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  • Archive for February, 2010

    look past the outside, look straight into the heart, me and God think that’s the best place to start…

    2010 - 02.17

    I saw a bumper sticker yesterday as I was driving to Santa Fe. It said, “I am waiting for  non-judgment day”. I am waiting for that as well. And more than that, I am working for it. But I know that I must first find the judgments that live deep inside my own self, examine them, analyze their origins, and transmute them into pure love.

    A group of local women took me out to lunch to get to know a little about me. People in New Mexico are like people everywhere; curious, kind, interested, and interesting. There is an amazing assortment of multi talented artists, artisans, authors, organic growers, and professional people, who find solitude and beauty in the high desert. Like any place else, as a small community, everyone knows about everyone and there must be a certain amount of care taken to understand the culture before barging in full force. This is always true I think.

    When I was younger; twenty’s, thirties, even forties, I would come at people with the full force of my highly charged personality. I often saw the “deer in the headlights look” film over the eyes of the chosen onslaughtee. (New word; it’s Beverlese, don’t try to look it up, not in the dictionary yet.) I am , however, a consummate student of humanity and I had a desire to learn and dissect not only the behaviors of others, but also my own behavior; my need to be exactly what I was presenting. This has taught me to become a balcony observer. It is a little like loving without attachment; observation without comment. Oh, the comments are inside me, but there is something that tells me they must stay put and not be released to the universe. Our words have enormous power. Our thoughts do as well.

    I was born politically correct. When I was six years old I heard a group of kids making fun of a schoolmate. I was a shy and tiny child and I always tried to be inconspicuous. But it bothered me that these kids were picking on another and I remember saying, “That will hurt their feelings, it’s not nice”. Of course this put me in the line of fire and then I became a target for their unkindness. I did not have a lot of friends, which was OK because I was comfortable with my own company, inside my own skin.

    I always felt what others felt. If there was sadness, I felt sad. If there was excitement, I felt excited. If there was anger, I felt angry. If someone was hurt, I felt the pain. I didn’t have the experience to separate what were my own feelings and what I was being bombarded with from the outside. This ability took me 40 years to learn. When I talked about these things as a child I was told I had a “good imagination”. So I stopped talking about it.

    When I was twelve years old I was watching my favorite television show, Star Trek. The episode was about a woman named Jewel. She did not speak, but she felt what others felt. I watched this show with my heart pounding. Jewel was an Empath. It was then that I realized that I too, was an empath. I realized that it was not my “imagination” that made me feel others, but something that was really happening. I knew however that I still should not talk about it.

    I do talk about it now, because the world does not change unless we take the hushed up secrets and bring them into the open air. Until others can look at them and acknowledge their own hushed up moments that are hidden away; those “don’t tell anyone” things. This is how we become unhealthy. We shove all of our imagined weirdness’s down deep thinking that we are the only ones that have them. I think it might be in our DNA to imagine ourselves the “only”, and we have to break through the “only” shell to discover that we are a part of the whole. If one of us is in pain, we all hurt. If one of us has no food, we all hunger. If one of us hates, we all suffer, if one of us loves with intention, we are all sacred.

    Some of us are Doom and Gloom, some of us are Mary Sunshine, some of us are Never Happy, some of us are Perpetually Perplexed, some of us are Silly Susan’s, and some of us are Intuitive Irene’s; and all of us, all of us, are connected. All of us are worthy. But we are never, ever, an“only”  We are a part of a whole; sometimes the whole world, the whole town, the whole enchilada, the whole damn thing…

    If we judge others, then we are judging ourselves. I am waiting for non-judgment day…

    Rhythm and Rhyme…

    2010 - 02.11

    When I was a young girl I learned that a poem was something that rhymed. Cat in the Hat. When I got older poems became un-rhymed and seemingly loose, but with a whole lot of rules attached to them. Rhyming was almost sneered at, and so became a dying art, unless you were Doctor Seuss or Sheil Silverstein. I have gone to readings and participated in poetry festivals as the token musician invited, and have watched poets bleed their life stories; thoughts, feeling, indignities, avoiding at all cost, the dreaded rhyme… Well, I am hereby confessing that I LOVE THE RHYME. I am an expert at it. I break all the rules of meter and run with the flow, and just when you think it is not going to happen, ah…, there it is! The satisfying feel of the rhyme. Where there is rhyme there is music. There is song and rhythm and complexity. It takes skill to create the rhythm of the rhyme. It is an art that deserves respect and acknowledgment. Maybe that will be my next crusade… Save the world…Save the Rhyme…

    Dying alone….Just for today I will live without fear, I will walk unafraid in my mind, just for today I will be strong, I will exercise faith, I will become a giver to life…Just for today.

