Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Recognizing that my issues are not greater than those of most people...
this is how I feel, and with four shots of espresso, I may be a danger to others...

Just yesterday, I was thinking about all the random kindness I have received in the past year... sorry to be self-centered this morning... hopefully I will find some perspective soon...

Monday, July 29, 2013

NRP while I am writing...

Postings may be light -- or copious... it's hard to tell. Sometimes when I start writing, the bug hits me and I need to write things other than the papers. I tried to get ahead with a few postings, and all I have is this and a poetry Thursday.  

By the way, I loved Fruitvale Station ... I am still amazed that it is the first feature of any writer/director.  I support Octavia Spencer in another run for the Oscar!  She was amazing... run out and see it.

RIP Helen Thomas... thank you for asking the opinionated questions!

I would like a purple button and attach to it any news about starlets and songstresses getting into trouble, and Michael Jackson and Snowden.  Thank you!

This is really long and tangled, but I thought, worth it: a piece about a philosopher who studies death/dying and her partner's serious accident that has left him seriously incapacitated.  I was pleased to read that people's emotions go back and forth and around and around on the issue of when to end a life.  Life is a serious matter, and, therefore, so is death.

This is a frank reflection about race, racism and being a racist from a very personal perspective.  I liked it so much, I listened to it twice.

Running out of time to get this piece to scheduled from draft ... but I have to include something special!  Seattle Boylesque's Mod Carousel made this cover of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. I think it speaks for itself, but I would love to hear what you think of it.  Find out more about Mod Carousel here, the singers are Caela Bailey, Sydni Devereaux and Dalisha Philips.

Here it is...thanks, C, it made my night!

Friday, July 26, 2013

the universe speaks?

Well, at the very least, Rob Brezsny does.  And here is what he says for my upcoming week:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The French novelist Flaubert declared that if you hope to write a book, you should first read 1,500 books. A Roman author named Petronius believed that the imagination does not work at its peak power unless it is inundated with reading material. I suggest you adopt their advice and apply it to your own field, Aquarius. Whatever skill or subject you want to master, expose yourself lavishly to the efforts of other people who have already mastered it. Flood yourself with well-crafted inspiration.
 How does Rob know that I am starting my *specials* (otherwise known as qualifying exams) today?

However he knows, it is the truth. At 9:00am, I will receive the three questions and then I have ten days to write 15-20 pages for each question ... answers to the questions, sometimes called essays, should be coherent and pull from the three 60+ item reading lists I prepared for each topic.

I have created an insane schedule for myself that counts 8 hours of writing, 2-3 hours of reading, some time for sleeping and eating and exercising.  I have spent the last few days stocking my refrigerator with things healthy and treat-like ... whatever it takes to keep my writing flowing.  Need stamina, need cajoling, need strength.

If you have any of those things, send them along, psychically ... light candles, pray (if that is what you are inclined to do), and send me positive vibes for this second to the last hurdle to candidacy.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Poesia del jueves, Neruda

Oda a la luz encantada

La luz bajo los árboles,
la luz del alto cielo.
La luz
que fulgura
en la hoja
y cae como fresca
arena blanca.

Una cigarra eleva
su son de aserradero
sobre la transparencia.

Es una copa llena
de agua
el mundo.

la traduccion:

Ode To Enchanted Light

Under the trees light
has dropped from the top of the sky,
like a green
latticework of branches,
on every leaf,
drifting down like clean
white sand.

A cicada sends
its sawing song
high into the empty air.

The world is
a glass overflowing
with water.
-Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

weddings and friends and love

The lovely thing about a wedding is that you can see how two parts can make a whole.

I was gifted with the opportunity to see a friend joined to her other half ... I don't know him.

I met his mother in the bathroom at the wedding, and, frankly, I was hooked.  When three of four of the toasters were describing the bride and groom, I felt like my first impression of the groom's mother and her influence on her son were correct.

I predict a long, fruitful partnership, and that is truly heartening.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Teenage Turtle

Perhaps she is just tuning into my inner teenager, or perhaps because she is reaching her 13th year, but my turtle has come to her teenage angst.

How do I know this?  You are right to ask and wonder, especially if you have never met my turtle, T-mina, as my sister used to call her.

She is a lovely turtle... I have tried many times, unfruitfully, to photograph her beauty.  So, in the past, I have just borrowed photos from the generous internet.  Now, you can just imagine it.

