July 17th, 2006

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Good Morning!!

I was unable to get on-line yesterday, but wrote something anyway, which now feels a bit out-of-date, so, I may re-state a bit.   I enjoyed a delightful flight.  My cabin-mate was a young man of 25 who does computer work and he said Ice Age 2 was worth watching, so I watched the movie on the plane, and he and I had a good conversation.  The plane was late, and the luggage was late so I got to my brother's at 3 AM, and had trouble sleeping I was so excited, so got up about 5 and showered and such, and then, went over to their house - I stayed in a little apartment on their property so as not to wake everyone up, and the trip began.   The four hour drive to the ferry was fascinating to me, and I loved the two hour ferry ride.  The weather is a delight.

Where we are staying is unimaginably beautiful.  We all agree that we could live here and never leave.  We each have our own space, and the pool enclosed in an English garden is magnificent.   Bird song is consistent, and bunnies abound.  Anchovy is the primary bunny resident.  We are secluded on our one acre piece of land, at the end of a dirt road.   Our only problem is finding it again when we leave.  We are not on the beaten path, which we all love, and the property lives up to its name, which is  "get away from it all."   Why would one want to leave, but we do, and we spend the day at the beach, where the weather is perfect, the water is warm, and the waves just strong enough to be fun, but not so powerful as to hammer you, except once in a while to be sure you are awake.  : )     I stay covered except when I'm in the water, which is a great deal of the time, as it is amazing, and, so now, I am fresh as a morning daisy.

I read yesterday in the shade under a tree, by a Japanese landscaped area of the yard, with a tiny windchime over my head, going "ting," "ting," "ting."    Two cardinals and a bunny kept me company.

We had dinner at a lovely restaurant with a view of the ferries going in and out, which is my idea of Heaven.  There were nine of us for dinner, as friends of theirs who have three beautiful children dined with us.  11 year old Thomas ordered lobster.  His dad helped him figure out how to eat it.  It was quite something to see on the plate with its antennae sticking up.  Now I understand Nantucket red.  It is the color of a cooked lobster.  His 12 year old sister, who is a strict vegetarian thought she was going to throw up, and did not appreciate sitting next to her brother with his lobster on the plate, but he was beaming.  

On the plane, I read Timothy, or Notes on an Abject Reptile by Verlyn Klingenborg.   It is written by a true eighteenth century turtle who presents life from his very wise and slow-moving point of view.   Timothy and I agree on the pacing of life, and the need to dig at times, and retreat.   He also likes to explore, and understands clearly in and out, and who is confined, and who is not.  Tis good to know, be clear, and expound on what is true for you.

 At the beach I read a book on a woman from Rwanda.  It is a brutal description of what happened.  I will give you title and name, as it truly is an absolute must-read, and it is odd to read it here, a place that once was a working community, and now has such wealth, that my mouth keeps falling open at the price tags.  50 million dollar jets bring people here, and small planes fly constantly overhead, carrying people back and forth.  As I say, I am a bit in shock at the prices, but, as my brother says, everything is brought in by boat.  Yep, and, .....  wow!!

It is as beautiful as I imagined, though, with long beaches of white sand, and wonderful homes, and hydrangeas.   Today, we are just relaxing.  Jan is off for tennis;  Katy is still asleep, and I am here, and Gar is reading.  It is his birthday, and his choice for the day is to relax, and, so we will. 

May your day be heavenly views, within and without.   I am in love with the shape of the trees here, and mainly sit and look at them.  The weather is perfect, just like San Francisco.  I miss you, and it is lovely here.   The birds are singing, and the pool and the trees await.  Ah, I hear the sweet tingle of Katy's voice.  She is awake.   Hooray!!!   I love this little girl, who is now, in the enchanting bloom of becoming a young woman.   May we all live in such innocence and grace.    Happy savoring of this day!!



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Moving along -

Jane and I write this morning.  I am aware I am on an island, floating on the sea.  It is like I am on a big boat.  I had not realized how much I used the land to ground myself as I went through this process.  Now, I float on a piece of land in the sea, and either I am turning, or the land, but I seem to be twirling in the grasp of the breeze.  I know what it is to be a bird, changing awareness of gravity, and the support of land or limb.  I notice the birds here spend a great deal of time on the ground.  I guess, they, too, appreciate this support in the midst of the sea.

