January 2nd, 2006

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Night -

I am again awake in the silence of the night. I finish the book The Mind in the Cave, and sit with that subterranean exploration, that resulted in painting on what may have been perceived of as a spiritual membrane. It seems we are not much different than our ancestors in our need to explore and connect. We still reach in visionary ways. Somehow, to me, space exploration, seems the same, as we attempt to penetrate barriers, and return with the unknown further met in mind and hand.

Perhaps now, I will sleep and create some dreams to bounce, juggle, and mine. I'll paint on the walls of my cave.
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Morning thoughts -

The rain is softly pouring down, and I am visualizing some happy salmon swimming upstream.

Petra commented on my statement about my concerns on the handling of the Golden Gate National Recreation area and Muir Woods. She just read Bill Bryson's book "A Walk in the Woods." In that, he points out that since the foundation of Bryce Canyon National Park in 1923, and under the administartion of the Park Service, that SEVEN mammal species have died off.

That is sobering. In my area, there are multiple government agencies involved. I am hoping that there are so many that they will road-block themselves, and nothing will be accomplished. Maybe then, the salmon can continue their swim upstream.

A beautiful January 2nd to YOU!!
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Poem by Don Campion

A piece of Light for you!


"What Artificer hath the wrist
To give Leviathan a twist?"
Quailed Ahab, blanching at this whale
Lashed, eye by fluke, one endless tale.

Dan Campion
Light: A Quarterly of Light Verse
Autumn 2004

Copyright (c) 2004 by Light Quarterly
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The New Year!

This poem by Mary Oliver offers a gentle start.

Morning by Mary Oliver

Salt shining behind its glass cylinder.
Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.
The cat stretching her black body from the pillow.
The way she makes her curvaceous response to the small, kind gesture.
Then laps the bowl clean.
Then wants to go out into the world
where she leaps lightly and for no apparent reason across the lawn,
then sits, perfectly still, in the grass.
I watch her a little while, thinking:
what more could I do with wild words?
I stand in the cold kitchen, bowing down to her.
I stand in the cold kitchen, everything wonderful around me.
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Mandu needs his own blog. As soon as I posted that he didn't like his new heated cat bed, he did. He looks like an angel curled up in it, and still, graces all his other spots too. Mandu is a modern cat.
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Someone asked me to post the comments, since she downloads from a slow connection, and often misses them.

Here is Petra's comment on Mandu.

Dear Cathy,
I found a quote about a cat that's suitable for you... :-))
Love, Petra

Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner. - Gary Smith

I replied:


That is great! I will say that wise Mandu is very well-behaved at the vet, and would never do that. He is very private about his bodily functions, and a very clean cat, except for all the muddy footprints waltzing around the house. He loves to paw-paint. Maybe he was a saber-toothed tiger in the days of cave paintings, and painted his own silhouette!! He is quite the cat, and, as I say, probably should have his own blog, though he is happy to have me, as one of his staff members, take care of that for him!

Happy day!

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Chemo and shamanic journeying -

As I have been reading about shamens and their journeys, I have been struck by the parallels with chemo, and that allows me to greet chemo a little more gently. If it is leading me toward more strength and healing capabilities, then, of course, I welcome this chance to be knocked down, and pop back. Of course, you are all helping me in the popping back. Thank you! Your visualizations are a treat!

In speaking about chemo, someone reminded me of this poem, which I love and adore. What a guide this is!
Again, I am reminded of the words of the Dalai Lama which I keep posted by my computer. 
                               "My religion is kindness."

KINDNESS by Naomi Shihab Nye


Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.


Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.


Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

You must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.


Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.



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The moon -

I see the moon tonight - a crescent. Well, it is not a full moon, and yet, I am reminded of this poem by Hafiz. I am so thrilled to see the moon tonight.  What a presence it is in the sky, a friend.  I'm glad it is back tonight, even though it is speeding across the sky to set into rest.  

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?

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My friend Terry calls. She and Joe are getting married. This is the second marriage of very close friends I've learned of in the last week. I take it as an omen that 2006 is going to be a very rich year. It can only be so. I need to be well to dance!