Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Us Elves

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! A Sassy Saturnalia! Yummy Yule!

Joy, peace, light, love, laughter!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Beauty - Grace - Resonance

"Take Me With You" performed by Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins)
Music : Michael Kamen
Lyrics : Alan Rickman
Cd Album : "The Winter Guest" (Soundtrack)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Love Love Love

"Faith is, above all, openess; an act of trust in the unknown." - Alan Watts

"Love is gonna to lead you by the hand...."

Mountain Goats, "Love Love Love"

King Saul fell on his sword
When it all went wrong
And Joseph's brother sold him down the river
For a song
And Sonny Liston rubbed some tiger balm in his glove
some things you do for money
and some you do for love love love

Raskalnikov felt sick
But he couldn't say why
When he saw his face reflected
In his victim's twinkling eye
Some things you'll do for money
And some you'll do for fun
But the things you do for love
Are gonna come back to you one by one

Love love is gonna lead you by the hand
Into a white and soundless place
Now we see things
As in a mirror dimly
Then we shall see each other
Face to face

And way out in Seattle
Young Kurt Cobain
Snuck out to the greenhouse
Put a bullet in his brain
Snakes in the grass beneath our feet
Rain in the clouds above
Some moments last forever
But some flare out with love love love

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Funniest Stand-up Comedy

Lately, I've been listening to more and more comedy.

I love to laugh, and I consider humor to be a valid source of intellectual stimulation as well as a great survival tool.

I also love to procrastinate via list-making. So, here's my list of the comedy bits that really tickle me from my current collection. Add more in the comments!

