Tuesday, July 7, 2015


It feels like it was a long vacation.  We drove up to Los Angeles on Thursday to pick Luka up from school, and drove him back down with us to Laguna.  At three going on three and two-thirds, he's perfectly at ease with his grandparents and loves the cottage at the beach, so we had an easy time with him until his Mom arrived on Saturday morning; well, in fact very late on Friday night, but we caught no glimpse of her before Saturday noon.  So it seems like we can look forward to a couple of similar weekends with our grandson over the summer--an added incentive to a prolonged and much desired absence from the city.

Now back in Los Angeles, I'm contemplating various tasks that need to be taken care of in the course of this single week before we leave--again!  This time for Boston, where we plan to spend a few days before heading out to the countryside for a family wedding in The Berkshires.  I'm sure it will be a delight, but I find myself wearying--in body and spirit, both--of the constant dislocations.  I woke very early this morning, 4AM, and was unable to fall back asleep.  At 5 I gave up the attempt and climbed out of bed for my morning sit, which I found more than usually penetrating and refreshing.

I am grateful every day for the time I have put in on this practice.  I can feel the depth of these 20 years of experience, and find myself slipping pleasurably and effortlessly into the present moment nearly every time I sit.  I am aware, though, that there is danger in allowing the process to become too pleasurable and too effortless.  There is always work to be done...

One thing I note with some actual discomfort: I have not missed the daily writing practice this past week.  And was not eager to get back to it.  Rainer Maria Rilke asks the "young poet" to whom he writes in those justly famous "letters", does he have to write? I'm finding that question harder to answer with the strong affirmative I've always given it in the past.  Something more to be reflected on, no matter how discomforting.  Do I have to write?  This morning, the answer felt like: No.  And yet, well... here I am.

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