Tag Archives: Simplicity

hallo you sun, above the thick, grey mattress pad wrapped around each corner of the sky…

6 Mar

rainy day trees

I lived in a house made largely of windows.  A choice was made to do away with most of the curtains and blinds so that even under a canopy of  leaves, bright sunlight filled each room.  At night, the house was lit from within.

What do people call a house like this, a fishbowl?    I was on the stage in a house full of windows.  I showered more; I dressed for breakfast;  I moved through the house, making entrances and exits,  an actress playing a role.

Today, I am shrouded behind curtains, or so I think,  here on my bed, lounging on a quilt full of giraffes and monkeys with a live napping cat.    This is not a show house, but a house for the moment, full of comfort and warmth.  My dishes are functional, my blankets warm and worn.

I think we are all creatures in a zoo, in boxes of every sort, observing and being observed.  There are routines and patterns and a measuring to our days counted in such small, expansive joys;  scripts move us daily to sweep, to wipe up, to turn appliances on, to purchase food,  to wash our bodies, to answer our emails.

The keys out  are  metal and cartoonishly large – rattling around the waist of the guard.  He is stopping by your cage now, peering in the back gate, seeing what you are up to…what are you up to?  Are you  counting your food pellets,  or making your bed from the soft underbrush, or are you frozen in space staring?

I, too, am frozen at a window, but not the windows of yesterday.  I am in a window full of condensation.  I am faceless, standing still and staring out at rain.

What holds me here?  Only my one job, to parent.  It is a job so important I can hardly face it,  yet it is a job on shifting sand.

I start some doing and stop and think about doing again, but instead, I sit here, drinking tea, looking at messes.  I’m fixin’ to and startin’ to all day, turning on music, joy goes all the way down to my socked feet as the rain dots my roof  just like my thousand, shivery goose pimples.

The only way out is up;  there is no fence on the sky.  The cage is comfortable, the food is adequate – but above is open.  Swimming through miles of goosedown, I imagine the sun still there.

smashing pumpkins

3 Dec

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
― Joseph Campbell

Pumpkins_by_live_laugh_love_draw

There is NO TRAIL.

Behind my parents house lies a golf coarse, and behind that, a forested hill leading up to a tower.

My 81-year-old dad, confident in his newly installed hip socket, was sure there was a trail leading up to the tower, so off we, Eden, dad and me, went in search of a way up the mountain.  No watches, no phones, my dad using an old golf putter as his walking stick.

The trail proved illusive.  So we went off-trail through tall grasses, new growth woods full of brambles;  we followed some dead-ending paths, and finally we found an old growth forest that led back to the golf course and home.  We wandered  looking for a way up, but instead found our own way, without a clear end point, adventuring into unknown territories, right out the back door.

Eden scrambled ahead looking for possible trails, as we explored.  At times, we found washed-out gullies to climb; we held brambles for each other so they didn’t snap and catch us painfully; we separated and called to each other through the trees; my dad and I watched Eden roll down hills.  We found a spot where someone had dumped 10 or more pumpkins, still bright orange despite the below freezing nights.  Eden tried to smash a few against a tree, then realized they were nowhere near rotting.  She carried two back down from which to scoop out and roast seeds at my parents’ house.

This time in the woods was sandwiched by large gatherings of far-flung family.  The way my energy flowed in the woods exploring as opposed to the talking and catching up could not be more disparate.  There is something so organic and right about tromping about, making our own way in the natural world, yet I have to make these moments happen – often pushing my will by force and rejecting invitations,  chores,  obligations – recognizing the trueness of doing what I enjoy most.    I separate from the world and become whole again in these spaces.  How wonderful it was to have my father and my daughter along for this adventure.

Time without agenda flows so magically.

We have so little teaching and guidance except that which we seek out on our own.  I tell my students and my kids often words about each of us making are own way, but sometimes it sounds just like nagging or preaching.    Eyes glaze over.

What is it like to flow in your own way in each moment?  My experience opens into more and more of a moment to moment flow as I am creating my life as a reflection of all that makes sense, not in my mind, but in my body, in my heart.  The intuitive truth starts dictating and shining through each unfolding now.  The people in my life now more clearly reflect acceptance as I have come to accept myself.  The activities that are allowed entrance are no longer something to dread, but are carefully chosen for their energetic nourishment.  Food, music, possessions, friends, doings – all a reflection and creation from within.

