*

*
*

Thursday, July 9, 2020

LIFE'S PARADOX

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
~ Ovid ~

When there's too much rain, 
And everything is muddy and washing away,
We'd do anything for sunshine;
And when the earth is dry and dusty
And burnt up,
We'd do anything for rain. 

I stop wanting things to be other than they are. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

NO LONGER A VICTIM

"Knowledge is power."
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

We can complain about a situation forever-
How we don't like it,
How it frustrates us,
How we wish it were different,
But there is no power in that.

When we accept it as it is,
And deal with it from there,
That's something!

Then we have choices,
And the burden is lifted,
And we're no longer a victim,
And we can do as we please. 

If I find myself complaining about something in an ongoing way, I stop talking and get into action. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

TRIGGERED

"One of the habits of the mind is the invention of horrible imaginings."
~ Jotge Luis Borges ~

Happily going about our day, our ego can 
suddenly be triggered 
and we become
instantly irritable.
It's like a flame ignition.
We are lit.
Generally, it's something unpleasant from the past
That has been drug to the surface,
And connects one negative narrative to another
Like a stream of connected handkerchiefs 
out of a magician's hat.
And they will keep on coming until we 
Wake up
And catch the process in action.
It's not unusual for our mind
To want 
To take us down.

I learn the ways of mind games. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

SIMPLE, QUIET, AND CLEAR

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have."
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Perhaps now more than ever we can benefit from simple pleasures,
Sensations,
Changing light.
We can elevate our world by picking
A bouquet of wildflowers,
Or watching chirping birds
as they twitter
And swoop;
Tasting coffee
Or tea,
A sweet peach,
Or 
Cold water in delicious gulps. 

We don't have to be at the mercy of any narrative.
It's up to us.
We write the script.

The pleasures of life remain. 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

WEEDING

"To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship."
~ Domenico Cieri Estrada ~

Without proper maintenance and care, 
life, 
like a garden, 
returns to chaos.

I value a sense of order and keep things neat. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

SHORTCUTS

"A stitch in time saves nine."
~ Ben Franklin ~

Shortcuts don't always work the way we hope they will, 
maybe because of the energy that's involved in wanting to take them in the first place. 
We think up a clever way to save time and save work- 
make it easier.
But sometimes, 
maybe even more often than not- 
the shortcut we come up with ends up taking longer, 
and requiring more effort,
than the obvious, 
straightforward, 
strong and 
steady 
way through.

To get the job done, we just have to do it. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

CONTESTING OPINIONS

"To each their own."
~ English Idiom ~

It's easy to think we know what it's like to be someone else, 
but the truth is, 
We don't.
And they don't know what it's like to be us.
We create the world we live in.
We pick and choose what's important and what's not.
And, while it's true that beyond the surface mental noise
We are one at the core,
That's a truth missed by most.
So what we're left with
Is contesting opinions,
Myriad visions,
And insistent thoughts.

I take care of me, and trust you to take care of you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

THE GIFT OF CONVERSATION

"Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours."
~ Benjamin Disraeli ~

Spending time in conversation,
Being curious,
Asking questions,
And sharing from our own experience,
Opens a doorway,
And makes room,
for love,
to pass through.

Opening my mind opens my heart. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

MOVING THE MAPLE TREE

"Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor..."
~ RW Emerson ~

Our son, Nick, is moving to the West Coast.
He leaves at the end of this week, 
And we have given him his family sendoff.
Interestingly, 
As life would have it,
Our last spontaneous collective effort on the farm
Was to transplant a Maple tree from a location
Where it didn't seem entirely happy
To a spot on the hill
Where it has a commanding view
And God willing,
Will thrive. 
It didn't occur to us until we had completed the job how
Fitting it was-
How perfectly allegorical-
And how beautifully complete.

The Cosmic Flow bears endless blessings. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

CONCEPT VERSUS REALITY

"Earth's tribulations diminish in proportion to the elevation of our souls."
~ James Lendall Basford ~

We get an idea, a vision, in our minds about the way something will be-
About the way we think we want it to be,
And then,
It doesn't quiet turn out like that,
And we feel annoyed and resistant and try to force it to be the 
Way we envisioned it,
but we can't,
Because it has evolved out of its own kind of spontaneous 
cosmic evolution
That has nothing at all to do
with the thoughts in our mind.
And often, 
If we can just stop trying to match it to what we were thinking 
it should be,
And let it be what it is,
We will see that it is ok,
Maybe good even,
And maybe better than it would have been 
had we been able 
to force our will.

I remain open to the way things turn out. 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

"I sing the body electric,"
~ Walt Whitman ~

Think of a drumbeat,
An earthy, soulful, repetitive rhythm
That gets your body waked up,
And pumps through your 
veins like blood.

Now, a saxophone,
Sensual,
Sultry,
Rising and falling
Into and
Across a dimly lit room
Full of people.

Now, a flute,
Quick and happy..

