~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Susan Cain's book "Quiet ~ The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" is reassuring. At least, it is for me since I'm a pretty extreme introvert. And it explains a lot of confusion and frustration that I experience and witness -- in myself as well as in other people. I mean, sure, we all know there are introverts and extroverts; the sliding scale spans a tremendous variety of individuals. But what I am enjoying in the book is that Cain clarifies our tendencies through the lens of our society and its history -- a society that currently celebrates the extrovert. It's a good reminder of our diversity; how to understand and appreciate each other a little better.

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised when I say that I am more comfortable in nature, or when reading/writing, than I am out in human community or trying to participate in group activities. So, I particularly like this quote from Cain's book where she is researching the nearly-mandatory extroversion of evangelical training and services (she earlier had shared her experiences visiting the highly-extroverted Harvard Business School):

"As the service wears on, I feel the same sense of alienation that McHugh has described. Events like this don't give me the sense of oneness others seem to enjoy; it's always been private occasions that make me feel connected to the joys and sorrows of the world, often in the form of communion with writers and musicians I'll never meet in person. Proust called these moments of unity between writer and reader 'that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.' ..."
"McHugh, as if reading my mind turns to me when the service is over. 'Everything in the service involved communication,' he says with gentle exasperation. 'Greeting people, the lengthy sermon, the singing. There was no emphasis on quiet, liturgy, ritual, things that give you space for contemplation.' ..."

The McHugh that Cain refers to is an evangelical pastor who wrote "Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture."

This isn't about one being 'better' than the other; that would be ridiculous. But it does point to our tendency to exclude and include, to put everyone into a one-size-fits-all, which can be so damaging to soul and, ultimately, to our world.

Of course, I first heard about Susan Cain through Ted Talks:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

drink from the cup we swim within

Unable to stay away from the pitter patter of rain upon stone and tree and seat cushions who soak up the liquid jewels falling from the sky that earlier looked so menacing and now is opaque and comforting. 
Pouring into my heart more compassion long awaited, the knowing that is so familiar it makes my heart ache within an expanding chest, ribs flexing and softening as the rain fills my marrow with red delight. 
The patio is broad enough to allow my presence in dryness while I marvel at the abundant source of life. 

It comes from above! 
Raining down and bubbling up and puddling among the dense earth as it seeks a crack here, a nook there, for in the desert, finding a way deeper into the earth is a challenge, the soil like concrete, hardened by extremes of heat and arid breath like being baked in a kiln that is hundreds of miles in jagged circumference. 
But the rain fills the once-fired pot, even large as it is, and we drink from the precious cup that we swim within.

The cool breath of winter returns for a few minutes to remind me of the transitional seasonal swayings of She who dances among the cosmos and into the world She descends, dancing her tap shoes in the raindrops of love, and leaping across the sky, a graceful arc wherein She is the ballerina of heaven, and I can hear be-bop around the corner as the rhythm changes. 
I participate in her sock-hop where the gym becomes my back yard, and the girls’ full skirts are the dancing orange leaves twirling, held on strong stems of escorts that don’t want to let go, they hold hands and feel the beat of Goddess drums among the clouds, hidden yet heard.

Her message alternates between soothing dulcet whispers of cave-doves and the rambunctious trilling of the birds huddled within the protective branches of a creosote releasing its malodorous perfume into the moisture-laden air to remind me if I close my eyes that what sounds like a pine forest is definitely not.

My nose starts to drip like the tip of the agave frond already sharpened by heat and then frost, burned and withered and limp at the end of a magnificent sword leaf with razor edges in pastel shades that soothe like the gel of its sister aloe.

I shiver as a chill finds its way beneath the itchy gray wool of my poncho, creeping up my spine to flick the invisible hairs at the nape of my neck. 
Seems like all I can do is be here and relax, feel Her presence, and return to the space of being and writing. Bliss. 
To land in my familiar world of ink and paper, in flowing thought that echoes the bird haw-hawing on the nearby tree. 
Chirps and haws, flaps of wings. Do they know I’m here? 
Huddled in the only dry corner, a small space of witness to the world being plundered and saturated as She empties Her buckets into the board expansive cauldron of life; in spring, the mountains will erupt in a profusion of wildflowers, grateful for winter rains, storing the liquid gems in roots and underground pockets of rocky cisterns.

