Friday, October 24, 2008


The other night, as my husband and I were divvying up the evening's chores, he chose the laundry and I chose the kitchen. After loading the dishwasher and wiping down the table, I came into the living room and found him playing with his English ships. He said, (immediately in his defense because I was probably giving him "that" look):

"I folded the Pirates."

I looked over at the chair, and, indeed, the clothes were neatly stacked. But it was still funny. We couldn't stop laughing. And I still chuckle when I think about it.

There's a 100-point tournament this Sunday. They've already spent hours putting their fleets together. I have to admit, it really is a pretty cool game.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

our daily rumi

The beneficent and marvelous Kat Tudor came over to my house today for a private yoga lesson. How this came about, and what happened during our first session, is another one of those serendipitious occurrences that make me sometimes believe the universe is not chaotic, but rather ordered and purposeful.

First, I participated in a human chanting Yogic Spiral with Kat, and then interviewed her for Colorado Culture Cast. Must see!

A few days later, a friend sent me a magazine article about the benefits of a private yoga instructor to help heal from breast cancer.

Later that night, in a pile of scattered papers, I found a postcard of Kat's that l had picked up at the Spiral event. It said she was now offering private yoga lessons. Hmmmmmm.........

The area under the right armpit where I had 11 lymph nodes removed is still painful. Whenever I reach for something with my right hand, everything stretches and pulls uncomfortably. My first round of chemo made me feel sick beyond belief for several days. My spirit was temporarily crushed. I knew I needed to do something for both my body and my soul.

I found it today.

After I was relaxed and breathing and had done this amazing opening the heart pose that made me feel both vulnerable and powerful, Kat asked me for my birthday. I told her. She picked up this book, opened to a page, paused a moment, and then said, "Oh, this one. I guess I'll just have to read it then."

January 11

Muhammad went to visit a sick friend.
Such kindness brings more kindness,
and there is no knowing the proliferation from there.

The man was about to die.
Muhammad put his face close and kissed him.

His friend began to revive.
Muhammad's visit re-created him.
He began to feel grateful for an illness
that brought such light.

And also for the backpain
that wakes him in the night.

No need to snore away like a buffalo
when this wonder is walking the world.

There are values in pain that are difficult
to see without the presence of a guest.

Don't complain about autumn.
Walk with grief like a good friend.
Listen to what he says.

Sometimes the cold and dark of a cave
give the opening we most want.


It was just so wickedly eerie and I shed tears of amazement and I think we were both just blown away by the power and perfection of it. I think I have a new favorite poet. Say goodbye to Our Daily Rilke.

Monday, October 13, 2008

feelin' bluevy

These first two weeks of October have passed by in economic crisis and bullshit politics. But they have also passed by in perfection. The Aspens and Cottonwoods have turned yellow and pink. My friends just got married in a uniquely symbolic ceremony at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. The weather is such that you get to put on funky tights in the morning, then take them off and put on a tank top at noon. I chanted in a giant human yogic spiral and made a rock spiral sculpture with the Spiral Scouts. Halloween costumes are in the planning! We have all settled into our school routines. I have been volunteering in the boys' classrooms once a week, and am remembering what I loved so much about teaching children.

For the past few weeks, I have been living in a blissful denial. A sort of post-surgical-pre-chemical limbo. Now, on Columbus Day, I am about to set out and explore a new world.

In about an hour, I will have a needle placed into the port on my left side, and Adriamycin and Cytoxan will begin dripping into my body. Healing poisons. In about three days, I may (or may not) feel like shit. In about seven days (because of risk of infection), I will not be able to go contradancing (see next post below!) In about three weeks (just in time for Halloween!) I will lose my hair.

It is both a terrifying and a liberating feeling, this idea of losing one's hair. Here's how I chose to deal with it.

First, the cut:

Then the color:


My friend's daughter, aged 12, asked me yesterday, "So why did you dye your hair blue?"

"Well, I'm going to be losing it in a few weeks, so...."

(Interrupting) "You just figured what the heck right?!"

You got it, girl!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

moving meditation

I've been trying to meditate no avail. Sitting quietly and peacefully is attainable, but it's my mind that can't sit still.

Contradancing, I believe, achieves the same effect: an inner calm, an outer joy, a mindful mindlessness. There comes a moment in the dance when you are so focused that you become lost, and all attachment to rational thought ceases. Linear history dissolves into timelessness, and smiling faces abound. It is as close as I have ever come to the divine. (Well.... except for maybe that Dead show in Eugene about 20 years ago!)

There are many different definitions and descriptions of contradancing, but this one is by far my favorite:
"A contra dance is like an amusement park ride we make for ourselves." --Unknown
I like this one as well:
"Contra dance is a form of dance that thrusts a different person of the opposite sex into your arms every 30 seconds."

Here we are in Denver last Friday night.

And here's a short clip that truly captures the diversity of dancers and the spirit of fun. I dare you to NOT be smiling at the end of the next two minutes:

I sometimes believe that if the whole world would contradance, we just might have a shot at world peace.

Find a dance in your neck of the woods

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

compound solution

the spacey girl’s sacred girl space came later

after the atomic bomb
the ionic bond
the give and take finally done
electrons gone

resulting in a positively charged change
leaving room for teal and purple to bloom

there can only be so many electrons in
a shell
before you need
another layer
and a buttercup kitchen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted

Sunday, Oct 5th

My hands ache.

I have been busting up heads of garlic all day, and my hands ache.

It is a pleasure.

It's a sit-down-pull-up-a-chair-have-a-beer-and-a-brat kind of day, down here on Dan and Allison's garlic farm.

Look what Bennett found growing in the compost!

October is supposedly harvest time. Time to gather in the few remaining tomatoes before the frost, and pluck the last squashes from their vines. Time to store, save, prepare for the long dark winter ahead.

The Harvest Moon just passed. This is not planting time!

And yet today, from the back of a tractor, we put garlic cloves in the ground, one by one by one.

They will have to survive a long winter filled with icy winds and snow drifts and freezing temperatures. Planting at any time is an act of faith, but planting in the fall is jumping off a cliff and believing you can fly.

To have such faith in the resurrection that you start planting its seeds when everything else is dying seems contrary and absurd. I like it.

It just doesn't seem possible for the little cloves to stay alive under there all winter, only to regale us with their perfection in the summer.

I can't wait to return in July and pluck up that which is planted.