Friday, October 31, 2008

The Golden Tree

Across the street in my neighbor’s back garden lives an old, old cottonwood next to a stream. The tree spreads is branches out way across the lawn over the creek and the path that runs along the creek behind the garden. If you are walking along the path you might by chance find a tiny gate built of twigs and branches taken from the tree. It is hidden behind bushes making the joy at finding it thrilling. Quietly tiptoeing up to the gate you are quite sure you will see fairies on the other side. The gate swings open with ease and there you find yourself in a wild garden where there should be fairies. It is truly magical.

The old cottonwood has turned golden this week. Standing in my garden in the late afternoon when the autumn slant of the sun’s rays graces the tree I am awed by the beauty of this tree. I sigh with pleasure.

Neighbors meeting on the street say to one another, “I’ve never seen the tree so lovely.”

We say ‘the tree’ because we have come to know it is the tree of trees in our neighborhood.

The best part about the tree is that there is a swing hanging down about thirty-five feet from a high branch. Neighborhood children love to swing high and away across the wild garden. We hear them squealing with delight and fear as one flattens herself to the ground while another flies overhead on the swing. Golden leaves flutter down all around them making swirls in the air when the swing passes.

This is truly life at it’s best – a blue autumn day under a golden tree with a child in a swing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Essay. Flying

Flying over the field. Looking for the movement, the smallest twitch gets my attention. Driven only by the emptiness in my gut. It is good that it is cloudy, that which I am hunting is less likely to be alarmed by my shadow.

Quiet, peaceful, gliding, looking closely, searching far. Rhythm of my wings, unaware of my breath.

Daylight – time to fly. Darkness – time to rest. Ever wary.

Here they come. The small birds. My tormentors. Taunting me. Harassing me. Moving me away from their nests. Their young. They protect – I hunt.

A movement below. I circle. No need to identify what it is - just recognize the movement. I circle. Years of experience. Timing. Part knowledge - part cellular memory.

NOW !!! I dive head first towards the ground. Focused intention. I pull back, talons reaching in front of me. I strike. I close around the snake and immediately head back for the freedom on the skies. Death = life. Another day.

* annette

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


a breathing pause.

Right now,
find your awareness
let it slip inward
and breath.

Not forceful,
fast or slow.

Just a breath,
your breath.

Not later,
A moment,
just one,
for you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prose - Maddy's Sleep Pillow

Once upon a time four years ago, my granddaughter, Madalyn Brook was having difficulty settling down and really sleeping at night. Her birth planets may figure in, having her Sun, Mercury, Uranus and Neptune all in Aquarius in the seventh house of relationship, then tightly sealed with her Part of Fortune. At that time she was three, with lots of stimulus in her tiny little being.
My love for her at that time came through the making of a sleep pillow for her. Into this pillow I filled with dried lavender blossoms, for its intentionally serene quality. On the antique pillowcase I embroidered the words, Maddy’s Sleep Pillow, along with highlighting the already white on white flowers that were done long before, with lavender and violent. Then I embroidered a regular size antique case with her initials MBP, in lavender threads.
Much joy goes into a project for a grandchild. Its unlike doing and giving in any other kind of relationship. It beckons to a strengthening of the lineage. All the ancestors from before bring their energy, knowingly and unknowingly, to the seen artisan. Each stitch has a significant thought or characteristic of the lineage that has made its way through the fabric.
Just recently, I heard Maddy, now seven, is just starting to let go of taking her sleep pillow whenever she leaves home. Maybe now all the positive stitches have processed through her dreams. Now she may be ready for another time, another passage in her young life.
Either way, its probably time for new dried lavender blossoms.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Essay - True Groundedness

Scientists have learned how to trace where a person has lived by analyzing the constituents of their bones. People really are a part of the land. The plants grow up out of the soil, capturing its nutrients. They marry them in their metabolism with the rain and the sun into life. Then we devour and digest that life, directly, or through the intermediary of animal flesh, and make it into our own living bodies.

I doubt, though, that this tracing technique would work for modern Americans. We import our food so that we can eat in perpetual harvest time. Our food is no more indigenous than we are. And visa versa.

Consider the power in eating only food grown nearby. What if, for generations, we had lived on the same land, cultivating it, gathering from it, and then, finally, planting our own spent bodies back into it? Our ancestors would not just be a litany of names and dates, arranged on a piece of paper, in a family tree. They would actually be living in our physical forms. Our genetic heritage would be fleshed out with the same raw materials that had cycled through our ancestors' bodies. What true groundedness that would be!

