Monday, June 30, 2008

Prose: 4th of July, 07

Last year the 4th of July had a typical Colorado summertime weather report – mostly clear with a chance of scattered thundershowers. There were some dark clouds over the mountains as we planned our neighborhood trek to the Louisville golf course, but the sky was mostly clear. Victor, Evan (our 5 year old) and I rode with Patty and her 4 & 6 year olds in her SUV, following Betty & John & Juliet, their 5th grade daughter, in their CRV .

The crowd was forming at the golf course as we arrived and we had to park blocks away. The wind was picking up. We walked the sidewalks, pushing our small ones in strollers, making a game of dodging the sprinklers on the way. It was beginning to sprinkle from the sky too. “It’ll pass over.” was our mantra. We found a place we could all sit for the show, spreading out our blankets.

Dark clouds roiled above us, suddenly letting loose with all they had. The crowded lawn was roiling with humanity trying unsuccessfully to evade the fierce raindrops. We lifted our blanket up to serve as a feeble refuge. In a minute its swollen wetness was too heavy to hold up so, we wrapped it around Victor holding Evan. Poor Evan was cold to his tiny bones. And he began to cry. In the confusion we’d lost track of all our neighbors.

We retreated to a covered area where a 20 piece band was still cranking out patriotic party music. We squeezed under the open brick & mortar shelter through the generosity of those already packed in along the edges of the music stands and musicians. We searched the crowds for our ride home.

We knew we couldn’t stick it out—we were soaked. Even if the rain stopped immediately, we would be too chilled to relax and enjoy the fireworks. And Evan was still whimpering. Victor spotted Patty and we fell in behind her in the stream of people heading for their cars. The rain continued. Everyone was running. We splashed through monsoon fed rivers sweeping from the side streets. The sprinklers were still running too, pelting us with water from yet another angle. All the adults could do was joke and laugh hysterically. The kids alternated between laughing and whining and crying.

Finally we got to the SUV sopping wet. We plopped into our seats and Patty started up the engine and cranked up the heat as the rain continued to beat against the roof. We’re homeward bound. As we breeched the ridge near home we noticed that the fireworks had finally begun. Laughing, whining and crying stopped. We looked out at the colorful explosions from afar, oohing and ahhing on cue to their distant yet still captivating displays. The little adventure of the running and rain became the background that highlighted the happiness of being in a warm car while, in the end, getting to watch those celestial lights.

By Terra

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Poem: Beneath the Canada Dry

Beneath the Canada Dry

Here, at the end of an aisle,
We speak of thoughts sublime.
The Canada Dry and Sunkist
Bear silent witness to the expression
Of our deepest longings.
Time out of time,
Sharing the space of Eternity,
The fluorescent lights penetrating
The Truth of our words.

We call on Kabir,
Exquisite in his brevity.
Rumi infuses our hearts with Love
And Lao Tzu proclaims simplicity.
The sweetness is palpable.
No need for a dollop of jam
To entrance our taste buds.
We breathe the Silence
And know our union in Love.

I speak of the roles we play,
Strutting in our human costumes.
You invoke the rolls,
Warm buns of pleasure
Waiting for your dinner.
And so we banter,
Delighting in the communion
Of knowing the unknowable,
Laughing in the Supermarket of Life.

Prema Rose

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Prose: The World Smells of Peonies

The world smells of peonies, that flowery scent, with a subtlety of roses and cut grass in the background. It wafts in the air as I walk through my neighborhood. Even driving, I catch the peony scents through the open window, delicately sending images to my imagination of English gardens, tea time, floppy hats and Victorian afternoon dresses trimmed with lace.
Conjuring graceful conversations along with cucumber sandwiches, my inner dreamer uses the bountiful spring blooms’ scent to feed some unknown, perhaps earlier experience…some past life maybe, that is also being awakened through my reading material.
Lately I’ve been drawn to historical fiction of the 1700-1800’s English/French time frame. The scent of these flowers seems to awaken, even more, what the stories are suggesting.
Oh that sweet delicate scent of Peonies.
Jyoti

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Essay: Cooking with Electric

“Cooking with electric is a lot cleaner” my mother had said to me when I told her the only think wrong with my new kitchen is that it came with an electric range oven. “Not the way I do it” I thought as I walked into the kitchen wondering where the smoke alarms are located in my new house. A dark cloud was swirling around the ceiling and looked like it was heading towards the living room. I quickly hit the switch and turned on the 2 speed overhead fan to “high suck”.

My new stove is one of those flat cook tops with four black doily patterns of different sizes to assist me in knowing where to set my pan down. The woman I bought the house from left me a small container of the special gook that I am to use in cleaning the top. The first time my noodles boiled over, I grabbed the cleaner container as I ran outside to wait while the smoke cleared and allowed the kitchen to cool off a bit. It says right there on the label to use the right size pan for the doily pattern. As far as I can tell that is about the only thing that I have done right so far. That, and waiting for the stove top to cool before applying the product. I did that right.

