“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
– 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”.
In the midst of my family’s ritual laughing feast and gorge, my mom has invited us to her Kundalini yoga classes. The instructor there has reminded us that our mind is like a horse we are riding. Sometimes we have gone without a saddle or reins, letting it take us where it will but with training we recall we are not our mind and can be grateful for our ability to go where we want to.
During this visit, my horse and I have pretended to be time travelers. In moments when my dad has recalled our family history and the double feature matinees of his youth, I pretend that I have come from the future to revel in these moments with him. I take in his Old Spice cologne and the organized eloquent spaciousness he has surrounded himself with. I think how much I would give to be able to touch and listen to him decades from now. As I digest this (and the incredible amount of food we have eaten in the past 24 hours.) I rejoice.
As the old year merges into the new, the gratitude I have for life is not that I will get to hold onto my family or all of you forever but that I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be with you now.
Tonight many will sing the Robert Burns poem, although past “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind,” most of the words will be a blur. Here’s a cherished portion for ye:
“And there’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand to thine
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne.”
– Robert Burns
That cup stands ready for us. Let us take a sip together now as it overflows. Although we are in seemingly separate spaces, mounted on our trusty steeds we can be together in no time.