Adam Ferrara - In the Name of God
Adam Ferrara - Exquisite Anger
Adam Ferrara - Karma
Andi Smith - Larry Flint
Andy Andrist - Earth First
Bill Burr - Rednecks
Bill Burr - War Protest
Bill Burr - The South
Bill Burr - The Platform
Bill Burr - Oprah
Bill Burr - Population Problem
Bill Burr - Hitler
Bill Burr - Fast Food Conspiracy
Bill Burr - F***ed Up Thoughts
Bill Burr - Muffins
Bill Cosby - Brain Damage
Bill Cosby - Chocolate Cake
Bill Cosby - Genesis
Bill Cosby - The Great Quote
Bill Cosby - The Window Of Life
Bill Cosby - Noah: Right!
Bill Cosby - Noah: And the Neighbor
Bill Cosby - Noah: Me And You, Lord
Bill Hicks - Easter
Bill Hicks - Gideons
Bill Hicks - Orange Drink
Bill Hicks - Odd Beliefs
Bill Hicks - The Sanctity of Life
Brian Dykstra - F**k Texas
Brian Posehn - Religion's Weird
Brian Regan - You Too & Stuff
Brian Regan - Stupid In School
Brian Regan - Log Trucks
Brian Regan - Blasting Zone
Brian Regan - Kids Party Games
Brian Regan - Spider Webs & Bees
Brian Regan - Health Club Stuff
Brian Regan - Elevators & Faces
Brian Regan - Dog Barking
Bob Newhart - Driving Instructor
Bob Newhart - Retirement Party
Bob Newhart - Rocket Scientist
Bob Newhart - Introducing Tobacco to Civilization
Bob Newhart - The Cruise of the U.S.S. Codfish
Chris Rock - O.J., I Understand
Chris Rock - My Favorite Joke
Christian Finnegan - How is This My Fault?
Christian Finnegan - Alaska Is Not an Island
Christian Finnegan - High Dance Threshold
Christian Finnegan - Song Terrorism
Christian Finnegan - If You Don't Have Any 'I.D.'...
Christian Finnegan - Office People (and a Perfectly Good Font Joke)
Christian Finnegan - Bed Skirts, Robot Vacuums, and Bad Financial Planning
Christian Finnegan - The Birds and the Bees
Christopher Titus - If You've Never Thought of Suicide
Christopher Titus - Inner Idiot
Christopher Titus - Crazy Makes You Crazy
Christopher Titus - Our First Date
Christopher Titus - The Ceiling Fan Incident
Christopher Titus - English Batman
Craig Ferguson - Plastic Surgery
Craig Ferguson - Birthing Classes
Craig Shoemaker - Talking Computers
Craig Shoemaker - Stepdogs
Dan Cummins - Jesus, Idaho and Misunderstandings
Dan Cummins - Revenge Is Near
Dan Cummins - Scientology
Dan Cummins - Plans for America
Dan Naturman - Internet Dating
Dan Naturman - At The Bookstore
Dan Naturman - Family Dysfunction
Dana Gould - Genetically Speaking
Dana Gould - Let's Argue!
Dane Cook - Bathroom
Dane Cook - Pranks
Dane Cook - My Son Optimus Prime
Dane Cook - Robe
Daniel Tosh - Mind Of A Sleeping Man
Daniel Tosh - I Heart Dave
Daniel Tosh - Please Light Me
Danny Bevins - Holes
Danny Bevins - Full Circle
Danny Bevins - Sell Freedom
Danny Bevins - Color of Water
Danny Bevins - The Mantis Ain't Gay
Danny Bevins - Laugh Like a Child
Dat Phan - Missing Mother's Day
David Cross - My Wife's Crazy! (Flagwaving)
David Cross - Monica Lewinsky And The Three Bears (The Redneck Voice)
Demetri Martin - Some Jokes
Denis Leary - A*****e
Doug Benson - Three Legged Cat
Doug Benson - Boo and Hiss
Doug Stanhope - Wisdom
Doug Stanhope - Live For Your Sins
Dov Davidoff - Israel, Bus Stop, and a 2-Ply
Dov Davidoff - Big T*****s, Glitter, and 'Don't Assume'
Dov Davidoff - I Judge People, God, and Ray Charles
Dov Davidoff - Love, Magnum, and Mood Lighting
Drew Hastings - Regarding Children
Drew Hastings - Sexual Matters and My Girlfriend
Eddie Ifft - No War for Toner
Eddie Ifft - Has Anyone Seen My Baby
Eddie Izzard - Philosophies with Strange Ideas
Eddie Izzard - The Crusades
Eddie Izzard - Jesus in Religions, Pt. 1
Eddie Izzard - Jesus in Religions, Pt. 2
Eddie Izzard - Greeks
Eddie Izzard - World War II
Eddie Izzard - Jesus and Man
Eddie Izzard - The Future
Eddie Izzard - The Deathstar Canteen
Eddie Izzard - Best Laid Plans
Eddie Izzard - Being European
Eddie Izzard - Romans
Eddie Izzard - Handshakes
Eddie Izzard - Being Cool
Eddie Izzard - James Bond
Eddie Izzard - Einstein
Eddie Izzard - American Dream
Eddie Izzard - Empire
Eddie Izzard - Stonehenge
Eddie Izzard - Church of England
Eddie Izzard - Scooby Doo
Eddie Izzard - The Tyranny of Ducks
Eddie Izzard - The River Styx
Eddie Izzard - Mystic Hopscotch
Eddie Izzard - Six Million Dollar Queen
Eddie Izzard - Do You Think I'm Sexy
Eddie Izzard - Deus Ex Machina
Eddie Izzard - They Lie to Us
Eddie Izzard - Hell In a Shower
Eddie Izzard - The Flight of the Volkswagen
Eddie Izzard - I've Got a Bad Feeling
Eddie Izzard - Death By Chocolate
Eddie Izzard - Afghanistan
Eddie Izzard - Shouting In English
Eddie Izzard - Transvestites
Eddie Izzard - Does He Eat Crisps?
Eddie Izzard - Religion
Eddie Izzard - Birds
Eddie Izzard - Fish & Goats & Swimming
Eddie Izzard - Armageddon
Eugene Mirman - The Right Stuff
Eugene Mirman - Revolve (The Complete New Testament In the Form of a Teen Magazine)
Felicia Michaels - Construction Workers (Can Bite Me)
Felicia Michaels - Speaking in Tongues
Felicia Michaels - Chunk-O-P***y
Felicia Michaels - Honeycombs
George Carlin - I Used to Be Irish Catholic
George Carlin - Special Dispensation - Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and Limbo
George Carlin - Heavy Mysteries
George Carlin - Offensive Language
George Carlin - Some People Are Stupid
George Carlin - Don't Pull The Plug On Me
George Carlin - I Used to Be Irish Catholic
George Carlin - Fear Of Germs
George Carlin - Religion
George Carlin - Euphemisms
Graham Chittenden - The Fear of God, Museums
Greg Behrendt - Chicken Situation
Greg Giraldo - WWJD / Priests / Pope / Wal-Mart / Penguins
Greg Giraldo - SUV / Fat Kids / Suing McDonalds / Dreammakers / Burned G******s
Greg Giraldo - Monkeypox / Osama / Bird Flu
Greg Giraldo - Terrorism
Greg Giraldo - Dyslexic Luger / Civil War Letters / Kids / Baby In River
Greg Proops - Psychochristians & Halloween
Greg Proops - Donuts
Greg Proops - Women's Organs
Greg Proops - The Decider
Greg Proops - Clinton and Perspective
Greg Warren - Work Hard, Play Hard
Greg Warren - West Point
Henry Cho - We Need to Talk
Henry Cho - Gotta Communicate
Henry Cho - The Way Women Talk
Henry Cho - You Don't Have Two Quarters?
Jeff Garlin - Caulk, F***er
Jeff Garlin - F*** You Old Man
Jeff Garlin - Baron Von Cream
Jen Kirkman - Afraid of God and the Devil
Jen Kirkman - Zombies vs. Ghosts
Jerry Seinfeld - Florida
Jerry Seinfeld - Men and Women
Jerry Seinfeld - Scuba Diving
Jerry Seinfeld - Sky Diving / The Helmet
Jerry Seinfeld - Clothing
Jerry Seinfeld - Horses
Jim Gaffigan - Camping
Jim Gaffigan - Bacon
Jim Gaffigan - Ribs and Bologna
Jim Gaffigan - Almost Heaven
Jim Gaffigan - Fast Food
Jim Gaffigan - Waffle House
Jimmy Carr - Girlfriends
Jimmy Carr - Book of Correspondence
Jimmy Dore - Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Dore - Freedom of Speech
Jimmy Dore - Love It or Leave It
Jimmy Dore - Terror Terror
Jimmy Dore - Fascism
Jimmy Dore - Nancy Pelosi
Jimmy Dore - Hegemony
Jimmy Dore - Log Cabin Republicans
Jimmy Dore - Health Insurance
Jimmy Dore - Dick Cheney
Jimmy Shubert - From Democracy To Hypocrisy
Jimmy Shubert - Bovine Intervention
John Bowman - Hope Springs In Turtles
John Bowman - Yog
John Bowman - Ford Truck Man
John Bowman - Ninety Percent Of Your Brain
John Bowman - Crappy Movies
John Heffron - Won't Make You Wait
John Heffron - Dumb Dad?
John Heffron - Haircut scizzorhands
John Heffron - Flinchy
John Heffron - That Head Scares Me
John Mulaney - You Know Who's a Great Lady?
John Mulaney - Math and King Solomon
John Mulaney - The Salt and Pepper Diner
Jonathan Katz - New York City
Jonathan Katz - Marriage and the Law
Karen Williams - Power & Cash Flow Nap Time
Karen Williams - Human Beings
Karen Williams - Friends Drugs
Karen Williams - Therapy
Karen Williams - Vegetarians Smokers
Kathleen Madigan - 68 States
Kathleen Madigan - Weather
Kathleen Madigan - Catholicism (Pope Hilarius)
Kathleen Madigan - Nessie/Aliens
Kathleen Madigan - Smoking
Kathleen Madigan - Natural Disasters
Kathleen Madigan - My Parents
Kathleen Madigan - Politics
Kathleen Madigan - Religion
Kathy Griffin - Cover Me
Kathy Griffin - Sturdy Germans & Pol***s
Kathy Griffin - Nervous Pills & Boxes of Wine
Kathy Griffin - Maya Angelou is Insufferable
Kyle Cease - The Virgin Maury, the Alien, and My Grandma
Kyle Cease - Cheating, Dreaming Old People Who Don't Shut Up
Kyle Grooms - Wearing Glasses
Kyle Grooms - Barack Obama
Laurie Kilmartin - Wild Stalker Love
Laurie Kilmartin - Banging a Russian
Laurie Kilmartin - The Second Amendment
Laurie Kilmartin - God Had a Drinking Problem
Lewis Black - This Moment
Lewis Black - My.......Virginity
Lewis Black - Xmas
Lewis Black - Xmas Halftime
Lewis Black - Chanooookah
Lewis Black - Chanukah
Lewis Black - Chanooookah
Lewis Black - A Great Headline
Lewis Black - Blueberry Pancakes
Lewis Black - TV News and Jerry Falwell
Lewis Black - One Nation Under God
Lewis Black - International Travel
Lewis Black - Greed
Lewis Black - Homeland Security
Lewis Black - Miami And Las Vegas
Lewis Black - F**k, New York, Los Angeles
Lewis Black - The Ozone, Sunblock, The Flu And Nyquil
Lewis Black - IHOP (The International House Of Pancakes)
Lewis Black - Heavens Gate
