Friday, July 31, 2009

Zen Cones

Yep, you heard it here first, people. My own personal ones, just like the pun in the title. Enjoy.

The Zen of Babies - They are comfortable most of the time with the fact that they are subject to powers beyond their control or understanding.
But occasionally an outburst of personal liberation can go far.

All is Illusion - not because it doesn’t exist, but because of how we perceive it. I don’t believe we “see what we want to see,” - but only that which we are capable of seeing. Which can change. Being non-omnipotent, we are only capable of seeing what we perceive individually. But don’t confuse your perception of reality with what it actually is.
This is not the whole truth.

Many blessings fall into the life of one who knows the joys of being loved by a dog.

Everyone, throughout their life, carries baggage. The successful ones have learned how to pack them better. (1997) The transcendent ones have learned how to leave them behind. (2002) The enlightened ones have realized they were just an illusion. (2007)

From the singular, small, triumphant voice of an idea being born
To the joyful cacophony of a thousand thoughts taking flight
From the harmony of desert rocks
To the silence inside the river’s voice
I am always here
Between moments
There is a nothingness which is everything
Can you hear the sun shining?

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Here I am inside again, not out of boredom but out of a slight terror... the kind one might experience when they are circling the whirlpool, getting closer to the center, knowing the time is fast approaching when one must close one's eyes and go through the dark, the pitch-black of the event horizon pulling us through, over to the other side of What Will Be.

You see, I've finished pulling all my stuff from the cracks and crevices of dad's place here, and it is but momentarily that I will be on another journey, onward and upward to the great Northwest, where What Will Be is waiting. Like a new mother, like a scientist, like a... human, I think I am prepared for what is next... and promptly put it off until later.

All that, just to say I just wanted to share my mug collection before it goes in the crate.

My first one came from my friend Tina, who went to PA a few years back when her dad died, and she was farting around in NY too, had a lovely interaction with a NYFD hunk... and bought this for me at Starbucks:

So, because I thought it so charming, I began to find these little gems all over the place. We visited J's mom just after that near Vancouver, WA and since we flew into the Portland airport, I picked up one from the 'Bucks in the terminal. The warm fuzzies started in my stomach, and I couldn't stop looking at it. Quickly I realized this was going to be a thing. Since I lived in both Phoenix and Tucson, those were also acquired. There was a trip a while ago to Seattle, so that one joined, too...

And finally on our last trip to see another old Army buddy in LA, J surprised me with my 6th and lastly acquired mug. I broke into tears, at the thoughtfulness of it, and probably also because he and the other dude disappeared, leaving their phones on the kitchen table, for almost two hours. They happened to bring back breakfast from the all-wonderous Whole Foods market, coffee, and my present. My little beauties...

Yes, you can see I have coffee in the Portland mug. A little something to get my butt into gear.



Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is the father.

History is full of pregnant crimes and celibate perpetrators.

I never realized how hard it was to be human—until I met some people who were obviously failing at it.

Other people's realizations:

If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Once in a lifetime perhaps, one escapes the actual confines of the flesh. Once in a lifetime, if one is lucky, one so merges with sunlight and air and running water that whole eons, the eons that mountains and deserts know, might pass in a single afternoon without discomfort. The mind has sunk away to its beginnings among old roots and the obscure tricklings and movings that stir inanimate things. ~Loren Eiseley

“We need less luxury and waste in a few countries so there can be less poverty and hunger in a greater part of the world.” ~Fidel Castro

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all" ~Unknown

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Verification Words

Sometimes these make me laugh, and I know they are totally random - but it seems so funny, someone HAS to be making these up. Even so, why does the 'captcha' at my credit union require only half the amount of letters that it takes to verify me as a human, to post on a blog? A bit of a quandary as to the safety of my money, but hell yeah, guard my intellectual nuttery.

So, because it's the hottest part of the day and I'm inside, bored like a little girl on a rainy day - well, except for the fact that as a little girl I used to be out in the rain more than not, building forts, observing puddles, making musical instruments out of dad's ubiquitous paint cans and anything else that made interesting tones when dripped upon by the various roof runoffs...

