Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

13Aug/170

Grateful Rain

I keep putting off getting back to writing thinking I need some massive "catch up" post, butI don't really. It is just a reason and not a terribly good one. Poetry is bringing me back, something I connected with as a writer at a young age, poetry and the practice of writing.

It rained in Portland after weeks without any along with long days of hot weather. I heard it last night as I was drifting off to sleep and was overjoyed to bursting to see it this morning when I took the dogs out. Despite feeling heavy with sorry, anger, and horror at the deaths in Charlottesville yesterday due to another white, male American terrorist, I felt such a welling up of gratitude at seeing the rain breathing in the smell of ground that comes with fresh rain.

Soft raindrops falling.
Welcome lull from Summer's heat.
The garden drinks deep.

5Jan/160

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.

10Aug/140

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.

5Aug/140

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.

8Jul/140

Magnolia Haiku

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

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23Jan/140

Winter Wind

Exposed - November 17, 2013 - Portland, Oregon

 

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

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14May/131

Iris Miracles

Native Irises - May 13, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR

 

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

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30Apr/130

Fish Watching

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

 

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

28Apr/130

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,
Frogs-to-be,
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:
Plop!

26Apr/130

Sakura Clouds

Sakura Clouds - April 25, 2013 - Wilsonville, OR

 

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