Lewis Black - The Impeachment
Lewis Black - Other Idiots From Arkansas
Lily Tomlin - The FBI
Lisa Landry - I Had to Marry Smart
Lisa Landry - Advice
Lisa Landry - All for Love
Lisa Landry - Best Laid Plans
Lisa Landry - My Lack of Sex Life
Lord Carrett - The Cycle of Bereavement
Louis CK - Half Dead
Louis CK - I Hate Deer
Louis CK - Girls & Women
Maggie Cassella - Bible Thumper Bumpers
Marc Maron - Lower Your Expectations
Marc Maron - Political Action
Marc Maron - Terrorism
Marc Maron - Fueled By Self Hate
Marc Maron - Life
Marc Maron - Being In Love
Marc Maron - The Older Man
Marc Maron - Yelling At Women
Marc Maron - Out Technologized, Over Informatised, Time Vats
Marc Maron - Yelling At Women
Margaret Smith - Medley: Anti-Depressants / Misery Loves Company / Therapy
Margaret Smith - Dick & Jane
Margaret Smith - Relationships / His & Hers Bathrooms
Margaret Smith - Padded Toilet Seat / Nice A*s
Margaret Smith - Shopping
Margaret Smith - I'm In Debt
Margaret Smith - The Gym
Margaret Smith - Shopping
Margaret Smith - Mammograms
Margaret Smith - Piercing
Margaret Smith - The Year of the Woman
Maria Bamford - Mom's Religion
Maria Bamford - Touched By an Angel
Maria Bamford - I Heart My Country
Maria Bamford - Mental Makeup
Maria Bamford - Competitive Living
Maria Bamford - TV
Maria Bamford - The-rapist
Maria Bamford - Alicia Keys
Maria Bamford - Depression
Maria Bamford - Dad
Maria Bamford - Sister Sarah
Maria Bamford - Arch Enemy from High School
Maria Bamford - My Sister
Maria Bamford - Learning
Maria Bamford - Wizard of Art
Maria Bamford - Mentor
Maria Bamford - Love Songs
Mark Gross - Sesame Street, Dive Bar
Mark Gross - Bowling Alley Bar
Mark Gross - Freaks And Weirdos
Mark Gross - Banking
Mark Gross - College, Student Loans
Mark Gross - Marriage, My Wife & Friends
Mark Gross - Camping, Family Road Trip
Mark Gross - Dad's Toenail, Mom's Tube Top
Mark Gross - Hunter
Mark Gross - Be Thankful, Animal Skins
Mark Gross - Love Is
Mark Gross - Alabama Airport
Mark Poolos - I Like to Say Things
Mark Poolos - Crazy Person Magnet
Mark Poolos - I Love Crazy Women
Mark Thomas - S***m Stuff / Pro-Lifers
Mark Thomas - Demos
Mark Thomas - Hard Work / Building Site
Mark Thomas - The War On Terror
Mark Thomas - The Excuses
Mark Thomas - Saddam Is a Tyrant
Mark Thomas - Reasons
Matt Braunger - Jesus On the Mount
Matt Braunger - Doors Whopper
Michael Loftus - Don't Mess With Texas
Michael Loftus - The Freeway Makes You Mean
Mike Lukas - Too Friendly In the Midwest
Mike Lukas - Security to the Pretzel Stand
Mike Lukas - First Kiss Like a Chicken
Mike Lukas - Women Love the Candles
Mike Lukas - The Empathy Noise
Mike Robles - Religion / Catholics, Baptists, and Da' Witnesses
Miles Jupp - Computer Game
Miles Jupp - New York
Milton Jones - Family
Milton Jones - Family Christmas
Milton Jones - War
Milton Jones - Police
Mitch Hedberg - Phil
Mitch Hedberg - Restaurants
Mitch Hedberg - Canal Smarts
Mitch Hedberg - Belt
Mitch Hedberg - Sandwiches
Mitch Hedberg - Teeth
Mitch Hedberg - Candy Bars
Mitch Hedberg - Pop
Mitch Hedberg - The Pipe
Mitch Hedberg - Sesame Seeds
Mitch Hedberg - Three Easy Payments
Mitch Hedberg - Arrows
Mitch Hedberg - X
Mitch Hedberg - Koalas
Mitch Hedberg - Highlights
Mitch Hedberg - You Were Good
Mitch Hedberg - Shaving Too
Mitch Hedberg - Minibar
Mitch Hedberg - Beret And Pancakes
Mitch Hedberg - Dry Clean Only
Mitch Hedberg - My Necklace
Mitch Hedberg - Lynn
Mitch Hedberg - Tomatoes
Mitch Hedberg - Cookies
Mitch Hedberg - Oatmeal
Mitch Hedberg - Frogs And Bears
Mitch Hedberg - Fire Exit
Mitch Hedberg - The Dufrenes
Monique Marvez - The Difference
Monique Marvez - Tap, Tap
Monty Python - Stoning
Monty Python - Revolutionaries In the Amphitheatre (Loretta)
Monty Python - What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
Monty Python - A Foul-Tempered Rabbit
Monty Python - Crunchy Frog
Monty Python - Dead Parrot
Mrs. Hughs - The Doctor's Office
Pablo Francisco - Cowboys
Patton Oswalt - America, The Retarded Trust Fund Kid
Patton Oswalt - The World's Most Amazing Father
Patton Oswalt - I Hate Hippies
Patton Oswalt - A Brief History Of Shitty Comedy
Patton Oswalt - Text
Patton Oswalt - Birth
Patton Oswalt - Orgy
Patton Oswalt - Lofty Thoughts
Patton Oswalt - Obama... and Time Travel... and Coolness... and the Last Racist
Patton Oswalt - Demons
Patton Oswalt - Sky Cake
Patton Oswalt - Grocery Robots
Patton Oswalt - America Has Spoken
Patton Oswalt - Bubble of Sanity
Patton Oswalt - Great Food Is Cooked By Psychos
Patton Oswalt - Death Bed
Patton Oswalt - Cirque du Soleil
Paul Curtis - Dating
Paul Curtis - President Bush
Paul Curtis - Call Centers
Paul F. Tompkins - Goth Girl
Paul F. Tompkins - I'm So Rich
Paul F. Tompkins - Sesame Street
Paul F. Tompkins - Cherry Picking
Paul F. Tompkins - Potato Famine
Paul Krassner - The Antichrist
Paul Krassner - Disorganized Religion
Pauly Shore - Group Therapy
Ralphie May - White People Gone Crazy
Ralphie May - White Trash
Ralphie May - Open Water
Ralphie May - Midgets
Ralphie May - Mentally Challenged Americans
Ralphie May - Tard Happy
Ralphie May - Tips for an Acid Trip
Ralphie May - Tripping With Mitchell
Ralphie May - Smoking Weed With Jesus
Ralphie May - Iraq, Terrorism and a Fury of Mullets
Ralphie May - Mullet Hunter
Ralphie May - Flip Flops
Ralphie May - Being Right vs. Being Happy
Ralphie May - Living With Tivo
Ralphie May - Lie Every Day
Ralphie May - Boobs
Ralphie May - Couture
Ralphie May - Favorite Gifts
Ralphie May - Work That Money
Rick Shapiro - God's an Idiot
Robert Schimmel - Swimming With a Dolphin
Robert Schimmel - Bargaining With God
Robin Williams - Utah
Robin Williams - Something Awful Is Going To Happen
Robin Williams - These Are Troubled Times My Friend
Robin Williams - Blair, Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, A Dead Man And Lassie
Robin Williams - Crusade
Robin Williams - Joe, I'm Pregnant
Robin Williams - My One Question
Robin Williams - Marijuana
Ron White - Got' In a Little Trouble
Ron White - Tater Tot Goes to Europe
Ron White - The Town Stinks
Ron White - Heightened State of Awareness
Ron White - I Have a Great Idea
Ron White - All Things Scotch
Ron White - NASA Research
Ron White - Sunglasses
Ron White - Truth in Advertising
Ron White - Plane Crash
Ron White - Married a Wealthy Woman
Ron White - Landscaper
Ron White - Chocolate
Ron White - Truth in Advertising
Ron White - High School
Ron White - Cousin Ray
Ron White - Lug Nut Day
Ron White - They Call Me "Tater Salad"
Ron White - Cincinatti Chili
Ron White - You Can't Fix Stupid
Ron White - Grandma In Texas
Ross Noble - The Climber
Ross Noble - Dodgy Musical
Russell Peters - Speaking English
Russell Peters - Traveling In Vietnam
Russell Peters - Lost Luggage
Russell Peters - English Accents
Russell Peters - Arranged Marriage
Russell Peters - English Accents
Russell Peters - Half-white
Sabrina Matthews - Curing Homosexuality
Sabrina Matthews - Irony
Sabrina Matthews - Dressing Like a Girl
Sabrina Matthews - Kitty Confusion
Sabrina Matthews - Friends and Drugs
Sean Hughes - Matt & Diane
Sean Hughes - Wrong Friends and Family
Sean Hughes - Catholic Sex & Owls
Sean Hughes - French Art Movies
Sean Hughes - Kids
Sean Hughes - French Art Movies
Sean Hughes - Hare Krishna's In Ireland / IRA
Sean Hughes - Ex Girlfriends
Sean Hughes - U2
Sean Hughes - How I Feel (Poem)
Sean Hughes - Lets Stay In
Sean Rouse - God Hates Catchphrases
Sean Rouse - Way Too Young
Sean Rouse - Y'all Pick 'em!
Sebastian Maniscalco - Ipods
Sebastian Maniscalco - Digital Camera and Email
Sebastian Maniscalco - Hygiene
Sebastian Maniscalco - Disgusting People and Dogs
Steve Hofstetter - Lucifer Sam
Steve Hofstetter - Your Possible Pasts
Steve Hofstetter - Brain Damage
Steve Hofstetter - A Great Day for Freedom
Steve Hofstetter - Sheep
Steve Hofstetter - Us and Them
Steve Hofstetter - Facist Anarchists
Todd Barry - Posters
Todd Barry - Aries
Todd Barry - UPS
Todd Barry - Victoria's Secret Designer
Todd Barry - Stomach Flu
Todd Barry - Therapist
Todd Barry - Tull and Vega
Todd Barry - Australia
Todd Barry - Audiences At Fahrenheit 911
Todd Barry - Prairie Dogs, Sweet Soap
Todd Barry - Florida, Air Conditioning, Big Bookstores, K Mart in New York
Todd Barry - Sperm Bank Babies, Real World, MTV Diary, Behind the Music
Todd Barry - Check with Meal, Thanksgiving Dinner, Stealing Backpack
Todd Glass - Words
Todd Glass - Signs
Tom Papa - Where Are You Going?
Tom Papa - Astronaut
Tom Papa - Married
Tom Papa - Not Cool
Tom Shillue - Reunion
Tom Shillue - Chicken and Broccoli
Tom Shillue - Philadelphia
Tom Simmons - Israel Vs. Palestine
Tom Simmons - God and War
Tom Simmons - Technology
Tom Simmons - When Animals Attack
Tommy Johnagin - Not a Fighter
Tommy Johnagin - My Mom
Tommy Johnagin - Cats Are Walkers
Tommy Tiernan - Coffee In America
Tommy Tiernan - Sex & Alcohol
Tommy Tiernan - Toxic Optimism
Tommy Tiernan - Gun Club
Tommy Tiernan - Unfriendly Skies
Tommy Tiernan - How Would Jesus Vote?
Tommy Tiernan - Oh Lourdy
Tommy Tiernan - Tribes
Tommy Tiernan - Teethed Freaks
Tommy Tiernan - Hawk of a Woman

