December 31, 2003

Another Swan

IMG_5038_321.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 07:53 PM

December 30, 2003

So, What Have You Been Up To?

I have been completely uninspired, out of steam, bemused, rather demused, since my return. Me. "Mad Rush to the Computer" girl. What a disappointment.

Ostensibly, posting everyday is important. It will be just my luck to post insipidly, once again, and get trolled, once again. I have to remember that I am at my best when I am ruthless. I would rather be inspired by intellectual ideas, but I'm not.

I am reading three memoirs by women. "Psyche's Seeds", by a Jungian therapist who is quite dishy in her photo, married several times with many books to her credit. "A Round Heeled Woman: My Late Life Adventures in Sex and Romance" by Jane Juska, a 66 year old divorcee who doesn't want to die without having a satisfying sexual experience again. The book is about her quest to manifest one. And, my favorite, "A Door Ajar" by Alix Taylor, an eighty two year old woman on a spiritual journey.

The latter is my favorite because it involves synchronicity, guides that literally plop our heroine into exactly the right place at exactly the right time, out of body experiences, near death experiences, real death experiences, true love, true love loss, illness, pain, you know, high drama, not just beauty tips and affirmations. The kind of experiences that spray the ego with a fire hose and watch it go down the storm drain. I haven't reached the denoument yet. Neither have you.


Posted by Dakota at 10:27 PM

December 29, 2003

Convergence

IMG_4521_320.jpg

IMG_4524_320.jpg


interview with Gabor Mate by Margaret Gunning

I have been reading and loving "Scattered", a book about the etiology and pervasiveness of Attention Deficeit Disorder by Gabor Mate. I haven't finished it, of course, since I seem to have ADD. I posted a quote from it , nonetheless, and Margaret Gunning commented today.

When reading her interview with him, I discovered that he has recently released a second book When the Body Says No, about the mind/body connection. Will I add one more book to my piles? He is, after all, speaking to to core of my issues.
Probably.

Posted by Dakota at 10:19 PM

December 28, 2003

The swans

IMG_6358_320.jpg


I entered my mother's energy field for a few days. It is highly diluted due to senile dementia. I managed to stay conscious. and even shoot a few good pictures, most of which are slightly out of focus. The swans were everywhere.

IMG_6361_321.jpg


"In shamanism, the Swan totem is associated with love, inspiration, intuition, self-transformation, gracefulness and beauty, and also with traveling to the Otherworld. As a water bird, it is also connected with emotions. Swan can help you with seeing the inner beauty in yourself and others, developing your intuition, accepting transformations and balancing your emotions. " Great!

Posted by Dakota at 07:15 PM

The Pelicans

IMG_6221_320.jpg


There are at least 400 swans living on the lakes in the center of town, so spotting a white swan is a ho hum event. A black swan warrants only a bit more attention.

Spotting fifty white swans is lovely, but hard to photograph.

Pelicans are another matter. For the few days I'm in town, so are the pelicans. Lucky me.

Posted by Dakota at 07:15 PM

Santa

IMG_6040_240.jpg

I was taking photos of the wall of fragmented mirrors at the airport. A man with a black fedora and trench coat walked up next to me. He had a white beard, to which I registered, "Maine". He stopped to chat and was very friendly. After he turned and walkied about 40 feet away, I realized he was Santa.

Brandishing my camera, I yelled repeatedly to his departing back, "Stop Santa, stop. Turn around.", and he did. I am told by witnesses who wished not to have been associated with me at the time, that half the terminal also turned around. Poor guy was mobbed. So much for trying to get to your assigned post incognito.

Posted by Dakota at 05:35 PM

December 24, 2003

Goldfish All Dressed Up for the Holidays

IMG_3071_320.jpg

This is a denoument photo. For the full photo essay click A Childrens Story Nemo meets Martha Stewart.

Posted by Dakota at 05:39 AM

another chat with my Sadistic aspect

Higher self: Hi again, welcome back We were so pleased to chat with you the other night. You seem considerably calmer this evening.

Sadistic self: That's because I got what I wanted today. Synchronicity up the wazoo. My satisfactions include the ability to acknowledge some of my poppet's positive purpose . She allows me to experience my full outrage, and I don't even have to try to contain it, BECAUSE SHE DESERVES IT, on paper, that is. However, they did make me leave my rant in draft, due to personal details that might be recognizable, like purple plastic face.

Usually I come out only when a boundary is crossed in an arrogant, intrusive way. see on being trolled Because I'm a unidimensional aspect, I don't have to look at my responsiblity for being unclear about the boundary in the first place. I can just cream 'em. I am told that I am at my best when I am ruthless.

The rest of the time, I hang out criticizing other internal aspects of self. It's not creative work, since I basically say the same old thing, you know, I can always count on the weight thing, the stupid thing, the insipid thing, etc. It's really only fun because they fall for it. All the satisfaction of being a bully on the playground and making someone cry.

Higher Self: Yes, I can see that that could be very satisfying. From some of my reading, I learned a couple of things about bullies. I wonder if you could tell me if they are true? First, that bullies don't have too many friends, they are feared, but not liked. Does it get lonely for you?
Second, that bullies are only doing to others what has been done to them, perpetration, I think it's called. Did something happen to you that makes you think it's okay to behave this way?

Sadistic Aspect: Don't try to psychoanalyze me. I'm outta here.

Higher Self: Oh dear, just when we were making a little progress.

Posted by Dakota at 05:28 AM

December 22, 2003

Big day on the cosmic plane

DSCN0386_crop_240.jpg

This is what my shaman gave me for Christmas. She was visiting her friend who owns Sacred and Folk, turned around and saw Ganesha on the shelf at eye level. She said "That's for Dakota". This photo is about three times as large as the real ofject. It's tiny, about two inches high. My very first sacred object! And such a cute one.

In addition, a friend asked me to open two pieces of mail for her, one of which contained information for my/our next project on the path

I also had an insight about the key to life-death-consciousness. It was just like seeing the Rosetta Stone for the first time, and understanding that it's not simply an old dusty rock. Sometimes you just don't have the awareness to know what's happening, like Parsival.

On that rather grandiose note, I vacate the premises for a few days.

Posted by Dakota at 11:52 PM

shadow self

IMG_5740_240.jpgIMG_5755_240.jpg

This piece was done by Jill Solomon and was in the window of Sacred and Folk, right next door to Heaven.

Posted by Dakota at 08:15 PM

December 21, 2003

Dialog with the part of self that was sadistically treated and wants to retaliate

Higher self: Welcome, we're very glad that you came out to talk with us finally. You have been hitting that poppet pretty hard, and we're wondering what you're remembering.

Sadistic Aspect: Fuck you. You stood around and took all this stuff. If you hadn't been so chicken shit, I would have killed her. At least I would have had shouting matches and physical fights with her, like Lynn did with her mother. Even now you keep me so repressed, deflated like a old condom, (directly from the unconscious) for fear that I'll kill someone. Bring on the Viagra. This is fun. Let's see what happens.

Higher Self: I can see that you really worked up a head of steam in that spider hole. Why don't I surround you with light, and let you express what it's been like to hold all this for sixty years.

Sadistic Aspect: Asshole - what exactly do you think I have been doing for two years, with twenty energy healers all over me, every week?

Higher self: Thank you for coming. Bye, bye.

The Higher Self finds herself wishing to apologize for the crudeness of the Sadistic Aspect. However, that trait is inherent in aspects like this. We can't be shy about these things.

