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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cliffs Notes

Okay, seems like I'm having a lot of trouble blogging these days. But I promised to share a bit of my college thoughts and experiences, so here goes…the Cliffs Notes version.

As I mentioned earlier, I've never attended college so hadn't the foggiest idea about courses, credits, curriculum, process, or academic policy in any way, shape, or form. So this entire venture has been a learning experience.

Because I entered on a degree path, I found out that I am required to take certain courses in proper order. All fresh[wo]men have to take English Composition 101/102, plus, there are a certain number of Tier 1 and 2 general education courses required for a degree. In addition, for a degree in the College of Humanities, I have to pass four semesters of a foreign language.

Way, way back in high school, I had taken two years of Spanish and one year of French. I love languages! However, very little of it stuck so I decided to take Latin in college. What was I thinking?! LOL However, I am thoroughly enjoying myself even though learning Latin takes massive amounts of time for me to absorb and memorize. And I do mean scads and scads of hours studying. I find myself wondering: would Latin have been this hard if I'd gone straight from high school to college? A moot point but still one I've pondered.

What have I liked the most? Learning! One delight in attending as an older student who is actively motivated by the sheer joy of the learning process, is that I have found enjoyment in every topic and assignment. Somewhere within each one--from visual analysis in English Comp to the meaning of equity in the Anthropology course--I have found a thread to trace that resonates with my own heart. This is very cool! Nearly every experience and subject has led me to explore in unexpected ways my own growth as well as my current WIPs. Not that I had much time for my own personal writing, but I did make quick notes to jog my memory later.

What have I disliked? Being in a small classroom with teenagers who are fast in everything they do, say, and learn. The pace is rapid, the energy is high, and I feel left in the dust after the 45 minutes have passed. They are race horses and I'm a draft horse! LOL My anxiety and insecurity was a daily challenge to manage.

What was my greatest surprise? Probably a tie between the aforementioned Latin study time I require and the way classrooms are handled. In my very limited exposure thus far, the teachers struggle valiantly to stimulate the students. I guess I figured that college students would be more self-motivated, but that doesn't appear to be the case in freshman classes. The other disturbing aspect of the classroom is its focus upon group work. Ugh. As someone who is a pretty extreme introvert, this group focus is a great drain on my energy and psyche. When I was in high school, I don't recall hardly any group work, and I liked it that way, so this aspect is particularly shocking.

However, all in all, I am thoroughly enjoying UA, and I'm looking forward to next semester, which will be 102 in both English Comp and Latin, plus a Tier 1 course in GeoScience. In order to complete the full freshman credit requirements, I will need to take several courses over the summer but that's better than overloading myself during the regular semesters. However, there may be a stumbling block to attaining a degree that I hadn't foreseen. It seems that the agency my husband works for may be denied affiliation next year, and that means that I wouldn't be eligible for reduced tuition which is the only reason we can afford college right now. So, I plan on really enjoying this next semester. I'm a firm believer that everything happens as it is meant to, though, so … carpe diem!

If you have anything to share, I would love to hear of your college experiences past or present; feel free to email me privately!

P.S. If I ever get around to it, I may post a few of the assignments that I found particularly interesting.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sharing

sometimes, no matter what we do, kids just won't share… LOL

P.S. A solstice blog is over at On The Gaia Path
Happy Holidays, Holy Days, and Winter Days, Everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nahko

Now that my first semester has finished, I will be sharing some writing soon… But, in the meantime, I give you the abundant youthful energy of nature reverence through the music and lyrics of Nahko and Medicine for the People. (I have only included portions of the lyrics). I'm sure part of what has enamored me of these pieces is that the lyrics flow in a free-style contemplative reflective resonance that those of you who have followed my writing over the years may recognize… Blessings to All during this Holiday Season in praise of Gaia's Divine Diversity. Much Love!




Lend your ears, lend your hands,
Lend your movement, anything you can.
Come to teach, come to be taught.
...
The more I understand about the human race,
the less I comprehend about our purpose and place
and maybe if there was a clearer line 
the curiosity would satisfy.
...
I cry for the creatures who get left behind
but everything will change in a blink of an eye
and if you wish to survive,

you will find the guide inside.
Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,
Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana.
Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,
Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana.



Each day that I wake,
I will praise, I will praise.
Each day that I wake,
I give thanks, I give thanks.
Each day that I wake,
I will praise, I will praise.
Each day that I wake,
I give thanks, I give thanks.





