Friday, February 29, 2008

Must See

Don't miss the film installation at the Hirschhorn, The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image. I saw it today, plan to go look at it again tomorrow before the crowds arrive, and maybe a dozen more times before the show closes in May.


I've seen so many incredible shows since moving here, but I've never seen anything like this. Haunting, delightful, trippy, evocative, disorienting, even scary - we are an intensely creative species, we really are.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Green Cheese

I stared for a long time, through narrowed eyes, at the fading moon this morning, who (by the way) was looking quite perky and proud of herself. Humphhh. I wasn't squinting at the sky, oh no. My narrowed eyes, aimed directly at the third quarter moon, made a statement - it was my best attempt to let this moon know how much I disaprove of it.

That eclipse was one nasty jerk, not just for me (received bad news on several fronts) but for so many people I know. Bad breakups, people getting the boot from their jobs, or flunking important tests, being rejected by the dance company they had auditioned with, and on and on. Others got sick. Minor or major, this moon has been a bitch, though I'm sure there are folks who completely enjoyed the event. I just don't know any of them.

The happy thing is that the silvery disc, now just a half circle, will soon dwindle down and disappear altogether, allowing all of us to catch our breath and begin to recover from the frickin' February 2008 eclipse of DOOM. Don't get me wrong. There are many moons I adore, just not this one. No.

Luna? Honey? - don't let the door slam your ass on your way out. I mean it! Sheesh.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do people all over America talk about the presidential race as much as we do in DC? Because pretty much every conversation these days includes at least some talk about Hillary and Barack. It's an exciting campaign. Both candidates have skills and talents (very different talents) and both of them are so smart. Also, in contrast to John Kerry, who was polite, neither H nor B are afraid to insult each other on a regular basis.

Personally I would prefer candidates who would take the high road and talk about the issues, about the pathetic state of our country (I read this morning that the Sharper Image has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and even Starbucks is having to close some of stores - we are falling into the abyss faster than anyone actuallly understands). That said, though, it's far more engaging, in a reality TV show kind of way, to watch candidates wag their fingers at each other. To truly face how far the U.S. has fallen would send everyone who isn't already on anti-anxiety meds running to the doc for a prescription asap.

I guess. Actually I didn't watch the debate last night, but I'm sure I'll hear about it from virtually everyone I speak to today. I'm still curious, though - are we in a presidential campaign bubble here in DC? Is it as fascinating in other cities?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On the Upswing

Thanks to everyone for your encouraging words. I could feel the energy - wow! I'm feeling better, passing through something, but now I'm just so busy. That's a good thing.

Onwards & upwards!

And to all who sent kind words and thoughts: kiss kiss! I mean it, thanks!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Grasping at Straws

My heart is heavy today. Maybe it's the Connecticut weather, maybe it's sleep deprivation (too many scary dreams, not enough sound sleep lately), maybe it's sad news about someone who has been battling an illness for awhile, maybe it's watching old geezer Jake slipping every day a bit deeper into his dotage.

Or maybe it's something else, who knows? What I do know is that for me, sadness always triggers a sense of the precariousness of all the things I normally believe to be solid and unmovable. A glimpse of that truth, that all things must pass away into the next thing, scares me silly. My reaction is to try to grab on hard to something I can rely on, but in this state I understand there is never a guarantee of anything, not anything. Sheesh. All that grabbing but nothing to hang on to. Is this an existential dilemma? If so, how cool. Maybe it means I'm an intellectual.

I hate walking around sad and fearful like this. Oh well. Mama said there'd be days like this!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Anticlimactic Weather

In spite of threats from the weather people and, well, the sky itself, the big storm we were promised failed to develop here in DC. There was just enough icy rain to make the north facing sides of the street slippery.

When storms bring just a little rain, it's always a disappointment. It gets so gray and gloomy, you expect a lot of water. But then the sky just spits. It's so annoying. But there are benefits, too, like the cool marblized rainbows on the street, an alchemy of just a sip of muddy water stirred with automobile drippings.

As someone who no longer owns a car, though ... I'm grateful not to have to navigate through accumulated frozen precipitation. God. Am I becoming a southerner?

Happy weekend, ya'all.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Venerable Jake

The first time I saw Jake he was three months old, the cutest, sweetest little thing.

