Monday, August 30, 2010

I am eagerly awaiting some vacation time. Though I've a had a few days off here and there, my last full block of time was Christmas. I am ready.

This Thursday, I have a meeting at City Hall followed by two hypnotherapy sessions. Then I fly to San Diego for five days. When I get back to The Blue Goose, friends from Brooklyn will arrive and stay until the following Sunday. Ten consecutive days off. What a concept!

This past weekend was filled with a trip to a farmer's market--it is chili season!!! Then to a Chili Festival, a hypnotherapy session, and an art auction/fund-raiser. Sunday was a full day at church, helping to facilitate some ongoing discussions. Had a friend over for a good, long conversation and then ended the day watching "American Outrage." The latter is sobering and sad. Anyone who has ever felt anger over how countries treat their native peoples need look no further than our own backyard.

One quiet day in 2002 (and continuing since), the government began making sweeps of Western Shoshone property in Nevada. By helicopter, semi-trailer and other government vehicles, the U.S.A. rustled cattle and horses off the land, sometimes even driving them to death through barbed-wire fencing, and laid claim to private farms. Why?

A: On the even quieter day before, the government discovered that there was gold in the soil of this native land. Faster than you can say "gold earrings," the first nation people were told that the Ruby Valley Treaty, signed by the U.S.A. government in 1863, was no longer valid. The rationale given for this was based upon a Papal decree in 1452. The "Doctrine of Discovery" says that any land not Christian at the time of "discovery", becomes the property of the Christian nation which makes the discovery.

"Oh, you're not Christian?" Well, then, that's mine."

What a twisted and warped view of Christian mission. Perhaps it is not surprising, though, since we describe military operations as "missions." I recently glanced through some Facebook photos of an acquaintance of mine. They were of him and his army comrades poring over maps. "Planning the Mission" was the caption. Another photo of troops in the woods, with shouldered guns and on the lookout, was titled, "Preparing for the Mission."

"Oh," I sadly reflected to myself. "I see that he has become a missionary."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

“…why are you here?”

“I often ask myself the same. The answer always comes: because I’m not somewhere else. Which is a statement more sensible than it sounds. And isn’t it a marvel? Here I am and here are you; think of it! When you ponder the breadth of the galaxy, you must recognize a coincidence of great singularity!”

“…Suppose you were here and I elsewhere, or I were here and you elsewhere, or both of us were elsewhere: three cases vastly more probable than the fourth, which is the fact of our mutual presence within ten feet of each other. I repeat, a miraculous concatenation! And to think that some hold the Age of Wonders to be past and gone!”
Emphyrio, by Jack Vance

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Do you, too, have a doppelganger? I met mine today. He didn’t repulse me so much as he did fascinate me.

I had expected a yang to my yin, or white to black, something startling…or something, well, at least my opposite. Surprisingly, the doppelganger was more of my twin. Same smile. Same laugh. Same self.

Only with more exposed.

Like an ear of corn with husks drawn down. Kernels—good and bad—exposed to the same sun. Some kernels plump and full of juicy corn milk. Beautiful, yellow and sweet. Some, however, riddled with rust or punctured by still present and writhing worms. Some withered and dry and some underdeveloped. All of these, the repulsive among the maturely developed, all part of the same ear of corn.

Unlike me, the doppelganger had not taken the time to draw up his husks, using bits of silken hair to hide flawed, balding spots. He was neither fully evil, nor fully good, but was rather both. Like me. Only exposed and accepting of it all.

As I wind my way through the local farmer’s market, I pause by the corn bin, just in from a southern farm. I am about to join the ritual of those surrounding the bin, of slightly peeling back cornhusks, peeking to select only the best to accept and take home. About to, when in a chance glimpse across the vegetable stand, I see him. My doppelganger. He smiles, knowingly. I reach back into the bin and select a half dozen ears of corn without checking their perfection. I smile back. To myself.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Recognition can be laborious. Hints of truth linger in my waking mind and fight against desires to turn back over to sleep. When truth wins out and I rise from my mattress on the floor, the struggle is not over. How much easier to move to the couch for a few more blissful moments! Until I have no choice and time forces me to prepare and leave for work. But…

But, when I awake and do pull on shorts and helmet and take my bike out for a spin in the freshly crisp morning air, truth hits me square between the eyes. Morning sunrays find their way down over the Sandias to filter between leaves into my north valley and bronze my skin. I return rejuvenated.

Morning patterns turn into creative actions, satisfying and complete. Meaningful. Juicing yesterday’s cucumber, reading poetry by a Santa Fe woman I’ve never met, written to Thomas Merton, whom she never met. Connections are made. Threads weave themselves together, emotions form into ideas. I find myself writing. I juice some more. The sight of the peach jam I’ve canned from the gifts of neighbors pleases me. I plan to invite friends over this evening to share a good bottle of wine. To share in this earthy life. I can’t help but write.

I decide to put a kettle of water on the stove. While it heats to a boil, I select some fine Chinese tea. Perfect for a cool morning of reflection, writing, listening to Navajo prayers sung from my CD player. A good day to take my writing utensils, paper, some Sumi ink and ride with my artist’s bag to the river. Somewhere under the boughs of an achingly beautiful, large Cottonwood, I will sit and open up life’s secrets. A treasure will be revealed to me.

If not, no loss. It will be a good day of being comfortable in my own skin. Of absorbing nature. I might even visit the museum or botanical garden and, in silent reverence, enjoy the company of strangers passing by, enjoying too the beauty which surrounds us.

However, from the moment of needing to write onward, the day is but a fantasy of my mind. It is a weekday. Time has forced me to lumber towards work instead of following flowing, creative juices.

Oh, don’t pity me. I have the option every day of getting up early to allow for more of the experience that I’ve described. And, again, every day in which work does not call or demand attention. I recognize that I can shape my mornings, my days, my evenings and nights quite differently. But recognition comes hard.

Different 45 patterns used for pattern recognition.
(Veraart, C., et al. "Pattern Recognition with the Optic Nerve Visual Prosthesis."
Artificial Organs 27.11 (2003): 996-1004)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I picked my first home-grown cucumber of the season this morning. All of my plants are potted this year, so what I harvest now is on the miniature side of things. A burgundy-red tomato, its soft sphere the size of a half dollar. Chilies of an ornamental nature. They are extensions of my own time spent nurturing the soil and small plants with water, care and concern. The small acts are intimate, the harvest satisfying, the eating sensual.

Why do I forget this? My recent malaise seems to stem from lack of contact with the earth. Too much time spent behind a computer screen, sitting in meetings, reading, napping. Nothing that a little honest sweat doesn’t heal.

“Nothing can o’er take me in life that time alone in nature won’t restore,” wrote Frost, or something along those lines. Poetry somehow escapes me even when its meaning retains a place in my soul.

Monday, August 09, 2010

I'm still not a searchable subject in Wikipedia.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

This video clip is about Denver's Road Home. It does a good job of exposing prejudices that many of us have.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Here in my little corner of the world, one way we are attempting to combat the economy is through micro-loans made to each other. Not just micro-lending in other countries (we are doing that through KIVA), but also to our local businesses.

Check out my quote in the article, "Loyal Customers Infuse New Mexico Tea Co. with Green."

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This illustrates why demand is high for the type of work that I do (provide emergency shelter), while at the same time financial support is way down.