Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Inspired to Change




I’m organizing people, tasks, plans
at work and in my dreams. I’m
living my work life twice,
once awake and once asleep.
Let me out!

Walking down the street,
I’m shucked as new corn –
Exposed, raw, open.
It’s New York City in the fall
Curtains blown through -
caught, held, pinned.
(Muse refuse?)

 Outside the box
walking through Washington
Square in clear air
Green corners filled out
In secret places
rendezvous and parlez-vous
“Bonjour mes amies!”

Feeling life, living, alive
Holding together, letting go
Convex, concave
light and loose …
willpower?
– it’s now or never.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Visit From Tropical Storm Bertha

Batten down the hatches!? People are stocking up on crackers, water and batteries but so far the storm is not bad here in a Puerto Rico. Still everyone is "en casa" waiting. A few of us are outside, after all Beni needs his walk. Mangos are dropping like rocks in anticipation of an avalanche. A lady from the Dominican Republic wearing a knee length skirt and holding an tiger printed umbrella is collecting fallen mangos in a plastic bag. I hand her one that's fallen hard at my feet, call Beni, leap over newly forming streams and run into the corner building. It's a storm, and the streets are flooding but so far we're just fine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mellow Yellow Gratitude

Oasis Reflection
 


 "The moment your judgement stops 
through acceptance of what is, 
you are free of the mind. 
You have made room 
for love, 
for joy, 
for peace."


The Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now


 The sun is shining this morning in San 

Juan, Puerto Rico. As the breeze gently 

catches the ocean mist, I'm reminded of 

the goodness in this life. It's so easy 

to forget to notice the beauty that 

surrounds us everyday but today I am reminded to accept:
 


I'm lucky! I'm so fortunate to live here on 

this beautiful island. I appreciate my 

friends and family all across the States 

and Puerto Rico who welcome me into 

their homes and make room for me in 

their lives.  It's good to know my health,

if not perfect is good ! (I've done my 

summer routine checkups and I'm fine.) 

I'm looking forward to little pleasure, for example,

soon we will have bikes to ride around the

town and to the beach! My girl is coming 

home for a couple of weeks! Oh, yes, I'm happy 

indeed! 
 
In our ordinary moments, we can let 

go and just be in this moment and 

experience it without any changes. 


It's lunch time now. My simple pasta is 

warm and sprinkled with freshly cubed

tomatoes. Soft and sweet peaches, 

freshly sliced, await. No, I think I'll try a 

bit of fruit right now with the pasta. Why not?!


I'm moving along at an even pace at 

home and at work...look for this, look for 

that ...it's a mellow yellow kind of day. 


I hope your day is brightly imbued 

with radiant joy.








MUSIC NOTES:

They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow

Some comments by Donovan about the lyrics and his inspiration:

"In an interview with the June 18, 2011 edition of the NME, Donovan was asked what the song was actually about? He replied: "Quite a few things. Being mellow, laid-back, chilled out. 'They call me Mellow Yellow, I'm the guy who can calm you down.' Lennon and I used to look in the back of newspapers and pull out funny things and they'd end up in songs. So it's about being cool, laid-back, and also the electrical bananas that were appearing on the scene - which were ladies vibrators." (What!? These are the songwriter's risqué words! haha)




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Visit to the Blue Hole

I haven't seen my brother in 20 years. 
In the wake of Mom's unexpected death, he moved to the mountains in Tennessee and I moved to the island of Puerto Rico. It's common to look for peace and new surroundings when tragedy suddenly strikes. Nevertheless, the closeness you feel as siblings never goes away. It's so good to reconnect with my brother Richard!
We walked to the Blue Hole and I couldn't resist going in! Soon I convinced him to come in too! 
It's not so cold!! (I lied!) he looked at me in the water and decided to show me how it's done.

"Are you going to jump!? I exclaim. He tells me, "That's the only way." 
Sibling rivalry? He wins - hands down! 
Now Patrick the General decides it's time to join the party! It's his first swim ever!! 
Poor baby! The water is so cold! Better get him out, now! 
Life can be so hard. We have to make the most of the good times. 
 
