February 1st, 2006

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Yesterday with the oncologist I called Neulasta, Neuplasta. She quickly corrected me, although I think the form of the word I developed works for me. Neu-plasta. I wake and check it out on-line. Then, I consider on this neurological damage Taxol may cause. I feel tingling in my hands and toes. I Google neurological and see some things I'd rather not know. I realize that to use visualization I need to understand what is going on, although I also see that when I receive the drugs and just say to myself, the organism is intelligent and knows what to do, that all works perfectly well.

Yesterday, a doctor showed some young doctors through what he called "The Infusion Room." They were self-conscious, and I felt a bit like a zoo speciman, sitting there with my feet up, hooked up to my IV, my books laid out on the table, in an attempt to make my space a home for a time. I thought of what the word infusion means to me, and flowers came to mind. I felt like a flower essence, Fairy Slippers, perhaps. I was wearing a tiny fairy on a band around my neck. Yes, fairy slippers felt right. I visualized that.

Now, this morning, awake, I feel awake, alert, calm, and clear.

I think I will go through the Eckhart Tolle book, A New Earth, and put some paragraphs that struck me here.

I begin.

"Space consciousness means that in addition to being conscious of things - which always comes down to sense perceptions, thoughts, and emotions - there is an undercurrent of awareness. Awareness implies that you are not only conscious of things (objects), but you are also conscious of being conscious. If you can sense an alert inner stillness in the background while things happen in the foreground - that's it! This dimension is there in everyone, but most people are completely unaware of it. Sometimes I point to it by saying, "Can you feel your own Presence?"

I pass through many pages and come to this.

"Whenever there is beauty, kindness, the recognition of the goodness of simple things in your life, look for the background to that experience within yourself. But don't look for it as if you were looking for something. You cannot pin it down and say, "Now I have it," or grasp it mentally and define it in some way. It is like the cloudless sky. It has no form. It is space; it is stillness, the sweetness of Being and infinitely more than these words, which are only pointers. When you are able to sense it directly within yourself, it deepens. So when you appreciate something simple - a sound, a sight, a touch - when you see beauty, when you feel loving kindness toward another, sense the inner spaciousness that is the source and background to that experience."
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Eckhart Tolle Continued!

Eckhart Tolle -

"Someone showed me an annual prospectus of a large spiritual organization. When I looked through it, I was impressed with the wide choice of interesting seminars and workshops. It reminded me of a smorgasbord, one of those Scandinavian buffets where you can take your pick from a huge variety of enticing dishes. The person asked me whether I would recommend one or two courses. "I don't know," I said. "They all look so interesting. But I do know this," I added. "Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all these courses. And it is free."

He continues that awareness of breathing "takes attention away from thinking and creates space." It is a way to generate consciousness, to manifest consciousness, here, where we live. He defines Presence as making space.

He writes of "three modalities of awakened doing." They are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm.

I am providing teasers here. If anything appeals in these snippets from this book, you know where to find it it is all around.
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Poem by Mary Oliver!

Where Does the Temple Begin,
    Where Does It End?

There are things you can't reach.  But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.

The wind, the bird flying away.  The idea of God.

And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.

The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily,
out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing
    from the unreachable top of the tree.

I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
    as though with your arms open.

And thinking: maybe something will come, some
    shining coil of wind,
    or a few leaves from any old tree -
       they are all in this too.

And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world

At least, closer.

And, cordially.

Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of gold
fluttering around the corner of the sky

of God, the blue air.

This poem is from Mary Oliver's book,  Why I Wake Early
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God must have protected me -

Somehow I forgot that Bush was speaking, or should I say, mumbling last night. That was probably a good thing as my blood pressure was monitored every fifteen minutes yesterday, and it was wonderfully normal. Listening to Bush speak usually rockets it to the sky. As my civic duty, I offer this editorial from the New York times today. I present it in two parts, as the blog doesn't like to share space with other openings. Perhaps it is wrapped up in ego and narcissism. : )

The State of Energy

Published: February 1, 2006

President Bush devoted two minutes and 15 seconds of his State of the Union speech to energy independence. It was hardly the bold signal we've been waiting for through years of global warming and deadly struggles in the Middle East, where everything takes place in the context of what Mr. Bush rightly called our "addiction" to imported oil.

Last night's remarks were woefully insufficient. The country's future economic and national security will depend on whether Americans can control their enormous appetite for fossil fuels. This is not a matter to be lumped in a laundry list of other initiatives during a once-a-year speech to Congress. It is the key to everything else.

If Mr. Bush wants his final years in office to mean more than a struggle to re-spin failed policies and cement bad initiatives into permanent law, this is the place where he needs to take his stand. And he must do it with far more force and passion than he did last night.

American overdependence on oil has been a disaster for our foreign policy. It weakens the nation's international leverage and empowers exactly the wrong countries. Last night Mr. Bush told the people that "the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons," but he did not explain how that will happen when those same nations are so dependent on Tehran's oil. Iran ranks second in oil reserves only to Saudi Arabia, where members of the elite help finance Osama bin Laden and his ilk, and where the United States finds it has little power to stop them.

