Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Flowering Tree of Roses in Winter

The Queen of Bohemia hiked up the mountain this morning with her trusted little dog Sergeant Pepe. For the Winter Solstice, she proclaimed, “I am the Queen of Bohemia. My kingdom is inside my heart. And my symbol is a flowering tree of roses in winter. “ And then she walked down again.

The solstice is my most sacred time of the year. I always feel its pull toward the darkness, and then the imminent rebirth. The most amazing time is that day before, when you just sit in the moment and allow the event. Everything just falls away. There is silence and presence. There is an emptying out, a sacrifice. A sacrifice of the self. Of all my desires, of all my fears. They wait silently while I contemplate the peaceful present.

A daily sitting practice does wonder to arrive at this. A mind can be trained. It can start to identify with that clarity and awe of the present moment. All the demons of my mind seem like little children begging for attention. But the present is so peaceful, so calming. I resist their cries.

I have always been attracted to the image of the Flowering Tree. The Sufi’s have it flowering in winter. The Hindu story is my favorite, one I perform frequently. And then you have Juan Diego and La Virgen, roses blooming in winter on Tepeyac. That metaphor for eternity, the spirit. It can get wounded, it can be healed again. But really it never was wounded, it never was healed. And with that every little action in the moment becomes so amazing. The touch of the keypad to type, the breath, the touch of clothing on my body. The complete surrender to reality and the ability to navigate my mind’s complexities assist in this divine amazement.

You’d think I’d be really pissed about what happened to me. But really it’s all just so beautiful. And the moment too precious to waste any more time or sorrow with it. It just is, the winter. You can flower in it any time. Everything gets revealed in it with the illumination of the heart. All questions and problems are answered in complete truth. All you have to do is wait and have faith.

The Flowering Tree. A tree pose, the pelvis and legs rooted in the earth and stable, the rib cage and heart, yearning for the heaven. That expansion of the Shri Yantra, energy moving toward the earth in one triangle, energy moving away from the earth in expansion. That’s how the planets stay in orbit, amazingly. This perfect balance of tension pulling and pushing. Are we all mini cosmoses? Only to realize this perfect replica in our bodies and the complete harmonizing with the rhythms of nature? What perfect flow, what perfect balance. To recognize that your power is identical with that energy of the universe. All fear drops away. All desires melt into dharma. The serpentine power. The tree, as below so above. And the serpent, energy, winding its way up to the top, and then back down again.

The flowers, the roses. The faith and the blooming of the heart. The throat must be open, the speech and the truth must flow. The breath moves through the body, pumps the heart. Camel pose, cactus pose. Opening the heart, surrendering.

Staying with the center. Listening and alert. Balanced and in tune with the body.
The answer to everything just comes at the right time, at the right moment.

And so the light has returned. The eternal life goes on. It crawls toward daylight of longer and longer intensities. An energy shifts, something new is born. I can feel it, it’s emerging like a bulb in winter. A blooming rose in winter on a tree. Where its branches were broken and leaves torn, they are mended. And the flowers bloom, gorgeous radiant, divine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Conceptual Morass

The Queen once again is happy in her castle. The sun has come out, she was able to be with her community in meditation. The morass of conceptual thinking that plagued her happiness has lifted, the demons have passed. And she’s glad that the demons didn’t get too deep this time. She is finding that the more she practices, the more it bolsters her. The more liberation awaits.

I love my Shambhala meditation class. Meditation really is the cure for what ails you! As my mind can spin me into what the teacher called the “conceptual morass” I can easily liberate it by simply stop thinking about it. To show up in the breath and the body and reality cuts the thinking. To be in the awe and wonder of the now, that is what keeps you safe. The fears and thoughts that plague me disappear. And it’s done by the bolstering of the community. Alone I become fearful, but with others I become stronger and fearless.

I have great compassion for myself. I can beat myself up for some choices I’ve made, but that is life. I accept that I did my best I can accept that I made some choices out of fear, and from now on I refuse to make choices out of fear. Because the present gives you so much clarity, so much safety, that the right choice becomes available and you can choose it with confidence, without remorse or regret. I’m not afraid of things to come. I can just take them as they arise. I will make a choice I can live with on Speer on my finances and on what is healthy for me and my family And that is all I can do. For there is no certainty, no control – those things I crave. But when you just sit with the fears with mindfulness, they disappear. Like the story of the monk in the cave. The demons used to disturb him while he sat and meditated. He swat at them continually, but the more he swat at them, the nastier they bothered him. Until one day he just stopped swatting at them, and the demons got bored and went away.

The teacher said that fear is what sunk us in some grooves, some samskaras that create habitual ways of dealing with fear. But to jump out of those grooves means we must confront the fear. So you just face the fear. You don’t run from it. You allow it to be, until it just disappears.

So there we have it. Liberation from the demons of the minds through the simple act of cutting the thoughts. Forgetting them, and living in the bliss and joy of eternity right now.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Queen Survives

It has been warming up outside so I walked in the foothills with Pepe. This is where I usually work out my morning fears that pop up on me from the moment I wake up. These worries made me so upset this summer I would wake up vomiting.
What to do about the creditors who are calling, what’s up with my lawyer and the complaint against my ex Justin Chipman and Keller Willliams about him foreclosing on my house and not getting me my money causing severe financial hardship! And how to keep myself and children healthy and happy while making a living. How to stay healthy and sane while Speer has continual problems that cause enormous stress.

So I walk to forget about them. There was a guy with a dog a little ways ahead of me, and I saw him leave his dog’s poop, neatly wrapped up in a green newspaper bag.

I can’t believe it! I thought. How could he do that? I mean what kind of a person thinks that leaving dog poop behind wrapped in a green newspaper plastic bag is less unsightly than just leaving it there! There are newspaper columns written about this unsightly problem. I thought I can’t just say nothing! I mean, I have walked around with poop on my gloves as not to leave it behind according to the law too! I called ahead and said, “Are you just going to leave it there?” but his dog barked at that moment and I don’t think he heard me.

As I later caught up and passed him I decided to take the nice approach and said, “I usually carry a butt pouch with me to carry my poop. Those things are really handy for this sort of thing so that it’s not unsightly for everybody else.” I’m quite proud of that butt pack. It is black leather, circa 1980. It was my late husband’s and it carries my Pepe supplies of snack, poop bags, and leash. Today since it’s still pretty cold and windy I had my parka on, which has lots of big pockets.

It was meant to be helpful, educational, with a touch of scolding. As I passed by I thought, but what if he decides to rage at me, kill me out here in the open space? Would they find his fingerprints on the poop bag? I really worked on focusing on the out breaths and getting beyond that thought and just enjoyed my walk.

Then Pepe decided to chase the prairie dogs and run a hundred yards off the path. Oh, no! I thought. Now he’s going to say something about my non-compliance with the dog rules! Then I realized that I was obsessing on this thought and got present again. Pepe finally came back and some time later I came to the front of the mountain. That’s where I stop on my hikes – my peak. I proclaim myself as The Queen of Bohemia. At that pause point, that ritual, I usually affirm something. Like, wow, you’re not afraid of anything! It’s a total attitude shift. Just always hang out in the transcendent rather than identify with the duality that is playing before me. I am very aware of the negative sides of life, and accept them. I don’t focus on them, but I know they are there. I create a more positive attitude. A hopeful one. One that is very present and can feel the shift. It’s a complete shift in awareness. To be aware of the eternal now and that you are participating in it. What story do I view it with? Negative, trauma induced that life is not safe? Or once that is safe, life affirming, because one is grounded in being. The radix ipsius, root of itself. That certainly of which you dwell. A matter of confidence due to empiricism and wisdom with age.

Walking back our dogs inevitably mingled. Pepe pounced on his dog, and the man struck up conversation about the dogs. The man was cute! I thought, oh god, you missed your chance at meeting somebody over poop! And I mentioned it. “Sorry about the poop comment. They should have more trash cans out.” And I’m not sure what he said because I was so nervous and couldn’t believe I said that and there goes my chance of dating him. But ultimately I just walked on. And The Queen was proud of herself for just speaking up. She spoke up for what she believed in. And that made her feel good, like everything is going to be all right. Something wonderful is going to happen out of all this. I remembered that the Chinese symbol for crisis is opportunity. Look at the opportunities that all this tragedy and hell of life brings. That’s the big change in myth that I can feel in my body. A positive attitude and feeling coupled with expectation and joy. A certain trust. And my image in my body cements it. My half fish, half bird , mermaid self. Made from dreams, insights, coincidences.

On the way back to the car I saw a dead bird. It had died very recently. It’s left eye still open and shiny, it’s feathers soft and ruffled, as if some animal’s claws or teach, perhaps a hawk, had pierced its heart. I picked it up and held it.

I had held many birds. Many that I rescued from my late cat Chloe who preyed on them. Chloe got her retribution because a mountain lion took her out. This bird I just held. I held it’s little spirit and my connection with birds. I honored its little life and body. I will set it in the garage somewhere to decompose and shrink down. I often do that with natural things around me. My son thinks they are disgusting, but I just think of it as natural science. In my car I have a little diorama in the side of my Prius window with wasps next pieces (I am amazed at the shapes nature makes) and a rabbit skull. My daughter is like me and thinks these things are cool. She found the rabbit skull on a camping trip.

I have had a hard few days, with the weather so cold and a problem again at Speer. The electricity shorted because one tenant girl uses a space heater so much. The wiring is old, Tom has said to me. God, I need to declare bankruptcy just to get rid of this thing. It’s underwater, it needs so many repairs, it takes so much of my time and resources and creates terrible stress. Like have all of this period of trauma from my husband’s death and all of its property and physical memory completely gone. I will start over from there. Something completely new and wonderful and beautiful.

