Thursday, April 30, 2020

It's Thursday, I think. Just listened to this:

Please enjoy. Peter Pan and squirrels on fire.

Went walking with my friend Nancy. We talked about food, Trump (bleh), hair, peonies. The dog ran around continually losing the ball and finding it again. I have an appointment with the dog groomer on May 15th. I'm pretty sure I won't have to explain the state of my dog.

The garden is glorious. The lilacs are on the way out, the peonies are about to open. The lettuce is the size of my thumb.

My sewing machine went tits up after 70 masks but I borrowed my neighbor's so I'm back at it.

News flash-I went to the senior hours at my local coop yesterday. And I spent way too much money but I rationalized that I was out of everything and I won't be back for another 6 weeks. I had salmon and cauliflower mash for lunch. I am so grateful to be healthy right now. So grateful to have the great good fortune to live in Seattle with a good and sensible governor who is caring for us.

Blessings on everyone.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear friends,

This weekend I am 'on retreat'. In our former life, I would be in Marin, Cal right now at a retreat center near my daughter's house. During the day I would be studying something called The Eightfold Path, sitting and walking and listening to teachings and so on in a beautiful Dharma hall nestled in the brown rolling hills of northern California. Wild turkeys and deer roam around. At night you can hear the peepers in the stream that dries up by mid summer.


I am in my living room with the dog at my feet. We have already taken a short walk this morning. I've showered (!) and put on clean clothes, just like old times. I washed my hair. I 'dressed up', if tying a bandana around my neck counts. I've even cut my nails.

For two days I will be in a virtual community studying the nature of suffering, or as dukkha is translated, dissatisfaction. Indeed, we are traveling through some pretty intense dissatisfaction right now. Uncertainty, fear, sadness, more fear, longing, all of the conditions that are part of being human.

And so. I've even cleaned my house as if a group of fellow travelers are coming to visit.

I'll see you on the flip side.


The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Saturday, April 18, 2020

These are almond butter/flour with chocolate, maple syrup, coconut oil and chocolate chips and shredded coconut cookies.

I'm not going to eat them all at once.

I'm not. I have will power.

PS. They are delicious. The whole house smells wonderful.

Friday, April 17, 2020

I got a delivery of groceries from my favorite coop and I swooned with delight. Boy howdy, it doesn't take much, does it. I got soy ice cream and this vegan sandwich they make and raspberries and a mango and peapods and mushrooms. I ordered everything and it was on my doorstep 20 minutes later.

I've taken to listening to Andrew Cuomo's press talks. He did the usual this morning and then he talked about his personal experience with his children during the pandemic. He said he's had more in depth conversations with his daughters than he has had in years. He promises to have coffee with his mother and then he would call to say he was too busy. But now he realizes that time in fleeting and he needs to pay attention to what is important, his children, his mother. It had me tear up a bit. I called at least one kid after listening to him. My world has gotten so small and so large at the same time.

While sitting in the sun today just enjoying my garden, I noticed a male and female hummingbird, twirling and circling one another in the branches of the elderberry tree just above me. They are so small and so present in my garden. I'm vigilant with their feeder, making sure it's always filled. During the snow storm last year, I'd bring the feeder in at night so it wouldn't freeze and put it out in the early morning. Often there was a wee bird waiting for me at first light.

My hair is growing straight down my face. My bangs will be in my mouth soon. I've taken to giving Felix a man bun
You can't tell from his photo but he has a terrible haircut and a man bun and he has no vanity about it. We go out every day to walk the miles that keep us sane. The weather has been glorious. My older child sent me a video of her and Arty walking on the shore in Marin. (sigh). Boy, would I love that. I do go to the lake occasionally but the park is too crowded.

I've stepped down from the board I was elected to last year. We've met three times and after the last BOD meeting, I knew it was time to leave. Many reasons which I won't go into but it was a bad situation which I don't need now or ever. There are things that are so clear now. How do we spend our time? What's important? Being at odds over issues of anti-racism and bearing the brunt of ageism and sexism. Nah, I'll pass.

Eden, my foodie daughter, admitted that she had a fish sandwich and fries from Mcdonald's. Trust me, I've been thinking about fries. I might have to go there to get some. I know. I figured out how to make them  in the oven but it's just not the same.

Well, the end of another weird day. I did this:

Only 80 more to go.

Love and hugs

Saturday, April 11, 2020

It's overcast here today. Looks like rain which would be fine because I've planted lettuce, beans and peas. And spinach.

I ordered a pizza yesterday and went to the place to pick it up. They were very careful to distance and I washed my hands when I got home. The pizza was heavenly. Anything to not eat my own cooking for a change.

I'm tired today, could take a nap right now. But I gotta walk the dog. He's quiet too, unlike him. We've been walking around at a great clip for days so maybe today is a rest day. Maybe not.

