Friday, March 24, 2006

and more gratitude

here's to friends who nurture us, encourage us, and give us a platform to BE our highest and brightest selves.

AND here's to great fun with great friends. :)


today i would like to send an extra special thank-you out to the universe for this man. i am beside myself with awe at how our friendship is able to evolve and grow in such a beautiful way. brer, your friendship and steadfastness, nonjudgment and encouragement are cosmic life-support to this wayfaring seeker. in my adventurous ambitious scary psychospiritual galacti-pades, you are a planet where i always know it's safe to land.

how frickin lucky am i?
yeah; that lucky.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Saturday, March 11, 2006

birthday boy


~~to sealion, my beautiful love and journey companion.

soundtrack: that one bhangra song.

Friday, March 10, 2006

giving thanks

michael franti's words from Stay Human keep rolling through my head:

"i'm givin' thanks for bein' human every morning."

yeah. glad to be here.

photo: the NON-humans in my life charge their solar collectors on this glorious morning.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

games.. and love?

"learn to recognize the SMELL of your OWN BULLSHIT."

i remember loud and clear. my several-time professor and long-time mentor, James Baker Hall (K-Y poet laureate~you can look him up. most of his stuff is really dark and sad.** photographer, too), pronounced this so many times in our round-table autobiography-writing classes. fluffy white brows furled, eyes bugging from glasses perched low on his nose, fingers dancing in space for extra emphasis. i will never forget the way he said that last word, "bool-she-it", rolling it around in his Kentucky-bred-and-raised mouth. maybe as if it were a gristly piece of country ham, tangy and potent and persistent. he got the point across. many times our lives are too painful, too ugly, too raw for us to bear to be present. we let go of the reins, and let autopilot take control. but we owe it to ourselves to tell our story. in the telling is the healing. and in the telling it is VITAL to get it straight~~to be responsible, and true. now, any good storyteller is going to weave her own spin. but may it be clear: that even though it's her side of the story, she is being honest to her own gut. to the way her heart knows the truth.
from the buddhist way of understanding, i am learning that lots of times our whole adult lives are spent in that autopilot non-awake zone. that the truth about living itself is too raw for us to bear: that things are constantly changing. that the objects and relationships and ways we identify ourselves that make us feel good one day, will not be that way the next. we try to hold onto something, to make it concrete, just as it melts and melds in its ever-changing liquidness. to be awake to this is risky, and the ultimate goal.

i feel like i've been catching myself at my own games recently.
have you been the recipient of this? i'm almost certain you have..

even though i come in a pleasant (for the most part. . ), well-intentioned package, i'm realizing again and again more and more that my motivations aren't what i thought they were. if i even thought to consider them before (not sure).
Thich Nhat Hanh's words keep coming to me over and over again lately, "what ARE you doing?" [my emphasis (thanks, Beth! :)] i feel like i should cloister myself (WITHOUT my cyber-pacifier) for a long while, or send myself out into the wilderness somewhere (no snow, please..) to be alone (with the trees and squirrels), and at least only manipulate myself.
it is a new venture for me: to see with compassion. i try to keep in mind the food for thought that Dar sent out~~that in essence, with every action, every one of us is desiring either to give, or to receive love. i look around~~at people, and their interactions, their games, their choices, and i try to see this dance of give and take. love love love.
i try to see this in myself. and i think, "awww, honey," as the little girl in me once again curtseys to win applause, as the adult in me tries to feed that hole, superficially, for the mean-time, pushing the same empty pleasure button. feeling like no more than a blinky spastic chemical ball that's just looking to get that next fix. only now as i reach ~ i'm stuttering~~"what ARE you doing?" i batter myself with this over and over throughout the day (sounds like a compassionate exchange, huh?) and am very tired by the end of the day. .. and then having dreams that are detailed and visceral. judgmental characters from my past come to scrutinize me as i apply makeup backstage. women who don't know me comment about how stinky my b.o. is.

i suppose that it's better that i'm seeing my own games, seeing the way i may be bullshitting myself (and, in turn many times~~you). that this is a step in the right direction, on the path i wish to travel. i'm showing up sometimes. sometimes in mid-movement, mid-sentence, mid-drama.
so if you notice this~~and feel a sudden lurch or swerve~~perhaps you might gently understand that it's just me, learning to drive without autopilot.

