Saturday, December 31, 2016

THE ART OF REMEMBERING, A Suitcase of Memories in the Year of Mercy - Part I

It's winter now - I'm knocked up by memories, surrounded by frost and cobwebs...didn't use any protection, so here I am again, rummaging around in the credenza of my soul.  The Starlings, les étourneaux, are on the ascendant. 

                                                          Worn Out Gloves
Koszmarne Gąszczu Kołysanki from Deviant Art

Life in Suspension - La Vie Suspendue

"Let me introduce myself.
I'm the Memory Collector, your companion and spirit guide.
Let's unwind the clock, peel the past.
The reflections you give me, conjure, surrender from within,
I throw into the fire, the cauldron of resolutions.
They burn into embers and flickers that evolve into butterflies.
They flutter away, heal and free you of all chains
so they can revisit and invent who you are.
Let the dance begin..."

 Helene Cardona
    Excerpt from "Life in Suspension", Salmon Poetry - 2016

                                In Europe, I live on Air, and Prayer and Stone...
La Chapelle-Montbrandeix

Pembrokeshire Coast - Wales

Readings at Harmony Holistics

   "...Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
             Because of all things known
                       That is most difficult." -  W.B. Yeats

Time, Transition, Spiraling, Expanding
Life is simple and elemental in  The Rooms of Time

La Chapelle Montbrandeix

 La Chapelle Montbrandeix

 The Joyful Mysteries


Cast from afar before the
stones were born
And rain had rinsed the
darkness of colour,
The words have waited
for the hunger in her
To become the silence
where they could form.

The day's last light frames
her by the window,
A young woman with
distance in her gaze,
She could never imagine
the surprise
That is hovering over her 
life now.

The sentence awakens 
like a raven,
Fluttering and dark,
opening her heart
To nest the voice that
first whispered the earth
from dream into wind,
stone, sky and ocean.

She offers to mother the
shadow's child;
Her untouched life becoming
wild inside. 

John O'Donohue - Conamara Blues

Another Day, Another Portal - Tarot Readings at Harmony Holistics

Memory for the Greeks was the mother of all the Muses:  Mnemosyne mater Musarum

And distance is the essence of beauty, because only distance purifies the reality of what Schopenhauer called the will-to-life, which is the source of suffering, of all our overwhelming possessive desires, then distance is achieved when the world appears in our memories.  This bountiful memory, one twinned with Imagination, sets before our eyes vivid images, rich in details, not pale languid shadows...For Marcel Proust, the small sponge cakes called madelines...dipped in lime flower tisane, evoked memories of childhood and brought happiness.  They caused a revelation, an epiphany.  In this simultaneous experience of the present and the past, Proust began to see clearly in a state of rapture.    from Kore:  On Sickness, the Sick and the Search for the Soul of Medicine, Andrzej Szczeklik

               ZOU -  La Hameau de la Brousse
The door to the invisible must be visible - Rene Daumal

It's always now.  The now is eternal.  We always see with memory. 

Laugh a lot, it clears the lungs.

David Hockney

My Chariot year proved true to its wheels; they never stopped turning. 
What a wild ride I had!  This elephant would have been more comfortable.

The Chariot,

There is no chronology of events to follow here, especially when I'm thinkin' from my heart, but life don't clickety clack down a straight line track, it comes together and it comes apart. -  Ferron, from Ain't Life a Brook.  And the Cards exist outside of linear time; if I knew more about Quantum logic I could tell you more about that, but I don't!

They didn't sing it, but these Cats said it even better:

Time is the moving image of eternity - Plato
The mystery of dismemberment is life in time - Joseph Campbell
Time is a conception to measure eternity - Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi

Somewhere in Santa Fe, Chimayo, Silver City?

I don't know what it's like for you but here's what
it's like for me... I wanted to turn beautiful and
serve Eternity and never follow money or love with
greasy hands, or move the earth and waters just to make
it fit my plans. My eyes would be the harbor, my words
the perfect place for a girl on a road.