Later in our relationship, he became a bombastic, ecstacy/despair exhibiting crazy dog. He was so powerful, but he was SO crazy. Those were challenging years. I used to love to watch him run laps around Precita Park in San Francisco, All the other dogs would join in - they would run counter clockwise, for five or ten minutes at a time, full blast around us dog owners, standing in the center of the swirl almost in awe.

Now Jake has become my elder. He is so old, fragile, forgetful, lazy, cranky - you know, all the tendencies that develop in old age.

It's bizarre to exist in a different temporal reality than Jake's, a reality in which my life is passing by, oh my yes, but at a much slower pace than Jake's.

I know he's not dead yet, but ... still. Look at that droopy tail. Jake's an old geezer these days. Of course I love him still! May we all live long enough to get saggy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Duck and Cover!


Here comes the eclipse, at its peak around 9:00 pm tonight, EST. Eclipses always jerk us around, it's just part of their nature, but tonight's eclipse coincides with Mercury's change of direction (went direct yesterday) and the sun's shift from Aquarius into Pisces. It's a lot of galactic shifting and changing all at once. Today and tomorrow promise to be hulkin' dudes, energetically speaking.

Already this week I've heard about sudden and devastating romantic break-ups, people getting the boot, terrible diagnoses - I'm telling you, if you're smart, you'll get under the covers, put the pillow over your head and wait until tomorrow before attempting anything.

As for myself (not so smart, but practical) I'm headed out to see the Sufi acupuncturist, after which I'll go work at the gym again, then tonight? Risotto and salad, netflix.

Actually, the gym will probably be unaffected. I'm betting that the power of this eclipse can not penetrate into the wholesome, happy, endorphin-filled space of Results. Maybe that's a ridiculous fantasy. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Endorphins Happen

Today was my first day at Results, the gym, a place I'm going to be working a couple of half days a week. It's going to be fun, jovial and convivial, a nice balance to the serene tranquility of my usual workplace. Gyms are happy places because the people there are taking care of themselves, feeling good about what they're doing. All of us tightly wound Washingtonians need ways to release energy; sweating and breathing hard really helps.

I was so happy to work exclusively at Healing Arts for many years, though the last couple of years have not been as satisfying. Creature of habit that I am, I would probably dig in my heels and stay at Healing Arts forever. Fortunately the universe is showing me, without a shadow of a doubt, that the time has come to make the changes I've been contemplating. I tend to shy away from change even when it's clear that it's inevitable. After I finally work up my nerve to do something about what's no longer working, I always wonder why I waited so long.

Taking a couple of shifts at the gym is my first step out of the old pattern. OK. Onwards & upwards!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I couldn't take my eyes off the trees today during my trudge to work and home. It was another gloomy day (we've had Connecticut weather all winter this year, except not cold). The light was perfect for highlighting all the branch stumps where the trees have been crudely trimmed.

Pruning is an art. Cut the wrong branch at the wrong moment and the tree shape will never quite recover itself. In summer when the trees are in full leaf, the structural oddities are hidden behind a thick blanket of green. But in winter, trunk, branch and twig are completely exposed.

All the chaos of empty trees with their gnarly trunks, blunt branch stumps, badly cut once upon a time, is far more fitting as a metaphor of my spiritual path than the graceful symmetry of the walking labyrinth.

In fact when I think about it, every spiritual journey I've ever heard of contains false starts, dead ends, branches chopped off at the wrong moment, in the wrong way. All spiritual paths require a lot of back tracking. More than a graceful walk, more than skillful navigation, the path of the spirit seems to me like a trial and error experiment (with many moment of bliss, many moments of confusion).

So, the pattern of spirit really is a maze, not a labyrinth after all. For heaven's sake!

Everyone I've ever met has longed to evolve beyond our quintessential human behavior of blundering around like idiots when it comes to God. We want to walk mindfully, with grace, reverance and openness through our lives. Who do you know who can really do it, though? Maybe the Dalai Lama? Maybe. The people who designed these walking meditations must surely have realized how much we humans need inspiration. Who wouldn't want to believe in the idealized path of the labyrinth? I do!

Maybe the labyrinth walk is our way of practicing all those things that no one can count on in real life. I'm talking about a smooth path, no sidetracks, no mistakes made. That would be lovely! Wouldn't it?