Tomorrow is a board meeting for a board I was elected to serve on. I wrote a letter to them to state my position and to state what is unequivocal, ie. I will not serve on a board that is 100% white. I'm happy to do social justice work with/for the BOD. There have been two scandals over the last few months. And remember here, we are only two meetings in from the new year. Sheesh. I'm weary of the drama so early in the game.

Mostly, I talked with my old lady friends and what is really bothering me, what is REALLY BOTHERING ME is the happy combo of sexism and ageism. We have been sidelined and when I think of my friends, there is tremendous wisdom, compassion and clarity there to be tapped. My friends and the health field, doctors, midwives, nurses, all with so much to share.

But the young want to start over, make the same mistakes, stumble around when great wisdom is available on every side. When I think of the elders we are losing to this virus, we are losing our past.

"Waiting in Line"

You the very old, I have come
to the edge of your country and looked across,
how your eyes warily look into mine
when we pass, how you hesitate when
we approach a door. Sometimes
I understand how steep your hills
are, and your way of seeing the madness
around you, the careless waste of the calendar,
the rush of people on buses. I have
studied how you carry packages,
balancing them better, giving them attention.
I have glimpsed from within the gray-eyed look
at those who push, and occasionally even I
can achieve your beautiful bleak perspective
on the loud, the inattentive, shoving boors
jostling past you toward their doom.

With you, from the pavement I have watched
the nation of the young, like jungle birds
that scream as they pass, or gyrate on playgrounds,
their frenzied bodies jittering with the disease
of youth. Knowledge can cure them. But
not all at once. It will take time.

There have been evenings when the light
has turned everything silver, and like you
I have stopped at a corner and suddenly
staggered with the grace of it all: to have
inherited all this, or even the bereavement
of it and finally being cheated!--the chance
to stand on a corner and tell it goodby!
Every day, every evening, every
abject step or stumble has become heroic:--

You others, we the very old have a country.
A passport costs everything there is.

--William Stafford

William Stafford says what I want to say. 

Thursday, April 09, 2020

It has been a glorious day here, with bright blue skies and just enough warmth to make you want to lie down in the grass. Felix and I took a very steep trail under power lines away from the crowds at our favorite park.

We were in our park a few days ago and headed into the woods where there were no people. Sounds of a woodpecker and eagles. 

Lots of fancy pleasure boats on the lake. Poor poor rich people. Going to their second home or private island to wait out the plague. Read that (of course) Black and Brown folks are dying at greater rates, no health insurance, poorer health, etc. 

Then there's this. If you don't know Randy Rainbow, please familiarize yourselves. 

My friend Rachel delivered care packages to each of her friends today. She brought me a jigsaw puzzle of Harriet Tubman and two Dharma books. Kenny, my bearded queer neighbor, helped me put my Adirondack chairs out in the yard. 

And I put a Gratitude List poster in my window-for first responders, childcare workers, food service folks, our governor,  and kind neighbors. 

May we all be held in the greatest kindness and love. 

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Dear ones,

Quiet, so quiet. I live under a flight pattern from Boeing field but the only planes in the sky are little four seaters. No big rumbly cargo planes or passenger jets.

The yard is bursting with beauty; tulips, daffs, magnolia trees, purple ground cover. I've planted peas, beans, lettuce and spinach.

Still making cloth masks until I run out of fabric. I guess Joanne's fabric is doing a bang-up online business right now. A friend is making 300 masks for a nursing home near here. I don't have the capacity to make that many. I can get through 2-3 a day.

I made cookies yesterday that were just disgusting. I'll eat them anyway. The last cookie batch were peanut butter cookies which I mistakenly made with almond butter. Oops. No wonder they didn't taste like peanut butter.

My sister has stopped working and I'm so grateful. She's in her 60's and an RN in a nursing home in upstate NY. She called scared and I encouraged her to quit. We talked about feeling selfish and guilty, leaving our jobs in healthcare. I reminded her that staying healthy ourselves would keep us from becoming patients in a system that is vastly overwhelmed, or about to be. She lives in a very rural place with few resources and there have been a few cases already. It's an impossible call. So far, I am doing what I can do from home for my clinic and so far they are ok. Had a baby last night. I'm doing virtual visits and admin stuff and sewing masks. And participating in chart review.

I don't know where we are today with social distancing and 'flattening the curve'. It's the daily 'fireside chat' with our governor. So grateful for our governor.

May we all be healthy and safe and know we are each beloved.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

See this is what happens when we humans disappear. The animal kingdom reasserts itself, as we knew it would. As the skies clear up and the water runs clear again, the earth healing herself is made visible.

All hail the animal world. Especially the goats of Wales.