Oil is a seller's market, in part because of America's voracious consumption. India and China, with their growing energy needs, have both signed deals with Iran. Rogue states like Sudan are given political cover by their oil customers. The United Nations may wish to do something about genocide in Darfur or nuclear proliferation, but its most powerful members are hamstrung by their oil alliances with some of the worst leaders on the planet.

Even if the war on terror had never begun, Mr. Bush would have an obligation to be serious about the energy issue, given the enormous danger to the nation's economy if we fail to act. His own Energy Department predicts that with the rapid development of India and China, annual global consumption will rise from about 80 million barrels of oil a day to 119 million barrels by 2025. Absent efforts to reduce American consumption, these new demands will lead to soaring oil prices, inflation and a loss of America's trade advantage. It should be a humbling shock to American leaders that Brazil has managed to become energy self-sufficient during a period when the United States was focused on building bigger S.U.V.'s.

Part of the answer, as Mr. Bush indicated last night, is the continued development of alternative fuels, especially for cars. The Energy Department has addressed this modestly, and last night the president said his budget would add more money for research. That's fine, but hardly the kind of full-bore national initiative that will pump large amounts of money into the commercial production of alternatives to gasoline.

When it comes to cars, much of the research has already been done — Brazil got to energy independence by figuring out how to get its citizens home from work in cars run without much gasoline. The answer is producing the new fuels that have already been developed and getting cars that use them on the lots. There are several ways to make that happen. The president could call for higher fuel economy standards for car manufacturers. He could bring up the subject of a gas tax — the most effective way of getting Americans to buy fuel-efficient cars, and a market-based tax on consumption that conservative lawmakers ought to embrace if they are honest with themselves and their constituents. But Mr. Bush took the safe, easy and relatively meaningless route instead.

There is still an enormous amount to be done to find new sources of clean, cheap power to heat homes and create electricity. But regrettably, the president made it clear last night that he would rather spend the country's resources on tax cuts for the wealthy. The oil companies are currently flush with profits from the same high prices that have plagued consumers, and the president might have asked the assembled legislators whether their current tax breaks might be redirected into a real energy initiative.
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second half of the NY Times Editorial Today!

The New York Times editorial continued:

Simply calling for more innovation is painless. The hard part is calling for anything that smacks of sacrifice — on the part of consumers or special interests, and politicians who depend on their support. After 9/11, the president had the perfect moment to put the nation on the road toward energy independence, when people were prepared to give up their own comforts in the name of a greater good. He passed it by, and he missed another opportunity last night.

Of all the defects in Mr. Bush's energy presentation, the greatest was his unwillingness to address global warming — an energy-related emergency every bit as critical as our reliance on foreign oil. Except for a few academics on retainer at the more backward energy companies, virtually no educated scientist disputes that the earth has grown warmer over the last few decades — largely as a result of increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels.

The carbon lodged in the atmosphere by the Industrial Revolution over the last 150 years has already taken a toll: disappearing glaciers, a thinning Arctic icecap, dead or dying coral reefs, increasingly violent hurricanes. Even so, given robust political leadership and technological ingenuity, the worst consequences — widespread drought and devastating rises in sea levels —can be averted if society moves quickly to slow and ultimately reverse its output of greenhouse gases. This will require a fair, cost-effective program of carbon controls at home and a good deal of persuasion and technological assistance in countries like China, which is building old-fashioned, carbon-producing coal-fired power plants at a frightening clip.

Mr. Bush said he would look for cleaner ways to power our homes and offices, and provide more money for the Energy Department's search for a "zero emission" coal-fired plant whose carbon dioxide emissions can be injected harmlessly into the ground without adding to the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. But once again he chose to substitute long-range research — and a single, government-sponsored research program at that — for the immediate investments that have to be made across the entire industrial sector.

That Mr. Bush has taken a pass on this issue is a negligence from which the globe may never recover. While he seems finally to have signed on to the idea that the earth is warming, and that humans are heavily responsible, he has rejected serious proposals to do anything about it and allowed his advisers on the issue to engage in a calculated program of disinformation. At the recent global summit on warming, his chief spokesmen insisted that the president's program of voluntary reductions by individual companies had resulted in a reduction in emissions, when in fact the reverse was true.

The State of the Union speech is usually a feel-good event, and no one could fault Mr. Bush's call for research, or fail to applaud his call for replacing more than 75 percent of the nation's oil imports from the Middle East within the next two decades. But while the goal was grand, the means were minuscule. The president has never been serious about energy independence. Like so many of our leaders, he is content to acknowledge the problem and then offer up answers that do little to disturb the status quo. If the war on terror must include a war on oil dependence, Mr. Bush is in retreat.
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You have only one sacred duty:
to make your spirit available to others.
You do this by sharing what you already are
in this and every moment.
If you are loving, you share your loving.
If you are suffering, you share your suffering.
If you are healing, you share your healing.

