Season 3 Episode 37: Miriam Hurdle on Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for listening in!

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.  I am delighted and thrilled that poet and writer, Miriam Hurdle and I are connecting California and British Columbia to discuss how nature’s capacity for healing has ignited her poetic journey.  Miriam’s book of poetry, “Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” is an exploration into the breadth and depth of the human experience, of feeling the joy of being alive, of living with hope even when faced with difficult pathways.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining Miriam and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

And a special thank you, Miriam, for sharing your love of poetry, art, and music.  You have inspired me, and I know that you have inspired readers and listeners to see life as a symphony, to embrace and rejoice in the moments given.

I invite you to meet up with Miriam on her blog The Showers of Blessing,  It is a place that welcomes joyful conversations and profound reflections.

Until next time, dear friends, keep safe, be well.

Miriam Hurdle on Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

Life is a continuum of the Great Symphony
by Miriam Hurdle

Adagio airs a soothing melody
With sweet love,
Melancholy laments
The inner sorrow of the soul.

Maestoso pitches the triumph
Of the great spirit,
The victory of a long and
Hard-won battle

Fortissimo frees the shout from
The depth of the heart,
Proclaims the greatest joy
Ever told.

Pianissimo whispers to your ears
The faintest sob,
Breathes the darkest secret
Only to you.

Now and then, comes
The rest, and rest.
Silence!
What tranquility it is in
Our Life’s Symphony.
Rowing a Boat by Miriam Hurdle
Winter Cheer by Miriam Hurdle

118 Replies to “Season 3 Episode 37: Miriam Hurdle on Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude”

  1. Thank you, Rebecca for giving us this chance to learn more about Miriam and to hear her read some of her poetry.

    I have become a fan of Miriam’s blog during 2021.

    I lived in Seattle when Mt. St. Helens erupted. I like that Miriam and I have that shared experience. I also revisited the volcano, but in 2002. I have written several times about the fact that I enjoy poetry, and I have great respect for poets.

    I like the way she differentiates feelings between mind, heart and spirit. I think that poets and artists are capable of making those distinctions better than other creative types. I’m not surprised that her other hobbies include painting.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Dan. I remember Mount St. Helen’s eruption as if it were yesterday. May 19180 – we were just in the process of moving from Edmonton to Vancouver. The cloud of ash reached up to us as well.

      I agree the poets and artists are conduits for emotional understanding. I confess tears came to me as I listened to Miriam recite her poem. I am honoured that she joined me on TTT. Thank you for adding depth and breadth to this conversation, Dan! Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I remember that the only way out of Seattle would have been through Vancouver. The airport was closed, the east/west and south highways were closed and the trains were not running. It was a little scary for a few days.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Hi Dan, Good to know we shared the experience of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Imagine that the ash drifted all the way to New York. I joined a tour visiting Mt. St. Helens before 2016 when the debris was still fresh along the lava flow area. I just had to go back again after that.
      Thank you for becoming my fan. I’ve known you from my previous years doing Linda’s SoCS. You stepped in for her on many occasions. I appreciate your comment on my differentiation between mind, heart, and spirit. It’s lovely to see your comment.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I thought your name was familiar, but I’m terrible with names.

        We had family in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states, and when Mt. St. Helens erupted, we watched as the ash travelled east to them.

        I enjoyed hearing you read your poetry. I wish you continued good health and creative spirit.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I had fun writing the SoCS for many years. I got busy the last few years when the granddaughters came along. Thank you for the good wishes!

