Thursday, October 15, 2009

Days of miracle and wonder

I’m falling up.

My day was full of momentum. As easeful as drifting downstream on an inner tube. As dizzying as a gut-busting joke.

This morning I watched schoolchildren pour off a ferry into Sausalito. A group of girls peered over the railing at the dock, fixated on crabs that were crawling between the rocks below. A group of boys oo-ed and aw-ed at pelicans dive-bombing for fish in the bay. Their instantaneous fascination with the surrounding world brought a huge grin to my face. The adults, scurrying to move the kids along and rather oblivious to their surroundings, made me chuckle.

Next on the agenda was some self-pampering with a good friend: steam room, sauna, tasty sandwich, coffee… yes! At lunch, my friend handed me a piece of paper, the workings of an idea she’d come up with for a solo performance. The contents of this tiny slip of paper were hilarious, incredibly brave and so JULIA. I haven’t yet found the words to express what an impact her art making is having on me, maybe soon… I so often walk away from our interactions feeling giddy, reminded that I’m still a child in many ways, and happy to be so. The fact that a pigeon shat on her arm greatly contributed to my giddiness on this particular occasion.

Both of these encounters this morning left me with a good taste in my mouth. Having a nice start to the day transformed my normally dreaded Thursday work routine into a much more enjoyable experience. Funny how that works.

Falling up is kind of like waterslides without gravity. I hope others get to feel this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stuck-in-the-mud banjo blues

I’m running on low today. I’m feeling ready for a change of pace. August came and went. September’s about to go too, and I’m starting to get a tires-spinning-in-the-mud feeling.

The good news is: my jubilant friend and I are putting up a creative work in a few weeks (which includes guest appearances by near-as-sisters buds, and a parental visit); I’ve started playing the banjo; I miss dancing and performing just enough so that I might actually get my butt into at least one class a week; my Vipassana course is edging nearer; I’m calling a farm to see about an apprenticeship this week.

Some pieces are about to get moving… I hope.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Poem

This happened to me on Saturday.

UNTITLED (for now)

The coming and going of the moon
bright and soft in the coming
fire and haze in the going.

She crept out along the clean, fog of day
singing in opulent shades
of morning wind.
Bowling me over at a glance.

She took the long way ‘round
a rolling curve
to flee rivers of sunlight
and meet me in the crook of
stars and city lights.

In resonant burnt orange tones
she left me a path to sail upon
and I drifted back to her, singing

The coming and going of the moon
opal and allure in the coming
rapturous and obscure in the going.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Been a while… I’ve been distracted. It’s the um, birds…

Nostalgia sets in. Yerba mate and Correo Aero and the nearing return of a soul chunk. The smell of the Headlands. Golden light in the grass.

My life feels a bit like stew right now. Everything’s thrown in and mashed together. Each bight renders a different flavor, reminiscent of the focal stew essence. It’s pretty delicious. I hope that others might also receive even a hint of these flavors. They’re of a variety that ought to be shared.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Birds...

Sing songs...

I like it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Scramble Head

Jealousy seems to have become directionlessness and groundlessness. Those ness-ish-type words.

Do you ever feel like you’re speaking a completely incomprehensible language?

Do you ever judge people for judging people? And then judge yourself in turn for judging them?

I know I’ll make it back to loving kindness by the end of this ditty. The dance-along may be a bit hectic, the pre-conceptions a bit rigid, but we’ll sing it all out. The human beings know more than we give them credit for. Find their little lights and you’ll beam all day and night. I have more than a few friends that would grab my hand if I needed something to hold on to. Each breath that enters and exits my lungs sounds like waves. My day name is DoveTree. I’m remembering the lighter side...

Monday, June 22, 2009


Part II:

I am feeling jealous…

In this particular moment, this is what jealousy feels like:

I have a cloud looming over my head, zapping me with lightning every time I move. Usually the zaps are small, but occasionally the charge is so high that I feel paralyzed, dominated, stripped of my core. Pretty fucking lousy.

So this is where I am. Feeling unpleasant feelings. They are just feelings. They provide me with an opportunity, an awakening of the heart. Though lightning is dangerous, I can also use it as a source of power and strength, if I can learn to let it run through my body without hindering the flow. There is more to me than these jealous feelings.

Soulstice Journey :P

Yesterday, the summer solstice (the longest day of the year), I did the ritual circumambulation of Mount Tamalpais. A group of 40 or 50 of us took about 10 hours to walk a 15-mile path around the mountain, with stops for lunch and chanting around chosen sacred points along the way. The idea was to walk silently, though people became more and more chatty by the end.

