March 26, 2020. We humans do well to pay attention to wisdom beyond our own, channeled perhaps, direct perhaps, intuited probably. Some questioning (especially of the disparate advice regarding the COVID-19 influence) is inevitable.
Snow Sez is one of my favorite comics, and I have been distressed at his absence this past week. He was just gathering wisdom, it seems … delivered today. I took it immediately to my resident “seer” and she gave a nod. (But note: she continues cleaning her paws in traditional feline fastidious ways.)
(My mother would be 102 today … I sense her nudging me to lighten up.)
March 13, 2020. Today the governor declared Texas a disaster area. (No doubt others before have deemed Texas a disaster in some vein … this official designation stems from COVID-19 … health and economic issues.) We are headed into Spring Break, so my teacher husband will be off work next week; likely the week after that; unknown how long the panic and the virus causing the panic will prevail. I fit into an age bracket considered more vulnerable to this invasive virus, though I do not feel old (apart from several joints that ache). Difficult to believe this virus could feel any worse than my severe reaction to Shingrix back in November! Anticipating my 2nd Shingrix coming in April, I choose to remain optimistic that I will make it through that and this disaster. I expect to be reflecting a year from now on lessons learned while moving blindly, unsure what I’ll bump into next (shelves empty of essentials … canceled events counted on … local businesses shutting down) yet comforted by others sharing this not-knowing.
Last August, I sat for several days with an old lady named Bella. Bella is blind. Bella is quite old for a cat. Bella keeps purring. Bella taught me a thing or two. This poem, written with Bella, was subsequently accepted for the 18th annual Story Circle Network anthology: Real Women Write: Growing / Older, Susan Schoch, Editor — https://www.amazon.com/dp/0979532957 — paperback & e-book
October 6, 2018. Today the U.S. has taken a turn many of us deem disastrous. But why sit home and follow the predictable senate vote? Better to brave traffic tension, spend the hours with meditative peers. Not a word uttered about the politicians’ games. From the silence, I’ve come away determined to keep a beginner’s mind, to follow whatever comes next with curiosity, to remember that nothing happens in a vacuum, nothing escapes eventual change.
This verse formed in my head as I drove toward today’s gathering – an intention mantra of sorts. The image is yucca seeds, gathered temporarily before separating to spread yucca essence beyond original setting, mixing into varied landscapes.
December 21, 2017. As this year moves closer to closure, usual seasonal mood swings squeeze into limited interior space crowded with national tensions, frustrations way beyond individual control and impossible to expel. Thank you, Nature. Your cycles remind “this, too, will pass”. Optimistic fingers tightly crossed, I look toward 2018.
July 23, 2017. Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations. This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace! I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees. Research proves its value. My experience here bears witness.
June 1, 2017. The last half of May was a bombardment of encounters – a piling on of understanding my own impermanence, connectedness, and choices. This poem has been finished multiple times, only to reopen given the next day’s encounter. Not all-inclusive, some pieces were trimmed to make space for others. I’m calling this complete now. (Though there could be a sequel!)
This began with breaking open during Jimmy LaFave’s final performance three days before his death – witnessing his choice to live his last year on his own terms, embracing life rather than fighting death. The wrap-up arrived as a scientific article on lichens.
References:  Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Dear Christie”: https://ahundredfallingveils.com/2017/05/22/dear-christie/  Scientific American June 2017 issue, “The Meaning of Lichen”
Collage: Raven from Bryce Canyon, UT. Lichen from Red Corral Ranch, TX.
May 6, 2017. Our Mexican Sunflowers began blooming early this year, bright spots, especially in a windy drizzle. I noticed one bloom whipped by the wind, its petals all gone except for one – tenacious, flapping wildly like a kite unsure whether to soar or crash. I went inside for the camera, expecting it to be blown away when I returned. But no, still hanging on to its familiar center in spite of prevailing forces – seeming a model for fidelity to my core principles in the midst of a turbulent world.