This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Message From My Father

My father was an aqua guy.  He LOVED the water.  Close to 82 years old, he road ocean waves weeks prior to his death.  I often think of him during my ocean swims, imagining being together or he is at least smiling through whatever veil separates us currently.  This sense was with me yesterday as I bobbed around the waves.

Last night in a dream my father and I were swimming together, diving through the surf, talking in-between.  Through this experience I received a message about an acquaintance in waking life.  This acquaintance lost a father recently.  I came to understand how the father's death relates to a situation someone else, a person close to me, has to handle.  Due to the nature of our relationship it was appropriate to relay the insight.  We'll see if it helps.  Maybe, maybe not.  That's the way these things go. 

Beneath the surface of normal waking experience is a flood of energy, information and ideas.  Stephen King refers to it as mining fossils.  Alan Moore describes it as a river.  Isn't this the concept referred to in the title of Edgar Cayce's biography There Is A River?  It has been pondered, written about and discussed for ages.  When I'm lucky or open (or quite thick to the point of desperation, "in the squeeze" I call it), it gets tapped, somehow and sometimes without trying.

My father was not one for discussing the unknown, the mysterious but he did so for the first time (with me anyway) less than a year prior to his death.*  The conversation seems to have been preparatory.  Since his passing there have been notable experiences where he has reached me. It goes with who he was/is: a soulful, helpful person.  His return to lend support doesn't surprise me, especially since that one notable discussion took place.

Although recollections are vague his guidance from the other side is subtle.  I hold on to less and less detail as I've learned to keep loose with regard to mystical experience so as not to strangle the flow.  But what strengthens is the knowing of when the deep, strong cord of mystery has been touched. 

The healthy skeptic within says perhaps all this is the subconscious at work.  This is fine too.  I do not resist healthy doubt.  And isn't the mind a mystery onto itself anyway?  But... I've seen enough to feel the forces exist to assist.  Thank God.  I will not suggest anyone believe it its existence.  Whether others believe or not is their business, not mine.  

* See the post from November 1st, 2011


Stephen King, Alan Moore, Joseph Campbell and William Blake all appreciate/appreciated flaws, grit, the need for change as portals for the divine.  Be it grains of sand in an oyster transforming into a pearl or the editing process of creative work:  The Call invites Grace.  We are not alone in the quagmire.  Powers greater than ourselves enter to assist.

If there's a stone in your shoe sometimes you just have to pull it out and move on down the road.  Other times your job is to step outside habit, let go and partner with and listen to the accompanying force.

I feel how this is a theme in The Bhagavad Gita and I experience the story in a new way now.  [Wisdom contained within sacred texts sometimes enter awareness in between reads.  Insightful while reading, yes, but sometimes one drops into new levels of understanding after the book has been idle on the shelf.]     

To move beyond mind constructs with all its excuses, fear and denial is the practice, or at least a beginning?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Julie Rappaport

I contacted Julie Rappaport, author and compiler of the book 365 Yoga, to request permission to copy one of her passages on this blog.  She gave permission and asked if she could post my 4/13/12 Yoga Lineage essay on her blog, to which I said yes of course. 

See 6/26/12, 4/13/12 and 4/9/12 for the posts of and about Julie's work.  

Link to Julie's website:

Amazon link:

The Equilizing Nature of Nature

Last Sunday while swimming in the ocean a little fish hopped into my mouth.  This was a first.  After I spit it out, with the lingering taste of well, fish, my mind journeyed through the idea that something like this was bound to happen.  My first ocean swim launched from my father's arms when I was 9 months old (while members of the immediate and extended family freaked out from shore).  Since then I've spent a lot of time in the ocean and other open bodies of water.  As though the little fish incident was a badge of accomplishment or something the ego-self attached to it with the assuming streak of aquatic specialness.  I had united with nature in a new way and in a manner I figured few had. 

