Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Perspective



Sometimes we get so wrapped up
in our perpetual way of seeing things,
we lose the ability to see potential, to open to surprise,
to find a new way of interpreting what is.

We become so comfortable with the stories
we tell ourselves about our lives
and the way things work
and why things happen
and who's to blame
that we forget they're just stories.

If the old ones don't fit,
we can create new stories.



"A View from Above" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian



What things in your life do you need to see
through new eyes?

Now's the time.
Happy New Year.





Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Through the Cracks



Soul enters life from below, through the cracks,
finding an opening into life
at the points where smooth functioning breaks down.
- Thomas Moore







Sometimes, it seems,
the cracks develop (or we invite them) 
because it's the only way
we can break free of the "smooth functioning"
that is stifling us, causing us to ask
Is this all there is?

In traveling the lonely and rocky path, we find
the quiet place where we can listen to our soul. 
When we are challenged, we have an opportunity
 to grow strong at the broken places.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Creation Myth


A Whisper created the Universe.

She blew a stream of air across her voice box,
through the gates of her lips
and words were loosed into the void.

The sound increased in magnitude
until it formed shouts of joy
and songs of praise.

The whoops of joy became waves of energy
that coalesced into matter. Bits of matter
became stars and plants and continents




and mountains and green, green valleys 
and oceans and frothy rivers




and sea monsters and dancing fish
and silly looking birds with long beaks and all kinds of animals.

 

The songs of praise separated
into individual notes that became humans.




The joyful noise sounded like the tinkle of wind chimes,
the crash of cymbals, the curling of waves,




the cry of a newborn, the flutter of wings,



a chortle of laughter, murmur of love,
the chanting of prayer.

The Whisper made the Universe
so she could send words out
where she could hear them, for she was tired
of keeping silent, of withholding her truth.

And on the first day, the Whisper smiled
and said in a booming voice, "It is good!"
And then she laughed.



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You . . . .


I'm wishing you a world
where each and every one of us
sees everyone and everything



through the eyes of love,
through the eyes of compassion,
through the eyes of peace.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dancing for Joy


It's the time of year for celebration,
for family and friends,
for connection at a heart level.



"Dancing in the Dark" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

What special things in your life
make you dance with joy?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rebuilding


All too often, at least for those of us who prefer the status quo,
parts of our carefully constructed lives self-destruct in the most disconcerting ways.
 Those we love die or move far away.
Relationships end with or without our blessing.
Winds blow.
Volcanoes blow.
And we're adrift in a sea of change.

The certainty we took for granted
proves to be an illusion.
Sometimes we feel like there's a pile of rubble
where our dreams once lived.




When circumstances stripped your life down to bare essentials
-- and it's probably happened to all of us at least once --
how did you clear the debris
and start rebuilding?

Your wisdom, shared,
might be a lifeline for someone else,
someone who is wondering,
right at this very moment,
how to go on.

Let's leave a map
others can follow
when they think they're lost.



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking for the Face in the Mirror


I have a friend who once told me about a dream she'd had.
In the dream, she looked into a mirror



and much to her dismay,
there was no "her" reflected.

She was gone.
Vanished.
Invisible.


She was absent from her own life.
At least, that's what her dream told her.

One of the risks of being female in contemporary society
is losing our authentic selves.

When we let the expectations of others dictate how we live our lives,
we become invisible.

When we don't take credit for our unique gifts,
when we don't use them and nourish them and celebrate them,
we discredit ourselves.

When we are so concerned about what makes others happy
that we can no longer remember how to create our own happiness,
we are lost.

There are so many ways in which
to vanish from our own lives.

Are you absent from your own life?
Why did you decide to pull a disappearing act?

What efforts are you making to become
PRESENT
and take up your allotted space in the world?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Anonymous Quote & Self Portrait


Got an email from a friend yesterday
in which she passed on a quote that had been making the rounds.



It appealed to me and I thought it might to you.

So, with regrets that I don't know who said it
and can't give proper credit, here goes:

I want to be the type of woman
that when my feet first hit the floor in the morning,
the devil says,
"Oh shit -- she's up."


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Be The Change You Want to See in the World


If you haven't already read it,
I highly recommend


by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

It's a factual and informative book
detailing the many forms of oppression
that women and girls experience in developing countries.


It also introduces us to home-grown organizations
around the world that are making an impact

in redressing the wrongs on a local scale.


You can find projects to support
that address issues such as:

midwifery and maternal health


empowerment of women through job training and microloans


eliminating sex-trafficking of young girls for prostitution


helping educate girls, which reduces rates of early pregnancy,
provides a way out of poverty, and breeds a new generation
of women to educate and inspire their communities


and provide menstrual supplies to girls so they don't have
to miss school on a cyclical basis.


I've given Christmas gifts in honor of my parents
who have always been committed to activism
to achieve social justice.

I've put my money into job training for Afghan women,
helping to build a shelter for former prostitutes in India,
and into purchasing midwifery tools for a new midwife
just completing her training in Africa.

