Monday, May 16, 2016

THE DESIRE OF STARS & The Art of Silence

We should write as we dream  - Helene Cixous

And all the powers of the stars are the fountain veins of the natural body of God in this world - Jakob Bohme (1575-1624)

Glastonbury - A Portal, a Vortex thru to Forever

Pathway to Gifts

When my soul turned round,
perceiving the other-side of everything...
- H.D.

Whispers wake me.
I return home
behind a procession of swans
to an island in the heart of Paris.
On the cliffs where the wild ones come
to show themselves,
I sing this whistling song,
look at the other side of the world
as if a deck of cards spread out
to peek under and flip over
for a glimpse at the hidden side.
The dream opens forgotten realms of creation.
I think that’s what time is.

© Hélène Cardona, from
Dreaming My Animal Selves - Salmon Poetry, 2013

Karmic Key of Destiny - Reading at a Dolmen in the Dordogne

A bird in "foot" - Better than one in hand?

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.  Lewis Carroll

The early morning hours are always the best time for writing.  I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. and the birds were already engaged in their birdy business, singing as they went about their ablutions in the bird bath at "Lady" Sara's across the way - A chorus of Mourning doves were coo cooing, and an Owl, who who-ing.  Now it's 6 a.m., and the sky looks like grey tapioca. Who likes tapioca?  I sort of do, but only if someone else makes it and puts maple syrup and nuts in it. 

Quiet birds down the road

Chateau de Charras - Early Birds

I've just jettisoned the totale of the latest blog and photos. I had been working on it for weeks, months it seemed. Tomorrow, at the crack, I head to California & Santa Fe, New Mexico for 5 weeks.  I had so wanted this last blog, before I left, to be like a "shooting star", chock full of Truth and Beauty...a cosmic tour de force!   Instead it was like a Puff Adder:  normally a sluggish species, relying on camouflage for protection, but when disturbed, hissing loudly and continuously. Puff, Puff, Puff.

I had been feverishly researching everything about STARS, along with having saved reams of poems which starred STARS. I was hoovering up information like a champ. What a lineup I had, Ted Hughes's "Thought Fox" from "The Hawk in the Rain," out in front; here's a snippet:

Beneath Northern Skies
                                                                              Through the window  I see no Star...
something more near

Though deeper within darkness
is entering the loneliness...
But as you can see, it's not about Stars, more about the dark of night and loneliness, which is how I feel now after scrapping my blog.  The Thought Fox is really a poem about writing a poem. It's about rationalism, and Hughes comparing his poetic efforts, his struggle to write, to capturing and killing small animals. The poem has such power, but that thought alone, small animals being crucified, makes my heart bleed.  I thought initially it was about seeking the primitive, crossing barriers, the realization that we all "belong", earth's creatures, one and all. 

"Thought-Fox" at Charras annual Brocante

Strength - Sunset Deck, Giovanni Monti

I had heavyweights Rilke and D.H. Lawrence on board, Snakes and Duino Elegies =

...but also the stars, the stars of the earth. Oh at last to be dead and know them eternally, all the stars: for then how, how, how could we ever forget them?  - Rainier Maria Rilke - Seventh Elegy

I thought they would help illuminate the shadows, but instead they cast longer, darker ones.  And why did I get started on STARS in the first place?  I was trying to grab "wisdom" by grabbing information & then I remembered a podcast with Brother David Stendahl-Rast, the lovely Austrian monk, where he said, you can grab information, but you can't "grab" wisdom, it has to grab you. 

 But was it "random"?  I love that word for some reason.

 1. made, done,  happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision. "a random sample of   100 households, " more random spot checks." 2. Informal odd, unusual, unexpected.  "I find it impossible to not laugh at such a random" guy. 

I'll go with the second definition: informal.  I don't like "random spot checks" - it's like the trap the Thought Fox got caught in; though nothing random about that.  When I was young, I communed with animals (and still do).  I could see a light around their bodies, and when I looked in their eyes, they  seemed to see thru me, past me, into a larger order.  These singular moments seen thru my child eyes, have multiplied in France; the paysage is teeming with knowing glances.

My latest one is a grey horse, my avatar.  Driving thru Marval I had clocked him in his field with his pal, no place to pull over, so I stopped alongside the road. He came running over & stood there staring at me like the wolf/dog in Feuillade, as though he were waiting for an answer. 

