Saturday, December 28, 2013

Love, Sweet Love

Ah, Christmas. There is no substitute for spending the holidays with family. There is no true substitute for family, however we may define it. In the days before Christmas and through the holiday, I thought a lot about love and what love means. I remembered holidays past, and people I’ve known and love – including, of course, my wonderful parents, givers of life. Flashes of memory ran through my mind as I drove toward the coast – memories of when we were children, the excitement of the holiday as we trimmed the spindly tree and thought of that land far away which was our “home,” where others were celebrating the holiday perhaps in snow or with Christmas Eve services and caroling and shopping and sharing all kinds of traditions. Our families had shopped for presents and mailed them at least six weeks early in hopes of the gifts arriving between the US and Nigeria “on time.” My brother was a child enchanted by the idea of Christmas, and gifts wrapped so beautifully, awaiting the unveiling on Christmas morning. He tiptoed around the tree, studying the presents and shaking many of them, thinking so intently about them and what they might hold. He was left with a profound impression of how much stuff there was and how many have so little.

As generations grow and change, such memories bring such pleasure as new ones are added and build upon one another – intertwining and stacking with beauty and care in the same way the gifts do, awaiting unveiling.

Making memories as we share each other’s company, getting a glimpse into each other’s lives as we honor the year’s passing and the new year beginning. “This is where we are now,” we say, silently.  “Isn’t it amazing!”

What each life means. My six-year-old niece, so full of joy, is a gift to me too, each time I am in her presence – as all children are.  I am reminded of the pure joy of being, and the happiness that is our true birthright. We share what is ours, if we truly enjoy life and appreciate what it means to give and receive, and love grows. Love is how we are designed to live and to grow, together, whether in physical presence or not. The energy of who we are, as love, lingers and lives, throughout the days, nights, throughout the year, until we meet again and whenever we meet, whomever we meet and become, if we are willing to accept it and share it.  Honoring (living) love as our greatest birthright and tradition is the greatest gift I can imagine. Choosing to love satisfies our soul and spirit like nothing else too. This may seem obvious, but what is obvious to me is what the world needs now is love, sweet love. Knowledge of the truth of love is an eternal gift to any mind.

Last night we watched a 2012 recording of the awarding of the Gershwin Prize to Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Among other wonderful performances, the program included Bacharach singing What The World Needs Now. A perfect tribute, and true always.

Monday, December 09, 2013


What can she “get away with”?

I’ve read this from critics about a virtuoso classics scholar who takes myths and writes new ones based on the structures of the old ones. What’s to get away with, when we are building on structures with meaning? Garnering awards on the one hand and being asked such questions on the other.

Artists of all kinds are asked these questions – or the critics, the public, ask them. What does it mean to “get away with”?

To me, the getting-away-with, in its best light comes from pushing a line of accepted tradition or story or image or belief a little beyond, or sometimes far beyond, where it has settled, and still gaining respect for the integrity of the internal form of creation, the life still humming. This is not crafting a machine, elegant as it may be, but the nourishing of a thought-form, which lives as it is designed and created  and which lives further through the interaction of sharing it – the reading, the seeing, the verbalization, the expectation and breathless anticipation then the birth, the ogling, the possibilities set free and the imaginations excited.

The art of “getting away with” shows when respect is earned through the expression – the individual power of the energy expression, the example of living and breathing form.
Turn to me, she says, though her expression is stoic. The playfulness is inherent, visible in the glow and the intimate knowledge when seen. Watch.

Perhaps Nelson Mandela did this too.  His mischievous nature and quick, bright, warm smile did not belie but was part of the ramrod straight, steel-willed man who was constantly open to examining his life and the purpose, the objectives for which he lived. He knew that the purpose of life was so profound, the purpose of what we devote our lives, our energies to, is so profound that to be willing to commit our energies totally to it, to living this primary focus is to be willing to die for the same purpose.  Our commitment to life and death is equal, as our honoring of change and growth and freedom is complete. The commitment is not separate, but total. And without playfulness, and a sense of humor about ourselves and life, joy is not complete.
Enlightenment of our minds from our heart’s total intention to love and to contribute to the external common and greater good is one of the greatest purposes we can have and live as human beings.

