Tender

My family gathered together yesterday and I’m feeling loved and tender. 

Watching a one year old is quite a stretch as though you might think you imagine life from a lower level, and place everything you perceive as dangerous out of the way, and up high, you can’t begin to encompass what they see and explore. Yesterday I wasn’t prepared to see Keo climb up, into and through the curved row of rosemary. Clearly he was enchanted with the texture, mystery, hidden places, blue flowers,  and pungency of the smell. 

 In his exploration, he discovered a solar light which he seemed determined to figure out how to take apart.  He allows me to feel and see how much I miss, how much is here to explore.

That leads me to this trailer for the documentary “My Octopus Teacher”.  I will watch the film, though my teacher is near at hand in a child.

I’m also with these words that begin the book This is Happiness by Niall Williams.  They help me navigate the political situation and the restrictions of the pandemic as life continues with people both sick and well.

From Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

All these squalls to which we have  been subjected are signs that the weather will soon improve and things will go well for us, because it is not possible for the bad or the good to endure forever, and from this it follows that since the bad has lasted so long, the good is close at hand.

Enjoy navigating new worlds as you and they unfold!

Creativity and Connection

My neighbor with two young sons sent out an email to the people on our street asking if it would be okay to trick-or-treat, all of it socially distanced of course.  I was an immediate yes.  I see how hungry we all are for contact and a semblance of recreating how it was last year and will be next year.

This comes from my local community center.

“We hope you will join us on October 30th, from 3-6:30pm for our first ever, SPOOKY STREET!

“The plan is to have families drive our ‘Spooky Street’ where businesses will decorate their (socially distant) parking space (or trunk) in fun and engaging ways. Participants will remain in their cars, so this year requires extra creativity!

“At the end of the ‘street’ they will be given a Boo! bag filled will treats, activities and surprises. We are limiting participation to 12 cars every 25 mins, for a total of 80 cars. 

“Advanced reservations will be required.”

I’ve decorated more than usual, and I see my neighbors out decorating. We are creatures of creativity, and like carved pumpkins, our light is shining through.

Hollow Wean

Jiggle Joy Jumps

Harvesting Light

This is a special day for me, though I was dismissing it thinking I’m rather old to be celebrating another year but then, well wishes come, and I open like a fan, even more grateful for life, family and friends.

I’m re-reading This is Happiness by Niall Williams, reading more slowly now, appreciating the poetry and space within the time period and the words.  I feel my brain expand, especially the right side. It’s as though I’d let the political news close me down, and now I can open to the breath and fresh air Joe Biden represents. I breathe more fully into my own creativity and the knowing and shared acknowledgment of what is right, and what is wrong.  

May we now come to calm, as I celebrate my day, well, two days, as family comes tomorrow, and I reflect back on the gifts of my life as they stack up like blocks on which to stand and view what comes in loving waves.  May we gather in the collective light of peace, growth, healing, and ease.

Harvest Time at Filoli Gardens

A Big Day!!

I just received the email notice that my ballot has been received and will be counted.  Hooray!!  It’s not the same as going into the voting place, but it feels super good.

I dropped it in the ballot box outside the Marin City library and there was someone before me and someone after me doing the same thing.  Voting pumps the heart with shared joy.  

My grandson is one today and I just received a video of him waking up to see his home decorated with balloons and a giant “one”.  His face as he’s twirled around is amazing.  Plus, he loves balloons and these are in beautiful autumn colors.  

I’m going down for the party, and will hang out at Filoli Gardens first, so a special day.

I’m also with the contrast of individuals in this election.   We have one man, and we have this.  Just this would determine my vote.

Heather Cox Richardson concludes her political report from yesterday with this.  My heart is lit!

Still, what made most news for Biden today was an old video of the former vice president at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who died when he tried to disarm the killer. In the clip, which circulated widely on social media, Biden expresses his sympathy to Hixon’s parents and is walking away when Hixon’s son Corey, who has Kabuki Syndrome, runs up and, as Biden turns to see what’s happening, throws himself into Biden’s embrace. Biden spontaneously kisses the young man’s forehead and asks if he’s okay. When he shakes his head no, Biden hugs him, cradling his head, and reassures him, “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to be okay, I promise.”

I believe him. We’re going to be okay!!

Fluidity

I open the pages of a brand new book, Be Water, My Friend by Shannon Lee about her father Bruce Lee.

I share his words for you to interpret however you need right now.

Empty your mind.

Be formless, shapeless, like water.

You put water into a cup; it becomes the cup.

You put water into a teapot; it becomes the teapot.

You put it into a bottle; it becomes the bottle.

Now water can flow, or it can crash!

Be water, my friend.

Be water flowing through stone, plants, and trees

Patience

Perhaps we all feel like patients these days as we’re bombarded with lies from a man with power he doesn’t deserve and hasn’t earned.  Therefore, I offer some quotes to guide and inspire the day, and encourage patience as we savor the beauty of these autumn days.

Charles Olson: Can you afford not to make the magical study which happiness is?

Confucius: With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.  

Krista Tippett: What an incredible power we have, to walk through the world, making somebody’s day.

