Sunday, June 17, 2018

 

Martha Washington Park.  Ryan Dela Cruz.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

In these dangerous times, I have the most excellent news.

I bought a pair of overalls, yes, denim overalls. I wore them all day today. I think I might wear them every day for the rest of my life. I can spruce them up with jewelry for the many galas I attend, dress down with flip flops and gardening gloves, the possibilities are endless. I thought of you, Mary.

It started with a woman I met in the park where I often run my dog. Her overalls had dirty knees, a look I know well. I asked her where she got her fabulous outfit and she said 'the Gap'. So you know I went home and hit the computer and there they were, Gap overalls.

O joy, O rapture.

If I'm going to weigh, um, what I weigh and have to wear a damn bra, then I'm wearing overalls. All the time.

My olden days overalls had a rainbow embroidered on the front pocket. I just might put one on these overalls.

And I painted my new mailbox:


And got a new tattoo:
And I'm getting another one tomorrow.

Fuck it.

I'm working on my book and I've set up the ginormous canvas in my studio that has been languishing for way too long. Every day I will spend time in artistic reverie and meditation and life giving pursuits.

Take that, bad news.

Yes, we are in a catastrophe of catastrophic proportions. But even the Buddha enjoyed himself. If I'm still catching babies and being a part of that whole amazing process, I might as well sleep on the couch sometimes and stay in my pajamas until 2 PM. (at least the bra situation is handled when wearing pjs.)

And one more thing. I spent 2 HOURS going exactly nowhere this afternoon. I needed to visit two newborns north of my home and before you could say 'Jack Robinson', I was stuck in the most gawdawful traffic jam. When I turned around, I got stuck going that way too. It was so stupid. I am pretty patient but I eventually called the mommas and said, 'uh, see you tomorrow'. Apparently having Amazon headquarters in our town has fucked the traffic to kingdom come. And the Mariners game. And some random highway closure.

I despair of a solution to this mess. My house is peaceful with bird feeders and a view of the lake and mountains so...I'll just stay here.

Finally-my guilty secret. Outlanders!!!! I haven't read the books. I bet they're kinda terrible bodice-ripper things. But the series on HBO, hooboy. My daughter got me hooked. Filmed in Scotland (gorgeous) with a hunk of burning love interest (no doubt real Scots men did NOT look like him 200 years ago!) but it's part historical fiction, science fiction, soft porn, oh I could go on...and I'm a lesbian!! Who cares, hot sex is hot sex, right? Yes, it's trash and I'm sick of the theme song but I wait breathlessly for the next installment.

So there you have it. Not a political moment in this here post.

Love and kisses,

Beth




Monday, June 11, 2018

Why are my bras too tight?

I have been assiduously counting calories and exercising to no avail.

I hate bras anyway but for the sake of decency, I have to suit up to go out in public.

I have a new tattoo so no swimming for two weeks.

Seattle weather is currently like a 15 year old, emotionally labile with sever mood swings and temperature highs and lows and occasional rain. Global warming is no joke, y'all.

Reading World as Lover, World as Self by Joanna Macy. Depressing and inspiring in equal measure.

Heard Michael Pollen last night speak about his new book/research on psychedelics and new science to treat depression/addiction/anxiety. Very interesting. Very interesting indeed.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Saw a movie last night, "First Reformed," got great reviews but WEIRD.

As the credits began to roll after an abrupt ending, someone in front of us said, "what the fuck"

Which summed it up.







Last night a group of young men decided to go to a nearby park because the park is supposedly haunted so they could tell ghost stories.

A car pulled up and shot into the trees and a 17 year old is now dead. He was about to graduate from HS.

I went to the park this morning to run the dog and saw memorial flowers and grieving people. Didn't know what happened but saw the crime scene tape.

Looked it up. Found the story.

We've gone crazy, we're going crazy, we're not right.

Have been crying most of the day. 17. His poor parents. Young man of color.

Why?

There is no time to waste now. There is no more time. What are we doing to be kind, to tell the truth, to vote the bastards out of office,  to be agents of change, one neighbor at a time?

Ryan Dela Cruz. That was his name.

Friday, May 25, 2018

This morning despair has flowered. Thinking about a baby who died 9 months ago and her sorrowing parents. The biosphere, o, our beautiful planet. I had to turn off the news when it was announced that permits for killing wild animals in Alaska would be sold...bears, wolves, other predators. Hunters allowed to use dogs and bait, allowed to kill mothers and their young.

Why?

Reading Joanna Macy's book, " World and Lover, World as Self". She devoted a chapter to despair and the uses of despair as an incentive to become active. The hope of hopelessness.

What is it that I am doing to be part of the conversation? This weekend I begin another class on racism for white allies. I may be alone in the room but I will show up to tell my stories and give insights that may land for others. Sleeping through these times is not an option. Avoiding the conversation won't work. If we are interdependent, then every loss is universal, every life, no matter how small or insignificant. It feels like a collective dying off.