I am attempting to make a piece of toast for breakfast ... no big deal one would think. Not having a toaster, I place a slice of bread in my new little non-stick skillet and set it on the appropriate doily. In my defense it has worked before, but not today. I grabbed the smoking pan and ran outside. It smells bad but I have to eat it. In order to get on the other side of this learning curve, I had made myself a promise that I would eat whatever mistake I made. I would learn faster and besides, they say a little charcoal is good for you. A quick glance told me that only the bottom quarter of the bread was burned. Do-able!

Thank God I don’t have a parrot. My girlfriend told me that she cannot use non-stick cookware because if it gets too hot it emits a gas that would kill her birds. They would be holding their little throats and gagging for clean air if they saw the smoking skillet I was holding. I wonder for a nano-second about what level of emitting fumes would be harmful for a human. “Don’t worry about it”, I think to myself, “just one of the reasons we don’t have birds”. I am not ashamed to admit, for now obvious reasons, that I adore my non-stick cookware.

With a sigh, I head towards the kitchen. I think it is safe to turn off the overhead fan. “You will love it when you get used to it; why I would love to have a stove like that”, my mom had said. “You can have the darn thing”, I have muttered to myself several times since then, “and give me a REAL stove ~ with gas! ~ where “Off” is “Off’ ~~ and “On” has flames !”

* annette

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Young Tree

Sitting with eyes closed, for I don’t know how long, deep in the woods of Orcus Island, I heard a noise, which pulled me back to this world. I had been absorbing the silence of those woods, a desperately needed absorbing and silence. I was visiting a friend and staying with her and her family in their tiny, seemingly cozy home. She had a son from an earlier marriage and her and her new doctor husband had a fifteen month old boy.

I had escaped into the woods in need of quite and my own space. I was living alone in Santa Monica and deep into doing what I called my “inner work years”. Unwinding the craziness of my childhood wiring and starting to see it with fresh eyes. I was in a delicate part of this process when I decided to visit Stephanie. I’d met her when she was still living in LA several years earlier. A witch from a few centuries earlier if ever there was one. She was doing women’s circles and trained at the psychic school in Glendale.

The thing about unwinding the wiring of my younger years is that is order to let those experiences emerge and process I had taken down an old tougher shell to allow it. I was in a very porous place. They were in the midst of a storm, sometimes created when two people rush together, get pregnant, marry and have a baby before they get to know just how different their inner landscapes truly are. So here they are in the storm of those two landscapes colliding, in the part where no one really understands what is happening nor is either ready to admit this is where they are and that something is really wrong.

The beauty of it was the mirror for so many of the unhealthy patterns and collapsed boundaries I was attempting to clear myself of. The difficulty was my own issues over not getting things out in the open, as well as the under the table mean jabs that physically hurt that were flying all over the place in full view to only me. Stephanie did not seem able to discuss anything other then telling me all the things he was doing wrong. It was their life but at that moment all I knew was that I was walking in deep muck.

So out I went to climb to the highest point on the Island. It’s not a very mountainous place so this took too little time and I decided to stop and sit and breath in the deep and ancient peace of these woods. I remember how profound the silence was. I remember letting all the noise and insanity of their world and my reactions melt away till there was no noise. Bottomless stillness for I’m not sure how long….. till I heard that slight crack reach in and pull me back from the pool of silence. Just as I surfaced I slowly opened my eyes and saw two young deer standing only twenty feet away. No one moved, their large eyes peering into mine we just took in the sight of each other. Several minutes passed before they decided to get back to the business at hand, searching for young shoots and berries. I watched awhile longer appreciating the contract between this and the home I was staying in. I heard a voice in my head drop the following thoughts: “ You have taken yourself out of an unhealthy family dynamic. To do so you cut the entwined roots and removed the protection, unhealthy as it might be, for a time. You are now as a newly planted tree finding your own way, growing your own new roots. While in this state it is best to watch the environment you surround yourself with as you are very susceptible to strong winds and storms. But with time you will have your own deep strong roots and trunk and will not be bothered by much." It was my wish that day to maintain the peace of those woods in the midst of any insanity. Little did I know how much practice that would take?

Mary

Monday, June 23, 2008

My adventures with plants - Datura

Part One, Datura -
I’m curious about the Datura. This powerful plant seduces me. In the alley, next to Lucille’s Cajun restaurant, Datura has been growing for years. This viney stem has large leaves and gigantic white trumpet blossoms that open and close each day. She attracts me like a bee. She takes over the physical and energetic landscape. I hear her whispering, ”Come closer.” I feel her drawing me near. Whenever I approach her, be it in a friend’s Boulder garden or next to a wooden fence in a clearing of the Belizean rain forest, I am captivated. Does this happen to everyone?

Datura can be a medicine inhaled for asthma. World wide this plant has been used for spiritual seeking. I know Datura can be poisonous- eating a mouthful of the leaves can kill. Still I made a flower essence of the Belizean blossom. When I took the essence that night, I tranced an amazing tryst with the stars. But that’s another story.

This summer, I plan to plant Datura in my new garden plot to see what more she has to share with me. The master gardener told me to harden her off before I plant her, wait until the danger of frost has passed, “ make sure her roots are well planted and stand back.” I envision a tangled bed of Datura and squashes to feed my wildness in the middle of my safe suburban neighborhood. Maybe I need a little danger to feel at home.


