Not Broken

On the morning of election day last week my eight-year-old was lying on the sofa with a blanket over his head. “What’s integrity?” we heard him say, in a muffled sort of way. I took a deep breath and said, “Wow.”  Then breathed some more. “Integrity,” I said, “is when a person is making choices…

Have I mentioned Uncertainty Club?

“It is distressing, baffling, confusing, but the fact must be faced; there is no certainty in heaven above or on earth below.” – Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (1938)   Virginia Woolf was right. Of course. But it’s what we say in Zen, too. And at Pacific Zen Institute, we have started an online magazine of Zen and…

Untitled

I want to write a poem about silence just like almost every other poet ever probably and am of course twisted up immediately in words but here is why I want to write a poem about silence silencers all sorts of silencers metal ones and flesh ones and metal ones that cut flesh with their…

Disaster/Relief

  On Monday evening, which happened to be the evening of my 43rd birthday, my husband came home with the mail and dropped it on the desk as usual. And it was the usual pile of bills and holiday catalogs and appeals for end-of-year donations. And the Princeton Alumni Weekly. For years, when this magazine…

Hawk/Mountain/Cry

This post is an adaptation of a talk I gave at the Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center on May 11, 2015.   I. There’s an old, well-known haiku by the poet Basho that goes like this: Even in Kyoto— hearing the cuckoo cry, I long for Kyoto. In koan practice with the Pacific Zen Institute,…

Personal Archives II, or Poetry

I have a new love. It’s called poetry.  I have an old love. It’s called poetry, too. They are finally meeting one another, in the space of my mind. While cleaning out my computer several months ago, I found a rich text file that held just one poem, with no attribution or signature.  I honestly…