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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

June 2011 Archives

labels ~

Each year, in the summer graduate seminar I help direct, we do a roundtable about the cultures students bring with them into our classes. We try to invite different perspectives, highlighting cultural and social differences that may not be familiar […]

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do-overs ~

Sometimes I want a do-over. You know – start from scratch: no mistakes, no mess-ups, no baggage. Like the class I taught once, that went awry from the first day. They didn’t gel. They didn’t really talk. They just kind […]

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what’s important ~

So, following a night spent boring everyone w/ whining about my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day, reality asserted itself today. Funny how a night’s sleep, a beautiful morning of bird song and great tea will do that :). And […]

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horrible, difficult, challenging very bad days ~

Some days just suck. They may even start well — today did. Soft blowy morning, a chance to write a grant for a project dear to my heart. Great salad already  made for lunch, and a bird w/ a teasingly […]

baby step enlightenment(s) ~

I believe in baby enlightenments — little things that illuminate your day, your practice, change some profound (although possibly small) piece of you and/or your life. Kind of hard to put in words! I even wonder if that’s the whole […]

beginner’s heart and piggies, all the way home ~

I have a complicated relationship w/ vegetarianism. I’ve been vegetarian at several times during my life, sometimes for as long as a year or more. But my best beloved is a die-hard meat eater (Lady GaGa is lucky there wasn’t […]

Slytherin, Parseltongue and integrity ~

A couple in Idaho know more than anyone other than a crazed herpetologist should have to know about garter snakes. For three months, they apparently lived dead centre, on top, of a hibernaculum, where snakes hibernate in thousands during winter. […]

a rose is not a rose is not a rose… or, now what kind of beads are those?

Sometimes a rose is not a rose. Or at least a nun is not a nun… At least not when she’s a Buddhist nun. And the beads she’s selling are prayer beads. In that case, she’s an unlicensed vendor. At […]

‘the rucksack of my æsthetic’ (whatever that is…)

This was my father’s rucksack in WWII. It was found in a barn a couple of years ago, in France. I have no idea how it got there, other than Daddy fought in France. Nor what was in it when […]

Warning: poetry follows ~

Sometimes when bad news comes, all that helps is writing poetry. Even the stronger, most eloquent poetry of others isn’t enough. That upwelling has to be voiced, and poetry is all that helps. This was one of those weeks: a […]

becoming an elder ~

I have grand-nieces. And a grand-nephew. They are, of course, amazing children. Funny, beautiful, smart and terribly entertaining (emphasis sometimes on the ‘terribly’ :)). Last weekend they came for tea. We sat down to the table, where plates of small […]

‘takotsubo': broken heart syndrome ~

Once, many years ago, I made it through the night breath by breath. I remember laying in the twin bed next to my mother and thinking: one more breath. just one more breath. And I thought: you can die of […]

believing outside the box ~

There’s a lovely excerpt from Desmond Tutu’s book on the ‘Net, titled ‘God is not a Christian.’ It gets to the heart of something I’ve believed since I was a child, but only had a name for in recent years. […]

on the edge of a penny ~

This poem sums up — far more beautifully than I can say — how I feel about the current economic situation. It’s by Humberto Ak’Abal, The Dance. While companies and the rich (and even many of the never-will-be rich) are […]

scarlet women (parrots) ~

The eclectus parrot has it right: you can easily tell males from females. Because the males are bright green and the females are scarlet. Yup — so different in appearance that folks used to think they were separate species. I’m […]

epeleolatry (and the worship of words) ~

I confess. I’m a total word nerd. I was that kid you hated in 4th grade, who begged for spelling words, and won the spelling bee, and had her nose in a book so often that even my grandmother – […]

bees, democracy and grace ~

A friend who knows my fascination with bees sent me a cool link the other day. It was about  ‘democratic bees.’ Bees divide into new hives pretty frequently. But it’s not done, the article notes (and I’d read this before), […]

silver linings, or, I want a new accent ~

So an Oregon woman went under anæsthesia for dental surgery speaking American, and came up speaking Anglo-Irish. It’s called ‘foreign accent syndrome.’ I don’t want the brain injury that made it possible, but I’d love a new accent. I have […]

The KKK vs. Westboro Baptist ~

Okay — this is so odd I had to share it. The KKK fighting Westboro Baptist? Somehow, I can’t see this as a win for anyone, but you have to admit: free speech certainly is alive (and weird?) in the […]

evildoers (& people who drive us crazy) ~

Some people drive me crazy. They have no idea…:) And I know it shouldn’t matter! What they believe, what they say, the stuff they post on FB or send in racist, homophobic emails masquerading as ‘ jokes’ (ha ha). ARGH! […]

Previous Posts

poetry as mentor
So by now everyone knows it's National Poetry Month. And ...

posted 3:37:56pm Apr. 18, 2015 | read full post »

what poets do
I'm always trying to explain to people 'why poetry?' But today I found a poem that says it far better than I can, and by one of my favourite poets ~ Lawrence ...

posted 12:22:13pm Apr. 16, 2015 | read full post »

day 15 of National Poetry Month
Yes, it's tax day. But it's also the mid-point of National Poetry Month! Whoohoo! Today, I thought I'd share with you some gems -- haiku. It's a form ...

posted 6:57:23pm Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

keeping bees...
One of my grandson's earlier words was Bee! My phone wallpaper is a bee, and there are bees on my jewellery, on cups, on various elements of my ...

posted 2:59:22pm Apr. 14, 2015 | read full post »

the intersection of then and now
I've had a lot of different jobs in my life, as have many people. But I've also had several 'careers': jobs where you invest time & education to ...

posted 4:47:37pm Apr. 13, 2015 | read full post »

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