Sunday, October 24, 2010

Field of Dreams

Some images just stick with you.  For years I have had dreams of walking thru the waist-high grass floating my hands along the heads.  
When I saw this in the opening scene of Gladiator, I wept.  Not because of the movie, which was stellar, but because here on the screen larger than life was the very image I dreamed.  

I have watched that movie many times since that first time where I sat and quietly wept.  Each time that image is so strong and evocative that I cry.  But why?  Because I have walked that field many times.  Alone.  Only once did I share that journey with someone else and he continued on alone to a place I could not follow.  I hope that when I can, he is there to meet me and there will be no more weeping.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have been dreaming about caribou.  Weeks of dreams with herds of caribou and me amongst them.  Pretty much ever since the Grandmother inserted the whole herd into my energy field for a day.  Wondering if she created some kind of bond between me and the caribou?  

Anyway, while I was looking for an image to accompany the blog, I found this one by Edmund Dulac.  It stirred some lovely bit of nostalgia within me from a childhood that produced almost none.  Looking a little more I discovered a wealth of images by Dulac.  One as familiar as the last.  Turns out he did artwork for many of my favorite childhood books.  No wonder it made me feel slightly warm and fuzzy.  

Community Dreaming

 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them
Matthew 18:20 

See Mom, 12 years of Catholic ed. DID pay off!  Yes, I just quoted the Bible.  So, y'all might wanna take your hands off the keyboard just in case there is some kind of heavenly electrical retribution.  Nope?  Looks like we dodged another one kiddies.  

The reason I used that quote is's true.  I have noticed in my spiritual practice that when we operate as a group, experiences are more experiencier, events are more eventier, visions get my point.....  Visions are clearer, painted in bold strokes.  Less effort is involved.  Plus it's a bodacious amount of fun with so much laughter my belly hurts the next day.  Don't get me wrong, group activities can be fraught with all kinds of egoic crapola.  A small shamanic circle I was in once years ago imploded under the weight of so many egos - OUCH!  But I learned alot about circle dynamics in the failing.  My best teacher about how to do a great circle has been Women Writing for a Change.  They so get it.  In a functioning circle, it's all about the people that you choose.  Get the right combo of people together and it's like magic.  Stuff happens that might never happen as a solo practitioner.  Pretty sure we collectively make and hold a bigger container for bigger things to come in than I can hold solo. I think even business recognizes that something happens to us as we move from an individual way of thinking to a group way of thinking.  That's why there are buzz words like brainstorming and think tank.  

What's this got to do with dreaming?  Dream analysis has been around forever.  Joseph made quite a name for himself in Egypt (yes that is Bible ref #2).  Carl Jung made an entire career out of it.  Pretty sure that a Neanderthal man somewhere in Europe turned to his friend during the wooly mammoth hung and said *UGH* (translation: I had this weird dream last night).  His friend probably recommended that he talk to the village shaman/priest/holy person about it.  So shamanic work and dreaming have been linked for a long time.  

In our sleep, we are unguarded.  We don't always remember to pick up our egos, our junk, our invisibility cloaks etc - all the things we use to shield ourselves in the waking world.  We are OPEN.  We are much more connected in our dreaming to our true selves and each other - just like my group of woowoo loving friends who do that while they are awake and on purpose.   This connection in dreams is organic and requires no effort on our part.  We do it automatically!  You are all magicians of your own dreamtime.  

Enter my friend Patricia.  She is a huuuuuuuge dream advocate and has been part of a Jungian group for-ev-er!  She presented me with the idea of more formal community dreaming.  That the group would designate a time and theme and ask for a dream around that subject.  I like this thought.  (I'm not real sure that the other side peeps remember that time and space here are not perceived to be as flowy as over there.  Sending me a dream at 3 o'clock in the afternoon is not quite the same as 3AM.  So I remind them in my request).  But I also like tapping into what people are dreaming about who are allowing that process in more naturally.  