Does how we define freedom change with the times, with events in our lives? Isn’t this one definition of learning?

As Mandela said, yesterday I was a “terrorist.” Today I am accepted as a freedom fighter. More todays and he is accepted as a leader, president, even symbol. Today we have a history to view through many lenses and with many voices and visions. What we choose defines us.

How do we choose/decide except through the living?

Choice by choice, and the strength that comes from that freedom, brings us the power that is inherent in experience, the joy and sorrow bundled together with sparkles and tears, endurance and infinite patience.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sinking, Rising, Kneading, Knowing

ust start, Maria heard. The temples that were the trees let in harmony as the sun caressed and stressed the importance of its rays with the heat of life. We awoke with the brightness nearly blinding and watched transfixed as the light changed moment by moment as the sun traveled across the sky and the blanket of horizon deepened and moved and opened itself to the dark of night and the slivering moon with its silvery light.

We learn to roll with the punches of life, and as we do we learn that the punches are the tides of change.

Maria knew that all change would come to her as courage if only she was patient enough. She had learned that to wait is an art for the mind. Waiting is not always a passive act. Active waiting of an alert mind is a mind learning to be alert, to be open to the opportunities that present themselves in the smallest of ways.

Mark is the man she waits for, though he does not know it yet. She feels that within him is the fulfillment of many dreams, though she is not able to enumerate them.

To write each day is akin to being alert to one’s thoughts, to being open to the script that our thoughts, words, and behaviors become. Each page is a day of our life, and the script we live as we write. The skin of our body is our power grid, our solar panel, our sensor, our love. For some, our tattoo parlor, our body armor.

As Maria sits at her computer to write, her fingers hovering above the keys, she knows that each channel in her mind is awaiting expression. Which is ready to know itself in this new moment, to add to all of the experience she has expressed in her being of life?

I remember the smell of yeast, of bread baking, the way the dough moved as I kneaded it, the way the salt smelled and the way the oven seemed ready to swallow each offering and give it back in golden loaves. This repetitious act, in and out of the oven, sliding in, pulling out, became a rhythm she loved. The steadiness of it had its own hypnotic motion, and the ease with which all moved together to complete the motion was a wonderful reminder to her of the connective tissue of all of life. Each part of that cycle has its place, its excited addition to the ritual of life that bread reminds us of.

She saw his growing beard, almost a symbol of quick growth even in drought.  There is something to his scratching at the hair growing just under his chin – both an itch and a distraction that occupies thoughts that may seek to go elsewhere, into new virgin ground.
I am the person I am made to be, she thought to herself. Cake-maker, dog-walker, ephemera-lover.  There is so much to hold in the skull that holds my brain of quivering mass, the dark hair like my mother’s that clothes the bones of my head.

 Dance, dance, the lightfish say, as my dreams come back and forth, full of the memory of water and of sinking and rising, of bread rising and falling, of volcanoes building earth and organism and heat and cold into an inimitable creation of explosion, hot lava rocks spewing like a mixer throwing cocoa batter like paint onto the walls and beyond.

Mark is a sauntering personality, wary and unsure except full of ideas and all he has heard, read, and relates to. His sharp eyes show tears, happiness easily yet fleetingly. His thoughts search his brain database, aiming for relations, curious about people’s faces, full of his own talk.

Sebald said once that he did not consider himself a writer. More like the writing is a dedication, an obsession – building a model of the Eiffel Tower with matchsticks. Exploring the nuances of the fog of the past, which reveals pathways along the moors and the cobblestone streets as the writing happens.

Maria remembers Sebald’s words, the “highway hypnosis” of the kind he mentions and explores – our being hypnotized by what we call life, the pull of sadness that is our destructive nature as we wander in a deep forest of glimmering light.

Mark would talk about this for a while, no doubt – his remembering all kinds of details of his life, throwing out bits and pieces of his parents, his siblings, days at school, the chalkboard, the keyboard, the bright blue car he drove and the sun glinting from the sparkling hood which made him feel happy and powerful. They were pieces, though, not with a fully fulfilled sense of life that let him feel he was born to be powerful, not beaten down, not having to prove that he earned the sparkling blue happiness as he lived, as he loved.

