Wednesday, September 30, 2009


When your health is on a vacation a whole new appreciation for it awakens. Now I remember, every day is glorious when you wake up relatively well. What an amazing thing to get out of bed, to sip a cup of coffee and walk in the garden. To see Charlie's smile and kitty's playfulness unfurl with each creature that appears on our front deck. It's magical, the morning and the ability to breath with ease. To watch the light illuminate the land and the birds arrive (along with foxes lately.) Each moment served on a plate of health. What could be wrong with that menu? 

The trick is to remember it everyday. To remember it is worth being grateful for. To celebrate it.

Boy is my hunger surfacing.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I Believe

I believe in One – eternal Source,
unmanifest Consciousness,
Who CONCEIVES of all things, made & unmade,
Who I name the Father so that I might speak of Him

And I believe in She who Manifests and Is the Manifestation of All,
the Material Matter,
the Mother from Whom and in Whom all exists.
CREATING as joyful expression of her Love for and oneness with the Father,
She gives Birth, Life, Death, Afterlife and Rebirth to all Beings

And I believe in the Holy Child,
Human Being,
incarnated as the child of both Consciousness & Matter,
capable of the Highest Manifestation of Both in this world,
Exemplified by Teachers, Saints and Avatars of All Peoples,
Who, with Free Will, CHOOSE in the Holy Moment to go beyond habitual patterns
To shine forth with the Light of Divine Consciousness,
while enjoying the Gifts and Challenges of the Flesh.

- Terra Rafael

Chimes twinkle,
birds chirp,
a dog barks
in the distance,
the trees sway
their towering canopies,
and remind me
how small I am
in the scheme of things.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Faraway Food

“Chocolate” she would whisper into the night.“Just one small tiny square of Hersery’s Chocolate, that’s all, nothing more.”

It puzzled me… there wasn’t a bar of chocolate to be had within a hundred miles… why would she be wanting chocolate when she couldn’t have it? It didn’t occured to me to want chocolate. I just didn’t think about it. Obviously my taste buds had not yet blossomed. She was from New York, I was a Midwestern farm girl. What did I know?

Our daily fare consisted of a white sort of corn meal called, ‘mealy meal.’ I didn’t know what it was and never bothered to find out. We had it for most of our meals. I can’t remember eating greens or vegetables. But there were bananas, lots of bananas and plantains, and sour mangos. Once I was given a stick of sugar cane with tea boiled in a tin can under a tree in the back of beyond. Lovely and sweet it cleaned my teeth as I chewed and sucked the pithy fiber better than any toothbrush.

Once in a while there would be a goat haunch brought to our village but I would have been happier eating grass. Another time someone brought us two live chickens, walking many miles through the bush to see the strange Americans working with their hands; offering the chickens as a gift. We kept the chickens as pets until we had to go. Then we invited the whole compound in for a feast of Two-Chicken-Stew and mealy meal. I won’t go into the details of how Ruben and I rung their necks, pulled the feathers and singed them, or what we put into the stew.

No, this part of the world was not a culinary hot spot. It wasn’t a place where there were gardens, or markets, or shops to buy chocolate bars. It was the bush country in the dry season. Dry and sparse.

But night after night under the East African moon Maria would croon her chocolate mantra while I drifted off to sleep dreaming of the smell of chocolate and the sweet softness melting on my tongue...Funny enough, that was the year I learned to love chocolate.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our Life

Often its in the carrying of so called ‘burdens’
we grow the most
stretching ourselves into spaces
we hadn’t imagined
being changed by the ‘thing’
we wanted to rid ourselves of
in the working of its weight
we meet each day
finding a way around its ‘inconvenience’
and inconceivable presence

often we are being ‘sculpted’
as hands push and prod
parts and past what we thought
we thought we needed
removed by unseen hands
a vision of eyes
we might only glimpse
to trust that
if its here… it is serving
if its here…it is perfect
in its heaviness

what it requires
is our presence
our release of thoughts
about what it is
embracing ourselves
and all of ourselves
being kind
and seeing with new eyes
the beauty in this
our life


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rainy Day

Its been a long time since we’ve had a rainy day

I took advantage

Being very tired from chemo

No caffeine today, in and out

Of sleep all day

Total and complete rest, deep rest.

