Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate red and pink, the red in our blood, and the pink in the marrow of our bones.

There is a South American Indigenous saying: “To become human, one must make room in oneself for the wonders of the universe.”

Yes!  This is the day for that.  

The wonderful mystic and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: 

We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime, within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal One.

According to an article in the New Yorker by Ian Parker, in the book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari suggests that The Cognitive Revolution began about 70,000 years ago when Homo sapiens began to develop “nuanced language”.  They were able to “communicate untruths”.  

“As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched or smelled,” he writes, referring to myths and gods. “Many animals and human species could previously say ‘Careful! A lion!’ Thanks to the Cognitive Revolution, Homo sapiens acquired the ability to say, ‘The lion is the guardian spirit of our tribe.’ ”

They could unite with a shared philosophy, culture, and belief system.  

As we know, we can unite through words, language, and beliefs, but also divide.

Today is a day to celebrate and feel the spirit of connection that flows through us all. 

At heart, we are one.  

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

Baby Light

My husband is setting the alarm for 4:30 and rising enthused about work.

I rise a little later giving myself permission to lie in bed and mentally roam.  Lately, I’m obsessed with babies and my three month and counting grandson.

I’m aware of roundness and reach, and focus near and far.  I push him on the swing; he comes forward and flows back. Over and over we play with this shift in distance and space, until I feel the call to lift him out for a kiss and a hug.

I touch his nose with my nose and pull back – near and far, one of our favorite games so far.  He laughs and I laugh. We mirror joy, relate as one and two and more as there is sky above us and grass beneath, or carpet at times, or wood.  We notice texture, skin, clothes, touch, smell. He always smells baby-sweet.  

I think of all the children in the world, each coming with different gifts.  How do we honor and utilize each one? How do we do that for ourselves?

Right now, it’s dark outside and inside this room, there’s only the light of this screen.  I light a candle, watch the flame, a nostril moving light through air. Cat Bella is on the chair next to me, insisting on attention.  I kiss her, and use words with her, each word a touch, a flame.

Air responds to words like candlelight, and soon the sun will bring her full embrace to the day, a day between Lincoln’s birthday and Valentine’s Day.

Bliss.

This moment clarifies bliss as it opens to nurture and inspire the courage of Lincoln as we kiss our own hand to fluff the air as it moves in and out.

Like this day, we are new; we are Baby Light!

Reflecting

Yesterday my daughter-in-law asked me why my third book was so different than the first two.  I answered that I didn’t want to write it and I had too many editors, too much outside input.  It doesn’t mean there isn’t value in the book for me and the reader, but I feel a fourth one brewing that will again return to the fullness of my own voice.

In the book “Airing Out the Fairy Tale”, I reveal that I was called to find my own ground, the ground of my birth, before culture and society put its stamp on me, and of course that stamp was how I took my environment in, but I needed to trek in a time period no longer available, and people felt I should share my experience since it was such an amazing and unique adventure and opportunity.  For me, it was a difficult and challenging time, and difficult and painful to go back to unravel, dissect, and reveal.

Yesterday spending time with my son, his wife, and their child, I felt again how we continue to learn.  This grandparenting is a letting go, a receiving of the new. I hope a fourth book comes my way but yesterday reminded me that it is to know and honor “enough” and to trust how the path reveals.

Namaste!

Our Future

I read that there are four archetypes – child, mother, father, grandparent.

I spent yesterday with my grandchild and his mother, and his father before he went to work.  We giggled and laughed, and played very seriously too. Grandchild loves owls and is intrigued with the book “Wake up, Little Owl”.

We went to the park, and the library for story time, and out to lunch and then to a facilitated group meeting of mothers and babies.  It was a relaxed, enriching, joyful day, a day where I did not check political news, and was floating on cherubic clouds.

The woman who orchestrated story time led us in singing songs and acting them out.  The parents enjoyed swinging and clapping as much as the babies ranging in age from almost four months like my grandchild of joy to one year and two months.  Some crawled; some stood and toddled; others watched; all waved goodbye.

In gratitude, I celebrate the words of Gilbert K. Chesterson who wrote: I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Yes!

Rachel Carson who warned us to protect our natural environment wrote:

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder … he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.

May we each create this for ourselves and for those around us. Children work hard to learn to lift their heads and crawl. They move forward and then draw back. This country has drawn back, and now we work together to leap forward for all children, for the child within, for male and female, for the adaptive and resilient wisdom of the elder, and for this earth we share. Peace. Gratitude. Wonder. Love.

Reflecting

Because of the response to my post on death, I’m remembering back.  I always go to the ocean when someone I love passes. When my father passed in 1969, I went to the ocean in San Diego, found comfort there.  With my mother I went to Pierce Point in West Marin where I could walk out on a piece of land with the ocean on one side, and Tomales Bay on the other.  I knew my mother was there. I figured my brother would be at a surfing beach so I went to Mavericks Beach near Half Moon Bay and watched the waves as they broke on meeting the shore.  

Watching surfers, I wondered if the wave notices when it carries the weight of the surfer who hitches a ride while standing on his or her board.  Is there a sense of pride for the wave, or acceptance, or nothing noticed or changed at all? 

With that I wonder how each of us carries the weight of grief.  Where do we find support? How, and for how long?

As the caterpillar doesn’t recognize when a butterfly flutters by, that, it, too, will one day fly, so, too, we can’t seem to comprehend, or maybe we do, in some wider way, just as we know the wave is part of, and encompasses, sea and land.  

June 2019: Looking Out toward Mavericks

Death

I learn today of the passing of a friend’s sister and sit with words of comfort.

After my mother’s passing, I wrote many poems.

This is one:

after her death

mother’s words cool

like brownies in a pan

and yet they warm my mouth and heart

like a lightning bug’s glow in my hand

My greatest comfort though comes from these words of John Squadra:

When you love, you complete a circle. When you die, the circle remains.

And there is this by A.R. Ammons.

The reeds give

way to the

wind and give

the wind away

Which brings me to the passage of wind and these words by Jorie Graham.

A wind moving round all sides,
a wind shaking the points of view out

like the last bits of rain ...




May we live fully and well, honoring the veils of view.