It was… long. 15 miles is a long walk for a body out of practice in walking long distances. It was also stunning. The landscape in this particular area is so varied, I felt like I had gone through several worlds by the time we made it back to Muir Woods parking lot. It was also healing. A chance to be with good friends and be silent.

By the end it seemed like my mind had walked about 3 times the distance that my feet had. I would like to get back to meditating more regularly, and this walk reminded me of that.

What a blessing to spend the solstice on a journey with people I love dearly!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Inspired by...... ME

Tomorrow I might wake up and look like this...

That would be ok.


I have the urge to act with uninhibited irreverence. Which might, but wouldn’t necessarily involve:

1) Throwing baby owls at Obama

2) Stringing carrots on my neighbors’ cars

3) Limiting my vocabulary to 5 words for 5 days

4) Closing my eyes anytime I engage in conversation with a member of the opposite sex

5) Snarling every time I walk past a eucalyptus tree

Monday, June 8, 2009

Savor the crumbs



I seem to have dedicated a good portion of the recent years in my life to pursuing human drama and mischief. Or have they pursued me? Regardless, they have been part of my experience.

I’ve been caught with each finger in a different cookie jar. Chocolate all over my face. Crumbs coming out of my ears. It hasn’t really served to only eat sweets, so I’m learning to cook vegetables. I’m practicing restraint.

Sometimes my taste buds scream for the whole pie, but I’m eating one morsel at a time. Better to savor the moment.  A little craving inspires better poetry anyhow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Troubled Sleep

The dreams about boy are back with a vengeance. They aren’t so helpful. I’m avoiding sleep…

A think think think. A think think think. A think think think think goes my brain.

Take a breath, lie down, loving kindness. Take a breath, lie down, loving kindness. 

A think think think. A think think think, A think think think think goes my head. 

There are lots of owies, and there are lots of smiles, and there are lots of scrunched noses, and there are lots of raised eyebrows, but only a few puckered lips.

Mr. Negator is heading up the elevator now. I’m working on flipping the switch that sends him back down, or maybe just turns the elevator off. Not now Mr. Negator. I’m busy. I have an appointment with contentment.

Anyhoo… bedtime has arrived.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Jump into alive!

Oh mamma, it’s been a beautiful morning. Scarlet pimpernels, ice plant, light house, chocolate chip cookies, and climbing quietly out of bed.

Now my dear friend is making a call, and maybe it means I’ll stay a little while longer than I expected. A new bird flew in the door last week, and maybe it means my summer will fare a little less lonely.

Good day to you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Old Woman

A Mary Oliver poem…


Aunt Leaf 

Needing one, I invented her—

the great-great-aunt dark as hickory

called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud

or The-Beauty-of-the-Night,


Dear aunt, I’d call in the leaves,

and she’d rise up, like an old log in a pool,

and whisper in a language only the two of us knew

the word that meant follow,


and we’d travel

cheerful as birds

out of the dusty town and into the trees

where she would change us both into something quicker—

two foxes with black feet,

two snakes green as ribbons,

two shimmering fish—

and all day we’d travel.


At day’s end she’d leave me back at my own door

with the rest of my family,

who were kind, but solid as wood

and rarely wandered. While she,

old twist of feathers and birch bark,

would walk in circles wide as rain and then

float back


scattering rags of twilight

on fluttering moth wings;


or she’d slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;

or she’d hang in the milky moonlight

burning like a medallion,


this bone dream,

this friend I had to have,

this old woman made out of leaves.


There is something truly glorious about a wizened old woman. I have often found the role of a grandmother to be much more appealing than that of a mother. Can’t I just skip the part where my children can’t stand me and go straight to being the adored and wise being that little ones go to for stories and wholesome cooking? I guess grandmotherdom is the reward for all the years of mothering toil.

At any rate, I’m not a grandmother, or a mother for that matter. I do have a hankering for contact with some grandmother wisdom. I am sending out a request to the universe for a grandmotherish mentor, or an aunt leaf. I would love to learn the stories of a weathered woman.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Today has been one of the more difficult ones. It’s been two weeks since boy told me he wasn’t romantically interested. Thursdays, therefore, are bittersweet. It’s the only day of the week that I’ve done the same thing consistently since about the time I moved out here (that is, take a yoga class taught by the head of maintenance in the Headlands). But because he happened to tell me right before my yoga class two Thursdays ago, it seems that the trauma of that experience is now associated with the class. Grrrrrr. Sigh.

I guess I had gotten a bit over confident in my grief surpassing abilities. Silly me. It takes more than two weeks to grieve a death. And I think yoga is an ideal ritual to have surrounding that death. Well, there it is. More struggling. It kind of blindsided me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Poem Thing (by me!)

It happened while I was staring out the window last night...

Girl big-screen-tv windowed out

and by now neighboring 

Trees had 



Not knowing their proper names, she called them 

Dolly, Ginger and Thelma to go

with the turntable and rotary phone of her furnished

intern landscape.


When she was early rising, the four

of them watched 

Sun crawl down 


Windy days hurled them about.

She guessed at their whispering when 

Fog settled or 

Deer grazed nearby.


They all seemed to have a good laugh when

Wild Turkey gobbled past.


They had each felt a bit naked in the beginning.

Girl had averted her eyes on several

occasions—not wanting to seem a voyeur.


Leaves' filling-in and swaying and the sound of 

Ocean had brought them into the same

rhythm. They could all breath a bit easier now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


“All paths lead nowhere, so choose one with heart.” –Carlos Castaneda

I saw Gary Snyder speak in Marin last night. He shared stories about Mount Tamalpais, the largest mountain in the area where I live. He also shared the above quote. Kind of a grumpy old guy, with a clear, booming voice.

He mentioned travelling to Mount Hiei near Kyoto, Japan. He learned of monks there that would make a thousand-day ascetic mountain pilgrimage, walking repeatedly along the paths of Mount Hiei. He came to find, in further travels through Nepal, that peoples there had a similar tradition of mountain pilgrimage. Circumambulation of this nature now occurs around Mount Tamalpais.

I began to imagine a walk I might take. My heart flew to the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque. Perhaps I’ll start by heading out my door, here in the Headlands.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Support group anyone?

So, apparently grief takes a while to pass. Shit…

I met with a Burque friend today who is in the bay area for few.  She, like me, is grieving the loss of a relationship. She has been through the ringer with her guy, with more than a heaping helping of pain and drama. And the back and forth keeps lingering on.

It all sounded much too familiar, and was somehow comforting in that regard. I realize I’m not the only one in the world struggling through post-relationship grief, but it’s often easy to think that I am, in my current state of isolation. An encounter with a fellow griever was very helpful.

Perhaps I should seek out more of that… A support group of sorts? Something like My Lover Left Me For Another’s Anonymous (MLLMFAA), or Unhealthy Relationship Addicts Anonymous (URAA). Hmm… I’m liking this idea…

Still looking for a mantra…

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Everywhere to go

I’ll start with a poem by Gary Snyder…


I drove down the Freeway

And turned off at an exit

And went along a highway

Til it came to a sideroad

Til it turned to a dirt road

Full of bumps, and stopped.

But the trail got rough

And it faded away—

Out in the open, everywhere to go.


I’m looking for a mantra.

Last night I sat for thirteen minutes, asking myself over and over and over, “What am I afraid of?’

Funny thing. The answer that came up was… MY OWN THOUGHTS.

Whoa. Wow. This is HUGE. I have everywhere to go.

As I said, I’m looking for my mantra. I am hoping to plant a seed strong enough to grow up through all my old, weedy thinking patterns.

The search begins…

Friday, April 24, 2009

Exercise in post-relationship-grief-getting-out-of

Part I:

I woke up an anxiety bubble. I had gone to sleep an anxiety bubble, had laborious dreams throughout the night, and felt the worse for it upon waking. I have an unceasing inner monologue going on these days about boy. It continues even while I’m asleep.

Sometimes, my dreams about boy feel helpful. Sometimes, they feel tormenting. Last night’s dream was more along the lines of helpful. I was transferred to a parallel universe in which I got to go back to the beginning of our relationship. I was fearlessly open and loving toward this parallel universe version of him; essentially able to act upon all of the things I have ever regretted not doing or saying. The only catch was that I knew I would have to go back to the universe where things were not ok between us, and that I would have to let go of everything by some Cinderella midnight deadline, and I could not tell parallel universe boy. I was resolute to experience every possible moment of bliss. I gave of myself completely, and then went back.

Letting go. A ubiquitous theme.

So, I woke exhausted and anxious. I went to the living room, did 12 sun salutations, meditated, ate breakfast. 

Now’s a time of hunkering down and bearing it. No amount of “figuring things out” is going to ease the pain of losing my lover and friend. My grief is raw and on the surface. Best thing to do, as far as I can tell, is keep on doing.

Part II:

Post-work and dinner and winding down.

I have a crush on one of the kids I’m working with—an eleven-year-old savant with autism. I also have a crush on the baby that kept giggling on the bus. I also have a crush on the little old Asian ladies with their grocery bags and hair up in buns. I could go on and on about interesting bus people. Maybe tomorrow.