Thursday, July 31, 2008


I walked from one corner to the next ~ 4 corners that established the boundaries of my small piece of heaven on earth. I never dreamed that I would get the house, but I had a son to finish raising and my soon-to-be-ex-husband ~ had a dog. Actually now that I think about it, that is about what he had when we got married. The refinance to get his name off the paper work had been ridiculously easy and now in the middle of the night I was marking my territory.

The moon was full and sparkled down upon me as I stopped at each corner. I raised the jar to the moon and prayed my thankfulness. I asked for wisdom and grace to carry on, I asked for courage to face the future. I proclaimed by sincere thankfulness for the masters, teachers and angels that had guided me to this moment. I poured a small amount of liquid with each prayer. When I finished the four corners I walked to the ornamental windmill standing in what I conceived to be the center of my home site. I finished my prayers as I spilled the rest of the blood tea into the heart of this land. I floated into the house to finish my ceremony with a song in the glow of candlelight. I surged with the promise of moon and the power of earth. I felt at once both the softness of a single blade of grass and the strength of the giant cottonwood. I was rock solid with courage and determination filled with a gooey center of mushy love. I was woman!!

For the few days preceding my ceremony I had been collecting my menstrual blood into a Mason jar. At the same time I made a strong infusion of rose petals and lavender flowers to add to my brew. The power of a woman’s blood combined with the inner and outer aspects of love symbolized by the plants that I cherished.

I thanked the goddess for bringing into my life the teachers and circumstances that had opened up this small town Christian girl to the ongoing lessons of a much broader universe. I had never done anything like this before. I wouldn’t have had a clue about performing this kind of ceremony if it hadn’t been for the thirteen month study of plant spirit medicine under the tutelage of a modern day shaman. My life would never be same after my introduction to journey work and an ever expanding awe of the spiritual universe. I was like a sponge.

That experience was followed by a wondrous year I spent at herb school. I walked away from that year long program with 4 notebooks full of facts and hand-outs on the medicinal properties of plants, plus I had been introduced to earth centered ritual celebrating the feminine. The women I met would become dear friends and mentors. I sat in class and listened to women discussing the power of being female. I was shocked and dismayed. I was shocked because I could not believe any one could enjoy nearly bleeding to death every month and dismayed because I had lived so long, suffering through the dreaded curse, totally unaware of the power that these women described.

I only had a few years to explore this new monthly “moon blood”, and then it was over, as dramatically as it started. But this is now; and I am woman!!

* annette

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mountain Morning

The slight breeze still cools my skin as the morning sun is warming.  It will be too hot later but now is the time to be out enjoying the air, smells and sounds that filter in through me.  The rufous hummingbird arriving mid-July, as usual, took over both feeders.  He has a way of running the show even though the others have been here since early May.  His stunning color makes up partly for his bossy behavior, though I doubt the Broadtails and Calliope's feel the same.  I had the pleasure of holding a baby Calliope in June when she crashed into our sliding glass door.  Sooo tiny.  Such a gift to hold this being of splendid color as she reoriented herself back to flying ability.  I sat for twenty minutes in awe before she took flight.  The broadtail's have cleverly figured how to send in two or three of themselves so the Rufous can chase one or two and the other one gets a moment to eat.  It's all about getting to eat. 
The chipmunks eat more birdseed then the birds but this morning the small red fox has come to hunt them.  Luckily for them this fox is not a proficient hunter.  She is jumping up and down, pawing at a pile of rocks that holds her treasure but still no luck.  She is also too friendly as she walks up to me and my cat sniffing my leg and touching my hand as I put it out.  My cat stays relaxed but there have been a few times when they've met outside with me not right there and relaxed would not describe this interaction.  So far the fox thinks the cat has the upper hand but that is sure to change.  They have gotten to know each other on opposite sides of the glass door and kitty is the aggressor.  I try to explain how she gets her food served to her and the fox doesn't and may one day decide she looks like dinner.  I'm fairly sure this is lost on her.  
The black Abert squirrel is just as upset by the fox this morning as the chipmunks.  She, with her tall black, furry ears and the pine squirrels (smaller, grey and vocal) all release a series of loud calls to warn the fox they are not happy with her presence.  After the fox leaves, the pine squirrel runs two inches in front of the cat just to mess with her.  I've seen the chipmunks do the same.  It's a game.  I guess even animals know to have some fun along with all the serious business of eating.  



Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My mother told me “can’t never could do nothing”, as I whined as a kid saying, “I can’t”, when she was attempting to get me to do something that was maybe a little too adventurous for me, or I was just rebelling. I was a sheltered only child, what can I say.

But those words have rang in my ears most of my life.

As the years have rolled by, there have been levels of healing those ringing words. Amazing how the phrases that were thrown at us as kids begin to shape our lives. Awakening through courage, will and plain old gumption brings an awareness that begins to crack these words so that they may fall away. And as I let all those words my mother said, and occasionally still says, with her judging negativity, dissolve, even before they enter my energy field, we are beginning to arrive at a new and different place.

This new place is deep nurturing, what I would have loved to have known in the beginning, but didn’t. My heart is opening to a softening as the deep nurturing between my mother and I becomes more of a possibility. A softening where water and blood begin to support each other. As the feminine and The One Heart flows more freely between us, it does give way to a new and deeper compassion.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Cascade Feelings

The rocky path around Cascade Lake, going towards the Falls, was hot and dry. The blue sky and unrippled water below were empty of clouds. My water bottle was drained by the time we made the Falls. There, the soothing sound of water against rock brought hope of being quenched.