     Have Cards    -    Will Travel 
Stork - Malpertuis Leormand

   ...and they did, May and June from Charras to Bordeaux, Fr., Amsterdam, San Francisco, Vallejo, Mill Valley, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Chimayo, Silver City and all the way back again. In August & September, Southeast France.  Maps on my taps. I read for French students in the train station, in airports - after the flight from Amsterdam to Bordeaux was cancelled, I read for anxiety-pocked travelers at the "home on the road hotel".  Guess what they wanted to know? I read for 20 women & one lovely man at a garden party in Ross with Hawaiian dancers & music. I read for dozens at the Good Earth in Mill Valley. After 200 Tarot readings, I stopped counting. 

HOOP, Andrea Broyles, Santa Fe, N.M.

This journey is best described by a concept borrowed from Plato, 'metaxu', being 'in between,' in between our earth...comprehensible, concrete, material surroundings, and transcendence, mystery...the situation of the human who is incurably 'en route.
                                In Defense of Ardor: Essays - Adam Zagajewski - Santa Fe, New Mexico

The map is not the territory, so said Alfred Korzybski.
The body is the road.  Edmond Jabès

This place where you are right now, God Circled on a map for you.  Hafiz

Steps - Canyon Road, Santa Fe, N.M.

Traveling was an opening to revelation, to the natural stories, cycles and powers outside of myself  - enough tiptoeing to the windowsill!  A pilgrimage of sorts, as poet, David Whyte, speaks about in "A Great Invitation"; escaping one's own confining story, through entering the stories of others, being found by the world.

"The Opening of Eyes"

"That day I saw beneath dark clouds
The passing light over the water,
And I heard the voice of the world speak out.
I knew then as I have before,
Life is no passing memory of what has been,
Nor the remaining pages of a great book
Waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things,
Seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years of secret conversing
Speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert fallen to his knees
Before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
As if to enter heaven and finding himself astonished,
Opened at last,
Fallen in love
With Solid Ground."

~  David Whyte, 
"Songs for Coming Home"

Mural on wall of The Market - Tesuque, N.M.

Dawn/Aurora - at the beginning

Open to Revelation
Walking the Labyrinth - Ojo Caliente, N.M.

The Opening of Eyes
Ojo Crow

'What is Grace' I asked God.
And he said,
'All that happens.' 

 Love Poems from God: by Daniel Ladinsky

So many Misbegotten Moons between The Desire of Stars and The Year of Mercy. I lost two blogs - words upon words written over weeks, days, hours, vanished. The first one went AWOL after I had written the last sentence, the ink wasn't even dry.   Poof! went the Photo Phantasms.   Blood, sweat and tears poured over the wireless keyboard. Went through the seven stages of grief; gave up piecing the blogs back together, started afresh, surfing the waves of consciousness by watching lots of Danish and Swedish crime shows, and a French detective series called Spiral. It seemed important to surround myself with narratives I couldn't completely understand.

I got so much sympathy, empathy from my friends (mostly all writers).  It's true what Henry James said about the three things in life that are important:  The first is to have sympathy; the second is to have sympathy; and the third is to have sympathy.  I'll add a fourth:  Back Up (though that is not possible with Blogger - what is lost is lost).

I realize we are in a different world now then when I wrote those words.  Back then I was watching The Vikings (which coupled well with the interminable election), envisioning myself as the Shield Maiden, Lagertha, based on the flesh and blood Lagertha, who was married to THE real Ragnar Lothbrok. 

Shieldmaiden Hervor dying after battle with the Huns - Painting Peter Nicolai Arbo


Later, I learned about a malfunction in the new wireless keyboard I got from Costco while I was in California. However, I'm a huge believer in Fate & decided that Odin was angry. The blogs were too long and self-indulgent; I was being punished.  
Amor Fati

Qui rides?  Mutato nomine et de te fabula narrator.  Why do you laugh? 
 Change only the name and this story is about you.    Horace

Meow Wolf - Santa Fe, New Mexico

The end is in the beginning and yet you go on.  Samuel Beckett, The Endgame

The greatest joy was to see old friends and old haunts with "new eyes" - to be a foreigner in the land of the familiar.  And to be able to tell so many what they had meant to me, how they had changed me, touched my life, both here and there, then and now.  Some traveled great distances, like Christine, who came all the way from Mineral Pt. Wisconsin on trains and buses to Santa Fe (good practice for her Camino Pilgrimage!), poet/artist Kim from Idaho, Jan from Italy Tarot Tour, Sherry on the Ferry, Laurie (my past/present/future girl!), and Jeannie, Donna & Victoria, Richard, Mikethustra, Denny & Greg from Malibu, my beloved brother Mark and poet Kathy Evans, and Liisa &  Aurora, the Diamond Hearts at the center of  my journey. 

