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Today!

I haven't posted here since the election. I was devastated, stunned. Each day I ingest what I can. What comes from Trump feels like poison, like toxins. I've been through chemotherapy. I know what it is to be ingested with poison. On the other hand, that poison allowed me to heal. I am here. How do we use the toxic poison of Trump to heal?

I sit in my home today, looking out on yellow leaves, leaves waiting for the call to drop. I am entranced as I always am this time of year with the softness of winter light. It is raining, raining tenderly. I am touched, invited into myself and my own need and curiosity to explore. What is here for me now?

I decide to open a locked file, one that contains journals of the past. It hasn't been opened in years. I have to search to find the key. It is in my grandmother's sugar bowl. I come to 2004, and something I'd written before my mother's passing in 2005, and before my treatment for cancer, though I suppose cancer must have been there at the time. I assume cancer takes time to develop, doesn't just pop out like a jack-in-the-box, or maybe it does.

Anyway, I put here what I wrote then. It seems appropriate. I altered it a bit to fit what we face now as we turn this world around like a globe small enough to hold in our hands and view with love, love of our planet, love of ourselves, love of those who surround and support us, love of those whom we embrace and who embrace us.

As Within, So Without

"We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are. The more accurate saying would be believing is seeing." Thomas Humphrey has overseen the creation of an exhibit at the Exploratorium in San Francisco to illuminate the truth of his words. The question of "How much freedom should we trade for our security," is an opportunity for each of us to step into a new awareness of how our beliefs influence what we see, and for me that is a step into beginning to understand the breath. The breath is a continuum of freedom and security that defines how we live. We need to feel secure in our breath, in our body, in our ability to receive and release, in order to feel secure. In the breath is trust.

Oxygen was once a toxin threatening life's future. Then, respiration came in to save. Now, fear is a toxin. Cruelty and unjust attacks are toxins. Again, respiration can save. How?

Breathing fully, breathing calmly into ourselves, and through that into the world, we can be Gandhi's change we want to see. The revolution is in the body. We cannot allow fear of Trump to allow us to constrict. We must breathe, breathe fully into our values of kindness, love and interconnection, and believe fully in the light we see and process in and out, as we live and love and breathe.

I choose how I process my breath. I choose how I give and receive. I choose how I see and I see love and peace.

Gratitude!

Settling In -

I am home and come to this quote:

Emily Dickinson: I felt it shelter to speak to you.

Now I am even more home.

Rain!!

Much-needed rain is on the way. I will be on a retreat and away from the computer, for the most part, for four days. May we all be well against battering of all kinds. I look at two roses on my desk, one red, one white. Their petals open differently, and they share one vase. Peace!

Homage -

I haven't posted in awhile. Perhaps I didn't want to share my dismay over this election, or perhaps I am busy working to uncover and discover myself. As many of you know, I've been working on a book. What has become clear is that I can't ignore the six weeks I spent in Nepal, four of those in the mountains, in the Everest region of Nepal. In those days, once I flew into Lukla at 8600 feet, there was no outside contact with the world, no satellite connection. Camera batteries didn't work above a certain altitude, and the trip is held tightly in my chest.

Today, as I was sitting with the pain of trying to look more closely at the trip and what it meant to me, I felt like I was being squeezed along with Princess Leia, Luke, Han, and Chewbacca in the garbage compactor on the Death Star. Why is it so hard for me to re-visit this trip?

I decided to google the Everest Climbers Memorial site and came across this: http://eliasaikaly.com/2014/6706/

I was there in 1993. Clearly this was filmed after 2005. In 1993, there were some simple piles of stones. Had I expected more? I don't know. All I know is I am still held in the gravity of this place that is so high the air is whittled thin, and yet, maybe emotion and feeling sharpen on thin air, as life and death share so clearly the guiding lines of breath.

Somehow this video helps me understand why I am struggling so to write this part of me, and yet, seeing it, I also know it is something I have to do. We need to share our heights and depths, especially when they rock the earth, this earth we share, this earth turning the body of all of us as one.

