Sunday, August 31, 2008

Something to Crow About

I am a crow and raven freak, geek, devotee. I carry on conversations with them all the time. (Go here and scan down to "Crow" to read one of my pieces on crows. And here's another. And here.) It turns out that crows can recognize individual human faces. No surprise to those of us who love crows. They always seem like the smartest creatures on the block.

Read more here...

Ruby's Imagine Debuts in Louisiana

I was taking a break from looking for hurricane news on the internet, and I jokingly said to Mario, "Hey, let's see if I'm in the news." So I googled my name and then hit news. I don't think I've ever done that before. (Yes, I've googled my name but never checked "news.") Anyway, I found this amazing review of Ruby's Imagine. The best part of it is that it's from a media outlet in Louisiana.

Greg Langley writes, "Ruby’s Imagine by Kim Antieau is an astonishing book set in New Orleans before and during Hurricane Katrina and told in the voice of nearly-18-year-old Ruby Marie Pelletier...Her unusual way of expressing herself is Ruby’s most prominent attribute. It is a voice filled with a mystical otherness the likes of which haven’t been seen in literature since the days of Richard Brautigan’s surreal hippie tales In Watermelon Sugar and Trout Fishing in America.

"Alligators are 'alley gators.' If she wants to talk with someone, Ruby 'wants conversing.' If someone knows something, they 'have reasoning.' Her garden is the 'Place Where My Vegetables Grow.' A snowball is a 'frozen cup.' Her imagination is 'Ruby’s imagine.' The trees she remembers from the swamp are 'the rooted people.' Birds are 'the flying people.' She buys the frozen cup from a lady who runs a store at the Crossroads—a magical lady who is a seer. 'A galaxy did reveal itself to me in her winking eye.'"

I love when people get Ruby. I think she's so wonderful, and I have been worried about her going out into the world. This makes me feel a little more secure about her reception. Thanks, Mr. Langley!

Read more here...

More Totalitarianism in the Twin Cities

The police and governments of the twin cities continue to act in militarist and anti-American ways. (I'm trying not to use the word fascism, although that's exactly what it feels like.) The permaculture bus was seized yesterday. Below is another account of Starhawk work there this week. By the way, I always thought Minneapolis was one of our bastions of liberal government. What happened? Go here for more of the account of the permibus seizure.

From Starhawk:

"New Moon Ritual

"This is how magic works:

"We are gathered on sacred ground overlooking the Mississippi to celebrate the new moon and to begin this week of demonstrations and actions outside the Republican National Convention. We have an intention for the ritual, an intention the planners have been working with here in the Twin Cities for months: to court an upwelling of earth wisdom.

"Magic, we say, is the art of changing consciousness at will—that’s Dion Fortune’s definition. Implicit in that is ‘art’, imagery, poetry, and we’ve been looking for the imagery that will embody our intention. The most powerful rituals are built around one clear image and one clear intention.

"But we keep getting multiple images: webs, crystals, bedrock, surging water. The hurricane, roaring toward the Gulf, back toward New Orleans where many of us volunteered after Katrina. And dragons.

“'Oh please Goddess not dragons!' I’m saying silently inside my own mind. 'With or without dungeons—high wince factor. Overused. Disneyesque.' But dragons it is—protective Chinese dragons, ancient earth serpent powers, water dragons, fierce, fire-breathing guardians.

"Many years ago, I had a friend who lived in a group house in San Francisco. He used to say that every collective needed a dragon who lived in the basement, someone really ill tempered who will emerge from time to time and drive off those people who come to visit for a night and end up staying for a month, eating up all your sweet pickle chips and losing your bicycle.

"And so, when we do ritual in a public place, we always name some people as ‘dragons’, to guard the boundaries of the circle. This ritual coincides with the arrival of a group who has biked from a conference in Madison, Wisconsin all the way to the Twin Cities. Paul has contacted them, and asked them to be our dragons.