Posted by Dakota at 07:43 PM

brussel sprouts and roses

IMG_5965_320.jpg

The ersatz Martha Stewart in me couldn't resist. Notice the subtle inclusion of the stalk of sprouts on the left. This is it for the sprouts, since I have to cook them before I go away. I don't think the naked stalk will be picture worthy. Someone was seen yesterday blandishing it like a baseball bat.

Posted by Dakota at 04:45 PM

more lights

IMG_1018_320.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 02:45 PM

Keep out

I am going to visit my mother for a few days over Christmas. She is 96. She has senile dementia, which has been coming on for about four years. In the process, she has lost her ability to scrutinize anxiously, so she is much easier to love.

Last time I visited, we had a discussion about her mother, whom she adored. I was reading "The Ozawkie Book of the Dead" at the time. Halfway through our conversation, she asked where her mother was. I gently told her that her mother was dead, and she began to cry. I explained that her mother would be about 135 years old, if she were alive. This surprized my mother. She vaguely asked about the rest of her siblings, my father, and then she brightened. "I know where they are!" she exclaimed. "They are behind the door with the window and the staircase behind it. There is a big sign on the door that says 'Keep Out'."

"Oh", thought I, "she is telling me about the Bardo, and she is getting a message from the universe."

The next day, her friend, Mary Lyn, was admitted to the unit where my mother lives. We went down to the end of the hall to visit. As we were leaving Mary Lyn's room, I saw a door across the hall with a window and a staircase behind it. On the door was a big sign that read, "KEEP OUT".

Posted by Dakota at 06:01 AM

lights

IMG_5902_320.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 05:49 AM

The Bardo

I haven't mentioned Elmer Green in awhile. He developed biofeedback. He is a remarkable man, one who connected to universal wisdom early and used his gifts and his guidance wisely. He writes about his life (in blog format), in his book "The Ozawkie Book of the Dead" . He was never snagged by what he calls "glamor and illusion", the trap of the narcissist (like Deepak Chopra and many of the new age, spirtual "stars" ). Elmer Green valued his unconscious, was guided by his dreams, and sublimated his instinctual energies, but not without struggle.

The subtitle of Ozawkie is "Alzheimer's Isn't What you Think It Is", because the core of the book is a diary of caring for his beloved wife, Alice, during her seven years with Alzheimer's.

Elmer believes in the Hindu system of reincarnation. He calls it, coming back to Earth School. Graduation from Earth School requires making the unconscious conscious, bringing the instinctual into the light, until you evolve into a higher state of being. Elmer's wife, Alice, was finishing up her last rotation through Earth School. She was going on to become a spirit guide in the Bardo, but she hadn't completed all the requirements, so Elmer helped her finish.

Elmer believes that Alzheimer's is a condition in which people spend time in the Bardo, the next level of incarnation, while still in their physical bodies. He anchored Alice in the physical, while she explored the next world. He paid close attention to her perceptions, confusing though they were, and, in the process, learned quite alot about navigating the Bardo.

Aside: John Bayley , who was married to the prolific British novelist, Iris Murdoch, has written a book about their experience with Iris' Alzheimer's called "Elegy for Iris" . He also cares for her soul, as she loses her formidable, intellectual prowess. However, he doesn't contextualize their experience in the universe, the way Elmer does, so the story is much sadder. Iris seems to have been on a mysterious, spiritual path in her lifetime, which isn't well illuminated in the book.

Alzheimer's Disease Education

Posted by Dakota at 05:36 AM

December 19, 2003

brussel sprouts

IMG_5880_320.jpg

IMG_5891_320.jpg

Here in the suburbs we rarely have the opportunity to see the brussel sprout in its natural form. This is not a photo of an unattractive, handmade Christmas ornament, though I will certainly use it as such, for awhile. It is a bevy of brussel sprouts growing out of a stalk. They are not attached with glue, rather, with true umbilica.

The full length of the stalk is about three feet. Impressive. Throw a few baby eggplants, and a kumquat or two around it, and you have something spectacular for your dining room table. Unfortunately, my table is unavailable for such a display, due to the Wrapping Production Line. You will have to do without that photo and use your own ingenuity .

You might ask where I found such a thing. I bought mine (and there were a heap) at my local supermarket, not the expensive, organic one either. Maybe this is the latest veggie iteration, like heirloom tomatoes. I asked the produce manager if he had ever seen the likes of this. Even he, who hangs around vegetables regularly, hadn't.

Denoument: a regular pint of individual brussel sprouts (about 15) costs $2.39. This fabulous piece of nature, home to 50 or 60 sprouts, was $2.99. As I always say, thank god it's for sale.

IMG_5897_a_322.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 03:56 PM

December 18, 2003

reconstruction

IMG_8910_320.jpg

A friend I haven't seen in three years, was told by another friend that I had changed my hair. I was interested to hear her response when I told her just how much I have changed it. (On Becoming A Blonde for Spiritual Reasons.) I realize that I am really doing a major piece of reconstruction here. The body is the last part. It's also the slowest. I have been working on dedensificaton, making room between my cells so that life force energy, chi, can flow. My cells are huddled together like tellers in a bank robbery, like eskimos in an igloo, fear and chill. I want my cells to be like puppies in pile, like group hugs at the end of great workshops, warmth and comfort.

My shiatsu, chi gong tuina, practitioner helps with this project. She gives me instructions like, "Relax the back of your tongue. Make space behind your eyes. Put a balloon in your armpit. Be aware of how your diaphragm drapes under your ribcage, how it is connected to the tension in your shoulders, and, how releasing it to gravity, assists in your breathing." Frankly, I never paid attention to the spaces between my cells, but I think it's a great idea. I do consider negative space when photographing.

One of the books I'm reading ("One for my Baby" by Tony Parsons, author of "Man and Boy", alot like Nick Hornby, London lounger finds purpose) has a tai chi instructor in it, who is always admonishing the protagonist to take it slowly. My own practitioner asked me if I knew the Chinese "way". I didn't. It is: when learning something new, only give 70%. Americans give 120%, she giggles, and injure themselves.

This is the second book I've read this month that has a Chinese practioner in it. Isabelle Allende's "Daughter of Fortune" is the story of a Chilean girl and a Chinese herbalist/doctor during the California Gold Rush. Lots about Chinese medicine in the book. I gave it to the Doubter to introduce him to a few concepts. Let Isabelle do the work for me. All that information did not meet with resistance because it's a darn good yarn, and it's only fiction. It went down like a spoonful of strawberry ice cream.

My body hurts because it is armored from years of girding. It was not prepared to contain all the energy I've called through it recently. Esther Hicks, channelingAbraham , says you can never get it done, you can never get it right. If you don't like it change it. Relax.

Now that the energy is here, I have to relax my body around it. Working hard at relaxation defeats the purpose, doesn't it? Goodness, I'll just have to relax about relaxation

Posted by Dakota at 09:55 PM

the gift

IMG_3041_320.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 07:03 AM

developing healthy narcissism - on being trolled

Here is synchronicity. Just as I have described the victim and the perpetrator, I am blessed with an example in vivo. Reynoldo Gort (do you think that's a pseudonym? It's not as funny as Dakota Feinstein) writes "-Wow! This is truly fascinating stuff! I'm trying to figure out why anyone in the universe would bother to read such personal-pronoun-drenched nonsense. This blather belongs in a dusty, unread diary somewhere, not wasting perfectly good electrons on the Internet."

