January 6th, 2008

Book Cover



January 6, 2008




We have adjusted.   We wake warm and cozy in our bed.  We light an array of candles on each side of the bed, the shrine we created so we could read last night and our eyes have adjusted so we read now by candlelight in a temple of warmth and shelter.


All is silent this morning, and then, a soft rain walks through, and now, again quiet.  The house doesn’t feel so cold this morning.  We have adjusted and electric lights will seem like a bombardment.  I want to stay in this quiet Sunday morning shelter. 


I don’t even feel a desire for morning coffee.  I am complete.  We stopped at the Book Depot yesterday and each got three books.  One of mine is The Best Buddhist Writing of 2007.  The first article seems a wee bit harsh about what it is to be a Buddhist.  I don’t do well with labels and clear delineation, so I go to Norman Fischer.   He compares us to snowflakes and says this:


            “The logic of emptiness is wonderfully airtight.  Like all simple truths, its clarity is immediately self-evident: we are.  And there is no moment in which we are separate and apart: we are always connected – to the past; to the future; to others; to objects; to air, earth and sky.  Every thought, every emotion, every action, every moment of time has multiple causes and reverberations – tendrils of culture, history, hurt, and joy that stretch out mysteriously and endlessly.”


Now I hear a crow.  The birds have been tucked.  I’ve seen only the occasional one find a lapse in the storm and take to the sky.  I read that people went to the zoo yesterday but the animals stayed inside.  The zookeepers said animals know when to hide, to protect.   We are the ones who head out into weather, and yet I note my neighbors have all been close to home.   Starbucks and the Dipsea are six tenths of a mile away and that seems to be the limit of travel these days.  We have taken the extra two miles to downtown, so are big travelers.


I like this.  Three days to adjust and now the power will go on either today or tomorrow.  Tuesday would be a stretch.   The light in this room is lovely in candlelight and I have my laptop fully charged so can type in bed.  Of course, the internet is out so I cannot send, but my fingers love to bounce up and down on the keys.  There is comfort there.


I remember the summer between eighth and ninth grade and my typing class.  I took typing and tennis, two subjects clearly essential to ease and refine my life.  Who would have imagined how much I would use the typing.  Did we foresee all this with computers in 1963?    When I see people hugging their laptops close, I wonder how long it will be before we have our own computer chips discretely installed.  It is certainly inconvenient to not have Wikipedia a keystroke away and yet our minds have slowed in this power outage, our needs.


I always thought I would enjoy a winter in a little cabin in the Alaskan wilderness.  Yesterday, I thought no way.  Today, I see that one would change and that the snow and scenery would be so exciting and the soft light, that it would be that is needed and I am here, and the days of that kind of retreat may be past and who knows.  Change.  Adapt.


I see there may be a well-loved ranch for sell, and I consider, and I know my family is here, and so it is.  My imagination has many stalks.



We come down to Starbucks, so I can fuel before meeting Frieda’s mother and grandmother to head up to Guerneville and beyond.   The people of Tam Valley are gathered.  One man comes in and makes an announcement.  There were twelve PGE trucks at Outback last night.  The “guys” were dining.  They are under the assumption our power is on.  Someone slipped a switch saying it is so.  They don’t know the area, so perhaps don’t notice the hills are dark.  Everyone runs to call PGE on their cell phones, so when I return I am expecting power.  I love this world.  


Ah, didn’t I speak of change?   Because we have now been out without power for 48 hours, we get to talk to a person.  The lovely woman informs us our power will be restored late Wednesday night.  That is six days.  Everything in our refrigerator and freezer will be gone.   She said there may be a stray crew around and that could change, so I am still hopeful that since we are on the way to everything else, and since power is now on all around us, that maybe we could be sneaked in.  So, where is my contentment of the morning?    And I will again find it, balance, consider that it really doesn’t make any difference whether we have power or not.   The point is to feel the wholeness of the moment and snack.