"I am having a lot of trouble shifting my own consciousness as the ritual begins. It’s been a hard, tense day. All day we’ve been getting news that the police have been raiding houses, breaking down doors, arresting people, with or without warrants or warnings. We hold the morning meeting in a public park, because our Convergence Space has been raided and closed the night before. Someone says, 'We’re a community that includes children—we can’t clear them out of their own living spaces. Remember if the police raid your space it’s important to have someone negotiate with them to get the children out.'

"I am a tough person. I’ve been through a lot of these things and in spite of all my efforts to stay open I’ve grown something of my own protective scales. But those words pierce through them, and I find tears welling up in my eyes. It just hits me, that we’re standing here in the United States of America, in the liberal city of my birth, talking about how to protect children from armed police.

"So this is on my mind as I try to center for the ritual, and then comes the news that our PermiBus has been pulled over and our friends in it are being arrested. My own organization, Earth Activist Trainings, has helped to build and fund this bus, and our dear friends Delyla and Stan Wilson and their daughter Megan have been traveling in it for seven months, offering trainings in Sustainable Skills, and tours of the bus itself as a living example. It has solar panels and graywater systems, a worm bin, hydroponic herb garden, composting toilet and three resident chickens. Megan, a gifted poet at sixteen, says: 'We know the world is not as it should be: we want to live in a way that shows people what could be.'

"So I’m trying to wrench my mind away from worrying about them, using all my magical tools to try to get calm and grounded and centered, and not having great success. I’m responsible for a major part of the ritual, and though I’ve been meditating on it and thinking about it for days, my mind is still pretty much a blank and now, as the ritual begins, I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do.

"And then the dragons ride in. Paul signals to them, and they ride down the hill and around and around the circle on their bikes, while we cheer and laugh with delight. For each of them has made a dragon costume. They have long snouts of painted cardboard and foam spikes in their helmets and wild wings of wire and gauze and webbing. They ride around and around, and just for a moment, the clouds of stress and worry roll away and I’m filled with wonder and delight. Three bald eagles circle above us. Magic.

"As the ritual begins, I know what I am going to say, what images and energies are asking to be expressed. We honor the ancestors, and ask permission to do our work on that sacred land. We cast a circle, call in the elements of earth, air, fire, water. A young woman from the biking group has asked to spin fire, and her dance with twirling balls of fire on chains lights up all our hearts. All the while, the dragons stand guard around us, calm and still in their snouts and wings.

"Susu, who is a poet, calls the Mississippi by having us all chant the letters of the mother river’s name, spelling a spell. We call in the earth spirits, and we call protection, for the circle, for all our friends in the street, and for our friends and all those in the path of the hurricane heading toward the Gulf.

"My turn comes. Right away, I abandon my plans. This circle needs to move, to sing and dance, so I call in the drummers and we sing a chant to Spider Woman and to change.

"'Spiders and webs are positive images for us,' I tell the group when the chant dies down. 'The web is a symbol for the web of life, the web of connection. ut there are other sorts of webs, too. Sticky webs. Webs of lies. Webs of entrapment. There’s a web of negative energy that has been covering this country, media webs that whisper to you day and night that you’re not good enough, not good looking enough, webs of scorn and judgment. And those webs get inside us.'

"I ask people to turn to each other, to draw out the threads of those webs and let them sink into the ground as pure energy. To open up a space for something new.

"If there’s a core belief in the Goddess religion, it’s this: that each of us is part of the web of life, and precious, bringing our own unique gifts to the world. We don’t ask people to believe in things, not even the Goddess who is simply our term for the great creative mystery that weaves the world. But we do ask people to believe in yourself, in your own deep work, in your sacred purpose. You are here for a reason.

"And then I ask people to sink down into that web of life, to feel it beneath our feet, in the soil, in the web of waters that flow beneath us, in the very bedrock below us which was once living things and which in the fullness of time will return to life as soil and root and growing thing. To listen to that web of life, and to know that all we really need to do to court its upwelling is to open up a space for it, and listen.

