Friday, March 30, 2012

Potpourri of News

I am not going to dance on their store closures -- but I am going to say that their lack of interest in customer service, particularly in this kind of economy, brings into question their business model. Can't say that I will miss them, and won't be sad if the last one I visited is on the "to be closed" list.

Research -- does it tell us the truth, what we want to hear, or something novel?? I am not sure ... and it is what I plan to engage in as my profession ... scary.

So, there is another flurry of news about Trayvon and George Z. ... we are becoming so intimate with these two characters, I wonder where we go next.  I can't help thinking that if either the police or the prosecutors had been willing to take responsibility for this situation, we would not have to be prosecuting this in the media -- a space where "facts" dribble in and sometimes turn out to be "opinions" and it is generally difficult to untangle the truth from scandal.

One piece of interest is the use of photos ... old, out dated, positioned to make us feel, think, see either one or the other as vulnerable or predatory... fascinating and terrifying - we are making policy based on this craziness, otherwise there wouldn't be such a thing as "stand your ground" laws...

I am super interested in the notion of "Hispanic" or "Latino" of any kind being equal to "minority" in popular media, his mother is Peruvian, hmmm... what does that tell us about him in terms of how he identifies himself ethnically or racially? Or more importantly, what does it tell us about how he is viewed by others? I would venture to say that race has never been an issue for him, until now.  And that it is quite ironic, but I guess not surprising, that in our society, you can grab for the "darkie" race when you are trying to exculpate yourself.  Thank you, Angela Davis, for bringing that perspective to our debate the other night!

While I am on the subject of Dr. Davis, let me say, I was pleased to hear her say that "one" of the things we "can" attribute to the Occupy movement is the "ability to talk about Communism in public" -- pleased because I was heartened to hear her intimate that these protesters might leave something to be desired for an og radical such as herself.  Here is the one thing they have done that I can whole-heartedly back, from the NPR piece:  Groups within the Occupy Wall Street movement are trying to overhaul the banking system — and they even dream of a new kind of bank. One activist sees "a bank that would be democratic, that would be owned by its employees and by its customers."

Whenever we lose one of these voices there is a part of me that wonders if there is someone coming behind that will be able to fill the void.  I guess I can take solace in the fact that her voice is recorded for posterity in her literary work...

[photo credit, me, 2010 June, Tahoe, at the best wedding ever.]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Poetry Thursday, Spring Theme

Come to the orchard in spring
There is light and wine
And Sweethearts
In the pomegranate flowers
If you do not come
These do not matter
It you do come
These do not matter

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I dream of breathing ... that is taking the time to just sit and breathe and enjoy the fact that I am alive.

I started doing the real planning of the European adventure.  I hear the excitement in my mom's voice as we talk through different places she is considering visiting.  I note the irritation in my mind and voice ... I am so tired, and I am so busy that I cannot even take the moment to appreciate how much this means to her and how much she is looking forward to enjoying our trip.

I am so tired of running everywhere with no time to even enjoy the down time I give myself.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For B

Sometimes, it is not the right answer to talk to strangers.

There was the time when the crazy beret wearing older gentleman wouldn't go away ... and ever after, I had to keep my head down to keep from making eye contact so he wouldn't come over ... and talk my ear off, or say inappropriate things to me.

Yeah {sigh} ... there are definitely times when just keeping your head down is good.

The other day, though, I didn't really have a choice ... because the place was full, and I need to squat somewhere while some table opened up.  It usually doesn't take long for some place to open up.  So, I approached an older Asian gentleman I have seen in here a lot, but who I had never spoken to.

I didn't think it would necessarily make us friends.  I said hello, thank you, and put my headphones in.

But, now, I am his "friend" [read: target] and I had to be super brusque with him to get him to leave me alone and let me do my work... I hate having to be "rude" in order to get the point across... and it didn't exactly work, as I actually told him twice that I had to do work.  Then I had to continue to keep my head down to not make eye contact, which is, apparently, universal signal for "I want to talk to you."  Finally, after SEVERAL hours, he decided to take his staring outside for other targets. Man, this is a full time job ... stalking women at the sb, I mean.

I am not usually bothered... but, seriously, I don't do that to anyone, so, I don't want them to do it to me, that's all ... and it is almost invariably man on woman.  One of these days, I am going to turn the table, and flirt with every man younger than me, and stare at them and act like they are target pieces of meat.

