Over lunch some weeks back, fellow writer friend, Becky shared a couple of sweet little poems that were inspired by her “ Dream Delivery Service. “ Your WHAT? Yes, she explained to me, she subscribes to a dream delivery service that sends out written dreams to her in pink envelopes. If he happens to be in your town he will deliver them before sunrise on his bicycle.
Yup. The guy is for real. His name is Mathias Svalina, a poet who started writing dreams for people from his imagination by subscription. He also offers various prompts on his Instagram account but he is known more for his Dream Delivery Service. Who knows how one can find such a niche? Obviously, someone with a vivid imagination and sense of adventure.
I’ve always been fascinated by dreams. Where do they come from? Where do they go come morning? Ask the dream catcher….
Someone’s got to do it
pickup all those shards of
dangling from tree branches
and blowing about like tumbleweeds
across a desert highway
He gathers up odd bits of psychic litter
metaphors, & scrambled images then
repackages them into new dreams
for delivery in dainty pink envelopes
onto the porches of subscribers
by bicycle in the wee hours before dawn
Then back he goes pedaling furiously
to his dream workshop
to create a new batch of untamed fantasies
and to get a bit of dreaming in himself
to add to the brew
As the sun sets
he wakes and prepares
for a new tangle of subliminal
flotsam and jetsom to gleen
When the REM alarm sounds
the dream catcher mounts his bike
and rides swiftly off into the night
a mug of black coffee
balanced on his handlebars
We are in the doldrums of winter here in Oregon. Inspiration has alluded me and I am more inclined to curl up with a good book by the woodstove rather than settle down to any creative projects. This has led to a certain amount of guilt and frustration on my part…
But then I got to thinking, dormancy is a normal part of nature. Most of the plants in my garden have died back to the ground. The bulbs have been sleeping waiting for the right time to come up and bloom. Fruit trees are resting before the growing season. Dormancy in the winter leads to flowering in the spring. Even farmers let their fields go fallow to give them a chance to regenerate.
So we humans must rest as well, particularly those involved in creative pursuits. Sometimes the muse just needs a break. So I am bidding Daphne, my muse a nice holiday. I’m to go about cleaning and sorting my long-neglected house and workspacen and catch up on my mending. interesting that during my most mindless moments, my best ideas manifest.
Rest up Daphne…
Come out & play with me
you my best of friends
I am happiest when we hold hands
& dance our secret dance.
Whisper in my ear
& fill my head until it is overflowing
with sparks & flowers
Let’s bring forth from the cauldron of the ethos
a new incarnation of matter & thought
an offering of our magic
to the altar of the earth.
I like to draw parallels between we humans and the natural environment that surrounds us. This poem was inspired by my recent trip to S. Arizona…
The scavengers come from near and far
reaping the benefits from the death of another
facilitating their survival
in this harsh desert environment
You’ve got to get there early, one resident explains to me
a hint of excitement in her voice
People show up before they open, often forming a line down the block
It’s a weekend past-time around here, says another. Great deals to be had
If you can wait until the second day everything is 50% off
I’m hoping for those lampshades she indicates with a lean of her head.
Even at Walmart lampshades are expensive
We walk almost reverently through the house
that is no longer a home
The contents of every cupboard are exposed on the counters and tables
like the innards of roadkill on the side of the road.
Glassware, dishes, appliances, knickknacks, furnishings.
My thoughts turn to my mother’s home
soon be open to strangers
there to snatch up her cherished things I must leave
all at bargain prices
She would be aghast but she is gone
The jay waits
the crow spies
the coyote lurks
the vulture circles
the beetle crawls
the packrat scuttles
waiting to feast on what is left
to circulate among the living
I was perusing downtown McMinnville last Friday as part of my weekly field trip habit to spark joy in 2023. I ducked into a new little shop on a side street full of an eclectic mix of candles, plants, clothing, artwork and the like when I spotted the hats. They were displayed on the wall in subdued colors of black, grey, and navy. The hats were wide brim with wire inside for personalized form with tops of a low, bent, wizard shape- not so high to be audacious but just high enough to evoke a bit of Gandalf or Harry Potter. Cool- but such dark colors.
Then in the next room, I spotted the red one perched on a coat rack above a trendy wrap. I placed it on my head. It was perfect. Now I am not one to buy conversation piece clothing but had to have this hat (aging gives you license to not care what people think.) It would be a bit of joy to parade around in and make me feel just a tad magical. Plus the wool blend and wide brim were a practical combination for the cold, rainy days of W. Oregon. It would also be a blank canvas for some pins I had collected with nowhere else to display.
I paid for my purchase and wore my red hat out of the store. People smiled. One lady called out from across the street, “I love your outfit!”
When I looked for a poem that celebrated red hats I found the Red Hat Society, an Internatonal organization dedicated to women over 50 who want live life to the fullest. “The Red Hat Society is a worldwide membership society that encourages women in their quest to get the most out of life. We support women in the pursuit of Fun, Friendship, Freedom, Fitness and the Fulfillment of lifelong dreams.” On their outings they wear red hats and purple clothing.
A Red Hat Poem
My hat I wear with great aplomb
It makes me feel so bolder
For though I’ve passed the “50” mark
I don’t feel any older
Than when I was a sweet young thing
Just barely out of my teens
And wearing out my platform shoes
And wide bell bottom jeans.
