Year of the Ox

The Lunar New Year begins today as we leave the year of the rat and enter the year of the ox.  I’m an ox as is Barack Obama, so I’m optimistic on this new year.

According to one source, “the Ox symbolizes tenacity, quiet strength, and responsibility, and the coming year will require attentiveness and sustained work. The element governing this year is Iron, which is characterized by integrity, justice, and clarity”.

As with holidays, food is important.  Dumplings represent wealth and noodles longevity.  May we all feast tonight.  

I continue to read and watch the evidence from the trial.  I see no way Trump cannot be impeached but it seems some refuse to listen to facts at their peril and ours.  

It’s also Lincoln’s birthday. I remember the celebration as a child, and now his birthday is combined with Washington’s. May this new year and the celebration of the birthdays of two honorable men turn the tide on what’s happening today.

Becoming the Ocean Waves

I’m struggling with the images from January 6th and the rhetoric of the man who incited it.   And yet, in my dreams, I’m out in nature camping.  

A few years ago, one of my sons and I drove from the Bay area to Yellowstone National Park. As part of the trip, we planted White Pines in the Tetons.  We were taken up to higher altitude to plant the little trees that had been carefully nurtured to replace those that had died from pine beetles and fungal disease.  

The little plants we were given to plant ranged from six to ten inches tall.  My son and I were a team, so he dug the hole, and we planted together and tapped the dirt around the precious green sprigs.  They are slow-growing trees so maybe my son or grandson will return one day to see the start of a forest. 

Though it was June, there was still snow at altitude, and my son took my hand to help me over the tough parts.  

That comes to me now as I hope enough Republicans respond to what was clearly a desire by one person to overturn the will of the people.  

Rep. Jamie Raskin said “This case is much worse than someone who falsely shouts ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.  “It’s more like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater but to actually set the theater on fire – and who then, when the fire alarms go off and the calls start flooding into the fire department asking for help, does nothing but sit back, encourage the mob to continue its rampage and watch the fire spread on TV with glee and delight.”

Raskin continues: “Democrats are pushing for the “fire chief” to never be allowed to hold public office again.”

“And he objects, and he says we’re violating his free speech rights just because he’s pro-mob, or pro-fire or whatever it might be.  Come on. I mean, you really don’t need to go to law school to figure out what’s wrong with that argument.”

I sit with that and think of those little pines, some of them standing taller now, reaching out and around.

Leonard Cohen’s words come to mind.

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.

Shocking

I just watched the video shown today at Trump’s impeachment trial. If you haven’t watched it, do. I’m shaking. It’s hard to believe, and yet, there it is, recorded and shown. Anyone who can watch and not vote for impeachment I’ll never understand. Trump instigated and encouraged it, and watching, I’m amazed that even more lives weren’t lost. I felt like I was watching something happening somewhere else, but, no, it was here, in my country. Shockingly tragic and sad.

Pegasus

I woke this morning wondering what it would be like to be the wind and not the cave.  I consider the shift.  How light and curious might I be?

Then I read that a red Pegasus has been placed on a post near where I live.  People are curious so on Next Door, a source of local news, I learn this:

The Pegasus is the signpost I use for the child therapy garden I created during Covid. It helps parents bringing their children for therapy to find the garden. I chose the Pegasus because it’s a symbol of the ability to use imagination and creativity to build resiliency and integrity, even (and especially) in life’s most challenging moments. I’m glad it brings joy to people driving by, and hopefully, is a whimsical reminder to keep your spirits up in the darkest of times.”

These may not be the darkest of times, but almost a year ago now we saw a dramatic change in how we navigate our lives. 

I come to Alan Watts: The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.

To Be a Wind Chime

Response

Today I’m with these words from the poem “Above the Paradox Valley” by Rosemerry.

The wisest part of your body

knows to run when it hears

the first crashes of rock fall.

It does not pause then to consider

metamorphic or igneous,

nor does it hesitate to wonder

what might have pushed them down.

The whole poem is here:

Today, It’s Spring!

Last night I walked outside and smelled spring.  Today I see it, and yes, that’s here, not everywhere.  I reflect on Rumi:

We began as a mineral. We emerged into plant life, and into the animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again.

Primroses and Rocks

A rock from the Ganges resting on a rock from Monhegan Island –
Camellia –

Evolving

I love the image of my life as moving in a spiral like the formation of a Nautilus shell, or like the labyrinths I love to walk where I move in and out to get to the center but today I come to Guy Davenport, the author of The Geography of the Imagination.  

History is not linear; it is the rings of growth in a tree.

This works for me as I resonate to trees.

Many of us are now enthralled with the octopus after reading The Soul of an Octopus and watching “My Octopus Teacher”.

Now I learn that the octopus and the nautilus have three hearts.  Imagine that!  Maybe that’s what this country needs to visualize as it turns from egocentric theft to love, empathy, compassion and care for all.

Low tide at the marsh outside my doctor’s office yesterday
Berries for birds
Morning Dew

Presence – Morning

I rise and dress, then, take some steps backward and the world opens up before me. 

Try it.

Try walking slowly backward and see what happens, notice what wakes.

I fill the coffee pot with water, noticing if there is any extra effort.  Where are my shoulders?  Are they moving, resting, assisting? Are they, too, involved in and excited about water in a pot coming to a near boil to pour over beans from somewhere else, not here?

I remember Barbara Kingsolver’s book on spending a year consuming only what was local. Coffee was an exception, as was chocolate. Flour is challenging, though honey can be substituted for sugar.

I walk outside and the half moon is shining with a rainbow halo around her.  Perhaps, she, too, finds new ways to play with matter and light, savoring the geometry and curve of spacetime.

Camellias in my neighborhood
The nearby stream gurgles in flow

Peace

It’s Groundhog’s Day and Black History Month.  Meanwhile more tents are set up by those who are homeless.

I’m paused to receive it all.

The Peace Pilgrim wrote and said: 

We are all cells in the same body of humanity.

If you’re not familiar with her, here’s inspiration on how to live and celebrate each moment of each day.

https://www.peacepilgrim.org

Reflecting

It’s the last day of January.  We’re still in unsettled times with the pandemic and corruption in our government so deep it would defend sedition and treason.  I go back through my journals on the last day of the month, and this month has been shocking.  To read again what happened on January 6th and in the following days and weeks is hard to believe, so I go to Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor.  

“What we “radiate” into the world, the “waves” that emanate from our being, that is what will remain of us when our being itself has long since passed away.” 

I find comfort in waves.  

Meanwhile the full moon from Thursday moves toward the new.

Hazrat Inayat Khan asks: 

Full moon, where will you be going from here? – Into a retreat. Why do you take a retreat after fullness? – To make myself an empty vessel in order to be filled again.

Yes!

This is my intention for the day.

Sunrise
Waves come in different sizes as do we –