"Eagles circle, and then as the sun sets, so do helicopters, circling around us, their thrum making it nearly impossible to hear. But we begin to dance and drum, to weave a spiral and raise a roaring cone of power, and the helicopters finally move away. Energy pours through us, roaring upwards like dragon fire.

"At the end of the ritual, someone calls for anyone who was in the convergence center when it was raided to come forward. A young woman steps into the center of the circle. She was in the building the night before, with her five year old son, who was scared and crying as the police drew their guns on his mother, handcuffed her, patted her down. Now we lay soft hands on her, chant and sing and send her healing. When it is done, she’s glowing; and immediately begins organizing housing for all the people who have been displaced by the raids.

"I sit down, spent. A man and a woman come over to talk. They are thinking of offering housing, but worried. What about the anarchists? Won’t they destroy things, or bring down the police on their home? If they march with us, will they be in danger? They’ve heard that anarchists like to provoke the police to attack peaceful demonstrators, to radicalize them.

"I explain gently that anarchism is many things—a political philosophy with widely varying strands, from nihilists to pacifists. But mostly a way of organizing, a stress on personal responsibility, on taking action oneself and not waiting for the government or someone else to do it for you.

"A young woman from the biker’s group comes over. She’s dressed all in black—if ever someone looked the part of an anarchist, it’s her.

“'We were just talking about you,' says the man, and soon they are deep in discussion. She tells him that yes, she is an anarchist, and so are pretty much all of the group with the bikes. And that for her, it’s about building community, looking out for each other, making decisions together, mutual aid and respect. They have a long discussion, in which magic is happening: consciousness is changing.

"I talk with her and with some of the other dragons as we share food made by Seeds of Peace. A tall young man with golden curls tells me how much it meant to them to be dragons. 'We really got into it,' he says. 'We spent a whole day making our costumes, and getting into that guardian, protective energy. And now I don’t want to let it go. I’m going to keep my foam spikes in my helmet when I’m doing deliveries. We want to be guardians for the marches, for the city. For the world.'

"This is how magic works.

"The bikers are all hugging each other in a circle, reluctant to leave each other now that the ride is over. They have fulfilled their intention, built their community, spread their message, and brought us a gift of wonder and delight.

"And as we prepare to leave, I get a new message. Our friends with the bus have not been arrested, although the bus itself has been impounded. They are free, although their home and all their possessions, computers, permaculture displays, worms and the contents of their composting toilet are now locked up somewhere in a police yard, with no explanation or reason. The police had no search warrant—indeed, they did not search the bus, but explained that they were impounding it in case they wanted to search it later. They did, however, release the people, the two exuberant Australian shepherd dogs, and the three chickens, with whom we are reunited back at our home.

"Magic. Like so many things, it doesn’t work perfectly. But it works."

About the Permibus seizure, they ask, "To our supporters: First we ask that as many people as possible contact precinct one in Minneapolis, MN at 612-673-5701 and Mayor Rybak at (612) 673-2100 or call (612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis. Also call the Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher 651-266-9300 and demand the immediate release of the Permibus."

Read more here...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

From Starhawk at the RNC

From Starhawk who is at the Republican National Convention—or at least in the same city as the RNC.

Raid on the Convergence Center

"It’s Friday night. Our Pagan Cluster is sitting on the bluff of the Mississippi having our first real meeting, when Lisa gets a call. The cops are raiding the Convergence Center, where we’re organizing meetings and trainings for the protests against the Republican National Convention. It’s not a role play, the caller says. It’s real.

"Instantly, we jump up and hurry back the six or eight blocks to the old theater we are using for meetings, trainings and social gatherings. I ‘ve spent the last two days doing magical activism trainings, teaching people how to stay calm and grounded in emergency situations and when things get chaotic. Now it’s time to put the training into practice. Aaron, a tall, red-headed young man who could be one of my nephews strides along beside me. “Are you grounded?” I ask him. He nods, and runs ahead.

