Thursday, July 31, 2008

shimmering second new day

"I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my good."  John Randolph Price... and me.

Meditation Notes:  Milling dogs, wanting to go Bamboo hunting with Wayne.  The Orioles feeding, the male clucks and the female is downright gabby, yum yum.  Restless dogs, Luna flopping on my feet, getting up and leaving.  My mind goes with her, damn, is she into??? Come back here, mind.  Pie settles on my feet, now I am grounded, and we both breathe into big sigh.

Source and Substance.  I AM, the Divine Presence.   Shimmering edge of consciousness, I feel It coming, Presence never leaves; I quiet to experience Presence, I am going In:

Source.  I come from this shimmer, light and vibrating.  Deep and color filled vibrating.  I know the I AM.  I've been here before.  This Is the Well from which I come.  I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my good.

Trust.  I trust that my good includes financial goodness, wealthful prosperity.  All fear melts back to the nothingness from whence it comes, all fear melts before it even arrives.  I fill with Trust,  I know of Source and Substance.

In gratitude, I accept my good, I accept and celebrate all shifts in consciousness that bring me to the Light and Love of Divine Presence.  With Joy and Trust I release this word completely
the Law accepts already.  

And So It Is.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A New Day, A New Life

Today is the first day of a 40-day love fest.  I am beginning again, and again.  Must be, can be, IS renewal: the 'program' is simple, though it takes some preparation, and then of course, commitment.  So, for the next 40 days, I commit to this schedule:  Read and write the meditation statement; meditate for 15+ minutes on the statement; write in my journal thoughts that come to me during the meditation.  

Today's meditation: God is lavish, unfailing Abundance, the rich omnipresent substance of the Universe.  This all-providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized...AS ME...the Reality of me.

Notes:  My mind jumped and wandered and gossiped.  I regretted things I said yesterday, namely that I am unregarded, unloved, or not considered.  I wished my daughters would read a book that I recommend to them.  My peace was plundered a number of times.  None of this is my business, of course.  As I wrote and write my 'reactions' to meditating, I realize that coming home to God, within, is my work, my sole and soul work.  I wished that the longing within me was more identifiable than being hungry, wanting compliments, wanting to make love, wandering around wondering 'what am I going to DO?'  Come Home, Dear One.  All is Well.  Those 15 minutes swept by quickly, dogs loved the at-the-feet time with me; Quiet returns.  God Is, I Am.  

The Lavish, Abundant, Rich Substance of the Universe reveals itself as Neighbor Beans this beautiful, cool morning.  Long dark purple and shining Eggplant... Ratatouille?  Yum.  Tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchini show me this reality of abundance.  Yes.

I love you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"A greatful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things."  Plato

"To pray for prosperity out of a sense of complaint or discouragement is to effectively compound the problem.  You (I) may pray for improved financial conditions, but if (I) am feeling poor, my feeling is the consciousness I will be projecting.  The grateful heart draws to itself great things.   The ungrateful heart, the discouraged, complaining covetous level of thought, will draw to itself limited things." E.Butterworth

It is a hot day here in N.California.  The sky is clear and blue, worth noting since this particular phenomenon has been rare since that fateful Friday evening of the dry thunderstorms.  The beans are long and heavy and ready to be picked AGAIN!  I am imagining a 'dilly bean' making party, though tall, wide-mouth jars will be required as the beans are enormous and tender.  I am cutting this post short, as I cannot handle this underlining!  Yes, I am grateful for the opportunity to write, to read, and to post!  I am especially grateful for the boughs laden with ripening fruit, the beautiful aromatic woodpile, and the ongoing climb of Cleome and Glories!

Happy Summer Day.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I thought that girls like to dress up

My daughters liked to dress up, and as far as I know, still do.  My favorite dress-up dress was a brilliant red satin with fabulous rows of trim 1920's flapper dress.  It lived in an old trunk in Grandma Annie's shed.  My granddaughter Kaitlyn, has a whole pile of dress-up dresses, and they are to die for; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, various fairies and even a mermaid or two.  Annie has fireman attire with which she wears her tierra/Princess Crown.  Mary Alice and Rebekah dress-up every single day of every week!  No down-time for the gorgeous.

Luna and Meat Pie hate to dress up.  They would much rather eat the pretties, rip them to shreds.  Now.

Today is smokey.  Still, girls need to have fun.  Yep.


