16 January 2009
28 November 2008
1. My experience campaigning for President Elect Obama.
2. The moment I heard that Indiana went BLUE. We can make an impact.
3. My mother, my grandmother and great grandmother. I come from a lineage of very strong and determined women. Abuelita shared tonight that the one thing her mother wouldn't hear of from her children is "I can't". When they didn't want to travel for 18 days on the boat from Spain to Argentina she told them this. She travelled with her 5 children ranging from age 7 to 1 to meet my Abuelito who had gone 2 years earlier. "Sí, puede" she told them. Yes you can.
4. The support of my father in pursuing my dream. He wrote: "You can prevail. Yes We Can."
5. Sleeping pups.
6. My health and strength.
Tricia and Zoe.
Gohara knocking on doors.
Busy but happy.
26 October 2008
Scene from the Broad Ripple Campaign for Change office today: All three of these very young kids are holding cell phones and making calls to Indy residents to confirm their support for Obama and tell them of the Early Vote locations. Talk about hope and a willingness to do what you've never done before!
Some fantastic photos of Obama in downtown Indy on Oct 23. 35,000 gathered at American Legion Mall and in surrounding blocks. Take a look.
I'm researching current international collaboration on climate change. There are a lot of highly instructive executive summaries, papers, webcasts for those who may have interest.
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
UNPCC (UN Partners on Climate Change)
23 October 2008
21 October 2008
12 October 2008
08 October 2008
The Indianapolis Obama rally (estimated at 21,000) was inspiring. I'm having trouble with how to channel the amount of energy I feel and this compelling, urgent drive to work for the Obama campaign on green strategy in Washington. I'm thinking on what actions to take.
New Yorker: On Saturday, October 4th, Jeffrey Toobin hosted a panel discussion with Donna Brazile, Alex Castellanos, Edward J. Rollins, and Joe Trippi. As reported earlier, Brazile stole the show.
Obama's red ceiling. For those within a interest in data and statistical analysis the ppt file is worth a read.
I identified with this: Bruce's Springstein's support for Obama in Michigan (full speech):
"Our sacred house of dreams has been abused, looted, and left in a terrible state of disrepair. It needs care; it needs saving, it needs defending against those who would sell it down the river for power or a quick buck. It needs strong arms, hearts, and minds. It needs someone with Senator Obama's understanding, temperateness, deliberativeness, maturity, compassion, toughness, and faith, to help us rebuild our house once again. But most importantly, it needs us. You and me. To build that house with the generosity that is at the heart of the American spirit. A house that is truer and big enough to contain the hopes and dreams of all of our fellow citizens. That is where our future lies. We will rise or fall as a people by our ability to accomplish this task. Now I don't know about you, but I want that dream back, I want my America back, I want my country back.
So now is the time to stand with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, roll up our sleeves, and come on up for the rising."
RALPH STANLEY RADIO SPOT FOR BARACK OBAMA Now playing in Virginia [Link]
Michelle Obama on Larry King. As consistent as Larry King was in his fear based, provocative questions throughout the entire interview was Michelle in her heartfelt, rooted responses. Wonderful job! I like her.
04 October 2008
Obama is speaking Wed in Indianapolis. I'm going with my mom and neighbor. I'm looking forward to this. I'm even more looking forward to election day when we elect him. I'm going to take that day off so I can support the process, help people get to the polls or whatever is needed. I feel pulled to be involved.
The Broad Ripple Obama office is packed full and full of action. It is exciting to be there. Today I went to a low income strip mall in the hood to register voters. I talked to a couple of soldiers in their late 50's who just got back from Iraq. One had been there for six years. He didn't believe we should have been there. He wasn't registered but after some talking agreed to register. We registered about 30 people and talked to probably 150. The remainder, outside of say 10 who were not interested, were strongly empassioned and committed to voting. A portion of these had recently just been registered by the campaign. It was moving. It was probably the most meaningful few hours I've spent in months.
I too was pleased with Biden. Hands down pleased.
18 September 2008
I received a survey from the Obama campaign which closed with a comments box. Here is what I told them.
We are a time in our country to speak in root causes and must not be afraid to go deep. While depth and complexity are very difficult to campaign with, let’s speak to the root causes simply but completely. Obama has spoken to many of these and done so with grace and eloquence.
I will only speak to one root cause.
The outside is a reflection of the inside. Where we are as a country is a reflection of the collective conscious of the American people. I am horrified at the level of messaging that so many respond to in politics, but no more than judgment and shame heals children, it won’t heal a nation. The single most important factor I can see for the Obama campaign and presidency is to continue to call Americans to their highest potential – a higher level of awareness, accountability, listening, speaking, and acting. Hold this place for Americans not only in words but in consciousness. It is a shift in awareness of people that will rebuild our DNA to an authentic and lasting change (in all of the areas I selected as most important in this survey). For us to make a marked impact on global warming our beliefs about ourselves and relationship to living things around us needs to fundamentally change. We get this internally and big things happen quickly. It is time we win our war within ourselves – not any country.
I speak from experience of having been through difficult times and having come to personal freedom and growth unlike what I understood was possible for me. This started with others who “held me large” – planting a seed that reached my core in spite of my plans.
Obama’s authentic invitation to Americans to reach their own excellence is one of the reasons I am a heartfelt and passionate supporter.
I will close with my sincere gratitude for bringing heart, intelligence and compassion to the election process. It has woken so many. Yes We Can!
13 September 2008
I have been remembering surrender.
