to dance a life

mess 4

My Sweet Crushed Angel

You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.
You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet, crushed angel,
To have ever neared God’s Heart at all.
Our Partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy
To hear.
So what if the music has stopped for a while.
So what
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight.
So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for Real Love.
The mind and body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,
But Hafiz knows the Beloved’s eternal habits.
Have patience,
For He will not be able to resist your longing
For long.
You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One.
You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
O my sweet,
Oh my sweet, crushed angel.
~ Hafiz ~
(I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)



just a little more


Mind Wanting More

Only a beige slat of sun
above the horizon, like a shade pulled
not quite down.  Otherwise,
clouds.  Sea rippled here and
there.  Birds reluctant to fly.
The mind wants a shaft of sun to
stir the grey porridge of clouds,
an osprey to stitch sea to sky
with its barred wings, some dramatic
music: a symphony, perhaps
a Chinese gong.But the mind always
wants more than it has —
one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed
with the moon; one more hour
to get the words right; one
more chance for the heart in hiding
to emerge from its thicket
in dried grasses — as if this quiet day
with its tentative light weren’t enough,
as if joy weren’t strewn all around.
~ Holly Hughes ~

(American Zen A Gathering of Poets)



I am in retreat at beautiful Yaddo for a month.  Faraway from routine, from the familiar, from home, from the known.  Artists in retreat  hope to get deeply lost in the work, to find something unexpected, to come up against all that is uncomfortable and unknown and to move with that, through that.  To find treasure along the way.

It is a rare and precious thing to be nourished and supported in this way.  To have the luxury of occasional, luxurious, playful camaraderie with other artists.  To feel the deep, quiet surround of others’ practices.  Appreciation, every moment.



sadie laila

Succorance is the word of the day from   It means the act of seeking out affectionate care and social support.  That is what we were doing three months ago when we adopted Sadie Mae, a Sato dog from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico.  We did this in the deep grieving wake of the death of our beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Liam.  Here is Laila finding that same succorance from Liam last summer.


Here are a few of the Sato Project dogs that are available now.  Sadie is not Liam.  Sadie is wonderfully herself, learning how to feel safe, what it is to be loved, to be part of our complicated,big interspecies family.  We would do this again in a heartbeat.

When we nourish another, we nourish ourselves.  My practice with all the animals in my life is to feel how much they are touching me when I am touching them.  How each moment is an exchange, an offering of that “affectionate care and social support” flowing in both directions.