This is Maria’s view of him, even as she laughs with him, loves his tugging at his beard, at his slight pot belly, at his eager curiosity which flags easily but remains.

Bring me one more order, she calls to her friend – I can make one more cake today! Her latest joy is this German Chocolate Surprise, which has all the expected ingredients and also organic oats, coconut, and some buttercream with raspberries to add new surprise. The textured flavors were delightful to a lover of such things.

We are all heart, she says to her satisfied customer who calls, gushing over the Valentine’s Day cake she ordered especially for her one great love. Even he loved it! Her customer exclaimed. He couldn’t stop staring at it. Said he never thought about cake-making as an art before, except wedding cakes. There’s a lot more to life than weddings, I said. Think of everyday as a merging, as lists of mergers happening and lining up to happen as moments tick by. Bidding happens. Celebrating, weeping, highs, lows, and the drips, drops, beams, rush and touch of life- just watch. Listen. Learn.

Sebald said he was hardly interested in the future. We can be captured by illusions of the past. The past can tell us everything we need to know, if we open our eyes and keep them open except when we are sleeping. Then our many eyes will keep recording and we will awaken to more upon morning.

Maria touches Mark when they pass in the hallway. He looks up, distracted. She smiles into his eyes, reaching for that past which makes him up, the illusions which shine, the glimmers of truth which are so playful and ready.

Have your cake and eat it, too. She smiles to herself, but all who know will see it shining from her diamond mind. Mark tugs at his beard, deep in thought.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

After Reading Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson

After Reading Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson

To remember
the lavaman and his other skin,
the gold burn like enveloping
the sun, what bursts he can 
growing bold

and maybe a little
asking for those who may be curious,
and bold, a
little afraid, to pay cents
to touch his golden skin, to know
a little of him, this passion for
substance and for naming
objects by name, for what
they are, at least for this moment
in hopes and time
and open-aired graciousness
from the faint memory of 
what human can mean,

can be

fragments float in, up,
gently, if wondered about
and the mind, with love,
invites them.

In this, his case
the red, the wings, the
otherworldly things, with what
sun buried on the inside,
consciously claiming the inside
as "mine"!
as lines are defined
and become known.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


We create a “rule,” based on a belief – a forecast, prediction, hypothesis, which suits the reality we want to see, to create, to live. The “rules” usually follow the collective consciousness belief, within each individual and the greater group or culture or country or world. The rule becomes law as we make it happen. Those who don’t conform to or believe in the law challenge the law. This creates the tug-of-war of holding true to the law to keep “order” (known to some as status quo) and the challenging of the law to not have to conform to what we don’t believe in or think we don’t believe in because we don’t understand – it doesn’t make sense to us. The intricacies of laws that we create as we navigate the vagaries of our minds, the lessons that we have learned and need to learn, reveals the wormholes, the paths, the “mapping” of our minds as we live and create, create and live.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Thanks to caring friends excited to be going on vacation to the beach, and who love “family time,” I was able to spend some wonderful days by the ocean in great company.  Via the internet, I just listened to a “flash-mob” small orchestra in a city square, prompted by a little girl dropping a coin into a black-tied, bald bassist’s upturned hat. How we choose to “spend” our coins, our time, our energies can bring beautiful surprises full of music of all kinds. Sitting on the balcony at the hotel room, 16 floors up, looking at the endless water, feeling the wind from the sea that is like no other, I felt my whole body smiling.

Such a sense brings Magritte to my mind. The modern image, poetry for poetry’s sake, the juxtaposition of layers of life, the symbols that beget symbols and march forward into a world not yet seen yet imagined as each image comes to life. The ocean tides remind me. The laughter that comes with friends sharing life, the moments as they spring up, pass, fill, march forward, ease into a night and day, the sun shining, clouds hazing over water, the bright movement of bodies of all sizes happy to move over the sand bridge to the sea.

These song lyrics came to mind, too. Written by Richard and Robert Sherman for Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, commissioned in 1964 for the World’s Fair: “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day.”

