When (in November 2001) I read through a year’s collection of the monthly Bulletin Board columns posted on my Home Page, they seemed to offer a window into a whole other layer of living stories. In writing for the Monthly Musing columns, I’m usually drawing on experiences from my past emotional history. The stories I tell are those (or similar to those) which were the birthing ground for the messages in the Rememberings and Celebrations card I'm writing about that month. In writing for the Bulletin Board columns, my reflections are much more about what’s actually going on in and around me during the month that I'm writing. They're stories of life unfolding just now, my current emotional history. As current emotional history, they give a taste of how my journey continues to unfold in day to day life, month by month through the cycles of the year. (And, in late 2001, they also reflect my ways of being with the life-changing events of 9/11/01.) I thought you might enjoy having access to them in an archive. You can return to this annotated Table of Contents using the link you'll find on the bottom of each Bulletin Board page.
December 2000 - Includes a letter sent to friends and family reflecting on turning 60.
January 2001 - Closing the last year’s chapter and preparing space in which the new year can unfold.
February 2001 - Getting ready for a trip and dealing with the challenges to honoring my own needs.
April 2001 - Spring comes to Ojai and I am reclaiming the still/empty spaces after a long season of busyness.
May 2001 - Resting deeply and feeling the richness and value of rest.
July 2001 - Full Summer arrives, my car is broken into and I am struggling with the push pull between luscious hibernation and the visit of a friend whom I dearly love.
August 2001 - The joys and sometime struggles of living in a very small, still safe little town. September 2001 - Letting in and being with the awfulness of the terrorist attacks of 9/11
October 2001 - Being with my own "off-the-continuum" sense about the whole 9/11 tragedy.
November 2001 - Fall arrives, I'm recovering from a knee injury and preparing for my yearly ten-day birthday retreat into silence. Some prayers and tales reflecting about 9/11.
December 2001 - California winter arrives and my retreat time is a "master class" in the ongoing lesson of surrendering-into-the-moment.
January 2002 - Year-end/year-beginning order-making, letting go of ideas of how things "should be" so that I can follow where the energy leads me.
February 2002 - Spring is erupting in Ojai as I complete my January ritual of going through everything I own, letting go of outer (and inner) "stuff" that no longer serves me
March 2002 - Orange blossom intoxication begins and I, yet again, deepen my practice of going more slowly, surrendering into where/how the energy moves me as I work in my container garden.
April 2002 - The orange trees are at the peak of their aromatic blossoming as I hang out with my increasing reluctance to surrender my cherished "alone time" in order to be or to have a house guest.
May 2002 - Spring keeps blossoming as the world goes crazier, life gets more intense and challenging for almost everyone I know and I explore finding balance between deepening connectings-with-others and my ever strong need for time-just-with-self.
June 2002 - I move in and out of melancholy, grief and "not-knowing" as, after 11 1/2 years alone in this orchard, I face the intense and challenging prospect of full-time tenants moving into the big house.
July 2002 - The new family moves in: gently and quietly without disturbing the magical energy of this sacred place. I am filled with gratitude for all the miracles large and small!
August 2002 - Before and after my twice yearly travels to see my family, I go through my so familiar and so bumpy transitions feeling irritable, cranky, overwhelmed and exhausted.
September 2002 - Magical visits from a Great Horned Owl and a young bobcat bring blessings as I continue exploring and reveling in the extravagant stretching of time that comes with "unplugging" for some few days each month.
October 2002 - The work of clearing rocks and boulders for a new garden patch reminds me yet again of the miracle of patience and baby steps in addressing what seems interminable or insurmountable.
November 2002 - Tech problems updating the web site throw me into the painful "white water" turbulence of helpless, powerless, thwarted, betrayed, abandoned, rageful and despairing feelings from my wounded past.
December 2002 - With an enormous hunger for rest and stillness–always a signal that something big, if as yet unknowable, is shifting deep within me —I surrender guiltlessly into a month of profound and absolute hibernation.
January 2003 - The yearly rituals of going through all of my things, letting go of what no longer serves me; reflecting on the enormous challenges this year has brought in the world and in so many of our lives.
February 2003 - Pruning back the garden for "winter," finally completing preparation of the new garden patch (started in September), I yet again re-commit to not-pushing myself, to not doing anything before I'm fully ready.
March 2003 - Spring exuberantly emerges while I feel still very folded inward, germinating; recovering from the intensity of and reflecting on the amazingly inspiring experience of being with my family's vibrant, age-positive elders.