"Nobody can keep up with Lisa, who speeds ahead like an arrow, walking, not running, but still covering the ground quickly. Andy and I trail behind. We’re often street buddies, because we’re both big, slow, and supremely calm and stubborn, willing to wade into almost any situation and become the immovable object.

"We’re stopped by a line of cops just before we reach the building. They refuse to let us through, or to move their van which is blocking Scarecrow’s car. There’s an investigation underway, they say, and won’t say more.

"Brush, our dear friend, is inside, having gone to a jail solidarity meeting, ironically enough. So are two very young people who had just joined our cluster that night. I try calling Brush’s cell phone, but get no reply.

"We wait. That’s what you do when the cops have guns trained on kids inside a building. You wait, and witness, and make phone calls, and try to think of useful things to do.

"We call lawyers. We call politicians. We try to call media. We call friends who might know politicians and media.

"Through the kitchen door, we cansee young kids sitting on the floor, handcuffed. We walk across the street, back, made more phone calls. An ambulance is parked in front, and the paramedics head into the building, leaving a gurney ready. Susu, from her car around the corner, reports that the cops have been grabbing pedestrians from the street, forcing them down to the ground, handcuffing them.

"Song, one of the local organizers, calls her City Council member. She wants to call the Mayor, Chris Coleman, who has promised that St. Paul will be as welcoming to protestors as to delegates, but no one has his home number.

"What I have forgotten to tell people at the training is how much of an action is just this: tense, boring waiting, with a knot of anxiety in your stomach and your feet starting to hurt. Song talks to a helpful neighbor, who’s come over to find out what’s happening. He knows where the mayor lives, says it’s just a few blocks away, and draws us a map.

"We decide to go and call on the Mayor, who could call off the cops. About five of us troop down there, through the soft night and a neighborhood of comfortable homes and wide lawns on the bluffs above the Mississippi. The Mayor’s house is a comfortable Dutch Colonial, and lights were on inside. We decide that just a few of us will go to the door, so as not to look intimidating. Song is a round, soft-bodied middle-aged woman with a sweet face. Ellen is a tiny brunette with a gap-toothed smile, and Lisa, formidable organizer though she is, looks slight and unthreatening. The rest of us hang back. Someone opens the door. Our friends have a conversation with the mayors’ wife, who is not pleased to be visited by constituents late at night, and who tells us we should call the office. The Mayor, she says, is asleep, and she will not wake him up.

"We think a mayor who was doing his job would get up and go see what’s going on. Nonetheless, we head back to the convergence space.

"A protestor has been released from the building. A small crowd has gathered across the street, and Fox News has arrived. They interview Song, who does her first ever Fox media spot. She tells them the truth—that people were in there watching movies—a documentary about Meridel Le Seuer. Meridel would be proud, and I’m glad she is with us in some form.

"One by one, protestor’s trickle out. Now we get more pieces of the story. The cops burst in, with no warning. They pulled drew their guns on everyone—including a five year old child who was there with his mother, forced everyone down on the floor. It was terrifying.

"They had a warrant, apparently, from the county, not the city, to search for ‘bomb making materials.’ They were searching everyone in the building, then one by one releasing them as they found nothing.

"They continue to find nothing, as we wait through long hours. Meanwhile, more and more media arrives. These cops are not as creative as the DC cops during our first mobilization there against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Those cops confiscated the lunchtime soup—which included onions and chili powder, claiming they were materials for home made pepper spray.

"We wait until the last person gets out. He’s a twenty year old who the cops have accused of stealing his own backpack—but apparently they relented.

"And now it’s morning. I wake up to the news that cops have been raiding houses where activists are staying, bursting in with the same bogus warrant and arresting people, including a four year old child. They’ve arrested people at the Food Not Bombs house—a group dedicated to feeding protestors and the homeless. They’ve arrested others, presumably just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"The Poor Peoples’ Campaign, which had set up camp at Harriet Island, a park in the middle of the Mississippi, has also been harassed, its participants ordered to disperse and its organizers arrested.

