Friday, May 28, 2010

Thinking and Doing Outside the Box

Earth would die
If the sun stopped kissing her.


There is blue sky and sweet breeze this morning.  What a treat to see the grass springing back up after days of deluge.  The Lake is filled to the brim again, the river swollen and gray-brown.  This weekend is the beginning of summer.  Already I see campers and RV's wending their way on our back roads.  Moments ago a long line of Harleys roared by, though I never caught a glimpse of them.  It's nice.  Luna and Emerson raced and swam and wrestled and chased until Luna quit, an unheard of event!  She tossed the ball aside, "I quit."  And then trotted under the fence and went down and threw herself in the water to cool down.  Fun to watch Emerson wear her out, since she wore Pie out every single trip to the Lake.  She has perfected a technique of near-drowning the pup:  she beats him to the ball, he swims like an automated porpoise to catch her and snatches the ball right out of her mouth, she snatches it back and swims over the top of him, he goes under and when he pops back up, she pushes him back under, even grabbing his ear and pushing him under.  I watched her do this at least three times.  When he cries out, she lets him go.  In her way, it appears that she is "showing" him to knock off bugging her, and it appeared to work.

I did mention to her that it is not okay to drown Emerson.  Regardless of his annoying puppydumb.

The horizon is a fascinating line:  The space and time between our planet and the infinite void is a tender line.  Our atmosphere, which makes possible our existence is very thin and fragile, which mirrors life, I suppose.  Weeks back I launched into a mind/body-boggling depression, the likes of which I have witnessed in others but never had known myself.  Many women, including friends and clients, experienced a similar event in their lives.  Looking back, I see that most of this coincided with the ecological disaster happening in the Gulf of Mexico of the out-of-control catastrophe of oil spewing forth from the destroyed well at the bottom of the sea.  Regardless of political persuasion, we are all breathing the same air, living in human bodies which are all connected to the Mother and to one another. As our Earth fares, so do we.

Regardless of culture, language, anger, opinions, mistakes, greed, or preference, as humans we are responsible for this mess.  As usual, it is going to take setting aside personal everything to clean it up.

(I cannot make this link work; I found it by googling "Gulf of Mexico oil spill photos..."  The photos are profound.)

And, I do not know what to DO.  This is of such magnitude, that it has never been done before.  No one knows what to do.  The dire consequences are here, today.  No more going on about what-if, or my opinion is more important than yours, or good science or bad science, or touchy-feely or tough love.

The time is now, to do something different.  Something that has never been done before:  Co-operate.  Put the brilliance of the human spirit to work for the good of the whole, wide world.

Start maybe, by parking the vehicle.  Shine up the bicycle, lace up the shoes.  Stop spraying petroleum based crap on the flowers, roadsides and gardens.  Enjoy a brown lawn in the summer, since grass is always golden when it ripens.  Leave lights off during daylight hours.  "Living simply" means turning appliances off, walking, talking to one's neighbors.  Obviously it means lots more than I am going to list.
It's just time to start.  Start.  Right now.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rainrainrainrainrainrain. And more rain.

Wet.  All around and through all that is, in my little world, is wet.  It has been raining steadily for hours.  I love the sound of it, the muted colors, the rivulets and Rilles everywhere the eye may rest.  Hummers are lined up under the eves, as are the Orioles.  And I hope they will stay put for a photo, but so far no luck.  Emerson looks out the door and whines:  looks at me and whines.  Understand, this has been going on for quite some time now.

I love my stove.  It is the best.

I love the Bison on the door.

Mmmmm.  I really love to open the door.

I love that I grew up building fires.  I can build them inside and out, at the beach or in the fire circle.  Building a crackling little fire on a rainy day makes me happy.  At Winter Solstice we throw all sorts of "old things" into this sweet fire.  Of course, today being May 27, it is a little odd to be thinking of the Winter Rituals.

Like I said, I love everything about my stove.

Luna's chair is near the stove, and she shares my love of its concentrated heat, the hearth.  She and I are both Sagittarius, which means, we love the fire.

