Category Archives: relationship

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
 The photo on top is a picture Julia took along the lake yesterday of the “floating dock”.

With each other, for each other & for others

As Indian summer is dovetailing into winter here in NY,  Julia and I cleaned out our living space over the weekend, boxing up summer clothes and pulling out our coats and sweaters. We did this while preparing to go on the road, which we were finding a wee bit stressful. In the midst of cleaning Julia found an old birthday card she had given me:
“I don’t know exactly where our journey’s going to take us or what might happen along the way. But I do know who we’ll be when we get there…
Two cute little old people- still holding hands, still making each other laugh, still totally in love.”
Julia had written me a note in the card, part of which said: ” we promised each other that we’d guide each other and become the most beautiful people we can with each other, for each other and for others.”
There can be a stress placed on the bond of a partnership, especially when you live and work together. The “laundry reality” doesn’t end and piles up. I realized that the love we have for our partners isn’t about what they can do for us but for who they are. Feeling their being in our lives, not as a completion but an overlapping whole frees up space for soaring.
As we sang through our song inspired by King Lear last night it struck me again that as we strive for what we hope to see while the seasons change- if we love each other, not for services rendered but for who we are innately, we touch something eternal within ourselves.
” …the news is like the tide, with who looses and who wins. Packs and sects of great ones, who is out and who is in -ebbs and flows like moon while we’re wandering on the heath. Oh, that fickle changing loon with us playing underneath..
As we head off it occurs to me, there is still time to forgive. Like in King Lear Act V scene III- 
‘So we’ll live and pray and sing and tell old tales and laugh at gilded butterflies and take upon us the mystery of things, as if we were God’s spies.’ ” 
– Shakespeare/ The Levins
Love, unshackled from expectation to you and yours.

Stream of Light 1/13/15

We begin our journey beholden to those who care for us.
Our bond with to the earth originates with what we understand as an opening, a welcoming. 
Life pulses through our connection to nurturing love. 
Pardon the frailty, encourage the strength.
We are all colored within the onslaught of life’s stains but none of us can be so stained that, taken up by our true source, we would not cry away our hatred and ignorance.  
Our grasping at success, power, fame, is an attempt to reclaim our favored spot within the maternal embrace. Male or female is only assigned form.  The maternal welcomes, opens, initiates life. Over identification with the paternal has decreased our ability to perceive everything as everything.  Reinstating balance, we can reclaim our vastness.

Frankenstein and the Torch Bearer’s of Life

We went to go see Danny Boyle’s (director of Slumdog Millionaire) Frankenstein filmed at the National Theater in London and shown in movie theaters around the globe. Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller who both currently play Sherlock Holmes on TV, (Cumberbatch/ Sherlock and Miller/Elementary) co-starred as the creature and the doctor, switching roles alternately. 

We saw both versions and they were amazing, but the production with Cumberbatch as the creature struck a reverberating chord with me. 
I found myself almost involuntarily weeping for the creature’s yearning to be allowed the most basic human dignity. It wells into the same response I have had watching Charles Laughton play the Hunchback of Notre Dame telling the beautiful Esmerelda that he saved her because, she gave him water and a little pity and Tom Robinson attesting to his innocence on the stand in 
To Kill a Mockingbird.  
It is poetry when someone is able to portray the ‘monster’ as a mirror to the part of us that is shunned for being different.  Instead of being discounted as an aberration, a number, an equation, an experiment gone awry, we are the torch bearers of life.
“All life is precious, even mine,” the creature says and reflects what a luxury it would be to have been given a name.
Mary Shelly, penned Frankenstein at 18 and was able to point out that our attempts to circumvent the nurturing feminine aspect of nature itself in the creation of life is and always will be tragic.  
The responsibility to nurture whatever life we bring in, in any form, will haunt us and comfort us in turn. 
Creating Frankenstein 13 min. Documentary (with spoilers ; )
Have a happy Halloween- may your light and darkness dance a merry waltz together. 


Stream of Light 10-22-14

If there is something that is bothering you, put your breath into the thought behind it.  We are all perfectly imperfect.  We partner up with various individuals to allow them to shine a light into our imperfections and we do the same for them.  This can be gentle or harsh but we are helping each other towards becoming whole. Wholeness isn’t perfection but understanding we do not ever fully know while being with our Selves fully; aware of where we segue into each other, holding the space in between as delightful illusion.  Who we are is emptying into the unseen which is filling us up simultaneously. 

Taking the long-view with relationships

My uncle Si passed away this week after a long bout of dementia, so while I am sad to say goodbye, I am grateful that he is not suffering.  Being officially uncle-less, brings up feelings of the temporal reality we are engaging in.  We are all going along as we can and even though we may not see our family or the friends that we have adopted as family along the way, we are still connected to each other. We do develop the means to carry on in various ways and some moments crop up to remind us that we aren’t alone in this spiral race within the labyrinth.
I remember my uncle Si, pulling me aside when I had moved to Boulder on my way to LA to become an actor. He gave me a hundred dollars and told me to take a day off and go sit by myself and ask myself what would make me the most happy and fulfilled.  He encouraged me to pursue my dreams in a way that would be profitable and sustaining.  We don’t have to reach out to one another and although it may have been awkward for him, he cared enough about me to do that.
There is a certain aspect of relationships that allow us to take the long-view with those we love.  We may get into it, we may wince when they react or act in certain ways, we may get tired and not want to be bothered, but beyond our survival mode and cynical crust, we can see one another in our heart’s eye and find a way to continue to connect.  We can look along the line of moments we have gathered together and find the sweet ones.  We can be present to their entirety, even if they are no longer here and know that whatever short comings they have, there is more to them then we will ever know.
I may be uncle-less but I am still an uncle to my niece and nephew and to lots of kids who know me as their Uncle Eye!  So here’s to being caught in the Web of Life with you!
Web of Life
Help me I’m caught in this web of life, run to the kitchen 
and get me a knife, cut right there… ok I’m free…
wait, now you’re unraveling me!
We’re all connected, we’re all connected! 
Every single thing you see, shares the same source of energy!
Web of life.  *
Without the plants we could not breathe,
without them we would have to leave. 
With all that we claim to achieve, next to plants we are naïve.
Every rock has a secret, every blade of grass sings…
There is a purpose for every living thing… 
– Uncle Eye
Here’s to connecting!