Where the Wood Drake Rests

“[… ] I come to into the peace of wild things / who do not tax their lives with forethought / of grief.”from “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry This morning E. stops me in the kitchen and wraps his arms around me, and I find it annoying – this intrusion into my…

Continuing on a Theme

Practicing contentment is a radical act in a consumption-driven society. ROBIN WALL KIMMERER It’s interesting that after years of charting my moods on the advice of therapists with various degrees, the Buddhist teacher I listen to now talks about “feelings”. In this system of categorizing, there are only three feelings: pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Moods…

What I Need to Hear

This morning things seemed to edge into a familiar groove. E. is home again, and Leonard stuck his cold nose in my face just before the clock went off. Dog bladders make the most urgent alarm clocks. I let Leonard out to pee, E. and I pull on wool clothes and running shoes and head…

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…

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…

Easing Mornings

The world is changed by your example, not your opinion. PAUL COEHLO With all the words of wisdom printed and spoken among us, it’s easy to forget that words are not wisdom – are not whole incantations. They are abstractions, shadows and lures. We stand on ceremony. Recipes must be followed: eye of newt obtained…

A Limited Range of Motion

I’m still waiting for the results of the second MRI. The doctor says it can verify a slipped disk, or cancer. But if it’s stress-induced, well – I function too well to qualify for a counselling referral. Despite my previous diagnoses. We go through the side effects for the various pain killer options. I opt…

Without Filters

Finally having returned to morning practice, I’ve moved back into my body – with the nudging aches and unexpected pains. With the roundness and the wrinkles. I’m making the required effort of moving with ease now. I’ve settled into my fears and found them – tolerable. I mean: what’s the alternative? The world keeps turning,…

Coming to My Senses

I’m taking a break from social media, and I’ve removed all the news apps from my phone, save the New York Times and NRK. I get up at 5 and do yoga and meditation before I check the news. I figure, if the world is ending, I will have squeezed another peaceful half-hour of life before it does. I’m not saying ignorance is bliss, but why forfeit all that is good?

About Everything But

I worry that my children are still ashamed or embarrassed by me. I still talk too loudly – an American voice is placed in the mask – it carries (in more ways than one). It’s a matter of physics. What am I going to do? Adopt an accent?

It strikes me as funny that this of all things probably allows me to claim status as a “first-generation immigrant” (as opposed to expat): Worrying that your cultural traits will embarrass my children.

Or it would, if first-generation immigrant wasn’t code for something else.

Do you still miss living here? Miss being an immigrant? Are you happy with the unexpected repatriation in terms of your identity? Sometimes I forget which one of you is actually Norwegian: you or M.

What I Mean By Staying Open

Things were good now, but they would change, and even that was a good thing. The way things are supposed to be.

This feeling is my definition of gratitude. It involves an element of submission, an acceptance and appreciation. It is lying in Savasana, palms up and open.

Mountain Pose

Maybe we aren’t meant to think about our feet. Not meant to flatten them against the earth, making conscious contact with the ground. The weight, and the sinking into our bodies, into the earth in Mountain Pose…