Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The fourth of July

Dear friends,


Second chemo a great sucess. So I am right on track. And this treatment should make me feel better, hooray, as well as make me start getting better!

Since the hospital stay ended longer than expected, I am skipping the Philadelphia hospitality and will go directly to my home on discharge in a few days.

My computer seems to respond to blogging but I cannot so far send email out, so that will have to wait. They have technology a plenty here but no nurds in evidence.

The care continues to be great, and I have a angled view of the river which might work for fireworks tonight. We will see.

Today I intend to go to the 15th floor where there is a patio because the laps around my floor, even on my MBT's, could use a little more view...

A great 4th to you all. The only time I seem to tear up is when I contemplate the love that surrounds me.



Kim said...

Tear it up Mary. It is good for you.

Margie Rosenblum said...

Hi Mary,

Happy 4th of July. What a joy to see your message this morning. I join my voice with the many from your yoga family to express my love, admiration, and appreciation for you. You are in my heart and bones and thoughts and words.

Love, Margie

Jackie said...

*hands Mary a sparkler*
Happy Fourth of July!

Jeff H said...

It's so wonderful to hear your voice, with its indefatigable light and warmth, speak so clearly through your writing. How can you not become well with the universe on your side? No sage advice or profound thoughts here; only sending you love and heartfelt encouragement from Chicago. Now, off to my yoga practice.

Jeff H

Robin Janis said...

Well Mary

may the fire works of chemo make all those cancer cell burst and disappear, just as the ones over the river tonight will.

and through the smoke that is invariably left after the grand display, let your blood and hearts pure pulse,
carry away any residue
so that the cells of light and love
that resonate through us all,
can bring you back home

bursting stars; bursting cells; brimming hearts.


Pujari & Abhilasha said...

The Moody Blues sing...

"All the love you've been giving has all been meant for you"

Now's the time Mary let it all in, fireworks of love & light!

Breathing in I receive love
Breathing out I am love.

We're with you everyday.

Love you

Lisa said...

Hi Mary,
It sounds like you're not having the usual dread July hospital experience of the changing house staff.
Sloan really is a cut above-- edible food, internet access & a rooftoop patio.
The weather isn't looking too great for fireworks viewing, but I expect you're having your own internal fireworks with tumors being tumbled & blasted into oblivion.
Please stay red, white & blue.
Lisa M

scenyc said...

Hello Mary,

You remain in our thoughts, our hearts, and our prayers.

With love and appreciation
Sylvia Eckardt

Maureen said...

Hi Mary, That's when I tear up, too...reading these tremendous, consistant outpourings of love that are being sent to you daily from everywhere. We are all continuing to learn from you and hold you so dear to us...
It was so wonderful hearing from you today..have a blast on the 4th!! Love,Maureen

rosemarie schiavone said...

Dear Mary,
I have tried three times unsuccessfully to send my message to you. It is probably on someone else's blog.
Well, here goes again.
In my reading of Science of Mind I came across a quote from Howard Thurman in 'The Inward Journey',
"It is the manifestation of a quality of being and living that results not only from understanding of oine's situation but also from wisdom in dealing with it."
Wisdom learned is wisdom shared--your wisdom (as always) is for us all.

very much love, Rosemarie

Kate Marshall-Chase said...

Mary...I noticed you posted your message at 11:11. When my kids and I see 11:11 on the clock we remind one another that an angel just got her wings. May you soar on the wings of the angels!

Love, Kate

devon said...

Hi, Mary,
And happy 4th to you.

A little story: once drove to New Mexico just before Thanksgiving time one year, heading northwest across the Texas Panhandle at night time. The first winter weather had just started blowing hard, straight south from Canada across my stretch of road. The wind was up, the trucks and cars were all having to turn their wheels into the wind to stay straight on the road, and the gusts were rocking things around a bit. I had to turn the heat on for the first time that season. To add to the reasons not to let my tired mind wander, there were giant tumbleweeds now blowing across the road. One in particular, a great grandmother around five or six feet in diameter, rolled at some speed straight down the highway, bounced over the top of the sedan in front of me, bounced twice again and smacked straight against my little truck's grill. Whack! This large mass of aged (meaning grizzled and tough) tumbleweed was now stuck fast into my grill and radiator and was almost completely blocking my view of the highway. So I pulled over and took the next lot of time freezing in the arctic blast as I pulled its thorny fingers out of my radiator and grill and dragged it onto the side of the highway.

