Hi, just intermittantly reinforcing again. Back from the Bardo, stopping off to make an entry, unload photos and do laundry.
This fine example of Outsider Art is a piece of sculpture with the practical purpose of stopping parking in front of one of the cottages at the beach. A collage, involving a canvas, mounted on a found object in the form of a blue chair, slightly bent from having been run over a few times and a friendly, informative sign. All in all, a piece worthy of a modern Grandma Moses .
Notice how the artist has elaborated upon the hardware store's simple, but elegant red and white print, explaining that he is the homeowner, drawing a friendly faces and a thank you in gold. So much more enchanting than the plain garbage can or the unfriendly NO PARKING command sign.
We are eager to see more of his work.
So here I am in the Bardo. I flew.
I am in four star accomodations, but change today to Bardo Guest Quarters for the duration, where they are not known to cultivate the business traveler. THIS MAY BE MY LAST ENTRY, said the boy who cried wolf.
I know I am in a four star hotel due to the soup (oops, that was a Freudian typo which) soap flavors, Cucumber Melon and Cool Citrus Basil. I will let you know iif the flies swarm around me when I hit the open air.
I will visit with my mother today, perched on an armless Victorian desk chair, the last of the antiques from my grandmother's house. It is small enough to fit in her room, imbued with memories, and uncomfortable in the extreme. One cannot help but assume an erect posture. A design like that must have looked to the bustle to provide padding. My fascia screams in anticipation. Here's a reframe, quite like sitting on the cushions at a meditation retreat.
I will spend the day reminding my mother who I am, though she politely pretends she knows (and sometimes, she does), accepting many lavish compliments on my teeth, which is a vast improvement from the predemented constructive criticism, turning on my recorded book when she nods off. I brought "Good in Bed" , which I hope will be superior chewing gum for the mind.
Reporting to you direct from the Bardo, this is Dakota, signing off.
Thought you had seen the last of me for a couple of weeks? This is intermittant reinforcement, The most powerful kind - meant to keep you coming back, to see if I made an entry. Just like a slot machine. It could happen any minute. If you bookmark me, you can press the bookmark many times a day, and you will possibly be rewarded. You may even feel a slight rush of adrenalin, when you push the lever and actually find something other than the damn blue fairy. Those of you with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who do not enjoy adrenalin rushes because of what they trigger, can skip the bookmark part.
The dedicated blogger never stops when he or she is connected to the virtual universe. I am off to the Bardo for a couple of days and my plane doesn't leave for awhile.
Like my photo? Here I go.
After I finish this entry, I am going right out to scrape off my "Martin Sheen is my President" bumper sticker. JFK did us proud last night.
"We have it in our power to change the world again. But only if we're true to our ideals - and that starts by telling the truth to the American people. That is my first pledge to you tonight. As President, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House…
"I will be a commander-in-chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders. And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States…
"Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. And proclaiming 'Mission accomplished' certainly doesn't make it so."
There is so much at stake in this election. Four more years of corporate rape and pillaging will leave very little democracy to distribute, although I'm sure The Group that Runs George W. will find a few more countries who "need" it. Four more years of selling out to corporate interests will damage our environment irreparably. Mercury, arsenic, lead. ozone holes. We will have a fully packed neocon Supreme Court. The elite will have to hole up in gated communities, purchasing what little safety can be provided. The middle class will erode, the disenfranchised will turn to anarchy or crime. It won't be pretty, and we aren't even considering external threats like terrorism. As the American people lose their jobs, sit in front of Fox TV, listen to Rush Limbaugh, and work up a Rwandan hatred froth, even more consciousness will be lost.
Oops. Esther Hicks, channelling Abraham , would remind me, right about here, to think about what is wanted, rather than what is not wanted. I actually felt the Democrats did that well at this convention, without forgetting to mention the "contrast" provided by the Group that Runs George Bush. That contrast has inspired Democrats to clearly articulate their principles and intentions, and precisely delineate differences between the parties. There is a renewed energy and spirit.
John Kerry presented very well last night. I hope it will be good enough.
Photo note: Just another SUV tire cozy.
So while I'm away - have you noticed that I haven't gone yet?- here's a little site that you can use to fill in the time you might have spent reading Dakota clickies, to improve your meditation skills, lift your spirit, do some fourth dimensional healing, you know, the works.
It's a virtual labyrinth, complete with butterflies (the symbol of transformation) Simply read the directions and follow the pea.
Photo note: Nice manifestation, huh?
a pretty picture
is just a
it is a most
away on vacation
from July thirty one
I am being rewarded in the blogosphere for loving Theresa Heinz Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards . My heart has warmed even more thoroughly since that entry. I Theresa's comment "And my only hope is that one day soon women, who have all earned their right to their opinions, instead of being called 'opinionated' will be called smart and well-informed, just like men!" One of the characteristics of malignant fundamentalism is the way in which women are demeaned and silenced in the system. How're you doing < a href="http://www.twentyfirstcenturyart.com/dakota/mt/archives/001277.html">Laura ?
Shortly after John Edwards was chosen as Kerry's running mate, Theresa said that she and Elizabeth had been laughing continuously since they met. Last night Elizabeth said that, when John Kerry is elected, Theresa will make the MOST generous first lady this country has ever had.
I am struck, as I read this, that the tactics that are used by the neocon press, seem to be taken from a textbook about bullying. Bullies tease their victims until the victim strikes back, making certain that any adult observer
, witnessing the situation, will find the victim's explosion at the bully to be inappropriate and out of control. David Finkelhor at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at University of New Hampshire, talks about teachers who, often and mistakenly, take a neutral stance in a fight between children, blaming both the bully and the victim equally for whatever outburst occurs. Sometimes, when the bully is clever, the victim is the only party seen lashing out. And there you have it. One wonders what the Group that Runs George Bush has been reading.
