50 Words For Ego

(thank you, Staci, for giving me the impetus to question whether the ego is always a bad thing.)

There has been debate about whether the Inuit have 50 words for snow or not and I’m not here to answer that, but I can see how useful it would be to have 50 ways to talk about snow.

That’s why I think we ought to have 50 words for ego.

The word ego has negative connotations. When we say someone has a big ego it usually means they

think they are superior to others.

But having confidence is not a bad trait and it makes things go smoothly in interactions with others.

So how can you tell the difference between confidence and an inflated ego? It probably has to do with the intention of the one sharing and there is a whole bunch of variation and complexities involved with intentionality.

It might help if we had fifty words to describe the variables between the energy that enables someone to do a good job and that of someone who is disgustingly full of themselves.

.When I was in second grade I sat next to a boy named Denis. We had our workbooks open to a page where a big yellow duck spashed around in a bright blue puddle. The duck was wearing a yellow raincoat and yellow rain boots and he had an umbrella. This picture was so funny and sweet it made me laugh.

So I elbowed Denis and pointed to the duck so he could laugh too.

(We both got in trouble because the teacher thought we were trying to cheat.)

That eager and innocent sharing of cool stuff might be called being “”ducky”” (obviously because of the duck. ) I’m joking here, but you see what I mean, right? If I were to define my intention for sharing that picture and I needed to find a word somewhere between the word ego and confidence, it might be ducky in this case. I didn’t share the picture because I thought I was special, but because I thought the picture was special. I was excited. I was delighted. Who wouldn’t want to share that?

Ducky could mean you have enough confidence to point out something you appreciate without having to have an ego so big that you think you know all there is to know about it. There could be more words for all the other variables.

I love it when a teacher is passionate about a subject and shares it because she loves it, not because she thinks she knows all there is to know. I don’t trust people who think they know it all.

I’m talking about the book club.

It is just a book club, not a class and I’m just a host, not a teacher. But I do care about the topic and I do love to share experiences and information as I hope you will share too.

I have often been “accused” of taking the lead because I jump right into a thing. But it is only because I’m ducky, not because I have a big (repulsive) ego. Although I do have to question why I am making such a big deal out of the whole thing. Is it ego that drives me to defend myself?

All Im saying is that I am excited about learning energy medicine. I hope you will share as much as you like! We all have ducks to share. Show me the ducks!

It’s All Soup

I wrote this for the energy medicine group to help us get to know each other better.

A recipie uses different ingredients prepared in different ways to produce a meal with certain flavors and nutritional value.

In the same way, there have been influences that shape the way I see and interact with others and with my environment.

These have been the most influential:

Buddhism: the Noble 8 Fold Path that I aspire to for clear perspective, clear thinking, speech, action, diligence, livelihood, concentration, and mindfulness.

Christianity: Teaches me to love everyone, even my enemies and that the source of love loves me back. Also teaches me how to hope and believe in goodness.

Hinduism: it’s teaching me to call for help from powers beyond my own and to trust that things will work out.

Kundalini Yoga: It has proven to be a very effective tool, especially with its use of mantra, mudra, and breathwork. It shows me how to be aware of energy in my body–especially the dance between matter and energy.

Hatha Yoga: is something I started learning when I was twelve. It’s most appealing promise (to me) is that there is opportunity for the individual to be in union with The Great All.

Reiki: I use reiki for healing mind-body-spirit and for getting things that are stuck, unstuck and for moving heavy objects. Seriously, I’ve used reiki to loosen frozen bolts and scoot refrigerators and washer, dryer combos.

Science: is the way spiritual understanding says to the world at large, “See, I told ya so.”

I’m probably forgetting something…

Oh yeah, Art! Making and enjoying art in any of its forms is as necessary as salt.

And Psychology, but that falls under the science category.

When all these different influences marry and steep, voila! I am soup.

What’s in your soup?

What is on your shopping list for the next batch?


(Akaal is a word that means undying. It is chanted when someone or some idea, dream or wish dies. It honors the light or the love that never dies but keeps unfolding. This is a song about aging.)

I bless all the ghosts

I’ve been holding onto,

all the pieces of a puzzle

that never comes together,

because it’s never been meant to.

Akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal!

if I can just let go I know that life

will still be growing.

love is the only thing that’s real

And it’s only love that is worth sowing.

Akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal.

Akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal.

akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal akaal.

First There Is A Mountain

I was trying to tell a friend about a meditation experience I had but it was like trying to find the smallest part of an atom—the closer to the truth of it we got, the more empy space there was. Never completely empty. There is always a seed. (But what is the seed made of but emptiness?)

“First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is,” Remember that old Donovan song? That is a great description of meditation. It is a thing we do and then it is not doing then we do a thing again. We learn how to be perpetually stable and changing at the same time. We become human beings.

Coherent Orientation

My  brain longs for my heart

And my heart tries to have a reason,

Tries to have a reason to breathe and do nothing special.

I had a bad dream when I fell asleep in the chair.

Dreamed I couldn’t find my mother and grandmother.

Dreamed they had gone out to a club and didn’t know

Their way home.

I tried to use the phone.

But as with all dream technology, I couldn’t find the numbers.

Fives turned into twos and seven, eight and nine

Kept changing places on the keypad.

 I asked John to help but he was married

To someone else and didn’t hear me.

Grandma’s dishes were piled up by the sink and the sink was full of dirty water.

Her kitchen had become a restaurant or cafeteria.

I looked in her old fridge to find food for the people

And there were strange cakes and casseroles that just appeared out of nowhere.

I felt disoriented.  

“The term “Orient” derives from the Latin word oriens meaning “east” (lit. “rising” < orior ” rise”). … To situate them in such a manner was to “orient” them in the proper direction. When something was facing the correct direction, it was said to be in the proper orientation.” (wikipedia)

Dreams get me all turned around, so I don’t know what direction I face.

 I wake up lost.

But then I ask who it is that feels lost and there is an anchor in my heart that won’t let me drift too far.

Not anymore. Even being lost seems oddly familiar.

The heart longs for coherence with the brain, and the benefit of their togetherness is cumulative. When one goes off course, one feels pain

Breath is a safe harbor, a refuge for the confused. As long as one is breathing there is reason

 to place hands on heart and find home.

All About Petunias


I want to know everything there is to know

about petunias.

I want to know their scientific names, their species and subspecies,

what kind of soil they like and if they come back year after year

or have to be purposefully planted each spring.

I know exactly when my fascination with petunias began.

It was the end of a long summer day.

I was sitting on the doorstep watching evening throw shadows

over the rhododendrons

when a frangrance so subtle I wondered if it was real

caught my attention.

A tall, dark purple petunia wavered between the wall and sidewalk.

I had seen these flowers before and they never meant a thing to me.

But now, this flower, who stood tall and leggy as if trying to watch

the parade of people and animals go by on the sidewalk,

and who had avoided the gardener’s pruning sheers,

revealed her power when she allowed night to fall.


Petunias grow best in ground that is

equal parts sand, silt and clay.

The way they arrange their petals so neatly

around a pistil makes them seem cultured and ladylike.

You wouldn’t know that any of them grow wild

and feed Buckeyed butterflies all summer long.

And you wouldn’t suspect that these demure little plants

who hang in baskets and window boxes

take over if they are free to grow as they please.


I dreamed that an ancient grandmother

with long, dark hair

held petunias in her hand and told me they would protect

against all kinds of ill will.

So the day after the dream I searched for the healing

properties of petunias and learned that their essence can be used

to make one’s mind keen and alert, they can lift a sagging spirit,

and help a person find her voice.

Grandmother knows it is time to speak

but for the life of me,

I don’t know what I can say that petunias have not already said.


I’m always making maps

And drawing up diagrams

Of the changes I will make.

If I can see a schematic, I think,

I’ll be able to follow through.

I will make habits that will change me,

Get me into shape.

Try as I might, none of the plans

Look quite right, or have the best words

To address my situation.

So I take two steps forward and one step back.

And before I get discouraged

I remember that I’m not marching but dancing,

And that, as a matter fact, these steps

That are the same steps I’ve taken a million times before

Have never brought me to exactly the same place.

Paper People

These paper people gather,

And in subdued hushes, ask

If I am willing to suspend reality,

If I can take a chance,

If I can soften my gaze and see peripherally,

What I might miss if I look straight at

All their paper layers and wrinkled, painted hats.

Music Being Unmade

Long ago and far away

When a tree was my friend

And the wind my playmate

I followed frivolity hither and yon

And never once wondered how long I’d be young.

Over the rivers and cities and moors,

Up the down staircase,

Across bare wooden floors,

I carried my babies and sang them to soothe,

I counted red apples, made rhymes, Stories too.

But none were as fine as the ones that weren’t mine

But belonged to the sea, the skies and to time.

Now I am silent as I sit in the shade, at one with  the music being unmade

If It’s Not About Love

Caution: This essay is about suicide. Please have support for yourself and your loved ones as the subject matter may be upsetting

If it is not about love, it is not worth talking about.

None of it. Not depression, not suicide, not child abuse, not family turmoil, not poverty, not hardship, not foster families or group homes or hospitals—unless it generates love, it is not worth talking about.

Starting with my mother, the one who hurt me the most. The one who loved me the most. The one who is trying to do her best in this life; She is the one who introduced me to the idea of suicide.

Basically, she taught me, by her actions, that suicide was a good option for emotional pain. She was always weeping and saying she was “too tired” to go on. She was going to kill herself. She mentioned walking into oncoming traffic or overdosing—those were her two choices. As far as I know she never actually attempted suicide. She just talked about it. A lot.

I guess I was next in line. My first suicide attempt happened when I was 12.

 I wrote about suicide in my poetry and romanticized it a little. I thought it would be the perfect way to end the chaos and turmoil happening all around me. It was almost a reflex to overdose on pills. It seemed to be the thing I was cut out for.

The last suicide attempt happened when I was in my 30’s.

As you may imagine, there were many close calls between ages 12 and 30. It still brings up anger to think about it.

I am 61 now.

It feels like so much of my life was wasted in trying to end it prematurely.

By my actions, I modeled suicide as an alternative to pain for my children; they have had to suffer because of my suicide attempts—and their own.

God dammit! It makes me furious to know that I planted the horrible seed idea of suicide in their innocent minds. Gut wrenching regret! All the demons in hell wail in angst, “It has to be over! It has to be over now.”

Please. Please go away. Please don’t go. Please know that I am in pain because you are in pain. Please let me comfort you. Please comfort me.

All those years! Years and years of chaos and turmoil. Years and years and years. Hospitals, foster homes, treatment facilities.

Always picking up the pieces, gathering the family back together after being so widely scattered. Gathering my babies back to me.

 Please forgive me. I didn’t mean that I didn’t love you when I tried to kill myself. I did it because I loved you. I thought I had to do it, to kill myself, to save you.