Time to embrace myself,

Time to let the rain wash my senses.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Journey to Letting Go

It’s an overcast day. The edge of my skin tightens where the cool fall air touches it. I’m walking on a path I’ve walked before, not far from where I live. It is called Gregory Canyon by white people. This is where I first came to know the poison hemlock plant. There is a creek here, barely trickling in this season. The dry crackling of branches and grasses rattles with my footsteps as I follow the path deeper into the woods. A brown bear is eating berries. She looks at me, knows that I am one of her own, and goes back to the berries, letting me pass unmolested. As I approach the village it is unusually quiet.

I come to a woman and ask her where I can find the Great Midwife. She looks at me and says, ”YOU are the Great Midwife now. It is YOU who are to help women give birth, care for the sick and help the dying on their journey to the other side.”

I am shocked. What can she mean? I follow her to a hut and stoop to enter the short doorway. A woman elder is lying on her sleeping mat, covered with a mound of blankets and furs. Her face is luminous, though her physical skin is darkened.

“Great Midwife, I am here to ask you about love.”
She slowly shakes her head, silently saying, “No”.
Then she speaks. “You must speak of death now. It is time. The seed of death is born when we begin to live in our mother’s womb. Mine has grown slowly and is now bearing fruit, like the bushes full of choke cherries.”
She stops to breathe for awhile, tired by the efforts of her words.
“You must eat of my berries now so that you will be strong with what I have grown to become. You must care for my people. You are the one that can hear what to do.”

She nods at the woman attending to her and the woman reaches over to her, removes the bear claw necklace from around her neck and places it over my head, to hang now on my chest. Its heaviness would bear down on me, if not for the uplifting of my heart by this sacred gift.
I kneel down beside her. “Grandmother, I am not ready. I cannot take your place.”
“You must. It is time.” She closes her eyes, her irregular breathing now the only sound.
When I reach into my bag for my gift to her, a thorn from the sprig of rose pricks my finger. I place the sprig on her chest, the one last blood red bloom from my garden. “May the spirit of the rose assist with this blessing.”

I quietly slip out of the hut to ponder my letting go, to pray for her Spirit to have a swift & peaceful journey to the Eternal Summer, and what this all means. As I walk away, I hear the keening begin.

--Terra Rafael

(Although I intended to find out about love on this journey, the stars had a different purpose for me. This was the astrology of 15 September 2009 when it was written-
Today is the final pass of the Saturn/Uranus opposition. It began last Sept. 08, then again in Feb. 09, and today it is completed.
At 6:50 AM (MDT), and all day, we are working with letting go of the old and receiving the new. Look at old patterns of thinking and behaving. Be really willing to let those ways dissolve and flow out of you, keeping your base of what works.
Then be open to the new and innovative ways of being that are ready to serve you and bring you into a more authentic way of being.
From astrologer and writer Jyoti Wind)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Angel

My Angel

I had been quite sick for a while with a debilitating case of eczema. The rash covered my entire body and the pain of moving dissuaded me from budging from my bed. As a matter of fact, even the slightest turn of my body, in any direction, became an unbearable episode of burning and itching. I found that the best thing I could do was to do absolutely nothing.

Relegated to my back, so that the sheets would not rub against me, I remained in my solitude.

These times of stressful events in my life had put me over the top of what I could withstand and, perhaps, this nothingness was all I could and needed to absorb.
I drifted off into a waking dream.

I was being held and lifted up in the complete embrace of a golden angel. His wings gently enfolded me in golden protection. His arms were strong and could bear the weight of my relaxed body. I couldn’t clearly make out the features of his face but his well configured naked body was covered in a golden fuzz, soft like peach fuzz.
Permeating the atmosphere, an incredible and indescribable sweet aroma pervaded all my senses.

I wanted, even longed, to merge with him fully. I wanted him to penetrate me, so that I would be saturated with this Love. This Love engulfed me in every cell of my Being, holding me in unspeakable Joy.

After I had come back to my bed, my sheets, and my room, I was embarrassed by my longing to make love with this Heavenly apparition. The smell of the Amrit was very noticeably present for about an hour after. I had the strength to get up and sit at my Puja table to be in prayer and gratitude for the presence of my Angel.

