Monday, September 29, 2008

Funny Thing

So a funny thing happened today. We now have four Chiclet ibooks. Mario asked our friend and neighbor if she'd be willing to swap her older MacBook without the led-backlit screen for our brand new Macbook. She's lent it to me for a few days to see what I think of it. I was supposed to use it today and see if it made me sick. I have lots of library work to do and that was my plan, Stan. BUT my internet went out. No workie for me today.

When the internets went down, I yelled at the Invisibles in my house and told them to quite screwing around with the computers. I've got work to do! That did not help. At least as far as I could tell. I got in the car and drove to Hood River to get a new router. I was listening to The Best of Our Knowledge on XM. It was all about books and libraries and I was sobbing as I drove down the winding road. If you can, go here and listen to this moving and interesting hour, especially the segment with Geraldine Brooks when she talks about the factual basis for her novel The People of the Book.

The People of the Book is about the Sarajevo Haggadah, an extraordinary illuminated book about Passover probably created somewhere around 1300. It has survived many catastrophic events, including the Nazis and the bombing of Sarajevo in the 1990s, and it has survived in part because at least one Muslim librarian saved it. Something very moving about a Muslim librarian saving a piece of Judaica.

Of course, Brooks describes it much better than I can. I'm sitting in the library typing this on a PC. (Really, how do people live like this? I kid the PC users. I envy you. At least you have one computer and the use of those ol' internets.)

So once again my electronic problems took me back out into the world. I would have never heard about this extraordinary book if it hadn't happened. Plus I heard Ursula Le Guin talking about the sad state of publishing. Have I mentioned that I have decided that I am going to start publishing my own books, at least some of them, probably starting with a limited run of Church of the Old Mermaids. People keep asking me for copies of it, so I've decided to do something about that. Publishing has to change. I think that much of publishing is going to go to POD publishing. So I'll just do it a little sooner than the rest. I don't like it as well because I love print. I love knowing that the ink soaks into the pages like a kind of magic potion that helps create the story.Ink is part of the mythmaking of storytelling in our culture. POD is photocopying essentially. That's pretty much plastic on paper.

Anyway, we can still tell beautiful stories that way and get them out to the public. I'll let you know how I progress.

Right now I'm not progressing.

OK. Mario's waiting for me. We've got to get home.

Did I tell you the other night we wandered around town in the dark reading our books outloud under the street lights. He read Terrastina & Mazolli. I read Church of the Old Mermaids. Glorious.

So if I owe you email, I apologize! It's going to be a while still.

Did you watch the debates? Don't you really hunger for a true liberal? McCain was so contemptuous of Obama. Really made my skin crawl. Actually crawl. OK, maybe just shiver.

May You Dance in Beauty, Babies!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Princess & the Flickering Screen


You wanna know what that is? Me trying to be demure and not actually type shit, fuck, piss. Excuse my freaking French.

But then my heritage is French.

Am I upset about global warming? Yes, but that's not why I'm going to rant. The concurrent meltdown of our economy? No. No, and no.

I have been doing library work all day on the PC they sent me because my work iBook died (as all you weary readers remember). Actually, the work ibook isn't actually dead: it is on life support. I've got a vise with a Kerr canning lid on it to keep it running. If I had an actual workable computer of my own, I'd take a picture and show you.

But I don't. And my eyes hurt sooooo much after a day on this freaking computer. (At one point during the day, tongue planted firmly in cheek, I said to Mario, "How do people live like this?")

I didn't tell you that I did go and buy another laptop. Mario sold some of his old magazines and we got enough to buy a used computer from someone on craigslist. I won't go into many details except to say it was a weird experience. Okay, I'll say a little more. The woman first said the computer still had Applecare. It didn't. Then she said it was 18 months old. It was three years old. And she said it was in perfect working order. BUT the screen flickers, which we didn't notice when we picked it up. So I can't use the freaking thing. And and and, she didn't have the disks right then and she kept complaining about being a single mother and we have to be quiet because you'll wake up the baby and I'll look for the disks later. And later, when we called and asked for the disks, she accused us of harassing her! (With Apple computers you can't do anything without the start up disks--can't get your mail, can't put in your preferences, can't even change the town on the weather so you can get weather for your own town--the horror, the horror.)

Upshot is, we have five computers in this house now and I can't use any of them!!!!! So we're going to sell the one we just bought--if anyone has any money left to buy it--and then that's it. I'm computer-less.

I'm trying not to panic about all this. I'm going into that scary place. How will I make a living? How will I ever write again? (Yes, I can write on legal pads but my words will have to go into a computer eventually and I ain't got the bucks to hire anyone to do that!!!!)

Panic, panic, panic.

My problem is that I do very well on vacation. Once I'm home, I don't do so well.

On the upside, I got an art piece into the juried art show here in town. And next Saturday I'll do a reading at my library to kick off Ruby's Imagine. And there was a nice article in the paper about me. And I got into Kindling Words next spring. (I wonder if I'll be writing by then?)

So I'm not sure when you'll hear from me again.

I'm thinking maybe I'll go out into the world and wander. Become a mystic. Why? Because I like the sound of mystic rather than bum.