Jump right in and live!! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dear Mom

For Susan Pittmann who died a violent death by an angry and bitter man on this day 22 years ago:

Dear Mom,

I like to think of you as happy with all of your children and grandchildren nearby. 

You must know that you indeed have lived a successful life - though brief, you made every day meaningful! 

You taught me how to love unconditionally and focus on the good in people. 

Your memory is a great comfort to me.
I celebrate your life more and more every day! 

Your loving daughter, 

Cynthia ❤️

"To laugh often and much; 
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Traveling Today through JFK

I'm hearing the soft rhythm of Sade playing in the background while drinking large gulps of American style coffee and sitting at a clean table on a cushioned chair using free wifi and an iPad set up for public use. Where am I? A coffee house?

No! I'm at the JFK airport in New York.

What happened to travel in the last few years? The last time I was in this airport on a family trip, the plane was delayed, we had lost our connection, and it was dreadfully uncomfortable. We waited for hours cold, hungry, tired and trying to sleep on the floor with fifty other waylaid travelers caught in route like flies in this crafty spider web of concourses, terminals and shuttles. Victims at the mercy of impatient airline officials and over zealous security agents, e.g.

 "Where are you going and to what purpose?" 
"Home"  
 "What are you transporting in that red jar? 
"It's homemade cherry preserves?!" (There they go into the trash!)

I felt like running to the nearest exit, "I'm unsat! I'm unsat!" For those of you who don't know, that's military jargon for "unsatisfactory" but it's equivalent now would be "that's a fail." Only the panic feeling of "I'm unsat" is more to the point. I felt guilty and afraid that I would get caught. But what had I done? The general atmosphere after 9/11 was intense, we were all guilty until proven innocent. I stayed  away for a good while. I stopped traveling north. 

Today, I'm mystified by the contrast of my memory with the current reality. Is this the same nightmare airport where more than once,  I've been caught midstream on my way to somewhere.
I'm not complaining about the comfortable wait, I'm just taking it all in and feeling more and more delighted by the moment! Times have changed while I've been sipping a cool drink by the ocean on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico -  oh yes, they keep changing by the moment! I'm pleasantly surprised that this change is good; in fact, it's brilliant!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Photo of the Day : Red Hibiscus



The hibiscus flower and its short life reminds me that all life is brief as are all experiences.

Hibiscus  is a relatively common flower that I've encountered in California and other places in the United States. However, in Puerto Rico the Hibiscus is the Flower of Puerto Rico and has some differences from the common flower I've seen elsewhere. They grow to a smaller size than elsewhere and are individual single flowers supported by a long leafy base. Nevertheless, I consider all of these tropical flowers wherever they are grown to be delightful. Knowing that the bud will open one morning into a flower that will last but one day, does not detract from their beauty. In fact, when the potted hibiscus blooms on the porch (as it did this morning), I remind myself to delight in this moment because in 24 hours this bloom will close and be gone forever. Isn't that an important reminder about all life and experience?


I'm reminded by the Hibiscus to appreciate the beauty of all life experience because each event is here now, and never will return in the same way. For example, our children are only young for a short time.  When the two year old innocence is gone, it is replaced by another version of that same child. Every stage of growth is wonderful and awful knowing that it will be experienced as both a blessing and another loss. The nostalgia you feel when looking at your children's childhood photographs provides evidence that this is true.

We have to learn to love, appreciate deeply, and then let go and move on to embrace the next moment.

Every difficult moment has it's own life expectancy, too. We should cultivate observing the gift in this transitory moment regardless of judgement. Breathe and notice.  This skill requires attention and a willingness to experience each moment in all of its thrilling (or frightening) beingness.

The hibiscus flower and its short life reminds me that all life is brief as are all experiences. It is indeed important to know this fact and to confront forgetfulness - to remember, I am alive. You are alive. What are we waiting for?  

Let us embrace this moment!