I won't actually because it is too creepy for words.

************** in unrelated news:
some other dude, who had been in here working longer than me, so for over two hours, spilled his coffee, cleaned the seat, and then left ... super rude, since he didn't go up to the staff and tell them himself.  Luckily another regular did go back and tell the staff. I was about to, when I saw them approaching with the mop.

Monday, March 26, 2012

UPDATED: Trayvon

Here we are, again.

I have been fascinated, mostly, by the way this incident, in particular, has made public "the talk."

One piece by a father, talking to his son, giving his twelve year old "the talk" years earlier that he had hoped would be necessary.

Another by a mother, with her sons, recalling with the reporter about how she prepared them "for a world that might view them with suspicion."

You might also want to hear what the guys had to say in The Barbershop.

If we were living in a post-racial world, black dads and moms wouldn't have to give "the talk" -- they would just expect their children to behave in the world as they had been taught -- and that the world around them would be willing to accept them as equals with the same respect all people would want for their children.

If nothing else, this tragic event should teach us all something about criminalizing clothing ... if not get us to think more clearly about how institutionalized racism works ... it doesn't matter what color the shooter was ... he shot at the young man because he felt justified in the fear and that was all based on racism.

UPDATE: After I wrote and published this, "police sources" -- of course, unnamed, decided to come forward with "details" of the altercation that took place between Martin and Zimmerman.  Missing, however, from this account, is the fact that Zimmerman was following Martin without provocation.  He was following Martin because of the color of his skin and the clothing he was wearing.  It also conveniently leaves out the fact that REAL law enforcement advised Zimmerman not to follow, not to get out of his car.  Either one of those actions would have resulted in avoiding the altercation.  Also left out of this account is the condition of Martin's body. This article is complete APOLOGIST for Zimmerman with none of the details about his repeated calls to police about young Black men, or about the altercation Zimmerman had with police himself, etc... that is, if you just read this piece, you would side with Zimmerman.  Very bad journalism.

Interesting picture: 

here is the story that came with it.

In other news ...

Scott Simon on the atheists.  Would have been an excellent rally to attend.

Super interesting story about using food to pass on cultural knowledge ... or recapture it, as the case may be.

The NYTimes printed this article -- and then it got reprinted by the AP all over, about the benefits of bilingualism. Pretty timely for me last week as I listened to Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore discuss the work she has been doing in the NY Public Schools and will also be doing here in Albuquerque soon,

This is a chilling story ... I share it only because these are the kinds of stories we should all have to confront so that we know just how our society is behaving...

It's Monday, so I am restarting the being healthy (also lose weight) campaign.  Here is an article about the changes taking place in some corner markets in LA -- for the better -- offering HEALTHY CHOICES!

UPDATE:  Some of the best treatment of the story of This American Life's Retraction.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Beyond Random, and not in English

Je ne vais pas en France mais j'ai plusieurs reves de France --dans le reve, je suis a France...

je essai de parler en francais...

je ne peux pas dire c'est que je veux dire...

il est tres fatigant. 

Je ne sais pas si ce que j'ai escrit est francais...

tous ca dans la tete... a jumble.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Welcome Spring! Poetry Thursday

Who said Emily Dickinson wasn't the perfect gal to talk about spring?  ... something to cheer you... or fit with your not so bright spirit, as the case may be.

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own
-Emily Dickinson
 [Photo credit: me, fancy digital camera, Jacaranda outside of Santa Barbara's train station. June 2010?]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Once again, I have drafts...

...and no time to finish them.

So, instead, I share with you a DailyOm that I opened the other day, and thought, "aha, I see..."

March 16, 2012
A Matter of Priorities
Letting Go of the Little Stuff

When we stop worrying about unimportant matters, we can devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.

We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.

The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.

In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life's inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meant to post sooner....

Trying to bring some light to the dark news of yesterday ... here are some articles I have been hoarding.

This one is about the family of a man killed post 9/11 in anti-muslim rage... they all became American citizens recently, realizing that man's dream for his family.

I am not sure that this is truly *lighter* but I appreciated the idea of a county trying to explain how cuts would hurt. I like this idea better than assuming that we can keep cutting services and no one will ever get hurt.

