Parties for Peace

We had a wonderful party last night for Steve’s birthday. 75-80 people showed up and everyone had a good time.

Including the Birthday Boy.

I’m so lucky to have found Love in my 50s and to have him be more and more healthy. Every day is a day for giving thanks.

It was a blast.

But the best, best, best? By the end of the evening we’d collected over $1000 for Lover Flows the LOVE project (Let Our Valley Eat). More kids will eat… and that’s a blessing.

I will never again have a party without a donate box for charity. Now it’s true that I have no kids, so this is easy to say, but no one I know needs gifts. And lots of people need what we can give. So, hurrah.

Peace, my sweetheart. Peace, my friends. Peace, my Valley. May we become The Valley with No Hungry Children.d


The Peace of an Eclipse with Friends

I beg forbearance. I may be burbling about this for a long time. The eclipse was gorgeous.

Hanging out by the fire with friends, lovely. Hanging out by the fire with my beloved? oh we don’t do that often enough!

And the sky was unbelievable.

Everywhere else people were complaining about the sky’s being overcast, but in this little circle of field surrounded by trees, the clouds — whispy ones at that — would dance in and dance back out. Leaving nothing but a heavy, heavy Milky Way and that beautiful orb that looked nothing like the Moon (nothing!) hanging in the sky like some foreign celestial body.

I could burble for a long time about this. I probably will. Forewarned is forearmed… have topics ready to talk about if you run into me and don’t want to hear about the Moon, the Moon, the Moon!

Why I wonder, when I do something like last night, plopped in a field around a fire, don’t i do that more often. Steve and I both love it so much — although I’m sure he missed a drum in his hands. It was lovely and filled with Peace. it was a perfect moment in my life.

Perfect and filled with Peace. I wish us all many such moments. They give us fuel to walk the Peace Path.


Peace in Moving Beyond

Sometimes I realize what a stick I’ve become.

Do I really want to go to a Burning Man Party I wonder?

Oh, yes, I did. It was just marvelous. Not only the food, Ann’s first way of judging a party! But a whole bunch of new people in a beautiful place. People who did fun things, like the woman who twirled fire. That was really a fun thing. It was beautiful. She’d learned in Hawaii, and hadn’t done it for years.

And then the man. My friend had built this marvelous man. I sweet talked my bud who went with me into staying for the burn. It was lovely and emotional. Yay!

And the night, mugginess and bugginess aside, was a perfect evening. The stars, the stars, the stars.

And today’s another party of another kind. A weekend of relaxation. hurrah. (well, except for the yardsale!) And today, the summer is over and I get to go back to church after the sabbatical. My peeps! (This is sort of an all over post, isn’t it?)

There’s a lot of Peace in exploring things just outside your comfort zone… and even if it doesn’t get all the way to Peace, there’s a lotta fun! It’s the Sabbath. Relax and enjoy. Why not try something new?


Re-membering Peace

Life is made up of such layers. So many things in our lives that have made it sweet and all those things evolve… some are still part of our lives, some are lost to us and some are just now entering.

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Deb’s death. It’s almost time for what would have been my niece’s 49th birthday. All the joy of that family is held closely… and yet… and yet… they’re all gone.

Last night was the pre-wedding celebration of my friend’s second marriage. HIs first wife, my dear friend, died eight years ago. To see him last night, so happy, so happy! Again! At last!

The dinner was at a carousel. It was a lovely venue on the edge of the East River in Brooklyn. Full Moon rising over the park as we took the water taxi in… We sat looking back at the NYC skyline on a gorgeous summer evening. Eating grilled cheese sandwiches from a food truck. Oh, I remember New York, I remember. It was once a love of mine.

And there was my friend, swirling around the carousel, his bride going up and down on the horse beside him, intimately talking and laughing, just the two of them on the ride… so fun.

And lots of old friends with lots of catching up to do.

So many memories. So much happiness tempering the loss. A chance to both be present to the moment and to put all the pieces back together to envision a sweet, sweet future.

Remembering Love is an act of defiance, an act of Peace. And I’d love to stay longer, but New York is outside my hotel, demanding I remember… and an old friend is here to walk through it with me. Bye for now!



The Peace Between Goodbye and Hello

I love living where I do. But I also loved living where I lived.

I love my friends from other pieces of my life as much as I adore the ones from this life.

I feel lucky and privileged and loved.

So today, as I stand one foot still in the land I visited and the other stretching toward home, I have to remember that the place in between is also lovely and can be filled with the Peace of both Gratitude and Anticipation. Remembering, Reflecting, Making new memories… all of it. Peace!

Gratitude too for the Ripe Garden Moon. The last day comes not today, but tomorrow!


Peace of Familiarity & Family

One of the joys of this year’s intensive reading time has been having the opportunity to do it in the company of dear ones, friends and families.

So often when you see people it’s about the things you do together that make a visit wonderful. But there are people in your lives, if you’re deliberate and lucky, with whom the visit is about an opportunity to be yourself together.

Me voila, a sort of boring, nerdish, bookish girl. and there’s my friend at the end of the couch.

It’s always a wonderful thing. This year, as I’m really coming to terms with my sister’s absence, it’s been incredibly reassuring. I’m reforming myself or maybe recognizing myself again. The number of sustained losses in these last years has been enormous.

And here they are, these old friends, touchstones from my past, reminders of my deep self… remembering and making new memories and here I am reading, reading, reading, reading. What a joy. What a privilege. What Peace.

I hope you have such Peace in your life. I wish that very much for each and every one of you.


Memories, Sabbath and Peace

The mind’s a funny thing. When I put that pillowcase in the yard sale, I was only thinking that it was time to clean things out a bit.

With all the family deaths, there is stuff in my house. I’ve held it close, reluctant to let them go — as if that meant they were here. Bah. Weird human mind.

But when I sorted, I did the “use not use” test and the “love and not love” test, and this was just a spare pillowcase.

It wasn’t until I saw someone hold it up that its significance (in my life) surfaced. I was standing next to my friend and told her, she said, “don’t take it back.” “No,” I said, “the memory is enough for the Peace!”

And it was. sometimes we have to pay attention so we can be present to the moments of Peace. And then sometimes they just sneak up on you. However they come, they’re sweet. Peace of a lovely Sabbath to you. That Thunder Moon seems more a drippy moon right now, doesn’t it?


Community Peace Tales

I know. I go on about this, but our community’s yard sale is six days long. We raise a lot of money and the left-overs go off to support other organizations. Today we found out that we can possibly be of service to the migrant workers who labor in the surrounding 7 counties. This would be wonderful!

But one of the sweetest things for me is the chance to be in community. We get to talk to one another. When we meet on Sunday, there are so many of us and it’s difficult to find the time to chat. But while straightening out the glass ware, refolding shorts or taking a moment in the cafe, it’s great to be together and have the chance to begin to know one another better.

Sharing stories about our lives is a precious thing. We all have things going on. We all have problems. We all have laughter to share.

On Sundays we share our joys and concerns, in short pithy statements. On days like yard sale days, there’s the luxury of time and repeated encounters. What a blessing.

There’s a very special kind of Peace that grows from such encounters. Hurrah for memory making under the Full Thunder Moon. Did you see it last night? it was gorgeous!


Collaborating in the Direction of Peace

I am not a real fan of yard sales. There are two reasons for this. One: too many people intently focused. Two: too much stuff to catch the eye. It’s an extrovert’s nightmare. (No, not only introverts have problems dealing with the world.)

But the gestalt of the thing delights me. Eight little rooms, one huge room, one fair sized room and a parking lot full of stuff. Community members hither, thither, and yon, adding up purchases, fetching bags, carrying things to cars, serving up food, asking, what do I do next, or what do i do with this? People answering with confidence, whether the answer is right — or made up.

And things, moving slowly and surely, out the door, although the tables seem to stay magically full. The tables sometimes seem like those baby bottles, they just keep filling up as soon as they’re emptied.

And people are always milling around. Often the same people (back for the third time today!) And every once in a while, sitting for coffee in the cafe. There was the sweetest old couple who just needed some cosseting. No problem, someone was on that.

Life is crazy and bountiful and confusing and wonderful. Let’s keep it moving in the direction of Peace. Let’s keep working hard and making memories! This is a great way to build community!

Meanwhile, in other news, it’s the first of July… jes’ sayin’!



Reunited in Peace

It was such a sweet weekend. Nice conversations with people I knew growing up. Some I knew pretty well. Some not well at all. But all of whom I was glad to meet again.

I’ve lived a lot of places and my work has always put me in contact with loads of people. So I think my brain just makes space for what’s going on right here right now. But finally I’m back where I mostly started, the reunion came up and off I went.

I saw people I learned to know in Kindergarten. 3 of them. Girls I hung out with from Junior HIgh. Boys I almost dated. A bunch of people I didn’t know well at all. But you know what? All of them are now lovely people. And we all had a lot to talk about. High School may not have been the best years of my life (eyeroll) but we were young and foolish — and now we’re kinder. It was nice to make some memories to pull up over some of the discomforts of the past. There was a lot of laughter and there’s a lot to be said for kindness.

Peace is where you find it, where you make it. Even if it’s 45 years later.

And speaking of making, I need to go make salad for my community’s yard sale tomorrow. (I’m writing this Sunday night so tomorrow when i leap out of bed at 6 am, i can post this, grab the salad and go. I fail to find the fascination with yardsaling at 8 am… but i’m gonna be there! I live to serve… cough, cough, cough)