Wednesday, September 27, 2017

An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Through the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden as the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsakened
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An' the poet and the painter far behind his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
In the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute
For the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chaineded an' cheated by pursuit
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flared
An' the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting

Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An' for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Starry-eyed an' laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
(Bob Dylan, 1964)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Saved one day at a time by the beauty of music

Day to Day (For 6 Days a Week)

Thanks to NPR for bringing this to my attention today.  Scroll down to Tiny Desk for more.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

38 years / Perseverance furthers / 150 million years / Sherman Alexie


Back in 1979, my heart was set on traveling south about 5 hours from Bellingham, WA, and seeing the total eclipse of the sun in the town of Goldendale, near the Columbia River in Eastern Washington.  Due to circumstances that I thought were beyond my control (it's a long long story, but I have since realized that I had more choices then than I thought I did at that time), I witnessed only a partial eclipse here in Bellingham, WA.  The morning light from the cloud-hidden sun did dim somewhat and then brighten again to become simply overcast, but that was all that happened.  I grieved and resented my circumstances.  

After reading Annie Dillard's description of the eclipse I had missed seeing, I vowed that I would not miss seeing the next total eclipse. Annie Dillard wrote:

"I had seen a partial eclipse in 1970. A partial eclipse is very interesting. It bears almost no relation to a total eclipse."  

"Abruptly it was dark night, on the land and in the sky. In the night sky was a tiny ring of light. The hole where the sun belongs is very small. A thin ring of light marked its place."

I was 29 years old, and that was during an extended period of darkness in my life that had begun in December 1970 when my boyfriend brought the war in Vietnam home with him.  We were 21 years old. That darkness lifted in 1987 with my one-day-at-a-time recovery from a severe and unrelenting depression that had been caused by a combination of my life circumstances, alcoholism, bulimia, and anorexia.  

Even these dark times today are not as dark for me as those years between 1970 and 1987 when I had very little light within me.  That little light of mine was close to going out.

If not for a first cousin who lives in Florida and perseverance and good fortune, I may have missed the eclipse on August 21, 2017.  In the spring, my cousin emailed and asked if I was planning to travel to see the eclipse.  I've been so focused on making a living and paying my bills that I had somehow missed all the clues that the total eclipse I had waited 38 years for was coming up.  A few minutes after receiving her email, I went on the internet to see if I could get a motel room in Albany, Oregon, on the I-5 corridor, in the path of the eclipse.  To my surprise, I found out that I could get on a waiting list only, that motel rooms in the path of the eclipse had been booked up to a year in advance.

In discouragement, part of my mind began to tell me that old old story that circumstances were beyond my control.  My fertile and creative mind, however, went to work behind the scenes.  Soon I had another plan.  I could take the back roads and the Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry to the Olympic Peninsula and drive to Olympia on August 20. There were motel rooms available in Olympia.  On the morning of the eclipse, I could get up early and drive to the path of the totality.  I wouldn't even have to drive all the way to Albany.

After securing a motel room in Olympia and thinking everything was good to go, I began to read about the predicted traffic jams on I-5, and my mind went back to the old old story, "Too bad for you.  You're just too late.  These are circumstances beyond your control.  Just accept them.  Sure, you can go to Olympia, but you'll probably not make it to the path of totality and if you do, the traffic will be a nightmare." Abandoning hope for that plan, I cancelled the motel room in Olympia.

Despite my conscious pessimism, my unconscious mind went to work again and soon came up with a third plan of driving across the North Cascades Highway to the town of Wenatchee in Eastern Washington on the day before the eclipse and staying overnight there.  On the day of the eclipse, I planned to drive to the small town of Fossil, Oregon, and then back to Wenatchee the same day.  I had no trouble getting a motel room in Wenatchee on August 20.  Again, I was convinced that I was good to go.  Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon are lightly populated.  How much traffic could there be?  I looked forward to the spectacular drive across the North Cascades, to seeing the clear blue skies east of the mountains and above the Columbia River with its surrounding formidable golden hills in that part of Eastern Washington and then on to the vast bright golden rolling wheat fields of Central Oregon.  And so many stars at night!  Orion!