Part Two- Datura

While studying spiritual healing in the Rainforest of Belize the teeming life of the jungle has awakened me. I am permeated by the plants, body and soul. The divine smell of orange blossoms perfumes each breath.

Tonight the dogs were howling; there is the sound of a coconut dropping on the earth outside of my thatched roof hut. The bugs seem more intense tonight. Earlier I saw a wild tarantula in the yard and an exotic stick bug. The bugs in my hut now seem attracted to me. Maybe it’s because I’m ovulating – dripping fertile mucus. I light a candle to try attract them away to the candlelight.

And tonight I drank water that a Datura flower had steep in all day in the sunlight. The Datura grows wildly and strongly here. His large white trumpet flower calls to me. Yes, I am feeling a bit psychedelic. The candle goes out.

Just now I am filling with light and that’s another reason the bugs are attracted to me tonight. Is the light from the Datura? Or is it because tonight I have a date with Orion?

Orion-the Constellation of a Large Powerful Male presence. Orion, the one that the Maya people call Turtle of Rebirth. Orion- who I have gazed up at in wonder for so many years. I wanted to name my first born son after him – but the father refused. Orion will be my lover tonight. We made our date at a meditation earlier this week when he showed up as a Spirit Helper for me.

I’ve said my prayers, relit the candle, and pinned my protection amulet on my person to protect my physical body while I trance. I settle into my tryst with Orion.

I grow into the awareness that I am light- expansive pure light. Orion comes to me in his constellar form, his sword-phallus unsheathed. We make love as only light can- as hot as sunlight, slippery as moon light – mingling photons with photons, waves upon waves in the timeless time of the eternal moment that lives in love. His phallus of photons enters into my waves of womb until together the waves and photons release into Oneness. We merge deeply, conceiving the personhoods of thousands of star zygotes.

I mother our starlets in my light womb with the pulsing of my life blood until they are ripe. Then I birth them, freeing them into the emptiness of space where they can shine freely in all directions, filling the darkness with their light, calling calling other humans to know too their stellar selves.


By Terra

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Memoir: The Fairie Garden

It is a very wet day in England. I am at the Gurdjieff school at Sherborne and I am working in the garden. I am deep in the mud and with every step, my boots sink and stick. The fine rain and mist envelopes me and I am not feeling too happy about working in these conditions. I am also appreciating the opportunity to get beyond my physical discomfort and actually enjoy the English weather.

I dig up a shovelful of earth and stuck in the mud is a tiny shoe. It is not just any shoe. It is about an inch long and is intrically woven in tiny strips of leather. The toe is somewhat pointed and it is in perfect condition. I stand there examining it and know that it must belong to a fairy. I am deeply awed by such a find. I am tempted to take it with me but it does not belong to me and I must put it back. Some little Being will be looking for it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Prose: The Power of Place

I marvel at how different landscapes, different terrains, give me the opportunity to experience something new in myself, or immediately transport me to a familiar, hopefully well-loved place.

Just driving near a body of water opens up my emotional field so that I can’t wait to see it, stand in its energy field up close and let my feelings relax.

A stream is different from a lake, which is different yet again from a river or the ocean. Moving water moves me. Still water gives me a place to breathe in slowly and exhale ever slower.

Mountain ranges show me the faces of guardians and critters who live within its confines. Majestic and boundary-making, they lift me out of my daily thinking and invite me into a larger sensing, a wilder knowing in a deeper part of my brain. Because I’ve run naked by streams and in meadows in the higher elevations, in my younger days, often being up in there now reminds me that my skin is actually a protection on the edges of myself, and that clothes are a chosen adaptation.

The freezing glacial waters that run through these stone structures allow me to have rushes of energy released up my spine as my feet enter these ice cold temperatures on the creek’s edge.

Forests, deep, silent and brooding, surround me in green light, embrace me in an elfin dance and I am drawn to the grandmother or grandfather tree in the midst of it. Here I give my acknowledgement of all things held in conscious awareness by this ancient being.

Temples, churches and sacred sites all have their magic. For some it is the combined energies of pilgrims and searchers over centuries of time, all contributing to the energy field that I step into as I approach these places. For others, it is the initial happening that created a vortex of energy that other molecules have attached themselves to and furthered the energetic.

Even my unfenced garden in north Boulder in the late 80’s held a place of peace and possibility as I lay my heart on the straw in between the raised unboarded beds. Smelling the sweetness, giving my energy of appreciation or angst back to the earth was part of my prone choice. It allowed me to let my heart open and release the energy held inside with a sense that the earth would grow flowers with it.

Jyoti

Friday, June 20, 2008

TREE Poetry

Power of green leaves
Power of earth and soil
Power of deep drawn roots
Power of shelter and strength
Power of forest and wood
Power of Tree

by Jesse

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Essay: Driving With a Crowd

I was driving to meet with my writing group in Boulder last Monday. I had planned on leaving my house earlier, but that didn’t happen. I usually stop and grab something to eat as I drive through Longmont. Today it took forever; nothing “fast” about it. Back on the road I watched myself growing more and more angry. I shifted from lane to lane like an idiot and called out loudly to the morons I was forced to share the road with. Part of me was fascinated, because, although I used to drive like this allot, I really have become much calmer behind the wheel in the past few years and have enjoyed this about myself. I don’t want to break my arm patting myself on the back, but I like “Mellow Netto”.

