Sunday, December 2

Cloud Menagerie

Sunbathing Birds

Hummingbird Reflections

Osprey over Woods Canyon Lake

As Clouds Go By

Cloud Menagerie
by Kathy Mackey

Within the cage of silent sky
winds rattle the chem trail bars.
Look inside at white puffs of antelope
tumbling into a colossal tiger’s jaw.

See filmy wisps of fleeing zebras
slip through giant rabbit ears.
A lion’s mane expands and floats
as sleet-grey nimbus clouds appear.

Towering bears and prancing horses
 whirl and plunge chasing sunbeams
into the black and purple storm front,
home of the thunder dragon’s menagerie.

Rain falls. Lightning sizzles the cloud fort walls.
Antelope, tiger, zebra, rabbit, lion, bear and horse
dissolve into the rising air. No impressions anywhere
until the sky clears, winds blow, and clouds pile up once more.

Monday, September 24

Between the Four Sacred Mountains

Old Highway to I-160

Baby Rocks, Arizona

Going West to Kayenta

Today and Every Day

May all beings know love, peace and beauty.

Wednesday, September 12

I Read Something Good Today

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”

 – Meister Eckhart

Last May, I gathered with five other people around a table in our town's library conference room. We have met together for years to channel the Natalie Goldberg writing muse and express what's in our minds and hearts. This session, we explored the virtue of willingness and each of us wrote about it in an unrestrained, unconscious manner. Our pens scribbled rapidly across paper for ten minutes and then we looked up, read what came out of this precious free time, and marveled at how coherent and refreshing everyone's efforts turned out to be. 

Today, I remembered May 21st while reading a blog about the 12 Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous - the program that helps me and so many others, but only if we are willing to admit our defects and heal ourselves. His helpful essay reminded me of what our group wrote about and discussed. My scribbles resonate right now.

I am Willing to Let Go

Being willing is one of the most powerful and game-changing concepts I've ever struggled with. This simple word has released me from the insidious and destructive thinking of perfectionism. For years, I feared failure. I avoided criticism by stifling creativity. Instead, lacking  the courage to work on my own creations,  I supported the creative efforts of others, and missed out on the necessary criticism, corrections and do-overs that build knowledge and skill. Living within this cocoon of self-imposed exile masquerading as a comfort zone, is stagnation, even visiting it from time to time drags me down. In time, though, the real world always barges in. Real troubled family and friends ask for help. Real alcoholics, addicts, enablers, and angry co dependents tear down the image I have of myself and teach me humility, compassion, and an acceptance that perfection is irrelevant. Safety and security are temporary gifts. True clarity and purpose will happen if I have a plan with a yardstick and the desire to work hard on it. These teachers are relentless and thorough and once I become willing to do the work, to let go of fear and anxiety, opportunities for creative self expression show up. I'd like to say that I've learned to be willing to relax and be "happy" about all of this, but I have discovered a healthy dose of fear, shame, guilt, and insecurity will always be in my life. The real deciding factor, however, is what I am willing to accept and what I let go. This daily decision making keeps me in the flow of life. Sometimes I swim. Sometimes I float. Most of the time I paddle like hell to get to enjoy another day.

May all beings know love and peace, one day at a time.

Thursday, August 16

Since You've Been Gone

Light Up Heaven, Aretha, Our Glorious Queen of Soul
Ms. Aretha Franklin made joyful music all of her life. Even her heart wrenching sad songs soared above mundane tragedy.  She tenderly tapped the reservoir of our feelings and gave them color, texture, and intensity. She opened my heart and demonstrated a tough bounce-back attitude with an extra helping of solid-gold class. As the interview below indicates, Aretha was always a lady.  

May all beings know love and peace and the divine music of Aretha Franklin.

Saturday, August 4

Cool Water

Main Chute - Slide Rock, AZ

Red Rock Crossing, AZ

Red Rock Crossing - Bird Sanctuary

One thing I like about reading the newspaper is the weather section. Today's temperatures nationwide are in the high 80s and low 90s. Phoenix and Bagdad are suffering the same broiling temperature high of 110 degrees, a life draining swelter-fest especially for desert dwellers without air conditioning. Pretty soon, more cities will reach high temps of 110 degrees. Can't image what Phoenix will be like, though, probably unlivable. Climatologists predict a hotter world with year-round fire seasons and a planet surface like Mars, scorched and lifeless.

With 70% of earth's surface covered in water, it is unlikely that our beautiful, blue, ocean planet will dry up any time soon. All the more reason to cherish and protect this oasis in our sterile universe.

The San Francisco Exploratorium sent out a news release the other day, letting the fortunate Bay Area folk know about the many wonderful exhibits and events planned for it's August Ocean Discovery Month. Maybe I'll wander up that direction and stop by the gorgeous Monterey Bay Acquarium as well.