But there is still a fear in me that what if I had no place to live with my children. If I can’t afford rent and were homeless. I was horrified to find out that there is no homeless shelter for women with children in Boulder. You’d be refused especially if you had an adolescent boy, because they can at least take in mothers with young children at the women’s shelter. This was a fear of my husband’s I remember. I asked him what his fears were once, and he said, “going broke and being homeless.” So while he skipped out on us I still survive. In fact, it’s funny, filling up with gas yesterday I was the 2012 movie ad at the pump. The whole city sliding into the ocean, and they you, could get your “survivor” drink. So chief Seattle was right, we are all just in survival mode now with our society at the brink of collapse.

My children are at a friend’s house this weekend. Actually it’s like their second home. Friend’s and their son who were there for me ever since my husband died. It’s great for the kids to be with them. I have enjoyed building my community. It really is the most important thing.

So instead of giving into fear and my endless rambling thoughts, the Queen has to just get back to work. So I’d better do that now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The Queen’s castle is cold, bitter cold, for the raging winds howl outside and she sits in isolation. The prince didn’t do something right that she ordered, and she flew out her magic spell of rage. So now the Queen is in a funk. The winter is all about that. One long funk.

It has been dreadful cold here in Colorado for the past few days and currently it is two below zero. This kind of weather makes me irritable, makes me moody. I had bad dreams last night, frustrated, carrying too many things around, frustrated endeavors, children. I awoke and found the Butternut Squash Chipotle Bisque and steamed asparagus not put away in the refrigerator as required but thrown in the sink, left out overnight in a disgusting heap. I was so hurt. They didn’t like it anyway. I try and cook from scratch, and it all ends up disrespected and thrown in the garbage.

So this morning I got up and did not do my yoga and sitting practice. But I got up to the mess in the kitchen and I blew up. Frustrated that my son didn’t follow my instructions. I was also furious at my late husband for abandoning us and damaging us so deeply.

It was icy out with all the crunchy sounds of cars and snow when I dropped him and his sister off at school. I told him I loved him, that it’s his behavior I don’t like. His last words were, “No you don’t.”

Later he texted me that he felt really bad. I said I was sorry and I love him. That I shouldn’t blow up like that and say those words. There is nothing wrong with you, We have to break the cycle because those are the terrorizing blow ups and screaming that my mother used on me that damaged me so much. It’s horrific to realize that trait in yourself, just when you vowed you would never be like that, that I would never be as violent as my mother. When I was younger, I vowed that I would have vegetarian children, and after Frank’s death I found them eating meat, frozen foods and junk half the time. Again, everything I ever wanted is the exact opposite. That because of the impact of his death and my stress and the trauma from childhood. But that is changing.

In Montessori, I remember the toddler teacher saying that there is doing something with a child and then there is abandonment. You need to do things with a child. Show them the complete step. You can’t just set them up and then take off and do something else on your own. But I have demonstrated things to them over and over again. They don’t seem to get it. Besides, he’s almost 12. I thought he understood me to put the food away and clear off the stove.

Mostly I need help. And I can’t stand living in Colorado anymore. I can’t bear the thought of another long winter. The climate here is not good for my health. Vata is always out of balance and I just feel better in warmer, more humid climates. So I am determined to find a way to either live in Mexico or India. Or maybe both. Maybe we’ll just come back and visit my father’s house on occasion. I need a change. A major change. To declare bankruptcy of everything and move there to just take care of my kids and raise them and live cheaply and simply and in community. I”ll teach yoga on the side. Do some writing and internet courses. Even do retreats down here ultimately. Get ready for the big economic collapse. With the no public option plan in insurance, what happened to our democracy? Since when does democracy not have a public option? Is there anything for the public anymore? Is there any scrap of a free country anymore with motivations for its people? Or is freedom the greatest myth of the 21st century?

I’m here at a University coffee shop surrounded by students as I wait for my daughter to get her massage. It’s her Christmas gift. I’m giving little things here and there for the whole months, and then they get one big thing at Christmas besides a few little things. I swear giving my kids all that consumer crap has bankrupted me. I’m sure I bought it out of sheer stress release in dealing with my life and grief, and also to give them whatever they wanted to protect them from any pain or suffering. I could not bear the suffering of my childhood and I didn’t want them to ever feel suffering. But that of course leads to dependent, whiny, disrespectful children who don’t pick up after themselves or put away your homemade soup.

I had a dream last night of a restaurant. I was with my children and father. It was a steak house of sorts and they seated us several floors down, rather isolated in the basement. I asked for a different seat. I saw Anusara founder John Friend. He was going to start doing children's yoga. He was going to use a Holly the Hamster character and he asked me if it were going to be a real money maker. I said I guess you have to see where your motivation is. I realize my motivation for my business was two-fold I didn't know what else to do and I can't do anything else or I would die so I might as well do what I love, and the fact that I was traumatized after my husband's death. I started running when he died and I never stopped. I never stopped to feel or grieve until later. Until now.

I had a good massage today, but it was more like rolfing. I’ve been very tight, perhaps since I haven’t been able to get to hot yoga class since Sunday because of sick children and other important interruptions. It was intense, working that stuck psoas and my shoulders. Imagining something is melting in there slowly as I let go and just relax. went today to the Boulder Mental Health Center and set up therapy sessions for my son. She is a Hispanic woman, although I think a man would be better. We talked about his anger, his loss of his father. All the influences in his life. His school grades slipping, his gun fascination and x-box playing. But that he’s a really good boy, gifted, was a subject once for a behavior genetics study at the University of Colorado that reported that he was very advanced. So I’m happy for him. Of course it reminds me that for the children I should be stable, despite the cold and desire to move to a warm climate. Where would they go to school? I just need to get ready for the long winter.

I need to go to the hot springs or something. That does the trick. Soak in the river, go to the Taos Pueblo Turtle Dance on New Years Day. Where they just dance near naked with turtles strapped to their calves under the hoar frost at dawn. It does wonders for you. You hardly notice the cold.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Birth of the Bohemian Bombshell

The Queen is born from the waters. Her bottom matsya self. Reptilian, earthy and watery. Her body is remade from the fires of the earth, the sweat of the rhythms and pulsation of life. Her heart opens, and her wings spread and her breath releases a beautiful new poem. A song, a mantra and it mixes with the air and sky until it waters down and fertilizes the earth she walks on.

I am the Bohemian Bombshell. I’m re-sculpting my body. I’m re-storying my Self. No longer do I carry the stories from childhood that were stuck in my body. I am re-patterning that groove in the record. I’m a hot yoga junkie now that I’ve tried out the Yoga Pod. I don’t get the headaches; it’s a shorter class and we do a downward dog!

Slowly the heat and the alignment and movement along with a new guiding myth in my life are re-shaping me. A rebirth. Just like after shavasana, there is something new out of that death period of rest. I have forgotten the terrible worthlessness, the shame. The shame of my house, myself, my body. This terrified little girl, so afraid and ashamed of her house that she could not call the police when she came home one day her senior year in high school and found that her little sister had attempted suicide. So ashamed that she had only herself to comfort her and she did it with bulimia, building more shame, more self-hatred. More hatred of her body, her self.

I will be 43 in 20 days. I have a new guiding myth. The Queen. I love my body. I love myself and I have value. I’m cleaning my house out swell. My body is full, 145 pounds typically. Up 15 pounds from three years ago. It's OK. It's right. Because I feel so good in my body. It’s strong and healthy. It's sensuous, sexy and beautiful. All my flesh, all my wrinkles and peeping gray hair. What a difference. My little girl of the past is OK with it too. She’s healed too. She doesn’t have to be 115 pounds like in her youth. She just gets to be healthy. She gets to be happy, trusting and safe. She gets to be herself. So everybody gets healed. Even my mother and father, sisters and brothers. It’s heaven on earth. And it’s in the body. It’s in the Bohemian Bombshell.

I am the Queen, the feather-plumed serpent, or the mermaid, half goat, half fish. The alchemical toad and bird chained together. I’m finally rooted, my energy balanced and back down toward the lower half of the body instead of rising in fear upward. I have a stable pelvis, that lizardly area, grounded and solid, and flowing freely with the energies of life. The hot yoga gets more deeply into my chest. For now my upper body lifts toward heaven. My heart, no longer a heavy stone, collapsing, pulling me forward and protected by rock-tight shoulders paralyzed by fear, but a bird, light, open and liberated. Free in the breath, present and powerful. And everything ceases. This is where Durga comes in. It’s that presence, unmistakable mother in her death and life. She’s in the heart, that amazing organ that has arteries running from it and to it, giving and receiving. It’s a Shiva consciousness. I can see more clearly my ego self because of the distance that mediation has gotten between me and my ego story. I like to reside in the Shiva spot more. It's an addiction. It’s protection, safety. It’s a silence that is yet so loud with the roar of the cosmos.

In hot yoga, I slow down to the heat and real rhythm of my body, notice every toxin in it. With my deep breathes I can feel every nook and cranny, any mis-alignment. It’s a slow melt, a smeltering, a crafting, as the new mythology kicks in. That I am of value and worthy. For I am the Queen of royal, cosmic blood. And my value does not fit in with the passing economic age of imaginary money, or even precious metals, but my value goes beyond, into something that cannot be measured by any earthly means. The value of my self and my work is not able to be assigned a measurable value, but it is rather unspoken, and connects to every living being on the planet. It connects and communicates with the herbs and the plants and the seas and water and the moon and the stars and the sun. It connects in faith, as it is confirmed and knows that an upheaval is necessary. To rebalance things. The classic Star Wars myth goes agrarian with kings and their peasants revolting. Politicians and proletariat. Corporations and taxyapers. So I’m not too worried any more. I’m excited. It’s time for some good action. We are all assigned our roles and so now it’s show time.

