Friday, October 30, 2009

The arrival

I wish there were am accurate way to capture the emotions of the arrival.

The joy and effervecense of the eyes meeting.

The pasionate embraces holding up traffic.

The expectant looks holding hope and anticipation and a little fear.

Despite the sheriff with the menacing citation book, long kisses and warm hugs or detailed reorganization of the trunk.

Word Postcard

Light fog hugs the mountain tops, and the big orange ball dips slowly behind the line.

The burnt orange with layers of yellow and blue/purple remind us that it is fall.


From the plane ABQ to OAK.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beauty glimpsed

Just some of what I have seen in the past few weeks.

A beautiful sunset from a plane or your front step.

The wind blowing you towards home.

Spending time with your grandparents even if you can only do that at a cemetery.

Eyes squinting in amusement - finding something you have said charming or endearing.

The knowing look - I know you - te conozco, not se lo que dices.

A goofy conversation to lift your thought from the grief, if only for a few minutes.

Dinner with your new friend.

Sharing of yourself with the one person who rubs you the wrong way. We cannot give up. We have to continue to strategize how we can make the breakthrough.

Believing in the goodness of people even when they are not at their best.

Red orange leaves recently fallen from an itchy tree.

The skyline that lives in your veins and calls out, " home."

Your five year old nephew playing along with the joke he didn't know you were going to say. Vivo!

"Frogs," exclaimed from the young upon finding polywogs and new frogs in the trough.

Chencha and Lencha trying to make it to freedom, aka the back forty, through the party.

The look of recognition on your new friends face that speaks of the closeness you've achieved.

The handshake instead of the hug that tells you that your concern was noted and appreciated. (on my part it was an implied hug!)

Having music touch your soul when you need most it. Thanks, Pink!!

Loving all your parts.

Regulars commuting on the metrolink ...

When times are challenging, it is more important than ever to see the beauty the universe presents us every day

Blessed be.

May I acknowledge abundance.
May I allow love to flow to and from me.
May I embrace my gifts and talents.
May I feel beautiful and strong.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Prickly People

When it comes to kids, the more challenging they are, the more I like them. In fact, I can find a fair amount of surplus patience for them - usually - and I tend to understand their behavior - not condone - enough to feel for them the compassion that all beings deserve.

So why is it when I meet prickly adults every ounce of patience and compassion I own flies out the window?

I know I should feel their pain, anguish, frustration, etc, and want to give them a big hug.

Bit it's all I can do to keep myself from slapping then and yelling "get over it already!"

Ok I said it.

Clearly I am in need of more meditating and sending out a ton more metta.

Monday, October 26, 2009

SoCal v The World

It just hit me now that I pulled my headphones out - no one on the train was huddled under headphones. A few folks slept but only after conversing with their regular train mates.

Here in SoCal - natives or transplants who have gone native - like to chat or at least listen to people chat.

The old Bonaventure looks like a dwarf amongst all the buildings in downtown now. I remember driving to LA in Charlie just to ride in the outside elevators.

Cruising down the freeway against traffic in the carpool lane, opposing traffic has two carpool lanes! Way to own your traffic patterns!!

Brown haze rising. Another glorious Indian summer day on LA. Perfect beach day! You couldn't have seasonal affect disorder here if you tried.

I like Albuquerque and is is beautiful in seven hundred ways bus there is nothing like home beauty. It feels different. I guess it's like looking at your own kid. Others might appreciate his or her beauty but you see more than just the outside. What you know in your heart - all the memories and stories certain sights provoke.

I can already see the tower and planes.

Union station - Los Angeles

Funny how all the stations were called union. My union station will always be LA.

It is so beautiful, I hardly mind spending a little time here.

They have the old ticketing side closed off now and many modern conveniences - ok some, and the formerly gorgeous seating is the worse for wear. But if you squint your eyes just right you can almost see her former glory.

The ghosts of all the people who have passed through or spent the night in these seats still rumble around as all the present day conmuters and leisure travelers hustle from one side of the station to the other.

Wish I had a camera with me. You will just have to imagine it or recall her beauty from your memory.

Next - bus to LAX. Probably won't be as picturesque as my train ride or this lovely station, but I am thoroughly enjoying the random snatches of conversation and I love LA, so as long as I am not driving, I can find some beauty on the freeways.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


You can forget how important human touch is to life.