A few days later while walking my dog, something I'd never seen before fell from above past my head and landed near my feet onto the end of a neighbor's paved driveway.  Then another.  The shape and color looked familiar only it was sized-down.  I stepped back, looked up and made out the faint shape of a squirrel in a southward sweeping live oak branch.  I was almost shat on by a squirrel for the first time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Creative Expanse

I've heard the phrase "life is a school" enough to know it doesn't resonated with me.  I prefer to embrace the creative principle instead.  We are here to explore the miracle of our creation.  Asking questions along the way will not only serve in the direction of humility but keep one bright and inspired.  I aim to observe rather than claim something in particular.  It’s a little anarchistic but to nail down a “this is it, this is the answer” is a presumption I am not ready to make, and maybe never will.  For me, a reductionist approach doesn't work.  Casting a wide net makes far more sense.  In doing so, it is interesting how seemingly unrelated experiences and things share common threads.  Maybe the "life is a school" phrasing will align with my senses if I recall the handful of teachers and subjects that helped me see the expanse, where and how it connects and what it means to me as a human being. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Peak Experience While On The Land

I was away in the North Country with my husband for about 10 days.  Although I brought my laptop for blog writing it never made it out of the bag.  When I'm up there a lot of time is spent outdoors. In college I read Woodswoman by Anne Labastille.  I recall how she described the way her body would firm-up within a week of returning to cabin life and soften again when she re-entered "civilization".  Now, my lifestyle up there is nothing like hers but I do a lot of physical work.  And physical work being good for the soul is what I'm going to write about here.

The stance on physical labor can go in several directions.  If you have to do it, it's not so pleasurable.  Where I'm with it, at least right now, is more like George W. Bush clearing brush on his ranch.  I could hire locals to do the things I'm doing but I want to engage and do it myself.  If you've ever seen the cult film Office Space, you'll remember the appreciation for outdoor physical work summed up in 2 words and repeated twice towards the end of the movie: "F***in'-A."

While stacking a cord of wood by myself I had a peak moment.  [I need to record the 5-6 peak life moments rattling around in my head.]  It was a hot, humid day.  It was a lonely couple of hours spent behind the garage going between the north-side where the stack was being created and the east-side where the guy dumped the pile.  There's no view except for many white pines, the county road, an A-frame house belonging to a quiet night-shift worker & day sleeper and a trailer where an elderly man with a colorful past lives with his kitten. But he's slowing down and he doesn't come out to visit as much anymore.  The man that is.

Towards the end of my task I decided to use the pickup truck to move the last of the pile a little closer to the house.  Keeping most of the wood away from living quarters is best because field mice and ants take up residence.  But when several feet of snow is on the ground reducing the snowshoe distance in half can be a relief, especially when the Arctic wind cuts down the river valley, into the lake valley then into our open meadow.  So, I loaded up the bed of the truck and while driving it around I turned on the radio set to a classic rock station.  Parked at the edge of a high ravine I stacked overlooking hills in a pre-sunset and pre-storm period.  As I unloaded and stacked wood thunder rumbled. Led Zeppelin played on the radio. My right wrist twinged from overuse, my left arm was bruising up from using it to cradle wood, my skin was drenched with sweat, the yucky "land clothes" were yuckier and my tangled hair surely held bugs. It was bliss.  I thought, "If lightening gets me right now I will die happy."       

This is nothing profound but in that moment I reflected on asana and how it is physical work we voluntarily engage in.  I thought about our woods class back in Virginia and how I'm not sure if I'll really synch with indoor classes again.  I thought about my possible future and how it may take me to live in the North Country.  Where will asana fit in my life outside of being a form of physical therapy?  Would I even approach the body in asana form to feel the deep life energy when I feel absolutely alive breathing deeply out of necessity and applying my physical being to shape the land in order to sustain and nourish myself and others?

So as I sit here now, the deltoids that were full and strong 4 days ago are getting smaller by the day.  My middle is plumping up.  Without some sort of seemingly contrived effort I doubt my legs will be challenged like the were when I was cutting 4' tall weeds in the southeast field around the blackberry canes and loving every second of it.