An ample tree, bigger than I could reach around, had bark textured like a brown topological model, insulating its trunk. It's shade refreshed me. I wanted to hug it. When I leaned close, I could smell the faint vanilla smell that gave away its identity, like a lady wearing her signature perfume. I returned to that fragrance, over and over for awhile. It satisfied a hunger for sweetness. I asked Victor to take my photo there with the tree to commemorate that satisfaction.

We rested in that shade, teasing a begging chipmunk by throwing it pieces of bark and twig instead of food.

Then two mountain jays, blue merging into black, each topped off with a headdress of plumes, landed above us. We watched as they hopped, plumes swaying, through the branches, one moving right above me. Would he bless me with a gob of poop? I wanted a photo of him. Victor got his camera out again and snapped a few tries.

Suddenly I heard the crackle of something hard landing on the other side of the tree. A pine cone? No it was a gigantic beetle, as big as the palm of my hand. In a flash, one of the jays grabbed it and flew several yards away. The bird attacked it, driving its beak against the carapace to get to the soft inner bug flesh. The crackling sound repeated and repeated, relentlessly, and the frenzied movements of the bird nearby brought out an unfettered animal feeling in me. I feel the frenzy too. I want to devour my prize-- that savage sense that gets little freedom in this too civilized world-- the danger of nature-- death and life intertwined in one action, unsanitized by layers of middle men and packaging.

It's gone in a moment. Victor comments,” Brutal.”

I reply,” The circle of life in action before our very eyes.”

Hiking back to the trail head, I fantasize about catching and killing animal meat to feed on and the satisfaction of dying myself as someone's dinner, rather than letting my body go to waste after cultivating it for so many years.

By Terra

Sunday, July 27, 2008



Shimmers of song,
Clearest of tone,
Raining healing balm
Into the cacophony of the world.
Harmonies flowing in and out,
Sometimes heard and known
And sometimes not,
Always there,
Always pure,
Transcendent gifts of Love.

Prema Rose

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Memoir: Healing Doll

I placed the crystals in her belly where mine had been cut open. I sewed her up, so our stitches matched. She was part of my recovery, my healing doll, that I made while sitting on the couch for three weeks until I got my strength back.

I smoothed the pink skirt I had knitted, smiling at the bright sequins along the bottom. I braided two feathers and a bead into the white-blonde yarn hair, stitched a mouth and eyes with embroidery thread, and shortened an ankle bangley bracelet to fit her ankle, her legs being made of stuffed sock.
She was beautiful, bare-breasted, and held my healing wishes in her own body.
I prayed over her, slept with her at night, and placed her to sit on the back corner of the couch as I read, rested and gathered my strength.
I didn’t name her. I thought I might do that later, down the road. Yet I never did. I kept her with me long after the healing was done.

After those three weeks, ready for my life again, she occupied a place on my pillow by day, and on my meditation shelf at night.

Many years later, I passed her on to a friend, for her own healing. My healing doll was sweet, and I can still see her face in my mind’s eye.


Friday, July 25, 2008

My Grandmother’s Rug

In the old attic pushed back in a corner was a cedar chest packed with my mother’s memories of her mother who had died too early at age 42 before I was born. As she lay dying my grandmother hooked rugs in her sickbed set up in the living room of the old farmhouse.  My mother, newly married and teaching would visit on weekends bringing rug patterns drawn on burlap. Grandmother lovingly hooked a rug for each of her daughters, for her husband, her own mother.   She died before the last rug was finished.  The cedar chest held that last rug along with the unused yarn. 


That’s what I remember.  The cedar chest with the unused yarn, an old doll, some clothes…  I saw my mother cry one summer day when she discovered we children playing with the balls of yarn.  She always intended to finish hooking the rug for the mother she loved.


Life moved quickly for my mother in less that six years she was dealing with seven children yet she still kept the rug in the old chest.  Years past.  My siblings and I left home.  My parents sold the farm and built a home in Montana.  On a day long after my own children had grown and gone my mother handed me that old rug with the tangled yarn saying,  “Here you work with yarn you’ll finish it.”


I took it away thinking to throw it out… mother would never know.  I didn’t want it that old rug.  I had other things to do.  I took it away to give my mother some peace around it.


When I got it home I couldn’t bring myself to toss it out.  It stayed in my closed until one day I found a hooking needle and untangled the yarn into nice neat balls.  Then I began the work my grandmother had left behind.  As I worked next to her rows I began to see this grandmother I had never known.  Each stitch was precisely placed.  Every stitch was perfect.  In her last days she had hooked her love and her life into her work.  Did she sense an unknown granddaughter would one day know her love?


In my California home I worked on that rug all one rainy afternoon.  My daughter came over asking what I was doing and joined in; she working one end of the rug I the other.  As fate would have it my mother came to visit.  She now in her eighties was delighted to see us finishing the rug she kept all those years.  She found a needle and sat down to work with us telling us stories of her mother.  There we were three generations of women working together to finish my grandmother’s rug.


In the end the rug became the work of four generations of women.  I made a backing for it embroidering our names, the year my grandmother died, 1941 and the year we completed it, 1998.  Fifty-seven years.  My grandmother’s work was finished.  She had passed her love down the generations.







Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Deer Gift

I was driving so I had her read the poem I didn't read at his funeral.  She cried when she got to the part where the deer converse with each other saying: "This one is OK, let's see who she is and why she is sitting on the ground like that, so quiet, as if asleep or in a dream, but, anyway, harmless;"  It reminds her of him.  Finally, tears from the one who has been holding everyone else up.  She was the strong one in the family.  The one to see the bigger picture and that knew he was happy to move on from this life, from this body. 

 I had the honor of driving her to the airport.  We were almost there when I had the thought to let her read the poem.  I had no idea why or that she would respond as she did.  But she saw the deer speaking of someone gentle, someone like they were, someone she knew and loved.  Those words reached through and found a place in her heart.