A harmonica...

And an electric guitar...

Each sound transports us
In its unique and wonderful way.
These, and others like them,
 are instruments 
of grace.

I am blessed by the sound of music. 


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

SITTING ON THE PORCH

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."
~ Sam Keen ~

People, 
and especially country people, 
like to sit on the porch in the summertime.
I used to take a walk past an older couple's house every evening after work 
when we lived further North in the Shenandoah Valley, 
and as soon as the weather got warm,
and until it cooled, 
there they sat. 
I would always call my hellos, and occasionally, 
I'd stop and we'd chat a bit. 
They loved it best when the "air was stirring,"
And I loved to hear them say that,
And think of them both
Every time I feel the breeze when it's hot.
Molly and John.
They each had some health issues, so I'm not sure they're alive still,
But if they are, and if they can,
I'm certain that
on the porch is where they'll be.

Stirring summer air is a delicious sensory experience. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

THE PROBLEM WITH MASKS

"A man's face is his autobiography."
~ Oscar Wilde ~

The problem with masks is that
We can't see each other.
We miss the beauty of the human face,
and see only the eyes
If we are brave enough not to avoid them
in the awkwardness of meeting
all covered up
like a bank robber.
We've gotten creative with our masks
And tried to make them
Colorful,
Relevant,
Becoming,
High-tech...
But there's no way to bypass
The simple truth
Of the missing
countenance.

I celebrate the unique and wonderful features of the human face. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

LIKE A ROCK

"Let soul and world meet."
~ Rumi ~

Deep inside
we are 
ALWAYS
fine. 

At the core level, all is well. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

COMPATIBLE PEOPLE

"Relationship is an art."
~ Don Miguel Ruiz ~

Getting to know compatible people is a pleasure, and it's in our best interest to remain open to relationships and perspectives of all kinds.
We never know who we might meet.

I am willing to stretch a bit to encounter others I can relate to. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

THE SOLSTICE

"Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones."
~ Sydney Smith ~

Into summer we plunge
Wearing masks on our faces
Standing 6 feet apart
Celebrating fathers
Fighting for social justice
And doing,
as always,
the best that we can.

In spite of confusing external circumstances, on the inside, we remain the same. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

STRANGE MIX

"The powerful play goes on..."
~ Walt Whitman ~

Life is a strange mix of clarity and confusion,
Pleasure and pain,
And things not working out at all as planned, but 
Better usually,
If that's possible,
And generally for our
Highest 
Evolutionary
Good. 

I stay the course and trust the process. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

BEING AMERICAN

"Forever in peace may you wave."
~ George M. Cohen ~

We have just planted a flagpole on our farm, and surprisingly, I felt a bit of 
shame and discomfort around it initially.
It's a stout pole, so maybe that's why, 
or maybe because of current cultural circumstances. 
It took me time and reflection and conversation and movement to remember and acknowledge that
I love the symbol of the American Flag.
I like the colors of it, the traditions around it, and the way it flaps in the wind.
And mostly, I love that it stands for FREEDOM,
And an adventurous, against-all-odds kind of spirit. 
At least, that's what it means to me. 
I love Tibetan prayer flags as well,
And nautical flags,
And the slapping of halyards on the pole.
I love all the flags of the world.
I love them flying singly, and mixed up together.
I love the sound of a flag in the wind.
And so, I've made peace with my own inner resistance 
And find I am ok with the flag
And the pole
And all of it.

It's ok to be who I am. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

SADNESS

"That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not."
~ James K. Feibleman ~

I sense sad energy in the world sometimes.
I feel it in my bones.
All the human pain and regret.
It's out there-
All tangled up with the light.

I am sensitive to the tenderness of hurting hearts. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

CHAOS INTO STILLNESS

"Get mad, then get over it."
~ Colin Powell ~

Irritability, suspicion, guardedness, resentment, blame- 
these are the fruit of inner mind-games. 
Rarely based in reality, 
they are the result of 
a vicious thunderstorm of thoughts.
And unspoken, they form and build like massive cumulus clouds.
When the rain finally pours, confession style, 
Or blustery like a hurricane,
Then there is calm...
The calm that comes after the storm. 

I admit to the turbulence of the stories in my head. 


Thursday, June 11, 2020

RELAXATION

"The song sings itself."
~ William Carlos Williams ~

Summer evenings have a magical quality about them. 
The hot day recedes, but it's still warm.
The light eases down gracefully.
Bodies are tired from the efforts of the day
And there's a relaxation present
That feeds the soul.

I notice and appreciate the soothing sensations of warm summer evenings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

NEUTRALITY

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
~ John 8:7 ~

Neutrality has its benefits.
Being able to see both sides
of a situation,
of an argument,
of a perspective different from our own, 
allows for space,
and distance,
And leaves room inside
For compassion,
And understanding,
And unity,
And peace,
And love.

I look carefully and see from all directions.