In the moon of the budding trees
I was gifted new eyes to see
All of the shifting shape and ways you can be
Wake the dreams into realities ...

...
So, tap me out and tap me into you
Heal my brain and my body too
Balance my chemistry hydrate these cells
Cuz the body talks and the meditation helps
The body talks and meditation helps
The body talks and meditation helps

Friday, November 22, 2013

Toe-Tapping Empowerment

An awesome song I heard for the first time last night. Not a new song or artist, but new to me. :-) Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Serenity and Studying


A sister Tucsonan posts wonderful photos, 
and recently shared a few more photos of the 
Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Go Wildcats!



No, I'm not a sports fan. Never have been, never will be. 

However...

I'm tickled to share that I have been admitted into the University of Arizona (UA), College of Humanities, Creative Writing degree program. Yay! College has been a long time coming for me -- 30 plus years -- and I alternate between feeling feverishly excited and numbingly fearful. So here I am; I'm becoming a UA Wildcat. 

UA was offering extended deadlines for registration in July so... I applied for admittance and was accepted. The good thing I keep reminding myself of is that this endeavor is all voluntary on my part; I can do as many or as few classes as I'm comfortable with. Gotta remember that. 

In fact, I had to hurry home from my Rocky Mountain High road trip -- 16 hours from Colorado Springs to Tucson in one fell swoop -- because I needed to take placement exams at least a week prior to student orientation. 

I know that none of my classes will be easy, but I am really looking forward to learning more in order to grow my writing. I thought about just taking stand-alone courses in writing (allowing a simpler, slower pace and less worry about grades), but it seemed a shame not to at least give the degree path a try. 

Again, all of this comes back to my choice, so I'll just see how it goes! 

There is a flower essence blend called Cognis which I will be taking lots of, I'm sure! Gotta get my neurons firing and the memory tissue plumped up... 

As long-time readers of my blog will recall, the awesome Tucson Festival of Books is held on the University of Arizona campus, so I am at least a little bit familiar with the layout. Phew!

Further, I just read this interesting article "The Ideal English Major." While parts of the article come across a bit "holier than thou," still, much of what the author says really resonates with how I feel about writing, words, and language.

So, here's to balancing the academic side of writing with the Tao of Writing!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Get High

Get high...Rocky Mountain High, that is...!

I picked Mom up at the Phoenix airport, and our road trip began.

Painted Desert
Mesa Verde


Blue Mesa Reservoir
the Rocky Mountains

Cripple Creek
Pikes Peak Summit

 Written details to follow... maybe!

And a big beautiful nocturnal visitor showed herself in our yard
a couple nights after I returned home...
Tarantula...about the size of my hand


Friday, July 26, 2013

The Tao of Writing


Scrivener (see my earlier post HERE) will also come in handy with organizing my other WIPs, not just my latest novel. See... I broke Miller's first commandment and have six active manuscripts, though only one novel in the bunch. But, the flow is on and the last thing I want to do is dam it up! And, besides, I'm not Miller...I'm me. And I write the way I'm led to write. Right? (wink)

Certainly, I've read a zillion times about the horrors of writer's block so I don't want to do anything that might cause my flow to dry up. Therefore, even though I am currently experiencing six different branches to my river of creativity, I'm going with the flow.

And guess what? To support my writing flow, a lovely little book jumped out at me at the library. It's called The Tao of Writing by Ralph L. Wahlstrom and since I already have a passion for Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, is it any wonder this book caught my eye?

Wahlstrom says:

"As with much in life, when we try to force the writing, we often end up with uninteresting, barren, joyless text; when we tap into the flow, we are likely to find ourselves carried along on a joyful, creative, fulfilling stream."

Here's to trusting that I will complete each of these manuscripts in their own good time by being in the flow...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm Sold on Scrivener

Because of a recommendation by The Writer's Circle, I decided to download the free trial of Scrivener. And you can color me happy now because Scrivener is an amazing organizational software program, one that just might provide me with the structure and support I need to get productive again on my novel!

One reason that I've been struggling in trying to organize my messy manuscript is that I have a lovely but tiny study that doesn't really lend itself to a physical whiteboard or corkboard. Wall #1 has a large window, wall #2 has a floor-to-ceiling bookcase plus a doorway to the back of the house, wall #3 has a closet, and wall #4 has glass-panel double-doors that open into the living room. Also, when the small space starts to become cluttered with papers, my mind becomes scattery (a new word? LOL "scattered" seems so sedentary for what's going on inside my skull) and my thoughts fly all over the place! Not helpful.