Photo note: I thought this was a strong, but beautiful, feminine portrait. I'll have to find one for Laura Bush and what's her name. Sadly, I thnk I have overused the dead opossum picture.
As you can see, I have been LEFT OUT. This is the first convention to which bloggers heve been invited. The creme de la creme - Atrios (who divulged his secret identity for the occasion), Tom Tomorrow , Kos , Pandagon are all in town. Had I known they would be cast aside in suburban motels , I would have invited them all to stay with me. I have a reliable wireless connection.
My own invitation failed to arrive, as did Michael Moore's. Perhaps I am too contraversial. Or perhaps this is not considered a political blog. I must face the cruel fact that no one has ever chosen Dakota as a vehicle to break any piece of juicy news.
Photo note: Last month I did have the foresight to take my camera to the ballet and photograph a view of the Fleet Center that is now unavailable for security reasons. This is an exclusive. Please remember you saw it here.
If I were less honest, I would tell you that I climbed up on the Expressway yesterday, through police barriers, risking life and limb, to take this shot. But I didn't.
Nary a comment on my new project. Perhaps you think I should be writing about the Democratic National Convention, given my proximity.
Here it is from Dakota perspective. The feint of heart have all left town . There are police in evidence in the most peculiar places, and the streets are empty. Bags are being searched on the subway. There are big buses driving by with tinted windows . The major hotels are closed to the public. The wise don't even consider dining out . . I'm watching it on TV if I can stay awake. It's a blast.
Photo note: A fan pointed out to me that this photo has multiple levels of reality - count em. The deck, the surfboard under the deck, the tables on the deck, the windows behind the tables etc. Also the curve of the little string in front matches the curve of the table legs. I just thought the marigolds were a nice match to the plastic.
This is a companion to the machine with good karma .
Kind of a pet,
a bit scraggly,
the second of
a new series
And here is the recreational plastic collection, looking quite luminous at dawn. You will have to search for your own sacred geometry this time.
So far my trusty digital camera has taught me the importance of framing - chosing from the universe that part of reality which I find beautiful, and snapping it up from all there is. I have had my Canon cocked and drawn for some for some very nice moments, if I do say so myself.
Given the innocuous "irritations" that have crossed my aesthetic path in the past few weeks that have, when more carefully examined, proved meaningful, I have decided to stop judging and evaluating the stuff that gets sucked up into my lens, be curious, and simply pay better attention. If I really concentrate, I can do a mini transformation of that which I find alien or ugly or stupid, and grow my appreciation. Diversity, after all, is really what's stunning.
If I get lucky, a few "transformation" photos will follow.
Photo note: This is the universe approving my project with a McDonald's bag smile, and challenging my perfectionism with a camera strap. Four points off, since I can't remember how to correct this in photoshop. I'll do it for the book.
Well, I arrived home from a day unplugged to find about a hundred comments generated by one proprietor of many porn sites. A splendid variety - gay, pre teen, dragon, insect - you name it, he's got it. The puzzling thing is that the proprietor left comments on the blog in different entries, and every comment was generically poilite and supportive. "Nice site". "Good organization". "I enjoyed my visit" What is that person thinking? That a reader of mine will bother to click chorus girl porn from his sweet comment? A monumental waste of effort. I personally would have said something like "If you're interested in more on this subject go to" or "That's a hot photo of a maple leaf, for more hot photos ..."
Took me awhile to clean up the mess, with a bit of help from Blogmentor.
Photo note: A perfect opportunity to use my luminous sewer shot.
I wrote about it a year ago, when I was reading Elmer Green's evolvement journal "The Ozawkie Book of the Dead". He believed that his wife, love, and lifelong colleague, who suffered from Alzheimer's the last six years of her life, was processing some of the split off parts of herself which she had not done in her "conscious life", as preparation for moving up the spiritual executive ladder to Guide in the Bardo.
After a peripherial, attention fluttering perusal of Theosophy and Krishnamurti this year, I now realize that Elmer and Alice Green were/are Theosophists -- although he never mentions theosophy directly, "The Ozawkie Book of the Dead" is chock full of theosophical systems and ideas.
Along similar lines, this week I received a call from my mother's caretakers that she is experiencing "Sundowner's Syndrome" . Round about four in the afternoon, she begins to hallucinate. My mother, the epitome of ladylike sweetness in her dementia, becomes paranoid and violent. She kicks and bites and refuses anti anxiety medicine as poison. They had to give her an injection to calm her down, and are starting her on a regimen of afternoon Ativan to prevent such events in the future. Her nurse asked me if she had been in the war or the Holocaust, since her ideation is so frightening and violent, full of guns and bombs. She hadn't, at least externally, in this life.
My dear aunt, her much abused sister , also had hallucinations at the end of her days. They began awakening her in the middle of the night. She thought the radio was broadcasting a chorus singing, "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" . Since she was completely deaf without her hearing aides, we thought the broadcast unlikely. Not to mention that it had certainly been awhile since that old ditty had been heard on the airwaves. Nonetheless, my aunt did spend the night in the twin bed next to my mother, so that she could be certain that the Scottish chorus was a fig newton of her imagination. My mother told me she listened carefully at her sister's head when she was awakened by song, but could hear nothing. A true scientific investigation.
It took me a very long time to get a psychiatric consultation for my aunt, since her primary care was resistant to the idea of hallucinations, and felt this was normal -- now I think, maybe it was. After the long-awaited consult, the psychiatrist prescribed an antipsychotic, Haldol, for my aunt. My friend, a neurologist, felt it was too powerful for a frail, little old lady. When I called my aun'ts primary care to suggest something with fewer side effects, her PC told me that she would never consider taking my aunt off Haldol, since she had expressed such relief and gratitude when the children disappeared.