I digress. Here are some of my imaginings for some of the more interesting variants offered me:

preterim: (PREE-tuh-rim) N. the period of time before a line of succession or event. Occurs before interim.

redcomni: (red-COM-nee) N. A type of grain grown in the USSR, consumed predominantly in China.

fistabli: (fis-tab-LEE) N. A fight on a table, originating in Italy. Predecessor to the art of fisticuffs but requiring much more dexterity of the feet, and then there's the whole 'making a scene in the old country' thing.

demirapl: (DEM-ee-RAP-el) N. A half a noogie (demi = half, rapl = to knock on something)

warkie: (WAR-key) N. thingamajig. doohickey. whatever the hell you want it to mean at the time.

eteedia: (eh-TEE-dee-uh) N. Plural form of 'eteedium.'

fiessimo: (fee-ESS-ee-mo) Adv. Musical term: play it like ya mean it!

dilino: (DILL-ee-no) Adv. Musical term: play it like you haven't practiced.

kabblebo: (COB-bull-boh) N. An exercise originating in Israel, involving boxing and the Mysteries of the Universe.

libulify: (lee-BYOO-lih-figh) V. To make something pleasing - from the Latin *ad libitum* (shortened to *ad lib* = at one's pleasure)

bablogan: (BAB-uh-LOH-gun) N. A male person who tends to talk a lot. female version: bablogu

sworowgu: (suh-WAR-oh-goo) N. A female person who tends to swear a lot. male version: sworowgan

caromidy: (cah-ROM-uh-dee) N. A film that is supposed to contain humor, yet does not have the intended effect upon the audience. Can also apply to blogs, namely this one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Learned Something Today...

At breakfast, I squished my English muffin as I attempted to butter it. Then as I went to put jam on it, a big glob was making its way down the jar and I didn’t get to it before it reached the counter. Finally, I clumsily dropped the knife on the floor.

From this, I saw that if you don’t hold onto something tight enough, it can slip through your fingers. If you hold onto it too tightly, you could change its shape into something unrecognizable. Lastly, if you can seize an opportunity when it presents itself, you can really save yourself a mess later.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dynamic Stillness

That is the newest album by one of my favorite, and most prolific artists, Steve Roach. J and I have been waiting for just the right time to hook the splitter up to his IPod and watch the sky while listening to this over 2-hour compilation. And it was last night.

The music, if you can call the ambient paintings such, starts right off, unlike some of the others that volume more slowly. The aural inundation, made complete by the stereo headset I donned, only served to bring the dark sky closer, and at first I felt a type of panic that I sometimes do when listening to certain dark ambient music, in the dark - a feeling of falling into space, with no tether... a loss of footing, gravity. Perhaps you too are one of those people who can ascribe color to sounds, and let them guide you on an inner visual journey. This was different, the first time I'd experienced 'space' this way, and it was eerie.

My eyes wandered over the stars, noticing relationships they had to each other. Funny, I thought, out here, this... cosmos; there is no air for bigotry, hatred; all the room in the world, so to speak, and no sadness, misery; the stuff we are made of, this 'star stuff' - inside each one of us, while out there, in the nebulae, new stars are being born. Beyond jealousy, fear, beyond... emotion even. Just awareness. Before we come here, there is awareness of everything. I'm sure it returns after we leave. Just trying to get back some of that while we're here...

There is Orion, I notice his dagger, and squint to see the end the faint star that makes the binary system there; how blue that little star is, I remember seeing through the U of A telescope, thinking it was so diamond-like sparkly. There is the Big Dipper, just sitting on the horizon. Where is my beloved scorpion? haven't been able to see it in a while. A planet is shining bright; I think I read that it was Mercury, tho Saturn is out too; but the biggest attraction is the formation down the middle of the darkness, what looks like clouds or space dust, split down the center. J, the budding astrophysicist, reminds me that the 'dust' I'm seeing isn't that, but the reflection of the light coming from millions of stars that make up our dear galaxy, of which we are located on the edge. Even further out, more galaxies light up the universe, their little crystal spirals weaving to and fro in space. They put out various colors, like certain stars even - and as I heard it said on NPR once, even different frequencies! Imagine, a space-time orchestra. Concerto for the Eagle's Head Nebula, in G minor. And over here...

What would space smell like? If there were enough particles together to even make a smell? Which I hear there aren't. Not enough particles to reflect the light that is shining everywhere, at all times -the space in between is empty, vacuous. But - not empty. The waves of light/energy are still flowing, in all directions, invisible to our eyes. Our eyes, so limited in picking up frequencies, makes a mockery of our feeble "seeing is believing" crap. Even my Eagle Eyes blue-light blocking sunglasses reveal things to me that are normally obscured, what would a pair of glasses show us, if we could see things to the Nth degree? Would we then believe in miracles? When we can see dark matter, dark energy; even the anti-matter of sci-fi renown. Yes, it exists. Our instruments have been out-recording our eyes for a very long time. Who can say they believe only what they see? Do they understand how limited these ocular devices are?

