I've written three books, each a part of my journey to elderhood. Now with this blog my intention is to give a moment to moment accounting of my life as it is now, and now, and now. I'm a leader and student of Sensory Awareness, and a practitioner of Rosen Method. I believe in the connective and collective power of Love.
Jonathan Swift said that “No wise man ever wished to be younger”. I take that to mean we keep unfolding the beauty of the years.
Of course, today, we would expand that word “man” to include women and then we’d unfold outside of gender and humans to embrace this whole universe that is expanding and unfolding.
Yesterday it was suggested that I sit with a dish towel and fold and unfold it, and then, put something precious inside, maybe my own heart-felt and full beliefs, and fold and unfold with the deepest reverence and care. I do this in my imagination first, a delight of play.
Then I bring forth a dish towel, one now converted to fall so that harvest colors capture the autumn light. I gather abundance and wrap it up like a gift, and then open it out to share.
This morning meditation called me, not as something on my to-do list but like food or water or the rising sun and setting moon. I meditated and went outside in the dark to water plants. The moon was still up in the west and now this first day of autumn, the sky is radiant with sun pouring through.
I honor the day with these words of Br. David Steindl-Rast:
In each of us there is a spark that can reverse the trends of violence and depression spiraling within us and in the world around us. By setting in motion the spiral of gratefulness we begin the journey toward peace and joy.
Last night I was outside with the full moon, and now I receive the news that a baby we have been waiting for is born. What a relief! I know that childbirth in this country is mainly safe but years ago, a friend died in childbirth at a hospital in Palo Alto, and so I’m always on alert until the little being is through the canal and here, seen, and cared for.
Her mother had a tough and long labor and now this little girl is here and my grandson has a new cousin. He loves music and rhythm, and so alive with vision and possibility, he channels Gene Krupa and the joy of playing the drums.
Yesterday I headed over the hill to clear my head.It was low tide and the beach was huge. Jellyfish had dropped onto the sand to be carried out again but now I know they can only last 48 minutes out of water. I wondered what it’s like to have never heard, seen, and felt the ocean. I was at the end of sixth grade when we moved to Florida, and I found a forever friend in the movement of waves and tides.
There’s a softness to the light as darkness comes. I light a candle each morning and settle into the pulsing approach of winter, this seasonal exchange of light and dark. I circle my spine and pelvis, dig more deeply into expansion, grateful for more time to look up and out and be with more stars than the essential gift of our sun.
I come to these words from M.C. Richards book, Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, and center inspired.
Centering the clay on the potter’s wheel and then using it to make whatever shape one makes; hearing the poem in the exactitude of its words and syllables and lines and in the economy of its total fusion – these are the same story. To bring universe into personal wholeness, to breathe in, to drink deep, to receive, to understand, to yield, to read life. And to spend wholeness in act, to breathe out, to give, to mean, to say, to write, to create life. It is the rhythm of our metabolism and may not easily be put into words.
TO FEEL THE BEAT OF LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT AND FEELING AND PERCEPTION WORK IN US, PULSE, PERISTALSIS, RHYTHMIC PRESSURE AND ACCUMULATION OF MUSCULAR MOTION, WAVELIKE, STEADILY WORKING IN US, LEADING FORTH OUR ENERGY AND CONVERTING IT – CONVERTING, THAT IS TO SAY, OUR WILL. WE LIVE IN OUR BODIES. WE EMBODY SPIRIT IN ALL THE CELLS OF OUR BODIES, AWAKEN IT, LIVE IN THE FLOW OF CHANGE AND TURNING, AWAKE TO OUR ENERGY, AWAKE TO OUR MOBILITY AND EVOLVING FORMS OF SPIRIT-SUBSTANCE.
This is high-flown and idle rhetoric unless we study to experience in fact the invisibilities of substance. We may become awakened to Word and what it is, to what the gestures of body-breath are which sound the vowels and consonants, to what we do when we speak to one another or sing. Perhaps Word is the magic stone. Lapis. The philosopher’s stone, the transforming agent in a daily alchemy.
The sense of Word, the sense of Form, the sense of Breath, pneuma, spirit. It is like being rocked by the great sea herself, and all the waves traveling through us and making us resound, words ourselves, larynx, outcry, stillness which is itself audible to the clear-hearing ear. Do you know about the microphone which magnifies the sound of the voice box before the vibrations reach our lips? And the microphone that picks up the sound of wood and rock? Music is an element of nature; do we forget in what a mighty organism we share? Man listens to it as a voice from inner-outer worlds.When we begin to understand how we are formed by sound and how we give off messages whether we speak or not, we will live each moment with a heightened sense of poetic privilege.
The New Year begins for some, for those who are Jewish, and though I’m not, I, too, feel a return to renewal and beginning. Today, I paused and watched birds on the bay: pelicans, egrets, ducks, and Canadian geese. I came home and watched a little wren. Then, at 8:30 I went out to be with the stars recognizing that not long ago it was light at 8:30 and now dark where I live. Change, and we move into Fall!
I come to these words of the poet Nikki Giovanni.
I’m glad that I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.
My oldest son was born 47 years ago today. I reflect back, grateful. I think of the roundness of the nest that births little chicks, the roundness of our lives. In some ways my sons seem older than I as we go round and round from root to tree to branch to spire to bench.
It’s Labor Day weekend, a celebration of the labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to development, achievement and quality of life for us all.
With the pandemic, we’ve been driving very little and using only one car, so today is the day to charge the battery on the second car and get it ready to sell. Steve opens the hood and what does he see but a pristine little nest. Talk about labor and creativity. Somehow a little bird slipped into a safe place, built a nest, and raised her tiny chicks and then slipped out. As I was holding it up, a wee bird flew over. I think she’s a wren.