Tag Archives: love

Boundary Waters & love.

http://vimeo.com/m/111603629

This is a video link to help save the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota from sulfide-ore mining.

It is a beautiful, moving tribute – and a reminder of the few, precious, wild places left – which are treasures

Places to be honored & respected & cared for

National treasures for all to share in their beauty & wonder

I do not understand
How it is
That the world seems to be set up in a way where those who deeply love this land

Are the ones who must ask for money
In support of saving these places which should be protected outright

We care for what we love

The oil & mining companies seem to not love or care for this land we all inhabit, and yet, we pay them money all the time…

It’s a funny set up
Which is not so funny

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Through a person, I fell in love with a place, which felt like Home, curiously, despite having never been there before.

May we all turn our actions
Even a fraction
Towards loving this place where we live
May we wake up to knowing that “this place” is not just “where we live”
But actually what we are


Wave of grief

Death comes as a surprise sometimes
And something is felt in the heart

What is it?

Is it the connection that seems to live there like thin, strong layers of Braille embedded in the tissue…?

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What is it?

This tenderness…?

For the close-ones left “behind” here on Earth…
My heart and mind seems to turn towards them

And reflecting on how my life has been braided up, & impacted in countless ways by a family…

And reflecting on this man who is no longer embodied
A very kind, and generous man

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How his activities in this world have touched the lives of so many
Near and far
Impacting this region of the Northeast…

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Recently, someone commented on how they saw my thinking about death as something which sort of colors my life.
I don’t think it was meant as a positive noticing.
But keeping death in mind had me call the person & his wife now and again
To check in, throughout the year
To let them know I was thinking of them
To find out how his treatment was going
To let them know how grateful I am for the times we’ve shared together, and how they positively impacted my life.

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Life & death are inseparable.
Keeping death in mind, for me, supports me reaching outside of myself, stretching…
That is, it helps this often-fearful being find courage
A kind of motivator.

Because death and love go hand in hand in my mind
Or, as a friend said to me a while back,
Love and grief walk hand in hand…
Because if you love someone or something, there is the awareness of the tenuousness of life, and things do change, and death will come, and with that – grief.

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Intellectually I know things are constantly changing
But emotionally, when things DO change, there is an impact

Today
I’m watching grief come and go in waves
Perhaps it has a sort of function
I don’t know.
I keep catching myself wondering when it’ll all pass & I’ll “feel better”

This is me rushing, again
The habit of trying to get away
Aversion.
And so I will continue to practice, albeit imperfectly, to stay.

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Time to sit.
May all beings be happy


internet, loneliness, & rambling about missing my elder

okay i know i’m not supposed to say this

but

i don’t feel any less lonely than usual now that i have internet

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(April 3rd, o yes)

perhaps this is a DUH sort of thing

i guess i had it in my head that something radical would shift once the internet was up and working

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but the truth is

i kinda liked having to ask my elder to use his computer

i like being all braided up with others

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i do

i need people.

for better or for worse, i do.

i feel at a loss without being braided up with others.

the loneliness gets too big without the connections.

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i kinda liked not thinking about email, Facebook, etc. for a while.

i kinda liked going for a week between email checkings, only to find that i hadn’t missed any important emails (because i don’t really get that many important emails…)

i liked asking to use someone else’s computer… sharing.

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sure, i got behind on reading blogs

and i was off of Facebook for a month

but

i wrote letters

i’ve been settling in to my new home

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(passion flower was happy for the new window)

going for walks

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and

been on Grand Jury duty

i don’t recommend it if you happen to not like watching crime drama in media…

alas

i go each week and watch & listen to cases being presented in ways where i honestly just want to cover my face and stick my fingers in my ears and go LALALALALALALA

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“it could be worse”

a mantra i learned from my elder

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who i miss deeply

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who i think of every day

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she’s in every flower i see blooming

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every twittering bird

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in the outfits i wear

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*sigh*

i do hope

to be so lucky

to love someone in such a way through time

that when the Time comes for them to go

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that i’ll feel a sheet-sized tear in my heart

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“we’re such lucky, lucky people”

(another anchor mantra)

the last day i saw her

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she said to me to make sure i posted it

i don’t know what “it” was or is

so i’ll just keep posting things

it just wasn’t the time to say “what?”

it was just a time to say i love you

to say good bye

to say thank you

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after Jury duty i go to the farm where i’m keeping a garden this season

and it’s so helpful.

