Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 24, 2009, journal entry

Six miles.


About three miles into my run, after visiting the kingly oaks in Lincoln Park, straight up the hill in the back of the park I ran in an effort to practice recovery. Above the park is an undulating concrete “track,” its loop measuring .54 miles around a marshy pond with pine trees, shoulder height grasses, stands of cattails, and yellow and purple wild flowers. Aspen poise on one side of the garden while their leaves quiver and twitter in the breeze. Enchanted by a huge bumblebee flitting about a purple loosestrife, I veered from the path where grasses push their blades through jagged cracks for one of my exploratory detours.

I love plump bumblebees. They are so different from the predatory yellow jackets and aggressive hornets who quickly sense the sweetness of wine or the scent of candy on a child’s hand. I especially like how bumblebees prance among the blooms in lavender fields and how a gentle push with my foot on the lavender stem moves them unagitated to the next plant, their flight mimicking the colorful butterflies who also congregate among the lavender in their smoothly erratic path.

So off the path I walked, towards the pond to the vascular blossoms and much to my delight, I realized that what I saw was not a bumblebee but was, in fact, a hummingbird! Its lacey wings beat rapidly, like the pulse in a larger bird’s throat. I was simply enthralled, enchanted as though a spell had been cast upon me. (Perhaps one had!) For fifteen minutes I stood quietly and watched, hoping that my own breathing, deep from running, would not cast her away. She flit from tube-like flower to deep-throated blossom taking the sugary nectar from bright colors, much like a bumblebee who hovers in the air with her quick up and down strokes, her gauzy wings like veil-fabric fluttering in wind.

I stood still, hoping she would come close to me as the butterflies who landed on my shoulder in Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Science’s live butterfly exhibit where I spent three glorious hours. I wasn’t wearing the bright flowery colors of my sundresses, their fabric soft and sensually pleasing with the smoothness of satin like the gossamer fibers of silk, but I hoped that the remnants of yesterday’s Clinique “Happy” perfume that I wear remained on my skin, enough to convince this hummingbird that I was of the tribe of wildflowers. And she DID come close to me, so close that she became my breath, inhaled and exhaled from my mouth, a blossoming cloud soon to evanesce into morning’s chilled mist of autumn.

My Inner-Being/Spirit buoyed, I continued to stand still, thinking of how her wings beat steady, strong, and swift as the heart in the body of a runner. I wanted to be like her, how in moving from flower to flower, she became the stopper of time, pausing in the moment to drink the nectar before her. To take in the beauty of the moment. To GIVE beauty in the moment.

She eventually flew off though I lingered, hoping to see her again, to catch one more glimpse of her agile playfulness before moving on in my run. Among the trees in the bright blue sky, the sun dropped light into the pond, dancing, shimmering, glittery.


The many different kinds of birds I have seen in the past few days, like varieties of wildflowers, their overall shape similar but the Spirit within varying! Again, as I drove alone along the scenic river route to Sandpoint, Idaho, yesterday, I saw the majestic platform nests of the huge hawk atop utility poles, and I know I will soon see wild turkey in my chilled morning autumn runs. I have reveled in robins, and the sparrows who frolick in sprinklers and their pools of water, and today, I witnessed this beautiful hummingbird engaged in her important work.


I continued my run, stride by stride, taking in the Air from the top of my lungs to the depths of their roots. Okay, I haven’t even picked up, much less looked at my half-marathon training schedule, and I haven’t even selected a fall race, but I feel strong and ready.

And it’s not like I don’t have a plan for tomorrow’s run. I’m gonna stop by this pond again. I hope I see the hummingbird again, like the coyote pup I saw twice a few weeks ago, the place I want to get back to…

GL, 8/24/2009. Prevail.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22, 2009, journal entry, and Found Objects on Canvas

Found Objects on Canvas, 8/22/2009

Nine miles.


Nights are lengthening.


I wasn’t sure how this morning’s run would go. Not feeling the best, I knew I craved the calmness and energy that only the deep movement of Air from the top of my lungs to the bottom could provide, much like how my Aspergian son finds the balance of earth only in the magic of Water.

