Friday, August 21, 2015

a perfect starry night and a dead river

the stars were dazzling last night
as always, as I gaze upon a clear, starry night
I felt my own star dust nature
I felt peace. I felt safe.

I got lucky.
My flashlight lost its power.
The stars guided me home.
I sat outside my tent a long while
trying to identify some constellations
that I knew from long ago
when my sweet daughter studied the stars
in Waldorf. Her class took her telescope
on a camping trip once.

It was a fat, cheap cardboard telescope
but it worked just fine
We gave it to the class teacher
She was embarrassed that it was a cheapie
He said "No, it helps the children see how
a telescope is made. They can see the mirrors
and lenses as we assemble this fat clunky telescope.
This one is perfect for us."

I would have liked to have that telescope with me last night
I would have liked to have recognized even one constellation.
I can usually find the Big Dipper, but it isn't always in the sky above me.

Emboldened by my stargazing
I trekked down to the Navarro River
at high noon
It was a heartbreaking walk
Most of the riverbend is stones, with very little water
I had to walk and walk on stones
to get to a small pool of water
called the beach.
It was too hot, too sunny
No bubbling brook to cool the day

At the beach were two baby deer
They froze when they saw me
They stood in tall dry grass, no green
They almost blended in
They were safe from me, of course
but a predator could have had them for lunch

Just now every stone in that river bend
feels like a dead, fallen star.
A heavy spirit today.

Seeing a mighty river dying
did not leave me as happy
as seeing a perfect starry night.
The stars will be fine
And so will the river
But perhaps not in a time frame
I can yet comprehend

When we have allowed profit
to snuff out this planet
and all life on earth
the Earth will still be here
the Earth will heal
Beings will dwell here again
I hope not beings like the humans
Who think the earth is here for money

The earth is her for life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

8/8/15 crop circle: Stratford-on-Avon

A new crop circle that appeared on 08/08/15 near Stratford-on-Avon. A local pilot spotted it during a flying lesson. He said he had flown over the same area the day before and it wasn't there. Now it is! What a beauty.

I am increasingly fascinated by crop circles. I think they are messages from the supersensible, or nonmaterial, realm, streams of energy not detected by the five human senses but by supersenses most humans have not yet fully developed. Seers, shamans, poets, artists, and ordinary humans who work on developing their supersensible capacities have higher levels of ability. We can all develop to the point where we can see a crop circle and know its message.

I don't get any intuitive hits on this one. It evokes a bird for me, also the idea of soaring. Crop circles are virtually always asymmetrical, which signifies balance to me. Are the supersensible beings, aliens, fairies or whoever urging humans to be more balanced? to live more in harmony with our home, Mother Earth, with nature? Or is that just what a message I want humans to focus on?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

a love competition

"If we need competition, it should be around who can be the most generous, loving and caring around the world."  ~ Rabbi Michael Lerner

like a river flowing within you . . .

When what you create comes from your soul, it feels like a river flowing inside you - a river of boundless joy

Words and Image ~ Dana Lynne Andersen

portal to honesty: grief and loss

is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self. The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty. Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.
The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become. Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of loss that is conferred upon even the most average life.
Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing. We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end. Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss.
The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning
of Everyday Words
© 2015 David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

love your mom no matter what

a rebellious act: like yourself!

Monday, August 10, 2015

the trouble with me

On the Roof

The trouble with me is that whether I get love or not
I suffer from it. My heart always seems to be prowling
a mile ahead of me, and, by the time I get there to surround it,
it's chewing fences in the next county, clawing
the bank-vault wall down or smashing in the window
I'd just started etching my name on with my diamond.

And that's how come I end up on the roof. Because even if I talk
into my fist everyone still hears my voice like the ocean
in theirs, and so they solace me and I have to keep
breaking toes with my gun-boots and coming up here
to live -- by myself, like an aerial, with a hand on the ledge,
one eye glued to the tin door and one to the skylight.


on the underside
where no one ever looks
is so much more
than anyone will ever know
love joy beauty hate
pain pleasure happiness

hidden love
hidden hate
hidden beauty

but no one ever looks
no one sees me
am I real if unseen?
is there anything to see?

this reminds me of some very bad poetry my mom wrote, probably when she was about the age I am now. I turn 62 in a few days.

I have not spent my actual birthday with anyone since Rosie left me.  I have years in which I have been more social and I ask friends to celebrate my birthday over coffee, tea or a walk. Maybe lunch.  I never see anyone on my actual birthday.

I spend my birthday trying to close the endless, gaping hole in my being where Rosie used to be, where I believed someone loved me.

