You Are Always Awake Even If You Don’t Know It

jessica's son

A brilliant great-nephew’s recent homework: “You are always awake even if you don’t know it. I felt a lot in 60 seconds. I felt tingling like nerves bumping me. I saw stars. Light was still in, which caused shapes. My stomach tightened, because the diaphram moved down. I also felt my blood rushing.”

Rabblerousers and Names


8th grade, 1968, new state, new school, girls were not allowed to wear pants to school. I pleasantly and determinedly created a petition to request that girls be allowed to wear pants to school. I got enough signatures, it worked, we were allowed to wear pants.

Mr. Brenner, my English teacher, said “Mary, you are a rabblerouser!” I had to look up the word in the dictionary. An old fashioned one, with alphabetical listings, remember those? When I found out that the word describes itself, one who rouses the rabble, I blushed with flustered….shame! embarrassment! horror!

What I wondered then, and I still wonder now, this many years later, is why do Rabblerousers have a name if not to imply that there is something wrong – or annoying – or dangerous – about them?

And yes I am still rousing the rabble. Nothing huge, but yeah I still do.


metta day 6

First, for yourself:
May I be safe.
May I have happiness.
May I have healing.
May I have ease and grace all hours of the day

Then for someone whom is easy for you to love:
May you be safe.
May you have happiness.
May you have healing.
May you have ease and grace all hours of the day

Then for someone neutral in your life:
May you be safe.
May you have happiness.
May you have healing.
May you have ease and grace all hours of the day

Then for someone difficult in your life:
May you be safe.
May you have happiness.
May you have healing.
May you have ease and grace all hours of the day

Lastly, for all creatures on this Earth:
May we all be safe.
May we all have happiness.
May we all have healing.
May we all have ease and grace all hours of the day

music by mary macgowan, late at night in her living room having a great time

Lovingkindness Meditation For All Beings Everywhere, Let’s Do It

Greetings from Plucky Umbrella!  You are invited to join me in a daily practice of Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation.  Starting today, December 18, 2012 to January 1, 2013.  Anyone may participate and whatever day you wish to start is the right day! This simple, straight-forward meditation requires as little as a few minutes each day – or you might find yourself taking much longer. It is up to you. Metta is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness. The benefits of Lovingkindness Meditation can be enjoyed regardless of your spiritual beliefs or practice.

Here is a “script” for your use.


Find a way to sit comfortably. This is very important!  You are to cultivate compassion and lovingkindness for yourself, so begin by choosing a seat that feels good to you.  No rules here except that you be comfortable! Also, if you begin to feel uncomfortable during your meditation, you may make changes, you may move, you may adjust.  Please do!

The Metta / Loving-Kindness Meditation uses 4 key concepts that will be repeated throughout your meditation:
• Safety
• Happiness
• Physical Healing
• Peace and ease of well-being

Some people have them printed out and hold them in their hand as a kind of “cheat sheet.”  That’s a good way to start!

You begin by repeating these concepts in the form of a wish for yourself…..okay, here we go!

a)  YOU
Start the meditation by taking a moment to cultivate a loving feeling.  Close your eyes, and bring your attention to the center of your chest, your heart.   Sometimes it helps to imagine a small kitten or puppy you could hold in that area, and feel the love and tenderness that arises naturally.

Silently repeat these phrases in your mind:
“May I be safe.”
“May I have happiness.”
“May I have physical healing.”
“May I have peace and ease of well-being.”

At first, it might be easiest to repeat these phrases just once and then move on.  As you meditate more often, you might choose to repeat the phrases twice, or three times.

Sometimes you might find yourself confused and the words might tumble around in your mind. That’s okay. When you remember, gently bring yourself back to the basic 4 phrases.

Choose someone who is easy to love. You might find yourself with some mixed feelings toward this person, but if you feel mostly love toward them, then this person is a good choice.

