Field Notes May 4, 2015


A hefty full moon in Scorpio. Rain falls freely from sky.
I learn how to give empathy with boundaries.
I begin to see my short sightedness as a Caucasian woman and
approach the edges of racism.
I recognize that (perhaps/with hope) my lesson of  tyrant is complete-
every opportunity where I don’t loose my center is a moment of moving forward.

I’ve been having quite a time editing my book. I forget what I accomplished, in the midst of a very stressful past November. I poured my heart into 50,000 words and now, I’m just not sure what to do with (all of those words). I look over and see the draft I printed out. Experimenting with the editing process, both on the computer and on the hard copy. I have to say there’s something I like about scratching out/replacing/drawing lines through-
leaving the evidence.

Here is some of the novel-
in pieces:

prayer for me is being alive.
I too have been a time traveler.
The body is light, nearly weightless.
A warm state of something.
Now quiet. Now silent. The eyes open.
You are not lost. You’re right here, exactly where you are meant to be.
I come to work wondering if I’ll stay. How I’ll stay. Can I?
I have created a curiosity/

I’m wondering about the idea of turning the whole 50,000 words into some kind of a book length poem. Or, take all the chapters and forget about any kind of sequential order.
Toss it in the air, fifty-two pick-up.
There is nothing linear about this story or it’s main character. It is past/present/future.
Is it happening simultaneously?
Maybe. Perhaps.
I’m trying to get to know it. Like a new lover.
Or the lover I’ve had and getting to know again, for the first time.
Again and again.
Ideas have seeped in from Dogen’s** essay on “the time being and times relationship to being”. In Shinshu Robert’s interpretation of Dogens Uji (time being) in the book, “Receiving the Marrow, Teachings on Dogen by Soto Zen Women Priests, edited by Eido Francis Carney, Shinshu says, “…the common view that time and being are separate from each other. We think that time has some life outside of our experience of it and this is the time of past, present and future.”….”First, we think that time is a continuous stream from past to future.” And then,
“…we tend to view our journey as beginning one place and time and ending at another place and time.”

And this, dear readers, is precisely where my story lies.

And, two other notes:
1) I attended the monthly zen ceremony know as Fusatsu. A monthly ceremony were we (you can too) recommit yourself to the lay vows (precepts) of being a zen buddhist.
(my spell check wants to capitalize these two words, but that makes them appear special, and they’re not, I’m not.)
But, I am.
And so are you.
Anyway. I love ritual and I love recommitting myself and the idea of atonement.
Forgiving myself and others for:
It all.
And, quite a bit of bowing. It sets my humility gear in balance.

2) I waited (and prayed) for my fifteen year old cat, Tara, to come down from a
thirty-five?/forty foot scotch pine after being up there for forty-eight hours. We didn’t have
a tall enough ladder. We tried propping log braches so she could ease her way down. I sat under the tree and spoke lovingly to her. Then I stood under the tree and kind of yelled (lovingly) at her to move her ass before the rain came. And finally, last night, at 10:30 pm, she skipped in the back door behind our dog Lucy.
And went to sleep.
And so did I.

***Dogen- Thirteenth century foundational spokesman for soto zen.
“Receiving the Marrow: Teachings on Dogen by Soto Zen Women Priests”, edited by
Eido Francis Carney

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