So is Birthed the Bohemian Bombshell.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Second Layer

After a rather intoxicating Thanksgiving break, I am back to doing hot yoga. I went to a new studio in Boulder to try it out. Not the straight Bikram stuff, but hot with a variety of poses. The toxins I ingested over the break, not to mention food, really got the best of me. I dripped sweat, but was incredibly tired and stiff. And this was only an hour class! Out of practice. How I crave stability. I felt fantastic, as usual, after class. I’d love to come every day for thirty days, or at least 3-4 times a week. It really does reshape your body, mind and soul. I can fee the muscles in my shoulders begging to let my heart free, my hips and back yearning to really open.

Nonetheless, I realized that you really do have to find the discipline to stay focused on not intoxicating yourself nor getting out of practice. I’ve always been the take two steps forward, one step back, or sometimes two back. Not quite getting anywhere, but nonetheless getting somewhere. So I am back there. I call this my second layer of cleaning house.

The first layer was just getting beneath the surface of things to see clearly. This layer we really see it and how it’s been going on as a major story in my life. As the cleaning in my father’s house has come to a halt. I knew it would happen. I had a dream about it while in Jamaica. That I went to my father’s house and things had been rearranged, headed by this one person who runs a magazine but never acknowledges me. I was very upset in the dream. I’ve had many portending dreams, yet never the courage, nor the desire to heed them much. It seems I can’t resist my desires, even though they head down the wrong direction.

So it was cleaning my father’s house. As I knew that despite my troubles and upset I shouldn’t go there. Shouldn’t change directions. Because my pattern is that when fear and upset arise, I change gears. The trick is to keep going. Work through the fear, stay stable. But I thought I must go home. I can’t afford my debts, I can’t make a living as an artist, blah, blah, doom doom blah.

As a child, I always cared for my father, tried to heal him, protect him from my raging mother. We intellectualized and spiritualized together, but there was no complete intimacy. As he was my father. And our relationship was buffered by the narcotic haze of his painkillers. So I was still very lonely as a child, only books to comfort me, a few siblings to play with for a while. But no visitors to the house, no dinners or get togethers. No extended family or neighbors. Just me. I was intimate with myself. I became a community of one.

That’s how it’s been most of my life. Relationships with men who used me and let me down, and although I wanted intimacy, I was not able to give it. I was loyal to my father.

And so it’s natural the cycle repeats itself. That my dad over Thanksgiving talked with my siblings, and doesn’t think it’s a good idea for me to move home. So that is that. I pull myself up by my bootstraps, rework my business plan, stay the course, stay put, and look for stability in myself.

Which brings me to the person I am in love with. He is married. I knew that. We both had our needs. We could help each other. I don’t have much time for a relationship, besides, my kids don’t like somebody else competing for attention with me. I am in love with him, but I can’t tell him that. For what is there to do beyond that claim? He is married, he has his wife to return to, and I have no one. Each time he leaves, the hole in my heart is more painful, more devastated, awash in sorrow. The loneliness and the loss. And I wait for a period of time, sometimes months, to see him again.

How I do crave intimacy, just when we are getting going on talking about interesting subjects and making love, he is gone. I can’t call him, text him, mail him. He is like a father, older than me, it provides wonderful togetherness and tenderness, but our relationship is limited. I cannot get what I need on my heart’s level. I am empty and sad. I can have my dreams, but I must stay rooted in reality. I will stay the course. I will practice my yoga, meditate, work, be a mother. Take up the time with the daily life. until I see him again.

I love him. But I am sad because I need reassurance for the future. I do want somebody in my life. I do crave deep intimacy. Somebody there for me at all times. And he lives out of state. Somebody who is not there for me all the time. And I am into taking very good care of myself. Not my father, not my ex and his kids and other needy people. I just take care of me and my children. My son’s grief and rage, my daughter’s learning disability. Learning to do home cooking again, gardening more, living simply and beautifully. That makes all the difference in the confidence in myself to succeed and not have to return to my father’s house, to it’s destruction and fear. That is no longer an option. And I feel so much better.

This is what the second layer is all about.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jamaican Queen

The Queen and her children went on vacation to Jamaica, courtesy of the King, who arrived later. How the Queen loves to travel, get outside her realm, experience something new and different, even though the KFCs and Pizza Huts have spread their tentacles even to the Caribbean. How courageous was the Queen so many said, to manage alone her children through airport security checks, immigration and feeding times all throughout. She loved escaping the harsh, dry climate of the mountain top and revel in the moisture abundant and tropical green scenery everywhere. How she loved having fun with her children and how she loved spending time with the King……

Although she wasn’t very happy about the speeding ticket she got when she returned to the castle.

Jamaica is a beautiful place. I like the people and culture. People are happy here, and Bob Marley’s image, music and presence seems to float over the place like a loving, happy father. I’d love to see and learn more and return. Even do give a yoga and storytelling/writing retreat!

I love the Caribbean, this being my second time here. Like the U.S. Virgin Islands, the breeze in Jamaica is sweet and the turquoise waters softened by salt that supports you as you float oblivious to the world and just stare at the blue sky and white clouds above. I love the humidity and the oxygen and the pressure here -- huge shift from the harsh vata-aggravating climate of Colorado. This is good for my health and my energy. I realize that is probably why I like Bikram yoga so much, the humidity; it holds your body; it cleanses it.

The all-inclusive resort we are at is just that. The Lady Hamilton Grand Palladium, Spanish-owned and rushed to finish. This new place is cracking at the plaster, tiles coming up, but the people are super nice, the food sumptuous. They hand you alcoholic drinks at check-in, and from the boisterous voices of Eastern-European sounding men at the swim up bar that opens at 10 a.m., the drinks don’t seem to stop. I haven’t drank alcohol in a long while, so I thought, it’s vacation! But I imbibed modestly, except for one night. I remember too well the affects of this particular poisoning. I feel so much better without it. Same thing with the food. This incredible abundance of decadence, but one has to remember one’s own power of choice. I choose not to be a pig, gorge on everything. And ultimately feel horrible afterwards! I marveled instead at the fresh fruit and steamed fish. But I have to admit there was so much to try - i loved Jamaican bammy bread and Italian gnocchi - I did start in on the heavier carb stuff and you just couldn’t resist the little desserts!

The kids sure loved it and I was happy to see them happy. Even though when my friend who treated us to all this fun was there for a few days, and I relished in talking to an adult about interesting array of subjects, he left and I was back to the empty fourth chair at meal times. That loneliness of being a single mother. I have to catch myself always with my son, not making him like a parent, talking to him about history and economics, and he tells me how Opa is always telling him about space people coming. That too! I said.

As my daughter stood up from the table at lunch one day I imagined Frank here with us at the table. How would his presence affect us? Are suicides really condemned to stay nearby invisible and assist the loved ones they abandoned and wounded so much? Are their silent presences to be felt to steady you in times of great overwhelm, loneliness and grief? What would it be like to have him here? On a family trip? What would my daugher be like to have her father in her life? Something she has never known? What would it be like for her to have a male presence in her life? A father? For my son? A man like him.

There is a Roman theme about this place, large Doric columns everywhere, if not completed beyond any further aesthetic quality rather than to keep costs low. The decadence is there, yet it seems this resort, opened not to long ago, was built at the tail end of the last gasps of capitalism. As if the credit ran out and they had to cut corners just to get the place open. But my kids love it. Just to swim, eat, do nothing, and watch a lot of TV in the room. (since we don’t have TV at home.) They’d be just as happy in a Comfort Inn in Westminster, Colorado. But we are in Jamaica, and it’s good for them to see places outside the U.S. And if anything they have had geography and history lessons hammered into them and even my daughter knows Jamaica is in the Caribbean now.

I re-read Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place on the plane and by the poolside. Such an amazing author. Such an amazing voice. Her brazen scolding of colonialism, and how she admits not much changed after emancipation. Sure, here the blacks serve the whites in a gluttonous stream. I love how Kincaid implored the rebuilding of Antigua’s library, which was destroyed in an earthquake and never rebuilt. How important education is - literary and artistic exploration and encouragement. How that is society, culture, humanity. Rather than decline or the reclining class lounging in artificial pools when the real prize of nature is but a few feet away at the beach. But then I stopped being so critical and enjoyed myself. I started thinking that this place could be converted into and make a great commune and education center and have a yoga storytelling retreat.

I went to the resort’s morning stretch class and ended up teaching it with yoga. There was a couple from Philadelphia I helped with their back pain, and even the bow-legged employee Smiley I gave exercises to help his condition. I miss teaching adult yoga. Perhaps I will return one day. Grow Medical Marijuana in the basement of my father’s house and offer other herbs and yoga therapy. It might make the right combination.

In Jamaica I could just rest and let go. Floating around in the Caribbean waters, I found that staying focused on the present and letting go of thoughts, and by gaining awareness of old patterns, stories, that no longer serve me I get some distance from the thoughts and patterns, which allows a certain energy to be released, a certain spell to be broken. The traumas and grief of the past are finally gone, a story, a house, let go. Like the house the old man hauled around in the movie UP, which we watched on the plane.

How that old attachment really makes things difficult, hold you down. They really are grooves in the koshas, your layers of being. You have to lift them out of the layers, smooth out the surface again, float around in the Caribbean water and feel your body supported, free, safe. There is a turning point, a new story all together. Like the sun gaining length again after the winter solstice. The shift. Re-patterning really takes hold. The old yearbooks of military history and authority and sorrow have faded. There is peace. You are rooted in being. Grounded in a feeling of peace and safety. You don’t have to be or feel unhappy anymore. You don’t have to be confused or upset. You don’t have to act out the rage that your mother had inside her, the frustration, the powerlessness, the grief and fear. You get to feel at rest, at peace, in balance and aware and it feels great. And happy. I was happy, floating around in the Caribbean sea in Jamaica. And although I knew the moment would pass and I'd be back home eventually facing difficulties and fears, I felt a shift in attitude. Something good and beautiful and loving is going to happen in life, regardless of everything else. Regardless of any old tragedy.