The park near my house, with a few old growth trees and bald eagles, has had a fern die-off. A large area brown and wilted. Scientists with their clip boards roam around in overalls, taking notes. Salal and skunk cabbage are ok but ferns, oldest plants on the planet, are taking their leave.

What have each of us done today to counter this planetary suffering?

Metta, karuna, muditta, upekka.




Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Oh, it's been a long time.

I finished my facilitator training with Against the Stream. I went on another retreat with an amazing teacher-monk, historian, teacher, writer and all around genius. Analayo. While in Barre, Mass, it was revealed that Noah Levine who started ATS has been accused of sexual misconduct, lots of it.

Shite.

Fuck.

So I left the East coast and came back to Seattle where friends and I started Dharma womxn, a community for womxn and womxn identified folk who want an alternative to the local fuckery. We meditate together, talk about the dharma and eat. Eating is important. Builds community and is tasty. We meet at my house. Surrounded by Buddha stuff, statues and paintings and such. I've even started a Quan Yin on my garage door. I hope she doesn't turn out looking insane or malevolent.

I need to renounce the news cycle. Really. It continues to scare and mystify me. I went to visit a day old baby today and fell into a conversation with the (beautiful) dad whose parents are from St Kitts/St Lucia (where I trained as a midwife student in 1985!). He was born in Bristol, UK and then his folks moved to Canada. We talked about other places to live-he's got dual citizenship in the UK and Canada but a green card here. We thought Canada might work out but of course that's not the answer. Ok, how about this. I buy the NYT on Sunday and that's it, all I read. Nah, I won't be able to stick with it. Well, there's always SNL, they got it going on. And what about the Michelle Wolf? My friend Casey and I were whooping and hollering watching her. Damn, she killed.

I discovered who called about the Black man in my yard. My Mexican neighbors said it was the Chinese family a few doors down. The elders who live there don't speak English so I have to catch one of the younger family members to talk to. And I'll leave my phone number with them so they can call me, not the cops. And Victor and I thought a block party would be a good idea.  Cliff has a huge wood fired barbecue grill on wheels. I oughta invite him for sure.

We can learn to stop being afraid of each other.

Spring is springing all over the place.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dear ones-

I've been away on retreat and a dharma training that is over, at least for now. I am hoping to get invited back but I won't know until June.

But.

Today is Thursday. It is bright and sunny and the dog is sighing at my feet. I've planted peas and spinach in the hopes that the weather won't be totally weird and refuse to nurture little sproutlets.

I have a Black Lives Matter sign in my living room window. I'm currently reading "So You Want to Talk About Race" by a local author, very smart and thoughtful book. I'm not saying any of this to pat myself on the back or be told I'm so woke or anything. I am saying that I am a serious student of both Buddhism and injustice in all it's forms.

And then this happens:

As I was waiting in the Burbank airport  on Monday(Hi Elizabeth!) for my plane back to oh-so-white Seattle, I got a frantic call from my daughter, who had arrived in Seattle earlier that day with her boyfriend. Eden is dating Darius, a lovely, nerdy Black man who works in IT and reads books about wine and speaks slowly because he has a slight stutter.

Apparently a neighbor called the cops because there was 'suspicious activity' at my house and a Black man who was probably a burglar was in my back yard. Four, count 'em, four squad cars, came to my house and thank gawd, Eden answered the door to four of Seattle's finest. They announced that they were investigating a burglary and they had body cameras and audio equipment. Eden lost her shit, of course. Actually, she remained calm and told them she was the daughter of the owner and the Black man was her boyfriend. They went away after neighbors came out to see what was going on. This was all in the middle of the day. Darius had taken a walk (!) and someone decided he was an unknown stranger and of course, he was walking while Black.

My first thought was to leave the country and go somewhere where this doesn't happen. I believe I muttered, "Fuck this fucking racist country".  But obviously I need to stay here and continue the good fight.

I called neighbors to see if anyone called in a 911 call. Nope, no luck. Today I went to the nearest cop shop and spoke to the rather defensive desk cop about the situation and what to do. She couldn't give me the source of the call but she gave me the 'community relations' guy to call. I did, got his VM. zI thought about the local news stations...

I have white  friends and I have friends of color. I do not want my friends of color to be harassed when they come to my house. I don't want anyone who is non-white, female, queer, disabled to be denied their human rights. Period. At all.

My next step is to draft a letter for my neighborhood to tell the story and give them my name and phone number. Call me, don't call the cops. Calling the cops is what gets folks killed. I'll leave letters  in mailboxes.

I've had all kinds of folks come here when I'm not here, to stay here, to use the hot tub, etc. No white person has ever been harassed 'walking around in my back yard".

Any thoughts, dear reader? I won't let it go. Can't.