Memorial Day

I woke this morning, feeling shaken, like small earthquakes were moving through me.  I rose as though shaking sand out of my clothes after being at the beach.

This week my Tergar meditation is focused on The Wisdom of Multiplicity.  The more I feel multiplicity in myself, the more I feel it in the world, and in that, comes a deep appreciation of the preciousness of being here, and the awareness of how we’re continuously balancing on a beam of life and death.  


Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it toward others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.

Etty was murdered in Auschwitz on 30 November 1943.  She was 29.

She inspires in demonstrating how to meet what comes from an inner core of support that doesn’t judge or divide into good and bad.  

Reflecting in streams
Flowers of the Buckeye Tree

Multitudes as One

From Walt Whitman, Song of Myself:

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

As a child, on Memorial Day, we went to Bedford, Indiana and laid flowers on family graves.  Flags flew on the graves of the veterans, placed there by my uncle who fought in WWII.  His father fought in WWI.  My father was a pilot of a B-17 shot down in WWII.  Lives, memories, honoring in a desire for no more wars, for coming together to solve and honor the complexity each of us is, in a world complex, and in that complexity, whole.

Recognizing the multitudes of which I consist, I hope on this Memorial Day we can come to peace in ourselves and the world.  It’s a time to honor what’s come before as we use it as a launching pad to honor the dead by living in peace.

Many ropes are required to climb into and open up trees
Living diversity
Clouds, fog, buildings, marsh, plants come together with a place for all


Yesterday I was at Bedwell Bayfront Park with my three and a half year old grandson and his dad.  I was watching him ride his new bicycle, a bike complete with hand brakes and a kickstand. 

When I told him I needed to go to the bank and invited him to go with me, he said, “Toad Hall”, and I was stymied with the connection until I realized he loves the book Wind in the Willows, and his only knowledge of a ‘bank” is the river bank in the book.  I’m not sure he was impressed with the interior of a financial institution, but everyone was friendly, and there was a bowl of tootsie roll pops which he was not allowed to take. It was a good reminder of the complexity in language, and what we visualize and hear.

The water cycle we are
The trail is steep
And beautiful
Which way
An easy down
“I’ve got this”


A friend, Ben Parker passed away easily this week, his sense of humor and incredible intellect still intact.  He was 102.  His last words were “the dewdrop slips into the shiny sea.” 

“The dewdrop slips into the shining sea.”

Comforted by that, I open Yehuda Amichai’s poetry book Open, Closed, Open. to the ending of a poem in a section on The Language of Love and Tea with Roasted Almonds.

And there’s all that talk about Till death do us part,

Even death will not part us, it will bind us

somewhere in the universe 

in a new encounter that has no end.

Soft and hard, curved and flat, life and death
The fountain rocks
Ladybug Touch


Today I tackle another room filled with books. 

The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau falls open.  

In perusing the book, I resonate and recognize this journey through this room’s accumulation is my current pilgrimage. I enter into the sacred territory of books I’ve chosen to accompany me and now release.  

From the book:

Freya Stark in her book on Alexander the Great: “A good traveler does not, I think, much mind the uninteresting places. He is there to be inside them, as a thread is inside the necklace it strings. The world, with unknown and unexpected variety, is a part of his own Leisure, and this living participation is, I think, what separates the traveler and the tourist, who remains separate, as if he were at a theatre, and not himself a part of whatever the show may be.

Cousineau quotes from Rene Daumal’s parable Mount Analogue on the return from the journey.  We return determined to remember to live with redoubled courage.

In the process of putting so much pressure on language, thought ceases to be satisfied with the support of words; it bursts away from them in order to seek its resolution elsewhere. This “elsewhere” should not be understood as a transcendent realm, a mysterious metaphysical domain.

This “elsewhere” is “here” in the immediacy of real life. It is from right here that our thoughts rise up, and it is here they they must come back. But after what travels!  Live first, then turn to philosophy, but in the third place, live again. Then man in Plato’s cave has to go out and contemplate the light of the sun, then, strengthened by this light, which he keeps in his memory, he has to return to the cave. Verbal philosophy is only a necessary stage in this voyage.