I am interested in the disparity of content between my mother and my aunt's hallucinations. If Elmer Green is right, and my mother is processing unintegrated aspects of herself, they certainly are violent and frightening. I experienced them that way too. My aunt, a children's librarian by profession, had a bunch of frolicking children. Hallucination Light. She was a much nicer person in her day.
I wonder if I should I intervene and suggest another psychiatric consultation?
Ativan is an antianxiety drug, which is habituating, but do we care at age 96 when being comfortable is a high priority? Withdrawal from Ativan is really difficult. Supposedly there is a backlash when you try to quit, and your anxiety increases horribly.
The women in my family seem to have hallucinations at the end of their long lives. Let's hope Elmer is right, and that processing split off parts of the self as one lives along, is a preventative measure. Or, if I do have to have hallucinations, they will be pretty .
Photo note: Dendrites waving in the breeze
Eeks, as I was searching for images of google groundhogs, look at what I came upon. I thought it was my photo of the dead opossum . (It's down at the bottom of the entry, if you don't remember it - and it's not for the faint of heart). Thought I'd mention that before I forgot.
Getting right down to the business of my unconscious mind , (I'm sure you have been waiting with bated breath), I have a dear personal trainer , but I don't think part of me is ready to do work with her. She helps me stay conscious while I "work out". What we do is like no workout you have ever seen, except maybe the underwater kind . I lift weights, or do crunches or wall sits, trying not to get myself into a spasm. As soon as one starts, we stop, and she touches the spasm in a soothing way until I can unwind it. It is sooo nurturing. If we get through three muscle groups in a hour and a half, we are speeding right along.
So what's up with me? Two weeks ago, I cancelled because I had an opportunity to get my computer fixed. (Imperative, no kidding) Last week, I was half an hour late, having taken the wrong turn off the highway, and this week, I found myself at my computer, ten minutes before I was due at her place, fifteen miles away. I thought it was 8:52 and it was 9:52. Some internal homunculus is driving the car and it doesn't seem to be going in the same direction as I am.
Photo note: Watery and vague like the unconscious
Last night the computer nurse arrived on my doorstep with her first aid kit. She was calm, soo..oo.ooo..oo calm completely self possessed. One could not imagine her taking a bat to the screen, or pushing buttons frantically when stuck, or screaming at tech support that they are torturing old ladies by making them crawl on their belly into a snakepit , like yours truly has been known to do. She must have had a secure attachment to a good enough mother. She doesn't go nuts when she loses a connection, she gets curious, thinks, and methodically proceeds through all the things she knows how to do in order to get the results she fully expects. I, with a more ambivalent attachment, am certain that there is no hope for reconnection and have no tools with which to continue. I operate entirely with my groundhog brain ; my frontal cortex is nowhere in evidence. I am left dependent on the kindness of tech support in virtual orphanhood. No wonder I'm frantic.
My nurse told me I had good machine karma, everything she tried or installed, worked. She has other clients for whom this is not true. This was a very good thing to say to me. It gave me hope.
Then I awoke this morning to find my computer was jammed in a mid-copying process, and I had to reset it. It insisted on doing a Scan Disc . What's a girl gonna do? Disobey? Not when an internet connection is at stake. So I went along with it, and saw a few messages about invalid something-or-others being eliminated. I couldn't stop the thing. It was determined and invulnerable . Then, when it finished, it gave me no options. Eeks. After I pushed a few buttons frantically, as is my wont, the screen went blank and that's where it stayed for fifteen minutes. I thought it was a goner . I did not panic. I simply moved to my laptop, knowing that I have a nurse on call. I glanced over two minutes ago, and the screen is on. Good machine karma at work.
Two more machine related incidents this week. My suitemate, who is on vacation, phoned to say that when she called in to get her messages,she pushed the button that subsequently erased her outgoing greeting, and then said "Oh shit!", which was duly recorded. Now her greeting says "Oh, Shit!". Since she's away for two weeks, she asked me to change the message. She was relieved to reach me, since she was sure that if it stayed, her professional reputation would be`ruined.
My friend's husband, C., gives a virtual international training seminar on Wednesdays from their living room. C., unwisely, let the dog out of the kitchen , it got into the trash , and was friskily spreading debris around the house. C. called her urgently downstairs. When she rounded the bend, viewed the disaster, and the fact that he was just standing there watching the dog frolic, she exclaimed "This is a SUCKY vacation." Then she heard him say into his headset "No, my wife's a teacher, and this is her summer break. " and realized that she had just participated in his international seminar.
Photo note: The closest I could come to a picture of machine with good karma
If you thought I had come to the end of my quest to relieve my body pain, or should I say my pain body , you were wrong. Yesterday I saw a lovely man who practices Integrated Awareness , a technique developed by Lansing Barrett Gresham. In case you want to try it in the privacy of your home, Mark Fourman, the practitioner, who comes from a high tech background, has produced a DVD called "Receiving Love" that is a do-it-yourself version. (evidently a big hit at Amazon) Mark, reconstitutied techie that he is, also has a terrific website .
Another advanced soul had loaned me the poetic little book "Ask Anything and Your Body Will Answer", by Julie ?, a California creative writing professor, which introduced me to Integrated Awareness. You know that it's little if I managed to read it.
In any case, what was most interesting about our session, in addition to the considerable relief that I experienced in my poor planar flexed forefeet, is that Mark said he had never touched someone with such pervasive fascial tension. The fascia, in his treatment system is the physical equivalent of emotion. "Oh," he said, "Did you have alot of emotional wounds?" Yep. My fascial engine is seized for sure - probably from a childhood spent with my finger pressed firmly on the hyperalert button.