I walked the next morning in the woods.  Nearing the last half mile I felt a warm and joyous presence beside me and thought this is a visit from my friend who just passed away.  I "heard" a few thoughts from him and said my peace as we walked and then doubt crept in and I wondered if I was imagining this conversation.  Just then a sound tugged my attention back to my surroundings and I looked backed behind me. I saw the source of the call, a deer pawing the ground.  He was standing exactly where I'd first started to feel and hear my friend but had been so busy listening I didn't see the deer right next to the trail.  I thought how rare and unusual that a deer would make a sound. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Prose: Rain or Drought

As most of us here in the West are moaning with our Earth about all the parched soil and plants, my thoughts turn to Arizona last winter. I got to spend a few weeks in Tucson when they were having unbelievable rains. Just the word rain sounds flowing. It’s a singing word. To be someplace where it rains all day is a constant flow of song. I was in Sabino Canyon near Tucson where storms blew in twice bringing much all-day singing.

This comfort from rain is a soul nurturer. One can go to other places by just staying inside on a rainy day. Our Earth loves and depends on this even more than we do. It was amazing to see in the desert how even the cacti greened up, seemingly most of the water going into washes, causing flooding. Its like our Mother can only allow in so much moisture, but she sings her song anyway, letting it overflow. She can’t hold on to it, no matter the consequences.

We’re waiting, here in the West, somewhat impatiently, for the next Earth’s singing. At this moment we would be oh so grateful, we will sing in the rain with her.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Walking the Labyrinth, July 08

I’m feeling hectic, unsettled and spaced out from too much computer time earlier this morning. Our writing group is visiting the nearby Labyrinth now. We descend the stairs and enter the room. It’s cool, dimly lit, and quiet. We take off our shoes and set down our bags.

The labyrinth in the center of the spacious room is painted in deep blue with the pathway left white. A circle of votive candles and similarly blue meditation pillows and cushions ring it.

Next to the entrance of the labyrinth is a small altar with a candle, bell and incense holder. Outside the circle are some cushioned pews, a larger altar, plants, and an altar to the Virgin of Guadelupe. I go to Her and light the candle of my heart, to honor She-who-produces-roses-in–the-barrenness-of-winter.

Then I take a deep breath. Another. And then another, as I slow my walk down, approaching the entrance. I ring the bell to awaken my consciousness, to vibrate at the same frequency as this sacred space.

As I step, I begin my affirmation. He restoreth my soul. She restoreth my body. As I walk, I notice how hard I am trying to walk. Silly me. The path is clear & easy, already laid out before me. All my worrying about what to do dissolves and is absorbed into this simple path with every step.

“Why can’t your life be simple?” my husband asked me recently. Walking, the rhythm of feet & breath, and the needlessness of thought or decision comforted me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The simple discipline of following a path with preordained boundaries is comforting.

As I continue my inward spiral along the Labyrinth, involution, going to the source of Oneness, calms my mind, calms my body. I am comforted.

At the center of the Labyrinth I bow. I bow down to the Father, the Mother and the Holy Child—to consciousness, to matter, and their joining in my existence, is the Oneness, the Center.

Time unfolds easily here like that path of the Labyrinth. I move easily when it is time to leave , unwinding back outward. The spiral of expression and creativity leads me back to the world. She restoreth my Body. He restoreth my Soul.

I notice myself inspired to write about women, about the choices they have now, that our paths are not so preordained anymore. And how to find our own simplicity, our own bottom lines & finish lines that can draw the lines, the boundaries of our own paths clearly enough to give us more peace in the midst of our choosing.

Exiting the Labyrinth, I ring the bell again. To awaken my manifesting, to vibrate new consciousness into this world. I am born again.

--by Terra

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Musings: Flovessence

FLOVESSENCEWhen stuck in the energy of MONEY, with all the conditioning that comes with it for me and for most people, in one way or another, I was asked to give another name to that commodity. What came out was “Flovessence”. Yes, that feels so right! Flovessence! It brings a sense of playfulness, joy, abundance, and best of all, a flowing. Flovessence. I even enjoy saying the word. There goes the stuckness. All the tensions around the thought of “Money” and lack thereof, disappear into the possibilities of “Flovessence”. Where will it lead me? What uncharted creative realms will I discover by using this word? I can dance with this word and spin it into anything I want. It is a word for sharing and sharing the plentitude that surely comes with it. It feels like a shimmer of sparkles is enveloping me in delight. I am wallowing in FLOVESSENCE.Prema Rose

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Prose: Labyrinth

We walk near each other, sometimes almost meeting, almost touching, almost looking at each other, but then the turn comes and we move away. We are separated by imaginary demarcations, sort of lines in the sand.. but here they are painted lines in a church basement where a labyrinth has been drawn.

It’s so like life. How we come near each other, sometimes walking parallel in paths near each other, but perhaps never the same. One path will veer off in a turn down another street while yours takes you clear across the way into new territory.

I marvel at this as I watch the other women, sisters in spirit, walk near me, parallel each other, as they allow the labyrinth to walk them through whatever question or idea they entered with.

For many years, I’ve looked at the labyrinth as a map of the convolutions of the brain, moving through the lobes, skimming from one hemisphere to the other and back again. Then one arrives at the center, seeking solution.

As I sit in the middle when I get there to see what it has for me, I hear the near-silent rustle of clothing and movement of feet as the other women continue their path inward toward the center.

This day I feel it’s not so much a solution I’m seeking as much as a cleaning out of those brain lobes where judgments and opinions reside, where doubts and insecurities brew. And my intention is to clean all that out. To loosen the gray matter and allow room for new patterns of thing and being, I keep walking, one foot in front of the other. My eyes are looking down in a soft gaze, as I look within myself, footstep by footstep around the circular maze.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Memoir: Morning in England

I thought I was dreaming when I heard the song.  An unknown instrument, a flute, but not a flute was spilling out of my dream into the English garden outside my bedroom window.  I drifted on the melody floating out of the dream.  The trilling music continued one song after another.  My heart opened to the music vibrating throughout my whole being.  I took in a bottomless breath listening not wanting to disturb the source of such beauty.

Then, it stopped.  I cocked my ears to hear more.  Nothing.  I went to the window searching the dense green of ancient yews, oaks, and beech trees ...  Nothing.  I leaned into the mingled morning fragrance of dew and flowers but nothing.   I stood mesmerized thinking I must be still dreaming.

 I moved into my day spellbound and wondering.  It was late morning when I saw my neighbor, Allen, who asked with a smile,  “Did you hear the nightingale sing this morning?”

Oh, yes, I did.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Essay: Missouri. Blue Gold.

NOTE TO SELF. Picking Blueberries is way easier than strawberries … which now grow too close to the ground. Raspberries and blackberries bushes have thorns; even Mom’s back yard gooseberries have thorns.

My mom, sister and I decide to skip breakfast in order to get to there early ~ the pre-recorded “Berry Patch” message said there were more pickers than berries and warns that it has been consistently picked out by the end of each day. They open at 7 am and we arrive about 8. We know the routine. We walk briskly up to the self service counter, grab a one gallon white bucket, tuck in the heavy duty clear plastic bag and grab a piece of twine to tie the bucket around the waist, allowing for two handed picking.

Patch #1 has a closed sign on it but Patch #2 is open and there are already heads bobbing above the lush greenness. Row after row of fruit laden bushes ~ but we are in search of the bluest blueberries. There are dozens of muffled conversations drifting above the long steaming rows; mothers exchanging favorite recipes, children comparing the taste of warm juicy berries. The birds squawk from the tall treed perimeter, probably discussing the two legged wingless crowd below ruining their dinner plans.

I see a bush with lots of potential and peel off from my family to seek my fortune. Heat, sweating, picking, quiet thoughts, I spread my arms to take advantage of a cautious breeze. “Levi. Levi?” a woman calls out. “Can you hear me son? Norma Jean, have you seen Levi?” I glance around to see if anyone resembling a Levi is in my row. Obviously he has returned, for that section of the pickers quiets down. We all take a deep breath and continue picking.

I listen in as two women one row over from me but totally out of site, discuss the fact that boyfriend Dan is only good for a few select things ~ I understood quickly that he is very satisfying and, I admit, I leaned towards them as they whispered and giggled. Although I could not hear the juiciest details, I do know that he is definitely not husband material as he is addicted to computer games. Poor Dan.

“Mommy, mommy, look at this one. It is the biggest blueberry ever,” a little boy proclaims. With a condescending snit to her tiny voice his sister explains, “I’m only picking the red ones.” "Tatum, honey……” we hear her mother patiently explain that blue ones make much sweeter pies.

“Come on kids, this section is all picked out, let’s go farther down and start there.” “But mommy there’s a lot of ‘em right here,” her young son declares as Mom herds her chicks off in search of easier pickings. On a hunch I bend down and lift up a branch near where the small boy had stood. BINGO! What a score, the lowest branch was covered with the biggest juiciest blueberries ever. The ones I don’t consume drop into my nearly full bucket.

Trying to get out of the patch, hot as we are, is its own challenge. I raise my voice one notch above the buzz, “Marcia?” “Over here” comes my answer. I am at the end of a long row and start walking east. “Over here” I hear my sister call out again. “Marco” I call out cheerfully. “Polo” I hear from more than one section of the patch. Everyone giggles; I smile as I spot Marcia’s straw hat. Even as we agree that our buckets are full, we cannot help but search for the ultimate berry as we slowly exit the patch with our hand picked treasure ~ blue gold.

TIP: Do not rinse fresh picked blueberries before freezing. Rinse them as you use them. Seriously.

* annette

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lead or ahead

Our run away trains.  They run out ahead of here all the time.  Planning, practicing, diagnosing, weighing options, endless streams of thoughts shooting out from our minds.  How often do we reside just here, not being pushed or pulled or analyzing or run around busy?  How often do we get to just sit, walk, be?

I find when I recognize my mind has just analyzed the options ahead without having arrived there yet and picked out a path, I have robbed myself of the moment.  The moments I spent thinking of the path ahead instead of being where I am as well as the moment I arrive and have to turn left or right and the voice of guidance that can only show up with a clear choice once all the information is in.  If I have already decided to turn right and once I arrive there is an amazing field of wildflowers heading down the left I either throw out the previous decision and all the time put into it or I stick with the plan no matter what.  I'm obviously using a simple example and there is a time and place for thinking ahead but often we have become so addicted to the thinking ahead we forget to be where we are.  We have over compensated in thinking ahead at the expense of now.  Even the word "ahead" leaves out the rest of the body.  Is that really where we want to be?

