Monday, September 27, 2010


Today autumn visited Austin.  I say “visited” because in our neck of the woods she comes and goes.  But oh my!  The first day she drops by each year is glorious.  Facebook pages of Austinites light up with exclamations about open windows, bike rides, renewed energy.
Because I am unemployed and at home on this first day of noticeable fall I am able to engage in one of my favorite pastimes.. fire building .  Our homestead is surrounded by oaks and elms, so fallen tree limbs are a common occurrence.  And because we do not live in the city limits, we can burn!
I wrote recently about knitting as a meditation.  Add fire building and fire watching to the list.  I become mesmerized by starting the fire, adding fuel to the fire, rearranging the fire, stoking the fire, watching the fire.
When John and I left Terlingua many moons ago, we camped in a tent for three months in national forests throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana and South Dakota.  Each evening we would build a fire and sit and watch, as if it were a TV.  As there is no fire remote, I would periodically have to stoke the fire or add more wood to the with it.  Those are nostalgia days for us in large part because of those evening fires.
Today I am home alone with fall in the air and a small bonfire on our property.  The neighborhood is quiet -- it’s just me and Tunia and the fire.  I am relaxed.  I am at peace. I am grateful.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm Addicted to News

How to explain my addiction to news?  I visit multiple news websites daily, multiple times.  What is it about the taste of current events that I find so compelling?  It doesn’t make sense.
I’ve several friends who’ve sworn off -- they just don’t go there anymore.  My husband reads the Sports section only, the only section I toss aside.  I, on the other hand, check in daily with CNN, Google News, Politico, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, USA Today, News 8 Weather, NPR News, Slate, Salon, New York Times and yes even People.  And for the most part, I find it depressing.  Sad, really.
I want people to get along and play nicely with one another.  I want our elected officials to behave like mature adults.  I feel powerless reading about natural disasters and starving, displaced humanity.  The daily drumbeat of joblessness, rising poverty stats, bankruptcies, homelessness and frustration wears me down.
I want our country to provide equal healthcare benefits for every citizen -- a system that operates with no cheaters, no loop hole divers, no corruption.  I want the folks who pour into our country from Mexico without permission to have a way to live without fear--we need to provide them with a clear, tough but legal pathway to legitimacy.  I don’t like  feeling ashamed that my religious heritage is Christian.  I want gay folks to feel normal and welcome in our society and appreciated for all they contribute.  I want sexual predators of any stripe, be they Catholic priests or porn drenched perverts, to be isolated and rehabilitated.  You get my drift.
The antidote I generally rely on is recalling myself to attend to my own sphere of influence. beginning with my own mind.  The truly nourishing news is within, really.  When I access She Who Knows, the taste of optimism and gratitude creeps back in.  It is my best shot at behaving like a mature adult and playing well with others.  I’m also reminded how difficult it is, day in and day out, how much vigilance is required.   Please God, don’t let me get caught on CNN.

Friday, September 17, 2010


When I was about 10 years old my grandmother taught me to knit.  Of her 6 granddaughters I was the only one who ever showed any interest in her clacking needles.  I was mesmerized watching her rhythmic hands perform the same elegant motion over and over while she silently built something useful and beautiful.

During cold winters and during the most introspective periods of my life, I turn to knitting.  Knitting keeps me seated, holds me still, allows me to day dream and ponder.  It focuses my attention so that my mind can wander free.  When I'm knitting, I don't worry about wasting time "doing nothing."  I'm building.

My hands are following a pattern, a blueprint, adhering to a plan to create a shawl, or blanket, cap or sweater.  Sometimes I say to myself, "let this knitting be a prayer," with the hope and intention that while my hands build my mind will free itself to be open to revelation.  These days, between occupations, I don't want to miss a single revelation!

And, knitting is a great way to tune in to other folks.  Recently I took my knitting to a group meeting and found by occupying my hands I was able to better focus on what each person was sharing.  A group member commented after the meeting that he noticed I was not swinging my leg while I knitted!  I guess if my hands are busy I can keep my feet still.  Who knew?