Unlike my previous novels that seemed to write themselves clearly start to finish, the manuscript for my current novel is-- as I've probably griped about quite a few times already in this blog--filled with scenes and characters connected by threads that have become far too entangled for me to sort in my head. The 3-ring-binder approach just isn't working for me, and I've never been one for index cards.

I've been feeling quite out of my depth!

In steps Mr. Scrivener and I feel like I might be able to again see where I'm going. Phew... (imagine me doing a happy dance in my study)

Anyone else use this program or a similar one?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monsoon 2013

In the Sonoran Desert, let me tell you that I have a whole new appreciation for rain! Especially after the skin-chapping three months we just had of a hot, dry spring! So, I'm sharing my itty-bitty video of Sunday's rain. I always go out and stand in the rain for a few minutes; it seems disrespectful not to!



And look at this beautiful microburst video from July 1.



However, it's not just the extreme dryness of spring and then the rainfall in summer that's thrown me because the monsoon season in Tucson can also result in flash floods. Some of these in the past have been very destructive, washing away homes as well as cars.

Sure, I know. Most of you reading this are like I was before and rain storms are the norm for you and where you live. They're beautiful and fascinating and much appreciated for making the gardens grow. But trust me. This is my third Arizona monsoon and the rainfall becomes more of an event for me each year.

The first one, I'd just moved to Arizona so I found it interesting, but, hey, I came direct from Maine where it rains a LOT. And, besides, I was living up near Phoenix that year (2011) so was more amazed by the massive dust storms that came through. Here's a video clip one of those:



The second monsoon last year was wonderful, too, but I had enjoyed the dry spring because it was so unusual. Of course, I'm a wuss so I don't get out and drive when the rains are on! I have to rely on videos by those who are less...uh...cautious. And I worry about Ron until he gets home from work.



THIS YEAR? Oh yeah. After the overwhelming cumulative heat wave? Major gratitude for monsoon rains. It is no wonder that people around here have parties celebrating monsoon season. It's true. So, while I celebrate the rain with play and dance, I also respect its suddenness and ferocity. Then there's the lightning storms...

Who would have thought this about the desert? Reading about it ahead of time is one thing. Experiencing it is something else. Everywhere is different! Mother Nature shrugs and cries and turns into a whirling dervish, She wraps us in white blankets and shakes us free again. After all, snowstorms and ice storms in the north were common, and how many times were we without power for hours, even days?!

Anyway, to wrap this up, if you're the type who likes to get a little more education about different parts of our amazingly diverse country, check out this five-part series on the monsoon season in Arizona.


Monday, July 8, 2013

The Unseen


Beyond the energies we see and touch and can activate in our “real” world there is always an ever more subtle and powerful shakti ... the more subtle, the more powerful. Human bodies are a tool for learning whereas the other life forms are for resting in the pure nature of being--more “evolved” in their simplicity and perfect alignment with life.

Little blue trillium jumpers cover the tiny bodies of the unseen as they leave the forest and reveal themselves one by one, only for a moment skipping in yellow ladyslippers among the madly waving bear grass that is taller than the tallest small being. Out in the grass in the circle in the forest, there is a small clearing where sunlight shines. Now is the gathering of love, the harvest. 

The nearly black depths of glistening green forest, a primordial expanse that is narrow in path and wide in canopy, releases a sigh of joy to witness the celebration. The trunks lean closer to the center of the circle, arching their spines so slightly that one can only feel the lean rather than see it, and their leaves or needles shuffle noisily as a zephyr soars through. Dew falls onto stems and moss, drip-drip-drop, in a rhythm older than the songs of the flowering indian paintbrush nodding and bobbing, glinting their inner essence among the tall grasses imitating the pin points of light in an ebony sky still hours away. 

Going home, I am nestled into a tiny plot of verdant forest so rich that my eyes are soothed in an instant of gazing outward. Clouds drift by one after the other so that the sky would seem covered if one wasn’t watching for the perfect gaps of blue and pale yellow light peeking through branches as if to check on all we do and wink at us quickly before the clouds close their eyelids for long blissful pauses that are the full presence of existence. There, the pause is the sunlight; here, the pause is the shade.