Silently repeat the Metta phrases in your mind. You might want to include their name with each phrase.
“May you be safe.”
“May you have happiness.”
“May you have physical healing.”
“May you have peace and ease of well-being.”

As for yourself, repeat the phrases as you wish. Once, twice, three times, it is up to you.

Bring to mind a “neutral person”, someone you are aware of that perhaps you do not know very well.  This person does not bring up strong emotions for you. You might find it easiest to choose someone you see everyday, such as a store clerk or someone you see walking their dog.

Silently repeat the Metta phrases in your mind:

“May you be safe.”
“May you have happiness.”
“May you have physical healing.”
“May you have peace and ease of well-being.”

As for yourself, repeat the phrases as you wish. Once, twice, three times, it is up to you.

Bring to mind someone who brings up feelings of negativity in you.  It is most compassionate for yourself to start with someone with whom the difficulty is mild.  Give yourself permission to work at this gently and gradually.

Silently repeat the Metta phrases in your mind:
“May you be safe.”
“May you have happiness.”
“May you have physical healing.”
“May you have peace and ease of well-being.”

As for yourself, repeat the phrases as you wish. Once, twice, three times, it is up to you.

Begin to generate a feeling of loving-kindess towards all beings, all creatures, all individuals, all those in existence. 

Silently repeat the Metta phrases in your mind.
“May all beings everywhere be safe.”
“May all beings everywhere have happiness.”
“May all beings everywhere have physical healing.”
“May all beings everywhere have peace and ease of well-being.”

Continue to radiate these feelings of loving-kindness until you feel complete.

Print out this page if it would help you to remember.  The process seems complicated, but at its essence it is quite basic:  
Four phrases for you,
for someone you love,
for someone neutral,
for a difficult person,
for all beings.

I’ll post a re-cap tomorrow. Bring on the love! (Comments are welcome!)

Random and Romance

“Random” is the instant a horse at full speed has all four hooves off the ground, unbridled galloping love that flies. So, human beings: Gallop! Be glad for every day the word “love” has been spoken in your presence. It ends, you say. Disappointments, you say. So what? Love gets you off the ground. Receive love, give love. Continue thus. Fly your way through your life, I tell you, go for Random!

Last Night

Hay flies out
from the truck before her,
bats hurrying a cave.
She swigs Debris of Twister,
turns mistakes
and crashes
into tall red pines.
Dry dandelions
breaking loose.
Paper wings
with winter green
needles flap an origami
peace crane
swift away
on her last exhale.

– poem by mary macgowan

– photo by lori, hippie peace freaks fb page

What She Thought vs. What Was vs. What Will Be

from a friend…

Boyfriend Whore

She thought she was a Serial Monogamist
and that as a middle-aged woman
she was dating wisely.

Turns out she’s been a Boyfriend Whore.
She doesn’t know if her children call her Boyfriend Whore,
but she has learned that many young people do
regarding their dating mothers.  She is
Amused – and
Boyfriend Whore Embarrassed.
It is true.
So far she has been a Boyfriend Whore.
She hopes if she says Boyfriend Whore
often enough
she’ll get used to it.

A thought about . . . my day yesterday

Yesterday I played guitar and sang songs with young children celebrating Sukkot, a jewish holiday. Then I had amazing french toast made by a wonderful friend. We had ice cream for lunch. Napped. Had dinner with neighbors who are cherished friends. Watched a movie that was beautiful to view, with a mysterious and unsatisfying ending (Meer’s Cut Off).

For most of my fairly long life, I would’ve felt irritated with myself about that day. Didn’t get any creative work done. Didn’t try to “make it” as a songwriter, as a poet, as an artist… Believe it; I can be Extreme in that way.

As a friend recently put it, yesterday I was a “human being” not a “human doing.” And it was a wonderful day!

A day’s small activities, though each one may seem insignificant, can add up to a really great day. Just sayin’

The Best Most Wonderful Story Ever!

