This week, I’ve been on “flu-cation” (flu-vacation) and content in my quiet, feverish little cave, appreciating how simple life gets when you are sick and how miraculously the body rises to the occasion, as you surf the swell of symptoms. If you go under, you are a mind in a diving bell, watching the tsunami from the inside.

     I found it almost comforting, resting in a process where my survival is beyond my conscious control, and the outcome is not of great concern. I’m just here, amid a swirl of mostly familiar sensations, with an attitude not of “Poor Me” but of “Wow. Cool.”

     My only duty was to rest…make soup, pee, sleep, repeat. Ah, Simplicity, and the good fortune of the shelter in which to do my simple job.  Occasionally I would talk to myself, like an amused M.C., charged with keeping the troupes rallied. It’s fun to talk to yourself when you sound like somebody else; and this week, I’ve sounded like Leonard Cohen.  Hallelujah.  …Hineni, hineni…You want it Darker?

      This afternoon I ventured outside the bubble. I took the four minute drive to Agora (the local grocery and shopping center). Agora means “gathering place.” But, just by turning outward, I had tuned into the collective before I got there. The radio was on in the car when I started it.  I caught just a minute or two of headlines from Democracy Now…about some new protests in solidarity against Trump (Dance Anyway), about legislative bills being floated several places in the country to suppress protests by suing protestors to pay for their right to police protection, and about the new administration’s edict that all Environmental Protection Agency employees must sign gag orders and have their funding and projects vetted, and Obama’s recent pro-environment actions reversed, etc.

It’s chilling. And one wants to speak out for what one believes to be true, for what one knows to be our fragile, too-long-taken-for-granted democracy and rights and against such a swift and flagrant slide toward Orwell’s dystopia.

One wonders how to make a difference.

I could feel how the right wing and pro-life folks have felt for the past eight years. Desperate (and impotent).

And I could feel how those despondent from the election feel. Impotent (and desperate).

I asked What can I do?
One habit is to go within, remember what is real behind the pageant of changing conditions.
Another habit is to write.
But, while I’m playing the human game, is this enough?

It feels like our democracy is being eviscerated. It is hard to stand by and watch.

It is hard to feel like there is no way to change another’s mind …
nor to change one’s own mind enough to dull the doom.

It is hard to believe in a world that must go through this, chugging like a train ineluctably into nightmare, gaining momentum as it seems to jettison all that is sane and humane.
It is hard to believe one is on that train and can’t wake up.

It is hard not to be able to reach the one in the conductor’s seat—whether you believe that is someone else, some aspect of your self, or both.

How swiftly one’s peace is upstaged by the Punch and Judy show.

But peace, for now, is still here. And, for now, I can tend it here, can stoke the flame where it still burns, can join my flame with others’: Not necessarily to burn down the haunted house we stand in, but to live in Light.

Beyond that, I have no answer, except to rest: make soup, love, pee, love, sleep, love, repeat. And don’t forget to laugh.



Only the closed mind is certain, sir. –Dean Spanley

In our little writing play-shop today, the final prompt to explore was the statement:

When something is lost, we must find it in ourselves.

Although the prompt was inspired by the recent election, it holds true more generally, not to mentioned in a million ways more personally.  The responses were varied and poignant.  When I read mine, someone said it should be a blog post.  I said, “why not?” and I post the unpolished musing here:

    I see I have lost my certainty. So many people seem to have it (certainty), and yet their conclusions to me seem ill-considered, making me afraid to be certain and consequentially blind, arrogant and limited. Like a good unaffiliated Buddhist,* I jettisoned all my beliefs, only to find that humans do not function, do not survive, without belief in something. So, knowing I cannot be sure that anything I think I know is true, I make the most conscious choices I can in choosing what I believe, with the willingness to be wrong and to change my belief. 

In losing certainty, have I gained wisdom? I have, certainly, gained humility.

In watching a world so uncertain, I have gained responsibility. And my responsibility is to forgive, to love and to know what can’t be proven to the certain.


*Here shorthand for “Klezmer-loving, Tree-hugging Zen Sufi Taoist in Christ”



Water Music

Comforted, engulfed this morning by the surround sound of drenching winter rain. From under the eave, I bathe in motherly mist, in the positive glow of negative ions, and I celebrate the eskimo spectacular of water missiles–100 gradations of wet and of frozen.    Some streaks stay water from Heaven to Earth; others are granted a softer landing, blooming like popcorn into snow.

It is a complete symphony, not just the rat-a-tat percussion section of water javelins; not all drops sized to play the same octave. Some sigh of sibilance; others hold the silence of deep sky.  All sing of jubilation, and dozens of robins twirl and trill along.

And then the roar lifts, like an airplane releasing the runway, road noise falling silent. Roof is transformed from resonance chamber to reservoir, as all races of rain settle back into their origin, settle into one tone and evolve, through silent snow… brittle, brilliant ice…and then, again, into liquid laughter, giggling through gutters to ground.



Still life of Uncertainty, Holy Emigres all

They Stand on the Counter
Empty vessels of poetry
The Vase family and their foundling spoon rest
Clustered into a still-life of exquisite fragility,
of uncertainty
and of Beauty that quadruples in their congregation
Beauty that reaches into me
like the eyes of refugees.
From their delicacy
and the fullness of their emptiness,
            they whisper to what is never homeless,
                              to my own hidden glory,
                                             these Refugees–
                                                          no, these Holy emigres–
                                                                                     from Lola’s Kitchen.