Can those unguarded moments as we traverse time and space in our dreams tell us anything?  Can the sum of individual dreams experienced by a variety of people tell us something about the collective that would be much more difficult to tease out of an individual dream?  Interesting thought eh?  For instance - I noticed a couple weeks ago around the time of the new moon, many of my FB friends were spontaneously posting about their weird dreams.  When asked many of them centered around being in the woods, wayfinding, signs.  I have no idea what that means.  Mebbe we are all that lost.  I know I certainly have been feeling that way.  Or maybe it's about leaving signs for those who come after so that they feel less lost.  Dunno.  

Add in a powerful social network like FB and I realize I can do exactly that.  I can see what you are dreaming about out there wherever you are, whenever you are.  So I'm gonna ask from time to time what you dreamt about.  Share or not.  Public or private.  Up to you.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010



Today I haz a sad.  My favorite player on my favorite team is out for the season.   Heal quickly Dallas Clark.  I will be blue without you.  Good thing that matches the team colors.  Maybe no one will notice.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Weeded Yard

I have always had a fondness for weeds.  The bright dandelions that gave way to the wish-fulfilling puff balls.  Preferred them to my namesake roses that required pampering all summer long.  The dandelions needed none of that.  Wanted none of that.  They thrived in the neighbor's yard who cared least and were absent at the end of my mother's metal digger from my own.  Thereby, depriving me of the joy of skipping thru my own yard and setting them free to float around me on the faint breeze of my passing.  

I will always wonder what it might have been like to sprawl in my own yard and enjoy the dandelions.  Maybe if my mother had cared more about me and less about those wicked yellow weeds I would not have to wonder.  

Fast write 10/20/10

The Lachrymatory of Atropos

She sifts thru the yard sale table of

discarded whatnots and whozits,

long fingers searching intuitively. 


They linger and finally settle on a miniature

 blue bottle amidst the clutter. 


She lifts it and peers at the sun

thru the silver chased glass. 

It covers her hand in the impossible

cobalt light of a Chagall window. 


She finds the beauty of it hopeless to resist. 


The tiny bottle now riding in her pocket,

carefully wrapped in a tissue,

is not unknown to her although

she has not seen one as artfully made

as this in three hundred years. 

The crude glass of those is nothing

compared to this tiny jewel.

She remembers placing them in countless

 tombs with her beloveds over the millennia.


And so she will again. 


Although this beloved wills no tomb,

no earthly reminder of his passing. 

Nevertheless, she will collect the tears

she sheds for this love just as she has every other. 

Stoppering them into this tiny bottle. 

Her final offering to mortal love. 


And when she is done,

she will cleave his thread. 

She will weep no more. 

And she will move on.  


NB:  A lachrymatory is a small bottle used to collect tears.  They have been used since the days of ancient Egypt.  Small elaborate clay or glass vials were often left as grave goods or given as gifts.  They regained popularity during the Victorian era and in America during the Civil War.   Atropos is the sister among the fates whose responsibility it is to cut the thread of life

On a personal note.  I am aware that too much Antiques Road Show and a love of mythology is a weird combo.  I brought this piece of writing to my small group in October 2009.  They HATED the piece.  I mean, not just we don't like it or we don't get it.  I mean straight up HATED IT!  Too bad.  I still like the idea of the Fate Atropos as an immortal human woman capable of love.  What anguish does that cause to juxtapose love and duty for her.   

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weird? Word!

It's been a weird summer so far.  I suspect that things are gonna get a lot weirder before spring comes.  Guess it's a good thing I like weird.  I don't know why that is.  It's just always been that way.  The same way I like edges and really old wavy glass windows.  There's no good explanation.  It just IS.  Maybe it's the dismissive way that my mom used to tell me 'That's just weird' whenever I wanted to show her something that had lit up my child's brain.  I hated when she did that.

I embrace weird with all my heart.   The cool thing is that lots of interesting stuff happens in the place of weird that NEVER seems to happen in the place of normal and perfectly understandable.  So I am curious and kinda excited to see what's gonna happen here next month in the place of really BIG weird called unemployment.  God, I hope it's as cool as Jack Skellington.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sorting It Out

I have so many thoughts going on in my head right now. 