The victim speaks:
The part of me that has velcro for this sort of thing thinks that he's absolutely right. Why did I post an insipid entry like that . Then I catastrophize. This whole endeavor is a piece of shit. I knew this would happen . I am humilitating myself in public. I feel shame. I wonder why I wrote that piece in the first place. (I think I wanted to give a more rounded view of my mother, not a complete villian. A description of her adaptive context.) I am narcissistically injured, because I have such a fragile ego. That part of me vows to never write another thing. I knew I had nothing to say. Self pity, so unattractive.

The perpetrator speaks:
Then there is the part of me that is furious. The part of me that would like to hack his site. Retaliate. Annihilate him, the way he annihilated me. Sadistic revenge. I want him to experience what I am experiencing . That is the difference between anger and sadism. Anger is an expression of feeling. Sadism is an attempt to make the enemy experience what you have experienced, or worse. Good examples of that are the goings on in the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, the death penalty, the war on terrorism. Nelson Mandala is a fine example of the transformation of sadism. He spent huge chunks of his life imprisoned, maintaining his spiritual core throughout, gaining the respect of his captors, never succumbing to the disease of hatred. And when he was released, trying to help his people recover from terrible trauma and injustice without becoming perpetrators themselves, holding tribunals to make the proponents of apartheid look consciously at their viscious, destructive acts, hopin that they would really understand the destruction and pain they had caused, take responsibility and ask for forgiveness. I'm not sure it worked, but Nelson has the right idea.

Finally, my observing ego says:
I am curious about what Reynoldo was doing on the internet, squashing little old ladies? His civic duty? Did he get his rocks off? Is he feeling satisfaction of a job well done? Does he do this to porno sites, or does he feel they have redeeming value? Does he just target the fragile newcomers where he can really have a profound impact? Literary value patrol. Is he projecting his own insecurities? Is he worried about electrons he has wasted, pronouns he has slathered? Or is it a more general dissatisfaction with his life? A fight with his wife? No wife? Pancreatitis? Alas, we'll never know, because he'll never come back.

I have learned my lesson. If it doesn't have a denoument, don't post it.

Addendum: Perhaps Reynoldo's complaint is that I write like a girl. I gender genied My Mother's Friends and my score was 266 female, 229 Male. I gender genied this entry and my female score was 405, my male score was 681 Macho! Reynoldo scored female 27, male 32. (Sorry dear)

Posted by Dakota at 06:04 AM

December 17, 2003

more trauma -the victim and the perpetrator

daumen3_tailor.gif

Struwwelpeter

A perpetrator is a person who projects his yucky feelings onto others, and feels relief, maybe mixed with a little guilt, but not enough to stop the action. Often a perpetrator will rationalize his actions, "women are asking for it by dressing the way they do, the child needs to learn a lesson and deserves a beating, it will be a good thing for the child to learn about sex fom me, that ethnic group did my ethnic group wrong, so they deserve to die."

A victim is the target of the yucky feelings, and introjects the perpetrator's feelings, taking them inside and thinking the feelings are emanating from him.

A good example can be found in the typical rape. The rapist has a feeling: anxiety, powerlessness, shame, rage, inadequacy, which we all know are uncomfortable. The rapist finds a solution by acting out these feelings, projecting them onto a victim by committing a rape. The rapist feels relieved and can go home and relax, read the paper.

The victim, on the other hand, who, before the rape might have been just fine, now feels helplessness, shame, guilt, and thinks the violent energy transfer that just took place is her fault. She tells herself "I shouldn't have worn a red dress, I shouldn't have been out after dark" etc. She also feel dirty, slimed, terrified, ashamed, at fault, like she deserved the assault.

We know that an energy transfer takes place when there is "perpetrator intent" in the interaction. For example, there is sexual perversion called frotteur which involves bumping into others in crowded places, with a sexual intent. Ask anyone who rides the subway if they can tell the difference between a regular bump and a frotteured one. It's pretty darn clear, though the external physical events are the same. That's an energy transfer.

Victims have a few choices. Many of them get stuck in the trauma. see trauma rap, They can go into psychotherapy and try to process their experience, make meaning of it , heal from it, a costly and arduous task. OR, and here's the malignant thing, they can get rid of their terrible feelings by becoming a perpetrator themselves. Sometimes the perpetrator's feelings are unconscious, and he or she is obscessed by an urge to act out. This is a dangerous kind of unconsciousness. Sometimes the victim feels justified in becoming a perpetrator, as in ethnic cleansing.

We can see this in the Catholic church. Just how many of the priests arrested for child molestation do you think were molested as children themselves? About 100%. Probably 85% by priests. It is chilling to think how institutionalized this practice became.

Posted by Dakota at 09:08 AM

December 16, 2003

party cookies

IMG_3050_322.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 03:19 PM

my mother's friends

My mother actually had many friends. They met in groups, the bridge club, the sewing club, etc. They met at one another's houses, which were spit shined for the occasion. At our house, there was always a ritual cleansng before any group meeting, with special attention to immersing all the Royal Dalton figurines in hot soapy water. Everything had to be perfect for the guests. Before their arrival, I would get in terrible trouble for running water in the sink and not wiping it afterward. Standards were high. I picked up some of this psychosis. At this late date, I am finally learning to be more relaxed about "entertaining". I never washed my figurines though.

My mother's friends were mostly nurses and school teachers. Educated women of her generation. They had names like Agnes, Irma, Edna, Florence, Hazel, Elsie, maybe there was a Shirley.

There was even a lesbian couple, Miss Lown and Miss Donovan. Of course the lesbian thought never crossed anyone's mind at the time. Perhaps it was a Boston Marriage . Miss Lown and Miss Donovan were both principals, hence the formal address. They wore suits and lace-up oxfords with two inch Cuban heels, the sign of the matron in days before athletic shoes. They owned a house together and had a large victory garden on the lot next door. I loved visiting their house because they had a little suitcase filled with a barnyard set-up - heavy cardboard chickens and cows on slotted stands. It made all the difference to me.

Denoument: missing. I'll publish this anyway and think of one later.

Posted by Dakota at 03:18 PM

rose hips and styrofoam tomatoes

IMG_6694_320.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 03:17 PM

addendum to my nose

You have heard of a neglected child? I was a scrutinized child. An only child, the sole object of my mother's projections. Poor dear, she had much self loathing, and, being small, I made an excellent poppet. The only problem was that I was a real child with a real spirit. She so wanted a perfect child to represent herself well in the world. I simply couldn't fill the bill. Believe me, I tried, but I was a little tense.

You might wonder, given these circumstances, how my nasal dysfuction was allowed to persist. It wasn't. I had allergy shots for many years. I still can't breathe through my nose, but now I get hives on my "shot" arm whenever I eat bananas. That was iatrogenic. So far it hasn't been much of a problem, but I notice that bananas seem to be an important staple of senior citizenhood.

Denoument: After my allergy shot at the pediatrician's office in the Fisher Building, we would walk through an endless, underground concourse to the New Center Building, home of Saks Fifth Avenue. It was in this concourse, I had my first experience with self hypnosis - dissociation on demand. I would focus on the terrazzo squares and listen to the resonating footsteps in the tunnel, and get myself into a trance. I liked it. I practiced every time we went.

Posted by Dakota at 02:41 PM

need orange sunrise

IMG_1681_320.jpg

This is actually an orange sunset, at my alternative vista location. I decided that a photo popping up is a better welcome from Dakota than text, which may be full of fact dumps. I spent too much time looking for orange sun vistas. I have millions. I start looking, then I get innured. It is not good to get innured to the spectacles of nature.

