Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Good Day

Sunday night and relaxing at home with Jerry feels so good. I got back into town around noon today from a lovely little out of town jaunt with Lover Who Is My Lover. He is vacationing out of town for a week and returning the same day Jerry and I leave for another week vacation so I was happy for the opportunity to spend some sweet time alone together.

I got back just in time to attend a lovely tea party with some of the women I love most in the world. Later in the afternoon 4 of our grand children came over to visit and I have never experienced them so mellow. That was a treat. Then, to top of the pleasantries of the day, my son just left for Reno with a friend to celebrate New Year's and as we are having 5 house guests here for New Year's I had asked him to clean his bedroom and bathroom before he left so I wouldn't be left with the job--and he actually did it! Not only that, he did it with a smile on his face and love in his heart. Wow.

Tomorrow afternoon we are having a birthday party here with 5 grandchildren and several adults for our grand daughter from Colorado who is turning 7 and then in the evening I have my Juicy Women's group. Tuesday brings us 3 friends from out of town and then 2 more on Wednesday. Wednesday, New Year's Eve, is also my mother's 86th birthday so I'll be doing some celebrating with her before heading out for the night to the big Spark-n-Cinder gig.

Thursday we are hosting a New Year's Day Brunch with friends and then next Sunday, Jerry and I will be leaving on our annual trip to southern California to visit our youngest daughter, her husband and our 2 year old grandson. On our way home we will stop for several visits with various family and friends. This last week was grand and wondrous and the next two weeks promise to be the same.

Check out Jerry's Spark-n-Cinder website for some cool pics and history of the band.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008 Pictures

Here are some of the Christmas pictures I was able to salvage off of my old camera.
1. Pema's abundance of baked Christmas goodies.
2. Lemons from our Christmas day walk with SueBee.
3. Jerry's Christmas day chest.
4. Buddha and skulls.
5. Sponge Bob and Hello Kitty in SueBee's feng shui relationship corner.
6. Heart hole.
7. SueBee's favorite Christmas pic of herself.
8. Ganesha
9. Empty Yourself.
10. Yes We Did refrigerator art.
11. Buddha in window.
12. Peace.
13. Buddha with guy.
14. Live With Intention--Christmas brunch place settings Sue Bee made for us.













Friday, December 26, 2008

At Midnight My Tummy Hurt

What a lovely Christmas. Jerry and I slept in until almost eleven. A lazy Christmas morning in a comfy warm bed entwined with the warm body of someone you love--it doesn't get much sweeter than that. But we jumped up and packed up and headed over to our friend SueBee's to share Christmas brunch with her. Sue's home is a temple. There are altars in every nook and cranie and it's the perfect reminder that everything is sacred. I love being in her space. I decided to take pictures to document our day so if I can get my camera to cooperate and actually download the pictures I took onto my computer I will share them here. If there are no pics, you'll know what happened.

After brunch we went for a walk to a magic fountain. Sue brought three coins for each of us to make our wishes. I created a fabulous little ritual and incorporated an adapted whirling dervish swirl around the fountain, dancing my intentions as they spiraled out into the universe. It was a gorgeous and sunny day with just enough nip in the air to be refreshing but not leave our noses and ears aching from the cold. Then we walked over to a busy street which really wasn't very busy at all on an early Christmas afternoon. We found a little cement bench to sit on as we waved to passersby. On our way back to Sue's we picked a few lemons from a tree we spotted that was offering us to partake in some of its bounty.

WE chatted and danced around while SueBee prepared a salad to take to some friends for Christmas dinner. Jerry and I headed over to visit my mom at her assisted care home loaded down with sweet treats and nuts which she thoroughly enjoyed and then we head over to Pema's to share the rest of the day. There was a full house at Pema's and just a little drama. I love their family so much and felt honored that we were invited to share the day and dinner with them. It was really special and made my heart so happy. When Jerry and I crawled into bed close to midnight our tummy's hurt.

No pics. I think my camera eat them. I'm sad. There were some good ones too. Really good. One more practice session and letting go of attachment. God dammit! Breathe baby breathe. That's fucking it. I'm going to buy a new camera!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas War is over
For weak and for strong If you want it
For rich and the poor ones War is over
The world is so wrong Now
And so Happy Christmas War is over
For black and for white If you want it
For yellow and red ones War is over
Let's stop all the fight Now

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas War is over
And what have we done If you want it
Another year over War is over
And a new one just begun Now
And so Happy Christmas War is over
I hope you have fun If you want it
The near and the dear one War is over
The old and the young Now

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over if you want it
War is over now

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Candied Pecans and Christmas Love

Mistress Matisse has a lovely little Christmas Eve post with picture today. Check it out here. And don't forget to check out the Ex-Courtesan here. I've been getting a huge kick out of her twitter updates. She is baking like a mad woman and I think she might need an intervention...and her Christmas Dinner menu, oh my! Greenwoman has some lovely stuff all over on her Green Roots Down blog. Be sure to scroll down and check out all of the lovely pictures and read her sweetness. I posted one of the John Mayer You Tube videos below that she has posted that I like a lot.

Say what you need to say baby, say what you need to say.