And what, pray tell, is the fascia? The only exposure I ever had to it before my own became disruptive, was cooking. "The Joy of Cooking" tells us that when you prepare a leg of lamb (does anyone ever do that anymore, except professionally?), there is a thin membrane around the leg that must be removed before roasting, or the lamb will have a gamey flavor. That's the fascia. I can't find instructions for removing it anywhere on line. Perhaps butchers now do it for you, because the work is awfully tedious, since the fascia is so tenaciously affixed, wrapped tightly around fat and muscle. Although I'm sure it's quick work for the likes of Jacques Pepin , with my dull knives, excision usually takes me half an hour. Sufffice it to say that there are probably miles of fascia in the human body, and mine is starched, seized and twisted royally.
Yesterday, after my treatment, I felt alot of energy moving up from my feet, where Mark had worked. I awoke early early this morning with considerable upper body pain. He warned me that this might happen. My image is that whatever it is, is moving up. Unfortunately, he's away next week, and then I'm gone for two, so follow up will be slow. I did buy the DVD, and I may find it in my heart to do a little home improvement in the meantime.
Photo note: This flower is famous medicinal, Echinacea with baby. A loose association, but I thought it was cute. Unfortunately, I haven't stopped thinking of myself as the connoisseur of cute, as you can see. I'm working on that too.
I was told I did not understand yesterday.
So I tried make a list of some of the things I understand.
It's hard to watch another person succumb
after a valliant fight
It's hard to absorb accusations from an accuser
who feels you have injured them and deserve to be punished
It's hard not to be confused
It' s hard not to be perfect
It's hard to know
It's hard not to know
It's hard to know the difference between anger and sadism
It's hard to know that the evil we have faced is located somewhere inside too
and although it will not harm others
it will harm self and soul and spirit
It's hard to know that evil got inside
Its' hard to know that that's not all that is inside
It's hard to bear the disappointment of working so hard for so long
for someone else's salvation and have to give it up
It's hard not to be believed
It's hard to feel helpless
and furious because of the helplessness
It's hard to know that love is sometmes not enough
It's hard to fight for light when you feel your spirit has no allies
It's hard to give up dreams for the future
It's hard to give up who you thought you were
It's hard to give up all you've accompolished over the years
It's hard to remember all you've lost in the struggle
It's hard to grieve and rest and allow and trust that your suffering was not in vain
It's hard to give up omnipotence
It's hard to give up blaming yourself when you believe that you are omnipotent
It's hard to face the unknown
It's hard to bail out of a mission halfway through because reality is too frightening
It's hard to face the power of creation and the power of destruction
It's hard not to have anyone to bring along on the journey
It's hard to face existence in reality with all of its pain and evil, and all of it's joy and light
It's hard to hold all of that all at once, when the childish feelings are stirred, and the will is weakened, and the soul is weary
It's hard to love and to want the light for someone else and to see them reject it
It's hard to think you deserve the light in spite of all that
It's hard to go toward the light when you have failed so badly
It's hard to forgive yourself when you are your own accuser
It's hard to be conscious in the full arrray of human experience
It's hard to accept having minimal influence on another's destiny
It's hard to accept that you have come to the end of your gifts
It's hard to accept that the now is all there is, and the power is now
And here is the Grecian staple job that started the downward trend. It's the second house in from the Point, and, in fact, it's very hard to see. Maybe a little Aegean flavor is not such a blight on the landscape. Maybe I can appreciate the mini colosseum as a reminder of classical influence in architecture. Maybe I can think of the Greek Isles each time I look across the bay. And now I remember the visionish experience I had in my January Ladies Group. Bingo. Okie dokie.
And here are the "weeds" that I ordered mowed. Photographically, they are certainly lovely. I will leave the story of their ultimate fate to your imagination.
So, as part of my project , here are a couple of views of that floating piece of plastic that I feel are an improvement. Lo and behold, the double triangle turns out to have profound meaning in sacred geometry. Are you surprized? Not on this blog.
For those of you who are as lost as I am in the esoteric, I have excerpted the essential. "Thus, in Hebrew, the double-triangle, known as the Mogan David represents the 'dispensation of ongoing manifestation.' In other words, the double-triangle represents the way one dimension pours itself out into the next dimension just like the way a seed pours itself out until it becomes a fruit. This is the sacred process and the sacred path. It is an animation of the 'hero's journey' expressed in a sequence of geometric snapshots."
And here it is, fresh from my camera. I am really impressed.
Here is the first of my attempts to transform eye irritants into something more pleasing.
An examination of the current theme might be a good place to start. Why all the irritation about things that "spoil" my view? As a child, I definitely spoiled my mother's view, in that I wasn't quite what she had in mind when she conceived of a little girl. Though I must say, I did try very hard to be a better sample, thus developing a whopper of a false self . She could not fully appreciate my creations, and did her best to improve them. I felt annihilated, but believed it was a good thing, as did she.
And what lurks in my shadow self as a result? My inherited intolerance of the creations of others, making the assumption that my tastes and preferences are superior to theirs. A rather destructive one-up, one-down stance which stops energy flow. Do I reallly want to keep that in my bag of tricks? I don't think so.
"Hunky" was my mother's operating word for the crassly unacceptable. (When I googled "hunky", I came up with a studly crew - she definitely did not mean that kind of hunky, although she might have considered them hunky in quite another way.) Pierced ears were a good example of something hunky. (I just got mine pierced two years ago - when, within forty eight hours, I lost two of my most important earrings - one flushed down the toilet, the other dropped down an elevator shaft. I took it as a message from the universe.) Breast feeding, although done for health purposes, was also hunky. Hunky was "foreign", with a big dose of class discrimination.
So good for this kid who spent his savings on plump plastic that floats, and painted all his own advertising. He had an idea, and he's working hard to manifest it. Sure beats watching TV all summer.
Like purple loosestrife , Canada geese are beautiful birds, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, causing problems. Here they are, slurping long tendrils of seaweed. As a result, their necks are in more interesting positions than they usually are.