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Longing is a Friend

I used to think of longing as an enemy. In some ways, it's become an existential condition, and so I made a conscious decision to look at it from all directions.

I've decided that longing is actually more of a friend. It shows that I am drawn to cosmic love. It shows that I feel the distance between reality and the ideal, and long to overcome it. It "presences" that which is only partially actualized, and lets me live in a world infused with magic and meaning.

The first entrance into longing is love. Many of the mystics explain their experiences in terms of this love-longing. If you can't experience longing, you've never known separation from the beloved. I think that's why poets like Rumi so often employ the metaphors of sensual love to try to express the mystical communion and... its absence.

But the absence is a present absence. It becomes true absence only when it is cast out from the mind, heart and spirit - when it is covered over by the everyday, by the norm, by the inauthentic, by the "they" mentality. If you can feel longing for someone in their unique self-ness, then the avenue for love-communion is not closed.

Nice tongue-in-cheek version: You, Me and Dupree (2006) references to "-ness" throughout:

Dupree: "The point is, is somewhere along the road, you lost your magic. They knocked you off your game. Your Carlness went right out the window."
Carl: "What's with this 'Carlness'? It's not even a real word."
Dupree: "Yes, it is."
Carl: "Oh, it is?"
Dupree: "It's a verb. It's a conjunction, a preposition, it's a philosophy, a way of life. It's your name with 'ness' attached to it."

I heard a song recently that describes the longing in the kind of terms I'm thinking about lately. See if you like it.

Eels - The Longing (lyrics)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sally Foster: Sally Foster 2009 Home Page

Sally Foster: Sally Foster 2009 Home Page

My boy's school gets 50% of sales until September 8. If you want to get some gift wrap, bags, gourmet chocolates, and little stuff for the house, check here first!

Enter my seller number (382513) during the checkout process so Ben gets credit.

P.S. to those in the know: I won't send him door to door!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Note to Self

If you're already in a mood for mooning around, Barry Manilow is still surprisingly touching.

Stop laughing.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Increasing the Light

"We can try many ways to get rid of the darkness but none is as effective as simply increasing the light" - Chinese Proverb

Thank you Kimmy.

Increasing the Light

"We can try many ways to get rid of the darkness but none is as effective as simply increasing the light" - Chinese Proverb

Thank you Kimmy.


When I was growing up, I was a member of a group that sometimes referred to itself as "the friends." Most of them were not my friends.

I cannot fully express the gratitude I feel, these many years later, to have discovered what real friendship is (and can be) and to be blessed with so many wonderful people in my life.

When I think about people that I love and who love me, people that I like and who like me, conversations about such a diverse set of topics and conversations about nothing but just sharing the experience of conversing - I feel surrounded by the warm embrace of the divine.

Maybe that's really something like what is meant by the spirit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cheerful Happy

Laughing baby! Can anyone look at a laughing baby and not feel happy?

This one is outstanding! Watch and listen...

Feel it? You're smiling, aren't you?

(Thanks to my brother for posting this)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Singin' in the Rain

Oh! Singing Green Day's "Holiday" on the back deck in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Very fun!!!

Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame
The ones who died without a name

Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called "Faith and Misery" (Hey!)
And bleed
The company lost the war today

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning
of the rest of our lives
On holiday

Hear the drum pounding out of time
Another protester has crossed the line (Hey!)
To find
The money's on the other side

Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There's a flag wrapped around
a score of men (Hey!)
A gag
A plastic bag on a monument

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

(Say, Hey!)

"The representative from California has the floor"

Zieg Heil to the president gasman!
Bombs away is your punishment!
Pulverize the Eiffel towers!
Who criticize your government!
Bang bang goes the broken glass, man!
Kill all the fags that don't agree!
Trial by fire, setting fires!
Is not a way that's meant for ME!
Just cause, just cause, just cause
because we're outlaws yeah!

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

This is our lives on holiday

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Hugs. Smiles. Hands. Kisses. Cuddly Socks. Blankets. Toasted fluffernutters. Friendship. Frankincense burning - and nag champa. Fresh lilacs. A good book. Dinner conversation. Laughter. Wind through the trees. Moonlight everywhere, and sunlight on my belly. Twinkling eyes. Puns. Wandering.

Anything today... but a cigarette.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter / Oestre / Ishtar

"Well I think the good book is missing some pages."

The naughtiest Easter song ever. Feel the word.

"Icicle" - Tori Amos

Icicle icicle
Where are you going
I have a hiding place
When spring marches in
Will you keep watch for me
I hear them calling
Gonna lay down
Gonna lay down

Greeting the monster in our easter dresses
Father says bow your head like the good book says
Well I think the good book is missing some pages
Gonna lay down
Gonna lay down

And when my hand touches myself
I can finally rest my head
And when they say take of his body
I think I'll take from mine instead

Getting off
Getting off
While they're all downstairs
Singing prayers
Sing away
He's in my pumpkin p.j.'s
Lay your book on my chest
Feel the word
Feel the word
Feel the word
The word feel it

I could have
I should have
I could have flown
You know I could have
I should have
I didn't.... so...

Icicle Icicle
Where are you going
I have a hiding place when spring marches in
Will you keep watch for me I hear them calling
Gonna lay down
Gonna lay down

Be Here Now

Hope. Faith. Caring.

Be Here Now.

Don't let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still, don't try
Don't let your heart get heavy child
Inside you there's a strength that lies

Don't let your soul get lonely child
It's only time, it will go by
Don't look for love in faces, places
It's in you, that's where you'll find kindness

Be here now, here now
Be here now, here now

Don't lose your faith in me
And I will try not to lose faith in you
Don't put your trust in walls
'Cause walls will only crush you when they fall

Be here now, here now
Be here now, here now

- Ray Montagne

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thinking Things Through

The ability to think things through beams me on, but the process is sometimes almost unbearable.

When I'm thinking through a problem or a situation or a hypothetical or a thematic or...whatever... there are so many thoughts buzzing around me that I want to bat them all off. I want to put everything into binaries and force them into categories.

But I know better. My whole life has been an attempt to discover, and enact, the discipline of thinking the unthought, asking the unasked, complicating the easy judgment. To do this requires that I put everything I am on the line. I can't protect my favorite prejudices from mutation. I can't protect my heart. Sometimes that's freeing, and it's almost always pretty frightening. Sometimes there are touchstones to hold onto - and sometimes there aren't.

Each time it happens, I'm thrown into chaos. I never get used to it. I find one little bit here, and it connects there, and then there are clusters, and resonances. And eventually, you can build up a sense, through intuition and logic and empathy (and other things) as a vision gradually shimmers into being. The vision and feeling come first. Sometimes the words help in the construction, but sometimes words act as the via negativa - the thing that must be crossed out and erased - and then somehow reconstructed and rewritten, over and over. And sometimes there are no words at all.

I keep doing this, although it is fraught with difficulties of all kinds. I'm only courageous in this one way, that even when I'm frightened and hurting I keep seeking a closer, a warmer relationship with truth - and with the kinds of illusions that point to another kind of truth, too.

