Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The beat goes on. Air here is more breathable after the fires from Canada and Eastern Washington. Red sun, red moon.

A little over a year ago, a dear friend and colleague lost her newborn. She has been posting all month to review the final month of her pregnancy, the birth and the death of her daughter. I can barely read it for the pain. And yet I do as do other readers. We are held in a web of suffering and grief with her, the true meaning of karuna, a Pali word that means compassion or to suffer with. In knowing and befriending our own losses, we can then feel into and support the unbearable suffering of another. Trump can't feel sorrow for the the death of McCain because he hasn't swept the pathway to his own sorrow. I know I'm being generous when I would rather trash him, but today, the strength of the planetary suffering is what I'm open to.

These days I feel a split in myself. I go to clinic and see pregnant mothers and meet newborns. I buy veggies and bread. I walk the dog and swim in the lake. I meditate by myself and with my friends. So on one hand, my life is eventful and peaceful. On the other, I obsess about the news, I am in touch with the most dreadful sadness in myself. I feel the trees and plants struggling with the lack of water and the extreme heat. Smoke fills the air and drops ash on my car. I literally have to turn away in order to function, to show up, to stay here in the world of car washes and movies and children and dogs. I feel myself opening and closing, the pain ebbing and flowing. I don't feel futility or hopelessness. I'm just present to the pain. As Ram Das once said, "On one hand, life is beautiful and on the other it's all shit." Holding both views is the practice of equanimity, which I just don't have right now. I vacillate between the two polls with a resulting sense of vertigo.

I continue to turn to concept of 'power over' as opposed to 'power from within'. Racism, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, all these hatreds are based in fear and therefore loathing. Even the Earth's body is not exempt. As we continue to polarize, the Earth and her creatures reveal the depth of our delusion about our separateness.

Ruth King, author of "Mindful of Race" reminds us:

Interdependence: This is the practice of remembering that we are part of something larger than our individual selves-a karmic web of humanity-and what we do has impact.

Compassion: The practice of compassion is a weapon of mass healing.

Harmlessness: The practice of nonharming in body, speech and mind is essential for respect and safety.

May we all be held in love and caring today. May we all be free.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Air from fires making a haze. Can't see the lake or the mountains. Just heard from a mom who may be in early labor. Maybe tonight...

Swam in the lake. No one was there. Just me and Felix. I threw the ball forever. Now I think a nap is in order. If I'm gonna be up all night, I better rest now. Next year, I'm cutting back even more on my call days and working even less. I have to. I must. I want to. For the opportunity to stay in my underwear all day or in my bathing suit and a towel.

Even in winter.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Been away from this here too long. A lotta family time and retreats and so forth. Went to Alaska with my brother and sister. They caught halibut, I didn't. And there were NO SALMON because of, you know. Here in Puget Sound an Orca mother has been mourning the death of her calf. The whales need the fish, the bears need the fish...I visited SE Alaska 25 years ago and the fish were so thick in the streams, you could walk across them to the other side.

In California, the fires are out of control. Smoky air here, too thick to stay in Ashland where I had planned to camp.

I am in despair, y'all.

Our beautiful suffering Earth.

It has been blazing hot here. Brown grass and dying trees.

How are all of you?

The babies are still being born.

I made 24 jars of wild blackberry jam in the last few days. My fingers are currently purple. 

Blackberries will make you suffer. Their thorns are wicked. I only shed a little blood this year. I insist on picking berries in short sleeves and flip-flops. 

About to go to BC, Nanaimo to be exact. Gotta take a ferry there and I agreed to pick up two guys to take to the retreat with me. Is it important to be on retreat in these troubled times?? I'm questioning everything. 

If we can't get rid of the awful occupant of the White House, please disable him in November. From our lips to g-d's ear. K? I don't mean put him in a wheelchair or something. Just render him harmless. Foolish destructive horrid man. 

May we find peace and justice for all beings, everywhere.