Musings, Interiorities, Submerging’s

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I painted iPhone images today. (above, Karen’s sweet finches)

Looking through things (words/accumulations/”sounds and phrases that have moved”)

me.

Leaning into pain. With an ever anticipated (anxiousness?) for moving,
OUT. of the pain.
Heat/ice/walking/arnica/magnesium.
A soothing  helping balm of “this too shall pass”. Something (everything) always
moves into something else.
New.

Another Karen finch.

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on Miksang photography:
~direct experience is beyond concept
when there’s jealousy (from/at another’s images), return to appreciation
~haiku~ natural markers of impermanence.
no such thing as a thing
synchronization of experience/mind/heart
gap

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Showing not telling

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the liminal spaces
staying curious

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haibun/haiku: perhaps what I love creating the most.

directions from the teacher…
“the reader should be able to track the path of perception, the relationship of the perceptions.”

This place

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I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. Georgia O’Keeffe

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Letting Lucy Go

 

IMG_8499.JPGIt’s been nearly three and a half months since Lucy left us. A few weeks ago I announced to my partner that I was ready for a new dog. A puppy. So the puppy can get acquainted with our three cats who have lived with dogs their entire lives (17 years for one of them).

Partner and I had a lovely talk and started picking out names; all girls. Maggie, Sophie, Lady, Honey. I began how I usually do once I’ve made a decision; I proceed in full acceleration mode. Googling purebred websites, searching the humane shelters. Seemed easy enough.

Lucy is still everywhere. Her ashes and animal sympathy card sit on the fireplace mantel. Leash and collar on the counter next to the Christmas globe that D. gave me this past Christmas. (a man and woman dancing while their dog sits, watching) Her toys on top of the chest which used to be next to where her bed once was (which has been sitting in the back of my car since our last car ride to the vet). There are body/oil marks on the walls where she used to lie up against.

Earlier this week, I found a sweet rescue puppy named Lucy and sent for information. The rescue group is diligent in ensuring those who adopt from them are sound folks who are ready and willing and able to take on the responsibility of bringing a four-legged into their lives. I started reading through the questionnaire (at least 30 or 40 questions) and found myself surprised as the tears poured down. Not only was I not ready for this puppy; perusing through all the questions made me realize this wasn’t the way I wanted to open myself and bring a new puppy into our lives.

A few days later, I saw another sweet one. A boy this time. I thought, “Hmm..”. So I came up with some boy names (Cooper, Taylor, Percy, Baily). The response from this rescue let us know he was already taken.
OK.

More obsessing/searching. Two, three, four times a day. After all, someone new could have arrived in between my searching?!

Last night and this morning: deep lower back pain. Shoes? Something coming up for looking at and letting go? Bodywork. Osteopathic/rolfing-like/cranial sacral.  Thought arises, “childbirth”. The therapist asks, “how was giving birth for you?” Old pain/injury becomes unstuck.
These things.
Movements/shiftings/somatic openings. Sitting and waiting to reveal…

Blue.
Yellow.
Rose quartz.
Dissolving/dismantling/integration.

After the session I eat and think, “Do things to begin the welcoming process for this new little pup.”
Pet store: new purple collar and leash. Chew toys and a stuffed (un-tear-a-part-able) animal. New stainless steel food and water bowls. Pet gate to keep the little one sequestered in the kitchen whilst training. And, a puppy food I hope they’ll like (after several obsessively filled hours searching  on the internet).

Driving home I realized/knew, that “now” it was time to remove Lucy’s bed/blankets and toy from the back of the car.
Removing these things.
From the car.
I cried and said a prayer, “I’m letting you go Lucy. I hope it’s okay now.”

All of the items purchased are in a bag, in the pantry for when the time is right. The blankets have been washed and folded. Lucy’s collar and leash have been put in the cabinet. Her dog tag sits on the tin that holds her ashes and the nametag that says, “Lucy Sherman”.
She’ll be there for some time to come.
~These words deserve their own lines.~
She will always be a part of our family.