Posted by Dakota at 06:03 AM

December 15, 2003

gratitude visits

No sooner did I do an entry about sports psychology, when Martin Seligman appeared in the New York Times Magazine this weekend. Martin Seligman designed the original experiments that led to the discovery of learned helplessness. He did things to dogs that would no longer be allowed. In the process, he found that when animals (and, subsequently, humans) feel that they can do nothing to change a bad situation, they just give up. Eventually he became interested in learned optimism .

Quoting from the Times article, it looks like "gratitude is a key component of personal happiness. People who are grateful about specific things in their past, who dwell on the sweet triumphs instead of the bitter disappointments, tend to be more satisified about the present. The gratitude visit, Seligman says , can be an effective way to ' increase the intensity , duration and frequency of positive memory.'"

Directions for doing a gratitude visit.
1. Pick a person in your life who has been kind to you, but whom you have never thanked properly
2. Write a letter to that person outlining specifically, in concrete terms, why you are grateful to him or her.
3. Call upon the object of your gratitude, in person, and read your letter aloud.

Seligman says that everyone cries at a gratitude visit because the ritual is so powerful and moving.

I can't wait to try it. Really, I can. I'm already trying to think of someone who is geographically accessible. Convenience should not be the primary concern in this matter. I will make a list of possible gratitude visit recipients, and see how that goes.

Posted by Dakota at 10:31 PM

gratitude

IMG_9444_a_320.jpg

Thank goodness I have access to a vista. Thank goodness I can get up early in the morning without difficulty. Thank goodness I was there to shot this. Thank goodness things like this happen almost every day, if I just stay present and keep my eyes open.

Posted by Dakota at 10:21 PM

scratched cornea

Okay, I am toying with the internet.

I am told by Blog Mentor that I am number 12 in Google on the subject of scratched corneas. If you have a scratched cornea, you will be very disappointed by this site. I would post a spectacular photo, but if you have a scratched cornea, the last thing you will want to do is look at a photo. A more helpful place is: corneal abrasion.

Things they won't tell you on emedicine:

Have heart, I think my opthamologist once told me that the cornea is the fastest healing organ/?tissue in the body. The eye grows layers of corneal cells atop one another to repair the scratch. It only takes the deposit of a couple of layers to stop the pain. However, it sometimes takes ten years to rebuild the thickness lost in a bad scratch. This means that you can reinjure yourself quite easily, so be gentle.

While you are waiting for the first cells to grow, if you immobilize your head, the excruciating pain will go away. This is how I first discovered audio books, immobilizing my head, waiting for my cornea to heal. You can get audio books at the library, that is, if you have a valet, or equivalent, who will drive over for you. Be certain your valet choses an unabridged version. This is an excellent time to listen to a long Russian novel, like "The Brothers Karamazov" or "War and Peace". A professional reader will pronounce all those impossible names for you. You will be able to follow the twelve nicknames for each character, as well.

You could also listen to music, NPR or Hate Radio.

I haven't had a scratched cornea since I've been meditating (that wasn't a suggestion for prevention, just a fact.) Now I could meditate until my cornea healed.

Posted by Dakota at 09:00 PM

plaza

IMG_5823_320.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 08:59 PM

My Nose

This part two of a series on my dysfunctional sensory organs. As I always say, my nose is strictly for ornamental purposes. I have rarely drawn a breath through it.

Breathing through one's mouth often causes a facial deformity of sorts, the long-faced, horsey look. When you do not settle into nose breathing, comfortably closing your mouth and nestling your teeth together on a regular basis, your teeth do not know when to stop growing. They get that signal from touching together most of the time. Unsignaled, they grow long. Long of tooth, is something quite different.

The expression, long of tooth, is another condition which results from deteriorating gums. The margins at the top of your teeth disappear and your teeth look longer than they ever did - a sign of old age before periodontists.

I do not have this elongated facial syndrome, even though I am a mouth breather, because I spent my childhood with my jaw clenched. I was a little tense. All that Struwwelpeter. Fabulous for my bite, disasterous for my bark. Fact dump ending.

Denoument: As I explore meditation and healing I realize how much of it is based on the breath. Being able to breathe through one's nose is quite important in lots of this stuff. I can't . Perhaps that is why my enlightenment is so late in coming.

Posted by Dakota at 11:21 AM

December 14, 2003

magnolia

IMG_5596_320.jpg

I'm just noticing that the flower pictures are showing up frequently. This is one of those just-pretty shots that are everywhere. photo categories It's yummy though.

more, better magnolias

Posted by Dakota at 09:11 PM

helping the homeless

This is from Kevin's blog. He is homeless and blogs out of the public library. I found it useful.

So, you ask yourself, "Self, what can I do? How can I help homeless people, even though I don't have much?"

Well, there IS something you can do. There are many things that homeless people usually do without, which sometimes seem insignificant, that homeless would be very happy to receive.

This is a project you can do rather inexpensively - and you can make this a project to do with friends, or your Church group, and share the expense - and you can include people of all age groups.

Get some paper lunch bags and fill them with little goodies. This is just a list of things I can think of, that everyone on the streets would need and appreciate. You might have your own good ideas too. -- "travel size" tooth paste and tooth brush and deodorant. A pair of new or clean socks (it's hard to keep feet healthy on the street) nail clippers, a comb, a bar of soap, gloves when it's cold out, a disposable razor, etc. Then add something special, like little Halloween size candies, a personal note that says "I care". You could even decorate the bags with drawings of happy faces and hearts - yeah, even mean ol' grumpy homeless guys like that kind of stuff - even if they don't admit it.

Once you have your care packages together, take them to where homeless people hang out - wherever it's safe for you too. If you aren't a proper adult, bring along proper adult supervision. And personally hand out the packages. Just try to plan to have enough for each homeless person.

Now it does happen sometimes, when you do this, that a street person will then ask you for something you don't have, or you are uncomfortable with giving. Just tell them that the packages are all you have right now, and that you're sorry you can't help more. Sometimes they will try to make you feel guilty so they can get more out of you. Be polite but firm. If you set, and hold to your limits, they will respect you for it. This is a great way of giving. I have received such packages myself - they've always been a blessing.

# posted by kevin @ 10:35 AM
10.25.2002
Interview
the homeless guy
a homeless girl

The homeless helping themselves, featured in this morning's paper. Dignity Village

Posted by Dakota at 09:06 PM

a building with antlers

IMG_5835_320.jpg

Posted by Dakota at 06:23 PM

Sports psychologists - shadow and light

Tony Schwartz is an investigative reporter who investigates what's available on the spiritual path in America. In his book, "What Really Matters", he visits all the American gurus and gives every practice a shot.

During his endeavor, he trains with several sports psychologists. Sports psychologists were among the first to pay attention to positiive feelings and their mastery, as a path to winning while having more fun.

Much of western psychology, since Freud, has been paying attention to the Shadow, bringing into consciousness the unacceptable libidinal impulses, so that that powerful energy can be sublimated, brought to the light, transformed. However, as my shaman says, you want to make sure you have enough light to handlle the kundalini energy before you call it up. She feels that there are people out there who don't know what they're mussing with, or come from cultures that call up the kundalini from at traumatized place, and that isn't ideal. I think she is referring to practices like voodoo and shapeshifting, powerful healing modalities, that sometimes due to the practitioner's trauma history, get used for destruction rather than creation.

Anyway, the sports psycholgists had something fascinating to say about the people who spend all of their time listening to the Channel Positive Happiness (vs. Channel Fear or Channel Rage or the Shadow). These people lack dimension, depth. One psychologist, who trains insurance salesmen to stay in positive thoughts, says he can't stand to spend an evening with them They fail to see the negative. They live in denial. They cannot consider the pressing questions in the universe They are supremely boring.

