The Lenses We See Through


After talking with Ilana, whom I’ve just met at a party full of eclectic people, I am starting to wonder about her glasses. I don’t have on my glasses because I am not reading but, truth is, I should be wearing those progressives all the time as there are quite a few subtleties passing me by.

Ilana, a wildly talented San Francisco Art Institute grad student is talking about her hispanic childhood in LA and how she devoted twelve years of her life to throwing the discus. She’s got the body for it. She’s funny and is rambling on in a I’ve-got-this-conversation-covered kind of way. I’m fine with that and enjoying the ride as are my two teenagers. It’s Christmas eve and even the food is eclectic because a lot of the party works at Rainbow grocery, one of the first large co-op health food stores in the nation.

I am feeling friendlier and friendlier with Ilana as we get smushed closer together when still others feel there is enough room to sit down on the large couch.

I become more suspicious and say, “Let me see your glasses!”
She shies away and says, “No, you can’t see my glasses!” but in a smiling way.
“Come on, take them off”.
“I can’t see without them”.

Close enough now on the couch for almost anything I grab her glasses. There is no glass in them!

I comment on this and she says, “I’ve got a pair of sunglasses at home just like these”.
I say, “But there’s no glass in them!”
I’m liking her more than ever when she says, “I Know. They’re prescription!”

Tonglen Practice

3/4 million (750,000) people can soon die of starvation in Somalia. There is a drought in Africa which has left the people without food.

there is food being given but

the pirate type controlling the country won’t let aid in

the big boats can’t get to the ports
even if they could, on shore
it is beyond food
some now need care before they can eat.
These Somalian people.
What now to do with the awareness of them and it’s effect on me
The tonglen buddhist practice is the only real thing
that helps.

Breathing in and breathing out with
toward another with well-wishing


What Isn’t

Sometimes it’s just about wanting to give up.

It’s only from trying too hard. Doing the same things over and over and not getting the same not gotten results.

For what?

And then to have it fall into another’s lap and know it’s not for you.

It’s just what isn’t.

No doubt

I have seen the squirrel again. Twice, in fact. Each time around eleven in the morning and on the same block of the same street. I see her dash across the street with the acorn in her mouth and in three different yards, bury the acorn. She does it whole heartedly with quick efficient strokes. I guess there’s not much doubt in an animal’s mind. They are either doing it or not doing it.


Syndey takes Spanish class. Maybe that’s why he is still so sharp at an advanced age. His mind will never fail him. That much is clear.

He collects interesting plastic bags from far away places he sometimes goes. This is what he carries his homework in. No need for such extravagances as buying a bag. Not for him, anyway, he shrugs with a smile.