I soften my eyes to see all within my view at once. Meteors soar through the atmo, sometimes burning out in a faint white line; one larger one left a visible streak for miles, before vanishing in a few seconds. Closer - I pull away my shirt. Naked, raw. Nothing between my skin and the cosmos. The slight breeze whispers across me, forming words I cannot hear, only feel. My breath is the darkness. The stars are my eyes. The womb of the galaxy is my womb, stars within me. How can there be anything else, anything other than this total, complete amazement? Lost connections, humans. No longer recognizing earth mother, sky father, sister and brother, or each other. So lost they strike out, against others, against... themselves. Disconnected. If only they could see. Maybe the "bright light" is really us returning to the star whence we were born.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Good Day

Well it just might be the phase of the moon, square Mars at the moment... but frankly, I'm up for a bit of 'folding' too. It's probably the ants. Coming out of nowhere, everywhere... they can fight so much better than me. (I know that isn't correct to say, but 'I' just didn't suit me)

Then there is the nightly 'what is crawling on me' routine, which has been not just spiders over faces, and vinegroons over feet... but one night - a ree-inch forest centipede. Just watching J spring off the couch, flicking it off his foot, and seeing it wriggle awkwardly across the floor... gave me the heebie jeebies. But there was a frailty in its slowness, it's search for shelter and not wanting to die... as much panic and adrenaline as it caused, we cupped it and walked WAY out in the desert in the middle of the night to let it out. I'm sorry, Pedie, that you aren't built for the desert, and I don't know how you came to be with us... but you can't stay in the house, no matter how pretty your blue-lined segments and transparent salmon-colored body... I know we wouldn't die, but we have pains every day, and need no more welts on our bodies or souls if we can help it!

So I get tired... of the bumps and bruises, cat is limping and I think it's more arthritis, scrapes on my arms from trimming horse feet and someone felt a bit rude, waking up with unknown bites on me, an errant fly landing on my face in the morning, over and over, and where's that damned flyswatter? The water that comes out too warm (when turned to the cold side), the hurricane winds that three times have landed our tarped, steel-framed shade on the roof, the daily threat of the searing sun that if I stay out too long, it will make bacon out of me.
But there was a respite yesterday.

After the 6am equine feeding, I noticed the clouds, and even a bit of lightning. It took two hours to arrive, but the rain actually rained instead of the typical 10 minute spit-fest; there was even a slight breeze, dropping the 80-degree warmth to near-chilly. I was so elated, I stood out with the horses at second breakfast (10am) brushing them down, comforted with two of my favorite things. There is something about rain, life falling from the sky, the earth is refreshed, and spirit sighs ahhhh...

I am at last too chilled, and head to the house, where the AC is still on, because the 95 degrees inside hasn't been able to be flushed out since the Boys broke the window screen in the kitchen, where our cross breeze used to flow out the living room. On my way, I see a softball-sized stone in the self-made horse manure compost area, and go to pick it up lest they stumble over it... I often underestimate their attention span, I guess. But as I bend down, grasping it with my left hand, continuing to move my right leg forward in a snatch-and-grab motion, I hear it. Others may have mistaken it for a crackling leaf, or a tiny twig snapping in a couple places at once... but not me. Some innate prickle made me stop mid-motion, let the rock go, and step backward.

If I would have looked up just then, I would have seen her, not two feet from me, coiled and blending in with the oldness of green that happens when road apples oxidize. I would have been able to see up close, and count again the buttons on the end of her tail, that she so caringly raised up for me, and shook, with the slightest softness, saying "We had a deal."

But I did not have to look up, to know what this sound meant.

The former Mojave Jane was slimmer than before, looked smaller in her heart-shaped loops, and even at first we thought maybe it was a different Mojave Green Rattlesnake, maybe a smaller, younger rival... but could it be, that of all the things we've heard about the ferocity and aggressiveness of these snakes is not true? Guess that would not surprise me, most stories get blown out of proportion. And I'm sure somehow that it was a good thing I did NOT make eye contact with any snake two feet from me, if animal behavior has taught me anything. With dogs, horses, probably snakes too, it is a pressure point that seems to goad the look-ee to act in some way. With the Boys I use it to move them, being the Alpha Mare I am supposed to be able to do that. But I'll not be trying that with Gracie. Not when she has the double whammy.