What do you do with the memory of the tragedy? You create art out of it.

I think of my grandmother, whose husband starved to death in a forced Mitzubishi tin mine outside of Tokyo during World War II. How my grandmother survived concentration camps and the soul-destroying hells of war with children. How those scars on the children and mother and family run deep. Generations deep. For I am her all over again, a widow with children.

I see this abundance of food at the resort, the people at my service. I think of my father, as a little boy separated from his mother. My Oma, not knowing whether he is dead or alive for two years. My father, eating snails from the river that was also the latrine to survive. Eating snakes and burying dead old men.

The grief is in the body. It is in the heart. Little by little you can coax them out, just like the mold in the basement, and get a good look. And then we see that it was not really anything, a story, a passage of time, in life. A book on the shelf, a memory, and we return to the present and it’s radiance and it is that radiance that makes us safe and happy.

The End of Food book I read was amazing. We really are headed for disaster. How I am returning to my healthy self again, no drinking, a regular routine. Because it really reprograms you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little Heart Openings

It was a good thing that the Queen was in the middle of a Shambhala meditation class when she foolishly checked her email on her I-phone during the break and saw a message from her lawyer. The ex-King’s lawyer now wants to collect his fees at her expense. Good thing the Queen has been practicing a lot because this kind of thing can send her into a powerful spell of funk.

It was almost miraculous that as the burning upset started to arise, the meditation teacher was talking about just such a thing. How these thoughts interrupt our peaceful abiding if we let them. The breath and the present are very powerful tools, if you are willing to use them. I know how painful it is to have to indulge in the demon forces. The present really is my Knight in Shining Armor. It takes care of me. The demons of the past are held at bay. I have a lot of space between the upset, the trauma and my body is slowly releasing it.

The evil Judge Klein rejected my lawyer’s request for his fees to be paid since I had to take Justin Chipman to court because he let my house go into foreclosure. The other judge was in agreement that the divorce agreement included my ability to protect myself with a lawyer, but it rotated away from her. Now Justin’s lawyer wants to collect on the same provision! There is no justice. It’s insane. I will just have to collect by complaining to the realtor board and collecting through his Errors and Omissions insurance. I think Justin is terrified about it, hence his kindness and “nice guy” act on full on for me. Something I’m a softy for. I thought I could get him to trade what he owes me to help me with the rental properties and my father’s house. But how soon I forget, my lawyer, another knight in shining armor, reminds me. Why would I put myself through the same torture of his incompetency, undependability, endless screw-ups and lies? I guess I’m like the old man in the fairy tale of the Old Man Who Could Make Withered Trees Bloom Again. Always kind, even to the evil do-ers. However, I think it’s a boundary issue. And I tend to attract the types of people who know they can cross my boundaries and I let them. No MORE!

I went to Anusara yoga class today with Jeanie Manchester. She’s so wonderful. Her little story about the monk who keeps falling in the same puddle day after day reminded me of my predicament. I don’t learn from experience very well. To become aware of this is the important thing. My son made me aware that I am always invalidating what he says. It was in a flash at the dinner table yesterday that I was made aware of this. He says something, and I say, no that’s not true. As if I think he is a child and doesn’t know the truth. But he’s almost 12 and very smart. I was shocked at myself. My daughter said, “It’s true mom. You do.” And she chimed in that I’m always disbelieving her. I said I was sorry and would do better. Awareness is key, and the ability to really surrender all of yourself.

So I was aware that little by little, my heart is opening, my chest is expanding. I contribute it to hot yoga deepening my muscle work, and the Anursara for the awareness of alignment. How the inner spiral of getting thighs back is so important to opening the heart, opening the chest. That the tension in my arms, even though I have a herniated disk at C3 from a hit-and-run car accident from there, is from the collapsed chest, the powerlessness. But little by little I am claiming my power. The Queen’s power that she can do anything once the demon groove of energetic patterning are removed from her body and she is left with the present to create and believe in anything she wants and make it come true. After a lot of back bends, I cried in shavasana again. That little by little releasing of all the old stuff, the realization that I am valuable. I am powerful and worthy of respect. Even remembering the hit-and-run car accident, how powerless I felt when I failed to identify the man from the license photos. The failure I felt. The abandonment when not only the man who hit me but the man that I hit with my car in front of me who also fled when I said I was hurt. How the body holds all that in, in the shoulders, the neck. The yoga, the meditation and breath and the present slowly unsnares everything like Drano unclogging everything from the deep.

After class I went to my father’s house again. We had lunch and later we worked on some piles of boxes of papers, magazines, junk mail and bills that were in the living room. I did find a few old Mother Earth News magazines to mull through, and a diary of my mother’s cross-country trip with her sister in 1953. But mostly it was tedious, as we went through every piece of paper in several boxes. I got hasty when it came to junk mail catalogs from 2000. He said, “Slow down!” And it irritated me. I began thinking of the futility of all this. Can I really live with my father? He doesn’t want to move out completely so we could clear it all out, gut it and redo it, we’d just work around him. I should just move to Puerto Rico. But then I want to take care of my father. I want to clean this house out. I want to have another adult around to help me raise my children. I want to have a beautiful garden in the backyard and go back to being a mother and homemaker again. Just without all the loneliness and isolation. We shall see.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The Queen was overwhelmed by the demon Black Mold. It all seemed so hopeless to go up against it. It was down there in the basement. The darkness now has eyes, and the creature has now been awakened. She wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, just sitting down there underneath the stairs. It’s eyes open and glowing. But at least its presence was made known. Now she can get to the bottom of things. She just might be able to deal with it.

But the demon Black Mold is very powerful. It tells the Queen to go back to sleep. Ignore it. It’s too powerful for her to deal with at this time. The Queen feels sleepy, she fights to stay with the demon, even though she feels overwhelmed.

I was driving down the road this morning when I realized that I had forgotten my yoga mat for Bikram class. I came back to the house, and accidentally left the door open and Sargeant Pepe ran out. “Oh, drat! Now I’ll be late,” I thought, because it's hard to lure him back in. The kids joke that the only thing I trained Pepe to do is to run outside in order to get a treat. So that’s what I had to do. Go all the way back in, get to the fridge and get a treat, lure him in, and dash myself back out again.

I observed the frustration brewing. I had to fight to focus on the out-breaths and get present and not fall into the old trapping of negative emotions. Those old feelings are too painful to indulge in anymore. A gift of about to turn 43. I’m like the rat who finally realized that those shocks hurt, and you need to give some things up if you’re going to survive or evolve and if your children are going to survive and evolve. Wisdom is the gift of age and the gift to the world.

I think it’s old trauma, old patterns related to stress that start to wear on you. It's post traumatic stress. I think about Frank's death. I think about my father. I feel so sorry for all the soldiers returning from Iraq. I’ve witnessed it in my father all my childhood, all my adulthood. How we children of concentration camp and war survivors are affected. How all children are horribly, horribly affected.

Finally back in my car, I was backing out and I had a flash of insight. It was the same kind of insight I had, incidentally, when I was backing out of a driveway when I was on the way to be with my mother dying in the hospital. I had just dropped my infant daughter off with a friend, and backing out I saw an image before me of her as a young woman. I got a call from my younger sister not long after that with the news that mom had passed.

Backing out on the way to yoga, I had the impression of powerlessness. The brutal stamping out of hope. My father as a 9 to 12-year-old imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp for Dutch colonialists on Java during World War II. That experience of horrible atrocities during the formative years, it scars so deep one gives up on affecting the outer world and there is only anger turned inward, its oppression total.

My father told me a story once about the war. That he was at camp Ambarawa 7, which had a monastery and nuns. One of my father’s few possessions was a towel his mother, my Oma, monogrammed for him. One day it was missing from his bed in the barracks. He climbed up high in the rafters one day and watched the nun come in and he witnessed her removing the threads from his towel.

He climbed down and confronted the nun. “That’s my towel,” he said. She just glared at him and said, “No it’s not,” and went back to work. He mustered up the courage to complain again, “It’s mine!” “You’re going to hell when you die and you’re not going to need it,” she said of his protestant soul.
My father wanted to hit her, he told me. “What could I do? Me, a little boy, up against the nun? That’s when I started to get angry.”

That’s what I carry of my father's onto my experience of reality. I react to it with his unconscious pain. That powerlessness I felt against my mother and her illness. It’s my mother, yet she’s raging at me, terrifying me and hurting me and my brother and sisters and my father. You try to take care of them, you feel guilty for their suffering. Because you love her too. She's still in my body. She's in my shoulders and psoas. She’s the blackness.

My father’s migraines, the rock-hard muscles in his shoulders and neck. I’d massage them, give him a head massage just like the nurse Babu did for him on Java. After yoga I can see still where my tension is in my arms, the collapsed chest, the shallow breath. How trauma and powerlessness shut you down. Unable to escape my mother’s prison as a child. Now able to finally be aware and get present rather than dwell in the past. Snake is a good friend.

The Black Mold is just a reminder, an opportunity to wake up. To look here and check this out. My mother's healing too, just like the dream, she's helping cleaning. We're searching every corner of our energy bodies for leftover stories. What powerlessness and discouragement do we feel when stress arrives? What hopelessness? That depression that renders us without courage to face life. We find the courage again and this time its grounded in being.

Shall I move forward on my desire to clean out and fix up my father’s house? Now that I’ve hit the basement and found the snake and the mold and the rot, discovered the rat that gnaws at the tree and the toad that blocks the well. Now that I know the facts and what needs to be dealt with, I can summon the community to help me deal with it. Now the castle can be rebuilt again. The samskaras have been removed from the layers of being and now I am free to create anew with the power of the present. And the community makes all the difference. Something I didn't have as a child, isolated here on Kilkenny Street East of Boulder out in the country with the cows and the corn.

