Friday, December 05, 2008

Grade School, Larry and Me

A few days ago Al asked me a simple, direct question about these pictures and it was all I could do to muster an answer without crying. She asked me why I posted these two particular photos of me and my brother since I never seem to put anything on this blog without an equally particular reason whether or not I choose to write about it. The brevity of my answer has been heavily on my mind. It's relatively easy to give voice to an aspect of this, or any relationship, but what's been on my mind is a persistent feeling of estrangement.

We were together most of our childhood which would seem obvious to anyone who's family has never been separated by divorce and craziness. (I didn't meet my older brother until I was about 9; he was someone I knew about and even named my goldfish after, but not someone who was part of my family.) It was always Larry and me no matter what was going on around us. We were buds.

It's not that we were inseparable but we definitely had some good times together. Dang! We'd get the giggles like no one else I've ever had the pleasure of giggling with. I always felt his little-ness and I was fiercely protective of him. The year these pictures were taken I punched a kid twice our size who'd been bullying Larry. Can you imagine what that kid looked like after I walloped him? I'm sure scrappy little me left quite a mark!

Even though we grew to be very different people I've always felt that we were close, until recently. I haven't really seen much of him or my older brother in the last few years although distance doesn't have to mean estrangement. The last time I saw Larry, which was briefly this summer, he spouted all this mumbo at me about my supposed feelings towards him, how I judge him to be a bad person, a bad father and that my living in Minnesota is an abandonment of him. Nothing I said to the contrary seemed to make any difference.

Mostly I think he was trying to tell me that he misses me and he wishes we would talk more and doesn't really know how I feel about him. What hurt me was what he said about my living in Minnesota as I'd decided years ago that if the distance between Minnesota (or anywhere) and Chicagoland equated the abandonment of my family then I would need to redefine what it meant to live my own authentic life. If I'd made peace with my decision why should his words have hurt me?

After thinking about this for a few days I realize that some part of me does feel that I've left him.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


By Leonard Cohen

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music now, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
But love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It''s not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We Must Call A Meeting

by Joy Harjo

I am fragile, a piece of pottery smoked from fire
made of dung,
the design drawn from nightmares. I am an arrow, painted
with lightning
to seek the way to the name of the enemy,
but the arrow has now created
its own language
It is a language of lizards and storms, and we have
begun to hold conversations
long into the night.
I forget to eat.
I don't work. My children are hungry and the animals who live
in the back yard are starving.
I begin to draw maps of stars.
The spirits of old and new ancestors perch on my shoulders.
I make prayers of clear stone
of feathers from birds
who live closest to the gods.
The voice of the stone is born
of a meeting of yellow birds
who circle the ashes of smoldering volcano.
The feathers sweep the prayers up
and away.
I, too, try to fly but get caught in the crossfire of signals
and my spirit drops back down to earth.
I am lost; I am looking for you
who can help me walk this thin line between the breathing
and the dead.
You are the curled serpent in the pottery of nightmares.
You are the dreaming animal who paces back and forth in my head.
We must call a meeting.
Give me back my language and build a house
inside it.
A house of madness.
A house for the dead who are not dead.
And the spiral of the sky above it.
And the sun
and the moon.
And the stars to guide us called promise.

Monday, November 24, 2008

journal: who i am, how to let go of (someone else's) fear, which dreams i believe are "worthy," inhibitions. action.

This post is from Owl's Daughter, a blog that I frequently visit.

One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.

-- Henry Miller

What a perfect card for one of the busiest travel weeks of the year!

The Eights of the Tarot are about abilities, self-directed action, and moving ahead. And of course, Wands are about fire, action, growth, and energy. Here we have a powerful image of eight Wands, flying like arrows, all in alignment and balance. The Wands are approaching the Earth, so the Fire is finding its goal.

As people travel this week for the Thanksgiving holidays, this seems a most auspicious card, particularly those who may be flying to their destinations. And besides literal travel, if you've been experiencing other blocks, particularly in communications or creative projects, the Eight of Wands indicates a sudden opening that can clear away the hindrances that may have been frustrating you.

Arthur Waite describes this card as the Arrows of Love, so this is a fortunate card for beginning or deepening a love affair, with proposals offered and accepted. And as this card is associated with Mercury in Sagittarius, perhaps you are in the midst of a situation that requires (or is the result of) rapid information being distributed.

