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The Dream

In the dream she was a prisoner to circumstances and had no control over the behavior of the people who participated, most likely, beyond their will. Observer and participant at the same time she remained a prisoner to the experience.

 

 

On what seemed like a bright and beautiful summer’s day, she pulled a classic child’s red wagon behind her, in which sat her vulnerable young, small son. Life seemed normal on the tree-lined street and because it was in color, sounds and perceptions seemed truly real.

 

 

The front yard of the duplex where she lived as a single mother with her two children sloped up from the sidewalk to the front door. The grass was St Augustine, green and thick, like the grass at the park across the street. A nice day, she was dressed in cool fabrics and her son in shorts and a striped tee.

 

 She became aware of some loud voices down the street, an argument between a man wearing a “wife beater” and a woman who looked very much like one of her sisters. Her son heard it too and became anxious and agitated. For some reason, she felt it in her power to quiet the two quarrelers and shouted out to them to please stop because they were upsetting her child.

 

 In what seemed like one single movement, which was slowed down to movie-style intensity, the man turned towards her, his arm extended and at the end of it, he held a gun that sent a bullet straight to her chest, knocking her down flat on her back on the deep green grass of her front yard. She was incredulous and thought not of pain, but that he had shot her and that she was now slipping away.

 

 Dreams are funny things in which the story telling scenery changes within an instant, for now she was lying on her bed in her dimly lit bedroom in the duplex. Her head was at the foot of the bed close to the bedroom door and the two paramedics attending her were speaking to each other in low tones, discussing how it was too late to save her and how she was a goner. She wanted to tell them that she could hear them speaking and that they were wrong. But she couldn’t speak and they left the room, left her and took hope with them.

 

 The next thing that happened seemed so real to her that to this day, she can still recall the feeling. All of her life energy began to move to the center of her belly. From the tips of her fingers and toes and top of her head, it moved like blood flowing out to her umbilical dip. She could almost see it gathering there and then seep out into a vertical column of light that pierced the ceiling. She wasn’t afraid. She was in awe and because the light was so white and brilliant it lit up the room and she could see details of her life on the walls and shelves of her bedroom.

 

 She came to as one of many female passengers on a white bus that seemed to be slowing down in an environment that was all white fog and warmth. When the bus stopped, she was told to exit the bus with the others, for there it was that they would use the facilities before moving on. Now, for some reason, she sat on a commode unable to pee. The lady in the next stall to hers said quietly, that she should not worry, it was common for this to happen.

 

 The dream ended and when the dreamer recounted it to others, they told her that she should be dead because if you dream you die, you die. She knows that’s not true and she knows that no one knows what dreams are and while they don’t know, while she doesn’t know, she thinks the dream was something to remember, for she does. Every day.

 

Ride of Terror

In the heart of hearts of the young girl, wonder abounded and sometimes ruined everything. She had no idea when she woke up on that crackling dry summer morning that by mid-day she would be a bruised and swollen victim of a brutal attack by an almost unseen aggressor.

Her shadow of a younger brother was right with her when she walked out into the unapologetic heat of the late morning wearing her jeans and tee shirt, tennies and no socks. He was in his cut offs, barefoot and without a shirt. They both wore their hair long and wild, like their young spirits, wild in the country without a mother to tell them to stay out of the heat and out of trouble.

Their father was somewhere on the large ranch, working on any number of things that needed tending to and he had no idea that two of his many children were heading into danger.

She threw the saddle and bridle on her beloved young mare and climbed up into what felt like a throne, elevated to power in her poor world where she felt lost in the sea of family that seemed ever engulfing. The old used saddle fit the mare like a glove and cradled the girl like a protector. Within an hour’s time, the saddle would not be protecting her or the mare in any small way.

By the time they reached the highway, they could see their intended goal, the top of a small hill from which they could see a large swath of the property where they lived as well as a long stretch of the canyon road to the East and the famous highway running North and South.

Not a difficult climb for the mare, which was as sure footed as she was spotted. She made it up to the top easily with the girl leaning forward in the saddle to assist her. The boy riding bareback on the family’s Shetland pony, feet nearly dragging on the ground along side “Snowflake’s” small overgrown hooves, couldn’t tell that with his miniature steed’s every step, he was setting into motion the catastrophe people would be talking about for months, even years to come.