**i tend to disagree with him, in that: he left no room for humor. this was avoidance, in his eyes. to me, it seems to be a necessary survival skill. .

photo: me. today. here, but worn out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

thank you

"awww, maaaan, it's rainin'!"

rainy day!
rain all day..
ain't no use in gettin' uptight,
just let it
groove its own way
let it rain
your worries away.
lay back and DREAM!
on a rainy day!

had to do it. thanks, jimi. ..

as soon as we got up this morning, sealion and i agreed pretty easily to doin' nothin'. gloomy rainy cold sunday. perfect for tall bloody marys with extra olives (what sunday isn't perfect for this, some may say! learned that from my blessed jiggley hipped sisters!! cheers to mz. goodvibes. and delicious melicious for adding the nutmeg. i remember a particularly beautiful sunny morning at mecca years ago when we had a large group rehoysal complete with the marys of blood that pretty melicious did makest for ussest. .. i digress and ramble still. ) and a movie (and cinnamon toast!! .. but they don't really taste good together. .. the butter gums up the dvd player, too.. ;-D ) (All the President's Men ~~ Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman ~~ a goody ) (let's see how many parentheses i can use.. ) (perhaps fill up this whole small paragraph with long parenthetical asides.. . ). (sealion was asleep before the burglars were even caught by the police.. oh no!! i gave away part of the plot!!! :-D ) (that is my favorite new typographic icon: the open-mouthed laughey-face. so friendly! :-D ) ("duuude, wake up and drink another bloody!!")
so the day dripped by cozy and relaxed into the night (although you could argue whether it was "daytime" at all, considering the sun never really came out.. ). and the time came: grocery run. el caballero negro took me splish-splash windshield-wipe on over to the co-op and i took my sweet rainy-day time luxuriating over the choices of whole wheat pasta and variety of nut-milks. .. (can you tell i've gotten to the "boredom" section of the evening?) and a sweet treat for the ride home. groceries bagged, treat in pocket, and out the automatic doors. i hunkered down against the dark rain and did the awkward-shopper-shuffle as i negotiated all the bags into one hand and dug in my purse for the keys with the other hand. walking walking, to el caballero who was parked on the street (just past the parking lot).
"scuse me! scuse me!" a woman's clear strong voice shouted from behind me. "mam, scuse me!" and i gotta admit to you, sadly enough~~there are so many folks asking for change around here (not just in LA or SF) that it is already easy for me to keep on walking. but, i reasoned, on this rainy night~~not too many are that eager. i turned around to see if she was shouting to me. a woman walked pointedly my way down the sidewalk, "do you need a ride??" she said. my figurative jaw dropped. "no, no," i replied, "i'm parked on the street. thanks so much for offering. you are so generous!!" under the street light i could see her smile, and we went our ways into the soaked darkness.

to that woman, i would like to extend a warm, dry, happy-bellied, "thank you."

Saturday, March 04, 2006


the auditory landscape of WIDE WORLD OF TIF, as of late. ..
thanks to a fork in the road by Cheb i Sabbah (Krishna Lila), i've been on a world-music journey recently. lots of sampler albums, with a few specific artists.
Six Degrees 100, and Six Degrees Remixed (the latter is lots of times too electronic-y for me. i'm sure electronofiles probably know how to classify further, but i just know it's too much. )
this led me to Karsh Kale, and his album, Liberation. electronic and danceable.
after that, it has been all-world, not electronically mixed, with a duo of samplers from many countries that feature some really precious from-the-heart evocative vocals: An Introduction to Amiata's Secret World, volumes one and two. a few very dancey, lots just tastey to listen to..
from there, Meeting of Angels by Ensemble Gilles Binchois & Ustad Nishat Khan~~which is choral music and varying Indian stringed instruments and tabla. ethereal and meditative.
then: Kirwani ~ Essence of a Raag, by Krishna Bhatt and Zakir Hussain. sitar and tabla. mmmm. rich and luxurious.


