Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Morning view from my yoga mat

A few days ago I dreamed that I was living near the California coast again after 37 years of being away. As I walked down a steep gravel path with the ocean to my right, I felt sunshine as well as deep joy and gratitude. I was not with anyone but I was not alone either. The water was an unusual dark jade green. Grey whales began to appear just below the surface of the ocean, followed by golden fish with almost human faces. Sea lions came out of the ocean to be touched. Finally, a group of ancient sea turtles arrived to look into the faces of all those who stood on the gravel path. I woke up in amazement but drifted back to sleep. As I was between sleeping and waking, I heard this:

"Half of it is gratitude. The other half is being the mayonnaise."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Linda Rees, Tapestry Weaver (Updated)

Above are "River Rhumba" and "Our Folly, His Future."

When I was first living in Bellingham in the mid-1970s and after I received my first paycheck from my job as an industrial sewing machine operator in a Columbia Sportswear factory, I purchased a striking tapestry weaving that I had seen at a yarn shop in downtown Bellingham. I think of the figure as that of a lizard but it could be a salamander, both of which I sorely missed. I was new in Northwest Washington. I was deeply homesick for California. As I handed my check to the store owner, she noticed my address and told me that the tapestry weaver lived a few doors away from me. Linda has been my art friend for a long time now. The lizard/salamander is on the wall at one of my work tables. I was delighted when Linda told me that she had been putting a website together. It is like being able to visit her in her studio any time I want!

She will be showing some of her tapestries in La Connor, Washington, at the Gaches Mansion, from October through December 2010.

Also, as I've mentioned before in other posts, she is the author of Nezhnie: Weaver and Innovative Artist. I recommend it.  You can find it here.

Update on November 5, 2017:  Linda's website is no longer accessible but if you would like to see some of her work, just go to Google Images and enter "Linda Rees tapestry".

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My father became a child on Father's Day / Loved and Forgiven / Salish Sea


Here is a prayer written by my father a few days before Father's Day in 2002, exactly nine months before his death on St. Patrick's Day:

You are above all of creation.

In it You have created all universes and everything in them.

In it You have created millions of stars and planets, far apart.

In it You have created the greatest physical force in our Universe, the magnificent sun.

In it You have created the planet for us all to live on, the Earth.

In it we have You, the sun, oceans, mountains, caves, rivers, lakes, rain, snowflakes, waterfalls, forests, land, air waves we cannot see, every living creature and the most powerful force of all, Love.

Thank you my Almighty God for everything on our planet, Earth.

I ask You, my Almighty God, to forgive me for any harm I have done.

I ask You, my Almighty God, to forgive anyone who harmed me, whether I knew it or not.

You are above all human beings that You have created.

No one on Earth can be compared to You, my Almighty God.


My father signed his prayer with his childhood name, Carl William, and gave a copy to his brother and sisters, all of his nieces and nephews and to me and my sisters. He was named after his mother's father, Carl Lien.

A story he told me (or was this a story my mother told me?) is that when he joined the Navy, he discovered that his birth certificate gave his name as "Boy," and it turned out that his parents had not come to an agreement on a name for him at his birth. His mother wanted to call him Carl William, and his father wanted to call him William Carl. Until he was in high school, he was called "Carl." When he was in high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the Depression, he decided that he didn't want to be just one of many Norwegian boys named Carl and began calling himself "Bill."

My father titled his prayer "My Daily Prayer to My Almighty God."

On the day after my father died, I walked alone on a beach in West Seattle and looked out at the relatively calm expanse of salt water, which suddenly appeared to me to be much like my father. I could only see its surface from my place on the shore. I knew nothing of its depths and neither did anyone else.

"... the most powerful force of all, Love." (Carl William, June 17, 2002)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Swallows' Nest Mandala

The five Tree Swallow nestlings fledged on June 14. A House Sparrow was harassing the remaining Tree Swallow father and mother in an increasingly disturbing manner. I took the nesting box down, thinking that the House Sparrow wanted the nesting box and was going to continue to intimidate the Tree Swallows. House Sparrows are known to kill nestlings, and so I was concerned about the fledglings. The House Sparrow hung around for awhile and then was gone. This morning I removed the nest from the nesting box so that I could clean the box and noticed the beautiful spiral pattern on the bottom of nest.

The Tree Swallow father and mother have been returning to sit on the hummingbird feeder ever since I took the nesting box down.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A pause in the evening


To the hilltops, my daughter, my son
The rescue's too little to cover the slums
Cross this river deeper than it ever was
There's a pause in the evening
When prayers are supposed to be done
(Jakob Dylan)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What I Do For A Living

I'm a Production Worker. I assemble and wrap and eat words at home on a computer instead of a typewriter or a conveyer belt. The funniest thing of all is that I like the job and that when I was in high school I got a D in Typing. It's also funny when the voice recognition software concludes that the patient goes to a physican named Dr. Flying Machine.

Jacob Lawrence's Typists, 1966. Gouache on paper, 22 x 30 in.

"They say sing while you slave and I just get bored."
(Bob Dylan)

I don't sing while I slave but I do laugh more than I used to.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010