Niki de St. Phalle - Tuscany Sculpture Garden - Italy Tarot Tour

And to all those who gave me shelter in their wonderful homes; Dawn in Vallejo, Judy in Mill Valley, Alexandra and Rick in Tesuque, Stewart Warren in Silver City, Pamela Williams in Santa Fe - Thank you!  And for all the Cards and Confidences we shared.  I was able to read for almost every last one, as well as the now grown up children of my friends, Sean, Michelle, Sadie and Liam.  

Judy's in Mill Valley before Ross Tarot Event

With my brother Mark at Dawn's in Vallejo
I wrote all your names on the trees, in the sky, on the wind, stitched them onto my heart.  

Shidoni Sculpture Garden - Tesuque, N.M. photo Pam Williams

What Balzac said about friendship:

 Ce qui rend les amitiés indissolubles et double leur charme, est un sentiment qui manque à l’amour, la certitude. What makes friendship in-dissolute, and what doubles its charms, is a feeling we find lacking in love: I mean certitude. -Balzac

I am sorry there were those whom I didn't get to see. 

The hand opens to the word, opens to distance - Edmond Jabès

"I wish you were here"  -

Everywhere I roamed, a Congregation of Angels watched over me

Me & St. Michael 

Gila National Forest- New Mexico

Museum of International Folk Art - Santa Fe, N.M.

Nothing sweeter than old friends - with Christine & Jane
Museum of International Folk Art

I am an Angel, but tell no one -

Reality is a single unbroken wholeness in 
flowing movement - everything is connected 
and everything is in dynamic flux. - David Bohm

Shidoni Sculpture Garden, Tesuque, N.M.

 Real Life Angels & Guardians

Aurora - Shield Maiden

   On this journey, you begin to see how the sides of your heart that seemed awkward, contradictory & uneven are the places where the treasure lies hidden…More naked now than ever, you begin to feel truly alive. You begin to trust the music of your own soul; you have inherited treasure that no one will ever be able to take from you. At the deepest level, this adventure of growth is in fact a transfigurative conversation with your own death. And when the time comes for you to leave, the view from your death bed will show a life of growth that gladdens the heart and takes away all fear.

   The Question Holds the Lantern - John O' Donohue

Liisa waiting patiently at Wu Wei Temple, Fairax, Ca.

It was a "Wu-Wei" evening, introducing the Le Petit Lenormand cards, coupled with Tarot, into the Temple.  Good things happened, natural action, in alignment with the flow of chocolate biscuits.

Reading Tarot at Wu Wei Temple - Fairfax, Ca. 

I was riding a magic carpet of "transformation" of my own, along with the destinies of those who came tiptoeing or storming in for readings.  Together we shaped and co-created futures, rather than continually correcting the past. 
The Emperor - Tesuque, N.M

I Love You All!  Overpriced Kava & Chocolate Biscuits

I lived & worked in Fairfax for many happy years in a little treehouse on Bolinas Rd.

It was pretty as a painting up there. 

Cows Grazing, Road to Bolinas - Thaddeus Welch, 1844 - 1919

Fairfax, CA

    And oh, so many years ago, I met Pamela Williams in Fairfax, where we would become fast friends; both dutiful, solid Midwestern gals, with a yearning for poetry and art and not always drawing inside the lines.  Who could have predicted, a decade later, we'd be hiking the White Water Canyon in Gila National Forest, reading poems in Silver City, N.M. at a poetry reading put on for us by poet, writer, publisher, Stewart Warren, or that Pamela would come out with her first published book of poems, Hair on Fire, and that I would write a blurb for it, and Arnell Ando, our fairy Godmother and Italy Tarot Tour magician and guide would write the foreword?!!!  There's a run on life sentence for you....or that,

Pamela Williams - Silver City

Whitewater Canyon
Available on Amazon!

   The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams.

  Gaston Bachelard, 19th c. philosopher from "The Poetics of Space."