"Let me be perfectly clear here—all of us here are planning nonviolent protests against an administration which is responsible for immense violence, bombs that have destroyed whole countries, and hundreds of thousands of deaths.

"This is the America that eight years of the Bush administration have brought us, a place where dissent is no longer tolerated, where pre-emptive strikes have become the strategy of choice for those who hold power, where any group can be accused of ‘bombmaking’ or ‘terrorism’ on no evidence whatsoever in order to deter dissent.

"Please stand with us. Because it could be your home they are raiding, next.

"Call the Mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Tell them you are outraged by these attacks on dissent. Urge them to let Poor People encamp and to let dissent be heard.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

"Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak
(612) 673-2100
(612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis"

Read more here...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Imagine

eagle creek trail 2
The Democratic convention is over. Barack Obama just finished his speech. He done great. I saw all the major speeches and most of the other ones. I thought they all did very well. It was such a pleasure not listening to the talking heads. One night I turned to MSNBC for a few minutes and it was as though we had seen and heard different things. So I went back to C-Span. I love the Span. It was as if we were there in Denver. I don't agree with everything the Dems want. I don't agree with everything Obama believes or wants. (Clean coal is an oxymoron.) But I don't agree with my husband on everything! I believe this country and this planet will be better with Barack Obama as president and with the Democrats in power.

I plan to encourage them. I plan to build people up, rather than tear them down. I intend to help build the world I want. I'm helping to elect Progressive candidates to our local offices. I've started a Healers Circle here in town so we can learn to help each other. And Mario and I are doing what we can here to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I work every day to try and build community—despite my sometimes profound discomfort with the process. (What an easy wonderful life I have!)

In Ruby's Imagine, Ruby tells everyone how she sees the future. She describes how she imagines the city of New Orleans rebuilt one day after Hurricane Katrina. It is a beautiful vision of the future and people are happy and fulfilled. After she describes this future, she says, "I loves, loves, loves it! Can you see it? Can you feel it? Can you make it happen? Yes, yes, yes. This will be the Place Where We Renewed the World." She tapped her chest. "Right here." She looked around at the people gathered around her. "Right in all of us. At least that's what the Old Oaks told me."

Right on, Ruby girl!

Read more here...

Ruby's Imagine Out & About

My friend Kevin ordered Ruby's Imagine some time ago, and he got it in the mail on Tuesday! Yeah! It wasn't supposed to be out until September 8th. But it's out now. Could it be coincidental that it has come out on the eve of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as Gustav is spiraling toward New Orleans again? Probably, but it is kind of eerie, since it was not planned. Anyway, she's out in the world! If you want more info on Ruby's Imagine go here.

Read more here...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Keep Going!

Hillary is my new hera. Her speech was amazing. I wish she had had this voice sooner. But it doesn't matter. She did it. It was great. She spoke from her heart and her intelligence. She showed herself to be a great statesman. Watch the speech if you haven't yet.

Read more here...

Dem Convention

If you're watching the Democratic Convention, I recommend C-Span. No ads or talking heads. PLUS Fox News won the coin toss so that's their feed on the other channels—which is why you're not seeing very many happy celebrating people. They're choosing the shots. Go to C-Span!

Read more here...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Soul Places

I still don't have a computer. Well, technically, I have a computer; I just can't use it because it makes me sick. Yet I find it quite liberating, actually. I'm remembering those summer days when I used to sit under one of the big old oaks in our yard back home with pen and paper in hand and I'd just write. One book a year. I loved it. Me and the trees and all those tales.

I'm still not ready to write again. No one character has flown into my imagination and stood with her hands on her hips and said, "Do you know shorthand? Cuz I got a story to dicate."

It may happen.

I went away for a week to a training. I told you that, didn't I? It was an unexpected surprise. After the workshop had started, the teacher called me and said come on down! So I did. I've worked with Sandra Ingerman before and was charmed with her down to Earth way of seeing the Visibles and Invisibles. I was impressed by her compassion and desire to learn and teach what she knows in a non-dogmatic way. Anyway, I wasn't supposed to be able to go to this workshop, but then she invited me when they found an extra room in the basement of one of the houses at the retreat center. (Regular readers might vaguely remember I attended the five day Medicine of the Earth in Santa Fe a couple of years ago when my friend Barbara and I drove there.)

