Archive for April 4, 2013


Zen Flash

“Training in meditation is like learning how to ride a bicycle. Once you know how to keep your balance on a bike, you don’t have to think about your balance any more, because the balance is in you. Likewise, once you have trained in meditation, your mind is in balance.”

~ Sogyal Rinpoche — with Haayattan Nth, Penelope Candace, Chrissy Campbell and Gusman Padmalaksana.

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ramana maharshi …….. his philosophy in 3 words – WHO AM I ………method of teaching – silence

Zen Flash



 


Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.

~ Ramana Maharshi

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/science/29tier.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&

  

A wandering mind can protect you from immediate perils and keep you on course toward long-term goals. Sometimes daydreaming is counterproductive, but sometimes it fosters creativity and helps you solve problems.

Mind wandering, as psychologists define it, is a subcategory of daydreaming, which is the broad term for all stray thoughts and fantasies, including those moments you deliberately set aside to imagine yourself winning the lottery or accepting the Nobel. But when you’re trying to accomplish one thing and lapse into “task-unrelated thoughts,” that’s mind wandering.

But mind wandering clearly seems to be a dubious strategy, if, for example, you’re tailgating a driver who suddenly brakes. Or, to cite activities that have actually been studied in the laboratory, when you’re sitting by yourself reading “War and Peace” or “Sense and Sensibility.”

If your mind is elsewhere while your eyes are scanning Tolstoy’s or Austen’s words, you’re wasting your own time. You’d be better off putting down the book and doing something more enjoyable or productive than “mindless reading,” as researchers call it.

But during some episodes of mind wandering, both networks are firing simultaneously, according to a study led by Kalina Christoff of the University of British Columbia. Why both networks are active is up for debate. One school theorizes that the executive network is working to control the stray thoughts and put the mind back on task.

Another school of psychologists, which includes the Santa Barbara researchers, theorizes that both networks are working on agendas beyond the immediate task. That theory could help explain why studies have found that people prone to mind wandering also score higher on tests of creativity, like the word-association puzzle mentioned earlier. Perhaps, by putting both of the brain networks to work simultaneously, these people are more likely to realize that the word that relates to eye, gown and basket is ball, as in eyeball, ball gown and basketball.

To encourage this creative process, Dr. Schooler says, it may help if you go jogging, take a walk, do some knitting or just sit around doodling, because relatively undemanding tasks seem to free your mind to wander productively. But you also want to be able to catch yourself at the Eureka moment.

“For creativity you need your mind to wander,” Dr. Schooler says, “but you also need to be able to notice that you’re mind wandering and catch the idea when you have it. If Archimedes had come up with a solution in the bathtub but didn’t notice he’d had the idea, what good would it have done him?”

Zen Flash

Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside. Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things; it means that you are not disturbed inside. If you’re truly silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in you can enjoy the silence.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

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dark night of the soul………..

Zen Flash

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luminous poetry

Artfully curated – The Hindu.

Poets hide like seeds/only to return in new forms/At least now their breed is in no danger of extinction

The different retellings of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, love poetry from classical Tamil literature, Bhakti poetry, devotional poems bordering on the erotic, playful poems on gender politics, Urdu and Vedic poems.

Reading the book is like visiting an artfully curated museum of poetry from the Vedas to the present, except that the editors break logic and clichés of time, placing Kalidasa next to Nissim Ezekiel or Auvaiyar next to Ayyappa Paniker. Instead of choosing a chronological or alphabetical order, the editors arrange the poems thematically across 10 sections.

The arrogance and fierce possessiveness of a poet comes through in “ If anyone faults my poetry, even my teacher,/even God himself, I’ll fight back/and win .” The poem is ‘I was born for poetry’ by Chellapilla Venkata Sastri and translated from the Telugu by Velchuru Narayana Rao.

