Saturday, February 18, 2017


This world map is what I see first and it actually looks like this from the next room in half light from a curtained window--it's just a folded National Geographic map, unfolded and tacked up on the bookcase there with the light bouncing off creases distorting it beautifully. 
 However, this is a more accurate map 
The Authagraphic map of 2016

A few days without news has been therapeutic:

I transcribed and edited one flash fiction, completed and posted "Red Week" at the blog after adding a music Video (see Link below), Left some Valentine posts at Face book, began another short story, edited a poem, rested, had a new neighborly encounter (story to come), re-read Adrienne Rich "Poems Selected and  New 1950-1974", meditated, answered emails, posted letters, listened to music and the last three discs of "Boys in the Trees" by Carly Simon, finished knotting a three string necklace which now I only have to get the Venetian glass bead drilled for a clasp, and shot some photographs of the rescued cactus that suddenly began to grow fingers right after the January election.

Manhattan is cool and pale today.

According to the Tibetan calendar this date is auspicious for a haircut. i didn't get one but did go to the Zendo for two hours and slow walked back East after.

See the green draining away?
Winter's begun it's turn today.
There will be desperate visitations,
recapitulations and one more fierce snow show,
but every Northern body will know
It's only Spring arriving slow.

All the long day I wandered aimlessly,
unfocused until...
Thursday kindly...disappeared.

In an effort to understand current events,
I found myself following the money trail...
 Oh Damn, Oh drat. Oh, weep and wail.
You get what's been paid for on the Money trail.

Afternoon Walking Therapy
Another long term neighbor gone. Carlos and Mr. Sjoburg were once our Superintendents here.  When they were removed by the new landlord, they continued at their apartment where they raised two wonderful daughters, paying rent. We were friendly. Recently Carlos had been very ill and then they were gone, probably to New Jersey to be with one of their daughters we speculate.

Pigeons and bus stop Signage encouraging gambling
East 23rd Street off Third Avenue.

Public art on a building at Lexington and 24th Street

The Historic Armory at 25th Street on Lexington Avenue
just some of the many battles commemorated...
 The Sixty Ninth Regiment Armory was completed in 1906. The building is still used to house the headquarters of the New York Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment known as the "Fightin' Irish".  It has many other uses as performance space and event rental.
(see link)

 160 Lexington Avenue at 30th Street now houses the high end retail Dover Street Market but with a rich history as a Women's Art School.
(see link)
Then doubled back to home.

Before I read my morning emails, the news or weather, this beauty from February's page of my Florida Wildlife Calendar...and the patch of light almost overwhelming the bark because there was a light source above illuminating it when I took the picture.  I allow myself to Imagine it might be a message from the sun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


(Calendar from Jenny S.)

I've been waiting, under wraps, breathing, sleeping, letting go while still containing all that was, is and might be. I've been tweeking colors on photographs, leaning toward red for hearts, for love, for life---constructing this blog post for the week till Tuesday where Hallmark branded it's Valentine mark, though the historical Valentine was a Christian Martyr living under Roman rule (there are other interpretations of course), and the festival Lupercalia coincides. I've been unearthing memories, reviewing all the love my life has encountered and appreciating the eternal value of friendship...reminding myself what really matters.

(heart forever stamps from Nayra A,)

Let Go
(Throwback to lost teeth)

Fly Free
(Avenue B and 6ths St Garden)

Nostalgia was dominant yet not distressing, only comforting. It's been rich this little life of mine so far. I find myself appreciating that. Adequate sleep and drift, specific medicinal teas and warm baths, certain silences and sanctuaries are my natural inclination and so I have inclined. I made potato leek soup, listened to music, read Carly Simon's "Boys in the Trees" quite entertaining memoir. I was blissfully snowed in.

 (Wendy D. makes yarn roses kike this)

Rest in Beauty Shamelessly
(Teddy graciously posed in rose petals for me)

February is transitional, the shortest month. "Its birth flower is the violet (Viola) and the common primrose (Primula vulgaris). Its birthstone is the amethyst. It symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity. Its zodiac signs are Aquarius until February 19th and Pisces February 20th onward."  The Roman month Februarius was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual.

Disarm the Heart
 (Jude hill's heart under moon)

Give it Away
(Mo's woven heart)

 Share Freely

(a little pop up book of Pooh bear and Piglet)

