Friday, June 29, 2012

shades of purple

A few good reasons to get up at 5AM

If I want to hike, I need to be on the trail by 5:30 AM, otherwise the heat is rather daunting and unpleasant. The lighting is incredible at that early hour and nature is ripe with treasures.  She whispers her secrets in my eager ear as I find my way up the mountain.
 Here are a few of the wonders she shared this morning.
Occasionally my heart, with its multiple electrical systems, struggles with the ascents and my stalwart constitution can't push it any harder up the mountain.  On those days I bring my camera and while I wait for my fluttering heart to find it's rhythm I dive into the beauty that is everywhere all the time. It gives me an opportunity to rest in the beauty that I overlook all too often. I am grateful to my heart for this and many other reasons.  I used to feel that it had been broken too many times or was simply ill equipped for planet earth, but when I discovered that I simply have more electrical systems than the average heart I was transported.  Of course, it is not a matter of too little heart but a bit extra and that makes all the difference.  So I learn to take it slow sometimes.  To stand up a little at a time.  To breathe deep.  To listen and to feel.
So if you find yourself awake before dawn, all is not lost, there is a whole world out there waiting to share her wonders.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

watermelon

Have you ever noticed how much easier everything is to handle if you have a little watermelon to go with it.  Seriously.  I am eating watermelons, plural, in vast quantity.  I want to dive right into that juicy sweet, luscious red ripeness and swim.  I can't get enough of it.
Lately, I have had several people giving me advice on how not to feel sadness.  What the hell is up with that.  Feel!  Whatever arises.  Feel it.  I am convinced that just beneath every feeling is the Christ, our authentic self, awakened surrender- whatever you want to call it- knocking at the door of our heart.  We determine that some emotions are unacceptable and we push them into the cellar and wonder why our lives seem devoid of clarity and vitality, why so many of us are depressed and neurotic.  HELLO.  Feel!  All of us, all of the time.  Whatever is arising, just watch it arise.  Whatever is receding let's watch it recede.  I wonder how we became the emotional gestapo for ourselves and others.  We package our repression in tidy boxes and call it positive thinking, affirmation or the like.  I am not suggesting that we sit in our shit ad infinitum or toss our crap into the laps of others because we are too frightened to deal with it ourselves.  I am simply suggesting that, perhaps, our feelings rise to the surface to be seen by the embracing light of our consciousness.  To be held.  All of this is rather simple but can be incredibly difficult to do.  When I feel like I am adrift I slice open a ripe watermelon and listen for that amazing pop as the juices drip extravagantly down the knife and then I take a spoon and dive in.
Give it a try!

shades of yellow


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

half-birthday

 Bodhi celebrated his half birthday today with a special breakfast, a matinee movie, a lunch date, a trip to the library, time with his "God-sister's" and a gluten-free chocolate half-cake with strawberry pink icing, ala Bodhi.
 A fabulous day, despite the unavoidable fact that Bodhi has become a bit irate over the many changes in his young life and much of his fury is presently directed at the easy target of MOTHER.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

say no to stone suckling

I have spent my life a stone suckler.
Begging milk from stones.
Begging bread from tight fisted paupers.

Lips cracked and bleeding,
Tongue dry and swollen,
I have turned again and again to rock,
Pressing mouth to stony nipple,
Demanding nourishment.

Nourishment from a stone,
Water where there is none,
Life from a rock.

Call it by a thousand names
Call it lover or mother or dad,
Call it sister or brother or man,
Call it money or security or education,
Call it by a thousand names and a thousand more.

I have explained and rephrased.
I have wailed and torn flesh.
I have sweat blood before a senseless alter.
I have cried out against the ravages of fortune.
I have been thirsty.
I have been dying of thirst.

This alter does not give in return.
I leave offerings: blood, sweat, tears,
My life,
At stony feet and expect redemption.

No More.
No more stone suckling.
No more begging bread where there is none.

I AM the bread the wine and the water.
I.
I, in the midst of me, am Great.
Not he, or she, or we, or it.
I.
At the center of my being.

I have been a stone suckler.
And I shall suckle at stones no more.

crested butte

Bodhi and I had another wonderful trip to Crested Butte, CO staying at the Pioneer Guest Cabins (our favorite place) in the Red Fox Cabin (which we dubbed the hummingbird cabin for obvious reasons).
 We feasted at every meal on homemade pancakes, salads, sandwiches and more, avoiding town for our entire stay to maximize the time outdoors.
The mountains are majestic.  They just stop me in my tracks and leave me catching breath and marveling at the fortune of having senses to experience so much beauty.
On one magical drive deep into the mountains, we got out of the jeep and hiked deep into the woods.  We spent hours just walking around the hillsides, dwarfed by the awesome power of nature.  I am always grateful in moments such as these, when reminded that the minuscule cacophony of my reverberating inner chatter is nothing compared to the unbelievable grandeur of life in all her unexpected radiance.
Sometimes I wish I could dissolve into her beauty and merge with the expansion of life, rather than feel myself so often alone and starving for connection.  A voyeur rather than an expression.  Than the wind blows, the grass caresses my feet and it doesn't matter what is happening in the human field, because (for a moment) I am wind and earth and tree and cloud and insect and deer and all of it.
 I hope you dissolve in her radiance, too.  If only for a summer moment and taste the freedom of wide belonging.

