Thursday, August 28, 2008
I haven't had a chance to watch my tape of the convention speeches last night, but I listened to the roll call live from my desk at work yesterday!
I can't wait for tonight and I am in love with the symbolism of having Barack accept the nomination tonight, 45 years later... (I would have been equally proud to have Hillary accept the nomination tonight, by the way)
Dr. King, as always, thanks for everything ...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Seen at the farmer's market in Arcata:
Tasty treats on the side of the road:
From the inside of a drive thru redwood:
Amidst the giants:
Imagine these little guys going around in tight circles, seemingly chasing their tails:
About thirty shots later, I got one green baby wave:
Still learning how to use this camera, but it looked great in person:
Imagine this as your magic fort:
Like clouds, these dead giants contain limitless posibilities:
Graveyard of sorts:
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Outside the ranger station along the Avenue of the Giants:
We stopped in a little town where I might want to live one day: FERNDALE.
This is the place I would buy if I won the lottery:
Another house I liked:
One for Nimia:
And I didn't get a shot of the fantastic cemetery, the houses on the hill where I really want to live, or the picturesque downtown... you'll just have to imagine it, or rent the movies Outbreak or The Majestic, I am told this town was where they were filmed (at least the on location parts).
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Since the meditation retreat, I have wanted to have a daily meditation practice. Just a few minutes every day – 10 or 15 – in silence to center myself – to ground. I also set as a goal at that retreat to find a meditation center locally where I could develop a sense of community. What I miss most about organized religion is the sense of community you find there – not the coffee and donuts after service type, but the energy that flows through a religious or spiritual place. It is such a strong current. In those spaces, where I can empty my mind of the contradictions I feel about religion, I feel held and protected while I open myself to the universe and its messages. I experience my spirituality as vulnerability. As such, it is both a very open and tender experience as well as a scary place. When I am centered and grounded, I am also exposed, necessarily since only open channels can receive messages from the universe.
It was exciting, scary and wonderful, therefore, to be invited to attend a local people of color meditation. It was not necessary to get an invitation since it is open and I have known about it for awhile – sometimes walking by the center and looking longingly at the doors but not going in. For my friend who invited me, it was also comforting to know that she would not walk in there alone.
I hadn’t sat in meditation since a brief visit to the retreat center over a year ago. I was nervous about the pain I might feel sitting, whether or not I would be able to turn off the mind and avoid the distractions. For thirty minutes, I sat in silence, much of the time chiding myself for not having an empty mind, hearing the cars and the emergency vehicles pass on the street, aware of every twinge of every muscle. At times I was convinced that I could not make it to thirty minutes sitting. As some points I had to remind myself to unclench, let go, breathe. I followed my breath, watched the colors dance in my mind, wished some love to thoughts of people who were haunting me, trying to let go and be. When the bell called us out of silence, I was not ready. I guess I had been having a “good” meditation.
I sat open and ready to hear what our teacher wanted to share. She exhorted us to think of the baby -- open and feel, willing to experience life without thinking or analyzing -- just be with the world and discover the joy available.
Then we were invited to share. Many people shared sweet, intimate observances about their practice. Others asked questions about the talk. One wonderful woman shared the poem she had written to herself that morning to celebrate her 58th birthday. As so often happens to me when I meditate, I sat in silence and tears welled in my eyes. This is only significant because I am so tightly wound that I have great difficulty crying. I felt as though I had shed many layers. Think back to that baby -- or small child -- elated to have shed the layers (including diapers) and run around the room ecstatic to be free. I am not saying I was getting ready to flash anyone in the room, but it was a sense of freedom and liberation from those layers that made me feel stronger and yet more open at the same time.
It was a beautiful experience. I am planning another visit to this center in the near future, but up next is a Monday night at Spirit Rock and hopefully some silent meditation at my own house as a regular practice.
Monday, August 11, 2008
In a nutshell, Pfc LaVena Johnson's parents were notified of her death in Iraq in 2005 --- they were told that she died of a gunshot to the head that was or wasn't self inflicted, no definitely it was suicide -- and by the way, just ignore the signs that she was raped and beaten.
