Constant Craving?

A female hummer just came by, hungry. She looked carefully at the flowers on my skirt, then examined my pink flamingo, then the fading red sign on the door. Disappointed off she buzzed.

I’m thinking about how I crave foods- not for migration power, but for so many other needs. Case in point the morning, where I forgot to get coffee, and bumbled around a scatter brain trying to get out the door, to McD’s for coffee.

  • True confession: when I started Uber I began a serious McDonalds habit. Why?
    1. Bathrooms
    2. Coffee
    3. Cheap soda

    But then the allure of fried snacks & sandwiches pulled me in. Then sweetened frozen coffee treats, then free fries every time the Nats won, then “the dog loves McNuggets”, then creamy milkshakes on a sweltering day-these all tempted me.

    This morning I’m thinking about my go-to breakfast: sausage egg McMuffin. Only $2 bucks, pillowy, cheesy bread & fat, yum.

    But I’m moving steadily into a plant based lifestyle. So much so that the idea feels shocking, wrong. But what else can I do? I need breakfast.

    A little angel, who sounds like Jessica of Krocks in the Kitchen, whispers in my ear: “don’t they have oatmeal?”

    Indeed they do. A brief war ensues as familiar craving fights new standards. I say NO to the McMuffin and order the oatmeal. Today’s victory!!

    This is how it goes. For years the cravings have won. I’ve been able to somehow believe that ‘just this 1 time’ it isn’t going to matter.

    Guess what? It DOES matter. If I matter, then every bite I take matters. No do-overs, no free ride on the comfort food express.

    I’m ‘woke’ now. May I never go back to sleep.

    The Magnificence Right Under Your Nose

    A friend called to day, sharing coffee and gratitude though many states apart. She shared a thought experiment: what if everything, what if I were completely perfect right now, in this moment? What if the fear, disappointment, worry, grief were all lifted from our shoulders, without effort, right now.

    If it crosses our mind, it is possible. By imagining this state, we can achieve it. As I believe, so I become. At the speed of thought.  (Remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull? “Perfect speed is… being there.”)

    What if peace what right under our nose? What if beauty was blazing away, and our eyes were too busy to see?

    Rarely do I hear them: the wild turkeys. But when I do, these huge birds make an alarming racket! The tom may flare his feathers to look even bigger, while his  flock melts silently into the woods.

    Did I really see them? Look, there’s a feather, on the path in the morning frost.

     

    I give thanks for all blessings.

    A Glorious March

    My friend Josephine cam all the way from California with her contingent from Elders Climate Action, for two days of lobbying on the Hill, and the People’s Climate March. They marched the halls of Congress for 2 days before the big march!

    The Real Deal

    In the early 1960s I was in grade school, and my mother let me stay home to watch NASA’s Mercury and Gemini spacecraft launches on TV. We’d follow the whole exciting run-up and count-down, and cheer for blast-off, willing the fiery ship up, up and away into space.

    This gave me my life-long love of space travel stories. Every moment of Star Trek the original series, the next generation, the movies. Star Wars amazed me with its realistic hardware, like Luke’s rusty little flying car – it felt so real!  I never miss a space flick on the big screen if I can help it.

    I carried my space fandom into adulthood, thrilled when the Shuttle began to fly, and devastated when the Challenger burst apart before my eyes in the Florida sky. Then we lost Columbia, and the shuttle missions withered to an end.

    While we may not be launching as many humans into orbit, NASA has stayed busy with amazing planetary missions and probes bringing us closer to the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.

    Today, the incredible Cassini mission to Saturn and its moons begins its final mission, 20 years after it lifted off from earth. For nearly 13 years Cassini has amazed with the data and imagery from the moons, rings and storms of Saturn.

    Watch this. This is epic space opera, folks. And this one is REAL.

     

    Water, Words, & Grief

    The simple sentences from these grieving parents touched me like poems. From The Daily 360° from nytimes.com

    Miguel:
    I’ve had a lot of problems
    on the water and the land.
    I recently lost my daughters…
    I used to think only of fish when I came out here.
    Now I see my daughter’s faces in the water.

    Juana:
    This beach is my home.
    I leave my problems in the sea.
    I watch my husband fish
    and we support each other to leave everything behind.
    I focus on my work and it relaxes me.
    I’ll never leave this beach
    because I forget about my problems here.

    Miguel:
    I live for the water
    and I try to move forward.
    There is no other way.

    The Unknown Artist that Everyone Loves

    Despite it’s tragic ending, most of us of a certain age remember with great fondness the Disney film Bambi.

    Originally released in 1942, it’s considered one of the finest examples of animation from the 20th century.

    bambi_tyrus_wongYet the artist responsible for the backgrounds, the atmosphere, the ‘look and feel’ of the film is still largely unknown. Tyrus Wong, 104, died Friday Dec. 30th, yet another remarkable artist to pass on in 2016. You’ve probably never heard of him, however, due to the lack of acclaim offered to Chinese Americans of his generation.

