Whom Are We Serving?

Thanksgiving morning, I went to volunteer in Tenderloin with San Francisco City Impact.  My tango friend Emily posted on Facebook that she would go there and I felt compelled to join.

The event was a huge “block party” serving the people who live in the area.  Many of the 900 volunteers prepared and served meals and delivered groceries to resident’s homes.  There was a clothing tent, a prayer area, a beauty tent, and a medical tent. I regretted lacking useful life skills when they called for qualified volunteers to switch to medical or beauty. Continue reading “Whom Are We Serving?”


There may be a day some time in the future when I no longer care about you.   The familiar feeling of your embrace would be like a memory of a good book I’ve read, or a movie I’ve seen.  Like a memory of my hand in David’s in the Azalea Garden, in June of 2007.  So what if I remember the month and year, I am good with calendars, that’s all.  It might have been May, too.  When do the azaleas bloom?  It was a Tuesday.

About you, I’ll remember there were Mondays. Continue reading “Mondays”

Shining the Light

“So often when we sit to meditate or find ourselves on the yoga mat, we get bombarded with the samskaras of the mind and the aches and pains of the body, and we can wind up feeling worse than when we started.  It’s not that things are really worse – it’s that the practice of yoga and seated meditation shine the light of awareness squarely on the blocks in the mind, and this can be quite uncomfortable”

– Darren Main, Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic

The “born again yogi” may sound all enthusiastic.  This (somewhat lengthy) passage from the assigned reading points to the other side: the practice includes the difficult choice to turn around and look directly at what is gripping us in life.  Difficult, because it’s immediately unpleasant, difficult because of the years of building the prison walls and growing into the shackles.  On the other hand, there  is only the trust in practice to hold on to, the trust that looking at the walls and the shackles would eventually loosen their grip, allow the slivers of freedom into the cracks.

About Grandpa Sasha

My mama visited for a couple of weeks in October.  As we drove back from the road trip South, in the Valley, the boring part, I asked, randomly, if grandpa Sasha, her father, went to college.  Grandpa died while mama was pregnant with me, so I didn’t get to meet him.  Heard this and that about him, but not much since I’ve grown up.

Here is what she told me. Continue reading “About Grandpa Sasha”