Monday, June 11, 2012

i hope "we" die soon


"What is sometimes said is that the self has to die for liberation to be seen. There is a problem with the language here because "has to" implies some imperative or task. But all this means is that this is already liberation, but it cannot be seen until the self disappears, until the self dies.
If what you want is to see liberation then I hope you die soon."
-Richard Sylvester

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On a hike this morning, my heart was aching, longing, crying, to experience God and I had the thought full of feeling, "I am so tired of being "me"".  The ludicrousness of this statement puzzled me leading to the next question.  "Who is tired of being "me"?"  Awareness just opened and for a moment it was clear that angelina/me doesn't have a thing to do with it...doesn't need to get enlightened or become better, more spiritual or anything.  She doesn't need to save anything or anyone.  In fact it was like seeing angelina as a pin point in the expanse of what I am.  It really is just a case of mistaken identity isn't it? That which I am...truth...whatever feeble word I use to describe it...doesn't need "my" help.  Of course "me" wanted to hold onto the "experience" and it was gone. In its wake it was abundantly clear that "me" "angelina" isn't going to "wake up" or get enlightened.  It is a waking "from" but the wakefulness/truth/consciousness is always present.  Always.  It doesn't matter what angelina is doing.  It is here, now, even if I can't feel it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

love

The first day of SUMMER has come and gone. I spent the day with arms wide in an effort to hold the rising emptiness. After a persistent and ardent river of tears, I am finally spent.  My arms ache and the only word to describe this moment is exhaustion.  It is difficult to switch gears from busy MOTHER-teacher to a nameless me, in vacant home, filled with silence day after day?  Owen is in Illinois for the summer and, as is generally the case, I have barely heard a peep. Bodhi spends half of every week with his father.  So summer stretches out across a wide horizon of time. And much of it alone.   This space gives room to see and breathe and feel.  I have come face to face with so many unmet emotions, asking for love. My love.
So I am learning what it means to love myself and hold "me/her" in wide arms.  She has a lot stored up and she needs lots of time to let it out.  I give little gifts and love notes, trying to discover the nuances to loving Angelina.  I hold her in her sadness and I rejoice in her exaltations.
I am discovering what she likes to eat.  (It might seem strange that after 30 years of cooking, I don't  know what I like, but I have spent my time preparing food for others or restricting food for me, monitoring the health and benefits of each morsel.)  Together we try new foods. Some we love. Some sour in the fridge. (Odd discovery number 1: I LOVE RAW SAUERKRAUT!)
In short, I am falling in love with Angelina, a little at a time.  I am doing what I have wanted someone else to do for me all along.  It is new and slow going but I must say that I rather like her.  The television is never on (I have the same two movies that arrived weeks ago from netflix sitting on my table). She is incredibly tidy and efficient. We often listen to the wind, the birds, or gentle chanting.  There are usually candles flickering nearby and flowers on tables, bed stands and counters.    We (angelina and I) go for long walks in the hills behind the house and marvel at the beauty.  We sit together and listen, to the stillness.  There are little alters everywhere.  I like her.  She is still a little afraid of the dark and a bit of a perfectionist. She is beginning to trust my love.  It is a good union- this meeting of self and Self.  And when I go to bed, she still cries for arms that never held her, but I am there and together "I" and "me" will meet the dawn.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

graduations

Bodhi graduated from extended primary...the last stop before kindergarden and saying farewell to four wonderful years spent at school with me:
The kids helped to write and create a fabulous and innovative rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Bodhi played one of the golden statues who could wiggle, wiggle FREEZE.
While Owen had a more sedate graduation from the 6th grade at the Open School:

Ahh...rites of passage.

The lie

I met Douglas Harding several years ago while at the University of San Francisco.  It was a random thing.  I saw a flyer somewhere and decided to go.  I took a few buses and arrived at a flat somewhere near the Marina district to join a diminutive group of similar odd balls (they are plentiful in San Francisco).  I paid a very small donation fee and that was that.  The workshop was called something along the lines of "The Headless Life".  I vaguely remember sitting in a circle and doing a few of his experiments aimed at shifting our focus from the nexus of "me".  Looking through cut outs, holding mirrors to my face while attempting to hold a conversation with other participants, staring at my own finger pointing accusingly back.  I wasn't overly moved, obviously too much "me" going on.  I was, after all, barely twenty but it stuck with me.  Here is a recent quote I read by him and thought I'd share:


"The steady assumption of every grown-up, the basis of his life as a man among men (all the more massive for remaining unexamined) is that there lies at the center of his universe a solid, opaque, colored, complicated, active 'thing', mostly invisible to its owner but nevertheless perfectly real.
This universal human conviction isn't spelled out in so many words. It doesn't need to be; it's too evident, it goes without saying. And it's a lie! Actually, it's the lie!
In plain language, it's the basic assumptions that you and I make about ourselves and our status in the world -- and hence about the world itself -- that are the trouble.
Whatever I'm doing from the delusion and nonsense that there is a thing here doing it is worse done. Whatever I'm doing from my Space is better done."
~ From: Open to the Source, by Douglas Harding

Saturday, June 2, 2012

And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom.
-Anais Nin