Tuesday, June 9, 2020

TRANSITIONS

"Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history."
~ Joan Wallach Scott ~

Our pup, Tank, is home from training camp, and not only has he grown in size, but his demeanor has shifted. It's what we had hoped for, and yet, it leaves us all a bit adrift. 
He has been in a highly structured environment, and seems unsure about all this home front freedom, and we are clumsy with the new commands. 
     We will find our way. I am certain of that.
     Nonetheless, this transition, like all transitions, feels awkward, 
and makes me want to eat lots of ice cream. 

I am a work in progress. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

ALL THAT IS

"You are the universe in ecstatic motion."
~ Rumi ~

From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, 
life as we know it, begins: 
the things we notice, our choice for breakfast, the world of our routines. 

When we fall asleep at night, 
the whole world disappears 
until we wake again. 

Nothing exists for us 
that we do not participate in or witness, 
and, 
as such,
we are the 
source 
of 
all that is. 

My very existence creates the world I experience. 


Sunday, June 7, 2020

WHAT TO SAY, WHAT TO DO?

"Love truth and fear not-
Do good and be happy."
~ Simeon Carter ~

We have a tendency to want to work things out in our minds in advance of their actually happening. We script the conversation: 
If he says this, I'll say that, 
and we carefully design a plan of action steps: 
first, second, third... 
But how often do things play out as we imagine they will? 
And are we ever at a loss for knowing what to say or do? 
I would argue that 
spontaneous responsiveness 
to whoever and whatever appears 
is far more effective in every instance 
than some over-practiced scenario 
we have come up with in our heads. 

I trust my intuitive knowing.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT, LOOK AROUND

"We should purify our innate well of contentment."
~ Ekhart Tolle ~

Authentic presence is the embodiment of God.

Divine peace is accessible now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

THE PRIVILEGE OF CHOOSING

"In the field of indecision, nothing ever grow but the weeds of 'what-if?'"
~ Dodinsky ~

Sometimes we are indecisive because we want to keep our options open.
We don't want to choose because we're afraid we might choose wrong,
We think if we wait and see for long enough, then maybe life will decide for us,
And relieve us of the responsibility.
But then we've given up the very privilege 
that we might do better
to keep. 

I don't cop out on making choices. I weigh the options and pick one. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

TRYING THINGS

"The purpose of life is to frustrate you."
~ Ekhart Tolle ~

Some of the things we pursue in life are like trees that never bear fruit: something about the soil conditions or the light. If we move on to something else, the bounty can be prodigious, but for whatever reason, the first effort fell flat.
     We think we know where we're headed and what will work, but so often we're wrong and it doesn't. The Universe has other plans. And the lesson is not to stop trying things, but to stop taking the outcome of the things we try so seriously, as if our worth is all tied up in it. It's curiosity and play and experimentation that we're meant to be about, not success and failure and living or not living up to our potential.
     I used to think it was just that, but now I see, that yet again, I was mistaken.

Our worth is not attached to how poorly or well our big ideas play out. 
It's far more secure than that. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

NOTICING

"Not being able to govern events, I govern myself."
~ Michel de Montaigne ~

There is unexpected comfort in the background sounds of our lives when our minds are quiet enough to notice them: water running, the tearing of paper towels, the opening and closing of drawers and doors, the turning of container caps, the tick of a wall clock, our breath. Life is full of blessings if we will only listen, and look, and stop surfing the waves of our mind noise.

The sounds of life happening empty and fill the silence that surrounds me.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

TREES AND MOUNTAINS

"Happiness is an occasional brief glance into how simple it all can be."
~ Robert Brault ~

We have two Norway Spruce trees in the front yard. They're probably a hundred years old, or better, and they tower above the house and rise up with their dripping silhouettes at night, back-dropped by stars. Behind them, across the road, a creek runs year round, and water sings and gurgles as it makes its way downstream. Mountains surround us. The house supports us with it's solid brick interior walls. We work the land, the land works us, and wildlife and wildflowers abound. 
     It's a good setting for a glorious life. 

I am blessed by the environment in which I live. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

FEELING ALRIGHT

"What I assume you shall assume for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
~ Walt Whitman ~

I lack for nothing.
I am perfectly, supremely ok.

We are all in this together. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

THE ONE WE REALLY ARE

"There is that in me- I do not know what it is- but I know it is in me..."
~ Walt Whitman ~

What is the nature of our fear? 
We seem so small in the universe- mere pinpricks- and yet, 
we feel that all will collapse if we are not in charge. 
But it hasn't collapsed yet.
Life on earth has been here, and will continue to be here,
until it's here no more,
And we will remain trapped in our fear, 
plagued with our dreams of achievement and importance,
until we realize
that the only one we really are
cares not a lick about fear or achievement or any of it.
The one we are at core
isn't worried a bit.

