all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Monday, April 30, 2012

Things to remember before the journey

 In the spirit of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's work (Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, The Beckoning of Lovely), 16 bloggers set out to "Plant a Kiss" in the world on Sunday, April 29. We each did something we thought would spread a little extra joy, color, connection, poetry, or magic. Then we watched to see what would happen! Today each of us is posting about that experience. Click here to visit the main Plant a Kiss page where you can easily link to all participating bloggers. For every blog that you visit and comment on, your name will be tossed into a hat for a chance to win one of many amazing prizes - artwork, writing coaching, photography, a dream-building class, jewelry, and more. 
 

It begins when you begin. There is no such thing as too late. There is no such thing as too early. There is only right on time. You are always right on time.

Eat. Not just at mealtimes. Between and around and under them. Feed yourself with more than just what will suffice. Feed yourself with what will nourish.

Ask for help. Not in the way of apology or guilt or wantonness. Not in the way that contorts you into the shell of your own power. Not in the way that drills your guts into the ground. Not in the way that divorces you from boldness. Ask for help in the way that expands you, that blushes you awake to your own life. Ask because asking is another kind of love and another kind of faith and another kind of courage.









 Invite imperfection. Know that the missteps and mistakes will become amusing anecdotes eventually and perhaps even teach you something further down the line or sooner yet, and that the places of wrongness and upset ultimately come the underpinnings of transformation, and that even disappointment offers a cure for inertia. Let go of the outlandish expectation that "whole" means "unbroken" or that you are only good if you get there twice as fast as anyone thought you would. Know intimately the bald tire that bursts, without warning, on an uneventful road, the error in judgement that leads to a locked door, the desert mirage that doesn't shimmer into fortune. The raw material of your defeat is pure gold, the bones that build you back, the song that sings you home, again and again.




Believe in luck, in slim margins, in ludicrous hope, in the magical alignment of planets. Trust the pixie dust of stars, the winking moon, the magic hour that tilts sunlight into halo. Hear the soft prayer your body makes, waking to a snowfall, and how the rain leans you so close to yourself, you can feel your own heartbeat in your hands. The shiniest moments are hardly the only evidence that you were here, living your marvelous life. There are eddies of quiet, deep knowing that will gift you a thousand times more grace.







Remember the path is full of detours, places and reasons to get lost, narrow passageways that tempt with risk and long, wide fields of drowsy musing. No matter. The geographies that bridge you from here to there are flecked with breadcrumbs, small reminders of where you came from, river stones beneath the listless current, a muscle capable of so much flexion, your reach startles you sometimes, the way you carry leopard equally with lamb, your conviction latticed with mystery, and all at once, inside of you the same blood threading your veins, the same breath holding you fast to this earthly heaven, this heavenly earth.



Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poem is set to officially hit the road May 5, 2012. Visit www.type-rider.com to learn more about why I'm cycling 1,300+ miles from Amherst, MA to Milwaukee, WI, toting a vintage Remington Ten Forty behind me, and how you can join in the journey.

28 comments:

laurie wagner said...

GOODNESS GRACIOUS YOU ARE WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL! LOVE THIS MAYA! LET'S NEVER FORGET HOW PERFECT THINGS ARE EVER AGAIN! XXOXOXOX L

Beth said...

Maya - your words flow so effortlessly - You have such gift within - such spirit. Wishing you well on your journey and Planting a Kiss for you for many blessings to be with you as you travel. xxx

Bernadette said...

How beautiful. Exactly what I needed this morning!

Simply Mom said...

Beautiful!

leanintothelight said...

Maya papaya! You just keep inspiring me every day! Happy May! xxxooo Mary

Jennifer said...

This is beautiful. I am going back to read it a second time. xo

jenni said...

"The raw material of your defeat is pure gold, the bones that build you back, the song that sings you home, again and again."

Thanks for reminding that imperfection is what makes us human and is nothing to be ashamed of!

Lee said...

Wow, thanks for sharing and I'm excited to follow along on your journey.

Melissa Maher said...

Lovely. I love the idea that asking for help can be a sort of "kiss-planting," too. Thanks for putting a little kiss of support out into the world!

L said...

absolutely beautiful

DogsMom said...

Not only are your words inspiring but your bike trip fills me with awe as well.

Jennifer Hagedorn Dizon said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. The words are just amazing. I am so grateful to have read them. Thank you.♥

All the best in your creative endeavors. So inspiring!

Love,
Jen ♥

alison said...

beautiful. thank you.

Misty said...

These words are benediction to me today. Thank you! I also now am craving an old typewriter...

Lindsay Drya Vanhove said...

Invite imperfection. Got that!
Ver inspiring to read, thank you :)

Lené Gary said...

Maya! This is like a feel-good manifesto. I love it. :) I could read it again and again. :) Cheers, Lené

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Amazing and a generous Journey that your part taking in. Many blessings to you on your completion and thank for sharing

babybird said...

Totally Incredibly Beautifully Written! Touches my soul!

My favorite part:
"Hear the soft prayer your body makes, waking to a snowfall, and how the rain leans you so close to yourself, you can feel your own heartbeat in your hands. The shiniest moments are hardly the only evidence that you were here, living your marvelous life. There are eddies of quiet, deep knowing that will gift you a thousand times more. "

The Solomon Family said...

Beautiful writing. Looking forward to following you more. Inspired.

brittany said...

I'm so glad to know you.

laurie said...

Inspiring! All the Planted Kisses have been so inspiring. Thank you!

Royce said...

And, as you so vividly paint with words, it's never too late to just BE...gin Again. Today, in your honor, I plant 40 of your powerful Word-Kisses in spontaneous response:

Begin early
Right time
Between around under will nourish
Ask Help Ask
Not apology or guilt or wantonness
Not contorts
Own power
Boldness expands
Blushes awake
Your life
Love faith courage invite
Missteps amusing
Eventually teach
Transformation bursts
Magical Alignment!

Kari said...

This looks like such an amazing journey. I'm excited to follow along! Wow, talk about planting a kiss. Fantastic!

tina said...

So so lovely! This whole project makes me so happy.

Amy (Fate-FilledTimes) said...

Love reading all the plant a kiss stories! Such a great way to spend a morning :)

Amy

Julia said...

Um... Wow. I am surely nourished now. Much love, thank you for sharing so deeply. <3

Susan said...

Thanks for telling me "you are always right on time". I needed to hear it.

Sharon Delman said...

Your words are simply beautiful. I enjoyed reading this now and again and again.