through the looking glass

One Sunday I said to Sarah that as I was walking back from the Spruce Street suspension bridge a hummingbird was perched on the top power line wire, chittering away, and that I had the distinct feeling it was there for my benefit – to bring joy into my day. Sarah replied, asking, how do…

By BuddyCushman 02/28/2024 0


I had the most marvelous revelation earlier this morning. Which I won’t bore you with. Instead, I’ll quote from The Talking Heads — “Why stay in college.? Why go to night school? Gonna be different this time.”

By BuddyCushman 02/27/2024 1


When I was a child, salt water splashed through my veins. I strolled and skipped through small patches of forests – we called them woods. This time of year we skated on frozen-over cranberry bogs, safety cracks in the ice some of an after-school soundtrack. I took the time, back then, to feed robins and…

By BuddyCushman 02/26/2024 0

used books, used looks

I’ve had a fun thought this morning. Rather than reading a book I just received from Ebay, I will only read the brief reviews on the back cover and inside page. That will give me everything. For example, I paid four or six dollars – the most I’ll spend – for a used copy of…

By BuddyCushman 02/23/2024 0


Falling back asleep, the recliner, before, and now here, writing a Wednesday post. I want to be like Alice, falling, falling, without a care for how tall I am. And marveling at the Red Queen’s six impossible things. Painting messes was a thought I had earlier. While sleepwalking. Cue Santo and Johnny.

By BuddyCushman 02/21/2024 0

a family affair

Lots of Sly and The Family Stone song lyrics showing up in my spacious mind this morning – “Different strokes for different folks.”; “Everybody is a star.”; “Boop-boop-boop-boop-boop when I want to.” I am enjoying them.

By BuddyCushman 02/20/2024 2

a something here

Yesterday I listened to someone say, “Perform all actions as worship.” I wrote it down. Knowing me, there’s nothing connected to any religion in any of those words. It’s more the idea….the aura of each thing sacred. A bit like the author Michael Connelly’s character Harry Bosch, who’s primary stance, for his job as police…

By BuddyCushman 02/19/2024 0

chunky peanut butter too

In another part of San Diego, in another decade, I would hear roosters calling out early in the morning. “Welcome, welcome Friday”, it was like they were saying. In the world, and of the world. Their songs and the rising sun not two separate things. Imagine that. And then there was me, somewhere in Spring…

By BuddyCushman 02/16/2024 0

things have changed

Bob Dylan has a song, “Everything is Broken.” I wrote a Blog post about him and his song something like six years ago. A different Blog. Another life. I mention it here because some things in my life have been breaking lately. This Blog and its hosting site. My closet hanging pole and shelves. Meetings…

By BuddyCushman 02/15/2024 0


The website hosting my Blog has been in Halloween mode this last week, tricking rather than treating. However, drinking coffee this morning, the very clear image of a cone of pistachio ice cream – all green and yummy – came clearly into my mind. So, I’d say things are looking up.

By BuddyCushman 02/14/2024 0

talk talk (from last Thursday)

In an online group last night, talking about each shining moment of a day, someone said, “Language feels beside the point.” Either for Christmas ’22 or my birthday ’23, Ann gave me a present of a journal, titled, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words.” Here in the Blog words are a necessity. Out…

By BuddyCushman 02/13/2024 0

talk talk (from Thursday)

In an online group last night, talking about each shining moment of a day, someone said, “Language feels beside the point.” Either for Christmas ’22 or my birthday ’23, Ann gave me a present of a journal, titled, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words.” Here in the Blog words are a necessity. Out…

By BuddyCushman 02/12/2024 0

friday’s house-keeping

Apparently, yesterday’s post here in the Blog did not travel out into the world, out to the subscribers, out into Thursday. The machinery of this site shows it did, in every show-able place. And yet – emptiness can be quite clear. So, I will copy and paste yesterday’s post below, an amended title, fully aware…

By BuddyCushman 02/09/2024 0

talk talk (from Thursday)

In an online group last night, talking about each shining moment of a day, someone said, “Language feels beside the point.” Either for Christmas ’22 or my birthday ’23, Ann gave me a present of a journal, titled, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words.” Here in the Blog words are a necessity. Out…

By BuddyCushman 02/08/2024 1


This Wednesday before dawn, filled with chilly downpours and in-between drifting clouds revealing stars, dark San Diego, there’s something like a hush. Finger-to-the-lips shhhss. Jingle jangle morning. Um,1979 littered with weekly Al-Anon meetings in Beverly, MA – “You’ve got to take the bitter with the better.” Sign in a Vero Beach, FL clubhouse – “We…

By BuddyCushman 02/07/2024 0

what ever happened to

My sister Sandy texted me a while ago, 5:18, offering a “Stay safe”, and a link to ominous weather news here in the golden state. I dozed in the lop-sided recliner, afterwards, for a bit, response to wide awake much of the night, the falling rain out in the streets for company. The music group…