Making one’s own trail can appear in infinite ways – it may be in nature.   It may be in a low paying job serving others.  It may be care-giving,  making food, making fun, handing out opportunities, holding doors, holding my daughters hand as her toenail is cut out by the doctor.   It may be running to the pharmacy at 9pm for meds and cat food for the strays.  It may be a firm NO as a solid reflection of boundaries.  It may be a visit to the roaring ocean, a sandy butt, a look away  or a belly laugh of compassion.  A trail of one’s own defies simple explanation.  It is what occurs naturally in each organic next step toward home.

water

1 Aug

yesterday i write about silence and the watery feel of it –  and the sky decides to show me of water in abundance –

as  eden and i drive through such rains we have to pull over and  just listen to it pound on the roof.  But in this town, even pulling over isn’t much of an option; if the downpour coincides with high tide, the water can rise and suddenly, you are adrift  in your car.

this summer has been a deluge.  we have had water from the sky everyday, I think

for which I am thankful, even for the flooded streets I cannot pass –

kayaking on market street

and

I am also thankful for the water inside – perhaps not the sort these cheeky fellows are kayaking in but the kind that comes through the pipes.

water for laundry, water for cleaning, water to shower –

and also I am grateful for access to the pure water we consume.

I get the water we drink from the health food store  in 4 glass jugs that we refill every few days.

This pure water to drink can seem like a chore as I lug them about or a blessing.

When I fill those jugs at the store and drive them home, I see Sabina  in my mind whose life has been spent trekking everyday for water to meet the needs of her family.  The water she carries so far on her back is dirty.

Sabina’s grace and and beauty in such circumstances – what is there to say?  I bow.

It is my gut feeling that to be human is to have walked all paths – we all know at some level that we, too, are Sabina.

In our world, more and more it comes to be that we will see:

Water as time.  Water as education.  Water as freedom.  Water as me.  (Ik/me sees)

wooing the buffalo

26 Jul

Red_Buffalo_by_Cloverfish

Don’t surrender your loneliness
So quickly.
Let it cut more deep.

Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My voice
So tender,

My need of God
So absolutely
Clear.

Hafiz

I do love something so about my now.  I am not alone, as I have the constant awareness of those who need me daily.  But in the deep soul way – of  loving the soul and body of another, it is not manifest in my now – and I do not long in a desperation, I do not ache or imagine.  The skin on my wounds is smooth and comfortable to the touch.  My stance is not defensive or retreating – I do not shoulder what comes with the worry of what might happen.  I stand adult and child at once, still able to sing lullabies to the black bear, pacing in his captivity.  We never found the puma cage, eden and I, in the downpour at the animal section.  We saw the Bison rocking and had a nice talk about the buffalo woman.  Do you remember how large a buffalo is?  Is it even a sacrifice to be given to the herd?  Today it doesn’t seem so.  Can you remember the feeling when you see that head so enormous and audacious, even from a distance?  Do you remember how it feels to not care how others view you, to not care what you are wearing?  Do you remember not having ears for what others may overhear in your conversation?  The sea otters have had enough of humans and they hide in the back until the people are gone.  It is better that way.  Animals are becoming self aware and so disgusted with the humans who got here just a tiny step ahead of them.  Perhaps they will call the authorities on the frat party assholes who trashed the place and made the cages.  I will loan them my cell phone.  Have a turn gorilla, elk, and cat.  Your rhythm matches the thunder, the waves, the wind.  We no longer carry the salty sea in our veins.  We are velveeta cheese on cardboard crackers.  We are a toxic cloud.  How did I end up here, Hafiz?  I was writing to let you know I embrace my aloneness.  It is delicious; I love sleeping in the middle of my bed.  I love no phone calls anticipated.  I love marching where I will.  There is no need of anything right now – I only feel the turbulence of those who have entered here through my womb – I welcome their expressions.  I watch their show daily – and little else.  Alone is a nice spell on the ride – a raft on the river alone flows on natural currents – no need to discuss the way.  my muscles relax into the stream.

Lyrics – LovesLaughter

Breathe on me my buffalo
Your eye warms to a warning of a death without words
I am here
Laughter
Swallowing
Cups of pride
Inside it paints me
With the visions I love
For the future tributes
A tome
Sunny green

Repeat

The buffalo from buffalo who are buffaloed by the buffalo from buffalo
Buffalo are the buffalo from buffalo

And all’s above lay
Pay tribute to the death of our tome
Sunny green.

hungry for this now

11 Jul

mooji2

what is reflected in these eyes?

we all are.

we are this and are in need of nothing else.