As the eclipse approached, the news on the internet became more and more negative in terms of horrific traffic jams and disaster areas in the path of the eclipse.  I began to doubt my plan.  The old old stories began to play in my mind.  Not a single friend or neighbor expressed any serious interest in traveling to see the totality, but they wished me well on my journey.   

On the night before I left for Eastern Washington, I told myself that I would get as close to the totality as I could, even if traffic prevented me reaching my destination.  The news had convinced me that I might well be hindered by a traffic jam and surviving that, I would arrive at the chaos of too many people and not enough services.  I was prepared to stop short of all that or, if it happened suddenly, I would turn around and find a more peaceful place some distance away and content myself with seeing a partial eclipse, knowing I had done my best to see the totality.

On August 20, I drove across Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway, to Highway 97 which would take me nearly all the way to Fossil. Here is a glimpse from that part of my journey, not far from where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Highway 20:

For the morning of the eclipse, I set my alarm clock for 2 a.m.  By 2:30, I was driving south on Highway 97.  The sky was clear and filled with stars.  Orion accompanied me to the dawn.  All the way to Fossil, Oregon, the traffic was light.  

There weren't all that many people who had driven to Fossil that morning.  When I arrived, it was quiet and peaceful.  Some of the visitors had arrived on previous days.  The town of Fossil had designated areas for setting up camping tents.  Those areas were not crowded.  There was no commotion.  

The clear fresh quiet sparkling feeling in the air and the golden rolling hills brought me back to my first memories as a child, living in a small town in the San Joaquin Valley of South Central California between 1954 and 1957.  Although there was a distinct sense of something being wrong in my life and the lives of my parents (angry mother, depressed father), I felt joy looking up at the sky and seeing the golden rolling hills.  By the time I was 5 years old, my little light had been inexplicably diminished.  I don't know exactly what had happened to me, but I was a sad anxious lonely child with little self-esteem.  I remember looking in the mirror and thinking I was getting old and ugly, and that no one would every marry me.  

While waiting for the eclipse, many of us walked around the small town in morning sunlight, and some of us made our way over to Fossil Hill behind the town's high school after reading informational signs indicating that it was a source of plant fossils, including that of Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood).  I paid $5 at the beginning of a narrow path that led to the hillside above the high school field where visitors had set up their tents and walked along the path and up the hillside.

A little girl was explaining to the visitors about the fossils.  She showed me a leaf fossil and gave me suggestions to help me in my plant fossil search.  I sat down with my back to the sun and started gently digging with a flat rock and with my hands.  Within a few minutes, I thought that I had probably found a Metasequoia fossil from possibly 150 million years ago.  When I showed it to the little girl, she confirmed that it was what I hoped it was and said that few people found the redwood fossils.  Redwood trees are dear to me.  I grew up with Redwood trees.  I'm still in awe of my find. 

The eclipse was still to come.  I walked back to my car to drink some water and find a good spot for watching the eclipse.  A very few of us chose to sit on a hillside facing south.  Most people sat with their faces toward the sun.  I sat in the shade of a tree because the sun was already hotter than I am comfortable with.  I could see the sun through the branches of the tree and by leaning forward and looking up to the east at intervals, could easily watch the moon pass over the sun with my eclipse glasses.

Gradually the landscape took on an odd color only seen during eclipses, as less and less sunlight could travel to the earth at the spot where we were sitting. I remembered experiencing something of that dimming light from the partial eclipse in 1979.  For me, it was not as Annie Dillard had described in her essay.  She called the light platinum.  To me the light was something like that of color photographs from the 1950s whose color has been altered by time, but that description is only an approximation of the peculiar light.

Nothing could have completely prepared me or any of us who had not experienced a total eclipse previously for the startling moment of the totality.  Here is a photo approximation from the moment before the totality and the totality.

If you've watched the video at the top of this post, you've heard the awe and wonder in the voices of some of the people who witnessed the eclipse.  The darkness didn't last long.  As abruptly as it had arrived, the darkness was gone, and the landscape gradually brightened until it was just as before, under the sun as we usually experience it.