while i'm doing these commercial slots it seems i just can't help but do, i gotta rave about that lovely, frickin brilliant, Paul Newman. i've been in love with him for years, and who wouldn't be~~those twinkly mischief-filled eyes that could be taken so seriously if he weren't so damn hilarious. yup. i think he's the greatest. and then there's his food company: Newman's Own. . not only does he have those eyes and that grin~~he loves to COOK!!
well, he has been making these gourmet products (and now his daughter has an organic line) that are high-end, but high-quality. they taste good, and each product has its own silly story on the back in Mr. Newman's signature mischievous- ridiculous voice. and here's the thing~~he gives all the money from Newman's Own to charities. over 200 million by now!!

It's Soy Delicious

i've discovered a frozen indulgence that i can live with. my problem with most non-dairy frozen treats (pretend ice cream) is that they replace the yummy creaminess and fat of the ice cream we all love with a bunch of sugar~~it might be organic, but it's still sugar. It's Soy Delicious has varieties (like the chocolate-peanut butter that i smile at right now) that are sweetened with fruit juice, brown rice syrup, and the like, which are much gentler sweeteners than good ol' sugar. the other ingredients are also natural foods you can pronounce. It's Soy Delicious has just enough fat in it not to feel empty, and doesn't have as much of that weird, "this just isn't ice cream~~what are you trying to get me to eat?" flavor of some non-dairy brands. (granted, if you eat the whole pint, it's still decadent, but not AS bad.)
hold on a second!! this sounds like i'm saying "if you HAVE to eat non-dairy, this stuff's not THAT bad.. " and i'm saying, there are lots of yummy veggie-vegan products that are still REALLY high in fat, and (especially) sugar. this is a yummy frozen dessert that isn't.

and. . if you turn the container around, you'll see that it says that the distributor, Turtle Mountain, Inc., donates funds to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project ( and ).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

sad shadow

today i invited Sad Shadow to go for a walk with me.

i knocked on her door and she answered. she was still in her pj's.
i said, "Hi, Sad Shadow! come outside and go for a walk with me!"
Sad Shadow said she might as well; she had nothing better to do.
it was a sunshine-pretty day. the sun felt warm on my back.
Sad Shadow said she hoped she didn't get a sunburn.
there were flowers blooming everywhere! and oranges hanging in the trees.
Sad Shadow noticed an orange on the ground that was rotten.
we stopped at a cafe and ate a cookie. it was yummy cinnamon flavor.
Sad Shadow said her half was dry and crumbly.
we walked by the park where there were lots of kids playing. doing cartwheels and shouting and laughing.
i said, "hey, Sad Shadow, that looks like fun! let's go play!!"
Sad Shadow said she wasn't very coordinated.
we picked some flowers on the way home. they were yellow and smelled like springtime.
i said, "these would look great on the table in a vase!"
Sad Shadow said she bet they would wither and attract flies.
when we got back, i walked Sad Shadow to her door.
i said, "maybe we'll go for a walk again sometime."
Sad Shadow said, maybe, because she didn't have any other friends.

the story of Sad Shadow is dedicated to Brer and Alyssum.


Ever wish for do-over days, tif? You know, hit the reset button and give 'er another shot?


Will today work?

It's never too late,
The Universe
[this was my "note from the Universe" today. . ]

i'm sick of "process."
and if anyone tells me that "life is the journey, not the destination,"
i might just stomp on their foot.
today i want things to be simple~~for real.
no ambiguity
no hippie dippie mumbo-jumbo
no relativity.
black and white
this or that.
and i want to be on the "that" side.
i want there to be a Right Answer,
and for someone to share it with me.
i want "When everything's all said and done,"
to be said and done, and i want to be on the team that wins.
while i'm at it, i want everything
that tastes good be good for me.
everything that feels good be right.
i want the light at the end of the tunnel to be sunshine.
the moral at the end of the story to make sense.
i want to be the one who chuckles
~~huh huh huh!~~
convivially to her partner
and rides off into the sunset.

and, yes~~today~~
i do want fries with that.