And when the time is right.

It will be the right time.

“Do not think that time simply flies away. Do not understand “flying” as the function of time. If time simply flew away, a separation would exist between you and time. So if you understand time as only passing, then you do not understand the time being.

To grasp this truly, every being that exists in the entire world is linked together as moments in time, and at the same time they exist as individual moments of time. Because all moments are the time being, they are your time being.”

-Dogen Zenji, Uji
(as reported in Ruth Ozeki’s, “Tale For the Time Being”)

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Codes Awakening

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After the full moon shining brightly. Glowing inside. Striding/ascending in 5D. What is that? A common language in evolutionary astrology and other areas outside any political arena. DNA filled to the brim and awaiting our approval to awaken to the codes encapsulated within. There are crystalline gems/diamonds that are shining/waiting to shine/have been shining all along…

Taikotu: “to apprehend with the body”. (a Rinzai Zen Buddhist term).
embodiment/what happens***

I received writing instructions from a writer I follow in November of 2015. I found them again yesterday. Her writing is provocative/embodied/cerebral/feral.
It evokes movement inside of me.

The writing codes have been awakened/re-awakened.

She instructs:
“Walk until you reach a mauve smudge. (I realize I have yet to find it)
You will know it when you see. It.
Stop there and insert, in your own way, a thin gold thread. I see you plucking something out that was lodged in a crevice or seam. But there is an aperture.
And the mauve is the aperture. (my photography?)
A portal. (everything has the possibility for this opening)
There is something deep inside the writing that has lodged there, and needs to be plucked out delicately. It is not possible to insert your whole hand. (this will take time)
I should also mention that it involves the activity of drawing. (this would be new for me)
Semblance, honey that talks.
(starting to take honey in my tea and/manuka healing properties)
A hive?”

There’s a bit more but that is for me. And so is the above. And yet, it’s the above I wish to work with. Write about. Take apart.
word.
by.
word.

I think of haibun and Haiga<> prose/haiku/images.

I work on more And– instead of but, –

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I read about the asteroids in relation to the planets: Quaoar, Makemake, Haumea, Ceres, Pallus and Athena. (a separate post)

Black Moon Lilith, the first Eve. Oh my god. Her power/strength and influence in my life.
(most certainly a separate post)

Something else I just read, “Don’t be selfish, give yourself completely.”***

What’s going on?
What is dying/what is being reborn/who is being reborn?

The same themes keep emerging around intimacy and relationship (s). And, I prefer to not talk with anyone about these things. I did a while back and I didn’t believe what I was told and then going to the source and receiving very different information. I thought, what is truth and when I go outside of myself, (anywhere) seeking answers, “The” answer, I am given only what is, on some level, a reflection of everything inside of me? I become confused and then paralyzed because I don’t know.
I just don’t know. Confusion/paranoia/ I have no idea what the truth is anymore.

And, I walk out into the garden, clean away the detritus of winter. Make room for the tulips and the iris’s; their leaves already greened and pushed up through the black dirt. And, the clouds part, the mind shifts and lightness takes the place of the heaviness from the thoughts that didn’t make any sense in the first place.

So, I ask myself, where am I going with all of this? Is there a bogey-woman in my grey matter? As there is no boundary to any thought process, I am guided, intuitively, to understand thinking/the mind/any and all thoughts arising come upon a continuum  which, can also be experienced as a spectrum. Like sexuality and spirituality.
Alive in a human form breathing in/breathing out is a full spectrum situation.

