Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Meaningful Gifts

I love creating books and gifts that are beautiful and that feel meaningful- in a world overstuffed with stuff… I even gave the gift-bags a soulful upgrade this summer, to be sure that they, too, offered the most meaning possible- that they, like my books, led the recipient back to the treasure within themselves.

HAPPY LUCKY BLESSING BAGS

some magical ingredients for the Happy Lucky Blessing Bags

Treasures, Tokens, Sweets & Surprises

Here’s a peek inside!


Pick-Me-Up Pocket Sized Inspirational Books

New from the Studio! I’m so pleased with these pocket sized quote books for the Pick-me-up, Cheer-me-up, make-me-right again transmissions that they are.  You can learn more about them HERE.


Perhaps I’ll Be Less Quiet Soon…

BIRDSONG

I set out tonight on the wood trail
along the stone wall, across the bridge,
and up the sky topped hill.

The sun poured down
a silky sovereignty,
making honey of the fields…

Pausing there
in the evening air,
I allowed my thoughts to still.

I do not need
to list right here
the dark cries of the world…

Yet the wild bird of the soul
still sings- softly,
fierce and sweet.

And the birds in the thicket,
too, have not given up
their song.

And you, my friend,
how are you?
We’ve been quiet far too long.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff
(from a new collection in the works, A Book of Love & Wonder)

There is a line from a poem by Odysseus Elytis which made me gasp with recognition when I first read it.  I can’t even count the number of times I have rewritten it in my journal. It captures how tongue-tied I’ve felt of late, and yet how I have longed to keep pouring my love into the world. It is this:

“I have something incomprehensible to say,
like birdsong in the time of war.”
-Odysseus Elytis

I wonder how many of us have been feeling this- this longing to continue to live our love; to live in Love; to pour love into the world, and yet the news of the day, the atmosphere of the day, almost makes an expression of love seem incomprehensible.

I was mugged once.  I was in my twenties, walking alone down a dark city street.  Suddenly I was surrounded by three very hostile women who kicked me, pulled me all around, and stole whatever they could from me.  And I just watched it happening.  I went absolutely quiet.  It was so astonishing to my innocence that I didn’t have a response.

I think of this now because I’ve been feeling mugged in one way or another fairly often these past few years… going along cheerfully and then finding myself shocked and astonished when presented with another facet of reality.  Sometimes it knocks me sideways, and I go very quiet.

I don’t want to react with cynicism or fear.  I still want to live with the vision and the conviction that Love is the best energy we have for addressing the world’s problems.  And I want to keep finding the ways that are the truest and most effective ways for me to serve through this love.  We each have our own particular ways of doing this.  Incomprehensible, perhaps, but neccessary- like birdsong in the time of war.

 

 


A Life Cherishing Force

…if you look closely, a red geranium on the windowsill!
This time of year, especially, (cold New England Winter) I love to find hidden treasures of color…little surprises everywhere. ..

Mary Oliver wrote that “Poetry is a life cherishing force.”  I walked with this thought this morning, and thought, cooking is also a life-cherishing force… and gardening… dancing, kissing, nursing a baby, walking around the block, even sweeping the kitchen floor.  It seems to me that all acts of creativity, caring, and celebration are life cherishing forces, when our hearts are aligned with gratefulness, with love….  what is, for you, a life cherishing force? Couldn’t you list at least a dozen that would apply to this moment – to today?

Breathing!
Singing!
Teaching!
Kindness!
Praying…
Eating…


A pick-me-up!

YouTube Preview Image

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

 


A MEMORIAL POEM

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…


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.