~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Spike has grown fairy flowers -- tiny, yellow, beloved of bees. The five-petal flowers huddle along the edges, between the barbs, protruding from the thin edge rather than the soft center. A delicate display of darlings that arch their backs in the sunshine, open-hearted, and smiling into breath. 

The golden ginger in my tea bites the tip of my tongue like one of the barbs protecting diminutive flowers that often bunch in threes on satin skin, contrast dancing hand-in-hand. 

The flowers speak as one: 

I am the container for the mid-spaces, the nectar of the in-betweens for those rushing edges and intense barbs. I blossom in the middle of extremes, often out on a ledge of vision and inspiration, inhaling every breeze and nuance of color that plummets from the sky or pushes up from the earth as She breathes. My nibs have bloomed in a moment of daring. I offer my soma to the occasional stray bee who has flown off his path seeking something more than the others in his hive. Will he tell others about me? He has to make lots of stops, pausing as he buzzes from one fragile waxen flower to another, picking up bitty amounts of precious pollen one pinhead dot at a time. He flies away but then comes right back ... “just a little more” he says and then gathers. Does he wonder if he will ever get enough? I rest in the peace of offering what I have created, blooming through both dark and light.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To Hear into Healing

There is power in listening. There is good in being the best listener possible ... to be open, caring, receptive, accepting, non-judgmental ... to hear the voices into healing. To value the ear, the voices and expressions of all life. To listen. To write what I hear. To share the voices of Gaia. 

Before I can write the truth, mine or anyone/anything else’s, I have to hear it ... through the voices, songs, colors, expressions of joy and pain. Really HEAR the cries and laughter within and without. Listen into Love. Hear into Healing.

Hear the voice of Goddess through Her world, animals, plants. Hear people in what they say but also how they behave ... to see into the hearing of their voice disguised. To allow the voices to flow through me ... to be mirrored or reflected back into the world, slightly shifted to be revealed in a different way, new notes, words that are more articulate for those who cannot speak clearly. Including myself, my own inner voice.

How does it happen that we cease to hear? Is it because we’ve reached a point where everyone is clamoring and so we tune it all out? How did I stop listening that time? What made me stop hearing for a while? Was it because I wanted to be heard? Did I think that if I stopped listening that I would somehow be heard more easily? Did I think that pretending to listen was the same as truly hearing? Or that taking turns in talking automatically means each one is also being heard?

And if that sad confusion happens with people, it’s even easier to comprehend how it can happen among different species and indeed all life. When Gaia speaks softly through a gentle rain in drought or through blooming wildflowers in a field of beans, or through autumn leaves decaying underfoot on a concrete path ... do we listen? Or do we not listen until She begins to cry torrents of tears in hurricane winds and Her bones crack open from mining and fracking? Do we say we’re sorry and do better? Or do we fall back into selfish habits hearing only our own demands of empty grasping because we don’t even listen to our own hearts when they speak of love and kindness toward self and other people?

We can open and truly hear. It’s not a weakness or a waste of time or a distraction. Hearing is healing. 

How many people pay to be listened to? Because they aren’t heard in their jobs or families or lifestyles of hectic to and fro? And even then, how often are they really heard? 

We can be taught how to listen but only the heart knows how to hear ... the words are differentiated by a single letter that holds the space for Truth.

Is the ability to hear the true beginning of sharing? How can I possibly share anything of value if I haven’t heard what the world is saying? If I don’t hear the love and compassion that calls out from within my own heart?

I’ve often been told that I’m a good listener. Looking to past relationships, I was often listening more than speaking. Though, at times, I felt resentful because I felt ‘used’ without my full permission. I allowed others to create the boundaries that often lacked balance. This was on me, not them. They had a need and tried to fill their emptiness by voicing in whatever way they could; my responsibility is to find my own balance.

Speaking is ‘active’ and today’s society is all about the action, the doing. Everyone talking yet few are listening because they’ve burned out and finally the listeners need to be heard as well! The listeners, like the introverts (often one and the same), are not valued. 

And so we find ourselves in a world where no one listens, everyone talks, and the heart of hearing is absent.

I’ve spent most of my adult life speaking through writing, usually only privately, in my journal, because I was listening to others and no one was listening to me. Or so I thought and felt. 

Yet now I realize that I was being heard. There was a reason I wrote and then felt better. Because, by writing, I was hearing myself, hearing my heart, working things out, and, I also knew on some level that when I wrote it was, and is, a sort of prayer, a conversation with Goddess. I write the words and their unspoken vibrations are embraced by The Divine. She hears me, She always has ... in dark times or light, She cries with me and dances with me.

And when I am in nature, She hears my Soul and heart resonating ... and She retunes me like a harp, plucking the strings and tightening or loosening them until I am once more at ease. I’ve been heard. 

Now it’s my turn to hear Her. Maybe that’s where my contemplative writing comes in. I was/do express myself but also I mirror Her calls and concerns, Her needs and gifts, how we dance together. We are One, and when we listen to each other, the stillness is deafening as it becomes a universal symphony spiraling us into galaxies of the heart. Can I share our dance, our song, with others?

Let’s find the balance to listen and truly hear through the heart.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Guardian Part 5

Waiting. It’s that time of day where the sun is low over the far tree line, the orange light fading from the sky. And that means she’ll be here soon. So I sit. And wait. Someone yells at me from behind and across the yard, but I don’t even swivel an ear. I can see the parking lot from exactly here. In this spot, there’s a little hole in the bushes, so I know when she gets here. So, I sit. 
The nice woman who works here doesn’t usually make me come in with the other dogs anymore. I didn’t like it here at first. And when Rain walked off without me the first time, I howled and barked and cried all night until I my voice was only a whisper of sound. There was so much noise all around me with lots of unfamiliar dogs barking, and shiny metal gates clanging, and the feed pans would screech across the hard floor in my den and the others around me. At least until I learned to tune out the noise. 
I didn’t eat that night or the next morning and the nice woman with the round face and pink cheeks had to coax me out into the big grassy yard where she talked to me and petted me while we walked around. Well, she walked and I kept pulling back. I didn’t know her and she was pulling me away from the direction of the blue door and Rain. Where had Rain gone? Would she be back? She said she would and I tried to believe. But I was scared she had left me. How could we help each other if I’m left here without her?
But you know what? She did come back to me. The very next day near sundown, I heard Rain’s voice calling me from the doorway to the big yard and I ran full tilt into her nearly knocking her down. She sat on the ground right there, hugging me and laughing, as I licked her face and then tucked my nose into her armpit where I stayed for a long while, breathing in her scent so I wouldn’t forget her ever.
Rain stayed with me a long time. She talked and I listened, her voice once more the soothing song of gentle rainfall. But, before I was ready to be alone again, she stood up and said she had to go. She promised to return. She came back this time but what if she didn’t again? 
I stood on my hind legs when Rain stood up and I wrapped my front legs around one of hers, holding, whining. I saw her eyes begin to water and she kept talking, but I couldn’t understand her through my own fear. 
Well, that was a long time ago. A long time for a pup anyway. The moon has already gone missing, and then come back to grow big and round again a whole time. I’m already a little taller than I was when Rain brought me here. I’ve gotten used to the other dogs and noises and people. But right now I wait.
There! A familiar car shape pulls into the lot and I start to wiggle. I can’t help it. The door opens and Rain steps out. I bark as loud as I can. And bark again. She looks over toward me, though the bushes block most of her view. I see her smile. 
“Hi, baby!” Her voice is the best sound in the whole world. I circle and dance my feet until she goes in the blue door. Then I race over to the yard door, watching, barking, pacing. The door opens and Rain’s here!
“How’s my girl doing?” Rain asks me, kneeling and hugging me. I feel like she’s been gone forever instead of just a day. I sniff her, she pets me, hugging me close, kissing the top of my head while I try to lick her face. It’s a crazy fun time.
“I have a surprise for you. Really good news.” Her voice is a bit higher in pitch and she talks faster than usual.
“We’ve signed the papers and bought the house in the mountains. Next week I can bring you home to stay!” I’m not sure what all this stuff means yet, but Rain is really happy and excited so it must be good for both of us. Me, I’m just happy she’s here with me right now. I like when Rain is happy. That’s when we run around the yard playing tag or tug-of-war on a rope. She throws balls for me, too, but I don’t go after them because they take me away from her.
She’s not always happy when she comes, though. Those times I cuddle up next to her. Sometimes she’s droopy and her whole body sighs and she talks about how things aren’t the way she thought they would be. Sometimes her body is tense and sort of pulled in on itself and she cries. Those are the worst, and I get as close to her as I can. When that happens, we just sit off in a corner in the big grassy yard. I snuggle and lay my chin on her leg or tuck my head in between her arm and side, while she strokes my head, caresses my ears, and sinks her slender fingers into my thick fur, kneading muscles. I like her touch and our closeness seems to help. She’s usually smiling near the end of her visit. 
Once in a while, I get a Big Reward and she attaches the red leash to my collar and takes me with her in the car where we go and have adventures. But we always end up back here.
“So, it’s the weekend. Where shall we go?”
Weekend! That’s it. That’s the word she says when I get to go in the car with her and do something fun. The Big Reward. We have adventures like going to the forest to hike trails for hours. So many smells that my nose gets tired.
A couple of times we drove to a brick building in the town, and I had to be very quiet.
“No dogs are allowed in the apartments,” Rain said, her brows drawn together a little as she talked to me in a low, firm voice. “You have to be really quiet, and if you are, then you can stay with me tonight, all night long. Since you-know-who is working, you can come in.”
Those times were great. I would climb the stairs with her and go into the rooms that smelled like Rain and yummy food and rabbit and birds. I think the rabbit is very interesting. Rain is teaching me that the rabbit is part of our family. That’s what she says. And we don’t hurt family. I’m still a little confused about it, because I remember chasing a rabbit in the fields where I used to live, but I try to pay attention and learn the rules. The two tiny birds just scatter seeds all over the table and I’m too short to see them very well.
There was another human scent there, too. And I’ve met him. I don’t like him very much. He reminded me of Big Man. They don’t look the same but I could feel anger in the man with the short black hair and intense dark eyes. Wolfie whispers in my head to be careful, possible danger, so I held back from Dark Man. I still don’t much like men anyway. And I didn’t like how Rain acted when the man was around. She would glance at him constantly, always looking to see how he was acting, and she kept me on my leash. 
But the Dark Man was only there the once for a short bit. Rain said he had to go to work. His shirt and pants were the same dark color with a stripe down the side of his pant leg. And he put around his waist a thick leather belt with lots of metal on it. The last thing he did was put a gun into the leather. I knew the word ‘gun’ because I remembered Big Man had one. Big Man used to get his gun when he said he was going hunting. But Big Man’s gun was long while this gun was short. 
But right now, Rain is pulling the red leash out of her back pocket. I circle around her feet, and she laughs.
“Where shall we go today, Kiki?” 
That’s the other name she calls me. It’s a new name. Rain said I needed a proper name, that’s what she told me when she started using the new word. I’m getting used to it. Doesn’t matter to me what she calls me as long as I get to stay with her.

-- to be continued -- 

Friday, November 30, 2012


Feliz Paseos Park
Yesterday I spent several hours walking the trails of Feliz Paseos Park, immersed in nature, joyful and at peace (and, yes, the sky really was that blue!). Yet this is not the fall season I’m used to; it remains unfamiliar with its own mysterious changes and colors ... bronze mountains deepen into solidity, red rocks sharpen, burnished copper leaves reveal themselves upon plants I don’t recognize, cacti seem to suck their reserves in tight, and balls of fluffy seeds seem anxious for a strong gust of liberating wind. Then, in contrast, this morning I fall into a memorial day-dream of autumnal familiarity rooted in decades of northern cycles ... 

      Molasses running through my veins, slow and rich, thick and dark, smelling of long walks deep in the woods where magic happens with every foot that is raised upon the path of knowing and the air dances in meditation upon the belly of joy and wonder as I ease into each moment glowing from within, shades of amber and pitch flowing in oozing alternation, warming in gentle waves. 

     The padded loam of un-tilled soil cushions my steps while It twinkles the winks of earthworms creating abundant life hidden from view by those unaware but I see their mystery as I stare down below and praise their gifts wherever I go. Inhaling the purple decay of leaves once in flight, now grounded in transition. I am happily lost, wandering among memories for a moment. 

     The dark chocolate depths of the forest flood me with sweet tasting peace, the pine trees bless me with a light rain of pointed confetti falling upon cheek and tangling in hair, the last of autumn leaves cling quivering upon stark bones the color of dreaming. Dark chocolate bites into my skin as a limb reaches out further than I thought, distance a deception here in the woods where we are all equally capable of witnessing change and sensation. Alternating patterns as the earthy cakes of heaven are made, a shake of cinnamon with a rusty tingle, a pinch of granulated sugar is the crunch of tan leaves fallen and disintegrating beneath feet wishing they were bare.

Feliz Paseos Park
     Fall that heralds the winter ... the delectable slowing where we can be most at home, the welcoming slumber of lengthening night and the cool bright days that sharpen our delight. The softening of crisp apples grown in the sun and baked in the heat of a dark oven until their juice thickens and flows with an exquisite concentration of nectar, melting without effort in eager open mouths. 

     Intensity abates and relaxation becomes a resting place deep within that is mirrored in nature and vice versa. Don’t struggle against the creamy dark chocolate that overlays the rainbow skittles, for each has its place, and soon enough the wheel shall turn into stimulation of seeds that become a new growth of life-sustaining offerings. 

     I let myself fall, face forward into the bed of leaves and needles that permeate my senses, begin to sink, to disappear, my skin wrinkles and shrinks, losing vibrancy and flexibility, disintegrating into the welcoming leaves beneath me as more glide onto my back, covering me like a patchwork quilt. I breathe in the verdant pine still humming within the fading shells and resonance rises up through my nose where tendrils of aromatic bliss wind into brain and mind before expanding downward through all my channels, spreading peace and release. The full moon smiles Her love as I become shadow, then scatter to and fro, my form no more. I sleep and am a vapor that lifts to touch the white face of the Divine then drifts down once more sinking into the Sacred, and I am simply One ... breathing.

Tucson Mountain Park


[“dark chocolate” was today's ClarityWorks writing prompt; I had already written the first two paragraphs upon waking so when I saw the prompt, it fed another stream into the existing river of expression already flowing]

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tangles of Hair and Roots

Olive Grove, Crete

Can you imagine 
falling into the long tendrils and tangles 
of the scruffy old wise woman’s hair? 
She lives on the mountains tracing trails older than the oldest human, 
routes traversed by the ancestors of the pussycat cleaning its paws across the room 
and created by the single file marching of sedate beasts who live in the moment, 
ignoring the one who hunts for its belly now rumbles replete, 
its yawn smells of digestion, and 
its movements echo the gentle fall of huge snowflakes drifting silent in the night. 

Can you imagine 
the tendrils and tangles of this world we’ve constructed 
that we cannot seem to find our way out of, 
for every tendril we push away becomes another one wrapping itself around an ankle, 
tripping us until we fall into the tangles ahead and become invisible. 
It’s one thing to disappear into the tangles of nature 
because death there is quick and merciful. 
But the tangles of the world of blinding light and rapid thoughts 
across a circuit board that is constantly overloaded 
is terrifying for in there death is slow and painful, 
dragging one along behind for decades dripping bloody entrails and 
severed limbs so that we are unable to climb out or 
push ourselves in a different direction. 

Ancient Olive Tree, Crete
Can you imagine 
being the tendrils untangled that seek out new lands, 
new paths, the way less traveled, or a 
tendril snipped and lifted high in the beak of a broad-winged friend 
who carries one off to a place of solitude that is still unique 
yet blessed by the sacred song of silence in one’s own head ... 
silence so that we can hear the voices of insects, birds, trees, 
sliding rocks, and thunder riding the lightening. 

Can you imagine 
being given the tendrils and tangles of the hawk’s nest 
in which to curl up and rest, 
or those of woodsy floor 
where thousands of lives have been before,
have birthed and died within the tangles of roots 
that welcome us home without demands or judgment.

Streaming free-write from the ClarityWorks prompt "tendrils and tangles."

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Writer's Manifesto

A heart can write, did you know that? It can, for the love can come in ecstatic pulses and flow into words without first being dammed up at the mind (where it is then only allowed to trickle out in limited, precise streams). 

I can no longer hold the words in or back and must be true to that which has its own cadence, the throbbing within that wants to reverberate out into the world. Sometimes I can wrap it up all neat and tidy, the way a sentence is ‘supposed’ to appear, or the way a story is ‘supposed’ to be told. However, sometimes I have to simply allow free expression, knowing that the essence of Loving Oneness I feel within me, within the land, air, water, and light, will be manifest in the impressions and expressed as a portrait of flowing words through these eyes and fingers and Soul. For I can no longer restrict the images and sensations just because they might not be ‘right’ or ‘good enough’ or ‘appropriate’ ... I merely seek now to help them be birthed into the world, to go their own way, to be swallowed like alphabet soup and disappear, or to be held gently aloft as the scent of evergreen needles, all by the elementals who shape my fingers around the pen and who carry the whispers into my mind or the rhythm into my heart. 

Yes, a heart can write and that is what I’m letting mine do ... my heart is writing and becoming one with the heartbeat of Gaia, and I pray it will continue doing so until I am no longer form and once more vibrate wholly within Her resonating luminescence. 

May we all feel free to express ourselves from our hearts!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

in the dark moon night

The wet blanket was tossed over the fire to smother the flame as quickly as possible. Someone was coming, I was sure I heard a footstep crunch toward me from the darkness, and we don't want to be seen. 

We weren't supposed to be here, see, the land was off limits, private property, only those dying few who had lots of money were allowed in here. A good heart didn't count for squat among those kind. This land was held and used by The Moneybelts; I heard their ilk were called the something else a long time ago before the awakening, but it's not important anymore. Now there were still a few private lands of lush forest and majestic mountains, like here, but no one could visit except the last remaining strange ones called The Wealthy. 

So we sneak in and commune; we are here to celebrate life within these private velds of green. Instead of hoarding Her energy, we honored and gave offering to Her, our Mother Eairth. Oh, these weren't the only green spaces, not by far. We've come a long way since the time of the Enlightenment when the scales tipped and then fell over to rust, the time of the Change when the majority simply refused to do any more work until all creatures and people were cared for and provided with enough. No, these green spaces still 'owned' and gated and isolated by The Moneybelts were few, but desperately in need of ritual cleansing to set free the spirits that lay within, remnants of an ignorant time when people thought bodies were the most important part of Life and so clung to them even in death, afraid to let them go, terrified of letting them return to the Mother as nourishment through transformation.

"I think whoever it was is gone." Cloud's whisper reaches my ears in the silence of the woods, carried upon the shadows of the dark moon night. 

We pick up our shovels once more and began digging with reverence, casting prayers upon the elements, talking to the ones who were held confined to this space, afraid to leave because of the energies that bound them to their bodies within the vaults guaranteed to last centuries. Striking a hard surface, me and my friends brush the last bit of dirt away gently with our hands and open the lid of the casket. "Mrs. Miller, you're free," I whisper, and my sisters join me in an ancient chant. We take her bones and all that is left of her body, placing them within a hemp bag to take back to the funereal pyre built earlier in the night. I feel her sigh of relief caress my cheek upon the current of light cool breeze. Climbing out of the grave, I look across the dark expanse defined by tombstones and giant pine trees that rise tall and thick among the old stone markers barely legible, I see the bushes and ferns spreading themselves wild around the maze of once perfectly aligned burial sites where roots and quakes have shifted and lifted them out of their purchased complacency. Hundreds more to go, one at a time. 

While we have the legal right to conduct these acts and rituals of liberation, provided by the Council of Elders, this compound and those like it remain heavily monitored by the Old Guard who cling to their archaic ways in spite of all that has been accomplished since the Great Shift, and it is said in hushed tones that they are still willing to kill just to maintain control and a semblance of power over others. They are so few now, they're no longer a threat to the greater good throughout most of the world. But here, we are careful not to be seen. No one could imagine killing another human these days, or any living creature for that matter, but these people might. So rather than risk it, one of the initiations into becoming a priestess of passing is to slip into the fenced compound and free souls from their prisons. We know our duty and try to stay focused, but every so often one of us lets slip a nervous giggle. Which is what thirteen-year-old girls are prone to do, after all.
This is a free write from the ClarityWorks prompt "wet blanket" in my email this morning. I think part of this flight of fancy came from watching the movie "The Magic of Bell Isle" last night; fabulous movie with Morgan Freeman about writing and the imagination and "seeing what isn't there." A wonderful scene from the movie HERE but don't watch the official trailer as it gives away too many great lines and scenes! LOL Anyway, awesome film.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

of myth and legend

Ancient Minoan Olive Tree at Kavousi (3250 years old)

Among the twigs and branches of the mythic forest, I find my way forward, eyes wide open in awe, gazing at the unfamiliar green giants towering above, and at fuchsia toadstools that hide upon the edge of the narrow path where flower petals have fallen and given themselves to guide my way softly with loving encouragement. 

The mythic forest is strong and lush, filled with the truth that I seek. Each footstep is hushed by the layer of leaves and blossoms while a rainbow guides my reaching hands into the next moment of surprise and welcome. The energy changes constantly as desires of millions fly in and out of these woods and clearings upon the wings of fairies who smile with delight to know the change is happening. They’ve been patient and encouraging for thousands of years, and are eager to help in the shift.

I raise my hands and see them tattooed with henna peace symbols, tracings of the veins of leaves that welcome me by tapping on my shoulder and caressing my cheek before drifting to the forest path to leave a secret message in the earth as their own change begins.

A new day is dawning and here where all possibility and potential lives, the inhabitants are rising, pulling on their moccasins of community and their cloaks of imagination, washing their faces in the dew of the rushing waters held a while in suspension but now released, a misty wisdom hurling itself into the morning with the joyous giggling of droplets that can fall freely now back to the ocean and rivers of flowing Vital Force within which lies creativity and freedom. Here in the mythic forest, a change is happening and I am witness to it all.

The walls around the forest have been pulled down by hobbits and rabbits and all those who continued to dig under or climb over in the dark of the night knowing the sacred core was still glowing within, though hidden away at one time for safety and protection, but then was hoarded, and finally forgotten and buried by the overgrowth of inactivity within its depths. Come into the mythic forest where all who love are welcome, where all can play in peace together under the GaiaTree. 

No longer divided or kept away, no longer hidden from self or others, pure freedom flies in this mythic forest upon the wings of the white doves and the wise owl while the eagle takes its cue from them, descending onto its ledge to rest and nurture its neglected young in peace and plenty. The vulture picks clean the bones outside the forest so that they are ready for transformation and renewal, and I help to carry the bones into the mythic forest where the bleached remnants are honored and then burned upon the altar of change, the spirits within rising to kiss the sky, and the ashes fall to nourish the earth. 

Stream of consciousness writing from today's ClarityWorks writing prompt "mythic forest"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grapevine Arbor

Vibrations still echo through my body, those subtle connective threads across the bounds of time, as I enter the long grapevine arbor that leads from the ancient past into the present. This enchanting surprise brings a smile to my face that I see reflected in the women with whom I journey. Cheerful, childish chatter bubbles up into the vines overhead as our joy becomes a champagne made from the grapes that surround us, a few colorful, heavy bunches - like tiny water balloons - hidden among the dry greens and browns. A companion eagerly pulls a few warm purple globes out from the recesses of shadow and hands some to me. Delicious! We commune with the twining plants as we receive in gratitude their fruits. 

Walking through the tunnel of life, knowing its gifts and some of its secrets, I wonder about the bridge between then and now, between what has been and what will become. Gaia infuses all of us with the same vital force, and it only takes a moment of pause to feel our sameness, to know our unique expression of the One as being present. The same arbor of thick vines that shelters me from the intense rays of the sun also receives the blessing of illumination, transforming the light into sweetness from which I partake of the wisdom of cycles and growth, transition and death. 

I feel my aura expand, intersecting and then being absorbed within the broad spectrum of tangled stems and branching arms that hold my energy safe within this space. I move through with such wonder and delight. Can you, dear vine, feel the inspiration to grow and create, to open and stretch into the light of vigorous transformation as the liquid rushes through our veins as one? Night will come, allowing rest and a soft coolness to mix with the gold of fire in ancient alchemy of nature held within the unseen voice of Sacred blessings that resonate throughout the length of the arbor, connecting all the grapes of green and purple, inspiring seeds and leaves to know the future beyond death of drawing within at close of cycle. We are the grapes, the vines, the seeds. We are the Regeneration.

How long have I been traveling this tunnel of vines? Minutes or years? Nearing the exit -- never the end -- I see tomato vines blending, offering their bright red balls into the pattern. Change is always happening. For a moment, I hesitate, not wanting to leave the magical path. I feel a strong desire to stay in the mystery of transformation, but then it wouldn’t be walking with wisdom to remain for too long in a single moment. I close my eyes for an instant of pure connection without distraction, and smile in recognition at Her reveal of Self. Inner and outer experience reunite under the Cretan sun; cool, dark fingers release their hold as warmer rays of welcoming arms of gold encourage me forward. Friendship and food await. Enticing aromas and voices of community call from just around the corner. Moving on ...

As I write about the places I visited during my pilgrimage, I notice that it's not only the ancient archeological sites that weave their magic, but also the spaces, the land, the sea ...

Below is the same photo as above but with an arrow pointing to the long grapevine arbor through which we walked from Zakros to the coastal taverna where our group ate lunch. I find it odd that I didn't take a picture of the arbor, but perhaps the absence of a snapshot only enhances my sense of being a bit 'out of sync' ...

Monday, October 22, 2012


The view from my hotel room ...
I will be back to blogging soon. Meanwhile, I will share a photo or two. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Guardian Part 4

I wait in the small, dark room feeling miserable. Where has she gone? I got too nervous and the smell is nearly overwhelming. I shiver. I’m all alone with only the silence of brick and wood to hear my cries. How long have I been here? What’s that? That’s her voice! I stand and bark, I paw at the door.
The door opens and I crawl over to Rain. 
“Oh, baby.”
She’s back. She came back! Is she mad at me? I cry and, as she kneels on the floor, I scramble into her lap. She hugs me tight and I tuck my nose into her armpit.
“I’m sorry you were scared, but I couldn’t take you home with me. It was only a couple hours but it must have seemed like forever to you.”
Rain’s voice is shaking and I lift my head to lick the salty wetness from her cheeks. She smiles and I know for sure she’s not mad. 
“Let’s go outside and then we can get this cleaned up before anyone else gets to work.”
I’m all wiggles now as she puts my new leash on the collar. I pull ahead toward the sunlight I see at the end of the hall. It’s just a crack of yellow where someone propped the door open but I smell the morning calling in cheerful notes of greeting. Rain talks to one of the men who always speaks in a calm voice to me.
“Thanks, Tom, for opening the door.”
“You bet. Figured some fresh air would help clear out the stink. Did she make a big mess in the bathroom?”
“Yeah. But it’ll be easy to clean.”
“Poor pup.”
“I was here working until nearly three this morning, but I couldn’t take her home with me. He would have been furious.”
“It’s okay. No one else will be here for another hour or so.” The man’s voice was fading as we headed out the door. 
Rain follows me as I pull ahead of her across the hard pavement to the wonderful grass and weeds. I squat and pee. I’m surprised I have any left. I thought it all came out in the room when I was all alone. 
“Good girl. Good potty.”
Well, at least Rain is happy with me out here. I’m so hungry. I run up to Rain now that I’ve peed, eager to have breakfast and play. She lets me go to the end of the leash and we walk all over the field. I breathe in the dawn, so cool and crisp and full of smells. Soon though -- too soon because I wasn’t done sniffing at the hold I found -- we began walking back to the big building. I started to lag behind. Was Rain going to put me in the dark room again? I sit down and the leash goes straight between us. Rain stops and comes back to me. I just stare at her. 
“Okay, listen. I’m sorry, but I didn’t know what else to do last night.”
She wasn’t mad. Her voice was soft and light, and she sat down on the curb to talk to me.
“I have a plan now. Not a great one. But it’s the best I can come up with. You’re just going to have to trust me, baby.”
I listen. And I sit as close to her as I can get, my chin on her knee as she pets me. She sinks her fingers into my fur. I relax a little. Okay. I can do this. I can be brave. The tip of my tail taps the concrete, and Rain smiles.
“Good girl.” She puts both hands on my face and rubs the base of my ears. I groan in pleasure. 
Rain then attaches the leash to her belt loop, and pulls a handful of kibble from her coat pocket. She calls the leash our umbilical. I don’t know that word, but I can sense safety and connection. So it’s good. I think it means she doesn’t want to lose me, and I trot along with her. 
I let my thoughts rest and just tag along wherever she goes, sniffing and watching. Back and forth we go. Rain gets a bucket, and some other things, from a musty smelling closet. Then she goes into the dark room where I made the stinky mess. I halt and sit just outside the door. I sure am glad that I don’t have to go back in there. Bad place.

* *

I feel good. I’m stretched out on my side, nearly dreaming. This was a nice day. I stayed with Rain or under her desk most of the time and I watched all the people and machines. No one paid me any attention. I guess they were used to me already. This is way better than being on the farm with Big Man. I kind of miss running loose in the fields after the cattle, but that wasn’t very often and I’m already forgetting those beasts with their clumsy, slow way of not going where I wanted them to go. And sometimes they would snort and kick at me with their hind legs when I got too close. I always had to watch them carefully. So maybe I don’t miss them. This is better.
Oh good! Food again. I alert and sit up. Rain laughs. I notice that whenever Rain eats, I get to. Not the same food thought. She gives me yummy crunchy nuggets while she eats gooey food out of a paper bag. Her food smells different than mine. I don’t complain, though. I eat what she gives me. Then I stare at her while she eats. I don’t whine, just stare. She smiles and, once in a while, gives me a tiny bit of her own food. I take whatever she gives me carefully out of her hand as I don’t want to hurt her. She always tells me how good I am.
“Okay, baby, it’s five o’clock. Time to go.”
That word “go” is one I know. I jump to my feet and wag my tail. I think it’s time for The Plan. Rain told me about it but I didn’t understand most of what she said. But I trust her. 

* *

Oh no. I stare straight ahead. The noise of lots of dogs barking is making me curious. I can’t see any of them, but I know they are just beyond the trees. But my belly is all twisty from the ride in the car. Rain had put the window down for me but I still don’t feel good. I don’t think I like this place. Why are we here?
We both sit here in our seats and I can feel Rain’s sadness. It’s like waves flowing over me. She pushes the fingers of her right hand into the thick fur around my shoulders and rubs. I feel taut nerves sending little sparks off her fingertips. 
“I hate to do this, baby, but it’s the only option.”
I hear the constriction in her voice, and I put my ears flatter on my head. I don’t care at all about the other dogs now. I only want to be with Rain. I start to tremble.
“We better get this over with.”
Rain sighs and opens her door. She swings her legs out and stands. I scoot across from my seat to hers very fast to follow her, but she’s quick, too.
“Hold on!”
With one hand she holds my collar and the other snaps the leash onto it. Good. I like the leash because it connects me to her. I hop out of the car as she steps back. We walk toward a wood building, the sound of the car door slamming behind us is loud as a shot. I slink along next to her legs. I’d sit down and refuse to go further but I don’t know where I am. And I don’t want her to leave me here in the dirt driveway. 
Together, we head for the big blue door.

~ to be continued ~

Monday, September 10, 2012


When the flower wilts,
as it must,
it is not beauty that passes away
but merely the form
on which
beauty is reflected.

~ Pandit Vamadeva Shastri

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unripened Innocence

Bobbing along the base of the foliage
an unripened orange blends its color with that of
leaves surrounding the crooked branches.
Globes above are immobile
too heavy for light minstrels of zephyr song
to sway into their melody.
But the solitary one
out on the edge
dances in delight to each note
and from its joyous display
a shadow on stage
performs against the wall
imagining itself as
full moon
bouncing ball 
of a child's innocence.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Guardian Part 3

I barked once and felt my ears lay flat as my voice echoed out and up to the ceiling. The space where Rain brought me was a long table against a wall. She had looped a line around my neck. I could have told her she didn’t need to. I wasn’t going anywhere without her. 
“Now, baby, you have to be quiet for a bit. I have to get some work done.”
Her hand stroked my head. I sat on her foot nearest me and kept watch. The bread and water earlier on the steps had settled my tummy, and the hum of equipment was causing my eyelids to droop. Lots of strange noises here, but Rain was calm. I didn’t think any of the weird objects would hurt me if I stayed close to her. She began tapping her fingers very fast on a piece of plastic on the table, and I sensed her focus turn away from me. I shifted a little more of my body onto her feet, leaning against her legs. I was so tired. Before I knew it, I was lying on her feet. Still watchful though. I didn’t want to fall asleep. Once in a while, a man would come near Rain to talk. I would growl, a low rumble. 
“You’re safe. He’s fine.” Rain’s gentle voice reassured me. Okay. As long as the men didn’t reach toward me or Rain. That was okay.
Rain stood up and walked across the room. Was she leaving me? I scrambled to my feet and whined. I wanted to follow but the line kept me near the table. I whined louder and struggled a little, starting feel panic racing into my feet from my chest. I licked my mouth, then turned my head to bite at the line. 
“Shush now. I’m right here.”
Rain pulled my attention to her as she spoke from across the room. Her voice wasn’t loud so I don’t think she was angry. And her voice didn’t shake so I don’t think she was panicking like me. I stopped squirming as she continued to talk softly in the distance. I just listened to the rhythm of her voice soothing my nerves. I could feel the thread of energy between us flowing steady and sure. I lifted my nose a little and caught her scent as the breeze from an opening door drifted my way then traveled on down the shadowy hall.
The morning continued in this pattern. And I started to feel okay when Rain would get up to walk around the room. Once, though, she walked down the hall into a room where I couldn’t see her and when I heard a door shut, I freaked out. I started barking, lunging and then biting at the line. Where did she go? Quick as a flash of light from the sky, Rain came running back to me as the door slammed behind her and a loud male voice yelled.
“Sorry, Bill.” Rain raised her voice louder than normal. But then she hugged me close to her.
“I’m sorry, baby. You can some with me.”
I followed her into a small, windowless room and stood anxiously as the door closed us inside. She messed with her clothes and, wait, I smelled urine. We weren’t outside and there wasn’t any dirt. Why was she peeing here? Is this where I am supposed to pee, too? I looked at the floor, then stared at Rain and tilted my head sideways. She laughed. I liked how she laughed a lot with me. I wagged my tail, then sniffed all along the tile floor, the walls, the metal pipes, and the shiny white ‘bucket’ she was sitting on. I sneezed as a strong odor burned my delicate nose on its inside. Sneezed again.
“Oops. Must be the ammonia the janitor uses, huh?”
I didn’t much like this room, but if Rain was here, I would deal with it. 

“Okay. Let’s go see if we can find your family.”
Rain untied the line from the table leg and we were out in the sunshine real fast. Cold, fresh air tickled my face. Joy! And soon, dry brown grass was prickling under my paws. I could pee. Joy! I kept my eyes on Rain but I really did need to pee, squatting and letting loose a flood. 
“Good girl!”
All I did was pee, but Rain was using a happy, high-pitched voice so I guess I did good. I wiggled all over and she was laughing and rubbing me up and talking. Talking to me! She was treating me like I was important. Strange but made me feel really good. And safe.
We walked across a big field to another parking lot but this one was much bigger than the one where Rain’s building was. And lots of noisy cars and trucks were moving around. Voices were loud and all mixed up, running together, and I couldn’t understand any words. I stayed close to Rain’s legs, my tail tucked up under my belly. I didn’t like this place either. So I stuck with Rain.
“Here we are.”
Opening a door that I almost ran into -- I would have if Rain hadn’t pulled back on the line just in time, because I could see through to the other side -- we walked into a building that smelled great. Food smells were everywhere and other dogs had been here, too. Rain laughed as my nose went to the floor and stayed there as I sniffed and wobbled and darted here and all over. She just followed me. Once, I almost forgot about her and scared myself. My toenails scrabbled on the slippery floor as a skidded back around a corner that hid her from my view for a minute. She knelt and gave me a hug. 
“It’s okay. I’m here, baby.”
A wall of leather and cloth loops, all sizes and colors, loomed ahead. A short woman with stinky shoes walked over and stretched her hand out to me but I shrank back and hid behind Rain. The two of them started talking. I stretched my nose toward the woman’s shoes. Not cow. Horse. Rain was telling Stinky Shoes about finding me. I started sniffing again. I felt better when no one tried to touch me. Except Rain. I loved it when she touched me.
“Hey, baby, how about this one?”
Rain knelt and put a pretty red collar around my neck. It jingled when the matching lead was attached to it. I liked it because it was wide and easy on my neck. Big Man used to just loop a chain around my neck. That was yucky. This is nice, though. 
“Look how pretty you are!”
Rain was happy and that made me wag my tail. I almost bowed to her, but caught myself. Maybe she wouldn’t like that. Big Man never did. But both Rain and Stinky Shoes were making over me. I hovered between liking the attention and being nervous because they were staring at me. Big Man used to ignore me except when I got to work the cattle. Me and Crazy Ass -- that’s what he called the other dog who was older than me and grumpy, who walked with a limp -- got to go out and bring in the cows regular. Big Man once said I was “a natural.” It sounded like a good thing but I got dumped anyway. But I like Rain ever so much better so I don’t want to mess up and have to go somewhere else. So I watched Rain closely, trying to please her. 
I discovered that life moves very fast off the farm. Rain stopped a minute and gave some papers to Stinky Shoes. The machine Stinky Shoes tapped on made bell noises that jarred my taught nerves. I was happy when Rain rushed me out of there, carrying a small bag, but leaving behind a paper that I saw the woman putting in the window.
“That’s you, baby. I don’t know if someone is looking for you or not. But I have a plan if they aren’t. Don’t you worry.” Rain patted me on my side and, with her lips puckered, made a noise that sounded sort of like the ground squirrels that used to tease me. Funny for her to do that but it got my attention quickly.
“This way. We still have to get to the vet’s office down the street before my lunch hour is up.”
Uh-oh. I recognize that word -- vet. Yuck. 

The rest of the day passed in a whirl of sights and sounds. Men started coming back to the building so I scrunched up under the table with just my chin on Rain’s feet. She couldn’t pet me easily but I could breathe in her scent so I was okay. My hip itched from a sharp prick I got at the vet’s office but I didn’t yelp when it happened. Rain had cooed at me, and kissed my face. 
One time, the machine on the table rang and she picked up the plastic bone, putting it to her ear and mouth. Was she going to chew on it? No. An angry, loud voice seemed to be coming from inside the bone and I felt my hackles rise. It didn’t make sense. Where was the person? Whatever it was, Rain’s heart rate increased, and I could smell fear seeping from her skin. Her voice wasn’t the same as when she talked to me. 
“I have to work late ... no, I won’t bring her home ... I know they don’t allow dogs ... did you hear back from the realtor?”
I tried to hear the words coming out of the bone but they were hard to understand because Wolfie was warning me to be careful. I kept nudging Rain’s thigh with my nose and she seemed to relax just a bit by sinking her fingers into my fur. I licked her wrist. She was helping me. I knew I could help her, too. We had to stick together.
~ to be continued ~ 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Crete, here I come

free image © Martina Misar-tummeltshammer | Dreamstime.com
Yes. It's really happening! I am registered, paid up, and will obtain airline tickets tomorrow. The journey does not begin until autumn, but I will, of course, take lots of pictures and share my experiences upon my return. The photo isn't where I will be staying but I'm sure I will see lots of similar buildings upon the hillsides.

Taking a Pilgrimage to Crete in honor of Goddess/Gaia/The Divine has been a dream of mine since 1996 so I am thrilled beyond words to finally be going. Everything is coming about as it was meant to, of that I am convinced. What had appeared to be road blocks to this journey in the past four years were simply detours until the circumstances were revealed that would be the most enlivening and healing. I am deeply grateful.

I love preparing for a trip, and revel in every moment of the journey. The destination is simply a point used to keep me moving along the path, but it is every footstep and pause that are the true gifts.

Many of my thoughts regarding this pilgrimage and what it means to me will be posted at my other blog - On the Gaia Path - but I just had to share the news here as well because my excitement is bubbling and flowing over the sides of my heart-well!

