Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Been back a while. Boy o boy, kicked my ass. The mountains were beautiful. Lake Chelan is the deepest lake in the country and about 60 miles long, glacier carved and fed so it was cold. Yes, I went swimming. Once. VERY COLD but so clear, could see the bottom. We did trail work everyday, hiking in 3 1/2 miles to the site and 3 1/2 miles out. My feet hurt, My legs hurt, my back and arms, well you get the picture. We ate massive amounts of carbs. 

Anxiety is my new friend. Well, she's actually been there forever but newly expressed. Not fun. Waves of anxiety from outta nowhere then...nothing. It's annoying, to say the least. 

All my clothes feel tight. I lost 10 pounds over the last few years but I think it's all back. Who cares? I do. I hate wearing clothes at all and when they feel tight, I get grumpy.  Again I say, who cares?

Fired off another paper to chaplaincy today. This one about the precepts. The book, Being Upright by Reb Anderson was excellent. I massively underlined and highlighted. May have to read it again.  What are the precepts you may ask. They are a guide for living with heart and skillfulness, y'know do no harm-which is impossible BTW.

Last night I had dinner with one of my dear gay boyfriends. We were talking about series we love and we drifted into talking about The L Word, a silly Hollywood style lesbian soapy series. I disparaged the series because it was SO unrealistic. Fancy beautiful model type women with their dramas and the like. Yuck, hardly real. But I loved Queer as Folk, gay men all the time (in Pittsburg, surely NOT a gay mecca) who were being, ahem, very sexually active a lot. A lot. Anyway.  

And I learned this: he LOVED The L Word and hated Queer as Folk because of the representation of gay men being indiscriminately sexual with whomever. All the time. Ok, fair enough. On the other hand, the women talked to each other and cared about their relationships. 

So. this morning on my swim with Clark, my main gay boyfriend, I inquired about the two series (as a scientific experiment) and he SAID THE SAME THING. 

Then I asked Kenny, my gay boyfriend neighbor, and he LIKED Queer as Folk and never heard of The L Word and wouldn't watch it when I told him what is was about. 

So there you have it -2:1. I have my new friend JR, the millennial in the sample size to ask. He's probably never heard of either series. I will get back to you about this. 

I mean what does it all signify? Absolutely nothing, I'm sure. Except that life is a great mystery.


"To live in this world you must be able to do three things,

Love what is mortal, hold it against your bones as if your life depended on it

and when the time comes to let it go, let it go."

                                                                             -Mary Oliver


A grasshopper walked into a bar and the bartender said, "Hey, we have a drink named after you!"

The grasshopper relied, "You have a drink named Steve?"

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Here is an example of a rakusu, a Zen bib that we hand sew. Hope that helps. 


https://tricycle.org/magazine/buddhas-robe/ 


When I get back from the mountains, I will tell you all about it.

This morning I got up at 5:40 AM and went to the lake for a swim with Allison. In the water, we watched a gorgeous sunrise. I came home, picked all the grapes and prepped them for jelly. Then I made a blueberry pie. 

I offer each of you a big slice. 

Monday, September 05, 2022

 Dear friends-

I am frankly stalling. I leave for my mountain trail building week on Friday. The grapes are all ripe at once, of course and I have to pick and prepare them for ?? jelly?? when I get back from the mountains. I've been harvesting thyme, drying it and grinding it up for use. And I promised a blueberry pie to friends before Thursday. My rakusa is coming along (all hand sewing, mind you) and I have to write a paper or two before I leave. Ghaaa. 

Anxiety rising in this moment. After writing to throw myself into my darling lake. Fixes everything. 

Wedding plans coming along. Diane is the queen of organizing, unlike me. Well, I managed to get in an application for a spot on the lake, a bath house with a nice little beach. 

Eden will do food, no music except for Clark singing. Very simple please. Our rings came and they're very pretty. 

After we say 'I do', everyone can go for a swim. I know I will. 

I can feel the plant world withdrawing into themselves as fall approaches. Can't you? 

