Monthly Archives: July 2012

Day of Rest

Metta Prayer (original version here)

May we be well, happy and safe.
May we be free from suffering and at ease with pain.
May we live in peace and harmony with all beings.
May we live with a heart and mind that is always in balance.
May we accept with understanding and wisdom the events in life and the world.
May we forgive others and ourselves for the inevitable harms we cause each other.
May we have the patience, courage, understanding, and determination to overcome the inevitable problems in life.
May we experience and manifest loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.

On this day of rest, dear reader, and with my whole heart, I am wishing these things for all of us.

Leaving Home, Going Home

They say that home is where the heart is. I would agree with this, but the problem for me is half my heart lives in Oregon and the other in Colorado, with my body shuttling between the two. And yet, I don’t ever feel like I am living with half a heart, or carrying the ghost of another half, more like I have two full hearts residing in two different locations, but somehow still connected, like twins who can feel each others pain, sense what the other is experiencing.

This morning I discovered that other than the first day of July, when I correctly wrote “7-1-12” in my journal, I’ve been dating every entry with a “6” and thus giving myself a whole extra month of June. With the weather here at the coast never getting much warmer than mid-60s, you could almost believe in two Junes.

Cape Foulweather

But now it’s time to go back, to temperatures in the high 90s, to a place that was on fire when we left and is now in the thick of sadness, confusion, and anger brought on by another kind of tragedy. Yesterday, all I wanted to do was watch HGTV and sleep, which is rare. I hardly ever watch that much TV anymore–when I am “sick” maybe (too depressed and tired to get dressed and leave the house, barely able to get out of bed), but I haven’t been that for a long time now. This post from Jennifer Louden helped yesterday, “Ways to Channel Fear and Sadness,” reminded me of what I already know to be true. She ends the post with this: “We are human and fragile and afraid – together.  Never alone, my friend, never alone.”

Later in the day, I even found myself smiling a little.

There are a lot of lasts today: last full day at the beach, last sleep in this house, last farmer’s market, last serving of marionberry cobbler (*sob*). Walking on the beach this morning, talking about how this last month went by so fast (the kind of talk that always reminds me of this post on A Design So Vast, where Lindsey’s daughter says to her “When you’re in them, days take a long time.  But then when you look back they went really fast”–brilliant, and exactly…), I asked Eric “how do you get your life to slow down?”

Farmer’s Market this morning in Newport, our last one

Eric answered: less internet, less tv, less feeling like you have to be “on,” checking in and connected. I know from practice that slowing down is about relaxing into the moment, remaining present, surrendering, no judgement or rejection, no plans or control or even hope. Let go. Give up your agenda. Pay attention. Breathe. It’s simple, but we make it so hard.

South Beach, south of Newport, where we walked/ran this morning while being chased by 100 mosquitoes trying to eat us

Much love to you, kind and gentle reader. I have a post for tomorrow, but won’t be doing a Something Good list this week, as we’ll be on the road to Colorado, moving from this home to that one.

Gratitude Friday

This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. Spending time with family. Movie day with Mom (and Dad, although he usually doesn’t watch the movies with us), lunch and walking on the beach and ice cream with my brother and niece, and dinner with aunts and uncles.

2. Farmer’s Market produce and Depoe Baykery baked goods. Oh how I am going to miss them, but there’s word that my garden in Colorado is producing cucumbers and the tomatoes are starting, and it’s probably time to lay off the sweet, sweet carbs for a bit as well.

3. My purple fleece robe. This item has wrapped me in warmth and comfort through some really hard times of grief and sadness and depression, as well as being useful during better times. Eric bought it for me for Christmas many, many years ago. It is simple, functional, clearly durable, and a long time favorite, and was a good thing to have with me this summer, where the temperature never got much above the mid 60s and I was trying to learn to rest and take better care of myself.

