Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Carpe Diem

Reilly's the guy
We like the most
But we sure as heck hope
We don't see his ghost!


Someone who lives in this house, at Mass Ave. and A Street NE, has such a great sense of humor. Every year at Halloween a charming little graveyard appears in the back yard garden. The headstones are handmade, all of them "engraved" (with a sharpie, it looks like) with funny rhyming epitaphs. Very cool!

I love cemetaries, especially older cemetaries where the headstones are distinct from each other rather than the dreary newer fashion of flat stones on the ground, all of them exactly like the next one.

One of my favorite cemetaries is Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, Mass. Besides all the very interesting folks buried there (like Buckminster Fuller, for instance), the grounds, and especially the trees are beautiful. In the spring birds in migration stop to visit. People go to the cemetary to picnic on the grounds, an activity that's encouraged by the people who manage Mt. Auburn. That seems so friendly, and so healing, too. It's good to honor the dead in cheerful ways, I think.

Arlington Cemetary is a place I've visited often at this time of year, usually just to sit at the foot of the hill where the military clergy are buried. It's not a charming place, like Mt. Auburn or Capitol Hill's Congressional Cemetary, (a really fun place for dogs as well as dead and living people). No. Arlington is majestic though, and very respectful of those who rest there. "Rest" is more like it. All the dead at Arlington seem ready to spring to attention, should some high ranking military guy ask them to. Still it's a nice place to go visit. These days there are funerals taking place almost every day for soldiers killed in Iraq.

Some day, later on in this century, when I've passed away, I'd like a nice white marble headstone that says, "For whatever it was worth, she really was psychic." I think it's funny. And true, too, the best an epitaph can be.

Oh, but I'm not dead yet! Time to take the dog for a walk, do some laundry, go see the acupuncturist. And on and on, celebrating (as Bjork says) all the flesh on my bones.

L'Chaim, ya'all and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.

- Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Every Bit as Good as a Good Cry

Some people weep easily and even though crying in our culture tends to be embarrassing, I'm always slightly envious of the people who can let their tears flow whenever they feel like it.

As a child I was a champion weeper, but later on - don't remember when or why - I mostly just stopped crying.

I'm not cold as a stone. It wasn't hard at all to weep when my parents died, when my sister died, last summer when my friend Chevy died. I cried at my nephew's wedding last May, too, and sobbed like a baby when I lost a good friend in July. But I don't think I've cried since then.

Did you know that a hard cry (including sobbing) clears the abdominal lymph glands? It's so healing. Certain toxins and traces of extraneous hormones also get washed away with tears. In fairytales, tears have magical properties - they warm the frozen hearts of heroes who have been entranced by evil witches, they bring sight back to blind eyes, that sort of thing.

The rain (that continues to fall this morning) feels like a good cry, a release, a thorough cleansing of sky, earth, pavements. It's even washing away the pidgeon guano that sticks like glue to the statues of soldiers on horseback scattered throughout DC.

Usually after three or four days of rain, I get a little stir crazy, I want to see the blue sky again, but this time around, it's different. It's worth the soggy boots, unruly umbrella, the leaves plastered to sidewalks and cars, the fact that I have to get the towel and dry off Jake after every walk. It's worth every inconvenience to finally emerge from the prolonged drought.

I'm feeling for everyone in Georgia right now where it's still terribly dry. May the rain find its way deeper into the southeast. And in the meantime, many sincere thanks to the weather gods for this beautiful four day marathon of soft rain.

Friday, October 26, 2007

All Because of the Rain

The pattern of drought has been broken, and though the official measure of annual rainfall is still far below average, the last few days of soft, soaking rains have been an excellent tonic for the land.

I'd forgotten what damp earth smells like - gosh - it smells so GOOD! Everything looks shiny and as replenished as possible given that we're now deep into the fall season when living things are supposed to shrivel up in preparation for winter. Certain plants, like the rosemary bushes, are suddenly plump and resinous. They, too, smell incredible. In fact, every trace of the dry stink has been washed away. My prayers of thanks have been continual. What a relief!

One thing that rainy weather always brings to me is a rich dream life. Dreams are a watery realm, so it makes sense. My dreams are easier to recall, too, maybe because when I wake up and see it's all gray and rainy outside, I stay in bed just a little bit longer than I usually do, so I have time to dredge up the dream snips that are usually lost in my rush to begin my day.

