Today the fog is a wrap as I sit, contemplate, and appreciate the earth I am and the earth where I live.
Water rationing is beginning again so it will be a return to buckets in the shower to capture every drop. I worry about the plants and explain to them that they, too, need to carefully utilize every drop.
I’m with Thich Nhat Hanh this morning.
We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we are not doing anything, we are wasting our time. But that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be; to be what? To be alive, to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. And that is what the world needs most.
I’m home again and as I consider what poem beckons me today, it’s the sound of hot water dripping through coffee grounds. That sound passes into taste.
Yesterday morning I had breakfast at the Residence Inn in Menlo Park. For some strange and unknown reason a TV was on in the breakfast room blaring out the morning news. Two little boys, around eight years old, stood there aghast as they watched a video showing two young children being dropped over a border wall in New Mexico. Then the trial of the murderer of George Floyd came on.
I hate to be an “in my day” sort of person but my parents read the newspaper and probably watched the 6:00 news. We read the newspaper when our children were young. Now, of course, we read the news from a variety of sources on-line. I’m sure there was awareness, as there should be, in both generations of the horrors that occurred, but certainly not an onslaught as the first meal of the day is consumed.
We’ve had a heat wave which today draws the fog onto the ridge. It’s a new day and I’m grateful for my home and a month that celebrates poetry in a myriad of ways.
It’s poetry month and I’m reading ways to celebrate. One way is to choose a poem and read it outdoors. I think of what the trees and birds might want to hear today and come to balancing on weaving waves of silence. I listen to the leaves unfold as the birds draw them outwards with their notes.
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes — ah, that is where the art resides.
– Artur Schnabel
The only thing we have to bring to community is ourselves, so the contemplative process of recovering our true selves in solitude is never selfish. It is ultimately the best gift we can give to others.
I’m spending time in Menlo Park to be with my 17 month old grandson who is pure delight. Yesterday he fell asleep against my heart and we were that way together until I turned him to watch his sleeping face and then put him in bed to sleep. One wonders how one can hold a child, any child, and not want everything possible for each one.
May we all look upon this trickster sort of day as a way to know what is true and what matters in this world we share.Each one of us is precious and fragile in our nourished strength.
Friends are going through chemotherapy right now which may be why I’ve wondered what to post. My experience comes back, and I remember the beauty of connection, the clarity and gratitude that we are all one and we do a great deal to save the life of another.
Lately I’ve been with the uniqueness of each one of us, the uniqueness of our experience and perception.
Recently I read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. As reading does, it allows one entry into the mind of another, a man with Aspergers. It’s laugh out loud funny in places and yet there’s a deeper stream of compassion and strength holding it all together. Though it’s a trilogy, I only read the first book. It was enough, and I’m with enough these days, knowing enough.
I’m grateful to be alive and well and able to feel the reverberations of all we create and share as we balance the tides and embrace and release with care.
When I was invited to make a Happy Birthday video, I found myself at the overlook for the Golden Gate Bridge welcoming the sunrise. The bridge looks so stable from above. It is stable and yet I’m reminded of May 24, 1987.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the bridge was closed to traffic and opened to walking. My youngest son and I were there early for the event, and received a piece of the banner as it was cut. As we started across we met people coming from the SF side. Because we were first, we got through easily and walked along the bay through the city to the ferry building. Returning on the ferry, we were shocked to see the bridge flatten out. No one expected 300,000 people to show up and meet in the middle. It was claustrophobic gridlock. For us on the ferry, it was slightly unnerving to see bridge without its curve, and clearly it didn’t fall.
Yesterday in a Sensory Awareness workshop, Misty Hannah led us with the image of bridges, the bridges within us, and the bridges connecting us. I saw suspension bridges in Nepal and another saw stone bridges in northern England. It was an invitation of exploration.
What kind of bridges swing or hold steady within us and between us? Where do we find support?
I thought of the game Chutes and Ladders, visualized and felt an up and down flow within.
Misty shared with us a tribe in Mexico who greets not with Hello, but with “Are you here?” or “You are here.” They may add “How is your heart today?
How is your heart today?
