Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Friday, January 27, 2023


Dear friends-

In a few days I'll be teaching at a women's retreat in Holden Village where I did trail work last summer. One workshop is called 'Grief and the End of Grief". Ha! As if there is an end to grief. I have gathered notes from everywhere; poets, philosophers, Dharma teachers, elders, you name it. I think it will be ok except that I have only an hour and a half, hardly time to go deep. Maybe we'll just meditate. Then a few days later I'll be leading a 'forest bathing' walk in the snow. That should be interesting. And Diane is coming with me. I just pulled the snowshoes and skis out of the garage, poles and boots and that. I have to unearth my ski clothes and long johns. My dearest Clark is coming to housesit and hang with the Felix. 

Well, while about to offer a homeless guy a dollar from my car, I rear ended someone. Sheesh. The guy I hit has been so polite and kind and nice. WTF. He even thanked me for being gracious. I think it might be a lesson in choosing how to respond. I've gotten upset and scared when I've been hit so maybe I didn't behave so well. But this guy, Joe, has apologized to ME. Wow. 

Anyway, I have been talking to my car and saying sorry. She's ok to drive east of the mountains but she'll be in the shop for a week after I get back.  Possessions are such an irritant, aren't they?

Jason and I walked through my garden and he gave me pointers. I have to prune. It's a thing, apparently. In my small space, everything has become rather large so the little pathway is impassible. I even pruned the apple trees. 

Felix sits on my meditation cushion and barks at random things. It's his version of mindfulness. 

Tomorrow night Clark and I go see some taiko drumming. Should be loud and exciting. I do love the big city because there is dance and music and poetry and art. Before I get too decrepit, I want to take it all in. 

May we all enjoy the springtime as if it were our last. 

Much love. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Well dears, a rat died in my vent system. I know, yuck. And the smell is very special.  Owning a house is, frankly, a pain in the ass. My tenant's BF is moving in and he has a solution to the smell, dead body, whatever. He seems like a great guy and he has PET RATS. Gawd. I'm just happy to have another person in my house. And he seems very capable and kind. 

Diane arrives on the 2nd and we go immediately to Wenatchee to catch a ferry to Holden Village where I did trail work last summer. This time I'll be teaching forest bathing/meditation/trauma relief or some such. I really need to do a bit of prep before we leave. And joy of joys, my kids and grandson are all gonna be here for my birthday at the end of the month! Eden might even be here for 10 days. And Diane will be here too. I can't wait. I love all those people so much. 

Well. Time to swim and go get my new glasses. I have a drawerful of glasses from yesteryear. 

Chaplaincy starts up again in early March. I wrote a 'spiritual formation' paper and sent it in yesterday. It was supposedly a recap of last year. Ha! I think what I wrote was almost incoherent. Really. 


Saturday, January 14, 2023

 The sky this morning is streaked with wispy clouds. We've had rain forever but not the awful kind like California. I've been calling my friends and family there daily to be sure they are ok. As my friend Misha said, "Climate change is well and truly here". It's so disorienting to be here in my snug house on an ordinary Seattle day while other parts of the globe are getting hammered. I guess we always live in the delusion that as long as we're not actively experiencing a weather event (or a war or a pandemic) we aren't affected. But we are. We are all interconnected and we do feel the suffering. I once had a teacher who told me he read the paper every day so he knew what to pray for. We could say that prayer is ineffective. After the latest school shooting or racist attack, there is the trope of 'offering thoughts and prayers'. But if it inspires us to demonstrate kindness in our lives and compels us to act in our communities to alleviate suffering, however that shows up, thee we are leading with our hearts. For the suffering in the world is ever with us. And we are always being called to respond to it. 

This year of chaplaincy is the year we write our thesis. I've decided to study and write about elders; elder trees and elder women. I have two interviews already scheduled and I've asked that each woman find a favorite tree to stand beside so I can take a photo of them together. I'm still working on the details but I want to study the way trees communicate with one another and are 'mother trees'. How are the elder women 'mother trees' too? In a culture that wants eternal youth, I want to celebrate the old wise ones that we ignore to our peril. 

We'll see how it goes. I will be recording conversations which means that I will be transcribing those talks, not my favorite thing to do. Takes forever. 

Well, time to take the pup out. May we all find joy as we are. 

Monday, January 02, 2023

 Dear friends-

It's a new year and the sun is out after a few weeks of rain and snow and ice. Time to walk Felix for a while. I've spent a lot of time by myself these past few weeks, no longer checking anxiously my rapid covid tests. I'm symptom-free and wearing a mask whenever I'm with others in an enclosed space. On New year's eve, I hosted an intention setting meditation for my community and it went well. Folks came who I didn't know and that was fun. We shared our intentions (not resolutions!) to be kinder and more compassionate. Lovely. I asked that I be of service and at 3 AM on New Year's day, the phone rang for me to attend a birth. So there you go, being of service. Later that day a bunch of us went to a Chinese restaurant for dim sum. Boy, was it crowded. The whole parking lot was full. One couple brought their 4 yo grandson with them and I got to cuddle him. Little boys are so delicious. Reminded me of Milo at that age. 

Just watched a Netflix doc called Live to Lead with the likes of RBG and Bryan Stevenson. They are Boddhisattvas all, here to be kind and thoughtful and inspiring people. As we all are in our way. 

I host the first 'forest bathing, walking meditation' experience in Volunteer Park this Saturday. I wonder if anyone with show up...

I will go back to Kubota Garden tomorrow to garden. It seems like forever since I've been there. And Tai Chi I've been missing too. 

John goes back to S Africa and I'm so sorry to have missed meeting him. He and Eden are trying to figure out how to have a relationship when they live so far apart. I've forbade her from moving there but I wouldn't stop her, of course. It certainly would be a lot farther away from me than LA! she said selfishly. 

May this year be one of clarity, peace and love for us all.

Fish For Fallen Light

If each day falls

inside each night,

there exists a well

where clarity is imprisoned.


We need to sit on the rim

of the well of darkness

and fish for fallen light

with patience.

~Pablo Neruda