Happy landing and soaring, breathing, and being.  It's quite a luxury to breathe, and take the world in and let it out, and be a world itself, pulsing in and out. 

The book I suggest everyone read is Left to Tell - Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Surely life on earth has to change.   May it be so!

There is a writing nook in this house that I am in love with.   I will take the image of it home with me.  It is sweet, luxurious, cozy, and perfect as can be. 

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Continuing -

Gar and Jan take Katy to the beach for a surfing lesson.  I walk around and see that we have the best home on the island, and it is a home.  It has not been rented before, and the owner checks in with us.  It is pristine.   I love my nook here, and will soon go for a swim.   The pool is made of tiny, colored rocks, rather than concrete or cement.  I always get those two words mixed up as to meaning.  It is surrounded with grass, and has jets, so it is a giant pool that is also like a hot tub.   It is lovely.  The wind has picked up, and there is a cool breeze.  I see my happy Cardinal couple again, and a seagull.  I am content.  I forgot to mention that Katy and I saw fireflies the first night we were here. 

I thought I would give you some words from Timothy, the "abject" reptile.  I love this book.   : )

At one point, the "owners" of Timothy, are upset because the tortoise has gotten "out."   He comments on his trip away, a bit disturbed that he has been "discovered" and returned.  

    "There is no Out!  Humans believe the asparagus forest is in!  Fruit wall, laurel hedge.  Melon-ground. They prey upon the distinction.  But I am always Out.  Among the anemones.  On the grass-plot.  In the shade of the Dutch-currant trees.  In the sainfoin just short of the Pound Field.  Under young beans a week away.  Under the rasp and green-rust smell of their leaves.

    And I was In there too, as always.  In, under unhedged stars, dark of the moon.  Among chiding of field-crickets, stirring of long grasses, gleaming wind.  Groaning of beech trees on the Hangar. Claps of thunder and din of hail. The honeyed smell of maples and sycamores in bloom.  Clouds pulling apart to show their crimson.  Beyond sight of humans.  Within my beloved shell.

    Great soft tottering beasts.  They are out!  Houses never by when they need them. Even the humblest villagers live in ill-fitting houses.  The greater the personage the worse the fit.  Crescent of pale shell at the ends of their fingers.  Drab furrows of person-scented cloth hang about them.  Dimity, corduroy, buckram, fustian, holland, shalloon, cambric, stuff, wool.  False head of hair or kerchief or hat."

Timothy goes on.  Remember he is an eighteenth-century turtle commenting on what he saw then.  What would he say now?  Look around and see like a turtle.  Move slowly, carefully, observantly, and sacredly, today.

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More from Timothy -

"Humans of Selborne wake all winter.  Above ground, eating and eating, breathing and shitting, talking and talking.  Huddled close to their fires.  Fanning the ashes.  Guarding the spark.  Never a lasting silence for them.  Never more than a one-night rest.  When they go down in the ground, they go down in boxes, for good, and only with the help of others standing round.  Peering into the darkness of the cold earth they fear.  The neat, rectangular hole."

"To humans, in and out are matters of life and death.  Not to me.  Warm earth waits just beneath me, the planet's viscous, scalding core.  It takes a cool blood to feel that warmth, here at its circumferance.  The humans' own heat keeps them from sensing it.  I drift for months - year's great night - floating on the outer edge of Earth's corona.  The only calendar my blood, how it drugs me."

He goes on about creating his winter space, and then, "A long, long descent into perfect absence.  I remember only where I'm going."

Hmmm, that place of presence.  I remember, and, today, I live balanced, like a tortoise, on the shell of the earth, encased in loam of sky.
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Afternoon -

I sat outside under a tree with the windchime clanging away.  Today is a windier day.   I continued reading Left to Tell, which, again, I heartily recommend.  As I got to the places that felt too tough to read, a little bunny hopped up near me, and lay in the grass, eating and resting, until I finished.  A robin froliced nearby.  I felt supported, in reading this story of the most horrible, possible abuse, and, courage and forgiveness.   I'm not sure what else to say, except to request you read it.  It is "billed" as a book to change your life, and the life of the planet.  It is like Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.  It is time to drain the devil within, the hells within, that explode out in fear and destruction, and turn toward the peace each one of us can consciously create when we visualize and request some help.
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Note on time -

I note my computer is on California time, the only time, so my postings are three hours off.  It is 3:48 for me, and nearing dinner time, and you are there, at lunch.   Tis fun!!