I wish you could have seen the children dancing with delight.  I wish you could have seen the little boy of 4-5 years old who looked at me and smiled and said, "Epic!"

Here is what I saw after leaving Fossil and beginning my journey north. I wish you could see the radiant light of the wheat fields of North Central Oregon. This is just an approximation of that light.

Along with Orion, I was accompanied on the eclipse journey by the recent writing of Sherman Alexie.  In early 2017, in the wake of the election of our shadowy president, a Spokane Indian by the name of Sherman Alexie published You Don't Have to Say You Love Me:  A Memoir.  I heard about the release of the book from a blog friend, Beth. Sherman Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in a landscape much like that I passed through on my eclipse journey:

"Tribal members fished the Spokane River, the Columbia River, and utilized the grand Spokane Falls as a gathering place of family and friends."

I hope you will read this book that was written two years after the death of his mother.  He writes with love and grief about his relationship with his angry mother and his depressed father (who were so much more than their anger and depression) and the circumstances of their lives and the lives of native people since the arrival of the Europeans. Sherman Alexie has been in darkness darker than I have known, and he has much to say about surviving against all odds through centuries of trauma and grief.  He identifies as an atheist and writes about the presence of grace.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


New poem by Sherman Alexie on August 16, 2017

Thank you to Beth at Alive On All Channels.

... We will be courageous with our love. We will risk danger
As we sing and sing and sing to welcome strangers.
©2017, Sherman Alexie

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sheila Atim

Irish playwright, Conor McPherson

So much going on for all of us.  Doing the best we can.  Saved by beauty, by music, by friends.

Sending love.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mandala #27: Awake

Hoping you can see the slideshow I put together this morning after finishing my 27th mandala since beginning this series on September 17, 2014.

Update (July 31, 2017):  Mysteriously, the video of high water at Whatcom Falls that didn't appear in previous days is now suddenly viewable.  I have looked back to that post numerous times in the past month, only to find an empty space where I wanted the video to be. Scroll down to July 7.  It's another new morning here, and I'm getting ready to take a walk to the bridge underneath which the water flows through.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


"outside the windows" (scroll up the page to read about jarvenpa's life)

One of the first blogs I read and commented at was written by a woman whose blog name was jarvenpa.  She lived in a fairly unpopulated area in Northern California, not all that far from the ocean, in an area that I am familiar with and which is dear to me.  It was dear to her, too.

Just now I learned that she died at age 67 of a heart attack a little over two years ago.  Her last blog post was in the winter of that year.  I didn't get any more updates from her on my blog feed but would visit her blog anyway, wondering why she had stopped posting.  It never occurred to me that she had died.  Her posts had become less frequent.  She had many responsibilities.  A full life.

For some reason, today, I went to her blog again.  For some reason, I clicked on the name of her friend, ocean lady, who told a Buddhist story about a turtle.  I had just read Colleen's Turtle Musings.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
(John Muir)

jarvenpa is dear to me.  She shared her heart with us.  I'm grateful to have known her through blogging and for the connections we all continue to make through our blogs.

"...I’ve stayed up, haunted, through many a long night. And I wouldn’t have missed it. And…well, in the moment, the air is sweet. The bees have gone into their hives for the night. Some I love are dead, some are far from me, but right here the cats are purring, my littlest kid sits with his papa, the dog is smelly and loyal and content, and life goes on. For now, that’s enough."

Friday, July 7, 2017

Age 98! / Alive-Alive O

Ferlinghetti: On Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

This morning, I watched above video which was featured on the Doonesbury video archive yesterday. One of the last things my mother mailed to me, a few days before she died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack in December 1994, was a newspaper article about Lawrence Ferlinghetti. My mother wrote poetry until 1966, at which time she stopped writing poetry and took her first watercolor class.  For the rest of her life, she expressed herself through the visual arts.  In the days after she died, I found that she had been reading a well-worn copy of The San Francisco Poets, by David Meltzer.

Haven't been posting much, due to trying to achieve basic survival as a self-employed medical transcriptionist.