At the source level, I am ever and always secure.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

"I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts;
a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused."
~ William Wordsworth ~

May 27, every year, marks my sister's Birthday, 
but she's no longer here in the flesh 
to celebrate and eat cake. 

She used to hold her hands together
and blow through her thumbs 
to make the call of a 
Mourning Dove,
And now, 
every time I hear one-
which is generally more often than I care to- 
I remember her.

Happy Birthday, sister--of-mine,
wherever in this universe
you may now be.

The body dies, but the energy remains. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

THE NET WITH SMALL HOLES

"The definition of an addiction is anything you hide."
~ Anonymous ~

The disease of addiction is a net with small holes and catches everything around it up into its jaws. Never enough and deceit are its henchmen and endless is its grasp. Careless, insidious, manipulative, and dark, it hides behind a mask of cajoling bravado and good cheer, and it's easy to believe its innocence, because we want to believe---- but our belief can kill us. Transcendence comes from realizing the truth.

I open my eyes and see. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

BEING CLEAR

"The words you choose to say something are just as important as the decision to speak."
~ Author Unknown ~

Let's make an effort to be specific in our communicating with others. We are so quick to say "always" and "never" and bulk ideas into mass generalities, and it's hard to know what to do with these comments at the receiving end. They are laden with past and future.
     Let's speak clearly from the moment, in the moment, about the moment. Let's stop stressing ourselves and our loved ones out by being vague and instigating hopes and fears we are powerless to affect.

I communicate articulately from the physical and psychological space of NOW.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

DIVINE DIRECTION

"Let yourself become living poetry."
~ Rumi ~

If we over-plan, over-schedule, and over-do, we shut down access to the miraculous.
We close doors.
Let's leave room in life for spontaneous action and divine direction.
Let's let life be a gift instead of a chore.

I look to empty space - not fill it. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

WET WEATHER

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

A rainy day makes it cozy to stay inside.
Or,
If we gear up and go out into it,
The adventure is generally blustery and quite grand!

What cripples us is resistance-
Not liking it,
Feeling limited,
Complaining,
And having internal demands. 

I enjoy the rain!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

HOME

"Amen."

There is no greater grace than
A quiet mind and
A peaceful heart.
When we know these,
We have come
Home. 

I open and surrender to receive God's grace. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

STILLNESS

"I am that."
~ Mooji ~

Under the surface noise of manifest life happening,
Behind the emotions and the voices and the physical aches and pains,
There is quiet-
Vastness,
Stillness,
And
Great peace.

We are more than we seem. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

SPONTANEITY

"As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears."
~ Rumi ~

Life dictates our responsiveness. 
We worry in advance what we will say and
What we will do
and how everything will play out,
And we think if we don't figure it out beforehand that
when we get there we will be utterly lost.
But we won't.
Because life itself informs us of the next move
And then the next one,
And it flows the way it flows
Whether we worry about it
Or not. 

Life is best fresh. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

TANK TRAINING

"Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army."
~ Edward Everett ~

Our pup is not quite 4 months old and he weighs 38 pounds- every inch of him solid, paws like oaks.
We named him "Tank" for a reason.
And he's willful- got the confidence and defiance to match his size,
And the gentleness too.
Like all of us really, he's a mix of light and shadow.
And in some ways, already more than we can responsibly handle 
without more dog expertise than we have.
So we're taking him to a trainer and he will be there for 3 weeks.
It's the real deal,
And I feel mixed about it-
A bit guilty,
A bit sad,
Hopeful,
And in some ways relieved.
We seek structure for a happy balance between 
Affection and force.
And, God willing,
We will all be better off for the three weeks
And not less so. 

I relax and surrender. It takes what it takes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

SAFE PASSAGE

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

Animal trails run all through our woods, 
worn bare
By repetitive journeys of multiple feet.
They make for safe passage between
the prickers and thick vegetation-
Safe passage for whoever might use them,
including me. 

I am grateful for those who have gone before and can show me the way. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

TAKING A SCOLDING

"Sometimes people hear you better if you speak with a voice of compassion instead of authority. They long to be understood more than to be lectured."
~ Dodinsky ~

A woman barked at my friend and me in Whole Foods 
because we weren't following the current cultural rules as she understands them
to her satisfaction. 
Her wrath was jarring. 
She told us in no uncertain terms to get our s**t together. 
And I "get" that she is likely fearful- that the looming Corona Virus has made her edgy and uptight.
It's done that to many of us.
Still though, I am not used to being yelled at by strangers.
We are living in a world of uncertainty, that's true,
But it doesn't mean we can't
Remember who we are at core,
That we have hearts and feelings,
And be kind. 

I drop my arrogance and righteousness and honor the dignity in others, wherever, and however I may find them. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

MIND ATTACK

"Wherever you go, there you are."
~ Confucius ~

Ingrained in me as a historical habit is a desire to bolt whenever I feel frustrated.
I suppose I want to escape what I'm feeling.
I consider all the things I don't like about where I am to justify departing immediately
And build a strong case
To go.
But then I don't go, because some logical part of me remains and
Knows I can't get away from what I'm trying to get away from.
The attack is from the inside.
All I can do is watch it,
Not feed it, and
let it go.