Sometimes there is a sound that one hears when they come back from the dead. It is a high-pitched whine with silence all around it. Then all the noises of normal life come rushing back, louder than ever.

There are holes in my soul where I’ve attempted to tear out the pain. I didn’t know a better way.

It kills me to think of my children’s torn souls. I try to make repairs. I try to mend them so carefully, but I am clumsy and I’m not sure how to do it.

Love is the only thread and tender kindness the only sutures. I sew them into the fabric of what is left of our family.

Someone said, “Write an essay about suicide. Say something that will help someone, somewhere.”

You don’t know what you ask!

Over the years I have formed cellophane-like coverings for all those wounds, and I’ve smoothed over the wounds my children have sustained, and all this talk of suicide shows me how flimsy cellophane can be.

Purify me, purify me! I chant mantras and pray for mercy.

My heart reaches to embrace my children who have grown and gone away. One is longer on the earth, two won’t speak to me, and one is living his life heroically, helping people wherever he goes, and still he is tortured with his own thoughts of suicide.

My mother is still alive. She is 78. She doesn’t talk of suicide anymore and doesn’t seem to realize the impact her suicidal ideation had on us children, and on her children’s children.

I chant mantras and pray the way one would wash a dirty dish.; I try to remove the scum from the bowl that holds all these memories.

Don’t scrub away the print on the dishes. Leave the flowers and gold rim. But wash it- wash it- wash it till all the madness is gone.

Wash away the memory of lying in a heap on the floor and waking up in ICU. Wash away the dark circles under the kid’s eyes. Wash away their fear and betrayal.

How the hell does a child get up and go to school the day after her mother attempts suicide? How does she have a meal, or play in the sun, or take a bath and go to bed? How does he grow up? How does he put one foot in front of the other?

My mother is old and in poor health. I help her as much as I can. I mop floors and go shopping, cook food, and wash clothes.

I blamed her for everything that went wrong, but now I see her as a whole person. She was a baby, then a girl, then a young woman, then a mother, a grandmother, and now she is a widow; she is old and mostly alone. I don’t blame her for the past, but I can’t forget it all either. I still get disproportionately angry at her from time to time. She still has the power to make me feel like an idiot, like a bad child, like the reason she was always talking about killing herself.

But I see the way she loves me too. She loves me and my siblings and she did the best she could. She did a lot of good. She taught us to be creative and innovative and to give strangers the benefit of a doubt. She takes in stray cats, and she keeps the yard looking like a park.

She still has a sense of humor. We laugh together. We still enjoy learning new words and reading dictionaries.

When I was growing up, she had bright yellow, orange and lime green wallpaper—flowers and stripes all over the house. Now she paints her walls white and can never get her house clean enough.

She works and works, every day. She does not enjoy her work, but she keeps at it, doggedly trying to get things clean and tidy. The house never looks clean.

There is a residue of stuff that can’t be washed away, a sense of dissatisfaction.

I am convinced that love is the only cure, the only solution.

I love her. I love her, I love her, I love her. I take all her suicide attempts into my heart, and I hold her and say, “It’s ok. It’s going to be ok.”

I take all my own suicide attempts into my heart and say, “There-there., there, there.”

I hold my children in my heart and tell them, “It’s ok, now. Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry.”

I say, “Live. Please live. One more day. Give me one more chance to tell you how much you mean to me.”

Love is the only thing that matters.

For Annesley

This is actually part of a story I told before, but it has evolved, so I’m telling it anew.

I remember a day in 1976 when I went with my housemates to Sandia Peak
Outside of Albuquerque.
I had an apple that tasted like cotton candy, and I had sipped water
From a natural spring that was almost as sweet.
I was leaning against a giant boulder, basking in the New Mexico sun.
Someone snapped a photo.
It was such a powerful shot that it crystallized the age.
Suddenly and forever sixteen would mean sun, water and sweet apple.
Now it seems that sixty is the new sixteen.
The things that satisfy me the most
are opportunities to relieve suffering,
even when that means I have to look darkness in the face and not look away,
especially when it’s my own face I see.
To share the delight of discovery with a child, and become young again through play,
to watch her face light up at the sight of a tall stand of wild grass that has gone to seed,
to marvel at the feathery tops swaying in a brisk summer breeze,
these are the things that satisfy me.
Unlike a captured, snapshot of bliss,
where goodness was locked into a place and time, sixty is open ended.
My whole life stretches out before me,
radiant beams of possibility
in rich shades of light and dark as far as my eyes can see.


The eaves wait and listen, wondering if I’ll have nice things to say about the patio

Or not.

Birds have already gone about their business.

They’re flying from the gutters on the roof to the trees.

The cat thought he was stuck up there

And I told him to get down the same way he got up there but he didn’t listen.

He finally figured out another way, though, And managed to jump from the top of the porch To the highest step below. He’s already moved on to another adventure, another tree with branches that lead to the air.

The patio is packed with caked mud, dead leaves, a jug of gasoline for the mower, pieces of a pallet that will feed the fire next winter, and so many salvaged nails and screws, Boxes of shingles, bags of lawn food and the last two boxes of the stuff we gathered From Nick’s apartment when he died.

Its hard to know what to do with it.

Its mostly clip boards and trapper keepers, But some of them still hold his artwork.

Of course I’ll keep the art

Even though it breaks my heart to look at it.

My dog must know exactly what I’m thinking And she decides enough is enough.

She fusses till I acquiesce

And take her back inside.

15 Minute Physician

An elderly woman goes to see her geriatric physician. She has multiple medical issues for which she is being treated and is on many medications, some of which make her throw up in the morning, but she can’t figure out on her own which medications are making her ill.

Her doctor, after giving her the news that he doesn’t know how to help her, abruptly opens the door to leave stating that she has already taken up too much of his time. She is left alone in the room with no plan for forward action other than “See another specialist.”

This woman worked hard until she retired at 62. She lives on a fixed income. Medicare barely covers the costs of her regular doctor visits and even less of the cost to see a specialist.

Almost all medical conditions are relegated to specialists today. Hardly any health concern is considered general care. She cannot afford to see another specialist.

To make matters worse, the physicians do not communicate well with one another, so the elderly woman’s care is fragmented and difficult for her to integrate into a cohesive plan.

Insurance won’t cover alternative medical health care. So the woman is left confused and worse off than she was before seeing a doctor.

This is health care in America. Land of the free, the brave and those left to suffer their old age poorly cared for by professionals too busy to offer the real medicine: hope.

Can we change this?

The Umbrella Tree

One of my best friends, when I was growing up, was an Umbrella tree. It’s leaves were large and spread into a green canopy on the top of a trunk that was like a giant lap. I could sit in it for hours and let my imagination go wild. But mostly I watched and listened. I watched the play of light on the leaves and branches, I watched the little ants that crawled in determined lines up and down the trunk. I listened to the rustle and whisper of the wind weaving in and out and through. I used to sing there too. It was my favorite thing to do.

I have a very personal and heart-felt connection to trees. I had my first spiritual awakening, as it is called, in that Umbrella tree; it was where I first became keenly aware that there was a benevolent force, bigger than everything that for some crazy reason, loved me. I knew it as surly as my next breath. I didn’t have words for the experience until years later when I wrote about it.

Listen, God is singing through the Elms, first as thunder, then as wind, then as trembling leaves and limb.

(I know I meantioned Elms instead of Umbrella tree in the poem; most of the trees around my house were Elm, and I felt connected to them all.)

The tree of life, as a symbol, appears in cultures all over the world. They are vital to our survival. Without trees we would not breathe clean air. Trees revitaize us and refresh our spirit.

The more we learn about trees the more they reveal how intricately they are all connected to each other and to the whole environment, including us.

They serve as a reminder that as people we are connected to one another and that each person is essential to the vitality of the whole. They remind us that we need strong, well nourished roots and that we need to stretch beyond ourselves to reach our highest potential. And they remind us that we are part of one glorious song that is being played out through the lives of every single one of us.

We listen, stretch, learn, grow and our own health is of benefit to those around us. And like trees, we support one another when one of us needs extra care. (It has been discovered that healthy trees will send vital nutrients through a fungal system to a tree that is injured or sick.)

Trees are a celebration of the life force coursing through them. We can be that too.

Strawberry Soup

I must stop listening exclusively to Mourning Doves.

All they do in May is chant about Strawberry Soup.

And they are louder than the other birds.

Or their song is so engaging all I can do is listen from the first note to the last, over and over.

As pleasant as strawberry soup must be, why would they all sing about it day in, day out, from every tree?

“Straw-berry-soup. Straw-berry-soup.”

Facing the Unknown

For Lewis

Hondo is a place in New Mexico where apples grow in crisp mountain air and yellow and gold Aspen coruscate in the clean, bright light of early Fall.

At the end of summer we would all pile into grandpa’s Chevy Nova and head to a cabin in Hondo. It had a tin roof that made music when it rained.

I rode in the back, on the floor with my head tucked down because I was worried that there would be nothing but air on the other side when we travelled to the top of a hill. In the pit of my stomach I just knew that we would all plunge to our deaths from the pinnacled summit.

Eventually I found the courage to stand up and peer over grandpa’s shoulder as he drove. (I was little enough to do that and car seats had not been invented.)

Over one hill after another, the road always rose up to meet us and the car never dropped off the edge of the world.

I’m trying to muster that same courage to look ahead when I face the unknown to this day.

There is no guarantee that I won’t fall, but experience has proved over and over that what is on the other side can be sweeter than I ever imagined.

It’s ok if I have to hunker down until I’m brave enough to look, but I’ve always been rewarded when I do.

Hungry Ghosts

I am the hungriest of all ghosts.

My appetite is like a raging beast.

Ferocity and weakness live in the same mouth

yelling for help,

cursing when it doesn’t come.

Nothing fills me up. Nothing

sustains me.

Only moaning and the sound of a dry wind

bring me in

to this place of reckoning. This

Battle ground

where hungry ghosts fight shadows and whispers

is familiar.

I have been

here before. I was as lonely then

as I am now.

I consume and consume and nothing satisfies.

There is blood in my teeth and on my hands

and no one understands the urgency with which I seek satiety.

Greedy, hungry ghost.

What hurts the most is the

is the heart that lies between

the large belly and slender throat.

The Stone You Said You’d Protect Me From.

You have cast a dark veil over my dreams and dashed my hopes against the stone you said you would protect me from.

But I trust You in spite of all that time has brought to light.

I trust You beyond the raw fright of growing old.

See how the wind picks up the dust and rushes like a dervish

to places I’ll never know?

You point and promise that You have so much more to show me,

and I believe You.

I trust You when you say stay calm, that it will be light soon enough, that the desert will bloom and everything will be born anew,

My prayers have become smoke curling around candlelight,

A delicate grasp on ephemeral hope.

If A Tree Could Take Your Pulse

If a tree could take your pulse, what would she whisper to the ground?

Would her words be soft and shallow, or would she tell a convoluted story attributing most of your characteristics to your ancestors and the loam where you put out your tenderest roots?

