Jessica and Juan Cardenas celebrate with guests, February 6, 2016
First, friends.... Last weekend, I hosted the second anniversary party for the love-birds, Jessica Wilson Cardenas and Juan Cardenas at my home, a garden-party on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, filled of affection, music, poetry, and joy....
Jessica Wilson Cardenas and Juan Cardenas with their brand new T-shirts "Feel This Love"
We read poetry, and my poem "On Divine Commedy and Ice Cream" was inspired by illuminations for Dante's Il Paradiso by Giovanni di Paolo, a contemporary of Giotto. One of our guests, Victor Sotomayor recorded my reading and made a beautiful video of the performance, with a mini-lecture introduction about Il Paradiso and what it means for us.
On Divine Comedy and Ice-Cream
My Muse has chocolate eyes and a goatee.
Disabled by grief, he looks for me in the dark,
touching. His hands outline the contour
of my hips as he sighs and says “that’s right”
in this deep baritone of his, the sweetest of voices.
What next? I wonder as we sit on the leather sofa
sticky in the heat, eat almonds and ice cream,
watch silly comedies about aliens and time
machines, friends being excellent to each other...
as we leaf through the thick volume
of other Comedy, the Divine one:
Il Paradiso illustrated by Giovanni di Paolo,
medieval illuminations for the end of time.
Submerged in the Earth’s shadow, the Moon
is the haven for the likes of us, inconstant,
waxing and waning, not keeping their vows.
Dante and Beatrix, the poet and his beloved,
rise up to Mercury and Venus, the Garden
of Earthly Delights where we stay
as they ascend from the Fourth Sphere
of the Sun through the Eight of Fixed Stars.
Left behind, we sigh and look up at them
floating to meet the wise, the virtuous, martyrs,
saints, the multitude of angels in Primum Mobile
and the blessed, don’t forget the blessed
of the Tenth Sphere, the divine Empyrean –
in the heart of Paradise where gold rays
of light always permeate everything,
where saints sleep in rose petal pods,
like babies by their mothers,
or splash in and out of the waters of grace,
the river of serenity that flows under
the buzzing of heavenly bees, making
timeless honey – sweet, translucent,
gold honey, only honey, forever and beyond time,
(C) 2016 by Maja Trochimczyk
After this visit to Paradise, Juan played some of his songs, Jessica read her sensuous poem about Grapefruit, mmm, so goood... and we had such a blessed afternoon, in Paradise, the Garden of Earthly Delights...
Me encanta las toronjas,
the blossom of fragrance makes its way into my hands,
unfolds like petals upon my skin.
The weight of its shape is heavy
to release its galaxy, an ointment of pleasure
sparkling in a rippling tide.
This is the fruit of the sun,
its sunshine dripping off of my lips,
squeezed into realness, of comfort.
Juicy nature jugs me from the inside,
pulling my belly up into my throat,
until it lays flat on my tongue.
so few things are as gratifying as this orb of citrus,
so perfectly awake and wide for me to taste.
Ah, me encanta la fruta hecha de las manos
de los dioses, y tan perfecto en circulo
como las caras de la luna y sol.
Yo toco el sabor con la esperanza
del mundo donde la gente hacen la paz de simplicidad
y la naturalesa de Pachamamma por siempre,
donde nuestros labios nunca tienen sed
y las pansitas viven llenas.
Oh let it be, that this dream will see us through
to our eternity. - Amen y por siempre, Amen.
(c) by Jessica Wilson Cardenas
Then the "love-birds" had two cakes with two candles each, for the second year together: a white cheesecake for the day, and dark chocolate ganache cake for the night... Sweet, with a multitude of fruit, that belongs in paradise where every one is loved and loves.
Thank God for friends for all times... Several weeks earlier I received an invitation to participate in an email "chain letter" - something I studiously managed to avoid for so long! Despite the curses and threats and vain promises made by authors of missives assuring me of good or bad luck, depending on whether I forwarded the silly note within five minutes to twenty people. Here's an example. I did not email it to 20 people; instead I'm posting it here:
This is for u x Read till the end! I sent an angel to watch over you last night, but it came back and asked "why?" The angel said, "angels don't watch over angels!" twenty angels are in your world. Ten are sleeping, nine of them are playing and one is reading this message. The universe has seen you struggling with some things and says it over. a blessing is coming your way. If you believe in Karma send this message to 14 friends including me, if I don't get it back I guess I'm not one of them. As soon as you get 5 replies, someone you love will quietly surprise you... Not joking. Pass this message on. Please don't ignore it. you are being tested and Karma is going to fix two big things tonight in your favor. If you believe in Karma drop everything and pass it on TOMORROW WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. DON'T BREAK THIS. SEND THIS TO 14 FRIENDS IN 10 MINUTES IT'S NOT THAT HARD. WHOEVER SENT THIS TO YOU MUST CARE ABOUT YOU!!!
That other one was different, there were no threats of "breaking the chain" and punishments for it. Instead, it entailed sending a friendly, encouraging note to just one person and inviting twenty to do the same, so one person would receive twenty notes of friendship and encouragement from complete strangers... This seems interesting... what would people come up with? So I sent my favorite Irish blessing of light, and waited...
May the blessing of Light be on you.
Light without and light within,
May the blessed sunlight shine on you.
And warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire...
Not much later, I received my first words of encouragement. I like this phrase so much I put it on my own "candy rose" - covered entirely in water droplets - and sent it to the poet who blessed me with this insight:
Then, I got a poem by Rumi:
Beyond ideas of
right and wrong
there is a field,
I will meet
from Maria Elena B. Meyer
Here is a quote and "short" play-with-a-sweet-word poem by me to you.
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” – Henry Van Dyke
SHORT AND SWEET
by Ken Frankel
Butter ....is sweet!
Ice cream ....is sweet!
Beauty ...is sweet!
Love is the sweetest.
Hard to argue with that final statement!. Finally, a poem from Lulu Abramian came my way:
Do not measure up
Life is not quantity
Value what you have
Life is quality
Where you are going
Will always be there
Treasure the moments
Will help you get there
By: Lulu Abramian
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want;...
in green pastures...
beside still waters
He restoreth my soul.
While looking for the text of the Irish Blessing of Light cited above, I came across a full text of what appears to be a folk-song, of love, connections to nature, the sun, the living things, and the earth and, in short, connection. People are social animals, without other people they wither and die inside. The connection of love is vital for life. Maybe that's why the two words in English differ only by one consonant?
Here's the entire Irish Blessing Text from a Folk Song:
1. May the blessing of Light be on you
Light without and light within,
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
And warm your heart till it glows like
A great peat fire, so that the stranger
May come and warm himself at it,
And also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in two windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
2. And may the blessing of the Rain be on you
The soft sweet rain. May it fall upon your spirit
So that all the little flowers may spring up,
And shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the Great Rains be on
You, may they beat upon your spirit
And wash it fair and clean,
And leave there many a shining pool
Where the blue of heaven shines,
And sometimes a star.
3. And may the blessing of the Earth be on you
The great round earth; may you ever have
A kindly greeting for them you pass
As you're going along the roads.
May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it,
Tired at the end of the day,
And may it rest easy over you when,
At the last, you lay out under it;
May it rest so lightly over you,
That your soul may be out from under it quickly,
And up, and off, and on its way to God.
Isn't it delightful, and full of sweet, gracious sentiments, connecting us to the earth, the air, the sunlight? Yes, I say, as I celebrate my new Italian nickname, courtesy of erudite and wise poet and editor Margaret Ute Seine: "Una Donna Solare" - the Sunny Lady....
And here we are, all smiles: sisters in spirit, in poetry, in art... after the LoveLoveLove reading (Spectrum 3, edited by Don Kingfisher Campbell) in Pasadena, with the inspired Ambika Talwar, who knows secrets of ancient wisdom and unties hidden knots... she had 22 photos in the book, I had just one poem ("Many Happy Returns"), and a bell, let's not forget the bell....