One: life is precious.

Two: life is sacred.

Three: I feel the weight of this loss.

Four: It is a loss.

Five: We all choose everything.

Six: They made there choices

Seven: And yet. And still. This is loss.

Eight: Heart breaks.

Nine: Loss in the world, reaching the internet for all of us to bear witness to. 

Ten: Bear witness.

Eleven: I think of my sons. They are still alive.

Twelve: I am deeply loved.

Thirteen: Motherless child.

Fourteen: Man without his wife.

Fifteen: Sister without a sister.

Sixteen: Family without a father.

Seventeen: Lover without.

Eighteen: 25% increase in taking your own life in last 20 years.

Nineteen: Where are they going?

Twenty: Where are we headed?

Twenty-one: The brevity.

Twenty-two: Is there a new dimension we’ve yet to learn about?

Twenty-three: Is it better to stay?

Twenty-four: Who gets to decide?

Twenty-five: We. Never. Know. Anything. 

Twenty-six: “She seemed fine, happy.”

Twenty-seven: “There was no indication.”

Twenty-eight: Repeat: We. Never. Know.

Twenty-nine: Lifeline (s). Can we be?

Thirty: She said, “I’ll be your lifeline.”




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Are We Listening ?





Are We Listening?

I thought of Syrians while breaking down pieces of cardboard.

thinking their normal is bombs exploding.


Driving on the freeway thinking, I’m free.


is free.

What is the countermeasure to war?

What is the response to buffoonery?

What is your ethnicity?

What is the difference between caucasian and white?

Are we afro american, black, african?

Are we native american, native, indians, indigenous, the first americans?

Are you an american and, are you proud?

Am i straight, gay, bi-sexual, cis, binary, FtM, MtF, celibate, agender, asexual.


Am i human?

Are you buddhist, catholic, atheist, christian, muslim, sufi, hindu, jew, anarchist?

Do you believe in a God, Goddess, matriarchy, patriarchy, Vishnu, Krishna, Buddha, Allah, a power greater than yourself?

Is someone/are their those greater than yourself?

By the authority vested in me; who’s authority? 



Do you have authority over me? Me over you?

Can we flatten the hierarchy? 

Who is the hierarchy?

Can music solve everything?

and writing?





Are we all makers and have simply forgotten?

Is something worth it only if you struggle? 

If you don’t struggle/fight for/resist/demand, does this mean you’re not worthy of?

When did we become valuable? 

Were we valued at birth? Born “with value”,

Does one bestow value upon?

When did you forget your value and why did you believe him/her/them/you?

Did God give you your worth?

Who is God?

Was Mary your intercessor?

Was Jesus the son of God?

Could you live in a tent? Do you? Is the roof over your head the open sky?

Do you know where your next meal is coming from?

Do you remember the sound of silence?

of birdsong?

of your child’s laughter?

life without tanks and guns and mortars, and helicopters and air raids and bombs bursting filled with nails and glass and metal to do more damage?

first light of dawn,

the soft touch of another’s love.

Do you remember feeling safe? Can you trust?

Are we all going mad?

Has the 100th monkey been revealed?

Is the tipping point?

Are the paradigms shifting?

Are you enlightened?

Have you experienced satori?



the rapture?

Are you experienced?

Have you been loved? Are you in love?

Do you know love?

Do you know you are love?

Do we need to know war to know peace?

Can we be kind? Do you know how?

Is there experience beyond good and evil?

A third/fourth/fifth thing?

Outside the two contrasts?

Can we live without duality?

Is contrast required for understanding?

Do you doubt/is there fear?

Can you trust?

Have faith.



Are we human?

Can you hear?

Are we listening?

Are we?

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On Behalf of the Unknown Women

On Behalf of the Unknown Women

Women’s lineage chart, in a zip-locked bag, a bird in a cage.
Nursing the wooden floor like a nightingale,
hushed tones of white.
Bow to the statue, deity with sword; the bow, a cut.