But, she gets to certain point in the year, I think it is always summer ... when she seems so hungry (STARVING, she might say if she could really talk) that she eats insatiably. 

There were 24 fish I put in the tank the day before I left last week ... and the two that were left as I was leaving for the airport the following morning at 5:45am.

And then the 18 I put in the tank yesterday, to find only 6 swimming around with her this morning.

The teenager part comes from all the ones she kills but doesn't eat.

It is mostly annoying ... and dirty.  But when I am leaving town or someone else is taking care of her, it becomes more than annoying. I worried about her all week, even though I knew she wouldn't be *starving* for real.  But there was that one summer that the person watching her let me know that T had killed half of the fish.  I thought I would have to find someone else to take care of T so disgusted was her caretaker.

I am going to remember this and only buy 6 fish at a time for the rest of the summer -- even if it means that I have to go every three days for fish.

I just get tired of having to try to net up all the fish parts and the filter that now needs to be cleaned and whether or not the water will also have to be changed... really, T, this is not the right time of the year for this extra work ... exams in three days.

Monday, July 22, 2013


It would seem we are in a time, internationally, of re-evaluating the import of education and, luckily, also the kind of education that is useful for our time.  This article from the NY Times takes a look at the French system ... in part, because it is a standard (the International baccalaureate - IB - is based on it and taking over for the AP system in places where middle class parents feel that too many undesirables are getting access), and, in part, because it seems more and more irrelevant.  Consider this snippet:
"It focuses too little on logic or creativity, many complain, and too much on rote knowledge and the esoterica that thrill the Parisian cultural aristocracy. Some critics say it has grown too easy, with a pass rate of about 90 percent last year; others contend that it now serves as little more than an exceptionally inefficient way to weed out the least-proficient students."
This musing about the educational system goes hand in hand with both the discussion of the common core and with the salience of a college education.  Speaking of college and its relative value, Oregon is getting creative about how to fund students' college education.  What I love about this article is that it assumes that these students will get a job after they graduate.  Theoretically giving any type of loan for educational purposes implies the assurance of a way to pay it back, but this is a measure that goes beyond the usual unstated expectation.

some other ed pieces I have been mulling

Summer courses for college students... in this article, you will find much more than the enticing bit about going to the beach for a summer course, like the fact that summer courses are attractive (or can be attractive) to students even though they are not covered by financial aid ... should give some college administrators food for thought. Sadly I don't think it will, but it could.

I have long been arguing that unchecked racism would lead to our economic downfall ... particularly with regard to educating black and brown people.  Looks like I am not the only one that noticed, though these folks are about 8 years late to the game ... it's not too late to fix it, but it will take the acknowledgement that this is actually what is happening.  Long shot, at best.

I am going to resist sending this piece right on to the provost who loves to send out positive coverage of the MOOCs ... just going to share it here and say, hmmm.....seems like these online courses are not the perfection some would like to make them out to be.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wild Geese, Mary Oliver, Poetry Thursday

Last weekend, our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class took part of day-long silent meditation retreat.  One of the readings our teachers shared with us was an excerpt of this poem by Mary Oliver.

The teacher had actually read it to us in our class the previous Monday ... and I had tried to recall the words so I could look it up at home.

Here it is ...a real poem for Poetry Thursday...just for you.  And the poet reading her poetry follows from youtube.  Wild Geese starts at 1:50.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting 
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

You can read more of Mary Oliver's poems here.  I borrowed the poem from that website. THANK YOU.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

some reading for you while I am away...

These pieces made it into my life last week, in the middle of the stress of trying to figure out if I would be starting my exams, or not, on the 26th ... still not a done deal... hanging in there, blowing in the wind.

I am not the only one that thought that the announcement about moving up the canonization of two former popes was hokey.  This woman wonders why Mother Theresa wasn't fast-tracked.

