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raindrops are falling on my head (more thoughts on form and the formless)

A true Seattlelite, I love everything (well, almost) about rain. The sound, the smell, the sensation of moisture on your skin. The fog, the moss, the infinity of greens. (Wet feet, not so much.) Embrace it! It will soon change. It may rain less for a while, for instance, before a new cloud bursts. The sun may even poke through!

“People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly.

The joy of Being, which is truly the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event–through anything that happens. The joy cannot come to you–ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and this is one with who you are.”

–Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, p. 213-214.

The photos below relay my voyage yesterday, down the hill to the dock at Seacrest Park, then across Elliott Bay to the waterfront. From there I walked up through Pioneer Square and Chinatown to the Seattle Kung Fu Club for class. (It was amazing, as always. T’ai chi is sublime!) The last photo, of the Port of Seattle cranes and harbor, was taken later in the day on the return journey–see how much “sunnier” it got, between 10am and 1:30pm?!

Happy Sunday to all!

(p.s. It’s ok to be happy, even in the rain.)

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Road trip day five and beyond: in our new home at last

Hi everybody,

Sorry to leave you up in the air like that, on the road trip! The fifth day began in Moses Lake–a vast and wind-swept desert setting. It was fun to see the sign for George, WA–I had not thought of that town since my days at WSU–and like every other tourist I could not resist:

 

 

As we spiraled down into the Columbia Gorge, signs finally started listing Seattle–what a thrill to the traveling trio, five days away from South Bend!

Seattle is on the sign.jpg

Snoqualmie Pass is beautifully mysterious, with its sudden waterfalls and misty views:

 

I drove for the last leg, with tears of joy as I realized that our dream had come true: we are home at last!  Honey Girl likes it here too.

 

That enormous moving truck made its way down our tiny street (a dead end) the very next morning. It was truly an engineering miracle to see him get that rig into the street, and to back it up all the way out. Hats off to Daniel, the North American Van Lines driver, who navigated the whole move like a true pro and is a nice guy too.

Here comes that huge moving van July 3 2018.jpg

I made a bee-line to the Seattle Kung Fu Club as soon as I could and I’m grateful to now be among the T’ai chi students of Grandmaster John S.S. Leong and his staff. (So far, I’ve been relegated to doing long arduous stretches for the duration of the 1 1/2 hour classes, but I look forward to learning the Wu Form in due course). It is wonderful to look into the eyes of people at the Seattle Kung Fu Club–they all look so vital, healthy, and alert.

Seattle Kung Fu Club

To go there, I walk down a dizzying street from our house on the top of a hill to Seacrest Park at sea level and take the water taxi 15 minutes to Pier 52 in downtown Seattle. Then I walk through Pioneer Square and beyond the eclectic mix of upscale art galleries and fancy restaurants alongside homeless missions and the people who gather nearby, to a tiny building in old Chinatown. It is a minuscule second-floor studio with an enigmatic grandmaster who inspires reverence among all of us sweaty people–just perfect. What a feast of sensations!  the dazzling water and lively boat traffic to see, the smell of diesel, the sound of the waves and the rumbling engine, then the strangely relaxing and familial smell of sweat and body warmth… it is just what all the “mindfulness” books suggest leads to wellbeing.  Check out the pics of the commute below. That long grey ship seems to be sending us a message to persevere in the inner arts and to stay strong with exercise… The pagoda-like entrance to King Street and the dragon mural at Hing Hay park delight the eyes and bring a smile to the spirit, every time:

 

 

I’m in heaven. With both brothers (and fabulous sisters-in-law) nearby, nieces, nephews, and one out of two sons close to home, family is finally near at hand. Yet there is much I do not know. Who knows what lies on the other side of that doorway in our backyard?

Threshold in back yard.jpg

Maybe it beckons to inner space: leading into the Space of Now. As philosopher Eckhart Tolle famously wrote, “you may be surprised that by becoming aware of the space of Now, you suddenly feel more alive inside. You are feeling the aliveness of the inner body–the aliveness that is an intrinsic part of the joy of Being.” (A New Earth, 252).

Thanks for joining me on this journey. There really was a rainbow waiting on the other side!

Rainbow on July 6 2018 with Nick's visit.jpg