This Time of Year

I gather quotes like flowers, inhale, exhale, the freshness of words vibrating in spring air.

Hildegard of Bingen: “You are a flowering orchard.”

How clear that seems in spring.  There’s one particular bird – a little guy who sings and chirps continuously from one tree and then another.   His song wraps around me, entwines, dissolving what divides.  

Carl Jung: Where insight rules beyond differences, all the pairs of opposites come together.

Rilke: Do not be bewildered by the surfaces – in the depths all becomes law.  

Rumi: Open your hands if you want to be held.  

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: He lives most life whoever breathes most air.  

Marion Woodman: The crone is the maturing of the feminine, in both men and women. Here, there is no concern with power, nothing left to lose. The crone finds herself a tuning fork among others, bringing them into center.

Can this tiny singing bird be a crone? I center in the sounds.

Annie Dillard asks, What does it feel like to be alive? And answers: Living, you stand under a waterfall.

Section of the redwood trunk sans squirrel in the moment
Orchids pour like waterfalls

Compassion and Connection

Yesterday, in honor of Native American Heritage Day, I watched the 1970 film “Little Big Man” which I recommend.

Earlier, I walked and sat by the bay with a friend.  We talked about the practice of Tonglen, a practice of “taking and sending”.  In Tonglen, we visualize taking in the pain of others with our in-breath, and sending out whatever will benefit them with the out-breath.  In that, we begin to feel love for ourselves and others.

On Tuesday evening we were the “victims” of a costly scam.  No, we weren’t victims.  Yes, we lost some money but we three agreed it was clever, and a learning experience, and we’re glad and grateful we don’t have to make a living by lying.  We toasted the five men for giving us the gift of knowing even more clearly we don’t need to live like that. They gave us a gratitude tonic.

I feel compassion for those who think they gain something by cheating others.  I feel grateful for what I learned, the joy in knowing I can’t be taken advantage of because all is one and shared.  I’m complete in myself, and that can’t be taken from me.  That awareness brought expansiveness in all areas to me, and I felt relief over conflicts I’d been agonizing over.  It was gone, a positive and powerful affirmation of the value in release and trust in knowing it’s about how we meet what comes.  Don’t hold on. Flow with the tides and streams. Be one with the sky.

Today I learned of a friend’s horrific family tragedy.  Her husband was driving home with a pecan pie for Thanksgiving on Highway 99 when his car was hit by a car crossing a double yellow line.  That person is essentially unhurt but my friend’s husband is in critical condition with severe brain damage.

Where does one put it?

How does one breathe into and expand around that?

Today in a Sensory Awareness workshop, we experimented with the power in a gesture. We held the right hand up at shoulder level, palm out, with fingers upright and joined, like some statues of the Buddha, showing a Mudra representing “Fear not!”

Fear not!

Egret by the Bay
The power of a line
Great Blue Heron


I  periodically reread and refresh on And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran. He writes:

Because of my blindness I had developed a new faculty.  The faculty is attention.  In order to live without eyes, it is necessary to be very attentive, to remain hour after hour in a state of wakefulness, of receptiveness and activity. Indeed, attention is not simply a virtue of intelligence or the result of education, it is a state of being.  In its truest sense it is the listening post of the universe.

Emily Dickinson may have been living the same way when she wrote:

Forever – is composed of nows.

Morning Sky