What would she conclude by listening to the murmer of your leaves and branches?

How would she react as you let the first leaf of August, fall?

Awkward, Not Awful

What would it take to be comfortable in an awkward relationship?”

I’d have to be able to adapt.

I’d have to stay centered.

I’d need to validate my existence independent of what others think of me.

That means I’d have to trust my ability to interpret cues from the environment as well as the prompting of the Still Small Voice.

I need to speak up for myself without trying to push my values onto another person.

That means, of course, that I’d have to know what my core values are.

I’d need to go deep into the part of myself that simply hums I am.


Turmoil surrounds you like a mote around a castle.

I can’t get close.

Permission to speak freely?

I don’t think so.

Not on the shaky bridge between us.

I lose my footing.

And I’ve lost my voice.

What did you lose?

What devastating loss caused you to dig a mote in the first place and then fill it up with tears?

You Are Like the Sun

You are like the sun and I am a sleeper;

Your light pours into my life

no matter what I am dreaming, and

day after day, in such a reliable way,

you dispel the darkness.

Your light doesn’t say, “Look at me!”

But makes it possible for me to see

what’s all around me:

beauty and decay are not opposite forces

or something to either be sought after or shielded from;

but like the sun who makes all things visible

you show me what it is like to be awake.

Two Snakes, Two Dogs

Getting onto the floor to lie on my belly is difficult after ten years of anger towards yoga and a knee replacement.

Now it s time to roll out the mat again.

A yoga teacher once said that what we gain in yoga we never lose. She said we may have to pull the benefits out of the closet and brush them off if we stop using them, but they never go away, not the core value of each pose anyway.

So I want to develop a routine, because that is what I miss the most about yoga.

Getting up early every morning to stand in Mountain Pose and begin.

Satichananda said that it is better to read one book on yoga and really understand it than it is to read volumes and not absorb the message. I think the same goes for poses.

I am motivated by my muscle memory of how good it feels to stretch.

I am approaching practice with a totally different attitude than I had before.

Instead of feeling like I have to fight for or earn the light, I am just eager to know it’s there.

I only need to appreciate the divinity that is already shining, right in the middle of all the muck.

My self is dissolving.

What if I could trust that love will lead me to do whatever I need to do.

The Beginning

There are 108 beads on one string, a handmade mala that I use for prayer and meditation. It is not made in the traditional way with the big bead and tassel to mark the beginning and end; it is just a string of jasper beads. The only way I can tell if I am at the beginning or end is to feel the rough spot where the string is tied together. No matter how I try to cut and tie the ends together there is always a little rough spot.

When I start to chant, I start at the rough spot and when I get around to it again I know it’s time to stop. In between I can explore the mantra, get to know it, get lost in it or find myself at a new understanding of some aspect of my life.

Today I was aware of the rough spot and realized that very often when I am at a rough spot in my life I am either beginning or ending something. Somehow, just knowing that makes it seem less dramatic.

When I begin my meditation I know I am beginning and I know how difficult it can be to make myself sit still; the rough spot on the mala helps me shake off distractions and focus. The next time I feel the familiar roughness it is a welcomed event; it means I am finished for now and I can assimilate what has just transpired.

I wonder if I can look at the flow of living in the same way. I wonder if when I experience hardship I can ask myself what is it that is beginning or what has come to an end.

When I pick up my mala I feel a reverence for the meditation that follows and when I put it down I know that I will eventually come back to it, again and again and that every time I pray and meditate I am changed in subtle but significant ways.

Connect Me

I went offline for a few weeks,

I moved to a place where the trees talk to one another throughout the day and into the night. Sometimes they speak with so much heart that is scares me a little; there is a palpable level of quiet in this neighborhood that feels like something I enter into to as I would walk into another world with a different set of rules for how to behave. The quiet welcomes me and it has become something that I respect, something that protects and nurtures me. I wouldn’t dare disturb the peace, not if I can help it.

I missed being online and connecting with the friends I’ve made all over the world. I don’t want to give that up. I don’t want to give up the search engines that enable me to explore both micro and macro worlds of infinitely curious phenomenon.

But I pray that I spend time every single day listening to the trees and I hope they’ll know how much I love them.

I hope that when I communicate with friends, they will hear the quiet that I hear and fall in love.


I was trying to wash a mountain of dishes that had been accumulating for God knows how long. It became obvious that I’d have to unclog the drain first.

I started pulling out massive amounts of garbage. Rotted food, towels, grocery bags, old Levi’s. I realized I’d have to go deep to get it all cleaned out before I could fill a sink with clean, soapy water so I kept digging. I soon realized I’d have to go into the drain to get to the end of the garbage, so in I went.

Once inside, I saw that it led to a huge warehouse with high ceilings and heavy equipment. There were workers there too.

There were valuable items mixed in with the garbage and I made a note to self to retrieve them on my way out. Most impressive was the pale green depression glass bowls and plates.

I thought I could take what I wanted but soon realized the stuff belonged to the workers who were collecting items to sell so I left everything there.

When I tried to back out of the drain back into the kitchen it was too slippery and dangerous. I realized I’d have to find a way out through the warehouse.

I wandered through giant rooms searching for a way out. I found an opening but it was flooded with sea water and too deep to cross. Also, it was miles and miles from the house.

One of the workers was irrate because his paycheck was only half of what was owed to him. I told his wife I’d go get a twenty to make up the difference. Apparently he was owed 41 dollars and was short by twenty.

I couldn’t find my way out of the warehouse.

In one room there were two men making giant wooden chairs. I wanted one of the rocking chairs and made a mental note to come back and order one for myself.

There were many other aspects of the dream but to tell them would require too much of a back story so I’ll keep it simple for the sake of clarity.

The drain seems to be a pun about what is draining me of energy. It was stuffed full of old food and the rest of the stuff mentioned above.

The warehouse was, I believe a play on the word aware-house.

In other words I had to go into a state of deep awareness to clean out the garbage preventing me from having a clear, clean place to wash all the dishes that were piled up all over the house.

It was clear, in the dream, that the dishes were mom’s responsibility but since she wasn’t going to do them I had decided to take on the task.

At one point I realized I was never going to find a safe way out except to go back through the drain. I also realized it was a dream and kept ordering myself to wake up. But I didn’t wake up. Instead I would just end up in another warehouse room.

Obviously I did finally wake up. Now I have this dream puzzle of how to get back through the source of drain on my energy system so I can get back to my room to get the 20 dollars I promised the wife of the short changed worker.

I think the fact that he was owed 41 dollars is significant. 40 is the number of maturity and 1 above and beyond seems to indicate the required work in one area of my life was completed.

I am currently working to clear the channels in my body and mind of old fears and I’m convinced that is represented by the dream drain. It is also clear that the garbage in the drain was put there by the woman in charge of the family kitchen.

I’m awake now. I’m ready to clear out the garbage with Reiki and prayer.

Forgiveness, more than forcing the woman to clean up her mess, is called for. It’s the only way to accomplish such a huge task.

This Longing

This deep longing for God, for miracles, is as natural as longing for spring after a cold winter.

It is as natural as longing for a bountiful harvest after a summer of growing, and as welcomed as winter after the work of harvest.

So now, when I hunger and thirst for spiritual sustenance I don’t worry that my appetite for heavenly things is unnatural.

But I am happy, knowing I will have everything I’m hungry for.

I can be, as David sang, as content as a hushed child in its mother’s lap. “Like a weaned child in its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.”

A Master

When a student begins to master Reiki she or he crosses a threshold whereby the process of sharing reiki becomes authentic and specific to the student.

She begins to have courage to translate the ancient practices into a process as original as her fingerprint. He begins to trust the flow of divine love because he no longer seeks to posses the good stuff except to share it.

The more true he or she is to their unique design, the more open they become.

They exude a childlike sense of awe because every moment is the very beginning of something miraculous; NOW is a living thing and now is the best time for original quirks that heal like only he or she can heal.

A Reiki master may come from a lineage of master teachers but it is a line of absolute original first editions, not reproductions of one masterpiece.

Holding a Space

I just completed a Reiki session for you and I followed it by holding a space for you in my heart.

It wasn’t a cosmic space with spirit lights and whirling vortices as often happens.

It was, instead, an afternoon sometime in your past or future–doesn’t matter when because in this space it is always now.

You are calm, filled with joy for the simple pleasures of golden sunlight, the sound of the fountain gurgling and birds singing, the prayer flags and ribbons dancing in step with flowing, unseen yet undeniable grace.

You sip water infused with cucumber and mint.

You are content.

Divine Intervention

I was at a breaking point. I was suicidal. But something gracious intervened.

I want to protect the identity of the other parties so I will be careful to say only the truths as they pertain to the miraculous events of the past week.

I was, to say the least, under a mountain of stress. I was in an abusive relationship.

I had decided to be like a ninja and block the blows of the other party. I paraphrased St Patrick’s prayer by asking the holy spirit to go before be to be at my back, beside me, all around, above and below me—to be my thoughts, words and actions–in fact I named all the steps of the Noble Eight-fold Path and gave full charge of myself to the holy spirit.

Then one day when I was dodging the arrows of the enemy I realized that it was ABUSIVE to attack someone the way I was being attacked. It was not that it was just mean and rude, it was literally verbal and emotional abuse with threats of physical violence thrown in for added torture.

Somehow, finally, I was able to step beside myself and feel a little empathy for the part of myself that was taking the abuse. I decided that it was not okay.

I kept turning it over by chanting my prayer and as “luck” would have it a fully furnished apartment fell into my lap. I must add here that I am also doing a world wide sadhana practice with Spirit Voyage, so the prayers and chants of all those others were working in my favor as I hope my prayers are working in their lives as well.

All I had to do was say yes. (Well, there was more work than that but it all flowed with such ease it may as well have been handed to me by angels.) I have never felt more secure. All my life I searched for security and never found it until I completely gave myself over to the care of my higher power. That is not to say I stopped using my brain and creativity and all my resources to accomplish the tasks I was faced with, but the way it all played out was so much above and beyond what I could have orchestrated on my own that I am delighted to think it was divine intervention.

Which brings me to a statement I found in A Course in Miracles.

“Anxiety has been replaced with celebration. Now [I am] carefree knowing I am cared for.”

Tell Me A Story

Please! Please tell me a story,

One I can believe, one I can believe in.

There is truth inside of me waiting to be told

And the only way to tell it is to say it bold.

I’ll tell you a dream instead because dreams don’t pull any punches.

Dreamed I was Jesus for a day;

There was a play and we were asked if we wanted to be the enemy or the saviour.

I picked the saviour, of course.

But it was cold on the battle field and I wanted to crawl under the covers.

There was a sick boy there, though, and he needed to be comforted

And since I was role-playing Jesus I sat beside him and pulled the covers up to his chin.

I smoothed them over his shivering body

it was easy

To put the child’s needs before my own.

Not easy to bear the sound of a broken rooster.

