Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
In California where the women are thinner somehow. I don't know how that is. Maybe it's Marin women, all sleek and well fed and expensively clad. Maybe it's the smell of money.
I went to Spirit Rock for an all day sit today. With Sister Anandabodhi, a Theravadin nun who has recently set up residence in the Sunset district of SF. They are beginning a monastery for women in the US, the first ever for Buddhist women. Totally revolutionary. Shaved heads, brown robes and begging bowls. They do alms rounds once a week in downtown SF. Whoa. Our culture is not ready for this. I once saw a picture of Zen monks and nuns in downtown Shasta with their bowls and a woman was putting bags of potato chips in each bowl. I don't think you refuse potato chips. Or anything else you are offered. Well, if it was a poison burger, you could refuse. They eat once a day, before noon. Then they drink tea. Today they looked perfectly healthy and well fed.
Anandabodhi taught about the 'sound of silence'. She describes it as a gentle ringing or silvery sound stream that goes through her head, and is always there. Because I have tinnitus it was a tad difficult to imagine/experience what she was saying. Instead I settled into a deep comfortable place just being there again after the March month-long retreat I did this year.
I am grateful today for all the monastics of every faith who enter with open hearts and practice earnestly for the benefit of all.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Happy birthday to Maya, my graceful child. And to all those I love. In sunny California where we ate gluten-free popovers ( a Yorkshire pudding thang) and sauteed dandelion greens, compliments of Daniela (strangely yum) for breakfast and we each said one thing we were grateful for. Family, more family, Leggos (Milo), love and more love. All crammed into Maya and Shaun's little house. Maya is 37. How can I have a child that old? Start young, I say.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Another baby last night, I'm leaving for SF today and my suitcase is stuffed, really stuffed. I felt like a screwball 40's comedy (why are they always screwball?) jumping on top of my suitcase and praying that the zipper will hold and not explode underwear all over the airport. I'm carrying a single shoe in my computer bag because it wouldn't fit. Will I get in trouble for the shoe?? Will they frisk me at security because a single shoe is suspicious?
I am going to ride the light rail all the way to the airport. La-de-da. Just like in a real city. So cosmopolitan. So European. So sane. $25 for an airporter or $2.50 for the light rail. Uh...
You who do not live in Seattle do not know what a big deal this is. BIG DEAL. We have been in denial about our big-cityness for far too long and here we are, 2010 almost and we have a few miles of light rail. Sheesh.
May all beings be happy and able to ride the light rail. To the airport.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Go and see Avatar. It is miraculous.
I fell asleep watching a movie without subtitles. There are nazis and villagers and deep snow. I worried that the boy was running in the snow without gloves. It looked very cold. Some local soldiers come and they are given a feast. The older woman helps deliver a baby. They're all drinking a clear alcohol. They put it in their coffee. Everyone is ragged. Then there is a massacre. Even the dogs are shot. The language sounds Slavic. I'm free to make up the story.
Later the female lead comes back to the place where it all happened. The old woman is still there. They are both wearing kerchiefs and the old woman begins to laugh. She had tried to teach the younger one the names of local herbs. The younger one made up fanciful names for the plants and gave them specific healing properties, all wrong.
On Pandora, the planet in Avatar, the plants are phosphorescent. Oh yeah.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I was supposed to talk to m dharma teacher last night. At 8 PM. I was still working. At 8:20, I called the conference line number and GOT MUSIC. No talking with my dharma buddies and with Larry. Whaaaaaaaa. It's sometimes so hard to appear normal but I manage to all day. Normal hair, normal clothes, normal food. But really, I crave solitude, lots of it, and wild nature and more solitude and music and books and writing and the company of my writer friends who are decidedly not normal and dharma teachers.
So today at therapy I acted like a big baby, which is what I have been calling everyone lately. A Big Baby. Obama is a Big Baby. Tiger Woods is a Big (naughty) Baby. Our senators are a bunch of Big Babies. Only real babies get to be legitimate Big Babies. So everyone gets to get over their Big Baby-ness. Right now. I guess that includes me.
Although my therapist told me I'm fine just the way I am. I pay her to say that. But still, it could be true.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I think the writers get together tonight. I don't have the address. I don't know the time. The sky is that layered gray cover which persists.
I want to go to China. Two cds called Wild China did me in. You can see the Great Wall from space, the only man-made thing you can see. There are landscapes of tall, bumpy rocks, 100's of caves no-one has ever entered and creatures that only live in China. China has deserts and jungles and the Himalayas and zillions of ethnic groups. Rice is still cultivated in terraces, like in Nepal. Some farmers raise golden carp in their rice fields. There are 1,000 year old turtles. And pandas. And black-footed cranes. And the Yellow River all the way from the Himalayan glaciers. And acupuncture. And bamboo forests. And bamboo bats the size of a quarter.