Being in the present moment with curiosity, compassion and gratitude for life exactly as it is. In my body it is about awareness of breath. Long inhale, longer exhale. Release shame, fear and anger and my sometimes staunch ideas about who I think I am and who I think God is. Being open to for something new to enter other than my constructions. How can I be a better steward of the my own body, heart and mind and in turn be a steward for others?
Some things that have this feeling for me: filling the bird feeders, listening at work without judgement, washing my dogs in the shower, singing, dancing in my living room, yoga, honest writing, and always my visits to Arizona to see my dad.
06 September 2008
02 September 2008
The Democratic Convention pleased me. How fun to say that! I was moved by Michelle Obama's sincerity. (Katha's Pollitt's response: I Heart Michelle O'Bama.) Bill Clinton - swift, thorough, funny, engaging and direct. He called it right about the Obama being the right person to unite difference.
I spent 2 full days on the slalom course on Labor Day weekend with Rick and Connie after not skiing all season. I do things like that. I did my best, which is 6 greens. Clearly, I've got some work to do on technique - I get the buoys through strength and guts to lean vs. grace and form.
24 August 2008
A gratitude list might help me to feel more kind right now.
1. Asia. Asia is my love. I am homesick for it. I decided not to travel overseas this year with the idea of exploring my own town and neighborhood, spending less money and the green-ness in not travelling.
2. Juicing. I just discovered the marvel of juicing. Do you any of you also juice and do you have a source for good recipes? So far carrot, apple, celery and honey has been my favorite. Maybe ginger would have worked well also.
3. Yoga. I look forward to Mondays and Fridays. 2 classes a week is so much better for me than one. It really helps to have at last have a physical practice of surrender where for years it was solely a mental practice of forgetting and remembering. I have a bit more awareness when I get charged and resist. A small seed is being planted on a new art for me.
4. My parents. I can say with completeness that I feel close to and very peaceful with both of my parents. I've been through life and death battles, isolation, an ocean of grief, and real work. For some time now it has felt very easy to be in the flow of loving them.
5. Laura Wilkenson, Olympic diver. She didn't end her diving career in a gold medal as she did in 2000 -- but what grace, such kindess with herself and what loves she so openly expresses. We should give medals for great loving.
03 August 2008
Biking is bliss. I remember it now. Today I rode to do all of my errands instead of driving my car - to the grocery, to Rusted Moon Outfitters and the hardware store. I have a bike basket now which makes a big difference. Every place is closer than what I thought. It reminds me of living in Bloomington in college when I biked everywhere. It is a much more open and connected way of travelling - to feel the wind, to exert my own horsepower to meet my wants and needs, to see people and the details of their living, to stop and take a picture of the floppy, delicate flowers that I admire.
Tomorrow I am going to bike to yoga. I think it will take 30 minutes. Ned, you have inspired me to see about biking to work. I commit to try it once and report back.
This MIT discovery is exciting. How should we replicate this in the heart and mind space?
18 July 2008
Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bud, could show you the way back to God, to the source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.
- The Earth Within, Eckhart Tolle
I have gained this heightened sense of awareness for all that is alive around me. In walking around my neighborhood I see intricacies of so many gardens, of tree trunks, trees uprooted and cut down from our recent storms, layout of rocks and am noticing the distinct bird and insect sounds individually and as they blend.
In my front yard a robin in nesting.
A raccoon lives in the gutter of the house next door. He watches from his perch so still and just stares at Neko and she goes bezerk in her existential quest to jump up and show him who he is dealing with.
A katydid. I felt a little bit invasive taking her picture. Few other groups in the insect world have as wide a range of survival tactics as katydids. Katydids do everything from posing as remarkably life-like leaves to mimicking other insects in their attempts to make it through the day without being eaten.
My tomato plants are 7 feet tall. I ate my the first vegetable I have ever grown today - a cherry tomato. Excellent taste.
There so much going on in a moment.
01 July 2008
My nieces Adri and Livi stayed with me for the weekend from Ohio. We had a lovely time. Being an aunt and having kids for the weekend is a special treat for me. What joy! We made pottery, got manicures/pedicures, went hiking, shopping -- and I should not forget to mention we completed jump class with my dogs.
Livi rides horses and has a sincere intent to teach all capable animals with four legs to jump as her horse does. She has already taught her 15 pound pup and any other dogs in her neighborhood in Ohio that she's been able to convince to participate. She was wildly successful with Neko in a matter of moments. Obi did about average but did well in stealing Neko's hard earned treats.
To share a little insight into Olivia, she is one of the more courageous people that I know. She is confident, creative and trusts that she will know how to put it together even if she doesn't at the start. I love all of those things about her. It has always felt like birds of a feather for as long as I can remember.
18 June 2008
Thoughts on how to have a good time:
- Declare independence from pressures that I don’t really respect and which distort my relationship with myself. It's not necessary to do battle with them anymore.
- Pay attention to where I can be of maximum service. Lead more quietly.
- Think of my internal resources as an ecosystem. Expend energy that is renewable and restorative for me and others and not more than what I have. Likewise be aware of my capacity to absorb waste, what kinds and how much. View nature as a partner and design my living patterns around this. Learn from nature's intelligence. Nature is smarter than I am.
- Let intuition go buck wild. Explore any new place that excites my imagination and captivates me. Take note about what causes delight and where I feel at home in the world and do those things a lot.
15 June 2008
I am on my way home from Tucson visiting my Dad. He lives way up in the Santa Catalina mountains. I adore those mountains amidst the quiet and stillness of Tucson. In part because they connect me to him.