There's no denying that during a rainy day in autumn, all levels of psychic awareness are enhanced. I've been going with that flow, as is my habit at this time of year. Every evening I've been hanging out with the ghosts, lighting candles and burning dried rosemary in honor of all my ancestors and for the Mighty Dead. My spirit guides are vivid and chatty, too, and very instructive these days, a Very Good Thing since they're so smart, and love me so much.

Most of the time, the shamanic lifestyle does not appeal to me, even though - whether I like it or not, I am a shaman. (I know that sounds pretentious, but I really am.) But in the fall, when it's dark and gray and rainy, when the leaves drop and the spirits are wandering, I surrender to the season, my dreams, the loving spirit guides and so forth, and just sink into the magic that is always a part of Halloween. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about commitment lately, what does that word really mean, what do people think when they hear it or say it, why is commitment an idea that is so emotionally charged? Is commitment no more than the decision to carry on with the same pattern (no matter what the pattern is) rather than shifting into a different pattern? The word itself always seems so fraught with superiority, like people who make commitments are better than people who don't. I think that's so weird, but then again, maybe I just don't get it.

For instance, has it been a commitment on my part to have stayed in this house for six and a half years, or am I still here because moving would require so much work and risk? It's an interesting question. Should say: I'm glad I'm still here. I'm comfortable and our household routines mostly work, though yesterday I visited someone who lives in the cutest loft apartment. Seeing her place made me wonder if some other living configuration might be a better fit, in which case my "commitment" to living here wouldn't serve the greater good in any way.

I can't help but contemplate making changes; it's my feng shui, my life's path. If you know astrology, you'll understand that having my natal Pluto in my first house of self, opposing both my sun and moon in the 7th house of relationship is a pretty good sign that change, transformation, and the reinvention of who I am and who I'm in relationship with, is the story of my life. I was born at the darkest of the dark moon, a few hours before a solar eclipse. I'm a Chinese dragon, too. The gestalt of reinvention and rebirth into ever-changing identities goes on and on wherever you look in my charts, numbers and so forth. It's just who I am.

You could say I made a lifetime commitment to change and transformation from somewhere out in the astral, before I was born, setting myself up for continual reinventions. Is that a paradox - or worse - an oxymoron?

One change I'm working on for the rest of 2007 is an attempt to enjoy the holiday season this year. I've been asking myself why I so loathe and dread the time between Halloween and New Year's. There are So. Many. Reasons. I can't address all of them, but there are some things I can do to ease up, at least on myself. I can make some changes that might open up a space in which there's a possibility to trade in my Bah Humbug attitude for something less cranky. Doesn't that sound like a good idea? Will it work? We shall see!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Perfect Shade of Gray

Oh glorious doom, oh lovely gloom! The matted leaves, the mushy ground, the dark gray sky and periods of


that fell all night and might fall all day today, too.

What a beautiful day!!

Hey, who am I, a member of the Addams family? Nope, just a grateful Washingtonian, welcoming the much needed precipitation.

Weather gods? THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Still Waiting

The rain was supposed to start today, but no dice. Based on the crazy showcase of clouds all day yesterday plus today's satellite pics of the approaching weather front (very impressive) you might think the rain would be here any minute.

Well. Not yet.

The air all day has been heavy and oppressive, too hot and sticky for late October. It's completely disturbing. The wind kicked up and the sky looked so threatening all day long. But it just couldn't produce. The drought continues.

I, too, have felt emotionally blocked, stuck, and cranky as hell all day. I am one with the weather, a blessing and a curse.

Supposedly tomorrow we'll get the rain, maybe even 1/2 inch which would be a lot compared to what we've seen all summer. I'll believe it when I see it.

In the meantime I'm praying sincerely for all the people in southern California (including several members of my family) who are dealing with terrible fires and hurricane-strength winds, to remain safe and sound.

Nature is so extreme. No wonder we humans are always thinking we should figure out some way to "control" it - whatever that means. Control of the natural world is not possible, something we should be aware of by now. From coast to coast in the U.S., we are wringing our hands, worrying like crazy, instinctually anxious about issues of survival all because of the weather. What an autumn. Yikes!

Same as it ever was, and yet so scary to experience these meteorologically difficult moments..

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wow! What a Vision!