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Here's a story the Jin Shin Do teacher told our class last week. It's about a man whose only horse ran away. The neighbors came over when they heard the news and said, "What bad luck!" The man said, "Maybe."

The next day the horse came back, and brought 4 wild horses with it. The neighbors came over when they heard the news and said, "What good luck!" The man said, "Maybe."

The following day the man's son rode one of the wild horses, was thrown off and broke his leg. The neighbors came over when they heard the news and said, "What bad luck!" The man said, "Maybe."

The day after that the Army recruiters came to town, but because the boy's leg was broken, they didn't draft him into the army. The neighbors came over when they heard the news and said, "What good luck!" The man said,


It's an interesting paradox to hold, my situation, I mean, as a lover of signs and portents who understands that all my attempts to interpret these signals are faulty at best. I believe reality is co-created, moment to moment, so how can I see the future? How?

Still I can't resist the temptation to try to understand in which direction I'm headed, even though I don't have a clue whether I'm spot on or way off base. At least I can try, right?

The artist’s will is secondary to the process he initiates from idea to completion. --Sol LeWitt

One reason I love walking the labyrinth is because it's a meandering path. When I started the practice, I often became disoriented as I walked the pattern, even though I knew intellectually that a labyrinth is not a maze. There's one path only on the Chartres style labyrinth. So many twists and turns, though, worse than Highway 1 north of San Francisco.

All the portents of the moment point to huge life changes this year, necessary but rigorous. I talked about these changes all last year but ended up doing nothing. But now it's clear I need to act. I'm trying to imagine that in my life path I've just reached another hairpin turn on the labyrinth. Today's strategy is to slow down on the inside in order to move more mindfully through this swirling pattern of change. Is that a good idea?


Friday, February 15, 2008

I'll be happy when ...

Mercury goes direct on the 19th. Sheesh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Whole Hearted

Happy Valentine's Day to all. I'm feeling, after my birthday yesterday, so well loved. My heart feels spacious and luxurious. It's a wonderful feeling. Also feeling so old, yikes! Better than the alternative as they say.

And so goes the paradoxical mix of emotions that are always a part of my birthday. Another year older, and still so well loved. Could be worse, eh?

L'chaim, ya'all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Many Happy Returns

It was an obsession of Eunice Goode’s that there was very little time left in the world, that whatever one wanted to do, one had better get it done quickly or it would be too late. Her conception of that segment of eternity which was hers to know was expressed somewhat bafflingly in a phrase she had written in her notebook shortly after arriving in Tangier: “Between the crackling that rends the air and the actual flash of lightning that strikes you, there is a split second which seems endless, and during which you are conscious that the end has come. That split second is now.” Yet the fact that her mind was constantly recalled to this fixed idea (as a bit of wood floating in the basin of a waterfall returns again and again to be plunged beneath the surface by the falling water), rather than inciting her to any sort of action, ordinarily served only to paralyze her faculties.

-- “Let It Come Down,” Paul Bowles, 1952

Thank you so much, Steve, for yesterday's post about time. I have stolen the quote shamelessly, in its entirety. Though I know you didn't consciously understand you were sending me the best birthday message possible, you were! Mr. Bowles wrote these words just a few months before I arrived, screaming, colicky and melancholy, exactly 55 years ago. Wow. Love being on your wavelength. Thank you!!

It's gloomy and rainy in Washington DC, but I have a very nice day ahead anyway, including a session with the Sufi acupuncturist, lunch at a fancy restaurant with a good friend, dinner tonight at the home of another good friend. In addition, my family got together and did a psychic reading for me for the coming year. Their divination tool of choice was a sushi deck of playing cards. Is that cool or what? I am in awe of this wonderful gift.

Another turning of the wheel, another birthday, another brief moment of awareness between the crackle and the flash. Life is good and I am grateful.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Every time I encounter the ocean, I wonder how anyone could doubt that the earth is a living being. Just like you or me, the earth is constantly in motion, shifting and changing, aging, renewing itself. The continents are sliding around, one over the other not that differently than the way your shoulder blade (for instance) shifts itself up and down as you move your arms around. Mountains are growing and are also being eroded, so like our human bodies over the span of our lifetimes. I can understand the need for volcanic eruptions - I've experienced microcosmic versions of this phenomenon more times than I care to admit, even though it's perfectly natural. Rivers and springs flow just like the blood in our veins, down into the oceans. I could go on and on, talk about weather and seasons, blah blah blah. I won't - you get the idea, right?

