Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Musings

I was looking at Van Gough's painting of his room, and eyeing the contents carefully: his self-portrait, the hand towel hanging from the wall, the woven seat chairs, the bare floors.  Any room, really, and easily translatable today.  So I grabbed my cell phone, turned around, still in my chair, and took some photos of "my" room/guest room/office.  Lucy is still buried in that mess of blankets.  She sleeps in, very late, often nine or ten in the morning, luxuriating in the warmth of hours of body heat that have radiated into the covers.

Today's morning is bright and blue and crisp outside, in great contrast to last night when a storm blew in.  It prevented viewing the blood red moon and eclipse, but I knew there would be fantastic photos of it this morning, and indeed there are.  I've never been good at photographing the night sky.  I promise myself that one day I will learn how to do this.  Who knows?

I was sent a poem this morning that I initially hesitated to read: Women Who Workshop.  As it turns out, I enjoyed the poem very much.  My reluctance to read it stems from my weariness of workshops geared to self-exploration and improvement, often for women.  Not that I haven't benefited from these offerings in the past, but I have it up to my eyeballs at this juncture.  At my age, I figure, rightly or wrongly, what I have is what I get, and it doesn't aid in my day-to-day life to engage in day-long lessons in a group structure.  I realized, though, after reading the poem, that there can be great benefit and psychological/emotional leaps forward from doing this kind of work, and I should not belittle it.  Someday I might even engage again.

Lifelong learning is a good thing.  These days I prefer it to take the form of photography classes or memoir writing groups.  Those are plenty self-exploratory without the framework of self-improvement.  So, anyway, on to the poem, and happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day to you all.

Women Who Workshop 
A scarf from India
A top that's Loose around the Middle
Very, very, very Sensible Shoes
And an Unceasingly Kind expression
(The uniform of individuality).
You, the Bright-Eyed.
You, the Generous volunteer.
You, still working out That Stuff with your dad.
In hotel ballrooms and
Church basements and
Yoga studios and
Campgrounds and
Korean spas and
Montana ranches, Bahamian Beaches and the
Herbalist's office
You are becoming.
It's so becoming.
You, becoming.
And you've learned to
Bring a sweater and a
Thermos of hot water and
Lots of extra tissues.
You have stood in a circle
You have lain prostrate
Your bookshelf groans with
Helping Insightful Books and
Your Journals burst with line
After line
Your becoming.
You're becoming.
You are becoming.
(so tender-hearted)
With your Full-Moon Necklace and your
Chakra-Balancing Necklace and the
Beautiful Gold Ring that you
Hand-forged in that Post-Divorce Workshop
Out of the engagement ring from your First Marriage and the
Wedding band from your Second
Now you marry only yourself.
Standing before your Altar
You promise to
Honor and
From this day forward.
You recognize that some might call it an
To spend time and money on
The Issues That Challenge You.
But those people can screw off (compassionately)
Because the Rush of
Self-realization when you finally put That Betrayal behind you
The poem you wrote about your daughter that
Still makes you cry
(And OK, fine - that delirious eight-day affair with that Yoga Guy -
Sweet Heaven he was gorgeous - and so bendy - )
Cannot be matched by anything that can be
Found inside your own condo.
You have found freedom.
You have healed your Inner Child and
Embraced your Inner Queen.
You are even developing a side-long glance
Relationship with the word "Crone."
You are curious - becoming - laughing - becoming - stretching -
Because as the wise woman said If You Stop Stretching You Die - sharing -
Because that's what Heaven's Children do -
Rejoicing in your growing awareness that no Workshop Intensive
In the world is better than your own becoming
Coming to be.
© 2011 Samantha Bennett


  1. Sending love to you on Martin Luther King Day!

    Your black and white photos continue to engage my attention. I love the California winter light and shadows in this one. Something about the angle of the light brings me back to childhood rooms with the sun shining through the windows in that same way. My eye was drawn to what looks like a duck's head and neck, maybe a loon, in the lower far left, by the lamp.

    No Workshop Intensive in the world is better than our own becoming coming to be!

    1. I noticed the "ducks head" as well, after I viewed the image. I cannot, for the life of me, tell you where that shadow is coming from!

  2. I love the photo and the poem. It's always been a joy of mine when we see the mundane become the sublime. Thank you for these.

    1. that's it exactly, isn't it? the mundane becoming the sublime. any creative, thinking person is engaged in the transformation of the everyday world around them. It has always been so for the writers, the painters, the artists of all stripes. And it's amazing to me how differently we all see the world.


Short But Sweet

I took a very short getaway with my daughter and grandkids.  We flew to our old stomping grounds in Santa Cruz, CA.  It was supposed to be t...