I wrote Dad a letter. I said I could not live there. And that he should consider living with my brother for his health. Today he said he was down there with some bleach working with the mold. Gads! Julia was supposed to be over there today. I hope she convinces him that a Haz Mat unit needs to be consulted!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Queen and the Black Mold

I brought a friend who rebuilds houses professionally over to access my father's house. He basically said the house was a health hazard because of two things: black mold in the basement and the mouse feces. He asked my father if he were willing to move out for a month or two to get the whole place gutted and cleaned out, and he said no.

SO! The reality is that the black mold is winning. I wrote my father a letter saying that I can't continue cleaning or coming over with the kids and that he should really consider moving in with me temporarily to clean the place properly or just permanently moving in with my brother as my father gets older and needs help and really for his own health. Having him spend more time among the black mold is not healthy! it gets into the ventilation!

I was aghast, horrified, a bit depressed. But it seems I've been dealing with the unexpected and the disappointing all my life. So I will just stay present and see what else arises. But I really want my father to be well and rescue him from the Black Mold! I even wrote Julia an email asking her to talk to him. He seems to trust her.

So symbolic that it comes from the basement. Something still very unconscious and insidious that does not want to rear its head but is starting to. Perhaps my father does not want to deal with it because of that reason. That it would bring up war memories and horrors that are still too painful for his fragile self to deal with.

But at least now the Queen knows her enemy the Black Mold, and she will figure out how to deal with it next.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Queen Sheds her skin

The Queen's oldest sister, Narada, who lives in India, sent an email asking about their father, Saint Albert the Wise. She read the Queen's interpretation of the myth Vishnu's dream and replied that their cult leader said that the demons coming out of Vishnu's ears were the first homosexuals because of their voracious sexual appetite. The Queen was offended by this interpretation, and said so. She thought that personal choice of sexuality should not be demonized and judged wrong.

Her sister immediately got upset and withdrew. "People are always offending me. Now I must retreat from such negative associations," she said. Forgive me, but I don't know why you despise Krishna so much."
"But how can you judge me?" the Queen asked her sister. "How the Queen loves the divine, but experiences it in a completely different reality than you, dear sister." Because all the Queen could feel for her sister was love, because their mother, the Witch of Kilkenny Street, hit her sister the hardest when they were growing up in the ruined castle. That's because she was the eldest, and got the most blows from the witch, who shut her down completely, and a strict cult was the only thing that would salvage her fragile psyche.

I cleaned out my father's house again today. It is as if I have peeled down a layer of stuff. The first level is about what you can deal with, what you can throw away or how to make a semblage of how to organize things. Sometimes I would take a box from the other back bedrooms and start looking through it. I'm looking for the boxes, the obvious trash. That was the first month and what filled the first dumpster run. In one box from the basement, I found an amazing thing. Two petrified garter snakes. One curled perfectly and it's head curling up, its eye hollowed out. Then there was a much smaller one. I saved the big one and gave the other to my artist friend Wendy. I remember when I lived in the basement as a 22-year-old and found dead snakes on my underwear I picked up off the floor. So I thought it was symbolic. I am shedding my skin. A layer of something very deep - energy stuck in my lawyers of body and being bubbling up and getting cleaned out. I feel it's a stage toward rebirth, as you begin to see in meditation that there really is something greater than your ego mind when you finally get some distance between it and can see things more clearly. And you get hungry for it.

This time cleaning I started tackling piles of stuff on tables and tackle its details. Like the kitchen. A particular doozy. Dad and I started in the small cabinet that has 29 years of grease stains all over it from the stove below. Julia had cleaned the stove and it remarkably looks so much better. We pulled out dozens of old herbs and spices, and Indonesian cooking ingredients. duplicate bottles of garlic powder, onion onion powder, basil that was from 1992. There were even some bottles so ld they still had on the paper my mother had covered them up with to reuse the item.
The rest of the kitchen was just filled with scattered items in complete disorder. Outdated food cans my father kept for survival but never cooked. He typically ate out or warmed up some soup from the fridge or ate something frozen. On the table and counters there were bathroom products, bug killer, car oil. I sorted them out and consolidated them into cabinets.

I realized that my father is of the depression era, born in 1931. When it comes to cleaning, I have to have him right there with me because you can't throw anything away. Weeks earlier we had gone through every piece of paper in zillions of boxes. We even had found Liberace's autograph. Now we are going through every screw, button, lock, stamp, zillions of little things and you sort through it but encourage him to just throw it away and mostly he does. It was hard to get him to part with some of the old food. When Julia was here she helped me convince him. You have to go down to every nut and screw and receipt, and pen cap and a pair of scissors parts that lost its central screw and he was going to have it repaired. There were dozens of Nescafe jars in other cabinets that were empty. I know he was thinking he could find some use for them, like fill them with lentils or rice. He held onto it and you could tell it brought some kind of sentimentality. So he couldn't part with it and I said no problem. There is a movable kitchen cart in the middle of the kitchen and I sorted through the layers of food cans that where years out of date, every kind of herb, natural supplement and health liquid you could think of. They were scattered all over the place. So I sorted cans to go into the pantry Julia and i cleaned out (of zillions of cobwebs and dust) last time. And the natural stuff to another area.

My brother, Albert, came over too. I hadn't seen him in so long. He's the workaholic senior software engineer for a big company. He helped Dad sort, which was good. To have other people help him sift it all out too. I was able to work quietly in other areas, taking sneaky liberties of throwing out obvious junk at my discretion.

Earlier I had talked to my father about my older sister Nancy. How she offended me in an email recently and made me angry, and that it seems she has a personality disorder. It brought up a lot of grief around my sister, who was a mother to me. The memory of playing with dolls and making up stories, cooking in the kitchen and growing plants. It made my childhood so happy against my mother's insanity. I remember the sorrow and the helplessness I felt that strangled my heart when my mother was screaming and cursing at Nancy, destroying her sense of self. Shredding any sense of worthiness after being so startled and confused by the violence. Because the violence was jarring. It took you out of your body. You knew your body was not a safe place to be.

Nancy was my buffer to my mother, to all of us kids. And she fought back the best she could, as my father was much of the time incapacitated with migraines and pain killers and unable to help. It's like the Japanese guards' brutal action that rendered my father helpless to act against during his childhood in the concentration camp. Dad to this day feels guilty for asking my sister to leave the house, after she and my mother's fighting was too much and my mother ordered her out. She fled to Alaska and worked for the forest service, only to leave behind the drug scene there and have the Krishnas meet her at the airport in Honolulu. That was the end of having my sister around the house and the beginning of my mother wailing about her and her "shitty religion." I was six years younger than my sister. I was in the 8th grade. That sense of loss has carried with me so long now. Now my sister is coming back from India in July and will be living in Denver again after 30 years away where her daughter and grandchildren live. I wonder if coming home brings some powerful stuff up and that's the cause of the upset. This tension between us is to be resolved and for that she would be healed as well.

I didn't allow my upset to be indulged. That typical rage that I felt when my ex-husband's ex-wife would offend me. I learned that the price you pay for that emotional burning is too steep. I have no bad feelings against my sister. I do not want to engage in an energy drain. It really messes you up. I know from experience that you get what you think about when you're in a negative state a lot. So now I can only send love. I allow her to be who she is, and I minimize the rest. Avoid it completely if needed. But always love her, and heal the pain through forgiveness so that only freedom remains.

Things have definitely cleared out on a noticeable level. I've been really happy. I broke my health kick this weekend, but it was like a ritual. I really notice the differences in my life with the shedding of the old stuff. That those negative thinking grooves are finally but ghosts in the distant sky. This regular groove is very present, and relaxed, and content. Things in our household are going so well. Like my daughter's schoolwork -she's grooving math - and the overall functioning of the household. Thank you maid! And more friends in my life! There is harmony it seems, and all because I've slowed down. I practice yoga and meditation daily and they ground me in their ritual. I think the future is going to be even more amazing, because I have no desire to know what it is at all because I am really just so in love with the present.

I will be back on track come Monday, because the magic of the yoga drives you on. Snake is pretty powerful. In mythic yoga practice, the heart is opening, chest is expanding, my wings are stretching out, and I'm firmly anchored in my snake, fish tail bottom, my reptilian hull.

Maybe it really is the return of Quetzalcoatl.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meditation is a wonderful thing

The Queen loves to meditate. Somehow driving to downtown Boulder and sitting in Shambhala meditation with others is just the ticket she needed to calm the demons that overtake her mind with busy thoughts of doomsday, loneliness, children's doctors and orthodontics appointment and ten thousand other things.

But amazingly, meditation puts some space and distance between those thoughts. And also the Queen is tired of thinking them and feeling bad with them. It's so easy to indulge! the thoughts cry, but every time she practices in the morning or with the group, those anxieties and fears tend to slip away faster. They don't have much power. Demons begone! Amazingly they slip away, defeated. Meditation leaves such clarity, openness. But you do have to practice. So every day now, the Queen has gotten up early, gone down stairs, lit the fireplace and practiced. Amazingly, all she is left with is the present. And the present becomes delicious and powerful. As if those grooves of the past the demons carved are finally lifting, the demons are bored and are packing up and going home, because the Queen doesn't pay any attention to them anymore.

Even though my ex-husband let the house go into foreclosure and it's looking pretty dismal that I will ever see my $30k i was owed, I'm not feeling that bad any more. I refuse to be pulled into the past or worry about the present. Meditation is pretty powerful, and I'm convinced that something will come out of this by being so present. Like I'm pulling out of my long depression since all this happened (and since the King left on a long trip.) And thinking that, well, I can maybe pull through. Gloom and doom and bankruptcy are not the only possibility. I might just be able to be inspired and sit down and write something creative again and get the creative juices flowing and reapply myself to my work. Because I have been doing not much more than lots of yoga, meditation, tending to the children's myriad needs and pumping myself full of wonderful ayurvedic herbs and vitamins. Sabbaticals are sometimes a good thing. The creative well springs up. Especially when you slow down, take good care of yourself and children. Not much can get done if you are not well! So healing does happen. All the deep grief, unfortunate events, you can finally pull ahead of them and look back and say, "ha!" What an experience! Sure glad that is done!" and you can revel in the present moment. The creative present moment and look ahead, as if one chapter is really, finally closed, and there is new life ahead. And the possibilities are endless.