Although I was making some headway, that all changed (for me and thousands of those of us who make a living as medical transcriptionists) on July 27 when the worldwide computer virus, first affecting the Ukraine, took down the speech recognition software provided by Nuance Communications, used by 86% of hospitals in the United States.  Nuance also hires transcriptionists to work at home for poverty wages for many of these hospitals.

Many of us who barely make a living doing this challenging and emotionally rewarding work that is at the bottom rung of the medical profession were without work for a full week.  Although Nuance's speech recognition software is still unavailable to us, many of us who are independent contractors have been hastily retrained on clunky back-up software that has not been used for years.  We are back to transcribing every word that is dictated.

We are faced with a tremendous backlog of medical dictation that must be transcribed in a way that takes up to twice a long as with speech recognition and is the source of repetitive motion injuries.

And yet, it's been a beautiful summer so far.  Sunny, breezy.  Although I have not had the energy for much walking or my yoga practice, I have made sure to spend time with friends when I am not working.

Many of the current events in the world are disheartening but we are:

Saved by beauty:

Holding steady.

Perseverance furthers.  Have not been able to post videos on my blog for some time, but today I was successful.  This is from one of my rare walks in the past week or two.  High water at Whatcom Falls
(Hmmm ... the video shows up here on the editing page but not in Preview).  Perseverance furthers.


Saved by music:

Hope to have time soon to catch up on your blogs.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A young family / My nephew's girlfriend, my nephew and my great nephew

My great nephew turned 3 years old at the end of May!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Day After Memorial Day Meditation

"... I began to think about all the people who had been silenced during my lifetime and throughout history but who had found ways to speak without words."

While Remembering all those who have died in war and its aftermath throughout history, Bob Dylan's song came to my mind:

"... Let me (us -- am's translation) walk down the highway with my brother (our brothers and sisters -- am's translation) in peace ..." (Bob Dylan lyric)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Redemption Song, by Bob Marley

Old pirates, yes, they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look? Ooh
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill the Book
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill the book
Won't you have to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever had
Redemption songs
All I ever had
Redemption songs
These songs of freedom
Songs of freedom
Songwriters: Edwin Hawkins / Edwin R. Hawkins / Bob Marley
Redemption Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

You Can't Hurry Love

I've been listening to a copy of "Triplicate" that I put on hold at our public library.  Waited over a month for my turn to listen.  It's much better than I had expected.  I'm listening to it in my car only.  I'm on my second listen.

Don't know how long this will be on YouTube, from "The Triplicate Tour":

Bob is sounding as good as I've ever heard him.  You can't hurry Bob either.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Rainbow and Sacred Grief and Fierce Grace and Reconciliation After Death and Our Golden River and The Beloved Community

Thank you to Robert at The Solitary Walker, for posting the following from D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow on his Facebook page.  It is a bit of synchronicity that I read this passage this morning, the 9th anniversary of the death of the man that I met when we were 17 years and whom I loved, mostly from a distance, for 42 years and with whom I have found reconciliation and peace through his death.  When R and I were 20 years old, he was drafted and spent the year in Vietnam, and I spent the year waiting for him as well as participating in protests against the war in Vietnam.  One of the things we did after he returned was to go to a protest against the war, during which Joan Baez sang. During the time R was in Vietnam, I read The Rainbow.  It was this passage that engaged my full attention all those years ago:
'And then, in the blowing clouds, she saw a band of faint iridescence colouring in faint colours a portion of the hill. And forgetting, startled, she looked for the hovering colour and saw a rainbow forming itself. In one place it gleamed fiercely, and, her heart anguished with hope, she sought the shadow of iris where the bow should be. Steadily the colour gathered, mysteriously, from nowhere, it took presence upon itself, there was a faint, vast rainbow. The arc bended and strengthened itself till it arched indomitable, making great architecture of light and colour and the space of heaven, its pedestals luminous in the corruption of new houses on the low hill, its arch the top of heaven.
And the rainbow stood on the earth. She knew that the sordid people who crept hard-scaled and separate on the face of the world's corruption were living still, that the rainbow was arched in their blood and would quiver to life in their spirit, that they would cast off their horny covering of disintegration, that new, clean, naked bodies would issue to a new germination, to a new growth, rising to the light and the wind and the clean rain of heaven. She saw in the rainbow the earth's new architecture, the old, brittle corruption of houses and factories swept away, the world built up in a living fabric of Truth, fitting to the over-arching heaven.'
Most of you are familiar with my story.  Today I need to tell it again and see how far I have come this past year.
These last few months have been an unexpected and particularly difficult part of my grief journey, which began in 1971 with R's return from Vietnam and the violence that led to our separation and my inability to accept that the physical separation was permanent, until his death in 2008.  Although the bookAmbiguous Loss:  Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (recommended to me through a community grief support group in 2008) was immensely helpful in acknowledging my grief, a turning point came in the last few weeks as I was reading a book called Sacred Grief:  Exploring a New Dimension to Grief, by Leslee Tessmann. 