No wonder that indigenous people know that we do not own the land. And that the land is the matrix of our truest heritage.

By Terra Rafael

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The leaves are trembling

So loosely on the bough,

The colors dancing

In the present now,

The golden cover

Floats gently on the pond,

I make my wish and

Wave my fairy wand.

To flood this moment

With love so deep in Earth,

I hold redemption

Forever giving birth

To all creation,

So wondrous and so new,

I bow in reverence

To Life, alive and true.

To catch the moment

Just before the word,

As yet unspoken,

Still, until it’s heard,

And, in the silence,

All possibility

Lies in the in-breath

Of potentiality.

To breathe the out-breath

Into clear attention,

The choice of thought form

Manifests intention.

I’m in the asking

For strong integrity

And for the courage

To take responsibility.

Prema Rose

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Poetry: Another Dream of Many

I'm running
in a snow-filled jungle.
It's night and my family
is sleeping,
a husband and son.
I return to them
and down the path
I see a large cat,
another big animal,
and, looking across
the sleeping forms
of my family
at me,
is a creature
with flat antlers,
and yellow eyes.
Its gaze
connects with mine
for minutes
and then it wanders
down the path,
through the
snow-filled jungle.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Sometimes after I have written something, I read it over and over, marveling at how words work into sentences. I’ll spin up a bobbin at my spinning wheel, then go read it again. I will go do errands, coming home to go immediately to my computer to read it one more time. I’ll read it just before going to bed. I’ll wake in the morning to read my piece. I can't get enough of reading my own writing. It’s not an ego thing. It’s love.

I am obsessed and in love with this process called writing. How can it be that I have written something that I can read out loud on Monday morning? How is it that six women will listen as I read this piece that I have read twenty times or more? I can’t believe I have written something that is taken seriously.

I want to run down my street holding the page high to blow in the wind while I shout, “I’ve written a piece!”

Why am I so passionate about putting pen to paper? Life becomes immediate when I write. The world is right there at the tip of my pen. I feel such acuteness. I never realized, until I started writing, that words are like colors with hues and tones. With the stroke of a pen one can speak quietly… whisper, or shout, scream, rage, laugh, cry, love, the possibilities are endless. That is what gives me the passion – the endless possibilities, the ever expanding universe of writing.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barn Dance

October 12, 2008. I went to an old fashioned barn dance last night. One of my horsy buddies, Caroline, had forwarded an email invitation to me; the event was touted as a “Celebration and thank you for tornado recovery and rebuilding”. Caroline too had lost several out buildings to the early summer tornado that ripped through Wellington, Colorado. I did not know the folks throwing the party, but since I had driven up to help Caroline clean up the rubble at her farm, I felt like I had contributed to the cause. There was to be live music with a Traditional Dance Caller to lead us through the steps, as well as hayrides and egg toss games, plus a pot luck supper. It sounded like so much fun.

And it was, even though the weather was a freezing drizzle all day long and the temperature was hovering around 37* when Damaris and I arrived. We had dressed warmly as the invite said there would be no heat. The two story large white barn had a green metal roof and as we walked in we breathed deeply of the luscious aroma of freshly sawn wood beams. Damaris looked around at all the hand crafted features and said, “I could live in this barn” and even though I knew what she meant I jokingly replied as I zipped up my coat, “only if you were a popsicle”. We walked in not knowing a soul but we joined the huddle around a crock pot full of hot cheese dip, introduced ourselves, and took turns warming our hands on the outside of the hot pot. Five minutes after we arrived there appeared a long line of people heading outdoors and I walked to the window to observe the egg toss. I watched as “kids” of all sizes and ages stood outside in the mist and tossed raw eggs back and forth, taking one step backward after each successful toss. Of course, the last team with an unbroken egg wins the contest. Today they were moving pretty briskly in the cold drizzle, but they all came in smiling and laughing.

The serving tables were loaded with food for the pot luck, and of course it all looked delicious. Anything served Hot was an instant hit. Damaris and I commented that we could have made the big bucks if we had a large thermos of hot cider!!! I had made a crock pot of scalloped potatoes and the warmest I was for that first hour was clutching it to my chest as I carried it into the barn.