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from a spinning top i become calm, happy, content.

my elder would have wanted Blue Hubbard squash – so i’ll be planting that for sure.

even if she’s not around to eat it.

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her memorial service was lovely

so much beauty

kindness

stories

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facets of her that i never knew about, revealed in the telling of story

such a generosity

lots of food

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laughter

sadness

missing

sweetness.

i think of elephants

their ways of mourning

we’re all not so different, really.

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breakfast is for the world of the living

i’m packing to move

and in a purse given to me by my grandmother long ago

my dear Yaya

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was a small silk pouch

holding three silver coins

given to me by my grandfather even a longer time ago

my dear Papa

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coins from the same year i was born.

and putting them into my hand

feeling their weight

their weight

weight is for the world of the living

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feeling their weight i thought of the practice of putting coins in the mouth of a person who had died

imagining these three coins in my mouth, perhaps, one day

i couldn’t remember where the practice comes from

or the symbolic gesture of coins in the mouth

sure, i could have paused, Googled the information

but i didn’t

kept packing

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packing is for the world of the living

as is breakfast

steaming, hot oatmeal

which now stands cold

in a bowl

after hearing the news the word

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news & words are for the world of the living

of my dear anchor, my friend, my Elder, my love

passing in the night

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tears & breakfast don’t go well together

if nothing else, i’ve learned this in my time alive here on the planet

and that is something, just to know that.

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full moon pulls in & out

birth & death – labors both

one, we are ushered in, labored in by another.

one, we have to labor ourselves, it seems.

a different sort of birth.

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with a mix of grief & joy with memories

sending blessings

to her family

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to the hearts of her family & friends

and to all worlds

for all beings everywhere.

sending Metta.

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Blessings on music to speak what’s in my heart

i really like this song

and after an emotional day at work

my anchor, my elder, is getting ready to set sail

into her next journey

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my dear friend.

she really IS the best.

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i had to go to the store afterwards before heading home

and this was playing.

i just lost it

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such a beautiful song

i could listen to the last part over & over & over…

and i thank the stars for music –

it speaks what my heart wants to speak but my tongue can’t quite touch…

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Pickled peppers, anchors, & Blue Hubbard squash.

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Don’t wait.

if you wait, the pickled peppers might go bad.

if someone gives you a gift, open it

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use it

use it up

delight in each pepper

savor the spicy zing on the tongue.

before eating – offer thanks, gather blessings

imagine their garden

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the tending, the soil

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imagine the rain, the sun, and all the Elementals involved in the creation of a plant-being

a pepper

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imagine the hands that tended to this pepper plant

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these hands that you know

the one that you love

the one that gave you this jar of pickled peppers

because they know you love them

don’t wait to eat them

savor them

enjoy

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every Wednesday, i support the tending of a house & the people, the home of some Elders.

this job, these people

have been my anchors.

since 2009, every Wednesday

(barring retreats, visits to family, & the month i was out when i injured my back in 2012)

every Wednesday this place, these people have been my destination, my North Pole.

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from a string of boyfriends, through various places of living, & a number of farming situations

since 2009 they have been my one constant.

Anchor:  any device used in the manner of an anchor to hold a boat in place…. a reliable support…. a source of confidence that serves to hold an object firmly

yes

i need this

i am drifty

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finding love here & there – a place, a person, a job

so easy to fall in love

but these Elders, this place, on Wednesdays has held me tight

with gratidute

even when i want to leave, to run…

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but i stay.

i love them.

they love Blue Hubbard squash.

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the first year i farmed on my own it was a bumper crop for Winter squash.

hundreds of pounds

but no place to put them.

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so they let me put all of them in their upstairs bedroom

the great Blue Hubbard – easily over 25 pounds – sat like an emperor on a low table

waiting

this year i planted no Winter squash

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but found a Blue Hubbard and with the remembering of the pickled peppers

decided to not wait any longer to cook it up

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(well, part of it)

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big beauty.