By BuddyCushman 02/06/2024 0


Mostly I just want to drink coffee. Mostly I just want to buy books, used and cheaper the better. For the most part I’m open to every person now, though, mostly I’d prefer a rendevous in a quiet room, drinking coffee, reading cheap, used books, Ann the only other person in sight. Mostly she prefers…

By BuddyCushman 02/05/2024 0

obscured by clouds

Much earlier, Ann asked, “What happens to butterflies in the rain?” Anticipating a storm soon to arrive. Following a conversation about skunks and Bobbie the feral cat fairing in the rain. The Beatles sang, “If the rain comes they run and hide their heads.” That’s probably true for Bobbie and the skunks, but how about…

By BuddyCushman 02/01/2024 0

‘scuse me

I crossed the Spruce Street Suspension bridge early this morning, like 6:25, and lingered twice along the way, the moon sharing lighting responsibility with the still-rising sun, the sounds of five hundred birds welcoming another Tuesday. The canyon below the bridge, say 90 feet down, is as wide as a football field in some places,…

By BuddyCushman 01/30/2024 1

taking dictation

Sunday morning I woke early with the inclination to set out on a brand new journey – one I’ve considered 10,000 times. Less food. Less talk. More art – art as a vast neighborhood. I packed some of Saturday in the pre-dawn, ready-to-journey napsack – mostly, forever lead with kindness, wherever, when hither and thither.…

By BuddyCushman 01/29/2024 0


And when I first woke today, the instruction to ‘practice silence’ arrived again – like a last Monday theme for this Friday. After a while, though, The Association and ‘Cherish’ strolled into my heart-mind, and it became vast with all the human applications possible in my life right here now – to be cherishing. So…

By BuddyCushman 01/26/2024 0

back home

I was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts January 19, 1949. My parents were Irene Mercedes (Costa) Cushman and Winston H. Cushman. I was no years old at the time. Life has messed me up and enriched me since. Irene and Win don’t live here anymore. Then again – I heard there was a secret chord.

By BuddyCushman 01/25/2024 0

taking a cha-cha-cha-chance

My friend Cory gave me a Starbucks gift card on my birthday. My friend Kate mailed me a gift card from Blick, the art store, for my birthday. Ann took me out to a pizza dinner the night of my birthday, and bought a huge, heavy, delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for a…

By BuddyCushman 01/24/2024 2


Advice to me from this Monday morning – Practice, Practice, Practice. Practice. Practice art. Practice zazen. Practice honoring this body. Practice “It’s not them.” Practice silence. Practice “This is the way to the end of suffering.” Practice “The joy is in the journey.” Practice “Each being’s eternal radiance appears before us.” Practice practicing. Practice not…

By BuddyCushman 01/22/2024 2

lots and lots of spins

It feels wildly appropriate (a “How could it be otherwise?”) that while writing my Morning Pages on this birthday day The Beach Boys would come running into my head — “After six hours of school I’ve had enough of a day. I hit the radio dial, I turn it up all the way.” This is…

By BuddyCushman 01/19/2024 4

route 28 rolls on

I believe my two favorite high schools in Massachusetts are my hometown’s Wareham High School, from which I graduated in the Summer of Love, and North Reading High School, up there north of Boston, where I was priviledged and fortunate through a cool job to meet and hang out with a number of quite interesting…

By BuddyCushman 01/18/2024 0


Sunday afternoon Sarah brought a three-line verse into the Koan group, on-line from cold, cold Colorado Springs. One of the lines said this – “I have a way to bless this poverty.” That line has stuck and stayed and journeyed with me since. Bringing me to feel the same way I feel when I get…

By BuddyCushman 01/17/2024 2

extra time

I stopped and lingered on the suspension bridge two blocks away, the Saturday mid-afternoon sun cutting through a San Diego cold spell – hot knives and butter – you know. Two little libraries along the walk had offered up a book each, and I carried them back to a room awash, piled with books, thinking,…

By BuddyCushman 01/16/2024 0

carrying on

I began working at and for Walden House in San Francisco on Monday, January 16, 2006. It was Martin Luther King, Jr Day. I settled into my office, with one window on the left wall, overlooking Haight Street. The Haight Street of ‘Haight Ashbury’, a place I’d longed for back there in Massachusetts in the…

By BuddyCushman 01/15/2024 0

not picking and choosing

Yesterday, Thursday, I found myself in someone’s office listening to her story of dealing with a serious situation in her role as a foster parent. I listened and listened, and because I know a few things about “the system” – how it works and when it doesn’t work so well – I encouraged her, strongly,…

By BuddyCushman 01/12/2024 0


Yesterday afternoon in Walmart, on my way to the stationary aisle in search of Morning Pages notebooks, a very short, older woman stopped me and asked me if the card she was holding was a right one for an anniversary. I stopped, and read the card through, out loud, coming to “Congratulations on your wedding.”…