We celebrated by going to a Greek restaurant for dinner and, upon return home, I watched one of my favorite movies -- Shirley Valentine -- a British comedy about a middle-aged woman's sudden trip to the Greek island of Mykonos.

I discovered this movie about four years ago, and have watched it many times since then. How many of us have, at times, lost ourselves ... lost our sense of who we are?

There is a famous monologue/scene in the film HERE that is quite touching. Many of us are perfectly happy leading what Shirley calls a "little life" but it's clearly not been that way for her. I won't spoil the film for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I do recommend the movie.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Guardian, Part 2

free photo © Ichtor | Dreamstime.com

I watch the door as men come and go, the sun soon high overhead but not very hot. Too soon to be hot outside, the grass and weeds were still brown and brittle. But I’m thirsty and panting, my tongue hanging out one side, because it’s been ages since I had a drink from that mud puddle. One of the noisy men had placed a tin pan nearby with water in it, but he put it on the concrete. I wouldn’t have any cover. Too exposed. I tried to be patient. I had learned a lot about patience back at the farm. Wolfie said that someone in that building was my purpose, and Wolfie hadn’t guided me wrong yet. We had learned a lot together. And so I watched the door. 
Click. That got my attention. The door cracked open and I heard voices whispering. They probably thought I couldn’t hear them but my ears pricked forward--I had big ears for my size--and the words were clear.
“Where is it?”
I trembled. Such a soft, sweet voice. The voice of a female.
“There. See. By the edge of the concrete along the back, near the yellow parking stop. Near the open space. Pup is in the weeds. Black face.”
“Oh, I see it. Poor thing.”
“Won’t come to any of us. But we stopped parking the trucks there hoping not to scare it away.”
I kept my gaze steady. Could I catch the woman’s glance? So far, the two females I’d met were better than the men. 

Big Man lived with Wild Hair. My names for them. They never seemed to call each other by just one name so I wasn’t sure who they were. But Wild Hair never tried to hit or kick me. And sometimes, when Big Man had driven away in his truck and left me at the farm, Wild Hair would come out to where I was chained and give me a bit of sale bread soaked in bacon grease. Oh my. I thought life was good then. She didn’t ever say much, but once in a while ... I sighed at the fond memory ... Wild Hair would squat down and gently rub my ears and scritch me under the chin. I would wiggle and wine and, once, she almost smiled through the dirty lines on her splotchy face. But a noise, I think once of the chickens must have pecked at a rusty tin can, that noise startled Wild Hair and she jumped to her feet and scurried back to the house.
The other female I’d met was a small one and more fun, but she could hurt me sometimes, too. I don’t think she meant to, but she did. This other female was little, only as tall as Big Man’s waist, and he laughed often when she was visiting. A black, clunky car that was very loud would stop at the mailbox, a back door would open, and she would sort of slide off the back seat, then slam the door shut and stare as the car sped off in a cloud of dust. Her shoulders would slump and she would trudge down the dirty driveway. 
Her first visit--I wasn’t much of a dog yet, and was still stupid, that’s what Big Man said--Girl was very kind and we had a lot of fun. She would toss a stick and I would race to get it and jump on her when I brought it back. Oh, she laughed and it sounded like sunshine on a spring day. But, after a while, Big Man came out of the house and saw us. 
Uh, oh. Big Man’s face was way redder than usual and his eyebrows were in one frazzled line across the top of his head. My ears flattened and I tucked my tail and waited. Running was worse than waiting, because I couldn’t run very far for long. At least I’d learned that much even if I was still stupid. 
“That one’s a working dog, girl. Don’t play with her. Make her behave. Like this.”
Big Man yanked me by my tattered collar until I was sitting.
I was very still. But then Girl giggled and began petting me and I got all wiggly and tried to lick her hands that tasted of cookies and sour milk.
What came next was bad. I try not to think about it. Girl still would visit sometimes, but she did what Big Man told her to. I don’t think she liked it when he put on angry face either. We didn’t have fun anymore. But she never hit me. So women might be okay.

While I’d been remembering, but also watching, the woman from the big building had been quietly walking toward me. Her voice was soft like the kind of rain that only dampened the ground and would pitter-patter on my dog house roof, lulling me to sleep some nights. When I was first at the farm, I would pretend that the rain was my Mom singing to me in the scary dark where I was all alone. I quivered but let the woman--I named her Rain--get closer. 
“It’s okay, sweetie. I won’t hurt you.”
Rain crooned to me in a sweet, sing-song voice, then sat down in the grass a bit away and continued every once in a while with a comment, her arms relaxed at her sides. She didn’t seem scary at all. In fact, she was kind of sad inside. I could tell. Even though her mouth was smiling at me, there was a deep tension in her. 
“Pretty baby ... don’t you have a lovely black mask ... isn’t it a nice day ... quiet now that the surveyors are all out on jobs ... .”
I began to relax, letting my muscles soften. Rain was no threat. Yes, I think this is her. My purpose. She needed me to help her with the sadness.
I crawled closer, paw by paw. Soon, I was sidled up next to her. She smelled like the wildflowers where the cows once wandered after they pushed down a flimsy fence. I was little back then, but I still remember their sweetness tickling my nose. We sat for a while, Rain and me, easy like. Me watchful. Her talking softly, then quiet. And then it happened. I felt her hand, ever so light, begin to stroke my back, then move to the base of my ears in a gentle pressure that was ever so relaxing. I held very still. 
“It’s okay. I won’t ever hurt you.”
I couldn’t help myself. I trusted her. I crawled into her lap and sighed. And she sighed, too. Like we were one breath. We stayed like that for a long while, me and Rain as one creature. Wolfie was right. Rain was my purpose. I wondered what came next?

~ to be continued ~

P.S. For you writers out there, I know that I need to get my 'tense' consistent, but right now, the story is fresh, first draft, off-the-cuff without editing. Maybe later on I'll pull it all together with proper editing... :-)

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