If there is a goal you are aiming for, you are fast approaching its completion. But it would not be surprising if you are also finding yourself a little too busy right now. Simplifying and streamlining will do wonders for your energy. This is not the time to be distracted, but to put all your energy towards your most important priorities. Serendipity and synchronicity are working in your favor, so pay attention to coincidences and luck.

The Eight of Wands points out that life may be speeding up, but if you can stay focused, there is much that this can offer you. Just remember to be clear about your intention and what the goal you desire really is.

Take aim, and throw all your energy into the process, for these are the arrows of good fortune and success is in the air.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Randomness via The Flaming Rose

The writer of one of the blogs I visit, The Flaming Rose, was recently tagged to write 6 random things about himself and invited anyone else who'd like to play to join in.
Here's some random info about the Conn.

*Image found at Jaunted

1: I love public transportation.
I first fell in love with graffiti riding the train through Chicago. I think this was the start of my life in art. Some of the most significant experiences I've ever had have been on city buses and trains.

2: I love to rearrange furniture.
The first time I ever moved a sofa I was 7.

3: I'm a voyeur. I love stuff like this: Normal Room.

4: I'm Learning to Love You More.

5: In college, along with friends Amy and Mark, I hosted a radio show called
Pebble, The Spoken Word Show.
We read Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland, assorted poetry and played music ranging from classical to industrial.

6: I absolutely love winter.
I was born at 4 o'clock in the morning during one of Chicago's awesome snowstorms. My mom's car wouldn't start so she called the police who took her to the hospital in a paddy wagon.
Sometimes I wear flip flops in the snow.

*Image by Senor Codo

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Music Section: Patty Griffin

*Image from Notorious Meg

Blue Sky
The farther I come the farther I fall
Whatever I knew it was nothing at all
Nothing at all, just making me small
Smaller and smaller
I fall back

Sooner or later with a view from the ground
Chasing the race and the races run you down
Sooner or later with a view from the ground
And a tear in your eye
You say baby why cant we fly
Into the blue sky
Into the blue sky

Be my singing lesson
Be my song
When I tell you I'm falling
You tell me I'm strong
You say trees have grown tall
birds have flown high
Higher and higher
Goodbye goodbye goodbye
I'll fly over a rainbow
I'll be sun kissed
Sail around the planet Venus
And send a long letter
Way back home
That says all that I know
All that I know is the blue sky
High in the blue sky

The farther I come the farther I fall
Whatever I knew it was nothing at all
Trees have grown tall, birds have flown high
Higher and higher
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Self Doubt: Corrosiveness

The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you "come to terms with" only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will. -Ingrid Bengis

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Last night I went to bed pissed off and dreamed of dancing...

I've been trying to make peace with an event that recently occurred in my life: I was informed by one of my part time employers that I would be let go due to my intolerably bad attitude towards my job and my coworkers.


I don't know about you, but I have this tendency to share myself with the people around me. Sometimes that means I say things that qualify as an opinion or a feeling or an observation. I take this aspect of human life for granted. I expect it. I assume it to be an inarguable truth of living within a social structure.

I also take certain things for granted at work, such as my right to reform myself if for example during a review I am told by an employer that they would like to see A, B, and C from me.

I'm not an idiot, I don't walk around the workplace calling people names or making personal judgments about Fred and his choices. I don't run with knives. I don't hit people or call them stupid. I don't roll my eyes when my boss says she'd like me to get the cookies out of the oven before 8am. I actually consider my ability to play nice with others as an asset, I even put it on my resume. Barring violent or illegal activities at work I also assume that any other issue can be resolved through clear communication and dialogue.

I thought I was working for someone who believed this too. What gets me the most is not said employers obvious disregard for due process, which royally pisses me off, but her hypocrisy fucking kills me.

If you do not tell me what you need, what you think or how you feel about something that I do or say, how am I supposed to know it, let alone take any action in regards to it? What did I do that has been ongoing and serious enough to merit the end of my employment?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I was bawling like a baby last night.
I can’t even articulate how proud I am.
Just grinning ear to ear like an idiot.
It’s even palpable walking down the streets,
it’s like we can spot each others happiness,
I’ve not experienced so much kindness
from and towards strangers in a long time.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"...reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope."