Quickly finishing a slice of purple plum pie, we gave up our seats at the picnic table so new comers could sit down and enjoy their meal. I mentioned to Damaris that I really had to go to the bathroom. The only available amenity was a port-a-potty outside. I have used many in my day, but tonight I was dressed in a long skirt, panties, silk underwear and a slip. I wasn’t’ sure if I had enough room in there to put myself all back together. We decided to use the time while the band was setting up to drive a half mile to another friend’s house and use her facilities. Oh my God, her house felt so warm. Nikki is in veterinarian school and if she hadn’t been studying for a week’s worth of tests she would have driven back over to the party with us.

There were lights pouring out the wood windows, the fiddler was playing and we could hear the stomping of many feet as we walked back to the barn for the second time, now in the dark. The upstairs of this barn was built to be a dance floor; it was constructed of older dark wood planks that probably had been recycled from another place. I would love to know its history, to hear its story. It was gorgeous, but now it was crowed with moving bodies. They were doing a spiral dance and almost every one was involved. I caught a glimpse of Caroline and Ed as they danced by.

Damaris and I took to the floor for the next dance and didn’t stop until the band called for a break. It was a short break because no one wanted to lose the heat we had finally generated. After an hour of dancing everyone had thrown off their outer sweaters and down vests and we were actually sweating! A cold soda finally sounded appealing. In an earlier day there might have been a gallon of moon shine being passed around but the invitation had specifically stated, “Partly because of the many children expected, this event will be alcohol and tobacco free. So I had a lemonade, hold the ice, and enjoyed every sip.

After the break we danced for another hour and then found our hosts and thanked them so much for putting on such a marvelous event. On the way home we talked about how enthusiastically the little kids participated and the adorable young Downs Syndrome girl in the pink sweater who loved dancing. Damaris said that if more families spent time doing these old fashioned events together, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. Maybe, I thought, maybe not. The times they are a changing. I just hope that I get invited back next year.

* annette

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Self Reflect

Within the pool of ourselves
is the light of all Self
Radiant and free
we reflect to a varying degree
its purity and song
rare in form, yet more each day
comes a voice to show the way
if we surrender what we know
we can find the flow
to bring the silence of the deep
to the surface of our mind
and let its light and insight
reflect in all you might find.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Prose - Spirit Helpers

George Carlin and Mary Magdalene came into her vision as my healer friend Kate, was holding my lower abdomen. We both started howling. I mean, what a pair! But neither of us had a clue as to the meaning. The dark and the light? That didn’t ring with any truth. For over a week, the “pair”, would pop into my consciousness, without releasing any understanding. Until my friend Mary said,
“They are both antagonizers.”
I heard the bell go off. Here was something I could work with.
There have been times through the years when I have been told I was here to shake people up. So what’s this, Spirit bringing out the big guns to help me see, George and Maggie, of all beings. Spirit knows I would accept these two. I could do something with this kind of energy riding within me. They know how I have resisted this path. There have been times though, through the years, when it came out very naturally.
Another friend says,
“Start with your family.”
“Oh, I’ve been doing that for years. That’s why they keep their distance as much as they can. They take it as Virgo criticism and rarely listen.”
There is an art to shaking people up and keeping the peace, especially with family.
Working with my clients, with massage and energy work, even with yoga students, has been the most natural process for opening to this opposing force.
I know I would have not gotten this far, to have this level of consciousness, without my antagonistic helpers through the years. I have felt this energy many times wanting to burst forth, to help someone see. But, my southern, maybe not so genteel, but polite upbringing, holds me back.
Even though I once read in Barbara Hand Clow’s book on Chiron, Virgos are here to teach people how to live on this earth. Whoa, again given permission, but at the same time it’s a challenge, not to take it too seriously.
However, I have more confidence now, with George and Maggie showing their faces. I’m awakening to seeing and feeling the importance of this energy.
Then again, “What other people think of me is none of my business”, so says Mary Burmeister, Jin Shin Jyutsu Master.
I am very grateful and humored for this “pair’s” invitation to help me tune into the brilliance of the fine line of stirring and shaking.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Poetry - Autumn Poems

The trees,
as though trying to warm cool autumn airs,
with leaves of fiery hue
until they’re left
burnt bare
against the winter sky.


Warm Autumn Moment

This warm autumn moment
crisp, sunny, dried leaves chacha to the song of the breeze.
The sky burns bluely.
This warm autumn moment
a boy asks why people gather.
He asks if they discovered gold.
This warm autumn moment
the leaves are the gold,
the boy is the sky,
& I am the chacha to the song
of the breeze.
Slow Dance With the Aspen Tree

Wind is the music,
Gentian, the aphrodesiac.
Leg against leg
Leaves whisper in my ear
The masculine roughness of your bark against my face.
My sap rises, even though it is fall.
by Terra

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Rushing, rushing, always rushing,
Into the day and out again.
Will someone tell me, what’s the hurry?
This race with time, I’ll never win.
This to care for, that to finish,
Just one more thing before I go,
Will I ever stop this running?
Can I slow down? I don’t know.
There’s so much I have to fit in.
Life’s too short, but much too long.
Breathe into the space of silence.
Dance a dance and sing a song.

