December 30th, 2006

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    I have a cold, which I am attempting to ignore, remembering the one I had this time last year, and being so grateful for hair and energy and healing.  I know this cold will pass more quickly than the one I had last year which hung on and on.  

    I have had less computer access as Steve has been fiddling and has now replaced our router to go along with the new modem.  The new boxes are small and cute.  I got an IPod for Christmas, a nano one, so it sits here, also, and is tiny.  I have more space.  The right side of my desk is tidy with these new modern gadgets and the left side is a pile of "essentials" I intend to sort through today.   I am feeling a need to cleanse the whole house, to purify and give away, but, for today, it will be this small section of desk that I choose to clear and sort.

    Orion magazine arrived today, and again, I "push" it.  There is a wonderful article by Nalini M. Nadkarni, who set up a Moss-in-Prisons program, which is incredibly successful.  It seems that the demand for moss by the floral industry has depleted moss in the wild, so this program allows prisoners to raise and learn about moss while in jail.   They will begin selling online through nature gift companies "sustainably grown moss pots" using the mosses propogated by prisoners.

    The article concludes with this touching paragraph.

        "Inmate Hunter joined the horticulture program at the local community college after his release, with a career goal of opening his own plant nursery.  Inmate Juarez told me he had taken an extra mesh bag of moss from the greenhouse and placed it inside the drawer of his bedside night table.  Each morning he opens the drawer.  "And though it's been shut up in a dark place for so long, the moss is still alive and growing," he said, grinning.  And then, more quietly, "Like me."

    Now, there is an inspiring story with which to begin the new year.  
        May the pillow of 2007 be fully plumped with stories like this.

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skin -

Have you thanked your skin today, or even noticed it?

Orion magazine has an article by Andrea Jones titled "Identity's Edge."   The last paragraph says this.

    "It is convenient to think of the human birthday suit as a membrane that separates, preserving the boundary between self and not-self.  But from the moment your parental gametes linked their half-strands of DNA to form the zygote that would develop into you, everything you now claim as yourself has been derived from matter and information imported across your body's external membrane.  The world may be full of things that slash, nibble, pierce, abrade, infect, and sear, but it is also replete with oxygen, sunlight, chocolate, laughter, the color of leaves in autumn, the smell of fresh-baked bread, the twining of bodies under the covers on a winter's night.  Skin differentiates but does not isolate.  Your singular existence unfolds within it, but skin does not hold the universe at bay.  Instead it marks the seam that joins your existence to everything else."

Again, this is something to comtemplate this day before New Year's Eve.   Jane and I continue to discuss the book.  Today, she suggests we need more about who we were "before."    I realize I don't know who I was before.   So much has gone in and come out at this point, that I feel new.  I am new for this New Year!!  I am Now!   

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A time to dream -

August Kekule is the man who dreamed of the ring shape of the benzene molecule.

In 1865, he said, "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then perhaps we shall learn the truth."

I had amazing dreams this morning, was running through the most wonderful canyon fields with friends all around.   May this year fulfill for each of us more than we can even imagine or dream.
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Attitude -

Epictetus -

    It is not the things themselves that worry us, but the opinions that we have about those things.

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Raising Kindness -

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence,

    we could rise up rooted,

             like trees.

                            - Rilke

Be kind to your sleeping heart.
    Take it out into the vast fields of light
             And let it breathe.

                         - Hafiz

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Anna Swir was a member of the resistance during the Nazi occupation.   Polish, she once endured an hour during which she expected to be executed.   Here is one poem from her book Talking to My Body.


Walking to your place for a love feast
I saw on a street corner
an old beggar woman.

I took her hand,
kissed her delicate cheek,
we talked, she was
the same inside as I am,
from the same kind,
I sensed this instantly
as a dog knows by scent
another dog.

I gave her money,
I could not part from her.
After all, one needs
someone who is close.

And then I no longer knew
why I was walking to your place.

       - Anna Swir    (translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan)