Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hints of Spring

My heart is sparking
With the sounds of Spring.
The early morning greeting
Of song and busyness,
Calling me to the surety
That, yes, this snow will stop.
That the piles of whiteness in the yard
Will give way to shoots of green
And all those tulips, planted in the fall,
Will soon emerge triumphant
In a blaze of color.
Anticipation fills me with expectancy
And Winter’s dreary skies
Cannot hold back
The birds return.

Prema Rose

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I had a trust...

I had a trust
in the rightness of things,
a sense of timing
and that mine coincided
with the large cycle
of happenings.

Somehow I stepped away
Somehow I missed a step
in the dance of trust
and find myself outside
looking in.

I’ve sent the red-eyed beast
of fear and anger,
as his paw was poised
to once again
knock on my door,
down the road.

I asked him not to return,
that I was done
with that approach,
and no longer had room
to think about his pleasures.

I’m open to trust again,
to righting things,
to putting myself in the queue
of trusting that I’m in a world
where all is well.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Writing Prompt was: This is what she said………..

“Some Stuff”

Last week-end I attended an incredible teaching workshop and one of the presenters was giving a demonstration about developing intuition.

This is what she said………..

“Reach into this bag and take 'some stuff'. I think I have enough 'stuff' for everyone.” We all watched intently as the first people dipped their hands into the bag. I was not alone in my curiosity …. what was 'the stuff'?

I could see that it was white and malleable. When it was my turn I reached in and grabbed a handful of 'stuff'. It was tiny cotton balls; some larger, some smaller. She instructed us, “Close your eyes, hold 'your stuff', get familiar with it and make it a part of you.” I held mine gently and softly stroked the small white bumps and enjoyed their different sizes.

Next we were told to pass "our stuff" to the person on our right. A part of me resisted. This was now “my stuff” and I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it; but I felt the person on my left holding “their stuff” towards me ….. and so I had to pass mine along to make room for another person’s “stuff”.

Weird. I held another bundle of “stuff” in my hand. It felt so foreign. She had grabbed a lot more “stuff” than I had and then packed it into a tight wad ~ it felt hot and mashed up and actually uncomfortable in my hand.

I worried for a second that our leader was going to have us pass again to the right and I distinctly wanted “my stuff” back. I was more comfortable when she said “Please pass the ‘stuff’ you are holding back to the person you got it from.”

Ahhh ~ there it was, it still felt like “my stuff”. Silly as it sounds, I was happy now.

… a fascinating discussion followed. We all have “stuff”. We also played with closing our eyes and receiving another person’s "stuff" and trying to intuit who it belonged too. Very interesting ~ pretty cool stuff !!

* annette

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese

Use 2 – 3 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
Grate 1 and ½ cups cheese, cheddar or other favorite
Beat 3 eggs
½ stick of butter.
Beat all together and add a can of green chilies, drained.

Bake 350 – 375degrees for 30 – 45 minutes

Patricia Jordan

From: Food and What Feeds Us

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Remains

Working and volunteering with elders, I’ve seen it again and again –

A world-traveling woman, now confined to a wheelchair by MS, no longer knows where all of her photos have gone. “My daughter might have thrown them away.”

An army general, who commanded large numbers of troops, now mostly sits in his easy chair, cornered by age and lungs ravaged by years of smoking. He tells me, “They won’t let me die.”

A professor and dean of his department at a celebrated university, has a deluded mind and speech smothered by Parkinsons. It’s difficult to hear and follow his lectures anymore.

A mother, who raised three daughters and now has many grand children, can’t recognize them, and asks when her mother will be coming to get her.

A librarian, lover and caretaker of books, now can only touch the pages, sometimes tearing them. Alzheimers has stolen her ability to read and even speak.

Another professor, also a gifted guitarist, now walks mutely through the halls and barely smiles when a guitar is placed in her forgetful hands.

There is one thing that all of these people still can recognize, still respond to. That is love, love in its most elemental forms – attentively making sure that food gets to their mouths; friendly smiles; gentle touching; the sound of old, familiar songs. The activities and accomplishments of the world fall away. The soul stands bare, still, waiting for love.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Day of the Pig

At the beginning of 1971, I moved to the Spanish Island of Ibiza in the Mediterranean Ocean. After a few months of living in the ancient town, we found a tiny 2,000 year old Moorish finca (farmhouse) smack-dab in the middle of the island. It was situated in a beautiful orchard valley high enough to look down through the hills to the walled city nestled by the bay. The fig trees dripped their ripeness for the plucking and the aromas of the grandfather almond tree, outside the front door, combined with the pinions, lemon, and olive trees that surrounded us, made this spot the most idyllic place on earth to my New York City consciousness.

Every morning, I would climb the rickety ladder to our flat roof and sit in meditation, greeting the morning sun. One day, as I sat in deep contemplation, I heard a piercing scream from over to my right across the valley. It was followed by other similar screams coming from different parts of the island, until the air itself was filled by this unfathomable shrieking. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced and I was terrified. The din surrounded and enveloped me.

Curious, I went to my nearest neighbor to investigate. It turned out to be the Day of the Pig, a ritual where each family binds a pig the kitchen table and proceeds to attack it with knives. The rest of the day is spent making sausage that will last the entire year. Talk about culture shock! We were invited to participate in the culinary preparations and I did watch for a while. It was quite disgusting to me as every bit of the pig found its way stuffed into a long tube of intestines.

Needless to say, I swore off sausage.

Prema Rose

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bon Voyage!

With my birthday yesterday, Valentine’s Day becomes the first day of my new year. What great symbols to begin a new venture. Flowers abound. Hearts are everywhere. Well wishes ring through phone and email. It’s such an auspicious day.

It tells me to be open and expecting of love this year. Having this many loving messages two days in a row is a great send off into the unknown.

I may think I know what’s coming. I can look at the night sky filled with planets, stars and omens. I can gauge where I’m at right now and where I think the year will take me. But I’m also open to surprises.

I know a new baby is coming, a new grandchild. I know my son will return from Kabul. Beyond that, I have no idea. I am stepping into the unknown with hearts and flowers at my back, and well wishes ringing in my ears, almost like the launching of a great ship on its maiden voyage. All I need is a large bottle of champagne broken across my bow, and the image would be complete. Bon Voyage!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Writer's Digest Self-Publishing Contest

As a group, we entered our first book, A Week's Worth of Women, into the Writer's Digest Self-Publishing Contest last Fall...We each chipped in to make the $100. entry fee...two days ago we got a letter from them with the judges results...We didn't win first, or any of the ten placements, but it was nice to hear their thoughts...

On a scale of 1 to 5...1 being poor, 5 being excellent, we were given...
Structure and organization 4
Grammar 5
Cover design 4

Comments: Congratulations on writing and publishing this very unique anthology. What an interesting collection of voices and writing styles. You've created a very polished, professional book. Great job with grammar and proofreading as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine’s Day ~ 2010

In the early morning light, still buried under the warmth of my down comforter, I looked out my west window. I have never noticed this before, but two “new growth” branches from a couple of mature Juniper trees, this day are reaching toward each other. They delicately arch and meet forming the top of a perfect “heart” shape. The traditional valentine icon was completed by the mature branches of the tree. Just as quickly as I locked in on the image, a strong wind which had blown in a dusting of snow overnight, shook the trees. The heart branches danced into other shapes, tormented by the storm, only to settle down again into the quiet picture of Love.

I was grateful to receive this valentine’s day gift from the trees. The transmuting image an easy metaphor for life: Love ~ to love in turmoil ~ to Love ~ to no longer looks or feels like love. And always in the peaceful quiet state settling back into the perfect image of LOVE.

In my day to day life I hold onto the image of a loving heart, but the reality is often not so pretty. In the past year, I have watched my career as an appraiser changed by new laws and it feels like my own sense of self-worth, respect, and ability to love myself is being ripped from me. Many dear friends around me are also having trouble holding the image of self love at this time. The stories vary: a romantic love lost, now sullied with feelings of guilt and failure; the stability of a decade long marriage shifting, like the Great Sand Dunes, and the disturbing unknowing-ness of what the future looks like; jobs lost or cut back and the wobbly self-image and stability fading with them, or the heart wrenching grief of watching our children leave the nest, letting go as they seek to find their way in life.

I have a saying on my wall that I know by heart, but still need to read every once in a while. “If you cannot find that which you seek inside yourself, you will never find it without.” Love? Security? Respect? Where do these reside inside of me? I catch glimpses now and then; acknowledge their presence and move forward, stronger.

On a lighter note, three years ago my cat and I decided that today, Valentine’s Day, would be her birthday. Magic came to me from a neighbor who found her abandoned. She is beautiful and such a marvelous friend and a loving presence in our little home. A pet psychic told me several years ago that she was four then, so today, she is six. I seriously doubt that she has any image problems, and I am happy to participate in her feline prophesy of self worth and priestess status. My heart is full and our homestead is held in love.

* annette

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Women Aging Young

What a concept! This title came from a friend’s blogspot. I just got together with my friend after twenty years of not seeing one another. She had moved to Bayfield, Co. to be part of a co-housing community. It sounds like a wondrous gathering of people with a huge organic garden feeding seventy people, rarely having to go to the grocery store. They have goat’s milk for all these people, and other blessings of the earth.

Back to women aging young, this new possibility. My mother is an example of this. Almost ninety-three years of age, she’s a good representative of this, and still going strong. Of course she isn’t thinking women aging young. My mom grew up on a farm and worked extremely hard all her life. Her motto is, she doesn’t stop, she stays young by not stopping. She gets her rest most days, but has no intention of sitting down. She has the motivation to keep moving.

The beauty of my mom is she wants to keep moving. She is definitely a woman aging young and is a great influence for all of us.


Monday, February 15, 2010

My Dear Friend, J.

How does one become friends with a woman who has advanced Alzheimer’s? I first met J. when I worked in the Reserve, a locked ward for people with dementia so far gone that they can do very little in the world. J. spends most of her time in her single room, in bed. She still can walk, unlike most in the Reserve, but seems to have no reason to leave the quiet of her room, except when fetched for meals and her weekly shower.

When I became a Hospice volunteer, she became the one I visited for an hour each week. But she didn’t die, so after a year, Hospice had to cut her from the program. Her family hired me then to continue my visits with her since she enjoyed my touch and smile, bringing some more humanity into her little room.

When I first met J., she would whisper on and on about matters usually known only to her. Almost two years later, she now speaks only sporadically. Up until the last month, she would say “Thank You” while I gave her a comfort touch session. And she would say “I love you” sometimes when we sat gazing in each others’ eyes. But now such verbosity has dwindled away.

Some visits we still gaze into each others’ eyes and we share a wordless love, so totally pure and without complications for either of us. This is a special friend that I am so glad to know.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Day of Love

May this day be one where our hearts
Open wide enough to encompass
All the beings on the planet.
May our minds be focused
So precisely that each
Expression of the creative force
Be filled with our heart’s energy.
Love is the word of the day,
But let us expand that day
To encompass all the days of our lives.
How sad it would be to only love
One day of the year.
Let this be the beginning swell
That rolls over our sands of discontent
So all becomes engulfed in this wave
Of Love.

Prema Rose
Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Offering It Up

There are so many deaths in life. We die to where we were before birth to come here and live in a physical body.
We die to our individuality when we birth children and become mothers.
Along the way, we die many deaths as we leave behind a way of life, a way of being, to step into something else.

There’s an image in metaphysics that could be called the 6th stage, relative to the 6th chakra.
The picture goes like this: We are about to achieve enlightenment, freedom from the wheel of death and rebirth. We see others coming behind us, seeking that same goal. Do we take it and leave them behind, or do we offer them a foot up, that boost that allows them to go free…and our turn comes at the end, then.
It the Boddhi Satva Vow: I will stay and work until all beings are free.

How do we practice for a role like that in ordinary life? How do we give a leg up to those around us, to those coming up behind us, to our children when it’s time to set them free.
What a joy it is to give others that opportunity to have their own freedom and success.
Achieving it oneself is one thing. To open the door and enable someone else to have that is an even greater experience.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Evening with Ram Dass

The setting was:
Consciousness and Current Events ~ An Evening with Ram Dass
April 15, 1993 ~ Boulder, Colorado

I was sitting in an auditorium on the University of Colorado campus one evening and heard words that forever changed my life. They are as potent and viable now as they were then, maybe even more so. Ram Dass was center stage, sitting cross legged on a low stool with a small table upon which rested a large vase of flowers. He mesmerized the audience for hours. I never wanted to leave.

I have transcribed his words from an audio cassette (the punctuation is all my own) that I bought as I left the auditorium that very night. I have listened to it dozens of times and would like to share them with you now. After he read a story written by a friend of his about one old man, a belligerent drunk and a young martial arts student, he said that all of us now are in “old man in kimono training”. You can read this story in his book, How Can I Help? Stories and Reflections on Service (with Paul Gorman) (1985) ISBN 0-394-72947-1 .

“People would come to me and they would say, 'It is all going to hell. It’s Armageddon time. Don’t you think?'

Then other people would come and they would say, ‘Ahhhhh, it is the Aquarian Age at last. It’s the new consciousness; the New Age. Isn’t this wonderful?’

So I thought I should have an opinion. Despite the third patriarch warning me that the great way is not difficult for those who have no opinion.

So I thought, if it is going to be Armageddon, that means that I am going to die at some point. And since this is just one round, I might as well prepare for the moment of death so I can get off to a good start the next time around, karmically, so to speak. I want to die without clinging, so I better get on with it. I gotta quiet my mind of all of the clinging, draw my awareness back from identification, and I must open my heart.

Karoli(??)Rinpoche, a great saint, said to me 'Ram Dass, there are only three things you should do this life. Honor your guru ~ meaning the devotion and the celebration and the appreciation of the universe. Deepen your emptiness and deepen you compassion.'

So what am I gonna do? I am going to deepen my emptiness and deepen my compassion and that is going to lead me to what ever I can do to relieve the suffering around me. I am going to quiet my mind, open my heart and do what I can.

If, (on the other hand) it is to be the New Age, what is the best thing that I can do to help facilitate it?
Turns out, it’s quiet my mind, open my heart and do what I can to relieve suffering.

So what difference does it make?
Isn’t that far out?
What difference does it make?

……and I find this a very exciting moment. Incredibly exciting. We are as close to the edge of death, and mystery, and awe, and uncertainty, and we are feeling the rapid rate of change. The information age makes it all available which forces the technology, forces the recognition of the “us-ness” of the system. And the interdependency of it all. And I can feel how clearly the work on myself is reflected in the way in which I do for every human being.”

…so who will be the old man in the kimono?

Ghandi once said, ‘My life is my Message’.

We are being invited to play, My Life is My Message.

Happy Valentine's Day
From the Heart
* annette

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Happened to Feeling Good ?

We all use to feel good, but where has it gone? Down the river, hiding somewhere. Certainly not letting us feel or see it. We’re off somewhere, but we don’t know where. Is it 20l0? Taking us for a ride, changing us into a new way of being. I suppose this just can’t be done by feeling good. we keep going into another direction. But not the one we had been planning on.

Then we say, it must be age. An age we never thought would feel like this. Where is our well-being? We want it back, to surround us, make us smile, even laugh out loud.

But, we’ll come back, as soon as we get through 2010. Think positive, our feel good is just upon us, getting ready to surround us in a new way.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lack of Air

I knew that I wasn’t sleeping well. I’d wake up, toss and turn, and then not be able to sleep. My snoring was famous across the country. No one would be my roommate at conferences. At one workshop they made me sleep outside in a teepee by myself.

Then one day, when a friend gave me some energy work, I fell asleep. I was tired, as usual. But when I woke, Patrica gently drawled, ”You had some funny breathing going on—you should check that out, Terra. You stopped breathing.

My MD took it seriously. Not breathing is a red flag. He ordered a sleep study.

So I went to the hospital to sleep, while someone watched. I had wires glued all over me—under my nose, IN my nose, on my scalp, my forehead, my chest, my belly, and my legs. And I had a strap wound around my chest to measure breathing movements. The technician was very gentle, so I felt comfortable that he was the one watching me while I slept. My sleep night was being taped, so the MD could coordinate my readings with my sleep activities.

After a few hours he woke me up to put on a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) to keep the breathing passages open. Now, added to my wiring I had on a mask over my nose, hooked up to a machine by a long tube. Yet, I was so tired that I slept a few more hours, even in all the paraphernalia.

When the tech woke me up in the morning, he told me that he couldn’t diagnose, but he could tell me that I had been breathing normally only ¼ of the time, and my oxygen levels were down to 57%. The CPAP helped me breathe more normally while slept.

A lack of air while I slept would explain why I couldn’t rest at night; why I started falling asleep, even while playing cards; why I had to fight to make it through the evenings. It was only by the vigilance of my guardian angels that I hadn’t had a car accident from falling asleep at the wheel.

Breathing is such a simple natural process. It’s hard to believe that I couldn’t do it when I was sleeping. Instead of sudden infant death syndrome I had sleep apnea, a slow adult death. My body was starving for air when I slept. How many extra brain cells had died? Eventually my blood pressure would have increased, my risk of heart disease multiplied.

Now I sleep with my CPAP every night. I’m mostly used to it, but some nights I feel like I am suffocating when I put it on. I wait until my husband closes his eyes and falls asleep before I put the mask on. I don’t like him to see me that way. I feel like an elephant, the long, gray tubing hanging from my face down to the CPAP on the floor.

Every day I wash the mask, tube, and humidifier container and hang them to dry. It is a part of my routine. I’m used to bringing it through security at the airport now. They always have to swab it for explosives. And I have to adjust the altitude setting so the pressure is proper for where I’m visiting.

Do I wish I didn’t have to have this thing in my life? Yes. Will I give it up? No. My body feels more alive. I’m not sleepy all of the time. Breathing - it’s a good thing. Air- it’s essential.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The MicroCosmic Cartoon Shop
History of MCCS Productions

The MicroCosmic Cartoon Shop was born on Christmas Eve of 1970. Hugh Rose and Prema Rose received the initiation of an ongoing transmission. It began as a children’s story, written in the style of a cartoon book with music, which would accompany it in a cassette. The book would take the form of a scroll.

The story follows the allegory of the hero’s journey and is set in a circus. A boy’s burning questions, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” propel him through the Circus of Life on a journey of Self-realization.

We asked the help of Hugh’s brother, who was an artist and a printer. He informed us that he would be going back to his home in Ibiza, Spain in a week and we said that we would follow him. We left our careers in the theater in New York City, our lives, as we knew it, and embarked on the adventure into the Unknown.

In Ibiza, we opened an art gallery off the main plaza of the 2,000-year-old town, which was built on a mount overlooking the port. Prema continued to work on the drawings for the cartoon book and create silkscreen art with Hugh, while running the gallery.

The Microcosmic Cartoon Shop (MCCS) became the avenue of expression to portray, through art, the reflection of the Macrocosm on this plane of existence. As Source crystallizes into all its myriad forms, we, as artists, attempt to capture the infinite Truths in our portrayals. As Life journeyers, we observe and participate the creation of the Microcosmic cartoon on the planet Earth.

Our journey took several turns as we found the spiritual school we had been searching for nestled in the hills of the Cotswolds in England. After a year of intense training in the Fourth Way Work with John Bennett, we began a six month overland passage to Auroville, India. Prema knew she was to have a child there and, in fact, conceived Suryananda on the way in Greece.

While traveling to India, our briefcase, with everything we had written and all the drawings, was stolen on a train through Pakistan and we had to start again. The original concept became fuller as did the treatment. The concepts and images filled out in detail. Thus evolved the screenplay for “The Planet Earth Presents: The Microcosmic Cartoon Show”.

In its current form, it is animated musical feature screenplay. I have completed a five minute rough animation, called an animatic, for promotional purposes. As a visual synopsis, it gives you a brief outline of the film. You can link to the animatic on Youtube or view it on the website.

I have also recorded a demo CD of six of the sixteen songs in the film. These can be accessed through the website.

