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Alive on All Channels

endlessquestionAlexey Terenin – 
Resting Angel, oil on canvas

A torn open heart is a brutal blessing. The torn part brings grief that calls us to greater wisdom and compassion. And, the open part grows ever more wide, a gift to ourselves and those around us. 

~ Robin Korth


To brighten the ashen December overcast
I buy myself thirteen yellow roses.
Within a week, the mature ones blossom.
When their large rose hips wilt
and fall, I toss them –

all but the duo
who clasp their petals together.
I trim the pair of survivors,
set them to dry in a waterless vase.
I name them after the two brothers
we lost a few months ago.
On the last day of the year,
our children and grandchild fly off
from their holiday visit, leaving us
a pair of fuchsia orchids
to color our winter.
Before sunset,
I carry the dried rosebuds
out to the back deck
which overlooks the forest.
I peel off the petals,
release them over the edge.
A breeze sends a yellow flurry
cascading back to nature.
I applaud.In my hand, a few moist petals
cling to the center of each stem,
as if to say, We are still alive.
I let them go.

Today I cast my eyes to the orchids.
It’s the new New Year.

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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January 2014



On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory