AT LAST – word from the mountain

Forest View House - My home for these first 3 months at Mount Madonna Center. I took this at 7 am the first morning we were here.

Well, yes, it’s true that my best intentions to blog regularly flew out the window.  Who knew that I’d be having so much fun and my life would be so full up here – and that not having internet in the building where I’m living would be such  deterrent.  Yet, it seems that these things have been true.  And, then, two weeks ago, after my left thumb had been hurting quite a bit for a week or two, I woke up one morning and it wouldn’t bend.  Seems I’ve got tendonosis and it’s not healing well.  Or maybe it is and it just takes time, I’m not sure – but either way, it’s out of commission. The good people of MMC want me to get better – so I’m on imposed work furlough.  I live here as though on retreat.  It is ironic – yes, very ironic – that I come to explore the entire concept of work as service and WHAM, I can’t do any work at all.  Frustrating? YES!  Somehow exactly what I need?  Well, YES, I guess so. Since that is what is happening, that is what the universe is offering me right now.

Okay, so that’s an overview.  Because of the thumb injury, I should not be typing much either.  But I really want to get something up on the blog, so here is something.  A few things to summarize my life here, and how I am doing…

1.  The view is still amazing.  It’s foggy and cool today, and about to rain AGAIN.  Crazy.  So much for the drought in California.

2. I didn’t hear about the oil gushing into the gulf until days after it happened.

3.  I play cards frequently at night – I’m learning the strategy behind hearts and loving it.

4.  The other 8 people in my group have turned out to be just fabulous.  I really connect with them, and we have lots of fun together.  The large community that lives here is a microcosm of the world, so there are all kinds of personalities.  I have mostly enjoyed getting to know them.  There are a few challenging moments, of course, but overall I’d say it’s going well.

5.  I’ve been here 6 weeks already.

6.  I’m leaving on July 4 because Jake’s wonderful foster mom, Gail, cannot take care of him for another 3 months.  If anyone is interested in fostering him for the next three months, from July 4 – the beginning of October, let me know.  He’s an easy guy these days, just needs love and walks and is pretty mellow other than that.  I’m also hoping someone could take him for even longer, as my life is an interesting unfoldment at this time and I may go to India in October for a while.  (more about that in another post soon).

7.  Baba Hari Das (Babaji) is quite an amazing being.  He comes here to the Center on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  He’s an old man now, but he used to work 2 of the 3 days.  He taught the men here how to build stone walls and stone fountains, and worked alongside them.  Now he sits and receives people, asks and answers questions by writing on a magic board because he has observed a vow of silence since the early 1950’s.  His two adopted daughters (late teens)  who live here come and sit with him in the late afternoons as well.  They grew up in the asram/orphanage in Haridwar, India that he started and that the community here supports.  I am hoping to visit there.  I love sitting with Babaji. I’ve talked to him some. I asked him if the name Uma is a good name for me. He said it is.  I really already knew that, I suppose. At any rate, I’m going back to it again.  If you call me Katie, I’ll still answer. But it’s really nice to be Uma.  To tell the truth, I am not sure WHO I am anymore. I’m not sure I’ve ever known.  Maybe a longer blog about that eventually.

8.  My back has been very challenging, even before the thumb thing started. I learned before I came up here that I have some degenerating disks in my spine – in particular between S1-L5.  A common location for disk trouble.  Mine is quite degenerated – which explains the chronic back pain I’ve had for many years.  Perhaps it all started with a bad fall I took when I was 3 years old (Jeff and Trish – remember that? I think Jeff rescued me).  Then the many tumbles off of horses during my adolescence and teen years, and mucking stalls and hauling hay bales could not have helped either.  At any rate, it’s something I’m working on here, still going to see the chiropractor once a week.  I’ve been skeptical of chiropractic in some ways for a long time – but really, it turns out that it seems to be helping a lot.  I have a lot of respect for the Dr. – I think he’s a good one.

Okay. PHEW.  I’m so glad that I wrote some.  It feels good.  it’s a newsy kind of post – to get everyone somewhat caught up.  If you are interested in having Jake in your home for three months or possibly longer, please send me a shout out (see #6 above if you skipped to the end w/o reading everything).

love you all!


4 thoughts on “AT LAST – word from the mountain”

  1. Yay for enjoying the views, the folk, Babaji, just being where you are. Uma… i can go back to that;) Sorry about both your thumb and back, though. Physical pain is draining… to one’s spirit, too. Good thing you are in a nurturing spot! I can’t take on Jake, but will think about dog lovers that I may know. LOooooooooooooove to ya,

  2. While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

    1. This is incredible and yet not surprising. I guess you found my post by bookmarking any blog that mentions the oil spill. I’m watching with horror. We knew things like this were coming. They’ve been arriving. This is another in the long list. What is there for us to learn in this? What can we do and how can we relate? That is what interests me. I wonder what this will lead to. It seems that disaster must ensue before action is taken. Slowly, slowly, our choices are changing as we react to the results of previous choices. Thanks for posting on my blog.

  3. A vow of silence since the 1050s. Wow!

    My meditaion teacher brought his picture into our room a couple weeks ago. “Don’t worry. Be happy” were the words beneath the photo. I heard he inspired the song.

    Hurt my thumb. Using the computer mouse too much. Will be going on a five-day Buddhist silent retreat next week and should be able to rest it. Not taking my lap top with me and don’t plan to blog.

    I also have back problems.

    Will go to India soon if I’m lucky.

    Will go even if I’m unlucky!

    How’s that for a Zen thought?

    michael j

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