If I'm so busy thinking ahead can I listen now?  Can I hear the sounds in the distance, the wind, the hummingbird diving after his long steep climb heavenwards?  I think it's in the birds song and the wind, the practice of listening around us, in this moment, that we begin to hear our true thoughts.  The ones that make life easier because  you heard them first time.  The ones that take your hand and lead you, revealing the deeper rhythms of ourselves and surroundings.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prose: Awakening to Possibility

We sat high above Moab in a very nice restaurant, feeling like new people after our Vision Quest in the Utah desert. We were all glowing, not only clean and showered, but our spirits had been cleansed also. I was sitting next to the orthopedic surgeon from Dallas. Not only was he not the old man he appeared in the beginning, the quest was for the 50 year old and over crowd, he was a deeply spiritual man who shared a lot of himself during the times the group was together. After we had ordered dinner, he said to me, “you are a very sensitive woman, I would like for you to hold something and tell me what you feel”. I agreed and he handed me over a velvet pouch. I looked inside and took out a beautiful moonstone heart, putting it back in the pouch, I just held it. Much to my amazement, I began to blush. And then I began to get hot all over, I felt like I was having an orgasm, when all of a sudden, I saw a huge egg in my vision. I have thought since it was a crocodile egg, having to do with creativity. As I observed this egg I began to notice a crack in it. The crack was small, but large enough to see possibility. Oh my…., it was possibility between the male and female relationship. It was the potential between man and woman that we haven’t even begun to touch upon yet. The beauty of it totally overwhelmed me, so much so I had to get up from the table and go outside on the balcony to cool off. What a gift! When I went back inside, the doctor asked me what I had felt. “I’ll write to you”, I said. I had to sort this out myself before I could share it with someone. I have held this vision for years, truly believing as we evolve on this planet, we will come to a place of greatness between man and woman. Maybe some feel they already have, but even they will expand in ways they never knew possible. Mother Earth and the entire universe will smile greatly and say, “FINALLY”.


Monday, July 14, 2008

A Simple Pleasure

One of my simple pleasures out in the wild and semi-wild, is to pee on the earth. I love finding a place where the urine will stream away, without wetting my shoes or bare feet. The sound of it against the soil, rocks and little plants is pleasing to my ears, like an ancestral lullaby passed down through the generations. It reminds me of my animal side, of being intimately connected with the earth when my fluids mingle directly with the often parched land of Colorado. I like letting the final drops form and land before standing up.

Sometimes then I wish that I could pee like a man. It’s much easier to pee on the ground, more often, and more discretely, with the male anatomy. Then I remember the joke—God had two gifts left for humans. She offered being able to pee standing up and Adam jumped at the possibility. Eve patiently waited for what was left. God said, “I saved the best for last—multiple orgasms.

I wouldn’t say peeing outside is as great as multiple orgasms—but it is one of my favorite simple pleasures.

By Terra

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Answer to the Riddle

The answer to lastweeks poem, "The Riddle", is:

Your Dreams

Memoirs: My First Catch

Memoirs: My First Catch

I am apprenticing with a midwife, Gena, and we have been called to a birth in the mountains. I get there first and then another lady who is there to help. Gena and I have been working together for several months and I am feeling confident. Labor is progressing quickly and I am in the kitchen, getting the supplies set up and in order. Someone calls me that the baby is coming and I run into the adjacent living room. A pearlescent bubble of the amniotic sack emerges from the mother’s vagina and the baby’s head floats into it. What an amazing sight! I quickly pop the membranes and remove them from the baby’s face so he can breathe without inhaling amniotic fluid.

This is my first catch, an experience never to forget!

Prema Rose

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Memoir: Shoes...Wedgies

When I think of shoes I think of my mother’s wedgies. She never wore flat shoes, and by the time I knew her, her days of higher-heeled spectator pumps was nearing an end. She had wedgies in different colors and fabrics, and told me, after many years of wearing them, the cords in her heels and ankles were so tight, that she couldn’t wear flats anymore.
She would use the white water-based liquid shoe polish that came in a bottle, to clean up her waitress shoes. Pouring the liquid into the cap, she’d dab a small sponge that accompanied the bottle, to put the polish on her food stained shoes. They’d have to sit and dry for while before she could wear them.
These wedgies weren’t the 3”-4” ones that they sell know as a kind of retro summer shoe. There were about an inch or two high in the back, with straps crisscrossing over her red painted toes, and coming around her ankle to close with a fastener.
My mother, Virgo that she was, always had a wiggle when she walked. Most Virgos have a peculiarity to their movements and their speech. Hers was a cute wiggle that got her customers attention more than once. Her brown hair was wavy, shoulder length with a pompadour curl in the front. Red lips emerged from high cheekbones and her smile was readily available.
When I think of shoes, it would be her shoes, several pair of open-toed wedgies, come rain, shine or snow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Lake - poetry

I sit looking across the lake
Watching the sunlight moving in the water.
The lake sighs from its depths
Silently watering my soul
Bringing me home.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ode to a Honda

I have been driving Honda cars for over 25 years; to date, I have had three. My 1st Honda was a little light blue station wagon, I have no idea what her vintage was, but she was used when we bought it before my son was born. Her name was Old Blue. My 2nd Honda was the large square wagon with dark tinted windows; it was used and blue as well. It was my office on wheels, lots of interior space, plus it had high clearance for barreling through the snow. I always thought of that car as a juvenile delinquent but I loved it. It was November of 1992 and my family was getting ready to drive to Missouri for Thanksgiving. I was short on time so I took him to Grease Monkey for a quick oil change the day before we left. By the time we got to Springfield, Mo the engine was wrecked. I didn’t know how bad the damage was but I decided to take him to my friendly mechanic as soon as I got home. We added a lot of oil on that return trip. We found out the engine was blown, but he carried us all the way back to Colorado and delivered us to our doorstep. I still think of him has Brave Heart.

I bought Idgey on December 5th, 1992. It was the first car I had ever purchased new, 36 miles on the odometer, and Bob talked the dealers into free air conditioning. She is an opalescent light green, the color of the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes ~ one of my favorite books that they made into an excellent movie. Idgey was one of the main characters so naming my sporty new car was easy.

To me an automobile is NOT an inanimate object. Every component of my car is made of metals and plastics ~ which I assume are compounds of mixed cellular structures. She needs good air, drinks fluids and, on rare occasions, may emit a little gaseous fume. Even if my theory is weak on facts, my conclusion is the same. She is my friend; she has a heart and feelings. She has been there for me in the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health. She has listened as I sing loudly to the radio, witnessed my tears and prayers, and turned a blind blinker to my cussing and gesticulations. I made up a song for her that I sing every once in awhile. Every year on my birthday we pretend that it is her birthday as well and we go the car wash and get “the works” inside and out; I pay extra for a squirt of “new car smell”.