Ugh...I am not even sure where to begin with this story.  As I was listening to Geo's brother talk about the situation ... and reading the quote: "proud to be American,' I thought, he should have altered it to read, "proud to be a *white* American" because only white Americans can be proud when their kin get off for killing unarmed teenagers.   I was also struck by the defense lawyers talking about Geo's *safety* and the brother worrying about how Geo would have to look over his shoulder the rest of his life. It seems to me that 1) those who encounter Geo (and his kind -- crazy racist wanna-be cops with guns) who need to fear for their safety.  2) If he was worried about his safety, maybe he shouldn't have been following and provoking innocent people and then shooting them with guns.  3) Isn't this (fear for safety) what this case was all about?  Geo's fear is what caused and escalated the situation -- and now we are supposed to *worry* about him?  Yeah... not happening.  And, even worse is the implication that black folks are the violent people ... even though it is the black parents who are going home without their son ... it was the black youth that was murdered for walking in a neighborhood with a hoodie on.  I very much appreciated Ben Jealous putting this acquittal into perspective with some other judgments in the recent past:  several years for killing a dog, several years for shooting above a crowd ... I would add to that one:  several years for crossing the street against traffic with your child.  Even Johannes Mehserle served time in jail for killing Oscar Grant ... perhaps not commensurate to his crime, but he was found *guilty*... we live in a crazy, racist world that has some serious blinders on...

Oh ... on racism, that one that we don't admit to ... there is Johnny Depp and Tonto.  On the one hand, let me say that of course the depiction of Tonto is racist ... the character is racist.  This is also related to the issue that the character's clothing, speech, mannerism, etc are all fictionalized as is the native-ness of the character.  The character was created to embody all of the racist qualities that typify the stereotype of Native Americans. To expect that Tonto be anything else than that is, well, tonto... ridiculous.  I don't believe Depp is *part* Native American, and I don't care [everybody is entitled to their very own fantasy heritage, I guess].  I believe he cares about his movie doing well, and I don't care about that either.  Personally, I am waiting for the movie to hit the dollar theater.  On the other hand, there are some real world issues having to do with real, live Native Americans that one can be outraged about ... heck, you could try to do something about it, too.  Outrage is great for blogs, not so great for real life.  So, get a life or get busy doing something. I take these folks at their word when they say, it would be nice if he cares, but let's just solve the problem.

My favorite beach in Oxnard ... and the first beach in the county to give access to those in wheelchairs.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Heatwave ... j/k

Tue Jul 16

AM Clouds / PM Sun
AM Clouds / PM Sun

Wed Jul 17

AM Clouds / PM Sun
AM Clouds / PM Sun

Thu Jul 18

AM Clouds / PM Sun
AM Clouds / PM Sun

Fri Jul 19

AM Clouds / PM Sun
AM Clouds / PM Sun

Sat Jul 20

AM Clouds / PM Sun
AM Clouds / PM Sun

Sun Jul 21

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fruitvale Station

I relished the fact that Oscar's story would be told ... and enjoyed reading about its reception at Sundance.  I have read many pieces about the director, the story, its import, etc... but this review made me feel proud. I have nothing to do with the film except that this is where I am from ... this is the place I claim ... Oakland, in all its glory.

So movie summer will continue, if only in its last gasps before I begin my exams.  Luckily, I won't have to go through the rollercoaster of emotions on this one alone.  I am headed to Oakland tomorrow for the week... and my friends and I already had a plan to see the movie on Wednesday night. 

It took me a while to get to this other story on NPR because the headline made me angry ... fortunately, the piece is really about how this movie feels *emotionally* to people in Oakland ... people of color, not the white folks who are boarding up their windows.

I will be wearing my hoodie to this movie...

Friday, July 12, 2013

some other stuff I've been reading...

This piece really deserves its own post, but I don't have the energy.  I just would like to know how this judge thinks it is appropriate to send someone for etiquette classes when other judges are bending over for the little white starlets in LA and NYC?  Perhaps it is a lesson to be learned in judging, if I give this judge a ton of benefit of the doubt.  However, I am pretty sure that it is actually just another lesson in racism.  When our justice system figures out how to mete out sentences and judgments in a color blind way, we can talk, until then I have no respect for this system.

The Suicide Detective NY Times magazine piece on the increase of suicide.

Strings attached shelter ... for better or worse?

Best Sushi places in LA area... if only I were there to try them...

Super fascinating piece about what one antique dealer (estate buyer) found by opening a drawer in someone's house. 

Raymond Rodriguez (co-author of Decade of Betrayal) passed away at the end of June.  Here is the NPR story, and here is the LA Times story in its entirety (in case you already read four of their stories this week).

Raymond Rodriguez dies at 87; documented 1930s mass deportations to Mexico

Raymond Rodriguez co-authored 'Decade of Betrayal,' focusing on the unjust roundup and deportation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans by federal officials seeking remedies for the Great Depression.