I love me some Father Greg Boyle... I want to add his book to my summer reading list.  I remember the first time I heard about him, I got out my tape recorder and recorded the interview from the radio ... it was that long ago.  Glad he never let the church keep him from his flock!

I don't know if I ever read Dorothy Townsend, but I am sure glad she got them to let her write about more than "ladies" issues.  RIP Ms. Townsend, and, thank you!

These NPR stories tickled me:
When 85-year-old Betty Werther was young, she traveled the world. Sixty years later, she got a call. It was from a young Portuguese medical student and he had found something that belonged to her. What he brought, however, was more than a souvenir. - More here

When the funny business stopped paying, comedy writer Andrew Borakove
needed to find a better future. Broke with another kid on the way, he
was desperate to reinvent himself. That's when the gong appeared. - More here

Pink and me -- we got something to say:
I was wearing my boots today, and I always feel like a rock star when I do ... and then someone said, "oh, like PINK!" and I thought, "YES!" so hope you enjoyed her as much as I do.

Here is a new favorite:

Monday, March 19, 2012

UPDATED: wish there were lighter news...

This story, too typical and with not the right color victims, would get some national headlines... not because I think we should be reading only bad news, but because the violence that our wars is bringing home needs to be acknowledged -- and a plan must be made to deal with the very real issues.

While everyone is busy making excuses for this man, where are the stories about how the military brass (and the president -- he doesn't get a pass on this one) are ignoring the danger PTSD poses here and abroad?  One or two stories, yes, but we are nailed with the details of how the neighbors are reacting to one man's rampage -- when there are many other soldiers suffering in our midst ... I need to plug this organization's work, again, and wonder how we can't make this national ... how we can apply the lessons they've learned to the way the military is handling PTSD in its ranks and in the public where it discharges the wounded soldiers.

And in other sad news, it turns out bullying is punishable. I guess it remains to be seen the kind of sentence he will get.  I am not sure if this was a hate crime, in the legal-technical sense, but I am sure that some kind of hate is a part of bullying like this.  When we think that it is not just funny to invade someone's privacy, but that it is acceptable to try to share that invasion with others, with the intent of making fun of someone -- that is bullying, plain and simple. 

It is also, stupid, childish and immature behavior.  Some have argued that we should see it that way -- and I am inclined to agree that putting one person (why didn't he take the plea?!) on trial may not be the most effective way of dealing with the issue -- when we are all participating in bullying behavior (some would argue that it is our national way of being. In fact, it is not clear that we want to change anyone's bullying behavior -- but we might be telling people not to be stupid and get caught.

***UPDATE here's danah's reaction to the verdict

Saturday, March 17, 2012

For Patrick...St. Patrick, that is

Grandma on the far right, birthday girl, next to her, other grandma.
Today is my grandmother's birthday ...
with my older brother, 1960

She used to wear a clover pin with a pearl in the center for her birthday -- but it was gold, not green.  I think I own that pin now, it's somewhere ... though the pearl is probably gone.  My mom always lets me take the broken jewelry.
She is on the far left, my mom next to her

Well, as I wandered towards sb to study (still not doing that though)... I saw throngs of green-wearing people congregating at bars ... on one side of the street, there was a line of green- and basketball jersey-clad people clambering to get into a bar that presumably had a television with basketball games on the screens.  On the other side, there was an inordinately large group of bag pipers playing to a near-capacity (at NOON) crowd on the patio of one Irish-like bar.  It's New Mexico, people, none of these bars are truly Irish -- but they try.  Green balloons, one woman in a completely inappropriate green dress, and odd leprechaun hats abounded. 

Did I mention that I am not wearing green?  I am not... nor do I intend to put any green on, even if I do attend a "St. Patrick's Day Party" later ... nope, not going to do it.

Here is a little article I found about the saint for whom this day is named, if not celebrated.

I wonder if Patrick thinks of March 17th festivities the way the Benito Juarez must think of Cinco de mayo celebrations...

Friday, March 16, 2012

UPDATED: NRR late (actually really early) entries

Half heard some of these this morning after the alarm turned the radio on ...

they may be more interesting if you are half-asleep.

a story about DNA and stolen children in Argentina


Mississippi and health care

Also, I was heartened to see this newspaper printing warning signs for suicide -- there are responsible ways to report on these kinds of tragedies. 

