Saturday, October 30, 2010

Evacuation #2

Yesterday, the police coming to my door to announce Mandatory evacuation for the second Boulder fire (within a month of each other), was a bit surreal.
This was the second go-round for my being able to once again check in with my non-attachment to 'things.'    So far, so good.

Gracie Garp

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Fairytale....

Written in 1980

The Fairytale

There was once a boy who grew up terrified
in the House of Mediocrity.
He longed for adventure, the wild and the strange,
like an infant longs to suckle from the breast.

When he grew up to be a man he met a woman, a cliff-
walker who, after years of living in the wild, had become an
Expert Cliff Walker.

When he loved and trusted her he would allow her
to take him to the cliffs blindfolded.
But when his love turned to indifference and his
trust to suspicion, he begged her to stay away for
fear that if she blindfolded him she might actually
push him over one of the steep crags.

She knew what he did not...that he was going to the
cliffs anyway.  That they would beckon and call to
him much like the moon to the morning sun.

What he did not know and feared most was that she
would tell him--that if, per chance, he stumbled
on any of the deepest and steepled bluffs, he would
have the wings to see himself safely to the ground.

It was her deepest secret.  The very one he hoped she
would never tell him.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Shopping Cart....

Written in 1993:

           Put A Ribbon On My Shopping Cart

Put a ribbon on my shopping cart.  Let it flutter like a may-day banner in the
spring wind.  The homeless shopping cart.  Mine.  Let me push it through the
Santa Monica suburbs so that everyone will know that I didn't know how to
quite grow up.  That I stayed small, like a child, believing the goodness in my
heart would be enough to survive.  I wasn't prepared for the adult reality that
profiteering and not philanthropy is the way to success.  So call me stupid... I
really didn't know.  Inside my shopping cart there is nothing to show--nothing
tangible like stocks and bonds and real-estate holdings.  There are invisible
contents.  Memories.  No net worth on the Dow Jones, but palpable feelings
attached to following my heart through it all.  All the empty space in my shopping
cart, only filled with and overflowing with the love I have for my two children...
who, forgive me, I foolishly taught from the breast, that what really mattered was
 love and acts of kindness.  I may have doomed them to sorrow.  My worldly
ignorance may cost them dearly in a capitalist society.  They will be handing
out love and trust; smiling, laughing, while not knowing there will be nothing
in their cart to show the world their value.  Oh, but Love is stronger than tax-
free income and if I have loved them, truly loved them, they will  look
over at m own hollow cart and feel the weight of our carts now too heavy to
push any further down the street.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The Book....

Written in 1995:

I have to write the "book" so that my children will know that I was more than birthmarks and madness;
more than stretchmarks and mother-love.

So that when they face the the grandfather clock of their childhood ( I could give them no flesh and blood grandfather) to rewind it, they will not just curse me but love me for my humanness (my jelly-popo) and for my heart of gold and danger.

Gracie Garp

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Taking Refuge...Part Two

Six months ago, almost to the day, I wrote a blog entry about my Taking Refuge.

"The Refuge Vow is a ceremony where one formally becomes a Buddhist by making a commitment in one's life to follow the path of the Buddha. In taking refuge in the Precious Three Jewels, we commit ourselves to freedom.  Having exhausted our strategies of distraction, denial, and escapism, we find that learning to experience reality directly through the path of meditation is a life-affirming choice."

My Refuge Vow Ceremony will take place on November 7th-- there will be no bells and whistles that resound after the ceremony.  There will be me choosing to mindfully walk moment by moment through this auspicious, mysterious and unknown journey with asking for no assurances for what I will find.

Gracie Garp

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Wedding...

Where do I begin in writing about Taylor and Christos' wedding that took place on October 16th.

Do I begin at the morning of the wedding with all her closest female friends in a flurry of attendance to Taylor, each of her friends more beautiful and precious than the next....

Do I begin at the moment of Taylor walking down the staircase, before her and my stretch limo arrives to drive us to the wedding sight, whereby all of us at the bottom of the stairs weep at the sight of her pre-nuptial radiance....

Do I begin with our arrival at the beach site where we see the rose-strewn path leading us all to the sacred circle where their ceremony will take place...or the sight of Christos moved to tears as he sees his bride to be coming down the path escorted by her father....

Do I begin at their ritual of washing each other's feet with rose petals and the sea shells from which they dipped their petals for water....

Do I begin at the most moving of endeavors for the blessing of the rings when Christos and Taylor went around the entire circle of family and friends asking each of us to speak our own blessing of the rings as they took in each and everyone's love that was in attendance.

Do I begin at my gazing across from the Italian bride's side to see the Greek groom's family with their astounding beauty, and regal ethnic stance....

Do I begin at the speaking of their vows to each other--spoken so strong, so clear, so heartfelt, so true....

Do I begin at the pounding of the waves crashing behind us and the dolphins and seals that found their way to our shore to add another aspect of nautical magic....

Do I begin at the handful of magenta rose petals that we all tossed at the bride and groom after they were pronounced man and wife....

Do I begin at the reception held ocean-side with the warm luster of tea lights and smiles and tears as family and friends toasted them....

