Saturday, January 19, 2008



Eloquence is erratic. There are some for whom the poetry of expression never falters, but I cannot include myself in that group. And yet it is never absent, because the language of the divine is inscribed in every heart, it is the blood in our veins, the ink in our pens, the tears that fall on the darkened earth, longing. Like everything else, it is who we are - every one of us, searching to describe the content and images of our lives. Although there is nothing to describe, yet still we insist. We should just be, live. With the courage and certainty of the truth of compassion.

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
Oh! How i wish he'd go away.
(apologies to Norman Lear if my memory is awry)

It is not about the fleeting pretence of shadow, elusive. What is it about? Probably nothing, which is everything, and that is the bewilderment that we share.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

words in the dust

Australian sandstorm
photo courtesy

The earth remembers a time when its full soft heart bore the imprint of all that could be, when the textures and colors of present and past were not fixed. Perhaps that time is now, the moment of every moment.
I realize I know so little and understand even less. I have witnessed a footprint embedded in rock, the dance of potential reflected in the shape of the clouds and the stone at my feet. Who says it is not possible to bear witness to the unfathomable. We do it every day.
I received a letter from a friend I have not seen for many years, written in a language I no longer speak very often, yet is still in my dreams. We met in a city encased by a wall, carved out of time, where the buildings and people still remembered a war, bullet holes freckling the sides of the streets. It was a long time ago. Or perhaps not at all. Now the history of war has been replaced not just once, and new enemies shaped out of hatred and fear. The past and present reflect the same pain. Shaping a future of sorrow.
My friend and I have aged, though a decade still separates us, as does the ocean. But the sky has held us together, despite time and space.
My eyes softened, moist, as I read her words and she shared a glimpse of her life and family, other friends, still in that city, knowing that although paths can shift and separate and lives reflect a thousand facets we may never see, we all share a heart, we all share a birth. And we will all share a death. There is so much the same in our differences. This is what we offer each other. As solace, as support. For courage.
I am not sure I know what friendship is, as perhaps I once did. Perhaps it doesn't matter. Our lives collide, and we share our days with people we may not call friends, and yet they populate the space in which we define ourselves. And others, removed from that daily sphere, still send ripples across the stillness of our hearts.
My hair was bleached white, or dyed scalding scarlet. Now I wear a shaved head. Really it shows that appearance is all in the blink of an eye, even as I cling to it as a definition of self.
Memory is a room filled with shadows, that I try to recall, to sharpen. And I do. Is there yearning? For what? For nothing but a remembered fiction of what I believed was fixed. My life has proven that to be untrue. Nothing is. Even the idea of peace is elusive.
I write because it is an expression of that which I cannot define, the words are the sound of the swollen creek, relentless in movement. Never still. Sometimes a person, a moment, evokes in me the wish - the need - to be that stream, the sky, the cloud, reflected on paper.
Yet the paper will age and crumble and be swept by the wind and dissolve in the earth with the pounding of rain. And there will be nothing. Just the stillness of potential, future and past, and the shape of the earth as it clings to the sky, defining each moment through the eyes of all who behold it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

a request - or two

This beautiful image comes from Lama Kunzang Dorjee in Bhutan. Magnificent, isn't it. May your year be as clear and vast as a pure heart of kindness.
As you know, I had the honour of signing the religious proclamation for compassion to animals on behalf of Lama Kunzang Dorjee. You can now go on-line to read and sign it. I urge you to look and read what leaders representing many, many faiths wrote together...united by the common cause of making this world a kinder, better place for us all, by recognising the plight of animals and - most importantly - taking collective action to change the way we think and act. Whether you are aligned with a specific faith or not is irrelevant - the foundation of this process is simply a heart of caring and compassion, and the power that a thousand - a million - such hearts beating together can generate. It is a huge vision, and a potent one. Please look, and let others know.
On a much more mundane note, I am hoping someone can help me out. I rely on a computer - who doesn't, although I will absolutely confess that a computer for me is a very fancy sort of typewriter, which allows me to transform my thoughts into words on paper. Which, as a writer, I love to do!! But so much better than a typewriter ever was (I wrote a novel many years ago on a typewriter...all that white-out, sure was a drag!)
Anyway, the computer I was using, kindly donated to our animal rescue, died...and the technician said it is not worth fixing. The one I am using now is actually Jetsunma's, for the use of which I am extremely grateful. But as everyone reading this knows, when you have no computer, it is hard to communicate. In fact, out here, Internet is a lifeline.
So my more computer-savvy friends said to me.... "Ask! People who are in that world of computers upgrade all the time". In fact, I know this to be true, because someone I know was just given a fabulous looking laptop which apparently is 6 years old, but works like new... it had been passed along by a friend of a friend etc, simply because of an upgrade.
So here it is: if any of you, or someone you know, has a laptop which has been superseded by a bigger, better, faster one, and for which you no longer have use, please consider me. All I ask is that it not be a clunker (like the original Apple I laptop I still have with me, must be over a dozen years old, is so slow and antiquated, but has all my fiction writing on it. It uses floppy discs only, how's that!).
I need to have wireless ability, and enough memory for storing lots of photos and word documents. The applications I use are just word and fiddling with photos - you know, making flyers for dog adoptions etc. Nothing fancy, other people do that! So not too old, or slow, as long as its in good working order, yet it doesn't have to be your super-dooper top of the range.
But a laptop would be lovely, because I could sit at night in the warmth of the log cabin where I am blessed to live, surrounded by 5 dogs and a cat, all cosy and calm, and work, rather than here in Jetsunma's unheated and uninsulated library where, as the clock moves towards midnight, my toes are gradually freezing. In 2 pairs of socks!
Well, there it goes -- out into the ether. Email me at if you think you can help. It truly would be of help, both personally, and for the rescue animals, whose voice piece I need to be.
And either way, may each and every one of you have a rich and abundant year!