Nara’s ‘White Paper’, Nanne Coda’s ‘On Poetry in Telugu’, Bharthari’s ‘Her Face Is Not The Moon, Nor Are Her Eyes’, the extract from Ezhuthacchan’s ‘Adhyatma Ramayana’, Mona Zote’s ‘What Poetry Means to Ernestina in Peril’ were delightful discoveries.

There is Andal, Purandara Das, Subramania Bharati, Tukaram, Mohammed Iqbal and Mirabai, all rendered in translation, of course.

The Indian landscape grows more ironic in Gopal Honnagere’s ‘How to Tame a Pair of New Chappals’: “ don’t take them to your temple/they may at once come to know you are weak/your god is false and start biting you/ ” he says, in his list of instructions for us.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-literaryreview/a-part-of-the-whole/article4470668.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/mind-and-its-moves/article4560152.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/the-monk-who-went-to-harvard/article4560455.ece

Alone with other things – The Hindu.

This hermit-poet uses poetry

to negotiate his hermit life

with the other life he is

trying to leave behind.

My kimono sleeves/blossom-scented by the air/under this orange tree/close by the caves, catch and hold/tears falling from the past’s recall .’

As always the moon/night after night after night/will stay on here/at this grass hut I put together/and now myself must leave.

Saigyo’s reclusiveness made him alive to the aloneness of things — trees, birds, animals, streams and, of course, the moon — and equally a sense of how one can be alone with other things.

A Saigyo scholar spoke of it as his “finely sharpened sense of the world’s samsara.” Kubota, another Saigyo scholar, said reading this Buddhist hermit you encounter “a motif of a body-piercing loneliness in these poems.” The moon became illumination, luminosity for the mind; Saigyo was just as preoccupied by cherry blossoms and the scholar Konishi says Saigyo “perceived cherry blossoms and the moon as mandalas .” Like Ryokan, Saigyo’s poems sought to bring the ‘way of poetry’ with ‘the way of the Buddha’, and to talk, in these poems, of the struggles and joys of the Buddhist life. Burton Watson, the gifted translator of Poems of a Mountain Home, tells us in his introduction that there is some writing to show Saigyo felt poetry and its practice was a sacred duty for a Buddhist. But one can’t be certain, points out Watson, that this was Saigyo’s aesthetics since these writings are more legend than an accurate record.

However, it seems to me, when I learn of how much and often Saigyo came out of the forest to the courts to take part in poetry competitions and even teach poetry, it doesn’t seem too far fetched that Saigyo would feel strongly about the place of poetry in Buddhism.

And as soon as he turned monk, he began writing poetry; his theme at once about the struggle to live a Buddhist life, and what it meant. The style of his poetry, his translator informs us, was waka or court poetry, which came even before the haiku and is slightly longer. Four centuries later its influence was felt deeply by Basho who underscores his debt to Saigyo all through his work. “The waka too is best opened with care, close attention, and appreciation for the skill of the person who put so much into so small a container.”

After moving around many places near in and around monasteries and temples, he frequented two mountains, Mount Yoshino and Mount Koya, often overwhelmed by the “astonishing beauty of the sakura (the cherry blossoms) often wanting to linger here, feasting his eyes on them — he was drawn to the physical beauty of the phenomenal world”. But he had to move on deeper into the forest and his mountain home to pursue solitude. He wrote: ‘ Here I huddle alone/in a mountain’s shadow, needing/some companion somehow: the cold, biting rains pass off/and gives me the winter moon.

The aura of Austen – The Hindu.

A painting of author Jane Austen

It smelt of book, that indescribably nostalgic smell that can transport you instantly to happy days, like the smell of hot, buttered toast. So there I sat, cross-legged on the bed, endless hours of Austen stretched open in front of me, practically quivering with joy.

Austen, like the incredible Bard, does not age. You can love Dickens, Thackeray or Hardy but you place them firmly in their era and context. What Austen observes about human beings, though, is so universal and timeless you could be reading about your neighbour, aunt or favourite cousin. How else do you explain the latest in the series of adaptations of P&P? Called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, it’s a series of 10-minute YouTube videos in which Lizzie is an American grad student. Its characters post real-time blogs, tweets, and status updates.