The screenplay and music have won awards at the following international film festivals:

Worldfest International Film Festival
Hollywood Spiritual Film Festival
Moondance International Film Festival

We, at Microcosmic Cartoon Shop Productions, intend to create many expressions of Hope, Faith, Courage, Inspiration, and Love as told through the stories of our lives.


Saturday, February 6, 2010


I’ve always been fascinated with masks. For a time, about fifteen years ago, I wanted to make plaster masks and decorate them to sell…Mountain Woman, Bird Girl, Panther Woman, etc. I thought of doing local fairs to market them.
A while ago, when a local woman was offering mask-making workshops, I knew the mask I would make.
It would be a death mask. I could see it in my mind. It would not be full faced, but curving half way from one eye and cheek to the other. I would paint the stars and moon on it, asking them to guide my spirit feet to where I needed to go next after my spirit had left the body.
There would be a desert scene of endless dry sand to support me in shedding those things of the earthly life I had lived. One green-blue wave would hover above one eye to remind me of the vast oceans of matter and space and how those waters had represented the Great Mother to me.
The contrasts of black and white paint would remind me that I was leaving behind the balance of opposites, the dualities of human life.
Lastly, on my forehead, I would paint a star so my people would find me and recognize me, and help me on my way.
So far, this death mask lives in my imagination, yet one day I plan to create it and keep it ready. I’d like to be cremated with it.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Family Present

It began last summer when we all got together for my mother’s family reunion. My sister had this idea of gathering up our old 8mm film canisters and taking them to a company and having the old home movies put onto a DVD. So instead of drawing names and buying a present for each other, we could all pitch in and give ourselves a family Christmas present.

We all agreed it was a great idea, one which I promptly forgot about three days later as I drove home to Colorado. But my sister persevered and offered to help Mom gather every thing up. My mother is a very organized person; not only were all the canisters in one place, they were all dated and labeled with events. My sister did all the leg work. It cost a little more than we expected (so what else is new) but the finished product is so worth it. I was excited when the mailman delivered my copy and I tore open the wrapping just to look at it. The DVD is labeled: Price Family, Home Movie Memories, 1967 – 1971.

I waited to pop it into the DVD player till my son could join me for Christmas dinner. We sat back after opening our presents and I started the show. Walker doesn’t remember ever seeing these old movies and it had been a really long time for me. Of course there was no audio feature with that original camera, and we did not add music to this DVD, but this really does allow for allot of commentary from the viewers. It gets to be a very interactive process. Walker and I were giggling and laughing out loud at the outfits and the stilted antics of me and my younger siblings; we were 14, 12, 10 and 6 years old when the movie begins.

I had really huge hair, my sister began her movie career as a gawky pre-teen, and my two youngest brothers are absolutely adorable. My mother and dad are so young and thin, boy did they have their hands full. All of our relatives, holidays, and family vacations are right there, and my Dad did a really good job as an amateur film maker. The hair-do’s alone are certainly historical (read hysterical).

Well, let me tell you, there is a really good reason that none of us went into show business. I can still hear my Dad saying, “This is a movie camera, so MOVE !!” And in our awkwardness with this new adventure, we flopped around like fish out of water. It is as hilarious now as it was embarrassing then. However, this was a tremendous gift that we gave each other this year and I want to thank my mom and my sister once again for putting this together. Our early family history did not all fit on this first DVD but we will definitely get the remaining years transferred to one more DVD.

Pop the corn, dim the lights, and grab a spot on the couch, the fun is not over yet.

* annette

Monday, February 1, 2010

Writing Prompt - Circles

It must be my expansive Vata-Libra nature, but I like spirals more than circles. It helps that the spiral is an ancient symbol of the Goddess. To me, a spiral is a circle come to life, dynamic and active.

I began to think of my menstrual cycle as not a repeating circle of ovulation and bleeding, but as a spiral. It was a spiral because, over time, a circle changes some, a cycle alters in its path a bit - opening up more to the expanding universe or closing in towards the central point of infinity.

The spiral can move inward and move outward, whichever way you choose to move on it --evolution, creating in matter or involution, spiraling inward to Oneness. I like both—to create and to return to Oneness.

If I get another tattoo, it will definitely be a spiral.

--Terra Rafael