Long : Shadow :

I paint the spirit and soul of what I see-

Do you recall drawing growing up? A pair of stick figures going for a pleasant bike ride, some puffy clouds and a brilliant sun overhead. Curved lines of a peaceful tree that punctuate the landscape, elevating from the ground, spreading into the unknown. Our childhood drawings were pure, innocent and beautiful. There is something truly magical about drawing and trees – They are, in fact, symbols of our soul.

Trees at times, can be dark and ominous. They cast a long suffocating shadow when we stray close enough. During the winter months, their barren, bleak blackness marks them against gray skies and freshly fallen snow. Tress are survivors of winter, and we would be wise to learn from them.

Daily Meditation:

Trees are, after all, capable of heavenly feats, perhaps trees are more in tune with their true spirit than we are?

CultFit Rest


Rest.

It’s so late I could cut my lights
and drive the next fifty miles
of empty interstate
by starlight,
flying along in a dream,
countryside alive with shapes and shadows,
but exit ramps lined
with eighteen wheelers
and truckers sleeping in their cabs
make me consider pulling into a rest stop
and closing my eyes. I’ve done it before,
parking next to a family sleeping in a Chevy,
mom and dad up front, three kids in the back,
the windows slightly misted by the sleepers’ breath.
But instead of resting, I’d smoke a cigarette,
play the radio low, and keep watch over
the wayfarers in the car next to me,
a strange paternal concern
and compassion for their well being
rising up inside me.
This was before
I had children of my own,
and had felt the sharp edge of love
and anxiety whenever I tiptoed
into darkened rooms of sleep
to study the small, peaceful faces
of my beloved darlings. Now,
the fatherly feelings are so strong
the snoring truckers are lucky
I’m not standing on the running board,
tapping on the window,
asking, Is everything okay?
But it is. Everything’s fine.
The trucks are all together, sleeping
on the gravel shoulders of exit ramps,
and the crowded rest stop I’m driving by
is a perfect oasis in the moonlight.
The way I see it, I’ve got a second wind
and on the radio an all-night country station.
Nothing for me to do on this road
but drive and give thanks:
I’ll be home by dawn.

Richard Jones

CultFit Driving


Waiting on the Corners

Glass, air, ice, light,
and winter cold.
They stand on all the corners,
waiting alone, or in
groups that talk like the air
moving branches. It
is Christmas, and a red dummy
laughs in the window
of a store. Although
the trolleys come,
no one boards them,
but everyone moves
up and down, stamping his feet,
so unemployed.
They are talking, each of them,
but it is sticks and stones
that hear them,
their plans,
exultations,
and memories of the old time.
The words fly out, over
the roads and onto
the big, idle farms, on the hills,
forests, and rivers
of America, to mix into silence
of glass, air, ice, light,
and winter cold.

Donald Hall

CultFit Dreams

 


: Joy :

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy-

The season of “peace Hanukkah, Festivus, Kwanzaa, Christmas, winter solstice, and  New Years arrive once a year. Some folks look forward to this time – Others, like myself Dread them. Can we peel away some of the stress, and find time for peaceful days?

I’m not a complete Scrooge – Really! I enjoy winter and the holiday season, all of the celebrations, traditions, and joyous gatherings they bring. And there are some tangible benefits we can reap from this time of year – like spending more face-to-face time with friends, rather than “liking” them on social media. Also hidden within the holidays are remedies for being a grinch and a curmudgeon. Such as joining family and old friends for a pick up hockey game, a walk after dinner or even a bike ride. For most of us though, the wear-and-tear of the most “Wonderful Time” of the year is simply too much to handle. As much as hibernation sounds like the perfect solution

Daily Meditation:

Meditation or whatever you want to call it, can truly bring us peace. Slow down with me this morning, let’s take in the lovely sights, the alluring scents and sounds that are traditional for this time of year And as Cousin Eddie once said: “That’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.”

CultFit Peace


Kindness

In Manhattan, I learned a public kindness
was a triumph
over the push of money, the constrictions

of fear. If it occurred it came
from some deep
primal memory, almost entirely lost—

Here, let me help you, then you me,
otherwise we’ll die.
Which is why I love the weather

in Minnesota, every winter kindness
linked
to obvious self-interest,

thus so many kindnesses
when you need them;
praise blizzards, praise the cold.

Stephen Dunn

CultFit Kindness


At the Beginning of Winter

In the shallows of the river
After one o’clock in the afternoon
Ice still
An eighth of an inch thick.
Night never disappears completely
But moves among the shadows
On the bank
Like a glimpse of fur.
Meanwhile
Trees
Grass
Flies and spiderwebs
Appear alone in the flat air.
The naked aspens stand like children
Waiting to be baptized
And the goldenrod too is stripped down
To its bare stalk
In the cold
Even my thoughts
Have lost their foliage.

Tom Hennen

CultFit River


How Deep is the : Ocean :

Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.-

When I became chronically “injured” over five years ago, I was forced to trade the exciting life of an aspiring athlete for the isolation of my own mind The loneliness was dense, palpable at times, it was hard to distinguish between the injury I was struggling through at the time and the loneliness that gripped me all of the time.

Back in the wonder years, I found being alone anything but glorious, and far from being soothing. It wasn’t even remotely sweet and delicious. Although, a close friends advice that yoga was what I needed  planted a delicate seed in my mind, and so I began to explore the meaning of “being alone.” I realized early on that being alone on my mat, in and of itself, is neither positive nor negative. This profound feedback described a good portion of my life trying to be someone who I was not – The painful loneliness of striving to be better than the person next me on the starting line or the glorious solitude of going home broken and empty-handed.

The spiritual manifestation of yoga (not to be confused with the physical) and a deeply rooted mindfulness “practice” showed me that if I could let go of the desire to win at all costs, I might be able to open my heart and soul to the possibility that life could be sweet, maybe even delicious?!? I gradually warmed to the quiet calm of my mind, mindfully following my breath entering and leaving my body. My powers of observation, began to bloom – noting the subtle details swirling around me, details that in the past – Escaped me, like the play of sunlight reflecting from the metallic rims on the road as I cycle along or leaves dancing carelessly in the air on a windy fall morning.

Daily Meditation:

Once I opened my heart and soul to being alone, my loneliness did become sweet and delicious. And some days, when all is calm, it’s even beautiful. Cultivating self-compassion more so than anything else, softens my loneliness and pain, which in turn makes me smile.

 Rachelle, Jeff, Cheryl – Sandra, Jim, Katelon, Alyssa, Susie – Michelle, Sara and Maia. To all of you who have “followed” my ramblings from the beginning – My sincerest gratitude for your kindness and support. There truly is no way I can accurately put into words how much you have helped me – Thank you.

CultFit Lonliness

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