I stop identifying so strongly with my thinking mind. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

SILLY ME

"For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously."
~ George Gissing ~

For several months now, in a protective over my plantings kind of way, I have resented heavy wind.
It has felt like a personal affront to my efforts.
And it comes so carelessly, blowing things all around.

But that's what wind does.
Silly me.
I have been trying to control it, and made myself miserable.

When the wind blows, I let it blow. 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

CHANGING DIRECTION

"Trust your hunches."
~ Joyce Brothers ~

We have to pick our battles in life.
Generally speaking, we can force our agenda and get our way,
but we often have to push against the grain to make it happen
and there's a cost.
Better, perhaps, to be flexible and easily shift
From one thing to the next
And to trust our intuitive gut 
and follow
the direction
the gentle energetic flow 
is going.

I stop insisting on having my way. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

THE FALLACY OF ACHIEVEMENT

"I couldn't wait for success... so I went ahead without it."
~ Jonathan Winters ~

Growing up, and throughout my young adult years, 
I became progressively driven to achieve what I perceived as success. 
And, at the same time, 
I also felt the urge to seek and find enlightenment as the highest of all human achievements. 
And now, 
I see that there's nothing to achieve, 
not really, 
and that achievement itself as a way to complete our fulfillment, 
is a mirage. 
There is only something to discover, and that has been there all along, 
in all of us. 
It's freedom.
It's whole.
It's divine.
And we are it.

I can play at achieving things in the world, but they do not define or create me. 
As I am already, I am perfect and complete. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

LIFE'S CURRENT

"Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity."
~ Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

We can unknowingly crush possibility in life by being too rigidly structured.
Some days unfold flowingly in unexpected ways, and bless us with the gift of delight.

I follow the drift of the moment's energy, and am open to changes in plan

Monday, May 4, 2020

OLD TREES

"For I have learned to look on Nature not as in the hour of thoughtless youth,
But hearing oftentimes, the still, sad music of humanity."
~ William Wordsworth ~

The younger a tree is, the more it moves in the wind.
Old trees stand solid and immovable.
A commanding presence
With deep roots,
And the knowledge of ages.

Nature is our perfect reflection. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

WHEREVER WE FIND OURSELVES

"As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve."
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

The past is past.
Let's let it rest where it lies and not pick it up.
Let's be here.
Let's live in this day,
Unencumbered,
Unassociated,
And available for each moment
As it comes.

I am here.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

SIEINNA AND CODY

"May all good and grace attend her and him!"
~ A. Bronson Alcott ~

May 2nd was supposed to be our daughter's wedding. 
We planned it all fall.
But instead of the tent going up today,
We are living in this strange world of limited social contact
and face masks.
Still, the date is branded in my mind,
And I send all love and blessings to 
Sienna and Cody for this coming weekend
That was supposed to be theirs.

Life is rarely what we expect it to be.
I remain open and flexible.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

PARENTING OUR PUP

"The commands of democracy are as imperative as its privileges and opportunities are wide and generous. Its compulsion is upon us."
~ Woodrow Wilson ~

Our pup is defiant, and I prefer that to him being fearful, or cowering, but it does make for a fair bit of frustration as we seek to get along. He bites at my legs, I tell him "No!" sharply, he backs up and barks at me (what's he trying to say?) and then proceeds to do it again, upping the ante, which ups my ante as well, and I don't like it. I just want us to be peaceful and get along. And yet, he needs discipline, for both of our sake, and it's my responsibility to teach him right and wrong and boundaries... but doing so is exhausting, and some days, I'd just rather not.
    
I want others to know what I want them to know without my having to say anything to them, but it doesn't work like that. It's my responsibilty to set boundaries and speak up. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

BEING OPEN TO ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

"There's more than one way to skin a cat."
~ American Saying ~

If 20 different people were to tell us how to get somewhere, they might tell us 20 different ways,
And they might 
all
be
right. 

My way is not the only way.

Monday, April 27, 2020

THE WAY WE SEE IT

"Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds."
~ George Santayana ~

We hear words and see the world filtered though our own personal perspective, 
meaning, 
that for each of us, 
the experience is distinct. 
Think of the implication of that inescapable fact!
And the beauty of the broadness of life,
And the difficulty of trying to relate to each other,
And have compassion,
And be kind.

I both know and cannot know what it's like to be somebody else.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

THE CHALLENGE AND THE FUN

"That's the way that it goes."
~ Gillian Welsh ~

The difference between being with people in real life and on a zoom call is striking.
I miss the subtleties of light and facial expression.
The consistency of flowing movement and sound.
The 3 dimensional plane of existence.
And being in the presence of living, heart-beating energy.

