Happy Independence Day!

Roar with me friends – enjoy the video below.

May the flamboyant joy of Tambourine Guy be with you in spirit on this beautiful day!

2015-05-20 18.21.15

 

They see me long before I become aware of being watched. They adjust to my movements silently and invisibly. Is it ignorance or arrogance to be so unaware? Perhaps neither.  They have the evolutionary advantage of having eyes on stalks.

kayaking

When I become still enough to notice my breath and feel my heartbeat I begin to detect an unsettling presence. I close my eyes and remind myself I am the one here in predator form. I open my eyes and see the trees covered with hundreds of eyes and legs and claws darting away from my gaze. Later I will learn the name of these creatures: mangrove tree crabs.  For now, we all settle back into stillness.

Deep within the mangrove a winged-thing shrieks. I gaze down at the water.  First, there’s only my rippled reflection and the clouds. Then beneath the surface a frightenly huge figure manifests itself. Surely this beast is a figment of my imagination. It’s as big as the kayak and gliding by close enough to touch.

“Um…there’s a giant sea monster coming up on your right,” I warn over my shoulder.

He doesn’t belive me. Doesn’t comment.  Doesn’t even look.

“Like the Lochness Monster…” I add.

Nothing.

“It’s huge.  Bigger than you. I hope it doesn’t turn your kayak over and eat you.” I really don’t know who I’m talking to at this point.

Maybe I imagined it.

I am the predator here, I affirm silently, though with a little less certainty.

And then suddenly there’s another monster beside my kayak – its body seems to go on forever.

“Sea monster!” I exclaim.

And a few seconds later it’s under him.  With genuine fear in his voice, “Oh shit! What the-”

There is a moment of smug satisfaction on my part before my powers of deduction finally kick in and I gleefully announce, “AaaiiEEEE! It’s a manatee!!”

I have had a glorious week luxuriating in beautiful, awesome, unstructured, unobligated, unpeopled Time, which is something I haven’t had since December.

I spent much of it in quiet fellowship with the birds, berries, bugs, and begonias.

Oh to be alone! To have time think my own thoughts. And time to think absolutely nothing at all.  2015-06-11 20.32.05And time to fill various vessels with flowers.

I’ve had time to study the secret lives of bees and to wonder why they have turned the cedar birdhouse into a makeshift hive. It’s pretty cute as far as hives go.  Maybe that’s why. A group of them hang out on the birdhouse’s front porch.  They ignore me completely as I stare and ask them questions.  They’re up to something.

I’ve had time to make the bed! Who knew how deeply satisfying making the bed could be?  I didn’t come from a home where people made the beds or where people made other people make the beds, so I didn’t discover the satisfaction of bed-making until just a few years ago. Rows of fluffy pillows and straight corners and the stuffed goat smiling down at me from atop his pillow perch – it’s all so tidy!  Happiness is a made bed — that’s what it’s come to.

I have had time to be consoled by the touch of lily leaves on my back, nourished by sun-warmed blackberries off the vine, enchanted by fluffy baby ducks, and lullabied by frogs.

I am beginning to feel human again.

 

Hiram, Circa 1913

Exhibit A. Hiram, circa 1913

Clearly, I come from a long line of distinguished goat people. It’s written in my DNA.  If you don’t believe me, refer back to Exhibit A.  That is my grandfather Hiram, Goat Wrangler Extraordinare.   My cousin, The Elitest Jerk, sent me the above picture.  She came across it yesterday while sorting through family heirlooms.

Recently, as I have dilly-dallied about the yard, I’ve been hearing the distant, but happy sound of goat bleating. The song of my people is in the air! My neighbors two doors down have made a recent acquisition.  I struggle to catch a glimpse, but to no avail. The summer foilage has grown too thick.  There is some comfort in knowing that goaty goodness is getting closer and closer to Peace.Love.Home…

In a world where color-coded tampons represent a gesture of affection just think what testament of love could be expressed in the gift of a goat…

Remember, it is the Year of the Goat.

