Extraordinary

one day is the same really as the next and yet they are all extraordinary.

i mow the lawn, trim the edges, i sweep, easy and thoughtful.

i throw in a load of laundry, make a bed, sweep the floor, clean the bathroom, wash the dishes, play the guitar, walk the dogs

is this not utterly ordinary?

no it is extraordinary.

lets take a walk, are you gonna go my way?

i drink a small glass of wine

and repeatedly relight a stick of incense that does not want to burn,

uttering my prayers over the lighting of a candle over the incense.

i stand in the quiet evening while cicadas buzz in the trees.

is this not ordinary?

I wake from a nap, pillow damp with drool and look at my phone,

is this not extraordinary?  

is it?

 

 

Reflections on an article by Mirabai Starr

I have this feeling of connection to the sacred female.  A wish to overcome so much misogyny in this world.  A wish to embrace the powerful feminine.  I recall how I tend to gravitate towards male friendships rather than female, and how now my female friendships are deepening and strengthening.  I love this.  Deep feminine strength and wisdom that I am connecting with.  

I have a confession, last night I logged off Facebook.  I just cannot do it anymore the intense superficiality of it all.  It is so easy to be brutal in social media.  I want my life filled with compassion, love, ahimsa, not harming others or myself.  

I draw a doodle in my journal, an emblem of the sacred female, a prayer, a wish for being a better person.  

I want so much to dig deeper, to not be superficial.  The superficiality that has been my life for so many years now, even the relationship with the pirate, never dug deep.  There was only this surface of interaction, he has his deepest parts locked tight, and I could not break through this barrier.  I stopped wanting to, he doesn’t even know the depth of my own.  

This quest leads me back to a favorite magazine called Parabola Where Spiritual Traditions Meet, there is something perfect about spiritual traditions that seek understanding of the higher power through the many many paths that lead to “it”  Not just depending on one path.  

I read An Interfaith Crucible a conversation with Mirabai Starr, and just noted a few things that interest me. The following are things that struck me as being of interest.  

“Something about death” (loss?) “seems to break us open to the numinous, and this glimpse of the sacred reality underlying the veneer of the everyday world ignited by my longing for God.”

“I could immerse myself in the practices that had become like living waters for my thirsty soul.”

“Every religion contains a treasure trove of wisdom teachings and transformational practices, and each one is also burdened with divisive messages and a history of violence and oppression.” 

and to paraphrase that wanting to cultivate the good aspects of all religions is thought to be superficial, and lazy, but is instead a deeper quest for truth and no to the violence, the oppression, the elitism of the “this path is the only path” mindset.  

“it’s about making ourselves vulnerable to the pain of yearning, and available to the presence of the Divine that comes pouring into the broken-open chamber of the heart when we allow ourselves to rest in the mystery.  Nothing can lock up the doors of the soul faster than dogma – especially the flavors that encourage us to set up certain groups or individuals as worthy and condemn others as beyond salvation.  ….I believe all religions are calling us into a state of oneness-with Ultimate Reality, and with each other.  

And again to paraphrase, an undiminished potency of the sacred feminine despite the history attempts to squash it,  That the sacred feminine is felt in nature, relationships and community and striving not for vertical ascension, but for interdependence and compassion.  She has a non violent fearlessness (fierce female warrior).  

I don’t have anything really to say about it, but to write it down in order to remember.  

I give thanks for the immediate answer to the prayers I asked.  

The universe has listened to me this morning.  

I am joyful.

Grains of Sand

Walking along the beach, just to walk, the translucent shells and the ones that are blue and purple catch my eye, the waves roll up to my feet and over my ankles, gentle.  I sit on a rock that is a perfect shape for sitting, and look out over the water, I do not reflect much on anything.  Just enjoy the waves, the sound of the water and the quiet here where the fishermen cast into the ocean from the rock breakers.  

IMG_4223

Time passes grain by grain, and friends who have journeyed together at times, ebbing and flowing like the waves, high tide, low tide, they are there and not, communing over broken bread, a hand placed on the forehead of a child in blessing, a prayer, a tradition, good food, good company, good music, history, life, lessons, all grains that pass through the narrow neck of the hourglass. 

IMG_4224

I have another dream, the kind that I come to recognize as prophetic.  Dreams of a loved one who has died, an argument, a wish that you had never left me.  I do not know why I dream this and of you this night, but in my dream my ex husbands vagrant and troubled sister has died.  Sand is just a million seashells shattered upon the rocks.  Sometimes a life shatters and there is no putting back together of the pieces.  Our lives, each life in each atom of every part of the whole of the universes all add up to a grain of sand.  The laughter dies.  Our hearts grieve.  A salty tear is shed.  I have forgiven.  But my heart will never ever be repaired.  And I am so sorry for your loss.  I am sorry for the loss of a movie star who had no bearing on my life, for once, a mensch.  A life of honor and integrity.  But this loss, is no less tragic, and it has touched my life.  

I am humbled by my dreams. 

I am humbled by the small beauty in this world.

I am humbled by my very own hands. 

I am humbled by my mistakes.

I am humbled by how broken my heart has been.

I am humbled by the love of a child.

I am humbled as i realize that the dog coughing and panting, is probably late stage lung cancer metastasized from the lump on his belly.  Soon, he will be gone.  

A life.

A grain of sand.  

A love.

A friend.

A dog. 

A husband.

And my sorrow drifts out with the tide leaving behind a muddy field of scattered pieces.  

IMG_4222

There is joy in this place.  I promise.  This is not unhappiness.  

 

Learning it Slowly

I have a good teacher, she teaches me compassion, she teaches me love, she teaches me good cheer, good manners, and about herbs.  I have much to learn.

I struggle with the living alone thing, three maybe four days running of feeling sorry for myself.  I have a good teacher, she talks about the end of her own relationship, posts pictures of her newly cleaned and decluttered house, and suddenly I remember why I am here.  She does not even intend to teach me, but I learn from her.

I struggle with my weight, but realize as a fitness group talks back and forth feeling the pain of thirty squats, which I do relatively easily, I did so many stacking wood intentionally holding my back straight squatting lifting wood tossing squatting again.  I can feel my body though, it feels stronger than it was two months ago.  I feel better, and mostly I am eating better.

I don’t weigh myself anymore.  Anyone who can stack four face cord of wood in one day may indeed be overweight, but I know I am pretty fit.  Could be more so.  And despite it all calories in calories out is a fallacy perpetrated by the diet industry, that does not pan out in the dietetics studies.  I will just keep taking my baby steps.  I learn this from another friend.  Baby steps.  Just keep swimming.  

Stamina, when you cannot go any further, not one more step, you have at least a mile left in you, it is infinite.  This.  I have stamina.  

I walk the dogs down the creek bed, feet cold in the running water, they are off leash, I have treats in my pocket, Sancho does not stray, Marley is another story, but she keeps coming back.  That is good.  I praise her, I treat her, I treat her just when she looks back to see where I am.  Sancho gets stuck on the bridge and doesn’t know how to get down.  I am too far now and he is barking frantically, next thing I know he is climbing down the bank ahead of me.  Loyalty.  Now that is a quality.

I walk by a neighbors house and we begin to talk, she is a food editor and grows her own veggies, heirloom tomatoes.  She sings, she loves her dogs, it is a good day, to meet someone new.  She is like an earth mother, I immediately like her.

I lay in the hammock, the breeze is cool the sun is warm, but not hot.  I read and meditate, and I feel okay.  I feel more than okay, I feel good.  

Maybe it was the borage tincture I drank last night to calm myself from more family drama, or maybe I am just learning it, slowly.