January 30th, 2006

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Jane's Saturday Night Jazz Night!

Here is Jane's poem for today!

The room under the freeway was fish tank blue.

We sat on couches saved from the rain.

The drummer flailed at the edge of failure.

Then saved us all at the last minute.

It was the bass that carried the beat.

Guitar chords meteored through space, decayed.

A black cat walked the rafters.

Alone and inside a red light the saxophone asked why.

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Today, I am full of feeling.  I try and capture the feeling in words.  I want peace on this planet, and exuberance.  I want us all to dig with the moles, and fly with the birds.

Here is my morning flow.  

so much I want to say and feel

the sounds in the air different today

the fragrance of spring


Honey Spot

in my heart today.
Exuberance sprays
like gardenia scent,
thick enough
to stand upon
and draw angels
in the sky.
Angels circle me
like bees.
I am the hive.


wild gardens, tame
where does each of us put
our space in change -
how to open to embrace
weeds and form,
fences that fall,
sheep, wooly, and shorn.

I am not the background today.
    I take off in a most unusual way.
         I dance and sing and stomp.
         The information I’ve been given is not enough -

I leap and grab the next pulsing ring,
         seize and pump the electrons as they swing. 

                        Circles widen and increase.
                                     The pulse, of prejudice,
                               once held on ear-dangled wires of shame,
                                   Vibration opens spires of fire.
                                               Anvils hammer wings.   

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Twitching -

The day before I go to the doctor, my left eye twitches. No matter how much I try to assure myself all is fine, my body goes into a nervous mode beyond my conscious control

Steve informs me the last three paragraphs in my last posting don't make sense to him. Jan's parents are still trying to convince her to marry someone Chinese and a doctor. They inform her they can't sleep and are losing weight over her decision to marry my son. I would like to not find that upsetting, as I truly do know it has nothing to do with me or with Jeff, but just like with the chemo, and the twitching, there is something underneath that is upset.

I was trying to imagine myself this morning leaping into wider, rapidly vibrating circles of electrons, leaping into the expansive places where the qualities I admire, steep. I was looking for exuberance and peace.
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High tides and rain -

I have an appointment in Kentfield where it is pouring and the tides are soaring, so I creep through some flooded areas, and then, creep again getting off the freeway in Mill Valley. The bike path is again underwater. I read about the town of San Anselmo and how the December floods affected the people and businesses there. Some stores are now out of business. The rain seems so peaceful when I am tucked in at home, and quite the torrest when I am driving in and scurrying through it.

I am sitting again with this idea of suffering, and how suffering is wanting things to be different than they are.

I look for a book and a poem, and my hand is drawn to "spring essence," the Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong, translated by John Balaban. She, Ho Xuan Huong, whose name means "spring essence" was an eighteenth-century concubine, who, according to Utne Reader, may have been "one of the most remarkable poets who ever lived."

I open to this poem.

Old Pagoda

Master and servant amble pagoda paths,
poem bag almost full, wine flask almost empty.

Pond fish, hearing prayers, flutter their gills.
Hillside birds, hearing chants, bob their necks.

Crowds gather at this door of compassion,
placing incense sticks on smoking altars.

Buddha asks so little of his monks.
Blessed, they gather many friends.
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poem by Wendell Berry -

Ellen sends this poem today. I read it and feel ease.  It is what I want to say.

Sabbaths 1998, VII

There is a place you can go
where you are quiet,
a place of water and the light
on the water. Trees are there,
leaves, and the light
on leaves moved by air.
Birds, singing, move
among leaves, in leaf shadow.
After many years you have come
to no thought of these,
but they are themselves
your thoughts. There seems to be
little to say, less and less.
Here they are. Here you are.
Here as though gone.
None of us stays, but in the hush
where each leaf in the speech
of leaves is a sufficient syllable
the passing light finds out
surpassing freedom of its way.

-- Wendell Berry


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Today, Orion Magazine comes. I highly recommend it. You can check it out on-line at www.oriononline.org, and get a free issue, and also read a powerful article in the January-February issue called "Moving Mountains: Will Justice Have Its Day in Coal Country?" by Erik Reece. Click here for that article. http://www.oriononline.org/pages/om/06-1om/Reece.html

When I read of how the people of Appalachia are treated and the destruction of this area, because I am not more diligent about my use of electricity and more insistent on conservation and alternative sources, I am humbled as to how I might ever judge another and what they do, or choose, or how they come to their own conclusions about their lives or what they need to do. The magazine ends with an essay by David James Duncan, and the now famous quote by Mother Theresa, "We can do no great things - only small things, with great love."

I am again reminded of what matters to me, and how I want to live. I don't want to be judged. No one can know my motivations. Why then, would I judge another? It is only a judgment of, and discomfort with myself. It is time, once again, to settle into ease and comfort with myself. In that, I have more space. I breathe into the nature that I am.

There is also an article in Orion on mercury in tuna fish. I believe people are aware of the dangers of mercury in tuna, especially for women who are pregnant and children, but, again, it is to stay aware and monitor carefully what we eat. The rise in breast cancer may be related to the toxins in the environment. This issue is not a joke, though Bush prefers to make it so.