By BuddyCushman 01/11/2024 0

bunches of quiet

Talking less is a vow arriving with one year becoming another. This here is talk, kind of, “blogging”, as is any drawing I’m lucky enough to find among my (often) weird inclinations. And keeping “my practice” to myself. That’s a wicked good plan. My pal Dongshan offers, “Conceal your practice, function in secret, seem for…

By BuddyCushman 01/09/2024 0

just a story

I have lived in two valleys. The Merrimack Valley up there in Lowell, Massachusetts by the New Hampshire border, and the Willamette Valley, when I lived in Portland, Oregon. While I have no evidence of this, my mind tells me I lived in Lowell for 10 years. It’s hard to imagine that’s true, but I…

By BuddyCushman 01/08/2024 0

keeping on

I wrote yesterday about walking along Sixth Avenue, quite early, and seeing the striking silhouette of the California Tower over there in Balboa Park. I’d always thought/known it was the Balboa Park Tower, honoring and bowing to it for years from afar as such. While writing the Blog I googled it, and lo, the true…

By BuddyCushman 01/05/2024 2

a real pink cloud

Consider this: A thin line of clouds glowed pink in the dawn, this morning’s walk, those clouds lolling, lazy, perhaps there over Mexico, not far away to the south. I walked a different route from the usual, saw things I had not seen, or at least registered, before. The silhouette of the California Tower in…

By BuddyCushman 01/04/2024 0

stopped making sense

From the ‘Morning Pages’ on an Ojai Saturday morning: ‘The empty valley receives the clouds. The cold stream cleanses the moon. Not departing and not remaining. Wash my bowl, drink my coffee, do not require making arrangements. As with not preparing the room (before speaking). Taking the backward step, passing through the gateless gate behind…

By BuddyCushman 01/03/2024 0

who’s recycled?

I pass by a bougainvillea on the sidewalk while bringing papery refuse out to the recycle bin, awaiting its San Diego afternoon pickup. This bougainvillea is a different and intriguing color – something between a light rust and a peach, further tinted with three days beyond Halloween. If I had my phone I’d likely snap…

By BuddyCushman 12/29/2023 0

Movie Reviews, Sort Of

Amidst the reality of a virus absolutely owning me, I managed to stream two documentaries on my computer yesterday. The first was “City of Gold”, the story of Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold. The second was “You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984.” Even with this 74-year-old bodily falling apart, it…

By BuddyCushman 12/28/2023 0

two days later

So here it is Wednesday, two days after Christmas. If you’re a regular here you may have noticed there were no posts last week. That was not my choice. The couchsurfing site was broken. When I reached out to the webmasters for help, the replies I received required an exquisite understanding of Hutu, or Martian.…

By BuddyCushman 12/27/2023 0


Often Bobbie and I have something of a one-sided conversation, at least on the face of things. But, that’s not exactly true. I read the other day about “Attentive silence”, and for me, this is what Bobbie brings to each day he’s kind enough to grace us, and me, with. A zillion years ago there…

By BuddyCushman 12/15/2023 0

but you look like a

Long ago, pretty much in a galaxy far away, there was a rock group named “The Barbarians.” They had something of a hit record in “Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?” They formed on Cape Cod, I was formed just off the Cape, and “Boy or Girl” was released when I was…

By BuddyCushman 12/14/2023 0

possibly stoic

One of the things I find especially cool about Bobbie are the expressions on his cat face. Or lack of expressions. Very Zen – seeing what’s to see, just this ‘right here’ in the affairs of the planet right now. No comment. One day I was talking from the sidewalk with the homeowner in her…

By BuddyCushman 12/13/2023 0

always awhile

In his book, “Wherever You Go There You Are,” Jon Kabat-Zin encourages everyone to get down on the floor for at least five minutes every day. See the world, your world, from that perspective. One entirely different from normal. Bobbie, the feral cat, sits and sleeps on the dirt by the driveway gate at the…

By BuddyCushman 12/12/2023 0

just across 28th street

(December 8) What will follow, you’d think, is wildly disconnected musings and ravings of an older guy who sort of worships the Treasure Island Lost Boys, with their out-in-the-open secret handshake and won’t-grow-up codes, and was told by his Doc his heart’s not bad, considering the birth certificate and everything, and told by his Roshi…

By BuddyCushman 12/11/2023 0

before the library

When I sit here at the screen and look slightly to my right, I see these things: a wall calendar hanging on the wall, ‘Classic Cars’, the same one I order every year, in fact the 2024 model arrived on the doorstep last night, along with a box of 60 Bic medium blue ink pens,…

By BuddyCushman 12/08/2023 0

into the coffee shop

I’m not sure I can really say this with words. I have a date with a woman friend in a coffee shop Saturday morning. I have offered an invitation to ‘have coffee’ to a man who the other night said to a group of us he’s, “Suffering, suffering, suffering.” He calls, he doesn’t call. There’s…

By BuddyCushman 12/07/2023 0