    Wong worked as a staff artist in Hollywood beginning in the 1930s. He created storyboards and concept art for both animated and live-action films, many of which are  beautiful paintings in their own right.

    bn-hn773_bambi1_j_20150323042621

    Born in China in 1910 he arrived at Angel Island at age 9 and was promptly detained under the Chinese Exclusion Act. Eventually he was aloud to join his father. It took until 2001 until Wong received  recognition for his remarkable work.

    Fortunately for him, and us, he lived a long and creative life.

    Read more about Tyrus Wong, here:

    http://nyti.ms/2iOBnnH

     

    12 Steps to Living with the Election Results

    Dear readers: I have started several posts since last week’s election results and haven’t decided which impassioned essays will live or die. In the mean time, I come bearing gifts, this one from Nicholas Kristof of the (notoriously liberal) NY Times. 

    Link to complete original article

    Reblog: What a Buck in the Marsh Taught me About Respect on the Morning After the Election

    Dear readers: last night Stephen Colbert reminded me that all the beauty OF the world is still right here IN the world. In that spirit I’m re-blogging my neighbor’s beautiful post from today’s morning walk:

    Earthy Blessings: What a Buck in the Marsh Taught Me about RESPECT on the Morning After the Election

    I am fortunate that I have the flexibility to walk the woodlands and visit the marsh this morning. Where else would I go on such a troubling day? I went into this election, determined that no matter the outcome, I would continue to do my best to live as salt and light in a world that always needs both. As an unashamed follower of Christ, I have and continue to attempt to live in accordance with what matters to Him…treating people with love, treating the Creation with care, and recognizing my dependence on the Spirit to help me to know and name my blindness and shortcomings.
    But this morning, I have to admit that that determination comes hard. I am chagrined to realize who made up the voting block that has elevated our president-elect. I am sickened with grief and foreboding for what this outcome will mean for the earth, for the Creation, its creatures and all the humans who depend upon it for life, as the party elected will not hesitate to exploit it full measure and never look back.

    bringlightI was thinking these thoughts, and wondering whether I had anything at all to say in this space this morning, anything gleaned from the natural world around me, as I walked along the boardwalk, when I heard the crashing and say the dried cattails waving wildly. I had seen possible traces before of deer in the marsh, but was never quite sure. “How would they maneuver through the muck?”

    But there he was….. Read the rest at Earthy Blessings

    Art, Love & Grief – a gift from Pixar

    Sometimes one piece of art stops me in my tracks with it’s inescapable beauty and truth.

    Here’s one.

    Pixar, the studio that brought us Toy Story, Up!, Finding Nemo and so much more, has released a new short that’s a luminous paean to memory, grief and love.

    “Borrowed Time” is an animated short film, directed by Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj, and produced by Amanda Deering Jones.

    The music was written & performed by Gustavo Santaolalla, composer of The Motorcycle Diaries, Biutiful, and The Last of Us and Best Original Score Academy Award winner for Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

    Synopsis:
    “A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.”

    borrowedtimeshort.com
    facebook.com/btanimatedshort/

    Be forewarned that the story includes a tragic loss. But please, don’t let that stop you.

    Winning While Not Winning

    Back in September I applied for an artist’s residency at Big Bend National Park, an opportunity to live and work for a month in one of our largest and most remote wilderness areas, right on the Mexican border (image above.)

    As I worked on the application, I gained a new understanding of why I paint the way I do:

    My painting is both objective and reverent observation, a deep, active appreciation of the natural world.  My aim is to inspire others to look more deeply and develop a more profound appreciation for our world.

    tulippoplarblossomsw

    I wrote quite a bit about why painting on the Border would be important to me, and I’ll explore that in a later post.

    I didn’t get selected for the residency. When I got the email I was mildly surprised, as if I really believed I would. In the email from the National Parks Art Foundation was a personal note that I was one of the finalists. Which felt really good.

    Last year’s Artist in Residence at Big Bend was painter Dawn Waters Baker. I fell in love with her work instantly. I feel it beautifully captures what I had imagined creating at Big Bend.

    Please go look at Dawn’s beautiful paintings and leave her comments if you can.

    Dawn talks about ‘the emotional landscape’ –  not what is there but how we experience it, what we feel. That really comes through in her luminous paintings. They are filled with awe and a deep respect for the space. And she called the final show Reverence.

    I’ve never been one who takes rejection particularly well. But this was a whole other experience. I got to know myself better by applying. I looked forward to bigger, more spacious paintings and the magic of a desert landscape. I enjoyed dreaming about how I would fulfill the residency requirements. And then I fell in love with Dawn’s paintings.

    I feel complete, or pau as my Hawaiian healer friend Carol Burbank would say. It’s all good.