I type the word pause and think of paws. I’m reading a book about the Dalai Lama’s cat. Meanwhile as we continue to clean out our home, both cats help. They are overseeing the process since everything belongs to them, and they need to ensure the choices of their staff are wise and considerate of their comfort and needs.
Bella ensconces herself on a couch stored downstairs that neither she nor anyone else has sat on in years, but she is clear it must stay.
The news outside our immediate environment is sobering, and so we continue our cleansing and cleaning out as a way to bring order to our small realm. Each morning I read Heather Cox Richardson’s summary of the political day.
After reading her report, I give myself a shake and fluff imaginary feathers. I may not fly through the air like a bird, but this task of release affects the air in which I move and live. I honor that.
Our son Jeff is here to help. He’s a fan of Marie Kondo and shares how refreshing it is to clean things out. I agree, but last night we were laughing as we checked out Marie Kondo’s on-line store.
It’s worth a look to see what she considers absolute necessity to fill the space now opened and cleared to viewand review. I’m resisting the temptation of a Binchotan Charcoal Body Scrub Towel though on consideration maybe a political exfoliation is what is needed to cleanse the lens with which we see.
Enjoy and savor this sacred and beautiful day. Trust that love, care, and truth bring us back to centerwhere the pause is root.
I’m in a place of not-knowing. I have a full day ahead of me so it’s not that. I have a schedule but I feel open to what might reveal as I stand on the edge of a fold that opens on both sides. Perhaps balance is my intention for the day, balancing openness to what comes.
Though I’d never heard of Marfa, Texas, last night I read about it in H.C. Palmer’s book review of John Balaban’s book, Empires. Palmer writes:
“In his penultimate poem, “Looking for the Lights,” spots of light seem to float in the air and vanish, and a man stops his pickup, shuts off the ignition, then listens to the truck’s ticking engine as a Border Patrol agent stops behind his vehicle; blue and white strobe-lights flash him nearly blind. The man is saved from arrest by convincing the officer he’s American. The officer says, “He had never seen the lights himself but knew people who had.”
“Balaban suggests that those mysterious Marfa Lights in West Texas, sighted for centuries by natives and Spanish explorers (invaders) but without a documented source, are a metaphor for what lasts – “the lights the local Indians took for star people visiting earth.””
Checking out Marfa, I learn that this little town sits at an elevation of 4,685 feet, and located in high desert is now a destination for art and music.
There’s a Marfa Mystery Light viewing area, and though there are only 2000 residents, it’s now the hipster place to visit. I’m not a hipster but I’m feeling intrigued though it’s not an easy trek.
Maybe for me right now it’s simply to find the mystery in each step, the balance unfolding the light.
I’m with the word grateful, grate full. My grate, a frame holding fuel when burning, is full.
I’ve been quiet this morning. My mother passed away 15 years ago tomorrow, and I feel her here/near.
I come to my email from Winter Feast of the Soul and today it’s about how we meet death. I’m with the fullness of this moment, life and death, as I listen to this and look out on trees revitalizing what we might perceive of as decaybut is only change.
Today I hear, then see a Kestrel falcon, the hummingbird of the raptor family, the only one who can hover. The sky is alive with flight.
This comes from M.C. Richard’s book, Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person.
“The innerness of the so-called outer world is nowhere so evident as in the life of our body. The air we breathe one moment will be breathed by someone else the next and has been breathed by someone else before. We exist as respiring, pulsating organisms within a sea of life-serving beings. As we become able to hold this more and more readily in our consciousness, we experience relatedness at an elemental level. We see that it is not a matter of trying to be related, but rather of living consciously into the actuality of being related. As we yield ourselves to the living presence of this relatedness, we find that life begins to possess an ease and a freedom and a naturalness that fill our hearts with joy.”
Years ago an iris plant spontaneously appeared in my yard. Yesterday I checked for a flower. Nothing there, and then, today, this.
White irises symbolize purity. The iris symbolizes wisdom, trust, hope, and valor. In Greek mythology, iris was the goddess of the rainbow, and she carried messages from heaven to earth on the arc of the rainbow.
Lately I’m dividing large tasks into steps, small steps. The garden teaches the same, as day by day there is change.
This morning I’m with the body, this body, and this wider body of which I’m part. Birds are singing and swinging across the sky as more and more blossoms emerge. My heart has wings and spring.
I come in from outside and watch a video of Thich Nhat Hanh. He says: Breathing in, I’m aware of my body – breathing out I release tensions in my body.”
This act of love allows us to address our suffering, and the suffering of our ancestors, and that understanding brings compassion, compassion for ourselves and the world.
He says: “Be aware of your body. Your body is a masterpiece of the cosmos. The consciousness of the cosmos. Do you have the capacity to appreciate the wonder that is your body? Mother Earth is in you. Not underneath, or all around you- but in you, also. Father sun is in you; you are made of sunshine. You are made of fresh air, of fresh water. To be aware of that wonder, to value that wonder can only bring you a lot of happiness… Understanding suffering always brings compassion that has the power to heal, and you suffer less.”
In her book Stalking Wild Psoas, Liz Koch, writes about Emilie Conrad, the founder of Continuum. Conrad says, “The fluid system is primary and not bound by the nervous system.” “The primary characteristic of any fluid system is its ability to keep transforming itself.”
As “a masterpiece of the cosmos”, we are fluid. We are not fixed.
I’ve mentioned Heather Cox Richardson and her column on the politics of the day. Today she gives a historical perspective of the two political parties in the U.S., and how though often opposite in approach, they cared about the country as a whole. It’s been a back and forth until now.
In 1859, Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln, who had thrown in his lot with the Republicans, articulated a new ideology for the party. Drawing from the era’s rising political economists, he denied the Democratic idea that the world was divided between the haves and the have nots, and said instead that all Americans shared a harmony of interests. The government’s role was not to broker between two opposing forces, but rather to expand equality of opportunity and access to resources for poor men just starting out. As those men worked, they would produce capital—Republicans actually called capital “pre-exerted labor”—which they would use to buy goods, keeping the economy growing. When they made enough money, they would hire others just starting out, who would, in turn, begin to make money themselves. “The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him,” Lincoln said. “This… is free labor — the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all — gives hope to all, and energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all.”
As a country, the United States stands on a precipice. Do we allow an oligarchy or do we step up in the fullness of our fluidity and connectivity to honor the wholeness of the cosmos we are, and allow the wonder of this masterpiece to spring forth like buds and birds in this unfolding new season of the year?