August 2nd, 2007

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Good Morning!

This morning Jane and I spoke.  There has been a gap in our morning writing which led to what I wrote today.  I am in the process of trying, and maybe that is the problem, trying, to understand the balance of being and doing, the pause in the breath, the gap.  So, that leads to this.  Jane is working with her poems from Squaw, so is not yet represented here.   Here are my morning thoughts.

Mind the Gap


mind the gap

we are told at train stations

mind that space that steps between platform

and movement from one piece of land to another.


mind the gap

I say to myself

as I come to my computer after a lapse.

What happened to writing every day?


I ask my mind to mine,

cull, remember

what fills the undocumented place

between platform and where I was


and where I am. The gap is a place

to float.  Look down and see

the workings underground,

                   the rails

                   of support. 


“When the Saints go marching in”

          is a song I love

          without really considering what it means.

                   But now I hear it rolling

                   beneath my feet,

                   carrying me along

                   continuously cultivating

                   each pause, each gap,

                   connecting, entwining,

                   celebrating the one that steps

                                      and mines

                                      the gap.      



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Opportunity -

"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."

- John W. Gardner
(1912 - 2002)

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What we don't always see -

I just made an appointment for Tiger and Bella to have their one year check-up and shots.  They have not been in the car for a year, and, at that time, they both fit in one box.  Now, they will each have their own container.  I was thinking I would appreciate a service right now that would take Tiger and Bella to the vet, and that way I am not perceived as the "bad guy," but, I actually don't know what they will think of this experience, and my other pets never held a grudge against me, so I don't know why I think these two are so delicate as to new experience.  The vet is very nice and everyone there goos all over them.  Maybe they will love it, and even if they don't, I do it for them, and so, I was considering how many times experiences might be provided for us that we may not appreciate at the time, not realizing we are being immunized against something much worst.

We will all happily visit the vet next Tuesday.   I saw Harry Potter last night and enjoyed it and now I have succumbed and will read the new Harry Potter book.  Somehow it feels right to delve into the subjects Rowlings surfaces.  I am also reading the Dalai Lama's new book, Mind in Comfort and Ease.

I find these words of the Dalai Lama comforting. 

"In our practice, we might develop certain positive experiences, but without stabilizing them through familiarity, they will last no more than a few days, weeks, or months.  They will disappear like our physical strength when we don't keep in training or like the water that has gone off the boil. But once we manage to gain some stability, the qualities we are trying to develop in our training will become natural properties of our mind, which will then remain, even without any effort on our part. That is what it means to develop a quality to its fullest extent - to reach the point at which a property has become so familiar that is is simply present without us having to apply any further effort.

Our physical bodies age and lose their strength.  Despite all our anti-aging creams and pills and rejuvenating treatments of every kind, slowly the wrinkles creep across our face and our hair turns gray.  Regardless of what we do to care for our bodies, eventually they grow old, and we can do nothing to stop that process.  In the case of consciousness, there are certain states of mind that have become familiar to us over the years and that continue even as we grow old or live with illness. If we have always been cheerful and calm, for example, we will continue to be cheerful and calm even in our old age. So the qualities of the body will eventually disappear no matter how much we might do to try and safeguard them, but the qualities of the mind, if we have really trained and cultivated familiarity with them, will remain for as long as the mind itself continues. That is why we can say that the qualities of the mind can be developed infinitely and boundlessly."

Ah, I love that!!   Here is to infinite bounds!

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I have a wonderful woman who comes in and cleans my house.  She brings two young women with her, and they whip through here with brooms, cleaning cloths, and vacuum in less than an hour, and yet, everything is pristine.  I am left with space clean, organized and free of cat hair.

She dropped the check yesterday and I called her to tell her I found it in the garage.  She went on and on about what a blessing we are to her, Steve and I.  Is that amazing?   I am a blessing because I give her my home to clean.  I think it says everything about attitude, because, to me, she is the blessing, giving me freedom, comfort, and spaciously, bright surroundings.

She looks like the Madonna, has the face of an Angel.  Her face reflects who she is.   I offer bouquets to Rosa today, a person who lives and moves in love and gratitude.  She is a circulation of energy and joy, cleansing where she goes.

And no, I won't give out her name.  Her schedule is full, and rightfully so.   : )
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Beauty -

The New Yorker has an article on Spam.  It appears there is nothing that can be done about it.  The spammers are clever, and it costs them nothing to send it out.  I certainly noticed no dip in my spam when a big spammer was recently caught.  I have different approaches when I delete spam.  Lately, I am trying to send loving-kindness to those who send it.  It may not affect them, but at least my blood pressure doesn't rise and I feel some relief.

The following words help too in accepting that the universe is "free" and unpredictable, though, in this moment, it seems spam may be a predictable fact of computer email life.

We are beginning to explore the physics of beauty. Philosophers and scientists have come together to name certain universal themes.

The universe tends toward complexity.
The universe is a web of relationship.
The universe tends toward symmetry.
The universe is rhythmic.
The universe tends toward self-organizing systems.
The universe depends on feedback and response.

Thus, the universe is “free” and unpredictable.
The themes of the universe may be the elements of beauty. Certainly, they are the elements of flowers.

Sharman Apt Russell from Anatomy of a Rose