Not only does she possess the typical neurotoxin that makes rattlers so deadly, acting to interrupt synaptic relays in the nervous system, among other effects causing breathing paralysis... she somehow also contains the hemolytic venom found in other types of snakes, that slices open every red blood cell it comes across as it moves throughout one's pulmonary system. There is some debate whether it was nature or men that saw fit to create this snake (dad says they were created from a green mamba, where it gets its base color and hemotoxin, and a diamondback, with its neurotoxin and patterned skin, during WWII to let loose in German foxholes) but nonetheless, she holds the trump card. Unless she is threatening and needs to be removed, we can coexist nicely, I'll hold up my end of the deal by not getting so close, and she won't kill me.

We walked around the rest of the 2 and 1/2 acres to see what kind of life the rain would bring out. On the northern section of the property, we almost literally fell over this little guy. We're calling him George for the moment. He was out in the field, really REALLY hard to see in the dead sticks, rocks, etc. I walked nearly right over him, saw him at the last second (it must have been the snake gods watching out over me again!) and just kept heading straight - I would have walked over him to rejoin J. I told J to KEEP WALKING STRAIGHT, now stop, let me point out the OTHER rattlesnake... and here he was. Coiled in the same fashion, looking like a pile of something, and oh so quiet. By the time we got back with the camera to start photographing our little zoo, he had moved to under a yucca tree, where you see him here.

There is a gigantic iguana-size lizard living underneath our rooftop-patio stairway, too, and since he is so shy I had to look for a pic of something like him, as well. He is almost a foot long to the tip of his tail, a hefty guy, making sure all our camping gear is free of spiders and insects... in spite of his shyness, he hangs out on the stucco wall looking fabulous, we call him The Dude.

It still interested me why they come out in the rain. Maybe I'd heard it said somewhere that snakes in the desert coil up to capture water and drink it off their skin. Wouldn't surprise me. Many more Gentlemen were out and about, which I identified (I think) as skinks and leopard whiptail lizards. The skinks are just fun to watch, their jerky movements and constant quest for the next ant... the whiptails are much less myopic, and keenly aware of anyone approaching them, and fast as lightning when they make their escape! Sometimes they even leave little dust puffs with their feet as they skate over the dirt so quickly. It makes me laugh. Too fast for a pic, so I had to find one on the net.

There also began to appear some smaller Gents, with racing stripes and LONG, we're talkin' ultra long blue tails. In my search for species ID, I did run across something called a Blue Whiptail, and we did get a pic of these little guys. But three out of four times we ran across the leopard whiptails, the blue tails were right there alongside... I then discovered that the striped blue tails are the juvenile of the species! Very exciting.

it was a pretty good day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Along the Watchtower

Well, honeys, I have a friend who has been stricken, by the unfathomable power and hold of an authority that few others can match... unless we are talking about other cults as well as the JW's.

Poor thing, she has already been suffering in the throes of major chronic depression for the years that I've known her, and according to her husband it's been much longer than that, but now how does she escape the hell she calls faith, when her very salvation will be dependent upon her not using the internet, not celebrating her children's birthdays, and witnessing to everyone - lest she not find favor in the eyes of her church, whom she can't see has replaced her God.

Well, there is a positive side. I've moved, and soon the Post Office will stop forwarding me her huge envelopes of tracts. I can't call her to ask not to send them anymore, she gave away her cell phone. I can't email her anymore, covered that part... but for the time being, I have plenty of newsprint to rip up into shreds for kitty litter (recycling tip #45, can still burn or recycle after kitty uses it, and it's much cleaner and more sanitary for the house), but not before I read a couple of exerpts from the back pages...

One in particular, I ask J as we are driving the half-hour home from town, "What evidence is there that Jesus is a historical figure?" To which, without even blinking, he replies: "They have one of his pubic hairs stored at the Vatican."

It took me five minutes before I could start breathing again.

And here is Cat, lookin cute, another daily event.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's the Farming Life for Me!

Yes, honeys, Laura has been busy at work reading the weaves of her sister, the Universe, and making fabric of her thoughts...

And out of the still, small distance, a friend breathed, and dared hope a whisper - "I have a friend," she says... the rest is a blur. Now, a few days later, a light sparkles. As being with child, not thinking of the painful or hard times, only the promise of new life - so is it here, now, with me. Thinking only of living on the Farm, tending horses and raising raspberries, watching Cat walk about in the soon-dewy grass, maybe planting a garden of our own... picking berries and making jam, taking pictures of the other girls' berry-smudged faces, breathing mist as the mornings grow chilly, and always with the artwork. Painting, writing, (it would be nice to get published again) crocheting scarves to sell at the farmer's market...

A little suburb of Portland, on the way to the coast, a big farmhouse with two wonderful girls, two dogs, a cat, and maybe, jes' maybe... d'ya hear me Ms Moon? ... CHICKENS!!