The saavy sports psychologists recommend that we learn to redirect our thoughts to improve our lives and change our mood, if we become immobilized with negative thought, but that we develop the capacity to feel the full range of our feelings, that we live in reality. If we live in denial, life begins to feel one dimensional, empty and flat. Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, says that we need contrast to build true appreciation for the experience of allowing and manifesting. I would argue that we need contrast in order to develop empathy.

People who have been traumatized do need to practice tuning into the Channel Positive Happiness, so that they are able to begin to see that reality is light, as well as shadow. Both those who ignore suffering in reality, and those who see only suffering limit their existence.

Posted by Dakota at 07:57 AM

poppy

Copy (2) of IMG_5506_320.jpg


speaking of botanicals

Posted by Dakota at 07:25 AM

Just because it happened to you, doesn't make it interesting

"Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting." A columnist quoted that in yesterday's paper as his favorite, new saying. Sorry I didn't pay close enough attention to cite either author, but the thought was too pertinent not to pass along, especially here at Internet City.

As you can tell, I'm a real newcomer to this frontier. In the Ageless Project, there are very few contributers born before 1962. Howard Dean is the first politician to recognize this world and try to mobilize it's energy. I hope it works.

Blog Mentor commented that He will worry when I want to use my real name on this blog. I think this implies that whatever is on this blog is not my material. That it is, like my deep Tibetan chant voice, just coming through.

The thought chunks are arriving. It is my intention to put them into palatable form for those who always wanted to think but couldn't.

Let us hear from Mimi Meme. Awoke perky at 1:52 AM, lay awake until 3:52 and gave up. Came downstairs to write. Couldn't find my good fleece and it was cold. Made a pot of coffee with my new coffee grinder and my favorite beans. It tasted completely terrible, salty, undrinkable. Later I think of the symptions of hepatitis that my friend outlined in great detail last week. Food tasting bad, was one. Oh, loss of appetite was the other. Phew. At least I don't have hepatitis.

It's especially cold on the sunporch which is my office. Searching for tea, I come across two boxes of chai, one orange, and one black. I chose the orange, since the black one smells too medicinal.

Finish my tea, still cold, make another attempt to find fleece which fails, decide to have a second cup of chai. This time I want to try the black. I read the back of the black box. Go to the entry, "Goodness, Ganesha Again", to share Mimi Meme's spiritual experience. It's the denoument.

Posted by Dakota at 06:03 AM

Goodness, Ganesha Again

IMG_5863_320.jpg


On one of the long sides of the box of Yoga Tea I plucked from my larder this morning it says. BLACK CHAI, underneath, centered, in italics it says:

"The teachings of Ganesha say: Wisdom and faith can remove all obstacles and bestow both worldly and spiritual success and happiness."

Then the text beneath says:
Lord Ganesha , son of Vishnu, is known for this wisdom and faith. He has the head of an elephant, whch represents reverence, wisdom and patience and he is often shown traveling on the back of a mouse, symbolizing humility. He is called upon in prayer to bring us in touch with our inner wisdom and faith, and to remove all obstacles from our path. If we unburden ourselves of obstacles, we can open up to the blessing of success and happiness. May each cup of this Black Chai bring us in touch with our inner faith, and may it's authentic flavors remind us of the wisdom of Ganesha. Okiedokie.

On the other sides of box are nutritional facts, a message from Yogi Bahajan along with a photo, a drawing of a cup with a painting of Ganesha meditating on it. Next to the cup are cinnamon sticks, a fresh ginger root and lighted candles. I bet you thought I was just fact dumping here. On the top of the box is "Easy Yoga to Relax the Muscles" with a picture and description of how to do Downward Facing Dog. The only problem is that it says to hold the position for three to five MINUTES. I do like and do Downward Facing Dog better than most positions, but it will probably take me years to be able to sustain it for that long. I shall begin today.

IMG_5811_320.jpg

( Before I realized that I could take an adequate photo of the tea box, this was is as close to Ganesha as I could get, since I was completely out of elephants in my stash. Having written this piece, I despaired. Then, what should I spy on my way to brunch, but the poster for Gus Van Sant's new film, you guessed it, "Elephant". Not a spectacular photo, but fortuitous.)

real white elephants are kinda pink

Posted by Dakota at 05:43 AM

December 13, 2003

botanicals

IMG_4844_320.jpg

Since the Doubter calls Chinese herbs "your botanicals" and I needed a photo in here to spare all of us from boredom, I picked something that looked botanical to me - perhaps not medicinal but botanical.
the woman who loves insects

Posted by Dakota at 07:59 AM

withdrawal

I am on my second round of estrogen withdrawal. The first time I did not sleep for six monthis. Rather, I woke up, cheery as a robin, at 1 AM, and I was psychotic by 4PM just when I needed to be present and alert.

That time, I tried to withdraw with support from accupuncture. As the sleeplessness continued, I resorted to more bizarre remedies, like cutting up an onion, putting it in a tightly covered jar and inhaling it upon awakening, or rotating my ankles 100 times in each direction. Nothing worked. Nothing but estrogen, which I started again, solving my sleep problem. Then my mammogram showed cysts. I never had cysts. I quit estrogen. FACT DUMP ALERT

The denoument is: this time I am trying Chinese herbs, which I was unwilling to do last time, since I live with a doubter. Cooking Chinese herbs is said to be stinky, nothing you can do quietly like meditation or journaling (the kind of new age activity that doesn't attract the attention of the Doubter). I went to a Chinese doctor who is also a board certified internist for my herbs. I picked him because I thought he would have a better chance of passing Doubter Inspection.

The doctor told me that American medicine addresses physical problems and Chinese medicine addresses metaphysical problems. I am beginning to think I have astrophysical or etherial problems. I am sure there are no board certified internists who treat those. Thank heavens for my ladies group.

My internist/ Chinese doctor combo has been upping the potency of my herbs. Last time he gave me a prescription for Prylosec and Allegra for my weak lung chi and my weak digestive chi. Huh? I put it together about a week later, that the new herb tea might make me sick - but it didn't. This week, I started yet another new tea. I noticed that I was feeling sickish, especially right after a dose. Then, yesterday, I had a nosebleed. I never have nosebleeds. I think it was iatrogenic. I think that's it for Chinese herbs. I didn't take them last night.

Denoument number two: This morning I awoke, robin perky. I was sure that it was 1 AM. I bemoaned the fact that there were absolutely no residual effects to the herbs. "Here I am, back where I started. Thank goodness it's Saturday and I'll be able to nap. " I got up and looked at the clock - 5:45, a full forty five minutes later than I usually get up. I had slept through my alarm. Now I am trying to readjust my internal state to one that believes it is well rested. I don't feel it yet.

Posted by Dakota at 06:39 AM

December 12, 2003

sagamore

IMG_5398_320.jpg


This is almost the last of the bridge collection. You can tell by the wonkie angle that I was not in the driver's seat. I do not know how I avoided that ugly green tint at the top of the windshield. Maybe I just lay down on the highway and shot up.

Posted by Dakota at 09:29 PM

trauma rap

pauline.gif

This is an illustration from Struwwelpeter, it's Pauline, suffering the consequences of playing with matches.

Here's a little more about trauma - brain physiology from the scientifically challenged. I'm of the "get-the-gist" school.

When a person has a regular, plain old experience that isn't traumatic, this is what happens. Sensory information (all but smell) is received by the amygdala, a central brain structure. I like to call it the groundhog brain, you know, instinctual. The amygdala screens the incoming information and makes a decision.

