September 16, 2004


mandolin, Canon 300D

As I walked to yoga yesterday at the magic hour, I came upon an old man sitting in his truck grinning at me in the kindest way. When I got closer to him, he said, "Your water bottle {pointing to my hot pink plastic bottle} was catching the light and glowing under your arm. You were like a walking jewel."

He made me think of the gift of seeing, the eyes of the artist, and why that is so precious. I also felt a kinship with him knowing that if he was walking my way, I might have said the same thing.

Some web delights:
The Best of Still Photojournalism
Customized photo stamps
Take a little trip around the world with Escape Lab
Cloud stamps available in October {I will be buying so many of these!}

Posted on September 16, 2004 08:44 AM

I've been waiting for the cloud stamps since April. I am so excited.

Posted by: whitney at September 23, 2004 07:20 AM


great links... thank you. the photojournalism link was breathtaking and i am so in love with the cloud stamps. i can't wait to purchase them.


Posted by: jenn at September 20, 2004 09:29 AM

Your story reminded me of a blind artist I know. She does linoleum cuts from patterns she feels with her hands on live objects. Lines, curves, hills and corners... One day it was raining outside and I complained but she said: "You know, to me there is rain that is just like sunshine. Every drop of water reflects a ray unseen by you and turns it to a wave of light for me."

Posted by: C. at September 18, 2004 01:54 AM

hey..hang on...isn't that my mandolin?? What were you guys doing in the cottage??

Posted by: Martine at September 17, 2004 05:47 PM

thank you so much for the link to the Escape Lab - I can now travel around the world whenever I please :) have a great weekend superhero...

Posted by: becky at September 17, 2004 12:30 PM

ohhhh! Yummy stamps just in time for one of my favorite stationery seasons-halloweenie and Christmas.

Posted by: Monica Lee at September 17, 2004 04:52 AM

I'm a stampoholic... I go to the phiately (?) specailist post office in Edinburgh and am known to spend 30 on stamps at once...

Posted by: m at September 17, 2004 03:32 AM

This is lovely, so lovely. You met a buddha.

So lovely too, that this happened on the way to yoga. Yoga in sanskrit means to "link". Latin "iugare" ("yoo-ga-re"), "to put a yoke onto, to link up to." In Jesuit school, "Jug" was the nickname for detention. :-) English "yoke", as in with oxen (in zen poetry, btw, an ox is the symbol of the wandering self).

So in one sense in yoga you restrain your wandering self -- on any and all of several different levels, the body and breath being the ones we are most familiar with here.

But in a deeper sense, yoga is also to "link back to." Link back to what? Well... the thing that is the same as the glow. The glow of the bottle under your arm. The smile on his face. The moment you were standing there. You, looking at your screen right now. Your fingers on the mouse.

This thing is everywhere. With a little practice, you can see it without your eyes, hear it without your ears. Feel it as a constant, even amidst the extremes of both pain and pleasure.

You know, when you are in the middle of a pose in yoga class, there is this moment (or longer) when you are settled perfectly in your pose, and right before you start thinking "oh, it's almost time to get up." In that moment, everything is blank and calm, right? There it is, it is right there.

This is why buddhas are almost always shown sitting, in meditation. Have you ever wondered, "hey whoa, wait a minute -- if these guys are enlightened already, why do they still have to meditate?" Well, the answer is that they are just utterly delighting in it. It is just that much fun! At times, to the extreme that some just retire to a cave and no longer need to eat!

It is the thing behind your mask, looking out at itself, reflected in everything it sees. Through your "persona", it plays hide-and-seek with itself -- in the ultimately engrossing, disbelief-suspending drama ever played.

And zen training, at its essence, is full of no-nonsense tricks and delightful ploys to shake you up, to get you to see just this. Here's one for you --

Ok, so show me -- without words or gestures -- everything you can hear right now.

Try this sometime.

Take care! :-)


Posted by: artie at September 17, 2004 03:24 AM

What a great photo! I took a photo of a friend's green mandolin last weekend, and got all artsy with it. What a neat coincidence.

Posted by: Laura at September 16, 2004 10:30 PM

Aren't we all walking jewels? Sometimes it takes a waterbottle to realize that. I think we should all start carrying pink ones :D hehe...

Posted by: olgica at September 16, 2004 04:41 PM

p.s. i'm so excited about the cloud stamps!!!! :) :)

Posted by: jennie at September 16, 2004 03:36 PM

right now i am listening to frou frou's song, "let go" and it reminded me of you and your site. so i thought i'd stop by and drop you a note! :)

i am so grateful for stumbling across superhero designs a couple weeks ago! your words and images have encouraged me so much...they are beautiful. thank you for being brave and creating. thank you for choosing to tell your story to us. and thank you for being YOU. it is a beautiful thing.

have a wonderful and blessed day!

Posted by: jennie at September 16, 2004 03:35 PM

What? Photo stamps? That's CRAZY! How cool! Thanks for sharing, as always, you find the neatest stuff on the web.

Posted by: Jen in Cleveland at September 16, 2004 02:36 PM

ohh the possibilities with photo stamps!!! i'm so happy now...your the best *muah*!

Posted by: lucia at September 16, 2004 01:09 PM

The photo stamps and cloud stamps are so cool! I usually buy the ones that support breast cancer research, but I may have to start changing things up from time to time.

Posted by: kat at September 16, 2004 12:05 PM

I'm a stamp geek. I love the cloud stamps! Right now I'm on the Lewis & Clark stamp train. I figure someone, somewhere opening my crapload of bills has got to enjoy a miniature work of art. Maybe that's pushing it...oh well. :-)

Posted by: carrster at September 16, 2004 10:04 AM

ha - that's so funny, andrea. i've been waiting all year for the cloud stamps and will also be stocking up! nice to know there are others who get excited about the small stuff.

and who will need the post office after discovering photo stamps?

Posted by: Jolene at September 16, 2004 09:33 AM