At Jennifer's, surrounded by the scent of Art and French cuisine

    ... Pamela would introduce me to her dear friend, Jennifer, living in Mill Valley, and Jennifer would prepare us a 5 star french meal along with sharing her wonderful, eclectic art collection.

    I read this book about how some scientists tried to get primates to paint. For 10 years they worked on it, and nothing happened. Then, one of the monkeys suddenly began to paint, and what it painted were the bars of its cage. So, in my writing, I believe I'm painting the bars of my cage so that I can get out. This is something you have to get done before you can meaningfully move on in any way.    - Ferron

And the Days Turned Over - Pep Carrio

    I crossed the Continental Divide and the Birthday Meridian.  Friends made it bearable with birthday cakes and a party put on by Aurora/Dawn, who toted ingredients, spices in her suitcase, all the way from Vallejo to Santa Fe, to make the most delicious concoctions. Canadian friends showed up (always welcome, Canadians!) a psychic and her sister.

 And to my own wise dear seer & soul sister from our "convent" days: Canadian Astrologer, Dale Perigoe, who couldn't be there in the flesh; your Maggie Muggins wore the earrings, blessings and love you sent, with the knowledge we can both get off our knees now - in this lifetime.  Wined and dined, I shan't dare whine about aging.

A Devil and two Angels

Alexandra sent a birthday cake!  Ruffles (Jeanne Bennion), true Alchemist, Artist, Greek scholar, parfumeure and my conduit to the Gods and Goddesses, sent Hermes & the Lyre & Athena of the Trees, in a Butterfly Box of pure essential oils, with her exquisite artwork and writings.  They infused my readings with juju!

Joyeux Anniversaire - Tesuque, N.M.

Hermes and the Lyre - Jeanne Bennion

Out of the Darkness -

Papillon & Birthday Reading - June 6

All my friends are Alchemists in one way or another
We're all dancing on the Causal Plane together
Rodolphe Ernst - The Perfume Maker - likely 19th c.

      Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage - Anais Nin

Princess of the Shining Flame
Princess of Wands - Hard Desire

    I didn't get to see my penpal & friend, Carmen Sorrenti, alchemist, painter, dreamer, astrologer, shape-shifter.  She lives in Italy - she's Italian!  She's a Princess of Wands like Niki de St. Phalle, both so brave, lion hearted.  I wrote an entire section on her and Alchemy, but it vanished in the first wave of Blog Losses.  Look for it in Part II, which at the rate I am writing, will be lucky to resurface by Valentine's Day.  We share some mystical connections, like Alejandro Jodorowsky.  

Pholarchos Tarot -

Daily Alchemy -

Memory is a transcendental function.
Most readings I never forget, but some are forever recorded on my soul.

Memories are microscopic.  Tiny particles that swarm together 
and apart.  Little people, Edison called them.  Entities. He had a theory
about where they come from and that theory was outer space.  

Department of Speculation

Stephanie H. Artist  - Tesuque. N.M.
Azima - Sufi, Taoist, Minister - Silver City, N.M.
Agape - Stephanie Howard

 In 1897, a French doctor named Hippolyte Baraduc conducted a series of photographic experiments.  He hoped to prove that the soul does indeed reside in the body and leaves it at the moment of death.  He fastened a live pigeon to a board with its wings outstretched then placed a photographic plate on its chest and secured it tightly.  As he'd hoped, when he cut the pigeon's throat the plate depicted something.  The Soul leaving took the form of curling eddies, he said.  Up until the 17th c., it was widely believed that magnets had souls.  How else could an object attract or repel?  - from Jenny Offill's Department of Speculation

Kathy Evans - Soul Card

The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness.  Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three. 

    Early mornings & evenings I would trek up and down the hill from Judy's house in Mill Valley, thru the custardy fog to do readings at the Good Earth.  The fog & relentless thrum of traffic on the GG bridge was not at all like the "little cat's feet on silent haunches" of Sandburg's famous poem.  I was happy to be sans car as I watched the commuters, Munchian fueled faces lined with angst & caffeine, crawl along Shoreline Hwy.   The Price of Paradise. 

Golden Gate Bridge
Mill Valley, CA

The Owl & the Pussycat & Kim

Mill Valley, CA

When Kim arrived, we walked up and down the hills together...

