March 15th, 2006

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checking in -

I am awake in the night. It is the oddest thing with the chemo. It moves through in waves, so my feet and legs again have that odd feeling. It is hard to explain, but I am just staying with it, knowing somehow during the day it was dormant, and now, it is a bit awake, and, so am I. I hear a few drops of rain, and the rest is silence, open as my brain undefined by word or task.
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Morning flow -

It is cloudy now, but I did see the sun this morning.  It affected my morning flow, and in that, I may have exaggerated a slight bit how long it has been raining, but it feels like eons to me.   Enjoy this sacred day!


After Eons of Rain

I see the sun this morning
a soft, pale circle, tentative,
as though it, too, is surprised to see on through,
to touch the land directly
without the intervention
of clouds, hail, snow.

My cat eats some soft food
if I bring the bowl to him
and sit and watch.

I feel my attention
warm into a ball
I gather and toss.

The air is smooth,
the air, unglossed. 





In the time of all this rain,
the Pyrancantha and Pittosporum
grew so much
that all I see outside my window
are leaves and stems,
and the Redwood tree is there,
a strong parent for the yard.
I move my head trying to see
the mountain.
It stands,
aims sunlight at me like a mirror,
my gaze.



Open Dare

This morning, soft spring,
the palest daffodil,
the tulips dance,
still closed,
not knowing, yet,
of wings.   



the two legs of the Redwood stand
reaching higher and higher to a sky
that waits for the feathered touch
the roots are shallow
the redwood balances on ballerina toes
plies and turns to catch it’s neighbors grasp.
Twined, they rise.


Savor this special, uniquely caring day.  Feel the mirrors of love as they bound and rebound, circling us all in hugs. 
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Jane's Poem of Today!

The garbage trucks grumble up the hill.

One throaty robin makes good use of the sun.

The old cat eats today.

You have turned yourself inside out.

We imagine who are children will be.

The monsters under our beds are here for good.

All dreams before the long sleep.

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Quotes by Anais Nin -

• Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.

• Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

                -    Anais Nin

Here is to living the friendships that open our eyes to the warmth of care and love!
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Mandu -

Well, your prayers worked. Mandu is eating and washing his face afterward with his paw. I find that so cute.

Jeff and I took him to the vet, and he is doing amazingly well for a cat of his age. They consider a mature cat one over seven. He has no tumors. Yay! He had blood work done, and I will find out the results tomorrow, but he is now eating very soft food, and I think adjusting to changes with his mouth and teeth. He somehow perked up a bit when I called and made the appointment for the vet. The vet did say that animals try and hide any weakness. Of course, that makes sense. I feel relieved, even though the vet was very clear which I greatly appreciate that we will only do what augments his remaining life. We will not try and prolong it. I am grateful to have this day with Mandu. Each day is such a gift, a time to enjoy and appreciate and practice letting go. I am so grateful. Hug your pet today and everyone else too.

Thank you for indulging me in this. I just couldn't let it go, and I learned even more about love. I really sat with why I love this cat so much. I saw how he gives love. Our pets give such love. They look at us with their huge, trusting eyes and hop into our laps when we need healing touch. They know just what to do. No wonder it is hard to imagine life without them. They seem irreplaceable in their care and love, and one day Mandu will go, and now, I am more prepared.
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Thoughts on cat food -

I somehow thought all canned cat food was about the same. When Mandu was struggling with the dry cat food he had always loved, I bought canned. What I didn't realize until today was that the canned I bought still had big pieces in it. He was eating the gravy but leaving the pieces of "meat." Only today did it occur to me that there is canned food that is all the same, that is soft all the way through. That, he can eat. That, he can gum. That, he can chew and swallow. So, if your cat is getting older, and needing a change of food, check out all the brands and go for the mushy looking ones, even though those with the little leather squares in gravy might look more visually appealing to you.
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Garrison Keillor -

Though he is normally a humorist, Garrison Keillor shows there is not much humor going on politically in this country right now. March is the month of marches. This Saturday is a day of peace marches. May they attend well.

Day of Reckoning for the Current Occupant
By Garrison Keillor
The Chicago Tribune

Wednesday 15 March 2006

Spring arrived in New York last week for previews, a sunny day with chill in the air, but you could smell mud, and with a little imagination you could sort of smell grass. I put on a gray jacket, instead of black, and went to the opera and saw Verdi's "Luisa Miller," a Republican opera in which love is crushed by the perfidiousness of government. A helpful lesson for these times. I am referring to the Current Occupant.

