• Public_Domain_great-egret-by-the-lake

    Black & White Blessings

    They tap incessantly, their Morse code from the sun. Black feathers iridescent as they tug and push the wooden shingles with long black beaks… Made for such things as raising the roof and catching the moon. In the Basque tradition the raven carries away your fears, self doubt, and insufficiency…. Anything that denies your true nature… Creating a place for the blessings to come. Relief is given by the sighting of a white bird of any kind.  In the northwest coast, storytellers remember the time when the Raven had to return the sun to the world, the lord of heaven wanted it all for himself. The raven risked everything so people would have light to grow and see by…  Here they are, in the subtle cool of a morning on the bay between Mt Tamalpais, and the shallow silver mudflats. All carried and protected by the bay and held by the watchful voices of oak, madrone, and redwood spine. I have landed here remembering you… my teacher who granted me entrance to this sacr...

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    The Color Blue

    The color blue is the great swath…. Even in the snow or gray days the air would have been alive with them, one with a sky that protects us, remembers us. How they would come, not like thunder more like rain. in an Ordinary everyday not particularly original blue sky, sun with a sunrise and a dusk which happens every day… except if it doesn’t.  There are a few other blue celebrations as though the sky has come to earth. The Navaho people tell how the sky gave the earth turquoise to remember him always when she could no longer live in his world….  And how he still holds her each day as he promised and she accepts this holding. She reflects him back to himself in her swirling skirts of ocean.  There are other colors of blue that touch the earth…. they strike me as firework tracers….. an anomaly of soul. As though blue bodies on earth couldn’t possibly be real.  But they are, and I wanted them near me.  I attempted to buy 80 acres ...

  • Gasworks Willow Before - picture by Char Sundust

    gasworks park willow / Before

    Across from the houseboats there is a hedge of trees all deciduous with gray and green. Holding and releasing the wild and subtle seasons We belong to them, the shimmering aspen,  maple, the sage and silver grey of the poplars on the hill… but the tree that we wait for is the Willow – the thin winter orange to fissure through the limbs like tendons budding into the water and how they leaf so bright in spring but subtle shielding and shelter all summer long, the catkins pressing their tiny faces into the world.  How the storm began and kept us until my 7 year old nephew said, “Should we be afraid?” His mother and I said no…. holding onto things that were opening, closing…. To stop them from free fall or upward flight. He and his sister of three huddled as close to the sofa…. as the wind would allow and watched the waves as the boat lurched and landed the bodies of trees began their frantic  gestures to the world, to one another….  I di...

  • "Gasworks Willow One" - picture by Char Sundust

    gasworks willow one

    crow, cedar, red squirrel watch this morning as I have the courage to approach the storm downed tree, to ask permission  As I sometimes press my luck taking one more photo than is a good idea, perhaps when that reticent feeling comes over me I could stop, but this morning there is no reticence to arrive at the great fallen willow and sit here with the trunk, the great green waterfall of branches, taproot to the sky a myriad of toxins behind and below her and worship on the paper made of her ancestral body and receive the blessings Of entire life times spent gathering sunlight.  Picture perfect, says the fisherman  My heart torn…. As a photo made on paper As they once were  and so he does take a photo of us together in the wilderness of the city… I find her on her side, resting – more alive than the rest of us, continuing to bloom, leaf, and flower. ...

  • CharInsight25-pic

    The myriad….

    The world is Beautiful and it is everything that makes up life – sadness, suffering, life and death, delights, kindness, creativity and destruction – I think many of us only want to be in the Beautiful. What I notice if I only notice the Beautiful is that there is no contrast – and no contrast leads to no appreciation.  It’s as though if we are only willing to engage with the Beautiful, we end up without the capacity to hold our own, and other peoples’, less than becoming features – we are not built only for joy, we are deeper and richer and more multifaceted than that – but we inoculate ourselves from the world with its experiences of everything it means to be Here, Now…. in a world where there is cruelty, kindness, substance, depth, shallowness, callousness, creativity, divinity, ugliness, terror and beauty…. how can we look, how can we be a part of everything in the world without being overwhelmed or underwhelmed with this myriad of life experi...

  • "Positionality & Gratitude." Image by Char Sundust

    Positionality & Gratitude

    It seems like they can’t co-exist, but they can. The curiosity to notice is to notice and to do one thing different….. We can be so grateful and loving to some people and under certain circumstances. And so ridged, controlling and posturing in others. What would happen if I applied my gratitude to those places where it’s most difficult, where I recognize I’ve taken a rigid stance? Most of us will notice, but will we do something different? Will we soften…?   It’s very difficult to be happy, content and fulfilled when we are wrapped up in a story we’ve made up in our own heads about how other people Should (should bring the road and words and actions to break through our good opinion of what we think everyone else should do. What would happen to my body if I let go, looked for my own work… And what I need to do to clean up my own life, self and attitudes, much improved though they may be.)  Acceptance of being. I love what Wayne ...

  • mounds

    Mountain or Mole Hill?

    How big is this deal?  It’s a monster according to the 6:00 news, really it’s – One car bumped another car on the freeway and it’s a bump – only a little bump, no damage but a little paint off the bumper. We are both safe. Our cars and children are safe and we can get home for a meal before 8 and then read a bedtime story all in perfect health and wellbeing. It’s interesting how we feel as though we’ve been insulted and violated by the most innocent of accidents as though it were our body and not our Subaru, Lexus or Nissan that got the little bruise on its left fender. Some of us would be grateful that the kids are good, both people and families are safe and we will all make it home before the night blanket comes…  How big or small do I make this?  Do I recognize this as an opportunity to lead to love, to engender civility, or even concern for another human being?  Things worked out all right. Sometimes they do that&#...

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    Discomfort

    Under no circumstances do we want to be uncomfortable We want to have it all – all the comforts of life happy people around us and a life where there are no conflicts or complications.  I have never seen a birth, a life – or even a death that is not, in some way to some one, uncomfortable.  There are so many precarious moments when we could have stayed in stayed closer let go of what my beloved friend, Ravenspeaker, calls our “long cherished opinions.”  I want to feel the true pulse of the world. Not neglected – if it doesn’t go my way Not charmed – if everything does Life is made up of successes and failures, disappointments and amazing transformations and it really is about how we respond. Do we respond as an adult who can continue the conversation or as a 4 year old who has a tantrum – by pouting, crying, punishing, yelling, silent treatment… All of this can be avoided if we will come in with a thought: Everyone here has a rig...