Sunday, January 29, 2023

January 29, 2023: The beginning of Mandala #76 (still using non-dominant hand) and a mysterious dream / Reruns from January 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2007: Two Witnesses (1984), We Were Talking About The Anger Wars (1985), Woman Turning Toward the Light (1985), Woman with Window (1985), Untitled (1985)




In my dream this past week, my father abandoned me, seemingly unaware that I existed. I didn't sense cruelty. He was just oblivious, walking further and further away from me. This had happened before in my dream life. This time I ran after him and confronted him, told him how angry I felt at being abandoned. He looked at me blankly and then he crumpled to the ground crying, asking me to comfort him. He could not handle my anger. He was a small boy again. I felt compassion for him and comforted him.

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Now for the re-reruns:




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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023: 25 miles north of here is Canada / Reruns: January 20, 21, 22, 23, 24: Working with Intuition and Three Angels (1984/1992), Middle of the Journey (1984), Person with Helpers (1982-1984), People Listening (1984), and Homage to Edvard Munch (1984)




 Cross That Line

“Paul Robeson stood
on the northern border
of the USA
and sang into Canada
where a vast audience
sat on folding chairs
waiting to hear him.
He sang into Canada.
His voice left the USA
when his body was
not allowed to cross that line.
Remind us again,
brave friend.
What countries may we
sing into?
What lines should we all
be crossing?
What songs travel toward us
from far away
to deepen our days?”

Naomi Shihab Nye

It’s pretty intriguing to follow poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s idea that most of us actually “think in poems” whether we know it or not. Rarely, as she points out, do you hear anyone say they feel worse after writing things down. That, she says, can be a tool to survive in hard times like these, to anchor our days and to get into a conversation and community with all of the selves that live on in each of us at any given moment — “your child self, your older self, your confused self, your self-that-makes-a-lot-of-mistakes.” We also hear her read her beloved poem “Kindness” and tell us the story behind it.

(from introduction to interview with Naomi Shihab Nye)

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And now for the re-runs:



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"... We always did feel same, we just saw it from a different point of view ..."
(Bob Dylan lyrics from "Tangled Up in Blue')


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"... My dreams are beyond control ..."
(Bob Dylan lyrics from "Dear Landlord")


Thursday, January 19, 2023

January 19, 2023: "You are not alone across time" / January 15, 16, 17, 18 19, 2007: Untitled Conversation (1984), Untitled (1984), Untitled Witness (1984), Gion Festival (1984), and Person with Questions (1984)




“Remember,” Bryan Doerries likes to say in both physical and virtual gatherings, “you are not alone in this room — and you are not alone across time.” With his public health project, Theater of War, he is activating an old alchemy for our young century. Ancient stories, and texts that have stood the test of time, can be portals to honest and dignified grappling with present wounds and longings and callings that we aren’t able to muster in our official places now. It’s an embodiment of the good Greek word catharsis — releasing both insight and emotions that have had no place to go, and creating an energizing relief. And it is now unfolding in the “amphitheater” of Zoom that Sophocles could not have imagined.

(from a transcript of an interview with Bryan Doerries, from the On Being archives under the topic of "Creative Life." I listened to the edited version previously and have now listened to the nearly 120-minute unedited version.  I listen while doing my yoga practice because I am unable to sit still and listen to anything of any length unless I am driving long distances.)

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Thank you to Colette for her thoughtful comment on my previous post:

I think if done with real meaning and intent, telling someone you are sorry when apologizing also involves distress and grief. I have apologized feeling intense distress and regret at times.

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Thank you to 37paddington for her kind comment on my previous post.  I don't think of myself as an angel, but I know for sure that the three children are angels to me, carrying their message of love and hope and joy from South Sudan.

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And now for the reruns:




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Saturday, January 14, 2023

January 14, 2022: Children and music; Soh-ree vs Sah-ree / Reruns from January 11, 12, 13, 14, 2007: Emily Dickinson with Paintbrush (1984), Sarah Before Laughter (1984), Imaginary Brother as Botanist (1984), and The Cat is Not Amused (1983-1984)




Today I visited again with my friends who are temporarily hosting a Sudanese refugee family.  I brought my tuning wrench and tuner so I could tune the autoharp I had left for the three children to play.  It was a joy to see two of the children again and to meet their mother and to see the third and youngest child who came upstairs later when it was time for all of them to go with my friend to the nearby park.  I had the wonderful feeling that I had met the mother before.  Maybe on the next visit I will meet their father.  The parents are taking English classes at the community college that is within walking distance of my friends' home.  The children can't go to school until they have a permanent residence, but that will happen soon.  The children are already well on their way to learning English.  

It doesn't take all that long to tune each of the 36 strings of an autoharp.  Once the two children had seen how it was tuned, they took turns playing it for the two hours I was there.  I showed them and their mother YouTube videos showing different musicians playing the autoharp.  I left the tuner with the children because they are learning the alphabet and understood that the tuner shows that each string is either A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or one of those letters with a ♯.  