I quickly packed Sunday night and drove to Damascus the next morning. Once there, the workshop organizer took me into one of the houses I had never been in at the retreat center and we wandered around until we found room E in the basement. My sense of smell was gone so I had to rely on her to tell me whether it was moldy or not. She said it wasn't moldy, it just smelled musty, like a basement. I wasn't sure there was a difference, but I told her not to worry about it and I hurriedly tried to get set-up in the few minutes before the workshop began. I plugged in my hepa/VOC roomaid filter. It was so cold and dark in the room and rather desolate-looking. I mean, come on, it was in the basement and I am not a fan of basements.

But who cared? I was there! I went to the main house where the workshop room was. I looked around the circle. Where was I going to sit? Forty-two other people had already crowded around. But I found a spot. Later it turned out I was sitting between two of the four people I knew.

For most of the first day, Sandra talked about the mechanics of "soul retrieval." Most indigenous people believe that illness has a spiritual cause. What medicine men and shamans did was go into the spirit world (or that place where you can interact with the Invisibles) and find out why a person was ill. Many illnesses involved "soul loss." They believed that trauma or shock could cause part of a person's essence, vitality, or soul to get lost. The shaman's job was to bring the essence of the person back, so that she was whole again. (We learned about this in Faery Doctoring, too.) Shamanism is based on results. If a shaman or shamanic practitioner—as those people who do healing but who aren't indigenous healers are usually called—doesn't get results then no one came to them for help.

I love being in these circles with people who are trying to figure out the world. I love being in circles of people where I can talk about hugging trees and talking to the Winds, Clouds, Mountains, Rivers. It is so relaxing to be amongst people who see the world as it truly is: Alive! Responsive! Communicative!

Strangely enough, I slept during this week of training. I went into my cool little dungeon and fell right to sleep. This was extraordinary! The first night, I dreamed we were all in the big room together, all the people in the workshop, and Sandra raised her arms and we raised our arms, and then we dropped down to the floor and slid toward the center until we were all touching and linked and our bodies created a beautiful colorful mandala.

Many things happened during the week. We worked hard. Every time I go to one of these trainings, I'm amazed at how difficult and tiring and invigorating the work can be. We worked from 9:30 a.m. until about 10:00 p.m., with breaks for meals.

A German couple were in the house where I was staying. The man attended the workshop; the woman was on her vacation. They had lived in the U.S. for five years and they were looking forward to going back to Germany. Finding community and friends here has been difficult for them. They said they'd meet someone, like their neighbors, and the neighbors would say, "Great to meet you. Let's do dinner or something." And then my new friends would say, "Yes, great. Tomorrow?" And they'd try to set a date, and nothing would happen. I said, "Don't feel bad. Generally speaking, Americans don't really know how to create community. I have the same trouble!"

My favorite times were sitting and talking. One night three of us were left around the altar, talking about writing and publishing and wondering when we'd get up and go to bed. After the fire ceremony on the last night, I walked around in the dark with one of the women who had come from Germany for this workshop. She was disappointed that everyone had scattered right after the ceremony. She wanted to stay up and sing and dance. She wondered if something was wrong that everyone left afterward. I explained again that most Americans have a difficult time being in community—and also, it was hot. "We are a tired people!" We stopped at a moonlit meadow and listened to the coyotes howl. When I joined in the howling, the coyotes stopped! Oops! That same night, I went back to the house and talked with the German couple.

For the most part, the weather was great, especially for August. By Thursday, however, the screw had turned, and it was about 100 degrees out. That was also the night we did the fire ceremony, inside because of the fire danger. Inside the house where I was staying. It was hot inside and out that night, except in my little dungeon room. My room was divine, and I was so grateful they had given me that room.

