How Lucky Am I

World Water Day is March 22, every year. This is a good year to pray water, every day.

heart waterSometimes I think small round thoughts, like this one: How can I make a difference in the comfort of others?

June 12, 2009: A boy drinks water from a pond in Bule Duba village, near the edge of Oroma and Somali regions of Ethiopia(Irada Humbatova/Reuters)

June 12, 2009: A boy drinks water from a pond in Bule Duba village, near the edge of Oroma and Somali regions of Ethiopia(Irada Humbatova/Reuters)Sometimes I think small round thoughts, like this one: How can I make a difference in the comfort of others?

With that one thought, my little ripple of loving kindness is in tune with the world.

Sometimes I whisper small round prayers of love and gratitude to water, and water always hears.

When I pray water, it reminds me to be mindful how I use it. A distance lies between my intention and my action, but I am closing the gap –  shorter showers, an extra day in my clothes, fewer water extravagances.

How lucky am I, to have water at my fingertips. Be grateful and conserve, my heart tells me. Listen to your small round thoughts, it says.


Small round thoughts are precious drops of water to a thirsty heart.

A Note to Archaeologists in the Year 4015

Hey guys,

Dear Person Who Put Their Dog Pile in a Plastic Bag and Then Left The Bag By a Tree, thank you for reminding me  to check in with my karma.

On behalf of dog owners everywhere, I want to apologize for the feces-filled plastic bags  littering your digs.  I’m hoping you can put all those 2,000 year-old dog turds to good use.

If you are also a farmer, I’m betting that manure (or holy shit as some of us like to call it) has been reassigned its rightful place as a natural resource.

Thanks for all you’re doing to restore the planet we fucked up. Here’s wishing you continued success in your work!

ps – Dear Person Who Left Their Poo Bag By a Tree: your karma is making your dog nervous.

10 Ways to Know For Sure You’re Not a Shaman

This post is dedicated with deep love to the human beings who, like me, yearn to fly while learning to remain grounded. May humor tickle our hearts and grace rule our judgments. Simple work is never easy. The healing masterclass continues.  Much love and respect to all my shaman friends. You know who you are. PLB

10 Ways to Know For Sure You’re Not a Shaman

1. If you’ve ever used the word “shaman” to describe yourself, you’re probably not one.

I am not a shaman, I am God.

I am not a shaman, I am God

2. You haven’t suffered through a shamanic initiation of pain, hardship, or terror.

frog hand cropped

Frog poo hand, a traditional and terrifying Shamanic initiation

3. The terror you feel during shamanic initiation is caused by your lack of preparation for what it takes to become a shaman. No magic in that.

4. Hanging out in a sweat lodge with a group of middle-aged, overweight white people while unknowingly inhaling poison ivy smoke obligates you to tell your story and save others from living through the pain of that dumb mistake, but it doesn’t make you a shaman.

5. You have bought and paid for an arduous spiritual journey requiring intense physical stress and emotional peril, but you’re not at the peak of health and there’s a good chance you may die. You’re going anyway. Reread number 3.

6. You’re just after the powerful visions. Poser.

America the Beautiful

Wait wait wait simba wait simba yes simba go go wait simba no simba go simba

7. You prepare for your shamanic journey by memorizing the lyrics to John Prine’s famous shamanic journey preparation song, The Bottomless Lake.

trust_shaman_button(1)8. You dishonor your elders and all the animal spirits and the mothers and grandmothers and all the trees and birds and, you know, the worms and bees and all the little living things, by cheaping out on soulless toxic frankenfood. (Seriously, this is the only seriousness in this entire post. Except for the dedication. I am serious about that. And this.)

9. John Prine is a fucking shaman and, although you hate to admit it, you know you aren’t shamanically qualified to pour his beer or light his cigarette.

10. You’ve never heard of John Prine.


“You get the Timothy Leary you deserve.”

BONUS! 11. You hackle and crackle and burn this post down.

Walk on.

Red Rover, Red Rover

Regarding the snarky health insurance post from the other day: I think maybe six people read it, and I’m guessing at least half of them didn’t like it.

Maybe it was the creepy subject matter because, really, who publicly announces that her doctor recommends antidepressants? Not only for me, but for my entire family, even the dead ones. Knowing this about someone is like looking up their skirt and seeing dirty underpants.

And then there’s thepaw paw and mama suicide reference.  What to do with that? I don’t come from a family of suicide experts like the Hemingways.  But several people who perch in my family tree have thought about it. Some have tried and failed, and at least one has actually succeeded. Precarious, these family norms and dysfunctions. Aren’t they, though.

Retroactive antidepressants, what a concept. Beginning around the time I started to express myself creatively. “She’s a troublemaker,” the professionals would say, if they could go back to then. “Trouble. Troubled. Let’s knock off her edges with antidepressants if the exorcism doesn’t work.”

What if? Who would I be now? Would I watch a lot of television? Would I still be a writer? Would trees matter, or birds? How about horses? Would I still need to dance? Would I have kept the same job forever? Would I have learned to play the piano, or swallow fire?

Gibb's HeadHow does the soul weigh in ? Does anybody know? What if the answers have no questions?

The magnificent horse to your left is Master Gibb, Psychic Healer and Masseur. You may sense his largesse, although he is no longer present in physical form. He had all the answers, no questions asked.

Just so you know, the soul always weighs in on the side of the horse.

In response to the snarky creepy insurance post, my friend and play pal Prema Lynn Felder (who works toward personal enlightenment without blinding the rest of us) sent Rumi right over.

The Guest Houserumi robin good

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi
— translation by Coleman Barks from The Illuminated Rumi, 1997

Bonus Serendipitous Doo Wah:

felder head shot

Prema Lynn Felder doesn’t know that The Illuminated Rumi lives by my bed. But this dame sure knows how to lighten a load. Want to know more about her? She’s a smart and highly productive human; Google her.

In the meantime, walk on.

On Being Covered By Health Insurance (for a minute)

The PA said, “You should really consider antidepressants.” I said, “No thanks, but would it be all right if I take the thin plastic gown bag as a souvenir?”

“We want you to know what may happen with your insurance benefits for today’s visit. Many insurance health plans will pay 100% for wellness/prevention visits. These visits only cover ways gown adto improve or maintain healthy habits.

They often do not cover talking to your health care provider about other items such as current health problems. We know that many people want to talk to their health care provider about all of their health concerns at their wellness visit as this can save time. If your visit with your health care provider today includes talking about current or new health problems, your insurance company may not pay 100%. They may ask you to pay some of the cost. This may be a co-pay, a deductible, or a part of the charge.”

Here’s my question: If I stuff my head in the bag and off myself in the doctor’s parking lot, will the bag still be 100% recyclable?