I went jogging and rock hunting and took some evening drives in the mountains. One evening I went off the beat and path in an area that was for authorized personnel only and got in trouble from a park ranger. She warned me how dangerous it is to out in the desert at night, that it is rattlesnake season, that there are mountain lions, pumas, javelinas out there. I'm not sure what harm javelinas do but I she knows better than I do. I was probably 400 feet from my car. I have an adventurous spirit, am pretty tough physically, and quite intuitive when it comes to danger. And yet in some respects she was right.
My dad and I saw a coyote. He looked puny. My dad thought he was limping. I feel such warmth and wonder any time I am close to a wild animal. I think I will go on a safari in Tanzania for my next big vacation.
My dad came to a major awareness about his life and shared it with me. Happy Father's Day to you my sweet dad.
25 May 2008
I had a lovely lunch with my mom and abuelita at my house. abuelita says i know how to set a good table. Like her I like I like fresh flowers, placemats, details.
Abuelita has been afraid of dogs her whole life and has now befriended mine.
A very good friend of mine feels far away. I suspect we won't talk for months or years.
I have a new vision for a job -- it may take a year or two to build it.blue moon drawing
me and abuelita
20 May 2008
I planted a garden this past weekend -- lettuce, spinach, squash, cucumbers, blueberry plant, strawberry plant, 3 types of tomatoes, celery, oregano, parsley, cantaloup, cabbage. I took back some of the dog's territory (which is the whole back yard) with a small green fence. Neko has already squeezed through it and explored this little magical place. But I am going to get a new fence. I love being in my yard.
I feel genuinely happy and very connected - more than ever in life. It is truly spring for me.
Decisions are coming easily and rapidly. I sold my Grand Cherokee for a used Prius. I've not been coloring my hair which is fun. It is dark blond. I will be making my way over time out of the corporate world and using my business skills for living things -- animals, the earth. It has come easily to me to reconnect with so many people from the past that I have loved or grown away from. And at the same time there are some that I see to leave be. I'm starting to acknowledge what I use in water, how I consume in general. I would consider myself wealthy by some people's standards and I consume a lot. I like the idea of using the resources that I have vs. buying more. I have a lot of food, colored pencils, bags, candles, pictures, books, clothes, nail polish, shampoos, and on and on. And with what I have there is so much that can be built, dwelled in, explored, enjoyed, shared.
I am supporting Barack Obama for President. What I feel most responsive to is that there he presents an invitation for us to sincerely engage. Can we all just sit a bit more still through the invitation for own our change? I pray and send my very best compassion to those that may feel a little or very threatened by his voice or the voice of those who support him. Yes we can!
My neighbors across the street have built a natural habitat setting in their yard, which has attracted 2 particular ducks - a female and a male. They visit every evening to their yard, sit by the duck pool, and sometimes walk across the street to my yard and hang out in the middle. I feel so pleased that Patti and Conrad's ecosystem has extended to mine.
19 April 2008
What is it that feels nourishing? Which things sustain my life and its ecosystem?
- planting, growing, watering, watching plants, flowers, trees; my yard
- day to day rhythm with my dogs
- yoga on monday
- singing and dancing
- taking pictures
- going to holiday park and sitting at the water while neko and obi run free and neko swims up and down the river
- going with joanna to visit her horse (blue) and his horse family
I welcome a change. Sometimes I get to a pattern where things that feel like this I do when I'm on vacation or maybe some small part of the weekend. This is really my life and the rest of it the background.
15 April 2008
I value very direct communication, authenticity, accountability, intimacy and an environment that supports each of us reaching our highest potential. I feel a sense of responsibility, joy actually, in helping to create that for others and most importantly not to limit that for others based on my own fears. If and when I do, then I feel responsible to own it and grow through it.
10 December 2007
I was on a plane 2 weeks ago from Indianapolis to Austin heading west to see my father in Tucson. I changed flights just that morning because I didn't want to get up at 4:30 a.m. for my 6:00 a.m flight.
We were waiting to take off and there was one last passenger slowly making his way down the aisle. He was struggling a bit. He looked to be in his nineties. He was dressed in a red sweatshirt and carried a brown women's clutch and a cane. He grabbed the seats on both sides of the isle tightly inching down with each step. Make no mistake, he was determined to make his way on his own. There was a sense of the sublime in this moment I and felt blessed that he was to take the middle seat next to me.
The first thing he does is smile at me. The second thing he does is start talking in words I couldn't clearly make out, but then I see he wants to share what is in the women's bag: 6 or so Depends diapers. He was explaining their attributes in great detail and that they are made in all sizes for both men and women. The man on the right side was a very kind soul. We had an instant bond as hosts for our new friend in the red sweatshirt. He talked almost the whole flight and I listened. I learned that he was a builder, had 5 children but one had died, taught his son how to make stain glass windows, and many other things. I think I understood about a third of his words.
We were interrupted by the flight attendant who made a point of telling him that we were going to Indianapolis. I corrected her that we were leaving Indianapolis and she corrected me to insist that we were going to Indianapolis. Later when I got up she pulled me aside to tell me that this kind man has severe dementia and had found his way from Orange County, California to Indianapolis to visit his wife. I also learned that she passed away ten years ago and that his son was trying to get him back home.
So this tender life that was sharing with me became a bit more so, and also a little sadder. I got back to my seat and he proceeded to tell me about his wife and myriad other things. It was heartbreaking to be in his presence and at the same time life preserving. What I remember about him most is how earnest and intent his eyes were.
