Tag Archives: life

Fin.

It’s been awhile since I last posted.


And for quite a while I’ve felt a bit hesitant about sharing.


Life continues to unfold in both familiar and unpredictable ways.


My WordPress account came up for renewal, and I decided (or maybe the decision decided me?) to not renew my blog.


Other facets of my life are calling.


I enjoy looking back 6 months, and considering the possibility of 6 months from now…


In 6 months, this now emerging sunflower (providing it thrives & survives the season, sets seed, and I can get to it before birds do) will be, once again, a powerful and humble seed.


I wanted to thank anyone and everyone who read this blog, and for those who followed this blog.

I hope it offered some benefit.


It meant a lot to me, and I’m aware that all time is precious, and so I thank you for using your time this way.


Wishing you all good things.


Worrying, taking time, & kitties.

Yesterday’s work day began later than usual

For one thing, I had an appointment to keep in the morning.  

And when I see things like this, I feel compelled to pause & laugh & take a photo to send to a loved one

You know, Share the delight 

   

I’m a fan of moving slower

& not a fan of rushing

(Though zippy-doodle will at times occur…)

  

By the time I arrived at the farm

The weekly seeding was nearly done

– Attended to by four capable hands.

As their workday soon ended, mine just began.

So I set to transplanting two flats of broccoli & early cabbage

  

As I worked, I began to notice myself in a state of worry.

familiar weather, worry.

The worry du jour was about the amount of time I take to do things.

In particular, at the farm

  

I try to be efficient, and find that I do get into a groove once I get going & practice the method necessary for the task at hand.

A system that works for this body is found & my movements become more effortless

  

Granted, when I pause to get more soil or more pots or go to pee, a photo might be taken…

– Like this early Spring view from just outside the greenhouse.

(Aaaaand all the following photos…)

Although I’ve received a blessing & go-ahead to take photos here at the farm through the day, a habitual groove of thinking gets going…

  

So I paid attention to the broken record spin of worry that was playing in my mind, 

and by paying attention, 

could see/feel that consequently, 

my breathing became shallow & I stopped seeing what was in front of my eyes

Like being blinded by an internal sandstorm of worry  So to remedy this, here was the practice du jour:

Whenever my mind went from an awareness of things at hand 

to the thinking & spinning mind of worry, 

I would keep taking deep breaths, and really turn my attention to what I was doing & feeling, 

Instead of the loud thoughts in my head

Returning, returning, returning.

Being able to distinguish between awareness & thinking feels like a big step for me.  

Take notice of the slightly yellowing seed leaves (or cotyledons) on the cabbage seedlings (below & above)

“Pleeeease pot me up!!!”

When roots find their way to the far edges of their potting soil world, it’s either time to pot up (transplant into a larger container) or transplant into soil out in the bigger world.

  

Since two seeds germinated in this cell, & both plants are healthy, they are gently pried apart

  

And set into larger pots which have some fresh potting soil in the bottom

  

Then more fresh potting soil is added up to where the cotyledons attach to the stem

And gently pressed down to settle in the plant a bit, but not so much that it compacts the soil

  

Once a tray is filled, it is watered under a fine spray of water

Which further settles the soil around the roots – and allows for the contact roots and soil want together.

75 Broccoli plants & 80 Early Cabbage plants were potted up.

155 plants in all.

It took me 3 hours to do that.

  

Izzy was intrigued by my hands after coming (housesitting) home from work

And she didn’t mind that it took me three hours to transplant 155 plants.

Bob seems to be patient & tolerant of my pace, but I still sometimes question if I really “fit” at the farm.

*Plagued by Doubt*

– no doubt, triggered by a mere (yet impactful) comparing thought.

  

A friend said to me today, “cats are unapologetically themselves”.

Even plants grow at the pace that they grow.

At the farm, moving at such a slower pace than all the others, it takes an amount of mind-effort to not apologize for myself.

To honor the animal that I am & just do my work.

A part of me thinks: o there’s something wrong, maybe I should leave, try to find a place where I fit in better.

  

But maybe the lesson is right here, to practice “standing inside myself”, and to learn something from just this.

Not become caught up in my own tangle of comparing my relative snailing pace, to just let that wild-bird-thought fly through.

I guess if I trust the wisdom of the unfolding of my life, & attempt to keep my eyes open to what is right here, I’ll get the opportunity to learn whatever it is I’m supposed to learn.

 

These are the steps where I slipped as I rushed down them one snow-covered-icy morning in February 2012 which shifted my life

This being one of the numerous incidents where I’ve thought privately or said out loud “but it wasn’t supposed to be like this”

But really, who am I to argue reality or try to control such things…?