My heart broke because outside the boy’s window, a rooster was tied with a rope around one leg so he couldn’t wander.

He had lost the will to crow and made sounds like a whimpering puppy.

It was heart wrenching when I, who was role-playing Jesus, realized all I could do was pray.

Fear of Getting Fat

For years I’ve lived in terror of being fat.

For the past 40 years I was tied up in knots of fear, resolutions to not eat, resolutions to exercise more, I wanted to be thin more than anything in the world.

For 35 of those years I starved by any means necessary. I smoked, I took diet pills and laxatives and diuretics and used speed in high school. I didn’t use drugs to get high, I used them to stop my appetite.

The only time I gave myself permission to eat was when I was pregnant. Somehow food was a non issue when I was really feeding another human being.

Being skinny was the code for happiness. I believed all my problems would vanish if I were skinny. I still feel that way, but there is beginning to be a shift towards something other than fear.

At first, when the shift started, I was angry. When I was 35 I got really angry at myself for all those years of starving. I was angry at my body for needing food. I was upset about being weak.

I started to eat compulsively. I was ok during meals, but after meals I started sneaking food, hiding what I ate from other people. And I felt compelled to eat fast, to cram large amounts of food in my mouth quickly so that no one would see me eating.

As I started to gain weight I became despondent. I felt defeated. Food won. It was more powerful than me.

I’ve had different kinds of therapy and I told each therapist that my main problem was with food. (Remember, I still believed that being skinny would solve every problem.)

All the different therapies helped in their own way. But I didn’t really find relief until tonight.

I’ve been “tapping” to deal with all sorts of complaints and tonight I noticed I was feeling anxious like I usually do when evening comes. So I went inside, as they say, to find out why I felt so much tension. I discovered right away that it was FEAR that was causing the problem, specifically the fear of being fat.

I rated it a 7 on a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being the most fear I’ve ever experienced. I started tapping as I talked about the fear of being fat. When the roots of the fear or the very beginnings of the problem came, they came in flashes or mental images of events that left their marks throughout my life.

I tapped until I felt a shift. Something inside shifted and I suddenly realized I don’t have to be afraid anymore.

Even if people judge me because I’m fat or thin, and people DO judge, I don’t have to live by anyone else’s guidelines. Not the guidelines of my ancestors, or the media, advertisements, music and films, even if all those people judge me, this is my body and I decide what to eat or not eat. It’s up to me.

When that realization happened I felt the imaginary belt around my middle get looser. I breathed deeply, a long yoga breath.

When I rated my level of fear after the exhale I was at a 4.

I can live with 4 for now. In the near future I would hope to ease the fears even more and I will do more tapping to facilitate that.

I know a lot of people suffer from eating disorders. I’m sharing my story as away to extend my compassion for the others who suffer from the Fear of Being Fat. I offer you compassion and comaraderie.

I’m finding relief through mind/body integration and cooperation. I find tapping and mindfulness meditation, kundalini yoga and music as a visceral experience to be useful tools; we all have our own set of tools.

(Look for information on EFT or therapeutic tapping of the end points of the energy channels in our bodies. Also search for the Tapping Solution, #Nick Ortner, Heart Centered Therapy. #John Diepold, # Why Do I Eat When I’m Not Hungry, #Roger Callahan and many other sources.)

I still have work to do, but with tapping and other mind/body practices, I know I can do it.

I am free. You can be too.

The House is Tilted

I don’t know if it started out this way or not, but this house is crooked.

The chest of drawers and revolving book shelf slant toward the east.

The tall bookcase in the middle room leans to the north

and the floors in the front room are warped at unpredictable angles.

It’s like the house has arthritis.

I’ve always loved it’s quirkiness

Coming undone seems to be part of the nature of living. Structures, some of them miraculous, come together and then loosen up more and more with time.

Now, at 60, when I see my reflection I don’t recognize the woman who looks back.

I catch her looking at me,

One fractled aspect to another.

To Disappear

I am not the person I dreamed I could be because she was a mirage. 

I’m becoming nobody, the real me. 

It’s a relief to be free of the constant striving to be 

More proficient, more productive, 

 pure and more pristine in matters of the heart. 

It is good to let go and know that the world will continue to turn 

If I stop. 

Now that I know who I am not I am curious about who’s left.


One after another. 


For the ordinary.

I take ownership of my thoughts.

Those that are soft

Like leaves on the stream.

And those fierce shifts in perspective

That leave me far from complacent.

I am engaged and unattached,

wondering what might happen next.  

Curiosity is my soul’s sole guest. 


I have recurring dreams about being in a house that I’ve just moved into. For years it was always a big house with rooms that were haunted. But it has been changing over the past year or so. I still dream I’m moving into a new house but now it is a house with light and air, big and roomy but not haunted.

Last night I dreamed there was a room with a hot tub. I was unpacking some boxes of stuff that had been left there by a previous owner. There were lots of white clothes that would work for my Kundalini practice. (I know I don’t have to wear all white like many Kundalini practitioners wear, but I have always wanted to.)

I had just unpacked a giant swan vase that would go perfect in the training room, which is what I was calling the room that housed the hot tub. The role that water usually plays in my dreams is that of the Truth. The water always represents truth. If the water is murky or dirty then the truth in my life is not clear. The fact that the hot tub was fully functional in a clean, white, marble basin full of clean hot water is a good sign. To me it says that I am getting to the truth of the matter, a matter that once caused me pain. And the truth will be giving me relief from pain.

There was also a Japanese woman there who was going to teach me the tea ceremony. The ceremony was also going to help me with my relationship with my children. In fact, the Japanese woman and her husband were both there to help me heal the damage caused by years of the trauma they endured because of my long history of severe depression.

I woke up thinking about the value of ritual and ceremony.

I woke up thinking that some of my most heartfelt wishes were going to come true.

To practice Kundalini yoga in a more consistent manner and to show my devotion to the practice by wearing the white clothes would be a big commitment, and to go by my spiritual name 24/7 would take some getting used to, but it is something I see happening in my future, when I’m brave.

Having a good relationship with my children would be the real dream come true and is my real-life goal.

I wonder what I could do today that would be brave and move me closer to my goal.


The day of Pajarita’s liberation came without commotion.

 An ordinary day full of worries and wishes;

an itchy day of discontent but with enough music to make it bearable.

She had been walking forever; she looked at her dusty feet, then her wings.

Her wings were a burden;

 they gave her a false sense of pride. “Such pretty feathers.” 

 She made them fan and she peeked demurely through their silver shadows. 

“Who am I kidding?” She said to herself, disgusted and weary from hope.

 “These things are useless.”

She came to a place where one road became two.

 Both had crooked houses colored pink, turquoise, adobe.

 Both had bright white shirts and patched pants that flapped 

and chattered in the crisp language of clothes on the line.

 A  breeze threw its purple shadows here and there,

sympathetic shade, offering the only comfort it could.

Pajarita marked the road she was on with a little stone 

A peacock screamed and day was separated from night;

evening was as soft as silk. 

We Need The Gift

Precious wounded past,

There is no way to leave you behind any more than a river

can leave it’s bed, because where the water goes, there go its banks.

And why would I leave you

before accepting the gift you offer?

Patient, you wait, sometimes for years

before I recognize what you’ve offered but always, when I have received your gift I see that my existence

has expanded, inwardly so that the bed upon which my life flows is deeper

and goes to places that were not there before I exhaled,

grateful for the awareness you’ve brought me.

Always, the gifts you bear restore my faith tenfold

and I can barely contain my joy as I try to hold the roving water.

To Eat or Not to Eat

My heart is breaking.

I think ahead to an hour from now

When the day is in full swing,

I’m trying not to feel this way, but everything I want to do seems further away from me.

I want to eat less and exercise more because that is what the media says will be my ticket through the door of good health and good karma.

Eat less, exercise more has been my mantra since elementary school. It was easier to accomplish when I snorted “whites” in the bathroom before sitting in class to learn about Mesopotamia.

How could I care about other civilizations when the size of my jeans was the most important thing?

A good day is measured by how little I manage to eat.

I need to stop trying to starve because it only compells me to feed.

I restricted food for years and years till I got angry and in a fit of tears I felt the pendulum swing to the other extreme.

I want to care about something beyond how much or how little I eat but I don’t know how.

No matter how sublime my philosophy, it all boils down to

“to eat or not to eat.”

How can this be?

Solid Ground

Put my feet on solid ground,

Well, as solid as anything

That’s made of vibrating strings

Of energy and emptiness can be.

I’ll walk, assisted by gravity

And hold fast to the flow of constant change.

Under it all or through and through, above and below there is a hum,

Something to rely on.

Stay with that.


The song is the only stable thing.

My Mind is a Rabbit

Running all over the white page.

If only I could be as still and quiet as snow

Maybe then I’d know where and how to begin the Great Work I feel I ought to undertake.

The piles of rubble from one attempt after another hem me in so it seems all I can do is wait for a strong wind to shake things up, to change the landscape.

The castle walls have crumbled. Thank goodness!

See? A dandelion grows up through the cracked bricks and a bee, sipping her morning tea sees me watching and is not disturbed.

She is surely a teacher using metaphor and nectar to drive home the point that too much planning brings a kingdom to its knees.

The dandelion, a weed with many medicinal properties sways by the weight of the bee’s tiny feet.

Wild beauty grew when I let the walls fall down

And it’s turned out to be the most valuable thing.

Temple Of Light

This is a litany very similar to the one in I Claim This Life; in fact it is just a version that is easier to memorize and chant. Also, it felt wrong to say I claim instead of I offer because it is God who heals and does all the work. It seemed awkward not to make that distinction. I wanted to make the distinction that I am offering all to my Higher Power and not simply swelling up my ego.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light, I am.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am well.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am young.*’

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am strong.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light, I am a healer.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am in harmony with nature.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I love.

‘I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I serve.

‘I offer this body as a temple for light and by the power of Light I am joy.

I offer this body as a temple of Light and by the power of Light I work.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I play.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I sing.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I rest..

I offer this body for a temple of Light and by the power of Light I have everything I need.

I offer this body for a temple of Light and by the power of Light I praise the light.’

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am kind.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am humble.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I have compassion.

I offer this body for a temple of Light and by the power of Light I have serenity.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am patient.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I have clarity.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and by the power of Light I am generous.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and because of the Light I have hope.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and because of the Light I radiate peace.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and because of the Light I am confident.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and because of the Light I see Light.

I offer this body as a temple for Light and because of the Light I am holy.

Now repeat the last 27 lines only focus on the mind instead on the body.

Repeat again and focus on the soul instead of the mind.

Repeat again only say, “My life” instead of body, mind or soul.

That will take you to the end of 108 beads on a standard mala


I surrender my entire life, body, mind and soul to the Light with gratitude and peace.