I had 2 small rocks shaped like hearts with me. My plan was to give one to my father and one was for me. One was a shiny red one that a hispanic maid at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando gave me. This heart rock was from her home. She had seen my brown heart rock and inquired about the meaning of it. She made a point of remembering to bring her red one for me before my conference ended. I decided that her gift belonged to him.
He smiled and said that it was very sweet of me. Then he immediately put it in his mouth with the instinct of a child presented with candy. I laughed out loud and suggested that maybe he should take it out. He took my suggestion and put in his oxford shirt pocket underneath his sweatshirt. Then he changed his mind and put it in his t-shirt pocket underneath his oxford shirt. He showed me that both shirts were tucked in so the heart would be more safe.
About half of the time I'm awake and paying attention. In this case the message was so clear: be kind and cherish him.
We were in the first few rows and upon landing the plane members and crew patiently waited for him to slowly make his way seat by seat and finally to his wheelchair. I left before seeing who it was that was to greet him. It felt like it was too private of a moment and not mine. But I did feel grace again with me and was grateful to him.
25 November 2007
Things I'm grateful for tonight:
1. Neko. So ardent about everything, such a great communicator and physically a superstar (a quarterback). Currently 65 pounds organized in a surprisingly small circle on my bed.
2. Mom and Julio. For staying until every last dish was done at my house and paying attention to every detail so that my first hosting of Thanksgiving went smoothly. For collecting special rocks for me from every place they visit.
3. Susan. For her brilliance, generosity, sense of humor and graceful way of living and teaching me.
4. Obi. Sleeping with his 2 bears. That is his story and he is sticking to it.
5. My new long, red bathrobe.
6. Asian looking tree next to my living room that my brother mistakenly calls "the pobre cita tree" whose leaves turn red at the end of November for about 2 weeks.
7. Doug. His care with words and actions and their deep significance. The warmth in his voice when I call.
8. The job I have and the freedom it gives me in my lifestyle.
9. For courage. This comes easily for me though I don't know why.
10. My dad.
15 October 2007
It has been more than a year since I've been on my site. It seemed to be the arrival of fall and visiting Peptide's blog for a moment that inspired me.
I changed jobs in September from a very large corporate job to a very small consulting firm. I had six weeks off in between, during which time I made a stone garden in my back yard and went to Cambodia, among other things.
I got a second dog. He is the yin to Neko's yang. Very quiet, patient, quite sad when he first arrived. He is a little insecure and is learning how to be a dog from Neko, although she is 2 and he is 7. He seemed to miss out on some basics dog-being things up in his life like barking, chasing, running. His name is Obi, meaning "heart" in African Igbo. He and Neko appear to have gotten married which was very sweet to observe.
I will leave with pictures from Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I will return, I think, to share with someone.
02 June 2006
The last picture of my Thailand journey was of this dear woman. She reminds me a bit of Abuelita, certainly in her small stature and her charm, but also in the care with which she sold me her items from her sparsely filled shop, the patience with which she helped me find the right sarong and how she cherished each exchange that we had.
I'm leaving a in few hours from Samui to Bangkok, then Tokyo, then Atlanta and 22 hours later I'll be home in Indy. My experience was rich with learning. I feel recharged and reconnected and, be it temporary or not, feel a gentler and more appreciative approach to life. I've got a few things to record a little later but for now here is the story of my travels.
06 May 2006
26 March 2006
I am going to Thailand in May. I've been wanting to return to Asia since I went 15 years ago and fell in love there. I was in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore. Bali in particular was what struck me. I felt a sense of familiarity and comfort. The people there had a gentleness and graciousness that I had never encountered before. I considered actually living there and not returning to Bloomington.
I'm flying into Bangkok for a couple of days and staying here. Then I'm going to Koh Samui, an island to the east of the mainland. For the first week I'm staying at Moonhut in a beachfront bungalow a few feet from the water. In the second week I'm staying at this charming boutique hotel, L'Hacienda. The best part is Moonhut costs $20/night and L'Hacienda $30.
One of the things that feeds my spirit is going to new cultures and setting off to explore without much of a detailed plan and largely on instinct. I've been wanting to do this for years and years. Somehow I didn't see how it was possible to be gone for two weeks from work or couldn't afford it or some other reason. It is time to live the life I want live as soon as I become aware of what that is. So this one I know clearly.
I will report back with my adventures...
08 January 2006
25 December 2005
Christmas didn't have the weight and emotion that it typically carries. Our gatherings were nice. Some of my family is in the UK (Celina + family as well as my brother). Yesterday we got together with my other sister, Marcie, and her family at my mom's and today I made brunch for my mom and Julio at my house. I was pleased with how my brunch turned out (eggs with cheese, spinach and onions; toast; fruit salad with mostly berries; coffee from my french press; juice). Mom and Julio left. And that is it. It is quiet here in my house - not much in the way of sadness, maybe resignation on some level.
Rain on Christmas. Not what I expected. It is actually raining slush - not good for a walk which is what I'd planned to do today.
Neko begins her existential-like quest with the squirrels every day with renewed enthusiam regardless of the rain, snow or temperatures. This is her job. They remain mainly on the power lines and high up in the trees and don't seem fazed by her calculated attacks and full speed lunges at the fence. The other day she was really fired up and was barking at the fence for a good hour. I learned that a squirrel was just on the other side of the fence devouring her kong filled with peanut butter. Kongs are heavy things; I've no idea how that little scavenger picked it up as it weighs more than even a hefty squirrel I'd guess. The guy had eaten all the way through the rubber and had most of the peanut butter. I understand why Neko was pissed. This was her second kong. Probably this guy or one of his unscrupulous homies took the first one as well.