Arriving at the top, they looked around at their dry and crackling hot kingdom in the sun. They became aware of a van full of hippies, which had pulled over to the side of the highway at the very spot where the kids on horseback had crossed to start their climb. In fact, the van was practically on the trailhead used to reach the top of the hill. Satisfied with their accomplishment and now entertaining thoughts of going for a refreshing swim in the property’s pool, the kids began their descent, going down the exact same way they came up.

The half naked boy on the pony was leading the way this time with the girl in her throne right behind them. And then it happened.

Her brother began flailing his arms violently swinging at the invisible attacker while the pony kicked and jumped each time it felt the anger of the striped many legged hater. By the time this registered in the girl’s heat soaked head, her mount began to buck as well. Now, the stinging and stabbing was felt by all, beast and babe alike, with no relief or safety in sight. They both jumped or fell off their spooked and bucking animals and began to run down the hill, straight for the van full of hippies who were peacefully hanging out, getting high, laughing and talking. Upon seeing and hearing the foursome running and screaming down the hill in a frenzy, they quickly grabbed themselves into the van and sped off down the highway, leaving the get away path wide open for the boy and girl with their crazed equines to flee the flying terrorists.

Running with bridles in hand as the horse and pony followed, it didn’t take long to make it over the open field, across the tree lined drive to the barn where they left the mare and the pony before running another half mile back to their small adobe house which sat on the straight, two lane at the Northern end of the property.

Word got to the kids’ father, how is still not known, and with authority, patience and wisdom, he managed to calm the two down and tend to their pain and fear. The girl and boy had received over 60 bites and stings from angry and aggressive Yellow Jackets who had been disturbed by the children’s adventure ride.

Swollen and crying, the girl was once again off her throne, feeling alone and broken, missing her horse. According to her father both the animals were just fine and would live. The boy, because he was so scantily clad at the time of the attack, got it pretty bad. Both kids told the story over and over again. After years went by, they tell the story differently and with affection for each other and their mounts. The hill is still there, undeveloped and probably home to some generation of the same Yellow Jackets from that day. The horse and pony are gone, the innocence of childhood is gone, the ranch is a State park and the hippies are probably Wall Street kings who own half the canyon by now.

El Mandado de las Hermanas Espirituales

My sister and I have been on un mandado del espiritu

Wandering side by spirit side,

Divided only by our need to see our separate reflections in God’s eyes.

We have sought out the joys y los dolores de los mandados that we, before this lifetime, had chosen.

We shared some, but los otros, los oscuros,

We hid from each other con una venganza deliriante.

She, with her dark muscular trensas y ojos,

And her strong back and hand

She’s corajuda and sexy,

Sending men running hasta el bano, to deliver themselves from her feminine strength.

In our earliest strides I saw her delicate true nature del corazon, which she does not show to all.

What is offered most frequently are the maciza, the bribona, the canalla,

The sailor’s bawdy humor – I wonder where she gets it from.

Actually, I don’t  wonder.

I know that when we were first dropped from above, alitas delicadas temporarily clipped, we landed in the loving arms of tanta familia.

Fue familia buena, pero distraida and we were lucky to survive the teatro egocentrico we were shoved onto.

I knew her when she still could and would show her miedo and needed someone bigger beside her.

She tells mentiras a todos and expects us to believe she needs only her Lord.

But she is a brown, beautiful creature of the earth and she needs un hombre de la tierra too!

I know of the gentleness that she cradles and hides protectively in her intentional abrasos.

How beautifully she has walked her path, descalza so that she might connect con la madre,

Vaya siembrando, with her laughter, dirty looks and lovingkindness that is truly organic.

And now we can see each other, de lejos, pero tambien arrimadas.

Escuchamos what the other has to say.

I know she’s better now, desde aqui se ve muy mejor.

I pray that her brilliant, espiritu dulce is liberated now.

And that she can pick up the broken pieces and make from them arte famosa.

And people will say how genius her creativity is, y “pos como and where does she get it from?”

I know where.

I was there…in spirit.

