September 6th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

The sun was red this morning, throwing a rosy glow over air, eerie and darkened with smoke.  The fire may be 200 miles away but we are certainly affected.  I see how ash in the air can affect the plants growing below.  It is another sign to appreciate each moment of each day.

I finished reading The Mountain People by Colin Turnbull.  It is his account of how a group of people when taken away from the stability of their village life and need for connection can lose their ability to love and care for others, their family ties.   Though it is about a group of people in Africa, he sees it as foretelling something about "us," and the book was written in the 70's.  This group of people put their children outside the house at three years of age.  He sees the way we put children in preschool and our elders in nursing homes as the beginning of distancing in our own society.  I don't think our intention is the same, nor the result, but it is another reminder to nourish connection and the circles in which love flows.

I was so excited this morning I could not focus, but I am beginning to settle a bit now.  There is something about the words "Hong Kong" that are stimulating to me.  Chris and Frieda took off work today to look at places for their marriage.  Jeff says he can help me install something on my computer so I can talk to him from Hong Kong for free.   Tiger and Bella are keeping me in sight, suspicious that I might be planning to slip away, and all is well in my world as I prepare to fly from mellow San Francisco to bustling Hong Kong.

I was sad to read that Luciano Pavarotti died this morning.   The Nepalese believe that all souls when they go circle Mount Everest, "the churning stick of the gods."   Perhaps, I'll feel him on his way as I fly through the air.
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Dreams come true -

What if you slept, and what if in your sleep you dreamed, and what if in your dream you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower, and what if when you awoke you had the flower in your hand?

Ah, what then?

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Journey -

As I prepare to leave, I read these words:

    There is only one journey, Going inside yourself.

             - Rainer Maria Rilke
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Journeying -

As I consider the words of Rilke, feeling now in a calm place, I consider how we can stay with ourselves and our internal journey, even as we travel around the globe.  Perhaps that is the key, to stay with ourselves no matter where we are, and to carry that inner, peaceful place with us no matter what.

When I was fiddling with words this morning, I was struck by the stimulation that travel can offer, so I am between Kafka's words of sitting in a room and having all come to me, and Rilke's on the journey in, and my own feeling right now of being the spark between two sticks or stones, San Francisco and Hong Kong.   Here is my morning poem.



Tonight I fly on a plane across the Pacific,

ocean of peace and calm -

my excitement a kettledrum

beating my heart and insides

Calm, I say - relax, reflect.

Instead everything in me is running

as off a diving board

a jackknife through the air

landing in a brand new pool.


What will it be like?

Hong Kong.

Just the words speak a different beat,

Fast, concise, clear - chop, chop,

unlike San Francisco where the bread is sour dough,

slow to rise,

yeast bathes

in waves of fog and sun,

and there is a rhythm I share.  


In this moment, I need the stimulation of one place and another,

the rubbing of flint,

the spark of two sticks,

the leap of connection,

the newness that fits.  


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20-Minute Retreats -

I am perusing a book of 20-minute retreats.  The book is by Rachel Harris, and some of the retreats are only a moment, a pause to reflect and remember.

This comes from The Kabir Book, Robert Bly's translation of a fifteenth-century Indian mystic.

    I do not wish to dye my clothes saffron,
    the color of a holy order;
    I want to dye my heart with divine love.

Perhaps that says it all.
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Moving along -

The fog is in, so we leave the cold which is appropriate.  Chris and Frieda are coming by.  Hooray!

Wendy will home-sit and watch the kittens.  All is ready for me to let go, something that does not come easily to me.

Happy Days!!