July 16th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

It is another astonishingly beautiful day.  We slept with the windows open,unusual for here.  All was complete silence until the birds awoke and now they light the air with sound.

Jane and I walked on the mountain yesterday and circled the top and then sat up on the rocks at the fire look-out.  We were embraced in the flight of  Swallowtail butterflies.  What a cleansing.   It is the first time we have been together without working since October of 2005, so it was quite a treat.  I carried a notebook just in case, but this day was about letting it all go and trusting the book will find its audience and home.  I feel so awake this morning, and so relaxed in an alert way.  I have been spending more time with trees, our great teachers, and learning their way to speak.

These words come this morning.  I like them as a way to begin my week.  

"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do."

- Epictetus

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Fog and Sun!

I am soft here in the quiet of sun, while Jane informs me the Oakland hills are experiencing wind gales and she can't even see across her street.   What a difference the wind makes in circulation of flow and mood.   Softly, I settle in now to write and explore.
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Morning Poems!


July 16, 2007


My mother would be eighty today

if she lived - eighty -

those two round O’s stacked

with another by their side.


I miss her with the whole round

ache of three whole O’s of pain,

miss her smile, sweetness, delicacy,



There are three O’s in my heart

right now

holding up cards

saying Oh, Oh, Oh,


It is so hard to lose mother.

Tears flow.  




Does the pain of losing mother

ever stop?

It is the natural flow; life begets

and death begets,

and yet knowing that doesn’t stop

the silver hammer pounding my heart

saying where is she in whom I lived

for nine months

connected by a cord

in breath and digestion,

rhythm, pulse and sound.


When are we ever so obviously held


She left me clues of afterlife

with a glass broken egg,

a honked horn,

let me know she was hatched

into a wider bloom,

and yet I ache. 

I want to take her to the Lark Creek Inn

for lunch to celebrate.

She will have the pot roast with potatoes

and carrots.  I will have the fish.




On the Mountain



When I sit on the rocks

beneath the prayer flags

hanging from the barbed wire

of the fire lookout,

I am surrounded by Swallowtail

butterflies and birds.

I look down on a world

that seems gentle and sweet.

I see only love in the curve of the bay,

water and land based in the movement of tiny ships. 

The top of Sutro Tower pokes up from the fog.

Parts connect that are unconnected,

East Bay and West.

Organs know blood

in the pulse,

of a four-chambered heart.  



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Thomas Merton!

The Merton Reflection for the Week of July 16, 2007

"The heresy of individualism: thinking oneself a completely self-sufficient unit and asserting this imaginary "unity" against all others. The affirmation of the self as simply "not the other". The true way is just the opposite: the more I am able to affirm others, to say "yes" to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone.
           I will be a better Catholic, not if I can refute every shade of Protestantism, but if I can affirm the truth in it and still go further.
           So, too, with the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, etc. This does not mean syncretism, indifferentism, the vapid and careless friendliness that accepts everything by thinking of nothing. There is much that one cannot "affirm" and "accept," but first one must say "yes" where one really can.
           If I affirm myself as a Catholic merely by denying all that is Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., in the end I will find that there is not much left for me to affirm as a Catholic: and certainly no breath of the Spirit with which to affirm it."

Thomas Merton. Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander. New York: Doubleday, 1966: 144.
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Time and change -

I see now that the Lark Creek Inn is no longer open for lunch, and here I was, all ready to go over and share a lunch with my mother and I have my memories, so I will dine richly there today.
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A Little Ditty -

Dine Richly in Memory


Restaurants close

and people change,

but memories are rich

and stay the same.


Make memory what you will

and be intimately satisfied

with the currency reflected

in the heart of the bill.



Happy Play!!
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Change -

The August National Geographic has an article and editorial on New Orleans and whether or not it should be rebuilt and another article on the Mayan culture and its collapse. 

The editor points out that the site of New Orleans has been subject to disaster again and again.  Even without the threat of global warming, a new site would probably make sense and yet there are people who still hold on to the heart and soul that is New Orleans.  It allows one to better understand perhaps those last 200 years of the Mayan culture sinking into change.   It also allows us to see the contrast of human achievement and pride, and the arrogance that maybe is not able to see when it is time to let go and begin again.  

We can put a Crittercam on an Emperor Penguin and dive with a penguin 120 feet under Antarctic ice.  What we can do is amazing, and there is also a place to pause and reflect on what has been done and what may be done now.  We need vision and an honoring of our abilities to reach far beyond what seems possible, and also an ability to put imagination into a container that holds.

One reason the Mayans may have sunk is too many people living lavishly at the top.  Hmmm!    Nothing of that here, I suppose, among those of us who live better than kings and queens of the past. 

Here is my poem on Being, a place which Jane and I experienced and shared yesterday.


The Simplicity of Being


Though I carry paper and pen,

to record, we walk,

and sometimes talk,

but mainly we look

and absorb

the circling of a mountain

at the top

looking down on patterns below,

water, land, bridges, ships

and the bonding hand of fog.


We sit and butterflies flit

like a Fairy Godmother’s wand.




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Bush's Ignorance Continues to Astound!

from the beginning of Paul Krugman's column today:

The Waiting Game
    By Paul Krugman
    The New York Times

    Monday 16 July 2007

    Being without health insurance is no big deal. Just ask President Bush. "I mean, people have access to health care in America," he said last week. "After all, you just go to an emergency room."

    This is what you might call callousness with consequences. The White House has announced that Mr. Bush will veto a bipartisan plan that would extend health insurance, and with it such essentials as regular checkups and preventive medical care, to an estimated 4.1 million currently uninsured children. After all, it's not as if those kids really need insurance - they can just go to emergency rooms, right?