Happy Holidays to all.
30 August 2005
I originally thought Neko was not so smart. Wrong. She was sick when I got her which accounted for her apparent zen-like, passive demeanor. She seems to get a little more clever and peculiar with each week that passes. She's escaped 5 times, seems to enjoy "performing" when she knows I'm watching, responds in unique ways to tones and words, and seems to know no bounds in resourceful ways to acquire the things that she wants. This puppy, she's ALWAYS got to be chewing. It is as she is saying to me in her varied behaviors, "Don't you get it? I must chew. 40% of the time I must be chewing". If I don't give her a bone from my "bone chest" she will acquire items that are not hers to satisfy her dog given right to chew (most recently defaced my secure id token to log into work remotely). Neko is my best friend, and the funniest dog I know. Bar none.
Work is looking up. It seems that I may have job opportunities within 3 organizations at the company where I work. I'm getting a little more clear about what my mission is in this particular industry and this company.
Things I'm grateful for:
1. the cool night air tonight after it rained. first hint of fall. it reminded me of my friend john.
2. exec dir i recently i've been recently working for who is very bright and has taken an interest in my career. i really like people who are fast and get it quicker than i do or at my pace.
3. seeing my mom retire and begin to de-stress and really open up. she has started a political organization with her friends here in indy. it is another instance of life's predictable irony. seeing her fighting for minorities (e.g. gays and afro americans) -- the same mom who had incredible struggle and drama with my best friend who was lesbian and my black boyfriend who i was with for 5 years.
4. danny f. he is on most gratitude lists i make. danny loves baseball. i mean LOVES it. he started coaching his son's baseball team. he is "that coach" who plays the whole team in all of the key positions rather than playing his 4 best players (pitcher, first, second and shortstop) against the other team's 4 best players. i would have expected nothing less from him. he says the parents and kids seem to get it.
5. the urgency with which neko responds to any object which i throw for her to retrieve inside or outside. she can be counted on to be back in 10 second flat.
6. neko's desire to immerse herself in water - splashing, dunking her head, drinking, rolling, stretching, swimming. she will use her water bowl, rain, the White River, mud pit at dog park, my shower, her pool, the toilet. snow will be fun.
7. feeling out of grief and in peace. ready to enjoy.
23 July 2005
04 July 2005
Neko moved in two weeks ago. I got her from the Humane Society. She was in another dog facility prior to the HS and before that who knows. She's 18 mo. old, 60 lbs, and my guess is that she is a lab/american staffordshire terrier mix? She is kind and loving to everyone she has met, housetrained, strong, good at playing ball, and comes within 5 seconds of calling her name and looks up at me attentively just like in this picture.
She comes in when I'm sleeping in the morning as the snooze goes off (so she comes in about every 8 minutes for 30 minutes) but waits until I actually get out of bed or show signs of being awake to get all frantic and wagging and excited. No whining or noise, just her checks to my room to survey the situation. I tend to pretend I'm asleep during this time and she allows me that. I dearly love this about Neko.
I have low expectations about her ever developing into a watch dog, but I suppose anything is possible. She's never barked at a human being to date, and certainly not the ones who come to visit.
Neko learned to use her doggy door a few days after I got her so she lets herself out into my back yard as she likes. I'm working on teaching her to come when I call her outside amidst free reign to run for miles (inside it is like clockwork) so I can let her out anywhere. We went to Holiday Park and she was eager to get in the river. Very fun to have a companion on my hikes.
25 May 2005
Child in Red
Sometimes she walks through the village in her
little red dress
all absorbed in restraining herself,
and yet, despite herself, she seems to move
according to the rhythm of her life to come.
She runs a bit, hesitates, stops,
and, all while dreaming, shakes her head
for or against.
Then she dances a few steps
that she invents and forgets,
no doubt finding out that life
moves on too fast.
It's not so much that she steps out
of the small body enclosing her,
but that all she carries in herself
frolics and ferments.
It's this dress that she'll remember
later in a sweet surrender;
when her whole life is full of risks,
the little red dress will always seem right.
Rilke - translated by A. Poulin
22 April 2005
My dad moved back to Indy last May after 12 years in Tuscon in order to have support as he gets older (he is 77). As it turns out he doesn't think he can be happy here, in part weather and in part history. After a lot of frustration in trying to decide, he seems to be moving towards moving back. We are looking at assisted living communities.
I struggled for a short time about what this means, but I've come to some peace about it. I had this thought that the universe was bringing my dad 'back' to me after something like a lifetime away, that he'd be able to work things out within and without, and that we could share some years together before he passes. But, in fact, his desire is not to do 'work' on himself and deal with what the feelings that come with Indianapolis and his history here. My awakening was that this life of introspection and working through fear is mine, not his. Anthony DeMello has a quote that goes something like..There is nothing selfish about living the life that makes me happy and nothing more selfish than expecting another to live that life. He's tired and wants to be warm. I had this feeling of...he wants die there, the place that feels like home. How can I not support that? I do.
I'm so due for a rest and some recreational time. My work life has been 65-70 hours a week for a while. So, I'm going to take a trip to Guanacaste, Costa Rica at the end of May. I'm delighted. I can't even express what a wonderful thing it will be to be there, rainforests, volcanos, mountains, howler monkeys, talking to the ticos in Spanish. I've never been there but I sound as I have. I've been reading a bit on it and have a vision for what my trip will be.
Kate and Pete: Congratulations on the birth of Lena. What a sweet little thing she is. I loved the picture of Emie holding her. One little person loving another. How good.
