Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cranaleith: Re-imagining Your Life - An Overnite Seminar in NE Philly - Poem: High-powered Women

Relax, I told myself, as I drove over. You won't be the only one who's late.

I got there at 5:10, only ten minutes late, rush hour traffic. I honked softly at a car waiting to make a left turn who wouldn't move up far enough to let cars pass on his/her right.

Finally got my rear right tire fixed at Tom Sawyer next to the Giant Gas Station. While waiting I marched around the neighborhood.

My sister is interested in moving into this house high atop a hill. I walked up the steep driveway, huffing n puffing, then saw the quiet back yard, peeked in all the windows, stood on the front porch to see the view she so loves, and then walked down the front steps.

 Chris, at Tom Sawyer, discovered why I had a slow leak in the tire. He removed a nail and patched up the tire. REMS Auto couldn't find it. I paid in cash.... $10.

At the Retreat, I was with 9 high-powered women.

We did many lessons or exercises throughout the 24 hours we were together. I had an excellent nite's sleep. I did a little reading

  For once, in our Upper Moreland book club, we're reading a book I like. I'm up to page 12. Haruf, born in Colorado, has an interesting voice. So far, it's about an old man who's dying of cancer and has a month to live.

People pray for peace. Is God listening? Is God god?

We stayed in a three-story house. See the driftwood?

As with all beautiful houses, I always ask myself, What would I be like if I lived here?

This is the original Trainer house.

Breakfast was at 8 am. ALL the food was healthy, including home-made whole wheat raisin bread. As a person with diabetes, I went off my no-bread diet and indulged, with butter.

They had wonderful salads, a chicken dish, tunafish salad with carrots inside, apple/peach crisp with Edy's vanilla ice cream. 

Caffeine-conscious, they offered non-caffeinated drinks. I'll probly have some Decaf today at my writers' group at 1:30 pm.

 Ah, the glory of a shaded front porch. I sat down and read a bit of my book there.
 Huge sunflowers. Their smiling faces are larger than mine own.
 I've been to many Cranaleith seminars and was excited to walk up n down these stairs.
Nice touch! A tombstone-like rock beneath a tree.

 I like to challenge myself. For the first time I walked around the pond on a narrow ledge.
 Falling water.
YOU figure this one out. I can't!

Our two leaders - Carole and Jean - provided us with thought-provoking exercises and poems to inspire us, including several by the great Mary Oliver.

Image result for mary oliver
Mary is now 79, born in 1935. She's 10 yrs older than me.

You MUST read The Summer Day. Dig the last line!

I first heard of Mary Oliver a dozen years ago at a seminar given by Richard Tyre at the Abington library. Tragedy struck Tyre's daughter. Murder most foul. 

I love walking up steep hills and feeling my calves stretch.

The 10 women there all made commitments.



They lisp
they wear expensive shoes
they wear silk scarves
they sing
they pray
they have spiritual advisors
they pray and
ask God to show them the way

They vacation in Belize
they touch one another
they were nuns
who married priests
they know the joy
of lying in a man’s arms

They are new widows
constantly remembering
They are the newly divorced
constantly remembering

They are skinny and they jog
they long to lose weight
and refuse the apple crisp and ice cream

Risktakers all, their Lord
guides them on their unseen path
higher and higher
“imagine a stairway,” says our leader
who may herself be god

They love nature
and all her bounty
birds, butterflies and tall trees
growing by the river’s edge

Their nails are red or pink or silver
the silver’s mine
chipped from opening
too many pistachio nuts
my thumbnail resembles
a Rorschach
take your pick
Alaska or Texas

After I go home
they’re in my head
every single one of them
can I live up to their goodness
their kindness, their warmth
their earrings made of bone
from Tanzania?

I want to die in my own home.

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