Kim Mott with matching car

We found some ducks
A rare bird

One of the last fishermen in Mill Valley

Kim has a knack for finding useful information

Kim's my Buddhist, poet, artist, sandpainting, yogameister, wine sommelier friend, who also lived in Fairfax for many years. She opened up and ran a stellar painting gallery there. She lives in McCall/Boise, ID. now, homesteading and conserving the land and the animals who inhabit it.   No matter where we roam, we write to and for each other. We've been in an adhoc writing group together with Mikethustra for around 20+ years. I don't know why they let me in. I'm a dumb blonde. They're both much better writers than I am.  Maybe because I have large breasts?!  Having Kim for a friend is like having Aladdin's lamp; she makes your wishes come true. (That's how I got the large breasts) - just kidding. 

Summer Sandals

These summer brown feet 
imbrued by sun and field dirt
are stick-scratched and
scored by slender wild rye;
all the while grass-stained.

My favorite sandals
redolent of gardening sweat
are ragged, scuffed
and impressed in worn
umber toe prints.

My heels are smothered
by unwashable earth and 
thick-calloused cracks 
that have all just begun to 
bleed a little.

This smallest havoc
always happens
at the end of summer.

Kim Mott

With no expectations in our pockets we hiked down to the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade

Parade Ready! Hats compliments of Mikethustra (I got the best one)

Give Peace a Chance

Scottish Piper

We were in a time warp - it was as though we had never left. Up in the hills, it was 2020, cyborgs and million dollar homes.  Down in the flats, Ghandi held sway with Wavy Gravy, the rainbow & tie dye people, Gumby and Scottish Pipers.  It was almost the "Summer of Love" that never was.

Praise the Mutilated World.

Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.

You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.

You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.

Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

—Adam Zagajewski

Oh, the ceaseless process of becoming..

Lending Library  (Anam Cara Poem)

There are volumes and novels,
poetry sheafs, the coal black crow
wings out the window tagging
with the billowing wind, some sort of
‘you’re it’ thing. You leaned into 
these gelasins and told me about a
boy who every night taped beans in his.
Arrived empty-handed with not much
more than a green suitcase;
I leave these dimples by day
to be borrowed from the library.
Little summer tan depressions on the shelf,
there is no sign out sheet for names,
time taken, or date stamp -
wear them to Eyeries or Mishkish
to dimple at the dabbed woolen sheep,
or to Clauskey’s pub to dent into stout pint,
or to the yellow hill church to cup prayer;
I care not. My only request is
to return them more smiled.

Kim Mott

Quelle Joie! I got to spend some rare time with Kathy Evans, Imagination Comes to Breakfast, my Waldo Pt. Harbor comrade; our docks within waving distance; we "surfed" the high and low tides of life together, kayaks and caroling, Hip-Hop in San Francisco, daffodil stalking with Wordsworth perched on our shoulders, & walking the desert, Burning Man, jazz till dawn. Kathy of Poets in the Schools, Juvie Hall, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Graphic Recording, the Tingler, Oxygen bar, Cirque de Soleil in Vegas!  And the job I almost took at The Grove.  I would have seen you everyday Kathy. France has great cheese and wine, but no Kathy to age and mellow with.    

Kathy Evans - Teacher, Poet, Word Doctor
Reading for Kathy at the Good Earth

Kathy Evans - Soul Card

                                      on this voyage
                                      sea is voices

                                       voices the waves 
                                       we float on

                                        we drift near dreams
                                        turning inward

                                        under our eyelids
                                        it is the depth
                                                                                                         keeping us afloat

                                                                                                             Sally Doyle
Kathy Evans - Soul Card
I wish my breathing tubes
could come alive,
climb the walls
of my hospital room and suck up
all the air on the walls.
Then the breathing tubes would
jump off off the walls
when they were done.
I wish I could change into a tiger
a T-Rex and a tiger shark, and
camoflage so I could pinch
people passing by on St. Patrick's Day
who weren't wearing green.
I wish I could go into 
some movies like the monsters
in Universe City
and Jurassic Park where there are
a bunch of new dinosaurs.
I wish I could fly over the hospital
instead of being in bed inside.
 I wish I were Superman,
the man of steel.
by Christian 

from Floating Near a Dream
Poems by children at UCSF 
Benioff Children's Hospital

My Soul, Where Are You?