Prema Rose

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Memoir: Roles I've Played

Years ago I took care of older women. I felt young around them and was glad that I could be of service to them. There was always an older woman in my life who needed help on a walker, straightening up their place, rides to doctor appointments, having their mail read and checks written while a glaucoma film over an eye matured for surgery, or food shopping was needed.
After I had some major realizations about my relationship with my mother, those older women were no longer on my doorstep.

Friday, October 17, 2008

October Makes Me Happy

I get happy in the fall.
A golden Indian summer day will seduce me into believing that life will last forever just as it is in the moment.
I ramble all over October delighting in the sensual harvest just outside my door. It is so crunchy under my feet.
The smell of leaves on damp earth draws me into nirvana. Walking in the long shadows of the mountains I get a tickle in my heart.
I don’t want to come indoors at this time of year.
I want to roll in the leaves and sleep under trees with a full moon sailing in a starry October sky.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Essay. My Moment on a Soapbox

In response to an email that I have been receiving that blames the ills of our country on the: Democratic Congress voted into place in 2006.

I have absolutely no intention of trying to change your mind, but………

For the past six years the United States has alienated many of our allies. After 9-11 we had the sympathy of peoples around the world but that has slipped away. We have lost RESPECT in the world view ~ this is HUGE. This began way before the Democratic Congress came into power.

Personally, these last four years have been getting worse for me financially, and then worse again ~~ this began way before the Democratic Congress came into power. My fellow real estate appraisers and I have been saying for years that the mortgage situation was heading in a bad direction. I remember hearing radio ads encouraging people to refinance their homes for 115% of the appraised value. My friends asked me if this was really possible. It was, but, I/We knew that it was wrong. Our president had advisors telling him the same thing.

Whoever becomes our next President is going to have a VERY hard row to hoe to try and get us back to where we began eight years ago when Bush was handed a balanced budget and the USA was held in high esteem by our peers. As our failing economy brings down the stock markets in other major “playing” countries, I wonder if the fickle finger of fate will be pointed at us for being responsible(irresponsible??). The United States has plummeted on so many levels. I do not believe that George W was democratically elected four years ago, and I am concerned that they have messed (insert much stronger word if you want to know how i really feel) with the voting apparatus AGAIN.

I am very concerned that John McCain does not have the health and stamina to make it four years. He continues to preach off-shore drilling, an idea which scientists and energy producers have already stated won’t be on line in time to help us out of this situation. If we continue to act the way we have been acting, we will get more of what we are getting now ~~ and that is not what I want for me, my country, nor my son and his friends.

Communications, open dialog, heated debates to find common ground, these things are vital to our existence on this planet. I demand a president that will talk not only to our friends, but to those who might be considered our enemies. My brother reminded me of an old saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” We are not alone.

But most importantly, I believe, like Barack Obama, that becoming energy independent could be our next and most incredible claim to fame. We have people with wonderful ideas, we have the resources and know-how, and we therefore have the ability to become the world leader on energy independence. This is a contribution that will help the American people and be of service to every country on the planet. It is possible. But we will need to step beyond the Bush-Cheney-oil company-fossil fuel companies and BEGIN. Unless we want to become fossil’s ourselves, we need to move FORWARD.

Barack Obama would like to revitalize the Peace Corps! What a pleasant change that would be ~ to promote prosperity from a place of caring versus fear of destruction. I pray to God that this election will be honorably administered and the team that is able to do the most good for the MOST people will be elected.