Yes honeys, it looks like the farming life for me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yay Sundays.

What a week. After coming back from the Tucson/Phoenix trip last week, some under-the-weather type stuff and a lack of proper internet connection had me in Blogger withdrawals!!

I'm still catching up on everyone's posts. And today, feeling better than I have in a while, making my own. Five days of rolling around feeling sick and passing out from the heat. Five days of I can't even get a comb through my hair-type tangles (and who knows what may have made its home there anyway) so I just whacked it all off. The sink, once a disgusting bilge bowl of non-drainage, is now clean and put back together. For many years now I've used solely deodorant sticks, since anti-perspirants contain aluminum salts and have been suspected of causing bad things to happen to a body, but I may just have to go balls-out and get the fumigator-grade, ozone-depleting spray deodorant (did I mention it was hot here?). We're talking industrial-strength ew, here, honeys. Two more little rabbits met their maker via the horse water. I guess now that I'm not limping around on my (what feels like a) broken foot, I just wanted to sit and ponder about the little things that I appreciate.

Like the way Cat has a little orange splotch on her chin, as if she's just finished slobbering over some yummy sherbet; my faux spaghetti, made of buttery noodles covered in diced italian-style tomatoes and shredded cheese; running around in my favorite boxers; FRIED GREEN TOMATOES; seeing the boys resting in the shade of the house after lunch; smelling the sheets when they've been laundered in vinegar and hung out to dry in the sun and wind; watching, with Cat, the birds and bunnies safely drinking out of the drown-proof water tubs; taking the boys on long walks in the evenings; and today, watching Religulous by Bill Maher. Because what else can incite such a good conversation, as watching a guy ask some questions, confront some issues, and generally make fun of people? Sunday seemed a perfect day for such. Hell, other, richer, people have been doing it on TV for some time...

Oh, and IBC rootbeer - it's the BEST! Mug and Barq's can kiss my little fuzzywink, they don't come near the taste and bite of this stuff. Happily on sale at most Safeway stores. And, watching the incredible, almost edible sunsets through the black mountains.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Aaron!

It's a bit late, but thought I'd remind you that I was there with you last year, remember? How could you forget your cake. It was beautiful, and yes, modeled after yours truly. One side was even bigger than the other. Just like they should be. Miss you old man! Visit soon!


Not every day is a good day for communion. Sometimes the emotional and physical worlds are at war seeming to target us, and leave us no peace with which to commune. But that was not today.

It all began with Starbucks: coming back to the house and the boys after being gone three days taking care of myself, Cat, and friends... we ran out of our filtered water that we always take on trips (see Survival and Thrival) and so stopped at Starbucks for four... yes, FOUR venti ice waters, and, of course, the requisite Iced Green Tea Latte. The 'Bucks is a trusted source of triple-carbon-filtered, pure, clean, absolutely refreshing water. When I can't drink my own, there's Bucks. On every frickin' corner...

And so, with this foursome of crystalline goodness, came the formed paper tray to hold them. Without which this communion may not have happened today. Because you see, there was a summer lightning/thunder/rainlet storm that passed thru the Valley today, the large wet drops that instantly soak one, while they are rolling up car windows, closing shed doors, and chasing light things that blew out of the back of the truck... and these large wet drops also caused the four-leggeds to get jiggy, running about and bucking like they'z in a rodeo... and rollin' in the blessed powdery dirt.

So after this semi-monsoon, I take this here paper tray, and the boys walk up to me with raindrop-shaped mud spots on top of their own spots, and I just put one and two together. I began rubbing them down with this tray, the fibrous cup-molded lumps pulling loose hair, dirt, grit off (and into the air, my hair, my eyes...) but the boys LOVED it. A gentle massage/scratchy that made them very happy. After this love-fest we just stood watching the rest of the sun setting behind the black mountains, crepuscular rays dancing through the canyons as the world turned... several minutes go by, and I sit down on the ground next to Lou. I hear Happy walk up behind me and feel a soft nose on the top of my head. Nuzzle nuzzle with the Elephant Nose. Lou puts his head down and noses my cheek, like I was his little foal. They towered over me, and we sat in the absolute quiet, the stillness. No doing, just being. No thoughts, just being. No species... just beings.

Manifest Your Symphony

Talk about manifesting: I'd been thinking of getting a stringed instrument for over a year now, something I wouldn't have to have electricity to play, something low-toned and soothing, not difficult to play and improvise on... and I kept coming back to the cello. Except those are pretty damn large... not to mention expensive. I'd looked into it haphazardly now and again, but last week decided I'd scrape up what I could and just go for it...