This one is so bummed.  The only way to get a bounce out of him today is to hide behind the door and call him, and when he gets close jump out, "Yaaaahhhh!!!!" and he bunches up and springs up and sideways and down.  He really wants to go (whisper, do not even spell) The Lake.  He has been laying around way too long.  You can't really tell here, but for 9 1/2 months, he has gotten quite hefty-big.  Yes, that is more paint on his head, and no, I do not know how he gets it there.

In the studio there are a few flames as well.  I am spending a good deal of time in here, happily.  I did clean out some space, threw out some stuff, took boxes and another cardboard thing out to the Recycling barrel (well, they are on the way, right now they are on the front sidewalk).  Too much junque!  I am working on several new panels.

And (we changed fonts, by magic I suppose, since it is impossible to change back)(and kind of annoying) since I have been clearing out stuff and more stuff, it may be no surprise that the fibers are mixing in with the painting.  

Rainy days have their own intrigue.  It may rain on somebody's parade today.  Rain is a blessing.  Wash those blues away.  Oh, and I noticed that my sunflowermorninggloryscarletrunnerbeanzinnianastursiumwhitepumpkinsesameamaranth row is sprouting!  Imagine how that is going to Be!

Love and hugs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Midsummer's Night Dream; fairies.

Hello, my name is Mary, and I am the Winter Fairy.

Oh, yes.  The most beautiful fairies ever.

High Drama, though I don't know what is going on here.  Neither does the King.

No dialogue needed.

Really, how cute is this?

And I think that it would be easy to go back to the costume shop.  Gather stuff: feathers, glitzy fabric, ruffles and feathers, pearls, glitter, trim, buttons, all sorts of finery.  Sew with abandon, gather and tie here, piece together there, bound by no rules; in fact creating with abandon.  Try this!  How does this work?  Does this fit the part?  Does it wiggle and flow when you flutter?  Show me how a fairy moves...

Pure Bliss.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rainy Day Colors

Something has happened
To my understanding of existence
That now makes my heart always full of wonder
And kindness...

As I 
Dance with
Precious life


It is starting to feel like we live in Oregon again.  Or Way Northern California:  All day gray, rain, snails everywhere, especially underfoot.  I may have crushed ten on my daily trips across the back yard, this one on the inside of the kitchen window, slowly making its way.  Seriously fascinating, except when mowing down my newly planted lettuce.


The light today, filtered through the clouds, was weirdly soothing.  People are starting to say this isn't right, rain in mid-May.  I say stop.  Let us enjoy a plumped water table, wet leaves, black soil.  It is a day to make soup, to meditate, to pray.  A day of renewal, right here in the middle of the week, hump-day.

This evening as the sun was low and under the clouds, a show began.  Layers lifted from the forest, churning in the golden rays above the valley, while evening settled in the lowland.  It's all wet, cool and filled with birdsong.   Hummingbirds careen around the feeder.  Night is here.

In gratitude I accept this Gift.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Palette, Or: From Where Does It Come?

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

The workings of "Self" are shrouded in mystery.  This can be blessing and curse, I suppose.  Often I look to nature, or my surroundings for comfort, for something to hold on to when the inner tickings get loud.  My house doesn't hold my interest for long, as I prefer to wander and contemplate outdoors.  My backyard holds plenty of mystery.

Over these past weeks I have been on a quest.  Today brought a question into focus:  WHO is the resident "critic?"  Holding forth with diatribe, cajole, rhyming nothings, edits, arrogance, idiom, bribe, threat; who is this who knows me too well?

More will be revealed:  One's palette is colorful, imaginative, resourceful, sacred.   There is no need, even, for patience.  All that is needed is right here, right now.

Something to consider, from Hafiz:

Looking for Good Fish

Why complain about life
If you are looking for good fish
And have followed some idiot
Into the middle of the copper market?

Why go crazy
If you are looking for fine silk
And you keep rubbing your hands against
Burlap and hemp sacks?

If your heart really needs to touch a face
That is filled with abundance
Then why didn't you come to this
Old Man sooner?

For my cheek is the universe's cloister
And if you can make your prayers sweet enough

Then Hafiz will lean over and offer you
All the warmth in my body
In case God is busy
Doing something else

Why complain if you are looking
To quench your spirit's longing
And have followed a rat into a desert.

If your soul really needs to touch a face
That is always filled with compassion 
And tenderness
Then why,

Why my dear
Did you not come to your friend Hafiz

Sometimes, it just takes me a while.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

End of T-Ball Season (whew!)

