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


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.

Noticing Space

The wind is howling and though it’s February, I’m reminded of the saying, “The month of March blows in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. When I was a child growing up in Iowa, and the wind blew in like this, we’d head out to an open field with our kites.  

Today I read that the saying may come from the stars.  In March, Leo the lion is the rising sign, and as April arrives, it’s Aries, so March ends, a lamb before the ram. 

Now, sitting in a room newly painted and open to contemplation with still bare walls, I look up and notice the trees outside are painting on one wall.  I’m touched with the beauty, a lesson delicately swaying the gift of change.

My heart ties ribbons to the tail of a kite.

Trees offer shape, shadow, and movement to a wall inside my home

Sunday Morning: Joy and Peace

I wake and savor my morning ritual, notice feet on the floor, arms moving up to reach two bowls, kitties fed.  Now, they’re back to sleep. Bella is here next to me. Each morning she takes my chair and I move her to her chair.  After rounds of petting, she goes to sleep.  

I go through my senses, hear the heater running and Bella purring, the wind outside, smell and taste coffee, feel air moving in and out as I touch the keys of the keyboard, and sit on the pillow softening my chair as my feet in their socks rest on the wood floor.  Such joy in knowing enough. Outside the window is pure delight as trees reach to light, light last night from the full moon and now more directly, the sun.

I harvest this moment.

Four wise women met for dinner last night and discussed our greatest learning.  “Choose Joy” was the agreed upon answer. Joy! This moment, each moment, enough.  

I’m with the words of Lao Tzu, the 6th century Chinese mystic, philosopher, and founder of Taoism.

“If there is to be peace in the world,

There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,

There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,

There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,

There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home, 

There must be peace in the heart.”

I’m also with Frank Ostaseski’s Five Invitations.

  • 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

The day opens before me, a map without lines, open to possibility, exploration, and trust in what comes.  I anchor lineage, propel and nurture what seeds and grows in receiving joy and cultivating the ease of peace.

Bella, also known as “Little Sweetie” on her pillow on her chair
Looking up as the sun moved day toward night

Morning Light

Good Morning!

The fog is in and a crow is cawing.  I look out as the day comes to light.  I keep reading of the beauty and importance of noticing the transition of light, of noticing how I’m affected by the change, night to morning, through the day, and transitioning to night. 

This morning I feel support, and a brightening as I see the yellow blossoms on the acacia tree that turn gold in the morning sun.

I offer my mantra of the last few days, these words of Pablo Casals.

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”

“The CHILD must know that he is a MIRACLE, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world will not be, another child like him.” 

“To the whole world you might be just one person, but to one person you might just be the whole world.” 

Isn’t that the way to enliven transition and plant seeds in night and day?

The Beating Heart

I never wanted politics to be a part of this blog.  I believe in separation of church and state, and I wanted to focus on what I perceive as a moral stance in how we live each moment, breath, day.

Lately we’re seeing Profiles in Courage in action.  I applaud Senator Mitt Romney, Ambassador Yovanovitch, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, all three of whom should have received the Medal of Freedom before a man who spouts anything but.

I keep coming back to equanimity, to the bigger picture.  When does all of this explode?

I worry, too, about a lack of attention span.  We’re inundated.

In 1990, when I checked out the local highly-rated high school for my son, I learned that the classics were no longer required reading.  The very sweet young teachers said that would be too “hard” for the students, and they had determined that was no longer necessary. The students would read summaries.  I pointed out that my generation read Shakespeare and the classics “in the whole”, and I was grateful for it. 

Recently I learned that a teacher of English literature at this same school doesn’t require books to be read at all.  The mother said her daughter had this teacher for all four years of high school and never read a book. They discuss current events.  In my day, that was Civics class, another class I’m grateful for, but I can’t imagine not having been exposed to the classics, books that can be read every decade with a different response. 

Yesterday, a neighbor informed me she doesn’t read my FB posts because the articles I post are too long.  She’s on the same political page as I am so it’s not that. Is Twitter really the maximum amount of time attention can be held?  Can we understand complexity in tweets?

I’m with these words of Boris Pasternak: When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.  