We, just like this planet, are watery beings along with some structural components, i.e. minerals, and adornments of flora and fauna. It thrills me to think of myself as part of the family that includes Brother Sun and Mother Earth, it makes me proud. That's just one more reason why it's so good to connect with the oceans whenever possible. It's such a powerful reminder that I belong right here - in this body, on this unbelievably beautiful planet. There's no place like home.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Like Minds

I was "supposed" to love Asheville, N.C. where I went to receive my Reiki Master attunement last summer. I liked it fine, but it didn't grab me as my friends thought it might. Virginia Beach, on the other hand, was described to me as yet another tacky beach town, just beyond the reach of the industrial southern Virginia cities of Portsmouth and Newport News. I assumed I wouldn't care too much for the place. But I did! Go figure.

American southerners are such an exotic bunch, so opinionated while also completely polite, and so extreme in their beliefs but also extraordinarily tolerant of people who think differently. I'm certain not every southerner could be described that way, though I've found it to be true in a general way everywhere I've visited in the south. Virginia Beach is a very special example of the paradoxical Southern mindset.

None of the people I talked to at the fancy hotel where I stayed were psychics or interested in the subject, but all of them admitted that they appreciated the presence of the Association for Research and Enlightenment and all the interesting folks the Center brings to town. The mix of locals, tourists, local psychics and visiting psychics is delightful.

Turns out it was A.R.E. hosting the conference that wasn't really a conference, of psychics. The workshop title, "Be Your Own Psychic" resonates with me. I had a couple of nice conversations with participants, and had a look at the workshop curriculum which was balanced, ethical, grounded and meant to help people thrive in the 'real' world. Wow.

In the wiccan tradition I used to be a part of, we honed psychic skills so we could read each other's minds. At A.R.E., people are taught to read, first of all, their own minds, and secondly, to connect, for brief moments of inspiration and insight, with the mind of God. The training is not about gathering personal power or using willpower so as to satisfy personal desires but rather to cultivate skills with which people can heal themselves and others. Fantastic! Setting out with the intention of gathering personal power in order to satisfy personal desires is a path that leads people in any tradition to such dark places. At A.R.E., people learn the same kinds of skills I was taught in wicca, but with with a completely different intention. Students are taught to be aware of the shadow of course, but to trend towards the light for the greater good of all. Cool!

I guess I won't be making fun of A.R.E. or Edgar Cayce ever again, though I still don't understand his infatuation with castor oil. Oh well!

Should mention that the Jin Shin Do class was great, and grueling, too. We were in class from 8 to 6 every day. I barely saw the ocean, though I grabbed moments here and there to dash across the street and take in the sound, the negative ions and the magic of the big water. Whenever possible, I walked the stone labyrinth in front of the massage school.

It was great - and - as wonderful as the weekend was, it's good to be home. There's no place like home.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Weekend Forecast: Quirky

Tomorrow I'll get into my rented car and drive to Virginia Beach where I'll be taking a Jin Shin Do class at the Edgar Cayce Massotherapy School. Does that sound fun? I think it will be.

I'm loving the idea of taking a class at a massage school proudly connected to Mr. Cayce. The school and the hotel where I'm staying are a half block from the beach, too, so I'll get to trade gossip with the moody Atlantic Ocean inbetween classes. I know it's February, and Virginia Beach is hardly the most scenic destination on the east coast, but still it will be great to walk on the beach. It's been awhile since I've seen the big water.

Even more fun is the fact that a psychic convention is taking place this weekend at the hotel where I'm staying. I'm so tickled just to think of it. What happens at a psychic convention anyway? Will there be a keynote speaker? Will they trade skills? Brainstorm about marketing techniques? Will there be workshops? Spirit guides? Most important, will there be a time and place when I can get a psychic reading?

Instead of sitting in my hotel room zoning out in front of the TV after class, I'm going to wander through the lobby, sit at the hotel bar and eavesdrop as much as possible. I myself am a psychic - can't help it, but I am - though it would never occur to me to attend a convention of like minded folks.