About that time, I went to close one of my bank accounts, since WAMU is becoming the demon-child of CHASE - and there was an additional $250 showing up on the cashier's check they sent me... some of you may have noticed my poll about that very real question... then I remembered about the VA stimulus package, where Obama, that generous man, decided to give a chunk of money to all us disabled vets... but funny that they sent it to an old account, not the one I get my VA bennies thru.

anyway, I found ONE craigs-listing in Tucson for a cello, happened to be the half-size I wanted, and in better shape than any of the phoenix ones, and for $225. When I emailed the guy to tell him I was visiting Tucson on Tuesday morning, for (how appropriate) a VA appointment, and could I look at it, he said, wouldn't ya know it, I'm gonna be in Phoenix Monday thru Thursday - otherwise I'd be happy to do it. I say back, great! since I have to go thru Phoenix and stay there overnight to get to Tucson... bring her with you! and he said yes.

Now, you know I've never touched a cello (well maybe you didn't, so I'm sayin it now) and I have NO idea what to expect, or look for. maybe I'll just ask the guy to play it for me... except I think in the ad he mentioned it belonged to his son and he moved up to a full cello, meaning he wouldn't know how to play it either. But I called him anyway. (I'll skip the long shitbag of a story where I had taken my CHASE cashier's check from closing my WAMU account, where I spent 45 MINS in a CHASE bank, cuz they couldn't verify that it was legitimate, and therefore couldn't cash this here CHASE check... and how I finally got it done in about .7 seconds at the WAMU bank... and how much I'm going to miss WAMU).

So J and I were going to meet Richard just before heading out of Phoenix back to the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and I was just riding the serendipity that had already presented itself, not knowing if I should just call it off and save the money, or take the chance of buying a stringed contribution to the burn barrel... so I just decided to keep on keepin' on. We met Richard - he definitely was NOT a Dick as most Richards in my experience have been - and it was a lovely time in a lovely house, with a very lovely man. He was moving from Phoenix to be closer to his daughter, since his wife died a short time ago he had no ties to stay in Tucson. And was selling his son's cello, his son who lives with his own wife in LA and who is in a symphony there, but moving up to Portland soon... there was no end to the connections in this short hour spent with this man.

Not even counting that he was distinguished, his elegant speech betraying his flip-flops and jeans exterior... he spoke of music being just as necessary to proper education as was math and science, and raised his children such... and as we got to the actual reason I was there, he brought out the cello saying he only knows how to tune it, and proceeded to expertly bring these four wonderfully rich tones alive from horsehair and steel. The sound was amazing, I fell instantly in love with it. He proceeded to give a little lesson in holding the bow, dragging it thusly to get the best sound, and thusly to play two strings at once... and to loosen the hair when not playing, do this, remember that...

We concluded the transaction very gracefully, and exited this little urban desert oasis. I was FLYING, sure that the cello was singing to me all the way home from behind my seat, feeling so much richer for having met Richard.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Can the West be One?

The rugged individualism that characterizes America has its beginning in a group of people considered derelicts and outlaws, not unlike Australia… were the reasons any more or less important, or the political system any more or less different, or crooked?

Having its basis for survival being the individual modes of transportation such as the horse, and soon after, the wagon, what a challenge to now expect present day America to sacrifice that individuality by using public transportation? Is there any hope? Then there is the industrial revolution, where mass production stole the preciousness of each thing.

Add to that the lack of a sense of rooted culture that leaves a people devoid of the significance of everyday things; there is left no demarcation for the children of this time into adulthood, as is so important in other cultures. Jung had much to say on this subject as well. Where is the transition from child to adult? Some are made to assume the duties of an adult even before puberty, for many reasons, and were doomed from a single-digit age; then some never experience the transition, and forever wonder and fight for their identity.

Keep these people occupied with gas prices, threat levels, photo radar – well, that’s for another time; but these are the hungry ghosts in whose unsteady hands our future trembles.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sunset Fable

Once there was a gathering in the Hoh forest that drew many people from the villages all around. They built a fire, sang, played music, danced, and ate lots of food. Even the Sun heard about this great event and joined the festivities.

The ocean also heard about it, but could not attend, lest it put out the great fire that kept everyone warm and cooked the food. It became depressed and turned blue. The Sun, however, was having such a great time it decided to carry the party around the world.
Now because the great trees were rooted, they could not follow, they became envious and turned green.