On the last morning, someone was asking me about my writing. As I was answering her question, she and another woman started teasing me about how I seemed to be unsure of my writing, how I almost belittled it. I was embarrassed. I told them I didn't usually do that. I was a champion for my work. But lately, I had been unsure. I was very uncomfortable with the conversation, and I soon left and went back to sit in my cool little dungeon by myself. As I sat there eating a boiled egg, I said, "Okay, Kim, you're always complaining about not having community. What the hell are you doing sitting here alone?" So, I left my comfy dungeon and went back to the dining area. I sat with a couple of friends.

As usual, I was one of the last people to leave when the workshop was over. I took a couple people out to the big Old Doug fir on the property. It is old growth, probably 600 years old. Can you imagine? Some of my favorite times at the workshop were spent with trees. Sometimes I think that the answers to absolutely everything is in trees.

Now I'm home. Within hours of being home, I learned they were going to spray the blackberries across the road at the school and the area outside the office where I work once a week in Vancouver. The next day after I got home, a little rat dog chased me into my house. All my triggers were being...triggered. Coming home is always the challenge—to bring what I've learned into this place. To walk in beauty everywhere. To create sanctuary everywhere. To be an Old Mermaid wherever I am.

Sometimes I feel so lost. I have moments when I feel at home. When I feel whole. That is something. That is a grand thing.

Other times...

After I got home from the workshop, as soon as I could, I went out into the woods with Mario. A few feet from the threshold into the forest, we spotted a single shoe. Mario and I looked at each other and one of us said, "Oh look. A lost soul."

It seemed like an image out of a dream, full of symbolism and depth of meaning. I stared at the shoe for a long while. Then I left it on the path for someone else, just in case they needed it, and I walked deeper still into the forest.

Read more here...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Reason

Another reason ethanol is not a good reason: the dead zones. What can you do? Keyword search "what you can do" on this page.

Read more here...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ruby's First Big Review

Got my first big review for Ruby's Imagine and it's a good one from Kirkus Reviews. One of my teachers and mentors told Mario and me that we should never read reviews because you're never as good as they say you are and you're never as bad. I still read reviews, but I keep swearing I won't: Sometimes they are so hurtful! But I liked this one. I'll paste part of it in below. (I can't quote the entire thing because it's copyrighted.) Ruby's Imagine will be out in just a couple of weeks. Amazon says it's in stock. Not sure what that means if you order it. Maybe you can get it before I do!

Here's the excerpt: "Big Oak told Ruby Butterfly, who warned Ruby the Girl, about the Big Spin, a storm on its way to shake up the city of New Orleans and Ruby's life....Narrated in a lyrical voice that captures the rhythms of the Jazz City, this coming-of-age story manages to encompass not only the enormity of Hurricane Katrina, but the quiet struggle of one girl....Rebuilding her life and her city will not be easy, but Ruby's reaction to these difficulties is exceptional. Rich language and a unique perspective hint at the magic that exists just below the surface of everyday life."

Way to go, Ruby girl!

Read more here...

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Later & Marvels Now

First, I've been away, and now I'm back. Many tales to spin. We'll see if I actually sit down at the wheel and spin them. In the meanwhile, check out Mario's delightful "Pulling Strings." It is all Mario, so Mario, and thus (yes, thus) it is marvelous! You can also hear him reading it at the same link.

Read more here...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

When In Need

A friend of mine told me about an incident that happened between her, her horse, and a doe. She was on her horse in an open arena when a doe came into the arena. Her horse began trembling. (The horse was relatively young and inexperienced.) And the doe was strangely aggressive. In fact, she began to charge the horse. My friend could just imagine the body blow that was about to come; she knew how traumatized and (possibly) hurt the horse would be. My friend waved and shouted and still the doe charged.

Then my friend called out to her dog who was up by the house. "Jack!" she screamed. "Jack!" And Jack, who is nine years old and blind in one eye with tumors all over his belly, came racing toward them. He was full of vim and vigor again, barking and growling, and he herded the doe right out of the arena. (He's part Husky and Border Collie.) All was well. She saw the doe the next day, by the way, with two tiny fawns, and the doe was "as peaceful as can be."