I’m trying to integrate the unfolding of things, trying to relax…

I’ll finish this post with a poem by Marie Howe

The Gate

I had no idea that the gate I would step through 
to finally enter this world 

would be the space my brother’s body made. He was 
a little taller than me: a young man 

but grown, himself by then, 
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet, 

rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold 
and running water. 

This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me. 
And I’d say, What? 

And he’d say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich. 
And I’d say, What? 

And he’d say, This, sort of looking around. 
  
Maybe this will be the memorized poem for 2015…
Wishing you all a good night
& a happy Spring


Wave of grief

Death comes as a surprise sometimes
And something is felt in the heart

What is it?

Is it the connection that seems to live there like thin, strong layers of Braille embedded in the tissue…?

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What is it?

This tenderness…?

For the close-ones left “behind” here on Earth…
My heart and mind seems to turn towards them

And reflecting on how my life has been braided up, & impacted in countless ways by a family…

And reflecting on this man who is no longer embodied
A very kind, and generous man

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How his activities in this world have touched the lives of so many
Near and far
Impacting this region of the Northeast…

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Recently, someone commented on how they saw my thinking about death as something which sort of colors my life.
I don’t think it was meant as a positive noticing.
But keeping death in mind had me call the person & his wife now and again
To check in, throughout the year
To let them know I was thinking of them
To find out how his treatment was going
To let them know how grateful I am for the times we’ve shared together, and how they positively impacted my life.

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Life & death are inseparable.
Keeping death in mind, for me, supports me reaching outside of myself, stretching…
That is, it helps this often-fearful being find courage
A kind of motivator.

Because death and love go hand in hand in my mind
Or, as a friend said to me a while back,
Love and grief walk hand in hand…
Because if you love someone or something, there is the awareness of the tenuousness of life, and things do change, and death will come, and with that – grief.

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Intellectually I know things are constantly changing
But emotionally, when things DO change, there is an impact

Today
I’m watching grief come and go in waves
Perhaps it has a sort of function
I don’t know.
I keep catching myself wondering when it’ll all pass & I’ll “feel better”

This is me rushing, again
The habit of trying to get away
Aversion.
And so I will continue to practice, albeit imperfectly, to stay.

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Time to sit.
May all beings be happy


Reminding myself, reflecting on change, & that word “forever”.

everything changes.

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Winter gives way to Spring

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Spring gives way to Summer

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Summer eases into Fall

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and so on.

every thing changes.

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simple, right?

obvious, right?

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but

but but but

there is still in me this *thing*

like an assumption

of forever

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which is a curious word

in and of itself.

forEverrrrR.

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(RIP Artemis)

this day has come

and it will go

each breath comes in, then goes

the people i love, this body i’m inhabiting, even the beliefs i hold about those i do not love…

everything changes.

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i watch how i live my life – and i see how i try to hold on to things

at times, so often, so graspy.

at times, now and again, with grace.

*sigh*

and just like that

things change.

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don’t get me wrong – i appreciate things that are built to last

older buildings being my favorite examples of such things…

or the telephone which sat on the table and was heavy and had the long curly cord attached to it…

people who are courageous, who vow to walk their lives together till death comes for one… signing up for that depth of future-grief.

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i guess it’s simply unsettling, still,

this sort of being-ness

like walking a fine line

which always feels like some being-in-between

and the dance of acceptance & effort is a delicate one

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i watch the longing – and then i try to practice settling in, or settling down – somewhere in the heart region.

the image that comes is leaning back, into a sort of low & very comfortable chair.

then my eyes, which are often quite alert & tense, relax.

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20 years ago this month, (a baffling thing to write) i moved to New York City to begin my formal studies of Shiatsu.

and for a while, i practiced… mostly part-time, and a stretch of years full-time after getting my NY state license to practice massage.

now i only practice every now and again

and find that i mostly enjoy offering it in a casual way – as needed.

“spot work” – and it has taken a long time to drop the judgement of not doing bodywork in that full-on professional way any longer.

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when i was 23 i thought i’d be practicing bodywork forever.

and at 34 at the farm i thought i’d be there forever.

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so as i look around now at my life

in this present day – there is the feeling of “forever”, and there is the awareness that this too will change.

Blessings on the day.

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we all know that things can change on a dime, but it’s easy to forget.

okay

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so i began to blog because i fell in love with someone last Winter.

someone who i loved in a way i didn’t really understand

in a way that called me to be a way i didn’t know i could be.

strange, easy connection.

but

it didn’t unfold in that capital R relationship-y way

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we were, and are friends

and i’m happy for him that he’s found someone with whom there seems to be a quite wonderful connection between the two of them

this is the best of things.

so

i began to blog.

because i had stopped farming

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and this relationship-connection where sharing occurred was no longer there…

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and

because i felt i had to do something

the energy had to go somewhere

so

i began to blog.

not because i think i have “something to say”

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it came more out of a sort of need

to share.