Walking along the narrow rainforest path, the ground is spongy, the air is moist, and the more-than-human voices are slightly muffled as if with a light cotton that allows the sound to emerge in the softness of a deep reverential prayer that sinks into soil and bark and skin. Large knobby knees of ancient trees make sure to say hello and catch me when I fall while looking into the forest beside me knowing I am being watched yet feeling completely safe. All around me are the sentinels of my soul and when I embrace one I feel them all respond with a pulsating flow of graceful compassion and I can cry into the bark that is softened already from the continual tears that Gaia sheds for the world. Here we are sheltered and can spread ourselves thin until I disappear cell by molecule by atom and am swept into the vast heart of misty oneness. 

I could become one of the little people, the unseen who aren’t really people at all, of course, for they are part of the elements more than the ego, their identity is reflected in the plants and animals of the penumbral glades and forest nooks where they shapeshift and live except on the occasional celebrations when they weave tiny bodies that confuse the senses and elude the mind. For I don’t see them with my eyes but with my soul and realize we are all the same.

I do become one of them and disappear into the play of waving grasses and bobbing blossoms, for a time forgetting that I was once a human. I don’t want to go back to the other form, and I have the choice. Do I take it? Do I choose to dance and play and disappear into soil and rock and acorn and pinecone and mossy carpets and mushroom caps? Do I choose to run as deer or hop as rabbit or toddle along as the turtle in and out of puddles and ponds? Hug a tree or become a tree? Leave the human world behind and merge into the enchanted realm of deep, moist, luxurious, nourishing womb? Do I reverse the process of living as I am born into the real world instead of dying daily in this one from toxins and ego and fear of over-culture indoctrination? 

Imagine the bliss... I can feel it now when I close my eyes and release this human body and become the universe that is older than time, greater than space, more wise and compassionate than imagined possible ... and in that moment I reach out to the suffering of the poor ignorant humans who are just beginning their journey to Truth, they struggle so, and I lift up that one by revealing a flower, and to that one I offer a branch to lean on, and to another I open my arms to embrace the tears that become the droplets glistening in the emerald forest.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: Strangers and Pilgrims


I stumbled across this book while reading the blog of an recent acquaintance that led me to the author’s blog. Don't you love how the threads of our lives connect in these mysterious patterns? This subtle, hidden interconnection is also mirrored in “Strangers and Pilgrims” by Vivienne Tuffnell

The author brings a unique voice and style to her storytelling, one that caught me by surprise and kept me flipping the pages as fast as I could. I was compelled to pick it up and read it in every spare moment I found, finishing the book in a mere day and a half. 

I could feel the angst of each character and found myself sympathizing, cheering each one on, resonating with the deep pain and grief expressed by the men and women alike as “my heart is broken and I am dying inside.” 

This is a beautifully crafted story!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flowering and Nesting



The flowering of life-wisdom has little to do with toil and struggle yet more to do with the allowing we give to the earth as a container in which seeds can grow their sacred song into the world, where water droplets of morning dew shall quench the thirst of blossom-to-bee, and the metamorphosis of birth happens almost overnight where its essence rises and broadens into pink and green, and rainbows offer a slide for fairies to use as they gather us all up in bunches of colors, we the flowering spirits inhabiting form where forgotten memories pulse in our cells like limpid pools of blissful bubbles.



Each of us is a nest for the world’s rebirth into each moment. We tend to look outward and project the expectation that the world is meant as our nest, but what if we are looking at it backwards? Each of us is the radiant vibration of all the elements and each of us is the cobweb gathered to glue the bits of twig together to support this precious moment.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Guardian Part 6