If the information is neutral, here's what happens. The amygdala makes the incoming information into a hamburger, and stores it for future reference. Like, beautiful sunsets I have seen, colors of orange I want to paint my kitchen, Caribbean Islands I would like to revisit. The information goes up into the frontal cortex. The frontal cortex is where cognition and language reside, the part of the brain that is uniquely human, that enables us to think, if we so choose. There, the experience gets a date stamp, and becomes part of the narrative of life. For example-- in 1999 I went to Aruba with my friend Susan. We saw this beautiful sunset, and I said to myself, "I must remember this", and, maybe you do and maybe you don't.

In a traumatic experience, the sensory information comes into the amygdala, and the amygdala says "Holy Toledo (do I date myself?), this is an emergency!", and sends a signal to the adrenals, located in the gut. The adrenals fire their juice, and the person is mobilized to fight or flight. Freeze is another option. Can't remember the physiology, but take my word for it, it happens. These are hardwired, instinctual responses. Notice that rabbits and squirrels do alot of freezing, zebras and horses do flight, and bears and wolverines, fight.

Almost the last paragraph, stay with me. With all the adrenalin hubbub, it appears that the incoming traumatic sensory information is inadequately stored, or not stored at all. It just sits in the amygdala, like marbles in the bottom of a file cabinent. When the drawer is opened, the marbles roll around and make a terrible racket, usually setting off the adrenals again. The traumatized person, to whom this is happening, has a "gut" feeling that they are in an emergency situation again. The sensory information is often fragmented. People experience visual flashbacks, or have a terrible feeling without any thought surrounding it. They respond to noises, like the vets who hit the ground when they hear a car backfire. Since all this happens before the integrated information hits the frontal cortex, people cannot "think" about what is happening to them. They behave instinctually.

Sometimes instinctual behaviors are not very civilized. This is why so many inmates in the prison system are also trauma victims. This is also why we must work to protect our children from trauma, so that they don't go on to traumatize others.

For much more accurate information about trauma take a look at Bessel van der Kolk's publications

Posted by Dakota at 04:37 PM

elephant drawing

IMG_5800_a_320.jpg

As I was looking for my Skunk Girl adventures of last summer in my volumes of notes on yellow, legal paper (you will have to wait for Skunk Girl - I probably have ADD, and I got sidetracked), I came across this unconscious doodle of 5-26-03, which was still next to my phone, when I had the following dream on 5-29-03. I saved it. A premonition? Probably not, just a little unconscious preoccupation.

I am staying in a hotel in Boulder. I go to visit a friend in the apartment upstairs, but I hear noises, get scared, and leave. I go back to my own room and decide to wash my hair. I think about going back upstairs, but I'm still scared.

Scene changes to wandering around the streets of Boulder with wet hair, wearing a long Tshirt. I head back to the hotel, walking past a number of boutiques. I am standing on top of a hill overlooking the hotel. Something is going on in the front courtyard. There are three or four (you guessed it , folks) elephants -actually they are people in blown-up balloon, elephant costumes - playfully bouncing around in a shallow pit, like a sandbox.

When I arrive at the courtyard, a woman hands me a small rectangular plastic bag, and tells me to fill it up from a larger garbage bag, full of shredded vegetables and cooked pasta. She says something about taking my bag into the pit to play with the elephants. I am not sure that I want to get my sneakers dirty. The end.

Now look at me, playing with the elephants.

Posted by Dakota at 04:07 PM

December 11, 2003

bridge with gazebo

IMG_2178_240.jpg


While searching for my skunk adventures of last summer, I found this bridge dream/vision on awakening, dated 5-17-03.

The image, in the dream, is an aerial view of all the bridges across the rivers to Manhattan. Two of the bridges are the Brooklyn Bridge and the Peter Cooper Bridge. That's it folks. I will not bore you with my associations yet. Why am I posting dreams anyway?

Posted by Dakota at 06:25 AM

Struwwelpeter

peter.gif

struwwelpeter

I think this is the introduction to the first of a series on trauma. Maybe I'll use Struwwelpeter illustrations to label them so you can skip if you're not interested. That would also release me from finding photos for the text. Counterproductive, since I use photography to help me scan for beauty, rather than danger. A blog project emerges. I hope I remember.

Struwwelpeter (translated from the German, Sloppy Peter) was a feature of my childhood. It painted possiblities for my future; it tainted possiblities for my future. It was read to me in English and, most ominously, German.

Struwwelpeter tells cautionary tales of disobedient children and their bloodcurdling fates. It lacks the charms of grimmest fairy tales, since there are only two figures, sometimes only one, with whom to identify-- no fairygodmother, no handsome prince, not even a frog. There is a naughty child alone, with an adult, or, simply, with fate. Having erred, the child faces the consequences. For example, falling off a cliff, for not paying attention; burning alive, leaving only red shoes, for playing with matches; and, my favorite, the amputation of both thumbs by the room-sized tailor with room-sized scissors (without anesthesia), for thumbsucking. That one must be especially disturbing to little boys.

This book is an example of childrearing by terror. Tales like this produce obedient children, who often identify with the aggressor. Alice Miller ("For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Childrearing and the Roots of Violence" also "Thou Shalt not be Aware") would argue that little lessons like these ultimately produced the Third Reich.

Personally, I did not have it in me to identify with the aggressor. I was just scared. My mother and my aunt were raised with Struwwelpeter, and thought it was funny. Perhaps they identified with the aggressor. I was very surprised to learn that Mark Twain had translated this from the German. Maybe he thought it was funny too.

Do not let your children near this site. Oops, I didn't mean my site. I meant the Struwwelpeter site, or the book for that matter. That was an interesting slip.


Posted by Dakota at 06:23 AM

December 10, 2003

seasonal

IMG_9414_a_320.jpg


Even though I took this picture in August, I think it has a Christmas flavor about it. Could be the red and the green.

movie

Posted by Dakota at 07:45 PM

dumping facts

I sat with a young expository writing instructor today. She teaches at a Famous Ivy League Institution. She was talking about one of the common problems in student writing, which she calls "fact dumping". An example: I went to dinner with a famous professor. She was wearing a green dress. We entered the dining hall where, before me, I saw asparagus with dill dip.

Now I feel that I have to go back through my blog and eradicate "fact dumping". Probably the whole blog is one big "fact dump". What's done is done. I'll just have to get more denoument in my life.

Here it is! Today my sweet, ascetic, elusive accupuncture/cranial sacral practitioner could not find my cranial pulse anywhere! After much effort, including a foray inside my mouth, tickling my pineal gland and pulling gently on my front teeth, he finally got it going, thank goodness. I forgot to ask him what would have happened if he hadn't. You can tell that I'm often in over my head, when it comes to healing. Think this is more dump than denoument.

Posted by Dakota at 05:22 PM

December 09, 2003

more bridge

IMG_4203_320.jpg

Just wanted to post something today. This isn't the picture I thought it was, counted wrong, but it will have to do for now.

Pretty monolithic, I'd say. One's eye is drawn into the maw, the shadow, the unknown. Do not miss the delicate, green mist of spring, veiling all that rock.

A most generous senior blogger has sent directions for popup pictures, but that will have to wait for the moment.

Posted by Dakota at 10:55 PM

December 08, 2003

theater seats

IMG_5333_a_320.jpg

Wonder if this is an all in a row pcture? It's not grey, it's not birds, it's the second balcony.

Posted by Dakota at 08:55 PM

December 07, 2003

Thanksgiving poem, belated


IMG_5551_320.gif


Just found this in last week's NY Times Book Review. I'll never find it again for next year, so I'm publishing it posthumously, so to speak.