  • What do I mean by saying I am young? This is in reference to Psalm 92 in which God promises we will be young and full of sap even into our old age. It is true, too. I think that 60 (my age) is the new 16. I feel weller and weller every day

Wishing Well

I wish there was a well where we could gather at the beginning of each new day,

to greet one another and consolidate our desire for holiness.

Even if our eyes are sleepy and no matter what we were dreaming minutes before

we could meet with our empty cups and fill ourselves with life;

we could drink deeply and splash our faces,

we could start out fresh

to do our best.

Billy Pilgrim’s Boots

They were handed down from my father’s father

and worn everyday

and slept in for fear of them being stolen in the night.

Actually, there was nothing to hand down except the thought

of a boot.

Crunching gravel and snow in winter and in spring

and tromping through mud in summer,

or slipping over fallen red, orange and yellow leaves in the

month before Halloween.

Walking on, ’round the circut of houses, I thought, “Its not far now,

it’s not far from here.”

I could see the green siding of the house from down the street, but no matter

how close I got, it was still not the right time/space zone

to call it home. The house was always under construction.

So I must trust in the wind,

the unpredictible wind.

Reiki III

It has not been easy for me to adjust after the attunement. I can tell that old fears are being dislodged and moved out of my system so the discomfort I feel is worth going through to clear the way. But it has been rough!

When thoughts are the problem and they are rolling around like fog in my thoughtscape it is a scary place. I feel like I’m losing my mind, and it’s true; I am losing my mind.

I’m putting on the new mind, but not till the old is gone.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was still covered in wrappings from the burial. The people who witnessed the resurrection had to help Lazarus out of the burial wrap.

I’ve needed people I can trust to help me out of my burial clothes. I panick if I can’t get them off fast enough.


It’s the crysalis that I find painful.

There’s no room for words.

Too focused on becoming to see what is

About to emerge.

What if I told you that here in the dark

We are not so far apart,

We who use our shoulders and spines to push against what confines

Our dreams.

As safe as it is inside the crysalis,

To stay is to die.

Struggle makes me strong

Enough to break free.

Let it be.

The Cold Makes Me Lonely

I have to interrupt the chickens by making my own sound: fingers tapping out my inner state on a small keyboard.

The chickens make a lot of sense as they carry on converstations and follow social rules,

it seems.

I watch them from the kitchen window as they share with some doves but not with others.


Better than vision is to listen to them speak to one another on the patio where they gathered

to get out of the rain.

Tonight they will all sit close together in their little house on the upper level: the loft.

The door will be closed against intruders

and they will sit as close to one another as they can.

Listen To Me!

I want to scream it in the streets:

Listen to me!

I don’t even know exactly what I want to say,

But this yearning to be heard is rumbling

around like thunder and I’m learning

that I have a right to be alive

simply because I am.

I want to sing.

Listen to me! Please.

It’s a good song that will make you



and when you find out what that is you will want to sing too.



I want to whisper

purple and rose phrases

and take you through the stages of waking up.

It is good to voice the life inside me

because it is love and love needs somewhere to go.

Listen to me.

It will make you



Who Am I To Argue With A Bird?

Raven flies through periwinkle skies,

Beck’ning me to see tomorrow through her eyes.

So I take a peek as she soars

through an open door on the horizon.

And there I am ! Stronger than I’ve ever been

dancing with an indigo lion.

He’s all aglow in his golden halo,

and who am I to argue with a bird?

Now I know some say fancy is for fools

and I ought not waste a sober moment.

But there I am! Stronger than I’ve ever been

dancing with an indigo lion.

As he glides by my side he say, “Don’t be shy.”

And we dance till the new sun is shining,

yes we dance till the new sun shines.

Oh I take a peek as raven soars

through an open door on the horizon.

She beckons me to see tomorrow through her eyes,

and who am i to argue with a bird?

Always A Tornado

There was always a tornado in the top left side of my brain. Only my brain was encased in glass, not like in a museum show case. No, not like that. It was more like there was a group of people in those seats that are enclosed in a glass box at a football stadium.

And they were all there, watching the sky instead of the playing field because there was a tornado twisting toward the part of the glass window that would have been my left frontal lobes, if, you know, my brain was not organic material, but the box seats at a violent sporting event.

The tornado dreams leave me feeling drained; exhausted but wide awake at 3:00 am.

In the dream, it was the worry that wore us out.

All the people in the box seats were ragged with worry because the tornado never hit the glass. It was in a locked formation of imminent doom.

No one can live like that for long without becoming tornadic.

What is the solution to such chronic stress?

Waking up.

How does one know when they have awakened?

What do you think?

There Was A Little Girl

There was a little girl

Who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she good

She was very very good

But when she was bad…

That would have been me, then,


When she was bad she was horrid.

That was what mom called “my poem.”

I suppose it’s true. When I’m bad, like today, I went to a scary place.

I contemplated suicide.

I envied the dead.

But I talked, sang, wept and tapped my way away from the ledge.

I called for help. I sang curses with a guttural flare when I was alone in the car.

I tapped out my suicidal ideation: tap the hand, the eyebrow point, the temples, under the nose, under the lips, collar bone and 7th rib.

Tap tap tap as the words poured out: even though I feel like slicing my wrist and letting the chaos fall silent, even though I feel like I want to die, I accept myself. Even though I don’t feel like I deserve the air I breathe, I accept the mess I am as I am right now. I accept (tap tap tap) all these feelings and let them go. Tap tap tap.

I was shaking uncontrollably.

The last time I shook like that was when I went into septic shock while waiting to be seen in an emergency room.

But when the shaking stopped I was in a different head space.

I made dinner.

I played my guitar.

I checked Facebook.

Now I’m here.

Tap tap tap.

The Scribble Tree

The Scribble Tree

I’m at a point where I scribble and tangle wires together. Sometimes I paint or string beads, but mostly I scribble.

Scribbling is a state of mind that allows me to idle. I’m awake and aware, prepared to flow like calligraphy, but not yet.

Not yet.

Because the pre-event horizon is a power point.

A place where the boundaries of Now, expand: tomorrow is a flash I see clearly when my eyes shift.

Or when I scribble.

So I scribbled a wire tree on a green and white stone.

And I curled up amongst its roots,

It’s strong and thirsty roots.

Dear Future Self, Welcome To My Body

I have to tell you that I was quite surprised and very pleased that you decided to come and stay with me here and now. I thought I’d have to wait who knows how long to actually get to hang out with you. But here you are! In the flesh. In my flesh, to be exact.

It is very gracious of you to not turn your nose up at our living conditions. As you can see, I am a work in progress. But this is a very busy construction site and wonderful things are in the works.

Yesterday, as “fate” (I don’t know what else to call this underlying symmetry that permeates all things)–as fate would have it, I had a wonderful conversation with a woman in a waiting room at the hospital who confided in me her worries about her son. As it happened, I had had similar experiences with my son, so I was able to be of comfort and offer a little help. We were both brought to tears during the encounter; both of us felt touched by grace to have met and shared our stories.

Little did I know that a yogini friend was sending light and love to me at that very moment. I had asked for her blessings with a kundalini practice we were doing with Spiritual Voyage Global Sadhana. I have no doubt that her blessings played a part in the flow of conversation between the waiting room friend and I because I had stated that I wanted to learn the yoga to be of greater service in my home and community.

The next evidence of the efficacy of this spiritual work is that I had a dream that I am sure was connected on a deep level to work being done in the area of suicide prevention. I can’t explain it in this letter; this letter would turn into a novel.

Future Self, as you know, I want to be an instrument of God’s peace more than anything. And the fact that you are here early, even before I can share your wardrobe, fills me confidence that God is hearing my prayers. I see the work you do and I hope to learn more about it in dreamland. Now that we share the same body, watching our dreams will be like going to the movies! You can show me the future, and I can show the warm and fuzzy nostalgic films.

It is already different with you here. Just this morning, when I attempted the kundalini practice that I was having trouble with, I knew I had help from the spirit realm. I felt the assistance of teachers and friends guiding and encouraging me with each breath.

I was practicing the Thunderbolt of Shiva and had previously been unable to coordinate the breathing with the locks that are to be applied. I just couldn’t do it without becoming breathless and tense.

I also had not been able to sit in easy pose because my bones were too arthritic to fold that way.

But today was different. I saw a way to use my exercise ball as a prop for my crossed legs while I sat on the window seat. So there I was, in an easy easy pose, ready to try the practice again.

I had a vision of a beam of light from Livtar’s eye flash when it met with mine at the beginning of meditation as if to say, Ah! Glad you showed up! There were other’s there. Kelly was one, and gentle Snatam Kaur,

I was guided to breathe normally for a few moments while I silently chanted the mantra, letting myself fall into the rhythm of it.

Then I felt as if I was on a big swing in a beautiful tree. Like a little kid, I was being gently pushed to and fro, one teacher in front and one behind.

When ever I was ready, they instructed, i could apply navel lock at the next inhale and hold it while silently chanting the mantra. Then,I was told, I was to let go and breathe normally, to just keep up with the mantra while swinging in the tree swing.

“Then whenever ready,” they instructed, “apply root lock on an exhale and hold the breath out as long as it didn’t cause any panic or strain. And, as before, breathe normal breaths, chant silently and and enjoy being in the swing until ready to try another lock-breath.”

i went for 11 minutes with no strain.

i didn’t want to stop at 11 minutes, so i started the music again and this time only focused on the visualization aspects of the kriya, seeing light around my hands and thunderbolts moving through the top of my head through out my body, especially into my hands.

At the end of that session i used the time and space to send reiki to those who are in need of it, including myself, but especially those who are feeling like there is no option left to them except suicide.

It was a fruitful practice. It was a good day, and now you, future self, are here, in the flesh, as well! What a boon.

The sun has just gone down on our first day together. Let’s make tea and a gratitude gift. I am thinking of a wire tree necklace–or a few necklaces.

The dog is curled up, cozy beside me and the cat will wander in here soon.

Tell me, now that you have come to stay in my body, do I have a place in the future with you as well?

Can you tell me a story about what it’s like there? Can you start with the trees? What kind of trees are holding the wind chimes? (I know there will be wind chimes and gongs.)

Dear Future Self, May I Borrow Those Jeans?

I don’t want no fancy pants; I’m not looking for flash and dazzle.

Well, okay, maybe a teeny bit of dazzle.

I see you in a pair of good hiking boots. You are standing on a large rock outside your home. Of course, you have a staff that your uncle Raymond gave you, and it’s got all its crystals firmly attached.

But it’s the jeans you are wearing that I want to borrow. I just love those things!

They are the perfect shade of blue and those pockets are so easy to get to. You never have to fumble to find them.

Those jeans are not too tight and not baggy. I want to wear them because you bought them when your other jeans were too big. Remember how good it felt when you’d lost all that weight and were in such good shape that your old pants kept falling down? Hahaha! So you went out and bought new jeans.

You bought new hiking boots too. Your feet were healed completely. The podiatrist was flabergasted. He had done the x-rays himself, both the before and the after. The before x-rays looked like an earthquake had shifted the bones in your feet and the after shots showed normal, healthy bone structure. He could not explain it and would not have believed it if he hadn’t treated you himself.

