Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A couple days ago, I had lunch with a good friend at the Albuquerque Aquarium,
where we were seated for lunch in the Shark Cafe right next to a viewing window, and could watch all kinds of fish, eel, sea-turtles, etc. swim by as we ate!
As I reflect now on that experience, I am struck by how much it was like meditating---just sitting quietly, watching one's thoughts go by in the "fish tank" of the mind.  My thoughts are not me:  they are simply swimming through my mind and I am watching them---the beautiful, the ugly, the peaceful, the threatening…..   all going by as I watch.  
A neighbor recently said to me with a wry smile "I don't let myself get all caught up in other people's dramas and issues.  I have learned to be an observer, and it has served me well."  
      Would that be     living meditatively?  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This pastel I did recently of a rushing river is hanging next to the wall clock in my kitchen here in Sedona.  Why?  Because as I enter into the last years of my life (I am past 70)  time seems to be like this rushing river, going faster all the time
even though I am not nearly as busy now as I once was.  For the first time in my life, I have all the leisure time I want for painting, reading, playing music, hiking, knitting, musing, writing…yet, yet, though my pace is so much slower now, time is not.   Not that I feel rushed, but more as if I am being borne along on a current like a leaf.  And there is nothing I can do about it.
I might as well find peace in floating, and let myself be carried by a life force far greater than I.
Can any of you out there relate to that?

Here is a poem of reflection I wrote to go with the pastel:


It rushes onwards
swirling, splashing, foaming
carrying us all

A water fall's roar
mingles with spray in the air
somewhere downstream

What happens then to
these floating leaves and twigs?
Where do they go?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In some southwest Native American tribes, the good Way to live is called "The Red Road."  There are literally many red roads here in Red Rock country, all of them fitting for the Navaho chant "Walk in Beauty." To walk the Red Road in Native American tradition is to walk each day of life in a way that is courageous, generous, truthful, aware, grateful, and considerate and  respectful of others and of nature and all its beings: the stone nation, the plant nation, the animal nation, the insect nation, the bird nation, etc.  
     It is a demanding way to walk through life, but the rewards are great, and community and nature flourish when people walk "The Good Red Road."   It is a road I want to walk, and I hope you do too. 

Here is a poem I wrote to go with the pastel I drew (pictured above.)

 Sunlit and shadowed
 winding through rugged country
 Red Road to higher ground

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Have you ever seen trees twisted like this?  I never have, until I came here to Sedona.  They appear in certain places called "vortexes" where there seems to be an especially powerful feeling or energy.  The twisted tree phenomena is a "sign" of this energy.   
So what does this mean to me?  
Metaphorically, it reminds me that when life takes an unexpected twist, when things seem all twisted up, or when I get a new twist on an old truth, something powerful is going on, and I should pay attention.  
Here is a poem I wrote about this:

Here, a twisted tree
formed by mysterious energy
unexpected sign