Friday, October 27, 2006

multilayered multitasking

I don't multitask so much anymore--well, at least not when one of the things I'm doing (or supposed to be doing) involves listening to someone. Unless we're walking while talking. Or unless I'm taking notes, while listening. Anyway, during most of my waking hours, my doings do tend to be layered on top of each other in time. This became particularly obvious to me this morning when while in the shower I was 1) doing lunges (our shower is in a pretty long bathtub, and I have very short legs) 2) brushing my teeth and 3) singing my morning prayers very loudly (it seemed like good enunciation practice to have something shaped like a stick in my mouth while singing, and it was definitely entertaining) 4) too bad I didn't think to also put something delicious into the oven to bake!

Last weekend, my days were multilayered with a minumum of intention on my part--that synchronicity thing. I had decided to attend the Bioneers conference at the Marin Civic Center, in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is just up the highway from where I grew up and where my mom still lives. I've been considering attending the conference for years, since first reading about it in the Utne Reader, especially since I could combine it with a visit home. What finally tipped me into actually registering was the presence this year of Archeypal psychologist and writer James Hillman as one of the plenary speakers. Then a week or two after making my travel arrangements, I received a message inviting me to my 30th high school
reunion, and of course it was scheduled for the same weekend when I was going to be there already. Both events were extraordinarily fun (the reunion surprisingly so) and my mind is still swimming with all of the conversations and presentations and the pleasure of time with family and friends.

Actually, I did do some advance planning so I could meet Beauty Dialogues blogger (and friend-o-Ashley) Amy Lenzo, who lives in the Bay Area and as it turned out was also attending the conference. We shared a wonderfully wide-ranging and breezy lunch hour under a willow studded with crows next to the lagoon at the conference. Amy's thoughtful and insightful comments on some of the Bioneers presentations are at her blog. I am going to transcribe some of my rough and lengthy notes at the Easily Amazed community forum, since I think they will be easier to organize and access there.

I am sorry that plans to meet up with Jeff Aitken fell through, so I have that to look forward to next visit!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

word temple

I am sorry that I missed hearing about this poetry reading in Seattle earlier in the month. But I am very glad that Joe Riley, who created and administers the Panhala poetry subscription list, was there and since then has posted several poems by acclaimed and revered Palestinian poet Taha Muhammed Ali.

Ali's newest book, So What: New and Selected Poems (with a story) 1971-2005, was recently published by Copper Canyon Press in Port Townsend, WA. I love Copper Canyon's logo, which is composed of the Chinese characters for "word" and "temple".

~ Taha Muhammad Ali ~

At times ... I wish
I could meet in a duel
the man who killed my father
and razed our home,
expelling me
into a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I'd rest at last
and if I were ready -
I would take my revenge!

But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who'd put
his right hand over
the heart's place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they'd set -
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.

Likewise ... I
would not murder him
if it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn't bear his absence
and who his presents thrilled.

Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbors he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school...
asking about him
and sending him regards.

But if he turned
out to be on his own -
cut off like a branch from a tree -
without mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and without kin or neighbors or friends,
colleagues or companions,
then I'd add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness -
nor the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I'd be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street - as I
convinced myself
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.

(Read by Taha Muhammad Ali and translated by Peter Cole,
St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, October 7, 2006)

Copper Canyon's logo

Sunday, October 15, 2006

new sky

My practice partners and I have a new website,, and a new weblog to go along with it, here.

Our deep appreciation to my friend Jana Mochkatel and her team at Net-time who designed our site and logo.

Our great appreciation too, to Fred First of Fragments from Floyd, who so generously gave us permission to use his gorgeous photo, Transparent Green of Spring (at left, but see it enlarged here and in context, here) on our site.

We began our medical and health care practice a little over 6 years ago, as a not-for-profit called One Sky Medicine (which we now call "Old Sky.") In our idealism and naivete we made numerous excessively expensive business choices that compounded over time, and by the end of 2004 we decided to acknowledge all of the good intentions, hard work, tremendous struggle and tremendous contributions by so many (hundreds of) people (staff, administrators, board members, colleagues, our wonderful patients and community supporters), and to ask the board to cut our losses and go out of business.

A seed group of practitioners and staff, our bonds forged in that kind of heat that comes of hours and months and years of working together, playing and eating (a lot) together, living through difficulty, and becoming like familly to one another, decided after long discussions that we would stay in business together. Our form now is of independent practices joined in partnership, our overhead is much less than half of what it was, we're steadily paying off the debts, and most of our patients came along with us when we moved. We're grateful to all that has sustained us and brought us this far. It feels as if our transplanted roots have had a chance over this past 18 months or so to settle in and grow, and so now we have more energy to reach from the inside out and extend our tender stems & leaves into the wider world.

cross-posted at one sky wellness