Last night I dreamed of leprechauns. It was grand. This dream was filled with men. I was getting married. But things were going wrong with the wedding plans and were out of my control. I was in a...panic. And then there were these leprechauns. (Did you know that the Irish god Lugh was probably the "model" for leprechauns? The god of light. And leprechauns were the treasure keepers. The guards of all that was precious. I guess in the dream I was the treasure.) They were dressed like men in my dream but I knew them for what they were. And when I thought all was lost and I wasn't going to get my wedding, the leprechauns and the other men, headed by my man, the man I was going to marry, came to show me they had arranged everything. I was going to get my wedding, my ceremony, my ritual outside under the trees. And my man kissed me, this beautiful, short, silver-haired man. What a kiss.

Just thinking of it makes my panic fall away. I just have to let all this useless stuff go. Swim with the Old Mermaids. Dance with the leprechauns. Ahhhhh.

Okay, maybe I won't become a mystic. I actually don't think it's a viable career path.

Maybe politics.

I shall go upstairs now and see my husband. He's annoyed with me because I won't let him look for another computer for me. I can't let another computer into this house until we rid ourselves of some of the ones we have. I'm afraid they will keep multiplying in the night when we're asleep.

Off I go.

May You Compute in Beauty!

Read more here...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rain and Sun And the Old Sea

We are just back from the ocean. The Old Sea. Mmmm. We had us some good times there, baby dolls.

We drove to get away from the fires and smoke here. We got so far away that I completely forgot about the fires.

We drove through one of the "worst" cloud bursts I'd ever been in. More intense even than ones I had experienced in Arizona.

It was a threshold rain. Travelling from one world to another. You know what I mean. Something is changing.

We made it to our little vacation spot a block from the ocean. Mario had arranged it all for me. It was sweet, quaint, safe. And the ocean was right there. Right there. Right here. I could feel it in every cell of my body. How do I forget these things? (Laugh or weep. We swim in your tears. —Grand Mother Yemaya Mermaid.)

We walked for miles. For hours. I felt the tension flow out of me and soak into the sand. Ahhhh. I started wondering when I had changed. When had I gotten so rigid. So fearful. So...unlike me. I have wondered this before. What good does it do to stare at the past? What can I change now? I whispered to the Old Mermaids. I watched the waves. The sky. The birds. My sweetheart. I was so grateful to be walking next to Mario, to be holding his arm. I thought of my father, often. I thought of him walking with my mother, hand in hand. I thought of him telling me a year before my mother died that he would be just fine, "as long as Mumma is with me."

When Mario walked on the beach, just as dusk began to settle, it seemed as though his footsteps were illuminated. It was only his weight pressing the water away from the sand where he stepped. Still, I understood the illumination: He is my sweetheart.

When it was night, we walked all over Seaside. We went into one building with a carousel in the middle. It was closed, but we went inside and sat on the sleigh. I leaned up against Mario and looked around at the carousel. I wanted to come back in the day time and ride the turquoise colored mer-horse. I liked the deer, the black cat with a fish in its mouth, the ostrich. I love carousels. I'm sure when no one is around the entire carousel comes alive. I've felt this about every carousel I've ever seen.

After a while, the woman cleaning the mall made us leave. I had watched her earlier in the evening. She looked so unhappy. She never looked anyone in the eye. She never smiled. I wondered what made her so unhappy. It was none of my business, obviously. I wanted to argue with her when she told us to leave—to explain that we were doing no one any harm. Just sitting. Enjoying. She said, "Liability." I decided not to stress her out any more. We left.

We went to Cannon Beach one day to see some paintings by Nancy Norman. Someone had recently introduced me to her paintings via a card called "Sea Yarn." A mermaid sits by the window knitting the Old Sea into existence. She looks like an Old Mermaid to me, complete with the requisite crows. (I want to do a post about Nancy as soon as I get myself a computer!) So we went to the gallery in Cannon Beach that has some of her work, Dragonfire Studio. I sat with "Sea Yarn" for a long while. We love having original art in our house. When I sell another novel, I hope to get one of her paintings.

That night, in a hypnagogic state, the Old Mermaid in the "Sea Yarn" began talking to me. I could hear the clicking of her knitting needles as she created the world, and she told me all sorts of things. And at some point, I was her, and I was talking up a storm, so to speak. She was me and I was her. I'm not sure what either of us said now. Does it matter? I hope it comes back to me.

So Mario and I walked and talked for three days. We didn't write a word. We didn't take any computers. We didn't go to any library or any place to check our email. We watched a little TV and listened to C-Span when we were in the car.

I fell in love with the sea all over again. Which is what happens every time we drive to the coast.

We came home late afternoon yesterday. Today I spent the afternoon with a client. Before she came, I looked at the news. I saw that methane is bubbling up from the Arctic Ocean. This could mean that it's all over except the lady singin'. When I first heard this news, I felt myself freezing up. Panicking. And then I thought, "Just do the work. Just be full of yourself. Just love, love, love." So when my client and her friend came to my house, I opened the door and welcomed them. As I looked at them, I felt like I did when I looked out at the Old Sea. I was seeing Old Friends, I was encountering Mystery, I was participating in Healing. In love.

As always and forever, I am in love. I am in love with this world. And I walk in love in this world. I swim in love. I dive in love.
Imperfect. In loving imperfection.

It's raining now. And the ringing in my ears matches the hum of the refrigerator and the hepa fan. Upstairs, Mario reads. And that is where I go now.

May You Love in Beauty!

Read more here...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Leave No Billionaire Behind

Make no mistake: That's what this bailout is about. The Secretary of the Treasury said, "Oh yeah. We want oversight. We want protection." Yeah, right. That's number 936. (Read Section 8.) What's 936? See song below.

