Saturday, December 13, 2014

expression adventure

rodg and stan

By far the most fun event of the week was attending Free Form Friday in a new performance space in Centennial Park, hosted by Metro Parks Nashville and Arts in the Park. I love seeing Metro do creative, cool stuff showcasing the amazing expression of Nashvillians, in this case the Voight-Kampff Duo and work by our good friend, Stan Link! Having just opened two shows of local artwork at the library, I was delighted to shift to the creative world of music (plus there was a great visual component provided by Dig Deep Light Show). Rodg and Stan played one of Stan's pieces based on a bagatelle by Beethoven that they performed together last year and it was fun to hear it in another venue. Such a treat to be nourished by so much creativity!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

full adventure

look up

What to say? So much has happened since we last spoke. So. Much. Some of it was hard. Some of it was simple. Underneath all of it was love. And now I feel like I've hit a patch of smooth river after crashing down the rapids. Here are some things I've seen and enjoyed in these past few weeks of this glorious life. And have I mentioned how grateful I am for you? Because I am.

golden leaves

fall rabbit woman

look down

fall crocus

Sunday, October 26, 2014

overwhelm adventure

fall flowers

I know, not a new theme. And this time I can't even blame it on school because I dropped out last month, thank goodness! If I'm feeling overwhelmed between work and life then I can't even imagine school being in the mix.

Here are some things that have been helping:

These words of wisdom from Wayne Muller - love that man! He is so the voice of reason, now how to integrate it...

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

What's In the Way Is the Way by Mary O'Malley

A Field Guide to Happiness by Linda Leaming

If it feels like I've disappeared, I apologize. I'm having to concentrate on keeping the home fires burning these days, but this can't last forever, can it?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

fall adventure

fall flowers

Boy, you sure would think I've been at Squam from this picture. As you can see from my posts from 2012 and 2010, this is my usual motif. While I've actually really craved being at Squam Lake on these gorgeous fall days, I took this photo at one of the farmers' markets I visited this morning. And it's a helpful reminder that I don't need to go far to get insights and messages. These days they're coming for me, with so many reminders to take it slow, to find the ease, to let go into what is, and to enjoy all of it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

friendly adventure

love is all around

I've been thinking a lot lately about something Einstein supposedly said, which goes along the lines of: I think the most important question facing humanity is, "Is the universe a friendly place?" This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.

You can see which way I'm leaning...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ease adventure

crepe myrtle swirls

I've had the good fortune to see a couple of great movies lately and thought I'd mention them here in case you're looking for something fun to watch. One you may well have heard of, and in fact may have already seen. If you haven't, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is The Grand Budapest Hotel and I want to go live in that world. Even if it is surprisingly tragic. If you like Wes Anderson, my guess is you will love this movie.

The other I'd be amazed if you've seen because it doesn't immediately look like the movie that it is. It is Best Man Down and at first glance it looks about as deep as The Hangover movies, which on second thought may have some depth, but hopefully you know what I mean. It is not that movie. It is amazing. And it is currently streaming on Netflix. Caveat: you know if it is Lizzy-amazing, it will be sad and weird. But you should watch it.

I think that's it from me for now. Catch you next week!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

there and back adventure


We were away last weekend and the internet has been down all afternoon, so this will have to be short and sweet. We had such a fun time visiting family and these photos are from a special afternoon of exploring the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Garden. It is wonderful to get away and see dear family and it is always interesting to come home with a fresh perspective. Right now I'm just feeling in love with my life. It may be a little unusual, but it fits me to a T and I feel quite grateful for it. Also enjoying a great book, The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, and finally watched The Way, Way Back this afternoon and loved it. Good stuff, my friends!

chihuly 1

chihuly 2

chihuly 3

chihuly 4

Sunday, August 10, 2014

karma yoga adventure

summer flowers

Last week I mentioned going to hear a talk by Lama Marut, after having read his wonderful book Be Nobody. In the past it would have been very likely that I would have gone to the talk, enjoyed it, possibly overextended myself to go hear his other "deeper" teachings over the weekend, and by Tuesday be on to the next thing. I don't know if it's getting older, the summer inclination to slow down and savor, or just the right thing at the right time phenomenon, but I only went to the Friday night "light" talk, which seemed plenty deep to me, and have been putting it into practice ever since. The big message for me was that of karma yoga, or doing an action for its own sake, without thought of what I think I'll get out of it. This translates for me as putting myself 100% into what I'm doing without the extra mind chatter of the implications of the action or without thinking about the next thing I need to do.