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into soup

made to share

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don’t wait.

who are your anchors?

what would you want to say to the ones you appreciate?

who are the people that have made a difference in your life?

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what would you share with them if you allowed your heart to speak?

what would you want to let them know

if you let your heart speak it’s appreciations?

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don’t wait

do you have a dream in your heart?

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a longing that has been there forever?

a way of life you want to live?

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would you dare speak your heart to the one that causes it to beat a little faster?

even though you might feel like a prize fool after?

gather up your courage

and speak from your heart.

don’t wait.

open the jar of pickled peppers

make the soup from the Hubbard you’ve been saving

let The Ones know how your heart feels about them

and the ways they have shaped the life of your life.

don’t wait.

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Masonry stoves & breakfast for Belgians this morning.

there was a lot of snow last night, roads were sketchy

so instead of driving home, i stayed with my friends for the night.

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this is Nutella (her official name) – goes by mostly Neuzers or Nuey…  and lucky me she was on my lap

(kitties on the lap force a pause in craft-time)

i was working on a sweater

and happened to be sitting near the masonry stove.

a fabulous element of this home

warm, quiet, friendly.

there’s even an oven in it.

i mean, you can sit right up against it

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so brilliant

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it offers a soft heat, and uses way less wood than a traditional wood stove.

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in the morning i found myself leaning up against it and it was still hot after a fire was lit the night before.

amazing.

in the morning we set out to feed the horses before i left into the day

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Clare, Connor, & Sasha were standing near the watering holes where Sara turns off the solar electric fence.

that’s where i got to give them some apples

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Connor’s massive head munching his apple

Connor is Clare’s son, and he’s the largest one of the three

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terrible photo, but that’s Clare on the left

she’s an Ancient & such an amazing worker…

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another terrible shot, but that’s Sara with Clare.

Belgian Clydesdales are shorter & stockier than Clydesdales. 

i’m used to the Belgians, though

and find they are my favorite breed of horse

Sasha is a light horse and he seems so tiny since Belgians are what are “normal” in my mind, having spent so much time around them…

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Sara heading into the shed to get hay & grain – Sasha, Clare, & Connor following soon after

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Connor is so massive

and their coats are really shaggy & thick with the Winter

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Sara takes such good care of them

Clare gets extra grain & a supplement for her joints

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she also gets some extra hay to keep her weight up

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Connor munching his grain, Sasha waiting for his bowl

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while Clare eats her grain, Sara works on her hip & leg… connecting with her dear friend through touch.

they have a beautiful relationship, these two beautiful ladies…

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blessings.


we all know that things can change on a dime, but it’s easy to forget.

okay

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so i began to blog because i fell in love with someone last Winter.

someone who i loved in a way i didn’t really understand

in a way that called me to be a way i didn’t know i could be.

strange, easy connection.

but

it didn’t unfold in that capital R relationship-y way

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we were, and are friends

and i’m happy for him that he’s found someone with whom there seems to be a quite wonderful connection between the two of them

this is the best of things.

so

i began to blog.

because i had stopped farming

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and this relationship-connection where sharing occurred was no longer there…

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and

because i felt i had to do something

the energy had to go somewhere

so

i began to blog.

not because i think i have “something to say”

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it came more out of a sort of need

to share.

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i don’t write much about relationship (or Relationship)

but find that i think about relationships a lot.

not just in that “longing” way, but just thinking about it.

i’m in relationship with everyone

and everything.

all the time.

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today

i feel sad, grief i didn’t expect to feel

upon seeing images of a beloved teacher who just passed away.

someone who was very warm, very present, and very kind.

and even though we didn’t share a lot of time out side of the school

there is something in me that feels a great grief in knowing that she’s not embodied any more…

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i’d often drive by her house, & every time i would think fondly of her

even though i had only been there once.

i knew it was her house, her home

and memory is a funny and wonderful thing

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i feel lucky, fortunate, to have shared some time with this very kind, earthy, strong woman.

and i guess it just brings home

that this time we are here is very short

and we all know that things can change on a dime

and

well

the truth of that kinda freaks me out, and i’m feeling it today.

feeling a kind of achy love feeling inside

for the people & critters in my life today…

thinking of her family, and those close with her…

feeling the web of connection today…

blessings.