This is from my calender that my friend John made:
December 21-27
It's heavy to drag, this big sack of what you should have done. And finally you can't life it any more. Someone says, "Come on," and you just look at them. Trees are waiting, mountains. You never intended that it should come to this. But Now has arrived and is looking straight at you, the way a lion does when thinking it over, and anything can happen. It's time for the cavalry or maybe the Lone Ranger. But they won't come. Maybe the music will spill over and start it all again. Maybe.

And from Greenwoman's blog again. One of her favorite John Mayer lines:
“I’m calling it love soon. Its not about you. Its the way we are.”

Yes. Love. It's the way we are. I love you. I want you to know that. I love you. Yes.
Happy Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Birthday Jo and Cohen! Happy Holidays everyone!

Now I'm off to candy the pecans for the Christmas salad, make my mommy's fudge recipe for my son who loves it, and sweep and mop the floors.

John Mayer: Say (music video from

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Goodies and Lottsa Love


Busy day. I got up at 7:30 and didn't stop until 9:30. That was 14 hours of almost constant movement. Thank goodness that Jerry offered me a massage or I might still be going. My shoulders were so sore and tight though I just stripped off my clothes and jumped onto the bed. I have so much to do I'm almost tempted to get back up and get busy after resting now for a couple of hours but I'll see how motivated I am after I finish this blog post.

I just finished IMing with a friend--a lover of a lover to be more precise. An agreement had been broken and in the fallout from this some things needed to be addressed and clarified. I wish this communication had transpired before the fact rather than after. It's easy to make assumptions that everything we expect another is communicating to their other lover has actually been communicated. I think it's a good idea for everyone to sit down together and talk about the issues every so often just to make sure that everything is on track, everyone on the same page. This reminds me of scheduling regular maintenance service for your vehicle...which reminds me that my car needs an oil change.

I spent several hours with a couple of my grand kids today and I took them to visit my mom. She had been having a rough day but totally calmed down after we arrived. I brought her chocolate that she loves and then we sat and visited while we watched the kids take turns climbing up and down the floor to ceiling pole by her bed. That kept them occupied for most of the visit.

I've decided to go to sleep. I'm exhausted. Tomorrow is another day and the grand kids are coming back in the morning. We have 10 to 13 adults coming over Christmas Eve and a whole slew of kids. I have another couple of days of none stop movement. On Christmas I get to relax though. We are going to a friend's house for brunch and another friend's house for dinner where we will be cooked for and pampered with all sorts of Christmas goodies and lots of love. God, life is good.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Welcoming The Returning Light

Midwinter/Solstice/Yule

What a nice day. Last night I attended the Holiday Burlesque Show with some friends (I've posted a You Tube video of Dick in a Box from SNL which was one of my favorite skits they did.) and then at midnight I was sitting in a hot tub with my friends, K. and R., with a light drizzle of rain falling on us. It was the perfect way to release the old and welcome in the new. Happy Solstice! I think I finally crawled into bed around 3:00 a.m. after puttering around the house for awhile--very happy after an incredibly sweet night. That didn't leave me much time to sleep considering that I had to be at a solstice dance Sweat Your Prayers type of celebration at 9:00 to honor the returning light. I pulled myself out of bed at 8:30 and had time to finish about half a cup of coffee when J. walked in the door to pick me up. We were to dress in a costume representing the part of ourselves we wanted to express more of in the coming year. When I contemplated what part of myself desired to emerge more the answer came easy--I want to meditate, do more yoga, and dance. When I pondered the essence of what these things offer me I realized that they are open channels that bring me easily and fully into the moment. And when I'm in the moment, that means that I'm accepting what it. Accepting what is correlates to what I'm simultaneously releasing from my life--attachment. Attachment to the idea that anything should other than exactly what it is. Releasing attachment to things being different and accepting what is brings me right smack dab into the moment. So yes, meditation, yoga, dance.

After the solstice celebration I took my two birthday boys (ages 30 and 22) out for a champagne brunch. After brunch I came home and connected with Jerry for awhile before heading to the mall with the guys to do some shopping. It was nice spending the day with them.

Jerry made us chili and cornbread for dinner and an old friend of his came by to visit and watch Sunday night football. After he left we decorated the Christmas tree together and then sat on the couch enjoying the ornaments and basking in its light. The last two days have been so peaceful. Really appreciating all the love in my life. I am very blessed!

Saturday Night Live - Dick In A Box

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Am Filled--A Very Lucky Girl Indeed

I'm feeling so happy today. I just finished doing some yoga and eating. Before that I was cleaning and decorating the house, attempting to make it festive. It's still a mess though--slowly but surely. Jerry got us a Christmas tree today and that really made me happy. Getting the tree and decorating is Jerry's department. My job is to put the lights on and hang a few choice ornaments. Once it's up and shining I always enjoy it but I'd probably skip the tree if it was up to me. This year in I was feeling particularly bah humbug about getting a tree. I didn't want one. You see, last year lover who is not my lover invited Jerry and I up to his land to cut our Christmas tree and it was the most beautiful tree we've ever had. That made me really happy but this year I've felt a little sad and sentimental when I started seeing trees because its reminded me of how close and connected I felt to lover who is not my lover last year and how this Christmas we've had no contact in almost 7 months.

