Saturday, July 28, 2012

It Twirled Down

on a morning walk, 
mind churning, 
this little gray feather twirled down in front of me, 
landing at my feet.

It was the way it twirled down, spinning like an ice skater? in front of my face before landing, light as a feather, that stopped me.

Stopped the churning too, 

as if someone had yanked the plug from my mind?

I looked up; no little gray bird to be seen.
Just sky and trees and phone line.

It must've been stuck in the phone line. one thought

It doesn't really matter how it got there, or where it came from. 

it brought me a lighter moment

to the moment right in front of me

when it twirled down like that ~

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Like Bones

"Why are you interested in the field of radiology?"
"I like bones," he said.

Direct people are a joy to be around.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Monday Gift ~

When my brothers and I were kids, 

Dad would occasionally bring home little gifts:

a bottle of bubbles with the wand inside
bouncing balls
a red clown nose

simple gifts

The gift got its name depending on the day -

Here's a Thursday gift, he'd say

or here's a Monday gift...

here's a Monday gift ~


Friday, July 20, 2012

River Of Wildness

I was surprised yesterday 
when I went to slip into my garden clogs 
and found this little guy.

Okay, I screamed.
Like I'd seen a room full of mice, or toads or...
Can you say, fight or flight?

With a toad? I know I know

As I write a gorgeous rain is pouring steadily down; a delicious sound after so much deep heat and all the grass and trees and gardens gasping for air, for wetness. 

Owen, the orange cat, and Chewy, the big-eared dog, are here in my upstairs room, my treehouse, sleeping and breathing slowly. 

That's all I feel like doing today.

Sleeping and breathing slowly.

I want to write about

The Art of Practice and the ESU dojo 

with Carmela, Lance, and Tes ~ master teachers

and all the metaphors that sprang up from the Aikido practice and movement, and inquiry into self...

how much aliveness do you allow yourself to feel?
what grabs you?
who do you trust?
what are you resisting?

what good questions/ I want to write about all of them

and then there's my Uncle Renwick (Uncle Happy) who died a week ago today, Friday the 13th, first cousin to my father, both masters of hijinks and helping people, he lost his church because he married a lesbian couple, he marched with Dr. King and registered African-American voters in the deep south, he had four childen...his message was LOVE.

Happy had a river of wildness running through his veins.

I loved that about him. And it scared me too. 

My own river of wildness is something I love [and fear.]

Where will it sweep me? 
Who will ride with me? 
Who will get swept away? 
What if I get swept away? 

This image rising now with the rain falling, sweet rain, and sleeping animals, and quiet house and no need to work today although so many house projects call me and an old friend is coming for a visit. I thought, she always takes me as I am, my house is of no concern to her; a gift to know about someone.

I have two pages scribbled full of six-word memoirs.

feel bad about money, let go
out of fray, writing in notebook
dropping what's not mine to carry
up down up down up down
letting myself rest, it's just fine

This for today:

quiet moment
no speaking
in gratitude

xo b

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Answers Come

not sure
that's okay
answers come.

what are your six words for today?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tints Of Morning Or Evening

“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” 

― Henry David Thoreau
Walden, or Life in the Woods

Nice to have a big brother who sends out a dreamy quote for the 195th birthday of Henry. 

Thanks, Dave. 

[ Dave being my big brother, and, Henry David for being so dreamy.]

"the true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening..."


Monday, July 9, 2012

Not At All

I've been off the grid since the 4th of July, 
sleeping in the tent [with Claire] up on the mountain,
in the field near Dad's little house. 

children of cousins, 
and a whole lot of dogs 
came from far and wide:

New York
New Jersey

to swim in the pond, 
pick and eat blueberries by the handful

drink a few beers, 
tell stories 
and celebrate Dad's 86th birthday...

Happy Birthday, Sunny!

No, I don't feel old, Dad said. 
Not at all. 
I feel grateful.

And though I'm full up of stories about 


to name a few

for now, 
for this Monday morning, 
I'm taking a page from Dad's play book,

the play-master himself.

I feel grateful...

for this being alive ~ for just being here.

How about you? What are you grateful for today?

drop me a note. i'll write back.

xo b

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Super Seven

Meet The Super Seven.


These lucky sophomores landed in my Money 101 class for the summer session of Upward Bound at East Stroudsburg University. 

[more on Upward Bound later]

Just for today, I want to shout out to these kids who believe they're worth investing six weeks of precious summer vacation to attend academic classes while learning to get along well with others.

And they do. Get along well with others.

Especially me, their teacher. what a great group of grateful kids

Truth is, I'm the lucky one. 
I wasn't sure me and Money 101 would be a good match.    
Writing, yes, but money and me? 

I'm not an accountant, or math major. I worry plenty about money, something this class is teaching me to let go of...but what the hell, I handle money every day and I know more than I give myself credit for so I rolled up my sleeves and decided to teach it my way.

there's no other way to teach

The Ms. Jackson version of Money 101 meant we were going to write...about money (and other things). Money and our relationship to it does not live in a vacuum. We are whole people with a trillion ideas, thoughts, feelings about everything. i love that.

These guys show up every day
open their notebooks and starting writing...

money is... 
people with money...
if I had money I'd...
what we're grateful for...

Because you can be a quintillion-aire, is that a real number you guys?, and not have one grateful bone in your body. 

These kids practice gratitude. They aren't whining for things, contrary to what many people think teenagers are all about. 

more more more is not the mantra of

The Super Seven.

I'll share some of their writing over the next weeks but for today, here's a piece from Alicia that is simple and true. 

She wrote:

My attention isn't really on material things like most people. A lot of people go to one thing, leave it, and go onto another thing. Their attention is in what things can make them happy. 

Things cannot make you happy. 

Only you can make yourself happy.

~ namaste, you guys.

with gratitude,
ms. j