if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

poems revised

Here are some of my poems from my course...
Remember that some poems are not literal or personal narrations. Today is my second day of a contact course (retreat study) of Five classic Novels. We just got done with Tess of the D'Urbervilles and now onto Conrad's Heart of Darkness. My favorate book of the five was Silas Marner, It is a quick read, too. Very refreshing. Jordan and the kids will pick me up at 7 or so tonight. I've really missed them. I will fill the three hours with some writing in the library, now nice.

It was raining

The first time I robbed Tiffany's it was raining.
I, myself, had been robbed earlier.
The elevator man had taken my smile
a returned me a concealed sneer.

The rain, a thick variety,
drops clumsy and uncaring.
This day was in debt to me already.

Rain like this came once before.
I remember,
awakening my humiliation.
I run my finger on the groove where the ring used to be:
The promise expired,
it was gone.

Tiffany, though not her name,
behind the glass, smiled warmly.
Invited me.

Two dozen or more rings I tried.
Each one could be
a new spouse,
proof of desirability.

Then my phone rang and
my Tiffany did wander.
It always ends this way.
But this time, I'm keeping the ring.

Horatian Ode

Haphazard Orchestra

Echo of waves
may become background noise,
but a splendid promise lies over the berm
for anyone who takes the path

Wind rustles winter
pocks on the gray sand agree
but- the sun does show up
lighting vapor, freed by wave

Pale blue, clean sky
barely tasting of salt
Green wave
rolls into a riot of lace.

Curly dog, licorice surfer make
movement in the passage
Tempos individual.
Oblivious and coordinated.

Heart beat and blinking eye,
footprint measure:
can this be my song?
Am I musician or audience?

The slowest rhythm, craggy rock, rests
beneath a stalwart tree,
Yellow moss picks up the beat,
and the dipping grasses stir it up.

Stream glitters.
Undulate diamonds going flat,
I am part of the geometry,
moving in thousands of scales.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Creative movement again!

I had a nice experience, recently.
I took a guided creative movement session that lasted about two hours, last Friday.
The instructor is a woman named Louise Taylor. Chatting at a yoga class we discovered that we share a teacher and study in Halprin technique.
For those of you who don't know what that is, Ill tell you.
Anna Halprin, a celebrated modern dancer of many years set up a school called Tamalpa Institute. When I went there, it was only a couple of years established. One could take a full certification over about nine months or, take the month long intensive summer "dancer's workshop" (like I did). In later years Anna had experience using movement as a healing art form. Her patient- herself

At Tamalpa, Anna had two sides to the work. One movement study was developed towards performance and one of a kind rituals while the other was the daily practice of her signature Movement Ritual.

There were plenty of learning mediums utilized at Tamalpa. Everyone was issued a yard wide pad of newsprint and a box of pastels. We would routinely draw "visualizations" of concepts being worked on in dance wit the body. Every day involved at least a couple of drawings. Some of the drawings I can still remember, although I have no idea what became of them in my fast lane twenties.

After arriving from our host houses each morning, we had the choice of group meditation or running meditation for an entree to the day. I usually chose running. The school is halfway up Mount Tamalpias, It was summer in Marin County. Sweat.

We practiced a routine, fluid yoga-like sequence of movements that is Anna's signature choreography/ therapy. Exploration using breath was an essential part of the daily movement routine (this was a spine fluxing, thorough, kinetic routine that really did make you feel good, especially afterward.)

My classmates were mostly European Doctors, therapists, resort owners, and performers. I was nursing my first broken heart. Twenty years old and whittling away my grandfather's money.

Anna's brush with cancer compelled her to design (or perhaps devine) and execute personal movement rituals. Her intent was to face and clear blocks that had developed over time that she believed were manifesting in her body as ill health. One such ritual she made for herself was at her SeaRanch home and took a couple of days. All the students, "dancers", had a week long retreat at Sea ranch as part of our schooling.

Community rituals were also created, like the one where they staged an elegant, and theatrical, yet dead serious purification ritual of Mt Tam, (which was having a mad serial rapist problem). Elements of Nature were revered in the dancing. Huge silk sails were held and wafted by costumed dances, symbolizing wind. More natural forces were called to power with equal grandeur.