Lama Marut also encouraged decreasing our time online and at least starting the day by not turning any electronic gadget on, checking email, etc. for the first hour of the day. I had already been noticing how much I LOVE starting my day with a cup of tea, writing for half an hour, exercising while listening to some kind of wisdom (these days talks by Lama Marut, but it can also be Debra Silverman's hilarious and awesome radio show, Eckhart Tolle, or Pema Chodron), and a splash of poetry and meditation. I find that I don't check my email until I'm on the bus, which is a good 3.5 hours after I wake up - I know, I get up before the crack of dawn, but I like it that way. I also find that I avoid email and the internet in the evening after getting home and I've even cut down on lurking on my school discussion board.

I'm certainly not saying everyone should live like this, but I am finding that I'm much more relaxed and happy in my life and that's a good thing. It didn't happen overnight. The word "weaned" popped into my head when I was thinking about these changes recently and that makes me think of something you do with piglets, which means that perhaps the last time I thought about weaning from something might have been when I read Charlotte's Web. But I think in this day and age of instant everything and going cold turkey, etc., it is nice to remember that we can be more gentle. Anyway, that's what's on my mind these days. Hope you're having a beautiful weekend!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

trip adventure

welty house

stax and rodg

goner rodg

Sorry for no post last week! It's been a busy time because we went out of town this week to Jackson, MS to visit the Eudora Welty House for an upcoming library exhibit and came back via Memphis to break up the drive and have some fun, as you can see we did! Highlights of the week have included:

Falling in love with Eudora Welty. What a lovely woman. You have to hear her talk. I haven't been able to find much on You Tube, but this should work. And her niece was so welcoming and kind.

Seeing Richard Jenkins in Jackson! (I will not say where because he looks like a man who likes his privacy, although he returned my friendly smiles when I thought he was just a guy who looked like Richard Jenkins - confirmed he's shooting a film in Jackson when I got home.)

The amazing Stax Museum and a happy Rodg at Goner Records.

Seeing Lama Marut at Cheekwood at the end of the week. His Be Nobody book has knocked me out and it was a real treat to see him in person.

So much goodness! I hope your week was fun, too!

Monday, July 21, 2014

summer residential adventure

pacifica hills

Back from my summer residential at Pacifica and it has made me ravenous for stories! We did an amazing workshop with Ginette Paris and now I just want to amass a huge vocabulary of images - written and visual both. That's the big draw right now.

pacifica flowers 1

pacifica tree

pacifica feather

pacifica eucalyptus closer

pacifica flowers 2

Sunday, July 13, 2014

good stuff adventure

mr grape

I'm getting ready to go out to school this week, so I'm just going to share two things that made me smile recently. One is Mr. Grape. I have no idea what the grapes themselves are like, but I loved the packaging. "What will make these grapes stand out?" "I know - we'll call them Mr. Grape!" I just seems so The Simpsons to me.

And then I was talking with a friend about my new, and beloved, writing practice and how I have no interest in if anyone ever sees what I'm doing, that I just love getting up early and seeing what appears on the page. He recommended this poem and I loved it!

Between Races by Charles Bukowski

I know that I'm not supposed to bother
you, he said.

you've got that right, I

but, he went on, I want to tell you
that I was up all night
reading your
latest book.
I've read all your
I work in the
post office.

oh, I said.

and I want to interview you for
our newspaper.

no, I said, no

why? he asked.

I'm tired of interviews, they have
nothing to do with

listen, he went on, I'll make it
easy for you, I'll come to your
house or I'll buy you dinner at

no, thank you, I said.

look, the interview isn't really for
our paper, it's for
me, I'm a writer and I want to get
out of the post

listen, I said, just pull up a chair
and sit down at your

no interview? he asked.

no, I answered.

he walked

they were coming out on the track
for the next race.

talking to the young man had
made me feel

they thought that writing had
something to do with
the politics of the

they were simply not
crazy enough
in the head
to sit down to a
and let the words bang

they didn't want to
they wanted to
succeed at

I got up to make
my bet.

no use letting a little
ruin your

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Inuit adventure

I feel so grateful for all the wonderful things I'm exposed to through Pacifica! Our assignment for this week was to watch The Snow Walker. For some reason I was really resistant to this movie. I checked it out from the library a while ago and ended up having to turn it back in unwatched. I then bought a copy cheap off of Amazon just to keep things simple and again I just put it on the shelf until this week rolled around. And, of course, once I actually watched it I fell completely in love. Who's surprised?