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Honest, this is just how it was, a pile of trash flowing in and through and over the can.  Nice.  

I am reading "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," by James Agee and Walker Evans.

"And now as by the slipping of a button, the snapping and failures on air of a spider's cable, there broke loose from the room, shaken, a long sigh closed in silence.  On some ledge overleaning that gulf which is more profound than the remembrance of imagination they had lain in sleep and at length the sand, that by degrees had crumpled and rifted, had broken from beneath them and they sank.  There was now no further extreme, and they were sunken not singularly but companionate among the whole enchanted swarm of the living, into a region prior to the youngest quaverings of creation.    (We lay on the front porch:

This book has grabbed me by the jelly-roll.  It was written when, as is written on the back jacket "...the summer of 1936, James Agee and Walker Evans set out on assignment for Fortune magazine to explore the daily lives of sharecroppers in the south  ...unsparing record of place, of the people who shaped the land... unrelentingly honest..."

I cannot leave it alone.  It haunts me.  My friend Gail gave a fabulous workshop for our writer's group exploring "Place," how it informs us, influences us, even creates us.  She read from this book and I was deeply (and continually, it appears) moved by it.  On a comical note, Mr. Agee used punctuation so freely!  Semicolons, colons, parts of parentheses and millions of commas, making extremely long sentences managable, even facinating and I find that I am reading these pages out loud.  The commas create line-breaks, and the text is turning into a very very very long poem, 416 pages to be exact.

Here is what I am working with right now:

On Beginning "In Praise of Famous Men"

If any one of us were to plop
down on any one spot of this land
and listen, watch, listen
one would begin to hear the stories
of this place, this patch of grass
this hill or valley 

It takes a special kind of listening; past
motors, wheels on pavement, hurtling bodies
of steel, past the whine of rolling rubber tires

past distant roring of trucks or Harleys
or jets streaming silver tailings
past birdsong and twitters hidden in blackberry
brush, or spruce or cottonwood.  Past soaring
osprey or turkey vulture standing 
phonix-style atop the power pole

past the hum of the high voltage wires
wind in the pines, current riffling over
smooth river stones.  Past all this teeming
life on the surface, to under

like turning over a big rock in shallow water
under it, when the water settles some
creatures and moss waver in the brightness
or, under the grass roots push deeper
moles grind holes for nests, earthworms
squeeze moist tunnels, mycelium moves

and listen here, where it appears there is no
thing to hear.  this is where stories begin
this is how I weep, walking across the Plaza
past Victorian palms, under now green Tamarac
walking across the village to Medicine Woman's
dwelling, entering into the close thick air
sheltered, tutored, mentored


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What day is this?

Hi, his eyes spoke
pulling her down to his lips
Hi, she answered
inhaling the deep
yes of him

It doesn't really say "Hi."  It is the insignia for International Harvester. I have written about this truck, when it came into our family, a nice heavy and slow vehicle for our sons to drive to high school.   It is a 1955 International pick up, with the first automatic (on the column!) transmission made by the company. It lived on its ranch until one day I was walking and discovered it parked out in the orchard, grass growing up around its hubcaps and axles, with a "For Sale" sign propped up on the windshield.

I learned how to drive in a '54 International truck.  It was our hay truck, with a flatbed.  First I drove in the pastures, while my brother Bob threw the hay, flake by flake (that is a section of the hay bale...) in a long, snake-like trail behind us.  The heifers and dry stock lined up on either side of the scattered hay, tossing their heads with the alfalfa and swishing their tails.  Bucolic, until Bob got behind the wheel.  That's when the chore of feeding became interesting.  That's when we ripped circles, peeled out in the lane, and I laughed so hard I thought I'd pee.

Well, that was a diversion.  My driving was never as risky as his.  It always seemed like if I stomped on it, I got stuck in a mud hole or, once, I slid through the mud aiming for the gate, and ripped off one mirror and severely bent the other one.  By the time I graduated to driving on the highway, Bob had taken the bend out of the gearshift and put a beautiful resin ball that he'd made in 'shop on it as a handle.  The truck had a rakish angle and a reputation that had little to do with me, the younger sister.  It took skill to get from 1st to 2nd without raucously grinding gears and I did master this.  My favorite thing to do was to speed and to down-shift, making me hard to catch.  Ha.

