Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Welcome 2016

So far the New Year has brought sleeping dogs, which is a big improvement since Bertie the Bulldog arrived in June unexpectedly.

First Nap of 2016 - January 1, 2016 - Portland, Oregon

Snow, at least for a few hours. Long enough for a two+ mile walk to, and around a nearby park.

Bertie's first experience with snow was pretty awesome. He particularly likes snowballs.

Soon after we got home from that walk the freezing rain started, leaving us with old Portland folks might call a Silver Thaw. It inspired this first poem of the New Year:

Ice envelops all.
Winter’s chill embrace lingers.
Swaying trees murmur.

Thankfully, by the time I needed to teach my first class of the year, I was able to safely drive.  My current schedule of classes around the Portland Metro area can be found on the Samatha Yoga site.

I will be heading back up to Plain, Washington, later in the month to attend a contemplative retreat lead by my teacher. It will be truly snowy; I'm looking forward to photographing the beautiful Grunewald Guild in the winter. Having already photographed summer and autumn, I'll have to think about a trip in the spring to complete a year of seasons!

Before I leave for the Guild, I'll hopefully pick up new glasses. My distance vision hasn't change that much, but my reading vision is showing my age even if I do still get carded once in a while. I've found frames, apparently made by an Italian designer who has Sir Elton John among their customers. This time the eye doctor, in discussing what they call my "photophobic eyes" (so nice to feel like I'm not making up my light sensitivity for the sake of melodrama), is suggesting a rose tint instead of yellow. That as well as a coating to filter out blue and UV. Should be much more soothing. I'm amused that I will indeed be wearing "rose colored glasses" when they're ready!

2016 will bring more teaching, new yoga classes and workshops in the works! I'll be working on my certification in Integrated Movement Therapy and my goal is to be done by the end of this year! I'm excited to continue to learn and grow into my path as a healer and teacher. I'm also hoping to attend the Northwest Yoga Conference in early March.

Some fun stuff too, as well as the intention for CK and I to do more fun adventures together. In May we'll be in Los Angeles to see The Cure at the Hollywood Bowl, which is pretty exciting. Discussing making it a road trip, camping in the van along our way south.

2015 ended with the news of my Mother's death. I'm not yet ready to write about it publicly. Not too surprisingly, she used even this to find a way to hurt and exclude me.


Full Moon, August 10, 2014

It has been kind of a tough week. Not anxious, more down, just another low of grief and anger to process. Between the session a week and a half ago and going through some photos of me as a child I've been stuck in a kind of anti-social funk all week. Once I just accepted that my week was going to include this processing, made space for it, I was able to find things I felt like I could accomplish and was also to take moments to really feel the happiness the exists concurrently, in the same space as the grief and anger.

Despite my hermit-y mood, I did make it out Friday to a neighborhood, small-business owner lunch. It was held at a place I was familiar with and knew food wouldn't be an issue. I got to practice saying things like, 'I'm a yoga teacher." and "I'm an artist" with strangers. Also practiced acknowledging I got really ill this past winter due to extreme stress and sleep disruption with both my old job and living with my Mother. I left with someone possibly interested in some private sessions to help her create a home practice she is comfortable with.

Today I got up and walked Dora then started puttering around the house most of the day. I may have over done it about, especially since there was a lot of moving stuff from upstairs to down and from down to up. However, I look around at the work done, much of it to improve my own studio space, and it feels good to make progress despite feeling a lot of aches.

After some dinner and watching a little MLS on television I went out to soak in out hot tub, listen to the frogs singing, and appreciate the "super moon" rising. We never really had any wish to have a hot tub when we were house hunting in 2012. That said, we're appreciative of the house having one that's so convenient to use (right off the kitchen on the deck). My doctor and other care-givers strongly urge me to soak every night before bed, and I do think it has been helping a lot with sleep and the level of nighttime-to-morning pain.

Tomorrow CK returns from London, briefly, before heading down to California. It will be so nice to have her company for a little while. Her laugh and made-up songs always lift my mood.