Why waste precious energy arguing with God about
what it is that is yours to share right now,
worrying how your broken bit could possibly be of use?

Trust that however unlikely it may seem,
without your piece,
the universe would be incomplete.

From "Nothing Left Unsaid," by Carol Orsborn:
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Morning Poetry Flow!

Shells This Morning

Sea shells
Doubled like clams, oysters, mussels,
One for each ear,
where I provide
the sound
of the sea
in and out
of spirals
circling air
through chambers
that  open
and meet


fog and rain this morning
jane in
does she see the sun -
I’m so glad she calls
so we can share the fun
of twirling
each other’s weather
on fingers
circled in gold
strung to the heart
in grace we mold



Flight Paths

rain falls outside the window
in the fog and gray light
nothing to see but the tree
nestling, snuggling, wanting to come in -
I trim it periodically,
leaning out, with my shears,
so the leaves don’t bruise
and crush on glass,
so it doesn’t
die like a bird
when it mistakes,
this flight,
for the next -



how does the fog do that
just clear
first nothing
then the tree is near
and then I see across
gliding into trees
spread up the hill,
leading my eyes
like a painting
to a focus
diagonal in intent,
something to climb,
inside, out
and outside, in -



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The rain continues softly pouring down!

All sparkles this morning in the glorious fall of rain. A good friend calls. We hadn't spoken since summer, as she was dealing with complexities of life, and, now, we connect both knowing the blessings of our lives from all we have been through.  We are grateful for what life brings when we reach to absorb, and hold, and surrender and let go. Her mother died last Monday. She chooses Cataract Falls for her healing. I chose Pierce Point when my mother died. What would we do without nature, our motherly, constant, renewing, rebirthing  guide?

Joyce sends this poem by Mary Oliver this morning. What a treat!

The Swan
Across the wide waters
 something comes
    floating--a slim
       and delicate
ship, filled
    with white flowers--
       and it moves
          on its miraculous muscles
as though time didn't exist,
    as though bringing such gifts
        to the dry shore
           was a happiness
almost beyond bearing.
   And now it turns its dark eyes,
     it rearranges
        the clouds of its wings,
it trails
   an elaborate webbed foot,
       the color of charcoal.
          Soon it will be here.
Oh what shall I do
  when that poppy-colored beak
    rests in my hand?
        Said Mrs. Blake of the poet:
I miss my husband's company--
  he is so often
      in paradise.
         Of course! the path to heaven
doesn't lie down in flat miles.
   It's in the imagination
     with which you perceive
        this world,
and the gestures
   with which you honor it.
      Oh, what will I do, what will I say, when those
                   white wings
             touch the shore?

                                                    by Mary Oliver

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Rainy day Thoughts!


“The sin of inadvertence, not being alert, not quite awake, is the sin of missing the moment of life—live with unremitting alertness.”  - Joseph Campbell

A memory from around twenty five years ago returns today.  My son and his friend were sitting on the couch reading a book.  They were four or five years old, so the book must have not been too complex, but they came across the word, "club."   "What's a club," one asked.  "It's something you hit baby harp seals over the head with," the other responded.   They sat for a few moments, each digesting that that definition did not quite fit the context of the story.  They finally concluded a club was also a  place to swim.

I think of that now, of what we teach our children, and ourselves, of what we hear, and take in.   How precious is every thought, statement, touch.  Let us live, as Joseph Campbells says, "with unremitting alertness."

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Each of us -

"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Each of us balances the joy we receive in giving, with the basket we weave to receive.
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Lynn Woolsey and Cindy Sheehan!

Editor's Note: Much has been made of the arrest of Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan before last night's State of the Union address. Mainstream media coverage has made it seem as if Sheehan was in the balcony of the House of Representatives under false pretenses. In fact, she was invited. Representative Lynn Woolsey, Democrat of California, personally purchased a ticket to the speech for Sheehan. Below, please find Rep. Woolsey's statement regarding the arrest of Cindy Sheehan. --wrp/TO

Woolsey Statement regarding Cindy Sheehan
By Representative Lynn Woolsey

Wednesday 01 February 2006

Washington, DC - US Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) today issued the following statement regarding Cindy Sheehan's arrest in the gallery of the House of Representatives before the State of the Union address. Mrs. Sheehan was Rep. Lynn Woolsey's guest to the President's State of the Union address.

"Since when is free speech conditional on whether you agree with the President? Cindy Sheehan, who gave her own flesh and blood for this disastrous war, did not violate any rules of the House of Representatives. She merely wore a shirt that highlighted the human cost of the Iraq war and expressed a view different than that of the President. Free speech and the First Amendment exist to protect dissenting statements like Ms. Sheehan's last night."

"Stifling the truth will not blind Americans to the immorality of sending young Americans to die in an unnecessary war, against a nation that posed no threat to our security. The President's speech last night was yet another attempt to distort history, as he suggested - once again - that the 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq. Everyone knows this is not true. We must not be afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes. It's time to bring our troops home."