Monthly Archives: July 2014

How Super the Moon…

An almost supermoon

An almost supermoon

I am trying to do my womanly bonding with the moon, really I am. But it’s so complicated (and I can hear guys saying, “well, duh, so are you women”).

There’s that problem of it rising and setting at inconvenient times, either past my bedtime or during the day, when it’s just a cold, white specter in the sky. There’s the problem of it sometimes being reduced to invisibility, a state known as “new moon,” for reasons not clear.

And then there are the clouds. Even in July there can be clouds in Seattle.

But there seem as well to be a host of optical illusions that I simply don’t understand.

For example:

According to the Seattle Times, Saturday, July 12, was the first of three supermoons, so called because the moon looks particularly large because it’s closer to earth than usual. (The other two supermoons this year will be Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.)

At about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, I was in downtown Redmond on the City Hall campus—and the moon was enormous, definitely a supermoon. Big, round, golden, so close you could almost reach out and embrace it.

I drove home, a distance of less than 10 miles with an elevation gain of less than 500 feet, and went out on my patio, which is a primo viewing spot for full moons. The moon looked smaller than it had in downtown Redmond. How could that be?

I took its picture nonetheless—and then compared the picture to the pictures I had taken from the same spot the night before, when the moon was almost full and presumably, therefore, only almost super.

But darned if the moon wasn’t bigger in the photos taken the night before—which is why the picture you see here is the almost-supermoon.

There’s doubtless an explanation….



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Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones…

Dem bones...

Dem bones…

Perhaps 12 years ago, which was a couple of years after I began studying taiji, I had one of those experiences that remains with you forever, an experience that may last only a few seconds but that somehow gets copied into memory in such exquisite detail that recalling it feels like reliving it.

I was walking across the campus of the school where I worked when it occurred to me that perhaps I could relax my lower back as I walked the same way I was learning to do in taiji. Actually, it wasn’t something I could “do,” but more something I could choose to let happen. So I let it happen. And it kept happening and happening, and suddenly I felt stricken about doing what I was doing in a public place.

I remember thinking that my butt must have dropped at least three inches—and I wondered if anyone had seen it and thought I was doing something really strange.

I am thinking about this experience now because I may have had another one like it yesterday. The day before, I’d seen a physical therapist for advice on dealing with my scoliosis, which has been getting worse with age. (I am spiraling down, instead of pancaking, which is what most people do as they lose height.)

I thought he might recommend orthotics to keep my right foot from toeing out and my right knee and hip from collapsing in.

Instead, he directed my attention to my rib cage. Continue reading


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Getting Off to a Good Start…

Good morning?

Good morning?

It’s curious what rituals we establish in our lives—even when we are quite certain that we’re not into rituals and don’t have any.

Not long ago I heard a spiritual/motivational speaker say that first thing every morning, she goes outdoors to connect with nature and get herself aligned with who she is and what she wants to make of her day. She said it was her morning ritual.

I thought about my own morning ritual:

Get up; go to the bathroom to do the things which must be done; go to the kitchen to multi-task washing my dishes and the cats’ dishes from the day before with making tea and fending off the cats, who are certain that they need to be fed immediately—and never mind the fact that there’s dry food in their bowl so they cannot possibly be starving.

I did not plan this to be the way I would begin my days; it just evolved. As do, I suspect, most of the rituals of our lives, the everyday rituals—some might call them habits—that way outnumber the big-deal rituals connected with holidays.

I decided I could do better.

I decided that I would do the dishes the night before, so that feeding the cats and making my tea would be quick and easy and I could go outside and sit on my stoop and drink my tea and listen to the birds and the fountain in the bird bath and get myself squared away.

I did this a couple of times. Then it rained, so I drank my tea inside.

And then the contractor who is going to paint my house found dry rot in the rim joist behind the concrete stoop—a rim joist being a 2×10-inch piece of lumber that you definitely do not want to have dry rot in because it helps support your house. The dry rot was depressing; my stoop was a mess—and now I am waiting for the painting to begin.

But I have continued doing the cats’ dishes and my dishes at night, and I have found that my mornings feel more spacious. This morning I got out a spiral-bound notebook—a wonderful notebook with a photo of the two grandsons who gave it to me on the cover—and I made a first entry in what will be my Book of Daily Intentions. Today’s entry includes keeping my body aligned and energetically aware, communicating with awareness of my heart—and doing some qigong tonight by the light of the moon.

It does seem important to begin one’s day in the best possible way….

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