There will be feelings you can't repeat in daylight, with children around. Let the night unclog your thoughts. Swim in the lunar waters. When the sun rises, go unarmored into her light. Don't forget your dream world awaits you on the other flip of the walnut.

Posted Sat Nov 3 11:42:35 2018

On the walk of a million maple trees

we find so many leaves have dropped.

A swimming hole for summer heat

runs level from rock falls

on the way down stream.

Lichens turn green

or are they mosses?

Springs carry clear waters

into larger streams.

Posted Sat Nov 3 16:26:16 2018

Has anyone mentioned

prior to my mother

who hacks and hobbles

against graying golden rod

while I pick cosmos seeds,

all soul's day

is also all seeds day,

a time of collecting heritage

heirloom samples of life

promising offspring?

All soul's day

is all seeds day.

When else to take seriously

Toko-pa Turner's

words on ghosts.

I read her words on Belonging

knowing ghosts who have occurred for me.

She talks of this modern phenomena

of ghosting

and she alerts me and my depressive thoughts

think about ghosting.

But I don't enough look down

to see my own cloak of white,

that says I am not guilt free.

The following quote I reuse with utmost respect and honor like sea shells borrowed from Earth's beach. From Toko-Pa Turner's Belonging:

When someone has ghosted on a conversation, commitment or conflict, it’s important to realize this as an act of indifference that counters belonging. Ghosting is all we believe we owe to a world on which we don’t feel we’ve made an impact. In a sense, it is to make yourself a ghost in your own life, dissociating from the importance of your presence in others’ lives. It is to withhold your disagreements, your longing to be seen, and to make yourself and others around you disposable. Unless someone is willing to hold you accountable, and be accountable themselves, they can never take a seat at the table of belonging.

We need to show each other that love is worth wrestling for, braving ourselves into the fires of intimacy. We are not expendable. And we shall know each other every time we show up for conflict, hurt, and confusion.

If you have invited such a “ghost” to move consciously through conflict and they’ve refused you, first you must give yourself wholeheartedly to grief. In French, instead of “I miss you,” we say, “Tu me manques” which means “you are missing from me.” In your grief, you are valuing the impact of your separation, the missing they’ve left behind.

When you’re ready, find or create an object that symbolizes the closure you seek, and consider imbuing it with your prayers:

I bless your absence, your silence, your disappearance from me with this grief. May the echo of your going missing reach back to you one day, so you know your own substantiality. May I know my grief as a measure of my willingness to devotion, and may I trust that I’ve been spared from halfway love. May this and all disappearances inspire me to become ever more scrappy and tenacious in love. May I know with greater clarity others who are the same. And when I meet them, may I redouble my commitment to the craft of belonging.

Once you’ve given thanks and made your intent, throw your symbolic object off a bridge, burn it in a fire, bury it in a grave—but dispose of it and let it be final. There are a million tiny heartbreaks in every failed friendship, every disappointed hope, every extended hand denied, and we must grieve them all. But at a certain point, we also must stop carrying them with us. We must declare what’s done was all that could be done.

Every separation you make from a person or place that cannot meet you where you stand is a step towards the community of your true belonging.

Posted Sat Nov 3 18:22:44 2018

Thinking hard about our world

and the name Xenia

chosen for Alexia and Parks Marion's new baby

which means Coral

just like our Sango's middle name.

And what it means

what it really means

to have somewhere

little girls

and babies

with names

of shells

so fragile

and livid

and wild

and wise.

Posted Sat Nov 3 18:33:33 2018

"I would love to share a bit more about Xenia's name, in addition to being a type of coral, it also means welcoming and hospitality for strangers in ancient Greek. It was the idea of mutual respect and care between host and stranger/guest and it was extended to all people! We really liked this meaning given whats going on in the world right now. Just thought you might like to know more of the story." PM

Posted Sun Nov 4 10:41:52 2018

Some of the best questions to ask can scientifically be answered with a single word like no or yes.

But a tree just exists like a Buddha in perfect mediation. A tree is body no mind. Be body. There is no guilt or blame, but existence and beauty. We animals feel pain and maybe listening down to roots and hearing our dreams aids our healing and eases our pain. But trees just are. They don't live to pass judgment make politics or nestle themselves in ideologies, which is why, to refer to the definition of "Awakening" that Adyashanti gives, trees may be more awakened than any of us. Adyashanti's Awakening is close to UNITY and knowing we are one as unified beings. We are the same. The man who walks by on the road, regardless of his beliefs, Democrat, Republican, believing in the abolition of guns or the right to bare arms. We are the man. And the man is us. And we all are also the tree and visa versa. Be body. Be body.

I think about the beautiful trees, as I breathe out air that my maple friend may breathe in. Be body. Be body.