The French artist Rene Magritte painted surrealist paintings.  I just remembered one in which the viewer sees a long, narrow wharf, lined with tiny shacks. Outside each shack, sits a mermaid, dressed in a dress with her tale tucked alongside her chair. Mermaids waiting. Hmmm. I believe that painting is in the Chicago Art Institute's collection, for I have seen it many times and I have been to that museum more than any other.

The Magritte painting that first came to mind as I mope in self sorrow is a piece called 'Time Transfixed". It is a realistic painting of a fireplace, a mantel, a mirror above the mantle. I don't remember if there is a fire. Bursting through the painting, maybe through the bricks just below the mantle, is a steam engine train. The artist painted well so as the viewer sees the painting, the viewer, at least this viewer, has a sense of the speed of the train, the power of the train, bursting through time and space into such unexpected arrival. 

I had a poster of Time Transfixed on my college dorm wall throughout college.  I often stared at that steam engine, its white steam trailing back towards the fireplace, which was only a few inches of trail.  I tried to imagine what the artist 'saw' that moved him to paint surrealist paintings. I tried to imagine time being mutuable, transfixed, or changed from my understanding of time. Time is relative, of course, but how?

I would also, often, muddle my reflections of that steam engine breaking into the presumed living room in which the fireplace with mantel sat with memories of all those mermaids, waiting for their men to come home from the sea. That's what I imagined that mermaids were doing. Waiting for men to come home from the sea. The mermaids all wore identical dresses, pale blue dresses with thin black stripes spaced so the dresses appeared more blue than anything else but the faint black pinstripes were there. From the bottom of the dress to the mermaids' chains, was a row a teeny, tiny black buttons. Below the end of the skirt, the viewer had a glimpse of petticoats.

I wondered, and still do, why the women were dressed so primly. Why had mermaids adopted the standard of clothing? And why such prim clothing? And what were they waiting for?

What were they waiting for?

What am I waiting for?

Do it. Begin it now, my dear.

How?  What I want is to be with someone. I can't make that happen unilaterally.

Underneath, within me, in lands just as real as the living room in Magritte's Time Transfixed, I stand frozen, transfixed. In motion but not in motion. Moving forward but struggling to breath.

Hidden love. Hidden joy. Hidden beauty. Hidden greatness. But no one knows. I barely know.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

it is horrifying

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."
~Ansel Adams

Friday, August 07, 2015

silence in the right moment

I am to see to it that I do not lose you

 To a Stranger, by Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass

PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,
I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,
I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Me talking:  I used to have a much-loved, worn-to-tatters-by-me copy of Leaves of Grass. Lately, Walt's poetry keeps cropping into my thoughts. A sweet transcendaltalist, eh?

Thursday, August 06, 2015

if you work in an office: a helpful tip

I think "Luch" should be Lunch, eh?   lol

ugly things headed our way folks

the-uber-ization-of-activism: the end of true activism?

love is like sunlight

"Love is for the world what the sun is for external life. No soul could thrive if love departed from the world. Love is the “moral” sun of the world. Would it not be absurd if a person who delights in the flowers growing in a meadow were to wish that the sun would vanish from the world? Translated into terms of the moral life, this means: Our deep concern must be that an impulse for sound, healthy development shall find its way into the affairs of humanity. To disseminate love over the earth in the greatest measure possible, to promote love on the earth — that and that alone is wisdom."

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

over 100 islands

The San Juan Islands in Puget Sound are a magical, mystical place.  I am, nominally, at a retreat at Indralaya, a Theosophical retreat center. The retreat is based mostly on Buddhist mindfulness practice.

I'm kinda burned out on the trendy mindfulness push.  It doesn't mean whatever anyone wants it to mean, does it?  Maybe.

Fortunately, my friend's fiance is also bored with the retreat and he and I have played hookie today. Instead of spending the day in noble silence, we spent it in noble noise. We took a ferry from Orcas to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. We met great folks waiting to walk on and had deep guffaw laughter.

One of the laughing walk-on told us about her son's early grunge rock band that sang 'satan satan satan' and sung of evil, on the beach with the noise drifting up to Indralaya retreatants. That night, her son's band, camping out on the beach, endured one of the harshest rainstorms ever, ruining musical equipment and giving the lads hardship. Karma is a bitch.

This funny woman told us the locals call Friday Harbor Sin City and it used to be that there was a seedy dive bar named Herb's. She said "I don't know if it is still around but it had constant police action."

Guess where my pal and I landed? Herb's is still there. We stumbled around looking for wifi and coffee and found a bar that had both. We decided to eat there, hung out with some of the gorgeous views one sees everywhere in the San Juans.

We met the woman on our return to Orcas ferry. She told us about a great, locals-only restaurant on a distant cove.

