In 1977, my then husband and I bought this house in Ashland, Oregon. Our next door neighbor, a colorful, crochety old guy, called it a railroad flat because it was built when the railroad came through, but actually it was the parsonage of the church next door. It is now honored with a historical building plaque, but when we moved in, it lacked that kind of special notice.
I recently listened to an interview someone did with a friend about those times. In it, he described my ex-husband and I as "new age proslytizers." I had to laugh. He has a funny sense of humor. We certainly were passionate about natural, spiritual and holistic healing--of that there is no doubt. We created a healing center and brought a variety of healers to teach and work, as well as doing healing work and workshops ourselves. Our center was called Gathering Together. Many of the classes and healings happened in the house.
When we first bought the house, with the generous help of a family member, we heard about a woman named Anne. She had a new baby and no place to live. It seemed natural to invite her to live with us. I loved having them in the house. It was nourishing for all of us to spend that time together.
I hadn't seen that baby for many years-- until yesterday. He came over to my friend Franny's house, where I am staying for a couple of months.
He was hired by the landlady to install new linoleum in the bathrooms.
Now he's a tall, handsome 37-year old blond guy with a 4-year old daughter and a son on the way. He told me that his mother, who died a few years ago, always told him how much she enjoyed that time with us. I guess I have done a few kind deeds in my life and that is one of them.
Some wonderful art projects celebrate aging, and this is one of them, a stunning collection of photographs focusing on older womens' visibility. Visible: 60 Women at 60--check it out!
It's very smoky here again because of a BIG wildfire in Sunny Valley, which has burned over 110,000 acres. They say it will be like this for a few days because of the way the wind is blowing. I took a ride out to Emigrant Lake the other day. The only water left in it is a long puddle right in the middle. All the lakes here are the same. It's scary. And having said that, should I go into a big rant about the state of the planet? I certainly could. But I will spare you that. Most everyone alive today can see what kind of severe difficulties we face.
I'm looking forward to the upcoming People's Climate March in New York City on September 21st, and its associated events across the country. I know several elders that are traveling to the east coast to participate. May this and other forms of activism propel the kind of changes we need to protect all beings on this earth.
In spite of everything, the natural world continues to be astonishingly beautiful. This photo by Grants Pass photographer Jasman Lion Mander shows an aurora he captured the other day at Crater Lake. It may be the first time we've had an aurora in Oregon.
Word is that the sale of my flower cottage will conclude in a few days. The buyers have already moved in, thanks to an agreement we created. They needed to move in. They were without a home. They had already moved out of their previous home, thinking that the sale was about to close. But repairs delayed the closing. I'm glad they are in my old house now. That makes me feel happy.
Sometimes people say to me, "Now you are free." While being free is a relative and changeable thing, I certainly am free of home ownership, or will soon be, and I am free of family responsibilities. It's true that I do think about my musical revue, A New Wrinkle, as yet unproduced. And my book Songs of the Inner Life, which I have neglected to market as it deserves. I am not free of wanting to complete and propel those efforts forward to connect with others.
But I am taking a break from that and other creative projects to explore who I am now and what my life is about. And that is something learned through experience. As part of the process, I am re-educating myself about how to float about without a home of my own, as I did in my late 20s, when I journeyed in the Pennsylvania countryside and then traveled west to California and Oregon. We called it dropping out in those days.
Now it feels more like dropping in. Dropping in, settling in, getting more comfortable with the inner home and the way that it manifests in the world. No doubt I will have more to say on the subject soon.