Louise Taylor studied these ideas more than twenty five years later than I, obtaining the teaching credential. She used many techniques I had forgotten. The movement has quenched a thirst I have had. It is to nice circle around,reconnecting with an earlier part of my life. I cant wait until next Friday for another go.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

trickle of progress

Passion Vs Procrastination
Its a persistent game schedule
upward eyebrow of promise
what a boss we must make of ourselves once we learn
of our charge
of our own life.

Sunday afternoon after some wholesome family time and a good meal and shower. I'm back in the bach. Rain drops and sun rays toss around together outside in the west.
School calls. I am now reading Wuthering Heights
I am inspired to open my email and see my friend Beth Helstien's graduation announcement for Master of Library science. 3.97 GPA, way to go, Beth! She is one of several scholarly librarians in Friday Harbor. I know of her as a initiate priestess of ritual, friend and gardener, though.
Speaking of gardening, I had a wonderful community feeling dream about gardening last night.
I took Desmaond to a Naturopath yesterday to address his chest rattle. It was amusing, her interview with him and how he sparkled under her interest. He told of dreams of spidermen, red and black and spiders crawling over him. (She said even creepy spider dreams are a good sign) He got some herbal concoction he has to shake 6 and a half times and 10 drops into water. Apparently there is Pine pollen and plenty of weed spraying now, not to mention the hospitable environment for mildew of wet warm New Zealand climate. She give good herbal prescriptions and is very intuitive in general with her advice.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The Birds are twittering and walking on the roof. I have a sinus bug and have slept in. there are people on the rise outside my front yard admiring the sea. I see them everyday. People are in good spirits when they come to take in the sea. Today the air is so still that the shoreline is mostly blue and green instead of the usual frothy white. I'm trying out a new spend free living. Im going to see if I can go all week without spending ANY money. I have food in the cupboard and plenty to do and eight punches left on my yoga card.What more could a girl want?
I am on a new novel, Tess of the D'urbervilles It is amusing so far, I have it on audio cds from the library. Id better get on with the day.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Deadline lifeline

I'm dashing out for a walk on this windy bright Sunday. I have just finished reading Persuasion for my novel assignment. As things turn out, I have had to read it very quickly. I read two novels already that are part of assignment two, still to come and hadn't read the assignment one books. It pays to read the study guide after all... Ive been on Jane Austin marathon mode. Gratitude for the Gutenburg Project is in order. I was able to download the text and the audio for free so I read and was read to last night as i delved into another century. Cool. Now I walk, Gamily for Pizza later. Lil, her usual pesto with a kalamata or two, no cheese. Desmond, his Hawaiian (how do I do that one without pineapple OR ham???) And Jordan and I the whacha got in the fridge pizza. Im practicing my piza dough so I can send it ti Linda. Maybe Ill post it here, too.
Into the wind, with me.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Something for Paul Loeb's book : Soul of a Citizen, a book on citizen involvement

Paul asked me for an account of my recent years in a couple of paragraphs for a profile in his book. Being quite darn busy with school assignments... I agreed anyway and wrote this up. He can edit the thing.

I am an American woman who lived on San Juan Island, an idyllic little
spot, for about 20 years. After retiring from Restaurant ownership (with
plenty of hosting of political community events) I married a customer,
Jordan, who happens to be one bright physicist. He worked at a tiny high
tech company on the island, eventually collaborating on "Dept of Energy"
research. I had a couple more kids directly (I already had one on my own
then, a ripening teen) and continued my lifelong avocation of peace
activism, sometimes even dragging my babies to frozen Washington DC or a
sweltering Cancun WTO meeting. This was in the early 2000's, after 911 and
leading up to the Iraq invasion. My husband and I clumsily and naively
reinvigorated the local public access TV station. We had to
storm a few city council meetings to keep the right to air Democracy
Now! We were like a pesky fly to the local Adelphia cable office. Jordan
got the submission and airing of material functioning digitally and made
an automated schedule. We were bumping along. I tried my hand at board
membership for Peace Action of Washington. This experience, while
inspiring, (after all that's where I met you, Paul) had some unsavory
feuding unraveling and it made me sad and a little queasy. The
disturbing turn of events as the election seemed to be rigged again got
us even lower in morale. When I added this to my guilty enjoyment of
money from the dubious funding source, Jordan's spooky fusion puzzles; I
started thinking of my lifelong fantasy to move to New Zealand. We just
didn't want to participate anymore, paying the taxes or supporting war

