Sunday, February 27, 2011


#1816 - Having someone who was willing to walk around Lake of the Isles with me twice on a February day.

#1817 - While listening to Jacqueline Ultan play the cello tonight, the point at which I stopped thinking about things and was just absorbing.

#1818 - The point at which my breathing became deep and even while listening to the cello.

#1819 - The moment when the person next to me and I both simultaneously let out a deep exhale.

#1820 - Conversation between a friend's 9 yr old and I -

"I don't get why my Dad keeps a frisbee in the house when I can't use it." Tatia

"Where should he keep the frisbee - in the garage?" Me

"Well, no but I just find it irresistible." Tatia

Friday, February 25, 2011

Possibility Arising

#1806 - Typically I get my haircut no more than twice a year. I like to correspond the timing to some sort of shift/change I feel in my life.

The past 2 1/2 years I've been growing out something (not just my hair, something bigger.) Today finally, I decided things had shifted and it was time for a cut (even if not a dramatic one). However, I ended up at the hair-cutting school 1/2 hour late and they were it didn't happen. I came home and then was disappointed because there were a couple people I was hoping to hear from, and like the hair-cut -- nothing. So I started playing the guitar and trying to figure out what I was going to be grateful for today. Maybe the feeling/hope that I would get one of those phone calls and correspondingly that it was time for the shift/hair-cut. Even though none of them happened, can I be grateful for the possibilities arising?

#1807 - So the gratitudes feel more like work today. Hmmm. How about the fact that I started making dinner last night, so it was quicker when I got home today - Chilean Squash. I cooked the squash and cut the onions and garlic last night.

#1808 - How about - when I pulled the, "stop requested" on the bus this AM, nothing happened. So I walked up the bus, sat in the very front and told the driver it wasn't working (we were past my stop). He said to try it again, I turned to look beside me and the guy I had hurriedly squeezed next to did it for me. It didn't work, but he was quite attractive.

#1809 - As a result of this I had to wait about 20 minutes in between buses. I was alone in a three sided bus stop shelter so I started singing my new guitar song and the bit of echo entertained me.

#1810 - Lebanon, Peru, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Philippines, and Tajikistan.

Sometimes when I get the emails from KIVA that I have money paid back to re-lend, it just seems like something else to do. However, in the 3 1/2 years since I have been on KIVA I have participated in small loans in all of the countries I listed above, and today COLUMBIA. Pretty wide impact for very little money (minimum loan is $25).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


#1796 - I was kind of complaining about the blandness of some tofu mushroom stroganoff I made. My brother heard me and suggested I add some stroganoff (apparently he thought I was eating plain rice.) This is the amazing thing about my brother. When you cook him food he is pretty much always grateful. Really it is quite remarkable.

#1797 - Dear Pyongyang - a film I was drawn into because my brother was watching it. It was a really simple documentary about a Korean-Japanese family and the dynamic of their national loyalties etc. It was beautiful.

#1798 - Womenfolk - this show is on for two hours a week on a community radio station. I never remember to listen when it is playing, but recently I've started listening to it later on-line. Today I heard at least three new artists that I enjoyed: Eddie from Ohio, The Ericksons and Brianna Lane.

#1799 - The library had a Brianna Lane CD which I requested.

#1800 - Womenfolk is going to have Carrie Elkin on next week (I heard her at a music festival last August and really enjoyed it). I look forward to hearing her next week and maybe going to see her at the cafe where she will be playing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Ahhhh Breath

#1786 - You know I wasn't very happy about all the snow melting last week. We've still got a while before it's warm outside and until it is, I'm not enticed to be outside if there isn't snow. Now there is plenty.

#1787 - I had a great time at the indoor park with my friend's baby last week. I decided to call and see if I could schedule another visit. I thought about saying we (the baby and I) both wanted to go to the park again, but I held back because I don't like the idea of speaking for other people, even jokingly. I did say that we both had a good time. "I guess!" she replied, "He keeps saying 'Ammy' and 'gym'."

#1788 - Being told what someone else wants, but then being acknowledged that what I want might be different

#1789 - The Two Libyan Fighter Pilots that when ordered to Bomb their own People, Flew to Malta instead seeking Political Asylum

Isn't it strange to say that it took immense courage to not bomb their own people? (That it's not the obvious choice?) Isn't even stranger to say that some people are our "own" people and some people are not?

