Gravestones, Milestones and a Compass

This morning I received word that my little sister, Judy Zack, passed away at the Casey House Hospice, ending a three-week deterioration in her health. She leaves behind Sam, her husband of more than 45 years, and her two sons, Jonathan and Benjamin. I spent some time with her last week at the hospice to bid her farewell. She was two years younger than me.

Judy’s passing makes me the last surviving member of my childhood family. My brother, Richard, died in 2009. My parents both passed away in 2011. None of my uncles and aunts are left. I have cousins scattered around New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado. But I have not had much contact with them because I lived abroad for so long and then resettled in the Washington metro area, even less since my parents died. Teresa lost her mother in Peru in 2015.

That is a sobering thought, even more than I expected. The emotions have been washing over me all day, and they dive deep inside my core to my heart. It’s a kind of shock wave that leaves me stunned.

For the past three years, I’ve not been writing here, and certainly little about yoga, mindfulness, and all that stuff. I have not gone to a yoga class during that time, but I still practice at home. I meditate everyday. I came to the conclusion that I did not want to journal about my practice. At the same time, I was being pulled by the challenges of new career directions.


2018-07-21Since January, I’ve undergone some major soul-searching about what’s important in my life. In February, Matt and his wife, Helena, had a baby, Greta, in Dublin. That’s just a couple of months after pulling up stakes in San Francisco and resettling in Ireland. In April, Teresa and I went to see them. Talk about putting your finger on the pulse of life!

Those two weeks in Ireland had a life-altering impact on me. We had a great vantage point to explore the city and the island. Just spending time with Greta, Matt and Helena provided Teresa and me with a much broader horizon. Watching my son continue to deepen and enrich his artistic expression drives home the value of following your heart. The love and care showered on Greta is heart-warming. We continue to follow Greta’s growth and charm practically everyday through chats, photos and videos. Every morning, I pick up my phone for a shot of joy because there’s usually a photo of her or Matt’s paintings. It’s only been two months since then and time seems to fly.

New Frontiers

Greta inspired me to listen to a calling that I had not heard in nearly 40 years. I started writing poetry and revisiting my translations of Peruvian poets. I’ve found a channel through which I can yield to the stream of life and explore where it will take me. It’s one of those changes in direction that alters the small and big components of routines, plans and dreams. It provides a new compass for navigating life and the transitions that happen to all of us, especially since I am over 60 years old.

I don’t know how all of this will affect this blog as I move forward. I’ve been blogging for nearly 20 years. Certainly, I am still talking about prana, the life energy that moves us all.