The Ponds by Mary Oliver

 

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them —

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided —
and that one wears an orange blight —
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away —
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is a Mexican salsa made with tomatillo or tomate verde, a green tomato. Salsa verde has a very unique taste. I have found green heritage tomatoes at Dig In in Buntsfield in the past but it has been a while since I last saw them in the UK. My brother lives in Paris and to our surprise we saw them in different shops when I visited last summer.

I was thrilled when I discovered heritage green tomatoes outside Mellis Cheese in Morningside. They are not cheap but their bittersweet taste is very similar to that of Mexican tomatillo and of course I had to buy some.

I just made the salsa verde which is very easy to make and i would like to share the recipe with you. (I am making breakfast with it, yep we Mexicans can eat chilly at 8am! I also cooked black beans yesterday so I will make enfrijoladas (fried tortillas soaked and filled with black beans). I love to be able to find black beans in Edinburgh, I honestly could not survive without beans. Apart from being a great source of iron they are de-li-cious and very easy to cook (ok easy but not that easy; I would compare them to sushi rice, there’s sushi rice and sushi rice… My auntie Mayo cooked the best beans in the world). Beans cook beautifully in iron cast Le Creuset pots or any other iron cast pots.

5 Green tomatoes

1 garlic clove

2 Green Chillies (you can add more I’m sure my mum would) or just 1

Salt to taste (I used sea salt from France, I love that greyish salt they sell)

Toast the tomatoes until they look charred. Toss them around so they get evenly charred. Toast the fillies too. Put them in a blender with the garlic clove and salt. That’s it. You can accompany eggs, beans, or practically anything you like. Enjoy this very unique sauce.

I Am That Girl

 

I Am That Girl

by Andrea Cabrera Luna

Loosely inspired by The Lady on her Balcony by acclaimed Mexican playwright Elena Garro.

@Netherbow Theatre, Sun 19 February from 17:00-18:00

“I’m not crazy because I believe in things. Yes, I haven’t got a job but at least I see the marvel of the world.”

 Clara is on a quest to find the ancient city of Nineveh, located in modern-day Mosul. As the world around collapses she meets herself at different stages of her life to confront what she chose to forget.

“Remember Nineveh?”

“Are you kidding? You can’t find a job and you want to find Nineveh? Look at yourself in the mirror! You are a grown up woman for Christ’s sake.”

Anahat Theatre combines physical storytelling with an imaginative spirit.

The Company:

Hayley Reid

Wendy Mathison

Adam Tomkins

Artistic Director: Andrea Cabrera Luna

Light Design: Phoebe Ryrko

Graphic Design: Alberto Cabrera Luna

Sun 19 February, from 17:00-18:00 @Netherbow Theatre, 43-45 High Street Edinburgh
EH1 1SR

Book: https://events.ticketsforgood.co.uk/events/75

www.anahattheatre.com

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Find Shelter

I saw these guys -meaning Noah Georgeson and Devendra Banhart- back in 2006 maybe 2005, I should remember because, being Autumn a time to cleanse, let go of stuff and so on and so forth, I was sorting out my papers today. This resonated with me so much because I had just moved to London about 2 years before I heard this song in concert, where was it? I CAN’T REMEMBER. Moving away from home is NEVER never NEVER easy, even if it’s voluntary. I can’t event start to imagine how it is for people who have to immigrate for political reasons.

Frogs (a zen story)

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.

The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. She fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as she could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at her to stop the pain and just die. She began jumping even harder and finally made it out. When she got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that she was deaf – she thought they were encouraging her to jump out of the hole the entire time.

3 Books to inspire your Yoga practice

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Our lovely Wednesday intermediate group asked me to recommend some yoga books to practice at home. Yoga books are really great tools to inspire your practice. You begin to learn the names of the practices and after class you can check out what is it that you have been doing. As our winter break approaches I thought it was actually a great idea to recommend the 3 yoga books that have truly transformed my life (such a cliché but it’s true). I can order some for us feel free to drop me a line enquiring about them.

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha

The title says it all. This is a comprehensive book that has been labelled the Yoga bible. It has clear step-by-step instructions and it is pretty much based on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. For years this one has been my companion and I can only say good things about it. It is more like a reference book as it only contains 3 long sequences, the rest are isolated practices. Great illustrations. It has been compiled by committed volunteer yogis and devised by controversial Indian guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

Yoga Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life 

I must confess that my book suffered during a sailing trip in Brasil. It actually drowned and I could never buy it again. However, I read it so many times (my husband and I have helped with the Spanish translation) that it is all in my head now. It contains all of the basic Yoga sequences and it is a really lovely object in itself. The pages are horizontally oriented so you can keep the book open while practicing (S. Janakananda is a very clever guy). Those who love Scandinavian simplicity will love it; the design is just beautiful. Produced by Swami Janakananda, a great Danish Yoga teacher who founded the Scandinavian School of Yoga in Sweden.

Yoga Manual for Prisoners and Other Castaways

Written by the most amazing Yoga teacher in the world (my teacher), Swami Pragyamurti, who is dedicated to teaching people in the community and in prisons. Although this book was written for prisoners, the practices can really be done by everyone. It contains really powerful sequences and classes. The book was designed in South Africa, where S. Pragyamurti works with HIV positive students. The book contains sequences, breathing practices and inspiring quotes that open the heart.

*Let me know if you would like to buy any of this books and I can check if I can get them for you.

The heart of a mouse

According to an ancient Indian fable, a mouse was in constant distress because of its fear of the cat. A magician took pity on it and turned it into a cat. But then it became afraid of the dog. So the magician turned it into a dog. Then it began to fear the panther. So the magician turned it into a panther. Whereupon it was full of fear for the hunter. At this point the magician gave up, and turned it into a mouse again saying, “Nothing I do for you is going to be of any help because you have the heart of a mouse.”