Raymond Rodriguez with coauthor Francisco Balderrama
Raymond Rodriguez, left, and Francisco Balderrama co-wrote a book about the raid at La Placita in 1931 that triggered the deportation of more than 1 million people to Mexico, many U.S. citizens. (Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times / February 25, 2001)

Raymond Rodriguez was 10 years old in 1936 when his immigrant father walked out of the family's Long Beach farmhouse and returned to Mexico, never to see his wife and children again.

The son would spend decades pondering the forces that had driven his father away, an effort that reached fruition in "Decade of Betrayal," a social history of the 1930s focusing on an estimated 1 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans unjustly deported or scared into leaving their homes in the United States by federal and local officials seeking remedies for the Great Depression.

"Americans, reeling from the economic disorientation of the depression, sought a convenient scapegoat. They found it in the Mexican community," Rodriguez and co-author Francisco Balderrama wrote in the 1995 book, which sparked legislative hearings and formal apologies from the state of California and Los Angeles County officials.

Rodriguez, 87, a former Long Beach City College administrator and columnist for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, who believed "the greatest tragedy of all" was public ignorance of the deportations, died June 24 at his Long Beach home. The cause was believed to be a heart attack, said his daughter, C.J. Crockett.

"It is no exaggeration to say that without the scholarly work by Ray and Francisco, no one but a handful of individuals would ever know about the illegal deportations of Mexican Americans in the 1930s," said former state Sen. Joseph Dunn (D-Santa Ana), who sponsored 2005 legislation that apologized for California's part in "fundamental violations" of the deportees' constitutional rights.
Last year the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors apologized for the county's role in the roundups.

The deportations began a decade before the World War II internment of 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans on the West Coast. Federal and local authorities rounded up Mexican immigrants and their families at dance halls, markets, hospitals, theaters and parks, loading them onto vans and trains that dumped them on Mexican soil.

One of the most notorious raids occurred in 1931 at La Placita, a popular gathering spot for immigrants outside Olvera Street in Los Angeles. A team of Immigration and Naturalization Service agents armed with guns and batons sealed off the small public park and herded 400 terrified men and women into waiting vans. The success of the raid galvanized authorities in other localities across the country.

By 1940, Rodriguez and Balderrama found, more than 1 million people of Mexican descent had been deported. Government officials used the term "repatriation" to describe their actions, but the researchers found that 60% of the expelled were U.S. citizens. "They might as well have sent us to Mars," Rodriguez once said, recalling the words of one "repatriate."

Most of the deportees were not welcomed in Mexico. They were criticized for their American ways, for not fighting to remain in the U.S., and for being a burden on Mexico's economy.

"Ultimately, it was the children who bore the brunt of rejection and discrimination," wrote Rodriguez and Balderrama, whose book relied on oral histories as well as archival records. "They were neither Americans nor Mexicans as defined by their respective cultures."

The authors included in their estimate thousands of legal residents and U.S. citizens who left the U.S. on their own.

Rodriguez considered his father one of them.

"He figured: 'If they don't want me, I'm going back,'" the scholar told The Times in 2001.

His parents had immigrated around 1918 and became tenant farmers in Long Beach. "We had no money, but we had food, so we always had guests for dinner," Rodriguez recalled in 2003 in the Sacramento Bee.

When his father announced he was leaving, his mother refused to go, saying "I have five kids born here — we're not going to Mexico."

The older children plowed the fields, but hard times worsened and the family depended on welfare for awhile. Rodriguez, who was born in Long Beach on March 26, 1926, dropped out of high school his senior year and joined the Navy, serving in the Pacific during the war.

Later, he went to college on the GI Bill, earning a general education degree from Long Beach City College in 1951 before entering Long Beach State, where he received a bachelor's in elementary education in 1953 and a master's in education administration in 1957. In 1962 he earned a master's in U.S. history from USC.

He taught elementary and secondary students in the Long Beach Unified School District for almost a dozen years, until 1969. Over the next two decades he taught history and political science at Long Beach City College and also served as its affirmative action officer and dean of personnel, retiring in 1988.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Almira; son Craig Smith; sisters Angelina Ayala and Mary Johnston; and five grandchildren.