When you used to talk to him about yoga and Reiki, he thought you were a little flaky. Okay, he thought you were quite flaky, but he liked you because you had such a positive attitude.

Now when he sees you he just shakes his head and looks deeply puzzled.

Your other doctors had the same reaction when you went back to see them after taking your health into your own hands.

What was it that convinced you that you were not getting well by their treatments? Their medicines, which only treated individual symptoms, actually caused more complicated problems because they ignored the real cause of the dis-ease.

But you started listening carefully to the wisdom of body; you finally recognized body as ally and not enemy. You cared for her. You made sure she had good rest, good sleep, good work and good fun. You learned to fine tune her senses and seeing, hearing and all the rest became a highly developed art. The whole world sprang to life and every multidimensional moment was magnificent in its own right.

You learned that body is an excellent transmitter of beautiful, helpful energy. You became a source of healing for your family and friends.

Even your relationships, especially the difficult ones, got better. Old conflicts were resolved and ancestral wounds were healed.

Another thing I like about those jeans is that you don’t have to change clothes to sit down to meditate. You can just plop into position anytime you like. Man, I like that kind of freedom of movement!

So let’s do some of that freaky shaman stuff you learned how to do where you bend time like a rainbow ; you know, where you make a great bridge from hither to yon. Let’s meet in body and start the molecular process of positive change.

What’s that? It’s already happening?


I’ll be thinking about the color shirt I want to wear with those jeans.

Bubble Universe

It seemed so solid

Till I gained the perspective

That I’m living on the Outer Edge of a bubble,

Looking in.

Ah! Look! There you are. And there is Auntie Em.

Tender heartache, too, for my ex-husband, Tim.

There go the living and the dead,

all the enemies and all the friends

some who are still fighting and others who

smile and say, “You win.”


Adi Shakti

“The body occasionally goes through what is called a healing crisis. This often occurs just when an individual is working to consciously reshape his/her health.” –Ted Andrews, The Healer’s Manual

I can’t deny that all is exactly as it should be.

I have been doing a lot of Reiki for people near and far over the past two months. That means I have been doing a lot of Reiki for myself as well.

I started meditating (doing Reiki) with crystals on a cedar staff as a way to focus my attention on the chakras of the person I am treating. It seems to amp up the effect. Some of the people I treated said that when I place the staff near them, they feel a palpable increase in the Reiki.

Then it happened. I had a healing crisis.

I didn’t recognize it at first. I just thought my world was crashing.

But tonight I see evidence of grace.

I had painted an entire page of nothing but red when the crisis first hit. I wasn’t thinking about what it meant, I was just feeling it.


I thought I was just intensely angry and hurt.

But today I started cutting the painting into pieces to make a mandala which I intended to use as a shield against all the bad vibes flying around, and I also wanted to make a little red house for my vision board; I wanted to remind the Universe that I needed to move out of where I live now, the sooner the better.

Well, the house idea didn’t work so the red pieces of painting were just lying on my desk in a heap. The mandala wasn’t working out very well either.

I’d been chanting Adi Shakti all day after downloading it from Bandcamp. I’d just received a random email notifying me of a new recording by one of my favorite singers, Brenda McMorrow.

Now, if you backtrack to a poem I wrote earlier today you will see that the healing crisis I was having had to do with my mother.

So chanting to the divine feminine was a good prescription for what ailed me.

Here is the part where it all started to come together.

I picked up a piece of the red painting and was going to paint one of the Reiki symbols on it. I stopped, though, and looked again at the fragment. There was an image there. It was completely random. {Yes I am using the R word again because it matters.} There was an image of a woman’s face appearing in the different tones of red.

So I outlined it with whatever drawing thing I could find in a hurry.

Intrigued, I kept looking at the image I’d traced.

I was still chanting Adi Shakti, but I needed to look up the meaning again because I had forgotten what some of the words meant.

The more I read, the more certain I was that this whole mother crisis and the red painting and the fluke occurrence of getting one of my favorite chants in my email were not so random after all.

I wanted healing. Deep healing. And there I was, having to work through the core issues of my dis-ease: my own birth, my very existence as it has played out in the messy and emotional maelstrom of my relationship with my mother.

There were angels and midwives all around to help me through; I relied on texting friends, phone calls and all sorts of art projects to keep me from losing my heart. I even made an ocean drum and played it till my hands tingled. And I have to mention the exquisite music of Lisa Gerrard, who gave voice to the evolving parts of my being that I could not release on my own.

And then, there she was. The face of the divine feminine, a silver outline on a stormy red background. It was a calling card from God that said, “I got your back. All is well. All is as it should be. Well done.”.”

I feel like the crisis is over now. Meditating on the divine mother helped me work through some of the most painful issues I have with my own mother.

Love won.

Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo

(I bow to the creative power of the Kundalini, the Divine Mother Power)” –3ho.org

(I bow to the Primal Power)

Sarb Shakti, Sarb Shakti, Sarb Shakti, Namo Namo

(I bow to the all encompassing Power and Energy)

Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Namo Namo

(I bow to that which God creates)

Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo


!!:26 pm.

I wonder if too much kundalini will cause me to have a nervous breakdown.

This is what I worry about at midnight, when I should be asleep.

Maybe I don’t need to worry about an impending breakdown; the current madness is sufficient.

It’s just that sometimes the energy work—the Reiki–makes me feel so Energized!

I am looking for balance. I need to bring the lights down from time to time–I need to find shade.

I used to find shade, or respite, in a fairly routine spiritual practice. It didn’t matter if I did my practice in the middle of the living room or in a secluded place, the practice itself was a refuge. It wasn’t just something I did, but a place that I went. And going there changed me.

But these days, I find it difficult to stick to anything like a regular practice. I jump all over the place, from mantra to mantra and this to that.

I might freak out about the seeming chaos, but I know better.

I’ve seen this happen before.

It seems like my life is out of control in one area or another, but when the dust settles, there is a whole new facet of humanity to explore, with new eyes and a stronger heart. It’s like dawn after acid.

I am doing a lot of Reiki these days, and kundalini yoga, which is wonderful. I am learning and learning everyday and acting on what I learn to serve in any way I can to bring comfort and healing. But Along with the cozy-rosy warm and fuzzy feelings comes confrontations with my ego.

(Dramatic pause.)

I am learning how petty I can be, how much confusion I can cause, and how easily I can pick up bad habits and destructive behaviors.

And I am learning how to walk away from those wake up calls with my eyes wide open, willing to learn a better way. Only sometimes I linger, because I am like Saint Augustine who wanted to become a saint…but not yet.

Sometimes I like salt.


After the meetings, after Facebook and checking email, and after messaging people and making phone calls, it is quiet.

I have to face the quiet.

But I can’t do it alone, so I am with you.

And who are you, anyway?

I get so lost in my own head. I forget that your reality is not my own. You have a completely different world to wake up to, full of different values and different emergent beliefs.

Emergent is defined as something that is coming into being or becoming prominent. or in nature, emergent is a tree or plant that is taller than the other vegetation.

An emergent belief is one that stands out in the basic structure of a person’s days and may even become more prominent or less so with changing times.

My emergent beliefs are that the world is a good place and and I am glad to be of it.

But when I am disconnected from you, I am not entirely me.

I mean, “I am, I said.” and all that self realization stuff; I existentially am AND am more than that, too.

But I seem to be the kind of human that needs other beings to be entirely who I am, even when I am by myself, and I am not entirely sure I’m okay with that.

Barbara Streisand seemed to think people like me were lucky.

All my life I thought I wanted God more than anything in the world, and I still feel that way. But lately I see God in every one I see and all I want to do is give myself away as an offering to that divine light.

I am shaking as I write this.

To be so honest is risky and transformational.

It is the end of the day.

There is no where else to go, no one to talk to, nothing more to do but be



440 Down Slide

“I had to tune my guitar to something that resonated with my bones.” Said, the elder of three sisters.

I tuned it with an app on my phone, first, so it was in 440 Hz, standard tuning. Then I tuned down until it resonated in my bones. Each string had to have that effect. I don’t know if it matches any scale known to anyone else but me, but it sounds and feels wonderful to me. I’ve been playing it all afternoon. It feels like my heart and soul are singing through the guitar.

Some kind of new song is trying to be born. I have been in labor for two days now. The contractions are getting stronger but there is no real sign of a substantial song, other than this new tuning.”

The sister with the sunbeam hair said, “If you sit back and relax, it will come to you in it’s own time. So many times we fret for nothing; if we just let it be, things work out just fine.”

The sister called Guruji, half for fun in a teasing way and half out of deep respect that would have embarrassed her if the other two sisters had not joked about it, laughed and the room filled with diffuse cobalt electricity.

This was the first gathering of the three sisters since the early days; it had been so long since they had gathered, in fact, that it was not a memory they shared, but a common twinge of homesickness for a home they couldn’t quite bring into focus–something long ago and far away, like a fairy tale with a bit of heartache.

The sisters sat facing one another and pooled their energy.

The galaxies were spun in this manner, and the three sisters fell easily into the rhythm of spinning.

Fall came, and winter, and all the seasons in their turn.

“I just can’t tell what this song will be.” the laboring sister moaned.

“The contractions are stronger.” Said the sister with sunbeams for hair.

“Hum.” Said the one they called Guruji. “I can almost hear the new song. Almost.”

Trout jumped in rainbow river. Fox walked on tiny fox feet five feet over to the neighbhoring den for five o’clock tea with her fox friend, and a wolf swallowed thunder on the ridge.

“Yes.” She said. “I can almost hear it.”


The child’s dress is handmade from cotton material that was pink 75 years ago. Its tiny buttons go through tiny, handstitched buttonholes all the way from the bottom to the little scalloped collar.

A pair of black, high top baby-shoes hang by their  laces around the neck of the dress on the hanger. There is 75 year old mud on the bottoms.

How absolutely precious it is to me, a grandmother, to think of my own mother when she wore that baby’s dress and those black shoes.

If I could, I would go back and tell her what a good girl she is. I would pick her up and show her a mirror so she could look deeply and squint in the right direction in order to seee the princess in the looking glass.

I would hold her and tell her I’m sorry for breaking her heart as I have done so many times over the years.

And I would ask her to share a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with me on the front porch of a house that doesn’t exist anymore.

We would sit there, together, and forget the time of day.

Dear Future Self

I woke up almost as close to tears as I was when I went to bed last night.

It is the season of rejection.

What can I learn from all this?

Like a ball of mercury, every rejection bonds to the times I have been rejected before.

It seems like one giant ball of mercury

And I am pushing it up a hill.

No one can push a ball of mercury up a hill. Better to tilt

the hill.

Lion’s Paw Kriya.

I have had an unexpected shift in my view of yoga practice, an easing up of my almost militant approach to doing any given kriya.