31 March 2005
A loved one passed away last night. Iris was a marvelous, beautiful, strong and courageous lady. I spent just a few minutes with her last week and felt such deep respect for the life she has lived and how well she has loved her children, John, Bob and Mary. Love and peace to you sweet Iris. Bless your kind heart.
24 March 2005
There was a shephard mix that someone wanted to find a home for at work. Raina is her name. She is 18 months old. I fell a little bit in love with her picture. But yet, Heidi is absolutely right in that a dog is not so good for very busy people. So, I'm waiting.
However, two days ago I made a trip to Marsh at 11:30 p.m. to buy a bag of cat food and two bowls. It was an instant decision, as with many of mine. I decided to adopt the black cat who seems to have made her home underneath an old desk in my garage. She darts out at the speed of light at the sight of me. I'm hoping in the spring...when I'm out in my garden planting...she'll tip toe around the corner and look at me. And then maybe just hang out in the back yard and not be afraid anymore. I suspect feeding her might go a long way to realize my vision.
There is a good reason why my garage door is open and available for racoons, possoms, cats and who knows what other animals have been foraging through my trash (I find my trash spread out throughout my garage on a regular basis. Gotta get lids!) . My garage is leaning about 15 degrees to the right. So the door doesn't go down in temperatures under about 40 degrees. It is really quite a sight to behold. I've noticed the males who visit say something immediately and my female friends don't seem to be interested in this quirky part of my house.
And so what will I name her? That is my question. Any ideas?
Kate, It was a treat to hear from you! I will call you soon. Love you.
17 February 2005
I've started this new chapter at work which has me working 70 hrs a week. Sounds awful and can be, and at the same time I'm within some sort of significant growth spurt in terms of leadership, patience, conflict resolution, simply coming out of my shell and blooming. Mentally I feel better than I have in a long time. I think I may be out of the picture for Book Tanque for a bit.
Ancient sage. Pat McD, Pat Smith, Patrick Neer and me went on a 5 day hike in Kentucky one summer. 3 Pats and Silvia.
Holly. This was in the house I shared with Gabi and Patrick N. On the corner of 2nd/Fess I think. Of everyone Holly was really the most fond of Ned. She was downright passionate in that regard.
Sweet Kate. Dancing in Chris's garage.
Pat McD and me visiting Jess during one of our adventurous evenings.
06 February 2005
This thrills me.
I'm reading The Places That Scare You and am really enjoying it. Thanks Liz and B for mentioning it.
The temperature have been in the 50's the last couple of days. Awesome. All of the snow melted as of today. I went for a run along the canal this afternoon for the first time since it got cold -sometime in November I think. It was wonderful. I really love the changing of the seasons here in Indiana. I've been buying flowers to have inside my house every week in anticipation of spring. I bought some tulips and hydrangeas this week - the bulbs I'll replant in the spring.
Tried the Black Peppered Cashews from Trader Joes? Highly recommended.
We were hanging in the Carmel High School smoking lounge getting ready to graduate. I didn't smoke but always hung with my buds who did. Remember Chris and Jessica? Two of my best friends in high school. Chris and I still keep in touch. She has twins that are 4 years old.
23 January 2005
16 January 2005
08 January 2005
Ned spoke about memory in his blog. It is a given that of all that I experience and learn, there is a small component that I retain over time. It has always been interesting to me the experiences or moments I choose to remember, be they mundane or profound. They build a home in my memory and awaken at unexpected times. They become timeless. Memory's recollection of them often seems to be brighter even than the original. I can see this in the sweet moments and in the painful periods. I look back at the dark times of my life with reverence because they are now accompanied with understanding and purpose. They gain beauty. So, the point seems to be cultivating that reverence and trust in the here and now.
I ran around in the snow last night around 12:30am in a state of glee. I felt like I was 8 years old. It was my favorite kind of snowfall. Big, puffy flakes and lots of them. Has the feel of being in a cartoon or make believe world. Except it's real.
04 January 2005
Many days of rain. When it rains there is a rather loud tapping noise against my house, my gutters I guess. I had this thought that the noise would gradually go away, as if my house would get used to the rain and then be quieter. Then I realized that was an odd thought.
Life has been a little bit quiet. I've noticed that I've been spending more time with my parents. This is new for me and newsworthy.
I say Ray with my mom. Outstanding performance by Jamie Foxx. Go and see it for that reason if not the music. We saw it at the funky Greenbriar theater where tickets are $4 and you can order tolerable pub-style food. For a sparsely attended, pobre-cita kind of venue, the employees oddly seem to take pride in the place. I remember feeling glad to be there. My mom simply dug it. When we walked out of the theater she had the energy of a young girl, excited. She asked, "what are we going to do next?". Her cool chicks out on the town sense of it was very cute. Where do you go with your mom at 11pm on a Wednesday night? She then asked, "can we do this again?". She stopped her car in the parking lot on the way out. I pulled up next to her. She had stopped to call my grandmother and was telling her what a nice time she had. Very sweet. Once in a blue moon we find an avenue on which to connect.
I spent NY's eve with my dad. We tried a new restaurant (La Piedad, which I go to once or twice a week) - kind of big deal for him at age 75. Azul waited on us, of course. I sense that he has a fondness for me, which, I might add, is as gentleman-like as it gets. After a little controversy with the sauce not being on the side and whatnot, it turns out he likes the place. One more place we can go to outside of his normal places of comfort (MCL, Steak n' Shake, Denny's....). Then we went to my house and watched Collateral, which we both enjoyed. We had a toast with water and a piece of cheesecake. We were back at his apartment by 10 or so. I think he had a good time.