In the Yoga studio at meditation, I mentioned the horrible misogynistic shooting of the wonderful women were killed to a passing acquaintance in the shoe room where we remove our foot wear. Together in Unity we reflected upon the horror of the tragedy and how important it is to strengthen the mental health care given in this country. Of course, then we branched out on our separate limbs, me speaking my beliefs (ideology) about how I think people should never have guns at all and her saying everyone should carry arms for protection. I felt no reason to unveil my disunity. It streamed out of me as a usual course like a flowing river. It's how it happens. Maybe your thing is to watch Amy Goodman with a furrowed brow and tight shoulders, or to go to the shooting range and practice. But I believe we must aim towards unity, even if it means veering away from our comfortable ideologies.

From the guy at the end of a road with a sign saying people will be shot on sight to the War is not the Answer bumper sticker, I am steering away from the dividers even those I believe in, because I believe more in Unity. Be body; be body.

There is a sycamore tree breathing in and out this same air. Maybe it is meditating. Maybe it is feeling. Maybe it knows the pains of the world. With certainty it knows how to exist and what is its body. Xylem and Phloem and Stomata and all the words I have forgotten from Biology. There is beauty in the way light touches it. And body is. The trunk is. The leaves are. The roots are deep.

When we Meditate, early in the process Heather says "now feel how your body is. Do you have pains? Be aware of the pains. Are there good feelings? Be aware of the joys. Now let all of this go on down the stream. Let your thoughts about the pains and the joys and all the thoughts be. Do not judge them or say they are good or bad, just let them flow on downstream."

Heather is teaching trees. She is teaching a room of five to be body. We are aware of our head and in unity with the thoughts there. They are okay. We allow the mind to exist in the stream, but it is the current flowing through everything that matters more.

Once, long ago, when I was judging and fearing yoga because I worried there was no room for my large body on a narrow mat, I met a woman named Marcy. Now she has born children but this was before. She told me politics is not a good thing to ask people about in the initiation of a conversation, and I was so adamant that I knew better than that. I thought she just didn't want to disagree with me or have me angry. Maybe that was a good part of it. But part of why I agree now is that Unity is important.

Awakening might sound like a flaky, fluffy, new aged goal. But it is just learning to be a tree, I think. And I dare say we all could use a considerable amount more of it. Even the Democracy Now watching yogis. Especially the Democracy Now watching yogis.


Posted Sun Nov 4 19:16:07 2018

"Equality cannot be achieved without politics." I paraphrase my mother's sentiment. A largely logical response to my previous entry's decree, that unity must come through seeing a shared humanity.

The question of prayer as a response to shootings has always stretched me. Most progressives I have known have said prayer is fine but we have to put actions behind our prayers. I always want to be a progressive voice for prayer. My friends say, since I am an activist, it is okay. Prayer can be more powerful than action, I declare. But friends rarely agree.

There is no need for consensus on the subject. Maybe it would be nice if we all had my view, but that is not my aim.

Equality is vital to unity. That's true. Speaking truth needs to be done. There is a balance to everything. I listen to NPR this morning and hear stories about things like a decision to see if non-citizens can cast ballots. In my ideologies I would be very very glad to have undocumented immigrants voting as soon as possible. They live here and work here and make capitalism functional. May these people be empowered to make social change, I pray, listening to NPR. May the non-citizens vote and change the world in other means too. I have known non-citizens, and I see them as the best of people.

I guess my stopping point for talk of equality is only when it grows into "politics" or divisive argument when people stop being people and start being primary colors like red, blue, or just skin pigment and nothing more.

To humanize should be the aim through the entire human exchange. I have changed people's beliefs before, but only through my own humility. When my inner turmoil on a subject or for an issue rises above my compassion, I might angrily try to explain my views, but I am not any longer meeting eyes.

A couple weeks ago, I did something that threw me into the deepest depression I remember. I was talking with my Mom about Flaccavento and how I thought he might benefit from appealing to anti-Casino voters in Bristol. So I went to the Bristol Virginia City Council meeting fed up about the casino, but with limited time to plan my speech, and in an impulse, I decided to talk to the room about my beliefs. But I just embarrassed myself, trying to act more assured than I was. I should have spoken from a point of humility and it would have gone fine.

But I thought I had something to teach. And I was loud and unproductive. I went home and for a couple weeks I did not want to look in the public sphere. I didn't want to be seen, and it had been recorded by media, and I felt exposed, and barely wanted to go grocery shopping. I for the first time in my memory, thought the most terrible thought of borderline suicidal ideation. For five minutes, or so, I thought it would be one way to end the grief.

Then, somehow, I pulled myself out of it.

It can be so easy to do the wrong thing, whether screaming protest against a casino in your home or killing your light.

It can be so much harder to do the right thing, to talk openly about your fears and concerns, to walk the steeper hill of confessional telling your dark thoughts to a friend.

Please take care of yourself first.

I will.