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Desert Song

The desert offers me distractions

She discourages my wild emotional reactions

I see her and I bow my head in reverence

Between she and me, there’s not that much difference

 

She didn’t get to be so gracious, beautiful and tough

By crumbling every time she hit a patch that was rough

Or maybe that’s her secret to survival

After destruction comes revival

 

Although we may seem to be mournful at times

Life teams within us, and our abundance, like a sacred bell chimes

Let the same wind that erodes and wears down

Deliver new life like a flowery crown

 

Contempt is bred by familiarity it is told

And my desert counterpart is too much to behold

I’ll leave this place maybe to pass through again

She’s given her gift to her identical twin

 

4/12/00

Celina

East Carbon, UtahImage

Don’t Look Now, But Life’s Magically Delicious…

A week ago Sunday, I did one of my most favorite things. I got to join friends and perform live on KPIG’s Please Stand By radio show. We were promoting two shows, both called “The Musical Life and Times of John Steinbeck”. I had driven down from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz to stay at the Blue Beach House for the weekend and since I was only going to be in town for about 48 hours, I planned my time wisely. I had to if I were going to do the connecting with friends that feeds my heart and reminds me of who I am.

First order of business in SC was to hook up with Bill Walker and Daniel V Lewis to go over music for The Joni Show at the end of the month. When we settled into our groove, it was like stepping into liquid. I need to say that I totally get when an up and coming actor is interviewed after their first movie role alongside De Niro or Streep and they say how humbled they are for that experience. Working with the best, that’s these guys. It’s going to be a great show.

Saturday night I enjoyed a girl’s night; dinner with Donna Schiappacasse. We were like high school girls when we called Ginny Mitchell and told her to come over and join us, no matter if only for a single glass of wine and a quit chat. Well, she did join us and we talked about love and music, fun and good times, not so fun and hard times. She left feeling like she got the love of two friends who care very much about the space she’s in these days. We love her and Marty and are to be counted when help is needed.

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Sunday morning I arrived at KPIG, pups in tow, to meet my comrades in music, Neal Hellman and his crew, Bob Burnett and Sasha Landry and all the lovelies at the radio station; John Sandidge, Marky Starks, Sherry Austin, Dave and all the other sky pilots of the airwaves. What fun we had presenting snips and teases from the Steinbeck shows. A special treat for me was a visit from the one and only Lani B who stopped by the station just to give me a hug cuz we are sistas! I love the pure “now-ness” of radio and the invisible audience. You never know who is listening. To prove that point, while I was performing “Besame Mucho” a call came in from the Great Grand Nephew of Consuelo Velazquez, who wrote that beautiful and famous song. She was only 15 years old, a good Catholic girl who had been taught that kissing is a sin. And like any typical teenager when told something should be avoided, she put her energy into talking about doing that thing ALOT! I say kissing’s only a sin if you’re doing it with the wrong person….

When I left the station I high tailed it over to Markowitz Manor for a visit with two of my favorite people and one Grey African Parrot. Denise, who choreographed and danced to Lovely Lanikai for the You Tube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7iFsJSnu0M) lavished her guest with fresh fruit, hot coffee and wonderful conversation that always grounds me and makes me marvel at her tenacity for life and wellness. I love these two beautiful and faithful friends.

Off to my next visit with my sista Gaby Litzky. What an amazingly warm and talented woman she is. World, what would you do without our Gaby? Teacher, artist, musician, traveler, wise one, generous hearted daughter of the star is she. She generously put on her table the delicious doorways to warm connective conversation. Gaby is humble in her display of quilt artwork that comes from the stories of her heart and experiences. I just feel happy knowing she loves me and cares about where I make my place in this world.

From Aptos to Santa Cruz to Felton to hike at Holy Cow (Henry Cowell) Park with a couple of friends who happen to be a couple of lovers. Matt Bohn, the Bass Doctor, and Beth Ahlgren, the goddess, took me on a butt burning, lung working and heart bursting hike filled with the beauty of the forest and the beauty of friendship. The lookout point was incredible and all 5 of us, yes Cicci and Django were there too, felt the gratification of working hard to get to that place of reward and satisfaction.

The next morning I was treated to breakfast by the angel of steel and the bass player with a voice like an angel. Patti and Tracy met me at Heavenly Café for breakfast. We had a great meal, reeeeelly good coffee and tons of laughs about life and upcoming music events that we all share interest and involvement in. These two are nuggets of gold I wear around my neck on a chain of spirit spun from tried and true friendship.