 Some are wonderful idea thoughts.  
Would that bit make for a good poem or even a book?  
Can I remember those 4 notes that sounded sweet? 
Wonder if Pete would let me do a garden next spring?

Some are pesky little worry thoughts.  
Excuse me.  But exactly how are you gonna get by on half your current salary?
Did I pay the electric bill?    
Oh crap!  Am I gonna be late?  

Most are random unimportant day-to-day thoughts.  
Is there enough gas in my car?  
Are there clean underwear?
What did my boss just say to me?  
Have I thoroughly sealed the murine teleportation device?  

Ok that last one maybe not an unimportant one.  

Somedays the noise in my head is unbearable, requiring earbuds and the Clash played at a volume that makes an audiologist salivate.  Somedays I cheat and just watch TV until my brain goes to sleep.  Reality TV is the best soporific.  What I really need is a berry sorter for my brain.  

Blueberries, or any small roughly round object really, will sort themselves by size if you gently jiggle the container in which they reside.  The theory is that the small berries fit more easily in the nooks and tend toward the bottom as they find crevices.  Larger berries tend toward the surface because the smaller ones begin to occupy the space at the bottom of the container.  I tried this and it does work.  One caution:  Blueberries are not the toughest fruit and so vigorous jiggling is discouraged (unless they are smoothie bound).

So clearly what I need is for someone to jiggle my brain.  Not so hard that I get a brain smoothie.  Just hard enough that the big, juicy, ripe ideas rise to the surface as if by magic and those small, bitter, unripe ones sink into oblivion.   

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's NaNoWriMo Time

My friend Patricia challenges me to do this with her every year.  This year, as my impending unemployment looms, I challenged her.  This year I will have the time to engage in this fully.  To leave it all on the page and arrive at December 1 exhausted but smiling as I grip my 50,000 words.  

It's chaos.  It's madness.  It's sheer bliss.  It's New Orleans at Mardi Gras.  

So grab your favorite device of scribation and get ready!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lords of Nature

So last night I was channel surfing.  I always check out PBS and see what's on.  Last night they had on a documentary called Lords of Nature:  Life in a Land of Great Predators (  Am I ever glad I put down the remote and perched to watch this one.  

The gist of the show was to demonstrate that an ecosystem containing its top predators is healthier than one without.  The researchers did a great job of documenting how the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone has kept the elk population in check as expected.  And that has allowed willows and aspen saplings to survive that the elk had grazed to the ground for the last 70 years.  These trees in turn support an active beaver population which in turn promotes increases in plant, fish, reptile and amphibian diversity.  The photographic evidence was startling, and to me at least unexpected.  I knew the wolves belonged there and the idea of packs roaming free there made my heart happy.  But I never imagined that they would also bring back the vitality of so many species that are seemingly unlinked to them.  

And not just the wolves.  In Canyonland NP the top predator is the mountain lion.  In areas where they have been eliminated, the mule deers overgraze the land and the ecosystem suffers.  In areas with mountain lions, the mule deer are kept in check and the balance is better.  Similar effects have been observed around the world in areas where mankind has removed the top predators.  

The wolves have been de-listed which means they can be legally hunted.  Right now some of those Western states are trying to figure out whether they will hunt wolves again this year (a thought that breaks my heart).  Ranchers are reluctant to change the way that they graze their animals on public land that we collectively own - all of us.  They want to continue to kill any and all wolves they see near their livestock.  They argue loudly for a wolf hunting season.  Don't I get a say in how they operate on land that I own?   An open wolf hunt doesn't care about pack sustainability.  It isn't done in a way that culls the old or weak.  It is about trophy taking the biggest and best.  Taking the leaders just as the pack enters the hard winter season.   