Remember: The space between the notes makes the music.

Here’s the trailer for a documentary that, in my opinion, is a must-watch:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L4ktHbelhc

Grace

October is the birth month of my son, grandson, and myself.  I view it as a month of serenity, of the last month in the womb I’m currently in before the emergence of a new space in which to learn and grow.

I haven’t posted the last few days because I’m trying to balance on the lies that are spewed and reported, and the ethics and truth in which I was raised, and in which I believe.

I know truth can be complex.  I don’t believe in black and white, but, in this case, obvious, hurtful, dangerous, painful lies, it’s hard to balance on the bedrock I build within.

I understand that he who will not be named was bullied as a child and that he was raised to cheat and thinks that those who don’t cheat are stupid or flawed, that they don’t know how to play the game, how to beat the system. I send kindness his way, understanding we were raised differently, and still there is pain.

The election comes, and it won’t solve all the problems that are being created by a man who deserves to be, and is struggling to stay out of jail but I find it hard to watch and see.

On the other hand, I rise in the dark, and walk outside and see stars.  I lift there.

Children won’t be trick-or-treating this year, but in my sons’ neighborhoods, people are still decorating.  My son says people are out and about more than ever walking around.  Children can wear their costumes, and maybe it shouldn’t be about candy.  Maybe it never was. When I grew up, it was trick for treat, and we would practice our poem, rhyme, or joke for days before we went out. It was an opportunity to perform, to give something back. This year, it will be about connection, about moving around the neighborhood seeing creativity displayed.

My one year old grandchild will go as a bear.  His father has a shirt of the CA flag that’s missing the bear, so he will carry the Little Guy in its place.

Maybe that’s what’s needed this year, living examples of what’s been lost, and carried in and on our heart like the masks, in our care for others and ourselves, we wear. Let’s restore the innocence and love we’re created to share.  

In Denmark, children are taught empathy in and out of school.  May our new president be the example we want to see in the world, both small and large, and may we come together knowing we share a planet where each of us needs to feel safe and cared for as together we lift our eyes to other planets and galaxies of stars.

It’s been still here and warm. I hear the night creatures rumbling about but last night the wind blew in, and I felt as though I was on a ship, moving through and carried on the waves, as of course we always are, sailing on the winds of love, connection, beauty, trust, and grace.

The living bear on the flag though currently not wearing his furry ears

Masks

Wearing a mask like fastening your seatbelt is pretty much a given where I live.  In addition, because I can be cautious, I’m rarely out, but last Thursday I did meet my daughter-in-love at Filoli Gardens.

You need a reservation and there were very few people there but as we left, a mother with her two children passed us in the parking lot.  The children were probably five and four, and the older one, a little girl wore a dinosaur mask and the little boy a rainbow.  

I exclaimed, and they came closer and closer as we talked until their mother warned them to stop.  They loved my glittery mask and though I saw it as an abstract design, they saw different things in it and excitedly and carefully pointed them out. 

The children and their mother have stayed with me.  It was a heart connection. Their mother says nobody talks to them, and I said, “And I don’t see children.”  We all just stood there, attached with strings of love.  

Tears come to my eyes even now as it meant so much to all of us.  Of course, in normal times, it would have been more crowded, and we probably would have passed each other unnoticed, but there we were, as though we were the only people in the world, reaching out for communication and trusting that being so close, with our masks, was safe. 

This morning I woke from a dream – again, two children, and we were talking, and the little girl kept getting closer and closer to me, until her mother said to me, “Don’t touch her.”  Of course even in the old days, I wouldn’t have thought of touching a child I just met and didn’t really know but last week’s experience has stayed with me enough to haunt my dreams.

I love to sit by a playground and watch children.  Last week, a playground opened near where my son lives, and he took my almost one year old grandchild.  There are rules, masks, and only one child at a time on a play structure, but it was grandchild’s first time getting to climb and go through tunnels.

I can find advantages in all of this.  Both of his parents work from home.  He would never have had as much contact with them without this, and it’s a gift for them, too, and what does it all mean?

Perhaps it means we value each interaction even more than before.  Nothing is taken for granted.  One playground near me is now open, again with rules.  

Each generation grows up differently.  I pray this one is learning the value of connection, interaction, gratitude for the moment, and the value of touch and trust.  

Sculptures at Filoli Gardens

Recognition

I’m struggling a bit with the news these days.  Enough said.

I continue to work with my own expansiveness, my own stretch and reach, allowing my feet to reach into what’s beneath me, even as I rise, like a tree, well-rooted and branched.

Today I’m with the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: 

Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water.

My Light

I love rocks and frogs!

Halloween on Approach

Fall Light

The day was to go one way, and then a change, so now another, an open space.  I’m out early this morning, well not early if it were summer, but this time of year 6:00 is still dark.  The crescent moon is a cradle and stars are shining, winging my brain.

Mandala 

I oil my circle

of archetypes, prayers, gears.

Wind chimes.  

It’s almost Halloween. Ghosts, bats, witches, and pumpkins are flying about.
Egret in the Marsh of the Bay
Ivy meets rock; rock meets ivy.