I went to regular Anusara class today. My psoas is still killing me, and it seems like I am more tight from all the Bikram yoga, that did get deeper into my muscles, but because they use the same poses over and over again, I am weaker in the regular asana routines! So much mother came up during practice. The "Waterfall" of thoughts as the Buddhists call it. But it's the practice that helps. All of her negativity and rage. It has been helpful also to practice agnosticism. There is no "god" or "karma" to gloss over the pain of life. You just accept it. I don't have to go boo hoo, why did I have a violent schizophrenic for a mother? Because you wonder about those Ft. Hood soldiers. What did they do to deserve a massacre? Or the women murder victims of the crazy man in the Ohio house. Life is ferocious. The idea of God puts such a buffer on things. But it also gives you a crutch to stay protected from your pain. Because really when you accept it, you are happier. There was an article in the paper about a psychology study of people who had this procedure in which their bowels had to be on the outside of their bodies. Half of the patients were told that there was the possibility that their bowels one day could be put back inside of them and they would be normal. The other half were told that this is what their situation is and there is no other possibility. The people with "Hope" suffered more, putting their life off in the future. The people with no hope, were actually happier. They accepted their situation. So we don't put any hope for God to save us. We just accept life. And somehow it actually becomes more beautiful, more amazing. You just love your story, your past, your demonic mother who is actually helping you amazingly to clean yourself out. Clean all the last drops of whatever is holding you back.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deeper Cleaning

Two nights ago I had a dream about cleaning out my father's house. He wasn't there, but other people were there to help. It was great having the help, and even my mother was there. But then in the dream I realized, my mother's dead, and asked other's if they had seen her there and they said yes.

The next day I went to my father's house and began cleaning again. I removed the junk I had taken out of the back bedroom that my mother used to occupy and threw it in the dumpster. Most of it I threw away: an old rusty trunk, old newspapers, ripped up clothing covered with cat hair, ripped up old suitcases. You could hear a music box chime go off. It's as if it were here from the dream, helping, approving, chiming in. My mother was always collecting music boxes from garage sales.

Her bedroom was finally cleared out of mounds of junk for the first time in 35 years. You could see the floor finally - old yellow shag carpet. This was my mother's bedroom and it reminded me of before she died she would just urinate over the side of the bed. Or throw her used leenex over the side and they would pile up. Social services finally stepped in, because my father could not deal with her, guilty as he felt. But my mother was so beligerant that no public geriatric, psychiatric nursing home would take her, except one far down in Englewood. I had other memory flashes as I threw stuff out. I threw out old pictures, a broken glass, travel books that where 20 years old. Crash it went into the dumpster. I remembered the time we sat on the edge of her bed after a particularly big screaming fest when I was a child. She said she was sorry, and told me about her electric shock treatments as a 19-year-old in 1949 when she had a nervous breakdown because of her violent father. She said it was like a piano falling on top of her head.

I started pulling up the filthy carpet. It could tear like tissue paper it was so old and dusty. I stopped, sneazing. I figured to take one step at a time. I needed to empty out first.

Later, I went to a Bikram yoga class. The layers of emotions can be peeled away by doing this yoga, as most yogas. A big memory of Frank's suicide note came to me. "Now she's going to have to work." I remember being so traumatized from being penniless that yes, I have to work. How stupid of me to be dependent, to trust anybody. To be abandoned so terribly. I started working and never stopped. And now in Shavasana after the yoga, I cried. No, I don't have to work. I can relax now. I can just take care of my children. I can heal myself. I can go back to the prima materia, before the wounding, and be a mother. I am cleaning out my father's house, cleaning out my emotions. I will go back to being a mom, cooking, gardening, and taking care of my children and my father now. There is a huge relief.

So yesterday my father's friend Julia, the maid, showed up. What relief! Just like my dream. To have others helping me. Because every time the dust and dirt and memories over whelm me. The bathroom mirror, dirty and stained with toothpaste from our childhood. The mirror I looked into as a teenager, getting ready for a date. And any boy who came over never came over again.

And later, more friends showed up at my own house. Dreams do come true. Because old stuff does get cleaned out. Ever so slightly, it really does. Even in meditation, you get further and further away from those disturbing thoughts. I had a meditation class today. Even though it was irritating to sit there. My psoas had frozen up in the left leg. It's been terribly painful for about a month. It's letting go a lot of stuff. A lot of trauma. Things do get healed. You just have to let go, let go of all the resistance, and most of all let go that there was ever anything wrong with your life. It's just one great beautiful story. And it's healing. I believe my mother gets healed by the cleaning of the house. That's why I dreamed her.

The dumpster was filled up. I called to have them haul it away, and my father said it was all taken away. I feels so much lighter now. All those emotions are gone. Because they dissolve in meditation, dissolve and leave the body, and they have gone physically as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Queen of Bohemia Cleans Her Father's House

It has been a while since I have written. Not out of lack of substance, but out of lack of capacity to express what has occurred in the past month.

I started cleaning my father's house. The house I grew up in. I also started taking Bikram Hot Yoga classes. Somehow I think the two are related. The house and my body.

I was at the Cordillera Spa and Lodge a few weeks ago in Edwards, Colorado giving a workshop, and I had a wonderful massage, swim, whirlpool, and I decided to sit in the sauna. I usually am reluctant to be in saunas or hot rooms or anything because it makes me irritable and claustrophobic. Somehow this time I loved the heat, loved the sweating. I felt like something deep was melting away. The detox. And the spa place was so beautiful. Ultra luxurious, but a not conspicuous. Just nice, remote, even though I could not help but wonder what the heating bills were on these monstrous houses dotting the landscape that remained unoccupied!

Unfortunately, the drive back was so stressful because of snow, overturned trucks on I-70 and I feared they would close the tunnel and I'd be stranded. Worse, it was return traffic from the casino towns. Major bummer. It took me all day the next day to recover. But then I started cleaning my father's house.

He said it was time. That I would be able to come and live there if need be. He has a third acre in east Boulder. A nice bit to grow a lot of organic food, our favorite past time. But of course I would have to tackle the mess that is his house. When my mother died, I helped him clean it out. The piles and piles of old clothing, junk in every corner, the clogging of the entire house, buried in stuff. That on top of it that it had not been cleaned in 30 years.

He said it would probably make his migraine headaches go away, let everything go. That and maybe the big blockage at his navel area. A large weight held there, probably from emotions but also too much chocolate.

We started in the hallway, where he uses cardboard boxes to fill up each with old bills, magazines, junk mail, odds and ends. He was afraid to throw anything away. So we went piece by piece, paper by paper. I had ordered a big roll off for all the stuff. We just started dumping it, and recycling some, because he says he gets credit for the weight. But we filled up the recycling bin in a matter of hours, and it only comes once every two weeks. So piece by piece we went. I even found the Liberace autograph my mother said she had and had not found the first time I cleaned out the house when she died.

I had made a box of items that could be stored. My father's biggest problem is simple disorganization. Zillions of items just scattered around the house. I went in this storage area to put the box there. Mice had gotten into his end of the world food supply or wheat and what not that was there. It has been there since 2000. I saw two dead mice in traps, screamed, and dropped the box I was carrying, which upset another, untripped mouse trap. The box fell to the floor, which was covered in mice feces. I screamed again. I wondered, am I able to really clean this place out? It's so overwhelming the mess, the filth. The emotional layers there.

I went to my first Bikram class and made it through. I dripped with sweat. I felt dizzy at times, but did pretty well. Afterwards I was exhilarated, like the best high i've had in a long time. Natural, gorgeous. My skin was glowing. I had energy. I signed up for the two-week special for $25 bucks. Price is right. So I went again, felt better and wasn't dizzy. Again, dripped off sweat, like layers and layers of emotions and negativity and fear. Afterwards, felt great again. It was impossible to feel negative. I could deal with my father's house. I had to.

I came to my father's house again on Halloween. It was all abuzz with a friend of his who was a professional house cleaner. She was helping him go through tons of stuff. I was amazed they had cleaned out the back dining room area, which used to be the living room before the garage was made into the living room. But the back room was just tables piled high with tons of papers and stuff. She removed it. you could see the floor, which was previously covered. You can now see the original orange and yellow shag carpet from 1973. Although dust fills all the corners. Julia, the housekeeper, vacuumed up the dust, which I'm usually covered in when I help clean, sneezing the whole way through. Huge progress was made.

Trick-or-treaters came by and I dished out candy. I was amazed that kids come up to this house, since it's so run-down on the outside too. Maybe they think it's spooky, or dare each other to go up there, or maybe they are just greedy for candy. A Rotor Rooter truck was outside on the driveway too, blocking the way, because sadly the concrete in the back sank down so much because of a lot of rain and because the builder was cheap and didn't set the concrete correctly and it crushed the sewer pipe. So the toilets were unusable. Julia and I thought it was symbolic. THE SHIT CAN'T GET OUT.

So I went to a Third Bikram class. Sweated out some more. I haven't drank alcohol in many weeks either in a gung-ho attempt to cleanse. Went to a Shambhala meditation class. I can look at the shit clearly. I can see things arise in my mind. I know it's there. I can choose to get swept up in the shit, yes, I do sometimes and I pay dearly for it. And other times I can let it go. Is that what being human is about?