Light the incense smoke wafting through morning rays.
Hands folded in gassho, supplication the only report.
Intimacy of robe, like the lineage she carries on her body,
folded secrets held by the undertow.

The monastery, once a sanctuary, proves the true prison.
Authority conferred, like a king to his consort, made real.
We chant, “to all the unknown women”; backhanded nod,
we are all complicit.

Tender hearted, I find the queen inside,
Set free in flight like the phoenix rising
ashes become her new robe.


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The Logic of Faith: A Buddhist Approach to Finding Certainty Beyond Belief and Doubt, by Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel (book review)



I’ve been anxiously awaiting a new book from Elizabeth since reading her first title, “The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha’s Path to Freedom”, in 2011. (and, a must read!)

In Elizabeth’s new offering, “The Logic of Faith: A Buddhist Approach to Finding Certainty Beyond Belief and Doubt”, she provides a template to navigate your life and this world. Pratityasamutpada, or dependent origination, a seemingly heady concept to wrap one’s head around, is communicated with an elegance and clarity rarely found with this type of material. Terms such as emptiness, impermanence, and dependent arising are given a breath of fresh air with Elizabeth’s ability to make these ancient teachings available and timely. Make sure to listen to the audio versions of the “analytical meditations” she guides you through (available at the publisher’s website). They are a central part of this book.

Elizabeth puts heart into the word logic and proposes we take another look at our understanding of faith from a much broader view. She asks us to experience faith as a verb, “faithing” and to feel the depths of these “analytical” investigations, aside from an intellectual pursuit. I can’t recommend this book enough! Filled with her passion and care of the Buddha’s teachings and the Middle Way, this is a book to be read and savored again and again.

My deepest gratitude for Elizabeth continuing to inspire me to stay open and curious and seek out the magic that is available by simply making the time, and looking!

**Here’s a live link for Elizabeth’s book!


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In Memory Implicit

IMG_5738 (2).jpg

I got my hair cut yesterday. The hairstylist next to me was without client and sitting in her chair musing about events in the news: “And what about that guy in Hollywood and all the women…” what took them so long to come forward?” Sitting in my chair, eyes closed while my hairstylist snipped away, I could feel a soft roiling bubbling in the area of my solar plexus.

~center of the ribcage, a folding in from the outside~

You see, earlier in the day, I’d spent quite a bit of time reading news events as well. What struck me most and was sitting in my gut when this question was posed were two videos. One, on YouTube by actress, Rachel Evan Wood and the other, an interview on BBC with Emma Thompson, (also an actress). Both women were commenting on the latest “scandal” in Hollywood committed by a famous powerful producer. (I’ll use HW for reference sake).

Rachel’s 14 minute monologue was so moving and clear it aroused in me a movement forward in my own healing and evolution.
Writing this.

Rachel specifically addresses this question of why “they don’t come forward” and “waited so long.” In short, because I encourage you to watch the video, she says, “she is scared.” She stated, every time a victim has to tell her/his story it re-traumatizes the individual. And, there is a price to pay, both emotionally and financially. (that of taking the perpetrator to trial). Then she posited, “Are we asking the right questions?” Not what is going to happen to HW. No, the bigger questions: How do we break the cycle of abuse of power and authority? What do these behaviors say about our society as a whole?

As the scissors removed more of the dyed hair color from my hair, I clearly (with a somewhat shakey voice) answered, the query of the hair cutter: “When you have experienced trauma, and you have to retell the event, you are often re-traumatized. The experience comes right back. Can you imagine how difficult this must be?” She stayed quiet. I heard my hair cutter say, “Oh, I never thought of it that way.” That was the end of that conversation. It was enough.

After hearing Rachel speak, it came to my attention, that, especially in the past few years, whenever I heard or read a story of sexual assault or someone being victimized by a sexual predator, I was being triggered*.

“something that reminds you of a painful, frightening, or dangerous situation previously experienced. Likewise, something that causes you to react or behave in a certain way.”**

~a crawling sensation on the top layers of the epidermis~

And yesterday, I remembered every “incident” that had happened to me in my life.
Some are quite clear.
Others, fairly foggy.

