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All the Best in Gossip, News, and Weather :: a blog by Steven & Meena the Cat.

Live or Die

Every Event is a GIFT … however some events are challenging, difficult, involve suffering; most, perhaps. Get up, do my practice, run 10 miles in the early deLight, respond to a blank sheet of paper … take action, and live. Ann Sexton (1928-1974), in her most celebrated collection of poetry, Live or Die (1966), a fictionalized memoir of her recovery from mental illness, ends the sequence of poems with Live. I heard her read from ‘Live or Die’ and ‘Love Poems’ in the autumn of 1969 in Cleveland OH. This is what we need to do; live … but don’t poison everything.

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“With one long breath, caught and held
in his chest, he fought his sadness over
his solitary life. Don’t cry, you idiot!
Live or die, but don’t poison everything . . .”

from an early draft of Herzog by Saul Bellow

Again, the Song

A sunrise run in the north hills. YA) what places my feet take me. Again, the song. Shirt off but then the weather comes; cool and a light wind. Stopping, stepping, stillness into this wonderment of a day. I always try to go too far ….

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“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”

Albert Camus

practicing

When life presents the inevitable challenges and disruptions, as it is currently doing, it is the personal practice(s) that become so important. It is too late in the game to start, only the hopefully long and fully embedded practice(s) can help and help they do. I meditate & sit, do a morning piece and I run. This past weekend I managed a beautiful ten mile trail race on single track in Lolo with 2,000 of elevation up and then down. My legs got a bit tired on the downhill so I slowed carefully and took in beauty of a cold spring rain. I’m practicing still.



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Sunrise Dance

For the past six years to get to the Easter Sunday sunrise service I have used my wonderful feet dancing about upon the earth. I’ve had this practice running every day during lent and ending with this six mile run, the last 2 miles of which is a long uphill. I leave at 5:30 and cross the Colville River before sunrise. This year under waters of a 100 year flooding in the valley. Early morning, it was just 20*F with fog in the hills and Venus rises, the waining gibbous moon setting, daylight & the earth turning, deer, silence. Everything in motion, turns, now.

Sunrise Run

Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday

COlville River in Flood

Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday

An Uncertain Future

With spring announcing itself with a violence of weather, flooding, rain, snow, and a not altogether unexpected but nonetheless unwanted forced departure from Chewelah and the Parsonage, we look to an uncertain future. Meena the Cat and I went out in the blue sky sun today and watched a train make its way south past the meadow.
Just a few more times to run in the valley. I made a nice circumambulation this morning, 7 miles and stop’d to watch the mists lifting effortlessly off the fields and dance away. Mid-sixties with little savings and no jobs we are nevertheless blessed with many strengths, even a nice studio space, and faith that the Joy and deLight and the miracle of life and beauty will cary us on.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

Meena the Cat
train passing by

Silly Human & High Water

I got a new old rug for the upstairs studio, cleaned it and set it on a nice pad. This will make morning exercises a bit more comfy. However Meena the Cat has decided that the rug is hers, not mine; silly human. I cannot keep it flat on the floor ! The snow is mostly gone from the river trail making morning runs less hazardous, I was able to go out along the trail all the way to the gate this morning without having to jump snow patches. The Clark Fork River is muddy and high. The river usually crests in late May to early June but right now it is 12,200 cf3/s which is considerably greater than the usual mean discharge for March; 3,490 cf3/s. If I read the data correctly this is a record for this time of year, the previous being from 1972. On another water note; once again our insurance will not cover damages to the flooding in the Parsonage basement. I wonder what good is insurance‽ I’ve submitted several claims over the years always having been rejected. They pay their adjusters a lot of money to find out how not to honor any claims, always in the small print there is a reason. Silly human don’t you realize that insurance is just another word for scam.

Meena the Cat

Sucking Wax

Saturday at the Parsonage is quiet. I did the laundry, took a long run with some hill work covering a good 8 miles, fed the cat, vacuumed the house …. but all along I’ve been thinking about different kinds of food. What comes to mind are summer trips into the backcountry of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks. It’s an amazing and generous place with all that rock, water, sky and the weather. It’s food. Not so far distant from oatmeal really. Because, as Ali Akbar Khan said about music, without this I die. AND, it being spring, between a long winter and summer and a lot of soft earth … I’m like Meena the Cat, dreaming of that summer paradise.

“When spring comes, go to the flowers — why keep on sucking wax?” Antonio Machado

Meena the Cat

snow and the robins

Later there were a dozen or more robins in the backyard but first there was the morning snow. Thick, big, soft and furious between 7 and 9. Snow that covered everything for a short while, covered as well the ice and made it very very slippery in places. As for me, I took a couple spills on my run; down to the hard ground. Now, a bit beat up tonight but not defeated, just sore.

“Love one another or you perish . . . . We have reached a decisive point in human evolution, at which the only way forward is in the direction of a common passion, a ‘conspiration.’” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

RR Snow

Saturday at the Parsonage

Saturday is laundry day and the blue sky said; ‘hang the cloths outside’. Running this morning was sloppy wet with all the melting but I did manage 8 miles. Last night the temperature remained above freezing so spring is indeed on the way. Lent began this week and so, once again, I’ll do forty days of running. I’ve also been re-reading Buddhist texts and deepening my practice. My legs and heart can use the effort of the running and likewise a deepening of my practice(s). Otherwise … it’s a quiet day at the Parsonage.

“I and all beings are of the same essential value.” Zhuang Zhou

Parsonage living room

winter blue sky sun & run

Winter blue sky sun and a run. Just 12˚F but the RH must have been near the same as all parts of my body turned a delicate white. I didn’t use the cleats as the roads were clear but there was a lot of ice to watch out for. When you sweat as I do, run as I do … you need to do the laundry. And I do like running in color. Meena the Cat was out in the winter sun to supervise and look-see-smell-watch.

"There are crimes that no one would commit as an individual which he willingly and bravely commits when acting in the name of his society, because he has been (too easily) convinced that evil is entirely different when it is done 'for the common good.'" Thomas Merton

RH and Air Temp

Meena the Cat