There is a crowd in my car today; me, myself, and I am the passenger even as I hold the steering wheel. The passenger is setting back watching the driver who is too busy being an ass to notice. “Angry Annie” realized she was being a jerk but could not quit … maybe she didn’t want to. But I know she didn’t enjoy the way she felt as she cursed the other drivers, heading back into old behavior road rage. She was hot and frustrated; mad at herself but blaming every one else on the road for her situation. Writers group was going to start without her and she despised walking in late. “Damn it all to hell.” I have had years of experience as Angry Annie.

Mellow Netto witnessed the scene with NO judgment, which really surprised me. I don’t know her as well but I like her. She doesn’t sweat as much as Annie and I think her hair looks nicer. She said nothing, just sat in her seat quietly enjoying our lunch. As we parked the car and walked towards the house, she took over as Annie melted into the sidewalk. She was the one who opened the door and realized that the group was still in free-form, they had not started without us. Everyone looked up as we walked through the door but no one acknowledged my crowd ~ they just smiled at me and welcomed me in. Annie, Netto and I sat on the couch where there was room enough for all of us. Mellow Netto pulled out our notebook and clicked open the ball point pen. We ask Angry Annie to take a deep breath, realizing that everything had turned out just fine and her manic driving was indeed, unnecessary. I tuck wind whipped hair behind my ear and smile demurely.

I acknowledge these parts of myself who all serve a purpose ~ but when one takes over out of control I have reason for concern ~ to take notice. There is so much fear in the world, we are bombarded daily and it stresses my sensibility. In this fragile, unsure place, it is more difficult, but I make a conscious effort to bring “us” back to LOVE. Drink water, breath deeply, choose LOVE.
Smile when possible.

* annette

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Life in the Mountains

It's a bear day.

He came last night and ruined the squirrel proof feeder (obviously not bear proof), the hummingbird feeder and the nyjer seed feeder. He got a tummy full. I guess when he woke up from his early morning feeding he decided to come back around lunch time. I saw him out the kitchen window. He's huge. I didn't know as I watched him head behind the house, into the woods, that he'd been on the front deck only minutes before. I was busy making granola and somehow missed his deck visit. He drank and spilled the water I have out for the birds and went after my other hummingbird feeder, knocking it below. It was salvageable which is good because the hummingbirds are getting super clear about having their food available by flying about 6 inches from my face when it is empty or as in this mornings and lunch case, missing. They are not shy at all and are very good communicators from what I can tell.
The ladies (hummingbirds) will all sit down together and eat, although now a seat or two is missing thanks to the bear. I have seen up to four at a time eating away calmly. The male will eat with no one and when he wants to eat he swoops in and clears the deck of all the females and helps himself.
The fox who was eating shortly before the bear arrived, I should have been suspicious when he left so suddenly after arriving, has been here alot. He's taken 2 eggs from my hand, very gently. I think he is not a good hunter as he is a skinny thing. There are two types of foxes that visit, red and grey. The grey foxes are very cat like and jump up on the rail to finish what the birds, and now bear, does not. The red ones have beautiful black legs and are much leaner and a bit taller. One of the red ones has come nose to nose on either side of the glass door with the cat. So far the cat is the one that jumps up and scares the fox but I'm not sure how long that will last.
I don't have to worry about not taking in the bird feeders for the time being, at least till I buy some more. It is inevitable that I will buy more but I need a few days before I'm ready to invest again. In all the years past I never had to worry about having feeders out during the day. This is the first time the bears are so active and brazen about being on the front deck in broad day light. Even so, I feel deep gratitude that this amazing creature is literally right out my front door. And that I get to interweave my day with these animal friends.

Life in the mountains.  

Mary

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

POEM - THE GIVING

She came in almost bursting forth,
With her abundant energy.

Many words began to spill out of her mouth,
Beautiful words, spilling all over us.

Her words came from the heart,
But it was a slow realization on our part.

She talked of Higher Truth, much wisdom

She spoke even more of woman, sexuality,
Our ability to take it all in.

She continued to let her words pour out,
Even as we shared sustenance.

The wisest of crones, through all this,
She allowed us in to the depths of her story.

And then she dealt us a startling surprise
By dealing out $100. bills like we were
Playing a card game.

She kept dealing, to teach us one the greatest
Lesson of all, ABUNDANCE.

It was like Christmas,
And on her way out she exclaimed,

DREAM BIGGER!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Placenta - excerpt from Giving Birth to Ourselves

PLACENTA

The placenta is an amazing organ of nourishment & cleansing, which also maintains the hormonal state of pregnancy in the mother. The beauty of a healthy placenta goes far beyond its meaty mother's side and shiny baby's side. Yet many people in this culture abhor the thought of seeing and touching it. It is treated as garbage or made into cosmetics after the birth. Honoring the placenta is a way of honoring nourishment and the process of life itself.

