May 15th, 2007

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Good Morning!

I am still moving slowly and am beginning to feel better.  I seemed to need a purge and so it came.  I feel well-cleaned and cleansed.

I am aware this is the anniversary of the end of treatment.  Actually it is May 17th, but I am absorbing that, and went back and perused the blog of last year at this time.  Most interesting for me.

My morning poem today is on Esalen.  I still haven't gone back to look at what emerged there.  This is today, and today, for me, is still a day of rest. 

Esalen Speaks


“Be the trees

 The ocean ripe with whales and kelp

 The rock-stirred dreams.”


And so I sink deeply

to the bottom and keep going, going,

move on through to somewhere new.


Time isn’t held in hands or clock.

Account may be touched with the beat of a drum

but exploration opens out like beds of stars,




          each light, held and blown

          like dandelion heads

          in the wind.


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Jane's Morning Poem!

Jane is still with the passing of her uncle.  You might note we are back to our morning poems.  The book is done, for now, we feel, and we can return to how it began, to our morning allowing of time together to see what comes.

When my father died they laid him out in an open casket.

He looked a bit askew, not quite like him, more a likeness.
Now it seems we spare the dead that last humiliation
of being the only dead one among a party of the living.  
Now that we live more of our lives in the space between
impulse and fire, might the dead just disappear?  
Simply was but is no more?
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Prayers -

Prayers today for the Low & Jaye Chan family.

When we read in the news that someone is hit by a car, perhaps we don't take into full account the devastation for the person and their family.  Prayers for health and peace for all involved in the accidental hitting of Low Chan.   May he come through this well!
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Bumper Sticker -

My brother sends a bumper sticker he saw the other day.

        I'm straight.....But not narrow.

                                It works for me.
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Thoughts -

At Esalen, the first night, a man and his grown son sat down to eat with me.  They were there for the Breathing workshop.  The man's wife, the son's mother had died quickly of cancer 13 years before.  Then, in my Sharon Old's group was a young woman, now 30, who lost her mother, when she was 21.  Her mother, also went quickly.  She just had time to give a squeeze of her hand before she left.  That was 9 years ago.  I consider on why I am so lucky to still be here, why I am given this second chance.  No wonder I needed some time to absorb the gift of this and what it means to me now.  No wonder I have been so sick as I shift.  I begin now today to enter my journals of last week.  The journey is deep and I will consider how much of it I feel able to share.

Reading further along in my journal, I am reminded that the wife and mother chose not to do chemo or radiation.  I don't know about the other woman, though the rapidness of her death might suggest the same.  For me, somehow, there was no question of not doing it.  It just seemed my path.  I was not ready to go.  Others may be.  It is not to judge, only to notice how it felt to me when the young woman looked at me so lovingly, saying she saw in me her mother as she would have been if she lived.

I feel a responsibility in that, a gift.
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Poetry Thoughts -

Poetry began as communal, as a way to unite the tribe, in shared stories, history.

Now there is an element of the outlaw in it, possibly because it touches on truth, not something highly valued in today's society.

Despite that, consider the words of Muriel Rukeyser.

    "Breathe in experience.  Breathe out poetry."

One man at the Sharon Old's workshop could not find a pen when just the right thought came to him.  His wife dug through her purse.  He almost wrote his poem in eyeliner.  One needs to want it that much, to put down one's words in song on whatever comes along.  Write on bark, stones, toilet paper.  Write on what is around, all that surrounds, within and without.