I want to see it all.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Light little crystals. Not snow.
Red pandas are beautiful. I wonder if a few of them would live in my yard. I wouldn't exploit them or ask them to do yard work. Oh, and gibbons. Gibbons howl and sing. Plus groom.
I love books. I love the way they feel and smell. I love to turn the pages of a paperback that is broken-spined. A Kindle can never replace a book. Never.
I went to my local bookstore last week. It wasn't there. It was gone. Out of business. This is tragic. What about browsing? What about wandering? Powell's is for wandering and having a cup of tea for a break. Then going back to hanging around the poetry section. Or mysteries. Or fiction. For hours.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I've wrapped and packed all my Christmas presents. I've stopped eating the chocolate covered almonds. Before they were all gone. I've just signed up with an INVESTMENT COMPANY to actually send them $$ every month, like a grown-up, like I might retire some day. I feel weird, faint, funny. Maybe I'm coming down with something. I don't wanna act mature. I'm gonna throw things.
When I went upstairs, the calico didn't yowl at me like she usually does. Cuz she's gone to Jim's house to live with him. I miss her. Peace again reigns in the house of 3 (not 4) cats. Lupine is psycho but that's just her nature. Lola thanked me by biting me, just a little bitey bitey.
The lid is on the almonds and I'm not even tempted. The stairs crack when I go out on the deck. The chard is slumped over. When I lived in New York, this kind of weather was normal plus add 13 feet of snow. For 6 months. So weather in the 20's. Please.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
It's effing freezing outside. No one should sleep outside (well, the raccoons have a lot of fur, and each other). I gave the Real Change guy $10. He says he has a warm place to sleep. I've seen the one legged man sleeping in a doorway but he wasn't by the Safeway today.
Hooray, the calico has a new place to live. She's going to live with my old tenant. M can't take her because they are traveling for cancer treatments. Jim met her royal highness today and after hearing her sad story, he said, "sure, she can come live with me." Tomorrow.
They're always female.
They have an extra x chromosome.
They speak 5 languages.
They've been known to fly small aircraft.
They have a distaste for Dickens, especially Great Expectations.
They adore Vatican II. (This last I will never understand.)
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Actually, I am responsible for world hunger. Paulette is mad at Obama. The calico may go and live with M while M is treated for cancer. I think the kitty could pat her arms with her clawless paws and make her feel better.
I finished all the pajamas, hooray. My machine makes button holes while I'm in another room. Really. Now if I could teach it to make bread I'd be all set.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Everything is glazed, like a donut. Except for the treachery. And since I fell down in the street yesterday while in Pioneer Square, perhaps I should put crampons on my shoes. And carry ski poles. I didn't even slip. I stepped off the curb and went flailing into the street, headed by my right knee, which hurt extremely. So I lay there for a bit, holding my knee and rocking. All ignored me so I got up and hobbled to my car. I took myself to Moonlight Cafe, home of the double menu-regular and vegan for Mongolian Beef, veggies and tofu and some noodles with veggies and tofu. Take out.
It was the pain. I was shaking slightly while I ordered. I was wearing my scruffy birth clothes because I had been at a birth (well, I had just come from therapy which was particularly pithy and joyous yesterday) so I looked a mess. And I ordered enough food for 3 or 4 people. I sat on the couch in my scruffy clothes with a towering pile of Vietnamese vegetarian food before me, ice pack on my knee and Wild China on the tube.
Before I passed out from overeating/pain/therapy nastiness, I saw some Chinese fish with no eyes, giant newts, snow monkeys and a bird that has an elaborate feather thingy he puffs up and shakes at the female. I woke up later with all the cats on top of me even tho I'd forgotten to turn off the heat and it was about 1000 degrees in the house.
I would like to have a personal secretary for Christmas. Please.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
The calico is back downstairs. My three are a) hiding b) sitting behind me and growling c) ignoring everything in that elaborate way cats have when you know they are really paying close attention but nonchalantly. This is interspersed with a series of cats circling each other with their fur all puffed up and their tails out straight.
The feeding ritual is quite elaborate too. Miss calico has kidney food but I guess it's kinda icky so I mix it with Fancy Feast which, according to my vet is the equivalent of kitty crack. My darlings are all on diets so they're getting special diet food which they inhale (except for Lola). Then Hugo and Lupine crowd Lola eyeing her slow progress. As if. They are starving. Good lord, as my mother would say.
November is over. On to the end of the year with tacky lights, ornaments and snowmen made of styrofoam. With scarves.