Archive for the ‘Aging & Dying’ Category

My dharma nephew Misha Mountain

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Misha Mountain Ross SchmittThis is Misha Mountain Ross Schmitt, my new dharma nephew. His mom is my dharma sister, Red Sara Ross. Misha entered into the world in a brave and unorthodox way— a bicycle buddha baby for sure.

Long before we were dharma sisters, Red Sara and I spun through each others’ orbits. Coinciding at Vancouver art happenings, celebrations and demonstrations, we were two red-headed shit disturbers, hell bent for saddle leather. For years, we circled the bike activist world of Vancouver like twin suns. But it wasn’t until I returned from Upaya in 2011, a newly-minted zennie, that we deeply connected. (more…)

Should i STAY or should i GO?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

sail awayShould i stay or should i go now, should i stay or should i go now…if i go there will be trouble … if i stay there will be double…so c’mon and let me know …  …  … should i STAY or should i GO?
– The Clash

STAY! like a well trained dog, I can hear the command. I stay, just long enough to suss out the situation. But then like a wild dog off i go—i run off the heel, fail to stay in step. Off i go again running after the next squirrel or car or thrown stick. I go, and there is always trouble—but always reward. There is the rush, the thrill of the chase, the wonder of new roads to run and strange new smells, sights and sounds. (more…)

My heart is with the starfish

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

galiano-island-purple-starfishThis is a hard post to write. The starfish are dying. Don’t panic: it is true.

The starfish are dying, right here on pristine Cortes Island. They shrivel and wither, their arms fall off, and then they are dead. They do not leave behind pretty exoskeletons to pick up on the beach and take home as vacation souvenirs. They collapse into bleached and rotting blobs, and then the surf comes and washes them away. There is no dignity in their death. (more…)

Hot hot hot!

Friday, March 21st, 2014

menopausal-hot-flashesMy themostat is completely on the fritz. I honestly have no idea any more if it is hot or cold, or just my hormones messing with me again.

I sleep with a bath towel and an extra blanket by my bed. I keep the window open so the dry desert night air cools the room. I wake in a clammy sweat, grab the towel and mop down. Then I quickly get chilled, and wrap up in the extra blanket and down comforter. When I’m warmed up I strip off the blanket and go back to sleep. (more…)

No muss no fuss

Monday, December 16th, 2013

zen hairdoBzzzzzzzzzzzz…gone! Years of old memories, a tangled mass of chemically tormented dead cellulose, a dry pile of old me, fallen to the bathroom floor and carried out with the trash.

  1. My head, my body, my spirit feel lighter. Passing a mirror i catch the sun glowing through my backlit ears. What hair is left is a patchwork of chile-pepper and salt. I look kind of like a boy, it is true—all that tortured femininity gone with one sweep of the clippers. But it’s ok. I feel light, and my eyes look very alive.
<<backstory of my hair here>>

Carmen goes dancing

Monday, October 28th, 2013

raveI went to my first rave in the mid-’90s and remembered that i can dance. That i had always danced, that dancing was in me, as it is in every toddler and each child in the womb. I realized that dancing had never left me, and never will. Even when i can no longer walk or talk or blink my eyes my heart will beat, and i will dance. But for now, while i still can, i leave my ego behind and I take my body to the dancefloor.

Last night towards midnight I felt the call. Put on my special orange wig and my bandit mask. Got on my bike and rode downtown, to a back-alley techno party. (more…)

Tall dark and handsome

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

peopleIf you are a (straight) man, would you mate with someone who is older, taller, or wealthier than you? If not, why not?

If you are a (straight) woman, would you mate with someone who is younger, shorter, or less wealthy than you? If not, why not?


Always leaving, always coming home

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGo away with no string on your straw sandals.
–Dogen Zenji

Today I left home and arrived home. I closed up the turtle schoolbus and ferried across the Salish Sea to the Appias, home to apt. 306. I came home to my storage locker full of clothes and photographs and love letters and junk. Home to latenight sushi and East Van pride. Home to sirens and concrete, traffic and the crime. Home to Vancouver, my calling, my peeps. Home to where the homeless find home on the street. This city is my home because I made it to be so. I invented this city to mirror my dreams. My home is with the crows flying east in the evening. My home is with the crows flying west toward dawn. (more…)

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