So I laced up my Brooks running shoes and out the door I went. Although lately my right-brained runs have been all about gardens and their tempting plump string green beans and juicy tomatoes, today, I needed the magic and power of trees, so I headed towards that great assembly of oak trees my boys and I attempted to count a few months ago. Walking Central Park a few weeks ago whetted my appetite for the acorns that I know will soon fall from these trees, the great lungs of the earth.

Giant and wise, earnest in their work as though they are the center of the universe (personally, I think they are!), their branches flow thick, filling with their fruit. Young branches jump to the sun trying to touch it, like a child who leaps from the shoulders of his mother towards the pool’s blue water. Amid the stand of trees’ thick wood paneling, a few acorns lay on the ground though most were hanging like lanterns from branches, swinging like ski-lift chairs, continuing to ripen.

On my way back, happy to have a few amulets in hand, I detoured in my running improvisation towards another park where three massive oaks stand grandfather-like, as a doorway, a portal to another world. I wished I could count the hundreds of sacred rings that certainly were contained within one trunk like I paused during yesterday’s time-rushed run to count the 80 (at least) circles in the cut knee of another tree still standing.

Sharing with the local squirrels as though in a farmers’ market, I selected a few acorns, a collection of beautiful souls, and lingered beneath a beautiful Kindred Spirit Tree. Lingering in my OWN important work. Considering trees, THIS tree, like all trees, that unite and balance all elements. Its roots, chambers deep into the Earth, taking up Water so that its branches may reach into the Air, towards the Fire of the Sun.


Trees. The lungs of the earth.

The lungs of my body.

Lingering. Breathing.

My posture open, listening to the quiet voices dispensing wisdom in the language of the trees.

GL, 8/22/2009. Prevail.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Haiku 11


Celestial body
Circle of purple, red, gold.
A preparation.


Tendrils of color
Lose grip from deprivation.


Inhale and exhale
Water ebbing and flowing.
My breathing rhythm.

GL, 7/5-8/19/2009. Prevail.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Goddess Communion

Organic Enchanted Mushroom dark chocolate and Lone Canary Bird House red wine

(GL, 8/18/2009. Prevail.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 12, 2009, journal entry

August 12, 2009, five miles.

Luckily, I did not have to awaken at 3:30 in the morning to become beautifully rain-drenched as I now am.

I have just come inside at eight this evening, after feeling the thick stream-lets of rain pummel the ground and me in a magnificent late summer/precursor-to-fall warm storm that the farmgirl in me could smell was coming. My intimate friends and Goddesses know it is not uncommon for me to lie down in the green, green grass during a strong rain, no matter the time of day. There is just something about a summer rain that rustles the maple trees like cresting ocean waves, silences the summer insects that, in the morning, sound like the clicking spokes of a ten-speed bicycle, and quiets the birds’ song voices at the beginning of the storm though they quickly resume their hymn at its ending.


But the moths and the butterflies. I still wonder alongside my foxing copy of the children’s book, “Where Do the Butterflies Go when It Rains?” (May Garelick, 1961).

“As soon as the rain

stops raining so hard,

I’ll go quietly up to a tree.

And maybe I’ll find

a bird in that tree,

and I’ll see

what it does in the rain.

Maybe I’ll find

a butterfly, too.

Then I’ll know what IT does

when it rains.

But where can I look?

I’ve never seen a butterfly out in the rain.

Have you?”


Of course, my sons diligently ask me every time thunder burns and lightening blinds in the same way they remind me every morning to sunscreen my moth tattoo, “Mom, are ya gonna go out and lay in the rain again?”


I awoke early, my GrUBB (Grown Up BlackBerry) alarm chiming at five this morning. Time marches on, and the sun doesn’t peer over the horizon at this time like she did just a few weeks earlier, the days shortening, no longer long-limbed and stretching late into the evening. Coffee in hand, I debate an extra shirt for surely it must be cooler at this pre-autumn hour, its dark clouds threatening rain.


I don’t know how I will experience fall this year. Fall has been my favorite season thus far in Eastern Washington with her vibrant colors of gold, eggplant purple, deep forest green, crimson, chocolate brown, and burnt sienna, but this summer, I have experienced such a spectrum of emotions and meanings that I have attached to the varieties of lupine and lavender, ladybugs and ants, coyote and deer, sparrows and robins, beginnings and endings, gain and loss, that I am not sure how the transition of fall will feel.


