Phoning Home

I’m crazy for the moon. I love watching its phases, and receiving its reflected light. Last night I was outside absorbing and appreciating its rise, and now early this morning I watch it set.

I’m reminded of Hafiz’s poem as translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

With That Moon Language

Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to

them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise

someone would call the cops.

Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us

to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a full

moon in each eye that is always saying,

with that sweet moon language, what every other

eye in this world is dying to hear?

Yesterday I was fascinated to learn about Wind Phones.  Catherine Browder in New Letters, A Magazine of Writing and Art writes about Mr. Sasaki, who in honor of his favorite cousin who died, set up a telephone booth with an old rotary phone because he needed to “talk” to his cousin about his grief.

After the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster in Otsuchi, where he lives, he opened the booth to anyone who wanted to talk to their loved ones.  He calls it “the phone of the wind” because the words reaching out for comfort aren’t carried over a phone line so they must be carried by the wind.

The author of the story decides to create her own “phone of the wind”.  A carpenter friend makes the booth. Knowing Mr. Sasaki’s phone booth has a path with a wooden bench nearby, placement is discussed and honored so those who need to talk in private, can come.

In May of 2011, three months after Japan’s disaster, a devastating tornado blew through southwest Missouri picking up her husband’s truck. He was killed.

She goes to the booth to talk to those she loves, sees these conversations, as “the only way I know how to shape a prayer”.  She’s not the only one; people come.

I have space in my yard for a booth, but maybe a bench will do. I don’t need a phone and a booth.  I can use the sun and the moon, their movement and offering of light. I can watch butterflies and birds, knowing one day I, too, will learn to fly and navigate the wind with inner light opened without boundaries of space and time.

Meanwhile, still early here, an owl hoots, who, who, who, vibrations on the wind.

If you are called, you can watch a documentary on “the phone of the wind”
Rising moon last night


Setting moon this morning
Owl beckons the coming of fall



Regenerating

Yesterday I watched a podcast of Mary Evelyn Tucker with Michael Lerner at Commonweal.  That led me to her book Journey of the Universe.

I learn that the Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC, was once a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way, but then something destroyed it, and torn apart, it could no longer create stars. 

It drifted about until it was drawn into a gravitational relationship with our Milky Way.  

“The gravitational tidal force issuing from the Milky Way penetrated into the system of stars that formed LMC, and the structure of this smaller galaxy began to change. A regeneration of LMC was occurring in the presence of the Milky Way. And then an awakening occurred. A burst of star-making activity appeared in one of the dormant regions of LMC.  For billions of years, LMC had drifted about, barren and dying. Now, suddenly, its potentiality was ignited through this interaction and new stars were evoked into being in all their brilliance.”

What does that say for each of us when we come into contact with the spark and gravitational field of certain others, particularly those with spirals?

I refresh on spirals learning that “in geometry, a spiral is a plane curve generated by a point moving around a fixed point while constantly receding from or approaching it”.

It’s a helix, and “in anatomy, a helix is the curved fold forming most of the rim of the external ear”.  

I curve in understanding my gravitational field receives vibrations from yours, and together we curve, turning words into  stars, and waves into land, as we toss generating easily, gleefully, and playfully back and forth.

Enjoy the dance, and savor touch, connection, change, and exchange.

Regeneration


Ingesting

This morning I again rose early to watch for meteors.  I saw one, a faint one, and it was enough. I came in to sit with Bella and meditate, and as usual, thoughts muscled in, but I was gentle with them, receptive, and I opened to the image of a starfish and how it feeds by pushing its stomach out.

Watch this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6dnmLDu6Eg

In contemplating why this image came right now, today, I realize I’m trying to reveal more of myself, to probe a little more, and discover why I’m here and how I ingest.  

By the way, the starfish is now labeled a sea star because it’s not a fish. It’s related to sea urchins and sand dollars.

Sea stars exposed at low tide


Stars grace both sky and beach


Hidden Rooms

Today I looked down off the side of my deck and the light was such that the trunk of a tree looked like the fur and body of a squirrel. I tried to get a photo but just like meteors flying through the sky, it was a moment.

I was reminded of this photo from low tide at Mile Rock Beach. Sometimes low tides, like hard times, expose new places in which to dwell, explore, cultivate, change, and thrive.

Where is focus – water or rock – open or delve


Reflecting – Rising

The sky is coming to light with a soft-pink invitation to wake. 

Last night I took blankets and a pillow out on the deck to watch for meteors.  The moon was rising and it wasn’t yet dark but I was prepared to be part of the changing scene.  I fell asleep.

This morning I rose early and went outside to lean back in a chair.  Both kitties joined me. I saw nine meteors, each one unique. Two were major lengthy lights that evoked a loud “wow”.  Only kitties, owl, and a foraging creature down below heard my shout.

I sit here now aware of ripening light.

On another note, I read in Writer’s Almanac that sharpshooter Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Ann Mosey in 1860 in Woodland, Ohio, could, from 90 feet away, hit the thin side of a playing card that someone tossed in the air and then hit it six more times before it fell to the floor. 