A couple nights after my friend told me this tale, I dreamed I was walking down a snowy country road by myself. There was snow everywhere and the house was far away. Across the field, I saw a line of dogs, maybe some wolves and bears. They saw me and they were all charging toward me. I knew I couldn't run and get away. I didn't know what to do. So I screamed, "Coyote! Coyote!" And Coyote came running toward me and the dogs, wolves, and/or bears veered away from me. Coyote had saved me. I rubbed his head and hugged him. All was well with my world.

Isn't it great when you call for help and it comes, either in ordinary reality or non-ordinary reality?

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bad Apple

Did I mention Apple gave me a brand new Macbook in exchange for my dead G4? I loved my laptop except for the fact that it was a lemon and I had a terrible time with it. Kept dying and taking all my work with it. So they sent me a new one. Only it makes me sick. I can't use it. I get sick to my stomach and my eyes hurt. So I am without computer. At least without computer I can use. It doesn't really matter. I'm not writing, so I don't suppose I need one.

Warm today. Smoke everywhere, despite the beautiful off and on rain we've had. Strange. Not sure where it's from.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Real Magic

“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth" —Rumi

Do you believe in magic? I do.

Yesterday I was with a group of friends celebrating Lughnasadh. We did ceremony, ate food from the harvest, and made corn dollies. And we talked. That was the best part for me, gazing at the faces of these beautiful people, listening to them, talking with them.

One of them mentioned that she wished there was magic like in the Harry Potter books. I've heard this before. It seems natural to us in the Western world—maybe everywhere now—that things should happen quickly; after all, we're never sure how much time we have. We don't trust the natural progression of things. I don't believe there is any such thing as Harry Potter magic, except perhaps in shamanic journeys. But I do believe in magic.

Consider, for instance, a seed. Have you ever planted a seed? Wow. Is there anything more amazing? Put this tiny seed into the Earth. Wombtime, babies. Add a bit of Water. Laugh or cry; we swim in your tears. Add enough light. Air. It's all elemental, Sherlocks. And something happens to this tiny seed. Of course it can all be explained. Ask your friendly botanist. The explanations don't make it any less extraordinary, any less magical. The shell of the seed cracks open. The seed sends out roots into Mother Earth and then reaches up to the Sky.

Oh man, oh man, oh man, woman, child! Ain't it something?

Magic is bursting out all around us. I see people creating magic in their lives every day. See the woman who lives in the converted garage up behind us with her two children. She left an abusive relationship, has a job now, and is creating a good life for her and her babies. And my friends Patricia and Cate who create peace and beauty in their lives even when they could have instead railed against circumstances in their lives. I think of my father who carries his grief with dignity and humor, who faces the prospect of more surgery with resolve. I think of my beloved Linda every day, and still feel the magic she created in my life.

The word magic has at its root magh(1) which means to be able, to have power. I believe we can all be magicians. We are all magicians. We have the ability to step into our own power, our own abilities, and do what needs to be done. Our world needs us now. We can't get lost in semantics or hurt feelings or powerlessness. Put on your magic robes, darlin's. Open your arms. It's all elemental. We're all seeds just waiting to sprout.

Now that's real magic.

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Friday, August 1, 2008


Oh my. It rained today. Pouring down beautiful rain! The rain cleared out the smoke. No place more beautiful than the Columbia River Gorge after a rain. Crystal clear air. Wispy clouds floating above the river. Bigger clouds looking like cotton batting rolling over the gorge hills. Stone faces like ancient giants looking out at us. Mmmmm-mmm. We seldom have rain in July or August. This is unusual and welcome. Thank you, thank you. I love this weather!

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Happy New Moon

Merry Eclipse today (early morning). Happy New Moon! Fabulous Lughnasagh! Wishing you all great joy and good health!

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All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.