Stepping Stones

We’re still sitting with some big questions and there’s no ground under my feet right now. I feel like the old coyote and road runner cartoons, when the former has just realized he’s walked off a cliff and is standing in mid-air. It’s not bad news and that solidity beneath my feet was just an illusion. Here is a chance to recognize and remember the real nature of things. Whenever I am in touch with impermanence, I appreciate how life is brought into sharp relief, everything tinged with a precious fragility.

The primary work I’m having to do right now is to stay in touch with my heart, mostly because I’m having trouble finding it. Excitement and anxiety has sent my more sensitive faculties diving for cover. I hope they venture out soon, because I can’t make this decision without them.

In the meantime, we stroll through our neighborhood after a heavy rain, my eyes washed clean. The exuberance of Spring displays life force at its best. The whole of nature seems to taunt, daring us to take a risk as ridiculous as the white rose that greeted me around a corner, spotlit with it’s own sunbeam for 5 minutes. I am no longer in the Spring of my life, and risk taking is less appealing than self-care and nurturance. As we head towards the equinox next month, we play with keeping the balance and wonder which way the scales will tip, and what it will be like when they do.

But what the flowers would really like to know is…Care to dance?

In regards to decision making, a wise teacher once said to me, “Over analyzing a problem is like trying to find something at the bottom of a puddle and constantly swishing the water around. The movement of the water stirs up all the mud, and things become less and less clear. If you want to get to the bottom, sit still and let clarity naturally occur.”

Forget-Me-Not also offers good advice. Trust how people and places and things live on in our hearts. Nothing is ever truly lost.

Interesting times. Also, I can’t get too caught up in thinkings, because I might miss something like this…

A friend passed this poem onto me yesterday (Thanks Jan!). Not only do I love Hafiz, but it speaks both to a workshop I will be leading next week, and also to  many aspects of my personal moment.

The way we live opens windows
And calls in a secret voice to anything
Still missing.

 There is nothing in your mind
You have not invited in.

 There is no event in your life
You in some way
Did not drive a hard bargain for.

 We were all once like moons,
Often full and bright.

 The heart, in its wisdom,
Ceaselessly shops for

 The wise in any foreign country
Seeks a true guide.

 The guide says,

 “Just practice this new birdcall,
It will attract to you
Something even
Greater than



In the midst of it all, our lives go on, and Jeff and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in the most rarest of ways…a surprise babysitter and a romantic dinner at our neighborhood italian restaurant. It was so bizarre to sit there and have unbroken eye contact, to enjoy my dinner without fending off grappling hands or using my body as a blockade between her two-ness and the rest of the restaurant. It was so grown-up and normal and I felt completely giddy and awkward through all of it. It was wonderful.


7 thoughts on “Stepping Stones

  1. Kate just said you are an excellent photographer, that you should be a photographer when you grow up – and also that you look younger than me. What’s up with that?? Hahaha

  2. Well. I’m intrigued. Good luck friend! I know the partnership excitement and anxiety well; it’s hard for me to see things clearly when that dynamic duo are steering my ship. I was addicted to them in my crazy high years, and made some horrifyingly stupid (but exciting!) choices…My poor mother. Incidentally I find big decision making very difficult…and can relate to all of those things you wrote up there; I lose my intuition and become confused and harried. I do always try to come back to my heart, but it gets muddled for sure. (feels like it takes weeks!) I think you know yourself pretty well though, and will get out of the muddle and find your heart. The Hafiz poem, I want to share with everyone. Thank YOU for sharing it. I also love that you were able to have a special evening with Jeff – those moments are precious, they keep us going. The peeps around me are disillusioned with Valentines Day, but Steve and I do something caring for each other and celebrate the love every year. Why not take advantage of a day that says love one another dammit. Il Borgo – lets go there Mary!
    p.s. i just want you to know that this comment was originally like three times the size it is now. it was crazy big. & i have a fondness for p.s.’s

  3. i must admit, your posts leave me a bit speechless (in a good way, of course) and so many times i read them and don’t leave a comment because i just don’t know what to say. but, i’ve decided to start leaving them anyway, even if my writing sounds like a preschooler compared to yours 😀

    the poem is beautiful. i will definitely be re reading it.

    as soon as we rolled into san fransisco, i thought of you and how i wished i could have met you. we were only there for an hour or two because we had a long drive ahead of us. next time hopefully. i read that you met up with missa and milla. i bet you all had an amazing time!

  4. Mary, it was so great to finally meet you yesterday! What a beautiful day in the city it was too. Seeing you and Fern together definitely takes me back a couple of years. She is such a doll, and guess who Clover was all day today? Yep…”Baby Fern”! She even had to recreate Fern’s outfit to wear to the farm this morning. We had her all dressed and as she was putting on her shoes she yells “Mama, I need leg warmers, Fern had legwarmers!”

    It’s all about the details, there were little braids and a purple tutu skirt. She even wanted to eat Trader Joe’s O’s for breakfast! Last night after we had left Milla at the bus stop and were heading home, she says to me very seriously “Mama, whenever I see people, I just think about how fun it would be to be them.” It’s such an interesting phenomenon with her, I’m curious as to how this strong instinct of hers will play out as she grows.

    Well lovely lady, I do hope we get the chance to hang out more, lets try for the white elephant sale, for sure 🙂

    For now, wishing you calm, clarity, and unhindered access to that intuitive heart of yours. Ah, decisions decisions, all the best m’dear!

  5. There are so many lines here that I’ll have to copy into my notebook for later inspiration. You’re always writing the most beautiful prose.

    Good luck divining your way through the fog, Mary.


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