I didn’t know that this was here. These tall trees and steep slopes and the huge rocks. All I ever knew was the image of tall spiky ridges against the sky and how they changed shades. They looked like a wall against the horizon where the sun went to sleep at night. A wall so high that no one, not even Minx with her long slender legs and powerful heart would have been able to leap it though she had escaped the Big Man’s corral more times than we could count. But Rain brought me here. She says these are the Rocky Mountains but I’ve only ever lived on the Front Range.
We drove toward the wall and it was like magic happened! The purple wall turned into trees and dirt and gigantic rocks bigger than my old dog house, bigger even than the building with the blue door. I mean big. 
We drive along the narrow dirt road that twists and turns back and forth until I feel like I am going the way I had come already yet we have not turned around. We go up and then downhill, too, like a maze. I might never find my way out. I trust Rain but this is strange. When I whine just the tiniest bit, she talks to me in her soothing voice and massages my shoulders and gently rubs my ears. I feel better and relax. I curl into the seat next to her in the car. 
“You’re going to love it here, baby,” Rain says. “Our life will be wonderful. The house is small but sits into a hillside, tucked against the mountain like most of the other houses. Well, most of them are cabins or even shacks, but new people are starting to make them nicer and the road is a dead end down at a creek so only people who live here will be driving down the road. And as soon as word gets around that a deputy sheriff is living here, I will feel perfectly safe. We’ll be safe in our little house in the mountains. It’s like a dream come true! Like in one of my romance novels. And maybe Michael will be happier here. Maybe I won’t irritate him so much and his job won’t be so hard for him to deal with once he can come home to such a sweet little place of peace and quiet. We’ll make it as nice for him as possible, won’t we?”
I hear the sad, wistful tone in Rain’s voice that wasn’t there a few minutes ago. I want to make it go away so I forget my sloshy tummy and the winding road that is inside the magic wall. I bark. Twice! I leap to my feet, wag my plume of a tail, and watch Rain as she laughs out loud from my surprise bark. 
“You’re the best,” she says. “You’ve saved my life, I swear, girl.” 
Rain pets me as much as she can with one hand until we round a sharp turn downhill and she has to use her hand that was petting me to move the stick that is between the seats. This road makes her use the stick a lot and I see both her knees bobbing up and down as her feet press on the peddles on her side of the car floor.
“We’ll need a truck for winter,” Rain says. 
I know what a truck is and that will be fun. I like the back of a truck. My tummy doesn’t act so strange when I ride in a truck.
I keep my eyes on Rain. She’s smiling again but I know how fast that can change. Dark Man -- Rain calls him Michael or you-know-who -- will be at the house when we arrive. Rain told me he was working last night while I was sleeping in my room with the wire walls at the building with the blue door, and while Rain was asleep at the little apartment where she and Michael live. I don’t like that they live there and I live at Blue Door.
Rain says that Dark Man works a lot of nights. She says he likes that now I will be with Rain at night when he’s gone. But he doesn’t like me. I know he doesn’t. I often growl at him but low, quiet-like so that he can’t hear me. His face and posture change when Rain isn’t looking. And he doesn’t smell right at all. Like something rotten is under his skin. But when he sees people look at him, he puts on a big smile and he acts all friendly. But I know what is real. So I watch him close. But I don’t go close unless I have to. I stay with Rain.
Rain tells me that we are going to start hiking trails with the nice round-faced woman who took care of me at Blue Door. I call her Moon. Moon has a big black dog and a tall goofy red one. I like the black one who reminds me of my mum before I was taken away from her. But the red one is a spaz and not very smart and can’t remember even how to sit when Rain or Moon ask us to. It’s embarrassing. But I’m a big girl now. I’m six months old and all grown up. I have to take care of Rain so I can’t be bothered with a dog who can’t even remember words that are simple. 
Rain turns the wheel and pulls the car into a long slope of dirt next to a tiny house with tall trees all around it. It reminds me a little of Big Man and Wild Hair’s house because of the peeling paint and tilting roof.
“We’re here! Isn’t is marvelous? Just like a fairy tale cottage!”
When the sadness is hiding, Rain is always happy and smiling and laughing and talking about fairies. I don’t know what those are but I’m sure Rain will take me to meet one someday. Especially now that she says we will be living here together forever. I’m not sure what means “forever” but Rain says I can stay with her and sleep with her and not go back to Blue Door so that’s good enough for me. 
Rain rushes around the car to open my door and I jump out and start sniffing because I can’t help myself. All these smells! Wow! 
Rain watches me, but I see out of the corner of my eye a shadow in the doorway of the house. The shadow that is Dark Man. And the hair on the back of my neck stands straight up.

-- to be continued --

scroll down the left column and click on the image for
"The Guardian" to read the story from the beginning

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Encouragement

I just read an encouraging article on self-publishing called 5 Things Indie Authors Do Very Well. I particularly like that Ms. Baverstock acknowledges the courage of those who self-publish. Usually, those who self-publish are teased or ridiculed for being vain and egotistical. Her comments are gratefully received by me, I can tell you that.

In fact, it has been through the process of self-pubishing Minoan Messages on the Gaia Path -- and the subsequent encouragement from friends who bought and read the story -- that led me to invest in hiring a professional editor for the book. This means that at some point, I will publish a second edition for marketing to the public.

But no matter what happens with my own books, I will continue to write and self-publish. And I appreciate knowing that there are people who view self-publishing as valid and worthy.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm Not Real


Among the cheerful flavored swirls 
of paperback books and unbound worlds
I find the sound that is my own 
and it’s unveiled through magic song 
of pen and ink and whim of mind 
that does not leave the dream behind.
Here in the recesses curving along
is the Imagi Nation where I belong.