I decided to travel home along the coast, getting to PCH via Bonny Doon. What a beautiful drive. I took it slow to enjoy the whispers of the redwoods with the sun muted by the canopy of their guardianship. Driving up the coast I was treated to familiar landmarks and told each one, as I drove by, that I was grateful for their existence and beauty. Getting to and through San Francisco was a piece of cake. The drive home to Santa Rosa is getting easier and quicker as I recognize the parts of the trip. Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay, Half Moon Bay to 19th, 19th to the GG Bridge, and then home.

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During the week, more job hunting, settling in, walking the pups early in the morning with Denise, trying to stay well and eat right. All week I worked on Solamente Una Vez. This song by Agustin Lara was written in non-conversational old school Spanish. When I perform it, I sing it first in Spanish and then modulate the key one up and sing it in English. The English version IS NOT a translation but someone’s idea of what the feeling and gesture of the song is, which makes it more difficult for me. I use imagery to memorize music which proved difficult for this song. I just kept telling myself there’s no song I can’t pull off and as long as the beginning and ending is fabulous, the audience will be happy…me too.

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Friday, I left for Santa Cruz so that I could sit in with friend and fellow musician, Andy Fuhrman. He plays at Vino Tabi every Friday night. It is a casual and cozy place to make music and enjoy some quality vino. To my delight we were joined by Howard C. Wright on keyboards, Annie Steinhardt on fiddle and vocals, Rhan Wilson on guitar and a bass player whose name I can’t recall. We were joined later by Bob Burnett for Besame Mucho.

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Saturday I took my time around the Blue Beach House, running through what I’d say during my set, what I’d wear, lyrics, timing, visualizing and just being ready. When it was time to head out to the Kuumbwa, I was ready. The sold out show went off without a hitch and even though the action was definitely taking place on stage, the green room was where the fun was. I always love chattin up Tammi and getting to see folks as they get ready for their gig. At one point I went completely inside myself and saw my future performance playing out in my mind while I could hear a few saying “She’s in a zone”…..

I had a great time and was thrilled to have been invited.

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Sunday morning came and went quickly. Soon, I was on my way to Salinas for the matinee encore presentation of the show at the National Steinbeck Center. Arriving I was infused with the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the show, artists filing in, preening and tuning up. I was happily surprised when Tammi asked me to accompany her for the last song of the show, the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The night before, she had two back up singers, today, she would only have me. She taught me my part in a few moments. During my sound check I tapped Bob Burnett to do a little suh-m, suh-m on Besame and he obliged. As we played around with it, Martann hit a few keys on the grand piano and gave me “that look”. Of course, when Olaf walked in I knew I would need some skin on that song. And of course we would need Dan Robbins to hold us down on bass. Well, the fruit of that ensemble was phat and juicy and the audience loved it. What a thrill to drive that team and plow through that space in time on notes originally written by a horny 15 year old girl.

After the show, I led Tammi and Katie to The Plaza Bakery in Salinas, home of the best chile verde burrito I’ve ever had – next to my mom and dad’s collective recipe. We pigged out and really enjoyed each other’s company. Off to Santa Cruz, miles to go before I sleep, and the pups. When I got to the Blue Beach House, I quickly changed clothes and harnessed my two mini mules for a walk to the beach at 20th Avenue. By the time we got there, the last of daylight was running away from us and we were on a dark beach, speckled with the remains of bonfires lit by people who had no idea we would see them as oversized fireflies resting in the sand. The pups ran madly as if someone had touched tequila to their bums. I gave them a chance to run down their doggie batteries and then headed back to pack up and head home. When we returned, we found Kathleen, Scott and Otto had returned from their sojourn. We had a few minutes to visit and then took off for San Francisco and parts beyond.

Over the 17 to the 280 and onward through San Francisco to the GG Bridge. “Travelin at night, the headlights were bright, and we’d been up many and hour..” thank you Karla B. Almost home and I can’t sift through all my experiences yet, too soon.