Saturday morning at 8:30?

Quiet moment before the big swing.

Thomas shows grit.

Third base contemplation.

Girls in line.

A nanosecond of focus.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beauty, Mother's Day and who knows what all.

A blithe heart makes a blooming visage.   From Grannies' Remedies

We arrived at the Russian River Rose Garden in a downpour.  No; I have no umbrella, because I live in Sunny California, and besides, the dogs chewed them to smithereens.  We sat in Dev's car while the shower pounded itself to the finish.  Really, it was quite beautiful, as you can see.

This rose is called "Butterscotch."  It is not of this earth: not pink, not yellow, not any color one would expect of a rose.

A few of my kids.  These smiles sustain me, inspire me, encourage me, delight me.  There is no thing on this planet that holds more beauty than these amazing people.  And look, no one is pinching or jabbing or growling in this moment!  That Rebekah #1 Granddaughter is soon to be 12!  And Mary Alice just turned 9, AND ran the 10K Human Race in 1 hour, 6 minutes, which landed her 3rd in her division!  Wow.

Because of the rain the flowers were adorned with spectacular jewel-like raindrops.  It was breathtaking to see, and startling when I brought the images up on the computer.  My goodness!  Miracles abound when we think we see them.  Imagine what is going on unbeknownst to us!

Hello, Mr. Carr.  I like the white in your hair!  When I take a picture of him, the background shows things of a higher level, like the top of the rose arbor.

I just had to take some Iris photos.  At the Rose Gardens they have many heirloom Iris, in colors that enchant.  I looooooooove pink and red.

Not knowing who this couple is, I just loved watching them walk under their umbrella.  Something very very very romantic, I guess, and fortunately I remembered in time to catch them in my camera.

You know, it is a very loving thing to take your beloved somewhere that honors their sense of beauty which honors your sense of beauty.

These are the RRR sentries.  I am supposing that the grey one on the right is still a cat, though it appears as though her trip to dream-land has shape-shifted her somewhat.

Yes, those are little orange hearts, cut out of candied mango(something indescribable, let me assure you), swimming on waves of whipped cream.  Passion fruit Bavarian Cream Tart.  Ahhhhhhhh.

No conversation concerning Mother's day would be complete without mention of my little Mother, MCP.  Her roses were spectacular.  She had many many many of them, and knew each one by name.  Out at the Rose Garden we found a "Mr. Lincoln," one of her favorites.  She grumbled about the Ferndale Fog messing with her roses, but to the rest of us it didn't matter.  This rose is one which I dug up out of her garden.  This year it loved the long, cool and wet spring, and put up two perfect blooms for us to enjoy.  It lives by the corner of the chicken ranchero, so must feel right at home with the three hens right there every day.

Mother's Day is past now.  Those of us who have born a child know that every day is Mother's Day.  Even when our children are having children every day is still Mother's Day.  Personally, being daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, cousin, sister and being friends with all of those imbues me with a sense of connection.  Sometimes we make jokes, "Omigoddess, I have become my mother!" and the truth seems to be that we do become some form of our Mother, the one who taught us how to survive.  While I spent perhaps too much of my time here on earth struggling with Mom's alcoholism, it is very apparent that I learned very important lessons through her.
  1. Plant a rose to ease heartbreak.  It will bloom with you as you heal and prosper through the coming years.
  2. Indulge your passion for color.  This will foster a life time of creative expression.
  3. Cook delicious desserts.  Daily if need be.  Give them away.  This will insure a life of sweet relationships, and will charm the socks off of every man, woman and child within miles.
  4. Buy seeds year 'round.  This too, nurtures creative expression.
  5. Keep chickens in your back yard.  This provides eggs for the desserts, and a chore to center you square in your day every morning.
  6. Coffee is an essential food group, as is butter.  Yes, goes with the desserts.
  7. Love your kids.  Save your tears for the other room, laugh with them.  Now.
  8. Love your family, even when you feel grumpy, or hurt, or scandalous.  This builds character.
  9. Use your manners, and sit/stand up straight.
  10. Let some one else answer the phone.
Okay.  Now I am going outside to plant peppers.
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