"Fill the Cavity wtih Crumbs"

We were divorcing , but after giving Thanks-
giving. It was all relative with relatives. Every-
one came wanting: to grate, mash, carve or
strain. It was a strain. Who know a frozen

turkey took three days to thaw? We hauled
boiling water to the bathtub. Fowl was
the noun, but quickly became adjectival.
My almost-ex overcooked cranberries until

they exploded across his shirt like a machine gun,
proving him, the victim. The garbage disposal
jammed and overflowed as our cousin waltzed in
with her special dish, lurid whipped yams, dotted

with mini-marshmallows in a heart shape around
a big smiley face. I eyed the mace. Uncle Ed said
an ecumenical grace. Drunk, Aunt Dede described
her sister's " firm grasp of the superficial," then

added, "Make this insult official." My mother
replied, "I won't cry. Because someday I'm going
to die." After a long pause, eight people said
they'd have to skip the pie and say an early

goodbye. Dad called it "mincing the mince."
Quite undone, he laughed alone at his pun.
For me, the day seemed endlessly long. But I
was thankful nothing had really gone wrong.

- Susan Kinsolving

Posted by Dakota at 07:02 PM

blizzard

IMG_1421_320.jpg

We're having a whopper this weekend, eighteen inches. On Friday I stopped at the market to pick up a few things and observed the thundering hordes panicked by the media, filling their carts for the upcoming crisis. It is interesting to note what people think they will need in a snowstorm. I don't think this was a bread and milk crowd. Orange juice was out of stock, except for the kind that has hairballs of pulp in it. All flavors of salad in a sealed plastic packages were gone, though there were plenty of real heads of romaine, leafy red lettuce and iceberg available. I bought the last of the fresh broccoli. I did notice that pasta and bottled sauce were selling big, though that's the kind of thing I keep in the cupboard for just such emergencies. It's the fresh produce that I would miss if I were isolated in my hovel for days.

Speaking of fresh produce, have you had your hepatitus shots? Five hundred cases arose in Pennsylvania two weeks ago, all traced to a Chili's Restaurant serving fresh scallions grown in Mexico. So much of our out-of-season, fresh produce comes from Mexico and Central America, I am surprised that this has never happened before. I remember when the appearance of asparagus in the market was a sign of spring, now I can buy it year round. At what price? Hepatitus is serious business.

Posted by Dakota at 10:33 AM

we need to talk about Kevin

Every parent's nightmare - an unlovable child - as seen on my kitchen table this morning - The New York Times Book Review open to this ad.We Need to Talk About Kevin

Seems like it might be a novel illustrating Gabor Mate's point about how personality is formed in the circle of parental energy.

Posted by Dakota at 06:54 AM

Gabor Mate on the energy field

IMG_8979_320.jpg

If you meet someone with ADD on the spiritual path, the first thing you have to do is get their attention. I'll have to find a compelling image

This is from "Scattered" Gabor Mate's book about ADD. It's long, so try to stay with me. Actuallly it's not that long, the book is long. You can do it.

"Of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one; the emotional atmosphere in which the child lived during the critical early years of brain development. The invisible environment has little to do with parentlng philosophies or parenting style It is a matter of intangibles, foremost among them being the parents' relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals. These, too, can vary from the birth of one child to the arrival of another. Psychological tension in the parents' lives during the child's infancy is, I am convinced, a major and universal influence in the subsequent emergence of ADD. ....

A hidden factor of great importance is a parent's unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level, the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet."

He's talking about the energy field in which the infant is nurtured and the projections it absorbs from the parents.

Posted by Dakota at 06:53 AM

December 06, 2003

the bridge zakim

IMG_5277_a_320.jpg


IMG_5264_a_320.jpg

In order to catch one of these, you have to be passenger in a car, with a fairly clean windshield, that is stuck in traffic in exactly the right spot . In addition, you have to have been willing to drag your camera with you to a night on the town, so that, if you should get stuck in that perfect spot, you are not kicking yourself for not having your camera. This is probably another picture category. Catching the moment that you know is possible in advance, but may not materialize. A little set up, a little fortuitous.

Come to think of it, you could probably catch one of these if you had access to a helicopter. I just googled the Zakim Bridge. There are a number of photographers who seem to have walked across the bridge, and, on the way, lay (laid?) on their backs in the middle of the highway to shoot. There's nothing like a bright blue sky to set off those white cables, and nothing like no traffic either.

Someday I will publish all the blurry white lines, the rearview mirror on tinted windshield pictures I have taken while trying for something cuter.

Posted by Dakota at 07:50 AM

December 05, 2003

most unusual bridge picture - A little fishing music

IMG_9737_a_240.jpg

Had to back up the car for this one. I thought I saw the top of a harp as I was driving over the bridge, but I couldn't believe my eyes.

What to do when you and your sweetie have different hobbies, but you still want to spend time together.

Posted by Dakota at 07:58 PM

The Bridge Collection

IMG_0855_320.jpg


Awhile ago, when I noticed that the white elephants were on a bridge, I mentioned that I had a collection of bridge pictures. I've gathered many of them, but they are not an aesthetically cohesive group. Think I'll intersperse them here and there, Here's one.

Posted by Dakota at 07:44 PM

December 04, 2003

photo categories

There are three, maybe four kinds of photos on this sight (interesting slip). There are miracle photos that I am honored to document when they occur. The angel supervising the sunrise is an example of that, in the "spectacular displays of nature" category. The trolley tracks and the washing machine are another type of miracle shot, the miracles of everyday life.

Beautiful sunrises, sunsets and flowers are also in this category. But after stalking the latter quite relentlessly this year and filling my heart and eyes with the breathtaking beauty around me, I realized that, let's face it , it has been done. The purpose of taking those picture is to keep me close to the earth and its cycles, so that I can be in the right place when the miracles arrive. I also use some of those photos when I need a pretty picture. The Lily illustrating Sonnet #98 is one of those.

There are guidance photos, like the lichen in the fish pond, the all in a row series; photos that seem to provide a message about direction.

In order to be categorized as either one of the above, the image has to appear spontaneously. It cannot be deliberately constructed.

Then there are photos that are taken for documentation, to let you know what I'm talking about. The Heaven photo is the best of this kind, because it was also naturally occuring. Others like the elephants on the bridge are there simply to illustrate the narrative. Sometimes these illustrations turn out to be interesting photos too, like the baby shoes in the frying pan and Ganesha - or funny like the goldfish in washing machine. When I set up a shot with my little hot hands, I don't consider it a miracle photo.

I saw a wonderful shot in an ad in a French magazine, a subscription to which is a mere $71, Cote Sud - a hummingbird hovering over the corner of a black and white, line patterned, silk scarf which was fully blown out like a sail in the wind at the beach. That's what I call a set up. It was probably adobed to the hilt, but it was spectacular.

Posted by Dakota at 08:18 PM

Ganesha

IMG_5710_320.jpg

View larger image

This week seems to be the week of the white elephant . Found a little plastic Ganesha finger puppet in my travels. His white elephant head is a bit hard to see. He is an Indian god, but doesn't his shadow look like a Native American totem pole? I plan to give it to a Ganesha fan after I have my way with it. I vow that I will not add it to my accumulati.

If you are like me, you will never get to Ganesha's Home Page, so here's a juicy tidbit . "Ganesha or Ganapati is an extremely popular God in India. He is called Vighneshvara or Vighnaharta, the Lord of and destroyer of obstacles. People mostly worship Him asking for siddhi, success in undertakings, and buddhi, intelligence. He is worshipped before any venture is started. He is also the God of education, knowledge and wisdom, literature, and the fine arts" That alone should convince you that you have come to the right blog.