Being at the ocean invites such delirious optimism, the constant smiling that happy faces and happy music brings. Hearing the rumbling of motorcycles on the street far below, mingling with the sound of waves just on the other side of the boardwalk, seeing the empty carousel rides with their bright colors- all gave me a renewed image of the celebrations of being alive in so many ways. Like the review introducing the Museum of Modern Art’s Fall survey show of Magritte’s Art, this trip for me was good, solid fun. What can be better than that?

Sunday, October 06, 2013


In the other room,
The sun room,
Even when dusk,
The small blue bird jumped onto the table.
A striped head ducked,
Then folded wings to raise a glass of water and bring it to its beak.
I stared.
Then laughed.
Bright blue wings with white stars.
Feathers starkly beautiful,
Like stained glass.
They waved to me as water
Dripped from the beak.
Life, it said. Drink!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Young Things



Roar, she says,

This doyenne young thing,

Young queen.

Move over,

I’m here, there, everywhere.

I smile, first, before I step aside

And find the limelight made by me

And my shadow eons ago,

An easing into

New Life,


Friday, September 20, 2013


I saw a leaf dance play
On the bark of a tree,
A trunk partly embracing shadow
As sunlight leaned over it and beyond
Where it disappeared into thin air.
Birds and squirrels scattered,
Partly camouflaged,
Then in and out of light
And grey, fur and feathers
Lit up and gone.
What poetry
Is change,
And now gentle

Rain comes.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Images of Self (going beyond "selfies")

In the rush and flux of life, though my daily activity is more concentrated in one physical place than many of my peers, I find the world we live in constantly changing. This is no new revelation, but my awareness of all that this means is infinitely greater than before.

What does it mean to present an image of self to the world?

It means bravery, a pioneering soul ready to embark on new journeys
Of learning-
If we are true to our soul purpose.

So to say that our life, every life, has purpose, is to acknowledge one step up that stairway of life learning and life experience, of evolution.
To say this and continue to work to create images as if we are in a factory rather than the hearth of home, tending toward automatons rather than nurturing our creative selves, is to add another false image to the mix we present to the world  - and to the challenge we present to ourselves in our wanting to make our way in the world, in happiness, with love, with the sunshine of life on our shoulders and waving to our neighbors passing by.
Presenting false images that we are persuaded by our ego mind (which always seeks power) are true simply fuels the fire of survival at all costs. Prometheus stealing fire rather than learning how fire is created and acknowledging the generation of fire in all of its elemental significance and purpose.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


My little cousin, Henry Auden,
Named for many poets of different ways,
Exclaimed the above, prefaced by “It’s not smart to bite a dog.”
Since I heard it, I’ve smiled with it –
Knowing it holds, simply, so much.

What a world to live in,
To know such truth and smile with it,
Each memory-time.

To express what we learn, what we know, even as we explore and discover, is to create another image of the world to share – one more human mirror which reflects into a million million’s points of glancing and seducing shadow and light. The  expression “own it” as a way of describing accepting responsibility for or a defined relationship with expresses more too, in this path of pioneering and discovery. Our human need and desire to explore is our desire to know more, to find more that suits us, that teaches us, where we can plant new flags, new roots, send back new images as we store them in our memory and hang them on our walls or draw them to fold and keep close to us, no matter where we go.

The gift of searching for knowledge which leads us to our internal treasure house of infinite memory and the mind of Creative pleasure continues to give, to express itself, as we become the conduits of its expression. Love becomes us as we accept the gifts of life. 

Anger is the emotion of self-judgment. Anger is a motivator of change, just as it is within Earth, and we evolve together. We are inextricably linked as chemical energy, evolving consciousness. The building blocks of life are rough and tumble, like children eager in using their bodies, jumping, playing, laughing, sweating, crying, bumping into one another with full-on enthusiasm of energy Being.

For me, this beautiful lesson of learning to break down barriers of belief, of simply splashing in the moment of time with full thought as Play, of sharing the moment with fellow humans and all of glittering life, inviting our highest thoughts to dance and reveal themselves through and to us – is one of being an Artist, a true spiritual human.