The book (and their charitable organization)
will lead you to organizations that allow you
to choose someone to sponsor for microloans,
to pick someone to provide monthly support to.


As Martha Stewart would say,
It's a Good Thing.

Read it and be the change
you want to see in the world.

p.s. Don't forget Rebecca's shrine auction project
to benefit education of Oaxaca's street kids.



You can click on the link on my sidebar
to find THE SHRINE PROJECT 
if the one above doesn't work.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alternate Self: The Guardian


One of my selves is a beautiful door, ripened with age
and wearing a coat the hue of the Aegean on a cloudless day. 

My eyes are glass or wood
and rimmed with eyelashes of dainty filigree.


I safeguard spirits embodied within
and mark their comings and goings.



"Guardian" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Strangers may gaze in my eyes but they will not seduce me.


I cannot be tricked, for the wisdom of the ages
is encoded in my core.


I stand vigilant, waiting, watching, protecting.
Intruders will rue my strength if they try to harm those I love. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reflections on Ugliness


It's odd.
I think this building is totally ugly, the worst kind
of modern architecture:
graceless, ordinary, a grid of supports and glass.
I'd never set out to take a photograph of the building itself.


"Reflections on Ugliness" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Yet when it's flipped on its head
and mirrored in a pool of still water
it becomes something else altogether.

Ripple magic.
A watery baptism that washes away all sins.

Everything
turns out to be
a matter of perspective.


Friday, December 11, 2009

The Beauty of Imperfection



There is breathtaking beauty
in the imperfect
if we take the time to notice.

Weathered bricks, faded paint.
Laugh lines around the eyes.
Strong hands that show a lifetime of labor
through skin no longer taut.


"Faded Glory" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian



The kind of beauty that is so much easier to see
in the world of things,
in the visages of others,

than it is to recognize in ourselves.

How are you
imperfectly
perfect?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Becoming Poem


Becoming a Hummingbird





I am becoming a hummingbird,
my iridescence coloring the words 
that rise in my throat a glistening red.
My wings support me as I dip and soar,
spiral and hover. I travel at the speed of dreams,
searching out the nectar of the gods to sip for succor.
My breath shapes my thoughts, a gentle inhalation 
shooting straight to my core and rustling the ribbons of my soul,
exhalation giving me power to exchange depleted elements
for new ones, brimming with life. 
The purr of my wings stirs the air,
bringing a catlike contentment to those around me.
The chatter of my heart sends waves of sound vibrating 
into a parallel universe, fresh pulses of delight 
erasing the darkness and birthing blessings
for all who feel the stirring of my wings.



p.s.  This is one of the creative writing pieces done on the Egypt tour.
As we speak, Normandi Ellis and Gloria Taylor Brown 
are compiling and editing an anthology of works
written by tour participants.
It is tentatively titled "The Book of Coming Into the Light."
  Three publishers have expressed interest.
I'll let you know more details as they become available.




Sunday, December 6, 2009

Seeing the World


Each of us has a distinctive way of seeing the world
and representing it through imagery.


Jan Phillips, God is at Eye Level


"Everywhere I Look" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian


Everywhere I look, I find little miracles,
grist for the creative mill. 

Things unfold perfectly,
just as they were intended,
even in the least fertile ground.


How do you see your world?
How do you represent this to others?


Tell us about it.






Thursday, December 3, 2009

Early Morning Reverie



I was up early this morning. It's something I do now.
I've learned to love the quiet of the morning,
when the dog and cats are fed and watered
and are content to leave me to my thoughts.

This morning, I sat in my little computer nook
on the second floor, reading emails
and catching up on blog posts
while watching the sky outside my window
turn red-violet, then amethyst.

It finally settled into a faint pink near the ground
that graduated through the lavender range over to blue,
growing faintly more intense as I looked up-up-up,
but still a soft, soft powdery blue of a still morning,
just after sunrise.

I should have grabbed the camera early on,
gone outside in the 30-something temperature
and taken a photo to show you
the glory of Mother Nature's paintbox.

But I didn't -- I knew that by the time
I pulled jeans on under my nightgown
so I wouldn't scandalize
my very-Republican neighbors
if they happened to glance up to my deck,

by the time I tucked my toes into some shoes
and slipped out the back door,

the early morning splendor would have faded like a memory
to a from vivid hues to a faint blue
tending toward the gray end of its range,
and a yellow to the east so faint
it might as well be white.




I waited a few extra minutes
and everything changed,
everything muted to the colors you see here.
I guess there's a little pink left.
And you can see the carpet of frost
spread out across the expanse of grass.

I waited because I didn't want to miss
  the eagle who flies between my house
and my neighbor's each morning
about this time, on his way to the pond.
He always makes a point of dipping his beak
and showing me his snow white head.
He's close enough that I can see
the yellow rings in his eyes.
I wonder what he thinks,
as he watches me watching him.



That's the magic of my morning.

I wish you magic, too.