April 2003 - In the extravagantly fragrant season of oranges blossoming, we are plunged into war and my aging parents' lives are plunged into chaos as my dad breaks his hip; the lessons are all about living with helplessness.
May 2003 - In a time of no pulls or beckonings in any direction, I sink lusciously into the "in-between" still time, enjoying my Dad's remarkable recovery and entering into a brief fast that my body-being seems hungry for.
June 2003 - After a 10-day trip back East, I discover that something has shifted in my capacity to be with beloved people in emotionally intense settings–I am not experiencing any of the exhaustion that would be usual.
July 2003 - The Summer fruit orchard gives forth its incredible bounty while the meltdowns of my formerly trusty computer create an extraordinary and overwhelming sequence of meltdowns in me.
August 2003 - A morning of great despondency after a siege of much rage/frustration releasing leads me to reflecting on the ritual-like process I/we go through as I/we approach thresholds of change in our lives.
September 2003 - I get to celebrate a special miracle when my very cherished ring–lost during a long and challenging cross-country flight–is actually found and turned in by an as yet unidentified airline cleaning person.
October 2003 - Delighting in Autumn's arrival even as I suffer a month of intense back troubles: releasing old, deep fear–constriction that has been locked in my physical being forever–becoming more spacious in my body.
November 2003 - Luxuriating in my newly pain-free body, I continue the practice that is so central to my life and well-being: coming to each moment without agendas, expectations, plans–with an attitude of "not-wanting."
December 2003 -Reveling in days of silence or retreat during more than half of the month, I wander around exploring how the balancing between being in solitude and being with others keeps changing shape for me.
January into February 2004 - Immersed in the annual paperwork, yardwork and going-through-all-my-stuff rituals that mark my transition into the New Year, I am filled with such gratitude for all the simple blessedness in my life.
February into March 2004 - In the midst of Spring arriving, I take two long weekend trips to family back East–watching how I do travel and out-in-the-world these days: always the surrendering process holds me safe.
April 2004 - A very hard fall in the middle of orange blossom time terrifies me and opens the door to releasing ancient rage and grief still locked in my body despite all the years of emotional releasing and healing.
May 2004 - The cracking open/releasing from the bodywork continues– mirrored by my sorting undigested bits out of my compost pile–leaving me feeling irritated with/disconnected from close friends, needing to withdraw.
June 2004 - As summer fruit ripens, I discover a lump in my breast and, while waiting for tests/test results, I explore the possibilities, the choices I would make if it were indeed a malignancy; it turns out to be an inflamation.
July 2004 - This month the challenges are frequent but only of the small, niggling sort that, instead of stirring the usual agitated tantrums of frustration,seem to bring moments of surprising magic with them.
August 2004 - The catastrophic illness/incapacitation/financial situation of a former partner draws me back (after 7 years away) into ongoing, intense, incredibly difficult contact that challenges me to avoid re-enmeshment.
September into October 2004 - A visiting old friend provides just the support I desperately need to survive being lost in the overwhelming vortex of my former partner's nasty, tumultuous, angry, bitter journey to her death.
November 2004 - Fall arrives in all its glory as I slowly go about replenishing my emotionally exhausted self and beginning the sad and exciting process, of looking for a new home after 14 years in my magical cottage in Eden.
December 2004 - Winter in Ojai–a paradoxical intimate braiding of dying away and being reborn–perfectly mirrors my process of living fully present in my cottage, as-if-forever, while also continuing my search for a new home.
January into February 2005 - Tsunami, torrential rain, mudslides, upheaval in the world, Ojai and me as the excruciating new home search goes on and I help bear witness/offer comfort to my ex-husband as he journeys to death.
March into April 2005 - My ex-husband completes his gentle journey into death, my long, arduous search for a new home ends with an extraordinarily wonderful new space and I belatedly waken to the abundant signs of Spring.
May 2005 - Endlessly amazed at the enormous miracle of my new, magical home, my settling in process brings repeating lessons about slowing down, about surrendering into the organic rhythm and flow of anything I'm doing.
June 2005 - Settling more deeply into my new space/life, I'm moved to spend 2 1/2 delightful weeks gathering much of the web site into a hard-copy manuscript that I send off to the agent who'd solicited me 8 years ago.
July 2005 - At long last, time for deep resting/recovering from all the intensities/changes of the past year including a most misadventure (at my parents' in Florida) that decapitated one of my baby toes; healing well.
August 2005 - An eight day road trip to Santa Fe with my friend (for continuing education seminars) marks and reveals really big changes in my capacity to happily be in such close ongoing contact with anyone other than myself.
