Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today I visit a yoga center in Western Mass, but I think I would enjoy it more if I did not just listen to a man reporting from volatile Mogadishu where people are flocking by the tens of thousands, because starvation is a more powerful dictator even than the instinct to avoid danger.

A Land Rover, he tells us, is parked outside the gathering of hungry Somalis, an automatic gun mounted to its back door. A small boy of 13 waits inside it, dutifully standing guard over the mothers whose breasts have dried up and who hold their babies out to volunteers who explain that the peanut-based formula they offer may still not be enough to save them, that the water/foodless week it took these mothers to walk from their abandoned and famished villages may have taken an irrevocable toll on their children.

Here, I watch one after another yogi walking erect, his/her yoga mat shouldered or encased in hand-embroidered fabric, float across the grounds of the multi-acre property that houses the center. Their faces are blissful, imbued with the glow of fresh meditations, and indeed they have come here as an act of awareness, an expression of their desire to be mindful, open, generous...to themselves and to others. I say that they "float" because some trick of the eye, some combination of their relaxed demeanor and the synchronous movement of greenery as backdrop to such serenity, causes them to appear as if they are gliding, rather than walking.

It is not that I think they don't deserve to glide, or to spend three, four, five days listening to their breath, choosing wholesome, organic foods from beneath a glass visor, nourishing their bodies and minds with measured movement. Nor is it that I think they should be aware of the Somali refugees who are this morning trying to survive the most hostile of conditions under a reign of terror that is nearly as relentless as their thirst. For all I know, they are aware of these things, offering silent prayers on their behalf.

What stays me is the contrast between that terrifying African world and our own (how can I not group myself with these yogis? Did I not just spend an entire day listening to live music under a perfect sky and a bubble machine in Southern Vermont?). I rather slink into the building, which is at the moment bustling with arriving guests and their luggage (it is Friday, after all). I visit the shop briefly--long enough to see that it is filled with pleasing trinkets, beautiful objects (none of them required for life) and long enough to find that the shop manager whom I have come to meet, has left for the day. Oh, I say to the colorful garments that line the walls, to the gemstones that sparkle in their dishes.

Somewhat relieved, I slink back through the lobby and out to my car. It is a relief to drive away, though I have drawn no conclusions, learned nothing specific from this contrast....only collected a fluid sort of uneasiness that pools in my belly. I don't know, is the thing...how we live with ourselves. How we live with our selves.

Chance, it seems, has been kind to me...in the big details--where I was born, to whom, under what government.  So then, how does one find a middle ground between purposed ignorance (in this I know that I am quite skilled, especially practiced during the period when my boys were babies and I could only see to love them, nourish them--what a luxury) and the impulse to abandon one's real or ordinary life for the super-heroism of "making a difference"?

It annoys me that I have no answer to this question and that writing this down has not yielded one--and then I forgive myself again for being so imperfect. We are broken in so many ways, but it is our intention that redeems us. I will find my way, the way for my little family...to live and to grow, and yes, to make a contribution somehow. I will live with my self, because "what can I be but this thing that remains, what can I be but this?"

I will glide when I can and receive with gratitude the many blessings that are rained down on me from an abundant sky. My guilt will not serve anyone. But I will not turn away from those headlines, and I will not ignore what I hear on the radio. My awareness will be my first act of generosity, and my second will be in teaching my own children about the world, about suffering, and about how we might, in our small way, help. I will relinquish my desire to find or create an answer and instead live. Live well and live mindfully. I will offer my words to the world...to those who might seek refuge in them. I will forgive myself for having a few things that serve no purpose but to please my aesthetic sensibility, but I will not hoard them. Perhaps this is the best I can do.

No. This is the best I can do: in this life that I am living, here, now, I will know suffering when I see it, and I swear, I will not turn away.

This Week's Featured Reader Response by new mama Ali Stewart-Ito of Honolulu, Hawaii

Thank you, Ali Stewart-Ito, for this review of Inertia the novel...

"Inertia takes the reader beyond the physical realm into a world where truth is found in the intangible. Cope Tait creates characters that manage to be quirky and fresh but also relatable and familiar. Time, a concept that we try so hard to define, reclaims its ethereal nature as we are allowed to momentarily embody the world of each character."

And congratulations on the birth of your new baby girl! <3 <3

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Announcing the release of the Ebook version of Inertia the novel!

Yay! At long last the electronic version of Inertia is available on Amazon! With just a couple of clicks you can be reading in less than 2 minutes!!

Click here to buy Inertia for Kindle now!!

Bonus material in the electronic version: Book Club Discussion Questions!

Monday, July 18, 2011

This Week's Featured Reader Response by Teri Chong of Waimea, Hawaii

Thank you, Teri, for this gorgeous piece of writing in response to Inertia the novel. In gratitude...