You can still see the gathering to this day, every evening looking into the West…

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Trip That Lasted a Year-One Day in September

So Cat and I stayed with J’s mom, it was a beautiful summer with all the trees and river that I could want… the days were PERFECT for boogie-boarding down the Toutle River. Guess you could say I toodled down the Toutle. A lot. After having to leave so much of my stuff, my LIFE, behind in that RV, I couldn’t stop weeding out everything. Each belonging had to have not just a purpose, but be MULTI-functional, or it went. Funny thing is the more I cut loose, the lighter I felt. Quotes from Fight Club came to mind. Really can’t express it, it looks different in writing—the big OMG factor just doesn’t show through. Any Northern Exposure fans out there? You hard-core people will remember the Mastodon episode, where Joel, robbed of his chance at documenting a magnificent Paleolithic discovery, succumbs to the energy that is Cicely, now that someone cut up his frozen ancient elephant for steaks, saying, “I’m one of YOU now.” If you felt something when he said it, in your gut, a feeling that wrenched your stomach in a big knot that would forever stay, then you may not understand the sentiment. If on the other hand, you tilted your head to the right and uttered some variance of “hmm…” as if there were a great eternal mystery about to be revealed to you by taking the middle way, going with the flow, and felt curious to see where you end up… THAT is the beginning of understanding. That was the beginning of me.

Even if I hadn’t decided to move, the coach was a disaster waiting to happen, hell—already caught fire once—and almost nothing worked right, never mind the details. There just isn’t enough room to talk about days like when my door lock broke while I was inside, and I had to hammer the thing off to get out, and from then on had to use an elastic band just to keep it shut, which didn’t work when the wind blew hard; or that my shower bottom was breaking out and leaked under the rig; or that I was missing a cover to an air duct and had to keep a pan under it when it rained (which I could never place just right, water still got everywhere), or what I had to do each time I used the toilet to make it work… there’s just something that steels one’s insides when one repeatedly works that close with their own excretions.

Without a job I couldn’t get my own apartment. Without an internet connection or a decent signal to my cell, I wasn’t having luck getting a job. All things kept pointing to impermanence—everything that defined me seemed to be falling away. Like I was being extinguished. I don’t know if anyone can really, really understand what that’s like, until you go thru it. (Jon lived it with us for a few days on the road, and I’m sure was eager to get back to his own problems ;o)

Eventually I finished all my weeding: I had some good clothes, a few kitchen items, some bedding, a couple footstools, and was getting along swimmingly (there’s that punny girl again) with J’s ma, and her two cats were getting along with Cat. We were a houseful of females and felines, having the time of our nine lives. Staying up late, getting up late, going down to the hamburger stand 5 miles down the road with my laptop… and boarding, boarding, boarding. The memories of the recent Incubus concert in Tucson got me more into their music, which surprised me in their Buddhist-like implications. I began to see the joy in not-having. I began to feel the lightness in it. For once in my life, my future was completely hidden from me, uncertain. For once I did not have anyone depending on me to right the wrongs on the job, or anyone to ascribe any worth to me. Or feel the need for such. Slowly, silently, it was happening...
The horses were expensive, but happy. I paid my way with groceries at the house. Although my unemployment was running out, I feared for nothing.

It was one day in September, I happened to be on the river again, after my umpteenth time down the rapids, belly-first on my board, and I had stopped in the middle of the river against a rock, turned over so that I was laying on my back, and placed myself in the current just so, going nowhere and watching like so many times before the bald eagles, as they flew in their dances... Just then. Just like that. Like the first tiny raindrop of spring falling on your cheek. Like a someone laying a comfy blanket over you half asleep. Has this happened to you? A soft realization. Could it be... happiness? No, not quite. Contentment? I’d already been content for a few weeks. Hmmm.

Then it dawned on me. Funny euphemism, that. Dawned. And it’s just that way, too, like a sun rising, dispersing the darkness. The darkness where I thought I was my job; where I defined myself as wife, sister, daughter, a person with means, before all these things fell away.

Dawn came, and I am suddenly just me. Dawn came, and there is nothing but love left inside. Dawn came, and I am one with all things, in an endless, timeless way of infinite understanding.

I am standing barefoot on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the ocean, wind blowing, head back, arms wide open, smiling and singing “Wish You Were Here.


I finally got the journey down, and the Blogger put it down on the day I began to write the post, sorry peeps! I thought it would publish the day I posted instead. Live and learn...

So HERE is the link, since it's down below Mojave Jane, for your convenience.

I told you it was an installment story, this one is pretty long so get out your snacks and drinks, folks... and ENJOY!


It puzzled me as I passed by
The toys in the yard at the daycare, why

Not only many, but all
The toys were machines, only small

Dump trucks, fire trucks, buses, and cars
Even mini-traffic jams just like ours.