How to make a personal book for your much-loved newborn granddaughter…THIS POST WAS JUST TOO LONG, SO I DITCHED A LOT OF THE PHOTOS…

Items to gather or buy:

A board book to completely cover each page and make it your own
Strong-quality wrapping paper in decorative colors and designs that match your passion for the subject of your book
several greetings cards to cut up into decorative pieces
personal photos printed out on plain paper (glues better than photo paper)
a simple story line, told like a fairy tale

Tips: Allow yourself to be messy, let each page be slightly flawed, just have fun and be filled with love!


Include several pages of photos of loved ones…..and then on the back, paste on a “made by…”

And, this is very important: Don’t be afraid to make a mess…

The End!

MYOM #9: Kisses

This cartoon was posted many months ago, but I’m reblogging it because it fits
in well with My Year of Mindfulness.

Bailey licking humans’ faces (or any body part) is a subject frequently discussed earnestly.
Most human dislike it. Bailey has learned the term “NO LICK!” which she hears often.
I’d estimate that she successfully restrains from licking about 75% of the time.
No, make that 50% of the time. Maybe even less. Some say a dog’s desire to lick
stems from the behavior within a dog pack. The submissive dogs supposedly
lick the ears of the alpha.

For me to be fully in the moment with Bailey, I occasionally let her lick my
face as long and as thoroughly as she chooses. It makes her happy.
Which makes me happy. But now I’m discussing my cartoon which really says it all.

– cartoon illustration by mary macgowan

MYOM #8: Gold Cracks

My Year of Mindfulness #8

This cracked bowl still knows how to be a bowl. It can’t be anything else. Look how beautiful it is. I’d like to hold it in my lap every day; I’d like to feel its heft and listen to its story. We could be mindful of each other, my bowl and me. We could sit together and just be there, in the shade of a cherry tree, bowl and woman. I’d like that.

MYOM #7: Blue Heron Dock Standing

My Year of Mindfulness #7

Today this blue heron was me. Quirky poses and full of herself and firmly positioned on the end of my dock like me and my tea most mornings. Is it okay that I’m full of myself too?  I am, I confess. Full! of! Myself!

Tonight I stood in her place. It was late, after midnight. The moon was full of itself, so bright it was almost annoying to this woman who had walked out to stand on her peaceful dock.  As I stood there, adjusting to the streetlight moon, I wondered what it’s like to be a blue heron on the end of my dock.  I can never really know.  

I wish I had such awesome funky wings.  Thank you Blue Heron for this wondrous pose!  I suspect she’s welcoming in breezes, sunshine and, well, whatever slips in unawares. Love, maybe. Love, I hope.  

Year of Mindfulness #4: While Taking Self Portraits for Match


– Unedited photo by mary macgowan, who loves it when a mistake makes magic

Mistakes. Being alive is a messy business. Oh heavens, all day long – plans go awry, change, switch. How to be okay with that?

This photo, where the sun entered the camera lens in an unexpected way, shows me how wonderful mistakes can be. Look at the clarity of good dog Bailey – so beautiful. And Bailey seems to be saying to me: Stop looking at Match! I love you! Me! Here I am! And she is right. Everything I need is here.  

Bailey is right near me all day and sometimes I scarcely stop to notice her. So, yes, I can appreciate a “mistake” that shows me what is true.  I can be such an idiot.

The Best “Good Dog Bailey” Story Ever

Here is Good Dog Bailey, and below is First Island…

Bailey and I often swim out to First Island. It’s pretty far, right?
So yesterday we swam out there and after a few minutes I couldn’t find Bailey
but I figured she was playing with some dogs who were also visiting the island
and I was chatting with some folks who were there.

When it was time to swim back home, I couldn’t find Bailey girl. I called and called her.

How amazing is this dog?!

She missed me, so she apparently swam back home to find me…….then when she heard me calling her, she swam back to First Island to find me…….then she swam back home with me.

