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.
We won’t take the buckets out of the shower and we won’t go back to a shower every day but what a gift to hear and see moisture falling from the sky. Our cat Tiger doesn’t understand and keeps asking to go out different doors hoping for a different experience but it’s raining everywhere in his sphere of what’s outside this house.
And I, honoring the shorter days and longer nights, sink into the place of roots, absorbing and weaving what moves through the soil of my being, the living within and beneath.
Because of Covid, my driver’s license was renewed automatically, no need to go in for the over seventy test. I’ve got four more years and the rain pours down and I’m grateful for a roof and a sacred place to be.
Grief has hit. I continue to learn how there is a protective barrier at first as we deal with what must be done. We gather, eat, share, and then, there is the place of realizing they are not here.
Bella and Tiger were siblings. They shared a womb, though they had two different fathers. Over 15 years ago, Chris and I went to the shelter, and there they were in the same cage with Tiger in front like a circus barker and Bella hiding in the back. We were told Bella as a calico would always be aloof. That was untrue.
Last night grief hit and this morning I thought I couldn’t get out of bed. My sacrum is sore and I try to visualize the lungs that are there, the movement, the place that connects heaven and earth and it’s a slow process. I feel all my cells vibrating, like the apps on an Iphone when you push to make a change. Yesterday I was cleaning out and putting away her things. The waves she loved are set to give away. Though she loved to rest in them, Tiger chooses instead to scratch his two tough cardboard models of the World Trade Center.
I feel the physicality of adjusting to this loss. She would be next to me in the chair but instead the chair is empty and bare. I’m off-balance and tears fall.
Today in Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Porosity” she writes:
In a dream, I was told,
The body is permeable
to life and to death.
She is grieving the loss of her son and though I may feel this grief is for Bella, as of course it is, it’s also grief for loss of mother, father, brother, cousin, and friends in all forms.
May I honor the openings and closings that embrace and expand porosity as I vibrate and shiver and moisten with tears the changes in grief.
When I went to bed last night I felt the portal opened by the passing of Bella. I lay there in the light, and slept until I woke at 4:30, wide awake and with an aching heart, but as I felt the ache, I felt it more as a feeling, as the deepest feeling permeating my whole being.
I came to the computer and when I turned on the light, the most beautiful moth flew up and fluttered about my face. When I went to sip my coffee, there was the moth, laid out beautifully like a heart. I took the moth outside and gave it to the yard.
Yesterday I told the lovely nurse who helped us that there would be no more pets for me. When Tiger goes, that’s it, and then, this morning I felt how that’s why we’re here, to feel this transition, the beauty of life here, and the passage to what comes.
I’m blessed. We’re blessed. May we live in Gratitude, Appreciation, and the shared feeling of connection that is Peace!
I love books and as we continue to explore downsizing and moving, I contemplate, even as I treasure, which books might find their way to a new home.
We’ve been checking out open houses, often beautifully staged. In one, all the books on the white book shelf were covered in white. I thought of all the work that goes into a book and it’s cover, and there they were, whitewashed, stark and blank, the same.
I just finished reading State of Terror by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny. Thumbs way, way up. It’s a “real” thriller, uncomfortably close to the truth.
State of Terror begins with this quote by Tom Peters:
“The most amazing thing that has happened in my lifetime is neither putting a man on the moon nor Facebook having 2.8 billion monthly active users. It is that in the 75 years, 7 months, and 13 days since Nagasaki, a nuclear bomb has not been detonated.”
As we watch autumn leaves fall to nourish the ground, may we live in cycling gratitude for adding days, months, and years to the continuation of that.
On Friday I was at Filoli Gardens. I looked at their library and then came home to appreciate mine. It was a sign. Like the falling leaves, it’s time to allow some of my books to find new homes, homes where their covers can shine and proclaim entry into magic, wisdom, majesty, and intent.
I woke this morning permeated with Einstein’s words:
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
I met a friend yesterday for a walk to Tennessee Valley Beach. We were the only ones to walk through wind and mist to arrive in a sheltered place up near the rocks. And then the sky cleared, and still we were the only ones there, and the tide came in up close to us and then went out.
Hours passed as we spoke of life and death and what it means to us to be “here” right now, this moment, blessed!
I’m writing postcards reminding or perhaps encouraging Democrats who voted in Virginia in 2020 to vote again in the upcoming VA election.
I think of the joy of writing a letter, hand-writing, then folding and placing it in an envelope to sail through the mail, and then, envision it unfolded and opened by another.
Shared touch that seems different than a text or email though information both ways is shared.
I’ve been noticing how sunlight lights and sparkles the line of quartz in rocks I treasure. I have a children’s book that describes rocks like this as “Wishing Rocks”. Therefore, I move my finger along the line circling the middle of the rock and wish even as I imagine what it is like to be enfolded in a different kind of stone.
Each morning I read a poem written daily by Rosemary Wahtola Trommer. Her son took his life recently, and she took a break from writing and sharing her poems, and now she writes of love and grief. Her poems break open my heart, and sometimes I can’t go all the way through, and then, because I know it is essential, I do.
It’s Indigenous People’s Day, a time to reflect back on what was taken by force and cruelty. I’d like to add ignorance but perhaps that is too kind.
On Saturday, our family gathered on Coast Miwok land to watch the Blue Angels. The Miwok used to travel across the bay in tule boats. Now, jets scream overhead as birds show how serene flight can be.
Logically I can say that environmentally and financially “Fleet Week” makes no sense, but when I hear the roar and see the flash of blue and yellow so precariously, yet harmoniously flying overhead, I lift on the sight of speed, forgetting the cost.
I’m with the words of Thich Nhat Hanh:
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
We’re considering moving to gather family closer together. A friend asks if I could leave Mount Tam.
Maria Popova describes Mount Tam as “the first vertebrae of the mountainous backbone of the Americas that stretches all the way to Tierra del Fuego”.
She celebrates Etel Adman who painted and wrote about Mt. Tam.
Etel Adman: In this unending universe Tamalpais is a miraculous thing, the miracle of matter itself: something we can single out, the pyramid of our own identity. We are, because it is stable and it is ever changing. Our identity is the series of the mountain’s becomings, our peace is its stubborn existence.
Can I leave her, move down the line of vertebrae? When I went to Nepal, I felt Mt. Tam sent me there, sent me to her sister mountains, mountains connected at the root.Where might she send me now?
On Saturday I was with my grandson who is almost two. We played a game where we placed a small block on our head, and then leaned left orright and off it fell and we did it again and again.
Where do I lean now to stretch and gather laughter like an opened cloak?
Etel Adman: “When you realize you are mortal you also realize the tremendousness of the future. You fall in love with a Time you will never perceive.”
I try to leave politics off this blog only suggesting periodically that you read Heather Cox Richardson but this paragraph today – I wish I understood how the people that planned and instigated what happened on January 6th aren’t in jail for treason and I don’t.
From HCR today:Los Angeles Times reporter Sarah D. Wire noted that the rioters who broke into the Capitol on January 6 ran more than 100 feet past 15 reinforced windows, “making a beeline” to four windows that had been left unreinforced in a renovation of the building between 2017 and 2019. They found the four windows, located in a recessed part of the building, Wire wrote, “by sheer luck, real-time trial and error, or advance knowledge by rioters.”