Where do you begin with an afternoon and evening that one hoped would never end?

Gracie Garp

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Absolutes...

Rummaging through some old files of my writings, I came across a list of my own 'categorical imperatives' that I wrote twenty two years ago... this list was originally typed out on my old IBM Selectric typewriter.  For what it is worth, I am posting it today... by the way, after all this time, I still hold these imperatives to be as pertinent for me today as when I first banged them out the old fashioned way.

1. Treat yourself and others as one part holy and one part human.
2. Do not attempt charitable acts motivated by uncharitable feelings of guilt, shame, obligation, pity or moral superiority.
3. Do not consider your well-being or happiness as a present someone else holds in their hands.
4. Do not be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.
5. Make your choice a conscious one when deciding what you want to give, to whom, when and how much.
6. Never leave a person, place or thing more disheveled than it, or they, were when you first found them.
7. Trust your instincts.
8. Question authority.
9. Honor all your feelings.
10. Do not usurp your own integrity nor let others decide your own value system.
11. Take responsibility for your own emotional and spiritual life.
12. Take the words: good and bad, right and wrong, out of your vocabulary.
13. See beyond the black and white of any situation and pray for the ability and sensitivity to see the grey areas.
14. Begin forgiveness where you perceive an ancient hatred.
15. Make allowances for human imperfection.
16. Celebrate the love you have for yourself and share it with others.
17. Feed at least one person's belly, mind, heart or soul daily.

Gracie Garp

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Uber Poet....

Tillcho Lake
In the high place
it is as simple as this,
leave everything you know behind.

Step toward the cold surface,
say the prayer of rough love
and open both arms.

Those who come with empty hands
will stare into the lake astonished,
there, in the cold light
reflecting pure snow

the true shape of your own face.

                            --by David Whyte

Gracie Garp

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Sabbatical Divas....

It has come to pass (especially after my 'fire experience') that I really am being 'called' to take a sabbatical.  Where and when, is yet to be decided but suffice it to say, it will be out of the country.

I have been asking the Divas of Traveling Sabbaticals, to keep showing me the signs for when and where to begin my sojourn.  One of the trickier elements of my leaving in, say January, was what to do about subletting my rental.  I figured Divas of Sojourning do not have as much difficulty with this issue as I might by fretting about I turned it over to them to figure out.  Just this morning, I was sitting on my heavily laden flowered porch, when a woman came by to inquire if I knew about either of the duplexes (one of which I live in) being for rent now or by the first of January!!  Need I say more?

I only have two 'requirements' for where I travel to: must be coastal and very near large bodies of water and must be warm...not 50 degree warm but tropical warm.  I am thinking: Malta, Greece, Italy, Turkey, the South of Spain....or anywhere else that suits my desire to paint and write and eat profusely.

A friend had mentioned that I should see the movie: Eat, Love, Pray--a bit too Hollywood-ized for me but I did respond that I would be very interested in writing the satirical version that I call: Eat, Eat, Eat.  For those who know me well, I have a voracious appetite and although I should weigh four hundred pounds with the amount of food I ingest, I seem to have been blessed with an outrageous metabolism.  No doubt I will eat my way through any country I visit.  My Sicilian grandfather, Nanu, upon our beginning a meal in his home, would always proclaim: "Eat, eat.  Don't be ashamed."  Being reared young, to absolutely revel in the glories of eating whatever one craves, I have yet to confuse shame with eating.

May the Divas of Eating and No Shame be with you....

Gracie Garp

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Fable Worth Noting....


A Fable

Once upon a time there was a child-woman named Tanina.  She lived in a cozy castle with 4 bears and a Higher Power.

The bears came to her, each in their own plight and she named them accordingly: Childhood, Marriage, Divorce and Aftermath.

The bear named Childhood, arrived with a plethora of wounds and wild tales of love, comfort, madness and wanting.  She gave this bear a host of adult attention and parental tenderness, the likes of which it had never seen.  Childhood gave in return and resides very close to her heart.

The bear named Marriage, although anything but idle, arrived in a diffused state.  This particular bear had been to doctors, healers, preachers and teachers but it was not until Marriage came to the cozy castle that it found its heart's desire...the child-woman, Tanina.

The bear named Divorce did not arrive at the cozy abode for some thirteen years later.  The time lag had been choreographed, unbeknownst to Divorce, and in celebration of its arrival, Tanina had a grand recital in Divorce's honor.  This, of course, pleased the bear very much as it thought its self a very bad bear until Tanina taught it and loved it very much otherwise.

The bear named Aftermath, arrived quite unexpectedly.  It was a spring day and Tanina was not expecting pedestrian visitors.  She was almost half-way downtown, on one of her adventure excursions, when she spotted Aftermath.  Upon seeing her, Aftermath did not walk but full-bore galloped to her side.  She embraced Aftermath realizing, just then, that she was short one bear and had presumed Aftermath to be lost.  The brave bear said he preferred arrivals on the Grace and Mercy clock, as opposed to other methods of timing.  The distinguished looking bear carried only a floral sachet and a dictionary under its arm...they immediately hit it off.

And they all lived 'really' ever after....

Gracie Garp