And We’re Off…

Once again, as has been my practice for about five years now, I make the choice to take the time to reflect, write and focus my attention on one thing during each day in January that I might normally whizz by and lose sight of. In this spectacularly busy world, we regularly make and ignore small choices that do impact all the rest. This practice is called mindful writing and asks that we pay attention and bring presence (by writing here) to all these seemingly insignificant decisions that in realty shape who we are. This is not just about being serious in a somber way (I couldn’t do that if I tried). It is about staying present enough to look beyond our own foibles in order to appreciate the humor and grace that we can normally and easily ignore.

My official practice begins on January 1st every year, however as I age, I need to do more stretching and warming up physically and mentally. Hence this long introduction and a reblog of my last post from January 2016 to start things off:

 

Writing My Way Home  – A Kyirelle

As a mindful writing practice,
I blog daily on that and this.
It is called sharing a small stone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

January lobs with a cold moon,
And winter scenes of snow monsoons.
My muse inspires an artful tone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Tales of grit, grace and gratitude,
Shape its forum and latitude.
With tears of laughter, grief and groans,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Presence is my daily prayer.
Growth is awareness being here.
To this end I write my way home,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

c   Andrea Grillo ~ 2016

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“Yes, Virginia (and Andrea) – there is a Santa Claus!”

These words, minus the added parenthesis — (and Andrea) — appeared on the editorial page of the now-defunct New York Sun in 1897. Written by Frank P. Church to Virginia O’Hanlon in response to her question “…please tell the truth, is there a Santa Clause?”

His wise response included the above “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” and the following: “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias (and no Andreas, Graces, Donnas and Toms etc.) There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”

So thankfully, with these remembered words, I am inspired to believe in the magic of Santa Claus or Papa Noel knowing that there is kindness, generosity, beauty, joy and a frivolity in our human clan. There must also be the same spirit and light in our greater “hood” – the milky way and beyond its star dusting. Actually, there are no borders in expressing and sharing joy, love, and peace. And there is also space for grief, anger and sadness. It’s all on the creative spectrum. Just for now though, during this feminine and holy Solstice season, I welcome childhood’s version of Santa’s magic (grace) into my life and believe in it for all life.

Peace.

 

 

 

What is it …

Grace

 
What is it about grace
that tenders an angry moment
into a peaceful movement?

What is it about grace
that yarns hands into hats
and humor?

What is it about grace
that placards profanity
into protest poetry?

What is it about grace
that that takes stutter and slurs
into song?

What is it about grace
that takes blue into azure and sky
henna into meadows with mice?

What is it about grace
that takes a humble haiku
into the history of words?

What is it about grace
that tumbles small stones into
a river wild?

And what is it about grace
in a child’s smile that is no
different than our own?

Summer 2011

 

 

Kickin’ Cancer Poem

Strength Hope and Gratitude
for Carolyn

 

We all know that some days are hard
If not careful they can leave us scarred.
“A sense of humor is required”
As Carolyn’s kickin’ cancer is inspired.

Strength is ours for every struggle,
Grace and grit gets us through any trouble.
“Be faithful always in small things”
God’s grace soars on butterfly wings.

There is guidance for every decision
When hope and gratitude are the vision.
Strength can grow without understanding
Our human frailties become less demanding.

“Look for the good in every day”
Music and beauty can light our way.
“Strength, hope and gratitude”
Expand our horizons and attitude.

“Be faithful always in small things”
God’s grace soars on butterfly wings.
These are gifts to own and nourish
Friends of ours always to cherish.

~

Andrea Grillo ~ February 2016

Writing My Way Home

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For my last small stone writing practice of January 2016, I would like to share a Kyirelle poem that I wrote at my writer’s group. A Kyirelle poem is structured so that all the lines have eight syllables and each stanza of four lines ends in a refrain. There are four stanzas. It takes on a rhythmical form very much like a rhyming couplet. I won’t go into its exact structure – let’s just say that it’s like finishing a puzzle in the form of a poem. Writing a Kyirelle poem was given as an optional prompt or writing exercise, and while I often ignore these, I jumped on it and finished it with a flourish. This poem almost wrote itself, and I was the scribe. Since its theme centers on this month’s blogging, I am sharing it here:

 

Writing My Way Home  – A Kyirelle

As a mindful writing practice,
I blog daily on that and this.
It is called sharing a small stone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

January lobs with a cold moon,
And winter scenes of snow monsoons.
My muse inspires an artful tone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Tales of grit, grace and gratitude,
Shape its forum and latitude.
With tears of laughter, grief and groans,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Presence is my daily prayer.
Growth is awareness being here.
To this end I write my way home,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

c   Andrea Grillo ~ 2016

Mindful Writing ~ 2014:28

I am reading “Portrait Of An Artist, A Biography of Georgia O’Keefe”.  I came upon the book, a first edition hardcover when I was in an unusual angry mood.  I needed to get out of the studio space I rent in a nearby town, so I took a walk talking to myself.  I naturally fell in step and gravitated toward the library – a stately old stone building with windows that shine like facets of emeralds depending on the light.  The Friends Of The Library committee was holding a fund-raising sale.  I did not want nor expect to purchase any more books – unless that is I found the one book on my extremely short ‘to-read’ list.  Well, let me interject here some information about my process.  I have lovely and dutiful Angels who guide and humor me.  When they really want to get my attention, they hand me something to read.  It’s easier that way.  So when I scrambled off to walk and breathe out my anger instead of holding it inside, they knew that I would semi-consciously head toward the library if not to borrow then just to stand in the silence and scent of books.  Since I was in a slowly dissipating foul mood, I allowed myself to head toward the booksale/fundraiser.  Quietly tucked into overflowing shelves of this mini-library was the only book I would be tempted to buy.  It’s price was raised from the standard of one dollar to three dollars because it was a first edition.  And to my delight –  newspaper articles about Georgia were tucked below the cover printed on the day she died.  Hallelujah – my Angels did it again – they brought out a wide smile and despite my best efforts to remain perturbed – I quickly purchased the book and practically skipped back to the studio.  I was still upset with some occurances there but was consoled (and bribed) by my find.  And to make it sweeter still, I will be visiting Georgia O’Keefe’s beloved New Mexico landscape soon.  Synchronicity always amazes me, and this must tickle my Angels to no end, because of all the imaginative and creative ways they devise to get my attention.  I do believe in Angels and Fairies.  I do believe in and am grateful for their blessings.  The book is wonderful.  Georgia is an incredible spirit and she chose to paint because she could not sing.  ME TOO.

sun and clouds
how often I rely solely
on muscle memory

ag ~ 2014

wind and wildflowers

not for long
all the doubts
that spindle
on the legs of
a newborn fawn

not for long
forget-me-nots
rising in the compost
of a late autumn
breeze

not for long
the egret’s flight legs
tucked in
to compress its center
of gravity

not for long
the orb-weaver’s 
perfect web
bending the morning light
into beads of dew

not for long
an evening that begins
with the brilliance
of one star
long gone

not for long
the dance
of heat lightning
on the meadow’s
queen anne’s lace

not for long 
the darkness  
between the kindle
of a firefly’s 
flare

not for long
the lost stories 
of the wind
and wildflowers
in my heart

ag ~ June 2013