But that's just a story and I'm only a little attached to it. Here is another story I like better: It was late to be getting a tree (the day before the Winter Solstice) but Jerry was really sick for a week so he was incapable of putting his energy into tree hunting as he has just been needed to get well physically. I was sort of thinking, oh good, maybe we won't even get a tree this year (he was leaving for Harbin Hot Springs today) as Christmas is right around the corner. Then I starting feeling guilty for my attitude about the tree because I know how happy having a Christmas tree makes him. I was thinking I should go find a tree while he is gone so he'd be surprised when he got home. But no need, he found a tree at the Farmer's Market this morning and carried it home and we put it in the stand together before he left. Now I have the tree all lighted and I've hung 3 ornaments on it, and the rest are waiting for him upon his return. He'll put on the Christmas music and have a big smile on his face while he hangs ornaments and I think I'll help him hang more ornaments than I usually do and everything will be all warm and cozy. That thought makes me smile.

Tonight I'm going to the Holiday Burlesque Show at the Chico Cabaret with friends and then I'll drinking some wine and soaking in a hot tub afterwards, sharing a little holiday cheer. Tomorrow is the winter solstice and I'm going to a friend's dance studio and celebrating the returning light with a group of folks. When I get back from that I'm taking my two boy's out to a champagne brunch for their birthday. One is turning 22 and the other 30. My solstice babies, born on the same day, 8 years apart. The next day my 30 year old flies to Colorado to pick up two of my grand children to bring them back to spend Christmas with us.

I am filled with love and appreciation for my life. For my family and all of my dear friends. For lover is not my lover and for lover who is my lover. For my clients. And for Jerry who is my family, my friend, my husband, my lover. I have so much sweetness in my life. I am a very lucky girl indeed. I give thanks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spooning With You

I love spooning with you.
Back and forth we move
throughout the night.
Me squeezed up against you,
my hand holding your belly.
You squeezed up against me,
your hand cupping my breast.
On our backs with legs entwined,
your one hand rests on my yoni
while the other grasps a handful of my hair.
In the morning I hate to get up.
I wait until you abandon me,
pulling your warm body up into the cold.
Only then I relent and follow suit.

Your Morning Breath


I was so cold this morning when I was driving by where you slept. I thought how nice it would be if she were poly and if she loved me--I'd just pull over and come in, crawl into her bed with you and cuddle up next to your warm body and smell your morning breath. Then I thought...oh, if only you were poly and loved me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Anarchy of Yoga and Naked Awareness

I was reading in Ascent--yoga for an inspired life, magazine today and ran across an article called Anarchy of Yoga which was an interview of Michael Stone by Christopher McCann. Michael Stone is a yoga and meditation teacher, as well as a psychotherapist and author of two books, The Inner Tradition of Yoga: A Guide to Yoga Philosophy for the Contemporary Practitioner and Yoga For a World Out of Balance: Teachings on Ethics and Social Action. You can check out his website centreofgravity here.

I really appreciated Stone's yogic/buddhist/ western psychological take on life as he answered the interviewer's questions. Below I've copied the questions and then I've done my own spin of his answers in both direct quotes and also my own interpretation of the meaning of what he has to say.

When did you begin to see the relationship between our work in psychology and yoga?

Stone talks about his "semi-mystical" visits to his schizophrenic uncle who lived in mental institution when he was a young boy. This uncle loved the Beatles and was interested in non-duality as taught by Maharishi Mahesh. Michael sit with a group of schizophrenics as they shared cigarettes and listened to the Beatles' White Album. He says that these experiences erased the boundary between psychology and spirituality for him. And of course whenever there is a story about schizophrenics I'm touched, seeing as my eldest child suffers from this disease.

So how do these two systems intersect, and how do they diverge?

"The essence of psychological change is waking up to a world that doesn't pivot around self-image. By definition, spirituality is waking up to something greater than the stories we tell about ourselves and others and the world." Well, there is the biggest part of my current spiritual practice in a nutshell. What I also find very interesting is when he describes his interest in exploring Indian philosophy, Buddhism, yoga, and Western psychology and how it's not how they fit together (you know, that grain of truth running through all religions thing?) but how they don't fit together that intrigues him. "Stephen Batchelor calls this 'the anarchy of the gaps.'" The gap is the "fertile ground." I love falling into the gap. He says that whenever you create a system something is always left out and that when two systems come together everything that has been left out of each of them comes out of the shadows because one system always brings out the shadow of the other system. Wow. Talk about the ultimate shadow work. And this has got to be the same for relationships, yes? I'm a system, you're a system, and whenever two people come together, whatever is left out in each of them will come out of the shadows to play. So each and every relationship we share with another is unique and significant. I'm supposing that light from each system (person) reflects from a different perspective which brings different aspects of the shadow out in each relationship. Let the shadow dancing begin! Oh, I love relationship work. And I love conscious shadow dancing too! Stone says, "the gap makes us uncomfortable" and mentions the danger in Western psychology is that it uses the teachings of Buddha and yoga to reinforce its worldview when its what is lacking that is being brought to light is of the greatest value.

What is the anarchy of the gaps in this relationship?

