All posts by joanmyles

About joanmyles

Poet. Writer. Check out my blog at www.JewniquelyMyself.com

After The Whirlwind

Yes, I am home again after my intensive weeklong training. First I must extend my deep appreciation and high praise for Guide Dogs for the Blind–for their commitment to keeping blind folks up and moving and working toward our best selves. Their Orientation and mobility Immersion program has certainly jump-started me in the right direction.

I won’t go into details here, but suffice it to say that I learned much aboutmyself, about my currents needs for improvement, and have acquired the budding skills and newfound motivation to move forward.

But the week wasn’t all work. I also made a few new friends whose examples and support will no doubt keep me going.

And because my instructor was French, I also learned a few new words:

crow- corbeau

hummingbird- colibri

goldfish- poison rouge

and have decided to put aside my Spanish text and resumestudying French…the French R’s come more naturally to me anyway.

For now I am off to get re-acquainted with my neighborhood sidewalks. Using a cane is so very different than cruising alongside a canine teammate.

But hopefully that will come in time.

*smile*

On One Foot

On One Foot

…brief tidbits about me and those I love

*Cool autumn nights and sunny afternoons have me giddily skipping through my days lately. The sunflowers are readying to open, ranging in height from six to eleven feet tall. The hummingbirds flit from their feeders to the fuchsia and back again, while the crows call to one another across the yard. My kind of bliss!

*Meanwhile, I am making lists and packing my bags for a bit of intensive Orientation and Mobility training ath the California campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind. No, I won’t be coming home with a new teammate…and I’m as disappointed as you are. What I will return with are the skills and confidence to apply for another dog. So please cross your fingers and toes that I soak up everything I need in the Jam-packed week I’ll be there.

*For now, I will delight in the doggy company of Bucky–who, would you believe, still seems to be growing! In fact, J and I will be visiting him later today.

*My only regret is that I will miss Yom Kippor with my community this year. I was on GDB’s waiting list for over 5 months, and the opening came up quite unexpectedly. I had planned to chant my usual Torah verses, virtually of course. Fortunately, the rabbi was able to prerecord me a few days ago, and said he is excited for this big step I’m taking.

*I’m excited too…although a twinge of nerves sneaks in now and then. Everything new is like that though. A few butterflies to accompany the Life traveler. And after all, I do like butterflies!

Wishing you Love and Light, my Darlings!

What’s Happened to Kindness and Empathy #empathy #compassion #pandemic

*A very mindful reflection, thank you dear friend!*

The Light Behind the Story

Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay

I live in a typical upper middle-class American town. People are kind when it’s convenient, and unkind, I suspect more often than most realize. At least these days. It is a place where behind closed doors comparisons are made and unkind remarks are uttered, but it is also a town where, more and more, unkind words are uttered in public. Especially on platforms like social media.

We have a town FB page that was created with the intention to build community. Whenever I go on it, I find posts where people are mocked and attacked. This is not community. This is not kindness. This is not empathy. This is not, I am sure, the only town like this is America. Or in the world right now. We are living in an era of extreme polarization fed by fear and hatred. More often than not…

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Happy New Year!

“New Year? But it’s September”, you say, “what’s this about a new year?”

Ah, but you have to think Jewishly. You have to follow the moon rather than the sun.

Rosh HaShanah, the head of the year according to the Jewish calendar, occurs this year on the evening of September 6–this actually being New Year’ss Eve. So, the New Year is definitely nearly here.

And to prepare, we think deep thoughts. Thoughts about our relationships with those we love. Thoughts about our relationships with those we don’t love.

And we try to improve those relationships. We apologize for the things we did wrong. and we strive to do better with the rest.

And as for God…

Well, we come to God when all our human relationships have at least been attended to as best we can. We sincerely ask forgiveness of thos we may have offended three times, then we move on, striving to also care for ourselves, and trusting that God will honor the effort.

Only then do we approach the Divine One.

We bow in reverence, knowing that we are not all we could be.

And ten days later on Yom Kippor, we join with our community in acknowledging transgressions committed knowingly and unknowingly.

And we take up the responsibility for our behavior, past and future, heading with renewed vigor into a new year or promise.

Yes, the New Year is coming. May I strive to be all that I can in its wake, to be a truer witness of holiness and embodiment of Divinity in the world.