Somehow, though, seeing reality can be intense. It can also get a little boring. Or am I covering it all up again? Do you ever break through? Are you ever completely cleaned out? Or would you be dead? In reading Becker's The Denial of Death, it's about realizing how intense life is, that we are really half earth and half angel. Our bodies complicate things, even horrify us. We make up myths and religions to get around the death thing. But die we do. And to face death, and reality, is heroic. And that our society doesn't really offer us, especially youth, any opportunity to be heroic, as we barely face death anymore. We just watch it on TV and gawk at the body count piling up in the headline news. We cowardly wait in the shadows at some horror of life, hoping it won't happen to us. But it does happen to us. All the time. And somehow cleaning that out and really looking at it, to not deny anything of yourself, the filth in your father's house, the gunk in your body, that is good. You love it all. Every dark corner of it.

I wonder what the next hot yoga class has in store. And when I will find the courage to clean my father's house again.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Memoir of My Body

My soul experiences existence through my body. As my body, I feel the energy of the universe pulsing through me, entering from my pelvic floor, moving up the spine, through the chakras, into the heart, into expanded awareness and vision from the third eye and transcendence in consciousness.

All because of my body. It houses me and my Beloved. It is my vehicle, my house, my companion. It is my experience, my art. My story.

This is the memoir of my body.

When I was six-months old I was admitted to Dover General Hospital in New Jersey for a spinal tap. I had a high fever and the doctors didn’t know why.
“There is something toxic in her bedroom,” test results showed.
My father found the culprit in the Shell pest strips used in 1967 to catch flies. It’s long, brown curl was emitting nerve gas, hanging next to my crib. I was in an incubator for a week.

“You almost died, baby Sparky Patti,” my mother said, retelling the story many times during my life.

There has always been this low-level anxiety within me. I noticed that anxiety subsided when I was rolfed in the psoas. There was no longer any upward pulling tension. I was grounded. I was safe.

A recent New York Times article explained how some babies are wired for anxiety and grow up as anxious adults. But it’s that anxiety that makes them such good workers. Controlling their environment, planning ahead. Ready for anything. The yoga sutras say that even the sage feels fear. So I knew fear from the very beginnings. My body entered the world anxious.

I had always thought it was because my mother was the wire monkey mother. That famous Harlow and Harlow experiment about how monkey babies who were held by their real mothers were well adjusted. The wire monkey’s who got a mother that was a bunch of wire with terry cloth on it turned out sort of normal, and those with only the wire monkey mother were psychotic.

My mother didn’t touch me much. If I leaned forward to hug her, she would resist, saying that she was afraid that I would “pull on her earrings,” and rip them out of her ears. The only time I remember her holding me was when I was about 6 and I had an earache and was crying and she held me and rocked me until it was time to go to the doctor appointment.
Although she gave me books and religiously took us to the library, my mother went to her own stack of books and she never read to me. My older sister by six years, Nancy, taught me how to use my fingers to flip through the card catalog and search the metal stacks for home making books. I read by myself.

My father’s body was always wracked with pain. He was a child survivor of a Japanese concentration camp on Java during World War II. No he is not Jewish or Japanese. It was the Dutch East Indies experience under Japanese occupation. That whole experience was still in his body, the post-traumatic stress, still in the muscles, that were always tense and giving him severe migraine headaches. The dark-orange prescription bottles of heavy narcotics overflowed on his night stand, rolling under the bed where somewhere he lays incapacitated for days in the dark, a washcloth over his eyes and the whole world shut out.

I would massage his upper back. His neck and shoulders. I gave him Indian head massage, like Babu, the Javanese nanny from his childhood, who could pull the hair in the right spot and relieve a headache, or give some Jamu for his health.

In his head massage, I imagined pulling out the pain, pulling out the memories, the snakes and tigers, volcanoes, airplanes and gunfire, death and violence. The death of his father – he starved to death at a Mitzubishi forced labor tin mine outside of Tokyo. We know the story by heart, for my grandfather’s picture watches from above my father’s bed.

"Shake out the pain from your hands," my father instructed me. It didn't leave my body. It just lodged itself in my heart.

Still, today, as I sit here and write this. I feel his body memory. The fear, the pain, the expectation of disaster. Of a mother blinding you with the light in the middle of the night, threatening to cut your hair off with scissors because you dared to groom the dog. And you thought she wouldn’t find the evidence buried at the bottom of the kitchen trashcan.

I am aware of some grief, some deep and distant collective wail. All the families who have suffered a body trauma, be it through war, cruelty, insanity, domestic violence - there is that anxiety in the body, pulling you up and out of the body, away from life. But it's a part of life that is raging on inside you. The shadow, begging and wailing and crying to be seen and loved and not denied. So we look at its story. We look at the story in the body so that we can see that the Devil is truly God's most beloved, and be at peace.

The Queen's Eyesight and BODY MEMOIRS

The Queen realizes that without regular contact with the King she experiences a great deal of anxiety. That aloneness overwhelms her. That’s why she has the Queen’s Court. Who is there for her? This community and connection with others is so essential to her well being. To share in life and be intimate and care for one another -- friends, family, neighbors. It really does take a village, and what really is missing in the Queen's life is a village. The King sent her pictures of Italian Plazas with people congregating for no other purpose than to congregate and EXIST rather than to purchase something and go home alone and consume it in front of a glowing TV shrine with flickering Gods and Goddesses programming them about what to purchase and consume next. The Queen yearns for plazas and her soul yearns to start gardening again and eating with the village people. Yes, she’ d really like that.

I was reflecting on my eyes last night. I am so left-eye dominant, even though I am right-handed. The right eye is significantly poorer in sight. I photograph with my left eye and take pictures with my right hand. Inwardly I see my left half of my body lighter and brighter, and the right side dark and more gross and unaware, more solid. I lay in bed last night with my left arm over my left eye. I used to be the opposite, my entire life. I'd spend a lot of my time looking with just that left eye!

My left eye is smaller than the right, a little droopy. My daughter has the same characteristic and has been going through special education testing. She’s had trouble reading and writing despite intervention the past three years. Although as a child I excelled at reading and writing, I continued to fail math. I realize that I have the same problems as hers. Could the eyes be key to this issue?

We don't learn by auditory alone and we have poor short-term memory. It’s hard for her to grasp syntax and thus read and write. She is getting the info real fast, but processing it and understanding it are hindered. She is very visual.

I heard Carl Jung had the same problem with math. Are we so far into the right brain that we are in danger of falling into and being swallowed up by the unconscious? Like Pollack and Plath? I find it no small coincidence that Jung’s Red Book is being published now. Indeed, Mythic Yoga is an intuitive and collective grasp into his thinking and experience and is a continuation of his work, without my having ever been fully educated about his work beforehand. I have been a hobbyist Jungian ever since my psychology 101 class at CU Boulder.

I will be working on developing my right vision more. What is the story behind it? As a child growing up in the 70s, my six-years older sister, Nancy, wore glasses and hated them. I did palming exercises with her. By sixth grade I purposely flunked the eye exam so that I could get glasses. But then by junior high school I was so self-conscious and wanting to be pretty I stopped wearing them and couldn’t see the leaves on the trees anymore. It was just a Monet blur. But I could read so that was OK and in school I just squinted to see the blackboard by putting my index fingers to the edges of my eyes and slanting them Chinese-style.

I suffered through contact lenses into adulthood, having gotten some at age 16 and was amazed I could see the leaves on trees again. In my young adulthood I developed a conjunctivitis disease in which I could no longer wear soft lenses, because I slept in them so much. I endured the pain and irritation that comes with wearing hard contact lenses when of dust and dirt slip in. When my husband was still alive, I had Federico Peña help me search the dark floor of our box seats at the Pepsi Center during a Disney On Ice show of the Little Mermaid for a popped-out contact lens. I’m sure I was rubbing my eye or sucking on the lens moments before because of irritation, watching the show with one blurry eye.

I read Aldous Huxley’s book about his healing his eyes, and had prayed as a child that one day my eyes would be healed. I did eye exercises, palming. I wonder if my eyesight was an unwillingness to see the world ahead of me. Not to see the clutter and squalor and emotional chaos that was my childhood home. If I have a headache I focus on the eyes where a lot of tension occurs and make them relax deeply.

I remember when I had Lasik surgery on my eyes. I was told I had such extreme stigmatism that it would take longer with the laser cutting in my eye. I remember the smell of my eye under the laser. I remember the healing, protective eye gear during sleeping and around my then 1-year-old daughter.

Just yesterday while snuggling with my daughter she looked up at me and said, “I can see your third eye,” and she pointed right in the middle of my forehead. I had never spoken to her about that before until she said that, and I explained what the third eye was. I swear she has psychic abilities. We’ve played games where she guesses exactly what you were thinking. And a few days ago I was trying to place a movie actress and couldn’t verbalize it but had a picture of Sandra Bullock in my inner body. She said, “The lady in the Miss Congeniality movie.”

My daughter is getting the great team of educational help she needs. Yet the transition has been hard on her. She came to bed with me last night and cried how much she missed Creekside, her old school. She missed Lindsey, the after-school computer club teacher. How perfect I had childcare every day after school until 5 there, I also lamented. She misses her friends and knew everybody there. At the new school she likes her teacher a lot but is slow to find friends in established groups. I agonize with her all over again as I remembered my childhood experience of feeling on the outside. That deep emotional inferiority that arises. To really trust the self and have confidence. Sounds like I need to do a little yoga practice to affirm this new belief and myth in my life. To trust the self and remember my value and worth as a human being.

I told my daughter that her old school she wasn’t getting her educational needs met, as there were a lot of kids there not getting their needs met. How important it is that she must learn. And learn now. I must say it’s a disgrace that the children at lower-income schools don’t get the help they need like my daughter is at the high-income school. Such a disgrace. I had a dream once when I still lived in Arvada, because the local school had poor test scores. The poor woman in front of the school said, “What about my son? Doesn’t he have the right to education too?”
And as I teeter on the edge financially myself, is my child to be labeled poor and suddenly undeserving of education after falling through the monetary floor during the recession? The poor neighborhoods very well shortly be flooding the streets and starting a revolution, demanding health care and education for children as a focus of priority in this country and the world.