Heard on Harry Shearer's Le Show.

Update: Here's where you can find out where the 935 lies were compiled.

Read more here...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Day of Christmas: Pamela Chillemi Jaeger


One of my dearest and oldest friends, Pam Chillemi Jaeger, has gotten her first book published. Yeah, Pammy! I'm so excited for her. It's a mystery series that begins with the First Day of Christmas. Isn't that a fabulous concept? I wish I had thought of it! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Pam and I met when she submitted a story to Daughters of Nyx: a magazine of Goddess stories, mythmaking, and fairy tales, which Mario and I were editing and publishing. I loved her writing and I soon loved her. We've been close friends since then even though we've never met in "real" life and we rarely talk on the phone! We even wrote a book together by writing each other letters over the course of a year, snail mail, back in the day before da internets. By hand, by the way. Pam wrote her letters by hand and then I typed them up. We never got the book published, but it was healing for us as we both tried to come to terms with chronic illness. It was called Tumbleweed Scriptures: a Year and a Day in the Healing Journey of Two Women.

Anyway, I wish her great success! She's a wonderful writer. And a cool mom. (Right, AJ? Hi, AJ!)

Read more here...

End of the World?

It was a crazy week, wasn't it? I wasn't sure if the world was ending...or what. On Bill Maher last night, economist Paul Krugman said it was all bad. He said we weren't at the end of it: It is just beginning. Did you know in 1999, Congress repealed many of the legislative banking protections put into place after the financial collapse that led to the Great Depression? This was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which Prez Clinton signed. (He's got a lot to answer for—including NAFTA, but that's another conversation.) This deregulation helped cause this economic crisis.

And greed, greed, and more greed. I say regulate the suckers. Regulate all businesses. Keep them from raping and looting, polluting and pillaging. The bottom line is not what businesses should be interested in. No, no, no! They need to be interested in being part of the community and contributing in whatever way they can. There used to be a store in this town, before I moved here, that people talk about to this day. I can't remember the name of it, but it was the town mercantile. It must have closed just a few years before we got here. People talk about going in there and getting clothes, shoes, school supplies, home equipment. And the owner, he is revered to this day. "He hardly charged anything," people say. "If he knew you were having problems, he'd give the stuff away and tell you to pay when you could. He had everything. We never had to drive anywhere."

His children and grandchildren still live here. His son sells real estate. He's not very fond of me because he was one of the agents trying to sell the half million dollar (and up) houses up on the heights here. I once had a conversation with him and his wife and I asked why builders didn't build houses that people who lived here could afford. His wife, who is a wonderful woman, said, "I like new people coming to town." I shook my head. "I have nothing against new people coming to town," I said. "But the people who can afford to buy these houses won't actually live here. They'll commute to jobs in Portland. That's where their energy will be. They won't care about this place. They won't support it. But mostly, they'll live in houses that none of us who live here now can afford. Where will we all live?"

But that's another story, too. That might be part of the story in Beauty Falls, actually. If I ever start writing again. I did some art last night and this morning. I had this constant voice in my head telling me I was doing it all wrong, that I was stupid and untalented, that I didn't have the patience or skill, that I was up too late, that I couldn't do anything right any more.

It was excruciating. I never used to have that voice. I admire all of you who carry on and work despite that voice. It is new to me. I think I should ask one of my shamanic practitioner friends to do a depossession on me. It does feel like a hideous torturer has taken up residence in my psyche.

But this too will pass. As I work with other people and continue my own...walk, things improve. Then get worse. Then improve. My mother's birthday was on Thursday. One more milestone.

I want this election to be over, but I don't. If McCain wins, I don't know what will happen. I can't even go there.

I'm typing on a computer right now that is being held together by a C-clamp. It's a something Mario found on one of the forums to fix a logic board problem. I've had three G4 with logic board problems. I just bought another one yesterday, a used one, so I may be a fool. Right now I can't do anything with the used one because the former owner can't find the disks. Advice: Don't EVER buy a used computer without the reinstall disks. You can't get rid of all the stuff the owner filled in when she first started using the computer. Every time I thought I'd gotten rid of most of her stuff, it all came back. So I have another useless computer. (I'm hoping that will change next week when I get the disks from her or when I buy new ones.)

Computer problems are so boring. I apologize.

Mario and I are going to start taking computer breaks. From Saturday night until Monday morning, we aren't going to touch our computers.

And we're going to take a three day vacation from the computers and this place. We're going to the coast. We're going to walk along the shore (and freeze our butts off) and hang out with any of the Old Mermaids still surfing the Old Sea.

So is it the end of the world or not?

It may be the end of the world as we know it, which could be scary. But there are a lot of things wrong with the world as we know it. Maybe the new world we create will be better. Who knows?

This morning we awakened to the phone ringing and then a knock at our door. Serena brought us a zucchini from her garden. About ten minutes later, we heard another knock. We never get unexpected company at our door! It was a new friend of mine who came to give me a glass blown heart pendant. Just because it reminded her of me. It was a good way to start the morning. Yet all day I was so sad and lost, and then I had a conversation with someone who told me the work I was doing was making a difference in his life. That helped enormously. Eventually, I will be able to tell myself these things and hear them. Right now, I reach for lifelines. That's OK.

We all need those sometimes.

May You Love in Beauty!

Read more here...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apples Falling From the Sky

This morning I opened up my basket of marbles. Yes, I have a huge basket full of beautiful and big marbles. Right on top of these hundreds of mostly dark or translucent marbles was one lone green marble. Much like the marble I gave my client yesterday. I thought I had only one.

But there it was like a little gift from the cosmos.

Seeing that lovely green marble reminded me to be easy with things. To not be attached. Like all this fuss about a computer. I used to make fun of people who said they'd become writers once they got a computer. (Okay, I didn't make fun but I would roll my eyes.) Mercy, Unbound was the first novel I wrote on the computer. All the rest were written longhand. So maybe that's what I'll start doing again.

Tonight we went looking for computers for me. All the PCs now have glossy screens and are LED-backlit. At least all the ones in the stores are. Except the little EEE PC, the one Will mentioned. I liked it. I type very fast, about 80 wpm last I checked (which was many years ago—I may be faster now). The keys stuck a little bit, so I don't know if it would work.

So for right now, I'm going to hope that a VERY reasonably priced ibook G4 that works well drops into my lap. If you know anyone who has one and they want to sell it because they're moving on to something else, I might be interested. For now I'm keeping an eye on craigslist. Who knows what will happen?

Tomorrow I'm pulling out my yellow pad and I'll start writing on The Cookie Club or Beauty Rises. It shall be fun!

Read more here...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beauty Rises

A blood red moon hangs over our town tonight. An old fire on Mount Hood has flared up, and smoke filled the gorge. When I woke up this morning, I noticed the light on the floor coming through the slates was red. I knew before I looked outside that we were in the midst of a fire. In all the years I've lived here, I don't think I've ever seen the air this bad.

Despite the smoke, I didn't feel especially anxious. Things felt better today than they had yesterday. In the middle of the day, I got in the car and drove an hour to see a movie. I was the only one in the movie theater. In fact, I think I may have been the only customer in the entire 16 theaters in this particular complex. So I sat in the middle of the small theater with my feet up, and I watched Mamma Mia. (I generally don't like musicals, especially ones made into movies. So I cringed several times when they started singing. But Vicki was right: The scene where the women sing and snake down to the water is wonderful! Much of the movie is mythic and tribal in a hidden Hollywood kind of way. And Pierce Brosnan is so pretty to look at, Meryl Streep, too. They both look their age and they're both beautiful. By the way, if you go see this movie, watch it until the end, after the credits, until you see the three men come onto the stage. That's all I'm saying.)

Anyway, I sat in the movie theater and watched this movie all by myself, and I started to relax. I laughed, sometimes at myself more than anything on the movie screen. And as my mind was entertained watching these pretty people dance and sing, I realized what I need to do to feel better. I need to work. I need to create. I have got to start writing again. Or doing art. Something creative.

At one point during the movie I called Mario and we talked for a bit. No one else was in the theater, so I wasn't bothering anyone.

Afterward I stopped at the grocery store and then I drove home.

Slept. Dreamed.

In the morning I prepared for a client. Today I was going to use some of the skills I had learned at my workshop with Sandra Ingerman. One more thing for my healers basket. When I am relaxed, without expectations, I love doing healing work almost more than anything else. I have the same feeling I have when I'm writing. I am in the flow. So I prepared my room. I love our little rented house and my room. I love all the Old Mermaids. I love the wabi sabi feel of our house. I rolled out the mat in the middle of the room. (That was where the client would be while I did my work.) Then I spread a small quilt my mom had made me over the mat. Next, I put down the Old Mermaid quilt my father and I made right after my mom died. I put a fresh case on a pillow and then set that on the mat. Next to this, I put my drum, rattle, singing bowl, an Old Mermaid bag I had made and a healing stone.

All simple. Special.

Forty-five minutes before my client was due to arrive, I got cramps. The intestinal kind. It did not feel like nerves. For one thing, I wasn't nervous. But it wasn't letting up. I drank more water. I took an epsom bath. Then took a hot and cold shower. Felt better. Phew!

What happens when I do work with someone is private, so I won't reveal anything personal about our time together today, of course. What I can say is that I've asked people to let me try out this new healing method I've learned. It's suppose to help with trauma and loss of vitality. The word has gotten out, so now I'm doing the work! I think like most things, you get better at it as you do it more.

I will tell you one thing that happened, since it doesn't directly involve the client. While I was finishing up and drumming, I noticed a marble on the floor, stuck under the heater. I thought, "Ahhh, this is the gift I'm supposed to give him." I had planned on giving him a seashell. Sometime later, I remembered to get the marble. I leaned down and pulled it out. It was a green marble. A big one. One of my favorites. I have never seen another marble like this one. I looked at it and thought, "Ooooh, I can't give this away. It is too beautiful." My next thought was, "You are too attached to this. Let it go."

And so I did.

Later, I spent an hour, more or less, sitting up against a huge old oak tree with my client. The air was ruddy. I knew I should be nervous sitting out in the smoky day, but I wasn't. I was still in the flow, sitting in healing space with another person.

A couple hours later, I went to the Gathering. Our hostess had a surprise for us this night. After we ate outside, she had us line up the chairs so that they were facing her porch. We tried to guess what was happening. "Some young men are going to come dance for us," I said. She laughed and said, "Close." "Some old men, then?" I asked.

She plugged in a boom box and turned on the music. A moment later, a belly dancer came down the stairs and danced out onto the porch. As darkness began to fall, she danced for us. After a while some of us got up and danced with her. Soon a whole line of us were up dancing. Primal. Tribal. Glorious.

Later, much later, in the darkness, we talked a little about ourselves.

When I got home, I saw the bloody moon coming up behind the Old Oak.

Inside the house, Mario waited. He closed his book and smiled when I came in through the door. I grinned. How amazing is my life? This was such a beautiful day. I prepared in beauty. I bathed in beauty. I drummed in beauty. I journeyed in beauty. I sat with the oak in beauty. I danced in beauty.

I danced in beauty!

I ate in beauty. Mario put vanilla and then dark chocolate Coconut Bliss into a bowl with bananas for me.

Aaaahhhh. What a good day.

P.S. Thanks for your comments and emails today and yesterday. They helped!

P.S.S. I hope this makes sense. This computer makes me so sick to my stomach that it's difficult to proof it. I figured out what's making me sick. For a small number of people, the LED-backlit computer screens cause a kind of motion sickness. I am one of those people. I love this little computer—except for the making me want to throw-up part—but it's gone up on Craigslist. Hasta la vista, Lily White Deux.

Read more here...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet (and Savory) Dreams Are Made of This...

It's so strange not to have a computer. I was Zen with it for a long time, but now I don't even have a work computer. Three ibooks going belly-up in three months is pretty frustrating. And the MacBook makes me sick, so we're selling it. They've redesigned the screen—some new technology—and it has a glossy screen. So Apple and I are parting company after twenty years. Sad but true. I've never had a PC, so this will be very strange. I'm looking for used stuff now. It's what I can afford!

I don't know if I've ever been so...up in the air in my entire life. Never been so indecisive. Never been so unfocused. Never been so idle. Never wanted to run away so much. And that free-floating anxiety is as bad as ever. Plus asthma attacks. Plus severe depression. Plus no sense of smell. It's very odd. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I had a dream last night that I went to this restaurant. I was in the back, in the kitchen, looking around. I think one of my friends worked there. (I've always loved working in restaurants and being behind the scenes.) I looked around nostalgically at the stainless steel shelves and the bags of supplies and other things in the kitchen and I suddenly broke down and fell to my knees sobbing. Someone came over and said, "What? What?" I sobbed, "This is all I ever wanted to do. My whole life." I just wept with the grief of dreams unfulfilled. Later in the dream, I was trying to catch a train to somewhere. But I missed it and I was running to catch up to it.

I don't know what it means. Even now it makes me cry thinking of it. Aren't dreams odd little gifts? In "real" life, I don't think I ever wanted to own a restaurant. I used to talk about having a bookstore restaurant, but I've been to a few of those: Books and food really don't mix. But it is interesting how restaurants figure into many, many of my books, and food figures into nearly every book.

Well, time to do...something.

May You Eat in Beauty!

Read more here...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rotten Apple

Well, the third rotten Apple in so many months. I had a new computer (used) for a few days, but it crashed and died. So I don't have a computer again. I was going to start a couple of new novels, but it ain't gonna happen now for a while. We'll see. I may have to go back writing on a yellow pad. Can't really afford to hire someone to type up my notes, though. So I'm trying to be easy with it, but my stress level right now because of a number of things is just a little bit too high. I need a beach somewhere. A beach for my brain. Talk atcha soon.

Read more here...

A Call To the Wild


Remember I mentioned the other day that my teacher/mentor/friend got in some "trouble" when she mistakenly sent around the infamous Palin banned book list. She apologized, but she also asked—as I have—why are we fussing about these trivial things instead of focusing on what has happened to our country and our environment? So what if one of us misspeaks or mistakenly passes on false information every once in a while? Weigh this against the scandals, lies, and crimes of this administration and it pales! We need to get some perspective.

Anyway, the email was from Vicki Noble and she has given me permission to excerpt it. She believes, as I do, that we have got to walk our talk and to speak out, speak out, speak out. Let's shake it up. Let's take back our world. Answer the call. Don't worry about exactly what you need to do. Just answer the call. Dance it. Shake it free. Answer the call. And do it with splendor! (Remember: subdue the demons with splendor!)

Well, read what Vicki says about all this. Profound. Funny. Magical.

"There is a scene in the wildly popular musical movie, Mamma Mia, where Merle Streep as Donna (a former rock star from the 1970s) suddenly REMEMBERS her younger, wilder days as a female rock star and leader of an all-girl band from the 1970s (thanks to the loving ministrations of her two old friends who remind her, hilariously, that "growing up" may indeed be a false path). First jumping on the bed, then flying through space (like a Tibetan Buddhist Dakini), she triumphantly leads a serpentine line of women out of the hotel, through the town, and down to the ocean in the classic manner of the famous Maenads ("mad women" or "wild women") of ancient Greece. The Greek women (just as they did in classical times) leave off their jobs, their burdens, their husbands and fathers, their kitchens and aprons, as they are joyously, ineluctably drawn to join the collective of irrepressible dancing women in their spontaneous and glorious state of wild abandon and ecstasy. (All this takes place to the fabulous Abba tune of "Dancing Queen," as the local men, incidentally, cheer them on.)

"It is this Dionysian state of wild abandon and spontaneous joy that I believe we must somehow reawaken in order to beat the McCain-Palin ticket, which is based on the repressive and traditional values that we already once overthrew during the genuine revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sisters, don't you remember? We went wild. Like the ancient Greek Maenads (or the Indian Yoginis and Tibetan Dakinis, for that matter), we cut loose. We left our husbands, threw off our repressive jobs, our bogus traditional values and conditioned knee-jerk responses. We left the churches and synagogues in droves, we left behind the corporate tracking system and the academic elitism that supported it. We opted out in favor of freedom, liberation, and authenticity. It was a magical, thrilling, and transformative revolution in which, collectively, we took back the night, owned our own bodies, and awakened to our unique human potential.