This sort of gaze is unusual in our world.  This picture arrests me.  Not because of who this is.  Mooji is a good teacher for me, but it is his eyes that I am drawn to.  I see a clear mirror in this picture; perhaps no more words are needed.

i seek this, hunger for this lack of pretense.  This blog helps me to see my words reflecting layers of story clouding just how close this clarity is.

I, too, am getting sick of words.

i lack nothing.  I have never lacked for anything.

But I do Ask, Why are the pictures above and below unusual?

pattismithw.s.burroughs

Patti Smith and William S. Burroughs

There is a certain nakedness here that arrests me, in this shot, as well.

Why do we not all see each other for real, young or old, pretty or plain; why do we not look each other in the eyes and see ourselves and grab hold like it means something?

life of luxury

26 Jun

pickney plantation

Tucked around the corner from the  concrete oven, strip mall superstore  lies a plantation full of grass and weed fields, spanish moss hung trees, circling red-tailed hawks, virtuoso mockingbirds, and shapeshifting dragon fly fairies, as captured by my friend Sheila.

dragonfly

Sheila led me into this place, though I had driven by it for years, never stopping.

I am here on my yoga mat on a strip of grass under a tall tree with a few thoughts like the billowing clouds – just passing through.

You could tell me of my worries, but I am not hearing the words clearly.

Here is the space to stretch out away from worries, between duties and just be.  The TO DO list checking – pick up here, drop off there, get these things off this list at these stores, make these phone calls –  that follows such a stolen moment in nature flows with a new sense of  spaciousness.

Remembering lingers amidst the matrix flow.

I am still participating for all to see in the way society, family, survival demands of us here in this world at this time.

I am learning of the small windows of space I  can create while still seeing the insanity in live action on the big screen or hearing conversations of plastic surgery and social judgement while my hair gets a trim.

I am nothing.  I just have ears and a current of electrical charge which seems to flow from an invisible cord ascending up.

Stretch out with me here, cradled in the arms of something really big.

just say yes

11 Apr

There is nothing special about flowing with the universe.

Sometimes I think flow is reserved for stolen moments in nature, but flow is everywhere at every time for everyone/thing.

When Chloe stood over my bed, where I was grading essays last night with her hands on hips saying she needed a copy of William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice by yesterday and what did I plan to do about it (grin), my mind went into motion trying to squeeze all in.

This morning, a book and a store credit manifest, and still I arrived at work 10 minutes early as this song came on a radio:

STOP!

Some part of my identity and story wants to stop right here and make clear, this is not MY music.  Music makes you lame or cool – masks come up, postures are struck, and naked  here means sharing a song outside my cool, created self.  This song is boppy, perhaps a bit sappy.  My 14 year old jumps around with her girlfriends to this song.  I think that they imagine boys proposing to them  from the conditioned stories of their potential futures.

Beyond the easy interpretation perhaps these words keep me still:  There’s nothing holding you back. It’s not a test –  nor a trick of the mind – Only Love!  So simple, and you know it is… It’s all I want.

I switched to battery and sat with the atmosphere of this song.    A moment to celebrate my aloneness AND my connection to everything.   I am alone in a romantic way, yet  I am a part of all romance.  This sounds like bullshit, but I don’t think it is.

Also I know 😛 that on the side of my palm where the relationship lines lie, a groove has been growing.  I am learning myself.  I am enjoying the space to do so.  I can feel the shape of my other out there, no hurry, no need – just flow.

In front of the car appears the most vibrant male cardinal making his way, through sun and shadow on the grass.  Listening, watching, paused.  He and I become aware of his mate about 10 feet behind at the same moment and  he runs/hops over to her.  They meet face to face and seem to click their beaks together.  Such a moment of connection – but I know that I am not gifted this scene – I am as much a part of this scene as my supposed chores and errands.

When the song is over, the birds are on to their next patch of seeds, worms.  What do they eat?  and what do you know?  There is still a pocket of time to pick up some copies before class.

The flow – we all are here in it together, no separation.  We bless strangers who sneeze in public places; we hold elevator doors; the songs, the birds, the cars all flow from the same source.

So nice when I remember.

(I did not insert a picture of Cardinals;)

12-12-12: Time to Get All Woo Woo

12 Dec

Image

Woo woo:  adj. concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism; other than rational or scientific; mysterious; new agey. Also n., a person who has mystical or new age beliefs.

I spent years dwelling in duplicity; I was attracted to tangible manifestations of the world unseen while I presented an outward persona of scientific rational scoff at anything skirting on the edges of verifiability.

