Saturday, August 24, 2019


August 24th 2019
A good day to be alive.

"The city is built on the backbone of wild things,
Beneath it their ancient hearts beat,
Layers on layers of lifetimes
Lying dormant below every street.
And above them the world rumbles onward,
A jungle of windows and walls,
Like ants that run from a rainstorm
The traffic chaotically crawls.
You can still sense the souls of the wild things,
As the stars are switched on in the night,
Tangled betwixt all the power lines
And the ghostly glow of the streetlights.
It is the feeling of something much grander,
Like the city has simply been borrowed,
And the wild things on which it has been built
Will reclaim it in some far tomorrow.
It's the echoes of calls long forgotten,
The reminder we're living above the unknown,
And that we are not the first nor the last ones
Who will call this same piece of land home."

 by Erin Hanson

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”

Lao Tzu from the Tao Te Ching

August 13th to 20th 2019
Being with my other 'family', acknowledged and known, I relaxed and my Massachusetts sojourn proved curative once again.

Last Morning 
Visible before sunrise, this waning moon.

(more to come)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Though my travel anxiety is at high pitch, I've got a ticket in hand and packed a reasonable bag. The train leaves at 2 p.m. and dear friends expect me in Massachusetts at 5:30 p.m.  Some future time perhaps I'll write an essay about the difficulty of leaving my comfort zone. Better yet, maybe it will simply dissolve and become irrelevant.

At the Zendo last Night
Meanwhile, I'll be without the internet resting weary eyes and busy, bouncing brain cells until late August.

I wish you all ease and joy. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019


Where do people go to when they die?
Somewhere down below or in the sky?
‘I can’t be sure,’ said Grandad, ‘but it seems
They simply set up home inside our dreams.’

(Inside our Dreams by Jeanne Willis)

Health Care Proxy
I've been obsessed with this task since these forms were given to us at the "Wisdom Sangha", our monthly meeting of elders. At our respective ages, we are thinking about what to choose in advance.

the Buddha said:

I am of the nature to grow old
There is no way to escape growing old
I am of the nature of ill-health
There is no way to escape having ill health
I am of the nature to die
There is no way to escape death
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change
There is no way to escape being separated from them
My actions are my only true belongings
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions
My actions are the ground on which I stand

Many details to iron out and a certain amount of anxiety about getting it as right as possible. There are feelings too. I let them come in all their forms and then let them go. Still, their are appointments to make (one form requires my Physicians signature) and lots to complete, including a living will. Hoping to have it done before September with copies delivered to all those concerned.

Who will be my Health Care Proxy?
Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell volunteered.

 One Needs at least Two.
Last week, in conversation with my Friend, Margaritta Aguilar who's known me since the Nineties, also volunteered herself to protect my wishes. I am fortunate.


by Nick Flynn

Of course it might be a door
or it could be a field or

an ocean
or a glass on a table heavy

with sunlight

& someone there
to hand it to you

 a beautiful stone
from the bottom of a river

Practical Considerations

Amy Cunningham, a member of my Zendo with extensive knowledge of Funerals and the legal matters family and friends will be confronted with once we have left our bodies behind.


www.agingwith rights/molst/

Legalities change from State to State.

Thursday, July 18, 2019


July 2019
Illuminated messages on the Streets are ubiquitous. Example: but, not on our building roof where we may never go now, not even to lie down quietly with neighbors and watch meteor showers as once we did when we were a community.

This corner where I catch a moon when looking east will soon be blocked. The buildings there have been gutted and all is waiting for the developer to make the move.

This corner on eighth Avenue, abandoned for years, will be the next big Chelsea condominium when the owners get their 'ducks' lined up.

The picket gals, Joan and Carol + Riley
Visiting from the Carolinas
Used to be my next-door neighbors. They were in residence when I arrived in 1969. We shared the third floor fire escape windows for decades and many stories.

They were shocked by overpopulation and all the construction and destruction of the past we knew and couldn't wait to get home

Last Zendo  sit before closing for a week long Seshin Retreat


Sunset at the Hudson River Park

Computer Savior, compassionate Fred, having spent two hours clearing up a few of the many messes i made on my system, he stops to pose for me with my adopted Pot Garden.