I love what he says here about the gap of Western psychology--that it has been unclear of it's goal. He says that when you ask a room full of therapists what the goal of therapy is you get a different answer from each one of them. The goal of yoga as Patanjali taught is very clear--"To see through the illusion of self. To see through the inherent emptiness of self-image." Western psychology approaches psychological symptoms with the assumption that if you go back into the past you will be able to find the root cause of your current problem. Maybe so. But the significance of what you find is bringing back a good story! The hope seems to be that the innate power in the telling and understanding of this story will heal your current problem. That's not my experience--not with myself, nor with my friends, or my clients. Stone says, "Western psychotherapy is caught in the delusion that our problems are primarily derived from memories in our personal past. So we go looking to the storehouse of memory in our personal past to heal our wounds in the present." But even with all this story telling and understanding people still don't know how to let go of their problems. That's because they don't know how to be mindful of the moment. Regardless of the origin of the problem, the experience of the symptom arises in the present. It must be dealt with in the here and now.

What perspective does yoga offer?

"The past is fictional." The truth resides in the moment. Telling stories about the past creates a false sense of self. Identifying with all these problems of the past reinforces a sense of self that is all about the symptoms. Yoga and Buddhist philosophies are about freeing one's self from the mind's perspective. It releases one from the limiting stories of who and what they are. A yogic perspective says that the symptoms do not cause our suffering but rather it's the sense of self that we have created that relates to the symptom itself. In other words, we attach ourselves to the symptom and identify with the pain. This is what causes our suffering. This is ego. Ego survives this way. It superimposes itself on everything as it has no identity of its own.

What dos this mean for the asana practitioner?

"All yoga postures are designed to create new patterns of sensation in the body that affect the nervous system and the mind in such a way that we're invited to enter into these patterns of sensation as a meditative exercise." Asanas give rise to uncomfortable feelings because they will bring up all of our old stories. I can't tell you how many times I been filled with emotion and tears started flowing while I've been holding an asana. For me, asanas help me to stay in the moment and allow me to experience the stories as they course through my body as energy. I need to be doing more yoga.

Let's introduce memory into this. What role does it play?

"Everything we experience is filtered through the sense organs and the mind, which are always biased because they are patterned. The word for this in Sanskrit is samskara. The technical definition of samskara is the psychological, physiological and cultural grooves in the mind, the body and the culture." The psychological term for this is top-down processing (pre-existing schemata {conceptual framework of memories, assumptions etc.}).

This takes us to the "naked awareness" that my friend Edrid talks about. to learn more about naked awareness go to sandoth.com. This link will take you to the Cultivating Naked Awareness booklet with information about purchasing the booklet and CD from Edrid for only $7. (this includes shipping) or you can download a PDF version of the booklet for free.

Naked Awareness is when we become directly aware of awareness itself, rather than the particulars of what we are aware of. Naked Awareness is the core essence of our conscious experience. To practice Naked Awareness we detach ourselves from what we are aware of to become aware of our awareness itself. Living in naked awareness is exactly what Michael Stone is leading to when he describes the tendency to get stuck in our stories by identifying with them. When he describes samskara, (the psychological, physiological and cultural grooves in the mind, the body and the culture) this is what Edrid calls the sixth consciousness. To understand the sixth consciousness, Edrid explains what is not Naked Awareness and he starts with the five senses, sight, hearing, touch etc. which affect our awareness by giving rise to experiences in our field of awareness. Our senses give us raw information that comes in through our nervous system. The raw data that our senses offer us have no judgments, evaluations or preferences attached. It's just pure sensory experience.

Then there is the mind consciousness which the Buddhists call the sixth consciousness. Sixth consciousness is indirect experience. The mind interprets our sensory experiences. It makes up associations and stories. The sixth consciousness is what makes awareness not naked. Naked Awareness is something that must be practiced and Edrid's little booklet is a great guide to help with that. Naked Awareness is what pulls us into the moment and out of suffering.

Michael Stone pulls both the psychological and the physiological together when he describes how Patanjali uses the term samskara (memory). What's nice about yoga is that whenever we work on deep physical patterns we are always simultaneously working on the mind (the mind wants to flee the unpleasant feelings that arise) and "when we work on deep psychological patterns, physiological responses occur."

How does spiritual realization further cognitive insight?

Western psychology is good for recognizing our patterns and yoga helps us to deal with them. We need to practice seeing through our sixth consciousness, or as Stone says, "It is not enough just to re-cognize the pattern. We have to see through the process of cognition so that we can see how whatever we are noticing is impermanent and without an inherent eternal substantiality in time and space. It has no inherent essence."

What I really love about this article is when Stone talks about intimacy. He says that when we let go of contextualizing and storytelling what we are left with is intimacy with all things. This is the enlightenment that Buddha talks about. This is what is left when we relinquish our attachment to our viewpoint. "The Heart of Intimacy." This is so beautiful.

"That life is always organizing itself, this is the anarchy of yoga...A trust that there is a deep intimacy of all things, to the point where there are no things, just process."

What role does teaching play in your practice of yoga?

Stone says,"These teaching belong in alleys, in the gaps...We develop a relationship with people over time. And they develop relationships with each other, so that we can drop into deep practice without the constructs of institutions, even the institutions of the commercial yoga studio." Michael is motivated to share yoga with people in a way that rather than separating their practice from their daily lives, it becomes a living part of their life as they live it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unexpected Death

I've been contemplating death all day. Strange that my last post was about preparing for death. I wrote that post the day of the night that Lars Logan died.