Our local Canada geese are a huge problem, having chosen the high school track as a gaggle hangout, hence toileting facility. Goose poop makes the track impossibly slippery. There have been science projects assigned for years in the public schools, looking for ways to discourage the geese from walking the track -- no solutions thus far.
Photo note: geese at the beach
Here's the Arthur Jones memorial insight this morning -- I came upon several things that I felt "spoiled the view" -- items that,in my opinion, did not improve the environment aesthetically. 1. the multiple new "Keep Out" signs in baby poop brown along the bluff, instructing us firmly to keep out of a place one would never dream of going, due to the cliff-like angle of the drop 2. the yellow plastic floating slide that goes with the yellow plastic paddle boats, that go with the blue plastic kayaks, and the crudely hand lettered signs that accompany all of the above 3. the styrofoam cup/litter
Earlier this summer I had a complaint about a Grecian front stapled onto a charming Victorian cottage that also mars my vista. Since I have turned my attention to the issue, eyesores have burgeoned. Esther Hicks, channelling Abraham , would say that in order to stop the trend, it would be best to change my emotional stance toward the eyesores at hand. Really change it. This is perfect practice for changing other things that are currently dissatisfactory in my life, like my membership in the Chubb City Chunkettes. Starting with something smaller is highly recommended. Photography is a perfect vehicle for this practice. I will see if I can become curious about eyesores, photographically, and capture their true beauty.
It was recently pointed out to me, as I ordered the mowing down of weeds, that all I would have to do was photograph them, and then I wouldn't consider them weeds.
Thich Nhat Hanh , the Vietnamese Buddist monk. gets the prize for transformation of this sort. During the Vietnam war, whenever he heard a bomb drop, he used the sound, as he did the temple bells, as a call to mindfulness . He now has a completely idyllic retreat in France, called Plum Village. Seems like it worked for him.
Photo note: Three of four.
I am delighted to note that Theresa Heinz Kerry has real hair, Elizabeth Edwards has a real body and that they both have real minds of their own, and real life purpose, just like Stockard Channing/ Abbey Bartlet on the West Wing, and, gasp, Hillary Clinton.
Although, I must say that Laura Bush is really getting out there to show her stuff (however undifferentiated). She has raised 5.5 Million dollars for her husband's campaign thus far. According to the press, she has also given up her Betty Crocker hairstyle , if not her Betty Crocker manufactured personage . To quote a review of Ann Gerhart's biography of Laura Bush "The Perfect Wife", "For all her research, Gerhart never answers the central question she posits: how did an independent, liberal (she voted for Eugene McCarthy) career woman who purposely chose to teach in a poor elementary school in Austin morph so successfully into a devoted wife whose life's ambition is to make sure her husband's world runs smoothly, even if it means subverting her own beliefs and desires." My question too. I do not see either literacy or education, her pet projects, improving either in George W., who continues to grip his anti-intellectual stance like a golf club, or American children, who are being more and more left behind by this administration . This, in spite of Laura's best efforts on both their behalves. And then there are the twins
Having a narcissistic character disorder is almost a requirement if a person wants to run for President in these troubled times. . I am beginning to think that the real job of a First Lady is to keep her husband's narcissism in check. Laura has failed us miserably in this regard. I think that Theresa and Elizabeth might be better suited to the task.
Photo note: Putting them all in a row
How could something
How could something
as Fox News
pose a threat?
How could someone
as Rush Limbaugh
It's hard to
to the clogging
of the waters
and the mind
when it looks just right
it sounds just right
and it isn't
Unfortunately this beautiful scene is chock full of environmental problems. Purple Loosestrife is considered to be a major threat to biodiversity in North American wetlands, although herbalists have a more sympathetic view of these lovely marsh inhabitants. I get purple loosestrife mixed up with liatris which has none of loosestrife's aggressive qualities. Water liles pose a similar problems.
But, as the Group that Runs George W. says, it works for me.
I'm just going to post a couple of photos, since I seem to be wordless, for the moment. The question is, did the owners of the white house across the pond with the orange roof (reflected) coordinate with the owners of the orange day lilies? A fine effect.
This wedding was just too sweet to ignore, although I think I had promised to focus elsewhere. Florenz Greenberg, 74, and Hy Eisman, 77, are the featured couple in the New York Times Wedding Section this week.
A bereavement counselor Hy had been seeing after the loss of his wife of forty two years, realizing that he was ready to socialize again, assigned him to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Hy, to his credit, did not seek out a gum-snapping-ditty-bop. He spotted the beautifully mature Florenz (aka Florence) in the How-To section of the library, and she, subsequenty, showed him. At the time she was looking for tips on writing, maybe for one of her authors, or perhaps she was going to try her hand at it herself. No use speculating.
Anyway the shy Hy froze after a few words and fled, handing Florenz his card. Possibly using the How-To sections again, Florenz googled him on the library computer. Good for her. She was thrilled to have retrieved some results on her first google quest, and, I'm sure, also thrilled to have discovered that he wasn't just any old masher . She phoned Hy in an exuberant mood, having managed the computer so well. He mistook her triumph for enthusiam for himself, but then again, enthusiasm is contagious. They really hit it off , moved in together, and made it to the big time in the Section. In one of his interviews, Hy says Florenz gave him back his life for which he is most grateful. When love comes at an advanced age, it is most precious, because the participants have the wisdom to fully appreciate the phenomenon.
And what are the lessons for us all in this? Keep your eyes open for possibilites , since they are everywhere, take a risk to make contact, even if you feel shy , it's never too late, and keep your google profile clean.
