Good Morning

Today I’m with this quote by Vincent Van Gogh:

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.

May your day, my day, be one of peace, trust, reverence, and ease.

Inspired by Fungi

Friend fog returned in the night.  The fog horn sounds, a herald of cool air.  As the day comes to light, I see fog on the ridge.

I’m guided today by a Serbian proverb: Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.  

Last night I watched the highly recommended Fantastic Fungi.  If you want to dance through a network of hope, this is it.  Here’s the trailer: 

Awareness

I wake to the smell of smoke in the air and check the news.  Yes, the Glass Fire is raging forcing evacuations.  The sky is gray with smoke and my eyes are burning, so again, we close up the house and turn on our air purifiers grateful we’re able to do so.

I finished Cave in the Snow and I’m with how we may not be able to isolate in a cave but there are many mindfulness practices to invite during the day.  One is allowing a half-smile for three breaths.  Just that, and repeat.  I find it amazing what a soft lift of my lips can do to my mood and system and awareness of the world I’m in.  

Today I’m guided by words from Pema Chodron: It is only to the degree that we become willing to face our own feelings that we can really help others. So we make a commitment that for the rest of our lives, we’ll train in freeing ourselves from the tyranny of our own reactivity, our own survival mechanisms, our own propensities to be hooked.

The sky Friday evening

Meeting What Comes

This morning, I listened to a Sensory Awareness leading by Mariela Valdez.  She played different styles of music and we noticed our response.  I changed immediately with the music, marching, flowing, rocking, then, then when she played a cowboy song, I remembered lying flat on the table prepared for radiation.  They always played music, usually soothing, but one day, I’d been carefully arranged for the machine and cowboy music came on and I couldn’t stop moving which stopped the process. Set-up began again.  It showed me the power of music. I was taken away from a machine to ride slung low in the saddle feeling space and sky around and in me.

After going through chemotherapy, I’ve rarely been able to handle the stimulation of music, but today I responded with pure delight.

I’m aware we’re in the Jewish Holy Days, and Etty Hillesum comes to mind.  Born in 1914, she was a Dutch author who wrote of her religious awakening and the persecutions of Jewish people in Amsterdam during the German occupation.  

In 1943 she was deported and killed in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Here are some of her words.

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.

I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. And that too is a deed.

“Slowly but surely I have been soaking Rilke up these last few months: the man, his work and his life. And that is probably the only right way with literature, with study, with people or with anything else: to let it all soak in, to let it all mature slowly inside you until it has become a part of yourself. That, too, is a growing process. Everything is a growing process. And in between, emotions and sensations that strike you like lightning. But still the most important thing is the organic process of growing.” 

“A large group of us were crowded into the Gestapo hall, and at that moment the circumstances of all our lives were the same. All of us occupied the same space, the men behind the desk no less than those about to be questioned. What distinguished each of us was only our inner attitude.” 

I continue to see it’s about feeling within to cultivate how we meet what comes.  Peace!

Autumn is Here

Crispness in the air and I feel like bobbing for apples.  Birds are singing, and despite the dire news I feel the beauty of nature and life.  I keep rising at 2 in the morning to meditate.  It’s as though I need to process all that’s happening in between dreams.

Morning View from my Deck

Adjusting the Lens

The tributes to Ruth Bader Ginsberg inspire and warm the heart.

Turning the channel, I’m with this week’s New Yorker magazine and “One-Star Yelp Reviews of Heaven” by Jay Martel.

Inspired by a one-star Yelp review of the Eiffel Tower, “Too much steel,” he took a critic’s eye-view of heaven.

“I feel kinda bad about the one star, but I guess it was just way overhyped to me, and when I got here I took one look at the clouds and the angels and everyone in white gowns and thought, “Really?”  It’s such a cliche.”

“Not a fan of the pearly-white color scheme.”

“I really wanted condor wings.”

“Smaller than I imagined. Also bigger than I imagined.”

And so may you adjust your lens so today and every day is a five star, or ten star, or many constellations and galaxies of a day.

Moving In and Out

I woke this morning thinking of the spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  We carry her in us now.

I was on a Sensory Awareness call today, and was led to feel the air moving in and out, the response in my tissues as I allowed awareness to percolate in and out.  We’re not alone.  We live in connection, as we move, are moved, in and out.  

Maya Angelou says it beautifully in this poem “When Great Trees Fall”.

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.

When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses

eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.

Our eyes, briefly,

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,

examines,

gnaws on kind words

unsaid,

promised walks

never taken.

Great souls die and

our reality, bound to

them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their

nurture,

now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their

radiance,

fall away.

We are not so much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance

of

dark, cold

caves.

And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.

– Maya Angelou

Grief

I just learned Ruth Bader Ginsberg has passed on. She fought so hard, gave so much. This is beautiful to read right now, through sorrow and tears.

Possibility

My driver’s license is up for renewal and because I’m now over 70, I need to go in for a written test.  I’ve taken the on-line ones, and feel primed, so today is the day.  I go on-line to make an appointment.  I see that because of covid, I have a one year extension and can’t make an appointment online.  Hmmm!  Why not put it off until the new year?  It works for me. 

Today I’m entranced with the Diving Bell Spider that breathes underwater by capturing a bubble of air.

I’m in awe!

Martin Buber, a religious philosopher, wrote that “Play is the cultivation of the possible.”

I wonder if long ago spiders were playing and wondered, “what if?” and so now they inhabit another place to be.  Where now might I cultivate expanded ways to be and breathe?