In giving birth to ourselves we each have that which nourishes and cleanses us, maintaining the state of creation in us. That is our placenta now. It may be something very meaty, motherly , shiny, or baby-like. It may be Mother Earth Herself . Whatever it is that provides for us in this way brings us the blessings and nourishment of our Great Mother. By honoring it - acknowledging & thanking it for it's support- we honor ourselves and the process of giving birth to ourselves.

Contemplations--

• Do I know what constitutes my placenta now?
• Do I honor it?
• What could I do to better respect this aspect of giving birth to myself?

Activities--

* Create a physical representation of your placenta to help remind you of it. It could be a special pillow, or a collage of pictures that represent that which sustains you.

* Start a placenta book. It could include anything you learn about nourishing yourself and physical placentas.

* Be sure that all birth placentas you are in contact with are treated with respect - if need be, take custody.

-by Terra Rafael,

an excerpt from Giving Birth to Ourselves, contemplations for midwives & other birth companions, available from www.lulu.com.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Memoir: Suryananda Grace Rose's Birth

Suryananda Grace Rose’s Birth

I am living in Pondicherry, India and we have been building the house in Auroville where I will birth my first child. It has taken a long time and the day has come to finally be able to move in. The only glitch is that there is just enough keet (palm leaf) roofing finished to cover the part of the eneagram structure where our beds are. The rest of the roof is the cris-cross of the bamboo supports. I am about 37 weeks pregnant.

The kitchen is not yet set up in my house, so the day after I have moved in, I have had to walk over a mile to go to the community kitchen at Center to eat breakfast. It is a hot mid-July day and it takes me a long time to go there and back. Hugh, my husband has gone into Pondicherry by bicycle to get some supplies. I am tired and a German woman who lives nearby has brought over some tea. We are drinking it on my bed and I stand to get something. Suddenly, my waters broke and I start to go into labor. It is about 2 in the afternoon. I am a bit confused but my friend had had a baby and she reassures me that it is normal. I am not ready, having just moved in. I have wanted to hem some cloth to make sheets for the baby and that becomes all important to me. I sit down to sew as much as I can before I birth.

My friend runs to get someone to bicycle to alert my English midwife and see if they can find Hugh. Labor does not seem so hard and I know that I can handle it. He is found at the outskirts of Auroville and races home as fast as his legs can spin the pedals. Running into the house he asks if I am ready. I look up from my sewing and say that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

Labor starts to get stronger and one of my neighbors has been loaned a lyre. He is a concert musician and it is the most heavenly sound. People gather and the midwife comes. Now I am working hard. No one has ever told me about back labor. Wow, is that intense. I have only enough time to take a breath in between contractions. It is dark and I can see a couple of children holding lanterns. There are several people sitting on the floor across from my bed. I can just make them out in the shadows. I have read a Lamaze book but I am unsure what part of the labor I am in. Am I relaxed enough? Am I doing it right? Well, there is only the next breath. That I know I can do.

Then the midwife exclaims, “Oh, my God, it’s a breech! Push!” I push twice with all my strength and she is born. Her eyes are wide open looking at me. I recognize her. “Of course it’s you, it’s always been you”. She is the most luminous beautiful being I have ever seen.

Prema Rose

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poetry: My arms open....

My arms open to welcome you,
as my heart embraces you
into the family.
I’ve know about you
for two years now
and waited
for this face-to-face meeting
when you were ready.

My eyes light upon your eyes
and I see my mother
reflected back to me.
I see my father’s and son’s
nose prominently in place.
And I miss the 25 years
of your life
I didn’t know you existed.

Welcome to the family,
granddaughter.

Jyoti

Friday, June 13, 2008

JOHNNY - memior

I should not have been surprised to see the six state police cars with flashing lights ripping through the blinding sun sirens waling. I watched my father walk calmly out to greet the cops. I instinctively knew it was about my twin brother. And, I knew he couldn’t bear to let me have my moment in the sun.

It was my wedding day. The guests were milling around under the big trees at my childhood farm some seated at pretty tables tied with big white ribbons. My dad motioned my brother toward the waiting police cars where 12 cops quickly gathered around him. I turned to my new husband and we smiled at each other. We both knew Johnny….

My brother had come home the day before especially for our wedding on leave from the army where he trained as a pilot on his way to Viet Nam. Just for fun he and his friend Burnie Thompson took a small plane out flying. They just happened to fly over nearby Crystal Lake where, as happenstance would have it, there was a sail boat race. John and Burnie were never ones to observe. They decided to join right in by dive-bombing the boats pulling up just in the nick of time scaring the bejeesus out of everyone on the lake. Sailors were jumping out of their boats, people were screaming, children were crying. Johnny and Burnie were having one hell of an afternoon.

by Jesse

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Celebrating Passages.