The Spirit got too close


Policy documents were requested.
Nothing came that close.  Nothing came out
The spirit wanted shoes to step from
to lighthouse
but shoes were impossible; the spirit
the Heron,
the Owl--
You've seen their wings fan out
through the trees

Birds are the intervention
between worlds
and music is in between
what is
the in between? 

Is death a cycle
or circle
it begins when we begin
Death belongs to the circus of the living
the trapeze between 
the two sides of air

Kathy Evans - excerpt

Mimbres Bowl with Wild Turkeys & Centipede - Silver City, N.M.

Bird with a message -

Reading for Jan Walker - Good Earth
Good Earth with Victoria, Celtic Queen

    Vasu/Liisa showed up in her voiture de soleil, and we swanned around in a Blue Dream. She whisked me all over the place from the Dollar store in San Rafael to get some much needed readers, to Target, where I bought a bubble machine to bring back to France for some fantasy bubble blowing when I do readings at the French Expos and Markets, to a Medical Cannabis dispensary in Cotati to see what that landscape looks like now after the laws changed, to some of my favorite haunts in the woods, the beach, and Pt. Reyes, where I lived for around four years, riding horses and consorting with cowboys.  (I had to give up the bubble machine to a more appropriately aged child, since it didn't fit into my suitcase). 

Liisa/Vasu (Yes, her name has 2 i's)

Beloved Limantour Beach, Pt. Reyes Station

With the Sequoias in a Blue Dream

 Liisa and I go way back, so much history, but not so many parallels.  We worked together for Shen Foundation, East Meets West, the best of Chinese and Western medicine, where Liisa was on the forefront of discovery; presenting workshops/seminars/research grants for alternative medicine, Shamanic Medicine and good old Traditional Medicine with a side dish of psychics and channels.  Liisa brought the latest and greatest of cutting edge peeps thru the portals of Shen Foundation/Fairfax and beyond. 

 She had her bonafides after being a side kick to Ram Dass from the very earliest Indian ragas.  But more than that, we both fervently believe we are the architects of our own reality.  Once we camped at the foot of Mt. Shasta and fought off the bears together.  Remember, Liisa? And sharing doobies in Gloucester with your Dad, Russell before he died? It was the last time we both saw him alive.  We three went to the House of Seven Gables in Salem.

 My respect for you went over the moon.  I saw how you honored him; held the portal open for him as he stepped thru with dignity, and the grace accorded a Celtic Warrior. And the irony of the theme of Hawthorne's book, House of...the wrong-doing of one generation lives into the successive ones, and . . . becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.  Russell loved that.  You're a mick off the old block, O'Maley.  

 And  also good at all the things I'm not, like geography and organizing anything and everything. Even got our money back when we got sucked into that Airplane game donkeys years ago.  I'm in Awe.  Liisa's  a psychic entitity. A Pisces born in a Leap Year - no wonder!  Tickety boo - Thank you for everything Vasu!

Rick Stevens - Psychic Entity - Santa Fe, N.M.

    Enter, my beloved brother Mark - Scary smart, Sci-Fi, Fantasy writer, author of Palace and Eyes of God; poet, editor, scholar, funny & wise. He's my compass rose, my north star, my loyal champion, and he makes me laugh harder than anyone.  We walked together to the sea, entered the Tennessee Valley Portal...said all the things we needed to say. We were the only ones on the beach that day except for one woman creating a labyrinth.  That in itself was a miracle!

Life is a constant hallucination - Laurie Anderson

The House of Eternal Return - Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, N.M.

Mark - Tennessee Valley

Kelp - An endless source of fun
Dreaming Way Lenormand

Sponge Bob's favorite breakfast cereal


I want to live where the light is good and the
food is slow.

I want to live under warm rain and
I want to
walk when it is
cold out and
breath is

I want to feel the
wind, strong and full of the joy of
whirling and whipping and whistling and
whining and rearranging the
world. I have no
wish for a mere
flirtation with the Earth's

I want to sing in the shower.
I want to caress marble.
I want to pick apples.
I want to whistle and be

I want you and your
will and your wit and your

Mark Kreighbaum

Woman - Labyrinth, Tennessee Valley


Walking in Tennessee Valley
past algae filled ditches,
two boys plunging sticks into the muck
"killing frogs and spiders."