Elsewhere in the section: Charles Grandy was married to Sage Davis. Adorable couple. What is noteworthy about the announcement is the groom's father's fascinating career path. His dad , Fred Grandy ,who is now a morning news host, was a Republican (he was David Eisenhower's roommate at Exeter, back when Republicans were noble gentlemen, not fundamentalist kissing corporate brownies, pardon moi) congressman from Sioux City, Iowa from 1989 to 1995, prior to which, heplayed "Gopher" on the "Love Boat" for nine years. The groom's mom is a Presbyterian minister. They're divorced. She's now married to Seamus Malin but proved ungoogleable herself.
Last week, Jonathan (psychologist, novelist) and Fay (theoretical mathematician, dentist and novelist) Kellerman's son Jesse married Gabriella Rosen. Their son is a playwright - one of their four children. Where do people find the time?
Photo note: I thought this was a good photo for a late in life wedding-- both light, white, vertical and lacy, yet prettily yellowed with age, complex and shadowed.
How's this for a power picture? I do wish that I had something more to say about it, other than that I like the light on the ropes. Those of you with short attention spans will be relieved not to have to read on and on.
I just thought of something .
And something else
Inez and Herman have been making merry again down at the old maze. You can now send a postcard from Soekershof after having never been there. For those of you who don't have the will to click, the cards feature cacti from the gardens, and will be perfect for when you're feeling prickly.
Also, in the spirit of jolly fun (it's about time, Dakota) The Euphemism Generator" will provide you with such phrases as "phoning the raisin". My nettie buddy Gary at Inkmusings found the Surrealistic Compliment Generator . "Your skin emanates such a porcelain sheen that I am tempted to stamp WC across your bosom and under your armpits. " I shall have to forward that to The Daily Shower .
I will now stop hot gluing the biscuits, and get on with my morose self preoccupation.
Photo note: This is a picture of a couple of little things or, if you must be concrete, milkweed shedding its blossoms.
A fox crossed my path as I was riding my bike through the woods. He stopped and, most deliberately, looked my way, but disappeared too quickly to shoot. What does that mean? in the afternoon? rabies? a sign? The fox is a shape shifter, wily, clever. I could use a little shape shifting.
I seem to be taking alot of green on green photos. Maybe it's just what's being offered here in midsummer. I saw tons of poison ivy. It's so beautiful. My Mexican friend once picked it for an autumnal centerpiece at her dinner party.
And I saw a bride coming out of her house, fully attended.
Regret is the shadow of longing
and when it is cast on the now,
for a moment,
light is lost
And if we dwell in regret
the shadows lengthen
our passing moments
The essence of regret,
the shadow of desire,
ours to transform
in the moment
into intention and life.
Photo note: I regret that I wasn't at Giverny when I took this picture. I regret that the damn blue heron moved before I could ride my bike around the bushes to get an unobstructed shot.
Noticed first at (where else?) the hairdresser yesterday, a seizing in the neck area. Awoke this morning with a pain in the neck so excruciating that I googled viral meningitis . I fear I must have a conversation .
Good Enough Self , impatiently: Well, you have my attention. Yeah - what is it?
Big Baby : I do not hear any compassion in your voice. If you think I''m going to tell you anything when you have that kind of an attitude toward me, you are sadly mistaken. And keep in mind, the small gesture of punitive visciousness is my specialty. (with this, a pitchfork is jabbed into base of neck)
Good Enough Self: You have behaved horribly the last twenty four hours, how can you expect compassion?
Big Baby: For christ's sake, I'm only a baby .
Good Enough Self: Well I've tried one tylenol and one ibuprofen (the best non narcotic analegesic), Qigong, American stretching, icing, the vibrating massager , pranic breathing , the chi machine , yoga postures , and nothing has touched the pain. Okay, okay, I'll try expression. Or maybe I'll take a hot shower.
Big Baby: Take a tip from me, try expression first and see how it goes.
GE self: But it hurts so much I can hardly concentrate.
BB: Well that's precisely how I felt, stupid. How do you like it? You can see why I might have wanted to leave the premises.
GE self: I have to check my statistics
Big Baby: Why don't you (chose one or all) do the laundry, clean the refrigerator, read a novel, or look up old boyfriends on the net? You can't make a phone call, it's five o'clock in the morning for heaven's sake. What about talking to me? Pain relief city.
GE Self: Okay. Yeah?
BB: More compassion, you will have to positively pour on the compassion to get anywhere with me.
BB: I only look like that because I have been so injured. Weren't you just writing about chihuahuas . HellOOO.
GE Self: I'll have to reread that entry.
BB: Later, please. Shall we continue? This is what happened to me. This is what I learned at the knee of an expert. I know about it, because, coiled inside me, like a cobra , ready to be released from it's basket , is energy that wants to punish, to teach a lesson. Such lessons are required when the needs of the other do not coincide with your own, and, therefore, must be extinguished. The best way to do this, is to withdraw in icy abandonment. The technique involves abruptly closing your heart at the moment of perceived injury, and then, being physically present, but completely unavailable. Cutting the connection. It is best to disappear for days, until the recipient is really sorry and really scared. When you do this to children they panic. Then you can take pleasure and satisfaction in watching their pain, knowing that the lesson is sinking in.
You must communiicate to the offender that there is no hope for redemption. There is absolutely nothing they can do to reestablish connection. They must be rendered helpless.
This is not "Stop!" energy. This is meant to permeate into the soul of the offender, so that they will never dare to consider their own feelings first again. [ An Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, Aside : Feelings are our guidance system. Like the sensation of touch tells us when we have our hand on a hot stove, a negative feeling tells us when we are off the path, so to speak. Therefore, when a child is required to eradicate its own feelings, in deference to another's, the spirit of the child loses internal guidance on its life path. Serious.]
As I was taught the technique, when the offender tries to reestablish connection, through apology, for example, you tell them that their apology is meaningless. You bring up old offenses. You announce to them gravely that you are certain they will offend again. (Of course they will, since they cannot, and should not, spend their time reading your narcissistic pea brain.)