Rodriguez supported reparations for the deportees and their survivors, although "he wasn't a real strong supporter," Balderrama, an emeritus professor of Chicano studies and history at Cal State Los Angeles, said last week. Proposals to provide redress have failed to win legislative support and Rodriguez did not believe it was possible to place a monetary value on the suffering caused by the coerced departures.

"How is anybody going to compensate me for my loss?" he said, nearly overcome with emotion, when asked by the Sacramento Bee.

He saw public education as a more important goal.

"Over 1 million Mexicans were deported and yet, have you read about it in your history books?" Rodriguez asked a class at Cal State Long Beach several years ago. "Not knowing is the greatest tragedy of all. We know about the Holocaust. We know about the Japanese camps in World War II, but we don't know about the Mexicans."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Being, Poetry Thursday

Alaska, 2007

The beginning of love 
is to let those we love 
be perfectly themselves, 
and not to twist them 
to fit our own image. 
Otherwise we love 
only the reflection 
of ourselves 
we find in them.

— Thomas Merton

On the road, No California, 2009

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

surface and below

Many thoughts run through my head and sometimes they make sense.
Some highway from the car

I wonder what can I safely say aloud ... what can I write here?

I don't know... sometimes I think of the phrase that will fit, but it runs out of my head too quickly to get it down.

There are good days, mostly because I am sleeping enough or taking the homeopathic happy pills.

Then I forget that I need those things, and bad days creep in, take over.

I think I am supposed to be remembering how precious life is ... squeezing out of it as much as I can get.

But, instead, my eyes leak and my heart hurts and I breathe in and out.

These words resound in my head, heart and soul:

Be careful of what you can't take back.

Rescued from memory card

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

heartbreaking and necessary

I read about the procession and saw the pictures, people with hands over hearts watching fallen heroes hearses drive by, and I had to post this story about those who gave their lives to save the homes of others.  I get it; I really do. On the other hand, moving forward with my own life has been about thinking about all the things you can't take back.  Were homes more important than these 19 lives?  When will all of our complicity in the climate change become attached to the loss of these 19 and countless others?  The pain of the families is unfathomable... I loved the part in the stories about the procession that recounted never leaving any of the fallen alone.  In life and in death, they huddled close together.  It is my one regret ... the hours my sister was alone waiting for her organs to be harvested.  I hope she knew how much we love her and wanted to be with her until the end.

This one, I think, deserves to be reproduced here ... she's right, we all need to speak our truth.  We make decisions and we live with them ... and we understand the weight, but we need to share that with those around us, those we love and those who may need a face to put to a story.  What a beautiful gift this mother gave her daughters as they embarked on adulthood ... I will love you no matter what, you do not have to fear.

Op-Ed Contributor

My Mother’s Abortion

BOULDER, Colo. — ON June 25, I sat with my mother and sister in the gallery of the Texas State Senate to support Wendy Davis, a Democratic senator, in her filibuster against legislation that would limit abortions after 20 weeks and impose new regulations that would leave just a few abortion clinics open.

We were part of the crowd who raised our voices in anger as the Republicans who control the Legislature tried to shut down Ms. Davis, who spoke continuously for about 11 hours — unable to eat, drink, sit, lean or use the bathroom — to run out the clock on the session. We remained in the gallery until 1:30 a.m. on June 26, when state troopers finally made us leave. An hour and a half later, celebration erupted when we learned that the filibuster had succeeded.

Sadly, the victory was fleeting, as Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has summoned the Legislature back into special session to take up the issue again this week.

The legislation comes on top of Texas’ sonogram law, which Mr. Perry signed in 2011. It requires a doctor to conduct a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion and to give the woman the opportunity to see the results and hear the heartbeat of the fetus. Though she can choose not to view the images and hear the heartbeat, the doctor must describe what the sonogram shows.
My mother, Sherry Matusoff Merfish, sat and yelled in indignation beside my sister and me in the Senate gallery. She has two graduate degrees and has built an immensely satisfying career as a political fund-raiser devoted to the election of women who support abortion rights. She also embodies maternal warmth.

My mother chose to abort her first pregnancy, in 1972. She and my father, who celebrated 40 years of marriage on Jan. 6 this year, met as undergraduates at the University of Texas, Austin. They got engaged. Then my mother became pregnant. She was 20, and he was 21.

They knew they were thoroughly unprepared to be parents, but abortion was illegal in Texas at the time (unless a woman’s life was at risk). This was the year before the United States Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, a case originating in Texas, affirmed a woman’s right to have an abortion until the fetus was viable.