I then read the short story that the movie is based on (after watching the Making Of, of course), "Walk Well, My Brother" by Farley Mowat, which can be found in a collection titled, appropriately enough, The Snow Walker. Then I fell completely down the Inuit rabbit hole and watched this, which speaks for itself.

So much goodness!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

busy adventure

nonie's teacups

I'm in the middle of an eleven-day stretch at work, so I thought I'd share this poem by Pat Schneider that I read this morning and fell in love with:

The Patience of Ordinary Things

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

poetry adventure


I've been able to work ahead a little bit with my discussion posts for school and I was so excited when I got to the linked haiku assignment that I thought I'd share it with you here. It's so fun to think of connecting prose and haiku to create a little word movie. I hope you enjoy it, too!

* * *

There are home movies from the late ‘60s of my father carrying me as a crying toddler through the lush gardens at my grandparents’ house, holding me suspended over the plants and flowers, showing me a close-up view of the place that meant so much to him, trying to soothe me, teaching me to find refuge in nature. Now, several decades later, it’s the natural world we return to, where we find points of connection. “Look at this!” we say across the distance. “Ah!” the other one says.

by the Pacific –
circling and swooping up
the swallows are back

goldfinches all day
downy woodpeckers give chase –
springtime in the South

each in our own world
the silver moon rises high
miles away from us

* * *

Also, if you're in the mood for poetry these days, like me, check out the new Poet Laureate, Charles Wright - he's rocking my world!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

magic adventure

crow rainbow

My class for school this quarter is "Time, Place, Space, and the Ecology of Creative Expression" and I'd just been reading the new posts on the discussion board that included a conversation about rain along with a classmate's beautiful photograph of a double rainbow from where she lives in Hawaii as well as several conversations about crows, when I pulled myself away to get dinner going. That's when I looked out the window to see this! And they hung around, like "Take the picture already!" This is sort of how it is feeling over here these days, like everything is connected and the pieces are falling into place. In my experience these phases never last for long, but I've learned to enjoy it while it's happening.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

anniversary adventure

anniversary flowers

My sweetie and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week. For years we'd talked about going to Venice, then it was New York City, and then a short boat ride on the Cumberland River. But life had different plans for us. Instead we had a wonderful day of creativity and conversation - just like 20 years ago, but deeper and richer. I haven't always thought I was one for commitments. Left to my own devices I can be a cut-and-run kind of gal. But I had the good fortune to marry someone who really grounds me and helps me to grow roots. Growing up I moved a lot and I think that factored in to my natural ability to just drop things and go to something new, especially when things get hard. And I'm really grateful for the variety of experiences I'd had by the time I met Rodg in my early twenties. But since then I've been married for 20 years, lived in my house for 16, worked at the library for 14, and been with my farmers for 13. I've been able to see what it's like to stick around, to go through the challenges and grow together, and the vast rewards that come out of it all. I was reading an interview with Pete Seeger in the Sun this week and a line from it jumped out at me: "You may not decide you are going to live for the rest of your life where you were born, but wherever you decide to settle down, stick it out." I feel so lucky to have ended up in such a sweet life and so grateful to have learned how to stay. So it really felt just right to spend our anniversary here, in this beautiful life that we've created together. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

inspiration adventure

GURU Lungtha

One of the wonderful things about just taking one class at a time is that I have time for things other than school and can really enjoy them! Yesterday I had the most lovely, leisurely lunch with two completely inspiring women, one of whom wrote the beautiful book, Married to Bhutan, and one of whom has a gorgeous book just waiting in her. I feel so lucky to have so many remarkable people in my life and don't take any of it for granted. What a treat!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

big adventure

ingrid and tom

The old pond,
A frog jumps in:

-Matsuo Basho, translated by Alan Watts

This was a big week! I spent a long weekend working on my active imagination paper, then helped present the upcoming gallery exhibit information at the library's Board meeting, Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey came to town and we did programming with them at the library and at Zeitgeist Gallery, and then I've spent the weekend with some art conservators working on the public art at the library, and coordinated a bookmaking workshop on Saturday. I'd seen this week coming on my calendar and knew it was going to be a big one, but as it goes with these things, all we can do is try not to panic. And it has actually been a wonderful experience! I am incredibly lucky to have the best support team of all time of family and friends and coworkers who were right there to step in any time I needed any kind of assistance. Amazing! And I've gotten better at asking for and accepting help, which honestly makes it all possible. We just can't do these things alone, and it is so much more fun to do them together!