Things are moving and shaking in my life - so much is going on, I'm having a hard time keeping track of it all. It's all good, every single thing that's unfolding, and yet, there's so much, I am overwhelmed. Silly me.

Walking home after a very early meeting today, I let go of all my attempts to keep track of life's recent events, and just stared up at the sky. It was SO beautiful. Scattered across this morning's version of the wild blue yonder were the most elegant clouds. I saw cirrus uncinas, cirrus floccus, and thin little sheets of some kind of cirrus whose name I can't remember. The streams of ice showering down from these gorgeous little clouds were clearly visible and though I took a bunch of pics, I was unable to digitally capture the crystalline precipitation that never (unfortunately) makes it all the way to the ground. With or without measurable precipitation, the beauty of this morning's sky did me a world of good.

I managed to get a shot of this, the highlight of this morning's sky. It's a rainbow made of ice crystals that formed like a heavenly smile directly above my head and "followed" me all the way home. You can see some of the ice showers in this pic, and some in the small pic below. But you should have seen the sky in real life. Wow.

The ice rainbow seems like a sign of great good fortune, don't you think? Though of course the form that good fortune will take remains to be seen.

Noticing and appreciating the natural world is a process that comes so easily to me. Attempts to interpret what I notice, though, can be tricky. I used to assume I could accurately decipher the signs and signals that are always available via the weather (for instance) but I was wrong so many times that I finally gave up.

Better to gaze up at a magnificent sight like this morning's clouds and just say thanks.

Thank you icy cirrus clouds, thank you Brother Sun, for such a beautiful vision this morning. Thank you!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007



After the tiny little rainshower we had the other day, the first rain we've experienced since July, I took twenty-two pics of cars with beads of water on them. It would make sense to have taken three or four, because the effect was pretty interesting - but twenty-two? It's as if I felt it was my last and only chance to capture these images. Oh dear. Perhaps it is!

Obviously, I'm desperate for the drought to end. I long for the chilly rains of fall, the dark, gray, featureless layers of stratus cloud that bring on the first throes of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Am I wishing for a big bout of depressing weather? I guess so. Why? Because it's time for the weather to shift. Washington DC is so dry! It scares me.

In the meantime I'm completely taking for granted how gorgeous it is out there, 80 F. (27 C.) during the days with cool evenings. Really, what's wrong with me that I would think it's OK to turn my back on the crystal blue skies and abundant warm sunshine? Every day I give myself a lecture about acceptance of what is, about opening my mind to reality, about enjoying the moment. You should see how stern I look when I deliver these lectures to myself. Unfortunately, so far I haven't had a lot of success with shifting my state of mind. The longing for rain is instinctual, it rises up above all the lovely pleasures of perfect weather. Isn't that bizarre? C'mon rain gods, COME ON!!

Be careful what you wish for, Reya! Be very, very careful!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On a Mission

This weekend is so busy, all of it good, all of it fun, interesting, expansive. All the busy-ness is excellent business. No time to post here, though.

Gotta get going! Happy weekend, ya'all!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yin/Yang, with cat

Most of the houses on Capitol Hill's main drags have smallish front yards. Often those yards are beautifully landscaped, lovingly cared for. George Washington proclaimed that the households on E. Capitol Street were required to keep nice front gardens - to add to our newly won national pride, maybe. I don't know what the consequences were for disobeying George Washington's decree, but I'm glad he did it because the tradition continues even now.

But I also love the alley communities, tiny side streets tucked between the "real" streets of Capitol Hill. These little neighborhoods are quite distinct, mostly paved, for instance. I haven't seen any alley cottages with basements or the usual flight of stairs up to the front porch either. It's a different landscape.

It's fun to suddenly come upon these block-long streets for so many reasons. Maybe because they have less exposure, or because they have to contend with boring garage doors and a whole slew of trash bins, people get a little more creative with paint and adornment than elsewhere on the Hill. Back in the alleys is the only place where you might see a mural, something that's commonplace in San Francisco. Most Hillizens are too conservative to enterain the idea of murals, except for the people who live in the "Deer House" on E. Capitol. Behind the lush foliage of their garden you can see that someone has painted a life-sized trompe d'oeil of an Italian garden on the brick wall of their neighbor's house.

The Yin/Yang effect is always funny to see whether in an alley community or on a main thoroughfare. Do you think they had the painters measure so as to ensure they wouldn't paint a micron of their neighbor's house?