A couple of years later, I was in a stationary store looking at some greeting cards painted by Sandra Bierman. To my astonishment, she had painted my experience exactly! The only difference was that the face was fully recognizable. This was the face that I have seen several times before when I have had similar experiences. I wrote her to tell her of my vision and to find out where the original of that painting is. I have the card posted by my bed. My Angel is always near me. Occasionally, I will get a waft of that unmistakable smell of Amrit.

Prema Rose

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Painting my Toenails in my 60’s

Painting my toenails in my mid 60’s is not as easy as it used to be. I gather my glasses, polish remover, paper towels or cotton balls, and the polish.
The polish was always light magenta. But ever since my daughter-in-law graciously offered to paint my toenails her color, a deep wine red, on a visit a month ago, I’ve liked that color better. Yet today I’m back to the magenta.
I find a place of light on the patio. No good. I can hardly see the outline of the nail, with my glasses on, bent over as far as I can go.
I see the sun shining on one edge of the area, move my chair, brace my foot against the concrete block that forms a lattice-type separation between the patio and the garden, and I ready to paint.
After a few minutes and a few toenails, I take stock. Unfortunately, it’s not just my eyes. My hand isn’t as accurate in finding the edges and so my toenails begin to resemble a five year olds attempt at painting her toes.
Do I need a professional pedicure? No. Do I need help with this? Yes, but for the moment, with a paper towel and the remover, I’m able to clean up my painting job.
I’m already planning a trip to see my son and his family in ten days. Maybe my daughter-in-law will feel generous again, and I can continue for a while longer to have painted toes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

On My Daughter's Farm

I've been here a week now putting the farm to bed for winter. Yesterday we cleaned out the shop. Cleaning the shop on a lavender farm is a little different from ordinary chores of this nature. Our work consists of sweeping up piles of lavender, or perhaps I should say, clouds of lavender. Even the cobwebs in the shop have little flowers of lavender caught in them. Using the shop vac is a sweet chore as the fragrance of lavender over powers the roar. I take the drying racks out to lean against the big old maple tree knocking errant lavender buds that have attached themselves to the screening. I turn to watch my daughter as she takes down the dried bundles of tied lavender from the rafters carefully laying them in long white bins with tissue paper separating the layers.
As I walk into the store room a purple haze greets my lavender smile.

We are joking and laughing as we work all day together. In the late afternoon we uncork a bottle of wine from the vineyard just over the ridge and sip while we sit watching the flaming sun slip over the coast mountains. A good day all in all.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

What is a Writer?

A writer is an observer, making mental notes of their surroundings …. hearing the limp in the old cowboy’s step as he walks down the promenade, while smelling the cotton candy in the dusty dusk of the county fair rodeo.

A writer is a reader, possibly with a well worn dictionary beside them, happy to look up new words, hungry to expand their vocabulary. Words are like precious metals, ready to be manipulated, either by pounding into submissiveness or gently stroked into an expressive work of art.

A writer is like a terrier puppy, digging up facts, nosing our way through the musty attic of thoughts and feelings and faded memories; pulling out items of interest, shredding the myths, not realizing they have value until we pour them out of us and catch them on paper.

A good writer is a better listener. Learning to be still.

Ahhh, stillness … versus … non-stillness. I often find myself pontificating out loud as I wade through ideas. This often has a less than pleasant outcome and as we all know, the spoken word is a hard item to reclaim. If I work it out on paper, I have a chance of calming the random outbursts and presenting myself more diplomatically.

For me, being a writer is this insatiable urge to put down on paper, my thoughts, theories, and remembrances. I have misplaced so many details of this life; I don’t want to forget it all.

* annette

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Writer...