September 2005 - News of a compression fracture in one of my vertebrae and bone density numbers indicating seriously worsening osteoporosis create enormous emotional upheaval as I work to sort through my options.
October 2005 - Baby stepping my way into my new "healthy bone regimen" while resting deeply from all the intense and exhausting inner work of incorporating last month's news about my bones.
November 2005 - Feeling agelessly juicy and vibrant, I turn 65 while spending part of my 10-day birthday retreat copy-editing my Monthly Journals manuscript and revisiting the five past years of my life that it chronicles.
December 2005 - Intense, delicious days of digging in the dirt, planting trees, shrubs and veggies as I celebrate news that Debra (the book agent) has a perfect title and exciting angle for marketing the first manuscript.
January 2006 - Resting and calmly moving through all the year-end/year-beginning chores/rituals while also beginning to explore the physical context and the emotional metaphor of some ongoing constriction in my mid-back.
February 2006 - As I wend my way to finally doing the rewrite of the introduction for my re-named manuscript, the body-work on my back releases torrents of rage and grief that flow without any content.
March 2006 - Feeling plagued by and despondent about the unremitting constriction in my back, yet I'm excited by the process of incorporating lots of amazing, hilarious editorial feedback on the introduction.
April 2006 - Giving up the struggles to resolve the pinch-pain in my back, I discover that they-rather than the pain-have been generating the hopeless despondency I'd been feeling; the dark cloud lifts and the pain abates.
May 2006 - With my aging parents, I'm again challenged to give up the struggle to affect situations in which I can have no impact on the outcome and a delightful meeting with my agent moves the book proposal along.
June 2006 - At the end of a two-month siege of travels away from home, I find myself in and out of feeling uncomfortable, weighed down and agitated; gradually the various sources of this malaise reveal themselves to me.
August 2006 - Settled back into my peaceful, voluptuous and timeless hermitage, a day of winnowing through my clothes closet reminds me of a once painful and complex relationship with a pair of too-tight pants.
September 2006 - My little one experiences intense waves of grief and loss as the friend with whom we've been doing the deepest healing work finds herself unexpectedly engaged romantically with a new person in her life.
October into November 2006 - I struggle with my friend's furious response to last month's column before setting off to spend 16 intense days with my sister taking care of our ailing father while our step mom is away.
December 2006 - My annual 10-day birthday retreat turns out to be a wild and difficult ride as my inner mommy and I cope with vitriolic assaults from my heretofore mostly transformed inner critic.
January 2007 - The coming of the Solstice marks a delightful returning of light, joy and abundance on many levels in my own life; the challenges of the fall seem to have cleared the way for this bounty of newness.
February 2007 - Working in the garden replenishes me after a sad and somewhat frustrating visit with my aging and more and more challenged parents.
March 2007 - Spring is erupting yet I'm feeling out of sorts; taking all the space I need to feel my crabbiness even as the cant of The Secret, the latest infuriating recycling of positive-only thinking, would advise against doing so.
April into May 2007 - Coping with my eldering parents' difficult relationship as my stepsister and I help them through the stressful move from their home of 34 years in Florida to a senior living facility in Maryland.
July 2007 - Two months of intense joy and excitement intertwine with profound sadness and grief as I move forward with my book while my 16 and a half year old kitty companion begins journeying toward her death.
August 2007 - In this sorrow filled month of helping my dear Ms. Pretty leave this life, I adopt two tiny fur people to help me through the anguish of missing my precious long-time companion.
September into October 2007 - Crabbily, until I'm in the middle of wherever I'm going, I've traveled every other week this month: co-facilitating a women's workshop, being god-grandmother for a week and then trying to replenish.
October into November 2007 - I settle joyously into simply being at home, digging in the dirt, pruning, planting, playing with kitties and at last, having no travel plans looming for a good long while.
December 2007 - My birthday retreat is a mix of creativity and challenge as I assimilate test results revealing that my body's response to stressors I hadn't consciously recognized is what lies behind my lowered energy levels.
January into February 2008 - After a longer than usual trip to visit my east coast family , it's a joy to be back in the quiet of the winter rains moving through the myriad of chores/rituals that mark the closing of one year and the opening to the next.
March 2008 - In my garden, the town and the mountains, Spring is burgeoning while I develop a case of shingles that, though irritating and trying, blessedly doesn't involve the usually expected excruciating pain.
April 2008 - New life continues unfurling everywhere around me as I continue recovering from my shingles episode and joyfully discover that the property on which I live will not after all be sold.