I also like the cat in the window.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


In this culture we mostly don't think about the practice of ancestor worship, of honoring the dead, except at funerals. Some of us remember by placing flowers on the graves of those we love. One of my friends creates the most beautiful wreaths to honor the members of her family who have passed away. But that kind of loving devotion is rare.

More universal in our culture is the practice of pagan traditions that attend this time of year. We put pumpkins out on our front porches, providing a nice place to rest for all the wandering souls. Did you know that's what they're for? Once the jack o'lanterns are carved, the dead can peer out at the world of the living through the eye holes. Or so they say. We build altars to the dead in our front yards, burn candles, tell ghost stories. Ancestor worship is part of being human, no matter how modern and rational we are.

Most of the ghosts I know about are completely harmless. I'm sure they would move on to more comfortable realms if they knew how to, but a lot of them seem lost or stuck. Maybe they're working out some kind of karma. They seem so confused.

Of course there are spooks, too, scary ghosts with agendas who love nothing better than a chance to give those of us who are still alive the goosebumps. I know I have days like that, and I'm not dead yet. Why wouldn't ill-tempered souls keep up their unhappy ways after passing away?

Whether we are in a mood to admit it or not, most of us in this culture have a sense that the shades and shadows of those who have passed away leave some kind of resonance in our reality. I think that's why we're so good about honoring the spooks, ghosts, and wandering souls at Halloween, even if we tell ourselves it's for the kids, it's traditional, seasonal or whatever.

Whether you believe it or not, it's the time of year to honor the dead - even dead aliens, apparently. On Capitol Hill we go over the top in a frenzy of decoration at Halloween, just one more reason I am so in love with my neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Abundance is the energetic flow at this time of year. It's the season of the harvest, a good thing, yes? Yes. And ... a lot of work! It's not just me running around like crazy, now that the weather has cooled. It's not just me working hard, working overtime, trying to complete impossibly long to-do lists every day.

The harvest is good work, necessary work that guarantees safe passage through the winter. So all these endeavors I'm currently engaged in - the matting and framing of photos, the scurrying around to various appointments and meetings, the design of my web page and business card - are exactly what I want to be doing. All the things I'm so busy with right now lead to good things and good situations. I love it, and ... I'm not keeping up the pace I'd like to. Isn't that always the case during the harvest? How does anyone get ALL the crops in just at the perfect moment of ripeness?

My room is a disaster area because there's not enough space for all these mats and frames and the cutting board and all the plastic bags stuffed with the detritus of framing, not to mention the pics scattered everywhere, the little plastic bags for unframed but matted pics. I don't have time anyway to keep my room really clean, a stressful situation since the process of cleaning as well as the clear surfaces and shiny floors, etc. when I'm finished, are foundational components of my Plan to Stay Sane.

Stressful, too, is all the brain power I'm investing into my work with Reiki, an energy that I've been completely humbled by every day since I became a Reiki master. Both the Reiki sessions I'm doing with clients as well as the teaching I'm engaged in, require a combination of discipline and attention - yet complete and utter surrender to the greater power, however you care to see it. How can anyone do both at the same time? Reiki mastery is a sharp learning curve.

I like to goof around, sit around and do nothing, think about nothing. I like my Law and Order reruns. I like long rambling conversations with friends and long rambling walks with my dog. I like to cook and go out for lunch, I like to stare into space for an hour at a time. Really, I do.

But all that laziness will have to wait until late fall, by which time it'll be the hideous holiday season again. Yikes. This year's harvest is so plentiful, so abundant, I am overwhelmed.

And grateful! Thank you oh mysterious, generous gods of the Harvest! Thank you!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Resistance is Futile

So many people have shoved the book eat pray love in my face, I'm going to stop resisting and just read the damn thing.

It makes me nervous when everyone tells me I'm going to just love this book, movie, song, restaurant, person or whatever. I feel set up, hyper-nervous that I might not behave as I'm supposed to; dislike what I'm supposed to love.

I just started the book today between clients. So far all I can feel is resentment that this person could afford to take a whole year off in order to sort out her spiritual life. Please. I'm hoping the slight bitter taste in my mouth at her ability to indulge herself will shift as I get into the groove of her story. We'll see.

As a friend says, it's good to check out anything that has caught the attention of so many people. I thought The DaVinci Code was a hoot, not a great book but fun, made more fun by the fact that everyone was reading it all at once. Of course I LOVED Harry Potter, so I do have the capacity to get into a trend here and there.