Ultimately, it only matters to me that this is the path I'm on. Sometimes it's a very lonely path. I change a little bit with every new insight and it sometimes feels like people prefer other people to stay the same. The essence of me - and I do sense that there is one, and that it is unique and eternal - is not that easy to reach or to recognize, or even maybe to like very much. But in this one way, I'm serving - as me, as the only me there is - and this has been my calling. I do stand for that, that path of thinking with everything I have.

"Thinking" is a placeholder concept here in a way. By "thinking" I include sensing, intuiting, smelling, seeing, imagining, touching, listening, tasting, rehearsing, loving, longing for, being repulsed by, paying attention to, ruminating upon, and playing with. Everything I am or could be goes into it - body and soul and spirit and mind - to think things through. Whatever that really means.

Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I would change what I've learned for something else that I would highly prefer. I'm tired of being threatening to people for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes I feel that no-one will ever understand who I am and what I'm about.

Even so, it's worth it. It's worth everything.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Be Yourself

Oscar Wilde beams me on. Always.

I'm so happy to have rediscovered a quote today via my buddy Todd's And I Quote Blog:

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
~ Oscar Wilde

That's as pithy as you get, but consider it within its trinity. Hold that counterpoise!

To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
~ Oscar Wilde

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
~ Oscar Wilde

Nobody does it better than Wilde.

On the general theme, here are a few variations:

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
~ Kurt Vonnegut

We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
~ François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.
~ Andre Gide

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.
~ Johann von Goethe

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
~ Judy Garland

Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.
~ Shakti Gawain

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
~ e.e. cummings

Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya.
~ Walter Kaufmann

Math Tricks

I love math tricks. Here's one for multiplication.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love and Power

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
~ Carl Jung

Saturday, March 28, 2009


There are all kinds of friends - childhood friends, college friends, work friends, intellectual friends, friends of happenstance or neighborhood - but there is also a transcendent kind of friend, the friend of spirit.

Spirit friends reverberate at your own frequency - a sympathetic vibration. Any time together goes by far too quickly, and it seems as though the most important interactions are going on at a level that can never really be articulated. What is created between you is paradoxical - a new and always-changing thing that nonetheless somehow vectors the eternal.

It's stunning to me the way that existential effects can overtake any discernible cause. I've wondered sometimes if that might have been the kind of thing that the "communion of saints" or the Buddhist "transmission" were trying to describe - that resonating recognition of spirit-friendship. Have you experienced that?

A spirit-friend reconnects you, atunes you. It's not mystical as in a meditation, because there is content. Details matter. When you see the face of a spirit-friend, hear the voice, catch the cadences - your heart is glad. That heart-gladness beams me on.

I tend to shy away from socializing very much. I'm in many ways a very private sort of person. Also, as my hubby's ex-wife expressed it, I have a tendency to "try too hard" when I do get out and about. If it's a social situation where I feel uncomfortable or nervous, it can be painful.

This week was nothing like that. After darkness, joy.

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. ~Elie Wiesel

This week's rhythms and syncopations wrenched me out of myself. I had been feeling so numb, so utterly sad - and then, from everywhere, gifts! I feel healed, and grateful. It's like a sweet angel observed me, just watching me think I'd pull a rabbit out of my hat. When I pulled a rhino instead, he turned to the cosmos audience and said, "Now here's something we hope you'll really like" and sent some friends to lift me up.

Yeah, that's it. My guardian angel is a form of Rocky the Squirrel... and I'm a deluded moose. I like it.

Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic. ~ John Henry Jowett

Sunday, March 22, 2009

No Beams

Sometimes there's nothing that can beam me on. Today is one of those days.

Oh, there's no earth-shattering catastrophe. I'm just too sad to beam.

For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us. Outside, the day may be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down through the thickly-muffled glass of the small iron-barred window beneath which one sits is grey and niggard. It is always twilight in one's cell, as it is always twilight in one's heart. And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more. ~ Oscar Wilde

I'm floating right along that teetering edge of despair. I can't explain why in any sort of convincing way, even to myself. In some ways, I'm just irrational.

I try to bolster all sorts of positive things inside, but it's not working. My happy place has slid away from me. I can't write. I can't sing. I can't seem to distract myself with any of the things I would normally enjoy. I can't even cry.

It happens to everyone, sometime.

So this blog is all about sharing things of joy, things that make me beam on and on and on, but I feel alienated, joyless, incapable of beaming.

Maybe it's a good time to ask others: What beams you on - especially when you're overwhelmingly sad for no good reason?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Performing a Flamboyant Set

It really beams me on to get in touch with my inner flamboyant performer.

An impromptu performance in the living room started out as an attempt to explain something that had amused me that day. Hubby thought it was very fun and said he much preferred this to the "whiny" set (you know, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, etc.).

What exactly is a flamboyant set? Take a look-see.

So, imagine how challenging it might be to perform these - and to convey the full effect of each - without costumes. In some cases, he had never seen that expression on my face before, much less seen me slap my hip.

The humor of it all is layers deep and years long.

Making Something All Better

This week, our third-grade son came home very upset about an incident at school. In order to motivate the kids to write an effective persuasive essay, they had told the kids that the superintendent wasn't going to allow them to have recess anymore. Third graders were far too old to have recess, you see. The initial mindgame was compounded by rumors among the children that the next day's recess was going to be the very last one. After the essays were handed in, the kids were told about the deception.

At the end of the day, my teacher said it was all just a trick to make us put more effort into the persuasive essay. I was really upset, and I was crying at school today because they tricked us. I still think that was really mean. Why did they lie to us?

I wrote a letter to the principal (who had participated) and the teacher. Here's a bit of it, edited for privacy:

Why would you so undermine the caring, safe environment that you have all worked so hard to create? This is so damaging to his trust in you and in the school.

From an educational and developmental viewpoint, it would better have been presented as an imaginary scenario so that they could understand hypothetical thinking.

If, on the other hand, there is a real threat to the children being allowed recess, it would have been better to ask for a response from the parents. You could certainly count on either one of us to write a “persuasive essay” on this topic if this is an issue being discussed at the superintendent’s office.

What most concerns us is the emotional impact. We would like to be able to tell B that he can trust that you and his teacher(s) will not lie to him.

Manipulation and mind-games are completely inappropriate in any educational environment, but even more so – more compellingly so – when children are involved.

We’ve heard you giving the morning announcements and talking with a wide range of people, and have always had the utmost confidence in your abilities and your motivations. We know how much care and energy you put into creating a supportive environment in which the children can learn and grow.

That is all the more reason that we would like some kind of explanation - and an assurance that this sort of thing will not happen again.

Hubby and I both signed it, and sent copies in the next morning. It didn't take long. I got a call from the teacher on the way in to work. That afternoon, we also received a letter from the principal:

Words cannot adequately express my sincere heartfelt apologies for my part in causing B to be upset and putting his faith in adults in question. I cannot disagree with you on any of the points that you brought forth in your letter. You are totally correct.

When the third grade teachers came to me asking that I do this to inspire passion in the children's writing assessment essays, know that they were going to tell the children afterwards the purpose of this theatrical staged event, it never crossed my mind the concerns that you brought to my attention. The teachers were so excited about their idea and felt that this was a creative avenue to elicit the students' best writing samples. In hindsight, it was not a good decision.

I did speak to the class this morning and sincerely apologized to them. I am so very fortunate that they are so loving and forgiving, as I would never do anything intentional to cause a single child harm. Again, I am so very sorry and I hope you can forgive my poor judgment. I can promise you that this will not be repeated in the future. Sometimes the best intentions do not lend the results we thought, but what a valuable lesson can be learned.

Thank you for your understanding.

When I got home from work, our son ran up and gave me a big, big hug. He said they admitted that they made a bad decision, and they said they were sorry, just like people should do when they make a mistake. I think he has more respect for them for doing that than he did before.

I don't remember ever hearing an apology in an educational setting myself.

He sat with me and told me all about it. "It's all better now, Mommy."

Ah. Sweet.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's New Pussycat?

Oh, have I found a gem. Need a smile?