4. Naps, sinking in and relaxing. The boys and I have shared many a nap during this vacation, pure bliss when you get up early and take long walks and have no plans, no work, no where you need to go. I need this kind of rest, and my only worry is how I will manage it when I am back at my paid job. But for now, no worries. The boys are napping as I write this post, and I soon as I finish, I’ll probably join them.

5. HGTV. This is the only thing I miss about not having cable TV. I’ve been able to watch it this whole month, since the house we are staying in has access. I am especially loving International House Hunters. I barely even bother with the other channels.

6. Hiking yesterday, and then the long shower I took after.

7. This vacation, this month at the beach in Waldport, but also going home to Colorado. This place is home too and I have loved being here so much and as it does every time, my heart will break a little when we have to go, but I’m also missing my little house, my bed, my studio space, my garden, my routine there, and my friends. I am looking forward to returning, to catching up and reconnecting with that space and those people.

Bonus Joy: Laughing with Eric. Sometimes he makes me almost hurt from it and I have to beg him to stop, but sometimes he’s the one who can’t stop.

Things I Forgot about Hiking on the Oregon Coast

This morning, Eric and the dogs and I hiked the Cummins Creek Trail near Cape Perpetua. Hiking is for me what church is for other people, a sacred space where I can actively connect with that which is larger than myself, a way to worship and celebrate and surrender, to give thanks for the wonderful life I get to live and the amazing beauty in which I get to live it.

Eric doing an impression of Tron

Our hike this morning reminded me a few things I’d forgotten about hiking on the Oregon Coast.

  • I forgot: The way the wind contorts the trees at the very edge of the forest, where it meets the sea, permanently shaping and bending them.
  • I forgot: Slugs and spit bugs, (those last ones are every bit as gross as they sound).
  • I forgot: How much I love Hemlock and Maple trees.
  • I forgot: How up in the big Hemlocks and Firs and Redwoods and Maples, the ground beneath your feet is nothing but tree roots and decayed plant matter, moss and fungi, and that all makes it super springy, spongy, soft.
  • I forgot: That it’s w a y more humid than in Colorado. At one point on our hike today, I was completely wet, body and clothes, covered in a thick layer of sweat and water, dripping and soggy. I had to finally give up and put my sunglasses in my pocket because they kept fogging up, making me blind.
  • I forgot: As in Colorado, you have to hike hard and far to get to the real sweet spot.

    Today’s sweet spot, about half way into the loop, four miles in and 1200 feet up.

    The view from today’s sweet spot.

  • I forgot: While in Colorado on a hike you might see up to 40 different plant species, on the Oregon Coast you see at least 400.
  • I forgot: Sometimes, it’s so beautiful that you can’t hardly believe it’s real, and you love it so much it hurts.

Things I Forgot about Oregon in the Summer

  • I forgot: The utter glory, the sheer magic of berry season. The full measure of deliciousness and wonder to be found in Marionberries, farm fresh blueberries and raspberries and strawberries, as well as farmer’s market cucumbers and lettuce and tomatoes, real maple bars, and seafood fresh from the Pacific.
  • I forgot: That giant, lush roses and daisies and sweet peas and hollyhocks grow wild in the ditches along the side of the road, and in some places, the trees are so thick you can’t see through them.
  • I forgot: There are some trees that are so green they are almost black.
  • I forgot: That nothing here ever dries completely, that it’s either soaked, soggy, wet, or damp. I forgot mud and mold and moss.
  • I forgot: Every summer has its very own soundtrack. This summer it’s Beach House Radio on the TuneIn Radio app. It’s perfect, “If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air,” (Groove Armada, At The River).
  • I forgot: Even when you have tons of good food available, you don’t have to eat it all at once, don’t have to eat until or unless you are hungry. There is enough, enough time, enough goodness. You can wait, or you can eat–either way you can relax into the sweetness of enough.
  • I forgot: If you drive HWY 22, you will get stuck in traffic caused by massive farm equipment driving slowly down the road towards the next field.
  • I forgot: The gray sky and rain will make me feel terrible, down and depressed and tired, even this near the beach.
  • I forgot: This close to the ocean, it’s like there is a giant white noise machine running 24 hours a day, and it’s wonderful.
  • I forgot: I never tire of walking on the beach, the smell and the sound and the shape of it. This space, this place is precious.
  • I forgot: On some days, it’s so foggy that you can’t see the ocean, even if you are right next to it.
  • I forgot: In Waldport, owning a weed-eater is more important than owning a lawn mower.
  • I forgot: Sometimes driving to the store to buy groceries or taking a shower is the only time you’ll have alone, so take advantage of it.
  • I forgot: How much I like the people I love, how much I enjoy their company, and how much I miss them when we are apart. It is absolutely a survival technique to forget this, because if I felt the entire measure of how sad I was to be separated from them, I’d fall down and never want to get back up.