But so far, the jury is out about whether I'll love Elizabeth Gilbert's story. We shall see.

10/17 - Addendum:

OK the final word on eat pray love is that as of page 137, I have given up on it. As soon as I figured out the pattern of the book, I lost interest in the specifics. It's a book that's all about her, and she's a sweet kooky gal, but ... who cares? This happened when I read Anne Lamott's Travelling Mercies, too, a much better book (I think) but still, after awhile, sitting inside someone else's head becomes so boring. If I'm learning something, that's different. Bryan Sykes is a strange guy and his personality is all over his book, but reading The Seven Sisters of Eve was well worth it because I learned so much about mitochondrial DNA.

It's best for me to stick to non-fiction, I guess.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Fall has arrived at last. The air is crisp and cool, the sky is a perfect shade of cerulean blue. If only we'd had some rain, the trees would now be able to launch into their dramatic autumnal swan song. As it is, they're just too feeble from thirst to do much more than drop their dried out, brownish leaves. Oh well, nothing is ever perfect, is it? Still, it's gorgeous out there.

Once the humidity clears at the end of summer or in this case halfway through October, everything in the visual field becomes sharper, more vivid, and precisely defined. The clarity of vision that's part of every autumn has a profound effect on my neural network - and therefore also on my heart and soul.

Every shadow, every reflection on a fall day like today is refined to perfection, exquisite in every detail - so unlike the orange, hazy shadows and shapes that attend a hot, humid day at the end of a terrible summertime drought. The seasonal change in my visual field has a huge impact on what I notice when I'm out for my walk. What I notice, what I look at (and photograph) changes what I think about as I wander around. How could it not?

I think the connection between thought and visual acuity can be attributed to a rarely ackowledged fact: that eyes are literally part of the brain. Now I know anatomy texts say eyes are accessories to the grey matter, but think about it - the eyes are tucked in, peeking at the world from directly beneath the frontal lobes. There's not a millimeter of distance between your cerebral cortex and your eyeballs. The optic nerve is embedded deep inside the grey goop, extending to the very center of your head. Eyes are the brain's visual array. How can anyone imagine they're separate?

Making certain that I frequent places where I can take in beautiful sights (whenever possible) is part of my Plan to Stay Sane. Every day I purposely scan (as if my eyes were on stalks extended out into space) for the healing shapes, colors, pleasing angles and curves.

In fall, it's so much easier to access visual beauty, even in a drought, despite or maybe because of the waning light. I love fall.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Anyone who lives in an urban area recognizes the stuff in this image. You find it scattered on streets and in parking lots in every neighborhood. Oh yeah. These cubes are pieces of shattered car windows, evidence of a break-in. If you live in a city, you've seen them, right?

There were certain parking spots on Mullen Avenue (in Bernal Heights, San Francisco,) where you could almost always find small pyramids of broken glass. You might be wondering who would park a car on a street renowned for the detritus of auto break-ins? We're talking about San Francisco where basically there is no parking, ever, period. If there's a parking spot, you just take it, and tell yourself that maybe the burglars won't find your car or won't be in the mood, or will see that the stereo has already been stolen.

My car was broken into six times while I lived in San Francisco, once after I moved here. It's a regular business for some people, and it must provide decent money, because it's a popular form of burglary. I had the phone number of the auto glass replacement store memorized by the time I moved away from San Francisco. A friend of mine regularly used this glass in her mosaics because it was always available.

I wonder if the ipod revolution is cutting into the stolen car stereo market?

I gave up my car about three years ago. Honestly I haven't missed it at all. DC is a horrible city to drive in, and fortunately we have excellent public transportation. I also subscribe to Flexcar. It works.

OK. I'll admit I do miss my car during a cold winter day with icy rain and a driving wind. Who wouldn't? Or I might miss it sometimes when I'm suddenly in a mood to drive out of the city, but - that happens rarely.

But today this pool of broken glass caught my attention when I suddenly realized that this stuff, this pile of clear aqua blue cubes, when stuck together, becomes the amazing curved mirror surfaces in which Capitol Hill gets reversed and distorted, and photographed. Interesting for me to think about while I stared down at the glass. Not so much for Jake who kept tugging on his leash until he could convince me to resume our walk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Street Gravy

It hasn't rained in ages here in Washington DC so I shouldn't be surprised that the rain puddles, such as they are after a brief but GLORIOUS thunderstorm yesterday, are full of street goo.