Never mind Elizabeth and Darcy, every one of the supporting cast is a triumph in characterisation. All it takes is a searing line or two to establish that Jane and Bingley are beautiful but not firm enough. That just as beauty is not a virtue in itself, neither is Mary Bennet’s plainness, which has neither taste nor wisdom to improve it. In an age that worshipped titles and nobility, the author puts Lady Catherine de Bourgh savagely in place. ……….. Trust me, Austen’s drawing rooms say as much about character and principles as novels about war.

quotes and pics

“Everything you’re looking for lies behind the mask you wear.”  Stephen C. Paul

hymntohope:</p><p>Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice<br />http://paradoxically-free.tumblr.com/</p><p>so was darcy an introvert then ?

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” Georgia O’Keeffe

  Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
            

Beginners guide to minimalism.

 

  “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”  — Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

“But to me, it’s a whole lot more important to find something that makes you unafraid of being alone, rather than to have so many friends that you wind up being terrified of solitude.”  Mitsuyo Kakuta

shetakesflight:In a world where you can be anything…BE yourself.

Days I enjoy are days when nothing happens,
When I have no engagements written on my block,
When no one comes to disturb my inward peace,
When no one comes to take me away from myself
And turn me into a patchwork, a jig-saw puzzle,
A broken mirror that once gave a whole reflection,
Being so contrived that it takes too long a time
To get myself back to myself when they have gone – Vita Sackville-West
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” ― James Baldwin

“Don’t settle. Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.”  Chris Brogan

 David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays    aseaofquotes:David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.” — Ram Dass

“We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”  Douglas Coupland

pinkglittertears:~pinkland here~

“‎Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” John Green, “The Fault in Our Stars.”

“Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” Ralph Charell

   homedesigning:Inspirational and Cozy Outdoor Space | click through to see several others. 

   windowlettering:Tenue de Nimes, Madame et Monsieur by SeenbyBien(via Ahmed)

 

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. In this state of god-like awareness one sings; in this realm the world exists as poem. 

Henry Miller in The Wisdom of the Heart ( http://literaryjukebox.brainpickings.org/post/44784048462 )

Pergola designs http://www.energyproductsanddesign.com/blog/tag/pergola/

Outdoor Great Room - Pergola

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-propertyplus/design-differently/article4563151.ece

A group of visionary civil engineers at the Indian Institute of Engineers, Bangalore, initiated ASTRA, abbreviation for Application of Science and Technology for Rural Areas. This simple motto led to pioneering research on mud walls, arch roofs, vaults and domes, besides relooking at vernacular designs for modern applications with their work still continuing under the name Gram Vidya.

The unique settlement at Auroville, though started with the spiritual blessings of The Mother, turned out be a world laboratory on alternative designs and constructions. A heaven for students and learners, people keen on exploring cost-effective, eco-friendly and energy-efficient models even today flock to Auroville. The Energy and Resource Institute or TERI has commissioned, collated and contributed a wealth of information towards sustainable buildings.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-propertyplus/building-with-a-view/article4565880.ece

When he discovered Auroville in 1992, he settled down and began his studio. Here, he converges contemporary living with vernacular principles of design, mainly the climatic, cultural and socio-economic characters of architecture.

Rooted in tradition:The ‘Auromodele’ aims at building for ‘community living’ and breaks the conventional mould of ‘four walls and a roof’

Jadeja also believes that Indian design supports minimalism in many ways, “I see minimalism in architecture as being minimal use of energy, minimal impact on environment, minimal intrusion on the social, aesthetical and cultural identity of the place.