June 2008 - After my sister and I spend several sweet, gentle days with our dad to give our stepmom time away for some R& R; a single morning alone with her and my dad when she returns propels me into intense anguish.
July 2008 - A month of rest, rejuvenation and once again affirming my long standing preference for the juiciness of relating one to one rather than the exhausting/depleting experience of sharing less deeply in small groups.
August 2008 - I continue delightedly surrendering into the voluptuousness of lots of empty time for resting and drifting while at the same time grappling with some disconcerting changes in my aging appearance.
September 2008 - While continuing to revel in resting, I move into and through the process of giving up my trademark big-hair Jewfro, embracing a new image of myself in short, straight hair: a big deal transitioning.
October 2008 - Digging, planting and replanting veggies, shrubs and flowers to replenish myself between trips to help my godson's family then my folks; affirming anew that it's only myself that I can nurture any more than part-time.
November 2008 - After a well-planned trip east to share dad-care with my sister while my stepmom has a break, I spiral into all my year-ending/year-to-come rituals and chores while readying to begin my annual birthday retreat.
December 2008 - She Who Shelters the Sorrows of Women, a large fiber mask that began emerging 8 years ago births herself through me during this year's annual bithday retreat as a gift from the Grandmothers.
January 2009 - The Mommy Inside comes right to the rescue when the voice of my mostly transformed inner critic (the Hatchet Lady) launches a brief but sarcastic commentary on my New Year's letter and December Bulletin Board.
February 2009 - While my kitty's misadventure gets me out of a trip I wanted to avoid, planning a make-up trip plunges me into upsetting nuttiness and miscommunication–just as I move into what was to have been a quiet week.
March 2009 - As spring is jubilantly erupting, my body is self-correcting life-long scoliosis curvatures and I am surprisingly (briefly) drawn into revisiting old grief and anger; both journeys leave me feeling exhausted.
April into May 2009 - Spring's ebullience continues as I travel to do a peaceful weekend of solo dad-care and then an intensely peopled long weekend of continuing ed which leaves me yearning for solitude.
June 2009 - My dad's mental and physical deterioration now requiring a professional care facility, my sister facing serious physical and psychological challenges of her own and my returning to work on my book manuscript make June an emotional roller coaster ride.
July 2009 - I head to my dad's a week early to try to help him deal with the emotional upheaval of being transferred into a rehab/skilled nursing unit rather than to his home; we spend most of the next ten days hanging out together as he adjusts.
August 2009 - My dad is at last released from his travails after three very challenging nights; I am blessed to be there with and comforting him through those nights and the next evening as he took his last breaths.
September 2009 - The let down from months of being at-the-ready to travel to help with my dad combined with scorching heat leaves me still exhausted and vulnerable to some surprise sniping from my inner critic.
October 2009 - Still getting used to no longer having to make the frequent and challenging pilgrimages to the east coast, resting deeply and spending lot of energy reassuring the little worrier inside of me.
November 2009 - It's a month of quirky dancing with Spirit as I begin a new cycle of the free talks that I last offered 9 and 10 years ago and then receive the words and image for my Solstice/NewYear's card.
December 2009 - Spending the holiday-times mostly hibernating, avoiding the seaonal intensity in the outside world delightedly immersed in the beauty and quiet of life in my magical meadow.
January 2010 - Delighting in the new growth emerging in the garden, the juicy women joining me for the series of talk/sharings I've started doing again, and getting ready to return to the book manuscript.
February into March 2010 - While reveling in the arrival of spring, the continuing free talk/sharings and my return to re-editing the manuscript, I seriously injure my ribs and feel tormented by pain and spasms that exhaust me.
April 2010 - Enchanted by the lavishness of spring and the juiciness of the continuning monthly women's gatherings, with no interest in the manuscript this month, I've been drifting and then being available to help hold safe space for a friend's journeying.
June 2010 - The lushness of everything blooming and my delight in the women's gatherings continue as I spend the month still drifting but also traveling for two three-day sojourns in the alternate realities of various beloved extended family.
July 2010 - Everything is ripening and blossoming as I slip into grieving for my dad's suffering before his death last year at this time, move very slowly with the manuscript re-editing and continue reveling in the magic of the women's circle..
August 2010 - Two weeks before the year anniversary of my dad's death, I receive the shocking news that my sister is dead; for 10 intense days I go east to arrange her funeral and search through her incredibly squalid and choatic home for the documents needed for probate.
September 2010 - After weeks of recovering from the exhaustion of the last NYC trip, in the midst of planning a return trip to oversee the emptying of my sister's apartment, I open to the anguish about how she lived and how damaged she really was.
