Sunday, December 1, 2019

The day the Buddha sat down



Maybe some of you have seen this already.  It just came to my attention yesterday.

Today while beginning my December tradition of reading a chapter a day of A Winter Walk, I saw that some December since 2006 (when the book was published), I had made a note about Bodhi Day, which comes on December 8.

I had written:

The day the Buddha sat down.  He was 29.

On first watching the video and not paying close attention, I didn't realize immediately that the walking person was a young woman.  I was struck by what I thought was the vulnerability of a very delicate young white man whose physical presence seemed to have little to do with the voice of an edgy elderly Jewish/Buddhist man as his death approached.  Now that I know that the walking person is a young woman, everything shifts.

This November was the month when I finally cried long and hard and felt relief.

Here is what November looked like in Bellingham, Washington, this year:




















Another yearly tradition is purchasing a Nikki McClure calendar.  I bought my 2020 calendar as soon as it was available.  The November page for 2019 celebrates a quiet family moment, and it gave me a sense of peace each time I looked at it.  Maybe I will give it a permanent place on the wall next to my drawing table when January 2020 arrives.



It was only on a second viewing of "Happens To The Heart" that I saw that the sitting figure rose into the air.  Too much like Mary's Assumption.  Oh well.  I experienced that rising with a sinking feeling. I wonder what Leonard Cohen would have thought of that image accompanying the end of his haunting song.

Then I remembered William Blake's words:

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

And this:

If you don't realize the source, 
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from, 
you naturally become tolerant, 
disinterested, amused, 
kindhearted as a grandmother, 
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, 
you can deal with whatever life brings you, 
and when death comes, you are ready.” 

 Tao Te-Ching

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Revisited



Revisited in the Davidson County Sheriff's Office jail in Nashville, TN.

And sung by women:





Early version:



Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Celebrating Mandalas Made By High School Students / Mandalas As Blessings / Little Wheel Spin and Spin / Intense joy and sadness co-existing inseparably





Click here:  Mandalas!








That is something else new for me to listen to while working on my next mandala.

Buffy Sainte-Marie came to mind, too, from all those years ago:



One thing leads to another.



"This song comes from a strange zone where intense joy and sadness seem to co-exist inseparably."(Brendan Barry comment on YouTube)

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." (John Muir)

Sunday, October 27, 2019

La Casa En Mango Street



In studying the Spanish language, Sandra Cisneros has come to my attention.  I hope to work on Mandala #46 later this week while listening to our public library's copy of the CD titled "La Casa En Mango Street."  Now I have a goal of being able to read Sandra Cisneros' books in Spanish in the future.

Grateful to have met another kindred spirit through the magic of words, I'm almost finished reading our public library's copy of this collection of stories from Sandra Cisneros' life:

A House of My Own - Cisneros, Sandra

Oboe

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Joy Harjo / "She Had Some Horses" / "Fear Poem" / Mandala #45: Starry



This extraordinary 1:42:53 event begins at 6:30, with only anticipatory audience sounds previous to that.  If there isn't time for listening to something of that length, I hope there is time to listen to this:



and this:



(both of which are performed during the inaugural reading)

Stepping away from my Spanish language studies, I listened to Joy Harjo's inaugural reading as the current U.S. poet laureate and at the same time was able to complete Mandala #45, my third mandala for 2019.  Nine more to go.  That would be at least one a week until the end of the year. 

Hmmmm.  It's been a complicated year on so many levels.

We'll see.

I'm grateful that I first learned of Joy Harjo's poetry in 1997 and that her poetry will be heard by more and more people in these days when her voice is needed more than ever.





















Although my social time and energy is currently limited, I continue to read your blogs and send love to all from the land of cloudy skies of great beauty:


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Learning Spanish has become a full-time job as I work on my mandalas and everything else



Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma.

Listening to songs in Spanish helps me in my learning process.  The world feels new.  I think of you, Sabine, knowing several languages, several ways of being in the world.

Twelve of my framed drawings and paintings (dibujos y picturas del alma) from the 1980s are on display and for sale at a local independent store.  Legendary Vinyl sells vinyl record albums and turntables on consignment.  


So much to do, so little time.  And yet, it is enough.  More than I ever expected.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Mandala #44: Some say "elsewhere" and some say "within" / Esperanza


















"Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. In short, I think that the deepest and most important form of hope, the only one that can keep us above water and urge us to good works, and the only true source of the breathtaking dimension of the human spirit and its efforts, is something we get, as it were, from “elsewhere.” It is also this hope, above all, which gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now." (Vaclav Havel)

For years, the words in orange were taped to my drawing table.  My experience since then is that my deepest form of hope comes from withinDoes it matter where hope comes from?  That it came to me at all at this time of year in 1987 after years of hopelessness is astonishing.  Just now I'm recalling once again what an English professor at UC Irvine quoted in 1967 or 1968 (my first year of college), "Words do our thinking for us."  Is there something that exists without words?  All the light we cannot see?



We were talking
About the space between us all
And the people
Who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth
Then it's far too late when they pass away
We were talking
About the love we all could share
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there, with our love, with our love
We could save the world, if they only knew
Try to realize it's all within yourself, no-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you
We were talking
About the love that's gone so cold
And the people
Who gain the world and lose their soul
They don't know, they can't see
Are you one of them?

When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we're all one
And life flows on within you and without you

Saturday, September 28, 2019

"We are the survivors of the great flood" (with update on October 1, 2019)



Update on Tuesday, October 1, 2019:

Go directly to Freddie Lane's YouTube channel to see the above video as well as "We're Running Out Of Time" (Billy Frank, Jr., interview) and "Protecting Our Heritage," and other videos Freddie Lane has posted that are worth taking the time to watch.