^^I just read this quote, “dark thoughts and anxious feelings are just that-thinking, feeling.” Norman Fischer/zen teacher**.^^

^^The other day I asked someone to show me how they muscle test. She answered, “Go inside and ask your self. That’s where you’ll find the truest answer.^^
~~~Just like Dumbo and the feather he thought he had to carry so he could fly….it’s all inside/for free/no gimmicks/jewels/magic potions/special incantations/pries/ess/guru/masters/guides. All of these things I know and love and have accessed at one time or another for…..

“THE TRUTH”.
Trust/faith/process.
Divine being in human form.
I AM

and this, “Jamais vu”: seeing something familiar as if for the first time.

**Norman Fischer
***Shozan Jack Haubner

 

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The CREATIVE Self and the re-Emerging of the Feminine

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my creative self:
creating as expression.
giving voice.

I am not political.
I am not happy about who became the president of the United States. No.
And yet, I am effected, whether I like it or not.
I have a choice as to how I work with these outside forces.

I choose to place my attention and energy on the positive.

I want to promote; not fight against.

How do I remain authentic to what feels accurate and true for me without turning my back on someone in need? I must be present for myself first, so that I can be present for another’s suffering. I won’t feel sorry for myself or anyone. Life seems to be happening at an ever increasing speed. Empathy can be a tricky balance and it does not include sympathy. (see Brene Brown). Holding space for anyone and in any situation involves non-judgmental support and presence. Everything I do and say and create matters; ripples out into the world whether I’m sitting on the cushion, in my yard gardening, out in the wilderness hiking, or at work interacting with clients.
Everything.
Anywhere.
Anytime.

It begins with getting quiet. Shutting out the noise from social media and the news.
Remaining grounded is paramount to sanity. And from that (illusive) space of groundedness (groundlessness), images and words are generated which express what I see and feel. I want to be a voice of hope and love and support.

There are many voices out there these days. You may place your eyes and ears in whichever direction you choose. For me, I choose the inner direction of love and joy and an abiding faith in humanity.

Mary Oliver asks us in her iconic poem “Wild Geese”, “…and what are you going to do with this one and precious life?”

On a daily basis, I am consciously choosing to NOT go into fear: and there are myriad scenarios and opportunities for this to occur. It takes a daily sitting practice and off the cushion mindfulness to keep me resolute in my conviction and faith.
Life falls apart and rebuilds itself every moment of every day.
How can I possibly know or begin to understand all of the causes and conditions that arise to create what is currently happening; in particular, with politics and those  (currently) in power.

All paradigms are being blown apart.
What will the new ones look like?

I see our world as experiencing a spiritual r/evolution. Not just from a mind/analytical framework; but a felt/embodied container. (the body). Mind/Heart.
We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. The time of the re-emergence and re-balancing of the feminine is here and, she is not going away. All of this re-balancing is causing the largest pot of shit-stir I have ever seen in my lifetime. It is uncomfortable (as long as I resist). It looks wrong (as long as I choose to see myself as a victim). It looks unfair (as long as I take a side/polarize/feed into the fear frenzy). I can’t. I won’t.

My daily to-do list (dynamic/not static):
Continue to write and create images.
Practice some form of contemplative practice every day.
Offer myself in service TO EACH MOMENT.
To be lovingly honest (is it true/kind/does it need to be said at all?)
Choose happiness over needing to be right.

***To be gentle with myself when I can’t do the above.***

GET OUT IN NATURE!!!!!

It is healthy to have your own self-care boundaries.
Put the oxygen mask on first.

***DEDICATED TO ALL WHO ARE STRANDED AT U.S AIRPORTS TONIGHT.
MAY YOU BE FREE***

 

 

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more not knowing and the diagnosis

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The practice is not knowing. It’s a practice for a reason. I want what I think is right. I want what is best for everyone. I want. I want. I want. Even when I say I’m not attached, willing to accept whatever the outcome, open to the unknown. Secretly, I’m holding out for my secret agenda. No matter how deep my intention or how honest I think I’m being, there is, lurking under it all…things will go my way.