Watch k.d. lang sing "What's New Pussycat?".

Admit it! That's just totally fun.

Maybe you prefer the classic Tom Jones version, but I think this one's much, much better.

It's hilarious that the audience maintained the Tom Jones ritual of tossing the underwear.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Infinity and Time

You can be attuned to infinity, but

Time keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea,
Till it's gone forever -
Gone forever -
Gone forevermore.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Validation Story

A story about validation, smiling, and love.

Thanks to the friend who sent cheer and caring to Matt.

Social spread + kindness = Good for everybody

Valentine's Day is for LOVE

The soul is made of love and must ever strive to return to love. Therefore, it can never find rest nor happiness in other things. It must lose itself in love.
~ Mechthild of Magdenburg

One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul, and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

But those rare souls whose spirit gets magically into the hearts of men, leave behind them something more real and warmly personal than bodily presence, an ineffable and eternal thing. It is everlasting life touching us as something more than a vague, recondite concept. The sound of a great name dies like an echo; the splendor of fame fades, into nothing; but the grace of a fine spirit pervades the places through which it has passed, like the haunting loveliness of mignonette.
~ James Thurber

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor imagination, nor both together go to the making of a genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of a genius.
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love, and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sensation of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant.
~ Thomas Moore

Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.
~ Alfred Tennyson

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.
~ Victor Hugo

Oh, they loved dearly; their souls kissed, they kissed with their eye, they were both but one single kiss!
~ Heinrich Heine

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
~ Emily Dickinson

May you enjoy a Valentine's Day filled with love and light!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back Off

What beams me on isn't limited to rainbows and stars and ethereal flights.

There are all kinds of energies, and sometimes I need an infusion of pure strength.

The kind of strength I'm thinking of is an oddly female-specific sort of power. As a woman, and a woman raised to believe that women should be submissive to men, I still tend to yield (however it may look on the outside). I tend to offer the benefit of the doubt, even when dealing with a problematic personality. I try to understand another person's context and perspective. That's an ethic of compassion - but it can't be a blind one, nor one based on lack of power. Compassion must come from interaction, from the space between that is created between and among equals. If not, compassion becomes slavery, or pity.

There are some who will try to leverage kindness into their own agenda. You can understand their perspective, but you still have to protect yourself from what they might do. Even the worst predators have background narratives that help explain how they got to where they are. You may have total clarity about your own motivations, but your kindness may be taken for weakness or ambivalence or even encouragement if you aren't very, very careful. If your understanding and insight is misinterpreted as approval, it's time to walk.

If you notice that you're being taken down a road that you don't want and haven't chosen, no amount of suggestion should induce you to take even one more step. It doesn't matter if you'll feel awkward, or it seems unreasonable. Listen to yourself. If your body is sending you messages, listen! Do you feel afraid, repulsed? Are the hairs on your arms and neck bristling like a cat? Listen! Listen and respond.

If you run into someone (or are pursued by someone) who tries to dominate, use or abuse you, be strong! If your boundaries are being invaded, PUSH BACK.

Push beyond any fear and strike a pose. My mom had a great pose. We called it "Mother Superior" and it worked pretty well in a variety of different situations. I have a variety of such poses, and they continue to serve me well. I think my favorite is "Scary Librarian." Practice in a mirror until you find the ones that most authentically work for how you look and who you are.

It's not that men cannot be dominated or that these issues affect only women. Men have responses and sources of strength in such situations as well, but the flavor of that strength can be quite different. I don't mean to gender-code too strongly (I don't believe in that), but we live in a set of cultures that are readable - still - in gender codes and these can be tapped. Think Athena, Artemis, Kali, Isis, Mary, Venus, Lilith - or any of the thousands of others from around the world. They express facets of the different energies.

Why do we still smile to think of Wonder Woman? It's not just the outfit, the voluptuous body, or even the bracelets. It's the optimistic projection of female power - and the longing for that lasso of truth. She is a crystallization of one set of characteristics projected out onto a figure (however nationalistic and naive it might seem now).

Even knowing that you are strong sends off a vibe that helps to protect you. It says "You don't really wanna mess with me." Actors use their imaginations to psyche themselves into a role. What you imagine can radiate off of you. Remind yourself of your strength - and actively imagine what it feels like, what it is like - from time to time.

To be strong in yourself, sometimes you have to draw the line, to set the edge of the boundary, to step back out of the interaction and set yourself apart.

You have to give yourself advance permission - especially if it is a little out of character for you to be strident - to say either in words or actions - "I have not issued an invitation. Get out of my way. I'm not interested. I've said no. BACK OFF!"

There can be no hesitation. Loud, strong voice. Unwavering certainty. Ideally, you'll always want an immediate plan for escape - or even attack - at hand.

If it comes to a physical confrontation, don't try to follow any rules. Fight dirty. Speak gibberish, act insane, scratch, spit, vomit - whatever might make someone back off is acceptable behavior in a dire situation.

We do have characters to model our behaviors at such times, but the addition of specific attachments to songs can really help you to visualize. I love strong female artists. Some of my favorites for this kind of female strength include Pat Benatar, Blondie, and Pink. Not everyone can pull off this particular kind of energy, but having a song that you love - and a visual in your head - can help you develop your own vibe. Enjoy.

U and Ur Hand - Pink

Watch the original music video at YouTube - This is the best video, but embedding has been disabled.

This is a live version. It's still pretty good.

Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Check it out
Going out
On the late night
Looking tight
Feeling nice
It's a cock fight
I can tell
I just know
That it's going down
At the door we don't wait cause we know them
At the bar six shots just beginning
That's when d*ckhead put his hands on me
But you see

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight

Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh

I'm drunk
I don't give a f*ck
Wanna dance
By myself
Guess you're outta luck
Don't touch
Back up
I'm not the one
Buh bye
Listen up it's just not happening
You can say what you want to your boyfriends
Just let me have my fun tonight

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight

Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Break break break
Break it down

In the corner with your boys you bet up five bucks
To get at the girl that just walked in but she thinks you suck
We didn't get all dressed up just for you to see
Quit spilling your drinks on me yeah

You know who you are
High fivin, talkin sh*t,
but you're going home alone, arentcha?

Cause I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight
(It's just you and your hand)

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight
Yeah oh

Sunday, February 1, 2009


We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, and callings.
~ Abraham H. Maslow

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
~ John Albert Michener

Do you undervalue your accomplishments?

The problem with setting very high standards and almost unreachable goals is that it's easy to feel like a failure. Given so much, I hardly ever feel that I've done as much as I should to make things happen. This kind of thinking is all right once in a while, but it can easily become a trap since it creates a loop of self-loathing.

What did you accomplish? What are the things you succeed at doing every day?

On a day like today, the accomplishments seem small - very small, but they still count. It may be mortifying that it took this long to do it, but it feels good that the Christmas tree is finally(!) gone. The front room looks fabulous. The laundry is all done. I'm psychologically prepared for the week, and I didn't sit around feeling sorry for myself as I was tempted to do.

I did spend some good time with my son today, and he's got a head start on his homework for the week. I did think through how to have a dialogue on an important subject at work. I did put together some clothes to donate. I could have done some work last night, but it was better for us all that we had an enjoyable evening with friends.

No, I didn't work on my novel, or write the poem that's bumping around in my brain and just waiting for a little attention. I didn't create a killer presentation with all the slam-dunk graphs and stats. I didn't even sing, or practice the piano - or send that package of books to my mom. But this wasn't a day to do those things - that's all. I have done enough for what I need to move forward.

Sometimes accomplishments are big, and they can even take you by surprise because they can be so in tune with who you are that you tend not to count them as accomplishments. However, sometimes the accomplishments seem very small and it can be disheartening when they require such Herculean effort.

Remind yourself what you accomplish across all the areas of your life. Be kind to yourself. There are always so many things happening at once - have you forgotten something that you did accomplish today? Did you say a kind word, take out the trash, compare prices on an upcoming purchase, get some exercise and fresh air? When things are really rough, it can be an accomplishment that you got out of bed in the morning and managed to slog through a disaster-free day!

