Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Praise and Unspoken Gratitudes

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I wish I could bring you with me on walks around the island.  I snap photographs and jot notes in my notebook, receiving words and poems.

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Here is this morning’s poem……..

There are undreamed dreams inside you.
Might you name a few?

There are some hopes that were dashed and are jagged -
could you breathe them into repair?

And what of praise and unspoken gratitudes-
begin to speak them in every moment.

Speak them and feel your life turning
from worry into song.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff

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Befriending The Soul listed in Top Ten

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I’m honored that Befriending the Soul was chosen
as one of Aspire Magazine’s Top Ten Inspiring Books this month.
Click here to learn more.

Writing for Spiritual Guidance: on becoming still and small

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(photo by Vineyard Colors)

     I sat down to write a letter the other day, to a friend who is going through a divorce.  I wasn’t sure what I should say, so I sat with my pen above the page for a little while, until I felt the warm stirring of guidance.  “You should write this:” the voice said, and I was led to put down just a few gentle words of wisdom and compassion, love and forgiveness – words that would comfort my friend: words that were not my own.

Yesterday I received an email from this friend thanking me for the letter which she said she had been reading over and over again, until she finally posted it with a magnet on her fridge.  She wrote to me that the words in that letter were more healing to her than she knew how to say.

What I realized as I read her letter is that I can’t begin to take credit for those words of love and healing.  I was only an open vessel through which they could come.  That is how it often is with writing for me- whether I am writing a book like the Honey Sutras, or Befriending the Soul,  a poem, prayer, or a letter.  It’s this realization that I want to share with you today.

There is a voice which speaks to all of us, and sometimes we can hear it.  Some call it “the still, small voice” of the spirit.  But what I’ve found is that the voice itself isn’t actually still, or small- it is a generous, numinous, loving and guiding voice- a voice we hear best when we ourselves become still and small.  It is when I make myself still- quiet, open, inviting and receptive that the voice comes.  It is when I become small, reducing my own sense of knowing, of judgment or righteousness or grandeur that the voice comes.

When we allow ourselves to become still and small, humbling ourselves before the mystery, not knowing what may come yet waiting in friendship, in receptivity, in deep listening- that is when the voice comes.  When we are willing to be an empty vessel, to surrender and be of service- when we offer our pens up as an instrument for divine guidance and healing: that is when the voice comes.

New Journals, and an inspiring quote

In love with color, I’ve sewn together limited editons of 8 different journals… Visit here to see them all.

This one is called Pensive, and is from a painting by my Great Grandfather, Arthur Spear.

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THIS INSPIRING QUOTE WILL FEED ME FOR MY LIFETIME:

“You can’t say to a person, “Your cynicism is destructive.
You have to show them the way of delight, the way of joy, the way of poetry -
and let the chips fall where they may.”
Robert Aitken Roshi

In love with color

In the Wintertime on Martha’s Vineyard,
We have this:

Why, so ungrateful, do I want this:

full of winter fantasy, I find this:

At my desk and seeking color, I fall in love with this:

Looking around my living room, I find this:

I thank local photographers for images like this:

(Vineyard Colors)

and in the studio I play with papers, to make things like this:

I can be here now much better, when it looks like this:

And if you came for tea, we’d drink with cups from this:

Love That Is A Lamp

Here is a poem about Love; married love; enduring love….
from my book,
What Holds Us.  (photo credit unknown)

Love That is a Lamp

Give me a story
with a gorgeous
ebbing shoreline
a few green fields
a modest house
a garden
and enduring love
not the
ravishing
heat that could
burn a village
down
but a love steadfast
faithful
aware of its own
good fortune
love that is
a lamp unto itself
trusting
willing
longed for
and held
an inner ember
glowing
triumphant
in its knowing
told and retold
perhaps simply
offered
given
received
and
understood.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff,
from the Book What Holds Us

all that we behold

In the Studio: Honey Sutras

“Bees spend their lives making honey.
People make honey through their acts of peace and love.”
~ The Honey Sutras,
Soul wisdom from the birds and the bees

I spent the morning sewing together the Handmade version of Honey Sutras…….. I love the ceramic beads- they are magical and very satisfying.

“Possessing ultra-violet vision,
honeybees see through flowers
to detect their hidden nectar.
When we develop similar vision,
we see the nectar inside others.

Within everyone there is gold,
there is an interior world
to be explored,
and there is something
to cherish and to love.

for more information, visit the Honey Sutras page here.

And then, a walk around Tea Lane Farm- cold, raw and misty today.  Beautiful!