I’m not real, though one would think
I was if they should pause to blink, 
but really I’m not because all that is here 
is the air of my thoughts and the ash of a fear 
that got left behind before the world came to be 
and so long ago before there was me. 

I’m not real, this hardened shape 
but rather illusion that yearns to wake 
in a world where flowers dance in the seas 
and all the fishes dance on the trees, 
where all is what it wants to be 
and nothing is hidden, not even me. 

I’m not real but a flowering soul 
asleep in the dirt with the worms and the mole 
or the tiny roly poly so precious unfurled 
but easily takes to his shell where he curls 
in on himself in utter delight 
that we mistake for his fright 
for he loves his flexible hinged body 
where none other can fold in such entirety.

I’m not real for I live in the soil
that claims all the dust and bones of the world;
here we are snug in our beds and our hearts 
united with particles, beams and parts 
dismembered and remembered and slung on the backs 
of the breezes that soar to a galaxy’s starry tracks.

I’m not real because I’m not this body, 
but isn’t it pretty and ugly and naughty? 
This body is all of the mind driven roles 
and houses a flowering, blossoming soul 
that is always here yet sometime gets buried 
in a world full of quivering faces all worried 
they can’t get it done or finished or started 
and yet I’m not real so I’m never downhearted.

What if we visited ourselves in a zoo 
where we’re all pasted together with glittery glue 
and then we could see how the shapes are unique 
yet fall all to pieces whenever we speak 
of a falsity buried in minds all confused, 
who think we are real and yet so abused 
by our own delusions we can’t stop to flower 
unseated by blinders of glory and power.

I’m not real, I’m a smile on the wind, 
a flicker, a firefly, a reed that will bend 
in watery rushes yet rooted in ash 
that is sand and the gritty bones of the past.

__________

I feel in my heart that the nonsense is setting a part of me free, maybe just a little cell sitting in an organ or riding the red jet stream through my body. Maybe that one fancy cell of nonsense is reborn into health and innocence by the free flowing thought forms, the random experience of writing without restriction; just word association--or absence of connection--it doesn’t really matter. This is me at play! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Enwombed

“We were once enwombed in the earth
and the silence of the body remembers that dark, inner longing.” 
~ John O’Donohue from Beauty: The Invisible Embrace




Inside is where my toes become roots and sink deep into the loam that is moist and dark and rich with ancient memories feeding my blood, renewing the sap that is dry and brittle. Deep in, inside, the pleasant lack of glare is a nectar that I drink with great thirst. Beneath the surface lies the truth that is me, a soul of primal resonance of fern and tree and flowers high in the canopy where bits of soil remain from lives long gone and provide the food that new life craves. 

Stiff, sore, barely bending or even awake, lids of heavy bark that remain as slits, energy gone, drained by fire and hectic plans like copper wires binding my trunk into a tormented receptacle of strangers’ demands. 

A bird is sent to sing me free into a journey seed that springs up and out, twining, budding, blooming until my essence sings the healing back to feathered throat and we are one heart.

I’m dying every moment and birthing in every breath. The call of dark and light are the mystery of the song that is unique to me yet are universal notes played in harmony expanding a world that has forgotten the melody.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blooming Cholla

The many varieties of Cholla are blooming, as is the Ocotillo, and the Prickly Pear is just starting. Along with myriad other plants, these desert survivors continue to blossom and thrive, which is still amazing to me since we haven't received any rain in weeks. As I walked through the desert, splashes of bright color met me in every direction.

Don't the Ocotillo flowers look like birds?

Red Flowers on Cholla Cactus

Cholla, Ocotillo and a young Saguaro

Yellow Flowers on Cholla Cactus

I don't know what this bush is but it's everywhere!
The Bottlebrush tree in our yard, in full bloom!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blessings of Mother Earth

Chiricahua National Monument

EARTH DAY! I love that my birthday is the same week as Earth Day. And this past extended weekend was marvelous because I was able to hike so many fabulous landscapes over the course of four days. What better way to celebrate Earth Day?!

Chiricahua National Monument
A vibration pulsed through my body when I walked upon ancient rock and gazed at boulders of beings who simply smiled during my passage among them. I walked through a corridor of stone and felt the call of shallow grottoes where millions of creatures great and small have crawled, flown or walked and slept protected across the expanse of time. I was invited to participate in their legacy of rest and pause but I didn't climb into the beckoning spaces. That would have to be another day when a schedule didn’t remind me--by pecking at the pencil marking boxes in my mental checklist--to continue moving into the next step of journey.