I may or may not have internet access so I might be offline for a few days. Online or offline, I'll be taking pics and doing some writing about what I see. Doesn't it sound fun?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday

Today presidential primary elections took place in states all over the U.S. In any election year, "Super Tuesday" is a very big deal. Even so I couldn't help thinking that people all over the world are celebrating Carnival right now, dancing, drinking, listening to music, feelin' sexy. People are all dressed up in masquerade, playin' "mas. No matter what, shouldn't Fat Tuesday be a day to celebrate? Why not?

Except here of course. There were parties planned all over the District tonight where people will gather to watch the news, find out who wins which primary and where. There will be drinking - count on it - but not a lot of celebration, unless the parties are focussed around Obama.

The cliché is so true - that if the U.S. were a high school, DC would be the Debate Club. An alternate cliche is that DC would be the Chess Club. Braniacs - that's the District of Columbia.

I love this city - I do. But sometimes ...

Tonight I'm remembering Carnival in Trinidad, in San Francisco, in New Orleans. The forms that joie de vivre takes in DC are just so weird. We are a city of nerds. Maybe that's one reason I feel so at home here.

Gotta get back to the news, now.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Is time really a linear progression from then to now to the future? Yes and no. I perceive time passing, certainly, though it's never a steady progression. Some days fly by, other days dig in their heels and drag on and on. Still, anytime I look into the mirror I notice that decades have passed since I was thirty five. How did that happen? Yikes!

Sometimes, though, time loops around. At odd moments I am given a brief glimpse, as if around a temporal corner, into what will be. I've also noticed that the past sometimes comes to visit the present. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Currently I'm emailing back and forth with two old, dear friends, each of them from very different chapters of my life. Both of them found me through the internet of course. God bless the internet.

There's nothing like looking at a pic of someone you haven't seen for thirty years - wow. The impact of all the changes folks go through over time is thrilling. Feeling the rush of the years that have passed, and yet being able to access all the love I ever felt for these people, is such a blessing. The capacity we humans have for love is staggering, isn't it? Is the heart really the size of a fist? Because it feels as big as the moon to me.

Just the other day I was feeling sorry for myself because the contour of my life seems to always be about letting go, releasing, endlessly cleaning out the closet of my funky mental and emotional structures. Seems like the trash can of my mind needs to be emptied almost constantly. The reunions I'm currently enjoying with these two wonderful people have shaken me out of the poor-l'il-me state of mind. After all, letting go is the only way to create space into which marvels can arise.

Perhaps it's time to open the door of the non-metaphorical closet in my non-metaphorical room, clean it out. A thorough spring cleaning of my closet will be my offering of thanks, my dance of shamanic alignment and gratitude for the gift of reunion I'm currently experiencing. Yeah. Why not?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Six More Weeks

The groundhog definitely saw his shadow in Washington DC yesterday, a happy portent if you ask me, since we don't really have winter anymore. Am I asking for an ice storm and lots of wind, just to spite me? Hope not! I just meant, damn that global warming.

The silent poetry reading was again a smashing success. Both Deborah Oak and I got around to as many blogs as possible. We read poetry all day long, offered thanks. What a wonderful responsibility. But I don't think either of us managed to find all the poetry that was published yesterday. Isn't that great??

Of course I checked out the pages of my blog kin and friends, but I also enjoyed that feeling of being a monkey swinging through the jungle, going to blogs from links in the comment section of Oak's and my blogs, or finding links on other people's blogs to follow, then grabbing another link from a blog I've never seen before. Hand over hand through the blog jungle is lots of fun.

As always the knitters came out in force. The knitters are a very special subculture of the blog realm. Pagans, too, made a mighty showing yesterday. And then of course there were plenty of offerings from regular folks like me who happen to like poetry.

Just like last year and the year before, I am dazzled by the intelligence, artfulness and generosity of bloggers. I am so grateful for this once a year luxury of poetry. THANK YOU ALL!! Now - onwards and upwards to spring!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

To Nature

It may indeed be phantasy, when I
Essay to draw from all created things
Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings ;
And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie
Lessons of love and earnest piety.
So let it be ; and if the wide world rings
In mock of this belief, it brings
Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity.
So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee,
Thee only God ! and thou shalt not despise
Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice.

--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Friday, February 1, 2008

In the Thick of It

I'm reading English romantic poetry (Shelley, Blake, etc.) like crazy this week. Never liked them in the past, but I'm loving them this year. Why not?

Don't forget to post a poem tomorrow ... well ... if you want to!