It is completely horrible to be the recipient of this energy as an adult. - it was unbearable as a child. Dissociation was a good solution to avoid pain at the time. But just look at me, I act like a big baby now because that 's where I got stuck. I need a little sympathy here. Put a little light on the situation. Have some appreciaton of what I've been through.
Good Enough Self: Are you sure you're not just making a mountain out of a mole hill ?
Big Baby, exasperated: I'm doing you a big favor, stupid, making you pay attention to my injuries, giving you a big pain in the neck. I would rather not be in the driver's seat , inadvertantly passing along the lesson, by mowing down others, (a rare but terrible occurrence) and, regularly crashing us into emotional telephone poles.
Good Enough Self: It's hard to be grateful when you make me feel so terrible about myself.
Big Baby: Maybe I could quit if you would acknowledge the severity of the injury, and recognize it in the present everytime you want to cut off your head, soothe yourself with food , take a hatchet to your computer, punish. Stay present with the pain and grieve. I won't take that long.
Good Enough Self: Can I check my statistics now?
Big Baby: It's your neck , sweetheart. How is it , by the way.
Good Enough Self: Somewhat better. It must have been the tylenol.
Photo note: An aspect of self, coming in for a landing. Notice that none of them are that cute, and that the light is off. The miracle of this photo is that my camera which is so..oooo..oo slow to shot, actuallly captured the image in acceptably publishable form.
General note: While googling, it was impossible not to notice that being a "big baby" is a popular fetish (if you are interested, you will just have to google for yourself). Apologies to all the big babies who will land here in the future and see seagulls.
Goodness, I am listed in livingroom.org as an underblogger. Livingroom is an Australian youth ministry, interestingly enough, designed to attract the younger set to the "emerging church". Uh oh. It is, however, chock full of non-proselytizing information , and seems to have had a momumental response to its call for underappreciated blogs.
Right next to me in the D-H alphabetically ordered underbloggers list is The Daily Shower which deserves at least five stars for the creative use of clickies, and a few other things. Mark Cantone, the Showerhead, is my kind of minister.
Photo note: Documenting the first time I ever shot a gator.
These particular specimens are potted on the porch at Mohonk . Agapanthi (do I remember my masculine Latin plural correctly?) do not generally thrive in the northern climes . I once inherited two enormous pots of them from friends who moved to New Zealand. Under my thumb of death , they survived at my doorstep for two seasons. They were such an unusual sight hereabouts, while they lasted, that people stopped to ask about them.
Actually, I just bought a bouquet of aggies at our local gourmet food chain. I think I even took a photo, given my proclivities. Let me look. I'd much rather have agapanthus in my path than opossums or memorial benches.
These are the prints of hissy fit fame. Although they look horrible side by side, they are actually quite nice one on top of the other. Unfortunately, the place where I intended to hang them, has a ceiling as low as the one in "Being John Malkovich".
Have you figured it out? Yet another picture of the inside of my brain, just kidding. At least it's pretty this time. Hint, some things are real and some things are reflections of what's real. It's hard to tell the difference.
An exiled child aspect of myself emerged, or should I say, rose from the dead, yesterday. I had two photographs enlarged to 20x30 at a professional lab. It was expensive. I had thought that I would hang them side by side in a particular place. I was shocked when I picked them up. They looked liked ads in some glossy magazine, so sharp and shiny. Not at all what I had in mind, but, of course, just exactly what I ordered. The nerve.
So here's the exiled child part in all her glory (This is a part of myself for which I find it hard to have compassion , in fact I would like to eliminate it entirely, but since that isn't likely to happen, compassion is the next best choice)
I took one look at the photos and I wanted to say to the nice man behind the counter. I HATE these -- several times, with rising hysteria . Then I wanted to crush them into little balls (which was impossible because they were mounted on styrafoam) in his presence, and throw them in the nonexistent trash can outside the lab, where they would be sticking up, ruined, for all to see. It was an uncomfortable feeling. I forgot the part about peeling away in my car.
I am pleased to say, I did none of the above. In fact, as I left the lab, in this condition, I bumped into one of the dear members of my ladies' group, who was assigned by the universe to be right there, at that moment in time, in a comforting way . I was on my way to an appointment with my shaman, so I had an opportunity to process the experience immediately. I couldn't let it go of it for hours. I could feel the flow of energy in my body shut down. My heart closed and my teeth clenched . Tantrum would be the operant word.
I felt someone had wrecked my stuff and I got mad. Since the nice man did a perfect job (probably part of the problem), it was clear to me that my reaction was of an historical nature. I often have the same feelings about my hair and my shrubs .
So here is the plump memory on the end of the fine silken thread that reaches back to my childhood. Coming home from school, maybe sixth grade, to find an oil painting that I had been making had been "fixed", (as in errors corrected by painting over them) by my mother. There is no feeling with this memory other than resignation . I think that by that time, I knew better than to get angry, as there were dire consequences for anger. Instead, I stuffed it neatly into my soma, and voila!, here it is in 2004, making an overt appearance at the photo lab, rather than lurking malignantly in my fascia. Hence, I was offered yet another opportunity to understand the anger that I experienced when I felt intruded upon as a child - quite a regular occurence at my house growing up.
Now there is a great temptation not to publish this. Who, god knows, would be interested? However, I think I have discovered a new therapeutic modality, which consists of googling images of how you feel , and then looking at them with focused attention. I wonder if it works for anyone else? Here's a place to start, if you want to try it out.
I forced myself to take this picture too, though I could hardly bear it. Sunday morning I saw a dead opossum in the road. The message - the part of myself that plays dead, died. That's probably not a terrible thing. I made the image tiny so you don't have to look too closely, if you're not in the mood.