Also, every morning I do some active imagination - I tell you, I love this stuff! I'll get into a relaxed state and wait to see if anyone or anything shows up. This week I've received incredible wisdom from a little Zen frog who appeared on a lily pad in a pond and told me that he likes to sit in the sun and then hop into the pond and then sit in the sun and sometimes sing. I've experienced frog singing at Joe's and it is amazing! Anyway, wise Mr. Frog has been a very helpful reminder to keep it simple and stay present - just what has been needed this week.

And Ingrid and Tom were completely lovely and fun and their music blew our minds, as we knew it would. Rodger gives a moving account of his experience of it here.

I hope you are having a fun holiday weekend! Enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

paper adventure

My final paper for this quarter is due on Wednesday and I've had so much fun this weekend working on it. The class this quarter has been on active imagination and I've been really intrigued by the use of this Jungian technique to explore our unlived lives. So that's what I've been up to. Not much to share, but I remembered that I'd mentioned sharing part of my final project for another class and never did. So here's part of that. Enjoy!

nyc mystery door

Sitting in the large meditation hall, I’m trying not to fall asleep, feeling both tired and agitated. The man behind me is too close. I can feel his face inches from the back of my neck. I’m worried that I’ll doze off and drop my pen and notebook, my eyelids getting heavier and heavier with each blink.

The talk is on stabilization, our natural ability to be present and to know what’s happening, and here I am actively falling into unconsciousness over and over, drifting off and coming back and drifting off again. Well, at least I am being kind to myself about it, momentarily practicing acceptance, and looking forward to climbing into my soft, warm bed.

It is hard to know what’s more uncomfortable, when the hall is hot and stuffy or when the air conditioning kicks on and a cold blast of air makes me shiver and wrap my scarf even tighter around my neck. My stomach growls – the vegan lasagna might not have been the best choice. What will I have for breakfast tomorrow? Oh, right, the talk. What have I traveled halfway across the country to hear?

The older woman in her maroon robes and short Buddhist nun haircut, whose kind face smiles out at me from the countless books and CDs on my shelves at home, is describing her fellow practitioners who’ve dedicated their lives to seeing everything about themselves with kindness, without trying to change anything, and she says she feels this is an example of how to be fully human.

“Sounds like individuation,” I think to myself, struck by the similarity between Buddhist teachings and what I’ve been studying in my classes on Jung. And then she says something that wakes me up completely: “Things become doorways to a bigger, more profound reality.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

haiku adventure

drive home from loose leaf hollow

I know, almost as soon as I got home I was back on the road again. But my dear Joe Z. was offering a one-day retreat I couldn't resist: Stalking the Wild Haiku! I drove up on Friday afternoon and back on Saturday after a day of wandering in the beautiful Kentucky countryside, stopping here and there to jot down a haiku in my little notebook. Here are a few to document the day:

On a meander -
I love walking in the rain.
And now an excuse.

Green sprouts in brown field
Rain is pattering, soft, soft.
Black cows standing guard.

Cedar heavy with
marooned, orange sea-creatures...
how mysterious!

Indigo bunting
distracts me on the road back -
no time for poems now.

The afternoon sun
dances on the back porch leaves.
Rain a memory.

The wind in the trees
and the sound of my footsteps
then a rooster crows.

Written to stillness,
my mind floats like the branches -
open and content.

Opening, closing,
the butterfly tests her wings
or just feels the sun.

My eyes love to look!
A day in nature is a
treat for mind and soul!

Joe really designed a wonderful little retreat for our lovely group - complete with a great and fitting Friday night movie for our day in nature: The Way with Martin Sheen. One of my fellow retreatants had actually walked the Camino and it was a treat to get to hear about her experience. Although I was only away for a little over 24 hours I came home in a completely different place - feeling quite held and supported by nature and community. What a gift!

And a very happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful and amazing mothers in my life. I so appreciate you all!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

library adventure

One of my wonderful co-workers shared this with me and it touched my heart and rocked my world. Hope you enjoy, too!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

california adventure


Just back from a wonderful time at school and visiting family! I feel so incredibly lucky to have all of this in my life. A HUGE thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone involved!! There are so many!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter adventure

more blooms

It is the paradox of the spiritual growth that through such bleak winter journeys we eventually come through a hidden door into a bright field of springtime that we could never have discovered otherwise. This is the heart of the mystical. It is not about building protectionist armour of prayer and religion; it is, rather, the courage for absolute divestment.
~John O'Donohue

Sunday, April 13, 2014

beauty adventure

dogwood days

I started a good book today, How the Light Gets In, and was so surprised to run across some lines from a poem I had just read in the past couple of days by Joy Harjo:

Some say God is a murderer for letting children and saints slip through his or her hands. Some call God a father of saints or a mother of demons. Lila had seen God and could tell you God was neither male nor female and made of absolutely everything of beauty, of wordlessness.