We decided to get more neutral (remember that naivety) We sold
everything but the house and got wills drawn up and we split the
country. We cashed in retirement accounts. Some of our friends implied
we were shirking our responsibilities, but we went anyway. Jordan forged
ahead to get his PhD from an Auckland University so he could eventually
teach science for a living. I delved into a new and quite different
culture. We started our residency by touring New Zealand in a van for
four months (that's five people.) We participated in some Wwoofing, a
farming labor exchange, and got to meet some very resourceful people and
revel in spectacular locales. Later, we struggled to find our place in
Auckland, moving six times in three years. We remembered what is special
about America and Americans by removing ourselves from them. It was a
great day when we got the Obama election results. We celebrated with a
dinner party with some English folks. We all met again for a 5:00 am
breakfast party on inauguration day. Despite the struggles evident these
days, I feel renewal and optimism. I can say without hesitation that I
look forward to coming home.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

It's sunny Sunday in Piha. Last night Jordan, my friend Kat and I went to a dance at the local hall. It had a theme of WILD. I went as an ocelot or a jaguar and Jordan went in his bathrobe with his scruffy Hugh Hefner look. We showed up in the cherubic white Borgward with wide smiles, ready to boogie. There were all interpretations of 'wild' in the crowd. The DJ music was a little techno for me, but it was fun to shake a leg, well ok, both of them. Yesterday during the day was a fun family day. The gang had spent the night at my place and we had some delicious breakfast and walked to the library, via the beach. After we got in the library the dark gray cloud opened up and poured for at least an hour. I left Jordan and kids and jogged home and got the van to transport them all home to Karekare, full of books and movies.
I wondered if I would be depressed by my move, separating myself from the rest of my immediate family. I have moments when I think what the hell am I doing?! But overall it has been easier than I thought it would be. Taking time to rest and assess one's approach to life is a gift I am giving myself and my family. Since stepping over one coastal ridge to Piha two weeks ago I have spent a lot of time with both the kids and Jordan and have been doing the grocery shopping for us all, still. I cant seem to help myself, I fed my family for so long, it has some momentum, I suppose. I also go there and bake and start loads of laundry. Can we just call it interdependence?
Piha... The village aspect is very welcoming. There is a new Cafe (the first one besides the Bowling club and RSA legion halls) opening up soon and I am sending in my resume, for a baker's position. I find it exciting, the possibility of being in on the ground floor, designing the menu.

This week will be a little more independence, though,with assignments due for Journalism and Poetry. Jordan is pleased to have started teaching math at AUT and I take the kids on those days at least. Lillian is a gem of a student at her new school. She came home on her fifth birthday, her first day, reading a little reader, with her stern teacher, Desmond, keeping close attention. Lilly is the most Kiwi of us all, understandably. She comes to me often, addressing me as Mum, asking fresh questions and stating her observations. She has spent three years here and only two in America.

Speaking of America, There is talk of returning going on. First for a visit, but then maybe to return for good after Jordan get's his PhD. I can't think about where, yet. It seems our house on the island may be too small for us now and Jordan's desire to teach at the university level point to some new place. In the mean time we are expecting a visit from Nina in Northern hemisphere Autumn. YEAH YES HOORAY! I really appreciate her and look forward to the kids reconnecting with her. She has discussed it with Larry and he is open to bachin' it for a few weeks and covering the bills in her absence. Nina is considering school in Portland, but I secretly hope she falls in love with Ashland while visiting her friend there this summer. She is a good actress and that town is somehow big and small for studying things theatrical. Nina was in a play at Shackleton and I was amazed at her stage presence. If anyone out there wants to encourage Nina in my absence, Go ahead, she's a lovely flower who could use some watering and rich dark compost.

Piha beach is stunning and from my front windows, which are large and slightly elevated I can see the waves; White horses tossing and frothing and curling into new waves. Just a glance to the south is lion rock, which is a big beast, with a steep trail which one can ascend in about seven minutes. It's a great pick me up if one needs to refresh, quickly. There are lots of trails, both shoreline and up the hills to waterfalls. Now to find the time! Speaking of that, my Journalism book is hissing at me now, I must go.