May this be a time of blessing and revelation to any who read this little blog!

Wishing you l’shanah tovah umetukah!

*a good and sweet year*

Reflections on Psalm 9

the curtain of night withdraws

and I am eased out of dreaming

feel Your world awaken in me

sweet as birdsong

swelling with the breeze

every breath an invitation

to come back to You

and my soul delights

Your tapestry of Light unfolds

the beauty of Creation

streams of pulsing shadow

flicker silver and gold

how can I resist

the air itself glistens

the beauty of Creation

the dazzling of greens and blues

the surprise of reds and golds

the tenderness of violets

and I open myself

ears and eyes and consciousness

open myself to all You bring

to all I am in You

leaf on the tree

*Again I find myself sighing in agreement, “yes, oh yes!”*

earth sky air

i am but a leaf on the tree
a petal on the flower
i am only one feather on the wing
what can i do
i feel the buffeting winds 
trace the sun’s inevitable path
abide in the falling rain
it is not enough to simply bear witness
as this strange scythe now makes its brutal swings
i do not wither and fall
but flutter with song
bloom with fierce color 
soar in defiance on the winds of spirit
i grow whole and full
abundant in my many dimensions
knowing i am essential 
for i am the weathered oak, the burgeoning lupine, 
i am the heron poised and ready at the river’s edge
i stand beyond the blindly grasping sweep
laughing
i am truth

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Stand for Freedom

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On One Foot

On One Foot

…brief updates about me and those I love

*The sun is smiling upon our little garden today, but again we are bracing ourselves for very high temperatures for the rest of the week. At shoulder height, the sunflowers take all this pretty much in stride, requiring minimal care and only occasional watering. The fuchsia and irises, however, with their delicate blooms, plead daily for water. We happily do our part, still praying Mother Nature will be able to do hers.

*Meanwhile, on the topic of Bucky, would you believe he seems to still be growing! He has surpassed his latest harness and collar–but remains the gentle canine giant in my life.

He visited our home a couple of weeks ago, and was a total gentleman. He did not help himself to the sofa, or poke his inquisitive nose onto tables or counters which he could easily have reached. With boundless love and a WHOLE LOT of hard work, C and her husband S have brought this fear-filled fellow from the brink of trauma into a secure place of well-being.

*And as for me, I am readying for the Jewish High Holy Days which begin September 6. Also called “Days of Awe”, this time of year is meant as a period of deep introspection, a pause to examine one’s own behavior , to focus on relationships with other people as well as with God. In addition, it means shining up the versus I have chanted on Yom Kippor every year since 2004…although last year’s attempt on Zoom I accidentally logged off and eventually managed to return to find a dear friend filling in for me.

For now my Darlings, I wish you Love and Shalom as we move through the setrying times. May Kindness find you and Generosity fill your heart. And may the Blessings of Life shower us all with growth and delight.

And let us say, Amen!

Mindful Monday: August 2021

As I write this little update, the sky above our garden is not dazzzling blue as usual, but hazy with no sign of rain. Recent temperatures have reached 10 to 15 degrees higher than usual for this time of year.

And the haze, which is a kind of shade at least, is continued proof of the dangerous path we earthlings are heading down. Fires in California, Southern Oregon, Washington state, and Canada are sending their smoky and ominous warning across the US., and the world. Is it a smoke signal or a prayerful plea which the Earth is sending out…and will we heed it in time?

Each morning I resume my prayers; gratitude for Creation and the sustenance of Life; for healing of loved ones and friends; and weeping daily now, for the Life of our beautiful Earth and all she contains.

A few weeks ago, our outside thermometer reached 119 degrees. Yes, we were comfortably housed in our airconditioning. But the fuchsia on our deck literally fried. And what is worse, the birds were silent. Nowhere to be seen.

My Darlings, I am not a scientist. I am not a politician. I am merely a poetic child whose heart pours out to Heaven with thanksgiving and delight. And today a simple plea:

Look around you.

Observe the changes in your own gardens, your own trees and plants and sky.

Open your hearts to rejoice in cleansing air, uplifting breezes, refreshing rain.

And to the Earth herself–our Mother, our home, our responsibility.

And please let us all seek a simpler path which includes thinking about how our choices impact our Mother.

Wishing you sweetness and peace as we strive together in this vital effort to choose Life!