Sunday, November 27, 2011


I keep quiet. I speak again. There is a fine balance, it seems, between gratitude and complacency and thus between ingratitude and ambition. How to love what is, appreciate deeply all that is right in one's world, all that is a reflection of one's love, of one's perfect intent, and still believe in the power to create something more? More satisfying, more rewarding, more remunerative. Every life carries with it its own disappointments, its own grievances and sufferings, both great and small. Is it so fantastic to hope for these to fall away in lieu of the blooming dreams of my waking sleep?

Thank you, Universe, for my beautiful boys, thank you for their health and their vivacity and their ardor. Thank you for my husband, talented and genuine, kind-hearted and steadfast in his love. Thank you, Universe, for friends and family who gather 'round and hold space for our health and healing, our love and our light, and for the integration of it all, so that we might manifest what is already alive in our hearts.

I will keep doing what I do: loving up my boys, cherishing my husband, teaching with passion, writing with purpose, breathing fresh air and moving my body...and I will also create what is new. What is real. What is rewarding and makes me whole. These ways of being are not exclusive. Desire does not negate contentment. Vision does not subvert the visible.

What I am will grow and spill and bloom into the world, but it will always, always contain this present perfection. Om. In gratitude.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Response to "Lotus Flower" by Radiohead

It is about our own absurdity, our inadequacy at times to embody the vastness of our own humanity. How every beautiful thing is there, present, in the stillness of our being, and yet we move spasmodically around it, apoplectic in our need, in our strangeness. How we know the beauty we could manifest, crave it deeply, and are aware all the time of the distances we impose between ourselves and its realization. Oh--we are so hungry, we are so strange, even to ourselves. Especially to ourselves. We weep in frustration, tear at our hair and turn away. Send a cold stare in the place of our brokenness, nurse our brittle hearts in private.

It is about how we bind ourselves and find we cannot live within such confines. How we spasm and knock ourselves against such walls only to erect them again in our consciousness. In our sleep. In our waking dreams we turn and jut and scramble and tip, only to find ourselves again in darkness. In light. Are the external variables so important really? Do they define anything beyond the stage upon which we are set to enact all the scenes between birth and death? To live it all before the fall of the curtain, heavy and musty with time. Oh, if I could only relieve your sadness. I'd kiss each eyelid, long and slow. Rock you to sleep like an infant in my birdlike arms.

He jigs, he ambles, he props himself on air and moves spasmodically against the thing that pushes in on him from all sides. Threatens to crush him. He closes his eyes in the ecstasy, the torment, the sweetness of singing it away from the body, but it comes again with a force. It yanks him away from his solace, away from the quiet of his own jagged breath. He feels hunted, but he does not pity himself. Instead he is interested in his demise. In his absurd helplessness. In the irony of knowing oneself as a lotus blossom and being incapable of blooming into its beauty. Complexity is a given, but that beauty, that delicate wholeness. It eludes him again. Darkness pierces him: man on a stick. Not moon but man. Not stillness but apoplexy. Not here but there. Always far away and as if struggling against the weight of the entire ocean.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It is different from despair. Unlike in despair, there is still some music in melancholy. A low, sonorous song that has in it, ever, the awareness of the light, however distant. Despair knows no light. Despair leans into the hereafter as if into a headwind. In despair one's eyes are closed to beauty, to love, to peace, because of a disbelief that canvasses all awareness and thus inspires a general turning away.

Melancholy, on the other hand, leaves the eyes at half mast, the heart soft and tenable. It moves like a slow-trolling boat, gentle, gentle, and speaks nothing at all, though all manner of darkness accost it, because when the expectation for sadness is met with sadness, what is there to do but wonder at the likeness and carry on as before?

Monday, November 7, 2011


How can we sift through the garbage that clogs our experience, in particular our relationship to one another? History is what it is. It can no more be changed than the future can be predicted. It informs our present, whether we like it or not. Maybe it is not even possible to "let it go," as we are urged to do. Maybe all we can do is absorb it, allow the ache, allow the residual hurt to pervade us, until the fire of its collision is ignited and we burn. Burn away layer after layer until what remains is all there is or ever was: sisterhood, brotherhood. How regardless of childish inconsistencies I have loved you since before you were born, and how I will go on loving you into the next lifetime and thereafter. That is all. That is all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Delicacy of Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain. Study in American pop culture. Study in the abuses of celebrity. Study in despair. In the ways we look away. How we consume for our own pleasure. Lay the body of the icon out like a smorgasbord, partake of it greedily. How his music lulled us in our misery, fed our sophomoric angst, placated the cowardly rebel that slept in our hearts, and pleased us. Pleased us so with its melancholic brooding. Its angry, raucous ranting.

Did we not know that such beauty must arise from a life? Did we not know that such language and sound is not born of itself but is birthed in the bloody, fleshy extrication from a human body, a human sensibility, and is a blueprint for his genetic composition, for the story that sings his soul in this living?

Immaculate conception of human grief evidenced in the rollicking grunge rock we exalted and devoured at once. But what of the father? Man-boy who graced us with such exultant offspring of sound. What of the boy who weeps in this photograph dated September 22, 1990? Alone and anguished and invisible to the clamoring crowd just preparing for the feast.

Some animals eat their young. It is an anomaly--an act at once instinctive and contrary to nature. When will we learn to love the mother, the father, the artist in his creation? To see the longing and the despair as evidenced in his art and know it as sacred, as the holy progeny of his most profound murmurings.When will we know that we should sweep him up in our love, and not treat him like a vending machine that dispenses indiscriminately the sweets that will placate our own desperate desire?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

West Coast Heart

With my ever west-facing orientation, it is hard to convince myself that this wind-peaked water is not the sea, the tree-covered land mass beyond it not an island, as the sun sets behind it all.

The way I am wired, suns set over water, into it, as it were, and slumber there until they make their ways beneath the earth to the other side of the world. They heft themselves into the sky again from behind the land, which is sometimes flat and sometimes mountainous, but always, always sprawling eastward.

The sun here is as light but does not warm in the same way it does in, say, California or Hawaii...and yet there is some promise in the warmth it does give. I have not left you for good, it sighs, lighting a blazing pathway across this water which flows, if I look closely, from one side to another, and not in heaving waves that spill themselves on the shore. Forward and back. Forward and back in the rocking motion of the sea.

No, the Hudson is a long pathway from one place to another; it is nestled in the trough of its riverbed and lays itself out across the variegated landscape. Islands have emerged directly from the ocean floor and exists in the water's salty embrace. Certainly I could drive over to Hilo, the east side of the Big Island, and see the sun rise over water. This is not the difference.

It is the difference of the sunset, I decide. It is the difference of where the sun sleeps. Good night, sun, I whisper to the train window that separates me from the cool evening air, and it is in this way each night I relinquish the Hawaiian sunset that has become a part of my consciousness and which I know I will always carry in my West Coast heart.