This February (15 years later) I was having trouble with my heater and I took my car into Hoshi Motors, who have become trusted friends these last 25 years. I asked them to look her over during a routine oil change. As I stood at the counter they gently explained what a head gasket was, and that Idgey’s was going bad. I tried to keep up a pleasant banter as I questioned them about what to expect and what did this really mean? The prognosis was grim, “It could last for two days or another two weeks, but it is going to fail you one day soon. You need to start thinking about a new car.” I started crying on the road home and I cried for days.

I can barely imagine life without Idgey. She takes care of me. Many years ago, coming across Kansas I-70 on a return trip from my parent’s house, I suddenly felt the power disappear. In front of me was an off ramp. Idgey coasted up the ramp, made a left hand turn over the interstate and silently deposited me in front of a pay telephone at a convenience store. She took care of me ~ there is no other way to describe it. I called Hoshi, they checked my file and told me what had probably happened and how much it would cost to get it fixed. When I got back home, I called my insurance agent to ask if I could be reimbursed for the tow truck. “You didn’t need to pay for that, it is included in your insurance!” he exclaimed. “It is?” I asked incredulously. “Nothing ever goes wrong with my car so I didn’t remember that.”

It has been five months since they told me her time was near. I keep a very good record of all the antifreeze I add and I religiously watch the heat gauge, it will be one of my first warning signs. I am still getting over 400 miles per tank of gas and she drives up Boulder Canyon like a trooper. She is my friend, my ally, my office on wheels. When her time is really up, I have a phone number of a charity that I can donate her body to, and she will continue to serve as a learning tool for an aspiring young mechanic. I think that she would appreciate that. But for now, I will continue to sing her song for as long as she will listen.

* annette

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Flower and Fear

Flower and Fear

Think about a bud…it holds the flower within, waiting for its time. It exists in its potential till the right circumstances come about. Water, soil, nutrients and light all assist in its emergence. We welcome the bloom and its beauty into our hearts, receiving its gift.

Fears. It’s hard to imagine that you may one day embrace and welcome them into your heart like a flower but it is possible. Why would someone even want to? Because if you do not they are like mines waiting buried till some innocent victim sets it off, often ourselves.

We have buried fears along the way for many reasons, from overwhelm to trauma to judgments, to being too young to know what else to do. We often have no idea how to find them no less release them. Sometimes life gives us a chance to let them go and we do. Other times they get buried deeper. Many of us walk around with fears just beneath the surface. We mostly stop listening to them in hope they would just go away. If I don’t look there it doesn’t exist, right? We rarely look them straight in the eye and deal with them. But maybe we should.

Why bother with them? If they are being quiet and hidden, why make trouble? For one thing they are rarely quiet forever. For another we are expending energy keeping them at bay. We maneuver around them so as to not wake them up. In other words they control us. They own us. But we don’t see it that way, we have changed or rearranged reality to fit an edited version that is our own. We craft beautiful stories, heartbreaking stories, and scary stories; just about anything you could think of to not go THERE. We have patterns impossible to pin down that are being controlled by a fear and often a belief of some kind that is attached to the fear. They lock arms around each other, (the fear and the belief) dive deep into your being and you don’t even know what happened. You just know you no longer go to the beach, or like your brother or what ever quirkey or possibily logical thing it may be. It may not and most likey won’t register that clearly. Just something that happened and got filed away.

They are things we name, put in a box, sometimes put a label on and place of a shelf. Often we have to make room for them in order to allow them to emerge. When we learn to embrace them and welcome them we will have made great strides in setting ourselves free. Our other choice is to allow them their moment in the sun. They may come out yelling, punching, crying, hurting, shameful, or some other color. They won’t last long. They have a limited time span. But they often need a moment of acknowledgement before they dissipate.

Sometimes we’ll find the thoughts that got stuck in there with them that were so inhospitable that we locked them up. Much time we aren’t even aware of what we’ve done. We were so much younger and it was all we knew what to do. This is were we can reach in and allow what ever it is to emerge. Welcome, encourage, allow and accept the piece that got disconnected, put away, and buried. You’ll feel so much lighter, clearer. You will not need to pay all those storage fees that were getting pricier all the time.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Memoir: SHOES

In the l940s a shoe called a spectator was quite popular. They were dressy shoes with a high heel, or medium heel. These were my Mom’s favorite shoes. Their colors were two-toned, either brown & white, navy & white, black & white or red & white. These shoes epitomized anal rigidity to me. And being my mother’s shoes they were always spotless, looking like they had never been worn.

Around the time I became aware of my Mom’s spectators was when I had my first memory of being sexually abused by my father. Funny to link these two together, but here they are, almost walking hand in hand. The spectators had little tiny holes on the darker part of the shoe, accentuating the dark and the light, where they touched. Also, on the dark part where it laid on the white of the shoe, it was trimmed with what looked like pinking shears. Remember those? They made everything look like a zigzag. As I began to unfold as a little child, with memories of sexual abuse being intermingled with the need for perfection, the spectators became a great metaphor. My psyche was being shaped with little tiny holes as the darkness formed in my young life. I felt I was being torn between good and evil, as if I had been cut with pinking shears. But the spectators moved on in an orderly manner, whereas I was back and forth between confusion and senselessness. Not much changed as I continued to grow up. My Mom never knew about the abuse until I was in my late 30s, although the experts say the mother always knows. In my awareness she was too busy making everything as clean and perfect as possible. My Dad’s alcohol problem worsened, the abuse had stopped around l4.