                  

                        Woods                  by Louise Bozan

I part the out thrusting branches and come in beneath

the blessed and blessing trees

Though I am silent

there is singing around me

Though I am dark

there is vision around me

Though I am heavy

there is flight around me

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Dean Young has died-RIP dear poet

 

Delphiniums in a Window Box
by Dean Young

Every sunrise, sometimes strangers’ eyes.
Not necessarily swans, even crows,
even the evening fusillade of bats.
That place where the creek goes underground,
how many weeks before I see you again?
Stacks of books, every page, character’s
rage and poet’s strange contraption
of syntax and song, every song
even when there isn’t one.
Every thistle, splinter, butterfly
over the drainage ditches. Every stray.
Did you see the meteor shower?
Every question, conversation
even with almost nothing, cricket, cloud,
because of you I’m talking to crickets, clouds,
confiding in a cat. Everyone says
Come to your senses, and I do, of you.
Every touch electric, every taste you,
every smell, even burning sugar, every
cry and laugh. Toothpicked samples
at the farmer’s market, every melon,
plum, I come undone, undone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Well, dear ones. I have finished my 10 day retreat/training with Upaya, the Zen Center and boy howdy, I'm still recovering. 12 hour days on zoom is gross. I will remind myself that I am immensely grateful that I have the time and money to do this program at all. But sheesh. Getting up at  4:45 to meditate and then we're off to the races with more sits and walking and some breaks when I ran down to the lake and threw myself in.

Now I have to write eleventy hundred papers, read more books, finish my rakasu, make an ancestral lineage chart X 3 on mulberry paper, do more volunteer hours and make three more field trips. No problem. Most of this by the end of December. 

I gardened this morning before the heat, watered everything and contemplated which plants are truly dead and which ones I need to prune. I know nothing about pruning. Nothing. I'm averse to it but if this garden of mine doesn't get room to breathe, they will have to hack through the underbrush to find my front door. 

In two weeks I go to Holden Village to be on a trail building 'vacation' with Washington Trails Association. We're gonna stay in a Lutheran camp and move out from there every day. No tent camping, hooray! And there's a sauna. After the first 7 hour day, I will probably need to be carried back to base but there is another old queer who is going and we can keep each other company in our oldness. 

Don't know if I've said this here but I've been exploring my 'identity'. For a long time there were a few choices: to be lesbian and be butch or femme. Definitely on the femme side. But now there are a plethora of choices and the lesbian never really 'fit'. Vacillating between non-binary and gender queer. I was using non-binary but have settled on gender queer. A better moniker for me. Even though ultimately there is no gender or labels or whatever. 

Our wedding rings came while I was on retreat. Have to investigate whether it is more advantageous to be unofficially married for tax reasons. Must ask my tax guy. Regardless, next July it is. With a party and family and friends. I just hope it isn't a terribly hot day...

Ok, I must get back to the business of writing a paper I started this morning. I will reward myself with  a swim.

Much everlasting love

Sunday, August 07, 2022

 

There I am. Without swimming I'm done for. I hope they can lower me into the water when I'm too old to get there on my own.


Friday, August 05, 2022

 Dear friends-


I did it. I swam from Martha Washington to Seward Park with Robb on a paddle board beside me. I alternated between anxiety, fear, elation and calm. The water was mostly calm with some wavy bits. I found myself grinning the closer and closer I got to the shoreline. It's about 1/2 mile, I guess. No soreness the next day either. I am officially a badass. 


Now next challenge...swim a longer distance, right?

Sweet young Nik came over and tiled my backsplash in 2 days. Beautiful. However getting the outlets back into the spaces he left has presented a challenge for me to solve. Ah well. 

Starting a mindfulness based childbirth class tonight, goes all weekend. Unfortunately the blue angels (yuck, nothing about them is angelic) will be overhead. They are 30 BILLION dollars fighter jets that do formations in the sky directly over our neighborhood. They are incredibly LOUD and scary. This happens every year.

Just visited an Olmstead park in my old neighborhood. The Volunteer coordinator contacted me because I'm looking for volunteer hours for chaplaincy. And she wants me to initiate sitting/walking meditations (!) among the greenhouses and the gorgeous trees, some of which are more than 100 years old. There's even a gigantic sequoia on the grounds. I am screaming, I'm so excited. What she/they want is exactly what I want to be doing. The one catch is making $$ for the park, after a two year shut down, they're pretty broke. I can ask for dana donations. I of course, require no $$. We also talked about bringing in folks who need to rest their anxious/fearful minds and hearts from the current fuckery, to allow them to rest and give and get love from the trees. The conservatory is gorgeous too and we walked through the back lot where the maturing plants are. 

Well, time for a swim in my big momma lake. Sooooo grateful she is so near by. 

Pema Chodron, in the new edition of When Things Fall Apart, reminds us the this moment is the path, just this moment with its' misery, joy, confusion, anger and peace. The only path we're on. This living moment. 

May we all walk with awareness in this present and precious moment. 

Much big love.