What are we silently screaming
By valuing just what is gleaming?

I thought our dream was that they would go far
And be all they could be, and not where we are.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Three Days in the Forest - part 2

I've been enjoying catching up on everyone's blogs in the now two days we've been back - but alas, honeys, my wreaked little body has been going thru some stuff. Probably related to the part you're about to read, partly from just coming back to the valley and it's incessant heat, maybe mixed in with some ant poison... Dad's place is littered with it. It is a constant battle, as you can imagine it would be in the desert, against these Herculean creatures with so much persistence, it's maddening! It's been war, honeys, and some days we humans are on the losing side. I'm with Mrs Moon, leaving well enough alone, even some of the spiders and vinegaroons running amok... of course, they are after the ants, and so we nurture them, until they grow to disproportionate sizes, in this tiny 400 square-foot house. Then they are escorted elsewhere. But with the ants on the island kitchen, inside and outside the cupboards, and... even on the wall! Looking, not finding, just looking... I have to draw the line. Body counts rise. Tolls are taken. Mopping continues. But I use only salt, Simple Green, other biodegradeable substances... too risky with Cat hopping about.

So, onto the camping part of the story!

Cat adopted the 'cave' made of an air mattress stretched between two big rocks, while we set up tents. Actually I had two - a yellow tent, which is my favorite, that isn't quite all there but I was trying to make do; and another smallish teal one, when it became apparent the first one wasn't going to work. But someone wasn't giving up so easily... Look closely inside:

She loved to wander about, and I of course had a couple scary cat-mom moments, but she always came back. Once we all got used to it, she never left our little area of the park, and had quite a time padding around like a jungle animal.

When we began to hear thunder again, we remembered the downpour from yesterday, and you never saw three adults move so fast! The kind of quickness that is usually only found when children and/or free beer are involved.

Once the pea-sized droplets faked us out, a few times in fact, we realized we were tired and after a little beans-and-weenies lunch (yes, luckily we all slept in different tents!) we decided it was time for a little FOB. (In camp we use that for Flat On Back - I know, right?)

We hiked down the Oak Creek, and there were lots of people in even the smallest nooks and crannies - just when we thought we'd climbed enough boulders, splashed thru enough rapids, and found the most remote, perfect little hole for skinny dipping, here comes a giant family with their fishing poles, ice chests, shower soap... but, at least I got to make like a bear, and shizzle in the woods. I have to admit it, here and now, it's important for you people to know - I am such a pee-outside kinda girl. So this here deuce was a special treat for me.

Sorry, no pics. Ew, people.

We had a blast that night, met several fellow campers and had lots of mixed drinks, mixed company, and mixed conversations. Everything from the Camp Margaritas Extra-ordinaire, to how we as humans can move beyond race, culture, and biology to something deeper, to - did you really bring a cat camping with you?

In the morning we had a better breakfast than even when we cook at home - Scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa, tortillas, campfire bacon (it just tastes different!), cheese-style yogurt, and the piece-de-resistance, raisin swirl french toast smothered in butter and syrup. Oh, it makes my mouth water just remembering the way it all tastes... Agghhhh... (that was my Homer Simpson impression).

We took our time breaking down the camp, and by 2pm we were picking the horses up from the sitter. But not before we took them for a lovely walk in the forest!

There were SO many trees, and just the smell of the dried needles in the grass, listening to the jaws munch, munch, munch... We are definitely going back for an actual horseback ride, once we begin getting those boys in shape for the trails. Cuz right now, they're pretty outta shape, and oh... I need stirrups for one of my saddles...

So again with the masks, at the gas station - fill 'er up, boys, we're goin' home! Happy Appy keeps whinnying, we don't know exactly why - J proposes either he is just excited to be out and about again (did I mention they LOVE road trips?) OR he is telling us he didn't want to leave the woods. Perhaps a little of both.

And make it we did, without incident, without emergency - without anyone falling, puking, accidentally peeing on the truck (me) or in the truck (Cat), no speeding tix, flat tires, dead batteries, or running out of gas... This kind of trip is just not normal for me. I had a good time. Well, besides the matter of the slight incline my tent was on, and the fact that my sleeping bag constantly slid down the futon mattress I brought (otherwise such a good idea!) but I woke to a sore back and my mummy feet sticking out of the bottom of the flap. Not to mention, although I guess this counts as mentioning, that some drunk body or other fell into my tent, squishing me and Cat... We came home to a cool night, happy animals, and a beautiful sunset. See for yourself.