This is quite a journey when one doesn’t have power or yesterday even cell phone availability. Yesterday I went to Sausalito hoping to post but their wifi was overloaded and I couldn’t get on, so I’ll post here what I would have said and then make a new post for today. Perhaps what’s most challenging right now is it’s cold, but Steve’s office got power this morning and though our home is still dark, I’m here in warmth and light.
Tuesday, October 29 – Checking In
I haven’t been able to post as there’s been no electricity or wifi in the county in which I live. I’ve been keeping track though so may go back and share a piece of these last few days. I understand that there is now power around me so perhaps I can go to another town today and connect to my blog and post.
It’s 6:20 in the morning and still dark, and rather cold. I sit in meditative mode much of the time though yesterday we went to San Francisco for gasoline for our car, and the generator we borrowed from our son. It powers our refrigerator much of the time, a lamp, our phones and computers. Our barbecue uses propane so we have coffee in the morning. Last power outage a few weeks ago, we lost thousands of dollars of food. I tossed everything out, so now we’re trying to save the food that replenished what was lost.
One could hardly call this roughing it and yet it is a change, and that’s where I come to Michael Lerner and Commonweal. The world as we may have thought we knew it has changed. Marin County is one canary in a mine. The counties north and south are others.
There are many reasons for this change, social, political, technological, but perhaps the biggest is climate change. A friend of mine lives in Guerneville. She was evacuated from her home in the spring for flooding and now in the fall for fire.
Resilience is now required of each of us. If you have power, and are reading this, check this out: Google: http://www.resilienceproject.ngo
And now I’ll go backward and return to Sunday morning, October 27, which seems a long time ago. I was sitting outside with my computer observing how clearly, “a moment is a moment”. The power had been turned off the day before, and we were learning to navigate like bats in the dark. It’s amazing how dark it is when all lights in your county are off. Candles help, yes, and lanterns, and yet, there is an awareness when darkness comes, a primal awareness that it is time to prepare, and when morning comes, a different awareness that it’s time to utilize the light.
We spent Saturday with family, which now includes a “young-un”. When I woke the next morning, I stayed in bed, watching the world come to light. Without power, I felt no need to rise.
Lying there, I noticed I was resting in the same position as the little guy, the five day old grandson I’d been with the day before. I’d spent hours watching him and somehow had become him.
I was holding my hands like his and my head was tilted just so. Then I noticed my fingers. I’m enchanted with his, with the intricacy, length, and aliveness. I could feel my fingers reaching, stretching, receiving, bending, exploring, in and touched by the world.
And there are the eyes. I’ve never thought of myself as a visual person. I’ve been myopic since fourth grade, preferring to read and see internally. I like to sense the energy around me, but after so much time looking into his eyes as he looked into mine, I feel a transmission of a new way to see or maybe a reconnection with how I saw when I first came, an intake without division, wholeness.
I remember the morning of my 44th birthday in Nepal. It was 1993 and we were camped at the steps of Tengboche Monastery at 13,000 feet in the Everest region of Nepal, Khumbu. I was trekking with two woman, and one still slept in her tent, but my friend tapped at my tent door and said, “Come,” and I did. We walked up the steps to enter splendor, a spiritual extravaganza of monks and horns, chanting, and guttural singing, and splendid dress.
We were offered a hot drink and sat to the side with flickering rows of yak butter lamps.
As I listened, I felt myself carried on a journey of expansion, the beginning and ending of formation and time, all of it happening all at once, birth and death, all One, over and over again.
That’s what I feel and see when I look into, and with this Little One’s eyes. I feel the wisdom of the newly arrived. This little bundle in his snug cap transmits. My guru is here.
Sunday I attended a sacred hula performance at The Palace of Fine Arts. My friend Elaine was part of the performance. The ending consisted of over 200 people in red shirts honoring the Hawaiian mountain Mau Koana.
Mau Koana offers the best place on earth to place a telescope and see into our past. It’s hard to argue with scientific advancement, and yet, the Native People want to honor this sacred mountain and keep her as she is. There are protests, and those protests pit family members against each other as the community is small, so the one arresting may be a cousin, a friend. There are many sides to what’s involved. Is the telescope a desecration or a next step?
Patrick Makuakane, who directs Kumu Hula, and creates and orchestrates their performances, this one called, “A New Current”, has been to the mountain, has seen the protests, and is changed by them. He points out that tourism has simplified the Hawaiian heritage, well, first it was brutalized, and then, simplified. The word “Aloha” is used as hello or goodbye, or Love.
The deeper meaning though is Empathy. Empathy. The protesters honor the word and meaning of Aloha with empathy. There is no violence, only a knowing that those hauling them away are doing their job to feed their families, and those protesting are doing their job to say we don’t need this telescope right here, right now. This 30 meter telescope desecrates a holy site.
I sit with that as I look up. Is that fog on the ridge? Or smoke? In this light, it’s hard to tell. When I go outside, I’ll know by the smell. And now it’s gone, a momentary swell within the light.
What I do know now is that when it comes to looking into our past and where we come from, we can pause and look into the eyes of a newborn child. Our ancestry is there.