February 27th, 2010

Cover of Breast Strokes!

Evening -


It has been a full day.  Jane and I are both overwhelmed.  The love that is pouring in, the care, brings me to happy tears.  My heart is overflowing.  Thank you!

Jane and I got together today to discuss how to speak about the book.  I had written what I wanted to say and she had written what she wanted to share.  We had agreed we would each introduce the other.

I had concluded that for me the book was about 3 C's - cancer, commitment, and connection, but I was gonged in the heart when Jane read her words to me.  She feels the book is about listening.  Each morning we wrote and then, we listened as we each read what we had written.  We read to each other over the phone.  

Jane is sharing in her introduction a day when she and I met and walked through some tall trees in the East Bay and found a quiet place to sit.  This was years before I got sick.  Our plan was to read our poems to each other.  When she read me her poems, I felt she was not honoring them, was not giving them the time, tenderness and care they deserved so I read them to her.  That is when she understood listening.  I received her poems, knew how they should be read, and in my listening, could give them back to her.

That is how she plans to introduce me.  

There was a day when I began chemo and different people arrived at my door with food, and one woman brought a metal icon, hand-made, that said, "Protect this woman."  I knew I had to grow a bigger heart that day to hold all the love I was now so blessed to receive.  That is how I feel today.  I have to grow a bigger heart to hold all this love you give to me.  Tears come.  My eyes keep filling with tears.  Tears are liquid love and as I say in the book, I bathe.

Cover of Breast Strokes!

Listening our way toward peace -

Today I was reminded of the founder of Sensory Awareness, Charlotte Selver's continuing question, "Why is there war?"

She would then quote Alfred Korzybski who through his work with General Semantics concluded that we have wars because we don't listen to each other.

Jane and I listened to each other when we wrote each morning and then read each other what we wrote.  The poems in Breast Strokes document our listening, our coming to common themes.  What are you feeling today?  What image brings you to me?

Here is a transcript of a speech by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt on "Charlotte Selver and Sensory Awareness in Times of Violence."

Through listening, may we cultivate peace.