The shedding of identity is so lovely in that nothing is sticky.  When beliefs are not required, openness allows the mystery to enter and gently unfold itself to one’s observing eye.  And still nothing sticks. No explanation needed.  No need for the adoption of a new woo woo identity or cloak of new age mumbo jumbo.  The seen and the unseen exist together; we can tangibly observe this with open eyes…and flash photography 🙂

My daughters have had some challenging years of late: divorce, discomfort, boat life,  stigma,  bi-polar papa, to name a few off the top of my head…A little behind the scenes aid might have been in order.

I took several photos of Eden on her birthday last fall on a late night walk around the marshy areas near our home…and her unseen protective (perhaps) forces were all about.

Image

This shot is taken in the pitch dark.  The shape of this flying light beside her seems like a butterfly, but the thick body seems to defy careful definition.  Then this same shape appeared in a tree a few weeks later.  Flying bats and insect appear in my photos all the time, but they do not light up like this, they reflect the flash back dully…this entity appears lit from within.

Image

I have named this light Eden’s farie.  Eden is loath to have a woo woo mama, but will ask to see this picture every once in a while, perhaps to validate to herself the forces that are around us everyday, watching, strengthening, guarding…who knows?

Just to add a bit of rationality…when I think of the full range of the light spectrum that we have discovered compared to the limited range that humans are able to perceive unaided, the existence of  “things’ outside our awareness no longer seems woo woo, but inevitable.  Just to over-think it 🙂

Woo woo, yes, but also simple exploration lovingly held in the open hands of wonder.

Quote

On Being A Human Guest House

10 Dec

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
― Rumi

Every morning?  Are you kidding, Rumi?

There has been a bit more frequent turnover in this guest house the past few days!

Some unexpected, intense visitors came bearing hidden gifts.  They seemed the sort you wouldn’t want around, until they left without saying goodbye; then I realized, they burned off a bit more of the ME, and left some sweet perfume in the emptiness of their departure.

The next group who made reservations seemed a bit more mellow upon arrival tonight.  And joyful.  They brought flourless chocolate cake as a gift!

Love when the metaphor takes 3D form 🙂

May we all honor the revolving door of our being and the guests we are sent.  I bow to my teenage permanent tenants and to the life and lessons they bring into my space.

Come Closer

4 Dec

Image

Found this note on the sidewalk today.

When I saw it on the ground, I kept walking and I smirked a bit, I admit, thinking of the smart ass things one could write  on the note and leave back on his/her  car.

On my way back the note was still there, waiting for me to pick it up.

The receiver of such a message might have never even seen it, judging from it’s sidewalk location.

So much here in these few  words…

This note expresses displeasure and perhaps, he/she did have quite a difficult time trying to get through the car door.  It is annoying when some seem so oblivious to the idea of sharing space with others.  But I also imagine being on the receiving end of this note.  Would this note cause the receiver to park differently next time?  Would the humanity shared be bridged here?

I don’t think so.

I know all about annoying behavior.  I am so annoying.  I know I am.  My daughters say I repeat myself over and over again, which sends their impatience through the roof.  I don’t mean to, but often, there are misunderstandings if I don’t – rides needed that never show up, missed events, items forgotten…

Sharing space is tricky for me.

I have been overcoming clausterphobia since moving off the boat.  This condition has caused me to allow the voice in my mind to tell me that I can’t breath and I need to escape any way possible to get out of elevators, cars, classrooms…In this state of mind, there is actually no oxygen.  In these moments of blindness, human angels have appeared to me, helping me to breath, short breath in, long breath out.  A math professor across the hall, whom I have only seen in passing, got in my face, “Darth Vader” breaths he said.  And by helping me CLOSELY in this way, he helped me shift to where there was oxygen again, room in my lungs to take it in.   Breath. Life. Space. Options. Possibility.

Sometimes when my mind said it needed space, it actually needed the help of someone coming closer, as close as possible.  Paradoxical, that.

Right now my daughter and I are head to head.  I feel held over a barrel of ego and distortion through an incorrect lens.  This makes me want to get out; the circular dynamic  feels as if it takes all oxygen from the room, from the world…and yet if I can rest in the state of being (not mind) where there is breath, life, space, possibility – I can move in closer.

Could I park any closer to the shadows in my life?

Nope.

Addendum:  Just found my therapy session for my claustrophobia.

Here is Some Helpful Advice 😉

 

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