So then i got back in the truck (final score: truck: a few scratches; tumbleweed: robust as ever; Devon: only a little blood) and proceeded along. In order to keep myself alert I borrowed from the methods of the yogis and Buddhists, and began to visualize a field of meditating yogis surrounding me as I drove down the highway, both as protectors and companions. at first I had a little trouble generating even one yogi companion, but at one point, maybe around 10pm or so (that's past my bedtime, way late), I finally got my concentration going and a really well-defined and substantial yogi appeared, sitting in padmasana right on the engine hood, facing forward, gazing down the highway, absolutely upright and immobile, brown robes flapping in the wind (I was after all driving around 70 and that north wind was blowing hard).

After getting that one yogi on the hood of the truck, the rest of the sangha seemed to follow easily, and I spent the rest of the evening till I got to my destination and slept, driving happily and alertly in the company of what I knew to be my guardians, the lineage of yogis, helping me stay awake and safe and out of harm's way on my journey.

And ever since then, when I am doing a difficult thing and wonder about my focus or strength, I create in my mind a circle of yogis sitting around me, supporting me with their tangible presence, their knowledge and compassion, and their focused minds. It's an old method, and it works.

And the point of this story is that you, dear Mary, have this all day long, every day. Without even having to use your imagination you can find us. Ha!

So I'm the little yogi way off sitting in the window sill, whose knees are uneven and who slouches a bit...

love, devon

Robin Janis said...

Mary, thought you enjoy this:

Dear Robin,

Caught your blog this morning just after an email arrived from my twin
sister Ellen, who is home in Vienna for the summer, saying she'd shipped a
copy of New and Selected Poems to Mary - while we were still sleeping on
this side of the Atlantic!

MORNING POEM has been fading on my wall (and inspiring me) for many, many
years. Her poems helped me make a movie, fall in love, get back to myself
when the getting was rough... All of it. Someone actually moved a grand
piano to get at a copy of a first volume for me, her poetry seemed so

All to say I was so happy to read her this morning, thanks, and I know Mary
will be, too.


And my reply:

Hi Judy,

of course I know you. I have loved Mary Oliver for years, and even read one of her poems at my wedding as my vows, with her words also on the wedding invite.This blog is great for all of us to connect, to reach out, to be more of a community. Mary continues to bring us into more forms of union, even from this most ethereal cyberdom.

I have picked out more peoms for Mary, and will send them to her over the days: Worm Moon from Twelve Moons, and my favorite, In Blackwater Woods from American Primitive.

Thanks for writing and for reaching out. More to come.



Mary Bakalian said...

Dear Mary,
Yesterday the post office returned a letter I had written saying "no one at that address." I'm electronically challenged (a dummy) so it took me a while to figure out how to send you a comment on your blog site. I've typed it below.
June 22, 2007
Dear, dear Mary,
I knew from the up-beat lesson that James taught this morning that some of my prayers for you have been answered.

Yesterday, a friend of mine whose name is Hope took me to a beautiful, tiny monastery. (She met you the day you spoke to me about your mbt's.) Hope knew how distressed I was over learning of your cancer and took me to this santury that has helped her through trying times. She had bought special candles for you and for James.
Although I am not a Catholic, I truly felt comforted in this gem of a building high on top of a hill. The grounds are beautfully lanscaped and the view is gorgeous. The weather was clear and you could see the New York skyline. I was one with Nature and with God. Today I learned that God has put his hands on you and will make you well.
I'm sure you've got some tough times to get through but if love and prayers can help, rest assured that you can count on tons of both.
Most sincerely,
Mary Bakalian

Paul said...

Hi Mary,
This is Paul Pisacane from the institute here in San Francisco. I just wanted to say on behalf of all us here at the institute (that you helped form) that we love you dearly and are sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your direction!

Keep up the good work and we'll be thinking of you.

Many Blessings,


Yvonne said...

Dear Mary
Jules is getting to know what a blog is and asked me to wish you well with your chemotherapy and of course should you need anything please let us know. It is good to know your treatment is seriously underway. The IC did meet yesterday, even though both you and James were elsewhere. And we have questions for you already!
Wishing you the very best recovery

Claudia Caro Sullivan said...

Dearest Mary,

Thinking of you and sending you many good wishes and a big abrazo (hug!) from Miami.

Tamar Kelly said...

So.....home it is! I continue to send you love and warm thoughts, but if you need any practical help at home, a team of helpers? - you can count me in!

linda S said...

Hi Mary,

Happy July 4th. I anxiously await every day's blog and think about you as I go about my business including my almost daily??? yoga practice. Have to admit though I am not so happy with yoga these days or living a healthy life because it does not seem to do an ounce of good!!! A discussion for another time, perhaps at the next Mary and Dean workshop.

