Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy



These ornaments are so popular at the artisan fairs, I wanted to offer them here.  

Each comes in a gift box with a gift tag.  They are 4 inches long, and a beautiful swirl shape that this photo fails to capture!

A pick-me-up!

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Seeing this video of the band Red Baraat gave me such a lift the other day.  Oh the Joy of the Human Spirit!



This winter I was asked for something to read at the memorial of a teenage boy who had taken his own life.  I could hardly imagine the agony of his family and friends.  This is the poem that came through for me.  Weeks later, I received a thank you in the mail with a lovely box of tea.  I printed out the last verse of the poem for a sympathy card, and people have responded well.  This has given me confidence to offer it here.  I hope it is healing and helpful for anyone who needs it.

Memorial Poem

This is what grief looks like:
the tide has gone out,
farther than the eye can see,
pulling with it every ship,
the sun, and every single wave;
stealing hopes, plans, agreements,
and a thousand precious things;
leaving a shattered seabed of
lost shells, secret wishes, dying reeds
and impossible questions…

And there is the feeling that
life will remain emptied, slack like this,
much longer than we can bear…
How could the ocean return
and moonlight shimmer upon it?
We pray one day to drag our courage
to the ravaged and restless shoreline,
face the horizon, looming,
and find ourselves
opening, reaching,
calling beyond our mourning.
We pray life responds, gently urging,
This one we love has moved on,
yet somehow we are not finished.

Love grows the heart. So does sadness.

Within each of us, a warm harbor
of memories, visions, sorrows and joys.
Where light breaks on distant waves,
gulls glide above the incoming sea,
and the soul of our loved one is whispering,
Fear not. Carry on. I am with you…
I am grateful. I am loved. And I’m free.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff

p.s.  I seem to have to put a ~ in between verses so that the blog doesn’t squish them together…

A simple and impactful way to send Aid to Puerto Rico

Dear friends, THANK YOU!!!!!

A few weeks ago, while I was on duty at the Gallery, I met a woman named Ricia who is a literature professor at University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.  She said she and her husband were refugees from the hurricane, and just heading home with suitcases full of supplies to distribute to students and neighbors.  She said the University had word that five thousand of their students have no idea where their next food will come from.  She told me how people are dying from drinking dirty water out of puddles.  As she spoke to me, her eyes were filled with tears of compassion, anger, resilience, courage, sadness, love…

    I asked her what I could do and she told me any supplies I sent would be gratefully distributed.  That night, worried about how things could even be delivered there, I placed a small order for a water filter on Amazon and had it shipped to her.  When I received the news that it indeed had arrived, I sent word out to my newsletter subscribers.  Many folks have joined in by going to Amazon prime, and generously ordering supplies to send as gifts to Ricia.


We have sent water tablets, water filters,  non perishable foods, solar lanterns, batteries… It’s hard to express the joy- the deep heart satisfaction, of shopping for folks in such dire need, and knowing our gifts will arrive there.  If you want to join in helping, here is Ricia’s address:


Ricia Chansky

434 Los Almendros  #34D

Rincon, PR  00677   USA

Ricia has been sending me thanks and updates on the impact of our gifts. I wanted to pass on some of her thank-you’s to you here:

My dear Ingrid, Please thank all of these wonderful people for me, our students, and our communities.We have been passing out food, water, and flashlights/batteries/solar lanterns to our students; bringing water filters, tablets, batteries, and flashlights to our old neighborhoods of Cruces and Atalaya; and, sending water filters, tablets, batteries, food, and goods for children to Morovis and Utuado.I appreciate so much the help from you and your friends. I feel as though I have more friends than ever and I feel loved. Thank you!


Dear Ingrid, I hope you all have had a lovely Thanksgiving. I just wanted to write and say that I have so much to be grateful this year. One of them is you and your kindness to us, our students, and our neighbors. We received two large boxes from Amazon earlier in the week. We divided them in half and brought TEN of the larger Life Straw water filters as well as batteries and lanterns to communities in desperate need and then were able to restock a smaller food pantry for students that is in our building on campus. We are thrilled and deeply moved by the generosity of you and your friends. Thank you! Love, Ricia


