Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mildly Interesting

Chewy licks the palms of my hands
while I am curled in child's pose
An uncomplicated kiss from a dog,
wet nose into my neck and then
his body weight collapses against me
he goes down with a sigh.

Owen watches from the edge 
of green sofa, paws tucked
not like a sphinx but my 
old orange cat in meditation
of stillness, he watches out the window
flecks of snow floating

A winter morning.

Skipping through little book of meditations from
A Year of Living Your Yoga
land on December 25

We often spend our days enmeshed in our own dramas. This is mildly interesting but ultimately boring. Remember to say to yourself the ultimate Mantra for Daily Living:

get over yourself.

A loving slap up side the head.

namaste, lovelies.

xo b

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snow Ball & Time Flies

Snow Ball with Chewy, the big-eared dog, 

on this day of gloriousityas Dad likes to say...

and a 

very happy birthday 

to my little brother, Pete...

Time sure flies when you're having fun.

xo b

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Waking Up

Waking Up

Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand-new hours are before me.
I vow to live each moment fully
and to look at all beings
with the eyes of compassion

- from *Gathas For Everyday Life by Chinese Master Du Ti

Peace and blessings to you, dear ones
on this Christmas morning
this winter morning
this brand-new morning.

with love and gratitude,

xo b

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lean Into The Light

Solstice Burn

writing wishes on torn pieces 
of cardboard from pizza box

wishes = 

creative successes 
laughing more

toss in old beliefs , outworn worries =

fear, anxiety, self-doubt, all the heavies

+ sweet green pine branches from our fallen trees

We burned into the darkness, 
pulling Hershey kisses from pants pockets 

sweet communion treats

sipping from green glasses of red wine

lifting hands and faces 

to stars moon clouds snow

Claire did an Irish jig.

Chewy, big-eared dog = a wolf in the dark

waiting for one more throw of the tennis ball

More pine.

Oh, how I love the burn.

And the glow of light
and my best friend brother
and blooming daughter(s)

pinch ourselves = we're still here!


this being alive

lean into the light.

xo b

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Sun To Our Family

Mom loved

a good porch sit
getting her hands in the garden
her family
a good cup of coffee
her church community
a comfortable pair of shoes
her friends = just like a comfortable pair of shoes!
honeydew melon
the color purple
reading her meditations to me over a cup of tea
African violets
New York City
helping people
the ocean
a good laugh

forever grateful 
for the love of my mother, 
the Sun to our family.

in loving memory

Dorothy Southam Jackson
July 7, 1926 - December 19, 2001

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fold Our Hands In Prayer

I have not cried yet about the Newtown massacre, numb at the thought of 20 Elizabeths and the brave teachers and staff being gunned down by a madman. A very sick man. 

I woke in the dark thinking about the families left behind too wounded to even imagine how to begin to live again.

My chest hurts.

Thinking about how slammed I was by mom's death, how grief kept coming and coming in waves, for years. and still.

But she was 75. Had lived a good life. 

Somehow, that makes more sense in the world of loss.

Not 6 year olds who make gingerbread houses at birthday parties and eat Cheerios, who you wave to every morning as they get on the school bus and can't go anywhere without their blankie and hug you with juicy love and a kiss on the mouth every time they say goodbye.

I am wordless, yet filled to the brim. 

When you have no words remember that you have hands, hands built for bracing yourself as you fall, hands perfectly designed for holding another with interlocking fingers and wide open palms, hands that fold beautifully against one another in prayer, hands that will wipe away tears, hands that connect to arms, and arms that connect to bodies and that those bodies can reach out and will reach out to embrace and that the embrace is not just an offering it is at the very same moment a receiving

...When you have no words remember that silence is the gospel of peace

- from "When You Have No Words" by Donna Jackson 

Let's fold our hands in prayer

connect your arms to somebody today ~ 

xo b

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Believing Bone

Out of nothing
and out of no way
Way appears

I've been 
this not a haiku mantra to myself for days. 
I heard it, read it, somewhere.
It's stuck good.

How many times a day do you scramble your brain 

trying to figure it out?

How much time do you spend turning a problem 
over and over and over and over  
so you can see it from every angle, 
because of course, 
the solution lies
in turning chewing twisting squeezing, strangling? 

whatever it is

until dammit

___________ feel free to fill in the blank


I've spent lifetimes 


muscling anyone? 

my way through...