Instead of dazzling mirrors, the puddles accumulated during yesterday's storm were swirling with auto drippings this morning. The oil and other residues created fabulous patterns on the surfaces of the puddles. I couldn't resist taking some pics.

These images are not photoshopped in any way except to increase brightness and contrast. Cool looking, aren't they?

On the other hand, I'll be happy as a clam when the rain comes back full force, pushes the deglazed auto goop into storm drains and, eventually, the Anacostia River. OK, I'm not happy about the river, but oh how I would love to see a nice day of steady rain that falls from a featureless, dark and heavy cumulus stratus layer of cloud.

I would LOVE a nice day of rain. Hear that, weather gods? wink wink!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rubbing Shoulders with Deep Ancestors

Since receiving my results from the National Geographic Genographic project of course I've become very interested in genetics. First I read Genome by Matt Ridley, a comprehensive and understandable overview of human DNA.

More interesting is The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes. He's the guy who figured out that the lineage of all Europeans can be traced back in time to seven women. Of course there are many familial strains in every European's ancestry, but these seven women all succeeded in giving birth to daughters, who gave birth to daughters, who gave birth to daughters and on and on in an unbroken line for thousands of generations. Everyone who has European heritage has the mark of one of these women in their mitochondrial DNA. (There's a way to trace paternal lineage, too, but only men can follow the line of the fathers back in time. Cool, isn't it?)

I'm a great great great great great great (repeat thousands of times) grandaughter of V, a woman who lived in northern Spain in the mountains of Cantabria 17,000 years ago. OK, she lived 17,000 years ago, probably in the mountains of Cantabria. They know for a fact that she was a real woman, but no one knows exactly where she lived.

V was a great great great great (repeat thousands of times) grandaughter of "mitochondrial Eve," a woman who lived in East Africa 100,000 years ago. Mitochondrial Eve is the mother of all Europeans and maybe even of everyone on earth, though no one knows that for sure yet.

Very fun to think about this!

How I would love to gather a group of seven women, one from each European haplogroup, sit together with my haplosisters, trance back in time, share visions of the distant past, the symbols of which are literally written in our DNA. Wouldn't that be a great way to celebrate Halloween/Day of the Dead? Wouldn't it be an excellent and fascinating event? How I would love to honor my deep ancestors with this kind of gathering.

What a great piece of performance art! What a powerful ritual of connection through time. It could be so interesting!!

It's probably too close to Halloween now to figure out how to locate these women, though I bet here in DC there are representatives of all seven groups. Maybe next year.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


The black SUVs that the Secret Service guys drive are the best reflective surfaces. They're shiny and always sparkling clean. The deal is, though, that the people who sit all day in these cars are never happy when I approach in order to take a pic of something reflected in their tinted windows.

Though I always show them the pics while assuring them I'm not trying to look inside their cars, they still narrow their eyes suspiciously. I'm not sure the Secret Service hires expansive thinkers, though I could be wrong about that. No offense intended!

Eventually though, they seem to realize that a pleasant grey-haired, middle aged lady such as myself has nothing to do with threats to the security of whatever or whomever it is they're guarding.

Too, they seem incapable of appreciating how interesting the landscape is when reflected and photographed. I've tried explaining why I take these pics, I talk about the reversed architecture, the distortions in shape, blah blah blah. Their eyes glaze over once they figure out I'm not dangerous, at which time they cease to even pretend they're interested in anything I'm saying. Sometimes I stop my explanations in mid-sentence; they never seem to notice.

Maybe you think I should avoid the Secret Service and their fabulous vehicles. Hmmmm... Maybe you're right!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It could be my last day, too, you never know. OK. Why am I complaining endlessly about the weather? This weather IS October 2007. Drought is a weather pattern all over the earth, one that has been a part of every corner of the planet at one time or another. Why should the weather shift, just because I want it to?

I asked myself today, can I accept that this is a drought, that this is a hot and humid October? Can I accept that every day this week begins with a heavy, oppressive fog followed by an open sky accompanied by unseasonal heat? Can I accept what's actually happening or should I continue to whine and complain about how the weather "should" be??

Can I divert my energy to some other topic. Please?