Feb 2015 007

 

This weekend I was in the kitchen minding my own business, when he walked in and announced, “I organized your pads by size and color…”

Perplexed, I stood at the sink trying to blink some sense into his utterance. Nothing about those words or their arrangement fit into our normal everyday existence. This is not a man to organize anything by size and color.  We share a closet, you see, and I took over laundry duty years ago for the sake of my sanity. Under his charge, if clothes were lucky enough to make it from dryer to closet (and rarely were they ever), they were hung all willy-nilly, coat hangers askew, pants cavorting with shirts in an unholy way, with no thought given to color or context. This is the man whose shoes I pick up and return to the closet multiple times throughout the day.  Flip flops and dress shoes and Birks and not one but TWO pairs of work boots. All in the bedroom, but not the closet. Who puts on and takes off this many shoes in one day?

But there he was standing in the kitchen Sunday showing me proof of deed. In his hand was a Tupperware container he had commandeered for the purpose.  T’was a veritable rainbow of feminine hygiene products tucked neatly inside this cornucopia. I stared dumbfounded, mouth agape, as he followed up with, “…just in case you ever forget what love is.”

The past two months have been a study of what Langston Hughes described as “…goin’ in the dark where there ain’t been no light.” In this age, to leave the world of pictures is a shock to the system. But even in the dark there are things that can’t be unseen; their negative image lingers ghostlike on blind eyes. With shades reversed, they are ever more horrifying.  Darkness does nothing to mask the terror of impermenance.

This terror is a good thing, I suppose, for the dark times have done little to loosen my fierce hold on existence, even as other cherished notions are relinquished one by one. To be on intimate terms with both dark and light is to have the heart broken open. That space of tension is where creativity is born and where life flourishes.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others will destroy overnight.

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

–at Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta

Snow Maiden

My Soul

by Peter Mayer
There are a hundred billion snowflakes swirling in the cosmic storm
And each one is a galaxy, a billion stars or more
And each star is a million earths, a giant fiery sun
High up in some sky, maybe shining on someone

And deep inside a snowflake, I am floating quietly
I am infinitesimal, impossible to see
Sitting in my tiny kitchen in my tiny home
Staring out my window at a universe of snow

But my soul is so much bigger than the very tiny me
It reaches out into the snowstorm like a net into the sea
Out to all the lovely places where my body cannot go
I touch that beauty and embrace it in the bosom of my soul

And so brief and fleeting is this tiny life of mine
Like a single quarter note in the march of time
But my soul is like the music, it goes back to ancient days
Back before it wore a human face, long before it bore my name

Because my soul is so much older than the evanescent me
It can describe the dawn of time like a childhood memory
It is a spark that was begotten of the darkness long ago
What my body has forgotten, I remember in my soul

So we live this life together, my giant soul and tiny me
One resembling forever, one like smoke upon the breeze
One the deep abiding ocean, one a sudden flashing wave
And counting galaxies like snowflakes, I would swear we were the same

Oh my soul belongs to beauty, takes me up to lofty heights
Teaches sacred stories to me, sanctifies my tiny life
Lays a bridge across the ages, melts the boundaries of my bones
Paints a bold eternal face on this passing moment, oh my soul

~*~

Wishing you beauty and a happy forever.

Originally posted on Grace Flow Yoga:

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us this week for a restorative yoga practice. Support your own health and well-being while supporting the health and well-being of your community.  Win-win.

Donations Yoga March 2015

View original

Originally posted on Grace Flow Yoga:

Feb 2015 095

Nope, we won’t be meeting for core awareness class tonight, I decided with a twinge of disappointment as I flailed and skated down the driveway on a solid sheet of ice. I’ve been stuck in the house for two days straight and I was really  looking forward to getting some exercise and seeing the faces of friends. The disappointment faded as I stood taking in the scenery around me: the icicles adorning the magnolia tree and a pansy’s petals unfurled against the ice.  I remembered two things in that moment. First, I had not intended the core awareness class to be merely physical exercise, but an exploration of the core in body, mind, and spirit. Second, I recalled excerpts from Parker Palmer’s words on winter:

The rigors of winter…are accompanied by amazing gifts…One gift is beauty…I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky…

View original 249 more words

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