Friday, June 18, 2021

Stream of consciousness while walking from my mind to my heart




I would like to experience the following as true on the deepest instinctive level.

"... if only people were granted absolute liberty, and were compelled to obey no one, they would then voluntarily associate themselves in the common interest..."
(Anonymous, paraphrased)


I'm currently reading Bouyancy of the Craft, by my blog friend in Scotland, Morelle.  Previous to reading that novel, I've bought several of Morelle's books of poetry and travel writing and am grateful to have connected with her and her literary work through blogging.  I'm recommending her books and her blog, with its splendid photographs and writing.


Thank you for all your stories of turtles, most of which have turned out to be sea turtles.  In the past few days I've remembered that someone I knew in grade school, junior high and school lives on an island in South Carolina, is involved with protection of sea turtles and belongs to the Global Sea Turtle Network.  In recent years she found me when I used to be on Facebook.  We had not been in touch since high school.  I'm no longer on Facebook but do have her email address.  I'm taking all this turtle talk as a sign to email her and say hello.



Sending love to blog friends near and far.  

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Further on / More of one thing leading to another / The Sand Talks / Gratitude

 Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World

I want to thank Beth at Alive On All Channels for introducing me to so many sources of wisdom through the world's diverse traditions that communicate through books, visual arts, theater, dance, music, and often through oral tradition written down.  Most recently Beth has been posting excerpts from Tyson Yunkaporta's Sand Talk:  How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World.  I had just begun reading a copy that came from our public library when I learned about the concept of walking the spirits of the 215 children home through this YouTube channel which has its source in the Lummi Nation, located 30 minutes from where I live in Washington State.

We are all just walking each other home -- Ram Dass.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Our June sky has many faces / Turtle Day


Addendum:  Hmmm ...  In the last 24 hours, three people sent me or posted photos of turtles and then I picked up a book I just started reading, a library copy of Sand Talk:  How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, by Tyson Yunkaporta, and was startled to be presented with a creation myth involving Turtle.  Just now as I was getting ready to get in bed and read until I fall asleep, I debated about turning over a new card in a stack of cards with proverbs from all over the world.  I keep the tiny cards on the desk in my bedroom.  I laughed out loud upon reading this:

"The turtle lays thousands of eggs without anyone knowing, but when the hen lays an egg the whole country is informed."  (Malayan)

Of course I thought of "Turtle Blues"

Turns out that Janis' first major performance was on June 17, 1967, at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Hmmmm ...

Turtle Day 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Three days of prayer in solidarity with those who are walking 215 spirits back to their families / Addendum: Further on


Especially listen at 32:30 regarding the power of song

Addendum on June 17, 2021:  Context.  Just in case this is not widely known.

This morning during the yoga and focusing-based meditation that has evolved for me, I remembered the words of Ram Dass:

We're all just walking each other home.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Yet another recommendation / Patriarchy Blues, by Rena Priest

"... to trade the sweetness of

transient pleasures for the steady sweetness
of your own voice.  To be destroyed,
and rebuilt by songs.

(from the poem titled "Toward a Beautiful Flare of Ruin," by Rena Priest


Next on my list of books to read:

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, by Joy Harjo

Friday, June 11, 2021

Another book recommendation / JUST AS I AM, by Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson was interviewed shortly before she died on January 28, 2021.  It was after reading her book this past week that I found the interview.


"... A lesson before dying -- that is what Miles, in his passing, left for me.  We don't have long here, children.  Our hopes and aspirations may feel limitless, but our days are finite, our experiences fading in the twinkling of an eye.  Death is a love note to the living, to regard every day, every breath, as sacred.  "What is your life?" the scriptures ask us.  "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14, NIV).  The Spirit is ever beckoning us to heed that wisdom, to get on with what we've been put here to do.  And whatever that calling looks like, however it may seemingly vary from one person or season to the next, at its core, it is simply this:  cherish one another.  That is all.  That is our purpose in its entirety, to bestow God's care onto others.  "Do you think Miles knew just how loved he was?" a friend asked me after his passing.  Sadly, he did not.  That awareness is why now, in these times today, I hold my dear ones ever closer.