Of course, I cannot leave this post, or the thoughts of that truck, without bringing Thyra (say Tear-ah), our Border Collie/McNab dog into the picture.  It was her truck.  She loved to go for rides, and she loved to spread hay, too.  She rode on the bed with Bob, and would bite any cow dumb enough to come so close.  We allowed her to ride with us, she sat in the middle.  Maybe we even opened the door for her, so truthfully, she allowed us to drive her out to the pasture.

Thyra did not allow her kids (us) to wrassle (wrestle) in her presence.  She would leap upon the pile of kicking writhing and unsuspecting kids and bite whatever appendage she could grasp.  I am not kidding or exaggerating.  She was possessive of her truck, and her family. One evening she came with me as I drove uptown to pick up a younger brother from football practice.  A classmate of mine came out first and was bothering me and I could hear Thyra growling low in her throat.  "You better step back," seriously, I warned him and I admit that I did relish what I knew was coming.  Sure enough, he did not heed my warning, "...she won't....  aahhhhhhh!  Ouch!  Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!"  Football players can make a lot of noise when they have a Border Collie/McNab attached to their arm.

It occurs to me, in this moment, that I kind of miss wrassling.  


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Musings brought on by harvesting Neighbor Beans

In countries and situations where writing is forbidden, it takes on primacy.  In prisons, people scratch their message into stone, onto dirt.  On desert islands, messages are shoved into bottles and set to sea.  When communication is made to seem actively impossible, the human will to communicate rears its head and people willingly risk death and dismemberment to do it.

This is healthy.

In our current  culture, something much less healthy is afoot.  Writing is not forbidden, it is discouraged.  Hallmark does it for us.  ...Writing, as we are taught to do it, becomes an antihuman activity.  We are forever editing, leaving out the details that might not be pertinent.  We are trained to self-doubt, to self-scutiny in the place of self-expression.       Julia Cameron, "The Right to Write"

Remembering back a year or so, into the years that I was enrolled in and dropping out of college, discussions and rants by art and literature teachers attempted to draw a definitive line between "art by talented and gifted and poverty-stricken artists" and "crafts by the masses..." 
It used to really bug me to listen to them.  I was impatient to just be an artist.  The writing teachers made much more sense: write, write, write.  learn how to use punctuation (I've messed up there pretty good).  remember that your piece needs "a beginning, a middle and a conclusion," and write write write.  

These beans, for instance.  Do they worry if they, as youngsters, climb the fence correctly?  Do they wonder if the blossom on the other side is a prettier shade of purple?  Do they race to be the longest, fattest, most striped bean on the pole?  Do they doubt if they are a bean?  Do they consider their fate, harvested, dipped in hummus and eaten?  Or worse, frozen in a freezer bag marked "July08"?

In this time of smokey summer skies, terrifying world events, and illegible communication I remind myself to take care.  Take care of my garden, share the bounty, preserve some of the crop to bring summer flavor and nutrition to the winter table, and to write as though my life depended upon it.  It does.


Monday, July 14, 2008

sunflower celebration

Some kind of celebration going on
a day with blue sky and cool breeze
Morning Glory blazing the after dawn
burnished Sunflower nodding

Fires unleashed in the Four Directions
flames lick their way up canyon
mountain range, rocky ridge
burning where no flame has
torched for decades

It is difficult for me, one with eyes
that see so close by, the foal down the lane
my brown-eyed granddaughters 
slick-coated dogs, tall sons
to look at the ochre sky
and not fear for Life itself

Perhaps Sunflower is as strong a medicine
her face follows the sun through the day
open, receptive and giving of her thick pollen
her leaves riddled by mysterious night-feedings
she stretches skyward to outdistance
earthbound fear or questioning reality

Fire simply burns.  Flames feed upon dry fuel
animals race to safety, providing the path is unblocked
the 'larger picture' has a broader view than one
whose home sits in the smoke, endangered
yet it appears that a huge house-cleaning is taking place
in spite of, or in accordance with Modern Living.

Perhaps we are being reminded
to plant gardens, to be loving to all
to open to the Good that Is, to share
our smile and gift the world with unabashed
wholehearted Love.  Continuously.


Monday, July 7, 2008

reminiscing dairyprincesshood

This is hummingbirdfeeder syrup, a little overdone.
This is a true story, and I dedicate it to my little sister, Rosalie Ellen.

