February 16th, 2006

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Jane's poem for today!

Jane is staying in a hotel and missing home. Here is her poem.

Day breaks.

There are many lives under the roof of this old building.

Water and heat plunge through its arteries.

Footsteps hurry down a fire escape, though nothing is burning.

The bed is bottomless.

 The linens whiter than the hands of laundry ladies.

Those who live here, do not sleep here.

Those who sleep here can’t hear the stories in the walls.
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Poem for my mother today!

It's a little one today, yet powerful and sweet!   I know my mother would like it.  




                by Shinkichi Takahashi


Inside of one potato

there are mountains and rivers.

                                                Translated by Harold P. Wright

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Courtesy -

This morning Jane and I discussed the idea of courtesy. It seems that, at times,  respect for the ideas of the "other" has disappeared, as set by the example of a White House, that attacks, denies, and lies. I would like to see a return to a discussion of ideas, with less focus on attacking the individual.
Road rage seems to result from isolation in cars. There is less awareness of the other as a person. Perhaps, this goes back to my talk of spacial awareness, of awareness 360 degrees around us, like a tree.  I think it is time to circulate back to a time of more politeness. It is not a request to deny our feelings, but to ask for a little more space around them, space for my feelings and yours. Here is my morning poem addressing that request.


what is this idea of caging
people, animals, ideas -
roses have thorns to protect their scent,
but fairies sit on those thorns,
like thrones
at night and knit
hats for spiders and caterpillar shoes -

there is always something brewing
to catch on the wind -

but when fences, wired with barbs,
are placed between my breath,
and yours,
how can we meet
in the consecration
of dew
as it lifts
its lips
to the sun
in the midst
of changing,
from me,
to you,
and back again
as something new
now and now and now -  
soft dew on the hips of heart -


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Spaciousness -

Years ago, Steve and I heard Sogyal Rinpoche speak, and he said you only need to remember two things. One is to be spacious and the other is to go out into nature. Those words guide me when I am spacious enough to remember them.

Lately, I have also been with the well-known Zen story, "Is that so?" There are many versions of this story. I choose this one today as a reminder for myself to accept magnanimously what comes.

A farmer had a horse but one day, the horse ran away and so the farmer and his son had to plow their fields themselves. Their neighbors said, "Oh, what bad luck that your horse ran away!" But the farmer replied, "Bad luck, good luck, who knows?"

The next week, the horse returned to the farm, bringing a herd of wild horses with him. "What wonderful luck!" cried the neighbors, but the farmer responded, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"

Then, the farmer's son was thrown as he tried to ride one of the wild horses, and he broke his leg. "Ah, such bad luck," sympathized the neighbors. Once again, the farmer responded, "Bad luck, good luck, who knows?"

A short time later, the ruler of the country recruited all young men to join his army for battle. The son, with his broken leg, was left at home. "What good luck that your son was not forced into battle!" celebrated the neighbors. And the farmer remarked, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"

May your day be one of peace, and ease, both given and received!
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The Stillpoint!

Today I receive an announcement of a workshop where there will be an exploration of, among other things, "holding the tension between the stillpoint and the creative fire."

Emily Hanlon then includes this poem to explain the stillpoint. Perhaps this is what I was trying to say earlier. I'm trying to balance my pendulum swing.

The Stillpoint
by Haven Trevino

The pendulum swings to and fro
From darkness to light
From sickness to health
From goodness to evil
And back again.
It’s enough to make anyone confused.
The sage has found the stillpoint
Remaining neutral
She teaches by living a simple
honest life;
She creates by allowing,
She feeds without forcing,
And gives by receiving.
She heals by perceiving
One’s inner wholeness,
Then lets go.
Because she lets go,
She’s always in touch.
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Thoughts -

Chemo has struck. Today, it has gone for my tongue. It is swollen and thick, but I think I can still type.  

Lucky You!   : - )

A man has been highly recommended to me to help with this process. A friend went to him, and now has a list of herbs and supplements to purchase, and exercises to do, and so, now, she finds herself feeling fear around whether all these things she is doing can really prevent the tumor from returning.  How do we balance what we can reasonably do around our health with feelings of peace, ease, and well-being?

I found myself this morning thinking of how yesterday I was told the shot I received should really be given over five to ten days, but because people don't want to drive there every day, they do it in a concentrated dose. I agree that one visit for the shot is enough.  Then, I thought of how if I lived in the caveman and cavewoman days, my herbalist-shaman-healer would be right there to give me just the "right" dose, and then, I thought what if my cave had lost its healer to a mammoth, or the herbs were all dried up.  We live in a world where we strive for perfection.  Perfection!  What is that?   I remember how shocked I was when I first heard Marion Rosen say, "Perfection is static!"

I think we drive ourselves nuts trying to achieve some place of perfection, some measure of control, and maybe we are looking for the stillpoint, but, even so,  we  need to keep moving. Our hearts are ticking off seconds of joy.  They are throwing peanuts to us to shell and eat.  

So, in considering all that, my poem of this morning changed. The barbed wire is gone. I just want to learn how to better use the night, my dormant time, to merge with you, like flowers and butterflies do, so, you can use my wings, and I can use yours. Ballast Ho!! Ease of time!  Spring sows!

Winter Life

The rose in February
sits softly on the thorns.
Fairies knit caps,
and caterpillar shoes,
to warm the light,
until, like a wand,
the sun
opens petals
and butterflies
to entwine,
and there
what rested,
is born
from night.      


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Exploration -

Annie Dillard ends her book, "For the Time Being," with this paragraph.

"In Highland New Guinea, now Papua New Guinea, a British district officer named James Taylor contacted a mountain village, above three thousand feet, whose tribe had never seen any trace of the outside world. It was the 1930's. He described the courage of one villager. One day, on the airstrip hacked from the mountains near his village, this man cut vines and lashed himself to the fuselage of Taylor's airplane shortly before it took off. He explained calmly to his loved ones that, no matter what happened to him, he had to see where it came from."

And so, it is!