~safety broken, where do I land? where is my ground?

In some, I see a room. I “feel” the man’s energy, the situation/environment. And I remember as a teenager and then a young woman in my early twenties, after the incident (s), telling friends:

they laugh at the absurdity and impossibility of this happening

another crying, saying he was a family friend and how could I make such an accusation?

The last experience, date rape.
Myself, sitting, at the kitchen table with one of the men (who I loved) and his friend, making me a gin and tonic, my back to him. I see my hand go to my lips, one sip and then, it’s ten hours later.
I remember going straight to work the following day. So confused. Humiliated. Ashamed. I was prone to blackouts and convinced myself I’d had too much to drink. Years later, in recovery, working through the 12 steps with my sponsor, so many memories came flooding back. And I realized, I had been drugged. All those years I had blamed myself for putting myself in harms way. Drinking too much. My fault.

And people ask, “why didn’t you speak up? Why did you wait so long? What were you wearing? What did you do to cause it to happen? Why did you go there? What were you doing out at that time of night?” On and on it goes. Because you are not taken for your word. You are not believed. And the more you aren’t believed, the more you begin to question your own validity, your own sanity: did it really happen? What happened? Am I making more out of this than what really took place? Did anything happen at all?

And too, I am not a victim nor a victim to my circumstances.
I refuse.

Implicit memory. It’s always valid.
Regardless of how foggy, how young, how much you do or don’t remember; if you believe something happened, if you feel something took place, in your body and in your bones, whether you can name your perpetrator or not, it happened.

Between the ages of two and five? The doctor tells the parents their little girl is with in-continance and the way to help is place their finger in her urethra to open the passage-way. There were hands. Many. Known/unknown.

~for how long
~when and why did it stop?

A darkened room.  Five years old, trying on cousins hand-me-down clothes. Someone walks in? An uncle? The feeling even now,  unsafe.

~the room’s air electric, vibrating~

This morning, walking my pup, I visualized that room and placed my current self on the corner of the bed. I took the 5 year old into my arms and told her she was safe. I told her nothing was going to happen, no one would touch her.
I told her she did nothing wrong.

Walking home from the dentist’s office, looking through the eyes of this 14 year old young woman, groggy from too much nitrous oxide. I feel myself in the dental chair, no assistant, it’s 1970.  Pink angora sweater and maroon colored thin wale corduroy’s.
Body rising up from a complete blackness and a hand pulling the zipper to my pants closed. Walking home now,  placing my 60 year old self there, I walk next to my 14 year old confused body, placing my arm around her. “I’ll walk home with you”, I tell her.

~no memory of the walk home, just the arriving home~

But now, in this moment, I want the younger Mary to know, “You did nothing wrong. This wasn’t your fault. You didn’t ask for this to happen.”

I live my life from this paradigm:
I chose everything. From before I was born. I believe I made contracts for all of my life lessons. Yes, including the ones I just described. So, if I chose all of these experiences, how do I reconcile them? Did I deserve them? Did I have it coming to me? I asked for them didn’t I? In taking this level of responsibility for my life and all of its circumstances, I have asked myself recently, is this how I “normalized” everything? And in doing so, was I complicit in my own suffering?

Perhaps yes and no.
Yes, I chose these experiences as life lessons and only I know what those lessons are and how they can best serve me. I am still learning and understanding.

~be careful what you ask for?~
(not meant to be humorous)

Boundaries? Absolutely. Understanding my right to my own authority and that no one can ever really take it away? Yes.
Acknowledging and claiming my own agency to what happens in my life?
Again, yes!
Is what has happened to me directly affected how I interact with others/trust others/experience my sexuality through my life/what kind of parent I’ve been?
Of course! And what of my relationship (s) on the spiritual path? Teachers, mentors, guru? YES!

Forgiveness. Perhaps this is at the core of me having chosen these life lessons to unfold in the way they have; through my body. Through sexual abuse and assault and inappropriate touch. I have asked, “why did I choose this?” The most healing balm I can provide, is to acknowledge the choices and know, they need never happen again in this lifetime. This is the beginning of the end and the clear breaking of this cycle. The cycle of allowing others the right to my body without my consent.

I first placed light on many of these experiences starting many years ago. And now, my experience is one of integration. They are part of me but they do not define me. I’ve been wondering whether these are all cellular memories that will live in my physical body for as long as I’m alive. I’ve been contemplating the notion, as science says, that all the cells in our body completely regenerate every seven years. If that’s the case, how could I even still have those memories? I’m not a scientist and I might not have the whole regeneration thing down.

And, there still is the implicit memory. I do not doubt myself, nor think I was ever bad/asked for/deserved, any of the things that happened to me. And, I know, in my body, that they did happen. What is most important to me, right now, is, I DO have a choice as to how I want to work with the energies behind these experiences. I do have agency. I do have my own authority.

My deepest wish is that this current “hundredth monkey” falls with such a thunderous roar as to make going back impossible. Rachel Evan Wood says she is afraid. I want her fear to be vanquished. I wish for all fear to be removed. The silence must cease. Whether you tell one person close to you or tell it out loud to the masses. Whether you take a perpetrator to court or sit down one on one with a therapist, I encourage everyone (only if you wish/are willing/or want to), to seek whatever support feels safe and correct for you.

You, my lovely, are not alone.
Never alone.


Emma Thompson video:

Rachel Evan Ward video

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Musings, Interiorities, Submerging’s


I painted iPhone images today. (above, Karen’s sweet finches)

Looking through things (words/accumulations/”sounds and phrases that have moved”)


Leaning into pain. With an ever anticipated (anxiousness?) for moving,
OUT. of the pain.
A soothing  helping balm of “this too shall pass”. Something (everything) always
moves into something else.

Another Karen finch.


on Miksang photography:
~direct experience is beyond concept
when there’s jealousy (from/at another’s images), return to appreciation
~haiku~ natural markers of impermanence.
no such thing as a thing
synchronization of experience/mind/heart

Showing not telling


the liminal spaces
staying curious


haibun/haiku: perhaps what I love creating the most.

directions from the teacher…
“the reader should be able to track the path of perception, the relationship of the perceptions.”

This place


I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. Georgia O’Keeffe

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Letting Lucy Go


IMG_8499.JPGIt’s been nearly three and a half months since Lucy left us. A few weeks ago I announced to my partner that I was ready for a new dog. A puppy. So the puppy can get acquainted with our three cats who have lived with dogs their entire lives (17 years for one of them).

Partner and I had a lovely talk and started picking out names; all girls. Maggie, Sophie, Lady, Honey. I began how I usually do once I’ve made a decision; I proceed in full acceleration mode. Googling purebred websites, searching the humane shelters. Seemed easy enough.

Lucy is still everywhere. Her ashes and animal sympathy card sit on the fireplace mantel. Leash and collar on the counter next to the Christmas globe that D. gave me this past Christmas. (a man and woman dancing while their dog sits, watching) Her toys on top of the chest which used to be next to where her bed once was (which has been sitting in the back of my car since our last car ride to the vet). There are body/oil marks on the walls where she used to lie up against.

Earlier this week, I found a sweet rescue puppy named Lucy and sent for information. The rescue group is diligent in ensuring those who adopt from them are sound folks who are ready and willing and able to take on the responsibility of bringing a four-legged into their lives. I started reading through the questionnaire (at least 30 or 40 questions) and found myself surprised as the tears poured down. Not only was I not ready for this puppy; perusing through all the questions made me realize this wasn’t the way I wanted to open myself and bring a new puppy into our lives.

A few days later, I saw another sweet one. A boy this time. I thought, “Hmm..”. So I came up with some boy names (Cooper, Taylor, Percy, Baily). The response from this rescue let us know he was already taken.

More obsessing/searching. Two, three, four times a day. After all, someone new could have arrived in between my searching?!

Last night and this morning: deep lower back pain. Shoes? Something coming up for looking at and letting go? Bodywork. Osteopathic/rolfing-like/cranial sacral.  Thought arises, “childbirth”. The therapist asks, “how was giving birth for you?” Old pain/injury becomes unstuck.
These things.
Movements/shiftings/somatic openings. Sitting and waiting to reveal…

Rose quartz.

After the session I eat and think, “Do things to begin the welcoming process for this new little pup.”
Pet store: new purple collar and leash. Chew toys and a stuffed (un-tear-a-part-able) animal. New stainless steel food and water bowls. Pet gate to keep the little one sequestered in the kitchen whilst training. And, a puppy food I hope they’ll like (after several obsessively filled hours searching  on the internet).

Driving home I realized/knew, that “now” it was time to remove Lucy’s bed/blankets and toy from the back of the car.
Removing these things.
From the car.
I cried and said a prayer, “I’m letting you go Lucy. I hope it’s okay now.”

All of the items purchased are in a bag, in the pantry for when the time is right. The blankets have been washed and folded. Lucy’s collar and leash have been put in the cabinet. Her dog tag sits on the tin that holds her ashes and the nametag that says, “Lucy Sherman”.
She’ll be there for some time to come.
~These words deserve their own lines.~
She will always be a part of our family.

And when the time is right.

It will be the right time.

“Do not think that time simply flies away. Do not understand “flying” as the function of time. If time simply flew away, a separation would exist between you and time. So if you understand time as only passing, then you do not understand the time being.

To grasp this truly, every being that exists in the entire world is linked together as moments in time, and at the same time they exist as individual moments of time. Because all moments are the time being, they are your time being.”

-Dogen Zenji, Uji
(as reported in Ruth Ozeki’s, “Tale For the Time Being”)

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Codes Awakening


After the full moon shining brightly. Glowing inside. Striding/ascending in 5D. What is that? A common language in evolutionary astrology and other areas outside any political arena. DNA filled to the brim and awaiting our approval to awaken to the codes encapsulated within. There are crystalline gems/diamonds that are shining/waiting to shine/have been shining all along…

Taikotu: “to apprehend with the body”. (a Rinzai Zen Buddhist term).
embodiment/what happens***

I received writing instructions from a writer I follow in November of 2015. I found them again yesterday. Her writing is provocative/embodied/cerebral/feral.
It evokes movement inside of me.

The writing codes have been awakened/re-awakened.

She instructs:
“Walk until you reach a mauve smudge. (I realize I have yet to find it)
You will know it when you see. It.
Stop there and insert, in your own way, a thin gold thread. I see you plucking something out that was lodged in a crevice or seam. But there is an aperture.
And the mauve is the aperture. (my photography?)
A portal. (everything has the possibility for this opening)
There is something deep inside the writing that has lodged there, and needs to be plucked out delicately. It is not possible to insert your whole hand. (this will take time)
I should also mention that it involves the activity of drawing. (this would be new for me)
Semblance, honey that talks.
(starting to take honey in my tea and/manuka healing properties)
A hive?”

There’s a bit more but that is for me. And so is the above. And yet, it’s the above I wish to work with. Write about. Take apart.

I think of haibun and Haiga<> prose/haiku/images.

I work on more And– instead of but, –


I read about the asteroids in relation to the planets: Quaoar, Makemake, Haumea, Ceres, Pallus and Athena. (a separate post)

Black Moon Lilith, the first Eve. Oh my god. Her power/strength and influence in my life.
(most certainly a separate post)

Something else I just read, “Don’t be selfish, give yourself completely.”***

What’s going on?
What is dying/what is being reborn/who is being reborn?

The same themes keep emerging around intimacy and relationship (s). And, I prefer to not talk with anyone about these things. I did a while back and I didn’t believe what I was told and then going to the source and receiving very different information. I thought, what is truth and when I go outside of myself, (anywhere) seeking answers, “The” answer, I am given only what is, on some level, a reflection of everything inside of me? I become confused and then paralyzed because I don’t know.
I just don’t know. Confusion/paranoia/ I have no idea what the truth is anymore.

