Heroes

I’m watching the Capitol police officers testify on the January 6 insurrection.  It’s shocking.  It’s shocking and a must-see for every person in this country.

The men speaking are shaking.  I’m shaking.  That anyone, especially those who were protected by these men, could deny this investigation is again, shocking.

It was an insurrection, and without the courage of these men, we would be a different country.  May those who organized and encouraged this be punished.   Those who protected us will always be haunted.  We should all be haunted by how close we came to losing our democracy.

Nature

We were in Monterey this weekend with the rhythm of the tides. Here are anemones at low tide Saturday morning.

Full Moon

The July full moon is called the Buck Moon because antlers of male deer are in full growth mode.  I woke in the night and the room was bright with moonlight.  Look up tonight and savor reflecting within as growth comes.

Breathing

I’ve been home for four days with a cold, cough, and sore throat.  The gift is I’m not only aware of each breath but grateful for it.  Perhaps sickness comes once in a while so we better appreciate our health.  It’s an opportunity to simply be since I can’t seem to focus on much else.

Two quotes guide me today.

Leo Tolstoy: 

Everyone thinks of changing the world. But no one thinks of changing themselves.

Victor Hugo: 

If you look in the eyes of the young, you see flame.  If you look in the eyes of the old, you see light.

Of course age is relative and so it is for us all to see and be flame to Light.

Abbott’s Lagoon – July 14

Attention

I  periodically reread and refresh on And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran. He writes:

Because of my blindness I had developed a new faculty.  The faculty is attention.  In order to live without eyes, it is necessary to be very attentive, to remain hour after hour in a state of wakefulness, of receptiveness and activity. Indeed, attention is not simply a virtue of intelligence or the result of education, it is a state of being.  In its truest sense it is the listening post of the universe.

Emily Dickinson may have been living the same way when she wrote:

Forever – is composed of nows.

Morning Sky

Presence

Steve and I spent two nights in Liege, Belgium four years ago.  It was pure delight as we ate our meals outside in outdoor cafes.

When Steve wanted to find a laundry on a Saturday, he asked a policeman who then led us to the police station where he gathered a crew of police women and men interested in helping us fulfill this task.  We all walked around together until we learned it wasn’t meant to be but meanwhile we’d made new friends.

When I look at the photos of the flooding in Liege, I’m shocked.  Each moment of our lives, a moment preserved.

Taste of Liege, Belgium in June, 2017

Ease

Yesterday I was with my grandson.  He gets very excited when he sees bees and he loves to watch them.  I read that bees can differentiate people so maybe they recognize a gentle soul who is curious about their ability to weave the air with flight. 

Leonardo da Vinci wrote:  Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Rocks and wood, cones, bark, and soil – the elements weave playgrounds of soul –

Reflecting

Yesterday I was at Abbott’s Lagoon – such beauty and yet I took no pictures even though a Great Blue Heron posed on the sand dune giving me time to pause, focus, and relate.  Then, he opened his wings, and with a lift and swirl, passed gently overhead.

Now, today, I realize my mother who passed away in 2005 would be 94 tomorrow if she were alive.  The next day my younger brother would have turned 68, and yet, here I am.  

What is mine to learn and reflect?

I’ve been harvesting these words of Thomas Merton:

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to… fit our image, otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

Perception

I’m reading Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake.  

The author writes about David Abram, a philosopher and magician, who was working as a magician at Alice’s Restaurant in Massachusetts.  He would walk around tables, and coins would vanish and reappear in new places.  Customers started coming up to him saying that when they left, they noticed the sky was more blue, and the clouds more vivid.  They heard and saw more.  “The magic tricks were changing the way people experienced the world.

The explanation: “Our perceptions work in large part by expectation.”  “It is our preconceptions that create the blind spots in which magicians do their work.”  “Tricked out of our expectations, we fall back on our senses.  What’s astonishing is the gulf between what we expect to find and what we find when we actually look.”

The book opens a whole new world. Indulge!

One example is slime molds.  “Physarum form exploratory networks made of tentacle-like veins and have no central nervous system – nor anything that resembles one. Yet they can “make decisions” by comparing a range of possible courses of action and can find the shortest path between two points in a labyrinth.”

One man, who can’t find his way out of an IKEA store, decided to test it out.  He built a maze sized for slime molds and modeled on the floor plan of his local IKEA store.  “Without any signs or staff to direct them, the slime molds soon found the shortest path to the exit.”

Opening The Path
The Labyrinth at Commonweal
In and Out
Entangled – Flow

Ease

Yesterday Michael Atkinson led a Sensory Awareness call on Zoom.  He spoke about a tango lesson he and his dance partner were given by two tango masters.  The man said you only need to remember two things:  the pause and the full stop.  Michael and his partner then danced with that awareness, and saw and felt the difference.

We worked with noticing the pause in breathing, and then, in language.

What is it to give ourselves fully to a word, a statement, a phrase? 

I started with “Please, come in,” and felt myself invited in to myself, and then, the more I stayed with the word “please” the more I heard and became “ease”.   That led, this morning, to realizing the word release also contains ease. Play with a word, and feel and hear how the breath folds and unfolds the heart, throat, legs and feet.

Pause!

Come to a full stop!  

What comes?

Touch possibility in the pause – a – bility – the invitation within.  

Gratitude is so much more than a polite thank you. It is the thread that connects us in a deep relationship, simultaneously physical and spiritual, as our bodies are fed and spirits nourished by the sense of belonging, which is the most vital of foods.
ROBIN WALL KIMMERER
Tennessee Valley on Friday
The Hiker in Desolation Wilderness