What an awesome day! I am shamelessly inspired! Let us not go back to fear! Let us maintain this momentum! Do not go back to sleep. The work is only beginning and I say bring it on and let us do it with all the Love we have to give "...especially when we disagree."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Music Section: James as the Beginning


I've been sittin' on top of these rocks
Watchin' the waters rise
Everyone that I have loved has gone floating by
I've been praying for the king of the world
To come and rescue me from a clan that's lost in dream
From a clan that's lost in dream

Are you waiting for the heavens
Are you waiting for the heavens
To decsend
Waiting for the
Waiting for the
Depender, depender, depender
Are you waiting for the heavens
Are you waiting for the heavens
To decsend
Waiting for the
Waiting for the
Depender, depender, depender

I've been looking through microscopes
To see how all life begins
I've been training my lens on the stars
To see where it ends
But its this living in between
That is bringing me down
To a clan that's lost in dream
To a land that's lost in dream
To a clan that's lost in dream

Are you waiting for the heavens
Are you waiting for the heavens
To decsend
Waiting for the
Waiting for the
Depender, depender, depender
Are you waiting for the heavens
Are you waiting for the heavens
To decsend
Waiting for the
Waiting for the
Depender, depender, depender

Blow me away
Was that love you declared
Only a word love can mean anything
Understand the world we're livin in

Oceans apart
What's that view from your way
Beautiful craft
Weather can change
Understand the world were living in
Love can mean anything

God made love to me
Soothed away my gravity
Gave me a pair of angels wing
Clear vision and some magic things

God is love love to me
Thank you for those things
Understand the world were living in
Love can mean anything

Darling I'm open
And darling I'm broken
Now we don't have time
Let you drift away
Like a heavy cloud
With the weight of rain
Understand the world were living in
Love can mean anything

Understand the world were living in
Love can mean anything
Understand the world were living in
Love can mean anything
Understand the world were living in
Love can change anything

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Music Section: Part Two: James

About a week ago I had the chance to go see one of my all time favorite bands at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis (the last time I saw them play was in 1992 at the Vic Theater in Chicago). One of my favorite moments from last week's show was watching Tim Booth stand in the middle of the stage (the stage at the Fine Line is very small) with eight other musicians playing as many instruments all around him; he closed his eyes and stood there smiling and listening. I really dig active listening - it's as much a pleasure to "see" as to experience.

It's always a breathtaking, beautiful sight to see someone clearly doing what they love with all that they are, with all that they have to offer as creative beings. I love these guys. Love, love, love, love them:)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I remember friends and neighbors, there were no strangers anywhere.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Red Balloon

painting by Paul Klee

Prayer for a Tenspeed Heart

-Barbara Hendryson

Let the fire of my body
propel and warm me
and let each darkness
reveal its plenitude.

Let the hills
flatten under my wheels
and let the eloquent curves
yield up their good surprise.

Let my heart be obstinate
when I need to climb
and let my lowliest gears
restrain my spinning down.

Let there be flatland, too,
and into that glittering place
let me stretch with the heart of a lover,
at full speed, blind and intent.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Have Been Asleep

In the front yard of the apartment building where I live is a Mountain Ash Tree. It's a beautiful tree in an awful state of decline that I feel partly resp- onsible for. I know technically it's the landlord's responsibility to take care of this tree but he's too busy/un-invested to care and I've grown attached to it. I love it's shade, it's little orange berries and the variety it adds to the trees on our block.

I've been watching it's decline all year hoping something could be done...

The part that kills me is that by late spring when it became obvious that the tree needed care I sat right in front of it and asked it what I could do, but I didn't believe the answer. I did not trust the voice that said, loud and clear: Water.

I thought I was missing something. How could the answer be so simple? Water? Surely it needed more than that, something complicated like special fertilizer or friendly fungus or more sunlight all of which I know nothing about or cannot actually control. It's really up to the landlord though, why should I even care? After all, it's not my tree. My thoughts would circle back to this stupid argument every time I looked at this tree. A few weeks later I asked the tree again what I could do to help. Again the answer was loud and clear, as if someone stood next to me saying it into my ear: Water.