"Then came the backlash. Reagan. Nixon. Pornography. Violence against women. And now we have Sarah Palin as a pseudo-feminist poser who is supposed to frighten us into submission, because she is a woman, and into NOT voting for the Democratic ticket in this urgent bipolar election. This apparent dilemma is so absurd that I can only imagine laughing a great HA of liberation, in the tradition of the Tibetan Black Dakini (whose name, Throma, translates as 'angry woman') and hitting the streets—in groups of wildly dancing women. Laughing, singing, and joyously taking back our revolution. We have got to unify against these posers (and the media who blindly support them) and beat them back into their little dark corner. Sarah Palin is nothing more than a 'tool in the hands of the boys,' as Robin Morgan would have said in the 1970s, or a 'fembot' in the language of philosopher Mary Daly in the 1980s.

"To all the women (and a couple of men) who were upset and responded to my email message by telling me I was careless, reminding me how carefully we need to 'fact check,' and how important it is for Progressives to stay on point, I say—what good has it done the progressive movement to be right? To be correct? To behave itself? To articulate the issues? Our efforts to deal
with issues and be serious, undeceitful, and non-conflictual—where has it gotten us? I'm just not convinced it is the only correct path at this moment in time. The Republicans avoid issues and go for symbols and emotional buzzwords—and the public, I'm sorry to say, responds positively.

"What would happen if we cut loose and became ourselves? What if we took a stance that looked more like The Daily Show (Comedy Central), what if we were to laugh out loud at the absurdities and mock the players, rocking out—instead of trying to stay all buttoned up and proper? I think we've sold out our 'shakti' (natural female power) in our efforts to tow the line. The revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s weren't based on being square—they emerged out of a volcanic explosion of spontaneous life-force energy and creative self-expression. There are more single mothers and gay people now than every before (at least out of the closet). The feminist movement was based on sexual liberation and self-affirmation, NOT as Palin would have it, abstinence-only birth control, pregnant teenagers, and enslavement to the narrow and un-holy values of the Christian Right.

"Let's encourage people to vote for Obama because he's got JUICE and because he's our elected choice and we need to unify, and not for any other 'more important' reasons. Let's bring energy back into the political discourse and make our votes count. (Women once, recently, suffered and almost died for the right to vote.) Vote NO against McCain-Palin, because they SUCK, and they LIE, and they represent everything that denies and suppresses any possibility of true American democracy. I don't want to live in a world devoid of joy, which is the world they devoutly support.

"I'm so sorry for any offence taken by recipients of my messages, I mean no harm. I just can't see going on in the normal polite way, which will surely cost us the election. Change or die, that's the call. Let's come together, make alliances, practice solidarity. Vote for life. Organize for change. Break free. Do something radical or unexpected. Fight to win!

"In loving solidarity and sisterhood, Vicki Noble"

Yes, yes, yes!

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Off-Shore Drilling...Ahem

Oh yes, let's have more offshore drilling: sex, drugs, and oil. Taxpayer dollars at work under the Republicans. Let's give more money to the oil companies so they can not pay taxes. By the way, this is another example of the rich getting richer under the Republicans. It illustrates the choice we have even better. Do you want good jobs and healthcare or do you want to help the rich get richer? You want jobs and healthcare, vote Progressive. You want to help the rich getting richer, vote Regressive (Republican).

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Show the Love!

Hours after the attacks on September 11, 2001, thousands of people in Iran lit candles to show their solidarity with the people of the United States. Now, the Bush administration is considering bombing these same people. Show your solidarity with the Iranian people by lighting a candle September 12th and keeping it lit all day. Go here and find out all about it.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Velvet Revolution

All right, darlin's, I believe it is time. Our side is going down. Going down in flames, actually. I believe Karl Rover picked Sarah Palin and it was a pick of pure political evil genius: It's pandering to the right, to the ignorant, to the bizarre. And it's working. There's more. The Republicans are feigning outrage at everything Obama and Biden are saying. And the Dems are spending all their time explaining. This happens every election. They let the Republicans control everything because they're worried about being nice. Nice doesn't get you anything except maybe nice words on your tombstone if anyone remembers who the hell you are! (Regular readers know that I differentiate between being nice and being kind. But that's another post.)

So now we need something spectacular.

A teacher/mentor/friend of mine pissed off a few people because she sent around the faux banned books list about Palin. (It's a list of books she supposedly wanted to ban. The list is false, but the story that she tried to get the librarian fired because she wouldn't get rid of some books is apparently true.) People were all huffy with my friend that "we" all had to have all our facts straight all the time in order to win this election. The balance of the world hinges on it!

Are you freaking kidding me? We've got to watch our p's and q's when we've got catastrophic climate change killing off species every day (and killing people as weird weather patterns bring horrendous storms and droughts). We've got people held illegally in Gitmo in our name. In our name people have been tortured. In our name a sovereign nation who did nothing to us was invaded. The constitution has been shredded. And speaking of shredding, look at our economy.

So who cares about a false list of books making the way around the internet?