I’m finally seeing at this very subtle level, walking around with this “I know what’s going on” energy. I think I’m open, ready, accepting, ready for whatever life hands me. But, isn’t being ready actually a kind of control? Ready for what? If my stance is one of being ready then perhaps I’m actually bracing for…the unknown…the uncertainty…the not want I want.

What does this openness look like? What does it feel like?  Random? Haphazard?
There is a difference between accepting and allowing. Acceptance feels like stipulations are part of the deal. Allowing is being completely open. Not knowing.

This is my zen practice. Bearing witness to the not knowing so I may respond with a sense of compassionate wisdom. And then yesterday:
The vet opens the door and motions me, “Come with me”, he says. Walking behind him, I’m wondering where my Lucy is. I see her, leash and dog,  being held by the vet tech.

We take a left turn into a small examining  room. I already feel like “scared woman walking.”There’s a large computer monitor on a desk. The vet, in his grey scrubs begins; “Here’s Lucy’s leg, here’s the bone, here’s the tendon. And here, this big ball of fuzzy mass. That’s a tumor. And see all those spindly fibers? (Am I supposed to be answering as if I’ve seen numerous x-rays of my dog’s skeleton?) The tumor’s moved out into the surrounding tissues. He rattles off what for him has been said hundreds of times before.

To me it all begins to sound like blah blah, blah blah blah. Woosh. Ears fill up with water. I’m  waterlogged. I can pinpoint the moment grief was stirred.

Metastasized/lungs/amputation/two months/six months/pain relief.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Lucy’s wagging her tail. The vet tech is waiting for the doctor to finish. He’s hanging back.
More:
Oncologist/chemotherapy/aggressive.
Dogs don’t live through this kind of cancer.

Electricity is moving up and down my body. Up and down. Tears. Tears. There is the space around me and it is holding me.

The young man returns the leash attached to Lucy back into my hand. The vet says I’m sorry one last time. “Go home”, he says. “Talk to your husband”, he says. And then, “I do recommend amputation…as soon as possible.”
But, go home. I want to be home. Now.

Lucy and I walk back to the examining room. The door closes. She wants another treat, up on the counter. Thinking…”Lucy has bone cancer. She lives. She will die.” Can I hold the space for both of us right now? What is holding the space? The afternoon sun coming through the window. Now. Now. The wind is whipping up the last of the autumn leaves. Now.
Moment after moment, simply breathing the truth of the moment which is nothing more than what is. Exactly. Just this.

It’s all a test. I sit. We sit. For the benefit of all sentient beings. And then we bump into life. Or more accurately, life bumps into us. And there, the practice holds me, joins me. Embraces me. There it is. The poignant “not knowing”. Not knowing is trust. Radical trust. Every moment is exactly how it is meant to be. There’s no question. I return (almost daily) to Byron Katie’s quote, “when you argue with reality, you suffer.”

I can’t and won’t begin to talk about what Lucy has meant to me, what she’s given to me. She’s still alive and I owe her my presence and love and care. That will be for later. Later than sooner. I’m being greedy. I want the most I can have of her.  That’s not my choice is it?

Being “comfortable with uncertainty” doesn’t apply here. There’s certainty in each moment. Certain. Certitude.

I couldn’t be more certain than this.

~The blue sky and bright day.
No more searching around! ~Mumon’s verse, The Gateless Gate, Case 30.**

**Borrowed from “Paradise in Plain Sight”, Karen Maezen Miller, Chapter 5

 

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The Cubs and Not Knowing

108 years. Auspicious for any of us that may know the connection in spiritual circles.
108 years since the Cubs won a World Series Championship. There’s been a curse and years of drought. My grandmother was a die-hard Cubbies fan. My father often told the story of how he was visiting her in the nursing home after breaking her hip. They were watching a Cubs game together. She was red hot mad(because they were losing) and told dad to “turn the damn t.v off” and go home so she could rest. He was a good son so he turned off the game and headed home. The phone was ringing when he walked in the door. It was the nursing home saying grandma has passed after he left.