The kisses she gave me!

Such a good dog! Love that girl!
(Lots of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (See “Miserly With Exclamation Marks” post for explanation!)

Or Willewingulagulin

from Spaceship Under the Apple Tree, by Louis Slobodkin, as remembered by a 10 year old girl

Or Willewingulagulin

Marty arrived, a tiny Martian
senior scientist in tight uniform,
orange willewingulagulin
and a tiny black typewriter.

Eddie befriended Marty
and was allowed to see
Zurianomatichrome (green).
Marty slept hanging upside down,
his shadow right side up.

Skip pages, adventures,
Grandma’s cookies;
proceed to Marty and Eddie
hurrying to the spaceship,
red footprints running behind them.

At the door, Marty confessed,
frowning: I’m only a junior scientist.
I’ve failed my Earth mission.

But Eddie gave Marty
his brown Boy Scout manual.
Marty emanated dashes
indicating pleasure &
success after all.

Next day, gray twigs and leaves
lay randomly scattered
in a circle of watercolor hues
where the spaceship had been
by the old apple tree

and this is my poem to you,
illustration of trees and branches
falling in my yard, a chainsaw
revving and resting, revving
and resting, which is as much
about orange, green or love
as it is about trees or art

or hovering spaceships
or two men who thank me
for writing about them,
boy or martian, which has
as much logic as you or me
or you and me together
which is to say it makes
perfect sense in a
willewingulagulin kind of way.

– poem by mary macgowan

Or…(regarding Runaway Truck Ramps)

Call the Department of Transportation

Cancel Mary’s appointment.
Her heart needs to runaway more
and more.
No ramp, please.

So much to love.
The petite pine cone that came inside with a beach towel.
Hafiz and Rumi, who are Joy Clowns.

When her water bottle catches a bit of wind
just for a moment
and says hooooooooooooo.

That she has a cellar door
to slide down.
She hasn’t yet, but with no runaway heart ramp
there’s still a chance.

Runaway Truck Ramp

Call the Department of Transportation.

Tell them Mary’s heart is a runaway. That she
needs one in her own
back yard. Or her kitchen.

The trouble she gets in
rolling down hills with the gear shift
broken. (In her medicine cabinet?)
(Her bed?) Perhaps an operation is required,

implant a mini ramp in her rib cage
to stop that foolish thing
from falling all over the place.

– photo and poem by mary macgowan

Michael’s Angel, Oh

Michael’s Angel, Oh

I’m lying in bed
levitating instead of sleeping
which is how my body refuses
to sink into these soft wisps
and cotton clouds

and I’m thinking about Jackson
& Cooper, cat & cockatiel, and how Jackson
lies on top of Cooper’s cage
and the normally chatty
and chirpy Cooper gets very quiet

and I see
water, how it’s perfectly
obedient to gravity, the way it seeks
the lowest place and goes there
always, until there’s no room for itself
so many ways to fall
without question or answer

and how yesterday
with quiet compliance
a woman bent over my feet,
buffed my nails, painted a mini
sunny-sky landscape on my toes

and how maybe,
maybe I can inhale my own perfume
in the middle of the night
and I’m Jackson&Cooper&Water

& I’m Michelangelo’s babydoll
with shiny toenails painted all wrong
but exactly right: sun below, flower on top
and a river in the sky

but I can’t stay in here much longer
listening to him chip away
at my marble sky knowing that at any moment
it could all shatter.

– poem and pastel painting by mary macgowan

Devils Elbow: Map & Aerial View

Were the mapmakers drunk & laughing as they named it?
Lots of us live in it & don’t know it.
“Devil’s Elbow? Never heard of it!”

I live approx. here-ish. We have tall red pines
growing under the devil’s arm. Do they tickle?
Not even a sign on the road. No P.O.
No stores. On a map it’s a town. Elbow.

Is it just a deviled egg made sweet with mayonnaise?
The yolk and the white? We compost the shell,
burial, rebirth, Love?