In honor of all those intending to brave the rain for the LA Marathon ... here's a story about two very different runners.

News Round Up

Did you catch the story about the big rock?  I am not sure I understand the urgency ... in this economy, but I guess art finds its way to make things happen.

So, I don't have time to get into why this story matters right now, but I think this is a rational and productive use of genetic mapping.  Read between the lines.

Nice to know that Santorum doesn't think that Republicans have a Latino problem... in fact, the only problem Republicans seem to have with Latinos is that we can't get with the conservative program ... good luck in Florida, Rick, they're just gonna love you there!

I haven't really been posting on politics lately -- though I have been following the primaries and the ridiculousness.  This story I just had to share ... enjoy -- here's one of my favorite excerpts:
"The conversation recalls nothing so much as the days when the nightly news shows couldn't stop running pseudo-health segments that featured male reporters fondling silicon breast implants. They'd cluck over their hazards and fondle away at the translucent synthetic protoplasms. Today's fondlers of ultrasound wands seem no less prurient.
It's time we sidelined the fine points of obstetrics from public discourse in an election year. Just as girlie magazines are marketed to male readers, public discourse that features women's body parts should be clearly labeled—as Playboy used to be—"Entertainment for Men."
Transvaginal probes? Entertainment for Men. Interstate abortions? Entertainment for Men."

Here are some NPR stories that I have been hording...
Goats bleat, but a new study says they don't all do it with the same accent. Host Scott Simon talks to Professor Alan McElligott from Queen Mary University of London, who co-authored a study showing that goats' voices change as they move from different environments.

Events as disparate as the cruel violence in Syria and the unnerving conditions where Apple's iPads are made in China, raise a recurring question: When do a country's internal affairs become the business of the world? And when do we make that our personal business?

In her new book, Peggielene Bartels describes going from secretary at the U.S. Embassy to king of a fishing village in Ghana. Dividing her time between Otuam and Washington, D.C., she straddles two cultures — and says she loves every bit of it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pre-spring Poetry Thursday

A little early ... a poem for spring ... here's hoping there are no more frosts...
Very Early Spring by Katherine Mansfield
The fields are snowbound no longer;
There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.
The snow has been caught up into the sky--
So many white clouds--and the blue of the sky is cold.
Now the sun walks in the forest,
He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;
They shiver, and wake from slumber.
Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.
Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears....
A wind dances over the fields.
Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,
Yet the little blue lakes tremble
And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.
And one more for good measure, in honor of my 2012 word of the year (fearless) -- necklace should be here momentarily:

A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. 

[Photo credit: me, fancy digital camera; Blooming Jacaranda from the train, June 2010]

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

May December April January

The last month seemed to be the month of the older gentleman, younger woman at sb.

Sometime a few weeks ago, I witnessed an odd gathering.

A white man who appears to be in his late 60s or early 70s came in with a young, immigrant woman -- potentially from Central or South America.  [How did I know she was an immigrant? I don't know, but it was confirmed later.]

He was wearing a wedding ring -- and pushed two tables together.

She had a glass of water and he bought one coffee -- tall.

I was able to see that she was wearing a combo engagement and wedding ring.

A little bit after they arrived, another couple came in and sat with them. This couple was of the age of the man -- and also white.

The young woman engaged the older woman in conversation.  The two men eventually took out papers; they looked like tax documents.

It was all very innocent -- that is, not controversial - but I had a pit in my stomach.  Whatever.

About a week later, I witnessed another couple ... this time, a man, two women and a baby came in and sat in front of me.  It was obviously his baby -- he doted like only a new father can, late in life father at that (he was easily late forties).

One of the women was about five years older than the new daddy.

The other woman seemed to be about 15 years younger than the new daddy.

I figured out that the older woman was the younger woman's mother ... I am still trying to figure out why they were meeting (didn't come together) at the sb.

It was again, not controversial, but it struck a chord in me for reasons that I cannot really explain.

It might have something to do with the fact that the "couple" were wearing matching clothing ... matching sunglasses, pants rolled up in the same way, and matching boots.  A teenage couple showing up looking like twins would not make me take a second look -- but this new family?  Weird vibe ... who is reaching for whose age?

