March 26th, 2008

Book Cover

Good Morning!

I was up late reading Surfacing by Margaret Atwood, then rose at 3:30 to meditate, and then, finished it, so I have been carried in and out of  a long canoe through the woods and along the lake.  

It is important to read a book like this periodically, to dip down into nature and renew, and yes, Margaret Atwood's writing is strong enough that we are dipped in and out like a candle, a wick layered and burned. 

I realized reading it how affected I was by sitting watching the tides go in and out of Tomales Bay, the climbing up a ladder to a bed that looked out on the bay, and the showering outdoors.  It is important to do sometimes and then we come back, and sometimes the coming back takes time.  I have felt a little adrift since I was there.

I also note that the orange juice with pectin is helping with the poison oak.  The native peoples weren't bothered by poison oak, only we who are less in nature's tune, and who were not immunized with small doses of it when we were young.

One time I was hiking with two friends, and we decided to climb up a cliff from the beach and return by an alternate route.  It seemed we would find our way easily.  The sea was right there, but we bogged down with hill after hill and it was getting dark, so I said we needed to go back down and follow the creek.  I was in shorts and short sleeves.  We slogged through blackberry bushes which made cuts, so the poison oak juice and the stinging nettles went deep.   When I got home, I was vibrating.  I stood in the shower, alive and purified.

The book is like that.

The moon each morning is amazing.  Perhaps it is why I awake early, to be with it.  Moon friend is still there, in the sky.  It seems so close, and I suppose I am like a tree, reaching up toward it, and so I bring it closer and ingest. 

Thank you, Dave, for the recommendation of two books at just the right time for me.   The moon is a step.

alan's marigolds

Jane Hirshfield poem

Some stories last many centuries,
others only a moment.
All alter over that lifetime like beach-glass,
grow distant and more beautiful with salt.
Yet even today, to look at a tree
and ask the story Who are you? is to be transformed.
There is a stage in us where each being, each thing, is a mirror.
Then the bees of self pour from the hive-door,
ravenous to enter the sweetness of flowering nettles and thistle.
Next comes the ringing a stone or violin or empty bucket
gives off—
the immeasurable’s continuous singing,
before it goes back into story and feeling.
In Borneo, there are palm trees that walk on their high roots.
Slowly, with effort, they lift one leg then another.
I would like to join that stilted transmigration,
to feel my own skin vertical as theirs:
an ant-road, a highway for beetles.
I would like not minding, whatever travels my heart.
To follow it all the way into leaf-form, bark-furl, root-touch,
and then keep walking, unimaginably further.
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
(Given Sugar, Given Salt)

alan's marigolds

Bearing Witness!

I  walk over to Eastwood Park and see it is now designated styrofoam free.    It is a step.

I am reading Bearing Witness by Bernie Glassman.

He writes: "Making peace, making things whole, is an endless task.  There are many definitions of a peacemaker. One of these I like most is that a peacemaker knowing that the well needs water, climbs the mountain to reach the snow, gets a spoonful of snow, comes down, drops it in the well, and goes back up the mountain.  She knows that the task is endless but she does as much of it as she can, day after day after day."

He also writes: "As soon as we know something, we prevent something else from happening. When we live in a state of knowing, rather than unknowing, we're living in a fixed state of being where we can't experience the endless unfolding of life, one thing after another.  Things happen anyway - nothing ever remains the same - but our notions of what should happen block us from seeing what actually does happen.  We get upset because our expectations aren't met.  When we can let go of them we are in accord with things as they arise."

alexander calder

Concern -

I have long wondered why the Bushies seem determined to destroy this country.   They give money to Halliburton and Halliburton goes to Dubai.  They built up the debt to unfathomable proportions.  What is going on?   The car companies in this country are going under.  Have they been helped by this government?   What is going on?

So, today, I see the WSJ on the table, and a full-page ad on the back of the front section catches my eye. 


I am not going to type the whole ad here, but you can check it out at:

and at:

The ad is bringing attention to the fact that the U.S. Air Force chose a European company over Boeing to build a tanker.  The acquisition process was flawed.  The ad ends with these words. 

    "The bottom line is that the selection process for the KC-X was flawed by countless irregularities.  In the evaluation, selection criteria were misapplied, the RFP was disregarded and the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation were not adhered to - resulting in the selection of a much larger, more vulnerable, less capable and ultimately more costly offering.  It's a decision that doesn't add up;  not for the warfighter or the taxpayer.  And one that should not stand."

Boeing has done a fine job.  They more than met the requirements.  Why wouldn't we give the job to a company in the U.S.?

Something smells once again.

I am emailing Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein to find out what is going on.  I suggest you also ask for accountability with our tax dollars.

blue jellyfish

Sensing -

I had my sensory awareness check-in with Lee this evening.  I was agitated over writing letters to my three representatives, and was not as calm as I might have chosen to be when she called, and yet, the point is to meet the moment and what it needs, to know what is enough.  As I spoke with her, I saw that I was beating myself up about not doing my "homework" well enough, and not being "aware" as often as I would prefer.  I kept digging the hole bigger and deeper as I spoke.  My language to myself was harsh.

Now I sit with simple questions.

    What is the need?
    What is the struggle?
    What am I wanting?

We can't get rid of something until we know what it is.  We have to invite discomfort in, chat with it, and then, bid it on its way. 

I sit here and explore with curiosity.  I am with the breath as it comes. 

What does this moment ask of me?

I am committed to sitting for 30 seconds after I get in my car before I start it, sitting and waiting until I am greeted by breath.  How does that 30 seconds affect my drive, my day?

Try it, and see.

I sit now and lift one leg from the floor, and place my foot back down.  What is meeting under me?   How much depth is there in my foot, from the part on the floor to the top of the arch?   Is there resting possible in landing, or does one foot go down, and, without a pause, the other foot come up?   What happens in breathing as I move first one foot and leg, and then, the other?

What happens if I stop typing, and twirl my chair around?

When I notice tightness, or discomfort, can I pause and be interested in what is happening without trying to change it or judge it?

Small steps, and the diaphragm floats up and down, a jellyfish.