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There is so much going on in the world, that each of us must continue to come back to ourselves, to our breath, to noticing what is important to us. To do that, we must stop and go within. What simmers there, and guides?

I use these words in this moment, to guide this precious day.

For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your
Beautiful eyes.”

~ Hafiz

Today I was walking along the water in Sausalito when I paused to observe the bay being dredged. A huge metal bucket dipped down to lift a shovelful of mud, then turned to deposit it on a barge. With each lift, water dripped out, as well as a great deal of mud. It wasn’t the most efficient operation, but mud was being cleared so boats wouldn’t get stuck.

Meanwhile I was thinking about the creatures who live in the mud. What is it like to be lifted up, held on a barge, and redeposited? How is it to fall back anew to where you were before? We each have degrees of movement and relocation each day. How is it to witness each lift and drop, each step, touch, breath? How is it to meet each moment new? Can I be open to the journey’s eye, the inner-outer beat?

The Power of Introverts

Here is the link to the Susan Cain Ted Talk.

I have now read Susan Cain’s book, The Power of Introverts, and watched her at Google and enjoyed her Ted Talk. People see me as an extrovert, and, at times, I am, and I know how much renewal time I need. I love solitude. I love reflective time. This is an excellent look at how each of us individually, and as a society, need to look at where we nourish. We need to work together. We need to work alone. We need to go to the wilderness, to go out and walk, and to honor the wilderness within, that beautiful place to cultivate and pull from the wildness that is uniquely our own.

It is Valentine’s Day and my heart is full, full of the joy that living brings. I look out on a tree, white with plum flowers. The buds are swelling on the Maple trees. It is Spring. I attended a conference on Aging on Sunday, a gathering of people interested in exploring, augmenting, and expanding, the next stage of life, one in my case, which may be another thirty years. It was a gathering at the Rosen Center, and I felt Marion Rosen, even in her passing, was there, watching what she brought to life and light, expand and spread.

The Heart is about Courage. It requires courage to love, because love risks loss, and loss can hurt. Those we love may die, and certainly they, and we, will change. We are constantly letting go. We too, die to an old self, and come to meet ourselves new. We do this over and over again. We live the seasons, the phases of the moon. We, too, have tides.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: “Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between two contradictions… For the god wants to know himself in you.”

Whatever your image may be of “god”, know the heart is huge, as it stretches to know the contradictions, loves, and joys that bloom, fruit and flourish in you!

This whole week we live with extra awareness, with more noticing of blessings and giving thanks.

My husband had surgery two and a half weeks ago and is awakened from dreams/nightmares of being invaded.

Naturally! Surgeon’s hands were inside. His psyche knows, and yet the medical world considers him healed. We know there is more.

We need time to heal, time to nourish the soil within. The leaves are falling.

Let each of us feel the feathered fall of leaves, cushioning the inner to better receive, and breathe through change, trauma, and gifts.

Though the days shorten, the light is bright and sharp, cutting clearly through the branches of trees as leaves fall.

May we each give ourselves space to be.

I am with the words of Sue Bender:

“In that tiny space between all the givens is freedom.”

We, in the northern hemisphere, are turning toward fall, shorter days, longer nights, craving foods that are orange, rich with vitamin A, to nourish our eyes.

A bird just chirped outside my window with a message given and received. Time. Tier time.

My son and his wife are moving to England for a year, and I am aware of stretching the moments of this next 28 days, of building a scaffold of support.

I think now of the neck of the giraffe. The giraffe has seven vertebrae, as do we, and yet, each one of theirs can be over ten inches long. The giraffe’s heart is 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds. Its lungs can hold 12 gallons of air. In this moment, I’m envisioning myself as a giraffe with a long, flexible neck, a huge heart, and lungs moist with care. I find myself in tears these days, tears liquid with love.

My son is making a film and, through it, I feel myself in the workings of his mind, as he once was in me. I am touched, punctured perhaps, as with the song of the little bird this morning. And so this poem comes, brought from a bird, reminding me to trust and continuously build and replenish an inner nest.

Inner Nest

Bird drops notes outside my window,
ear cups thimble
air woven in tiers

Rainer Maria Rilke:

The inner – what is it?
If not intensified sky, hurled through with birds
And deep with the winds of homecoming.

Steve Jobs in a commencement address said:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

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Cathy and Jane started writing together during Cathy's illness, and that writing became a blog, which then became a book!

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