Fearing the stigma that would result if their families knew they had engaged in premarital sex and not used contraception, my parents did not tell their parents when they traveled to Albuquerque to end the pregnancy. My mother remembers, vividly, that the doctor who performed the procedure treated her as though she was a criminal. A few months later, they were married in San Antonio.

Until recently, fear of shame has kept her quiet about her experience, even as she passionately, publicly supported reproductive freedom. This is the first time we’ve discussed her abortion in public.

My mother waited until the evening before I began my first year at Wellesley College, in 2001, to tell me about her abortion. Her voice shook but never broke as she described her fear and her decision. She ended by reiterating that her choice was the right one and that her love for my sister and me was unequivocal. (She had told my sister, who is two years older, before she began college.)

I was shocked: at 18, I naïvely believed that only other women — not my family and certainly not my mother — needed this right that our family had long supported. We had volunteered at Planned Parenthood and canvassed for candidates who supported abortion rights. My mother said she wanted to reassure me that I had no reason to doubt her support in any situation I might face in my own life. Although it took a few years for the shock to wear off, knowing made me even more proud of her and more determined to defend reproductive rights.

Recently, I heard my mother reveal her experience to four friends who are devoted to protecting women’s right to choose. Strikingly, two of them revealed that they had had an abortion, and the other two had close friends who’d had an abortion. None had told my mother before.

What the movement for reproductive rights needs is for the faces of freedom to emerge from the captivity of shame. To my mother’s generation, I ask: Speak openly about the choices you have made.

To all women: ask your mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and partners about their reproductive histories. Show that abortion has myriad faces: those of women we love, respect and cherish. You have the power to cement in the minds of your communities and families the importance of reproductive freedom. You have made decisions that are private, even anguishing, but the weight of this political moment demands that you shed light on those decisions.

The opposition is frightening, as more states try to restrict abortion, but there is tremendous power and safety in numbers. You are part of a society of women who have been incredibly courageous; I ask humbly for yet another show of that bravery.

Beth Matusoff Merfish, a native of Houston, received a Ph.D. in May from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

I think it's a repeat, but worth it!

Flowers, Alaska, 2007
And the day came 
when the risk 
to remain tight 
in a bud 
was more painful 
than the risk it took 
to blossom
– Anais Nin

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


I have been frantically looking for everything today ... nothing is where I expected it to be ... wanted it to be.

All the while, I am seething about a perceived *slight* even though I know that it is rarely about *me* when others are rude or disrespectful.  Certainly, I know that these actions and reactions come from their own hurts and insecurities.

I know that what is called for is compassion.

But, I also know that compassion has to start with me ... or else there really isn't any chance to truly show compassion to others.

As, I continued to frantically look for things, my eyes fell on My Loving Reminders deck that showed up as part of an unsolicited gift.

I realized what I needed right now was one of those slow down moments we talked about in the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction class yesterday (more on that, someday).  So, I held the deck gently, fanned it out and mindfully chose a place to cut.

This card appeared:

When you find
your self
judging someone,
look for what 
in your self
you are not yet
to accept ...
hold that part 
of you
more gently!

It brought me back to me ... and the frantic searching. I could hear the voice in my head during that searching, berating myself for not knowing where something *important* is, for not being farther along on *everything* and for, in general, not being on top of everything.  [I heard a little of the voice of the therapist and the group in there, too.]

But, I know what to do ... yes, I will take the things with me that I might decide to read today... I will run some errands, and I will get the car's alignment done, and I will get some work done.  And, I will go to happy hour to celebrate. 

And, whatever I get done will be *enough* because I am *enough* every day in every way. 
Alaska, 2007

Sending loving reminders your way to be gentle with yourself.

Monday, July 01, 2013

From the stars

Brezsny has this to say about my life:

"Are you familiar with Quidditch? It's a rough sport played by wizards in the fictional world of Harry Potter. All seven books in the series mention it, so it's an important element. Author J.K. Rowling says she dreamed up the sport after having a quarrel with her boyfriend. "In my deepest, darkest soul," she reports, "I would quite like to see him hit by a bludger." (In Quidditch, a bludger is a big black ball made of iron.) I bring this up, Aquarius, because I suspect that you, too, are in position to use anger in a creative and constructive way. Take advantage of your raw emotion to make a lasting improvement in your life."

Ah, anger, can you be creative?