To understand the deeper meaning of minimalism in architecture, architects need to create space for crafts, culture and identity and arrive at a more contemporary language for traditions. “There are positive signs in textile design, films, fashion, and furniture in different parts of the world. In India, I am still waiting for a big movement in architecture,” says Jadeja.

http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/index/ –   Permaculture is an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor. It teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities and much more.

Paper products made out of elephant and rhinoceros excreta

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/saving-the-planet-with-poo/article4493446.ece  –  ……………..“It was our intention to make this a completely eco-friendly product. The paper is made by mixing the dung with other waste products like hosiery rags. The paper is organic and acid-free. It further helps in the conservation of two endangered species — the Greater One Horned Rhino and the Asian Elephant. It is also wood-free, so it helps save trees. The paper is recyclable and biodegradable, and no chemicals harmful to the environment are used in making the paper. Finally, no toxic waste is generated.”

http://frenchbydesign.blogspot.in/2013/03/oh-la-la-jaime.html

She wished her sister, Leila, didn’t work every Saturday and Sunday. Before she took the Sunday job, Leila used to call it their day, and she’d taken Elizabeth around with her. Most of the nineteen-year-old girls like Leila were hanging around with boys, but Leila never did. She was going to go to New York to be an actress, not get stuck in Lumber Creek, Kentucky. “The trouble with these hick towns, Sparrow, is that everybody marries right out of high school and ends up with whiny little kids and Pablum all over their cheerleader sweaters. That won’t be me.”

Elizabeth liked to hear Leila talk about how it would be when she was a star, but it was scary too. She couldn’t imagine living in this house with Mama and Matt without Leila.

An abstract watercolor by Will Moses hung on the wall over the oyster-colored couch. An Aubusson rug shimmered on the dark tile. The reception desk was authentic Louis XV, but there was no one seated there. She felt an immediate sense of sharp disappointment, but reminded herself that Sammy would be back tomorrow night.

Weep No More, My Lady

She was a thin child with long legs and a spray of freckles across her nose. Her eyes were wide-set and mature—”Queen Solemn Face” Leila called her. Leila was always making up names for people—sometimes funny names; sometimes, if she didn’t like the people, pretty mean ones.

After a two-month absence, the apartment felt close and stuffy. But as soon as she opened the windows, a breeze blew in, carrying the peculiarly satisfying combination of scents that was so specially New York: the pungent aura of the small Indian restaurant around the corner, a hint of the flowers from the terrace across the street, the acrid smell of fumes from the Fifth Avenue buses, a suggestion of sea air from the Hudson River. For a few minutes Elizabeth breathed deeply and felt herself begin to unwind. Now that she was here, it was good to be home. The job in Italy had been another escape, another temporary respite.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY: Where is the love, beauty and truth we seek?—Shelley  Good morning, dear guest!   Welcome to another day of luxury at Cypress Point Spa.

We hope all our guests will have a pleasant and pampered day. Remember, to be really beautiful we must keep our minds tranquil and free of distressing or troubling thoughts.

Elizabeth studied the other woman’s hands. They were the hands of a working person, thick-knuckled and callused. The brightly colored fingernails were short and stubby, even though the manicure looked expensive. Her curiosity about Alvirah Meehan was a welcome respite from thinking about Leila. Instinctively she liked the woman—there was something remarkably candid and appealing about her— but who was she? What was bringing her to the Spa?

Elizabeth left them a few minutes later. The slanting rays of the sun danced on the beds of wild-flowers along the path to the bungalow Min had assigned her. Somewhere in her subconscious she experienced a sense of calm observing the brilliant checkerblooms, the wood roses, the flowering currant hedges. But the momentary tranquillity could not mask the fact that behind the warm welcome and seeming concern, Min and Helmut were different.

The persistent headache she’d had all evening began to ebb, the sense of enclosure faded; once again she began to experience the release she had always found in water. “Do you think it started in the womb?” she’d once joked to Leila. “I mean this absolute sensation of being free when I’m immersed.”