    2010 - 02.07

    Duffy died yesterday, somewhere between his Cozy’s monster burger at lunch and dinnertime, he checked in for his new assignment. He was 62 years old and the only family he had was his sister and the crew at Cozy’s Road House. He arrived at Cozy’s every morning at opening and read his paper. He went back at lunchtime to get his daily monster burger and back again at dinnertime to sit at the bar and socialize with the regulars. He always stayed to closing to make sure the bartender left safely. The bartender is my 22 year old daughter, Kelsyn. Duffy didn’t drink. He worked as a painter and did odd jobs. He participated in life. He was kind.

    Theresa Ghandi died at home three weeks ago. She was surrounded by family and friends. It was hard work and a long time coming. Theresa was a social activist and was full of ideas and opinions and could research any subject and become an expert. She was incredibly articulate and a skilled writer. Many people thought she was a pain in the ass. As an experienced pain in the ass myself, I respected this quality in her. Politicians would see her coming and shudder. Theresa was a pit bull who understood that speaking out and doing the right thing was not always going to be popular. I admired her courage and her tenacity. Theresa showed up for her own life yet the world was not ready for her this time around.

    As human beings we spend much of our time thinking about what is going to happen or thinking about what has happened… We are the only species on the planet that lives in the past or the future. While we are contemplating forwards and backwards, we forget to live right now. The moments we have fall away when we don’t choose to be present and use them.

    I was a strange child… One day, when I was four years old my mom came upon me lying on the ground. I was very still. She bent to me and asked “Beverly, what are you doing”? My eyes were closed and without looking at her I replied, “I am listening to my heart drink my blood”. It is something I have always known, yet have not always practiced; when we are very still and silent we can hear things we might ordinarily miss.

    Strange children usually grow into strange adults. (dictionary definition: strange:  unusual, extraordinary, or curious; odd). One time, an angry neighbor, told me that I did not have the right to live where “normal” people live. Being Chemically Injured when I was in my early 20’s changed my life irrevocably. Producing too many killer T cells, my body sees everything as the enemy, sometimes even its own organs, so even when I tell it to remember being “normal”, it defies me. Over the years I have developed techniques to navigate through the “normal” world so I can participate fully, retreating back to my safe space to detoxify my body. Theresa and I shared this as a disorder, as do many chemically compromised individuals. This anomaly in my body caused me to be acutely aware of this moment as the only moment I have. And so I show up for it.

    Being human is a task. If we are human, we have signed up for it. We have made contracts and we have desired outcomes. None of this means that it is all predetermined, it means we choose. And because most of us are not practiced at gazing into the crystal ball, mostly we choose without the exploration of our other senses.

    We surround ourselves with noise and chatter, with things that fall away. We are alone yet never alone. We are always connected to each other and the heart beat of this planet. We all share our genetics, DNA, and connection to that which is bigger than us. We are inside and outside at the same time. Our thoughts and our feelings flow from us in solid waves and connect in passing to those around us. We come through the womb individually. We exit individually. Yet it some way we all feel the births, the rebirths, the transitions. We just are not still enough to realize the experience.

    Close your eyes…Lie still… Do you hear it? That is your heart…Drinking your blood…

    Things that go bump in the night…

    2010 - 02.06

    The house I live in is made out of rastra and adobe. It is a fortress that has passive solar gain. As the day heats and cools that house cracks and rumbles and since everything is a hard surface; walls, floor, ceiling, the cracks and rumbles reverberate around the house. In the daylight they aren’t noticeable really, but at night when the silence is even more present a creak and crack sounds like an intruder. Yoda and Jack often think the noises are something other that they are and Yoda starts frantically barking. Because she is 3 1/2 lbs of canine fury, Jack begins a low and no nonsense growl… I have a heart-attack three or four times a night. I keep the door closed to whatever room we are in to keep the heat in. When the two of them stand barking at the door I figure I must go out and meet the enemy, so I muster my courage and fling the door open armed with a 3 lb dog leading the way. Yoda runs ahead yapping with gleeful self righteousness. I have no idea what goes on in her teeny tiny head, but she is determined to protect me. Jack, following at a more dignified pace, realizes that Yoda has led him astray, yet again, and that there are no intruders to tear limb from limb. He lays down and looks regal while I search all the closets, inside the showers, every corner of the house, and under the stairwell. Heart thumping wildly I call them back into the heated room and we begin the sequence all over again. It is true, I am not totally comfortable on my own in the middle  of thousands of acres filled with sinister elk, cows, and jack rabbits. You never know when a irate critter will knock down the door. But I have my Japanese gardening implements, so I am safe!