More importantly right now I want you to know that you are and always have been such an inspiration for me, talk about learning to reframe situations, feelings, thoughts, etc. You get gold stars all the way. I tell the world that my yoga teach MD is everything I want to be when I grow up. Beautiful, wonderous of this beautiful (but strange) world of ours, curious, insightfuly and above all giving and generous in her teaching and concern for others.

Please take care of yourself and get better soon, thinking and praying for you, love, Linda Schlapfer

PS I am strong of hand and sometimes of mind and would be happy to join a team of helpers to fulfill whatever needs you may have, shopping, cooking, writing, cleaning, you name it I am so willing.

Jay said...

Ok, someone has to mention it once in the course of this blog's life and I'm glad it's me:
"Who can turn the world on with her smile?"
Here's to "Light on Mary."
I got a million of 'em!
and don't forget, the one that always gets them, "Have a namaste...please hold!"
Jay A

barbsteif said...

Dear Mary,
All of us who know and love you in Portland, Oregon are sending you everything you've always given us: strength, energy, good humor, fierce intelligence, generosity of spirit. We're with you!

Beth said...


I have only taken your class a couple of times but was overwhelmed by your spirit, warmth and thoughts about life and yoga.It has left a resounding impact on how I think and practice yoga now.I send you lots of good wishes. I look forward to your return. My thoughts are with you for a quick recovery.

Warm wishes,
Beth Galton

linda S said...

From one sage Kahlil Gibran to another


And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

Robin Janis said...

Hi Mary,

I have a wonderful story to relay to you which I will later today. I am packing up Jax for camp and must run now, but I was thinking that you should come home to a clean and well stocked apartment. I can certainly assist you with this, and Lucy, my house helper, can go over today or tomorrow morning early to clean for you. It is important these little details; a nod to your immune system which is valiantly holding up under siege.
my cell is 646-351-9196.

sending you a big hug,


Silvana Stein said...

Good Morning Mary,

Just back from Rapolano and read your post.
Gabriella, Mukesh, myself and all the italian students who know you chanted to your health.
You are in my prayer and thoughts.

Love Silvana Stein

Adina :) said...

Mary,here's to your strength and strong vibration towards recovery.

Your news sounds very good.

Keeping the loving light shining.

You will be well.


carol f said...

Dear Mary, I am always availabe after five pm. If you need anything foodwise, videowise, footmassagewise - I am your girl!! love, Carol

Tracy said...

...and if you need a geek, I am your gal!

Thinking of you always and sending you good vibrations from a sixties holdover!


Dale Simmerman said...

Now that it's the fifth, go forth!!

Karen said...

Dear Mary,

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe Me."

Look what happens
with a love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.


You are a beautiful light that shines out to all, radiant, generous, full of love.

Your light is such a blessing to all who know you. Now is your time to rest, recover, recuperate, and receive the light that we are so happy to shine onto you.

Karen Allgire

Janna Peterson said...

Dearest Mary: You've been in my thoughts and at the heart of my prayers. Well, this morning in the wee hours, you made it into my dreams.

The dream: After yoga class there was a mix up with clothing in the women's dressing room. Someone had taken my blue jeans, leaving theirs behind for me (pun intended). I put them on, and was delighted because they fit just perfectly. So off I went. Mary, they were your blue jeans! You've told us that Mr. Iyengar says you're tall... but 5'10 and 1/4"??!

Message of the dream: Every student of yours wears the mantle of your teaching, and for each it is a perfect fit.

Thank you, dear teacher.

Blessings, love, and peace,

PS The Threads of the dream (multiple puns also intended): You once told us a story about your own blue jean mix-up after a yoga class, so this dream has factual basis!

torimilner said...

Hi Mary,

Lots of big guns went off last night. I was thinking of you as I saw the jeweled tones lighting up the night. I am glad to hear the second round of chemo went well. Like the fireworks, we are raining our light down on your spirit. Much love to you Mary.


Betsy said...

Bob and I are hanging on every word from you...great news that you're going home! I'm hoping to see you in person soon. We love you so-o-o-o-o BIG! Betsy

rita Lewis-Manos said...

Dear Mary
Manouso and I think about you every day .Know that you are in our hearts. We send you are best wishes.
Love Rita and Manouso

lou hoyt said...

Dear Mary
I am India, thinking of you often throughout each day. Many of us here who know and love you have fun telling Mary stories that are so dear and precious to us all. We laugh and cry from all you have shared. You are close in my thoughts and prayers. Love Lou Hoyt