I was out early this morning, watering quickly, though mindfully, as we are allowed to water by hand, especially before six.  Where it would have been light a month ago, it was dark, and the birds were still asleep. No chattering, just quiet, and stillness today. August is when birds molt, change feathers from summer to winter, so it usually is a quiet time.

Meanwhile I’m cleaning out books.  It’s my way to molt.  What feathers do I need to nourish in the dark?

In Harold Gatty’s book, Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass, I learn how to tune my senses to my environment.   He writes of a famous traveler and explorer, F. Spencer Chapman, who was “kayaking along the east coast of Greenland with an Eskimo hunting party”. 

Suddenly the fog came in, and visibility was nil. Though far from home, they were able to keep within sound of the shore.  Chapman worried how they would find the narrow entrance to their home fjord but he writes: “The Eskimos seemed quite unperturbed … indeed they beguiled the time by singing verse after verse of their traditional songs and occasionally they threw their harpoons from sheer joie de vivre.”

An hour of paddling later, they turned into the entrance to their home.

How did they do it?  Chapman wrote: 

“All along this coast, there were snow buntings nesting, and each male bird … used to proclaim the ownership of his territory by singing his sweet little song from a conspicuous boulder.  Now each cock snow bunting had a slightly different song, and the Eskimos had learned to recognize each individual songster so that as soon as they picked out the notes of the bird who was nesting on the headland of their home fjord, they knew it was time to turn inshore.”

Ears and mouths along the shore

Pi and Pie Day

Michael Atkinson led sensory awareness yesterday on Zoom and I and others were deeply affected.  I believe his intention was expansiveness and connecting with and extending what we might perceive of as boundaries.  We began holding a blanket in one hand, two hands, hands extended palms up, and I felt how when my feet fully feel and connect with the ground, the blanket is light and connection is effortless.  He spoke of movement as gesture, gesture for in and the world, gesture in and for ourselves.  Play with it.  I was up in the night playing with movement as gesture and what that does to head, mouth, ears, eyes, and my connection with a wider world.  Perhaps you needed to be there, or perhaps not, but see what that one word – gesture does for you today as you celebrate an irrational number that goes on and on circling and enlivening our nights and days.

I’ve never seen a square rock so round your corners today and sing of circles

A Field

I wake this morning with Rumi’s words flowing through and around me.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and right doing there is a field

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about.

We live in a field, a continuous exchange.  I invite and allow myself to feel the movement within and around me, no separation at all.

My grandson is in a Spanish immersion daycare school, so I’m learning Spanish on Duolingo.

Last night I started a new lesson on emotion and feeling.  It’s quite lovely.

I’m with this: Como te sientes?  How do you feel?

Sientes comes from sentir.  I love how sense is there in the question.  How do you sense, and in that, how do you feel?


Morning Light!

This morning I rose, fed kitties, sat down to meditate. Bella came and sat down on her blanket next to me.  For her, meditation means petting and kissing and she returns the gift by licking me. Bella sees living as reciprocal; she always gives back.  

Finally we settle, Bella and I, and come to rest.  I feel how deeply in this moment I have nothing to do and nowhere to go.  That settling falls through me. I rise in response, a spring, motion, movement, process, though I appear still as a mountain, or do I?  Thoughts pop in – are mountains still?

My lids close over my eyes, gently, tenderly.  After awhile, still covered, the balls of the eyes shift, gently, tenderly, right, then, left.  I’m by the window and feel the coming of light.

I allow the lids of my eyes, the center of my head, to rest and rise as gently and tenderly as the coming of the light.  All is ease. Might I keep this as I move through the day?

My teacher of Sensory Awareness, Charlotte Selver, would bring us to a state of bliss, and then, say, “Forget it!” I didn’t want to forget it, wanted to hold on, but now, I’ve learned, release, and something new comes, so I release as the light meets the sky, meeting me, touching, digesting, through and through.

Pittosporum offers scent to air.

The Wonder Years

Today a close friend is sixty and another is seventy and I wake to feel I’m living in the Wonder Years.  The phrase pops to mind though I never saw the show aired in the 80’s and focused on the 60’s, but now I realize it fits this time of my life

It is a time of wonder.  There’s a pause in the breath, a time to wonder with a rainbow spread of awe: what comes next?

I wake in the morning grateful for the immersed touch of life, cells popping, and breath moving in and out, tracing paths of wonder. What is being now?

Yesterday I watched a Ted Talk by David Eagleman.  Can We Create New Senses for Humans? Yes, we can. Watch this and feel possibility and perception expand. In a world of wonder, each day is a celebration of birth and death, expansion and contraction, youth and age.