#1790 - The Ahhh Breath - A Stephen Levine exercise that I haven't tried yet, but think sounds beautiful. One person lays down in a relaxed position (like corpse pose in yoga), the other sits beside lined up with their stomach. The two people take a few breaths together.

Then, the person laying down completely relaxes. That is all he/she does.

The sitting person starts to match his/her breathing to the one laying down saying, "Aaahhh" with each exhale. They do this for 20-40 minutes.

"In a workshop recently, after doing the Ah Breath Bonding Meditation, a woman came to us in tears saying, "I have been married for nine years, but here in this room with five hundred people under the most ridiculous circumstances, doing this meditation is the closest we have ever been (84-85)." Embracing the Beloved by Stephen and Ondrea Levine

Saturday, February 19, 2011

be of love (a little) more careful than of everything --e.e. cummings

I've started reading Elizabeth Gilbert's latest book, Committed, surprisingly enough on my brother's insistence. If you see me reading a book with a bunch of paper scraps sticking out, it means there was something on that page that I wanted to go back to and either ponder, discuss or write down. So I can count at least five scraps here...

I've never liked, "until death do us part." I know I am a minority here, but Gilbert found me a mentor in Lillian Harman. In 1887, Lillian Harman, "refused to swear eternal loyalty to Edwin (her husband), but stated firmly that she would, 'make no promises that it may become impossible or immoral for me to fulfill, but retain the right to act always as my conscience and best judgment shall dictate (77).'"


Slaves were not allowed to marry which destroyed the institution of marriage in the African-American community and has lasting effects today (69). I hadn't thought about that before.


"Real, sane, mature love - the kind that pays the mortgage year after year and picks up the kids after school - is not based on infatuation but on affection and respect (102)."


And I can't explain this one, you have to have the pre-story, so it will only have meaning to you if you own the book. I'm on p. 177, and my far my favorite moment was what Gilbert's grandmother said to her on p. 166.


Okay that was true until I read 190-194, her section about childless women. Well done Elizabeth, I'm glad to hear it and AMEN!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Worry and Trust

#1766 - Were these signs created by an atheist?

What would a sign by a Hindu or Buddhist say? "Dead Again"?

Or a born again Christian? "Dead Division"?

You may not find any of this funny, but I was cracking myself up.

#1767 - As soon as I took the aforementioned photo a man came out of the house next to it. I quickly put my camera away, and hoped he didn't ask me about why I was taking a photo near his house.

(I once was taking a picture of a bike rack at the co-op and a guy came up to me and asked, "Can I help you?"

"No, thanks I'm fine." Then I kept on and he said something, obviously angry, asked what I was doing or something. Then I replied, "Oh, I'm just happy to see all these people riding their bikes." I never did figure out why he thought taking a picture of his bike was threatening...")

Anyway, the man was walking to his car and asked, "Are you taking pictures of scenery?" (It was a foggy gray day with melting snow and lots of dirt and no scenery I could see.)

"No, of a sign for an art project," (I didn't want to get into the religious dead end discussion.)

"If you stand up there you can photograph the fog rising off the snow, over by the cemetery too, you can see it there." I looked and could see a little, but I wasn't appreciating it like he was.

"I don't think my camera is good enough for that." I said.

"I'm going to the park to take photos right now."

"Of the fog off the snow?"

"Yes, there are lots of things to see if people would JUST TAKE THE TIME TO SEE THEM."

#1768 - Receiving a check in the mail written on Valentine's Day

#1769 - Hawaii is about to join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and DC in granting same-sex Marriages.

#1770 - I read this yesterday, but my gratitude will be remembering to share it. I love it!

Stephanie wrote -

"When someone is preoccupied or worried for someone else, we usually see that as a good, selfless, caring thing.

But really, when you are worried about someone, what you really say is:

"I'm afraid. I don't trust that this situation will turn out right. I don't trust you made the right choice. I don't trust that you will make it. I don't trust that you are strong enough."

Briefly: "I don't trust you.""