Dear Ingrid, I hope you are well. Just a quick note to let you know that today a student stayed after class to explain to me why her essay wasn’t completed. She explained that she lost her apartment because she no longer could pay the rent and that she was sleeping on a friend’s sofa. That she didn’t even have food or money to buy any. We had received a lovely donation from one of your friends on Friday and brought it to school today for the food bank. I was able to fill two large shopping bags for her with a variety of foods and give her a little bit of spending money. She cried. I cried. And she said it’s the first assistance that she received since the hurricane. I am very grateful to you for your help and just wanted to let you know that your friends are still carrying on their good works. Best, Ricia



Dear Ingrid, I just wanted to share this note from one of my students so you would know how much you matter. I fed her with food from boxes that you and your friends sent. With gratitude, Ricia

Dr. C,   I wanted to thank you from the very bottom of my heart for what you have done for me. I have this train of thought that I always believe there must be someone who is going through worse situations than me and because of that I don’t ask for help.

But I must thank you because now I can actually eat something other than saltines at home. I must admit, that I was very grateful for the fact that there was food in class yesterday, as sometimes I’ve been eating only once a day, like something small like snacks. But let me tell you that the tomato soups are super good and I actually had dinner yesterday.

I am beyond grateful for your help, I wish I could put more words into it but I’m just so happy and so thankful for everything.


*Virtual hugs*


When we bless, we in turn feel blessed.  When we practice generosity, we are living in grace.  It feels so good!!!!   And so I wanted to share Ricia’s address with you, in case you are seeking a way to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico.


If you would like to help, I found that sending a gift of supplies through Amazon Prime was very simple.  

Here is Ricia’s address:

Ricia Chansky

434 Los Almendros  #34D

Rincon, PR  00677   USA


Set Wide The Window, Let me drink the day…

“Set wide the window, Let me drink the day.”~ Edith Wharton


  I set out for a walk this morning and took these pictures of the dahlias at Tea Lane Farm on Middle road.  

Just wanted to share them here.  Beauty Medicine!

Sometimes, in the midst of sadness, it’s good to remind ourselves that there is still so much to love.

Wishing you Love & Light & Beauty…Harmony & Health, Peace & Joy…

magic is the word that comes to mind

The girls had not met before, but they instantly knew they were friends.  My sister’s grand daughter and my neice (both nearly 4 years old) were happy to take hands and head down the trail where I had promised to show them my magical place by the stream.

When we got there, they climbed on the big rock that resides beside the path.

They looked for fish from the bridge.

And then they said, “now we want to see the frogs.”

“Oh dear”, I said, “I’ve never seen a frog around here, but if you come to this bench I’ve placed by this tree, I will show you where I have hidden a tiny Buddha in its trunk.”

They climbed on the bench and we all looked behind it into the tree….and there…sitting on the Buddha… was a frog!

I couldn’t get a picture that was in focus… perhaps because I was so surprised…

My take-away?  To live more in a state of wonder….more ready for surprise.

Living in Love E-Celebration, now free

I don’t know where this image came from.  I love it.  It holds the beauty of the natural world, of relationship, playfulness, creativity, savoring…. We are in the home stretch of two artisan fairs a week here on Martha’s Vineyard.  At each fair, I fall in love several times.  I’ve met so many loving, open hearted people- people who are determined to participate in this world with as much hope and love and creativity, …dignity, gratitude, openness, friendliness, generosity, integrity, equality…. and I want to Give more, Do more, Be more, Pour more love into the world.

It has occured to me that one way I might do this is to make my Living in Love E-Celebration free.  I created it several years ago,  and tried to make it as beautiful, centering and uplifting as I possibly could.

If you are craving a little beauty by which to strengthen your sense of spirit as you begin the day, check it out.

The call for Love

Cute baby girl smelling giant orange rose. With back light

I’ve been pondering the difference between the energies of love and those of anger for creating change.  What I’ve realized, for myself, is fairly simple.  While anger may feel like a great motivator for change, it tends to draw on fear and drain me.  It works through my nervous system like a toxic chemical, leeching my strength.  Love both motivates and energizes- it feeds and sustains the drive to create change.  For me this is the difference between a protest and a rally.  When I hear the rallying cry for Love, I know that it doesn’t mean to ignore situations, or to pour honey all over them.  It means to draw needed strength from a healthy and sustainable source.  The Call to Love is the call to draw strength from Love, (especially when feeling anger) to draw strength from a faith in goodness, affection for life, and a vision for a healthy & peaceful world.

Questions to be with:

In what ways do you draw strength from love?

What vision for the world gives you energy & strength?