As I get ready to leave for Pine Ridge and a long week of travel, I must remember this. We shall see.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


My son said he recently saw a mountain lion one morning biking to school, and that it was as big as a couch. We have deer poop in the backyard, and my dog, Sergeant Pepe, is extremely interested and alert over another strong, new scent there. There was a black bear on our neighbor's driveway last night. The sheriff came around, the lights swirling in the darkness as if there were some arrest. It dawned on me that this time of year, living so close to the foothills, that the apples mushing on the ground in our back yard were attracting bears. As is my compost experiment of just chunking food scraps into the bushes.

There is something deep about all these animals appearing at this time of year. As the trees put on their gorgeous cloaks of red and yellow leaves, and the chill fills the air, I sense and feel a different energy. That dying and going within. Something transitioning, something coming up from the darkness that is emerging as it hybernates. And this energy connects me with all things.

I remember my body as container and as a protective shield. That being so deeply sensual, present and self-aware of how my body is feeling at all times puts me in tune with the now and with nature's rhythms. I walk a lot in the foothills of Boulder with my dog, Pepe. To be in glorious nature is my church, and that brisk, full alignment of the body walking is such great yoga. And to be out with nature there is the edge of sublime. Truly nature - trees, rocks, animals - they put you instantly in touch with the spirit world because they connect you instantly with the deepest archetypes of being. They point to the depths and you get in touch intuitively with that great beyond. You feel it moving through your body, as you, participating in duality. It's like the High Priestess card in the Tarot. I understand the dark side, the negative feminine. I accept my dark side and integrate it into me. I don't reject it. And once you do that you are whole, and you can pass through duality to the transcendent easily on the royal road. And then you become the Magician, in full power of all nature's forces. Whatever your psyche is pulling up from the unconscious is done with great awareness then consciously projected and manifests. But then there is other stuff that you can't quite control, that keeps coming at you.

In yoga practice, I have opened my hips considerably. Tight upper inner thighs are opened with extreme stretching and a good block. Tucking the tailbone and really achieving Mula Bandha opens you up and lets the heart come forward. I do snake pose and mermaid pose, in honor of that heaven and earth union. Then the bird poses, that heaven, and squats, the frog. I am totally into sitting on my sit bones. Even in the car (how those things take the spine out of you!) You really have to make an effort to sit up straight, but that makes all the difference. That and deep breathing. I am really into the legs, janu shirsasana, upavishta konasana. I can actually get my head to the floor, although I know the heart should be there first. But something is opening. Something is changing, transforming. It's the root chakra really connecting again to the body, to nature, to the container and the energy there.

But bear is big now in its presence. I remember I had a dream once of my mother, what was wrong with her? I asked. In the dream I saw her seated at a table and a big bear came along and swiped off a chunk of her head. I interpreted that dream as the powers of the unconscious - the bear in hybernation and its powers, and how my mother was swallowed up by it - in the head with too much thinking, insanity. So somehow the bear, with its eternal cycles of life, hybernating, awakening, has a message for me. This time of year, all the dark stuff can come up from the unconscious. Like you have to accept the most disgusting aspect of yourself. Today walking on the trail Pepe pooped twice, and I had only one plastic bag, already filled. I scooped the poop up with the bag, and had to carry it. It was messy, disgusting. But there is nowhere to dispose of the plastic and it's so damn unsightly on the trail, as people do leave their plastic-wrapped poop on the trail but I could not bring myself to do it. So I carried the poop. I thought poop is sacred too, so the natives even eat poop to say all this is of the creator, of Shiva. I certainly wasn't open to eating eating it so just carried it. I thought about the movie the Matrix. How Neo knew that everything - even Mr. Smith - was part of him. All the dark parts. So carrying the poop was just that too.

All around me on my walk the natural world was so pristine, I could not dump the dog poop not even in the man-made cylinder guiding a flow of the creek water. I just walked with the poop and I forgot about it eventually. Pepe reminded me of duality - his black and white body, the trickster. He comes when I call him 50 percent of the time. The other half you are not sure what to expect of his behavior. Isn't life like that? You just never know what is going to happen. Even if you are conscious. Sometimes you can predict, other times you cannot. So you just surrender to the moment and navigate from there. And you sense the energy changing and make a choice.

Picking up my daughter today at my father's, my father said he hasn't been feeling well. In his gut area, the third chakra. He has begun to throw things out again. That's what's blocking him; to really clean out that house. It came up again that I would have him live with us a little while, enough time in the next 9 months to gut the house, clean it up, start massive gardening on his third acre for our food and self-sufficiency, and we'd move back in by the time my lease is up. So we shall see. We shall see what bear has in store for me this fall.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Focus on Humanity, not Caesar's Coins

I remember a friend of my father's; He was a concentration camp survivor, yet he hesitated to have his wife call an ambulance for fear of its expense when he felt chest pains. He died while his wife was driving him to the hospital.

Late one night my daughter had a fever and she had trouble breathing. The bumps on her looked like chicken pox and I thought she should see a doctor. Yet I paused.

I'm a self-employed widow and I have a $5,500 deductible on my family’s health insurance policy, so really everything comes out of pocket. If you’ve ever raised kids then you know how expensive it can get as kids get sick all the time. So I hesitated. I hesitated between life and death of my child because I feared I could not afford it. She was OK through the night, and in the morning I took her to the doctor and it turns out she had a bad virus.

Like me, millions of American have to hesitate or live in fear simply because they cannot afford health care. There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that does not allow for the well being of all of its citizens. Liberty and health is denied to American’s who are poor, self-employed, elderly or have pre-existing conditions. Here is where the true death panels exist – in health insurance companies.

The sign of a great society is that which focuses on humanity, rather than its material profit. America, once the home of the brave and the land of the free, is now America the corrupt and home of the greed. Corrupt is a rupture of the heart, a misguided system and wrong priority. Life should not be about monetary gain of Caesar’s coins but about the rapture of the heart and living and being in community. When health and education is for all, then the and arts and sciences will flourish again. But we live in this dark age of the former, and our world suffers because of it.

My son has flat feet and he has great pain in his knees and feet. He cried when he couldn't play football. The CAT scan costs $2,500 per foot to get orthotics. I was going to pay the non-insurance, self-pay rate of $1,245 per foot, but the administrator reminded me that if there is something really wrong with his feet and he needs more care, the insurance company could deny coverage, as then it would be a pre-existing condition. I wondered if that would be considered extortion. I wondered if this could be some plot to eliminate liberal artistic types like me who tend to be self-employed and can’t afford a lot of health insurance. I left without getting my son the scan and wondering what to do.

Weeks later I rebooked the appointment. My son is in pain. I don’t care if I have to use every credit card or declare bankruptcy I will get my children the health care they need. My daughter needs tutoring for special education. Whatever it costs it will be paid. I will find a way to pay it. We have to find a way to pay for health care and education in America because that’s what every man, woman and child needs. That’s what makes a healthy society and that’s what makes a society great.

It’s time to focus on the human, not the profit. When our society once again is community-based, rather than profit-based, we will then emerge from the darkness of the past and shine in the renaissance that this country will experience.

Free health care and education for all people.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In The Cave of the Heart - Anahata

The Queen suffered a terrible sickness when the King left. It was a terrible wave of grief and loss. It is a very odd hollow echo of pain that came from much deeper within her heart. But this morning the Queen picked herself back up again, went to yoga class downtown on her pink moped (free parking!) and felt much better. She breathes and recognizes that Durga's name, hard to approach, is just that.

In the cave of the heart is that which swallows up all thought. It the event horizon of a black hole that swallows everything up, it's the anahata heart chakra- unstruck, it enters eternity as just being exists and is the only focus. It cuts out everything, like death comes through with a scythe to cut your life down at death. Isn't armageddon our own death? The death of the ego and the world it has spun out of its conditioning and storytelling? To cut everything, surrender, die. È più.

I've noticed that because of yoga practice and really working the inner thighs back, my lower lumbar spine I really released and I sit regularly on my sit bones now, right over the mula banda point. I'm just starting to figure out just what it means to get the thighs back and why, and it changes your whole relationship to your core and your alignment. It keeps you connected to the earth all time and this is a very safe feeling. To be so rooted in your own being, that radix ipsius. It's quite an awakening. It's as if I have finally learned how to release and remove those old grooves and patterns from a dysfunctional childhood by relaxing into it. Something else has woven deep patterns instead on the heart and body. The goodness and vibrations are ritualized through yoga and story. Awakening emerges from the heart as images and dreams, and we put it together with meaning and out pours a poem of the body.

I realize that my mother reacted to pattens of fear deeply engrained in her body. Overwhelmed by grief and loss and traumatized by her father and electro-shock treatments, my mother resorted to withdrawal from us children to cope with the overwhelming demands of a mother of four children. My father sick from post-traumatic stress, how does one raise children all alone with few resources, especially money, which plagued my mother terribly. I remember clearly my mother screaming at us that we "didn't even move a plate," or "turn off the lights!" Those are the exact things that my children don't do. I can feel myself mirroring her patterning, the fear, the overwhelm. How those patterns and feelings in our body compel us to repeat it unconsciously, no matter how hard we try not to. It takes effort not to give in to the pattern. To really end it in its tracks, end of story, and create a new reality, a new energy pattern in the body. Yoga reconditions the body's energy to reset patterns. Creative imagination, words and stories reinforce it on a symbolic level to our mythic aspect of our existence, the psyche.

So Durga myth resides in me now. Her energy to shut it all down, stop the thoughts, the pain, the sorrow and just remain in being and bliss. She is the mother that devours all that and let's you rest in her bosom. She lends me her weapons to keep battling the demons, and keep living as the Queen.