She could shoot the wick off a burning candle or the ashes off the tip of her husband’s cigarette. 

Now that’s impressive.  

I’m reading David Brooks book, The Road to Character.  The first person he celebrates is Francis Perkins, the person now considered “the woman behind the New Deal”.  

The second is Ida Stover Eisenhower, the mother of Dwight D. Eisenhower.  I remember as a child seeing Dwight go by in a parade in Des Moines, Iowa. I must have been seven as he was re-elected in 1956.  There were shouts of “I like Ike”. My parents were for Adlai Stevenson but I recall no vitriol on either side though Stevenson labeled an “egghead”,  even though he wasn’t, didn’t help his cause. Even then, intellectualism was suspect in this country.

What’s amazing is how the Republican party has changed.  Eisenhower, a moderate conservative, continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1958 and sent Army troops to enforce federal court orders that integrated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

He created the Interstate Highway System, and promoted science education with the National Defense Education Act. 

In his farewell speech, he said:

As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Though he’d been a general before becoming president, he warned about the power and influence of the military-industrial complex.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

David Brooks is looking at what builds character, trying to understand how when World War II ended, this country celebrated with humility, and how now, the word “great” is bantered about with no attachment to meaning or substance..

I look up the meaning of the homonym of the word “great”. A grate is “a frame of metal bars for holding fuel when burning, as in a fireplace, furnace, or stove”. It’s “a framework of parallel or crossed bars, used as a partition, guard, or cover”.

What falls now between the slats and rises in the morning light?

In Alexander Technique work, the suggestion is to “Think forward and up to rise”. I’m with that now, thinking forward and up to rise. With that, there is no strain, and I open like trees to sky.

Raising our place on earth


Ease

It’s clear today, blue sky a silent lake with only the occasional silver shine of an airplane skimming into SFO to land.

I’m with two quotes this morning, two ways of unfolding the origami swan of being.

One is a Navajo proverb.  Be still and the earth will speak to you.

Responding, I  listen to trees, birds, flowers, squirrels, worms, earth.  

Butterflies wing silently; bees buzz and dip.  

I circle on the words of Zen Master Suzuki Roshi.

What we call I is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.

I’m on a merry-go-round, the earth, of course, and I’m a child swinging on a gate, a door, and I’m honoring what circulates inside my skin as well as out. This place, a heart.  

Yesterday I sit with and under trees in afternoon light
Tiger requests a lap

We each find our way to breathe as one – in and out – shared

Resilience

Last night I was out watering at twilight.  The moon was shining in the sky and the light was magical.  Birds chirped thanks for the water and I was infused with gratitude.

Later, I went outside to look for meteors but the fog had drawn a shade over the moon and I knew no flashes would be seen by me that night.

This morning I was out early watering another part of the yard,  I heard the foghorns, but here, all is clear, in this moment, anyway.  The fog moves in and out, a playful and serious delight of peek-a-boo wrapped and unwrapped in the sky.

Enjoying being outside, I was reminded of when we spent two weeks in Hong Kong in the fall of  2007. It was before Beijing worked to clean up the air for the Olympics in 2008 and the air was stifling, hot, heavy, and red-orange.  No matter what, I have to be outside, so I would stroll along the harbor, but one day I met a man in the elevator in the hotel where we were staying.  He said he never went outside. The hotel was connected to a shopping mall. He lived in the hotel, and worked from where he lived. Shopping, movies, entertainment could all be reached without going outside.  I understand we are adaptable beings but I wonder if I could adapt to that.

On the other hand, I’m re-reading Frank Okstaseski’s wonderful book, The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.  It’s true that our world will most likely narrow with age.  The book is about embracing impermanence, the living and dying happening all the time.

I’m struck by an image he shares. He used to live in a hundred-year old farmhouse.  The window panes looked solid but then he realized the glass was thicker at the bottom of the frame than at the top.  Even glass is fluid.

In case you’re interested, the five invitations are:

-Don’t Wait

-Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing

-Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience

-Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things

-Cultivate Don’t Know Mind

With that, I’m working with the Alexander Technique, reminding myself to pause and consciously come forward with my head and rise when I come up, and use my ankles, knee, and hip joints when I come down.  I’m working with fluidity, honoring resilience in my being as delicate and precious as glass.

I’m honoring the forty muscles in my tongue. It’s a composite muscle, like a composite flower, and I honor the complexity and flexibility I am.

I watch my cats now, watch and feel them breathe, all the way through. I’m learning to release the jaw and throat, to release the head upward rather than down, which doesn’t mean lifting from above but allowing the head to rise, honoring the fullness of the neck which reaches up to the skull at the occiput.  

The neck is longer than we may realize, and it’s strength and resilience allows our head to bobble.  Practice bobbling, and move with the flexibility of a snake into the wonder of a new moment, a new day.

This moment will never come again.

Embrace, and be embraced, in rise and fall.

The tides, birds, and seals rise and fall

The moon in the early evening light, moving toward Full