Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time for More Hafiz

Would You Think It Odd?

Would you think it odd if Hafiz said,

"I am in love with every church
And mosque
And temple
And any kind of shrine

Because I know it is there
That people say the different names
Of the One God."

Would you tell your friends
I was a bit strange if I admitted

I am indeed in love with every mind
And heart and body.

O I am sincerely
Plumb crazy
About your every thought and yearning
And limb

Because, my dear,
I know
That it is through these

That you search for Him.


Many Blessings.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A winding road and whoopee! Hafiz!

I took a little side trip on the way home yesterday when the sun was still shining.    It isn't today.  I hear that a storm is on its way, and like clockwork, the sky gets heavier and darker.  Of course, this is to be expected, beings how it's past mid November.  I for one, lament the letting go of summer and early fall glory.  It could be said that I whine and grumble about this phase.

The road I took winds up a canyon, crooks along side a tributary to the Rushing River.  If I were to follow this road for an hour or so, I would circle around, up, down and over, ending up at my front door.  No where am I far from  home.  I met about 15 individual gravel trucks coming out of the canyon, which was interesting since it is a one-way road in many places.  Fortunately I am confident of using dirt turn-outs, and the truck drivers where very friendly with smiles and waves.  I know, I was thinking that too: "Lady!  Get home!"

I rhapsodise about the Buck Eye.  I love this tree in every season.  It is just special in my eye.  I am awed by how aesthetic it is, regardless of season, weather, terrain.

This one landed in the crevice of a rock, and there she is.

Which reminds me:  I have discovered that Daniel Landinsky has a new book of Hafiz out, and I cannot wait to get my hands upon it asap.  I Heard God Laughing is the title.  

I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself
a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew.
The truth has shared so much of itself with me that I can no longer
think of myself as a man, a woman, an angel, or even pure soul.
Existence has become so saturated with laughter it has freed me of every
concept and image a mind could ever war with.

I call this as lucky as a person can get.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Have you left home?  Driving home today I listened to "Talk of the Nation," where they were speaking with Azar Nafisi who has a new book out.  I have forgotten the title.  Rats.  Well, anyway, she wrote Reading Lolita in Tehran.  A Memoir in Books, and Things I've Been Silent About.  Yes, she has the best titles, ever.  Her newly released book is about living as an exile in a different country than the one in which you were born.  I love listening to her.  Her voice is beautiful, her syllables make me want to write and read to you.  She included in the discussion, leaving your country by choice, going back and finding that change has swept through all of your reference points.  Callers enriched the discussion with their experiences, one young writer from Haiti who spoke of her parents' fleeing Haiti for political reasons, and how she feels that she is an immigrant here, in the USA.  Azar Nafisi spoke of how each of us leaves somewhere.

To me it sounded like if I died and then came back to my house.  Someone else would be living here, their furniture set up, their food in the refrigerator, their laundry in front of the washing machine, their smells in the walls.

I left my home town many years ago.  Because of it's location and history it hasn't changed much.  I still recognise and am recognised on Main Street, well, in the Ivanhoe anyway.  The Victorian Buildings still line the street, the ocean rumbles in the background, the fog rolls in or never leaves, the cows are brought in to milk.

Other things have changed.  In me.  I distinctly remember leaving home, a few times.

I have no desire to recreate, or relive the past.  Lately I have felt more solidly grounded within my Life, which surprises me somewhat, as I thought that I was already here.  This is different.  Today by afternoon the temperature was up to and past 80.  The sky blue.  The Madrone berries create swaths of red across the hills, the vineyards yellow.  On my skin the warmth feels strange, yet soothing.  I realize that while it is unseasonably warm,  I am accepting this gift of a summer day in mid November.

Not worrying about climate disaster, or impending doom, or lack of anything, or loneliness I am free to experience this moment.  Not defending my opinion or my right to exist opens a new channel!

I fear the political climate in our country has made us a bunch of exiles.  Yet, I personally have control over just my little corner.  Many times I have written of the joys discovered under leaves in my garden, or of my grandchildren's brilliance, the marvels of my own kids, husband, dogs; and about allowing my creative intelligence full reign.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be exiled from my world, community, country.  Millions of people the world over have this experience.

Azar Nafisi spoke of creating a life in the US.  When she returned to Iran everything was changed.  The regime redefined her religion, the history of her country, everything she knew and of which she had worked so long and hard.

I am deeply moved.  This is a topic which, I am finding as I write this, is very difficult to stick with on a personal level.

Good stuff.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Life is Good

If I didn't know better, I'd have called today a Fall Apart Day.  Things have been a little weird in the Land of Laura.  Mmmm.  Maybe I need to have a look-see with the astral line-up, check on any wild hares or black holes which may have appeared as I sipped coffee this morning, daydreaming instead of moving my pen across the pages.

For a couple of days I've had a nervous stomach, something which used to lay me out flat on the kitchen floor.  This was nothing like that, but persistent, nagging, borderline painful.

You know what?  The fire alarm went off again.  This time because the stovepipe is new, and stinks a bit, and makes most likely, poisonous fumes, so the alarm went berserk.  Luna came running to find me, and we went looking for Emerson.  He was cowering behind our bed, trying to force his 78+lbs.  under it.  His ears were down, his eyes huge.  Poor baby!  I am thinking that I need to put a permanent sign on the front porch for the neighbors and firepeople, in case of emergency; look under the bed for the Labrador.