Our day in Noble Noise has been great so far. This guy and I only met on Saturday but we both feel like old friends. His fiance is loving the retreat and disappointed that we aren't as into it as her. It is testing their relationship, like all new engagements tend to be tested, eh? 

But Andrew and I are happy campers, having a blast.

And we are headed to Doe's Bay cafe, on the east side of Orcas. No sunset with dinner but it is still gonna be gorgeous cause every where one looks is gorgeous here in this magical place.

I am having a great time but not so much the retreat.

A German healer is going to give me a healing treatment tomorrow. And everyone at the retreat likes me after I confessed last night that I am warm and friendly but an introvert so it is hard to be surrounded by strangers. Now everyone asks me for hugs.  And I am free to say no if I don't feel like it and I am still loved.

I am blissed out and having a great retreat, just not the one officially being conducted.

I have learned a lot about myself this week, including during my visit with Ms. Peggy Sue.

more to come. Doe Bay awaits.

take comfort in this

~ A.R. Ammons from his book A Coast of Trees*

Radiance comes from
on high, and, staying,
sends down silk
lines to the flopping
marionette, me, but
love comes from
under the ruins and
sends the lumber up
limber into leaf that
touches so high it nearly
puts out the radiance

*I brought my copy of A Coast of Trees on my San Juan Islands adventure. I thought the poems would fit the all the green, misty islands.  I am in Friday Harbor, Lopez Island today, escaping a day of silence at the retreat with a lovely new friend. He and I are having a fun, geeky time. I had my annual summer beer just now. There's nothing to do but we can do it in noble noise instead of noble silence.

The key word, for me, in Ammons' poem above, whose work was introduced to me by a former acquaintance**, is nearly. Nearly puts out the radiance. Nothing ever puts out the radiance. Take comfort.

**This acquaintance ghosted me, after posing as a loving friend for several years. He severed ties, never talked to me, even though he had agreed to have a state of grace conversation within a year of breaking off our connection. I call him a former acquaintance because no friend treats a friend with shunning, ghosting behavior.  Silence can be wonderful. The silent treatment is abusive. And shunning is widely regarded as abuse.

Monday, August 03, 2015

reverence, compassion respect for all

“Recognition of the unique value of every living being
expresses itself in reverence for life, compassion for all,
sympathy with the need of all individuals to find truth
for themselves, and respect for all religious traditions.”
(The Theosophical World View)

swimming in the invisible joy

Half of any person
Is wrong and weak
And off the beaten path.
The other half is dancing and laughing
And swimming in the invisible joy.
~ Rumi

Sunday, August 02, 2015

we are here by Alicia Keys

to love or to ask for love

All human interactions are about love, being loving or seeking to be loved.

Someone insulting another person is asking to be loved. Someone voicing anger is seeking to be loved.

It is possible, on my good days, anyway, for me to silently love someone showing me anger, or shunning me, or insulting me.

War is seeking to be loved, on all sides of the war.

A tantrum is seeking to be loved.

Leaving a flower at your friend's breakfast setting in a vase in extending love -- duh a very obvious example.

When I filter my experiences through the lens of 'all interactoins are people extending love or seeking to be loved, I feel loving, I am happy, I feel loved.

I really am an awesome, wonderful, magical being, ya know?  As we all are.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

third place commons

I am awaiting a ride to Orcas at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, the suburb across the street from my old building in Seattle. I used to hang out here all the time and attended countless meetings here.

My friend, Anne Stadler, all around amazing person, was standing in line at a Chinese restaurant when she heard a man behind her line talking about  buying the old strip mall that used to be what is now Third Place. He was talking about wanting to do something new and different, to use the large interior spaces that retail could no  longer fill.

Anne tuned around, said "Excuse me, I wasn't trying to eavesdrop but I heard what you just said.That is my neighborhood and I know exactly what you should do."  She went on to tell him that the community needed meeting place, a third place, not home and not the public commons. A third place.

There are a few private meeting rooms here, one is named the Stadler room. And there is a sprawling space with tables and chairs, a stage, the outer rim is counter restaurants. Folks can buy food and eat at the public space with tables and chairs. And people can and do have meetings in the big space.

Anne said "This is Seattle, it rains a lot, we need a public indoor space."

Every neighborhood should have a Third Place, a space for community tio come together in the endless permutaitons of any and all communities. Third Place.

I have been to so many eetings here, and hung out here. There is a great public library in Third Place and an awesome bookstore.

And the Stadler room, which anyone can reserve for free and hold meetings.

My ride is late. I have a great visit with my friend and her husband. They live in a stunning home with views of the whole city of SEattle, much of the Sound and a distant view of the Olympics. Blessed people who have each made a lot of money from working hard and briliantly.