Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Archive for the ‘Tending Joy’ Category

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.

Beauty Blooms Everywhere

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So much Beauty Being Expressed

When I first saw this video, my heart spoke to me and said, Imagine: there is so much beauty being expressed in this world that you are currently unaware of.

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A Walk With The Imagination

IMG_1989This summer, The Mad Potter of Martha’s Vineyard, Bill O’Calloghan and his wife Robin Tuck created a story experience at Polly Hill Arboretum It was enchanting.  I visited twice. 

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I’ve long been a fan of Bill’s, and decided to carry some of his magic further afield, by hiding one of his dragons  in a stone wall along a walk near our home.  That gave me so much secret joy, that I soon began hiding a few other bits of magic…

 

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Only those who look will ever be able to see…

My husband says that I am very eccentric… to which, I say….well, I shall always be amused.

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I am reminded, for some reason, of this wonderful exhibit I once saw in San Diego, called “A Palace for Wenesday.”  I hope this brings you delight in the creative imagination; in eccentricity; in the dance we all have with the unseen world.

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