But time steadily marches on. And although yesterday’s temperatures were in the 80’s and today’s in the 70’s, I didn’t feel the need to turn on the air conditioning in my rental car that needed the fresh air to rid its odor of a newly non-smoking motel room with cigarette smoke still trapped in its curtains.


The light also lays differently than it did just a week before, and I did notice acorns on the ground in New York City’s Central Park last week, acorns that to me are signs of good luck, plentiful enough to share with squirrels in their bounty. I expect in a few weeks, the rows of oak trees the boys and I counted earlier will begin to drop their acorns, the sounds of sizzling bacon surely awakening my stomach amid my right-brained half-marathon training. There will be so many from the 60-plus trees that I am sure that the squirrels won’t begrudge my collecting a few small bagfuls which I will place in clear-glass vases with pinecones and chestnuts, leaves and feathers, and put in my office as sculptures of found objects, which I do every year.


So, to prevail, I decide I MUST embrace the coming changing colors. Just as I experience the range of colorful emotions of the human condition, from happiness, joy, and laughter that well up like the bloom of insects in grasses upon each footstep, to their trusted and steady companions of sadness, grief, and sobs that burn hard from throat to chest.

And while I became drenched this evening, I thought how perfect it felt that at 5:30 this morning, when I went out on my right-brained run, after just 10 minutes, sure enough, I became drenched in a beautiful shower of streamlets. Just me and the raindrops.

(Although I am sure that the birds, butterflies, and moths were nearby, informing me that with this new season coming, I definitely will prevail.)

(LL, 8/12/2009. Prevail.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Atlas Moth

Butterfly exhibit, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia

(LL, 8/4/2009. Prevail.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Two Rituals of Forbearance

Ritual #1

Step 1: Place part of your index finger in your mouth up to the second joint, your palm facing outward, away from your face.

Step 2: Wrap your lips around your finger, making a firm seal allowing no air to escape; otherwise, you won’t be able to make the popping sound.

Step 3: Create a little suction in your mouth as though you are sucking on a straw. The breaking of the suction when you move your finger is the force that creates the popping sound.

Step 4: Quickly flip your finger outward toward your cheek. Let your finger slide along the inside your cheek and out your mouth.

Step 5: Let your finger break the seal you have created with your lips as your finger pops out your mouth. This will create a popping noise.

Step 6: Practice and repeat steps 1 through 5 until you have the motion down and can make the sound consistently.

This is the sound that resounded from my belly when my water broke with my first son 12 years ago today.

Ritual #2

Stand, my Son.

Know where North is and face it with confidence. I’m not speaking about thinking of confidence: I am talking about BECOMING confidence. May its cool breezes clear your mind, calm your spirit, present grace to you which you accept and offer to others.

May the fires of the South be welcome to ignite your passions and your will to persevere and to live, to continue to move forward in light through challenges that are certain to ebb and flow continuously in life.

May you lean into the Sunrise of the East as it greets you with the promises of a GOOD MORNING, a good morning that endures the entire day. Despite midday interruption, may you turn to yourself, reminding yourself that your GOOD MORNING can begin yet again in the afternoon sun and cloud.

And may the Sunset of the West give you comfort and restoration that allow you to stand in TRUTH. Within you is the energy, the ability you seek to find your pace, that JUST RIGHT pace that’s not too swift, yet not sluggish.


Breathe so you can feel the air run the full length, the full course of your lungs, from top to bottom. Breathe and know that no matter what comes your way, you shall still be centered. Should a force cut you in half, leaving you but a shadow of your old physical self, you shall still stand. Should a wind try to blow you down, you will bow to it and honor it, but you shall not break. Should acidity try to demolish your foundation, you shall, like the banyan tree, send new roots like sentinels, anchoring you once again. You will prevail.
May you stand just a little taller today for this is your time and your space for forbearance.

My Son. You will prevail.

I love you.

May you have a blessed birthday.

(Goddess Mama, 8/2/2009.)