In the years immediately after Miles's passing, I grieved in the way that I always have, between the crevices of my art.  Stepping into another's reality gives me shelter from my own.  Slowly, as I become a conduit for someone else's anguish, the raw pain of my own throbs less.  Healing, as I see it, is not the absence of pain.  Rather, it is a gradual reduction in the ache.  The lessening of the hurt eventually makes room for fond memories to surface.  Miles has been gone for three decades now, and to this day, when I see a photo of him, or else recall one of his crazy sayings (Can't no one monkey stop a show," he'd quip when someone attempted to block his path), it can take me right back to our years together.  At the start of this journey called grief, I teared up upon remembering him.  These days, I do more smiling than weeping.  Though Miles is long gone, he is right here with me.  Our love story will never be finished.  After his passing, I went out with other men, some of them in the industry, none of whom I care to name.  Nothing serious came of it.  We're fortunate, in this life, if we've known true love once.  I have and I relished it." 
(p. 346-347)


"Each of you, my dear readers and viewers, has surrounded me with the sweet scent of your presence.  When I made the choice to devote my life to the stage, I did so with the hope that I might change one person -- just one.  God heard my quiet prayer and granted it a hundredfold, with grace beyond measure over all those decades.  Thank you for your abundant love to me during my journey.  In your care, I have flourished."
(p. 406)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"Hi. I'm Aiden. Are you ready to watch the solar eclipse on June 10th? ..."

My only total eclipse experience was on August 21, 2017.  I hope to be able to see one in the future, if at all possible, and am grateful to have lived long enough to see one within driving distance of my home in northwest Washington State.  On August 20, 2017, I drove across the Cascade mountain range to Wenatchee, Washington, and stayed overnight there.  On August 21, I woke up at 2 a.m. (just a hour earlier than I usually wake up) and drove from Wenatchee to Fossil, Oregon, for the extraordinary experience of a total eclipse. As I had hoped, there were few cars on the road during my journey to and from the eclipse because I chose to travel through the sparsely inhabited parts of Washington State and Oregon.

I'm wondering which readers have witnessed a total eclipse.  Until the moment of totality, I had no idea how physically and emotionally startling and sublime that moment would be.


Annie Dillard:

"I had seen a partial eclipse in 1970. A partial eclipse is very interesting. It bears almost no relation to a total eclipse."  

"Abruptly it was dark night, on the land and in the sky. In the night sky was a tiny ring of light. The hole where the sun belongs is very small. A thin ring of light marked its place."


Here's my total eclipse mandala from 2017

Friday, June 4, 2021

Recommending Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter's Story, by Mazie K. Hirono in collaboration with Rosemarie Robotham / "... you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one .." / Northern Flicker

"... I have often wondered how it was that a quiet, watchful Asian-American immigrant girl who had grown up desperately poor could one day aspire to become the chief executive of her state.  The closest I've come to an explanation is this:  My mother had lived as if nothing was truly impossible, and her determination -- the heart of fire she carried within her, despite her calm demeanor -- had set a powerful example for us.  She had worked tirelessly to make it possible for me to become a woman with outsize dreams ..."


"... you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one ..."

Brian Zhang:


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

It could have been the gift of a full moon in the palm of her hand and then I noticed the presence of her father for the first time


Yesterday I stopped at my hall closet door to look at the flyer attached there and announcing the last exhibit of some of the tapestries which my friend, Linda Rees, worked on over a period of 50 years before she had to stop weaving due to increasing memory loss.  When she could no longer remember how to warp her floor loom, a friend stepped in and warped it for her.  Linda still remembered how to weave and was not ready to stop, but the time came when she made a conscious decision to sell to a younger weaver the loom she had woven on for fifty years, beginning at the time her only daughter was born.

While looking closely at the image I had looked at so many times before, I suddenly noticed the figure of the father of her daughter.  He is dressed in pale green and khaki.   Odd how certain important details escape us until we can see them.  

Linda and I became good friends in the 1970s when her daughter was in grade school.  I bought one of Linda's earliest tapestries from a local yarn store.  When I handed the store owner my check, she noticed my address and told me that Linda lived a few houses down the street from where I lived and said that I might like to get to know Linda.  The store owner was right.  Linda and I bonded through our complementary art work and a love for long walks.

Linda died this past December after having turned 80 years old in November.  I miss her but can still feel her creative presence and encouragement as I prepare to begin working on Mandala #62.

Although the early morning sunlight is coming through the cottonwood trees to the east as I write, the half moon is visible high in the sky to the south.  The moon keeps us company more than the sun does.  The moon is present in our sky both day and night.  There are only two days of the month when it is not lit up for us by the sun at night, but it is still keeping us company while the sun is absent. 


Hmmm ... and then there's the story of a bad moon rising first told in 1969 and continuing to be told more than 50 years later, carried forward by several generations:

"To us, the song is saying: "Prepare for tough times, but stay positive" -- an important message to share at times like these!" (The Melbourne Ukulele Community)

There's the story of the Whole of the Moon as well:


"... The moon, like a flower
In heaven's high bower,
With silent delight,
Sits and smiles on the night ..."
(William Blake, from "Night" -- Songs of Innocence)