I really didn't even know Lars but he was a prominent figure in the local theatre scene and I had seen him in many plays. We would smile in recognition and say hello to each other when we crossed paths around town. I liked his energy. The last time I saw him was one week before he died, in the local production of Times Square Angel. Lars is third from the left in the picture of the cast from this Rogue Theatre production that was showing at the 1078 Gallery.

What's weird is that besides writing about preparing for death (my death) on Saturday, on Sunday I was thinking about Lars. I got on facebook and found his profile and looked at all his pictures and all of his friends. I was really drawn to him that day. On Sunday evening one of my friends posted on facebook that he had died.


I don't know the particulars of his death but what I've heard is that he didn't show up for closing night so after the show some of his friends went looking for him and found him at home, in bed, dead.


I feel sad and oddly connected to this beautiful young man. I feel sorry for his family and friends who I'm sure must be in shock and mourning deeply. I feel a lot of love and appreciation for human connection.
Life and Death--Rumi
look at love how it tangles with the one fallen in love
look at spirit how it fuses with earth giving it new life
why are you so
busy with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges
into the known
why think separately of this life and the next
when one
is born from the last
look at your heart and tongue one feels but deaf and
dumb
the other speaks in words and signs
look at water and fire earth
and wind
enemies and friends all at once
the wolf and the lamb the lion
and the deer
far away yet together
look at the unity of this spring and
winter
manifested in the equinox
you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky are mingled just for you and me
be like
sugarcane sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words
my
beloved grows right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be
come on sweet heart let's adore one another
before there is no more of
you and me
a mirror tells the truth
look at your grim face brighten up
and cast away your bitter smile
a generous friend gives life for a friend
let's rise above this animalistic behavior and be kind to one another
spite darkens friendships
why not cast away malice from our heart
once you think of me dead and gone
you will make up with me
you will
miss me
you may even adore me
why be a worshiper of the dead
think
of me as a goner
come and make up now

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Preparing For Death by Letting Go

I got an email from a friend this morning and she was jokingly chastising me for not posting anything new on this blog for her entertainment. She told me that she was bored and that my blog has been a very boring place for her these last many days. Sorry. I told her that I just don't have anything interesting to blog about...well, anything that I feel like transparently sharing with the world at large at least. I guess I've been feeling kinda private and maybe a little vulnerable right now. I'm really doing fine. Mostly. I'm happy. Mostly. Sometimes my life experiences, my relationship dynamics and the emerging insights just need to percolate inside my own body, mind and soul for awhile before exposing them to others. I'm holding many things tenderly right now. I have mommy stuff, kid stuff, husband stuff, lover stuff, friend stuff, work stuff. Me stuff. All my spiritual work. I'm noticing lots of preparing for death work. I've mentioned the death work part to a couple of friends that didn't really seem to get what I meant but I'm very serious about that. I'm looking at abandonment issues, separation anxiety and attachment disorder in myself. Being a psychotherapist I know that these are pathological terms for actual mental disorders but I'm not using them in that way although they are certainly related. Rather I'm just looking at the general human condition and our relationships in this world as well as my own conditioning and relationships and what comes up for me in particular. I've blogged before about the dance of separation and togetherness as well as abandonment and I've also blogged about attachment--as in being attached to people and stuff and things going our way.

A few days ago I was talking to my friend, Ren, about my separation and abandonment issues and she said, "Isn't everyone on the planet wounded like this, with separation and abandonment trauma--isn't this part of the human condition?" I told her that I don't know. I assume that on some level, the answer to her question is probably yes, that most people are wounded in this way, some of us just more than others.

For instance, Mistress Matisse writes about polyamorous relationships and suggests that people who don't deal well with separation and being left alone, those with abandonment issues, shouldn't try to live polyamorously because it will create too much drama and stir up too much pain. I agree with her on this...mostly but my take is a little different. What I suggest is that if people with obvious separation and abandonment issues aren't willing to take full on responsibility for dealing with these issues and therefore take polyamory on, at least in part as a powerful path to self-understanding, self-growth, and emotional maturity, then they are setting themselves up for an ugly head on collision with their inner demons. On the other hand, the path of polyamory can also be walked to consciously confront these demons, pulling them out of the shadows (or doing things that encourage them to jump out of the shadows to scare us) and shining the light of love on them. One cannot live in love and fear at the same time. We can and most likely will, go back and forth between love and fear as part of the process in exorcising (or simply comforting them) the demons of separation and abandonment. So polyamory can be a used as a tool for self growth and healing as well as a lifestyle with all the other wonderful benefits of having more than one sexually loving partner.

I've learned a lot about myself and how I deal with the feelings of separation that sometimes come up with the others that I am in relationship with. These others range from my children, grandchildren, my mother and siblings, to my friends, lovers, and my husband (who is also my friend and lover of course.) These days I'm not so quick to create a story that makes me or others wrong. At least I'm not so quick to believe those stories. I'm learning to allow myself to feel the separation and the panic that sometimes ensues from it and to just be with it, and breathe into it and experience the totality of it in the moment. I have a habit of being attached to connection and want it over separation. I also get very attached to my strategies for connection.