A writer is brave. Not in the outward, manly, sense of the word but in a quiet, deep and persistent way. To face the blank page, place your words, thoughts, and musings on its starkness and than share it, is just flat out couragous. Each one of us runs around living in our own version of the universe. Our self, our vehicles, and then a few of us write about what it looks like out there. Or how it feels in here to be interacting with out there. It’s all so subjective yet something makes us pick up the pen, or computer, and reflect, pour out or wonder in words. Maybe our little view might actually connect to someone else’s. Maybe it’s because we often see in to ourselves in a new way by the practice. There is so much to stop you. Excuses can roll in by the truckload. Yet something keeps you slipping by those obstacles to find a way, day by day, to say something. It doesn’t always look like what you think you are about to explore. I have been surprised many times by what emerges. An honesty or truth is often waiting just beneath the surface and the pen breaks through, like a whale lifting out of the sea. At first you think he’s too big to be jutting up out of the water, then you just appreciate the awe, beauty and magic of the moment. Writing can do this. It keeps me coming back. The writer is an adventurer and discoverer, of herself and the world around her. It takes courage to wonder and notice what will emerge in words.


Monday, September 14, 2009

We Are The Cloth of Love

Before her fingers stiffened too much with age, Grandma Johnson cross stitched the gingham cloth of her aprons and table cloths. She also made rugs from rags, tied together into long strands of recycled cloth and twisted into spiral ovals to protect our feet from cold linoleum. And to breathe more beauty into life.

I still touch that cloth that she decorated, pushing needle and thread through it with her flesh and bone hands. Even imagining that cloth fills me with the spirit of her love—her love of life, her love of beauty, and her love of us.

In this way, Grandma embroidered my life, breathing more beauty into me. May my words embroider you too with love. May my words, even though they, like the cloth, will eventually decay and be forgotten, pass on the love so that you too will manifest love through your own arts and crafts and daily acts, passing on love from hand to hand and heart to heart.

-Terra Rafael

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Bubble

The Bubble

Within this bubble that encapsulates
The whole of my known existence,
In all its forms, relationships, and colors,
There for me to ponder,
Are the limits of my own perceptions.

But, what a wondrous bubble it is!
It expands and contracts.
It encompasses the vastness of universes.
In times of pain, it becomes as small
As my immediate care.

And even more,
This bubble has a permeable membrane
That allows the nectar of the unknown
To seep into the spaces that enfold me,
Bringing me my questions and awareness.

I feel secure and safe
Within this bubble of my making.
What if it were to pop
And all I thought I was were to
Dissolve into the Nothingness?

What would be the I
Of the concept that I am?
Is the Presence of that Consciousness
Eternal and forever?
No more a bubble of exclusiveness.

Prema Rose

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm sitting in the dark...

I’m sitting in the dark, hidden from view by a stone wall and a stack of canning supplies on a table next to me. It’s evening, but already growing dark early, as Fall begins to tell us of coming winter.

This sitting in the dark during the evening, outside on my patio, is something I did every evening the first summer I moved here, into this place I live now.

The anonymity and invisibility was like a fox’s cloak as she makes her way through the twilight hours. To look and not be looked at, to search unseen, is a marvelous thing sometimes.

So it sit here writing, some dappled light through leaves from a streetlight nearby, and listen to the night sounds around me. Crickets are still grinding away, and children’s voices in the rear of apartments nearby speak of preparing for bed on a school night.

I no longer have those chores. I no longer have those exact schedules. I will see clients and record my readings, but usually I can be as flexible with schedules as they need to be.

I’m letting the dark envelope me, hearing snatches of sentences as walkers pass my place, their animals leashed, on their way through my neighborhood. I observe unseen.

This dark, tonight, is comforting, relaxing out the day’s busyness in the still 80 degree sunlight of doing. This dark invites me to sit back, breathe out, and let my body nod off if it needs to, lay its head back against the wicker chair and dream early evening dreams with no goals in mind.

I am alone with myself, but not within the confines of walls.

Yet here I am in a private moment in time on a fast-approaching Fall night. Lucky me, is what I think as I bring my pen to a stop and just be.


Friday, September 11, 2009

A Story

I heard once a long time ago about a people in Africa that touched my soul. I was told that there was group of people who kept themselves apart from the cities and the colonization of that part of Africa. They were known to be beautiful, happy and healthy. And, they were admired and envied by all the villages around.

This is what I heard. When these humans went out they would run or walk single file in rhythm with their breath and with one another. They moved across the land in unison as one single vibration. Sometimes they would sing beautiful songs as they went along. When they met lions or elephants or ants or impala they nodded greetings to these beings who shared the planet with them. There was an easy harmony among all beings in the area even the grasses, trees and plants were happy. They all sustained each other honoring the circle of life.