And, I walk out into the garden, clean away the detritus of winter. Make room for the tulips and the iris’s; their leaves already greened and pushed up through the black dirt. And, the clouds part, the mind shifts and lightness takes the place of the heaviness from the thoughts that didn’t make any sense in the first place.

So, I ask myself, where am I going with all of this? Is there a bogey-woman in my grey matter? As there is no boundary to any thought process, I am guided, intuitively, to understand thinking/the mind/any and all thoughts arising come upon a continuum  which, can also be experienced as a spectrum. Like sexuality and spirituality.
Alive in a human form breathing in/breathing out is a full spectrum situation.

^^I just read this quote, “dark thoughts and anxious feelings are just that-thinking, feeling.” Norman Fischer/zen teacher**.^^

^^The other day I asked someone to show me how they muscle test. She answered, “Go inside and ask your self. That’s where you’ll find the truest answer.^^
~~~Just like Dumbo and the feather he thought he had to carry so he could fly….it’s all inside/for free/no gimmicks/jewels/magic potions/special incantations/pries/ess/guru/masters/guides. All of these things I know and love and have accessed at one time or another for…..

Divine being in human form.

and this, “Jamais vu”: seeing something familiar as if for the first time.

**Norman Fischer
***Shozan Jack Haubner


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The CREATIVE Self and the re-Emerging of the Feminine


my creative self:
creating as expression.
giving voice.

I am not political.
I am not happy about who became the president of the United States. No.
And yet, I am effected, whether I like it or not.
I have a choice as to how I work with these outside forces.

I choose to place my attention and energy on the positive.

I want to promote; not fight against.

How do I remain authentic to what feels accurate and true for me without turning my back on someone in need? I must be present for myself first, so that I can be present for another’s suffering. I won’t feel sorry for myself or anyone. Life seems to be happening at an ever increasing speed. Empathy can be a tricky balance and it does not include sympathy. (see Brene Brown). Holding space for anyone and in any situation involves non-judgmental support and presence. Everything I do and say and create matters; ripples out into the world whether I’m sitting on the cushion, in my yard gardening, out in the wilderness hiking, or at work interacting with clients.

It begins with getting quiet. Shutting out the noise from social media and the news.
Remaining grounded is paramount to sanity. And from that (illusive) space of groundedness (groundlessness), images and words are generated which express what I see and feel. I want to be a voice of hope and love and support.

There are many voices out there these days. You may place your eyes and ears in whichever direction you choose. For me, I choose the inner direction of love and joy and an abiding faith in humanity.

Mary Oliver asks us in her iconic poem “Wild Geese”, “…and what are you going to do with this one and precious life?”

On a daily basis, I am consciously choosing to NOT go into fear: and there are myriad scenarios and opportunities for this to occur. It takes a daily sitting practice and off the cushion mindfulness to keep me resolute in my conviction and faith.
Life falls apart and rebuilds itself every moment of every day.
How can I possibly know or begin to understand all of the causes and conditions that arise to create what is currently happening; in particular, with politics and those  (currently) in power.

All paradigms are being blown apart.
What will the new ones look like?

I see our world as experiencing a spiritual r/evolution. Not just from a mind/analytical framework; but a felt/embodied container. (the body). Mind/Heart.
We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. The time of the re-emergence and re-balancing of the feminine is here and, she is not going away. All of this re-balancing is causing the largest pot of shit-stir I have ever seen in my lifetime. It is uncomfortable (as long as I resist). It looks wrong (as long as I choose to see myself as a victim). It looks unfair (as long as I take a side/polarize/feed into the fear frenzy). I can’t. I won’t.

My daily to-do list (dynamic/not static):
Continue to write and create images.
Practice some form of contemplative practice every day.
Offer myself in service TO EACH MOMENT.
