It was a gray day and there was snow everywhere, veiny tree branches, and that kind of fog that keeps you from seeing much more than a quarter of a mile. There was so little color that I felt like I was seeing in black and white, like an Andrew Wyeth painting.

The phone rang periodically and we spoke with our families. Rodgers was so excited as he got a call from Evergreen Fine Art to do an art demo on April 30th. We both knew that day wouldn’t work since that would be the Friday before the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richard, TX, so we would be setting up that evening. So Rodgers spoke with the gallery’s management and changed the date to the last Friday in June.

As I listened to Rodgers negotiate a new date, all I could think of was, “April 30th is Dad’s birthday, and this is the first one where he won’t be here.” It felt strange and lonely to think about April 30th without celebration. I suddenly felt so sad, and I deeply missed his presence, and the opportunity to express my love and care for him which the dear man so appreciated.

I comforted myself with a drive down memory lane in Boonville, MO where my Mom spent most of her youth. I took a bunch of pictures to share with her. She is 92 and too weak to return there again. I will surprise her in a couple of weeks when I return to DC and show her the pictures. The party is over for our Moms, so we seek small ways to make them happy.

Boonville MO Thespian Hall

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I am blogging from Virginia where we just had a major snowstorm. It was so beautiful and peaceful to have such a quiet weekend where scarcely anyone could drive past my Mom’s home. It is in this spirit of peace and gratefulness that I share this poem I wrote.

The Art of Life

The most precious Art I know of
Is the art of life.
It can be expressed without
Hammer, brush, banjo, pen or clay.
Yet whoever shares this art of life,
Brings a sparkle to other’s lives.
He sees and doesn’t draw;
She listens and hears, yet doesn’t sing or strum.
Theirs is the art of listening and caring,
Choosing to be present for friends and strangers alike.

I shared this poem in my cooperative intelligence blog as a new year’s wish. This epitomizes the way my Father was. He was present for friends, family and strangers alike. He was not an artist in the way Rodgers, my husband a fine oil painter is. Life was just simply art due to his attitude towards other people as well as his actions. He had time and love for us no matter how busy he was.

My intention during 2010 is to get better at listening generously to the people who cross my path regardlesss of my relationship to them. I hope this poem engages you to be all you can be this year!

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