        Liked by 4 people

    3. I rented the second story of a house near Seattle Pacific University where I went to school. I didn’t have anywhere else to go so was not aware of the transportation problem. With ash kept falling, I could imagine it was dangerous to go anywhere especially didn’t know if there were any more eruptions.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The travel issue only lasted a few days, but it scared my (ex) wife and I think it put in motion the plan to move back east.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello Rebecca, it really is a treat to see Miriam Hurdle featured here. I regard Miriam as a kindred spirit. I have read her poetry book and her children’s book, both of which are delightful, and I am a regular follower of her blog. Miriam’s comments about attitude towards ill health and dreaded disease resonate with me. I have helped my mother battle breast cancer and my father fight a huge pulmonary embolism and both have exited these periods in their lives with victory in their hands. Bravo to Miriam on all her wonderful accomplishments.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m glad we found each other, Robbie. I got to know you more from your poetry book Open a New Door. You were compassionate toward the disadvantaged people, such as the people you saw on your way to work. I love how you work with your son on the Sir Chocolate books and worked with your mother on While the Bomb Fell. Good to hear how your helped your mother and father overcome their illnesses. What a joy! I’ve seen the optimistic attitude helped many of my friends. One lady had complication on the surgery of the breast cancer and ended up having seven corrective surgeries. I saw her last Friday and she was grateful to be healthy again. Thank you for sharing about your parents, Robbie.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. HI Miriam, I am very grateful that my parents have recovered so well. My dad couldn’t be admitted into hospital because there were no beds due to the last covid wave. I treated him at home and gave him a series of 14 blood thinning injections. I was a little scared because I’d never given an injection before, but I learned and I managed. I am happy to hear about your friend and that she is healthy again. Poor health is a terrible thing and pain is very debilitating. I am also happy that we are friends and part of this uplifting blogging and writing community.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Robbie – I am so glad that your dad has made a recovery. I am inspired by your courage and determination to bring your father back to health.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Our recent surge because of the Delta variant filled the hospital beds and some people with other major health issues don’t get treated either. I appreciate your bravery to learn and manage giving injection to your dad. You had many people praying for you and your dad. I’m thankful for this community, Robbie.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Thank you, Robbie for listening in and for your comments. I met Miriam through you. Your review of “Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” was a marvelous introduction to Miriam. Sending hugs along with my gratitude your way.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. You were brave to give the injection to your dad, Robbie. I don’t make a good nurse because I’m scared of seeing bleeding. Your determination and commitment helped your dad to recover. I remember the time when you mentioned your dad’s health condition and how much your family worried about him. You took care of your dad plus taking your sons to school when your dad usually was the one doing it. You didn’t even miss your blogging. Bravo to your dedication to your family, your job, and this blogging community. Take care.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Hi Miriam, you would do it if you had too. Being brave is about overcoming your fears when you must do so to help someone else. My dad is doing very well now and the doctor is happy.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Exactly, Robbie. I learned that humans have so many untabbed potential. They could do many things of they had to. You’re a proof of it.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Miriam was one of the first bloggers I met a little over two years ago. I consider her a friend and one of the most supportive bloggers around. Ironically it was the same year I went to British Columbia. We live in northern California, and our cars were covered with ash. Congratulations to Miriam on being a cancer survivor.

    I’m sure you hear this a lot, Rebecca, but you have an excellent radio voice.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I am delighted you listened in, Pete. Thank you for your heartwarming comments and for connecting. I agree – Miriam is one of the most supportive bloggers. Her compassion for others reminds us that, even though we live miles apart, we are a community that cares for each other.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. You surely are a friend and a fellow educator, Pete! You were most helpful when I revisit my children’s story. In fact, it was your questions that got me thinking of the details in Tina Lost in a Crowd.
    British Columbia would be closer to Mt. St. Helens than norther California. The eruption was an unforgettable experience to many people.
    I agree with you about Rebecca’s radio voice. It is very warm, friendly, calm, and professional. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It’s good to see you here, Sally! Thank you for your lovely comment. I enjoyed listening to the interview of Rebecca and you very much and hope to hear more. ❤

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I am delighted that you listened in Sally. Thank you for sharing Marian’s life-affirming dissuasion about how poetry builds resilience, hope and well-being. Sending hugs back with great speed across the ocean.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Another wonderful podcast, Rebecca! I greatly enjoyed the talented Miriam’s eloquent takes on her poetry, her photography, her community of friends, and her life experiences — positive and difficult. It is profoundly true that trying to be optimistic can help a person feel more resilience during a daunting health challenge such as that faced by Miriam. Rebecca, I look forward to the next time you and Miriam converse!

    PS: As always, I love the different music that opens and closes each podcast. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you so much for your support and valuable comment, Dave! I resonated with Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. He took the road less traveled by, and he doubted he would ever go back to take the other one. There’s the million-dollar question that if I could go back in time, would I change anything? My answer is “no.” Without what happened before, I wouldn’t have the joy of having a loving husband, my daughter, and my precious granddaughters. Thank you again for listening and joining in the conversation.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Thank you, Dave, for listening in and for your heartening comments and your brilliant support of TTT. These past months I have enjoyed looking into poetry as a way to explore our current reality. One of my most favourite quotes about life & poetry is by Mary Oliver:

      “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
      with your one wild and precious life?”

