All About Love

It’s fall. Leaves are turning and here where I am, we celebrate with rain.

The landscape wraps a moist tongue touch.

I’m watching Bell Hooks speak about her book All About Love. I honor her wisdom and clarity as she shares how to change the conversation personally and politically on the power, necessity, and value of gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, and Love.

Love is a combination of six values: Care, Commitment, Knowledge, Responsibility, Respect, and Trust.

Vision

Because I’m in the process of transitioning from the hard contact lenses I’ve worn for sixty years, my focus is on vision, and the beauty, intricacy, and intimacy of the eyes.

There’s no longer protective glass between my eyes and the world. My eyes are moist, naked, exposed.  

In doing exercises to improve my vision, my vision is changing as is my awareness.  It’s quite a practice to go from a coating over the eyes to fresh air moving in and out, and a constant changing of glasses to adjust vision for near, far, and intermediate, so I can read the computer screen.  

I’m aware of choice in what I see and of nourishing my eyes with rest and soft seeing.  My teacher of Sensory Awareness Charlotte Selver once told a woman she used her eyes like forks.  I’m aware of receiving even as I reach for clarity and definition, while also beckoning open focus.

In balancing, I nurture connecting eyes to heart, hands, and feet, portals with which to give and receive.

The moon this morning

The Morning Sky

Our Home

Yesterday I made a reservation for two nights at at an Airbnb.  The rules were very clear – no pets, noise etc. and I was accepted with an acknowledgment of my former good reviews but then I got another note asking me to sign and agree that I would “treat it like my own home”.  I’m not sure why that hit me wrong  as I treat my home very well, and certainly would have done the same with this place, but it led me to thinking of what it means to treat a place like our own home.  Perhaps we’re comfortable with our home being a mess.  Signing felt meaningless and though I knew what was meant, I decided this was not the place for me.

Reflecting on why I was triggered, I realized that we should treat every place as our own home, and that includes how we treat ourselves and the earth.  It goes back to what I posted recently: 

“The way we do one thing may reveal the way we do all things.”

That led me to contemplate language.  A friend was speaking to her 8 year old granddaughter about her first day of third grade.  She asked about the teacher.  The child responded that “they” were nonbinary and would assign no homework.  She equated the two with a happy priority on no homework which her older brother would be doing.  My friend, a woman married to a woman, persisted in wanting to know if the teacher was male or female.  The question had no meaning for the child.  She said again that “they” are nonbinary. 

The child lives in a progressive suburb outside of Chicago.  Change is happening as we move toward a nonbinary world. I’m excited by this child’s view of the world, a world created to be greeted and treated with love, respect, curiosity, enthusiasm, and delight, and yes, may we treat where we dwell and ourselves as a place to be and feel home.

Beauty and Courage

The President of Ukraine VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY speaks poetry to unite and inspire. Rise on his words.

Do you still think we are one people?

Do you still think you can scare us,

break us,

force us to make concessions?

Don’t you really get it?

Don’t you understand who we are?

What we stand for?

What we are all about?

Read my lips:

Without gas or without you?

Without you.

Without light or without you?

Without you.

Without water or without you.

Without you.

Without food or without you?

Without you.

Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst are not as frightening and deadly for us as your friendship and brotherhood.

But history will put everything in its place. 

And we will be with gas, light, water and food

…and WITHOUT you!”

Sunset last night

Fog on the ridge this morning moving to moisten and dissipate

Serenity

Today I pause and knit patterns of presence. I reflect and integrate what shapes and informs intention, honoring reception.

I’m with these words of Wendell Berry:

It may be that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey.

Waves of light flow through.  Like trees and flags, I receive the wind as it moves, patterns generous in weaving change.

My mother, who passed in 2005, was born a year after Queen Elizabeth II.  I remember her talking about playing with paper dolls that were the young Margaret and Elizabeth.  I think of how we each have our own path, both imposed and created. Elizabeth was born into a role, as are we all, and then we have choice in how we respond and flow, give and receive, move and pause.

As a child, I cut out paper dolls with my grandmother.  I would be impatient and sloppy. Though she wouldn’t comment directly, she would example by holding her scissors precisely and cutting carefully around the curves, and say words that repeat in and out of me these days. 

“The way we do one thing may reveal the way we do all things.”

Memories slide in and out; gentle guidance weaves the day.

Morning Weaves

Trunks of trees wrapped in yarn

Fluidity

Knitting Us Together

The Mill Valley Arts Commission (MVAC) has created a project of crocheted and knitted art that covers the trunks and some branches of downtown trees.

At the end of October, the squares of yarn will be taken down, washed and sewn together into blankets and donated where needed. 

These are outside the Book Depot in the Square.

A Beautiful World

I was outside last night with the moon and stars, and now this morning the sky was still bright with stars.  Light comes and the birds sing and flit joyfully these late summer days.

This morning I read Garrison Keillor on his experience at the Mayo Clinic. He exclaims over the care he’s receiving and how many of the nurses these days are male, a vocation carefully chosen, appreciated, and enjoyed.   

I remember my mother’s care from a male nurse, and the care I received when I went through radiation treatment.  The male nurse who handed us our gown, always made sure they were newly warmed.  He prayed for us each day.   

Celebrating the dedication of teachers and medical workers, male, female, and evolving choice is a way to deal with challenges in the news.

Today I dance with the words of one of my favorite authors: A.A. Milne:

“What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favourite day,” said Pooh.

Avocets at low tide in the marsh

Serenity

Reaching for Touch

Nature’s Gifts

Yesterday Monarch butterflies accompanied my walk and today birds were out enjoying the early morning marsh.  I saw avocets, willets,  egrets, ducks, gulls, and smaller birds.  The special treat was a Heron in the reeds.

September

These last four months of the year go together as beginning, harvest, fruition, celebration, and rest.

I feel myself in the pause as though just being is enough.   Last night I sat outside with the stars and crescent moon.  During the day, I sat under a maple tree looking up.  This morning seeing light arrive later, I light within.  I am candle, illumination, trust.

Rumi:

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Looking up, down, and within