I decided to leave a message or three for the landlord and water the tree a few times. I tried to let go of a feeling I didn't think I had any right to. How could I feel responsible for something that's not mine? Since it's not mine to worry about, I don't need to take care of it, right?

Where am I going with this? ALL spring and summer I've been watching this tree die feeling helpless to save it, making up all kinds of excuses why it's not my problem. It sucks. It's a crappy feeling watching a living thing die and not trusting my place in the sequence of events. So two days ago I called a tree service for an estimate to remove the dead branches. They told me it's in a "serious state of decline, looks like it's water deficient, trimming the dead branches is not a guarantee to save it."

Why don't listen to myself? Why don't I trust myself? Why does someone else need to tell me it's okay to make a contribution to the neighborhood and to the living Green Bloods that I cherish?

I know many people would say it's just a tree, it's not your problem, blah blah blah... but why on earth would I turn away from an opportunity to practice what I believe? If I can do something, anything that's within my means to do, to improve the quality of life for myself and all fellows within my realm, why the hell wouldn't I?

At what point do I decide to work for the world I desire?

*photo by sbpoet

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thank You For Hearing Me

Thank you for hearing me
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for seeing me

And for not leaving me

Thank you for staying with me
Thank you for not hurting me

You are gentle with me

Thanks for silence with me
Thank you for holding me

And for saying I could be

Thank you for saying baby
Thank you for holding me
Thank you for helping me

Thank you for breaking my heart
Thank you for tearing me apart

Now I've a strong, strong heart
Thank you for breaking my heart

*Lyrics by S. O'Connor/Reynolds

Monday, August 25, 2008

I found this on PostSecret this weekend. I've been thinking about fear lately, namely what it means to me and how it manifests in my ability to Dream of Life... This was such a relief to see; it felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my chest. I offer thanks to the person who voiced this. Thank you for helping me put my finger onto something that badly needed touching.

Friday, August 08, 2008

2 Letters, 2 Friends, 1 lost?

I'm so sorry that I didn't call you back, I actually just remembered that I said I'd call yesterday. I've been in a pretty rough place since I talked with you, I didn't realize then that it was just the beginning of a long stretch. I haven't been working enough, Al and I are still not quite good and I feel pretty much lost in my life. Lots of crying and living in a dirty house without groceries just feeds the fire. This is a strange loop to be in, sadly it's not the first time I've been in this spot... I'm trying to undo some old energy (from what lifetime or childhood..?) and it's painstaking work. I feel very strongly that I must do this work now, I must do it this way and have faith that it will pay off in the long run.

I start a new job next week so things should even out quite a bit - that happens when basic needs are being met:) So I'd really appreciate if we could postpone for a week or so, until I get my sea-legs at the new job. Thank you for understanding and for being kind and thoughtful.


i love you so much.
i'm completely lost in my life; i can't see the beauty inside me let alone the beauty in front of me in your wonderful hazel eyes.
sometimes i'm sitting right next to you missing you, aching for your closeness and it's just because i don't know how to ask for, how to act in, how to embrace and welcome love.
i'm so sorry i've been so mean to you and to myself.
i'm sorry i haven't found a way to tell you what's going on with me.
i'm sorry that it's taken me this long to realize how worthless i feel and that i need to change this before i can do anything else with my life.
i love you.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Dream, Blessings and Freedom

I dreamed last night an amazing dream I hope I never forget.

I was an angel living as a human on Earth. I was a photographer and collector of fine prints. One day, as I stood in my shop switching a photo from one frame to another, the artist who'd made the photo approached me and said that if this print was to have value and be distinguishable from all the others like it, it needed a message. She took the photo and began to write upon it.

As I waited for her to finish, I could hear a fellow angel in the room being called back. I turned to see her just as she vanished in mid-step. I recall feeling a little surprised; I'm surprised every time I see an angel do that. When I am called, I disappear gradually over the course of a few steps. I wonder, how do the others leave?

The woman next to me was showing me the words she had written but now I was unable to concentrate. I could feel her, sense her body, but the language was incomprehensible. The letters looked like children's writing. I stepped to my right, into the call, and in a few steps I was gone.