Monday, February 13, 2017


While returning audio books due near closing time at the library on Friday I encountered a very distressed woman whose 'reserve' book could not be found and we struck up a conversation.  She told me that she just had to have the book.  It was a Calvin and Hobbs collection.  Curious to be desperate about that I thought but could  see she was quite legitimately upset in a way that indicated there was more to the compelling need.  I didn't pry, but suggested she might find something in one of the two thrift shops next door.  I was going in to check for VHS movies as I periodically do, and so we went together.  After a bit more casual conversation she confided that her mother had died the week before without any warning of illness. Calvin and Hobbes was a favorite that she wanted to have for the the weekend.  She was hurting so much, I helped her search.  We didn't find any but she got happy just looking at books.  We bonded over that, laughed about book addictions, and even got into conversation with a fellow book lover there.  That scenario repeated at the second shop accompanied by more information about her previous jobs and skills.  She played the piano at the Opera thrift and I learned a lot more in the hour we spent together than some folks learn in long relationships-she's an artist in many mediums, she lives alone and has been disappointed, she's shy.  The last thing I found out was her name (Jill).  Though I didn't find any movies, I did purchase this book for Ninety Nine Cents to send to Wendy Golden Levitt who works with children, with my thanks again for the Llama related gift she sent me.
Jill remembered knowing me from elsewhere and connections in the yoga community that went way back were revealed, also that we live within five blocks of one another. Then suddenly, while waiting for the light to change and headed to the health food market, her energy shifted radically.  She said she felt dizzy and had to hurry home.  She'd been talking pretty much non-stop the whole time, a kind of manic state that evolved from being way too angry at the library, to happiness bordering giddy joy while on the book search, to this precipitous drop to zero.  She was apologetic but I assured her I understood, that it was natural considering the strain she'd been under.  We hugged and parted.

The End is always Love

What was the relevance of this comic strip?

"Thus it is clear that in this way all the dharmas are within your own natures, yet your own natures are always pure. The sun and the moon are always bright, yet if they are covered by clouds, although above they're bright, below they are darkened, and the sun, moon, stars, and planets cannot be seen clearly. But if suddenly the wind of wisdom should blow and roll away the clouds and mists, all forms in the universe appear at once. The pu­rity of the nature of humankind in this world is like the blue sky; wisdom is like the sun, knowledge like the moon. Although knowledge and wis­dom are always clear, if you cling to external environments, the floating clouds of false thoughts will create a cover, and your own natures can­not become clear."
(daily reminder from Commit to Sit practice)


Calvin and Hobbes

Commit to Sit

Friday, February 10, 2017


Commit To Sit
"The purpose of our sitting meditation is not to eliminate thoughts, but to adjust our relationship to our thoughts. "Not to activate thoughts" is an invitation to allow ourselves the compassion and gentleness to observe thoughts as they arise and allow them to pass without needing to follow them to some imagined conclusion."

(Painting by my friend Dylan Guy)

Dos Madres Press is dedicated to the belief that the small press is essential to the vitality of contemporary literature. This night they celebrated "In the Realms of the Mothers"
KGB Bar featured readings by David Katz (hidden behind the signing table), Rick Mullen (while beard) and R. Nemo Hill (not shown)
Julio Perea loved it
Me too


Looking out from the ATM enclosure of my Bank...
...then to the store to lay in supplies for the coming storm, then home to cook and rest.

Poor 'Teddy' worrying about our future since I've subjected him to constant, alarming political news for the past many weeks.
After reminding us both to 'Be Here Now', we relaxed into the snow-slowed day, opened the front window, leaned out, took some deep breaths and gazed Westward.
 Traditionally 'Throw back' on Face book is Thursdays, so I posted this vintage image of myself with "Kitty Does Too" by Vivienne, a 'Just Like You' book published in 1946.
Some Good News - A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a Trump administration request to allow its travel ban to take effect.  The battle continues none the less but folks have an enlarged window of opportunity to get to safety and that made me glad.

The 10th of February dawning and news not arrived as yet. What fresh misery, what delights await today?
A single Mourning dove calls out of the darkness
somewhere out there in the building alley--
Oh how that sound sings of the past to me--
comforts at the same time fills with such sadness

Suddenly an answering call from not too far away 
then the call response in quick succession--
with pitch and subtlety of a conversation--
I am at home again though I never moved an inch

In the world outside these flimsy walls everything seems in jeopardy. Executive orders shoot out in the quick succession of machine gun fire, day and night spewing chaos and contention, fear and uncertainty.  It's impossible to keep up, impossible to bear when the bully boys arrive and commence throwing chairs--who could?  Slow down, concentrate and try to separate the tangled threads of all this destructive, thoughtless activity I tell myself and do that. My bed's become a therapist, a medicine that can not cure but does relieve the strain.  We are mortal after all and the nervous system is very real.  It can only sustain what's sustainable.
I need more practice.


Dos MadresPress
The Event

Good News

Monday, February 6, 2017


Bathed in peppermint soap, drip dried for an hour, then air dried overnight near a heat riser, and now ready for the week ahead.

My Face book Post this Morning
"Selections from the news--The Queen of England is 85 and the longest reigning Monarch on earth, The New England Patriots won the the first overtime game in Super Bowl history, A US appeals court denied the appeal of the Justice Department to reinstate the Presidents ban but the fight will continue, The federal conspiracy trials against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his followers is beginning with jury selection for the trial of six of Bundy's supporters., Snow in the Rockies has crippled some communities, In New York City the temperature will be in the high thirties and rain can be expected late tonight. A throwback to SNL featuring Mellisa McCarthy as Shawn Spicer."