Now, in my later years, I realize I have never worn spectators, even though they are back in style. They wouldn’t be conducive to my way of life. Much discernment has come about through the years, helping to fill the tiny holes formed so long ago. The shoes I wear now are for comfort, with a little style, creating a great ease in walking forward.

Monday, July 7, 2008

OM is home.

When I say the word “home” I notice that in the middle of it is OM. OM is the primordial Home, the place, the vibration, that everything proceeds from and returns to.

OM is the space between breaths, between creating and destroying, between taking in and letting go.

This OM is my home, where all the dramas, stresses, worries, and enemies drop away to leave only pure pulsation, pure emptiness, pure rest.

When I chant OM out loud the vibrations of it permeates my cells, my molecules and atoms, reminding each tiny universe of Terra that they are one with each other and one with the uncountable larger universes that encompass me.

In OM I am at my deepest home. I hear it wherever I am- in the wind through the trees, in the whine of a buzz saw, in the bounce of molecules against each other, in the hum of electricity and in my very own breath.

This oneness of OM is nothing less than knowing and loving my neighbor, that pesky fly, President Bush, the rosebush, and Mother Earth as my self - loving that Oneness with all my heart and all my soul and all my life.

-By Terra

Sunday, July 6, 2008



What is there when you’re asleep?
What brings you to the depths of deep?
What is there when you’re awake?
What’s there that you cannot forsake?
What, when climbed, won’t be too high?
What, when seen, will touch the sky?
What will be the strongest rope
To help you reach your highest hope?
What will overcome duress?
What will bring you to success?
What is here, yet, oh so far?
What shines you as a brilliant star?
Hold fast to me where ere you go.
It is through me your life you’ll know.

Prema Rose

Answer will be on next Sunday’s blog!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Prose: Ode to Hanging Clothes

The morning quiet…some gurgling sounds from next door as my neighbor’s swamp cooler runs…some tweets in the distant trees from small birds commenting on the day. It’s summer, everything’s green and blooming, and I’m grateful for the mild morning.
The dry heat will increase as we move toward noon, and people move toward their swamp coolers and air conditioners. Yet now I enjoy the calm coolness of early morning.
My sheets are draped over the clothesline while the lack of humidity in the western
clime sucks out the moisture from the fabric in less than an hour.

I’ve always loved to hang clothes out on a clothesline… whether it was in New Jersey near the beach, when my older sons were young, or here in Colorado with dry heat and heavy snows in winter and three more kids.
I love doing laundry. For some people, this might seem pretty strange, especially the solar drying. Hanging clothes outside to air dry and then taking them down hours later fulfills something in me. Burying my face into them each time, as I carry the armloads into the house to fold, gives me enjoyment.
I can’t tell you why. I just know it’s always been true.

I used to hand wash most of my clothes, except jeans, and hang them out alongside kids’ clothes and household things that had all been machine washed. I felt hand washing was gentler on the fabric and my clothes would last longer.
However, as my family grew, so did my washing machine use. Using a ‘delicate’ cycle for most things, it was done sooner and easier. Then I could hang them on the lines, through all the seasons. Sometimes I’d wait through a snowy day or two, and if the sun came out, so did I with my wet laundry in hand. Some days I used an indoor drying rack placed near a heater vent.
Standing alone outside, usually quiet around me, sorting the clothes and the best way to hang them…the sun shining on leaves and me, a car might drive by, birds overhead with crows cawing in the distance…it’s a peaceful place to be.

I’ve thought about why this is. Did it come with the ‘back to the land’ movement in the hippie days and eating organic foods? No, actually it began when I was growing up in NYC and had a washroom next to our basement apartment. In that room, was a wringer washer and lots of clotheslines strung across the entire space for my family and my grandparents. Then when we moved to New Jersey after I finished 8th grade Catholic school, we had a wringer washer again, brand new, and my dad put up clotheslines outside, running from the wrap-around porch’s post out into the year to a standing post there, the lines on a pulley.
Might I think beyond that and wonder if it was a past-life carryover from any lifetime and culture before the present industrial age? Who knows. Did I take in laundry and sustain myself…and so this is good karma.
Or maybe it’s just a simple pleasure that speaks to me and gives me a sweet satisfaction.

Recently in a conversation with my old friend, Susan, she confessed to the same joy in hanging out clothes. She agreed it was almost silly. She recounted the time her husband offered to help, and she refused, saying she loved doing this herself.
I look up as a breeze lifts the sheets into the air, filling them with sunshine and that sweet scent I love to sleep in. Who would have thought hanging clothes on a clothesline could encompass all of this.


Friday, July 4, 2008

1969, July Fourth

I held my breath as I watched my husband negotiating with the machine gun totting rebel soldiers surrounding our car. This Fourth of July was going to be very different I thought. A rebel force had declared martial law in this small Caribbean nation where we were living and working. We had made the decision to take our family out of the country until things settled. On the escape route we had been stopped at a roadblock to have our car searched.

In a split second my mind flipped home where my mother would be preparing custard ice cream to be turned and frozen over the course of a bee humming afternoon. My father would be preparing a fire for barbecuing and marshmallow roasting come evening. My great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, cousins, uncles, dogs, cats and friends would be gathering for a day of celebrating. Chickens would scatter to the barn as cars loaded with pies and people would park in the shade of the sheltering oaks that had seen my family celebrate American’s Independence on the same grassy lawn for five generations.