This unnameable thing of beauty is what shapes a flock of birds who know exactly when to turn together in flight in the winds used to make words. Everyone turns together though we may not see each other stacked in the invisible dimensions

I'd already been thinking this would be a great thing to quote here, but then it was such an amazing coincidence to see these lines again today, I knew it had to happen. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

wonder adventure

redbud season

What a week this was! We're doing a renovation at my work, which has us all a little on edge I think. Something happened that really got my ego all stirred up and on Wednesday night I was the closest I've ever been to wanting to transfer to a branch, to say "To hell with all this, you do it!" and walk away. And then in a moment of grace I saw it all for what it was - pain feeding pain. And then love and possibility came back into my heart and I remembered that if I transferred I would miss so many people and lose the opportunity to try out some exciting new ideas. I only mention this story because it was a big part of what put me in my current frame of mind, which is "Grounded Gratitude," a phrase coined by my friend, Joe Z. I keep finding myself singing that great line from Van Morrison's "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart": "I'm a soul in wonder!" I think sometimes we have to go through what I call "the Big Squeeze" to break through to this place of wonder and gratitude, to be reminded of what we really care about and how good we really have it. So if you're going through a Big Squeeze right now, take heart, and trust that the process will land you in a far better place.

The redbuds are blooming in the woods right now. I always really enjoy their subtle beauty and think we should have a special celebration like the Japanese have for the beloved Cherry Blossom. This means dogwoods can't be far behind and then the woods will get green and leafy and we'll forget the other more desolate costume they wear when Persephone returns to Hades. In the meanwhile, I'm going to soak all of this up! I am, indeed, a soul in wonder.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

spring adventure

spring blossoms

I just had to share these gorgeous blossoms and this equally gorgeous quotation from Rebecca Solnit's Faraway Nearby about her mother:

"After she was gone, I felt more strongly the presence of the dark-haired, yearning, thwarted young woman before I existed and the mother I must have clung to as a tiny child. The middle-aged woman who had so confounded me for decades became just one figure among many, and I missed the ancient, gentle, far-gone person who brought up the rear of the parade."

Love that! And here are some golf clubs someone left by the recycling bins at my Park & Ride. Their humble beauty caught my eye.

left behind

Sunday, March 23, 2014

documenting adventure

hyacinth 2014

Happy Spring! I'm so glad that it is officially here. And every year I get confused about when the flowers bloom, so I thought this year I would document the progress of the season. Right now the hyacinths by our back steps are just coming up and smelling heavenly and the forsythias are just starting to hit their stride. For some reason I thought they bloomed before the daffodils, but now I'm remembering they come after. In whichever order they arrive, I'm delighted to see them! As well as the blue sky today, when they'd predicted clouds and cold. Along with reading The Red Book for my active imagination class and reading The Faraway Nearby for fun this morning, I'm having a delightful Sunday. I hope you are, too!

forsythia 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

meandering adventure

trungpa spring

I should have more to report, but I find that even with one class, once I pour my truth into a post for the discussion board, I'm feeling pretty spent. I'm sure to work out the kinks, I mean, at least I'm here and there's a photo and I'll post a couple more below, so you have a trio of daffodil photos. What I can say, because I simply cannot stop talking about her to anyone fool enough to start listening, is that I LOVE Rebecca Solnit! More and more with each page I read it turns out. How can I not love someone who says this:

I still think the revolution is to make the world safe for poetry, meandering, for the frail and vulnerable, the rare and obscure, the impractical and local and small, and I feel that we’ve lost if we don’t practice and celebrate them now, instead of waiting for some ’60s never-neverland of after-the-revolution. And we’ve lost the revolution if we relinquish our full possibilities and powers.

You can read the whole interview in The Believer, by clicking here. I warn you, I predict it will make you want to read everything she's written...

