Saturday, February 16, 2008

crowded inner space

Chris invited me along with a bunch of other blogger friends to post "eight things about myself that you probably didn't know". Which sounds fun except that I'm thinking about so many things right now that it has turned out to be harder than I expected. Anyway, I've thought of one thing so far (and maybe you do already know this about me, and in any case it will be just another demonstration of how crowded it is in my inner space these days) which is that I am a big slob and kind of, sort of, a pack-rat. One way that this is obvious is that I have around 4000 emails floating around in my gmail account (I'm using 19% of my available space!) -- and that it doesn't bother me.

The other way that it's obvious is that I just tidied up the space around my side of the bed about a month ago when we had company -- but this is what it looks like today.

And this whole pile is of stuff I consider that I am actively reading (or re-reading). Most of the books have pens or pencils in them as bookmarks, since the way I like to read best is by marking and drawing and cross-referencing in the margins. Then, sometimes I like to give books I've marked up to friends as gifts -- sort of like a letter from me as well as a whole book to read. But maybe that's a different post.

Time now to take one or two of these, a pencil and a glass of wine, and go sit in the hot tub.

I think next time maybe I'll write about something I would like to know about me, and don't.

My friend Sheri came over to sit in the hot water with me, so instead of taking books we took two glasses of wine, and some chocolate, and talked about books we love -- including Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, and Emerson: the Mind on Fire, and Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World -- and listened to the robins sing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

the house of belonging

The other night I had the pleasure of going to what I think of as worship services with my friend Will. His sacred place of choice is the ecstatic dance community gatherings, which occur twice a week in a comfortable and warmly-lit dance studio on Capitol Hill. This week, being the night before Valentine's Day, the space was anchored by an altar draped in deep red cloth and devoted to images of a gorgeous and fiercely erotic Dakini of Compassionate Bliss in many guises.

After an hour and a half of dancing to world-beat music, moving as you like from dancing with other participants to being with
just yourself to being with the group heart as a whole, there's time for people to share some of their experience. In that ending circle, one woman passionately recited this poem by David Whyte (he is very popular around here!) -- I love the way that so many of his poems concern themselves with faith:


There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides,
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of baying seals,

who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant,
yet familiar figure,
far across the water
calling to them,

and how we are all
waiting for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except, it will
not come so grandly,
so Biblically,
but more subtly
and intimately, in the face
of the one you know
you have to love.

So that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don't,

because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years,
you don't want to any more,
you've simply had enough
of drowning,
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness,
however fluid and however
dangerous, to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

~The House of Belonging

Saturday, February 09, 2008

neighborhood caucus report

In our precinct, Obama got 4 delegates and Clinton got 1, and the precinct on the other side of the school gym we met in gave Obama 3 and Clinton 1. Reports from three other friends (all in different precincts in north Seattle) were similar, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the rest of the city and state!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

there has never been anything false about hope

I've received dozens of email reminders in the past couple of days about the upcoming presidential caucus meetings beginning promptly at 1 and ending by 2:30 or 3 pm this Saturday all over the state; passion is running very high here. In Washington state, 100% of the Democratic party delegates will be assigned according to the caucus results (even though there is an expensive and useless primary happening later in the month). The Republican party delegates will be assigned 51% according to the primary results and 49% according to caucus results.

Here is a caucus-finder link, though I am not sure whether or not it will work if you're not registered to vote yet (and you can register in person at the caucus). I am glad to have learned that young people who are not yet 18 years old, but who will be 18 by the time of the election in November, are eligible to participate in their neighborhood caucus meeting.

The title of this post comes from a speech that Barack Obama gave in New Hampshire a few weeks ago. This video sets that speech to music: