For Lisa

waterfall at Camp Ramah Darom, Clayton, GA

Whether you are going or staying or sitting or lying down,
the whole world is your own self.
You must find out
whether the mountains, rivers, grass, and forests
exist in your own mind or exist outside it.
Analyze the ten thousand things,
dissect them minutely,
and when you take this to the limit
you will come to the limitless,
when you search into it you come to the end of search,
where thinking goes no further and distinctions vanish.
When you smash the citadel of doubt,
then the Buddha is simply yourself.

In the ocean of being
There is only One.

There was and there will be
only One.

You are already fulfilled.

How can you be bound
or free?

Wherever you go, Be Happy.

~ Ashtavakra Gita 15:18

I'd say you're gone too soon, too early, but you and I had a couple of conversations about how the timing of things is always perfect, even if we couldn't see it, and didn't want it to be so.

I can't see it, and don't want it to be so.

I will miss your energy, your light, and your fire.

Gassho ~

p.s. It's storming here today - lots of rain, thunder, and lightning. I can't help but think Lisa's involved.


Accepting February

I used to have problems with February. I fully believe humans used to hibernate, and I don't care if any archaeologists or historians agree with me, because that used to be all I wanted to do. Curl up under the covers and sleep, maybe wake up enough to read, have someone bring me warm food, sleep again. It's gotten better since I accepted that, and instead of thinking something's wrong with me, I curtail my activities and do things in keeping with my energy level. Lots of board games with the boys, lots of reading and curling up under blankets. Oh - except this year, I moved. In February! And it's been interesting. I don't feel like myself.

But that's not what this post is about. This post is sharing a few things I've leaned on to get me through February. First up - some commiseration. The first time I heard this song, by Dar Williams, I was in tears. Somebody understood! Someone else has been there.

How much do you love the lines, "First we forgot where we planted those bulbs last year, and then we forgot that we planted at all. Then we forgot what plants are altogether, and I blamed you for the freezing and forgetting, and the nights were long and cold and scary, Can we live through February?" Like the blues, it feels good 'cause it hurts so bad.

This book, The River Why. I can't believe I haven't written about this book before now, it has meant so much to me. The first time I read it, I was 25, I had recently attempted suicide and was trying so hard to find me. I was nurturing the beginnings of the first wisps of spirituality within myself, and this book... this book let me know it's OK to find my own spirituality. It didn't have to conform to what anyone else thought it should be, or look like what anyone else's looked like. In Gus's search for meaning and himself, I found meaning and *my* self, and that's what a great book does. I love this book. Funny and moving and meaningful. Such a good February book, because of the awakening that happens. I've given away dozens of copies, left it places where people might find it. So many stories within the story. It's about fishing... not. Kinda like Thoreau said, "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." It's fishing like that. *And* the regular, cast your lines fishing.

This book, I read for the first time last year. I was *transported* from cold and rainy here to the bright sun and vibrance of Tuscany. I had never really thought about Italy before then, other than picturing the boot shape when it was mentioned, or, for some reason, the canals of Venice. I knew about the food, the men that pinched bottoms... but this book brought Italy to life. That bit of Tuscan Sun lives on after you read this, even in February. I haven't seen the movie. I think I'd need to pretend it was named something else, so *my* visuals from reading this wouldn't be all mixed up with the ones from the movie. This is a luscious book.

Oh! And in a nice bit of timing, Laurie, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, just wrote about her whirlwind trip to Rome. Fabulous. Very fun and inspirational.

These guys:

They help me laugh every day, and laughter is such a great way to get out of yourself. I love having them around, and the ideas they come up with. I am blessed.

And, finally, this guy.

Making the commitment to walk him twice a day has forced me to get outside, even when I have been very, very resistant to that. I learned to bundle up! With a sweatshirt, polartec, coat, gloves, wool hat. I really don't like being cold, can you tell? Getting out and walking has been the best thing. Even if it's rainy, I know I can get warm and dry when I come home.

I don't have the February blues any more, I just have February lowered-energy-levels. It's part of the natural cycle of things. *My* natural cycle. I can honor it, and not fight it.

Gassho ~


Some Days....

From xkcd - a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language


An Odd Bit of a Coincidence...

Carpenters fans try to save former home

The Associated Press

AP Photo

Karen and Richard Carpenter pose with their Grammys during the 14th annual 1971 Grammy Awards at New York's Felt Forum, in this March 14, 1972 file photo. Owners of The Carpenters' former home aren't feeling on top of the world about the legions of fans who keep stopping by to pay tribute.

Owners of The Carpenters' former home aren't feeling on top of the world about the legions of fans who keep stopping by to pay tribute.

The five-bedroom tract house, where siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter lived and penned some of their greatest hits, was featured on the cover of their 1973 hit album "Now & Then." It was also where an anorexic Karen Carpenter collapsed in 1983 before dying.