The documentary does a great job of showing that it IS possible for ranchers to co-exist with the wolves by changing OUR behavior.  Yunno us?  The ones with the big brains?  In Northern Minnesota the wolves have never been exterminated.  When the wolves were listed as endangered the ranchers could no longer kill them.  Instead, they adapted how they ranch, sometimes very simple adaptations like when they feed, and the wolf kills in their livestock plummeted.  Problem wolves are killed by a game officer.  They are not shot on sight by ranchers.  They are not hunted for fun.  

So why do I give a shit?  That's a tough question.  I have heard the wolves howl in the North Woods and it was exhilarating.  Everyone should have the opportunity to hear it just once.  Some would say 'But I can see them at the zoo'.  I will not argue that.  Those wolves are a great educational opportunity for those of us who do not live in an area where we can experience them.  But they do not belong in their little penned up area.  Seeing them there does not compare with the visceral thrill of hearing them when you are in their space.  To feel that little shiver and know that they are out there.  

I will leave you with one of my favorite passages from Aldo Leopold -

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

I agree with the mountain.  Now is the time for us to DO something.  Please write your congressman or one of the Montana congressmen and tell them that we do NOT WANT this wolf hunt perpetuated again this year.   That we have learned from the wolf and from the mountain.  We are a healthier world with them in it.  They belong here.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

A short list of things that make me happy for no apparent reason.....

Real mail - handwritten  
Bright yellow orange leaves - come to think of it yellow orange ANYTHING
Papermate medium point blue pens by the box
Waxing crescent moon
The smell of old books
Moor ponies
Windsor Newton Sap Green right out of the tube
Having my hands in the dirt
Bing Crosby records
The number 8
Midnight Mass 
Tall grass prairie
Dried sweat
The smell of Scheaffer ink
Coasting my bike down Rossford
Popup thunderstorms
An open G
Driving without a destination
Midnight blue Slipper Satin
Slightly dulled Black Warrior pencils

Sunday, October 10, 2010

#15 Through the Curtains

Through the curtains the world is bright and sunny as if to remind me to go outside and interact with it, to bask in the autumnal sun while it lasts.

Re-writing Herstory

We all carry around bad childhood memories.  Some of us more than most.  I have been jettisoning those for years and have recently started rewriting others.  Today I was thinking about a boy I kissed in eighth grade right after I broke up with my first boyfriend, Ducky.  (Yes, that was his nickname.  Way before Jon Cryer gave us an iconic Ducky).  Jimmy and I hooked up after an evening of Boone's Farm.  We ended up kissing and I let him feel my boobs.  

I was a wild child with no sense of personal boundaries or any idea of how to say no nor any desire to say it.  These are common traits in sexually abused children.  I wouldn't learn about that for 25 years - that I have the right to say no.  It still challenges me.  I would not remember any of this except for what happened after.  Jimmy asked me out after that and I said no for many reasons but mostly because Ducky and I were going out again and I REALLY like Ducky.  It's possible that the kiss was orchestrated just to make Ducky jealous and force his hand.  I will not deny machinations of this sort.  No doubt finding himself the pawn probably wounded Jimmy's little boy's ego.   Or not.  I just don't know.

Then he did what alot of boys do - he bragged about it loudly to my classmates in my hearing to deliberately hurt my feelings and embarrassed me.  I had been hurt in many ways by men before that.  But, this was something new to be intentionally crushed so that you could save face.  That fed the big black hole inside me in ways that allowed it to continue to grow in size and consume every relationship I tried to build.  

That whole black hole thing-y has been resolving itself over the last few years.  It's alot of work.  My adult self can't help but re-write that script in a way that appeals to me.  Something more like this.

J:  (loudly) Yunno last night MD let me feel her tits and all I had to do was kiss her once.  
::laughter of young boys::  (glances sideways to see if words hit their mark)

M:  (confrontational) Is this really how you want to play this?

J: (air of pretend 13 year old bravado) ::shrugs shoulder::

M:  ::channeling adult MD::  Let me tell you Jimmy S. that you will be the yardstick by which I measure all future kisses.  Every boy/man I kiss, I will compare to you.  

