The Lady And The Poet

“Once, poets were magicians. Poets were strong, stronger than warriors or kings — stronger than old hapless gods. And they will be strong once again.” 
Greg Bear

I’m in Adelaide for a conference this weekend. The event began with welcome drinks at our hotel last night, but I was feeling tired and poorly and wanted soup, so I snuck out the main doors thirty minutes before our event began, hoping to find something more comforting than alcohol and strangers. It was my birthday on Thursday, and I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on my life and sitting in meditation and prayer as I asked for clarity about my road ahead. I wanted to prolong this soulful space just a little longer, so I honoured that need and heeded my intuition by heading out into the night.

As I wandered up the city street a man called to me. He was sitting on a small ledge outside a closed shop, rugged up against the cold. In his hands was an upturned empty cap, immediately marking him as some kind of busker or beggar.

‘Can I offer you a poem?’ he said.

I apologised and explained that I was in need of soup. But I promised him I would stop on the way back. As I walked off I saw his look of resignation, and I knew he’d been told such things many times before by people who hadn’t come back.

A block further along I found an excellent soup and dumpling house, ate a bowl of steaming oily broth with wontons and bok choy floating in the silky liquid, and then made my way back out into the busy Friday night streets.

I stopped in front of the poet, who was stooped and huddled on his seat. ‘I’m ready for that poem,’ I told him.

He sat up straighter. ‘This one is about the drought,’ he said, ‘and a message of hope and rain for our farmers.’ After which he launched into his poem.

He spoke eloquently, dramatically. It was a performance filled with emotion and delivered with care. I have long been a lover of poetry, and this one moved me deeply. It took me to the heart of my country. Within the words I also felt a strong message of hope for my own life – the symbolism a gift threaded with a secret meaning I was sure was just for me.

When the poem ended I stood for a moment, still wrapped in the imagery and sentiment wrought by his words. Then I reached for some coins.

‘Did you write that yourself?’ I asked as I fumbled in my handbag.

‘Yes’.

As I zipped open my purse I saw smaller notes, a handful of coins and tucked away right at the back my ’emergency hundred’ – a green crisp $100 note that I carry in case I am ever in need of a larger sum of money at short notice.

I thought about my capacity to earn money, and how much my work is valued in the world. And I thought about the poet, sitting on a cold city street, hoping to trade his words for coins.

It seemed inequitable. The poet had shared something original and good. Something that had given me insights and meaning and unexpected value. I reached for my emergency hundred and handed it to the poet.

He gazed at the note in his hands, then up to me, and then back to the note.

A tear came to his eye.

He tried to give it back to me. ‘Haven’t you got something smaller?’ he said. “I don’t mind if you give me something smaller.’

‘It’s fine,’ I said. ‘Please. Take it. I want you to know that I value your work. I value the gift of the poem you gave me tonight. It would mean a lot to me for you to accept my gift in return.’

He nodded, his eyes downcast. Silent.

Finally, he looked up.

‘What’s your name?’ I asked.

‘Justin,’ he said. ‘And you, you’re a true lady. Thank you, my lady.’

I walked away with a full heart.

Rain Princess by Leonid Afremov

Thank you!

“Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?” 
~  Richard Bach

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for making my birthday memorable.

I feel grateful to have you in my life, and I am overcome with your kind messages and well wishes. How truly blessed I am.

For the record – I drank excellent tea, ate cake at every meal, surrounded myself with friends, family, flowers, sunshine and moonlight, and welcomed in my fiftieth year with an abundance of love.

A quiet day of rest, meditation and writing for me today.

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow.

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole  ❤ xoxo

A Message Just For You!

Image by szefei/Shutterstock

Image by szefei/Shutterstock

“Sometimes, I wish my table stretched far enough that I could invite you all here for afternoon tea, cupcakes and hugs.” ~ Nicole Cody

 

Today, all I really want to say is Thank You.

Thank you for being my friend.

Thank you for all of your love and support.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you for your encouragement, your sharing, your vulnerability and your wisdoms.

Thank you for being part of my community.

I love you, and I hold you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations every day.

Know that you mean so much to me!

Nicole <3 xx

Image from  ww.brit.co

Image from www.brit.co

 

Starting from a Place of Gratitude

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“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

 

Whatever we focus on, we draw to us. Whatever we constantly think about, adding strong emotion to that thought, magnetises us to that thing.

Why then, would we choose to only focus on our worries?

Why would we continuously speak of all our injustices, difficulties and pains?

To think constantly on such difficult things will help us to see more of the same.

When we can find gratitude for something in our lives, no matter how small, and truly feel that thankfulness in our hearts, we begin to come back to a place of flow.

If your life is difficult right now, or simply if you wish to create a life of more abundance and satisfaction, start by cultivating gratitude in your heart.

Start each day from a place of gratitude. Count your blessings. Name at least three things in your life for which you are grateful. They may be small and simple – being grateful for your life, for the sun coming up, for birdsong, or a fresh breeze, or a good cup of tea. Small blessings count just as surely as large ones.

Miracles happen when you make this a regular practice. I know it to be true because of the way gratitude has transformed my own life, and helped me live through hardship with an open heart.

Sending you so much love today.

I’m grateful that you’re sharing the journey with me.

I’m grateful for your support.

I’m grateful to count you as a friend.

Bless ♥ Nicole xx

Denali National Park in autumn, Alaska, USA, North America