What's fun is being with others while also being at home,
And playing with the camera,
And that we have the technology to visit with each other in this way at all.

I am grateful for video contact and also frustrated by it.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

NOTICING

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart."
~ Jean Baptiste Massieu ~

I love buttercups.
And wildflowers.
And spiritual inquiry.
And gentle soaking rain.
I love people-
Particular people, 
And people in general.
And animals.
Same thing.
I love spring and summer and winter and fall.
Hearth fires.
Bonfires.
Fireflies.
And the sun.

Life is good when I feel the love. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

FEATHERS IN THE WIND

"How did I get here?"
~ Pete Towmsend ~

Life has turned out for all of us the way it has turned out.
We may have had big ideas about being famous, being rich beyond our wildest dreams, 
being a different kind of parent than we turned out to be,
being happy and comfortable and healthy and secure.
Whatever our aspirations, chances are, for most of us,
things haven't exactly turned out as we anticipated they would,
and there's a loss in that.
In little fluttering bunches, our goals and visions and daily expectations fly away from us
like feathers in the wind,
or balloons that get smaller and smaller when we lose our grasp on them
until they are utterly out of sight.

I acknowledge that certain things I have believed would happen in my life may never actually happen, and that's ok. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

BEING ALIVE

"What I assume you shall assume. for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
~ Walt Whitman ~

I am pure consciousness experiencing life through this body,
Witnessing the turbulence of mind.

We are more than we seem. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

BREAKING GLASS

"A thought often makes us hotter than a fire."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

The stories our minds produce can run us into dangerous territory,
Where we are attacked,
And trapped,
And can't fight back.
At the mercy of our dark thoughts
We are blind to the light,
But that doesn't mean the light isn't shining;
Only that we have turned away.

I stop buying what my mind wants to sell me. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

DROP IT

"Resistance is futile."
~ Star Trek ~

Not liking something doesn't change it, 
Just poisons us increasingly from the inside.
It starts as a general distaste and grows to rage- and misery.
And there's no payoff, only more of the same.
So what's the point?
Perhaps, if we get upset enough, we will catch ourselves in our own net,
And, realizing it is we who have set the bait,
Drop it-
Drop the whole thing,
and 
Be free. 

I stop tugging war with life and let be what is. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

NOTICING

"Give yourself to yourself."
~ Michel de Montaigne ~

I sat down to have a meal on my own and realized the phone battery was dead.
Ordinarily, I would have looked at it while I ate,
And my book was not presently accessible,
So I chewed consciously and looked around instead.
I noticed birds out the window, flittering around the feeder,
And the yellow evening sun stretching across the counters.
There was quietude
And peace,
And I would have missed them both had circumstances played out differently.

I look around to see what's there.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

BUILDING THAT LASTS

"Split your own wood, and it will warm you twice."
~ Old New England Saying ~

To establish anything-
A garden,
A new habit,
A trusting relationship,
A family,
A sense of spiritual stability,
Takes time.
Very little that is quick or instant
Satisfies us, or
Lasts.
So, challenging as it may be to get fully up and running,
On any new project,
it's worth the investment,
to enjoy the return.

I am patient with the establishment process.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

GUT SENSE

"We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows."
~ Robert Frost ~

The energy in the world is shifting, 
like the wind does in fairy tales.
It has carried us all along for a bit, 
sweeping us up in its gusts, 
and now,
newly,
It seems to be coming from a fresh direction. 

I watch curiously as life evolves. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

COSMIC FLOW

"Without aligning your energies daily, life clogs."
~Terri Guillemets ~

I frequently make plans that are re-routed. Either they don't play out as intended, more urgent happenings usurp them, I run out of time, or when the time comes there's just no energy or passion or flow in their direction. This isn't always the case, but it does happen with a fair bit of regularity.
     I used to be so driven by the power of intention. I staked all my bets on it. And now, I am realizing the stronger power of cosmic flow, and that what is meant to manifest will, not by my pushing and planning and urging, but simply by the grace of God.

I stop cramming and jamming my way forward, and relax, trusting in open spaces, intuitive knowing, and divine will. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

THE ONLY WAY THROUGH

"Expectations are premeditated resentments."
~ Popular Saying ~

Sometimes we set out to do a job thinking it will be straight forward and easy, and perhaps it begins that way, but often, complications arise, and we find ourselves frustrated, and unsure how to proceed. A desire to quit may erupt within us, partnered with anger, or we might try to force something that doesn't want to move. We feel wronged somehow, and undone.
     But the only way through is through, and the problem is not in the unfolding of the experience at all, but in our having had expectations in the first place about how we think it should have been.

Things rarely, if ever, turn out the way I think they will, 
so I stop thinking and let whatever comes come. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

COVID POEM

"A Morning Glory at my window pleases me more than the metaphysics of books."
~ Walt Whitman ~

There is emptiness where there was fullness before,
Unknowing where all felt certain,
A sort of acceptance tinted with resignation,
And grief galore.