But now I have a purple frock
It really is a shocker
all finished off with “Big Red Hat”
With ostrich feather topper.
I know the colors really clash
To me, it does not matter
I’m proud to say, I’m in the club
I’m a “50” plus “Red Hatter”
Who knew it's a thing? Perhaps I will join. I've got the red hat. All I need now is some purple clothing to go with it!
The New Year 2023 Started with some good omens, sunshine for one- always welcome in my corner of NW Oregon at this time of year. The other was my 60 lb Cattle dog mix, Mars, jumped in the shower with me. Since I got him 2 ½ months ago he’s always seemed fascinated with the shower, sticking his head in and catching streams of hot water. This morning, thinking he really did want a hot shower, I said “come”, and he gleefully joined me. If you are a dog lover you would see the delight in that. Plus, it’s an easy way to wash your dog.
I gave up the New Year’s resolution tradition years back seeing it as a recipe for disappointment. Instead, I have a word (or words) of the year that can act as a guidepost for my annual journey. I keep them posted in my journal and day planner to deep up the intention. Last year’s were commitment, generosity, andfocus (focus was a repeat from 2021). I am happy to report I had a decent outcome with those.
So without further adieu, drum roll, my new word of the year is JOY. After 3+ years of pandemic and political turmoil, a knee injury, and the passing of numerous friends and family, I’m ready for some. I have this saying, “ spend as much on yourself as you do your car and your house.” I’m so due for a little repair and maintenance. This includes…
Shopping for some new clothes and ditching my threadbare clothing
Monthly massage & chiropractic for my poor aching back
Artist’s dates, library dates, field trips, and other little self-care tidbits that put some spark back in my life.
Author and home organizer, Marie Kondo begs the question “does this spark joy?” That will be mine for the coming year. I hope you take some time for joy too in 2023.
A Toast for 2023
It’s the season of new
the Earth has spun through the heavens
and arrived at the place we call the beginning
a bookmark we humans have put in the order of things
the New Year, the first day of the first month of the 23rd year of the 21st century
All is new, yet all the same
a cycle in a continuum of millennia
yet a comfort that we have a fresh start in our minds
Shall we proceed then with our new slippers
virgin calendars full of exotic pictures
day planners devoid of marks
and forge on with gusto?
for we have been given another turn
a blank canvas to paint another 12 months upon
Let us mix up our palettes with new intentions
hope, faith and the unseen circumstances that will surely find us
stroke, splash, and drip with abandon
make your marks with love, touching others with color
bringing forth new memories
painting this Earth a brighter place
The day after Christmas there’s this cosmic exhale. It’s like a switch flips from the hysteria of the holidays to thinking about the New Year to come and cleaning up the mess of the old. It’s the time of not doing, not shopping, not cooking, and not decorating. It’s a time of regrouping. It’s a good time to read, reflect, and rest.
Austin Kleon calls it Dead Week. I prefer to call it the Pause, the little grace period between old and new. So as I pause, I wish all my readers, the ones I know and the ones I’ve yet to meet…
We have arrived at the Winter Solstice, the tipping point where we in the N. Hemisphere mark the point where the earth will begin to rotate back to the sun’s full exposure. The Winter Solstice marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year. While our modern calendar denotes it as the first day of winter, there are those of us from the time of the ancients that mark it as a time of hope and new beginnings as the light returns each day, bit by bit.
On this longest night
we hover on the brink of change
plants shudder in their sleep
as do we
for the brightening of the coming days
and a poem from my friend and poet Bethany Lee
Assembling at Solstice
your soul remembers
your first time here
on the dark side of the sun
How you wondered
at this descent into night
Your mothers sang you the songs of joy
lit wicks against despair
Your fathers polished harnesses
by firelight, quietly
trusting in reaping’s return
These are the days for polishing
for trusting and for singing
for gathering the wisdom
of those who make their lives by hand
These are the days for stories by candle
of lamps that stayed burning
of stars in the sky
of new life coming always
into the unexpected places
like snowbanks and stables
and endings and springtime
Alone our souls remember the darkness
Together we summon and kindle the light
Happy solstice everyone!
Illustration and Winter Solstice poem by the author.
Today I went out in the brisk sunny air to do some planting. First came the garlic that takes up an entire bed in my garden. Then it was on to plant Pacific NW native wildflower seeds that I ordered from Steele Acres. I marvel that some seeds need the harshness of winter to flower in the spring. Perhaps we do too.
Even seeds sown in winter
Bring forth flowers in the spring
While planting I noticed a some delightful tiny groves of mushrooms and a miniscule very late violet in the very right side of the last picture. You never know what you might find out in the garden…
Four months after being diagnosed with heart/lung cancer my husband’s daughter and my stepdaughter, Heather died peacefully last night in the hospital surrounded by family and friends. A beautiful young woman living the peak of her dreams. She is missed.
She is gone now
After she took her last breath
we exhaled deeply
bearing the pain of loss as her pain is no more
Our loved ones are like trees
they grow providing shelter and food for our souls
and when they fall they leave an empty space in our hearts
Yet in this very space is light
so their seeds planted within us will flourish
with the memories, stories, and lessons
that they have left behind in their wake
We hold our sadness close
continuing our journeys as better people
In memory of Heather Ann Woltz Winfrey
July 24, 1984 – October 27, 2022
Daughter, step-daughter, wife, sister, and friend to many