May 5th, 2007

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Good Morning!

The sun is softly shining and the birds are softly singing, and I am wearing a soft pink today.  I feel gentled today, calm, and excited, too, as though part of me is already hanging over the coast at Big Sur.  I am excited!!

I read these words before I went to sleep last night.

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite.

    --William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

In my dreams, I climbed or was carried to a place where one could see above all the mountains on earth, but there was a woman there who wouldn't let anyone look, and kept moving everyone back down and holding up a little glass bottle that each of us was to fit ourselves into.  I wanted to look, to see, and I felt frustrated that anyone would choose confinement over the chance to really see the whole, to look down from above.  And then I woke, and so I am balancing this day on wholeness, while feeling my own particular self, and yet, also feeling a new opening coming from deep within, and there is one.  I feel a new zipper release from deep inside.  I step out.   Superman/woman, Ho!

Esalen is holy land and I will have time there, with Sharon Olds, with other poets.  What could be better?

I did mail the manuscript yesterday, even remembering that I needed 41 cents for the return since I doubt it will be returned by May 15th.  I bought some "eternal" stamps, since I tend to buy in bulk and end up with the wrong stamps, though I do love my new ones from 39 cents called "Hugs and Kisses."  Too bad 39 cents was such a short run. 

Anyway, there is an exhibit on publishing and printing today at Fort Mason.  It opens at 9, so that means morning goodies at Greens and a chance to get there early and see what is going on with print and publishing.   Hooray!!

Happy Day!

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Thoughts -

I am so excited about going to Esalen, and I am trying to stay present with this day.   I found myself wondering today if Esalen is excited about seeing me.  Sometimes when I walk with the trees, I feel them beckoning and appreciating my presence and my appreciation, and since we all are one, I am thinking that the ocean, trees, and rocks of Esalen are fluffing themselves up and preparing for my visit.  Is that egocentric?  Perhaps, and it makes me smile to think of it so, so there it is.

Something to consider today.  A friend of mine noticed that she was not using her whole tongue and mouth for tasting, but was instead focused in the front.  See if every bite of everything can be absorbed and felt by your whole tongue, mouth, esophagus, stomach, and organism.  Some people go to amusement parks and ride roller coasters, but you have you, and I have me, and that is really quite a bit of excitement to open and explore.
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Printer's Fair -

The art and printer's fair was wonderful.  I realize how much I love teeny-tiny things.  There were teeny-tiny hand-made books.  I took a class years ago and learned to make folded and hand-sewn books and I so appreciated seeing what people are doing.  Steve was less impressed though he bought me some adorable earrings, that are little hand-made books.  So sweet!!   I had a great time and walked part of the way home and enjoyed my three duck friends.  I think life as a duck must be quite fine.

Today is so gorgeous it is impossible to know what to say, so I won't.  I only hope you are out enjoying the beauty of these spring days.  Roses and sweet scents abound!!
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Thoughts -

Steve sees what I call "cute, little things" as dust-collectors.  I seem to need rocks, and books and knick-knacks around me.  For me, they are little doors into other worlds, like the doors of an Advent Calendar.  Sometimes I like sparse and spare.  I love the desert and the canyonlands around Moab in Utah, and I love these windows and doors with which I surround myself.  I also visualize them inside. I am filled with little shelves with goodies on them in which to seek and peek.  I suppose I am my own little Alice in Wonderland and that works for me.

Steve can tell the difference between the sound of and look of mufflers, and spends a great deal of time on motorcycle and car details I would never notice, so, there it is.  How wonderful all the ways we can be in this world!!
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Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is a big celebratory day in the US because it is something else to market, but it seems it is a small deal in Mexico except in Puebla where the battle took place.  I suppose it is good to celebrate as much as possible all different occasions, and it seems odd it is so big here, and lesser so in Mexico.  On the other hand, they may well be taking California back, and that, too, is okay.

Here is to the Fifth of May!!
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Silence -

I saw two Swallowtail butterflies today, at different times.  I didn't hear their wings.

I started re-reading Robert Sardello's book Silence.

The book begins with these words:

    All spiritual traditions value Silence. The Tao Te Ching speaks of the Tao as "for lack of a better word, the Great Way.  It flows, circles, flows and circles.  And it has no name."  So described, the Tao is probably the same as Silence, for the currents of Silence that I describe in this book are within this kind of imagination. Meister Eckhart says of this Silence: "The central silence is the purest element of the soul, the soul's most exalted place, the core, the essence of the soul." Here, the exalted place of Silence as constitutive of soul correlates with all that this book says concerning a new manner of living the great inner life.  Pythagoras said, "Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb the silence." Silence is autonomous. It is beyond us; our task is to coordinate our being with the great Being of Silence."

I am preparing myself for Esalen.  Silence.  Path and destination.  Home.
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Today I am watering all of my plants and saying good-bye to them for a week.  I realize the words today, "Give us this day our daily bread," and what they mean.  I can only give my plants so much water before I leave.  They can only absorb so much.  I cannot ensure their survival.  I suppose even if I am here I can't do that, but I was forced to realize that they can only drink so much, can only hold so much in their trunk, branches, stems, flowers, leaves.  I thought of it in terms of myself.  If I want to absorb more, receive more, it is for me to grow, and there is a limit, and then, I knew there isn't, and that is the place outside the glass I spoke of this morning. 

Goethe said, "To find yourself in the infinite,
                               You must distinguish and then unite."

I think it is like that.
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Thoughts -

A friend of Steve's calls from Marin General Hospital.  He has been in an accident on the freeway on his motorcycle.  Steve goes to get him, and I remember how my father was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1969.  It brings it back, and tears come, and I feel sort of sick and sad, and this man is all right and yet, it comes back.

Ironically, by chance, another friend of this man's was three car lengths behind on the freeway and saw the car that hit him.  The man who hit him went immediately to the police when they came and said that Bob, for that is the name of the man riding the motorcycle, moved into his lane.  Luckily, Bob's friend was there and could say that is not true.  What if he wasn't there though?  What if he hadn't seen it?  What if Bob were dead, and this man lied about his part in it?  Of course, I suppose it would make no difference and the conscience of the man who lied would know the true.

What do I want to say about this?

Nothing really.  I just needed to share.

It just occurs to me - a beautiful day - a Saturday afternoon -  San Diego - January 4th, 1969.   My father passed like that. 
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Book earrings!

It turns out there is a poem written on the pages of the books that are my earrings.

This is the poem by C.P. Cavafy, Ithaka.



Translated by
Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard






Other poems of Cavafy...


Che fece ... il gran rifiuto



The City


As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon-don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon-you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind-
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.


First version probably writtem January 1894.
Final version written October 1910, and published November 1911.