Monday, October 29, 2012

Back from Italy...

Back from Italy...

All our stories begin at the Rialto.  Merchant of Venice

The Rialto Bridge (built 490 AD) was the beginning of my Venice/Italy story. Landing at the Marco Polo airport at nine in the morning, I arrived by water bus at the Rialto Bridge and took this picture of  gondolas as I was searching for my hotel. 

Venice is a city without wheels: the roads are water. Gondolas, water-buses, water-taxis and barges, I discovered, are the cars and trucks of Venice. I was under the impression that gondolas merely belonged to a romantic past I had seen in movies or had read about.  At night outside my window I watched them gracefully, silently glide past, outlined by a small light in bow and stern.

Several nights music wafted through my window from the little bridge outside my hotel: a male voice one night, a female voice another, singing opera.  One night I came out the hotel door to meet a group laughing and singing with gusto as they made their way toward San Marco Square.  I followed them adding my English to their Italian.  

More exerts at another time, possibly... 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Night I Learned to Speak Lamp

In the evening darkness, the Victorian lamp shade with its musky rose colored floral and three inch frills illuminated the sofa chair. I had seen it countless times yet this felt like a virgin viewing. A caring begins to play with a wild, amusing thought, "Is this lamp flirting with me?" 

No, of course not. Logic, that great godlessness, tells me the lamp is a solid, lifeless object.  Yet the longer I observe it, weirdly, I awake to a vitality, a zing in the air. No need for human eye, ear, or mouth. The more I attend to it, the more it seems to attend to me. 

Modern physics states there is no matter, only vibrating energy. The ancient seers have confirmed this for centuries. Science and spirituality are cross fertilizing. Photos show how water responds to a range of human emotions.* Apparently, we are all made of star stuff  --"99.9% dancing energy -- lamps included." 

What is lamp language? What is this energy that is speaking and caring for me? The communication tonight is my attention, my awareness, and a dropping down deeper than thought, beyond conceptual form. I need to see and feel the lamp differently. 

Awareness makes love. "Look at a bird until it becomes a song." Nepo encourages. Maybe real seeing is feeling. Maybe real listening is silence. Maybe I need to take responsibility for an intelligence other than human. 

Our bodies, voices, senses are not our identity any more than the lamp form is its.  Tolle suggest we are consciousness disguised as a person. Maybe the object by the chair is a consciousness disguised as a lamp.  

Listen, to a heart song.  Objects are not inanimate. In essence, we are all made of love, from love, and for love. This object called a lamp may not speak but now I know it can.

*Masaru Emoto has presented these findings at the UN.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Place called Love....

Why am I lovable? Surely not because I am old and wrinkled. My personality is mixed, liked by some but not others. My body was recently described as rejuvenated road kill. In spite of these flaws,  I am loved and lovable. This love is not personal yet it drips with sweetness over and into every part of my day. When I arrive here, at this place called love, I look softly, hear bird song, and speak more carefully or not at all.

Several decades ago, I discovered love has an actual physical location in my body, behind the rib cage. From experience I know my destination and the route I need to take. If I travel to my ear, nothing happens, nor does it if I travel to my elbow. There I just experience pointed bone.

How do I arrive at this love location when I feel none and can find no self to love?
Mechanically in my busyness, I have to remember to take the trip. The path has been built with practice and feeling. As I head for my rib cage my ordinary awareness shifts. I am on my way. A feeling as rich as deep velvet begins to form, colors of these fall trees brighten and a bird is singing out the window.

However, I have to watch for blocks to this inner route. Negative thoughts impeded my travel . Needy-needs can stop me, authentic ones clear the way.  When there seems no love to find,  I pretended love.  Thinking back on a memory, I practice it.  Then act as if I am in love and more often than not, I am.

Is it Christ, Buddha, the Great Love the Kalahari bushman refer to? Maybe, I do not know. Yet, in my imperfection, I discover I am love.

photo source:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grandma visits the "Pure Land."

"Yesterday during walking meditation I saw two little violet flowers in the grass.  They were so beautiful, tiny, very well manifested, and I picked one and I picked the other, and I offered them to two venerable monks who had come to visit from Vietnam. I told them, these flowers are available only in the Pure Land..."   Thich Nhat Hanh

The phone wakes me at five fifty. My son is at the restaurant with my two grandchildren.  Twenty minutes later, cold and half awake I pull into the parking lot. 

A new spring snow begins to fall.  Looking through the restaurant window, I see a father who is up too early to be his young children's entertainment.  After some seconds my granddaughter glances up and sees me. Her giggles and wiggles in the high chair alert her father. He turns and smiles. I wave.  Then my grandson glances toward the window and a grin lights his face. 

Entering the restaurant, a blue dinky truck is thrust my way. He shouts with gusto, "I am going to play with Sammy today at my house." His sister bounces a little rabbit across the table joyously speaking one and a half year old which her Grandma does not understand, yet. The excitement at the table is palpable. Soon the other early risers are looking our way with smiles. 

Later, driving home, I ask myself where have I been? An aliveness, a vitality is in me that was muted if there at all when driving to the restaurant an hour before. Remembering the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, I know I have just visited the place of "Pure Land."  A place of joy and glee.  I was welcomed by it, splashed and played and felt it's pureness, its freshness unimpeded by anything human. 

How does one describe this pureness beyond form, beyond skin, bone and organs?  One doesn't of course. A grandma can only visit.