    Me and my brother (who I adore).

  • I forgot: It’s more fun to remember stuff with other people who remember the same things, even if your memory of it isn’t exactly the same.
  • I forgot: No matter how long or how well you know someone, you still don’t know everything.
  • I forgot: That I am never really ready to go home, because this is home too.

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to start?

Getting published. I believe in this in a way I never was able to before, and now I need to get organized, approach it with focus and determination. I need to write the first book so that I can start the next one, which is right there waiting, not very patiently. I have done so much writing around these two books that the sense and shape of them, the anticipation, the magic waiting to be born feels at times like it’s choking me, like I can’t breathe. I also wish to write and submit all the smaller things swirling around, shiny and sharp. I have to get them out and let them go.

Taking real care of myself. Getting enough play and rest, spending my creative energy, eating healthy amounts of good foods, doing enough exercise, practicing true self-care and fierce self-love, sinking deep into my practices–being healthy in all the ways I’m currently not well, not strong. Embodying and manifesting my innate wisdom and compassion and power.

Living a wholehearted life, wild and precious. When we were walking down on the bayfront in Newport today, a little girl stopped me and said “Do you want your fortune told? It only costs a dollar.” Her friends had dared her to do it, so I gave her a dollar. She smiled and said “You are going to have a wonderful life,” and ran to catch up with her friends. You know what? I think she’s totally right.

Three Truths and One Wish

As I mentioned yesterday, today is movie day with my mom. I am leaving early in the morning to drive over to the valley, so I have set this post, which I actually put together yesterday, to auto-publish.

As I was trying to come up with my own three truths, I kept coming back to things I’d seen recently, written by three other amazing women. Statements profound and precise, phrases that cracked me wide open, my heart spilling over it’s edges, becoming equally softer and more fierce with their force, their rightness. So today’s three truths are not my words, but they are certainly my truths.

1. Truth from Susan Piver: who you really are is the offering. She sent this one in the Open Heart Project Practitioner newsletter on the day I arrived in Portland for the World Domination Summit (WDS). Reading this, and later remembering it gave me such comfort as I approached that event.

Being genuine, letting who you are rise to the surface, is actually the point of the spiritual path. We don’t meditate to become great meditators. We meditate to become who we really are… As it turns out, this is also how we offer our most precious gifts to this world. And when there is one genuine-hearted warrior in the room, it calls forth the genuineness of others. Thus it is an act of compassion to simply be yourself.

2. Truth from Fiona at Writing Our Way Home: you aren’t alone. Oh wow. This is exactly how I felt the first day of WDS, how I feel so often, but I have never been able to describe it so smartly.

I always feel wobbly in new groups. I want strangers to know how brilliant I am, to feel that I am contributing something valuable, & to love me. I can wait around five minutes for this to happen.

This can be challenging if they have already known each other for many years, or don’t really need anything, or are human beings.

3. Truth from Cheryl Stayed, as Dear Sugar: all that time was not wasted. This one makes me cry every time I read it.

The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.

One wish: That we all realize, recover or remember who we really are, brilliant and precious exactly as we are, messy and stinky, a little broken and bruised, “tiny beautiful things” that are a gift, an offering, a wish and a prayer and a promise, every one of us.