It is not clear.
Then, I saw that first couple again... this time on their own.  She was carrying a book for learning English as a second language.  He had a back pack with an ipad and a newspaper.   Again ... only one cup of coffee (to share -- tall) and a glass of water (free)...

I know that my discomfort with this couple is mostly based on the projection of my feelings ... and the prickly-ness I feel when I see certain micro actions between them -- bad memories.

But, something happened that second day between them ... I am not sure what it was, because, though I noted them come in and the coffee/water/ipad/book thing, I had my earphones in.  I just saw a change in body language later on that said "we've had a disagreement" (again) and that also signalled some weird power thing that I cannot give you evidence for ... it's just a feeling.

I don't know why I keep noticing this age difference in couples, perhaps there is something my subconscious is trying to tell me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

spring break-ish

Sleeping in ...

Getting coffee during a car move break from work ... make sense of that, I dare you

A movie at the $2 theater -- a movie that makes me wish I had time to read a novel for fun.
 ---  I will say that I expected to cry, but I didn't expect the movie to be quite so good. The kid was awesome, why was he not nominated?  Max von Sydow, also very good...  It felt like a great big hug for NYC.  I think if you love NY you will love this movie for its portrayal of a city in grief and a city with so much more heart than it is given credit for.  Sappy, to be sure, in a sense, but grounded in a very real sense of what it is to grieve.  See it in a theater because some parts move so slowly that you need to be in the darkness of a theater to truly appreciate it ... and not lose interest.

Sipping wine that I thought I was never going to turn the corner ... finally ... since I do still have a case of it in Oakland.

If I were a millionaire... actually, if I just had an extra $270, I would rejoin my favorite wine club... alas... after the summer accounting, I just may do that, but I probably won't be able to.  I need to play the lottery more often.

Thinking about my "day off" -- the work I need to get done before I hit the spa for an afternoon of relaxing before an evening of drinking (oh, I might eat something, too).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday, Spring Break

It's a bright, beautiful day ... the first one of spring break, and I am ... WORKING!

It is all my fault ... I volunteered to work this week, alas... I will take two days off, and I am looking forward to the hot tub that awaits tomorrow afternoon!

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday ... and, yes, Mercury is in RETROGRADE starting today ... so far, no major disturbances... hope I haven't jinxed myself.

[Photo credits: me, not fancy digital camera; one of my favorite places on earth: waterfall on my uncle's property, 2010?]

Friday, March 09, 2012

Long-winded, potentially worth it

I was trying to fall asleep the other night -- probably back to sleep -- and all I could do was turn over in my head what a wretched, uncaring person I am.

Yeah... I am an asshole -- frankly, everyone has asshole moments -- and I am readily willing to accept mine.  Aloud.  I say it, maybe, too much because, on one level, I am admitting it; and, on another, I am also refuting it.

But, not so deep inside, I am also punishing myself for being an asshole -- over and over.

I don't get it right all the time. [IT=life]

Let's be honest, there are plenty of times, I get it super wrong.

I am impatient and my emotions get the best of me ... and I have been more guilty of this lately when I wasn't feeling well.

There are parts of me that decide it's okay because I am exhausted and I can't take it anymore.

But the inner judge is not into letting me slide.

I replay every slight I have ever given to anyone in my head endlessly ... and I feel guilty -- knowing there is no way to make it up.

I must and can only do better in the future.  And, then there is that little voice that reminds me, "you can only do your best at any given moment -- and that best might not be perfect."

Lots of voices rolling around in there.

Where is this coming from?

Let's start with feeling so raw lately -- all the time -- like a big sore that keeps rubbing up against everything and reminding me that I am in pain.

Feeling out of control because being sick/exhausted has meant feeling like I have zero control over my emotions.  I can't tell you how many times I have just wanted to sit down, wherever I am, and weep.

Perhaps I should have -- at least once, just to get a little relief.

Then there was the "making someone cry" episode.  Yes, I apparently make people cry.

Actually, somehow I interact with people who think it is okay to make others feel like we are ruining her life.

Whatever... she cried, I didn't really do anything, except that I am sorry that she was so upset she cried... and I regret not doing anything to help her.

It was not my sole responsibility to do something about it ... it is just that I am that person that usually tries to help people.  I feel like I fell down on the job even though I was managing at least 19 other people's emotions at the same time.