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i don’t write much about relationship (or Relationship)

but find that i think about relationships a lot.

not just in that “longing” way, but just thinking about it.

i’m in relationship with everyone

and everything.

all the time.

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today

i feel sad, grief i didn’t expect to feel

upon seeing images of a beloved teacher who just passed away.

someone who was very warm, very present, and very kind.

and even though we didn’t share a lot of time out side of the school

there is something in me that feels a great grief in knowing that she’s not embodied any more…

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i’d often drive by her house, & every time i would think fondly of her

even though i had only been there once.

i knew it was her house, her home

and memory is a funny and wonderful thing

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i feel lucky, fortunate, to have shared some time with this very kind, earthy, strong woman.

and i guess it just brings home

that this time we are here is very short

and we all know that things can change on a dime

and

well

the truth of that kinda freaks me out, and i’m feeling it today.

feeling a kind of achy love feeling inside

for the people & critters in my life today…

thinking of her family, and those close with her…

feeling the web of connection today…

blessings.

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reflections from on retreat, fixed ideas, & change

before going on retreat over new years

one of the (specific & numerous) reasons that kept me from wanting to go, was that

well

what i had heard from a recently married friend of mine was

that a person who was going to be on retreat tried to break up my friend’s recent marriage.

(yes, i’m intentionally being vague)

i didn’t know the details

i still don’t

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and heading into the retreat, i could feel a sort of shield up

ideas fixed & hard

(one of the many, various heart-shields)

with a particular one towards this particular person.

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i was polite, and (re)introduced myself before the silence began

they didn’t remember me from the wedding

(i wear my invisibility cloak a lot here in town…)

and through the retreat

even though there are no words, and a lot of silence

i could feel my heart starting to tenderize

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there’s a deeper getting-to-know-you which occurs there…  in the silence, even without words.

something in me began to melt

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with the realization that their own life is unfolding in mysterious ways

reflecting on the complexity of life.

and how it’s so easy to hold on to a fixed idea about something, or someone…

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finding myself questioning and challenging the hard shield of beliefs and assumptions that i held regarding this person.

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…what their life was like when young…

…what their own marriage was like…

…considering where life is leading them…

i didn’t know these things, and so much more.

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by the end of the retreat

i could feel a softening,

and a sincere respect for their life.

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there’s no knowing, as much as i would like to know, how this whole interwoven confluence of living beings is at play.

sitting here, i’m really grateful for the reminder that my mind & heart can shift, soften, & forgive.

Nadia Boltz-Weber calls this a heart transplant.

i’m reminded of the blessing (& the curse) of this beautiful truth:

all phenomena changes.

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how to alienate oneself – thoughts about death and Oni.

or rather,

how i worry that i’ll alienate myself for speaking one of a thousand opinions…

(so many opinions…)

(so little diplomacy…)

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today

the creature with whom i felt most close with

died 7 years ago today

his name was/is Oni.

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this is a photo of Oni doing his welcome-home-flomp-&-roll-in-the-sand-thing back when we lived in the Mojave desert.

must have been around 2004.

so

i see posts

on Facebook where people write that this or that person who was incredibly dear to them “would have been” such and such an age if he or she hadn’t died.

and i guess i just can’t relate to that.

i’ve never thought like that and i can’t quite wrap my mind around it.

it feels like a dis-honoring in some way.

Oni lived for 10 1/2 years.

he was indeed my best friend

but never once have i thought of how old he could have been.

because he lived his life.  and then he died.

and wow it was a life-changer.

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today

is his yortzeit, the anniversary of the day he died back in 2006.

i’m so glad he was around that first year back in Ithaca…

a chance to live life on a farm – lush & green & barns to explore & voles to hunt…

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(view from the inside of the barn looking out)

i dunno

to me is seems like a disregarding of a life to project it into the future – like a torture of some kind.

(i know plenty about mental torture)

i dunno

i don’t feel ready to die yet, but that’s the trajectory when we come to this place…

welcome!  happy birthday!  now you are heading towards death!

it’s just the natural course of things.

and for some reason, it erks me whenever i see the “they would have been such and such an age” (had they not died)

but they DID

and that is part of a LIFE

and maybe i just wish people would say

o i miss them so & this is what i love/d about them…

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it’s like there’s this inherent, subtle meanness – some sub subtext of “this is not okay” or “it would have been better this way”

which seems like a dis-honoring to me.

as if to say

just how this life was

was not enough

or not okay

just as it was.

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(sigh)

i am interested

in honoring the arc of a life.

i suppose i might sound cold, heartless.

i suppose i’m not taking the time to explain or express the sort of connection that there was/is with Oni.

but that’s for another time.

(and for when i upload photos and drawings onto the computer…)

for now

it’s an opinion

about life

and honoring ones life

and death

and how that’s a part of ones life

in all its honor.

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