Whales in the Village

Dreaming in the Exile:
There are whales in a large pool/ pond at little town where I am staying. I remember watching a video of a woman who could talk to whales, so I try making those sounds, and they come to where I am. One of them, a little orca with a toothy grin, keeps finding colored dice on the bottom of the pool and spitting them out of the water at me. When I throw them back, the little orca chases them–like a dog–and brings them back.

Later, I take a dawn walk from my bungalow through the village. I stop to check on friends, and hear beautiful piano music from the front of the house (my friends rent the back). I realize that the man who lives there knows I make this walk every day, and plays his piano every morning just for me. Later, someone in the village is hurting, and one of my students stands up and takes charge, without any panic, and calmly takes the person to the hospital. I am proud or her.

Thinking: I have dreamed of whales before, and it always seems to signal some big thing in my deeper layers of self, something wanting to make itself known. Usually I encounter dream-whales in pools and ponds. This one was in a village, and so I think it may be connected to something in my Deep Self connecting to the importance of my village right now, of the ways we check up on each other, the ways we play, the ways we make music and poetry and art to delight each other, the way we rise to the needs of the occasion. I am proud of us. Of you.

( My family does not like dice games as much as I do, but today, I think I am going to do the mama-beg, and get them to play some Tenzi with me.)


Gratitude List:
1. Phoebe and red-winged blackbird have added their voices to the chorus.
2. Redbuds and cherry trees are blooming. Forsythia is blooming. Welcome, Spring!
3. In the midst of chaos and anxiety, I love the strong voice and careful speech of PA’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine. She exudes competence.
4. The Village of All of You.
5. Jon Weaver-Kreider

Take care of each other!

On the Dream Scene

In the dream, I am back in a little town where I have often found myself in dreams. It’s a fully realized little town, with neighborhoods and trees and people and traffic. It’s miles away from any other town or city, out in a scrubby desert. On the outskirts of town are several truckyards–I suppose this is the source of the town’s thriving economy. But this is something I know from previous dreams about the place.
**
In this particular dream, we are living in a house (that I think belongs to us or a friend). People come and go through the property, and the path leads over a steep, muddy embankment in the corner of the yard. When I skid down over the hill, I realize at the bottom that the mud and grass cover an enormous quartz crystal “colony.” Some beautiful points are visible beneath the mud. Bits have broken off, and points and broken pillars of crystal scatter the lower yard. They’re so clear and shiny, even amidst the mud that they look almost more like Herkimer Diamonds than Quartz. I collect LOTS of random pieces, and someone has left baskets of stones and little carvings and treasures on the sidewalk near our house. I know that they are for us, if we want them, so I decide to come back and get them later, along with several of the more beautiful quartz bits.
**
A little later, we’re going to eat lunch at the cafe in the community center (which might also be our house, or next to our house). We’ve gone to taste the Bhaktar (not a waking-life word or recipe), which is a cracker-like bread crumbled into a bowl with a creamy soup poured over top. On the way in, we pass a student of mine who is taking people’s orders. She looks at me and says, “Have you ever seen James Kinder’s wife? She reminds me so much of you!” I google them, and it turns out that she is the creative director of the plays and events at the community center.

After lunch, we watch some of the dancers preparing a performance at the community center. I don’t think James Kinder’s wife looks or acts anything like me. She reminds me a bit of Amanda Palmer, someone with a lot of creative energy and vision, which I really admire, but super vampy/campy in her own aspect, which makes me feel uncomfortable and awkward. I wonder if people perceive me as vampy and insincere. Not that she is insincere, really. I just can’t get past the vampy-style mask to make a human connection. I wonder if people think of me as wearing too much of a mask to really get to know me.

The dance performance they’re preparing is amazing. Back stage (or maybe on stage), I make friends with the Kinders’ sweet black cat.
**
A little later, my whole family is gathered at our house. Everyone seems to have something they really want to do right there at the house, but I want to explore the town. Finally, I get up the nerve to tell everyone that I would like to go window shopping. They sort of chuckle, but they don’t make fun of me for wanting to shop. I say it’s because I want to get the steps on my step-counter.
**
Just as I am waking up, I find myself fascinated with how my legs and arms move as I am walking up the hill, and I realize that I am actually in someone else’s body. I’m not sure if anyone else notices. I enjoy the odd experience of being in a different body. Her limbs are long and thin and very dark brown. I’ve tripped and scratched her knee, but I don’t feel the hurt.
**
A small ginger cat in the waking world is licking my cheek, and someone is meowing in the hall to say that no one filled the cat food bowl before we went to bed, so the dream ended and the day began.


Gratitude List:
1. Sincerity and honesty. People who can interact without too much of the mask.
2. While I am tired of the recent days of constant waking in the night, the waking brings the memories of dreams, and dreams are fascinating, and they offer me clues to my deeper self.
3. New strategies for handling the workload. There’s always hope that another way to organize will help me keep up with things better this time.
4. Reading books to a small person. I’m going to string this out as long as he can take it. He still demands that we read every night.
5. The interplay between language and ideas. In AP Comp, we watched a TED talk by Lera Boroditsky on how language shapes thought, and I am finding that the video itself is giving me new language for thinking about how vocabulary actually directs the shape of abstract ideas.

May we walk in Beauty!

