Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

spiraling return

spiraling return
out and in lovingkindness
toward HAMAKOM home

i lit a little candle in your memory
diminutive in stature like you
the light an expansive glow in evening’s darkness
and early dawn
also like you
your soul your heart bigger than your small frame could

and you held us all in your ample bosom
kisses and blessings showered upon us
your kinderlach
though not biologically
not exactly

the night before you passed from this plane
into the compassionate well of

as you fretted beneath the oxygen mask
i cupped around your mouth and nose
a lullaby arose
i held YOU wrapped in my arms
an attempt to soothe your fears
witnessing your return to child
curling inward
pushing me
the mask
this world
spiraling return toward the place
from which you were born
me a young woman
newly married
whispered promises to name a child
for you
as you had birthed none
from your flesh

and i did and she’s
diminutive in stature like you
her light an expansive glow through dark-times
also like you
a heart and soul bigger than her small frame can

“i have grown to know myself
through the stories that you tell
of a past you know so well
you have given of yourself

from your heart into my soul
you recount a hundred years
of the simchas and the tears
since our family settled here”

oh so long ago I’ve forgotten
 the other lyrics
such is my mind
as i too am now aging...
still the melody of the song
threaded through your labored breath
a tender prayer I canNOT

true chessed
a residue that will always

and they call her B
my daughter’s friends
and you were BB to us

a little candle
illuminating memory for you

i sit

The photos at the top are from the silent retreat I returned home from on Thursday. Our practice was primarily "chessed blessings" you may know this as "metta practice" from the Pali language. The poem above  honors the blessed memory of my Great Aunt Bella Bender. My daughter Belin Regina, my first child is named for her and her sister, my Nana Reggie. Both women helped to raise my mother (along with Great Aunt Rosie and many other family members), as her father died when she was only five years old. When my Nana (who lived with us) passed, BeBe was with us children because my parents were traveling at that time. This was the first significant death I experienced as a child and Aunt Be became a surrogate grandmother to me from that moment on. Purple was her favorite color. In reading back through this I awakened to the wisdom of her nick-name: Be. Be.

May we remember and honor too our veterans who have returned and those who have not, will not, with gratitude for their sacrifice on our behalf.

I hope you will join me and participate in the Gratitude Quilt this year. From my experience, there is something or someone to be grateful for every day, perhaps every moment if we pause and search our hearts. Close your eyes exhale, inhale, ask yourself "what am I grateful for in THIS moment?" exhale again and without thinking write whatever words flow from your heart and send them to me with Gratitude Quilt in the subject line. The quilt of our words will be unfolded on the morning of November 22nd. Please return to my blog to experience the beauty of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

Linking to:

studio waterstone

visit The Imaginary Garden


  1. moving, poignant and deeply heartfelt.

  2. A lovely post .... I adore the black&white image. So creative!


  3. Laura, the second photo is amazing. The colors and the spiral just look so beautiful together,

  4. Lovely pictures and words, Laura. This time, for me, the words especially.

  5. I love the rustic feel of the spiral.

  6. Awesome pictures and touching words!

  7. Beautifully written and your photos are amazing!

  8. Laura, lindas imagens e pensamentos...estarei enviando minhas palavras para que acrescente ao seu post de Ação de Graças. Um abraço!

    O mirante da imagem

  9. Wonderful photos, I love those beautiful spirals, excellent poem.

  10. I love the ironwork. For once I like the colour version a bit better - I like the look of that touch of rust.

  11. Beautiful thoughts and words.

  12. something there is, that loves a spiral

    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    ~ > < } } ( ° >

    > < 3 3 3 ( ' >

    ><}}(°> ~

  13. Gorgeous photos as usual. And a beautiful, heartfelt remembrance.

  14. Amazing post ~ fantastic words and love the spiral photo symbolic of transformation and life ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  15. Your beautiful poem - the tender remembrances of kisses and blessings, of holding her as she spiraled to return, the bit of song/prayer - it all moved me so deeply. BB - Bella, B - Belin - family linked through the generations.