Elizabeth touched the far wall, brought her knees to her chest and flipped her body over, changing from a backstroke to a breaststroke in one fluid movement. Was it possible that Leila’s fear of personal relationships had begun at the moment of conception? Can a speck of protoplasm sense that the climate is hostile, and can that realization color a whole life? Wasn’t it because of Leila that she’d never experienced that terrible sense of parental rejection? She remembered her mother’s description of bringing her home from the hospital: “Leila took her out of my arms. She moved the crib into her room. She was only eleven, but she became that child’s mother. I wanted to call her Laverne, but Leila put her foot down. She said, ‘Her name is Elizabeth!'” One more reason to be grateful to Leila, Elizabeth thought.

The soft ripple that her body made as she moved through the water masked the faint sound of footsteps at the other end of the pool. She had reached the north end and was starting back. For some reason she began to swim furiously, as though  sensing danger.

A witty woman is a treasure; a witty beauty is a power.  —George Meredith

At six o’clock she got out of bed, pulled up the shade, then huddled back under the light covers. It was chilly, but she loved to watch the sun come up. It seemed to her that the early morning had a dreamy quality of its own, the human quiet was so absolute. The only sounds came from the seabirds along the shore.

Leila with her arms hugging her knees. “Sammy, he’s not that bad. He makes me laugh, and that’s a plus.”       “If you want to laugh, hire a clown.”

The letter had been written in Min’s florid, sweeping penmanship. Quickly, Elizabeth scanned her schedule. Interview with Dr. Helmut von Schreiber at 8:45; aerobic dance class at 9; massage at 9:30; trampoline at 10; advanced water aerobics at 10:30—that had been the class she taught when she worked here; facial at 11; cypress curves 11:30; herbal wrap at noon. The afternoon schedule included a loofah, a manicure, a yoga class, a pedicure, two more water exercises…

“Your face is like a fine carving,” he told her. “You are one of those fortunate women who will become more beautiful as you age. It’s all in the bone structure.”          Then, as if he were thinking aloud, he murmured, “Wildly lovely as Leila was, her beauty was the kind I that peaks and begins to slip away. The last time she was here I suggested that she begin collagen treatments, and we had planned to do her eyes as well. Did you know that?”

“Yes, you would have. When Leila gave you a nickname, it meant you were part of her inner circle.”        Was that true? Ted wondered. When you looked up the definitions of the nicknames Leila bestowed, there was always a double edge to them. Falcon: a hawk trained to hunt and kill. Bulldog: a short-haired, square-jawed, heavily built dog with a tenacious grip.

They are talking about me, Ted thought. They are discussing what can and cannot be done to win my eventual freedom as though I weren’t here. A slow, hard anger that now seemed to be part of his persona made him want to lash out at them. Lash out at them? The lawyer who supposedly would win his case? The friend who had been his eyes and ears and voice these last months? But I don’t want them to take my life out of my hands, Ted thought, and tasted the acid that suddenly washed his mo uth. I can’t blame them, but I can’t trust them either. No matter what, it’s as I’ve known right along: I have to take care of this myself.

He settled on the couch, where he could look out on the ocean and watch the sea gulls arcing over the foaming surf, beyond the threat of the undertow, beyond the power of the waves to crash them against the rocks.

, “There are just two people I know I can trust in this world: Sparrow and Falcon. Now you, Sammy, are getting there.” Dora had felt honored. “And the Q.E. Two”—Leila’s name for Min— “is a do-or-die friend, provided there’s a buck in it for her and it doesn’t conflict with anything the Toy Soldier wants.”

Dora handed the glass to Min and looked contemptuously at Helmut. That spendthrift, she thought, would put Min in her grave with his crazy projects! Min had been absolutely right when she’d suggested that they add a self-contained budget-price spa on the back half of the property. That would have worked. Secretaries as well as socialites were going to spas these days. Instead, this pompous fool had persuaded Min to build the bathhouse. “It will make a statement about us to the world” was his favorite phrase when he talked Min into plunging into debt. Dora knew the finances of this place as well as they did. It couldn’t go on.

