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Posts tagged ‘core knowing’

Time for Prayers

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

He doesn’t decline uniformly like an orchestra on a river boat, the sound floating away and away. He declines in small bits. When was the last time he woke bright-eyed with the life-long look of himself filling his face, stand with grace to full height, and walk in solid, small, careful sailor steps to the mantlepiece to let his fingers savor the smooth wood? Two weeks now…He was remembering, enjoying. I didn’t realize that the last time he did that would be the last time he could do that. Read more

I Become an Angel

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

I slide my arm under his shoulders to move him gently onto the pillows. He is all skewed and will wake with a crick in his neck if he sleeps too long that way. As I move him, he opens his eyes and gazes at me. Pure pure pure love. He smiles. All his face arranges itself around the feeling of happiness. Read more

There Will be Absence

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

Late night. Alone in my bed. The wind sighs heavily in the maple trees, sifting through branches with fewer and fewer leaves to rustle. The sound sits on me. I feel my feelings. Windows of connection with my father shrink. There are no longer infinite moments. I digest this. I feel this. Read more

Routines & the Moment

Most of us want a regular, dependable, effortless movement practice that will deliver fitness, and feelings of goodness and realness. We also want to be in the Moment. If we head down the delusional lane of finding a nice comfy routine, the Moment will never happen. The Moment–that elusive jewel beyond price–is not routine. Read more

Words vs. Experience

Language inhibits our experience, a strong claim that I gleaned from a terrific Radiolab piece—’Unravelling Bolero’—about how Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, with its incessant repetitive theme, was a signpost of the beginning of a disease that over the next six years robbed the composer of his ability to speak, to recognize objects reliably, and other memory losses. Read more

Yes…yes

My father sat on the edge of the bed as I hung a framed Maxfield Parrish print of ‘Daybreak’ on the wall at the foot of the bed. He was happy gazing at this dreamy scene of two nymphs in a temple with gilded mountains in the distance. Then I handed him a smooth pale gray and salmon stone I’d brought from the beach. He liked that too.

He is at a dreary, institutional nursing facility for the time being, confined to a locked wing so he won’t stress himself. (For previous post about my father’s aphasia: Five Things.) We have a way of talking now. Read more

Safety

I finally stole a moment for my practice today amidst the chaotic situation I currently and uncharacteristically inhabit. I was alone in the house for 30 blessed minutes. Music played. I danced. And I thought about safety. I had stolen time, yes, but the room was not entirely safe. My antennae pricked up for the return of a car. I didn’t want to drop too far in and be abruptly disrupted or, like a molting snake, be discovered in a soft open condition. Intrusion. Interruption—these are very treacherous for me. Read more

The Critic & The Well

Talking with my good friend and ‘artist date’, Alia Thabit, I found myself spouting vehemently about the three aspects of daily practice, which she titled three prongs. I love that word—prong. Here is how I see it. This applies to artists but can easily be configured for other disciplines, and is really about how we perform to the world. Read more

Five Things

The hardest thing for me about this past week is starting a new life. I’ve gotten reasonably good at this in my own sphere—projects, locations, content, people—but returning to visit my parents in my childhood home has been, for better or worse, changeless. Today I sat with my father at Spaulding Rehab Hospital observing his speech therapy. He relearns the language of counting to 5. How to touch five blue wooden blocks and count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. How to look at the numeral ‘5’ and say five. Sometimes the therapist puts two blue blocks on one side and five blue blocks on the other and holds up a piece of paper with the numeral ‘5’ and says Which one is five? Read more

Transformation Information

Sufi masters often say that the secrets of the Path are handed heart-to-heart, like seeds, for you to grow in your flesh garden.

In the past Winter Intensive, I said — though perhaps not as loudly as I felt — that a teaching which is not handed heart-to-heart has no Reality, it won’t contain the experience of spiritual lineage transmission. Sufis are big on experience. So, first of all, this is truth, not a bid for control or a slash of stinginess or cloud of mystique. And second, it underlines the respect with which true matters — like one’s life, one’s opportunity — are best approached. We can always approach ourselves with contempt and derision, and many of us do, but a healthier, more fruitful attitude is respect and appreciation. Read more