With an ache in my heart I jerked back to the situation in front of me.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gorilla Glue

I feel my father’s presence as I stand near the kitchen sink with the broken pieces of my camera laid out on the counter top. Most folks would probably throw it in the trash but I want to see what I can do. I can hear my father telling me how he had to learn to fix the car because they didn’t have a spare nickel to pay someone else to fix it, and he had to get to work. I can relate. This is my old 35mm camera loaded with the film canister which hopefully will produce 4” color pictures of my last two trail rides. We have history, for years this camera helped me run my business, and right now I cannot afford to replace it. My Dad, if he were alive, would have been able to fix it.

I have gathered up several long fat nails that I find so handy, my hammer, several pairs of pliers, plus an old newspaper to work on. These tools are not for the camera, they are for the glue! The great thing about Gorilla Glue is how well it works. It has fixed every item that I have placed in its path. But, like all super glues ~ it is hard to use after the first application because it glues its own top closed and getting the aperture open again is extremely difficult and downright dangerous. I move past the nails and choose a large gold colored screw. I am afraid it is too wide to enter the tip of the plastic bottle. Wish I had a bigger hammer. I gently tap it in; totally aware that super glue spurting out the top would be a really bad thing. It pierces the cement hard surface inside the half filled bottle. I can now squeeze the container and see the liquid glue at the bottom gushing around; however, it will not come out the top.

Do not let small children read the next few sentences ~ but I am determined to fix this camera. I place the plastic bottle in a sandwich bag (for protection ??) and set it in the microwave on top of a small piece of paper towel. I set the time for 20 seconds, whisper a small prayer, and hit the start button. My Dad and I hover in front of the oven and watch the glass disk spin, wondering what will happen next. Not much. I decide to up the ante and hit the start button again. The glue starts to bubble and the machine beeps “off” before the plastic container explodes. All right! Pulling it out of the microwave, I thank the angel of kitchen gadgets and tip the bottle. Nothing comes out. I grab the big screw, stick it back down in the bottle and when I pull it out there is amber colored glue caught in its spirals! I moisten one side of the broken latch, place glue on the opposite piece and hold them together for a few seconds as the directions recommend. The only problem is I now have glue on me and am becoming permanently attached to the piece of black plastic whose purpose in life has always been to hold batteries in my camera. Plus I have to pee. I pry off my thumb and pointer finger and realize I did not fetch the fingernail polish remover from the bathroom. Since I have to go there anyway, I decide to try to pull down my pants without getting glue on the waistband of my shorts.

… It takes a little time for the glue to harden but it worked. I put away my tools and clean up my mess. With a very strong rubber band (those fat blue ones that hold broccoli stems together) to hold the mended battery cover in place, my little camera and I will bravely go forth and record new challenges. But it is not about the time spent or the money saved. It is honoring the memory of my Dad and the ideals he instilled in me through his stories and the way he lived his life. My Dad would approve and I am proud of myself. My fingers are only slightly tacky and my shorts are not glued to my waist. Life is GOOD.

* annette

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Lately I’ve taken to seeing difficulties as doors. They open into a room I haven’t been in for awhile and usually left some mess at some point in time. It often involves some sort of hurt, discomfort, judgment about me or someone else. It’s a new approach. Instead of blaming the outer situation I look at what the gift for myself is. I don’t blame, though tempting that may be in some moments. I ask what I need to see. I open the door and look inside at something that I wasn’t able to see previously.

I recently had a situation where what was triggered for me was a deep sense of “I’ve done something wrong”. It was a very strong feeling where I finally turned around and faced it. The feeling was in me. The outer situation just triggered a closed door and instead of passing it by I stopped and opened the door. It was just old feelings of things I felt I did wrong as a child. It was stuck in there and as soon as I realized I created the situation to help me find and clear out that room I felt an immediate sense of gratitude toward the person who triggered it in the first place. Instead of blaming or wanting to fix something I let it take me to my own lost room and cleared it. Not by doing anything more than opening to the feelings, being understanding of them, and allowing the situation to be.

I think things are coming to us to heal old perceptions, hurts, wounds, whatever we hold on to that needs to go. We have huge opportunities to release our own narrow views, often about ourselves, if only we can seize these moments. Sometimes these misperceptions have been with us most of our lives. We’ve closed doors in so many ways. Now is the time to open them, allow fresh air, new thoughts, forgiving and loving thoughts. This way when something seemingly goes wrong I now remember it is an opportunity. It is a door appearing to a forgotten, buried or just shut out part, knocking to be released. All I have to do is open it and let air in.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Prose - Differences

As I casually mentioned that our granddaughters were Aquarians, being two days apart, my sister-in-law said “Would you not talk about that, and I won’t talk about my stuff.” I was ok with that at the time, definitely not wanting to be proselytized to about her religion. But the more I’ve thought about it the more it disturbed me. “ Well then why think about it”, another part of me says. The glitch for me is when I’m finally becoming who I really am, expressing my ideas and thoughts more freely, to be squelched in that way is unsettling. Why can’t we discuss our differences?? Why do we get defensive in these situations? Everyone seems to want to stay on a superficial level of expression. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I even want to try to be. Opening up to my true nature has been a lifetime of strenuous effort for me, and now at this time in my life it’s a strain to hold back.

This seems to be the energy of the whole world, learning to come together in our differences. It is part of what the new consciousness is all about. It has never happened in the history of the earth. Mankind has always fought about their dissimilarities and strong convictions. But now in the new millenium we have the opportunity for newality. This means an unfamiliar afresh way for us humans to be on our planet. Many are resistant and are dying off. Those who are left are slowly, in tiny steps, gaining an openness in these very different and expansive ways of being.

I understand at the time I was being challenged to say my truth, the planets were creating these characteristics big-time. Mars opposing Neptune, wanting us to bring into form what we really believe to be true. And with Uranus going retrograde it brings us a zest for freedom of self-expression, a need to fully express oneself no matter what the obstacles and applied limitations are. This helps me to recognize the importance of sharing my thoughts at this moment of my history.