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trusting there is a Reason

#1756- I had this thought on Saturday that I needed to go to my friend's house on Tuesday. Yesterday, Monday, I was feeling a little busy/full and I thought, "Well, I don't need to go to my friend's tomorrow," (I hadn't called her yet), but when I thought this my whole body said, "No! That is part of your plan for the week." So today when I arrived there I found out she'd had a rough night (little sleep). "So that is why I'm here today," I packed up her 1 1/2 year old and we went to an indoor playground (new to me).

#1757 -
When we arrived in the ball area there was a big window separating it from a swimming pool where some seniors where doing a water aerobics class. They enjoyed smiling and waving at my companion and he enjoyed watching them. I love places that bring generations together, as opposed to isolating them.

#1758 - For the most part I was pretty hands off, I just kept an eye on him and let him explore. After we had been there for an hour and a 1/2 or he was probably getting tired. At one point he ran back to where I sat watching him and hopped up for a hug and quick rest. This is a beautiful gift that I got to receive because his mother was at home.

#1759 - I didn't bring water for either of us, so I located the drinking fountain. It became obvious pretty quickly he had not used one before. Although I demonstrated he didn't get it, and just wanted to play with the water. So I picked him up, held him to it, used his hand to help me press and got to witness him grow.

#1760 - When it was about time to get ready to go, I wondered if he would want to stay. However, before I mentioned leaving to him, he said, "Bu, bye." So he too knew it was time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today's Easy

#1746 - There is a pond less than one mile from my house that I noticed a year or two ago had a path cleared for skating. I didn't think the city cleared it, but I didn't know. I tried skating on it once last year, but I was alone and scared (I'm cautious about frozen bodies of water and I think it had thawed some the previous week, so I didn't explore much.) Today I finally tried again.

It was a gorgeous day and after the cold of Dec/Jan I felt completely safe. Usually when skating alone I get bored after 15 minutes. However, this was not a loop on an ice rink, it was a path that went at least a few blocks and then circled a small island in back. I had so much fun I skated for almost an hour.

#1747 - It was right as I completed the loop that my question about who clears all this ice was answered. There was a plowed path up someone's backyard to what looked like a ride-on lawn mower with a plow on front. Clearing all that ice with that small vehicle would take quite a while! I decided (and I think in part thanks to doing this blog I had the idea) to write a thank-you card to these people.

#1748 - Human Body - It makes perfect sense to me that people's bodies adjust to temperatures. What doesn't make sense to me is the fact that I spend 95% of my time in 68 degrees, and yet MY BODY STILL ADJUSTS. Yes of course 40 degrees feels cold in the fall after a summer of warmth. But why does 40 degrees feel balmy today when I SPEND 95% OF MY TIME IN 68? Our bodies are so smart!!

#1749 - Telling the last story, the Epilogue, in Jorge Bucay's Dejame que te Cuente to my brother and sister-in-law and then us discussing the meaning of it afterwards.

#1750 - There is a Celtic service once a month that I really enjoy. During the service they interweave beautiful poetry readings. I've thought that I would enjoy being the reader, but I figured they practiced sometime during the week. I already sometimes don't go to the service because it isn't nearby, so I didn't want to drive across town for a practice too. I've been going for at least three years, and for whatever reason (Lisa, my positive day, who knows...) I felt motivated today to ask when they practice. The answer, "before the service," no extra drive required. I filled out the slip to volunteer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Power to the People

#1736- I did something today I have only done when moving. I emptied the refrigerator of all its contents and cleaned it. Beautiful.

#1737 - Because of my question of the day Wed, I found out that Elizabeth Gilbert is in town tonight speaking for FREE. I learned this 3 hours before the event. I am grateful that I am single and childless and often without plans because this made it easy to get ready to go.
For transportation reasons I never made it. However, I sat in the living room peacefully for an hour waiting thinking I might, and thought I was a little disappointed, I was more so grateful.

#1738 - My brother thanked me for just listening when he was contradictory the other day.

#1739 - This morning I heard the news around 8:30am. It said the Egyptian military had agreed to end the state of emergency if the protestors stopped. I learned the "state of emergency" has been in effect in Egypt for 30 YEARS (as has the current president). "It bans more than three members of a political group meeting without permission." The commentator said that though this was a step, what the protestors really wanted was the President to step down and it didn't look like that was going to happen.