As for my preparation for death that I mentioned-- I realize that I will die someday. Fairly soon, relatively speaking. The years seem to zoom on by and I'm 54 now. I want to make the most of them. I'll be 84 years old in 30 years. That's almost my mother's age right now. I know that unless I get more skilled at dealing with all these little issues of separation and attachment now, dying is going to be one major pain in the ass. That's scary. So I'm practicing letting go. Letting go with grace is my goal. I want to die with grace and I'm betting that the only way to die with grace is to live with grace. I'm seeing life as a practice ground for death. Living it up and enjoying life to the fullest, yes. Definitely. But also, learning to let go of all these little (and seemingly big) attachments now so that when the time comes to let go of my body and everything I've identified with in this life, I will have a lot of practice at it already. Maybe it will be like riding a bicycle.

So I'm paying attention to my needs for freedom, love, sex, a sense of connection and belonging with family and friends, food, air, creativity, ego expression, soul expression, knowledge, living my life's purpose, enlightenment... and I endeavor to take care of those needs interdependently with others. I'm trying to notice when my ego is attached to my strategies and when I'm holding on and getting in my own way rather than letting go and surrendering to life, to what is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama Song--Michael Franti & Spearhead

Click on this link to listen to Michael Franti & Spearhead's Obama Song Just scroll down a bit and you will see this picture. It's a good recording --unlike the one I posted yesterday from You Tube. Michael Franti is one of the most socially conscious artists performing today.

Some of the lyrics I was able to make out in the Obama Song:

Yes, yes, yes it's time---we all come together. Ha ha. Barack Obama. Yes we can be. Barack Obama. We are together now. Barack Obama. Yea, yea yea. We all come together now. Barack Obama. Barack Obama is making history man. He's coming to the people saying yes we can...Barack Obama...Seize the day. Today is a new day. Come on and through your hands up every woman and every man now. Barack Obama. Yes we can be. Barack Obama. We all come together now. Power to the people. So that we may develop a sequel...This is the meaning of outreach...
Barack Obama...
Yes we can be
Barack Obama
We are together now
Barack Obama
Yea, yea yea
Barack Obama
I like to pay respect and love to he...
Take my hand
Lets take a stand...
Yes we can.
Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can
Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can
It's time for the revolution
every woman and man
They tell you, no you can't...you tell them---Yes we can!
Barack Obama
Yes we can be.
Barack Obama
We are together now
Yea, Yea Yea
It's been so long now
We all come together now
It's been so long now
We all come together now
It's been so long now
We all come together now
It's been so long now
We all come together now
All come together now
All come together now
All come together now...
We are all one people...
Get up stand up and fight for your rights
Unity strikes...
Barack Obama
Be what you can be...
Yes we can be
Barack Obama
Making history
Yes we can be
It takes you and me
It's been so long long now
But we are together now
Barack Obama
Yea,yea,yea
Barack Obama
Barack Obama
It's been so long now
Yea, yea.
Barack Obama
We all come together now
Barack Obama

Robin Williams

Robin Williams on polictics--Obama, McCain, Sarah Palin, etc.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not Your Mother's Playground

I just found Samantha's Not Your Mother's Playground--Open Relationships for Everyday Folk. Nice.

Barack Obama by Michael Franti and Spearhead

More is Better


One thing I love about Polyamory is that you have more members on your support team:


When your lover doesn't get your message about a change of meeting time/place because he forgot his cell phone at home, he can call his wife who will listen to his phone messages and then she can call you to make sure you are still in the same place before she sends him on his way.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Son

Happy Birthday Brandyn. I love you son.

My eldest son turns 37 years old today. He was born when I was 17 years old. His father was the first man/boy I had sex with...well depending on how you define sex I suppose. As a young girl, my original plans were to "save my virginity" until I was married. In keeping with that goal, I had never been penetrated by a penis. But that plan went by the wayside pretty fast after Rick showed up.

Rick was 20 and I was 16 when we "hooked up." He had never met a "dope smoking virgin" before and was very impressed with me. I guess I was impressed with him too in his bell bottom jeans with the peace signs embroidered on the sides. Compared to the crazy characters that he was hanging out with, he was a decent and level headed guy.

I never even considered birth control. So much for no sex education in the schools. And I certainly didn't get any from my mother. Knowledge about sex and birth control was very simple back in those days and it came from Ann Landers who told us young girls to "keep a dime between your knees." I kid you not. Well I also learned in church that good girls were virgins when they got married and girls who "gave it away" to boys before they got married were whores. I was a whore in my mind but not with my body. I wanted to have sex with all the boys I was with and I did too, I just kept my clothes on when I did it and that meant I was still a good girl. After Rick came along I just didn't care anymore although I remember going through some tears and mourning after the first time. After that we had sex anywhere and everywhere we could find privacy. Oftentimes it was on the back lawn of the church down the street.