It feels yucky -- that's all I can say.
Then there is this post that is so popular ... next to the penguin movie song post that shall remain un-hyperlinked, it is seriously one of the most popular posts.

Many people land there, I don't know if they read it. I imagine after searching the keys words that bring it up, it is the last thing they really want to read.  They don't leave messages, so I just have no idea what the readers feel ... but I decided to reread it since it keeps showing up on the statcounter.

It is just what I meant to say ... compassion -- we all have it in us, we need to reach for it more often ... for OURSELVES and for others.
I finally made it back to meditation this week ... I realized after the "make someone cry," beating myself up that I was missing out on doing a piece of self care that works almost every time... And this was no exception.

After sitting for an extra long session -- I opted to sit while the others did walking meditation -- we had a little discussion ... not dharma talk, where our community dharma leader suggested that we think about how the practice works for us.

Let's just say that I was feeling like there was no practice in me at all ... I spent the first few minutes listening to her story, but really chastising myself for not being patient, compassionate or loving with myself, others and strangers... I felt like hell... She kept talking.

As others in the group shared, I could feel tears dying to come out, welling on the inside.  I couldn't even bring myself to that bit of relief.

And then something started to shift.

There was a melting, the proverbial chink in the armor.

It might also have helped that I spent the last twenty minutes focused on metta towards those folks I felt I had slighted (after working my way up to it by showering metta on folks I love and care about ... and myself, too).

Whatever, it worked... I started to remember that besides that ONE incident of the crying person, I had, indeed, showed love and compassion to many other souls that day -- and I had fallen down with others ... but, I was, afterall, human and a good person.

A little ray of sunshine started peeking out of my heart, and it made all the difference.

My wish for you:
That you always find a way to locate that little ray of sunshine.

May you shower yourself with compassion today -- however much you can muster.
And a little bit more tomorrow.
And when you feel up to it, shower the world with some compassion, too.

It is, in fact, our Buddha nature.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thursday Quote

Heaven preserve me from littleness and pleasantness and smoothness. Give me great glaring vices, and great glaring virtues, but preserve me from the neat little neutral ambiguities. Be wicked, be brave, be drunk, be reckless, be dissolute, be despotic, be an anarchist, be a suffragette, be anything you like, but for pity's sake be it to the top of your bent. Live fully, live passionately, live disastrously. Let's live, you and I, as none have ever lived before.'

Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West, October 1918
[Photo credit: me, not fancy digital camera, summer 2010, Malibu]

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I have a friend who trusts me with secrets. She doesn't just tell me secrets -- that is, our relationship is not based on me keeping her secrets. It is just that she trusts me enough to share parts of her life that she doesn't share (feels she can't share) with others.

It is, in a way, an honor.

But is also a burden.

She told me the last secret over a year ago -- and this time it included another dear person in my life. The person who introduced us in the first place.

Since then I have struggled with how to handle this other information and what it means to that other relationship.

I don't have an answer. But I made an effort to reach out to that other person recently because for the last year I have been avoiding contact.

It is an odd situation because all three of us live so far apart and communicate only three or four times a year anyway. But I knew she would feel the absence.

So I called her - and it was clear that she had noted my absence. I didn't lie about why I have been silent but I didn't tell her the whole truth.

That would need to be done in person and might mean a significant change in our relationship. And it would implicate others and I am not sure if I will ever be able to go there.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Caught My Eye

A couple returned their dishes to the coffee shop from the outside patio. As they walked down the steps out to the rest of their day, they grabbed each others hands. "We're in this together," is what those gestures said to me.

An older couple was approaching the coffee shop and guys on bikes were behind them, so the couple pulled to the side of the sidewalk to let the bikes pass.

Another older couple stopped at the steps, and the gentleman took his wife's hand as she climbed the steps. At the top of the step she took a breath and collected herself before stepping into the shop. He had already dropped her hand.

Seven older gentlemen in the corner of the church parking lot all wearing red sweaters and khaki pants. I wonder what adventure was in store for them.

Monday, March 05, 2012

odd, perhaps not wholly illogical

I went to get a mammogram last week.

It was relatively uneventful yet it took an inordinate amount of time to get out of there.

The truly exceptional part, however, was that there was an acoustic guitar serenata going on when I got there.