2004...not my favorite year.
25 December 2004
17 December 2004
The word from Michael is that Pat McD's annual holiday party is on! Date is Dec 23 starting at 6p. I'm planning to go and then on to the Patio to hear Otis Gibbs and Tad Robinson. (Btw, I've been in touch with Angie Watson (formerly Phelan) and she says to say hello to everyone.)
Below is a poem that Eliza, my neice, wrote when she was 8 years old. I love the line about the paint roller.
Shy is blue as bluebird's eggs
hidden in a bush.
Shy is a chipmunk
Shy is a cloud
always covering the sun.
Shy is a door
open to some and closed to others.
Shy sounds like a paint roller
Shy moves like a bunny.
Shy lives in you
12 December 2004
It is so funny to me how I'm annoyed with pop culture lingo in its early popularity and for a long while to come, and then very often lose my ground and become a late adopter. I've no interest in sounding ridiculous like all of the other cow-ish people. I felt this way about both 'dude' and 'right on', which I later found great use for.
Every so often I make a list of who I'd like to be at my wedding. It has nothing at all to do with the wedding or marriage; rather, I'm enamored with the idea of all of the people that i really love being in one room celebrating with me. The list changes and there are some constants. Lately, I've envisioned Abuelita as my maid of honor. One of my many recurring fantasies. Another is my funeral, which feels far more self-indulgent. I'm watching all who loved me and how I've impacted their life. Another is this wonderful and carefree dancing with one or another of my female friends in front of the stage at a show that we go to. While I dance sometimes, it isn't really with someone and not as free and celebratory and charming as I imagine this to be.
I have a recurring dream that I'm in hiding with a group of people in a large building or house. I can't make out the place but it resembles Nazi Germany. It is a fragmented group of people, not my family or not all of my family. I'm very young though I'm one of the leaders. Usually there is a point in the dream where they come and we flee on foot. Rarely is there a sense that the danger is gone, it is more about the business of survival. Another dark recurring dream is that my car is missing and I can't get to my destination. I try walking and biking without much progress. Then I backtrack thinking maybe I can find my car. It has the feel of Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus, with less hope and transcendance.
I am feeling sad and tired of sad. Can you tell? Long story, recurring theme, recurring players. I change slowly with each evolution. I left in my car and turned Sun Kil Moon up to drown out the feelings for a moment (didn't work) and went to see Ocean's Twelve (loved Julia's Julia near the end). The cold feels good tonight. Bring on the winter cold and the snow, more truth, whatever.
05 December 2004
I had a wonderful visit today with Kate and Deanna. Deanna was in town from Texas for the weekend. It has been 7 years or so since I've seen either of them. I enjoyed every minute of our long talk. It was so good to laugh with them. It felt very much like back in the days when our close-knit group of friends all lived in the same town. We've grown up and our lives have changed but it was as if no time has passed. These are two women that I absolutely trust.
This is my neice Livi, short for Olivia. She and I are buds, always have been. Livi is courageous and spunky. She wears her cuteness well, one of those little girls who knows how to receive a compliment.
This is my house. I love coming home.
04 December 2004
The fact that people have in this sense been cowardly has done infinite harm to life; the experiences that are called "apparitions," the whole so-called "spirit world," death, all these Things that are so closely related to us, have through our daily defensiveness been so entirely pushed out of life that the senses with which we might have been able to grasp them have atrophied. To say nothing of God.
But the fear of the inexplicable has not only impoverished the reality of the individual; it has also narrowed the relationship between one human being and another, which has as it were been lifted out of the riverbed of infinite possibilities and set down in a fallow place on the bank, where nothing happens. For it is not only indolence that causes human relationships to be repeated from case to case with such unspeakable monotony and boredom; it is timidity before any new, inconceivable experience, which we don't think we can deal with. but only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn't exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.
For if we imagine this being of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it is obvious that most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth. In this way they have a certain security. And yet how much more human is the dangerous insecurity that drives those prisoners in Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their cells.
We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares have been set around us, and there is nothing that should frighten or upset us.We have been put into life as into the element we most accord with, and we have, moreover, through thousands of years of adaptation, come to resemble this life so greatly that when we hold still, through a fortunate mimicry we can hardly be differentiated from everything around us. We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors, they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love them.
And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
I was thrilled to find a Spanish translation of Letters To a Young Poet for Abuelita for a Christmas gift. I have always wanted to share this book with her. This book is a collection of letters from Ranier Maria Rilke, German poet born in Prague, to a young aspiring poet about being an artist, solitude, sadness, love. Given when it was written (1903-08), Rilke's ideas about relationships and women are a bit beyond his time. Letter 7 and Letter 8 I really appreciate, though it all is worth reading and re-reading. I like Steven Mitchell's translation.
"It is obvious that most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth. In this way they have a certain security". --- That I live within a very narrow sliver of reality is something I've become more and more aware of, and though I've transcended a number of behaviors that made my world very small, this seems still very true for me in the emotional and psychic realm.
I worry that my kindred bloggers will stereotype my blog as linear, that is, one dimensionally focused on the sweet things like love and trees and desire and sadness. My recent blogs might make that case.: ) To that end, my old boyfriend, Doug, often referred to me as the girl who is "running through the field with the lilies" which always gave me an image of Laura Ingalls and her field.
On an unrelated note, I recently cancelled my home phone service and am using just my cell along with broadband. Let me tell you that I feel lighter! As an aside, Vonage seems to be a good deal for those who have broadband and want regular phone service with all the usual amenities.