Time will tell. Stepping down now, thank you for your time. * annette.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Divine Encounters

Threads of memories,
woven together create an image of her.
Only an image.
The full moon reflects the light of
another body.
Only reflects.
Wings embrace me,
as I move from dream to wake
Opening eyes.
Raven sounds, I repeat,
a conversation ensues.
Opening dialogue.
Words reach through
to find a way.
Only a way.
Love leaves its imprint
lingering in time.
Opening time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Prose - Voting Registration, 2008

Ovada, at 90 and now 91, has been saying for months, she wasn’t going to vote. Its been a while since she’s voted, seven years since she left her hometown. You might say, she’s become a dropout of sorts. I, being her daughter, think she is just fed up with the whole system and has ‘almost’, lost interest. This is a way, possibly, of pulling inward, away from life, rather than staying involved.
A friend of mine, Edie, was registering people. So I asked her if she would register my Mom. She calls last Thursday to come over and do the paperwork. I say I’ll call her back when I ease my Mom into the idea.
“I’m not studying Edie,” my Mom says as she’s cooking her breakfast. This is her way of saying, ‘leave me alone’.
Edie tries again another time, but my Mom is in bed asleep. She ends up staying in bed all day, not feeling well.
So then I see Myrna, who is also registering, she would love to come over. But, that also, never happens. Myrna tells us how to do it online. By now its Saturday, with the deadline on Monday.”
I decide to call my granddaughter’s cell phone. My Mom would do almost anything for this great-granddaughter. I leave a message, asking if she could register her grandmother online today. I never heard a word, guess I should have text. Then I decide to pull out the big guns and ask my daughter, Jennifer, who lives here, if she had time to do it online. In her busy life she just wasn’t sure she would, maybe on Sunday, she says. Sunday night she calls, she’s online and is ready to do the registering. But, much to our dismay, she could not complete the process. My Mom doesn’t have a driver’s license with this address, it’s all still in Alabama.
Monday comes, my daughter calls mid-morning to say they are registering at Whole Foods. She says, maybe you can bribe her by offering to buy her a beef roast, just to get her over there. I pass this on to my Mom, who seems annoyed we just won’t let this go.
When I first brought up the need for her to register, I told her she needed to do it to cancel out my cousin Mary’s vote, who lives in Alabama. Just that seemed to nudge her a bit. I had also shared an email my daughter Laura had sent from Oklahoma about Why Women Should Vote. Ovada seemed moved by that, it stirred times past.
So she left me believing she did not want to go to Whole Foods. I went back to my computer work, giving up the idea of getting her registered. I was not going to get in an argument and force her. In a little while, she says ‘I’m ready’.
“What?” I ask, surprised. She never told me she would go. I say ‘wait a second, I’ve got to get dressed’.
“You’re always too busy to do anything”, she yells at me.
She keeps staying in a negative place, accusing me of whatever, that had nothing to do with what we were about to do. I manage to stay centered, somehow, only saying her comments do not relate to registering.
We get to Whole Foods. There is the young man in his orange sunglasses, just as my daughter had described. I let my Mom out where he was and went to find a parking space. When I got to them, they had already started with the information. We completed the process.
As we got back in the car, no we didn’t even go in Whole Foods, or get the roast beef, I could feel everything had changed. Ovada was elated. I could not believe how much lighter she seemed. We both felt a monumental feat, had been accomplished. Maybe she felt a new freedom and a part of the whole.
We can only hope.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Essay - We Are the Land

Scientists have learned how to trace where a person has lived by the constituents of their bones. People really are a part of the land. Food grows up out of the soil, capturing its nutrients and marrying them in their metabolism with the rain and the power of the sun into living matter. Then we devour and digest their life, directly or through the intermediary of animal flesh, and make it into our own living bodies.

I doubt that the tracing technique would work very well for modern Americans, who import our food so that we can eat in perpetual summer. Our food is no more indigenous than we are. And visa versa. Consider the power in eating only food grown nearby.

And what if, for generations, we had lived on that same land, cultivating it, gathering from it, then planting our own spent bodies back into that same ecosystem. Our ancestors would not just be a litany of names and dates arranged on a certificate of pedigree. They would actually be living in our bones. Our genetic heritage would be fleshed out with the same raw materials used by our predecessors. What real groundedness that would be!

No wonder indigenous people know that we do not own the land—the land is us. That land is the matrix of our truest heritage. What we do to the land, we do to ourselves and our ancestors.

--By Terra

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Military Takeover of the United States

I have become aware, in the last week, of a most insidious development within our country. It is not exactly something new; however, the scope of the possibility has just increased to outrageous proportions.
I am speaking of the military maneuvers in Portland, Oregon in the last couple of weeks. It has been reported that the military has been conducting exercises for crowd control using live ammunition. Although no one was hurt, it is possible that someone could have been. The question arose for me as to why they are doing these exercises in our cities to be used on our citizens.

Last night, I read that President Bush has assigned the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team to be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army component of Northern Command (NorthCom). According to an article in "Army Times", the soldiers could be called upon for a variety of tasks, including quelling civil unrest. They are apparently engaged in training with shield and batons, beanbag bullets, and Tasers.

