Life Spans

A few years back a beautiful and charismatic woman who was my next-door neighbor told me, repeatedly, that she was not going to die. I suggested that perhaps she’d experienced the part of her being that’s eternal, but she said, no, this was not it; her body was not going to die. I might die myself, if I chose to, but she […]

Because of Spam

This week I’m discontinuing the “comment” function on Re-Entry. As wonderful as your comments have been, I am tired of weeding out the spam to find them. Spam outnumbers legitimate comments about five to one and outweighs them, word for word, by twenty-five times. Most are from China—or about China—and go on and on about a book fair in Shanghai or property […]

Looking at Light

I work part-time at the Whidbey Island library that’s in a double-wide, a cozy space where we have interesting conversations. One day  we convinced a library patron to bring in her art portfolio from her  car. This artist, Angie Dixon, showed us glorious pictures—horses, a friendly orangutan, and one I’ll never forget: a window with rays of light coming through it. Nothing […]

Smoking

When you pull together memories into a cohesive piece, like a book, some of your favorites won’t fit. One of these for me is about how, after the death of my first spiritual teacher—whom I refer to in the book as the swami—I went back home to Honolulu, got a job with a small local publisher, and took up smoking again. When […]

As Life Unravels

Prayer flags, made by a friend, have been fluttering their good will and compassion in my backyard for a month now. I love the idea that these silk flags, vibrant but fragile, are doing their best for the universe in the short time they’ll be here. They’re a daily reminder that my life, too, is impermanent. Earlier today at a happy hour […]

A Visitor

It was a Sunday morning. I’d slept in, meditated, and gone into the kitchen to make chai—when I had the feeling I was being watched. At the sliding screen door stood a large grey tomcat. I walked over and he sat, looking up at me. I sat. I opened the door a crack, put my hand out, and he arched his head […]

Coming Together

You can’t always figure out why two particular people bond. Often they don’t know themselves. Last weekend I went to the wedding of two truly beautiful young people, who married at the bride’s parents’ home in a garden the bride, a professional landscaper, had designed and her mother and father—working hard—put in with their own hands: six-foot stands of sunflowers and double […]

The Naked Lady Parties

    They’re usually called Clothing Swaps, but a friend referred to them as the Naked Lady Parties—and once I’d heard that name, I couldn’t think of them by any other. Of course, nobody actually goes around in the buff, but these get-togethers do involve a number of women, most in their skivvies, and all of them trying on their friends’ cast-off […]

The Blackberries Are Coming On!

It’s time to celebrate blackberries! It was blackberry season when I arrived on Whidbey Island. A friend showed me a culvert cache in her neighborhood where I picked a plump berry half the size of my thumb and popped it into my mouth: juicy and sweet and warm from the sun. Within a few minutes we filled a recycled plastic container with […]

Dollars and Sense

So many people send me opportunities to make and save money. I have to remind myself: what’s great in life has no price tag, but nothing—no thing—is ever free. Like the message I received from the credit union that holds the loan on my car. They’ll give me $150 if I refinance my loan. It sounds good. I’m sure they’d lower my […]