I have been feeling so alone -- though not necessarily lonely in some traditional form -- just like a fish out of water. New place, with just budding new friendships, never good at leaning on people for support -- but with real life situations to deal with -- you the kind that require input even if it's just an ear or a shoulder.

If I am not sure how to ask my established friends for help -- I really don't know how to ask my new friends for support.

Ah... so, though it has been very difficult to navigate these treacherous emotions of loss and anger and frustration, it has been wonderful to be in close proximity to my family -- at gatherings where you can't count the number of hugs and kisses and good to see you's. And tears, but that's the price you pay.

I don't know how to bottle it -- because getting on the train to the bus to the plane to the bus that will take me back to my little apartment, I am stepping back into the void...luckily, only for a few days -- and then I get a few days with my other family in Oakland.

There are blessings... I guess we just have to know how to name and accept them.

May I allow love to flow to and from me.
May I acknowledge abundance.
May I embrace my gifts and talents.
May I feel beautiful and strong.

And remember this prayer when things get tough.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have to write and send three sympathy cards today. Words seem distant with only the barest sense of comfort. I know words can be powerful. But they can't hold you. They can't give you your mother or daughter back.

Can they convey the true sympathy one feels to another?

How do I write something that doesn't sound trite and unconvincing?

I don't know what I have to offer. I know the pain I feel when I think of all the experiences she didn't get and that her children won't get. I know that my tia will never know the comforting her only daughter should have provided in the last hours.

I wonder how relief mixes with trepidation and anxiety and need.

There will now be a hole where there once was hope and disappointment and joy and sorrow ... because life is full of all these things and death robs us of all of them, too.

I wonder what my Tia will feel when she sees me. I am not the one but the closest to hers and so desperately different. She has always expressed her disappointment in hers by a outward disdain for me.

Now I am still here and hers is gone. Has my life been as full as hers? Does mine have the right to continue when hers does nor?

I am anxious to be near my family for the promise of human touch. I have been needing their hugs (I miss nothing more than my friends who hug just as a greeting) so much lately.

We are not an affectionate family. We are more on the stoic side (except when it comes to expressing anger), yet we are a deeply loving and fiercely loyal (well some of us) family.

I want to squeeze the mijo and feel the promise of his life ... that he can live it fully and with health and always knowing that we love and support him and want the best for him.

That should not be so hard for us to show - yet it is. Tough love has its limits as does being the toughy.

And here I go again crying in the library. Got to go home now so I can get sone work done.


Sunday, October 18, 2009


In my world if you cross the finish line - walking, running or crawling, you win!

Today, I thought I would be testing that theory. I started my training strong. I missed very few of my runs. Since I was starting in California but ending in New Mexico, I imposed a morning run only rule.

After getting to NM, I continued my runs fairly faithfully but then my it band decided to hate me.

One day after a long run, I think it was over eight miles, my knee started to hurt. Not a little. Then I could not climb the stairs without excruciating pain.

I rested. I massaged. Finally, I went to the dr. Unfortunately it took two weeks to get to the physical therapist and then another two weeks to get regular appointments. We made progress. I started running again the last week. The week before the race.

Still I had pain. And the physical therapists last words to me were: you realize that you are going to have to walk, right?

I was resigned to it. But I wanted to get at least half way before walking. I made it to the turn around with NO pain. So I pushed on. New goal: get to nine. When I was at ten I thought to myself, I am not in pain except when I walk with my water at the motivation center. So I decided to stop at each station and stretch and keep on running.

By the time I hit mile 12, the only pain I had was on the left side (not where I was injured before) and from the blisters beginning to form on my feet. I was too close to give up.

So I kept on running. Soon I was rounding the corner to the finish line. A little crest fallen because I thought I had missed my three hour time. Not so, I crossed and the clock read 2:54.

Injured I had maintained a 13:30 minute mile. Not my best time, but very good for someone who missed five weeks or so of training.

I am most impressed with my self talk today. When I was feeling like maybe I should walk, I reminded myself that I was not in pain and running strong and not tired. If I felt discouraged, I called on Jeannette (who lost her battle with leukemia last week) to power my body with all the strength her little body had been long denied - or I asked my cousins, Michelle and Sam, to give my all the good intentions they had before they died to live healthier.

Maybe it was all in my mind, but I straightened and lengthened and stepped up the pace.

And I finished!!

Blessed be!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sherman Alexie

If you get the chance to see this guy, run don't walk.