I had an awesome dinner with my son at our favorite Japanese restaurant. Our conversation was lively as he told me about his landscaping projects and I told him about the horse whisperer class I had just taken. We would pause for a few moments as new enticing morsels were set in front of us, savor the flavor, then off we would go again. I marveled at the amount of information that we had to share with each other, at the easy flow between us. He will be 25 at the end of the month ~ a quarter of a century ~ how can that be? I must have had him when I was five … oh dear ( sigh )

His eyes are clear and his skin has a healthy glow from working out of doors. He has a little reddish brown fuzzy growth covering his chin; adorable and worth every month he has invested in it. He has picked back up his passion for Frisbee golf and has made new friends over the plastic disk. He showed me one that he had hand painted and explained about putting it in the microwave for some reason. I must admit I did not understand the process; I was too happy being in awe of his creativeness.

I asked him if he thought about grandpa much. He said that he did – allot. I know. Even as we looked at each other, we drifted through our own memories. It has been one year since my father passed away. How can that be?

We patted our bellies and laughed at the suggestion of a fried banana ending. I drove him back to the park to get his bicycle. He gave me a big hug. He is a great hugger. I headed for home smiling, thankful that we have reached this place in our lives. He and I ~ we are so different ~ and its okay!!

* annette

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Imagine

Imagine….you already are everything you could ever want. You already walk on earth fully anchored in Love, in your Higher Self. It’s not going to happen…it is happening. An ongoing experience, governed by God…Your true Self. Anything you need to know appears effortlessly as you need it. Anything. You live in a state of Love so all things pass through you. No judgments, resistance….just enormous delight in others and their presence….their situations…and stories

It does not mean there is not an element of vigilance to watch as the old patterns emerge. That is for you to observe. And if they do slip in don’t judge yourself…look…love what you are up to and choose again. Bring love to the forefront so it is not about making others wrong so you can do something different. It’s not about making you wrong. It’s about living in the soup of love, nothing is wrong….just different things to choose.

And if you have spent a bit of time making someone wrong/bad….whatever….love that you played that game and are now willing to see that and now choose anew.

Love is here. Now. Do you want to experience the only thing that is real or continue your stories? Love is here. Now. How much simpler could it be….I can sit in my rightful place enjoying all the benefits of what God/Being/Universe offers and is or I can make up stories and experiences about what is wrong….what I could have, should have done or what needs to be done….judgment, past, future…not where love is living. Love is here. Now. We have become so addicted to anywhere but here. All the things we have to do to be OK, what’s wrong with me….you…the world. Or how great I am, look at what I’m doing and have accumulated. Love is here. Now.

Start to notice what takes you away from that. Laugh at it. You are a miracle.

Mary

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prose: Leona and Superstitutions

“Oh Lawd, don’t leave that hat on the bed!”, my mother-in-law wailed in her high-pitched southern drawl. “That is the worst luck in the world”. Her voice usually had a tinge of helplessness to it, a Real Southern Belle Voice.

She never flew in an airplane her entire life and most vehemently refused to ride in elevators……..fear of heights and claustrophobia drove her life. If she ever rode in a car at high altitude, especially if cliffs were around, she would get down in the floor of the vehicle. Mostly a delight and joy to be with, there were also dreaded times of her fears and depression. Her Spring Blues, as we called them.

Leona was a natural comedian and clown, being the youngest daughter of four girls and one younger brother. Her father was killed when she was quite young, leaving her mother to raise 5 children alone. A mysterious murder there doesn’t seem to be much knowledge about. There is a picture of him holding a cotton picker he had invented. Her superstitions were greatly formed and nurtured at a young age by a black mammy who helped with the children. She slept with her mother until she married at 28. Adjusting to her marriage was a very new and different time for Leona. There were many tearful times interspersed with much humor and hilarious antics.

Her husband, Bill Sr., would remark as she slept with panties on her head to keep her hairdo intact, “I never knew which end was up.”



By Patricia

Monday, June 9, 2008

Poetry: In Honor of Julien's 28th Birthday

prenatal countdown
precious parasite-
once a fish, you swam & grew on the waters of my ocean.
now you are a creature more akin to astronaut,
weightless in my space,
tethered to me, the Mothership
not yet having walked on Earth or Moon
(what do you dream?)

soon you will be forced
to mold your head
to escape a tight situation
& we both will be forced
to mold our minds
to form a new RelationShip
(what do I dream?)
*********
Julien, our sweet seed--
you sprouted & grew in my womb.
now you’ve come out,
kaleidescoping colors
ripening by air
blossoming lungs.
we cut you free
from your stem to me,
but you are not far,
a flower on my breast
my heart on my sleeve
fruit of love & seed of yourself.
*********
mother’s milk

my breasts ache & leak when my baby dreams of eating.
how can I give him glass & rubber?
how can I imagine him sucking a cow’s udder?
or nuzzling up to a can of Similac?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Poem: BY HEART

BY HEART

When I sit and try to think
Of what I know by heart,
The task is rather daunting,
I scarce know where to start.
I search the recessed corners,
Some treasures there to find,
And all the other useless junk
That clutter up my mind.
The Highwayman Comes Riding
Once again to inner ear,
And Shakespeare, Keats, and Whitman
Make sure that I can hear.
I know my name and address.
That’s good for one my age.
I hope I’ll still remember them
Before I turn this page.
I knew quite well the Broadway show
I played for two years straight,
But when it closed it disappeared
Somewhere inside my pate.
I know I know a lot of things
I know that I’ve forgot,
And when it comes to access them
I find I just cannot.
I take my Ginko faithfully,
I exercise my brain,
And I am oh so grateful
For what I do retain.
Someday this all will be no more
Than the whisp of passing dreams,
I’ll learn my lines and play my part
For I’m still here, it seems.