Mr. Elbow Macaroni, I laugh at you
if you try to enter this house.
Pooh on you, silly fellow!
Only angels allowed!

According to Mapquest, they make no guarantee
of the accuracy of the content, road conditions
or route usability. We assume all risk of use.
Get the FREE MapQuest Toolbar. GO.

Metta Sutta (middle section of)

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease.

Oil painting by Mary MacGowan

Hieroglyphic Ice Melts

First, the ice melts like farm communities

seen from an airplane window.
Is this what it’s like to be in love?

Then come ice hieroglyphics
written by lake life waiting below.

Is this what it’s like to be happy?

Ancient language experts
will be called in to interpret.
I want to understand.
The ice cracks and moans.

Photography and poem by Mary MacGowan

First Corny Tangerine Sunbeams

For You, Honey

The others in this house
sleep while the night
is erased. Give a name
to everything, even
this moment.
For what I hold in my hand
call it Coffee & Solemn.

My World’s Best Mom mug
warms my 5 a.m. face.
A dreamcatcher’s
wrapped in black and white yarn,
lopsided clay candlesticks and a bottle
of streaked sand art.
For families
sleeping everywhere
call this an A+ Diorama.

Parents lift washed-thin blankets
allowing warm baby skin
to feel a new day’s air.
For their lustful cries
eager to be born again
each morning, for the slight
imprint of size
their bodies leave behind
on smooth sheets
christen it Cry & Caress.

I wrap it around me
this last covered
moment of the skies.
My afghan hides me as I lean back
sleepyhead. For all the sizes
we’ve tried on, washed
bleached tumbled dried
for all clothing fallen gracefully
to the floor, call this fabric
Cotton & Wool.

Such willing surrender
of what covers us.
For the shorn of sheep falling
bare skin baptized into dry air
for our own sloughing off
of dead cells, a multitude
of microscopic stars
trailing behind us as we move
through space, reveal it
as Ashes and Dust.

Here now – the sun
tenderly lifts the quilt
which crazies our dreams.
The dark pulls away
like angel wings. So there it goes
wish it, name this dark thought
then stretch and wiggle your toes
and say hello (go ahead!) (hi!)
to the first corny
tangerine sunbeams.

Oil painting/tissue paper assemblage  and poem by Mary MacGowan, an earlier version published in Licking River Review, Vol.30, 1998-99

Start A Huge Foolish Project

These spiritual windowshoppers

These spiritual windowshoppers
who idly ask, “How much is that? Oh, I’m just looking.”
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.

But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? “Nowhere.”
What did you have to eat? “Nothing.”

Even if you don’t know what you want,
buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.
– Rumi, These spiritual windowshoppers

More clear blue skies


Last night I posted my song “Clear Blue Sky.”  At the time, I didn’t connect it to the day I had just spent with Bob.  An unseasonably light-filled and warm day, we walked bare foot on the sandy beach. Bob picked mint leaves for me and crumpled them slightly – held them out for me to smell.  So tender and minty fresh.  We drank Chardonnay.  We kissed.  And laughed.  A lot.

We acted out the whole song, except for the rain falling from a clear blue sky. [That part happened once when I was alone. It rained for a couple of minutes from what was apparently a perfectly blue sky.]  

Bob and I also watched 5 deer run across the ice-covered lake, past the island, hurrying toward the far shore. And 2 ice fisherman who weren’t afraid, as we were, of falling through the ice.  

We watched the sun sink low like blueberry plants with red leaves.

Clear Blue Sky was fiction.  Bob and I made it true.

I’m holding onto this one.  Tomorrow: a painting of the wintergreen mint.

Once I saw a flock of ducks sitting in a large field in V formation. Not eating, not quacking.  Resting.  Resting.  Sometimes we all need to rest in a field, doing nothing.  [No sleeping in blueberries though!]