Dad only watched Cubs games. In the last years of his life after mom had died, and he was almost completely deaf, he would still watch the games with the sound off and the closed captions moving across the screen below the image of the baseball diamond. Once the regular season was over, that was it. He’d say, “What’s the point? I don’t care about the play-offs if the Cubbies aren’t in it.”

I’m still in shock. I can’t imagine how he would be feeling right now. I haven’t watched that many world series games over the years; never all seven. By the final game I new the names of every man on the roster, who was warming up in the bull-pen, what a check swing looked like and what made up the “strike zone”. It helps to live with a die-hard Yankees fan who I am schooled by during the regular season (if I ask), for any or all of the 162 games.

What is really staying with me since last nights final game and victory for the Cubs was the perfectly beautiful teaching of “not knowing”. In Buddhism we talk a lot about being mindful, being in the present moment, and not getting stuck in your own or someone else’s storyline. And you know what? It’s all right there in those nine innings. Or in the case of last nights seventh game, ten innings.

You should have heard the announcers, most of them retired baseball players themselves. It was stunning to listen; talk about an education. These fellas know their stuff. You want to understand pitching, listen to an retired pitcher describe how the starting pitcher throws, what are his best pitches (curve ball, cutter, change up). And the rest of the announcers giving their predictions. Cubs in six, Cubs in seven. Only one said Cleveland in seven.

The series began in Chicago with fans out of their minds with pure joy. 108 years for gosh sake and that damn curse of the billy goat. Legend has it the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago was asked to leave a game being played at Wrigley Field in 1945 because he stank of his pet billy goat, “Murphy”. And so it began.

There was no curse last night and the Cubs struck first. By the fifth inning it was Cubs up 5 to 1. And there were the announcers talking about the Cleveland team as if it already was in the past. And I kept thinking, “Don’t go getting comfortable, that’s not the kind of team Cleveland is.” I remember saying to my partner, “You think it’s over?” “Oh yea”, he answered with a fair amount of confidence. But I was sure, it’s not over, anything can happen. I realized I tend to be the kind of person that is more ready for something out of the ordinary to happen as opposed to the same thing always happening. I think that’s a good thing except when I’m wanting things to change/be different/keep moving…out of, I don’t know, boredom or routine or just simply wanting things to be different.

And sure enough, they tied the game, 6 to 6. And now it’s the end of the ninth  inning and it starts to rain. A seventeen minute rain delay and the Cubs come back to score two more runs. I was pacing. I asked my partner not to say anything, he was making me nervous. And then the third out happens, the game is over, the Cubs have won the WORLD SERIES and the players are jumping up and down and crying and laughing and hugging one another.

What a beautiful scene and I just kept thinking, “this is it!” This is exactly what life looks like every single day. Even when we think we have all the statistics, the history, the correct recipe for a win or loose scenario there is not one thing that is really going to tell you the outcome accept for watching each moment as it unfolds. Being in each moment. Causes and conditions and not just the things that are visible to the naked eye. No. Causes and conditions usually refer to and include everything that has come before that may (or may not) be related to what is taking place in each moment.

Everything affects everything else. My smile effects the world. My words, negative or positive have a warming or chilling affect. The love and warmth I share with my partner is generated for all sentient beings. The fierceness I feel for my grown sons spread far to other mothers and their sons (and daughters). How I treat a brother I haven’t seen in five years and just ended a thirty year marriage matters and the care and tenderness I feel for his situation ripples out to all those with a broken heart. The way I love my pained dog who’s been limping around with a torn ACL is generating deep connection and companionship for other four leggeds.

The four vows of the bodhisattva in the lineage I practice go like this:

Creations are numberless, I vow to free them.
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to transform them.
Reality is boundless, I vow to perceive it.
The Awakened way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it.

A seemingly tall order for sure and yet, these aren’t commandments that, if not followed every instant, one will be struck down or punished. It is a guide for a way of living that includes everyone and everything.