Breathing deeply, I feel the moisture on nose hair and delicate membranes that swell like a sponge to embrace the precious water floating in the air. 
At the top of the inhale, I pause and savor the cool refreshing moisture. 

All above is gray, all below is brown, yet the leaves already seem more vibrant and the totem pole cactus reveals a slick sheen upon its naked bumps as if polished to go to a dance forgetting its already here.

The clouds hover low among the mountains creating mystery and magic, hiding what is normally so apparent as it wraps the hard edges in pale felt scarves without color yet exuding a plethora of joy. 
Can joy be colorless? 
Can it dance the Divine without a rainbow shawl? 
Muted love is falling around us like the graceful gospel of Her melody playing around the elemental harp that is a desert’s guise. 
See Her eyes? There among the drifting spirals of mist, just above the veil of giggling song are Her orbs of granite and green. 
See Her smile as She releases the veil and all of Her charms are revealed; She will soon dance naked among the stars and desert cholla, jumping and resting, sublime in Her expressions of extreme. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Boys and Bones

the boys and their bones, sharing a blanket ... rare!
It is such a rarity for the boys to chew on their bones in close proximity that I had to snap a photo! And, for those of you who have asked (many thanks for your concern and good wishes!), Pooka is doing very well ... if someone didn't know of his condition, they would never guess by looking at him. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Blood Flowing Into Forbidden Realms

Wikimedia Commons

Blood red and flowing from where it should not be and going into forbidden realms. A passage unauthorized yet still the intrusion happens, filling the space and crowding the individuals closer together in distress. 

Ungainly and rough, a limb reaches out to the side from a dis-eased trunk that isn’t supporting its needs and, feeling betrayed, is unable to offer further support in itself. 

Rivers of thick and thin, now thin and seeping into all the crevices once immune to its teasing, trickling until a shallow bowl is brimming with unfamiliar dampness and the slightest tilt spills the fluid into ever more channels. Mopping it up, the sponge turns from light pink to dark burgundy, saturated and with nowhere to release the excess, trying to transmute the glistening paint into other shapes and forms that might be useful -- a box, a triangle, a star.

As the red flows over its banks and slides down cracks that weren’t there before, the pace of the source begins to slow, falling into a stupor and not even possible to move. The rushing force that was rhythmic, begins to stutter, to drain, to disappear its vitality into the cracks and crevices. 

What we need is a new plan, to create a template to be overlaid so the stream knows the way home and the river tired of leaking can tumble once more in rapid joy around corners and up the neck of the beast. Running uphill where forbidden or welcome?

There isn’t any red mud in the yellow river anymore; all that’s left is the silt so light and thin that brings color but no substance, it is an illusion of the spectacular, pretending to be something that it no longer is.

And yet the whole still retains the song; the notes may be off-key or even dormant, non-vibrational, but they can be re-tuned and played into harmony if we just find the fork, the right one, the note. For the illusory fluid retains the memory of what it once was, it remembers how it used to flow thick and fast, filled with strength and depth where one could look into its center and see the nucleus of life, of renewal. I can see its reflection even now, the memories of play and vigor. Yet as long as the red river cascades out of bounds, he continues to weaken and falter. 

The boomerang has become a ball, not only taking up too much space but also not returning to its own sense of perspective, self and respect for duty; it’s pretending to be what it’s not, imagining itself another shape and needs to be reminded of who it really is, what its purpose remains to be. 

The magenta waterfall grows and expands, washing away the integrity of the clay and the walls, filling the cavity taut like a balloon of sludge rather than screening it. Exhaustion follows reluctantly, confused and dismayed, carried along a red current that divides and floods. 

Where’s the architect? Where are the plans? So many to choose from, and so I dig into the archives, reading, selecting scroll after scroll, ancient earth templates of health to be melded into the flood, where the vibrations will sink into alignment and somehow restore vitality, balance and ease.

The above is a reflective stream written four days ago regarding Pooka's sudden illness; a week ago, he collapsed and diagnostics were unclear as well as conflicting. The only thing we know for sure is that his spleen is enlarged by a mass, and there is internal bleeding so he is/was anemic. My thoughts during the reflection were from an energetic perspective, and were simply an attempt to align my own energy with his condition as I sought the appropriate Homeopathic remedies to support him. 

I'm happy to say that he is -- as of the past couple days -- alert, comfortable, and doing quite well all things considered. :-) 

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