My Avatar with a rainbow on his neck
This morning, he was laying flat out on the ground when I drove by, friend next to him.  I thought he was just resting, but I had to be sure, so I stopped the car, and he immediately lifted his head and gave me a kind eyed stare.  I know it isn't about apples or carrots, these horses are lawnmowers, & they don't get handouts.  I wish I had my camera, he looked like a king on the ground. I paid court.
Old Friends

Neighbor dog in Charras

There's an element of "grace" about it. 

GRACE:  The free and unmerited favor of God, and the bestowal of blessings. Aside from saying grace at meals in the olden days, I've only experienced a genuine state of grace three times in my life.  The first when my daughter was born and laid across my stomach, pure exaltation.  The second time was when she died; my heart broke open, and I entered another state of grace.  The third time was in Istanbul, lying on the gobektaksi, the large central stone in the Cemberlitas Hamam, one of the oldest Hamams, dating to Selim II's era.  The sunlight beams were streaming thru the holes in the domed ceiling, & the earthy, generous sized, bare breasted Turkish masseuse was holding me, placing her hands across my stomach/womb...I was swept into the divine element of steaming water/primordial soup - life moving inside me again.  And my second name, after my Grandmother Anne, in Hebrew, means favour or Grace. 

These thoughts of grace and communion had been on my mind for a while and brought me to thinking of Desire:  From Middle English desiren, from Old French desir(r)er, from Latin desidero, to long for, desire, feel the want of, miss, regret, from de + sidus (in the phrase de sidere, "from the stars").  Desiderata:  something necessary or highly desirable. 

And here's a little trivia about the 1927 Max Ehrman poem "Desidarata" (go placidly amid the noise and haste...) Calling it "Spock Thoughts" Leonard Nimoy recited the poem on his 1968 album, "Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy".  The version also appeared in the 1995 re-release of Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space. His rendition changed the second to the last sentence from "Be Cheerful" to "Be Careful" (should have kept both in there!) In concluding her January 8, 1970, interview with David Frost, Joan Crawford recited the Desiderata. That's all I have to say about Desiderata (and Whatever DID Happen to Baby Jane?).

Just look at those ears! I named him Spock


My desire had been abandoned like the caboose left behind on the train tracks (trivia: did you know that a caboose in the 1700's was the kitchen on a ship's deck?) while the locomotive speeds thru the tunnel. And you can live without a lot of things, but desire isn't one of them.  Funny how the word "Abandon" has that sad face of being left behind, but is so often coupled with "wild".  

New Orleans Cemetery Angel - Contemplation

I always get excited when the STAR shows up in someone's reading.  I know it's likely they will get their heart's desire, it's the guiding light, like the Star of Bethlehem and the Star of David. It represents radiance and confidence in our inherent light, life force that has every intention of actualizing creative ideas on earth thru our own natures.  The philosopher Heidegger described the function of the archetype this way:  A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the Absolute can manifest.  The Star card reminds us that each of us are gateways, openings for light.  The Star shows us that we have come through to the other side.  Some see the Star as the Planet Venus, the Morning Star.  It brings healing and regeneration.  Be a Star, Shine,  let others see the real you, don't turn away from your own gifts. 

The Star - Salvadore Dali

I love the Salvadore Dali Star from the deck my french friend, Martine, gave me.  I don't use the deck for readings; they feel like stand alone pieces of art.

The J. Philip Thomas,Tarot de Paris deck, which my darling brother gave me, has a sumptuous Star  too - can't you just feel the way it radiates off the card?

J. Philip Thomas Deck - The Star

The Italian writer, Italo Calvino wrote, the Tarot is a machine for constructing stories.  And I'm a sucker for stories.  In regular conversation, I feel I am slightly incoherent; I don't have the linear thread, I see the confused look in people's eyes when I try to tell them about a film I saw, or a joke, I usually lead with the punch line.  My mind is like a kalaidescope, tumbling shards of color and emotions.  It is only in hearing other's stories over a deck of cards, I am lent a voice, not fully my own, but given to me to speak from some more lucid, interior well.  Lately, I've been kissed by God.

Random:  Don't you just love a blue door?  


And a chair in a field?

Near Feuillade


Night comes, an angel stands
Measuring out the time of stars,
Still are the winds, and still the hours.