There were at least 108 causes and conditions that came together last night in Cleveland that allowed the Cubs to win the World Series, (and probably at least another 108,000 more). Can we know what’s about to happen based on the facts/what we know/what we’ve studied/what we’ve been told? The announcer’s had no idea Rajai Davis would hit a 2 run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game. Not expecting the unexpected because you think, “I’ve got this. I know what this is about.”

Impermanence and interdependence: we are all inextricably tied together in the depths of our cells. Carl Sagan says, “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you first have to invent the universe.”Did the Cubs “know” they were going to win game seven and bring home the World Series trophy? Maybe. Or maybe they just play the game with heart and soul and a mindset of joy. They play for the fans, bringing their  emotion, physical ability, determination, focus and commitment. And maybe, all those ingredients came bubbling, churning and rising up, just waiting for that perfect moment to come together as the first baseman, Rizzo made the final catch for out #3.

May this joy and ecstasy reverberate throughout the world to everyone.

 

 

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This is the revolution; who IS slicing the sweet potato and a list

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The revolution is being televised and social media’d and interneted.
A new lexicon.
Arising –
A  reinvention.

Racism, white privilege, feminism, spiritual practice, the spectrum of sexuality and gender. Where does writing and connecting with the creative fit in?
Mentioning death: some mine/some ours.  Violence and terrorism and politics.
Silent reflection and contemplation.

This embodied female formed woman.

Lilith, the true Eve.

She watches the right hand slicing through the still hot sweet potato. Who is perceiving? Who is the watcher? If there’s no identification, will she cut herself?

Imprinting negotiations.
Authenticity
to be still and silent.
She called them “nasty-urshins”. She wanted to remember their names.

A perception
only of limitation>
Intersectionality
cis…binary….identified as woman.
Midwifing oneself
Part seer/zen priest(ess)/practitioner/creative/writer
photographer/mother/lover/friend.

promaja:(croation)
the wind felt when standing between two windows left open.

 

 

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on the wind; in the air

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Hummingbird called me awake this morning.
On the wind, in the air.
Intimate voices.
Self-inflicted wound/fatal.
Moving in all directions at the same time.
A storm between the temples.
“No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by his assassin’s bullet.” rfk
Controversy>
Tears, now.
We have the right to remain silent>
He said, “When you sit down to meditate, you sit down for everyone.”

Somatic illumination.

 

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Body as Lineage

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Born,
I am not worthy. I must pray to have the stain removed.

Questioning,
they turn their backs. I walk away.

Search.
I search for:
value,
self-acceptance,
non-invisibility/to be seen.
Ease within my own body.

To be heard.

I am told:
You need a teacher, a guru, a path, merit.
But here, in these bones and flesh of walking human anatomy.
There is body felt intuition. Shields are coming down/falling away.
This laboratory of body/biology and physiology, and anatomy; outside of time and space.
Outside of hierarchy, dominion, and patriarchal rightness.
Here – in this body made as woman. Evolving.
Codes of carbon transmuting into crystal (s).
Devoted to the continuous momentum of waking up.
Finding ease in this form; discordance a new friend.
Silence, a welcomed partner.

The codes of teacher change to: learner, mentor, ones who share.
Authority: yours and mine.
I trust. From beginningless time; shoulders upon shoulders.
And to this exact moment in time:
no longer standing ON shoulders.
Standing shoulder TO shoulder.

We wake up.

 

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Shear (ness)

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Shear.
Clarity. There’s a transparency.
A certain wisp of your breath.
Felt. Intimate.
I alight.
There is healing going on.
A healing.
I am healed. Wiped anew.
They are forgiven.
Discovered agency.

A pressure in the womb. The history of the universe.

Her story.
Yours/mine.
Mine.

And the tulips request another day.
Beautiful discipline.
I see you in your shoes.

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