I was lost without the Zendo, so planned to visit with Joan Suval meditation, but found I had written the wrong address and was many blocks away and an hour late when I gave up and simply wandered until tired enough to head home.

Lonely sunflower like me and the distant moon.
Sangha members making cranes before meditation to send to a detention center protest being organized by a Japanese monk

Grateful for their return.
Sangha friend Carol gave me her extra copy,
Koshin Wrote


In-Betweens Street Finds and Others encountered:
Very fine chair

I moved it from the top of a garbage pile and placed it here, hoping someone would take it home. Someone did.
Worker, Mother and 'mench' I chat with when shopping at the 24/7 Supermarket a few blocks West. We've exchanged personal histories in bits and pieces, developing a sympathetic acquaintance over time.

Parked on Park Avenue

In New York City News
Fifteen rider deaths in the past months. There are memorials and protests with bikers demanding protection.


Full Moon Meditation

Closing Show at Tibet House
"Body Of Light"

Romio Shrestha 
Born in1960 Kathmandu, Nepa has devoted his time to preserving the ancient art of thangka painting. Romio and Sophie, his Irish wife who is also a painter, have spent the last twenty eight years together exhibiting and teaching around the world and developing the art of thangka painting in Kathmandu along with Romio’s atelier of artists. They live in Ireland and Nepal with their four daughters Amber, Topaz, Metta and Jaya. By carefully balancing the traditional and his own expression, Romio has developed his own style and is constantly breaking new ground. His work can be found in the permanent collections of The British Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Ireland, The American Museum of Natural History in New York, and other museums around the world.

4:30 p.m.
Storm Brewing

7:30 p.m.
Storm Breaks
Lightning, Thunder, Rain
I was drenched to the skin, ducking in doorways to try for a shot. Alas I just wasn't quick enough or practiced enough and didn't want to shoot continuously for fear of filling the card.

Serious Heat Wave begins with a weekend of temperatures in the nineties that rise to 100-115 degrees with heat index and I pray the electric company can manage to keep all our cooling systems going, that the homeless are rescued, that the refugee finds refuge.

Currant Politics

He knows what bait to use: outrageous declarations and odious actions. Just remember It's a Trap. He's got his eyes on the prize: Another four years. I'm outraged and disgusted again and again, but I agree with Nancy Pelosi that we need to keep passionate emotion in check and our focus on the prize: his defeat in the next election. If we are successful, lawyers of conscience can pursue his immense criminality and exact penalties for his responsibility in all the consequences his actions have had on everything they've touched. Let him spend the rest of his life and fortune being diminished, one legal bite at a time until only his bare bones are left to testify, until he is a dark memory, a brief paragraph in the history of crimes against humanity.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


 I'm rooted here in urban heaven, green scent of crushed grass rising, while under the sod industrious worms perform the work of renewal.
Listening to laughing voices of children.
A somersaulting  girl landed well...
and so her sister lined up to be next.
Sunday sailors drifted back and forth.


A speed boat slapped from North to South making waves, passed a three story party boat with its Jazz band fading to silence. Then a Jet plane heading somewhere else ripped through the sound-scape.

We call it sundown...
yet our sun is a fixed star.
Mother and I were standing side by side on the unlit boardwalk of an Island retreat long ago and far away when night fell and the horizon disappeared. Moonless, sea and sky were one entity equal in stars and I felt a strong magnetic sensation in my solar plexus - only gravity was holding me from flying off the planet as earth rolled backward away from day.


A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
In Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!
I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
But in Camelot, Camelot
That's how conditions are.
The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!
I know it gives a person pause,
But in Camelot, Camelot
Those are the legal laws.
The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


A patriotic offering from Little Eddie decades ago....Those who have seen "Grey Gardens" will recognize her. Those who don't or the nostalgic can view the original trailer for context:
 Plus this informative eleven minute video review of the lives of the two women who lived there, which includes a mini history of the Kennedys (Jacqueline Kennedy is close relative and tried to help when they were broke and under threat of eviction).