Sacred Grief.  "Fierce Grace" was the way Ram Dass spoke about it. Patti Smith has some healing thoughts about it here, and I thank Sabine for posting that just when I needed to hear those words spoken out loud by a woman who has survived many losses.
The painting at the top of this post was painted by me in 1999 soon after learning that R had been diagnosed with throat cancer and was recovering from a major surgery to his neck and throat.  We had not seen each other for 13 years at that point and had not talked for 9 years.  He had a lifelong struggle with drugs and alcohol and anger issues and for my well-being, I needed to keep a healthy distance from him, but something prompted me to call his mother in December of 1999.  It turned out that he had moved back in with his parents because of the cancer.  His mother handed the phone to him. The painting is titled "Reconciliation Dream."  
R's cancer returned in 2001 and went into remission again in spring of 2002, at which time he began to use drugs and alcohol again, and I had to distance myself from him for my own well-being.  
After having a brainstem stroke in September of 2007 as a result of alcoholic drinking, R spent the last 8 months of his life in a VA hospital.  I would not have known this except that, once again, I was prompted, against my better judgement, to contact his sister, who told me that she knew that he would love to hear from me. Two months before R died, I dreamed that we were connected forever by a rainbow, although we could not touch each other in a physical way. In the distance between us, a rainbow was created.  I wrote him a letter, in which I related the dream.  His brother, whom he asked to read the letter to him, said that R was deeply moved by my dream of us. 
In the last week of R's life, I drove from Washington State to be with him in the ICU at VA Hospital in Palo Alto, California.  Because he had MRSA, I had to wear a face mask, hospital gloves, and a protective gown when I visited with him.  I could touch him but only through hospital gloves.

Words and music by Pete Seeger

Sailing down my golden river
Sun and water all my own
Yet I was never alone

Sun and water, old life givers
I'll have them where ere I roam
And I was not far from home

Sunlight glancing on the water
Life and death are all my own

Yet I was never alone

Life for all my sons and daughters
Golden sparkles in the foam
And I was not far from home

Sailing down this winding highway
Travelers from near and far
And I was never alone

Exploring all the little byways
Sighting all the distant stars
And I was not far from home

Sailing down my golden river
Sun and water all my own
Yet I was never alone

Sun and water, old life givers
I'll have them where ere I roam
And I was not far from home

Yet I was never alone
And I was not far from home

From my self-published book, in which I put together, soon after R died, my paintings and poetry from the previous 42 years: 

"Both of us sustained war wounds.  Something in us died young.  We were not alone."

I know this for sure today.  We were never alone.  There is a beloved community that Martin Luther King, Jr., envisioned.  It continues to grow, despite all odds.