It's exhausting. 

why don't I just do an Ironman and get it over with? 

run bike swim climb mountains carry logs across rushing rivers

Try: whispering this sweet mantra to yourself, 

even if you don't have a believing bone in your body ~

out of nothing
out of no way
Way appears


xo b

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Afraid Of Weasels

We were at Panera's on Fifth Avenue before Claire's big 1D concert experience this past Monday night.

 [a whole other roller coaster ride of a story] 

Three people at the table next to us were deep in conversation, dotted with occasional happy moments of laughter. Thin man with glasses is telling stories, while his two companions lean in.

So, I wasn't afraid of weasels, he said.

But Susan was. 

Susan was afraid of weasels.

Never met Susan but gotta go with her on this one.

This is going on my list: things I'm afraid of ~

afraid of weasels.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Morning

Sunday morning
December 2, 2012

In the dragonfly chair, foggy morning, Owen, old orange cat perched sphinx-like on the edge of the sofa. Claire is in the other room, watching CBS Sunday Morning. A great show but too early for television today. I need quiet to sort through a week's worth of thoughts and stories and adventures...

The usual suspects:
Mom's meditation book

Grateful for the subject line in an email: 

finish what you started

Thinking about taking Dad to the eye doctor where he gets injections to stave off blindness. We sit together, surrounded by mostly older people with their middle-aged children. One man with his tiny mother, her feet swinging off the floor; a little girl in a chair too big for her. Her one eye looking in a westerly direction. Dad sits quietly. I lean my head on his shoulder and whisper observations in his ear to calm myself. He laughs.

He is always laughing. 

After we get frozen yogurt cones, I remind him of a memory of the two of us in the New York house. We are at the kitchen counter, digging through the cold container of Butter Pecan ice cream in search of pecans. 

Two spoons. 

I am happy to be with my father at the eye doctor, on the sofa, or in the car. He thanks me for my help with these things.
"I see it as time together, Dad."
"Yes." he says.
Then, life is good, he says.

A conversation overheard between Elizabeth and Jesse - 

E: I'm smelling Blackie's butt (Blackie= doggie stuffed animal)
J: What does that smell like?
E: Like GO
J: What's GO?
E: Going to the ice cream place

don't have fences around your mind

Claire learned that she had a ticket to see One Direction, on-fire British boy-band, at Madison Square Garden, euphoria, then no, things had fallen through, crushing disappointment, then yes, 2 tickets for Monday night, euphoria!!! thanks to the never-say-never energy of her beloved Uncle Rob.

the roller coaster ride of life, right?

I intended to write yesterday, first day of December, but never got here. The meditation in Mom's book was so lovely and soothing, I share it with you today, a simple reminder as the frenzy of the season gets into full swing. May you not get swept up in it ~ 

In our own personal stillness, we find the solutions to the challenges facing us. We need to be willing to be quiet and turn our attention inward. No information we need eludes us for long when we dwell in the stillness...

I'll have the answers I need, 
when I need them, 
if I turn within for them.

xo b

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wendell's Waking

4:04 am

Calling out to someone walking their dog on the beach wakes me from my dream...

I get up to walk the house and see

White egg moon 
resting on a ribbon cloud 
against navy sky. 

That middle of the night fear arrives, always without invitation, and I remember Wendell's poem, how I read it on the counter of the ice cream parlor and wrote it quickly down in my small black notebook, how I felt my shoulders drop, breath ease.

Wendall's waking in the middle of the night 

is the gift on this early Monday morning.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry

May you rest in the grace of the world today.

xo b

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Exaltation Of Being Human

Thanksgiving Prayer

We come to this table today, 
O Lord, humble and thankful and glad.
We thank Thee first for the great miracle of life, 
for the exaltation of being human, for the capacity to love.
We thank Thee for joys both great and simple-
For wonder, dreams and hope;
For the newness of each day;
For laughter and song and a merry heart;
For compassion waiting within to be kindled;
For the forbearance of friends and the smile of a stranger;
For the arching of the earth and trees and heavens and the fruit of all three;
For the wisdom of the old;
For the courage of the young;
For the promise of the child;
For the strength that comes when needed;
For this family united here today.
Of those to whom much is given, much is required.  
May we and our children remember this.


Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, or not
or if the Lord goes by the name Ethel in your world
it doesn't matter.

Gratitude is available to everyone

This prayer from my beloved mother, 
shared many Thanksgivings ago.

It always makes me cry
and come back to what's truly important.

Mom always said,

Of those to whom much is given, much is required.

Peace be with you.

xo b