It’s healing when we integrate and share our journey, continuously share, with ourselves and others. I want to live as a thread inside the necklace I string.

Man on pilgrimage inside an oak he prunes


Today is the one year anniversary of Uvalde, the shooting of 19 students and two teachers killed by an 18 year old who bought the gun legally.  Their families gather now in a group called “21 Angels’ to call for action and share their grief.  And yet, again, as after Sandy Hook and other shootings, nothing changes.  

Yesterday I read poems that sent in honor of the upcoming Memorial Day.  I read the poems, touched, wondering how we’ve come to celebrate pain and loss with parades, floats, and food.  Perhaps that’s one way to process grief.  

Monday, a friend who lost her husband recently, said it’s heartbreaking and also heart opening.

We come together and share the open wounds of grief.

May we honor the mist and twine our roots like trees.

This is not our world with trees in it. It’s a world of trees, where humans have just arrived.

– Richard Powers


Perhaps because I was out and about this week, this morning I’m aware of what it was to have the world so suddenly close up on March 17, 2020.  Steve and I were enjoying a weekend in Monterey, when, like that, everything closed.  We drove home along the coast and stopped in Davenport, CA, where we were served the last cup of coffee before they closed up and were told that even that was “illegal”, but it’s a small place and they took pity on us. We bonded in saying goodbye to what we’d known before as we entered a new realm.

Suddenly we couldn’t see family or friends.  We spoke of forming “pods” of touch and communication.

How are we changed by this sudden awareness of oneness and passage of breath that meant isolation and with that, hopefully introspection and reflection on what matters?

I sit with that today as I try to absorb the “news” which is my own little pocket of information hand-picked and tailored for me.   Well, not chosen by hand, as much as computer generated.   

A friend recommended the book Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship.  It is by Terrence Real.  I’m still reading it but it’s about a relationship with ourselves and others, about the science affirming how we’re connected and influence each other.  Yes, we need to deal with unconscious responses formed in childhood, but when we learn to pause, to rest between stimulus and response, we come to a conscious, more adult choice now.

That brings me to these words of Jim Harrison: 

Moving water is forever in the present tense, a condition we rather achingly avoid.  

Aware, may we each move with the gift of presence, the wholeness we can hold like a nest, a flower clasped at the stem.

Resting like a Rhododendron nestled with a redwood tree
Grouping to bloom
Camellia circling sight
Like a star

From Nothing, Something

The little wren is back.  She is an industrious little being with the sweetness of her flight.  The top of the lamp has been empty since her eggs hatched last spring and she left, but now she’s back, and in a few days of flying back and forth gathering twigs and such, there is a nest.   

During the pandemic, we didn’t drive a car that sat outside.  When we went to start it, the battery was naturally dead.  Under the hood, a perfect little nest, it’s maker now departed, but there intertwined was my discarded hair.

John O”Donohue:

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Outside a medical office
The north side of Mt. Tam –

By the Docks of the Bay

Great Blue Heron and Cormorants in Sausalito – Alcatraz in the background
Great Blue Heron Grooming on the top post
A neck scratch to finish the grooming session
The swirling tide
Reflecting stillness

Mother’s Day

It’s a day of complexity and fragility as we honor Mother and Mother Earth as represented in our own mother, 

My mother passed gently and sweetly in 2005, passed as she lived, gently and sweetly, and so today, a sweet, gentle sadness comes in as part of me.

A crow is energetically cawing around our house today.  I remember when I had a tiny basket of three tiny brightly wrapped chocolate eggs resting on our wall system.  One day the three eggs were replaced with three tiny rocks.  I believe it was our local jay that gave the exchange. 

We don’t know how closely we’re watched by our surroundings, by birds and trees, plants and people, and so on this day it is to celebrate our own mother, our own tendencies to mother, and this beautiful earth we share birthed moment by moment, and year by year.

Watching the top of one tree for a hawk, this tiny bird flew up from the tip of another branch top.
Joy in Flight