Clear Blue Sky

☝PLEASE PRESS PLAY☝ (you can adjust volume, too)

Gave myself a birthday gift: Now I can put my songs up on Plucky Umbrella… ♥




Clear Blue  Sky

Barefoot we break off leaves of mint
soft and sweet they smell like heaven scent
and when we kiss and sigh
it’s love falling from a clear blue sky

Oh we laugh, and sip our Chardonnay
the sun so bright it’s hard to say
just why a rain dropped by
and fell down from a clear blue sky.

And here’s to you, my true (blue) eyed love
and here’s to mystery from up above
and here’s to the fall
that started it all

They say it happens but it’s rare
a cloud so small it’s barely there
and then with a gentle sigh
there’s love falling from a clear blue sky.
– Mary MacGowan


The following poem was written in response to Mary Oliver’s poems in which she so often depicts herself falling asleep in wild grasses or under feathered trees – lovely images such as those.  At some point in time I was quite aggravated at all of her sleeping in the wild flowers! Can anybody really do that? Does it make them a better person than one who cannot?

I’ve slept in hammocks,

in beach chairs,

on towels on sandy beaches,

but I have never slept among blueberries.

Wild leaves and fruits scare me,

don’t laugh, it’s their way.

They’ll make us a soft bed, or not,

they’ll feed us, or not,

they’ll scratch us, or make a bridge

for bugs to crawl upon our arms.

Imagine such indifference during

ground-level messy grassy sleep!

Please let’s stay in our pillow-topped bed.

What was I thinking, sleeping

in my car at rest stops?

Listen to the End of the Song

Listen To the End of the Song


When you’re driving 

your dusty Jeep 

invite music in 

and in.

Listen and love 

as you go on your way

and when you get there

(to the place where you’re going)

if a song is still playing

put your car in Park.


It’s a love song 

written just for you.

Can you hear it?

Listen and you’ll know.

Follow these instructions

and even your Jeep will be happier,

in need of less repairs.



I always hated King of the Hill –

always felt tense in my gut when King,

sad when not,

and ostracized if I didn’t want to play.

That pattern has followed me through life.

But now, as a tired adult,

when I feel alone and powerless

atop whatever hill I’ve managed to climb,

I secretly long for anyone to join me.

Now, I’m ready to believe there’s more power



– Mark Nepo, Book of Awakening

Please climb on up the hill to join Bailey and me. We can all be Kings and Queens of the Hill together. Okay? Don’t worry. We’ll all fit, we’ll make it work.

Invite A Bird To Sit Upon Your Forehead

A bird

with no name

picks at my face.

No sense wishing it away,

this bird likes


I’ve other friends,

flowers too –

ladies, babies –

and armfuls of sweet color!


My pecker and I

(not the penis pecker)

have agreed

life is

honeysuckled blossoms

no matter what sits on your face

or what face you sit upon.


(Just for now, go

elsewhere, sexy thoughts!)

We are all one countenance

and the sooner we believe

the sooner we love.


(Not that


isn’t important) (it is)

(but just for a moment

invite a bird

to sit upon your forehead)

(first despair)



Collage on Monopoly playing card

Oh Plucky Umbrella

Oh plucky umbrella you love your job

you open and close brightly

people lose you daily and forget you nightly,

in foggy weather I can’t use you  rightly.


Well, everybody loves a sunny day

They think it makes their blues go away

Me I like the rain, gray skies are so pretty

with umbrellas walking all over the city.


Oh plucky umbrella, you know puddles splash

and winds blow to get in from below

Every time it rains I have to hold you high

and when I do, you do your best to keep me dry.


Oh you brave wide open thing

you make me want to plucking sing

oh you plucky plucky plucky thing

you make everybody want to sing.


How can I not love you, Plucky Umbrella?