There is connection happening in unexpected ways,
Beauty where we missed it at our door,
A hopeful trust in the virus running its course,
And life as we know it being restored.

We may be changed, restrained, and
somewhat estranged,
But there is that in us which 
forever remains. 

I am broken open.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A CONSIDERATION

"Adapt, adjust, and improvise."
~ The Marines ~

This is a time for
Acceptance,
Flexibility,
Ingenuity,
Steadfastness, and
Faith.
Without these, whether we contract the virus
or not,
We will surely perish.

I move and shift and bend and flow like a tree in the wind.


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

FREEDOM

"Relieve me of the bondage of self."
~ 3rd Step Prayer ~

Thoughts about the past are sticky.
They're familiar, and we identify with them strongly.
They make up the story of who we are and why,
And it's trapping.
We feel like we have no alternative options....

But that's just more thinking.

Beyond thought,
We are unlimited, and endlessly fresh.

I am not beholden to the past. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

FEAR NOT

"Isn't it time to turn your heart into a temple of fire?"
~ Rumi ~

There is no nightmare,
No experience to get through, to be done with.
The experience is the blessing.
Loss, grief, these are blessings.
They soften us.
They bejewel us.
They give us depth of soul.
So, resist nothing.
Fear not.

All is well. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

DAY-O

"Time is like the wind, it lifts the light and leaves the heavy."
~ Domenico Cieri Estrada ~

The day starts fresh and bright,
and like the morning,
I feel new, ready for anything.
The afternoon is sweet
and stretching.
And then, evening comes,
And my energy drains with the light.

I cycle through the hours, then gratefully, rest. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A CHANCE AT PEACE

"The mind of man is often like a house of which he is the landlord; 
bad tenants are more easily admitted than removed."
~ James Lendall Basford ~

If we can quiet our minds, 
or, 
at the very least, 
stop identifying with the stories that our thoughts create, 
then we have a chance at peace.
And if we cannot,
then, 
we
are 
at their mercy.

I let thoughts pass across the screen of my mind like clouds in the sky. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

VIRTUAL REALITY

"Don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous."
~ Rumi ~

Virtual reality has its limits. Interacting with people online is better than not interacting at all, for sure, but nonetheless, misses all the beautiful subtleties of expression and body language, and the smooth flow of conversation. Zoom calls can be choppy and jarring.
     And so, while I'm grateful for online meetings, and classes, and the opportunity to connect, I miss being together live.

I gracefully accept that this is a time of limited access.

Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19

"How strange is this combination of proximity and separation. 
That ground- seconds away- thousands of miles away."
~ Charles A. Lindbergh ~

Due to a new state order prohibiting public gatherings until June 10th, 
We have no choice but to postpone my daughter's wedding- 
The one we have been planning for over a year. 
What a strange new world we are living in.

I stay conscious, and remain flexible.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

IN THE FACE OF OUR PLANS

"Linger not in your sorrows. You do not belong there."
~ Dodinsky ~

Quite a few of the small trees I transplanted have died and needed to be pulled up, and after carefully and thoroughly spreading grass seed and straw over the weekend, wind came and lustily blew the straw out of order so it was a race to get it wet and held in place before the next sweeping gust came. Both of these are examples of life happening in the face of my best plans, and neither particularly easy to take, and yet, there they are and what can be done?

     Learning to travel with the cosmic flow is good medicine for all of life's little road blocks and re- directions. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

THE INSISTENCE OF THOUGHT

"'Tis the great art of life to manage well the restless mind."
~ John Armstrong ~

The nature of mind is fickle, and fearful.
It worries and frets.
It gnaws at us obsessively.
is noisy and nosey,
arrogant,
vengeful,
egotistical,
and 
sharp.
Its favorite activity is to dangle juicy thoughts in front of us
in the hope that it will 
hook us like bait. 

I watch the play of my mind with detached amusement.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

TOO MUCH

"If you must be in a hurry, then let it be according to the old adage, and hasten slowly."
~ Saint Vincent de Paul ~

We need just the right amount of stimulation to satisfy our sense of curiosity.
More than that stresses us out. 

"More" is generally not the answer. 
I slow down and appreciate the details of the moment. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

THE WHOLE RANGE

"My little dog- a heartbeat at my feet."
~ Edith Wharron ~

There is an unquestionable up and down and around pattern to the life of our new puppy. He's busy and playful and curious, and then he sleeps hard. And then he wakes slowly, and ventures out a little and then a little further, and then he's playful and curious again- at times reckless, at times uncertain and drawing back for love and comfort, at times hungry, thirsty, bold, lazy... He cycles through the whole range.
     And we do too, really, though perhaps we may be less authentic about it than Tank. We pretend to be steady and stable and immovable and sure, while inside we are as fickle as he is, and as needing of occasional reassurance, adventure, and grounded love.

