Dyana lives in Santa Cruz, California with her partner Leaf; together they spend quiet summers traversing the coyote path near their adobe abode in Taos, New Mexico. In SC Dyana practices massage therapy and writes beautiful poetry. She has a luscious garden and loves sharing her harvest with close friends.
Tell us a little about yourself, the glitter and the grit:
Mostly grit with a little understated glitter. When I was younger and had more hormones the glitter sparkled louder. Now others would have to look a little harder but it is always still there. Zen glitter.
What is your daily practice?
When I was a mother my daily practice was mothering. It was all encompassing and I took it very seriously. I raised a fabulous kid because of it (and him) and of course all the help I asked for and received.
My massage work has always been a great love in my life. (30 years worth)
Now with Aza in college my practices have bloomed. I have a meditation practice, a writing practice, a tea ceremony practice. (I have a weekly tea lesson) and a daily gratitude practice.
I also do yoga, shamanic work, exercise, have a sustaining winter garden right now.
My relationship with Leaf for 18 years and my girlfriends are always mirrors and helping me to evolve. Although these are not practices per se I keep them all humming, like plates spinning on a jugglers fingers.
Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Ask yourself this a lot when your kids become teenagers.
The earth is alive and magic is afoot.
And, why do you love being a woman?
I love the stunning beauty of the female form in all its shapes. I love the complexity and brilliance of the female mind. I love our ability to multitask. I love our resilience.
Photo Credits: Leaf Leathers
Want to read a few of Dyana’s poems?
Nine Month Poem
I have been composing a great poem
in my head all day long,
Letʼs be truthful: for weeks now.
It is about ladybugs mating
on three foot chard leaves
how they lift off,
two tiny oranges
stranded in the sky.
It is about the ﬁrst delphiniums
tended so carefully.
Pushed to the ground;
a winter rain in June.
It is about our top heavy civilization.
We are ﬂooded,
wet with solutions.
As the next generation lifts itself up
we can hardly wait
to unwind leather laces
pull off damp boots
and lay down in the tall grass
like when we were children,
watch clouds drift
in clusters like grapes
right above our heads,
for the picking.
This great poem hangs milky
on the horizon of itʼs own dawn
trills like tiny wrens
slipping through my morning sleep;
the sunʼs ﬁrst rays.
I wake wary
but gladness dumps itʼs light on me
breaks open the mouth of love
today and again tomorrow.
I sit in the crotch of grace
until the words tear like skin,
pale blue, coated with
the damp sheen of birth.
-Dyana Basist, 6-11
See How Coyote Shines
Coyotes are back!
Unable to keep their mouthʼs shut
they warble, howl, shriek, yip
to passing sirens.
The rainy dusk is set on ﬁre.
Dogs in the neighborhood go mad
with desires of freedom.
People go mad with longing.
Bring in your pets, neighbors.
Stillness hovers in the air like a hawk
but donʼt be tricked
the full moon is rising.
Pull your blankets tight
keep your windows ajar.
There is no need to wait
hormones and howling
will split your skull of dreams,
until the blue mud of dawn.
In the morning
a catʼs paw
sticks straight up:
back half of a calico
buried among the beets
Coyote jumps straight up
twists in two directions at once
prances, runs in circles
chases itʼs tail
ﬂies up through willow branches after blue jays.
Coyote has wings and bright teeth
wants it all
and in the suburbs
squatting until spring in Rodeo Gulch
the pack will ﬁnd it.
-Dyana Basist, 11-22-10