Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Archive for the ‘Tending Joy’ Category

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.

beautiful, fresh, magical

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Saraswati, Goddess of poetry, the River of Eloquence, generosity of spirit…roses, honeysuckle, strawberries in a bowl…

A few friends have been gathering with me on Thursday mornings to write; to share reflections on what it feels like to be a channel- to open up for something that wants to come through.

This morning, Kimberly talked about a retreat she recently led- how people came, dropped their bags of daily tasks, and dove gently into the sacred.  She reflected, smiling a big smile- sparks of joy in her eyes, “Everyone has such a beautiful, fresh, magical spirit inside.”

Yes. Indeed. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Invitation:

Who are you when you put down your bag of daily tasks?  Have you felt your own beautiful, fresh, magical spirit lately?

xx

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“real poetry is to live a beautiful life”~ Basho

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I met two beautiful souls at the artisan’s fair this weekend who told me that they would like to write poems but they have no time- they are simply too busy and working too hard.  I confessed to sometimes using this excuse myself.

Here is an invitation:

Basho, the 17th century Japanese poet, said, “Real poetry is to live a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it.”

If we are not writing poems, are we living, at least, a beautiful life?  Or is the mind too occupied with struggle and striving?  What are we struggling and striving toward? Is it a day when we might finally relax, breathe, look around at what is beautiful, and write a few words of gratitude and praise?  Let’s do that now.

In the morning, tell yourself, “I am living a life which is now abundant with moments in which I may relax, breathe, see the beautiful, give thanks and praise- every day.  It is so.  This is my life.”

At first, small moments will reveal themselves – like little flashes of light, or a bird’s song rising suddenly nearby.  Then you will begin to sense that these moments may widen into longer pockets of time.  Eventually there will be days of beauty, gratitude, praise…maybe even a poem or two will come.  Nothing much has changed, except you have tuned your attention.  You are noticing a little more, receiving life into your life.

Joseph Campbell taught, “Eternity is a dimension of the here and now.” You begin to notice that  Eternity has been revealing itself all along.  Now you are remembering that you are in it- breathing it, admiring, enjoying.  Life itself is the poem.

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More Joy in the Joy Box

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I was inspired this week to create a mini folding altar to tuck within the Joy Box.  With beautiful pictures, and favorite passages for centering the heart in Joy, it’s a sweet and lovely addition to the inspiration you’ll find inside.

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New And Beautiful

It’s been a busy time in the studio!  Here’s a sampling of what’s hot off the press, from my heart to yours.

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~Joy, Light, Beautiful Wisdom ~
Selected passages to fill your heart with Joy.

 

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JOY BOXES with 108 fortune sized inspirations


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Mermaids and Muses Card set

 

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Soul Cards, 20 inspirational post cards

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Lotus Pendant in Gift Box

If you like what you see, here’s the link to the shopping page for what’s New and Beautiful.

Living in the Radiance

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(I have always sensed, and I believe Jonah does as well, that we are two souls who are enjoying the experience of having this life together… this poem speaks to that intuition…)

Lovers in the Kitchen

 

We are living in the radiance, you and I.
We maneuver around each other’s bodies,
making soup in our little kitchen,
passing the cooking ware, the spices.
Our living is a dance.
Light spills off our elbows, our fingertips.
It hovers around our temples.
We know the spaciousness we’ve come from,
to which we will return.
Like waves
on the surface of the ocean,
we rise up, joyful, subside.
We never speak of this
yet we know well what we are.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff, Winter 2016

~

 

New magical little book!

I was minding my own business this week when an enchanting little book of soul questions asked to be created.  Oh it’s such a treasure!  I put it in my pocket and carried it out on my walks and had to keep stopping to read it again and again. At 1 1/4 inches by 2, it’s a delight for those of us who know good things come in small packages.  It brims with beautiful questions that lead us back to the soul.

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There are 32 tiny pages, with 40 questions in all.

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These are delightful writing prompts… invitations for inquiry… conversation starters…

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Each page offers a powerful invitation and transmission…

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I’ve sewn the book with gold thread and left a loop so it could be hung as an ornament,
or even worn on a chain as a conversation starting pendant.

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CLICK HERE for the product Page for A Little Book of Soul Questions.

Add to Cart

It’s the Having, not the Keeping…notes on the emptying nest

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Our youngest daughter, Bella, left for college this Fall.  Our oldest daughter, Rose, graduated college and has been living in Seattle for the past year.  Last week I nursed and loved one of our old cats while he transitioned out of this lifetime.  This felt like a loss upon loss; the ending of a chapter; a deep invitation into melancholy and nostalgia.  Jack Gilbert’s beautiful poem, “The Lost Hotels of Paris,” in which he lists many of life’s losses and impermanences, contains a line in which he says, “But it’s the having Not the keeping that is the treasure.”  It is this line that is bringing me back to life- to the energy of life, the flow of it, to appreciation and gratitude for the having of every experience- the blessing of it all.

 Earlier this Fall, I began to pepper a few of my favorite photographs of the girls’ childhood about our house.  You know, we had a wonderful time of it.  The picture above is of Bella who was a delightful Buddha Baby, and Rose tasting her first Christmas tree.  Pictures such as these fill me with joy.
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Here is a big sister, little sister angel costume portrait…

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And here we are on a very small and silly roller coaster somewhere in New Hampshire… the scariest ride we ever took.

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My sister, Heather, took the above photograph of the cousins combined.  Hannah and Gordon are also away in college now.  I keep this photo in the kitchen where it reminds me of the enchanted childhood our children (for the most part) had.IMG_3136 IMG_3138

Rose has asked me to send her the album we made of her sweet sixteen costume birthday party, and I must remind myself as I let it go, “It’s the having, not the keeping that is the treasure.”

IMG_3140Here’s cute and spunky Bella then…. and Beautiful, Vibrant, delightful and wise Bella now, as we visited her at college and went apple picking nearby…
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I’m grateful for all of it.  So grateful I can weep at the slightest breeze.  And I’ll confess, also, to feelings of loss and lostness… to both the excitement of “what next?”, and the hesitation.   How is it that Mystery’s emptiness can hold both qualities of luminosity and of  looming?  I must consider all the past ways, and perhaps find new ways in which to greet and enchant and experience- for my soul to savor and to love the gift of being in this world.