What those people had been taught from an early age and what they did intuitively and collectively was to exchange their energy with the earth and all beings on it. They knew that with each footprint on the ground they were blessing the great mother earth and she was giving them a blessing in return with her graceful presence. When they did it consciously the blessing became stronger more concentrated and highly activated. It enhanced the lives of the people, the wild life the plant kingdom. These people knew they were life giving beings and knew how to receive life in return.

I love this story. It teaches me that we are co-creators on this beautiful earth. I like the idea of walking in grace this way. When I go for a walk in this frame of mind I feel and sometimes think I see these people leading the way for me.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


My pick-up runs great. I had the brakes checked, and a general overhaul before I took my horse up into the mountains camping. The mechanic called me and said he couldn’t find anything to fix. She has rust along the running board that I plan to fix just as soon as I left-over-money one month, but she can get us up and down the mountain safely. Perfect.

The flowing red and black color stripes that run down the side of my horse trailer are peeling up around the edges. They were added when she was brand new, allowing the trailer to match the truck. I tried to take one off, but it did not come off easily and I decided it still looked better on. When we were camping the wind came up one night, and I lay in my bed inside the trailer and listened to rain drops splatter all around me. I snuggled into my down comforter and thanked god that I was up off the ground and not in a tent. Perfect.

On Monday night, July 20th, about 10:30 PM, my little car and I were driving home from the airport. The sky opened up and threw hundreds of large hailstones at us; battering the holy crap out of my poor little Idgey. She, like me, is not perfect. Several years ago the LCD read-out on the radio faded away forever and I no longer know what station I am listening to … until they tell me … and they always do. I can no longer use the lighter plug to charge up my cell phone because it shorts out my blind radio, but I prepare ahead. However, for sixteen and a half years this car and I have run a real estate appraisal business ~ she is my “office on wheels”. Her metallic light green body is now covered with tiny craters and the storm knocked the Honda insignia off both the hood and the trunk! What to do? I cried for two days.

Good news ~~ bad news:
I had just put in a new starter, first one is 16 years, and replaced the front brakes ~ bad news?
Her interior still looks great and she cleans up nicely ~ good news.
She looks like a mint green golf ball ~ sad news.
She still gets over forty miles per gallon ~ ~ perfect!

So, I talked with the insurance company and even though I did have several second thoughts …. I called the glass company and replaced the windshield which was ruined ~ cracked in three places. I thought about changing her name to “Dimple” but I decided not to. Her name is Idgey. We are both older, we have a few dings and dimples, we both climb the mountain a little slower than before, but we still basically function in the manner in which we were designed.

Perfection? Like Beauty, it is in the eyes of the beholder.
Love and Honor, on the other hand, is a sincere and perfect gift.

* annette

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


After a trip to humidity and ocean shores what I have an appetite for is endless beach hours. The ones where you role out of bed and find your way to sand seeping between your toes before you are even awake. Where beach rocks fill my pockets to overflowing, so the guy on his morning run gives me that “she must be a little light upstairs” look out of the corner of his eye as he goes by. Where by nine a.m. I’ve gotten a full dose of salt water through my brain and something in my core feels satiated and relaxes and knows the rest of the day anything can happen because I’ve been to the beach. Others feed their hunger in mountains but for me it’s the sea. Any amount of swimming in salt water seems to calm my appetite. The clearer and cleaner the water is the more I feel full, contented, like I’ve been fed the best, most nutritious, meal ever. Sometimes it was hard to tell if I’d ever get out because of the huge famine I’ve been in – of no salt water - but eventually even that void got filled as I swim, float or bob my way toward the shore. I wonder if I’ll ever lose my appetite for the ocean or will it’s call to smell, eat, drink, and merge with it always beckon? I keep forgetting how much I yearn for it. I let myself forget till I’m there. Will it ever get satisfied or will it take me over till I go home to my mermaid ways?


Tuesday, September 8, 2009




Where have they gone?



They’ve both stopped

I watch, I wait

Wanting time to move and yet

Its teaching me about this


Feeling has always been elusive

To me and yet I yearn.