      When I was listening to Miriam’s recitation on poetry, music & life, this was the thought that came to mind. Miriam reminds us to embrace music and foster compassion – in so doing there is healing and well-being.

      P.S. I am glad that you enjoy the music!!!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I find that most of the time, music speaks to my heart more so than words, Rebecca. I remember when listening to one piece of music, I could hear the cry of the composer. After doing some research, it reveals that the composer wrote that piece of music after his infant daughter died. When words are combined with music, it makes the lyrics more touching to the heart. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor is my favorite to soothe my distress. Music is powerful.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I appreciate your listening and comment, Jacqui! I find the same when I listened to Rebecca’s previous podcast. The voice adds a different dimension to the written words. I guess the written word is 2D, and adding the voice is 3D. What do you think?

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I am delighted that you listened in Jacqui! Thank you for your heartwarming comments. I confess that I felt tears come to me when I listened to Miriam’s recitation. I agree words of poetry spoken by the poet open us to the emotional nuance that can only come from the poet’s voice.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. It’s wonderful to see you here, Claire! The original poem is in 5 words in each line with 4 lines and AABA form. In the translation of any language, sometimes it takes a phrase to translate one word. I could only keep the 4 lines and AABA form. Thank you for your listening in and I appreciate your comment. ❤

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Mandarin spoken before, so I was pleased I had the opportunity to listen to Miriam read the poem in the original. I find the question of translating poetry from one language to another fascinating because poetry is so dependent upon the sound and mouthfeel of individual words and the cadence of the line. Then there are some words or phrases in one language that have no direct counterpart in the other language. How I would love to be omnilingual!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. My native dialect is Cantonese, Liz. I learned to speak Mandarin when I was in college because one professor spoke Mandarin. The poet Li Bai was Mandarin speaking, so the poem must be read in Mandarin to pronounce the right tones.
        By the way, I taught Chinese as a Second Language in a university in Hong Kong. The Cantonese and Mandarin are like two languages that don’t communicate with each other. Although there is only one written Chinese language.
        You’re right about the translations, Liz. I learned a little bit Spanish, enough to understand the sentence structure is totally different than English.
        You’re also right that there may not be an expression in another language when comes to translation.

        I had my poetry book translated into Spanish and Portuguese. In the translation process, I must approve the translations. My translators used phrases to translate some single words.

        Thank you for listening in and comment. Rebecca’s interview of you was the first of her podcast I listened. I followed her ever since and it’s wonderful to put the voices and faces and written words together.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Thank you for the additional information, Miriam. Did your Portuguese translator use the word “saudade” by any chance? A Portuguese colleague introduced me to it last year; it’s become one of my favorite words.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful interview with one of my favorite bloggers. Miriam’s kindness and sensitivity shines through her work. It was wonderful to actually hear her today!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Jacquie! ❤ I have received much in my life. Even though I couldn't repay back but take comfort in paying forward. Rebecca brings the bloggers closer with this podcast. I feel closer to the ones I've listened in her podcast.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. I greatly enjoyed your conversation with Miriam, Rebecca. I know her through her blog and find her such a kind and giving soul. It was wonderful to hear her voice and listen to her thoughts on her poetry.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Liz. I met Miriam through Robbie’s review on Miriam’s poetry book “Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude.” The voice of the writer or poet brings out the meaning in the words – there is depth of feeling and emotional nuance that elevates the reading/listening experience. Thank you for your support and encouragement of TTT. Very very much appreciated.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Thank you, Miriam and Rebecca, for this exceptionally interesting and encouraging conversation. Miriam brought my full attention immediately when she mentioned Mt St, Helens. I think that experience brought to my mind clearly how the world can change in a moment, Miriam, through her personal experiences, and some very difficult, has learned the value of poetry, not only reading it, but also writing it. She has used her poetry, to not only help her through very difficult experiences but also to help and encourage others I appreciate her connection with the beauty and value of art, music, and photography in combination with the mention of trees and flowers and the beauty of nature, Thank you, Rebecca and Miriam.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Frances for your thoughtful comment and for listening in. I knew you would enjoy this podcast conversation. I agree Miriam has embraced music, poetry and creativity to navigate and extraordinary and difficult journey. She is a compassionate light in our blogging community. I am delighted that she joined me on TTT. She has promised to come back.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Frances. When I see the destructions, death, and sufferings around me, I can’t help but ask, “Who am I that I’m spared from all these?” Just that thought alone keeps me humble and grateful.
      I enjoyed listening to your conversation with Rebecca and Sarah also. What a great insight about safety net.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Marina. When Miriam spoke about music I remember our conversation about how music is in our soul and is embedded in our DNA. Just listened to Chopin’s Etudes op 10 from Oannes! Sending many hugs across the ocean.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It really is and Chopin is such a …balsam for the soul.
        Thank you, my dear friend for the beauty and love you abundantly share.
        🤗🌻