    I did think that once I got to New Mexico in the high desert, I would have a deep desert experience, going inward, finding quiet and repose… Evolving into my next incarnation… OMMMMMM… But so far I find it is more relaxing driving through rush hour traffic in Seattle.  However the New Mexico sky is stunning, the rocks call to me, and God told me to come. I am patient…


    2010 - 02.04

    The snow gods heard me and dropped down another 5 inches of snow last night.

    There is something sacred about being the first and only person to walk through a new snow fall. It is a meditation in itself. The snow is like a fine white powder and is clean, clean; quite a contrast to the red soil underneath. It is one of the things I love about this place; the red rocks and red soil. It is so silent here that you can hear the ants moving under the tremendous ant hills. The mounds are enormous and are the only thing showing through the snow besides the Juniper Cedars and Pinyon Pines because the ant colonies produce so much heat.

    There was one big cat track by the front door, a Bobcat or Lynx. Just one. She must have come while it was still snowing and the rest of her tracks must have gotten covered; or maybe not. Maybe she is a shape changer…

    The scrub jays made an appearance today as did someone’s three horses. One had a broken rope around his neck. They paid me know mind when I went out to talk to them. It is a constant parade of life.

    I have been thinking about boundaries.  There are no boundaries for the wild life or domestic livestock here. They just wander around wherever they please. Boundaries can mean so many things. Sometimes they are something we do not cross. Sometimes they are something that should be eliminated, like the border boundary between the US and Mexico, and the US and Canada. Sometimes they are something we set up for ourselves to avoid controversy or discomfort. Sometimes they stop us from taking a risk. Sometimes they stop us from taking a stand. Sometimes they give us an excuse to allow cruelty. Sometimes they remind us to be observant, co-operative, and compassionate. Sometimes they stop us from invading another’s space; sometimes they create a chasm to wide to cross.

    When I was twenty I worked in a bank in Vancouver, Washington. I was a teller. One day the bank manger came back from lunch. He had been drinking. He walked up behind me and grabbed my breasts. I didn’t know what to do. I was young and embarrassed. He was in a position of power and I had not yet grown into the bitch I would become. I mean, the self assured, confident, woman I am now… That day I learned something about boundaries. I determined I would never take from someone, something they didn’t freely offer.

    We live in a confusing world. We are supposed to move beyond the confusion and evolve, yet even Jesus, who was the Christ, who was fully human, asked in confusion, “why have you forsaken me”… It is ok not to have the answers; to doubt, to feel at a loss, because on the other side of all that is hope, and generosity of spirit.

    Maybe one of our most important lessons is learning when to cross a boundary and when to honor one.

    Each of us must reach for something, better than we are…

    2010 - 02.03

    It was warm today. I will be sad when the snow begins to melt. It has told me so many stories. Today I found what I think are cougar tracks. They are much bigger than the lynx or bobcat tracks, and are so different from a dog’s footprint. Cats walk light in the snow and have rounded pads that don’t sink in deep. I was excited to find them and followed until they, poof… Just disappeared! Jack and I explored deep in the canyon and found some caves. I thought it would be exciting to explore them…until I remembered the cougar tracks. I decided to leave it for another day.

    It was an event filled animal day.

    The sun rose and the ravens landed on the roof just like they do every morning, thunk, and then a swoop of their heavy wings and they took flight over the canyon.

    I heard cows this afternoon… New Mexico is a fence-out State. If you don’t want beasties wandering on your property you have to fence them out, otherwise you can wake up in the morning to a herd of cattle. So today I heard cows. I put on my boots and ran outside. I could hear them mooing plaintively down in the canyon. When I got to the edge of the cliff I realized that they were up on a ridge above the canyon. One, two, three, four different cow voices stuck somewhere in the snow. Then far off in the distance I heard an insistent truck horn, way up, maybe 5 miles away. I realized after a while that this belonged to the cattle men trying to give these four cows a noise to orient on to find their way back to the feeding ground. Everywhere you go on the roads there are cattle guards designed to stop the cattle from crossing. However, the cows aren’t stupid. They walk around the cattle guards and cross wherever they damn well feel like crossing. There are more cows in New Mexico than people.

    Four elk passed in front of us about 20 feet away. They are as big as refrigerators. They paid no attention to us.

    And then, as we were walking, Jack stopped all of a sudden, buried his head in 4 inches of snow and frantically started sniffing. He knew he had found something great. Well, he did, but as I watched, a very large Jack Rabbit appeared and crossed about two inches in front of Jacks face. He never saw the rabbit as it bounced away. He was too busy sniffing in the snow.

    So these are my lessons:

    The sun always rises.

    Sometimes the path that is right in front of us can disappear, just like that!

    Sometimes we are too busy moaning instead of listening for those who will show us the way.

    Sometimes we are invisible to those who have bigger energy.

    Sometimes we can’t see what is standing right in front of us, even if it jumps, because we simply won’t look up.