Monday, September 7, 2009

What is a Writer?

A writer is a magician that can make us forget our real life dramas to enter into another world of her describing.

A writer is a midwife who encourages you to give birth to your greater self by sharing a myriad of stories, similar or different, from your very own.

A writer is a witch that stirs the cauldron of our unconscious with the spoon of images to summon forth a new recipe for our minds.

A writer is a yogi who holds a pose of words that allows us to feel the energy of life coursing through the channels of our consciousness.

A writer is an herbalist, knowing which words to pick at the proper time, drying them to make them potent, and then mixing them together in the right proportion to cure what ails your soul.

--by Terra Rafael

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Exquisite Pain

Exquisite Pain

Exquisite pain,
A love that permeates
The atoms of my consciousness,
Filling the nano-particles
Of all my bodies,
Turning me inside out,
Expanding and opening
The spaces of elusive matter,
Connecting heart and mind
In nothing less than Joy.
All this brought to me
In the practice of Sensation.

Prema Rose

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Would Like...

I Would Like…

I would like to see our government members and the CEO’s of companies be willing to forego their lavish, power-over life styles, to live a simple life like most people.

What comes to mind is the last episode of a summer TV series called The Philanthropist. In this last episode, the main character invites all his wealthy friends to dinner. Some are heads of state, some are actors, some governmental officials. All have millions at their disposal.

Before the meal begins, they all mix and mingle, jewels glittering from neck and wrists, dressed like peacocks, male and female.

At the U-shaped banquet table, with everyone seated, the host tells them about the meal they have donated tens of thousands of dollars to enjoy. As he speaks, waitstaff place , in front of each guest, a small bowl of white rice. There are no garnishes. Only rice. There is a fork or chopsticks at each place setting.

As it dawns on each guest, their faces reflect the surprise, outrage, and defiance at what their power and generosity have netted them for this day’s supper.

Their host continues. He tells them that this is what millions sit down to every day around the world, this one small bowl of rice.

He asks them to consider, from their place of wealth and power, doing something for the world that has given them all that they have.

I would like to see this actually happen and hope they would step up and follow through.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Really, REALLY Great Corn on the Cob

This is a simple but boomer of a recipe for corn on the cob. I learned to make it in while living in Northern California from a man who owned a taco shop.


6 ears of fresh corn, husked and silked.

1 stick of butter, melted. Make that real butter.

2-3 limes juiced

cilantro, chopped


Cook the corn in boiling salted water until done then drain it and stack it on a plate. Put the lime juice in the melted butter and give it a stir before dribbling it over the corn. Use all of it. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the whole plate of corn. The butter/lime juice will pool at the bottom of the plate so leave it where everyone can roll their corn in the delicious sauce again.  Yummy! You will so love this.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


Have you ever had a new person come to your house and you wonder what they will think? You suddenly see everything you have always loved through their eyes. It is a discomforting sensation, especially if suddenly your beloved sanctuary looses a little of its former luster. “Don’t go there” I tell myself. The carpet may be a little worn but the roof shingles are in great shape. I plumb the pillows, put away the dishes and dead head my sweet petunias; everything will be fine. It is not just about “making do” ~ although right now that is skill in and of itself ~ it is about loving and honoring what you have.

Recently my son and I took a trip back to Missouri and I packed my old cloth bag …. it has a duffle bag kind of shape, but it is an old fashioned looking flower print on a grey-blue background. I always called it my carpet bag. I would buy another if I ever saw one, but I have had this one so many years I have no idea where I bought it. I like the shape, the size, love the muted colors, and even though I had to sew the leather handles back onto the bag, it is comfortable to carry and can fit over my shoulder.

“Geez, Mom” my son said as we stood in line to board the plane, “that thing looks like it is a million years old. Its time for a new one.” It was then that I noticed that I had even repaired the rolled leather handle with grey shiny duct tape ~ and, for a moment, it DID look kind of shabby in my eyes.

“This bag and I have traveled many places, she carries lots of memories in here, as well as my cloths and I still love this bag.” I smiled up at him and shrugged. I caught the woman behind me smiling as she listened. She couldn’t help herself; she leaned forward and whispered, “I think that new pink duct tape would look pretty on the handles.” We smiled at each other and I could tell that she understood my nostalgia.