I have a friend who every time I get upset or passionate about these issues tells me that I could win friends and influence more people if I was more calm and "reasonable." I have to laugh at this! This is a classic argument of the Republicans. And it's purpose is to stop the argument—usually because you're making good points that they can't defend. And it does stop the argument: Because we're taught to be nice and not get angry. So you've stopped your meaningful and well-reasoned argument to think about your tone and they're carry right on without you, saying, "See. They're so angry. And they abort babies usually with gay doctors. Do you really want them in charge?" They've stolen the moment and the argument.

They've thieves.

And I want my country back.

Yes, the balance of the world may hinge on who gets elected. It does not hinge on us getting the facts straight. The Republicans never get the facts straight!

I used to think that we had to be truthful above all so that we're not like them. But we've lost our focus. Worrying about whether we're saying everything just the right way is kind of like fiddling when Rome is burning. We've got to get down in the mud and do some wrestlin'. (Yes, I'm mixing metaphore. Who gives a crap?)

QUIT WORRYING ABOUT MINUTIAE. Get to the big stuff. Economy, jobs, environment, healthcare, war.

Quit defending every remark. "Yeah, I said it. Get over it."

Do something spectacular. I don't know what. You figure it out. Each of us must figure it out and then get together with other people and do it. Become full of your true self and go out there and do it! Make fun of them! Call them on their crap! Put up signs! Annoy people! If they say you're rude, say, "Yeah, so? You want jobs and healthcare or you want rich people getting richer?"

Hey, they want a culture war? Give them one. If they say, "You think you're better than we are! You're an elitist!" "Yeah, so what? I am better than you. For one thing, I believe in science. But I'm willing to continue to let you chew your cud, shoot your vermin, and scratch your private parts. It's your business. You want jobs and healthcare or you want rich people getting richer"

The talking heads say, "You're making fun of small towns." You say, "When's the last time you lived in a small town, you moron? I live in a small town. Anyone who lives in a small town knows that the mayor does squat. The city manager does everything. But look at me getting caught in the facts again. You want jobs and healthcare or you want rich people getting richer?"

(There was a paragraph here that somehow got deleted and I have no idea what it was...)

We all need to stand up. We're losing. I mean really. President McCain isn't going to do anything about global warming. Sarah Palin doesn't even believe in it.

Okay. I'm going to eat. And then I'm going to do something spectacular!

Love, love, love, babies.

May You Revolt in Beauty!

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Lies, Lies, and More Lies

So a man walked up to a friend of ours who was wearing an Obama pin. He was shaking with fury. He said, "That man is disgusting! He's a liar!" My friend was so startled, she didn't know what to say. She said, "Obviously we can't have a conversation about this." When Mario heard this story, he said, "Here's the deal. They all lie. That's just what they do. But when Democrats are in charge, the economy booms, most people have jobs, and you get sane people on the Supreme Court. When Republicans are in charge, rich people get richer. There's your choice. Now make it."

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Good Essay by Steinem

Gloria Steinem has written a good essay about the GOP's cynical pick of Sarah Palin: Wrong Woman, Wrong Message. Learn more about Palin's anti-environmental record here.

Okay. I'll stop now.

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Stark Differences

I want to be optimistic, but some mornings it is difficult. I'm not watching the news. (My acupuncturist instructed me in no uncertain terms not to watch the news, to meditate, relax.) Last night I went to our Healers Circle, and it was great to be with like-minded people. We drummed (and the dog howled), did healing exercises (which we could later use with clients), and then did healing on one another. We gazed at black-eyed Susans, listened to running water, petted the border collie named Belle, and watched the sun splash pink up across the sky. Ahhhh.

And then last night I dreamed John McCain was sitting at my kitchen table. I wanted to talk to him reasonably, to engage him, to appeal to his better nature. I knew I'd never vote for him no matter what, but what if he won? So I said to him something like, "If you get into office will you work with people, will you show compassion for people?" He looked at me and said, "But you know I'm the law and order candidate." I sighed. That meant no, he wasn't going to be compassionate. Then I tried to figure out how to ask him not to let "that whackjob Palin do anything." I didn't want to say it that way, so I was trying to chose my words. I don't remember what I finally said, but I woke up feeling sad and disappointed.

Then I heard this morning that during Guiliani's speech, the crowd began chanting, "Drill, baby, drill." (Inspired by another speech made by some guy name Steele.) Can you imagine? I almost threw-up when I heard that. (It reminds me of the days I called them all Repulsicans.) This kind of chant highlights the stark difference between them and us. Although I'd like to highlight how we are alike, this morning I can only see the differences. Where we want to protect and restore, they want to exploit and destroy. ("Drill, baby, drill.") Where we want peace, they want war. ("Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.") Where we believe in privacy and the constitution, they want to end a woman's right to choose, they condone torture, and they pass legislation to make it "legal" to spy on American citizens. We believe in responsible government that provides healthcare and protection, they say they're against "big government" but they get into office and into debt. (Remember Clinton balanced the budget; now the U.S. is in serious debt. And when Sarah Palin took office in her little town, they had zero debt. When she left, they were millions of dollar in debt.) And, at least for me, "country first" is not my slogan. My family and the people I love are first. Period.


I'm going to go out and lay on the Earth. Then I'm going to get back up and work for the place, people, and planet I love.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008


So the lies and distortions are revving up. The Republicans are very good at saying something again and again until people believe it is true. This is what Palin and the McCain camp are doing. And the media keeps comparing Palin with Obama when it comes to experience. Huh? This makes no sense. Their experience is completely different. Palin's recent experience: She has already tried using her influence for nefarious reasons. She is under investigation by the state legislature to find out if she fired a public safety commissioner after he wouldn't fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin's sister. And she tried to ban books and get the librarian fired who wouldn't do her biding.

