October 11th, 2007

Book Cover


It is 9:30.   I will now get a cup of coffee and sit here with you.

Yesterday Jane and I worked on what we want to do with a new blog-website we plan to set up called Connection Well.

To sell a book, one needs a platform, but we are not so much interested anymore in the selling of the book.  We are more interested in what we do now as our little part in helping the world.  We are of an age where our contribution to what we leave when we die really matters to us.  The book may sell, and that will be lovely, but it is a side-bar to living life as intensely involved and compassionately as we can, each moment, each day, each "right now."

Jane's vision of Connection Well is big.  Stanford has a program that sets up blogs for children who are ill.  They are now wanting to expand to offering therapy for children who survive the torture of cancer treatment and the repercussions, to help them adjust back to life.  Kaiser has thought of offering blog support for their patients, but the doctors nixed it.  It feels threatening to them to have their patients commenting on treatment.

How might we step in to offer some way of connection for those who are ill, and ill in many ways?   I feel unsure, unclear.  I say we start small, just write some articles on subjects that interest us and begin posting and reach out.  Jane sees this as much bigger.  I think I am tired, and thinking small is all I can handle right now.

Jane and I worked until 7 last night, and then, I shared dinner with Chris and Frieda and we met with the wonderful man who will photograph their wedding.  I got home late, dealt with what I could, set the alarm for six, and woke, then, fell back to sleep despite ads, news, and classical music blaring away, so my morning call to Jane began with my glasses on, rather than my contacts in.  I find glasses discombobulating.   We are also working on a new query letter, so she sent me her version from yesterday and I worked on that.  She wrote a heart-breaking piece on her son.   All this amidst how  we begin and focus Connection Well. 

Chris called and he was stopped in traffic.  There was a fatality around Hayward.  We talked about the wedding, and he said I could google a satellite photo of Wildwood Retreat Center where they will be married.  I did, and yes, there it is.  He said I could google a street in San Francisco, and walk a little body around and I did.  First, I had to download a new version of Adobe Flash. 

Yesterday, Jane and I looked at the blogs of children who are ill.   She has a good friend whose child has been dealing with treatments at Stanford for three years.  I spoke of Mitchell for whom I pray each day.   We spoke of when our technology may mean too much.  I talk to Chris about this.  We talk about the right to privacy and cameras everywhere.  I check my email and delete 100 spam, and then, a few minutes later, 35 more, and they are not all about penis enlargement.  Some of them are from the many organizations I support and from petitions I've signed, and it is too much.  I can't rescue a park this morning, a politician, otter, wolf, or  bear.  I might have gotten up earlier and taken my morning walk and meditated as I plan to do each day, and yet, somehow I seem to be behind in a way I don't understand.  My morning was more complicated than I am presenting.  I am simplifying.  I love simplicity. 

I bought a book yesterday in one of my favorite book stores, the Architect's book store on Fourth Street.  It is the not so big life, making room for what really matters book.  It is by Sarah Susanka.  She wrote The Not So Big House .....   I hope to make room for a time and place to read it.

I go to Mount Madonna tomorrow, a retreat center in Watsonville, where I will attend a conference on Sensory Awareness.  I'll stop at Jeff's on the way down to talk and on the way back for fresh tomatoes and more talk.  There is no internet at Mount Madonna.  Cel phones don't work.  It is like the "good old days."

I love my home, and it itself is a retreat center.  My garden is exquisite right now, and I am calm, despite all this, and I am aware that we live in a rapidly changing world, and I am looking forward to finding a broader hook on which to hang and share what life means to me. 

I love life.  I accept that our brilliance has led us to traffic jams and survival rates beyond what we could ever have imagined.

I am grateful today.

Happiness, ease, and joy,  to you All!!

Peace and Connection are the most important things of all!!    May we live and connect!!

Book Cover

Pause to Listen!

from Heron Dance:

A fair, hot day, sultry, with a morning fog. I was up in the first light, and after fishing and milking, went up the hill (to McCord’s) for blackberries. Picked 12 quarts and was back in time to do some hoeing before dinner, also after dinner. Nice berries and good picking. In a retired spot where no one ever goes, I am at ease, a feeling I do not enjoy when out in the open, picking where the Gorman children might be. Some of the briars grow among small locust trees, and I pick over my head sometimes. Late in the afternoon I begin to reckon up the day, I give up much further accomplishment and figure what must be done before nightfall – the goats, fishing, bath, supper, and often occasional chores…Time to play a little after supper, before fishing. Bath, or swim and bath together, had come first then goats, then supper. The peewee still pipes. We may read a little before bed. Faint cheeps of katydid across the creek in the deep foliage where they are last heard in the fall. I suppose a life is like that – at last you cease to think of what you might still do, and wind up the chores before nightfall. Blessed is that man whose last days are serene and quiet. I have an idea that I will be busy until the last minute, as on some days, yet last night we sat in the evening listening to night sounds, watching the fireflies; then to bed.

Harlan Hubbard, from Payne Hollow Journal, July 27, 1961

Book Cover


My brother sent me a quote from the documentary by Ken Burns on WWII.

    "During that war they determined that the average individual could only be involved with the ground war for 240 days without completely losing their minds."

    My brother adds that "only the military could quantify a number like that".  He continues, " But the good news/bad news relative to that was that, the odds were highly against anyone making it 240 days without either being killed or injured."

How can we know numbers like this and still continue to have wars, rather than find solutions of peace.  I have read that Ken Burns made this documentary to wake people up as to the effects of war.  May it be so.


Book Cover

Evening -

Yesterday I arrived at Jane's early so I walked up to Skyline and sauntered along the road enjoying the magnificent views.  A man in a convertible with the top down drove by with opera blaring away.  It was something to be up there, hearing a woman's voice carry high notes into the air.  Life is like that, always something new being shared. 

It continues to look like rain and I await.  I'm snuggly tucked and full of wintery vegetable-chicken soup.  All is well in my small world.


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.