Stand Still

garden peach
Garden Peach tomatoes. Sweet, juicy, almost fruity. These two happen to be heart-shaped.

Reading Parker Palmer this morning, I again came across this poem by David Wagoner. I had such a strong reaction to this when I first read it a couple years ago that I can still recall how my skin felt as the words took hold.

Lost
by David Wagoner, from Collected Poems 1956-1976

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. you must let it find you.

Gratitude List:
1. She might not be gone. I was certain that the hummingbird had left her nest, either abandoning her eggs as unviable, or getting too skittish about all the activity below her. This is the sort of thing I worry about. Yesterday, I watched her zip up to the nest, and instead of sitting on it like she usually does, she perched on the rim, and stuck her beak down into the nest. I can’t be positive, but this appeared to be the behavior of someone feeding young ones. Holding out hope.
2. Jumping spiders. They’re sort of like teeny tiny puppies, only you don’t have to worry about who is going to take care of them. Yesterday, I encountered a tiny brown jumping spider who kept leaping from finger to finger. It was like she understood where I wanted her to jump to next. She would race toward me across the vast distance of my hand, and then look up at me, and then when the people at the picnic table laughed, she would suddenly stop and twist her body so she could look at them, and then we would resume our little game.
3. The village that raises the children. My kids hadn’t seen Sandra for several weeks, and yesterday when she came, they raced to her and couldn’t stop bending her ear. She listens to them, she converses at their level, but never talks down to them.
4. Also, the schools. Last night was Back to School night at Wrightsville Elementary. I love the teachers and administration and staff at this local elementary school. I love the friendly, earnest culture of the place.
5. Encountering Beauty–in words, in the visual realm, in the aural realm. Sort of like encountering that little spider–there are moments when Beauty seems to say, “I get you. I am here to play with you for this one bright shining moment.”

May we walk in Beauty!

Lego Factory Explosion

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“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time.  So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”  ~~ Fred Rogers

In this story, there are two boys.  Their Mama’s cousin came for a visit one day, and while she was there, she listened to them and she watched them and she noticed them.  Not in that overwhelming way that some of us do sometimes, that actually draws more attention to the adult and makes the child anxious, but quietly and thoughtfully.  Just aware of who they are.

The next week, when she had gone home, two boxes arrived in the mail, addressed to the boys.  The cousin was giving them her old Lego blocks.  Gearhead Boy received a special bagful of gears in his box, and Racecar Boy received racecars in his (“Look!  You can make them crash together, and they come apart!  And then you just put them back together again!)  They felt noticed and known.

Isn’t that really what our Work is about?  We’re here to notice each other, to let each other know that we see who they are.  Sometimes it’s just a raise of the eyebrows in the middle of a conversation, and you know that person gets you, sees you.  Sometimes it happens when someone asks you just the right question at the right moment, totally heart-open to listen to your truth.  Sometimes it occur when someone says, “You have been working so hard at that task.  That must be really important to you.”

In some Christian practices, people seek the Christ in each other, look for the living Incarnation of the Divine in those around them.  Wouldn’t healing seep into all our crevices if we watched for the beauty and truth of the Great Mystery in each person we met?  How might our perspectives on each other shift?  How might our world change?

Gratitude List:
1. The Village.  Noticing.  Loving.  Healing.
2. Corn on the cob
3.  Summer Storm
4.  Green beans
5.  Pie R Shared.  It is all gone now, but it helped to create the circle as completely as any equation.  Pie R Best Shared.

May we Walk in Beauty!  So much love, People!  So much love.

Luna, Hen, and Living in the Village

2013 August 270 2013 August 274

Gratitude List:
1.  Luna Moth
2.  Halo of morning sun around a black hen on dewy grass coming to greet me in the morning.
3. The parenting village–we don’t have to do it all alone, don’t have to figure it out all alone.
4.  Dissatisfaction and satisfaction: a two-sided coin.  Right now, I am exploring dissatisfaction as a means to avoid complacency and getting-stuck-in-a-rut-ness.
5.  Ellis is reading Calvin and Hobbes cartoons to Joss.

May we walk in Beauty, fly in Beauty.

Begin the Revolution

A poem about the middle, about the anti-polarity.

We have danced so far
toward opposite poles
that we’ve become magnetic,

drawing each other closer
as we pull so frantically apart.
Our rhetoric and plans may seem

so utterly opposed, but
tones and tactics grow
so similar.  At times

they’re indistinguishable.
Today’s most radical,
most Revolutionary route

might be–perhaps–to take a step
towards the center, at least
in tone or tactic,

in the face of opposition
and defiance to throw up
a wall of joy, a flag of heart.

 

Prompt for Monday

I’ve been wanting to do a dream poem.  Since tonight is the Full Wolf Moon, I thought I might ask that wolf to send me a meaningful dream and use that for my poem tomorrow.  If I don’t retain a dream in the morning, I’ll make something up.  Heh.  Join me?

 

Gratitude List:

1.  Wolf Moon rising, caught in the branches of the locusts on the ridge
2.  Fiery orange sunset
3.  Sun dogs
4.  Women of the Faire, and roasted garlic, goat cheese, and hot pepper jam
5.  The village who raises our children: Be kind.  Be safe.

Much love.  May we walk in beauty.

Grandma making peanut butter cups:

Gma PB Cups