This is how and why Art captures the essence of us and presents itself as we are and as we want to be.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Is memory + mirror.
How well do they get along?
Is the harmony there,
As Fred Astaire and
Any of many shoe-shined, high-stepping
Elegant poets of dance
Make clear?
Do you hear what I hear?
Ginger is the perfect name
For the tang
That dances in step,
In tune
With taste-
Lively cells, living,
Smiling, all gleam
And polish
And oh-so-elegant.
Happy, never-ending.

Friday, August 09, 2013


To be shaken loose is a gentler

Way of breaking open,

The black box of a mind

Retrieved, studied, opened

Without the tragedy of crash.

Gifts we give each other,

Often without knowing,

Make music which can change

Our lives, adding notes

Which weave between trees

blending in, light scattering

among leaves

In bursts of refreshment –

No storm, simply astonishing miraculous

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Rock the Cradle

Watching Ariel Castro’s trial and his rather rambling statement to the judge has prompted me to think about the word “impulsive.” When he used that word, with such emphasis, insisting that he did not plan these abductions, but reacted – the word this time struck a chord in my sensory system, my brain cells, that rippled into more thinking and exploring.

To react, to be “impulsive” is to act without consciousness – this is how Spiritual Philosophy defines it.

I see how the tension, the duality, the push-and-pull of change is a way we begin to “rock the cradle,” rock the boat of our beliefs, our imagined safety  net, so that “impulsive” becomes an image of being spontaneous rather than bound by rules (beliefs). Spontaneity is one energy image we have of freedom. I appreciate this step of expanding my thinking – one step, one moment, one day at a time. Sweet freedom hums and isn’t captured like a butterfly in a box, behind glass, pinned (though this is one way we learn, study, become conscious of beauty). Conscious intention and thought as we accept personal responsibility for creating our own reality, with a beautiful foundation of Spirit Consciousness, becomes our true maturity of expression (being, living, growing, changing, evolving). Knowing what we want to create and appreciating our power of creation is a way we begin to love, share love, and know ourselves as the highest living organisms in the Universe, with a mission to create beautifully.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Adding to Stars, Picnicking

When time is well spent, its value shows,
its lifetime glows.

When we know the way a crystal glass gleams,
The way a ring turns on a finger as memories come clean,
The way we know all that -
The theories, delicacies,butterflies,
and full laughing hugs-

There is nowhere we'd rather be,
than in the boating party
in any century,
enjoying the sea, the tea cakes, the clinking crystal
the picnic table,
the smiles that will last into evening, adding to stars,
morning building eternity.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ramona and Misha

Sometimes the stars align. There is always a moment in time when some stars align. Isn’t there?

What do we know of science as the description of the Laws of our Nature, except as explanations of a logic and design we know to be there, within us and expressed everywhere?

Ramona had the name Misha in her mind from the earliest time she could remember. Now she is 28. This time the man’s name was shown in a television news report, and connected, though not clearly, with a stream of terrible deeds – bombings, rebellions, a hatred and bitterness which belied a true patriotism based in love. Love is hard-won, she knew.

Her father was a newspaper man. He had started his own paper, with a passion for the Press and the news of the people, for the people, when he was in his thirties. Not much older than she is now.  Does she feel such passion? Her mother, dark-eyed and quiet, was not so expressive in the streets, but her intensity burned within her. As she grew older, she walked faster, holding her purse or her shopping bag closer and more tightly, thinking and observing with an intensity that was nearly audible.

I do not know these people. Do you? Yet I feel I do. I awake with a dream, and Ramona is telling me her story. I see her sad mother, her passionate father, her architectural dreams as they unveil themselves in modeled beauty beyond the rubble and rainbows of her memories.

This morning Ramona told me, shortly before I awoke, how she had seen fleeting pictures of Misha in her mind, and how the television stories confused her. Did you see them? She asked me, intensely, as her mother might, if she spoke at all. I nodded. What must they mean? She asked. We are told to raise ourselves in the way we should go. Somehow he has lost his way. To be lost in the city, in the world in which you are born, is to find yourself strapped to a missile, a bombshell, a fragment of a life which you cannot fully believe is all there is to you. Yet you continue, until love finds you – until you let love’s seed, which begins with each mother, begin to breed, to breathe, and sprout new green growth with sunlight’s chemical coronation into life, as if beginning anew but forgetting only what has created destruction. The stars align, this time.