The Mail
A dear friend's lovingly handmade 100% Turkish wool rainbow creations arrived, accompanied by four boxes of my favorite incense...

...and a note with such heartfelt, generous affirmations of our long lived friendship, it transported me back to happy moments from childhood. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017


Fight or Flight
"This response is recognized as the first stage of the general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms."

I have noticed that our rock doves ('pigeons') are more wary, having been under stress from the relentlessly disruptive, often dangerous and sometimes fatal changes in this City of the last decade. Further under threat of 'Netting' events where private profiteers swoop down on them periodically to make quick money by selling them for target practice, have resulted in hundreds disappearing overnight. The law against feeding them, and the spikes building owners have installed on sills and walls everywhere have made nourishment and roosting impossible.  What we might observe as hyper-vigilance is a necessary response for survival.

I Never Heard a Sound, but First one flies off wildly...
 Then many...
until only two bewildered youngsters were left.
Reptilian Brain
"The primitive, instinctive brain function that is shared by all reptiles and mammals, including humans. It is the most powerful and oldest of our coping brain functions since without it we would not be alive."

I too have become somewhat hyper-vigilant in response to these past weeks of constant National and International traumatic assaults and, though I've selectively joined peaceful protests and signed petitions, this weekend I've taken metaphorical flight. 

Henry V | Act 1, Prologue by William Shakespeare

"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention, A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,  And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all, The flat unraised spirits that have dared On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth So great an object: can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques That did affright the air at Agincourt? O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest in little place a million; And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder: Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts; Into a thousand parts divide on man,And make imaginary puissance; Think when we talk of horses, that you see them Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
 For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times, Turning the accomplishment of many years Into an hour-glass: for the which supply, Admit me Chorus to this history; Who prologue-like your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play."


Readable Digital Issue-Village Voice

Henry V-History

Reptilian Brain

Fight or Flight

Thursday, February 2, 2017


From Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College
(edited slightly only for punctuation and line sense in this blog context)

"I don't like to talk about politics-- political history is my job after all, but there is an important non-partisan point to make: What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with the ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries-- is creating what is known as a "shock event.  Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order. When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event. The Executive Order banning entrance has had all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counter-terrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it. Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot. My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won't like. I don't know what Bannon is up to-- although I have some guesses-- but because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle-- and my friends range pretty widely-- who will benefit from whatever it is. If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal. But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event. A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union. If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power. Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it."

from me
If shock works, fear is holding it's hand so people will need training and practice. Sprint is selling drone games, but before this one arms itself and the Perky Parrot becomes an Eagle with it's talons out, It might be wise to remember that war is not a virtual game. I'm thinking about friendly chess matches in real time and space, about the value of diplomacy, about the future of humanity and the planet. We might turn our thoughts to finding common ground.


Faux turn of the century Iron work jacks up the real estate value of buildings, faux flooring and trim adds to the rent once old spaces have been rehabilitated to accommodate the market rate.  Faux gardens, fountains and malls with steel chairs and tables dot the territory to imitate congenial space for human habitat. Human beings are affected by their habitats, either conforming to or rebelling against them. We are not comfortable in sham worlds and seek authenticity even when we don't know that's what we really want and need. When I think about what the settings were meant for, I free myself.     

Around the corner from my apartment, a bus stop advertisement is pushing the positive when I just heard NPRs broadcast about the waste fraud and misappropriation of funds meant to help Vets directly that the VA seems to continue to perpetrate with abandon while paying for advertisements like this"An investigation by NPR and local member stations found that: the VA has about the same number of new hires as the VA would have been projected to hire without the additional $2.5 billion; the new hires weren't sent to VA hospitals with the longest wait times; and the VA medical centers that got new hires were not more likely to see improved wait times."  If we think, we can't be fooled.

She Thinks of Me
Out of the blue, dear Cynthia Craig sends these natural products from the Healing Root in Vermont.
The very essences needed to boost immunity, ease pains, heal wounds, promote calm and more.  So helpful these gifts are, and so nourishing the kind thought that sent them my way, I'm grateful.

Bottom-line thinking and supply-side economics, like bottom-feeder ethics are last and least best of all possible options for promoting a healthy society.  How then can a poor man or woman respond to the enormous and many powerful entities that pervert health and wellness into insurance plans that don't insure either?  How can we think our way through the raging torrent of thoughtless deconstruction pouring out of the new administration in Washington?  What actions might be of the most value to invest in nowSince we must find ways to 'insist, resist and persist', may they be from a base of clarity and calm thoughtfulness. My own energy is limited by my individual capacity on many fronts. Group energy can be chaotic unless the group agrees to cohesive purpose and effective means.  I'm not a strategist, nor do I have the strength once mine in youth. I value kindness, empathy, courage and intelligence above all. 

May all beings find effective means for their values and energies.
 May all beings be happy, safe and at peace with whatever comes to them in life.