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Seeing with full-moon eyes -

There is much to consider these days. I see those for whom I care connecting in a new awareness of being awake, of wanting to walk for and proclaim their support of true values, values of love, compassion, connection and care. Today I am with this poem by Hafiz. Does it make a difference how we weave and wave the light that comes from and enters our lives? I believe it does.



With That Moon Language

Admit something.

Everyone you see, you say to them
“Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud:
Otherwise,
Someone would call the cops.

Still, though, think about this,
This great pull in us
To connect.

Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,

With that sweet moon
Language,

What every other eye in this world
Is dying to
Hear.

– Hafiz

I love stones!!

It's the last day of 2016, a day of retreat for me, a day of renewal as dark becomes light, and light becomes dark.

I am with this poem by Charles Simic written in 1938. I plan this year to more clearly reveal the star charts written on my inner walls.

Stone

Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river,
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed.
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star charts
On the inner walls.




It's Time!!

This comes from Writer’s Almanac today: It was on this day in 1890 that federal troops killed almost 300 Lakota men, women, and children in the massacre at Wounded Knee. One of the survivors was Black Elk, the famous medicine man, who was 27 years old at the time of the massacre. He wrote: “I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream. And I, to whom so great a vision was given in my youth, - you see me now a pitiful old man who has done nothing, for the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead."

Oh, these words strike bone in my heart. Terrible things have happened over the years. It is time to repair the sacred hoop, to replant the sacred tree and come together, each one of us knowing and nourishing the seeds of connection within and without.

This morning I am with these words of Rainer Maria Rilke:

“Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner - what is it?
if not the intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.”


Some of us have been shaken by the changes in this last year, but if they can change one way, they can change another. It’s time to repair the hoop, to honor the center, and water, replenish and trust the deep sky that blooms joy, love and homecoming in the spinning web within.

Time -

Time seems to have slowed. It passes very slowly in the hospital and maybe I’ve changed pace. We woke early this morning and rose and I read a bit and picked up and still I have all the time in the world.

I’m with these words from Thich Nhat Hanh from his book At Home in the World.

The chapter is called Lotus Tea.

“Years ago in Vietnam, people used to go out onto a lotus pond with a small boat to put some tea leaves into an open lotus flower. The flower would close in the evening and perfume the tea during the night. Then, in the peace of early morning, when the dew was still glistening on the large lotus leaves, they would return in the boat with their friends to collect the tea. On the boat, they would take everything they needed to make delicious, fragrant tea: fresh water, a stove to heat it, teacups, and a teapot. Then in the beautiful early light of dawn, they would prepare the tea right there, enjoying the morning and drinking tea in the lotus pond. Nowadays we may have a lotus pond, but we do not seem to have time to stop and look at it, let alone to enjoy it by making tea and drinking it in that way.”


Since I read those words, I find myself pausing and imagining tea leaves resting in the night, soaking up the fragrance of the lotus flower. I pause now and inhale the scent, and in that both day and night lengthen in strength and wing the capillaries mirrored in my lungs.

Life -

At four A.M. on Christmas eve, I was at Jeff and Jan's home and I was awake. Steve was to arrive early but I got a text he was sick, really sick. He drove himself to the E.R. and was immediately rushed into the hospital where he's been until now. We just got home.

Oddly, the beauty and love we shared this Christmas is the greatest gift of all. Family mobilized and all bases were covered, as Jeff still needed someone with him and Jan needed to be with her family on Christmas day.

Will this be our greatest Christmas ever? Perhaps. We are all alive, healthy, breathing, grateful, close, embracing, embraced, and touched. Those who staff a hospital at Christmas are beyond amazing. Nurse Alan worked 12 hour shifts five days in a row so people could be with their families. Two guards were there for a prisoner from San Quentin. It was agreed the shackles would be removed so he could have a shower on Christmas day.