At day two of the Lion’s Paw Kriya that I started with my Spirit Voyage Global Sadhana group, I had so much resistance to getting started each day that i rolled up my yoga mat and have been using it as a back rest in my bed.

The first day, I was right there. But by day two I was already finding excuses not to start. And this time I know my reluctance is not laziness. The resistance is a natural reaction to the changing energy in my energy system. This Kundalini yoga is powerful yoga and it is already doing its work. I was resisting, not because I’m lazy or bad, but because the yoga is that good.

I could feel the difference in my energy field as soon as I’d completed one practice. I couldn’t even get through the entire time set for the kryia, but I did my honest best. And what I am saying is that even that small amount of kundalini yoga made a difference in my body/mind and spirit–and in my life circumstances as a result of the shift.

It has been very healing, but it has not been fun to go through the massive cleansing process created by this practice. I feel very grateful for the help and support received over the past few weeks, and grateful to recognize detox when I see it.

Day 15 or day 1—it seems like the same day. I am stronger and more grounded than I think I have ever been because I didn’t give up when I couldn’t be perfect—whatever that means. When I could not bring myself to the mat or think about doing a formal practice I could at least chant a single Ong Namo.

So I did what I could. I chanted whatever mantra would come out of my heart, from that field of Kuru where the yoga actually takes place.

Day One caused my life to be stirred up. So my practice was to try to keep a calm center while I put the pieces of my world back together in a way that would be more conducive to the life I truly want to live.

Meanwhile, I chanted the Ang Sang mantra as much as I could even though I could not do the full kriya. The mantra was like a fulcrum and as long as I kept in the eye of it and trusted that this commotion was just a cosmic detox, I was okay,

My poetic translation of Ang Sang Wahe Guru is this: every cell of my being resonates with divine light–the light from the beginning of all created things and how glorious is the light that leads me from darkness to the source of life,

It is a powerful chant when sung with all your heart, or even listened to if your heart is too broken to sing.

Today I am able to chant; maybe I will be able to do the arm motions and breathe fire along with the rest of the group later on.

All I’m saying is that when I begin a 40 day practice with an intention for good, I am going to ease up on myself and appreciate the work being done on or off the formal yoga format of the kriya and count the days of good, honest intent to practice as part of the process.

I will do my very best to keep up, but it may take time between attempts to digest and incorporate all the energetic changes happening as a result of the bits I can do,

I could make a game of it and call it :Where is the Yoga Working in My Life Today? I could point out (to myself) that it is working on this attitude or that, or this physical or financial problem.

It is a little like watching an inner network buzzing with life, watching the lessons repair one broken connection after.

It is impossible to verbalize, yet I have been talking about it for quite a while.

It boils down to this: If you are like me, you will benefit in the multitudinous levels of the life you are living. The yoga you do will make a signal and the universe (for dire lack of an adequate word) will respond as only a living thing responds.

It is not like putting coins in a jukebox; yoga and its benefits are a living and breathing thing, to be experienced and limited by nothing.

Stone Lions

I was being evicted, unjustly. A tyrant had burst into my home and found a litter box and said I had to leave because I had a cat.

He was screaming; the veins in his head were bulging and angry.

Another man came and sat on the floor beside me. He said he could help me buy a home so I would not have to rent. It sounded too good to be true.

He had to run out to his car because his baby was crying. He brought the baby in and put her beside me by the window. She was in a car seat. I was disturbed when I uncovered her and saw that she was a mechanical baby and not real because this man obviously thought his baby was real.

I was forced out of the house by the army and went across the street to an abandoned house where my friends were waiting to offer support. The cats found their was there too.

But I know the police would come for me and the did. I was wearing a long, red velvet robe with black trim. I was naked underneath.

I told my friends to save the two stone lions that were in the window guarding me. I told them I still wanted to keep the Lions even if I had to surrender to the authoroties.

There were two other main themes of betrayal, but I won’t go into them here.

It Is So Easy To Be At Ease

I am light.

At my core, I am light.

I am energy. At my core I am free.

Every cell of my body is made of this light

and every morning, I remember my true nature.

Every cell of my body remembers truth

and vibrates accordingly, washing away falsity with waves

and waves of light.

When illness or fatigue surfaces, I can easily and objectively

recognize it, treat myself with lovingkindness and tune into the

light that I am at my core.

I don’t have to control this light; I trust it.

I know who I am. I am love.

Love is the energy that propels me onward.

Love is the energy that holds me close and protects me.

I am light. Light is love is action. I know who I am.

I know just what I need to do at each moment of the day or night.

I draw on the light and energy that is alive and well at my core; I invite the light and love that I am at my core to flow through every aspect of my life here and now.

I trust the intelligence that scatters the stars and stacks the grains of sand in the sea to take care of my needs. I can let go of all anxiety and float on a sea of light, carried by waves of love in an ocean that says, :I am…I am…I am. and all is well.

I am, I am, I am, and all is well.

I am, I am, I am, and all is well.

I am a conduit of light. I can be of service just as I am. I am good for the planet and good for my community. I am light. I remember who I am and act accordingly.

It is so easy to be me. It is so easy to be.

 ” tayatha om bekandze bekandze maha bekandze radza samudgate soha.”

— The Medicine Buddha Chant

(Poetic translation: It’s like this: Freedom from all suffering in mind, body and spirit, great and small suffering gone, like a kingdom of abundant joy, this is the medicine of enlightenment; this is the medicine on your lips and in your throat as you chant. All beings benefit.)

For Hailie

I’m feeling morose,

but for the most part, I know

it will go away tomorrow–

this feeling that time is flying by

and I am only dazzeled by the sky

when it is full of clouds.

Because when the sky is clear

I too clearly see what lies in front, to the sides or behind me.

But when the clouds are up to whatever they care to be

I feel, when I look, like it’s only Infinity and me.

No one can hurt or chide or scorn someone who’s got her eyes turned up

and out. The sky makes one feel as if all that is out there, is actually in.

But have you ever tried to hold a cloud in your arms and sing lullabies

to the fleeting wind that floats them away before you can tuck a Mare’s Tail blanket under their chin?

A cloud, no matter how brightly it reflects the sun

can never hold your hand, or sing a song that you once taught her, to one of her own.

In 1984, a star fell from that very sky, and brought to me, a daughter.

The tune, by, Earth, Wind and Fire, Shining Star, got me through labor.

I still sing those words, though it is dark without her for company.

“Shining star for all to see what this life can truly be.”

You are a shining star and the sky is not empty.

Cloudy or clear night or day, when I look at the sky,

not only do I remember from whence you came,

but I remember holding you, tender and near,

before any of my stupid mistakes

made my daughter, my sunshine, only seem to disappear.

i know you are there. Somewhere. Shining for someone,

for all to see,

what this life can be.

Bitter With Age

This is a peek into the world of an elderly woman in our community; a plea for help with the problem of depression and uselessness that our elders face in a society that values youth and novelty over time tested wisdom.

It was dark in the room when I awoke and I mistook the mirror for a man’s heavy coat.

But that’s not as bad, (or as funny) as when I woke up hungry and took a nice, big bite out of a page of my coloring book.

Or how ’bout when I fell asleep at the computer and thought my mouse was a coffee cup. Ha ha!

Some of the things are comical, it’s true. But you wouldn’t like it happening to you.

It’s not just the fact that I do mixed up things but my whole life is mixed up.

I can’t stand my daughter, miss goodie two shoes and my other daughter is far away, and besides that she’s changed. I used to call her my angel and I could count on her for anything but now she seems angry and when she talks to me it stings.

My boys have all died, my mother and father and one brother, too.

I don’t know why I’m still here.

It hurts when I walk or move my arms, I choke when I eat and I can’t breathe.

Every day is a struggle; I hate that I’m losing the strength I once had.

My mother and I built most of this house with our own two hands with wood we salvaged from some old barn.

When I moved in here it was bare and hot and now this property looks like a park.

Honeysuckle, Apricots, Mulberry tree, Date trees, Cotton Wood and a gigantic Evergreen. We’ve got Catalpa and Elms, Bird of Paradise, Iris, Spanish broom and Mexican and Pampas Grasses, Morning Glories, Marigolds, Amarillis, and Blue Salva that just sprung up one summer on its own, I don’t know how it got there. Hollyhocks cover the north side of the house and the back of the property is lined with Bamboo.

It just doesn’t seem fair that all this work, and all this beauty is just going to go back to nothing but dirt.

I’m discouraged today. I’m a little depressed. I feel bitter and I can’t get out from under a sense of impending doom, of uncomfortable unrest and meanglessness.

I think it would be best for all concerned if I could die today.

But wait, my little kitten wants to play.

I found her in the bushes a few weeks ago. She was starving and her eyes were covered in gunk; poor, pitiful baby.

I took her in and got her cleaned up and fed and with the help of my neighbors, we got the medicine for her eyes and stuffy head.

She is so soft and snuggly and really smart too.

I guess I’ll have a cup of coffee and see what my Facebook world is up to.

I don’t mean to be glum.

I want to be cheerful.

I’m not growing old with graceful charm.

I’m fighting tooth and nail but

We all know Time has already won.

So what do I do?

I sip my coffee while it’s hot and enjoy the morning while it’s still and quiet.

I vow I’ll not start another riot with my daughter or with anyone else for that matter.

I’ll put one foot in front of the other and pray that there is more to life than growing old and bitter.

Evidence of Efficacy

I was still alive and kicking when my pulmonologist used the phrase Evidence of Efficacy. He assumed there was ample evidence for the efficacy of his treatments since asthma wasn’t killing me.

I just liked the phrase and I repeated it to myself to commit it to memory. I told him I’d write about it someday and today is that day.

Evidence of Efficacy sounds like the title of an opera– some epic love story in which a thin, easily broken thread of hope carries us all the way through harrowing perils to a place where we are likely to give birth to the strongest, most loving generation on earth. Our triumphant survival is all the evidence we need to prove that the plan to save our butts wasn’t carried out in vain.

Why, then, don’t we feel like it is time to celebrate? What are we waiting for?

When I was growing up, there were people in my life who would throw a party for any excuse at all.

Someone made a new quilt top? Let’s have a party and quilt it together.

The girls want to play dress up? Let’s have a make up party and dress up in lace hats, gloves, and high heels that are too big for us.

There were more Tupperware, Avon or Stanley parties back then. No one had money. None of our families were rich. But we always managed to have enough to celebrate because parties were important.

I miss the little pencils we used to play games with (and used later to fill out order slips.)

I think that having a doctor say there is evidence of efficacy for the life saving measures he suggested is reason enough for me to celebrate.

What factors can you find in your life to suggest Evidence of Efficacy? What works better now than it did before?

What would the invitations say if if you decided to invite people over to celebrate with you?

If you could throw an impromptu party what would it be about? What would you do? What is stopping you?

What evidence of Efficacy for the good in your like today can you list?

I’ll get you started:

You are reading this, so you are alive and breathing.