This morning I was telling a friend that I had bought a ticket for the election night simulcast at the Boulder Theater. I was envisioning the celebration party that would ensue when Obama became our 44th president. Suddenly, the opposite scenario took over my inner vision and I saw the anger and uprising that would occur if the Republicans stole another election.

Oh my God! This is what they are preparing for. It is part of their plan and everything made sense about why they are extending the military powers. My initial reaction was horror. No, this cannot be happening! Then, I changed my reaction to being aware of the strength of inner work. I brought my sensation into a point in my body to ground the feelings that were arising in me. This is a Gurdjieff exercise that I find invaluable. Okay, what is within the arena of my sphere of influence that I can balance and harmonize? What can we as a people do to counter this takeover of our freedoms? What would Gandhi have done?

I then saw massive peaceful demonstrations. Not people fighting the military and losing the battle and being imprisoned in the vast network of detention centers that have been built for just this time. I saw thousands upon thousands of people lying down on the runways, and train tracks, and roads so that all commerce would be stopped. Yes, some would be hauled off but the sheer numbers of protesters would impact the whole system.

We must summon all our courage at this time and be prepared. I hope to God that this scenario will not come to pass. I do believe that we have choice of which of the numerous possibilities we create as the actuality. It seems necessary to come together in groups to envision, in detail, the eventuality we wish to create. There are very powerful forces at work here and we must summon all our strength to counteract the darkness with light. I have “done battle” (which is what I call encountering the epitome of evil) several times in my life and it has taken every ounce of my strength. Together, we can and will prevail in the Light.

Envision the movement of a Light wave spreading throughout this country an engulfing the agendas of those who would keep us in servitude to greed and domination. This Light Wave grows into a Tsunami and will wash the whole Planet in healing brilliance.
Prema Rose

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prose: The Balm of My Quiet Spirit

My solitude is so important to me.
I visit friends here and there, see people for a mix of reasons, am responsive to emails and phone calls/consultations/entreaties for emotional support. And then I want my solitude. Then I need my alone time.
I need to re-member myself and bring all my parts, all my energies back to me, to my core, and into my care. Then I need to take the places that feel misunderstood, blamed, seen with prejudiced eyes, and soothe them with the balm of my quiet spirit.
Far from the fray, far from others’ opinions and needs, I can retreat into my own heart, say the prayers I need to say, solicit the help from spirit that I need, and do my own healing, calm myself to the core of who I know myself to be.

For many years I tended the world. I raised children, I volunteered with older women to aid them along their life path, to give help where help was needed or asked for.
Now I am in a different place. I will still respond to that request of help-needed, but I don’t go looking for it anymore. I have given and given, long and hard, and I owe nothing…if I ever thought I did through a misguided Catholic ethic of always helping those in need. As if I was running my own mission, that I was a missionary as a wife, mother, householder and person who dealt with day-to-day life as I found it.
My missionary robes have long been burned on the altar of my true understanding of who I am and who I am not. From this place I have grown a self to deal with life in this world at this time that no longer needs that level of give-away, that volume of emotional return for services rendered.
At this time of my life, the balm of my quiet spirit is my sanctuary and all the comfort and peace I could ask for.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Trident

I’ve joined a new culture… the internet café culture. I’ve been doing it for a while now, visiting the cafes around town. Today I am sitting with my computer in, my favorite, the Trident, a old Boulder coffee shop. The Trident still attracts hippies, traveling gypsies, professors, and local intellectuals. It’s a place where outcasts can feel cozy and students write papers. It’s a little piece of old Boulder that stays the same over time while all around it high end shops and restaurants have opened.

In a table just adjacent to me are two unshaved guys looking close to geezerhood. They are conversing loudly from everything to Gandhi, existentialism and classes at CU in the sixties, to real estate deals gone bad (otherwise they’d both be millionaires by now, maybe). It’s a wandering conversation induced, I suspect, by a hit of Boulder smoke. In the space of ten minutes they’ve gone through every psych class and professor they had at CU, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Alamosa, and the University of Oregon. Then they flipped from that to “The Dancing Wuli Masters” to The Art of Motor Cycle Racing.” Actually I can’t keep up with them. Now they’re on about their grandmothers and the traumas experienced by their mothers. One of the mothers married rich men twice, each time burying a husband who left buckets of money. (Somebody’s mother a Black Widow here?) Both of their grandmothers smoked like chimneys and drank themselves to death with Scotch. Humm.

