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The Opportunity to Burn: St. Brigit and Imbolc

What is your word of the year? One of mine is #BURN.  @Over #madewithOver xoS


One of my words of the year is Burn.

It feels active and engaged and a little wild.
It feels warm towards hot.
It feels orange towards red.
A person who burns is passionate.
A person who burns sheds light.
A person who burns is combusting internally and shining externally.
A person who burns is involved in change.

How about you?
Do you have a word of the year?

This, the last day of January, the first New Moon of the Year and St. Brigit’s Day, Imbolc, is a perfect day to choose one. My friend Nancy Moon wrote about her word today here.

Sit quietly and ask yourself

  • “What word could guide me this year?”
  • “What word could move me off ordinary towards extraordinary, me-style?”
  • “What surprises might I invite by keeping a word like “burn” throughout my days?”

Here is what We’Moon has to say about Imbolc and St. Brigit.

Lunar Imbolc and New Moon in Aquarius — Thursday
Imbolc— Sunday
Brigit, Great Goddess of Earth, Triple Goddess of Fire—of healing, of smithcraft, of poetry. I see her wild, red-haired, stepping across the skies in brightness. She is Fiery Arrow, the leather-skirted smith striking sparks from the iron anvil of earth, healing the hurt of all winters, lighting the green fuse. Whatever is frozen will warm; whatever is grieved will know joy; whatever bliss is unmade will come into being.
— Rose Flint © Mother Tongue Ink 2013, excerpted from We’Moon 2014 p. 53

I’d say St. Brigit is one of my patron saints for this year. She, the fiery arrow, sings through the cold winter air warning us of spring’s approach, but not before we burn.

In honor of my burning and St. Brigit here is a poem from Patricia Fargnoli. I first read it on Gwarlingo.  Patricia’s website holds more wonders like this.  I offer it to you here, in honor of the blessings of winter and what it holds. Send some warming light to the people of Atlanta today. And take some of that warmth for yourself.

Winter Grace

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed-down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.

©Patricia Fargnoli
Winter Hobblebush Granite State Poetry



St. Brigit was known to whistle. She call her women together by whistling.

When I stepped out under the stars this morning at 6 a.m., I looked up at the Big Dipper and whistled.
A cardinal whistled back.
Spring is surely on the way.


PS Whistle up your friends today by sharing this post with them. As always, you can get news of Laundry Line Divine by subscribing to this site in the box in the sidebar up on the right of your screen. Thank you for reading me here. Leave me a comment with one of your words. I would love to hear!

This Rainbow Connection

#sunrise in #Sheffield. XoS

I woke early today to deliver my daughter to her friend’s house were they began a daylong trek. It was early. And it was 13 degrees.
The bank machine access door would not open, no matter how convincing I was.
The car made an odd noise when turning right.
And I was grumpy.

After I deposited her, I paused.
And I saw the sun rise, quite by accident. Just from pausing.

Today, I could write many things.
There is a blog post of mine about writing motherhood and creativity on MotherWriterMentor. Thank you Tania for welcoming me there!

I will be co-hosting an FeMail art workshop and first reading of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice with Pippa and Penny Best of Story of Mum at the Museum of Motherhood on Thursday, December 5 from 5-7. Details here.

But, instead, after a Saturday of dusting and culling books and junk and just generally pushing the rock of housekeeping uphill well into the evening hours, my house is filled with rainbows. Not because of anything I did.

I know this only because I finally slowed down.
And then I saw them.

Rainbow Heart by Suzi Banks Baum

Here is to rainbows.
And to being transported by slowing down.

However it happens for you, I urge you to slow yourself this week.
Here is some music to assist you.

If you are curious about this extraordinary exhibit by Janet Cardiff at the Cloisters in Manhattan, read Gwarlingo here.

All my rainbowy love to you,




PS If this post or any of the stuff here on Laundry Line Divine brings you pleasure, please share it with a friend. And make sure you subscribe to this site so you don’t miss a post. I don’t share my mailing list with others. I do share rainbows though.



Mama Rainbow. Section of Mixed Media Collage by Suzi Banks Baum

Getting Personal with Poetry on Laundry Line Divine.

Sycamore by McDonald's in Great Barrington altered photograph by Suzi Banks Baum March 2013

We need poetry.
You may not realize this, but printed on your chart of minimum daily requirements, there is an entry for poetry.
Have you been taking in any poetry lately?
Did you have my Mom for a 6th grade teacher, who had you memorizing poems all year long?

As my sweet angel poet Myra Shapiro says,

I must have poetry in my life.

All April I will be giving you some juicy ways to add poetry to your diet.
April, in case you were distracted by all the other flags flying this month,
is National Poetry Month.
And, here on Laundry Line Divine, we will be getting personal with poetry.

I will share with you some of my favorite poems.
And I will give you some stories of how poetry keeps showing up in my life, these offerings of delicious wonder that spark my mind and connect my heart and spirit to the present. A poem can do that. Such a small spare thing packs quite a wallop of nutrition to your body, mind and spirit.

Whether you are on the subway:

Billy Collins on the NYC Subway Feb. 2013

Or walking down the street in Glen’s Falls, NY:

Found Poetry in Glen's Falls, NY by SBB

Poetry shows up.
Poetry likes to have a little bit of space around and within it. Poems supply oxygen for the soul.
And, poetry sings in a language just beyond our daily speech.
I like to find poems that feel they were written for me, they answer some unspoken question I have been mulling over.
And, I love to kidnap poetry. My teacher and friend, Paulus Berensohn does this with his friend Mary Oliver’s poetry. Here is a story about kidnapping poetry.

You gotta get those poetry nutrients somehow, right? (Kidnapping is okay, as long as it is poetry. Not the actual poets.)

In Berkshire County, you can do this with your kids on Berkshire Family Focus.
If you are near Phoenix, my friend Tammy McLeod has a great list of suggestions here. You should look at them whether you live there or not. Great list. ( like writing a poem in chalk on a sidewalk where others will see it. #guerillapoetry)
My friend Michelle Aldredge posts a poem every Sunday here.

Here is the poem I am ingesting this month.

Bowing by William Stafford hand written by Paulus Berensohn

How about you?
What poems nourish you?
If you haven’t ingested any poetry lately, what would do for you?
Maya Angelou?
Lorna Crozier?
Naomi Shihab Nye?

Do tell.
Love, S

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