Even though Rick loved me he still cheated on me with other girls. He contracted gonorrhea from one of them and it's the gift that keeps on giving so he then passed it on to me. We both got treated at the health clinic and I was really angry and embarrassed but I loved him so I forgave him. Six months after we met I was pregnant. My mother cried, "How could you do this to me?" I informed her that I hadn't done it to her. Hello? She asked us when we planned to get married and I told her that we didn't, that we didn't need to get married to prove our love. She asked me "what will the neighbors think?" I swear she actually said that. I told her I didn't care what the neighbors thought. She said, "Well maybe your child will care." Truth of the matter was though, that I did care. My mother was very provincial and even though I was a rebel of sorts, I was pretty darn provincial too. So Rick and I got our blood tests and marital counseling which was the law, and my mother gave us her car and credit card and sent us off to Reno, Nevada with a parental permission slip to get married. I briefly considered taking off to play in San Francisco for the weekend and simply telling her we had gotten married but I decided that she would ask to see the marriage certificate so that would be a bad idea. And in my heart of hearts, I wanted to be married to the boy/man whose child I was carrying inside of me. I wore the cutest little off-white, satin, mini wedding dress and my god, when I look at the picture now I realize that I was a baby. Sixteen years old.

The first thing my mother said to me when we got back was, "Show me your marriage certificate." I did and she was satisfied. Now she was praying that the baby would be late so people wouldn't suspect that I was pregnant before I married. It worked. The baby was due November 7 and was born a full month late. I mother could now tell people that the baby was born a month early. God does answer prayers! And he even says yes sometimes.

Brandyn was born on December 8, 1971 at 7:00 in the evening. He weighted 8lbs 13oz and was 21 inches long. Rick was there in the delivery room with me, covered from head to toe in a green paper hat, gown and slippers. Hospitals are the oddest places. They took him away and scrubbed his little body clean before they brought him back to me. They kept babies in the nursery, away from their mothers back then but it was an exceptionally busy night and they forgot about us. Hours later when a nurse finally poked her head in and found me sleeping while holding him in my arms she had a fit and quickly took him away.

Even though I told them that I wanted to nurse him, they put him on formula. I was allowed to nurse him when they brought him to me but this was only after they had filled his little tummy bottles of both formula and sugar water. I didn't know how to advocate for myself and my baby, or what exactly to advocate for. After we got home we settled into a fine nursing relationship for one year until I weaned him so I could start taking the pill. At least I learned something about birth control by then.

Rick and I were living in our own little place behind the bus station. He went off to work every morning as a typewriter (remember typewriters?) repairman and I stayed home to take care of our baby and became little miss homemaker. I remember having $12. a week for our food budget. I would carefully plan a weekly menu for each meal--breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I baked bread, cleaned house, and gave my baby baths in his little plastic bath tub during the day. I had dinner ready when Rick came home in the evening. It was a sweet and ridiculous little life that didn't last long.

I almost finished high school. I had entered into an alternative high school and it's first program for pregnant teens after Rick and I married. They must have received some huge grant because they treated us like royalty compared to the other students. After Brandyn was born I started back after a bit and was one credit short of graduating before I dropped out. My inner rebel decided that I didn't need a high school diploma to tell me what I was worth. I never had much overt guidance in my life while growing up--not much beyond being a basically decent person--especially educationally.

Our little home in back of the bus station was infested with cock roaches and when I found one in my baby's crib I insisted that we move immediately. Eventually we found a nice little home to rent on a nice piece of land where we thought we would be happy but it didn't work out that way. Rick lost his job and we struggled financially. He finally took a job working with his brother who was a bee keeper who lived in little hick town about half an hour from Chico that closed down at 6:00 in the evening. Everyone in that town (in my mind at least) was toothless, illiterate, white trash and I refused to move there with him. Driving back and forth each day would have sucked too much of the little money he was making into gas so he would stay with his brother during the week and return home to me and Brandyn on the weekends. Life changed fairly quickly for us after this point.

So went the first year of life for my eldest child. To be continued.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Prop 8 The Musical

No Leash For Me, Thank You

"Putting limits on love is like putting a leash on me. Even if it isn't tight around my neck, knowing it's there is enough...I like being with my partners because I want to, not because I have to."--Juan

I lifted this quote from Tristan Taormino's Opening Up website today. It's from her book, of the same name. The quotes continuously change.

Brutilicus Maximus

Jerry plays with a crazy band called Brut Max. Here is the lead singer in his kilt singing a Christmas Carol. I love my community.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Year's Eve in Chico


Here's what we are doing on New Year's Eve.
It's going to be one helluva party.
Check out Jerry's Spark-n-Cinder website here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Coming Out via the Tarot




I was talking to my friend Pema yesterday about the whole Coming Out issue with Polyamory. She compared the experience with the Journey of the Tarot.
You start this adventure as the Fool:

The Fool represents the beginning of a journey. It is our spirit yearning for experience, our quest for knowledge. She is clever and childlike and in touch with her divine nature. She owns very little possessions and her needs are simple. She appreciates beauty and simply living in the world. The fool possesses a childlike naivete and is unconcerned with what some may see as an apparent precipice she is about to step off. The number 0 represents the Fool as the perfect starting place. Zero can become anything, whatever the destination. Zero plus anything equals the same thing.

Thus the journey and adventures of the Fool begin and we move through the Major Arcana (Trump Cards) of the Tarot--a set of twenty-two archetypes numbered zero to twenty-one. The journey through the tarot describes the progression through a particular phase of our life (the issues of living a polyamorous life for instance that eventually lead to coming out to family, friends, co-workers etc. ) and help us to understand the challenges we meet as sacred elements of living a holy life. What can be holier than truth and love, family and friends, being in relationship with self, others and God?

