Inauguration Day

So many tears watching last night and now today this transition to Democracy, Unity and Integrity.  I was up at 2:30 worried something could go wrong, and now today I watch as transition occurs.  I think it should be a National holiday so everyone can watch and partake with gratitude for democracy restored.

If you missed the young poet, here she is.

https://www.npr.org/sections/inauguration-day-live-updates/2021/01/20/958743170/poet-amanda-gorman-reads-the-hill-we-climb

A New Day

The wind is wild as it blows out the old and brings in the new.   

In the book, The Primary Colors, Alexander Theroux writes that blue is thought of as a cool color but the hottest stars are bluish white.  

Red stars are 4000 degrees.  Yellow stars are 5000, and blue stars are 10,000 degrees.

I must be getting old.  Those numbers don’t sound as huge as they used to.

Last night I was entranced with the crescent moon as it moved across the sky.  It was bright, and yet it only reflects.  I step into what I reflect even as I bring forth from within.

Theroux continues that in “Pyramid texts, the sky is described as green as living plants.”  Does this mean the Egyptians could not perceive the shorter wavelengths of blue light 5000 years ago?

Dorothea in Middlemarch says – “It is strange how deeply colors seem to penetrate one, like scent.”

In going through journals of the past, I come to this from 1997.  A woman I went to Nepal with in 1993 shares this: “I was on a silent retreat in Thailand. I saw a shooting star and the words, “Bye Mom” came out of my mouth.  I found out ten days later my mom died that night.”

We are One in starlight, moonlight, present, past, light, dark, life, death, and especially today, I’m grateful for change, and what tomorrow’s Presidential inauguration opens up and brings.

Camellia is open today

Martin Luther King Day

It’s a day to honor a man of Peace and Love, a Black man.  We thought we’d come a long way and this year we learned we haven’t.

It’s been a sobering year in so many ways, and this week is bringing a change.  The days are longer and energy is revived.  

A.A. Milne who wrote Winnie the Pooh said to listen to the animals.  He even listened to stuffed animals which is pretty remarkable.  

Andre Dubus wrote: “A Zen archer does not try to hit the target. With intense concentration, he draws the bow and waits; the target releases the arrow, and draws it to itself.”

We’ve been focused and waiting and now we’re concentrated on the target: January 20, 2021.

The target releases the arrow and draws it to itself. 

I give thanks for a target of Love and Peace led by those who’ve gone before, and encapsulated now in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  May we all be well!

Stinson Beach yesterday morning
Birds and Waves playing with the Tides
The hills are dry for January
This morning’s sunrise

Sunrise

Years ago, I concluded each day by answering three questions devised by the philosopher Spinoza.

He suggested asking at the end of each day:

What inspired me today?

Where did I experience peace, balance, comfort, or satisfaction?

What made me happy today, what, not who?

This morning inspired by the sunrise, I began my day with those three questions.  What inspires me? Where am I experiencing balance and peace? What makes me happy?

Answering springs gratitude. I plan to continue the practice.

I wing on the words of Brenda Ueland: 

It is only by expressing all that is inside that purer and purer streams come.
  

What comes?

This morning’s offering of light –
Soft –
Ease

Looking In

I’m grateful our new president speaks of feeding all children, not just a few.

Viktor Frankl wrote:  What is to give light must endure burning.

As a world dealing with crisis, we’ve been doing that.  Now we energize change.

Embracing and beckoning, I rise early these days, receive and integrate what roots in the dark.

Mark Twain said:  A better idea than my own is to listen.

William Butler Yeats wrote: We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us, that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.

I cultivate quiet and remember back.

In 2006, my cat Mandu passed away after I finished nine months of cancer treatment, chemotherapy and radiation.  I felt he stayed with me to absorb the poison and help me through it. I wrote this poem for him.  

Essence

Cat Mandu allowed us entry to his death,
stayed under the table on the rug
where we watched breath slow,
a final moist purr come to rest.

We wrapped him in a blanket,
carried him outside and dug
where Coast Miwok once lived,
and deer now stand, soul sentries

for all that is past. I placed a stone
engraved with words, Hidden Treasures,
then simmered in the sound of air,
a door passed through.

I pick up a stick,
touch like a wand the nerve running
from ring finger to heart.
A chime gathered, departs.

Webbing Seams

What’s Here!

Though the fog was thick this morning, a white wrap, I could hear birds tweeting welcoming spring.  I looked down off the deck and saw my Camellia beginning to bloom.  I startled a squirrel as I scampered downstairs for a picture and the squirrel climbed up and through the trees.

Then, the fog began to clear and another tree revealed.  

A friend recommended the book The Power of Focusing by Ann Weiser Cornell.  I’ve felt a bit adrift, so sat down and asked myself “What is the block?”  I’ve been wanting to go through journals of the past, and yet I don’t.  The answer came from within, an invitation. I rose and went downstairs, and am now ensconced in a treasure trove. 

Gratitude sweeps through, gratitude for invitation and embrace.  

Seeing Beyond
Opening Scent
Spiders web the landscape –

Center on Wheels

Years ago I bought a print by Brian Andreas called “Center on Wheels”.  A colorful drawing was accompanied with these words: I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night and found it had wheels and moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing.

I’m trying not to be obsessed with the news and …. So I keep coming back to this image and these words on centering on wheels, which brings me to lateral gliding, and the essential nature of not holding my neck like a rod. I don’t have bands of brass around my neck, though I may feel that way at times, but then I notice. Might I play with change?

I move my head on my neck gently back and forth and round and round. 

I read that strengthening the neck muscles begins with moving the shoulders in circles forward and back, so I begin there and visualize my neck moving like a snake, as I sail, slide, and skate, a squirrel scampering, a bird winging, through branches, and up and down trunks of trees.

You can find the image at https://www.storypeople.com/collections/classic-prints?page=3

  

Circling Points of View

In the last few weeks, three friends have requested help with someone they love going through treatment for cancer.  I offered my book Breast Strokes: Two Friends Journal through the Unexpected Gifts of Cancer.  Today when I received thanks from one of the women, I opened the book for myself.  

I opened to an experience I shared with my three year old friend Zach.  He was running around with his arms out proclaiming, “I’m an airplane.”  When he came to a speed bump painted white, he flew over it and said, “Look at that cloud!

I smile at the image, and feel my arms float up and out.  “Look at that cloud!”  

Another little boy – 14 months old –