Sitting here I almost think I am in a tired café in Paris on the Left Bank. Too bad the Trident doesn’t have a liquor license, a glass of red wine would be perfect.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Lesson in Time

Just the other day someone made a comment about the fact that I never wear a watch. “That is remarkable” she said, “how do you make it to all of your appointments on time?”
For one moment I traveled back to a long ago event…

I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. I was standing in front of the elevator door watching the numbers light up as it traveled slowly up and then began its descent. One of my best friends was back in the hospital, her stomach full of cancer. I was taking time out from a very busy work schedule, and as I waited I was trying to remember every thing I still had to get done that day. Then, you see, I would know how long I could comfortably spend with her on this particular afternoon.

My watch band broke. My watch slipped off my wrist and fell to the vinyl tile floor and laid there beside my foot. Looking down at it I suddenly felt lost. I bent down, picked it up and held it in my hand, confused for a moment as to what to do next. I was embarrassed. What in the heck was I worried about? How much time did I have? Hell, how much time did she have? What is time?

As I gazed at the broken watch it spoke to me, “This is a gift. Go upstairs and be with her. Time is of no importance.” With a deep sigh, I dropped it into my purse as the elevator door opened in front of me.

* annette

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Family Soup

Gifts from my family......I guess just having a family is a gift. Like a big pot of soup with some things you like and some you’re not so crazy about. But you got the pot.....and learned about contrast, and what you liked and what was hard to digest. An angry alcoholic father might fit into the difficult to digest category. That was balanced by a mother who took meditation, yoga and trips to the Edgar Cayce Foundation more seriously than what was for dinner. My father, angry though he could be, was also very joyous, passionate and fun. So the whole range of spices and temperatures came through, from hot to cold in each cup drunk from him. My mother’s subtle flavors always took you to the horizon where anything is possible and most likely was. So when you dipped in for a taste all you could think was “out of this world.” Luckily the Gods, or myself, threw in two sisters, two best friends, along with my brother. A big gift of having sisters for best friends is you have all come out of the same pot...all know the ingredients that went in, though different experiences and tastes came out. That fact now makes it much easier to laugh at the less than funny chunks. And if one of us gets something caught in her throat the others are there for a pat on the back to move it along. Whether it was too hot, too cold or too made a story....a life....and the nice thing about looking back with the magic of a present wand is the ability to touch those parts we didn’t like with a stroke of forgiveness and voila it returns a sweetness to the memories of a family soup and a thought of the richness of it’s gifts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prose - Woman, the Matriarchy, and Expansion

I’m reading a book called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a book about the Japanese, women and foot binding. It’s a painful, torturous knowing in their history of how women were treated. The beautiful lilies, as their bound feet were called, were revered in a way we cannot even imagine. How long did these women allow themselves to be totally worthless? There was a saving grace. A laotong was another ancient custom surrounding women. A laotong was a female friend usually chosen around seven years of age. Two young girls are matched up according to the eight characters of who they are. This friendship is for life. It usually is even more important than the husband. The beauty and ritual of this friendship is meant to be a fulfilling part of their lives. To me, it feels our American culture is somewhat lacking in the depth of this kind of relationship among our women. True, we have our own special closeness with our women friends. But to the quality and extent of how a laotong is chosen for two young girls, I know of nothing we may have that’s even close. I will quickly give up the idea of a laotong if it meant enduring foot binding. At least the women had this, sometimes the only nurturing they had came from this friend. Women throughout history, since the Goddess years, have been weakened and dishonored.

So, when I think how we’ve evolved and are evolving from this patriarchal culture, to more and more the matriarchy, and hopefully balance, it’s been a very long passage of time, with much torture and pain to woman. As I allow myself to come into my Goddess years, I feel I have much to teach men about a deeper part of themselves. As that dynamic comes about, maybe I will open to men in a way that hasn’t happened before, without diminishing myself.

As the pendulum is swinging………we are blessed with the opportunity of living as One.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Essay- Where Do I Come From?

I arrived on the ripples of desire that Mom felt over 50 years ago when she first met Dad, at that Wisconsin dance hall. “He was real cute!” Mom still says with an excited giggle.

I was sparked by the sparkling of snow on Norwegian hillsides my Grandma Moan skied to school and also by the beams of midnight sun in the village where my Grandpa Moan learned to speak his stubborn, Norwegian mind. Those Nordic lights became holograms twinkling in my father’s eye.

