Stepping Out

When we moved here from San Clemente in 1978, one son wasn’t yet one and the other just four.  One day, curious,  I drove to the end of a nearby road and parked.  I put the youngest in his stroller and off the three of us went.  Cows came up and nuzzled my son in his stroller.  Not knowing where the path would end, we wound our way to the ocean.  

Now, Tennessee Valley is a well publicized part of the Golden Gate National Recreation area.  I’m grateful it’s preserved but the cows are gone, and the crowds have come.

I walked there today with a good friend.  We wore masks and stayed six feet apart.  About 50% of the people we saw did the same.  It’s a strange divide when someone runs past, no mask, and you automatically sense danger and turn away.

These photos give a taste of the beauty of the day.  

Walking Toward

A Place to Sit

A Gathering of Rocks

Walking Back

Over the Rainbow

This morning I woke from dreams where every child was educated to bring forth their dreams.  Yesterday I noticed fluffiness in the little nest outside my bedroom, and today when I peek, I’m caught on the flight of mother bird and baby bird, a loud morning greeting tweet, and a softer, quicker one.  They tweet from the nearby Maple tree.  

I feel my being reorganizing with this pandemic.  We’re brought to a new awareness of interdependence, and the importance of each one of us.  We’re seeing lies exposed as we shine a light on the truth of divisions created to support unfathomable lifestyles of a few.  

May we each find our way to our own inner light and truth and may we mother ourselves with the dedication of the mother bird who graces the nest outside my home.  May we each find our way to twine and guide. 

Morning Maple in Fog

Transition

We woke early and went outside to sit with the time of day when our neighboring owl gives his or her last hoots, and the little birds, then, bigger ones come to wake.

It’s peaceful here this morning, fog softly in, a gentle gray.  

Yesterday I was shocked to realize how close the virus is.  Because we stay sheltered-in-place, I forget, but it’s definitely still here. Warnings keep coming as numbers increase.

Yesterday morning, I was on a Sensory Awareness Zoom call.  We work with gravity in sensing, with feeling her support.  I was with the spaciousness within as I held a rock and played with its density and weight. The rock I held is rigid, without my amazing ability and agility to move and adapt, be fluid.

I dissolved into the words of the 15th-century mystic poet and saint Kabir:

Something inside me has reached to the place

Where the world is breathing.  

Listening to the discussion on the call, these words came to me:

Are the past and future a gravitational hold and letting go?

In the moment, I’m with the breath, drawing me forward, and letting me go.

Transition and Change

Flight of the Senses

I heard the call of the hawk so went outside hoping for a picture.  I could hear him and even see him at times, but mainly captured clouds and trees, but then, a jasmine flower came to flight.  It was a butterfly.  

Jasmine Flowers

Afternoon Light

Gratitude

I wake this morning filled with gratitude, aware of the power of words of gratitude.  They have deeper meaning these days.  They’re offered with true appreciation and not as a generic response or a habit.  Actually not much comes as a habit these days.  Mindfulness is needed as a resource and ally as we are led through our days.   

This pandemic has increased awareness of interdependence, and our need to appreciate those who do the work that supports us  all.  We now know what is essential, and we are creative in covering other tasks.  

Businesses need to open because people need and want to work.  I kept my appointment with my dental hygienist yesterday.  I called from outside to say I’d arrived.  They called me back when it was safe to go in.  The walls were bare, and all was empty, open, and sterile.  

He cleaned my teeth the old-fashioned way, no ultrasonic cleaner.  It felt more intimate, and was quieter.  We talked about his children, and his time home with them, and how much he appreciated that, and also how he needs to work.  Unemployment was running out.  He is young and only has two cavities but stress had caused him to grind his teeth so much, one of them cracked.  

When I got money from the automatic teller,  the woman behind me joked how funny it is to go to a bank, even outside a bank, wearing a mask.  All seems friendly perhaps because it’s so empty.  There’s plenty of places to park, and the few people that are around stand out in clear distinction.  My awareness expands and opens. I’m curious like a cat.  

From what I understand if we wear masks, wear them religiously, and don’t gather in large groups, and keep our social distance, we will be able to keep businesses open, and accomplish daily tasks.

I think of what our parents and grandparents went through with World War I, the depression, and World War II.  Is it too much to wear a mask?   We’re in this together.  My breath is yours.  

My eight month old grandson understands. He crawls now and we lock eyes, so he knows how close he can come, and then he puts his head down and we both bow from a safe distance, touched.

Eye of a flower, blurred like boundaries these days

Summer Solstice

At 2:43 P.M. today, the sun will be the farthest north in the sky for the Northern hemisphere.  Looking out the window, I see a wrap of fog.  I sense a presence and location I may not see.

Wrapped in fog, I’m embraced in reflection, given space to ingest all that’s going on.

Each day I read Heather Cox Richardson’s analysis of the politics of the previous day. 

You can read it here: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-19-2020

Yesterday was particularly deviously devised, and yet I’m here in my room with sacred cat Bella above me as she rests on the back of the couch on which I sit surrounded by an amazing array of books.

This morning I read Choosing Compassion by Anam Thubten.  I receive his advice and surrender to the aliveness in this day, the precious, moment by moment receiving of grace.  