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Tuesday was a creative day and I finally got the mending for House A done. I had been looking at the second hand stores for sewing supplies; thread, fabric, patterns, etc. I found the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store and ventured in with the mantra, “I will find thread and material”, and I did. I grabbed up a bag of quilting remnants and a box of buttons and threads and straight pins, needles and ribbon. One of my mending tasks was patching holes in the pants of an 11 year old girl. When I got home I got a call about my availability for picking up two gymnasts from their gymnastics class and in speaking with the house mom, found out that the girl whose pants I was to mend loves cats more than anything in the world. As I sifted through the small remnants, I had to laugh out loud and praise synchronicity for there in the stack of stuff was one, JUST one, small image of a cat on one of the remnants. I’m telling you, that is magic. And if that is magic, then ALL of my story and ALL of my life is magic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Shorter than Lent and more fun…

In the dream I woke up from this morning, I was standing on the shore of a beautiful lake of turquoise water that teemed with large, graceful, peace filled fish, swimming together and flashing their many colored bodies in the light of a gentle sun.

No worrisome subject occupying my mind, I lay still, awake in the early hours, roused by who knows what. Too cold? Bathroom calling? Workshop Macaroon eaten on the way home last night? Whatever it was, I couldn’t be angry because I know what dreams come to me in the deep sleep that takes hold after a bout with insomnia. It’s like my brain gives a great big flush of data in that hour or so of time between sleeplessness and waking. Note to self: find silver lining…..

The workshop I attended last night was worth my time. If for no other reason, for the prod to my brown butt to get my marketing done and plant some seeds for success and abundance.

Tonight’s free workshop at the Center for Spiritual Living is called “21 Days to the Love of Your Life”. It’s shorter than Lent and probably more fun. Hopefully, the result will be the same….a new relationship that helps me grow and accompanies me on this journey.Image

Of All the Saints I’ve Known, a Rose is a Rose….

I drove to Napa last night and picked up my AMAZING Craigslist deal vacuum cleaner. I drove in the dark, down roads that may as well have been on the moon; just me and my puppy posse in our lunar land rover. Little did I know I’d have a flat rear tire by the next afternoon….read on dear ones….Image

An hour later when we arrived at our gated community destination, the seller had not yet arrived home. An hour, because apparently Google Maps and the Universe believed I needed a lesson in self reliance and fear management in the dark, out in the middle of nowhere. The absent seller’s girlfriend, two other housemates and 5 dogs, 4 small and 1 large, however, were home and very welcoming.

The three young women had Valentines hats on and insisted on pouring me a glass of champagne. We sat at their home’s bar and debriefed each other about who we are. The seller’s girlfriend brought me his ukulele. I tuned it and played Over the Rainbow for the mini audience. It made them cry for different reasons, one being because it was a grandmother’s favorite. These gals are from Louisiana and sounded like Southern Belles. So, here I am, in a gated community, sitting at a bar in a McMansion, being video’d for the “mama” of this Louisiana debutante, singing Over the Rainbow, drinking champagne and buying a $400 item for $150.

Got home via a shorter tack in half the time and was like, “Wow, I’m home with the booty, my pups…is this my house?”, as I drove right past it and had to turn around. Jeesh!

Today, before the kids’ sewing class got started, the young one I accompanied to the dental clinic for a filling last week ran up to me and gave me a big hug out on the lawn in front of the office. A few more girls and a boy on roller blades showed up to play frisby and hold Cicci. Django got in the mix and we had a good time. When I came back to the carport I could see that my right rear tire was pretty flat. Since I didn’t buy my tires at Costco, they wouldn’t fix it. They referred me to Les Schwab Tires, two blocks North of Costco on Santa Rosa Avenue. They fix the first one for free in hopes I’ll come to them for my next tire purchase. Good business model.

When I walked back, there was a Safeway bag on my front porch with two new bags of dog food. I went to the office and asked the front desk person if she knew who might have left it there. She didn’t know. At 5:30, I saddle up the ponies to walk back to Les Schwab to pick up my car and as I’m passing the condos down the street, a very nice, older gay man, walking his little Chihuahua dog, asks me if I found the dog food he left. I was blown away. He has passed my door many times admiring the pups as they sun themselves on the porch. He told me he’s moving to Reno and doesn’t need to take the food with him. So sweet, no?

So, now I’m here with tired pups, listening to jazz, drinking an IPA – no pumpkin flavored beer for me – and can hardly wait to see Matt and Beth tomorrow. We’ll meet at Howard’s in Occidental and visit Teresa at her vintage shop where we will most likely make some jamming sounds. I have a bunch of things to take to her to see if I can consign them in her vintage store.

One thing I’m pretty sure about, we should never worry about anything and always remember that if we just get out of the way, the Universe will be able to fulfill its desire to conspire with us to make the magic appear.

Peas and Luv