Read more here. She's anti-choice, pro-tax cuts for the rich, and generally a right-wing fanatic. If you want to see Obama's plan for America, go here. Whatever you think of either party, the Dems have always tried to protect the working people, not the Republicans. Maybe once we have a Democratic president, we can work toward more Progressive policies. Right now, we're going backwards so quickly it is difficult to keep up—and easy to be kept down.

By the way, did you see Jon Stewart last night. Priceless. Watch to the end.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008


It saddens me to see what is happening in Minneapolis. I've been getting reports for the last few days from people who are there. Houses have been raided. Men with guns have stormed into houses where children have been sleeping. The police have rounded the people up, put them on the floor, handcuffed them, and held guns on them. The police have knocked down people in the streets.

They've confiscated property, including a bus that has been going around the country teaching people how to live more simply, in tune with the land. The police have injured people and taken them to jail and denied them medical care. They've done this all to people who weren't doing anything illegal. I've been making calls every day. Today, we were making calls to the jail to try and help young man who was knocked to the ground by the police, injured by them, and not given adequate medical care; instead he was taken to jail and told that coughing up blood was normal.

Now tonight I see they are teargassing peaceful demonstrators. I'm not watching TV, but I doubt they are showing any of this. Are they? I read some of the coverage out of Minneapolis. Some of it seemed very slanted—they were calling the marchers "violent anarchists." I look forward to hearing from people who were there to see what the truth of it is.

I wonder what events will inspire the American people to finally say, "Basta!" The illegal Iraq war didn't do it. The mess of Hurricane Katrina didn't do it. The loss of our civil liberties didn't do it. The torture of prisoners in Iraq and Cuba didn't do it. The tanking of our economy didn't do it. Will the tear-gassing of American citizens do it?

I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens in November and beyond.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

The Difference Between Us

Here's the difference between the so-called Right and the so-called Left in the United States. Here it is. This is it. Are you ready?

The people on the Right do not expect their people to be perfect. The only being who is perfect is God, after all. If you share their values (anti-choice, pro-gun, pro-military, Christian) you are part of their community and therefore you can be forgiven almost anything, as long as you confess and promise to be better. I have seen this again and again in my own town. Someone does something which I and others may consider heinous but once he confesses to the members of his church and asks for forgiveness, he is redemned and welcomed back into the community. This includes politicians they feel are a part of their community—politicians who share their values. They will continue to work for these imperfect politicians after they have confessed their sins or after their imperfections are made public.
(Now, if you don't share their values, the story is completely different.)

The people on the Left expect politicians to be as near to perfection as possible, and each Lefty person defines what that vision of perfection is. If a politician says or does something the Left doesn't agree with or something the person believes is wrong, (and there could be a variety of things depending upon the particular Lefty), the people on the Left ostracize that politician—which means they won't vote for this politicians and they will bad mouth the politician; they may even work actively against this politician, much more actively than they ever worked against the "opposition."

I believe this is one of the reasons Progressives lose so many federal elections. The Left does not tolerate imperfection. The Right will look at a politician and say, "Does this politician basically share my values?" If the answer is yes, they will vote for that politician. I believe many people on the Left don't ask that question. They believe that some perfect politician will appear on the horizon some day and they're just waiting for that person!

This is the thing: I think most people go into politics because they want to make a difference. The good politicians become great statesmen. They learn how to work with other people. They respect the opinions of others and try not to demonize them. They understand that some compromise is almost always necessary in order to get anything accomplished. (This is one of the reasons I would not make a good politician.)

Here are my values: I cherish this Earth, I want everyone to have good healthcare, I don't believe in the use of violence unless it is to protect myself or my loved ones, and I believe every person should have autonomy over her own body, which means (among other things) that every woman can chose to use or not use birth control and to continue a pregnancy or terminate one. I believe that a culture who values money over clean air, clean water, healthy food, and safe, clean energy has lost its soul. I believe Obama shares these values with me; John McCain does not. I will vote for Barack Obama without hesitation.

Instead of lamenting how terrible the Democrats are or how terrible the Republicans are perhaps each of us should take responsibility for what we are doing in our own communities. Are we encouraging like-minded people in our community to run for elected office? Or are we ourselves running for office? Are we volunteering in our communities? Are we adding to the discourse or are we just badmouthing everything and everyone?

Imagine that we are the people we are waiting for. If that's true, were you waiting for someone who tears everything and everyone down? Or were you waiting for someone who knows how to act—in all the senses of that word; someone who builds and encourages; someone who discerns the truth and conveys it to others in a way that allows others to hear it.

I've never heard a Republican say they were going to "hold their nose" and vote for a candidate. Instead, they talk about what's good about "their guy." I've voted third party nearly every election (although not the last election). I understand the impulse. I know how disappointed those of us on the Left have been over the years. Will we ever find someone who shares our values more closely? But the idea that there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans has been solidly put to rest after eight years of living under the George Bush administration.

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't speak truth to power. I'm not saying we should put our head in the sand. I'm just saying, let's build the world we want instead of talking about how crappy this one is.

Whaddya think?

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Mario's Books

Did you know you can get all of Mario Milosevic's books on Amazon now? Go here and have a ball (or a book)! By the way, Mario has a poem on the farewell issue of the Journal of Mythic Arts.

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All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.