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Hi Marina, Thank you for your lovely comment. I hopped over to your blog for two seconds. What a beautiful music and art gallery you have. I’ll have to come back to spend time browsing your different categories.

      I didn’t have the luxury to study art or music even though I loved both since I was young. I had to get into a field that would afford me to contribute to the family income. I study watercolor painting as a hobby. I did take music theory and voice lessons and passed the grade VIII exam in voice and grade V in music theory from the Royal School of Music. When I was in Hong Kong, Britain sent examiners there to conduct exams every year. I’ve been singing (still) since a teenager and listen to mostly classical music.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Rebecca, thank you for this introduction to Miriam’s work.
    Miriam is a genuine wordsmith, not simply using words but the power of words to engage emotion.
    Hearing the poem in Mandarin was a wonderful experience.
    Having recently had our Hibiscus Moscheutos flower, with its blood red dinner plate sized blooms, her mention that the flower lasts only a singe day resonated deeply on the fragility of life itself and indeed, all civilisations. Like with her poems, her words simply and shortly stated, created cascades of involuntary emotional associations.
    One final comment on something she noticed about nature when visiting Mount St. Helens. We worry we are destroying the world. We are not. The world will recover and be fine. The only thing we have in our power to destroy is ourselves (abeit, while taking a lot of species with us as casualties). In the end, life will find its own way. Our absence will will not diminish nature, because we will not be there to consider it diminished without us.
    A lovely experience. It would be wonderful if she returned.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Paul – a wonderful reflection and understanding of Miriam’s poetry. I’m going to look up Hibiscus Moscheutos – I can’t even imagine a dinner plate size Hibiscus.WOW!! Your thoughts about life finding a way gave me food for thought. Earth does not “belong” to humanity – it belongs to all who call this world home. And sometimes I wonder if we are the most advanced creature on this planet. I enjoy our conversations, Paul! Thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think you are right about whether we are the most advanced species- we are certainly the ones who shout loudest and perhaps there is something in the old adage- it’s the empty vessels who make most noise.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. My goodness, Paul. You have Hibiscus Moscheutos. It’s awesome because of its size. I haven’t seen them in California. My quick search shows it grows in southern and eastern North America. I love to start it with a small plant.

      You’re right. Life is fragile. I raised 20 Monarch butterflies this summer. Only 2% of the caterpillars make it to adult butterflies. They can die at any stage yet when they go through the process, they come out so beautifully.

      Yes, nature can survive without us. It’s sad that people don’t realize we can survive without nature. People continue to destroy the ocean, rainforest, and pollute the air. I hope the extreme weather this summer gives us a warning.

      Thank you so much for joining in the conversation, Paul!