I also sprang from Grandpa Johnson’s Swedish immigrant parents whose first six children died before the age of 3. Grandpa Johnson came at the right time to survive, to marry three times and father three daughters.

I was born here by my Grandma Johnson’s spacious womb, where my mother gently gestated, when I was just half of me, a Terra egg in Mom’s fetal ovaries. Mom breeched her way out into the world and I was waiting for the right time when Dad’s Norway and Mom’s mostly Sweden met to form my physical geography.

Then the spirit song that I am, sang through that baby landform, to populate it with a personhood that came to America to live long and prosper and create new vistas for those who would follow.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poem: Satsang

I sing of Sat,
Of Sat I sang,
The Tat of Sat is
That I am.

The Sanskrit word for "Truth" is "Sat".
The Sanskrit word for "Isness", is "Tat".

Prema Rose

Saturday, October 4, 2008

No Resistance

After years of raising kids and having trouble having a personal, uninterrupted thought, I find my resistance to writing, to facing a blank page, relatively nil. I have years of thoughts unthought, decades of works unwritten, books of pen-not-put-to-paper.

I want to write.

And then I notice the other side. Those hours in the day I’m not writing.

Writing three pieces in five days that might have only taken an hour’s worth of time in total, suddenly seems paltry. Yet I know myself. And I know I need breathing room in and around my writing life. I need to hang out clothes, see clients, check in with my kids, make a nutritious dinner after perusing my garden for its yield or food shop when it’s winter. I also need the inspiration of long hikes on Sunday mornings with a friend or the solitary walks at dusk through my neighborhood. I find that alone-time needs to be balanced with my people-time or I slip near an edge I can easily step off. And then I’m too alone and I have nothing to say.

So, resistance could be seen as making time for a fuller life than just sitting and writing by the clock, hour after hour. For I know the blank page will beckon me and will once more become my sanctuary.


Friday, October 3, 2008

My shard

I have a beautiful curved pottery shard picked up along the banks of the River Thames. It's part of an old teacup with edges worn and smoothed by time and the river. I love how the curve fits across my thumb. I love looking at the partial blue flower that is beginning to open just at the place where one edge curves. I carry it with me as a talisman in my pocket, or, when I am sleeping it sets on my dresser. It has become a part of me.

I think that this white shard with its blue broken flower came to me from another life. Often, as I slip my hand in my pocket to close my fingers over its soothing presence, I hear voices whispering from that other world. Someone is holding a teacup filled with steaming milky tea while she chats with a friend on a cold foggy London afternoon. Leaning closer to hear their conversation I see my blue flower, unbroken, as it blooms near the handle where her finger rests along the graceful curve of my beloved shard.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Essay: Longings...

Our assignment is to write about longings. I have been in a semi-melancholy state for weeks. Just thinking about “Longings” fits my current mood.

I long for security. A security that comes from outside me. I know, I know …. “if that which you seek cannot be found within, it will never be found without”. Whatever! I honor a young girl's longing to be loved and nurtured. I would like to curl up in my grandmother's soft lap and be cuddled. I have on more than one occasion looked at my cat, curled up in a warm fuzzy ball in my lap…… and felt mildly jealous….wanting to trade places.

I long to have enough time and enough $$ ~~ both at the same time ~~ to lie back and relax. I wonder what, if anything, I could create if I had the absolute freedom to spend time doing it? When my son was little I volunteered to teach a class to small children on how to make rattles of leather. Daydreaming, I saw myself as a young Indian woman. I wondered what it would be like if my only job was to make one beautiful rattle this day. That was my responsibility to my tribe. I was not the hunter and the cook and the cleaner; I was the maker of fine rattles. What a treat!

I long to sit beside the stream and tone with the water spirits. This I will do again in the spring. I promise this to myself right now.

I long for a lover’s arms.

I repeat the mantra, “if that which you seek cannot be found within, it will never be found without”. But I long for a summer vacation on the coast, with gentle waves, sun, clouds, distant music, a loving touch and tender words. All in one picture.

I close my eyes and go within. It is a sweet place. “So be it. And so it is”

* annette

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It was only change...
from her hand to his.

Young man at the cash register
very old woman,
unable to figure out
what her items cost

I’m next in line

As ancestral respect
for elders
reached through his soft smile
and gentleness of hand
to help her
count coins

And tell her silently
her age and fading ability are OK

For her to lend a hand
in showing me
the dance between young and old
can extend beyond sweetness

Where there is plenty of time for kindness
and the need for it never fades

And I thought I was waiting to pay for water.