The gentleman played instrumental versions of well known songs. The two that come to mind at this moment are What a Wonderful World and Eric Clapton's ode to his dead son.

This last one seemed like a not so great pick, if the point is to calm women about to go in for breast exams.

Perhaps, then, it was a good thing that he was on break when the woman who couldn't stop weeping came into the waiting area.

I didn't find the live musical entertainment calming or helpful - particularly as those of us in the waiting room had to crane to hear our names being called.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

I need a vacation

Massage, check.
Head ache ... somewhat less.
Neck ache ... still there.

Um...and every socially awkward person is going to talk to me today -- wanting something, not getting it and ...

Yeah...fireworks and then some.

I should not be around people right now. I found this piece, or perhaps, it found me...I especially liked 1, 2, & 8.  I do feel like a flight attendant and a preschool teacher sometimes when I am at work...

I am stretched thin like a rubber band, do you really want to ask me that ridiculous question right now?!

I seriously need a vacation.

Friday, March 02, 2012

better late than never... a Friday post

Interesting move by the San Francisco school board ... or just another power play against unions? Hard to tell... except that the Chronicle is hailing the school board as Davey when in fact they are Goliath ... makes me skeptical.

This also goes in the interesting educational developments... I don't really know how to feel about satellite university "campuses" -- but, at least, this one really does seem to have a purpose.  I think about the UC's DC "campus" and wonder why they couldn't cooperate with some university physically in Washington DC without feeling like they were giving up their brand... also Emerson is one of a cadre of small colleges in Boston that cooperate to give their students more opportunities.  I think this is, then, an interesting move away from cooperation... unless they couldn't get any in LA?!  I wonder what St. Mary's might have offered or Occidental?  Exchange opportunities might have been possible, no?

I am often blown away by these pieces in the LATimes... hope you are touched, too.

Ok, this one is just plain sad, but it is engaging reporting; I promise to balance with some sunshine below.

If there was one message we could give the universe, just one, I hope it would be this. I would launch this into every satellite we orbit.  Do yourself a really big favor and listen to this!

Picture just for fun with absolutely no meaning ... I like the movement of the bush... it was a "mistake" picture.  Everything is life is precious, bad times, good times, mistakes and masterpieces.  Grant is so right on, Life is so good!

Happy Friday ... and happy weekend y'all!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Thursday Quote

I haven't had time to dig into the poetry books, but I was drawn again to The Garden of the Prophet in order to try to give some solace to someone celebrating her mother's birthday (a year after her mother's death).  There is no real solace.  I understand... but there is a need to find a way to find solace.

I sent her something else that I love, but I decided to share this one with you... I hope you love it as much as I do.

And one spoke and said: "Master, life has dealt bitterly with our hopes and our desires. Our hearts are troubled, and we do not understand. I pray you, comfort us, and open to us the meanings of our sorrows." 
And his heart was moved with compassion, and he said: "Life is older than all things living; even as beauty was winged ere the beautiful was born on earth, and even as truth was truth ere it was uttered. 
"Life sings in our silences, and dreams in our slumber. Even when we are beaten and low, Life is enthroned and high. And when we weep, Life smiles upon the day, and is free even when we drag our chains.
"Oftentimes we call Life bitter names, but only when we ourselves are bitter and dark. And we deem her empty and unprofitable, but only when the soul goes wandering in desolate places, and the heart is drunken with overmindfulness of self.  
"Life is deep and high and distant; and though only your vast vision can reach even her feet, yet she is near; and though only the breath of your breath reaches her heart, the shadow of your shadow crosses her face, and the echo of your faintest cry becomes a spring and an autumn in her breast.
"And Life is veiled and hidden, even as your greater self is hidden and veiled. Yet when Life speaks, all the winds become words; and when she speaks again, the smiles upon your lips and the tears in your eyes turn also into words. When she sings, the deaf hear and are held; and when she comes walking, the sightless behold her and are amazed and follow her in wonder and astonishment."  
And he ceased from speaking, and a vast silence enfolded the people, and in the silence there was an unheard song, and they were comforted of their loneliness and their aching." 
 From Khalil Gibran's The Garden of the Prophet

 I found this online here.  You can actually read the entire text if you like.

If you don't know anything about Kahlil Gibran, then you can check this out.