Amidst all the noise and distraction, I feel how important it is to listen to the beating of our heart and follow where it leads.  People are doing that, and though they may be maligned right now by those with an egocentric agenda, the truth will realign. May this be so!

May all beings be happy. May all beings be safe. May all beings everywhere be free.



In 1957, Dag Hammarskjold, a Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, wrote in his private journal Markings:  

Each day the first day.  Each day a life. Each morning we must hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and give back.  It must be held out empty – for the past must only be reflected in its polish, its shape, its capacity.  

In the Water and Out

Relationship – We’re Not Alone

Morning Sky


Last night I read Parabola magazine, the spring issue with its theme The Quest.  I went to bed up-lifted, and then rose to read the news of the evening before.  A racist is awarded the Medal of Freedom.

Where do I put it?

Where do I place my trust?  Of course, I know it comes from inside.

I quote Vaclav Havel who spoke before a joint session of Congress in 1989 after becoming the first president of Czechoslovakia after its transition from the communist regime to a new democratic government. He said:

Consciousness precedes being, and not the other way around, as the Marxists claim. For this reason, the salvation of the human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human modesty, and in human responsibility.

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our Being as humans, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed, whether it be ecological, social, demographic, or a general breakdown of civilization, will be unavoidable ….

Interests of all kinds – personal, selfish, state, national, group, and if you like, company interests – still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests …. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us … We still don’t know how to put morality ahead of politics, science and economics.  We are still incapable of understanding that the only genuine core of all our actions – if they are to be moral – is responsibility.

Responsibility to something higher than my family, my country, my firm, my success.  Responsibility to the order of Being, where all our actions are indelibly recorded and where, and only where, they will be properly judged. 

The interpreter or mediator between us and this higher authority is what is traditionally referred to as human conscience. If I subordinate my political behavior to this imperative, I can’t go far wrong. If, on the contrary, I am not guided by this voice, not even ten presidential schools with two thousand of the best political scientists in the world could help me.

I read this and wonder how we’ve come so far from the honoring of conscience, and the wholeness we are, how one man can stand before others and lie. Today will determine where conscience stands in this country, and how each of us mobilizes response.


How do we receive what surrounds us? 

I was out early this morning, 5:15, the world still dark, and yet in that darkness I felt awareness of what surrounds, and then when light comes I feel a different need to discern what impacts me now.

I was discussing seeing in the dark with my husband who used to navigate his mountain bike down Mount Tam in the dark.  How did he see? He looked up at the stars.

Where he could see the stars, he knew there was a path. Otherwise, the sky was clouded with trees.

I have a card here with words from one of my favorite books, The Little Prince.  “For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.”

Of course, in the day, we have our sun, our bright star that ensures our living and growth.  At night, the stars are further away and yet we savor and twinkle in their light.

I’m more aware of light this time of year as I watch the exchange of light and dark, and see my plants respond to the longer days.  Looking within for images, I feel antennae reach to power, touch and stimulate what dreams.  

I’m reading The People of the Sea by David Thomson. It taps into my ancestral roots of people who may have believed we see and move between the veils, see and move where fairies dwell, and elves, and seals and people exchange land and sea.

Who knows what beckons now, this day, February 4th, as we open and widen the folds in the curtains separating light and dark?

Airing Out the Fairy Tale


As plants respond to light increasing, I’m entranced with the changes. Orchids reach new budding stems.  All stretches in the light, including me. I feel awake.  

I rearranged the artwork on two walls today.  I breathe in the shift.

I had hung this poem up on the wall and now I take it down.

Embody. Purify.

The poem is by Kabir, a 15th century Poet and is translated by Robert Bly.

Student, do the simple purification.
You know, that the seed is inside the horse-chestnut tree;
and inside the seed there are the blossoms of the tree and the chestnuts and the shade.
So inside the human body there is the seed and inside the seed there is the human body again.
Fire, air, earth, water and space -
if you don't want the secret one, you can’t have these either.
Thinkers, listen, tell me what you know of that is not inside the soul?
Take a pitcher full of water and set down on the water -
now it has water inside and water outside.
We mustn't give it a name,
lest silly people start talking again about the body and the soul.
If you want the truth, I'll tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you.
The one no one talks of speaks the secret sound to himself,
and he is the one who has made it all.