I allow myself to be puppy-like, and experience the joys and curiosities of each day

Monday, March 23, 2020

BEYOND FEAR

"You will purchase the map,
Only to find you are already Here."
~ Mooji ~

In this unsettling time
With so much uncertainty
And fear,
It's easy to get trapped in 
Mentally punishing stories and scenarios,
That are unlikely to ever play out as we imagine them.

Let's get in touch instead
With that which doesn't change,
Is never unsettled,
And cannot get sick, or die. 
There is that in us.
It's there.
It's here.

Let's use this pandemic 
To find it,
And wake up to who we really are. 

There is that in me which witnesses what's happening and is quiet and at peace. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

SHIFTED PERSPECTIVE

"Set out from any point. They are all alike. They all lead to a point of departure."
~ Antonio Porchia ~

Whenever things get tipped on their head, the way our whole world has recently, the result is a shift in perspective. We see things we couldn't see before, and opportunities that didn't exist, suddenly do. Even as we're hunkered down at home, creative online horizons expand before us, and opportunities for connecting with others in new ways arise.

I am curious about new developments among us, even as we're challenged, and unsure. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER

"Be empty of worrying.... step outside the tangle of fear thinking."
~ Rumi ~

There is uncertainty on both sides when a relationship of any kind begins- 
a desire to trust, and a concern that perhaps, 
trust may not be advisable. 
Something could happen.
Something could go wrong.
And we want to protect our hearts.
And be savvy, 
And be able to say we have done our due diligence,
And considered every side.
And yet, if the relationship is destined to be a good one, 
At some point, 
we must stop caring about protecting ourselves,
and stop worrying about what could happen,
and step into the love fully,
Exactly as it is in the moment,
Right here, and
Right now.

I commit my love and trust to what's happening now. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NEW PUP

"We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us."
~ Bill Wilson ~

Our new pup is coming home and we are open to the adventure of loving him.
And we can live life that way also-
Trusting that it will be delicious
in its own challenging and sometimes difficult
Kind of way... 

I open my heart to the living experience. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

LEARNING TO STAND BACK

"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle."
~ Ben Franklin ~

When my ego wants to act out, I find myself at its mercy. 
It whips me about mentally and emotionally like I'm a fish on a line, 
and I don't like it. 
I resist and try to force it away with angst and willpower. 
But meeting power with power this way results in a tug of war. 

Relief comes only when I am able to stand back and detach.

I watch with curiosity as my ego seeks to tie me up in knots. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

SPREADING FEAR

"Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

In the current environment, fear is as contagious as the virus itself.
And we have some control there,
As to whether we spread it or not.

I breathe and trust and smile and breathe again. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

CAUTIONARY TALE

"Faith is the bird that sings to the dawn while it is still dark."
~ R. Tagore ~

It saddens me that the Corona Virus self-protection impetus is making us weary of others, 
stand-offish, 
and afraid to shake hands, 
or gather,
or hug. 
We need each other. 
Even if we choose not to touch physically, 
Let's still find ways to connect.

I care about people, and show up for them no matter what. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

BLOOMING LIKE A PLANT

"Open up and turn toward the light."
~ Jim Carrey ~

The sun is delicious, especially on a chilly day.
I feel like a plant, soaking it up.
It warms my roots, and makes me bloom.

I allow the sun to feed me. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

CHANGEABILITY

"Life turns on a dime."
~ Stephen King ~

The weather is beautifully and endlessly changeable, and sometimes many ways in one day. It can go from rain to sun to wind. Temperatures can drop swiftly, rise sharply; fog can settle in. The dynamic nature of clouds and light and everything that comes and goes is a refreshing reminder about life itself: that nothing is here to stay- no circumstance, or mood, or injury, or hardship. Emotions and physical sensations rise and fall like the tides, and we watch them and bear witness. The only thing that remains the same is the place we are watching from.

Everything changes except the truth of who I am. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

RIDUCULOUSNESS

"If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that indicate something about your size?"
~ Sydney J. Harris ~

Resentments are a story from the past that we drag around with us like a ball and chain
While the person we're resentful towards is usually oblivious,
And free. 

I drop my grudges like a hot pan. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

FAITH

"If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it."
~ American Saying ~

Living in alignment with our true selves, 
No matter what seeming obstacles or difficulties may come our way,
A path will open,
And we will be shown the way through. 

I trust in life's unfolding journey. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

TANK

"In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing."
~ Robert Ingersoll ~

The emotional pain of the loss of our German Shepherd, Boss, in December, has largely eased into the background as a kind of soft glowing memory... until we committed to a puppy the other day. Excitement over the pup has newly awakened the pang of our great friend's going, and disturbed us with tickling feelings of betrayal.
     To be clear, we are not replacing Boss- he is completely irreplaceable. We are simply stepping forward into a new relationship inspired by time and need, with a lively little ball of fluff we have named Tank.

There is no stopping the living drive. I embrace it, and move on.