Category Archives: 9/11

The Floating Dock- a week’s reflection

“Climb back singing. Climb praising as you return to connection. Here among the disappearing, in the realm of the transient, be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings. Be. And know as well the need to not be: let that ground of all that changes bring you to completion now.” – Rilke-Sonnets to Orpheus,( II, 13 h)/ A Year with Rilke /Translated and Edited by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows
“Push will wear you out. When you’re pushing to do something, you only got so much willpower. But when you’re pulled, when there’s something larger than yourself that you’re here to serve and that you believe you’re made for, that brings energy.”- Tony Robbins
 
 FullSizeRender (4)– photo: Julia Bordenaro Levin
 
Last night Julia and I were driving out to a nearby lake and I pondered what I would write about today for the stream.  I felt I had nothing to offer today and it bothered me. We started our walk around the lake and Julia immediately started taking pictures. The poetry of her surroundings is always calling out to her. As we were in motion, the week started coming back to me. We had a marathon of gigs last weekend, including two commemorative healing concerts for 9/11 with our friend Judy Kass. There is a group of folks from a marvelous collective called Peace through Play who came to one of our shows and danced and danced.  Getting to play music that inspires and provokes dancing or seeming stillness is an honor that completes and generates concentric joy.  We got home from this eighth concert in four days and instead of turning on the tube and tuning out, we picked up on a suggestion we got from our beloved clowns, Coventry and Kaluza, and watched a documentary about Tony Robbins called,  I Am Not Your Guru.  Watching the first part of it, energized us and cut through our mental and emotional fatigue.  Here is someone who has been gathering people from around the world for over twenty years to reach them where they are to raise them up to their own potential.  Authenticity, Joy and Honesty are the pillars that Tony stands on like a giant tiger and he is not afraid to face down anything.
Watching this show ramped us up for the week.  We got to jam with an amazing rhythm section as we prepare to begin our next recording.  We have continued a 30-day cleansing where we are eating only whole and natural foods. So instead of keeping ourselves awake with popcorn, snacks or something easy to grab while coming back from Long Island late at night, we stopped at a grocery store and felt like we were riding together with Coventry- Kaluza as we laughingly binged on bananas, raisins, sunflower seeds and almonds.  The nutritional shift has restored a clarity of thought.
One of my mom’s friends from the theater passed away this week. She had been a major force for getting my mom into the theater.  She was a tremendous inspiration and motivation for me as well.  I was practically a member of her family. In fact, her son and I were tremendous friends.  I called him and although we haven’t talked in a while it stoked the fire between us.  His mom had dementia, so he recognized the blessing of her passing.  We all remember her for the firebrand she was and is within us.  I realized that with the intensity of our schedules, it would have been easy to allow myself to think that his mom’s passing was sad without taking the time to reach out, touch base, reflect and rejoice in what her life offered us and so many people. 
Walking last night brought the turning back to me.  I could feel the curve of the year pulling me towards the change rising, blossoming within me.  What we are capable of is intertwined with the delight we take in connection.  As Rilke said, “All becoming has needed me. My looking ripens things and they come toward me, to meet and be met.”*
So much happens in a week, we take so much in but the simple act of walking around a lake can not only bring it all back but remind us to allow what we have gathered to germinate so that what we have to offer is something we were born to give.
 
*The Book of Hours I, I/ A Year with Rilke/ Translated and Edited by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows
Rilke
 The photo on top is a picture Julia took along the lake yesterday of the “floating dock”.

Stream of Light for 9/11

Where there is love, we can overcome lamentation.  Beyond the fortress of censure and confrontation, we are allowed a glimpse inside the inner workings of beauty.  Where is the beauty in the ashes? In the rising; in the life that continues.  Where we are today in the stream of our own lives intercepts with the lives of countless who have ventured beyond our sight.  In this moment of stillness, feel the lives of billions around the world, yearning for the same freedom we hope to attain. Count what you have that can be taken away. What remains? What can you keep?  Hold it up. Hold that up for all to see.
Extending the moment of silence into now, we can reach out in our hearts to all of those who were directly and indirectly effected by the attack on the world trade center thirteen years ago.  We can hold them in our embrace and be with them as they yearn for healing and justice.
Beyond the controversy and the outrage, today allow this silence to help us ponder the suffering of those around us that we never fully know of or understand, and of the rising life provides us daily.  There is anger, there is fear but life itself offers strength and a freedom beyond what can be attacked.  
Hatred breeds more fear and decreases what security we may already have.  Looking at the examples of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani school girl who stood up to the Taliban and others around the world who stand up, not just for themselves or their countries, religions, or cultures but for an individual’s right to freedom that can apply to all of humanity.  
The Vietnamese teacher/poet Thich Nhat Hanh toured America at the time of 9/11 in 2001 and was aware of how much fear there was within our shores.  “How do we calm down our fear?  In the Buddhist tradition, there is a practice called compassionate listening.  This can help people suffer less. We also have the practice of loving speech.”
Whatever tradition or practice we have that allows us to be there for those around us and lift them up on this day, and every day, may me remember we have access to it.
Let the grass grow, let our hearts become tender as we guard what is essential to us.
“Positive vibrations toward healing of the planet
and our beloved beings who inhabit its many shores.” 
– David Picarillo