Unchopping a Tree by W.S. Merwin -

I rarely review books on Amazon but W.S. Merwin's book, Unchopping a Tree, is a true gem.

I posted this, this morning on Amazon. I am stroked and touched by the leaves in this book that open me to the leanings and learnings of trees.

Touched

This book contains all we need to know. I am stroked by holding it in my hand, then, opening each page carefully, pages given by a tree, with words and drawings that reach inside, and take me apart and put me together again and again. This book is a treasure, and a wonderful gift for one’s self and others. I am held in the friendship and teachings of trees. I am moved to open and close with the breath of leaves, leaves of a book, leaves of trees.


I recommend this book. It will feed something you may not even know you need.

James Hillman on "Freedom"!

James Hillman: "I'm saying that we haven't thought about the idea of freedom enough. It needs to be internalized as an inner freedom from "demand" itself: the kind of freedom that comes when you're free from those compulsions to have and to own and to be someone. For example, there is the kind of freedom that Nelson Mandela must have experienced when he was imprisoned. He completely lost his freedom in the outer world, yet he found freedom within. That's an example that broadens our current limited idea of freedom: that I can do any goddamn thing I want on my property; that I am my own boss and don't want government interference; that I don't want anybody telling me what I can and can't do; that we've had too much regulation, and so on. This is the freedom of a teen-age boy.

From America on the Couch, Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture by Pythia Peay.

Touch One Moment!

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently… As if it is the axis on which the earth revolves. Slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.
When you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything. When you touch one moment with deep awareness, you touch all moments."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Intention for Today

Being Peace

I trust how I’m evolved
Eyes simple and compound
I bend to hold what comes
Circle root, stem, and ground

Morning Thoughts!

My brother will start chemotherapy on Monday.

bardcat posts this: Fear & Hatred ~
600 people showed up one night this week at the old courthouse in the town where I live.
With the exception of a single voice, a Jewish woman, the three hour gathering protested the creation of a mosque and cemetery on 120 acres owned by our Muslim friends.
A Southern Baptist preacher joined the crowd and spoke of the danger of a place for Muslims to worship. Not sure the cemetery idea bothered him much.
No other clergy, if there, said a word. Reminds me of the early days of the civil rights movement.
A woman said, “We got a Muslim president eight years ago who only supports Muslims.”
A man said, “A place like this would only draw terrorists to our town.”
The undercurrent was like this: ‘The U.S. Constitution be damned. We got our Bibles we follow.’
I kindly suggest the folks in the crowd do not know the Constitution or follow the Bible.
The commission voted a six week moratorium on licenses for any religious organization while they whispered with their lawyers.



I am sobered by this. I think Trump and the Republican party have stirred up such hatred, that whether or not Hillary wins, we may not be able to be brought back together as a nation. Perhaps it is a minority that kills the dog of a family who places a pro-Hillary sign in their yard in Texas. Perhaps these are isolated cases, at least that is what I want to say to myself, but then, Jeff posts the above, and I wonder how there can be so much hatred in this country right now.

We have so much. Is that the problem? I recently read Sebastian Junger's book Tribe, On Homecoming and Belonging. Do we need war to come together, crisis? Can't we come together in peace, recognizing each one of us comes to our own conclusions, has our own needs, but ultimately we share a planet, rich and abundant enough to feed us all, educate us all, and yet, there is this fear, of what?

I am of an age where I might prefer to be clothed on the beach. Sunblock isn't great for the skin, so unless I am swimming I wear long sleeves and long pants. How is it not okay if another chooses to be clothed on the beach? How does that threaten me? I keep trying to understand, and more and more I come to knowing I need to nurture peace from within, to gently stroke the softness there, the tenderness, the vulnerability, the love. I don't want to hate. I will not hate, so it seems of late almost a conscious need to every moment, moment after moment, moment by moment, to offer blossoms to the world, a world I love, a world for which I am grateful and for which I care.

I am with the words of Rumi: There is a fountain inside of you. Don't walk around with an empty bucket.