Falling down stairs unlike a slinky, bumping clumsily hitting elbows and knees on the narrow walls, landing on my knees at the bottom, putting runs in both my nylons.  kneeling in sprawled prayer, this was a time if there ever was one, for God to appear

He didn’t, and neither did She.

Cutie Rassmussen was in the living room.  Maybe he was in the kitchen.  Around the corner from my absolutions; washy devotions, unskilled prayers uttered in whispered profanity, GodDAMmit.  Cutie was in our house making small talk, waiting for me to appear for the honor of his escort to The Dairy Princess pageant?  Contest?  Competition?  Cutie was a 400 year old bachelor and his name described him in the most cynical terms.

My little sister raced for the scene of clattering, clomping door-bursting disaster.  Her eyes, usually brown, were popping-out black, and her lips pursed a perfect 0.  I flew to my feet, crippled her with a scathing look which I regret to this day as the moment was immortalized in her experience.  Yet how else would a Dairy Princess act?  I wasn’t about to writhe around on the floor and show my misery.

Instead I went back upstairs for a new pair of pantyhose.  My jaw set firmly so as to not burst into tears, I returned to walk stoically into the living room, like I imagine a more together princess would walk to the guillotine.  Both my knees ached in a dull way.  It occurred to me that feeding Jersey calves was a much more natural activity, even pitching Jersey shit into a wheelbarrow seemed vastly more appealing.

Cutie’s car was kind of like him, nondescript.   I remember nothing about it except that it was dark blue and smelled musty mildewy like the insides of a repeatedly flooded garage.  It is not my intention to be unkind, none of this was his fault.  I just silently hated him for no good reason.

I was runner-up Dairy Princess.  No riding on the convertible for me.  No State competition. I returned home to answered prayer; my poopy Jersey calves bawling hungry the next morning.  That evening I heard my father say to his colleagues that he was proud of me, his eldest daughter.  He seemed to not notice that I had given an anti-war speech, urging the audience to take action towards bringing our troops home from Viet Nam.



Sunday, July 6, 2008

another reason to get up in the morning

Not that we need a reason, per say...There are moments when being in the right place, at the right time is so apparent.  Here is one.

My little sister is 7 years my junior.  I tell her now and then, that 7 years is not all that long.  I mean think about the 7th inning stretch... it's longer than what?  And then there is the 7 year itch, which sounds pretty awful.  Of course, when I was 8 and she was 1, 7 years was quite a few. But now in 2008, the 7 years between her and me isn't all that bigga deal, right baybee?  

My main point here, is that sisters R spectacular.  My girls used to grumble about various horrible deeds of rotton sisters, and I told them over and over, "Sisters are really important! and very special people in your life... I really love my sister!"  More than once each of them would look at me through angry tears and demand, "WHO-OO is YOUR sister????"  Obviously, their sisters were more rotton than mine.

So give your sister a call today, or a hug if she is close enough.  And, now that I give it a thought, we are all sisters so line up for many hugs.  I am so glad that my sister and my niece and my daughter and her 2 daughters are all home from their fabulous vacation!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wake Up! The Sun Is Up!

Summer morning glorified, revered, noticed.
Maybe you remember my rhapsodizing about planting climbers with those who stand tall... look behind the Morning Glory and you can see the clamberings going on!  I am stunned by the hearts in the photo.  Love in the Morning.

Every day I search for Neighbor Beans.  Look what I found this morning!  Just shedding her slipper, look at the shadow on the leaf below her.  Miracles are everywhere today.

Ms. Brandywine is setting fruit!  This little one may grow and grow to be 1 pound, or more.

Ms. Brandywine has exquisite blossoms.  Before this year I had never realized how each variety of tomato has its own unique blossoms and leaves!  Why would I be suprised at that?

I have planted several varieties of Morning Glories.  This one is ethereal, it looks as though it is glowing from the center.  See Cleome in the background?  Yes, this is turning into a bloomin' jungle!  Just right.  

Anyone up for zucchini?  Yellow crooknecks?  The bounty begins.

What does a Morning Glory say to dawn?  She saves her passion for the light, unfurling in the early hours of the day.  Morning Glory does not bloom in the afternoon, ever.  Or the evening, she leaves that to 4 O'Clocks and Moon Flower.

Struggle may come directly from doing what one is not meant to do.  The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed; there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennuis, vanish---all duties even.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

So I say, bloom gloriously at whatever time of day suits you best.  And watch all tragedies, ennuis and duties vanish!  

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