White Sand Dunes National Monument
One could easily see a photo of the White Sands and mistake them for a vast snowy tundra in Alaska. I quickly decided to remove my sandals and squish toes and soles into the velvety gypsum that was still cool from low morning temperatures. An exquisite sensation of immersion occurred as my feet would sink up to my ankles climbing a dune, contrasting with the firm slap of my bare feet upon the flat packed-sand surface--like a sandy beach after the tide has receded--of a stretch between dunes. 

White Sands National Monument
Already traveling in a landscape of nearly blinding brightness from clear skies, strong sun, and desert expanse, the additional reflection from the white sand caused my eyes to squint almost shut until I saw through a narrow slit that echoed the horizon. I gazed around me in awe at the waves of sand, and was touched by the realization of how time is incomprehensible without Gaia showing off Her masterpieces as She paints and weaves and breaks apart only to create anew in an entirely fresh and remarkable collage of beauty. 

Valley of Fires New Mexico

Imagine my delight to see an oddly familiar black expanse to my left as I drove upon the semi-deserted road between White Sands and Albuquerque. Could it be? Is it possible that the shortcut I took brought me into communion with the Valley of Fires? Yes! My heartbeat increased and a broad smile took over my face. There was such intense lightness of being at White Sands, and I was thrilled to feel the volcanic remnants ground me, earth me, no...wrap me from below within the comforting darkness of Her exposed blood long dried and cooled.

If the White Sands were Gaia’s flakes of skin being shed from the dryness and heat, the ancient lava flow, now brittle yet still echoing Her extrusions of transformative desire, was the blood once hidden. 
Valley of Fires

I hesitated only a moment. I knew that this unexpected stop might cause me to arrive too late for the original destination on my itinerary, but I was compelled. I remembered the Valley of Fires from a childhood vacation; it was firmly embedded in memory along with other nature exposures, and I simply had to take the walk through the black cremains of Gaia’s blood that flowed from deep within Her core. 

400-year-old Juniper at Valley of Fires
All moisture long gone, She was gorgeous as She fed the plants ... from a 400 year old juniper to the scarlet blossoms of a hedgehog cactus to the teensy purple feather dalea flowers scattered like fuzz upon their scraggly stems and other plants that clung to the bits of settled dust in crevices of the lava. The juxtaposition of white and black experienced within this same day left me giddy, as if I received a gift of harmonic convergence experienced among the sacred earth plane.

Petroglyphs National Monument
Meandering, striding, pausing along the shifting trail of rubble and sand, I witnessed the dark rock as the canvas for native images mystical and childlike. Etchings that are 400 to 700 years old seemed young compared to those I saw in Crete last year that were 5000 years old and yet were less visceral in spite of being older. A fascinating contrast involving location, culture, and expression that I had never really thought about until the pilgrimage. The petroglyphs seemed analogous to the pre-Minoan artifacts in their earth-centric and “primitive” art style. 

Petroglyphs National Monument

When I closed my eyes I could hear drumming and chanting, a rattle made from a snake’s tail, and a coyote howled in concert under the full moon’s illumination. The canyon still provides a fortress for coyotes as one watched me hike along the clearly defined path. The path really isn’t necessary as it simply follows the edge of the dark canyon hillsides that are forbidding in their sheer ruggedness rather than height, and yet a designated trail serves the purpose of preserving the rest of the desert floor. The coyote acknowledged my lack of threat by lying down upon an outcropping of flat rock, and we honored each other’s spirits ... until a noisy runner, panting and huffing, with a pack bumping upon his back sped past me on the trail, probably in training for some competitive event. The coyote leapt to his feet, turned his back on me and the oblivious runner, and loped up the hillside disappearing from my sight around a gigantic black boulder. 

Santa Fe, New Mexico
On Saturday, I drove to Santa Fe to meet a long time email friend; she invited me to her home and we hiked the trails behind her house, following an arroyo at first until it intersected with one of the trails on the nearby monastery’s 800 acres of wilderness. The way was steep and the sandy soil gave way often beneath my clumsy feet. The view from the peak was worth the effort! I had picked up a rock along the way -- black spots on smooth mahogany -- and meant to bring it home to Ron but left it instead as an offering of gratitude at the cross on the peak. Gratitude for this amazing land and to the Brothers for blazing the trail I had followed to receive the gift of the view from the top. 