If you've read this far, here's another tantalizer from the philosophical explantion of Ganesha's form. "Another explanation has it that Ganesha's head signifies Atman the Highest Reality, while the body below the neck represents mAyA, the principle of phenomenal existence. The Atman's involvement with the world is characterised by the assumption of mind and speech."

Genug, Ganesha.

( If you can believe it genug is a blog. Genug means "enough" in Yiddish and probably German.)

Ganesha Home Page | Handy Hindus

Posted by Dakota at 07:37 PM

December 03, 2003

all in a row dream 12-3-03

IMG_8002_320.jpg


This was more like a vision than a dream. It happened at the end of my meditation yesterday. I might have been asleep, oops. It was an all-in-a-row dream. There were four individual black energy spheres. Each sphere contained a luminous orange, silhouetted, dancing woman wearing a knee length tutu. I hope you understand why I bother to mention this, because I don't. see more all-in-row photos

angel supervising sunrise

IMG_1276_320.jpg

I feel fortunate to have a few vistas available to me for photo opportunities. This popped into my camera this summer. Since I didn't have a villain picture at my fingertips, I decided to go for contrast. I shall have to look in my prop closet for a villain.

Later: I found one!

Posted by Dakota at 09:10 AM

Villains


IMG_2724_240.jpg


People donít understand why Bill Gates or The Group Running George W are villains, since they cannot phathom the scope of the universes in which either is operating. Nor do they understand the long standing, mutually respected and practiced codes of operation which depend on altruism and peaceful cooperation that allow the world and the internet to go on. The codes are being shattered; codes like the Constitution. (General Tommy Franks has already told us that the Constitution is out the window with the next terrorist attack. Multitudes agree that it's worth tossing, for our own safety, not realizing they are trading liberty and freedom for false promise. Safety will come when everyone has a standard of living that allows them to chose creativity. If we put our resources as a nation to that end, rather than to war and defense, we might be alot safer.

A few are trying to warn us, or, framed better, bring us into awareness, but the dumbing down of our population, the anti-think movement, Fox and Reality TV, TV in general, make comprehension impossible for so many of us. I can barely see the edge of the realities they are trying to construct myself, mostly I donít see any of it. People who do, suffer - unless they have reached a higher, more spiritual understanding of the process and what is to come.

This sure doesnít sound like me, no jokes. As they say in the Reiki intention, may my ego step aside.

Esther Hicks. channeling Abraham, would say that evil is either not focusing at all, or focusing on what you donít want, and manifesting that. Type 1 Evil) Those that harm out of unconciousness, like men to women, or whites to blacks, (though it's fairly difficullt to maintain unconciousness on these issues anymore). Type 2 Evil) Those that harm with destructive intent, in full consciousness, deliberately snuffing out light. The American public believing that giving up a Constitutional right is no big deal if our safety from terrorists is involved is Type 1 , both Bill Gates and The Group Running George W are Type 2.

Actually George W himself, the puppet, is unconscious, acting out his addictive projections mindlessly. The Group that Runs Him takes advantage of his unconsciousness, and aims it, like an Uzi, in the direction where it will increase their profit or power.

Bill and George W are rich and powerful. What do they want to create with these resources? (Pardon me, Bill, for ignoring your malaria project, but I think that was conceived by dad and the missus; it is not your passion) The trouble is that they canít think of anything. Instead, they focus on what they donít want, ďdefending the castleĒ, beating off those barbarians (read terrorists and hackers, liberals and internet entrepreneurs) Bill and George W are destroying others, pieces of the internet, parts of the world in order to defend what they have and add to their own power and wealth. They are possessed by greed. (see virtues and vices on the cube of space. what's the opposite of greed? ). Is altruism the opposite of greed?

Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, says, do not struggle about what is, accept it with grace, maybe even amusement, make the best of it, and think about what you want. That which you are struggling against will disappear if you do not give your attention to it. These guys are here for a reason. Remember the old image, a flower growing out ot the compost heap? Disintegration has to happen for rebirth and integration at a higher level to occur. Bill and George W are in charge of disintegration. We hope theyíre having fun in their appointed roles, so far. They are here to inspire our desire for something else, if we donít become all theyíre projecting on us. If we use the havoc they are currently reeking as contrast, greater inspiration to create what we want, then a little bit of trancendence can happen. Every little bit counts.

Posted by Dakota at 09:05 AM

December 01, 2003

about building bridges to attachment objects with creativity

IMG_7199_320.jpg


Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play
- from Shakespeare's Sonnet #98

Posted by Dakota at 03:15 PM

reflections 3

window with ferris wheel


IMG_2210_a_320.jpg


View larger image


Posted by Dakota at 01:07 PM

on developing the capacity to think

This is how I understand how babies learn to think.

First, their moms (attuned moms, a rarer breed than we thought) (I certainly do not belong to this group) pay careful attention to their baby's needs. Anticipating and gratifying up a storm, responding immediately to the child's signals many of which are cries. Newborns are so overwhelmed by the barrage of stimuli existence presents, that they need their moms to think for them, and help them to organize their intense confusing feelings. A good mom will wait until the baby is having a feeling, and then respond with a gratification. She may also put language to the process. "Oh poor baby, you're hungry", while she provides the milk. When this is well done, the baby gets to recognize a feeling, and learns that an unpleasant feeling can be soothed and a pleasant feeling substituted. Since the baby has a devoted mother responding to its every need, and needs are fulfulled efficiently, it feels empowered as well.

The next step leads to the development of consciousness. One day the mother's attention will be required elsewhere, and the baby's illusion of symbiosis and omnipotence is shattered. A shocking event. This is where babies whose mom's were attuned and babies who mom's weren't, have a different experience. Attuned-to babies are optimistic about their powers. After getting no response to their impulse, they THINK. They visualize some nice thing like the breast, and perhaps get themselves in a bit of an uproar which they aren't able to soothe entirely by visualization. Then the good mom steps in with the real thing. Bringing relief. Next time the kid might THINK ,"If I visualize the breast, maybe it will come to me". By increasing the periods of frustration in length, the good mother teaches the child to soothe itself until the mother can gratifiy the need, by THINKING. Thinking then becomes associated with gratification. Hence the notion that delayed gratification is a good thing.

However, it is only a good thing for attuned-to babies who can keep a positive idea in their thoughts. For the unattuned, delayed gratification produces rage with no optimistic possibilities. This leads to despair, then dissociation in the period of time the baby has to wait. The little depressive experience that the attuned-to baby has to tolerate when it realizes it lost it's formerly devoted mom, and before imagination and THINKING kick in, goes away. For the unattuned-to, the depression caused by realization of differentiation leads to rage, to hopelessness and despair. And it doesn't go away.

If you were not attuned to well as a baby, you may never have developed the ability to build the bridge to THINKING. That's what happened to me. Take my word for it, building that bridge has been a major restoration project. It's not done yet.


Paulo Sandler "An Attempt to an Integrative Study of W.R. Bion's Contribution to the Processes of Knowing"

Posted by Dakota at 12:37 PM

white elephants on the bridge

IMG_5599_320.jpg

As threatened, I unearthed my own line of white elephants to be photographed. It took me awhile to notice that they are mounted on a bridge. I've been taking pictures of bridges for sometime now. The bridge pictures symbolize the think-link that I never made. Whatever could it mean that the white elephants are crossiing the bridge?

Posted by Dakota at 12:09 PM