Prema Rose

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Memoir: I wait in anticipation...

I wait in anticipation…in three days I will be meeting my 27 yr. old granddaughter for the first time.
A new mom herself, she lives in northern California with her 2 ½ yr. old daughter and her husband.
We’ve been emailing for two years now. I wanted to give her all the time she needed to be ready to meet this other, unknown, part of her family.
The way I knew she was now ready was when I heard she had bought a plane ticket to come to DC to meet her dad…my son.
I wanted to meet her during the visit also. I arrived a few days early, and now I wait…
Jyoti

Friday, June 6, 2008

Green Tea - writing

I pull back the quilt on my bed eager to fall into a well deserved rest. As I close my eyes my mind drifts to the tea awaiting me come morning. I float off imagining the fragrance lifting from the grass green leaves as I pour the boiling water into my glass teapot. I will hold the teapot up to the first rays of morning sun marveling at the lush leaves opening like a rose warmed by the sun. I will pour the tea into my cup bringing it up to breath in the forest scent before putting it to my lips and tipping it over my tongue.

I have been blessed with a gift of Lishan, a Formosa Oolong tea. A small foil packet of green tea so light, so delicate it floats like silk in the teapot. It was picked just this spring in China's mountains and shipped to San Francisco's Red Blossom Tea Company in China Town. I have learned that green tea is not to be kept any longer than four months for it looses its essence. Like a good wine each year it is different depending on the season.. Lishan Spring 2008 has been a very good year. I will savour my gift sip by sip and know the gods.

I fall into a gentle dream of anticipation awaiting my first cup of morning tea.

by Jesse

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Memoir: About A Watermelon

My mother confided with me once that towards the end of her pregnancy she craved watermelon. She ate so much of the juicy red flesh that she had visions of giving birth to a watermelon. I was born in the middle of August and it was hot & humid in Missouri; the juicy fruits were in season and they provided a cool wet reprieve from the heat. I think about this whenever I cut open a new watermelon ~ trying to catch the scent ~ will this specimen be of that ultimate sweetness. My mother taught me how to thump watermelons. Still today I stand in the grocery store, sometimes aware of people staring as I walk around the bin, ear close to the big green orbs, flicking them with my finger. I listen for a hollow sound, like if you thump it one more time, the melon might split open at your touch. I am not sure if it works or not, but thumping on watermelons is a womanly tradition in my family ~ it keeps me connected.

We used to tease my grandma that she was so protective of her grandchildren that she wouldn’t let us eat watermelon with a fork. As a grown woman, I am still not totally sure what that means, except it “feels” like LOVE.

I can see us at the farm. My grandpa would carry the watermelon to the big concrete cistern and lay it on an open newspaper. With grandma fretting, we would gather round as he took the long knife and opened it up. He would start in the middle and cut thick slices, then halve those, and make a few more cuts to achieve the shiny triangles that fit easier into hungry kid hands. We gobbled the first few pieces, quenching our thirst and making a pile of the rinds. Then we had time to get more creative … spitting seeds at each other … pinching their slick blackness in our now gummy fingers to see how far we could send them flying. Sometimes Dad would make us goofy teeth out of the rinds. So much to like about a watermelon. Of course grandpa always warned us not to eat the seeds or we would find a vine growing out of our belly button or maybe out our ears. He’s ... teasing?? .... right ... ??

Many years ago I had a conversation with an older woman that I worked with at the Assessor’s Office. She grew up in Florida in a wealthy family. When her father served up a watermelon, he would slice off both ends and all 4 sides of the rind, leaving only the square central portion of redness. “It was the sweetest and most devoid of seeds”, she reminded me, “and he would throw the rest away”.

Shock and dismay ripped through me. Throw away watermelon rinds and seeds ?!?!? Poor thing I thought, she missed out on a lot of fun. They probably ate it on a plate …… with a fork.

* annette

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Forgiveness & Not Judging

Two tools I have to remind myself to use on this journey thru life…forgiveness and not judging. What is most amazing is how often there are opportunities to apply one of them….or both. Also amazing is how often I forget to use them and usually when I need them the most. Another point is how I can seemingly apply either one many many times to the same issue, person or situation.

It becomes a matter of being practical after awhile. It is easier to forgive then hold on to animosity. I have a cousin who other than my mother would not talk to any other relative for reasons that are clear to her and no one else. Things that happened 25 years ago are still very real and very worth not forgiving. This makes sense to her. As I have come to learn in my own process…we always have really good reasons to be angry, hurt, mad, and revengeful. But I have also come to see it really doesn’t matter. As a spiritual book I study says “do you want to be right or happy”. And it does get easier and easier till a situation arises that requires a deeper letting go, a deeper level of forgiveness, a bigger me I don’t always have access to in the moment.

