What If Karma Is Your Friend?

What If

What if every Thing you are given in your life, good and bad – good and bad according to you since there really is no such thing – were to open your heart and then open you up some more?

What if every time you put blame on something or someone you took away your chance to open further?

And every time you held onto the blaming of someone or some thing and made it a story, perhaps even your story, you kept yourself away from the reality of You.

What about that?


Removing Obstacles

In the ongoing Ongoing – I feel like making it a noun and having a meaning slot for each circumstance, in this case; the selling of the house – of showing the house which sounds so dry and unweighty, we have evolved a few tricks. One of them is cleaning for four or five hours. How do you make a house with 12 animals and 2 to 4 humans look unlived in? Yep, we clean! The other more unsettling thing is the “show” itself. There we are. Our habits, choices, interests exposed. Should we take down the Obama signs, is the photo of us with the kids or the dogs “too much?” When we adopted Chandrika and Bimala we had to eviscerate the house of “Us.” It would have foiled everything. I know it’s not the same now but I have flashbacks.

One of the funny things we do now in order for the doors in the house to be open – we have them all closed against a list of cat and dog possibilities that would and have made life miserable – is to load two cars with the dogs and take a drive. Inside, we have two cats who hide in a closet, we close that door. Another one can go out. One in my studio. Two in Paula’s with a sign on the door to re-close. We figure one closed door they can handle. Two more get put in individual carriers in what we consider a “one brief look” room upstairs.

When we come back they all run around freaked to see if everything is the same – whatever that is in this household! Then two of them open a few doors with their renewed energy and tip a few Matryoshka Dolls, dig the tree, dig into the rolls of toilet paper, rearrange the cushions, pee on some (why not) and generally get comfortable reminding us why we like our own spaces.

The Ganesha at the door and the ones inside our house are for removing obstacles. I think of them as  inspiring me everyday to be the best I can be, to notice all the souls in my path and to laugh. Can’t have better help for that than 4 dogs and 7 cats!
This period of knowing we are moving but staying here is a lovely challenge. We love it here in this house. We want to move for all kinds of good reasons. Our shadow selves (above) and all our other selves are in sync with this. We get reminded everyday to focus on what is here now, on what we love and have faith the right things will be put in front of us and we will be awake to see them!

Paula taking my photo. Seeing each other.


ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Latin inaugurat- ‘interpreted as omens (from the flight of birds),’ based on augurare ‘to augur.’

The part I felt was the “flight of birds!” Never in my lifetime did I think I would hear the words I heard. Seneca. Salem. Stonewall.

A lifetime of working for civil rights and the rights of minorities and women has not prepared me for this day when my own civil rights are included. So easy to hide, to step aside, to let the forces of equality pass by, I was not prepared for the words, “gay and lesbian sisters and brothers.” I was not prepared to be counted in a national trajectory – proposed or actual.

Paula and I were surrounded by wonderful Black Women, we spent the hours of waiting defending our turf and laughing at ourselves and life in general. We all chanted Obama-USA and felt proud to belong and be included in this country. We felt the newness of it and the relief that came with exposure and acceptance.

IN 1964 I identified with Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. And later Holly Near’s song about the women’s movement. Nothing is decided about the ERA, about DOMA, climate change or racial equality, but to me it felt as if the earth changed course that day in DC when the President (POTUS) stood up and declared an intention. A dream born so many years past is given new birth.

There is much to be done, nothing is secured but the sacredness of the work ahead.
Let us go!



Let There Be

Let there be space in your togetherness

Let the winds of the heavens dance between you

Love one another but make not a bond of love

Let it rather be a  moving sea between the shores of your souls

Kahlil Gibran


can’t think about this quote too much and when I took this photograph in the rain of the day and the trees and the raindrops and all the brambles were themselves, each one enough, each one, each one

More About The Holidays

It’s in the air now or at least on the calendar that holidays are here. And some of us are stuck in the past. How can it be that all these cheery messages, movies and gifts can put so many of us into straight jackets of worry – we won’t be enough, we’ll be too fat, give the wrong gift or re-gift to the person who gave it in the first place.

I’m really lucky to have a photograph of our first Christmas night with Chandrika – thanks to Paula. It was probably the first time for me that I wasn’t totally self-conscious and wigged out about what I was wearing or how I looked – at least it doesn’t look like that was on my mind! It had been years since my older children and I spent easy times at home – when we didn’t go to the grandparents – and I spent a lot of the day in front of the stove in the livingroom.
Chandrika and I spent quite a lot of time on that floor with the couch at our back watching movies – over and over. The Little Mermaid and Annie were Chandrika’s ticket to the English language so our pose here is part of months of sitting right there learning language and culture.

She hadn’t seen much snow so we had a blast. Presents were not a big part of her life pre-us – Paula and I may have gone a l-i-t-t-le overboard! And we had so much fun. Oh, so did Chandrika!

It’s that kind of time I wish for all of us now. The kind of moments when you throw yourself into the snow, grab something with your whole heart, taste new snow, make snow angels, love the cool on your neck. When most of what we’re all worried about just doesn’t matter.

Have a long read, too much of something and remember love starts with us, loving ourselves. When we take the paths of our restraints too seriously we are not breathing into the moment of this here now, our heart beating, our breath in and out, our love matching and making the moment.

No Time To Lose

This from Pema Chodron


“Three attitudes prevent us from receiving a continual flow of blessings. They are compared to three “pots”: a full pot, a pot with poison in it, and a pot with a hole in the bottom.

The pot that’s filled to the brim is like a mind full of opinions and preconceptions. We already know it all. We have so many fixed ideas that nothing new can affect us or cause us to question our assumptions.

The pot containing poison is like a mind that’s so cynical, critical, and judgmental that everything is poisoned by this harshness. It allows for no openness and no willingness to explore the teachings or anything else that challenges our righteous stance.The pot with a hole is like a distracted mind: our body is present but we’re lost in thought. We’re so busy thinking about our dream vacation or what’s for dinner that we’re completely deaf to what’s being said.Knowing how sad it is to receive blessings and not be able to benefit, Shantideva wants to save himself grief by remaining open and attentive. Nothing will improve, he says, unless we become more intelligent about cause and effect. This is a message worth considering seriously.”

(No Time To Lose)

Heart in Hooves

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. {sic}
~ Winston Churchill ~

Four Horses (excerpt)

by David Whyte

On Thursday the farmer
put four horses
into the cut hay-field
next to the house . . .Since then I see
their curved necks
through the kitchen window,
sailing like swans
past the pale field.Each morning
their hooves fill my
open door
with an urgency
for something
just beyond my graspand I spend my whole
day in an idiot joy,
writing, gardening,
and looking
for it

under every stone.I find myself
wanting to do
stupid and lovely . . .I hear the whinny of
their fenced and abandoned
and feel happy
in the field
of my own making,writing non-stop,
my head held high,
ranging the boundaries
of a birthright



All the news I need

Is your breath

Each one of you

Out There, in Here

Your breath is what makes my day

Your breath is my news.

When there is a break in the chains of breaths

I feel it

When disaster comes, happiness

Slow or fast, I feel it.

I can tell when I breathe in

I can tell when I breathe out

You are breathing with me, we share the air.

Don’t talk to me. Don’t yell at me. Don’t tell me anything.

I know it all as long as we are breath to breath.