Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Archive for the ‘Living in Love’ Category

“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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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

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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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Five Favorite Love Quotations… from the Love Box

I’m so excited to share these new Love Boxes with you- just in time for Valentine’s, but perfect love reminders for any time of year.  Each box contains 30 inspirational cards with a focus not merely on romantic love, but on the essence and essentialness of love- the presence and the practice of love- the beingness of it.

love box

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For the Love Box Product page, visit here!

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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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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

Stay With this…