Framing is everything in photography, as it is in life. Focusing. Patience. Looking in order to see. Wishing for a larger panorama or a clearer close up. And so I learn lessons about life as I shoot, which many shooters do not.
Let's take framing for example. Very important. Of course, it was pointed out to me that with a photoshop hanging in everyone's electron closet, proper framing is a worry of the past. If you have enough pixels you can extract from a panorama absolutely any fragment you like. So the trick is to find the frame in the panorama upon which you would like to set your gaze
Here's a fabulous example. Richard Brookhiser, in his review in the New York Times, harshly criticizes Hendrick Hertzberg's frame choice for 9/11 in "Observations and Arguments 1966-2004". Hertzberg wrote shortly after the planes hit the towers, "The scale of the damage nothwithswtanding , a more useful metaphor than war is crime. The terrorists of September 11 are outlaws within global polity. Their status and numbers are such that the task of dealing with them should be viewed as a police matter of the most urgent kind."
And what if we had treated 9/11 as a heinous crime? It might have played out differently, perhaps along the lines of the Okahoma City bombing. In fact, for short while, we thought that Timothy McVeigh might be a foreign terrorist. Actually Timothy McVeigh was an All American terrorist, nestled within the survivalist movement right here in the bosom of the USA. Every country has them. Pakistan, Indonesia, Ireland. They should be vigilantly watched, their organizations infiltrated, you know, treated like the Mafia. Where is Interpol anyway?
Consider what would be happening now if 9/11 had been treated more like a crime? A search for the criminals, in their countries of origin, with assistance from the law enforcement structure in the nations who harbor them. For example, we might be looking in Saudi Arabia, since all of the 9/11 criminals were Saudi. Or we might be cooperating with authorities, as we are in Pakistan.
We would not be creating further chaos and hatred by ravaging another nation. Instead we have declared a war on terrorism, and have, in the name of stamping out the enemy, made many more.
In my humble opinion, we need to work in the breeding grounds of dissatisfaction, poverty and injustice all over the world, so that "the criminals" do not recruit the disenfranchised into their fold. It does, after all, feel better to be enraged with purpose, than hopeless and helpless. And that is precisely what terrorism has to offer the hopeless. War is an infection of hatred-- an entire populace possessed by purpose and indignation. The profiteers benefit, as the people die.
Zooming out for a panorama, photographically speaking, I have just finished listening to Gore Vidal's erudite history, "Inventing a Nation" , in which he illuminates the visions, concerns and intentions of our forefathers, as well the ever present opportunistic wish to profit from those visions. Suffice it to say, that George Washington is the altruistic hero of our story, and Alexander Hamilton, the ever present war monger and profiteer, quite the villain. Jefferson is on the right track, but cannot put aside his personal economic considerations as a slave owner.
The authors of the Constitiution could see that the distribution of land to the general population would create a broad and enthusiatic base for a functioning democracy. Disenfranchisement leads to unrest. It is also comforting to know that Alexander Hamilton operated for many years, a group, not unlike the one who runs George W. , interested in personal fortune building and war profitteering , and still democracy survived.
Photo note: A detail from a bevy of calla lilies. The panorama is included below for general orientation.
This morning on my constitutional I was pleased to note that I now can bear to be with my own thoughts. Most of my life has been spent in a mad rush away from the contents of my brain, which were heavily were packed in shame and self loathing. (and that doesn't even take the unconscious material into consideration).
I used to bat my thoughts away, like large, menacing insects, mainly using literature as a fly swat. I read many a book in my day while avoiding their sting. In fact, until recently, I was never without a book, I had one on my person at all times. There was a book in my backpack, in my bike basket, at my bedside, on my kitchen table, at my computer, at my office, and in the tape player of my car just in case I would it need it to combat an unsettling thought of my own. On the bright side, I did get quite a bit of reading done in my day. Of course, not all of it was uplifting. The careful-consideration-of-a-painful-death was one of my favorite genres, pre meditation, pre Abraham-Hicks .
Photo note: From my prop collection, I have unearthed these exquisite little bamboo insects, purchased in Thailand , and given to me by a person all too familiar with my penchants. The ibuprofen is to suggest scale, and add perfect accent color. This photo makes me long for a camera with better close up possibilities.
Just when you think that things can't get any stranger.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell performs a version of the Village People disco hit song 'YMCA' at the conclusion of Asia's largest security meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday July 2, 2004. Powell took to the stage, dressed as a construction worker Friday, [three points for the yellow hat] with other unidentified US diplomats to deliver their rendition of the 1970's hit song to an audience of Asia Security meeting delegates. (AP Photo / APTV) I'm not making this up..
Even The Village People seem a little confused by this performance. Colin and The Guys are probably just refining their act, getting ready to entertain our troops in Iraq. Morale is waning as troops are expected to extend their tours of duty . After a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh , our boys will be hankering for a little live entertainment -- and who could do the job more effectively than our very own Secretary of State.
Can there ever be
Most memorable line from the clickie "There she was, looking very contented in the shade as she lay in a hammock, dipping tuberous begonia petals into a lusciously cool peach-yogurt dip – a recipe I had given her – savoring each bite."
Better than a recipe , here's an excerpt "That's right, according to Preston McDorban, author of a new book called FLOWER POWER, a regular diet of fresh flowers can raise I.Q. levels by as much as 20 points in just a few months. What's more, the brain booster is healthy, inexpensive and totally natural.
'It's the most amazing brain food ever, but scientists knew nothing about it until a 1989 Japanese study revealed that people who ate flowers regularly were much brighter than people who didn't,' said McDorban. Researchers followed up and found that chemicals responsible for various shades of color in flower blossoms can have a powerful effect on human brain cells."
Here are lobster traps of another variety. I had to trespass a little onto the commercial dock to get the shot. Six points off for the white boat floating on the left, countered by a ten point bonus for the red reflections in the water.