This morning a little boy ran into the hospital screaming "I want my mommy." Tears come even now as it was so clear there was nothing any of us could do to comfort this little boy being. His father was running to keep up. I know two babies were born yesterday while Steve was in surgery because they play a lullaby through the hospital speaker system when a baby is born. I hope that is why this little boy's mother was in the hospital. They didn't come to our floor but his screams resounded through the halls and elevator doors. I am so touched by this little boy and his pain as he so clearly missed, wanted and needed his mother. There is no way to explain to a child and maybe we are all children and want to scream but we are trained to restrain. I know this little boy brought tears to all of us who were there and he continues to bring tears to me now.

I wonder if I could have been anywhere else where so much was happening, so much that matters, so much that strokes the very core, and perhaps especially at Christmas when there is a pause and one notices that carols fill the hospital air.

At one point, there were so many emergencies that Steve was "parked" in the hall as we waited for a room. We joked that there was no room at the inn, and somehow amidst it all, each person felt holy and lit as though we were bound in the fire and light of one supernova star we shared for a time.

Beautiful bonding - beautiful sharing - Marin General Hospital is along an inlet of the bay and the tidal water is filled with birds. I sat with ducks this morning, egrets, coots, and gulls. Steve is home and I am grateful. He'll have surgery next week, a simple procedure and in this moment, and perhaps all moments, all is right with the world. The sun is shining and the cats and I are grateful to have Steve home. The best Christmas ever - yes I think so. My heart is wide and gratitude swells deep.

Serenity -

I am in Menlo Park at my son and his wife's home. I went out early this morning to enjoy the crescent moon, stars, and possibly to see a meteor. My phone informs me it's possible, but airplanes are the modern version and I am entranced with the lights, the silent movement of lights and the vision of those so carried and happy to land.

My other son has surgery today so we are gathering together and then will step into celebrating the holidays down here. The stocking are in the car ready to be hung by the chimney with care. I suppose it feels like my son who will have surgery is the one in the manger for this holiday as we gather around the beauty and joy that he is.

Yesterday my daughter-in-law was hit by a car as she rode her bike. This morning her nose is swollen and her body aches. We were focused one way and now another. Life is so fragile. How do we balance on the knowing of that?

I saw a red-tail hawk yesterday sitting a quiet oval in a tree, seemingly looking out at the ocean, but then a dive for lunch and a return to the tree. I learned that a train used to run to Sutro Baths in San Francisco. I had no idea. I continue to round on the richness of this world I share. I am with this quote by Ram Dass.

Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough.
- Ram Dass

I'm back!!

I’ve been in a holding pattern, waiting for the electoral college to pay attention to what has been further exposed since the election and do what I perceive as the right thing. Now, I need to step back into my life, fully back, more consciously back and into the celebration of darkness and the coming forth of light. It is the time of solstice. Solstice means “sun-standing”. It is a pause to feel a change in direction, a shift in the dance of day and night. Night hands the reins to light, and now light leads the passage of one year to the next.

I just read the book, The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. I hold it as a flag as to what the courageous and heart-centered can do to protect and help others, to be fully involved in life and what each of us is here to do.

The underground railroad is active again as we each ask ourselves how to activate our own way stations, and be our own conductors of passing on the wisdom of organization and connection that assimilates and spreads love and light.

Dr. Frederic Luskin, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project has written, “When we feel separate, there is no way to ensure our safety and the safety of those we love, so we fear. Separateness gives us a level of permission to judge - with distance, we can condemn.”

His research involved studying people when they were angry or upset. He concluded, what might seem obvious. “You’re going to feel better if you don’t hate people.” He developed a Forgiveness Practice because he realized that “without forgiveness we are defended and in the past. Forgiveness is simply to allow us to love.” Why would we want to love? We love because “we are healthier organisms when we live in love and openness, rather than fear and anger.”

We know that when a certain number of people meditate in a city, the crime rate goes down. Focusing on what is right with the world, we relax and blood flow to the cortex increases. We breathe more fully and there is peace.

Sir Laurens van der Post wrote that “The age of the leaders has come and gone. Every person must be their own leader now. You must remove the projection, and contain the spirit of the time in your own life and your own nature, because to go the old way and follow your leader is a form of psychological imprisonment.”

It is time to cultivate, develop and claim our own leadership skills as we lead our lives with full heart and trust that there is a collective gut that knows and honors this world we share.

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.