Wednesday, May 31, 2023

 Since yesterday I have been in the birth center with a mom and her husband. She finally got into active labor with the help of a castor oil cocktail and breaking her water bag. She is not happy now, after laughing for many hours and having mild contractions. My partner and I worry that after all this time, she won't be able to give the big effort as labor gets more intense and finally she pushes the baby out. She had a tub, nitrous, support from her husband and doula and us. Jen and I are pretty tired. Poor Felix has been in the house all day, with a few pee breaks. I can only imagine his anxiety. My neighbors have been lovely to let him out at walk him but he misses me. Nothing to be done. 

Tomorrow is a clinic day and I'm hoping to get home for some hours of sleep. Sheesh. This is exactly why I'm done with this crazy life. I'm tired, we're going on 24 hours and she's pretty far from delivery, the specter of a transfer always there. 

So what am I grateful for? Lets see. The sun was out all day. The baby inside this mother has great heart tones. This baby has some nice and sweet parents. My fellow midwife is someone I haven't known very well and now I do. We've told birth stories (she's the mother of 9 kids) and laughed and supported one another through the care and choices we are offering this family. 

I don't want to push too hard because I'm tired. It's such a fine line between offering sage advice and recommending something that may not land or work. Midwifery is a creative process and I've learned how to be a human being because of it. Patience. Intuition. Forbearance. Wisdom. Humor. Deep listening. All of it. My first training in letting go. In trusting the process. And knowing what to do when situations are scary. 

So I'm grateful for the opportunity to, as they say in my chaplaincy training, come alongside an intense experience of another traveller. To give birth. To pass through the doorway. To be born.

Monday, May 22, 2023

 Dear friends-As you may know, my car is being repaired to the tune of $3600. I know, yikes. Well, I asked when I dropped it off if they could take out a scratch in the read fender while it was there in the shop. They just sent an estimate of $2100 for that. WTF??????!!!!!! It included the roof, the back door, replacing  a bunch of 'panels', etc. I responded with surprise and dismay, of course. The guy said they have to be able to 'certify' the repair so that's what it costs. 

Again I say, WTAF-A stands for actual. 

So I will live with a scratch in my bumper, thank you very much.

I will have to give up the Audi of fever dreams, the Audi that drives itself with the Bang and Olafsen sound system and the automatic sun roof and the keyless ignition and so on. I mean. I shouldn't be driving a car this nice. Not with a dog and gardening tools rolling around in the back. Honestly. 

It's cooled off here but Clark and I have been swimming in the lake anyway. Heaven.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

 Dear ones-

Warm and sunny, like California. That's what we have here. Clark and I will venture into the lake on Sunday, with a wet suit, by golly.

Reading some Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Catholic priest who believed in evolution and the natural world as sacred. His writings and beliefs are blowing me away. As John Muir before him, they were practicing union or merging or ecstasy in oneness. Before I float away here, I am living this experience sometimes. As did/do artists and writers and those in the spiritual life. Leonard Cohen's 'secret cord'. William Blake's drawings and poetry. Van Gogh's sunflowers. (altho that could have been cadmium poisoning).

I am trying, without success, to explain or encapsulate these embodied musings into some kind of form (form in the formless) for my thesis. Seems impossible. My advisor gave direction and used two words, 'interesting' and 'courageous' to describe my formative ideas. Oh dear. What do I do with that? A friend suggested that I just write and I might write into the answer. 

For the time being, I am reading three books at once and pretending I don't have a deadline.

And I am writing my half baked ideas here. 

Does that count?

What IS the sound of one hand clapping?

Or as my teacher once asked- Who hears?

Love forever,

Shoun (Luminous Cloud)

Monday, May 08, 2023

 Does anyone here care about the coronation? I thought not.

There have been 202 mass shootings in the good ole USA so far this year. Does anyone care about THIS?


Sunday, May 07, 2023

My knee has osteoarthritis and I dropped my cell phone on my little toe and I think I broke it. I really think this behavior should stop. I mean really. This is ridiculous. 

Darlings, I've been gardening which includes hauling bags of mulch and pulling acres of weeds. Today my dear Clark and I take a road trip to Scenic Beach on the Hood Canal (a tributary of Puget Sound-salty) to have a picnic and drive in the Audi of excess, the car I have right now. We will sing and play tunes loudly and enjoy each other. 

An old girlfriend of Eden's is now a guy. He is a Hollywood person who was in The L Word. He's here for a Trans film festival and we have been hanging out. It's been SO FUN. Last night I attended a film with three young queer actors that was brilliant. They are children being kids as well as dealing with their queer selves and supporting each other. There is beauty in their world as well as danger. Danger was a current running throughout the story. And yet, there was this innocence.. 

Before that I attended a queer kickball final that was hilarious. Felix barked and I cheered for my team (we lost big time). One of my friends is on the team so I had to go support him. Of course there was a boom box playing disco tunes and pizza. 

So I've been having a gay old weekend here. 

I'll limp along the beach with my broken toe and send all of you my love. 

Robb is on the mend, btw. It seems to be the season of broken bones and broken cars. There is a metaphor in there somewhere.


Monday, May 01, 2023


I dropped off the car at the collision place and went to the rental place and they gave me a 2023 Audi which is undoubtedly the fanciest car I have ever driven. The dash is like the cockpit of a plane. with flashing lights and warning signs and beeping noises. And a heated steering wheel. What??? And an automatic sunroof and headlights that automatically adjust when it gets dark. 

Honestly. Oh and a keyless ignition. 

But here we will stop and contemplate the sound system. It is the most splendid kind of thing ever. I called Clark because we need to do a road trip just to play tunes along the way. Great bass and boomy and loud. 

BTW, I told the nice young man he really shouldn't let me leave the lot in such a nice car. He looked at me kindly, like the young people do, and told me I'd be fine. 

So far, I am. 

I did leave the sun roof open last night. Oops. 

This just might be a meditation on the vagaries of the capitalist system that continues to entice us with bigger better more and more. Heck, I learned to drive in my mother's Valiant with the slant 6 and the 3 on the tree and a radio. I still could drive that thing even today. 

Horses got us there, maybe more slowly, but they left fertilizer behind.