It would be peace to lie
Still in the still hours at the angel's feet,
Upon a star hung in a starry sky,
But heart's another measure beat.

Each body, wingless as it lies,
Sends out its butterfly of night
With delicate wings, and jeweled eyes.

And some upon day's shore are cast,
and some in darkness lost
in waves beyond the world, were float
somewhere the islands of the blest.

Kathleen Raine

But tell no one I am an angel.

Stars above Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI.

We try to fix and control that which is beyond us and so much seems beyond us, but we can't control the stars, we can't even "fix" them as they explode around us.  Star gazing brings us to silence. Meister Eckhart said:  Nothing in the world resembles God so much as silence.  In 1998 we trooped en masse up Mt. Tamalpais to see the Leonid showers.  We had our cushions, our blankets, coffee and our sense of wonder.  An intimacy on the hillside with an easy group of souls, the only sound was the warm feathered winds.  I never wanted to go to the moon, but I could swim in the stars.

Another Avatar in Feuillade

You don't need certainty - you matter.  And no matter how lost you may be, you keep searching to be found.

  Our birth is but a sleep and forgetting
  The soul rises with us, our life's STAR
  Hath had elsewhere its setting 
  And cometh from afar 

     Nathaniel Hawthorne

These are the days of miracle & wonder.  A distant constellation dying in the sky.  - Paul Simon

Thalia, my comic muse, just whispered in my ear...don't forget to laugh!  And she's right, I've learned as much from comedians about being human, as from philosophers and poets. 

Pensees - St. Severin Cafe

And to bring it all back round to Desire...if we go deep down inside ourselves, we find out we possess exactly what we desire.

We live as thresholds between the great memory and between the new promise and the new life towards which we are called.  Stay open to this invitation -- we needn't be confined to hungry ledges; we can be alive and intense with the energy from elsewhere, not dependent on struggle, endurance. The Divine world offers itself in every moment to your imagination; break out of isolation and heal all that is damaged, God has come to you.  Celebrate your belonging to the great presence.  You are in yourself, in this clay world, you are the earth.  You are already home.

 John O'Donohue, the Immortal Irish Poet-

Some days chickens, some days feathers

A Moment Of Happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

A few highlights below from the events I did in April and May, Champs Rose and La Charrue -

One of my favorite private readings was for an Irish/Scottish lad named James, just 10 years old who asked all the big questions, like "where is God?" Would he come to James's house if he were invited? and I had such small answers, but I was able to tell him, thanks to John O' Donohue, that the ancient word for Home is God, so there is a good chance he will show up & James can play a video game with him. 

Beltane: midway between Equinox and Summer Solstice. We come alive in our flesh! A portal beckons, heard, that day, a more-than-green voice from the stripped branches. Wooden lace, a celestial geometry, your twig-winged angel of annunciation uttered more than familiar rhythms of growth. It said by the Grace of God - we take the daylight for granted, the moon, the measured practiced the presence of God as a musician practices hour after hour his art: 'A stone carver before the carver, you 'entered into yourself.'

              - Denise Levertov from Sands of the Well, Conversion of Brother Lawrence.

Angel at my Table

La Charrue parrot and commentator

Flowers for Lisa at La Charrue

Rape fields on the way to Champs Rose

Tapestry - Champs Rose

Grounds of Champ Rose

Always a heart left behind, maybe more than one...
Champs Rose

The Star - Sunrise/Sunset Deck

Les Pieces de Temps - La Chapelle Montbrandeix

Expo - Zou

I began with Helene Cixous (whom I first encountered at a voice workshop with Enrique Pardo of Pantheatre, offshoot of Roy Hart Theatre, Chateau Malerargues in the Cevannes - -Paris et Malerargures, Gard, learning one of her texts by heart from The Third Body), it is fitting that I should end with her as well.

"...for me death is past.  It as already taken place, my own. It was at the beginning..."  Helene Cixous

Helene Cixous


I will be California Dreamin,'' then in Santa Fe, Silver City, New Mexico for the next 5 weeks to do Tarot events and private readings.  If you are interested in attending an event or would like to schedule a private reading, please contact me at 


  1. Gracious, Glorious, Glowing... Thank you for these reminders. I love your blog...

    1. Dearest Kate,
      Merci, thank you for the generous comment! xxxra