Not judging is an endless pursuit. How engrained and entwined it is in so many parts of our lives. How subtle and how it can be so woven into conversation, perceptions and daily interactions. As I start to unwind judgments I notice how tenuous they are anyway. Most are based on a situation that in all honesty I might have misread. Or even if I haven’t maybe it was a bad day for that person. Or they may have changed. Endless possibilities as to how easy it is to re-perceive…..think again…to let them be free. I know it is a better way to live. I lean in this direction, some days swimming with the stream and it all falls into place and some days I get turned around and can’t figure out what’s what. It is more work on those days. I get to apply these two principles to myself if I’m lucky.

These are tools I pray I get better with. They come in handy nearly everyday. They give me encouragement and strength on the path of discovery, a path I am very passionate about.

Mary

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Poem....Watermelon Memories

Juice running down the arms,
Dripping off the elbows,

Times outdoors on green lush grass,
When cutting a whole watermelon
Was an event.

The wettest of foods, we know the
Moment its cut,
The right color of red
How good it will be.

The colder the better, at least when
Its hot.

Letting the soaked, cold, sweetness
Of it delight all my cells

Down to the water system it runs,
A gift to the kidneys and its
Same element partner, the bladder.

Nourished and peed, now is the time
To make teeth.

Out of the white of the rind,
A new look comes to mind.

By Patricia

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bats and Mixed Emotions

Part 1~
On the northeast edge of the San Luis Valley nestles the Orient Land Trust, named for the abandoned iron mine and town site on the property. They apparently were named for the Chinese workers who were brought to labor there. The Trust also includes a clothing-optional hot springs and campground, but that’s another story. The fascinating feature I’m looking forward to seeing again is the bat colony, including somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 bachelor Mexican free-tailed bats.

A group of us, led by a volunteer guide, hiked up a dirt road, past the decayed town site and piles of mining slag, then up a steep ridge. The pathway has a 700 foot elevation gain. I was huffing and puffing by the time we got the 1.7 miles. But the view out into the Valley was both expansive and humbling in its grandeur. We had timed our hike to get there just before sundown, which was when the bats fly out of the large mine cavern called the Glory Hole, out into the vastness of the San Luis Valley farmland to dine. It’s estimated that the colony eats as much as 1,000 pounds of insects per night at the peak summer season.

The guide quietly laid out the ground rules. Be quiet. Avoid touching the bats even when they fly nearby. Keep flashlights from shining into the Glory Hole and no flash photos, because light disturb the bats. He explained that these bats were mainly males, the females of this colony lived in New Mexico. And that they all migrated further south for the winter. This is the northern most known colony of this specie.

We quietly waited in anticipation. Victor & I used sign language. Occasional muffled conversations flew between the various naturist naturalists. (All were dressed now for the cool of the high altitude evening.)

Then they began emerging. A few flew out like a trickle of dark against the sky, flitting over our heads. After a short time the trickle became a steady, full stream, flowing out into the Valley like a river rushing down to the ocean. The sound of their wings was a whispering like the flow of a river over stones. I even felt the waves of air moved by those wings as they passed. These bats can fly over 40 miles per hour. The stream went on into the darkening night until only the sound and air evidenced their exodus.

We’re told that eventually they trickle back to the cave and by morning have returned to rest. Not being nocturnal animals, Victor & I made our way down to our tent, flashlights acting as our radar to find our sure footing on the steep path.

I want to return there again, just like the bats do each summer and witness the beauty of their everyday existence.


Part 2~
The brown bat with wings the size of my hands, buzzes over our heads, derailing conversation. Nine variously shaped and colored naked people lounge in the deep & wide hot spring pool in the foothills of the San Luis Valley. It’s daytime. I warn the sweet blond woman who wanted to get closer to it that bats flying in the daytime may be disoriented and sick. I’d found a similar bat one day in my backyard a few years ago. Animal Control said not to approach it. That bat died within a few hours.

I feel as though the bat is flying at me. Then he splashes into the pool, within arm’s reach. I scoot my bare body through the still waters, away from him, while he swims with his wings towards the shore. He pulls himself up the rocks and into the bushes. “Is he gone? Can you see where he is?” we all chatter at once.

In a flash I remember stories about bats: bats that get tangled in your hair, so you have to shave it off; bats swooping in near our faces as we run out to the tent in my cousin’s backyard at dusk, balancing a big bowl of popcorn in my hands; bats sneaking into our apartment when I was a child & Dad swinging a broom at them each time to chase them out; bats that have rabies and bite you and then the painful series of shots needed to avoid horrible suffering and mental derangement.

Suddenly the bat launches into the air again, skimming our heads. A few of us startle and scream.
Later at the registration center I mention seeing the bat in the daytime. The host says, ”When in doubt, be cautious. But it sounds like a local bat and in the spring they often feed in the daytime due to the cold of night. And bats dipping into the hot springs pool are not unusual around here.”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Poem: AHHH

AHHH



The vast depths of Space
Are my domain.
Eternal Stillness,
Devoid of form and movement,
Conscious only of consciousness.
The sweet taste of Peace
Pervades my Being.
In the no-thing that I am,
Emerges all that is.