Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Gratitude – November 2012 Update

"Oriental Beauty" tea, an Oolong with peachy flavors

It has been busy. This year has been made of busy. No glorification of Busy here, just an observation. We'll all be happy to see the end of 2012.

A lot has been done. I am filled with gratitude for all that we've managed to accomplish this year.

CK and I bought a new house and are renting the old one to a friend who found herself is real need of a place amenable to her companion animals.

I spoke at a conference in September in Orlando at Walt Disney World. I've now been at EPCOT (the leading favorite) and have ridden on the Its a Small World ride (freaky, freaky).

Work was all kinds of extra crazy around this time too. I'm ending the year with quite a lot done, CK attributes much of this to my being a workaholic (a bit) at a company full of other workaholics.

We got home. Packed. I rather dropped the ball on helping with the move, but we've moved on from although I'm still feeling bad about it. Working on that.

We moved and are in that limbo of not really knowing where just everything is yet.

Mom moved in with us at the end of October. We've already had a fire truck at the house due to a low blood sugar. We're learning.

Yes, it is hard. Worth it, but hard.

I'm feeling rather worn down by the year and hate that it is really showing. CK suggested today that I should take a weekend away by myself to just rest. I'm thinking about it.

Took a few minutes to just sit down and have some tea before tackling the week's grocery shopping today. We had a little bit of time this week between the holiday and a flurry of medical appointments for Mom to go to Powell's and I picked up Mary Oliver's book of poetry, Why I Wake Early.

The poem Bone in it really caught me for the whole cup of tea. Still has me caught, and here it is:



Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape –

and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died

hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something –
for the ear bone


is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where

once, in the lively swimmer’s head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only

two inches long –
and thought: the soul
might be like this –
so hard, so necessary –


yet almost nothing.
Beside me
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,

unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn’t see anything
through its dark-knit glare;

yet don’t we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it


lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts –
certainties –
and what the soul is, also

I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,

but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.