A motorcycle roars into the scene, out of my dream. There is infinite optimism in the way the crowd cheers, even as the roar reminds some of the lions from the sudden jungle. Others relate to memories of starbursts, Fourth of July’s festivities which most often bring on happy excellent independence pride and a whole legacy of heroes. Gunfire pops and bursts remind some minds of assault, hurt, others of flowered paintings which they prefer: oversized poppies, and mountain ranges covered with raging blooms overtaking each other in an avalanche of color.
Take my hand, I say, and she smiles.

We awake together, one of us material and physical, the other purely dream, and I smell breakfast as she disappears into her own world of dream, the passion of poppies and the press and a hope to soften her mother’s sadness as she seeks the truth of Misha’s rebellion. Love lives in the neural tunnels, she says, turning down a side street she remembers from when she was a child. I have no fear of searching. Those days are over. Don’t you read the papers? We must have the courage to love, above all.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We are all Humans, Being

Continuing my thinking about what it means to live as an ethical being, to love with a whole heart, a whole mind, a whole body. This means that we know who we are – i.e., we know what we are designed to be, that we are designed through the love, truth & perfection of the Creator, with absolute loving intention. This means that I acknowledge the truth of my own creation, which means I acknowledge that I am my own creator, endowed by my Creator with these “inalienable rights.” It is to know who we are.

In the same way that I remember Mom and Dad encouraging us to “always remember who you are,” this is the pattern of learning to acknowledge our lineage, or our human heritage. I have within my mind a beautiful image, imprint of Dad in the hospital and in the nursing home, at times when staff people asked him questions and he was aware of not having the same physical memory as he’d had before in his life – I am Henry Martin, he’d say, with a bright smile; I was born on March 7, 1923, and I live at _______________. It just brought a smile to his face to know, with his wonderful humor, and also brought a smile to anyone who was listening. This is how I feel as I learn to “know the truth of who I am.”  I imagine this is the same image, too, for those who adopt children, or those who have been adopted and are compelled to also know the origins of their birth. We all seek to find the source of “True Love,” because we are designed to be loving beings  - to feel the freedom and joy of expressing and sharing love, and therefore the love of learning together. We are humans, being.

This is why the family is our beginning unit or image of unity – the “nuclear family.”  Even that image, of “nuclear power,” is another way for us to sense, to know, to explore that absolute power inherent in the design of cells, cell bodies, clusters, larger bodies, all the way into the Universal bodies of stars, planets, every other elemental expression that lives in the time and space as it is created, with the potential of destruction as well as celebration (both are creation).

Saturday, March 30, 2013



Andromeda always thought of herself as a normal young woman with a job she likes (at an advertising agency), and a dog she called Chip (off the old block). She is not married, but loves and lives with Mike, has loved and lived with him for about 5 years now. Life is busy, beckoning her on, into her future, as time hurtles on. She is 33.  People nod and imply and mention her biological clock tick-tocking, and aren’t they going to get married, aren’t they going to have children? Can they hear her clock, she wonders? The tick-tock metronome of life is the steady drum of a heartbeat, sometimes loud and reverberating in her head, her ears the canals that invite all sounds until she has to will them closed. In her dreams the tick-tock is expansive as the world itself, the ocean, as if she herself is a wave, her cells wild and blue, each syllable surfing waves both familiar and thrillingly new.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What We Want

Show me the modern mind, Andromeda says, like a mantra, saturated with color and eager for more.  All fairy tales begin as myths, which begin as dreams, whose roots are ancient memories of trees in our minds.  Like a Jackson Pollock, we drip paint; like a Cecil Beaton we fabricate images; like a Buster Keaton, we keep falling to learn how to land.  The brand we create is the brand we become. Are we all genetic engineers, altering a litany of variables to find the most perfect version of ourselves? We live to satisfy our cravings, but let experts guide us into “what we want.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Feel your way

(our cells live as chemical energy fields)

Feel your way.

The fear part

Later gives way to fine art

     Giving love boats

     Bread crusts

     Wine sips

     Pearl drops

     Ice cream


Of delightful