To be lovingly honest (is it true/kind/does it need to be said at all?)
Choose happiness over needing to be right.

***To be gentle with myself when I can’t do the above.***


It is healthy to have your own self-care boundaries.
Put the oxygen mask on first.




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more not knowing and the diagnosis


The practice is not knowing. It’s a practice for a reason. I want what I think is right. I want what is best for everyone. I want. I want. I want. Even when I say I’m not attached, willing to accept whatever the outcome, open to the unknown. Secretly, I’m holding out for my secret agenda. No matter how deep my intention or how honest I think I’m being, there is, lurking under it all…things will go my way.

I’m finally seeing at this very subtle level, walking around with this “I know what’s going on” energy. I think I’m open, ready, accepting, ready for whatever life hands me. But, isn’t being ready actually a kind of control? Ready for what? If my stance is one of being ready then perhaps I’m actually bracing for…the unknown…the uncertainty…the not want I want.

What does this openness look like? What does it feel like?  Random? Haphazard?
There is a difference between accepting and allowing. Acceptance feels like stipulations are part of the deal. Allowing is being completely open. Not knowing.

This is my zen practice. Bearing witness to the not knowing so I may respond with a sense of compassionate wisdom. And then yesterday:
The vet opens the door and motions me, “Come with me”, he says. Walking behind him, I’m wondering where my Lucy is. I see her, leash and dog,  being held by the vet tech.

We take a left turn into a small examining  room. I already feel like “scared woman walking.”There’s a large computer monitor on a desk. The vet, in his grey scrubs begins; “Here’s Lucy’s leg, here’s the bone, here’s the tendon. And here, this big ball of fuzzy mass. That’s a tumor. And see all those spindly fibers? (Am I supposed to be answering as if I’ve seen numerous x-rays of my dog’s skeleton?) The tumor’s moved out into the surrounding tissues. He rattles off what for him has been said hundreds of times before.

To me it all begins to sound like blah blah, blah blah blah. Woosh. Ears fill up with water. I’m  waterlogged. I can pinpoint the moment grief was stirred.

Metastasized/lungs/amputation/two months/six months/pain relief.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Lucy’s wagging her tail. The vet tech is waiting for the doctor to finish. He’s hanging back.
Dogs don’t live through this kind of cancer.

Electricity is moving up and down my body. Up and down. Tears. Tears. There is the space around me and it is holding me.

The young man returns the leash attached to Lucy back into my hand. The vet says I’m sorry one last time. “Go home”, he says. “Talk to your husband”, he says. And then, “I do recommend amputation…as soon as possible.”
But, go home. I want to be home. Now.

Lucy and I walk back to the examining room. The door closes. She wants another treat, up on the counter. Thinking…”Lucy has bone cancer. She lives. She will die.” Can I hold the space for both of us right now? What is holding the space? The afternoon sun coming through the window. Now. Now. The wind is whipping up the last of the autumn leaves. Now.
Moment after moment, simply breathing the truth of the moment which is nothing more than what is. Exactly. Just this.

It’s all a test. I sit. We sit. For the benefit of all sentient beings. And then we bump into life. Or more accurately, life bumps into us. And there, the practice holds me, joins me. Embraces me. There it is. The poignant “not knowing”. Not knowing is trust. Radical trust. Every moment is exactly how it is meant to be. There’s no question. I return (almost daily) to Byron Katie’s quote, “when you argue with reality, you suffer.”

I can’t and won’t begin to talk about what Lucy has meant to me, what she’s given to me. She’s still alive and I owe her my presence and love and care. That will be for later. Later than sooner. I’m being greedy. I want the most I can have of her.  That’s not my choice is it?

Being “comfortable with uncertainty” doesn’t apply here. There’s certainty in each moment. Certain. Certitude.

I couldn’t be more certain than this.

~The blue sky and bright day.
No more searching around! ~Mumon’s verse, The Gateless Gate, Case 30.**

**Borrowed from “Paradise in Plain Sight”, Karen Maezen Miller, Chapter 5


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