cafe del mar

september song

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“The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn. Longfellow liked the month of September. Shelley flourished in the hot months. Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to work. Others, like Auden, keep to the curtained room. Schiller needed the smell of rotten apples about him to make a poem. Tennyson and Walter de la Mare had to smoke. Auden drinks lots of tea, Spender coffee; Hart Crane drank alcohol. Pope, Byron, and William Morris were creative late at night. And so it goes.” 
i just finished working the busiest month i have had with service since december. i have worked for a family during the jewish holidays for about 5 years now. each year it seems that there is more responsibility. but each year it the holiday celebration becomes more personal and i become more invested. regardless, i may just be realizing how a second vocation has developed for me. i highly doubt i could ever engage in domestic service as a full time gig, but somehow it affords me some decent additional revenue and a glimpse into life on my planet that i would not see otherwise.
 working in teams as well as with repeating events and clients lends itself to familiarity. this type of work has allowed me some enjoyment on a very different level than my day job does. private service involves being with people who have ample resources and options. they don’t need nor do they want my advice regarding how to conduct their daily lives. indeed, this is a sharp contrast from the client i see during the day. most of those encounters are enmeshed with fear, avoidance, anger which is most often underlined by poverty and lack. i am actually curiously invested in this dichotomy. it titillates my brain and it soothes my heart to consistently enter these very different labyrinths with regularity. 
this two-step i engage in brings many gifts. perhaps the biggest of those is to feel engaged with my daily doings. i am surrounded by people who don’t project this same enthusiasm. i remember what that was like. i also am clear that i would like to not be there again. 
september always brings reflection to me. beginning a new year, starting over, summer ending, another year of living begins, my sobriety date – these are a few annual points on my life’s medicine wheel and each september these markers and my relationship to them grow and change. 
The greatest achievement is selflessness. 
The greatest worth is self-mastery. 
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others. 
The greatest precept is continual awareness. 
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything. 
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways. 
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions. 
The greatest generosity is non-attachment. 
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind. 
The greatest patience is humility. 
The greatest effort is not concerned with results. 
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go. 
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

Atisha

In criticizing, the teacher is hoping to teach. That’s all….

Bankei

this september enters in much the same fashion, by maybe with one noticeable change. there is a sort of peace and satisfaction this year that seems fresh. i am fairly confident that i have a physical cycle which correlates to my birthday. i resonate with change and growth each anniversary. and 2013 brings a new depth and understanding. thank you universe.

consideration

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lincoln- image credit-vanity fair

in my activity filled weekend, i made plans to go with my mother to see “lincoln” at the theater we both like. it’s suburban with large seating, ample parking, and located just off the freeway so we can meet in the middle with ease. the film is big, full of wonder, and made me really think much more deeply about that specific time frame and the sheer mass and volume involved in passing both the emancipation proclamation and the 13th amendment. i am well aware of the vitriolic nature of our last election in this country. it has become almost accepted that each side of our current issues attack the other in a personal way- as if we don’t have the right to disagree on points. 

having not really ever been a historian, i guess i never contemplated what a massive undertaking and construction the war between the states was, nor did i ever once consider how it must have been to try to address and mend what was broken at that time. i will let this film simmer for awhile and may even see it again to review what i have taken in. it overwhelmed me!
mom on left- image credit linda carpenter
sadly for my mom though, i was pooped. i had worked a party the evening before and really hadn’t eaten, so the only thing i wanted to do was sleep when i got out of the theater. i barely had the where-with-all to say goodbye. i wanted to head home and shut my head down for a bit. i am afraid i hurt her feelings in all this. she is headed to arizona for thanksgiving to be with her siblings and i won’t see her. i regret this possibility. i guess the reason i write this is to purge a bit as her phone is turned off and i may not get the opportunity to do this.
it is a requirement that i look at how i behave. this would certainly fall into the category of character defects. i  cram too much into my calendar and then i am not available to those who need my attention because i am managing my time. when i think about a solution for this, i understand well it is about slowing down. my own nature creates this need to work 3 jobs. i like to spend money and i like to have money in order to do this. in each of these jobs, i find satisfaction. however as i “zoom out” a little, i see that the sum of them might create a shadow that actual light has difficulties getting in and around. 
i have some things to consider here. i hope i will. i also have the busiest month of the year for catering coinciding with all this. maybe things will change. maybe i’ll find a softer way to live my life. maybe i will assess my priorities and do some re-arranging. maybe. it’s definitely worth considering.