The Standing Babas

The Standing Babas were men who’d taken a vow never to sit down, or lie down, ever again, for the rest of their lives. They ate their meals standing up . . . They even slept while they were standing, suspended in harnesses . . . The pain was unending and terrible . . . Tormented, tortured, the Standing Babas were never still. They shifted constantly from foot to foot in a gentle, swaying dance . . . The faces of the Babas were radiant with their excruciation . . . [they] assumed a luminous, transcendent beatitude. Light, made from the agonies they suffered, streamed from their eyes . . . The Babas were also comprehensively, celestially, and magnificently stoned. They smoked nothing Kashmiri – the best hashish in the world . . . and they smoked it all day, and all night, all their lives . . . For a tiny moment in the infinitude of his suffering I almost felt it, what the human will can drive the human body to endure and achieve.

– Gregory David Roberts, “Shantaram”

Old Maid (Note peculiar resemblance to Jan.19 self-portrait)

As copied from the cover to a vintage deck: MCM 50′S BUILT-RITE OLD MAID SHAPED CARD GAME

Note the shape of the cards, “to fit small hands.”

When I was young, we actually played Old Maid. The object of the game was to pass the Old Maid card quickly to the next player so as not to get stuck holding her. Whoever had the Old Maid card in her hand at the end of the game WAS the Old Maid – the loser.  Nobody wanted to be an Old Maid.

An Old Maid was also sometimes called a “spinster.”  According to  Florence Falk, “lurking in the spinster’s background was the suggestion of some grand, unconsummated passion — the love which might have been, whose plaintive ‘if only’ helps explain why she became associated with two singular attributes: shame and sacrifice.”

Note: An Old Maid is an unmarried woman of middle age or older.

Note: In the “olden days” I would’ve been called an Old Maid (despite, I assume, two previous marriages)(there might be technicalities here, which might be explored in the future).

To give it a new-age positive spin, I’m an awesomely cool middle-aged single chick.

A Hafiz poem: Cast All Your Votes For Dancing


Cast All Your Votes For Dancing

I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.

I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.

But you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.

You can stay that way
And even bloom!

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter.

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved
And, my dear,
From the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now.
Learn what actions of yours delight Him,
What actions of yours bring freedom
And Love.

Whenever you say God’s name, dear pilgrim,
My ears wish my head was missing
So they could finally kiss each other
And applaud all your nourishing wisdom!

O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter

And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for Dancing!

~ Hafiz ~

Jan.5, 2012 Mary has a 4-hour stress test tomorrow morning. No one to take her or hold her hand.

No one to take her home after the test and make her a cup of hot tea.  She knows she’s being very self-centered and the world is full of people with much worse problems, but right now she wishes she had a man to sleep next to her and help her out tomorrow.  Tonight she votes in favor of Non-Spinsterhood.

I still enjoy being single – until I don’t.

January 2, 2012

Therapy, inner work, self-care, positive change . . . I can’t just heal myself for the rest of my life!  I must do something with my days.  Indoor gardening?  Small works of art?  More songs?

I could maybe meditate for the rest of my life. Meditate, walking meditations, swim, meditate, eat, meditate, sleep, meditate and so on.  Get a meditation bell.  Meditation could be my “hobby.”  I would be a meditator.

“Mary, what do you do?”

“Well, I’m a meditator.  I meditate many times each day.  I meditate so often that I could be my own monastery.”


I could keep looking for a husband.  A guy to live with for the rest of my life.  (either/or both/or neither)

I’m fine being single – until I’m not.

January 1st, 2012

Can I please be happy being single?

I want to be a wise old woman whom people are drawn to for her wisdom and gardens (even though I don’t like to garden).  A wise old woman who putters about, sings a bit, and paints sunsets or weasels or marvelous toys.

How do I stop longing for a significant other?  Is there an immunization for this desire?

How do I pull my alone act together?  I go through a couple of days okay – then –

WHAM   !   sad sad sad        How do I be me – alone?

God/Universe, half the time I don’t know what I’m writing about I am so full of b.s.