Super-moon - August 10, 2014 - Portland, Oregon



I couldn't resist a haiku in honor of tonight's moon:

Summer moon rises.
Golden and full in the sky.
Frogs sing gratitude.


August Art Break

This week CK is in London. My big goal is to try and do some good photography of the artwork I began working on this past winter. I feel like it has been a whole new expression for me. At times it is almost as if the lack of creative output during those last 18 months or so dealing with my Mother and my job just condensed into a more complete expression if that makes any sense.

Last month at the World Domination Summit (WDS) I ended up sharing my newer work with quite a few people. I was pretty blown away by the positive response and the interest to purchase pieces. I'm going to be exploring the wonders of setting up an Etsy shop in the next week or two and start selling artwork. I've also started to post about art projects, technique, etc. on our new blog, ZenZada; there's even a post up about a co-creative project I've started because of a workshop I took during WDS. I'll continue to explore what art means to me, and how it is part of my healing, here.

Last week had a tough therapy session. After nearly a month of nightmares with a pretty consistent thing, we looked into what was coming up around it. I was disappointed that it is one of those Big Trauma incidents from when I was 9, which was a year really filled with upset all around, but one thing in particular really haunts me. I always hope each time it comes up that I'll be done with it and moving on. Apparently not yet. My therapist says she thinks I need to work on forgiving my 9-year-old self.

All that and CK in London, plus my planned Saturday beach trip has been canceled due to illness. Just enough to make me sigh and feel a little blue. On the positive side, the creatures are happy to spend quiet time with me, I'm seeing a concert tomorrow evening, and this summer has had us listening to frogs singing, which suits our treehouse-feeling home perfectly.

Balloons - Portland, Oregon - July 13, 2014


Summer Haiku

Frog song in the night.
Wind whispering the bamboo.
Waxing moon arises.


Magnolia Haiku

Magnolia Scent.
Heady perfume on warm breeze.
A cicada sings.

Tagged as: , No Comments

Winter Wind

Exposed - November 17, 2013 - Portland, Oregon


Outside wind howling.
Chimes sound a cacophony.
My heart is heavy.

Tagged as: , No Comments

Iris Miracles

Native Irises - May 13, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR


Spring brings irises.
Each rising from the water.
Golden miracles.

Tagged as: , 1 Comment

Fish Watching

Swirls of Pollen - April 29, 2013 - Portland, OR


Heron still, watching.
Hoping to glimpse hiding fish.
Pollen swirls, ripples.


Frog Return

Frog Swimming - April 26, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR

With a plop
I turn to see
A frog surface,
Then glide.

All around the
Shallows there
Are great numbers
Of tiny fish
And tadpoles,
Rushing from my
Great shadow.

Other poets have
Described it better,
Yet still, that "plop"
Of a the frog surfacing,
Inspired poets anew
Each spring.

**Here's Bashō's haiku about ponds and frogs, as translated by Alan Watts:

The old pond,
A frog jumps in:


Sakura Clouds

Sakura Clouds - April 25, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR


Clouds of sakura.
Delicate petals drifting.
Softest, sweetest snow.


April Moon

Yesterday I forgot my personal laptop on my desk at my office. I'd had it with me while taking Mom to her labwork and forgot to drop it off at the house when I took Mom home. Yes, I could have borrowed one of CK's laptops or I could have typed something up on my tablet, but instead I just wrote down a haiku inspired by the gorgeous April full moon.

Old School - April 25, 2013 - Portland, OR

Not sure why there aren't moon-viewing gatherings in the spring, perhaps the weather is less likely to be lovely as it is in autumn. Our new deck is perfect for watching the moon rise and track across the sky. Clearly an autumn party will need to be planned for.

April Moon - April 25, 2013 - Portland, OR

The text of the haiku, if it is too hard to read the tiny picture of it:

Bunny hopping up.
Golden Spring moonrise above.
I gaze in delight.