Find something to celebrate - even on the days that you feel a little disappointed in yourself.

Big or small, important or trivial, you accomplished something today.

You did it! And it matters.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm not quite sure how to upload images to Blogger unless I add them to the sidebar or include them in a post. I need to upload a couple of screenshots of the blog for BlogSerp and a couple of other things, so ... um... here they are.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Anne Lamott, one of my favorite people, says that joy is the best makeup. She's right. Joy makes everyone beautiful.

Remember that all the joy of the universe is already there within you. Even if at times it only holds onto you as a tiny spark firing off by itself, waiting for you, joy is always ready to be recognized (and communed in/with) whenever you're ready to hear, to sense, to know, to love.

Joy is like a command that you can't refuse. When you are filled with joy it is intense, unavoidable, but at the same time the potential for joy is like kind of light that waits, patiently, for you to find it.

If you've known overwhelming sorrows, don't forget that the depth of your sorrow is never deeper than the capacity for your joy - if you choose it.

Joy is deeper than simple happiness, because it implies a connection to what really matters. You can be superficially happy, but joy involves your whole heart and soul and spirit.

Joy is not quite the same, either, as simply feeling pleasure or a sense of calm well-being. There is a quiet elation in joy, a profound euphoria. It is ec-static in that it takes you out of yourself.

Joy is outward flowing, peaceful, and even comforting to others. If you pay attention to what brings you authentic joy, that is a great pointer to your faith, your path, your bliss.

Love may fail - mostly because most of the time we have no idea what we mean by loving - but joy never fails. Joy approaches the big L - the big Love, the cosmic oneness, the Spirit.

In joy, there is a kind of truth - a sort of truth that happiness can sometimes gloss over. Joy has a built-in mundacity detector, and it only builds on itself - rejoicing - in what is true for you.

You can't earn joy. You don't receive joy from following any rulebook.

Joy surpasses the ability of language. It cannot be adequately expressed in words, but only in the intuitions of the heart.

When you are joyful, you are smiling inside - where it counts the most.

Even during wretched, miserable, sad, despairing moments, don't forget about that sparkle of joy that never, ever leaves your spirit. Even the simple remembrance of a moment of authentic joy re-activates your heart.

Listen. Feel. Intuit. See. Taste. Take.

Can you feel it? Does joy touch you?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Playing Hide and Seek

Playfulness beams me on! I love to play!

Play is the exultation of the possible.
~ Martin Buber

Children everywhere, in every culture, play hide and seek. They love it - and so do I.

The only time hide and seek isn't fun is when the seeker doesn't really seek; we all know that's cheating - and mean!

Even free play assumes the "scene" of the game, and that's important. Not all "games" are fun! We're all familiar with someone, maybe even someone close to us, who takes pleasure in "playing games." We all know players.

Sometimes hide and seek is more metaphorically played. I wonder if that universal experience of playing hide and seek might not be part of the communication problems between people, especially between people who love one another. What we've forgotten is that games require the scene of the game. It seems obvious, but if no-one signals the underlying structure of play, things can get very hurtful very quickly.

We hide ourselves to see if the seeker will care enough to seek us. We seek when the hider isn't actually hiding. That doesn't work out well.

hide and seek 2 by =Nocturnal-Devil on deviantART

I'm not suggesting some ritualized invocation of the commencement, exactly, although I can picture a doleful official drone:

"At the very moment when I blow this whistle, we will commence a collaboration in a game of perspective, memory, and distinct roles under a commonly agreed-upon set of rules. The role designations will be hider/seeker (questioner/questioned, pursuer/pursued, etc.). The more time and energy that you put into your role, the more points (cred, mojo, rewards) you will be credited with, but if you do not perform according to the expectations of this role, you will lose whatever credits you might have accumulated up to this point. Ignorance of your role is no excuse."

Yeah. That would be silly, but we do this all the time - without signaling it at all.

Once someone gets into the habit of reacting as though they were participating in such a game, it is very easy to assume that the other person is consciously participating, too. Play cannot be playful without some mutual assent. Without agreement, the "game" is just a form of sociopathology.

There has to be some indication of the game-scene, what counts as the boundary and what counts as the realm of play. How long is the game to last? Is it a competition? Is the whole idea of the game to transverse the boundaries of it? Or are there layers, with different boundary conditions for each?

Sometimes the signals can be very minimal, especially if two people know one another very well, but they have to be communicated somehow. If that doesn't happen, then all sorts of projections and insecurities and fears start bubbling into being, even when the other person isn't intending to manipulate at all.

What's the solution if you find yourself thrashing around in this space?

You could try to identify whether or not, in fact, you are involved in a game-scene. This is easier for group settings: national diplomacy, family drama, church community rituals, the courtroom, or a doctor's visit. If you choose to navigate the game-scene on its own terms - assuming you've understood the roles and the rules (they sometimes change) - then that's a choice you can make a little more mindfully. Sometimes being constructive in those spaces requires a little visit to your internal meta-level to be able to (imaginatively or actually) subvert outworn expectations, but at least these scenes and games are recognizable and held in something like the "common" sense of culture/kinship/generational networks.

Things are more dynamic - and confusing - between two people who are friends and/or lovers. The Buddhists have what is probably a very accurate idea about the kind of ego-detachment that truly nourishes loving hearts, but it's pretty difficult to detach at times.

Sometimes the scene is invisible.

Sometimes the game is unknowable.

Sometimes you assume that there is a game when there isn't.

Sometimes you think you know your role in the game, and you discover that you don't.

Sometimes someone else plays a game, but you haven't been invited to join in as an equal.

There have been books on courtship "rules," for example, that play with psychology in just this way. "Is it too soon to call her?" The scary thing is that many of these games work, even if they are horribly manipulative.

It's also very easy to assume games are being played - even if they aren't (or - even if the ones that are being played are relatively common and benign).

Still, it's just a creepy-crawly feeling to wonder what game is being played, a bit like those dreams where you're on stage but you don't know the play or your role and you have no idea what your lines are. One of the aspects of that position that is so awful is that you have to start second-guessing yourself, checking your systems for paranoia, and so on.

Authentic friendship and/or love can only involve such games when they are mutual, playful, and fun. I'm not sure you can really be in a love relationship at all unless you have established trust around this. Then, when it's "game time," it can be just as fun as playing hide and seek was, as exciting as truth or dare. You can play in that space created between you by both of you - and share all sorts of divinely enjoyable intimacies there.

However, if you are playing games without signaling and setting out the game scene, don't be too surprised if your partner doesn't want to play. It's just too scary and hurtful, and most of us are pretty vulnerable when we really care for someone.

If you expect something of others because of the game going on in your head, you could save yourself a lot of heartache by at least communicating the expectations that you have. Better yet - lose the expectations and pay more attention to actual behavior and communication. The gap between your template and an actual person will always be too large to bridge, and if you overlay your vision over someone else, you will never have the chance to know them.

From the other side - if you never trust anyone enough to let them see you, then you will never know if they loved you or not. You weren't there, just a simulation of who you thought you should be interacted with that other person. And you lost every moment together that you could have had - and maybe, just maybe that person would have "got you" and loved you anyway.

Hmm... well, got kind of carried away there by the locomotive of thought, but thinking and writing are also forms of play (to me).

When was the last time you really played?

Why not play hide and seek right now? It's fun! Even in the cold.

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trouble Tree

Every religious tradition has its rituals, every community has its rituals, every profession has its rituals, and we create our own, too (these are the best!).

Ritual can help open up awareness of kairos within chronos. Ritual also provides simple imaginative methods to package, sort and file various aspects of our being and experience, and to have a space in which to compare one moment to another - all through actions that are meaningful to us and can be repeated.

Thoughtful, individual rituals can create anchorpoints for grounding and release. To me, rituals are a form of performative meditation. Rituals allow us to pay attention to the "between" of our relatedness - to ourselves, to others, to the phenomenal and the liminal and the cosmic.