Owners Manuel and Blanca Melendez Parra have apparently grown weary of the parade of fans paying homage.

The couple have submitted plans to officials in Downey, a city about 15 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, to raze the 39-year-old main house, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. The Parras have already torn down an adjoining house and have begun construction on a larger home.

The proposal to level the rest of the residence has angered fans.

"This house is our version of Graceland," said Carpenters aficionado Jon Konjoyan. "When they photographed the 'Now & Then' cover here in 1973, the house was instantly immortalized."

The 57-year-old musician and promoter is heading a campaign to save the original home from the wrecker's ball. Some fans have proposed that Downey officials declare the house a historic landmark.

The entire Carpenter family lived in the main house. The adjoining section was used as an office, rehearsal studio and recreation room.

The Carpenters' parents lived in the residence until Harold Carpenter's death in 1988 and Agnes Carpenter's in 1996. Richard Carpenter sold the house a year later.

After the Parras bought the house, Jessica Parra, said that at first her parents invited fans into the home and gave away items left by Richard Carpenter.

"In the beginning, we let everybody in. But honestly, it became horrible, not only for us but for the neighborhood," Parra said. "People peek in windows and take pictures. They leave flowers on the front porch."

Downey officials said that they received plans for a new residence, but that no demolition permit has been issued.

Konjoyan is holding out hope. He wants the home to be bought and rehabilitated. If that is not possible, he wants the structure to be moved.

"They were such a huge American act in the '70s," Konjoyan said of the duo. "So many people loved them."

reprinted from Charlotte.com


It was The Carpenters

The answer was this:

Well, this song wasn't on that album, with the intermission. That album was "A Song for You". I just liked this song best of all.

I remember hearing that intermission, which unfortunately I couldn't find anywhere on the web. Sung operatically - "We'll be right back, after we (after we, after we) go to the bahhhthroom". So funny. And absolutely *scandalous* to me and my sisters. It was 1973. I was eight. It felt daring and reckless to listen to The Carpenters sing about having to go to the bathroom! Unheard of, you weren't supposed to talk about that in public places, much less sing about it.

My, how times have changed.

I remember when Karen Carpenter died, I was shocked. It's just - you always think of stars from your childhood living forever. They must have charmed lives, right? Well, no. 'Cause I remember, too, when Anissa Jones, Buffy from A Family Affair, died of a *drug* overdose. When my oldest sister told me, I didn't believe her. What? Buffy wouldn't do drugs! What would Mrs. Beasley think? Oy, the 70's. Even in Charlotte, NC, a time of upheaval and disillusionment.

OK - enough maudlin! It's almost Valentine's Day, so here's another one for ya:

I love these letters:

E- You are tastier than a carmel apple empanada from taco bell
F- My love for you grows like fungus

Sending fungus out to you ~


We'll Be Right Back...

After we (after we, after we) after we
Go-o-o-o to the baaaaathrooooooommmm...

20 points if you know what that's from!

We're taking the next couple of days to pack & move, so I'll be offline. *gasp* Will the internets survive without me? Will I survive without the internets?

Who will check my e-mail for me?!??

For some reason, I signed on to the Oprah site to form a local reading group for Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. Well, not for some reason - it's because I'm exquisitely pleased this is her book club pick, and I wanted to meet with other folks locally to bounce stuff off of. I read it when it first came out, and it is rich, rich, rich with ways of seeing. Anyway - when I went to the Oprah site, it said, "Find a local reading group!" and I tried, and there wasn't one set up for Charlotte, yet - so I set one up. Now I'm getting several e-mails every day from folks wanting to join. Which is great, really, really wonderful and exciting that so many Charlotteans are interested to meet and discuss the book - but even just adding their name to the yahoo group I set up takes time. OK - my minor whine for the evening. It will all work out *perfectly*. It will be OK if I can't contact them back for a couple of days. The world will not end. And if it does, then Oprah's Book Club will be the last thing on my mind. Actually the last thing on my mind will probably be along the lines of "What the...". If the world ends apocalyptically, that is.

One order of business: The Goddess Diana is the winner of The Pioneer Woman calendar! How did she know? Sweet manifester that she is. So that will be going out to ya! Yay, Diana!

I'll miss you, internet! Kiss, kiss.


Keys in 2 x 2

Thanks to Patti Digh, I was inspired to draw a 2 x 2 square of my day. 2 x 2 - anyone can do *that*, right? I did.

And I did.

In Case I Forget....

I trust that my needs are taken care of.

I am in the palm of God's loving care, and all is well.

It is OK for me to have a nice, well-built home.

It is OK for my home to be clean, clear and welcoming.

My kids deserve to be happy and comfortable in our home.

I deserve to be happy and comfortable in our home.

I reflect peace and love through the order of my living space.

All is well.

I have friends seen and unseen who are gathering to help me through this time.

I am loved, and all is well.

My home is a place of love and light, where everyone within receives grace and healing.

Gassho ~