I was lucky to teach Reiki today. To competently deliver today's master attunement, I had to spend a few days focusing, cleaning and clearing my energy, and most important, praying.

I always forget how helpful it is to pray, whether the prayer takes the form of a wish, a thank you, or a plea for help. The ritual of Reiki attunement was just perfect. I felt clean as a whistle afterwards, a condition that allowed me to entertain the possibility of accepting at face value this odd October of humidity and heat.

What's wrong with letting the world be what it is? What??

Friday, October 5, 2007

These little tufts of ice crystals, the cirrus floccus clouds in the pic (reflected off the back window of a red minivan) must be the weather god's way of thumbing his nose at me and all my yearning for precipitation and fall weather. Though these clouds release trails of ice, those trails will never make it all the way to my little corner of the troposphere.

It's the nature of cirrus clouds to be beautiful - and aloof. They are the highest of the high clouds. Dang, man.

I learned about cirrus (and other clouds) by reading The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society. Though the book is overly charming, it provides a lot of information, and it is entertaining.

One thing I can say for cloud gazing is that it gives me something to do while I wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for fall.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Stuck Between the Seasons

It's humid, but dry, uncomfortable. Leaves are dropping, all dried up and crumbly. Once they hit the pavements, they're quickly ground into leaf dust by the feet of passersby. Everything looks brown, shrivelled.

What I remember about October days in years past is the crisp air, blue skies, chilly rains, vivid colors. Is this a faulty memory? What gives?

It feels like autumn is trying, but not succeeding, in its attempts to seduce the midatlantic landscape. But the days are growing shorter; it's only a matter of time. I want to say to the weather gods, let go!! Please, let go!!

That's the message I've been giving myself the last the few days, too, isn't it? Hmmmmmmm....

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Too bad I'm not temperamentally suited to Buddhism - because there are many versions of "the" truth expressed so elegantly, so clearly, within that set of traditions. I borrow Buddhist practices all the time, like loving kindness meditation, for instance.

One of the Buddhist truths is that it's good to let go, let the past move quickly away with the flow of time, like the wake in the water behind a speed boat. Sometimes I think that's not possible, sometimes I wish it were possible, sometimes I somehow manage to genuinely release a little bit of my historical flotsam and jetsam. Anytime that happens, afterwards I'm light and empty. It's such a thrill!

My family's experience in Kansas City is a blatant reminder that all experiences I had growing up, the joyous ones as well as the super painful eras, exist only in my memories. Every other trace of my "formative" years is gone with the wind. I could let go of all that, theoretically. But do I want to? Would it feel better?

It's so interesting to think about!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gently Down the Stream

In the dream I am driving around Kansas City, visiting places where I once lived. I go first to the house where I grew up, a place resonant with painful memories. But when I arrive, I find that the house has been nicely renovated. I walk to the front door, take a deep breath and get ready to knock. I hear someone playing the violin from inside. As it turns out, the people who now own the house are musicians - the husband is a violinist who plays with the Des Moines Symphony, and the wife is a pianist. The house feels spacious and welcoming. Only the bathtub looks the same.

Next, I want to have a look at the last place where my mother lived. Not only my mother, but my grandmother, died in that house. It was a small place, split into two apartments. Everyone in my family lived in that house at some point, except my father and possibly my oldest sister Karen. (I can't remember.) Those were stormy years for all of us. But when I arrive, I find only a grassy, empty lot. The house burned the the ground, I learn subsequently (no one was inside when it happened.)

What a dream, eh? A person could chew on the symbolism, the metaphor, the possibilities, endlessly, delving deeper and deeper into the levels of meaning in these scenarios.

Except - it's not a dream. My brother visited Kansas City last weekend in "real" life. He, his wife and my sister actually took that drive around town. It's true: the house where we all grew up is now occupied by a sweet young couple, both musicians. True, too, is that the house where my mother lived at the end of her life no longer exists. My brother included photos with his report - he's not making it up.

My goodness, life really IS a dream, isn't it? My head is spinning, contemplating what my sibs and sib-in-law experienced last weekend. All I can say is, Wow!

Monday, October 1, 2007

What's Not to Love?

Have you ever had a perfect day? My day today was so perfect that I'm ready to say I love October, 2007. Perhaps it's a bit early to make this pronouncement, but so far, so good.

I like October. I do. I really do.