Tomorrow I am meeting Kate and Deanna for coffee! It has been 6 or 7 years since I've seen them. How great is that~
24 November 2004
Some things I am grateful for in this moment:
1. thanksgiving with my dad tomorrow. it will be the first time in 12 years.
2. that my dad moved back here from tucson and we are able to spend time together
3. my friend danny flanigan
4. my curly hair
5. abuelita. she turns 88 on Friday.
6. the huge tree in my back yard whose base is as big as 5 people,
7. my relationship with my brother john, which has grown so much in the last year
8. my wonderful home which i absolutely love. it is me!
9. beginning to reconnect with some of my old friends from a long time ago: michael, ned, amos, jim, clint...more to come
10. my physical strength
12. john kerry + those who supported
13. that my friend bob is doing well
14. tennis. just started playing. dig it. was promoted to the 2-2.5 level for tennis lessons.
15. outing with my dad on monday buying tennis shoes and having coffee at starbucks 16. a little girl named grace
17. that i'm alive, awake, and feeling everything
18 November 2004
What is love at first sight but the response of a soul crying out with regret because it realizes it has never before been recognized?
-Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces
I met someone several years ago which felt like this, who I mentioned once before. A chance meeting that stopped me in my tracks. It wasn't the claiming of my life's mate, or an overwhelming sexual attraction; it was something much less tangible. It felt like my soul woke up from a very long nap. We talked for about 50 minutes and found layers of our lives that had been woven together for years, though unbeknownst to us. The best description I can come up with is this unique and very big feeling of hope about life that I felt upon leaving that conversation. Some months later our paths crossed, are still crossing this way and that. The end of the very long story is the regret is parting, with the many partings I've experienced with people I love. Not because of any one person in my life or because of this person, but I've come to recognize it myself and know it well.
I wonder, does everyone go through a similar slow, terribly painful journey through the Desert? Mine has taken me through prolonged grief and darkness, particularly from childhood. On the other side of which is great joy, a new delight in living, loving people a little less selfishly. I falsely presume that lots of people are exempt or bypass it, or so their lives look from the outside. I think to myself, whew, are we done? Let's get on with livin'.
Fugitive Pieces arrived one day in the mail as a handmedown from Celina. I wouldn't have picked it on my own. I cherished much of it. (Amos, for whatever reason I thought you might like it as well).
11 November 2004
I found out today that my sister, Celina, and her family are moving to London.
I have always been very close to Celina as far back as I can remember. When I was very little I had this incessant habit of sleepwalking into her room and getting into her 1 person bed. This was accompanied by my arm falling activity (arm falling on her). I always wondered why she was so tolerant of this. Maybe if I have a child it will come to me. My hairstyle then was a fountain on the top of my head designed by Celina which I thought quite fancy. There was one pretty major moment in my life when I truly needed to ask for help. She was the one person in the world that I felt I could be honest with about what seemed unspeakable at the time.
They are moving because of a job change for Mike. It should be a really good experience for Eliza and Delaney. They are 13 and 11 now. It will be really different with them so far away, but I feel optimistic about it. I've been taking life in with a little more trust here recently. I so look forward to visiting them.
07 November 2004
We are not to know why
this and that masters us,
real life makes no reply,
only that it enraptures us
makes us familiar with it.
-Ranier Maria Rilke
I ran into a dear friend this morning in our neighborhood cafe, in what seemed to be a very tense moment for me, him and his date who oddly stayed a few paces away. I long for the day when that connection feels less so or finds its home.
I delayed raking my leaves (lots of huge trees in my yard) because the blanket of orange, yellow, red freshly fallen leaves feels so comforting to me. It was once spring but today fall is my favorite season.
03 November 2004
This is difficult to take in - four more years of the Bush adminstration. I feel very sad and unable to concentrate today.
I feel moved by the volume of new voters this year.
Can I apply the compassion that is needed for the consciousness of this nation?
02 November 2004
30 October 2004
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)
24 October 2004
I had a very cool talk with Abuelita today while she prepared her wonderful polenta. It is the first time we've ever talked politics. I was not surprised to find out that we see things very much the same, although her views are from a much broader knowledge base than mine. 87 years of living and A LOT of reading. She said that the Argentine papers do a respectable job of reporting the actual news. That is refreshing. Abuelita has been campaigning for Kerry to her Latin American friends here in Indy and educating them on the history of Bush. Apparently after her talks a good number of them are no longer undecideds.
22 October 2004
The Master always left you to grow at your own pace. He was never known to
"push." He explained this with the following parable:
"A man once saw a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon, too
slowly for his taste, so he began to blow on it gently. The warmth of his
breath speeded up the process all right. But what emerged was not a
butterfly but a creature with mangled wings.
"In growth," the Master concluded, "you cannot speed the process up. All
you can do is abort it."
Anthony de Mello, SJ
In the confrontation between
the stream and the rock,
the stream always wins -
not through strength but by perseverance.
--H. Jackson Brown
20 October 2004
I'm giggling. This is a strange feeling. My first post to no audience, or an unknown mysterious one.
The best moment in my day today was a message on my cell phone from my dear Abuelita. She was calling to report that the small plants I'd given her months ago (1 tomato, 1 pepper, 1 melon) were now bearing healthy fruit and vegetables. I was absolutely sure that they would thrive. Abuelita is one who cares for things, living or non-living, with more love and care than just about anyone I know. I brought them to her just after her sister passed away. Abuelita bears loss so honestly and completely and amidst that she manages to love life all the more. It is probably already evident that she is a role model for me, an angel really.