welcome h O M e



I remember the magnificent sound of the cicadas came in waves, unescapable even from indoors.  In my youth I would walk in my neighborhood and be confused about what time I was living in.  It was like being transported to the Mezozoic Era when heat and humidity nourished soupy swampy life.

Behind the curtain of trees that marked the boundary of my yard, there was a path.  This paved path meandered through forest which couldn’t decide whether it was a swamp or not.  In the summer, thick hairy vines of poison ivy thrived on tulip poplars, oak, and sycamore, extending menacing flights of three leaved branches up hundreds of feet into the sky.  I couldn’t help but contemplate the unthinkable pain these plants could inflict, looking peaceful enough and happy on the trees.  With the rains, the land flanked by the path and Rock Creek became submerged.  The trees looked so strange emerging from water.  Though I fantasized about exploring the forest with a canoe, the water was never more than six inches deep, and where was I going to get a canoe?

Every seventeen years.  The cicadas’ arrival inevitably led me to think about where I would be when their children returned.  Looking forward into the future, seventeen years feels longer than looking back.  And why seventeen years?  What is so magic about that number?  How did that happen?

I ask the same question of my life now.  How did this happen?  I have since moved to a part of California where no land confuses itself for a swamp.  Instead, dry, sun-baked red earth complements vibrant green from citrus and fig, and the sky is punctuated with majestic looking palms and gravity-defying cypress.  I have a beautiful family, a daughter, and luckily I didn’t have to wait seventeen years to meet her.  I work for a company I love and will soon be packing for a trip to represent this company at a meeting in Sweden.  I don’t know how it happened.  I could not have anticipated it.  I am grateful.

Life is strange, diverse, magical and arbitrary.


What difference does a day make?

The weather forecast for today, September 09, 2011:

Today (Sunday): What a difference a day makes! After yesterday’s intense storms, we’re looking at our skies turning mostly sunny. All that hot and humid air is long gone as well. It’s near perfect out there and we could use it. Highs end up around 75-80 with a bit of a breeze from the northwest. Confidence: High

I wake on the one year anniversary of my father’s passing and I wonder if after today, the Grand Canyon his absence left on my heart-scape will find some resolution as a result of this milestone in grief.

I intuit it will be so, but instead find that this morning I am especially aware of the canyon’s depth and snaking arms as I reflect back on the events as they occurred one sun cycle ago.

In relation to the sun, today is where the planet was when he left it.

This is why today’s forecast (above) is so hopeful. Apparently, today will make all the difference. After the intense storms (of this past year) “we’re looking at our skies turning mostly sunny… It’s near perfect out there and we could use it.” That is the truth. I certainly could use it.

Yet, the sun has yet to rise on what, according to the weatherman, promises to be a beautiful day. In these tender pre-dawn hours the darkness seems to shine its shadow on my sense of loss and absorb it into its own black. The crickets amplify its space with their song. I’m impelled to reach into my well of experience and fill this space with memories. Inevitably, this brings me face to face with regret as I relive moments when I didn’t make the most of our time together. There are few things more painful then realizing, once it is too late, that you ever even once took someone for granted.

But even as I express these dark, dramatic, and lets face-it, pretty universal experiences of being human, I look up and see patches of lavender grey emerging in the negative space between the vegetation outside my window. With the promise of light comes the promise of differentiation, of “This, not that,” “Here, not there,” (thank you to Douglas Brooks for this) and one which is especially healing to me today, of “Then, not now.”

Strangely enough, it is through this process of differentiation that I feel the promise of relief. It is as if in abiding by boundaries of separateness that dissolution has something to dissolve FROM. There is always something to dissolve INTO. I think it is the dissolving FROM that is the tricky part. It is tricky in that there has to be difference first before there can be dissolution. In order for there to be difference there has to be creation. Creation seems to me, a much more complicated business than dissolution, which like entropy, is the natural order of things.

The dawn now is unstoppable, like a persistent invitation to let go, to dissolve the grief, to just stop with the regret and to live. With more light comes more detail and I start to understand the wisdom in the weather report, “What a difference a day makes!” By this point I can even make out the veins in the Dogwood leaves outside.

I get it now and I understand why this will be a beautiful day– because this day marks an important boundary. It marks a mythic and meaningful moment of measure from which I am invited to let my grief of the past year dissolve FROM my heart INTO the sun cycle that can hold it. I am invited to let my sense of regret dissolve INTO the foolish person I was then, not now. I am invited to look forward into the possibility of the coming year and all it may hold. I am invited to embrace my new sense of self, forever changed by the events of this past year.

I will be forever marked by father’s absence, but I also can perceive the possibility of a less painful way of relating to that absence, one which illuminates the canyon with gratitude, with love, with pride, and with promise.

Update: My gifted and beloved Tía María Rosa Crespo wrote the beautiful piece below in remembrance of her brother


María Rosa Crespo

La noche está quieta y callada tras la ventana, en el cielo quisiera en vez de estrellas pintar una  palabra recuerdo, recuerdo de mi hermano Alfredo quien partió demasiado pronto, un nueve de septiembre como hoy, estaba escrito en  el libro de su vida como la tempestad del verano sin motivo. Estamos hechos apenas de sumas de presentes, un pasado que ya no es y un mañana incierto, no  existen más razones al reflexionar en nuestro abismo de la penas. Quienes aún quedamos a lo mejor nos parece escuchar sus pasos que se pierden entre  las  notas de  la música preferida, los vocablos que fueron pronunciados, atisbar la silueta que se esfuma, sentir el palmoteo del abrazo fraternal, su generosidad  a toda prueba con propios y extraños, degustar sus almuerzos en los Chillos al pie del Cotopaxi, las tortillas de maíz, los múltiples bocadillos, los largos paseos para aspirar el inconfundible olor de las magnolias, las hierbas aromáticas, las hortalizas  y legumbres mientras dialogábamos sobre tantos asuntos entretejidos con añoranzas compartidas: la familia, los amigos, la antigua  hacienda de Charcay y sus senderos recorridos en la lejana infancia. Porque si  anhelamos buscar el secreto de la muerte hay que buscarlo en el corazón mismo de la vida ya que  todos juntos lo cruzamos en un barco estrecho, al llegar a la orilla surgen las preguntas ¿Volveremos a encontrarnos? ¿O cada cual irá a su propio mundo?

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Remedy – Jason Mraz

I am so inspired by this song by Jason Mraz and hope to have it down on the guitar and Uke soon!

What I love about this song is the assertion “The remedy is the experience”.  It reinforces the idea that sometimes there is no way out but through, AND that owning the experience is the medicine.  This is so beautiful, so empowered, so full of acceptance.

Check out the story behind the song:


Dissolving Into Freedom

And after reading John Friend’s  latest letter, I am even more liberated to step away.  All parties have spoken.  The cards are on the table.

Though contradicting versions of the past few months remain, there is more than enough information out there now for each person to make his or her own decision.

Though it has been weeks coming, I sent my letter to Anusara, Inc. this morning resigning my license to teach Anusara Yoga.

I am content in the certainty that there is nothing left for me to do but let go.  It is with humility I admit I don’t know what comes next other than quiet and tender contemplation of all that has transpired.

Eventually, I imagine there will be a luminous time of reinvention and all the joyful excitement that comes along with that.  I know day will break, but I am also ok with it staying dark for a while.  May we find rest, relief, and rejuvenation in the blue-black of the yet un-manifest.

Dissolving into freedom,