On day 4 of “shelter in place”, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and flowers and leaves are rumbling and tumbling forth.

A friend points out this is not social distancing.  It’s physical distancing and social solidarity.  I like it!

Today, our neighbor hangs a fresh homemade sourdough mini loaf on our fence. 

Another friend suggests I read the book, Death: The End of Self-Improvement by Joan Tolifson.  Intrigued by the title, I open to the first page, words on the practice of meditation by Zoketsu Norman Fischer.

“Practice is not about overcoming human problems. It’s not about becoming serene and transcendent.”  (Oh, well, that was my hope.)

It’s about embracing our lives as they really are, and understanding at every point how deep and profound and gorgeous everything is – even the suffering, even the difficulty. So we forgive ourselves for our limitations, and we forgive this world for its pain. We don’t say, “That’s not pain.”  It is pain.  You don’t say, “It’s not difficulty.” It is difficult. But when we embrace the difficulty … we see this is exactly the difficulty we need, and this difficulty is the most beautiful and poignant thing in this world.”

I pause knowing he wrote these words before this difficulty we are now in, and yet, I understand, of course, yes.

Rumi speaks on the next page of the book.

Don’t grieve.

Anything you lose comes round

in another form …. 

God’s joy moves from unmarked box

to unmarked box, from cell to cell.

As rainwater, down into flower bed.

As roses, up from ground.

Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,

now a cliff covered with vines,

now a horse being saddled.

It hides within these, till one day

it cracks them open.

Buddha Cat

Flopping All About

When a friend sent me the six ways people were coping with “shelter in place”, I realized why my blog posts have been all over the map.  I’ve been flopping between all six things, more unsettled than ever.  

  1. I’m sleeping more.
  2. Sometimes I feel out of body and I’m not even sure what space is.
  3. I’m pacing.
  4. I’m keeping things clean though not redecorating.
  5. I’m creatively cooking, going through recipes and what’s on my shelves, figuring this is a time to return to favorite dishes and ignore the calorie count.  
  6. For some, who’ve always been at home, there is no change.  Though I thought I was mainly at home, this has allowed me to see I’m out and about more than I knew.  It shows me if I am to experience the deep sink this unexpected retreat is meant to bring, I have a ways to go. Evolved, I am not.

Today, Aurelia Priotto St. John, a friend and colleague who lives in Italy, sent this to the Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement community.  She said I could share it if I thought it would help people. Since it helped me, I’m sharing it with you. For me, it was helpful to know I wasn’t the only one struggling to understand what was happening.  I couldn’t take it in, and now slowly the seep is anchoring roots.


Yesterday I wrote a letter to my Movement students and also to my Bodywork clients. “yesterday”, I say, because it took time these last 2 weeks to realize what was happening, to let us be touched by a different kind of reality that our country was entering.

Personally, I felt the need to stop and to let this fact impact me. An unknown silence had suddenly filled up our squares and streets, NO movement of people, busses, cars, No sounds in the air.

Something very deep and strong was passing, is passing and touching our beings.

It became so clear there was, there is nothing I could “fix” — a deep feeling of respect, something beyond what I can “know” and that a pause was so needed for me to, little by little, grasp what was going on, to be informed by this event.

It took awhile to take in what was and is happening. It took a while to allow this change to penetrate the awareness and wake up new questions and meanings for our life.

Little by little this penetration has had time to enter us and to connect us to a deeper level.

Aurelia suggests we listen to music, a “Sacred Hymn in C Minor”, allow it to enter and lead us, allow our body to find its way to respond, like a “moving prayer”.  Move as a child would, “free from judgment and expectations”.

I’ve been at my computer more than usual which is saying a great deal, but I see how many are reaching to connect with meditation and a need to talk. We, as intelligent organisms respond, and create new ways to stay in touch and evolve.

Meanwhile, honor the flop as you adjust moment by moment to new and trusting ways of being.  We’re in this together – one planet – one scent – one breath.

Jasmine in my yard continues to open and bloom offering a sweet and pungent scent