The next image in the dream is of the black-blue night sky, full of billowing dark blue-grey clouds, stars and city sparkle. The faint red glow of the city cast itself onto the bottoms of the clouds. I was in the clouds. My sense of my body was as a vast, living thing, like something vaguely more substantial than mist or the pressure of a strong wind. I was substantial only because I could feel myself held close in the body of the clouds. I felt like I was lying on cotton balls, arms and legs akimbo, in the night sky. The sky above me was clear. The place in the clouds where "I" was seemed to be a faint red/maroon tint in a crevice like space. But this is an inadequate description at best. I lay there, feeling so happy I (my dreaming self) could feel it back in my bed in my apartment. I was so happy I could feel tears of joy flash briefly through the field of clouds I was occupying. I was so incredibly light and filled with joy. Filled isn't quite right, "filled" implies that it was contained in some way. This was vast and mindblowingly wonderful; giddy doesn't begin to describe this.

For a moment I wondered if I would fall through the clouds.

Then I heard and felt such profound laughter... the kind of laughter you give yourself up to, disappear into. So consuming and healing was this laughter... What could I do but join in?

In the sweet silence that eventually followed, I could hear someone telling me that I should not worry. Didn't I know everything would be alright?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Professional Counseling

From the ocean I heard a million fish say,
"Give me a beer - quick!"

I replied, "Dears, how can that be? How can a fish in the
water want a drink?"

Well, that's how wacky things have gotten. Who else
but Maya could pull a fast one like that
and get away

Seriously speaking though:
The fish in the water that is thirsty needs
serious professional

*Kabir, 1440-1518

Thursday, July 17, 2008

circling, circling, circling round
the sea is the sky is the sun is the ground.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thank you for strangers at bus-stops, New Revised Edition

I am so glad for strangers, strange-to-me people, who talk with me. It's like being friends with the proverbial box of chocolates: You never know what you're gonna get, but isn't it fun?

Three days ago at work I met Peter and Laura. Each wearing their JESUS SAVES t-shirts I "knew" the moment I laid eyes on them that I was not going to enjoy our exchange. Peter asked me if I had any material in the store about our savior and Lord, Jesus Christ... Here we go I thought. I told him, no at this moment we did not have anything specifically about Jesus in the store. He began what I perceived as the usual missionary diatribe, Have you accepted our Lord Jesus into your heart? Do you believe Jesus Christ, son of God, died for your sins?

This kind of exchange has never been interesting to me, I actually find it quite offensive. I could feel many years of negative experience with zealous christian proselytizers boiling up inside me, but being at work as a fairy godmother it's not my job as an employee, nor especially as a human, to be rude or offensive. I chose to say that I was at work and did not feel that it was an appropriate topic of discussion. However, this was a cop out since at Fairy Godmother talking about God/Spirit is one of the most likely topics of conversation. Not only was it a cop out, for me it was a darn lie. I just wasn't sure how to be authentic and be a nice/kind human.

Peter said of course he could respect (which he couldn't) that I was at work and would not try to engage me further but he really would like to know if I believed Jesus was the son of God. I had to ask myself if this was an opportunity not to lie in order to avoid a perceived conflict? What the hell. I actually said yes, I do believe Jesus is the son of God. Then it was do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead to show us the mystery of God's will? As I talked with Peter and Laura I realized I had no lies in my mouth and that my anger had dissipated. So I said yes, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

Of course Peter and Laura were persistent but something in me had shifted. I fully realized that along with my anger had gone a basic belief that other people had any right to define my relationship with the Mysterious J. Seems basic enough, doesn't it? But at what point in my life did I give someone else the right to define my relationships? How often do I choose complicity over dialogue?

Better yet, how often do I assume I "know" what's going to happen in a given situation?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I honor the Wheel of Heaven and the Axis of Time. May I learn to carry what is hidden as a gift to others.

A few months ago I decided that I hated my life; so I set about dismantling it.

My girlfriend and I took a break. I quit my job and took a five dollar an hour pay cut. I sold most of my books, ignored every phone call and every bill that needed paying. I refused to shower for days at a time. Dishes? Laundry? Bah! I walked across the street everyday to Victor's Cafe for blueberry-mango pancakes and coffee.

I've played out this routine a thousand times in my short life for a thousand reasons. But this time, lurking in the back of my mind was an inquiry... Almost a whisper I was asking myself "Why?" Why do I hate my life? Why do I feel depressed? Why have I felt this aching sorrow and deep sense of separation for most of my life?

