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Show Your Work: Snowdrops

Snowdrops for Rupert

for this is a truth of today:

Instructions

Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God.
Find god in rhododendrons and rocks,
passers-by, your cat.
Pare your beliefs, your absolutes.
Make it simple; make it clean.
No carry-on luggage allowed.
Examine all you have
with a loving and critical eye, then
throw away some more.
Repeat. Repeat.
Keep this and only this:
what your heart beats loudly for
what feels heavy and full in your gut.
There will only be one or two
things you will keep,
and they will fit lightly
in your pocket.

Instructions by Sheri Hostetler, from A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry, edited by Ann Hostetler. © University of Iowa Press, 2003.

Yesterday I planted snowdrops with friends. We pryed open narrow pockets in the mossy wet lawn of the Berkshire Botanic Garden to lay in clusters of two or three snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) bulbs that will create a curl of early spring delight. All this bowing and plying and dropping is to honor, to somehow pin down, or if it is at all possible, let the grit resolve the grief of a family, our friends, whose son drowned last spring in the Housatonic River.

We were finding god in the early clover and grass roots. In a trowel juggling Jester.

We snowdropped grief.

On this messy spring day where my work is, as Mary Oliver says, “In loving this world” I am loving the many things I have ahead of me, my newsletter among them. Save that when it lands in your inbox, for a moment when you have time to read. Get your calendar out and pick a date when we can meet up.

And next year, on Earth Day, let us meet at the Berkshire Botanic Garden to celebrate Rupert and friendship and all that our hearts beat loudly for.

xo S

Slow Easter

Buds in Stockbridge by Suzi Banks Baum

I know a person who is up to something very special.

 

 

Guerilla Bunny on the step

This person, Guerilla Bunny, paints eggs, about 60 of them, and leaves them around her town in the early hours of Easter Sunday for people to find.
She leaves no trace of authorship.
She expects nothing in return.

Pink Guerilla Bunny

And the eggs have stories, symbols and portents of great faith and insight painted in to them. Guerilla Bunny would love to pass this tradition on to others. Guerilla Bunny believes that random acts of beauty lift people up. And that people could use a good bit of lifting up these days.

Post Office Guerilla Bunny

 

I watched people walk past eggs in plain sight today, passing by them two or three times and missing them. When I pointed this egg in the water fountain by the bus stop out to a woman waiting for Peter Pan to arrive, she peered in and said, “Magic!”.

 

But when I checked back, after the bus had pulled off, the egg was still there.

Water Fountain Guerilla Bunny

I showed one to a couple sitting with coffee on a bench in the sun. Their barking little dachshund and I share a name. So when the man chastised the dog for barking madly at me, I felt a little odd for a moment, until I realized he wanted the four-legged Suzi to shush, not the two-legged.

After showing him and his wife this egg, they asked, “Where are they?” “Hiding in plain sight,” I told them. As I walked on I heard her say to him, “I want one of those.”

DSC_0552

I took a slow walk in that town this morning to see what I could see.
When I wander, my eyes see things differently.
And I saw many eggs.
I only took two. One for my family and one for me.

 

 

What I took home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Guerilla Bunny!

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

- e.e. cummings

Mary's Hands
DSC_0557
The Empty Step
Buds in Stockbridge by Suzi Banks Baum

 

xoxoxS

Who Do You Think You Are? Women who are sisters and mothers

Love Your Soul

A small revolution is happening in my Soul today.

In the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series, Debbie Baron, sister to Stella Elliston, offers us a new post on Motherhood and Creativity.
If I was to sum up the soul of this blog series, it would be in this sentence of Debbie’s:

Under the guise of motherhood lies our original creative self.

Debbie speaks to something that has been bugging me about myself for a long time.

I have for a long while been trying to figure out how to navigate my voice here on Laundry Line Divine.
I am a woman who is an artist and a writer and a mother.
I am a whole passel of other things, like wife, sister, daughter, gardener, friend, Yooper…but when you show up here on this site, you expect to find me operating as myself.

My whole self.

I have been guilty of undervaluing my mothering because I fear those of you readers who don’t have children, for all the many different reasons that is, would be offended or turned off by my work.

Then, last night, I read in Brene` Brown’s Daring Greatly this:

Be grateful for what you have. When I asked people who had survived tragedy how we can cultivate and show more compassion for people who are suffering, the answer was always the same: Don’t shrink away from the joy of your child because I have lost mine. Don’t take what you have for granted-celebrate it. Don’t apologize for what you have. Be grateful for it and share your gratitude with others. Are your parents healthy? Be thrilled. Let them know how much they mean to you. When you honor what you have, you’re honoring what I’ve lost.

The decision to have or not have children is yours alone. It may have caused you suffering or it may have been just what is right for you in your life.

But me tip toeing around my motherhood because I fear I will upset those of you who don’t have kids, who are here at the Laundry Line to read about creativity and seeing and celebrating the sacred in daily life, about poetry, art and collaborations, or about the Berkshires or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, or pleasure or all the other stuff I write about- the effort of this is giving me aches in my legs. I cannot keep this up.

After one of WAM Theatre’s Motherhood Out Loud performances, a good friend of mine leaned in to me and said, “I am surprised that I liked this show so much because I hate the topic. Motherhood is about my least favorite subject.”

I could only look at her and sense that anything I had to say, whether about motherhood or creativity or quinces, would just not be appealing to her. That is okay with me. Not everyone on this spinning planet will love Laundry Line Divine, which is about raising myself as I raise my kids. I am done apologizing for my life.

Reading those words, on page 125 in Daring Greatly, I knew it is time to own my motherhood again.
It is truly only part of who I am. It is at the center of who I am.
Whether you have felt this conflict in me at all doesn’t even really matter.
I have felt it.
And I am in the business of becoming more clear, so I can do what I do with greater agility and excellence.
Two of my Core Desired Feelings are Traction and Exquisite Excellence.

I am feeling them right now.
If you notice I have changed the tagline to this website, it is with great pondering that I do so.
I still see and celebrate the sacred in daily life, but at the heart of that is how I raise myself as I raise these kids. (even the ones that I didn’t birth)

Kids at Vanderbilt Mansion

It is scary somehow, saying this to you, but I need to lift off a filter I have laid over my work on this website. This work is one with everything else I do- with my book Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers or with Rampant Sisterhood: Engaging Your Authentic Voice Online.

 

Guess I am waking up a little bit more today.
Thoughts?

Thank you again for all your support and comments and participation in all the stuff I have going on here.
Thanks to Debbie too, for offering your wonderful blog post, illuminating Sisterhood in a new way.

I hope this Spring day finds you full of anticipation for all you have ahead of you.

With love,

 

Suzi

Friday Inspirations: Healing Stories

Pussy Willows by a chimney

We have company this weekend…

Benj is coming home for a few days…
 

so I am popping a few wonderful conversations for you to enjoy.

All very brave inspired women who stand for women’s health and well being.

Lissa Rankin, who will be at Kripalu next weekend, asks some very good questions in this post. Have your journal handy when you read this.

http://lissarankin.com/5-questions-guaranteed-to-help-you-know-yourself-better#more-2651

 

Tami Simon talks with Deena Metzger here about the power of women’s stories, the importance of us using our voices for our own well-being.

http://www.soundstrue.com/weeklywisdom/?source=podcast&p=9491&category=IATE&version=full&loc=weeklywisdom

 

and Christiane Northrup asks us to look at our bodies differently in this post.

http://www.drnorthrup.com/blog/2014/03/women-s-wisdom-versus-patriarchal-programming

 

I hope you are well.

Time for a dance break!

xo S

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