As snow is the poor farmer's fertilizer, ritual is one of the most accessible ways to step outside the ordinary spaces into resonance. Spiritus. Gnosis. And - it can be awfully fun.

I found a lovely narrative of a simple ritual at More Than Sew So this morning. Does this resonate with you?

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that’s my trouble tree," he replied, "I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children… So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then, in the morning, I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Current Moon Phase

O Moon!

Did you enjoy last month's amazing full moon? It was the biggest, most wonderful and mysteriously luscious moon of 2008.

Guess what? Tonight - January 10th - the biggest full moon of 2009 is coming.

Johannes Kepler explained the phenomenon 400 years ago. The Moon's orbit around Earth is not a circle; it is an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. Astronomers call the point of closest approach "perigee," and that is where the Moon will be this weekend.

Perigee full Moons come along once or twice a year. 2008 ended with one and now 2009 is beginning with another. It's the best kind of déjà vu for people who love the magic of a moonlit landscape.

January is a snowy month in the northern hemisphere, and the combination of snow + perigee moonlight is simply amazing. When the Moon soars overhead at midnight, the white terrain springs to life with a reflected glow that banishes night, yet is not the same as day. You can read a newspaper, ride a bike, write a letter, and at the same time count the stars overhead. It is an otherworldly experience that really must be sampled first hand.

Another magic moment happens when the perigee Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. This weekend, why not let the "Moon illusion" amplify a full Moon that's extra-big to begin with? The swollen orb rising in the east at sunset may seem so nearby, you catch yourself reaching out to touch it.

You won't be the only one. Even at perigee, the Moon is 360,000 km away, yet the distant beauty beckons to poets, stargazers and NASA with equal force: "Come back," it seems to say, "I'm really not so far away."

I'll be looking at that moon tonight with an especial fondness.

Join me tonight for communion and moonlit sparkles. I can feel it already.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fire and Flame

Fire fascinates me.

Candles. When I was a kid, my mother used to light candles at the dinner table sometimes. She admitted not too long ago that it was a way to calm us kids down. It worked. I would gaze upon the small flame, hypnotized.

Nothing's changed. The surest way for me to calm myself - especially if slow deep breaths are ineffective - is to look at flame. If the burning candle smells good - even better. Most candles are too heavily perfumed, but there are some that are almost divine.

Fire in the hearth. The best place to be in a house (excepting maybe bed) is right in front of the hearth before a real wood fire. We have gas logs now and it's not the same. I love the way fire continues, and can be transported. I love the ancient bonfire traditions, the sharing and dividing of the hearth's fire - the heart of the home. Whenever fire is involved - the moment takes on a resonant quality, even if there is no particular reason for it.

Maybe that's why there are so many candles and fires and lights at the darkest times of the year. Comfort and joy.

Still, I remember being very young (especially for this), lighting matches one by one and letting them burn almost all the way to my fingers, crying for the Little Match Girl. I remember Joan of Arc, and countless women charged as witches, and forest fires, and the general rapaciousness of out of control fire. I think burning - being consumed by fire - must be one of the worst ways to die.

But I love the fire that is understood and respected and somewhat domesticated.

I love the way fire moves, the way it feeds from air and wood and oil, the way its wildness can be studied and almost communicated with sometimes. I love the shapes of flames, the edges, the depth of color from ash to blue to red and orange to the palest yellow.

I can look at orange coals all night long, catching glimpses here and there of quick tendrils reaching out for more. Sometimes I'll feed them a twig, just to watch the flames leap. What happens if the wind is this way? If I stack wood in this shape or that? If I throw in candy?

The best thing about camping is having a campfire - in a mountainside nook, in the desert, deep in the woods. A bonfire is great, too, especially on the beach, under the starry night. The combination of open sky and fire is sublime.

One of the roles I've always played in my secret world is the keeper of the flame. It helps to have a staff - or at least a long stick - for this one. I can keep a campfire going in the pouring rain. A hooded cloak is a good thing too - it doubles as a cozy blanket. And yes, I have one - but it's very old and (ahem) a little singed. I've got my eye on a new one - grey or green?

I feel very mysterious and powerful and very, very female as the keeper of the flame. That's another mode that beams me on.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Playing with My Hair

Anytime someone plays with your hair it feels wonderful, right? It's a pure sensual pleasure.

I love to go to a beauty salon, and feel someone wash my hair, and comb it, and cut it, and dry it. All that hair play - ahhhh. It relaxes me all the way down to my toes.

And there's something very sweet about a child grabbing hold of your hair.

So that's a good relaxation meditation. Picture someone (the someone is of course your choice, so pick someone really. really. good!) playing with your hair, running his (and assume "or her" throughout) fingers through it, taking up a a little chunk of it and feeling the sensation across his own face - just because it is so irresistible.

Imagine someone massaging your skull, too, and your temples, and speaking to you in sweet tones - stopping for a kiss now and then, perhaps. And...

And if you have a true love, imagine him holding a lock of your hair close and dear - a material fixed point for a spiritual/erotic reality - even if you never see each other again.

If you actually have a lock of hair of someone you love tucked away - in a locket, on your alter, on a significant page of a book, wherever seems a secret and treasured place to you - you are already a romantic, so build on that. Not everyone has hair long enough to snip a good lock of hair from, but even just a few little bits will work. You can imagine a thread of connection, a wisp of their spirit that remains present.

A lock of hair is almost always a remembrance, an urge to closeness, even if it is also sometimes a form of grieving and loss. Hair is, I think, inherently meaningful, and in the right circumstances it can be incredibly erotic. There are many associations involved in this particular theme, but the primary thread involves pleasure, happiness, intimacy. If two people feel the desire to exchange locks of their hair, that's a heart signal (in case you hadn't been paying attention) of lasting love, or at the very least, a very singular kind of friendship.

Whenever I imagine my love running his fingers through my hair, I feel happy and relaxed and somewhat purry. It's a toe-tingler, even just in the imagination.

This is something to remember, in case of emergency.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Meaning of Life

I love to sing "The Meaning of Life" (theme from the Monty Python movie) just as loud as I can, and with the worst possible fake French accent. I admire a song that can make such a strong happy vibe out of such unlikely materials as a deep sensitivity to injustice and overwhelming existential angst.

The song ends with "for once it will all be made clear - this is the meaning of life..." Because this is such a good set-up for the next song, it's become kind of a game with myself just to pay attention to which song comes up next. I usually have my iPod on random play. Maybe it's just a pattern-recognition effect, but the next song always seems meaningful to me, and "Synchronicity" by The Police has been the next song much more often than any other song. I love that.

The Meaning of Life


Disney Villains

I love the old Disney Villains. My favorites are Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations. Without these most excellent villains, the other characters would slip into saccharine - but with them... alchemy of counterpoint.



Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm

I'm in the Flintstones generation, and I remember the chorus of this song with great nostalgia and fondness.

How is it possible that I associated it with the freedom of the musical "Hair" - and not the message of hating the devil? That part was totally subliminal to me somehow! Gloominess = giving Satan a grin? Wow! Totally missed that part!

Well, I guess I shouldn't have expected differently from a show that put dinosaurs together with people. So now I know, but I can't help still liking it. The song brings me such a sweet feeling of gladness that I can forgive the association game.

The Flintstones - Open Up Your Heart And Let The Sunshine In

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Godly Kitten

Yes, it's the godly kitten!

Kittens chock-full
of beamy goodness,
lovecuddle furry being,
curled up,
slowly blinking in feline
eye-code, full of
purry pleasure,
striking a pose
at once mysterious,

The Cat and the Moon
William Butler Yeats

The cat went here and there
and the moon spun round like a top,
and the nearest kin of the moon,
the creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
for, wander and wail as he would,
the pure cold light in the sky
troubled his animal blood.

Minnaloushe runs in the grass
lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
what better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
tired of that courtly fashion,
a new dance turn.

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
from moonlit place to place,
the sacred moon overhead
has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
will pass from change to change,
and that from round to crescent,
from crescent to round they range?

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
alone, important and wise,
and lifts to the changing moon
his changing eyes.