I've been trying to piecemeal answers to these questions my whole life. I have stacks of journals and sketchbooks, photos, snippets, book cases of poetry and art, crates of textiles somehow hoping to amass some kind of Devil's Mountain of an answer... bits and pieces that somehow represent a semblance of the whole. While these things are beautiful and sensuous and reflect my love of joyful expression they do not constitute a delightful life, a life of action. In fact they tell me more and more how much there is to do.

Maybe all it comes down to is selfishness. I hoard beautiful objects, isn't it more than possible that I've been hoarding the beauty inside me? WHY do I do that?

Prayer For Revolutionary Love

That a woman not ask a man to leave meaningful work to
follow her.
That a man not ask a woman to leave meaningful work to
follow him.

That no one try to put Eros in bondage.
But that no one put a cudgel in the hand of Eros.

That our loyalty to one another and our loyalty to our work
not be set in false conflict.

That out love for each other give us love for each other's work.
That our love for each other's work give us love for one another.

That our love for each other give us love for each other's work.
That our love for each other's work give us love for one another.

That our love for each other, if need be,
give way to absence. And the unknown.

That we endure absence, if need be,
without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unknown.

-Denise Levertov

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Let's not have tea. White wine
eases the mind along
the slopes
of the faithful body, helps

any memory once engraved
on the twin
chromosome ribbons, emerge, tentative
from the archaeology of an excised past.

I am a woman
who understands
the necessity of an impulse whose goal or origin
still lie beyond me. I keep the goat

for more than pastoral reasons. I work
in silver the tongue-like forms
that curve round a throat

an armpit,the upper
thigh, whose significance stirs in me
like a curviform alphabet
that defies
decoding, appears
to consist of vowels, beginning with O, the O-
mega, horseshoe, the cave of sound.
What tiny fragments

survive, mangled into our language.
I am a woman committed to
a politics
of transliteration, the methodology

of a mind
stunned at the suddenly
possible shifts of meaning- for which
like amnesiacs

in a ward on fire, we must
find words
or burn.

Artemis, by Olga Brumas


"The 'soul' is indeed a vague conception and the reality of the thing
to which it refers cannot be demonstrated.
But consciousness is the most evident of all (invisible) facts...
The physiologists are very fond of comparing the network of our
cerebral nerves with a telephone system but they overlook the significant fact
that a telephone system does not function
until someone talks over it.
The brain does not create thought
(Sir Julian Huxley has recently pointed out this fact);
it is an instrument which thought finds useful."
- Joseph Wood Krutch, More Lives Than One

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Solstice Prayer

"We welcome summer and the glorious
blessing of light.
We are rich with light;
we are loved by the sun.

Let us empty our hearts into the brilliance.
Let us pour our darkness
into the glorious,forgiving light.

For this loving abundance
let us give thanks and offer our joy. Amen."

-Micheal Leunig,The Prayer Tree

Friday, April 04, 2008

my dreams, my works, must wait till after hell

I hold my honey and store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Faveorite Picture of Shelley

If you look closely you can see that Shelley's ears are twitched backward, that's because he heard me taking the photo... God, he was a great cat. In every apartment we ever lived in, he would sleep in the bathroom sink. When I did the dishes he'd curl up on my feet and meow at me. When I came home from wherever I might have been he ran to meet me at the door. The color of his fur brought tears to my eyes because he was so handsome and orange. When he was a kitten he would lay on my chest, put his head beneath my chin and purr, purr, purr. I loved him, I love him still, with my whole heart. A few nights ago I dreamed he was with me in the yard of my apartment where I live now. I said to him, I am glad you are still with me.
i can say nothing except that it would be worth a visit:

up into the silence the green

up into the silence the green
silence with white earth in it
you will (kiss me) go
out into the morning the young
morning with a warm world in it
(kiss me) you will go
on into the sunlight the fine
sunlight with a firm day in it
you will go (kiss me
down into your memory and
a memory and memory
i) kiss me (will go)

-ee cummings

Friday, March 07, 2008

Everyday Is A Reenactment Of The Creation Story

My House Is The Red Earth

by Joy Harjo

My house is the red earth. It could be the center of the world. I've heard New York, Tokyo or Paris called the center of the world, but I say it is magnificently humble. You could drive by and miss it. Radio waves can obscure it. Words cannot construct it for there are some sounds left to sacred wordless form.

