Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I've decided to start using this photo of myself as my profile photo. Until now, I've been reluctant to show that I've been aging and becoming more frail. I've been hesitant to let others see that I am not in the robust health that I managed to portray for the last ten years.

Last July, during a particularly auspicious astrological period, when Saturn entered Libra at the time of a full moon, a lunar eclipse and grand cross, I started to have some health problems. It was the same time that I saw my Beloved Teacher for our last time in these physical bodies. He himself became ill and left his body on the first of October. That is also my birth date.

Since then, I seem to have a weakening of my body. I am not as strong as I used to be. Maybe it is just leaky gut syndrome or a loss of strength after having shingles. Maybe my will to live is decreasing. Maybe it is transition and transformation time again.

In my life is a partner who loves to photograph my image. He continually takes photos and makes movies of me. Sometimes I wonder if he does this so that he can show younger women that he has a frumpy wife/partner. But in my heart, I know that he loves me and does not see me as frail and sick. He photographs me because he sees what he loves, and he loves to photograph the object of his love. Because of the rash on my face, the puffiness of my eyes, or my tired stature, I want to politely ask him to refrain from taking movies and photos of me, but I don't want to squash his happiness.

In this photo, we are in Big Bend National Park in Southern Texas. It is a few days after the tsunami hit Japan. We are at the Rio Bravo. Just across the river is Mexico. It is a breezy evening and we are walking along the U.S. Border, after having found a cache of hand made items for sale from someone who boats to the U.S. to dispense fork art treasures. We paid six-dollars in cash for a copper wire scorpion, placing our dollars in a glass jar to an unknown vendor.

My partner continued to snap photos of the U.S. river border, the landscape and scenery. We walked together along the river. He asked me to turn around because he wanted to take a photo of me. When I looked at him, I felt so much love for him and I saw his love for me. It was one of those precious moments that I like to remember of being with Michael.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Noxious Weeds

Early spring gives me a chance to do some urban foraging. I was inspired by an excellent blog writer from an Eastern state to discover the health benefits of noxious weeds and early spring plants. At the same time as I explore, I find that I am having an explosive episode of eczema. For the first time in more than fifty years, my face is overrun with red inflammation and papery flaking. This happens on the day of the wedding of wonderful friends who I traveled over fourteen hundred miles to see.

But back to the noxious weeds component. I've been making meals using the famous garlic mustard that is popping up along roadsides and in dark places behind garages and barns. I create various pestos, using the garlic mustard with watercress or lettuce or arugula. It seems healthy and a great idea. But a question is buried inside that wonders about what kinds of toxins were dumped in the habitat of the garlic mustard? Do those toxins enter into the plant and then into the people who eat the plant? Or have the toxins been transformed through photosynthesis and other actions of the sprites and faires?

I am grateful for the transformation of a toxic atmosphere and earth, to a nurturing planet by the grace of the plants.

This is somewhat disjointed, but I write and post while doing a cazillion things prior to attending the wedding.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Church Street Ashram

I've returned to the Church Street Ashram, a quiet little living space near downtown Stevens Point. It offers me a chance to live simply and quietly.

Although I've been here during the winter months to experience the rich solitude and winter darkness of the Solstice, I appreciate the transformation of late spring into summer.

The kitchen is tiny and inspires simple meals. Mostly, I eat from the local farm market, items I've foraged near the river or precious greens from the gardens of friends. Suddenly, garlic mustard is coming into everyone's garden. I eat well and believe I will be preparing a jar of garlic mustard kimchi before the end of this week.

One of my favorite features at the ashram is my bedroom. My head faces to the east. On the other side of the wall and out the open window, is a wildly growing bed of big black cap blackberries. In this urban landscape, what are the chances that I can sleep indoors, yet mingle and sleep with the wild blackberries as their foliage expands and pushes into my sleeping space?

This is an urban ashram, with no physical guru or guide. There are no rules. The residents follow a chanting practice, live at their own pace and keep their guru close to their hearts. Satsang is usually spontaneous depending on the daily schedule.

I've been following several other bloggers who inspired me to write here today.