(As I was finishing this post, the phone rang.  It was my old friend, Yom, who came from Vietnam with the first wave of refugees in 1975.  I was one of the first people she met after arriving in Bellingham.  She sustained war wounds, too, but went on with her life in a way that I was unable to do.  We met in a factory, here in Bellingham, where we both did industrial sewing.  I felt an immediate connection with her because we were the same age and had been deeply affected by the Vietnam War.  The man she had loved had died when his throat was slit by a Viet Cong.  She just happened to call today.  We talk every few months.  She has been happily married for many years.  She and her husband adopted a baby Vietnamese boy who is now a thriving American teenager.  There is much joy in her life as a wife and mother and gardener.  She continues to work part-time after retiring. I am grateful for her friendship. This day has been filled with synchronicity, beginning with the quote from The Rainbow on Robert's Facebook page. Astonishing that Yom would call today of all days.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hexagram 58 / Tui / The Joyous Lake that I have not fully acknowledged

Between my living room and porch and the
mountains to the east, there is a 14-mile lake.  I rarely
mention it.  I'm not sure why I have paid so little
attention to such a beautiful lake, except that for
so many years, I missed the ocean so much that I
could not get excited about a lake. That is changing.
I've been walking a short  distance along its shore
as part of my walking route in the last few weeks.
There is also a 6-mile round-trip trail along the
north shore of the lake.  Next time I walk there,
I will bring my camera.

Hexagram 58 -- Tui -- The Joyous Lake on a cloudy
early morning a few weeks ago:

You've seen the mountains on the other side of the lake
before.  Here's a spring view of them:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Walk of Life

Above is a photo from early May of 2016 at West Beach of Deception Pass State Park, about a hour's drive south from Bellingham.

April 16, 2017, is a sunny day on the coast in Mendocino County, California.  It's a cloudy day here in Northwest Washington State, but the birds are singing and there are flowers everywhere and people out walking.

And I found this interview from 2011:

"Mary Oliver: What I have done is learn to love and learn to be loved. That didn't come easy. And I learned to consider my life an amazing gift. Those are the things."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"15,000 Years Later"

1.  Nikki McClure's paper cut:  15,000 Years Later.

2.  Coast Redwood seedling on my porch.  Ordered on-line from Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California.  Arrived in my mailbox on St. Patrick's Day.  Planted in memory of my father who died on St. Patrick's Day in 2003.  I hope that my seedling lives 2,000 years, if not 50,000.  The three redwood seeds that I planted in December did not sprout, but I have followed my intuition as did the man in my dream from last December.

3.  "Another, more beautiful America is arising ..." (Rebecca Solnit)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mothers and Dolls and Horses and Daughters / "Music is the best way to communicate"

Still thinking about my unbridled laughter mixed with tears in response to the video of the runaway horse, along with the one of the Tyrannosaurus Rex making a snow angel and making its uneven way through the snowy landscape and how those tears and that laughter relate to experiencing some peace in connection with my mother, who died in 1994.  If she were still alive, she would be 101 years old on April 30. Maybe not peace.  Maybe just losing my fear of the Tyrannosaurus Rex mother and meeting the gentle looking child that my mother was as she held her doll.

1.  My mother as a 4-year-old girl in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1920, holding a beloved doll.  My mother said that she always wanted to have children, from an early age.

2.  My mother as a young woman in the 1930s in Los Angeles.

3.  Me in our apartment in San Mateo, California, with my red horse, 21 months old, Easter Day.

4.  Me at 2 years old with my red horse.  My mother did not seem to like me and my sisters or my father, and I did not like dolls or ever picture myself being married.  When my mother brought me to a toy store and asked me to choose a doll, I angrily refused to choose a doll.  I remember that moment so clearly.  I wanted a boyfriend from a very early age but believed I would never have one because I was unloveable, that no one would ever want to marry me.

5.  The orange horse with the purple mane and red-violet bridle that I drew when I was 5 years old.

6.  My mother, my youngest sister, and me just before I turned 8 years old, when I was starting riding lessons at Rohn Stables, not far from where we lived in Redwood City, California.  I was not afraid of horses, but I was deeply afraid of my mother's anger.  When I saw the movie "Jurassic Park," around the time my mother died, the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex reminded me of my mother.  I could not imagine growing up and having children and being as unhappy and angry as my mother seemed to be.

I've probably posted all these photos before.  I am seeing them with new eyes.

"Music is the best way to communicate" (Toumani Diabate)