A Gift

Our power is out so I’m camped at Steve’s office after early morning coffee at Peets, and a return to home to shower.   

This morning I watched people stagger in for their caffeine lift. Two women had pulled a coat on over their flannel pajamas, and as though sleep-walking moved along murmuring coffee, coffee, as they wound their way to their chosen source  of renewal.

Before that though, an early morning gift was going outside around three or four to place blankets and pillows on the deck, and resting face up, watch the stars.  With all the lights out in our area, I could see dimensions and layers of stars, knowing some were whole galaxies, not just stars. I saw five meteors flash.

All of this meant I didn’t read the news until 1:30 today.  I find it hard to believe.

It’s Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  One man’s son is here also as his high school is closed to honor the day, and, yet, we are observing a humanitarian crisis, innocent people killed.  Why?

I come to this poem for support.

A Gift

Just when you seem to yourself

nothing but a flimsy web

of questions, you are given

the questions of others to hold

in the emptiness of your hands,

songbird eggs that can still hatch

if you keep them warm,

butterflies opening and closing themselves

in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure

their scintillant fur, their dust.

You are given the questions of others

as if they were answers

to all you ask. Yes, perhaps

this gift is your answer.

~ Denise Levertov ~

Downtown Mill Valley in early morning light


All day I’ve received text and phone messages that PGE will be turning off power in my area during the night. They don’t know when it will be back on. Local schools and libraries have been informed so they will be closed. Tomorrow will be an interesting day as I’m wondering what will be open and how far the range. Candles have been lit and will now be blown out. It’s Dream-time.

Mt. Tam from Sausalito today


This morning in my meditation I felt layers in my eyes, levels of perception within the living mechanism of my head, and considered how that inner noticing might affect the patterns and dimensions in my visual and sensory intake.  How do I parcel what I see? How minutely and wholly do I bring the outside world into my being?

The hands and feet contain more than half the bones in the human body. Each hand has 27 distinct bones. 

I play with flexibility in my hands and feet, probes that meet, touch, receive, and change my world.  

Barefoot, I stamp on a mat made of river stones. Stimulation rises in me like sap in trees.  I greet the interface, connect what swirls, a Mobius strip.

Rock and Pine


Last night I sat outside with my cat Tiger. We sat in the moonlight, savoring stars, and listening to the hoots of an owl. This morning I watch the sky come to light with its brief blush of pink.

This comes from Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac today.

On this day in 1971, John Lennon released his second solo album, Imagine. The title track was the best-selling song of his solo career and was included on BMI’s list of the top 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. Lennon said that he and Yoko Ono received a prayer book, which inspired him to write the song. He said: “The concept of positive prayer … If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion — not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing — then it can be true.”

The song’s call for peace and tolerance continues to resonate with people all over the world. Jimmy Carter said, “[I]n many countries … you hear John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ used almost equally with national anthems.”


Wind Chimes

Yesterday I worked in the yard, aware of wind chimes.  I wondered how it is to be still and then the wind blows through bringing movement and sound.  Are we any different?

Even as the wind chime hangs there, movement is happening, just more slowly than we perceive.  How do I cultivate stillness, and allow the wind to blow through me bringing movement and my own vibratory slant to the air?

A friend’s email always ends with these words of Naomi Shihab Nye from her poem “Kindness”.  

“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

 you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

 You must wake up with sorrow.

 You must speak to it till your voice

 catches the thread of all sorrows

 and you see the size of the cloth.

 Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.” 

Under the Maple Tree and next to Bamboo

Look Through and to the left – What is perceived?


Last night the not yet half moon was a beacon in the sky spreading light.  It seems as though as the days shorten, the moon offers even more light. Plants respond to the change in how to receive as do we.

Yesterday coming back from Woodside, we and other cars were speeding along 280 when traffic came to a halt.  We creeped along for 30 minutes, or so, and then came upon the reason why. A horrific crash left crushed cars spread across two lanes of the four lane highway.  Lights flashed from trucks and ambulances.  Like that, lives changed.

As each of us looked, and drove past, there was a difference in the quality of the driving, a slow down from the previous 85 to 65, a visceral knowing of fragility and gratitude. It could have been one, or many of us.

I was grateful for the carriage in which I rode. My son who was in a different car on a different freeway, his slowed to 15 mph, pointed out that at the Folger Estate Museum, where we’d just been, we’d been looking at carriages from the past, carriages which would have required days to travel as we were, open carriages with no shock absorbers or air conditioners, and though we were in different cars on different freeways, we were communicating. How amazing is that!

This morning I wake and feel my body responding to seeing such a crunch of metal, a safety we take for granted, feel my spine extending, and again I think of the sea star with it’s five armed reach. I’m living; I move, moved.

Yesterday after brunch we went to the Folger Estate, a former estate now a beautifully preserved museum from the past, the CA past, which includes the Native people, but also those who came in 1840 and divided the land into grants.  Today the buildings are preserved, children are educated, and horses are housed.

We sat under oak and bay trees and savored soft talk.

Today I feel a call to turn my yard toward fall, to be in the preserve that is mine for a time to care for, an extension of my receptors and probes, like fingers and toes.

A section of the Main Stable on the Folger Estate

A portion of the 188 foot long and 75 foot wide stable.

As I again contemplate this stable designed by Arthur Brown Jr. who later designed the City Hall, Coit Tower, and the Opera House in San Francisco, and the Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus, I think of how we are told Jesus was born in a stable. I’ve never visualized it quite like this.

Enjoy your day as you expand on the meaning of words, and the mobility, flexibility, and airiness in your tissues, the blessings in this moment, this symphony we share that titled simply is Life.

You can learn more about the Folger Estate here: https://www.huddartwunderlichfriends.org/