I thought I had a lot more to say about this....but just recapping the story turned my stomach.
Read the articles, listen to her dad on Tell Me More and then tell me what you think.
I understand that war is hell -- but I cannot imagine that anyone thinks this is ok -- I cannot imagine how the military powers that be sleep at night knowing that they have created a situation where young women serving their nation turn into punching bags -- and that's ok, we'll just call it suicide.
Ugly, depressing, disturbing and not inspiring any flag waving notions for me.
We need to get the hell out of Iraq.
Friday, August 08, 2008
In any case, I wore red for the good luck associated with red in the Asian traditions... and it just so happens, I already got some.
Some good friends are getting married today! Out of the blue, I get a call and a can you be free in a little bit... WOO HOO ... they did it like this last time, too. We have all been asking and asking ... are you going to get married again? It was always, we'll wait until after November and see how this thing plays out. But, maybe they just didn't want to plan a big thing and having it on a special day if it works out is better.
Anyway, I just read Andrea's blog entry this morning and she was thinking about a wedding she shot this weekend, and I realized, this is exactly what I need to be writing about.
It's all about the LOVE ya'll. Get out there and get you some! Congratulations S and S!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I added these lovely flowers in an attempt to lower my blood pressure before I have to back out and brave the streets -- that is to say the crazy drivers.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Either way, it is a powerful statement and photo.
Thanks, Zoriah. I wish I had the $25/month to subscribe to your photos. Sharing these images with the world is important work.
It is an interesting thought to consider his work sensationalism in a world where we photograph famous people doing perp walks, or famous people sell photos of their newborns (regardless of how the money will be used) -- war is real and people die, but all we get is the reports that "the surge is working." Do we ever stop to think what "working" means?
Listen to his discussion with Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation yesterday.
I was discussing this with a friend the other day in regards to asking for what I want -- aloud -- and to the person from whom I want it.
She was concerned that perhaps she wasn't speaking in the right tone to the universe -- because she wasn't getting what she wanted. In fact, she was recovering from finding out that she was fairly definitively NOT getting exactly what she wanted.
It helps when you ask and you get --- it reinforces your belief -- but their is still a power in asking. I guess if you ask and ask and don't get, you might feel beaten down.
But I am feeling more and more powerful by asking -- sometimes I vocalize and decide how I can make it happen for myself, that is with no extra help from the universe. Somehow it is affirming just to ask.
It takes courage, the bravery I sometimes I feel I lack, to ask because behind every ask is the chance for disappointment. But, if you decide that the worst that can happen is that the universe (or the person) will say "no," then perspective may take over. The perspective to see that being courageous can be more powerful than getting what you want.
At least, that is my glass half full mentality. It takes a lot of work and every day practice to see the silver lining. I am trying to train my mind to see the world through the glass half full -- hoping that someday these more lovely and affirming thoughts will filter into the subconscious. I dream of the day when the inner voices whisper the silver lining about anything and everything in life. I want to believe in my soul like I do in my head ... just like the seeds for these lovely flowers believed they would emerge from the snow in Alaska.
Monday, August 04, 2008
That is to say, I over promise myself... and then some things get done, but clearly not all of them.
At the end of the day, even when I feel somewhat accomplished... I still feel that I failed to get all that I wanted to get done.
Sometimes, the reminder that I need to do certain activities -- like WRITE which is the way that I process -- gets underscored in my sleep. Yes, my sleep.
For the past three days, I have awoken from a nice, deep sleep from the most disturbing dreams. Not nightmares, exactly, but bad dreams. Dreams in which things that I don't want to happen in real life feel painfully close to reality, in which I feel alone and/or betrayed and in which I have to work way too hard to get what I want.
I don't enjoy these dreams. They trouble me... and I don't like the emotions that are displayed in seemingly neon signs in the themes of these dreams.
Balance eludes me... and I need to make just one thing my priority right now ... processing the emotions, whether that be through meditation, long walks, or writing.
Wish me luck, and peace -- seemingly in short supply in my sleeping hours.