"A must read that will attract, strengthen, and sustain your spirit in more ways than one. I continue to be amazed how our lives today are simply blueprints made eons ago that we live out, moment by moment. There are no coincidences, just purposeful, and some extremely profound, experiences that we must journey through. When we reach the critical point and feel this incredible certainty that we've been there, we've done that, we can then begin our very own journey of believing, living, loving, and healing. All is purposeful for our individual self, our individual growth, our individual journey of being who we are in mind, body, and most importantly, spirit. Thank you, Kim, for this beautiful work. It has touched me in so many ways, on so many planes, and has given me yet another opportunity to remind myself of who I really am. Sending you Peace, Love, & Light, always." --Teri Chong

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Week's Featured Reader Response from Tara Hitzig of Los Angeles

Thank you, Tara, for this inspiring response to Inertia the novel:

"Fear is like the darkness in the middle of the forest, blinding to the eyes. Your book has helped to open my eyes and what it spoke to me is this: 

I am so much happier to have loved, to have tried, to have witnessed, to have continued to "be and do" and to have experienced loss than to never have had those experiences in the first place. I believe that every experience I have had has given me reason to be here, to live each moment and to love with abandon. To love madly, blindly, insanely. I believe that there are those people who come in to your life, give you something, and then leave. Some stay with you for all your time, some stay only for a short time, but they all offer you something. And it is our duty, our work, to find out what they gave and to piece it together to reveal the beauty of this life. 

Yes, angels have come in to my life, are currently in my life, and have guided me and helped me to this place I am now. Without them, I don't think I would have truly made it through and still seen the beauty and for that, I am blessed they have come at all. 

Thank you for your words. Thank you for putting them down and allowing others to share in them. Thank you for being in my life and offering your self to all those fortunate to read this inspiring novel."  --Tara Hitzig, Los Angeles

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh to Om.

I turn a corner. I accept payment for energy work ( a first). I wait. I breathe. I live. I watch Inertia's sales rise, continue to receive feedback from readers--always the same: read it in one sitting, couldn't put it down, the characters lived with me for days after I finished reading. I think about the ways its story heals. Open myself to its miracle, because indeed my own heart, my own family, have been healed through its birth. Its arrival. Its steadfast message. 

Oh. It was always a syllable of exasperation, of longing or despair. Now it is clipped at the end and round like its letters: Oh! Now it is an expression of delight. My surprise in seeing that life is good. Abundant. Real. Yes, all of it real in a way that I never knew. "Mother I never knew,/ every time I see the ocean,/ every time--" (Basho). All of it grounded and whole and laden with life's many truths--not insubstantial, as I had thought, but corporeal, it seems. Here and here. In this stone. In this leaf. In the light reflecting off the water as it moves... It only appears to be elusive; a little contemplation, a little observation, reveals that the source is constant and continuous. Though we in our fixed position on the earth may turn away from it for half of our living hours, that light doesn't abandon us but rather whispers its steadfastness by lighting the moon as we sleep to dream.

Oh. It is the shape of the sun, the moon, the planet we inhabit, and it begins the sacred syllable that closes my wonder now with the sound of pleasure: mmmmmm. Om. It is the sound of this, and every other, completion. It is a promise and a consummation at once. It is the syllable of our wholeness. It sets the vibration of our love. Ever.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Clarity of 40

I sit and consider the stillness: gentle Vermont breeze, blue sky dripping onto green limbs that reach heavenward. Wasn't it only moments ago they held their leaves like tight little fists in the air, hoping for enough sun to nourish them? Scattered white puffs of cloud lazily change shape across their azul backdrop. Sound of a distant lawn mower, chatter of children hatching a plan to cool off at the snow-making pond or Pikes Falls. Dog comes back from somewhere, soaking wet and panting, a dogsmile lifting her black lips on either side of her lolling tongue. Wildflowers like jewels adorn the hillside between lawn and woods: Bull Thistles, Ox-eye Daisies, Bishop's Weed and Queen Anne's Lace populate the grasses and whisper summer's promises.

This kind of quiet, this kind of clarity, where every color is distinct, nothing bleeding into anything else but presenting itself in its wholeness, its real-ness...it's quite unexpected, really. And while things have been set in motion, while my love swells on language offered to the masses of people who would read, would dare to comprehend their own hearts, I rest here in the Green Mountains. I breathe. I make pancakes for my boys and their friends. I fill a kiddie pool on the back lawn.  Read a book written by a kindred spirit. Mmmmm. Yes and please. Oh.

Life was always this beautiful, I think, and this new decade I'm entering, it shows me that beauty unblinkingly. Despair edges our experience ever...always it is creeping along the periphery of what is light, what is perfectly bright, but it is perhaps the contrast that brings into focus what there is to be grateful for. Fear is useless, I have learned. Instead: a mindful acknowledgment that it is there--despair like a garment so easily adorned--and a deep appreciation that in this moment--today--now--it does not drape over our bodies. Does not cover our heads. Mahalo. Mahalo. Mahalo nui loa, I say to the sun, blazing above the arch of our mountain and illuminating the dew before lifting it from its sleep. There are no words, I think. But no. There are many.