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March 2020

To Live...

Kate shared this by email the other day and gave me permission to post it here with her comment.  

To Live 

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury, and style rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable and wealthy, not rich;
To apply talent, think quietly, talk kindly, act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages with open heart;
To bear all patiently, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never;
In short, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
This is my symphony.
    -
H. Channing 

 

"Thank you all for being women who spur me to all these aspirations, and accept me when I miss them by a mile."   - Kate H.                                                                                         


"The Dakini Speaks" and "On Meeting Death" by Jennifer Welwood

The Dakini Speaks

 

My friends, let’s grow up.
Let’s stop pretending we don’t know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven’t noticed, let’s wake up and notice.
Look: Everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It’s simple — how could we have missed it for so long?
Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, let’s not be so shocked by them.
Let’s not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.
Impermanence is life’s only promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.
To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride — let’s give ourselves to it!
Let’s stop making deals for a safe passage:
There isn’t one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children anymore.
The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
Let’s dance the wild dance of no hope!

written by Jennifer Welwood of No Mind's Land        

And while creating the links here, I found This One!!   

 

On Meeting Death

Tonight, Pluto, with the crescent moon as my witness,
I welcome you as my lover.
If you have come to break down my door,
See, I have opened it,
And wait here for you at its threshold.
If you have come to tear off my clothes,
I have flung them aside already,
And stand naked, shivering gladly.
If you have come to hurl me into the abyss,
Watch now, as I release all false supports, one by one,
And fall toward you in ecstasy.
Hear this, Pluto, lord of transformative fire:
What you have come to take from me, I offer you.


Pandemic by Lynn Unger

Pandemic by Lynn Unger            

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love-
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live. 

 

I did not write this. I mean no copyright infringement. I post here because this is beautiful and important.                                          


An Imagined Letter from COVID-19 to Humans by Kristin Flyntz

An Imagined Letter from COVID-19 to Humans by Kristin Flyntz

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.

We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.

We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa, China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.

Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?

Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about the quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?

Stop.
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.

Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Listen.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.

~ Kristin Flyntz 3.12.2020

I did not write this. I mean no copyright infringement. I share because it is powerful, beautiful, and important.

                     


March 13, 2020 - Coronavirus and Covid-19 With Links

Like, what else would we talk about today!?!?

There were 8 of us present today! Yea! Angela, Revin, Irma, Mel, Kate H., LB, NE, and I.
That's something that may not be happening for awhile as we sequester ourselves in these coming weeks/months.   

I'm going to post the 2 things I read in our "Essays" section, as well as links on that page.

Here is a link to the Dutch designer NE told us about. NE's favorite quote from this short article is,
     "It's almost as if the virus is an amazing grace for the planet."
Her reasons for saying that make sense to me.

We talked about the things that scare us about this virus and its repercussions.  We are not panicked at all.
We are mostly old, so we all fall into that risk category, and a few of us (or someone very close to us) have other contributing risk factors. 
These are things that concern us today:
  Staying 'balanced' in ourselves.
  Other folks panicking.
  Traveling.
  Economic impact. (more for our community than for ourselves individually)
  Helplessness - Kate quoted, "It's like a tornado is coming; dad's drunk on the couch; and I'm 7 years old."

It seems like that a bit to me, too, and partly because there is so much conflicting information out there.

On another subject, we talked about KIVA and the ability to help internationally, and as a group, thru this organization.
If you are not familiar with them, follow the link and see what you can do there. And feel free to lend Anytime!  :)
I will get our group set up in the next day or two and will let you know when that is ready.

We talked about Days for Girls. I don't want to lose track of this opportunity. I encourage you to donate to this group. I hope that we'll get a sewing circle going at some point. I might even learn!

The only other charity that I support at this moment is RIP Medical Debt. This organization buys up medical debt that has gone to collection agencies and abolishes it! Check out this video:

                                

There is a 'group' component to this organization, too, but I think it is scaled for large companies.
Go to YouTube and search RIP Medical Debt to see tons of videos about this group.

So... now you have things to read...places to donate... 
And Skype to learn between now and next week.  Have fun, Sisters!! 


“Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. is "an American poet, psychoanalyst, and post-trauma specialist who was raised in now nearly vanished oral and ethnic traditions. She is a first-generation American who grew up in a rural village, population 600, near the Great Lakes."You may remember her "Women Who Run With the Wolves". In this insightful article Estes reassures us that we are, indeed, made for these times.

Consider this excerpt:


          "Yet … I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. 
         
Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is – we were made for these times.

Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I cannot tell you often enough that we are definitely the leaders we have been waiting for, and that we have been raised, since childhood, for this time precisely.

…I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

I would like to take your hands for a moment and assure you that you are built well for these times. Despite your stints of doubt, your frustrations in arighting all that needs change right now, or even feeling you have lost the map entirely, you are not without resource, you are not alone."

And then continue to enjoy her encouraging words. 


Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man

This article was found on Brain Pickings, written by Maria Popova.  I keep going to unsubscribe from her newsletters only to find so many more interesting things, that I just never unsub... 

Ursula K. Le Guin was a very influential American writer (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018). "Frequently described as an author of science fiction, Le Guin has also been called a "major voice in American Letters", and herself said she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist"."

"She blends anthropology, social psychology, and sheer literary artistry to explore complex, often difficult subjects with remarkable grace. Subjects, for instance, like who we are and what gender really means as we — men, women, ungendered souls — try to inhabit our constant tussle between inner and outer, individual and social, private and performative.

"This is what Le Guin examines in an extraordinary essay titled “Introducing Myself,” which Le Guin first wrote as a performance piece in the 1980s and later updated for the beautifully titled, beautifully written, beautifully wide-ranging 2004 collection The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. To speak of a subject so common by birth and so minced by public discourse in a way that is completely original and completely compelling is no small feat — in fact, it is the kind of feat of writing Jack Kerouac must have had in mind when he contemplated the crucial difference between genius and talent."

Consider this excerpt:                    
 
"I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. But details don’t matter… I predate the invention of women by decades. Well, if you insist on pedantic accuracy, women have been invented several times in widely varying localities, but the inventors just didn’t know how to sell the product. Their distribution techniques were rudimentary and their market research was nil, and so of course the concept just didn’t get off the ground. Even with a genius behind it an invention has to find its market, and it seemed like for a long time the idea of women just didn’t make it to the bottom line. Models like the Austen and the Brontë were too complicated, and people just laughed at the Suffragette, and the Woolf was way too far ahead of its time."      

With wit and charm, Le Guin continues her essay On Being a Man. 

I do hope you'll read it, and perhaps, enjoy it as much as I did. 
                          

 


February 28, 2020 - A short one...

I was in Texas on the 28th, happily closing on the sale of our family cotton farm.
Nona and Kim were on the road, on a trip to pick up Nona's aunt Verna and bring her back to her homestead near Capitan.
I think Irma had the 'crud' at that time, and others were engaged elsewhere. 
Revin and Angela volunteered to host that day. Angela provided the minutes below:

"Revin and I enjoyed it. Vanessa was our sole attendee. So we just talked about what’s going on for us. She’s dealing with the difficulties of aging parents, etc. Revin and I talked about our experiences with that. Revin mentioned a new book she purchased, “The Art of Dying Well”. It sounds perfect for Salon.
We then adjourned to Ranchers where Mel and Kate joined us.
I missed you!     - Angela"

I missed you, too. This group is just so important to me, as it seems to be to us all.  Color me smiling!
And I also agree that it would be good to hear more about the book Revin mentioned.  Perhaps a report when you've read it, Revin?
I'm happy that the group expanded a bit to include Kate & Mel at Rancher's; that's a very cool way to end our time together!    :)