“Well, let me tell you that everything you say about the place is true. Remember how the ad says, ‘At the end of a week here, you will feel as free and untroubled as a butterfly floating on a cloud?”

“Lots of people get stage fright. Helen Hayes threw up before every performance. When Jimmy Stewart finished a movie, he was sure no one would ever ask him to be in another one. Leila threw up and worried. That’s show biz.”

“Ted is lucky to have you,” he said. “I don’t think he appreciates it.”        “That’s where you’re wrong. Ted has to rely on me now to front for him in the business, and he resents it. To clarify that, he only thinks he resents me. The problem is, my very presence in his place is a symbol of the jam he’s in.”

The noon sun was high overhead. The breeze was coming gently from the Pacific, bringing the scent of the sea. Even the azaleas that had been crushed by the patrol cars seemed to be trying to struggle back. The cypress trees, grotesque in the night, seemed familiar and comforting under the splendid sunshine.

“Are you grateful, Min?” Cheryl asked. “I gather the Baron did write the play. You not only married nobility, a doctor, an interior designer, but also an author. You must be thrilled—and broke.”        “I married a Renaissance man,” Min told her. “The Baron will resume a full schedule of operations at the clinic. Ted has promised us a loan. All will be well.”

For love and beauty and delight. There is no death nor change.        —Shelley

I feel as if I’m digging and digging for the vein of truth the way the old prospectors dug for a vein of gold… The only trouble is I’m out of time, so I had to start blasting. But at the very least, I may have upset one of them enough so that he—or she—will make a slip.”

Outside, the darkness was now absolute. The moon and stars were again covered with a misty fog; the Japanese lanterns in the trees and bushes were hazy dots of light.

They had deliberately skipped the “cocktail” hour and could see the last of the guests leaving the veranda as the muted gong announced dinner. A cool breeze had come up from the ocean, and the webs of lichen hanging from the giant pines that formed the border of the north end of the property swayed in a rhythmic, solemn movement that was accentuated by the tinted lights scattered throughout the grounds.

He’d been walking all afternoon, trying to make himself stand at the edge of a cliff, battling his own personal demon in search of the truth.

The sight of Alvirah Meehan, ghostly pale, barely breathing, hooked to machines, was incredible to Scott. People like Mrs. Meehan weren’t supposed to be sick. They were too hearty, too filled with life.

The afternoon had fulfilled the morning’s promise. The sun was golden warm; there was no breeze; even the cypress trees looked mellow, their dark leaves shimmering, the craggy shapes unthreatening. The cheerful clusters of petunias, geraniums and azaleas, perky from recent watering, were now straining toward the warmth, the blossoms open and radiant.

“He’s guilty,” Bartlett said. “There’s no way I can get him off now. Give me a clean-cut liar and I can work with him. If I put him on the stand, the jury will find Teddy arrogant. If I don’t we’ll have Elizabeth describing how he shouted at Leila, and two eyewitnesses to tell how he killed her. And I’m supposed to work with that?” He closed his eyes. “By the way, he’s just proved to us that he has a violent temper.”

Bartlett had probably been on the phone with the district attorney. By now he would have some idea of the kind of sentence he might expect. It still seemed absolutely incredible. Something he had no mem ory of doing had forced him to become a totally different person, had forced him to lead a totally different life.

“I’d have thought she was sound as a dollar. A little chunky, but good skin tone, good heartbeat, good breathing. She was scared of needles, but that doesn’t give anyone cardiac arrest.”

Be serene. Be tranquil. Be merry. And have a pretty day.

A health reminder. By now you may be feeling muscles you’d forgotten you had. Remember, exercise is never pain. Mild discomfort shows you are achieving the stretch. And whenever you exercise, keep your knees relaxed.