  16. A beautiful tribute--very well done. :-)

  17. Beautiful words and photographs. Love how you were able to capture the rustic beauty of the spiral.

  18. Oh Laura, I love this poem so much. I always love stories of those women who have been our mentors and our beacons - our nurturers and our believers. Your Aunt BeBe was one of those, for certain. Bless her. Lovely that your daughter carries her name - and her light!

  19. Pretty design and composition created through your lens. I also think your header image would be super for a macro shot!!

    Hope to see you stop by and pay a visit sometime soon. Have a glorious week ahead.

  20. It is so inspiring to read your words written in honour of a treasured relative. I was very touched by the tenderness of your words.

  21. Laura-Your words a blessing bring full circle your love. You are like those in your life- unable to be contained or stop glowing. A post full of blessings unwinding, they illuminate and bring the light closer in. I have just today written my gratitude piece. Shortly I will post and link it to the proper place. Stay well, stay bright. With love, teri

  22. Loved you photos & your story
    of loved ones


    i am ~~Auntie BB~~

  23. Calling by from Macro Monday, I like your spiral compositions very much.

  24. If only everyone could be remembered this lovingly and poetically. B is also for Beautiful. Thank you for this, Laura.

  25. this is something very touching, and only personal experience could have brought such emotions.

  26. Beautiful Laura, and to have our soul touched by the love of another is a great gift indeed.

  27. Very cool photos and wonderful verse.

  28. Beautiful. I love how you describe the soul as bigger than the frame. Too many times we don't know this until after someone dies.

  29. Very exhaustively and cleverly done! Great tribute and wonderful pics! Nicely Laura!


  30. Such beautiful words and your photos are stunning.

  31. wow this is absolutely beautiful....i love your story telling in it and you give us a real sense of this beautiful person...what a lovely memory you have created....

    and got your email...cant email from work, but i have an idea...smiles.

  32. I loved the poem, the history behind and the images. Many thanks. That was a beautiful act of remembrance.

    Greetings from London.

  33. Oh, Laura this is so moving, heart-warming... a lovely tribute to your great aunt... nice to know there's a little bit of her in your daughter.

  34. beautiful words and tribute...your soul your heart bigger than your small frame could this..

  35. Such a moving piece--filled with love and sadness

  36. A wonderful post, and really I like the b&w spiral detail!
    Have a great week:)

  37. lovely words and I enjoy the gratitude quilt concept. ~ Rose

  38. So beautiful, dear Laura. This poem, your family loyalty, you...Thank you for filling my spirit with a joyful feeling today:) You are truly a wonder.

    Much love always,

  39. Beautiful, beautiful loving tribute.

  40. The images are fabulous and the poem very moving. I will consider the gratitude invitation, thank you.

  41. I love the photo, what an interesting spiral structure and symbol for returning "home." The poem is a lovely tribute to your great aunt :)

  42. This is a truly beautiful story, and it is told with poetic grace.

  43. What a beautiful tribute to your aunt. I like your interpretation of her name. How talented you are Laura. Though I probably won't include this in my gratitude entry, I am grateful to know you and witness your soul through your art.

  44. A heart-felt and beautiful tribute. It is full of love and kind remembrance. I wish I could be so lucky and giving, for I am not—not allowed somehow to show as clearly and evocatively my emotions and feelings. Reading this and experiencing it helps understand these sorts of contradictions better. Thank you, Laura.

  45. Laura, your blog is a blessing. I do intend to add to the guilt. I've been on the road but kept the e-mail with the info. Home tomorrow!

  46. i've missed you friend. and i agree with ollie--you do bring peace. bless you.

  47. Oh my - utterly amazing shots!

  48. Awersome.. From beginning to end, just awesome.


  49. Love the way a spiral inspires the sense of being embraced.

  50. The spiral is great!! It makes for such a interesting subject.

  51. you have kept her memory alive and your daughter will, too.

    congrats on your POTW.

  52. this is so beautiful
    so thoughtful and kind and loving
    brava on POTW


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