Can you add to the list?

Not Pride, But Hope

I am not proud to be an American right now.

I’m ashamed of our president, of our politics in general, of our national consummeristic identity that says if I want it and I can’t buy it then I’ll take it by force.

I’m not without hope, though.

Our history, as a country is about more than its wars and corruption of leadership responsibilities.

For instance, I’m proud of my great grand father, Ed Archer, who staked a claim on land outside of kenna, NM. He didn’t kill anyone to get it. He was just a man who wanted to find a way to live day by day. He lived with wife and children in a humble dugout until an above ground house could be built. He was the kind of man who would re-light the kerosene lantern for his daughter because she said, “Daddy, I can’t see to close my eyes.”

I’m tired of being identified by our leaders whom I, as an individual, seem to have very little control over.

How can those of us who are just trying to live each day in a way that is kind and meaningful, reclaim our stake in this country?

From where I stand, I need to acknowledge that it wasn’t me or my family who took this land away from those who had first rights to it. I had no control over what happened in our country’s infancy. I don’t like it. I don’t like the idea that someone can force a whole people out of their place just because greed and entitlement so dictate. But I can’t change the past.

I can’t change where my great- grandparents raised their family, where my grandparents lived, or where my mother lived when I was born.

So much of a person’s daily life and world views depend on circumstances far beyond an individual’s control.

I’m trying to find a way to say to my international friends that I was born in America, but that does not tell you who I am, what makes me feel proud or what makes me cringe from shame.

I am the great grand daughter of a man who raised sheep and goats on a homestead in New Mexico.

I am the kind of mother who would turn the light back on so my child could see to shut her eyes.

I am the kind of neighbor who makes a cake for the selfless and hardworking woman who lives next door because she did our yard work, without being asked, when we couldn’t do it.

I’m the kind of American who struggles with health and money and relationships just like everyone in every other country I know.

How can I reclaim my own identity and shake off this national shame? How can I show the rest of the world that I extend my heart and my hand even if my country won’t?

I am not proud to be linked with an image of the America our current politely system portrays, or that of a new country that forced it’s way onto land that didn’t belong to them. But I am not without hope that after a diet of crow, I will be able to stand up, extend my hand and say to anyone from anywhere, “Please, come in and let me get you a cup of tea while we put our heads together and work to solve the problems common to every single one of us, no matter where we happen to be born.”


Joy Brown is a genius and is the smarter and prettier of the inseparable pair that we were in college.

She and I grew up our soulfulness together. We were nourished with thought food like The Bat Poet, by Randal Jarrell, Finnegan’s Wake and everything Joycey. We were dazzled by Arcularus and James Dickey made us cry while we waited for Godot in the parking lot after classes.

She has begun to channel a colorful portion of her genius into making quilts.

This is after raising baby birds that had to be nursed back to life, making so many beautiful, sturdy baskets and bassinet by hand that she had to dye them because her own blood stained the weave.

She goes with her husband, Michael on trips to disaster areas to feed, clothe, house and comfort people after hurricanes and tornadoes. And this only accounts for one day of the week. Lol.

Anyway, she gave me permission to show case her art a la textile.

Here are a couple of quilts to start. Please keep checking back as I will add more when I get my photos together.

This is a pic from 8/26/19
This one has a fancy three dimensional dog effect
New quilt top came in the mail. I’ll spread it out in a minute

I Don’t Like Him

I don’t know when I started to feel this way, but I really don’t like my shaman right now. He farts and scratches himself and he won’t change his Levi’s if he thinks he can get one more day out of them. He is not a holy man. He is just a man.

I guess every relationship boils down to this: disillusionment.

The woman isn’t captivating anymore; the man is suddenly weak and ineffectual.

It is proving to be the same with shamans, only it has happened much faster than usual.

I still want to meet with him; This might just be temporary disenchantment. I suspect a hidden lesson.

Some of the saints talked about going through dry spells during which their prayers felt phony and they got zero consolation for their spiritual efforts. They said the best thing to do in dry periods was to do the practices anyway because soon the good energy would come back and they would have a deeper understanding of God and the universe. But it is hard to muster up a real prayer when you are not feeling it.

It’s hard to stay with someone when we start to recognize that our dream lover, friend, or beloved project, doesn’t thrill us anymore.

Shaman is inviting me to go deeper into the dissatisfaction. My body resists. I feel sleepy and tired. He tells me to go deeper into the discomfort, to simply observe it.” He says, Remember who you are.” But he is not as intense as I am so it’s not taxing. He says it plain and simple like he’s waiting for something.

(I feel Shaman’s eyes on me now. He is smiling because I am getting his message.)

There is a connection that goes beyond liking or not liking a person. we can get to a point where we are flowing with a natural current of energy. I am trying to develop that kind of awareness

Alcoholics Anonymous has a slogan that encourages members to use respect even if we don’t like what someone says. The spirit in the room is allowed to flow freely because our focus is on “principles before personality.”

Shaman is teaching me to appreciate what I have here and now. The comfortable and uncomfortable are blessings and I am learning to accept them both as grist for the mill.

The mourning dove cries out: :Straw-ber-ry soup! Straw-ber-ry soup.


Communicating with my shaman is not the same as listening to God. There is a difference between the still small voice and Shaman.

Shaman is a living, flesh and blood man who lives in North America. He is alive and well. He teaches all over the place.

I wanted to be his student but figured I’d have to wait a million years to have the means to travel.

Then, out of the blue I heard him speak. He was in the Quiet World so his voice was inaudible. He said, “Why wait?”

I didn’t believe him right away. I have a lot of the proverbial voices in my head that dowse creative ideas, hopes and dreams as soon as they spark.

“What if you are just a figment of my imagination?” I asked.

“Ha! Imagination is necessary in this kind of work. It’s like the gas in your car. The car takes you places, and that is like the actions you will take from these teachings. But the thing that makes the car go is imagination.

You gotta use your imagination for this; you think I’m gonna do all the work?”

My Secret Shaman

I am told that I am supposed to share this experience. I am at the beginning, so you haven’t missed a lot so far.

I guess I’ve always been able to walk between worlds; there is hardly a veil at all.

When I was sick as a little girl, I’d see the “white faces” looking in on me at night from outside my window. I wasn’t scared of them, but it usually meant I was really sick.

Later on, when I was an old woman and had knee surgery, someone gave me a card with a picture of spirit deer and I recognized the faces I had seen as a little girl. They looked a lot like the deer in this painting only there where at lease 40 of them.

Spirit Of The White Deer.  White Deer, Symbol of prophecy, Messenger of change, Telling us to follow our path of growth, With an open heart and pure spirit, And it will lead us in a direction, Beyond our wildest dreams.
Spirit of the White Deer Carol Cranbury

They looked more like people sometimes, but deer people, if that makes sense.

There were other things that happened that were evidence of the different worlds. I don’t know how else to talk about it. It is all the same world, but there are different realities. Some things happen here, in the Noisy world. Some things happen in the Quiet World. Some things in the Spirit World and so on. It is really very beautiful and not at all confusing when you move from one to the next. It is all very natural.

Now let me get back to the shaman.

I have always wanted to make people feel better. I never wanted to go the doctor or nurse route, although I thought about massage therapy as a possible calling. But whatever I chose, I wanted to work in healing arts.

Now, in my grandmother years, I don’t want to mess with anything other than the deep healing that comes from working directly with spirit and energy.

I have started sharing Reiki with people and I love that. But I am drawn to learn more, and not only to learn, but to be.

Old ladies dream about a lot of things, but becoming a shaman was not an ordinary daydream or wish. It was a calling. I could hear voices (not in the auditory manner of hearing) that told me I could be a shaman. Me! Plain old me.

I am too old to go traipsing off into the mountains or jungles in search of a shaman de jour. I figured if God wanted me to do this work, I’d come across someone who could teach me.

It happened.

Now we meet in the Quiet World for a little while in the mornings. Sometimes he pops in on me when I have a question throughout the day.

He is funny and he can sing!

You’ll learn more about him as we go.

I’ll just tell you what we talk about and what happens from now on, OK?

Rocks From Raymond

Raymond is my uncle. He is a rock hound and he spoils me with beautiful gifts of crystals and all sorts of unusual stones.

I am going to try to catalog some of them—I can’t get all of them.

My photos don’t do them justice, but it’s a way to jog our memories and save the times we have together peering through the light that shines through stones.

Dog Mountain, for Raymond the Rockman, painted by Janice Bisset and Janna harvey
My sister, Citrine
More stones were waiting for me when I got home from Dallas.
Looks like I need to tuck and tighten the tiny wire that holds the hear. This is mahogany Obsidian and there is an amethyst crystal in the heart. Obsidian is good for redirecting negative energy in a person’s energy field. Produces a calming, grounding effect.

Nick’s Ashes

I think I know where to let you rest:

In the care of the mother of lullaby:

my old Umbrella tree

that was chopped down, but came back

As a different tree.

You know, I discovered God there when I was eight;

I’d sit in the emerald sanctuary for hours and sing Amazing Grace,

watching the teeny ants walk in their predetermined paths

up and down the living branches while I sang and dreamed

of nothing in the future or past

but in the present moment, where time seemed to expand and contract,

expand and contract, like a mother, breathing with a child in her lap.

What if, when I spread your ashes there

I don’t say a word,

but let the wind and time and the sky pass by

and come back as night and day.

What if I could never articulate how much I love you,

and how I miss you, and how I give you back to the mystery

that brought us together in the first place.

Trust that all is as it should be

With the Catalpa tree, and you and me.

Love Loves Love

I might have given food to a demon.
This woman had no warmth. She sucked warmth from the air around her and it went into nothing where it became nothing.
At least that is how I perceived it.
Me judging her makes me the evil one.
She came looking for food.
I was out back, next to the alley where I have a sound garden.
I was hanging new chimes next to the ones already hanging.
She and a man walked by and asked if I had and groceries to give them.
I told her I’d go see and my heart was full of joy. I was happy to give.
When I handed the bag to her I looked directly into her eyes; I wanted to communicate love so she would know she mattered.
But when I looked, no one was looking back.
I’ve never experienced anything as chilling as her gaze.
She left after thanking me and I went back to my sound garden.
A few minutes later, a big dog from their yard came to my fence by himself, peed on the fence and then turned and went back to his yard.
A huge grasshopper that I’ve been unhappy to see eating my garden slammed into the ladder and stared at me.
I took a deep breath and texted a friend who was not happy about getting such an intense text.
I took another deep breath and prayed the Our Father.
Then I just relaxed.
I knew in my heart that my intentions were good. Nothing else mattered.
I wouldn’t give my judging mind or fearful, crazy thoughts any more time.
I prayed the morning Office of Hours after that and felt restored.
Caving in to fear would have fed the demon. Giving food to stranger passing by, a stranger who is no doubt ill or on drugs or both, is practicing love, no matter how you size it up.
Love loves love.
That is all I need to know.