When I ask myself how my heart is, I feel a swing of response as my lungs move in and out, responsive beacons of support.
I feel fluidity in my spine, a bridge connecting head and sacrum.
All of this flows through me today as I wake in the dark, the moon still shining in the sky.
My son and his wife got their long-awaited rescue greyhound yesterday. She is a beauty, small and young. She was never on the track and naturally is her own self so she is different than their first rescue greyhound Senna who passed away last year.
I’m so happy for them and for her. Bridges of love and connection brought her to them as she was rescued from Florida, and brought to Denver, and now she is here in their home, her home. Her track name is Rumor, but they have named her Ebi because she is small.
Beauty and Love. Bridges of connection. My heart is full.
In 2005/2006, I went through treatment for breast cancer, or as Molly Ivins put it, I was poisoned, and burned. She added that she was mutilated, but I ‘just” had a lumpectomy so didn’t feel as violated as those who had more.
I finished treatment in June and went through horse therapy to “re-empower” me. I’m not sure I was re-empowered but I loved the horses, and the time with them, and learning how they responded to my energy. It was a lesson in how we respond to the energy of others, and our own, and how we interact.
That September, I was invited to participate in a fashion show, a gift to the oncologists and doctors who had contributed to the survival of a group of women, and one man.Yes, men can get breast cancer, and he was quite a dapper soul.
We each had three outfits to wear down the runway. I wore pink lingerie, brown sportswear, and a beautiful black outfit with the risk of very high heels. Everyone wore formal dress for the runway and grand finale.
It was a beautiful, fund-raising event. It comes to me now when I read that Desiree Anzalone, the great-granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr., has died from breast cancer. She was just 31.
We are reading of her because she is famous, but my understanding is that all the young women in that show passed away rather quickly afterwards. I was the oldest in the show at 56. There was a woman in her 20’s and others in their 30’s and 40’s, and a few in their young 50’s.
Cells multiply more quickly in the young so when they get cancer, they are more at risk. My family is gathering today, socially distanced, of course, to celebrate my son’s birthday. I give thanks for all the scientists and doctors and dedicated people who mean I’m here. The young man who handed us a gown for radiation always made sure each gown was warm, and he said a prayer over each one. Tears come. We live in a world of care.
Where I live, birds have hatched and are in the process of testing their wings and leaving the nest. I consider the work and play of making a nest, the gathering of materials, twigs, hair, fur, and then, the laying of eggs, perhaps a full nest, crowded even, and then testing leading to flight, and the nest is empty perhaps to be used again or maybe to fall apart.
Each of us is given an opportunity to be the twig gathered, the fur, the hair, the coming together to make a nest, the couple, the egg, the hatching, the flight, and then, a a space, a place for something new to come.
My college roommate Robyn Anzelon was a bridesmaid at my wedding. She comments on the photo of my brother and me coming down the aisle with “so glad the sweetness is wrapping around you,” and yes, that is the word, the feeling: sweetness.
Sweetness wraps around me, stepping stones in grief. My brother’s eyes, and he always had better than 20/20 vision while I, not so much, are now expanded out. He draws me to stars and sky even as I more clearly feel the ground beneath my feet. Aliveness. I feel him augmenting sky and soil inside. I’m tenderized with sweetness, wrapped in love.
I’m reminded of my mother’s sweet smile as she said over and over again, “All is love.” My parents, our parents, lived as though rolled in tenderness, bathed in it from birth, many births. They saw a wider view. They were Holy Beings, as are we all, and yet sometimes we need to be touched again and again with the sweetness we share in living here. We need to touch each cell inside with the recognition and acknowledgment of the sweet power and joy-filled frequency of love. There, is support.
In fourth grade, I was the fairy who gave kindness in the play Sleeping Beauty. I stepped forward and touched my wand to the baby and said four powerful words, “I give you kindness.” I often say the words to myself. “I give you kindness, Cathy.” I do that today, give myself the sweet fruit of kindness, as it ripens in sun and rain, fulfilling its purpose with the growth, care, and protection of seeds, generations of seeds. We are here for more than ourselves. We seed with sweetness our future as we honor our shared needs.