The Republican Revolution has gone the way of all flesh. It took over Congress and the White House, horns blew, church bells rang, sailors kissed each other, and what happened? The Republicans led us into a reckless foreign war and steered the economy toward receivership and wielded power as if there were no rules. Democrats are accused of having no new ideas, but Republicans are making some of the old ideas look awfully good, such as constitutional checks and balances, fiscal responsibility, and the notion of realism in foreign affairs and taking actions that serve the national interest. What one might call "conservatism."

The head of the National Security Agency under President Ronald Reagan, Lt. Gen. William Odom, writes on the Web site that he sees clear parallels between Vietnam and Iraq: "The difference lies in the consequences. Vietnam did not have the devastating effects on US power that Iraq is already having." He draws the parallels in three stages and says that staying the course will only make the damage to US power greater. It's a chilling analysis, and one that isn't going to come from the Democratic Party. It's starting to come from Republicans, and they are the ones who must rescue the country from themselves.

I ran into a gray eminence from the Bush I era the other day in an airport, and he said that what most offended him about Bush II is the naked incompetence. "You may disagree with Republicans, but you always had to recognize that they knew what they were doing," he said. "I keep going back to that intelligence memo of August 2001, that said that terrorists had plans to hijack planes and crash them into buildings. The president read it, and he didn't even call a staff meeting to discuss it. That is lack of attention of a high order."

Over the course of time, the Chief Occupant has been cruelly exposed over and over. He sat and was briefed on the danger of a hurricane wiping out a major American city, and without asking a single question, he got up from the table and walked away and resumed his vacation. He played guitar as New Orleans was flooded. It took him four days to realize his responsibility to do something. When the tsunami killed 100,000 people in Southeast Asia, he was on vacation and it took him 72 hours to issue a statement of sympathy.

The Republicans tied their wagon to him and, as a result, their revolution is bankrupt. He has played the terrorism card for all it is worth and campaigned successfully against Adam and Steve and co-opted whole vast flocks of Christians, but he is done now, kaput, out of gas, for one simple reason. He doesn't represent the best that is our country. Not even close.

He openly, brazenly, countenanced crimes of torture at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram. He engaged in illegal surveillance, authorized the arrest of people without charge and "disappeared" them to foreign jails. And he finagled this war, which, after three years of violence, does not look to be heading toward a happy ending. And now it's up to Republicans to put their country first and call the gentleman to account.

The Current Occupant is smart about handling a political mess. The best strategy is to cut and run and change the subject. You defend the Dubai ports deal in manly terms until you lose a vote in a House committee and then you retreat - actually, you get the Dubai people to do it for you - and that's it, End of Story.

Harriet Miers was fully qualified one day and gone the next. Social Security was going to be overhauled to give us the Ownership Society, and then the stock market went in the toilet and Republicans got nervous, and suddenly it was Never Mind and on to the next new thing.

Let's bring the boys home. Otherwise, let's send this man back to Texas and see what sort of work he is capable of and let him start making a contribution to the world.

Garrison Keillor is an author and the radio host of "A Prairie Home Companion."
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poem by Wallace Stevens -

of the surface of things, by wallace stevens

in my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four
hills and a cloud.

from my balcony, I survey the yellow air,
reading where I have written,
'the spring is like a belle undressing.'

the gold tree is blue,
the singer has pulled his cloak over his head.
the moon is in the folds of the cloak.

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evening poem -

My thoughts as I prepare for bed.


The Last Straw

I lose my mother.
I toss her ashes with the fairies,
and stay cheery
in celebration of her philosophy
and life.
I have a mammogram, sonogram,  biopsy,
lumpectomy and removal of three lymph nodes.
I do chemotherapy for four months,
through Thanksgiving, Christmas,
and New Years, and into the spring.
I lose the hair on my head,
pubic hair, eyelashes, eyebrows,
and skin peels in sheets off my feet. 
I stay cheery in the lessons,
and the receiving of so much love,
but when …..
My beloved Cat Mandu, friend and companion
for twenty years appears to be sick,
why, then, I stamp my foot,
and say to the universe,
Mandu is needed here!
I’ve given up enough!

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A politician can speak words like this -

"The interchangeability of matter and spirit means the starlit magic of the outermost life of our universe becomes the soul- light magic of the innermost life of our self. The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars. Stardust and spirit unite and we begin: One with the universe. Whole and holy."

-- Dennis J. Kucinich