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Although I was born in California and lived there until I was 23 years old, I have always said, "I'm soh-ree," rather than "I'm sah-ree."  It used to puzzle me when people would ask where I came from, assuming I was not born in the United States.  A few years ago, I heard a local person talk about "soh-ree" vs "sah-ree."  It turned out he was born in Canada.  We live 25 miles from British Columbia.   Four generations ago, my ancestors lived in Canada.  Isn't it amazing that the Canadian pronunciation has come down from my great great grandmother to me?  I'm sure that I learned to say "I'm sorry" at an early age. One of the first things I learned from my Spanish lessons on Duolingo was "lo siento," which is translated as "I'm sorry" but actually means "I feel it."

 I can hear my mother's voice, "Say you're soh-ree," which I understood to mean I had done something wrong and needed to make an apology.  Interesting to find that the source of the concept "to be sorry" is a word meaning to be distressed, grieved or full of sorrow.  When people say, "I'm sorry," it is different from saying "I'm sorry you had to go through that."  One use of sorry involves apologizing and the other expresses distress, grief or sorrow.  

Any thoughts on this?

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Now for the reruns:



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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

January 10, 2023: Full Days: Running to catch up while looking around and listening / Reruns from January 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 2007: Gardener with Ideas (1984), Woman Dancing By Herself (1984), Imaginary Relationship (1984), People With Their Eyes Closed/Baby Girl (1984) and Woman Listening (1984)


A family of river otters have made an appearance in the past week.  A neighbor saw this one from her porch and called another neighbor who has a telephoto lens and took this photo.  A few days ago, early in the morning, I saw this same otter scampering around on the flattened cattails.  Nearby were two other otters who looked as if they were tumbling in play together, partially hidden by the standing cattails. What a joy!

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While doing my daily yoga practice, I've been listening to the On Being archives under the topic of "Creative Life."  The Joy Harjo and then Hanif Abdurraqib interviews are the ones I listened to in the last few days.  I listened to the short versions of all the "Creative Life" interviews and now am listening to them again in the unedited versions which last up to 90 minutes.  Every single interview has been memorable and an inspiration to my creative work, giving me access to a vast community of creative people.


“Though we have instructions and a map buried in our hearts when we enter this world, nothing quite prepares us for the abrupt shift to the breathing realm.”

"The saxophone made it across the big waters and was introduced in brass bands in the South. The music followed rivers into new towns, cities, all the way to our new lands. Not long after, in the early 1900s, my grandmother Naomi Harjo learned to play saxophone. I can feel her now when I play the instrument we both loved and love. The saxophone is so human. Its tendency is to be rowdy, edgy, talk too loud, bump into people, say the wrong words at the wrong time, but then, you take a breath all the way from the center of the earth and blow. All that heartache is forgiven. All that love we humans carry makes a sweet, deep sound and we fly a little.”

(Joy Harjo)

"To love oneself is hard work. But I think it becomes harder when you realize that you’re actually — at least, in my case — required to love multiple versions of yourself that show up without warning throughout a day, throughout a week, throughout a month, throughout a life."

"Yeah, but I will say that I think I’ve learned to mourn in a way that just isn’t rooted around sadness and/or longing for a return. And that feels better, because I think I’ve learned to mourn in a way that is celebratory, that is expressing gratitude for the real gift of carrying the memory of someone who is not here anymore — and not only carrying that memory, but carrying everything that person gave and carrying everything I learned from that person while they were still here."

(Hanif Abdurraqib)

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Bev, living in Nova Scotia for years now, is blogging again.  She was one of my earliest blog friends.  Take a look at her archives to see why I enjoyed her blog so much.  Her blog had several lifetimes prior to the 2008 beginning of the lifetime of her current blog.

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Now for the reruns:



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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

January 5, 2023: Running to catch up, making glorious new mistakes along the way / Reruns from January 2, 3, 4, 5, 2007: Witness with Courage and Witness with Blue Hair and Woman Looking Up, followed by Yom and Karuna


Thanks to dreaminginthedeepsouth, a longtime blog friend from Alive On All Channels

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The "ghost" Amaryllis trio greening up and growing rapidly under a light bulb that I keep on 24 hours a day because I don't turn on the heat here unless the inside temperature drops to 55 degrees.  The Amaryllis trio needs warmth.  

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Syed says:

“... Man, as I was saying before, maybe Dylan is not for everyone.  He has a super-unique style in the sense that it’s so Dylanesque, you know.  It’s not meant to be anything else, but I love it and I think it’s because I’ve come from hip hop ...

Possibly only of interest to those to take an interest in Bob Dylan:


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Sunday, January 1, 2023

January 1, 2023: Love in Action / Rerun from January 1, 2007: Girl with Mask









Grateful for the calendar art work of Nikki McClure, which has accompanied me through many years, keeping my sense of hope and wonder alive.

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Girl with Mask (1983), by am


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Love to all, near and far, in 2023 and always.

Friday, December 30, 2022