He is hilarious. I just spent the last nearly two hours laughing so hard my face hurts.

He writes well too.

I am sure he pissed peoplevoff, but I just think he's funny. And smart. And thoughtful. And observant.

He keynoted a conference for environmentally inclined people of color. A friend was in the audience and reported that no one there thought Alexie was funny. Rather they found him rude and racist.

I think this illustrates why it is so hard for environmentalists to get people on their side. But I digress.

I have seen Alexie now three times and read just about everything he has written.

I love this guy.

But if you don't appreciate irreverent, intelligent and occassionally crude humor.


I started and didn't finish the entry about courage. Seems like there might be some lacking...

In any case, today I was trying to motivate to leave the house because I wanted to write in my journal and then I realized I wanted to write because I wanted to cry ... Long story not short - this was the real reason for having to leave the house.

The thing is, I can only really cry in public. I would like to understand why I feel safe enough to fall apart in public but I cannot feel safe at home to cry.

It's a puzzle.

Feeling safe out in the open but not at home.

But then again having to talk myself out of the house.

This is full of contradiction. It's not messy so much as confused and hidden. It probably isn't complicated at all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Behind the Wall

It can get very lonely here behind the wall.

I have spent so much of my life in pursuit of self-sufficiency, I don't know if it possible to learn to need again.

That is to say to learn how to give in to the vulnerability of needing.

The tears and pain and anguish of loss and loneliness have been welling, but all I can feel is the tension of holding it all back. I know just how destructive that is. But what if I let go and then I can't get back my composure?

Ok, the real question is... What I let go and there is no one to catch me?

I desperately need a hug but I have convinced myself that I don't know anyone here well enough to ask them for what I need.

If I were home, would I be willing to need or would the need be less intense because we would all be grieving together.

When you lose someone, even when you haven't seen them in a long time, the need to have a connection is overwhelming.

I know my friends and family are sending me all the virtual hugs and love they can muster, but there are times when this virtual world is just not enough.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Good side of facebook

There are too many times that fb is nothing more than a huge time waste. Yesterday it proved it's usefulness and showed it's good side.

My cousin who lives on the east coast put up a quick post about how hard it is to be far from home when your mom is sick.

I cannot agree more on how hard it is to be far from home when there is a crisis. When I lived in NJ I felt cut off because frequently I was the last to know and not able to be a part of many wakes and funerals though if they told me in time at least I could call.

So when I saw the post I called my mom and asked her to call and find out what is going on!

She did and found out that my aunt was in the hospital --- something she wouldn't have known until it was too late to try to visit since we are not very good (on her side of the family) of keeping people in the loop.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Public Debates on Goodness

I walked into a computer lab this afternoon to print out my reading for class and inadvertently walked into what would become a heated debate. I wish I could remember the first snatch of the conversation I heard, but the gist was that it was important not to be too nice to people because they would always take advantage of you. Worse than that, taking help meant you were weak.

As I printed out packet after packet that I will never have enough time to read, I listened and participated in this fascinating conversation ... as we, eventually four strong, all made our cases for the goodness of people: that you could look for the good, or look for the bad and find either one... he rejected effort after effort, sometimes responded defensively as though by arguing for goodness we were somehow against HIM, but he did not leave.

Some plied him with compassion and understanding, others with calculated arguments (yes, modulated, theoretical, coherent arguments about love and the goodness of humanity), and he responded with his best negations of what we had to say --- but he also gave us glimpses of his soul.

What we saw was hurt and broken and very, very lonely.

We kept arguing for love, compassion, open-hearted-ness and goodness.

He kept insisting that EVIL lurks around every corner and it is just waiting to pounce on all of us -- and that the only thing that could make him feel secure is lots and lots of money.

I called him on his defensiveness and he acknowledge it as well as his sadness, but not his loneliness -- as though somehow his determination to be alone could blanket him from loneliness and pain. If you imagine that all you ever will be is hurt than you cannot be disappointed.

I could feel the whole in his heart -- and I told him that. Edwina kept offering him love, motherly love, that would envelope you and give you chicken soup and tuck you in -- so you could feel safe instead of wary.

He decided that we could part with an "agree to disagree" -- which we reluctantly accepted -- and he sheepishly took that big hug that Edwina had probably opened with over an hour before...

Thursday, October 01, 2009


wrote a long post from the health center and then the student union and now it's not here... :(