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Reading poetry and listening to its recital is a wholly new experience. Thank you Rebecca for this lovely post. I’ve read Miriam’s books and love her style of writing. Congratulations for this lovely post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Balroop for listening in and for your heartwarming comments. I am honoured that Miriam joined me on TTT to discuss her poetry. Her recitation was powerful and a testament to resilience and courage.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Exactly, Balroop! As I mentioned in a previous comment that reading the written word is like 2D and adding the voice makes the word 3D. I’m a member of a Poetry for Pleasure group that meets once a week for two hours. We study the poets and read their poems aloud in the first hour and read our own poems in the second hour. I love listening to people reciting poems. Thank you for reviewing my poetry book and your lovely comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I am currently listening to this wonderful interview as I type here. Miriam is a beautiful poet, and the one first listed here, Life is a continuum of the Great Symphony, is prize worthy. Lovely to hear Miriam’s voice and I enjoy your interviews Rebecca. Miriam is a warrior woman! So inspiring. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for listening in, Debby and for your heartwarming comments. I agree wholeheartedly that Miriam’s poetry speaks to our personal journeys, of how music, poetry,connections give meaning to our lives. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s wonderful to see you here, Debby! Thank you so much for listening in and comment. I liked you coined me “a warrior woman.” I’ll remember that. I fought many battles but most of the time, quietly. I appreciate Rebecca’s thoughtful questions. ❤ I would love to hear your voice also, Debby. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Miriam. And yes, I said that because I classify women who’ve carried a load in life yet kept the walk, warrior women. And you definitely fit the bill. And thanks for saying you’d love to hear me with Rebecca. You may quite possibly hear me too one day. ❤

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’m glad you and I are in the same warrior women club together, Debby! Yes, I bet I’ll hear your voice very soon! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you for this wonderful interview, Rebecca! It really makes a difference listen to poetry. Great done by Miriam. I love the positive balance that increases with every reading of her poems. Thank you again, and have a beautiful weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Michael. I agree wholeheartedly – Miriam’s poetry is about seeking balance and well-being. I loved her recitation. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s wonderful to see you stopping by and listen and join in the conversation, Michael! I appreciate your support of my poetry. Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A delightful conversation with Miriam who us a very special person and a talented poet. She speaks from the heart. Thanks for featuring her here. XO

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by in your busy schedule, Darlene. It’s wonderful to see the Facebook photos with your family and your mom’s birthday and your books in the bookstore. I’m glad you finally could promote your new book in Canada. I’m grateful for Rebecca’s interview, podcast, and featuring me here. It has been a delightful and thrilling experience.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. What a beautiful interview. I loved Miriam’s description of nature returning to Mt. St. Helens, as well as her scary journey through cancer. Her attitude has always struck me as immensely positive in all its manifestations. I loved hearing her read a poem in Mandarin and then her translation, as well as learning how she started her poetic journey. A beautiful description of mind, heart, and spirit and how they influence each other in Miriam’s life. I love Miriam’s poetry, her photography, and her artwork. Her book is a delight. It was just wonderful to hear her read her poems. Loved it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for listening in, Diana, and for your comments. Your insights resonate with me. I subscribed to Miriam’s YouTube channel and discovered your trailer of Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude, which captured the beauty and essence of Miriam’s thoughts. You create the best trailers!!! https://youtu.be/7WFL6zRflEI

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I loved doing that for her, Rebecca. She’s talented and one of the most kind and supportive bloggers I know. She’s also up in my neck of the woods now and then and I look forward to meeting her in person some day. A lovely person and poet. ❤

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Diana did a wonderful job with the trailer and gave my poetry book looks so beautiful, Rebecca. She was so patient. I let my husband watch it and he said he couldn’t read the poem on the last page fast enough. Diana made it go a couple of seconds slower. I had the most views of the trailer than any other videos I posted.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Let me check with my sister who is in Hong Kong and ask when my niece and nephew move back to Vancouver. I would love to get together with you and Diana!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s lovely to see you here, Diana! I like the feel of being positive – mentally and physically. I couldn’t stand being depressive and had to find a way to go toward the sun. I didn’t realize the number of Chinese poems I memorized as a kid until Rebecca asked me a question that made me think. I appreciate your ongoing support.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank you for sharing Miriam with us. It’s always inspiring to listen to someone who has shared some of the same challenges and survived wiser and humbler. I’m happy to follow her blog and find her work encourages me in a new direction with my own writing. Hugs to you both! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for listening in and for your comments, Mary Jo. I share your thought that we learn from each other, and experience a fellowship that ignites creative endeavours both individually and within a community structure. Sending hugs back your way with great speed.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I followed you also, Mary Jo. So glad to hear your new direction with your writing. I look forward to reading more of your posts that came to my Reader already. I was busy the last few days. Hope to catch up.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, listening, and commenting. I love being in this supportive community. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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