Saturday, August 31, 2013

Going out and coming back

There is a network of public walking paths all through Port Townsend, and this morning I take myself out for a bit of exploration.  None of the trails are marked and I deliberately take a turn off of the main trail that I know.  This path is much more windy then I imagined and I think that it leads me back to my original trail, in a large half circle.  I turn to the right wanting to make sure that my assumption is so.

Lucky for me, I am incorrect and I am thankful that I am careful to check out my assumptions.  I am on a path that is perpendicular to the original path, which I imagine cuts straight through.

I walk on the perpendicular path for some time and reach a crossroads.  Always making right turns I assume that I will end up where I began.  I walk much further than I think would lead me back to a crossroads and rather than push into my assumption, I retrace my steps.

I am happy for my prudence.  Soon I am reunited with my original path and I head home.

I remember being in Berkeley and continuing to walk in wider and wider circles.  I look forward to this new exploration through the woods and charting my progress on a map and learning where I am in relation to the sun.

I check out my mailbox and am delighted to see a label with my last name on it when I open it and look inside.  I note a Washington license plate on the car parked on the street and feel delight in my heart.

My surroundings are new, but my dreams are as old as the earth.  In this recognition and tensions of opposites, I, we are held.  Always.

A path through the woods

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


 I am learning the lay of the land in Port Townsend, WA as I begin my 10-month ministerial internship at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Lucky for me my lovely apartment on the Quimper Pennisula is surrounded by hiking trails, and I have arrived in time for blackberry season.

So after settling in, and filling my refrigerator and pantry shelves with a generous trip to the Food Coop and to Trader Joes in Silverdale, I donned my jeans, garden shirt and gloves and walked to the patch Stephen and I had located several days before.

 The landscape is lush and the brambles intense. Blackberry picking in the Pacific Northwest is serious business and more than once I found myself totally caught up in my desire to reach the thumb-sized black jewels. Walking home, with a couple of quarts in my shoulder bag, I was sure that I had never picked many blackberries before, remembering with fondness the wild raspberries and blueberries I had gathered in the Upper Delaware.

But upon returning home and examining my scratches that dotted my knees, grabbing me through my thick jeans, a memory of scratches from my elementary school days broke through my consciousness. Our brains store our memories and it's lovely to be exploring this new place and remembering old ones too.

Monday, January 09, 2012

There in the reflection


I take myself out to the woods. I am looking for possibility. I am looking for clarity and a bit of fresh air.

I find the ice formations on the stream intriguing. I notice the lichen on the rocks is growing in a way that I don't remember. I surmise that it is because the rocks are generally covered with snow and that the winter has been surprisingly warm.

I download my pictures and find myself reflected in the ice. It reminds me that life, consciousness, the universe is a hologram and that we are actually reflected in every bit of our life and life as a whole.

Sometimes it's not an obvious as we might like. Mostly, we don't realize our power in our sense of powerlessness. But we're there, just the same.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Message from the left

Sometime back I read "Homecoming" by John Bradshaw and did the exercise of writing to my "inner child" by using my opposite hand. It had a profound effect on me and accessed a different part of my brain. I have since used that technique to access wisdom that seems to come from beyond me. Here's what emerged yesterday:

When all is lost, go back to basics.
Kiss your husband and children deeply,
Pay your bills; clean your house.
Find a past time you enjoy.
Pray and be grateful for whatever comes your way.

Don't forget to drink water.
Go outside.
Feel the earth under your feet
and breathe deeply.

I continue to get rid of 27 things each day. Yesterday's discards were from my top bureau drawer. Tags from clothing, spent potpourri, vanity handkerchiefs, various odds and end. The cleansing job is not thorough, but there is a little less clutter in the drawer. Today, I sorted through a pile of paper and recycled some 27 pieces. The pile is still there, although smaller.

So when all is lost, keep sorting, keep making room. Keep a practice that keeps you focused on something. Because when you're focused on something, you are focused on something.

Go back to basics: everything is what it is.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A different reflection


One of my main tenets is that all things lost are found. I can only hope that it is true for me, for all of us.

It's not that I'm physically lost, it's that I'm emotionally adrift. It may or may not show to the casual observer, but it's apparent if you look closely into my eyes. It could be the continuing grief of the loss of my younger brother this past fall. Although I think feelings of disconnection has been going on for awhile. Perhaps a lifetime. Perhaps all of our lifetimes.

Maybe we are all becoming aware of it because the human world itself is adrift, floating in some space of unreality, caught in its own manifestation where truth is untruth, and what's good for one is not good for the whole. For in the detail is the whole, a natural hologram that seems, in this moment, to me, to be spiraling downward.

Perhaps it is just darkest before the dawn.

Certainly there are those lucky ones who find some sort of sustenance in the art of daily living, the pleasures of family and the comfort of home. There are even those that are sparked by the challenges that this world adrift offers.

And in the new year there are lots of thoughts of new beginnings and hope. I, myself, harbor the hope that this year will be year of coming together, a time when all of our uniqueness will coalesce into a beautiful symphony that is each and every one of us, revitalized.

So I begin. I'm on Day 2 of getting rid of 27 things, thinking that as I lighten the load, I will lighten myself. Today I discarded unused and half-burnt candles and at least four power supply cords. Lord knows what I will do when I find the appliance or gismo that needs the power supply -- add it to the next 27 things to get rid of, no doubt.

I also am committed to a bit of exercise. While weight is not a problem, my mid-fifties body is in need of some tuning, as is my mind, as is my spirit.

So here's to the journey. To celebrate each day and to connect with myself in a positive manner is my goal. This blog, here, now, is that commitment actualized.

Perhaps you have your own journey that you will share in this space.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Everything has a pattern

There are patterns in everything based on their inherent qualities.

They change and they stay the same.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mary of the woods

It was there in the woods on the side of a small road that borders the west branch of the Ten Mile River. A small shrine, a Mary figurine. I discovered it when I was driving the back roads of Tusten following Hurricane Irene.

I stop there everyday now and sit, waiting for inspiration, guidance, and a bit of solace. Generally, there is some thought that comes to mind.

Yesterday, it was the paradox, "Something there is nothing but the breath; the breath is everything." It is not lost on me that everything is broken in that shrine: Mary is cracked, the vase has no bottom, the candles, spent and chipped. Much like me. Perhaps like you.

Still, despite the brokenness and perhaps because of it, the shrine is sacred and brings me peace when I sit and listen.