The Heart as a Flower

By on Dec 14, 2015 in callings, Flow

I’m at the ocean a lot, so it’s true, I have many, many pictures of the ocean. Maybe it’s because I lived so far from it for so many years that I never tire of it and could keep posting pictures of it and I don’t know about all of you, but I would never be bored. When I lived in Santa Fe winter would come too soon and it was already a quiet life but it would get tortuously quiet. During the day I would hike on my favorite trail that wound its way through the woods and along the stream that was iced over. It got dark so early and it was so cold. In the last place I lived I would spend maybe $350 a month on heat but it never got warm. I would get in bed just after sundown because I ached so much with the cold. And the quiet I’m talking about is the quiet of having everything slow down so much to the point where there literally is little distraction and all...

Entering the Shrine

By on Mar 26, 2014 in callings, Poems

Entering the Shrine   I   It was a tough week not just for me but seemed like it was tough for everyone. S said she was deep in the thick of it with her relationship. I said, I’m deep in the thick of it and I’m not in a relationship. It’s bad, really bad. Then she pulled out a koan her teacher had given her that week. It spoke of being caught in a rain storm and finding a shelter for oneself, a shelter which for the sake of this discussion could also be a shrine. Who is the Self? What is the Shrine? The nature of koans. I had to admit I didn’t get it. I said, you gotta help me out here. I said, I went to the movies and I cried. I went to the library and I cried. I cried driving home from the library. I cried when I got home. Everywhere I went this truth: that I want to write poetry and read poetry, eat poetry, peddle poetry, sleep with poetry. If this is God speaking to me...

A Trip to the Lagoon

By on Feb 28, 2014 in Authenticity, callings, Flow, frugal, los angeles, poetry

Recently I went with my friend and her daughter to a nearby lagoon. Who knew Long Beach had a lagoon? I’d actually driven by it plenty of times but I did not know it was a lagoon. I thought a lagoon was where the black creatures lived, or a beautiful blue place where young people got de-virginized. Anyway. It was foggy. The light was lovely. We walked around the lagoon and came across a tree full of bright orange blooms, which I wasn’t able to capture effectively with my tiny digital camera. But I got a shot of its lost petals adorning the grass beneath it. Still on a mission to find beauty where I am (and nearby where I am). I am very excited about a slow shift in my thinking towards simple living. (Partial definition, as seen on Google: “Voluntary simplicity, or simple living, is a way of life that rejects the high-consumption, materialistic lifestyles of consumer...

The First Step

By on Feb 25, 2014 in Authenticity, callings, spirituality

The first step, detachment or withdrawal, consists in a radical transfer of emphasis from the external to the internal world, macro- to microcosm, a retreat from the desperations of the waste land to the peace of the everlasting realm that is within.

Joseph Campbell, Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion

The Call

By on Feb 21, 2014 in Authenticity, callings

The call is to leave a certain social situation, move into your own loneliness and find the jewel, the center that’s impossible to find when you’re socially engaged. You are thrown off center, and when you feel off-center, it’s time to go. This is the departure when the hero feels something has been lost and goes to find it. You are to cross the threshold into a new life. It’s a dangerous adventure, because you are moving out of the sphere of the knowledge of you and  your community.

Joseph Campbell, Reflections on the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion

Art & Politics

By on Nov 5, 2013 in art, Authenticity, callings, los angeles, systems

We finished reading Down and Out in Paris and London while driving to the tide pools at Abalone Cove on Sunday. I loved how Orwell explored poverty by living through it and then used his writing to convey impactful political ideas. We have quickly moved on to a Penguin Books collection of Orwell’s essays called Why I Write. (I am NUTS for the design of this book, by the way – it has some wonderful, embossed typography on the cover and is in every way aesthetically respectable.) In the title essay he talks about how he switched from a more florid style of writing to a more straightforward and simple construction and how, though he referred to himself as a “pamphleteer,” what he wanted was to make art of his political writing. I find it interesting that I seem to unintentionally be coming across a theme lately – of how art can affect social and political...


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