I watch the branches of the Redwood tree move softly like fans, and I sway down memory lane. I remember sandcastles my children made when they were young.  They’d surround the castle with a moat,  then open the moat to the sea, and we’d watch and wait for the slow, or sometimes rapid dissolve.  

If the tide was going out, the sand castle might stand until the next incoming tide.

This morning I received a video of my grandson drinking from a cup.  I watched entranced as he picked up the cup in his two dimpled hands and tipped it back to drink.  Whoops!  Water poured down his bare chest but he persevered. 

When I watch his throat move as he swallows, mine moves too.  I’m touched.  

People are speaking out bravely these days, acting courageously.  We all are touched by these words and actions. The tide is coming in, breaking through.  

Tomorrow is Father’s Day.  My son is a father.  I revel in waves and change.

Stones in the Stream


Steve and I were married on June 19, 1971, 49 years ago.  It’s been quite a journey.  We reminisce and travel down memory lane, amazed at how we couldn’t have imagined all we’ve experienced and been given.

We certainly couldn’t have imagined that this date would become a national celebration of freedom and solidarity, a day that marks the end of slavery.  I give thanks.

Yesterday my grandson called and I answered wearing my mask because that is what we do here when we’re out and about, and he laughed and laughed.  I found a quiet place of solitude and removed the mask, and again,  he laughed, and I laughed in response.  At almost eight months old, this is what he knows.  I haven’t touched him in over three months, but I see him in this very strange way on my phone and computer, and that’s how he sees me.  

What I’m seeing in all of this is a deeper awareness of how clearly we share breath.  

Sheltering-in-place is giving each of us time to go within, to understand limitations, and the expansion that opens within that. When we go out, we wear a mask to honor how far our breath and fluids spread.

With all of this we’re awake to explore what matters.  What really matters?

In 1967, I was first exposed to the TV show Star Trek.  I was intrigued when I saw people gathering in the small TV room in the dorm I was in as a freshman at UCLA.  We couldn’t all fit but clearly something exciting was happening, something new.  

Now I read words of the logical Mr. Spock from Star Trek, Change is the essential process of all existence.

I was in that same dorm when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April of 1968 and Bobby Kennedy in June of that year.

I remember back, and sit with the history of my lifetime.  Because we can hold a phone in our hand and record, we are seeing what seems unfathomable but there it is.  It’s undeniable, and we’re responding.  

I was born in 1949, so there’s something about the significance of the number 49 in so many ways.  This year feels especially poignant and important, a marker for the “essential process of all existence”.

May this day of honoring and celebrating freedom bring forth for each unique and precious one of us the enchantment and privilege with which I’ve been blessed, and may this coming together lift and ground us in the tissue of love we share.

It’s predicted to be a challenging weekend.  May it bring unity and peace.

Carl Perkins wrote: If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.

We’re seeing the rocks; may we come together to celebrate the song.

Integration

I wake to a symphony of birds singing and tweeting, so many sounds I could be in a jungle, and wonder why we question different sizes, colors, and shapes, when multiplicity comes together in unity.

Today I’m aware of my sacrum waving like a flag, a flag of integration.  My hand reaches up supported by feet and toes.

I now keep a chair handy so I can lie on the floor with my lower legs on the seat of the chair. I rest there, hang, release.

Today I’m with this poem by Pablo Neruda: Keeping Quiet.  I think of the little bird sitting on her nest outside my bedroom.  She is keeping quiet, is a keeper of quiet as she sits on her eggs, though sometimes she tweets.

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still

for once on the face of the earth,

let’s not speak in any language;

let’s stop for a second,

and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment

without rush, without engines;

we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness.

If we were not so single-minded

about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing,

perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves.

Perhaps the earth can teach us

as when everything seems dead

and later proves to be alive.

  • Pablo Neruda 

Seeing New

I‘m balancing on poetry these days like little steps.

Fresh

To move

Cleanly.

Needing to be

Nowhere else.

Wanting nothing

From any store.

To lift something

You already had

And set it down in

A new place.

Awakened eye

Seeing freshly.

What does that do to

The old blood moving through

Its channels?

Naomi Shihab Nye

From My Window
Looking Up

How We Meet What Comes


On Saturday Gloria Lerin led Sensory Awareness on a Zoom call.  You can find information about Sensory Awareness here: https://sensoryawareness.org.

Gloria shared the lyrics to this song written by Fito Paez of Argentina.  She said “he wrote this song after the guerrillas killed his auntie, grandmother and the person who took care of them in their house”. Here are his words. I note there are different translations, so choose what speaks to you.

I Come to Offer My Heart

Who said everything is lost?

I come to offer my heart

So much blood that flows in a river,

I come to offer my heart

It won’t be easy, I know what will happen,

It won’t be as simple as I thought,

Like opening the chest and taking out the soul,

A cut of love

The Moon of the poor is always shining,

I come to offer my heart

Fixed in stone

I come to offer my heart

And I will unite the ends of the same bow,

And I will go quietly, I will go slowly,

And I will give you everything, and you will give me something,

Something to ease me a little more

When no one is near or far,

I come to offer my heart

Where the satellites don’t reach,

I come to offer my heart

And I’m talking about countries and hopes,

I speak for life, I speak for nothing,

I’m talking about changing this, our home,

To change it, just to change it.

Who said everything is lost?

I come to offer my heart