Saturday, October 31, 2015

Birthday Reflections

29 years old and a half an hour. Today I thought: I am exactly the person that I want to be. I imagined myself as a seed, gone back into its singularity to sprout into an new level of terrain. I’m pleased with my life and living situation, I am gainfully employed, I have a community of support that shines back at me. I went to a SplendorAllAround show today, and found myself amidst familiar earth, familiar people, familiar music. The consistency of growing roots has me feeling centered, content, and invigorated.

I’ve received gifts from my family in Michigan. They love me lots. I miss them—especially in the fall. Pumpkin pie reminds me of my grandma, and cookies of my grandpa. Fallen leaves crinkling underfoot has my dad’s voice echoing in my ears. The wonder of a new package in the mail makes me think of my mom, and the inspiring art around me, spilling out of my friends always makes me think of my sister.

I worked two jobs today, the day before my birthday. I am growing and learning a lot by paying more and more careful attention. This awareness brings a crispness to my lived experience, and a clarity to my vision, and not just in my employment. My work with my hands teaches me enriching things every day, and the human body’s complexities keep me in wonder.

I’m feeling really free. Levity is the word. Good thing I’m so grounded, or I’d float away in bliss. 

Monday, June 22, 2015


After gathering wood, fetching water, and building a fire, there's a moment of pause while the water comes to a boil. Breathing in the scene, the old master must have noticed the camellia bush above, leaves waving gently. Familiar with hundreds of plants at hand, it's a surprise this herbal doctor hadn't known this one for its benefits. That is, until fate would have a single leaf, brimming with rejuvenating essence, tumbling into the master's pot, now at a boil after the long pause. Maybe it was sheer luck that he recognized the botanical acquaintance, saw that fateful plunge, and payed attention as the infusion lifted his spirits and focused his mind. But luck doesn't have work so well without taking the time to breathe, to notice.

That's the story at least. I guess the sage's name was Shen Nong. He's China's original tea drinker. Other cultures will tell you it's the Buddha's eyelashes, magically turned into tea seeds. Maybe it's none of these, but rather a long and subtle history from way back, humans munching on leaves since the stone age. I think the above story about Shen Nong gives a great insight into tea culture, though. Awareness is the human movement most associated with tea. It is, after all, contemplative act, sipping a hot beverage.

Hope you find a time to slow down and notice something that luck is showing  you today. If you're really lucky, it'll be over a warm drink.

Long Hand Haiku

She really even blossoms further
after midnight (and you
thought her beauty ended
in that dress), when
beyond her radiance,
she shines more so at night,
awash in dark and silver
beams that make-glow
dresses, crumpled on the floor,
and her, now
dressed in gilded
baptized in solitude.
And the moon.