I was once with a man who seriously thought that he was perfect. I am being totally honest with you here; he stated as much on several occasions. Unfortunately love is blind, and in that long ago moment I agreed with him, which cemented the idea in his pea sized brain ~ god bless him. As history unfolded, it became apparent that he was far from perfect, but that is another story.

My sweat pants fit perfectly. They are the old design with a cuff at the ankles, just the way I like them. And after a couple of days they are baggy at the knees and saggy in the butt ~ perfect.

* annette

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Works

Thinking about kitchens, cooking and the variables of being comfortable in that domain. The whole affair with food took me years to engage in, I was a slow starter. I began more like my mother who never seemed to be fully present in the kitchen and I’ve ended up more like my father who definitely found “the joy of cooking.” Now I’m getting to know my seventeen year old niece who opted out of the family vacation to Ireland. My brother and my lives went their separate ways when I left for college. I never really came back to NY so we drifted apart, our interest and life experiences taking us into different worlds. It was easier to keep in touch with sisters who had a similar language. As is often the case, a death, my father’s, brought us to shared ground, which magically became sacred ground. Our shared genetics, in spite of thirty years of a chasm, along with sharing the potency of the moment of death, has brought us back from the edge. Now it feels like we never spent all those years in separate spaces. 

So here I am in his world, his house, sharing ten days with his daughter, who I’ve barely crossed paths with all these years, while everyone else in the family enjoys the Emerald Island. The knock came and I knew in every cell I was going, there really was no decision involved. How could I pass up getting to know a seventeen year old niece? It’s been a little like getting to know a new part of myself that I never developed or visited. She is new to me and filled with her own ideas and inclinations yet strangely we are at home with each other as though I’ve always know her. One of the more amazing things I enjoy about her is her comfort in the kitchen. It turns out, unlike most kids who are avid TV watchers, she only watches the Food Network. This is incredible to me along with a delight. She has a level of ease in the kitchen I still have not mastered. She knows so many of the basics that I never really developed. I’m a self taught cook, no training but a few years of hands on experience. She has experience but also years of watching how to’s, what not to do, how to combine and when, and what works in food preparation techniques. This has given her a confidence and presence in the kitchen I’m still hoping for. The ease in this part of her life and this part of the house has made our sharing time as natural as breathing. 

I may be a visitor in her home and life but I’m certainly the one receiving the nourishment of watching a young pro with simple and elegant moves in her domain. Not to mention the gift of having a part of my family emerge from the depths of the unknown to feed a part of me I didn’t even know was hungry. So now I have expanded my repertoire of recipes along with new family possibilities. It’s good to expand and fun too. Like a new recipe, sometimes it really works-this works.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prose - The Great Medicine Wheel

We drive up and up through the Bighorn National Forest, beauty bursting all around us. We come to the sign leading to The Medicine Wheel. It was a mission for me, a reason for going to Wyoming. Almost to the Montana border, we felt on top of the world, seeing for miles in every direction. We start up the path, a mile and a half walk up a fairly gentle slope to the wheel, being so high, we go slow, even stopping and sitting at times. We take in all the beauty that surrounds us. As we arrive at the wheel, which is about eighty feet in diameter, we imagine the energy of long, long ago. No one knows when it was built, or who built it, speculations of the Crow Indian Tribe. White round posts about three and a half feet high with two thick white ropes running through them wrap around the wheel. On the ropes are tied feathers, scarves, sage, sweetgrass, jewelry, fabrics of all sorts, and many other items, some blown to the ground inside the ropes. We feel from these offerings many prayers that have been spoken here through the years, we feel the emotion that has immersed into this powerful place. Thoughtlessly, we forget to bring our offerings, we use our spit, coming from deep inside us. What could be more appropriate?
A part of our body has soaked into the ground inside the ropes, leaving us connected forever. Native Americans come from all over, still doing ceremony here, some are open to us, some are not. Others come from all over the world, offering their hearts, taking in the beauty, asking to be healed. There is no mistaking the fullness of my gratitude that will remain with me for the rest of my days.