April

protect yourself

but stay soft in the centre

and reach out past your defences

Thoughts for the start of April, for autumn in NZ.

For all those bravely trying to be true to themselves, speaking, writing, creating, loving the world.

We need to take care of ourselves and be a little cautious, without becoming risk averse, without becoming hardened and cynical.

We need to find ways to please the eye and feed the soul. Ways to warm our hearts and sweeten our words.

To keep reaching out to engage with the world even when it’s tough – that’s the brave thing – the creative act.

Working out how to keep yourself centred and true – that’s the spirit work.

August

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watch the sea
waves keep coming, waves keep breaking
in all this change is constancy

I’ve been reminded of change lately – the passing of seasons, the rhythms of life. The fact that nothing lasts forever, but our memories hold our dear ones close.

Going out in the garden today it was heartening to see fresh green growth, and new flowers, even though we’re still in the midst of winter.

And my old cat is seeking warmth, a blanket, a knee, and today, a sunny corner of the couch. She is sleeping her days away – I hope her dreams are sweet.

June


shift your rhythms / attend to the night / tune in to moonrise and moonset / fluid and regular / dark in the light / light in the dark

Here’s my calendar page for June. I’ve been so busy and distracted by 9-5 work that I almost forgot to post this. 

I’m definitely feeling the need to shift my rhythms – to accept getting up in the dark, getting home in the dark. I’m trying adjust to winter – to slow down and not push myself to do too much. 

I welcome those bright clear winter days when they visit – but today is cloudy and cold – just me and a book bundled up keeping warm. 

I’ve got some writing ideas underway – just taking me ages to finish things. 

©clairegriffin2017

trees of the long white cloud : part I

these trees are immigrants
keeping true to their long histories
continuing the customs of their ancestors

sepia, folium
tyrian, madder
minium, cinnabar
carmine, cadmium
saffron, sienna, ochre, weld

these colours are deceiving
unlike flowers, they are not an invitation
rather, they are a sign of loss
and of a turning inward

as the trees begin withdrawing into themselves
conserving energy, preserving life-force
releasing all non-essential elements
leaves lose green and fall

to protect themselves
from winter’s chill
the trees hibernate above ground
they stand naked in the cold
heart kept warm deep in their centre
beating slowly, barely breathing

they stand quietly, patiently
winter – one long meditation
until the sun rings the zen-bell
and branch tips stretch, buds open
and the trees shake themselves awake

 

© Claire Griffin 2016