Please don't go off the deep end if you are not a sure swimmer. Please be gentle with yourself. Listen softly to the voice of intention saying what is right.

Posted Mon Nov 5 13:26:50 2018

This entry will not be a shout out to Langley Shazor of Casual Word who sold me my first type writer today! I love my Royal, but my head drifted elsewhere, momentarily. So be looking for my shout.

My new therapist is amazing.

I have never thought I had such a great initial therapy appointment. Stoked to have one again, and to grow with therapy.

Posted Mon Nov 5 20:01:05 2018

I love my Royal typewriter, sold by Langley Shazor of Bristol VA. I am using her for a project that if I succeed, you'll never see. I bought her for the soul purpose of being able to type up a diary of completely private thoughts. Sure, I might air these thoughts later talking or writing a letter or in my blog. But it is not often to find myself with a new means of writing other than pen and computer typing. Maybe someone will publish my type written diary entries after my death, but maybe they won't. It will be all the same to me. The point is not eventual publication but the processing of thoughts, contemplation, writing therapy. I think there is something to having a spot for private thoughts. My blog is pretty much a proverbial open book, but there is no real purely open book. Privacy exists inevitably in this world, somewhere. But thoughts that just stay in my mind cannot grow and evolve. And as much as I love a paper diary, this typewriter is a new form of writing. Using this typewriter as a diary is just what I have decided to do with it. So wish me luck. And with incredible gratuity, Langley Shazor offers these typewriters for people to purchase, on lifetime warranty, and if they brake he fixes them for free. I looked up the value of mine, and was impressed with the deal I got, and the full servicing promise. I trust Langley Shazor and I just wanted to say a good word on his behalf.

Posted Tue Nov 6 10:45:22 2018

Tobin Swimming

Some say seven dog years are held inside a human year.

Maybe they travel seven times as far.

Tobin is 15 years old and he is very old.

But Tobin still has his puppy brain.

Every day he lifts his body up in the morning with such effort.

But then back in the house he must feel the music in his feet.

He taps his paws a certain beat, every morning Tobin dances.

Round the kitchen table.

He takes the biscuit we offer, throws it up into the air, and catches it with a grin.

He laughs in the face of old age!

He doesn’t have to suffer, no, not all the time.

And some of the time he feels his oats more than the rest of us.

And not just dancing.

Sometimes Tobin wanders away into the distance.

Mom says he goes down to the lingerie store down town.

He might stop on his way home to grab a few discarded pizza crusts.

Or to roll awful! Ew!

He thinks awful smells quite pleasant.

So he comes home smelling like the awful and if we aren’t careful I goes and rolls on my bed.

We take him on walks in the beautiful country side.

Strolling along on this path by a creek marked by white water and waterfalls.

We get caught up in whimsical thoughts about the smells.

Our little dog Brazen is poking her head inside some drain pipe.

Tobin has found his sunny spot in a deep hole in the water.

Round and around he is swimming.

Posted Wed Nov 7 15:22:32 2018

Tobin would have been 105. He had a stroke and we had to put him down. He is in the Happy Hunting Ground.

RIP Tobin November 7, 2018

Posted Thu Nov 8 14:15:57 2018

Follow the link for a video of our two dogs playing together in 2014.

Posted Thu Nov 8 15:13:30 2018

I noticed that it has been 6 days since I reported or posted a poem on this blog. I probably should have kept at it a little more, and I am sorry to my readers. Tobin's passing was a very sad thing, and of course I cried. I really do believe he is better off in the Happy Hunting ground. I am willing to say that, even if it makes some eyes role.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, though I think we are staying put this year, instead of going to the big family or friends gatherings we were invited to.

Mom always said Tobin was the sun, the center of her galaxy. We are lucky to still have Brazen, perhaps a little moon orbiting. And Mazel Tov the cat thinks she is the actual center of the universe, whatever that is called. I'm pretty sure no one has found an actual center of the universe, scientifically speaking. But good luck convincing a cat.

I feel I am in the clunky place of trying to explain the past six days, or writing about anything, with so much time having past.

I finished the current available episodes of Shameless, while the skies were pretty dark most of the time. I had told my new therapist something about how swimming is the best thing I can do for my mental health and watching TV is the activity that makes me more inclined towards depression. I find myself with more TV going on on cloudy days. On cloudy days, swimming also is less appealing.

This morning before I opened my eyes, I told myself I should think about swimming anyway, as a way to nip the depression in the bud prior to it even being an issue. I currently feel fine. I know swimming always improves me. So I am trying to work my way to the pool, and the morning thought will hopefully get me there.

I always have liked Thanksgiving the most of all the holidays, so it will be good to be in a good temperament for it.

In my next post I am considering writing a how to guide to a stand out resume. I apparently am really good at that, even though I am paused in terms of working because of disability.

Posted Wed Nov 14 15:38:21 2018