I took my camera and went out the front door, hopped in the car, and headed towards my closest daughter's house.  In the car, for me, is a sanctuary of sorts.  I am completely in control (yes, I know, it is an illusion of control, but never mind).  I sing, pray, talk, swear, cry, laugh.  I am entertained, soothed, supported, enjoyed.  I am the center of the LPC Universe, don't have to watch what I say.  Uncensored.

Today my mind was occupied by thoughts of my elder brother.  He's been having some health challenges.  Damn.  Of course, my mind goes backwards, to our growing up river, out in the hills, "the boonies," he'd always say.  It's true.  We were backwoods kids.

I just talked briefly with my sister to learn that his hospitalization was caused most likely, by an adverse reaction to the drugs he was given in preparation for the procedure he had yesterday.  Jesus H Christ.  Sorry.  A risk to taking drugs is reaction to the drugs.

 The morning light seemed to careen from red to yellow to green to blue back to yellow.  The vines are a riot of color.  They've been watered, fed, trellised, sprayed, pruned, rained upon, frosted, boiled, roasted, dusted, fertilized and finally, harvested.  Now they are a free-for-all of color.  Days pass, and all that riot will be on the ground.

Life is just pretty.  Sometimes astounding.

At Sarah's gate the Dogwood is all decked out in scarlet.  My brother is mending.  I am heading for bed.
Blessed Be.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gratitude, howlers, leaves.

Having just finished a borrowed book, and since Dev loaned me a new one, I am alternating between being extremely lazy and reading.  Haha.  I meant, between reading and doing chores like taking ashes out, mopping the floor because Emerson Dumbdumb has taken to sneak-peeing on corners, feeding chickens and bringing in the wood.  I love this cool, colorful, short late-afternoon.  The robins are here!  I love hearing them up in tops of yellow trees.  It sounds like they may be happy to be here, too.

In a few short days, all of these leaves will be in my back yard.  Some will be next door, and a few in the hedge out front.  Regardless of where they fall, I will be looking up into the wild blue.  The pansies on the back porch will receive their full measure of sunlight and may bloom all winter.  The ones out front have been decimated by snails and slugs and earwigs, which may meet up with my nasty poison stuff tonight, just because I want to see all the cute pansy faces by the bird feeder.  Is that reason enough to put  some of the kill-snail under a leaf?  Does anyone have a recipe (no flour or sugar, please) that includes earwigs and slugs?  Perhaps I will make a stew.

Every afternoon there is a moment where the light seems to play with individual branches.  

"In the beginning were the howlers. would start with just one: his forced, rhythmic groaning, like a saw blade.  That aroused others near him, nudging them to bawl along with his monstrous tune.  ...As it was in the beginning, so it is every morning of the world."  Don't you love Barbara Kingsolver?  Doesn't it make you mad when she steals your lines?

I have been feeling a little sad, but in the face of such glorious Life around me, am reluctant to own up to it.  Is it the change of season?  Winter is only a few days away.  All of this wild color will soon be gone, the brilliant leaves will be sliming into large circles under the trees.  No, it is Change.  You know, more of that-which-I-have-absolutely-no-control.  This being the place to lay down doubt, pick up some faith, and write out a longer gratitude list.

  • I am grateful for yellow afternoons.
  • I am grateful to talk to my sister today.
  • I am grateful for Panama coffee.
  • I am grateful for robins.
  • I am grateful for bouncy dogs.
  • Warm fire.
  • Supper.
  • My bed.
  • Dishes to wash.
  • Laundry to fold.
  • 4 eggs today, because I didn't bring them in yesterday.
  • Knock knock jokes.
  • Choice.

I am also grateful.  Just plain, ordinary, grateful.  Filled up.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Love the One you're With

Here she is, folks.  The dimpled one.

The finish line is just a few steps farther (further?):  You know, just up the road.  Today is Election Day. Time to race down to the polling place and cast my vote (actually, I already did).  Put aside whatever, and haul my little self in there to participate in governing this huge conglomeration we have for a nation.  I did read the Voter's Manual, and do, as usual, wonder who writes these things.  Is it wise to have vitriolic essays "for" and "against?"  Has anyone thought of publishing essays "clear" and "unclear?"  "crazed" and "sane?"  "ridiculous" and "hilarious?"  "thoughtful" and "rude?"  "opinion" and "fact?"

I know.  We'd then have to vote on who could/would write, right?

Kisses!  No doubt of where those dimples came from, is there.

I want to say something.  I want to say to us all:  jump for joy!  Grab some one and hold them high on your shoulders.  Laugh.  Cheer for some one, a team (like our Giants), a family member, the neighbors' kids, just let yourself have the joy of supporting, encouraging, cheering, jumping up and down, yelling.  In 12 Step Programs all are encouraged by the reality that goodness is something renewable, obtainable, possible; by practicing and by giving of ones' self.

What I love the most about teams is the players.  Of course, being a tad competitive, extremely prejudiced on occasion, and sometimes too noisy, I may seem obnoxious.  Sorry.

Love to you this beautiful, Fall day.
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