Saturday, August 29, 2009


O.K., so it's been a year since I was out in the Dunes and then came home and started this blog. Literally, one year, since I climbed my way back into Provincetown after my week alone in a dune shack, with no electricity or running water, and sat dumbfounded and mute on the porch of Far Lands Cafe with my husband, for hours, staring at people doing simple everyday things, trying to readjust to it all.

And yes, it's true, I have been somewhat feckless and, let's admit it, not even somewhat, completely, is more like it, unfaithful, about keeping up with this blog. However, it hasn't been because I'm uninterested in communication or the act of writing, truly, it's... well, you know what it is. I own a business, I'm a chiropractor and yoga teacher, I run a wellness center, I have a family, including an aging and sometimes ailing mother near-by, I'm trying to write a book, I have a writing group and write articles for a local magazine, I have a million commitments, like you do, and every other single thing tends to come before something that sometimes seems as self-involved and self-indulgent as writing a blog.

But then, I went and saw Julie and Julia the other night. And, probably, like millions of other blog reader/writers, I was inspired. And who wouldn't be? Readers, fans, a book, a movie, not to mention all that glorious food and the charming personalities of each of the women. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.

So, what about this year, and what about Dune Shack Dharma? Alot. First of all there was the Dune Shack Dharma article in CHA magazine and then the next two more articles with CHA: Silence is Golden, the interview with Anne LeClaire on her book Meditations on Silence and the Yoga of Writing that I had the audacity to write. (They're all accessible on my website - I'm still trying to figure out how to build them into the blog).

But most importantly, because of the time I spent alone in the dunes last year, I really have been more able to practice being at choice, in the present moment, the theme that came so clearly through during my time there, throughout this year. I've seen it coming naturally at times, this ability to call up the memory of sitting in the dunes in the early morning, wrapped in my shawl, feeling for the precise moment when some action comes up from within on its own accord, and not taking one until it does. It's such a different way of being than living in response mode - response to whatever, or whomever, has a need or a provocation. And it has afforded me, at those times when I'm able to practice it, time. Time for the moment of clear choice, time for the ability to not take something personally, time for going deeper, to what I really feel, or want to say or do, time to remember it's up to me, always.

If, as human beings, we are inherently creative, which like all of life, I believe we are, then we have, at every moment the option and responsibility for freedom of choice in thought, word, feeling and action, even when it would appear to be otherwise. That's the essence of what I understood and experienced in the dunes and what lots of people, religions and philosophies have said before me. Today, I am finally reading Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, a book I have been meaning to read for years now. So many people I know and love have found the NVC work useful, and I myself have experienced the benefits of some of the work. I just never read the book. And I'm inspired, again today, as I recognize the alignment and synchronicity of what I call the Dune Shack Dharma concepts as they apply to communication.

The possibilities of remaining inherently creative, moment to moment, in our communication with ourselves and one another as we enter into the dance of giving and receiving on a personal, social and global scale are as limitless as they are important. The byline on my blog is, "Making art out of everyday life and getting healthy in the process". What is more creative or health giving than creating solutions that enhance life? If the creation of art begins with picking up some stones, or shells, or debris on a beach and composing them into some agreeable image or structure, or useful tool, or taking a rock and making some marks on another rock to communicate an image or message, as it has for all time, then what is more artful, or healthy, than composing thoughts, words, feelings and actions into life sustaining compassion for ourselves, each other and our planet?

Freedom of choice, creativity begins with the self. I'm the only one who can choose to give whatever meaning I give to my life, no one else can do it for me, and it must begin in this moment, always. Compassion begins with the Self, and extends from there to An-Other. Giving / Receiving, Hearing / Expressing, Filling / Emptying / Systole/ Diastole / Lub / Dub. Heart Beat.

So that's my practice for today. And since I am not alone, I get to practice this with my husband Richard today, still here, after all these years, through all the up's, down's, insanities and blessings. One of our many blessings today has been a short stay, in Truro in our friend Ellen's wonderful studio, a place she's lived in and used to make amazing, art, puppets of the most unusual kind, and boxes and images, for years. Quirky Circus, that's the name of some of what she does. Isn't that great? Isn't that life itself - this Quirky Circus? So I've been celebrating the anniversary of this year of Dune Shack Dharma, tromping around in the wild, this time not alone, in stormy, wet, hurricane at sea weather, loving it, grateful, grateful, grateful. As a small sticky note stuck on an old wooden beam in Ellen's place says, " 'And this too is God' all day long."

I hope you love your day,