If any of you want to bring your yarn and needles and sit with me awhile, I'd love the company. If you would like to learn to knit, I can get you started.  It would make my grandmother proud.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Conscious Choices

Today is the beginning of the sixth week of unemployment.  Someone mentioned last night how much more relaxed I appear.  How did I appear before?  Scary thought.

My cousin, Margaret, sent me a book rec.  Trusting her judgment I bought the book and find it very intriguing.  LEAP! What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives? by Sara Davidson explores the experience of baby boomers who are faced with 20-30 more years of living but no longer want to (or can't) do what they have always done.   She interviews numerous boomers  who are  rounding that corner and making a wide variety of conscious choices.

Personally, I'm enjoying relaxing and at the same time asking myself what I really want to do.  Most of my adult life I have "fallen into" occupations rather than making a conscious choice.  However, two conscious choices in the past do stand out.

John and I made the decision to step out of life as we knew it and move to Big Bend country to manage a little motel and restaurant owned by a group of folks in Switzerland. What an adventure that was!  I still view it as one of the best choices this city girl ever made.

Upon returning from our 2 years in Big Bend, I made the conscious decision to go into "spiritual work."  I had no credentials, no theology degrees, no ordinations or certifications.  I just knew that if I could spend time exploring reality and Reality with other folks I would feel fortunate.  And sure enough with each client I met with and each poem I wrote, I did indeed feel privileged.

Both of those choices rewarded me with some of the most satisfying and challenging experiences in my life, thus far.  Both of these decisions followed a time of deep introspection and learning to trust deep intuition.  I think I'll try that again.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dependable and Reliable

One of the things that brings a genuine smile to my face is allowing my dog, Tunia, off her leash.  I love to see her sprint forward, running free.  There aren't many places that I feel are safe to set her free, but when I can, I let her go, and I vicariously enjoy the experience of freedom.

This last month I feel I've been let off my leash.  It has taken a while to fully realize that I am  no longer tethered.  I'm taking a break from the tether of "dependable and reliable."  How many Craiglist ads have I placed looking for employees who are "dependable and reliable?"   It takes one to know one.

When I choose my next employment (self or "for hire") I will voluntarily attach that leash once again.  But, for now Tunia and I are running free.

Today, at 10:00 am I will sit in my own home, knitting, watching Obama's press conference in real time.  On a FRIDAY, in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bored and Restless

For the first time since I left my job I feel bored and restless, not knowing what to do with myself.  Oddly enough I am not satisfied with merely feeling bored and restless -- I find I am compelled to top that experience off with the experience of anxiety.

Why is "bored and restless" frightening?  I ask you.

B&R masks authentic experience.
B&R prevents the pleasure of deep relaxation,
Stalls and delays joyful action,
Veils true motivation and quells impulse.
B&R is a gambit to forestall perturbation.
However, B&R is best accepted
While acknowledging it for what it is.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


When I find myself saying something to someone else that I did not intend or plan to say, and I observe that I am expressing myself from a calm, confident and loving space, henceforth I am going to trust what I hear myself saying -- that it is authentic.

Definition of terms:  "authentic" - coming from a centered place; spirit led; spoken from deep intuition; often experienced as surprising or unexpected; rings true; trustworthy

This is hot off the presses.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Four weeks ago I quit,
Put on the brakes to reconsider priorities,
Came to a grinding halt, walked away
Four weeks ago today.
Today I folded laundry that had been in the basket less than a week,
Took smoked turkey sausage out of the freezer for supper,
No telling how long it had been in there.

I can still vividly remember the feeling I had each morning
As I climbed the stairs to Roscoe preparing to take it on another day.
When did it morph from challenge to dread?
I vividly remember the day I knew it had all come to an end,
Prematurely I thought, but now I know better.

Grateful to have been there; grateful to be released.
Grateful for trustworthy internal nudges that prompt us to the next chapter.
Grateful for the Roscoe family that nurtured me, challenged me, trusted me.
Grateful for John who supports me, as well as my mother, sisters and children.
Grateful for the grace to sit in "I don't know" without panic.
I am so grateful to be home.