Monday, December 28, 2015

An Exquisite Night

It's a wonderful night. Snow began falling imperceptibly hours ago. I thought it was over, but the mounds of white blanketing the hoods of cars grew and grew.

My iPhone played a 2006 concert of Pink Martini in Portland. As it neared the end: the brass and percussion played out their crescendo. Intoxicating. You felt as if you were--nearly there.

I've my son to thank for this Dec 28 reverie: he has gifted two, rocking tickets to hear Pink Martini live, in concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, April 29, 2016. I may live in bliss until then and thereafter.

Unexpectedly, I put Donald Trump on mute and had the "peace which passeth understanding," in the words of T.S. Eliot.

Then as if to register these very words in print: I heard strains of Sammy Davis Jr.'s  "What kind of Fool Am I?" playing in my head for not having done this sooner. The only answer I can think of is I've been too Catholic to think of it. Perhaps recovery is in play!

Yet in the midst of buying groceries based on a 6-10" snow forecast, once home I looked up:

Why, Why, had the world lost the remarkable Angeles Arrien last year at only 73 years of age? Yet even learning she died suddenly from walking pneumonia, doesn't blunt my inner sadness at losing a woman I so admire!

Angeles Arrien was an anthropologist, author, educator and magical weaver of bridges tying psychology, comparative religions, cultural anthropology and indigenous wisdoms together.

I hope she will forgive me for quoting a poem in her brilliant The Four-Fold Way -  Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary.

It carries my heart's cry over her loss, yet my awe of all the books of hers I possess.
In yes, this exquisite night, I love you, Angeles Arrien.

each of us carries
in our chest
a song
so old
we don't know
if we learned it

some night
between the murmurs
of fallen kisses

our lips
surprise us
when we utter

this song
that is singing
and crying at once

 ---Francisco X Alarcon, Body in Flames

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

For You and Your Family: Cradling Christmas

A Tree Upside Down

Cradle yourself this Christmas
More than any other time in your life;
Soften your days with lit candles and love;
Let embraces come from where they will; 
Allow the tears to flow--for how can they not?
Hang on to every Cherished Good;
Do you know, can you even begin to imagine
Or possibly remember, the million moments
Love was exchanged by the gifts
Of your hands, heart and soul?
All the love you gave! The Love
Received! Let the myriad moments
Cradle this Christmas;
And as the months
And years go by
More, more
Will be 

Written Dec. 5, 1998
By Connie Nelson Ahlberg - All Rights Reserved

Taking Christmas As It Comes

Taking Christmas As It Comes

You have to take your Christmas as it comes--
Even if you've had losses.
In letting go you can embrace:
Your friends, Your angels;
Your family, Your tree,

For the New Year comes
in time for healing:
and wisdom the gifts of hard times.

©1995 Connie Nelson Ahlberg