For instance, that fool crow picking through trash near the corral, understands the center of the world as greasy scraps of fat. Just ask him. He doesn't have to say that the earth has turned scarlet through fierce belief, after centuries of heartbreak and laughter.

If you look with the mind of the swirling earth near Shiprock, you become the land beautiful, and understand how three crows at the edge of the highway laughing, become three crows at the edge of the world laughing.

Don't bother the earth spirit who lives here. She is working on a story. It is the oldest story in the world and it is delicate, changing. If she sees you watching she'll invite you in for coffee, give you warm bread and you will be obligated to stay and listen.

But this is no ordinary story. You will have to endure earthquakes, lightning, the deaths of all those you love, the most blinding beauty. It is a story so compelling you may never want to leave. This is how she traps you.

See that stone finger over there? That is the only one who ever escaped.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Playing Tag

Since I am not the only one who's new to playing Tag, here's how you play:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people. (post a link to blog/website)

Here's what was nearest:
"...leg's opening. That was so long ago and far away, but not so far as she finally ran when she could not stand it anymore, when the lust I made her feel got too wild, too uncivilized, too dangerous."
From Dorothy Allison's collection of stories, Trash

Since I'm not sure I know five people with blogs or websites I've been wondering how to involve anyone who might be reading... Follow the directions and post what you find in the comments. Wanna play? Yes? Yes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

from a letter

...been thinking about you lately. and about reverent strange. i was given a photo of me from 1996 or so - I was about 19 and wanted so bad to be special. I was posing ridiculously with some Christmas lights. I know now that I am special but feel ordinary on the outside. Maybe when I am old I'll know I'm not ordinary, inside or out. Somehow I know that now but feel a grief I just can't seem to wrap my hands around - a grief related to photographs of me. I look at these pieces of film and wonder who are you? How did you get there? What fragment of you remains inside of me now? What seeds of who I am today are planted inside of you...?

Time. Let me vanish. Then what we seperate by our very presence can come together.

For JayBee and Cosmic Monkey

There are two photographs in the hallway of my apartment. The first is at the start of the hall, the second at the end, is in front of my bedroom door. When I look at each of them I experience two things simultaneously: A deep desire to know the person in the photograph and an incredible sense of wonder at knowing the person in the photograph.

The first is of my mother. She's twenty-two years old, working as a roof layer. She's a single mother of four. When I look at her in this photo there's no doubt she's absolutely the most self possessed person I've ever met.

The second is a drawing that I made based on a photograph of me at age six. In the photo I'm wearing one of my favorite dresses, my hair is very thin and I have dark circles under my eyes.

I have carried around an unnamed grief my entire adult life: I cannot remember the first six years of my life. How is it that I can look at this photograph of myself and not intimately recognize and know myself?

What seems to be driving this all home is a book I'm reading called The Time Traveler's Wife. One of the main characters is, you guessed it, a time traveler. One example from the book that I particularly enjoy is when he and his seven year old self spend the night at the Art Institute in Chicago. They look at cavemen dioramas, meteorites and a rare and exquisite version of Audubon's Birds of America. This book is enormous. I've actually seen it because I grew up in Chicago and spent many hours at this museum. This scene is one I can easily put myself and my young self in.

If I could, just for a moment, go to myself at six and experience myself as fundamentally part of who I am today... who knows? I might not have an extra heartbeat.

*Photo by my Grandfather Andres

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Belvidere Moon 1995, Self Portrait 2008

I was 16 going on 17 when I took this photograph. I'm twice as old today as I was the evening I took this picture. I could see the entire circle of the night descending. I wish I could put into words the way this memory stirs me...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I honor the ecstatic embrace of shadow and light.

I vow here and now not to give in to despair. I will not focus on the negative. Everything has changed in so far as now I know that my friend has cancer. And yet nothing has changed. I still feel a deep love and respect for the complex diversity of all life. I still feel the closeness of my wonderful friend. The profound love we have for each other is still here and always will be. Each moment is the same unknown moment it's always been.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Fortune:

Look for the dream that keeps coming back.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


For translation please visit:
Wildmind Buddhist Meditation » White Tara mantra