It’s May Day.
I have no real tradition to follow on this day. As a young child it was all about picking flowers, leaving them on doorsteps, ringing the bell and running away. Simpler times. I miss those days sometimes. No responsibility, no stress, just a true beginners mind.
I’ve been listening to The Zen of Therapy. It started a little slow but now I’m hooked. Part memoir, part reflection, part deep dive into the psyche. The fact that he gives more than a passing nod to both Ram Dass and John Cage draws me in even deeper.
Driving to the refuge this morning in light traffic with a really good coffee should have been enough. But then there was talk about the ten fetters, the cultivation of benevolence and even the constant calibration we do in our lives when we believe others are always doing better than we are. The author shares real life stories to bring home his points. Even when the stories are technically nothing like my own, there is something familiar in how they come to solution. Or acceptance. Or peace.
When I first chose a practice of meditation, I used John Cage as my inspiration. His brilliant 4’33” was where I began. Four minutes and 33 seconds of just being. It was a humble beginning. One of his initial inspirations was Robert Rauschenberg’s series of white (blank) canvases in 1951. As the canvas showed light and shadow of the room and those viewing it, so the three-movement piece by Cage held the sound of life as it happened, different in each performance. All sound is music and all light and shadow, art.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this, other than I love it, and I was reminded of both these things as I drove today.
At the refuge I walked with friends that I have missed. The birds were awake and alive and I felt the oddly familiar sense that I was home. It occurs to me that, this too, is a practice. On my bad days I remember how much I have learned on these walks. Patience, attentiveness and reverence. Thanks for coming along. I hope you never tire of seeing the birds. I can’t imagine not sharing them with you.
Blue Sky Church.
It’s a thing.
Your trillium photo is stunning, Bonnie. Thanks for sharing pictures of your special “home” with us.
Thank you so much for being here, Siobhan. I have to confess, I let that trillium do all the work ♡
I’m not sure there is a better practice than yours at Nisqually. It has pretty much everything one would need by now: longevity, trees, birds, benches, friends, road time for listening and learning, silence, early morning, sky, water, surprises, inspiration . . . Sounds like church and more to me.
I love this … and you are absolutely right! Church and more. Yes, to me too.
… s t o r y . . . *
… story … *
We attend the same cathedral—albeit miles away. Thanks for seeing what you see, and for sharing it.
Yes, Debra. I think that every day when I see the spaces you occupy. Thanks for being here, my friend 🙏
Did not know that about Cage. So now I will have to find more. More amazing photos; are you getting even better or is it just me.
I love John Cage. One of my cards used to bear a quote of his: Everyone is in the best seat. I still love it. Thank you for the kind words. I’m excited to try some lenses on my new camera to see what kind of difference it will make!
So much fun to be had. I think that indeed I might be in the best seat. Thanks for that.
“All sound is music and all light and shadow, art.” So good. I will never tire of the bird photos. Looking at each after having read your words, it’s as if each one is telling you/us something, silently, with great meaning. I guess we get to choose what that meaningis. Thanks for being my Nisqually rep.
Glad to hear you won’t tire of the photos and happy to be your Nisqually rep! Have you read much of John Cage? His musical (and life) perspective is fascinating. Did you know he wrote an entire concerto for toy piano and penned a book on Mud Pies?
not yet, I’ll have to take a look.
And I own the book if you’ve like to see it!
I belong to a similar church–Our Lady of the Low Tide. Not always literally on the beach, but overlooking it, and water, and the Olympics. How sweet to have Beltane on a Sunday. And to be in silent day at SAS… thinking of you, previous generation of here. love, cb
That’s almost magical to be in that place at this time. Such warm memories for me there. I love the sound of your church. Hope to meet you there one day for a weekday service. I’ll bring Yoda and a story … ♡