Running Through It

I’ve been uneasy running alone in the mornings lately. It’s odd how this fear pops up now and then. I haven’t kept track of when this happens, and think it may well be that it always happens this time of year when it seems the world is suddenly dark at 6 am. Maybe it’s instinctive,…

A Serious Practice

It’s been a little over three years now since I returned to a daily yoga practice. And I’ve only recently realized how radically my practice has changed. 26 minutes on the mat, 6 minutes on the cushion. 32 minutes a day, imperfectly in the moments. While the (almost) daily effort has been intentional, this change…

An Abandoned Bra is a Slippery Slope

Today I realized that I haven’t bothered with my appearance since the pandemic began. Not that I think that vanity is a virtue, nor have I ever been someone who checks my lipstick at lunchtime during the workday, but I have had a healthy baseline of care and pride when I’ve been well. I’m aware…

Guru-Averse

or… Why I am still uncomfortable calling myself a Buddhist. The past two mornings I’ve been hearing a nearby dog whine. Another bark. I haven’t been able to figure out where exactly it’s coming from. I’m wondering if the neighbor got a new dog who’s frightened to be alone during the day. I went outside,…

Slowing into Softness

These slow mornings are a gift. The whole world is soft – even when soft means a difficult beach run. My feet sinking deeply into the sand. A hard run on a soft morning. There was duck at the very edge of the tide, so out-of-place there – and dying slowly. Rolling slowly, helplessly, with…

(Not) Leaving the Wallow

Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow. THICH NHAT HANH If that is not the perfect definition of real “self-care”, what is? So many years…

Forcing the Morning

Parkinson’s Law. Tuesday mornings I have a late start at work, and when the alarm goes off at the usual time, and when E. isn’t here with his own obligations, I find myself negotiating with myself. My morning routine takes 2 and a half hours, and I start counting backwards to see if I can…

Practice

Ann E. Michael writes about practice. She’s been writing since she was 10, and though she’s lost the pages, she has the memories. Sometimes I wonder if all these gaps in my life – the seasons lost from memory – have been lost exactly because I didn’t take the time to write them into being….

And take my waking slow

Sunday. And still in my pajamas. The skies are clear and the air is cold, and at some point I will get up from this desk, get dressed and go to the beach. It is one of those days that – in recollection tomorrow – will be smudged across my mind: leaving just a fraction…

Let Yourself Go

“speak. stumble. be seen. be known, be known. beloved.” NEIL REID I love it when the written language can give room to the misinterpretations/multiple interpretations that spoken language can offer our imagination. “Be(-)loved”: affirmative imperative verb, adjective, noun. I’ve struggled with what to call myself since I’ve committed myself to a very spiritual practice of…

What You Find in the Forest

Or what I find in the forest; I’ve been trying to speak for myself only. The pine smelled so sweet and sharp this morning. Somewhere near my solar plexus I felt a heaviness like guilt. I know it must smell this pronounced because the trees have been freshly cut. It’s not the smell of death…

Distracting the Oxpecker

I feel ridiculously self-conscious talking about writer’s block. I am one of those people who believes that all present tense descriptors only relate to the moment as it passes: not the future. And that the past is “history” and not something one can cling to in the present. Though I know we all do that…

Considering Three Pounds of Flax

I have an ambivalent relationship to aphorisms. Whether a quote is merely a platitude, or a significant expression of a deeply contemplated experience, all depends on the reader and their current frame of mind. I have noticed that when I’m scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, and register “platitude after platitude” it’s time for me to…

A Little More Conversation

“I want to be such a conversation”… is what Neil Reid said about what can become of us when we witness someone else’s examination of the world (which includes one’s self), and then take those questions into our own examination of our own world. And if one takes note of that process – could there…

Productivity as Diversion

Just to be is a blessing. RABBI ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL I have an hour to myself now. White wine, and blueberries. And noise-cancelling headphones, because the roofers are still laying the new shingles in neat and shiny rows. I am completely aware of the decadence on display in those sentences. And in the fact that…

Some Thoughts On Spaciousness

To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS I’ve been lying awake nights fearing that every phantom pain is another blood clot, and I’ve been trying to…

An Anatomy of Grief

I could begin with a broken fingernail. And sketch the lines towards my heart along the twisting bones and flesh grooved in fishbone patterns, like the mapping of tiny streams flowing towards a sea. Always flowing –along the knotty veins that rise above the surface, in vulnerable, bruised smudges of charcoal. The details are sharp,…

Cultivating My Mind

The tomatoes I replanted when they outgrew the greenhouse are now rotting greenly on the vine. I figure there is a metaphor there. The garden was never cultivated. I never cultivated the garden. The coriander sprouted – then flowered, and quickly went to seed. The beets were too crowded to thrive, and the sweet potatoes…