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Izzy – further introductions

Izzy has a number of nicknames.

Ziz, Muonjiao, Xiao, Miz Iz, Susu, Sushi, Sushi looshi, Izzy bear, Izzy bean, Sasie, Sasie-su…

(this is not even all of them…)

she’s a special.

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(after being woken up by me in one of her Spring & Summer nap spots.)

this is up on a high shelf in Matt & Jenny’s office.

in all seriousness, the conclusion has been come to that she may be a bit autistic.

she seems to prefer squeezed-sorts of places to reside

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i was sitting, eating dinner one night, leaning up against this pillow that you can see she has just crawled into.

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then she turned herself around

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mind you, the pillow is also in there with her…

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she was just relaxing for a while

and then…

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snoozers

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zonked Izzy

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i love this cat.

we have a close relationship.

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i’m happy to be in her life.

she needs to be encouraged to drink water

and seems to prefer licking water from a person over any other way…

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she doesn’t seem to drink enough for some reason

so there are little containers of water throughout the house

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she’s also a huge fan of greens.

dark leafy greens, lettuce, cabbage, collards…

if it’s green, she wants to eat it.

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moumph-moumph

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we play together & seem to get each other.

she really likes her people.

when everyone is awake in the morning is when she seems happiest.

i’m happy to be her nanny.

she’s bold and chatty & friendly and beautiful.

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i feel like i’m really not doing her justice with my words

ah well…

i do love her so


(too much) cancer

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it’s kinda hard to see, but this is an image (taken on dinky phone) of a wheelchair decorated for Halloween.

here’s a detail

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(whopper spider lassoed with mint flavored dental floss to the wheel…)

i’ve mentioned before that i live with housemates.

a married couple who i love and respect

their relationship is an amazing thing to be able to witness, and i’m honored to be their housemate.

so Jenny – the wife of the couple – got all the Halloween decorations for the wheelchair

(she’s got a flair for decorating…)

last weekend was the Cancer Resource Center fundraiser walk/run here in Ithaca.

Matt – the husband of the couple – was diagnosed early this year with cancer.

Meghan, a mutual friend, was raising money in honor of Matt & his brother, who recently died of cancer, for the Cancer Resource Center.

Meghan (an avid roller derby gal) wound up injuring her hip and couldn’t walk or run as planned.

so Jenny had this brilliant idea to get a wheelchair and push her through the walking course.

life is full and Jenny is very busy with work and taking care of Matt.

so about a week before the walk, i called Meghan to ask if Jenny had contacted her about the walk

i explained to Meghan about Jenny’s idea to find out if she was game…

surprisingly, Meghan said yes!

but

we had to find a wheelchair.

so i called the elder couple i work for (who also has cancer) to see if they knew where i could rent one.

they gave me the number of a friend of theirs who happened to have a wheelchair in the attic that we could use, no problem.

*viola*

i picked it up a few days later

and Jenny & i decorated the chair the night before the walk

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(nifty ghouly-ghoul…)

on the day of the run/walk, it was cold & windy

and there were LOTS of people there

hundreds ran the 5K

hundreds more walked the 2K

Meghan wore a shirt with the names of people who she was doing the walk for – Matt, and Matt’s brother, and two other people in the roller derby world she knows…

too much cancer

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(how awesome is that chair?!?)

there was much joy and support from so many people

it was a mix of lovely and beautiful

AND very sad – i mean, probably everyone has been touched by cancer…

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after the walk, my mind swirled with thoughts of my grandfather who died in 1987 from kidney/brain cancer

and of my grandmother – who didn’t have cancer, but whose life was deeply affected by it

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the Cancer Resource Center is a great place – they offer a lot of support for the community, and for folks who don’t have insurance… they do a lot of free screening, which is awesome.

in all, over $165,000 was raised – more than their intended goal.

i was so happy to be there with my friends

other mutual friends showed up and we all walked & rolled Meghan together.

 – i felt sad for the why we were there

but so happy to be with everybody

and to witness the support of hundreds of others

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this is Matt & Meghan after the walk

(note the nifty spider crown that Jenny had put together!)