J:  ::smile curling::

M:  Compare them to you and find them ALL superior.  EVERY.ONE.OF.THEM.  That's right.  You are the worst set of lips I will encounter well into middle age, possibly ever.  Kissing you was like having a carp that had been long dead and lying on the beach in the noonday sun bloating for days smushed into my face leaving a trail of slime in its wake.  ::pops pose, hands on hips and arches eyebrow::

J:  ::gulps::

(sound of boys guffawing)

Exeunt all

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Minions of Satan

Pretty sure mice are the minions of the devil.  And he has created an express secret portal that transports them into my house.  My evidence that they are in league with Beelzebub, or Bub as I like to call him, is that they do not behave like garden variety mice hiding out until the cover of dark.  NOPE.  These little kamikaze shits attack during daylight hours (ok they don't attack, but they do run toward the big human instead of being fearful of my god-like stature like normal mice).  The irony is not lost on me that they are attacking someone who has sent scads of them to meet their maker Bub.  I have tried to convince them to leave peacefully, but they have not seen fit to accommodate me.  Instead they have escalated hostilities by scaring the crap outta me and leaving pooties everywhere.  DIS-GUS-TING!   

So I have had no option but to declare open season on them.  We'll see who's the last one standing Mickey-spawn.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Last Semester at WWfaC

Yeah I been saying that for the last three semesters now. But really who am I kidding. I intend to stay until they yank my ass out of the circle kicking and screaming. Every semester I learn alot - about the women who surround me, about myself and about the writing process that sometimes still baffles me. Every semester has had its own hidden agenda.  

The word “abracadabra” literally means “He has created as he has spoken” – manifestation according to the power of words.

My first semster was very much about having the courage to read my own work, to claim it and name it mine. Stepping foot in that class the first night is still among the bravest things I have ever done.  I learned the power of using my breath to launch my own words into the world. There is something about that simple action that makes the words come alive for me. Lots of pieces about breathing, about breath, about story and the power of words.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. - Carl Jung

My second semester was to challenge myself to begin to write about the shadow I had just begun to explore inside me. To be able to open the door just a bit and let people begin to see those parts of myself I found repellant. The ones I thought would be ugly to other people too. Lots of writing about pieces, fracturing, and hiding. Funny thing is no one batted an eye. In fact, they gently encouraged me to explore all of what I found in that place.

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength.- Rabindranath Tagore

By my third semester, I felt much more comfortable with how things operated at WWfaC. Mostly I trusted that every woman who heard my words would honor them. So I relentlessly attacked the work and wrote about everything. If it scared me in the least, it became that weeks topic for writing. Writing centered around piecing things back together, healing, Earth and bones.  

It is a body of oral messages, announcements, prophecies, promulgations, recitals, histories, songs of praise, lamentations, etc., which are meant either to be uttered or at least read aloud, or chanted, or sung, or recited in a community convoked for the purpose of a living celebration. - Thomas Merton

By my fourth semester, I had accumulated enough writing to do the thing that I feared the most - A Greenbook. The writing took care of itself as it generally does. The reading of it was the challenge. I am proudest of that moment when I gently cleared my voice and let my words ring out to the circle.

Girls just wanna have fun.  - Cyndi Lauper

Last semester was just about having fun.  Letting it all out and just enjoying every blessed minute.  I lit that fucker up and scorched it writing about my shamanic practices, my budding incompetence on the bass, and always, always about the deep internal journey.  

A healthy state encourages many voices - and lots of listening. - Kathleen Sebelius

And this semester - that has yet to be decided. But I am in love with the new voices I hear.  What more could I ask for?  

.......about a hundred more semesters!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I remember you.
Riding high on the mama's shoulder
your giant redness above.
I wave at you
you flirt and wink back.

When I see you
I know I am home.
The season without
seem tumbling acrobats.
Months spent staring
into the darkness
and wondering

Where are you?

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...