Gila National Forest
The suggestion by Julia that I detour across to Silver City on my way home, thus passing through the Gila National Forest, was a great one. My reward was stunning vistas to feast my eyes upon and tall pine trees raining soothing ions. The road snaked around the peaks and across passes speckled with dark green and pale jade, multiple hues of browns and reds and golds. The bliss of presence as I drove subsumed all sense of time and I became one with Gaia, co-creating a state of immersion in movement across the land and within the planet’s energies. 

Four days of diversity, the blessings of Gaia’s many faces and bodies, bumps and folds, secrets and gifts, and always the whisper: “this is only the beginning.” 

Thank you, Mother Earth.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

tears for those who lash out


Can we shed tears 
for the suffering
of those who lash out,


and allow compassion to 
heal the pain
in all hearts?

I did.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Script


Our words and the writing are structured so that we can understand each other and speak into the same space. Yet, as with the rest of the world, the intuitive and rational have been separated as if they are prohibited from holding hands on the same page of song and community. We allow for poetry yet even that has been co-opted at times into a rigid structure of so-called perfection. The linear left-brain control that is so masculine. Why? 

See the play of circles and spirals, the song of liberation that comes through the easy art of writing into the Divine Feminine. We call this unprofessional or incorrect. Who says? Are we so caught up in our rules and restrictions that we cannot read beyond the structure into a limitless perception that includes the weightless flight of words that resonate into Soul expression? When we write and read, where is the essence of Gaia to come through if we cast Her into the shackles of rational control of the word? Why suppress the shivers of ecstasy and keep them from resonating, expanding? What do we read and perceive in the words at play when we release our expectations and desire for control? Where is the freedom of poetry within everyday experiences that merge the faces of form and spirit? Where is the acceptability of soul within prose? 


So what if the expression is not real! What’s real? It is what we make it! All these rigid structures cannot be the end all or the totality. What if we were reading a translation of another language, where we retain the essence that leaves its scent upon the portals that open our hearts and minds, so we allow the aroma of the letters to waft under nose and skin, and settle into a bloodstream rushing easily from here to there. 

This is where I come from -- the structure and rigidity -- and there is where I am going -- into the open expanse of space where poetry and prose meet without separation. Who is to say that one is different or more important? Who is to say that our Souls cannot absorb and assimilate the pink lotus from the tall pine tree or the weeping reflections that fall from my eyes? We speak in a written language that can be infused with Infinite Spirit if we don’t squeeze the very life out of the freedom of expression. Where do we come into our own center of voice if we allow the external strictures to choke the Soul? 

Not all writing is meant to be read solely by mind as a manual that calls to the bastards and tosses them into the river before they’ve even lived. Not all writing is meant to be judged but rather it is to be felt in the heart and allowed to pulse in ecstasy throughout the subtle energy fields of one base existence to reconnect heart and mind. 

Maybe we ask ourselves ... what am I writing for and into? Why do we write? Is this piece meant to follow the gr’up footsteps of academic precision and vital learning or is it meant to bloom in the simple childish innocence of the wildflowers along the barren highway of long forgotten trails where pilgrims once traveled before the highway paved over free spirit?



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mountain Song


From the spring on the mountain top 
gushes forth in scintillating silver 
the voices of every droplet of moisture 
that has collected within the wells of wisdom 
and we are jubilant in Her abundance. 
Song explodes around us 
and from within Her core 
we know our One Soul, 
our joined Spirit that unifies this planet 
into a beautiful biosphere. 
We see and hear and give voice to
the truth of individuality and same -- 
the song of dichotomy that makes no sense 
but is perfectly at home in our hearts. 
Truth and love are settled in each others arms, 
cradled in our hearts, 
and they sing us to sleep 
as we rock them gently 
within the mountain currents.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Starting to Show


Abundance of flowers just starting to show, to burst out.
Vital, yellow, green ... stamens extending far beyond the petals
and waggling in the wind
shaking with the barest hint of air upon them
profuse and prominent.

Not only does this agave produce
phallic symbol extraordinaire,
the thousands of blossoms shoot forth boldly
like a rush of sperm all striving to survive.

The agave says in its awareness of the
union of sacred masculine and divine feminine energies ...
"Before I die, I am going to sow everything I've got,
producing seeds galore.
For years I've lived a steady life, growing, expanding, building, patient, nurturing.
Now, as I near death, now is the time to give back in profusion.
I feel the need to produce as many seeds of wisdom as possible, 
to spread myself around, to move and be transported elsewhere, everywhere,
my seeds going wherever there is the potential for growth."

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