I ask them why they want to kill
the spiders and frogs
and they say "they have no purpose"
so I ask them what their purpose is?

and they just say:  "we are people;
we are important."

Then I remember a story I read about
an arctic tribe that believes all things
on earth have a soul that exists in
miniature form of the body that holds it

like a deer with a tiny deer inside it,
so when the large being dies,
the tiny form lives on and can slide
into other forms like the belly
of a great feminine spirit

where it waits
until the moon can send it back to earth.

R.A. Martin

Tennessee Valley Road past algae filled ditches

Deer - Tennessee Valley


When she died, we were mute, not
enemies, but images, and a few
faulty memories like a blurred

I remember meat loaf and tuna noodle casserole
and Christmas ornaments, Johnny Cash and
Mickey Spillane.  I remember
a spelling bee she helped me with.
I remember that she sometimes liked games.
Aggravation and Kings-in-the-Corner,
cribbage and Life.

I remember the stick shift Vega she taught me how to drive.

Also, Tom Collins and being beaten with a
belt for being stubborn, or stupid, or only a
child.  And I remember no parents when I
graduated and not even wondering at that 

And I remember Round Lake
frozen like the heart of my 

And how I wished that I were a 

When she died, she left me no word or
image, no true memory, no
belongings, save her
love of squaring debts, and a lifelong
ledger, which I see in my mind as all in her hand
blue ink
and regret.

But she also left me a sister who loved me.  And
therefore, all debts are

Mark Kreighbaum

You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you. - C.S. Lewis, Aslan to Jill in The Silver Chair

YEAR OF MERCY          

St.Francis - Cathedral Basilica - Santa Fe, N.M.
St. Francis, Ditto

I think it was from the
that St. Francis learned
it is possible to cast yourself
on the earth's good mercy 
and live.

Jane Hirschfield

The first person I met in Santa Fe was St. Francis, the third was Jesus. 

Jesus - Santa Fe, Chez Mamou

Aurora dropped me off at the Basilica, and I set forth to find the Tune-Up Cafe, which had been recommended to me by reliable sources.  I was so looking forward to some Huevos and Mexican coffee.  As good as they be, I'm burned out on Cafe au Laits and Croissants!  In dawn's light, just breaking, I walked along the immaculate Santa Fe streets, just stirring, lécher les vitrines (licking the windows - "window shopping" in french).  I love a city when it's just waking up, in its own reverie, still a little sleepy and slow. 

 Art and beauty partout-everywhere! but I had to get some coffee!  I stopped and asked directions at a parking garage that looked like an entry to a designer store.  Kind and gracious, the attendant was like a host for an art opening.  He pulled out a colorful, local map (which I still have), got out his I-phone (which I don't have) & placed me right at the Tune-up Cafe.  As I left the garage, I made a note that I could actually live there, if necessary.  Just bring a sleeping bag into one of the cozy parking stalls.

Next, I got lost, because I always do:  geographcally dyslexic.  On my way to being lost, I walked two miles and passed three french cafes!  The handwriting was on the wall.  No huevos for me!  The siren call of Chez Mamou coincided with the call of caffeine. 

I settled into a sweet table in the tree-limned, side courtyard, which had the authentic air of a French Cafe in Paris, but without all the noise and exhaust fumes. Tranquility personified, I could work on a reading I was doing for a friend. 

I was in Heaven (with coffee).  And then along came Jesus, sweeping the path alongside me.  He stopped and stared at the cards with the biggest brown eyes I've ever seen.  I asked him if he was interested in the cards.  Guess what? He spoke no English or French, and I spoke no Spanish, but somehow I gleaned that he did numerology & was interested in the esoteric arts.  If only my friend Dottie was there with her fluent French and Spanish.  All would be revealed in the time it takes to say:  Te entiendo...

But we muddled along, I figured out he was from Colombia and wanted to go to Miami; using hilarious hand signals, I asked him if he wanted a reading.  He did, AND he wanted to do a numerology reading for me.  This was obviously beyond our linguistic compatabilities; but then central casting sent in the proprietere, the Chef, a lovely man, (who'd been staring at us from behind a palm tree) speaking fluent French and Spanish (but then he would be, wouldn't he, running Chez Mamou?!).  Tres gentille, our interpreter.