Major Arcana
0 Fool
1 Magician
2 High Priestess
3 Empress
4 Emperor
5 Hierophant (both my life card and my soul card)
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 Strength
9 The Hermit
10 The Wheel
11 Justice
12 The Hanged Man
13 Death
14 Temperance
15 The Devil
16 The Tower
17 The Star
18 The Moon
19 The Sun
20 Judgment
21 The World

The World turns and the Fool completes her journey. The World represents an ending of one cycle in life. The completion of a story and for one eternal moment there is no separation of male and female, the profane and sacred, above and below, heaven and earth. As Rumi says, "Beyond the right and wrong, there is a field. I'll meet you there." This is the place of the World, a place in life before the next big cycle beginning with the fool.



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friends Without Borders - From India to Pakistan with Love

I joined this group called mypeace.tv on facebook today. They had this video from friendswithoutborders posted on their site.

Lucinda Williams - Knowing

Yes!

We Are That Thing

Next Saturday I get to go to a small dinner party and see my sweet friend John, along with his wife and some other really wonderful musician/artist friends that I like a whole lot and haven't seen much of lately. I'm thinking of John right now because I was just reading the quote on the little calender he makes and gives out (he delivers them to your doorstep early New Year's Day morning--is that wonderful or what?) for New Year's gifts each year. I love my little calendar and I'm really appreciative that Jerry has taken to turning the pages for us so we don't miss out on our daily inspiration.

The quotes for November 30-Dec 6 says:
We read books, we go on trips-
we are seeking something outside ourselves
when we are that thing.

To achieve a great phrase
To discover a melody unknown to you-
yours or someone else's-no matter.
The formula is simple:
Let it happen--just get out of the way.


Thank you John, that was perfect for me this morning. You are a blessing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Six Degrees Of Separation


So not only am I twittering, but now I have a facebook account too. I've already hooked up with about 20 friends and it seems like an easy and fun way to keep in contact with folks. I have one friend in Las Vegas that I've been meaning to email for, well, er, maybe a year? There he was on facebook and that's all it took! The networking there is awesome--it's one of those six degrees of separation things. You can see your friends, and also your friend's friends, many of who are your friends too and so then you hook up with them and on and on it goes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Australia--The Film


Last night I saw the 2 hr 45 min film, Australia, a love story between Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), an English aristocrat, and The Drover (Hugh Jackman), a cattle drover who join forces against a dishonest cattle baron, King Carney (Bryan Brown) and the country's disgustingly sick and twisted policy of removing half caste indigenous Aboriginal children from their families (The Stolen Generations). The story unfolds at a remote cattle station, Far Away Downs where they inadvertently fall in love and become a family with Nullah (Brandon Walters) a beautiful young half caste (and the film's narrator) whose aboriginal mother dies, white father, Fletcher (David Wenham) a murderous hired hand who would just as soon see him dead, and grandfather, King George (David Gulpilil) a medicine man, teaches him the ways of magic. This unlikely trio end caught up in World War II's Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia. I cried through half of this film which was directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge)

In regards to The Stolen Generations:

On February 13, 2008 the newly installed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, issued an official Federal Parliament Apology to Indigenous Australians as a motion which was voted on by The House of Representatives who unanimously adopted the proposed motion.


Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing
cultures in human history.
We reflect on their past mistreatment.
We
reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations -
this blemished chapter in our nation's history.
The time has now come for the
nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the
past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
We apologise for
the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have
inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow
Australians.
We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their
country.
For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their
descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.
To the mothers
and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families
and communities, we say sorry.
And for the indignity and degradation thus
inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.
We the
Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in
the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.
For
the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our
great continent can now be written.
We today take this first step by
acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all
Australians.
A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of
the past must never, never happen again.
A future where we harness the
determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the
gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and
economic opportunity.
A future where we embrace the possibility of new
solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.
A future
based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.
A future
where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with
equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the
history of this great country, Australia.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Bitch, The Crone & The Harlot

I'm holding a book called The Bitch, The Crone, and The Harlot--Reclaiming The Magical Feminine in Midlife by Susan Sahachterle. I ordered it from Amazon and Fed Ex just dropped it off on my front porch earlier this evening. I think someone was talking about it at a woman's party I was at recently and it sounded interesting. Here's what it says on the front cover:
"Susan Sahachterle's beautifully written book is not for women only. The powers of The Bitch (personal power used with clarity as a force for good). The Crone (wisdom and insight) and the Harlot (awareness and passion) are in fact universal and part of our human experience." Susan Lawrence, M.D. author of Creating a Healing Society.


Inside the front cover it says:

"The three archetypes represented in this book present a brilliant and empowering vision for the second half of a woman's life. They show that this second half can be a time of ever increasing creativity, wisdom, and passion, and completely revise the old idea that it's all downhill after fifty. For women experiencing the unexpected burst of energy that often surges up at this time, this book is a warm friend, rejoicing with us in the enormous possibilities ahead." Anodia Judith Ph.D. Author of Waking the Global Heart and other books.



Self Portrait Dec 1, 2008


Third World - Now that we found love