Why I am writing this blog

This blog started as a way to stay connected on my solo journey to Baja from Montana a few years ago. I pretty much left it alone after that. Here we are on our solo journeys. We can’t meet for coffee. The title of this blog came from a friend, Marc Moss, as we sat over coffee. My daughter had cut off all communication with me. I was grieving, still am just differently. Choosing joy in spite of grief. My nephew had invited me to come stay at his place in El Pescadero. Fuck it, why not. So I write to not feel totally alone.

I think maybe I’ll post a picture each day with a piece of writing to go along, or I’ll just write as a journal or share a contemplative collage from my daily ritual to stay sane. Or I’ll share a recommendation of what I’m watching on Netflix or the like. Who knows, none of us know much right now. But we still got love.

Best diversion yesterday: Lola called to share that as she was looking out her window she spotted, Sam Elliott walking down her street. There’s that!

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Excerpt from The Final Frontier

This morning, I read from One Long River of Song, Notes on Wonder. It is a wonder to read exactly what one needs to hear at just the right time. It is a wonder that some , namely Brian Doyle, here, are able to put in words what is called for. I share with you in the event you may need to read this as well.

Excerpt from The Final Frontier by Brian Doyle

Of course you do your absolute best to find and hone and wield your divine gifts against the dark. You do your best to reach out tenderly to touch and elevate as many people as you can reach. You bring your naked love and defiant courage and salty grace to bear as much as you can, with all the attentiveness and humor you can muster. This life after all a miracle and we ought to pay fierce attention every moment, as much as possible.

But you can not control anything. You cannot order or command everything. You cannot fix and repair everything. You cannot protect your children from pain and loss and tragedy and illness. You cannot be sure you will always be married, let alone happily married. You cannot be sure you will always be employed, or healthy, or relatively sane.

All you can do is face the world with quiet grace and hope you make a sliver of difference. Humility does not mean self-abnegation, lassitude, detachment; it’s more calm recognition that you must trust in that which does not make sense, that which is unreasonable, illogical, silly, ridiculous, crazy by the measure of most of our culture. You must trust the you being the best possible you matters somehow. That trying to be an honest and tender parent will echo for centuries through your tribe. That doing your chosen work with creativity and diligence will shiver people far beyond your ken. That being an attentive and generous friend and citizen will prevent a thread or two of the social fabric from unraveling. And you must do all of this with the certain knowledge that you will never get proper credit for it, and in fact the vast majority of things you do right will go utterly unremarked. Humility, the final frontier, as my brother Kevin used to say. When we are young we build a self, a persona, a story in which to reside, or several selves in succession, or several at once, sometimes; when we are older we take on other roles and personas, other masks and duties; and you and I both know men and women who become trapped in the selves they worked so hard to build, so desperately imprisoned that sometimes they smash their lives simply to escape who they no longer wish to be; but finally, I think, if we are lucky, if we read the book of pain and loss with humility, we realize that we are all broken and small and brief, that none amongst us is ultimately more vulnerable or rich or famous or beautiful that another; and then, perhaps, we begin to understand something deep and true about humility.

That is what I know: that the small is huge, that the tiny is vast, that pain is part and parcel of the gift of joy, and that this is love, and then there is everything else. You either walk toward love or away from it with every breath you draw. Humility is the road to love. Humility, maybe, is love. That could be. I wouldn’t know; I’m a muddle and a conundrum shuffling slowly along the road, gaping in wonder, trying to see and say what is, trying to leave shreds and shards of ego along the road like wisps of litter and chaff.

How’s everybody?

Last night, my musician friend, hosted a live performance via facebook. I was able to invite friends to the “party”. For about an hour, I was able to imagine us sitting in a public place and feel the connection the music created. Then it was back to Netflix, along with a little ice cream.

This morning I am hesitant to go on social media. I need a break from some of the information on there, but it was such a treat in these times to have a party last night.

I have been humbled. The earth seems a little more pleased with how things are. When we get back to daily lives, I do hope we remain mindful of this time, and not take all we do have for granted.

A few months before social distancing, I was in a group doing Contemplative collage. A method used to help create writing prompts. It reveals symbols and insight. Thank goodness I have a stack of National geographic. This afternoon, our group is sharing via conference call. I’ll share my latest collage.

What are you doing to find peace as of late?

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