“IN AQUA SANITAS,” the inscription read. For once Helmut was right. Water would soothe her, turn off her mind.

She decided to have dinner served in the bungalow. It was impossible to envision going through the motions of socializing with any of those people, knowing that Sammy’s body was in the morgue awaiting shipment to Ohio, that Alvirah Meehan was fighting for her life in Monterey Hospital.

Elizabeth wondered as she went into the welcome calm of her bungalow. Her senses absorbed the emerald-and-white color scheme. Splashy print on thick white carpeting. She could almost imagine there was a lingering hint of Joy mixed with the salty sea air.

The Baron lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. His china-blue eyes watered. The reddish tint in his hair seemed brassy under the late-afternoon sun. The top of the convertible was down. A cool land breeze had dispelled the last of the daytime warmth. A sense of autumn was in the air.

“I know it sounds crazy, and I know Cheryl can lie as easily as most of us can breathe, but I’ve been thinking about this all day, and my gut feeling is she’s telling the truth

Alvirah Meehan! Scott rubbed his hands over suddenly weary eyes. That woman was bright. He thought of her comments at dinner. She was like the child in the fable The Emperor’s New Clothes who says, “But he has no clothes on!”

What does it prove? Elizabeth asked herself as she walked from the main house along the path to the clinic. If Helmut wrote that play, he must be going through hell. The author had put one million dollars into the production. That was why Min was calling Switzerland. Her nest egg in a numbered account was a standing joke. “I’ll never be broke,” she had always bragged. Min had wanted Ted acquitted so that she could license Cypress Point Spas in all his new hotels. Helmut had a much more compelling reason. If he was “Clayton Anderson,” he knew that even the nest egg was gone.

“Because I am appalled at the idea that Ted may spend the rest of his life in prison. Sometimes people do terrible things in anger, because they are out of control, things they might never do if they were not goaded beyond their ability to stop themselves. I believe that happened. I know that happened to Ted.”    Someday you will again face Leila. I think she will not thank you. You know how she was after she had been utterly outrageous. Contrite. Loving. Generous. All of it.”

“Elizabeth and I were very good friends. We liked each other. We enjoyed each other’s company. If I had my choice of being in Chicago on Wednesday and Dallas on Friday or the other way around, and found that a good friend with whom I could enjoy a late supper and relax was in those same cities, yes, I would arrange my schedule to do that. So what?”

While Craig and Bartlett went to confront the sheriff, Ted worked out with the Nautilus equipment in the men’s spa. Each piece of equipment he used seemed to emphasize his own situation. The row-boat that went nowhere; the bicycle that no matter how furiously pedaled, stayed in place.

There was something indefinably different about Sammy’s apartment. Elizabeth felt it was as though her aura as well as her physical being had departed. Her plants had not been watered. Dead leaves rimmed the planters.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.            —Shakespeare

Then, as if his composure, his sense of order, had abandoned him, he leaned forward, his head in his hands, and began to cry.

Funny—when you’re just listening to people, you get a different perspective than when you’re sitting with them.          Alvirah checked her microphone to see that it was securely in place in the center flower of her sunburst pin and delivered an observation. “Voices,” she declared, “tell a lot about people.”

But she was seventy-one, Alvirah comforted herself, and it must have been real quick. That’s the way I want to go when it’s my turn. Not that she expected it to be her turn for a long time to come. As her mother said, “Our women make old bones.” Her mother was eighty-four and still went bowling every Wednesday night.

Carmel was still crowded with summer tourists, college students getting in one last fling before the fall semester. When he and Leila walked through town, she’d stopped traffic. The thought made him pull his sunglasses from his pocket. In those days, men used to look at him with envy. Now he was aware of hostility on the faces of strangers who recognized him.          Hostility. Isolation. Fear.          These last seventeen months had disrupted his entire life, had forced him to do things he would not have believed possible. Now he accepted the fact that there was one more monumental hurdle he had to overcome before the trial.