October 2010 - After two more trips to NYC, one to finish emptying my sister's apartment and attend a celebration of her life, the second to co-teach a workshop and also do a marriage ceremony for a friend, I'm exhausted yet slowly reclaiming my usual life.
December 2010 - My annual birthday retreat is, this year, an 11-day magical journey that starts with extreme exhaustion, moves me through a ranting/raving meltdown and finally blossoms into juicy creativity.
January into February 2011 - While deliciously immersed in my annual ritual of going through/paring down everything I own and winter-pruning the garden, there are some odd moments with my car, an old friend and a parakeet come to visit my feeders.
February into March 2011 - Everywhere the signs of Spring are bursting forth as I transition through tax preparation into an oddly social between-stages time before launching back into finishing the editing of my manuscript; I'm feeling overwhelmingly blessed.
April 2011 - Exuberantly flourishing new growth all around me as recent experiences deepen my appreciation for how profoundly all these years of re-mothering my self have transformed me.
May 2011 - While everything is richly in full leaf and flower, a good friend's choice to liberate himself from a life become too painful to endure rocks our community and I am deliciously immersed in re-editing the manuscript for my book-to-be.
June into July 2011 - Enjoying lushness in the garden and meadow, nearing the end of the manuscript revision, a fall breaks my dominant arm's elbow in a way that needs surgical repair and launches me into a new chapter in learning to ask for and receive help, sigh!
July intro August 2011 - Going only as fast as the slowest part of me felt safe to go, my elbow heals way ahead of schedule and I'm back to managing my life on my own as I complete the re-edit of my book manuscript and send it on to reader/editor friends for review.
September into October 2011 - After several weeks drifting in the between-place of having finished my part on the book, re-doing slipcovers for everything in the cottage takes me through myriad experiences of thwarting and frustration.
November 2011 - Fall is here, I'm back from the first stress-free trip I've taken to the East Coast in probably 30 years enjoying both the solutions to last month's challenges and a new way of (sometimes) dealing with frustrating situations.
December 2011 - This year's especially spectacular fall leaves are blown away by windstorms while most of my once empowering birthday retreat rituals fall away, no longer feeling meaningful or authentic; I comfort the parts of me that feel saddened by this change.
February 2012 - Spring is already beginning in Ojai as I complete my year ending/year beginning rituals and chores in a newly leisurely pace and deal with some serious upset my Little One is suffering.
March 2012 - Everywhere new life is unfurling as I deal with finding doctors I can relate with around some minor medical issues; visiting with my young friend and her brandnew twins brings solace along the way.
April 2012 - Spring is in full bloom as, during an amazing day at a spa-like surgicenter, I have a benign growth in my salivary gland removed with only minimal post-op discomfort and then move into a gentle between-time season.
May 2012 - Exuberant lush green life overflows everywhere in Ojai as, after an almost nine month hiatus, I'm drawn joyfully back into the work of getting my book manuscript ready to pass onto the woman who'll be putting it into Amazon's CreateSpace templates for publishing.
June 2012 - Delighting in June's blossoming magnificence, I finish the manscript, send it off to the woman who'll soon be formatting it for publication and dive into an expanded version of my pre-Summer Solstice cleansing of cottage and garden.
August 2012 - Debilitating heat, humidity, allergy-eyes and maybe a bit of post-partum let-down have me feeling cranky, exhausted and a bit at a loss about what to do with my self; then I have a magical experience around losing and finding a favorite ring.
September 2012 - A tumble during a midnight ramble causes a non-surgical hairline fracture of my right trocanter and begins an eight week healing journey that requires delegating most of the business of doing my life to a dear friend I hire to be my "nanny."
October into November 2012 - After a month of doing almost nothing as my hairline-fractured trocanter healed, I’m immersed in replanting a heat-decimated garden, mixing new soil in new pots, laying fresh landscaping bark and at the same time editing the just-formatted chapters of my book to in preparation for ordering my first bound-book proof from Amazon CreateSpace.
December 2012 - The hoped for time for drifting and resting during my November time-outs never happened; instead there were endless book and proof reading related tasks along with emotional roller-coastering between grief and joy as this phase of birthing my magical and beautiful book nears completion.
January into February 2013 - Though the book is ready to publish in the last days of January, I postpone pressing the print button till February 1st; daily I have to remind my self to surrender into letting the Grandmothers (rather than my overwhelmed conscious mind) lead me through all that's swirling in this intense, exciting and exhausting moment of my and the book's journey.