What the cards told me, and what I told Jesus is between he, and me, and God.  What Jesus told me (through Monsieur R.), was that he had met a lot of people in his young/old life, and some were good on the outside, some were good on the inside, but I was one of the only ones who's  inside matched the outside.  Well, I'm crying now as I write this, because it was one of the most profound blessings I've ever received.  It truly was the "Year of Mercy."  And I can see Jesus from here, Salsa dancing the night away at Cuba Ocho, Little Havana, in Miami.

Okay, Odin is really getting angry again, the suitcase way overstuffed! But hey, most of it is photos and poems; one can zippety do dah past all the text, like a comic book.  I could keep going, as this is just the beginning, but my brother, thank Dieu, reminded me of the "Rule of Three," which in writing says things are funnier,  more satisfying, and effective when they come in threes. There is also a Wicca three-fold law that states, whatever energy you put in the world, positive or negative, will come back three times. I hope this has been a positive experience for those reading my words, because they'll be two more parts (Jesus willing) to follow.  Blessings to you all as we launch ourselves into this exquisite and terrifying year ahead.

In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.  St. John of the Cross

Book with Wings - Anselm Kiefer

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
 Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Charras, France

Next time: Part II -  Mysticism for Beginners, a Trip to the Desert, a visit to Lisa de St. Croix's (my Italy tarot tour roomie) Santa Fe Studio, Poetry Reading in Silver City (Abcedarian poem, 16 pages, I bet you can't wait!) and more Alchemy...

Silver City, N.M. - Poetry Reading

In our earthly house, windows are replaced by mirrors, the door; until a given time is closed; but air comes in through the cracks.  from the Gift,  "Pale Fire:  The Magic of Artistic Discovery"  - Vladamir Nobokov

Worn out Glove - Charras, France


  1. Thank you Rudy for sharing your wild, wonderful adventures, profound thoughts & dreams. Loving all the incredible poetry & sage words shared. Of course all this fabulous imagery speaks volumes too. Good to see you with your bro Mark (and in the arms of St. Mikey). The Question Holds the Lantern by John O' Donohue was a comfort to read & has me pondering, as does much of what you included in this blog. And re: your Columbian Jesus moment, I totally agree with the dude: you definitely are one who's inside matches the outside! A true friend & mystical traveler of words, cards & visions. With much love & thanks, xo Arnell

    1. Dear Arnell, thank you for this beautiful, generous comment! and taking the time to read all those words. You really have been the connective tissue and nexus for so much of this ongoing journey. Love, RA

  2. What an incredible journey and celebration of friends! You have such a profound appreciation of your experiences, I can't help but feel if waking from a dream. In fact, last night, I dreamed I wore the mask of a blind Polish woman who bravely left home and traversed dangerous and rocky terrain in order to arrive someplace new. When I woke, I felt stronger myself...more brave. So in that way, having read your sharings here, I feel more appreciative of the poetry of my own life. I was reminded of burning many photographs with a friend in ceremony to relinquish my personal history many years ago. The memories, of course, remain. A quote about mirrors (which I collect) comes to mind:

    “Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.” Kahlil Gibran

    Thank you for this mirror.

    1. Dielle, Wow, thank you for your insights and your dreams, and the mirror you are holding up to your IS eternal and it is so good to have companions on such a journey - to meet at the proverbial rest stops to share our stories. And your stories and VOICE add so much to the eternal conversation. Bisous, RA

  3. rudy, love, you break open my tender heart over and over with such loveliness, insight, magic and joy gathered like flowers from a field. as always, i'm left with a new list of writers/artists to explore - comforted despite my futile wanting this glimpse of the juice of life to continue endlessly! i drink in every word and image, loving seeing some of mark's work (wrecked, of course by his poem to you)and so honored to share this thread with the grace of all your creative collaborators. gratitude for the springboard into what now feels like a day of rare possibilities. love, pamela ps and thaddeus welch's version of west marin - swoon.

    1. Thanks for being one of my guardian angels on this journey & sharing that podium with me - couldn't have done it without you, nor would i have wanted to. Our magical night, all those twinkle lights in the trees and the rapt faces, even a Poet Laureate in the crowd! And I'm still loving those socks I got in Silver City thanks to you! Must hear more re "Hair on Fire"! Bisous, Rudy