In the meanwhile, Happy Spring!!

ground spring

spring home

Monday, March 3, 2014

imaginary adventure


Just when I thought winter was behind us, we had a crazy ice storm last night that thankfully mostly went north of us, but still kept me home from work today. As you can see, our bird friends were very grateful for the seed Rodg put out and I will be very grateful for the sun coming out tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here are some things I've been enjoying lately:

My active imagination class! I love my dream life. I tend to have pretty vivid dreams and it feels like there's a whole geography to this other world. I notice that I'll have a series of dreams that feel like they're all taking place sort of in the same area or years later I'll come back to a familiar place that I only know in dreams. One night years ago I was trying to fall asleep and thought if I remembered a dream it might put me in a sleepy frame of mind. Instead I remembered dream after dream after dream and could see how they were connected to different places in my dream world, as if it all spread out before my mind like a huge map of years of dreams. So you would know I'd love a class about dreams and a method Jung developed for working with dreams in a conscious and engaged way - active imagination. In active imagination I can have a dialogue with a dream figure or go back into an interrupted dream to continue the action. We're reading great stuff for this class, such as Robert Johnson's Inner Work and the founder of Pacifica, Stephen Aizenstat's Dream Tending. Yum, yum!!

Rebecca Solnit is still blowing my mind. I finished A Field Guide to Getting Lost and highly recommend it! Now I'm reading River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, which is also amazing and takes me back to my California roots. I feel like this book should be paired with Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man for a complete picture of the Gold Rush! Still, it isn't as personal as A Field Guide and to be honest I will probably put it down as soon as her newest book, The Faraway Nearby, is ready for me at the library. Described as a "personal, lyrical narrative about storytelling and empathy," The Faraway Nearby sounds like just my kind of thing!

And it is so much fun! Now that I'm just taking one class at a time I can watch movies again! Hallelujah! I've seen some great stuff streaming on Netflix lately and my top two picks, no, wait, make that three for those of us who love to watch paint dry, are: The Guilt Trip (all-around fun, feel-good movie), Unfinished Song (heartwarming and SAD), and This is Martin Bonner (slow and nothing happens and everything happens). Enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

returning adventure

reflecting ponds

And I'm back! Again. I'm hoping not to have to be away so long anytime soon. I just had to simplify for a while there. Things have been intense and while I've tried to enjoy it all, some of it has been really hard. The hardest part was that for a while my dear dad was in hospice care, but the good thing is that he seems to be doing a lot better. I am definitely enjoying that news! I finished up my last full-time quarter at school and am very excited to just be able to focus on one class at a time from here on out. And to be able to focus on some other things than just school and work! This week that has included reading Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, which is rocking my world with possibilities! I am really discovering through my school projects how much I love writing and the structure of Solnit's essays excites me in the same way books of quilt patterns used to. Now to figure out how to build in time for a writing practice... I know it can be done.

So here's what I've been learning about enjoying so far. Even in the hardest parts of this winter, there have always been things I'm enjoying and it has been good to recognize them. They may be small, but seeing them reminds me that life is a rich mixture of good and bad, happy and sad. And enjoying is really about being open to the whole catastrophe, to quote Jon Kabat-Zinn and Zorba the Greek. There is enjoying in loving someone so fiercely that you don't want them to go and in realizing how your love for them extends way beyond their physical form, that your love for them extends even into everyone around you. In fact, where isn't it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

enjoying adventure

hearts everywhere

The second half of December was hard. One morning as I was driving to the bus I hit a deer and two days later a lovely young woman I knew was killed while crossing the street near the library. These brushes with mortality really rattled me. I tried to find my footing by seeking some sense of security, but that didn't work. What has helped more than anything has been acknowledging the kindness and connection all around me, which is there even in the simplest moments such as a smile from a stranger or a friendly greeting from a co-worker. So humble, but this has been emotional gold for me. When things are hard everything feels more raw and my inclination was to try to put on more armor, but it is clear that the real power is in the connection that comes out of feeling so deeply. Everything touches me, the good and the bad. And there's a fierce beauty to it all. When I think about how fleeting life is and wonder what I really want to accomplish it all just seems to come down to love and being present. A satisfying life is one where I love my life just as it is and the people around me just as they are and I'm awake to all of it. That feels like riches to me these days.

Along those lines, it is the time of year for choosing a new word. TRUE was my word for 2013 and I feel like I lived it completely. My compass was at my True North all year and I had so much fun! I traveled all over the place and spent meaningful time with so many of my favorite people. I realized I needed to bring formal learning back into my life. I had a ton of adventures. And as usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so to speak, and I'm wanting to pull back a little. That's what I'm hoping for 2014. I'd love to really enjoy my life, to rest and to play and to savor and to be here now. So my word for 2014 is ENJOYING. I like to think that this more active form of the word will help me live it in the present. I'll keep you posted...

Happy new year, dear reader! May all your dreams and wishes come true in 2014.