Then at 7pm my brother asked me if I heard about Egypt today, "Yeah a little." I responded.


#1740 - It has been a "leaderless movement". There isn't a certain name or face that made this happen, it came from the people.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Question of the Day

#1726 - I was in a bad mood earlier today. Who knows why, but I was blaming it on nothing really changing. At some point later I picked up the guitar and started playing/singing/praying the songs from the last Taize service I went to. It was during one of these prayers that I received a phone call, I have an interview for a job I am really interested in.

#1727 - I went back to the guitar and sang those prayers again.

#1728 - There are some errors on the data entry I am doing that are going to take (feels like) forever to fix, and that is ok, or at least since I have only begun fixing them, at the moment it's ok.

#1729 - Cherries, Bananas, Black Raspberries, Pineapple/Coconut Juice, Strawberry Greek Yogurt and Flax Seed Smoothie

#1730 - And now what you are all waiting for - my QUESTION OF THE DAY. This is inspired by the fact that if I could choose anyone in the world to come to Minneapolis, I would choose the Dalai Lama. And he is coming. So my question is - "If you could choose anyone (currently alive) to come to where you live for a public event - whether it be a musician, speaker, politician, writer, artist, magician, whatever...who would you choose?"

This is my top of the head list (which is absent any women unfortunately):

#1 - Dalai Lama
#2 - Cory Booker (mayor of Newark, NJ)
#3 - Krishna Das (musician)
#4 - Echhart Tolle (writer)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Deep Freeze

#1716 - My friend Jed requesting to hear my songs which led to the impetus to make simple recordings of them

#1717 - Using "impetus" in that previous gratitude

#1718 - You know at one point in my life I didn't think I had any artistic ability. Similarly, for much of my life I thought I had a horrible singing voice. Now a days I'm singing all the time and I don't care who hears.

#1719 - I have been sitting next to a window much of the day where a cold draft is coming in. All day long it has reminded me, how lucky I am to be warm.

#1720 - My Dad's birthday is coming up. He asked today if I would be willing to defrost clean/out the deep freezer sometime. Yeah! I'll do it for his birthday, my kind of present.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thai Fortune

#1706 - The message in my Thai Fortune Cookie

#1707 - Right before going to the restaurant I was hungry, and probably would have been impatient, if I were not practicing guitar.

#1708 - The smile on a woman's face who was cross-country skiing. It reminded me of the smile of my freshman roommate in college - pure and genuine.

#1709 - Right after thinking this I stopped to rest and she started talking to me. She said was a little afraid because she hadn't skied in years. She used to compete, but that was 1/2 a lifetime ago. I told her it certainly looked like she was having fun (and as I watched her head off I could see how naturally it came backed to her, it was beautiful.)

#1710 - This brief interaction infused the rest of my ski with a bit of joy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


#1696 - My brother's interest and knowledge of international affairs, today specifically the current situation in Egypt

#1697 - Egyptians demanding free and fair elections

#1698 - My friend's baby eating almost an entire bag of frozen peas and carrots (and butter). "More," he kept saying.

#1699 - His language acquisition - today he said "lettuce" for the first time.

#1700 - Letting people know the DALAI LAMA is coming to town May 8th. YEAH!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


#1686 - Watching the DVD that came with K'Naan's Dusty Foot Philosopher CD

#1687 - Simon (?) the awesome man in the DVD who gives more in a day I'd say than most of us do in a lifetime.

#1688 - - this was one of the segments on the DVD. I guess it's a TV show called "4REAL." I've just seen the K'Naan one, but it looks like they take famous people to highlight cool things going on in places around the world. I just read a paragraph there about a man named Kimmie Weeks and it gave me the chills (in a good way).

#1689 - Using my strategy and a bit of his intuition, a friend of mine chose the word "whiffet" as his word of the year. That's right WHIFFET

#1670 - I just read Mr. Mraz's blog dated Jan. 31st-

"Gratitude can be a bitch to get sometimes. This is why it is called Practicing Gratitude – because it isn’t easy - you have to practice."